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Sundry other testimonies given to the deity of Christ vindicated.
In the next place they heap up a great many testimonies confusedly, containing scriptural attributions unto Christ of such things as manifest him to be God; which we shall consider in that order, or rather disorder, wherein they are placed of them.
Their first question here is:—
Ques. In what scriptures is Christ called God?
Q. What can be proved by these testimonies?
A. That a divine nature cannot be demonstrated from them,
besides the things 305that are before produced, is hence
manifest, that in the first testimony the Word is spoken of, and John saith
that he was” with God;” in the second, Thomas calleth him “God” in whose
feet and hands he found the print of the nails, and of the spear in his
side; and Paul calleth him who according to the flesh was of the fathers,
“God over all, blessed for ever;” — all which cannot be spoken of him who
by nature is God, for thence it would follow that there are two Gods, of
whom one was with the other; and these things, to have the prints of wounds
and to be of the fathers, belong wholly to a man, which were absurd to
ascribe to him who is God by nature. And if any one shall pretend that
veil of the distinction of natures, we have above removed that, and have
showed that this distinction cannot be maintained.353353 “In quibus scripturis Christus vocatur Deus? —
Johan. i. 1, Et Verbum fuit Deus, et cap. xx. 28, Thomas ad Christum ait, Dominus meus et Deus meus;
et Rom. ix. 5, apostolus scribit Christum Deum (esse) supra omnes
benedicturn in secula.
“Quid his testimoniis effici potest? — Naturam divinam in Christo ex iis demonstrari non posse, præter ea quæ superius allata sunt, hint manifestum est, quod in primo testimonio agatur de Verbo, quod Johannes testatur apud ilium Deum fuisse; in secundo, Thomas eum appellat Deum, in cujus pedibus et manibus, clavorum, in latere lanceæ vestigia deprehendit; et Paulus eum qui secundum carnem a patribus erat, Deum supra omnia benedictum vocat. Quæ omnia dici de eo qui natura Deus sit, nullo mode posse, planum est, etenim ex illo sequeretur duos esse Deos, quorum alter apud alterum fuerit. Hæc vero, vestigia vulnerum habere, eque patribus esse, hominis sunt prorsus, quæ ei, qui natura Deus sit, ascribi nimis absonum esset. Quod si illud distinctionis naturarum velum quis prætendat, jam superius illud amovimus, et docuimus hanc dis-tinctionem nullo modo posse sustineri.”
That in all this answer our catechists do nothing but beg the thing in question, and flee to their own hypothesis, not against assertions but arguments, themselves so far know as to be forced to apologize for it in the close. 1. That Christ is not God because he is not the person of the Father, that he is not God because he is man, is the sum of their answer; and yet these men knew that we insisted on these testimonies to prove him God though he be man, and though he be not the same person with the Father. 2. They do all along impose upon us their own most false hypothesis, that Christ is God although he be not God by nature. Those who are not God by nature, and yet pretend to be gods, are idols, and shall be destroyed. And they only are the men who affirm there are two Gods, — one who is so by nature, and another made so; one indeed God, and no man; the other a man, and no God. The Lord our God is one God. 3. In particular, John i. 1, the Word is Christ, as hath been above abundantly demonstrated, — Christ, in respect of another nature than he had before he took flesh and dwelt with men, verse 14. Herein is he said to be with the Father, in respect of his distinct personal subsistence, who was one with the Father as to his nature and essence. And this is that which we prove from his testimony, which will not be warded with a bare denial: “The Word was with God, and the Word was God;” — God by nature, and with God in his personal distinction. 4. Thomas confesses him to be his Lord and God in whose hands and feet he saw the print of the nails, as God is said to redeem the church with his own blood. He was the Lord and God of Thomas, who in his human nature shed his 306blood, and had the print of the nails in his hands and feet. Of this confession of Thomas I have spoken before, and therefore I shall not now farther insist upon it. He whom Thomas, in the confession of his faith as a believer, owned for his Lord and God, he is the true God, God by nature. Of a made god, a god by office, to be confessed and believed in, the Scripture is utterly silent. 5. The same is affirmed of Rom. ix. 5. The apostle distinguishes of Christ as to his flesh and as to his deity: as to his flesh or human nature, he says he was of the fathers; but in the other regard he is “over all, God blessed for ever.” And as this is a signal expression of the trim God, “God over all, blessed for ever,” so there is no occasion of that expression, τὸ κατὰ σάρκα, “as to the flesh,” but to assert something in Christ, which he afterward affirms to be his everlasting deity, in regard whereof he is not of the fathers. He is, then, of the fathers, τὸ κατὰ σάρκα ὁ ὢ ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς ἀιῶνος ἀμήν The words are most emphatically expressive of the eternal deity of Christ, in contradistinction to what he received of the fathers. Ὁ ὤν, even then when he took flesh of the fathers, then was he, and now he is, and ever will be, “God over all,” that is, the Most High God, “blessed for ever.” It is evident that the apostle intends to ascribe to Christ here two most solemn attributes of God, — the Most High, and the Blessed One. Nor is this testimony to be parted with for their begging or with their importunity. 6. It is our adversaries who say there are two Gods, as hath been showed, not we; and the prints of wounds are proper to him who is God by nature, though not in that regard on the account whereof he is so. 7. What they have said to oppose the distinction of two natures in the one person of Christ hath already been considered, and manifested to be false and frivolous.
I could wish to these testimonies they had added one or two more, as that of Isa. liv. 5, “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.” That Jesus Christ is the husband and spouse of the church will not be denied, Eph. v. 25, Rev. xxi. 9; but he who is so is “The Lord of hosts, the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth.” And Heb. iii. 4, the apostle says, “He that made all things is God,” — that is, his church, for of that he treats. He that created all things, — that is, “the church, as well as all other things,’ — he is God, none could do it but God; but Christ built this house, verse 3. But this is not my present employment.
The learned Grotius is pitifully entangled about the last two places urged by our catechists. Of his sleight in dealing with that of John xx. 28, I have spoken before, and discovered the vanity of his insinuations. Here he tells you, that after Christ’s resurrection, it 307grew common with the Christians to call him God, and urges Rom. ix. 5; but coming to expound that place, he finds that shift will not serve the turn, it being not any Christians calling him God that there is mentioned, but the blessed apostle plainly affirming that he is “God over all, blessed for ever;” and therefore, forgetting what he had said before, he falls upon a worse and more desperate evasion, affirming that the word Θεός ought not to be in the text, because Erasmus had observed that Cyprian and Hilary, citing this text, did not name the word! And this he rests upon, although he knew that all original copies whatever, constantly, without any exception, do read it, and that Beza had manifested, against Erasmus, that Cyprian adver. Judæos, lib. ii. cap. vi., and Hilary ad Ps. xii., do both cite this place to prove that Christ is called God, though they do not express the text to the full; and it is known how Athanasius used it against the Arians, without any hesitation as to the corruption of the text. This way of shifting indeed is very wretched, and not to be pardoned. I am well contented with all who, from what he writes on John i. 1 (the first place mentioned), do apprehend that when he wrote his annotations on that place he was no opposer of the deity of Christ; but I must take leave to say, that, for mine own part, I am not able to collect from all there spoken in his own words that he doth at all assert the assuming of the human nature into personal subsistence with the Son of God. I speak as to the thing itself, and not to the expressions which he disallows. But we must proceed with our catechists:—
Q. Where doth the Scripture testify that Christ is one with the Father?
A. John x. 29–31, “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of his hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.”
Q. How dost thou answer this testimony?
A. That from hence, that Christ is said to be one with the
Father, it cannot be proved that he is one with him in nature, the words of
Christ to his Father of the disciples do show: John
xvii. 11,” That they may he one, as we are;” and a little after,
verse 22, “That they may be one,
even as we are one.” That Christ is one with the Father, this ought to be
understood either of will or power in the business of our salvation.
Whence that a divine nature cannot be proved is manifest from those places
where Christ saith his Father is greater than all, and, consequently, than
Christ himself, as he expressly confesseth, and that he gave him his sheep,
John xiv. 28.354354 “Ubi vero Scriptura testatur Christum cum Patre esse
unum? — Johan x. 29–31, ubi Dominus ait, Pater, qui mihi (oves) dedit, major
omnibus est; et nemo eas rapere potest e manibus Patris mei. Ego et Pater
“Qua ratione respondes ad id testimonium? — Ex eo, quod dicatur Christus esse cum Patre unum, efiiei non posse esse unum cum co nature, verba Christi, quæ ad Patrem de discipulis habuit, demonstrant: Johan. xvii. 11, Pater sancte, serve illos in nomine tuo, ut sint unum, quemadmodum et nos unum sumus; et paulo inferius, ver. 22, Ego gloriam, quam dedisti mihi, dedi illis; ut sint unum, quemadmodum nos unum surnus. Quod veto Christus sit unum cum Patre, hoc aut de voluntate aut de potentia in salutis nostræ ratione accipi debet. Unde naturam divinam non probari ex eodem loco constat ubi Christus air, Pattern omnibus esse majorem, ac proinde etiam ipso Domino, quemadmodum idem Dominus expresse fatetur, et quod eas oves ei dederit, Johan. xiv. 28.”
