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added to his infinity or perfections to complete our idea of God. Confused as men's minds have been by the doctrine we are opposing, there is no one who would not shrink from expressly asserting anything to be wanting to constitute the Father God, in the most absolute and comprehensive sense of the term. His conceptions must be miserably perplexed and perverted, who thinks it possible to use language on this subject too strong or too unlimited. In the Father is all that we can conceive of as constituting God. And there is but one God. In the Father, therefore, exists all that we can conceive of as constituting the One and Only God. But it is contended that Christ also is God. What, however, can any one mean by this proposition, who understands and assents to the perfectly intelligible and indisputable propositions just stated? Is the meaning, that Christ as well as the Father-or, if the Father be God, we must say, as well as God - is the One and Only God? Is it that we are in error about the unity of God, and that Christ is another God? No one will assent to either of these senses of the proposition. Does it imply, then, that neither the Father nor the Son is the One and Only God, but that together with another, the Holy Spirit, they constitute this mysterious Being? This seems at first view more conformed to the doctrine to be maintained; but it must be observed, that he who adopts this sense asserts, not that Christ is God, but that he is not God; and asserts at the same time that the Father is not God.

Once more: if Christ be God, and if there be but one God, then all that is true of God is true of Christ, considered as God; and, on the other hand, all that is true of the Son is true of God. This being so, open the Bible, and where the name of God occurs, substitute that of the Son; and where the name of the Son occurs, that of God. "The Son sent his beloved Son"; "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son that thy Son also may glorify Thee." I will not, for the sake of confuting any error, put a change on this most solemn and affecting passage. I have felt throughout the painful incongruity of introducing conceptions that ought to be accompanied with very different feelings and associations into such a discussion, and I am not disposed to pursue the mode just suggested of exemplifying the nature of the errors against which I am contending. But one who had never seen the New Testament before would need but to read a page of it to satisfy himself that "the Son of God" and "God" are not convertible terms, but mean something very different.

But a Trinitarian may answer me, that the word "God" in the New Testament almost always denotes either the Trinity or the Father; and that he does not suppose it to be applied to the Son in more than about a dozen instances. One would think that this state of the case must, at the first view of it, startle a defender of the doctrine that Christ is God. It is strange that one equal to the Father in every divine perfection should so rarely be denoted by that name to which he is equally

entitled. But passing over this difficulty, what is the purport of the answer? You maintain that Christ is God, that the Son is God. If so, are not all the acts of God his acts? Is not all that can be affirmed of God to be affirmed of him? You hesitate, perhaps; but there is no reason why you should. If there be any meaning in the New Testament, these questions must be answered in the negative. It is clear, then, that, whatever you may imagine, you do not use the term "God" in the same sense when applied to the Son, as when applied by you to what you call the Trinity, or to the First Person of the Trinity; or as when applied either by you or us to the Supreme Being. But, as regards the question under discussion, the word admits of no variety of signification. The proposition, then, that Christ is God, is so thoroughly irreconcilable with the New Testament, that no one could think of maintaining it except through a confused misapprehension of its meaning.

HERE, then, I close the argument from Scripture; not because it is exhausted, but because it must be useless to pursue it further.* I will only add a few general remarks, founded in part on what has been already said concerning the pas

[The reader who wishes to pursue it further is referred to Wilson's "Scripture Proofs and Scriptural Illustrations of Unitarianism," 3d ed., 1846, 870, a work which gives a fuller view than can easily be found elsewhere, not only of the Scripture proofs of Unitarianism, but of the alleged Scripture evidence for Trinitarianism.]

sages adduced by Trinitarians in support of their doctrines.

In the first place, it is to be recollected that the passages urged to prove that Christ is God are alone sufficient evidence against this proposition. A large portion of them contain language which cannot be used concerning God, which necessarily distinguishes Christ from God, and which clearly represents him as an inferior and dependent being.

In the next place, I wish to recall another remark to the recollection of my readers. It is, that the doctrines maintained by Trinitarians, upon the supposition of their possibility and truth, must have been taught very differently from the manner in which they are supposed to be. Let any one recollect, that THERE IS NO PRETENCE THAT ANY PASSAGE IN SCRIPTURE AFFIRMS THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY, OR THAT OF THE DOUBLE NATURE OF CHRIST; and then let him look over the passages brought to prove that Christ is God; let him consider how they are collected from one place and another, how thinly they are scattered through the New Testament, and how incidentally they are introduced; let him observe that, in a majority of the books of the New Testament, there is not one on which a wary disputant would choose to rely; and then let him remember the general tenor of the Christian Scriptures, and the undisputed meaning of far the greater part of their language in relation to this subject. Having done this, I think he may safely say, before any critical examination of the meaning of those passages, that their mean

ing must have been mistaken; that the evidence adduced is altogether defective in its general aspect; and that it is not by such detached passages as these, taken in a sense opposed to the general tenor of the Scriptures, that a doctrine like that in question can be established. We might as reasonably attempt to prove, in opposition to the daily witness of the heavens, that there are three suns instead of but one, by building an argument on the accounts which we have of parhelia.

Another remark of some importance is, that, as Trinitarians differ much in their modes of explaining the doctrine, so are they not well agreed in their manner of defending it. When the doctrine was first introduced, it was defended, as Bishop Horsley tells us, "by arguments drawn from Platonic principles."* To say nothing of these, some of the favorite arguments from Scripture of the ancient Fathers were such as no Trinitarian at the present day would choose to insist upon. One of those, for instance, which was adduced to prove the Trinity is found in Ecclesiastes iv. 12, “A threefold cord is not soon broken." Not a few of the Fathers, says Whitby, explain this concerning the Holy Trinity.† Another passage often adduced, and among others by Athanasius, as declarative of the generation of the Son from the substance of the Father, was discovered in the

Charge, IV. § 2, published in Horsley's Tracts in Controversy with Dr. Priestley.

↑ Dissertatio de S. Scripturarum Interpretatione secundum Patrum Commentarios, pp. 95, 96.

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