Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

will not yet be satisfied, nor admit the things wbich St. John affirms in express words, but will still require some other demonstration of the true and essential divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ: in order to gratify such a one farther, we shall quote the First Epistle of John, v. 20, in which John interprets bimself, saying, “ We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true: and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This (OUTOS) is the true God, and eternal life.' Of whom is the discourse here? Is it not of Jesus Christ? Who is that true one in whom we are? Is it not Jesus Christ? Here therefore tbis Jesus is said to be the true God: whereby John declares, how he would have it be understood, that in this same verse he calls him toy aan Oivov, -- Him that is true,' surely in such a sense, as that he is the true God. And who, I pray, is it, that in the Holy Scriptures is called ' eternal life?' Is not this the name that belongs to the Son of God? and is everywhere given him. Does not John himself, (First Epist. i. 2,) call him that 'eternal life, which was with the Father?' Does not he tell us, chap. v. 11, 12, of the same epistle, that ' eternal life is in the Son; that he that hath the Son, hath life ; and he that hath not the Son, hath not life?' And bebold, he not only affirms of this same Jesus Christ, that he is life eternal, but says (verse 20,)

This is the true God, and eternal life;' and adds, • Little children, keep yourselves from idols :' that he might thereby every way attest, that the true and essential divinity of the Son of God ought to be acknowledged by us. For if John, as is well to be observed, had so great a care of the churches, as to. admonish them to beware of idols, how could he prevail upon himself to give the greatest occasion of all for idolatry? But he would certainly have given it, had be declared those things of any created being, which he has spoken concerning Christ, in his gospel, his epistles, and Revelation. Moreover, those things should be well considered, which are written, (John xiv. 8—11,)Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father; believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father ip me.' Now what else in effect does Christ say here, but that He and the Father are One? Can it be thought that the inquiry in this place was about the unity of will and affection! No, by no means. For how can you find this sense in the words of Philip, and how could the answer of our Lord suit with the request of Philip, if he would thereby have declared nothing to him more, but that he and the Father were so united by consent of will and affection, as two friends are united together, or as every believer is joined with God, by an union of will. Wherefore this is the obvious meaning of John's words, that the Son is of the same divine and individual essence with the Father. St. Paul also calls our Lord Jesus Christ, God over all, blessed for ever,' (Rom. ix. 5.) What other lofty names are in many places of scripture attributed to Christ, agreeing to the one, true, and essential God, and that he is particularly called Jehovah, that is, the essential God, subsisting by himself, may be seen hereafter in the index of the divine names or titles of Christ; in which, nevertheless, for brevity's sake, there are but few of them enumerated ; whereas it could be easily shewn, that Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms, are full of clear testimonies of the divinity of Christ. May it please God to open the hearts of many to attend diligently to this important affair. But from what hatb been said, it is abundantly manifest, that the conclusion above made, remains firm, viz. that Jesus Christ is the true, the essential, and living God ; because it appears clearer than meridian light, not only from the plain words of Jobo, (which way soever they are placed and turned) but also from the universal testimony of all the holy writings. Why therefore doth blind and wretched reason take such pains to depreciate and deny the Lord, .by whom are all things, and we by Him?' (1 Cor. viii. 6.) May we not hence conclude, how fearful and dangerous it is for any one to go about to read the Holy Scriptures but as an humble and meek disciple, whose part it is, without contradiction, to believe the things which the scripture delivers us in clear and perspicuous words. But though the two arguments now alleged, are. abundantly sufficient to convince and satisfy the mind, concerning the true and essential divinity of Christ; yet there still remain, in the beginning of this gospel, many more of no less conviction to the heart, which now follow.

III.

“ He, by whom all things were made, and without wbom nothing was made that was made, is equally with the Father the only true and Almighty God. But Christ is He, by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made that was made : Therefore Christ is the only true and Almighty God.” No man hath any reason to doubt of the truth of the major proposition ; for every one can easily understand that He, by whom all things that are out of God, or may be said to be created) were created, cannot possibly be any other, than the true, essential, and Almighty God. But perhaps reason will 'seek for a subterfuge in the word by, and say that He who himself created all things, must indeed be the only true and Almighty God; but that He by whom all things were created, must be said to have first received power and efficacy from one bigher than himself, by the use whereof afterwards, and so not from his own power and virtue, nor from Divine Omnipotence properly so called, created all things : therefore that he cannot be called the true and Almighty God, by whom, as by an organ and instrument, all things were made ; but that the true and Almighty God made use of him as an instrument, and so created all things by him. That this objection may be the more solidly answered, the major proposition might thus have been formed, with so much the greater emphasis : “ To whom the creation of heaven and earth, yea, the creation of all things that are in heaven and earth, without exception of any thing created, is ascribed, not so only as effected by him, but as to the Creator himself; and indeed in such a way, that it could not be assigned to any other' after a more sublime manner: He is tbe only True, Omnipotent, and Essential God.” Every one sees, that this cannot be said of an angel, nor of any thing else, that may be used as an instrument; but it is manifestly clear, that tbis is affirmed of Christ

the Holy Scriptures. Therefore (as St. John says)

• All things were made by the Word, and without Him was not any thing made, that was made ;' so St. Paul declares these things more at large: (Col. i. 16, 17.) 'By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible; whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers : all things were created by him, and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Note here in the first place, for hence it may thoroughly be understood, that such things as these cannot be spoken of a mere instrument, nor of an angel, nor of any other thing which is not God himself. For He, by whom not only all things, but for whom all visible things were created, nay, who is before all things, and by whom, or in whom all things do consist, (or are preserved in their being) He, I say, can by no means be created, but must himself be the essential God; and this is Christ himself. Note then, that as St. Paul says by whom also (in the oblique case) he made the worlds, (Heb.

any manner circumscribed by time : so he presently after affirms of him, (in the nominative case) that • He, as the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, upholdeth all things by the word of his power;' so that nothing can subsist unless it be supported by his powerful word; which certainly is not the proper work of any created being, but of the living God alone: for he does not here say by whom, but who (the Son is here spoken of) upholds all things by the word of his power. And if you still desire farther proofs, turn your eyes immediately to the following quotations, and observe, that the Holy Spirit does not so tie himself to the use of

« AnteriorContinuar »