By Richard Watson
THE TITLES OF CHRIST.
VARIOUS proofs were adduced, in the last chapter, that the visible Jehovah of the Old Testament is to be regarded as a Being distinct from the FATHER, yet having Divine titles ascribed to him, being arrayed with Divine attributes, and performing Divine works equal to his. That this august Being was the same who afterward appeared as "THE CHRIST," in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, was also proved and the conclusion of that branch of time argument was, that Jesus Christ is, in an absolute sense, a Divine person, and as such, is to be received and adored.
It is difficult to conceive any point more satisfactorily established in the Scriptures than the personal appearance of our Lord, during f he patriarchal amid Mosaic dispensations, under a Divine character; but this argument, so far from having exhausted the proof of his Godhead, is only another in that series of rising steps by which we are, at length, conducted to the most unequivocal and ample demonstration of this great and fundamental doctrine.
The next argument is stated at the head of this chapter. If the titles given to Christ are such as can designate a Divine Being, and a Divine Being only, then is he, to whom they are by inspired authority ascribed, Divine; or, otherwise, the Word of TRUTH must stand charged with practising a direct deception upon mankind, and that in a fundamental article of religion. This is our argument, and we proceed to the illustration.
The first of these titles which calls for our attention is that of Jehovah. Whether "the Angel Jehovah" were the future Christ or not, does not affect this case. Even Socinians acknowledge Jesus to be the Messiah; and if this is one of the titles of the promised Messiah, it is, consequently a title of our Lord, amid must be ascribed to him by all who believe Jesus to be the Messiah.
So many instances of this were given in the preceding chapter, that it is unnecessary to repeat them; and indeed the fact, that the name Jehovah is applied to the Messiah in many passages of the Old Testament, is admitted by the manner in which time argument, deduced from this fact, is objected to by our opponents. "The Jewish Cabbalasts,' says Dr. Priestley, "might easily admit that the Messiah might be called Jehovah, without supposing that he was any thing more than a man, who had no existence before his birth." "Several things in the Scriptures are called by the name of Jehovah; as, Jerusalem is called Jehovah our Righteousness." (History of Early Opinions.) They are not, however, time Jewish interpreters only who give the name Jehovah to Messiah; but the inspired prophets themselves, in passages which, by the equally inspired evangelists and apostles, are applied to Jesus. No instance can be given in which any being, acknowledged by all to be a created being, is called Jehovah in the Scriptures, or was so called among the Jews. The peculiar sacredness attached to this name among them was a sufficient guard against such an application of it in their common language; and as for the Scriptures, they explicitly represent it as peculiar to Divinity itself. "Jam JEHOVAH, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another." "I am JEHOVAH, and there is none else, there is no God beside me." "Thou, whose NAME ALONE is Jehovah, art the most high, above all the earth." The peculiarity of the name is often strongly stated by Jewish commentators, which sufficiently refutes Dr. Priestley, who affirms that they could not, on that account, conclude the Messiah to be more than a man Kimschi paraphrases Isaiah xliii, 8, "JEHovAh, that is my name"-" that name is proper to me." On Hosea xii, 5, "Jehovah his memorial," he says "In the name El and Elohim, he communicates with others; but, in this name, he communicates with none." Aben Ezra, on Exodus iii, 14, proves, at length, that this name is proper to God (Hoornbeck, Socin. Confut.)
It is, surely, a miserable pretence to allege, that this name is some times given to places. It is so; but only in composition with some other word, and not surely as indicative of any quality in the places themselves, but as MEMORIALS of the acts and goodness of JEHOVAH himself, as manifested in those localities. So "Jehovah-Jireh, in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen," or, "the Lord will see or provide," referred to HIS interposition to save Isaac, and, probably, to the provision of the future sacrifice of Christ. The same observation may be made as to Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Shallum, &c: they are names, not descriptive of places, but of events connected with them, which marked the interposition and character of God himself. It is an unsettled point among critics whether Jah, which is sometimes found in composition as a proper name of a man, as Abijali, Jehovah is my father, Adonijah, Jehovah is my lord, be an abbreviation of Jehovah or not, so that the case will afford no ground of argument. But if it were, it would avail nothing, for it is found only in a combined form, and evidently relates not to the persons who bore these names, as a descriptive appellation. but to some connection which existed, or was supposed to exist, between them and the JEHOVAH they acknowledged as their God. The cases would have been parallel, had our Lord been called Abijah, "Jehovah is my father," or Jedediah, "the beloved of Jehovah." Nothing, in that case, would have been furnished, so far as mere name was concerned, to distinguish him from his countrymen bearing the same appellatives; but he is called Jehovah himself, a name which the Scriptures give to no person whatever, except to each of the sacred THREE, who stand forth, in the pages of the Old and New Testaments, crowned with this supreme and exclusive honour and eminence.
Nor is it true, that in Jeremiah xxxiii, 16, Jerusalem is called "Jehovah our Righteousness." The parallel passage in the same book, chap. xxiii, 5, 6, sufficiently shows that this is not the name of Jerusalem, but the name of" THE BRANCH." Much criticism has been bestowed upon these passages to establish the point, whether the clause ought to be rendered, "And this is the name by which the Lord shall call him, our Righteousness;" or "this is the name by which he shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness ;" which last has, I think, been decisively established; but he would be a very exceptionable critic who should conclude either of them to be an appellative, not of Messiah, but of Jerusalem, contrary both to the scope of the passage and to the literal rendering of the words, words capable of somewhat different constructions, but in no case capable of being applied either to the people of Judah, or to the city of Jerusalem.
The force of the argument from the application of the name Jehovah to Messiah may be thus stated :- Whatever belongs to Messiah, that may and must be attributed to Jesus, as being the true and only Christ; and accordingly we have seen, that the evangelists and apostles apply those passages to our Lord, in which the Messiah is unequivocally called Jehovah. But this is the peculiar and appropriate name of God; that name by which he is distinguished from all other beings, and which imports perfections so high and appropriate to the only living and true God, such as self existence and eternity, that it can, in truth, be a descriptive appellation of no other being. It is, however, solemnly and repeatedly given to the Messiah; and, unless we can suppose Scripture to contradict itself, by making that a peculiar name which is not peculiar to him, and to establish an inducement to that idolatry which it so sternly condemns, and an excuse for it, theme this adorable name itself declares time absolute Divinity of him who is invested with it, and is to him, as well as to the Father, a name of revelation, a name descriptive of the attributes which can pertain only to essential Godhead.
This conclusion is corroborated by the constant use of the title "LORD" as an appellation of Jesus, the Messiah, when manifest in the flesh. His disciples not only applied to him those passages of the Old Testament, in which the Messiah is called Jehovah, but salute and worship him by a title which is of precisely the same original import, which is, therefore, to be considered in many places of the Septuagint and the New Testament, an exact translation of the august name Jehovah, and fully equivalent to it in its import. It is allowed, that it is also used as the translation of other names of God, which import simply dominion, and that it is applied also to merely human masters and rulers. It is not, therefore, like the Jehovah of the Old Testament, an incommunicable name, but, in its highest sense, it is universally allowed to belong to God; arid if, in this highest sense, it is applied to Christ, then is the argument valid, that in the sacred writers, whether used to express the self and independent existence of him who bears it, or that dominion which, from its nature and circumstances, must be Divine, it contains a notation of true and absolute Divinity.
The first proof of this is, that, both in the Septuagint and by the writers of the New Testament, it is the term by which the name Jehovah is translated. The Socinians have a fiction that Kurio~ properly answers to Adonai, because the Jews were wont, in reading, to substitute that name in place of Jehovah. But this is sufficiently answered by Bishop Pearson, who observes, that "it is not probable that the LXX should think Kurio~ to be the proper interpretation of ygda, and yet give it to Jehovah, only in the place of Adonai; for if they had, it would have followed, that when Adonai and Jehovah had met in one sentence, they would not have put another word for Adonai, and placed Kurio~ for Jehovah, to which, of itself, according to their observation, it did not belong." "The reason also of the assertion is most uncertain; for, though it be confessed that the Masoreths did read Adonai, when they found Jehovah, and Josephus before them expresses the sense of the Jews of his age, that the tetragammaton was not to be pronounced, and before him Philo speaks as much, yet it followeth not from thence that the Jews were so superstitious above three hundred years before, which must be proved before we can be assured that the LXX read Adonai for Jehovah, and for that reason translated it Kurio~." (Discourses on Creed.) The supposition is, however, wholly overturned by several passages, in which such aim interchange of the names could not be made in the original, without manifestly depriving them of all meaning, and which absurdity could not, therefore, take place in a translation, and be thus made permanent. It is sufficient to instance Exodus vi, 2, 3, "I am the Lord, (Jehovah:) I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known unto them." This, it is true, is rather an obscure passage; but, whatever may be its interpretation, this is clear, that a substituton of Adonai for Jehovah would deprive it of all meaning whatever, and yet here the LXX translate Jehovah by ___________
Lord, is, then, tine word into which the Greek of the Septuagint renders the name Jehovah; and, in all passages in which Messias is called by that peculiar title of Divinity, we have the authority of this version to apply it, in its full and highest signification, to Jesus Christ, who is himself that Messias. For this reason, and also because, as men inspired, they were directed to fit and proper terms, the writers of the New Testament apply this appellation to their Master, when they quote these prophetic passages as fulfilled in him. They found it used in the Greek version of the Old Testament, in its highest possible import, as a rendering of Jehovah. Had they thought Jesus less than God, they ought to have avoided, and must have avoided, giving to him a title which would mislead their readers; or else have intimated, that they did not use it in its highest sense as a title of Divinity, but in its very lowest, as a term of merely human courtesy, or, at best, of human dominion. But we have no such intimation; and, if they wrote under the inspiration of the Spirit of Truth, it follows, that they used it as being understood to be fully equivalent to the title Jehovah itself. This their quotations will show. The Evangelist Matthew (iii, 3) quotes and applies to Christ the celebrated prophecy of Isaiah xl, 3: "For this is he that was spoken of by the Prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." The other evangelists make the same application of it, representing John as the herald of Jesus, the "JEHOVAH" of the prophet, and their "Kurio~." It was, therefore, in the highest possible sense that they used the term, because they used it as fully equivalent to Jehovah. So again, in Luke i, 16, 17: "And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to THE LORD THEIR GOD, and he shall go before HIM in the spirit and power of Elias." "HIM," unquestionably refers to "the Lord their God ;" and we have here a proof that Christ bears that eminent title of Divinity, so frequent in the Old Testament, "the LORD GOD," Jehovah Aleim; and also that Kurio~ answered, in the view of an inspired writer, to the name Jehovah. On this point the Apostle Paul also adds his testimony, Romans x, 13, " Whosoever shall call upon lice name of the LORD shall be saved ;" whelm is quoted from Joel ii, 32, "Whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered." Other passages might be added, but the argument does not rest upon their number; these are so explicit, that they are amply sufficient to establish the important conclusion, that, in whatever senses the term "Lord" may be used, and though the writers of the New Testament, like ourselves, use it occasionally in a lower sense, yet they use it also in its highest possible sense, and in its loftiest signification when they intended it to be understood as equivalent to Jehovah, and, in that sense, they apply it to Christ.
But, even when the title "LORD" is not employed to render the name Jehovah, in passages quoted from the Old Testament, but is used as the common appellation of Christ, after his resurrection, the disciples so connect it with other terms, and with circumstances which so clearly imply Divinity, that it cannot reasonably be made a question but that they themselves considered it as a Divine title, and intended that it should be so understood by their readers. In that sense they applied it to the Father, and it is clear, that they did not use it in a lower sense when they gave it to the Son. It is put absolutely, and by way of eminence, "THE LORD." It is joined with "Con ;" so in the passage above quoted from St. Luke, where Christ is called the LORD GOD; and when Thomas, in an act of adoration, calls him "My Lord and my GoD." When it is used to express dominion, that dominion is represented as absolute and universal, and, therefore, Divine. "He is LORD of all." "King of kings and LORD of lords." "Thou, LORD, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thy hands. They shall perish; but thou remainest: and they all shall wax old, as doth a garment, and as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."
Thus, then, the titles of "Jehovah" and "Lord" both prove the Divinity of our Saviour; "for," as it is remarked by Dr. Waterland, "if Jehovah signify the eternal, immutable God, it is manifest that the name is incommunicable, since there is but one God; and, if the name be incommunicable, then Jehovah can signify nothing but that one God, to whom, and to whom only, it is applied. And if both these parts be true, and if it be true, likewise, that this name is applied to Christ, the consequence is irresistible, that Christ is the same one God, not the same person, with the Father, to whom also the name Jehovah is attributed, but the same substance, the same being, in a word, the same Jehovah, thus revealed to be more persons than one."
GOD. That this title is attributed to Christ is too obvious to be wholly denied, though some of the passages which have been alleged as instances of this application of the term have been controverted. Even in this a great point is gained. Jesus Christ is called God: this the adversaries of his Divinity are obliged to confess, and this confession admits, that the letter of Scripture is, therefore, in favour of orthodox opinions. It is, indeed, said, that the term God, like the term LORD, is used in an inferior sense; but nothing is gained by this; nothing is, on that account, proved against the Deity of Christ; for it must still be allowed, that it is a term used in Scripture to express the Divine nature, and that it is so used generally. The question, therefore, is only limited to this, whether our Lord is called God, in the highest sense of that appellation. This might, indeed, be argued from those passages in the Old Testament in which the title is given to the acting, manifested Jehovah, "the Lord God" of the Old Testament; but this having been anticipated, I confine myself chiefly to the evangelists and apostles.
Before that proof is adduced, which will most unequivocally show that Jesus Christ is called God, in the highest sense of that term, it will, however, be necessary to show that, in its highest sense, it involves the notion of absolute Divinity. This has been denied: Sir Isaac New. ton, who, on theological subjects, as Bishop Horsley observes, "went out like a common man," says that the word God" is a relative term, and has a regard to servants; it is true, it denotes a Being eternal, infinite, and absolutely perfect; but a Being, however eternal, infinite, and absolutely perfect, without dominion, would not be God." (Philos. Nat. Mathae. in ca/ce.) This relative notion of the term, as itself importing strictly nothing more than dominion, was adopted by Dr. S. Clarke, and made use of to support his semi-Arianism; and it seems to have been thought, that, by confining the term to express mere sovereignty, the force of all those passages of Scripture in which Christ is called God, and from which his absolute Divinity is argued, might be avoided. His words are, "The word Qeo~, God, has, in Scripture and in all books of morality and religion, a relative signification, and not, as in metaphysical books, an absolute one: as is evident from the relative Terms which, in moral writings, may always be joined with it. For instance: in the same manner as we say MY father, MY king, and the like; so it is proper also to say MY God, the God of Israel, the God of the universe, and the like. Which words are expressive of dominion and government. But, in the metaphysical way, it cannot be said MY Infinite Substance, the Infinite Substance of Israel, or the like."
To this Dr. Waterland's reply is an ample confutation. "I shall only observe here, by the way, that the word STAR is a relative word, for the same reason with that which the doctor gives for the other. For the star of your god Remphan (Acts vii, 43) is a proper expression; but, in the metaphysical way, it cannot be said, the luminous substance of your god Remphan. So again, water is a relative word; for it is proper to say the water of Israel; but, in the metaphysical way, it cannot be said, the fluid substance of Israel. The expression is Improper. By parity of reason, we may make relative words almost as many as we please. But to proceed: I maintain that dominion, is not the full import of the word God in Scripture; that it is but a part of the idea, and a small part too; and that if any person be called God, merely on account of dominion, he is called so by way of figure and resemblance only; and is not properly God, according to the Scripture notion of it. We may call any one a KING, who lives free and independent, subject to no man's will. lie is a king so far, or in some respects; though, in many other respects, nothing like one; and, therefore, not, properly a king. If, by the same figure of speech, by way of allusion and resemblance, any thing be called GOD, because resembling God in one or more particulars, we are not to conclude that it is properly and truly God.
"To enlarge something farther upon this head, and to illustrate the case by a few instances. Part of the idea which goes along with the word God is, that his habitation is sublime, and his dwelling not with flesh, Dan. ii, 11. This part of the idea is applicable to angels or to saints, and therefore they may thus far be reputed gods: and are sometimes so styled in Scripture or ecclesiastical writings. Another part of the complex idea of God is giving orders from above, and publishing commands from heaven. This was, in some sense, applicable to Moses, who is, therefore, called a god unto Pharaoh; not as being properly a god; but instead of God, in that instance, or that resembling circumstance. In the same respect, every prophet or apostle, or even a minister of a parish, might be figuratively called God. Dominion goes along with the idea of God, or is a proof of it; and, therefore, kings, princes, and magistrates, resembling God in that respect, may, by the like figure of speech, he styled gods: not properly; for then we might as properly say God David, God Solomon, or God Jeroboam, as King David, &c; but by way of allusion, and in regard to some imperfect resemblance which they bear to God in some particular respects; and that is all. It belongs to God to receive worship, and sacrifice, and homage. Now, because the heathen idols so far resembled God as to be made the objects of worship, &c, therefore they also, by time same figure of speech, are by the Scripture denominated gods, though, at the same time, they are declared, in a proper sense, to be no gods. The belly is called the god of the luxurious, Phil. iii, 19, because some are as much devoted to the service of their bellies as others are to the service of God, and because their lusts have got the dominion over them. This way of speaking is, in like manner, grounded on some imperfect resemblance, and is easily understood. The prince of the devils is supposed by most interpreters, to be called the god of this world, 2 Cor. iv, 4. If so, the reason may he, either because the men of this world are entirely devoted to his service; or that lie has got the power and dominion over them.
"Thus we see how the word God, according to the popular way of speaking, has been applied to angels, or to men, or to things inanimate and insensible; because some part of the idea belonging to God has been conceived to belong to them also. To argue from hence that any of them is properly God, is making the whole of a part, and reasoning fallaciously, a dicto secundum quid, as the schools speak, ad dictum simpliciter. If we inquire carefully into the Scripture notion of the word, we shall find that neither dominion singly, nor all the other instances of resemblance, make up the idea; or are sufficient to denominate any thing properly God. When the prince of Tyre pretended to be God, Ezek. xxviii, 2, he thought of something more than mere dominion, to make him so. He thought of strength invincible and power irresistible; and God was pleased to convince him of his folly and vanity, not by telling him how scanty his dominion was, or how low his office; but how weak, frail, and perishing his nature was ; that he was man only, and not God, Ezek. xxviii, 2-9, and should surely find so by the event. When the Lycaonians, upon the sight of a miracle wrought by St. Paul, Acts xiv, 11, took him and Barnabas for gods, they did not think so much of dominion as of power and ability, beyond human; and when the apostles answered them, they did not tell them that their dominion was only human, or that their ofcc was not Divine; but that they had not a Divine nature. They were weak, frail, and feeble men; of like infirmities with the rest of their species, and, therefore, no gods.
"If we trace the Scripture notion of what is truly and properly God, we shall find it made tip of these several ideas: infinite wisdom, power invincible, all-sufficiency, and the like. These are the ground and foundation of dominion, which is but a secondary notion, a consequence of the firmer; and it must be dominion supreme, and none else, which will suit with the Scripture notion of God. It is not that of a governor, a ruler, a protector, a lord, or the like, but a sovereign Ruler, an almighty Protector, an omniscient and omnipresent Governor, an eternal, immutable, all-sufficient Creator, Preserver, and Protector. Whatever falls short of this is not properly, in the Scripture notion, God, but is only called so by way of figure, as has before been explained. Now, if you ask me why the relative terms may properly be applied to the word God, the reason is plain, because there is something relative in the whole idea of God, namely, the notion of governor, protector, &c. If you ask why they cannot so properly be applied to the word God in the metaphysical sense, beside the reason before given, there is another as plain, because metaphysics, taking in only one part of the idea, consider the nature abstracted from the relation, leaving the indicative part out."
To these observations may be added the argument of Dr. Randolph. (Vindication of Christ's Divinity.) "If GOD be a relative term, which has reference to subjects, it follows that when there were no subjects there was no God; and, consequently, either the creatures must have been some of them eternal, or there must have been a time when there was no God." The matter, however, is put beyond all doubt, by the express testimony that it is not dominion only, but excellence of nature and attributes exclusively Divine which enter into the notion of God. Thus, in Psalm xc, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to ever lasting, thou art God." Here the idea of eternity is attached to the term, and he is declared to be GOD "from everlasting," and, consequently, before any creature's existence, and so before he could have any "subjects," or exercise any "dominion."
The import of the title GOD, in its highest sense, being thus established to include all the excellencies and glories of the Divine nature, on which alone such a dominion as is ascribed to God could be maintained, if that title be found ascribed to Christ, at any period, in this its highest sense, it will prove, not, as the Arians would have it, his dominion only, but his Divinity; amid it is no answer to this at all to say that men are sometimes called gods in the Scripture. In the New Testament the term God, in the singular, is never applied to any man; and it is even a debated matter, whether it is ever a human appellation, either in the singular or the plural, in the Old Testament, the passages quoted being probably elliptical, or capable of another explanation. But this is not important: if, in its highest sense, it is found used of Christ, it matters not to how many persons it is applied in its lower, or as a merely figurative appellation.
