For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it;
because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
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The Proper Divinity

Of our Blessed Redeemer.

Being the Second Section from:

A Testimony and Warning Against

Socinian and Unitarian Errors.

By the Reformed Presbytery of Scotland.

A

Testimony AND Warning

Against

Socinian and Unitarian Errors;

Intended

AS A SHORT SCRIPTURAL DEFENCE OF THE IMPORTANT DOCTRINES OF THE HOLY TRINITY—OF THE PROPER DIVINITY OF OUR BLESSED REDEEMER—OF THE PECULIAR SONSHIP OF CHRIST—OF THE REAL SATISFACTION OF JESUS FOR THE SINS OF HIS PEOPLE—OF THE PERSONALITY OF THE SPIRIT—OF THE PROPER DIVINITY OF THE HOLY GHOST—AND OF THE SPIRIT’S EFFICACIOUS AND INVINCIBLE OPERATIONS UPON THE SOULS OF MEN.

Addressed to

Christians of Every Denomination,

By The

Reformed Presbytery.

1 PET. v. 12. I have written briefly, exhorting, and teſtifying, that this is the true grace of God wherein ye ſtand.

1 COR. iv. 14. I write not theſe things to ſhame you, but as my beloved ſons I warn you.


Glasgow:

Printed by Ebenezer Miller.  Sold by W. Miller,

Bookseller, SaltMarket.   1793.

SECTION II.

Of the Proper Divinity of our Blessed

Redeemer.

ALTHOUGH the different arguments already mentioned, which establish the doctrine of the Trinity, confirm at the same time the divinity of Christ’s person; yet the opposition to this article of truth being so great, the belief of it so important, and the scripture evidence of it so full, we have judged it needful to consider it by itself.

All Socinians and Unitarians are unanimous, in denying the proper divinity of the Son of God.  They indeed bestow upon our Redeemer a variety of very eminent {30} titles; such as our great Lord and Master, our blessed Lord, our divine Saviour, our divine Master and Lord, and sometimes mention the divinity and divine nature in him; but all this is perfectly consistent with their positive denial of the real and proper divinity his person.  Whether these heretics give those names to Jesus, with a view to make some satisfaction for their sacrilegious robbery committed upon the Son of God, or to deceive the hearts of the simple we cannot tell; but surely they are of no use to represent the glory of Christ to the children of men, as connected with their other sentiments concerning him.  It would be exceedingly tedious to quote the various expressions used by authors of this persuasion, whereby their denial of Jesus’s divinity clearly appears; and therefore a few of them only shall be mentioned.  Dr. M’Gill in his practical essay has the following expressions, “Jesus Christ did not arrogantly seize and retain to himself, these God-like powers and honours which he possessed, or was entitled to; he regarded them not as his prey or booty; as acquisitions of his own, and for his own use, but as the gifts of God, to be employed only for his glory.” (a)[1] “Jesus assumed no honour to himself, but in consequence of the divine vocation. (b)[2]”  “Almighty God,” that is according to this author God the Father “deigned to tabernacle with men, in a person of their own order, and to manifest his power, wisdom, goodness and holiness, in a man like themselves. (c)[3]”  Dr. Price, a famed Unitarian in England, has the following words, “It is the conviction that the true object of religious worship is God the Father only, that in a great measure makes us Protestant Dissenters.—There are other saviours, but they are his gifts; and of these the {31} first and best is that Saviour who left heaven to deliver us from sin and death, and to lift us to an happy immortality.  To this Saviour we owe an ardent gratitude; but the gratitude we owe to him is nothing compared with that which we owe to the God who gave him, and whom alone we know to be ever near us to hear and notice our prayers and praises.” (a)[4]  Dr. Priestly has the following assertion, “I am fully persuaded that Christ was a man like ourselves; and consequently, that his pre-existence, as well as that of other men, has no foundation in reason, or in scripture.” (b)[5]

In order to represent to you, Christian friends, the received doctrine of the church upon this head, in opposition to these blasphemies, we need only lay before your view the following quotation from the Westminster confession of faith: “The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father; did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the God-head and the man-hood, were inseparably joined in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and man.” (c)[6] The following part of this Section shall be employed in bringing forth the scripture evidence of the true, real and proper divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.


