« PreviousContinue »
the name whereby they shall call him.” Thus the objec. tion falls to the ground, and both passages prove the divinity of the “ Branch of righteousness.'
2. By comparing the following passages, it will farther appear that Jesus Christ is Jehovah incarnate.
(1.) “ The burden of the word of Jehovah—they shall look upon me whom they have pierced,” Zech. xii, 1, 10. This passage is applied to Jesus Christ :-" They shall look on him whom they have pierced,” John xix, 37.
(2.) 6. Thus saith Jehovah that created the heavens, There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Sa. viour: there is none beside me. 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, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear,” Isa. xlv, 18, 21-23. 6 We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God,” Rom. xiv, 10, 11.
(3.) “Thy Maker is thine husband : Jehovah of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,” Isa. liv, 6. “ The bride, the Lamb's wife," Rev. xxi, 9. Beside this, according to St. John, when Isaiah saw the glory of Jehovah of hosts, he saw the glory of Jesus Christ and spake of him.
(4.) “Sanctify Jehovah of hosts himself; and he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence, to both the houses of Israel,” Isa. viii, 13, 14. “ Unto you, therefore, which believe, he (Christ) is precious : but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence," i Peter ii, 7,8. Christ, therefore, is not merely the Jehovah of the Old Testament; but Jehovah of hosts.
Mr. G. has exhibited a large number of scriptures, to prove that the “Son of God is subordinate to God the Father.” (Vol. i, p. 291.). With all these we might contrast those passages which we have already examined. But it is not our method to destroy one passage of Scripture by another. We attempt, at least, to reconcile them. The passage swhich Mr. G. has quoted are intended to
show that Jesus Christ was man. Either they prove this, or they do not. If any of them do not prove it, they do not answer his purpose. If they do prove it, we are right in applying them to his human nature. To all this Mr. G. has consented. “ You agree with us,” says he, far as we go, only you go much farther. You acknow. ledge that Jesus Christ possessed a human nature. This we believe. If, then, in addition to this, you also assert that he was a Deity, the whole of the proof rests with you." (Vol. i, p. 327.) Thus Mr. G. has granted that the proof of his human nature is no proof that he is not also divine; and that we acknowledge all he can possibly assert. But he calls for “proof” that Jesus Christ has a nature which is not human. (Vol. i, p. 356.) We have already produced it from his own Lectures, (1.) where he has granted that the divine perfections were given to Christ. These were not human, (2.) where he has said that “the Word” which was made flesh “ was no other than God himself:” (3.) where he asserts that St. John wrote his gospel to maintain that the wisdom, and life, and light, attributed to the “Word made flesh,” were all one and the same being, all God himself: (4.) where he says that “ in Jesus Christ as a man the fulness of the Deity did reside :” (vol. i, p. 344:) (5.) where he says that “God was manifest in the flesh : (vol. i, p. 216 :) (6.) where he has cited many passages which relate to absolute Deity, some of which relate to Jesus Christ; and others of which have their parallel passages which relate to Jesus Christ. We have produced it, also, from the language of both the Old and the New Testament, in which the divine perfections, nature, and name are ascribed to Jesus Christ ; and on the result we rest the question. Mr. G. and his brethren may affect to overlook these proofs, or pretend they have overturned them; but the candid reader will perceive that they are neither so few nor so trivial as our opponents represent them. The state of the controversy then is simply this: Jesus Christ is represented to us as God and man. Mr. G. denies the former, because he acknowledges the latter. We acknow. ledge the former, but by no means deny the latter. The Scriptures speak of him as “ the Prince of life,” who was “killed,” Acts iii, 15; “the Lord of glory," who was
infamously “crucified," 1 Cor. ii, 8; "the root of Jesse," “ and a root out of the stem of Jesse,” Isa. xi, 1, 10 ; " the Lord,” and the “Son,” the “root and the offspring of David,” Matt. xxii, 45 ; Rev. xxii, 16 ; the Lord of all,” and the servant of men, Acts x, 36; Matt. xx, 28; "the Word, which was God, and was made flesh,” John i, 1, 14; “ who was in the form of God, and was made in the likeness of men,” Phil. ii, 6, 7; the Son of God, and the Son of man; the fellow of Jehovah and of men, Zech. xiii, 7; Heb. ii, 9; eternal, and yet beginning, Mic. v, 2; “having life in himself,” John i, 4, and yet being dependent;“filling all in all," and lying in a manger, Eph. i, 23;
knowing all things,” and yet ignorant of some, John xxi, 17; “ almighty," and yet "crucified through weakness,' Rev. i, 8; 2 Cor. xiii, 4; always “the same," and yet undergoing many changes, Heb. i, 12; “ reigning for ever," and yet resigning the kingdom, Isa. ix, 7; 1 Cor. xv, 24; “ equal with God," and yet subordinate, Phil. ii, 6, &c.; "one" with God, and yet a Mediator between God and men, John x, 30; 1 Tim. ii, 5.
