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The only text in the writings of Moses that refers to the nature of the Messiah, is that of Deuteronomy, ch. xviii. vers. 15 and 18, quoted by St. Peter, in the Acts of the Apostles, ch. iii. ver. 22, and by St. Stephen, ch. vii. ver. 37: Moses said to the children of Israel, “ The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me: unto him ye shall hearken.” The words which the Lord addressed to Moses were exactly of the same import: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee,” &c. It was, no doubt, to this remarkable passage that Jesus referred, and nothing can more distinctly prove the light in which he wished to be considered, namely, that of a Messenger or Prophet of God. But this is not the only instance in which Jesus entirely disclaims the attribute of omnipotence. On many other particular occasions he declares, in the strongest language, his want of almighty power, and his constant need of divine influence. Matthew, ch. xx. ver. 23: “ And he saith unto them, ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the bap-, tism that I am baptized with: but to sit 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.” Ch. xii. ver. 28: “ But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” Ch. xxvi. ver. 39: 6 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as
I will, but as thou wilt." Ver. 42: “ He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” Luke, ch. xxii. ver. 32: “ But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not,” &c. John, ch. xii. ver. 27: “ Father, save me from this hour.” Whosoever honours God, cannot, I presume, consistently refuse to honour his Prophet, whom he dignified with the name of “ Son of God;” and as he honours God, he will also honour that Prophet, though he be well aware of the distinction between the Almighty and his chosen Son. The honour paid to the Prophet may in this sense be fairly considered the test of the real degree of respect entertained for God-as Jesus saith, Matthew, ch. x. ver. 40, “ He that receiveth you, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.” The obvious meaning of which words is, As far as men listen to your instructions, they listen to mine, and in so far they receive the commandments of God who hath sent me. Prejudice alone could, I think, infer from such expressions, that those who received the Apostles were literally receiving God himself under their form and substance. Equally demonstrative of prejudice, I conceive, would it be to deduce the identity or equality of the Father and the Son from the following passage, John, ch. v. ver. 23: 66 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father who hath sent him.” For in this very passage the Son is represented as the Messenger of the Father, and for that reason only
entitled to honour. That the preposition (conj. ?1 “as” implies here, as in many other places, likeness in nature and quality, and not in exact degree of honour, is illustrated by its obvious meaning in the last verse of Matthew v., “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect;" for by these words no one can conceive, that equality in degree of perfection between God and the disciples. is intended to be enjoined.
The fifth position is, that his heavenly Father had committed to Jesus the final judgment of all who have lived since the creation. I readily admit the correctness of this position, and consider the fact as confirming the opinion maintained by me, and by numerous other followers of Christ, as to the Son's total dependence on the commission of God for his power in administering such judgment. I agree also with the Reverend Editor, in esteeming the nature of this office most important; and that nothing but the gift of supernatural wisdom can qualify a being to judge the conduct of thousands of millions of individuals, living at different times from the beginning of the world to the day of resurrection. It is, however, perfectly consistent with the omnipotence and wisdom of God, who is declared by revelation to be “able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham,” (Matthew, ch. ji. ver. 9,) and with whom all things are possible, (Luke, ch. i. ver. 37,) to bestow wisdom equal to the important nature of this office on the first born of every creature, whom he bas anointed and exalted even above his angels. But the Editor
goes much further than I am willing to follow him, in concluding the omniscience of the Son, from the circumstance of his distributing final judgment; since Jesus not only disclaimed that attribute, but even expressly avowed that he received his qualifications for exercising judgment from God. With respect to his disclaiming omniscience, see Mark, ch. xiii. ver. 32: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Omniscience, as the Editor must be well aware, has no limit; but here Jesus expressly declares, that he is ignorant of the day appointed by the Father for the resurrection and judgment. What words can be more expressly declaratory than these of the finite nature of the knowledge granted to Jesus, however its extent may actually surpass our limited capacity? As a proof that his judicial authority is derived from God, see John, ch. v. vers. 26, 27 : “For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself: and hath given him authority to execute judgment also.” 30: “I 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 of the Father which hath sent me.” Is it possible to misunderstand the assertion, contained in these words, that both the authority and the ability to judge are gifts bestowed on the Son by the omnipotent Father? • The sixth position is, that in several instances Jesus accepted worship “due to no man, but to God alone;" and instances of his receiving worship
from a blind man, a leper, from mariners, and from his disciples, are adduced from the evangelical writings. Every one must admit that the word 5 worship,” both in common acceptation and in the Scriptural writings, is used sometimes as implying an external mark of religious reverence paid to God, and at other times, as signifying merely the token of civil respect due to superiors; and that concurrent circumstances in every instance determine the real sense in which the word should be taken. Among the Prophets of God, Jesus was not the only one that permitted himself to be worshiped, as we find Daniel the Prophet allowing himself such worship. Daniel, ch. ii. ver. 46: 6. Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshiped Daniel.” Daniel, like Jesus, neither rebuked the man who worshiped him, nor did he feel indignant at such a tribute of respect; yet we cannot find any subsequent assertion that he had offended God by suffering himself to be the object of the king's worship in this instance. Besides, Jesus himself uses the word worship in the latter sense, (I mean that of civil reverence,) in one of the evangelical parables, where he represents a servant as worshiping his master. Matthew, ch. xviii. ver. 26: “ The servant therefore fell down and worshiped him.” From the circumstance of Jesus positively commanding human beings to worship God alone in spirit, and not in any form or shape, either human or angelic; as John, ch. iv. ver. 24 : " God is a spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Matthew, ch.