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-non immemor artis,
Omnia transformat sese in miracula rerum.
6. Our Saviour is repeatedly called God. For exam. ple: "The doctrine of God our Saviour," Tit. ii, 10. Again: "The kindness of God our Saviour," who is immediately denominated "Jesus Christ our Saviour," Tit. iii, 4, 6. Let it be observed, once for all, that "neither is there salvation in any other" than "Jesus Christ of Nazareth;" "for there is none other name under hea ven, given among men whereby we must be saved," Acts iv, 10, 12, 13. Again : δικαιοσυνη ΤΟΥ Θεου ημων και σωτήρος ημών, Ιησου Χριστου ; "the righteousness of our God and Saviour, (viz.,) Jesus Christ,” 2 Peter i, 1. As this construction will frequently fall in our way, it must be here considered. (1.) When two persons are intended, the demonstrative article is repeated. Thus: Kara TOY Κυρίου, και κατα ΤΟΥ Χριστού αυτού ; "against the Lord, and against his Christ," Acts iv, 26. 0 0ɛos kaι TO apviov; "God and the Lamb," Rev. xxi, 22. Εκ του θρόνου ΤΟΥ θεου, και ΤΟΥ αρνιού ; "from the throne of God, and of the Lamb," Rev. xxii, 1. (2.) When the demonstrative article is not repeated, one person only is intended. Thus : Βασιλειαν ΤΟΥ Κυριου ημων και σωτηρος, Ιησου Χριστου ; "the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," 2 Pet. i, 11. Γνωσει ΤΟΥ Κυριου ημων και σωτηρος, Ιησου Χριστου ; “ the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ;" 2 Pet. iii, 18. ΤΩ δε θεω και πατρι ημων ή "to God and our Father," Phil. iv, 20. ΤΩ Θεω και πατρι; "to God, even the Father," 1 Cor. xv, 24. Mr. Words. worth avers, "I have observed more, I am persuaded, than a thousand instances of the form Ο Χριστος και θεος, (Eph. v, 5,) some hundreds of instances of o μeyas Dɛos kai ownp, (Tit. ii, 13,) and not fewer than several thousands of the form o Oεos kaι σwτnρ, (2 Pet. i, 1.) While in no single case have I seen, where the sense could be determined, any one of them used, but only of one person.' (Middleton on the Greek Article.) Thus, as in the pas sage under consideration, the article is not repeated, only one person is spoken of: " our God" and “ our Saviour" is one person, viz., "Jesus Christ." For the same reason in Eph. v, 5, the original affords another proof of the divinity of Christ. The words are εν τη Βασιλεια
Του Χριστού και Θεον, in the kingdom of the Christ and God.
But Mr. G. repeatedly objects that "Jesus Christ was once charged with making himself God, when he positively denied the charge." (Vol. i, p. 220.) The fact is this: Jesus Christ had spoken of God as his Father, implying that he was the Son of God. By this expression the Jews understood him as making himself a divine person, i. e., God; and were about to stone him. Now Jesus did not deny that his expression implied that he is God; which, as he never gave unnecessary offence, he undoubtedly would have done, if truth had permitted it. But he vindicated what he had said by an argumentum ad homines, and by an appeal to the works of the Father which were done by himself: and deduced the inference that the Father is in him, and he in the Father-i. e., that they were intimately one. See John x, 30-38.*
When angels or men are called gods, the appellation is used with such qualifying circumstances as sufficiently indicate a subordinate sense. To the angels it is said, Worship him," (viz., the Son of God,) "all ye gods," Psa. xcvii, 7. "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.-I have said, ye are gods; but ye shall die like men," Psa. lxxxii, 1, &c. “I have made thee a god to Pharaoh," Exod. vii, 1. Now if it can be made to appear that the pre-existent nature of Christ is called God under similar qualifying circumstances, we will give up the doctrine of his divinity. But this is impossible. Who can more properly be God, or be called God, than he who has all the divine perfections and the divine nature? Under such circumstances, when Jesus Christ is denominatod God, it is not necessary to seek such palliatives as are called for when the same appellation is given to angels or to men. But to
Mr. G. says Jesus Christ expressly denies that he was God when he exclaims, "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God," Matt. xix, 17. (Vol. i, p. 356.) This passage is cited repeatedly by Mr. G. and his coadjutors, and generally with an air of triumph. Do they know that Griesbach has the words, "Why askest thou me concerning good? One only is good;" and that this is the translation given by their great supporters, the authors of the "new and improved version ?" If these critics be in the right, Mr. G. must be very much in the wrong.
place it beyond all reasonable doubt that the name of God is not applied to Jesus Christ in a subordinate sense, the sacred writers frequently apply it in connection with such epithets as confine their meaning to the one, supreme, and eternal God. He is styled the true, the great, the only wise, the mighty, the supreme and ever blessed God.
1. He is denominated the true God. This is an epithet which, when joined with the word God, Mr. G. contends is descriptive of the proper divinity of God the Father. (Vol. i, p. 274.) Yet the very passage which he quotes is written in reference to Jesus Christ. know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know the true one. are in the true one, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life,” 1 John v, 20. Mr. G. renders it, "by his Son Jesus Christ." The word, how. ever, is the same which is translated "in the true one :" they must, therefore, both be translated in. This unwarranted alteration being withdrawn, the passage asserts as clearly and decisively as possible, first, that Jesus Christ is the true one; and, secondly, that he is the true God.
2. He is denominated the great God. "Looking," says St. Paul," for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ," Tit. ii, 13.
This passage obviously speaks of Jesus Christ. But Mr. G. has attempted to prove the contrary, by prefixing the sign of the genitive case before the words "our Saviour." This, however, is one of those passages in which the article is not repeated. See 79. The words are, ΤΟΥ μεγάλου θεου και σωτηρος ημων, and might be translated, with the utmost precision, "of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ."
3. He is denominated the only wise God. unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever,' Jude 24, 25. The reasons to be assigned for applying this doxology to Jesus Christ, are the following: (1.) Jesus Christ is our only Saviour. "There is none other
name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved." But if Jesus Christ be our only Saviour, he must be "the only wise God, our Saviour." (2.) It is he "that is able to present us faultless before the presence of his glory." "Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it; that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish." He, therefore, is "the only wise God, our Saviour." 4. He is denominated the mighty God. Isaiah predicts the coming of the Messiah, and says, "his name shall be called the mighty God," Isa. ix, 6. In this verse the prophet speaks of both the human and the divine nature of Jesus Christ. "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given." These words unquestionably refer to the human nature which he should "take on himself." But the following words, "his name shall be called the mighty God," evidently refer to the divine nature. "The Word of God," which Mr. G. says is "no other than God himself," was to be "made flesh," or to take upon him the human nature; and on account of that union of the divine nature with the human, the "child born," the "Son given," should be called "the mighty God."
It is curious to attend to the palpable inconsistency of Mr. G.'s efforts to attach to the original words some other interpretation than that given by our translators. After a variety of contradictory criticisms, he candidly avows that he "feels no anxiety as to which of the interpretations be adopted," (Vol. i, p. 501.) We give him full credit for his perfect indifference, as we know that the work of a Socinian is not to explain, but to confound. "The phrase," he says, "might be translated a mighty Lord,' or counsellor of God, mighty."" (Vol. i, p. 194.) That is: (1.) The word (el) should not be translated God, but Lord. (2.) It may be translated God, if you will permit him to derange the whole passage. In another page the terms "" Wonderful, Counsellor, mighty God," are all permitted to stand as a just translation, and are applied by him "to the great Jehovah." (Vol. i, p. 499.) To use Mr. G.'s own words, "Is not this saying a thing, and then unsaying it again, which is saying nothing at all? If the last clause is to be believed, the first can.
not, because the last is a negation of the first; and if the first is to be believed, for that very reason the last cannot." (Vol. i, p. 360.) It would have been well if this had been the only proof which Mr. G. has given, that his business is not to attend to the voice of Scripture, but to invalidate its testimony.
The reader will now be prepared to inquire, Why these laborious efforts to set aside the common translation, by a variety of contradictory criticisms? The answer is ready. Not because the common translation, which has the authority of Bishop Lowth, is not as proper as any other which has been given; but because the Socinians meet with many difficulties in the application of it. Those difficulties we shall now examine.
"With what propriety can the great Jehovah be the subject of a prophecy, as about to become something which he is not? Can an immutable being be subject to change? Can the omnipotent Creator become a creature? Can the self-existent Jehovah become a child, an infant born? What is to be understood when it is said that Jehovah is a son given ?" (Vol. i, p. 495.)
These are enow for a specimen of Mr. G.'s difficulties. They are mere repetitions of the same idea, couched in different terms. We cannot have a more clear demon. stration than this, that the Socinians, when they call for proof of the proper divinity of Christ, expect us to attempt, at least, to prove that the divine nature was changed into human, and that that human was still divine. This is precisely what they would insinuate to be our opinion. From hence they draw all the supposed absurdities of our system, and on this hypothesis they ground their principal objections. These queries may serve to convict of error any who have formed such an opinion; but they are not pointed at the doctrine of judicious Trinitarians. We do not believe that Jehovah became what he was not be. fore; or that he underwent any change contrary to his essential immutability. We do not believe that the Creator became a creature: or that the Self-existent became a child. If Mr. G. ask us what we do believe, we answer in his own words, We believe that "the Word, which was no other than God himself, was made flesh," (vol. i, pp. 197, 200,) or took upon him the human nature.