in which our Saviour said of him. to a mere man, which amounts to an asself, or in which it is said by the sumption of Divinity." P. 125. Apostles and Evangelists, that he

The argument is prosecuted came from heaven and from God, through a large collection of tests, in arguing upon which, the doctrine in which the deity of Christ is inof a literal descent from above, is directly asserted, in which Divine completely vindicated from the fan- works and offices are assumed or ciful sophistry of the Socinians. ascribed to him, in which the names The just and natural infereuces are of the Father and of the Son, or of also drawn from the allusions, which Christ and Jehovah, are indiscrimiour Saviour himself made to a pre, nately mentioned, in which his ofvious state, in which he was pos- fices are said to exceed the power sessed of the love of the Father, of man, (as is the case of the atone. and glorified with glory before the ment, which if it fails in proving his world was, and in which he assumes divinity, at least proves him to be to himself a more elevated dignity more than man,) and in which he is than belongs to man.

represented as an object of the same • Matt. xii. 6. •But I say unto you,

faith and the same religious affecthat in this place is one greater than the tions as the Father.

It is also temple. The temple at Jerusalem was shewn, that in the performance of dedicated to the service of Jehovab and his miracles he wrought them by his sanctified by his immediate presence; how

own power, at his own will, and in then could our Savionr represent himself his own name; and the force of this as greater than this temple, unless he were the Lord of the temple, whose coming was argument is increased, when it is foretold by Malachi iii. 1. Now the Lord recollected, that of himself, and in of any temple is the Divinity that dwells in his own name, he conferred the same it.

extraordinary power upon his Aposu Matt. xii. 8. For the Son of Man is tles, who in performing them, ac. Lord even of the Sabbath-day.' The Jew. knowledged the power and authoish Sabbath was of Divine appointment, rity of Christ. is In the name of consecrated and comnianded to be kept Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up holy by the law of Moses; hence no one

“ His name, through could bare a right to relax or apnul tbe and walk.” commandment but God who tirst imposed faith in his name, hath made this it. Yet Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath, man strong." “By the name of i e. can dispense with the obligation of it, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, even by and therefore God.

him doth this man stand before you • Matt. xvii. 25, 26. What thinkest whole." Elisha did not receive this, thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take tribute of their own children power of Elijah, or of strangers? Peter said unto him, of

« This class of arguments is by no strangers. Jesus said unto him, then are

means exhausted by the preceding secthe children free.' The occasion of this tions : some texts of Scripture which might discourse was, that those who received the be referred to it, will come under condidrachma, the half-shekel annually paid sideration in the following chapters, and by the Jews above twenty years of age for others might be enumerated; yet enough the service of the temple, caine to Peter have been accumulated to shew its value and said, Doth not your master pay tri- and importance. The force of these tesbute? Upon which our Saviour reasons, timonies cannot be easily eluded, by the If eartbly kings do not receive tribute from dexteritiy of criticism, and as many of their children, then am I who am the Son them arise from a comparison of Scripture of God excused by their custom from pay with Scripture, they seem to demonstrate ing aby to God. The whole force of the the beautiful consistency and harmony of argument depends upon our Lord's being the sacred writings. The argument moretruly and properly the Son of God; i.e.

over is strictly cumulative. Every addistanding in the same relation to God, as

tional instance strengthens the conclusion; the children do to earthly kings. His and though some of the sections should claim of exemption rests opon bis being not appear conclusive, yet when taken all the Son of God, in a sense not applicable together, they must be allowed to con

stitute a powerful, in my judgment, irre whom are all things and we by him.' fragible body of evidence in support of not this an assertion, that Christians, our Lord's essential deity." P. 168. though there are many called gods by the

Heathen, could call none by that title, bu From the consideration of these the Supreme Father of all, and the Lord express and indirect testimonies to

Jesus Christ, who, with the Holy Gbost the divinity of Christ, the author are one God, in nature co-equal, in glor: proceeds to illustrate the Divine co-eternal. titles, which are applied to Christ.

