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mother, and while he hung upon the cross. And to imagine the creator of the world to have been in . those circumstances is an idea at which the mind revolts, almost as much as at that of the supreme: God himself being reduced to them.
Besides, if Christ retained, and exercised all his: former powers in this state of apparent humiliation, he must have wrought all his miracles by a power properly his own, a power naturally belonging to him, as much as the power of fpeaking and walking bes longs to any other man. But this was expressly disclaimed by our Saviour, when he said,, that of himself he could do nothing, and that it was the Fami ther within him who did the works. Also, on this fuppofition, it must have been this super-angelic: being united to the body of Jesus, that raised him, from the dead; whereas this is an effect which is.. always ascribed to God the Father only..
If, on the other hand, Christ was divested of: his original powers, or emptied himself of them upon: his incarnation, the whole system of the government. of the universe must have been changed during his. residence upon earth. Either fome other derived. being (which this scheme does not provide) must have taken his.place, or the supreme being himself: must have condescended to do that which the: fpheme supposes there was an impropriety. in his doing. For certainly the making and the govern, ing of the world would not have been delegated to:
another, if there had not been some good reason in the nature of things (though it be unknown to us, and may be undiscoverable by us) why the world should have been made and governed by a derived being, and not by the supreme being himself. And this reason, whatever it was, must, as far as we can judge, have operated during the time that Christ was upon the earth, as well: as before. . If Christ was degraded to the state of a mere inan during his humiliation on earth, reason will ask, why might not a mere man have been sufficient ; fince, notwithstanding his original powers, no-thing was, in fact, done by him, more than any other man, aided and assisted by God as he was,. might have been equal to? .
If we consider the object of Christ's mission, and the beings, whom it respected, viz. the race of man, we cannot but think that there must have: been a greater 'propriety, and use, in the appointment of a mere man to that office. What occasion: was there for any being superior to man for the purpose of communicating the will of God to man?: And as an example of a resurrection to an immortal life (to enforce which was the great object of his mission) the death and resurrection of one who was properly and simply a man was certainly far better adapted to give men satisfaction concerning their own future resurrection, than the seeming death (for it could be nothing more) of such a being
as the maker of the world, and the resurrection of a body to which he had been united. For, as he was a being of so much higher rank, it might be said, that the laws of his nature might be very different from those of ours; and therefore he might bave privileges to which we could not pretend, and to which we ought not to aspire.
If the world was created and governed by a de. rived being, this being, on whom we immediately depended, would be that to whom all men would naturally look. He would necessarily become the object of their prayers, in consequence of which the supreme being would be overlooked, and become a mere cypher in the universe.
As modern philosophy supposes that there are in. numerable worlds inhabited by rational and imper. fect beings (for all creatures must be finite and im. perfect) besides this of ours, it cannot be supposed but that many of them must have ftood in as much need of the interposition of the maker of the universe as we have done. And can we suppose either that this should be the only spot in the universe fo highly distinguished, or that the maker of it should undergo as many degradations as this scheme may require ?
The doctrine of Christ's pre-existence goes upon the idea of the possibility, at least, of the pre-exiftence of other men, and supposes an immaterial soul in man, altogether independent of the body'; so
that that it must have been capable of thinking, and acting before his birth, as well as it will be after his death. But these are fuppofitions which no appearance in nature favours.
The arian hypothesis, therefore, though it implies no proper contradiction, is, on several accounts, highly improbable a priori, and therefore ought not to be admitted without very clear and strong evidence.
III. ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE TRINITARIAN
AND THE ARIAN HYPOTHESES FROM THE SCRIPTURES.
I SHALL now shew, in as cor.cise a manner as I can, that the doctrine of the trinity, and also the arian hypothesis, have as little countenance from the scriptures as they have from reason. The scriptures teach us that there is but one God, who is himself the maker and the governor of all things; that this one God is the sole object of worship, and that he sent Jesus Christ to instruct mankind, empowered him to work miracles, raised him from the dead, and gave him all the power that he ever was, or is now possessed of.
1. The scriptures contain the clearest and most express declarations, that there is but one God, without ever mentioning any exception in favour of a trinity, or guarding us against being led into any mistake by such general and unlimited ex
pressions. pressions. Ex. xx. 3. Thou shalt have no other God before me. Deut. vi. 4. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. Mark xii. 29. The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. I Cor. viii. 6. Ta us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom. are all things, and we in him. Eph. iv. 5, 6. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Tim. ii. 5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
On the other hand, not only does the word trinity never occur in the scriptures, but it is no where said that there are three persons in this one God: nor is the do&rine explicitly laid down in any other direct proposition whatever. Christ indeed says, John X. 30. I and my Father are one; but he sufficiently explains himself, by praying that his disciples might be one with him in the same sense in which he was one with the Father. John xvii. 21, 22. That they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; and the glory which thou gavest to me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one.
2. This one God is said to have created all things; and no intimation is given of his having employed any inferior agent or instrument in the work of creation. Gen, i. 1. In the beginning God created