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Noah Worcester.

Bible news, of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit : in a series of letters. In four parts. I. On the unity of God. II. On the real divinity and glory of Christ. III. On the character of the Holy Spirit. IV. An examination of difficult passages of Scripture. The whole addressed to a worthy minister of online

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Online LibraryNoah WorcesterBible news, of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit : in a series of letters. In four parts. I. On the unity of God. II. On the real divinity and glory of Christ. III. On the character of the Holy Spirit. IV. An examination of difficult passages of Scripture. The whole addressed to a worthy minister of → online text (page 6 of 19)
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CONSTITUTED the ANGEL OF GOD'S PRESENCE, or the ME-
DIUM by which God appeared or manifested himself to the
ancient Patriarchs.

We have many accounts of God's appearing to Abra-
ham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to Moses ; arid seeing these
visible manifestations, is several times represented as see-
ing God. Yet the matter is so explained in the New Tes-
tament, as to give us reason to suppose, that all these visi-
ble manifestations of God's Presence were made in the
Person of the Son of God. For it is said, u No man hath
seen God at any time ; the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, who is in
the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him," or mani-
fested him. The Son, in those appearances, was usually
denominated the Angel of the Lord. And when this
Angel was employed by God, as the Conductor and Guar-
dian of the people of Israel in their journey from Egypt to
Canaan, God gave this solemn caution to the people, u Be-
ware of him, and obey his 'Voice ; provoke him not : for
he will not pardon your transgression ; for MY NAME is in
him." By NAME here may be understood, dignity, jul-
ness, and authority. And as God thus dwelt in the Son,
and manifested his dignity, fitness, and authority, through



&n the real Divinity and Glory of Christ. 57

tire Son, Isaiah denominates the Son the Angel of God's
Presence " And the Angel of his Presence saved them."
Accordingly those visible manifestations are sometimes
represented as the appearance of GOD, and sometimes as
the appearance of the ANGEL of the Lord, or the ANGEL
of God: And what was spoken on those occasions is
sometimes represented as spoken by God, and sometimes
as spoken by the Angel ; just as the work of creation is
sometimes attributed to God, and sometimes to the Son of
God. And as God manifested himself thus in the Person
of his SON, so the Patriarchs considered God as present in
those visible manifestations.

And as all the covenant transactions with Abraham,Isaac,
and Jacob, were performed on God's part through the ME-
DIUM of the SON as the Angel of his Presence, so the Pro-
phet Malachi stiles him the Messenger or Angel of the
covenant.

There is, however, another ground on which Christ
may be called the Messenger of the covenant. He was
eminently the Seed promised in the covenant with Abra-
ham, in whom all the families of the earth were to be
blessed. And he was the Messiah ; and as the Messiah
was included in the promises of the covenant, so Christ
may be called the Messenger or Angel of the covenant, as
he was sent by God in the flesh according to covenant.

I am not, Sir, alone, nor an original, in considering the
SON of God as the MEDIUM of Divine manifestations.
Athanasian writers have done the same. But is it not a
manifest impropriety to consider a Being as the Medium of
his own manifestations ? If Chr.'.st be truly the SON of God,
he may be truly the MEDIUM through which God manifests
himself; and may thus be in the "form of God" But if
he be persona ly the self-existent God, he can, with no pro-
priety, be considered as the MEDIUM of Divine manifes-
tations.

Although God had, in various ways, manifested his love
to his Son prior to the incarnation, yet such was his love to
mankind, and so important was our salvation in the view
of God, that he was d sposed to give his ONLY BEGOT i EN
SON as a sacrifice for our redemption. And although the
Son of God had been highly honored and exalted by his
Father, and had often appeared in the u form of God" to
transact affairs of high importance, yet such was the benev-
H



58 On the real Divinity and! Glory of Christ.

olence and condescension of this Son, that he freely
curred in the Father's proposal for the redemption of man,
and said, " Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." But to
accomplish this great purpose, the Son must lay aside the
form of God, and take on himself the form of a servant-
he must become incarnate, be united to a human body,
aiid be the " Son of David according to thejlesh." Thus
he who was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we,
through his poverty, might be made r/ch. And being found
in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obe-
dient unto death.

But such voluntary and deep abasement in the Son, was
not to pass unnoticed nor unrewarded by the Father. And
we have the most plain and unequivocal testimony, that
God did honor his Son by constituting him a PRINCF and
a SAVIOR, the LORD OF ALL, and the SUPREME JUDGE of
the quick and the dead.

