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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 7 of 19)
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i; s, u He whom God hath sent, speaketh the words
o' God ;" and gives this as the reason why the words that
h< speaketh are the words of God, " For God giveth not the
SPIRIT bn mc-j.mre unto him" And Peter, in his discourse
at the hcxise of Cornelius, mentions u How God anointed
J stis of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with Power /"
b. which we may understand, that in this anointing, the
Son was endued with Divine fulness ^ and invested with Di-
vine authority.

In expressing Div ne commands, in foretelling events,
and in performing miracles, the Son of God adopted a stx le
of speaking, very different from that of the Prophets. He
did not preface what he uttered with a u Thus s^aith the
Lord ;" but his usual style was, " I say unto you" " I
will, be thou clean," &c. On this ground, an argument
has often bee form d, in proof of the hypothesis that Christ
was personally the independent God. In icference to this
argument, I would ask,

1. Was it not to he expected that God's OWN SON would
adopt a style corresponding with his DIGNITY as the SON
OF GOD ? Would you not expect that a King's son should
adopt a style in speaking, different from an ordinary am-
bassador ? But,

2. I wou d ask, whether justice has been done in urging
the above argument ? It is indeed a truth, that Christ
spake in a style different from the Prophets ; but it is also
true, that no Prophet was ever more particular and careful
than Christ was, to let it be known that he came not in his
own name, but in the name of God the Father ; that the
\vo*rds which he spake, he spake not of himself; and that
the Father in him did the work. How often did he de-
clare, in the most unequivoca manner, to this effect, " I
came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but
the will of the Father that sent me." " I proceeded forth
and came from GOD ; neither came I of myself, but he sent
ine" u The words that I speak, I speak not of myself."

If John has given us a true account, Christ distinctly
mentioned his being sent of the Father, nearly forty times.
How, Sir, has it come to pass, that these ideas have been
so much kept out of view in urging the argument from
Christ's peculiar style in speaking: 1 I would by no means



68 On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ.

suggest a suspicion of dishonesty ; but is there not evidence
of a strong prepossession^ by which good men have been
led to overlook some things which are of weight, and to
form their arguments without due consideration ?



LETTER V,

How the Son of God became the Son of Man.
REV. SIR,

ACCORDING to your theorv, the SON OF GOD be-
came the SON OF MAN u by taking to himself a true body
and a reasonable soul," or a proper Man. It is mv object
to prove, that the SON OF GOD became tlv SON OF MAN
by becoming himself the SOUL of a human body.

It has been supposed, that the Son of God could not,
with any propriety, be called a man on the hypothesis I
have stated. But cou'd he not with much more propriety
be called a man, if he became the soul of a human body,
than on the hypothesis that he became united to a proper
human soul and body or a proper Man ? If the Son of
God became united to a proper Man, the SON and the
JVlAN \vere two distinct intel'igences, and the union would
be propeily a union of two Persons.

Besides, you say thrt this union does not imply that the
Divine nature became Human nature^ nor that the Human
nature became Divine nature, nor that these two Natures
were mixed or blended. These positions, if I mistake not,
are precisely of the same import a? the following The
SON OF GOD did not become MAN, nor did the MAN be-
come the SON OF GorJ, noi were the SON OF GOD and the
MAN mixed or blended. For so far as I can discern any
meaning to your -anguage, the SON OF GOD is the same as
the DIVINE NATURE of Christ, and the MAN the same as
the HUMAN NATURE. It will hence appear, that the SON
OF GOD did not become MAN, but only became united to a
Man.

There are a multitude of considerations and passages of
Scripture, which may be adduced in support of the hypoth-
esis that the Son of God became Man, or the Son of Man,,



On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ. 69

by becoming the soul of a human bod} 7 . Out of many, I
select the following :....

1. If the Man Christ Jesus had been united to a second
Divine and self-existent Person, we might reasonably ex-
pect to find, that, in some of bis discourses, he had men-
tioned that union. But in no instance did he intimate that
he was united to any Divine Person but the Father. His
union with the Father he often mentioned, and he affirmed
that it was the Father in him that did the work.