Matthew i, 23: "Now all this was done, 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 they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, GOD with us." This is a portion of Scripture which the Socinians, in their "Improved Version," have printed in italics, as of" doubtful authority," though, with the same breath, they allow that it is found "in all the manuscripts and versions which are now extant." The ground, therefore, on which they have rested their objection is confessedly narrow and doubtful, and frail as it is, it has been entirely taken from them, and the authority of this scripture fully established. (Vide .Nare's Remarks on the New Version.) The reason of an attempt, at once so bold and futile, to expunge this passage, and the following part of St. Matthew's history which is connected with it, may be found in the explicitness of the testimony which it bears to our Lord's Divinity, and which no criticism could evade. The prophecy which is quoted b the evangelist has its difficulties; but they do not in the least affect the argument. Whether we can explain Isaiah or not, that is, whether we can show in what manner the prophecy had a primary accomplishment in the prophet's day or not, St. Matthew is sufficiently intelligible. lie tells us, that the words spoken by the prpphet were spoken of Christ; amid that his miraculous conception took place, "that," in order that, "they might be fulfilled ;" a mode of expression so strong, that even those who allow the prophets to be quoted sometimes by way of accommodation by the writers of the New Testament, except this instance, as having manifestly, from the terms used, the form of an argument, and not of a mere allusion. Farther, says the sacred historian, "and they shall call his name Emmanuel ;" that is, according to the idiom of Scripture, where any thing is said to l)e called what it in reality is he shall be "Emmanuel," and the interpretation is added, "GOD with us."
It is indeed objected, that the Divinity of Christ can no more be argued from this title of Emmanuel than the divinity of ELI, whose name signified my God, or of Elihu, which imports my God himself; but it is to be remarked, that by these names such individuals were commonly and constantly known among those with whom they lived. But Immanuel was not the personal name of our Lord, he was not so called by his friends and countrymen familiarly: the personal name which he received was Jesus, by Divine direction, and by this he was known to the world. It follows, therefore, that Immanuel was a descriptive title, a name of revelation, expressive of his Divine character. It is clear, also, that in this passage he is called God; and two circumstances, in addition to that just mentioned, prove that the term is used in its full and highest sense. In Isaiah, from which the passage is quoted by the evangelist, the land of Judea is called the land of this Immanuel more than seven Centuries before he was born. "And he (the Assyrian) shall pass through .Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck, and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, 0 Immanuel," chap. viii, 8. Thus is Christ, according to the argument in a former chapter, represented as existing before his birth in Judea, and, as the God of the Jews, the proprietor of the land of Israel.
This also gives the true explanation of St. John's words, He came unto his own, [nation] and his own [people] received him not." 'The second circumstance which proves the term God, in the title Immanuel, to be used in its highest sense is, that the same person, in the following chapter of Isaiah, is called "God," with the epithet of "mighty,"- "Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty GOD." Thus, as Bishop Pearson observes, "First he is 'Immanu," that is, with us, for he hath dwelt among us; and when he parted from the earth, he said to his disciples, 'I am with you away, even to the end of the world.' Secondly, he is EL, and that name was given him, as the same prophet testified, 'his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the MIGhTY Gou.' lie then who is both properly called EL, that is God, and is also really Immanu,. that is, with us, must infallibly be that 'Immanuel,' who is 'God with us.' No inferior Deity, but invested with the full and complete attributes of absolute Divinity-' the Mighty God.'"
In Luke i, 16, 17, it is said of John Baptist, "And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the LORD THEIR God, and he shall go before HIM in the spirit and power of Elias." This passage has been already adduced to prove that the title "LORD" is used of Christ in the import of Jehovah. But he is called The LORD their GOD, and, as the term LORD is used in its highest sense, so must also the term GOD, which proves that this title is given to our Saviour in its fullest and most extended meaning-" to Jehovah their God," or "to their God Jehovah," for the meaning is the same.
John i, 1: "In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the Word was God." When we come to consider the title "The Word, Logo~, this passage will be examined more at large. Here it is adduced to prove that the Logos, by whom all understand Christ, is called God in the highest sense. 1. Because when it is used of the Father, in the preceding clause, it must be used in its full import.
2. Because immediately to call our Lord by the same name as the Father, without any hint of its being used in a lower sense, would have been to mislead the reader on a most important question, if St. John had not regarded him as equal to the Father. 3. Because the creation is ascribed to the "Word," who is called God. "All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." By this the absolute Divinity of Christ is infallibly determined, unless we should run into the absurdity of supposing it possible for a creature to create, and not only to create all other created things, but himself also. For, if Christ be not God, he is a creature; and if "not any thing that was made," was made "without him," then he made himself.
This decided passage, as may be supposed, has been subjected to much critical scrutiny by the enemies of the faith, and many attempts have been made to resist its force. It is objected, that the Father is called theos~, and the "Word" simply theos, without the article. To which Dr. Middleton replies: (Doctrine of the Greek Article.)
"Certain critics, as is well known, have inferred from the absence of the article in this place, that qeo~ is here used in a subordinate sense; it has, however, been so satisfactorily answered that in whatever acceptation qeo~ is to be taken, it properly rejects the article, being here the predicate of the proposition; and Bengel instances the LXX, 1 Kings xviii, 24, hto~ as similar to the present passage. It may be added, that if we had read oJ Qeo~, the proposition would have assumed the convertible form, and the meaning would have been, that whatever may be affirmed or denied of God the Father, may also be affirmed or denied of the Logos, a position which would accord as little with the trinitarian as with the Socinian hypotheses. It is, therefore, unreasonable to infer, that the word Qeo~ is here used in a lower sense; for the writer could not have written JO qeo~ without manifest absurdity."
In many passages too, in which, without dispute, Qeo~ is meant of the Supreme Being, the article is not used. Matthew xix, 26, "With men this is impossible, but with God (qew) all things are possible." Luke xvi, 13, "Ye cannot serve (qew) and mammon." John i, 18, "No man hath seen God (qeon) at any time." John ix, 33, "If this man were not of God (qeou) he could do nothing." John xvi, 30, "By this we believe that thou earnest from God," (qeou.) Many other instances might be given, but these amply reply to the objection.
To evade the force of the argument drawn from the creation being ascribed to the Word, a circumstance which fixes his tifle "GoD" in its highest possible sense, it is alleged, that the word ginomai never signifies to create, and the Socinian version, therefore, renders the text. "All things were done by him," and the translators inform us, in a note, this means, that "all things in the Christian dispensation were done by Christ, that is, by his authority." But what shall we say to this bold assertion, that ginomai is never used with reference to creative acts in the New Testament, when the following passages may be adduced in refutation? Heb. iv, 3, "Although the works were FINIsHED from the foundation of the world." Heb. xi, 3, "So that things which are seen were not MADE of things that do appear." James iii, 9, "Men which are made after the similitude of God." In all these passages, and in Some places of the Septuagint also, that very word is used which, they tell us, never expresses, in Scripture, the notion of creation. Even the same chapter, verse 10, gives an instance of the same use of the word. "He was in the world, and the world was made (egeneto) by him." For this, of course, they have a criticism; but the manner in which this passage, so directly in refutation of their assertion, is disposed of in their "Improved Version," is a striking confirmation of the entire impossibility of accommodating Scripture to their system. "The world was made by him," says the evangelist. "The world was enlightened by him,," say the Socinian translators, without the slightest authority, and in entire contradiction to the scope of the passage. Why did they not render the word as in the preceding verse, "The world was done by him 7" which, in point of fact, makes no difference in the sense, when rightly considered. The doing, ascribed to the Eternal Word, is of a specific character,-doing in the sense of framing, making, or creating (panta) "all things."
The Socinians have not, however, fully satisfied themselves with this notable criticism in their "Improved Version ;" and some of them, there. fore, render "all things were made by him," "all things were made for him." But these criticisms cannot stand together. If the verb ginomai is to be deprived of the import of creation, then it is impossible to retain the rendering of" all things were made for him," since his own acts of ordering the Christian dispensation and "enlightening" the world could not be "for him," but must have been done "by him." If, on the contrary, they will have it that all things were done for him, then ginomai must be allowed to import creation, or their production by the omnipotence of God. Both criticisms they cannot hold, and thus they confess that one destroys the other. Their rendering of oi autou cannot, however, be supported; for &a, with a genitive, denotes not the final, but the efficient cause. The introduction to St. John's Gospel may therefore, be considered as an inexpugnable proof that Deity, in its highest, and in no secondary or subordinate sense is ascribed to our Saviour, under his title God-" and the Word was GoD." Nor in any other than the highest sense of the term God can the confession of Thomas John xx, 28, be understood. "And Thomas answered and said unto him, my LORD and my GOD." The Socinian version, in its note on this passage, intimates that it may be considered not as a confession, but as an exclamation, "My Lord! and my God !" thereby choosing to put profane, or, at least, vulgar language into the mouth of this apostle of which degradation we have certainly no example in the narration of the evangelists. Michaelis has justly observed, that if Thomas had spoken German, (he might have added English, French, or Italian,) it might have been contended with some plausibility, that "My Lord and my God" was only an irreverent ejaculation; but that Jewish astonishment was thus expressed is wholly without proof or support. Add to thus, that the words are introduced with eipen autw, said to him, that is, to Christ; a mere ejaculation, such as that here supposed, is rather an appeal to Heaven. Our Saviour's reply makes it absolutely certain, that the words of Thomas, though they are in the form of an exclamation, amount to a confession of faith, and were equivalent to a direct assertion of our Saviour's Divinity. Christ commends Thomas's acknowledgment, while he condemns the tardiness with which it is made; but to what did this acknowledgment amount That Christ was LoRD and GoD. (Middleton.)
In Titus ii, 13, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ," our Lord is not only called God, but the GREAT GOD, which marks the sense in which the term is used by the apostle, and gives unequivocal evidence of his opinions on the subject of Christ's Divinity. Socinian and Arian interpreters tell us, that "the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" are two persons, and therefore refer the title "great God" to the Father. The Socinian version accordingly renders the text, "the glorious appearance of the great God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ." To this interpretation there are satisfactory answers. Dr. Whitby observes "Here it deserveth to be noted, that it is highly probable, that Jesus Christ is styled the great God, 1. Because, in the original, the article is prefixed only before the great God, and therefore, seems to require this construction, the appearance of Jesus Christ, the great God and our Saviour. 2, Because, as God the Father is not said properly to appear, so the word epifaneia never occurs in the New Testament, but when it is applied to Jesus Christ and to some coming of his; the places in which it is to be found being only these, 2 Thess. ii, 8; 1 Tim. vi, 14; 2 Tim. i, 10, and iv, 1, 8. 3. Because Christ is emphatically styled 'our hope,' 'the hope of glory:' Col. i, 23; 1 Tim. i, 1. And lastly, because not only all the ancient commentators on the place do so interpret this text, but the anti-Nicene fathers also; Hyppolitus, speaking of the appearance of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ; and Clemens of Alexandria, proving Christ to be both God and man, our Creator, and the Author of all our good things, from these very words of St. Paul." (Exposition.)
Independent of the criticism which rests upon the absence of the article, it is sufficient to establish the claim of our Saviour to the title of "the great God: in this passage, that epifaneia, "the appearing," is never, in the New Testament, spoken of the Father, but of the Son only; but, since the time of this critic, the doctrine of the Greek article has undergone ample and acute investigation, and has placed new guards around this and some other passages of similar construction against the perversions of heresy. it has, by these investigations, been established, that the Greek idiom forbids Qeou and swthro~ to be under. stood except of the same person; and Mr. Granville Sharp, therefore, translates the text, "expecting the blessed hope and appearance of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ :" epifaneian th~ tou kai sothro~ hman Ihswu kristou.
"This interpretation depends upon the rule or canon brought forward into a notice not many years ago by Mr. Granville Sharp. It excited a controversy, and Unitarians either treated it with ridicule, or denied its applicability to the New Testament. But after it had been shown by Mr. Wordsworth, that most of the texts to which the rule applies were understood in the way Mr. Sharp explained them by the ancient fathers, who must surely have known the idiom of their native tongue; and after the doctrine of the Greek article had been investigated with so much penetration and learning by Dr. Middleton, all who have paid attention to the subject have acquiesced in the canon." (Holden's Testimonies.)
This important canon of criticism is thus stated by Dr. Middleton :- When two or more attributes, joined by a copulative or copulatives, are assumed of the same person or thing, before the first attributive the article is inserted, before the remaining ones it is omitted." The limitations of this rule may be seen in the learned author's work itself, with the reasons on which they rest. They are found in "names of substances, considered as substances, proper names, or names of abstract ideas ;" and with such exceptions, and that of plurals occasionally, the rule uniformly holds.
Another passage in which the appellation God is given to Christ, in a connection which necessarily obliges us to understand it in its highest sense, is Heb. i, 8: "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, 0 GOD, iS for ever and ever." The argument of tile apostle here determines the sense in which he calls Jesus, the Son, "God," and the views he entertains of his nature. Angels and men are the only rational created beings in the universe which are mentioned the sacred writers. The apostle argues that Christ is superior even to angels; that they are but ministers, he a sovereign, seated on a throne; that they worship him, and that he receives their worship; that they are creatures, but he creator. "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of time earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands ;" and full of these ideas of supreme Divinity, he applies a passage to him out of the 45th Psalm, which is there addressed to the Messiah, "Thy throne, 0 GOD, is for ever and ever."
The Socinian version renders the passage, "But to time Son he saith, God is thy throne for ever and ever," and in this it follows Wakefield and some others.
The first reason given to support this rendering is, that oJ qeo~ is the nominative case. But the nominative, both in common and in Attic Greek, is often used for time vocative. It is so used frequently by the LXX, and by the writers of the New Testament. The vocative form, indeed, very rarely occurs in either, the nominative almost exclusively supplying its place; and in this passage it was so taken by the Greek fathers. The criticism is, therefore, groundless.
The second is, that as the words are addressed to Solomon in the psalm from which they are quoted, they must be understood to declare, that God was the support of his throne. But the opinion that the psalm was composed concerning Solomon's marriage with Pharaoh's daughter, has no foundation, either in Scripture or in antiquity, and is, indeed, contradicted by both. On this subject Bishop Horsley remarks :- "The circumstances which are characteristic of the king, who is the hero of this poem, are every one of them utterly inapplicable to Solomon; insomuch, that not one of them can be ascribed to him, without contra. dieting the history of his reign. The hero of this poem is a warrior, who girds his sword upon his thigh; rides in pursuit of flying foes; makes havoc among them with his sharp arrows; and reigns, at last, by con. quest, over his vanquished enemies. Now, Solomon was no warrior; he enjoyed a long reign of forty years of uninterrupted peace.
"Another circumstance of distinction in the great personage celebrated by this psalm is his love of righteousness and hatred of wickedness. The original expresses, that lie had set his heart upon righteousness, and bore an antipathy to wickedness. His love of righteousness and hatred of wickedness had been so much the ruling principles of his whole conduct, that, for this, he was advanced to a condition of the highest bliss, and endless perpetuity was promised to his kingdom. The word we render 'righteousness,' in its strict and proper meaning, signifies 'justice,' or the constant and perpetual observance of the natural distinctions of right and wrong in civil society; and principally with respect to property in private persons, and, in a magistrate or sovereign, in the impartial exercise of judicial authority. But the word we render 'wickedness,' denotes not only 'injustice,' but whatever is contrary to moral purity in the indulgence of the appetites of time individual, and whatever is contrary to a principle of true piety toward God. Now, the word 'righteousness' being here opposed to this wickedness, must, certainly lie taken as generally as the word to which it is opposed in a contrary signification. It must signify, therefore, not merely 'justice,' in the sense we have explained, but purity of private manners, and piety toward God. Now, Solomon was certainly, upon the whole, a good king, nor was lie without piety; but his love of righteousness, in the large sense in which we have shown the word is to be taken, and his antipathy to the contrary, fell very far short of what the psalmist ascribes to his great king, and procured for him no such stability of his monarchy.
"Another circumstance wholly inapplicable to Solomon, is the numerous progeny of sons, the issue of the marriage, all of whom were to be made princes over all the earth. Solomon had but one son, that we read of, that ever came to be a king-his son and successor, Rehoboam; and so far was he from being a prince over all the earth, that he was no sooner seated on the throne than he lost the greater part of his father's kingdom.
"For, would it be said of him that his kingdom, which lasted only forty years, is eternal? It was not even eternal in his posterity. And,, with respect to his loving righteousness and hating wickedness, it but ill applies to one who in his old age became an encourager of idolatry, through the influence of women. This psalm, therefore, is applicable only to the Christ. Farther, Solomon's marriage with Pharaohs daughter being expressly condemned as contrary to the law, 1 Kings xi, 2, to suppose that this psalm was composed in honour of that event, is, certainly, an ill founded imagination. Estius informs us, that the rabbins, in their commentaries, affirm, that Psalm xlv was written wholly concerning the Messiah. Accordingly, they translate the title of time psalm as we do, a Song of Loves; the LXX, wdh uper th agaphth, a song concerning the beloved; Vulgate, pro dilecto: a title justly given to Messiah, whom God, by voices from heaven, declared his beloved Son. Beside, as the word Mcschil, which signifies for instruction, (LXX, ei~ sunesin, Vulgate, ad intellectum,) is inserted in the title, and as no mention is made in the psalm of Solomon, from an account of whose loves, as Pierce observes,_; the Jewish Church was not likely to gain much instruction, we are led to understand the psalm, not of Solomon, but of Messiah only."
The interpretation "God is thy throne," is, moreover, monstrous, and derives no support from any parallel figurative, or elliptical mode of expression in the sacred writings-God, the throne of a creature ! And, finally, as stated by Middleton, lead that been the sense of the passage, the language requires that it should have been written, qrono~ sou Qeo~, not qrono~, (Doctrine of the Greek Article,) which, on the Socinian interpretation, is the predicate of the proposition. So futile are all these attempts to shake the evidence which this text gives to the absolute Godhead of our Saviour.
"And we know that the Some of God is come, and bath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we arc jam him that is true, even in his SON JESUS ChRIST. This IS THE TRUE GOD AND ETERNAL LIFE," 1 John v, 20. Here our Saviour is called the true God and eternal life. The means by which this testimony is evaded, is to interpret the clause, "him that is true,' of the Father, and to refer thepronoun this, not to the nearest antecedent, "his Son Jesus Christ," but to the most remote, "him that is true." All, however, that is pretended by the Socinian critics on this passage is, not that this construction must, but that it may take place. Yet even this feeble opposition to the received rendering cannot be maintained: for, 1. To interpret the clause, 'him that is true," of the Father, is entirely arbitrary; and the scope of the epistle, which was to prove that Jesus the Christ was the true Son of God, and, therefore, Divine, against those who denied his Divinity, and that "he had come in the flesh," in opposition to the heretics who denied his humanity, obliges us to refer that phrase to the Son, and not to the Father. 2. If it could be established that the Father was intended by "him that is true," it would be contrary to grammatical usage to refer the pronoun this, is the "true God and eternal life," to the remote antecedent, without obvious and indisputable necessity.
"Whose arc the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever," Rom. ix, 5.
With respect to this text, it is to be noted,-
1. That it continues an enumeration of the particular privileges of the Jewish nation which are mentioned in the preceding verses, and the apostle adds, "whose are the fathers," the patriarchs, and prophets, and of whom "the Christ came."
2. That he throws in a clause of limitation with respect to the coming of Christ, "according to the flesh," which clearly states that it was only according to the flesh, the humanity of Christ, that he descended from the Jewish nation, and, at the same. time, intimates, that he was more than flesh, or mere human nature.
3. The sentence does not end here: the apostle adds, "who is, over all, God blessed for ever ;" a relative expression which evidently refers' to the antecedent Christ; and thus we have an antithesis, which shows the reason why the apostle introduced the limiting clause, "according to the flesh ;" and explains why Christ, in one respect, did descend from the Jews; and in another, that this could not be affirmed of him: he was "God over all," and, therefore, only "according to the flesh" could he be of human descent.
4. That this completes the apostle's purpose to magnify the privileges of his nation: after enumerating many others, he crowns the whole by declaring, that "God over all," when he became incarnate for the sake of human salvation, took a body of the seed of Abraham.
