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ther be so called, for he is our Saviour in the sublimest sense of the word. Christ came in the name of the Father to save us, and our salvation takes its first rise from the Father : for, . Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,' i Cor. i. 30. But what appropriates the title of, the only wise God our Saviour, to the Father beyond all dispute, is this, that the Alexandrine, Vatican, Ephrem, and twelve other manuscripts, with the Vulgate, both Syriac, Coptic, and Arabic versions, read in this place after the words, God our Saviour, dic Indo XPLOTS Tou nupiou nuwe, through our Lord Jesus Christ.' * These words therefore, as they are supported by so great autho. rity, ought to have a place in our Bibles: and so the last verse of St. Jude will stand thus; to the only (wise) God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.'
Rev. i. 8. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and - which is to come, the Almighty. The Alexandrine, (C. M. S. Basilii, cv. as noted by Griesbach,) Ephrem, and seventeen other manuscripts, according to Wetstein, with the Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Arabic versions, some Fathers, the Complutense edition, and the editions of Plantin, Bengelius, and Harwood; have in this place, κυριος ο θεος,
• the Lord God,' and this appears to be the true reading of the place, viz. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord God,' &c. $. Although the 6th and 7th verses of this chapter respect our Lord Jesus Christ; yet this eighth verse entirely relates to the Father. And this will appear evident, if we consider that this book of Revelation itself, is styled the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him ; in which words Christ is plainly distinguished from God, and is said to receive this revelation from him. God the Father is therefore the author of this revelation of future events; and is characterised by St. John in the 4th verse, as'" he which is, and which was, and which is to come,' and Jesus Christ is styled in the 5th verse, the faithful witness,
* Wetstein and Griesbach in loco.
and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the . kings of the earth :' which titles are only applicable to a creature and dependent being: St. John having therefore, distinguished the Father in the very beginning of his revelation, by the sublime title of him which is, and which was, and which is to come, (which words denote the eternal dura. tion of the Supreme Being,) it is certain that when these words occur again in the 8th verse, that they must necessarily be understood of the Father. The seventh verse is concluded with an Amen, and in the eighth, God the Father the ori. ginal author of this Revelation, is introduced again as speaking; and in the eleventh verse the Apostle returns to speak of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is therefore a sad per. version of scripture, to apply the eighth verse of this chapter to our Lord Jesus Christ; when it is so clearly evident, from the tenor of the Apostle's discourse, and the manner of his expression; that it belongs only to the Father, than whom no other being can be called the Lord God, or the Almighty.
Rev. i. 11. 'I am Alpha, and Omega, the first and the last: and.' These words are spurious although the rest of the verse is genuine. For they are wanting, in the Alex. andrine, Ephrem, (C. M. S. Basilii, as noted by Griesbach) and fifteen other manuscripts, according to Wetstein ; in the Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, and Ethiopic versions; and are left out in the Complutense edition, and in the editions of Plantin, Bengelius, Harwood, and Griesbach, and set aside also by Dr. Mill. * This clause there. fore ought to be struck out of our Bibles; and the tenth and eleventh verses should run as follows: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day; and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, what thou seest, write in a took,' &c.
Rev, i, 17, 18. 'Fear not, I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth and was dead,' &c. Much unmeaning and puerile declamation has been employed by some Trinitarian writers, in regard to the expression, the first and the last,' which our Lord in this place declares himself to be. Because Almighty God in various places of scripture is styled, the first and the last;' it is therefore inferred by
Wetstein and Griesbach in loco.
these penetrating critics, that Jesus Christ must be God also, because he makes use of this expression concerning himself. But when this title is applied to God, it is always joined with some of the characters and attributes of the Supreme Being; and denotes his unequalled majesty, and eternal existence without beginning or end. See Isa. xliv. 6. Rev. i. 8. However in this place, it unfortunately happens for the cause of our opponents, that this title is connected with such circumstances, as are only applicable to a creature, and cannot without blasphemy be ascribed to God. I am (says our Lord) the first and the last. I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore; Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.' Again Rev. ii. 8. "These things saith the first and the last, which was dead and is alive, &c. Jesus Christ is therefore only the first and the last,' in such a sense as. is compatible to a created being, viz. one who was dead and is alive.' Nay he has here explained in what sense he is the first and the last.' He was the last, when he died and suffered the ignominious punishment of the cross: and he was the first or the most exalted of all creatures, when he became alive for evermore, and had the keys, of hell and death entrusted to him, and had a name given him that is above every name. Our Lord then having defined and
ascertained himself, in what sense he is the first and the i last,' no man has a right to put a different construction
upon his words; and all the fanciful reasoning of these noisy declaimers, is only a play of words without any solid foundation.
