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1 Peter ii. 7. 8. “The STONE which the builders dise allowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence.”
From these two texts, compared, Mr. Jones draws this conclusion, Christ is the Lord of Hosts himself.”
That by the Lord of Hosts is here meant the self-existent God, is admitted. It is also admitted, that, in the text quoted from Peter, Christ is called the stone of stumbling and rock of offence. Isaiah says of the Lord of Hosts, that “he shall be for a stone of stumbling,” &c. But how shall he be thus ? By some act of his providence, or some manifestation of himself
. The event proved that the act or munifestation predicted was that of sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. As God thus manifested himself in the Person of his Son, He became a stone of stumbling, that is, he did that at which his people stumbled. And at the same time, his Son was a stumbling block or stone of stumbling. Accordingly, by the same prophet God said, “Behold I LAY in Zion a STONE, a TRIED STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER Stone.” (Isa. xxviii. 16.] This text is also quoted in the New Testament, and applied to Christ. This prea cious corner stone was a stone of stumbling and rock of of fence : This STONE was LAID in Zion by the Lord of Hosts HIMSELF; and by this Act of HIS PROVIDENCE, HE became a stone of stumbling to the unbelieving of “both the houses of Israel.”.
Psalm lxxviii. 56. “They tempted and provoked the Most High God.”
1 Cor. x. 9. “ Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted.”
“ Therefore,” says Mr. Jones, “ CHRIST is the Most HIGH GOD."
Christ said to his disciples, “ He that despiseth me, dea spiseth him that SENT ME. On the same ground we may say, he that TEMPTED CHRIST, or the Angel of God's Presence, TEMPTED GOD. But if we must hence infer, that God and Christ are the same Person or Being, what will be the inference from these words of Christ, “He that despiseth YOU, despiseth me?" Must we not infer, that Christ and his Apostles are the same Person or Being ?
In Rem. X. 19... 21. We read, “ First, Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, But Esaias is very bold and saith, I was found of them that
sought me not. But to Israel he saith, All day long have I stretched forth my hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people.” But if we look into the Old Testament, we find that all these things were said by JEHOVAH, the GOD OF ISRAEL. Moreover, we read, “As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and hals ing men and women, committed them to prison." But Christ considered this as persecuting himself; and said to him, “ Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?". Now, Sir, if it were safe to follow Mr. Jones in his method of draw. ing conclusions, it might be inferred that Moses and Isaiah were the GOD OF ISRAEL, yea, " the LORD OF Hosts HIMSELF, and that the men and women, persecuted by Saul, were CHRIST HIMSELF.
If a King has an own Son, whom he delights to honor, and who is united with him in government, whatever the King does by his Son, may be properly attributed to either the Father, or the Son: And the disrespect shown to the Son may be considered as disrespect to both the Father and the Son. Had these ideas been duly considered and applied by Mr. Jones, a great part of his inferences and con. clusions would probably have never appeared in print. But by disregarding such analogies, he compelled the BIBLE TO speak his mind.
The Son of God not the same Person as the God of Israel.
MUCH time and labor have been expended, and much ingenuity displayed, in attempts to prove that Jesus Christ is the very person who is called the God of Abraham, and the God of Israel, in the Old Testament. That he was the Angel of God, and the Medium of Divine manifestations, has been already admitted ; but that the Angel of God and the God of Israel mean the same Person, is not admitted. For the phrase the Angel of God as clearly presents to the mind two distinct Beings, one of which is sent by the other, as the phrase the Messenger of David. Besides, the God of Israel said respecting this Angel, " Beware of him, pro
voke him not, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for My name is in Him."
In these words, the God of Israel is, in the most decided manner, distinguished from nethurthe Angel of his presence, as an ather-Being or Agent.
That the Son of God is not the same Person as the God of Abraham, or the God of Israel, may appear from the following considerations :
1. It was the God of Israel who gave the promise of the Messiah. He never promised that he would be the Messiah ; but the Messiah was to be a Son whom the God of Israel was to raise up.
2. The title given to Christ as the Son of God, will naturally lead us to the same conclusion. It was the God of Israel who proclaimed from heaven respecting the Messiah, “ This is my beloved Son.". As Christ was made known to the Jews as the Son of God, would they not paturally be led to conclude, that if he were the Son of any God, he was the Son of the God of Israel? And if you, Sir, suppose that he is the very person who was called the God of Israel, please to inform me of what God he was the Son. Will it not follow inevitably from your hypothesis, either that Christ was not the Son of God, or that the God of Israel was the Son of some OTHER God?
