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authority received from God, and supported by miraculous works 9.
VII. Heb. i. 8. 10. “To the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God,” or, “ God is thy throne for ever and ever." - Ver. 10. ^ And thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth,” &c.
This is an address, not to the Son, but to the Father, whose immutability and omnipotence are the pledge and guarantee of the Son's everlasting kingdom. See Sect. V. p. 110,
VIII. Heb. iii. 3, 4. “ This person was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who builded the house hath more honour than the house ; for every house is builded by some one, but he who built all things is God.”
This text has no reference to the creation of the world, The Christian dispensation is represented by the writer as an household, (oiros) ver. 2. Of this household God is Ố KUTATHEUQOQ5, the master and regulator : ver. 4. Both Moses and Jesus are appointed to stations under him; ver. 2. Moses, indeed, only as a servant, to announce future blessings: ver. 5. But Jesus, as a Son, was intrusted with the management of the family, ver. 6. and therefore he takes precedence of all the domestics, and even of Moses himself: yer. 3.20
IX. Rev, iii. 14. “ The beginning (opxn) of the creation of God.”
Rather, the head of the creation of God, i. e, of the new creation. See Sect. III. p. 96.
18 « Sensus est, Christus verbo potentiæ paternæ, i. e. jussu, regit cuncta. QEPELV sæpe est regerę." Grotius.
20 See Impr. Vers, in loc. “O ratat Xevad AS, he that orders, gom yerns, and presides.' Wisd. ix. 10." Whitby.-"Moses pars familize, Christus supra familiam,”. Grotius.
; Remarks. 1. In the whole New Testament there are but nine texts which are produced, or which can with any shadow of reason be produced, to prove that Jesus is the Creator, or Former, and Supporter of the world.
2. Of these the two first are, John i. 3, and 10; and in order to draw an argument from these, the word givouas must be strained to a sense different from that in which it is to be understood in any other passage of the New Testament, though it occurs there upwards of seven hundred times. The 1 Cor. viii, 6, is allowed to be little to the purpose.—Eph. iii. 9, is a manifest interpolation : and, if genuine, is by orthodox expositors explained of the new creation.--Col. i. 16, 17, is the passage upon which the greatest stress is laid ;-but in this, when the apostle enters into detail of things created, they are not natural objects, such as sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, &c.; but artificial distinctions, thrones, dominions, &c.; and the conclusion drawn, that he is head over all things to the church, &c. is such as might naturally be expected, from his being the founder of the new dispensation ; but very different from what would properly follow from his being announced as the Creator of all things, the Maker and Lord of angels.-- To make the argument from Heb, i. 2, available, the word alwvas, translated worlds,' must be taken in a sense different from that which it ever bears in the New Testament.Ver.10, is interpreted by many Arian and Trinitarian expositors as addressed to God, and not to Christ; and by all must be considered as doubtful, -Heb. iii. 4, is most certainly nothing to the purpose :
and Rev. iii. 14, is a text both of doubtful authority and doubtful meaning. Such is the evidence upon which the grand conclusion rests, that Christ is the Creator, the Supporter, and the Governor, original or delegated, of this and of all worlds, of all their inhabitants, and of all things which the universe contains.
3. Had it been the intention of the sacred writers to have communicated the extraordinary and momentous fact, that Jesus Christ was the Maker and Supporter of the universe, it would have been very easy for them to express this doctrine in plain language, which could not have been misunderstood, as all now do who hold this opinion; and as they have themselves done, in ascribing the formation of all things to God. See Acts iv. 24. 27; xix. 24, and innumerable other places in holy writ.
4. If the fact were true, that the person who appeared under the form of a man, who had been an infant in a cradle, who had gradually grown up to maturity, subject to hunger and thirst, and all the infirmities of hu. man nature, who had afterwards suffered upon a cross, and been confined to a tomb; if it were true that this feeble, suffering, dying man was no less a person than the Creator and Lord of nature himself in the disguise of a human being, the communication of this amazing fact, to those who had no antecedent suspicion or expectation of it, must have filled their minds with astonishment; it must have been always present to their thoughts, and could not but have made the most prominent figure in their discourses and writings. They must have recurred to it again and again, and have expressed themselves upon the subject in every form and variety of language which would indicate the unusual warmth and agitation of their feelings.
