Page images
PDF
EPUB

* them power against unclean spirits, to cast them
66 out, and to heal all manner of fickness, and all
- manner of disease.” Here Jesus gives a most ex-
traordinary power to the Apostles, which it was im-
possible he could have given them merely as he was
the Son of Man. . Man at that time had no power
over the spirits of the invisible world, so as by a
derivation from himself to devolve it upon others.
Jesus had the power in himself, as the Son of God
could not but have:' he commanded evil spirits, and
they obeyed him. " What a word is this, (faid the
“ Jews ;) for, with authority and power, he command- .
eth the unclean spirits, and they come out!” Luke:
iv. 36.

Commanding power, and authority over the spirits, is the prerogative only of the God of Spirits, who alone hath the absolute power of them, and who alone can communicate that power to others. But what faith the Son of God? He had sent out seventy disciples, to whom he had given power over the spirits, and they returned to him with joy, say: ing, “ LORD, even the Devils are subjekt unto us i brough thy name. And he said unto them, I' bei " held Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, " I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scor“pions, and over all the power of the enemy, and " nothing shall, by any means, hurt you. Notwith“ standing, in this rejoice not, that the Spirits (TC daijuovia, scil.) are subject unto you,” &c. Here the power which our LORD gives to his disciples evi

dently

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

dently was his own. He doth not speak in the language of the Apostles afterward, who disclaimed having restored the impotent man by their own power. But he claims the power as his own; and he exerts it as bis own. 188 Siow pes imov tnv exolav: “Behold, I give. you the power.” The Son of God therefore is God, because he exerciseth the power, and disposes of it as his own, which appertaineth to God only. To this properly may be subjoined what is recorded by St. Luke, xi. Jesus had been cafting out a devil, and it was dumb; and it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb man spake. But some among those who had been witnesses of the miracle said, that he cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. In answer to which, after having shewn them the extreme absurdity of such a suppofition, he tells them, that he cast out devils with the finger of God, and that the kingdom of God was come upon them. E. de ev daxTUMW O:8 EXCaniw za darmovia. If I by a Divine power, and not by exorcising them in the name of God, as your fons do, cast out devils, &c. St. Matthew, xii. 28, in recording the same thing, expresseth himself thus ; Ει δε εχω εν πνευματι Θε8 εκβαλλω τα δαιμονια ; « IFI by a Divine spirit cast out devils.” These are strange expressions for a person who was not GOD himself, signifying, as the context most strongly evidences, that he cast out devils, not by the intervention of any medium, but by his own direct power as God; svarivaw 0:2, EV W YEOWOLTA 0:8. Perhaps

[ocr errors]

it may be thought too bold a translation to render these latter words with the breath of God; but the manner in which Jesus did cast out devils seems to justify it; for, he cast them out with a word speaking: [COME Ta W VEUMATG 207w.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Matt. ix. Jesus had said to the Paralytic, “Son, “ be of good cheer, thy fins are forgiven thee;" but the Scribes were offended at it, and said, this man blafphemeth. St. Mark and St. Luke give us the reason why they charged him with blasphemy for having so spoken. “Who hath power (TiS duYQTQ). .to forgive fins but God only, Ellen ELS Ó BEOS?" St. Luke's words are, srpen joros ó O:05. The charge was certainly strong: for, who but one, who but God alone, can forgive fins; and therefore whoever arrogated it to himself could not but be guilty of blafphemy. From this charge how doth our LORD exculpate himself. Doth he tell them that they interpreted his words in too strict a sense, or that he himself had spoken in too unguarded a manner? No; nothing of the kind. Doth he tell them that he did not assume to himself to be the God that forgiveth fins ? or that he had only a delegated authority to forgive fins ? No; quite the contrary. In answer to their charge, he telleth them that they reasoned wickedly, Iv« to Uusis sladoyussols wormpa ev TOIS Xopdrais juar that the power he laid claim to, and exercised, was his own; that he had the power of forgiving fins, and therefore was not guilty of

the

the blasphemy wherewith they charged him. Whether is it easier, saith he, whether hath it less of difficulty in it to say, Thy fins are forgiven thee? or to fay, Arise, and walk? The accomplishment of the one was as truly in his power as the other. Then he adds, “But, that ye may know that the Son of Man " hath power upon earth to forgive fins, (exclav 6616XE1, -hath a right, a proper, authority, to forgive "fins *;) he faith to the Paralytic, I say unto thee, 65 Arise, and take up thy bed, and go into thine 6 house.” Here our Lord is so far from retrácting what he had said, that he affirms it only so much the more strongly; and, to convince them that he had the power of forgiving fins, he performs the miracle already mentioned. He does not at all deny that it was the prerogative of God alone to forgive fins, which most assuredly he would have done, had he known that the prerogative was not confined to God only, and that he himself merely as man had , the same prerogative; but, instead thereof, tacitly acknowledging the truth of their suggestion; all that he insists upon is, that he himself had the power of forgiving fins, 'of which they might take the miracle he wrought upon the Paralytic as a fufficient proof. The inference which they might have drawn hence was necessary and natural: That, since JESUS

:'* That is, that ye may know that I, the Son of Man, and whom ye view and consider merely as a man, have that power, which belongeth to God only, of forgiving fins.

did,

did, by his own proper authority, forgive fins, and it was God only who could forgive fins, therefore Jesus was God. But, whatever inference the Jews might and ought to have drawn from it, the reference to Christians is clear and unavoidable. JESUS did claim a power which belongs to God only, and by a miracle justified the truth of his claim, and, when charged with blafphemy by the Jews, still perfisted in his claim. The inference therefore can be no other than what is already mentioned, if there is any faith in the deductions of language and reason.

RIST.

St. John, in the beginning of his Gospel, in consequence of what he had written concerning the 20yos, tells us, that " the word was made flesh, and “ dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the “ glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full “ of grace and truth ;" hereby plainly confining what he had said concerning the royo; to JESUS CHRIST. Let us attend then to the Holy Evangelist. “In the beginning (faith he) was the Word, “ and the Word was with God, and the Word was “ God.” If these words are taken according to their plain obvious signification, nothing can more plainly testify that Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of the Father, is God, and that he existed from all eternity. But it seems, the Socinians, or, as they chuse to call themselves, the Unitarians, say, that the words sv aço in do not signify, from all eternity, but in the beginning of the Gospel Dispensation; and the

· Arians,

« PreviousContinue »