Of this place I have spoken before. That it is an unity of essence that is here intended by our Saviour appears, — 1. From the apprehension the Jews had of his meaning in those words, who immediately 308upon them took up stones to stone him for blasphemy, rendering an account of their so doing, verse 33, “Because he, being a man, did make himself God.” 2. From the exposition he makes himself of his words, verse 36, “I am the Son of God;” — “That is it I intended; I am so one with him as a son is with his father,” — that is, one in nature and essence. 3. He is so one with him as that the Father is in him, and he in him, by a divine immanency of persons.
Those words of our Saviour, John xvii. 11, 22, 1. Do not argue a parity in the union of believers among themselves with that of him and his Father: but a similitude (see John xvii. 20), — that they may be one in affection, as his Father and he are in essence. We are to be holy, as God is holy. 2. If oneness of will and consent be the ground of this, that the Son and Father are one, then the angels and God are one, for with their wills they always do his. 3. Oneness of power with God in any work argues oneness of essence. God’s power is omnipotent, and none can be one with him in power but he who is omnipotent, — that is, who is God. And if it be unity of power which is here asserted, it is spoken absolutely, and not referred to any particular kind of thing. 4. It is true, God the Father is greater than Christ, as is affirmed John xiv. 28, in respect of his office of mediation, of which there he treats; but they are one and equal in respect of nature. Neither is God in this place said to be greater than all in respect of Christ, who is said to be one with him, but in reference to all that may be supposed to attempt the taking of his sheep out of his hands. 5. Christ took or received his sheep, not simply as God, the eternal Son of God, but as mediator; and so his Father was greater than he. This testimony, then, abides: He that is one with the Father is God by nature; Christ is thus one with the Father. “One” is the unity of nature; “are,” their distinction of persons, “I and my Father are one.”
Grotius adheres to the same exposition with our catechists, only he goes one step farther in corrupting the text. His words are: “ Ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν. Connectit quod dixerat cum superioribus. Si Patris potestati eripi non poterunt, nec meæ poterunt; nam mea potestas a Patre emanat, et quidem ita, ut tantundem valeat a me, aut a Patre, custodiri. Vid. Gen. xli. 25, 27.” I suppose he means verse 44, being the words of Pharaoh delegating power and authority immediately under him to Joseph; — but, as it is known, potestas is ἐξουσία, “authority,” and may belong to office; but potentia is δύναμις, “force,” “virtue,” or “power,” and belongs to essence. It is not 309potestas or authority that Christ speaks of, but strength, might, and power, which is so great in God that none can take his sheep out of his hand. Now, though unitas potestatis doth not prove unity of essence in men, yet unitas potentiæ, which is here spoken of, in God evidently doth; yea, none can have unitatem potestatis with God but he who hath unitatem essentiæ.
Q. But where is it that Christ is called the “Son of the living God,” the “proper” and “only-begotten Son of God?”
Q. But how are these places answered?
A. From all these attributes of Christ a divine nature can by
no means be proved; for as to the first, it is notorious that Peter
confessed that the Son of man was Christ and the Son of the living God,
who, as it is evident, bad not such a divine nature as they feign.
Besides, the Scripture testifieth of other men that they are the sons of
the living God, as the apostle out of Hosea, Rom. ix.
26. And as to what belongeth to the second and third places, in
them we read that the “proper” and “only-begotten Son of God” was delivered
to death; which cannot be said of him who is God by nature. Yea, from
hence, that Christ is the Son of God, it appears that he is not God, for
otherwise he should be Son to himself. But the cause why these attributes
belong to Christ is this, that he is the chiefest and most dear to God
among all the sons of God: as Isaac, because he was most dear to Abraham,
and was his heir, is called his “only-begotten son,” Heb. xi. 17, although he had his
brother Ishmael; and Solomon the “only-begotten of his mother,” although he
had many brethren by the same mother, 1 Chron.
iii. 1–6, etc.; Prov. iv.
3.355355 “Filium autem Dei
viventis, Filium Dei proprium et unigenitum esse Christum, ubi habetur? —
De hoc Matt. xvi.
16, legimus, ubi Petrus ait,
Tu es Christus, Filius Dei viventis; et Rom. viii. 32, ubi apostolus ait, Qui (Deus) proprio Filio, non
pepercit, verum cum propter nos tradidit; et Johan. iii. 16, Sic Deus dilexit mundum, ut Filium suum genitum
daret; et ver.
18, Nomen unigeniti Filii
“Quomodo vero ad hæc loca respondetur? — Ex iis omnibus attributis Christi hullo modo probari posse naturam ejus divinam; nam quod ad primum attinet, notissimum est Petrum fateri, quod Filius hominis sit Christus, et Filius Dei viventis, quem constat divinam naturam, qualem illi comminiscuntur, non habuisse. Præterea, testatur Scriptura de aliis hominibus quod sint filii Dei viventis, ut ex Hosea, Rom. ix. 26, Et erit loco ejus, ubi eis dictum est, Non populus meus (estis) vos, illic vocabuntur filii Dei viventis. Quod vero secundum et tertium locum attinet, in his legimus proprium et unigenitum Dei Filium in mortem traditum, quod eo qui natura Deus sit, dici non potest. Imo vero ex eo quod Christus Dei Filius sit, apparet Deum illum non esse, alioquin sibi ipsi Filius esset. Causa vero cur Christo ista attributa competant hæc est, quod inter onmes Dei filios et præcipuus sit et Deo charissimus, quemadmodum Isaac, quia Abahamo charissimus et hæres exstitit, unigenitus vocatus est, Heb. xi. 17, licet fratrem Ismaelem habuerit; et Solomon unigenitus coram matre sua, licet plures ex eadem matre fratres fuerint, 1 Chron. iii. 1–6, etc., Prov. iv. 3.”
I have spoken before fully to all these places, and therefore shall be very brief in the vindication of them in this place. On what account Christ is, and on what account alone he is called, the Son of God, hath been sufficiently demonstrated, and his unity of nature with his Father thence evinced. It is true, — 1. That Peter calls 310Christ, who was the Son of man, the “Son of the living God;” not in that or on that account whereon he is the Son of man, but because he is peculiarly, in respect of another nature than that wherein he is the Son of man, the Son of the living God. And if Peter had intended no more in this assertion but only that he was one among the many sons of God, how doth he answer that question, “But whom say ye that I am?” being exceptive to what others said, who yet affirmed that he was a prophet, one come out from God, and favoured of him. It is evident that it is something much more noble and divine that is here affirmed by him, in this solemn confession of him on whom the church is built. It is true, believers are called “children of the living God,” Rom. ix. 26, in opposition to the idols whom they served before their conversion; neither do we argue from this expression barely, “Of the living God,” but in conjunction with those others that follow, and in the emphaticalness of it, in this confession of Peter, Christ instantly affirming that this was a rock which should not be prevailed against. 2. What is meant by the “proper” and “only-begotten Son of God” hath been already abundantly evinced. Nor is it disproved by saying that the proper and only Son of God was given to death, for so he was; and thereby “God redeemed his church with his own blood.” He that is the proper and only-begotten Son of God was given to death, though not in that nature and in respect of that wherein he is the proper and only-begotten Son of God. 3. Christ is the Son of the Father, who is God, and therein the Son of God, without any danger of being “the Son of himself,” that is, of God as he is the Son. This is a begging of the thing in question, without offering any plea for what they pretend to but their own unbelief and carnal apprehensions of the things of God. 4. Our catechists have exceedingly forgotten themselves and their masters, in affirming that “Christ is called the proper and only-begotten Son of God, because he is most dear to God of all his sons;” themselves and their master having, as was showed at large before, given us reasons quite of another nature for this appellation, which we have discussed and disproved elsewhere. 5. If Christ be the only-begotten Son of God only on this account, because he is most dear among all the sons of God, then he is the Son of God upon the same account with them, — that is, by regeneration and adoption; which that it is most false hath been showed elsewhere. Christ is the proper, natural, only-begotten Son of God, in contradistinction to all others, the adopted sons of God, as was made manifest. Isaac is called the “only-begotten son” of Abraham, not absolutely, but in reference to the promise; he was his only-begotten son to whom the promise did belong: “He that had received the promises offered up his only-begotten son.” Solomon is not said to be the “only-begotten of his mother,” Prov. iv. 3, but only “before the face” or “in 311the sight of his mother,” eminently expressing his preferment as to her affections. How little is this to what the gospel says of Jesus Christ!
I have only to say concerning Grotius in this matter, that from none of these expressions, in any place, doth he take the least notice of what is necessarily concluded concerning the deity of Christ; wherein he might use his own liberty. The opening, interpretation, and improvement of these testimonies to the end aimed at, I desire the reader to see, chap. vii. They proceed:—
Q. What scripture calls Christ the “first-born of every creature”?
A. Col. i. 15.
Q. What dost thou answer thereunto?
A. Neither can it hence be gathered that Christ hath a divine
nature: for seeing Christ is the “first-born of every creature,” it is
necessary that he be one of the number of the creatures; for such is the
force of the word “first-born” in the Scriptures, that it is of necessity
that he who is first-born be one of the number of them of whom he is the
first-born, Col. i. 18; Rom. viii.
