« AnteriorContinuar »
No Man, that has consider'd the Controversies concerning the Trinity, can be insensible of those Mistakes, into which Learned Men have faln by not observing this Rule. And indeed, even Zeal for the real Truth has too commonly betray'd . Men into gross Errors, and plung'd even the Maintainers of a right Cause into insuperable Difficulties. For, in Opposition to those against whom they have bestow'd their Labors, they have greedily caught at every Text, that would, if understood in a particular Sense, confound their Adversaries ; and by this Means they have expos’d themselves to such Objections, as they could never get clear of upon their own Principles, and without retracting what they had themselves before advanc'd. Thus has the Doctrin of the Trinity been rendred infinitly perplex'd and intricat ; whilst succeeding Writers have been afraid to part with any one Argument, that has been urg'd in favor of Orthodoxy by their Predecessors in Controversy.
We muft therefore lay aside our Prejudices, and disentangle our felves from those Notions, which we have receiv'd, not from the holy Scriptures, but from fallible Writers. We must have recourse to our Bibles, if we desire to be resolv’d, whether the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, be the very God, or no. We are not left deftitute of fufficient Means for the Determination of this Point. The inspir’d Writings are exceedingly clear, and speak very plainly, concerning it. They have so manifestly taught us, that the WORD is the very God, that could I find any one Passage, which implies the contrary, I should own the Scriptures to be inconsistent with themselves, and not pretend to reconcile them.
What then has created such fierce Disputes about our Lord's Divine Nature? Why, the holy 'Scriptures do frequently speak of Jesus Christ as inferior to the very God; and some Learned Men, having unfortunatly thought that diverse of those Passages relate to his Divine Nature, have from thence concluded (justly indeed, if that Principle be granted) that the WORD, cho’exprefly callid God, yet is not the one very felfexistent God, but a secondary Being or inferior God. And they have accordingly labor'd to put such a Sense upon those Texts, which speak of our Savior's Divinity, as is agreeable to their Conceptions of an inferior Deity. Whereas in Reality, tho' the holy Scriptures do frequently speak of Jesus Christ as inferior to the very God; yet there is not one of those Texts, but what either fairly may, or necessarily must, be understood of his human Nature. And consequently they do not prove, that the WORD, or his Divine Nature, is inferior to the very God. Wherefore those Texts, which speak of our Savior's Divinity, must be understood in their natural Sense; which effe&ually demonstrats, as will soon appear, that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Savior, is very God.
I hope, I have shewn the Difference between us in such an intelligible manner, that a Person even of the meanest Capacity will fully and distinctly perceive it. I shall therefore proceed to establish my own Affer:ion, and to confute yours, by proving,
1. That the Holy Scriptures do not teach, that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Chrift, is inferior to the very God. .
2. That the Holy Scriptures do teach, that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Chrift, is the very God.
CH A P. VI.
Of the Exaltation of our Lard Jesus Christ. F"
IRST then, I shall shew, that the Holy Scri
ptures do not teach, that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, is inferior to the very God. This I shall do, by examining all those Texts, which are suppos'd to teach it.
The first is a famous Passage of the Second Chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians, wherein the Apostle speaks very remarkably of the Humiliation and Exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ. And to prepare the way for the true Explanation of that difficult Paffage, I must offer to your Consideration an Account of what the holy Scriptures (setting aside for the present this Text in dispute) do say concerning our Lord's Exaltation.
When he solemnly afcended from Earth in the Presence of his Disciples, we read that he was received ир into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God,
Soon after this, St. Stephen the first Martyr, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jefus standing on the right hand of God, And said, behold, I see the beavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God, Acts 7.55,56. St. Paul also, Rom. 8.34. Col. 3. 1. Heb. 10. 12. and St. Peter, 1 Epist. 3. 22. assure us of his being and fitting at God's right hand; or, as ʼtis sometimes express'd, at the right hand of the throne of God, and on the right hand of the throne of the majestie in the heavens, Heb. 8.1. Thus has God exalted him to be a prince, Acts 5.31. By this he is made Lord, Acts 2. 36. even 'Lord of all, Acts 10.36. that is; Governor of the whole Creation. For
Mark 16. 19:
God has put all things under bis feet, 1 Cor. 15. 27. He is the bead of all principality and power, Col. 2. 10. Angels, authorities, and powers being made Subject unto him, 1 Pet. 3. 22. God has set bim at bis own right band in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come : And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church, Which is bus body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all, Eph. 1. 20, 21, 22, 23. So that he might justly say, I am fer diwn with my father in his throne, Rev. 3. 21. And accordingly the same Throne is the Throne of God, and of the Lamb ; For the Lamb which is in the midst of therbrone, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, Rev.7, 17. And he fewed me a pure river of water of life clear as chrystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb. Rev. 22. I. And there Ball be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him, v.3.
Being in this glorious Station, he is our Mediacor and Intercessor, pleading the Merit of his own Sacrifice in our behalf. He is the one mediator between God and men, 1 Tim. 2. 5. He maketh interceffion for us, Rom. 8. 34.
In this exalted Condition he receives Religious Worship. No sooner was he carried up into Heaven, but it follows immediatly, and they worshipped bim, Luke 24.52. And accordingly St. Stephen at his Martyrdom pray'd to him, saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a boud voice, Lord, lay not this fin to their charge, A&s 7, 59, 60. St. Jubn also says, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our fins in bis own bloud, And bas made us kings and priests unto God and his father ; to bim
be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Rev. 1. 5,6. 'Tis said of him, that he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sate upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts, and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a neid fong, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof : for thou Taft pain, and hast res deemed us to God by thy bloud, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation ; And bast made us unto our God kings and priests, and ide shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I beard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and ehe elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was fair, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blesfing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, beard I saying, Blessing, honor, glory, and power be unto him that fitteth upon the throne, and into the Lamb for ever and ever, Rev. s. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. To him the Martyrs cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, boly and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our bloud on them that dwell on the earth? Rev. 6. 10. The great Multitudes also cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which fitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, Rev, 7. 10.
Insomuch that our Lord's Words were then signally verify'd, that Men should honor the lon, even as they honour the father, that is, should pay religious Adoration to him, John 5, 23.
Then did our Lord's great Power display it self. He shower'd down those Blessings upon his Church, which God had enabled him to bęłtow, who then