Imatges de pÓgina
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vince the Athenians a resurrection was possible, assures them a Man had actually risen from the dead; and he asserts this fact to be a ground of confident expectation, that the World would hereafter be judged “by that Man whom God hath ordained,” the very Man who had risen. (Acts xvii. 31.) He intimates to Timothy, and through him to the Ephesians, that salvation is intended for Gentiles, equally as for Jews. To confirm them in this persuasion, he points out the relation in which all Men indiscriminately stand to the One Mediator, from the circumstance of his having assumed the nature common to all Men. Therefore the Apostle not only insists on there being but One Mediator for all the race of Mankind, but specifies also the human character of that Mediator, calling him “the Man Christ Jesus,” (1 Tim. ii. 5.) to shew the intimate connexion between the Mediator and the whole race of Mankind. On the Philippians he inculcates humility, by proposing for their imitation the example of Christ, when he “ took upon him the form of a servant, was made in the likeness of men ; was found in fashion as a man." (Phil. ii. 7,8.) If we consider this and the two passages above quoted, we shall find: they were used on particular occasions, which made the mention of Christ's human nature particularly apposite. But shall we hence conclude, our Lord's nature was therefore merely human? This would be either to forget, or to neglect, the several expressions, in which the same Apostle asserts our Lord's divinity : it would consequently be to conclude on a partial and limited view of the subject. Let us look again at Phil. ii. 7, 8. The very place which speaks of Christ's human character, speaks also of his divine glory antecedent to his human character, and of his divine nature during the assumption of the human character. The closest reasoner among English Writers has proved this point. “The person here spoken of, (says Sherlock) Jesus Christ, was in the form of God.-Being in the form of God, he laid aside the glories proper to the form of God, and took upon him the form of a servant, in the likeness of man. Whatever he was as to Nature and Essence, when he was in the form of God, that he continued to be still, when he became Man: but the oynucce Osy, the glories of the form of God, he laid down : and although he continued to be the same, yet, as to the cxempece, as to outward dignity and appe.rance, he was mere man, being found, as the Apostle says, “ in fashion” as a man. Had the Apostle conceived him, whilst here on earth, to have been mere Man only, in what tolerable sense could he say of him, " being found in fashion as a man?” for, in what fashion should a man be found but in the fashion of a man? What need was there of this limitation, that he was found a Man as to his fashion, if in reality he was not something more than a Man? But if you consider the man Jesus Christ to be the same person who was in the form of God, and who, according to that dignity of nature, had a right to appear in the majesty and glory of God, it is proper to ask, How did he appear on earth? And the Apostle's words are a proper answer to the question, “ He was found in fashion as a man." AppEx.

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There is yet another passage in which St. Paul by his subject is led to point out that Christ was man. He is drawing a contrast between Adain the natural Man, and Christ the Spiritual Man : between Adam the federal representative of mankind as subject to death, and Christ the federal representative of mankind as redeemed unto life. " The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is," what? a mere human being ? infinitely above every thing human, or angelic ; “ The Lord from heaven.” (1 Cor. xv. 47.) No words can more expressly shew that union of divine with human nature in our Lord, which the Scriptures uniformly assert.

St. Peter speaks of Christ as a man. (Acts ii. 22.) But does he ascribe to our Lord no other properties than those which had belonged either to men in general, or even to signal prophets, who had lived and died Lefore him! The sequel will shew. “ This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and liaving received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which you now see and hear”-i. e. the power of speaking in divers languages. (Acts ii. 32, 33.) “ Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, Loth Lord and Christ." (36.) Could St. Peter mean to say that a mere man was thus incorruptible, thus exalted, thus denominated with divine appellation ? Impossible, because irreconcilable with the confessions he had made of our Lord's being “ the Son of the living God, and having the words of Eternal Life,” (St. John vi. 68, 69.) and with his declarations in 1 Ep. i. 19, 20. iii. 22. However then this Apostle may be understood as asserting the human nature of Christ, he must in this passage be understood as equally asserting the divine nature of our Lord.

