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V. To these arguments from the Scriptures I propose, in another place, to subjoin several testimonies to the same doctrine from Jews, Christians, and Heathens.
I. I shall attempt to show, that Christ is spoken of in the Scriptures as the true and perfect God.
This arguinent may be advantageously exhibited by showing, 1. That the names of God; 2. That the attributes of God; 3. That the actions of God; and,
4. That the relations, which God sustains to his creatures, are in the Scriptures ascribed to Christ; and,
5. That divine worship is in the Scriptures required to be rendered, and by persons inspired was actually rendered, to Christ.
1. The names of God are in the Scriptures ascribed to Christ.
(1.) He is directly called God.
John i. 1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' In this passage St. John not only declares Christ to be God, but to be eternal. * In the beginning was the Word.' And in the following verse he declares that he is co-eternal with God: • The same was in the beginning with God:' Words exactly equivalent to those in Proverbs viii. 23, 24, where the same truth is also asserted : The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way; before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting; from the begioning, or ever the earth was.'
In the following verse the Evangelist farther declares, that Christ was the Creator of the universe, and that' without him was not even one thing made, which has been made. * In this passage of Scripture St. John has not only declared, that Christ is God; but to prevent any possible mistake concerning what he meant by the word God, has told us, that he is co-eternal with God the Father; and that he is the Creator of every thing which exists. Were the Scriptures allowed to speak their own language, this single passage would decide the controversy; for it is impossible to declare in stronger language, or more explicit, that Christ is God in the highest sense, originally, and without derivation.
* See the Original.
Romans ix. 5. * Of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.' This passage cannot be avoided by any means, except a resolute denial.
1 Timothy iï. 16. *. Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory. Nothing is more evident than that these things are said of Christ, and that they can be said of no other. No other person, and no attribute can he said to be. God, manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory. Let any person make the experiment, and he will find it impossible to make the application of all these things to any other than the Redeemer.
Matthew i. 23. and Isaiah vii. 14. • Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bring forth a son ; and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel ;' that is, God with us. Christ, therefore, is ' God with us.'
2 Peter i. 1. • To them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.' According to the Original, of our God and Sαυiour, Jesus Christ : τα Θεα ημων, και Σωτηρος, Ιησε Χρισ8. The common translation is a violation of the Greek: and, besides, it is ' through the righteousness of Christ' only that “ the precious faith' of the Apostles and other good men is obtained.' Jesus Christ is, therefore, ‘our God and Saviour.'
Psalm xlv. 6, 7. quoted in Hebrews i. 8, 9. · Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity : therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.' This is addressed by God the Father to the Son. The Father, therefore, has thought proper to call the Son, God. Who can question the propriety of the application?
* These Sermons were written before the results of Griesbach and others were extensively known in this country. The author was satisfied, from an examination of these results, that the common is the genuine reading of the text.
That'we may be assured, that he is called God, in the full and perfect sense, he declares, that the throne of the Son is for ever and ever.' To whom, but God in the absolute sense, can an everlasting throne, or dominion, be attributed ?
Revelation xxi. 5-7. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new; and he said unto me, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.' That it is Christ, who is spoken of in this passage, is evident by a comparison of Rev. i. 11. and Rev. iii. 21. In the former of these
passages Christ says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. In the latter he says, • To him that overcometh, I will give to sit on my throne ; even as I overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.' In Rev. xx. 11, 12. we are informed, that John ‘ saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the heavens and the earth fled away, and there was found no place for them ;' and that he ' saw the dead, small and great, stand before God. He that sat upon the throne, in Rev. xxi. 5. is plainly the same persoa who, in chap. xx. 11. is exhibited as sitting on the great white throne ; and this person we certainly know to be Christ; because the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son ;' and because the throne here spoken of, is the throne of final judgment. In the second and third of these passages Christ declares himself to be the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last,' or the beginning and the end; and to be set down upon the throne of his father.' In the first passage he declares, that he will be a God to him that overcometh.' In the last he is declared by the Evangelist to be God.
