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In the way, now mentioned, we go to God directly through Jesus Christ. And the love of the Father is most conspicuous in the supposition, that God sent, and appointed the man Jesus Christ, for our salvation. Herein, I say, the love of God is most conspicuous, much more than in supposing the pre-existence of the Son, the covenant of redemption, and the offer of the Son to come into the world, and many other such like things, derogatory to the honour of the Father; because they diminish our idea of his free, transcendent, and unmerited love and goodness. The gospel account is summed up in these words: “ And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. And has given unto us the ministry of reconciliation: to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. See likewise what follows in ver. 20, 21. and Eph. i. 1-10.
Upon the whole, as before said, the true evangelical description of our blessed Saviour's person and character, is that, which we have in St. Peter's words, recorded Acts ii. 22. and 36. and ch. x. 38. and St. Paul's, Acts xvii. 31. and 1 Tim. ii. 5. Col. ii. 3-9. and many other places. .
Nor is this a diminishing character. It is the greatest, and the most honourable to him, on whom it is bestowed, and the most satisfying to us, who are called upon to believe in hiin, to rely upon him, and follow him in the way of obedience prescribed to us.
Says God to the people of Israel of old, “ Behold, I send an angel before thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not. For he will not pardon your transgressions. For my name is in him," Ex. xxiii. 20, 21. Upon which place Patrick speaks to this purpose. «For my name is in him.” He acts • by my authority and power, and sustains my person, who am present where he is. For the ' name of God is said to be there, where he is present after a singular and extraordinary manner. : 1 Kings viii. 16. 1 Chron. vi. 5, 6. Maimonides expounds it, “ My word is in him," that is, • says he, God's will and pleasure was declared by the angel-In which he seems to follow the
Chaldee, who translates it, “ for his word is in my name,” that is, what he speaks is by my • authority.
Afterwards, when the people had trangressed in making a golden calf, and God was greatly displeased; Moses offered an earnest prayer, that he would himself go with them, and conduct them, Ex. xxxiii. 12, 13. And he received this gracious answer, by which he was encouraged. Ver. 14, 15. “ And he said: My presence shall go with thee; and I will give thee rest. And he said: If thy presence go not with us, carry us not hence."a. · “ My presence, that is, I myself, as in the Greek version: autog motoçevroUQI 001. In the Hebrew it is, literally, “ my face.” Which is the same as myself. So 2 Sam. xvii. 11. " and that thou go to the battle in thy own person.” In the Hebrew it is: “ that thy face go to the battle.”
That the presence of God was with Jesus, the Messiah, our Lord and Saviour, in the most signal and extraordinary manner, we are assured by every book and chapter of the New Testa. ment, and particularly by St. John's gospel, in the introduction, and throughout.
The dignity of Jesus, as Messiah, is very great, far superior to that of angels. We know it from our Lord himself, and from things said by him, whilst dwelling on this earth. Matt. xxiv, 36. “ But of that day and hour knoweth no inan, no not the angels in heaven, but my Father only." Which is thus expressed in Mark xüi. 32. “ But of that day, and that hour, knoweth no man, no not the angels, which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” To which let me add John xiv. 28. “ If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father. For my Father is greater than I.” Which I suppose to be said of our Lord, as man.
Nor am I singular therein. The same is said by Augustine, whom I shall write out for your
a "The question upon this occasion was, Whether God would himself go up with the people, who had highly offended him; or whether he should send an angel before them, to conduct them. God said to Moses : “ I will send an angel before thee." And added : “ For I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiff-necked people; lest I consume thee in the way,” Ex. xxxiii. 1-3. Upon the prayer and intercession of Moses, God is pleased to promise, that his
presence should go with him. The promise must be under. stood necessarily, in opposition to the foregoing threatening, that God would not go up in the midst of them, but that he would send an angel before them.
