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" No man
though it was a true testimony of his Divinity. Again, the tempter setteth him on a pinnacle of the Temple, and saith, “ If thou he the Son of God, cast thyself down ; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee,” &c. Jesus said unto him, “ It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matt. iv.). Here is another testimony to his Divinity as the Son of God, which is recognised and confirmed by Christ himself. It is stated, there were two possessed with devils coming out of the tombs, and behold they cried out saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God ? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” (Matt. viii.). We have also a most decided attestation of God the Son made by him as such, to and of God his Father, in the following passage : knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him” (Matt. xi.). Farther it is stated, that they who were in the ship with him, and saw the miracles he did there, came and worshipped him, saying, “Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matt. xiv.). Next come Christ's question and Simon Peter's answer ; "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am ? and they said, Some say thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias, and others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am ? and Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art Christ the Son of the living God; and Jesus answered, and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. xvi.). This has an immediate reference to Christ's Divinity as the Son of God his Father, and establishes the fact beyond the possibility of evasion or contradiction; and it would be daring presumption to attempt to inquire, how can it be? or to reason upon it. God the Father has so strongly given his attestation to the Divinity and Sonship of Christ as cannot be questioned; as also in saying, " This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him" (Matt. xvii.); again, the high priest said unto Jesus, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us, whether thou be the Christ the Son of God," and Jesus answered, “ Thou hast said ” (Matt. xxvi.). Now when the centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus, saw the earthquake and those things that were done, they feared greatly ; saying, "Truly this was the Son of God” (Matt. xxvii.). It would seem from all these passages, that the persons who made these declarations did so from a conviction, that Christ was the Son of God in his divine nature ; and as if our Lord intended to confirm and establish the revelation of this great and essential doctrine as an article of our faith and as a material to be preached and proclaimed to and in the whole world, he directed his disciples to go and “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Now" the
mentioned here, signifies the divine nature of the Everlasting Three Coequal Persons which is One, and maintains the Unity and Eternity of the Divine Essence.
They who crucified Christ, said, “If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross, for he said, I am the Son of God;" clearly import
ing that they understood that he was the Son of God and could do the works of God, if what he had said was true of himself.
We now pass on to John's description of Christ in his divine nature, as the Son of God, and the only begotten of the Father ; and he says, “We beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." "No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him; and I saw and bare record, that this is the Son of God.” And Nathaniel said unto Christ, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel.” And our Lord, speaking of the Father and of himself, declared, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life ; and he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John, iii.). The Jews sought to kill him because he had said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God; and Christ also said, “As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will, and all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” Again, “He that knoweth not the Son, knoweth not the Father which hath sent him” (John, v.). Jesus also, in his address to the blind man, said unto him, “ Dost thou believe on the Son of God ?” and he answered, “Who is the Lord, that I might believe on him?" and Jesus said unto him, “ Thou hast both seen bim, and it is he that talketh with thee ;” and he said, “ Lord, I believe, and he worshipped him” (John, ix.).
The fact that all these, and many other similar passages of Scripture, have reference to the divine nature of Christ as the Son of God, is manifest, and will clearly appear on comparing the whole together; reason and argument on his Deity must fail, while the word of God shall stand for ever; and by this word we must abide, therefore it is I wish to make a few more quotations. The Jews said to Christ, “For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Say ye of him, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John, x.). Again, when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (John, xi.). Martha's answer to Christ's question is also to the point; “I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world” (John, xi.). And John, towards the conclusion of his Gospel, says, “ These are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John, xx.). Philip answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts, viii.). And Brother Saul immediately after his conversion, preached Christ in the synagogues, " that he is the Son of God” (John, ix.). And John in his first epistle declared, “ Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ; and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanseth us from all sin ” (John, i.). “He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son ; whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father” (John, ii.). Again he says,
- This is the Father's commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ” (John, iii.); and we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world; whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him” (John, iv.). I might quote numerous other passages, indeed almost the whole of the 5th chapter of John, 1st epistle, which the reader will do well to consider ; but will notice only where he says, “We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” And in his 2nd epistle he says, “Grace be with you, mercy and peace from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father ; he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John).
I conclude with another equally as strong a testimony as the foregoing, to the Divinity and Godhead of Christ, as the Son of the everlasting Father—the words are, “ Unto the Son he said, Thy throne is for ever and ever” (Heb. i.); and must affirm, that unless our faith is the faith of the Son of God, and has its fixation in him as the everlasting Son of the Father, it cannot be the faith of the Gospel. We must fall down and lay prostrate before the great eternal Jehovah-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and submit to his revealed word and will in all things, as the Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty.
Yours in love,
J. B. Great George Street, Westminster, May 7th, 1841.
A SALUTATION UPON THE OPENING OF THE
NEW YEAR 1842, To the One Church of God in Christ, eternally chosen and predestinated
unto the adoption of sons; who, though at present dwelling in Mesech, are redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and have an unction from the Holy One to know all things; being found in Him that is true, even in
his Son Jesus Christ, which is the true God and eternal life. BRETHREN, beloved in the truth and for the truth's sake, accept our spiritual greetings and affectionate salutation, while upon the threshold of the new era of time, we meet you under the gathering clouds with which it introduceth itself before us, and while we tremble at the portentous signs that accompany it; yet from the bow that is always round about the throne, and which is put in every cloud, we can truly say, “ The darkness is past, and to us the true light appeareth” (Rev. iv. 3 ; Gen. ix. 13 ; 1 John, ii. 8).
