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not so 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 Jeds, God, does in Scripture Phrafe 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 ads, God, has this relative Signification; you'll do well to remember, that the WORD (whom you fuppofe a diftinct Being, and confequently a really different God, from the one felfexiftent Being, whom I call the Very God) could not but be sòs, 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 are in earth, visible 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) say, 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 selfexiftent God could fo properly be faid to create the World, and could confequently be fo properly, in the relative Sense, dads, 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 eds, 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 felfexistent God) report, that the four and twenty

(e) Script. Doct. p 297.


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


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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 pofitive Law and Command of the WORD; and the WORD has an unalienable Right to the Worship of all his Creatures; because they are most 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 selfexiftent 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 Derived? And


do they at the fame time difcharge us from the Worship of the one, and confine us to that of the other? Nay, these very Scriptures of the New Teftament do always declare, that there is but one God, as fully as thofe of the Old Teftament, or indeed as 'tis poffible for Words to exprefs.

Wherefore, fince St. John exprefly declares, that in the beginning the WORD was God, and attributes the Creation of all Things to him, which the selfexiftent God had all along claimed to himself, and which was conftantly believed of him by his true Worshippers; he could not but be fenfible, that those for whofe fake he penn'd his Gospel, would understand him to mean, and confequently he himfelf muft intend that they fhould believe, that_the WORD was in the beginning the very or felfexiftent God. Nay, if the WORD was God in the Beginning, and his Creation of all Things gave him an indifputable Right to the Worship of all Mankind: either the felfexiftent Being, and his Scriptures of Truth (both of the Old and New Teftament) must speak falfely, when they affure us, that of old there was, and ftill is, but one God; or elfe the Scriptures do teach us, that the WORD is that one God, even the felfexiftent Being, whom I call the Very God.

You tell us indeed, that this Exposition of St. John's Words (g) is a Contradiction in Terms. Now for my part, if there muft needs be a Contradiction in the Cafe, I would as willingly suppose, that St. John wrote a Contradiction in Terms, as that he wrote a Contradiction to the whole Tenor of the other Scriptures, by afferting a Plurality of Gods (partly fupreme, and partly fubordinat) which

(g) Script. Do&r. p. 86.


189 the Writers of both the Teftaments do fo frequently, fo unanimoufly, and fo zealously deny and oppofe, even after, as well as before, the great Myftery of the WORD's Incarnation was declared. And I must own to you, I'm fully convinced, that, no poffible Expofition or Senfe of the Word God can reconcile the Contradiction, or clear the Inconfiftency, between this Verfe of St. John and the other Parts of the Bible, without admitting that the WORD is the very God, or felfexiftent Being. So that either we muft give up all the reft of the Canon of Scripture, or elfe we must reject the Gospel of St. John, as introducing what you juftly call (b) the Impiety of Polytheism, fubverting the first and great Foundation of all Religion both Natural and Revealed, the Unity of God.

But I pray,why muft the aforefaid Exposition be a Contradiction in Terms? Even for this fingleReafon, it seems; because the Apoftle fays, that the WORD was wei's & Dedv, with God. But will it follow from thence,that the WORD is a diftinct Being from Jds, the felfexiftent God? If we confider the Context, the WORD's being wesedv, is oppofed to his Manifeftation; when ὁ λόγΘ σαρξ ἐγγύετο, καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν

v, the WORD was made flesh, and dwelt among us, V. 14, and when confequently the WORD was wey's nμass with us. The WORD was sedv, with God, till the Time when is épavegaon in oaggi, God was manifeft in the flesh, 1 Tim. 3. 16. We know, that God is in himself abel, invifible, 1 Tim. 1. 17. be dwells in the light, which no man can approach unto, and is one whom no man bath feen, nor can fee, 1 Tim. 6. 16. But by the Incarnation of the WORD who is God, by the Union of the WORD to the Man

(b) Ibid.


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