Some arguments proving that Christ is God.
By the term God we understand the supreme Being. The Hebrew name JEHOVAH, signifying I AM, and which is generally rendered LORD, is an exclusive appellation of the supreme Being. The pious psalmist says, “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most High over all the earth.” Ps. 83,18. This text proves that this name is an exclusive and peculiar title of the supreme Being. By this name God called himself, when he appeared unto Moses. “God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exod. 3, 14. This name cannot properly be applied to any creature: for no creature can say, / am that I am; since every creature is subject to change every moment. I AM, implies absolute immutability. Immutability is a perfection peculiar to the supreme Being.
When therefore, it shall have been proven that this name is the proper name of Christ, then the doctrine of his eternal Godhead will also be established. Although, this argument seems to be conclusive; nevertheless, Unitarians suppose it to be inconclusive; since they allege that the names God and Lord are attributed to angels and magistrates. The church is called “The Lord our righteousness.” Jer. 23,6. Moses was also called God, “And the Lord said unto Moses, sec, I have made thee a God to Pharaoh.” Exod. 7,1.
To this objection I answer, that I know of no instance in the scriptures, in which an angel or a magistrate is called God in the singular number. They are called Gods in the aggregate, and figuratively, because of their offices. Neither is any angel, or magistrate ever called the true or the mighty God. Moses was not called God in the unlimited sense of the word; but it is positively said, that he was made a God; hence he was not God by nature; nor was he made a universal God, but only a God unto Pharaoh.
The church being called the Lord our righteousness, is not called thus in the absolute sense of the word; but the sense in which she is so called is qualified by the addition “our righteousness;” hence Lord is not her proper name. It would be absurd, to call any creature the true God. “JEHOVAH” (mostly rendered LORD) as a proper personal appellation is never applied to a creature. These are titles applied to the Father. They are also applied to Christ in the same sense, in which they are given to the Father. With these names are connected divine attributes when applied to Christ. In all these respects the application of the titles Gods and Lords to angels and magistrates, differs totally from that of God and Lord to Christ.
Christ is called the true God. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John 5, 20. Although, this text calls Christ the true God; yet, Unitarians object to this assertion. They suppose that the pronominal adjective This does not refer to Christ, but to the Father. See Bible News p. 231. James Miller vs. Isaac Lewis, p. 36, 37. They consequently admit, if Christ was called the true God, that he would be consubstantial to the Father.
The pronominal adjective this cannot refer to God the Father : for the original reads thus: ουτος εστιν ο αληθινος θεος και η ζωη αιωνιος. The translators have rendered ο αληθινος θεος, the true God. But it must be observed that αληθινος is an adjective in the nominative case and θεος a substantive in the genitive case. Hence the literal translation would be ”this is the true of God, and eternal life. The adjective true must have a substantive understood, by which the genitive θεος is governed. The substantive understood must be son seeing the proceeding phrase says we are in him that is true or as the original reads και εσμεν εν τω αληθινω i.e. we are in the true. The next phrase shows, who the one is that is true: viz. God’s Son, Jesus Christ. The text is properly rendered thus: “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know the true, and we are in the true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true (Son understood) of God and eternal life.” Hence it is evident that the pronominal adjective this does not refer to God the Father: for it would be uncouth to say, that the Father is the true Father of God. Christ being called αληθινος, i.e. the true Son of God, it is manifest that he must be consubstantial to the Father. By the true God is understood, not a created, nor a constituted God, but a being, who is substantially and independently God. Christ being the true Son of God; hence he is not created, and as every son possesses his father’s nature, even so Christ possesses the Father’s substance; hence he is true God. The text does not only call Christ the true Son of God, but also calls him eternal life. Christ being eternal life, he himself must be eternal, and possess the same independent life the Father possesses. It must be remembered, that Christ does not merely like a creature, possess life, but is himself eternal life. Eternal life is the same as immortality. Immortality is an exemption from death. Eternal life is opposed to death. Immortality, or eternal life, which is the same, is a perfection and prerogative of the true God. St. Paul says, “Who (God) only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.” 1 Tim. 6, 16. If God only has immortality, then Christ is God: for he is eternal life; consequently he has immortality.
To be the true Son of God, implies to be God. Christ frequently called himself the Son of God; or, which is exactly equivalent, he called God his Father. The Jews understood this phraseology as implying that he made himself God. See John 10, 33-83. If the Jews had understood the term Son of God in a wrong sense, one should suppose, that the benevolence of Christ would have required him to have rectified their error. We have no account that he ever defended himself against the accusations of the Jews, by declaring, that the term Son of God did not imply to be God. If this term denote inferiority to the Father, why did he not defend himself against the accusations of the Jews? If Christ were not God, and if, notwithstanding, he had declared himself as such, he indeed would have been a blasphemer, and the Jews would be justifiable in having put him to death. When the Jews had accused him as a blasphemer, because he called himself the Son of God, he never denied the meaning of the term in which they understood it. That the Jews had correctly understood the meaning of this term, is evident from the evangelist’s own comment. In one of these instances the Jews attempted to kill him for challenging this character. The words which he employed were, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” “Therefore,” says the evangelist, in the following verse, “the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also, that God was his father, making himself equal with God.” John 5, 17, 18. Thus we have the evangelist’s comment on Christ’s meaning in adopting this phraseology; and it is positively this: That in declaring God to be his Father, he made himself equal with God. If the evangelist understood the phraseology in the same sense as the Jews did, which is evident from his comment, then the proof is irrefragable, that to be the Son of God, is the same as to be God.
Christ is God according to the Father’s own declaration. “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation 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, 8-12. See Ps. 45, 6, 7. Ps. 102, 25-27.
When the Father in this text, calls Christ God, ascribing to him an eternal throne; when he declares that he in the beginning has laid the foundation of the earth, and that the heavens are the works of his hands; when in declaring that the heavens shall perish, wax old and be changed, whilst he shall be the same, and his years shall not fail, he asserts his immutability, the conclusion that he is the true God, is irresistible.
In Isa. 48, 12, and onward, we have these words: “Hearken unto me, O Jacob, and Israel, my called. I am He; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens. I call unto them: they stand up together. Come ye near unto me; hear ye this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I. And now the Lord God and his Spirit hath sent me. Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God.” Here the person speaking declares that he is the First and the Last; that he has founded the earth, and spanned the heavens; that he is JEHOVAH God, the Redeemer, and the Holy One of Israel; and yet he says, that the Lord Jehovah and his Spirit hath sent him: or as some have translated it; “The Lord JEHOVAH hath sent me and his Spirit.” The person sending, therefore, is JEHOVAH; and the person sent is also JEHOVAH. JEHOVAH, who is sent has some of the same titles ascribed to him, which are ascribed to Jesus Christ. He is called the First and the Last, the Redeemer and the Holy One. Jesus is called the First and the Last; Rev. 1,11; he is the Redeemer, and the Holy One. JEHOVAH, sent by JEHOVAH, is therefore, Christ. The Father is never sent; Christ in the New Testament also, is said to be sent. Thus this text plainly shows that Christ is JEHOVAH.
The angel who appeared unto Moses, (Exod. 3, 2) calls himself the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, v.6; and also I AM, or JEHOVAH. v.14. This God, or Jehovah was not personally the Father: for the term angel implies one that is sent, and the Father never is sent. The word of the Hebrew, rendered “the Lord,” is not, like the English word, an appellative, expressing rank, or condition; but it is the proper name JEHOVAH. This proper name JEHOVAH is not, in the Hebrew, a genitive after the noun substantive “Angel,” as the English represents it; but the words יהוה, and מַלְאַך, “JEHOVAH,” or I AM, and “Angel,” or messenger, are two substantive nouns, in apposition; both relating to the same person; the one refers to the appropriate name of the essence; the other to a title of office. JEHOVAH-ANGEL, would therefore be the proper translation. The JEHOVAH-ANGEL, not being the Father, must be Jesus Christ. Christ is positively called an angel. “Behold, I will send my Messenger, and he shall prepare the way, before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple; even the Angel of the covenant whom ye delight in: behold he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” Mal. 3,1. The person called Lord and the Angel of the covenant, who should come to his temple was Christ. Christ appeared in the temple. In Luke 7, 27, Christ speaking of John the Baptist, says, “This is he, of whom it is written, Behold I send my Messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.” John the Baptist was, therefore, the Messenger, who was to prepare the way; and the Lord, even the Angel of the covenant was Christ.
