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They cannot be applied to the self-ex stent God: For the self-existent God cannot be the Son of God, nor the servant of God-Nor is it to be admitted, that the self-existent God ever became a Man, or the Son of man. Nor can the self-existent God be the Angel of God.-Nor can these names and tit'es be properly applied to such a Man, as you, and the Socinians, suppose the Min Christ Jesus to be. How could such a Man be God's Only Son, his FIRST-BEGOTTEN ? How could such a Man have been the Angel of God, the Angel of his presence, two thousand years before he had any existence
To pretend to account for these various names and titles, by supposing that the selt-existent God became united to a proper Man, in such a manner that the two intelligences became one Person, is only to involve one difficulty to get rid of another : For the Scriptures give no intimation that Christ is two intelligent Beings in one Person ; and the hypothesis is a plain contradiction to every analogy with which we are acquainted. And one on equal ground with Dr. Emmons might perhaps say of this hypothesis, as he has said of the doctrine of “ eterna generation,” that it is such a mystery as cannot be distinguished from a real absurdity.
But if we suppose Christ to be truly the Son of God, then every title and name given to him in the Scriptures may be justified by Scripture testimony or analogy. His titles of God, Man, the Son of Man, will perhaps be the most difficult to account for and reconcile. But the plain Scripture account of his incarnation will readily show us why he is called a Man, and the Son of Man. And though we have no analogy which can justify calling a self-existent Person the Son of God, we have plain analog es to justify giving the Father's names and TITLES to the Son of GOD.
In the present age, it is the delight of parents to give their own proper names to their children. And when a father sustains any honorable office, it is no unusual thing for him to wish that his son may be advanced to the same office ; and we have already noted, that it is in the power of a King to advance his son to the highest offices in the government ; and that it is not an unheard of thing, that a King should confer on his own son his own royal title. Besides, so far as we can learn any thing from Gurl's ado
dress to his Son, in which the Son is called God, it must appear that the Son possesses this title by the Father's pleasure, and not by personal self-existence.-See Part II. Letter IV.
Divine HONORS due to the SON OF GOD
THAT the Son of God is to be regarded as an object of DIVINE HONORS, is so plain from the Scriptures, that it seems extraordinary that it should ever have been denied by any one who has admitted the Bible as a rule of faith and practice.--In support of the idea, we may note several things
1. We have express declarations of the will of God. « 1 he Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son, that all men should HONOR the Son even as they honor the Father.” This is a sufficient warrant for men to give DIVINE HONORS to the Son of God.-Angels have their warrant also ; for “ When he bringeth in his ONLY BEGOTTEN into the world, he saith, Let all the Angels of God WORSHIP HIM.”-_And we have another pas« sage which amounts to a wirrant both for men and, Angels : “ Wherefore God 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.”
2. We have the example of saints on earth and saints in heaven. In respect to saints on earth, we not only have many individual instances recorded, but the great body of Christians in the apostolic age were characterized as “those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus.” That both angels and saints in g'ory pay Divine honors to the Son of God, is represented by John in the account he gives of his visions : “ And I beheld, and I heard the voi e of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts and the elders ; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,
WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN, to receive power er, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing : And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the LAMB, forever and ever.”
To those who regard the Scriptures as of Divine authority, the things which have already been noted may be considered as suffi ient to authorize us to pay Divine honors to the Son of God; even if we should be unable to investigate the grounds of the Divine directions, and of the examples of saints and angels. It may, however, be desirable that we should obtain a clear view of the reasons why such honors are to be given to Jesus Christ. We may therefore observe,
1. That Divine honors are due to the Son of God, on the principle of derived dignity. He is God's own Son, his First-begotten, his only begotten Son; and he hath, by inheritance, a more excellent name than the Angels. On the same principle that an own and only son of a rightful King is to be regarded and honored as a royal person, Divine honors are due to the Son of God.
2. The Son of God is worthy of Divine honors, on the ground of his Divine fulness : for it hath pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell. That fulness which Christ possesses by the pleasure of the Father, is really Christ's fulness; a d it is as excellent considered as the fulness og Christ, as it is considered as the fulness of the Father. The self-existence of God does not imply that he was the cause of his own existence or his own fulness. And God is, in truth, no more the cause of his own fulness than Christ is the cause of the Divine fulness which dwells in him by the pleasure of God. If, therefore, the fulness there is in God be a proper ground on which to give HIM Divine honors, the fulness there is in Christ is a reason why we should honor the Son even as we honor the Father that is, so far as Divine fulness is the ground of Divine honors.
3. The Son of God is worthy of Divine honors, on the ground of his Divine offices. It is a dictate of reason and revelation, that official character should be respected and
honored. And the higher the office any; person sostains by right, the greater are the horrort.whichide of the ground of official character. The official character of a General demands higher honors than that of a corporal the official character of the President of the United States demands higher honors than that of an ordinary civil magistrate, And on the same principle, Divine honors are due to the Son of God: for his offices are truly Divine. The offices of SAVIOR, JUDGE, and LORD OF ALL, are as truly Divine offices as any offices sustained by God the Father. And if there be any reason to give Divine honors to God in view of his Divine offices, there is the same reason to give Divine honors to the Son of God: for the Son has not obtained these offices by violence or usurpation, but by the pleasure of God, who had an unquestionable right to bestow them. And if he truly possess those offices by the gift of the Father, so far as official character may be a ground of DiVINE HONORS, Christ is as worthy of Divine honors as though he had possesseri the same offices by self-existence. Therefore, on the ground of official character, we may honor the Son even as we honor the Father.
4. The Son of God is worty of DIVINE HONORS, on the ground of Divine WORKS.
Creation is a Divine work ; and by him were all things created. Upholding and governing the world is a Divine work ; and he upholdeth all things by the word of his power ;* and he is Lord of all. Salvation is a Divine work ; and God hath exalted him to be a PRINCE and a SAVIOR-The price of redemption he has personally paid ; and he is made Head over all things to the church. Judging the world is a Divine work ; and the Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son. It is indeed a truth, that God does all these things by his Son ; but the Son is the real agent or doer of these things, as truly as Paul was the author of the Epistles to Timothy.
It is a principle of reason and common sense, as well as of revelation, that great and excellent works are a proper ground of honor. When the Elders of the Jews came to
* Heb. i. 3. In his Family Expositor, Dr. Doddridge expresses the opinion, that the phrase " his power” intends the power of the Father ; and the construction of the sentence is in favor of his opinion. But this is no objection to the idea, that the power, by which the world is uplell, is also truly Christ's power. It is the power of God, originally and independently, and the power of Christ by the pleasure of the Fasher.
Christ ta request, faypr įn behalf of the Centurion, whose servant was bicke: m commendation of the Centurion the Elders said, That “he is worthy for whom he should do this ; for he loveth our nation, and hath built us a synagogue.” What honors have been paid to Washington, on the ground not only of the important offices he sustained, but on the ground of the important works he performed ! Now, if more honor has been due to Washington on the ground of his works, than has been due to the meanest soldier in his army, or the meanest peasant in community, Divine honors are due to Christ on the ground of his Divine works. A greater than Washington is here ; one who has done greater things ; one who hath loved our race, and built us a world, and filled it with the fruits of his kindness; yea, one who hath so loved us as to give himself, his own life, for our redemption. But God raised him from the dead, and exalted him with his own right hand.”God viewed him worthy of Divine honors, on the ground of what he had done, " wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name, that at the naine of Jesus every
knee should bow.” If it was not improper for God to place the Son on his own right hand, it is not improper for us to pay Divine honors to his name,
From the evidence we have in the sacred writings, that Divine honors are to be paid to the Son of God, it has been inferred, that the Son is personally the self-existent God. And so confident have some been that this inference is in fallibly correct, that they have ventured, on the supposition it be not so, to implicate the Christian world in a charge of gross idolatry, and the God of truth in a charge of selfcontradiction and inconsistency. Is not this, Sir, for fallible creatures, carrying things to a great length? And does it not imply such a degree of confidence in the correctness of their own understandings, as none should possess until they arrive to that state where they shall see as they shall be seen, and know as they shall be known?
But what, Sr, is the ground on which this extraordinarv-confidence rests? Is it not a principle, taken for granted, which has no real foundation in reason, analogy, or the word of God? Yea, a principle which is contradicted by analogy, and by as plain representations as are contained in the Oracles of truth? The principle taken for granted is this, That it is impossible with God to constitute a CHARAG