« AnteriorContinuar »
they also,' 1 John ü. 23, &c. - Mercy from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father :-He that abideth in Christ, hath the Father and the Son," e John ver. 3, 9. “If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also," John xiv. 7. “ He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father," John v. 23. “Our fellowship is with the Father and his Son," 1 John
From these, and the many scriptures, where mercy and all blessings are equally and jointly implored from God the Father, and from the Son of God, we conclude, that as the natural sun, and the blazing radiance which it continually generates, make but one wonderful luminary-so the Father, and the Son, who is the brightness of his Father's glory, make but one God over all blessed for ever,
As concluding remarks to this chapter, we can have but little to add to this venerable and pious divine-and these few, mere notes of application. From the contents of this chapter, we learn that according to the scriptures, God the Father has a proper Son, by whom he made and governs the world. Our views concur with this venerable writer's ideas, that it is most clearly a gospel truth, that this Son must be God in his divine nature; for every unprejudiced mind, must admit, that none but a God, can create, govern, and judge the world; and that the being having this power, must possess the fullness of the attributes of the Father, naturally, and inherently in himself as the Father. And as this pious divine saith, “ we cannot read the divine oracles without finding out this capital truth, that God, considered as Father, has an only begotten Son, called the Logos
or word, whom he loved before the foundation of the World.” We find also, that Mr. Fletcher believed that the Son, or Logos, or Word of the Father, to be one and the same character or being. This learned and pious divine, is consistent in all this, with the articles of faith he has subscribed as a member of the church of England; which we have ever professed to believe, so far as they refer to the question under consideration. The ad article states, “the Son who is the Word of the Father, took man's nature,” &c. It will suffice for us to say, that Mr. Fletcher's views concur with ours, that Christ as Son, is exalted, above all that are created, derived, and dependent beings, and above all called Gods upon earth; and that is supported by the great Apostle Paul;—and by him all things were created and exist-he is the beginning and the end, the first and last. We are in belief with Mr. Fletcher, and we think his authority, maintains what we have previously written in this work. We now lay before our readers for their edification, the 4th chapter of Mr. Fletcher's vindication.
BY MR. FLETCHER.
That our Lord claimed the divine honor of being the proper
Son of God the Father, and laid down his human life in proof of this very truth.
Jesus Christ, says St. Paul, “ being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,” Phil. ii. 6, &c. Hence the carnal Jews, who judged of him merely according to their carnal reason, being offended at him, verified the truth of Isaiah's prophecy : “ He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." But “ who shall declare his generation." The Jews, I say, judging of him according the flesh, charged him with blasphemy, and“ sought to kill him, because he said that God was his (proper) Father, making himself equal with God," although, like a true son, he acknowledged that the Father (in point of paternity) was greater than him, yet he never declared himself of the supposed blasphemy, but defended himself by proper appeals to his works: 66 I and the Father are one,” so intimately one, that “ the Son can do nothing of himself, but," like a divine son, in the most perfect unity with his Father who precedes him," he does what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever the Father doeth, those also doeth the Son likewise,”
whether they be the creation, or the preservation of worlds--the fixing, or the controlling of the laws of nature, “For as the Father hath” a divine and quickening “ life in himself, so hath he given to the son to have” a divine and quickening “ life in himself.” “ For as the Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.” Nay, added our Lord, there is one thing which the Father leaves entirely to the Son :) “For the Father judgeth no man : but hath committed all judgment to the Son, that all men should honor the Son as they honor the Father,"John v. 18,26. x.30. Thus our Lord, far from pleading not guilty, to the charge of “making himself equal with God," proved by two unanswerable reasons, that divine honors are due to Him, as well as to the Father: 1. He does the very works of his Father jointly with him : And 2. The Father hath, over and above, committeed to him the most awful and tremendous af all works--that of judicially killing and saving alive : “ for the Father judgeth no man,' in the daily course of providence, as well as in the great day: This divine work is the Son's honourable prerogative, that none should scruple to “honor Him as they honor the Father."
Let us see how this divine Son defended himself against the same charge on another occasion. When he had asserted, that “ He and his Father were one, the Jews took up stones again to stone Him, saying, We stone thee for blasphemy, and because thou, being a man, makest thyself God” What a fair opportunity had our Lord here, to disclaim divine honors, and to set kindly the Jews to rights, if they had mistaken his meaning, But far from doing this, he tries, to convince
them of his divinity, by a rational argunent, and by a further appeal to his god-like works.
1. By a rational argument.--" Is it not,” saith he “written in your law, I said Ye are Gods? If he called them Gods, unto whom the Word of God (the Logos) came, say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God ?" John x. 31, &c. The force of this argument may be better undersood by a short paraprhase. It is just as if our Lord had said, If the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of David, gives the honorary title of gods, to the prophets, judges, and kings of Israel, whom God appointed to be types of me, the Head of the prophets, and the Judge of all the earth,-do ye not act very inconsistently with the scriptures, which cannot be broken, when you suppose that I blaspheme; by saying, “I am the Son of God ?" If the bare types and forerunners of me, are titular gods in your own account, are you not as unreasonable as you are unjust, to be offended at me for saying “I am the Son of God ?" whereas I might have ronndly said, that I am, in union with my Father, “God, over all blessed for ever.” If my shadows are called gods without blasphemy, do ye not break at once through the word of God, and through the bounds of common sense, when yesay, that I, the sum and substance of all types and figures-I the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, who am sent by my Father with godlike credentials, blaspheme, when I declare that I am the Son (the proper Son) of God?
2. After our Lord had advanced this convincing argument, he proceeded to an argument, the strength of which was felt by all those who had