Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

66 The

ther, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Undoubtedly Christians are baptized into the name of God; but God is here represented as three. It would indeed be incredible that baptism should be in the name of the Supreme God, of a man or mere creature, and of a divine attribute. The mention of such an interpretation is enough to refute it. Undoubtedly our Lord, in his commission, must have intended by Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to designate three persons. Whether they are all to be considered as partaking of the divine nature, is not now the immediate object of inquiry, but whether three persons are designated. The divinity of each will be hereafter proved.

Again, the apostolical benediction, recorded in 2 Cor. xiii. 14, is another conclusive evidence of the existence of three persons in the Godhead. grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." Here grace is implored of the Son, love from God the Father, and communion from the Holy Ghost. It is impossible, by any proper rules of interpretation, to evade the conclusion, that three divine persons are here named. Similar proof we have in Eph. ii. 18. “For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Here the same three persons are brought into view, and designated by their appropriate appellatives. Another passage in which the three persons are distinctly mentioned together, is, 1 Peter i. 2.

6 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” Here, again, we find the same three persons clearly distinguished.

And although the text in 1 John v. 7, has been disputed, on plausible grounds, and the testimony of existing manuscripts is unfavourable to its authenticity, yet there being positive evidence that ancient manuscripts which contained it, have been destroyed or lost, I think it should not be omitted in a summary of the evidence of the doctrine of the Trinity, as I have a strong persuasion that it is really a precious part of inspired Scripture, which we are not at liberty to abandon, but which was probably insidiously dropped out of the copies, in the days of Arian ascendency. What confirms me in this opinion is, that it is evidently referred to both by Tertullian and Cyprian, who lived long before our oldest extant manuscripts were written. The words are, “There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one." Here we have our whole doctrine expressed, as clearly as it could be done in words.

The evidence of three distinct persons has now, we think, been established beyond all reasonable contradiction, as the doctrine clearly and repeatedly inculcated in the Scriptures of truth.

CHAPTER VIII.

DIVINITY OF CHRIST.

ONLY BEGOTTEN

The proof of the Deity of the Son of God is the main point in establishing the dactrine of the Trinity; for if it can be clearly shown that there is a second person in the divine essence, there will be small repugnance to the admisssion of a third.

And here it may be observed, that the appellation “Son of God,” is remarkable. A son is always of the same nature with the father who begat him, and possesses the same attributes. It is true, Adam, in Luke's genealogy of Christ, is called the son of God, by which no more is to be understood but that God was his immediate Creator. But Christ is called not only The Son of God, but His “ Son." (John i. 14.) And angels are called “sons of God,” as being immediately created by him; but the apostle Paul distinguishes the sonship of Christ from that of angels, in that remarkable passage in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Hebrews, where he says, “ For unto which of the angels said he at any time, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.

Here we learn that the Son is not one of the angels, for he is clearly distinguished from them all. Not only so, but the angels were commanded to worship him, when he made his first appearance in the world. Now, he whom angels worship, can be no other than God. Was it ever heard of, or any where read, that the angels were commanded to worship one another? No: but they did receive a command to worship the Son. This shows that Christ was not called Son, merely on account of his miraculous birth, or his designation to office, as Mediator, or his resurrection from the dead. All these may serve to show that he is the Son of God; but he was Son from the beginning—by nature a Son-eternally begotten; for as Son, he is to be worshipped by the most exalted angels of heaven. And while he is addressed by the Father as a Son, he is emphatically addressed as God. “ THY THRONE, O God, IS FOREVER AND EVER.” To which of the angels was ever an address like this made? As these words are a quotation from Psalm xlv. 6, by turning to the passage we find, that the person addressed is called THE KING, and is addressed as the Most Mighty. There is, moreover, another argument for the eternity of Christ, contained in this pregnant passage, which is of the most conclusive nature. Indeed, it is so cogent, that this being impartially weighed, all further arguments seem to be superfluous. It is derived from the fact, plainly declared by the apostle, and made prominent in several other parts of Scripture, that Christ, here called the Son of God, is the CREATOR of the universe. Surely he who created all things must be God; or all distinction between God and the creature is obliterated. How do we know that there is a God, but by the creation ? The idea that the power of creation may

be delegated to a creature, is the same as to suppose that a creature may be rendered omnipotent and infinitely wise ; that is, that a creature may be endowed with divine attributes; or that there may be another God.

And as to the notion that Christ was employed in creation as an instrument, it is still less reasonable, for as creation is an instantaneous work of almighty power, what place was there for any instrumentality ? Besides, in the passage under consideration, there is no allusion to any instrument. It is simply and plainly declared, “ Thou, Lord, in the beginning, hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands.” In the second verse, it is indeed said, "By whom He created the worlds;" but in the order of operation, in the persons of the Trinity, the Son is always represented as acting in conformity with the will of the Father ; but still as exercising the same power, and possessing the same knowledge. The very name Father indicates, that he is primary in order of existence and of operation : by some, therefore, he has been called the fountain of the Deity. Thus our Lord says, “ For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son, to have life in himself.” “ All things are delivered to me of my Father, and no man knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him." Here the knowledge of the Father by the Son, is put on a level with the knowledge which the Father has of the Son; and the nature of the Son is represented as incomprehensible to all others but the Father, just as the nature of the Father is incomprehensible to all but the Son. An equality in the possession of divine attributes is here as clearly taught, as is possible. Can it be a mere

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »