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the Father, and the Father in me,' have been sometimes weakly urged, by the Trinitarians, to prove some kind of mutual in-existence, or mysterious union betwixt two co. equal intelligent agents or persons, such as they suppose the Father and the Son to be. But an attentive considera. tion of the passage will utterly destroy this notion. For, when our Lord declares, that the Father dwelt in him and performed his miraculous work, this clearly explains his meaning, and also shews that there was no agency of his own in the case; and consequently that he was no such divine person equal with the Father as the Trinitarians represent him to be. And as to Jesus being in the Father, and the Father in him, this is explained in the 20th verse of this chapter, where the same thing is affirmed of Jesus and his disciples. "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and
and I in you.' From this passage then we have a clear demonstration, that neither the words nor works of Jesus were to be considered as his own; that the former were the sugges. tions of the Father's wisdom, and the latter the operations of his irresistible power, Lukeiv, 16, to 19.
6 And he (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and as his custom was he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias; and when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised: to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.' Here we find that it was the unction of the holy spirit ; or the divine influences and communications of the Father, which qualified our Lord for entering upon, and discharging every part of his great and important office. The prophet Isaiah, chap. ii. ver. 1, 2, 3. gives a like description of the Messiah, and of his qualifi. cations. And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of 'Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest apon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord.' Matt. xii. 27. "But if I cast out devils by the spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.' What in Matthew's gospel is called the spirit of God, is by Luke termed the finger of God. Luke ii. 20. • But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.' Acts ji. 22 · Ye men of Isracl, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth a man approved among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.? Acts x. 38. God anointed Jesus of Naza. reth, with the Holy Ghost, and with power;. who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.' From the plain and obvious meaning of all these passages of scripture taken together, it is evident, that the Trinitarians have no reason to infer the divinity of Jesus Christ; or his equality with the Father, from his raising the dead, giving sight to the blind, making the dumb to speak, the lame to walk, curing obstinate and inveterate diseases, casting out demons, feed. ing multitudes with a few loaves and fishes ; or from any other great and wonderful action that he performed. How often do the Trinitarians declaim upon these subjects; and insist upon them as decisive proofs of his supreme di. vinity and infinite power? How apt are they to upbraid and censure those, who will not admit (as they think) such plain and unequivocal proofs of true Godhead? But it is evident, from the plain and express testimony of Christ and his Apostles, that Jesus never performed a single miracle, by any natural, inherent, or independent power of his
His own lips, which never uttered any thing but what was strictly agrecable to truth, have repeatedly declared, that of himself he could do nothing: that the Fa. ther which dwelt in him did the works; and that he cast out devils by the spirit of God. And his immediate fol. lowers, who cannot be supposed to have had any intention to lessen the dignity of their honoured master, assure us of the very same thing. Vain and futile, therefore, are all the evasions and false conclusions of the Trinitarians. It is quite idle and trilling to have recourse to the pretended distinction of natures to get rid of this perplexing difficulty. If Jesus really had the cternal word or Son, hypostatically
united to his human soul, why does he not appeal to this divine principle as the natural and proper author of his miraculous works? What occasion had he for the assist. ance of the first and third persons of the supposed Trinity, who was already in personal union with the second, which upon this scheme is equal in dignity with the other two.
Upon the Unitarian hypothesis, it is absolutely necessary that God should anoint Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; that the spirit should be im. parted to him without measure, and that he should receive of the Father's fulness. Without these communications Jesus would have been unfit for the discharge of his mediatorial office. But all these qualifications form a preposterous asscma blage upon the 'Trinitarian scheme, and no good reason can be given why they should be bestowed upon Jesus at all ; or rather, their being bestowed, plainly proves, that no such principle or agent, as an eternal Word or Son equal with the Father, ever resided in Jesus, or formed one person with him.
But in the sixth place, Jesus Christ is not the most high God, but a being inferior to him, and dependent upon him ; because, he is said to receive commands from the Father, and to give an unreserved obedience to these com: mands. John x. 18. ' No man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.' John xii. 49, 50. “For I have not spoken of myself ; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak : and I know that his commandment is ever. lasting life : whatsoever I speak, therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak,' John xiv. 31. •As the Father gave me commandment even so do I.' John xv. 10.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.' Is this the language of supreme deity, to receive commands from another, and to yield a ready obedi. ence to them? Whoever receives commands from another, acknowledges that other person as his superior; and as having a natural title to his obedience. Our Lord Jesus Christ professes, not in a single instance only, but in all his words and actions, to be guided by a sacred regard to
the Father's commandments, and to continue in his love on this account, and is even willing to lay down his life in obedience to the will of the Lord of heaven and earth. What cin more fully prove the sovereign authority of the Eather, and the inferiority and dependence of our Lord, than these considerations. To this part of our subject may also be referred all those places of scripture wherein Christ is prophesied of as, or called, the servant of God,' Isaiah xiii. 1, and Matt. xii. 18. Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth. I have put my spirit upon him,' &c. See also Isaiah lii. 13, and iii. 11.
In the seventh place Jesus Christ is not the most high God, or the only wise and perfect being, because he de. clares, that he was not the original author of his own doctrine. Johu vii. 15, 16, 17, 18. “And the Jews marvelled, saying, how knoweth this man letters, having never learned ? Jesus answered them, and said, my doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself, seeketh his own glory; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.' John viii. 28. said Jesus unto them, when ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do no. thing of myself, but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.' John xiv. 24. “He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings : and the word which ye hear, is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.' John viii. 38. I speak that which I have seen with my Father ; ver. 40. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you
the truth, which I have heard of God,' John iii. 34. For he whom God hath sent, speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the spirit by measure unto him.' From these citations, it is evident to a demonstration, that all the heavenly doctrines which Jesus taught, and all the precious truths which he delivered and made known to mankind were derived from the Father; and consequently it must be extremely absurd to suppose Jesus to be God, or equal with God. For in that case his own infinite wis. dom must, and would have suggested to him every part of
his doctrine; and he would have had no occasion to have been taught of the Father, to have learned of the Father, or to have heard of the Father, as he expressly declares he
Nor will it avail the Trinitarians any thing, to have recourse to his pretended divine nature here; for Jesus does not appeal to any divine nature of his own, buť to the Father, as the author of his wisdom and knowledge
In the eighth place, Jesus Christ is not the most high God, but a subordinate dependent being, because he prays to the Father. Now prayer always implies a state of great subjection and inferiority. To talk of God praying to himself, or of one God praying to another God, would be equally extravagant and absurd.
Whoever prays to another, acknowledges that being to whom he prays as his superior; and as having something in his power to confer or bestow, which he does not possess who prays for it. Luke vi. 12. And it came to pass in those days that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.? Luke ix. 18. . And it came to pass, as he was alone praying his disciples were with him,' &c. ver. 28. “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter, and John, and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.' Luke xxii. .41 to 44. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Fa. ther, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. And there appear. ed an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed inore earnestly : and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground.' See also Matt. xxvi. 38, 39, and Mark xiv. 33, to 36. and Luke xxiii. 34. • Then said Jesus, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.' Ver. 40. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. This chapter also, of which our text forms a part, is a prayer of considerable length, addressed by Jesus with great humility to the God and Father of all. When these passages are seriously and attentively considered, how clearly manifest does it appear, that Jesus Christ was destitute of proper deity. If Christ had possessed a divine nature equal with the Father, he would have been sufficient for himself, and abundantly