“ These observations are chiefly directed It is asserted that Christ is called against the Socinian heresy, with whici

the orthodox of this age are principally by the name of God; and in an ela.

called upon to contend. Arianism, it borate comment on the several texts

true, might still allege that the appellatioo in which that name is appropriated "God is given to angels and superior into our Lord, the true meaning of telligences, and therefore only proves that those texts is defined and explained,

our Saviour was a subordinate or inferior and the obvious and ordinary ob. God. But the allegation is not supported jections are anticipated and repelled. evinced, were it requisite, and of course

by convincing reasons, as might easily be It is also proved, that Christ is called

the conclusion is unsound. It is unneces God, not in a subordinate, but in the

sary, however, to enter into a professed highest sense of the term; the few refutation; it is sufficient to reply both to texts in which that name is inter. the Arian and Unitarian oppugners of our preted of man are brought to a se

Lord's essential deity, that if it could be vere examination, and it is rendered proved, though I am convinced it is imat least very doubtful, whether they taken was erroneous, that the term God is

possible, that the view of the subject above will ever bear that interpretation, or used in a lower sense, and that men are whether the appropriation of the denoninated God, not only in the Old name of the Most High to man can Testament but in the New, the argument be justified and sustained.

built upon this title would not be over

thrown; for we have discovered some in« The result of the whole is, that it is stances where it is applied to Christ, under highly probable, the title "God is not such peculiar circumstances, as leave no given to men in the Old Testament; and room to doubt its implying bis absolute that it is certain the term cos, God, in divinity." P. 206. the singular number is never applied to men in the New, and in the plural, if at all,

It is also shewn, that Christ is only once. Let me then ask any unpre called Jehovah, which name is tranjudiced person, whether it is credible, that slated Kupsos, or Lord by the Seventy, the Apostles and Evangelists would, in from whom that word is appropricontradiction to their usual practice, de- ated by the writers of the New Tesnominate our Lord by the appellation "God, if they had believed bim to be only Jehovah also occurs in passages of

tament to our Lord : the name of a man like themselves. Nay, I will go yet farther, and maintain, that they could the prophetic Scriptures, unquesnot, consistently with their principles, give tionably relating to Christ, in the this title to a mere man. As one great exposition of which, the text of Jeobject was to subvert the polytheism of the remiah xxiii. 36, in which Christ is Heathen world, they would have counter called the Lord our Righteousness, acted their own design bad they given the name of the Supreme Being to any of the is ably vindicated from

the misconhuman race.

Their firm conviction of the ceptions of Blayney, of which the Divine Unity, and their earnestness to Unitarian school have not failed to inculcate the belief of one God, would avail themselves. He is also called restrain them from the use of such language King of Israel, which was the title as might tend to countenance the notion of Jehovah under the theocracy, of a plurality of Gods. Though there Almighty, Lord of Glory, and God be," says St. Paul,' that are called Gods of Glory, First and Last, A and , whether in heaven or in earth, as there be gods many and lords many, but to us there the Beginning and the End. is but one God of whom are all things and The argument from the assumpwe in him, and one Lord Jesus Christ by tion and ascription of the Divine

titles to our Lord, is confirmed by Heb. xiii. 8. for admitting that the docthe appropriation of the Divine at. trine of the Gospel may be called 'yester. tributes to him, which are assigned, day," or from everlasting, as being in the not only generally, so that in his

divine decree, yet how can it be said to

be · for ever, for all eternity to come, in own language, “all things that the the divine decree? In short, had the Father hath are mine," but severally apostle meant to assert the immutability and particularly. Thus he is eternal of the Christian religion, it is utterly inand therefore immutable.

credible that he would have expressed it

by · Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, " Heb. xiii, 8. Jesus Christ the same to-day, and for ever,' whence it follows, yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.' If that these words are to be referred to the this be spoken of Christ, it is an express person of Christ.--Fourthly, è autos is declaration of his eternal and immutable

the very same expression that is applied mature. Several commentators, it inust personally to Christ, ch. i, 12. of this be confessed, liave understood it to refer Epistle, to describe his immutability.-to the doctrine of the Gospel, sometimes Fifthly, the fathers of the fourth and fifth called Christ or Jesus Christ; yet the fol centuries frequently cite this text against lowing reasons seem to confirm its relation the Arians, and they are not contradicted to the person of Christ. First, This is by those before them. These reasons, in taking the words in a literal signification, my apprehension, clearly establish the apwhich is always preferable to a figurative plication of this verse personally to Christ, construction, when no necessity exists for and we need not besitate in appealing to departing from it. Secondly, The context it, as a testimony to our Lord's eternal requires it: 'Remember them, which have and unchangeable existence,” P. 243. the rule over you, who have spoken to you the word of God, of whose conversation,

Omniscience is another attribute considering the ending, follow their faith: Jesus Christ yesterday, and to-day is the ascribed to Christ, and compresame, and for ever. The verse in ques. hends a knowledge of the thoughts tion then describes the object of the faith of of man's heart, which inan does not the rulers, i, e. as Pierce parphrases it possess; snch knowledge of God, considering the conclasion of their life

even to seeing him, as hath, not and behaviour, imitate their faith, for the

been given to man; knowledge of object of their faith, Jesus Christ, is the

all things, without limit or excep. same now as he was then, and will be the same for ever, to the end of time.'