3. We have the most decided testimony, both of Christ and his Apostles, that the Person who is called the God of Abrahan and the God of Israel, was the FATHER OF CHRIST. In John viii. 54. we have the testimony of Christ himself“Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing; it is my FATHER that honoreth me, of whom ye say that He is your God.” What God, Sir, did the Jews say was their God? Was it not the God of Israel? If so, then the God of Israel was the Father of Christ. * And is not this testimony of Christ sufficient to overbalance all the arguments on your side of the question ? And unless you can persuade yourself, that Christ might be both the Father and the Son of HIMSELF, must you not either relinquish your hypothesis, or call in question his veracity?
Moreover, from this portion of Christ's testimony, we may learn, that when he spake of God, he meant his FATHER; and when he spake of his FATHER, he meant the GOD OF ISRAEL. Therefore, whenever he spake of God, or his FATHER, his language implied that he himself was pot the Person who had been called the God of Israel.
Let us now listen to the language of Peter, Acts iii. 13. “ The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus." This testimony is too plain to need any comment.
Paul, in his address to the dispersed Israelites, whom he found at Antioch in Pisidia, said, “ The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people where they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt." He then rehearsed a number of events between that period and the days of David ; and having mentioned David as a man " after God's own heart," he added, “Of this man's seed hath God, according to his promise, RAISED unto Israel a SAVIOR, Jesus.” (Acts xiii. 23.]
In the first verse of the Epistle to the Hebrews, we read that “ God, who at sundry. times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers, by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us BY HIS Son." Was it not the God of Israel who spake by the prophets? If so, Christ was the Son of the GOD OF İSRAEL. In
support of the idea now before us, a very considerable part of the New Testament might be quoted ; for at the very foundation of the Gospel, this idea is laid, That Jesus Christ is the Son of the God of Israel ; and this idea runs through the writings of the Evangelists, and the sermons and Epistles of the Apostles. The matter is so clearly and so abundantly expressed, that it is amazing that any one, either myself or others, acquainted with the Scriptures, should ever entertain the idea that JESUS CHRIST the
very Person who had been called the God of Israel. In regard to the texts which have been relied on to prove that Christ is the very Person who was called the God of Israel, it may be observed, that the most of them would be easily explained, and the argument set aside, by only making a proper distinction between the Angel of God as the MEDIUM of Divine manifestation, and the GỌD who was manifested through that Medium ; or, by only observing that whatever God does, by Christ, may be properly attributed either to God or his Son. Many of the principal texts of this class have been already examined ; and it is hoped enough has been said to convince you, that the hypotbesis that Christ is the Person who is called the GOD OF ISRAEL, is without any solid foundation in the Bible. But the circumstance, that this hypothesis has
been so long and so generally admitted by pious Christians may be considered as evidence that it has had advocates who were esteemed eminent for piety and ability. For it is difficult to conceive, how any thing short of distinguished eminence of character, in its advocates, could ever have given currency and popularity to an opinion so manifestly repugnant to the express declarations of Christ and his Apostles, and to the general tenor of the Gospel.
If you, Sir, should be disposed to say, that you never implicitly denied that Christ is the Son of God, let me ask, Is not an attempt to prove that Christ is the very Person who is called the God of Israel, an implicit denial that he is the Son of God? Would not a serious attempt to prove that Isaac was the very person who was called Abraham, imply a denial that Isaac was the Son of Abraham?
The Import of 1 John V. 7.
IT is now proposed to consider that much disputed text, 1 John v. 7-" There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one."
You are not insensible that the genuineness of this text has been denied by some, and doubted by many. However, nothing is perceived in it which gives me occasion, or inclination, to avail myself of these circumstances to get rid of the text. Nothing in it appears at all inconsistent with other parts of the Scripture.
But you will be pleased, Sir, to note, that the Apostle does not say, There are three Persons who bear record And we ought to be cautious in affirming more than he affirms. In the very next verse it is added, “ And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, the W..ter, and the Blood; and these three agree in one."
Bearing witness and bearing record are the same thing. The last three bear witness as well as the first three ; but no one supposes that Persons are intended by the Water and the Blood.