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unquestionably an attribute which distinguishes God from all his creatures of every rank, for no creature can be every where, nor in more than one place, at one time. The angel Gabriel was not present with Daniel when he began his prayer; but was caused to leave his place in heaven, and fly swiftly, that he might commụnicate to him the message which he had to deliver. But from the mouth of Christ himself we learn that he is present in all places. Let us attend to some of his declarations. And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man which is in heaven. It appears from this language, that while he was on earth, he was also in heaven. In addressing his disciples he said, For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
I in the midst of them. There may be a vast number of such little collections in the world, and here is an assurance that Christ is present with them all.
When our Lord, having given directions to his apostles, was about to depart from them, he said for their consolation, and for the consolation of all who should succeed them, with right views, in the work of the ministry; Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
No one but God can have a knowledge of all things, for he
says, I the Lord search the heart. But we find Christ possessed of this knowledge. He did not cominit himself to the Jews, when in consequence of his miracles, many believed in his name, because he knew all men, And needed not, that any should testify of man, for he knew what was in man. Simon Peter, when the question was put to him the third time by his master, whom he had three times denied, Lovest thou me, answered, Lord thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee. No terms can be found stronger than those here used, to describe omniscience. Ilere is the substance of a syllogism, without the form. Considering the knowledge of Christ as extending to every thing, however great or small. Peter inferred, with certainty, that he must be thoroughly acquainted with his particular case. In the conversation which Christ had with men of various descriptions while he was here upon earth, he adapted his questions and an
instances, not so much to what others said to him, as to the thoughts which they attempted to conceal. When complying with the invitation of Simon the pharisee, he partook of an entertainment in his house, he appears to have been treated with all external courtesy and respect, and he stated the case of the two debtors, who owed, the one five hundred pence, and the other fifty, not because of any thing which Simon had said against him, or against the woman, who manifested her humility, affection and gratitude, in so extraordinary a way, but because he spoke within himself what he chose not to utter, or indulged thoughts wicked, and derogatory, to the penitent woman, and to the gracious Lord to whom she was endeavoring to do honor. The reply which Christ made to Nicodemus seems to have but little, if any connection, with the address of the Jewish ruler to him; but it accords exactly to the state of his mind, and respects a subject of infinite importance, concerning which he had at that time no ideas. Does it not appear that Christ as distinctly understood the views of Nicodemus, and the foundation upon which he rested his hope, as he did the terms which he employed in his conversation with him? Since Christ is to be the judge of the quick and the dead; since all mankind, of every age, and condition, as well as the angels, will receive from him a righteous sentence, his knowledge must be perfect, as to every character and thing; for the least deficiency would entirely disqualify him for this business.
One passage of scripture has been cited and urged to support an opinion against liis omniscience. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven; neither the Son; but the Father. If the omniscience of Christ is asserted in other
passages of scripiure, it cannot be that it is denied in this
and there must be some way of reconciling what is here said with what is said in other passages; whether we can point out the way or not. The names of very respectable expositors might be mentioned, whose opinion is, that in this place Christ is speaking of his human nature, and, that we cre to understand him as declaring that as a man, he did Hot know the precise time when the things of which he
had been speaking should be accomplished. But to this interpretation it is objected, that it would make the answer of Christ to his disciples quite equivocal, and of course altogether unworthy of him. It will be remembered however, that when he and the disciples who are spoken of, arrived at Emmaus, it is said, he made as though he would have gone farther; and it will be remembered also, that John answered negatively to those who inquired of him whether he was Elias, though he certainly was the person promised as the forerunner of Christ under the name of that prophet.
But if we adopt an opinion for which we may plead the human authority inferior perhaps to none, the difficulty attending this passage vanishes at once. As the Son is mentioned between the angels and the Father, it is thought that what is said of him could not apply to him as the Son of man, because as a mere man, he must be inferior to the angels, and therefore would not have been mentioned after them, but must regard him as the Son of the Father; as in his divine nature. Accordingly, the meaning is, not that the Son himself, did not know the day, and hour, in which the events described would take place, but, that it did not belong to him to make known to others more upon the subject than might be gathered from the circumstances. That this opinion puts no strain upon the passage is evident from this, that the same Greek word is used in this place, that St. Paul uses where he says to the Corinthians, I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified. Every one is sensible, that the Apostle could not divest himself of the knowledge which he had upon subjects in general, and that his intention was only, that he should confine his preaching to what he considered to be of principal importance, Christ and the atonement made for sin by his death.
