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Therefore the Jews said, Luke v. 21. “ Who can forgive sins but God only ?"
But Christ hath power to forgive sins, as it follows in the last mentioned place; verse 24. “But that ye may know, that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins," &c. He washes us from our sins in his own blood; Rev, i. 5. And he justifies those that know and believe in him, Isaiah liii. 11.
$ 45. Overcoming Satan, and delivering men from him, and giving his people victory over him, are spoken of as the peculiar works of God's glorious power. Isaiah xxvii. 1. “ In that day, Jehovah, with his great and strong sword, shall punish Leviathan the piercing serpent, even Leviathan, that crooked serpent; he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.” Psalm viii. 1, 2. "O Jehovah, our God, how excellent is thy name in all the earth, who hast set thy glory above the heavens! Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings, hast thou ordained strength, because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger."
But it is the special work of Christ to bruise the serpent's head; to destroy the works of the devil ; and that by his own strength. For he is represented as conquering him, because he is stronger than the strong man armed, and so overcoming him and taking from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and spoiling his goods. It is He that has spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them. He is the spiritual Samson, that has rent the roaring
. lion as he would have rent a kid; and the spiritual David, that has delivered the lamb out of his mouth, and has slain that great Goliath. He is that Michael who fights with the dragon and casts him out; and, at last, will judge Satan, and will utterly destroy him; and will inflict those everlasting torments on him spoken of in Rev. xx. 10. In the apprehension of which, he now trembles, and trembled for fear that Christ would inflict those torments on him, when he cried out and fell down before him, saying, 66 Art thou come to torment me before the time?" And I beseech thee, torment me not."
$ 16. Should any imagine, that those parts of the work of redemption, which are initial, and wrought in this world, being more imperfect, may be wrought by the Son of God; but that the more glorious perfection of it, which is brought to pass in heaven, is peculiar to God the Father : In opposition to this, it may be observed, it belongs to Christ to take care of the souls of his saints after death; to receive them to the heavenly state;
l and to give them possession of heaven. Therefore, the scriptures represent, that he redeems his saints to God, and makes them kings and priests. He has the key of David, the key of the palace, and the keys of Hades, or the separate state, and of death ; and opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no
man opens. He is gone to heaven, as the forerunner of the saints. He has, in their name, taken possession of that inheritance which he has purchased for them, that he may put them in possession of it in due time. He is gone to prepare a place for them, that he may come and take them to himself, that where he is, there they may be also; and make them sit with him in his throne. And, therefore, Stephen, when dying, commended his spirit into Christ's hands.
Or, if any shall say, that the far more glorious salvation which shall be effected at the end of the world, when all things shall be brought to their highest consummation, shall be the peculiar work of God the Father: I answer, it is abundantly manifest from scripture, that the consummation of all things shall be by Christ. He shall raise the dead by his voice, as one that has power and life in himself. He shall raise up the bodies of his saints in their glorious resurrection, making their bodies like to his glorious body; John v. 25, 29, and vi. 39, 40. He, as the universal and final Judge, shall fully put all things to rights; and bring every thing to its last and most perfect state. He shall bestow that great gift of eternal life, in both soul and body, on the whole church, and every individual
, member, in a state of most.consummate glory, which is the thing aimed at in all the preceding steps of the great affair of redemption. He shall present his church to Himself, and to his Father, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; all in perfect purity, beauty, and glory: and the glory which God hath given him, he will give them in the most perfect manner, that they may reign with him for ever and ever. And thus, he will cause the new Jerusalem to appear in its brightest glory, as a bride adorned for her husband; and will perfect the new creation, and cause the new heavens and new earth to shine forth in their consummate and eternal beauty and brightness; when God shall proclaim, It is done ; I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last.* Christ is represented as being himself the light and glory that enlightens the New Jerusalem, that fills with brightness and glory the church of God, in its last, consummate, and eternal glory : Rev. xxi, 23.
§ 47. Concerning the name JEHOVAH, see Neh. ix. 6. “ Thou art Jehovah alone : Thou hast made heaven and earth; the hea. ven of heavens with all their host ; the earth," &c. Deut. vi. 4. “ Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.” 2 Sam. xxii. 32. “Who is God save Jehovah? who is a rock, save our God ?" So Psalm xviii. 31. 1 Kings xviii. 39. “ Jehovah, he is
* John xi. 25, and v. 22, 23, 27; Eph. v. 20. 1 Cor. xv. 20—28. Matt. XXV. 34. 2 Tim. iv, 8. Luke xxii. 29, 33. Matt. xxiv. 47. Rev. ii. 7, 10, and iii. 21. Rev, xxii. 11, 17.
the God : Jehovah, he is the God.” When God proclaimed his name in Mount Sinai, Exod. xxxiv. 5, 0.“ He passed by and proclaimed, Jehovah, Jehovah.” Jer. x. 10. “ Jehovah is the true God; he is the livingGod, and an everlasting King." Exod. xv. 11. “ Who is like unto Thee, O Jehovah .?"1 Chron. xvii. 20. - O Jehovah, there is none like unto Thee." Psalm lxxxvi. 8. It might well be expected, that, in that abundant revelation which God has made of himself, he would make himself known by some one name at least, which should be expressly delivered, as the peculiar and distinguishing name of the Most High. And we find it to be so; God has with great solemnity, declared a certain name as his most peculiar name; which he has expressly and very often spoken of as a name that belongs to him in a most distinguishing manner, and belongs to the Supreme Being only; and hath expressly asserted that it belongs to no other. But, notwithstanding all this, the Arians, to serve their particular purpose, reject this name, as not being the distinguishing name of the Supreme God.