29; Rev. i. 5. Neither that our Lord Jesus
was one of the things created in the old creation can our adversaries
grant, unless they will be Arians. It behoveth them that they grant him to
be one of the new creation. From whence not only the divine nature of
Christ cannot be proved, but also that Christ hath no such divine nature is
firmly evinced. But now that Jesus is called by that name by the apostle,
it is from hence, that in time and worth he far exceedeth all other things
of the new creation.356356 “Quæ scriptura eum vocat
primogenitum omnis creaturæ? — Col. i.
“Quid ad eam respondes? — Neque hinc naturam divinam Christum habere exsculpi posse, etenim cum Christus primogenitus omnis creaturæ sit, eum unum e numero creaturarum esse oportere necesse est; ea enim in Scripturis vis est primogeniti, ut primogenitum unum ex eorum genere, quorum primogenitus est, esse necesse sit, Col. i. 18; Rom. viii. 29; Rev. i. 5. Ut vero unus e rebus conditis creationis veteris existat Dominus Jesus, nec adversarii quidem concedent, nisi Ariani esse velint. Unum igitur esse e novæ creationis genere Dominum Jesum concedant oportet. Unde non solum divina Christi natura effici non potest, verum etiam quod nunam divinam naturam Christus habeat firmiter conficitur. Quod vero eo nomine vocatur ab apostolo Jesus, eo fit, quod tempore et præstantia res onmes novæ creationis longe antecedat.”
1. That by the “creation” in this verse, and the things enumerated to be created in the verses following, are intended the creation of the world, and all things therein, “visible and invisible,” was before abundantly evinced, in the consideration of the ensuing verses, and the exceptions of these catechists wholly removed from being any hinderance to the embracing of the first obvious sense of the words All, then, that is here inferred from a supposition of the new creation being here intended (which is a most vain supposition) falls to the ground of itself; so that I shall not need to take the least farther notice of it. 2. That Christ is so the first-born of the old creation as to be a prince, heir, and lord of it, and the things thereof (which is the sense of the word as here used), and yet not one of them, is evident from the context. The very next words to these, “He is the first-born of every creature,” are, “For by him were all things created.” He by whom all things, all creatures, were created, is no creature; for he else must create himself. And so we are neither Arians nor Photinians. Though the former have more colour of saving 312themselves from the sword of the word than the latter, yet they both perish by it. 3. The word πρωτότοκος, “first-born,” in this place is metaphorical, and the expression is intended to set out the excellency of Christ above all other things That that is the design of the Holy Ghost in the place is confessed. Now, whereas the word may import two things concerning him of whom it is spoken, — (1.) that he is one of them in reference to whom he is said to be the first-born, or, (2.) that he hath privilege, pre-eminence, rule, and inheritance of them and over them, — I ask, Which of these significations suits the apostle’s aim here, to set out the excellency of Christ above all creatures? that which makes him one of them, or that which exalts him above them? 4. Πρωτότοκος τάσης κτίσεως, is “begotten before all creatures,” or “every creature.” The apostle doth not say Christ was πρῶτος κτισθείς, “the first of them made,” but, he was born or begotten before them all, — that is, from eternity. His being begotten is opposed to the creation of all other things; and though the word, where express mention is made of others in the same kind, may denote one of them, yet where it is used concerning things so far distant, and which are not compared, but one preferred above the other, it requires no such signification. See Job xviii. 13; Ps. lxxxix. 27; Jer. xxxi. 9.
Grotius is perfectly agreed with our catechists, and uses their very words in the exposition of this place; but that also hath been considered, and his exposition called to an account formerly.
The next testimonies insisted on they produce in answer to this question:—
Q. What scriptures affirm that Christ hath all things that the Father hath?
Q. What sayest thou to these?
A. We have above declared that the word omnia, “all things,” is almost always
referred to the subject-matter; wherefore from these places that which they
intend can no way be proved. The subject-matter, chap.
xvi., is that which the Holy Spirit was to reveal to the
apostles, which belonged to the kingdom of Christ; and, chap. xvii., it is most apparent that
he treateth of his disciples, whom God gave him, whom he calls his.
Moreover, seeing that whatever Christ hath, he hath it by gift from the
Father, and not of himself, it hence appeareth that he can by no means have
a divine nature, when he who is God by nature hath all things of
himself.357357 “Ubi vero scriptura eum
omnia quæ Pater habeat habere asserit? — John
xvi. 15, Christus sit, Omnia
quæ Pater habet mea sunt; et infra capite xvii.
10, Mea omnia tua sunt, et
“Quid tu ad hæc? — Vox omnia, ad subjectam materiam ut superius aliquoties demonstravimus fere semper refertur; quare ex ejusmodi locis non potest ullo modo quod volunt effici. Materia vero subjecta, cap. xvi., est, id nimirum, quod Spiritus Sanctus apostolis ad Christi regnum spectans revelaturus erat; et xvii. cap. constat apertissime agi de discipulis ipsius Jesu quos ipsi Deus dederat, unde eos etiam suos vocat. Præterea, cum quicquid Christus habeat, habcat Patris dono, non autem a seipso, hinc apparet, ipsum divinam naturam habere hullo modo posse, cum natura Deus omnia a seipso habeat.”
313Of these texts the consideration will soon be despatched. 1. John xiv. 15, Christ saith, “All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.” Now, if all things that the Father hath are his, then the divine nature is his, for the Father hath a divine nature. But they say this “all things” is to be expounded according to the subject-matter treated of; that is, only what the Holy Ghost was to reveal to the apostles. Let, then, the expression be expounded according to the subject-matter. Christ renders a reason why he said that the Spirit should take of his: even because what he had of the Father he had also of him, all that the Father hath being his. Now, it was the knowledge of all truth, and all things to come, and all things concerning the kingdom of Christ, that he was thus to show to the apostles. But look, whence the Holy Ghost hath his knowledge, thence he hath his essence; for those things do not really differ in a divine nature. The Spirit, then, having his knowledge of the Son, hath also his essence of the Son, as he hath of the Father. And by this it is most evidently confirmed, that among the “all things” that the Father hath, which the Son hath, his divine nature is also, or else that could be no reason why he should say that the Spirit should take of his, and show to them.
2. John xvii. 10, a reason is rendered why those who are Christ’s are also God’s, and to be in his care; that is, because all his things (τὰ ἐμὰ πάντα) were the Father’s, and all the Father’s his. It is not, then, spoken of the disciples; but is a reason given why the disciples are so in the love of God, because of the unity of essence which is between Father and Son, whence all the Son’s things are the Father’s, and all the Father’s are the Son’s.
3. Christ’s having all things not from himself, but by gift from the Father, may be understood two ways. Either it refers to the nature of Christ as he is God, or to the person of Christ as he is the Son of God. In the first sense it is false; for the nature of Christ being one with that of the Father hath all things, without concession, gift, or grant made to it, as the nature. But as the person of the Son, in which regard he receives all things, even his nature, from the Father, so it is true (those words being expounded as above); but this only proves him to be the Son of God, not at all that he is not God.
Grotius on the first place, Πάντα ὅσα ἔχει ὁ πατὴρ ἐμά ἐστι “Etiam præscientia et decreta de rebus futuris, quatenus ecclesiam spectant.” Did he truly intend what the first words do import, we should judge ourselves not a little beholding to him. The foreknowledge of God is not in any who is not God, nor his decrees. The first is an eternal property of his nature; the latter are eternal acts of his will. If Christ have these, he must have the nature of God. But the last words evidently take away what the first seem to 314grant, by restraining this participation of Christ in the foreknowledge and decrees of God to things concerning the church; in which sense Socinus grants the knowledge of Christ to be infinite, namely, in respect of the church, Disput. de Adorat. Christi cum Christiano Franken, p. 15. But it being certain that he whose the prescience of God and his purposes are properly as to any one thing, his they are universally, it is too evident that he intends these things to belong to Christ no otherwise but as God revealeth the things that are to come concerning his church to him; which respects his office as Mediator, not his nature as he is one with God, blessed for ever. Of the deity of Christ, neither in this nor the other place is there the ‘least intimation in that author.
Q. But what scripture calleth Christ “the eternal Father?”
A. Isa. ix. 6.
Q. What sayest thou thereunto?
A. From thence a divine nature cannot be proved, seeing Christ
is called the “Father of eternity” for a certain cause, as may be seen from
the words there a little before expressed. But it is marvellous that the
adversaries will refer this place to the Son, which treats of the eternal
Father, who, as it is evident, according to themselves, is not the Father.
But Christ is said to be the “Father of eternity,” or of the “world to
come,” because he is the prince and author of eternal life, which is
future.358358 “At quæ scriptura Christum
Patrem æternitatis vocat? — Isa. ix.
“Tu vero quid ad hæc? — Ex eo naturam divinam probari non posse, cum certain ob causam Pater æternitatis Christus sit vocatus, ex ipsis verbis ibidem paulo superius expressis videre est. Mirum veto est adversarios hunc locum, ubi agitur de Patre æterno, ad Filium referre, quem constat secundum cos ipsos Patrem non esse. Pater vero æternitatis aut futuri seculi propterea dictus est Christus, quod sit princeps et autor vitæ æternæ, quæ futura est.”