The applying to Christ, in the writings of the New {32} Testament, several texts of scripture contained in the Old, which belong unto the true God only, proves his proper divinity.  If it can be shown that many things, said of the true God in the Old Testament, are applied to Christ in the New, it will be undeniably proved that he, equally with his eternal Father, possesses the divine nature. 

Of the great Jehovah it is said of old thou hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. (Psalm 102.25-27.)  All these great and glorious, things God the Father says of the Son; and thou Lord in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. They shall perish but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. (Heb. 1.10-12.)

Isaiah thus describes a glorious vision which he had of the great Jehovah: In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings, with twain he covered his face, with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory. (Isa. 6.1-3.)  That Jesus Christ was this Jehovah, whose glory on this occasion was manifested to the prophet, is clear from the evangelist’s infallible interpretation of it, when, after quoting the words of this chapter, he says, these things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. (John 12.41.)

Various instances we have, in the writings of Isaiah, of the {33} great Jehovah describing himself by this peculiar character, I am the first and I am the last. (Isa. 41.4; 44.6; 48.12.)  Jesus Christ more frequently, in the revelations of John, exhibits his own glory to the church, by using the same expressions, I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the ending—Fear not; for I am the first and the last. (Rev. 1.8,11,17; 2.8; 22.13.)  Another glorious character, which Jehovah applies to himself may be added; I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jer. 17.10.)  By these very words Jesus plainly represents that knowledge, which all the churches shall have of him; And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts, and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Rev. 2.23.)  If any should ask who is the speaker of these words? the answer will be found in the first words of the epistle, Unto the angel of the church of Thyatira, write these things saith the Son of God, who hath eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass. (Rev. 2.18.)

How is it then that these great things, spoken of Jehovah, are applied unto Christ?  Upon no other ground can this be done, but because Jesus is truly and properly God.


These texts of holy scripture, which declare the equality and oneness of Jesus Christ with his eternal Father, establish the truth of his proper divinity;—of them we shall mention three. 

The first of them is the words of the Prophet: Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. (Zech. 13.7.)  The speaker of these words is Jehovah Sabaoth; and the person spoken of is the Lord Jesus, as appears from his application of them {34} unto himself; Then saith Jesus unto them, all ye shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. (Matth. 26.31.)  In this oracle of truth, the Lord of hosts represents Jesus Christ, in a threefold view; in his mediatorial character, my shepherd; in his human nature, the man; and in his divine Godhead, that is, my fellow.  The fellow of any person signifies, both in common and in sacred language, his companion and equal.  When Jesus is called the fellow of the Lord of hosts, it points him out to us as his companion and equal.  In all eternity he was his companion; for he was by him as one brought up with him, he was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him. [Prov. 8.30.]  His equal he also is, being the same with him in nature, perfections, understanding, will, counsels, and operation.—

The second scripture, on this branch of evidence, is the words of Jesus himself: I and my Father are one. (John 10.30.)  These words plainly declare the equality and oneness of Jesus Christ with God the Father; and were it not for the wicked perversion of the plainest dictates of scripture, we needed not add a word for explanation.  Two considerations, taken from the context, prove it to be a divine and essential oneness betwixt Christ and his Father, that is here intended.  In the two forgoing verses, the giving eternal life to believers, and their preservation from perishing, or being plucked out of their blessed state, is, in the same glorious and majestic manner, ascribed unto Christ, as it is unto the Father.  Besides, it is evident from the following verses, that the Jews understood him to speak of such an oneness with the Father, as warranted them to charge him with blasphemy; but he, instead of contradicting their opinion, by what he adds rather confirms it, which he could not have done had they mistaken his {35} meaning.  That expression in the preceding verse, my Father is greater than all, is no contradiction to our sense of the text.  Our Lord Jesus is not included among the all, than whom the Father is greater. They only comprehend all wicked men and devils, who are both disposed to wish the destruction of believers, and actually endeavour to pluck them from their blessed state.  The sense of this expression is the same with that of the apostle; Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4.4.)  Nor are the words of the Lord Christ, My Father is greater than I (John 14.28.), any objection to what has been asserted.  Jesus has both a twofold nature, of God and of man; and a twofold character, divine and mediatorial.  In the verse where this expression is contained, Jesus speaks once and again of his going to his Father.  We ask, as to which of his natures, and in which of his characters did Jesus go unto the Father? The answer must be, as to his human nature, and in his mediatorial character.  The obvious conclusion is this, Jesus is speaking of himself in his assumed nature, and office capacity, in which the Father is greater than he; but no such thing is said of him, in his divine nature and character.—

