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When we look upon this ordinance, observe its nature, design, and manner of its institution; when we consider the blessings, which are involved in this representation, and the magnitude of the sin of profaning this rite; when we consider, that no duty is more solemn, or momentous than this; that it is required of every believer; that it is a religious service of the highest grade, and that it is offered to Christ; who can withhold the conclusion, that we should honor the Son, even as we honor the Father?*
It is readily admitted that the word worship, the act of kneeling and of falling on the face to the ground, do not designate the degree of respect, which is offered to an object. But as these acts were often used to tender homage to God, it might reasonably be expected that Jesus, if he had been merely a creature, would have cautioned his worshippers lest they should offer him the highest degree of respect. When the people of Lystra would have sacrificed to Paul and Barnabas, they suffered them not; and told them plainly that they were men of like passions with themselves. When Cornelius fell down at Peter's feet and worshipped, "Peter took him up, saying, stand up, I myself also am a man.' When St. John fell down to worship at the feet of the angel, who had shewed him many things, the angel said, "see thou do it not." But Christ laid no prohibition upon those who offered him similar expressions of respect. The inference is plain, that there was no danger of their offering him too high a degree of homage
"That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father," John 5:23. It has been attempted to weaken this testimony by improving the transla. tion in this manner; "that all men should honor the Son, because they honor the Father." (See Yates' Vindication of Unitarianism.) This appears to be not only a wrong translation of the particle, xxws, but a perversion of the design of the text. The text is the effect, or consequence of the preceding verse. The Father-hath committed all judgment unto the Son, 'wa, to the end that, "all men should honor the Son." "Though Iva commonly denotes the end, for which a thing is done, it often signifies the effect, or consequence of an action simply, without expressing the intention of the agent. "Iva sometimes denotes the efficient cause." ." (Macknight. See Schleus. Lex. on the word.) The end, or consequence of committing all judgment unto the Son is, therefore, that all men should honor him. But according to the proposed translation, the former part of the verse is the consequence of the latter part; the honoring of the Son, is to be the effect, or consequence of honoring the Father. By this construction the force of the particle, 'wa, which connects this with the preceding verse, is entirely destroyed.
Kaws, which stands for even as, in our translation, is compounded of nara & ws. ns is often used to denote comparison. "Os is sometimes used affirmatively, and must be translated indeed, truly, certainly, actually. Kara increases the meaning of the word, with which it is compounded." (Macknight.) According to these principles, the particle, naws, is used to compare the honoring of the Son with the honoring of the Father. The same force, or degree of meaning, which this particle has in relation to the honoring of the Father, the same it has in relation to the honoring of the Son. See the force of Kaws in Mat. 21:6. 26:24. Mark 9:13, and 15:18.
We are not left to the natural explication of particles, and to the homage which Christ received on earth from his disciples, to prove that he is entitled to divine honors, and that he is a proper object of supplication. The scriptures testify that he was invoked; that he was addressed by prayer after he left the world. In addition to the texts, which have been cited already for this purpose, there are others of similar import, which may be adduced, and on which, and on those, which have been already quoted, we would make some critical remarks. Paul, in the beginning of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, says, "Unto the church of God,
which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all, that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord." This phraseology naturally leads to the conclusion that Christians, in the apostles' time, addressed prayers to Jesus Christ. But this conclusion is evaded by an improved version of this, and parallel texts. They are translated passively; viz. called by, or after the name of the Lord. (See the Improved Ver. sion of the N. T.; Yates' Vindication of Unitarianism; Lindsey's Second Address, &c.) To make this translation consist with grammatical principles, it is conceived that the dative, not the accusative case, ought to have been used after the participle. This observation is sanctioned by the authority of the LXX. See Isaiah 43:7. But if this evidence be not sufficient to settle the meaning of the word, its common use by the writers of the New Testament, and by the Septuagint ought to determine whether it is to be taken passively or actively. When the inspired writers and the seventy would convey the idea that any person or thing was called by the name of the Lord, they uniformly used, as far as I have examined, a different phraseology. A translation, which violates the idiom of the original, and is contrary to the usual meaning of words and phrases does not become critical inquirers after truth.
"For this thing I besought the Lord thrice. And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength (duvaμís) is made perfect in weakness; most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power (Surauis) of Christ may rest upon me," 2 Cor. 12:8, 9. The latter part of this passage plainly shews that the Lord, whom Paul besought thrice, was Christ. Here we have a pray er offered to him without any objection arising from the passive form of the verb; and it might reasonably be expected without any objections arising from the phraseology, or from the circumstances. But in opposition to this expectation, and to the natural tenor of the passage, as it is admitted by the most candid Unitarians, it is stated that, "St. Paul appears here to have directed his prayer to God, the Father. N. B. The apostles were not so exact in the use of the words, Lord, Savior and the like, which they indifferently gave both to God and to Christ, never supposing that any would mistake their Lord and Master, so lately born and living amongst men, to be the supreme God and object of worship." (Lindsey's Apology, p. 147.) It is of no use to argue with men on this subject, who accuse the apostles with a disregard to exactness in the application of the names, "Lord, Savior and the like." It is of no use to reason with them upon the doctrines of the Bible, till they are established in the belief of its divine authority; that it was written with exactness.
