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suredly deserves the serious consideration of all Christians.
Whether Jesus Christ taught that he himself was
Eusebes. We must, not, however, come too rapidly to a conclusion on this weighty and important subject, about which so many learned men are of a contrary opinion, and are persuaded they have much to say for it. Perhaps, notwithstanding the strong proofs against the probability of it, which you have produced, our Saviour might teach that he was God, in some way, incomprehensible by us, yet nevertheless true. I desire, therefore, to know if Christ did at any time intimate to his followers, that he was God, or style himself so ?
Artemon. He was so far from taking upon himself the style and title of God, that he once rebuked a person for addressing him, though with wellintended respect, as if he were any thing approaching to that all-perfect Majesty, or had any thing good of himself, save what came from that Being who made him and all things : “ Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good ? There is none good but one, that is God.” Matt. xix. 17.
Eusebes. Was not our Saviour, however, ac
cused by the Jews of making himself equal with God?
Artemon. Yes, he was accused of something of that kind, on two different occasions : it appears however from the defence which he made both times, that his adversaries did not charge him with taking upon himself to be Jehovah, the living and true God, a thing that never entered into their thoughts, but only with arrogating to himself the power and authority of God. For, in the first instance, where they accused him of making himself equal with God, or, as it ought to be translated, like to God, he vindicates himself by asserting, that he laid claim to no powers but what he had actually received from God: John y. 19, “ Then answered Jesus, and said unto them, Verly, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the Father do,” &c. And in the second instance, John x. 34, &c. he refutes the calumny by saying, that he had assumed to himself nothing more than became him as the Son of God, i. e. the Mes
* Ver. 36, “ Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God ?" i. e. Say ye of him whom the Father hath consecrated, set apart and distinguished from the rest of men, by a supernatural birth, and by a communication of the Spirit without measure, and by a special commission and authority to teach his will, that he blasphemeth, because he hath thus spoken ?" L'Enfant in loc.
siah ; and that his miracles proved, that this high character belonged to him: “If I do not the works of my Father (such works as were the effects of a divine power) believe me not; but if I do, though you believe me not, believe the works : that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him;" i. e, that I act by a power and authority from God.
INQUIRY V. What it was that our Saviour taught concerning
himself. Eusebes. Be so good as to inform me, in what terms our Saviour usually speaks of himself?
Artemon. I shall present you with some few examples, by which you may form a judgment what were the sentiments which our Saviour had of himself, and doubtless would have us to entertain of him.
1. “ The Son can do nothing of himself,* but what he seeth the Father do.” John v. 19. the living Father t hath sent me, and I live by
* He is here speaking of his miraculous works only; that he never wrought any but by an immediate direction and support from God.
† This is well paraphrased by Dr. Clarke : “ As the Father, who is the original author of life has communicated life to me, and will restore it to me after I have laid it down, by raising me again from the dead : so," &c,
the Father ; so," &c. vi. 57. “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man is desirous to do his will, he shall know of his doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself,” vii. 16, 17. “ I have not spoken of myself; but my Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak,” xii. 49.
2. “ And he that sent me, is with me: the Father hath not left me alone ; for I do always those things that please him," John viii, 29. “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love : even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love," xv. 10.
3. “ To sit on my right hand and on my left, is not mine to give: but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father," Matt. xx. 23. “ It is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power,” Acts i. 7.
“ But of that day and hour knoweth no one, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father,” Mark xiii. 32.“ — but my Father only,” Matt. xxiv. 36.
4. “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth. Even so, Father! for so it seemed good in thy sight," Matt, xi. 25, 26. " And he went a little farther, and fell on his face and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheļess, not as I
will, but as thou wilt,” xxvi. 39. “And Jesus lifted
eyes, and said, Father,* I thank thee that thou hast heard me: and I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people that stand by, I spoke, that they may believe that thou hast sent me," John xi. 41, 42.
Eusebes. What do you infer from these declarations of the blessed Jesus concerning himself?
Artemon. It is most evident, that he cannot be the most high God, who thus declares: 1. That he can do nothing of himself: that he is entirely under the direction and controul of another in all he does or says: from whom he received his very being : 2. That the reason of God's supporting him in so extraordinary a way, and giving him such high marks of his favour, was on account of his sincere obedience and endeavour to please him, and to keep his commandments : 3. He who declares himself ignorant of some things,
* Dr. Clarke has not given our Saviour's true meaning in his paraphrase. It is thus better done by a learned and useful writer : “Father, I thank thee, that thou hast granted my request, and enabled me to perform this mighty work. I know, indeed, that thou always grantest my desires, but I have prayed to thee at present, and now praise thee for hearing me, that it may confirm the faith of those who are here, and convince them that I act with thy power, and by thy comniission.". The Gospel History, from the Text of the Four Evangelists, with explanatory notes, by Robert Wait, Minister of Galston, 1765.