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chapter 16, 28th verse, “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world ; again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” “His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.” It is plain and obvious in what manner we are to render these words of our Lord, the meaning is plain, that he passed from the substance of the Father as a real son, and had left the realms of glory, and had now come into the world ; and was about to leave the world, and go again to his Father in the realms of glory.
His disciples drew another conclusion from these premises, which is, “ Now we are sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe thou camest forth from God.”
Again, John 14th chap. verse 6. “I am the way, and the truth and the life.” 10th chapter, 17 and 18 verses—" Therefore doth my father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my father.” In chapter 5, verses from 25 to 80, Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the son of man. Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice; and shall come forth; they that have done good, to
the resurrection of life; and they that have done eyil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” Many are the concurrent passages, which might be cited; yet multiplying quotations to a great amount, may have a tendency to weary the mind, more than to convince the conscience.
We will now draw our inferences from, and make our application of the texts above cited. That Jesus Christ did come forth from the Father, and that he hath the Godhead in himself naturally and inherently, as the only begotten, and the proper Son of the Father, we consider an irresistible inference. He might and did say to Martha, “ I am the resurrection and the life.” And the beloved disciple bears testimony, “ This is the true God and eternal life.”
By reviewing this subject, it will be found it may swell to an immense size. Were we to follow the writings of David, Solomon, and the prophets, and then add what is written in the New Testament, it will augment this chapter much beyond what was intended in the whole work. It is hoped, therefore, the reader will excuse the leaving untouched, hundreds of texts which might be brought in confirmation of the pre-existent dignity of our Lord, his coming in the flesh, and the offices he sustained from love to the human family. These texts, omitted, are really significant, and full of meaning, and are calculated to lead the reflecting mind either to that state and station which he filled before he came in the flesh, or after he came in the flesh, or after his ascension to glory. We think it proper, therefore, to mention a few of the names or titles which our Lord sustained and bore, by way of text, without going into any lengthy explanation of them.
He is called the Almighty God, the everlasting father, the Prince of peace, wonderful, counsellor, a king, a prince, a son, a shield, the bright and morning star, the angel of the covenant, the Lord from heaven, a quickening spirit, the image of the invisible God, the only begotten son of God, the first born of every creature, a creator, a ruler, a judge, a prophet, a priest, a mediator, a redeemer. The Shiloh, the root, and the offspring of David. The chief corner stone, the elect, and precious; a spring, a well of water, the fountin of life. I am that I am, the God of Israel, the God of the Hebrews, the Lord of Sabbaoth, and the Word of God. A branch, a stream, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the lion of the tribe of Judah; a man, the son of man, the son of David, the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, and the shepherd of Israel. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Immanuel, and perhaps fifty characters and titles more, that we have not mentioned ; and mysterious as it may seem to the reader, one line of truths will teach that every name, title, and appellation he bears or claims, is really significant. They signify something in his human, or divine nature, or point us to one or another of his offices which he sustains in cre, ation, providence, government or redemption.
General remarks on the real deity of the Son,' from the views
we have given.-Remarks on Sabellianism, Arianism, and Socinianism.
We have taken up a few pages to exhibit our views upon the pre-existence and dignity of the Son of God, and to defend the real deity of the Son, yet, when we examine the extent of this doctrine, and the greatness of the subject, we can truly say, we have just touched upon it only. We shall, however, leave our mode of pursuing it, presuming the mode pursued will appear something new to many, as we have not found any who have followed the exact mode herein adopted.
It is now thought suitable to make some remarks on what we have written-and some connected and concise remarks on Sabellianism, Arianism, and Socinianism.
It will be borne in recollection, we are inquiring who this character can be which in the old and new testaments, we find assuming many names and titles. We have endeavoured already to show, he cannot be a created being. We have also, concluded, it would be quite as inconsistent for the Father, to make appearance in the mannner we find this character hath done, as for any created being to do it.
For the Father to leave the throne of glory and to walk in the garden ; to appear in the form
of a man, and converse in a familiar manner witi: Abraham, and to eat and drink with him ; again to Joshua with a sword in his hand, and converse with him on the subject and plan of taking Jericho; again to Manoah in the form of a man of God, or as an Angel; to discover his dignity to Moses at sundry times, and in divers manners, once in a flame of fire in a bush, at another time standing on a rock, Moses was commanded to smite; we say, for the Father to appear, in this manner, would be contrary to every scriptural analogy of faith.
It would interpose much difficulty in the way of a man of sound sense, reflection, and scriptural reading to believe it. And to us, it would be quite inconsistent, to suppose the Father appeared for the redemption of a nation from a state of bondage, and to give the law on Mount Sinai, and to appear in the tabernacle, seeing it is every where revealed, the Lord Jesus was to make his appearance for the redemption of the human race at large; and seeing it would be an errand far inferior to that accomplished by the Son of God, our Saviour.
We contemplate the Arian and Socinian plan, with wonder and astonishment. That our opponents should adopt the doctrine, that God the Father should make his appearance as an angel or messenger, appears to us surprising for two reasons, viz. Ist. The errand was far inferior, as we have hinted, to the errand of our Lord and Saviour, who came forth of his Father into the world to redeem mankind. 2d. Should the Father make his appearance as an angel, or envoy, we would ask, who sent him? for an angel or envoy signifies a messenger sento