Sidor som bilder

argument, asks, “ Does he not dive into your most secret thoughts? Has he not access to your hearts ? What is this but the divine attribute of omniscience ?" (Vol. i, p. 19.)

4. Omnipotence. • Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself," Phil. iii, 21. “Omnipo.

. tence (Mr. G. says) is a power of control over all other beings.” (Vol. i, p. 12.) 5. Immutability. " Jesus Christ, the same yesterday,

“ and to-day, and for ever,” Heb. xiii, 8.

6. All the divine perfections. “ All things that the Father hath are mine," John xvi, 15.

Such are the divine perfections which the sacred writers attribute to the Son of God. The Socinians suppose him to possess these divine perfections, without possessing the divine nature. It may serve an hypothesis for a theologian to make a mental abstraction of the one from the other, and to imagine them disposable at his discretion; but in so doing he ought to know that his imagination has created what has no real existence.

1. What idea have we of God, but of his perfections ? The complex idea which we have of any being, is the aggregate of our ideas of its known qualities. What is eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, immutable, and all-perfect being, but God? Remove these attri. butes, and the word being, and the idea which it conveys, if any, is applicable to realities or nonentities, to any thing or nothing; and depends entirely on the ideas we attach to it. Being without attributes, is nothing; and wherever the attributes are, there the being is. God is his perfections; and his perfections are God.

2. If God be supposed to delegate his perfections to another being, what is supposed to become of his godhead? Is he any longer God, when he has so disposed of his eternity, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, immutability, and all his perfections ? Thus the Socinians rob the Father of his divinity!

3. If God give his perfections to another being; then that being is God. As the Socinians suppose that the Father gave his perfections to the human nature of Jesus

Christ, they thus suppose the human nature converted into the divine ! Let them then take to themselves the absurdity which they falsely impute to us.

4. If the divine perfections can be divided between the Father and the Son, then they are divine perfections no longer; because the line of division describes a bound. ary, and a boundary is inconsistent with infinitude. Then neither the Father, nor the Son is God; for neither of ther has infinite perfections. The Socinians thus rob both the Father and the Son !

5. If they suppose that divine perfections are not diminished by division, and that the Father gives to the human nature of Jesus Christ his own perfections, and yet retains them; then they make two Gods instead of one.

6. But the divine perfections cannot be possessed without the divine nature. To men, who are but finite beings, God can give a beginning, dependent, finite, and stable existence. He can make them knowing, wise, and powerfu). But (with reverence) he cannot give to them his infinite perfections. Their minds are finite, and therefore inoapable of infinitude. If Jesus Christ were a mere man, he could not possess the divine perfections, because as a mere man, he is a mere finite being. To possess the infinite perfections of Deity, he must possess his infinite nature. Can a being who began to exist be without beginning? Can a being who is necessarily limited be omnipresent ? Can any thing less than an infinite mind know all things ? Can any but an “uncontrolled and allcontrolling mind” be omnipotent? Nor can any thing but an all-perfect mind be immutable? In attributing divine perfections to the Son of God, the Socinians do, therefore, implicitly, if not explicitly, attribute to him proper divi. nity; for there can be no divinity more proper than that which possesses divine perfections.

7. When the Socinians are not immediately engaged in impugning the divinity of Jesus Christ, they can perceive the truth of these observations. Thus Mr. G., after enumerating the supposed infinite attributes of the devil, says, 6. These attributes are all divine. And if there actually be a being possessing these attributes, that being ought to be a Deity.” (Vol. i, p. 20.)

8. The sacred writers, while they attribute to the Son

[ocr errors]


of God the divine perfections, are consistent, and confirm our argument by attributing to him the divine nature. “ For it pleased (the Father) that in him should all fulness dwell,” Col. i, 19. 6 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily," Col. ii, 9 : (or, as Dr. Doddridge says, substantially : the word being used figu. ratively, and including all the Deity, as the word bodily im. plies the whole corporeal part of man.) To this Mr. G. objects : (1.) “ It pleased the Father.” (Vol. i, p. 344.) He does not speak out. Does he mean to object that the dwelling of the godhead in the human nature was dependent on the will of the Father? We grant it. But this does not disprove the fact. (3.) He urges that “whatever this ful. ness means, it is evident that it was not peculiar to Christ, but might be possessed by the disciples of Jesus ; that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God?” To this we answer that the fulness of the Deity does dwell in Christ, in a manner peculiar to him. First, the Scriptures every. where make an important distinction, the purport of which is, that the Deity dwells primarily in Christ, but only in a secondary sense in us : i. e., that whereas God dwells immediately in him, he dwells in us mediately, through Christ, and by virtue of our union with Christ. Thus we are made “ a habitation of God, through the Spirit," by being “ built on Jesus Christ, the chief corner stone," Eph. ii, 20, 22. We are “ filled eis, into* all the fulness of God," when “Christ dwells in our hearts by faith,” Eph. iii, 17, 19. We are but the members of his mysti. cal body, the church, of which he is the head. are the body of Christ, and members in particular," 1 Cor. xiii, 27. But God hath given him (to be) the head over all (things) to the church, which is his body, (who is) the fulness of him that filleth all in all,” Eph. i, 22, 23. As the spirit of man is supposed to be immediately united with the head, the Deity is immediately united with him. He is, in his human nature, “the head,” who is, in his divine nature, at the same time, “ the fulness of him that

