Billeder på siden

Messiah, or Christ, is expressly called, The Lord, or Jehovah, our righteousness, in Jer. xxiii. 6. it being his work, as Mediator, to bring in everlasting righteousness; and is the end of the law for it, and is made righteousness to every one that believes. Once more, Jehovah promises to pour forth the Spirit grace and supplication on some persons described in Zech. xii. 10. and then adds, They shall look upon me, Jehovah, whom they have pierced; which was fulfilled in Christ, when one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, John xix. 34, 37. the same words are referred to, and applied to Christ, Rev. i. 7. Now, since in these, and in many other places, Christ is intended by Jehovah, he must be truly and properly God, since this name is incommunicable to any


It may be observed also, that in some places of scripture, Christ is absolutely called God; as in Psal. xlv. 6. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; where he is distinguished from God his Father, 7. and the words are expressly applied to him as the Son of God, Heb. i. 8. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, &c. yet, Christ calls himself God; as he well might, since he is in the form of God, and therefore thought it no robbery to be equal to him; saying, Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else; I have sworn by myself, &c. Isai. xlv. 22, 23. which last words, in connection with the other, are, by the apostle Paul, applied to Christ, Rom. xiv. 10-12. The evangelist John says of the Word, or Son of God, who was made flesh, and dwelt among men, and so cannot be understood of any but Christ, that the Word was God, John i. 14. and the same inspired writer observes, Hereby perceive we the love of Ged, because he laid down his life for us, 1 John iii. 16. from whence it follows, that he that-laid down his life for men, which can only be said of Christ, and wherein his love to them ap peared, must be God.


And Christ is not only called God absolutely, but with some additional epithets; with possessive pronouns, as, our God, the Jews were waiting for, and John was the forerunner of, Isai. xxv. 9. and xl. 3. your God, who should come when miracles would be wrought as proofs of it, Isai. xxxv. 4, 5. their God, Luke i. 16. my Lord and my God, by Thomas, John xx. 28. Now though angels, magistrates, and judges, are called gods in an improper and metaphorical sense yet never called our gods, your gods, &c. Christ is said to be Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature, that is, God manifest in the flesh, Matt. i. 22. 1 Tim. iii. 16. Some additional characters are given of Christ, when he is called God; which shew him to be truly and properly God; as, the mighty God, in Isai. ix. 6. which is manifestly a prophecy of him; and who elsewhere is called the most Mighty, yea, the Almighty, Psal. xlv. 3. Rev. i. 8. and over all God blessed for ever, Rom. ix. 5. over all creatures, angels and men, who are made by him; and he is blessed for ever in himself. He is called the great God whose glorious appearing, and not the Father's, saints are directed to look for; besides, this great God, is explained of Jesus Christ our Saviour in the next

clause, Tit. ii. 13. compare with this Rev. xix. 17. where he who is called the great God, is the mighty warrior, whose name is the Word of God, and King of kings, and Lord of lords, verse 11, 13, 16. Christ is also said to be the living God, Heb. iii. 12. for he only is spoken of in the context; and this is only said of the most high God; which distinguishes him from all other deities, Jer. x. 10. and, to add no more, he is called the true God, in opposition, to all false and fictitious deities, 1 John v. 20. for what is there said, is said expressly of the Son of God.


11. The Deity of Christ may be proved from the divine perfections he is possessed of; for in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead, Col. ii. 9. not one perfection of the divine nature excepted; or otherwise it could not be said, that all the fulness of Deity was in him. God is necessarily and self-existent, and independent on any; such is Christ, he is aurodeos, God of himself: as man and mediator he has a life given him for himself, and others, and lives by the Father; but, as God, he owes his life and being to none; it is not derived from another; he is over all, God blessed for ever. Eternity is a perfection of God; God is from everlasting to everlasting; Christ was not only before Abraham, but before Adam; and before any creature was in being; for he is the apx, the beginning, the first Cause of the creation of God, Rev. iii. 14. the first born, or rather, the first parent and producer of every creature; as the word pтOTONOS, by the removal of the accent, may be rendered; which best agrees with the apostle's reasoning in the next verse; where all things are said to be created by him; and therefore, as the apostle argues, he must be before all things, Col. i. 15-17. as Mediator, he was set up from everlasting; his goings forth in the covenant were of old; the elect were chosen in him before the foundation of the world; and had grace given them in him, before that began; all which suppose his eternal existence. Hence he is called Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the ending; which is, and was, and is to come; Melchizedec's antitype, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, Rev. i. 8. Heb, vii. 3. Omnipresence, or immensity, is another perfection of Deity, Jer. xxiii. 23, 24. Christ, as the Son of God, was in heaven, in the bosom of his Father; when, as the Son of man, he was here on earth, John i. 18. and iii. 13. which he could not be, if he was not omnipresent; nor could he make good his promises to his ministers, churches, and people, to be with them at all times, in all ages, and in all places, wherever they are, Matt. xviii. 20. and xxviii. 20. nor walk in the midst of his golden candlesticks, the several churches in different places; and fill all things and persons in them, as he certainly does, Rev. i. 13. Eph. iv. 10. Omniscience is another divine perfection, and most manifestly appears in Christ; he knew what was in man, and needed not that any should testify to him what was in man; he could tell the woman of Samaria all that ever she did; he knew from the beginning who would believe in him, and who Vid. Isidor. Pelusiot. Epist. 1. 3. ep. 33.

