Page images
PDF
EPUB

descended and sprung from him, as a root springs out of the earth. Or he may be called the root or support of. David, because he was David's Lord, and the object of his faith. The book of the decrees of God, containing the knowledge of future events, was given to our Lord, as the most excellent and worthy of all the inhabitants of heaven; and he is justly celebrated by the four beasts, and elders on that account. But his receiving this book, or having the knowledge of future events communicated to him, is a plaia proof that he is not God: for if he had been God, or an omniscient Being, all futurity must have been open to him; and he could not have received the knowledge of it from any. Our Lord is described as standing in the midst of the throne, which represents his high dignity and exalt. ed station in the heavenly kingdom: but throughout this whole book of Revelation, there is a great and remarkable distinction made betwixt Christ, and him that sitteth upon the throne,' who is the Father. So that it is impossible for any body who reads this book with attention, not to discover from it, the supreme independent character of the Father, who alone is the Lord God Almighty;' and the subordinate and inferior nature of our Lord Jesus Christ; r who was slain, and redeemed mankind to God by his blood : and is therefore declared to be worthy, “ to take the book, and to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Rev. v. 9, 12. But the Father, the only true God, who sitteth upon the throne and liveth for ever and ever, who cannot suffer or die, is extolled on account of his own underived, original, and inherent dignity. Rev. iv., 8, 11. ' Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come -Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created. The seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, that the Lamb is said to have, denotes his know ledgeof human affairs, communicated to him by God; or perhaps may relate to the ministry of angels.

Rev. xvii, 14.- And the Lamb shall overcome tbem: for he is Lord of lords and King of kings,' &c. Rev. xix. 13, 16. ' And his name is called, the word of God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name writ

[ocr errors]

ten, King of kings and Lord of lords. Our Lord Jesus Christ is called the · Word of God, because he was the revealer of the Father's will, as we before observer. And in the passages we have just now quoted, he is twice called • King of kings and Lord of lords. In 1 Tim. vi. 15. this title is applied to the Father; tut it is there connected with other expressions of dignity peculiar to God only. It by no means follows, that because Jesits Christ as well as the Father, is styled, 'King of kings and Lord of lords,' that therefore he is God equal with the Father. For the same title may be, and is given in scripture, in very dif. ferent senses, and must always be understood and explained according to the nature of that being to whom it is applied. Thus the word God, when applied to Angels, Kings, Judges, &c. is to be understood in a manner infinitely different than when it denotes Jehovah the God of Israel. --Our Lord Jesus Christ then, is only. King of kings' in such a sense as is consistent with that declaration of God con. cerning him, Psal. ii. 6. " Yet have I set my King upon my holy bill of Sion ;' and he is · Lord of lords' also, only in such a sense as is compatible to one who was made Lord by the Father; Acts ii. 36. • Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.' In a word Jesus Christ in consequence of his exaltation in heaven, and his being appointed by the Father the judge of the whole world, may be very properly called, King of kings and Lord of lords;' because he is superior to all to whom these titles are given, (God alonc excepted,) being

the Prince of the kings of the earth.' Rev. i. 5. But still there is a great and amazing difference betwixt him and the Father, who made Christ both King and Lord in in this exalted sense ; and is himself not only · King of kings and Lord of lords, in a sense far superior to Christ; but is also · God of gods, Deut. x. 17. Psal. cxxxvi. 2. and the God and Father of Christ himself,' to whom he is altogether subjected, and upon whom he is entirely dependent. John xx. 17. Eph. i. 3. 1 Peter i. 3. Rev. ii. 12.

Rev. xxi. 6. 'I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.' 'These words were uttered by him who sat upon the throne, Ver. 5. which title always denotes the

[ocr errors]

Father in this book of Revelation; and consequently they are not the words of Christ, but of God.

We have now completed the last part of our plan, and have given a full and particular reply to the objections of Trinitarians, drawn from the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of St. Paul and others, and the Revelation of St. John. In the preceding discourse, we obviated the objections which are supposed to occur in the Evangelists. Upon the whole, the sacred books of the New Testament afford no more real foundation for the doctrine of a Trinity in Unity, than those of the Old Testament do. These two inestima. ble revelations of God to man, are both of them harmonious in asserting and maintaining the proper Unity of God. The great author of the Christian religion, and his holy Apos. tles, were as entire strangers to the system of a God the Son, and a God the Holy Ghost, as Moses and the prophets were before them. When they name the Divine Being, they always style him God simply, or God the Father, God our Father, God our Saviour, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord God Almighty ; or employ some significant title expressive of his nature and attributes. Whether the word Father be expressed or not, it is always understood where the Supreme Being is mentioned : for the Evangelists and Apostles knew of no other God besides him. They uniformly speak of Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed of God, his Servant, Messenger, and Son, and assign the reasons on which this last title is found. ed; none of which imply divinity, or derivation from the Father's essence or substance. The Holy Spirit is with them, the power, energy, operation, and inspiration of God. In short the Unitarian doctrine is clearly demon. strable from the scriptures; and the Trinitarian objections to it, are all of them founded on false readings, mistrans. lations, or erroneous explications of the sacred volume, which are capable of a clear and satisfactory solution, and I humbly trust have been solidly answered in these dis. courses. The more the scriptures are examined with accu. racy and critical skill; the falsity of the Trinitarian system appears the more conspicuous. How pleasing it is to observe reason and revelation go hand in hand, and mu. tually unite in establishing the unity of the Divine nature. A truth of the last importance, but which the greatest pars

of Christians for a series of ages have unhappily departed from. May it please the Father of lights, the source of wisdom, to enlighten their minds, remove their prejudices, and bring them to the full knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. To him, the Lord God Almighty, the blessed and the only potentate, who is, and who was, and who is to come, who sitteth upon the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, and for whose pleasure all things were and are created: be ascribed all glory, honour, and power; from all bis rational offspring. Amen,

DISCOURSE XI.

JOHN xvii. 3.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the

only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent,

THIS solemn declaration of Jesus Christ our Lord, that his Father ! is the only true God,' being one of the most express and significant attestations that the whole scripture affords, in favour of the personal unity of the Divine Being; we therefore selected it at first, as a proper foundation for all our reasonings on this subject, and proposed by an appeal to the scriptures at large to enforce and establish the following propositions.

First, that there is one person, or intelligent agent, who alone is God, supreme, almighty, and eternal; and that this one person is the Father, or as he is sometimes called in scripture, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God.'

Secondly, That Jesus Christ is not the most high God, but a being inferior to him, dependent upon him, and acting by his command and authority; or in other words, his Son, Servant, and Messenger, and by the Father's appointment, the Messiah, or only Mediator between God and man, “That they might know Jesus Christ whom thou hast

sent.'

And thirdly and lastly, To consider and answer the ob. jections, that the 'Trinitarians make to our hypothesis, and urge in support of their own, founded on various places both of the Old and New Testament.

« PreviousContinue »