The last text we mention, on this point of proof, is the words of Paul, Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God. (Phil. 2.6.)  All that is needful to be observed on these words, may be comprehended in one sentence.  Since Christ’s being in the form of a servant, and made in the likeness of man, mentioned in the following verse, signify that he was really a servant, and actually possessed an human nature; so his being in the form of God, and thinking it not robbery to be equal with God, must signify that he is truly God, and essentially one with him in nature and perfections. 

If the Lord Jesus Christ is the fellow of the Lord of hosts, one with his eternal {36} Father, in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, must he not be a divine person?


The glorious names, which in scripture are bestowed on Christ, confirm the truth of his proper divinity.  If divine names are given to Christ, of the divine nature he must be possessed; for as his name is so is he. 

The names Jehovah, God, and Lord, are, in their most proper meaning, applied unto him.  This is the name whereby he shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness. (Jer. 23.6.)  That these words, are applicable to Christ alone will appear, if we consider the context, and the import of the words themselves.  The person called by this name is described in the foregoing words, as a righteous branch raised unto David, as a king reigning and prospering, as the saviour of Judah, and as the preparer of a safe dwelling for Israel; all which are applicable to the Redeemer only.  The words themselves confirm this.  Who has a right to be called the Lord our righteousness but the glorious Messiah who brought in everlasting righteousness, and who is made of God to all his people, righteousness.  Our Redeemer is called Jehovah in these words of the prophet, surely shall one say in the Lord have I righteousness and strength;—In the Lord or Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified. (Isa. 45.24,25.)  That our mediator is Jehovah, mentioned in these verses, is put beyond a doubt by the apostle’s application of the foregoing verse[7] to him in the following manner: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2.10.)  Besides the scope of the words themselves point us to Jesus only, as the glorious person whom they describe.  From whom is it that believers receive righteousness {37} for justification?  In whose grace are they called to be strong?  And to whose person are they united that they may obtain all those things?  Is it not Christ the Lord?  He therefore is this Jehovah.—

He is also called God.  The word was God. [John 1.1.]  To the Son he saith, thy throne, O God, [Heb. 1.8.]  If it should be said, angels and magistrates are called gods; it is answered they are so called in an improper sense, and something is added to convince mankind that this is the case.  When angels are called by this name, they, at the same time, are represented as worshipers; and worshipers of Christ, worship him all ye gods. [Psalm 97.7.]  When magistrates receive this name, it is immediately added, but ye shall die like men. [Psalm 82.7.]  No degrading expression is used, when this name is applied to Christ; but the very opposite.  In the former of these instances Christ is said to be in the beginning with God, and is represented as the creator of all things.  In the latter instance, he is said to have an everlasting throne, and a righteous sceptre.  But to settle the matter beyond all possibility of dispute, that the name of God is given to Christ in its most proper and highest sense, we observe to you, that he is in scripture called the great God,—the mighty God,—the true God,—the only wise God,—and God over all blessed for ever, Amen. [Titus 2.13; Isa. 9.6; 1 John 5.20; 1 Tim. 1.17; Jude 25; Rom. 9.5.]——

To our glorious Redeemer also, the divine title of Lord is ascribed.  As he is not among the gods many, who are found among the creatures; neither is he among the lords many, who are taken from the naturally dependent race.  Peter calling him Lord, immediately ascribes omniscience unto him; Lord, thou knowest all things. [John 21.17.]  Thomas obtaining a discovery of Jesus, after having been overwhelmed in unbelief, cries out, My Lord and my God. [John 20.28.]  He is called Lord of all, King of kings and Lord of lords, and the Lord God of the holy prophets. [Acts 10.36; 1 Tim. 6.15; Rev. 17.14; Rev. 22.6.]