Whether therefore, we think with some persons that Christ was discoursing with his disciples only concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, or with others, that he connected the solemn scenes of the last judgment, with the typical scenes of Jerusalem's ruin, it is quite consistent with other declarations for him to say, that no man, nor
angel, nor even he himself, knew, that is was commissioned to make known, the time with so much particularity as to name the day, and hour.
Almighty power is clearly an attribute of God, and possessed, and exercised by Christ. The cure of diseases; the stilling of the winds; the casting out of devils; the feeding of multitudes upon the food created for the purpose; and the raising of the dead; are miracles, for the performance of which, no limited ability is sufficient, such miracles, we know, are recorded among the things which make up the history of the life of Christ. If the miracles of Moses compelled the magicians of Egypt to cry out, This is the finger of God, must we not be inore stupid, and hard of heart, than these idolatrous jugglers, if we are not sensible of the finger of God in the miracles of Christ?
Divine power is visible in the miracles of Moses as well as in those of Christ; and therefore, we cannot argue, that Christ had Almighty power, merely, from this, that he wrought miracles, but when the circumstances are taken into consideration, particularly the manner in which they were wrought, the case appears to be clear. But whether any power exists in the universe which is not possessed by Christ, cannot be doubted by any one who believes, that he created all things, and, that by him all things consist. All the manifestations of power which are possible, are surely to be seen in creation, and preservation.
Immutability is an attribute of God. He says by Malachi, I am the Lord; I change not. But is not Jesus Christ said to be, The same, yesterday, to-day and forever? Of course he has an unchangeable nature, though as a man, he increased in wisdom, and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Creatures of every rank, change, in a variety of ways, and must be every moment changing, while to God alone it belongs to continue the same.
It must be clear to every one that the rewards of the righteous will be bestowed upon them by God, and with reference to the service which he will condescend to own as rendered to himself. This was undoubtedly very clear to St. Paul, and he did not mean to contradict it when he wrote to the Colossians, Of the Lord ye shall receive the
reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ. The reward of the inheritance is all that the righteous can expect; and as this reward stands here connected with the service of Christ, this service must be the work of faith and the labor of love, or the whole business of the christian life. If the Apostle's declaration means any thing, it means every thing in relation to this point.
It is the prerogative of God to forgive sins; and we know that the Jews were exasperated at Jesus Christ for claiming, and exercising this right. This was what the scribes said in their hearts, when Christ healed one sick of the palsy. Why doth this man thus speak blasphemy; who can forgive sins but God only!
Though by worship is sometimes to be understood nothing more than a manifestation of great respect, it can hardly be thought that this is all which is intended, in every instance in which it is said, Christ was worshipped. When he appeared in ancient times as the angel of the Lord, he was worshipped in the sacrifices which were offered to him. No one can doubt whether he ought to be worshipped who attends to what took place in the particular instances of Gideon and Manoah; or who attends to the several accounts which we have in the gospel history, and in other parts of the scriptures.
But some persons; and some very respectable too for general information, undertake to assert that Jesus Christ twice forbade John to worship him, when he appeared to him in the Isle of Patmos. The matter deserves attention, and requires all the light, that can be thrown upon it. No one will deny, that the angel spoken of in the nineteenth and twenty-second chapters, of the book of Revelations, said to John, when he fell at his feet to worship him, See thou do it not. Prove this angel to be Jesus Christ, and you prove Jesus Christ not to be the proper object of worship. But how does this matter appear, when all things relating to it are taken into consideration? All the angels of God are commanded to worship the First begotten, who is Jesus Christ. When we are told that nothing more is intended by this passage than, that all the prophets are required to pay respect to this greater prophet, we feel sorry,