Christ calls himself I AM. He said to the Jews, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was I am.” John 8, 56-58. Thus according to this, Christ is the I AM, or JEHOVAH.
In Isa. 42. 8. God says, “/ am JEHOVAH, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another.” The name JEHOVAH implies divine perfections. It has been shown in a former section, that the divine perfections are God’s glory. Hence, since Christ is called JEHOVAH, he cannot be another distinct being from the Father. For if he were, another being would have God’s glory, which supposition would be repugnant to the scriptures. Therefore, Christ and the Father are consubstantial.
Christ is called the Mighty God. Isa. 9, 6, “For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Father of the everlasting age, the Prince of peace.” This child, this son, is the Mighty God; the Father of the everlasting age, and the Prince of peace. He who admits, that a child, a son, is the mighty God, will certainly admit, that this can be no other than Christ.
Jesus is the God of Israel. Exod. 24, 9,10, “Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. And they saw the God of Israel.” Ps. 68, 17,18, “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” St. Paul Eph. 4, 8, says, “Wherefore he saith, when he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it, but that he descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same, also, that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things,” &c. Here the apostle declares, that the person who ascended on high, and led captivity captive, is Jesus Christ; and the psalmist, that the person, who ascended on high, and led captivity captive, is the LORD, who appeared in Sinai; and Moses, that the LORD who appeared in Sinai, was the God of Israel. We also know, that no man hath seen God the Father at any time. Christ is the image of the invisible God. Col. 1, 15. The God of Israel was seen before and after his incarnation. This God of Israel is Christ.
Isa. 6, 1. “In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw JEHOVAH 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, and 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:” and again, in the 5th, 8th, 11th, and 12th verses of the same chapter. St. John, quoting the 9th and 10th verses of this chapter, in his gospel, chapt. 12th, v.40th says, “These things said Esaias, when he saw his, that is, Christ’s glory, and spake of him.” The glory which Isaiah saw, was the glory of Jehovah; yet, St. John says, he saw Christ’s glory; hence Christ is Jehovah.
Christ was and shall be divinely worshipped. Divine worship is alone to be rendered to the supreme Being. This is the doctrine of Christ himself: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Matth. 4, 10. If it be shown that Christ was worshipped, and that this honor is due to him, then it will also appear that he is true God.
Lest any one should suppose that the worship ascribed to Christ, implies nothing more than habitual reverence, or service, or a general course of inferior worship, it must be observed, that not only men, but also angels are commanded to worship Christ. In Ps. 97, 7, “Confounded be all they that serve graven images. Worship him, all ye Gods.” The person to be worshipped by all the Gods, or angels, is Christ. This is evident from St. Paul’s quotation of a part of this verse in the following manner: ”And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, let all the angels of God worship him.” Heb. 1, 6. That religious worship is here intended is certain: because the object of the worship commanded, is directly opposed in the command itself, to idols; and the worship, required, to that which is forbidden. Confounded be all that serve, i.e. religiously worship, graven images; that boast themselves of idols. It is known that the heathens religiously worshipped idols; if they only had paid civil honors to them, they would not have been reproved by the Lord; seeing such is no where prohibited in the scriptures. Now since not a civic, but a religious worship is forbidden to be rendered to idols, it is plain that the worship commanded to be rendered to Christ, is opposed to the worship rendered to idols; hence the worship to be paid to him must be religious.
This worship is commanded to both men and angels. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted 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 that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2, 9-11. According to this, all things celestial, terrestrial and subterranean are required to bow the knee to Christ and to confess him LORD, or JEHOVAH. The phrase to bow the knee, denotes religious worship. “I have left to me,” says God to Elijah, “seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19, 18. See Hosea 12, 2. St. Paul says, “I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph. 3, 14. These texts plainly prove, that bowing the knee implies a religious worship. To Christ all knees shall bow, and all tongues confess him JEHOVAH; hence all shall worship him as God. Comp. Isa. 45, 22,23.
