“God Spake all these Words”

By James H. Brookes

Chapter 7



One of the most remarkable features in the Bible is the prominence which it gives to a Person. From first to last His name, His influence and His work form the foundation, the superstructure, the capstone of the Book. He is the sun of the system, the centre around which circle the doctrines, duties, histories, narratives, prophecies and poems of all the sacred writings. The men who have handed down these writings, with all their differences of talent, culture and social station have united, during the many centuries in which they lived, to render homage and honor to the Christ.

He is the seed of the woman, Gen. iii. 15. He is of the race of Shem, Gen. ix. 27. He springs from Abraham, Gen. xii. 3. He comes of the tribe of Judah, Gen. xlix. 10. He is the angel of the Lord, Ex. iii. 2; xxiii. 20, 21, He is the substance to which the shadowy fingers of the offerings pointed, Lev. i.-v. He is the Star out of Jacob, the Sceptre out of Israel, Num. xxiv. 17. He is the Prophet whom God will raise up, Deut. xviii. 18. He is Captain of the host of the Lord, Josh, v. 14. He is the Lord who appeared to Gideon, Jud. vi. 14, 21. He is the root and offspring of David, who is seen as the type of the Man who is on high, 1 Chron. xvii. 17: and Job could say in god spake all these words. his sore afflictions, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and after I shall awake, though worms destroy this body, yet from my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; and my reins within me are consumed with earnest desire for that day,” Job xix. 25-27.

God declares Him to be His King and His Son, Ps. ii. 6, 7; His Priest whom He seats at His right hand, Ps. cx. 1, 4; whose manner of death is minutely described, Ps. xxii. 1-18; and His resurrection. Ps. xvi. 9-11; and His ascension, Ps. lxviii. 18. He is to be born of a virgin, Isa. vii. 14; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace, Isa. ix. 6. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, Isa. xi. 2; and He is to be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, finding His grave with the wicked, and making intercession for the transgressors, Isa. liii. 5, 9, 12. The character of His ministry is portrayed, Isa. lxi. 1-4; His reign in righteousness is predicted, Jer. xxiii. 5; His everlasting dominion is described Dan. vii. 18, 14; the place of His birth is distinctly mentioned, Mic. v. 2; “and Pie shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne,” Zech. vi. 13.

Turning to the New Testament He is introduced as Jesus, Jehovah the Saviour, who Himself shall save His people from their sms, a,nd as Emmanuel, God with us, Matt. i. 21, 23. To the virgin it was said, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God,” Lu. i. 115. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made,” Jno. i. 1-3. It is not surprising, therefore, that at His baptism the silence of heaven was broken to announce the Father’s delight in His beloved Son, Matt. iii. 16, 17; as it was afterwards on the Mount of Transfiguration, Matt. xvii. 5; and once more on His way to Jerusalem, Jno. xii. 28.

He went about doing good, healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease, Matt. iv. 28, 24; He walked on the sea, Matt. xiv. 25; He muzzled the raging storm, Mark iv. 39; He raised the dead, Mark v. 41; Lu. vii. 14; Jno. xi. 43; He told of God’s love, Jno. iii. 16; He forgave sins, Lu. v. 20; He saved sinners, Lu. vii. 50; xxiii. 43. As Son of God, He imparted life to souls that heard His voice, as Son of Man, all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and come forth, Jno. v. 25, 28; and He declares that the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father, Jno. v. 22, 23. He exclaims, *‘I am the living bread,” Jno. vi. 51; “I am the light of the world,” Jno. viii. 12; “I am the door,” Jno. x. 9; 4 ‘I am the good shepherd,” Jno. x. 11; “I am the resurrection and the life,” Jno. xi, 25; “I am the true vine,” Jno. xv. 1; “I am the way, and the truth, and the life,” Jno. xiv. 8; “I give unto them, eternal life,” Jno. x. 28; and in His last prayer could say, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was,” Jno. xvii. 5. Well might Henry Ward Beecher emphatically say, “Jesus Christ w T as divine, or He was insane.”

He proclaimed His absolute sinlessness; Jno. viii. 29; His existence before Abraham was born, Jno. viii. 58; His omniscience, Lu. vi. 22; His omnipresence, Matt, xviii. 20; His omnipotence, Matt, xxviii. 18; His immutability, Jno. xiii. 1; His advent into the world, and leaving the world to go unto the Father, Jno. xvi. 28; His ability to hear and answer prayer, Jno. xiv. 18, 14; and His coming again to judge the nations, Matt. xxv. 81, 82. He repeatedly predicted His death and resurrection, Matt. xvi. 21; xvii. 22, 23; xx. 18, 19; and His reappearance to reward every man according to his works. Matt. xvi. 27.

