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subverted; the Realists leave room for a Mediator in the Godhead, but they destroy the unity of God, who is one infinite Being; on the other hand, they who hold true to the divine unity, or one infinite Being under three modes, or properties, or relations, do, by plain consequence, leave no place for such a Mediator as they require, viz. one who is an infinite God, to be a mediator with the infinite God, when there is no other infinite Being but his own, and he cannot be thought to intercede with hiinself neither. So that to keep the Gospel faith whole and undefiled, it is necessary that we avoid both these rocks, by believing God and his Christ to be two beings, that so there may be room for one to mediate with the other; and that these two are not two equal or supreme beings, but one subordinate to the other, that so we may preserve the unity of the supreme God.
Let us then bethink ourselves seriously, not what the church in latter days has thought of Jesus Christ, but what his own Apostles, when inspired, have thought of him. Methinks none was more likely, or ever had a fairer occasion to represent his Lord in the height of his glory, than the Apostle Peter in the day of Pentecost; that day of triumph, with the newly and visibly inspired Apostles. Hear how magnificently he describes his glorious Lord Jesus before his murderers. “Ye men of Israel hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you.” Acts ii. 22. Again, “Let all the House of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts ii. 36. Now it is observable, the Apostle was aiming at such a description of Jesus Christ, as might strike the hearts of his murderers with the greatest horror of their crime ; and therefore could never omit the most emphatical branch of his description, viz. his infinite Deity, if he had really been such.
What a terrifying argument had that been to beget conviction 'in his persecutors beyond all the rest, to tell them, they had shed the blood of the infinite God himself? It is certainly all flat and low that St Peter says in comparison of this, viz. “ That he was a man approved of God.” Did he not understand, or would he betray his cause by such an omission ? And yet he only represents Christ as a God by inhabitation and exaltation, when he was far from being daunted with any fear to own Christ fully. Nay, if this deity of Christ were a fundamental article of the Christian faith, how comes it to pass, that when poor
convinced souls, in anguish for their crimes, seek direction how to be saved from them, the Apostle should not acquaint them with this article, but directs them to believe in this Jesus, such as he had described him? Acts ii. 37. Did he direct wounded souls to an insufficient Saviour, without telling them, he was the infinite God? Yet they are baptised and added to the church, and numbered among such as shall be saved. How can this be, if the supreme Godhead of Christ be a fundamental article of the Christian faith? So Acts x. 38. “ God was with him.” This was all.
The.Writers against the Unitarians unsay their own
Arguments against the Papists. To conclude, God and Christ, (or one anointed,) are two disparates, or different things, as much as Christ's body and bread are, and therefore cannot be predicated one of the other, in a proper sense, or without a figure, as all our writers against the Romish transubstantiation argue; and it is of equal force in the present case. To be anointed, imports to be raised by authority and honour conferred; it is in effect to say, the person is a creature, or inferior being; and therefore to say, that properly Christ is most high God, is to say, the inferior is supreme, and the man is God; which cannot be, otherwise than by a figure, as the bread is Christ's body, viz. by relation, &c. And truly if the business can be salved here, by making a personal union between God and Christ, I see not why the Papists may not set up such another union between Christ's body and the bread in the eucharist, and then they may stoutly defend that it is the body of Christ properly. But, indeed, nothing is
more obvious than the unsteadiness of many Protestant writers, when they write against the Papists and the Unitarians. How do they go backwards and forwards? And when they have triumphantly and fully beaten off the vain assaults and objections of the Papists, they take up their bafiled arguments, and urge them the same way, as others did against them, against the Unitarians; and what they have maintained against the former, as good argument, notwithstanding Romish evasions, these arguments they oppose, when the Unitarians turn them against themselves, in the point of the Trinity; and they betake themselves to like shists and evasions.
Thus let the Papists object to them the novelty of the Protestant religion, and ask them where was their religion and church before Luther? They think it a weak cavil, and can tell them their religion was in the Bible, and their church among the primitive christians, however it lay hid in the time of common apostacy; and yet to the Unitarians they can make the same objection. Where has any christian church, for so many ages, held that Christ was not God? Against the Papist they will prove, that the Fathers did not hold the elements to be Christ's real body and blood, because they oft call them the images thereof; but let the Unitarians argue that Christ is not the supreme God, because the Scripture styles him the image of God, and therefore not the God whose image only he is ; then the thing itself and its image must be the same
Against the Papist they can prove St Peter was inferior to the church, and the rest of the Apostles, (though not singly to each,) because he was sent up and down by them. This Baronius takes hold of, and tells them, by the same reason they must grant the Arians' argument to be good, viz. that the Father is greater than the Son, because the Son is sent by him. But let an Unitarian argue thus, and then, though the Father sends, and the Son be sent by him, yet they shall both be equal, and this shall make no difference.
Against the Papists they will boast, that they do not hoodwink the people in ignorance; but bid them inquire and examine, and the more the better, while it is ground of suspicion, that the Papists cheat men, by their keeping them from the light ; but now having to do with the Unitarians, they tack about, and bid beware of reading and disputing; they are for an implicit faith, without examining into deep mysteries; they bid us believe, not pry into them; though we only desire to examine whether the Scriptures do reveal any such mysteries at all; the rest we will believe, if we could see that, and desire no other liberty in interpreting Scripture, than they take so justly in interpreting Christ's words,“ This is my body.” Upon Protestant principles the Unitarians think they can stand their ground, and defend themselves in these
* Euseb, cont. Marcel. p. 25.