We find that Christ was worshipped in great number of instances. In Isa. 6, the seraphim worshipped him, saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts.
St. Stephen prayed to Christ. “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7, 59, 60. It can by no means be supposed, that he should have prayed to Christ in consequence of any erroneous views: for he at that time was full of the Holy Ghost; v. 55, and therefore perfectly secured from error. No higher act of worship was ever rendered than this: seeing that he petitioned that Christ should receive his spirit, and that he should forgive the sins of his enemies. To receive one’s spirit at the hour of death, implies nothing less than to grant eternal life and happiness. To do this, and to forgive sins belongs to God only. Christ is petitioned to do this by a person inspired by the Holy Ghost, therefore he is true God.
St. Paul prayed to Christ. Particularly 1 Thes. 3, 11,12: “Now God himself, and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord, make you to increase, and abound, in love one to another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.” Here a prayer is offered up by St. Paul, that his way may be guided to the Thessalonians; and that they may be made to increase and abound in holiness. It is offered up to God the Father, and also to our Lord Jesus Christ, in the same manner: both being unitedly addressed in the same petition, without the least intimation of distinction.
It was the general custom among the primitive christians to pray to Christ. They were therefore distinguished by the appellation: “Those who called on the name of Christ.” Thus Ananias says to Christ, Acts 9, 14, “Here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all those that call on thy name.” The people of Damascus, also, when they heard Paul preach, were amazed, and said, Is not this he, who destroyed them that called on this name in Jerusalem?” Also, 1 Cor. 1,1, “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, and Sosthenes the brother, unto the church of God, which is at Corinth, called to be saints, with all that in everyplace call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Since Christ is to be worshipped, and since he has been worshipped by believers, by inspired persons, by the whole host of angels, who can Christ be? Must he not be true God, consubstantial to the Father, and distinguished by his filiation? For to God only, religious worship can be lawfully rendered. This we know from the mouth of Christ himself quoting Deuteronomy 10th, 20, in Matth. 4th, 10, “It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” God also in Exodus 34, 14, says to the Israelites, “Thou shalt worship no other, God: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Now if Christ be not God, God has commanded another to be worshipped; and persons under the immediate direction of the Holy Ghost, have worshipped another. Surely, it is out of the question to suppose that God should have commanded in his word that none but himself should be worshipped; and yet by his Spirit have directed persons to worship another. For in this case, he would contradict himself, which cannot be.
Although the scriptures plainly teach that Christ is to be worshipped; yet, the Unitarian Miscellany says, vol. 1, no.3, p.105: “But we need not go further in explaining texts; for we have the express declaration of Christ himself, that he is not to be worshipped, although Mr. Emory asserts, that there is no passage in scripture, which forbids the rendering of worship to him.” We beg him to open his Bible at the twenty-second chapter of Revelations, and read the eighth and ninth verses. We presume he will allow the person there speaking to be Christ. And what did he say when John “fell down to worship before his feet?” He replied in the following remarkable words. “See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow servant and one of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book. Worship God.” If here be not a command not to worship him, in what language can a command be uttered?”
Surely, the Unitarian Miscellany is mistaken; the person speaking to John in these words forbidding John to worship him, is not Christ, but one of his angels. For this same 8th verse says, “and I John saw these things, and heard them, and when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.” And in verse 6th, “And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” How plainly this verse states, that the angel showed these things to John. And again, v.16, “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.” John attempted to worship the angel of the Lord, and this angel is not willing to accept of this honor. How the Unitarian Miscellany, could in the face of this glaring fact, declare, that the person forbidding John to worship him, was Christ, is very strange!
Christ existed before the foundation of the world, before all creation. I apprehend in establishing this position, it will appear that Christ is from eternity. Christ under the name of Wisdom is said to have been before creation. Wisdom says, “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was setup from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made tho earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.” Prov. 8, 22-31. St. Paul calls Christ the power and wisdom of God. 1 Cor; 1, 24. It is thus evident that the wisdom, which was possessed by the Lord in the beginning of his way, that was before his works of old, &c. is Christ. This interpretation is also given and admitted by. Unitarians.