Criticism has, of course, endeavoured, if possible, to weaken the argument drawn from this lofty and impregnable passage; but it is of such a kind as greatly to confirm the truth. For, in the first place, various readings of manuscripts cannot here be resorted to for rendering the Sense dubious, and all the ancient versions support the present reading. It has, indeed, been alleged, on the authority of Grasinus, that though the word "God" is found in all our present copies, it was wanting in those of Cyprian, Hilary, and Chrysostom. But this has been abundantly proved to be an error, that word being found in the manuscripts and best editions of Cyprian and Hilary, and even St. Chrysostom affords decisive testimony to the common reading; in short, "the word God, in this text is found in every known manuscript of this epistle, in every ancient version extant, amid in every father who has had occasion to quote the passage; so that, in truth, there can scarcely be instanced a text in the New Testament in which all the ancient authorities more satisfactorily agree." (Magee on Atonement. See also Nares on the New Version.) The only method of dealing with this passage left to Arians and Socinians was, therefore, to attempt to obtain a different sense from it by shifting the punctuation. By this device some read, "and of whom is the Christ, according to the flesh. God, who is over all, be blessed for ever." Others, "amid of whom is the Christ, according to the flesh, who is over all. Blessed be God for ever." A critic of their own, Mr. Wakefield, whose authority they acknowledge to be very great, may, however, here be turned against them. Both these constructions, he acknowledges, appear so awkward, so abrupt, so incoherent, that he never could be brought to relish them in the least degree; (Inquiry into Opinions, 4c;) and Dr. S. Clarke who was well disposed to evade this decisive passage, acknowledges that the common reading is the most obvious. But independent of the authority of critics, there are several direct amid fatal objections to this altered punctuation. It leaves the limiting clause, "according to the flesh," wholly unaccounted for; for no possible reason can be given for that limitation on the Socinian scheme. If the apostle had regarded Christ simply as a man, he could have come in no other way than "according to the flesh ;" nor is this relieved at all by rendering the phrase, as in their" Improved Version," by "natural descent," for a mere man could only appear among men by "natural descent." Either, therefore, the clause is a totally unmeaning and an impertinent parenthesis, or it has respect to the natural antithesis which follows-his supreme Divinity, as "God over all." Thus the scope of the passage prohibits this license of punctuation. To the latter clause being considered as a doxology to God the Father, there is an insuperable, critical difficulty. Dr. Middleton observes :.---
"It has been deemed a safer expedient to attempt a construction different from the received one, by making the whole or part of the clause to be merely a doxology in praise of the Father, so that the rendering will be either 'God, who is over all, be blessed for ever,' or, beginning at Qeo~, 'God be blessed for ever.' These interpretations also have their difficulties; for thus euloghto~ will properly want the article, On the first, however, of these constructions, it is to be observed, that in all the doxologies both of the LXX and of the New Testament, in which euloghto~ is used, it is placed at the beginning of the sentence: in the New Testament there are five instances, all conspiring to prove this usage, and in the LXX about forty. The same arrangement is ob. served in the formula of CURSING, in which epikataxato~ always precedes the mention of the person cursed. The reading then would, on this construction, rather have been, euloghto~ wn epi pantwn qeo~ ei~ th~ aiwna~. Against the other supposed doxology, the objection is still stronger, since that would require us not only to transpose euloghto~, but to read JO qeo~ Accordingly, in all instances, where a doxology is meant, we find euloghto~ oJ qeo~." (Doctrine of Greek Article.)
Whitby also remarks :-
"The words will not admit of that interpunction and interpretation of Erasmus, which will do any service to the Arians or Socinians, namely, that a colon must be put after the words katasarka, after the flesh; and the words following must be an ecphonema, and grateful exclamation for the blessings conferred upon the Jews: thus, God, who is over all, be blessed forever. For this exposition is so harsh, and without any like example in the whole New Testament, that as none of the orthodox ever thought upon it, so I find not that it ever came into the head of any Arian. Socinus himself rejects it for this very good reason, that qeo~ euloghto~, God be blessed, is an unusual and unnatural construction; for, wherever else these words signify blessed be God, euloghto~ is but before God, as Luke i, 68; 2 Cor. i, 8; Eph. i, 3; 1 Peter i, 3; and qeo~ hath an article prefixed to it; nor are they ever immediately joined together otherwise. The phrase occurs twenty times in the Old Testament, but in every place euloghto~ goes before, and the article is annexed to the word God, which is a demonstration that this is a perversion of the sense of the apostle's words."
The critical discussion of this text is further pursued by the writers just quoted; by Dr. Nares, in his Remarks; Mr. Wardlaw, in his Discourses; Archbishop Magee, and others; and we ma confidently say of it, with Doddridge, that it is "a memorable text, and contains a proof of Christ's proper Deity, which the opposers of that doctrine have never been able, nor will ever be able to answer." So it was considered and quoted "by the father," says Whitby, "from the beginning; and," continues the same commentator, "if these words are spoken by the Spirit of God concerning Christ, the arguments hence to prove him truly and properly God are invincible; for, first, qeo~ epi pantwn, God over all, is the periphrasis by which all the heathen philosophers did usually represent the supreme God; and so is God the Father described both in the Old and New Testament, as oJ epi pantwn, he that is over all, Eph. iv, 6. Secondly, This is the constant epithet and periphrasis of the great God in the Old Testament, that he is euloghto~ ei~ ton aiwna, God blessed for evermore, 1 Chron. xvi, 36; Psalm xli, 13, and lxxxix, 52; and also in the New, where he is styled the God oJ~ estin euloghto~ ei~ th~ aiwna~, who is blessed for evermore.
Numerous other passages might be cited, where Christ is called "GoD :" these only have been selected, not merely because the proof does not rest upon the number of Scriptural testimonies, but upon their explicitness; but also because they all associate the term God, as applied to our Saviour, with other titles, or with circumstances, which demonstrate most fully, that that term was used by the inspired penmen in its highest sense of true and proper Deity when they applied it to Christ. Thus we have seen it associated with Jehovah; with Lord, the New Testament rendering of that ineffable name; with acts of creative energy, as in the introduction to the Gospel of St. John; with the supreme dominion and perpetual stability of the throne of the Son, in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. In the Epistle to Titus, he is called "the GREAT God ;" in 1 John, "the TRUE GOD," and the giver of "ETERNAL LIFE ;" and in the last text examined, his twofold nature is distinguished-man, "according to the flesh," and in his higher nature, GOD, "God over all, blessed for evermore." These passages stand in full refutation of both the Arian and Socinian heresies. In opposition to the latter, they prove our Saviour to be more than main, for they assert him to be God; and in opposition to the latter, they prove that he is God, not in an inferior sense, but "the great God," "the true God," and "God over all, blessed for evermore."
I pass over, for the sake of greater brevity, other titles more rarely ascribed to our Saviour, such as, the "LORD OF GLoRY," 1 Cor. ii, 8; "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS," on which it would be easy to argue, that their import falls nothing short of absolute Divinity. A few remarks on three other titles of our Lord, of more frequent occurrence, may close this branch of the argument. These are, "KING OF ISRAEL ;" "SON OF GOD ;" and "THE WORD." The first bears evident allusion to the pre.existence of Christ, and to his sovereignty over Israel under the law. Now, it has been already established, that the Jehovah, "time King of the Jews," "the Holy One of Israel our King," "the King, the Lord of Hosts," of the Old Testament, is not the Father; but another Divine Person, who, in the New Testament, is affirmed to have been Jesus Christ. This being the view of the sacred writers of the evangelical dispensation, it is clear that they could not use the appellation "THE E KING OF ISRAEL" in a lower sense than that in which it stands in the Old Testament; and there, indisputably, even by the confession of opponents, it is collocated with titles, and attributes, and works which unequivocally mark a Divine character. It is with clear reference to this his peculiar property in the Jewish people that St. John says, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not; a declaration which is scarcely sense, if Judea was in no higher a meaning his own country than it was the country of any other person who happened to be born there; for it is, surely, a strange method of expressing the simple fact that he was born a Jew, (were nothing more intended,) to say that he came into his own country, for this every person does at his birth, wherever he is born. Nor is it any aggravation of the guilt of the Jews, that they rejected merely a countryman, since that circumstance gave him no greater claim than that of any other Jew to be received as the Messiah. The force of the remark lies in this, that whereas the prophets had declared that "the King of Israel," "the Lord of hosts," "Jehovah," should become incarnate, and visit his own people; and that Jesus had given sufficient evidence that he was that predicted and expected personage; yet the Jews, " his own people" and inheritance, rejected him. The same notion is conveyed in our Lord's parable, when the Jews are made to say "this is the HEIR," he in whom the right is vested: "let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours."
It is sufficient, however, here to show, that the title "KING OF IsRAEL" was understood, by the Jews, to imply Divinity. Nathanael exclaims, "Rabbi, thou art the SON OF GoD, thou art the KING OF ISRAEL.' This was said upon such a proof of his Messiahship as, from his acquaintance with some matter private to Nathanael alone when he was "under the fig tree," was a full demonstration of omniscience: a circumstance which also determines the Divine import of "SON OF GOD," the title which is here connected with it. Both were certainly understood by Nathanael to imply an assumption of Godhead.
"'As our Saviour hung upon the cross,' says St. Matthew, 'they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days, save thyself; if thou be the SON OF GOD, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, he saved others: himself he cannot save. If he be the KING OF ISRAEL, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him, He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am THE SON OP GOD. The thieves also which were crucified with him, cast THE SAME in his teeth. [One of them saying, If thou be CHRIST, save thyself and us; but the other said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me, when thou comest into thy kingdom.] [And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, and Saying, If thou be THE KING OF THE JEWS, save thyself.] Now when the centurion, and they that were with him watching Jesus, saw the earth quake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, [Certainly this was a righteous man,] truly this was THE SON OF GOD.' Elere we see the Jews, and the Gentiles residents among them, uniting to speak in a language that stamps Divinity upon the title used by them both. The Jewish passengers upon the road over the top of Calvary, stood still near the cross of our Saviour, insultingly to nod at him, to reproach him with his assumed appellative of the Son of God, and to challenge him to an exertion of that Divinity which both he and they affixed to it, by coming down from the cross, and saving himself from death. The elders, the scribes, and the chief priests, equally insulted him with the same assumption, and equally challenged him to the same exertion, calling upon him now to show he was truly THE KING OF ISRAEL, or the Lord and Sovereign of their nation in all ages, by putting forth the power of his Divine royalty, and coming down from the cross." (Whitaker's Origin of Arianism.)
Such is the testimony of the Jews to the sense in which our Saviour applied these titles to himself. The title "SON OF GOD" demands, however, a larger consideration, various attempts having been made to restrain its significance, in direct opposition to this testimony, to the mere humanity of our Saviour, and to rest its application upon his miraculous conception.
It is true, that this notion is held by some who hesitate not to acknowledge, that Jesus Christ is a Divine person; but, by denying his Deity as "THE SON OF GOD," they both depart from the faith of the Church of Christ in the earliest times, and give up to the Socinians the whole argument for the Divinity of Christ which is founded upon that eminent appellation. On this account, so frequent and indeed so general a title of our Lord deserves to be more particularly considered, that the foundation which it lays for the demonstration of the Divinity of Christ may not be unthinkingly relinquished; and that a door of error, which has been unconsciously opened by the vague reasonings of men, in other respects orthodox, may be closed by the authority of Holy Writ.
That the title, "SON OF GOD," was applied to Christ is a fact. His disciples, occasionally before and frequently after his resurrection, give him this appellation; he assumes it himself; and It was indignantly denied to him by the Jews, who, by that very denial, acknowledge that it was claimed in its highest sense by him, and by his disciples for him. The question therefore is, what this title imported.
Those who think that it was assumed by Christ, and given to him by his disciples, because of his miraculous conception, are obviously in error. Our Lord, when he adopts the appellation, never urges his miraculous birth as a proof of his Sonship; on the contrary, this is a subject on which he preserves a total silence, and the Jews were left to consider him as "the son of Joseph ;" and to argue from his being born at "Nazareth," as they supposed, that he could not be the Messiah: an ignorant were they of the circumstances of his birth, and, therefore, of the manner of his conception.
Again, our Lord calls God his Father, and grounds the proof of it upon his miracles. The Jews, too, clearly conceived, that, in making this profession of Sonship with reference to God, he assumed a Divine character, and made himself" equal with God." They therefore took up stones to stone him. In that important argument between our Lord and the Jews, in which his great object was to establish the point, that, in a peculiar sense, God was his Father, there is no reference at all to the miraculous conception. On the contrary, the title "Son of God," is assumed by Christ on a ground totally different; and it is disputed by the Jews, not by their questioning or denying the fact, that he was miraculously conceived, but on the assumed impossibility, that lie, being a man, Should be equal to God, which they affirmed that title to import.
Nor did the disciples themselves give him this title with reference to his conception by the Holy Ghost. Certain it is, that Nathanael did not know the circumstances of his birth; for he was announced to him by Philip as Jesus of Nazareth, "time son of Joseph;" and he asks, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth 7" He did not know, therefore, but that Jesus was the son of Joseph; he knew nothing of his being born at Bethlehem, and yet he confesses him to he "'rite SON OF God, and lime KING OF ISRAEL."
It may also be observed, that, in the celebrated confession of Peter. "Thou art the Christ, the SON of the LIVING GOD," there is no reference at all to the miraculous conception; a fact 'it that time, probably, not known even to the apostles, and one of the things which Mary kept and pondered in her heart, till the Spirit was given, and the full revelation of Christ was made to the apostles. But, even if the miraculous Conception were known to St. Peter, it is clear, from the answer of our Lord to him, that it formed no part of the ground on which he confessed "the SON of MAN" to be the "SON OF GOD ;" for our Lord replies, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my FATHER which is in heaven." He had been specially taught this doctrine of the Sonship of Christ by God, an unnecessary thing, certainly, if the miraculous conception had been the only ground of that Sonship; for the evidence of that fact might have been collected from Christ and the Virgin Mother, and there was no apparent necessity of a revelation from the Father so particular, a teaching so special, as that mentioned in our Lord's reply, and which is given as an instance of the peculiar "blessedness" of Simon Barjona.
This ground, therefore, not being tenable, it has been urged, that "SON OF GOD" was simply an appellation of Messiah, and was So used among the Jews ; in other words, that it is an artificial designation and not a personal one. Against this, however, the evangelic history affords decisive proof. That the Messiah was to he the Jehovah of' the Old Testament, is plain from the texts adduced in a former chapter, and this, therefore, is to be considered the faith of the ancient Jewish Church. It is however certain, that, at the period of our Lord's advent, and for many years previously, the learned among the Jews had mingled much of the philosophy which they had learned from the heathen schools with their theological speculation; and that their writings present often a singular compound of crude metaphysical notions, allegories, cabalistic mysteries, and, occasionally, great and sublime truths. The age of our Lord was an age of great religious corruption and error. The Saducees were materialists and skeptics; and the Pharisees had long cuvated the opinion, that the Messiah was to be a temporal monarch, a notion which served to vitiate their conceptions of his character and office, and to darken all the prophecies. 'Two things, however, amidst all this confusion of opinions, and this prevalence of great errors, exceedingly clear from the evangelists :-1. That the Jews recognized the existence of such a being as the " Son of God;" and that, for any person to profess to be the Son of God, in this peculiar sense, was to commit blasphemy. 2. That for a person to profess to be the Messiah simply was not considered blasphemy, and did not exasperate the Jews to take up stones to stone the offender. Our Lord certainly professed to be the Messiah; many of the Jews also, at different times, believed on him as such; and yet, as appears from St. John's Gospel, these same Jews, who "believed" on him as Messiah, were not only "offended," but took up stones to stone him as a blasphemer when he declared himself to be the "Son of God," arid that God was his " proper Father." It follows from these facts, that the Jews of our Lord's times, generally, having been perverted from the faith of their ancestors, did not expect the second person of the trinity, "t lie Son of God." the Divine Memra, or Logos, to be the Messiah. Others, indeed, had a dim and uninfluential apprehension of' this truth; there were who indulged various other speculations on the subject; but the true doctrine was only retained among the faithful few, as Simeon, who explicitly ascribes Divinity to the Messiah; whom he held in his arms; Nathanael, who connects "SON OF GOD and KING OF ISRAEL" together, one the designation of the Divine nature, the of her of the office of Messiah; and the apostles of our Lord, whose minds were gradually opened to this mystery of faith, and brought off from the vulgar notion of the civil character and mere human nature and human work of Messiah, by the inspiration and teaching of God-" flesh and blood did not reveal it to them, but the Father."
We cannot, therefore, account for the use of the title" SON OF GOD," among the Jews of our Lord's time, whether by his disciples or his enemies, by considering it as synonymous with "Messiah." The Jews regarded the former as necessarily involving a claim to Divinity, but not the latter; and the disciples did not conceive that they fully confessed their Master, by calling him the Messiah, without adding to it his higher personal designation. "Thou art the CHRIST," says St. Peter; but he adds, "THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD:" just as Nathanael, under the influence of a recent proof of his omniscience, and, consequently, of his Divinity, salutes him, first, as "SON OF C OD," and, then, as Messiah, " KING OF ISRAEL."
We are to seek for the origin of the title, " THE SON OF GOD," in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, where a DIVINE SON is spoken of, in passages, some of which have reference to him as Messiah also, arid in others which have no such reference. In both, however, we shall find that it was a personal designation; a name of revelation, not of office: that it was essential in him to be a SON, and accidental only that he was the MESSIAH; that he was the first by nature, the second by appointment; and that, in constant association with the name of "SON," as given to him alone, and in a sense which shuts out all creatures, however exalted, are found ideas and circumstances of full and absolute Divinity.
Under the designation "SON," Son of God, he is introduced in the second Psalm: "The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." From apostolic authority we know, that the "SON," here introduced as speaking, is Christ; this application to him being explicitly made at least twice in the New Testament. Now, if we should allow, with some, that "the day" here spoken of is the day of Christ's resurrection, and should interpret his being "begotten: of the Father of the act itself of' raising him from the dead, it is clear, that the miraculous conception of CHRIST is not, in this passage, laid down as the ground of his Sonship. The reference is clearly made to another transaction, namely, his resurrection. So far this passage, thus interpreted, furnishes an instance in which the Messiah is called "THE SON OF GOD," on some ground entirely independent of the mode of his meat nation. But lie is so frequently called the Son, where there is no reference even to his resurrection, that this cannot be considered as the ground of that relation; and, indeed, the point is sufficiently settled by St. Paul, who, in his Epistle to the Romans, tells us, that the resurrection of Christ was the declaration of his Sonship, not the ground of it-" DECLARED to be the Son of God with power, by ±he resurrection from the dead." We perceive, too, from the Psalm, that the mind of the inspired writer is filled with ideas of his Divinity, of his claims, and of his works as God. This SON the nations of the earth are called to kiss, lest he be angry, and they perish from the way ;" and every one is pronounced blessed who "putteth his trust in him ;" a declaration of unequivocal Divinity, because found in a book which pronounces every man cursed "who trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm."
"It is obvious, at first view, that the high titles and honours ascribed in this Psalm to the extraordinary person who is the chief subject of it, lhr transcend any thing that is ascribed in Scripture to any mere creature: but if the Psalm be inquired into more narrowly, and compared with parallel prophecies; if it be duly considered, that not only is the extraordinary person here spoken of called the Son of God, but that title is so ascribed to him as to imply, that it belongs to him in a manner that is absolutely singular, and peculiar to himself, seeing he is said to be begotten of God, (verse 12,) and is called by way of eminence, the Son; (verse 12;) that time danger of provoking him to anger is spoken of in so very different a manner from what the Scripture uses in speaking of the anger of any mere creature; 'Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little;' that when the kings and judges of the earth are commanded to serve God with fear, they are, at the same time, commanded to kiss the Son, which, in those times and places, was frequently an expression of adoration; and particularly that whereas other scriptures contain awful and just threatenings against those who trust in any mere man, the psalmist expressly calls them blessed who trust in the Son here spoken of: all these things, taken together and compared with the other prophecies~ make up a character of Divinity; as, on the other hand, when it is said that God would set this his Son as his king on his holy hill of Zion, (verte 6,) these and various other expressions in this Psalm contain character of the subordination which was to be appropriated to that Divine person who was to be incarnate." (Maclaurin's Essay on the Prophecies.)
Neither the miraculous conception of Christ, nor yet his resurrection from the dead, is, therefore, the foundation of his being called the Son of God in this Psalm. Not the first, for there is no allusion to it; not the second, for he was declared from heaven to be the "beloved Son" of the Father at his very entrance upon his ministry, and, consequently. before the resurrection; and also, because the very apostle who applies the prediction to the resurrection of Christ, explicitly states, that even that was a declaration of an antecedent Sonship. It is also to be noted, that, in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, St. Paul institutes an argument upon this very passage in the second Psalm, to prove the superiority of Christ to the angels. "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my SON, this day have I begotten thee?"
The force of this argument lies in the expression 'begotten,' importing that the person addressed is the Son of God, not by creation, but by generation. Christ's pre-eminence over the angels is here stated to consist in this, that whereas they were created, he is begotten; and the apostle's reasoning is fallacious, unless this expression intimates a proper and peculiar filiation." "He hath obtained," says Bishop Hall, "a more excellent name than the angels, namely, to be called and to be the Son of God, riot by grace and adoption; but by nature and communication of essence." This argument from Christ's superiority to all creatures, even the most exalted, shows the sentiment of St. Paul as to Divinity being implied in the title SON, given to the Messiah in the second Psalm. In this several of the ancient Jewish commentators agree with him; and here we see one of the sources from which the Jews derived their notion of the existence of a Divine Son of God.
Though time above argument stands independent of the interpretations which have been given to the clause "THIS DAY have I begotten thee," the following passage from Witsius, in some parts of its argument, has great weight:--
"But we cannot so easily concede to our adversaries, that, by the generation of Christ, mentioned in the second Psalm, his resurrection from the dead is intended, and that by this day, we are to understand the day on which God, having raised him from the dead, appointed him the King of his Church. For, 1. To beget signifies nowhere in the sacred volume to rescue from death; and we are not at liberty to coin new significations of words. 2. Though, possibly, it were used in that metaphorical acceptation, (which, however, is not yet proved,) it cannot be understood in this passage in any other than its proper sense. It is here adduced as a reason for which Christ is called the Son of God.- Now Christ is the Son of God, not figuratively, but properly; for the Father is called his proper Father, and lie himself is denominated the proper Son of the Father, by which designation he is distinguished from those who are his sons in a metaphorical sense. 3. These words are spoken to Christ with a certain emphasis, with which they would not have been addressed to any of the angels, much less to any of mankind; but if they meant nothing more than time raising of him from the dead, they would attribute nothing to Christ which he doth not possess in Common with many others, who, in like manner, are raised tip by time power of God, to glory mid an everlasting kingdom. 4. Christ raised himself from the dead, too, by his own power; from which it word follow, according to this interpretation, that he begat himself, and that he is his own son. 5. It is not true, in fine, that Christ was not begotten of the Father, nor called his Son, till that very day on which he was raised from the dead; for, as is abundantly manifest from the Gospel history, he often, when yet alive, professed himself the Son of God, and was often, acknowledged as such. 6. To-day refers to time, when human concerns are in question; but this expression, when applied to Divine things, must be understood in a sense suitable to the majesty of the Godhead. And, if any word may be transferred from time, to denote eternity, which is the complete and perfect possession, at once, of an interminable life, what can be better adapted to express its unsuccessive duration than the term to-day? Nor can our adversaries derive any support to their cause from the words of Paul, Acts xiii, 32, . ' And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us, their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the. second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.' For, 1. Paul doth not here prove the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, from this expression in the second Psalm (which, though it describes him who is raised again, doth not prove his resurrection,) but from Isaiah iv, 3, and Psalm xvi, 10; while he adds, (verses 34 and 35,) 'And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead,' &c. 2. the words 'raised up Jesus,' do not even relate to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, but to the exhibition of him as a Saviour. This raising of him up is expressly distinguished from the raising of him again from the dead, which is subsequently spoken of, verse 34. The meaning is, that God fulfilled the promise made to the fathers, when he exhibited Christ to mankind in the flesh. But what was that promise? This appears from the second Psalm, where God
promises to the Church, that, in due time, he would anoint, as King over her, his own Son, begotten of himself TO-DAY; that is, from eternity to eternity, for with God there is a perpetual to-day. Grotius, whose name is not offensive to our opposers, has remarked, that Luke makes use of the same word to signify exhibiting, in Acts ii, 30; iii, 26. To these we add another instance from chap. vii, 37: 'A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you.' 3. Were we to admit, that the words of the Psalm are applied to the resurrection of Christ, which seemed proper to Galrin, Cameron, and several other Protestant divines, the sense will only be this, that, by his being thus raised up again, it was declared and dernoustrated, that Christ is the Son of the Father, begotten of him from everlasting. The Jewish council condemned him for blasphemy, because he had called himself the Son of God. But, by raising him again from the grave, after he had been put to death as a blasphemer, God acquitted him from that charge, and publicly recognized him as his only-begotten Son. Thus he was declared, exhibited, and distinguished as the Son of God with power, expressly and particularly, to the entire exclusion of all others. The original word here employed by the apostles is remarkably expressive; and, as Ludovicus de Dieu has learnedly observed, it signifies that Christ was placed between such bounds, and so separated and discriminated from others, that he neither should nor can be judged to be any one else than the Son of God. The expression 'with power,' may be joined with declared;' and then the meaning will be that lie was shown to be the Son of God by a powerful argument. Or it may be connected with the 'Son of God;' and then it will intimate that he is the Son of God in the most ample and exalted sense of which the term is susceptible so that this name, when ascribed to him, is 'a more excellent name' than any that is given to the noblest of creatures." (Witsius's Dissertations on the Creed.)
Solomon, in Proverbs viii, 22, introduces not the personified, but the personal wisdom of God, under the same relation of a Son, and in that relation ascribes to him Divine attributes. This was another source of the notion which obtained among the ancient Jews, that there was a Divine Son of God.
"Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way,
Before his works of old.
I was anointed from everlasting,
From the beginning, before the world was,
When there were no depths, I was BORN," &c.
Here, "from considering the excellence of wisdom, the transition is easy to the undefiled source of it. Abstract wisdom now disappears. and the inspired writer proceeds to the delineation of a Divine Being who is portrayed in colours of such splendour and majesty, as can be attributed to no other than the eternal Son of God." (Holden's Translation of Proverbs.) "Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way." "The Father possessed the Son, had, or, as it were, acquired him by an eternal generation. To say of the attribute wisdom, that God possessed it in the beginning of his work of creation, is trifling; certainly it is too futile an observation to fall from any sensible writer; how, then, can it be attributed to the wise monarch of Israel ?" (Holden's Translation of Proverbs.) "I was anointed from everlasting."- "Can it, with propriety, be said of an attribute, that it was anointed, invested with power and authority from everlasting? In what way, literal or figurative, can the expression be predicated of a quality? But is strictly applicable to the Divine Logos, who was anointed by the effusion of the Spirit; who was invested with power and dignity from everlasting; and who, from all eternity, derived his existence and essence from the Father; for in him 'dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." (Holden's Translation of Proverbs.)
It is a confirmation of the application of Solomon's description of wisdom to the second person of the Trinity, that the ancient Jewish writers, (Philo among the number,) as Allix has shown, (Judgment of the Jewish Church,) speak of the generation of Wisdom, and by that term mean "the Word," a personal appellation so familiar to them. Nor is there any thing out of the common course of the thinking of the ancient Hebrews in these passages of Solomon, when applied to the personal wisdom; since he, as we have seen, must, like them, have been well enough acquainted with a distinction of persons in the Trinity, and knew Jehovah, their Lawgiver and King, under the title of "the Word of the Lord," as the Maker of all things, and the Revealer of his will, in a word, as Divine, and yet distinct from the Father. The relation in the Godhead of Father and Son was not, therefore, to the Jews an unrevealed mystery, and sufficiently accounts for the ideas of Divinity which they, in the days of Christ, connected with the appellation Son of GOD.
This relation is most unequivocally expressed in the prophecy of Micah, chap. v, 2, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousand of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting ;" or, as it is in the margin, "from the days of eternity." Here the person spoken of is said to have had a twofold birth, or "going forth." By a natural birth he came forth from Bethlehem to Judah; by another and a higher, he was from the days of eternity. One is opposed to the other; but the last is carried into eternity itself by words which most clearly intimate an existence prior to the birth in Bethlehem, and that an eternal one: while the term used and translated his "goings forth," conveys precisely the same idea as the eternal generation of the Son of God. "The passage carefully distinguishes his human nature from his eternal generation. The prophet describes him who was to 'come out of Bethlehem' by another more eminent coming or going forth, even from all eternity. This is so signal a description of the Divine generation, before all time, or of that going forth from everlasting of Christ, the eternal Son of God; 'God, of the substance of the Father, begotten, before the worlds;' who was afterward in time made man, and born into the world in Bethlehem, that the prophecy evidently belongs to him, and could never be verified of any other." (Dr. Pocock.)
This text, indeed, so decidedly indicates that peculiar notion of the Divinity of our Lord, which is marked by the term and the relation of SON, that it is not surprising that Socinians should resort to the utmost violence of criticism to escape its powerful evidence. Dr. Priestley, therefore, says, "that it may be understood concerning the promises of God, in which the coming of Christ was signified to mankind from the beginning of the world." But nothing can be more forced or unsupported. The word here employed never signifies the work of God in predicting future events: but is often used to express natural birth and origin. So it is unquestionably used in the preceding clause, and cannot be supposed to be taken in a different sense, much less in a unique sense, in that which follows, and especially when a clear antithesis is marked and intended. He was to be born in time; but was not, on that account, merely a man: he was "from the days of eternity." By his natural birth, or "going forth," he was from Bethlehem; but his "goings forth," his production, his heavenly birth or generation, was from everlasting; for so the Hebrew word means, though, like our own word "ever," it is sometimes accommodated to temporal duration. Its proper sense is that of eternity, and it is used in passages which speak of the infinite duration of God himself.
Others refer "his goings forth from everlasting," to the purpose of God that lie should come into the world; but this is too absurd to need refutation: no such strange form of speech as this would be, if taken in this sense, occurs in the Scriptures: and it would be mere trifling so solemnly to affirm that of Messiah, which is just as true of any other person born into the world. This passage must, then, stand as an irrefutable proof of the faith of the ancient Jewish Church, both in the Divinity and the Divine Sonship of Messiah; and, as Dr. Hales well observes, (Hales's Analysis,) "This prophecy of Micah is, perhaps, the most important single prophecy in the Old Testament, and the most comprehensive respecting the personal character of the Messiah, and his successive manifestation to the world. It crowns the whole chain of prophecies descriptive of the several limitations of the blessed Seed of the woman, to the line of Shem. to the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to the tribe of Judah, and thin royal house of David, here terminating in his birth at Bethlehem, 'the city of David.' It carefully distinguishes his human nativity from his eternal generation; foretells the rejection of the Israelites and Jews for a season, their final restoration, and the universal peace destined to prevail throughout the earth in 'the regeneration.' It forms, therefore, the basis of the New Testament, which begins with his human birth at Bethlehem, the miraculous circumstances of which are recorded in the introductions of Matthew's and Luke's Gospels; his eternal generation, as the ORACLE, or WISDOM, in the sublime introduction of John's Gospel; his prophetic character and second coming illustrated in the four Gospels and the Epistles; ending with a prediction of the speedy approach of the latter, in the Apocalypse, Rev. xxii, 20."
The same relation of SON, in the full view of supreme Divinity, and where no reference appears to be had to the office and future work of Messiah, is found in Proverbs xxx, 4, "Who bath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who bath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his SON's name, if thou canst tell?" Here the Deity is contemplated, not in his redeeming acts, 'in any respect or degree; not as providing for the recovery of a 1 race, or that of the Jewish people, by the gift of his Son: he is placed before the reverend gaze of the prophet in his acts of creative and con serving power only, managing at will and ruling the operations of nature; and vet, even in these peculiar offices of Divinity alone, he is spoken of as having a SON, whose "name," that is, according to the Hebrew idiom, whose nature, is as deep, mysterious, and unutterable as his own. " What is His name, and what is his SON's name, canst 'thou tell ?"
The Scriptures of the Old Testament themselves in this manner furnished the Jews with the idea of a personal Son in the Divine nature; and their familiarity with it is abundantly evident, from the frequent application of the terms "Son," "Son of God," "first and only begotten Son," "Offspring of God," to the Logos, by Philo; and that in passages where he must, in all fair interpretation, be understood as speaking of a personal, and not of a personified Logos. The same terms are also found in other Jewish writers before the Christian era.
The phrase "Son of God" was, therefore, known to the ancient Jews, and to them conveyed a very definite idea; and it is no answer to this to say, that it was a common appellative of Messiah among their ancient writers. The question is, how came " Son of God" to be an appellative of Messiah? "MESSIAH" is an official title; "SON," a personal one. It is granted that the Messiah is the Son of God; but it is denied that, therefore, the term Son of God ceases to be a personal description, and that it imports the same with Messiah. David was the son of Jesse," and the "king of Israel ;" he, therefore, who was king of Israel was the son of Jesse; but the latter is the personal, the former only the official description; and it cannot be argued that "son of Jesse" conveys no idea distinct from "king of Israel." On the contrary, it marks his origin and his family; for, before he was king of Israel, he was the son of Jesse. In like manner, "Son of God" marks the natural relation of Messiah to God; and the term Messiah his official relation to men. The personal title cannot otherwise be explained; and as we have seen, that it was used by the Jews as one of the titles of Messiah, yet still used personally, and not officially, and, also, without any reference to the miraculous conception at all, as before proved, it follows, that it expresses a natural relation to God, subsisting not in the human, but in the higher nature of Messiah ; and, this higher nature being proved to be Divine, it follows, that the term Son of God, as applied to Jesus, is, therefore, a title of absolute Divinity, importing his participation in the very nature and essence of God. The same ideas of DIVINE Sonship are suggested by almost every passage in which the phrase occurs in the New Testament.
"When Jesus was baptized, he went up straightway out of the water, and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him; and lo, a voice from heaven, This is my BELOVED SON, in whom I am well pleased." The circumstances of this testimony are of the most solemn and impressive kind, and there can be no rational doubt but they were designed authoritatively to invest our Lord with the title " Son of God" in the fill Sense which it bears in those prophecies in which the Messias had been introduced under that appellation, rendered still more strong and emphatic by adding the epithet "beloved," and the declaration, that in him the "Father was well pleased." That the name "Son of Cod" is riot here given to Christ with reference to his resurrection, need not be stated; that it was not given to him, along with a declaration of the father's pleasure in him, because of the manner in which lie had fulfilled the office of Messiah, is also obvious, for he was but just then entering upon his office and commencing his ministry; and if, therefore, it can be proved, that it was not given to him with reference to his miraculous conception, it must follow that it was given on grounds independent of his office, and independent of the circumstances of his birth; and that, therefore, he was in a higher nature than his human, and for a higher reason than an official one, the "Son of God."
Now this is, I think, very easily and conclusively proved. As soon as the Baptist John lead heard this testimony, and seen this descent of the Holy Spirit upon him, he tells us that he "bore record that this is the SON OF GOD:"-the Messiah, we grant, but not the Son of God, because he was time Messiah, but Son of God and Messiah also. o. This is clear, from the opinion of the Jews of that day, as before shown. It was to the Jews that he "bore record" that Jesus was the Son of God. But he used this title in the sense commonly received by his hearers. Had he simply testified that he was the Messiah, this would not to them in general have expressed the idea which ALL attached to the name "Son of God," and which they took to involve a Divine character and damn. But in this ordinary sense of the title among the Jews, John the Baptist gave his testimony to him, and by that shows in what sense he himself understood the testimony of God to the Sonship of Jesus. So, in his closing testimony to Christ, recorded in John iii, he makes an evident allusion to what took place at the baptism of our Lord, and says, "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand." Here the love of time Father, as declared at his baptism, is represented as love to him as the Son, and all things being given into his hands, as the consequence of his being his beloved Son. "All things," unquestionably, imply all offices, all power and authority; all that is included in the offices of King, Messias, Mediator; and it is affirmed, not that he is Son, and beloved as a Son because of his being invested with these offices, but that he is invested with them, because he was tine well-beloved Son; a circumstance which fully demonstrates that "Son of God" is not an official title, and that it is not of the same import as Messiah. To the transaction at his baptism our Lord himself adverts in John v, 37 "And the FATHER HIMSELF, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me." For, as he had just mentioned the witness arising from his miraculous works, and, in addition to these, introduces the witness of thee Father himself as distinct from the works, a personal testimony from the Father alone can be antended, and that personal testimony was given at his baptism. Now, the witness of the Father, on this occasion, is, that he was his beloved SON; and it is remarkable that our Lord introduces tine Father's testimony to his Sonship on an occasion in which the matter in dispute with the Jews was respecting his claim to be the Son of God. The Jews denied that God was his Father in the sense in which he had declared him to be so, and "they sought the more to kill him, because be not only had broken the Sabbath; but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God." In this case, what was the conduct of our Lord? He reaffirms his Sonship even in this very objectionable sense; asserts that "the Son doeth all things soever that the Father doeth," verse 19; that "as the Father raiseth the dead, so the Son mickeneth whomsoever he will," verse 21; that "all judgment has been committed to the Son, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father," verse 23 ; that" as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself," verse 26; and then confirms all these high claims of equality with the Father, by adducing the Father's own witness at his baptism: "And the Father himself hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at many time, nor seen his shape; and ye have not his word abiding in you, for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not." With respect to this testimony, two critical remarks have been made, which, though not essential to the argument, farther corroborate the views just taken. The one is, that in all the three evangelists who record the testimony of the Father to Christ at his baptism, the article is prefixed both to the substantial and the adjective. Matt. iii, 17, ontos eanv oJ uJio~ mh oJ agaphto~, the most discriminating mode of expression that could be employed, as if to separate Jesus from every other who, at any time, had received the appellation of the Son of. God: This is that Son of mine who is the beloved. In the second clause, "in whom I am well pleased," the verb in all the three evangelists is in the first aorist, en eudokhsa. Now, although we often render the Greek aorist by the English present, yet this can be done with propriety only when the proposition is equally true, whether it be stated in the present, in the past, or in the future time. And thus the analogy of the Greek language requires us not only to consider the name Son of God, as applied in a peculiar sense to Jesus, but also to refer tine expression used at his baptism to that inter. course which had subsisted between the Father and the Son, before this name was announced to men.
The epithet "ONLY BEGOTTEN," which several times occurs in the New Testament, affords farther proof of the Sonship of Christ in his Divine nature. One of these instances only need be selected. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the ONLY BEGOTTEN of the Father, full of grace and truth." If the epithet only begotten referred to Christ's miraculous conception, then the glory "as of the only begotten" must be a glory of time human nature of Christ only, for that alone was capable of being thus conceived. This is, however, clearly contrary to the scope of the passage, which does not speak of the glory of the nature, "the flesh," which "THE WORD" assumed, but of the glory of the Word HIMSELF, who is here said to be the only begotten of the Father. It is, therefore, the glory of his Divine nature which is here intended. Such, too, was the sense in which the primitive Church and the immediate followers of the apostles understood the title monogenh~, only begotten, or only Son, as Bishop Bull has shown at length, (Judicium Eccies.) and "to him and others," says Dr. Waterland, I may refer for proof that the title, Son of God, or only-begotten Son in Scripture, cannot be reasonably under. stood either of our Lord's miraculous conception by the Holy Ghost, or of his Messiahship, or of his being the first begotten from the dead, or of his receiving all power, and his being appointed heir of all timings. None of these circumstances, singly considered, nor all together, will be sufficient to account for the title only Son, or only begotten; but it is necessary to look higher up to the pre-existent and Divine nature of the Word, who was in the beginning with God, and was himself very God, before the creation, and from all eternity. Angels and men have been called sons of God, in an improper and metaphorical sense, but they have never been styled 'only begotten,' nor indeed, ' sons,' in any such distinguishing and emphatic manner as Christ is. They are sons by adopt ion, or faint resemblance; lie is truly, properly, and eminently, Son of God, and, therefore, God, as every son of man is, therefore, truly man." The note in the Socinian version tells us, "that this expression does not refer to any peculiar mode of derivation or existence; but is used to express merely a higher degree of affection, and is applied to Isaac, though Abraham had other eons." Isaac is, however, so called, became he was the only child which Abraham had by his wife Sarah, and this instance is, therefore, against them. The other passages in this Gospel and in St. John's First Epistle, in which the term is used, give no countenance to this interpretation, and in the only other passages in the New Testament, in which it occurs, it unquestionably means an "only son or child." Luke vii, 12, "Behold there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother." Luke viii, 42, "For he had one only daughter." Luke ix, 88, "Master, look upon my son, for he is my only child." Here, then, on the one hand, there is no passage in which the epithet only begotten occurs, which indicates by any other phrase or circumstance, that it has time force of well beloved; while there are several, which, from the circumstances, oblige us to interpret it literally as expressive of a peculiar relationship of the child to the parent, an only, an only-begotten child. This is, then. the sense in which it is used of Christ, and it must respect either his Divine or human nature. Those who refer it to his human nature, consider it as founded upon his miraculous conception. It is, however, clear, that that could not constitute him a son, except as it consisted in the immediate formation of the manhood of our Lord by the power of God; but, in this respect, he was not the "only begotten," not the "only Son," because Adam was thus also immediately produced, and for this very reason is called by St. Luke, "the son of God." Seeing, then, that monogenh~, only begotten, does not any where import the affection of a parent, but the peculiar relation of an only son; and that this peculiarity does not apply to the production of the mere human nature of our Lord, the first man being in this sense, and for this very reason, "a son of God," thereby excluding Christ, considered as a man, from the relation of ONLY Son, the epithet can only be applied to the Divine nature of our Lord, in which alone, he is at once naturally and exclusively "the SON or THE LIVING GOD."
All those passages, too, which declare that "all things were made by the Son," and that God "sent his Son," into the world may be considered as declarations of a Divine Sonship, because they imply that the CREATOR was, at the very period of creation, a SON, and that he was the SON OF GOD, when and consequently before, he was sent into the world; and thus both will prove, that that relation is independent either of his official appointment as Messiah, or of his incarnation. The only plausible objection to this is, that when a person is designated by a particular title, he is often said to perform actions tinder that title, though the designation may have been given to him subsequently. Certain acts may be said to have been done by the king, though, in fact, he per. formed them before his advancement to the throne; and we ascribe the "Prineipia" to Sir Isaac Newton, though that work was written before he received the honour of knighthood. In this manner we are told, by those who allow the Divinity of Christ, while they deny his Divine Sonship, that, as Son of God was one of the common appellations of Christ among his disciples, it was natural for them to ascribe creation, and other Divine acts performed before the incarnation, to the Son, meaning merely that they were done by that same Divine person who in consequence of his incarnation and miraculous conception, became the Son of God, and was by his disciples acknowledged as such.
