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V. Of The Divinity Of Christ.
So fatal have the consequences of the sin of Adam been represented, that you have been told that nothing but the blood of God himself could reverse them; and therefore you have been taught to believe, that Jesus Christ, whose proper title is the son of man, as well ?s the son of God, was not merely man, but very and eternal God himself; without considering that, by thus making more God? than one, you are guilty of a breach of the first and most important of all the commandments, which fays expressly, Thoushalt have no other Gods before me. Exod. xx. 3. But whatever such divines may fay, the apostle Paul fays, in direct contradiction to them, that to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him, 1 Cor. viii. 6. And again, after laying that we have ene Lord, one faith, one baptism, he adds, one God and Father of all, who is above alt, and through all, and in you all. Eph. iv. 5. 6. The creed of all christians, therefore, ought to be, There is One God, and one mediator between.God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus. I Tim. ii. - .
The Father is frequently fliled God, even with respect to Christ, as well as other beings. The God of eur Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give unto you, that ye may know the exceeding greatness of his power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the jead, and set him at his own right hand, &c. Eph. i.
17, &c. 17, &c. Christ himself uses the fame language, / ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and unto my God, and your God. John xx. 17. My God, my God, why hafl thou forsaken me? Matt. xxvii. 26.
Christ who was the image of the invisible God, and the first-born (or most excellent) of all his creatures, Col. i. 15. and in whom dwelt all the fulness of the godhead bodily, Col. ii. 9, acknowledged that his Father was greater than he. John xiv. 28. and indeed, upon all occasions, and in the clearest terms, he expressed his dependence upon God his father, for all his power and glory; as if he had purposely intended to guard his disciples against forming too high an opinion of the dignity of their master. Verily I fay unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself. John v. 19. / can of mine own self do nothing. As I hear I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not mine own will, but the will ef the Father who sent me. v. 30. The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, and the Father who dwelleth in me, he doeth the works, xiv. 10. I live by the Father, vi. 57. The Father hath given to the fin to have life in himself; and hath given him authority t» execute judgment. v. 26, 27. All power is given unit me, in heaven and in earth. Matt. xxviii. 18. He even calls his Father the only true God. John xvii. 3. that they might know thee, the only true God, and fefus Christ whom thou hast sent. It appears to me not to be in the power of language to exclude the idea of the •B 2 divinity divinity of Christ more expressly than by these solemn words.
Notwithstanding the divine communications with which our Lord was savoured, some things are expressly said to be withheld from him. For he himself, speaking of his second coming, says, Mark xiir. 32. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no net the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. In Matthew xxiv. 36. where the same observation is repeated, it is, but my Father only.
The apostles, notwithstanding their attachment to their Lord and master, always preserye the idea of his subordination to the Father, and consider all his honour and power as derived from him. He received from God the Father, honour and glory, 2 Pet. i. 17. It pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell. Col. i. 19. The revelation of Jesus Christ, vjhich God gave unto him, Rev. i. I. }e are Christ's, and Christ is God's, 1 Cor. iii. 23. The head of Christ is Gcd. I Cor. xi. 3.
The reason why Christ was so much distinguished by God the Father, is frequently and sully expressed in the scriptures, viz. his obedience to the will of God, and especially in his submitting to die for the benefit of mankind. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, John x. 17. He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the
name name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. ii. 8—II. Who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is nowsttten down at the right hand of God. Heb. xii. 2.
Our Lord says, that he and his Father are one, John x. 30. but he sufficiently explains himself, when he prays that all his disciples may be one with him, and hit Father,, even as they are one, John xvii. 11. and he gives them the fame glory which God had given to him, ver. 22. Besides, at the very time that our Lord says, that he and his Father are one, and in the very sentence preceding it, ver. 29, he says, that his Father is greater than all. But how could the Father be greater than all, if there was any other, who was so much one with him, as to be, in all respects, equal to him?
The mere term God Is, indeed, sometimes used in a lower and inserior sense in the scriptures, denoting dominion only; as when the Divine Being himself says, that he will mate Moss a god to Pharaoh, Exod. vii, 1. but, surely, there can be no danger of our mistaking the sense of such phrases as these; or if it were possible, our Lord himself has sufficiently guarded against any misconstruction of them when applied to himself, by the explanation he has given of them; informing us, that, if, in the language of scripture, they art calledgods to whom the word of God came, John x. 35, B 3 (though, (though, in fact, they were no other than mere men) he could not be guilty of blasphemy in calling himself only the fin of God, Now if Christ had been conscious to himself that he was the true and very God, and that it was of the utmost consequence to mankind that they should regard him in that light, this was certainly a proper time for him to have declared himself,, and not to have put his hearers off with such an apology as this.
But even this power and dominion, to which Christ: is advanced by God his Father, who gave all power into his hands, and who made hint head over all things to his church, Eph. i. 22. this mediatorial kingdom of Christ (as it is sometimes, and with susficient propriety, termed) is not to be perpetual. For the apostle Paul, speaking, no doubt, under immediate inspiration^ expressly fays, that when the end shall come, that God shall have subdued all things to his Son (in which he observes, that he mu/i be excepted who did subdue all things unto him) he must deliver up the kingdom to God, eten the Father, and be himselffubjecl to him who had put all things under him, that God may be all in all. I Cor. XV. 24, &c. Nay, he himselfsays expressly, that he had not the disposal of the highest offices of his kingdom, Matt. xx. 23. To fit on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
So clear, my brethren, so full, and so express, is the uniform testimony of the scriptures to the great