Micah 5, 2, “Whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.” Comp. Matth. 2, 6. See also John ch. 1, 1-3. ch. 17, 5.
Although, Unitarians admit that Christ was before the creation of the world; yet, their hypothesis will not permit them to acknowledge that he is from eternity: for if he be from eternity, then he would be true God. Mr. Worcester says,”Whatever existed before the world, may be said to be of old, from everlasting.” p. 224. It is evident that he supposes that from old, from everlasting, implies a certain period of time before the creation, in which Christ has been produced. For his positions will not permit the idea of Christ’s eternal existence. J
Arius, and his followers in the commencement of the fourth century, taught, that there was a time when the Son had a beginning, but that he was the first and noblest of all creatures, and that God by him as an instrument created the world.
Thus the Arians believed that Christ was a created being, before the creation of the world. Whereas Unitarians, although, they do not suppose that he is an absolute eternal person; yet, they do not suppose that he was created. Mr. Worcester says, “two ideas are naturally suggested by the title the SON of GOD, viz. DIVINE ORIGIN and DIVINE DIGNITY.
By Divine Origin, I do not mean that the SON of God is a created intelligent Being; but a Being who properly derived his existence and his nature from God. It has not, perhaps, been common, to make any distinction between derived existence, and created existence; but in the present case the distinction appears very important. Adam was a created being; Seth derived his existence from the created nature of Adam; and therefore it is said “Adam begat a son in his own likeness.” And as Seth derived his existence from the created nature of Adam, so, it is believed, the ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER DERIVED HlS existence from the self-existent nature of God. In this sense only do I mean to prove that the SON of God is a derived intelligence.” Bible News, p.57. See also James Miller vs. Isaac Lewis p.50. Although, Mr. W. admits that Christ is not created; yet he must suppose that there must have been a certain period of time before the creation of the world, in which Christ derived his existence: for to suppose that he has derived his existence from all eternity would prove him to be co-eternal God with the Father, which is the doctrine Unitarians labor to disprove.
It must he admitted that the term everlasting, or for ever, frequently according to the phraseology of the scriptures implies a period of time, without endless duration. As for instance seethe following passages : Gen. 13:15. ch. 43:9. ch. 44:32. Ex. 12:14, 17:24. ch. 21:6. ch. 27:21. ch. 28:43. ch. 30:21. ch. 31:16,17. ch. 32:13. Lev. 6:13, 18, 20, 22. ch. 7:34, 36. ch. 10:9,15. ch. 16:29, 31. ch. 23:14, 21. ch. 24:3. ch. 25:30, 46. Numb. 10:8. ch. 15:15. ch. 18:8, 19. ch. 19:10. Deut.4:40. ch. 15:17. ch. 13:5. ch. 28:46. Joshua 4:7. ch. 14:9. 1 Sam. ch. 2:30. ch. 3:13. ch. 27:12. ch. 28:2. 1 Kings, ch. 12:7. 2 Kings, 6:27. 2 Chron. 10:7. Heb. 10:12, 13. But it is evident that eternal or for ever can only be periodical after the existence of time. It can only be applied to created things in this sense, who live in time and who are limited. For ever, or everlasting when applied to created things must be according to their natures, which are limited and progressive. But when the same term is applied to God, its meaning must be according to his nature, which is infinite, without beginning or end; hence the term when applied to him means without beginning or end. His existence is not progressive; hence cannot be measured by time: he is said to inhabit eternity. Isa. 57, 15. Since it is acknowledged by Unitarians, as well as by Trinitarians, that Christ existed before all creation; it will be necessary to inquire whether time was before all creation? Does time belong to creation? Time, is the order of successive things in one uninterrupted or continued series: succession is that in which one thing ends or ceases to exist, and another begins; and continued is that between which no other succession can be interposed. There is therefore no time, where things do not succeed in a continued order. Hence where there is time, there must be a creation. As time is the order of the progression of things, it is evident that all things in time are subject to changes. Since all things are created, and as time is the order of the progression of things, it follows that time belongs to creation. Before creation, nothing existed but the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Time did not exist; without time there is no progression of things; and without a progression of things there can be no changes; and when there are no changes, there must be immutability. Christ existed before the foundation of the world. To be before the creation of the world, implies to be from all eternity. Thus God’s eternity is described: “LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Ps. 90:1,2. No one will deny, that the Lord, who in this text is said to be before the mountains were brought forth, and before the earth and world was made, is the true, eternal God, the Father. Now, if to be before the creation of the world, implies nothing more than to have existed some supposed period of time before creation then did the Father also only exist some time before creation, and the phrase “even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God,” would also merely imply, that he had been God only for a certain space of time before creation. But as this text is a description of God’s absolute, eternal existence before all worlds, even so the text in Prov. 8, 22-31, is a similar description of Christ’s eternal existence. If the eternity of the Father is signified by being prior to creation, is it not very strange, that when Christ is represented in language equally emphatical that he is before all worlds, that this language should not denote his eternal existence?
