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incarnation as is contended for, it would not have been pretended, that we are any where informed that the divine nature refrained from aiding the human nature upon this trying occasion to bear its sufferings, the sacred writings being quite silent upon the subject of two natures in Christ, and the trinitarians on the contrary maintaining, that its assistance was absolutely necessary to enable the human nature to bear the infinite punishment, which, according to them, the justice of the Supreme Being '
must otherwise have inflicted upon the elect, who are redeemed, and saved, by the death and sufferings of our Lord. The power of the divine nature then, that is, almighty power, must, according to their hypothesis, have been exerted. The assistance of an angel, therefore, if it were considered merely as superadded to that of almighty power, would not have been equal to the dust of the balance; but when considered as strengthening OMNIPOTENCE, the absurdity is monstrous. Who can wonder, that the great Newton should pronounce of such a doctrine, that the time would come, when it would be exploded, as an absurdity equal to transubstantiation ? That time is now, thank God! fast approaching. The night is far spent, the day is at hand, indeed hath already begun to dawn upon us, and will shine more and more, till it arrives at it's meridian brightness. How few were there in Sir Isaac Newton's time, who thought as he did ! How many thousands are there at present in this country only! How
few were the unitarian places of worship within our own remembrance!-four or five perhaps in the whole kingdom. At present there are few places of any magnitude without one; and if we may form a judgement from what we know ourselves, and hear from others, there may be some foundation for the report, that there are more unitarians within the church, than out of it.
The unitarian system stands unencumbered with any of the difficulties we have just been contemplating: considering our blessed Lord, though the greatest, and most distinguished of God's messengers, and prophets, to be a man of like passions with ourselves, endued with exquisite sensibility of feeling, and perfect knowledge of the extent of his approaching sufferings, and, therefore, for a moment overwhelmed with distress, at the prospect of what he was so soon to undergo,-it acknowledges the kind, and gracious, interposition of his Father, and our Father, of his God, and our God, in sending an angel, as he had occasionally done before in the case of others of the prophets and holy men of old, to comfort, and strengthen him.
Having been unable to find the doctrine of the incarnation, or any thing like it, in any of the sacred writings, I ain as little able to discover in what part of the Scriptures our Saviour, the humble Jesus, claims, as you say, true deity; or where he claims our worship, if by worship be meant any thing more than that homage, and reverence, which we are bound to pay
to one who has been raised by his. Father to the high office of prophet, priest, and king, to the whole human race, and which is analogous to the homage paid by us. to earthly sovereigns and superiors, which was frequently called worship; and the persons entitled to it were called worshipful, even in our own country, at no very remote periods, and of which we have the remains to this day. Thus we say his worship the mayor of such a place, their worships the king's justices, and the like. But that religious worship, which is paid to God, and particularly that most important part of it, prayer, he never claims; for though he, and his apostles after him, subsequent to his ascension, in numerous places command, and exhort us to pray to the Father, there is not one solitary instance of any of them ever commanding, or requesting us to pray to him ; which would be most extraordinary indeed, if, as you say, he claimed true deity, and therefore claimed, or was entitled 'to, religious worship; espe, cially, as both he, and his apostles, exhort us to do many things of comparatively very much less importance. This remarkable fact throws strong light upon the three or four very doubtful passages, in which the trinitarians conceive, that prayer was in a few instances actually addressed to him ; but which in my apprehension prove no such thing; the persons who are supposed to have thus prayed to him having both been persons who were after his ascension favoured with his personal presence, when they might make their ré
quests to him as to any other superior; and even if this were called praying to him, it would be nearly in the same sense, as we pray our superiors among mankind to bestow upon us favours which we are desirous of obtaining from them ; a sense very different from that in which we pray to the invisible God, whom no mortal eye hath seen, or can see, as a part of our religious worship, thereby ascribing to him omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. The application of the word in the former sense, to requests made to our superiors, even among mankind, is very common, if attended to : Thus the king is said to be prayed to confer some special mark of his favour upon a particular person who has merited it; a criminal convicted of felony is desired to pray his clergy; and a plaintiff prays judgement against a defendant.
a defendant. I believe it would be extremely easy, in every one of the instances alluded to, to shew, that there was either direct proof, or a high degree of probability, that the person represented as invoking, or making any request to, Jesus Christ, not only had been, but was at the very time, favoured with a personal communication with, or sight of, him. Can we, therefore, in the absence of all precept, safely build such an important doctrine upon a few obscure passages like these ? It may be said, that our Saviour would not command any prayers to be offered up to himself, during his state of humiliation, before his resurrection ;-but is it to be believed, that neither he, nor his apostles, when alluding to
prayers to be offered up after his resurrection and ascension, when he was invested with all his glory,which is done in very numerous instances--should direct all these prayers to be addressed to the Father, and not one of them to him, if he was equally the object of prayer as the Father ? If it were so, we might naturally expect to find as many instances of prayer being commanded to be made to him, as to the Father. Let the Christian, who makes the Scriptures his study and his rule, judge for himself.
It might have been expected likewise, supposing the trinitarian hypothesis to be true, and that religious worship, including prayer, is to be addressed to two other persons besides the Father, one of whom is the Holy Ghost, that we should have been commanded in numerous instances to have prayed to the latter ; but no such precept is to be found any where. How is this to be accounted for? Some have said, that our Lord's humility, whilst on earth, prevented him from directing prayers to be made to himself; and also, that whilst he was personally present with his disciples, it was unnecessary. But our Lord, whilst in this world, had none of that false humility which has been supposed : upon
proper occasions, he declined not to assert his claims to those honours, with which it had pleased the Father to invest him, declaring himself to be a king, to have been born for that purpose, to be greater than Solomon, and the like ; and though prayer to him, whilst on earth, was unnecessary, how is