In the form in which J.T. presented the denial of the glory of the Eternal Son, it was probably first presented by Dr Adam Clarke in the fourth decade of the nineteenth century among the Methodists, but it was rejected by many, and ably refuted from Scripture by the Rev. Richard Treffry Junior (1837). About the middle of that century it divided the Baptists, and the truth was nobly defended by J. C. Philpot in 1860. A new edition of Philpot's book was issued in 1926, just a few years before Taylor brought among his brethren this old error. Mr Taylor must have known, though it may have escaped his memory, that in 1909 Mr Charles Webb had denied the Eternal Sonship at a conference in Melbourne, and had been excommunicated for holding this evil teaching. At that time Mr G. J. Stewart of Australia wrote a very able defence entitled The Divine and Eternal Sonship of our Lord Jesus Christ. Mr J. G. Bellett's book, The Son of God, was written to meet the denial of Christ's Eternal Sonship.
The truth of the Eternal Sonship is presented to us in John 1:18, where the Son as the Only-begotten is found in the bosom of the Father. It ever was, and ever is, and ever shall be His own unique place in relationship with the Father. Many other Scriptures, such as John 16:28; John 17:5, 24; Colossians 1:13-16, and Hebrews 1:2 settle the matter for every believer subject to the Word of God.
Taylorites make great pretension to be followers of J.N.D., but this outstanding servant of the Lord stigmatized their denial of the Eternal Sonship of the Lord Jesus as "destructive" and "abhorrent", where he writes, "And this it is that makes the notion of Sonship in Christ only when incarnate so destructive to the elementary joy of the Church, and abhorrent to those who have communion by the Spirit in the truth" (Collected Writings, Vol. III., page 135). See also his Collected Writings, Vol. XXV., page 340, and many other mentions he makes on the subject. It is very interesting that in his Collected Writings, Vol. XXIII, there is an article on Romans, cut off at chapter 11 by his last illness, and on page 493 he writes, "How blessed is the thought, that the eternal Son of God, become Man . . . Firstborn among many brethren".
C. H. Mackintosh wrote, "A blameless life is not enough. A man may lead that, and yet be an enemy and a blasphemer of Christ. Some of the greatest moralists and philanthropists of the age may be found enrolled amongst the number of those who systematically, deliberately, and publicly deny the deity or the Eternal Sonship of our adorable Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ" (Things New and Old, Vol. XVIII., page 59). C.H.M. holds the deniers of the Eternal Sonship to be blasphemers of Christ.
This attack on the Son of God was met by many brethren. A number withdrew from fellowship with the Taylorites, and two of them at least wrote against this assault on the glory of the Eternal Son. Mr E. Middleton of Ayr wrote Reversal not Adjustment, while Mr V. W. J. H. Lawrence of Bath wrote The Divine Sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ and other papers. There were also many others outside the Taylor fellowship who fervently and ably defended the truth of the Eternal Sonship, among whom were prominent servants in the 'Exclusive' and `Open' brethren.