Unitarians admit that Christ is not a created, but a derived existence. If so, it may be asked was Christ’s existence derived from nothing, or from an existing substance? If it be answered that he was produced out of nothing, then this is the idea of creation. See Heb. 11,9. To produce something out of nothing, is creation. Mr. W. has stated that Christ has derived his existence from the self-existent nature of God, like Seth derived his existence from the created nature of Adam. If so, Christ must possess the Father’s nature. No part of Christ in his pre-existent state having been created, but having derived his existence from the substance of the Father, it is impossible that he should possess other and different qualities from the Father’s qualities. The Father is eternal, infinite, immutable, omnipotent, &c. Now let us suppose according to the views of Unitarians, that Christ according to his pre-existent nature, was finite, dependent, changeful, &c. would it not follow that he had other and different qualities from those of the Father? By all means. But I would ask, from what source did Christ derive these qualities? Unitarians dare not say from creation: for they deny that Christ is a created existence. Will they say that Christ derived these qualities from the Father’s nature? If so, then it would follow that the Father himself was finite, dependent, changeful, &c. For Christ cannot derive any other qualities from the Father than such which the Father himself possesses. For who can possibly imagine, that Christ derived any qualities from the Father’s nature, which the Father does not himself possess? If Christ be finite, dependent, changeful, &.c. then surely, he must have derived such qualities from the Father’s nature, seeing Christ is not created. If so, then the conclusion must be that the Father himself must be finite, dependent, changeful, &c. This would be a positive denial of the Father’s eternal Godhead. If Christ be not created, then he could not possibly derive any other qualities, than such which the Father himself possesses. And if he has no other, he is eternal God, consubstantial to the Father.
It is acknowledged by Unitarians, and it has also been proven, that Christ created the world. The Father said to Christ, “Thou Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the works of thine hands.” Heb. 1, 10. “All things were made by him; (the Word) and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1, 3. The creation of the world supposes an omnipotent Being, Creation is visibility of infinite power. He who is able to create atoms, may create worlds; and he who can create worlds has unlimited power and wisdom. St. Paul says, for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; See. Rom. 1, 20. Thus the creation of the world, is a proof of the creator’s eternal power and Godhead. It is so glaring, that the most uncultivated nations apprehend it, without any other revelation. Christ created the world, and even not one thing was made without him, that was made. The creation of the world therefore, proves his eternal power and Godhead. How is it possible for Unitarians to deny his eternal power and Godhead, when they must own that he created the world, and when they as rational men know, that the works of creation are an infallible proof of an eternal Godhead?
The apostle says, “every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.” Heb. 3, 4. This text plainly declares that he who built all things is God. Now Christ built all things; therefore he is God. Who can deny this conclusion?
