Imágenes de páginas

Ess. x.]

and Saviour.


New Testament, and particularly in the Epistles of Paul, to speak of the "glorious appearing" of the Father, that "blessed and only Potentate," whom no man hath seen, or can see: 1 Tim. vi, 15, 16. The Father is made manifest to mankind only in the Son, who is the "Image of the invisible God," Col. i, 15; and, as it is the Son alone who hath already "appeared," to bring "life and immortality to light through the Gospel," and "to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself," 2 Tim. i, 10; Heb. ix, 26; so, from various passages of Scripture, are we led to conclude, that it is the Son alone who, in the great day of retribution, "shall appear the second time without sin (i.e. without a sin-offering") unto salvation:" ver. 28. Accordingly, the word here rendered "appearing," is uniformly employed by this apostle, (who alone, of all the writers of the New Testament, has made use of it) to denote either the first or the second coming of Jesus Christ: and the comparison of 2 Thess. ii, 8; 1 Tim. vi, 14; and 2 Tim. iv, 1, in particular, with the passage now before us, will be found to afford a strong confirming evidence, that by "the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour," is here intended the visible coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory, for the salvation of his people, and for the judgment of all mankind.1



9 xwgis ȧpagrías, sine victimá pro peccatis: Schleusner in 11; comp. 2 Cor. v. 21.


1 The rule of Greek construction, above referred to, may be stated as follows:-When two or more nouns of personal description, (whether substantives, adjectives, or participles) of the singular number, and of the same gender and case, are connected by a conjunction or conjunctions; if the article is prefixed to the first of them, and not to the other, or others, they both or all relate to the same person. The rule, as it is thus stated, does not apply to proper names, but is, I believe, limited by no other exception. Sharpe and Wordsworth assert, that there is no instance of the infraction of the rule (within the above limits) in the Greek Testament; and if any examples of the kind exist in the works of profane

God blessed for ever.

[Ess. x.

Thus we find that, according to the doctrine of the apostle Paul, Jesus, who now reigns supreme over his own church, and who will come again in great power and glory for her final salvation, is not only Christ, but God-is the great God and Saviour of his people; and now it only remains for me to adduce a memorable passage from the Epistle to the Romans, in which the same truth is directly asserted: "I could wish," says the apostle, "that myself were accursed (or laid aside) from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh who are Israelites, to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service, (of God) and the promises whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, GOD BLESSED FOR EVER, Amen:" Rom. ix, 3—5.2


authors, they must have arisen from great carelessness in composition, (or more probably from error in transcription) and are, on all hands, allowed to be extremely rare. That the apostle Paul, in particular, constantly and naturally observed this rule, is evident from very many passages in his Epistles: see, for example, Rom. xv, 6; 2 Cor, i, 3; Phil. iv, 20; Col. iv, 9; Eph. vi, 21. See Remarks on Greek Art. by G. Sharpe; Six Letters to G. Sharpe, by C. Wordsworth, D.D.; and the Doctrine of the Greek Art. by Bishop Middleton. Wordsworth's Six Letters contain references to those passages in the works of the Fathers, in which the texts adduced by G. Sharpe are cited. As Greek authorities for the proposed interpretation of Eph. v, 5, he quotes Chrysostom, Cyril Alex. Theodoret, Anastasius, Euthymius, and Pseud. Athanasius; and, for that of Tit. ii, 13, Clemens Alex. Hyppolytus, Athanasius, Cyril Hieros. Epiphanius, Basil, Gregory Nyssen, Chrysostom, Cyril Alex. Theodoret, and Ecumenius. Another example of the application to Jesus Christ of the attributive Oɛòs, may be found in 2 Pet. i, 1, where the words ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος ̓Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ ought, on the same principles, to be rendered, "through the righteousness of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ;" comp. ver. 11. Sharpe also adduces 2 Thess. i, 12; 1 Tim. v, 21; in which we have the phrase τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Κύριου, and Jude 4, where we read Θεὸν καὶ Κύριον ; but, as Kugos, when applied to our Saviour, has very much the force of a proper name, these examples are of a somewhat doubtful character.

2 Rom. ix, 3-5. ὧν οἱ πατέρες, καὶ ἐξ ὧν ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα,

Ess. x.]



I may now invite the reader to a brief review of our whole argument.

The Old Testament abounds with prophetical descriptions of the joyful, righteous, and eternal, reign of a mighty monarch, who was destined to arise according to the flesh from the family of David, and to rule with absolute authority, not only over the house of Israel, but over the world at large.

ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. "Whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all God blessed for ever." It must, I think, be allowed by the careful and impartial critic, that the apostle's words are capable of no other meaning than that which our translators have attributed to them, and which appears to have been universally adopted by such of the early fathers as have cited the passage: see for example, Irenæus adv. Hær. iii, 16, Ed. Ben., p. 205; Hyppolyt. adv. Noetum, sect. 2 and 6; Origen, (teste Ruffino) Com. in loc.; Tertullian, adv. Prax. bis, Ed. Seml. ii, 218, 225; Novatian de Reg. Fid. Ed. Jackson, p. 99; Athanasius contra Arian., orat. 2, Ed. Colon. i, 317; Chrysostom, de Dei nat. Ed. Ben, i, 483; Basil, adv. Eunom., lib. iv, Ed. Ben. i, 282; Jerom, Theodoret, Theophylact, in loc. The attempt which has been made by the Socinians, to place a full stop at oúgxa, and to render the remainder of the verse, "God who is over all (be) blessed for ever!" is not only contrary to all authority, (for MSS., versions, and fathers, unite in proving, that the verse was never so divided in ancient times) but is totally at variance also with the rules of grammatical construction; for had such a blessing been intended to be expressed, the words must have been arranged in quite a different order, as is evinced by a great number of examples in the Greek Scriptures, including the Septuagint: vide Trommii et Schmidii Conc. In such case the word eλoynròs must have stood first in the series. The apostle's sentence obviously presents to us a climax of ideas, very analogous to the frequent train of this writer's thoughts. After having enumerated a variety of particulars, in which the Jews were preeminently favoured and honoured, he concludes with a statement of their highest glory and privilege, viz., that, according to the flesh, he was descended from them, who is over all, God blessed for ever. The antithesis here observed between the human and divine natures of Christ is also perfectly natural, and, in point of style, as well as doctrine, corresponds with Rom. i, 3, 4,ˆ where we read of Jesus Christ "which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh, (xarà σágna) and was declared (or proved) to be the SON OF GOD with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."




[Ess. x.

As these prophecies, were, in general, understood by the ancient Jews to relate to a person whom they denominated the Messiah, and whose coming in temporal glory they fondly expected, so the New Testament affords abundant evidence that he of whom they testify is indeed the Messiah, the anointed one of God -the Lord Jesus Christ; and their accomplishment properly belongs to that division of his revealed history, which commenced when he ascended into heaven, and was enthroned in glory at the right hand of the Father.

In tracing the light which is reflected from the scriptural account of the Messiah's reign of glory, on the offices, character, and nature, of Christ himself, we observe, in the first place, that God governs his people through Christ, and that Jesus, the King of Israel, the Mediator between God and man, is subject to the Father, from whom alone his dominion is derived.

This statement is in full accordance with the explicit doctrine of Scripture, that the risen and ascended Jesus is man, the glorified brother, and sympathising master and friend of his unworthy followers.

On the other hand, the reign of Jesus Christ is, in various respects, of such a description, that the impartial inquirer after scriptural truth is constrained to confess, that this "king of glory," by whom it is conducted, is not only man, but GOD. For, in the first place, as the Heir and legitimate Possessor of all things, he reigns without control, not only over the church, which he has himself "builded," but over all the creatures of God. And, secondly, his dominion is not earthly, but divine: it is conducted by a celestial and invisible agency, and, as far as relates to mankind, consists in a moral and spiritual government over their souls.

Ess. x.]



More particularly, Jesus Christ, in his reign, is the Author of grace. He supplies all the need of the souls of his people. He forgives, converts, regenerates, and sanctifies them. He bestows those various spiritual endowments, which, under his authority and guidance, his servants exercise for the establishment, maintenance, and edification of the church. He not only wrought the miracles of his apostles, but inspired their doctrine. With perfect wisdom, justice, and love, he orders the external circumstances of his own people; and even the universe is subject to his providence; for, as on the one hand, all things were created by him, so, on the other hand, by him all things consist. Lastly, we learn at once, from the recorded example, and from the inspired doctrine of his primitive disciples, that Jesus Christ in his reign, is a proper object of prayer, glorification, religious affiance, and unqualified dedication of heart.

The plain evidence of the divinity of Christ, afforded us by this scriptural view of his kingdom, is amply confirmed by the comparison of the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament ascribes exclusively to God those various attributes, offices, and honours, which the evangelists and apostles as plainly attribute to Jesus Christ in his reign. And since divine truth is uniform and unchangeable, it follows that Jesus Christ, in his reign, is GOD.

In the accounts given by the sacred writers of that glorious æra of the reign of the Messiah, which is appointed for the final and universal judgment of men, Jesus is still represented as the Mediator, who receives his authority from the Father; and it is declared, that all judgment is committed unto him, because he is the Son of Man. Nevertheless, when, at that solemn crisis, he changes the quick, and raises to life the dead, of all generations-when he folds up the heavens and

« AnteriorContinuar »