David Millar.

Useful and important answers freely given, to use and important questions, concerning Jesus the Son of God, freely propos'd : or, a vindication of the co-essential sonship of the second person of the online

. (page 1 of 37)
Online LibraryDavid MillarUseful and important answers freely given, to use and important questions, concerning Jesus the Son of God, freely propos'd : or, a vindication of the co-essential sonship of the second person of the → online text (page 1 of 37)
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Theological Seminary,


Case, ^^Sr^S-rrr.. P'vi'

Shelf, I (0 1 ^. SecLi .




Ufeful and Important ^^




Ufeful and Important




Freely propos'd:
o R,
A Vindication of the (tQ t^tVAllnX
^Oll(l)fp of the Second Person
in theXrim'tp;

With ai Answer to

The learned R o e l, Dr. R i d g l e y,
Dr. Anderson, &^c.

Unto us a Son is given • and his Name Jhall

be called," the Mighty God, &'c If. ix. 6.

Thou art Christ the Son of the living God.

/ fay unto thee. Upon this Rock 1 will build my

Church: &c. Mat. xvi. \6 — 18.
I AND THE Father are ONE. Jo. x. •^o.
Search the Scriptures. Jo. y- S9'
Bf^D'AV IIT M I L L A R, aTm!


Printed for the Author, and fold byF. Hett, at the
Bi/'le and Crown in the Pou/i'jy and J. Ward, at the
King^s-Arms in Cornhill, 1751-

Price Four SbilHngs, ftitclied in blue Paper.


^ Princeton, N. J.

' From the Rev. W. B. SPRAGUE, D.D. Sept. 1839.


y O" \

Jo^/i Winter^ Efq;

Of Dartmouth-Street^
Weftminfter ;


Useful and Important A.nswers^


Vindication of that
Fundamental Article ^ The

Co*ecrenti'ai ^tiOnpofc^i?/^?;

Are mod humbly dedicated^
By his much obliged,

and mojl obedient Servant,

David Millar*




^hought^ in a long Intro du^ion-i
to have given Jome Account^ of my
Concern in this Controverfy ;
how I came to undertake this
Work ; of a Conference / hadj
fever ail ears ago, with the learned
and worthy Author with whom
I have now to do ; why I have
con/idered what the learned Roel, Dr. Ridgley and
Dr. Anderfon have advanced againfi the proper, and
coeflfential Sonfhip of the fecond Perfon in the
Trinity ; and of the woful 'Tendency^ and unavoidable
Danger of Error : But the following Difcourfe is
fwohi to fuch a Bulk, that I can only, at -prefent, give
thefe few fhort Hinis.

The very firji Time I hear^d that thefe Ufeful and
Important Queftions were publifhed, 1 prefently faid
to the Minijiers who told it me. That, if the Lord
fpared me my Life, I would, with his AJJifiance,
anfwer them •, which I the rather then did, that I
might, if pojfible, prevent the other Difcourfe, con-
cerning the Pre-exiftence of Chrift's human Soul, i^c.
which, they told me, the Author had promifed: And
therefore, being, from the Conference 1 had with
him, &c. not wholly unprepared, 1 fet immediately
about it.


/ had fame Reafon to think, that my Refolution
foon came to his Ears ; and that it hajlen'd the Pub-
lication of the other : But, before it came from the
Prefs, I had provided Materials, formed my Plan,
and digefied my Method. And, refohing not to be
moved from it, I have not, to this Day, feen that
Difccurfe with my Eyes ; nor have I, thefe twenty
Tears, read fo much as one Line of Mr. Fleming's
Chriftology, from which, I hear and believe, our
ivortfjy Author has borrowed many of the -principal
things in his fecond Book.

My Anfwers were almofi ready, above three Tears
and a Half ago. — / had written them, as in a
Letter to himfelf ; and, from what had pad betwixt
us., taken the Liberty to explain, and confute, feveral
things of Moment, of which he has given us, in the
Book, 1 am now to anfwer, only fome remote Hints^
or fome very dark, or general and ambiguous Ex-
prejfwns ; not to fay feveral others, of which I cannot
here find one Syllable.

When I was ready for the Prefs, hearing of his ill
State of Health, &c. the very great Efteem 1 had for
him, and the Jincere Love I bore to him, gave me a
very fenfible Pain, left my Anfwer fhould difcompofe
or add any Uneafinefs to him, in that Condition —
In thefe Circumjlances, being in a Strait, whether to
publifh my Anfwers then, or delay them, at leafi, till
we might fee whether he fhould recover, I advifed with
feveral Miniflers and others, and with one of the
Deacons of the Church of which he was the Pajlor^
:'* And this, I per-
fuade myfelf, it will, with all judicious and impartial
Readers, do effedtually.

/ hear from fever al Hands, 1 am to have " more
" Queftions to anfwer^^ &cc. — / hope they do not
think, That fending me more Qiieftions, will be a
defending /i&^y"l^/;z^j, / have more than fuperabundantly
confuted : And may therefore, I humbly conceive,
expe^, they will anfwer me firfl. — However, If they
fend me any, I hope they will be to our prefent Pur-
pofe : And if, through the Grace of God, / can
anfwer them, 1 affure them that, with his Help, /
will; but, if I cannot, I fba II freely own, /cannot,
which is more, I verily think, than they will do, when
they cannot anfwer me.

Thd* I have not, at large and of Purpofe, con-
fidered and anfwer ed all our learned Authors Notions,
about Chrifl's pre-exiftent human Soul, / have not
wholly paft them all. — Some of them are of much
greater Moment, and confec^uently, of much more dan-


gerous Confequence ; (fuch as, " That his human
" Soul is properly the Son of God, and therefore, That
*' he is not as God, properly, the Son of God ; &c^*)
and thefe, I hope, I have fuper abundantly confuted :
The others, I have almojl altogether waved. — If my
Friends think, that a more full and particular Con^
fideration of them is neceflary, I fhall, with the Help
c/God, he ready to gratify them \ being well fatisfied,
that what Mr. Fleming has faid, may, fo far as I can
underfiand him, be eafily and fully anfwered. — And
yet, I humbly conceive. That fingle Point, Whether
Chrift's human Soul exijied before his Conception ?
or rather, ever fince the Creation of Adam ? (for,
I cannot fee any Reafon for fuppofing, that it was
created before the World was,) may remain a Pro-
blematical Queftion : And that ferious Chrijlians
may be of different Minds about it, without much

Should any think it worth their while to anfwer mey
Idefire no Quarter. Let them treat me with the fame
honeft Freedom, they deftre to be treated : — Let
them produce Scripture Texts, inflead of human
Authorities ; and good Reafons inflead of Suppo-
fitions : — Let them not beg the Queftion which they
Jhould prove, fliift any thing they fhould anfwer,
fly off when they fhould come up to the Point, or
wriggle and quibble when they have nothing to fay :
— And let them remember. That the Sub] eft is not only
Sacred, but vejy awful and of the lafi Importance ;
and therefore, treat it with all becoming Decency and
Sexioufnefs, and I am pleafed ; and fo far from being
uneafy, that I fid all heartily thank them. — If they
a5i this Part, the Queftion betwixt us, may be brought
to a ftiort Ifllie -, and then the Danger of erring
■ about ity may very eafdy he difcerned.




Freely given, to


Some Thoughts on the

TH E IntroduBion having feveral Things
in it NeWy and Strange, and which feem to
have been advanced as a Sort of Foun-
dation, for the following Swper-firuSlure ;
we Ihall not think it Labour lofi, to give the
Reader every Word of it, p. i — 5. with fome very
necelTary, but Ihort, Remarks upon the whole.

" 'Tis of fome Importance in the Dodrines of
" the Gofpel, andefpecially in the great Article of the
" blefled 'Trinity, to know the Meaning of the
" Name Son of God, which is fo often given to
" our Lord Jefus Chrifi in the New Teftament :
" for hereby we fhall be better able to underftand
" the chief Import and Defign of thofe Places of
" Scripture." — To all this, we heartily agree :
And add, ^Tis not only of fome, but of wry great

B Im-

Importance, m all the principal Do^rines of the Goi-
pel ; and efpecially that great, and mcji Fundamental,
Article of the moft Holy and Undivided Trinity ;
to know the true, i. e. the whole Meaning of the
Name Son of God, when given 'to the Lord
Jefus Chrift, in the Scriptures : Becaufe, without it,
we fhall hardly, if at all, be able to underftand the
fi^/i?/" Import and Defign, of any one, of all thole
Paffages wherein he is fo filled.

