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divine nature, Mr. Hawker produces the instance of the blind man who acknowledged Jesus to be the Son of God, and worshipped him accordingly. See John ix. 35–38. By confefsing him, however, to be the son of God, the blind man meant nothirig more than an acknowledgement ihat Jesus was the Mefrah, to which it has already been proved, the phrase, Son of God, is fynonomous. With respect to the term worship, had not Mr. Hawker laid so much stress on it, I should not have thought there would have been any necessity to have informed my reader, that it does not always imply religious worship. It is said, I Chron. xxix. 20, that all the congregation bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord and the king ( David.) And Matt. xviii. 26, Our saviour says, The fervant" fell down and worshipped his Lord. By the word worship, therefore, when applied to inferior beings, we are to understand nothing more than an extraordinary degree of respect. It is to be understood in the highest sense, only when applied to that great Being whom our Lord himself declares to be the fole object of religious adoration. Matt. iv, 10. Thou shalt worship the LORD thy GOD, and HIM only shalt thuu serve.

The declaration of Peter, of the Eunuch, of Nathaniel, of Martha, of John, and of the spirits of darkness, as Mr. Hawker files the demoniacs, that Jesus was the Son of God, is to be considered in no other light than their testi.nony that he was the Meffiah or the Christ.

that

The charge of blasphemy brought by the high priest against our saviour for declaring himself to be the Son of God, seems to have been founded on a law existing among the Jews, by which it was made blasphemy for any one falfy to assume that title, or in other words, to declare himself to be the Messiah. John xix. 7. We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. Dr. Lardner supposes that the Jews had learned this title and character of the Meffiah from Pf. ii. 7-12. (0)

The last passage to which Mr. Hawker refers, which has any relation to this part of the subject, is Rom. i. 4; where the apostle Paul says, he was declared to the Son of God with power ; “plainly testifying,” says Mr. Hawker, by this expression, what the apostles sentiments were, that this appellation was not with Christ a barren title, but accompanied with that plenitude of authority which the relationship might be supposed to include, differing most essentially in every point, when applied to any mere human character, and when

spoken

(0) Dr. Lardner's letter on the Logos, p. 24. last edition,

!

spoken of him who came in all the power of the Highest." (Þ)

In answer to these observations, I will present my reader with a paraphrase of the words by Mr. Locke, who, as an impartial commentator, stands high in the opinion of all. “ With most mighty power,” says he, “declared to be the Son of God, by his resurrection from the dead.” He adds in a note, “he that will read in the original what St. Paul says, Eph. i. 19. 20, of the power which God exerted in raising up Christ from the dead, will hardly avoid thinking, that he sees St. Paul labouring for words to express the greatness of it."(9)

I have now, I believe, examined all the passages Mr. Hawker has produced which relate to this part of the controversy, not one of which seems to prove, that because Jesus is called the Son of God, he possesses a divine nature. The natural conclusion is, that he is so stiled, merely on account of his character and office.

Before I dismiss this part of the subject, I may alk, how it is, if Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, be really possessed of a divine nature, that no paffage is to be found in the New Testament, which D

in

(P. P. 37. Note. (9) Locke in loc,

in direct terms asserts it? This would have

put

the matter out of dispute. But it cannot, I think, be pretended to be the case,

It may also farther be asked, how it is, that Mr. Hawker and other Trinitarians, who with him af. fert that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of the elernal Father, preserve the doctrine of the divine unity? The very terms, Father and Son, necefsarily imply, that one preceded the other. This being the case, if the word, eternal, be used in the fame sense when applied to each, the assertion contains as gross a contradi&ion as can possibly be uttered. But whether the word be used in the same sense or not, it is a self evident truth, that a being, who is begotten, must necessarily be diftinet from the being who begets him. If, therefore, the Son were begotten of the Father, he muft necessarily be a being distin&t from the Father. But if the Father and the Son be diftin&t beings, and each of them at the fame time God, it necessarily follows that there must be two Gods; a doctrine which is contradicted in almost every page of the scriptures.

By the same mode of reasoning it may be proved, that the Holy Ghost, on the supposition he proceeded from the Father and Son, is a third God.

Indeed,

Indeed, allowing the principles of the athanasians to be true, for any thing we know to the contrary, there may be many more.

If a reason ever existed for the Father to beget one Son of the same nature with himself, a reason might also exist for him afterwards to beget'another; and there may have been generations and processions of this kind innumerable. Thus it is, that those, who have introduced into our holy religion what are called these awful mysteries, have degraded the divine nature.

CHAPTER IV.

of the Pasages in the New Testament which are sup

posed to prove our Lord's Pre-existence.

MR.

R. Hawker asserts, that the evidences we

have of our Lord's pre-existent state and dignity, are the great criteria of his divinity. (r) He then produces a number of passages to prove this pre-existent state. But even allowing his own interpretation of them to be true, it would not follow, that Christ was possessed of a divine nature;

since (r) P. 41.

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