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called the Angel with whom he wrestled God. This Angel was undoubtedly Christ. Consequently his name is Lord God; or more properly Jehovah God.
Those, who deny the divinity of Christ contend that divine names have been frequently given to men. The Lord said unto Moses, see, I have made thee a god unto Pharaoh. When God gave laws to Israel he commanded him saying, "Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people." The apostle Paul acknowledges that there be that are called gods, for there be lords many and gods many. It is true some divine names have been given to men and things. But all divine names have not been given to them. The unqualified name Jehovah was never given to any man or place. No created being is called in the scriptures mighty God, Lord God, true God, great God, God over all blessed forever more, Almighty, Lord of glory, King of kings, Lord of lords, Alpha and Omega, Lord God of hosts. But these names, without any qualification, without any intimation that they are to be understood in a reduced sense, are given to Christ. God, by his apostle saith he has given him a name, which is above every name. If no other divine names were given to Christ but those, which have been given to men, there would be some ground for denying that his names prove his divinity. But other and higher titles are given to him. The same exalted names, which were given to the one God of Israel are given to him. If these names do any thing toward proving the divinity of Israel's God, they do the same toward proving the divinity of Christ. If the divine names have no meaning, they are useless. If they have an unappropriate meaning, they are worse than useless; they lead to error.
"What is his name and what is his Son's name?" The manner of this question implies that it is equally difficult to give a fully characteristic name to one, as to the other. The names of the Father and the Son are significant and characteristic; but they do not con
vey to our finite minds adequate ideas of the divine nature, nor of the mode of divine subsistence. God has not left himself without witness, nor his Son without witness that he is God. When the magicians wrought, or feigned to work miracles in imitation of those, which God wrought by the hand of Moses, God was pleased to give a visible superiority to his own miracles, that it might appear that the power was of God. So when God suffered his creatures to be called by divine titles, to prevent misapprehension of the nature and dignity of his Son, he gave him decidedly superior titles; he gave him a name, which is above every name.*
*In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1: 1. It appears that one design of John in writing his Gospel was to confute the heresies, which had sprung up. in the churches. The most prominent of which were those of the Docetæ, and the Ebionites. The former believed the divinity of Christ, but denied his humanity. They maintained that be had a body only in appearance; that he did not actually suffer and die; that he only seemed to do those things, which were related of him. The latter admitted the history of Jesus was founded on reality; but they denied his divinity. "For the most part looked on Jesus Christ as a mere man, born of Mary and her hus band, though a man of a most excellent character." "The opinions of the Docetæ, on the one hand, and of the Corinthians on the other," (who were nearly coincident with the Ebionites) concerning the person and offices of Christ, make it probable that the apostles taught, and that the first Christians believed Christ to be both God and man. For if the Docetæ had not been taught the divinity of Christ, they had no temptation to deny his humanity. And if the Corinthians had not been taught the humanity of Christ, they would have been under no necessity of denying his divinity." (See Mosheim's Eccles. hist. Milner's Chh. hist. Macknight's pref. to the 1st Epis. of John.) In opposition to these heresies St. John positively declared that the Word was God; and that the Word was made flesh.
By some it is denied that John used the word Logos to signify Christ; but admit, that if the Logos were Christ, it would prove his divinity. In the revelation of St. John he is called the Word of God. There is a peculiar significancy inalling him the Word, or the Word of God. For as words are the medium of conveying thought, so Christ was the medium of conveying the will of God to man. When the Evangelist asserts that the Word was made flesh, it appears to be proved as clearly as language can prove it, that the Word was Christ. When he asserts that this Word was God, it appears equally clear that Christ is truly divine. If the Evangelist had designed to express his divinity in an inferior sense, he would undoubtedly have employed some qualifying term. But as he did not, we are not authorized to make the addition. The absence of the article before eos in this place does not affect its meaning.
After St. John had represented the Word existing in the beginning; existing with God; and asserted that it was God, he adds, "The Word was made
Evero or became flesh. By this assertion he did not mean that the nature of the Word was changed into the nature of flesh. He undoubtedly meant that the Word appeared in the likeness of flesh. "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh-God sent forth his own Son, made of a woman. Who being in the form of God,-took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." The phraseology of John, and also of the apostle, in the quotations just made, naturally conveys the idea that the Word existed sepa rate from, and before the flesh.
The translation, "The Word was flesh” (see the Improved Version of the New Testament) purporting that it was a mere man, savors more of a preconceived opinion, than of a correct knowledge of the Greek. Previous to this declaration, the Evangelist had used the verb w nine times and uniformly to express simple, past existence. He had used the verb vero and its inflexions six times to convey the idea of something made or done. If he had designed to convey no other idea than, the Word was flesh, he would undoubtedly have used the verb uv, as he had done, to express past existence. On the other hand, if he designed, by connecting the terms, the Word and flesh by a copula, to convey an idea that something was made or done, he undoubtedly would have used the same verb, which he had used in that signification. If, after having used this verb uniformly in one sense, he should, without giving the least notice, use it in a different sense, he would mislead, rather than rightly direct his readers. It appears therefore that the translation in our Bible is correct. The Word was made flesh.
