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these things, shew thyself to the world." Again, ver.7, • The world cannot hate you, but me, it hateth;" meaning manifestly in all three places, the men of the age, and country, in which our great master delivered his heavenly précepts:
Having shewn, that Christ was sent into the world by the Father, as the disciples were sent into the world by him; namely, by being sent among man kind with a divine commission to preach the Gospel, when he says, John xvi. 28, “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father;" which you lastly quote, as favouring your explanation of the former words, to shew that he was sent from another state of being into this, upon the ground that all admit, that he has gone from this state into another ; 1 conceive that I have much stronger reasons for interpreting the latter passage by the former, than can be assigned for interpreting the former by the latter, in the manner you have attempted to explain them. I shall begin with the first member of the sentence, “I am come forth from the Father, and am come into the world;": . If by this he meant, (as I contend, and think I have such cessfully shewn,) that our Lord, having been admitted to the knowledge of the divine counsels, was sent forth amongst mankind to declare them, -as his digi ciples, having been admitted to the knowledge of his counsels and designs, were sent forth by him among mankind so declare them in like manner on their part ---both passages harmonize completely, and both
will also bé found in unison witli John i. 6: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John:” meaning, evidently, that John having had a communication with the Supreme Being; was sent with a divine commission to mankind; not that he came from another world. You will find, that a very learned and eminent Trinitarian, Dr. Doddridge, together with other commentators, interprets ( ascending up into heaven' to mean, becoming acquainted with the divine coursels, and not the going up into another world. After making these observations, I think myself well warranted in contending, that our Saviour's leaving the world and going to the Father, in the passage in question, could not have been designed to be taken in the same sense as his coming, or that he was to go in the same manner as he came, which was manifestly nót the case, he being to leave the world in a totally different manner ; that is to say, by death, in which sense every good man may be said to go to God: and yet if it had been said of John, that he was a man sent fron God, and that he afterwards died and went to God, no one would, I believe, have inferred that John had been sent out of another world into this ;: or in other words, that he had pre-existed. : The concluding part of the verse therefore must be taken to have been inserted for the purpose of communicating, by way of additional information, what was shortly to happen to him; without intending to represent any resemblance between his coming and going.
To shew how fallacious an interpretation may
be founded upon the supposition, that because he was to go to the Father into another world by death, and a subsequent resurrection and ascension, therefore he must have come forth from the Father, and come into the world from some other world, (as if God were not every where, and as if he could not in this world have been admitted into his presence, and have come forth from him again in common parlance, as was the case both with Moses, and with John, before him,)-I shall just ask, why, if the parallel be necessary and proper in one of these instances, it is not so in all ? and why is it not to be followed up to its full extent? why is it not to be inferred, that he came from God into this world, in consequence of a previous death and resurrection in another, as he was to go unto him in consequence of a previous death and resurrection in this? But I am afraid we shall make wild work, if, when coming, and going, are mentioned in the same passage, we were without further inquiry, to infer, that the party must come, and go, in the same manner, and from, and to, the same place. It would be easy to produce passages in Scripture, where this mode of reasoning would have a curious effect : See Job i. 21,“ Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither." See also Eccl. xii. 7, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Nevertheless, though the word “return,' which is a strong term, is made use of, no one
supposes, that the spirit of man pre-existed, and came forth from God out of another world, least of all will the Trinitarian grant, that it returns to him as it came from him, that is, into a state of non-existence. So much for John xvi. 28. But after all, whatever might have been its meaning, it is not a parallel passage with John xvii. 18, and therefore not in point; for the latter states a resemblance in express terms between the sending of our Saviour into the world, and his sending his disciples into it; the words being “ As thou,” meaning the Father, “hast sent me into the world, even so, have I also, sent them into the world :" whereas, in John xvi. 28, it is not “ As I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world, so I leave the world and go to the Father ;” but merely, I do the one and I do the other : and the manner in which the one, and the other, actually took place, which were totally different, shews, that aš no resemblance was expressed, so none was intended.
This leads me to consider John v. 22, 23, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto 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 which hath sent him.” This passage, amongst others, has been quoted to prove the equality of the Son with the Father ; but will be found by whoever attentively considers it, to be one of those which prove the contrary; for what is the reason, and the only reason, assigned by our blessed Lord for men's honouring him, even as they honour the Father? Is it because he was
equal to the Father? No such thing; but merely because the Father had committed all judgment to him; which shews,- 1st, that he was appointed to this high office, that men should so honour him; which implies, that if he had not been appointed to it mankind would not have been required so to do, and would not have done it;-2dly, that the Son had not originally in him self the power of judging men, but that it was delegated to him by the Father, and by the Father only, nothing being said of the Holy Ghost having joined in the commission; that until he was invested with it, he was not entitled to be honoured as the Father was honoured ; that being assigned as the reason, and the sole reason, for his being so honoured, and that his being thus honoured, was in the character of universal judge of mankind, as representing his Father, by whom he had been appointed to that office, which is confirmed by the following words: “He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father, who hath sent him;" referring in like inanner to his mission by the Father, as the reason why he who honoured him not, honoured not the Father; inasmuch as he was the Father's messenger, and represented him. The whole is perfectly clear, except upon trinitarian principles; and he that runs may read. The difficulty is to explain the passage at all upon those principles. We have always been accustomed to consider judges, as entitled in that character to be honoured as the sovereign they represent, and their judgments to be treated with the same respect, as if they had been pronounced by the sovereign himself ; but notwith