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ready found occasion to remark; and we plainly learn from the Gospels, that the apostles were exceedingly slow to believe that their Lord and Master, whose death appeared for a time to have suspended their faith and hope, had really burst the bonds of death asunder, and had raised again “ the temple of his body,” according to his promise. When Jesus, by submitting himself to the personal examination of his disciples, condescended to demonstrate to them the reality of this event, (John xx, 20) the apostle Thomas, “ called Didymus” was not of their company; and we find that he refused to be convinced on the subject, even by the united testimony of all his brethren. Except,” said he," I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails
, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And af
. ter eight days again, his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Then said he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; ani reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side : and be not faithless but believing :” 25–27. In the fresh proof which was thus afforded him of that knowledge of the secrets of men which ever distinguished his divine Master, as well as in the stupendous and now ascertained miracle of the resurrection, Thomas was furnished with an ample practical evidence of the real divinity of his Lord. No wonder, therefore, that, under the powerful influence of his renewed convictions, he 6 answered and said unto him, MY LORD AND MY GOD..
" Then Jesus said to him, “ Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed : blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed :" 28, 29.
How plain and striking is this narration ! How clearly suficient, in itself, to prove that the doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ is a doctrine of Scripture ! Let it be observed, in the first place, that the apostle's words were not merely an excla; mation, but were addressed to Jesus: “ Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God :" secondly, that these words contained the apostle's confession of faith
, for they were prompted by the exhortation of Jesus: “Be not faithless but believing;' and were evidently adverted to by our Lord, when he afterwards said, “ Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed :") and lastly, that
on the faith which Thomas had thus confessed, the Saviour of mankind did not hesitate to pronourtce his blessing : “ Blessed are they that have not seen andiyet have believed.” Truly it is the eternal Son of Gods
one in the divine nature with the Father, and therefore an Almighty and Omnipresent Saviour, in whom his followers, though now they " see him not, yet believing, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory!” 1 Pet. i, 8.
Such are the evidences which the Scriptures afford us of the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in connexion with his abode on earth.
We may now briefly review the several points of the whole Te argument.
The circumstances and qualities attributed to Jesus Christ by the prophets who foretold, and by the Evangelists who resu lated, the events of bis life and death, are many of them such di as plainly prove that, after his incarnation he was man-a 2. person endued with a human soul and a human body.
When we compare this evidence with the declarations of Scripture, respecting his preexistence in the divine nature, we s are compelled to allow that, when the Word was made flesh, i he, who before had been God only, became God and man-a
doctrine which more especially distinguishes those parts of the New Testament which describe the original deity and incarnation of Christ in connexion with each other, and in the order of their succession.
Jesus Christ uniting in himself the human with the divine nature, is one person, one Mediator, one Lord. Nevertheless, when we read of his actions and discourses, it is important that we should distinguish those particulars which were the consequences of his humanity from others which resulted from his deity.
The consequences of the humanity of Jesus Christ, detailed in the histories of his abode on earth, could not have contradicted or overturned the doctrine of his deity, as it is elsewhere declared in Scripture, even had those consequences formed the only subject of the Gospel narrations. But, in point of fact, these narratives, together with other parts of the Bible which relate to our Lord's incarnation and human existence, abound also in the evidences of his deity.
When the Lord Jesus declared himself to be the Saviour of the world, and a final object of that faith which ensures, to those who possess it, the gift of eternal life-when he presehted himself to the notice of his followers, as the moral and spiritual governor of mankind, the pardoner of sin, the authoritative repealer of parts of the divine law, the Lord of the Sabbath, greater than the temple, the giver and sender of the Holy Spirit-when he said to the Jews, “ Before Abraham was I am"--when he spoke as one omnipresent-above all,
when he described the reciprocity, the even fellowship, and the equal community of works and attributes, which subsisted in the divine unity between his father and himself-he indirectly, but indubitably, asserted his claim to the nature and character of God.
When he manifested an intuitive knowledge of the thoughts and secret murmurings of men, and thus, in conformity with his own declaration, evinced that he is the searcher of the reins and the hearts—when he effected his own miracles (as well as those of his apostles) and thus controled or altered, by his powerful fiat, the established order of nature—more espepecially when he burst asunder the bonds of death, and quickened again his own mortal body-he brought into exercise the attributes, and displayed the powers, of deity.
When that act of worship was addressed to him, which was indignantly rejected by an apostle, and by an angel, because they were creatures, and was so addressed to him as plainly to indicate religious faith and spiritual adoration, he was the object of those honors which are due to God only; and when notwithstanding his acknowledged humility, he freely admitted such honors, he again bore a virtual testimony to the truth of his own divinity.
When many glorious collateral circumstances accompanied the several parts of his human history-when the multitudinous chorus of angels hallowed his nativity ; when the greatest of human prophets ushered in his ministry ; when men and devils, and the very winds, were subdued by his presence ; when darkened and agitated nature owned his death: these things were all in harmony with the stupendous fact, that God was manifest in the flesh.