It were well for our adversaries if they could thus shift off this testimony. Let the words be considered, and it will quickly appear what need they have of other helps, if they intend to escape this sword that is furbished against them and their cause. The words of the verse are, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
1. Our catechists, confessing that this is spoken of Christ, and that he is here called “The everlasting Father” (they are more modest than Grotius, whose labour to corrupt this place is to be bewailed, having ventured on the words as far as any of the modern rabbins, who yet make it their business to divert this text from being applied to the Messiah), have saved me the labour of proving from the text and context that he only can possibly be intended. This, then, being taken for granted, that is that which is here affirmed of him, that “his name shall be called,” or “he shall be,” and “shall be known to be” (for both these are contained in this expression), “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince 315of Peace.” He who is “The mighty God” and “The everlasting Father” is God by nature; but so is Jesus Christ. The expression here used of “The mighty God” is ascribed to God, Deut. x. 17, Neh. ix. 32, Jer. xxxii. 18; and is a most eminent name of God, — a name discriminating him from all that are not God by nature. And this may be added to the other names of God that are attributed to Christ: as “Adonai,” Ps. cx. 1; — “Elohim,” Ps. xlv. 6; Heb. i. 8; — “Jehovah,” Jer. xxxiii. 6, xxxiii. 16; Mal. iii. 1; Ps. lxxxiii. 18; — “God,” John i. 1; — “The true God,” 1 John v. 20; — “The great God,” Tit. ii. 13, (of which places before); — and here “The mighty God, The everlasting Father.”
2. What say our catechists to all this? They fix only on that expression, “The eternal Father,” and say that we cannot intend the Son here, because we say he is not the Father; and yet so do these gentlemen themselves! They say Christ is the Son of God, and no way the same with the Father; and yet they say that upon a peculiar account he is here called “The eternal Father.”
3. On what account, then, soever Christ is called “The eternal Father,” yet he is called so, and is eternal. Whether it be because in nature he is one with the Father, or because of his tender and fatherly affections to his church, or because he is the author of eternal life, or because in him is life, it is all one as to the testimony to his deity in the words produced. He who is “The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” is God by nature; which was to be confirmed.
So much for them. But our other friend must not be forgotten. The place is of great importance, the testimony in it evident and clear; and we must not suffer ourselves, on any pretence, to be deprived of the support thereof. Thus, then, he proceeds in the exposition of this place:—
“For unto us a child is born.” “Id est, nascetur. Nam Hebræa præterita sumuntur pro futuris;” — “That is, shall be born,” etc. Of this we shall have use in the very next words.
“Unto us a Son is given.” “Dabitur. Ezechias patri Achazo multum dissimilis. Sic tamen ut multo excellentius hæc ad Messiam pertinere, non Christiani tantum agnoscant, sed et Chaldæus hoc loco;” — that is, “Shall be given. Hezekiah, most unlike his father Ahaz. Yet so that these things belong more excellently to the Messiah, not only as the Christians acknowledge, but the Chaldee in this place.”
Here begins the exposition. Hezekiah is intended. So, indeed, say some of the rabbins. But, — 1. This prophecy is evidently a continuance of that which is begun chap. vii., and was given at the time of the invasion of Judah by Rezin and Pekah; which was after Ahaz had reigned some years, as is evident, 2 Kings xvi. 1–5. Now, he 316reigned but sixteen years in all, and when Hezekiah came to the crown, in succession to him, he was twenty-five years of age, 2 Kings xviii. 1, 2; so that he must needs be born before this prophecy. There is, then, already an inconsistency in these annotations, making the prophet to speak of that which was past as future and to come.
2. It is true that the Chaldee paraphrast applies this prophecy unto the Messiah, whose words are, “Dicit propheta domui David; quoniam parvulus natus est nobis, Filius datus est nobis, et suscepit legem super se, ut servaret eam; et vocabitur nomen ejus, a facie admirabilis consilii Deus, vir permanens in æternum; Christus cujus pax multiplicabitur super nos in diebus ejus.” He not only refers the whole to Christ, without any intimation of Hezekiah, but says also that his name shall be “The God of counsel.”
3. Neither is he alone, but the ancient rabbins generally are of the same judgment, as Petrus Galatinus and Raymundus Martinus abundantly manifest. To repeat what is or may be collected from them to that purpose is not much to mine.
4. The present difference between us and the learned annotator is, whether Hezekiah be here intended at all or no. To what hath been spoken we have that to add in opposition to him which we chiefly insist upon, namely, that none of the things ascribed to the person here spoken of can be attributed to Hezekiah, as expressing somewhat more divine than can be ascribed to any mere man whatever. Indeed, as Grotius wrests the words in his following interpretation, they may be ascribed to any other; for he leaves no name of God, nor any expression of any thing divine, to him that is spoken of.
Among the rabbins that interpret this place of Hezekiah, one of the chief said he was the Messiah indeed, and that they were to look for no other! This is the judgment of Rabbi Hillel in the Talmud. Hence, because Maimonides said somewhere that the faith of the Messiah to come is the foundation of the law, it is disputed by Rabbi Joseph Albo, Orat. i. cap. i., whether Hillel were not to be reckoned among the apostates and such as should have no portion in the world to come; but he resolves the question on Hillel’s side, and denies that the faith of the Messiah to come is the foundation of the law. Others, who apply these words to Hezekiah, say he should have been the Messiah, but that God altered his purpose upon the account which they assign. This they prove from verse 6, where, in the word לְםַרְבֵּה, “mem clausum” is put in the middle of a word. This Grotius takes notice of, and says, “Eo stabilitatem significari volunt Hebræi, ut per mem aperture in fine rupturam.” Perhaps sometimes they do so, but here some of them turn it to another purpose, as they may use it to what purpose 317they please, the observation being ludicrous. The words of Rabbi Tanchum, in libro Sanhedrim, to this purpose, are: “Dixit Rabbi Tanchum, Quomodo omne mem quod est in medio vocis aperture est, et istud לְםַרְבֵּה, Isa. ix. 6, clausum est? Quæsivit Deus sanctus benedictus facere Ezechiam Messiam, et Sennacheribum Gog et Magog. Dixit proprietas judicii coram eo, ‘Domine mundi, et quid Davidem, qui dixit faciei tuæ tot cantica et laudes, non fecisti Messiam, Ezechiam vero, cui fecisti omnia signa hæc, et non dixit canticum faciei tuæ, vis facere Messiam?’ Propterea clausum fuit statim, etc. Egressa est vox cœlestis, ‘Secretum meum mihi;’ ” — “Rabbi Tanchum said, Seeing every mem that is in the middle of a word is open, how comes that in לְםַרְבֵּה to be closed? The holy, blessed God sought to make Hezekiah to be the Messiah, and Sennacherib to be Gog and Magog. Propriety of judgment” (that is, the right measure of judgment), “said before him, ‘Lord of the whole earth, why didst thou not make David Messiah, who spake so many songs and praises before thee? and wilt [thou] make Hezekiah to be the Messiah, for whom thou hast wrought those great signs, and he spake no song before thee?’ Instantly mem was shut, and a heavenly voice went forth, ‘My secret belongs to me.’ ”
And so Hezekiah lost the Messiahship for want of a song! And these are good masters in the interpretation of prophecies concerning Christ. I wholly assent to the conjecture of the learned annotator about this business: “Non incredibile est,” says he, “quod unus scriba properans commiserat, id, alios superstitiose imitatos;” — “One began this writing by negligence, and others followed him with superstition.” The conjectures of some Christians from hence are with me of no more weight than those of the Jews: as, that by this mem clausum is signified the birth of Christ of a virgin; and whereas in number it signifies six hundred, it denotes the space of time at the end whereof Christ was to be born, which was so many years from the fourth of Ahaz, wherein this prophecy, as is supposed, was given.
I have not insisted on these things as though they were of any importance, or in themselves worthy to be repeated, when men are dealing seriously about the things of God, but only to show what little cause Grotius had to follow the modern rabbins in their exposition of this place, whose conceits upon it are so foolish and ridiculous.
Return we to the Annotations. The first passage he fixes on is, “And the government shall be upon his shoulder.” Saith he, “Id est, erit πορφυρογένητος, ab ipsis cunis purpuram feret regiam, ut in regnum natus. Confer Ezech. xxviii. 13;” — “He shall be born to purple; from his very cradle he shall wear the kingly purple, being born to the kingdom.”
3181. But this is nothing peculiar to Hezekiah. His son Manasseh was all this as well as he; and how this, being in itself a light and trivial thing, common to all other kings’ sons with him, should be thus prophesied of as an eminent honour and glory, none can see any cause. 2. But is this indeed the meaning of these words, “Hezekiah, when he is a boy, shall wear a purple coat?” which the prophet, when he gave forth this prophecy, perhaps saw him playing in every day. Certainly it is a sad thing to be forsaken of God, and to be given up to a man’s own understanding in the exposition of the Scripture. That the government, the principality here mentioned, which is said to be upon the shoulder of him concerning whom the words are spoken, — that is, committed to him as a weighty thing, — is the whole rule and government of the church of God, committed to the management of the Lord Jesus Christ, the mediator, to the inconceivable benefit and consolation of his people, the reader may find evinced in all expositors on the place (unless some one or other of late, persons of note, who, to appear somebodies, have ventured to follow Grotius); it is not my business to insist on particulars.
