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tered upon his public ministry: he opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped the ears of the deaf, made the lame to walk, and the tongue of the dumb to sing. Jesus applied this prophecy to himself, and appealed to these- signs, . even his own wonderful works, as infallible evidences that he was the true Messiah. When John the Baptist sent two of his disciples unto Jesus with this question, "art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” our Lord answered, by applying the words of the prophet to himself, and showing that in him they were fulfilled : “go,” says he, “and show John again those things which ye do hear and see; the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them; and blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me.”Matth. xi. 4, 6.
The prophet Isaiah calls Jesus the mighty God; and one would think that this is sufficient to prove the Divinity of Jesus Christ : if he is the mighty God, then surely he is really and truly God. It has been proved, in a former discourse, that he is almighty, the Creator of all things, and able even to subdue all things to himself; is it not, therefore, irrational to say that Jesus is God, but not equal to the Almighty Creator of all things? Is it not absurd to say that he is God, and yet to deriy that he is all-perfect? In God there is not, there cannot be, any imperfection; there is not a superior and an inferior God.
When Jesus is called Immanuel, he is called God, even God with us: the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we know that he who is called the Word is the Son of God. This is he who took upon him the form of a servant: this is he that took on him the seed of Abraham : this is he that descended from the fathers of the Jewish nation, as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever. In Jesus dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodi. ly. The beloved disciple calls him the true God, and
eternal life ; and the apostle Paul, speaking of the incarnation of the Son of God, says, “and without all controversy, great is the mystery of godliness ; God was manifest in the flesh." The apostle, exhorting the elders of the church at Ephesus, uses these emphatical words; “ feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” But these words must be something more than mysterious, if he who shed his blood for the redemption of his church was not God and man in one person : but of this more hereafter.
Again, Christians are exhorted to " adorn the doctrine of God, our Saviour, in all things; for the grace of God, that bringeth salvation, hath appeared unto all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present worldlooking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ, (Titus, ii. 13); who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Here the Lord Jesus Christ is called God, yea, the great God and Saviour; as will clearly appear from the following considerations. First, the construction of the words in the original shows us that the apostle speaks only of one person, namely, the Redeemer, who gave himself for us, who is ascended up into heaven, and who will appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation; and whose glorious appearing Christians look for with hope and expectation. The word saipaveice, which is translated appearing, in all other passages where it occurs relates to Jesus Christ. Once it relates to his first coming; in every other instance it relates to his second coming, when he shall appear in a very glorious manner, to judge the world in righteousness
. He shall come, and shall be seen coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory: “Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him.” And if this is the sense in which the word is used, except where it relates to the first coming of Christ, why should not we understand it in this sense. here? Christ sball come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels; and let this glory be what it may, it is plain that it is the Son, and not the Fatlıer, who shall come, appear, and be seen by every eye.
But a literal translation of the whole text will set the matter in a clear light; and the following translation is not only literal, but the exact order of the words in the original is preserved, viz.: “ Looking for the blessed hope, and the illustrious appearing of the glory of the great God and Saviour of us, Jesus Christ."
The words may be translated with a sufficient degree of literal exactness, and more conformably to the idiom of our language, as follows:
Looking for the blessed hope, and the illustrious appearance of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Some are of opinion that the word and should be taken exigetically, and translated even, so that the text would read thus; “ looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ.
But the second translation which I have offered is sufficient to prove our point; and for the justness of it I appeal to the marginal translation of the first verse of the second epistle of Peter. The words are: “ Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness* of God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ." This latter clause should be translated “through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ;" which our excellent translators have accordingly done in the margin. Now this passage, and that in the epistle to Titus, are of the same grammatical construction, except the order of one word, 'nuwy, (that is, our) should be considered as mak
* “Through the righteousness,” would be better translated “ in the righteousness."
ing a difference of grammatical construction, which I think it cannot; but, if it makes any difference, it appears to be in favour of our doctrine. I think it unnecessary to show the justness of the marginal translation of the first verse of the second epistle of Peter : it is only a matter of surprise that the translators did not put it in the text: if the last verse of this epistle is justly translated, viz. “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” then the marginal translation of the first verse is just, because the grammatical construction of both is the same.
It cannot be denied that Jesus Christ is called God: I have quoted several texts of scripture in which he is so called; and many more might be mentioned, were it necessary. The words of my text are clear and decisive, for there the apostle calls Jesus his Lord and his God: but it is of great importance to ascertain in what sense Jesus Christ is so called. He is called God in the strict and proper sense of the word ; and this we will now endeavour to prove. First, we are always to understand every word and every sentence, both in the sacred scripiures, and in all other writings, in a literal, strict; and proper sense, except necessity obliges us to take them figuratively; that is, except the words appear to be figurative, or cannot be taken in a strict literal sense without absurdity. When idols are called gods, it is easy to see in what sense they are so called: they were so called by their deluded worshippers; but the inspired writers declare that they are lying vanities, dumb idols, and an abomination : and sometimes they are called gods in derision. They are entirely out of the question. But are not men sometimes called gods? We grant that they are; but when they are so called there is always some mark by which we may perceive in what sense; there is always something said to show that the word must be taken figuratively. Thus, when the Lord says unto Moses, I have made thee a God to Pharaoh,” we must understand these words as relating to
the mission which Moses received from God, the authority he was invested with, or, in other words, that he was in God's stead, the minister of God: no one can believe that Moses was really and truly God. When persons in high office, and exercising high power, are called gods, it is from some faint resemo blance of the power and authority of God over his subjects;. but it is said, “God judgeth among the gods;" and again, “I have said ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High, but ye shall die like men.” There is nothing easier than to distinguish the true God from those who are only called gods in a figurative sense; but in what sense is he called God, unto whom the Divine attributes are ascribed ? There is no absurdity in calling hím God, in the strict and proper sense of the word, who is possessed of the Divine perfections, and, consequently, of that nature to which these perfections belong. If it has been proved that any one Divine attribute is ascribed to Jesus Christ; if it has been proved that he is Jehovah ; if it has been proved that he is our God and Saviour-then he is really and truly God: for the true God, and he only, can be called our God. In what sense is he called God, who is eternal, unchangeable, omnipresent, omniscient, and almighty? In what sense is he called God, who is most holy, whose mercy we lock for unto eternal life, whose long-suffering is salvation, whose grace is sufficient for his people, whose strength is perfected in their weakness, who is able to save even to the uttermost, and who is himself the Lord of hosts, the Lord our righteousness? In what sense is he called God, who is our great God and Saviour, the prince of life, the Lord of glory, the Lord of lords, and King of kings? He that is the Lord of lords is the Lord of glory; he that is the King of kings is the King of glory: and who is the King of glory? " The Lord strong and mighty; the Lord strong and mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, even lift them up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory sball come in.