That it is as the fruit of the Father's love to the Son, and
on the ground of a constituted character, that Christ bears
those and other Divine names and titles, I shall endeavor
clearly to pr^ve.

John the Baptist, in his testimony concerning the Son,
not only said, u God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto
him ;" but added, " the Father loveth the Son, and hath
GIVEN all things into his hand.". ...John iii. 35.

When the Son was about to leave his disciples and as-
cend into heaven, he proclaimed in their ears, " All power
is GIVEN unto me in heaven and earth. "....Matt, xxviii. 18.

Peter, in his impressive sermon on the day of Pentecost,
having stated many things from the Scriptures, to prove
that Jesus was the Christ, addressed the audience in these
-words, " Therefore let all the house of Israel know assured-
ly, that God hath MADE that same yesus^ whom ye have
crucified, both LORD and CHRIST" Acts ii. 36.

In the same sermon, Peter also said, u This Jesus hath
God raised up, whereof we are witnesses. Therefore
being by the rig/it hand of God exalted, and having received
of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed
forth this which ye now see and hear.".. ..Acts ii. 32, 33.

In another address, Peter said, u The God of Abraham,
and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, HATH
GLORIFIED his SON JESUS.".,.. Acts iii. 13.



On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ. 5$

And again, " The God of our fathers raised up Jesus,
whom ye slew and hrnged on a tree : HIM hath GOD EX-
A-LTFD, with his OWN RIGHT HAND, to be a PRINCE and a
SAVIOR, for to give repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness
of sins.".".. .Acts v. 3O, 31.

The same views of the CONSTITUTED CHARACTER of the
SON as LORD OF ALL, are, if possible, more forcibly ex-
pressed bv Sa nt Pau 1 .

Speaking of the astonishing displays of the grace and
power of God, he says, " Which he wrought in Christ,
when he raised him from the dead, and SET HIM at his own
right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality,
and power, and might, and dominion, and every name
which is named, not only in this world, but also in that
which is to come : And hath put all things under his feetj
and gave him to be the HEAD over all things to the
Church."....Eph. i. 2022.

The same Apostlt , having in a most striking manner
represented the astonishing condescens'on and deep abase-
ment of Chr'st, proceeds to state the rewtrd given to him.
by God u Wherefore God also hath highly EXALTTD>
HIM, and GIVEN HIM a name which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things
in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth ;
and that evtry tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is
LORD, to the glory of God the Father."... .Phil. ii. 9 11.

To unprejudiced minds, the passages of Scripture, al-
ready adduced, mav be sufficient to prove, that it is by the
GIFT and PLEASURE of God, that his SON sustains the of-
fi es and bears the Divine names of SAVIOR and LORD.
Much more of the same import might be produced; but
4e those who can resist, evade, or set aside such plain and
unambiguous testimony as has been already exhibited,
might do the sam<, by a volume of the same kind.

I have yet, however, distinctly to show, that God has
CONSTITUTED his SON the SUPREME JUDGE of the quick
and the dead. In proof of the point now before us, we
may begin with the testimony of Christ himself. As he is
the faithful and true Witness, and well acquainted with his
own character, much reliance may be placed on his testi~
mony.

It will be needless here to introduce the numerous dec-
which Christ made of his authority as the JUDGE



60 On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ.

of the world. All we have to do is to show how he came
by this authority ; whether he possesses it as the self-exist-
ent God, or whether he hath been invested with this
authority by the Father. *

When Christ had healed the impotent man, the Jews
accused him of profaning the Sabbath day. In reply to
their accusation, Jesus said, u My Father worketh hither-
to, and I work." His calling God his Father, the J -,vs
considered as blasphemy, and sought the more to kill him.
It appears probable, that the Jews well understood the
principle of derived dignitv, and that they understood
Christ as claiming DIVINE DIGNITY by professing to be the
SON of God. They evidently understood Christ, as cal'ing
God his Father, in the pe -uliar and proper sense. For
\vhile they gloried in having " one Father, even God,"
they considered Chiist as guilty of blasphemy in claiming
the title of the SON of God.

In reply to their accusations, Christ gave them a more
full account of his character and dignity, and said, '' Ve-
rily, verily, I say unto you, The SON can do nothing of
himself, but what he seeth the Father do : for what things
soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For
the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all thi?^gs that
himself doeth : and he will shew him greater works than
these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up
the dead, and quiokeneth them, even so the SON quickeneth
whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath

COMMITTED ALL JUDGMENT UNTO THE SON ; that all men

should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. "... 9 .
John v.

If God hath COMMITTED all judgment unto the Son, then
he has CONSTITUTED the Son as Judge. But Christ gives
a further account u Verily, verily, I say unto you, The
hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the
voice of the SON or GOD : and they that hear shall live.
For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he GIVEN
To THL SON to have life in HIMSELF , and hath GIVEN HIM
AUTHORITY to execute judgment, because he is the Son
of man. I can of mine own self do nothing : As I hear, I
judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not mine
own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."

To those who place full confidence in Christ as a faith-
ful and true Witness, his testimony may be sufficient.



On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ. 61

But for the conviction of those who mav think that two or
three witnesses are needful in the present case, we may add
the testimonies of Peter and Paul.

Peter, in his sermon at the house of Cornelius, after
stating that he and others did eat and drink with Christ
after his resurrection, said, " And he commanded us to
preach unto the people, and to testify that it is HE which is
ORDAINED OF GOD to be the JUDGE of the quick and the
dead.''

Paul, in his discourse to the people of Athens, said,
u And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now
commandeth ail men every where to repent : Because he
hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the wor?d
in righteousness, by that MAN whom he hath ORDAINED,
whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he
hath raised him from the dead,"

I see no rational way in hich these testimonies can be
invalidated, without impeaching the characters of the wit-
nesses.

An earthV sovereign, whose will is the law of the Em-
pire, can, at pleasure, advance an own and only Son to any .
rank or office, which does not involve a contradiction.

The father cannot cause his son to rank with himself
as to age, nor can he render the son independent of himself
in respect to existence, dignity, or office. / But it is in the
power of a King or Emperor to confer on his son any office
in the army, from an ensign to that of commander in chief.
He may also, at pleasure, make his son the governor of a
province, chief judge, or sole judge in the highest court of
justice, or viceroy of half the Empire, or even a copartner
with himself on the throne ; and in testimony of the high
esteem he has for his son, he may place the son at his own
right hand.

Such a course of conduct in an earthly sovereign towards
an only son may indeed be the result of caprice or partiali-
ty ; hut it may also be the result of consummate wisdom
and benevolence. For the good of the Empire may be in
the best manner promoted by such measures.

As an earthly sovereign may advance his son to any of-
fice he pleases, so he may confer on him whatever title of
dignity he may think proper. He may dignify his son with
the title of lord, or arch-chancellor of the Empire, lord
chief Justice, Prince of Peace,. President of the Princes^



62 On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ.

or he may confer on him his own royal or imperial title, as
King or Emperor. And in respect to several relations, he
rnav at the same time have various titles tf dignity.

These observations present to our view something anal-
ogous to the representations given in Scripture in regard
to God's conduct in dignifving his only and well-beloved
Son. The titles LORD, SAVIOR, and JUDGE, are titles
which properly belong to God. But God had a right to
confer the same titles on his beloved Son, and to invest
him with the authority and -sctf-sufficiency imported by
these titles. And if we may safely rely on the testimony
of Christ and his Apostles as proof, God has actually thus
dignified his Son. ...He hath u EXALTED him to be a PRINCE

and a SAVIOR" u MADE him to be both LORD and

CHRIST"....'* GIVEN him all power in heaven and earth"....
"ORDAINED him to be the JUDGE of the quick and the dead"
.." COMMITTED a 1 ! judgment unto the Son, and GIVEN
him a Name which is above every Name." And the Scrip-
tures afford no more evidence that Solomon sat on the
throne of Israel, by the appointment and pleasure of David,
than they do that the Son of God sits on the Throne of the
Universe by the appointment and pleasure of GOD his FA-
THER. There are other titks that belong to God, which
by his pleasure are given to his Son.

God often styles himself the HOLY ONE, or the Holy One
of Israel. The title of Holy One is a so g'ven to the Son.
But the Son is plainly distinguished from the self-existent
Holy One, by being represented as God's Holy One, or
the " Holy One of God."^-To the truth, in this case, sa-
tan himself was constrained to bear witness. " I know thee
who thou art, the Holy One of God." The words of Da-
vid, quoted by Peter, are to the same purpose...." Neither
wilt thou suffer thine HOLY ONE to see corruption."

