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of God, bringing it to pass. I need not say that was literally the fact.
[2.] Christ himself informs us, that no one knows the Son but the Father, and that no man knows the Father, but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son shall reveal him.*
In this declaration Christ asserts, that he possesses an exclusive knowledge of the Father, in which no being whatever shares with him ; a knowledge totally distinct from that which is acquired by revelation, and therefore immediate and underived.
He also declares, John v. 20. that, the Father sheweth him all things, that himself doeth;' that he searcheth the reins and the heart,' Rev. ii. 23; and that he is with his disciples alway, to the end of the world,' Matt. xxvii. 20. and therefore, omnipresent ; Peter also says to him, John xxi. 17. • Lord, thou knowest all things :' an ascription which, if not true, Christ could not have received without the grossest impiety; and which he yet did receive, because he did not reject nor reprove it.
But he, of whom these things are said, certainly foreknew the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. If, then, the objected text denotes that Christ did not know that time, the declaration cannot be true, except by being made concerning Christ considered in a totally different character and sense from those in which the same book teaches us that He knows the Father,' and knows all things.' It is, therefore, not a shift, or fetch, or evasion in the Trinitarians to assert, that this passage, if thus understood, is spoken of Christ in his human nature only, and not in the nature exhibited in the passages with which it has been compared. On the contrary, it is a deduction from the Scriptures, irresistibly flowing from what they say, and the only means by which they can be either consistent or true.
(3.) It is objected by the Unitarians, that Christ has denied himself to be originally and supremely good.
The passage chosen to support this objection is the answer of Christ to the young ruler, Matt. xix. 17. Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one: that is God.' Here Christ is supposed to disclaim original and supreme goodness, as belonging to himself, and to distinguish betweeu his own goodness and that of God.
* Matthew xi. 27.
What the real reason was for which Christ gave this answer, I shall not here examine. If Christ is not God, then he certainly would disclaim, and ought to disclaim, this character. If he is, then this assertion does not at all declare that he is not possessed of this goodness. The decision of this question will, therefore, determine the true application of this answer.
It has heretofore been proved in these Discourses, that Christ was the person who proclaimed on Mount Sinai his own name to Moses. This name he declared to be, the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, slow to anger, abundant in goodness and truth. It will not be contested, that the person who made this proclamation was good in the original or absolute sense.
Until this person is proved not to have been Christ, the objection founded on this text is a mere begging of the question.
But it is farther to be remembered, that Christ was also a man. According to the doctrines of the Trinitarians, therefore, as entirely as to that of their opposers. Christ used this declaration in the very sense in which they allege it, with the most perfect propriety.
(4.) Christ, as the Unitarians allege, exhibits his inferiority to the Father, by praying to him.
How, if it be admitted, as Trinitarians universally admit, that he was a man, could be with propriety do otherwise ? He was placed under the same law, and required, generally, to perform the same duties demanded of other men.
(5.) Christ declares himself to be inferior to the Father in express terms : • My Father is greater than I;' and · My Father is greater than all.'
These declarations are perfectly consistent with the doctrine of the Trinity, in two ways. First, As Christ was a man ; Secondly, As in' the character of mediator he acted under a commission from the Father. He who acts under a commission from another is, while thus acting, inferior to him from whom he received the commission.
But it is further objected, that Christ is exhibited as inferior to the Father by the Prophets and Apostles.
It will be unnecessary, under this head, to mention more than a single instance. I shall select that instance, which seems to be the favourite one among the Unitarians. It is contained in the following words, taken from the 24th and 28th verses of 1 Cor. xv. · Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father,' and · When all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subjected unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.'
To comprehend the apostle's meaning in these declarations it is necessary to remember, that Christ, as sustaining the office of mediator, received from the Father a kingdom, according to the Scriptures ; and that when his mediatorial office ceases, because the purposes of it are accomplished, that kingdom, as we should naturally expect, is exhibited in the Scriptures as ceasing also ; there being no end for which it should be any longer retained. Christ will, therefore, deliver it up to the Father when, at the consummation of all things, he presents' to him the church, as a glorious church, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing ;' and makes his final triumphant entry into the heavens.
Concerning the latter article, here objected, that the Son shall then be subject to the Father,' it can scarcely be proper that I should attempt to determine the exact import. It is perfectly evident, however, that this must be true of the human nature of Christ. It is also evident, that the act of rendering up the kingdom which he had received, is an act of subjection to the Father : nor does the passage demand any other interpretation.
That these declarations do not intend what the objectors allege, we certainly know. For unto the Son' the Father • saith (Heb. i. 8.) Thy throne, O God! is for ever and ever.' • His dominion (says Daniel) is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away; and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.' He shall reign (said Gabriel to Mary) over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.' · The throne of God and the Lamb' is, as we are informed by St. John, the throne of eternal dominion in the heavens ; out of which proceeds the river of the water of life,' or the endless felicity and glory of all the happy inhabitants. To God and the Lamb also are equally addressed those sublime ascriptions of praise which constitute the peculiar and everlasting worship of saints and angels. In this superior sense, therefore, the kingdom of Christ will literally endure for ever.
It ought here to be added, that the same Apostle, who here says, that the Father put all things under Christ, informs us in the same paragraph, that Christ himself put all things under his feet:' and elsewhere, that Christ' is able to subdue all things unto himself,' and that he is head over all things.' Phil. ii. 21 ; Eph. i. How plain is it that he, 'who is able to subdue all things unto himself, is able to do any thing? that he,' who puts all things under his own feet,' does it by his own agency; and that he, who is now head over all things,' is of course qualified to be head over all things ' for ever?
In the preceding Discourse from these words, after observing that the reasonings of mankind, when employed in devising and establishing a scheme of theology, or attempting to amend that which is taught by God, are vain ; I mentioned that, in my own view, the Arians and Socinians were fairly included within this declaration of Scripture. For this assertion I considered myself bound to give my reasons, and proposed to do it under two heads :
I. Answers to their objections against the doctrine of the Trinity; and,
II. Objections to the doctrines which they hold concerning Christ, and their conduct in the management of the controversy. The former of these was the subject of the preceding Discourse; the first part of the latter shall furnish the materials of the present.
To the Doctrines of the Unitarians I make the following objections :
I. The Arians hold, that Christ is a super-angelic being, so much greater than all other creatures, as to be styled a