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those texts appear to be at all to the purpose, for which they are alleged, I need not stay to explain them.
That our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ is not an angel is evident from many plain texts of scripure. Heb. i. 4—6. “ Being made so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For into which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee?-And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world he saith : And let all the angels of God worship him.” See also ver. 7, and ver. 13, 14. Ch. ii. 5. “ But unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, of which we now speak.” Ver. 16. “ For verily he did not lay hold of angels; but he laid hold of the seed of Abraham.” See likewise the preceding part of that chapter.
And when our blessed Saviour is mentioned with angels, he is distinguished from them. “ I charge thee,” says Paul, “ before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels,' 1 Tim. v. 21. And St. John, “ Grace unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come: and from the seven spirits which are before the throne: and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness," Rev. i. 4, 5. Not now to mention any other like texts.
These must be sufficient to satisfy us that Jesus Christ is not an angel, or one of the angelical order of beings: or we can be assured of nothing.
However, I must not omit Mal. iii. 1. “ Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the
before me. And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, in whom ye delight.”
Here the Messiah is spoken of as the messenger, or angel of the covenant. Tertullian, referring to this text, or to Is. ix. 6. says · Christ is an angel by office, but not by nature.' Dictus est quidem magni consilii angelus, id est, nuntius: officii non naturæ vocabulo. Magnum enim cogitatum Patris super hominuin restitutione annunciaturus seculo erat. De Carne Christi.
14. And St. Paul writes Heb. iii. 1. “ Wherefore, holy brethren,--consider the apostle, and High Priest of our profession, Jesus Christ.” Which is paraphrased by Dr. Sykes in this manner: • It is your duty to consider him, as a messenger sent by God, and as the High Priest of • our profession.'
Lett. vii. p. 132, or 482. · And therefore, “in the fulness of time," saith the apostle, • « God sent forth his beloved Son, to be made of a woman,” that is, to take human nature upon • him.' Gal. iv. 4.
The words of the apostle are these : “ But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” It is not, “to be made,” but “ made of a woman, made under the law.” yEVOU. EVOV EU yuvaines, yevou evov UTO vopov, al. vous: factum ex muliere, factum sub lege.
And the note of Grotius upon the text should be observed. EELTESEIMEYmisit Deus Filium sinuun, primogenitum, ad quem, absente patre, cura pertinebat. Misit, id est, potestatem ei dedit eximiam-factum ex muliere: non creatum eo modo, quo Adamus creatus erat, sed natum partu muliebri, quo nobis esset similior: factum sub lege, id est, subditum Legi, quia scilicet natus erat Judæus.
Lett. v. p. 78, or 441. And therefore it manifestly appears from hence, that there is no * contradiction, either to reason or revelation, in supposing that three persons of Father, Son * and Holy Ghost, to be three Gods, provided it be not at the same sime asserted, that these * three Gods are one God, or that the Son and Holy Spirit are self-existent, or co-eternal or coequal with God the Father.'
But is not that an express contradiction to St. Paul, who says, “ We know that there is no other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are gods many and lords many.) But to us (Christians) there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus, by whom are all things, and we by him,'' 1 Cor. viii. 4-6.
And Eph. iv. 5, 6. “ One Lord,-one God and Father of all.” And Philip. ii. 11." that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Many other texts might be mentioned, but I forbear.
Lett. v, p. 83, 84, or 445. •To which being " anointed,” Acts iv. 27, 28, ar appointed of God, he is therefore called the “ Messiah, [or] Christ,” which literally signify the anointed." * And accordingly, at the same time that we are informed of the transgression of our first pa• rents, we are told for our comfort that the seed of the woman shall bruise that serpent's head • which had occasioned their fall. Which was accordingly done, when the Messiah, whose spirit was of a superior order to mankind, condescended to take human nature upon himself, by being born of the virgin Mary, and went through that scene of trials and afflictions, to which ! he was anointed.'
It is not unlikely that some others may speak after the same manner; but to me it seems very improper; for, as a judicious writer says, • That name can denote only a person who has • received gists, graces, perfections and a dignity which he did not possess of himself.'
Chrysostom, accordingly says, “That Jesus was called Christ from the anointing of the Spirit, which was poured out upon him, as man.' Και κριςος δε απο τ8 χρισθηιναι λεγεται, o και αυτο τα σαρκος ην και ποιοι, φησιν, ελαιω εχρίσθη; 'Ελαια μεν εκ εαρισθη, ανευματι δε. Chr. in ep. ad Rom. hom. i. T. IX. p. 430.
To the like purpose Augustin. And, certainly very agreeably to the scriptures. Therefore it is said : “ You know-how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and with power ; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed with the devil. For God was with him." Acts x. 38.