But when it, is admitted that Christ was the object of the apostle's invocation, who can object to offering him prayer? But it is thought "probable, that, when Paul besought him, he was present with the Apostle either in vision, or person. ally." (Yates.) From this supposition it is inferred that it is not proper to address prayer to Christ, unless he be, in some manner, visible. If visibility be a necessary qualification in Christ to be an object of supplication, why is so much labor spent to shew that he did not receive it, and was not entitled to it, when he was visibly present on earth? If visibility be a necessary qualification in a being in order to receive divine worship, then God the Father, is destitute of a necessary qualification.
"And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit; and he kneeled down and cried with a loud voice, Lord lay not this sin to their charge," Acts 7:59, 60. If ever a man was qualified to make an appropriate prayer, and to direct it to a proper object, it seems that Stephen was qualified. He was full of the Holy Ghost. He was just going to enter the world of spirits. He saw, either ocularly, or mentally, the Son of man on the right hand of God; of course he saw both. In this plenitude of inspiration, in this most solemn and interesting situation, in view of death, of heaven, and of the glory of God, he breathed out his soul in prayer to that Savior, in whose service he had lived; for whose cause he was about to die; and who was able to save his soul. It is in vain to urge the peculiar circumstances of Stephen as the principal ground of his petition to Christ. The circumstances of the supplicant make no alteration in the being supplicated. The circumstance of Christ's being seen or unseen makes no alteration in his will or power to hear. He, who knew what was in man, when he was upon earth, is not limited in knowledge now he is in heaven. When he was upon the cross he granted the humble request of a penitent. Now he is upon a throne, he is not less entitled to prayer; nor is he less able to grant requests. It must be, at all times, proper to call upon him, because he is always able to save to the uttermost.
CHRIST'S RAISING THE DEAD, AND JUDGING THE WORLD, ARE EVIDENCES OF HIS DIVINITY.
"He hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man, whom he hath ordained," Acts 17:31. In every part of Christ's character; in every office which he sustains; and in every work, which he performs, there is evidence of his divinity. The sacred scriptures afford abundant proof that he will raise the dead. Christ declared his power to raise himself from the dead. Speaking of laying down his life, he said, "I have power to lay it down; and I have power to take it again," John 10:18. "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." He spake of the temple of his body. It is no more incredible that Christ should raise his own body, than he should raise any other human body. The same power, which could raise one, could raise the other. The resurrection of the body of Christ is attributed to God. The apostle Peter in his sermon to a mixed multitude on the day of Pentecost, preached Christ. Among other things he said, "This Jesus hath God raised up. Ye killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead. Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly." The apostle Paul to the Romans makes this article of belief essential to salvation. "If thou shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him (i. e. Christ) from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Again he says, "God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his
own power." Many other passages in the sacred scriptures assert that God raised up Christ. If the self-same work, the resurrection of the body of Jesus, is attributed in the same unqualified manner, both to Christ and to God, it follows that Christ is God. Upon this ground there is no impropriety in saying that Christ raised himself, and that God raised him from the dead.
The scriptures furnish abundant evidence that Christ will raise the dead. Christ himself asserts, "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth." Jesus said of himself, "I am the resurrection and the life." The apostle Paul, contrasting Christ with Adam, says, “For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead." To the Thessalonians he writes thus, "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first." The general resurrection is no less attributed in the scriptures to God. The apostle Paul, in his plea before Agrippa, inquires, "Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you that God should raise the dead?" To the Corinthians he declares the same sentiment, "God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power." As the scriptures attribute the resurrection to Christ as absolutely as to God, it is natural to infer that Christ is God; that there is such an inseparable union between him and God the Father, that the same work may, with propriety, be attributed to each.
The resurrection of Christ's body is attributed to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul, in his salutation, attributes it to the Father. "Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead." Christ, upon the subject of his own resurrection, says, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. I have power to lay it
(i. e. his life,) down and I have power to take it again." The same work is attributed to the Holy Spirit. "Christ also hath once suffered for sin;-being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." "As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus." The two last passages, and many others attribute the resurrection indiscriminately to the Father or the Son. As the work of creation is sometimes attributed to God, sometimes to the Father, to the Son, to the Spirit, in like manner is the resurrection attributed to them. The observations of the learned Macknight on this subject, in a note on I Peter 3:18, are important. "As Christ was conceived in the womb of his mother, by the Holy Spirit; Luke 1:35, so he was raised from the dead by the same Spirit; on which account he is said, 1 Tim. 3:16, to have been justified by the Spirit; and Heb. 9:14, to have offered himself without fault to God through the eternal Spirit. It is true the resurrection of Christ, is ascribed to the Father, I Cor. 6:14. 2 Cor. 4:14. Ephes. 1:20. But that is not inconsistent with Peter's affirmation in this verse. For the Father may, with the strictest propriety, be said to have done what the Spirit did by his appointment; especially as it was done to shew that God acknowledged Jesus to be his Son: What our Lord said concerning his own resurrection, John 2:19, Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up, is to be understood in the same manner. For having told the Jews, John 10:18, I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again, he added, this commandment I received of my Father. Christ's resurrection being an example as well as a proof of our resurrection, he was raised by the agency of the Spirit, perhaps, to shew that we shall be raised by the same power, exerted agreeably to the will of God and of Christ; on which account the resurrection of the dead is ascribed sometimes to the Father, Acts 26:8. 1 Cor.