• The presence of God therefore in this place must be AUTOS • 0805, as the Seventy justly render it: and that in direct opposition to an angel in his name and stead.' Mr. Moses Lowman, in his Tracts, p. 38, 39. see also. p. 37.
use. Non recte cogitas, quem locum in rebus habeat humana natura, quæ condita est ad imagi. nem Dei. Majores angeli dici possunt homine, quia majores sunt hominis corpore: majores sunt et animo, sed in forma, quam peccati originalis merito corruptibile aggravat corpus. Naturâ vero humanâ, qualem naturam Christus humanæ mentis assumpsit, quæ nullo peccato potuit depravari, Deus solus est major- Naturâ vero hominis, quæ mente rationali et intellectuali creaturas cæteras antecedit, Deus solus est major : cui utique injuria facta non est, ubi scriptum est, • Major est Deus corde nostro,' 1 Joh. iii. 20. Filius ergo Dei susceptum hominem levaturus ad Patrem, quando dicebat, “Si diligeretis me, gauderetis utique, quia vado ad Pa. trem, quia Pater major me est,' Joh. xiv. 28. non carni suæ solum, sed etiam menti, quam ge. rebat, humanæ, Deum Patrem utique præferebat. Aug. Contr. Maximin. Arian, l. 2, cap. xxv. Tom. VIII.
Dr. Whitby's paraphrase of Mark xiii. 32, is thus : «« Neither the Son," who has the Spirit • without measure, but “ the Father only.”
. What I have been arguing for, was the sentiment of the Nazarene Christians. Nor do I think it can be made appear that any Jews, who were believers, had any other idea of our Saviour: excepting those called Ebionites, or some of them, who were extremely mistaken in supposing that Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary.
The notion of an inferior Deity, pre-existing, and then incarnate, seems to have been brought into the church by some of the learned converts from heathenism, who had not thoroughly aban. doned the principles in which they had been educated. Perhaps, likewise, they hoped by this means to render the doctrine of Christ more palatable to heathen people, especially their phi. losophers. Moreover the Christians of the second century, and afterwards, were too aversc to all Jews in general, and even to the believers from among that people. The apostle Paul had seen a temper of pride and insolence springing up in the Gentile Christians, in his own time: or he would not have delivered that caution, which we find in Rom. xi. 17-24.6
* Athanasius says, “That the Jews at that time being in an error, and thinking that the expected Messiah would be a • mere man, of the seed of David-for that reason the blessed apostles in great wisdom first instructed the Jews in the
things concerning our Saviour's humauity.' De Sentent. Dionysii. n. 8. p. 248. C. D.
Chrysostom, at the beginning of his fourth homily upon St. John's gospel, says: "The other evangelists having chiefly ' insisted upon our Saviour's humanity, there was danger, lest
his eternal generation should have been neglected by some: and men might have been of the same opinion with Paul
of Samosata, if John had not written.' In Joh. hom. 4. toin. VIII. p. 27. A.B. Bened.
In his first homily upon the Acts, he expresseth himself again to this purpose: In the discourses of the apostles re• corded in this book, little is said about Christ's divinity. • But they discourse chiefly of his humanity, and passion, and • resurrection, and ascensioni; because his resurrection and • ascension to heaven were the points necessary to be proved ' and believed at that time.' In Act. ap. hom. i. t. IX. p. 3. A.
Augustine in one of his sermons says, “ Peter and the • other apostles have written of our Lord, but it is chiefly • concerning his humanity. Again, · Peter says Jitule of our • Lord's divinity in his epistles,' but John enlarges upon that subject in his gospel: quoniam Petrus scripsit de Domino, scripserunt et alii: sed scriptura eorum magis circa humanitatem Domini est occupata — Sed de divinitate Christi in literis Petri aliquid [al. non aliquid]: in Evangelio autem Joannis multum eminet. Serm. 253. cap. iv. t. V. And in his Confessions he informs us, that for a great while he was of opinion that Jesus was a most wise and excellent man, mira. culously burn of a virgin, and sent by God, with a high commission, to give us an example of steadfast virtue, amidst the temptations of this world, and to instruct us in the way how we might obtain everlasting salvation. Ego vero aliud puta. bam, tantumque sentiebam de Domino Christo meo, quan
tum de excellentis sapientiæ viro, cui nullus posset æquari: · præsertim quia mirabiliter natus ex virgine, ad exemplum
contemnendorum temporalium pro adipiscendâ immortalitate,
b I take this breach of communion, correspondence and
That is a melancholy observation. Let us endeavour to repair the damage here bewailed, by diligently studying, and resolutely adhering to the doctrine of Christ's apostles, as cortained in the books of the New Testament; wherein, I rerily believe, are delivered all the truths of religion, and in sufficient perspicuity, if we will but attend.
