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JESUS CHRIST IS GOD UNDERIVED.
The arguments which have been adduced by Trinitarians, in favour of the proper Divinity of Christ, I have never seen refuted. I shall proceed to state some of them; and to make deductions from various scriptures, which establish Christ's real Divinity.
That Jesus Christ is God underived, is evident from what was said of his type, Melchizedek; • Without father, without mother, without de- scent; having neither beginning of days, nor end of time." Granting that this, as it related to Mel. chizedek, is spoken in allusion to that order under the law, in which a correct register of their genealogy was essential to a regular standing in the Jewish Priesthood; and that we are furnished with no such register, with respect to Melchizedek ; yet if the things here expressed be not literally true of the Divinity of him, who is the Antitype of Mel. chizedek ; with what propriety is such a representation given of the type ? If Melchizedek was typically (in the sense above given) without father, without mother, without descent, and without beginning; it must have been designed to represent, that Jesus Christ in his Divinity is really thus. Else, what can be the indication? If it must be an article in the Christian faith, (as some now affirm) that the Divinity of Jesus Christ was not
without father, without descent, or beginning; but, that he was literally derived from God, as really as was Isaac from Abraham ; and that he had thus a descent, and a beginning; how strange is it, that we should find the above passage in our inspired rule of faith? For in that case, it is a passage perfectly calculated to mislead, in a momentous point. This inspired account given to the Hebrews of Melchizedek, when presented as a type of Christ, does clearly decide, that while, in the economy of grace, God is to Christ for a Father, and Christ is to God for a Son; yet Christ, in his Divinity, is without father, without mother, without descent, or beginning.”
The world, after the flood, lost the knowledge of the true God, and fell into idolatry. One object of the mission of Christ into the world, and of Revelation, was to recover man from idolatry to the knowledge and worship of the true God.
Would the Most High then, in the very outset for effecting this object, have instituted a system of idolatry, as the ineans of effecting it? But if God sent a derived and dependent Being into the world, under the names, titles and attributes of God, and commanded Angels and men to honor him, even as they honor the Father, then the Most High, in the origin of his attempt to recover man from idolatry, instituted a system of idolatry. For idolatry is the worship of some being, beside the one only living and true God. It is having another God, before the only One. This is the immutable nature of idolatry. To speak with reverence, God himself could not cause that this should not be idolatry! Shall it be said, God has a right "to set up an own Son under his own name, though wholly distinct from himself, and invest him with his tities and glories ; and command all to worship
him; and if God choose to do thus, why should man object? Reply. It is impossible for the God of eternal truth to set up another God beside himself. It would be establishing, in the universe, a palpable untruth. And God cannot lie. It would be giving his glory to another; and subverting the fundamental law of his own kingdom, which presents himself, as the only God, and the only Object of worship. Is it possible that God, in undertaking to recover man from idolatry, to the knowledye and worship of himself, should first establish another Object of worship beside himself? Is not this a contradiction of his own object, as well as of the whole tenor of his word ? His object is to recover men to the worship of himself. And to effect it, he (upon the above supposition) sets up another object beside himself, to be worshipped. But the language of God's word upon this subject is, “ I am the Lord, that is my name; and my glory I will not give unto another. Beside me, there is no God; I know not any." Certainly then, Christ and the Father must be comprised in this pronoun me, beside whom, Jehovah himself knows not any God. Inevitably the Persons of the Father and the Son must each be found in this one God, who speaks of himself as the Only One. Christ is through the Scriptures represented as, in some sense, distinct from the Father; while yet he is honored with the very names, titles and glories of God; and is represented as really one with God. · The word Jehovah imports self-existence; and is a peculiar name of the infinite, eternal God. Deut. vi. 4; “ Hear, () Israel, the Lord thy God is one Jehovah." Psalm lxxxiii. 18; 6 That men may know that thou whose name alone is Jehovah, art the Most High over all the earth." Yet abun.
dantly through the Old Testament Christ is called by this very name. Jer. xxiii. 6; “ This is the paine, by which he (Christ) shall be called, The Jehovah our righteousness." Certainly then, Christ is the very God; one with the Father.
In Exodus iii. we have an account, that " The Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in the flame of fire out of the midst of a bush." Who can be meant by this Angel of the Lord ? Certainly a Person in some sense distinct from the Father. For the Father is never represented as his own Angel. But Christ is often represented as the Angel of the Lord; as will appear. He is the Messenyer (Angel) of the covenant; the Angel of God's presence. As an Angel, he often appeared of old. We cannot doubt but the Angel, who appeared to Moses in the bush, was the Person of Christ. But what does he say of himself ? He presented himself to Moses, as the infinite, eternal God. He there calls himself the Lord, or Jehovah, (as in the Hebrew) and God. Moses must loose his shoes from his feet: The ground was boly; for God was there. This Angel of the Lord styles himself, “ The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” He promises Moses, that he would be with him. He suggests that he had made man's mouth, and would enable him to speak. He instructs Moses to say to Israel, concerning him, “ The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you." 6 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, 1 AM hath sent me unto you." This the Angel calls his name, in consequence of Moses inquiring for it; a name, which imports necessary, or eternal existence. All that follows in this chapter teaches, that this Angel of the Lord. was at the same time the eternal God. 66 And God said morcover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob hath sent me unto you; this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." These are the titles of the infinite God. Yet the Angel of the Lord in the bush did not scruple to take these names to himself. Would he have done this, if he had not been the very God? In this account we learn, that there is the Lord, or Jehovah, the Person of the Father, beside this Angel, who was his messenger; yet that this Angel was the very God. It follows that God and Christ were, in some mysterious sense, two, yet essentially one.
This same Angel of the Lord had before appeared to Abraham, (Gen. xviii.) with two created Angels, on his way to the destruction of Sodom. The two created Angels went on and appeared to Lot. But one of the threc, (who is called the Lord, as well as the Angel, and had exhibited his omniscience, by reproving the laughter of Sarah, who was absent, stayed and conversed with Abraham. In this interview he was uniformly called the Lord, or Jehovah. Abraham speaks to him, as to Jehovah, the Judge of all the earth. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right ?" Are we not assured, that the Angel here was the true and infi. nite God? But was not this Angel Jesus Christ? who afterwards said, “ Before Abraham was, I am.” This I shall take for granted, that the Angel of the Lord, in various passages of the Old Testament, who is at the same time called the Lord, (Jehovah,) was Christ. But would Christ have received from another, and assumed to himself, titles peculiar to the eternal God, if he were