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ning of the first epistle; God our Father, and the God and Father of us, and of our Lord Jesus Christ.' And chap. ii. 16, 'God the Father.'
1 Tim. i. 2, Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father of us, and of our Lord Jesus Christ.'
2 Tim. i. 2, St. Paul repeats the same salutation in the same words (as it is read in some copies), and this reading is conformable to the like words used in many other places in St. Paul's epistles.
Titus i. 4, • Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father.'
Philem. ver. 3, Grace and peace from God the Father of us, and of our Lord Jesus Christ.' And St. Paul immediately adds to this his wish or prayer: ' I thank my God' (that is, the God and Father of us, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom only, St. Paul himself worshipped, and taught all, in every place, so to do). See the texts under the title of worship.
Oecumenius leads in his New Testament thus, • James the servant of God the Father, Jam. i. 1.
St. James says, “Pure and uncorrupted religion with God the Father is this,' &c. ver. 7.
• We bless God the Father,' ch. iii. 9, that is, we Christians own God the Father to be our God; and bless, that is, worship him alone.
St. Peter speaks of God in the very same style or words, the foreknowledge of God the Father, 1 Pet. j. 2. Again, ver. 3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.'
St. Peter in his second, epistle useth the same style, for speaking in chap. i. ver. 16, 17, of the power and appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ, he adds, that he (that is, Jesus Christ) . had received honour and glory from God the Father, when a voice from the excellent glory of God said, This is my beloved Son.'
St. John useth a like salutation with St. Paul, in these words, Grace, mercy and peace, be with you from God the Father.' 2 John ver. 3.
St. Jude, in the first verse of his short epistle, useth the like style with the three foregoing apostles, speaking of the Christians who were sanctified by God the Father.
St. John in his Revelation, chap. is ver. 6, useth the same style, saying, that Jesus Christ. hath made us kings, &c. to God and his Father, or rather to his own God and Father, which is more according to the original.
N. B. ). It is very remarkable, and deserves a higher and stricter attention, than hath been given by these last degenerate ages, that St. Paul, St. James, St. Peter, St. John, and St. Jude, have in the foregoing passages carefully observed an uniform style in speaking of and worshipping God. God the Father is the current and frequent form made use of by these five sacred writers; and particularly in the salutations addressed to the Christian converts of the apostolic age.
2. It is evident that the apostles who writ, and they who were written to, were very well acquainted with this form of words; the God and Father,' &c. as being the familiar and ordinary terms they used in speaking and writing in the apostolic age. 3. And it is most certain, that these forms of speak
God the Son,' and God the Holy Ghost,' are never used by the four evangelists, or the other sacred writers, in any one place or passage throughout the New Testament; and yet these unscriptural, these antiscriptural forms are very familiar, and in common use, in the writings and worship of the Athanasian heretics, and apostate tritheists of these most corrupting and corrupted later ages!
4. It is also most observable that although in the great apostacy of the Christian churches from some of the doctrines of Jesus Christ, and his apostles, many and warm disputes have risen, and still continue in most parts of Christendom, about the nature,
&c. of the Son and Holy Ghost : yet it hath never been questioned, but in all times, and among
all parties of Christians, it hath been constantly held and maintained, that the Father is God.' This great truth hath ever stood firm and unquestioned among all the trinitarian and tritheistic sophisters. And if the Father be God, he must be all-sufficient, and possessed of all perfections; yet the most perfect, and all-sufficient Father, is not God enough in their creeds; but they want, and acknowledge two more, to complete their antiscriptural, tritheistic doxology:
Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost,' &c.
Although the citations from Scripture, and sentiments of the author in this chapter, are much to the same purpose with what is mentioned in the foregoing chapter, yet the Christian reader, I hope, will excuse what may be accounted a tautology in a matter of so high importance; it being the first and fundamental principle of the whole Christian religion.
