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Chap. iii. 12. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God; and I will write upon him the name of my God;" that is, Him that overcometh, I, the one supreme God, will make a pillar in the house of me the same God, and will write upon
him the name of me the same God, and the name of the city of me the same God. And, V. 21. 66 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Now, surely the same supreme God must have the same throne with him who is the same supreme God; unless it can be said, that the same essence has one throne, and the person of the same essence has another.
This will be still more evident from a reflection upon the third person of the sacred trinity, who, according to this doctrine, is of the same individual essence with God the Father, and the Son. For, as hence it necessarily follows, that the Spirit of God is the same with the God of God; and to receive this Spirit, is to receive that God who gives the Spirit; so it is manifestly inconsistent with many passages of the holy Scripture which speak of him. For instance, our Saviour saith, “When the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me ; for he
shall receive of mine, and show it unto you.” John xvi. 13. Now it is self-evident, that the supreme God must speak of, and from himself, and not what he heareth from another; and that he can take nothing from another to show to us. So 6 The Spirit helpeth our infirmities” in prayer to God, " and maketh intercession to him for us.” Rom. viii. 26. that is, he maketh intercession to himself. And, again, “ The Spirit maketh intercession for us according to the will of God, V. 27. that is, according to his own will. And, “ But God hath revealed the things that he hath prepared for them that love him, to us by his Spirit.” 1 Cor. ii. 10. that is, by himself. And, “The things of God knoweth oudris, none, but the Spirit of God," V. 11. that is, God himself. And, “Now we have received the Spirit of God,” that is, the supreme God, " that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” V. 12. that is, of the same God. And, “ Know ye not that ye are the temple of God; and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ?" 1 Cor. iii. 16. that is, the same God dwelleth in you? And, “What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost;" that is, of God, which is in you, “and which is given you of” the same “God ?” Chap. vi. 19. And, “You are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Eph. ii. 22. that is, through the same God. With many other sayings of the like import.
Explanation of certain Texts in the Gospel, which
have been supposed to prove the Identity of the Father and Son.
I PROCEED now to expound some passages of Scripture, which seem to have been misunderstood by most modern expositors, and sometimes also by myself. As,
FIRST, Those words of Christ, “No man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father, and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.” Luke x. 22. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father," that is, who is intimately acquainted with his mind and will, "he hath declared him." John i. 18.
That these words cannot concern the metaphysical nature of the Father and the Son, is evident, because our Saviour hath made no such declaration, or revelation, of that nature, to us, or his disciples. They, therefore, only can concern the dispensation of the New Testament, and salvation by Jesus Christ, and the knowledge of the will of the Father, and the way by which he would be worshipped, delivered to us by his Son.
Hence when St Peter had declared, that “Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God,” (or as it is, Mark viii. 29. “Thou art the Christ,") Christ said unto him,
“ Flesh and blood have not revealed this unto thee; but my Father which is in heaven." Matth. xvi. 17. And Christ also saith, “I have manifested thy name
unto the men which thou gavest me, and they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee, and have known surely, that thou hast sent me." John xvii. 6.
From which two places it appears, that God the Father, by revealing to St Peter, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, revealed the Son to him; and that Christ himself, by manifesting unto his disciples, that he came from God, and that he had sent him, manifested his Father's name to them. And, John xvi. 25. he promised hereafter to show them plainly of the Father ; and yet he did this, not by giving them any instructions concerning the metaphysical nature of the Father, or any declarations of that nature, but only by giving them a clear insight into the tenor of the gospel dispensation, and into the counsel of his will. Secondly, To proceed to those words, “I and
Father are one." John x. 30. The great question here is, whether these words are to be understood of the unity of the Father and Son, as to their same monadical essence, or (as many of the Ante-nicene Fathers did interpret them) of an unity in will, design, affection and concord ?
That they could not be intended to declare an unity of their individual essence, seems highly probable both from the context, from the like expressions in the Scripture, and from the very nature of the thing.
From the context; for there our Saviour saith, “ The works that I do in my Father's name," that is, by his authority and power imparted to me, “bear witness of me.” John x. 25. Which words are evidently repugnant to a numerical unity of essence in them both. Since, where the essence is one, the actions must be one, and done by the same authority
To which add, that the words, I and my Father, are words plainly importing two persons. For the word, Father, is personal, and the word, I, is a pronoun personal; so that, if these two are one and the same God by virtue of this text, they must be one in person as well as essence.
Moreover, “My Father which gave them me,” saith Christ, “is greater than all.” V. 29. Which again destroys the numerical unity of essence between both; since no one essence can give any thing to itself, and much less a divine and all-perfect essence. Nor can one essence be greater than itself. Whereas our Lord expressly saith, “ My Father is greater than 1.” John xiv. 28.
This will be farther evident from the parallel expressions used by our Lord, in the same Gospel,