Seeing Jesus Christ is expressly called Jehovah, God and Lord, in the natural and proper {38} meaning of these names, he must be possessed of the divine Godhead.


The ascribing to Christ perfections, which are peculiar to the divine essence, proves his real divinity.  If the essential and incommunicable attributes of the great Jehovah pertain unto him, he must be a divine person.  In searching the scriptures we will find that they testify of the Lord Christ, as a person to whom the natural attributes of the Deity belong.

Omnipresence is one of those perfections.  The words of David confirm this; whither shall I fly from thy presence. (Psalm 139.7.)  This perfection belongs unto Christ.  His own promise to the church makes this evident; where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them, (Matth. 18.20); and again, Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matth. 28.20.)

Omniscience is an essential attribute of the Deity; for the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Prov. 15.3.)  The church confesses this to be a perfection of her Lord; shall not God search this out, for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. (Psalm 44.21.)  The following texts prove that Jesus is omniscient: Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men.  And needed not that any should testify of man, for he knew what was in man. (John 2.24,25.)  And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. (John 21.17.)  And all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts. (Rev. 2.23.)

Omnipotence is an essential property of God; for he says of himself, I am the almighty God. (Gen. 17.1.)  Your Redeemer, O Christians, is also omnipotent.  Of himself he says, I am the alpha and omega,—the almighty. (Rev. 1.8.)  Of him the {39} apostle testifies, he shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself. (Phil. 3.21.)  Omnipotent he certainly must be, for he upholdeth all things by the word of his power. (Heb. 1.3.)

Absolute eternity belongs to the nature of God.  From a belief of this excellency of her Lord, the Church sings, from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. (Psalm 90.2.)  That this perfection belongs to Christ, the following scripture evidences clearly attest: The same was in the beginning with God. (John 1.2.)  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Col. 1.17.)  The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.  I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. (Prov. 8.22,23)  Whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting. (Mic. 5.2.)

Absolute supremacy over all is a natural property of the divine essence; For he is the blessed and only potentate. (1 Tim. 5.15.)  This also is ascribed to the Lord Jesus.  In [John] the baptist’s testimony, concerning him it is asserted, He that cometh from above is above all,—he that cometh from heaven is above all. (John 3.31.)  In addition to this, the declaration of Paul deserves our attention: Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen. (Rom. 9.5.)

Unchangeableness also belongs to the nature of God; for he claims it to himself: I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye, sons of Jacob, are not consumed. (Mal. 3.6.)  To Christ this perfection is expressly attributed; Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever. (Heb. 13.8.)

Seeing therefore the blessed {40} Redeemer possesses those divine perfections, he must also partake of that infinite nature to which they are essential, and be very and eternal God.


The proper divinity of our Redeemer will appear, if we consider the divine works which are performed by him.  If works peculiar to the great God are done by Jesus, we must either acknowledge him to be truly God, or admit the absurdity, that the works of God may be accomplished by the creature’s power.  The divine works of creation, of providence, and of redemption are ascribed to him who is our Mediator, from which we may have our faith, in his real and proper divinity, confirmed.—

The work of creating all things is peculiar to God, and by these he distinguishes himself from the idols of the heathen. The gods that hath not made the heavens, and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He that made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. (Jer. 10.11,12.)  This is one of the works of Christ the Lord.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1.3.)  For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were made by him and for him. But unto the Son he saith,—and thou Lord in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth. (Col 1.16. [Heb. 1.8,10.])  The blasphemous fiction, that God almighty employed Christ, as an inferior agent or instrument in the work of creation, is both irrational and antiscriptural.  It is irrational; for what agency of an inferior could there possibly be, when the Lord spake and it was done, when he commanded and all things were established.  It is antiscriptural, for the word of God ascribes, in as strong and positive terms, the work of creation to {41} Christ, as it does unto the Father.—

Providence is also a peculiar work of God; O Lord thou preservest man and beast. [Psalm 36.6.]  This is another divine work of our Redeemer.  The sacred oracles testify of him, that by him all things consist, and that he upholdeth all things, by the word of his power. (Heb 1.3.)

