Imatges de pÓgina
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of himself? Or was it given him? Or who gave it him ? Christ himself has repeatedly, clearly, and fully told us; and surely, no one can wish for higher evidence, than the testimony of the “faithful and true Witness,” who sealed his testimony with his own blood. Hear a part of what he has said. He often said, that of himself he could do nothing — that the works which he did were not his own, but the Father's who sent him. Verily, verily, he said, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do that even the words which he spoke were not his, but the Father's - that his Father was greater than he. But he also informs us, that his Father had given him all power in heaven and in earth — power over all flesh, even to give eternal life. Surely, then, power to change our vile body must be included in all this wonderful power. Now observe his practice. When he was about to perform any great and glorious work, such as raising the dead to life, he always prayed to his Father to enable him to perform it. And he gave thanks to his Father for hearing him, and granting his request. Unquestionably, therefore, Paul must have meant, that by virtue of such given, bestowed power, Christ would execute a glorious change in our bodies ; and that thus he was able, and not from any underived power, in himself, of original possession. This passage therefore, taken in connexion with other parts of the New Testament, affords no evidence of the supreme, underived Divinity of the Son of God; but, in my opinion, it does show him to be, in a high

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sense, a Divine Person — to be, according to an expression of the great Origen,“not the Divine Being, but a divine being-or according to a Latin writer of eminence, a being, “who is conjunctissimus Deo."

As I am about to leave, for the present, the further consideration of the preaching and epistles of St. Paul, I intend in the next Chapter to make some general remarks concerning this great Apostle; and to consider the general tenor of his preaching and writings, in relation to the character of Christ, the Son of God.

CHAPTER VI.

SAME SUBJECT.

- PAUL AND HIS PREACHING AND WRITINGS

CONCERNING THE SAME CONSIDERED.

Paul was a Jew, descended from Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin, though by birth a Roman, born in Tarsus, a city of Celicia. He was educated according to the strictest principles of the Pharisees. He was undoubtedly a conscientious believer and worshipper of the One ever living and true God, the God of his fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; but before his conversion he had no just views of the Saviour, the Christ, the Son of God. He was a person of superior intellectual capacity, of great learning, and well instructed in the laws and traditions of the Jews, having been a pupil under the celebrated Gamaliel, a learned doctor. And he was by nature remarkably resolute, persevering, and zealous. Such was, in brief, the character of this distinguished Apostle, whom the Lord declared unto Ananias to be “a chosen vessel” unto him, or as it should be rendered, an instrument, or Apostle, of my first, or highest choice, Oxevos exãoyns por. And when, in addition to what nature and education had done for him, and the confidence of the Son of God placed in him, he also received the gift of the Holy Spirit, shall not all Christians place full reliance upon him ?

He was appointed to bear the name, to display the character, to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, not only to the Jews, the children of Israel, but also to kings, and to the Gentiles. Therefore let all denominations of Christians now hear and receive his teachings, as the words of heavenly truth — for, that he was an inspired Apostle, none can doubt. Let us take a brief view of his preaching and writings respecting Christ.

The principal object of Paul's preaching and writing seems to have been, to give a full display of the life, character, merits, sufferings, death, and resurrection of Christ, the Son of God. And for this purpose was he chosen. Such was his commission. And it was then especially necessary; as at that time neither of the Gospels had been published. Christ was the theme of his first discourse, and in all his epistles; and his name was the last upon his tongue, the last from his pen. Immediately after his conversion, faithful to his commission," he straightway preached Christ, that he is the Son of God, that he is the very Christ”- not that he is merely a righteous man or a great prophet, whom God hath highly exalted as a prince and a saviour — not that he is among the Angels the highest of the high; but that, he is “made so much better than the Angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” If volumes, if more books were written upon this subject, than the world could contain, they could not truly express more, than is comprehended in this short, plain, but glorious declaration of Paul

“that he is the Christ, the Son of God” - the constituted Saviour — “ the image of the invisible God — the brightness of his glory, the express

likeness of his person,” and that only Son, in whom, it pleased the Father, that all fulness should dwell. Such was the general representation of Christ, drawn by this able, this inspired Apostle Paul. He never said or wrote that he was merely a righteous person, or that he was only a great prophet. Neither did he ever preach or write that he is the supreme, selfexistent God. And Paul says, that “ he kept back nothing, that he had not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God.” And if he had not told us so, no one could doubt but that Paul performed his whole duty faithfully. He could have no inducement to do otherwise - he could not do otherwise, for he was under the constant inspiration and direction of the Almighty

If then Christ is the self-existent God, as some profess to believe, Paul must have kept back that truth he has not declared the whole counsel of God he has not been faithful, as he avowed and we believe that he was, in all things; for it cannot be pretended that he ever expressly taught such a truth. Now if the proposition is true, Paul either knew it, it was revealed unto him, or he did not know it, it had not been revealed unto him. If he did not know the fact, he was surely justifiable in not stating it indeed he could not possibly state, he could not make known, what he did not himself know. This ground, I presume, no one will take.

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