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now with a similar import, viz. take upon thyself his name.'-At any rate the reference is too ambiguous, and the meaning, if it refer to Jesus, too uncertain, to authorize a practice so important in itself and in its consequences, as that of praying to Jesus. 54.] Rom. x. 13. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.' This passage has been quoted in justification of prayer to Jesus, on the supposition that it is he who is referred to by the appellation the Lord. The passage is a quotation from Joel ii. 32, where it unquestionably refers to Jehovah; and I see nothing in the connexion which requires the opinion that the Apostle did not use it with the same reference.
55.] 1 Cor. i. 2. To the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon επικαλούμενοις, the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.' If the reasonings in No. 52 be admitted, there can be little hesitation in allowing, that the Apostle meant • all that in every place are called by the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.'
Upon the passages considered in No. 52, 53, and 55, I shall only add the following observation. Admit the unfounded hypothesis, that the Christians, in the early part of the Apostolical age, prayed
k Macknight, whose opinions are well known to be what are generally called orthodox, thus paraphrases vs. 12, 13: "Indeed in the salvation of mankind there is no distinction of Jew or Gentile; for the same Lord of all is rich in mercy towards all who call upon him. He will save, not only those who believe on Jesus, but all in every nation, who sincerely worship the true God: for so the prophet Joel hath declared, Whosoever will worship the true God sincerely shall be saved."
to Christ so commonly that the practice presented a well-known characteristic of them, and the phrase in question will accord with it perfectly well; but of itself it proves nothing whatever, because it fairly admits of two renderings, one only of which suits the hypothesis, and this itself fairly admits of an interpretation which in no way supports the hypothesis.
56.] Heb. i. 6. And when He again bringeth the first-born into the world, He saith, And let all the messengers, ayyɛλ01, of God pay homage to him, προσκυνησάτωσαν αυτῳ.’ If the passage really referred to superior celestial beings, it could not prove that they were enjoined to pay religious worship to Christ; still less, since it was originally spoken of the Hebrew nation; (see Deut. xxxiii. 43, in the Septuagint). But it probably refers to the human messengers of God, and may be thus paraphrased: When God raised Jesus from the dead, (see p. 175,) He by that powerful testimony to his high commission, declared him superior to all other prophets and messengers of God.
57.] 2 Pet. iii. 18. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.' In this ascription I presume every Unitarian Christian would cordially unite, though he might, in some situations, find it requisite to declare, that he understands by it the glory which Jesus obtained by his fulfilment of the purposes for which he came forth from God. To him be glory, the exalted glory, of being the author of eternal salvation to all who believe in and obey him; and may his dominion extend, till every one of the rational offspring of God own his sovereignty, till all acknowledge and obey the only true God and
Jesus Christ whom He has sent. The blessings of the Gospel, by which millions and millions of millions will have been led on to holiness and happiness, originated in the free mercy of God; Jesus, by his obedience unto death, obtained the glory of being the Mediator by whom they were communicated to mankind; they claim the warmest tribute of gratitude; wherever they are cordially embraced, there will be willing, obedient subjects of the kingdom of truth and righteousness: Blessing, therefore, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb.' (Rev. i. 6. v. 13.)
That the advocates for the opinion, that the Scriptures sanction the offering of religious worship to Jesus, are obliged to adduće such passages as those referred to in the last paragraph, is, in my apprehension, a decisive proof of the weakness of their cause. They have in fact nothing to do with the subject; and if the whole of the N. T. had been filled with such expressions m, it would not have authorized the direct address to Jesus of thanksgiving and praise. There is, I believe, only one instance of the direct address of praise to him:
1 In vs. 14, Griesbach leaves out the words Him that liveth for ever and ever.' This renders it possible, that the homage spoken of was paid both to Him who sat on the throne and to the Lamb. If this were the case, may justly be regarded as parallel to the fact recorded in 1 Chron. xxix. 20.
m The fact is, we meet with only seven passages in which there is, in appearance, the ascription of glory to Jesus; and it is somewhat remarkable that there is not one clear instance in the undisputed writings of Paul. In Gal. i, 5, the doxology plainly refers to God. In 2 Tim. iv. 18, the Lord to whom glory is ascribed may be Jesus, but is more probably God; and the passage would be somewhat less ambiguous, if vs. 17 had
viz. Rev. v. 8-10; and as to this passage, it is only requisite to remark two circumstances: in the first place, Jesus was sensibly present when thus addressed; and secondly, the beasts and the elders, in their new song, speak of Jesus as a Man, for surely God could not have been slain and have redeemed men to God by his blood.
58.] Two or three passages occur which may seem to justify the direct addressing of thanksgiving to Jesus. In 1 Tim. i. 12, the Apostle expresses his thankfulness to his Lord for having appointed him to the ministry; I thank,' exw xapiv, or I am grateful to, Christ Jesus our Lord who hath strengthened me,' that is, given me the miraculous qualifications requisite for the office, that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ininistry, &c.' Here however the Apostle does not address his Lord; and I do not see how it can be regarded as a precedent for more than, what every sincere Christian must feel, gratitude to him who hath done so much for the good of all men.Col. iii. 16, might be supposed to show that Christians were directed to sing hymns of grateful praise to Christ, but, instead of singing with thankfulness in your hearts to the Lord,' Griesbach has 'to God.'-Eph. v. 19, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord' is certainly ambiguous; but as in the corresponding Epistle we find the Christians directed to sing praises to God, it is reasonable to conclude that the Apostle meant the same here.
59.] There is only one other class of expressions
been rendered, And the Lord aided, ragen, me, and strength. ened me.' The other instances are Hebr. xiii. 21. 1 Pet. iv. 11. 2 Pet. ii. 18. Rev. i. 6. v. 13. The object of the doxology in the first two is somewhat doubtful.
which it will be requisite to notice under this head, viz. devout wishes of blessings from Jesus Christ; and the three following instances will serve as a sufficient specimen of the futility of such evidence in favour of the divine worship of Jesus. 1 Cor. i. 3: 'Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.' In this and similar benedictions, grace, xapis, obviously denotes, all those blessings which are communicated by the Gospel. Jesus was the agent by whom God dispensed these blessings; and, in the Apostolical age, he was appointed to communicate those extraordinary powers by which they were most widely extended. I understand the Apostle therefore to say, May ye all possess the gracious blessings of the Gospel, and that peace which follows the sincere reception of it!' If in the words 'from our Lord Jesus Christ' there be any implied reference to present agency in the diffusion of Gospel blessings, then I conceive we have no adequate scriptural evidence to authorize our employment of them; but they may still be used if it be clearly understood that they refer only to his having been originally the agent of God in bestowing those blessings on men.-No difficulty rests with expressions similar to Gal. vi. 18: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,' the gracious blessings which he brought from God, he with your spirit.' Here is not even an implied reference to his then being the agent in the diffusion of those blessings. Even if the word grace, xapis, could be shown to denote the personal favour of Christ, the devout wish that the disciples might possess that favour, surely cannot be strained into a prayer to Christ. I regard