There are many other passages, in which Christ is directly called God. But these are sufficient to establish the point.
(2.) Christ is called the Great God.
Titus ii. 13. • Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.' In the Greek it is the great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ, or our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. God the Father will not appear at the judgment. If then Christ is not
the great God;' God will not appear at the judgment at all. Kæ, the conjunction here used, is rendered exactly, in many VOL. 11.
cases, by the English word even ; particularly in the phrase God and our Father, found Gal. i. 4. 1 Thess. 1. 3. 2 Thess. ü. 16, &c. In the last of these places the Translators have rendered it even, as they plainly ought to have done in both the others; since the present rendering makes the Apostle speak nonsense.
(3.) Christ is called the True God.
1 John v. 20. In his Son Jesus Christ.' This, in the Original, This Person is the true God and eternal life.' If this passage admits any comment, it must be that of Christ himself; who says, ' I am the life ;' and that of the Evangelist; who in the first chapter of this Epistle, and second verse, says, . For the life was manifested ; and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that Eternal Life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.'
(4.) Christ is called the Mighty God.
Psalm l. 1-3. The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.' This Psalm is a prediction of the last judgment. In the first verse, the Person, who comes to judge the world, and who speaks the things recorded in this Psalm, is called AL, ALEIM, JEHOVAH; and is exhibited as calling mankind before him, ' from the rising of the sun to his going down.' In the second, he is represented as 'shining,' or displaying his glory,'out of Zion;' that is, by his dispensations to his church. In the third, is described the awful splendour, with which he will appear, the fire which shall consume, and the convulsion which shall rend asunder, the world, at that great and terrible day. But Christ alone will appear on that day; and at his presence the heavens shall pass away with a great noise ;' and by the flaming fire, with which he will be surrounded, the elements will melt with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein will be burnt up.' Christ, therefore, is the God, the Mighty God, the Jehovah, who is here mentioned.
Isaiah ix. 6. For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given ; and the government shall be upon his shoulders : and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the
Mighty God, the Father of the everlasting age, the Prince of Peace.' This Child, this Son, is the Mighty God; the Father of the everlasting age, and the Prince of Peace.' He who admits, that' a Child, a Son,' is ‘ the Mighty God,' will certainly admit that this can be no other than Christ. He who does not, will charge Isaiah with uttering falsehood.
The same name, ' Wonderful,' is also given to him by himself, when appearing as an angel; or rather as 'the Angel,' to Manoah and his Wife, Judges xiii. 18. · And the Angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name; seeing it is secret ?' in the Hebrew, seeing it is Wonderful ; the same word being used in both these passages. The Hebrew words which are translated the Angel of the Lord,' may be literally rendered, the Angel-Jehovah, or Jehovah-Angel : that is, He who, though Jehovah, is yet a Messenger. * For this view of the subject the Scriptures themselves furnish the most ample authority.
In Isaiah xlviii. 12, and onward, we have these words: • Hearken unto me, O Jacob, and Israel my called. I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens. I call unto them; they stand up together. Come ye near unto me ; hear ye this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning: from the time that it was, there am I. And now the Lord God and his Spirit hath sent me. Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God.' Here the Person speaking informs ns, that he is the first and the last ; that he has founded the earth, and spanned the heavens : that he is Jehovah-God, the Redeemer, and the Holy One of Israel;' and yet he says, “ that the Lord Jehovah and his Spirit hath sent him ; or, as Origen and Lowth translate it, “The Lord Jehovah hath sent me and his Spirit.' The Person sending, therefore, is Jehovah ; and the Person sent is also Jehovah.
The same Person, under the appearance and by the name of a man, wrestled with Jacob at Peniel, and there gave him the name Israel, or a Prince of God: assigning for it this remarkable reason; ' For as a prince hast thcu power with God,
* See Horsley's New Translation of Hosea. Appendix.