Page images

Acts v. 31. "him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." Hence Stephen says, vii. 60. "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." It clearly appears from these passages that the following expression in Isaiah refers primarily to God the Father, xxxv. 4-6. "behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense, he will come and save you then the eyes of the blind shall be opened," &c. For it was the Father who appointed Christ "to be a Saviour," Acts v. 31. and the Father is said " "to come unto him," John xiv. 23. and “do the works," as has been proved before.2

Fourthly, preservation. John xvii. 11, 12. "holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me.... I kept them in thy name." v. 15. "I pray.... that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." Col. i. 17. " by him all things consist." Heb. i. 3. "upholding all things by the word of his power," where it is read in the Greek, not of his own power, but of his, namely, of the Father's power. But this subject will come under consideration again in the eighth chapter, on Providence, where the chief government of all things will be shown to belong primarily to the Father alone; whence the Father, Jehovah, is often called by the prophets not only the Preserver, but also the Saviour. Those who refer these passages to the Son, on account of the appellation of Saviour, seem to conceive that they hereby gain an important argument for his divinity; as if the same title were not frequently applied to the Father in the New Testament, as will be shown in the thirteenth chapter.

[ocr errors]

Fifthly, renovation. Acts v. 31. "him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel." 1 Cor. i. 30. of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." 2 Cor. iv. 6. "for God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath

3 See p.102.

3 This observation is added, because in the Latin version used by Milton the clause is translated sustinens omnia verbo potentiæ suæ, not illius. Peirce (Notes on St. Paul's Epistles) refers the phrase his power, to God the Father; but nearly all the best commentators agree in referring it to the Son.

shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." v. 17-21. “behold, all things are become new, and all things are of God, who hath reconciled himself to us by Jesus Christ. we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled unto God: for he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Hence Jer. xxiii. 6. may be explained without difficulty; "this is his name whereby he shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness," and xxxiii. 16. "this is the name wherewith she shall be called" (that is, the Church, which does not thereby become essentially one with God) "Jehovah our righteousness.'


Sixthly, the power of conferring gifts--namely, that vicarious power which, he has received from the Father. John xvii. 18. 66 as thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." See also xx. 21. Hence Matt. x. 1. "he gave them power against unclean spirits." Acts iii. 6. "in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." ix. 34. "Jesus Christ maketh thee whole." What was said before of his works, may be repeated here. John xiv. 16. "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter." xvi. 13, &c. "the Spirit shall receive of mine.. .. all things that the Father hath are mine, therefore said I that he shall take of mine." xx. 21, 66 22. as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.... receive the Holy Ghost." Hence Eph. iv. 8. "he gave gifts to men;" compared with Psal. lxviii. 18. whence it is taken-" thou hast received gifts for men.'

[ocr errors]

Seventhly, his mediatorial work itself, or rather his passion. Matt. xxvi. 39. "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." Luke xxii. 43. "there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." Heb. v. 7, 8. "who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he

4 In the original, the sentence is as follows: xxxiii. 16. et hoc est quod tocabit eam (nempe ecclesiam, non idcirco essentia cum Deo unam) Jehovah ustitia nostra; vel clariore syntaxi, Jehovam justitiam nostram; vel si quis mavult, hic qui vocabit eam; eodem pertinet. I have omitted in the ranslation the latter clauses of the sentence, which could scarcely be made intelligible in a language without inflections.

feared though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." For if the Son was able to accomplish by his own independent power the work of his passion, why did he forsake himself; why did he implore the assistance of his Father; why was an angel sent to strengthen him? How then can the Son be considered co-essential and co-equal with the Father? So too he exclaimed upon the cross- -My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? He whom the Son, himself God, addresses as God, must be the Father, why then did the Son call upon the Father? Because he felt even his divine nature insufficient to support him under the pains of death. Thus also he said, when at the point of death, Luke xxiii. 46. "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." To whom rather than to himself as God would he have commended himself in his human nature, if by his own divine nature alone he had possessed sufficient power to deliver himself from death? It was therefore the Father only who raised him again to life; which is the next particular to be noticed.