2. Had the Son of God become Man in no other sense
than " by taking to himself a true body and reasonable soul,"
and had he been, as you suppose, personally the independ-
ent God, he could not with any propriety have asserted his

personal dependence. For however dependent his human
nature might be, as a. person be would have been independ-
ent and self-sufficient. Yet, it is believed, we have no ac-
count of any other person in the Scriptures, who said so
much of h : s personal dependence, as did Jesus Christ the
Son of God. v ln the most personal and most tmphatic'il
manner he declared, " /can ofMiNi> OWN SELF DO NO HING."
It is remarkable, that any of the friends of Christ should
think it dishonorary to him to say that he was dependent,
whi'e he himself so constantly affirmed his dependence on
the Father. Not only did Christ abundantly assert his per-
sonal dependence on the Father, but, as a PERSON, and as
a SON, he prayed to the Father for himself as the SON of
God. See his solemn prayer, John xvii.

3. When Angels have appeared " in the likeness of men,"
they have been denominated either Angels or Men, just as
the Lord Jesus is sometimes called the SON OF GOD and
sometimes the Son of Man. The Angels who appeared to
Lot, in Sodom, are, in the same narrative, several times
called Angels, and several times called Men. The prophet
Daniel, in speaking of the Angel who appeared to him,
says, ".The MAN GABRIEL whom I had seen in the vis-
ion."

Shall we, Sir, accuse Moses and Daniel of great impro-
priety, in speaking^of those personages sometimes as An-
gels and sometimes as Men f They were called men,
because they appeared " in the likeness of men" that is, in
an embodied state. If a transient or an occasional residence
in bodies of human form might be sufficient ground on
which to denominate Angels Men, a. permanent residence



70 On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ.

*

in a human body might be sufficient ground on which to
denominate the SON OF GOD the Son of Man.

4. The Scripture accounts of the tnc rnction of the Son
of God contains no intimation that he took " to himself a
true body and a reasonable soul ;" but the cbntrnrv is plain-
ly suggested. u The Word was made flesh." John i. 14.
t; God had sworn to David, that of the fruit of his loins,
according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit upon
his throne." Acts ii. 30. u Concerning his Son Jesus
Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David, ac-
cording to th" flesh" Rom. i. 3 u Whose are the Fa-
thers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came."
Rom. ix. 5.

Why wtre these phrases inserted, according to the flc^k^
or concerning the flesh, but to tea h us that our Lord is of
the seed of Abraham and David ONLY according to the
flesh, or in respect to the flesh 2

In the first chapter of trie Epistle to the Hebrews, the
writer gives us a most exalted character of the Son of God ;
and in the second, he represents his incarnation. u For
as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and
blood, he also himself i.kewise took part of the sanu."
Again, u Wherefore, in all things, it behoved him to be
made like unto his brethren, that he might btt a merciful
and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God,
to make reconciliation for the sins of the People :
For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he -is
able to succor them that are tempted."

How, Sir, are the children partakers of flesh and blood ?
Is it by taking to themselves true bodies and reasonable
souls ? Is it not rather by being reasonable souls of human
bodies ? Or by being in an embodied state, in union with
flesh and blood? If so, then for CHRIST to become like his
brethren, a partaker of flesh and blood, he must become
in an embodied state, or become the soul of a human body.
Before his incarnation, he was not like to the seed of
Abraham in respect to partaking of flesh and blood ;
but it behoved him so to be, that he might be a merciful
High Priest ; and that bv being himself subject to those
temptations which resu^ from a union with flesh and blood,
he might know how to sympatize with us, and to succor
those who are tempted. But if his incarnation implied no
more than his becoming united to a Man, how was he pre*



On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ. 71

pared by this to be u touched with the feelings of our in-
firmities ?"

In the tenth chapter of the same Epistle, it is represent-
ed, that when the Son was about to come into the world,
he said to his Father, u Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst
not, but a BODY hast thou prepared me." The Son did
not say, u a true bodv and reasonable soul" hast thou pre-
pared me ; nor, a Man hast thou prepared me ; but u a
BODY hast thou prepared me." And does not his language'
plainly suggest, that he himself was to be the Soul of that
Body which God had prepared ? Let common sense de-
cide the question.

5. The re is abundant evidence, that the Person, who
called himself the Son of Man, had pre-existence ; but
there is no ev dence that he pre-existed otherwise than as
the Son of God, or the /Vngel of God.

