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iv. ver. 10: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." And from the circumstance of his rebuking the man who called him "good master," on the ground that the term "good" should be peculiarly applied to God alone, (Matt. ch. xix. ver. 17,) we necessarily conclude that Jesus accepted worship only as a mark of human respect and acknowledgment of gratitude. Let us moreover ascertain from the context, the sentiments which the blind man, the leper, the mariners, and the disciples of Jesus, entertained of his nature; and we can no longer hesitate to believe, that they meant by the worship they offered, only the manifestation of their reverence for him as a superior, indeed, yet still as a created being. The question is, Did those that offered worship to Jesus evince that they believed him to be God, or one of the three persons of the Godhead, and equal to God? Nothing of the kind-the blind man, after his cure, spoke of Jesus as a prophet, and a righteous man, and believed him when he said he was the Son of God. John, ch. ix. ver. 31: "Now we know" (says the blind man,) "that God heareth not sinners but if any man be a worshiper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth." Ver. 23: "If this man were not of God, he could do nothing." And in answer to the question of Jesus, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" he answers, "Lord, I believe. And he worshiped him," ver. 38. The unclean spirit which is said in Mark to have worshiped Jesus, "cried with a loud voice and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the
most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not." Mark, ch. v. ver. 7. This adjuration would have been absurd if Jesus were himself addressed as God; and clearly shews, that the worship offered was to deprecate the power of a being whose nature was subordinate to that of God, by whose name he was adjured. The leper, too, glorified God, while to Jesus he gave only thanks for being the instrument of his cure. Luke, ch. xvii. vers. 15, 16: "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks." The mariners who worshiped Jesus declared at the same instant, "Of a truth thou art the Son of God." Matthew, ch. xiv. ver. 33: The woman of Canaan, who is also stated in Matthew, ch. xv. ver. 25, to have worshiped Jesus, addressed him, ver. 22, as "the son of David," by which term she certainly would not have designated a being whom she worshiped as God. Peter, the most celebrated of his disciples, shewed his faith in acknowledging Jesus merely as the Christ, or in other words with the same exact sense, the anointed of God-which is certainly far from implying "very God." Mark, ch. viii. ver. 29. Even after the crucifixion we find the disciples conversing of Jesus only as "a prophet, mighty in deed and in word before God and all the people." Luke, ch. xxiv. ver. 19. It was Jesus himself risen from the dead whom they addressed, yet throughout the remainder of the chapter, which concludes with the account of his being carried up to heaven, they are only further
taught that this prophet was the promised Messiah, but by no means that it was their duty to worship him as God. Peter, in the name of all the disciples, declares, John, ch. vi. ver. 60, "We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." And, as already observed, the disciple John declares, that the object of the gospel is," that it may be believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God." John, ch. xx. ver. 31. When the leper prayed to Jesus for cure, he addressed him only with the term Kupiòs (Matthew, ch. viii. ver. 2,) which in Greek is used as synonomous to Lord or Master, and often applied to superior persons.
Every Christian is morally bound to evince obedience to the commandments of Jesus, and exert himself to follow his example. It behoves us, therefore, to ascertain, what his commandments are with regard to the object of sacred worship and prayer, and in what manner he himself performed those solemn religious duties. The very act of prayer, indeed, implies an acknowledgment of inferiority to the being adored; but though Trinitarians affirm that such devotion was paid by Jesus only in his human capacity, his form of prayer ought still to be sufficient to guide human creatures as to the Being to whom their prayers should be addressed. Let us examine, therefore, whether Jesus in his acknowledged human capacity ever offered worship or prayer to what Trinitarians term the second or third person of the Godhead, or once directed his followers to worship or pray to either of them. But so far from finding a single direction of the kind, we observe on the con
trary, that Jesus strictly enjoins us to worship the Father alone in that form of prayer which he offered for our guidance. Matthew, ch. vi. ver. 9: "After this manner therefore pray ye, Our Father which art in heaven," &c. Pray to thy Father which is in secret and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." In the same way, when the Saviour himself prays, he addresses the Father alone. Matthew, ch. xxvi. ver. 53: "Thinkest thou," says Jesus to Peter, "that I cannot now pray to my Father?" John, ch. xvi. ver. 26: "I will pray the Father for you." Luke, ch. xxii. ver. 41, 42: "And he (the Saviour), was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me." Mark, ch. xiv. vers. 35, 36: "And fell on the ground, and prayed, that if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee." Luke, ch. vi. ver. 12: "He went out unto a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." Luke, ch. x. ver. 21: "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth." John, ch. xi. ver. 41: "And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me." Matthew, ch. xxvii. ver. 46: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" John, ch. iv. ver. 22: "Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship." No creed drawn up by men, nor opinion entertained by any sect, can by an unbiassed searcher after the true doctrines of Christianity, be suffered to set aside
the express authority and constant example of the gracious author of this religion.
The last position is, that Jesus associated his own name with that of God in the rite of baptism, intended to remain in force to the end of the world, and ordained by the passage, Matthew, ch. xxviii. ver. 19, "Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." A profession of belief in God is unquestionably common to all the religions supposed to have been founded upon the authority of the Old Testament; but each is distinguished from the other by a public profession of faith in their respective founders, expressing such profession in a language that may clearly exhibit the inferior nature of those founders to the Divine Being of whom they declare themselves the messengers. This system has been carried on from the first, and was no doubt intended to serve as a perpetual distinguishing mark of faith. The Jews claim that they have revelation, rendering a belief not in God alone, but in Moses also, incumbent upon them. Exodus, ch. xiv. ver. 31: "The people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses." But the term "his servant Moses," in this passage, suffices to prove the subordination of Moses, though declared, equally with God, to be an object of their belief. In like manner Mohummudans, in the first acknowledgment of that system of religion, are directed to profess faith in God, and also in Mohummud, his messen
لا اله الا الله متحد رسول الله : ger, in the following form
"There is no God except the true God, Mohummud