LVII. Connect these circumstances ; namely, The Rabbinical manner of briefly alluding to passages in the Old Testament, and slightly quoting them ; the mystical interpretations of figurative types by real compictions; the method of softening down reproof before given ; the very striking instances of ihe auradgorreos in that animated and finely written eleventh chapter ; all which peculiarities occur in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and all which are characteristics of St. Paul's writings ; consider the similarity of doctrines maintained, and duties inculcated in this Epistle, with doctrines and duties elsewhere delivered by St. Paul : recollect also, the certainty of its being composed while Jerusalem was standing ; the coincidence of allusions in ch. x. 34, and ch. siii. 23, with events recorded in the history of St. Paul's life ; and the general opinion of the Greek Fathers in its favour : put together all this, and you will have the strongest ground of internal evidence, and very powerful support of external testimony, on which to rest your persuasion, that the deep, interesting, and very valuable Epistle to the Hebrews was written by St. Paul. Witsius and Wolfius, Owen and Pierce, well considered the question. They decided in the affirmative. More than that. The Church admitted it into the Canon of Scripturc. But Epistles were not admitted into the Canon till their goli uineness had been proved.

It must be observed ; that even were the Epistle not written by St. Paul, it would still carry with it great weight : for it would be an early document by which to prove, what were the opinions of primitive Jewish Converts respecting our Lord's divinity.

LVIII. A single act often implies a great variety of circumstances. When a heathen threw but a grain of salt on an idolatrous altar, by that act he acknowledged himself devoted to idolatrous worship in all its points of persuasion, duties, and consequences. When a Mahomedan swears by the Koran, he intimates his belief in the contents of that volume, and his sense of obligation to receive every thing taught, and to comply with every thing commanded in its sever.al books. With a single Word, or a single Clause, are often combined many concomitant ideas. When Faith is said to be the condition of Salvation, it implies also Obedience corresponding with that Faith. When Obedience is said to be the condition of Salvation, it implies also Faith as the source from which such Obedience should spring. We pray that the 56 Name” of God may be hallowed. In that term we include all the attributes of Gord, and every consideration relative to the glory of God. It is said, “ Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Tim. ii. 19.) The import is, that every one, who calleth himself a Christian, thereby acknowledges himself bound to believe all the doctrines, and obey all the precepts, delivered by Christ, should avoid wickedness of evtry description. When the multitude, and when Cornelius by St. Peter (Acts ii. 41. X. 48 ;) the Ethiopian, by St. Philip (Acts viii. 38 ;) and the Keeper of the Prison at Philippi, by St. Paul (Acts xvi. 31 ;) were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, they were admitted into the profession of all that the Lord Jesus had comnianded his Apostles to “ go and teach ;" the very article connected with which command is, the acknowledgment of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Upon a construction of the above mentioned passages even in a limited sense, and supposing the converts were required only to acknowledge that Christ is the Messiah, even then, on the principle that the " Greater contains the Lesser,” such acknowledgment would lead to an obligation of professing all consequent points of faith and practice. For, if Christ was Messiah, he was authorised to teach ; and what he taught, his disciples were bound to observe. From a confession that Christ was Messiah, that is, as appears froin St. Peter's declaration (St. Matth. xvi. 16.) and as it was well understood in those days, “the Son of God” eminently and emphatically, the duties of receiving and observing his doctrines necessarily followed.

LIX. “ I thank God that I baptized none of you,” says St. Paul to the Corinthians (1 Cor. i. 14.) Why should the Apostle mani. fest so great earnestness, and why express himself so very strongly on this occasion ? Because, he thought it would be dishonouring Christ, if he had admitted disciples in his own name. And wherefore should he be anxious on that account, if he had believed Christ to have been merely human, and to have been still sleeping in the graye ? He could have incurred no evil present or future, had Christ

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been merely human, and still sleeping in the grave. It is clear then he believed Christ to be more than human ; to be raised from the grave ; to be the witness, the judge, the rewarder of bis actions.