5. Notwithstanding all these grave considerations, three out of four of the evangelists take not the least notice of this extraordinary event :—the fourth, if he men, tions it at all, mentions it in language which upon no other occasion carries the same sense; and having barely
hinted it at the beginning of his history, he drops the subject, and never recurs to it again. The historian of the doctrine and mission of the apostles for upwards of thirty years after the resurrection of Jesus, is totally silent upon this subject. The apostle Peter, who speaks in rapfures of the glory of his Master upon the mount of transfiguration, (2 Pet. i. 17,) makes no mention of his being the Creator of all things.---James and Jude are both silent,
In twelve out of thirteen undoubted epistles of the apostle Paul, some of them of great length, in which he takes pleasure in expatiating upon the blessings of the Gospel, and the glories of its great Founder, to whom he was himself under peculiar personal obligation, that apostle suggests not the least hint that his admired and beloved Master was the Creator and Lord of the external world. In one short epistle only, and in one passage of thạt epistle, is he supposed to assert this amazing fact; and this he does in language so unusual, so mystical, and symbolical, that, comparing what is difficult with what is plain, it may well be admitted that the writer's true meaning may be widely different from what is commonly believed.
-The unknown writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, if he meant to declare this wonderful fact, uses language which, in all other cases, conveys a very different sense :
and the single expression in the Book of Revelation, if authentic, is at least equivocal.
6. The obvious and necessary consequence is, , either that THE SACRED WRITERS KNEW NOTHING OF THIS EXTRAORDINARY FACT, or, what would be still more extraordinary, that, knowing it, THEY DID NOT THINK IT OF SUFFICIENT IMPORTANCE TO INSIS? UPON IT,
THE QUESTION CONSIDERED, WHETHER JESUS CHRIST WAS THE MEDIUM OF THE DIVINE DISPENSATIONS TO THE PATRIARCHS AND TO THE HEBREW NATION: AND WHETHER HE EVER APPEARED UNDER THE NAME AND CHARACTER OF JEHOVAH.
It is maintained by many that two beings are mentioned in the Old Testament under the name and character of Jehovah; the one Supreme, the other subordinate, the angel or minister of the Supreme, the medium of divine operations and dispensations; and that the subordinate Jehovah was the spirit who animated the body of Christ.
First : This doctrine of two Jehovahs appears to be plainly contradictory to the Jewish Scriptures, which exo i pressly and solemnly teach, that “ Jehovah our God is one
Jehovah," or rather, “ Jehovah is our God, Jehovah is one.” Deut. vi. 4. A declaration cited with the highest
* This extraordinary doctrine, that a subordinate being should assume the name and the character of the Supreme ; a doctrine which to all Unitarians appears diametrically contrary to the letter and to the spirit of the Scriptures, and directly subversive of the fundamental doctrine both of the Jewish and Christian revelations, has been supported by many able and learned advocates, ancient and modern, since the time of Justin Martyr, who probably first invented it, and who imagined that this great secret was communicated to him by express revelation. See Just. Mart. Dialog. edit. Thirlby, p. 258, and Mr. Lindsey's Second Address, chap. ii, sect. 3. The last and ablest advocate of this strange hypothesis was the late Mr. Henry Taylor, in a book entitled The Apology of Benjamin Ben Mordecai to Elisha Levi, Lett. ii. and iii. The arguments of this learned writer have been so thoroughly discussed, and so completely refuted, by Mr. Lindsey, in the Sequel to his Apology, chap. vi. that, if such an issue could be hoped for in a theological discussion, it might be presumed that the question was now set finally, and for ever, at rest. This Section contains a brief abstract of the argument on both sides.