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had been conftantly attributed to the one felfexistent Being in both the Old and the New Teftament, and was accordingly become the conftant and known Character of the one felfexiftent Being.

Wherefore they muft neceffarily believe, either that the WORD is the felfexiftent Being, the one God of the Jews and Chriftians; or elfe that there was in the Beginning another God befides him, who was the God of the Jews and Chriftians, even be-. fides the felfexiftent Being. They muft unavoidably conceive, either that the one felfexiftent Being had spoken falfly, and directly against his own Knowledge, when he pretended, that there was no other God befides himself; and that he had purposely fuborned a great number of infpired Witneffes to atteft and propagat the fame Untruth, both under the Law and under the Gofpel, in every corner of the Earth or elfe that St. John's new Doctrin of the WORD's being God, was a downright Impofture, because 'twas manifeftly repugnant to the conftantly received Faith of both Jews and Chriftians, in the grand and fundamental Article of it.

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But farther, befides that there is a flat Contradi&tion between the whole Tenor of Scripture and the first Verfe of St. John's Gospel, according to that Senfe of it, which the Perfons he wrote to, could not but understand him in, unless the WORD be the very God, or one felfexiftent Being; I fhall now fhew, that unless you admit the aforefaid Do&rin, there is no poffibility of reconciling this Text with the other Scriptures, whatsoever you fuppofe the Name God to fignifie, when apply'd to the WORD.

For if you will not allow, that the Name God, when apply'd to the WORD, does mean the one felfexiftent Being; then it must fignifie a Being enN 4


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dued with all those Perfections (setting apart Selfexistence only) which the one felfexiftent Being is endued with. And the WORD must be termed God, as confidered, either abfolutely in himself,or (which is your Opinion) relatively to his Creatures, or both abfolutely and relatively together. Now I affirm, that there is a flat Contradiction between the Doctrin of both the Teftaments, and this Verfe of St. John, whatsoever is meant by the Name God, when apply'd to the WORD, unless you will own the WORD to be the one felfexiftent Being, whom I call the very God.

For tho' sds, God, be fuppofed to fignifie a Being endued with all thofe Perfections, which the one felfexistent Being is endued with (except Selfexistence it felf, which is now fuppofed not to be included) and tho' it muft indeed be granted, that two diftinct Gods may then be imagined to exift without any Impoffibility in the Nature of the Thing (because they are both equally Gods, in this fuppofed Sense of the Term, when poffeffed of the requifit Divine Perfections, notwithstanding the one derives them from the other; even as amongst our felves, a Father and his Son are equally Men) Yet ftill it must be remembred, that the one felfexiftent Being is truly and properly ds, a God: and that whether he is ds, a God, as confidered abfolutely, or relatively, or both; yet ftill he is deÒS, a God, in that Senfe which conftitures him truly and properly fuch. Now the one felfexiftent Being, who is undoubtedly a God, and whom therefore we cannot but believe, exprefly declares in his own Perfon, and his Writers of the Old and New Teftaments exprefly declare alfo, that there is no other God befides himself, in the Texts abovementioned. They never diftinguish upon the matter; they do


not fo much as once inform us, that tho' there is but one fupreme, yet there is another fubordinat or fecondary God: but they roundly affure us, that there is no other God befides the felfexiftent Being. The felfexiftent Being himself fays, I know not any. And confequently if the WORD be not the felfexiftent Being, whom I call the very God; he is not Jeds, a God at all. And yet St. John exprefly declares, that he is God, and that he was fuch in the Beginning, even before the Creation. He muft therefore be the very or felfexiftent God.

But farther ftill, that this Contradiction, which your Doctrin introduces and makes, between the whole Tenor of Scripture, and this Verfe of St. John, may appear yet more manifeftly, even upon your own Principles; I beg you to confider what follows.

You would fain have us believe, that the Word Seds, God, does in Scripture Phrase denote the being 'tis predicated of, confider'd relatively to his Creatures. The Paffages juft now quoted abundantly prove this to be your Opinion; and indeed your Scheme of the Trinity requires you to be zealous for it. But then, if ds, God, has this relative Signification; you'll do well to remember, that the WORD (whom you suppose a diftinct Being, and confequently a really different God, from the one felfexiftent Being, whom I call the Very God) could not but be eòs, a God, to the Jews, and muft neceffarily always have been fo to the whole Creation. For St. John exprefly declares, that all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made, v. 3. and St. Paul fays of our Savior (with refpect to the WORD doubtlefs; for it could not be meant of his Human Nature) that by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that


that are in earth, vifible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him, Col. 1. 16. And tho' the felfexiftent God is faid to have created all things; yet you rightly observe and own, that he did it by the WORD. For you (e) fay, that by the Operation of the Son (you can mean nothing but the WORD) the Father (by whom you manifeftly mean the felfexiftent God) both made and governs the World.


Now I fhall not inquire, whether (upon Suppofition of the Truth of your Doctrin) the felfexiftent God could fo properly be faid to create the World, and could confequently be fo properly, in the relative Senfe, eds, a God, to Mankind, upon the account of the WORD's creating the World by a Power derived from the felfexiftent God: but this is certain, that the WORD is, and ever was, truly and properly Jeds, a God, to the Jews, and to the whole Creation, upon the account of that Relation, which the very Act of Creation gave him, and which no Confideration whatfoever can diffolve. Upon this Foundation the Law of Nature becomes the pofitive Law and Command of the Creator, as you your felf have largely (f) demonftrated. And indeed, the Scriptures do exprefly declare, that the felfexiftent God himself is therefore to be worshipped by us, because we are his Creatures. For St. John himself, who in his Gospel attributes Creation to the WORD, does in his Revelation (when defcribing the Worship given to the felfexiftent God) report, that the four and twenty el

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(e) Script. Doct. p. 297.

(f) Difc. concerning the unchangeable Obligations of Nat. Religion, Prop. 2.


ders fall down before him, that fat on the throne, and worfhip him that liveth for ever and ever, and caft their crowns before the throne, faying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power; for thou baft created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created, Rev. 4. 10.11. And confequently the Law of Nature is the positive Law and Command of the WORD; and the WORD has an unalienable Right to the Worship of all his Creatures; because they are moft certainly the Work of his Hands, and he is a God to them.

But will the Scriptures allow this, or can this be true, if the WORD be a different Being from the felfexiftent God? Did the Jews ever worship the WORD, as well as the felfexiftent God? And yet was not the WORD a God to the Jews? And did not the felfexiftent God declare notwithstanding, 'that he himself was their only God? And did he not ftraitly charge them to worship no other God, faying in the very Firft Commandment, Thou shalt have. no other God but me? And after all,when the WORD was made known under the Chriftian Difpenfation, does not the New Teftament declare, that we Christians have but one God, even the fame God that the Jews had, viz. the felfexiftent God? Muft not we Chriftians therefore worship the WORD, notwithstanding we are fo plainly told, that he was God, even in the beginning? Are we not permitted to worship him, who ever had an unalterable Right to the Homage of all Mankind by Creation, and whose Deity is now fo fully manifefted even by Revelation from the felfexiftent God? Do we ever find a Diftinction made, even in the Scriptures of the New Teftament, between the two Gods, the one Supreme and the other Subordinat, the one Selfexiftent and the other Dérived? And


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