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ment of the noted prediction in the second Psalm. Accordingly, Christ is called, Rev. i. 5," the first begotten of the dead." Apd in Col. i. 18," the first born from the dead." Here the same figure is pursued. Christ was the resurrection and the life; the first fruits of them that slept; the rising of the Head from the tomb, as an earnest that all the members shall follow. And this event, of Christ's rising and exaltation, is noted as the finishing of his generation; the closing scene of the fulfilment of Psalm ii. 7. Accordingly a declaration is made, as it were, at the grave's mouth, of his Filiation, in the following words :' “ Declared to be the Son of God with power, by his resurrection from the dead.” And a declaration had before been made of the same thing, by anticipation, on the mount, when Jesus was transfigured. - There, by prolepsis, the curtain of heaven was, as it were drawn, and Jesus was presented, to chosen witnesses, in his robe of glory, as though the work was done, and he had reached the inheritance and the throne. And the voice, from the excellent Majesty above, declared that Filiation, which rested on his being begotten of God; “ This is my beloved Son; hear ye him." Here is the Person exhibited, by anticipation, as in glo. ry, and completely that Son of God, in his Father's inheritance, so long predicted and expected
In Psalm 1xxxix, 19—37, we have farther light upon this subject. Christ is here pre.
dicted under the name of David, his type. 6 Then thou speakest in vision to thy Holy One; thou saidst, I have laid help on one mighty to save; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.” A description of Christ, and of his kingdom, follows. In verse 36 it is said ; “ He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my Salvation."
His being begotten, and his consequent Filiation then follows. "I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.” In the Hebrew the my before first-born is not found. The sense is not this, I will make him, who is my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth. But the plain sense is as follows; I will make--constitute-or beget him firstborn ;-alluding to his being heir of all things; and hence it is added, “higher than the kings of the earth.” Here the event, as in Psalm ii. 7, was future. It was a thing to be accomplished, when the fulness of time should come, for God to be manifest in the flesh. - Then it was that God would beget his Son, and make the Mediator first-born, and exalt him to glory, as King of kings, and Lord of lords.
Thus the passages in the Old Testament, which speak of Christ's Filiation, and the origin of it, are by the Spirit of Inspiration construed as predictions of events then fu. ture, and actually fulfilled after the fulness of time came for God to be manifest in the fesh. And never is the least intimation
given,, that those passages relate to any derivation of the Divinity of Christ from God, at some period then past. Nor do they admit of such a construction. We find no hint of such a thing. The apostle says, Gal. iv. 4; “ But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman ; made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Here we learn how Christ became God's Son. He was 66 made of a woman ;” and “ made under the law." He was God's Son, because God begat his humanity; and because he was made a Priest under the law, to obey and to atone. The many scriptures in the New Testament, which speak of God as the Father of Christ; and which speak of Christ as the Son of God, and as the begotten of the Father, must surely be so construed as to accord with the sense of those primitive texts, in the Old Testament, which have been noticed; and which the Holy Ghost has decided, do apply to the coming of Christ in the flesh, and to subsequent events, which have been noted. We are thus furnished with an infallible clew, by which to find the true sense of the many passages in the New Testament, which relate to the Sonship of Christ. They can have no relation to any event before the world was; such as a derivation of the Di. vinity of our Saviour from God. They can have no relation to any Filiation of Christ, not founded in that divine generation of him
in the second Psalm, which has been explained,
Objection. But is not this giving up a great argument, on which reliance has been made by Trinitarians, to prove the real Di. vinity of Jesus Christ ?
Answer. We have conclusive arguments enough, to prove the eternal and proper Di. vinity of Christ. We need no lame arguments. The supposition, that Christ in his highest nature is derived from God, is so far from proving his real Divinity, that it fully disproves it. It supposes the Divinity of Christ to be infinitely posterior, and inti. nitely inferior to the Father; and therefore, that he is at an infinite remove from being truly God. The truth of this deduction is demonstrated, prima facic, in its own statement. The idea, that as a man propagates his offspring, who becomes a real man, equal to his father; so God has propagated his divine offspring, who has become really God; is an awful absurdity! The heathen used to imagine that their gods propagated. their various species. Families of gods existed in the imaginations of the poets. And, what was very congenial to this opinion, they supposed their gods to have had goddesses ; and that these celestial pairs were possessed of all the passions incident to man. Being familiar with these opinions from childhood, it would not have been strange, if some of the primitive proselytes to Christianity, hearing that Christ is the Son of God, should an
nex this idea to the phrase, and imagine that the divine Person of Christ was literally derived from God, as a son from his father, in some mysterious sense, while yet Christ was eternal. But such a derivation of a Person truly divine, is impossible; as I shall endeavour to show in a subsequent section.
Further Remarks relative to the Sonship of
If the Divinity of Christ were literally propagated by the Most High, in some peri. od before the creation of the world, and this be an important point to be believed ; why was it not clearly revealed in the Old Testament? How strange, that we should find there so little, if any clear evidence, that the relation of Father and Son then actually existed between the two first Persons in the sacred Trinity! We find those two Persons (and the three divine Persons in the Godhead) abundantly noted in the Old Testament. But we have no conclusive evidence in that sacred book, that a literal Father and Son then existed among them. The Mediator himself is there predicted, as the “ever.