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Of the names of God given uuto Christ. In the next place, as a third head, our catechists consider the scriptural attributions of the names of God, unto our Saviour Jesus Christ. Whence this is our argument.
He who is Jehovah, God, the only true God, he is God properly by nature. But Jesus Christ is Jehovah, the true God, &c. Therefore he is God properly by nature.
The proposition is clear in itself; of the innumerable testimonies which are, or may be produced to confirm the assumption, our catechists fix upon a very few, namely, those which are answered by Socinus against Wieck the Jesuit, whence most of their exceptions to these witnesses are transcribed. To the consideration of these they thus proceed.
Q. What are those places of Scripture, which seem to attribute something to Christ in a certain and definite time?
*A. They are of two sorts, whereof some respect the names, others the works which they suppose in the Scriptures to be attributed to Christ.
'Q. Which are they that respect the names of Christ?
* A. Those where they suppose in the Scripture that Christ is called Jehovah, &c. Jer. xxiii. 6. Zach. ii. 8. 1 John v. 20. Jude 4. Tit. ii. 13. Rev. i. 18. iy. 8. Acts xx. 28. 1 John iii. 16.'
The first testimony is Jer. xxiii. 6.'in these words : In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is his name whereby he shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness. To which add the next, Zech. ii. 8.
Before I come to consider their exceptions to these texts in particular, some things in general may be premised, for the better understanding of what we are about; and what from these places we intend to prove and confirm.
a Quænam ea loca Scripturæ quæ videntur Christo quædam tempore certo et definito attribuere ?--Ea sunt duplicia ; quorum alia noniina, alia facta respiciunt, quæ Christo a Scriptura attribui opinantur.-Quænam sunt quæ Christi nomina respiciunt?--Ea, ubi arbitrantur Jesum a Scriptura vocari Jehovam ; Dominum exercituum; Deum verum; solum verum; Deum magnum; Dominum Deum omnipotentem, qui fuit, qui est, et qui venturus est; Deum qui acquisivit proprio sanguine Ecclesiam; Deum qui animem posuit pro nobis. Jer. xxiii. 6. Zach. ii. 8. 1 Joh. v. 20. Jude 4. Tit. ii. 13. Apoc. i.8. iv. 8. Act. xx. 28. 1 Joh. iii. 16.
1. The end of citing these two places, is to prove, that Jesus Christ is in the Old Testament called Jehovah ; which is by them denied; the granting of it being destructive to their whole cause.
2. It is granted, that Jehovah is the proper and peculiar name of the one only true God of Israel: a name as far significant of his nature and being as possibly we are enabled to understand: yea so far expressive of God, that as the thing signified by it is incomprehensible, so many liave thought the very word itself to be ineffable, or at least not lawful to be uttered. This name God peculiarly appropriates to himself in an eminent manner; Exod. vi. 2. 9. so that this is taken for granted on all hands, that he whose name is Jehovah, is the only true God, the God of Israel ; whenever that name is used properly, without a trope or figure, it is used of him only. What the adversaries of Christ except against this, shall be vindicated in its proper place,
3. Our catechists have very faintly brought forth the testimonies, that are usually insisted on in this cause; naming but two of them; wherefore I shall take liberty to add a few more to them, out of the many that are ready at hand. Isa. xl. 3. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the
way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway
for our God.' That it is Christ who is here called Jehovah, is clear from that farther expression in Mal. iii. 1. and the execution of the thing itself; John i. 23. Matt. iii. 3. Mark. i. 2, 3. Isa. xlv. 22–25. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord Jehovah have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come, and all that are incensed against him, shall be ashamed. In Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. The apostle expressly affirms all this to be spoken of Christ; Rom. xiy. 11, 12, &c. Hos, xiii. 14. is also applied to Christ, 1 Cor. xv. 54, 55. He that would at once consider all the texts of the Old Testament, chiefly ascribing this name to Christ, let him read Zanchius de tribus Elohim,' who hath made a large collection of them.
Let us now see what our catechists except against the first testimony.
Q. What dost thou answer to the first testimony?
· A. First, that hence it cannot be necessarily evinced, that the name of Jehovah is attributed to Christ. For these words, And this is his name whereby they shall call him, the Lord our righteousness, may be referred to Israel, of whom he spake a little before; In his days shall Judah be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely, &c. as from a like place may be seen in the same prophet, chap. xxxiii. 15, 16. where he saith, In those days, and at that time, will I cause the branch of righteousness to grow up unto David, and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, the Lord our righteousness; for in the Hebrew it is expressly read, they shall call her; which last words are referred of necessity to Jerusalem; and in this place answereth to Israel, which is put in the first place : it seems therefore likely, that also in the first place, these words, they shall call him, are referred to Israel. But although we should grant, that the name of Jehovah may be referred unto Christ, yet from the other testimonies it appears, that it cannot be asserted, that Christ is called Jehovah simply: neither doth it thence follow, that Christ is really Jehovah. Whether therefore these last words in this testimony of Jeremiah be understood of Christ, or of Israel, their sense is, thou Jehovah our one God wilt justify us; for at that time when Christ was to appear, God would do that in Israel.'