By these words, God the Father,' being always used by the sacred writers in apposition (as the grammarians speak), it is evident and most certain, that according to the custom of all known languages, the word father is a term applied to the word God, to denote and define expressly who was their God. And they having never once used these words, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost,'-(in apposition) certainly demonstrates, that they had not from Christ and his apostles any authority to use in their writings such style or language to their disciples or readers. And all judicious persons will soon acknowledge, that no such words as God the Son,' were ever used of or to Christ, during his whole public ministry in Judea, by any of his apostles, disciples, or fol. lowers. When their zeal warmed them into the highest and loudest acclamations, those amounted no higher than, ‘Hosanna to the son of David, Blessed be he (we wish success to him) who cometh in the name of the Lord,' (Jehovah); that is, who cometh as God's prophet or messenger.
This very remarkable passage is recorded by all
the four evangelists, who say, that "a multitude, a very great multitude, followed Jesus;' and that the whole city of Jerusalem was moved,' and inquired, who he, Jesus, was, whom the multitude attended with such loud acclamations? And the multitude told the inquirers, ' It was Jesus the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee. Mat. xxi. 9, 10, 11. Mark xi. 9, 10. Luke xix. 38. John xii. 13.
N. B. That this great multitude who followed Christ were his disciples; that most of these disciples had been so from the beginning of his first public appearance in the three years and half of his ministry; that this multitude, and the other multitudes who attended him at his two miraculous entertainments of them, and the people who were healed, and the spectators too, all gave glory, not to Christ but to God, the only author and efficient of the miracle, &c.
It inust then be a most reasonable conclusion that these disciples who had the highest esteem for their master Jesus Christ, most certainly gave him, on this occasion, the highest character they ever heard and knew belonging to him, and that, if they had ever heard him called God the Son, or ever named, or mentioned by any of the appropriate characters of God, the multitude in this their rapture and joyful acclamation, would certainly have proclaimed him in the highest character, and not only as a prophet of Nazareth in Galilee. Does this language come up to the high notions and veneration of the present age?
The Ebionites, i. e, the people of Judea, who embraced the Christian religion, and who many of tbem, had heard Christ preach, and were personally acquainted with him and his apostles, had disciples or descendants from them, wlio lived in all parts of Judea and'Galilee. Their congregations were taken notice of by St. Austin himself in his time. These original Ebionites, I say, must certainly be supposed to have been perfectly well acquainted with the birth and parentage, life and doctrine, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of their master Jesus Christ. No person or persons of any foreign country could possibly be so well informed and thoroughly acquainted with the place of Christ's birth, his parents and other relations as the original Ebionites were, natives of Judea, and many of them near neighbours of Joseph and Mary, whom our present copies mention as his supposed parents. Let then all mankind judge whether any person so publicly known through all Judea and Galilee, and the capital Jerusalem; and appearing and preaching, and worshipping in the synagogues and temple on the most solemn festivals; I say, let all mankind be judges who could possibly so well know and truly judge of the person and characters of Jesus Christ as all his countrymen who were born and bred, lived and conversed with him, attended him during his whole public ministry, became his disciples, his most intimate friends and followers; whether such persons who had such opportunities of knowing Christ, which all the rest of the world could not have, could possibly be mistaken in their notions and judgment of the person and doctrine of Jesus Christ!'yet these very persons never once ascribed to him one divine character; but the highest they give him in our present copies in their highest transport of joy, is, that he was the prophet that came from Nazareth in Galilee.
As these terms, God the Father, are so often and constantly found and used in the sacred writings of the New Testament, it cannot be doubted, but the holy apostles ever used the same language among their disciples in whatever country or nation they preached the Christian religion. And the author is of opinion, that the same style may still be found in the genuine writings of the earliest ages, that are now extant; and the author earnestly requests, that some person of great candour and learning would examine and collect the several passages which express the sense of those writers; which he is persuaded will be found uniform, and in the very same terms, when speaking