His next note is on these words, “His name shall be called.” “In Hebræo est vocabit; supple quisque. Etiam Chaldæus vocabitur transtulit. Notum autem Hebræis dici sic vel sic vocari aliquem cui tales tituli aut ἐπίθετα conveniunt.” I delight not to contend at all, nor shall do it without great cause. For the sense of these words, I am content that we take up thus much: The titles following are his names, and they agree to him; that is, he is, or shall be, such an one as answers the description in them given of him. But here our great doctors, whom this great man follows, are divided. Some of them not seeing how it is possible that the names following should be ascribed to Hezekiah, some of them directly terming him “God,” they pervert the words, and read them thus: “The wonderful Counsellor, the mighty God, etc., shall call his name The Prince of Peace;” so ascribing the last name only to Hezekiah, all the former to God. The advantage they take is from the want of variation by cases in the Hebrew. And this way go all the present rabbins, being set into it by Solomon Jarchi on the place. But as this is expressly contrary to the judgment of the old doctors,359359 Vide Pet. Gal. lib. iii. cap. xix.; Raymun. Martin. iii. p. dist. 1, cap. ix. as hath been abundantly proved out of their Targum and Talmud, where Hezekiah is called the “lord of eight names,” and is opposed to Sennacherib, who they say had eight names also, so it is contrary to all their own rules of grammar to place the name of him who calls after the verb calling, of which there is not one instance to be given. Grotius, therefore, takes in with them who apply all these names to Hezekiah, shift with them afterward as well as he can. So he proceeds:—
“Wonderful.” “Ob summas quæ in eo erunt virtutes;” — “For the 319excellent virtues that shall be in him.” But, I pray, why more than David or Josiah? “This is his name, ‘Wonderful;’ that is, he shall be very virtuous, and men shall admire him.” How much better this name agrees to Him, and how much more proper it is, whose person is so great a mystery, 1 Tim. iii. 16, and whose name is so abstruse, Prov. xxx. 4, and that upon the wonderful conjunction of two natures in one person, here mentioned (he who is “The mighty God” being also “a child given” unto us), is evident to all.
“Counsellor, The mighty God.” “Imo consultator Dei fortis; id est, qui in omnibus negotiis consilia a Deo poscet, per Prophetas scilicet, ut jam sequetur;” — “Yea, ‘he who asketh counsel of the mighty God;’ that is, who in all his affairs asks counsel of God, namely, by the prophet.”
And is not this boldness thus to correct the text, “Counsellor, The mighty God,” “Yea, he who asketh counsel of the mighty God?” What colour, what pretence, what reason or plea, may be used for this perverting the words of the text, our annotator not in the least intimates.
The words are evidently belonging to the same person, equally parts of that name whereby he is to be called; and the casting of them, without any cause, into this construction, in a matter of this importance (because it is to be said), is intolerable boldness. It is, not without great probability of truth, pleaded by some, that the first two words should go together, “The wonderful Counsellor,” as those that follow do; — not that פֶּלֶא, “admirabilis,” is an epithet, or an adjective, it being a substantive, and signifying a wonder or a miracle; but that the weight of what is said being laid much upon the force of “Counsellor,” setting out the infinite wisdom of Christ, in all his ways, purposes, and counsels concerning his church, this other term seems to be suited to the setting forth thereof. But this corruption of the text is the more intolerable in our annotator, because, in the close of his observations on this place, he confesses that all the things here mentioned have a signification in Christ, much more sublime and plain than that which he hath insisted on; so that had he been any friend to the deity of Christ he would not have endeavoured to have robbed him of his proper name, “The mighty God,” in this place. But this was necessary, that the rabbinical accommodation of this place to Hezekiah might be retained.
That this place, then, is spoken of Christ we have evinced, nor can it be waived without open perverting of the words; and he is here called “The mighty God,” as was before declared.
Grotius proceeds to apply the residue of this glorious name to Hezekiah: “The everlasting Father,” or, as it is in the Vulgar Latin, “Pater futuri seculi.” “In Hebræo non est futuri. Pater seculi est qui multos post se relicturus sit posteros, et in longum tempus;” — “In 320the Hebrew the word future is not; the ‘father of the age’ is he who leaves many of his posterity behind him, and that for a long time.”
About the Vulgar Latin translation we do not contend. Of the meaning and use of the word עוֹלָם I have spoken already. When it is applied to God, it signifies “eternity.” But the word here is not עוֹלָם,360360 Ps. xlviii. 14, ix. 6, 7, etc. but עַד, properly “eternity,” when applied to God: Ps. x. 16, “The Lord is King עוֹלָם וָעֶם” — “seculi et æternitatis, for ever and ever.” Instances might be multiplied to this purpose. That this should be, “Hezekiah shall leave many children, and that for a long season,” credat Apella. What sons he left, besides one, and him a wicked one for the most part of his days, is uncertain. Within one hundred and thirty years, or thereabout, his whole posterity was carried captive. How exceedingly unsuited this appellation is to him is evident. “The Father of eternity;” that is, one that leaves a son behind him, and a possibility for his posterity to continue in the condition wherein he was for one hundred and thirty years! Many such everlasting fathers may we find out. What in all this is peculiar to Hezekiah, that this should so emphatically be said to be his name.
The next is, “Princeps Pacis;” — “The Prince of Peace.” “Princeps pacificus, et in pace victurus;” — “A peaceable prince, and one that should live in peace.”
1. On how much better, more noble and glorious account this title belongs to Christ, is known. 2. The Prince of Peace is not only a peaceable prince, but the author, giver, procurer, establisher of peace. 3. Neither did Hezekiah reign in peace all his days. His kingdom was invaded, his fenced cities taken, and himself and chief city delivered by a miraculous slaughter of his enemies.
“Of the increase of his government, and of peace no end;” which he reads according to the Vulgar Latin, “Multiplicabitur ejus imperiam, et pacis ejus non erit finis.” Literally, “For the multiplying of his kingdom, and of peace no end.” As to the first part, his exposition is, “Id est, durabit per annos 29;” — “His kingdom should continue for twenty-nine years.” Who would believe such gross darkness should cover the face of so learned a man? “Of the increase of his government there shall be no end;” that is, he shall reign nine and twenty years! This might almost twice as properly be spoken of his son Manasseh, who reigned fifty-five.
And now let him that hath a mind to feed on such husks as these go on with his annotations in this place; I am weary of considering such trash. And let the pious reader tremble at the righteous judgment of God, giving up men trusting to their own learning and abilities, refusing to captivate their hearts to the obedience of the truth, to such foolish and childish imaginations, as men of common sense must needs abhor.
321It appears, then, that we have here a description of Jesus Christ, and of him only, and that the names here ascribed to him are proper to him, and declare who he was and is, even “The mighty God, The Prince of Peace,” etc. Let us proceed with our catechists.
In the next place they heap up sundry places, which they return slight answers unto; and yet to provide them in such manner as that they might be the easier dealt withal, they cut off parcels and expressions in the middle of sentences, and from the context, from whence the greatest evidence, as to the testimony they give in this matter, doth arise. I shall consider them apart as they are proposed:—
From hence, that Christ is called “The Word of God,” a divine nature in Christ cannot be proved, yea, the contrary may be gathered; for seeing he is the Word of the one God, it is apparent that he is not that one God. But Jesus is therefore called the Word of God, because he expounds to us the whole will of God, as John there declares a little after, John i. 18; as he is also in the same sense said to be life and truth.361361 “Ex eo quod Verbum Dei sit Christus doceri divina in Christo natura non potest, imo adversum potius colligitur, cum enim ipsius unius Dei Verbum sit, apparet eum non esse ipsum unum Deum. Quod etiam ad singula hæc testimonia simul responderi potest. Verbum vero, vel Sermo Dei Jesus ideo nuncupatur, quod omnem Dei voluntatem nobis exposuerit, ut ibidem Johannes inferius exposuit, Johan. i. 18. Quemadmodum etiam eodem sensu et vita et veritas dicitur.”
1. Christ is the Word of God. The Word, or ὁ Λόγος, is either προφορικός, or the word which outwardly is spoken of God; or ἐνδιάθετος, his eternal, essential Word or Wisdom. Let our catechists prove another acceptation of the word in any place. That Christ is not the word spoken by God they will grant; for he was a person, that revealed to us the word of God. He is, then, God’s eternal Word or Wisdom; and so, consequently, God. 2. Christ is so called the Word of God, John i. 1, as that he is in the same place said to be God. And our adversaries are indeed too impudent, whereas they say, “If he be the Word of the one God, he cannot be that one God,” the Holy Ghost affirming the flat contrary, namely, that he was “The Word, and was with God, and was God;” that is, doubtless, the one true God, verses 1–3. He was “with God” in his person as the Son; and he “was God” as to his nature. 3. Christ is not called the Word, John i. 1, upon the account of his actual revealing the word of God to us in his own person on the earth (which he did, verse 18), because he is called so in his everlasting residence with the Father before the world was, verse 1; nor is he so called on that account, Rev. xix. 13, it being applied to him in reference to the work of executing judgment on his enemies as a king, and not to his revealing the word of God as a prophet. So that notwithstanding this exception, this name of the “Word of God,” applied to Christ, 322as in the places mentioned, proves him to have a divine nature, and to be God, blessed for ever.