tion; and knowledge of his “shcep" Tlardly, as • for ever,' at the end of the in all places and ages of their dissentence, means an eternity to come, so persion throughout the world. Mr. 'yesterday,' by being opposed to it, means Holden is cautious of inferring the an eternity past. It is, in truthi, almost omniscience of Christ from Col. ii. self evident, that' yesterday, to-day, and for ever,' denotes an eternal duration,

3. because the true reading of the consisting of past, present, and future. In

text is uncertain; but if the words the Revelations, eternal, unchangeable rejected by Griesbach are not ge

existence is described by the character of mine, and ought to be rejected, | 'which is, and which was, and which is to the text becomes one of those in

cone.' The Gospel, it is true, is called which Christ is called by the name ' everlasting,' Rev. xiv. 6. but this does of God; for he is the subject of the sot respect the time past, but time to come, and denotes the 'nnchangeable Apostle's discourse, and it is to constitution of the Christian religion, him that the elevated terms which which should remain always the same in

he uses throughout the chapter are the truth of its doctrines, the certainty of appropriated. The great and leadits rewards and punishments, to everlast- ing objection to the omniscience of ing ages.' In this epistle, mention is made Christ is collected from Mark xiii. of the everlasting covenant (xiii. 20.) 32. and Mr. Holden, who neither which clearly denotes a covenant, that should never be changed. It may also

evacles an objection, nor suffers it further be orged, that the Gospel diay be

to pass without refutation, shew's called eternal, because it was from ever

that our Lord either uses the word lasting in the divine decree. Perhaps it “ know" in the sense of communic may: but this answer will not apply to cating or publishing, or that in the



union of the divine and human na Jerusalem as before it. In fact, not a tures, he speaks in the subordinate shadow of proof is given for putting any relation of the Son of Man, and limitation of time to the promise of Christ, with reference only to his human

except the necessity of propping up the

baseless fabric of Socinianism : and we nature.

may, in the confidence of faith, rely upon Omnipresence is another attri.

the enlivening and consolatory promise of bute of Christ, established as upon our Saviour, that he will be present to other texts, so especially upon the comfort and support his trne disciples to following, which is of the more im.

the final dissolution of the world.” P. 275. portance from its connexion with The Omnipotence of Christ is the preceding institution of the Sa- exhibited in distinct propositions, crament of Baptism, of which the in each of which it is proved upon perpetuity and universality are co competent authorities, that he sends extensive with the promised pre. the Holy Spirit; that he forgives sence of our Lord.

sins; that he hears and accom“ Matt. xviii. 20. · And lo! I am with plishes the prayers of his servants ; you alway, even to the end of the world that he confers power of various Who but an omnipresent being could, in kinds upon others; that he governs such express language, declare his conti- the world with unlimited and abso. nued presence with his disciples ?

lute power; that he will raise the “ We are told that the words recorded dead, a power plainly not of man, by the Evangelist, may be rendered with Dr. Campbell, • I am with you always, and ascribed to God; and, lastly,

nor ascribed to man, but of God, even to the conclusion of this state,' or to the end of the age,' wamely, the end

that he will judge the world. Nor of tlfe Jewish dispensation, by the de.

does it in any degree disparage these struction of Jerusalem and the temple. evidences of the divinity of our H OUYTIhsia Tou ainros, it is acknow. Lord, to acknowledge and maintain ledged, may admit this translation, which, that this power is delegated, that it however, in no way assists the Unitarian

was given to the Son, and received cause; for if Christ

, after his ascensiou; by the Son; for the orthodox faith was present with his disciples to the end of the age, as it could not be in his human

is founded on the subordination of nature, it must have been by bis superiu. the Son to the Father, a truth on tending providence, the influence of his which Mr. Holden expatiates in his Spirit, and the miraculous operations of his ninth chapter. power, which certainly imply divinity. In inferring the Divinity of Christ Besides, if Christ was every where pre- from the alleged office of creation, sent, at all times, with all his disciples, it is argued that Christ is the crea. dispersed through differeut parts of the world during that age, he mast be omvi- tor, and that the creator is present in all ages. There can be no in- and it is proved, in answer to the termission of an infinite attribute.” Socinians, that the creation thus as

“ Allowing that the words may by signed to Christ, was not and could themselves be translated to the end of not be a moral renoyation, but was the age,' I nevertheless am of opinion that, in this place, it is not the proper transla

a true and

proper creation, tion, or at least that they refer not to the

The chapter on the divine wordestruction of Jerusalem, but to the end ship ascribed to Christ, is highly of the world. The words, nacas tas interesting and important, alleging nagas,' at all times,' strongly oppose the various acts of prayer actually the notion of limiting the promise to the offered to Christ, as well as the poJewish dispensation. The phrase n our sitive directions to pray to Hiin; Testa Tou Alaros, occurs six times, Matt, xiü. 39, 40, 49. xxiv. 3. xxviii. 20. Heb.

