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ness of God. But in this work, it appears that the Sox was honored as the CONSTITUTED CREATOR ; for we are expressly told, that GOD “created all things by Jesus Christ.” Eph. iii. 9.
The work of creation is sometimes expressly attributed to God, and sometimes as expressly attributed to the WORD or Son of God: and from these representations many have argued that the Son and God are the same Being. But it is thought that this conclusion has been too hastily adopted. For if God created all things by JESUS CErist, the work of creation may, with great propriety, be attributed to either the Father or the Son ; and yet they may be two distinct intelligent Beings.-God spake by the Prophets ; and what the Prophets said, may, with propriety, be attributed to either God or the PROPHETS : but it will not hence follow that God and the Prophets are but one and the same intelligent Being. As the Prophets were CONSTITUTED MEDIUMS and Agents in foretelling events, so Christ was the CONSTITUTED CREATOR of all things in Heaven and earth.
In the next place, we may observe, that the Son was GONSTITUTED the ANGEL OF God's PRESENCE, or the MeDIUM by which God appeared or manifested himself to the ancient Patriarchs.
We have many accounts of God's appearing to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to Moses ; and seeing these visible manifestations, is several times represented as seeing God. Yet the matter is so explained in the New Testament, as to give us reason to suppose, that all these visi. ble manifestations of God's Presence were made in the Person of the Son of God. For it is said, “ No man hath seen God at any time; the ONLY BEGOTTEN Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him," or manifested him. The Son, in those appearances, was usually denominated the Angel of the Lord. And when this Angel was employed by God, as the Cunductor and Guardian of the people of Israel in their journey from Egypt to Canaan, God gave this solemn caution to the people, “Beware of him, and obey his 'voice ; provoke him not : for he will not pardon your transgression ; for my NAME is in him.” By Name here may be understood, dignity, fulness, and authority. And as God thus dwelt in the Son, and manifested his dignity, funess, and authority, through
the Son, Isaiah denoninates the Son the Angel of God's Presence" And the Angel of his Presence saved them.” Accordingly those visible manifestations are sometimes represented as the appearance of God, and sometimes as the appearance of the ANGEL of the Lord, or the ANGEL of God : And what was spoken on those occasions is sometimes represented as spoken by God, and sometimes as spoken by the Angel ; just as the work of creation is sometimes attributed to God, and sometimes to the Son of -God. And as God manifested himself thus in the Person of his Son, so the Patriarchs considered God as present in those visible manifestations.
And as all the covenant transactions with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were performed on God's part through the MEDIUM of the Son as the Angel of his Presence, so the Prophet Malachi stiles him the Messenger or Angel of the covenant.
There is, however, another ground on which Christ may be called the Messenger of the covenant. eminently the Seed promised in the covenant with Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed. And he was the Messiah ; and as the Messiah was included in the promises of the covenant, so Christ may be called the Messenger or Angel of the covenant, as he was sent by God in the flesh according to covenant.
I am not, Sir, alone, nor an original, in considering the · Son of God as the MEDIUM of Divine manifestations. Athanasian writers have done the same. But is it not a manifest impropriety to consider a Being as the Medium of his own manifestations? If Christ be truly the Son of God, he may be truly the MEDIUM through which God manifests - himself; and may thus be in the “ form of God.” But if he be persona'ly the self-existent God, he can, with no propriety, be considered as the MEDIUM of Divine manifestations.
Although God had, in various ways, manifested his love to his Son prior to the incarnation, yet such was his love to mankind, and so important was our salvation in the view of God, that he was d sposed to give his ONLY BEGOTTEN Son as a sacrifice for our redemption. And although the Son of God had been highly honored and exalted by his Father, and had often appeared in the “ form of God” to transact affairs of high importance, yet such was the beney
olence and condescension of this Son, that he freely concurred in the Father's proposal for the redemption of man, and said, “ Lo, I come to do thy will, o God.” accomplish this great purpose, the Son must lay aside the form of God, and take on himself the form of a servanthe must become incarnate, be united to a human body, and be the “Son of David according to the flesh." Thus he who was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we, through his poverty, might be made rich. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death.