Lastly, when the prophets, with reference successively to the birth, the life, and the crucifixion, of the Messiah, describe him as God with us, as the mighty God, as the Lord coming to his own temple, as Jehovah, whose ways were prepared by Elijah, or by " the voice crying in the wilderness," as Jehovah sent by Jehovah to dwell among his people, as Jehovah whom the Israelites persecuted and pierced when the writers of the New Testament, without reserve or hesitation, apply some of these prophecies to our Saviour and when the apostle Thomas, after witnessing the truth of his resurrection, calls him his Lord and his God-these inspired servants of the Almighty confirm and fasten the whole preceding series of evidence, and place on the doctrine of the eternal divinity of Jesus Christ, as it is connected with his abode on earth, an intelligible and irrefragable seal.
that, when the Son of God came into the world, “ he came un
to HIS OWN :'* John i, 11. 3 Nor can it with any reason be imagined that such things
should be predicated of the Son of God on any other principle
than that of his real divinity ; for the ancient Israelites lived | under a theocracy, and Jehovah alone was their King. It was
his own province to work miracles for their preservation—to punish them for their iniquities, and to inspire their prophecies.
Here I would remark, that if the reader would form a complete view of this interesting branch of our subject, it is indisa pensably necessary that he should peruse and digest the history
of that mysterious angel of Jehovah, who is so often mentioned in the Old Testament as visiting, protecting, and delivering,
the people of God—the divine messenger, who comforted Has! gar in the desert; (Gen. xvi, 7--13:) who conversed with
Abraham on the plains of Mamre; (Gen. xviii, 1:) who afterwards, by a call from heaven, arrested his bloody sacrifice; (xxii, 12:) who redeemed Jacob from all evil: (xlviii, 16;) who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush ; (Exod. iii, 2:) who guided the Hebrews in the cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night; (Exod. xiv, 19 :) who withstood the perverse and eager Balaam; (Num. xxii, 22-35:) who strengthened Joshua for his combat with the Lord's enemies ; (Josh. v, 13:) who was sent of God to expel the idolatrous nations from the
plied after the verb imetúpensar: so Luke xxiv, 39. A precisely parallel
passage to 1 Cor. x, 9, will be found in the Septuagint version of Deut. 3. Vi, 16, ουκ εκπειράσεις Κύριον τον Θεόν σου όν τρόπον έξεπεράσαθε εν τω πειρασμό.
- Thou shalt not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted (him) in the provocation.” For Tòv Xgcrtèr in this passage, some authorities read tėv Kúgrov, which does not alter the sense of the pasland of promise ; (Exod. xxü, 23:) who pleaded at Bochim with the unfaithful İsraelites ; (Jud. ii, 1:) who gave to Gideon his high commission; (vi, 11, 12:) who promised to Manoah the birth of his son Samson; (xiii, 8, 9 :) who was manifested in the visions, and inspired the prophecies, of Amos and Ze. chariah: Amos vii, 7: Zech. i, ii.
sage; for, with the apostle Paul, ó Kúgios is a distinguishing and proper by name of Christ; but the evidence in favour of the commonly-received reading greatly preponderates: vide Griesbach. in loc.
* John i, 10, 11. “ He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own (rd idea) ont and his own (oi 18101) received him not.” Verse 10 may be described
as the mould upon which verse 11 is formed. Verse 10 declares that Jesus Christ was in the world, and that, although the world was made by him, the world knew him not. In verse 11, this declaration is followed up by the farther but similar statement, that Jesus Christ was manifested in that country which he had chosen for his own especial inheritance—that he came to that people whom he had consecrated as his own possession,—and that even by them he was rejected: vide Rosenmuller in loc. Grotius, on this passage, observes, “Docent jurisconsulti, id maxime naturuliter nostrum esse, quod nos ut existerent effecimus.”
On the various narrations now alluded to, it may, in the first place, be remarked, that such is the close resemblance which they bear one to another, and such the singular and characteristic features under which they unitedly depict the mysterious messenger of the Almighty, that it is scarcely possible not to understand them as all relating to a single individual.
In the second place, that this individual was no other than the Son of God, may be reasonably concluded, first, from the striking and very exact analogy which subsists between the history of the angel--that representative of the Father, that image of the invisible God, that ever-present and operating protector of God's people--and the account given in the numerous passages already cited from the New Testament, of Jesus Christ preexistent; secondly, from the evidence of Mal. iii, 1, in which prophecy (as is allowed by the generality of Christian, and by some Jewish, commentators) the Messiah is described as the Messenger or Angel of the Covenant, comp. Jud. ii, 1; and thirdly, from the unquestionable fact,) as the writings of Philo, of the Targumists, and of Ben Jochaï, show it to be) that this wonder-working angel of Jehovah was the very person whom the ancient Jews (the apostle John, doubtless, among the rest) were accustomed to describe as the Word and Son of God.*
* In the Targum of Onkelos, the Angel of Jehovah, as he was manifested to Jacob and to Balaam, appears to be described as the Word of Jah : comp. Onk. on Gen. xxviii, 20, with Heb. Text, Gen. xxxi, 11. 13, and Onk. on Numb. xxiii, 3, 4. 16, with Heb. Text, Numb. xxii, 35. In the Jerusalem Targum, the same title is given to him in reference to his communications with Hagar (Gen. xvi,) Abraham (Gen. xviii, 1,) and Moses (Exod. iii, 14.) In the Targum of Jonathan on Isaiah lxiii, 7--10, the Word and the Angel are again evidently identified. With respect to Philo, he frequently denominates the Word or Son of God, the Angel or Archangel, and much of his doctrine respecting the personality and powerful operations of the Word is evidently derived from the history of the Angel of Jehovah, as it is stated in the Old Testament-a history to which he makes frequent references. For example, after describing (in a passage already cited) the pastoral care exercised by the Word or First-born Son over the “ flock” of created thingshe confirms his doctrine by a reference to one of the principal passages of Scripture relating to this mysterious Angel : “for,” says he, “it is somewhere written, Behold I am he: I will send mine Angel before