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also, What reply is made to it by those , to call the Son God. Who can question who reject the doctrine of the Deity of the propriety of the appellation ? Jesus Chirst? Among a variety of cri. 3. Christ is called the Great God. ticisms which they have offered, and | Titus, ii. 13: “Looking for that blessed which learned men have successfully hope, and the glorious appearing of shown to be inconsistent with the rules the great God and our Saviour Jesus of the language in which the text was Christ.” According to the opinion of originally written, one proposal is, to critics, most eminently learned in the insert a word, and thus to render the original languages of the Scriptures, passage in the form of an ascription of the words ought to be rendered, “ the praise, in allusion to the Gospel great God even our Saviour.” A simi“who is over all ; God be blessed for lar construction occurs four times in ever.” Respecting such a liberty taken the New Testament, and in each the with the sacred text, one plain question final conjunction is so rendered as to may be asked, requiring merely the make the concluding member of the aid of a plain unsophisticated under- sentence exegetical, or explanatory, of standing in order to reply to it :-If the former. permission should be given thus to in. 4. Christ is called the TRUE God. sert words at pleasure, could not any 1 John, v. 20 : “ We know that the document be made to speak any senti Son of God is come, and hath given us ments ? Such individuals as adopt this an understanding, that we may know means of supporting their opinions by him that is true, and we are in him the declarations of Scripture, should that is true, even in his Son Jesus remember the solemn denunciation of Christ. This person is the true God, and plagues, which St. John records against eternal life.” If this passage admit of him that should presume to add to the any comment, it must be that of the words of the Revelations; an admoni. Saviour himself, who says, “I am the tion which, although appended to one life :” and the same person who thus particular part of the Scriptures, might speaks, is here declared by St. John to justly deter any mortal from reaching | be the true God. forth his finger, either to obliterate, or 5. He is also called the Mighty to add to, any portion of that word God. Isaiah, ix. 6 : “ Unto us a child which is delivered, “not in the words is born, unto us a son is given : and which man's wisdom teacheth, but in the government shall be upon his those which the Holy Ghost teacheth." shoulders; and his name shall be called,
Again, 1 Tim. iii. 16 : “ Without Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty controversy great is the mystery of God, the Father of the everlasting Age, godliness : God was manifest in the The Prince of Peace.” This child, this flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of son, is the mighty God. He who adangels, preached unto the Gentiles, be- mits that this passage refers to Jesus lieved on in the world, received up into Christ, cannot avoid the conclusion glory." Nothing can be clearer than that he is also the mighty God, unless, that these words refer to Jesus Christ. in so many words, he would impeach Of no other person with whom we are the character of Isaiah as a prophet. acquainted can it be said, that “ hel 6. Christ is also called the God of was justified by the Spirit, seen of Israel. Let us compare the followangels, preached to the Gentiles, re- | ing passages. Exodus, xxiv. 9, 10. ceived up to glory." But the same “ Then went up Moses, and Aaron, person of whom these things are Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the said, is also declared to have been elders of Israel; and they saw the God “ God manifested in the flesh.”
of Israel.” Psalm, lxviii. 17, 18 : “The In the Epistle to the Hebrews, i. 8, chariots of God are twenty thousand, we find a quotation from the forty-fifth | even thousands of angels : the Lord is Psalm applied to Jesus Christ. « But among them, as in Sinai, in the holy unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, place. Thou hast ascended on high, O God, is for ever and ever : 'a sceptre thou hast led captivity captive." Epheof righteousness is the sceptre of thy sians, 'iv. 8: " Wherefore he saith, kingdom.” These words are addressed When he ascended up on high, he led by the Father to Jesus Christ. The captivity captive, and gave gifts unto Father therefore has thought it proper men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he first descended into the indeed a truth which they had been lower parts of the earth? He that taught to revere by the sufferings that descended is the same also that ascended had been inflicted on their nation whenfar above all heavens, that he might ever they had practised idolatry. It is fill all things.” Here the Apostle tells also solemnly announced many times us, that the person who ascended up in the Old Testament, as an authorion high, and led captivity captive, was tative principle. “Hear, O Israel, the Christ. The Psalmist tells us, that he Lord our God is one Lord.” It should who led captivity captive was the Lord also be kept in mind, that Jesus Christ who appeared in Sanai. And Moses and his apostles professed a supreme tells us, that he who appeared in Sinai regard for the Jewish Scriptures, and was the God of Israel. Therefore, constantly referred to the declarations Christ is the God of Israel.
they contain as to the word of God. Permit me here to remind you, bre Yet, in the New Testament, we find thren, that all which we have yet done that these apostles, both in their disis, to show that each and all the names courses and in their writings, apply to given to God in the Sacred Scrip- Jesus Christ the very names and titles, tures are, in the same Scriptures, given in which the writers of the Old Testato Christ. This has been done by ment had spoken of the Supreme God. the selection of a few examples out If they who gave these sacred names of each kind of instances, to the omis- to Jesus, intended to convey the idea sion of many others which might have of the Deity of him of whom they been adduced. Of these a great num spake, the application of such language ber are equally explicit with those now must be acknowledged to be just and brought forward ; but there is not suf- safe. But if they professed and deficient time to appeal to them. There signed to convey no other idea than are also several proofs from inference, that he was a mere man, they adopted equally strong; but these have been language calculated to convey any waved, as requiring more time for un- thing rather than the signification they derstanding them than is consistent intended. with the delivery of a discourse. There Thirdly, Compare the appellations is a further class of proofs derived by used by the writers of the New Testament learned men from the amendments of in reference to Christ, with the state of the common translation. These have the Pagan world at the time of the first not been advanced, because we would promulgatiou of Christianity. When meet every man's mind upon the com Christianity was first published, all the mon ground of the authorized transla nations of mankind, except the Jews, tion; and as a further argument for worshipped idols. It was the avowed their disuse, they were not needed. design of Jesus Christ, and of his apos
In reference to the instances which tles, to deliver mankind from the errors have been adduced, we would ask, and delusions of idolatry, and to estab
First, Is there a single instance in lish them in the belief and worship of which any of the most excellent persons, the one only true God. Hence Jesus who are mentioned either in the old or himself proclaimed, that“ there is none New Testament, have received such ap- | good, but one, that is God.” St. Paul pellations as Jehovah, the Great God, the congratulates the Ephesians, upon their True God, the Mighty God, the God of | emancipation from the worship of the Israel? Did Noah, or Abraham, or dumb idols, after which they had been Lot, or Job, or any of the patriarchs? | led. St. John thus exhorts them to Did Moses, or Isaiah, or any of the whom he wrote :-“ Little children, prophets? Did St. John, or any of keep yourselves from idols.” In the the Evangelists? Did St. Paul, or any catalogue of characters whom he afterof the Apostles ?
wards declares would be excluded from Secondly, Compare these appellations the kingdom of heaven, and have their as applied to Christ, with the religious portion in the lake of fire, he places state of the Jews at the time of the pub- idolaters in the enumeration. With lication of Christianity. In the time of such an intention, as these passages Jesus Christ and of his Apostles, the and a variety of others indicate, on the Jews were strenuous defenders of the part of our Saviour and his first minisdoctrine of the unity of God. It was l ters, it would be highly necessary for them to avoid the slightest confusion And that the common people underor obscurity of language. The least stood their words in the usual sense is expression which might seem to deify evident : for we are told, that, in the a creature would have served to coun Dioclesian persecution, when the Rotenance the error which they wished man soldiers sacked a Phrygian city to counteract. What their feelings inhabited by Christians, even women really were, in relation to such conse and children submitted to their fate, quences, may be easily inferred from calling upon Christ the God over all. the vehement expostulation of Paul and Fourthly, Examine whether events Barnabas, when the people of Lystra have justified that notion which the would have offered them religious ser- | Jewish prophets gave to their countryvice. Acts xiv. 14. We are expressly men if Jesus Christ be not God. It is informed that, when the apostles ap- well known that their prophets anprehended their design, “they rentnounced one characteristic event of the their clothes, and ran among the peo-Messiah's advent would be, the reple, and said, Sirs, why do ye these covery of the Gentiles from idolatry to things? We also are men of like pas. the worship of the true God. It is sions with you, and preach unto you distinctly told us by one of them, that that you should turn from these vani. “ the Lord would famish all the gods ties unto the living God, which made of the heathens,” that is, Gentiles. So heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all also, Isaiah, ii. 3: “Many people shall things that are therein."
go and say, Come ye, and let us go up Knowing, then, as the apostles did, to the mountain of the Lord, to the the supreme caution that was needful, house of the God of Jacob; and he they nevertheless adopted language will teach us of his ways, and we will calculated to convey ideas of the Deity walk in his paths; for out of Zion of Christ; and thus, upon the suppo- shall go forth the law, and the word sition that Christ is not God, counter of the Lord from Jerusalem.” If Jesus act their own design, Witness such Christ be God, then the event answers language as this :-" The word was to the prediction ; for the progress of God.” “God was manifest in the Christianity has been attended by the Alesh.” The Jews “ crucified the Lord dispersion of idolatry. If he be not of Glory.” “ Christ who is over all, God, the event has not coincided with God blessed for ever.” If Jesus Christ the prophecy; since, upon that supbe, indeed, God over all, then the ex position, a mere creature has ever pressions referred to, are the words been, and still is, worshipped by the of truth and sobriety: if he be not, majority of the persons called Chrissuch language must be pronounced un. tians; idolatry evidently consisting in warrantable in itself, and singularly, attributing these honours to any created and in a manner most uncalled for, cal being which are due to God alone. culated to mislead. It has also been ob Fifthly, The supposition that the served, that the “richest terms afforded Deity of Jesus Christ was taught by by the Greek language are made use the Saviour and by his apostles, will of in reference to Jesus Christ—that alone enable us to account for the rejecthis circumstance cannot be accounted tion of Christianity by the Jews. The for by alleging the paucity of the lan rejection of Christ by the Jews does guage; as in certain older languages, not appear to have been owing to the terms are often obliged to be made use poverty of his outward circumstances, of in different senses but that terms or to the spirituality and self-denial expressive of inferiority, correspond- of his precepts.' In both these reing to almost every shade of distinc spects he was equalled by the cirtion, could easily have been selected cumstances and preaching of his forefrom that copious language in which runner, John the Baptist. And yet the New Testament was written.” It we are told, so little was the objection is also worthy of remark, that, as the arising from them, that “all men Apostles addressed their writings, not mused in their hearts whether John exclusively, nor even principally, to were the Christ or not:" and the scholars or philosophers, but to the Chief Priests and Scribes sent a depucommon people, they would naturally tation of their body, to ask him wheadopt words of a plain signification. ther he was the Christ. Many at
tempts have been made to deceive the the city, to execute upon him the Jews, by persons assuming the cha- death prescribed for that sin by the racter of the Messiah : yet, it is said, Jewish law. He died, too, as he had there is no instance upon record of lived, asserting the Deity of Christ. their having persecuted the false Christs. His last acts were a prayer to him for The enmity of the Jews against Jesus his murderers—" Lord, lay not this Christ was excited by the declaration sin to their charge;" and a prayer for of his Divine nature. This will be himself—“Lord Jesus, into thy hands evident if you recollect the charges I commend my spirit." These proofs which were preferred against him upon might be multiplied, and would serve his trial, if trial it may be called. “We to attest the truth of the assertion, have a law,” say the Jews, "and by that the doctrine of our Saviour's our law he ought to die, because he Deity was the chief reason for the remade himself the Son of God.” Injection of him, and of his gospel, by what way they understood this charge the multitude of the Jews. By many is clearly seen by their interpretation of them, indeed, the Divinity of the of that phrase before alluded to. Messiah was an acknowledged truth. “ They sought to kill him, because he I mean by those to whom he “manihad not only broken the Sabbath, but fested himself as he did not unto the also said that God was his Father, world.” Nathaniel knew him as “the making himself equal with God.” The Son of God." Thomas called him his same cause which had led them to “ Lord and his God." St. Peter conreject and crucify Christ, operated on fesses for all the apostles, that Jesus the minds of the Jews, and produced was “the Son of the Blessed." His real their rejection of his apostles. It was disciples knew and believed this truth the immediate cause of their putting then, equally as they have done in every the martyr Stephen to death. The succeeding age : while the sensual, accusation against him was, “the blas- and the worldly-minded, and the proud, phemous things which he had spoken denied it also then, as many such peragainst the temple, and against the sons have done ever since. law, against Moses, and against God." The subject now discoursed upon The blasphemy against the temple, admits of extensive application. It and against the law, was, no doubt, will, however, be within our power the prediction that the temple would merely to enumerate the modes by be destroyed, and the ritual abolished. which the application may be made, The blasphemy against Moses was and to leave the rest to your own probably a declaration of his inferiority meditations. to Christ. But what was the blas- 1. Is the Deity of Jesus Christ a phemy against God? What indeed doctrine of Scripture-then how is could there be in the preaching of the the accuracy of his precepts ratifiedapostles, which could be considered as how entire is the proof of their conblasphemy against God, but the doc- formity to the will of God. trine of the Deity of him whom the 2. Is the Saviour possessed of a Jews had crucified as a malefactor? | Divine nature ?-how absolutely, there. That this was the blessed proto-fore, is he able to scrutinize our promartyr's crime, the conclusion of the fessions of his gospel. account will show. “He looked up 3. The same truth also invites the steadfastly to heaven, and saw the utmost confidence in his declarations glory of God, and Jesus standing at of mercy, and offers of pardon. the right hand of God.” He saw the The object of the succeeding disman Jesus in the midst of the Divine course will be, to show that all the light. His declaring what he saw several attributes ascribed to God in infuriated the Jews; and they stopped the Scriptures, are also ascribed to their ears, lest they should hear his Jesus Christ. blasphemy; and hurried him out of
(OF LIVERPOOL) AT CASTLE GREEN CHAPEL, BRISTOL, ON BEHALF OF THE BRISTOL MISSIONARY SOCIETY,
SEPT. 22, 1830.
John, xii. 32.—“ And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
This he said signifying what death he conversation with Nicodemus the Jew. should die, and what effect his dying ish Rabbin :-“As Moses lifted up the should ultimately produce. There is serpent in the wilderness, even so an obvious reference to that memo- must the Son of Man be lifted up, that rable epoch in the Israelitish history, whosoever believeth on him might not the lifting up the brazen serpent in the perish, but have everlasting life.” wilderness. You have an account of That announcement he now confirms, it in the book of Numbers. Picture to adding the extent to which it should yourselves a vast plain, over which, as be ultimately known and realized ;far as the eye reached, the camp of “and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, Israel is outstretched : all around is will draw all men unto me.” But agitation, and horror, and despair ; for what does he mean by this ambiguous fiery serpents, whose bite is certain, if mode of expressing himself? “ If I be not instantaneous death, are let loose lifted up from the earth.” Is there on the people, as a just judgment from any uncertainty connected with this avenging heaven for their crimes. The great event? Is it, after all, a transplague is indiscriminate and universal action that may or may not transpire? in its influence ; neither sex, nor rank, Oh, no. It was fixed in the determinor age, is spared. The lisping infant, nate counsel and fore-knowledge of and the playful child, the blooming God, that he should be lifted up. It maiden, and the vigorous youth, the was the purpose of his own infinite venerable patriarch, and the hoary mind from everlasting to be listed up. headed sage, are seen, in every direc- It was for this that he condescended tion, writhing in anguish, and con- to take our degraded humanity into vulsed with death. But in the midst mysterious and indissoluble union of judgment God remembers mercy; with his own divinity. He hung on he hears the intercession of his servant the scenes of Calvary, with ardent Moses on their behalf; and, by his anticipation and intense desire, long express direction, a serpent of brass is ere he had formed the woods and the made, exactly resembling the monster waters, the hills and the vallies, of this from whose bite the people suffered, fair and beautiful world. There was and is lifted up on a pole in the midst no other way by which he could posof the camp. Proclamation is made, sibly accomplish the benevolent purWhosoever is bitten, if he look to the pose of his mission to our world, and brazen serpent he shall live. Instantly secure the redemption of his people. that scene of death becomes the theatre This was the baptism of tears and of of life ; joy beams in every eye, new blood, wherewith he was to be bappulses of health beat in every vein ; as tized. This was the deed he was to soon as the Israelite feels the gripe of accomplish at Jerusalem, which was the monster, he looks to the brazen ever present to his mind, and of which emblem of the great Redeemer; and as he spoke even amidst the splendours he looks he lives.
of his transfiguration. Nay, he never Such, my brethren, is the scene to swerved, he never hesitated, he never which our Redeemer refers in the text. shrank; he steadily pursued his course, He had already pointed out its typical till he had reached its destined consumreference to himself, in his memorable mation ; and, on the summit of Mount