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his merits, into the blessed presence of my Father in heaven; and there permitted to join with the countless throng of glorified spirits, even with those who may now sit in severest judgment on me, in singing that song of triumph and of glory which shall never cease,—“ Salvation to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever.”
That portion of our subject, which we are next to approach, will lead me to collect, and submit, to your judgment, those scripture testimonies which clearly appear to represent the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit of God, as subordinate to the Father Almighty. But I must relieve your attention for the present, and reserve these things, God willing, for your serious consideration on the next Lord's day. May God bless the preaching of his holy word, and guide us, by his Spirit, in every endeavour to become wiser and better, and to his name, through Christ our Lord, be the praise. Amen.
THE SON AND HOLY GHOST SUBORDINATE TO
' JOHN xiv. 28.--. 29. “ My Father is greater than I.”—“My Father is greater
The object of my last discourse was, to show, from the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and his inspired Apostles, that the Father Almighty is the supreme and “only true God.” That I succeeded in that object, with those who entertain a due reverence for the scriptures, as the only legitimate rule of Christian faith, I cannot doubt; seeing the testimonies which I then produced, as vouchers for that doctrine, were no other than the testimonies of divine inspiration, delivered in the very words of divine inspiration.
And I am now prepared, by the same unerring testimony, furnished as it is in rich abundance, and the utmost plainness of language,
throughout the scriptures, to show you farther, as I proposed, that the Son of God, our Saviour, and the Spirit of God, our Sanctifier, however high in dignity and glory, and they are confessedly so, far beyond our comprehension, are, nevertheless, subordinate to the Father Almighty.
This may be regarded by some as a superflu. ous labour. If the supremacy of the Father be, as indeed it is, the doctrine of Scripture, it may be alleged, and with truth, that this doctrine clearly and necessarily implies the subordination of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. But as the Spirit of Truth, speaking in the scriptures, never really contradicts himself, but is always consistent and the same, it may, notwithstanding, richly reward our search to inquire, whether this subordination of all, to the Father Almighty, be not also the uniform doctrine of the sacred volume ; and if this be found so, there is a mutual corroboration each of these doctrines will clearly imply and prove the other.
Judging from the well-remembered feelings of my own heart, when my attention was first, strongly turned on this subject, I am aware that those who have hitherto been accustomed to look up to the Son and the Holy Spirit as in all things equal to the Father, and as being, with him, component portions of the same eternal Godhead, will naturally regard any doctrine which falls short of this, as lowering the essen
tial dignity and glory of those blessed spirits. A feeling of this kind in my own bosom, strengthened by education and early habit, long stood out against the reception of any other view, even on the testimony of scripture; for I constantly bent that testimony to my own purpose : but, backed though that feeling was by the stubborn aids of early habit, of first impressions, preconceived opinions, and most venerated associations, it at length gave way before the force and the majesty of Christian - truth, as it stands in the Bible.
Some of you may imagine, that those who reject the doctrine of the Athanasian Trinity, have turned away from the scriptures, and are following the vain speculations of fallible men. But I can assure you, in the sincerity of truth, that the views I have adopted on this subject, have been the direct result of a course the very reverse ;-that they have really arisen in my mind, and been long confirmed there, in consequence of reckoning it my duty to estimate as nothing the language and the decisions of all mortal men, and to bow down with implicit reverence before the unerring decisions of the word of God—this holy book, which I have long and diligently consulted—and, so long as understanding and conscience remain to me, am resolved to consult-as the sole and single standard of Christian faith.
That which first turned my attention strongly and anxiously on the interesting subject now before us, was reading and reflecting upon the account which our blessed Lord gave his disciples of the awful changes which shall be visible in the heavens and on the earth, before the coming of the day of judgment; and when the disciples asked him, “when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world ?” He distinctly replied, 66 of that day, and that hour, knoweth no man; no, not the angels which are in heaven; neither the Son, but the Father only." Here was the difficulty which first staggered me; and though I attempted to account for this difficulty, as Trini. tarians generally do, by supposing that our Lord must here be understood as speaking only in his human nature--yet this salvo was still puzzling and unsatisfactory to my mind, especially as I could not recollect any such interpretation in scripture, and I resolved to seek information, where alone it is to be found.
I opened the word of God; I humbly besought him, for Christ's sake, to vouchsafe me the guidance of his Holy Spirit, through the interesting inquiry on which I then entered. I did so, humbly, and frequently, and fervently ;-I did so, not only for my own sake, but also deeply sensible of my responsibility as a public teacher of Christianity. I read the New Testament regu