[blocks in formation]

would betray him; he knew the secret thoughts of the Scribes and Pharisees; and is that Word that is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; and he will hereafter let all the world and churches know, that he scaiches the hearts and reins. In short, he knows all things, as Peter affirmed unto him, John ii. 24, 25. and iv. 29. and vi. 64. Matt. ix. 4. Heb. iv. 12. Rev. ii. 23. John xxi. 17. and though he is said not to know the day of judgment, this is said of him as the Son of man, not as the Son of God, Mark xiii. 32. Omnipotence is a perfection that belongs to Christ, and is peculiar to God, who only can do all things; Christ is Almighty, and his works declare it; the creation of all things, the sustentation of the universe, the redemption and preservation of his people, and the resurrection of them at the last day; all which are, according to his mighty power, which is able to subdue all things to himself, Phil. iii. 21. To observe no more, immutability belongs solely to God; who is without any variableness or shadow of turning; and such is Christ, the same to-day yesterday, and for ever, Heb. xiii. 8. see Psal. cii. 26. compared with Heb. i. 12. and since therefore such perfections of the Godhead are in Christ, he must be truly and properly God.

III. The truth of Christ's proper divinity may be proved from the works done by him; which are the same that are done by the Father; and in which he is a co-efficient cause with him; and are done by him quotas, in like manner as by the Father, John v. 17, 19. such as the creation of all things out of nothing; of the whole world, and all things in it, visible or invisible, John i. 2, 3. Col. i. 16. the making of the worlds, the heaven and the earth, are particularly ascribed to the Word and Son of God; and he that built all things is God, Heb. xi. 3. and i. 10. and iii. 4. the work of providence, the government of the world, and the disposing of all things in it, Christ is jointly concerned in with the Father; My father worketh hitherto, and I work, that is, with him, John v. 17. Christ upholds all things by his power; bears up the pillars of the earth; and by him do all things consist, Heb. i. 3. Col. i. 17. the miracles Christ wrought on earth in human nature, as they were proofs of his Messiahship, so of his Deity; such as curing the lame, the blind, and dumb, and deaf, and even raising the dead, by a word speaking; which were what none but God could do: these prove that the Father was in him, and he in the Father, Matt xi. 4, 5. John x. 37, 38. If he was not the mighty God, he could never have been able to have wrought and obtained the redemption and salvation of his people, by his own arm: what gave virtue and efficacy to his blood, to purchase his church and people, and cleanse them from their sins, is his Deity; and so to his righteousness, to make it a justifying one before God; and to his sacrifice, to make it expiatory of sin, and acceptable to God. The acts of forgiveness of sin, and justification from it, are peculiar to God. None can forgive sin but God; yet Christ has done it, and therefore must be God, Mark ii. 7—10. it is God that justifies men from sin, and acquits them from condemnation, Rom. viii. 1, 33. and so does Christ, Isai. liii. 11. The Resurrection

of the dead is a work of almighty power, and which none but God can do; and yet Christ has raised himself fro.n the dead, and thereby is declared to be the Son of God with power; that is, truly and properly God, Rom. i. 4. see John ii. 19. and x. 18. and he will raise all the dead at the last day, by his mightv power; and at his all-commanding voice, the dead will come forth out of their graves, wherein they have lain, John v. 28, 29. 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17. The judgment of the world is committed to him; The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son, John v. 22. Now if he was not God omnipotent and omniscient, he would never be able to do what he will do; gather all nations before him, separate them, and place them some on his right hand, and some on his left; bring to light the counsels of the heart, and judge the secrets of it, and to give to every man for the deeds done in the body, whether good or evil; pronounce the several decisive sentences, and put them in execution, Matt. xxv. 31-46, Rom. ii. 16. 1 Cor. iv. 5. 2 Cor. v. 10.

