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of God the Father, that appears in the foregoing col. lection out of the sacred scriptures.
The Creed, commonly called the Apostles', used these terms, God the Father, but not God the Son, nor God the Holy Ghost; and the preference in all creeds of all parties is given to God the Father; and in all liturgies. O how happy a preservative is this of that great fundamental principle, that God the Father alone is the God of the Christians!
CHAP. X. God, the Father, only wise, Eopos, in the highest
AND all the angels stood round about the throne (of God) and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, &c. be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen,' Rev. vii. 12.
1. In the ninth and tenth verses foregoing, a great multitude of all nations, &c. are said with a loud voice, to ascribe salvation to God sitting on a throne and unto the Lamb. Where note, that though salvation be ascribed to both, yet it is plain from divers passages, that it is originally, primarily, and chiefly, to be ascribed to God alone, as Rev. xix. 1-7. For • Christ is a Saviour raised up by God.' Acts v. 31. Christ is a Saviour, sent, given and raised up by God, the original cause of salvation, and of all blessings to his creatures. Acts xiii. 23.
2. But it is also to be noted, that the angels who stood round about the throne of God, fell on their faces and worshipped God alone, and not the Lamb, ver. 12. For these angels knew perfectly the difference between origival and derivative being and perfections.
We find a doxology to the only wise God,' most worthy of all imitation; Rom. xvi. 27. Here the exclusive term only shuts out all competitors, co-ordinate or co.essential (as the tritheists speak) even Jesus Christ himself; through whom, as it follows, this praise is to be given to the only wise God, for ever
There is a like doxology, to the only wise God,' Jude ver. 25, to which is added in the Alexandrian and other copies, through Jesus Christ our Lord.' Here again observe, that Jesus Christ is not included but excluded by the term only; and by the words,
through Jesus Christ,' for through him glory and majesty, dominion and power, are ascribed, both now and through all ages, to the only wise God.
In this and the following divine perfections, exclusive terms are used by the sacred writers, to shew that God is possessed of, and to him alone belong those characters in the highest and most superlative degree.
TIANTOKPA'TAP, that is Almighty, is used ten times in the New Testament. And it is solely applied to God, in those sacred writings; but never applied to Jesus Christ, or the Holy Ghost. Note, this word is used by the LXX in the Old Testament very often, and always applied to God, about one hundred and twenty times, and plainly appears to be an appropriate character of God: and is not once applied to Jesus Christ in the New Testament,
St. Paul useth the word but once in all his epistles, 2 Cor. vi. 18, where nobody can doubt to whom it is applied; unquestionably St. Paul applied this character to God the Father, as St. John hath in the Revelations. The two apostles could not differ in this. St. John usech this word nine times in his Revelations, in the following manner:
Rev. i. 8, 'I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord God; (so the Alexandrian copy) who is, and was, and is to conne, the Almighty.' Now it must be observed, as it is indeed most remarkable, that the appropriation to God alone is confirmed by four distinct beings, viz. by God who gave the revelation; by Christ who received it; by the angel who delivered it; and by St. John who wrote it. Now God, and Christ, and the angel, and St. John, could not be mistaken. This is an invincible testimony.
St. John in a vision, iv, 2, 3, 8, saw a throne 'in heaven, and one sitting upon it,' whom he describes particularly, with his attendants on seats, and four living creatures
. And they cease not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, (the first title there mentioned) who was, and is, and is to come, (the second title) who sits on the throne, (the third title) who liveth for ever and ever :' (the fourth and last title of the Supreme God there mentioned.) Now all these are the appropriate titles (never of Jesus Christ) but of his God and Father alone.
Rev. xi. 17, St. John represents the twenty-four elders falling on their faces, and worshipping God, and saying, "We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who art, and wast, and art to come.' No doubt, these applied rightly the character, viz. the Almighty.
St. John also represents those who got the victory over the beast, singing the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb, and saying, "Great and wonderful are thy works, O Lord God Almighty,' or the Almighty, xv. 3. Note, Here the Lamb himself is by St. John represented as the composer or singer of a-sacred bymn to God the Almighty. Here again Christ is represented ascribing this character (the Almighty) to God alone.
xvi. 7, St. John represents another angel, saying, Verily, O Lord God Almighty, true and righteous
are thy judgments.' The same divine title is repeated, ver. 14.
St. John in chap. xix. ver. 4, represents the twenty-four elders and four living creatures falling down, and worshipping God, sitting upon a throne;' and afterwards a great multitude, saying, Hallelujah, that is, praise ye Jehovah; for the Lord, the God Almighty reigneth;' or the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.' And ver. 7, it follows, Let us give him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb is come. Note, Whatever is to be understood as a benefit, or honour by that marriage of the Lamb, the praise or glory of it is here expressly required to be given to the Lord God Almighty. Afterwards, St. John describing Christ in several particulars, from ver. 10 to 15, expressly says, that he, (that is, - Christ) treadeth the wine-press of the wrath, &c. of God, the Almighty. By which words the distinguishing title or character, the Almighty, is given to God alonc, and not to Christ. And xxi. 22, the appropriation of this title or character is very express: for God and the Lamb, being there both mentioned, St. John styles the first thus, the • Lord God Almighty ;' and the second, Jesus Christ, the Lamb' onlv.
N. B. In conformity to this divine character, it seems evidently to have been the general faith of all Christians in the three or four first ages after Jesus Christ and his apostles, and later, that the word TAYTOXpeTwp, that is, Almighty, or Omnipotent, ought to be applied only to God the Father, for so it appears in fact to be applied in the creeds, commonly called the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian.
Bishop Pearson observes, that the oldest and shortest creeds had always this attribute expressed, insomuch that it was ordinarily by the ancients taken for the Father. Happy had been the succeeding ages, if they had continued fixed and invariable in this notion. Hitherto, however daring the trinitarian novelists have appeared, in framing very many new creeds, yet they never yet formally and in express terms
condemned the Apostles' creed, as defective or imperfect; though their enlargements and explications in their succeeding creeds strongly imply a censure of its insufficiency:
And while this creed stands foremost in the opinion of most Christians, it is a strong bulwark for the ancient faith, and against the modern heretics.
N. B. This term or title Tavtoxpo Twp, is applied by the LXX in their version, 'to God only, above one hundred and twenty times in the Old Testament; and how it is used in the New Testament, is seen in the beginning of this chapter. Hence it may be well concluded, that this character hath stood ever applied to God alone, in the sacred writings, and was never applied to Jesus Christ' by the sacred writers of the bible, nor the compilers of the three creeds. The author or authors of the Athanasian creed have, indeed, used TravTodo vapos, but that is not once used in the New Testament.
Μόνος δυνα σης" μόνος έχων αθανασίαν; the only potentate, who only hath immortality. These and other following characters are never given to Jesus Christ, or the Holy Ghost, except the King of Kings,' and Lord of Lords, given to Christ in a limited sense.
In a noble passage of St. Paul, 1 Tim, vi. 13, 14, 15, 16, we have a strong and clear account of his. notion of God, and of Jesus Christ, in these words :
I charge thee in the presence of God, who quickeneth all things, (that is God's character) and of Jesus Christ, who before Pontius Pilate made a good profession or confession, (that is Christ's character) that thou keep this commandment, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which appearance, in his seasons, he,'i.e. God, shall shew,' or eminently make manifest, who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, who only hath immortality. These are most evident characters of the most high God, by which he is most clearly distinguished from, and exalted above, Jesus Christ, whose appearance, how illustrious so