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he is distinguished from them. And though he is joined with them, yet this only designs his presence in judiciary affairs ;
“ who stands in the congrega“ tion of the mighty, and judges among the gods.” Upon the whole, the argument in proof of Christ's divinity, from the incommunicable name, Jehovah, being given to him, stands firm and unshaken. I go on,
2. To shew that he is called God absolutely, and that both in the Old and in the New Testament. In Psalm xlv. 6. it is said, Thy throne, O God, is “ for ever and ever :" where by God is meant the Son ; since he is, in ver. 7. distinguished from God the Father, who is called his God; and is moreover said to be anointed by him with the oil of gladness. But this is put beyond all dispute by the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, chap. i. 8. “But unto the “ Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, &c." Again, in Isa. xlv. 22, 23. a divine Person is introduced speaking thus: “Look unto me, and be
ye saved, “ all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else: I have “ sworn by myself, &c." Which words are, by the apostle Paul, in Rom. xiv. 10–12. applied to Christ. Many more passages of the like nature might be produced out of the Old Testament. I will but just mention one in the New Testament, and that is in John i. 1. “In the beginning was the Word, " and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We cannot be at a loss who is meant by the Word; since he is distinguished from God the Father, with whom he was, and is said, in ver. 14. to be made flesh, and dwell among us. Nor is it any wonder that he should be called God absolutely, and in the highest and most proper sense of the word; seeing he is in the form of God; and has thought it no robbery to be equal with him. But I proceed to observe,
3. That Christ is called God, with some additional epithets ; such as our God, your God, their God, and my God. He is called our God, in Ifa. xxv, 9. and xl. 3. The scope and circumstances of the texts manifestly shew that the Messiah is intended, whom the Jews were waiting for, and whose forerunner and harbinger John the Baptist was to be. He is called your God, in Isa. xxxv. 4, 5. “Behold, your God will come.-Then the eyes of the blind “ Mall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped :" all which were fulfilled in the times of the Mesiah, and by him appealed to as proofs of his Messiahship and Deity. He is called the Lord their God, in Luke i. 16. which words “ are, in strictness of construction', immediately connected with " the following word him ; which must necessarily be understood of Christ.” I bomas calls him, in John xx, 28. “My Lord, and my God;" which words are not an apostrophe to the Father, but a full and ample confession of the
Deity of Christ, and his interest in him. Now though angels, magistrates, and judges, are called gods, in an improper and metaphorical sense, yet are they never called our gods, your gods, &c. This way of speaking is peculiar to him who is truly and properly God. Again, one of the names of the Messiah is Immanuel, Isa. vii. 14. “ which being interpreted, is God with us,” Matt. i. 23. that is, God in our nature; cloathed with our fesh, and dwelling among us. Or, in other words, he is “ God manifest in the flesh," 1 Tim. iii. 16. on which text Dr Clarke himself obferves": That it has been a
great controversy among learned men, whether Odds, or os, or ô, be the true
reading in this place. But it is not in reality of great importance: for " the sense is evident, that that person was manifest in the flesh, whom St “ John, in the beginning of his gospel, ftiles Ords, God.” He is moreover called the mighty God, in Isa. ix. 6. which prophecy, though the Jews would wreft to Hezekiah", yet their attempts have been vain and fruitless. It stands a glorious prophecy of the Messiah, and is expressive of his proper divinity, real humanity, and excellent offices; which offices he has took upon him for the good of his people, and is capable of performing them, because he is the Mighty God. Likewise he is said to be “ over all, God blessed for ever," Rom. ix. 5. It is triling to observe, that when Christ is said to be over all, that the Father must needs be excepted *. For no one pleads for a superiority of the Son to the Father, but an equality with him : nor is the stress of the proof for Christ's divinity, from this text, laid upon his being over all; but upon his being God, blessed for ever. Again, Christ is called, the Great God, in Tit. ii. 13. whose glorious appearing, and not the Father's, the saints were looking for, and of whom the following words, “ And our Saviour Jesus “ Christ,” are plainly exegetical. It is objected', that this phrase, “ The « Great God, being, in the Old Testament, the character of the Father, is “ in the New Testament, never used of Christ, but of the Father only, Rev. " xix. 17." Which text in the Revelation, besides this in Titus, is the only one where this phrase is used in the New Testament; and manifestly belongs to him who is called the Word of God, ver. 13. who is said to have on his vesture, and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords, ver. 16. and who is represented to John, as å mighty warrior, and triumphant conqueror, taking vengeance on the great men of the earth. And therefore, an angel calls to the fowls of the heaven, to come and gather themselves to the supper of this Great God; who appears to be no other than he who is before called the Word of God; which is a character that peculiarly belongs to Jesus Christ. Once more, he is called the true God?, 1 John v. 20. “And
the • Dr Clarke's scripture-doctrine of the Trinity, No 540.
