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flesh.-- But, as the salvation of the whole human race stands or falls with the proper, essential, underived Deity of Jesus Christ, we must take heed lest, while we profess to hold the thing, we destroy the foundation on which it rests.--We must have recourse to such scriptures as those which I have already produced :--and we must not confound the Godhead with the man. hood :-we must carefully distinguish the two natures in Christ, the Divine and human. As man, he laboured, fainted, hungered, was thirsty; ate, drank, slept, suffered, and died. As Gon, He created all things, governs all, worked the most stupendous mir. acles; is omniscient, omnipresent, and is the Judge as well as the Maker of the whole human race. As God and man, combined in one Person, He suffered for man; died for man; rose again for man; causes repentance and remission of sins to be preached in the world, in His name ; forgives iniquity; dispenses the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost; is Mediator between God and man; and the sole Head and Governor of His church.
He was man, that he might suffer and die for the offences of man; for justice and reason both required that the nature that sinned should suffer for the sin. But He was God, that the suffering might be stamped with an infinite value; and thus, instead of merely suffering on account of sin, might be a sufficient sacrifice and atonement for the sin of the world. Were Jesus to be considered merely as man, then it is evident that his sufferings and death could be no atonement for sin, because they could have no merit. If He be considered merely as God, then he could neither suffer nor die; and, consequently, man must be unredeemed; for without shedding of blood there is no remission; but if we consider Him as God-man, we see him capable of suffering; and find that the purgation of our sins was hy the merit of the blood which He shed in His passion and death. Thus, as one has said, “ He was man that he might have blood to shed; and God, that when shed, it might be of infinite value.” But while we distinguish the two natures in Jesus Christ, we must not suppose that the sacred writers always express these two natures by distinct and appropriate names :- The names given to our blessed Lord are used indifferently to express His whole nature : Jesus, Christ, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, Son of Man, Son of God, beloved Son, only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, &c. &c. are all repeatedly and indiscriminately used to designate His whole Person as God and man, in reference to the great work of human salvation, which, from its nature, could not be accomplished but by such an union.
All who are taught of God use these terms in the same way. When we speak of Jesus Christ, we do not mean the man, Christ Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary; nor Him who is the fulness of the Godhead bodily; but we mean both; the great God, even our Saviour, Jesus Christ, “who, for us men, and our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnated by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man." In this sense I invariably use these terms, when the contrary is not specified.
(To be Continued.)
For the Methodist Magazine.
RENARKS ON 1 TIM. 111. 16.
It is observed by a celebrated author, that upon the sup. position that St. Paul believed that Jesus Christ was a mere man, he would be justly chargeable with the want of common sense in writing his Epistles. Perhaps no passage in his writ. ings would be more unintelligible than the text now under consideration, admitting the above to have been his opinion. It is universally conceded that the manifestation of which our apostle speaks, is that which was made in the person of Jesus Christ. Had this manifestation been merely the exhibition of the moral character of God in that righteousness which was taught and practised by Jesus Christ, it would be difficult to conceive why the apostle should call it a great mystery,' any more than when the samc manifestation was made in the virtuous lives, and moral precepts of patriarchs, prophets, and other holy men.
Those who dispute the authority of the English translation of this passage, are but feebly supported, either from ancient authorities, or from the connection and analogy of the subject. If we read, “ Great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh,” &c. we perceive the whole subject involved in absurdity: for to talk of the “mystery of godliness," or the gospel, “manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit-believed on in the world, and received up into glory,” to say the least, is not very intelligible. But it shows, with sufficient clearness, to what extremities the advocates of Christ's mere humanity are driven. To them it would appear a less evil to implicate St. Paul, as deficient in common sense, than to admit the Deity of the Son of God. And so great has been the exertion of those who deny the real divinity of Christ, to remove this formidable passage out of the way of their favourite opinion, that it would appear as if they supposed it the only passage in the bible which had the appearance of maintaining an opposite doctrine. But it should not be forgotten that the gospel of St. John, chap. i. 14, asserts the same thing, concerning the authority of which the most learned critics have adduced no objection. But why should the text of St. Paul be assailed with such elaborate criticism, while that of St. John is admitted to be correct; especially when they both unequivocally assert the same thing ? St. Paul asserts that God was manifested in the flesh, tos e Paveguan ev capx?: and John says, “ The Word” (which just before he called God)“ was made flesh.” Kaló Móyos σαρξ έγένετο. .
The following quotation from Dr. M:Knight, may serve to show how feeble the authority is on which the objections to the validity of our translation rest. " The Clermont MS. with the Vulgate, and some other ancient versions, read here è, which, instead of tos, God. The Syriac version, as tranlated by Tremellius, hath, Quad Deus revelatus est in carne; That God was revealed in the flesh. The Colbertine MS. bath is, who. But Mill saith, it is the only Greek MS. which hath that reading. All the others, with one consent, have Ocos ; which is followed by Chrysostom, Theodoret, and Theophylact, as appears by their Commentaries. Mill saith és and á were substituted in place of the true reading, not however by the Arians, * nor by the other heretics, as neither they, nor the orthodox fathers, have cited this text.”