But such voluntary and deep abasement in the Son, was not to pass unnoticed nor unrewarded by the Father. And we have the most plain and unequivocal testimony, that God did honor his Son by constituting him a Prince and a SAVIOR, the LORD OF ALL, and the SUPREME JUDGE of the quick and the dead.
That it is as the fruit of the Father's love to the Son, and on the ground of a constituted character, that Christ bears those and other Divine names and titles, I shall endeavor clearly to prove.
John the Baptist, in his testimony concerning the Son, not only said, "God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him ;" but added, “ the Father loveth the Son, and hath GIVEN all things into his hand.”.... John iii. 35.
When the Son was about to leave his disciples and ascend into heaven, he proclaimed in their ears, “ All power is GIVEN urto me in heaven and earth.”.... Matt. xxviii. 18.
Peter, in his impressive sermon on the day of Pentecost, having stated many things from the Scriptures, to prove that Jesus was the Christ, addressed the audience in these words, “ Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath MADE that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both LORD and CHRIST"..... Acts ii. 36.
In the same sermon, Peter also said, “ This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear.".... Acts ii. 32, 33.
In another address, Peter said, “ The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, HATU GLORIFIED his Son Jesus.”.... Acts iii. 13.
And again, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree: Him hath GOD EX. ALTED, with his own RIGHT HAND, to be a Prince and a SAV.OR, for to give repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness of sins."....Acts v. 30, 31.
The same views of the CONSTITUTED CHARACTER of the Son as LORD OF ALL, are, if possible, more forcibly expressed by Saint Pau'.
Speaking of the astonishing displays of the grace and power of God, he says, “ Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and SET HIM at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name which is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the Head over all things to the Church.".... Eph. i. 20-22.
The same Apostlt, having in a most striking manner represented the astonishing condescens on and deep abasement of Christ, proceeds to state the reward given to him by God—“ Wherefore God also hath highly EXALTED HIM, and GIVEN HIM a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth ; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.”....Phil. ii. 9–11.
To unprejudiced minds, the passages of Scripture, already adduced, may be sufficient to prove, that it is by the GIFT and PLEASURE of God, that his Son sustains the of. fices and bears the Divine names of SAVIOR and LORD. Much more of the same import might be produced; but to those who can resist, evade, or set aside such plain and unambiguous testimony as has been already exhibited, might do the same by a volume of the same kind.
I have yet, however, distinctly to show, that God has CONSTITUTED his Son the SUPREME JUDGE of the quick and the dead. In proof of the point now before us, we may begin with the testimony of Christ himself. As he is the faithful and true Witness, and well acquainted with his own character, much reliance may be placed on his testimony.
It will be needless here to introduce the numerous declarations which Christ made of his authority as the JUDGE
of the world. All we have to do is to show how he came by this authority; whether he possesses it as the self-existent God, or whether he hath been invested with this authority by the Father,
When Christ had healed the impotent man, the Jews accused him of profaning the Sabbath day. In reply to their accusation, Jesus said, “My Father workett, hitherto, and I work.”
His calling God his Father, the Jews considered as blasphemy, and sought the more to kill him. It appears probable, that the Jews well understood the principle of derived dignity, and that they understood Christ as claiming DIVINE DIGNITY by professing to be the Son of God. They evidently understood Christ, as calling God his Father, in the peculiar and proper sense.
For while they gloried in having “one Father, even God," they considered Christ as guilty of blasphemy in claiming the title of the Son of God.
In reply to their accusations, Christ gave them a more full account of his character and dignity, and said, " Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth : and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath COMMITTED ALL JUDGMENT UNTO THE SON ; that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.” John v.
If God hath COMMITTED all judgment unto the Son, then he has CONSTITUTED the Son as Judge. But Christ gives. a further account " Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he GIVEN TO THE Son to have life in HIMSELF , and hath GIVEN HIM AUTHORITY to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man.--I can of mine own self do nothing : As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.'
To those who place full confidence in Christ as a faithful and true Witness, his testimony may be sufficient.