That the Son of God had pre-existence, is not doubted
by you ; and it is amazing, that it should be denied by
any man who professes a respect for the Oraches of God.
In addition to all that is said of the Son of God as the Cre-
ator, or the one by whom God created all things ; and all
that is said of him as the Angel of God ; and a I that is
said of the glory which he had with the Father before the
world was ; and all that is said of his incarnation ; there
are a multitude of texts which naturally import his pre-ex-
istence.

His pre-existence is naturally implied in the numerous
passages which speak of God's sending his Son into the
world, and of God's giving his Son. The same idea is
implied in all that Christ said of his coming forth from the
Father, and coming down from Heaven, and earning forth
from God. Such representations naturally import that he
had existed with the Father, with God, and in heaven, be-
fore he was sent, or before he came into the world.

To the unbelieving Jews Christ said, " If God were
your Father, ye would love me : for I proceeded forth
and came from God ; neither came I of myself, but he
sent me." To his disciples he said, " For the Father
himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have
believed that I came out from God : I came forth from the
Father, and am come into the world : again I leave the
world, and go to the Father."



72 On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ.

These passages Christ spake as the SON OF GOD ; and
they plainly import two things....

1. That the Son is a being distinct from God, so dis-
tinct that he could proceed for rh and come from God

2. That the Son existed with God before he came into
the world.

Similar things Christ spake of himself as the SON OF
MAN. On another occasion he said much of his being the
Bread of God which cometh down from heaven. John vi.
In this discourse he styled himself the Son of Man. Some
of his disciples were displeased with what he said on this
occasion. " When Jesus knew in himself that his disci-
ples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend
yon ? What and if ye shall see the SON OF MAN ascend
up -where Hi was before ?"

These several passages, compared together, plainly im-
port not only the pre-existence of Jesus Christ, but the iden-
tity of the Son of God and the Son of Man.

6. The personal identity of the SON OF GOD and the
SON OF MAN is plainly implied in the declaration of St.
Paul, Eph. iv. 1O. Speaking of the ascension of Christ,
he says, " He that descended is the same also that ascended
up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things."
You will, Sir, it is believed, admit that it was the SON OF
GOD who descended, and the SON OF MAN who ascended.
And if he that descended is the same who ascended, then the
Son of God and the Son of Man are the same. Of course,
the Son of God became the Son of Man by becoming the
soul of a human body.

7. You will grant that it was the Son of Man, or the
Man Christ Jesus, who died on the cross, who was ra scd
from the dead, and exalted at the right hand of God. But
all these things are distinctly and abundantly affirmed of
Christ as the SON OF GOD, or as our LORD and SAVIOR.
I have no occasion to produce any passages of Scripture to
prove that these things are said of Christ as the Son of Man ,
but I may produce some passages to show that these same
things are affirmed of GOD'S OWN SON, by whom he made
the worlds, and the one who is now our LORD and SAV-
IOR.

" He that SPARED NOT his OWN SON." Rom. viii. 32.
" Concerning his SON Jt-svs C RIST OUR LORD, which was
made of the seed of David, according to the flesh, and de-



fin the real Divinity and Glory of Christ. 75

clared to be the SON OF GOD with power, according to the
spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead"
Rom. i. 3, 4. " Who raised up JESUS OUR L'^RDfrom the
ce^.d* Rom. iv. 24. " And God hath both raised up the
LORD, and will also raise us up by his own power." 1 Cor.
vi. 14. u Wait for his SON from heaven, whom HE raised
from the dead," 1 Thes. i. 10- " Now the God of peace,
that brought again from the dead our LORD y/si/s, that
GREAT SHEPHERD of the sheep." Heb. xiii. 20.

In these passages it is plainly repreSr nted, that it was
in truth that BEING, who is called the SON OF GOD, our
LORD, and the GREAT SHEPHERD of the sheep, who per*
sonally died on the cross, and was raised from the dead by
the power of God.

