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The difficulty here has appeared to be so very great, that various means have been pursued in order to move it.
On the one part, it has been boldly affirmed by some, that the term eos is never directly applied to Jesus CHRIST; and by others of the same party, but with less confidence, that, when it is so applied, it is not in that sense in which it is applied to the Father.
On the other part, it has been urged, that the term Otoç is certainly and directly applied to Jesus Christ, and that he, therefore, is what Osos figni
fies; and that the subordination, delegation, commission, &c. under which he is said to act, is only spoken of him as he is man, but never as he is God and Man.
Are not both these parties liable to be objected to, as pursuing a wrong mode of removing the difficulty? The former, in order to remove it, denies the Divinity; the latter denies, or explains away, the subordination; but the New Testament affirms both the Divinity and the subordination. The matter, therefore, to be enquired into is, Can these, according to the doctrine of the New Testament, be compatible with each other? Denying, or explaining away
either the one or other is not removing the difficulty or answering the question. The question can only be answered by shewing how the Divinity and the subordination, which are affirmed in the New Testament, are compatible with each other.
If what I have suggested in the fol"lowing pages concerning the filiation is admissible, I think the question is effectually answered; and the Divinity and the subordination will appear not only to be compatible with each other, but necessary and unavoidable. But I dare not assert, till it has undergone farther examination, that the suggestion is liable to no objection. It may, al
though though at present I do not perceive them, be liable to insuperable objections; and, in that case, I have only to wish, that good and learned men would apply their thoughts to the consideration of this important question, to the intent, that it may be answered fo ás to be liable to no objection.
One objection, doubtless, will be made to what I have suggested, and a very serious one it is : That, if admita ted, it will tend to make a variation in a creed, which is supported by the venerable sanction of a numerous series of ages, and, of course, to disturb and unfettle the minds of many good men on the fubject of their faith.
To this perhaps it may be answered, that, even admitting the truth of my suggestion, there will be no occasion for expunging any article in the received creed. The article, “ Begotten of his • Father before all worlds,” may still remain, if interpreted in a sense which it may
Eternity is an idea that is necessarily annexed to all the actions of the Eternal Being; and, therefore, in the Eternal Mind, it may most truly be said of our LORD, that he was begotten of the Father before all worlds; consequently, if interpreted in this sense, in which only sense the article seems to be true,