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III. Compare the perfections, which are ascribed to Jesus Christ in the scriptures, with those which are ascribed to God. Every being hath properties peculiar to itself; and accuracy of description consists in the ascription of its own properties to each individual. Were a philosopher to describe fire by the properties of earth, or earth by the properties of air; were he to ascribe the properties of a rational being to a mere animal; his philosophy, far from. instructing his pupils, would confuse and perplex them. The worth of an historian very much consists in his accuracy in characterising the persons, of whom he writes. Had a Roman historian described Numa by the qualities of Nero, or Brutus by the qualities of Antony; his history would have been to the last degree contradictory and contemptible : as well might an English historian fill the history of George II. with the pedantry and tyranny of James I. In divinity, as God and creatures are the objects of our contemplation, it is impossible to use too great a degree of discernment in description; for were a divine to ascribe either the imperfections of creatures to God, or the perfections of God to creatures, the most alarming consequences would follow. The pagan theology was a chaos of confusion on this account. The Jewish theology is pure and chaste in description; it gives unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name, * and it forbids the giving of his glory to another.t
* 1 Chron. xvi. 28, 29.
+ Isa. xlii. 8.. xlviii. 11.
Notwithstanding so many reasons for precision, Jesus Christ declares, ALL THINGS, THAT THE FATHER HATH, ARE MINE;
a very dangerous proposition if he were not God; and rendered more so by those descriptions, which the writers of revelation give of his perfections. They ascribe to him the same perfections, which they ascribe to God. They affirm, In Christ dwelleth ALL THE FULNESS OF THE GODHÉAD bodily.t
The name of the LORD The name of The OF HOSTS is the MIGHTY CHILD is THE MIGHTY God. I
God. I I JEHOVAH appeared I THE LORD AM THE by the name of God Almighty.Ş ALMIGHTY.S
John xvi. 15.
Jer. x. 10. + Exod. xv. 18. Jer. xx. xii. 18. $ Exod. vi. 2,3.
+ Col. ii. 9.
* Isa, ix. 6. + Heb. i. 8, &c. | Isa. ix. 6. § Rev. i. 8, 11, 12, 13, 18.
I Jehovah CHANGE The heavens and the NOT.
earth shall be changed : but thou [the Son] ART
THE SAME. Thou My God art JESUS CHRIST THE THE SAME, and thy SAME yesterday, to-day, years have no end. and for ever.t
Do not I JEHOVAH Christ is he, who
HEAVEN AND FILLETH ALL IN ALL.I EARTH?
IN ALL PLACES where WHERE two or three I [Jehovah] record my are gathered together in NAME, there will I come MY NAME, there am I unto thee,and I will bless [Jesus] in the midst of thee.
Jehovah is a God of knowledge. 11
We are sure that thou [Jesus ] knowest all things.)
I JEHOVAH SEARCH THE HEART, I TRY THE REINS. T
I, THE SON OF GOD, AMHE, WHICH SEARCHETH THE REINS AND HEARTS.T
* Mal. iii. 6. Psal. cii. 24, 27. | Jer. xxiii. 24. § Exod. xx. 24. 11 1 Sam. ii. 5. Jer. xvii. 10. 1 Kings viii. 39.
* Heb. i. 10. 12. + Heb xiii. 8. | Eph. i. 20, 23. § Matt. 18.20. || John xiv. 30. ii. 24, 25.xxi. 17. J Rev. ii. 23.
Whatever other excellencies we can conceive in the divine nature are ascribed to God and to Christ in the two following passages. The last is evidently a quotation of the first. Blessed be thou Lord God of Israel our Father for ever and ever. Thine O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty : for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine : thine is the kingdom, O Lord! and thou art exalted above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all, and in thine hand is power and might, and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.* Worthy is the Lamb, that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. This is called worshipping him that liveth for ever and ever.t. If they, who ascribe the perfections of Deity to Jesus Christ, have fallen into an error, they have been led into it by the writers of the new Testament. It is not credible, that men, who attributed to EVERY SEED its own body; who distinguished the flesh of men from that of BEASTS ; and that of Fishes from that of Birds; the glory of CELESTIAL bodies from the glory of TERRESTRIAL; it is not credible, I say, that such accurate writers could make a mistake so gross as to
* 1, Chron, xxix. 10, &c. † Rev. v. 12, 13, 14. I 1. Cor. xv. 38, &c.
ascribe the excellencies of God to a MERE MAN, If Jesus Christ be God, the ascription of the perfections of God to him is proper : if he be not, the apostles are chargeable with weakness or wickedness, and either would destroy their claim of inspiration.
IV. Consider the works, that are ascribed to Jesus Christ, and compare them with the claims of Jehovah. The supreme God in order to produce the happiness of his creatures, hath displayed the perfections of his nature in several exterior works, and these works are declared by the inspired writers to be evidences of his eternal power and Godhead. It would be an act of injustice to God, and a cause of dangerous errors to men, to ascribe these works to any other being. The danger would not lie in ascribing them to one creature rather than to another ; but in the ascribing of them to any creature rather than to the true God. What should we think of an historian, who should ascribe the invention of printing to William the Conqueror; the building of Rome to Sir Isaac Newton; the colonizing of America to Julius Cæsar; and the writing of the Pentateuch to Mr. Pope ? yet these mistakes in the history of creatures would have no consequences worth mentioning in comparison of those, which the writers of the new Testament have made by ascribing the works of Jehovah to the man Jesus. Nothing can account for their conduct, except in their system Jesus and Jehovah be the same.
* Rom. i. 20.