Thus far I have pursued my own thoughts, without consulting any other writer at all, or very slightly, except in those places where I have expressly said so. But I all along intended, before [ finished, to observe a part of what is said by Dr. Clarke in his Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity; which I have now done. And I cannot forbear saying, that his intepretations of texts are generally false, arising, as from some other causes, so particularly, from an aversion to Sabellian, or Socinian senses: some of which may be absurd, and unnatural. But I much prefer Grotius's interpretations upon the compa“ison, above Dr. Clarke's, So far as I am able to judge, Grotius explains texts better than the professed Socinians. The reason may be, that he had more learning, and particularly was better acquainted with the Jewish style. But I am apt to think, that their later writers have borrowed from him, and improved by him.
However, this is said very much in the way of conjecture. For I must acknowledge that I have not been greatly conversant with the writers of that denomination. I have never read Crellius de uno Deo Patre: though I believe it to be a very good book. There is also, in our own language, a collection of Unitarian Tracts in two or three quartos. But I am not acquainted with it. Nor can I remember, that I ever looked into it. I have formed my sentiments upon the scriptures, and by reading such Commentators, chiefly, as are in the best repute. I may add, that the reading of the ancient writers of the church has been of use to confirm me, and to assist me in clearing up difficulties.
I observe then, that many of the texts in Dr. Clarke's P. I. ch. ii. sect 3, concerning the highest titles given to Christ, instead of proving his opinion, are inconsistent with it, and confirm that for which I argue. Yea they prove it, and agree with no other: such as “ the Father is in me, and I in him: he that seetli me, seeth him that sent me: if ye had known me, ye would have known the Father also: I in the Father, and you în me, and I in you: he that hateth me, hateth my Father also: all things that the Father hath, are mine,” &c. &c..
Script. Duct. ch. ii. sect. 3. numb. 616. p. 114, 115. is a quotation from Justin Martyr. « The * Jews,' saith he, are justly reproved for imagining that the Father of all things spake to • Moses, when indeed it was the Son of God, who is called the angel and the messenger of the
Father.' Again, afterwards, from the same Justin. " Yet it was not God the creator of the • universe, which then said to Moses, that he was “ the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, "and the God of Jacob.”.
This appears to me very strange, that the Jews should not know who was their God, and delivered the law by Moses. And I cannot help wondering, that any learned men of our times should pay any regard to such observations as these. Is it not better to say, that Justin was mistaken, than that the Jewish people were mistaken in such a thing as this ? For Justin was a convert from heathenism, and had been a philosopher, and brought along with him many prejudices, which might hinder his rightly understanding the Old Testament.
That God, who spake to Moses, and brought the people of Israel out of Egypt, is the Creator of the universe, is manifest. Exod. xx. 1, 2, 3. ~ And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt. Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Ver. 10, 11. « But the seventh day is the sabbath of Jehovah thy God For in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.” Is. xl. 27, 28. “ Why sayest thou, O Jacob- My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known ? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, nor is weary?". See also ch. xlv. 11, 12, and elsewhere.
Neither our Saviour, nor his apostles, had any debate with the Jews upon this head: but plainly suppose, that they were right, as to the object of worship. Therefore our Lord says to the woman of Samaria, John iv. 22, “ Ye worship ye know not what. We know what we worship. For salvation is of the Jews.". John viii. 54. “ It is my Father that honoureth me: of whom ye say, that he is your God.” Acts iii. 13. « The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Son Jesus " Ver. 30. “ The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, and hanged on a tree.” Are not these texts clear ? However, see likewise Mait. xi. 25. John xvii. throughout, and xx. 17, 21. Eph. iii. 14. Heb. i. 1, 2, 1 John iv. 14.