The next place is Col. i. 15, “Christ is the image of the invisible God.” To which they say only, —
But an image is either an essential image or accidental, — a representation of a thing in the same substance with it, as a son is the image of his father, or a representation in some resemblance, like that of a picture. That Christ cannot be the latter is evident. Our catechists refer it to his office, not his person But, — 1. It is the person of Christ that is described in that and the following verses, and not his office. 2. The title given to God, whose image he is, “The invisible God,” will allow there be no image of him hut what is invisible; nor is there any reason of adding that epithet of God but to declare also the invisible spiritual nature of Christ, wherein he is like his Father. And the same is here intended with what is mentioned in the third place:—
Heb. i. 3, “He is the express image of his person.”
This is to be understood that whatever God hath promised, he hath now really exhibited in Christ.363363 ”Quod vero character hypostaseos ejus dictus sit, hoc intelligi debet: ‘Deus quicquid nobis promisit, jam reipsa in eo exhibuisse.’ ”
Well expounded! Christ is the character of his Father’s person; that is, what God promised he exhibited in Christ! Would not any man admire these men’s acumen and readiness to interpret the Scriptures? The words are part of the description of the person of the Son of God, “He is the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of his power;” that is, he reveals the will of God! This the apostle had expressly affirmed, verse 2, in plain and familiar terms; that he should now repeat over the same thing again, in words so exceedingly insignificant of any such matter, is very strange. 2. The apostle streaks of the hypostasis of the Father, not of his will; of his subsistence, not his mind to be revealed. We do not deny that Christ doth represent his Father to us, and is to us the “express image of his person;” but, antecedently hereunto, we say he is so in himself. Grotius’ corruption of this whole chapter was before dis. covered, and in part removed.
John xiv. 9, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” is next proposed. To which they say, —
Neither can any divine nature be proved from hence, for this “seeing” cannot be spoken of the essence of God, which is invisible, but of the knowledge of the things that Christ did and spake.364364 “Quod vero attinet ad dictum Domini Jesu, Qui me videt videt Patrem, nequehinc naturam divinam probari certum cuique esse potest, cum ea ratio videndi non possit de essentia Dei accipi, quæ invisibilis sit prorsus, verum de cognitione eorum, quæ dixit et fecit Christus.”
323Christ so speaks of his and his Father’s oneness, whereby he that saw one saw both, as he describes it to be in the verse following, where he says “the Father is in him, and he in the Father.” Now, that the Father is in him and he in the Father, and that he and the Father are one in nature and essence, hath been before sufficiently demonstrated. The seeing here intended is that of faith, whereby both Father and Son are seen unto believers.
Col. ii. 9 is the last in this collection, “In whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” To this they say, —
That this word divinitas may signify the will of God. And seeing the apostle opposeth that speech not to persons, but to philosophy and the law, it is manifest that it is to be understood of the doctrine, and not of the person of Christ. Of this word “bodily” thou shalt hear afterward.365365 “Nec illis denique verbia, quod plenitudo divinitatis in eo habitat corporaliter, probatur natura divina. Primum enim, vox hæc divinitas designate potest voluntatem Dei. Eamque orationem cum apostolus opponat non personis, sed philosophiæ et legi, hinc perspicuum est, eam de doctrina Domini Jesu non de persona accipi. De hac vero voce corporaliter, quid ea notet, inferius suo loco audies.”
But, — 1. It is not divinity but deity, not θεότης but πλήρωμα θεότητος, that is here spoken of; and that not simply neither, but πλήρωμα θεότητος, “the fulness of the Godhead.” 2. That θείτης, or πλήρωμα θεότητος, is ever taken for the will of God, they do not, they cannot prove. 3. How can it be said that the will of God κατοικεῖ σωματικῶς, “doth dwell bodily” in any, or what can be the sense of that expression? Where they afterward interpret the word “bodily” I do not remember; when I meet with their exposition it shall be considered. 4. That the words are to be referred to the person of Christ, and not to his doctrine, is manifest, not only from the words themselves, that will not bear any such sense as whereunto they are wrested, but also from the context; for not only the whole order and series of words before and after do speak of the person of Christ (for “In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” verse 3; “Him we receive,” verse 6; “In him we are built up,” verse 7; “In him we are complete,” verse 10; “In him we are circumcised,” verse 11; “With him we are buried,” verse 12; “Together with him are we quickened,” verse 13; and it was he that was crucified for us, verses 14, 15), but also the design of the Holy Ghost enforces this sense, it being to discover a fulness and sufficiency in Christ of all grace and wisdom, that men should not need to seek relief from either law or philosophy. The fulness of the Godhead inhabiting in the person of Christ substantially, he is God by nature. And of these places so far. The three following, of John xvii. 5, 1 Pet. i. 10, 11, John iii. 13, have been in their proper places already vindicated.
Grotius interprets that of Col. ii. 9 according to the analogy of the faith of our catechists: “Christi doctrina non modo philosophiæ sed et 324Legi Mosis plurimum præstat.” That πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς θεότητος should be doctrina, and κατοικεῖ ἐν Χρίστω should make it “the doctrine of Christ,” and σωματικῶς should be no man knows what, is but a cross way of interpretation. And yet Augustine is quoted, with a saying from him to give countenance unto it; which makes me admire almost as much as at the interpretation itself. The words our annotator mentions are taken from his Epist. 57 ad Dardan., though he mentions it not. The reason will quickly appear to any one that shall consult the place; for notwithstanding the expression here cropped off from his discourse, he gives an interpretation of the words utterly contrary to what this learned man would here insinuate, and perfectly agreeing with that which we have now proposed!
Our catechists proceed to the consideration of sundry places where Christ is called “The only Lord, the Lord of glory, the King of kings, the Lord of lords,” — all which being titles of the one true God, prove him to be so; — and the first proposed is, “To us there is one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him,” 1 Cor. viii. 6.
A little to give light to our argument from hence, and that the strength of it may appear, some few observations concerning the context and the words themselves will be necessary:—
1. Verse 5, the apostle, speaking of the heathens and their opinion of the Deity, says, “There be,” that is, to them, in their apprehension, “gods many, and lords many;’ that is, many supreme powers, who are gods and lords. The terms of “gods many, and lords many,” are not expressive of several kinds of deities, but of the same. Whom they esteemed lords they esteemed gods, and so on the contrary. In opposition to this polytheism of theirs, he declares that Christians have but one God, one Lord; wherein if the apostle did not intend to assert one only God unto Christians, in the different persons of the Father and Son, he had not spoken in such an opposition as the adversative ἀλλά at the beginning of the words and the comparison instituted do require.
2. That this “one Lord” of Christians is the only true God is manifest from Deut. vi. 4, “The Lord our God is one Lord.” So the apostle here, “To us there is one Lord:” not many gods, as the heathens fancied; in opposition also to whose idolatry is that assertion of Moses. And so Thomas, in his confession, joins these two together, intending one and the same person, “My Lord and my God.”
3. Κύριος, being put to signify God, is the word which the LXX. render Jehovah by, and so εἷς Κύπιος is that “only Jehovah.”
4. The attribution of the same works in this verse to Father and Son manifests them to be the same one God: “Of whom are all things, and we in him; … by whom are all things, and we by him.” These things being premised, what our catechists except to this testimony may be considered. Thus, then, they:—
325Hence a divine nature cannot be proved; for, — 1. He doth manifestly difference him from the Father, whom we have taught above to be the only God by nature. 2. This that it says of him, that “by him are all things,” shows him not to be God by nature, seeing, as hath been above declared, this particle “by” doth not signify the first, but the second cause; which can by no means be spoken of him who is God by nature. And though the Scriptures do sometimes say of the Father, “By him are all things,” yet these words are to be taken otherwise of the Father than of the Son. It is manifest that this is said of the Father, because all mediate causes by which any thing is done are not from any other, but from himself, nor are they such as that he cannot work without them; but it is spoken of Christ, because by him another, namely, God, worketh all things, as it is expressly said, Eph. iii. 9. That I need not to remember, that the word “all things,”as was showed above, is to be referred to the subject-matter; which that it so appeareth hence, that the apostle dealeth of all those things which belong to the Christian people, as these two words “to us” and “Father” do declare. Whence it is proved that Christ is not simply and absolutely, but in some certain respect, called the “one Lord, by whom are all things.” Wherefore his divine nature is not proved from hence.366366 “Ex eo quod Christum apostolus Dominum suum vocet, natura divina effici nequit; nam eum primo manitfeste ab illo Patre, quem ibidem Deum unum fatetur, secernit, quum solum natura Deum esse superius docuimua Deinde, hoc ipsum quod de eo dicit, omnia per ipsum, eum natura Deum esse non ostendit, cum, ut superius demonstratum est, hac particula per non primam verum secundam causam designari constet, quod de eo qui natura Deus est dici nullo mode petest. Et licet de Patre Scriptura interdum loquatur, Per eum omnia, aliter tamen hæc de Patre quam de Christo accipiuntur. De Patre enim hæc ideo dici constat, quod omnes causæ mediæ per quas fit aliquid, non aliunde sint, nisi ab ipso, nec sint ejusmodi, ut sine iis ille agere non possit; de Christo vero dicuntur, quod per eum alius quis, nempe Deus omnia operetur, ut Eph. iii. 9 expresse habetur. Ne commemorandum mihi sit verbum omnia (uti superius ostensum est) ad subjectam materiam referri; quod ita habere inde apparet, quod apostolus agit de iis omnibus rebus quæ ad populum Christianum pertinent, ut duo hæc verba demonstrant, nobis, et Pater. Unde efficitur Christum non simpliciter et absolute, verum certa de causa vocatum Dominum unum, per quem omnia Quare hinc natura divina non probatur.”
