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SCRIPTURE.

Our Lord JESUS CHRIST was GOD before any dominion commenced, before any creatures existed, before the world was". He is over all GOD blessed for

evers and to him is ascribed

viduals, identicals, &c. which so require, and Scripture must yield to them.

ARIANISM.

Some of the modern Arians say, that CHRIST is GOD, in the sense of dominion: others make his exaltation, after his rising from the dead, to be the sole foundation of his personal Godheadk. suppose his personating the FATHER

Others

to have been all that his Godhead meant before his incarnation!. All which accounts must appear miserably vain and presumptuous, as coming vastly short of what St. John has declared of him in respect of what he was antecedently to the creation. Sometimes therefore they are pleased to allow that he was GOD before the world was, as being

John i. 1, 2, 3, 10. Coloss. i. 15, partaker of divine power and gloryTM, 16. s Rom. ix. 5. t 1 Pet. iv. II. 2 Pet. iii. 18. Rev. i. 6. Heb. xiii. 21. Heb. i. 8. v Rev. v. 12, 13.

But then they tell us not what they mean by it. Whatever it be, they suppose him to have been really stripped and emptied of that glory, that is, of all the Godhead he had of his own; that he sunk his perfections, his power, and his wisdom", when he became man; being then really weaker and lower than the angels; so that he ceased for a time to be God, and wanted to be made a GOD again after his resurrection P: which Godhead then obtained, or

glory, praise, and dominion for ever and ever', jointly also with the FATHER. From whence it is evident, that as he was GOD before the creation, before any creature began, and consequently from all eternity; so he will be honoured as God to all eternity.

k Collection of Queries, p. 75. 1 Clarke's Scripture Doctrine, p. 73. edit. 2nd. m Ibid. p. 240. " Emlyn's Examination of Dr. Bennet, p. 15, 16. o Modest Plea, p. 93. Scripture and Athanasians Compared, p. 15. P Collect. of Queries, p. 75. Scripture and Athanasians Comp. p. 16.

SCRIPTURE.

Our blessed Lord is described as having the divine attributes, the distinguishing marks and characters of the one true GoD supreme.

1. Knowledge of the heart. He knoweth the hearts of all men w. It is he that searcheth the reins and the hearts. He is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the hearty.

2. Omniscience. There is no creature but what is manifest in his sight: all things are naked and opened to his eyes2. In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He knoweth all thingsb.

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regained, is to last no longer than his mediatorial kingdom; after the ceasing whereof, it seems, he is to lay down his Godhead, and never to be a God more to all eternity 9.

ARIANISM.

The modern Arians are pleased to allow, in words, that divine attributes belong to CHRIST; meaning by divine, quite another thing than others mean in this case.

CHRIST is omniscient, they say, relatively; that is, while ignorants of much more than he knows, as he must be if ignorant at all: eternal also, provided he be not coeternal; that is, provided the FATHER be but infinitely (as he must be, if at all) more ancient than he omnipresent also, but within bounds: omnipotent, but by the FATHER's power, not by his own: unchangeable, I think, they never directly say, but the contrary; making his generation and incarnation arguments of his being subject to change. And, indeed, upon the whole, they suppose him the most changeable being in the universe, running through more, and more prodigious changes, than any other creature ever did, or will do.

a Reply to Dr. W. by the Author of Unity, &c. p. 49. Scripture and Athanasians Compared, p. 16, 17, 22. Peirce's Western Inquis. p. 148, 149. r Collect. of Queries, p. 48. s Ibid. Unity of GOD not inconsistent, &c. p. 8. t Reply to Dr. Waterland's Defence, p. 271. Scripture and Athanasians Compared, p. 12, 13. Appeal to a Turk, &c. p. 145.

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They criticise away the force of the texts pleaded in favour of the divine attributes of CHRIST, till they leave themselves no Scripture proof of the divinity of GOD the FATHER; none but what may be eluded by the same, or the like subtleties as if they were resolved to give up every proof of the FATHER's real divinity, rather than admit any which may happen to prove as much of GoD the SON. The strength of their objections against the divine attributes of CHRIST, Consists chiefly in metaphysical speculations; that generation is an act, that every act implies free choice, that free choice argues precarious existence, and that precarious existence is a contradiction to divine attributes, strictly so called. Thus vain philosophy is brought in, to overrule the infallible word of God.