The whole of this argument supposes that the titles "THE SON," "THE SON OF GOD," are merely human titles, and that they are applied; to Christ, when considered as God, and in his pre-existent state, only in consequence of that interchange of appellations to which the circum stance of the union of two natures, Divine and human, in one person, so naturally leads. Thus it is said, that the "Lord of glory" was "crucified;" that GOD purchased the Church "with his own blood ;" that "THE SON OF MAN" was "in heaven" before the ascension. So also in familiar style, we speak of the Divinity of JESUS, and of the Godhead of the SON OF MARY. An interchange of appellations is acknowledged; but then even this supposes that some of them are designations of his Divine, while others describe his assumed nature; and the simple circum. stance of such an interchange will no more prove the title SON OF GOD to be a human designation, than it will prove SON OF MARY to be a Divine one. Farther, if such an interchange of titles be thus contended for, we may then ask, which of the titles, in strict appropration, designate the human, and which the Divine nature of our Lord? IF " Son of God" be, in strictness, a human designation, and so it must be, if it relate not to his Divinity, then we may say that our Saviour, as God, has no distinctive name at all in the whole Scriptures. The title "GOD" does not distinguish him from the other persons of the trinity, and WORD stands in precisely the same predicament as SON; for the same kind of criticism may reduce it to merely an official appellative, given because of his being the medium of instructing men in the will of God; and it may, with equal force, be said that he is called "the Word" in his preexistent state only, because he in time, became the Word, in like manner as, in time also he became the Son. The other names of Christ are all official; and as in the Scriptures we have no such phrase as "the second person in the trinity" and other theological designations, since adopted, to express the Divinity of Christ, the denial of the title SON as a designation of Divinity leads to this remarkable conclusion, (remarkable especially, when considered as Coming from those who hold the Deity of Christ,) that we have not in Scripture, neither in the Old nor the New Testament, a single appellation which, in strictness and truth of speech, can be used to express the Divine person of him who was made flesh and dwelt among us. If, then, an interchange of Divine and human designations be allowed, the title "Son OF GOD" may still be a Divine description for any thing which such an interchange implies; If it is not a designation of his Divinity, we are left without a name for our Saviour as God, and considered as existing before the incarnation, and so there can properly he no interchange of Divine and human titles at all.
But the notion that the title Son of God is an appellation of the human nature of our Lord, applied sometimes to him, when his Divine character and acts are distinctly considered, by a customary interchange of designations, is a mere assumption. There is nothing to prove it, while all those passages which connect the title "Son," immediately, amid by way of eminence, with his Divinity remain wholly unaccounted for on this theory, and are, therefore, contrary to it. Let a few of these be examined. It is evident that, in a peculiar sense, he claims God as his Father, and that with no reference either to the incarnation or resurrection, or to any thing beside a relation in the Divine nature. So, when he had said to time Jews, "My Father worketh hitherto and I work;" the Jews so understood him to claim God for his Father as to equal himself with God-" they sought the more to kill him, because he had not only broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, patera idion, ins OWN PROPER FATHER, making himself EQUAL with God ;" and, so far from correcting this as an error in his hearers, which he was bound to do by every moral consideration, if they had so greatly mistaken him, he goes on to confirm them in their opinion as to the extent of his claims, declaring, that "what things soever the Father doeth, these also doth the Son likewise; and that as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given the Son to have life in himself." In all this it is admitted by our Lord, that whatever he is mend has is from the Father; which is, indeed, implied in the very name and relation of SON; but if this communication be not of so peculiar a kind as to imply an equality with God, a sameness of nature and perfections, there is not only an unwarrantable presumption in the words of our Lord, but, in the circumstances in which they were uttered, there is an equivocation in them inconsistent with the sincerity of an honest man. This argument is confirmed by attending to a similar passage in the tenth Chapter of John. Our Lord says, "They shall never perish; my Father which gave them me is gm-cater than I, and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father ARE ONE. Then the Jews took up stones to stone him." And they assign, for so doing, tine very same reason which St. John has mentioned in the fifth chapter: "We stone thee for blasphemy, because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." Our Lord's answer is:
"Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods? If he called them gods unto whom time word of God came, and the Scriptures cannot be broken," i.e. if the language of Scripture be unexceptionable, "say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God 7" These words are sometimes quoted in support of the opinion of those who hold that our Saviour is called the Son of God, purely upon account of the com mission which he received. "But the force of the argument and the consistency of the discourse require us to affix a much higher meaning to that expression. Our Lord is reasoning a fortiori. He vindicates himself from the charge of blasphemy in calling himself the Spun of Cod, because even those who hold civil offices upon earth are called, in Scripture, gods. But that lie might not appear to put himself upon a level with them, and to retract his former assertion, 'I and my Father are one,' he not only calls himself ' him whom the Father hath sent into the world,' which implies that he had a being, mind that God was his Father, before he was sent; but he subjoins, 'If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do. though you believe not rue, believe the works, that ye may know mind believe that the Father is in me, and I in him,' expressions which appear to be equivalent to his former assertion, 'I and the Father are one,' and which were certainly, understood by the Jews in that sense, for as soon as he uttered them they sought again to take him." (Hill's Lectures.)
To these two eminent instances, in which our Lord claims God as his Father, in reference solely to his Divine nature, and to flu) circum stance whatever connected with his birth or his offices, may be added his unequivocal answer, on his trial, to time direct question of the Jewish council." Then said they all, Art thou the Son of God? and he saith unto them, Ye say that I am," that is, Jam that ye -cay; thus declaring that, in the very sense in which they limit the question, he was the Son of God. In confessing himself to be, in that sense, the Son of God, he did more than claim to be the Messiah, for the council judged him for that reason guilty of "blasphemy;" a charge which could not lie against any one, by the Jewish law. for professing to be the Messiah. It was in their judgment a case of blasphemy, explicitly provided against by their "law," which inflicted death upon the offence; but, in the whole Mosaic institute, it is not a capital crime to assume the title and character of Messiah. 'Why, then, did time confession of Christ, that he was time "Son of God," in answer to the interrogatory of the council, lead them to exclaim, "What need we any farther witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth-he is worthy of death." "We have a law, and by our law he ought to die." The reason is given, "because he made himself THE SON OF GOD." His "blasphemy" was alleged to lie in this; this, therefore, implied an invasion of time rights and honours of the Divine nature, and was, in their view, an assumption of positive Divinity. Our Lord, by his conduct, shows that they did not mistake his intention. He allows them to proceed against him without lowering his pretensions, or correcting their mistake; which, had they really fallen into one, as to the import of the title "Son of God," lie must have done, or been accessary to his own condemnation.
As in none of these passages the title Son of God can possibly be considered as a designation of his human nature or office; so, in the apostolic writings, we find proof of equal force that it is used even by way of opposition and contradistinction to the human and inferior nature. Romans i, 3, 4, "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." A very few remarks will be sufficient to point out the force of this passage. Tine apostle, it is to be observed. is not speaking of what Christ is officially, but of what he is personally and essentially, for the truth of all his official claims depends upon the truth of his personal ones: if he be a Divine person, he is every timing else he assumes to be. He is, therefore, considered by the apostle distinctly in his two natures. As a man lie was "flesh," "of the seed of David," and a son of David; in a superior nature he was Divine, and the Son of God. To prove that he was of t he seed of David, no evidence was necessary but the Jewish genealogies: to prove him Divine, or, as the apostle chooses to express it, The SON OF GOD," evidence of a higher kind was necessary, and it was given in his "resurrection from the dead." That declared him to be the Son of God with power," or powerfully determined and marked him out to be the Son of God, at Divine person. That an opposition is expressed between what Christ was according to the flesh, and what he was according to a higher nature, must be allowed, or there is no force in the apostle's observation; a ad equally clear it must be that the nature, put in opposition to the flesh] nature, can be no other than the Divine nature of Christ, the apostolic designation of which is the "SON OF GOD."
This opposition between the two natures is sufficiently marked for the purpose of the argument, without taking into account the import of the phrase in the passage just quoted, "according to the Spirit of holiness," which, by many critics, is considered as equivalent to "according to his Divine nature."
Because of the opposition, stated by the apostle, between what Christ was, kata, according to, in respect of the flesh; and his being declared the Son of God with power, kata, according to, in respect of " the Spirit of holiness ;" Macknight, following many others, interprets the "Spirit of holiness" to mean the Divine nature of Christ, as "the flesh" signifies his whole human nature. To this Schleusner adds his authority, sub voce agiwsunh. "Summa Dci majestas et perfectio, Rom. 1, 4, kata pneuma agiwsunh~. Quoad vim suam et majestatem divinam. Similiter in vers. Alex. non solum, Heb. rn, Psa. cxlv, 4, 5, sed etiam tw wdq respondet, Psa. xcvii, 12."
Doddridge demurs to this, on the ground of its being unusual in Scripture to call the Divine nature of Christ "the Spirit of holiness," or the "Holy Spirit." This is, however, far from a conclusive objection: it is not so clear that there are not several instances of this in Scripture; and certain it is, that the most ancient fathers frequently use the terms "Spirit," and "Spirit of God," to express the Divine nature of our Lord. "Certissimum est," says Bishop Bull, "Filium Dci, secundum Deitatis hypostasin in scriptis Patrum titulo Spiritus, et Spiritus Dei et Spiritus us Sancti passim insigniri." To this we may add the authority of many other eminent critics.
The whole argument of the Apostle Paul, in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, is designed to prove our Lord superior to angel and he adduces, as conclusive evidence on this point, that to none of the angels was it ever said, "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." It is, therefore, clear, that on this very ground of Sonship, our Lord is argued to be superior to angels, that is, superior in nature, and in natural relation to God; for in no other way is the argument conclusive. lie has his title Son, by INHERITANCE, that is, by natural and HEREDITARY right. It is by "inheritance" that he hath obtained a "more excellent name" than angels; that is, by his being OF the Father, and, therefore, by virtue of his Divine filiation. Angels may be, in an inferior sense, the sons of God by creation; but they cannot inherit that title, for this plain reason, that they are created not begotten; while our Lord inherits the "more excellent name" because he is "begotten," not created. "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I Begotten thee?" The same ideas of absolute Divinity, connect themselves with the title throughout this chapter. "THE SON," by whom "God in these latter days hath spoken to us," is "the brightness, the effulgence of his glory, and the express, or exact and perfect image of his person." But it is only to the Divine nature of our Lord that these expressions can refer. "The brightness of his glory" is a phrase in which allusion is made to a luminous body which is made visible by its own effulgence. The Father is compared to the original fountain of light, and the Son to the effulgence or body of rays streaming from it. Thus we arc taught, that the essence of both is the same; that the one is inseparable from, and not to be conceived of without the other; consequently, that neither of them ever was or could be alone. The Son is declared to be of the same nature and eternity with the Father; "And from hence, more particularly, the Church seems to have taken the occasion of confessing in opposition to the Arian heresy, as we find it done in one of our creeds, that 'Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, was begotten of the Father before all worlds, that he is God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, of one substance with the Father, by whom all things are made." (Stanhope.) Certainly, this brightness, or effulgence from the Father is expressly spoken of the Son; but it cannot be affirmed of him with reference to his humanity; and if it must necessarily be understood of his superior, his Divine nature, it necessarily implies the idea which is suggested by sonship. For it the second person of the trinity were co-ordinate and independent, in no good sense could he be the effulgence, the lustre of the glory of the Father. He might exhibit an equal amid rival glory, as one sun equally large and bright with another; but our Lord would, in that case, be no more an effulgence of time glory of the Father than one of these suns would be an effulgence of the other. The " express image of his person" is equally a note of filial Divinity. The word karakthr signifies an impression or mark, answering to a seal or stamp, or die, and therefore an exact and perfect resemblance, as time figure on the coin answers to the die by which it is stamped, and the image on the wax to the engraving on the seal. It is impossible that this should be spoken of a creature, because it cannot be true of any creature; and therefore not true of the human nature of our Lord. "The sentiment is, indeed, too high for our ideas to reach. This, however, seems to be fully implied in it, that the Son is personally distinct from time Father, for the impression and the seal are not one thing, and that the essential nature of both is one and the same," (Dr. P. Smith,) since one is so the exact and perfect image of the other, that our Lord could say, "He that hath seem me hath seen the Father."
Still, however, the likeness is not that of one independent, and unrelated being to another, as of man to man; but the more perfect one of Son to Father. So it is expressly affirmed; for it is "TILE Son" who is this "express image :' nor would the resemblance of one independent Divine person to another come up to the idea conveyed by karakthr th~ upostasew~. Both this and the preceding phrase, the "brightness of his glory," with sufficient clearness denote not only sameness of essence and distinction of person, but dependence and communication also; ideas which are preserved and harmonized in the doctrine of the Sonship of Christ, and in no other.
In the same conjunction of the term SoN with ideas of absolute Divinity. the apostle, in a subsequent part of the same chapter, applied that lofty passage in time forty-fifth Psalm, "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever amid ever," &c. The Socinian criticisms on this passage have already been refuted; and it is only necessary to remark on this passage as it is in proof of time Divine Sonship. It is allowed, by all who hold his Deity, that Christ is here addressed as a being composed of two natures, God and man. "The unction with the oil of gladness,' and the elevation above his 'fellows,' characterize the manhood; and the perpetual stability of his the-one, and the unsullied justice of tine government, declare the GODHEAD." (Bishop Horsiey.) He is, however, called the SON; but this is a term which could not characterize time Being here introduced, unless it agreed to his higher arid Divine nature. Time Son is addressed; that Son is addressed as God, as God whose throne is for ever and ever; and by this argument it is that the apostle proves the SON to lee superior to angels.
A few other passages may be introduced, which, with equal demonstration, attach the term Son, eminently and emphatically, to our Lord's Divine nature.
"God sending his own SON, in the likeness of sinful flesh," Romans viIi, 3. here the person entitled the Son, is said to be sent in the likeness of sinful FLESH. In what other way could lie have been sent, if he were Son only as a man. The apostle most clearly intimates that he was Son before lie was sent ; and that FLESH was the nature assumed by the Son, bunt not the nature in which lie was time Son, as he there uses the term.
"Moses, verily, was faithful in all his house as a servant, but Christ as a SON over his own house"" " This is illustrative of the position before laid down, (verse 3,) that Jesus was counted worthy, of more glory than Moses. The Jewish lawgiver was only 'as a servant, but Christ 'as a Sox;' lint if the latter were only a Son in a metaphorical sense, the contrast would be entirely destroyed; he could only be a servant, like Moses, and the grounds of his superiority, as a Son, would be completely subverted; he must, therefore, be a Son in respect to his Divine nature. In conformity with this conclusion, it is here said that Moses was faithful in all his house as a servant in the Jewish Church, but Christ was faithful over his own house ; over the Christian Church as its Lord and Master." (Holden's Testimonies.) " Moses erat En oikw, et pertinebat ad familiam ; Christus vero epi ton oikon, supra fami ham. ut ejus praefectus et dominius." (Rosenmuller.) " He says that Moses was faithful as a servant-Christ as a Son, and that Christ was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house ; that is, the difference between Christ and Moses is that which is between him who creates anti the timing created." (Bishop Tomline.) To be a Son is then, in the apostle's sense of the passage, to be a Creator; and to be a servant, a creature; a decisive proof that Christ is called Some, as God, because he is put in contradistinction to a creature.
To these may be added all those passages in which the first person is called the FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ; because as, when the persons are distinctly spoken of, it is clear, that he who produced the human nature of Christ, in the womb of the virgin, was the third person, a fact several times emphatically and expressly declared in the New Testament; so, as far as natural relation is concerned, the first person can only have paternity with reference to the Divine nature of the Son; and we are reduced to admit, either that the terms Father and Son are wholly figurative, or that they express a natural relation, which relation, however, can only subsist between these persons in the Godhead.
"For," as it has been very justly observed, "at the very same time that our Lord, most expressly, calls the first person of the Godhead his Father, he makes the plainest distinction that is possible between the Father, as such, and the Holy Ghost. By the personal acts which Inc ascribes to the Spirit of God, he distinguishes the first person, as his Father, from the third person of the Divine essence; for, he said, 'I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth ' This Comforter, said he, 'is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me,' John xiv, 16, 17, 26; xv, 26. Here our Lord calls t lie first person, most expressly and undeniably, 'the Father,' and the third person, as expressly 'the Holy Ghost.' It is most evident, and beyond even the possibility of a doubt, that he does not, by these two appellatives, mean one and time self.same Divine person; for he says, he 'will pray the Father' to send the Comforter to his Church, calling him 'the Holy Ghost, whom time Father will send in his name.' And he sends 'the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth, from the Father, which proceedeth from the Father.' Therefore, the Holy Ghost is not that Father, nor the self-same subsistent as that Father, nor is the creation of the human nature the only begetting, or the Scriptural Sonship of our Lord Jesus Christ; for, if this were really so, the Father would be sending forth the Father, and time Father would be proceeding from the Father, and the Son would be praying for all this. But these are absurdities too glaring to be indulged for a single moment by common sense; so that we conceive it must be as clear as the light of heaven, that the first and second persons of time Godhead are to each other a Father and a Son in the Divine essence." (Martin on the Eternal Sonship of Christ.)
Thus, then, from the import of these passages, and ninny others might be added, were it necessary, I think that it is established, that the title SON OF GOD is not an appellative of the human nature applied by metonymy to the Divine nature, as the objectors say, and that it cannot, on this hypothesis, be explained. As little truth will be found in another theory, adopted by those who admit the Divinity of our Lord, but deny his eternal filiation; -that he is called "Son of God" on account of his incarnation: that in the Old Testament he was so called in anticipation of this event, and in the New because of the fact that he was God manifest in the flesh.
As, however, all such persons acknowledge the title "Son of God" to be a descriptive, not an arbitrary title, and that it has its foundation in some real relation; so, if the incarnation of Christ be the foundation of that title, it must be used with reference either to the nature in which he was incarnated, that is to say, his manhood; or to that which incarnated itself, that is to say, his Godhead; or to the action of incarnation, that is the act of assuming our nature. If the first be allowed, then this is saying no more than that he is the Son of God, because of his miraculous conception in the womb of the virgin, which has been already refuted. If the second, then it is yielded, that, with reference to the Godhead, he is the Son, which is what we contend for; and it is allowed, that the "holy timing," or offspring, born of Mary, is, therefore, called the Son of God, not because his humanity was formed in her womb immediately by God; but, as it is expressly stated in Luke i, 35, because "the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee," the effect of which would be the assumption of humanity by the Divine nature of him who is, in that nature, the Son; and that the holy offspring should, on that account, be called the Son of God. This would fully allow the doctrine of Christ's Divine Sonship, and is, probably, the real import of the important passage referred to. But if the title Son is given to Christ, neither with reference to the miraculous conception of time human nature, nor yet because the higher nature united to it in one person is, eminently and peculiarly, the Son of God; then it only remains to those who refer the title to the incarnation of our Lord, to urge that it is given to him with reference to the act of incarnation, that is to say, the act of assuming our nature. Now, it is impossible to maintain this, because it has no support from Scripture. The passage in Luke i, 35, has been adduced, but that admits Certainly only of one of the two interpretations above given. Either the coming of the Holy Ghost upon the virgin, and the overshadowing of the power of the Highest, refer to the immediate production of the humanity by Divine power, so that for this reason he is called the Son of God, which might be allowed without excluding a higher and more emphatic reason for the appellation ; or it expresses the assumption of human nature through the "power of the Highest," by the Divine nature of Christ, so that "time holy offspring: should be called "the Son of God," not because a Divine person assumed humanity, hut because that Divine person was antecedently the Son of God, and is spoken of as such by time prophets. The mere act of assuming our nature gives no idea of time relationship of a Son; it is neither a paternal nor a filial act in any sense, nor expresses any such relation. It was an act of tine Son alone; "forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, HE ALSO TOOK PART of the same;" and, as his own act, it could never place him in the relation of Son to the Father. It was done, it is true, ill pursuance of the will of tile Father, who " sent him; on this errand of mere into the world; but it was still an act done by the Son, and could not lay the foundation of a filial title and character. This hypothesis cannot, therefore, he supported. If, then, the title "Son of God," as given to our Lord, is not used chiefly, probably not at all, with reference to his miraculous conception; if it is not an appellative of his human nature, occasionally applied to him when Divine acts and relations are spoken of, as any other human appellation, by metonymy, might be applied ; if it is not given him simply because of his assuming our nature; if we find it so used, that it can be fully explained in no office with which lee is invested and by no event of his mediatorial undertaking ; it then follows, that it is a title characteristic of his mode of existence in the Divine essence, and of the relation which exists between time first and second persons in the ever blessed trinity. Nor is it to be regarded as a matter of indifference, whether we admit the eternal filiation of our Lord, provided we acknowledge his Divinity. It is granted, that some divines, truly decided on this point, have rejected the Divine sonship. But jam this they have gone contrary to time judgment of the Churches of Christ in all ages; and the would certainly have been ranked among heretics in the first and purest times of the primitive Church, as Bishop Bull has largely and most satisfactorily shown in his "Judgment of the CatholiC Church;" nor would their professions of faith in the Divinity of Christ have secured them from the suspicion of being allies in some sort of the common enemies of the faith, nor leave been sufficient to guard them from the anathemas with which the fathers so carefully guarded the sacred doctrine of Scripture respecting the person of our Lord. Such theologians have usually rejected the doctrine, too, on dangerous grounds, and have resorted to modes of interpretation so forced and unwarrantable, that, if turned against time doctrines which they them. selves hold sacred, would tend greatly to unsettle them. In these respects they have often adopted the same modes of attack, and objections of the same character, as those which Arians and Socinians have wielded against the doctrine of the trinity itself, and have thus placed themselves in suspicious company and circumstances. The very allegation that the Divine Sonship of Christ is a mere speculation, of no importance, provided his Divinity be held, is itself calculated to awaken vigilance, since the most important doctrines have sometimes been stolen away "while men have slept," and the plea which has lulled them into security has always been, that they were not fundamental. I would not, indeed, say that time doctrine in question is fundamental. I can not indisposed to give up that point with Episcopius and Waterland, who doth admitted the Divine Sonship, though I would not concede its fundamental character on the same grounds as the former, but with the caution of the latter, who had views much more correct on the question of fundamental truths. But, though the Sonship of Christ may be denied by some who hold his Divinity, they do not carry out their own views into their logical conclusions, or it would appear that their notions of the TRINITY greatly differ, in consequence, from those which are held by the believers in this doctrine; and that on a point, confessedly fundamental, they are, in some important respects, at issue with the orthodox of all ages. This alone demands their serious reflection, and ought to induce caution; but other considerations are not wanting to show that points of great moment are involved in the denial or maintenance of the doctrine in question.
