« PreviousContinue »
OF SOME QUERIES
Dr. CLARKE's SCHEME of the H. TRINITY:
IN ANSWER TO A CLERGY-MAN in the COUNTRY.
Compare the following Text s. I am the Lord, and The Word was God there is none else; Joh. 1. 1. There is no God be s Thy Throne, O God, fides me, Ifa. 45. 5. Heb. 1. 8.
Is there a God bel Christ came, who is fides me? Tea, There lover all God blessed is no God, I know not for ever, Rom. 9. 5. any, Il. 44. .8 | Who being in the
I am God and there Form of God, Phil. 2.6. is none like me; Bel Who being the fore me there was no Brightness of his GloGod formd, neither ry, and the express Shall there be after Image of bis Perfón, me, Il. 46. 9. Heb. 1. 3.
QUE R Y I. Whether all other Beings, besides the one
Supreme God, be not excluded by the Texts of lsaiah, (to which many more might be added) and consequently, whether Christ can bé God at all, unless He be the same with the Supreme God
THE Sum of your Answer to this Query,
1 is, that the Texts cited from Isaiah, in the first Column, are spoken of one Person only, (p. 34.) The Person of the Father, (p.39.) And therefore all other Persons, or Beings (which you make equivalent) how divine soever, are necessarily excluded; and by Confequence, our Lord Jesus Christ is as much excluded from being the one Supreme God, as from being the Person of the Father, (p. 40.)
You spend some Pages, in endeavouring to show, that the Person of the Father only is the Supreme God; and that the Person of the Son is not Supreme God. But what does this
signify, except it be to lead your Reader off · from the Point which it concern'd you to speak
to ? Instead of answering the Difficulty propos’d, which was the part of a Respondent, you chuse to flip it over, and endeavor to put me upon the Defensive; which is by no means Fair. Your Business was to ward off the Consequence which I had press'd you with, namely, this : That if the Son bę at all excluded by those
Texts in the first Column, He is altogether excluded; and is no God at all. He cannot, upon your Principles, be the same God, because He is not the same Person: He cannot be another God, because excluded by those Texts. If therefore He be neither the same God, nor another God; it must follow that He is no God. This is the difficulty which I apprehend to lie against your Scheme ; and which you have not fufficiently attended to.
I shall therefore charge it upon you once again, and leave you to get clear of it at leisure.
I shall take it for granted, that the design and purport of those Texts, cited from Isaiah, was the same with that of the first Commandment: Namely, to draw the People off from placing any Trust, Hope, or Reliance in any but God, to direct them to the only proper object of Worship, in opposition to all Things or Persons, besides the one Supreme God. “Nei“ther Baal nor Ashtaroth, nor any that are “ esteemed Gods by the Nations, are strictly and 6 properly such. Neither Princes nor Magistrates, "however called Gods in a loose Metaphorical "Sense, are strictly or properly such. No reli“gious Service, no Worship, no Sacrifice is due s to any of them: I only am God, in a just “Sense; and therefore I demand your Homage - and Adoration. Now, upon your Hypothesis, we must add ; that even the Son of God Himself, however divine He may be thought, is really no God at all, in any just and proper Sense.
He is no more than a nominal God, and stands excluded with the rest: All Worship of Him, and Reliance upon Him, will be idolatry as much as the Worship of Angels, or Men, or of the Gods of the Heathen would be. God the Father He is God, and He only; and Him only Malt thou serve. This I take to be a clear Consequence from your Principles, and unavoidable.
You do, indeed, attempt to evade it by sup. posing that, when the Father faith there is no God besides me, the meaning only is, that there is no Supreme God besides me. But will you please to consider.
1. That you have not the least Ground or Reason for putting this Sense upon the Text. It is not faid there is no other Supreme God besides me; but absolutely, no Other.
2. If this were all the meaning, then Baal or Ashtaroth, or any of the Gods of the Nations, might be look'd upon as inferior Deities, and be served with a subordinate Worship, notwithstanding any thing these Texts say, without any Peril of Idolatry, or any Breach of the first Commandment. Solomon might Sacrifice 10 Ashtaroth, and Milcom, to Chemosh and Moloch, provided he did but serve the God of Ifrael with Soveraign Worship, acknowledging Him Supreme. And this might furnish the Samaritans with a very plausible excuse, even from the Law it felf, for serving their own Gods in Subordination to the one Supreme God; since God had not forbidden it. * 1 Kings c. 119