Mark xii. 28, 29, “ One of the scribes came, and asked him, Which is the first commandment of all ? Jesus answered him: The first of all the commandments is : Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord,” Deut. vi. 4. To which the scribe assented. And Mark xii. 34. “ When , Jesus saw, that he answered discreetly, he said unto him: Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.” All wliich supposeth, that the Jews were not mistaken about the object of worship.. .
Once more. Our Lord's argument with tiie Sadducees, in behalf of a resurrection, taken: from Ex. iii. 6. and recorded Matt. xxii. Mark xii. Luke xx. supposeth “the God of Abraham;">. &c. to be the one true God, “ who is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all. live unto him."
In short, if Justin Martyr be in the right, it is not sufficient to say, that the Jewish people were mistaken: but we must say, that the Old and New Testament, and the sacred penmen of them, and all who speak therein by inspiration, are mistaken.
Unquestionably; God may make use of the ministry of angels, as well as of men. But it is: not the messenger who is God: but he, from whom he comes, and in whose name he speaks.
. I may show this by an instance or two. Gen. xxii. 13-18. " And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said : By myself I have sworn, saith. the Lord, that because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld tlıy son, thy only son; in blessing I will bless thee.". Here is mentioned an angel. But he is only God's' messenger, and God speaks by him. Of this we are fully assured by an argument in the epistle. to the Hebrews, Ch. vi. 13, 14. “ For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying: Surely, blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.”
For certain; therefore, this was the catir of God Almighty, the one living and true God, and the Creator of all things. For there was “no greater than he.” And that this was the one true God, appears, as from many other texts, so particularly from Ps: cv. where the Psalmist gratefully commemorates God's wonderful works, and expressly, mentions, his mindfulness of « his covenant with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac," ver. 9.
St. Stepien speaks of the Jews having received “ the law by the disposition of angels," Acts vii. 54. that is, by their ministration, under God the supreme lawgiver, who at that tinre had the attendance of a numerous host of angels. Deut. xxxiii. 1. 2. Comp. Heb. ii. 2. And, says the Psalmist very poetically, Ps. lxviii. 17. “ The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands. The Lord is among them, in his holy place, as in Sinai.” And. see Is. xxxiii. 22.
I must take some other things from the above-mentioned learned writer.
Script. Doct. ch. ii. sect. 3. numb. 576. John iii. 13. “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven." The “meaning is explained, ch. i. 18. “No man hath seen God at any time. The only begotten:
Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.' Excellently well in my opinion. That is the whole of Dr. Clarke's note upon that text.
Script. Doct. n. 580. p. 96. John v. 18. “ But said also, that God was his Father, making: himself equal.with God."* Here Dr. Clarke speaks to this purpose. Assuming to himself the. • power, and authority of God. It is the same accusation with that other. Ch. x. 33. “ We:
stone thee for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” And • Mark ii. 7. “ Why does this man thus speak blasphemy ? Who can forgive sins but God only? «The Jews, it is evident, did not by these expressions mean to charge Jesus with affirming him
self to be the supreme, self-existent, independent Deity: nay, not so much as with taking • upon himself to be a Divine Person at all : but only with assuming to himself the power and « authority of God.' So far is not amiss in my opinion. What follows there I leave to those who may like it.
"Script. Doct. numb. 645. p. 124. Col. ii. 9. “ For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily." The note is this. Ch. i. 19. “ It pleased the Father, that in him should
all fulness dwell.” And John xiv. 10. « The Father that dwelleth in me, he does the works,”!; Excellently well, according to my apprehension.
This will lead me to proceed somewhat farther, and to consider some other texts before I conclude.
Rom. i. 3, 4. “ Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."
Here are two things : first, that “ Jesus was made of the seed of David :" secondly, that he
was “ declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead.” Both which may be illustrated by comparing other texts.
How this test is explained by those who favour the Arian hypothesis, of the Logos supplying the place of a human soul in the person of Jesus, may be seen in divers writers. I shall explain it as I am able, without attempting a particular confutation of any.
