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belong to them? viz. That worship and prayer imply, that the object worshipped and addressed is acknowledged to be personally the self-existent God, by him who worships or prays.
But by what authority do you attach such ideas to the words worship and prayer ? May not a child bow the knee to his father, and ask forgiveness for an offence, or pray for favors which the father can bestow ? May not a subject do the same before a worthy King? The word worship is used to express the reverence or respect paid by an inferior to a superior ; and in proportion to the degree of disparity, is the degree of homage and respect which is due.
Shall it, Sir, be deemed consistent for a poor malefactor to bow the knee to one whom the people have exalted as PRESIDENT of the United States, and supplicate favor ? And shall it be deemed a crime to make supplication to HIM whom God hath exalted with his own right hand, to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins? It is not indeed proper to pray to the President as to the self-existent God; but it is proper to address petitions to him, and to pay homage to him according to his rank or dignity. Nor is it in my view proper, in addressing prayers to Christ, to consider him as personally the self-existent God. Yet it is proper to play to him, and to pray worship him as LORD OF ALL; as a Being whom God hath seen fit to “EXALT with his own right hand ;” and as one in whom God, by all his fulness, dwells.
And how, Sir, can we be in subjection to God, unless we cheerfully“ bow the knee" to the Son, and acknowledge him to be “ LORD, to the glory of God the Father ş” The worship paid to the Son is called Divine ; not because it is divinely required; but because in my view the Son is a Divine Person ; a Person of Divine Origin and Dignity, of Divine Fulness and Authority.
If you, Sir, are surprized to find me thus approving the idea of paying Divine honors to two distinct objects, will you not be still more surprized, should it be demonstrated, that, on your theory, Divine honors must be paid to three distinct objects ?
Your theory supposes three self-existent Persons; and these three distinct Persons you consider as three distinct Agents; and each of these three distinct Agents you con
sider as an object of Divine worship. As you disavow the idea of three Gods, it would be ungenerous to accuse you of worshipping three distinct Gods. But, that you profess to worship three distinct objects, as God, how can you in truth deny? Is not every distinct Person or Agent a distinct object of contemplation? And are not three distinct Persons as clearly three distinct objects as three trees? Is it possible for you, or any other man, to form an idea of three distinct Persons which does not include three distinct objects ?
It has, Sir, been urged, on your side of the question, that we can easily conceive of the FATHỊR as one distinct Person, of the Son as another distinct l'erson, and of the Holy Ghost as a third distinet Person ; and the difficulty is, to conceive how these three distinct Persons can be but one Being, or one God. This part of the hypothesis is acknowledged to be mysterious and totally inconceivable. Your worship, therefore, must be paid to the three Persons as to three distinct objects ; for if you worship the three Persons at all, you must worship them according to your conceptions, and not according to what you do not conceive. If you have no conception of the THREE, otherwise than as three distinct Persons, you can have no conception of them otherwise than as three distinct objects.
From my own experience as an Athanasian, suffer me to appeal, Sir, to your conscience, whether you ever did conceive of the Father and the Son otherwise than as two distinct objects. When you address the Father, and ask favors through the mediation of his Son, do you not con ceive of the Father and the Son as two distinct objects ? And do you not consider yourself as addressing one of the distinct objects, and not the other ?
address prayer directly to the Son, as the Head of the church, do you not conceive of him as an object distinct from the FATHER? And when you consider the three Persons as one God, do you not consider them as being as distinctly TARFE OBJECTS AS THREE MEMBERS of one Council? Moreover, do you not love the Son of God as a distinct object from the Father, and the Father as a distinct object from the Son ? If you speak of the three Persons as three objects, if you conceive of them as three objects, and if you love them as three distinct objects, is it not undeniable that you worship them as three objects ?
If you say that worshipping one of the three is worshipping the whole, why are you not satisfied with the worship of Socinians ? They profess to worship one of the three, as possessing all possible perfection. But with this you are not satisfied.
And why not? Because, in your view, the other two Persons are neglected and treated with dishonor. The other two Persons, you say, are worthy of the same honors as the Father. And does it not appear from this, that you consider three distinct objects as worthy of Divine honors ? Besides, is it not a common thing for writers and preachers to take pains to prove that each of the three Persons are worthy of equal honors ? they not fond of using expressions of this import in praver ? Is it not, then, evident, that they do consider the three distinct Persons as three distinct objects? When we have but one object in view, we do not say equal honors are due to that object ; it is, then, in view of three distinct objects that they say that equal honors are due to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And every time they say this, they implicitly say there are three distinct objects equally worthy of DIVINE HONOŃS.