He is beyond question altogether peerless in His character, claims and conduct, even according to the confession of such infidels and unbelievers as Spinoza, Strauss, Renan, John Stuart Mill, Lecky, M. M. Noah, and Rabbi Raphael. If the 330 predictions concerning Him in the Old Testament, and the simple but sublime record of His words and acts in the New, are separately considered, they may make no suitable impression of His grandeur. They are like Bartholdi’s gigantic statue, “Liberty Enlightening the World,” which came across the ocean in detached pieces. But when put together, it towers up in New York Harbor, and sends its light far out into the sea to direct the storm-tossed mariner. So bring these marvelous prophecies, and marvelous sayings, and marvelous works of Christ into one complete whole, and He rises above all human conception of goodness and greatness, the true “Light of the World.” In comparison with Him the heart of the most saintly man or woman on earth sinks in shame, and would sink into despair but for His tender grace.

He rose from the dead, Matt, xxviii. 1-7, and was seen by fourteen different witnesses, and classes of witnesses, who handled Him, and talked and ate with Him, and heard Him speak on many occasions when there was no possibility of hallucination, and when it is obvious that they deliberately lied without any conceivable motive, if their evidence is not credible, for they gave up country, friends, religion, liberty, life itself, in the persistent testimony that He actually came forth from the grave. But, observe, good men could not have told such a mocking falsehood, and bad men could not have written such a book as the New Testament. What conclusion, then, shall we reach?

Greenleaf, a lawyer of distinction, subjected the testimony of the witnesses of Christ’s resurrection to the severest cross-examination, and published a book in which he announced that the evidence cannot be overthrown. On the other hand he proves to the satisfaction of any unprejudiced jury the absolute truthfulness of their story.

Lord Lyttleton and Mr, Gilbert West, two infidel courtiers in the reign of George III., determined to destroy Christianity with a stroke of the pen. With this purpose one selected the Conversion of St. Paul, and the other the Resurrection of Christ, as the points of assault. The result was that both became sincere believers, and wrote two treatises in favor of Christianity, which Dr. Samuel Johnson declared, especially the former, can never be answered by infidelity.

Dr. John Brown, of Scotland, in his discourse on the Resurrection, speaks of a chemist who possessed an old and battered silver cup, a precious heirloom, which a careless servant let fall into a vessel of aqua-fortis. It instantly disappeared and was utterly lost, until the scientist came upon the scene, and, casting in a solution of salt, the dissolved and scattered silver came together, and a far more beautiful cup was made out of the reconstructed parts. ‘‘Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you that God should raise the dead,” Acts xxvi. 8.

Arnold of Rugby, the philosophical historian of England, writes of the Resurrection of Christ as follows; and his words are entitled to special weight, because he held loose views of inspiration:

Thousands and tens of thousands of persons have gone through it piece by piece as carefully as ever judge summed up a moat important case. I have myself done it many times over, not to persuade others, but to satisfy myself. I have been used for many years to study the history of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us, that Christ died and rose again from the dead.

But apart from the question of His resurrection, what explanation can the skeptic give of the life and character of Jesus Christ as delineated in the Bible?

Theodore Parker, although far from a Christian, says, “Measure Jesus by the shadow He has cast into the world; no, by the light He has shed upon it. Shall we be told such a man never lived? the whole story is a lie? Suppose that Plato and Newton never lived. But who did their works, and thought their thought? It takes a Newton to forge a Newton. What man could have fabricated a Jesus? None but a Jesus.”

Rousseau, an avowed and dissolute infidel, says, “It is more inconceivable that a number of persons should agree to write such a history, than that one should furnish the subject of it. The Jewish authors were incapable of the diction, and strangers to the morality, contained in the Gospel; the marks of its truth are so striking and inimitable, that the inventor would be a more astonishing character than the hero.”

Napoleon exclaimed, “I know men, and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a mere man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Him and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. . . . Everything in Him astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and His will confounds me. Between Him and whoever else in the world, there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a being by Himself.”

Well, therefore, may the doubting and hesitating soul ask the question, which was asked by Pilate of old, “What then shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ?” Matt, xxvii. 22. Nay, he must ask it, and he must answer it. He is compelled to settle in one way or another his relation to that unique Being. Intelligent skeptics, no doubt, will agree with, the high estimate placed upon Him by John Paul Richter: “The holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hand empires off their hinges, turned the stream of civilization out of its channel, and still governs the ages.” But how will they account for it, that the Bible alone presents this unapproachable character? Surely they ought to be able to see from the Life of Jesus, apart from any other consideration, that “God spake all these words.”