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which they preferred under the pretence of religion was that “ he made himself the son of God” and they would have of course accused him of haviag made himself God, to Pilate whom they found inclined to release Jesus and in presence of the mul. titude, this being better calculated to excite the wrath of the latter and horor of the former, had the Jews ever heard him declare himself God or say any thing that amounted to his claim to the Godhead. The high priest and other chief accusers knew very well
that their people were taught to consider - God as their father and to call themselves
the children of the Most High (correctlv speaking the sons of the Most High, Psalm LXXXII. 6.) and this idea was so familiar a. mong them, that Jesus also admitted them to be the particular children of the Deity; Mark VII. 27. “ But Jesus said unto her let the children first be filled &c."
The Editor says (page 597.) that “our author queries on what principle any stress can be laid on the prophetic expression quoted in Heb. I from the Psalms 'thy throne O God is for ever and ever,' we reply merely on this principle, that it is spoken by God who cannot lie." Are not these words also "ye are Gods"
spoken by him who cannot lie? Is not the very verse of Hebrews “thy throne O God is for ever and ever” applied origiually to Solomon by him who cannot lie, and in an acco. modated sense to Jesus by the apostle? I will not introdace the subject again, it having been noticed in page 120. The Editor expresses his astonishment at what I say in the Second Ap. peal, that the phrase “ for ever" must mean a limited time when referred to an earthly king or a creature; and therefore it carrys no weight in the proof of the deity of Jesus, wheu applied to him. The reason which he assigns for his surprize is, How could I take this phrase in a finite sense when applied to Jesus the eternal Jehovah? Did not the Editor feel astonished at the idea that he employs the application of the phrase “for ever” in his attempt to prove the deity of Jesus and then employs the circum. stance of the eternal deity of Jesus, for the purpose of proving that infinite duration is understood by the phrase " for ever” when referred to Jesus.
As he admits that “for ever” when refers red to a creature, implies a limited time only, he therefore must spare this phrase and try to quote some other term peculiar to God, in bis endeavour to establish the deity of Jesus.
The Editor says that the expression of Jes sus to Mary John XX. 17. “ Go to . my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my father and your father and to my God and your God” was merely in bis human nature I wish the Editor had furnished us with a list, enumerating those expressions that Jesus Christ made in his human capacity, and another shewing such declarations as he made in his divine nature, with authorities for the distinction. I might have in that case atten. tively examined them as well as their autho. rities. From his general mode of reasoning I am induced to think, that he will sometimes be obliged, in explaining a single sentence in the scriptures, to ascribe a part of it to Jesus as a man and another part to him in his divine nature. As for example John V. 22. and 23. “For the father judgeth no man but hath com. mitted all judgement unto the son; that all men should honor the son, even as they honor the father, he that honoreth not the son, honoreth not the father who sent me.” The first part of this sentence “ hath committed all judgement unto the son” must have been according to the Editor) spoken in the human nature of Jesus Christ, since the almighty in exercising bis power does not stand in need of another's vesting him with that power. The second
part of the same sentence “all men should honor the son as they honor the father” must be ascribed by the Editor to Jesus as God, he having been worthy to be honoured as the father is - and the last part“ who hath sent me” relates again to Christ's human capacity, since it implies his subjection to the disposal of another. Is this the internal evidence of Christianity on which the orthodox divines lay stress ? Surely not.
. As to the exclamation of Thomas John XX. 28. “ My Lord and my God” it is neither a confession of the supreme deity of Jesus by him, nor is it a vain exclamation, since it is evident from verse the 25th, that Thomas doubted Christ's resurrection without any re. ference to his deity, and that when he saw Je. sus and the print of the nails, he believed it, and being struck with such a circumstance, made the exclamation “my Lord and my God" according to the invariable habits of the Jews, Arabs, and almost all other Asiatic nations, who, when struck with wonder, often make exclamations in the name of the deity; and that Jesus from these apparent circumstances and haviny perceived his heart, says “ because thou hast seen me thou hast believed :" (29.) by which Jesus acknowledges the belief of Thomas in the fact which he doubted in verse 25; that is, his resurrection, for the subject in question as it stands in the context has no ale lusion to the deity of Jesus and the form in which a confession is made is totally different from that of exclamation, both in the scriptures and in ordinary language. How can Thomas be supposed to have meant to confess the deity of Jesus in a mere exclamation “my Lord and my God” without adding some phase conveying confession such as “thou art" my Lord and my God and “I believe you to be" my Lord and my God? I beg that my readers will attentively refer to the context and to the common habits of Asiatics on occasions similar to this, and form their opinion respecting this subject. The Editor quotes Matthew V. 37. which with its context forbid all sorts of swearing ; but what relation this has to the exclamation of Thomas in John XX. 28. I am unable to dis. cover.
The Editor quotes six passages from the Gospel and the Book of the Revelations, four of which I have already e xamined and I notice now the remaining two verst 8. First John I. 1. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” By the first sentence ( in the beginning