In the first chapter of the Epistle to the Colossians, and
in the very connexion in which the work of creation is at-
tributed to Christ, he is styled the " FIRST BORN FROM THE
DEAD, that in all things he might hnve the pre-eminence.'*

Respecting ihis same SON our LORD, David said, " The
LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand till I
inake thy foes thy footstool." Of the same SON OF GOD it is
said," When HE had by HIMSI.LF purged our sins,sat down on ^
the right hand of the MAJES : Y on high." Heb. i. 3. But
after this Son had become united to the Body which God
had prepared, he was often called a MAN, or the SON op
MAN. Therefore the same writer says, wt But THIS MAN,
after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down
on the right hand of God." Heb. x. 12.

8. Additional evidence of the identity of the Son of
God and the Son of Man, may appear from what is said
of Christ as the LORD and the SON, the ROOT and the
OFFSPRING of David.

It was the belief of the Jews, founded on prophecy, that
the MESSIAH should be the Son of David. " While the
Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, say-
ing, What think ye of Christ ? Whose son is he ? They
say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them>
How' then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand
till I make thine enemies thy footstool ? If David then
ca!l him Lord, how is he his son ?" Matt. xxii. 41 4.5.

This, Sir, was to the Pharisees an unanswerable qu< s-
tion ; nor do I see that any rational answer can be given
K



74 On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ;

to it on your theory. For the question plainly supposes
the LORD of David and the SON of David to bt but one in-
telligent Being. But your hypothesis would be, th?t the
LORD of David was united to a MAN who was the SON OF
JDtviD. But could the LORD of David be thus the SON of
David ? No, Sir, the Lord of David would be one Per-
son, and the son of David another. But if the LORD of
David became the soul of a body which was of the seed ot
David, then would Christ be both David's SON and David's
LORD.

The other text to be considered, is this, " I am the
ROOT and the OFFSPRING of David."

You will observe, that in this passage, Christ speaks in
a personal manner, and as one individual intelligence. He
does not say, / am the ROOT of David, and the Man united
to me is the OFFSPRING of David. But as one, and only
one intelligence, he says, " /am the ROOT and the OFF*
SPRING of David."

9. In exhibiting a contrast between Adam and Christ,
the Apostle Paul says, "The first Man is of the earth earthy,
the second Man is the Lord from Heaven." What is
here asserted of Christ, accords with his numerous decla-
rations that he came down from heaven, and came forth
from God. The Apostle does not say that the SECOND
MAN was unitdto the LORD from Heaven ; but, the Sec-
ond Man is the Lord from Heaven. Suppose, Sir, that
Daniel had said in some of his writings, The Man whom
I saw in the vision was Gabriel from heaven ; what idea
would his words have suggested ? Would you not have
supposed that Gabriel appeared in an embodied state, or in
the likeness of a Man ? You will be pleased to answer the
question, and make the application.

10. Christ stated to his disciples this question, "Whom
do men say that /, the Son of Man, am ?" They answer-
ed. He then stated another, *' Whom say ye that /am ?"
Peter replied, " THOU art the Christ, the SON of the LIV-
ING GOD." This answer Christ approved in the most de-
cided manner. And you will be pleased, Sir, to notice
the definite manner in which the question was proposed
and answered. Christ, calling himself the SON OF MAN,
demands^heir opinion concerning him. The answer is as
definite as the question, " THOU art the Christ, the SON of
the LIVING GOD." Therefore the SON OF MAN is the Son



On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ. 75

OF THE LIVING GOD. The Son of God was not united to
the Son of Man ; but the Son of God became the Son of
Man by becoming the soul of a human body. Thus the
SECOND MAN was the LORD from Heaven.

POSTSCRIPT.

MR. Caleb Alexander, in his remarks on Mr. Emlyn,
has taken ground different from yours. He says, u Christ
is properly a complex Person. He has a distinct human,
personality and a distinct Divine personality and yet so
united as to make a complex Person. Christ has a proper
Divine intelligence and a proper human intelligence" p. 57.
He a 7 so states, that Christ is called the Son ofGodi\\ refer-
ence to his humanity " his lowest capacity and character"
That he is called the Son of God, because his " human
nature was created by an immediate act." p. 43, 44.

These positions are contradicted by Dr. Hopkins, in a
very decided manner. And, if I mistake not, they are
contradicted by the general tenor of the Gospel. Those
who may have adopted the hypothesis of Mr. Alexander,
will be likely to suppose that my labor has been in vain in
attempting to prove that the Son of God and the Son of
Man mean the same intelligence. For this they would
have admitted without proof.

