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who can give a mouth and wisdom but God only; Did any mere man or holy creature ever advance such a claim, or induce others to form such expectations from himi Yet according to this promise the evangelist says, “ Then opened he their “ understandings to understand the scriptures."2 -To Nicodemus, who was astonished at his discourse on regeneration, he said, “ If I have told
you earthly things, and ye believe not, how “ shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things ? ? “ And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he “ that came down from heaven, even the Son of “ man which is in heaven."3
But in what sense could the Son of man be said “ to come down from “ heaven," and at the same time “ to be in heaven,” even when he was speaking on earth, if there had not been such an intimate union between the man Christ Jesus, and “the Word which in the begin“ning was with God, and was God,” that what belonged to the one nature might properly be said of the other? Thus it is said,
Thus it is said, that “God pur“ chased the Church with his own blood;" because he who shed his blood was God as well as man. In like manner“ the Son of man was in heaven," because that person, whose omnipresence filled the heavens, was also “ the Son of man:” and this was doubtless a specimen of those“ heavenly “ things,” which are far more mysterious than regeneration.
The same conclusions may undeniably be drawn from our Lords words, when he
" Where two
Exod. iv. 11. Prov. ii. 6. Luke, xxi. 15. ? Luke, xxiv. 45.
3 John, iii. 12, 13.
“ or three are gathered together in my name, there
am I in the midst of you;” and,“ Lo, I am with
you always, even to the end of the world.”! These are certainly equivalent to the promises of Jehovah in the Old Testament, that he would be with his people in all their trials; and can by no ingenuity be separated from the attribute of omnipresence : for Christ, as man, is in heaven, and not personally present with his ministers and congregations. “ No one,” says he “knoweth who the Son is but “ the Father ; neither knoweth any one who the “ Father is, save the Son, and he to whom the Son “ will reveal him." Can any one deny this to be an assertion, that the Son is equally incomprehensible with the Father; and a declaration that all knowledge of God is erroneous, which is not learned by faith in Christ?
When he was called to account (probably before the sanhedrim,) for healing on the sabbath-day,3 he answered, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I “work:” and the Jews considered this a declaration, that, “ God was his own (cdov) Father,” and as mak
ing himself equal with God.” His subsequent discourse, in which he stated his union of counsel and operation with the Father, and often referred to his human nature and mediatorial undertaking, has been frequently misunderstood: but surely He, who spoke of “ quickening whom he would,” of “having life in himself,” and of being “honoured “ by all men, even as they honour the Father that
sent him," cannot be thought to have objected
• Matt. xi. 27. Luke, x. 22.
1 Matt. xviii. 20. xxviii. 20.
John, v. 164-47.
to the inference, which the Jews had drawn from his first assertion.-In like manner, when he had said “ I and my Father are One,” one Being or Deity, (Felov, numen,) and the Jews in consequence charged him with blasphemy, “because, being a “ man, he made himself God;" his answer, which concludes thus, “that ye may know and believe “ that I am in the Father, and the Father in me,” could not be intended as a denial of their allegation; though we should allow that he waved the further discussion of the subject, by referring to the language of scripture concerning magistrates as types of the Messiah. The Jews at least did not understand it as such, for they renewed their attempts to seize and stone him as a blasphemer.
It would not consist with brevity to consider particularly our Lord's words to Martha, “ I am “ the resurrection and the life; he that believeth “ in me, though he were dead yet shall he live; “and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall “ never die;" his reply to Philip, “He that hath
seen me hath seen the Father;" “ I am in the
Father, and the Father in me;" with other expressions of his last discourse with his disciples, “ They have both seen and hated both me and my 66 Father;"
“All things that the Father hath are " mine."
Glorify thou me with thine own self, “ with the glory which I had with thee before the “ world was ;” “All mine” (in the neuter gender, implying all things, as well as all persons) “ thine, and thine are mine;” and many others of similar import?. If Christ be no more than a man,
? John x. 27-39.
or a created being, such language can only serve to perplex a plain subject, and mislead a simple reader ; for it is evident that much learning, ingenuity, and labour are required to put any plausible sense upon it, when his Deity is denied.
But our Lord's repeated promises of sending the “Holy Spirit, to convince the world concernSing sin, and righteousness, and judgment;" to
glorify him,” and “ to teach and comfort his “ disciples,” require a more particular consideration. Without anticipating the subject of a future Essay, on the Deity and Personality of the Holy Spirit, we may assert without hesitation, that such promises could not properly have been given by any mere servant of God. The Holy Spirit must denote either a divine person, or the one living and true God operating in a peculiar manner on the minds of men: and is it not palpably absurd to suppose, that any mere creature should direct, or send, the Spirit of God, in either of these senses ? -The Believer's union with Christ, and with the Father through him, has sometimes been considered as coincident with our Lord's union with the Father: but can it be thought that any Christian is one with God in such a sense, that the Holy Spirit may as properly be called his Spirit as the Spirit of God? yet he is frequently called “ the Spirit of “ Christ,” as sent by and proceeding from him”. Indeed the words of Christ, by which the promise of the Spirit is introduced, are very remarkable : ( Whatsoever
ye ask in my name, I will do it." 3 John, xiv. 20. xvii. 21-23. John, xv.26. xvi. 7, 13—15. Rom. viii. 9, 11. • John, xiv. 13-18.
The language of his disciples should also be noticed. They repeatedly observe, “ that he knew “ the thoughts of men :" and the apostle John expressly says,
" that he knew all men ; and “ needed not that any should testify of man, for “ he knew what was in mano,” If it be possible for any man to doubt whether this be an undeniable ascription of omniscience to our Saviour; yet Peter certainly appealed to that divine attribute without any reserve, when he said, “Lord, thou “ knowest all things, thou knowest that I love “ thee." The attentive reader of the evangelists will observe for himself many expressions of a similar nature, which are never used by prophets, apostles, or angels, concerning themselves, or each other: and these shew us what the disciples thought of their Lord. Thus John remarks, that by his miracles he“ manifested forth his glory :' whereas all the prophets and saints referred all their works to the glory of God alone.3
The testimony of John the Baptist is peculiarly important in this inquiry. He was “ filled with “ the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb;” being
more than a prophet,” and “ great in the sight “ of the Lord” above all that had been born of woman. Yet he counted himself“ unworthy to “ loose the Redeemer's shoe-latchet:" and he de" clared that of his fulness” he and all his fellow servants “had received ;” “ that he needed to be “ baptized of him ;" and that Christ " came from “ heaven, and was above all.” And, though Jesus
John, ii. 24, 25. 2 Chron. vi. 30. Jer. xvi. 9, 10. 2 John, xxi. 17. 3 John, ii. 11. * Luke, i. 15. vii. 26-28.