Such sayings are apparent contradictions, and can be reconciled only on the Scripture hypothesis which ascribes to him the “ fulness of godhead,” and “ the likeness of sinful flesh.” If the Socinians cannot see the twofold truth, the cause of their blindness is not to be sought in the ambiguity of revelation, but in the pride of reason, and some fatal per. verseness of human nature.
Of the Personality and Divinity of the Holy Spirit.
When the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is considered in its connection with the doctrine of the trinity, there are two points nearly related to each other, which claim our attention: viz., I. Whether the Holy Spirit be a mere energy, or a real person? II. Whether he be a creature or God?
I. In entering upon the first of these inquiries, it is necessary to state distinctly that we are not at present
inquiring whether the Holy Spirit be a third person in the godhead. With that question we have here nothing to do. Our object is to ascertain whether the Holy Spirit be, on the one hand, the mere operation of God, or, on the other hand, an intelligent and voluntary agent, i. e., a person.
We are not about to deny that the Holy Spirit is that by which, however distinguished, the Father, through the Son, operates on all created beings, whether material or immaterial. We grant that the power of the Holy Spirit is “ the
of the highest”- _" the finger of God;" but not that the Holy Spirit is merely an attribute of the divine nature.*
That it is something more is what is now to be proved.
Mr. G. has generously conceded that the sacred writers did personify the Holy Spirit. (Vol. i, p. 152.) He even says “ that it would have been next to an impossibility not to have repeatedly personified" him. (Vol. i, p. 173.) This is a concession which truth has forced from him when he was attempting to prove the contrary. That the sacred writers did speak of the Holy Spirit as a person is granted by our opponent, and therefore need not be proved. But then, according to Mr. G., personality is ascribed to the Holy Spirit, not because he is a proper person, but accord. ing to a common rhetorical figure by which “other acci. dents, qualities, or affections” are personified. (Vol. i, p. 152.) Here then Mr. G. and we are at issue. He avers that thé Holy Spirit is only a figurative person ; we say that he is a proper person.
That the unlearned reader may not be deceived by Mr. Gi's flourish about figures of speech, it is necessary briefly to state the nature of those which are likely to come under our notice. When a writer attributes to body properties which belong only to spirit, or attributes to spirit properties which belong only to body; he then speaks, not properly, but figuratively. When a writer attributes the properties of a real being to mere abstract qualities, and speaks of those qualities as persons, while they have no real personality ; then, also, he speaks, not properly, but figuratively. But when a writer attributes to body only the properties of body, and to spirit only the properties of spirit; and when he speaks of qualities, not as of real beings, but as of qualities, and of real beings, as of real beings-then he speaks, not figuratively, but properly.
* With the utmost propriety, Mr. G. has adopted the words of Simon the sorcerer, for a motto to his lecture on this subject. The agreement between them is admirable; but it belonged to Mr. G. to be the first to perceive and acknowledge it.
The supposition that the Holy Spirit is, by the sacred writers, improperly personified, if it have any foundation in truth, must be grounded on the impossibility of his being a proper person, or of his possessing any personal qualities. If mere abstract wisdom, power, or goodness be personified, we see immediately that the writer is speaking figuratively; because these attributes have no real existence but in the spirits in which they inhere. But when we find a spirit personified—that very kind of real being in which alone these personal qualities can inhere, we are sure that the words of the writer are not figurative, but that they are used with the utmost propriety. Now such by name, as well as by nature, is the Holy Spirit: who, therefore, of all other beings, is most properly spoken of as a person,
To puzzle the reader after the Socinian manner, Mr. G. has told him that the “primary signification of avevua, which is commonly translated spirit, is the breath of the mouth.” (Vol. i, p. 150.) The reader must be told, also, that it is the only word which the sacred writers of the New Testament use, and, in fact, the only term which the language afforded them, by which to convey the idea of immaterial substance. ΠΝΕΥΜΑ σαρκα και οσεα ουκ εχει : " A spirit hath not flesh and bones,” Luke xxiv, 39. But does Mr. G. mean to insinuate that breath is its proper signification when it is applied to the Deity? Rather than relinquish a favourite error, while he is per. petually declaiming against the literal interpretation of scriptural figures, will he be guilty of a most gross and palpable absurdity, that of literally applying to God, who is a spirit, one of the meanest properties of an animal body? Has God a mouth ? And does he actually breathe from it? God is atvevua, a spirit. Is God then a breath ? Must not breath, if attributed to God, be attributed to him figuratively? And if figuratively, what is the meaning of the word? Can it be any thing corporeal ? Or is it not rather