« ÎnapoiContinuați »
stood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air."-St. Paul.
But Trinitarians render the way to heaven obscure not only by a single definition, but by definitions essentially contradictory. As soon as it is admitted that the terms of salvation are not sufficiently defined in the Bible, and that men have a right to attempt an improvement of the gospel, the church is liable to be perplexed and embarrassed with as many different editions of it as there are writers. One man has the same right to claim a hearing that another has. This right has not been overlooked by Trinitarians, who have furnished us with a great variety of contradictory hypotheses, each professedly the true one.
Mr. Baxter says, "Abundance of hereticks have troubled the church with their self-devised opinions about the Trinity, and the person and nature of Christ.
And I am loth to say how much many of the orthodox have troubled it also, with their self-conceited, misguided, and uncharitable zeal against those they judged hereticks."
But imitating the modesty of Mr. Baxter, I will not now press this argument.
DOCTRINE OF THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST.
We do not object absolutely to the use of unscriptural phraseology, if it be employed for the sake of convenience; though it can never be essential to the creed of the true believer. We admit the phrase " Divinity of Christ," but we object to the manner in which it is often expounded. Whether Trinitarians generally explain and apply it in an intelligent manner, according to the true import of language, the reader is requested to judge for himself, after a careful and candid examination of the following exposition.
As the word “ Divinity” is not in the Bible, its meaning must be sought elsewhere. According to our most approved English dictionaries, the first definition of the word Divinity is Deity, and Deity means God. Having defined the word Divinity, we may substitute for it the well known and scriptural word God. Then instead of the phrase Divinity of Christ, we shall have the phrase God of Christ. The phrase Divinity of Christ, Deity of Christ, and God of Christ, are all synonymous. It now remains only to show who the God of Christ is. Let Christ himself determine. I ascend unto my Father and to your Father, and to my God and your God.”—John xx. 17. Christ here teaches us that his Divinity, or God, is his Father. We believe the Supreme Divinity to be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostles teach the same doctrine. St. Peter calls Jesus “ The Christ of God.”—Luke ix. 20. St. Paul, addressing believers, says,
"ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." -I Cor. iii. 23. That is, as Christians are subject to the dominion of
" But Christ, so Christ is subject to the dominion of God. I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”—I Cor. xi. 3. That is, as the man ranks above the woman, and as Christ is superior to christians, so God is superior to Christ. That this relation of dependence was not peculiar to Christ while on earth, is evident from his acknowledging God to be his God, after he had ascended to heaven, and was seated at God's own right hand. “ Him that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the eíty of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my GOD.Rev. iji. 12. So clear is the evidence that the Godhead or Divinity of Christ is his God and Father.
According to the definition here submitted, we firmly believe and constantly preach the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ. If we differ from Trinitarians in our exposition of the phrase, we have the satisfaction of knowing that, according to our exposition of it, Christ preached no doctrine while on earth, but that of his Divinity. For he expressly said to his hearers, "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." " For I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.”—John vii.16, and xii. 49. Can Trinitarians appeal to as high authority, as the example of Christ, for the doctrine they preach? Where has Christ asserted that God is three equal persons, or that he is Trinity, or Triune ?
Another definition of the word Divinity is, state of beinz divine, or godlike. In this sense of the word we speak of
the Divinity of the Scriptures; meaning that they came from God. According to this interpretation of the phrase, also, we firmly believe in the Divinity of Christ. We believe in the Divinity of his person and nature ; because he is the Son of God. If every son is the image and likeness of his father, and if Jesus is “God's own Son,” he must be divine or Godlike. If we believed him not to be divine, we should also believe him not to be the Son of God, but the Son of Joseph, or some other mafi.
We believe in the Divinity of his mission ; because God sent him. He said, “I am come in my
Father's name.... I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.”—John v. 43, and viii. 42. This is an explicit declaration of the Divinity of his mission. God confirmed the Divinity of Christ's mission by wonders and miracles which he wrought by him; and also by raising him from the dead, and exalting him at his own right hand. Nicodemus testified that no one but a messenger sent from God could do the works which Christ did. The miraculous powers he communicated to his Apostles, the fulfilment of his predictions in the destruction of the holy city, the dispersion of the Jews, and the early triumphs of the gospel, completed the evidence of the Divinity of Christ's mission.
We believe in the Divinity of his office; because it was established not by human authority, but by the will of heaven. God qualified him for his office, appointed him to it, and sustained him in it. Jesus opened his commission in these words : The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”—Luke iv. 18, 19.
We believe in the Divinity of his doctrine ; because it did not originate from himself, but came from God. As he came not to do his own will, but the will of God, so he spake not his own words, but the words of God. He said,
My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say and what I should speak."-John vii. 16, and xii. 49. The message Jesus brought was divine. It was the message of God, who hath spoken unto us in these last days by his Son.Heb. i. 2. The revelation of Jesus Christ was a revela• tion which God gave unto him. Rev. j. 1.
We believe in the Divinity of his works ; because of himself he could do nothing; but it was the Father that performed the works by him. “The Father that dwellelh in me, he doeth the works.”—John xiv. 10. “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him."--Acts ii. 22.
We believe in the Divinity of the fulness that was in Christ, and the blessings he communicated. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell. In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead borlily. Col. i. 19, and ii. 9. As the Son of God he was full of grace and truth. John i. 14. God giveth noi the Spiril by measure unto him. John iji. 34.
We believe in the Divinity of his authority, wisdom, power, and glory; because God gave them to him. He said, all things are delivered unto me of my Father.—Matt. xi. 27. We believe in the Divinity of all he was, all he did, and all he suffered; because God made him both Lord and Christ, exalted him to be a Prince and Saviour, and ordained him Prophet, Priest, and King; and all he did, and all he suffered, was by the grace of Goil.