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their character as finite, or infinite, constitute but a single character, and a single agency. But, as I have before said, for all our just conceptions on this subject, we are, and must, be, indebted to the testimony of God only; and beyond this testimony, as well as without it, we literally know nothing.
This testimony, as it relates to the doctrine under consideration, is in my view complete. That Christ is truly and essentially God has, if I mistake not, been sufficiently evinced; and also that he appeared in this world a Man in the absolute and perfect sense. This account of his character will be advantageously elucidated by a summary comparison of the representations, made of him in both these characters.
As God it is said,
As Man it is said, That he is God, the true God, That he was an Infant, a the mighty God, the great God, Child, a Man, a Carpenter, the Jehovah, I am, and Emmanuel, son of Joseph and Mary, and &c. That his goings forth were the brother, or cousin-german, of from of old, from everlasting; James and Joses. That he was that he was in the beginning set born in the reign of Herod the up from everlasting, or ever the Great, and of the Roman Empeearth was, &c. That he was in ror Augustus Cæsar. the beginning with God; rejoic. That he was born in Judea ; in ing alway before him ; present, Bethlehem, the city of David; when he prepared the heavens, in the stable of an Inn; and was and laid the foundations of the cradled in a manger. earth; and possessed of glory That he was refused a place with kim before ever the world in the Inn, forgotten in the Sta
ble, and unfurnished even with With reference to his greatness the ordinary comforts, provided as God, united to man, it is said, for the children of peasants. that Gabriel predicted his birth, That he grew while a Child, an Angel declared to the Shep- really and perceptibly, in wisherds of Bethlehem, that he was dom and stature, and in favour born, and a choir of the Heaven- with God and man; and therely Host sung together his natal fore changed, day by day; and hymn.
that through his life. That he is the same yester- That he had not where to lay day, to-day, and for ever. his head, and was sustained, with
That all things are his; that out any property of his own, by he upholds them by the word of the bounty of his disciples; and his power, and that they were at times, of others. made for him, and by him. That he was subject to the
That he is Lord of All things, Jewish and Roman Government, of Angels, Principalities, and paid tribute, and performed all Powers; and will subdue, and is the usual duties of a child to his able to subdue, all things unto parents, and of a subject to his himself, and put all opposition ruler; and was exposed to the
under his feet; and that his throne direct assaults and temptations and dominion are for ever and of the Devil. ever.
That for our sakes he became That he was originally rich in poor, afflicted, despised, and rethe possession of all things; and jected of men; a man of sorrows the continual delight of his Fa- and acquainted with grief; lightther in the heavens; where the ly esteemed, hated, and perseAngels unceasingly worshipped cuted.
That he was betrayed by JuThat at the close of this world, das; seized by the Roman solhe will come in the clouds of hea-diers; brought before the Sanheven with power and great glory, drim ; judged ; condemned to and with all his holy Angels; will death; again brought before Pisummon the dead from their late, judged, and condemned; graves; will gather all nations buffetted; crowned with thorns before the throne of his glory; mocked; spit upon; scourged; will judge both Angels and men nailed to the cross; and carried according to their works; will to the tomb. punish the wicked with an ever- But that having emptied himlasting destruction from the glory self, and taken upon him the form of his power; will conduct the of a servant, he was born in the righteous into heaven; and will likeness of men; and being found cause them to live, and reign, in fashion as a man, he became with him for ever and ever. obedient unto death, even the
Finally, in his divine charac- death of the cross. ter it is said, that he was in the form of God, and thought it no robbery to be equal with God.
At the close of this wonderful career he was raised from the dead. He himself informs us, that he laid down his own life voluntarily, and that no one was able to take it out of his hands. He also informs us, that he himself took it up again. Accordingly, he rose from the grave on the third day; and, after conversing familiarly with his disciples, concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, forty days, he ascended to Heaven in a cloud of glory, attended by the Heavenly host; entered the world of glory in triumph; and sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: or as it is elsewhere expressed, This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, sat down for ever on the right hand of God. At his name, henceforth, every knee is required to bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth ; and every tongue to confess, that he is the Lord, or Sovereign of all things, to the glory of God the Father. The throne of infinite dominion is accordingly, and appropriately, styled the throne of God and the Lamb. Before this throne, the four living ones cry, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who wast, and who art, and who art to come. The fourand-twenty Elders cast their crowns at his feet, and say, Thou art
worthy, O Lord! to receive glory, and honour, and power, for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created. And the multitude of Angels round about the throne, and the living ones, and the Elders, say with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing ; and every creature which is in Heaven, on the earth, under the earth, and in the sea, is heard, saying, Blessing and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. To this divine ascription, the four Living Ones subjoin their solemn Amen.
On this comparative view of the wonderful subject, under consideration, I make the following remarks.
1st. It is evident to the least consideration, that the things, which are here said of Christ, are exceedingly unlike each other. So unlike are they, that, if we suppose two beings to be the subjects of holiness; their characters cannot be more different from each other, than the things are, which are here declared concerning Christ.
Let any man attempt to describe two, the most distant, characters of two, the most distant, holy beings; and he will find himself unable to place them farther asunder, than these two characters of Christ are placed. Therefore,
2dly. These two characters cannot be given to any being, possessed of a simple nature.