Though I respect Mr, Alexander, I cannot say that I
am any better pleased with his theory than I am with yours.
But as I do not learn that his views have been generally
adopted, I shall only state some questions respecting them.

In respect to personality, I must think that he takes
more correct ground than Dr. Hopkins : For if it be true,
that in Christ a Divine Person is united to a proper Man,
no reason can be given why they should not be considered
as two Persons. But will it not plainly result from Mr,
Alexander's theory, that He who died for our offences was
strictly a human Person, and no more than a man ? That
Person might indeed be the Son of God in his sense of the
terms ; for in his view the Son of God was no more than a
Man a Man united to a Divine Person. But why is
this Man called God's own and only Son, the only begotten-
of the Father ? He was " created by an immediate act,"
says Mr. Alexander. And so was Adam ; and so, prob-
ably, were the Angels. How then is Christ God's



76 On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ.

Son ? Why is it represented as so great a display of God's
love, to give such a Son to die for us ?' If there be any
great display of Divine *ove on h : s theors', must it not be
found in this, that God accepted the obedience unto death,
of one man, as an atonement for the sins of the whole
world ? As much might, perhaps, be said, had Moses
died for the sins of the world.

But if Christ b^ called the SON of God in respect to his
ic lowest capacity and character," why did HE never speak
of his having a higher character than that of the Son of
God ? How came the Jews to accuse Christ of blasphemy^
for saying that he was the SON OF GOD ? Wolild the Jews
ever have thought of accus'ng him with blasphemy for say-
ing that he was " created by an immediate act" ? or for say*
ing, In the same sense that Adam was, I am the Son of
God ? Christ received worship as the SON OF G^D ; was
it on the ground that he was " created by an immediate act" ?



LETTER VI.

The preceding Doctrines all implied in Philipp'rim ii. 5 11.
REV SIR,

NO portion of Scripture has, perhaps, been more abun-
dant y quoted, nor more fully relied on, by Athanasian
writers, than Philippians ii. 6. This text, therefore, with
six other verses in connexion, I shall attempt to examine.
And I flatter myself that you will be convinced that the
Athanasian theorv can have no support from this passage ;
and that, in it, is fairly impl ed several of the propositions
which I have aimed to establish.

The verses to be considered are the fo lowing :

5 u Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
Jesus ;

6 Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery
to be equal with God :

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him
the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men :

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled
himself, and became obedient unto death, even tne death
of the cross.



On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ. 77

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and
given him a name which is above every name :

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of thi-ngs in heaven, and things in earth, and things under
the earth ;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

In the preceding verses, the Apostle had, in the most
affectionate manner, exhorted Christians to humility, con-
descension, and benevolence. To enforce his exhortation,
he urged the example of Jesus Christ, who was rich, and
yet for our sakes became poor ; and the glorious reward
which God bestowed on him for what he had done and suf-
fered. To exhibit the example of Christ in a just and
striking light, he distinctly brought into view his state of
Godlike splendor and Majesty before his incarnation ; who
being in the FORM of God, thought it not robbery to be
equal with God.

The Son's being in the FORM OF GOD, most probably re-
fers to the glory he had with the Father before the
\vorld was, the glory that he had in God's creating all
things by him, and the glory that he had as the Angel of
God's presence.

But as this verse is so much relied on in support of the
doctrine that the SON is personally the self-existent God,
it behoves me to be the more particular in the exam nation.
It is not, for me, easy to discern any thing in the sixth
verse, nor in the whole connexion, which has the least ap-
pearance of favoring that idea, unless it be found in the
import of the word equal" thought it not robbery to be
equal with God." The argument is simply this, No Per-
son but the self-existent God can be equal with the self- ex-
istent God ; therefore the Son is the self-existent God
And the utmost that can possibly be meant, in any case,
by the word equal, is insisted on as the only possible
meaning of the term ; and that too in the face of the natu-
ral import both of the text itself and the connexion. For
it is urged that the Son is absolutely, essentially, and inde-
pendently IQVAL with God. And this construction of the
term seems to be urged with as much confidence as though
the word had never been, and never could be, used in %
qualified sense.



78 On the real Divinity and Glory of Christ.


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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 7 of 19)