The name JEHOVAH, which is often translated Lord in
the Old Testament, is a name which belongs to God ; but
by the pleasure of God this name uith some addition is
given to the Son. u Behold the days come, saith the Lord,
that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch ; and a*
King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment
and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved
and Israel shall dwell safely ; and this is the name xv here-
by he shall be called, The LORD [or JEHOVAH] our
RIGHTEOUSNESS."



On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ. 63

That the Messiah, the Son of God, in his incarnate
State, is intended in this prophecy, there can be no reason-
able doubt. And that it is on the ground of a CONSTITUT-
ED CHARACTER, and by the pleasure of God his Father,
that he bears the name JEHOVAH our RIGHTEOUSNESS,
is sufficiently plain from the passage quoted. It is God
himself who gives the information in the text ; and this
one God tells u$ of a Person or Character wh : ch he
would raise up, and the name by which this Son should be
called.

The name Jehovah being given to the Son, is considered
by Mr. Jones as evidence that the Son is personally the
self-existent God. But had he compared one of his own
remarks with the words of an Apostle, he might have seen
his own mistake. Mr. Jones suggests, that the name
LORD, in the New Testament, which is given to Christ,
is of the same import as JEHOVAH in the O d Testament.
The Apostle Peter says, u Let all the house of Israel know
assuredly, that God hath MADL that same Jesus, whom ye
have crucified, both LC*RD and Christ." If, then, Mr*
Jones be correct in affirming that LORD and JEHOVAH are
terms of the same import, and the Apostle be correct in
the text just quoted ; am I not authorized to say that God
hath made, or constitit&d, his Son JLHOVAH our righteous-
ness f

On similar ground, and by the same Divine pleasure,
the Son has his name called Emmanuel Wonderful,
Counsellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, and
the Prince of Peace. On the very face of the prophesies,
in which these names are brought into view, it is clearly
intimated, that it is by the pleasure of God that the Son
bears these titles. The Son is manifestly the subject of the
predictions, and God the Author. And God says respect-
ing his Son, His name shall be called Emmanuel His

name shall be called WONDFRFUL, &c.

That it is by inheritance as a Son, and by the pleasure
of the Father, that Christ bears the name GOD, is plainly
revealed in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews
As the chapter was evidently designed to give us a cor-
rect and exalted view of the Son of God, and the ground
on which he possesses such an exalted character and such
Divine titles, I shall quote nine verses :....



64 On the real Divinity and Glory ofChrltt.

u God, who at sundry times, and in divers
spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath
in these last days spoken unto us by his SON, whom he
h^th appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made
the worlds ; who being the brightness of his glory; and the
express image of his Person, and upholding all thing* by
the word of fos power, when he had by himself purged our
sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high :
b-ing made so m?u-.h better than the angels, as he hath by
inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they."

Before I proceed farther in the quotations, I may make
a few re- mirks. 4is*f&n/ffy

1. God in this passage is vvumltifan> spoken of as one
distinct Person or intelligent Being, accordingly the pro-,
nouns for God are he, his.

2. The Son of God is spoken of as a Person or Being,
as distinct from God as an) son is distinct from his father ;
and as distinct from God as are prophets or angels... .God
spake by the prophet*....so God spake by his Son.

3. As a son is the image of his father, so the Son of
God is represented as the express image of the Person of
God.

4. The Son is heir of all things by the appointment of
God.

5. The Son is so distinct from God, that he can sit on
God's right hand.

6. By being truly the Son of God, and by INHERIT-
ANCE, Christ hath a better name than the Angels... Being
MADE so much better than the ange's, as he hath by INHER-
ITANCE a more excellent name than they... .Being truly
God's OWN SON, he INHERITS his Father's Dignity.

In proof that the Son hath a more excellent name than
the angels, the Apostle proceeds to state from the Old Tes-
tament what had been said respecting the Son, and what
had been said respecting the Angels :....

" For unto which of the Angels said he at any time,
Thou art my Son, this dav have I begotten thee ? And
again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a
Son. And again, when he bringeth in the FIRST BEGOT-
TEN into the world, he saith, And let all the Angels of God
worship him. And of the Angels, he saith, Who maketh
his Ange's spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But
unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and



On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ. 65

ever : a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy king-
dom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity ;
therefore GOD, EVEN THY GOD, hath anointed THEE with
the oil of gladness, above thy fellows."