1. The loose and general manner in which many passages of Scripture, which speak of Christ as a Son, must be explained by those who deny tile Divine filiation of Christ, seems to sanction principles of interpretation which would be highly dangerous, or rather absolutely fatal, if generally applied to the Scriptures.
2. The denial of the Divine Sonship destroys all relation among the persons of the Godhead; for no other relation of the hypostases are mentioned in Scripture, save those which are expressed by paternity, filiation, and procession; every other relation is merely economical; and these natural relations being removed, we must then conceive of the persons in time Godhead as perfectly independent of each other, a view which has a strong tendency to endanger the unity of the essence.
3. It in the doctrine of the Divine paternity only which preserves the Scriptural idea that the Father is the fountain of Deity, and, as such, the first, the original, the principle. Certainly, he must have read the Scriptures to little purpose, who does not perceive that this is their constant doctrine-that "of him are all things ;" that though the Son is Creator, yet that it was "by the Son" the Father made the worlds; and that, as to the Son, he himself has declared, "that he lives by the Father," and that the Father hath given him to have LIFE IN Himself, which can only refer to his Divine nature, nothing being the source of life can itself but what is Divine; a view which is put out of all doubt by the declaration, that by the gift of the Father, the Son hath life in himself; "AS the Father hath life in himself." But where the essential paternity of the Father and the correlative filiation of the Son are denied, these Scriptural representations have no foundation in fact, and are incapable of interpretation. The term Son at once preserves the Scriptural character of the Father, and sets up an everlasting barrier against the Arian heresy of inferiority of essence; for, as Son, he must be of the same essence as the Father.
4. The Scriptural doctrines of the perfect EQUALITY of the Son, so that he is truly God, equal in glory and perfection to the Father, being of the same nature; and, at the same time, the Subordination of the Son to the Father, so that he should be capable of being "sent," are only to be equally maintained by the doctrine of the Divine Sonship.- According to those who deny this doctrine, the Son might as well be the first as the second person in the Godhead; and time Father the
second as well as the first. The Father might have been sent by the Son, without incongruity; or either of them by the Holy Spirit. On the same ground, the order of the solemn Christian form of blessing, in the name of the Father, Son, amid Spirit, so often introduced in the New Testament, is grounded on no reason whatever, and might be altered at pleasure. These are most violent and repulsive conclusions, which the doctrine of the Sonship avoids, and thus proves its accordance with the Holy Scriptures.
5. The love of the Father, in the gift of his Son, a doctrine so emphatically and so frequently insisted upon in Scripture, can have no place at all in the religious system of those who deny the relations of Father and Son to exist in the Godhead. This I take to be fatal to the doe-time; for it insensibly runs into the Socinian heresy, and restricts the love of the father, in the gift of his Son, to the gift of a man only, if the Sonship of Christ be human only ; and, in that case, the permission of the sufferings of Christ was no greater a manifestation of God's love to the work than his permitting any other good mare to die for the benefit of his fellow creatures,-St. Paul, for instance, or any of the martyrs. Episcopius, though he contends against the doctrine of t he Divine Son-ship of our Lord being considered as fundamental, yet argues the truth of the doctrine on this very ground.
"We have thus far adduced those passages of Scripture from which we believe it evident, that something more is ascribed to Jesus Christ than can possibly belong to him under the consideration of man born of a virgin; nay, something is attributed to him which not obscurely argues, that, before he was born of the virgin, he had been, (fuisse atque extitisse,) and had existed as the Son of God the Father. The reasons derived from Scripture which seem to demonstrate this are the following:--
"First, from John v, 18, and x, 33, it is apparent, that Jesus Christ had spoken in such a manner to the Jews, that they either understood or believed that nothing less than this was spoken by Christ, that he attributed to himself something greater than could be attributed to a human being," &c. After proceeding to elucidate these two passages at some length, Episcopius adds,
"The second reason is, it is certain the charity and love of God is amazingly elevated and extolled, by which he sent his own and only-begotten Son into the world, and thus gave him up, even to the death of the cross, to save sinners, who are the sons of God's wrath.-(John lii, 16; Rom. v, 10, and viii, 32; 1 John iv, 9, 10.) But if the only. begotten Son of God has no signification except Jesus with regard to his humanity and his being born of a virgin, the reason is not so apparent why this love should be so amazingly enhanced, as it is when God" only.begotten Son signifies the Son who was begotten of the Father before all ages. For that Son, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was born of her for this very purpose-that he might be derived to death for sinners. But what preeminence of love is there in the fact of God delivering this, his Son, to death, whom it was his will to be born of Mary, and to be conceived of his Holy Spirit, with the intention that he should die for sinners? But if you form a conception of the Son of God, who was begotten of his Father before (ante secula) all worlds; whom it was not compulsory to send into the world, and who was under no obligation to become man; whose dignity was greater than allowed him to be involuntarily sent or to come into flesh, much less that he should be delivered to death; nay, who, as the only-begotten and sole Son, appeared dearer to the Father than to be thrust out from him into this misery. When you have formed this conception in your mind, then will the splendour and glory of the Divine charity and love toward the human race shine forth with the greater intensity." (pis copu Inst. Theol.)
To the doctrine of our Lord's eternal Sonship some objections have been made, drawn from the supposed reason and nature of timings; but they admit of an easy answer. The first is, "If the Son be of the Father in any way whatsoever, there must have been a commencent of his existence." To this objection the following is a satisfactory answer :- "As sure, they are ready to argue, as every effect is posterior to its cause, so must Christ have been posterior to that God of whom lie is the effect, or emanation, or offspring, or Son, or image, or by whatever other name you please to call him. Hence a Socinian writer says, 'The invention of men has been long enough upon the rack to prove, in opposition to common sense and reason, that an effect may be co eternal with the unoriginate cause that produced it But the proposition has mystery and falsehood written in its forehead, and is only fit to be joined with transubstantiation, mum, and other mysteries of the same nature.' If these terms are properly taken, it will be found, that though every effect may be said to be posterior to its cause, it is merely in the order of nature, and not of time; and, in point of fact, every effect, properly so called, is co.existent with its cause, and must, of necessity, exactly answer to it, both in magnitude and duration; so that an actually infinite and eternal cause implies an actually infinite and eternal effect.
Many seem to imagine, as the words, cause and effect, must be placed one after the other, and the thing intended by time latter is different from what is meant by the former, that, therefore, a cause must precede its effect, at least some very short time. But they ought to consider, that if any thing be a cause, it is a cause. It cannot be a cause and the cause of nothing; no, not for the least conceivable space of time. Whatever effect it may produce hereafter, it is not the actual cause of it till it is actually in being; nor can it be in the very nature of things.
"Now, suppose I should call the Son of God the infinite and eternal effect of an infinite and eternal cause; however the terms of the proposition might be cavilled with, and however sophistry avail itself of the imperfection of human language and the ambiguity of words to puzzle the subject, in the sense in which I take the terms, cause and effect. the proposition is true, and cannot be successfully controverted. And though I would by no means affect such language, yet I should be justified in its use by the early orthodox writers of the Church, both Greek and Latin, who do not hesitate to call the Father the cause of the Son; though the Latins generally preferred using the term principium, which, in such a connection, is of the same import as cause. Nor can we consider the following words of our blessed Redeemer in any other view: I live by the Father,' John vi, 57, and 'As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself,' John v, 26. Such language can never be understood of time mere humanity of Christ. When the early ecclesiastical writers used the terms in question, it was not with the most distant intention of intimating any inferiority of nature in the Son. And when they called him 'God of God,' they never meant to represent him as a creature. Therefore, it was added to the expression, in the Nicene Creed, 'Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance,' or nature, 'with the Father and the Maker of all things.' They neither confound the persons, nor divide the substance of the Godhead. And we shall soon see that, in this, they followed the obvious and undoubted meaning of the word of God. They made use of the very best terms they could find in human language, to explain the truth of God, in a most important article of faith, and to defend it against the insidious attacks of heresy. And if those who affect to despise them would study their writings with candour, they would find that, though they were men, and as such liable to err, they were great men, and men who thought as well as wrote; who thought deeply on the things of God, and did not speak at random.
"Some persons think they reduce the doctrine, in question, to an absurdity, by saying, 'If the Father generate the Son, he must either be always generating him, or an instant must be supposed when his gene ration was completed. On the former supposition, the Son is and must ever remain imperfect, and, in fact, ungenerated: on the latter, we must allow that he cannot be eternal.' No one can talk in this manner, who has not first confounded time with eternity, the creature with the Creator; beings whose existence, and modes, and relations are swallowed up and lost in the Divine eternity and immensity with him who is, in all essential respects, eternal and infinite. The orthodox maintain that the Son of God is what he is from everlasting, as well as the Father. His generation no more took place in any imaginary point of eternity than it took place in time. Indeed all duration, which is commenced, is time, and time it must ever remain. Though it may never end, it can never be actual eternity; nor can any being, whose existence has commenced, ever become actually eternal. The thing implies a contradiction in terms.
"The nature of God is perfect from everlasting; and the generation of the Son of God was no voluntary and successive act of God; but something essential to the Godhead, and therefore natural and eternal We may illustrate this great subject, though we can never fully comprehend it. All natural agents, as we call them, act or operate uniformly and necessarily. If they should change their action or operation, we should immediately infer a change of their nature. For their existence, in a certain state, implies that action or operation. They act or operate by, what we call, a necessity of nature, or, as any plain uneducated man would express himself, it is their nature so to do. Thus the fountain flows. Thus the sun shines. Thus the mirror reflects whatever is before it. No sooner did the fountain exist, in its natural state, than it flowed. No sooner did the sun exist, in its natural state, than it shone, No sooner did the mirror exist, in its natural state, than it reflected the forms placed before it. These actions or operations are all successive, and are measured by time, because the things from whence they result exist in time, and their existence is necessarily successive. But had the fountain existed from everlasting, in its natural state, from everlasting it must have flowed. Had the sun so existed, so it must have shone. Had the mirror so existed, so it must have reflected whatever was before it. The Son of God is no voluntary effect of the Father's power and wisdom, like the created universe, which once did not exist, and might never have existed, and must, necessarily, be ever confined within the bounds of time and space: he is the natural and necessary, and therefore the eternal and infinite birth of the Divine fecundity, the boundless overflow of the eternal fountain of all existence and perfection, the infinite splendour of the eternal sun, the unspotted mirror and complete and adequate image, in whom may be seen all the fulness of the Godhead. This places the orthodox faith at an equal distance from the Sabellian and Arian heresies, and will ever make that distance absolutely infinite. This is no figure of speech, but a most sober truth.' (France's Three Discourses on the Person of Christ.)
In the eloquent and forcible passage just quoted, the opposition between a necessary and a voluntary effect is to be understood of arbitrary will; for, otherwise, the ancients scrupled not to say, that the generation of the Son was with the will of the Father; some, that he could not but eternally will it, as being eternally good; others, that, since the will of God is God himself, as much as the wisdom of God is God him. self, whatever is the fruit and product of God, is the fruit and product of his will, wisdom, &c; and so the Son, being the perfect image of the Father, is substance of substance, wisdom of wisdom, will of will, as he is light of light, and God of God, which is St. Austin's doctrine. That the generation of the Son may be by necessity of nature, without excluding the concurrence or approbation of the will, in the sense of consent, approbation, and acquiescence, is shown by Dr. Waterland, in his "Defence of Queries," and to that the reader who is curious in such distinctions is referred. They are distinctions, however, the subtlety of which will often be differently apprehended by different minds, and they are, therefore, scarcely allowable, except when used defensively, and to silence an opposer who resorts to subtleties for the propagation of error. The sure rock is the testimony of GOD, which admits of no other consistent interpretation than that above given. This being established, the incomprehensible and mysterious considerations, connected with the doctrine, must be left among those deep things of God which, in the present state at least, we are not able to search and fathom. For this reason, the attempts which have been made to indicate, though faintly. the manner of the generation of the Son are not to be commended. Some of the Platonizing fathers taught, that the existence of the Son flowed necessarily from the Divine intellect exerted on itself. The schoolmen agitated the question, whether the Divine generation was effected by intellect or by will. The Father begetting a Son, the exact counterpart and equal of himself, by contemplating and exerting his intelligence upon himself; is the view advocated by some divines, both of the Romish and Protestant communions. Analogies have also been framed between the generation of the Son by the Father and the mind's generation of a conception of itself in thought. Some of these speculations are almost obsolete; others continue to this day. It ought, however, to be observed, that tinny are wholly unconnected with the fact, as it is stated, authoritatively and doctrinally stated, in Scripture. These are atmospheric halos about the sun of revelation, which, in truth, are the product of a lower region, though they may seem to surround the orb itself. Of these notions Zanchius has well observed. "As we have no proof of these from the word of God, we must reject them as rash and vain, that is, if the thing be positively asserted so to be." Indeed, we may ask, with the prophet, "Who shall disclose his GENERATION ?" On this subject, Cyril of Jerusalem wisely says, "Believe, indeed, that God has a Son; but to know how this is possible be not curious. For if thou searchest. thou shalt not find. Therefore, elevate not thyself, (In the attempt,) lest thou fall. Be careful to understand those things alone which are delivered to thee as commands. First, declare to me a who is the Father, and then thou wilt acknowledge the Son. But if thou canst not ascertain (cognoscere) the nature of the Father, display no curiosity about knowing the mode of the Son. With regard to thyself, it is sufficient for all the purposes of godliness to know, that God has one only Son."
Proved then, as I think it irrefragably is, by Scripture testimony, that the title "SON OF GOD" contains a revelation of the Divinity of our Lord, as a person of time same nature and essence with the Father, we may proceed to another of the most emphatic and celebrated appellations of our blessed Saviour- "THE WORD"
Under this title our Saviour is abruptly announced in the introduction to St. John's Gospel, for that he is intended cannot be a matter of doubt In the 5th verse, "the Word" is called "the Light." In verse 7, John Baptist is said to bear witness of that "Light." Again, in verse 14, the Word is said to have been made flesh, and to have dwelt among us; and, in verse 15, that "John bears witness of him." "The Word" and "the Light," to whom John bears witness, are names, therefore, of the same Being; and that Being is, in verse 17, declared to be Jesus Christ.
The manner in which St. John commences his Gospel is strikingly different from time introductions to the histories of Christ by the other evangelists; and no less striking and peculiar is the title under which he announces him---" THE WORD." It has, therefore, been a subject of much inquiry and discussion, from whence this evangelist drew the use of this appellation, and what reasons led him, as though intending to solicit particular attention, to place it at the very head of his Gospel. That it was for the purpose of establishing an express opinion, as to the personal character of him whom it is used to designate, is made more than probable from the predominant character of the whole Gospel, which is more copiously doctrinal, and contains a record more full of what Jesus "said," as well as "did," than the others.
As to the source turn which the term "Logos" was drawn by the apostles, some leave held it to be taken from the Jewish Scriptures; others, from the Chaldee paraphrases; others from Philo and the Hellenizing Jews. The most natural conclusion certainly appears to be, that, as St. John was a plain, "unlearned" man, chiefly conversant in the Holy Scriptures, he derived this term from the sacred books of his own nation, in which the Hebrew phrase Dabar Jehovah, the Word of Jehovah, frequently occurs in passages which must be understood to s-peak of a personal Word, and which phrase is rendered xupmou by the Septuagint interpreters. Certainly, there is not the least evidence in his writings, or in his traditional history, that he ever acquainted him self with Phiho or with Plato; and none, therefore, that he borrowed the term from them, or used it in any sense approaching to on suggested by these refinements: -In the writings of St. Fatal there are allusions to poets and philosophers; in those of St John, none. We have already seen that the Hebrew Scriptures contain frequent intimations of a distinction of persons in the Godhead: that one of these Divine persons is called Jehovah; and though manifestly represented as existing distinct from the Father, is vet arrayed with attributes of Divinity, anti was acknowledged by the ancient Jews to be, in the highest sense, "their God," the God with whom man, through all their history, they chiefly "had to do." This Divine person we have already proved to have been spoken of by the prophets as the future Christ; we have shown, too, that the evangelists and apostles represent Jesus as that Divine person of time prophets ; and, if in the writings of the Old Testament, he is also called "THE Word," the application of this term to our Lord is naturally accounted for. It will than appear to be a theological, not a philosophic appellation, and one which, previously even to the time of the apostle., had been stamped with tine authority of inspiration. It is not, indeed, frequently used in time Old Testament, which may account fir its not being adopted as a prominent title of Christ by the other evangelists and apostles; but that, notwithstanding this infrequency, it is thus used by St. John has a sufficient reason, which shall be presently adduced.
In Genesis xv, 1, we are told, that "the WORD of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward." Here the Word of the Lord is Cite speaker- "the Word came-saying:" a mere word may he spoken or said; but a personal Word only can say, "I am thy shield." The pronoun refers to the whole phrase, "the Word of Jehovah ;" and if a personal Word be not understood, no person at all is mentioned by whom this message is conveyed, and whom Abram, in reply, invokes as "LORD GOD." The same construction is seen in Psalm xviii, 30, "The Word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler to all that trust in him." Here the pronouns refer to "The WORD of the Lord," in the first clause; nor is there any thing in the context to lead us to consider the Word mentioned to be a grammatical word, a verbal communication of the will of another, in opposition to a personal Word. This passage is, indeed, less capable of being explained, on the supposition of an ellipsis, than that in Genesis. In this personal sense, also, 1 Sam. iii, 21, can only be naturally interpreted. "And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh; for the Lord revealed (showed) himself to Samuel in Shiloh, by THE WORD OF THE LORD." Here it is first declared, that the Lord appeared; then follows the manner of his appearance, or manifestation, "by the Word of the Lord." In what manner could he appear, except by his personal Word in vision? Again, a comparison of two passages will make it probable, that the personal WORD is intended in some passages, and was so understood by the ancient Jews, where there are no marked circum stances of construction to call our attention to it. In 2 Sam. vii, 21, we find, "For thy WORD'S sake, and according to thine own heart, least thou done all these things." But in the parallel passage in 1 Chron. xvii, 19, it is read, "0 Lord, for thy SERVANT'S sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all this greatness." Servant is unquestionably an Old Testament appellation of Messiah; and not a few passages might be adduced, where the phrases "for thy servant's sake," "for thy name's sake," indicate a mediatorial character vested in some exalted and Divine personage. The comparison of these two passages, however, is sufficient to show, that a personal character is given to the Word mentioned in the former.
All that has been said by opposing criticism, upon these and a few other passages in which the phrase occurs, amounts to no more than that they maybe otherwise interpreted, by considering them as elliptical expressions. The sense above given is, however, the natural and obvious one; and if it also accounts better for the frequent use of the terms" Word," "Word of the Lord," among the ancient Jewish writers, this is an additional reason why it should be preferred. The Targumists use it with great frequency; and should we even suppose Philo and the Hellenistic Jews to have adopted the term Logos from Plato and time Greeks, yet the favouritism of that term, so to speak, and the higher attributes of glory and Divinity with which they invest their Logos, is best accounted for by the correspondence of this term with one which they had found before, not only among their own interpreters, but in the sacred writings themselves.