" But here I defire my Reader to obferve, that
" I am not enquiring into the higheft and mofb
*' fublime Senfe of which 'tis poffible that our
" Lord himfelf might have the Idea when he ufed
" that Word ;" * He cannot, it feems, deny.
That this Title may poffibly have a higher and
more fublime Senfe, then he intends to take it
in, nor that our Lord himfelf might poffibly have
that Idea, when he ufed it : And we fliall fee pre-
fently. That the Jews, as foon as they heard him
ufe it, or Words of the fame Signification, readily
took them in the higheft Senfe they could poffibly
bear ; whence, I conceive, 'tis undeniable that they
well knew that Senfe, that it was familiar to them,
and common amongft them, and the Senfe of that
Title then generally received. — " but what is the
" Senfe that Chrifi or the Apoftles and Writers of
" the New Teftament more diredlly defigned to
" convey to thofe who heard them;" Anf i.
Chrifi, undoubtedly, defigned to convey the true
Senfe of it, to his Hearers : For, furely, he did not
defign, to amufe them, nor puzzle them, and much
lefs to impofe upon them. — Wherefore 2. When
the Jews took it, in the higheft and moft fublime
Senfe, it could poffibly bear, Jo. v. 1 7. 1 8. if it was not

* JV. 5. The worthy Author, almoft everywhere, calls thefe
three Words, Son of God, the Name, or the Word, neither of
which are, I humbly conceive, proper. I therefore every
where call them, the or this Title.


f 3 ]

the true Senfe, He would, moft certainly have, one
Way or another, told them fo : And, if it was notthc
very Senle, " which he more diredly defigned to
" convey to them,'* He would furely, yea he
ought to, have reSiified this Miftake^ fet them right
in a Matter of fuch Moment^ and told them plainly
" the Senfe he more diredly defigned." And — 3.
The fame we fay of " the Apoftles, and Writers of
" the New Teftament." They would, they fliould,
have acquainted thofe, to whom they preachedj or
wrote, with the true Senfe of this I'itky which
they " more direftly defigned to convey to them,"
whether it was the higheft and moft fublime Senfe
it could have or not : And, if they perceived (as
they could not but perceive) them in Danger of
taking it, in a higher Senfe than they defigned tliey
fhould ; they ought, plainly and freely, to have
warned them of that Banger. " and in what Senfe
" the People generally did and could underftand
" this Name." Anf. The People, generally, fo far
as appears, both could, and did, underftand it in
a Senfe far, if I may not fay quite, different from
that which this Author gives it: And neither
did, nor could, upon his own Principles, under-
ftand it in his Senfe, as we fhall Hemonjirate by
and by.

" 'Tis evident from feveral Exprefllons of Chriji,
" that he well knew that his own Words fome-
" times carried in them a much nobler and fublimer
" Signification, than barely that which he defigned to
" convey to the yezvs, or even to his own Difciples
" at that Time :" Anf. One would not have ex-
pefted thefe ftrange, thefe unguarded Words, from
our worthy Author •, and much lefs, at the Begin-
ning, and with fo very much AITurance, as to fay,
" 'Tis evident." — However, How does he fupport
this evident Propofition, which has fo very harjh a
Sound .? Or, fince, 'tis plain, it is not felf-evident,

B 2 How


How does he, How can he, prove it ? Why, the
only Two, I do not know what to call them.
Proofs^ or Injiances, he gives of this, are both very
ynlucky for him : As, indeed, are moft by far of
all that follow. — " As when he fays to the JewSy
Before Abraham was I am.^ Jo. viii. 58." And yet,
whatever he deftgned, the Jews^ to whom he fpoke
them, prefently took them, as " carrying in them
" their moft noble and fiiblime Signification," and
the Words themfelves feem plainly, yea neceflarily,
to have led them to it. They are not, Before
Abraham ivasy I was: (which, had he not " i^j-^f^
" to have conveyed to them a much higher, if not
** an infinitely more fublime Idea^^ would have
been a clear, and very fufficient Anfwer to their
Obje(5lion, or Queftion, Ver. 57. 'Thou art not yet
fifty Tears old^ and hafi thou feen Abraham .?) But,
£)/co £i/At, I am^ i. e. Whether you believe or no,
I am, as I told you before, Jo. 5. 17. 18, the Son of
God, vAio does whatfoever he does, 8zc. and, as fuch,
have a neceffarily exijiing and unchangeable Being, as
God •, not the Father, but the Son, who was
always in Him, of Him, and with Him. Verfes 18.
29. 38. 42. 49, &c. That the Jews took them,
in this Senfe, or as implying it, is undeniable from
the very next Words, Ver. 59. Then took they up
Stones to caji at him, as a Blafphemer, for aflliming
to himfelf Eternity, Neceffary-Exijience, and Immu-
tability : Or fpeaking oi himfelf, in fuch Strains,
as no one, who is not, indeed, the one true God,
can, or fhould do. — " And fo when he fays to his
'* Difciples, Jo. xiv. jo. I am in the Father, and
" the Father in me, they could not know that glo-
♦' rious and fublime Relation of Chrift to the Father,
*^ and his intimate Onenefs with the Father, which
" he himfelf was perfeftly acquainted with." Anf. i.
Suppofing this, What then ? Will it, can it, follow,
•' that he did not deftgn to convey to the Difciples,"


