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larly through, in our English translation. I did so more than once, on this very question. I carefully consulted most of the difficult and controverted passages, in the original Greek. My inquiry was sincere; it was earnest; it was persevering. My preposessions were strong, and stubborn, and unwilling to give way ;-but they were at length shaken, and cast down, and subdued, by that mighty instruments the word of God, which is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart;"_and I, who till then was what might be called a nominal hereditary Trinitarian, was thenceforward no longer so. My reverence for the scripture would not permit me. And they who are now, what I till then had been, and are resolved to continue so, are prudent, perhaps, in determining not to read or hear even what the scriptures declare, except within the trammels of the Athanasian creed.
I am long since able, I thank God, to look without terror into the sacred volume on this subject, and to receive, not only without reserve, but, I hope, with gratitude, the disclosures which it makes; and the longer I look at it, and the more humbly I listen to its dictates, the
more firmly am I persuaded that the Athanasian doctrine has no foundation in scripture.
From the most careful examination of the subject, it appears to me, that the holy scriptures have not expressly revealed to us the precise nature and dignity either of the Son of God, our Saviour, or of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Looking on this as the fact, I have been led, by my reverence for the scriptures, and for the Author of the scriptures, to set it down in my own mind, that such knowledge is either too high for us, or at least no wise necessary to our salvation.
But, though the scriptures have not taught us, or we may not be able, with our present faculties, to judge with certainty of the intrinsic or comparative dignity of these blessed spiritsmone point they have to me rendered sufficiently plain, that how high soever these blessed spirits may stand in dignity and glory; and though they be exalted far above and beyond what we can form any distinct conception of-still are they subordinate to the one great God and “Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all.”
The scripture testimony to this truth is now, with God's blessing, to be fairly submitted to you. Let us hear it with all meekness, and lowliness, and readiness of mind. And may the Spirit of the living God, the guide and the helper of all sincere Christians, open our hearts, and lead 'us into the knowledge and belief of the truth__“the truth as it is in Jesus ;"_" casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.”
For the sake of order, it will be proper to produce the testimony of this kind which the scriptures furnish-first, in reference to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; -and secondly, in reference to the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. And in both, we must limit ourselves to those passages which speak with plainness and precision on the subject;-to transcribe them all, would be in truth a tedious task.
In turning your attention to those scripture testimonies which plainly declare the subordination of the Son to the Father, the most easy and natural course will be, to select a few from each of the gospels, in the very words of Christ himself; and then examine whether his inspired Apostles have taught the same doctrine.
The first portion of the gospel of St. Matthew to which I shall direct your attention, is contain. ed in the 11th chapter, at the 25th verse: “ At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father ;
and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father ; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." Now whilst these declarations might satisfy us that the precise nature and dignity of the Son have not been clearly revealed, and must therefore be utterly unknown to mortal man: they at the same time plainly and positively assert, that “all things" which the Son possesseth have been delivered to him by the Father; obviously and necessarily supposing that the Son is at once distinct from, and subordinate to, that Almighty Father from whom all was received.
When the mother of Zebedee's children 'came to Jesus, and besought him to grant that her two sons might sit, one on his right hand, and the other on his left, in his kingdom, here was his reply: (Matt. xx. 23,) “To sit on my right hand and on my left, is not mine to give ; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared, of my Father.” I ask you here, is any one able to suppose that our Lord designed by these words to represent himself as equal in power to the Father. It is not his to give: the Father had reserved it to himself. Could the fact of his subordination to the Father be more plainly or unequivocally taught?
Matt. xxvi. 39, “ And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from
me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” — 42d,“ He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”—44th verse, “ And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words."-53d verse, “ Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels ?” Matt. xxvii. 46, “ And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried, with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani ? -that is to say, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?” Upon these passages I make no comment; but leave you to judge, whether he who uttered these earnest prayers, and used these pathetic expressions, meant to declare himself to the world as the supreme God, or as equal to the supreme God.
This, then, is a specimen of the testimony to the doctrine we are upon, to be found in the gospel of St. Matthew. And in looking through the other evangelists, I shall, for the sake of brevity, purposely omit any passages parallel to those which we have noticed from him.
In the second chapter of Mark's gospel, at the fifth verse, when - Jesus said unto the sick of the palsy, son, thy sins be forgiven thee, there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, why doth this man