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supposed that in so doing they established claims to be considered incarnations of the Divine essence. Proverbs, ch. xxix. ver. 17: "Correct thy Son, and he shall give thee rest: yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul." Revelation guides us to a sure belief that it is God that affords peace of mind, effects cures of the body, and bestows all sorts of comforts ⚫ on his creatures. "I thank thee," (says Jesus, Matthew, ch. xi. ver. 25,) "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." Both our perceptions, indeed, and sacred authorities point out, that he lavishes all these gifts on us through prophets, physicians, and other physical causes, that are not considered by any sect as of a divine nature.
The third position is, that Jesus exercised, in an independent manner, the prerogative of forgiving sins, which is peculiar to God alone; and the Reverend Editor quotes the passage, Mark, ch. ii. ver. 5, "Thy sins be forgiven thee;" and the 9th verse, for "Whether is it easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee, or to say, Arise and walk?” Taking those texts as the grounds of his position, I therefore beg to call the attention of the Editor to the passage almost immediately following, in which the evangelical writer intimates, that this power of forgiving sins, as well as of healing men, was given by the Almighty: "But when the multitude saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, who had given such power unto men." Does not this passage convey an express declaration, that
Jesus was as much dependent on God in exercising the power of forgiving sins and healing the sick, as the prophets who came forth from God before him? The apostles, who witnessed the power of forgiving sins in the Saviour, were thoroughly impressed with a belief that it was the Almighty Father who forgave sins through the Son. Acts, ch. v. vers. 31, 32: " Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things.” Ch. xiii. ver. 38: "Be it known, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man, (meaning the Saviour,) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins." I know not how far religious zeal in the breasts of many of the followers of Christ may excuse them in encroaching upon the prerogatives which revelation and reason ascribe to the Divine Majesty alone; but Jesus himself clearly avows, that the power of forgiving sins had its source and origin in God alone, as appears from his petitioning the Father to forgive those that were guilty of bringing the death of the cross upon him, the greatest of all imaginable crimes. Luke, ch. xxiii. ver. 34: "Father, forgive them," (says Jesus,)" for they know not what they do;" " and from his directing all those that followed him to pray the Father alone for forgiveness of sins. Luke, ch. xi. ver. 4: "And forgive us our sins." Matthew, ch. vi. ver. 14: "If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you."
The fourth position advanced by the Editor is, that "Almighty power is also claimed by Jesus in
the most unequivocal manner.' In endeavouring to demonstrate this, the Editor notices three passages of John: (ch. v. vers. 21-23:) "As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth 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 honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." A candid inquirer after truth must, I think, feel surprised and disappointed, that in quoting these texts, the Editor should have overlooked the force of the words, in which the Son declares that he hath received the commission to judge from the Father: "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." I am ready to admit, indeed, that, taken simply as they stand, the words, "As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will," and, "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father," might very readily be understood as implying an assertion of equality with the Father. But this affords one of numerous instances of the danger of resting an opinion on the apparent meaning of the words of insulated passages of Scripture, without attention to the context; for I am convinced that no unprejudiced person can peruse the verses preceding and subsequent to those quoted by the Editor, without feeling that a more explicit disavowal of equality with God can hardly be expressed by language than that which they contain. I must therefore beg permission to give the entire passage in this place,
though some parts of it have been quoted before in support of arguments already discussed. It is to be observed that the occasion of the expressions here made use of by Jesus, was the accusation brought against him by the Jews, that he had made himself equal with God. John, ch. v. vers. 19—36 : "Then answered Jesus, and said unto them, Verily, 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 things 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 quickeneth 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 honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father who hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation ; but is passed from death unto life. 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. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the
graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of mine ownself 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 who hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me."
It would have been strange, indeed, had Jesus, in repelling the accusation of blasphemy, which had wrought on the minds of the Jews so far that they sought to kill him, confirmed their assertion, that he made himself equal with God, and thus prematurely endangered his own life; but we find that so far from being further incensed by the explanation above quoted, they seem to have quietly acquiesced in his appeal to their own Scriptures, that the Messiah should have all the power and authority which he asserted the Father had given to himself. Ver. 46: "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.”