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Or does he use this word to shew the Israelites' especial aitachment to God? lo i Tim. 1. 2. Paul uses the expression “ Timothy my own son in the faith” Did he thereby exclude his thousands of spiritual disciples from being his sons in the faith?
In reply to his allusion to John 1. 16 in which Jesus is said to be “the only begotten 800 of the father.” I beg to refer the Editor lo Hebrews XI. 17.“ By faith Abrahaid when he was triert, offered up Isaac and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son." Whence he may perceive that the phrase “ only begotteu" iinplies only must be. loved among the children, as Abraham had at that ti ne another son beside Isaac namely Ishmael by Hagar given to him as his wife Gen. XVI. 3. and 15. Were we to take the word of John “ only begotten" in it's literal sense in defiance of Hebrew XI. 17, we must discredit the express word of God, declaring Israel his begotten and first born son, and describing David to be his begotten son.
It is worth noticing that the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews applies the last phrase “ begotten son” in an accommodated sense to Jesus Heb. I. 5. I say in an accommodated
sense, since in Psalm II. 7. it is David that declares, during the prosperous time of his reign, " The Lord hath said unto me, ihou art my son, this day have I begotten thee." : Besides how can the orthodox Christi. ans, who consider Jesus as the begotten son of God from eternity, with consistency maintain the opinion that God had begotten him at a particular day during the reign of David ? They may perhaps apply some of their mysterious interpretations to this passage of the Psalms; but they will of course, in that case, : pardon my inability to comprehend them. I will not return to the subject of Rev. I. 8. and Hebrew 1. 10., though the Editor recurs to them in this place.
As to his frequent repetition of such phrases as “ Jesus is Jehovah God”_" a tremendous being in his wrath” &c., I only say they are best calculated to work upon the minds of , those that are brought up in the notion of the trioity, but do not carry any weight with them, in an argument subject to the deci. sion of an enlightened public.
I asserted in my Second Appeal that Jea aus removed the doubt that arose with regard to the sense in which the unity should be
taken in John X. 30. ( I and my father are one,') by representing the unity so expressed to be such as he prayed might exist amongst his apo tles, which was of course the unity of will and design and not identity of being, as is evident from John XVII. 11. "That they be one as we are” and verse 22. "that they may be one even as we are one," on which the Editor makes the following remarks.
“The deciaration John XVII. 22. “that they be one even as we are one' was made at a time and to persons totally different from that in John X. 30. 'I and my father are one' the latter was made to the gainsaying Jews, and the former in prayer to his heavenly father; nor is there the least hiut given that any doubt had arisen among the disciples res. pecting the expression I and my father are one.' It astonishes me very much to meet with a new rule laid down by the Editor that no commentary upon, or explanation of a pas, save or phrase by the author of it can have any weight, if it is made or given at a subse. quent period in the course of a solemn pra. ver to God, or before a body of new hearers, without an express declaration of their doubts as' to the meaning of it. If this rule stand good, many commentaries and notes by au. thors, on their respective works, must cease to be of use, and the universally adopted rule, that passages of scriptures should be explain. ed by their reference to one another, must be annulled. In ch. X. 30. “I and my father are one.” Jesus declares unity to subsist between himself and God; and in ch. XVII. 11. and 22. by praying that “they (his disciples).may be one as he and the father are one" he explains that the unity between him and the father was of the same kind as that which he praved to be granted to his disciples; hence by the unity so , prayed for cannot be meant any thing else than unity of will and design. Altho' that unity may, not be of the same degree that subsisted be. tween him and the father, vet she force of the preposition “AS" shews that it is of the same. kind.
Jesus could not mean in praying for his apostles verse 11. an unity in nature among thrm, whence we might have inferred unity in nature between him and his God; since they were long before this prayer created in the one human nature: nor could he pray for a renewed spiritual nature to be given to them, (as the Editor thinks to be the case) because they were already endued with that spiritual union, as is evident from the passage
of the very chapter XVII. “ they have kept thy word,'-" and have known surely that I came out from thee and they have believed that thou didst send me,”-“they are not of the world even as I am not of the world," "the glory which thou gavest me I have given them.” Besides unity in spiritual natare is not the same . kind of unity which subsists between the individuals of one nature.
Supposing unity of nature existed between God and Jesus Christ (as the Editor believes) in the same manner as it is found in one begotten by a man or animal and his pa. rents, and that Jesus actually meant by the words “ my father” in verse 30. to affirm God to be his real father, would it not be quite idle in Jesus to have declared that he as a son was of the same nature with his father, instead of saying that he was a son entertaining the same will and design with his father, since the former circumstance is natural and obvious, but the latter is not al. ways found to exist, as we daily find among the children of men. Were the circumstance of one's calling God his father received as a proof of his being actually the son of God, and, of course, of his unity in nature with the Deity, we must consider David as a real son of God