[ 5]
(the only Perfons prefent when he fald thofe Words,)
the Knowledge " of that glorious and fublime Re-
" lation, and his intimate Onenefs with the Father ;'*
which was the Thing to be proved ? — By no Means.
— The direft contrary feems rather manifeft. —
What need was there to talk to them in fuch Strains ;
or, what good End could it have anfwer'd ; if it
was not to inform them of what, upon this Sup-
pofition, they were ignorant^ and teach them what
was mofi: neceffary for them to know ? — But, 2.
How does it appear, " That they could not know
" thefe." *' The moft glorious and fublime Re-
*' lation of Chrifi to the Father" and as fuch, was.
That he was his own, proper, begotten, only begotten^
Son: And could they not know this, when they
had heard their ever bleffed Lord declare it, with
the greatell Solemnity-, and in the plained and
moft fignificant Words, openly proclam it, over

and over? Jo. iii. 16 18. ch. v. 17 -26. And

had themfelves alfo publickly profeit it, again and
again; Mat. xvi. 15 — 18. Jo. vi. 69, &c. and
that with the moil gracious Acceptance, and kindeft
Approbation, of their truely Divine Majter ? — And
could they not " know liis intimate Onenefs with
" the Father," when they had heard himfelf fo
ftrongly, fo emphatically, affert, Jo. x. 30. / and
the Father 'iv itr/Afv, are one Thing ; i. e. not one
Perfon -, for a Father and a Son are, moft certainly.
Two Perfons •, but, one EJfence, Subflance or Nature ?
Why, if they could not. It was not, becaufe he
did not " dejign to convey to them " the nobleft
" and fublimeft Signification of the Words :'*
Becaufe, i. This " intimate Onenefs'* is not
revealed any where in Scripture, more clearly,
expreQy, fully and ftrongly, than in this very Text ;
and in that, i Jo. v. 7. which feems, thus far,
plainly parallel to it: And confequently, if he
defigned to reveal to them this " intimate Onenefs,'*



any where in Scripture, one would think, it muft
have been in thefe. — 2. This Propofition, I and
the Father are one Thing, (t'v la/Afy) which muft
be farther explained and vindicated hereafter, if
we more carefully confider the Context, and re-
member the Occafion and other Circumftances, and
take a nearer View of the Words themfelves, hath,
I humbly conceive, but one Signification ; and can
admit no other, neither higher nor lower. — To
confirm this, 3. The Senies which the various
Seds of Ayititrinitarians^ would force upon it,
feem, to me, ungrammatical, ftrained, and very
contrary to all the Circumftances of the Paffage,
many other clear Texts, and to the emphatic
Words themfelves ; not to add, would hardly leave
them any tolerable Senfe at all. And therefore, 4.
The Jews^ readily, and very naturally, took them
in that^ which feems really their true^ yea their only
Senfe: And hence took up Stones again to ft one him^
Ver. 31. — They could not, it may be faid, " be fo
" perfedly acquainted with that Onenefs, as him-
" felf was." We acknowledge it : But, neither
could, nor can, the higheft Angels in Heaven, to
all Eternity. — Be it therefore ftill remembred,

N. B. I . That, how intimate foever this One-
nefs is, it is neither deftru^ive of, nor any way
inconjtftent with, the Diftin5iion of Perfons in the
Godhead : Or, the blefied Three are, notwithftand-
ing " this moft intimate Onenefs" Three true
diftin5i Perfons.

