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FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY.
V. 1.-Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.
Here St. Paul declares that he acts by the command of God our Saviour; can the Divinity of our LORD JESUS Christ be conveyed in plainer or more decisive terms? Such a passage as the above should teach us how to interpret others that may appear difficult or obscure in St. Paul's writings.
SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY.
CHAP. III. V. 16.-All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
Let us, then, study them diligently, that we may thereby be “ thoroughly furnished unto all good
CHAP. II. V.9.-Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things, 10. That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.
I quote the above merely to show that St. Paul addressed our SAVIOUR as God when he wrote this Epistle.
V. 13.-Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Saviour Jesus CHRIST, 14. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Exod. Ch. xix. V. 3.-And Moses went up unto Elohim, and Jehovah called unto him out of the mountain, saying, 5. If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people, for all the earth is mine.
Great stress is laid by cavillers on the word “and," in the 13th verse, after the words “ Great God," but the important doctrine of the Divinity of CHRIST can in no wise depend upon the insertion or non-insertion of a word. In the 10th verse of the same chapter, St. Paul speaks of “God our Saviour.” In his Epistle to the Romans, ch. ix., he calls “him,” “God, blessed for evermore.” In addressing the Colossians, ch. ii., he says, “ For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” With such decisive declarations before us, is it possible that a reflecting mind can have any doubts concerning St. Paul's real sentiments on this important point ?
ST. PAUL'S EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS.
CHAP. I. V. 8.—God saith unto the Son, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
Ps. xlv. V. 6.—Thy throne, O Elouim, is for ever and ever, the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. 7. Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness; therefore, Elohim, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Again, St. Paul, in writing to the Hebrews, labours to confirm the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ, as the quotation above will prove. If, therefore, those who deny this awful mystery can here and there select an undecisive phrase or obscure passage, can that invalidate the clear and decisive assertions which have been so frequently quoted in the foregoing pages?
V. 10.-Thou, O Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hands.
Ps. cii. V. 24.-O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days, thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
Here no sooner does St. Paul speak of the Son of God, as the person by whom the Father made the world, than he expatiates on his Divinity, and immediately refers to the 102d Psalm, in which the Son is addressed as the Author of the creation. This is one of the instances where “ The unity of the three persons in the essence is so strict and intimate, that any general appellation of the Godhead may be applied to any one, reminding us of the plurality by that application.”— HORSLEY.
V. 16. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
In the preceding Epistles, St. Paul very frequently spoke of our Saviour as God; but in the above verse he as expressly declares him to be of the seed of Abraham, thus intending to prove the fulfilment of the promise made to Abraham, Gen. ch. xy. v. 18, that from him should proceed the Saviour of the whole world. These different statements confirm the truth of the Second Article of our religion, viz., that CHRIST “is very God and very Man.”
THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JAMES.
CHAP, I. V. 1.-James a servant of God and of the LORD JESUS CHRist, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.
St. James opens his Epistle, declaring himself the servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus laconically and clearly proving his faith to be the same as St. Paul's, for in scripture phraseology the word LORD means Adoni, as may be seen in innumerable instances in the Old Testament, viz., in general, when our translation uses the term “ LORD God," in the Hebrew it is ADONI JEHOVAH.
THE FIRST GENERAL EPISTLE OF ST. PETER. V.1.-Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered through Pontus, Galatia, &c. 2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the SPIRIT, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of JESUS CHRIST.
The three persons of the Trinity are particularized in the above quotation, which assimilates exactly with the many declarations of the Prophets and Apostles. It had often been foretold that the Gentiles should be adopted into the kingdom of the MesSIAH; and here St. Peter announces that they are elected according to the foreknowledge of God the Father; and that by the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost they have become obedient to JESUS CHRIST. Finally, he exclaims, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Or, in unison with what I conjecture, would have been the exclamation of Isaiah on a like occasion, Blessed be EloHIM, thus including the three into this one comprehensive word.
SECOND EPISTLE GENERAL OF ST. PETER.
CHAP. I. V. 1.—Simon Peter, a servant and Apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The marginal reference to the last line of the above verse says, that, according to the Greek, it should be rendered, “ The righteousness of our God and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST.” As a guide to our faith these verbal niceties signify little, for St. Peter and all the inspired writers so frequently and decisively declare the Divinity of Christ, that further proofs cannot, I think, be required.
V. 10.—Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure, for if ye do these things ye shall never fail ; ll. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus CHRIST.
Isa. Ch. xliii. V. 11.-1, even I, am Jehovah, and beside me there is no Saviour.
Peter says Christ is our Saviour; but unless he were God, even the LORD JEHOVAH, he could not be our Saviour, because JEHOVAH hath declared there is no Saviour besides himself.
FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF ST. JOHN, THE APOSTLE.
CHAP. III. V. 21.-Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God. 23. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as he gave us commandment.
Here are two distinct persons, God who commands, and CHRIST whom we are commanded to believe; and what was St. John the Evangelist's creed concerning him, has been shown in the note on the first chapter of his Gospel.