LX. The phrases “baptized in the name of Paul,” and “baptized unto Moses,” occur in the First Epistle to the Corinthians (i. 13. x. 2). It is to be observed, that the sense of the self-same expression often varies, as the subject with which it is connected varies. The word “ Cultus” applied to “ Deorum" will signify “ worship :” applied to “ Arvorum,” it will signify “ Cultivation." « Pietas in Deos" means what we understand by religious “ piety:" " Pietas in Parentes," or "in Fratres," will mean “ Filial," or “ Fraternal affection." Θεραπεια (as used by Xenophon) from Men to Gods signifies “worship :” the same word implied in ateqativev (used by the same author, Mem. i. 4, 10) from Gods to Men, signifies providential care :" Misis in Acts xvii. 31) is “an assurance given" that an event will happen : in Rom. (xiv. 23.) “ confident persuasion” that a thing is right : in Rom. (xii. 3.) “ a thing entrusted ;' in Rom. (i. 17.) “ faith in God's promises.” “ To be baptized in the name of Paul,” means “to be admitted by baptism as the disciples of a religion instituted by Paul.” “ To be baptized unto Moses," is a figurative expression, and, when applied to the Israelites, means “to profess themselves followers of Moses, and engaged in the Mosaic Covenant." But “to be baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," means, “to be admitted by baptism into a religion professing belief that there is a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ;" and then, through that relation in which man stands to each of those divine Persons in the work of Redemption, and through the moral obligation thence resulting, the same expression means by inference,“ being admitted into a religion, which professes such belief, and also the worship of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”. Being“ baptized unto Moses," could never mean “ the worshipping of Moses," because the idea of worshipping Moses is in itself blasphemous. But not blasphemous is the idea of worshipping the Father, because worship is due to the Father. Therefore, we may interpret" being baptized into the name of the Father,” as signifying “ into the wore ship of the Father," without impropriety. But if we can so take the words as implying religious duty towards the Father, we may take them as implying the same duty towards the Son, and towards the Holy Spirit. For, the same act of our mind, which either by die rect sense, or by necessary and obvious deduction, can be understood in the expression us ovopece as extending to the Father, must be understood as extending to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. And as the words ‘Yis and Ilvespectos refer each to as evopece, each object has reference to the same act of our mind.

LXI. In his zeal for true religion, St. Paul was much disturbed, when he beheld Athens full of idols. (Acts xvii. 16.) In the same spirit, on one occasion he denies the entity of those imaginary gods, which idols were formed to represent (1 Cor. viii. 4.) ; on another, he calls them " dumb idols.” (1 Cor. xii. 2.) With earnestness he proposes this question ; What agreement hath the temple of

God with idols ? (2 Cor. vi. 16.) He tells the Thessalonians it is to their praise, that they “ turned to God from idols.” (1 Thess. j. 9.) Still farther. In his Epistle to the Colossians, he cautions them against being seduced to the worship of angels, as mediators between God and Man, lest by such worship they should lose their Christian reward. (Col. ii. 18.) It is however worthy of notice and consideration, that this same Apostle, who had thus expressed himself respecting idolatry and respecting angel-worship, nevertheless says to the Corinthians, "I besought the Lord," i. e. Cbrist, intimating thereby an act of prayer (2 Cor. xii. 8.); and to Timothy, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord ;" implying the power of Christ to hear those thanks. (1 Tim. i. 12.) He exhorts the Ephesians to give thanks for all things unto God the Father, “ in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. v. 20.) He animates the Roman Converts by an assurance, “ that Christ is risen again, is even at the right hand of God, and makes intercession for us ; (Rom. viii. 34.) by which exhortation and by which assurance St. Paul must be understood as telling them, that when prayers were offered on the ground of Christ's perfect righteousness and all-sufficient atonement, our Lord heard them, and makes them accepted of the Father, in whose glory he is most highly exalted. And now let us ask ; Is it probable, that an Apostle thus zealous against idolatry, and thus strenuous against angel-worship, should yet himself adore and admonish others to adore Christ with religious service, if he had not been actually convinced that Christ was really exist. ing in that region where God's glory is particularly manifested, and that he was endued with attributes more than angelic? The adoration paid by himself, and the direction given to others for similar practice, must, consistently with St. Paul's sentiments, language, and actions, be considered as proofs that he believed the existence and the divinity of Christ. He forbids worshipping idols ; he forbids worshipping angels ; yet he himself worships

and bids others worship Christ; Christ therefore must be more than angel; and if more than angel, God.

LXII. When St. Peter styled our Lord Toy Aqxayon Sans, “the Leader, who would conduct us to eternal life ;" Acts iji. 15. when of our Lord he boldly affirmed before the Jewish Rulers, hath God exalted to be Agxnyov xai Ewingce, a Leader to eternal life and a Saviour ;" Acts v. 31. when he shewed the completion of Daniel's prophecy, i. 44, concerning Christ's eternal kingdom, and called him “ Lord of All;" Acts x. 36. when St. John denomi. nated him to be our “ Advocate with the Father,” interceding in behalf of penitent sinners ; 1 St. John ii. 1. did these Apostles then speak of Christ, as of a man still sleeping in the grave ? as of a person distinguished by no characteristics peculiar to himself and himself alone, in contradistinction to all that ever existed in this world ? No candid interpreter, who knows the force of words, will answer in the affirmative.

LXIII. Remarkable is that passage in St. Peter's first Epistle, where the Apostle teaches us, that Christ by his Spirit signified to

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