Page images
PDF
EPUB

We cannot but think that the same being who said through Isaiah, “ I am the first and I am the last, and beside me there is no God,” said also to John, “I am the alpha and omega, the first and the last."

Again, he was the creator of the world. That this was Christ, has, we think, been sufficiently demonstrated already.

Again, he was the God who made the covenant with Abraham, who revealed himself to Moses as JEHOVAH, I AM, GoD ALMIGHTY, who led the people from Egypt to Canaan; and we think we have shown that Christ was that being beyond all question. If that leader was only the representative of God, then the God beside whom there is none else, is a representative of God, while there is no God to have a representative.

Again, he was the one to whom men must necessarily look for salvation, and beside whom there is no Savior. He was Israel's REDEEMER. The New Testament presents conclusive evidence that the name of the Lord Jesus is the only one whereby salvation can be attained—that without him we can do nothing—that our life is in himthat Christ only is lifted up as was the serpent, that all men may look to him and be saved, salvation being impossible except we look to him. He was not less the Savior before his coming, than after that event. Adam and Eve, and Abraham, were compelled to confide for salvation through the promised seed, whose blood was typified under the old covenant, equally with Paul and Peter. If Christ be a Savior, a Redeemer, at all then, he must be the God beside whom there is no other, for beside that God “there is no Savior," there is no Redeemer.

Again, he was the One to whom every knce should bow, and every tongue swear. This is shown to be the Lord Jesus Christ plainly by Rom. xiv, 10, 12; and Phil. ii, 10, 11.

We do not hesitate to say, then, that Jesus Christ is “God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath, there is none else.He is the only being revealed in the bible to whom these characteristics will with truth apply. They all point to him as the needle to the pole. To our mind, these passages would disprove the existence of the Father as the supreme God, if he were not in essence the same being with the Lord Jesus Christ. The passages say nothing about the Father's being the one God beside whom there is none else. It is Jehovah, the Redeemer, the Savior, the One lifted up to reflect his healing virtue wide over the world, the King of

[ocr errors]

Israel, who is the first and the last. The conclusion, to our minds, is inevitable, that the Supreme Jehovah and selfexistent God of the bible is the Lord Jesus Christ. Our author has not attempted an answer to this last argument.

IV. Mal. iii, 1. "Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in : behold, he shall come, saith JEHOVAH of Hosts.” Jehovah here plainly declares that he will send his messenger to prepare the way before himself. The Jehovah who said this was undoubtedly the true God. But the New Testament shows that the messenger sent was John the Baptist, and that he prepared the way for Christ; and therefore Christ was the Jehovah who said he would send the messenger to prepare the way before himself.

V. Isaiah viii, 13, 14. “Sanctify Jehovah of hosts; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; and for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence, to both houses of Israel.” Peter quotes and applies this passage to Christ, (1 Peter, ii, 6—8.) and thus identifies the Lord Jesus as the Jehovah of hosts.

We might extend our proof much farther, but it is unnecessary. To every unprejudiced reader, we think it must be manifest already, that the supreme JEHOVAH of the Old Testament was, in fact, but the pre-existent Christ of the New-he who has become the incarnate Redeemer of the world. Christ was appointed Mediator from the foundation of the world, and has always reigned upon the mediatorial throne, and will till his work is accomplished. He was the Head of the Church under the old dispensation, as well as under the new. Under the former, he performed the duties of his office, being known as Jehovah, angel of the covenant, I Am, &c.

Under the latter, he was the same, leading, instructing, sanctifying his people, being known as the Messiah, the Anointed, the Prince of Peace, and because of his miraculous conception in the flesh, the Son of God.

If we have succeeded in establishing the point we have labored, it is not necessary to proceed according to the common method, and show that the several attributes of essential divinity are ascribed to Christ. If he is the I AM, the self-existent, eternal, immutable JEHOVAH, of course he has all divine attributes, and is the author of all the works of God.

* It would be in accordance with the logic and theology of our author, to reply in general, to our proof that Christ is the supreme God, by saying that we have undeified the Father, for there cannot be two supreme Gods, the Father and Son. But this reply is based upon a denial of the doctrine of the Trinity. Our author has abundantly denied that one Divine Substance can manifest itself by the distinct attributes of a three-fold moral agency, but has failed entirely to present any proof of such a position. There is no force in any of his arguments or criticisms, except what, in the last analysis, grows out of this assumption of one of the questions at issue. In fact, he does but argue the question that God cannot be one and three in the same sense. Our argument goes to identify the supreme God and Christ, only as to their essence. We could quote other passages were it necessary, to show that that essence has a triple manifestation.

Our author admits that the term God is applied to Christ, but insists that is is always in a subordinate and never in a supreme sense.

Christ is a subordinate God. He justifies such a sense by a reference to heathen usage.

He

says, « The Greeks and Latins did not mean by the name God an all-perfect being whereof eternity, infinity, omnipresence, &c., were essential attributes. With them, the word only implied an excellent and superior nature, and accordingly they gave the appellation of God to all beings of a rank or class higher than men, and especially to those who were inferior agents in the divine administration, all subject to the one supreme.We know very well, that while the Greeks and Romans held to the existence of one supreme God existing in a trinity, they held to the existence of inferior, subordinate Gods, by the ten thousand. But is the theology of the bible like unto theirs? Does Christianity admit polytheism—the existence of "gods many and lords many;” to whom the name God can be given in a subordinate sense? They used the name God in accordance with their theology, and can their use of it guide us in interpreting the word as found in the bible? Surely not. If our author can be guided by them here, we see not why he should shrink from another of their dogmas, viz: the transmigration of souls. Surely he should remember his own cry of - heathenism.

We must bring our author to the bible to find a secondary or subordinate sense of the word God. What is bible usage? 1. It designates the supreme being, and each of the persons of the trinity. 2. An idol. 3. Satan, as the God of this

6

world. 4. The ark of God is once called God. 5. It designates, in three or four instances, human agents-men, who are especially commissioned to act in God's stead. In this sense it is applied to Moses when he goes before Pharaoh, and to the judges who are set to execute the laws of God as civil rulers of the Jews. These are all the senses found in the bible. Our author can claim for Christ, the last sense only. This is a subordinate sense, indeed, but will our author adopt it? He does not believe Christ was a human agent, a “very man" like Moses and the judges. There is no subordinate sense of the word in the bible, then, to which our author can resort, unless he should do as we were once charged with doing-make an “idol" of Christ.

But suppose he could find in the bible, such a sense of the word God, as would suit his theory when applied to Christ. This is not enough. He must find also the wellestablished and secondary sense to the appellations - Lord God Almighty,” “The Almighty,” “The I am,” “ The First and the Last," " The God in the heavens above and upon tbe earth beneath," " JEHOVAH,” and “JEHOVAH of hosts." Can be find the secondary sense of all these designations of Christ? We'reckon not.” He has attempted, however, to show that the name JEHOVAH was given to men and was not confined to the Supreme Being. For this purpose he quotes 1 Sam. xx, 12, and Jer. xxxiii, 16. The first is, “And Jonathan said to David, O LORD (Jehovan) God of Israel, when I have sounded my father," &c. The language here is evidently hurried and elliptical. The Septuagint has it, “The Lord God of Israel doth know; the Syriac and Arabic have “The Lord God of Israel is witness;" and two of Kennicott's manuscripts read, “The Lord God of Israel lideth.

Obviously it is not a title given by Jonathan to David. The former makes an appeal, evidently, to the Lord God of Israel to witness his faithfulness to David. David was in peril from Saul, Jonathan's father. Jonathan was David's lover and friend and was concerting measures to help David escape in case of especial and immediate danger. He promises to notify David of his father's feelings and intentions. They are both excited; for the life of Israel's anointed king is at stake, and Jonathan, we are persuaded, simply used the expression to confirm his faithfulness to David; and hence, in the next verse, he calls upon JEHOVAH to whom he bad appealed, to curse him if he should prove faithless to the

yow he had made with David. Moreover, the peculiar views and feelings of the Jews respecting this incommunicable name of the Supreme Being, were such that it is altogether improbable that they would ever have given it to men. They regarded it as too sacred to be uttered even; and they refused to take it upon their lips, only as they connected with it the pronunciation of another and less sacred word.

The other passage is, ' In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness.” · The translation of this passage is probably defective. Lowth says the passage is more literally rendered, as in an old translation, favored by many learned men, thus: “In those days shall Judah be saved and Jerusalem (that is, the Church,) shall dwell safely: and he who shall call her (the Church to such blessedness) is the JEHOVAH our righteousness.” This is the rendering substantially of the Chaldee, Syriac and Vulgate. Judah and Jerusalem are both used in the passage as the names of the Church, and it is to the Church the title seems, from our translation to be given. It is unnatural that the Church should be called the LORD our righteousness. If the Church is the LORD, of whom is she the righteousness? The translation approved by Lowth suits the subject and context better, avoids the necessity of supplying several words, as is done in our version, leaves the title “JEHOVAH our righteousness” be longing to the Messiah, to whom it had been previously given, and is doubtless the true rendering. “Those days” are evidently the days of the Messiah our Lord, and righteousness, in which safety and prosperity were especially promised to Judah and Jerusalem.

Though tempted to comment upon many other things in our author's pamphlet, we must here desist. In this subject we are deeply interested. In proportion as our love is ardent toward the Lord Jesus Christ as our great Redeemer and elder Brother, we cannot suppress the emotions which impel us to vindicate, to our utmost ability, the infinitely exalted nature and character which we ascribe to Him, and for which we love Him.

We can very readily see how the real lover of Christ can joyfully contemplate an argument which adds lustre and glory to the nature and character of the divine ob ject of his affections; but how he can be otherwise than pained deeply, with the suggestion that his Savior, whom he has enthroned in the tenderest affections of his bosom is infinitely lower in nature and character than he had supposed with

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »