Page images

ing, that he is not called God to signify his divinity; but only to express bis high offices, and his delegated authority. This is mere assertion; and of course it requires only contradiction. To say that the name God, when applied to the Father, signifies divine na ture, but when applied to the Son signifies something different, is asserting the very thing to be proved. There is as much evidence that Christ is divine, from the application of the name God to him, as there is that the Father is divine from the application of the same name to himself. If a certain name, attribute, or work will not prove Christ's divinity, the same name, attribute and work will not prove the Father's divinity. It ought to be admitted that what will

prove the divine nature of the latter will also prove the divine nature of the former.

Christ is called in the sacred scriptures the mighty God. He is also called the Almighty. The prophet Isaiah speaking of the Child, which would be born of a virgin, says, “his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God." This latter title is given to the one supreme God of Israel. If this name has any evidence in proof of his divine nature, it has equal evidence in proof of the divine nature of Christ. In the Apocalypse it is written, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. It has been objected that this text does not apply to the Son, but to the Father. But the text, viewed in connexion with what precedes and what follows it, was evidently spoken by Christ, and applied to himself.

Another name given to Christ is everlasting Father. When the word Father is applied to Christ it is not to be considered of the same import as it is when applied to him, whom Christ calls his father, and we call our Father. He does not sustain a paternal relation to himself, nor to the human family. The word father in the sacred scriptures has different significations, and it is used in various senses. It signifies one

who has children; it signifies the author or inventor of a thing; an instructor; a ruler, a desire. In all these senses Christ may be called a Father, either figuratively or literally. He is the Author of salyation. He is an Instructor. He taught the world a system of religion. He is a Ruler. He is frequently styled a King. He has a kingdom. He is a Desire. He is called the desire of nations. He is much to be desired; for he is much needed. The original words, translated everlasting Father, might more naturally be rendered, Father of eternity (2x) This naturally expresses his eternal existence.

Christ is called King of glory, Lord of glory, and God of glory. .No terms could be selected, which could express in a higher degree the glory of Christ. The glory of the Father cannot be represented by language in a brighter light.

Christ is styled King of kings and Lord of lords. The same titles are applied by the apostle to God the Father. “Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords." These names imply that the Son hath dominion over the highest created powers, and that his authority is equal to that of the Father. As his titles are the same, there is no evidence from this source that his authority is inferior.

Another name given to Christ, is true God. “We are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” At the time John wrote his epistles there was a sect which denied the divinity of the Savior, and maintained that he was merely a man. Another sect denied his humanity. In view of these heresies it appears that he designed to establish two points, that Jesus had come in the flesh, and that he was truly divine. With reference to those who denied the humanity of Christ, he said, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God; every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God; and every spirit, that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God. It appears impossible that language could be used, which would be more decidedly against the two prevailing heresies of his day than this. What language could inore clearly convey the idea of the real Deity of the Son than this declaration of John, “this is the true God?” Its connexion is so intimate with what is said of the Son, that attempts to evade its force are vain. Besides the additional appellation, “eternal life,” is peculiar to the Son.

God, to distinguish himself from all the gods of the heathen, styled himself Jehovah. This name denotes independent existence. The Jews had this name in such superstitious veneration that they would not pronounce it in private or public worship; nor would they pronounce it when reading the scriptures. The observations of a certain Jewish Rabbi upon the word Jehovah are pertinent and forcible. Treating on the names or attributes, which the prophets ascribe to God, he observes, “All the names of the most High, which are found in the books (i. e. of the bible) are derived from his actions, and that, which has no derivation in it is only one, i. e. the Tetragrammaton, which is appropriated to the most High only; therefore it is called a declared name, which signifieth the very essence of the most High with clear demonstration, in which there is no equal or partner with him. But the rest of his names, i. e. Judge, Mighty, Righteous, Merciful, God, &c. are all names, which declare the effects and derivation, &c. But the Tetragrammaton name is unknown as yet as to its certain derivation; and therefore it is attributed to bim only.” But even this name, which is significant of the divine essence, is applied to Christ. The prophet Jeremiah, in view of the advent of Christ, observes, “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch; and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called

Jehovah our righteousness.” This prophecy is believed generally to be applied to Christ. As this name is expressive of divine nature, it follows that Christ possesses divine nature, or the name was wrongly applied. There are many other passages in which Christ is implicitly called Jehovah. Was it not Christ, who held intercourse with the Israelites in their departure from Egypt, and in the wilderness? Did he not make himself known to them by the name Jehovah; and did he not style himself, I am?

To this it has been objected that the name Jehovah has been given to places and altars. Abraham called the place where he was about to offer his son Isaac Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will see or provide. After Moses had prevailed in battle against Amalek, by the special interposition of divine Providence, he erected an altar unto the Lord, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi, the Lord, my banner. After Gideon had seen an angel and bad holden converse with the Lord, he built an altar unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah-shalom, the Lord send peace.

From the application of this divine name to inanimate things, it is inferred by some that the application of it to Christ does not imply his divinity; and that this name might appropriately be given him, if he were but a mere

It ought to be considered that when the name Jehovah was given to those places, it was used with some qualifying addition; it was used not to express the nature of the place or thing, but to express some circumstance which was signalized by divine presence or agency. As the cases are not parallel, the objection loges its force.

Another significant name given to Christ is Immanuel. “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call bis name Immanuel.” This prophecy was fulfilled. A virgin brought forth a Son, and his name was Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

The apostle Paul to the Corinthians saith, "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.”


Christ saith, “the Father is in me.” No language could more clearly prove that divinity was united to the man, Christ Jesus. But it is objected that this divine name is applied to Christ in no other sense than divine names were formerly applied to places and things. It has been said that when divine names were given to places and things they did not, neither were they designed to, express their nature or qualities; but they expressed the manifestation of divine presence, or some divine interposition. When Jacob had seen the vision of the ladder and angels ascending and descending, he was afraid and said, “surely the Lord is in this place.” From this circumstance he called the name of the place Bethel, which signifies house of God. After Jacob had wrestled with a man and prevailed and obtained his blessing, he called the name of the place Peniel; and he gives this reason, “I have seen God face to face.” Peniel signifies face of God. These distinguished places were not divine, because they had received names, made up in part of the divine name; neither did they receive these names because they were divine. But these names

were given them because God was there. The name Immanuel was not given to the child of Mary, because that child was divine, (for it was not) but because God was there; because the divine Son was in the child. Allowing the objection to have all its force, it serves to prove that divinity was united with the humanity of Jesus Christ.

The name, Lord God of hosts, is applied to Christ. The prophet, adverting to the wrestling of Jacob with the angel, said, “By his strength he had power with God; yea, he had power over the Angel and prevailed; he wept and made supplication unto him; he found him in Bethel and there he spake with us. Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial.” The original words translated Lord God signify Jehovah God. God declared to Moses,“this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” Jacob

« PreviousContinue »