Reference has been made to the Targums, and they are in farther evidence of the theological origin of this appellation. The Targums, or Chaldee paraphrases of the Old Testament, were composed for the use of the common people among the Jews, who, after their return from captivity, did not understand the original Hebrew. They were read in the synagogues every Sabbath day, and with the phrases they contain all Jews would, of course, be familiar. Now, in such of these paraphrases as are extant, so frequently does the phrase" the Word of Jehovah" occur, that in almost every place where Jehovah is mentioned jam the Old Testament as holding any intercourse with men, this circumlocution is used. "The Lord created man in his own image," is, in time Jerusalem Targum, "The Word of Jehovah created man." "Adam and Eve heard the voice of the Lord God," is paraphrased, "they heard the voice of the Word of the Lord God." "The Lord thy God, he it is that goeth before thee," is in the Targum, "Jehovah thy God, his Word goeth before tem." The Targumists read, for "I am thy shield," Gen. xv, 1, "My Word is thy shield ;" for "Israel shall be saved in the Lord," Isa. xlv, 17, "by the Word of the Lord ;" for "I am with thee," Jer. i, 8, "My Word is with thee ;" and in Psalm cx, 1, instead of "the Lord said unto my Lord," they read, "the Lord said unto his Word ;" and so in a great number of places.
The Socinian answer is, that this is an idiom of the Chaldee language, and that "the word of a person is merely synonymous to himself." It must certainly be allowed that the Memra of the Chaldee paraphrasts has not in every case a personal sense, nor, indeed, has Logos, or Word by which it may be translated; but, as the latter is capable of being used in a personal sense, so is the former; and, if passages can be found in the Targums where it is evident that it is used personally and as distinct from God the Father, and cannot, without absurdity, be supposed to be used otherwise, time objection is fully invalidated. This has, I think, been very satisfactorily proved. So in one of the above instances, "They heard the voice of the Word of time Lord God walking in the garden." Here walking is undoubtedly the attribute of a person, and not of a mere voice; and that the person referred to is not the Father, appears from the author, Tzeror Hammor, who makes this observation on the place. "Before they sinned, they saw time glory of the blessed God speaking with him, that is, with God; but after their sin they only heard the voice walking." A trifling remark; but sufficient to show that the Jewish expositors considered the voice as a distinct person from God.
The words of Elijah, 1 Kings xviii, 24, "I will call on the name of the Lord," &c, are thus paraphrased by Jonathan: "I will pray in the name of the Lord, and he shall send his Word." The paraphrast could not refer to any message from God; for it was not an answer by word, but by fire, that Elijah expected. It has never been pretended, either by Socinians, or by the orthodox, that God the Father is said to be sent. If there be but one Divine person, by whom is he sent?
We learn from Gen. xvi, 7, &c, that "the Angel of the Lord found Hagar by a fountain of water;" that he said, "I will multiply thy seed exceedingly," and that "she called the name of JEhovAh that spake to her, Thou God seest me." It is evident that Hagar considered the person who addressed her as Divine. Philo asserts that it was the Word when appeared to her. Jonathan gives the same view. "She confessed before the Lord JEHovAh!, whose Word lead spoken to her." With this the Jerusalem Targum agrees: "She confessed and prayed to the Word of the Lord who had appeared to hem-." It is in vain to say, in the Socinian sense, that God himself is here meant. For the paraphrasts must have known, from the text, that the person spoken of is called an angel. If the Father be meant, how is he called an angel?
"They describe the Word as a Mediator. It is said, Deut. iv, 7, 'For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?' Jonathan gives the following paraphrase of the passage: 'God is near in the name of the Word of the Lord.' Again, we find this paraphrase on Hos. iv, 9, 'God will receive the prayer of Israel by his Word, and have mercy upon them, and will make them by his Word like a beautiful fig tree.' And on Jer. xxix, 14, 'I will be sought by you in any Word, and I will be inquired of through you by my Word.' According to the Jerusalem Targum on Gen. xxi, 33, Abraham at Beersheba 'prayed in the name of the Word of the Lord, the God of the world.' But it is inconceivable that the paraphrasts did not here mean to describe the Word as a Mediator; especially as we know that the ancient Jews, when supplicating God, entreated that he would 'look on the face of his anointed.'
They speak of atonement as made by this Memra. On Pent. xxxii, 43, Jonathan observes, God will atone by his Word for his land, and for his people, even a people saved by the Word of the Lord.'
"They describe the Memra as a Redeemer, and sometimes as the Messiah. These words, Gen. xlix, 18, 'I have waited for thy salvation,' are thus paraphrased in the Jerusalem Targum: 'Our father Jacob said thus, My soul expects not the redemption of Gideon the son of Joash. which is a temporary salvation; nor the redemption of Samson, which is a transitory salvation ; but the redemption which thou didst promise should come through thy Memra to thy people. This salvation my soul waits for.' In the blessing of Judah (ver. 10-12) particular mention is made of the King Messiah. It is a striking proof that by the Memra they mineant him who was to appear as the Messiah, that in the Targum of Jonathan, verse 18 is thus rendered: 'Our father Jacob said, I do not expect the deliverance of Gideon the son of Joash, which is a temporal salvation; nor that of Samson the son of Manoah, which is a transient salvation. But I expect the redemption of the Messiah, the Son of David, who shall come to gather to himself the children of Israel. It is evident that the one paraphrast has copied from the other; and as the one puts Messiah for Memra, it cannot well be denied that they had considered both terms as denoting the same person.
"They describe this Memra as only begotten, and, in this character, as the creator. That remarkable verse, Gen. iii, 22,' The Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us,' is paraphrased in a very singular manner: 'The Word of the Lord said, Behold, Adam whom I have created, is the only begotten in the world, as I am the only begotten in the highest heavens.' The language here ascribed to the Memra, with what reference to the text avails not in the present inquiry, is applicable to a person only; and it will not be pretended by our opponents, that it can apply to the Father. The person intended was believed to be 'the only-begotten Word.' How nearly does this language approach to that of inspiration! 'In the beginning was the Word. All things were made by him. We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,' John i, 1, 3.
"If, therefore, the paraphrasts describe the Memra as one sent, as is Mediator, as one by whom atonement is made, as a Redeemer and time Messiah, and as only begotten; it is undeniable that they do not mean God the Father. If, notwithstanding, they ascribe personal and Divine characters to the Word, they must mean a distinct person in the Divine essence." (Jamieson's Vindication.)
The same personality and the same distinction we find in the pas sage, "God came to Abimelech ;" in the Targum, "his Word came from the face of God to Abimelech." Equally express is the personal distinction in Psalm cx, 1, "Jehovah said unto his Word, Sit thou at my right hand." Here time Word cannot be the Jehovah that speaks, and a person only could sit at his right hand. This passage, too, proves that the andient Jews applied the term Word to the Messiah for, as we may learn from our Lord's conversation with the Pharisees. it was a received opinion that this passage was spoken of the Messiah.
Now, as some of the Targums still extant are older than the Christian era, and contain the interpretations of preceding paraphrases now lost; and as there is so constant an agreement among them in the use of this phrase, we can be at no loss to discover the source whence St. John derived the appellative Logos. He had found it in the Hebrew Scriptures, and he had heard it, in time Chaldee paraphrases, read in the synagogues, by which it was made familiar to every Jew. Dr. P. Smith, in his Scripture Testimony, hesitates as to the personal sense of the Memra of the Chaldean paraphrasts, and inclines to consider it as used in the sense of a reciprocal pronoun, denoting, in its usual application to the Divine Being, God his very self. On this supposition it is, however, impossible to interpret some of the passages above given. Its primary import, he says, "is that, whatever it may be, which is the MEDIUM of communicating the mind and intentions of one person to another." The Jews of the same age, or a little a tier, and Philo, he admits, used the term Word with a personal reference, for such "an extension and reference of the term would flow from the primary signification, a MEDIUM of rational communication;" but if Philo and those Jews thus extended the primary meaning of this word, why might not the Chaldee paraphrasts extend it before them? They did not invent the term, and affix to it its primary meaning. They found it in the Chaldee tongue, as we find Word in English; and that they sometimes use it in its primary sense is no proof at all that they did not use it also in a personal or extended one. That a second Jehovah is mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, as the medium of communication with men, cannot be denied, and Memra would, therefore, be, according to this explanation of its primary meaning, a most fit term to express his person and office. It is also a strong evidence in favour of the personal sense of this term, that "Maimonides himself, anxious as he was to obscure all those passages of Scripture that imply a Divine plurality, and to conceal every evidence of the Jews having ever held this doctrine, lead not boldness enough to assert, that with the Chaldee interpreters, the Word of God was merely 'synonymous to God' himself. He knew that the Targums afforded such unquestionable evidence of the introduction of a distinct person under this designation, that every one of his countrymen, who was in the least acquainted with them, would give him the lie. Therefore he finds himself reduced to the miserable shift of pretending that, when time paraphrasts speak of the Word of the Lord, and use this expression where the name of God occurs in the original, they mean to describe a created angel."
"Upon the whole, then," says Dr. Laurence, "how are we to determine the sense of this singular phrase? Although we consider it neithenas a reciprocal, nor as intended to designate the second person in the trinity. who, becoming incarnate, lived and died for us, (of which, perhaps, the Targmimists themselves might have had, at best, but indistinct or even incorrect ideas,) yet may we, most probably, regard it, in its gene-I-al use, as indicative of a Divi no person. That it properly means the Word of the Lord, or his will declared by a verbal communication, anti that it is sometimes literally so taken, cannot be denied, but it seems impossible to consult the numerous passages, where personal character. istics are attributed to jt, and to conceive that it does not usually point out a real person. Whether the Targumist contemplated this hypostatical word as a true subsistence in the Divine nature, or as a distinct emanation of Deity, it may be useless to inquire, because we are deficient in data adequate to a complete decision of the question." (Dissertation.)
Philo and the philosophic Jews mnay, therefore, be well spared in the inquiry as to the source from whence St. John derives the appellative Logos. Whether the Logos of Philo be a personified attribute or a person has been much disputed, but is of little consequence on this point. It may, however, be observed, that as the evidence predominates in favour of the personality, of the Logos of Philo, in numerous passages of his writings, this will also show, that not only the Jewish writers, who composed the paraphrases, and the common people among the Jews, in consequence of the Targums being read in the synagogues, but also those learned men who addicted themselves to time study of the Greek philosophy, were familiar with the idea of a Logos as a person distinct from God, yet in. vested with Divine attributes and performing Divine works. The question as to Philo is not whether he sometimes speaks of a personified Logos, that is, of an attribute or conception of God, arrayed in poetic, personal properties: this is granted; but whether he also speaks of a Logos, who is a real and a Divine person. Now, when lie calls this Logos God, a second God, the Son of God, the first begotten, the be. loved Son; speaks of him as superior to angels, as the Creator of the world, as seeing all things, as the Governor and Sustainer, as a Messenger, as the Shepherd of the flock; of men being freed from their sins by him, as the true High Priest, as a Mediator, and in other similar. and personal terms, which may all be verified by consulting his writings, or the selections given in Kidd's Demonstration, Allix's Judgment, Bryant's Phio, Laurence's Dissertation, and other works; he cannot, by any possibility of construction, be supposed to personify the mere attribute of the reason or wisdom of God, or any conception and operation of the Divine intellect. 'This may be the only Logos of Plato; for, though the Christianized Platonists, of a lower period, used this term in a personal sense, there is but slender evidence to conclude that Plato used it as the name of a person distinct from God. Certain it is, that the Logos of Philo is arrayed in personal characters which are not found in the writings of Plato; a fact which will with great difficulty be accounted for, upon the supposition that the Jewish philosopher borrowed his notions from the Greek. Philo says, that "the Father has bestowed upon this Prince of angels his most ancient Logos, that he should stand as a Mediator, to judge between the creature and the Creator. He, therefore, intercedes with him, who is immortal, in behalf of mortals; and, on the other hand, he acts the part of an ambassador, being sent from the supreme King to his subjects. And this gift he so willingly accepts, as to glory in it, saying, I have stood between God and you, being neither unbegotten as God, nor begotten like mortals, but one in the middle, between two extremes, acting the part of a hostage with both; with the Creator, as a pledge that he will never be provoked to destroy or desert the world, so as to suffer it to run into confusion; and with creatures, to give them this certain hope, that God, being reconciled, will never cease to take care of his own workmanship. For I proclaim peace to the creation from that God who removes war and introduces and preserves peace for ever." Now, when he expresses himself in this manner, who can reconcile this to a mere personification from the Greek philosophy? or suppose that Philo obtained from that ideas so evangelical, that, were there not good evidence that he was not acquainted with Christianity, we Should rather conceive of him as of" a scribe," so far as this passage goes, well instructed" in the kingdom of heaven? Even Dr. Priestley acknowledges that Philo "made a much more substantial personification of the Logos than any of the proper Platonists had done." (Early Opinions.) Substantial, indeed, it is; for, although, in some passages in the vigour of his discursive and allegorizing genius, "he enshrines his Logos behind such a veil of fancy, that we can scarcely discern his person in the sanctuary," yet in the above, and many other passages, 'he draws aside the veil and shows him to us in his full proportions." (Whitaker's Origin of Arianism.) For what conceivable attribute of Deity, or ideal thing whatever, could any writer, allegorist as he might be, not insanely raving, call Prince of angels," "Mediator," "Intercessor," "neither unbegotten as God, nor begotten like mortals," "an Ambassador" sent from God to men, interposing between an offended God to restrain his anger and to give " peace" to the world? Who could speak of these attributes or idealities in language anticipatory of an incarnation, as "a man of God, immortal and incorruptible," as "the man after the image of God," or ascribe to him a name "unspeakable and incomprehensible," and affirm that he is a "fabricator," or Creator, and "Divine, who will lie up close to the Father," exactly where St. John places him " in the very bosom of the Father." For, however mysteriously Philo speaks in other passages, he says nothing to contradict these, and they must be taken as they are. They express a real personality, and they show, at the same time, that they could not be borrowed from Plato. It is not necessary to enter into the question, whether that philosopher ascribed a real personality to his Logos or not. If he gives him a real and Divine personality, then the inference will be, that he derived his notion from the Jews, or from ancient patriarchal tradition; and it would be most natural for Philo, finding a personal and Divine Logos in Plato, to enlarge the scanty conceptions of the philosopher from the theology of his own country. On the other hand, if we suppose the Logos of Plato to be a mere personification, either Philo must have improved it into a real person, consistent with his own religion; or, sometimes philosophizing on a mere personified Logos, and sometimes introducing the personal Logos of his own nation and native schools, we have the key to all those passages which would appear inconsistent with each other, if interpreted only of one and the same subject, and if he were regarded as speaking exclusively either of a personified or a real Logos. '-From all the circumstances it seems to be the most reasonable con elusion, that the leading acceptation of the Memra or Logos among the Jews of this middle age was to designate an intermediate agent; that, in the sense of a Mediator, between God and man, it became a recognized appellation of the Messiah; that the personal doctrine of the WORD was the one generally received, and that the conceptual notion which Philo interweaves with the other was purely his own invention, the result of his theological philosophy." (Dr. Smith's Person of Christ.).
As the doctrine of a personal Logos was not derived by Philo from Platonism, so his own writings, as decidedly as the reason of the case itself, will show, that the source from which be (lid derive it was the Scriptures and the Chaldee paraphrases, or, in other words, the established theology of his nation. Philo had not suffered the doctrine of the Hebrew Scriptures, of a Jehovah acting in the name and under the commission of another Jehovah as well as his own, to go unnoticed The passages of the Old Testament, in which a personal Word, the Dabar Jehovah, occurs, had not been overlooked, nor the more frequent use of an equivalent phrase in the Memra of the paraphrasts. "There is a time," he observes, "when he (the holy Logos) inquires of some, as of Adam, Where art thou?" exactly corresponding with the oldest Targumists, "THE WORD of the Lord called to Adam." Again, with reference to Abraham and Lot,-" of whom (the Logos) it is said the sun came out upon the earth, and Lot entered into Sijor, and the Lord rained brimstone and fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. For the Logos of God, when he comes out to our earthly system, assists and helps those who are related to virtue," &c. So by Onkelos and Jonathan, the appearances of God to Abram are said to be appearances of the Word, and twice in the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, "the Word of the Lord" is said to come to Abraham. The Being who appeared to Hagar, of whom she said, " Thou God seest me," Philo also calls the Logos. The Jehovah 'who stood above the ladder of Jacob and said, "I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father," has the same appellation, and he who spake to Moses from the bush. It is thus that Philo accords with the most ancient of the interpreters of his nation in giving the title Memra, Logos, or Word, to the ostensible Deity of the Jewish dispensation, in which, too, they were authorized by the use of the same term, in the same application. by the sacred writers themselves. Why, then, resort to Plato, when the source of the Logos of Philo is so plainly indicated? and why suppose St. John to have borrowed from Philo, when the Logos was an established form of theological speech, and when the sources from which Philo derived it, the Scriptures and the paraphrases, were as accessible to the apostle as to the philosophical Jew of Alexandria?
As Philo mingled Platonic speculations with his discourses on the real Logos of his national faith, without, however, giving up personality and Divinity; so the Jews of his own age mingled various crude and darkening comments with the same ancient faith drawn from the Scriptures, and transmitted with the purer parts of their tradition. The paraphrases and writings of Philo remain, however, a striking monument of the existence of opinions as to a distinction of persons in the Godhead, and the Divine character of a Mediator and interposing agent between God and man, as indicated in their Scriptures, 'and preserved by their theologians.
Celebrated as this title of the Logos was in the Jewish theology, it is not, however, the appellation by which the Spirit of inspiration has chosen that our Saviour should be principally designated. It occurs but a very few times, and principally and emphatically in the introduction to St. John's Gospel. A cogent reason can be given why this apostle adopts it, and we are not without a probable reason why, in the New Testament, the title SON OF GOD should have been preferred, which is, likewise, a frequent title of the Logos in the writings also of Philo.
"Originating from the spiritual principle of connection, between the first and the second Being in the Godhead; marking this, by a spiritual idea of connection; and considering it to be as close and as necessary as the Word is to the energetic mind of God, which cannot bury its intellectual energies in silence, but must put them forth in speech; it is too spiritual in itself to be addressed to the faith of the multitude. If with so full a reference to our bodily ideas, and so positive a filiation of the second Being to the first, we have seen the grossness of Arian criticism, endeavouring to resolve the doctrine into the mere dust of a figure; how much more ready would it have been to do so, if we had only such a spiritual denomination as this for the second? This would certainly have been considered by it as too unsubstantial for distinct personality, and therefore too evanescent for equal Divinity." (Whita icer's Origin of Arianism.)
Of the reason of its occasional use by St. John, a satisfactory account may also be given. The following is a clear abridgment of the ampler discussions on this subject which have employed many learned writers.
"Not long after the writings of Philo were published, there arose the Gnostics, a sect, or rather a multitude of sects, who having learnt in the same Ahexandrian school to blend the principles of oriental philosophy with the doctrine of Plato, formed a system most repugnant to the simplicity of Christian faith. It is this system which Paul so often attacks under the name of' false philosophy, strife of words, endless genealogies, science, falsely so called.' The foundation of the Gnostic system was the intrinsic and incorrigible depravity of matter. Upon this principle they made a total separation between the spiritual and the material world. Accounting it impossible to educe out of matter any thing which was good, they held that the Supreme Being, who presided over the innumerable spirits that were emanations from himself, did not make this earth, but that a spirit of an inferior nature, very far removed in character as well as in rank from the Supreme Being, formed matter into that order which constitutes the world, and gave life to the different creatures that inhabit the earth. They held that this inferior spirit was the ruler of the creatures whom he had made, and they considered men, whose souls he imprisoned in earthly tabernacles, as experiencing under his dominion the misery which necessarily arose from their connection with matter, and as estranged from the knowledge of the true God. Most of the later sects of the Gnostics rejected every part of the Jewish law, because the books of Moses gave a view of the creation inconsistent with their system. But some of the earlier sects, consisting of Alexandrian Jews, incorporated a respect for the law with the principles of their system. They considered the Old Testament dispensation as granted by the Demiurgus, the maker and ruler of the world, who was incapable from his want of power, of delivering those who received it from the thraldom of matter: and they looked for a more glorious messenger, whom the compassion of the Supreme Being was to send for the purpose of emancipating the human race. Those Gnostics who embraced Christianity, regarded the Christ as this Messenger, an exalted AEon, who, being in some manner united to the man Jesus, put an end to the dominion of the Demiurgus, and restored the souls of men to communion with God. It was natural for the Christian Gnostics who had received a Jewish education to follow the steps of Philo, and the general sense of their countrymen, in giving the name Logos to the Demiurgus. And as Christos was understood from the beginning of our Lord's ministry to be the Greek word equivalent to the Jewish name Messiah, there came to be, in their system, a direct opposition between Christos and Logos. The Logos was the maker of the world: Christos was the Lon sent to destroy the tyranny of the Logos.