Iv. As a further proof of the Deity of Christ, the worship given him both by angels and men may be observed; for when he, God's first born, was brought into the world, he said, Let all the angels of God worship him, Heb. i. 6. which order to the celestial inhabitants, would never have been given, if he was not God: it is also the declared will of the divine Father of Christ, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father; that is, worship him with the same divine worship; which he would never have declared, who will not give his glory to another besides himself, was not Christ his Son the one God with him; see Psal. ii. 12. Men are directed to exercise faith and hope on him; yea, Christ himself directs unto it, equally to be exercised on him, as on his Father; which he would never have done, but that he and his Father are one, one in nature, and so in power and glory, John xiv. 1. and x. 30. yea, if he was not God, but a mere man, instead of men being blessed and happy, who make him their hope, and trust in him, they would be cursed for so doing, Jer. xvii. 5, 7. Baptism, a solemn ordinance of religious worship, is ordered to be administered in his name, equally as in the name of the Father, Matt. xxviii. 19. which, if a mere creature, would be idolatry and blasphemy; for which reason the apostle Paul was so cautious, lest any should think they were bap tized by him in his own name, 1 Cor. i. 13-15. Prayer, another branch of religious worship, is often made to Christ; and that not by a single person only as by Stephen, in his last moments, Acts vii. 58. but by whole churches and communities; who are said in every place to call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord; and how often are grace and peace wished for, by the apostles, as from God our Father, so from the Lord Jesus Christ? 1 Cor. i. 2, 3. all which would never be performed by saints, nor be admitted of by God, was not Christ truly and properly God; nor noed we scruple to worship him, nor be fearful lest we should give him too much: and great encouragement we have to commit our souls, and the salvation of them into his hands, and trust hin with our all; since he is God the only Saviour.



WHAT only remains now to be considered, under the article of the Trinity, are the personality and divinity of the Holy Ghost; to prove that he is a Person, a distinct Person, from the Father and Son; and a divine Person, or truly and properly God.

I. That he is a Person, and not a mere name and character, power or attribute of God; which will appear by observing,

I That the description of a Person agrees with him; that it subsists and lives of itself, is endowed with will and understanding, or is a willing and intelligent agent. Such is the Spirit of God; as the Father has life in himself, and the Son has life in himself, so as the holy Spirit; since he is the author of natural and spiritual life in men; which he preserves unto eternal life; and therefore called, the Spirit of life; which he could not be, unless he had life in himself; and if he has life in himself, he must subsist of himself: he has a power of willing whatever he pleases: the apostle, speaking of his influences, administrations, and operations, says, All these worketh the one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will, 1 Cor. xii. 11. and that he is an intelligent agent, is clear from his knowing the things of God; which none can know but him; and from his teaching men all things, and guiding them into all truth, and giving the spirit of wisdom and knowledge to one and another; now "he that teacheth men knowledge, shall not he know?" 1 Cor. ii. 11. and xii. 8. John xiv. 26. and xvi. 13. Psal. xciv. 10.

II. Personal actions are ascribed unto him; he is said to be a reprover and convincer of men; to reprove or convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, John xvi. 8. Now he that convinces another of his mistakes, brings him to a sense and acknowledgment of them, and to repentance for them, must be a Person, and not a mere name and character. He is spoken of as a teacher, that teaches all things, all doctrines necessary to salvation, and all the duties of religion: an human teacher is a person, and much more a divine one, John xiv. 26. 1 John ii. 27. he is promised as a Comforter, John xvi. 7. and which he answers to, by shedding abroad the love of God in the hearts of the Lord's people; by taking the things of Christ, and shewing them to them; by applying to them exceeding great and precious promises; by declaring to them the pardon of their sins; by pronouncing the sentence of justification in their consciences; and by being the earnest and seal of their future happiness; all which are personal actions: he is one of the three witnesses in heaven, 1 John v. 7. who particularly testifies of Christ, of his Deity, sonship, offices, and grace, John xv. 26. and bears witness to the spirits of saints, that they are the children of God, Rom. viii. 16. which a mere name and character could not

« ForrigeFortsæt »