And says Mr. Abraham Le Moine, in his Treatise on Miracles, p. 51. “ As to those other passages, wherein it is said, that “ he was full of the Holy Ghost.” Luke iv. 1. that “God gave him not the spirit by measure,” John iii. 34. that “ God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and with power,” Acts X. 38. they visibly relate to our Saviour's human ! nature.'
Lett. v. p. 85. or 446. For if the divine essence, or Godhead, did not enter into the womb of the virgin ; when was it, that that “fulness of the Godhead which dwelt in him bodily," 6 Col. ii. 9. did enter into him?'
Here I must take the liberty to say, that I do not approve of curious inquiries in things of religion: and that I am afraid to attempt to answer such inquiries particularly, lest I should advance what cannot be clearly made out by the authority of scripture.
However, in general I answer, in the first place, that the text in Col. ii. 9. does not speak of a superior order to mankind,” as the author said just now, or, as he expresseth it elsewhere, p. 66, or 430, “ a separate spirit from the Father, and inferior to him.” St. Paul's expression is, * the fulness of the Deity.” And there is but one Deity, or God, even the Father. Thereby therefore must be meant the Father's fulness. So it is said in Eusebius's Commentary upon Psal. xliv. otherwise xlv. : All the Father's grace was poured out upon the beloved; for it was • the Father that spake in him.'
And upon Ps. Ixxi, or lxxii. ver. 1. he says: “ This righteousness of the Father was given ' to the king's son, of the seed of David, according to the flesh : in whom, as in a temple, • dwelt the word, and wisdom, and righteousness of God.'
And upon Ps. xcv. or xcvi. referring to Is. lxi. 1. and Luke iv. 18. Showing,' says lie, • that his was not a bodily anointing, like that of others : but' that he was anointed with the spirit of the Father's deity, and therefore called Christ.'
Theodoret, who deserves to be consulted also upon Col. i. 9, 10. in his commentary upon Is. xi. 2, expresseth himself after this manner. “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon
Every one of the prophets had a particular gift. But in him “ dwelt all the fulness of * the Godhead bodily.” And as man he had all the gifts of the spirit. And out of his fulness, as the blessed John says, we have all received.'
a C'est s'exprimer d'une manière fort suspecte, d'appeler * Ενω κατωκησε, ωσπερ εν ναα ο τε Θε8 λογος, και η σοφια la Nature Divine de notre seigneur du nom de Christ. Ce xai Oinaloouen. In Ps. lxxi. p. 404. B. nom ne peut désigner qu'une personne, qui a reçu des grâces, • Τω δε ωνευματι της πατρικης θεοτητος κεχρισμενον, και des dons, des perfections, une dignité, qu'elle ne possédoit Sa Toto Xp15ov avr,yopeupleyov. In Ps. xcv. p. 034. E. pas d'elle même. Beaus. Hist. Man. T. I. p. 1 15.
Των μεν γαρ προφητων έκαςος μερικην τινα εδεξατο u Vid. Contr. Maximin. Arian. I. 2. cap. xvi. tom. VIII. χαριν εν αυτω δε κατακησε αν το πλήρωμα της θεοτητος
• Επει δε τα αγαπητε πασα η σατρικη εις αυτον εκενωθη σωματικως και κατα το ανθρωπινον δε παντα ειχε τα χαρισ. Xopisano 70.8 ó Watup hal.wy Ey viw. In Ps. p. 188. D. MOTA, X. d. In Es, cap. xi. tom. II. p. 52.
And, says Pelagius upon Col. i. 19. * In others;, that is, apostles, patriarchs and prophets, • there was some particular gift. But in Christ the whole divinity dwelt bodily or summarily.'
Secondly, I suppose, that this fulness of the Deity is the same with what is said of our Saviour in other expressions, in many texts of scripture.
As St. John says at the beginning of his gospel, the word, the wisdom, the power of God dwelt in him, and he was " full of grace and truth.” And, as John the Baptist said: “ God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” And, as St. Peter said just vow, “ God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and with power.” All speaking agreeably to what is foretold. Is. xi. 2, 3. “ And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord,” and what follows,
And this method of interpretation is much confirmed by the excellent passages of divers: ancient writers just quoted.
Thirdly, I presume not to say when, or how our blessed Saviour was “ filled with all the fula ness of the Godhead." I observe a few things only.
It was foretold of John the Baptist, that “ he should be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb,” Luke i. 15. Which may have been true of our Lord likewise. Howe ever St. Luke observes in his history, after Joseph had returned to Nazareth in Galilee, ch. ii. 40. “ And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom. And the grace of God was upon him.” Afterwards, giving an account of the journey of Joseph and Mary to Jerusalem at a passover, when Jesus was twelve years of age, he says, “ the child Jesus tarried behind them in Jerusalem," and seeking him, “they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him, were astonished at his understanding and answers,” ver. 41-47. It is added afterwards at ver. 52. « And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
Moreover al} the first three evangelists, in their history of our Lord's baptism, say, that “ the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him,” Matt. iii. 16. “ And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water. And lo the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending from heaven, and lighting upon him. See likewise Mark i. 10, 11. Luke iii. 21, 22. And Luke iv. 1. presently after his baptism. “ And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, was led by the Spirit into the wilderness." And again, when the temptation was over, the evangelist says, ver. 14. “ And Jesus returned in the power of the spirit into Galilee." And in St. John's gospel, ch. i. ver. 32, 33.
" And John bare record, saying: I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove. And it abode upon him.” And what follows.
I close up these observations in the words of bishop Pearson upon the second article of the • creed, p. 99. • So our Jesus, the son of David was first sanctified, and anointed with the
Holy Ghost at his conception, and thereby received a right unto, and was prepared for all those • offices which belonged to the Redeemer of the world. But when he was to enter upon the • actual and full performance of all those functions which belonged to him ; then does the • same spirit, which had sanctified him at his conception, visibly descend upon him at his inauguration.'
And afterwards, at p. 104, summing up what had been before largely said : «« I believe in * Jesus Christ.” That is, I do assent to this, as a certain truth, that there was a man promised • by God, and foretold by the prophets, to be the Messiah, the Redeemer of Israel, and the ex• pectation of the nations. I am fully assured by all those predictions, that the Messiah so pro
mised is already come: I am as certainly persuaded, that the man born in the days of Herod • of the virgin Mary, by an angel from heaven called Jesus, is the true Messiah, so long, and so • often promised: that, as the Messiah, he was anointed to three special offices belonging to • him, as the mediator between God and man: prophet_priestand king. I believe this • unction, by which he became the true Messiah, was not performed by any material oil, but by • the spirit of God, which he received as the head, and conveys to his members.?
* In aliis, hoc est, apostolis, patriarchis, vel prophetis, gratia poraliter, quasi dicas, summaliter. Pelag. ap. Hieron. T. V. fuit ex parte. In Christo aut tota Divinitas habitabat cor
Lett. vii. p. 135, or 484. “And now, my lord, let any one judge whether this temptation of • Jesus in the wilderness, looks, as if Satan thought the divine Spirit that was intimately united * to the humanity of Jesus, was that of the supreme God? And can any one think, that a being, * endowed with so much power, [should it not be knowledge ?] as Satan manifestly was, did not • know whether Jesus was the supreme God or not?'
This is brought in with an air of muclo triumph. But may I not ask? Did not Satan know that Jesus Christ was his creator, under God the Father ? For this learned writer argues, p.78, 79, or 441, 4-12. that all things were made by Christ, and consequently Satan himself: however, I choose not to multiply words in exposing this observation, as founded in the author's wrong scheme.
The truth of the case is this. Jesus had been baptized by John. At which time lie was publicly declared to be the expected Messiah. He also received abundant qualifications for discharging the high office into which he was inaugurated. Soon after which Satan attempted to surprise him by divers temptations. “ When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said: If thou be the Son of Go], [that is, if indeed thou art the Christ], command that these stones be made bread.” ·Afterwards, “ taking him into the holy city, he setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him : If thou be the Son of God, [that is, if indeed thou art the Messiah;] cast thyself down : for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” And what follows. ·Matt. ch. iv. And are not all these insidious proposals made to our Saviour, as man?
The learned author having taken notice of the transaetion in the garden, goes on. Lett. vii. p. 136, 137, or 485, 486. • Here then we poor mortals are at a stand, being at a loss to know, * how it is possible for one spirit so to torment another, as to put Jesus into such an agony as is • above transcribed, from the very apprehensions of what he was to undergo. If he were to • suffer NOTHING BUT What is WRITTEN concerning his scoffs, and scourgings, and crucifixion, • and we may add all the sufferings and tortures which his human nature could possibly undergo; • these surely could never have moved him in so high a degree; being only such sufferings as the
prophets of old underwent, not only without dread, but with pleasure in their countenance. • Heb. xi. 35, 36.
• Whoever therefore can suppose Jesus to have been terrified at these things, which could ** only affect his human part, must suppose him to be less than a man. Whereas, IF WE SUPPOSE • SATAN LET LOOSE UPON HIM, by the permission of God, and empowered to attack him in
his nobler part, in his angelic nature, while his divine Spirit, being encumbered with the • load of flesh and blood, and fettered and confined within the compass of an human taber. nacle, was disabled from exerting its full powers ; well might he dread the conflict on such un• equal terms.
