« AnteriorContinua »
tion as a prophet, purchase it as a priest, and bestow it as a king : that God's looking on the face of his anointed, who made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in an everlasting righteousness, is man's full and only encouragement to hope for every blessing: that the enemies of this anointed one shall be cloathed with shame, and that these are blessed who put their trust in him. These, and many important particulars of the same nature, might be still farther illustrated and confirmed from Pl. xxii. and cx. If. xi, xlix, liji. Zach. jii. 8, 9; vi. 12. 13; ix. 9 12 ; xiii. 7. and a variety of other scriptures, which it would too much swell there sheets to transcribe.
$ 7. Let us next enquire, in what sense, we muft believe, that Jesus is the Son of God. For Christ and Son of God, do not mean precisely the same thing: Else, Matth. xvi. 16; xxvi. 63. John xi. 27.; xx. 31. 2 Cor. i. 19. i John i. 3, 7. where both these. titles are in the Tame sentence ascribed to Jesus, must needs appear vain and useless repetitions, unworthy of the wisdom of the Holy Ghost. Besides, we are told, Acts ix. 20. that Paul “ preached Christ “ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.” Surely this cannot mean, he preached that Christ was Christ. So great a master of reasoning, not to say an inspired Apostle, was incapable of for lemnly afferting and proving a meerly identica! proposition. Indeed, if Christ had been used as a proper name in: the apostolical times, as it is in modern writings, my reasoning would not be conclufive. But in fact, Jesus, the name given our Lord at. his circumcision, was the only name by. which unbelievers then spoke of him. What
Paul preached to the Jews, was therefore this, that the promised Messiah is no less a person than the Son of God. The prophets, had afcribed both titles to the Redeemer. And the high priest was probably sensible of this, when he adjured Jesus by the living God, to tell whether he was the Christ the Son of God. Matth. xxvi. 63. Yet it was more obscure, that the promised Redeemer was the Son of God, in that full emphasis of the title, which includes his divine nature, than that God was to anoint him in a peculiar manner with the Holy Ghoft. The charge of blasphemy against Jesus, was not founded on his claiming the character of Melfias, but on his ftiling himself the Son of God. See John v. 18; x. 33. Had it not been for this last claim, it is probable, that the Jews with less difficulty would have admitted the first. They easily perceived, that if the Meffias was indeed God, he was infinitely superior to Moses, and therefore had power to abolish Moses's law, and to erect a spiritual and heavenly kingdom in its room.
That consequence they detested, and thus were led to reject the principle from which it flowed. With good reason therefore, did Jesus and his apostles infist upon it, as a term of discipleship, that Jesus should be acknowledged not only as the Christ, but as the Son of God. These very Jews, who believed that Jesus was the prophet that should come into the world, and were designed to take him by force, and make him a king, yet could not bear the affertion that he came from heaven. And it was in distinction from those who stumbled at that doctrine, that Peter professed in the name of the twelve apostles, “ We believe and are
< sure, that thou art that Christ, the Son of the " living God. See John vi. 14, 15, 41, 42, 66-69.
We read, Matth. xiv. 33. “ Then they that 66 were in the ship, came and worshipped him, (i. e. Jesus) saying, of a truth, thou art the is Son of God." And John ix. 35-38. “Jesus heard that they had cast him (viz. the blind “ man) out, and when he had found him, he 66 said unto him, dost thou believe on the Son of " God? He answered and said, who is he, Lord, " that I might believe on him? And Jesus said « unto him, thou haft both seen him, and it is he (6 that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I “ believe, and he worshipped him.” Here we fee that those in the ship with Jesus, and the blind man, looked upon Jesus as the Son of God, and entitled in that capacity to divine adoration. If it was without ground they had imagined, that the title Son of God imported divinity ; or if they had worshipped Jesus without regarding him as God, he would have accosted them with some such question, as he put to the young man, Matth. xix. 16, 17. “ 'Why calés lelt thou me good ? There is none good, but “ one, that is God.” I'acknowledge the word
POSKUVEN sometimes means only such civil homage as was paid to the eastern monarchs. But not to observe, that the Jews in that age, had no custom of expressing their honouring princes by any such rite; it is plain, there was nothing in our Lord's outward appearance royal and majeftic, and therefore the homage paid him, was evidently paid him as Son of God. And that such adoration was not to be given to a fellow
6 And creature, is plain from Rev. xxii. 8, 9.
« I John saw these things and heard them. And: ( when I had heard and seen, I fell down to “ worship, before the feet of the angel, which « Thewed me these things. Then faith he unto
me, see thou do it not, for I am thy fellow“ servant, and of th:y brethren the prophets, " and of them which keep the sayings of this. s book : worship God.”
If the title Son of God did not in the apprehenfion of the Jews import divinity, Jesus, when he thus addressed them, John X. 36. “ Say ye of “ him, whom the Father hath. fanctified, and « fent into the world, thou blasphemeft: be“ cause I said, I am the Son of God ?” must be fupposed to have accused them of saying what they had not said, and of founding the charge of blasphemy where they had not founded it. And if this apprehension of the Jews was a wrong one, and the title Son of God. imported something ereated, hardly can it be thought, our Lord would have said nothing to remove that stumbling-block out of their way.
We must therefore believe that the Messias is. the Son of God in the fullest and most empbati cal sense of the word: On this account the article is added, John vi. 69, ó vios To 668, and Jesus is termed, John-iii. 16. « God's only be.
gotten Son," i. e. the Son of God in a sense incommunicable to any creature, and which has not,, nay, cannot have any thing parallel to it in: universal nature. A parent of many children divides among them his honours and possessions, ,. and does not give all to any one. But to an only begotten fon, a parent gives all that he has to give without exception. The name, therefore, Only begotten Son of God, intimates, that the
glory of the Son is as great as that of the Father, and that all things whatsoever the Father hath, are his. Poffibly to fome it may appear a speculative point of small importance, that he who came in the name of the Lord to save us, was indeed the equal and fellow of the Almighty. But the Scripture lays upon this the greatest stress, as an evidence that Jesus is able to save to the uttermoft, and an encouragement to rely on him for salvation. And saving faith accordingly views him as a person of infinite dignity, and therefore able to bear the weight of the Father's anger, to quench the fire of vindictive justice ; to begin, carry on, and complete the recovery of defled and diseased souls ; and to make his people conquerors, and more than conquerors, of all their enemies. Let me appeal to a few Scripture prophecies, Ifa. xii. 2, 3. “ Behold, God is my 66 salvation : I will trust and not be afraid ; for “ the LORD Jehovah is my strength and my « song, he also is become my
salvation. There“ fore with joy Ihall ye draw water out of the 6.6 wells of salvation.” Ifa. xxvi. 4.
66 Trust ye in the LORD for ever : for in the LORD Je-. “ hovah is everlasting strength.” Isa. xlv. 22, 24. “ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends “ of the earth: for I am God, and there is none " else. Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have " I righteousness and strength.” Zech. xii. 1,
56 Thus faith the LORD which stretcheth « forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation w of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man 66 within him, I will pour upon the house of “ David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, w the spirit of grace and of fupplication, and « they shall look upon me whom they have piera