Abbildungen der Seite

the very God that brought the children of Israel out of the sea' ver. 11.-' that led them by the right hand of Moses, with his glorious arm dividing the waters before them;' ver. 12.—' that led them through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness,' &c. ver. 13. After having said this of him, the prophet then addresses himself to him by prayer, and says in the name of his people, 'Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness, and thy glory;' ver. 15.'Doubtless thou art our Father-Thou, O Lord [Jehovah], art our Father, our Redeemer, thy name is from everlasting.' It is remarkable, that, at ver. 9. he says of him, 'In all their affliction he was afflicted,' which cannot be true of God in any other sense than as Christ; and that, ver. 10, he points at the discontents and murmurings of the ancient Israelites, whereby they rebelled, and vexed Christ's holy spirit, so that he was turned to be their enemy, and fought against them;' in the very same manner with St. Paul, who saith, 1 Cor. x. 9, Neither let us tempt Christ, as many of them also tempted, and were destroyed with serpents.' From whence we may gather, that both the prophet and the apostle understood the same person, the first by Lord, and the second by Christ; and that this person was the God of the Israelites; for, in that passage, Num. xxi. 5, 6. to which the latter certainly, and the former probably, alludes, he is said to be that very God: The people spake against God-and the Lord [Jehovah] sent fiery serpents among the peopleand much people of Israel died.' If, then, Christ is the God of Israel, he is the eternal God, of whom it is said, Deut. xxxiii. 26, 27, 'There is none like unto thy God, O Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

By what hath been said, and a great deal more that might be said, you may perceive the sacred writers frequently give the name of God, in its full extent, to Christ. You shall quickly be made sensible he takes the same to himself. The scriptural writers speak only by authority from him. They utter what he dictates; for all Scripture is given by inspiration of God;' 2 Tim. iii. 16. If, they, therefore, who do but speak his words, call him God, it is the same thing as his saying it himself. However, we desire not to take advantage of this. Christ hath often pronounced it with his own lips.


When the Jews sent priests and Levites to John Baptist, to inquire who he was, John i. 19, he said, ' I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias;' ver. 23. By this declaration he plainly set himself forth as the forerunner of Christ, the great Shepherd, according to the prophecy of Isaiah, ch. xl. 3. 'The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert an highway for our God.' Observe how the words of John and Isaiah, laid together, call him, who was to come after John, both Lord and God. And now turn to the tenth of the same Gospel, where you will hear Christ calling himself, ver. 11, the good Shepherd; -whose voice the sheep hear and know; who putteth them forth, and goeth before them; whom they follow;' ver. 3, 4. 'by whom they go in and out, and find pasture;' ver. 9. Consider well the peculiar character of the good, the great Shepherd, our Saviour here takes to himself; and then compare it with the same character described by Isaiah, ch. xl. 10, 11, in consequence of what was said, ver. 3, 4, concerning the forerunner, and you will clearly perceive Christ styles himself both Lord and God, which are there made the peculiar titles of the Shepherd. The words are these: Behold the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.' If John the Baptist is foretold in the third and fourth verses, as he himself says he is, Christ must be foretold in the tenth. and eleventh; for it is evident, that the way is ordered to be prepared, in the former, for him whose pastoral character is described with incidents of tenderness so peculiar to Christ, in the latter. You see, from the whole, that our blessed Saviour, in calling himself the Shepherd,' calls himself, modestly indeed, but by an unavoidable consequence, both Lord and God. It is by a like necessary consequence that he calls himself God, when he points the messengers of John, who came to know whether he was the Messiah, to the thirty-fifth chapter of Isaiah, by an express quotation of the fifth and sixth verses, concerning the miracles to be performed on the blind, deaf, and lame, at his coming, who is




[ocr errors]

promised, ver. 4, in these words: Behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense, he will come and save you.' Our Saviour, having wrought the miracles here predicted, does not call himself God, because it was not his way to bear witness of himself, neither does he even say he was the Messiah; he only appeals to the prophecy, wherein the wonderful things he had done in the sight of the messengers were foretold, wherein his coming is promised, and wherein he is twice called God. This now is the same, in effect, as calling himself God; it is the same as saying, Let John compare what you have seen me doing with the prophecy of Isaiah, and then judge for himself whether I am not he that should come, who is expressly called God in that very prophecy.

St. John, Rev. i. 7, says, 'Behold, he [Christ] cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.' This is a quotation from Zech. xii. 10, where he who was pierced, and who, you see, can be no other than Christ, after being called the Lord [Jehovah], ver. 1, says, 'I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace, and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one that mourneth for his only son. The land shall mourn, every family apart,' &c. In this passage both the divine and human nature of Christ, together with his conferring the Holy Spirit, with his death, and with the compunction of those who slew him, are fully and clearly represented in his own words. St. Paul, in the twelfth of his Epistle to the Hebrews, having stated a comparison between the law and the gospel, and likewise noting the different manner of introducing them, comes at length to compare Christ and Moses as lawgivers; and prefers the former, as of greater authority; quoting those remarkable words of Haggai, wherein he alludes to the shaking of Mount Sinai, at the delivery of the law, ver. 25, 26, 'See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; for, if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall we not escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven; whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying,

Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.' You perceive here, that he who 'speaketh from heaven, whose voice shook the earth,' and who promises to shake both earth and heaven,' is Christ. Now look back to the words in Haggai himself, chap. ii. 6, and you will find Christ uttering these very words by the prophet, and calling himself the Lord of hosts: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth.' Five times in this short speech he calls himself by the awful name of the Lord of hosts. Farther, if you compare the words of St. Paul, His voice then shook the earth,' with those of Moses, Exod. xix. 18. you will perceive the apostle speaks of Christ as that very God who gave the law on Mount Sinai.

chapter of his Epistle being in the form of equal with God; yet

The same apostle, in the second to the Philippians, says, that Christ, God, thought it not robbery to be humbled himself, and took on him the form of a servant; and in this form became obedient to death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.' As I live,' saith this same Lord, Rom. xiv. 11, 'every knee shall bow to me, as it is written.' Written, where? Why, Isaiah xlv. 21. 23. 'There is no God else beside me. I have sworn by myself, that unto me every knee shall bow.' You see, he sweareth by himself; and St. Paul gives the reason, in reference to a like instance, Heb. vi. 13. namely, because he could swear by no greater.' When St. Thomas called him his Lord, and his God,' he took what was said as his right, otherwise he would have reproved the apostle, as the angel did St. John, Rev. xix. 10, for paying him the respect that was due only to God. But, instead of this, our Saviour plainly intimates an approbation of his faith, thus confessed, and tenderly blames him for not having believed on less evidence. We all acknowledge, that the Father is God: and Christ says, 'I and the Father are one being.' Does he not, in this, call himself God? It is the first article of our

[ocr errors]

faith to believe in one God only, who called himself by the peculiar name of Jehovah, which being interpreted, signifies I AM. This proper, this incommunicable, name of the one only God, Christ takes to himself, John viii. 58, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.' How comes it to pass, that the Jews should take up stones to cast at him, for thus making himself God; and that so many of his pretended disciples should now insist he meant no such matter by it, furnishing him with an excuse, whereby, in their opinion, he might have easily refuted the imputation of this seeming blasphemy? And how came it also to pass, that Christ offered neither their excuse, nor any qualification of his own, but immediately hid himself from their fury, and went out of the temple? Our adversaries will say, the Jews did not give him time. What then! was this prophet, greater and wiser than Solomon, this searcher of hearts, who knew what was in man, so weak as deliberately to say a thing that so much needed an excuse, or qualification, to an audience, which, he ought in common prudence to have foreseen, would not give him time to make it? Let all who hear me judge whether taking liberties, like these, with Christ, and the Scriptures, tends either to the honour of Christianity, or of those who take them; and whether any book, that may be warrantably thus interpreted, is worth the reading.

Give me leave now to shew, that Christ not only took to himself the name of God, but actually averred there was no other God beside him, forbidding the worship of any other God, with the most dreadful denunciations of vengeance in case of disobedience.

Christ says, 'The Father judgeth no man, but hath given all judgment to the Son.' From hence we must conclude, that what I am going to cite from the twentieth and twenty-first of the Revelation, is said entirely of the Son, or Christ; I saw a great white throne,' saith the evangelist, ' and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God and the books were opened :-and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books.-And he that sat on the throne said unto me, It is done: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He that overcometh,

« ZurückWeiter »