Unitarians have admitted that the Holy Ghost is God. Mr. J. Miller says, “That the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God and therefore God, I have never yet denied; yet I deny, that the Holy Ghost is a distinct person from God, or that God and his Spirit are more persons or beings than one.” See his letters to Isaac Lewis, p. 20,21. Since according to Mr M. the holy Spirit is God; yet not a distinct person from the Father, it is evident that the Holy Ghost is identified with the Father’s person, so that he is a part of the Father himself, the same as the spirit of a man is a part of the man himself. Now with respect to created persons, or intelligent beings, it is a known truth, which must be acknowledged by all, and also that, that which is an essential, constituent part of one person, cannot be an essential constituent part of another person: for every created personal existence, is distinguished from every other person by its own essential, constituent parts, which can never be the essential, constituent parts of another person. If a divine, person be not somewhat different in this respect, and if a divine being and person is the very same in every respect, then indeed, that which is an essential, constituent part of the Father’s person, could not also be an essential, constituent part of Christ’s person. But it is evident from the scriptures, that the holy Spirit is not only the Father’s Spirit, but also, Christ’s Spirit. Rom. 8, 9.—”But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” From this text it is very plain that God’s Spirit and Christ’s Spirit is the same. The proof may be thus arranged:
Christians are not in the flesh, provided God’s Spirit be in them; but on the contrary, if a man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his. Now let us suppose for a moment, that God’s Spirit was not also Christ’s Spirit, how could the apostle have told the Romans that they were in the Spirit, if God’s Spirit was in them; and yet, deny them to be Christ’s, if they had not Christ’s Spirit? Is not the Spirit of the Father sufficient to sanctify a man? Should he be excluded from Christ, for not having his Spirit, when yet, he had the Father’s Spirit? If the Father’s Spirit be separate and distinct from Christ’s, then a man may have the Father’s Spirit without having Christ’s Spirit. But it seems according to the declaration of this text, none would be a true Christian, unless he had Christ’s Spirit; although, it declares that if God’s Spirit dwell in a man, he is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit: i.e. he is a true christian. To be in the Spirit, and not to walk according to the flesh, is a true indication of a true christian, and to have Christ’s Spirit, and hence, to be Christ’s implies the very same. Consequently, the Holy Ghost is Christ’s Spirit, as well as the Father’s Spirit. Again, v. 14, 15, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” This text shows that the Spirit of God cries in the heart, Abba, Father, and St. Paul declares, Gal. 4, 6, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son info your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Thus the Spirit that cries, Abba, Father, in the hearts of believers, is Christ’s Spirit as well as the Father’s Spirit.
Since I have irrefragably proven, that the holy Spirit is as emphatically called the Spirit of Christ as the Spirit of the Father, it follows that this Spirit belongs to the Son’s as well as to the Father’s existence. If the Father would not be complete with respect to his existence without this Spirit; even so, the Son would not be complete without this same Spirit.
Two persons having one and the same spirit identified with their existence, cannot be two distinct beings. The Son indeed is distinguished from the Father, and having all personal properties, he is a distinct person; yet, having the same Spirit that the Father has must be one substance with the Father: for it would be difficult to understand how two different persons, like human persons, having distinct substances, could each of them have the selfsame spirit identified with their existence.
The holy Spirit being Christ’s Spirit, what must be the inference from the concession of the Unitarians? They admit that the Holy Ghost is God. If the Holy Ghost be God; and yet, as I have proven, also, the Spirit of Christ, does it not undeniably follow that Christ is God? If Christ’s own Spirit be God, must he not be God himself. This Spirit belongs to Christ’s existence; therefore, Christ must be God. Now Unitarians by denying that Christ is God, must also, either deny that the Holy Ghost is God; or that this Spirit is Christ’s Spirit; or else they must acknowledge that Christ is true God: for it would be absurd to suppose that this Spirit belongs to Christ’s existence; and yet, that Christ should not be what is a part of his own existence. Unitarians have already admitted that the Holy Ghost is God. Whether they acknowledge that this Spirit is Christ’s Spirit, I do not recollect of having seen in any of their writings. Yet I presume, they will not deny this, because it is proven by text of scripture.
Now unless they can suppose, that Christ can have a Spirit that is God; and yet, not be God, they must confess that Christ is consubstantial to the Father.
There are sundry other proofs, which might be alledged out of the scriptures in support of the doctrine of Christ’s Godhead, but the preceding are deemed sufficient.