the doxologies addressed to him ; ix. 26. in the three first of which it evi.

the benedictions pronounced in his dently means the end of the world: and name; the thanksgivings addressed this seems to be the meaning bere, as

to him, and the solemn adjurations Christ's presence with his disciples was delivered in his name; and the force equally necessary after the destruction of of the argument is not abated,

[ocr errors]

whether his name is used alone or from God the Father and the Lord Jesus in conjuction with that of the Fa- Christ, impartial reason infers, that they ther and of the Holy Spirit.

are equal in essence and perfections.

« Nor will it alter the nature of this “ When we consider the great differ- conclusion, should these passages be conence between these doxologies, and the sidered, as Unitarians are fond of reprecominendations but sparingly given in the senting them, in the light of wishes. A Scriptures to mere men; the serious and wish preferred to the Deity is in effect a reverential manner in which they are in prayer. It implies an ability in the pertrodnced, and the superlative praise they

son to whom it is made of performing the convey, so far surpassing what humanity wish. 'I may innocently wish,' says Mr. can deserve, we cannot but suppose, that Belsham, that a person in power may the being to whom they refer is really di- grant an office to a friend, to ask for vine. The ascription of eternal glory which, if the person were present, might and everlasting dominion, if addressed to or might not be proper, according to cirany creature, however exalted, would be cumstances; but to pray to bim for it idolatrous and profane. It must also be

when he is absent, with an expectation remembered, that similar doxologies are

that he will hear and grant the request, addressed to God the Father, as Rom.

would be downright idolatry? True ; but xvi. 27, 1 Tim. i. 17. vi. 16. Jude 25. and the very wish implies that the person in ouless Christ were God, it is not to be power is able to grant that office. In like believed that the same praises would be manner, when St. Paul wished, supposing ascribed to him as to the Father. The the passagea just cited to be wishes, that Apostles, to the fervour of piety joined a

the new converts might receive grace, sound and masculine judgment, and they peace and mercy from the Lord Jesus would have abhorred the profanation of Christ, he must have supposed in him ascribing to a creature the glory which is an ability to grant these blessings. If alone due to the immortal and immaculate St. Paul had wished for spiritual blessCreator. When Jesus Christ, therefore, ings from a being whom he believed inis the subject of their doxologies, which capable of granting them, it would have imply eternity and omnipotence, and been a most flagrant absurdity: hence which are likewise addressed to the Fa.

these wishes of the Apostle must have been ther, the conclusion that Christ is God

founded on the belief that our Lord was cannot reasonably be controverted.” able to comply with them, which is, in P. 367.

fact, tacitly attributing to him essential

divinity, since it is in the power of God After reciting various benedic- alone to bestow spiritual blessings. The tions in the name of Christ, it is apostolical supplications, therefore, for again conclusively argued :

grace, peace and mercy, from God the

Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, whe« One cannot but suspect a want of ther we chuse to denominate them wishes candour in the mind that can peruse the or prayers, evince incontestibly the Deity texts here referred to, and not acknow. of our Saviour, and the consequent duty ledge that the author, while he wrote of presenting religious addresses to him as then, was impressed with a tirm convic- well as to the Father.” P. 369. tion that Jesus Christ is a proper object of religious worship. Of every one of

The method and design of the these texts it may be said, “Whether it argument on the Sonship of Christ be a blessing or a prayer it implies that and proof of his divinity is thus religious worship is due to Him, in whose stated : name, if a blessing it is pronounced; or to whom if a prayer it is directed.' To • The main object to be kept in view, soppose that a mere man wonld be thus is to show that Jesus Christ is a son in his associated with the Almighty Father of superhuman nature: for the proof of this all, by an Apostle, in imploring grace, position will be a sufficient refutation of peace and mercy to be with the Christian all the objections which have been adconverts, would be an impiety of which vanced against it. Now that he is properly the most abandoned would shudder to be and peculiarly the Son of God, will be adguilty. Grace, peace and mercy are spi- mitted, if it can be proved that he was a ritual blessings, which it is universally al Son before his appearance in the flesh, lowed can only be supplied by the inef that he is styled the Son of God in so fable operation of the Godhead : and as emphatic a manner as to distinguish him the Apostle supplicates for them equally from all others to whom this appellativa

« ForrigeFortsett »