Here we find the Name which the Son of God has by IN-
HERITANCE, which is better than the name given to An-
gels. The self-existent God has been pleased to dignify
his OWN and ONLY SON with his own Divine Name. And
we find also a reason assigned for this Divine honor :....
" Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity ; there-
fore GOD, EVEN THY GOD, hath anointed TRIE with the oil
of gladness above thy fellows."

If we consider Christ as truly the SON of God, in the
sense which has been explained, and by inheritance and the
pleasure of the Father possessing Divine dignity an 1 Di-
vine titles, the whole passage appears perfectly natural.
But if we consider the Son as personally the self-existent
and independent God, most serious difficulties immediate-
ly arise.... Why is he called God's Son ? Why is he uni-
formly spoken of in contradistinction to the self-existent
God ? Why is he spoken of as having a GOD who hath
anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows ?
What God could thus anoint the self-existent God ?

The passage under consideration is not the only one in
which the name God is applied to the Son. Nor is this
the only passage in which the Son of God is represented as
having a God as well as a Father. Christ said to his dis-
ciples, " I go to my Father and to your Father, to my
God and to your God" And in the Epistles we several
times read of " the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ" and " the God of our Lord Jesus Christ" As
Solomon, after he was crowned, had a father and a King ;
so Christ, on the Throne of the Universe, had a Father
and a God. If Christ had been the self existent God, it
would have been just as proper to speak of the God of the
Father, as the God of the Son. But if he be truly the SOK
of God, and as such sustains Divine offices and bears Di-
vine titles, then no difficulty results from his being ca led
LORD, SAVIOR, or even GOD. For these titles, as borne
by the Son, do not import personal self-existence, but what
be is as the SON OF GOD, and by the pleasure of his Fa-
ther.

1



66 On the real Divinity and Glory of Chris t.

After Solomon had been anointed King bv order of Da-
v'cl, Jonathan reported the matter to Allonijah, and snid,
44 Verily our Lord, King David, hath made Solomon King. n
And it is not improbable that this event was typical of the
conduct of God in anointing' and exalting his Son. And
as truly as David constituted \\\s son Solomon to be King^
so truly hath our heavenly Father constituted HIS SON to be
SAVIOR, LORD, and GOD. He hath in vested him with
Divine fulness and Divine authority, and conferred on him
his own Divine names and titles. If th Son of God did
not possess a fulness adequate to his authority, we might
view the Divine names, as applied to him, as h'gh sound-
ing and empty titles ; but while we are assured that all
power, or authority, is given unto him in heaven and
earth, we are also assured that " it hath pleased the Father
that in him al! fulness should dwell ; and that in him dwell-
eth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."

When, therefore, I speak of the Son as called SAVIOR,
LORD, and GOD, on the ground of a constituted charactt r,
I wish to be understood as mplying not merely official cha-
racter, but such a perfect union of the Son with the Father,
that in him properly dwel's the infinite fulness and all-suf-
ficiency of God, so that in respect to fulness as well as
authority he is one with the Father.

We must suppose, that God is the best judge of the
ground on which he styled his Son God. And we know,
from the Scriptures, that anointing with oil was an ap-
pointed ceremony of induction to office. Thus Prophets,
Priests, and Kings, w^re inaugurated by the command of
God. The Oil was an instituted type or emblem of the
Spirit ; and these ancient inaugurations were probably typ-
ical of the inauguration of Christ as the promised Messiah ;
on which occasion the Holy Spirit, which had been typifi-
ed by the holy oil, descended and abodje upon him. And
in the address of the Father to the-Son, in which the Son
is distinctly called God, the ceremony of anointing is dis-
tinctly brought into view, to show that it is en the ground
of a constituted character that the Son is railed God
" Therefore God, even THY GOD, hath anointed thee with
the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Thus the Son, be-
ing made or constituted so much better than the Angels, hath
by inheritance a more excellent name than they.



On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ. 67

John the Baptist, in his testimony concerning the Son of


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Online LibraryNoah WorcesterBible news, of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit : in a series of letters. In four parts. I. On the unity of God. II. On the real divinity and glory of Christ. III. On the character of the Holy Spirit. IV. An examination of difficult passages of Scripture. The whole addressed to a worthy minister of → online text (page 6 of 19)