First, “ who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” That phrase, “ according to the flesh,” is in several other texts. Some of which may be observed. Acts ii. 30. “ Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne Rom. ix. 3. “ For I could wish, that myself were accursed from Christ, for my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh- ver. v. “ Whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came.” And see 2 Cor. v. 16.
Secondly, it is added : “ And declared to be the Son of God, with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
There are several texts to be observed here, Acts ii. 32. “ This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses” ver. 36. - Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Jesus was, and had been declared to be the Christ, the Son of God, whilst he was here on earth. But this was more fully manifested by his resurrection, and the consequent effusion of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles and others. See Acts xiii. 33. and Heb. v. 5. And our Lord himself had mentioned this to the Jews, as “ the sign,” the most decisive, and demonstrative evidence, that he was indeed the Messiah, as he had said. See Matt. xii. 38–40. xvi. 1-5. Luke xi. 29, 30. John ii. 18, 19. iii. 14. viii. 28. xii. 32.
Now therefore we may explain, and paraphrase this text after this manner: Cocerning • his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who, with regard to the external circumstances of his nativity • into this world, was of the family and lineage of David : from whom God had promised the • Messiah should descend : and with regard to the “ spirit of holiness," or the divine energy and • influence, by which he had been contrived in the womb, and by which he was sanctified to
his high office, and by which he wrought the greatest miracles, he was the Son of God, and 16 was known to be so. But was most fully and solemnly constituted, and declared to be the
Son of God, by that wonderful demonstration of the divine power, his resurrection from the dead.'
Nor is it easy to avoid recollecting here, in what terms St. Paul speaks of the power which God exerted in raising Christ from the dead, and exalting him to that dominion, which was the consequence of his resurrection. Eph. i. 19—23.
I shall transcribe below 5 a part of Grotius's annotations upon this text, and refer to others.
Eph. ii. 9. “ And to make all men see, what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ."
Here it may be observed, in the first place, that those words, “by Jesus Christ.” are by some learned men suspected to be an interpolation.”
But, secondly, allowing them to be genuine, it is to be observed, that many learned men are of opinion that St. Paul is here speaking of the new creation. So says Grotius. Omnia Christus fecit nova. 1 Cor. v. 17. Et divinior hæc creatio, quam prior illa. And you very well know Mr. Locke's paraphrase, which is this : « Who frames and manages this whole new creation
See the Paraphrases of Mr. Locke, and Dr. Taylor. o Sed sensum difficiliorem efficit curtata locutio, quam evolvere conabimur. Jesus Filius Dei multis modis dicitur ; maxime populariter, ideo quod in regnum a Deo evectus est; quo sensu verba Psalmi ii. de Davide dicte, cum ad regnum pervenit, Christo aptantur. Act. xiii, 33. et ad Heb. i. 5. v.5. Hæc autem Filii sive regia dignitas Jesu prædestinabatur, et præfigurabatur, jam tum cum mortalem agens vitam mag:la illa signa et prodigia ederet- Hæc signa edebat Jesus per spiritum illum sanctitatis, id est, vim divinam, per quam ab initio conceptionis sanctificatus fuerat. Luc. i. 35.-- Ostenditur ergo Jesus nobilis ex materná parte, utpole ex rege ter
reno ortus, sed nobilio .ex paternâ parte, quippe a Deo factus Rex cælestis post resurrectionem. Heb. v. 9. Act. ii. 30. et xxvi. p. 2. 3. Grot. Annot ad Rom. i. 4.
. Vid. Limborch. Comment, in Rom. i. 3, 4. et Enjedini Explicat. V. et N. Test. p. 258—264.
Alu 78 Inox XP158.] Deest in Alexandr. Vulg. Syr: -Et quidem, cum vix fieri possit, ut exemplaribus antiquissimis exciderint, scribarum seu fraude, sive incuriâ, verba tam insignia, præsertim ante tempora Arii ; adjecta hoc loco crediderim, interpretamenti gratiâ, ex illo Apostoli. Col. i. 10. Mill. in loc. Vid. et Bez, in loc.