* The Greek reads, EIE Tav to Tampuua tov OEOV: INTO all the fulness of God. So the Socinians have rendered it in the margin of their“ improved version.” The allusion may possibly be to a vessel plunged into the ocean, and which is at once filled and im. mersed : it is filled into the fulness of the sea.

- Now ye


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

filleth all in all.” As the spirit of man dwells mediately and in a secondary sense in the members, which are thereby vivified and actuated, by virtue of their union with the head in which it primarily and immediately dwells; so “ of his fulness have we all received, and grace for grace,

,” John i, 16. Secondly, The fulness of the godhead dwells in him. “That in all things he might have the pre-eminence, it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” So says Mr. G., as well as St. Paul. “ In Jesus Christ,” says the former, “ bodily, as a man, the fulness of Deity did reside. He possessed the Spirit without measure.” (Vol. i, p. 344.) (It is true, he endeavours to contradict this position, by calling the fulness of the Deity “ full and complete divine powers." Such is the effect of Socinian bondage! But the confes. sion was extorted by the severity of truth.) We, on the other hand, only participate (so to speak) the divine ful. ness, as it pleases Jesus Christ to impart it.“ Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ," Eph. iv, 7. 66 In him dwelt all the fulness of the godhead substantially.” We are “ filled with him :"

filled,” according to our capacity, not with, but els, “ into all the fulness of God."*

9. In connection with this doctrine of the plenitude of the godhead in Christ, we are now to consider their union with each other. “I and the Father,” said Jesus Christ,

are one,” John x, 30. This union of the Father and the Son, Mr. G. affects to place on a level with the oneness of Christ and the apostles.” (Vol. i, p, 329.) The sacred

P writers will settle this point.

“ The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God," 1 Cor.

By one figure : viz., the relation of the human head to the human body, three subjects are here illustrated :

[ocr errors]


* Mr. G. has a note on 2 Pet. i, 4, “That by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” With Mr. Belsham, he thinks that " this expression is stronger than any which are used of Christ, and which, if it had been applied to him, would have been held forth as an irrefragable proof of his proper deity.” (Vol. i, p. 418.) We ask their pardon. Such an expression would have proved the contrary. St. Peter's words asșert only that Christians partake the divine nature. If Jesus Christ merely partook the divine nature," the fulness of the godhead” would not then "dwell in him bodily.”

xi, 3.


it so.

[ocr errors]


(1.) In matrimonial union " the man is the head of the woman.” (2.) In the mystical body of Christ, of which every believer is a member, “ Jesus Christ is the head.”

The head of every man is Christ. (3.) There is an in. effable union between God and his Christ : “ his Son Jesus whom he has anointed with the Holy Ghost above his fellows.” In this union, “ the head of Christ is God :" the human nature is subordinate, the divine nature is supreme.

The union of man with his wife, and that of Christ with his church, are compared with each other.

6 The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church,” Eph. v, 23. Mr. G. may say that the one is an explanation of the other. (Vol. i, p. 328.) Be

. ( The explanation does not reduce them to a level. The man and his wife " are one flesh ;” but “ he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit,” 1 Cor. vi, 17. In like manner, the union of God with his Christ, and that of Christ with his church, are compared :-" that they also may be one in us : that they may be one even as we are

This Mr. G. calls an “explanation.” But, as in the former case, though the union of the members of Christ with each other and with him is explained by the union of Christ with God, the explanation does not reduce the things compared to a level with each other. No man could ever produce such proofs of his intimate union with Christ, as Christ produced of his intimate union with God. “ If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also : and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me? He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father, that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works,” John xiv, 5–10. We cannot represent the union of the body and mind of man, by stronger terms than these. Mr. Go's objections (vol. i, p. 337) are aimed against a different application of this passage. The reader must be cautious, however, not to mistake the present application of it. It is designed to show, not that the divine and the human nature are one nature, but that

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »