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deliberately and calmly weighed the arguments on both sides drawn from scripture and antiquity.
As I have no views for this world, so it cannot be imagined, that the motives drawn from interest, ambition, or secular glory, can have any place with me. Or if I had, neither can it be imagined that I would choose to dissent from the received opinion, the maintainers whereof are they who grasp honours and preferments, and think they have the best title to those advantages.
So that upon the whole, if I have erred in changing my opinion, I desire it may be observed, that my error hath neither prejudice, nor secular views to support it; and that my mistake, if such it will be reputed, hath been all along attended with constant prayers to the throne of grace, and what hath always appeared to me to be the strongest reason, and most undeniable evidence.
And even yet, if any will be so kind, as, in the spirit of meekness, to answer the arguments I have produced to justify my change, if it please God to give me the same degree of health and soundness of mind, which, by his blessing and goodness, I now enjoy, I promise sincerely to consider them, and to act suitably to the strength of the argument ; but, if any such answer is attempted with angry invectives, and haughty sophistry, aiming to be wise above what is written, I must say, mévesy örmep loudy, that is, I must remain in my present sentiments ; having in
this short treatise seriously considered all that I had said in my commentary to the contrary, and fully answered the most considerable places I had then produced for confirmation of the doctrines I there too hastily endeavoured to establish.
I conclude with those words of St Austin, errare possum, hæreticus esse nolo, that is, “I may err, but I will not be a heretic;" as yet I must be in St Paul's sense,* if I would act against the dictates and strong convictions of my conscience. He having expressly said that a heretic is one who is ávtoxaTÁXpitos, condemned in his own conscience for what he doth assert. Now, that the God of truth would give to me, and all others, a right understanding in all things, is the prayer of
Your friend and
Proofs from Scripture, that the Nature and Powers
of Christ were derived from the Father. Ir is observable from Scripture, and from the Fathers of the first three centuries, that whatsoever our blessed Lord is said to have, as to his nature, or his attributes, he is said to have by the donation of the Father, or as received from the Father.
Titus iii. 10, 11
First, He has his life from the Father; for, as he himself saith, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me shall live by me," John vi. 57; which cannot be understood of his resurrection, since it was spoken in the present tense ; for he doth not say, I shall live, but, I live. He hath his power to raise the dead from him. For our Lord proves, “that the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and live,” because, “ as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” John v. 25, 26.
And he hath also given him power to judge those whom he should thus raise, for, saith he," the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son, sent by him." John v. 22.
“ He hath given him power over all flesh, to give to them, whom God hath given him, eternal life." John xvii. 2. “ He gave him all power in heaven and in earth.” Matth. xxviii. 18.
Our Saviour also saith, “ all that the Father hath, is mine." John xy. 16. 66 Because the Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” John iii. 35. “ He is Lord of all.” Acts x. 36. " Because God made him both Lord and Christ." Acts ii. 36. As St Peter infers from God's raising him from the dead. “Him,” saith St Paul, “ hath God appointed heir of all things ;" Heb. i. 2. “and hath given him to be head over all things to the church.” Eph. i. 22. and Phil. ii. 9. “He hath
exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name ;" according to these words of the Psalmist, “ The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalm cx. 1. “ In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Col. ii. 9. “Because it pleased the Father, that in him all fulness should dwell.” Col. i. 19. Agreeably to these Scriptures, the primitive Fathers give us an account of Christ's power and dominion, as derived from the supreme God and Father of all things ; as you may see hereafter in the agreement of the Fathers with these sentiments.
SECONDLY, All his offices are plainly dependent on, relating to, or received from the Father. The very nature of his prophetic office requires this; a prophet being one, who is sent from God, and speaketh in his name. Whence he declares, during the execution of that office, that, “he spake not of himself; but, as the Father that sent him had given him a command, so he spoke " John xii. 49.
His priestly office doth also necessarily imply a relation to him, whom he was to atone and reconcile by the merits of his sufferings ; which sufferings, say the Scriptures, were undergone to reconcile us to God; “we being reconciled by the death of his son.” Rom. v. 9. Which, by the way, shows, that it is unreasonable and absurd to say it was the same individual godhead, that made satisfaction to the offended per
son ; for then, both being the same individual God, he must make satisfaction to himself; whereas, the Scripture doth inform us, "that there is one Mediator between God and man." From whence Eusebius infers that he is of a middle nature between God and man.*
As for his regal office, the Scripture plainly testifies, that God hath "given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the son of man.” John v. 26. And the Apostle tells us, “ that God shall judge the world by Jesus Christ.” Rom. ii. 16. His
power to confound all his enemies, and those of the church, is from that God, who said unto him, “Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.” His power to give eternal life to his faithful servants at the last day, is given him of his Father. John xvii. 2. And when he hath thus crowned his servants, and put his enemies under his feet, then is he to give up the kingdom“ to God the Father, that God may be all in all.” 1 Cor. xv. 28. The mighty works he did, were done by the Father, as the Baptist testifies in these words. “For he, whom God hath sent, speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” John iii. 34. He healed the sick, that came unto him, because the power of God was
* L. 1. Cont. Marc. p. 8.