* And IF NOTHING IS DESCRIBED TO US IN THE SCRIPTURES, BUT HIS SUFFERINGS IN THE * FLESH, this we ought to conclude was done in condescension to our understandings, which are “unable to comprehend, or have any notion of his inward sufferings : and for the same reason • it was, that any outward sufferings were inflicted on him at all. Which being in their own “nature insignificant and trifling; could not possibly be any trial of his obedience : but were • inflicted on him by God for us, and for our sake. Who in compassion to our ignorance, and in• firmities, was pleased to appoint some of his sufferings to be such, as were within the reach of • our capacities to comprehend.'
Does not all this show the great inconvenience, and vast disadvantage of that opinion, which supposes, that a spirit of a superior order to the human soul animated our Saviour's body?
I think, that the incongruity of this has been fully shown in the preceding letter : and that if such a thing were practicable, that exalted spirit would swallow up the body, and sustain it above all pains, wants, and infirmities. But it is manifest from the gospels, and every book of the New Testament, that our Saviour had all the innocent infirmities of the human nature. Therefore the before-mentioned doctrine is not true.
This author is not quite a Docete, or does not profess so be so. Nevertheless he does little less than admit the force of the argument just referred to. He calls all the sufferings inflicted on our Saviour by men, and all the sufferings recorded concerning him, trifling and insignificant,' and says, they could not possibly be any trial of bis obedience.'
He thinks, Jesus Christ suffered: but it must have been owing to the buffetings of Satan. Of which however, there is not, as himself owns, any distinct account given in the scriptures. Is not this to be wise above and beyond what is written? It is manifestly so. But does that become a Christian ? And they who are wise above, or beyond what is written, will generally contradict what is written.
This seems to be the case here. • The scourginys, scoffs, crucifixion, and all the outward sufferings inflicted on Jesus were insignificant and trifling, and could not possibly be any trial • of his obedience.' Nevertheless these are things much insisted upon, distinctly related, and frequently repeated in the sacred writings of the New Testament. And the writers of the New Testament, the apostles and evangelists represent them to Christians, as very great snd affecting, and a trial of the obedience of our great Lord and Master. And his patience under them is set before us as a moving, and encouraging example to his followers. And for these sufferings, and his patience, resignation, and meekness under them, he is represented to have been highly rewarded by God the
Father, supreme Lord and disposer of all things. So St. Paul, Heb. xii. 1-3. " Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith : wiio for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye
be wearied, and faint in your minds."
So likewise St. Peter, 1 Epist. ii. 21-24. “ For even hereunto were ye called : because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his month. Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again : when he suffered, he threatened not : but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. Who his ownself bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness. By whose stripes ye were healed.”
See Philip. ii. 1-11. and many other places, and all the gospels, wherein are recorded our Lord's sufferings, and especially his last.
All these things are thus insisted upon as very considerable, and of great importance to Christians. So that it seems very strange, that they should be reckoned by any trifling and insignificant, and no trial of obedience.
There is, I think, plainly a difference between this great Author, and our apostles and evangelists. Whence should this come to pass? Is it not, that he preacheth another Jesus ? According to them, Jesus is a man like unto us, and suffers such evils, as men in this world are liable to, in the steady practice of virtue : and he has set before us a most amiable, most animating, and encouraging example, under a great variety of contradictions and sufferings. For all which he has been highly rewarded by God the Father Almighty, who alone is perfectly wise, and perfectly good.
But according to this author, Jesus is an embodied angel, or archangel, and not capable of being much, if at all, affected by all the sufferings, and tortures, which human nature could . possibly undergo. These, surely,' he says, • could never have moved him in so high a degree,' p. 136, 137, or 186.
Indeed this writer pleads, that if the buffetings of Satan, or such sufferings, as he contends for, are not • described to us in the scriptures, but his sufferings in the flesh ; this we ought to • conclude was done in condescension to our understandings, which are unable to comprehend, • or have any motion of his inward sufferings,' p. 137, or 486.
For certain, all men, who advance a doctrine, without express authority from scripture, will endeavour to find out some reason for the silence of scripture about it. But no good reason can be assigned for the omission, here supposed and granted. His outward sufferings,' the writer says, “were insignificant and trifling, and could not possibly be any trial of his obedience.' If they were not, should not some others have been recorded? The not doing it, surely, must be reckoned an inexcusable omission, and neglect in the sacred pen-men.
However, it is certain, they have recorded such sufferings, as they supposed to be a trial of our Lord's obedience : and his patience under them, as an example and pattern to us.
• So likewise says the prophet, “ A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Is. liii.