More than twenty years have we been indulged to sit down at the monthly banquet of the Gospel MAGAZINE, and during a great part of that time have been accustomed to greet our fellow-travellers upon occasions like the present, if, haply, we might, under the blessing of God, strengthen each other's hands in rehearsing the righteous acts of the Lord, and in remembering all the way he had brought us ; but, alas! not only are we grown grey in the service, but we look around us in vain for those we have been accustomed to meet, and are accosted by the imperative inquiry on every hand, “ Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?” (Zech. i. 5). This is not all; the deserters from the camp, with the apathy of those remaining, are sad remembrances of the former glory ; yet the foundation of God standęth sure, and in the exercise of faith we will cry, “Lord, revive thy work :” and while the foundations of the earth are out of course, and all nature is undergoing the convulsive throe of agitation, the dark horizon indicates an approaching storm, upon this basis will we take our stand, sending forth our salutation in the language of our beloved Brother James“ Hearken, my beloved brethren ; hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him ? " (James, ii. 5).
And what subject so blessed, or what enjoyment so great, as that which ariseth from God's eternal choice of his people in Christ? an act irrespective of anything seen in or done by them, having its origin in the infinite love of his own heart, and showing itself in all its bearings, as brought forth by the aboundings of his wisdom and prudence towards us, in placing us above and beyond all the after-falls arising from the transgressions of and union to a federal head. Thus they are a holy people unto the Lord their God, and are chosen to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth (Deut. vii. 6, and xiv. 2); and being, by this choice, placed in the covenant relationship of children, possess the pleasant land of promise, with a goodly host of nations, and receive the spirit of adoption, whereby they cry, “ Abba, Father" (Jer. iii. 19; Rom. viii
. 15). For this choice the apostle is found to bless God on behalf of the Ephesians, not only for the spiritual blessings it brought unto them, but in its great end and design in constituting them "holy and without blame before him in love" (Eph. i. 4); and his thankfulness is expressed no less for those of Thessalonica, who, as the beloved of God, had been chosen from the beginning to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, and brought to a belief of the truth, to which they had been called by the Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. ii. 13, 14). Nor is it to be overlooked, that this choice hath an eye directed towards us in all the difficulties and dangers we are called unto while in the wilderness; the Lord himself declaring that he hath chosen us in the furnace of affliction, wherein he is said to have refined us (Isai. xlviii. 10); and the response of our souls thereto is, “ Thou hast known my soul in adversities” (Ps. xxxi. 7). Thus the never-settled ocean of time bears from us its revolving periods of days, months, and years ; but it never moves that rock from whose summit is seen the waving banner with its grace-wrote motto, Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen ?"
Again, the objects of this choice are said to be both poor and rich; a seeming contrariety in the eyes of those to whom the things of the kingdom are spoken in parables, but well understood by those to whom they are revealed by the Spirit, who searcheth all things-yea, the deep
things of God: the poor of this world, who have neither property nor right here, their kingdom being not of this world; consequently, though the earth may abound with seeming riches, they bring no charms for those who are born from above, the tendency of whose vocation and calling is to make them conversant with their being an afflicted and poor people, left in the midst of Zion by and under the arrangement of their covenant God, who will attend to all their callings upon him, when, under their soul afflictions and their poverty of spirit, they are led to cry. Thus while the vein of election is made to appear very prominent in the common line of nature, as
wise men after the flesh, not many mighty men, not many noble are called;" yet it is not the world's poverty, but the poverty or humble state of the spirit which insures the blessing—"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Neither are their riches of an earthly kind, rich in faith faith, a spiritual blessing, a living principle, the spring of action in every chosen and elect soul; in itself possessing no intrinsic riches, but having the property, under the operation of the Spirit of God, to take the riches and righteousness of another. Thus it becomes “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen;" it brings down heaven into the soul of a weary wanderer while he is here below, and furnishes him with a key to unlock all the treasury of grace, with an eye to see and a hand to handle the durable riches found therein ; it is the earnest-penny of the reserved inheritance, and it will remain imperishable until, from its germ, shall arise the full fruition in open vision. Hence, to be among the poor of this world and the rich in faith, is one of the distinguishing features of this choice; and meeting, as we now do, our fellow-pilgrims who are passing through the sea with affliction, their strength weakened by the way in the ordeal of fire and water, and apparently clean gone, and their expectations cut off; the receding year only giving way for one that's opening with appearances far more terrific than those gone before-in our salutations we would remind them, that he who once slept upon a pillow, and arose, at the call of his affrighted disciples, to rebuke the wind, still lives, and lives for evermore; and though the hollow-sounding tempest would give the prelude of destruction, the still small voice shall be heard, declaring, “ God hath chosen the poor
of this world, rich in faith.”. Moreover, these chosen ones are heirs of the kingdom, from which they cannot be banished or alienated; as it is not of this world, even as they are not, it is called the kingdom of heaven, and is said not to come with the observation of “ Lo, here ! or, “ Lo, there !” but is said to be within them, set up in their hearts and established by the sovereign power of grace ; their heirship not arising from the flesh, nor by blood or the will of man, but having received power to become the sons of God, they are made citizens and receive a kingdom which cannot be moved, called also the kingdom of grace, which is promised to them that love him. They are chosen to this heirship, are heirs by birth, and live in sweet anticipation of being put into full possession ere long; because he that hath promised cannot lie. The trembling-yea falling pillars of earthly kingdoms are ever showing the insecurity of their founda