"One of the first teachers of this system was Cerinthus. We have not any particular account of all the branches of his system; and it is possible that we may ascribe to him some of those tenets by which later sects of Gnostics were discriminated. But we have authority for saying that the general principle of the Gnostic scheme was openly taught by Cerinthus before the publication of the Gospel of John. The authority is that of Irenaeus, a bishop who lived in the second century, who in his youth had heard Polycarp, the disciple of the Apostle John, and who retained the discourses of Polycarp in his memory till his death. There are yet extant of the works of Irenaeus, five books which he wrote against heresies, one of the most authentic and valuable monuments of theological erudition. In one place of that work he says, that Cerinthus taught in Asia that the world was not made by the supreme God, but by a certain power very separate and far removed from the Sovereign of the universe, and ignorant of his nature. (Iren. contra Haer. lib. iii, Cap. xi, 1.) In another place he says, that John the apostle wished, by his gospel, to extirpate the error which had been spread among men by Corintus; (Iren. contra Haer. lib. i, xxvi, 1;) mind Jerome, who lived in the fourth century, says that John wrote his Gospel at the desire of the bishops of Asia, against Cerinthus and other heretics, and chiefly against the doctrines of the Ebionites, then springing up, who said, that Christ did not exist before he was born of Mary. (Jerom. De Vit. Illust. cap. ix.)
"From the laying these accounts together, it appears to have been the tradition of the Christian Church, that John, who lived to a great age, and who resided at Ephesus, in proconsular Asia, was moved by the growth of the Gnostic heresies, and by the solicitations of the Christian teachers, to bear his testimony to the truth in writing, and particularly to recollect those discourses and actions of our Lord, which might furnish the clearest refutation of the persons who denied his pre-existence. This tradition is a key to a great part of his Gospel. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, had given a detail of those actions of Jesus which are the evidences of his Divine mission; of those events in his life upon earth which are most interesting to the human race; and of those moral discourses in which the wisdom, the grace, and the sanctity of the Teacher, shine with united lustre. Their whole narration implies that Jesus was more than man. But as it is distinguished by a beautiful simplicity, which adds very much to their credit as historians, they have not, with the exception of a few incidental expressions, formaly stated the conclusion that Jesus was more than man, but have left the Christian world to draw it for themselves from the facts narrated, or to receive it by the teaching and the writings of the apostles. John, who was preserved by God to see this conclusion, which had been drawn by the great body of Christians, and had been established in time epistle denied by different heretics, brings forward, in time form of a history of Jesus, a view of his exalted character, and draws our attention particularly to the truth of that which had been denied. When you come to analyze the Gospel of John, you will find that the first eighteen verses contain the positions laid down by the apostle, in order to meet the errors of Cerinthus; that these positions, which are merely affirmed in the introduction, are proved in the progress of the Gospel, by the testimony of John the Baptist, and by the words and the actions of our Lord; and that after the proof is concluded by the declaration of Thomas, who, upon being convinced that Jesus had risen, said to him, 'My Lord, and my God,' John sums up the amount of his Gospel in these few words:
'These are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,' i.e. that Jesus and the Christ are not distinct persons, and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The apostle does not condescend to mention the name of Cerinthus, because that would have preserved, as long as the world lasts, the memory of a name which might otherwise be forgotten. But although there is dignity and propriety in omitting the mention of his name, it was necessary, in laying down the positions that were to meet his errors, to adopt some of his words, because the Christians of those days would not so readily have applied the doctrine of the apostle to the refutation of those heresies which Cerinthus was spreading among them, if they had not found in the exposition of that doctrine some of the terms in which the heresy was delivered: and as the chief of these terms, Logos, which Cerinthus applied to an inferior spirit, was equivalent to a phrase in common use among the Jews, 'the Word of Jehovah,' and was probably borrowed from thence, John by his use of Logos, rescues it from the degraded use of Cerinthus, and restores it to a sense corresponding to the dignity of a Jewish phrase." (Hill's Lectures.)
The Logos was no fanciful term, merely invented by St. John, pro re nata, or even suggested by the Holy Spirit, as a suitable title for a prophet, by whom God chose to reveal himself or his Word. It was a term diversely understood in the world before St. John began his Gospel. Is it possible, therefore, that he should have used the term without some express allusion to these prevailing opinions? Had he contradicted them all, it would, of course, have been a plain proof that they were all equally fabulous and fanciful; but by adopting the term, he certainly meant to show that time error did not consist in believing that there was a Logos, or Word of God, but in thinking amiss of it. We might indeed, have wondered much had he decidedly adopted the Platonic or Gnostic notions, in preference to the Jewish; but that he should harmonize with the latter is by no means surprising; first, because he was a Jew himself; and secondly, because Christianity was plainly to be shown to be connected with, and, as it were, regularly to have sprung but of Judaism. It is certainly, then, in the highest degree consistent with all we could reasonably expect, to find St. John and others of the sacred writers expressing themselves in terms not only familiar to the Jews under time old covenant, but which might tend, by a perfect revelation of the truth, to give instruction to all parties; correcting the errors of the Platonic and oriental systems, and confirming, in the clearest manner, the hopes and expectations of the Jews. (See Nare's Remarks on the Socinian Version.)
While the reasons for the use of this term by St. John are obvious, the argument from it is irresistible; for, first, the Logos of the evangelist is a Person, not an attribute, as many Socinians have said, who have, therefore, sometimes chosen to render it "wisdom." For if an attribute, it were a mere truism to say that it was in the beginning with God, for God could never be without his attributes. The apostle also declares, that the Logos was the Light; but that John Baptist was not the Light. Here is a kind of parallel supposed, and it presumes, also, that it was possible that the same character might be erroneously ascribed to both.
"Between person and person this may undoubtedly be the case; but what species of parallel can exist between man and an attribute? Nor will the difficulty be obviated by suggesting, that wisdom here means not the attribute itself, but him whom that attribute inspired, the man Jesus Christ, because the name of our Saviour has not yet been mentioned; because that rule of interpretation must be inadmissible, which at one time would explain the term Logos by an attribute, at another by a man, as best suits the convenience of hypothesis; and because, if it be, in this instance, conceived to indicate our Saviour, it must follow, that our Saviour created the world, (which the Unitarians will by no means admit,) for the Logos, who was that which John the Baptist was not, the true Light, is expressly declared to have made the world." (Laurence's Dissertation on the Logos.)
Again: the Logos was made flesh, that is, became man; but in what possible sense could an attribute become man? The Logos is "the only begotten of the Father;" but it would be uncouth to say of any attribute, that it is begotten; and, if that were passed over it would follow, from this notion, either that God has only one attribute, or that wisdom is not his only-begotten attribute. Farther, St. John uses terms decisively personal, as that he is GOD, not Divine as an attribute, but God person ally; not that he was in God, which would property have been said of an attribute, but with God, which he could only say of a person: that "all things were made by him ;" that lie was "in the world ;" that "he came to his own ;" that lie was "in the bosom of the Father ;" and that "he hath declared the Father." The absurdity of representing the Logos of St. John as an attributive seems, at length, to have been perceived by the Socinians themselves, and their New Version accordingly regards it as a personal term.
If the Logos is a person, then is he Divine; for, first eternity is ascribed to him, "in the beginning was the Word." The Unitarian comment is, "from the beginning of his ministry, or the commencement of the Gospel dispensation;" which makes St. John use another trifling truism, and solemnly tell his readers, that our Saviour, when he began his ministry, was in existence !-" in the beginning of his ministry the Word was !" It is true that the beginning, is used for the beginning of Christ's ministry, when he says that the apostles had been "with him from the beginning ;" and it maybe used for the beginning of any thing whatever. It is a term which must be determined in its meaning, by the context; and the question, therefore, is how the connection here determines it. Almost immediately it is added, "all things were made by him ;" which, in a preceding chapter, has been proved to mean the creation of universal nature. He, then, who made all things was prior to all created things; HE WAS when they began to be, and before they began to be; and, if he existed before all created things, he was not himself created, and was, therefore, eternal. Secondly, he is expressly called God, in the same sense as the Father; and thirdly, he is as explicitly said to be the Creator of all things. The two last particulars have already been largely established, and nothing need be added, except, as another proof that the Scriptures can only be fairly explained by the doctrine of a distinction of Divine persons in the Godhead, the declaration of St. John may he adduced, that "the Word was with God, and the Word was God." What hypothesis but this goes a single step to explain this wonderful language? Arianism, which allows the pre-existence of Christ with God, accords with the first clause, but contradicts the second. Sabellianism, which reduces the personal to an official and therefore a temporal, distinction, accords with the second clause, but contradicts the first; for Cimrist, according to this theory, was not with God in the beginning, that is, in eternity. Socinianism contradicts both clauses; for on that scheme Christ was neither with God "in the beginning," nor was he God. "The faith of God's elect" agrees with both clauses, and by both it is established, "The Word was with God, and the Word was GOD."
 Bishop Pearson, on time second article of the Creed, thus concludes a learned note on the etymology of Kurios, Lord: "From all which it undeniably appeareth, that the ancient signification of Kurw is the same with eimi, or uparkw tuna, I am"
 It is very obvious to perceive where the impropriety of such expressions lies. The word substance, according to the common use of language, when used in the singular number, is supposed to be intrinsic to the thing spoken of, whose substance it is; and, indeed, to be the thing itself. My substance is myself; and the substance of Israel is Israel. And hence it evinces to be improper to join substance with the relative terms, understanding it of any thing intrinsic.
 Exodus vii, 1: "See I have made thee a god to Pharaoh," This seems to be explained by chapter iv, 16: "Thou shalt be to him instead of God." Psalm lxxxii, 1: "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty: [Heb. of God:] he judgeth among the gods." This passage is rendered by Parkhurst, "The Aleim stand in the congregation of God; in the midst the Aleim will judge." And on verse 6, "I have said ye are gods," ho supposes an ellipsis of Caph, "I have said ye are as gods." As this is spoken of judges, who were professedly God's vice gerents, this is a very natural ellipsis, and there appears nothing against it in the argument of our Lord, John x, 34. The term, as used in all these passages, does not so much appear to be used in a lower sense. as by figurative application and ellipsis.
 "Formula citandi qua Evangelista utitur cap. i, 22, touto de oAov gegonen, ina plhrwqh to rhqen manifeste este argumentantis, non comparantis, quae magnopere idversa eat ab alia ejuadem Evangelistae, et aliorum," &c. (Dathe, in Isa. vii, 4.]
 So &a is used throughout St. John's Gospel; and in Heb. ii, 10, it is said of the Father, ou panta, "by whom are all things." So also Rom. xi, 36, "Of him, and through him, (dij autou,) and to him are all things."
 See Middleton on the Greek article; also, remarks at the close of the Epistle to the Ephesians and the Epistle to Titus, in Dr. A. Clarke's Commentary; Wordworth's Letters to Sharp Dr. P. Smith's Person of Christ.
 "Omnes (Patres) uno consensu oJ qeo~ hoc in loco vocative acceperunt, prout in Psalmis frequente a LXX usurpatur, et alioqui familiare est Graecis Atticis praesertim, nominandi casum vocative sumere." (Bishop Bull.)
 This notion appears to have originated with Calvin.
 These were the docetae, who taught that our Lord was a man in appearance only, and suffered and died in appearance only. On the contrary, time Corinthians, and others believed that the Son of God was united to time human nature at his baptism, departed from it before his passion, and was reunited to it after line resurrection. According to the former, Christ was man in appearance only; according to the latter, he was the Son of God at the time of his passion and death in appearance only. We see, then, the reason why St. John, who writes against these errors, so often calls Christ, "him that is true," true God and true man, not either in appearance only.
 "He came into his own country, and his countrymen received him not." (Capp's Version.)
 Venit ad sua, et sui non receperunt eum, id est, venit ad possessionem iuiatn, et qui possessionis ipsius erant, eum non receperunt: quod explicatur, Watt. xxi, ubi filius dicitur missus ad ecclesiam Judaicam w~ khronomo~ ei~ thn klhronrmian auto. (Ludou. de Dieu, in loc.)
 Holden's Testimonies. "Non dicit Deus adoptavi, 8ed generavi te: quod communicationem ejusdem essentiw et naturae divinae significat, modo tamen prorsu ineffabjie." (Michaelis.)
 Holden's Translation of Proverbs. In the notes to chapter viii, the application of this description of wisdom to Christ is ably and learnedly defended.
 So the LXX, and the Vulgate, and the critics generally. "Antiquissirna rit origine, ab aeternis temporibus." (Dathe.) "Imo a diebus aeternitatis, i.e. priusquam natus fuerit, jam ab aeterno extitit." (Rosenmuller.)
 The word to come forth, is used in reference to birth frequently, as Gn. xvii, 6; 2 Kings xx, 18; and so the Pharisees understood it, when referring to this passage, in answer to Herod's inquiry, where Christ, should be "born."- The plural form, his "goings forth" from eternity, denotes eminency. To signify the perfection and excellency of that generation, the word for birth is expressed plurally; for it is a common Hebraism to denote the eminency or continuation of a thing or action by the plural number. God shall judge the world "in righteousness and equity ;" or most righteously and equitably, Psalm xcviii, 9.- "The angers of the Lord," Lam. iv, 16, &c.
 Dr. A. Clarke, in his note on this text, evidently feels the difficulty of disposing of it on the theory that the term Son is not a Divine title, and enters a sort of caveat against resorting to doubtful texts, as proofs of our Lord's Divinity. But for all purposes for which this text has ever been adduced, it is not a doubtful one; for it expresses, as clearly as possible, that Cod has a SON, and makes no reference to the incarnation at all; so that the words are not spoken in anticipation of that event. Those who deny the Divine Sonship can never, therefore, explain that text. What follows in the note referred to is more objectionable: it hints at the obscurity of the writer as weakening his authority. Who he was, or what lie was, we indeed know not; but his words stand in the book of Proverbs; a book, the inspiration of which both our Lord and his apostles have verified, and that is enough: we need no other attestation.
 Though the argument does not at all depend upon it, yet it may be proper to refer to Campbell's translation of these verses, as placing some of the clauses in this passage in a clearer light. "Now the Father, who sent me, hath himself attested me. Did ye never hear his voice, or see his form? Or, have ye forgotten his declaration, that 'ye believe not him whom he hath commissioned?" On this translation, Dr. Campbell remarks, "The reader will observe, that time two clauses, which are rendered in the English Bible as declarations, are, in this version, translated as questions. The difference in the original is only in the pointing. That they ought to be so read, we need not, in my opinion, stronger evidence than that they throw much light upon the whole passage. Our Lord here refers to the testimony given at his baptism; and when you read the two clauses as questions all the chief circumstances attending that memorable testimony are exactly pointed out. 'Have ye never heard his voice, fwnh ek twn uranwn; nor seen his form?' the swmatikon cido~, in which, St. Luke says, the Holy Ghost descended. 'And have ye not his declaration abiding in you?' TOP logon, the words which were spoken at that time."
 "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, that is, have always been well pleased, am at present well pleased, and will continue to be well pleased." (Macknight.)
 "The glory as of the only begotten," &c. "The particle was, is not here a note of similitude, but of confirmation, that this Son was the only begot ten of the Father." (Whitby.) "This particle sometimes answers to the Hebrew ach, and signifies certe, truly." (Ibid.) So Schleusner, in voc. 15, revera, vere The clause may, therefore, be properly rendered, "The glory indeed, or truly of the only begotten of the Father."
 "This argument, which is from the less to the greater, proceeds thus If those who having nothing Divine in them, namely, the judges of the great sanhedrim, to whom the psalmist there speaks, are called gods for this reason only, that they have in them a certain imperfect image of Divine power and authority, how much more may I be called God, time Son of God, who am the natural Son of God." (Bishop Bull.)
 See this argument largely and ably stated in Wilson's "Illustration of the Method of explaining the New Testament, by the early opinions of Jews and Christians concerning Christ."
 "We have observed so often before, that the SPIRIT in Christ, especially when opposed to the flesh, denotes his Divine nature, that it is needless to repeat it. Nor ought it to seem strange, that Christ, as the Son of God, and God, is here called the Spirit of holiness, an appellation generally given to the third person of the Divinity, for the same Divine and spiritual nature is common to every person of the trinity hence we have observed, that Hermas, a contemporary of St. Paul, has expressly called the Divine person of the Son of God, a Holy Spirit." (Bull.) "When the term Spirit refers to Christ, and is put in opposition to time flesh, it denotes his Divine nature." (Schaettgen.) The same view is taken of the passage by Beza, Erasmus, Cameron, Hammond, Poole, and Macknight. The note of Dr. Guyse contains a powerful reason for this interpretation. "If 'the Spirit of holiness' is here considered as expressive of the sense in which Christ is 'the Son of God,' it evidently signifies his Divine nature, in opposition to what he was according to time flesh; and so the antithesis is very beautiful between kata pneuma, according to the Spirit, and kata sarx, according to the flesh. But if we consider it as the principle of the power by which Christ was raised from the dead, for demonstrating him to be the Son of God, it may signify either his own Divine nature or the Holy Spirit, the third person in the adorable trinity; and yet, unless his own Divine nature concurred in raising him from the dead, his resurrection, abstractedly considered in itself, no more proved him to be the Son of God, than time resurrection of believers, by the power of God, and by 'his Spirit who dwelleth in them,' Rom. viii, 11, prove any of them to be so. It is also in corroboration of this view that Christ represents himself as the agent of his own resurrection. "I lay down my life, and I Have power to take ft again." "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will RAISE IT up."
 It may be granted, that klhronomew is not always used to express the obtaining of a thing by strict hereditary right; but also to acquire it by other means, though still the idea of right is preserved. The argument of the apostle, however, compels us to take the word in its primary and proper sense, which is well expressed in our translation to obtain by inheritance. "The apostle's argument, taken from the name Son of God, is this-he hath that name by inheritance, or on account of his descent from God; and Jesus, by calling himself the only begotten of the Father, hath excluded from that honourable relation angels and every other beings whatever." (Macknight.)
 "Imago majestatis Divinae, its, ut, qui Filiuen videt, etiam Patrem videat." (Schleusner.)
 Many interpreters understand by "the POWER OP THE HIGHEST," which overshadowed the virgin, the second person of the trinity, who then took part of Our nature. See Wolfii Cur, in hoc. Most of them, however, refer both clauses to the Holy Spirit. But still, if the reason why time "holy thing," which was to be born of Mary derived its special and peculiar sanctity from the personal union of the Divinity with the manhood, the reason of its being called the Son of God will be found rather in that to which thee humanity was thus united than in itself. 'Flee remarks of Professor Kidd, in his "Dissertation run the Eternal Sonship of Christ," are also worthy consideration. "Our Lord's human nature had never subsistence by itself" "That nature never had personality of itself." "Hence our Lord is the Son of God, with respect to his Divine nature, which alone was capable of Sonship. The question to be decided is, what object was termed the Son of God? Was it the human nature considered by itself? This it could not be, seeing that the humanity never existed by itself, without inhering in the divinity. Was it the humanity and Divinity, when united, which, in consequence of their union, obtained this as a mere appellation? We apprehend that it was not. We conceive, that time peculiarly appropriate name of our Lord's Divine person is Son of God-that his person was not changed by the assumption of humanity, and that it is his eternal person, in the complex natures of Divinity and humanity, which is denominated Son of God."
 "According to the opinion of the ancients, which is also the voice of common sense, if there were two unbegotten or independent principles in the Divinity, the consequence would be, that not only the Father would be deprived of his pre-eminence, being of and from himself alone; but also, that there would necessarily be two Gods. On the other hand, supposing time subordination, by which time Father is God of himself, and time Son God of God, the conductors have thought both the Father's pre-eminence and the Divine monarchy safe." (Bishop Bull.)
"As it is admitted, that there are three persons in the Godhead, these three must exist, either independently of each other, or in related states. If they exist independently of each other, they are, then, each an independent person, and may act independently and separately from the rest; consequently, there would be three independent and separate Deities existing in the Divine essence" (Kidd.)
The orthodox faith keeps us at the utmost distance from this error. "The Father," says Bishop Bull, "is the principle of the Son amid Holy Spirit, and both are propagated from him by an interior production, not an external one.- Hence it is, that they are not only of the Father, but in him, and the Father in them; and that one person cannot be separate from another in the holy trinity, as three human persons, or three other subjects of the same species are separate. This kind of existing in, if I may so say, our divines call circumincession, because try it some things are very much distinguished from one another without separation; are in, and as it were, penetrate one another, without con fusion." (Judgment of the Catholic Church.)
 See Bull's Defensic Fidei Nicaenae, and the notes of Bishop Pearson's most excellent work on the Creed.
 "Per tou logon intelligi Christum, caret dubio, Nam V. 6, 7, Scriptor dicit, Joannem Baptistam dehoc logw testimonium dixisse; constat autem eum do Chriato dixisse testimonium; et v. 14, sequiter, logon hominem ease factum, et Apostolos hujus logou, houninis facti, vidisse dignitatem; atqui Christi majesta tern quntidie oculis videbant." (Rosenmuller.)
 Et fuit Verbum Domini ad me, &c. Fieri quoque potest meo judicio ut Onkelos per vocem Elohim, Angelum intellexerit, &c. (More Nevochim, par. i, c. 27, p. 33.)
 "Quotiescunque fit principii rnentio, significationern jilius ad id do quo accommodare necesse est." (Beza.)
 "Valde errant, qul en arch interpretantur de initio Evangelio; huic enim sententiae consilium Joannis, et sequens oratio aporte repugnat. Si vero o fuit jam turn, quum mundus esso caepit, sequitur eurn fuisse ante mundum condi turn; sequitur etiam eurn non ease unam ex ceteris creatis rebus, quae cum mundo sees ceperunt, sed alia nature conditione." (Rosenmuller.)