Imágenes de páginas

not the eternal God? It affords no relief to say, that he being God's own Son, God was willing to honor him with the titles and worship due to God alone. For this is only pleading the authority of God himself, to establish falsehood, and idolatry. It is the immutable law of the Most High, “ Thou shalt have no other gods before me." If any person then, be had, or worshipped, as God, who is not contained in this pronoun me, in the first command ; this law is violated. But Christ is, by God's command, worshipped, by Angels and men. He is therefore contained in the pronous ME, in the first command. Hence we learn that he is one with God, and is God; as he himself testifies, “ I and my Father are one."

It is a fundamental law of the great Eternal, “ Thou shalt worship’the Lord thy God; and him only shalt thou serve,” But Christ is to be worshipped. Therefore Christ is contained in the phrase, “the Lord thy God, and him only." God and Christ are united in the antecedent to the words “ Hiin only shalt thou serve." Here we learn their essential unity ; while yet they are in some sense two ;-the Lord, and his. Angel.Christ's unity with God we learn in Abraham's calling him Šehovah; and speaking to him as to God : And in his taking to himself, in the burning bush, the ver; titles of the infinite God; and speaking by his own authority. And yet we learn that there is some real distinction between him and the first in the Godhead, from his being called the Angel of the Lord.

This sentiment (that God and Christ are two; and yet that they are one,) is found throughout the Bible. God said to Moses, Ex. xxiii. 20, “ Behold I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place, which I have

[ocr errors]

prepared.” That this Angel is Christ, is evident. 5 For they drank of that rock that followed them; and that rock was Christ.” 1 Cor. x. 4. He is called (Isai. Ixiii. 9,) “ The Angel of God's presence, who saved Israel.” Here the Angel, and God, are two : Yet this Angel, through all the remaining part of Israel's journey, was spoken of, and worshipped, as the Lord God. God says of him, “ My name is in him.” By God's name here, we are to understand not only his titles, but perfections : My perfections are in him :--In the Hebrew, “in his inward parts :"_My perfections are in his nature.-- As Christ says, John x. 38 ; “ I am in the Father; and the Father in me.” This Angel of God's presence went before Israel, in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, in all their journey. His visible appearance was called, the glory of the Lord. In this shekinah the Angel conversed with Moses. But he was called the Lord, or Jehovah, and spake by his own authority. Read the history of Israel, from the time God said, at Mount Sinai, that the Angel of his presence should go with them, and bring them into the land of Canaan; and you will find, that this Angel was the infinite Jehovah himself. Compare Psalm lxxviii. 56, with 1 Cor. x. 9; “ Yet they tempted and provoked the Most High God;" " Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempted, and were destroyed of serpents." Here God decides, that Christ (the Angel of his presence) is the Most High God. Is it not safe to abide by his decision, relative to the mode of his ownexistence,even though clouds and darkness rest upon the subject? Can we read concerning this Angel of God's presence, what he under the title. of Jehovah said, commanded, and threatened, from time to time ;--deciding with an oath, that

that generation should not enter into his rest; and saying, “ Let me alone, that I may consume them in a moment; and I will make of thee a great nation ?? Can we read of his destroying Korah, Dathan and Abiram ;-and rebuking and destroying kings for Israel's sake ; saying, “ Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm ?"-Can we read all this history, and all the references to it in the New Testament; and yet disbelieve, that this Angel of God's presence with Israel was the very God? It is further said of him; “ And the Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount; turn ye, and take your journey." Here the Angel of God's presence, who accompanied Israel, is called, “ the Lord our God." ;

The same Person we find, in Deut. last chapter, transacting with Moses; and is the very God. After deciding that Moses should not go into the promised land, he takes him up to the top of Pisyah, and shows him the goodly Canaan. "And Jehovah said unto him, This is the land, which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it to thy seed." Here the Angel, who was to bring Israel into Canaan, identifies himself with the Jehovah, who covenanted with Abraham. But this was the Lord God Almighty : Gen. xvii. 1; “ I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect." Christ then, is the Lord God Almighty ; one with the Father.

This same Angel presented himself to Joshua, when about to enter into Canaan, as “the Captain of the Lord's host.” Here he distinguishes himself from the Lord, of whose host he was the Captain. Yet in the solemn interview he is the Lord, or Jehovah, claiming divine honors. Joshua's shoes must be put off. The ground in his presence was holy. “And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and all the kings thereof.??-Surely this Jehovah was God..

Should any say, If these things be thus, where is God the Father? If so many sacred passages, which speak of God Jehovah, are to be applied to Christ; what remains for the Father? or where shall we find him ?

Reply. "The Father is not absent, nor excluded from the name of God, even while all his titles are applied to Christ. But these representations teach, that God and Christ are, in some mysterious sense, two, yet essentially one : As Christ decides ; “ That ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him. (John X. 33.) 6 He, that hath seen me, hath seen the Father al. so." “ They have both seen and hated both me and my Father.” In passages almost innumerable the Father and Christ are spoken of as two; and yet are presented in an essential unity; so that each may affirm, that there is no other God beside himself. The above questions then, are founded in a misconception of the subject; viewing the Father and Christ as two distinct Gods. But they are not two distinct Gods; they are one God. God the Father really does all, that the divine nature of Christ does; he is not absent; nor is he another God. And yet the Bible does teach, that there is a real, though mysterious, personal distinction between the Father and the Deity of Christ. The fact may not be denied ; though the mode cannot by man be explained. God covenant. ed with Abraham. T'he Father is not to be excluded from this transaction. Neither is the Deity of Christ to be excluded from it. For the Angel of God's presence, the Angel of the covenant (in the

passage recited, in his interview with Moses on the top of Pisgah) assumes the transaction to bimself: 56 This is the land, which I sware to Abraham”-And in the interview, at the burning bush, he styles himself" the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, as his memorial throughout all generations. The idea is this ; the second Person in the Trinity is one God with the first. What the first does, the second, relative to his own Deity, scruples not to ascribe to himself. While the two are God, and his Angel ! yet, in some essential sense, they are one God. Otherwise this Angel would not identify himself with the Highest, the eternal God. The two (God and his Angel) are, for distinction sake, called persons ; not because the word person, as used among men, fully applies to them; but because it comes the nearest to the thing designed of any word. For this reason, the Nicene council adopted the use of the word Persons, as applicable to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in the Trinity. The Trinitarians have given ample notice, that by this term, when thus applied, they do not mean in every sense the same, as when the term is applied to map. With this notice given, they conceive themselves warranted, from the word of God, to apply the term as above stated. For the Father, the Mediator, and the Holy Spirit are, through the Bible, spoken of as Persons, in some distinct sense, and yet as one God.

Who was he that wrestled with Jacob, Gen. xxxii. 24-~? Was this God the Father? Or was he the Angel of the covenant ? He surely must have been the latter." And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him (or one who appeared like a man) until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against

« AnteriorContinuar »