ARIANISM.

The modern Arians pretend that CHRIST is an instrumentu only in the work of creation; though they do not tell us what they mean by it, nor how it is possible to reconcile their notion to Heb. i. 10. Some of them suppose CHRIST an inferior Creator, making two Crea

tors in like manner as two Gods; one of the Creators being himself a creature. Others scruple to allow CHRIST to be a Creator, saying only that God created all things by him, or through him; and they confusedly mutter several

u Modest Plea, p. 93. Unity of God not Inconsistent, &c. p. 26.

invisible are upheld and sustained by him. He is therefore Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all worlds: than which nothing more august or grand can be said of the one GoD supreme.

SCRIPTURE.

The Scriptures say, that he that built all things is God; thereby supposing the work of creating to be a demonstration of the real divinity of the Person who created all things. St. Paul elsewhere intimates that the creation of the world is a visible and sensible proof of the eternal power and Godhead of its Maker P. Creation is where, in Scripture, represented as a divine work, a work peculiar to God alone, setting forth his supreme excellency and unbounded perfections 9. And

every

o Heb. iii. 4. P Rom. i, 20. 4 2 Kings xix. 15. Job xxvi. 7, &c. Psalm xcvi. 5. xix. 1. lxxxix. 11, 12. Isa. xl. 12, 26. xlii. 5. xliii. 1. xlv. 5, 6.

things about the prepositions by and through; never acquainting us what their precise notion is, nor shewing how it is possible ever to make it consistent with those texts which so expressly ascribe creative powers to CHRIST. Whatever hand they suppose him to have had in creating, (which appears to be very little,) they imagine him afterwards weak enough to want the assistance of his creatures, weak enough to be literally inferior to the angelsy, weak enough to be passible and mutable; and low enough to be literally exalteda; which yet they would think blasphemy to say of one that is very GOD.

ARIANISM.

The Arians pretend that the creating the whole universe is in itself no demonstration of infinite power, nor any certain argument of the real and necessary divinity of its makerb. It seems a creature might create the whole world, visible and invisible. Only, it is observable, that they are sometimes pleased to say, that the Son is no creature. No creature, yet brought into existence, as well as any creature ; no creature, but yet precarious in existence, as well as

x Modest Plea, p. 93. y Scripture and Athanasians Compared, p. 15. Appeal to a Turk, &c. p. 145. Modest Plea, ibid. z Collect. of Queries, P. 143. a Modest Plea, p. 97, 98. Collect. of Queries, p. 58. Reply to Dr. Waterland's Defence, Appeal to a Turk, &c. p. 120. lect, of Queries, p. 51.

p. 249. c Col

the Gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, they shall perish from the earth. So that if CHRIST be Creator, there can be no reasonable doubt made of his real, eternal, and essential Godhead: or, if he be not Creator, he cannot be GOD, cannot, upon the Scripture foot, be adored or worshipped as GoD with any degree of religious worship.

SCRIPTURE.

According to Scripture no one is to be worshipped who is not God by natures, no creature but the Creator onlyt. From whence it is evident that there is no middle between Creator and creature, Creator and creature being opposites; so that a creature cannot be Creator, nor Creator a creature. Scripture knows nothing of creature

r Jer. x. 11, 12. s Gal. iv. 8. t Rom. i. 25.

any creature; no creature, but yet dependent on the free-will and pleasure of another, as much as any creature ; no creature, but yet ignorant of much more than he knows, as well as any creature; no creature, but yet capable of change from strength to weakness, and from weakness to strength again, capable of being made wiser, and happier, and better in every respect, as well as any creature; no creature, but yet having nothing of his own, nothing but what he owes to the gratuity and favour of his Lord and Governor, as much as any creature. Such a creature, and no creature, they suppose all things to have been created by; and yet by all things, meaning only all other things, (for he could not have any hand in creating himself,) and by the words created by, meaning they know not what. This they call interpreting Scripture, and doing justice to common

readers.

ARIANISM.

The modern Arians, after the Pagans and Papists, plead for creature-worship; for the thing, I mean, but they are frightened at the name: and whether to save themselves the trouble of answering the many plain and invincible reasons against creature-worship, or the shame of not being able to talk a word of sense on that head, they pretend not to be pleading

d Author of Unity, &c. His Reply to Dr. Waterland, p. 31.

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