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Testament; but since little could be learnt from the Old Testament respecting the nature of Jesus Christ, is it not reasonable to expect that if he really were himself the very and eternal God, of one substance, power, and eternity with the Father, such facts, such attributes, would be declared as clearly, as expressly, and as frequently, as what we actually find respecting the Father? When we examine the Scriptures we find that the matter of fact is directly the contrary to this. I seriously believe that were I convinced that the doctrines respecting the nature of Jesus which I now oppose as unscriptural, were really the doctrines of the Gospel, I should feel obliged to confess, that they are seldom brought into view, and then, obscurely and indirectly.-But to proceed with the second part of my position, that to the Father alone, religious worship is due.
I infer this from the directions of our Saviour himself, who has given us a model of prayer, which alas, has not contented his disciples ;-who never said any thing which can justify the belief that he authorized the worship of any other being, than Him to whom he there directs us to pray, THE FATHER;-and who himself prayed to the Father, and to no othert. I might rest the whole upon this
And that little is decidedly opposed to the prevalent opinions as to the person of Christ. Moses speaks of him as a prophet like unto himself. (Deut. xviii. 15,) Isaiah speaks of him as a Man of sorrows; and if the common translation of ix. 6, were correct and necessary, he only says that he shall be called the mighty God, &c. See, however, Appendix B.
• It has been said that Jesus could not pray to himself.
argument; for I cannot hesitate in the belief, that if any Apostle had taught, or any disciple had conformed to, a different practice, it would have been without authority from him who said, ' After this manner pray ye, Our Father who art in heaven.' In fact, however, we have no instance in the New Testament in which supplication is made to Jesus when not sensibly present to the disciple; and all the prayers which are recorded, are addressed to the Father of all. I shall now adduce a few of the many passages, which might be brought forward in corroboration of these remarks, and in my next Part, (see Ch. VI. § 5,) I shall consider those which appear to oppose them.
Matt. iv. 10. 'It is written,' says our Lord himself, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and HIM ONLY shalt thou serve ;' αυτῷ μονῳ λατρέυσεις. TO HIM ONLY SHALT THOU PAY RELIGIOUS SERVICE. The verbλargeva is used twenty-one times in the N. T. (and always in the sense of religious ser
If he could not, yet (if the doctrine of the Trinity were true) he could have prayed to the Holy Spirit: but why could not his human nature pray to his divine nature? It appears to me quite as reasonable as to suppose that his human nature did not know what his divine nature did. I am aware of the unmeaningness of this phraseology, but we are obliged to employ it, by the use made of it by our opponents. The fact is well stated by H. Taylor (in his Considerations p 51.) "Neither the human NATURE, nor the divine NATURE,
can know any thing: whatever is known is known by a "PERSON, and whatever is done is done by a PERSON. "NATURE is neither AGENT nor PATIENT. Whatever "Dr. Randolph imagines to be done by the HUMANITY or DIVINITY of Christ, was done by neither; but by Christ himself.
vice; but never once in reference to Jesus Christ.
John iv. 23, 24. 'But the hour cometh, (and now it is,) when the true worshippers shall worship the FATHER in spirit and in truth; for the Fatherseeketh such to worship Him. God is a spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth".
John xvi. 23. In that day ye shall ask me nothing,' 'Whatsoever ye shall ask the FATHER in my name, He will give it you.'
Rom. i, 9, serve λarge
For God is my witness, whom Į with my spirit in the gospel of his
Ch, xv. 30, Now I beseech you brethren, by the LORD JESUS CHRIST, and by the love of the spirit,' i. e. the love which is the fruit of the spirit,
"It is not a little remarkable, that our great Master, who, in subsequent ages, became himself an object of worship among his professed followers, should in this passage exclusively describe the worshippers of the Father as the true worshippers, making it an indispensable criterion of true worship, not only that it should be in spirit and in truth, but also that it be offered unto the only proper object of adoration, to his Father and our Father, to his God and our God." See Christian Unitarianism Vindicated, by Verax, p. 21.-I have only recently met with this work; and know nothing of the author or his opponents: but it appears to me to contain many acute and just observations connected with his title; and that he has proved one of his leading positions, which is little known, viz. that the early Friends were decided (though I think not always very consistent) believers, in the proper unity and free mercy of God, in opposition to the doctrines of the Trinity and satisfaction. Since this note was written, I have learnt that the volumein question is ascribed to Thomas Foster.
' that ye strive together with me in your PRAYERS
to GOD for me.'
Phil. iii. 3. “Who WORSHIP λατρευοντες GoD with our spirit, and GLORY in CHRIST JESUS." Ch. iv. 6, 7. In every thing, by PRAYER, and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through & CHRIST JESUS.'
If it could be proved that Jesus Christ is the very and eternal God, it would follow that he also is a proper object of religious worship; but let it not be said, that the scriptures authorize us either by precept or by example to pray to him. Let this practice be acknowledged to stand upon its only basis, that of inference from his proper deity; and let it also be considered, that since the Father only is represented in the Scriptures as the object of religious worship, it is, from that circumstance alone, at least highly probable that the Father is the only God. If Jesus had been what he is represented to have been in the thirty-nine Articles, the worship spoken of in the Scriptures would undoubtedly have resembled that of the Church of England, and we should somewhere or other have found such expressions as these, "We therefore pray thee help thy servants, whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood;"-" O Lord Jesu Christ-Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries, may likewise so prepare," &c.This is truly prayer; but is there any thing in the N. T. resembling this?
III. Jesus Christ never said that he himself was God, but on the contrary, spoke of the FATHER who sent him as GOD, and as the ONLY GOD; and without guard or comment called HIMSELF a
And seek not the honour that
John v. 44. cometh from the owLY GOD,' παρα του μόνου Θεου. Ch. viii. 40. But now ye seek to kill ME, a MAN, who have told you the truth which I have heard from GOD.' Vs. 42. If GOD were your Father, ye would love ME, for I came forth from GOD, and am come unto you; for I came not of MYSELF, but HE SENT ME.-See also § IV.
Ch. xvii. 3. That they may know thee, the ONLY TRUE GOD, and him whom thou hast sent, even Jesus Christ.' See page 95.
Ch. xx. 17. I ascend to my Father and your Father, to MY GOD AND YOUR GOD.'
Rev. iii. 12. 'I will write upon him the name of MY GOD, and the name of the city of MY GOD,' &c. See p. 80.
The attentive reader of John's Gospel, will find many other instances in which Jesus applies the appellation God to Him who sent him, and in every case without the slightest intimation that any other person (i. e. intelligent agent,) was also God.
IV. Jesus habitually prayed to the FATHER, referred to the agency of the FATHER all that distinguished him as the Son of God, and in other instances expressly spoke of his own inferiority to the FATHER.