Page images

why hast thou forsaken me? This is not the language of divinity. This is the language of suffering humanity.

At times Jesus Christ manifested anger. When the Pharisees watched him whether he would heal on the Sabbath-day, "he looked round about on them with anger." When Jesus went up to Jerusalem and saw that the temple was made a place of traffic, he manifested a zeal for the honor of his Father's house. He expressed indignation when he used the scourge, poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables.

The Savior manifested a love, which had every appearance of human love. When the rich young man addressed him in terms of respect; appeared polished in his manners and regular in his life, Jesus beholding him loved him. He appears to have had a peculiar affection for the family of Mary. John was the disciple, whom Jesus loved.

When Christ is said to be angry, to be grieved; to rejoice; to exercise love; to suffer pain, there is no appearance that these affections are to be understood figuratively. When he manifested these affections to the senses, he manifested them really, not figuratively. If a human soul was not united with the body of Jesus, it is impossible that he should have had these affections. If his body was animated only by the divine Son, it is impossible that he should be tempted as we are, for God is not tempted with evil; and it is absurd to suppose that a mere body is subject to temptation.

There is a manifest propriety that the Mediator between God and man should possess divine and human nature. By this union he would feel an interest in the rights of both parties. While he vindicated the rights of God's throne, he would have compassion on the infirmities of humanity. Had he been only divine, the sinful race of man might, perhaps, have accused him of partiality to the cause of his Father, while he neglected to plead their cause. Had he been only human, he might have neglected divine

[ocr errors]

rights; and have exercised an undue partiality for his brethren. But by possessing both natures, he will exhibit evidence that he pays just regard to both parties; and of course, every mouth will finally be stopped before God.

The human mind cannot comprehend the union which subsists between the Son of man and the Son of God. Neither can it comprehend the union between soul and body. It does not understand how matter affects spirit, and how spirit affects matter. It does not understand how the divine Spirit sustains and moves the inanimate world; nor does it understand how he supports and gives operation to the human soul and body. These are acknowledged truths. They are not denied, because they cannot be comprehended. If the divine Mind pervades all things; and moves all things, it is not incredible that he should have a peculiar residence and efficiency in the man Jesus Christ.

It is written, "The Word was made flesh." The apostle Peter, speaking of the patriarch David said, "God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." The apostle Paul saith, "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh." "When he cometh into the world he saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not; but a body hast thou prepared me." Because the term flesh is applied to Christ; because a body was prepared for him; it does not follow that his flesh was not animated by a human soul. It is well known that in the sacred Scriptures, as well as in other writings, that a figure is used, which puts a part for the whole. The word flesh is often used in the Bible to signify not only the human body, but the whole person. "God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." It cannot be supposed that human bodies are here spoken of to the

exclusion of human souls. It is not supposed that the bodies only corrupted his ways and the souls kept themselves pure. The Psalmist, desiring to see the power and glory of God, saith, "My flesh longeth for thee." It is not rational to suppose that the word flesh in this passage signifies his material, to the exclusion of his spiritual part. There are many other passages in the sacred Scriptures, too numerous to be quoted, in which the word flesh signifies the whole person; and in those passages it is the most natural signification of the word. Consequently, it may signify a complete human person when it is applied to Christ. The Word was made flesh, i. e. he was made in the likeness of men.

There is such a union between the Son of God and the Son of man, that some of the qualities of each are, in the Scriptures, applied to the other. "The second man is the Lord from heaven." In this passage, a divine name is given to the Son of man. Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. The divine title, Holy One, was applied to the body of Christ.

So nearly united were the humanity and divinity of Christ, that he sometimes spoke of one nature, sometimes of the other. If there be so intimate a union between Christ and believers, that they are called members of his body, it is not incredible that the Son of God should have a peculiarly intimate union with the Son of man.


AFTER examining generally the evidences of the sacred scriptures in favor of the existence of God, the divine unity and the divine plurality; and after examining particularly their evidences in favor of the divinity of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, it is suitable to bring these evidences into one view that we may feel their united force. Every source of evidence affords a rich supply of arguments in proof of the subject. But when all the sources are opened, and their united strength is made to bear upon opposing systems, it is hoped they will carry conviction, where a single argument, or a single source of evidence would fail.

The existence of God, is written as with a sunbeam on all the works of nature. "The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead." The unity of God is argued from the correspondence between the different parts of the world; from the uniformity of divine government; from the coincidence of the different parts of the sacred scriptures; and from the sameness of Spirit, which runs through the whole system. The unity of Israel's God was expressly taught by divine authority in contradistinction to the multiplicity of the gods of the heathen. Plurality in

the divine nature is deducible from the divine name of plural number; from the specification of distinctions in the divine nature; and from different and significant names applied to the Deity.

Revelation has not left us with only these general ideas of God. While it exhibits the unity of the divine essence, it exhibits certain distinctions, which constitute a ground of intercourse and of reciprocal compact.

The Father occupies the first place in the work of redemption. He possesses no priority of existence, nor superiority of nature, compared with the Son and Spirit. But according to the methodical arrangement of infinite Wisdom, there is order of offices in the dispensation of grace. By reciprocal consent the Father holds the first office; the first in respect to order and number. The authority which the Father had to send the Son was by mutual consent. The universal authority which the Son had in heaven and in earth, after his resurrection, was also by mutual consent. The terms, Father and God, are often used in the scriptures as synonymous.

The doctrine of the Trinity is not incidentally expressed or alluded to in the scriptures. It is not confined to some solitary passage or page, as if it were interpolated, or casually dropped from the penman of the sacred oracles. It is a prominent doctrine. Divine plurality appears in the first sentence of divine inspiration. It was gradually unfolded in ancient times. After the advent of Christ it was revealed with greater clearness and distinctness. In short, it is a doctrine interwoven through the whole system of revelation.

The divinity of Christ is inferred from a multiplicity of evidences, each of which appears to be conclusive. Divine names are given to him. The most exalted names of God, names, significant of his existence are applied to him. Some divine names, it is true, are given to creatures. But all divine names are not given to any creature. But the highest divine names are given

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »