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the most high God: but a being inferior to him, depen. dent 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 - That they might know Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.' We shewed first, that Jesus Christ is distinguished from God in Scripture, and therefore cannot be that God from whom he is distinguished, and to whom he is opposed. We shewed in the second place, that Jesus Christ cannot be God, because he is the Son of God; for to be God and the Son of God too, is impossible, and implies a contradiction. This would be to make Jesus Christ his own Father and his own Son; or would be equivalent to saying, that he was begotten and unbegotten at the same time. pointed out the different senses, in which the scriptures declare Jesus to be the Son of God, viz. on account of his miraculous conception by the power of God, of a Virgin mother : on account of his consecration to the Messiahship, or his being anointed with the holy spirit without measure : on account of his resurrection from the dead, by the mighty working of the Father's power: on account of his ascension into Heaven, and his exalta. tion to a state of dignity, dominion, and glory, at the right hand of God; and, according to the language of the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, being made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. We took notice of all these different senses, in which Jesus is called the Son of God: and confirmed them by express testimonies from holy writ. But at the same time we ob. served, that the scriptures afford us no foundation, for ascribing a consubstantial Sonship to Jesus : or an eternal filiation from the Father's essence. We mentioned se. veral gross contradictions resulting from the belief of this opinion : and could have enlarged much farther on this subject. But as the scriptures are silent concerning it, there is no occasion for reasoning farther about a non. entity, or a thing which is not recorded.
Thirdly, but to proceed in our argument ; that,Jesus Christ is not the most high God, or God in the proper and sublime sense of that word, is evident, because, he always professed to have no will of his own; but to be ever en. tirely guided and governed by the will of his heavenly
Father, John vi. 38. For I came down from heaven (says our Lord) not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.' And during his agony in the garden, he thus expresses himself; Matt. xxvi. 39. Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me : nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. These are expressions, de. noting a state of absolute dependence and subjection : and utterly inconsistent with proper deity. If our Lord Jesus Christ had been God, he must have been regulated solely by his own will; and never could have been direc. ted so implicitly by the will of another.
Fourthly, Jesus Christ cannot be the most high God, because, he is said not only in the words of our text, but in many other passages of scripture, to be sent of God. Now to be sent of God, or to be God's messenger, and to be God himself, are quite opposite and contrary ideas. John xii. 44. He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.' Matt. x, 40. He that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.' In these places, Jesus repre. sents himself as an ambassador from Almighty God. But it is impossible to believe that a person equal in dignity with the Almighty, could be an ambassador from him. Besides, the idea of being sent, is quite inconsistent with that sameness of essence, which the Trinitarians ascribe to the Father and the Son. The Son (upon their scheme) possessed the same individual essence with the Father, and therefore, could not be separated from him, or act as his messenger.
But it is the express doctrine of the scrip tures, that Christ was sent by the Father ; and in the chapter of which our text forms a part, it is repeatedly as. serted, John xvii, 8. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst SEND ME. Ver. 21, · That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me. and I in thee, that they also may be one in us : that the world may believe that thou hast SENT ME.' Ver. 23.
I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast SENT ME. Ver. 25. Orighteous Father, the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee; and these have known that thou hast SENT ME. These are only
a few of many places, in scripture, wherein Christ de. clares that he was sent by the Father ; and from this consideration, it inevitably follows, that he was a being of a different nature and essence from the Father ; and inferior in dignity to him.
In the fifth place, Jesus Christ is not the most high God, or the all perfect and omnipotent Being, because, he denies himself (as do also his Apostles) to be the proper author of his miraculous works, and refers all these operations to the Father, or the Holy Ghost, which in most (if not in all) places of scripture, signifies nothing else but the power, influence, or energy of God the Father. As this is a point of great importance, we shall quote the passages of scripture, wherein Christ speaks in this man. nér, distinctly and at large, and make our remarks upon them as we go along. Our Saviour having cured an impo. tent man on the sabbath-day, the Jews, who were ever ready to find fault with him, accused him of having broken the sabbath, and sought to kill him on that account. Jesus replies, John v. 17. My Father worketh hitherto and I work.' The meaning of this was, that as Almighty God performed works of charity and mercy on the sabbath-day, so he his Son might do the same also. Upon which the Jews, still more incensed, were desirous of destroying him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father ; making himself equal with God. Our Saviour had not given the least occasion for this accusation, more than the former ; it was only a malicious construction that the Jews had put upon his words. But let us attend to the manner, in which Christ clears himself from this charge. He does not say, (as Trinitarians say now) I am the eternal Son of God, the second person of the ever blessed Trinity, of the same nature and essence with the Father; and therefore have a good tiile to assume an equality with the Fa. ther. But in his reply, he gives up all pretensions to such an equality. John v. 19 to 3), inclusive.
Then answered Jesus, and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do ; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son; and sheweth him all things that himself doeth :
and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath com. mitted all judgment unto the Son : that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come unto condemna. tion; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you ; the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself ; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, be.. cause he is the Son of man, Marvel not at this ; for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth : they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just: because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me, and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.'
Here our Lord positively asserts, that he can do no. thing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do ;' or that the Father's all-powerful agency must concur with him in the operation of every miracle ; that having this agency, he is enabled to perform these wonderful works: but without it is altogether impotent and incapable of performing them. He represents himself as the Father's scholar; or indicates that the Father sheweth him al} things that himself doeth ; and declares that the Father will shew him, or enable him to perform, still greater works than the curing this impotent man, to the utter astonish ment of the Jews, and to the confusion of their incredulity. He informs them, that the Father hath committeri all judgment to him, and that, therefore, men should give him all that honour and respect which is duc
to one to whom so high and important an office is delegated; in like manner, (for the particle as is far from de. noting an equal degree of honour) as they honour the Father, the original source of all authority and power. And that if they fail in doing this, they dishonour the Fa. ther who sent the Son; and who is bound to vindicate the honour of his ambassador.
He declares ver. 26, that as the Father hath life ; or the power of raising the dead in himself, so he hath con. ferred this glorious power upon the Son also ; and that in consequence of it, he will be enabled to raise the dead at the last day, and to reward or punish them according to their works. To prevent any possibility of misunder. standing his meaning, and to deprive every person of a handle, for ascribing his present miracles, or the future resurrection of the dead, to his own power or agency, he again solemnly declares, and more clearly and emphatically than before, ver. 30. 6 I can of mine own self do nothing, as I hear, I judge ; and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Pa. ther which hath sent me.' He adds farther, ver. 31, 32. That his own testimony concerning himself would have heen incompetent and inadequate ; but that the testimony of another, or the evidence of those miracles, which the Father enabled him to perform, could alone ascertain the validity of his divine mission. This thought is expressed in other words, in ver. 36. of this chapter.
But I have greater witness than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.* Could a being that was God, or equal with the God of heaven and carth, ever express himself in this man. ner ? 'The idea is impossible and cannot be admitted !
John xiv. I, 10. • Jesus saith unto him (unto Philip), have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father and how sayest ihou then, shew us the Father ? Bilievest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself ; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. The expressions,
• He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father, and believest thou not that I am in