It is very evident that they are much entangled with this testimony, which necessitates them to turn themselves into all manner of shapes, to try whether they can shift their bonds, and escape or no. Their several attempts to evade shall be considered in their order.
1. It is true, Christ is differenced clearly from the Father as to his person, here spoken of; but that they have proved the Father to be the only God by nature, exclusively to the Son and Holy Ghost, is but a boasting before they put off their harness. It is true, the Father is said here to be the “one God;” which no more hinders the Son from being so too than the assertion that the Son is the “one Lord” denies the Father’s being so also.
2. That cavil at the word “by” hath been already considered and removed. It is enough for us to manifest that this assignation of the creation of all things to Christ by the expression of, “By him are all things,” doth by no means depose him from the honour of principal efficient cause in that work, the same attribution being made to the Father in the same words. And to say, as our catechists do, that this expression is ascribed to the Father in such a sense, 326and not to Christ, is purely, without any pretence of proof, to beg the thing in question. Neither is that any thing to the purpose which is urged from Eph. iii. 9, for we confess that as Christ is equal with his Father as to his nature, wherein he is God, so as he is the Son in office, he was the servant of the Father, who accomplishes his own mind and will by him.
3. The subject-matter in this place, as to the words under consideration, is the demonstration of the one God and Lord of Christians, asserted in opposition to the many gods and lords of the heathen, from the effects or works of that one God and Lord, “of him and by him are all things;” and this is the difference that God elsewhere puts between himself and idols, Jer. x. 10, 11. And if there be any such subject-matter as proves Christ not to be the one Lord absolutely, but in some respect, it proves also that the Father is not the one God absolutely, but in some respect only.
4. The words “to us” and “Father” do one of them express the persons believing the doctrine proposed concerning the one true God and Lord, the other describes that one true God by that name whereby he revealed himself to those believers; neither of them at all enforcing the restriction mentioned.
Christ, then, is absolutely the one Lord of Christians, who made all things; and so is by nature God, blessed for ever.
I should but needlessly multiply words, particularly to animadvert on Grotius’ annotations on this place. I do it only where he seems to add some new shifts to the interpretation of our adversaries, or varies from them in the way, though he agrees in the end; neither of which reasons occurring in this place, I shall not trouble the reader with the consideration of his words. By δἰ οὗ τὰ πάμτα, to maintain his former expositions of the like kind, he will have all the things of the new creation only intended; but without colour or pretence of proof, or any thing to give light to such an exposition of the words.
Our catechists next mention 1 Cor. ii. 8, “For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Who is the Lord of glory, or God of glory, the Holy Ghost declares, Acts vii. 2, “The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia;” and Ps. xxiv. 8, “Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” Christ, therefore, is this God; and, indeed, is intended in that psalm. But they say, —
A divine nature cannot be proved from hence, seeing it treateth of him who was crucified, which cannot be said of a divine nature, but of a man; who is therefore called the “Lord of glory,” that is, the glorious Lord, because he is crowned of God with glory and honour.367367 “Cum in eo agatur de eo qui crueifixus sit, apparet ex eo naturam divinam non probari, cum de hac illud dici nequeat, verum de heroine, qui ideo Dominus gloriæ dicitur, hoc est, Dominus gloriosus, quod a Deo gloria et honore coronatus sit.”
327But, — 1. Though the divine nature could not be crucified, yet he that had a divine nature might be and was crucified in the nature of a man, which he also had. Our catechists know they do but beg in these things, and would fain have us grant that because Christ had a human nature, he had not a divine. 2. He is called “The Lord of glory,” as God is called “The God of glory;” and these terms are equivalent, as hath been showed. 3. He was the Lord of glory when the Jews crucified him, or else they had not crucified him who was the Lord of glory, but one that was to be so; for he was not crowned with glory and honour until after his crucifying.
Grotius’ annotation on this place is worth our observation, as having somewhat new and peculiar in it. “Κύριον τῆς δόξης. Eum quem Deus vult esse omnium judicem. Nam gloria Christi maxime illum diem respicit, 1 Pet. iv. 13. Christus Κύριος δόξης, præfiguratus per arcam, quæ מֶלֶךְ הַכָּבוֹר, Ps. xxiv. 9.” For the matter and substance of it, this is the same plea with that before mentioned: the additions only deserve our notice. 1. Christ is called “The Lord of glory, as God is called “The God of glory;” and that term is given him to testify that he is the God of glory. If his glory at the clay of judgment be intended, the Jews could not be said to crucify the Lord of glory, but him that was to be the Lord of glory at the end of the world. Our participation of Christ’s glory is mentioned 1 Pet. iv. 13, not his obtaining of glory. He is essentially the Lord of glory; the manifestation whereof is various, and shall be eminent at the day of judgment. 2. That the ark is called מֶלֶךְ הַכָּבוֹד, is little less than blasphemy. It is he alone who is the Lord of hosts who is called “The Lord of glory,” Ps. xxiv. 9. But this is another shift for the obtaining of the end designed, — namely, to give an instance where a creature is called “Jehovah,” as that king of glory is; than which a more unhappy one could scarce be fixed on in the whole Scripture. The annotations of the learned man on that whole psalm are very scanty. His design is to refer it all to the story of David’s bringing home the ark, 2 Sam. vi.. That it might be occasioned thereby I will not deny; that the ark is called “The King of glory” and “The Lord of hosts,” and not he of whose presence and favour the ark was a testimony, no attempt of proof is offered. Neither, by the way, can I assent unto his interpretation of these words, “ ‘Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors:’ that is, Ye gates of Zion, made of cedar, that are made hanging down, and when they are opened, they are lifted up.” Certainly something more sublime and glorious is intended.
The process of our catechists is unto Rev. xvii. 14, xix. 16; in both which places Christ is called “The Lord of lords and King of kings.” This also is expressly the name of God: 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16, “Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 328who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light,” etc. To this they say:—
In this testimony he is treated of who is the Lamb, who hath garments, who was killed, and redeemed us with his blood, as John evidently testifieth; which can by no means be referred to a divine nature, and therefore a divine nature cannot hence be proved. But all things that in these testimonies are attributed to Christ do argue that singular authority which God hath given unto Christ in those things that belong to the new covenant.368368 “In tertio testimonio, cum agatur de eo qui Agnus est, et qui vestimenta ha Revelation bet quem et occisum, et sanguine suo nos redimisse, apertissime idem Johannes fatetur, quæ referri ad divinam naturam nulla ratione poassunt, apparet eo naturam divinam Christi astrui non posse. Omnia veto quæ hic Christo in iis testimoniis tribuuntur, singularem ipsius potestatem quam Deus Christo in iis quæ ad novum fœdus pertinent, dedit, arguunt.”
These are but drops; the shower is past. Because he who is the Lamb who was slain is King of kings and Lord of lords, we prove him to have another nature, in respect whereof he could be neither killed nor slain; therefore he is God, God only is so. And the answer is, “Because he was the Lamb he was killed and slain, therefore he is not God,” — that is, he is not King of kings and Lord of lords; — which the Holy Ghost, who gave him this name, win prove against them. 2. Our adversaries have nothing to except against this testimony, but that the King of kings and Lord of lords is not God; which they do not prove, nor labour to disprove our confirmation of it. 3. Kings and lords of the world are not of the things of the new covenant, so that Christ’s absolute sovereignty over them is not of the grant which he hath of his Father as Mediator, but as he is God by nature.
And so much for this collection concerning these several names of God attributed to Christ.
What follows in the three questions and answers ensuing relates to the divine worship attributed to Christ in the Scriptures, though it be marvellous faintly urged by them. Some few texts are named, but so much as the intendment of our argument from them is not once mentioned. But because I must take up this elsewhere, namely, in answer to Mr Biddle, chap. x., I shall remit the consideration of what here they except to the proper place of it; where, God assisting, from the divine worship and invocation of Jesus Christ, I shall invincibly demonstrate his eternal power and Godhead.
In the last place, they heap up together a number of testimonies, — each of which is sufficient to cast them down to the sides of the pit in the midst of their attempts against the eternal deity of the Son of God, — and accommodate a slight general answer to them all. The places are worth the consideration; I shall only propose them, and then consider their answer.
The first is Isa. viii. 13, 14, “Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall 329be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel.” He that is to be for a rock of offence and a stone of stumbling is the Lord of hosts, whom we must sanctify in our hearts, and make him our dread and our fear. But this was Jesus Christ: Luke ii. 34, “This child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel.” “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling-stone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed,” Rom. ix. 33. “The stone which the builders refused, … a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence,” 1 Pet. ii. 7, 8. In all which places that prophecy is repeated. Christ, therefore, is the Lord of hosts, whom we are to sanctify in our heart, and to make him our dread and our fear.
