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doctrine of the proper unity of God, and of the subordination of Christ, and all other beings to him, that the prevalence of so impious a doctrine, as the contrary must be, can be ascribed to nothing but to that mystery of iniquity, which, though it began to tvpri in the times of the apostles themselves, was not then risen to so enormous a height as to attack the supremacy of the one living and true God, and give his peculiar glory to another. This, my brethren, among other shocking corruptions of genuine christianity, grew up with the system of popery; and to shew that nothing is impossible to the superstition and credulity of men, when they are become vain in their imaginations, aster exalting a man into a god, a creature into a creator, they made a piece of bread into one also, and then bowed down to, and worshipped, the work of their own hands.
But though it seemed fit to the unsearchable wisdom of God, that all the errors and abuses of popery should not be reformed at once; and though this great error was left untouched by the first reformers, blessed be God the bible is as open to us as it was to them; and by the exertion of the same judgment and spirit, we may free christianity from the corruptions which they left adhering to it; and then, among other excellencies of our religion, our Lord will be one and his name one. Zech. xiv. 9.
If you ask who, then, is Jesus Christ, if he be not God; I answer, in the words of Peter, addressed to
the the Jews, after his resurrection and ascension, that Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved of God by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him. Acts ii. 22. If you ask what is meant by man, in this place; I answer, that man, if the word be used with any kind of propriety, must mean the same kind of being with yourselves. I fay, moreover, with the author of the epiftle to the Hebrews, that it became him by whom are all things, and for whom are allthingst to snake this great captain of our salvation in all respects, like unto us his brethren, that he might be made perfect through sufferings, Heb. ii. 10. 17. and that he might have a feeling of all our infirmities, iv. 13. For this reason it was that our Saviour and deliverer was not made of the nature of an angel, or like any super-angelic being, but was of the feed of Abraham, ii. 16. that is (exclusive of the divinity of the Father, which resided in him, and acted by him) a mere man, as other jews, and as we ourselves also are.
Christ being made by the immediate hand of God, and not born in the usual course of generation, is no reason for his not being considered as a man. For then Adam must not have been a man. But in the ideas of Paul, both the firfl and second Adam (as Christ, on this account, is sometimes called) were equally men: By man came death, by man came also rt?e resurrection of the dead, I Cor. xv. 21. And, cerr tainly, in the resurrection of a man, that is, of a person in all respects like ourselves, we have a more lively hope of our own resurrection; that of Christ being both a proof and a pattern of ours. We can, therefore, more firmly believe, that because he lives., we who are the same that he was, and who shall undergo the same change by death that he did, shall live also. John xiv. 19.
'Till this great corruption of christianity be removed, it will be in vain to preach the gospel to jews, or mahometans, or, indeed, to any people who retain the use of the reason and understanding that God has given them. For how is it possible that three persons, Father, son, and holy gho/i, should be separately, each of them, possessed of all divine persection?, so as to be true, very, and eternal God, and yet that there should be but one God; a truth which is so clearly and sully revealed, that it is not possible for men to resuse their assent to it; or else it would, no doubt, have been long ago expunged from our creed, as utterly irreconcileable with the more savourite doctrine of a trinity, a term which is not to be found in the scriptures. Things above our reason may, for any thing that we know to the contrary, be true; but things expressly contrary to our reason, as that three should be one, and one three, can never appear to us to be so.
With the jews, the doctrine of the divine unity is, and indeed justly, considered as the most sundamental principle of all religion. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, Deut. vi. 4. Mark xii. 29. To
preach preach the doctrine of the trinity to the jews, can appear to them in no other light, than an attempt to seduce them into idolatry, a thing which they dare not entertain the most distant thought of.
The great creed of the mahometans is, that there is one God, and Mahomet is his prophet. Now that Mahomet is not the prophet of God, it is to be hoped, they may, in time, be made to believe; but we must not expect that they will so easily give up their faith in the unity of God. To make the gospel, what it was originally, glad tidings of great joy; and as at last it certainly will be to all the nations of the world, we must free it from this most absurd and impious doctrine, and also from many other corruptions which have been introduced into it. It can no otherwise appear worthy of God, and favourable to the virtue and happiness of mankind.
Lest some common objections should hinder the reception of the great truth here contended for, I shall briefly consider and reply to the principal of them. It is often said that Christ speaks of his humanity only, whenever he represents himself as inferior to the Father, and dependent upon him. But the scriptures themselves are far from furnishing the least hint of any such method of interpretation, though, according to the trinitarians, it is absolutely necessary to the true understanding of them.
Besides, when it is applied to the passages in question, it is far from making them either true in themselves, selves, or agreeable to the obvious purport aad desiVn of the places in which they are introduced. I shall just mention a sew. Could our Lord fay with truth and without an unworthy prevarication, that the Father is the only true God, John xvii. 3. if any other person, not implied in the term Father, was as much the true God as himself? Now the term Father being appropriated to what is called the first person in tile godhead, cannot comprehend the fin, who is called the second. This key, therefore, is of no service in this case, and our Lord, by expressing himself as he has done, could not but lead his hearers into what is called a dangerous mistake. . .
When our Lord said that his Father was greater than he, did he make any reserve, and secretly mean, not his whole self but only part, and the inserior part of himself, the other part being equal in power and glory with the Father? How mean the prevarication, and how unworthy of our Lord!
When our Lord said that the time of the day os judgment was not known to himself the fin, but to the Father only, could he mean that his humanity only did not know it, but that his divinity (which is supposed to be intimately united with his humanity) was as well acquainted with it as the Father himself? If the human nature of Christ had been incapable of having that knowledge communicated to it, the declaration would have been needless: but as that was not the case, his hearers must necessarily understand