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Divinity of Christ.
And Thomas answered and said unto him, my Lord and my God!"-JOHN, xx. 28.
N this discourse it is proposed to show, that the Divine attributes of Holiness, Justice, Mercy, Truth, and Faithfulness, are ascribed to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Secondly, we shall show that he is called by the divine, adorable, and incommunicable name, Jehovah.
Thirdly, we will quote and illustrate some passages of scripture in which Jesus Christ is expressly called God.
The Divine attribute of Holiness, that is, infinite Holiness, comes first under our consideration. The holiness of God is infinite, he only is holy; he is the Holy One; the Holy One of Jacob; the Holy One of Israel. It cannot be denied that these words are used to signify an infinite holiness; for God, who is infinitely holy, uses these expressions to signify his
own holiness. "I am," says he, "the Lord your Holy One." If, then, these words denote the holiness of the living and true God, even the God of Israel, and if the Holy Spirit speaks of the holiness of the Son Christ Jesus, in the same words, and in the same style, this conclusion, namely, that his holiness is infinite, must evidently follow.
First, then, the Son of God is called the Holy One of Israel; and the church is encouraged to trust in him as her creator, her husband, and her redeemer: "thy maker is thine husband, the Lord of hosts is his name, and thy redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called."-Isaiah liv. 5. It is very plain that these words relate to the Son of God, for he is the husband and the redeemer of the church; he is the bridegroom, and the church. is his bride, his beloved, his espoused. Jesus, who paid the price of our redemption, redeemed us to God by his own blood, and purchased the church with his own blood, is the redeemer, "in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." "I know," said holy Job, "that my redeemer liveth; and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." But is it necessary to prove what has been acknowledged by the church of Christ in all ages of the world, and is testified by the Holy Spirit? Is it necessary to prove that Jesus Christ is the redeemer? And if it be true that he is the redeemer, then it is as true that he is the holy one of Israel. We might rest the proof of the Son's infinite holiness upon these words alone; for the holy one of Israel is infinitely holy, and unto him the church in heaven, singing the redeemer's praises, says, "thou only art holy." Rev. xv. 4.
But again, Jesus Christ is called the Holy One of God; and the psalmist speaking of him, says, "thou wilt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." Jesus is holy as to his human nature, the holy child Jesus; holy in his miraculous conception, holy in his birth, holy in his life, and holy in his death. But
there is an infinite holiness ascribed to him in the following words of the inspired prophet: "seventy weeks," says the prophet Daniel, ix. 24, "are determined upon thy people, and upon the holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy." Now this title, the most holy, is not ascribed to Christ in a relative or comparative sense, to signify that he was more holy than any other man; or upon a comparison the most holy of all men. This would be too low a character for the blessed Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. To say, in a relative or comparative sense, that Jesus surpassed in holiness the holiest saint that ever lived, is only to say that Jesus was more holy than sinful dust and ashes; far be it from us to say that this was the meaning of the inspired prophet. If, then, these words, the most holy, cannot be taken in the comparative sense above-mentioned; if to say that Jesus was the most holy of men, using the superlative degree of comparison, is not sufficient to express his sinless and untainted holiness as man, then they must be understood in an absolute or positive sense, to signify his perfect holiness as man, without any relative view to the holiness of other men. But in this sense they cannot be used; because, in this sense, they are too high to express the perfect holiness of Jesus as a man, as in the former sense they are too low and insufficient; for the holiness of which human nature in its perfection is capable, cannot entitle a man to the glorious character of the most holy. The Divine nature alone is most holy: the holiness of this nature is eternal, underived, infinite.
In the temple of God there was an holy place, where the tribes of Israel worshipped, and offered
If Jesus is no more than a man.
their sacrifices; and there was another place called the most holy. Here the sacred memorials of God's special favour and love to his people were deposited and preserved: in this most holy place was the mercyseat, and above this seat, between the spreading wings of the cherubim, there was a visible appearance of the glory of God, a symbol of the special presence of the Holy One of Israel, in his holy place. One would think that there could not be a more glorious temple than that which was built by king Solomon, at an immense expense, ornamented and furnished with more than royal magnificence; and above all, dedicated to the living and true God, whose glory at the dedication filled the house. Could any temple be more glorious than this in which the glory of God appeared, and which he hallowed unto himself" to put," says he, "my name there for ever, and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually?" Yes, after this temple was destroyed, as God declared it should be, in case of Israel's apostacy; I say, after the destruction of this house, God promised to make the glory of the latter house greater than the glory of the former; and he performed his promise. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts; and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts."Haggai, ii. 5, 9. And again saith the Lord, by the prophet Malachi, "the Lord whom you seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in." All these things have been accomplished, according to the word of the Lord. The Lord did terribly shake the earth; and when he had turned wars into peace, the Prince of Peace was born. The desire of all nations came in the fulness of time: the Lord, the angel of the cove
nant, whose coming was anxiously expected, more especially by those that were looking for the salvation of God, came suddenly to his temple, and there preached the glad tidings of the gospel, proclaimed his peace, and gave unto his disciples that peace which the world could not give. The presence of the Messiah was the glory of the latter house; and the glory of the latter house was greater than the glory of the former. And why was it greater? Because the glory of the former house was only a luminous symbol of the special presence of the Holy One of Israel: but in the latter house the glory of the Holy One was seen in the person of the great Immanuel, which is, being interpreted, God with us. In the latter house God appeared manifest in the flesh. "God was manifest in the flesh," says the apostle; and, says the evangelist, "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
It would not be difficult to show, were it necessary at present, that he who manifested himself to the church in the wilderness, and chose a dwelling place in the sanctuary of the tabernacle, and afterwards in the holy place of Solomon's temple, was the Son of God; even the same person who is called the Angel of the Covenant, and who appeared incarnate in the latter temple. But, upon the supposition that it was the Father who appeared, in a bright symbol of his special or extraordinary presence, between the wings of the cherubim in the sanctuary of the tabernacle, and of Solomon's temple; and that it was the Son who appeared in the latter temple, and not in the former; yet it must follow as a just conclusion, that the holiness of the Son is not inferior to the holiness of the Father because the presence of the Son of God could not have made the glory of the latter house greater than the glory of the former, if his holiness was inferior to the holiness of him who was the glory of the former house.