The redemption of sinners, as the scripture testifieth, is a work peculiar to God; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him. (Psalm 49.7.)  This is the work of Jesus.  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law. (Gal. 3.13.)  In whom we have redemption through his blood. (Eph. 1.7.)  By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Heb. 9.12.)

Behold, O Christians, your Lord Jesus creating all things, upholding all things, and redeeming elect sinners; and in each of these works discern a proof of his divine Godhead.


The ascribing divine worship to the Lord Christ demonstrates his proper divinity.  That divine worship is due to him only, who is possessed of the divine nature, is a dictate of reason, and confirmed by divine revelation.  These words of Christ contain an eternal truth, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matth. 4.10.)  If it can be made evident, that this worship which is peculiar to God, is required from rational creatures, and paid by them unto our Mediator; the truth of his supreme divinity will certainly be confirmed.  Let us now see what light the sacred oracles afford upon this head.

Jesus is therein represented as the object of the Church’s obedience.  When sinners are converted they are brought unto his obedience, and the law which they obey, is the law of Christ.  The ministers and professors of his religion in every age, complying with his authority, have dispensed and received the ordinances of a preached gospel, {42} baptism, and the Lord’s supper.  With reference unto these institutions his royal orders are, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel unto every creature. (Mark 16.15.)  Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Matth. 28.19.)  This do, in rememberance of me. (Luke 22.19.)  In Christ’s instituting these ordinances, the expressions used to the typical Mediator are not found.  The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto the children of Israel; but they are appointed by him [Christ] in such a manner, as plainly discovers, that he was not possessed merely of subordinate, but of supreme authority.—

He is the object of his people’s religious contemplation in the ordinances of his grace.  This was an act of worship given by the church unto the Lord; we have thought of thy loving kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. (Psalm 48.9.)  That this part of sacred homage is due from us to the Lord Jesus, will be evident from the following texts of scripture:  This do in remembrance of me. (Luke 22.19.)  That ye may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. (Eph. 3.18,19.)  Wherefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest of your profession, Christ Jesus. (Heb. 3.1.)

He is the object of the Church’s faith.  Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14.1.)  Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. (Acts 16.31.)  This faith is fixed on Christ as its divine object, because it is for the enjoyment of eternal salvation.  If the man is cursed that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm [Jer. 17.5]; surely Jesus must be infinitely more than man, more than a creature; for it is the {43} promise of God concerning him, in his name shall the Gentiles trust. (Matth. 12.21.)

He is the object of believers’ prayers.  When Jacob by faith blessed the sons of Joseph, he prayed unto Christ; the angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads. (Gen. 48.16.)  How many of the church’s prayers are directed to Christ her beloved, in that most spiritual portion of sacred writing, the song of Solomon?  To him the penitent thief upon the cross addressed himself, in the prayer of faith, when he had eternity immediately in his view: Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (Luke 23.42.)  Another instance of praying to Christ we have in the behaviour of Stephen at his death; of whom the scripture testifieth, that he was a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 6.5.)  And they stoned Stephen.  What was Stephen’s exercise when they were employed in this unhallowed action?  Calling upon God.  How did he call on God?  Saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. (Acts 7.59.) With a prayer to Christ the scripture is concluded; Amen, even so come Lord Jesus.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen. (Rev. 22.20,21.)

He is the blessed object of the adoration and praise of angels and redeemed men.  This will appear if we attend to their joyful song.  Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his blood; and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen. (Rev. 1.5,6.)  And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying, with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.  And every creature which is in {44} heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying, blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (Rev. 5.11,12,13.)

He is also worshipped by the Church in the ordinances of baptism and ministerial benediction; for Christians are both baptized, and blessed in his name. [Matth. 28.19,20; Acts 2.38; 8.16; Rom. 16.20,24; 2 Cor. 13.14; Gal. 6.18; Phil. 4.23; 1 Thess. 5.28; 2 Thess. 3.18; 2 Tim. 4.22; Philemon ver. 25; Rev. 22.21; Acts 19.4,5.]  If in these ordinances, divine worship is paid unto the Father, it is also given to Christ; for there is no difference.