2. That the Father, and He only, always and
neceflarily, was^ is, and //// will be, the Father ;
and the Son, and he only, always and necejfarilyy
was, is, and ever will be, the Son. And,

3. That, tho' they are the one God, and there-
fore each of them the true God ; yet, as the Father
is not the Son, fo the Son is not the Father, or any
mere Attribute, or Perfe^ion, of the Father, as



our learned Author feems to have hinted he is, in
many more Places than one.

What then fhall we fay to this odd, this ftrange
Aflertion, which is here laid down as a Pojlulatuniy
i. e. a Truth to which he may demand our AJfsnty
and which we mull gra7it to be true^ without any
the leaft Proofs or any Authority, but his own ? •—
Does it not, to fay the leall, appear very injurious
to our ever blefied Saviour ; and a heavy Impeach-
ment both of his JVifdcm and Goodnefs : That He,
who was anointed to preach the Gofpel to the Pcor^
Mat. xi. 5. and to Babes, Ver. ir,. Luke iv. 18. &c.
/. e. the unlearned, the ignorant, and Perfons of
weak Capacities, ^c. fhould fo frequently, and
familiarly, ufe Words and Expreflions, of the
higheft Moment, which he well knew " carried in
" them a much nobler and fublimer Signification,
" than barely that which he defigned to convey to
" them ;" and when he faw that many, if not all
of them, took them, contrary to his Intention, as
defigned to convey to them the fublimeft Significa-
tion they could pofTibly have, did not, plainly and
exprefly, inform them of their Error, and deliver
them, from the great Riik they run, by continuing
in it ? — What Caufe was there for fuch ExprefTions ?
What Good could they do? Would not other
Phrafes have done as well •, and fuited the Capacities
of his Hearers, and anfwered his own Chara^er,
much better ? — Thofe who teach Babes, or the
Young, the Ignorant and weak, &c. are wont to
fpeak to them in their own Way •, chufe the eafiefV,
and plainefl Words, fuch as they are befl acquainted
with, and can bell underftand ; and are fo far
from being fond of ExprefTions which are above
them, or like to be miflaken by them, that, if they
muft ufe any fuch, they are always careful, one
Way or another, in lefs or more, to make them fo



plain, and bring them fo low down to their Ca-
pacities, that their Scholars may not miftake them,
but receive them in that Senfe, which they diredtly
defign to convey to them ; and efpecially if their all
is at Stake : And, as foon as they perceive they
have miftaken them, they ftudioully endeavour to fet
them right \ and ceafe not, upon all proper Oc-
cafions, to keep them fo. — This was expedled
from the Meffiah, as is clear from the fecond
Article of the Woman of Samaria's Creed, When
the Mejfmh is come^ he will tell us all 'Things. Jo. iv.
25. — This, He who knew how to fpeak a Word in
Seafon to him that is weary^ If. 1. 4. could have
done mod fweetly, eafily, and effedually. — But,
upon this Suppofition, it feems he did not, yea,
would not ; even in Points of fuch vaft Importance !
Suffer me then to afk. Were there no other
Expreflions, in which he could have conveyed the
Senfe he intended ? Or, if there were not. Would
he not have plainly told them, fome way or other,
by fome Periphrajis, or Similitude^ &c. the Senfe in
which he would have them to take them, and fo pre-
vented their taking them in another ? — Or, if in
his Wifdom, he did not then think it proper, " to
" convey to them the Signification which he barely
" defigned," in exprefs and plain Terms, which
they could not miftake : Would he not, (fince he
knew they took thefe and other his own Words,
in a Senfe which he did not defign,) at leaft have
kindly told them fo •, and that the Senfe which they
put upon his Words, was not the Senfe he defigned
to convey to them ? — Or, was there, is there, any
Danger, in taking them in their " much nobler

*' and fublimer Signification ^ &c." But, This

Pojlulatum then, we cannot grant, hecauje of the
Fear of God. Neh. v. 15. 'Tis not only at beft,, a
mere begging the ^ejiion, but abfolutely falfe, as


[9] .

is plain from both the Infiances given. — Pojlulatumt
did I fay ? Why, it is really the principal B(^fts-t
upon which a great Part of the following Uifcourfe
is built. For, if this Title, Son of God, ever
" carries in it the higheft Senfe of which 'tis
" poiTible that our Lord himfelf might hav^ the
" Idea when he ufed that Word ," or, fignifies

Online LibraryDavid MillarUseful and important answers freely given, to use and important questions, concerning Jesus the Son of God, freely propos'd : or, a vindication of the co-essential sonship of the second person of the → online text (page 1 of 37)