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On the whole; 1. The doctrine of the equality of Jesus with the Father, is absolutely contradictory to many passages; it is directly opposed by a large proportion of the New Testament; and it is scarcely countenanced by any passage which is not falsely translated.--2. The doctrine of the proper deity of our Lord, is contradictory to some passages; it is inconsistent with the general tenor of the New Testament; and it is countenanced only by the usual interpretation of some passages, which are capable of a different interpretation in conformity with the express assertions of the Apostle Paul, and of our Lord himself.-8. The doctrine of the pre-existence of our Lord, is inconsistent with the general tenor of the Gospel history, and with many expressions in the Epistles; and it is countenanced only by a few expressions, which are capable of a just interpretation consistent with the other parts of the New Testament.-4. The simple or proper humanity of Jesus is a fact, because there is no adequate proof of his possessing any superior nature, because it fully accords with the general tenor of the New Testament,-because it is inconsistent with no part of the New Testament, --and because it is the "natural and obvious meaning "of the unqualified language in which the Evangelists, and the Apostles, and Jesus himself, speak of him as a MAN,
Arguments derived from the New Testament at large, supporting the Unitarian Doctrine as to the Nature of our Lord.
I now proceed, according to my purpose before stated, to produce from the New Testament at large those arguments, which, in connexion with the foregoing examination of the witnesses separately, appear to me fully to justify the assertion, that Unitarianism is the doctrine of the Gospele.
I. We learn from the New Testament, (what forms the grand doctrine of the Old',) that THERE IS BUT ONE GOD; and farther, that He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
e I shall frequently be under the necessity of quoting sentences without the connected passages. I shall endeavour to do it with a strict reference to the connexion; but I must entreat those readers who may use this work as a means of knowing the truth, to refer to the N. T. itself, (and especially to the original,) in every important case. Nothing has contributed more to prevent the spread of scriptural knowledge on controverted points, than the citing of passages as though they were independent truths, without regard to their connexion, or to the general tenor of Scripture.-The italics in the quotations have no farther purpose, than to show what words are not in the original.-Throughout, words in brackets, are marked by Griesbach as probably to be omitted.
Some remarks will be found in Appendix B. respecting the evidence of the Old Testament; but it will be desirable to quote here a small number of the many passages, in the law and the prophets, which explicitly declare the absolute unity, unrivalled supremacy, and even exclusive godhead of JEHO
Mark xii. 29. And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord, our God, the Lord is ones:' &c.-- Vs. 32. And the Scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one Godh, and there is none other but He;' &c.
VAH. In a solemn exhortation to obedience (Deut. iv. 35,) Moses says; 'That thou mightest know that JEHOVAH HE is GOD, there is NONE ELSE BESIDES HIM;' and in the song of Moses, he uses these remarkable words (Deut. xxxii. 39,) speaking in the name of Jehovah; 'See now that I, even I, am HE, and THERE IS NO GOD WITH ME. (See also notes). So in the prophecy of Isaiah, who is supposed by most Christians to have spoken of the MAN OF SORROWS, (ch. liii. 3,) the SERVANT OF GOD, (ch. lii. 13,) as though he were himself the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, (ch. ix. 6.)—we find among several others, the following explicit and decisive declarations: ch. xlv. 5, I am JEHOVAI, and there is NONE ELSE, there is NO GOD BESIDES ME: so again, ch. xlvi. 9, 'I am GOD, and there is NONE ELSE; I am GOD, and there is NONE LIKE ME.
8 These words are quoted from Deut. vi. 4. The literal rendering of the Hebrew is, Jehovah, our God, Jehovah is one,' or Jehovah is our God; Jehovah is one.' The Greek, in the Septuagint, and in Mark, is, Kugios à Deos her Kugios is 851.-If Moses had been favoured with a prophetic view of those departures from the proper unity of God, which have unhappily been so prevalent in the Christian world, he could not more distinctly have stated that doctrine in opposition to all others: and, indeed, considering that the words have a strength and peculiarity of expression which was in no way required in stating the unity of God, in opposition to the notions of the Heathens, I cannot but regard this passage, as designed by Him by whom are all things, to express the grand truth of His absolute unity, in opposition to a plurality of persons in the Godhead.
Griesbach reads or is 51, omitting or upon adequate authority. With this omission the Greek should very probably be rendered, for He is one, and there is none other but He.' But the argument for the proper unity of God, is
John xvii. 3. Jesus in a solemn prayer to the FATHER says And this is life eternal, that they know THEE, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, and him whom thou hast sent, even Jesus Christ.'-If the FATHER be the ONLY TRUE GOD, neither the SON, nor the HOLY GHOST can be the TRUE God. It is trifling to say, in opposition to this argument for the proper unity of God, that the expression, 'the only true God,' "is here opposed to the false gods of the Pagan worship:" it is absolutely exclusive of every other person (that is, intelligent agent). Till it can be proved that these words were not really uttered by Jesus Christ, I must contend that the doctrine of the Trinity, and even that of the proper deity of Christ, are in direct opposition to the words of Jesus, and are therefore anti-christian doctrines. On this plain, unambiguous, decisive, solemn expression of our Lord himself, I am contented to rest my faith, with full conviction, that HIS GOD AND FATHER is the ONLY TRUE GOD.
Rom. xvi. 27. To the ONLY WISE GOD be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.' See p. 45, note.
stronger without Seos than with it. The Scribe says, (and with the approbation of our Lord,) 'He,' that is Jehovah, 'is one.' The adjective is masculine, and can only mean,' one person, that is, intelligent agent.-Compare Zech. xiv. 9. And Jehovah shall be for a king over all the earth, and in that day Jehovah shall be one, and His name one."
It is my wish to abide by the Public Version in these quotations: but wherever the original may be more accurately represented, I shall without scruple follow the original. The P. V. is in every one's hands.
1 Cor. viii. 4-6. We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no [other] God but one. For though there be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or on earth, (as there are Gods many, and Lords many,) yet to us there is ONE GOD, THE FATHER, from whom are all things, and we to him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him.'-This passage appears to me an irrefragable proof, that Paul believed that one person only is God, and that person, the Father, the Father of all, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph. iv. 5, 6. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, ONE GOD AND FATHER of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.'-This passage is not equally direct as the last, but it speaks precisely the same language. See also 1 Cor. xii. 4-6.
1 Tim. i. 17. Now unto the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the ONLY GOD, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.' (See p. 40.)Unless it can be shewn from Scripture, that the
See Note (1) p. 37.-I may be told that when Paul says "there is one God,' he in no way opposes the Trinitarian system, which expressly maintains the Unity of God; and that his assertions are contradictory to polytheism only: and if the Apostle had simply said, there is one God,' this rea'soning might be admissible; but he speaks in terms which necessarily imply, that Jesus is not that one God, and that the Father only is the one God. If the doctrine of a Tri-une God had been known in the days of the Apostles, more explicit language might have been used against it as it is, we cannot expect to find more than we do find, language utterly inconsistent with the proper deity of the Man Christ Jesus.