The verb vero in the New Testament is sometimes translated was. But it
is presumable that it is not synonymous with nv, which precisely corresponds with our English verb, was. In John 1:6, evero is translated was. "There was a man sent from God." It would be a literal translation, and agreeable to the translation of the verb in many other places in the New Testament, to render the passage thus, it came to pass a man was sent from God. It could not be the design of the Evangelist in using the verb vero to declare the existence of the man, who was sent from God. The declaration that he was sent, implied his existence; vero is translated was, in Luke 24:19, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet." It is worthy of remark, that this was the language of a disciple after the crucifixion; that he was disappointed in his expectations; that, although he had heard of the resurrection of Jesus, he did not understand it. In this state of disappointment and grief; not knowing with whom he was travelling; not knowing to what disgrace and danger he might be exposed, if he attributed divinity to his crucified Master, he diffidently and cautiously said, is nevero aung #goprns. Literally translated it is, who was made a man prophet. "The Word was made flesh." The next clause illustrates this. "And dwelt (tonnywo) among us." According to the original word the Logos dwelt as in a tent among us; i. e. he occupied human nature, the man Christ Jesus.
My Lord and my God. John 20:28. These words of Thomas, addressed to Christ, appear not to be an ellipsis, as some have maintained, but an exclamation; an exclamation of such a kind that it amounts to a confession that Christ was his Lord and God. It is in vain to object that Kugos and Otos, are in the nominative case. For the nominative is frequently used for the vocative. When Christ on the cross addressed the Father, he addressed him in the nominative case, i Deos μov, & Deos μou, as it is recorded by St. Mark. The LXX use the nominative for the vocative. The great advantage of considering the words of Thomas an ellipsis is, that people may complete the sentence so as to favor their own system.
Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Rom. 9:5. If the received text be genuine; if the construction and pointing of this passage be correct, it offers its aid to move the doctrine of Christ's divinity. He descended from the fathers, according to the flesh; he "was made, (or born) of the seed of David, according to the flesh." This mode of expression intimates that he had another nature, according to which he did not descend from the fathers, or from the seed of David. Who in this passage, relates to Christ; and he is over, or above, all. God is in apposition with Christ. The term blessed, which is applied to the Father, is applied to him.
But this text has suffered the same fate with many others, which teach the same doctrine. It is maintained that many copies want bos. "Some, therefore, may have inferred, that this text cannot fairly be adduced in support of the Trinitarian scheme; and yet the received reading is confirmed by all the manuscripts, which have been hitherto collated; by all the ancient versions; and by all the fathers, except Cyprian, in the printed copies, and also Hilary and Leo, who, according to Griesbach, have each of them once referred to this text with out noticing deos. Whence the notion arose that Oos is wanting in many MSS. I am not able to discover. There is scarcely a verse in the New Testament, in which ancient authorities more nearly agree." (Middleton on the Greek Ar.
ticle.) The passage under consideration has been transposed and pointed in such a manner that it imports a doxology to the Father. But this transposition offends against the idiom of the Greek language; against the usage of the LXX. and of the writers of the New Testament. (See Middleton in loco.)
Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever By some it is supposed that the Psalm, from which the apostle quoted this passage, was composed in celebration of Solomon's marriage with Pharaoh's daughter. This Psalm is entitled, "A song of loves." It is not probable that David would have composed a song upon his son's love for strange women; women, with whom he was forbidden to have connexion. If he had made this the subject of his song, he could hardly have said, "My heart is inditing a good matter." In this view of his son, he would not probably have addressed him by the title, "O God." Besides, Solomon's kingdom lasted but forty years. It could not, therefore, be said to be "for ever and ever." It was permanent but partially in the line of his posterity; for ten tribes revolted from bis son, and did not return. In view of his strange loves, which were prohibited by divine authority, the Psalmist would not probably have said, "thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity."
The Psalm was undoubtedly applied to the Messiah; for it appears to be applicable only to him. The quotation, which the apostle makes from it, he applies to the Son. In the beginning of his Epistle to the Hebrews, he contrasts the Son with the angels; and to give him the preference, to give him an infinite superiority, he applies to him a part of the 45th Psalm. Unto the Son he saith, thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever." There is no danger in applying this declaration as the apostle applied it, notwithstanding the ingenious criticisms of the learned.
Some critics have given to the passage under consideration a translation, essen. tially different from our English version. "God is thy throne for ever and ever. The everlasting God is thy throne." But neither the scope of the apostle's discourse, nor the phraseology, which he used, favors this translation. He was setting forth the superior excellence and dignity of the Son. After representing angels as servants, it was necessary, to make the contrast, to represent the Son having authority. But if he designed to attribute to him only a limited or del egated authority; that God, not himself, supported his throne, where would be the superiority of Christ above them; for they have a limited, a delegated authority? When it is brought into one view, that the Son hath inherited a more excellent name than they; that the angels of God are commanded to worship him; that in the beginning he laid the foundation of the earth, and that the heavens are the works of his hands; that he is the same, and that his years shall not fail, it would be an unhappy descent in the description to assign him a throne, which he could not support himself; a throne, which he did not inherit, which he did not occupy by right.