§ 48. King of kings and Lord of lords, are titles peculiar to the Supreme Being. Deut. x. 17. “ For the Lord your God is God of gods, and the Lord of lords." Psalm cxxxvi. 3. “O give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his mercy endureth for ever.” Dan. ii. 47. “Of a truth it is that your God is a God of gods, and Lord of kings.” I Tim. vi, 14, 15, 16. “Until the
1 appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light, which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting, Amen." Rev. xix. 11-16. “ He whose name is called the Word of God, hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
§ 49. Christ's eternity is abundantly asserted. Psalm cii. 24–27.“ Of old hast thou laid the foundations of the earth ; and the heavens are the work of thy hands: but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end." Rom. i. 23. “ The incorruptible God." I Tim. vi. 26. “The king eternal, immortal." Rev. iv. 9, 10. v. 14. x. 5, 6, and xv. 7. Heb. vii. 2. “Having neither beginning of days, nor end of life.”
§ 50. There must be a vast difference, not only in the degree, but in the kind of respect and worship due to the Supreme God, as well as in other things; since there is so infinite a differcnce between this Being and all others. There is a great difference as to the kind of respect proper for a wife to render to her husband, and that which it is proper for her to render to. wards other men. So it is with regard to the respect due to God; otherwise there would not be a foundation for that jea
lousy which God exercises on occasion of his professing people worshipping other beings.
In addition to what has been observed of the works and wor. ship of God, the following sayings of Christ are worthy to be observed. John v. 17. “My father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Verse 19. “What things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” Ver. 23. " That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." It is plain, God is jealous in that respect, that no other being may share with him in honour, that he alone may be exalted. It is expected that other beings should humble themselves, should be brought low, should deny themselves for God, and esteem themselves as nothing before him. And as he requires that they should abase themselves, he would not set up others to exalt them to a rivalship with bimself. If men may pray to Christ, may adore him, give themselves up to him, trust in bim, praise him, and serve him ; what kind of worship is due to the Father, entirely distinct from all this in nature and kind ?
When Satan tempted Christ to fall down and worship him, as one that had power to dispose of the kingdoms of this world, and the glory of them ; Christ replies, “ It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” But the Arians must suppose, that we are required to worship and serve some other being than this Lord God which Christ speaks of, as the disposer not only of the kingdoms of this world, but of the kingdom of heaven and the glory thereof. On the supposition of Christ's being merely a creature, he would much more properly be ranked with creatures exclusively, and never with God, (as being called by his name and titles, having ascribed to him his attributes, dominions, &c.) However great a creature he might be, he would be infinitely below God.
§ 51. Concerning the grand objection from that text, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man, nor the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father:" I would observe, that even the Arians themselves, with regard to some things said of Christ, must make the distinction between his power or knowledge, as to his inferior and his superior nature; or, if they do not allow two natures, then, at least, as to his humbled state, and his state both before and after his humiliation : as Mark vii. 24. 6 And would have no man know it, but he could not be hid." This cannot mean, that the person who created the whole world, visible and invisible, &c., and by whom all things consist, and are governed, had not power to order things so, that he might be hid.
$ 52. It is observable, that Christ is frequently called God absolutely, esos and ó ©£OS; by which name even the heathens themselves always understood the Supreme God. Dr. Cud
worth, in his “ Intellectual System,” abundantly shows, that the heathens generally worshipped but one supreme, eternal, universal, uncreated Deity ; but that their best philosophers maintained, that this Deity subsisted in three hypostases : though they had many created gods. And in page 627, he says, “ It now appears, from what we have declared, that as to the ancient and genuine Platonists and Pythagoreans, none of their trinity of gods, or divine hypostases, were independent ; so, neither, were they creature.gods, but uncreated, they being, all of them, not only eternal, and necessarily existent and immutable, but, also, universal, i. e. infinite and omnipotent causes, principles, and creators of the whole world. From whence it follows, that these Platonists could not justly be taxed with idolatry, in giving religious worship to each hypostasis of their trinity. And one grand design of Christianity being to abolish the Pagan idolatry, or creature.worship, it cannot justly be charged therewith, from that religious worship given to our Saviour Christ and the Holy Ghost, they being none of them, according to the true and orthodox Christianity, creatures, however the Arian hypothesis made them such. And this was, indeed, the grand reason why the ancient fathers so zealously opposed Arianism. We shall cite a remarkable passage out of Athanasius, fourth oration against the Arians, to this purpose, as follows:
Why, therefore, do not these Arians, holding this, reckon themselves amongst the Pagans, or Gentiles, since they do, in like manner, worship the creature, besides the Creator ? τη κτισει λατρευσι παρα τον κτισαντα.' Athanasius's meaning here, could not well be, that they worshipped the creature more than the Creator ; forasmuch as the Arians constantly declared, that they gave less worship to the Son than to the Father.
“ For though the Pagans worship one uncreated, and many created gods; but these Arians only one uncreated, and one created, to wit, the Son, or Word of God; yet will not this make any real difference betwixt them; because the Arians' one uncreated god, is one of those many Pagan gods; and these many gods of the Pagans, or Gentiles, have the same nature with this one, they being alike creatures."
$ 53. It is remarkable, that in so many places, both in the Old Testament and New, when Christ is spoken of, his glory and prerogatives represented, and the respect due to him urged, that the vanity of idols, in the same places, should be represented, and idolatry warned against. See Psalm xvi. 4. It is manifest, that it is the Messiah that there speaks. See, also, many prophecies of Isaiah, and other prophets. 1 John v. 20, 21. I Cor. x. 19–22.
- There is not the least intimation, where Christ is styled God, either in the texts themselves, or contexts, that this is to