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AN INQUIRY AFTER THE SUPPOSED SECOND PERSON
IN THE TRINITY, GOD THE SON.
The absence of the phrase "God the Son” from the Bible is strong evidence that there is no such person. For if there were, no reason can be assigned why he should not be mentioned as frequently as God the Father, or the Son of God. But as “ God the Son” is not so much as named in the Bible, I must conclude he is not known there, but is the creature of human creeds,
Jesus is called “the Son,” not a Son—"The only Son of God." He says, “Verily, I say unto you, The Son, of himself, can do nothing." Therefore, if there be not another Son, Almighty and Eternal, there is no “God the Son,” equal with the Father in eternity, power, and glory. It will not, I think, be pretended that there is any other
self do nothing."
The learned Trinitarian Commentator, Dr. Adam Clark, says, (Luke i. 35.) “ We may plainly perceive here, that the angel does not give the appellation of Son of God to the divine nature of Christ; but to that holy person or thing 10 aylov, which was to be born of the Virgin, by the energy of the Holy Spirit..... Here I trust I may be permitted to say, with all due respect to those who differ from me, that the
doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ, is, in my opinion, antiscriptural; and highly dangerous ; this doctrine I reject for the following reasons:
“1st. I have not been able to find any express declaration in the scriptures concerning it.
“ 2dly. If Christ be the Son of God as to his divine nature; then he cannot be eternal: for son implies a father ; and father implies the idea of generation ; and generation implies a time in which it was effected, and time also anteco dent to such generation.
“3dly. If Christ be the Son of God, as to his divine nature, then the Father is of necessity prior, consequently superior to him:
" 4thly. Again, if this divine nature were begotten of the Father, then it must be in lime ; i. e. there was a period in which it did not exist, and a period when it began to exist. This destroys the eternity of our blessed Lord, and robs him at once of his Godhead.
" 5thly. To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is in my opinion, absurd ; and the phrase eternal Son, is a positive self-contradiction. ETERNITY is that which has no beginning, nor stands in any reference to TIME. Son supposes time, generation, and Father: and time also antecedent to such generation. Therefore the conjunction of these two terms, Son and eternity, is absolutely impossible, as they imply essentially different and opposite ideas."
Professor Stewart is of the same opinion with Dr. Clark. He believes neither in eternal Son, nor eternal generation. He
says, "The generation of the Son of God as divine, as God, seems to be out of the question: unless it be an express doctrine of revelation : which is so far from being the case, that I conceive the contrary is plainly taught."*
*See Leonard on the Unity of God, p 99.
Dr. Watts also perceived the absurdity of “eternal Son." He
says I know no text which gives Christ, considered as God, the title 'the Son.' Son of God is the humanity of
Others † go with the ancient Christian Fathers, concern. ing whom Professor Stewart says, “They involved themselves in more than a Cretan labyrinth by undertaking to defend the eternal generation of the Son.'
The difference between these two opinions of the Son, is no less than infinite. According to the one, the Son of God is a finite being; according to the other, an eternal being.
The doctrine of “God the Son" contradicts the entire history of the miraculous works of Christ. According to the Trinitarian hypothesis, it was “God the Son,” (not God the Father) who took human nature, and became incare nate. “ God the Son” is the divine nature of Christ-that nature which constitutes his equality with the Father; by which he is able to do all that God can do; and by which he did accomplish supernatural works while on earth. All that Jesus ever did as God, he did as “ God the Son.” Such is the Trinitarian hypothesis. But it contradicts the history of all the mighty works Jesus ever performed. The Scriptures refer ALL the superhuman powers with which Christ was invested, to God the Father (not God the Son) as their original source. The man Christ Jesus never acknowledged the receipt of any favor from “God the Son" -he never prayed to him, or recognized him in any way whatever; but constantly asserted that he received all from the FATHER. Had Jesus been “God the Son" he would have needed no assistance from the Father. He would not have prayed to the Father. God never prays. But as
. See Leonard on the Unity of God, p 101. + See Robbios on the Trinity.
Jesus always prayed before performing a miracle, all his mighty works bear testimony that he was not “God the Son." The existence of “ God the Son,'' is either necessary, or it is not necessary. If necessary, there must be something for him to do. But God the Father Almighty, who made the worlds by his Son, and who has thus far accomplished the glorious work of redemption by him, can, unquestionably, complete it by the same Son. The Son can obtain from the Father all the wisdom, knowledge, and power, necessary for the accomplishment of every mediatorial work assigned to him. In all the mighty works which Christ performed while on carth, two agents appeared-one was the Almighty Father; the other was the Son, who of himself coull do nothing.
1 Cor. xv. 24, 28. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the FATHER..... Then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may
be all in all." Here we find the same dependent Son, delivering up the kingdom to God the Father (not God the Son)-himself being subject to the Father, that God may be all in all. As “God the Son” takes no part in the work of human redemption, so no honors seem to be in reserve for him; but in the final consummation of all things the glory will redound to God the Father. But if “ God the Son” never appears in the Scriptures; and if his existence is not necessary, there being nothing for him to do, he certainly does not exist.
HISTORICAL EVIDENCE THAT THE FIRST CHRIS
TIANS WERE NOT TRINITARIANS.
As the following testimonies are all from Trinitarian authors, they will not be suspected of an unfavorable bias against the Trinitarian doctrine.
The learned historian, Dr. Mosheim, gives the following account of the doctrines of the Christian church, as taught and maintained during the first two centuries.
“ The christian system, as it was hitherto taught, preserved its native and beautiful simplicity, and was comprehended in a small number of articles. The public teachers inculcated no other doctrines, than those that are contained in what is commonly called the Apostles Creed ; and in the method of illustrating them, all vain subtilties, all mysterious researches, every thing that was beyond the reach of common capacities, were carefully avoided. This will by no means appear surprising to those who consider, that, at this time there was not the least controversy about those capital doctrines of Christianity, which were afterwards so keenly debated in the church; and who reflect, that the bishops of these primitive times were, for the most part, plain and illiterate men, remarkable rather for their piety and zeal, than for their learning and eloquence."*
The Apostles Creed (20 called) has not a word about the Trinity. It is strictly Unitarian. It calls no person God,
*Eccl. History, vol. I. p. 180. Charlestown edit. 1&10.