Rev. ii. 23. 'I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to
The knowledge of the buman heart is in several places of scripture, declared to belong to God. See Psal. vii. 9. Jerem. xi. 20. and in Solomon's noble prayer at the dedication of the temple, this knowledge is said to be peculiar to God; and Jerem. xvii. 10. the divine Being claims it as his prerogative, and distinguishing glory. It has therefore been concluded by Trinitarians, that when Je. sus Christ ascribes a like knowledge to himself, he must be possessed of the same nature and attributes as the Father; or according to their dialect, be one God with him. But although the knowledge of the reins and beart, belongs pro
perly and primarily to God alone: yet we find several in. stances in holy scripture, in which this power has been conferred upon others. Élisha the prophet, searched and knew the heart of his servant Gelazi, 2 Kings v. 26,
Went not mine heart with thee.' Again, 2 Kings vi. 12. it is affirmed of the same person.
Elisha the prophet, that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bed-chamber.' And Elisha tells Hazael, 2 Kings viji. 12. “I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel.' And in Acts, chap. v. we find the Apostle Peter, possessing the knowledge of the hearts of Ananias, and Saphira. If then the Prophets and Apostles, by a power derived from God, could search the reins and heart, and know and tell the most secret thoughts that past in people's minds, even at a distance from them; why should it be urged as an argument for the divinity of Christ, that he possessed a superior degree of the same knowledge But our opponents may perhaps here reply, that the Pro. phets and Apostles were acquainted with the heart only by revelation, or a derived power; but that Jesus Christ knows the heart by a natural and inherent power of his own. This assertion however is flatly contradictory to the uniform tenor of the word of God, wherein we are told, that our Lord derives his very being and all his powers from the Fa. ther; and consequently the capacity of searching the human heart as well as the rest. And when the Father gave our Lord authority to execute judgment because he was the son of man:' * it was necessary that the knowledge of the heart and reins should be laid open to him: for without it he would not have been qualified to be the judge of the world; and could not have rendered to every man according to his works. Our Lord therefore, searches the reins and hearts with a view to the future judgment; and that by a power as much derived from God the Father, as any of the Prophets or Aposties did: and this will appear past dispute if we take his whole words in connection, and read on to: the 26th and 17th verses of this chapter, ' And he that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him - will I give power over the nations: (and he shall rule them
John v. 27.
with a rod of iron: as the vessels of a potter shall they be þroken to shivers :) even as I received of my
Father.' Rev. iji. 7. These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shụtteth, and shuiteth and no man openeth;' &c. These words are an allusion to Isa. xxij. 22. and are expressive of the excellence of our Lord's character, in which holiness and truth eminently appeared, and the great dig. nity to which our Lord is advanced in the heavenly world, having a power conferred upon him, that none can control or resist; but there is nothing here that indicates divinity, or equality with the God and Father of all. On the contrary in this chapter, ver. 12. Christ styles the Fa. ther four times my God; and in ver. 14 he calls himself, • the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; and adds in ver. 21. - To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in' my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.' All which expressions are only suitable to a creature, and cannot without impiety be applied to the ever blessed God. It has been weakly argued by some, that Christ being described as sitting with the Father, in his throne, is a proof of his equality with the Father. But as Christ promises that the Saints, or those who overcome,' shall sit with him on his throne, and as his throne is that of the Father ; this method of arguing would prove that the Saints were equal to Christ, yea to God himself. The truth however is, that these expressions both in regard to Christ, and the Saints, are only metaphorical, and denote nothing more, but that illustrious reward which he received, and they also in their turn shall receive, if in imitation of their great master, they shall overcome the temptations of the world, and persevere in doing the will of God to the end.
Rev. v. 5, 6. Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, ha!h prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I bebeld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb as it had been slain, hav: ing seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits, of "God sent forth into all the earth.' Our Lord in this place may be called the root of David, because he was