b Quid vero tu ad ea ordine respondes, ac ante omnia ad primum?-_Primum, quod ex eo confici non possit necessario nomen Jehovæ Christo attribui. Ea enim verba ; Et hoc est nomen ejus, quo vocabunt eum, Jehovah justitia nostra, referri possunt ad Israelem, de quo paulo superius eodem versu loquitur: In diebus ejus, servabitur Juda, et Israel habitabit secure, et hoc est nomen ejus, &c. ut e loco simili conspici potest apud eundem Prophetam, cap. xxxiii. 15, 16. ubi ait, in diebus illis, et in illo tempore, faciam ut existat Davidi surculus justitiæ, et faciet judicium et justitiam in terra. In diebas illis servabitur Juda et Jerusalem habitabit secure, et hoc (supple nomen) quo vocabunt eam, Jehovah justitiæ nostra. Etenim in Hæbræv expresse legitur, vocabunt eam, quam vocem posteriorem ad Hierusalem referri prorsus est necesse; et hoc quidem
loco Israeli, qui in priori loco positus est, respondet. Videtur igitur prorsus verisimile, quod in priori etiam loco, hæc verba, vocabunt eum, ad Israelem referantur. At licet concedamus, nomen Jehovæ ad Christum posse referri, ex altero tamen testimonio apparet asseri non posse, Jehovam simpliciter Christum vocari : neque ex eo sequi, Christum reipsa esse Jehovam : sive igitur de Christo, sive de Israele postrema verba in testimonio Hieremiæ accipiantur, sententia ipsorun est, tum Jehovam unum Deum nostrum nos justificaturum. Etenim illo tempore, cum Christus appariturus esset, Deus id in Israele facturus erat.
The sum of this answer is ; 1. It may be these words are not spoken of Christ, but of Israel. 2. The same words are used of that which is not God. 3. If they be referred to Christ, they prove him not to be God. 4. Their sense is, that God will justify us in the days of Christ. Of each briefly.
1. The subject spoken of all along is Christ; he is the subject matter of whatever here is affirmed. I will rise up a righteous branch to David, he shall be a king, and he shall reign, and his name shall be called the Lord our righteousness. 2. Why are these words to be referred to Israel only, and not also to Judah, (if to any but Christ) they being both named together, and upon the same account, (yea and Judah hath the pre-eminence, being named in the first place) and if they belong to both, the words should be, this is their name, whereby they shall be called.' 3. Israel was never called our righteousness, but Christ is called so upon the matter in the New Testament sundry times, and is so; 1 Cor. i. 30. so that without departing from the propriety of the words, intendment, and scope of the place, with the truth of the thing itself, these words cannot be so perverted. The violence used to them is notoriously manifest.
2. The expression is not the same in both places. Neither is Jerusalem there called the Lord our righteousness;' but he who calls her, is the Lord our righteousness;' and so are the words rendered by Arias Montanus, and others. And if what Jerusalem shall be called be intimated, and not what his name is that calls her, it is merely by a metonymy, upon the account of the presence of Christ in her; as the church is called Christ improperly, 1 Cor. xii. 12. Christ properly is Jesus only. But the words are not to be rendered, this is the name whereby she shall be called,' but this is the name whereby he shall call her, the Lord our righteousness;' that is, he who is the Lord our righteousness shall call her to peace and safety, which are there treated on. Christ is our righteousness, Jerusalem is not.
3. It is evident that Christ is absolutely called Jehovah in this, as well as in the other places before mentioned, and many more.
And it thence evidently follows, that he is Jehovah, as he who properly is called so, and understood by that name.
Where God simply says, his name is Jehovah, we believe him: and where he says, the name of the branch
of the house of David is Jehovah, we believe him also. And we say hence that Christ is Jehovah, or the words have not a tolerable sense : of this again afterward.
4. The interpretation given of the words is most perverse, and opposite to the meaning of them. The prophet says not, that. Jehovah the one God shall be our righteousness,' but the branch of David shall be the Lord our righteousness.' The subject is the branch of David, not Jehovah. The branch of David shall be called “the Lord our righteousness;' that is, 'the Lord shall justify us, when the branch of David shall be brought forth :' who could have discovered this sense but our catechists and their masters, whose words these are.
It remaineth then, that the branch of David, who ruleth in righteousness, is Jehovah our righteousness : our righteousness, as being made so to us; Jehovah, as being so in himself.
Grotius expounds this place, as that of Micah v. 2. of Zerubbabel, helping on his friends with a new diversion, which they knew not of. Socinus,' as he professes, being not acquainted with the Jewish doctors, though some believe him not. And yet the learned annotator cannot hold out as he begins, but is forced to put out the name Zerubbabel, and to put in that of the people, when he comes to the name insisted on: so leaving no certain design in the whole words, from the beginning to the ending.
Two things doth he here oppose himself in, to the received interpretation of Christians. 1. That it is Zerubbabel who is here intended. 2. That it is the people who is called the Lord our righteousness.'
For the first, thus he on ver. 5. 'Germen justum, a righteous branch : Zorubbabelem qui nos ut hic appellatur, ita et Zechariæ, vi. 12. nimirum quod velutsurculus renatus esset ex arbore Davidis quasi præcisa. Justitiæ nomine commendatur Zerubbabel etiam apud Zechariam, ix. 9. Zerubbabel who is here called the branch, as also Zech. vi. 12. because as a branch he arose from the tree of David which was as cut off. Also Zerubbabel is commended for justice or rightevousness, Zech. ix. 9.'
That this is a prophecy of Christ, the circumstances of
e Socin. de Servat. p. 3. cap. 4. Franz. de Sacrif. p. 786.