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a Saviour, to give repentance,to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” “Of that day and hour knoweth no man, nor the Son; but the Father only,"i. e. the Son never received this to reveal to man; and hence knows it not as Mediator. “I know you not whence you are: depart from me.”-Or I never knew you as given to me. “ Then shall the Son also be subject to him that did put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” Or, then shall the mediatorial character be eternally relinquished, as having fully accomplished its design: and the infinite triune God shall thenceforth exist as from eternity.
These and similar texts have by many been adduced to disprove the real Divinity of Christ. But they are nothing to the purpose. They prove only that the infinite Divinity of Christ humbled himself to act in a subordinate and constituted grade between offended heaven, and offending earth. And in this office work Christ acknowledges a dependence on the infinite Godhead. As the character is a constituted one; so the official acts are generally noted as dependent on the Father: while yet the eternal Divinity of the most sacred Incumbent, now and then, bursts through the habiliments of its constituted degradation, and shines with its own native infinite lustre, as the eternal, the true and the living God, equal with the Father, and one with him.
Man if he will presume to cavil, may say ; How can two such dissimilar natures unite in one person ? The Divinity of Christ, upon the trinitarian theory, had a personal existence eternal ages before his humanity existed. And his human soul seems to be represented as a person. How can two such natures constitute one person? Reply. Nicodemuş might repeat his question, 6 How can these
things be?” while yet facts are incontestable. There is a difference between an unanswerabie objection against a point ; and an unanswerable question in relation to it. The latter does by no means amount to the former; though too many inadvertently imagine it does. Questions unanswerable by man do attend every work of God; and certainly then must attend the existence of God himself. “ Canst thou by searching find out God ?» “ No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither kpoweth any man the Father, but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” This might seem enough to silence every cavil against things clearly revealed.
It is a fact, that Christ has clearly taught us that he is both divine and human; and hence that the perfectious of the one pature, and the properties of the other, do unite in him. “I am the Root and offspring of David.” He does assure us that " of myself I can do nothing ;" and yet says, “I am the Almighty.” He does assure us that his Person was the son of man; and yet the everlasting Father. That he is the seed of Abraham; and yet the mighty God. That he was born of the virgin, and God was his Father; and yet he is “ without father, without mother, and without descent; having neither beginning of days, nor end of time." These things we are taught of the Person of Christ. And there is no medium between believing, and disbelieving this " record, which God has given of his Son." Christians believe; not because they can comprehend all that is said concerning Christ; but because God has declared it. They believe on divine testimony, and " set to their seal that God is true.” The objector stumbles at the mysteries of godliness. He cannot believe. The dispute is between himi
and Christ; and Christ will decide it with him, in due time.
There are things in the representations given of him, who is wonderful, and whom no man knoweth, but the Father, which I design never, in this life, to attempt to answer, nor explain. Let me repeat the sacred passage, “ Secret things belong to the Lord our God; but those which are revealed, to us, and our children forever.” Man ought never to be wise above what is written. The things above stated of Christ, are revealed ; and to believe them, belongs to us, and our children. It is revealed, “ I am the Root and the Offspring of David.” It is thus revealed, that these infinitely dissimilar natures are united in the Person of Christ, and are both comprised in the pronoun I, in this text. But the mode, in which these two natures unite, to constitute one Person, is a secret thing, which belongeth to God. Hence to attempt an explanation of it, would, in my opinion, be both presu option and impiety. And I shall never feel myself pressed with any argument, urged from the difficulties, which may seem to attend the union of those two natures in one Person, any more than with the question, how can God exist eternally or independently? Or, “ How can these things be ?"
SKO NION VIII.
THE GODHEAD CONSISTS OF A TRINITY IN UNITY.'
It has already been ascertained, that there are two in the Godhead, of equal Divinity; God and Christ, represented as two ; yet essentially one. But if there are two, in the sense explained ; no difficulty is increased by supposing there are three in the Godhead. In this point of light, I shall consider all the arguments, adduced in favor of the real Deity of Christ, and of his distinction from, and yet union with the Father, as fully in point, to prove the doctrine of the Trinity. The business of this section therefore, I shall view as in a great measure accomplished, by that of the section on the real Divinity of Jesus Christ. I shall here rest on every argument there adduced, as directly in point. . The doctrine of a Trinity in Unity in the Godhead, rests solely on divine Revelation. The light of nature teaches nothing in favor of it ; and it can teach nothing against it. This is a doctrine above our reason; and above all that we can ascertain from the analogy of creatures. But this doctrine cannot be pronounced contrary to reason. It is a mystery, but can never be shown to be an absurdity, that there should be in some sense three in one undivided Godhead. It is not pretended that there are in God three in the same sense, in which there is one ; nor one in the same sense, in which there are three. But there are in some important sense three ; yet in another important sense, the three are one.