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eyes and a grairof candor, I mean an appeal to biš works. “If I do not the works of my Father, the works of God, “ believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works so shall ye know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him," or, to use his former expression, that I and my Father are One," John x. 30, 37, 38.
The effect of this last argument shows, that our Lord, far from having made any concession to the Jews, stood to his point, viz. that He and the Father are One- that being the proper Son of God, he is, in union with his Father, the One true God; which he instantly proved by a divine work : for the Jews, enraged at what appeared to them confirmed blasphemy," sought again to take him;" but, (notwithstanding their impetuous fury,) “ he escaped out of their hands,?? John x. 39.
And when at last he suffered himself to be apprehended by them for the establishment of our faith, and to leave the enemies of his divin.. ity, and the inconsistent admirers of his humanity, without excuse, he sealed with his blood the glorious truth, for which he had been stoned again and again; namely, that he was the very Son of God, to whom the psalmist says, “ Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: therefore God, thy God," and thy Father, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness,” or hath appointed thee Christ for ev. er, Psalm xlv. 6, 7. For when the high-priest, standing “ up in the midst, asked him, Art thou the Christ” (that very Christ, of whom the prophet Micah saith, “out of Bethlehem shall come forth He that shall be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting?" Micah v.2.) “ Art thou the Son of the blessed ?" (that very Son, of whom the prophet Isaiah says, Unto us “the Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace ?" To this double question, which the Jews certainly understood in the high sense of the well known prohecies by which I illustrate them, as appears by Mat. ii. 4, &c.—to this awful question Jesus answered, “I AM; and ye shall see the Son of man,” whom ye now reject because his form of God is veiled under the form of a servant, “sitting on the right hand of Power, and coming," in his form of God, “in the clouds of heaven, Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith. Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death," Mark xiv. 61, &c. So true it is, that the open or secret enemies of our Lord's deity, who, when we speak of his pre-existence, and of the adoration due to him, as the everlasting Son of the Blessed and everlasting Father, cry out, Absurdity! Blasphemy! Idolatry! and, in their indignation rend the church, as Caiaphas rent his garments, have drunk into the very spirit of the priests and the pharises, who led the van of the Jewish mob, when it cries, “ Away with him !" He is only Joseph and Mary's son, and of course a proud blasphemer ; for he says, “that God is his,” real and proper, “Father, making himself equal with God,” John v. 18.
Remarks.-" Thus far Mr. Fletcher had proceeded when he was called to his reward." This chapter is so lucid and full, the language so clear, and the arguments so strong and forcible; that we have only to press the reader to a candid and anxious reading of it; and we think he will find himself ready to draw his own conclusion, on the points we have lạbored, and wish him to consider.
We now insert several sections from the sth chapter of the Rev. Mr. Benson's continuation of the subject which by death the Rev. Mr. Fletcher was prevented from completing. The extracts from Mr. Benson's works will contain some quotations from the fathers of the 2d and 3d centuries of christianity. This is to give the reader a vicw, of the ideas of the most approved fathers on the subject.
FROM THE REV. MR. BENSON.
That the Apostles represented Him as the immediate Author
of all the Divine Works, &c.
1. We have already seen in that remarkable passage, quoted at large from the beginning of St. John's Gospel, that he considered the WORD which was in the beginning with God," as the immediate creator of all things. His words are very express, All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made,” ver. 3. And again, ver. 10, “ The world was made by him.” St. Paul, it is well known, taught the very same doctrine,-a"By him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whe(her they be thrones or dominions, or principali
ties or powers: all things were created by him and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
2. It is true, the Father, who is the fountain of deity and of divine power, is also the primary cause of all the divine works. But it is plain, from these passages, that the apostles considered the Word that was in the beginning with God, as the immediate author of them, the operative creator, (if I may so express myself,) the real and proper framer of all things, visible and invisible, temporal and eternal. Hence it is that they apply to him (as we have seen) the words of David in the 102d Psalm-" Thou, Lord, in the beginning, hast laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thine hands :" which words certainly represent the person, of whom they are spoken, not as an instrument in the hands of another, but as in a true and proper form, the maker of the world. And this was certainly the opinion of the ancient fathers, as innumerable passages, in their writings, shew. For the illustration of the subject, I shall quote two or three pages from Bishop Bull's Defence of the Nicene Faith; in which it will generally be allowed, he fairly represents the sentiments of these eminently holy men, who living so near the apostolic age, (some of them being the disciples of the apostolical fathers,) and being so constantly conversant with their writings, could not easily be ignorant what the doctrine of the apostles was upon this subject.*
* 1 make use of the translation of Fran. HOLLAND, A. M. Rector of Sutton, Wilts.