Isa. xlv. 22, 23, “I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” He who is God, and none else, is God by nature. But now “we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God,” Rom. xiv. 10, 11. It is the judgment-seat of Christ that men must appear before when they bow their knee to him, — that is, to him who is God, and none else.
Isa. xli. 4, “I, Jehovah, the first, and with the last; I am he.” Chap. xliv. 6, “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” So chap. xlviii. 12. That this is spoken of Christ we have his own testimony, Rev. i. 17, “Fear not; I am the first and the last.” He who is the first and the last, he is God, and there is none besides him.
Zech. xii. 10, “I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.” He that speaks is unquestionably Jehovah, the Lord of hosts So the whole context, so the promising of the Spirit in this verse, evinces But that Jesus Christ is here intended, that it is he who is spoken of, is evident, Rev. i. 7, “Every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him.” He, then, is Jehovah, the Lord of hosts. “These things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced,” John xix. 36, 37. It is, as I said, beyond dispute that it is Jehovah, the only true God, that spake; and what he spoke of himself is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Ps. lxviii. 17, 18, “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; that the Lord God might dwell among them.” This also is a glorious description of the triumphant 330majesty of God; and yet the God here intended is Jesus Christ: Eph. iv. 8–10, “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended.”
Grotius on both these places says that what is properly spoken of God is by Paul mystically applied to Christ; to the same purpose with what our catechists afterward insist on. That it is the same person who is intended in both places, and not that applied to one which was spoken of another (which is most evident in the context), he takes no notice. There being nothing of plea or argument in his annotations against our testimonies from hence, but only an endeavour to divert the meaning of the places to another sense, I shall not insist longer on them.
But what say our catechists to all these, — which are but some of the instances of this kind that might be given? Say they:—
To all these it may be so answered as that it may appear that a divine nature in Christ cannot from them be proved: for those things which are spoken of God under the law may be spoken of Christ under the gospel, as also they are spoken, for another cause, — namely, because of that eminent conjunction that is between God and Christ, on the account of dominion, power, and office; all which the scriptures of the New Testament do frequently witness that he received by gift from God. And if the Scripture delivers this of Moses, that he brought Israel out of Egypt, Exod. xxxii. 7, and that he was the redeemer of the people, Acts vii. 35, and of others the same things, that were evidently written of God, when neither Moses nor others had so near a conjunction with God as was between God and Christ, much more justly may those things which in the first respect are spoken of God be accommodated to Christ, because of the eminent and near conjunction that was between them.369369 “Ad omnia ita responderi potest, ut appareat nullo modo ex iis effici divinam in Christo esse naturam; etenim aliam ob causam ea quæ de Deo dicta sunt sub lege, dici potuerunt de Christo sub evangelio, quemadmodum et dicta sunt, nimirum propter illam summam quæ inter Deum et Christum est, ratione imperii, potestatis, atque muneris, conjunctionem, quæ onmia illum Dei dono consecutum esse scripturæ Novi Testamenti passim testantur. Quod si Scriptura ea tradit de Mose, eum Israelem ex Ægypto eduxisse, Exod. xxxii. 7, et quod redempter illius populi fuerit, Acts vii. 35, et de aliis idem quod de ipso Deo apertissime scriptum erat, cum nec Moses neque alli tantam cum Deo conjunctionem haberent, quanta inter Deum et Christum intercessit, multo justius hæc quæ de Deo primo respectu dicta sunt, Christo accommodari possunt, propter summam illam et arctissimam inter Deum et Christum conjunctionem.”
And this is their defence, the answer they fix upon to all the testimonies recited; wherein how little truth or strength there is will quickly appear. 1. These scriptures perhaps may be answered thus or thus, as what will not the serpentine wits of men find out to wrest the word withal to their own destruction? but the question is, How ought they to be interpreted, and what is their sense and intendment? 2. We do not say that what is spoken of God under the law is accommodated to Christ under the gospel, but that the things instanced in, that were spoken of God, were then spoken of Christ 331as to his nature wherein he is God; which appears by the event, expounded in the books of the New Testament. The Scripture doth not say in the New Testament of Christ what was said in the Old of God, but evinces those things which were so spoken of God to have been spoken of Christ. So that, 3. The folly of that pretence, that what was spoken of God is referred to Christ upon the account of the conjunction mentioned, — which, whatever it be, is a thing of nought in comparison of the distance that is between the Creator and a mere creature, — is manifest; for let any one be in never so near conjunction with God, yet if he be not God, what is spoken of God, and where it is spoken of God, and denoting God only, cannot be spoken of him, nor, indeed, accommodated to him. 4. The instances of Moses are most remote from the business in hand. It is said of Moses that he brought the children of Israel out of Egypt; and so he did, as their chief leader and ruler, so that he was a redeemer to that people, as he was instrumental in the hand of God, working by his power and presence with him those mighty works which made way for their deliverance and redemption. But where is it said of Moses or any one else that he was God; that what God said of himself was said of Moses and accomplished in him? or where ever did Moses speak in the name of God, and say, “I, Jehovah, will do this and this, or be so and so, unto my people?” 5. It is true, men may be said to do in their place and kind of operation what God doth do, — he as the principal efficient, they as the instrumental cause, — and so may every other creature in the world, as the sun gives light and heat; but shall therefore that which God speaks in his own name of himself be so much as accommodated unto them? 6. The conjunction that is between God and Christ, according to our catechists, is but of love and favour on the part of God, and of obedience and dependence on the part of Christ; but this in the same kind, though not in the same degree, is between God and all believers, so that of them also what is spoken of God may be spoken.
And thus, through the presence of God, have I gone through with the consideration of all the testimonies given in the Scripture of the deity of Christ which these catechists thought good to take notice of, with a full answer to their long chapter “De persona Christi.” The learned reader knows how much all the arguments we insist on and the testimonies we produce in this cause might have been improved to a greater advantage of clearness and evidence, had I taken liberty to handle them as they naturally fall into several heads, from the demonstration of all the names and properties, all the works and laws, all the worship and honour of God, to be given and ascribed to Jesus Christ; but the work I had to do cast my endeavour in this business into that order and method wherein it is here presented to the reader.
332The conclusion of our catechists is a long harangue, wherein they labour to insinuate the prejudicialness of our doctrine to the true knowledge of Christ and the obtaining of salvation by him, with the certain foundation that is laid in theirs for the participation of all the benefits of the gospel. The only medium they fix upon for to gain both these ends by is this, that we deny Christ to be a true man, which they assert. That the first of these is notoriously false is known to all other men, and is acknowledged in their own consciences; of the truth of the latter elsewhere. He that had a perfect human nature, soul and body, with all the natural and essential properties of them both, he who was born so, lived so, died so, rose again so, was and is a perfect man; so that all the benefits that we do or may receive from Jesus Christ as a perfect man, like unto us in all things, sin only excepted, there is a way open for in this our confession of him. In the meantime, the great foundation of our faith, hope, and expectation, lies in this, that “he is the Son of the living God;” and so that “God redeemed his church with his own blood,” he who was of the fathers “according to the flesh being God over all, blessed for ever:” which if he had not been, he could not have performed the work which for us he had to do. It is true, perhaps, as a mere man he might do all that our catechists acknowledge him to have done, and accomplish all that they expect from him; but for us, who flee to him as one that suffered for our sins, and made satisfaction to the justice of God for them, who wrought out a righteousness that is reckoned to all that believe, that quickens us when we are dead, and sends the Holy Ghost to dwell and abide in us, and is himself present with us, etc., it is impossible we should ever have the least consolation in our fleeing for refuge to him unless we had this grounded persuasion concerning his eternal power and Godhead. We cannot think he was made the Son of God and a God upon the account of what he did for us; but that being God, and the Son of God, herein was his love made manifest, that he was “made flesh,” “took upon him the form of a servant,” and became therein for us “obedient unto death, the death of the cross.” Many, indeed, and inexpressible, are the encouragements unto faith and consolation in believing that we do receive from Christ’s being made like to us, a perfect man, wherein he underwent what we were obnoxious unto, and whereby he knows how to be compassionate unto us; but that any sweetness can be hence derived unto any who do refuse to own the fountain whence all the streams of love and mercy that run in the human nature of Christ do flow, that we deny. Yea, that our adversaries in this business have any foundation for faith, love, or hope, or can have any acceptance with God or with Jesus Christ, but rather that they are cursed, on the one hand for robbing him of the glory of his deity, and on the other for putting their confidence 333in a man, we duly demonstrate from innumerable testimonies of Scripture. And for these men, the truth is, as they lay out the choicest of all their endeavours to prove him not to be God by nature, and so not at all (for a made god, a second-rank god, a deified man, is no God, the Lord our God being one, and the conceit of it brings in the polytheism of the heathen amongst the professors of the name of Christ), so they also deny him to be true man now he is in heaven, or to retain the nature of a man; and so, instead of a Christ that was God from eternity, made a man in one person unto eternity, they believe in a Christ who was a man, and is made a god, who never had the nature of God, and had then the nature of man, but hath lost it. This, Mr B., after his masters, instructs his disciples in, in his Lesser Catechism, chap. x., namely, that although Christ rose with his fleshly body, wherein he was crucified, yet now he hath a spiritual body, not in its qualities, but substance, — a body that hath neither flesh nor bones. What he hath done with his other body, where he laid it aside, or how he disposeth of it, he doth not declare.
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