Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." The intercessions of Christ are prevalent with the Father. “Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always.” Christ intercedeth for those only, who are given him or are sanctified by the Spirit; and the Father is always ready to hear intercession for such.

Since the apostasy, the Father has holden intercourse with man, and man with the Father through the medium of the Son. When the Father reveals his will to man; when he confers his blessings, either temporal or spiritual, it is by or through the Son. When prayers are offered to our heavenly Father, they are offered in the name, or through the medium of the Son; and they become prevalent only by his intercession.

It was the office of the Father to send the Son into the world, to make a propitiation for sin; and to reconcile the world unto himself. He is well pleased with the righteousness of his Son; and he is well pleased with those, who are the objects of his intercessions.

It was the office of the Father to give all authority to the Son in his mediatorial capacity. When Christ has fulfilled the duties of his office as Mediator and Redeemer, and has judged the world, then will he give up the kingdom to God the Father. Then will the Father receive the authority which he had given to the Son; and God, without those distinctions, which were manifested during the economy of redemption, , will be all in all.

The priority of the Father's office in the work of redemption is no proof of his superior nature, or that he is entitled to higher veneration than the Son or Spirit. In every work there is need of methodical arrangement. In the great and complex work of redemption there is the greatest need of method.

Where infinite wisdom operates there is order. If the Trinity hold respective offices in order, there is first, second, and third office. There is priority and posteriority. The dignity of their offices is not affected by their number. To human view, a sacrifice for sin is as important as the acceptance of the sacrifice; and qualifications to receive the benefit of it as necessary as

the sacrifice itself. Thus, Father, Son, and Spirit, hold offices equally essential to the work of redemption, and they claim equal love and veneration.

are

IN WHAT SENSE CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD.

Psalm 2:7. Thou art my Son. Jesus Christ is the Author of our holy religion. The communications, which were made to man after the apostasy, were made by him. By his authority holy men of God were inspired by the Holy Spirit; and communicated the divine will. By him the covenant of grace was given to degenerate man; and through his mediation, every favor is bestowed upon this fallen world. When fulness of time was come he appeared on earth in the form of human nature. He made more clear and copious displays of the divine will, than had been made before. He taught the way which led to heaven. He was embraced in the first promise of mercy to fallen humanity. He was the principal object of ancient prophecy. He was the substance, which was represented by the types in the Hebrew ritual. He was the antitype of the sacrifices, which were offered upon the Jewish altar. He is the main scope of the gospel. He is the foundation of salvation. He is the chief corner stone of the church.

As Jesus Christ holds so important a place in the scheme of redemption, it is necessary to form correct ideas of his nature, character and office. As he is the foundation of Christianity, the sentiments we form of him, will affect our whole creed respecting the method of salvation. It cannot be expected that the superstructure will be better than the basis. If we begin with error, the whole fabric will be erroneous. View the Christian world, and it will be found that the sentiments they form of Christ give a complexion to their whole creed respecting Christianity. The greatest care ought, therefore, to be used in forming an opinion on this fundamental article of the Christian faith. It concerns us to decide whether Jesus Christ is simply human; whether he is a composition of human and super-angelic nature, or whether he is composed of humanity and Divinity. It is important to decide whether Christ exhibited characteristic marks of divine nature; and whether he sustains the office of Mediator, Redeemer and Savior. The importance of the subject demands a faithful investigation.

When Christ appeared in the world, it was a prominent inquiry among the Jews whether he was the Son of God. The inquiries whether he was the Christ, or whether he was the Son of God were of the same import. They expected that when the promised Messiah appeared, he would appear

in the character of God's Son. In the Old Testament God acknowledges him to be his Son. By his prophet he said, “Thou art my Son.” Jewish authors admit that the term Son in the 2d Psalm is applied to Christ. To put the question beyond dispute the apostle Paul quotes this short passage, and applies it to Christ. When Jesus claimed the title, Son of God, and the title, Christ, the Jews considered him claiming the same prerogatives. At one time they accused him of calling himself Christ. At another time they accused him of calling himself the Son of God; and they viewed the accusations of the same import.

Christ once inquired of his disciples.what was the opinion of people respecting himself

. had named several opinions, which were entertained of him, he inquired of them saying, “Whom say ye that I am?” “Peter, who was always ready to give an answer, said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the

After they

Jesus

living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed art thou Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee; but my Father, which is in heaven.” This reply proved that Peter had formed' right ideas of him; and gave him an appropriate name. Christ was predicted by the name, Son. When he came into the world he maintained that he was the Son of God. When he was on trial before the council, the high Priest adjured him by the living God, that he should declare whether he was the Christ, the Son of God. When the Centurion saw the miracles at his crucifixion, he exclaimed, “Surely this was the Son of God.” The apostles preached the same doctrine. After Saul was converted to the Christian faith, he straightway preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.” Evil spirits acknowledged the same sentiment; and gave him the same title. The relationship of Christ to the Father expressed by the term Son was acknowledged by himself; by his apostles; and by primitive Christians.

Soon after Christ left the world, various opinions arose respecting him. Some believed that he was wholly divine; that he assumed only the

appearance

of humanity. Some held that a super-angelic nature was united with his human nature. Others maintained that he was a mere man, furnished with extraordinary communications. This variety of sentiment respecting Jesus Christ early disturbed and divided the Christian Church. The same distinctions, with their various modifications, have perpetuated divisions in the Christian world.

The phrase, Son of God, is often applied in the scriptures to Jesus Christ. He frequently claims this dignity. The Father often calls him his Son; hiš own Son; his dearly beloved Son. Scripture names are remarkable for their pertinence; and there is no doubt that a peculiar and appropriate sense is to be attached to this title. It is important to inquire in what sense Christ is the Son of God.

« PreviousContinue »