Now, Christians, whether it be right in the sight of God to join with holy angels and redeemed sinners, in believing Christ’s divinity, and giving him the glory due unto his name; or to say a confederacy with his enemies, who deny his Godhead, and defame his person, judge ye.


The scriptural account of the divine and mediatorial fulness of the Redeemer, presents a most cogent proof of his divinity. 

Of his divine fulness the scriptural representation is, For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Col. 2.9.)  Every word in this text deserves a particular consideration.  The connection betwixt the truth contained in it, and the apostle’s exhortation, in the three foregoing verses, is plainly marked, in the first word of the verse.  He had been exhorting believers, who had received Christ Jesus the Lord, to walk in him; to be rooted and built up in him; to be established in the faith; and to beware of suffering themselves, by any means, to be drawn away from him.  The truth declared in the verse under our view, contain the reason of these exhortations, which is taken from the excellency of his person.  It is as if the apostle had said, Jesus, whom you have received, is no ordinary prophet, or messenger from heaven, but is God as well as man; all these duties you are called to perform, for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  The person {45} of whom Paul here speaks is the same that is mentioned in the eight and sixth verses, and may be thus supplied from the latter; for in Jesus Christ the Lord dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  That which is declared to dwell in Christ is all the fulness of the Godhead.  The Godhead signifies, the divine being, nature, or essence; that which God necessarily is in himself.  The fulness of the Godhead must denote the divine nature, and all the perfections and glory which belong unto it.  The fulness of the Godhead is perfectly different from the fulness of God, and is of an infinitely higher signification. The fulness of God can signify no more, than that fulness of grace and glory whereof God is the author; and which he bestows upon his people, in this and in the future world.  But the fulness of the Godhead or divine essence, is that underived, incommunicable, and necessary fulness, which essentially belongs unto the infinite nature of Jehovah.  All the fulness of the Godhead is carrying the expression to its utmost conceivable extent.  It is not a part, but the whole of this fulness, of which the apostle is speaking.  This fulness dwells in Christ.  It does not tabernacle for a time, but it abides and continues with him for ever and ever.  It is also added, that it dwells bodily in him.  This fulness dwells in him really, not in a figurative manner; and substantially, in opposition to that which is typical.  These words warrant the following assertion: all the fulness of Jehovah’s eternity, infinity, unchangeableness, glory, blessedness, sovereignty, wisdom, power, justice, faithfulness, love, grace, and mercy, essentially belongs unto, and forever abides in Jesus Christ the Lord.  If these words do not teach us this glorious truth, it will be impossible to find out any other thing, consistent with the text, which is taught us therein.  Stronger or clearer expressions of the supreme divinity of the eternal Father cannot be conceived, than that which is here used and applied unto the Redeemer.  Our conclusion from these words cannot be denied, {46} that since all the fulness of the Godhead, dwelleth bodily in Christ, he must necessarily be possessed of the divine nature.—

The scriptural account of the mediatorial fulness of Christ leads our minds to the belief of the same truth.  Of our Mediator it is testified, that he is full of grace and truth, and of his fulness have all we received and grace for grace. (John 1.14,16.)  For it hath pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell. (Col. 1.19.)  He is the head over all things unto the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Eph. 1.22,23.)  Three things are, in these expressions, presented to our view.  The mediatorial fulness of Christ itself.  By this we understand, that immeasurable and inconceivable store of new covenant blessings, which is, for the glory of God, and for the benefit of men, deposited in Jesus Christ, as he is the mediator of the better testament.  In him is lodged a fulness of spiritual light and life, of justifying merit and righteousness, of sanctifying spirit and influence, of grace and glory.—The manner in which this fulness is in him, it hath pleased the Father that it should be so.  Nothing of this kind is said of his divine fulness, which we have already considered; because it is equally necessary and essential, as is the fulness of the Father; but it is surely true of that fulness of Christ which is mediatorial.  The establishing of Christ in his mediatory character, and all the blessed effects of this constitution to the children of men, originate from the sovereign will and good pleasure of Jehovah.  The treasuring up of this fulness in Jesus Christ, belonging as it does to the scheme of grace, must proceed from the same source.  It is therefore by a sovereign, wise, and unchangeable appointment of the Father, that all this fulness is in him.—We have also the glorious design of this marvellous dispensation of God, with reference unto his people; that they out of his fulness might receive grace for grace; and that by his fulness, they might be filled all in all.  {47} The people of God receive out of his fulness, by the Saviour’s communicating it unto them; and they are filled with it by the Redeemer’s act of bestowing it upon them.  Having purchased for his people all the blessings contained in this fulness, they are all lodged with him, that he, by communicating them to believers in every age, may make his grace sufficient for them, and perfect strength in their weakness.  From this account of the mediatorial fulness of Christ, we may argue in the following manner, that it is not possible for us to conceive the Lord Jesus to be capable of receiving, containing, managing, and dispensing all this infinite store of spiritual and eternal blessings, which the saints in every age have enjoyed, and which they shall eternally possess, if he is a created, a human person, or naturally inferior to God.  Certainly a work of this kind is competent to him only who is God over all and blessed, for ever, Amen.  Where would be the display of the wisdom of God in a mystery, the manifold wisdom of God, in committing all the blessings, which he designed for his people in time and through eternity, into the hands of a creature?  Where would be the security of the believing seed, for enjoying all this fulness, were it entrusted with one who is an inferior to God?  From the consideration of all this infinite charge which is in the hand of Jesus, his divinity clearly appears.


The mediatorial actions of Jesus Christ prove the divinity of his person; of these we shall mention only a few. 

Christ’s sending the Spirit unto the church, is a clear proof of his divinity.  Our Mediator being ascended into heaven, sends, equally with the Father, the Spirit of God to perform his work in the salvation of sinners.  But when the Comforter is come whom I will send unto you from the Father. (John 15.26.)  But if I depart I will send him unto you. (John 16.7.)  From what has been already hinted in the first Section, and from what is {48} afterwards said in section sixth, it is clearly proved that the Spirit of God is a divine person.  Now if our glorious Mediator sends him unto his people, he must also be a divine person.  It is not competent unto one who is a creature to send the divine Spirit, to give him a commission, and appoint unto him his work.  Since Jesus our Redeemer does all this with respect to the Spirit, his divinity must be indisputably evident.—

He also works by the Spirit.  As the Father’s working by the son and the Holy Ghost is a proof of his divinity; so the Son’s working by the Holy Spirit is an equally clear confirmation of the divinity of his person.  That this is true of the Son of God is asserted in the following words: Until the day in which he was taken up, after he had through the Holy Ghost given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen. (Acts 1.2.)

The miraculous works recorded in the New Testament prove his divinity.  these are of two kinds; the miracles wrought by himself, and those which were done by his apostles.  Jesus performed his miraculous works in such a way, as is competent to none inferior to God.  They were wrought by his own power, done in his own name, and accomplished in the most solemn and majestic manner.  To the leper he said, I will: be thou clean [Luke 5.13]; to Lazarus he cried, Lazarus, come forth [John 11.43]; to Jairus’ daughter he said, Maid, arise [Luke 8.54]; and to those who were possessed with the devil he uttered he divine command, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. [Mark 9.25.]  The miracles done by the apostles of Christ may be adduced as a proof of his divinity; for they were all wrought in his name.  When Peter and John cured the lame man, the words they used are remarkable: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. (Acts 2.6.)  Is it possible that miracles can be wrought in the name, and by the power of a creature?  Beyond all contradiction the divinity of Christ is most {49} certainly confirmed, by his own miracles, and those of his apostles.—

Our Redeemer’s bearing the sins of his people, which are infinite both in their number and intrinsic evil; his enduring at once and entirely exhausting the infinite wrath of God; and his giving an infinite satisfaction for his people’s sin, clearly confirm the divinity of his person.  That he has done this, is evident from Daniel’s description of his work, which is to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness. (Dan. 9.24.)  None of those things are in the power of the creature.  They are competent to him only, who is truly a divine person.  To this argument it is objected, that Jesus in this work had the almighty support of his Father, and therefore he might go through with it, tho’, in his personality and nature, he be inferior to God.  To this objection some have answered, that Jesus was left entirely to himself in this work, and shared not of his Father’s support.  This method of replying, to say no worse of it, is the effect of a very culpable inattention.  It is contrary to the words of God concerning him, My servant whom I uphold, I will hold thy hand and will keep thee, [Isa. 42.6]; contrary to Christ’s own account of his situation when bearing divine wrath, I am not alone for the Father is with me, [John 16.32]; and contrary to the necessary connection that is among the divine persons, so that none of them can be employed in any work about the creatures, without the concurrence of the other two.  The proper answer to the objection is as follows: It is not competent even to almighty power to make a finite person bear the infinite weight of sin, give infinite satisfaction for it, and sustain at once and remove infinite wrath.  This is a natural impossibility, and includes a plain contradiction.  For accomplishing things of this kind divine power has no concern, and never was exercised.  The supports {50} of the almighty power and grace of God can never make the obedience of a creature infinitely meritorious, or his sufferings infinitely satisfactory; this can proceed from the infinite dignity of the person obeying and suffering, and that alone.—

His quickening sinners confirms this truth.  Of this we have an account in his own words, for as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.  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. (John 5.21,25.)  These words present to our view the following properties of his quickening work.  It is of the same nature with the Father’s quickening; the power of Christ is the cause; the sovereign will of Christ is the rule; it is by hearing his divine voice that they live; and this work is perpetually going on in the world below; all of which abundantly confirm his divinity.—

Our Mediator is the foundation and head of the church, from which his divinity is evident.  For other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus. (1 Cor. 3.11.)  And says the same apostle, he is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. (Col. 1.18.)  How is it possible to conceive, that the weight of the eternal salvation of millions of the fallen family of Adam, should be rested upon a creature as its foundation?  And how can it be imagined, that a creature can be the quickening, directing, governing, and beautifying head of the myriads of holy believers, of whom the church of God is composed?  As these suppositions are impossible, he who is the head and foundation of the church must be the true and eternal God.—

His mediatorial power over all creatures proves his divinity.  All things are {51} delivered unto me of my Father. (Matth. 11.27.)  All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matth. 28.18.)  God hath set him at his own right hand,—far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, and hath put all things under his feet. (Eph. 1.20,21,22.)  Jesus Christ is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities, and powers being made subject unto him. (1 Pet. 3.22.)  It is not possible that any creature can bear all this exaltation, manage all this charge, or exercise all this authority and power; our Redeemer must therefore be a divine person.—

Judging the quick and the dead, being the work of our Mediator, proves his divinity.  The glory in which the judge will appear, is such, as cannot be ascribed unto a creature.  He who is to be the judge, must have an infinite and comprehensive knowledge of all the persons and states of the innumerable myriads of angels, good and bad, and of men, saints and sinners; otherwise he must be in danger of condemning the righteous, and justifying the wicked.  The judge must possess a perfect and particular knowledge of all the sinful actions of the wicked, secret and open, that he may bring them forth to public view, as evidences of their being in a state of condemnation.  He must also have the same full acquaintance with all the holy exercises and duties of the righteous, that he may publish them before angels and men, as proofs of their justification.  After passing the sentences on the righteous and the wicked, the judge must have almighty power to execute them, by sending the latter away into everlasting fire, and taking the former into life eternal.  If the question is asked, who is sufficient for these things? Our answer must be, none but one who is really, truly, and properly God. {52}

These few scripture evidences of this truth must, by the blessing of God, produce upon every Christian’s mind who reads them, impressions favourable to the belief of Christ’s divinity.  Blinded must that person’s mind be, and hardened must be his heart, who in opposition to all the proofs of this doctrine, persists in denying it.  O Christians, we beseech you, by rejecting this truth, deny not the Lord that bought you; but rather by receiving it, forever believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [Phil. 2.11.]


Footnotes:

1. Practical essay on the death of Jesus Christ, page 414.

2. Page 247.

3. Page 487, 488.

4. Holy scriptures the only rule of faith, page 254.

5. Preface to letters to Dr. Horsley.

6. Westminster confession, chap. 8. sect. 2.

7. That is, verse 23 of Isaiah 45, which reads: I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.  And the reader will find the verses preceding it to give even weightier significance to the fact that the Apostle would quote this verse as pertaining to our Lord Jesus Christ.—JTKer.