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the latter concluded that his own death was inevitable, because he had seen God: Jud. xiii, 22. And lastly, in the prophecies of Amos, he is again described as Jehovah, (ch. vii, 7) and in those of Zechariah, as Jehovah sent by Jehovah : ii, 8—13.
VII. The observations which, under the preceding heads, have been offered respecting the Word or Angel of God, through whose mediation all the divine purposes were effected, and who was himself re led as the Deity present with his people, and operating for their protection and deliverance, will prepare the reader for a just estimate of a very important fact, that various passages in the Old Testament, which describe Jehovah in his personal presence, and immediate operations, are by the writers of the New Testament applied, without any apparent reserve or hesitation, TO TIE SON OF GOD. Two examples of such an application may now be given ; and as we have already traced the Deity of Christ preexistent in the statements of Scripture respecting his works and attributes, these examples will confirm our whole argument, by showing that the sacred writers have actually denominated him God and Jehovah."
In Psalm cii, we find the following striking passage: "When Jehovah,* shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory : comp. John i, 14. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer : comp. Matt, viii, 2, 3, 6, 13: 1 John v, 13. 15. This shall be written for the generation to come, and the people which shall be created shall praise Jehovah comp. Dan. ix, 26. For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary ; from heaven did Jehovah behold the earth: to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to loose those that are appointed to death : (comp, Isa. Ixi, 1 : Zech. ix, 11: Heb. ii, 15, &c.) to declare the name of Jehovah in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem ; comp. John i, 13 ; xvii, 26. When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms to serve Jehovah; comp. Isa. xi, 10 ; xlix, 6: Rom. xv, 8, 9. He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days : thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands," &c. 16-25.
In the Epistle to the Hebrews, (as has been already mentioned) the latter part of this passage is cited as relating to the Son of God, and cited for the express purpose
* When The LORD, in our common English Version of the Old Testament, is printed in large letters, it almost uniformly represents the Hebrew JEHOVAH.
ing his superiority in the divine nature over all the angels : see Heb. i, 10.
Now, since Jehovah is here represented as the Person, who should appear in Zion—who should in his immediate presence operate for the protection and deliverance of his people—and who should declare the name of Jehovah, even as one commissioned declares the name of one who commissions him ; (comp. Gen. xix, 24 : Zech. ii, 10—13;) it is no matter of surprise that any ancient Jewish theologian should recognize, in the in the description thus given by the Psalmist, the character of that Word of Jehovah who acts in behalf of Jehovah, and is Jehovah : and accordingly, I observe that it is the Word of Jehovah, of whom the passage is explained by the Chaldaic Paraphrast.*
Much less is such an explanation of the passage extraordinary in a Christian Jew, who not only must have agreed with his fellow-countrymen in their doctrine respecting the Word, comp. Heb. xi, 3) but who could scarcely fail to trace in this ancient prophesy the delineation of that divine Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, who had already appeared in Zion-who had already manifested his mercies to a generation which, at the time when David wrote, was a future one—who had already proclaimed the name of his Father in Jerusalem-who had already lifted up his standard for the gathering together of the people and kingdoms -for the conversion of the Gentile nations to the truth of God.
These remarks may serve to elucidate the views entertained by the writer of the Epistle, when he applied this passage of the Psalms to the Son of God. But, on the presumption that this Epistle, like the rest of the New Testament, was written by inspiration (a point which I cannot now discuss, but which I am persuaded a careful examination of the subject will fully substantiate) we are to remember that this application, whether more or less elucidated, is unquestionably correct; and we may therefore adduce this passage in the Psalms, as affording a satisfactory evidence of our proposition, that Christ preexistent was himself God or Jehovah.
In the sixth chapter of the prophecies of Isaiah, Jehovah is described as actually appearing in the temple-as made manifest to the prophet in a vision of glory : and it was then that the prophet heard the voice of Jehovah, saying, " whom shall
* Psalm cii, 16.-5. When Jehovah shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.” This verse is in the Targum paraphrased as follows :— Because (or when) the city of Zion shall be built up by the Word of Jah, he shall appear in his glory,"
I send, and who will go for us ?......Go and tell this people, hear ye, indeed, but understand not; and see ye, indeed, but perceive not: make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes ; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed :” ver. 9, 10. Here, according to the theology of the Jews, there must have been an appearance of the Word of Jehovah; and it is the Word of Jehovah who, in the Targum on the passage, is introduced as thus addressing the prophet.* Here also, according to the principles of divine truth, as held by the apostles of Jesus Christ, there must have been an appearance of the Son of God, who is himself the “ Word of Jehovah,” and whom these early Christians were ever accustomed to regard as the “ Image of the invisible God,” in whom alone the Father is made manifest: see John i, 18 : xvii, 6: 1 John iv, 12 : 2 Cor. iv, 4: Col. i, 15: Heb. i, 3. Why, then, should it excite in us the least degree of surprise, when we find an evangelist incidentally declaring that the glory which the prophet Isaiah saw, on this memorable occasion, was the glory of Christ ? After relating that, although Jesus had performer: 6 so many miracles” in the presence of the Jews, “yet they believed not in him," the apostle John accounts for the circumstance by citing this remarkable prophecy respecting the judicial blindness and obduracy of that bewildered people : and adds, “ These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of nm :” John xii, 37–41.
Such an incidental application to Jesus Christ, of a wellknown passage of the Old Testament relating to Jehovah, is perhaps more really forcible as an evidence of the deity of our Lord than the most deliberate and direct aflirmation of that doctrine; for such an application affords a plain indication that the doctrine in question was currently and (if the term be not improper) familiarly admitted and understood both by the authors of the New Testament and by those persons, in their own age, for whose use their writings were intended. Nevertheless, the truth, to which the apostle has thus incidentally adverted, he has elsewhere deliberately and directly affirmed.
I venture to assert, that there is not to be found in the whole Scriptures a single passage which bears stronger marks of deliberation, decision, and solemn emphasis—not one of which the authority, in point of reading, is more irrefragably
* See ver. 8. “ I heard the voice of Jehovah, saying,” is, in the Tar. gum, paraphrased, “I heard the voice of the Word of Jehovah, saying.”
determined not one of which the interpretation is more truly placed beyond the reach of an unsound and infidel criticism not one in which the highest meaning of the divine name is more plainly indicated by the context—than that memorable passage in which this apostle has promulgated to the church, in all generations, the absolute deity of Christ preexistent. “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was GOD : the same was in the beginning with God," John i. 1, 2.
On reviewing the contents of the present dissertation, we are to remember that, in the numerous passages of the New Testament which speak of our Lord's having proceeded from God, and of his having descended from heaven and come into the world, there is a distinct recognition of the fact of his preexistence with God and in heaven-that from other declarations of Scripture, we learn that Christ was in being before John the Baptist; in the days of Job ; before Abraham ; in the beginning ; before the foundation of the world, and even from the days of eternity—that he thus preexisted, not in the nature of men or of angels, or of any other order of creatures, but in that of the Supreme Being himself, as appears from a variety of reasons—first, because he was from everlasting, and is described in terms which are elsewhere employed to denote the First Great Cause--secondly, because he was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God-thirdly, because he was the Only-begotten Son of God, of the same nature with the Father-fourthly, because he was the Word, or mediating Person by whom the Father effected all his purposes, and whose attributes and operations prove him to have possessed that actual deity, which the Jews were ever accustomed to ascribe to him-fifthly, because to him is expressly and repeatedly attributed the work of the creation-sixthly, because he was the Light and Life of men, the spiritual Lord and Governor of the people of God, the Angel in whom was the name, character and power, of the Almighty—and lastly, because it is both directly and indirectly declared by the sacred writers, that he was Jehovah and God.
While, therefore, the preexistent Messiah was plainly distinguished from the Father Almighty, as the Only-begotten Son of that Father--as one mediating is distinguished from one originating, and as one sent is distinguished from one sending --it is abundantly evident from our premises (whether they are considered separately or viewed as a whole) that he actually subsisted in the nature of God that he truly participated there
fure in the unity of the Father's essence. And let it be observed, that, as he subsisted in the nature of God, so he subsisted in that nature only. The whole of the information communicated in Scripture respecting the person and character of the Son of God, in his preexistence, points to his deity, and to his deity alone. In connexion with those other stages of our Lord's history which are subsequent to the event of his incarnation, the Scriptures frequently promulgate the doctrine of his humanity as well as that of his divinity; and some persons have proceeded so far in error as to consider the statements which have respect to Jesus, as a man, to be subversive of those which have respect to him as God. But, as far as relates to Christ preexistent, there is no room for any mistake of the kind; because the testimonies of Scripture on the subject of his deity, in connexion with his preexistence, are not only plain and decided, but simple and unmixed. The whole substance of those testimonies is, in fact, found concentrated in the doctrine of the apostle, that the Word was in the beginning--that the Word was with God--and that the WORD WAS GOD.
ON JESUS CHRIST, DURING HIS ABODE ON EARTH.
In one of the preceding essays, I have adverted to the many ancient prophecies which describe the human descent, birth, life, ministry, violent death, and resurrection, of the Messiah ; and also to the actual accomplishment of those predictions, as it is recorded in their respective histories, by the four evangelists. Now, I conceive that no one, who takes a just and comprehensive view of these prophecies on the one hand, and of the Gospel narratives on the other, can refuse to admit the doctrine of the real and proper humanity of Jesus Christ. He who descended from Abraham, from Judah, and from Jesse, and "was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh”who was born of the virgin Mary, and lay a helpless infant in the manager--who increased in “ stature," and in “wisdom," as he advanced in years—who performed all the laborious functions of a minister and a prophet-who thought, and spake, and wept, and was afflicted, and prayed, like ourselves—who, lastly, expired on the cross, and was consigned a corpse to the grave-was unquestionably Man—a creature of God, endued with a human body and a human soul.