But we venture to say that if és or ó is admitted instead of sos, it is impossible, by any fair construction of the text, to make it any way intelligible, or even compatible with common
But it appears extremely difficult, not to say impossible, for all the cunning crastiness of men to avoid the conclusion, admitting @cos to be the true reading. The proper harmony of the passage, with this reading, will be, “God was manifested in the flesh; God was justified (e») by the Spirit ; God was seen of angels; God was preached unto the Gentiles; God was believed on in the world; God was received up into glory.What is the conclusion ? That Jesus Christ was God.
* This authority from Mill heightens the probability of the correctness of Dr. Clarke's supposition relative to the occasion of the apparent difference in the ancient MSS. See his Commentary on the passage.
The Attributes of God Displayed,
EXTRACT FROM CHARNOCK ON PROVIDENCE.
God hath given to a believer in Christ, the promise as a key to the chest of his Providence, because he hath the promise of this life and that which is to come, 1 Tim. iv. 8. Of this life, not according to our desires, but necessities, wherein they shall have whatsoever they can want or desire. God exercises a special Providence over those who are afflicted, or in disiressing circumstances, for it is written, “He is a helper of the fatherless," and "in him the fatherless find mercy," Hos. xiv. 3. Now what greater comfort is there than this, that He who presides in the world, is so wise, that he cannot be mistaken; so faithful, that he cannot deceive ; so pitiful that he cannot neglect his people; and so powerful that he can make stones into bread if he please? God doth not govern the world only by his will, as an absolute monarch, but by his wisdom and goodness as a tender father. 'Tis not his greatest pleasure to shew his sovereign power, or his inconceivable wisdom, but his immense goodness, to which he makes his other attributes subser. vient.
That which was the design of God in creating, is the same in his government of the world; the communication and diffusion of his goodness. From hence we may be sure that he will do nothing but for the best, his wisdom appoints it with the highest reason, and his goodness orders it to the most gracious end: and because God is the greatest good, he doth-not only will good, but the best good in every thing he does. The consideration that we are under the care of an infallible, unwearied, and righteous Governor ; infallible, because of bis infinite wisdom; unwearied, because of his unbounded power; and righteous, because of his eternal goodness and holiness, ought to administer the highest consolation.
To trust the Providence of God, when our warehouses and bags are full, and our tables plentifully spread, is no hard thing; but to trust in God when our purses are empty, and but a handful of meal and a cruise of oil is left, and all the sources of relief apparently cut off, will prove our faith, and evince that we are Christians indeed. And yet none of us are exempt from this duty of trusting Providence, but are bound to acknowledge it in our daily prayer, for daily bread; from the greatest and richest prince, to the meanest and poorest beggar. Whatever your wants are, want not faith, and you cannot want supplies.
'Tis the want of faith prevents God from doing great works for his creatures ; the more we trust him, the more he concerns him. self in our affairs. The more we trust ourselves, the more we shall feel the curse of bim that maketh flesh his arm, though it were the best flesh in the world, because it is a departing from God. No wonder then that God departs from us, and carries away his blessing with him: while we trust ourselves, we do but trouble ourselves; but the committing our way to the Lord renders our minds calm and easy, and removes all anxious dis. turbing thoughts what the success shall be.
We have to deal with a God who is bound up to no particu. lar means, or to any means at all; who is at no expense in supplying miraculous succours, and who delights to perfect his strength in his creatures weakness. He, and He only, knows what will further our good, and what will hinder it. He can set all causes in such a posture, as shall conspire together, as one Jink, to bring about success, and make even contrary mo. tions meet in one gracious end. Though Providences may seem to cross and contradict one another, they shall never cross his word, and the truth of his promise ; for his Providence is but a servant to his truth.--Providence directs us by means ; not to use them, is to tempt our guardian: where it intends any great thing for our good, it generally opens a door, and puts such circumstances into our hands, as we may use without the breach of any command, or the neglect of our duty. To use means without respect to God, is proudly to contemn him; to depend upon God without the use of means, is irreligiously to tempt him; in both we abuse his Providence; in the one we disobey him in not using the means he hath appointed, in the other presumptuously imposé upon him, for the encouragement of our' laziness.-Let not any reliance upon ordinary providences induce you to act contrary to the command. No prov. idences, wherein we have seeming circumstances of glorifying God, must lead us out of the way of duty; this is to rob God one way, to pay in another. Commit thy way to the guidance of his providence, with an obedience to his precept, and reliance on his promise, and refer the result to God. If we set up our golden-calves made of our own ear-rings, our wit, strength, and carnal prudence, because God seems to neglect us, the issue may be the same to us, as with the Israelites, and the very dust of our demolished calf may be as bitter to us as theirs was to them,
God hath as much wisdom in fixing the period of performance, as he had mercy at first in making the promise.-How presumptuous would it be for a vain ignorant world to prescribe rules to the Creator; much more for a single atom of dust, full of vanity, and worse than nothing. Since we had no part in making the