w See my book of the prophecies of the Old Testament, respecting the Messiah, considered, Bc. c. xiii. p200, 201, 3c.
* Dr Clarke's scripture-do&trine of the Trinity, No 539. y Dr Clarke's commentary on 40 select texts, &c. p. 86..
we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, " that we may know him that is true: and we are in him that is true, even “ in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life,” that is, Jesus Christ is the true God; for he is the immediate antecedent to the relative this ; and is expressly, in this epistle, chap. i. 2. said to be eternal life. Since then Christ is so frequently called God, with these additional epithets, which are peculiar to the one only God, it follows, that he must be truly and properly God.
Secondly, The proper divinity of Christ may be strongly concluded from the divine perfections which he is possessed of : “ For in him dwelleth all the “ fulness of the Godhead bodily.” There is no perfection essential to Deity, but is in him ; nor is there any that the Father has, but he has likwise; for he says, “ All things that the Father hath, are mine." Independence and necessary existence, are essential to Deity. He that is God, necessarily exists ; does not receive his Being from another; nor is he dependant on another ; such is the Lord Jesus Christ: for though he is not avlovods, Son of himself, yet he is avlo Beds, God of himself: though he, as man and Mediator, has a life communicated to him from the Father, and lives by the Father ; yet, as God, he owes his Being to pone; it is not derived from another: he is" over all, God blessed for ever.” Eternity is peculiar to the Godhead. He that is God, is from everlasting to everlasting. Jesus Christ was not only before Abraham, but before Adam; yea, before any creature existed. For if he is the apxwo, the beginning, the first cause of the creation of God; if he is agutolóxos wáons xlícias d, the first parent', bringer forth, or producer of every creature ; if he was in the beginning of the creation of all things with God; and by him were all things made; then he must be before all things. As Mediator he was set up from everlasting, and had a glory with his Father before the world was. His goings forth, or acting in the covenant of grace,
· Col. ii. 9. d Col. i. 15
z.See Dr Calamy's sermons, p. 56, 57, 8c.
• John xvi. 15. .. Rev. iii. 14. e This is the right interpretation of the text, if we only grant, that the accent (which were all added to the words long since the apostles days) is misplaced; and that instead of węwlótoxos, the first born, it should have been węw7oróxos, the first bringer forth, or former of every creature. This alone will make the sense of the words clear and plain, and free them from all the difficulties which have arose from this mistake. Bedford's Scripture Chronology, p. 163. in the margin. To which I would only add, That this sense of the word makes the apostle's reasoning in the following verse to appear with much more beauty, ftrength and force.
on the behalf of his people, were of old, from everlasting. The elect of God were chosen in hirn, before the foundation of the world, and had
grace given them in him, before the world began. In fine, he is the alpha and the omega', the first and the last, the beginning and the ending; which is, and which was, and which is to come ; and therefore a very proper antitype of Melchizedeck; “ having neither beginning of days nor end of life.” Again, Omnipresence, and immensity, belong to God. He that is God is every where ; is not confined to any place, but fills heaven and earth with his presence. Jefus Christ was, as he was the Son of God, in heaven, whilft, as the Son of man, he was here on earth, Jobn-iii. 13. which he could not be if he was not the omnipresent God; any more than he could make good those promises he makes, Matt. xviii. 20. and xxviii. 20. that he will be with his people when they meet in his name, and with his ministers, unto the end of the world. Nor could he walk in the midst of his golden candlestics, Rev. ii, 1. or be present in all his churches, as he certainly is, and fill all things, Epb. iv, 10. as he certainly does. Omniscience is another perfection of Deity, which is easy to be observed in Jesus Christ. He knew what was in man, even the secret thoughts and reasonings of the mind. He could tell the woman of Samaria all that ever she did. He knew from the beginning who would. believe in him, and who should betray him. Peter appealed to him as the searcher of hearts, and said: “ Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest. " that I love thee.” He is indeed that divine sógos, or Word', that is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart ; who, in a short time will. let all the churches know, that he it is who “ searcheth the hearts and reins k.” And though he is said not to know the day and hour of judgment'; yet, that is to be understood of him, not as God, but as man. Omnipotence is. another perfection essential to God, and may be truly predicated of Jesus Christ, who is the Almighty". His works of creation, providence, and suftentation ; as also those of the redemption, and preservation of his own people, and the resurrection of them from the dead; which he has performed, and does, and will perform, “ according to his mighty power, which is able to “ subdue all things to himself,” loudly proclaim his omnipotence. Once more, He that is God is unchangeable, is without variableness or shadow of turning. And of Jesus Christ, it is said ", That he is “ the same, and his “ years fail not :” yea, that he is “the same to-day ° ,yesterday, and for ever." In fine, whatever perfection is in God, is in Chrift; and therefore he must be truly, properly, and essentially God.
Thirdly, Rev. i. 8
John ii. 25. Matt. ix. 4. John iv. 39. and vi. 64.
1 Mark xiii. 32
• Heb. xiii, 8.
Thirdly, The true and proper Deity of Christ, may be fully proved from the divine works which he has performed. Indeed, he “can do nothing of himself, “ but what he seeth the Father do ';” that is, he can do nothing but what the Father is concerned in with him : or, he can do nothing that is opposite to his will, or that is not in his power: for “my Father worketh hitherto, and I work." They work together as coefficient causes : though they work in distinction, yet not in contradiction to each other: “for what things soever he (the Father) doth, " these also, opolws, in like manner doth the Son.” The works which Deity, are these: The creation of all things out of nothing; upholding all | things by the word of his power ; performance of miracles ; the redemption of his people; the resurrection of the dead; and the last judgment. That all things, visible and invisible, were created by the image of the invisible God, is strongly asserted by the apostle Paulo : and that all things were made by the Logos, or Word, and that “ without him was not any thing made that was
made,” is as fully attested by the evangelist John'. Indeed, God is said to create all things by Jesus Christ', and by his Son to make the world : but then Christ is not to be considered as the Father's instrument, which he used in making them; for he made use of none; but as a coefficient cause, equally working with him. The proposition drain does not always intend the instrumental cause; it is sometimes used of God the Father. If now the creation, which is purely a divine work, is ascribed to Christ, and he is properly the Creator of all things, then he himself cannot be a creature ; and if not a creature, he must be God; for between God and a creature there is no medium. Moreover, as he has made all things, so by him all things consist; they have their dependance on him. As he has laid the foundations of the earth, so he bears up the pillars thereof; yea, he upholds all things by the word of his power, or they would fall into their first nothing ; which he could not do, if he was not truly God. The miracles which he wrought in his own person here on earth, and which were wrought by his apostles through his divine power, are not only proofs that he is ó lexómsv@, the Messiah that was to come; but also, that the Father is in him, and he in the Father ; or, in other words, that he is the Son of God, and equal with him. The redemption of God's people, obtained by Christ at the expence of his blood and life, is a full demonstration of his Deity. Had he not been God, he would not have been equal to the work ; nor would the Father have entrusted him with it ; nor would he have undertaken it. The reason why he is mighty to save, is because he is the mighty God. It is his true and real Deity which has put a
proper P John v. 19.
4 Col. i. 15, 16.
Johni. 1-3. • Eph. iii. 9. Heb. i. 2.
* Rom. xi. 36. i Cor. i. 9. Heb. ii, 10.