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to the faith and hope of a Christian: and this will lead our attention to many arguments in proof of it, which were not produced in the former Essay.

I. There are several texts of scripture which are decisive on the subject. Jesus Christ himself declares that “ the Father hath committed all judg“ment to the Son, that all men should honour “ the Son, even as they honour the Father: he " that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the “ Father that sent him.”] If the very end of his mediatorial authority, as the Son of man, were this, " that all men should honour him ” with the same kind and degree of honour that is shewn to the Father; (and this must be the case if our doctrine be true ;) then such persons as deny his Deity, refuse to worship him, and spend their lives, with all their ability, influence, and diligence, to draw men off from this faith and worship, do not honour him at all, but greatly degrade him ; and therefore, by the verdict of their future Judge, they “ do not honour the Father that sent “ him.” So that the doctrine of Christ's Deity, if true, must be essential to Christianity. It

appears from Scriptures already referred to,2 that they have no true knowledge of the Father, who do not receive it from the revelation made of him by the Son : but how can that man be thought to learn the knowledge of the Father from the Son, who disregards his express declarations, that “ he and the Father are one,” and that “ he that “ hath seen him hath seen the Father?" If these words do indeed imply the Deity of the Son, as

1

John, y. 22, 23.

? Matt. xi. 27. Luke, x. 22.

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one with the Father; the knowledge of God, which they who deny his Deity possess, cannot accord to the revelation made by the Son, but must be entirely of another nature.—The apostle likewise expressly says, “Whosoever denieth the Son, the

same hath not the Father:" and can any man suppose this related only to a denial, that Jesus was the Messiah? If this were all that was meant, then none but avowed unbelievers were concerned in the warning; whereas it is evident that the apostle spoke of those who “ seduced,” not of those who opposed, his Christian brethren ; and who, by denying Jesus to be the Son of God, drew them off from the true doctrine in that par-. ticular. As therefore they << who denied the Son “ had not the Father ;” the inference is unavoidable, that they who deny the scriptural doctrine concerning the Son of God, whatever that doctrine be, have not the Father for their God and portion. Many errors relate to different parts of the structure, the removal of which, though ill spared, may not wholly subvert it; but this concerns the foundation, and is of fatal consequence; for“ other “ foundation can no man lay.”2

The same apostle gives it as a rule, that the truth might be known by its agreement with the doctrine delivered by him and his brethren ; and that every tenet, however supported, must be a doctrine of Antichrist, which accorded not with what they had taught concerning Christ. “Here“ by know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that “confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh

! 1 John, ii. 22, 23.

1 1 Cor. ii. 10-15,

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“is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not “ that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist,-We

are of God; he that knoweth God heareth us; “ he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby “ know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.'

." According to this rule, all pretences to new revelations, and all philosophical reasonings, must be wholly disregarded as springing from “ the spirit of error,” if they contradict the testimony of the apostles, as recorded in the scriptures; and if this error relate to the person of Christ, it is of Antichrist. It may be allowed that,

by coming in the flesh,” the reality of our Lord's human nature was maintained: but who could have doubted, that he was really a man, if it had been generally believed that he was no more than a man? If he could not have come otherwise than in the flesh, the apostle would hardly have made that an essential part of his confession. But the coming of the only begotten Son of God “ in “ the flesh,” as the anointed King, Priest, and Prophet of the Church, was indeed essential to his doctrine; and they who denied it must reject or pervert all the rest. Yet, some of those heretics whom John here so strenuously opposed, as the forerunners of the principal Antichrist, were the very persons whom certain modern Antitrinitarians would persuade us to regard, as the only primitive Christians that retained the faith of the gospel in its original purity!

The apostle afterwards declares, that the principal testimony of God related to his Son. “If we “ receive the witness of men, the witness of God “ is greater: for this is the witness of God which “ he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth “ not God hath made him a liar, because he be“ lieveth not the record that God gave of his Son. “ And this is the record, that God hath given to “ us eternal life ; and this life is in his Son. He “ that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not “ the Son of God hath not life.” As the whole of revelation centres in this point, it is vain for a man to pretend that he believes other parts of it, whilst he rejects this principal doctrine. His opinion may indeed accord with the testimony of God in some, particulars; he may assent to scriptural truths, because he thinks they may be otherwise proved; but, if his own reasonings, or those of some philosopher, lead to conclusions opposite to the word of God, he hesitates not to treat that as a lie. So that in fact such men, when they assent to scriptural truths, do not believe God but other witnesses : for they treat him as a false witness when he contradicts their preconceived opinions. It is therefore evident that no belief of the Bible, or of any thing contained in it, can be genuine, whilst “ the testimony which God hath given of “his Son” is rejected. And this illustrates all those other passages in which it is declared, that “ he that believeth not shall be damned ;” and that “ he who believeth not the Son, shall not see

1 John, iv. 2-6.

life, but the wrath of God abideth on him :" because it hence appears, that unbelievers treat

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John, v. 9-13,

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the truth of God as a lie; and so exclude themselves from that salvation, which is in Christ Jesus for sinners who by faith apply for an interest in it. For it is plain that a man cannot believe the Son, if he refuse to credit what he says of himself, and concerning his own personal dignity and excellency.

The same important caution is again inculcated by this apostle : “Many deceivers are entered

into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ “ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and “ an Antichrist.-Whosoever transgresseth, and « abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath

not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of “ Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”! The doctrine of Christ must certainly relate to his person, either as God and man, or merely man. But, if he that "abode not in that doctrine had “not God ;” and if Christians were forbidden to “ receive him into their houses, or bid him God “ speed,” or at all to sanction his delusions; (though they might doubtless have relieved his urgent wants, as those of an enemy in distress ;) it must follow, that the doctrine concerning the person of Christ is essential to Christianity, and that a rejection of the true doctrine is an antichristian departure from the faith. And I appeal to every impartial man to determine, whether such language, if we had first used it, would not have excited the sneer of numbers, and an outcry of

bigotry' against us ?--The reader must observe, that the texts here quoted are not brought as

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