"Osos being in the nominative case does not justify the improved version of the text. For the LXX often use the nominative for the vocative; and it was from them the apostle made the quotation. The Atticks used the same manner of writing. If throne was the predicate of the verb, it would, according to the rules of Greek criticism, want the article. But as it has the article prefixed, there is evidence that it is the subject of the verb; and that the common English Version is correct. The application of this text to Solomon; the unnatural transposition of its parts; and the unfounded criticisms, which have been made upon it, give evidence that the cause is desperate, which requires such means for its support.
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life; 1 John 5:20. The most natural reference of the pronoun this, to Jesus Christ in the preceding sentence. It is a general rule that the demonstrative pronoun refers to the nearest antecedent. But there is sometimes a departure from this rule when a more remote antecedent is the principal subject; and a reference to it is so visible in the sense that it occasions no ambiguity. But this exception does not apply to the text under consideration. Th Son of God is the leading and most prominent subject. Neither the sense, nor the nature of the subject would warrant a departure from the general rule in this instance, unless it be first assumed that Jesus Christ is not divine, the very point to be proved.
The terms used in the text, viewed in connexion with other parts of the Epistle, favor the opinion that they are applied to the Son of God. There is no small degree of evidence that the phrase, him that is true, signifies Christ. At. the time John wrote, there were false teachers. They represented Christ very differently from what he really was. These he calls antichrist; and gives a caution to try their spirit. After describing the errors which then prevailed, and shewing how they might be detected, he observed at the close of his first Epistle, that Jesus Christ had come; that he had given them an understanding (diavola) i.e. knowledge, or the means of knowing him that is true; of distinguishing the true Christ from false ones; that by signs and wonders, by doctrine and life, he gave such evidence that he was the true Messiah that they needed not to be deceived. "We are in him that is true This manner of expression is applied elsewhere to Christ. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ." The figure of the vine and the branches implies that the members of Christ are in him Besides, Jesus applies to himself the terms true and truth. The additional clause, "in his Son Jesus Christ," appears to be explanatory of the two preceding, viz. "in him that is true."
"This is the true God and eternal life." Life and eternal life are titles often given to Christ. In the beginning of the Epistle John calls him "the Word of life, the Life, eternal Life.' When it is considered that he applies this title to him in the beginning of his letter, it is presumable, at least, that at the close, he applies the same title to the same personage. Of Christ it is said, “In him was life, and the Life was the light of men. am the resurrection and the Life. God hath given to us eternal Life; and this Life is in his Son." These evidences appear to be conclusive that the title, true God in the text, is applied to the Son.
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel; Isaiah 7:14. Perhaps this prophecy in its primary application was fulfilled soon after its delivery by a person, born in an extraordinary manner; who delivered Judah from his threatening enemies; and, for the remarkable interposition of divine Providence attending him, was called Immanuel. If such an application of the text be correct, it is admitted that the name is appropriate; that God was with his people by qualifying him for their deliverance. But this concession does not militate against the application of this prophecy in a secondary and higher sense. The successor of Moses was called Joshua; (the same in the original as Jesus;) and the name was appropriate. But who doubts that the name Jesus, when given to the Son of God, is of a higher and more important meaning?
There is evidence that the prophecy, under consideration, was ultimately applied to Christ, because St. Matthew, in giving the history of his nativity applies it to him. "Now all this was done," (says the Evangelist) "that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, which, being interpreted, is, God with us.' Not a little exertion has been used to shew that this part of St. Matthew's account of Christ is spurious. But as no proof has been produced to this effect, it is not presumptuous to offer it in support of the doctrine of Christ's divinity. It is a matter of surprise that texts to this effect should, more than any others, be charged with spuriousness, with incorrect readings and incorrect versions. Should the charge be supported against St. Matthew, a similar difficulty will be found in St. Luke's gospel. He states the miraculous conception of Mary by the Holy Spirit. Though he does not say that this event is a fulfilment of the prophet's prediction; yet, according to his account of the matter, it was no less a fulfilment, than if he had declared it to be so. If God was with his people, when he sent them deliverers, who rescued them from temporal evils, more specially was he with them when he united himself in a peculiar manner with human nature, and delivered them by his own hand from spiritual enemies, from the bondage of sin.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13. Through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ; 2 Peter 1:1. There are several other passages in the Epistles, in which the name God and Jesus Christ have a similar connexion. If the second noun (Savior) were not in apposition with the first (God) or an attributive of the same article, it would have an article before itself. But as it has not, it is inferred that it is a predicate of the article, which stands before