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Page 11, 12, he pretends that CHRIST, before his incarnation, was God's angel, and messenger, and sercant. He cannot prove seroant at all; nor angel, or messenger, from any parts of Scripture but what, in the very same places, declare him to be Ho Theos, God absolutely, Jehocah, Lord God, Almighty God, &c. From whence it is plain, that the name of angel concerns only his office, not his nature; and is an argument only of the Son's voluntary condescension to transact matters between God the FATHER and mankind.
Page 12, 13, he has some wise reasonings against the Son's glory being eclipsed in the incarnation. He asks, how it could be eclipsed from men, who “ then beheld his glory more than “ever?" By his argument, if, the first time a man sees the sun at all, it should be under a cloud, or an eclipse, it is therefore under no cloud, nor under any eclipse to that man. In short, though men“ behold his glory more than ever,” yet even then his glory was shrouded under the veil of flesh, and did not shine out to the full; which if it had, no mortal could have looked against it.
Page 12th and 13th, he labours to confound real and essential, with outward and accidental glory: and he is marvellously subtile and profound on that head. The short answer is, that one kind of glory can never be increased or diminished, either in Father or Son: the other kind of glory may admit, and has admitted of increase or diminution, both in Father and Son, and will so again hereafter.
His cavils (p. 13.) about two Persons, in Christ are built on nothing but his own mistakes of the definition and meaning of
the word person.
His reasoning about even and odd (p. 14.) is odd enough; to answer a jest with a jest.
Page 15, he has some speculations about Christ's being exalted to the universul dominion of all worlds, (a likely charge, indeed, for any creature to sustain,) and becoming a Mighty God: as if he had not been as Mighty when he made the worlds, and when he laid the foundations of the heavens and the earth.
Page 16, he observes, that Scripture says nothing of two kingdoms of CHRIST. But the Scriptures do speak of a kingdom which is to cease at the day of judgment, (1 Cor. xv.) and of a kingdom which shall not cease, nor ever have an end, Isa. ix. 7.
7 Dan. xii. 13. Luke i. 33. Heb. i. 8. How to make one kingdom
of both may be as difficult, perhaps, as to make the same number even and odd.
Page 17, he pretends, that the SON is to be honoured, only because the FATHER hath made him universal Governor of heaven and earth. How is it then that he was GOD, LORD, and Creator, before the world was? Are not these things as considerable as any thing that came after? And how is it that he is to be honoured, together with the FATHER, and with the same acts of worship, (Rev. v. 13,) to all eternity; even after he shall have laid down this universal kingdom and government, according to our wise author? Surely, if the sole foundation of his honour ceases, his honours should cease with it.
Page 19, he observes, that the Disciples and GOD are one. I know not whether his understanding here failed him most, or his eyesight. How does he read the text? "That they all may be "one-that they also may be one in us," John xvii. 21. Not that they and we may be one, not that they may be one with us ; but only, one with each other in us.
These few Strictures may be sufficient to shew, that the author is not to be depended on, in his representations or reasonings. I designed brevity, and therefore I pass over his other fallacies and misconstructions: which are either stale things, such as have been abundantly answered over and over by better hands; or else are too mean and trifling to have been either objected on one side, or answered on the other, by any that have well studied this controversy.
WATERLAND, VOL. III.