On due reflection, Sir, must you not be sensible, that as often as you worship three distinct Persons, you worship three distinct objects? And that it is impossible for a human mind to conceive of three distinct Persons, otherwise than as three distinct objects ?
Now, Sir, is it not clearly evinced that your theory does imply the worship of three distinct objects as God? Yet to fix upon you the charge of worshipping three Gods, is not in
my heart ; doubtless while you worship the three distinct objects, you do it conscientiously, believing that, in some mysterious, inconceivable manner, these three distinct objects are so united as to be but one God. Such was the case with me, and such it is believed is the case with you.
Suppose a venerable council, composed of A, B, and C, by whose benevolence you have been benefitted. You address to them a letter of gratitude-In the first place you address them as one body or council; then you distinctly thank A, as moderator, for proposing the plan; you thank B, as an advocate, who has exposed himself to insults for your sake ; you thank C, for some special agency in carrying into effect the result of counc:I-You then conclude with an ascription of equal thanks to A, B, and C, as one
council. Let me ask, have you not distinctly addressed three distinct objects ?
Is it not, then, in vain to pretend that you worship but one object, while you, in your prayers, distinctly name THREE, and thank each for some distinct agency?
The two Theories compared, in respect to Christ, considered
as a SUFFERER on the Cross, as the Savior of the World, and the LORD of the Universe.
PERHAPS it may be useful to enter into a more critical examination of your theory, as it respects the character of him by whom the atonement was made for the sins of the world.
For the purpose of examination, let it be admitted as true, that the Father and the Son are two self-existent and co-equal Persons, and that the incarnation of the Son implies his union to such a proper Man as you suppose Jesus of Nazareth to have been. Let us in the next place make the supposition, that the Man Jesus had been united to the Father instead of the Son, in as strict a manner as it is possible that God and Man should be united. If the Father be equal to the Son, a union of the Man to the Father wou'd imply precisely the same dignity as a union with the Son. Then suppose, that in that state of union with the Father, the Man Jesus had suffered on the cross; would not his sufferings have been of precisely the same value as an atonement, as in the case of his suffering in union with the second Person? This, it is presumed, you will not deny.
Permit me now to ask, whether the sufferings and death of that Man, could, with any propriety, be called the sufferings and death of God the Father --Moreover, as on your theory the value of the sufferings of the cross results not from the dignity of the real sufferer, but from the dignity of the PERSON to whom the Man was united, we will further
suppose, that this Man, in a state of union with the Father, was called the Son of God; would not the. atonement for the sins of the world have been precisely the same
that it is on your hypothesis? The SUFFERER would be precisely the same, and the Person with whom the Man was united would be of precisely the same dignity. And, on this supposition, would there not be a far greater propriety in saying that the Son of God died for us, than there is on vours ? If that Man united with the Father shoud be called the Son of God, and did 1 -ally lay down his life for us, it might then be a truth that a Son of God did die
But on your theory, what propriety could there be in such a representation, any farther than the Man is considered as the Son of God? But as you consider the Son of God as having complete existence, and even selfexistence, distinct from the Man, the incarnation implied a union of two intelligent Beings, as properly so as Gabriel and Adam. The first of these " suffered not in the least," but on the Man was laid the iniquities of us all.
What then, Sir, is the difference in the character of him who really bore our sins in his own body on the tree, considered on your theory, or on the Socinian theory? You may indeed
suppose the Man to be more intimately united to God, than is supposed by Socinians. But a second selfexistent Person, or even a pre-existent Son of God, suffered no more according to your theory than according to theirs. The sufferings, on both theories, were all really endured by an intelligent be ng, a proper Min, whose first existence began less than forty years before his death ; a man who never had possessed even the shadow of preexistent dignity, riches, or glory, and who was in no higher sense the Son of God, than Abraham or Moses. You may indeed say, that “ the Man Jesus was united to the Person of the Son of God;" but this very assertion implies that the Son and the Man were two distinct intelligences; and that the Man was not truly the Son of God, but another intelligent being united to the Person of the Son of God.
Suffer me now, Sir, in an impartial manner, to exhibit in contrast, the different theories we have adopted, as they respect the character of Him who was really slain for us, and who bore our sins in his own body on the tree.
On your part, the case stands thus, The sufferings of the cross were wholly endured by a Man, who was somehow mysteriously united to a second self-existent Person,
call the Son of God. Yet this Person you call the Son of God, endured no share in the sufferings of the