[ocr errors]

Eighthly, his resuscitation from death. 2 Cor. iv. 14. "knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.' 1 Thess. iv. 14. "them also which sleep in Jesus shall God bring with him." But this point has been sufficiently illustrated by ample quotations in a former part of the chapter.

Ninthly, his future judicial advent.5 Rom. ii. 16. "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.' 1 Tim. vi. 14. "until the appearing

of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Tenthly, divine honours. John v. 22, 23. "the Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.... which hath sent him." Philipp. ii. 9-11. "God hath highly exalted him, and hath given him a name. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.... and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Heb. i. 6. "when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the


5 But whom send I to judge them? Whom but thee,
Vicegerent Son? To thee I have transferr'd

All judgment, whether in Heav'n, or Earth, or Hell.

Paradise Lost, X. 55.

world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." Rev. v. 12. "worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power," &c. Hence Acts vii. 59. "calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." ix. 14. "all that call upon thy name." 1 Cor. i. 2. with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord." 2 Tim. ii. 22. "with them that call upon the Lord out of a pure heart," that is, as it is explained Col. iii. 17. "whatsoever ye do.... do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." 2 Tim. ii. 19. "every one that nameth the name of Christ." It appears therefore that when we call upon the Son of God, it is only in his capacity of advocate with the Father. So Rev. xxii. 20. "even so, come, Lord Jesus -namely, to execute judgment, "which the Father hath committed unto him, that all men might honour the Son," &c. John v. 22, 23.

[ocr errors]

Eleventhly, baptism in his name. Matt. xxviii. 18, 19. "all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth; go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." More will be said on this subject in the next chapter.

Twelfthly, belief in him; if indeed this ought to be considered as an honour peculiar to divinity; for the Israelites are said, Exod. xiv. 31. "to believe Jehovah and his servant Moses." Again, "to believe the prophets' occurs 2 Chron. xx. 20. and "faith toward all saints," Philem. 5. and "Moses in whom ye trust," John v. 45. Whence it would seem, that to believe in any one is nothing more than an Hebraism, which the Greeks or Latins express by the phrase to believe any one; so that whatever trifling distinction may be made between the two, originates in the schools, and not in Scripture. For in some cases to believe in any one implies no faith at all. John ii. 23, 24. "many believed in his name.... but Jesus did not commit himself unto them," xii. 42. “ many believed on him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him." the other hand, to believe any one often signifies the highest degree of faith. John v. 24. "he that believeth on him (qui credit ei) that sent me, hath everlasting life.' Rom. iv. 3. "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for



6 On the signification of the word TOTEUε with and without a preposition, see Vorstii Philolog. Sacr. and the commentators on the Creed, especially Pearson.


righteousness." 1 John v. 10. "he that believeth not God.” See also Tit. iii. 8. This honour, however, like the others, is derived from the Father. John iii. 35, 36. "the Father hath given all things into his hand he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." vi. 40. "this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life." xii. 44. "Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me." Hence xiv. 1. “ye believe in God, believe also in me." 1 John iii. 23. "this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ.' It may therefore be laid down as certain, that believing in Christ implies nothing more than that we believe Christ to be the Son of God, sent from the Father for our salvation. John xi. 25-27. "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord; I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world."

[ocr errors]


Thirteenthly, divine glory. John i. 1. "the Word was with God, and the Word was God." v. 14. "we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father," aρà ПIατρòs. V. 18. " no man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." vi. 46. "not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God,” ὁ ὢν παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ. xvii. 5. "glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." No one doubts that the Father restored the Son, on his ascent into heaven, to that original place of glory of which he here speaks. That place will be universally acknowledged to be the right hand of God; the same therefore was his place of glory in the beginning, and from which he had descended. But the right hand of God primarily signifies a glory, not in the highest sense divine, but only next in dignity to God. So v. 66 24. that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." In these, as in other passages, we are taught that the nature of the Son is indeed divine, but distinct from and clearly inferior to the nature of the Father, for to be with God, pòs dv, and to be from Gcd, xpà Oε,—to be God, and to be in the bosom of God

« PreviousContinue »