That they are all truly said, will not be here called in question. If we suppose the person, of whom they are said, to be only God; we shall be obliged either to say, with the Sabellians, that Christ was no other than God manifesting himself in one particular form; or, with the Patripassians, that the Father lived here, suffered, and died, as a man; or, with the Docetae, that Christ was God only; that his appearance as a man was an illusion; that he had a visionary body ; and suffered only in appearance and pretence; while Judas Iscariot, or some other culprit, was crucified in his stead.
It is plainly impossible, that the same simple being should be set up from everlasting, be the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending ; and yet be born in Judea, in the reign of Herod the Great : Be the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; and yet increase in wisdom, and in favour with God and man: Create all things visible and invisible ; and yet be made of a woman : be the Lawgiver to the Universe; and yet be made under the Law : Uphold all ihings by the word of his power; and yet be a petitioner for the daily supplies of his wants, and the protection of his person: Possess all things, and yet have not where to lay his head : Know all things, and yet not know as, if we adopt the common interpretation, we must suppose he did not know, the time of the destruction of Jerusalem : Be the final Judge and Rewarder of the quick and the dead, and yet be tried, condemned, and executed by men: and be in the form of
yet be a
God, and justly think it no robbery to be equal with God, and yet servant, a man, and a frail and dying man.
But all these things, and innumerable others, substantially of the same nature, in both respects, are declared concerning Christ. All, also, are declared by God himself. They are, therefore, true; and true, in the natural, obvious sense. Of course, they are worthy of all acceptation.
It follows, then; that Christ is, notwithstanding the sneers of Unitarians, God and Man. In the language of the Scriptures, The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. Yet, humble as were the station and circumstances in which he appeared, we are able still to behold his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.
3dly. There are three important facts, recorded concerning Christ, in which he differs wholly from all created beings, and which merit the attentive consideration of every serious man.
1. He always taught in his own name ; even when altering, and annulling, the acknowledged Word of God.
Christ came, to change the Mosaic system into the Christian; and accordingly substituted the latter for the former. In every part of this employment He taught in his own name. The preceding Prophets had uniformly introduced their Instructions with Thus saith the Lord; Thus saith Jehovah. Christ, immediately after addressing his consolations to his disciples by way of preface, introduces his Sermon on the Mount in the following manner : Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets : that is, the system of Religion in the Old Testament: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, &c. This phraseology he repeats every where throughout this Sermon, and throughout the Gospel. Not once does he say, Thus saith the Lord, during his Ministry ; nor teach with any authority except his own. Now it is evident, that the authority, which he actually assumed, was equal in his view, and in the view of the Scriptures, to that, which sanctioned the declarations of the Old Testament; because he changes, and annuls, both the doctrines and the precepts of the Old Testament, at his pleasure.
In the same manner when he appeared unto St. Paul in the way to Damascus, after informing Paul, that he was Jesus, whom he persecuted, he commissioned him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, and sent him as his Apostle to them, by his own authority, without appealing to any other.
As, therefore, the authority, assumed in these cases, is equivalent to that, by which the Old Testament was revealed; He, who rightfully assumed it, was God.
The same authority, also, Christ assumed, and exhibited, generally, when he wrought miracles; and he never makes mention of
2. The Apostles uniformly appeal to the authority of Christ in their preaching and miracles. Vol. II.
In the name of Jesus Christ, says St. Peter to the impotent man, rise up, and walk.
By what power, said the Sanhedrim to Peter and his companions, or by what name, have you done this ? that is, healed the impotent man? Be it known unto you all, answered the Apostle, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him, doth this man stand here before you whole. Æneas, said Peter, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole. An authority, says our Saviour, is
All delivered to me in Heaven and in Earth. As my Father hath sent me, so send I you.
Under this commission the Apostles preached, and acted; and in multiplied instances have declared to us, that it was the authority of God.
A single declaration of this sort will suffice for them all. Mark xvi. 20, And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
3. In the Revelation of St. John, it is to be observed, Christ receives the praises of the Heavenly host, both singly and in conjunction with the Father, but never unites in them.
Neither Christ, nor the Holy Spirit, is ever called upon to perform the great duty of all creatures to praise God, or to pray to Him. Both these duties Christ performed as a man, when here on earth; but he is never exhibited as performing the duty of praise in Heaven. All other virtuous beings are exhibited as making this their constant worship, and a prime part of their duty. But amid all their ascriptions of praise to God, Christ is no where exhibited as uniting with them in this duty ; in itself so delightful to a virtuous mind, and so naturally and obviously obligatory on every rational being. The whole multitude of saints and angels, with the four living ones at their head, join, without exception, in the Heavenly song ; Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth on the throne. But the only part, everattributed to Christ, is to be united, in receiving the ascription, together with Him that sitteth on the throne : for the ascription is made to Him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever. *
I have now finished the observations, which I intended to make concerning this interesting subject; and exhibited what appears to me to be the true meaning of the remarkable phraseology in the text. God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and of other similar passages found in the Scriptures : such as, The word was made flesh; The seed of David according to the flesh; Of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came ; Christ is come in the flesh, &c. I shall now conclude the discourse with the following
REMARKS, 1st. This doctrine teaches us, in the strongest manner, the condescension of Christ.
* Rev. a. 13