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he arose from the dead; and was not made such by his resurrection, but was declared, exhibited, and proved to be such by that event. The words ļv duvausi, in or with power, may be connected either, as they are in our translation, with the term Son of God, or with the participle declared. Connected in the former of these ways, the sense will be, that the resurrection proved Jesus to be the Son of God invested with power : in the latter connection the meaning is that the resurrection was a powerful declaration or proof that Jesus was the Son of God. This seems to be the true sense, because it is not so clear that the resurrection proved that Jesus was invested with power, as that it proved powerfully that he was the Son of God, in the sense which I shall hereafter shew to be the true one.
Jesus Christ was declared, shewn, or proved, to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead. But this event was no proof at all that Jesus Christ was God. All the saints shall be raised after the similitude of Christ. He preceded them, and is pre-eminent among them, as the “ First-born from the dead," and the “ First fruits of them that slept ;" but they all shall be conformed to his image ; they shall follow him, every man in his order : first Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. See Rom. 8: 17, 29, Col. 1: 18, 1 Cor. 15: 20–23, 1 Cor. 15: 47–49. The resurrection of the saints, the redemption of their bodies, the waking up of the people of God, soul and body, to a new life after death, is their adoption as sons of God; the declaring, shewing, or proving them to be the children of God. Rom. 8: 22, 23. But no one will imagine that the resurrection of the saints proves that they are divine.
The learned author of the Commentary was sensible of this difficulty, and endeavored to solve it by the following comment on this part of the text, “ That is, the resurrection of Christ was the great decisive evidence that he was the Son of God; it was the public acknowledgement of God, of the validity of all the claims, 'which Christ had made. Hence the apostles were appointed witnesses of that fact. Acts 1: 22. This, of course, does not at all imply that the resurrection of Christ in itself was any proof that he was the Son of God, any farther than it was a proof that he was all that he had claimed to be, and as, in its attending circumstances, it was
a display of his divine power. He had power to lay down his life, and he had power to take it again."
But how was the resurrection of Jesus a display of his own divine power? The text in John, ch. 10: 17, 18, shews, indeed, that he possessed authority over his own life, to lay it down in order that he might take it again ; but two things must be borne in mind here : 1. Jesus describes this authority as one which he had received from the Father, and which he, as the Son, did not, therefore, originally possess : 2. What is here said by our Lord must be understood in a sense that will be in harmony with the doctrine of the apostles, who uniformly ascribe his resurrection to God the Father, or to his Spirit. See Acts 2: 24, 32, ch. 3: 15, 26, ch. 4: 10, ch. 10: 40, ch. 13: 30—37, ch. 17: 31, Rom. 4: 24, ch, 6: 4, ch. 8: 11, ch. 10: 9, 1 Cor. 6: 14, 2 Cor. 4: 14, Gal. 1: 1, Eph. 1: 19, 20, 1. Thes. 1: 10, Heb. 13: 20, 1 Pet. 1: 3, 21. The resurrection of Jesus was therefore, indeed, a display of divine power ; but it was of the power of God, not of the Son of God. I grant that it was, in the circumstances of the case, a public acknowledgement of God of all the claims which Jesus had made, and, I will add, of all the explanations which he had given: and if he had so explained the appellation Son of God as to shew that he used it as a title of divinity, his resurrection would, in this way, be a proof that he was divine with respect to his Sonship. But such an explanation he has nowhere given, and his resurrection, therefore, cannot prove it.
It is alleged, however, that the New Testament does contain explanations of the term Son of God which shew that it belongs to the divine nature of Jesus and designates the relation which that nature sustains to God the Father. The respected Commentator before referred to, says,
“If there is nothing in the usage of the term son, or of the phrase Sons of God, which can fix definitely the meaning of the phrase now in question, we must advert to those cases in which either the ground of the appellation is distinctly stated, or its true import explained. These cases are, of course, comparatively few. Christ is called Jesus in a multitude of instances, but the reason of his being so called is stated in but one or two. In like manner he is very frequently called the Son of God, but why he is so called, we can learn only from the few cases just referred to. In this passage, for example (Rom. 1, 3. 4.) it seems to be definitely asserted that Christ is the Son of God, as to his divine nature ; and, of course, the ground of his being so called must be the
relation between that nature and the eternal Father. In John 5: 17, Christ calls God his Father in such a way as to imply that he is equal with God. This is the interpretation which his hearers put upon his words, and one which Christ himself confirmed. The same is the case in John 10; 30-39, where Christ declares himself to be the Son of God in such a sense that he and the Father are one. In John 1: 14, the glory of Christ, which proved him to be God, is said to be his glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father. Compare v. 18. In Heb. 1: 4 -7, it is argued, in effect, that because Christ is called Son, he is God; higher than the angels, and worthy of their worship. These and other passages prove that Christ is called the Son of God because he is of the same nature with the Father, and sustains to him a mysterious relation, as God, which lays the foundation of the appellation."
I am unable to discover in these texts the proof of the divinity of the Sonship of Christ which this esteemed brother alleges to be contained in them. The text in Romans, ch. 1: 3, 4, shall be considered presently. The sense which the Commentator puts upon it cannot be assumed as the true one, when the question is what it means.
The place in John, ch. 5: 17, must be taken in connection with the passage in which it stands. Jesus having healed the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath day, the Jews charged him with a criminal violation of the sanctity of the day, and sought for that reason to put him to death. The design of Jesus was to prove his innocence of the crime of violating any law of God; and for this purpose he says to them, “ My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." Upon this the Jews sought the more to kill him, because, as the apostle tells us, he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” Did John believe that Jesus had broken the Sabbath? Certainly not. Neither, therefore, did he believe that Jesus made himself equal with God, in the sense in which the Jews understood him, or affected to understand him. In his judgment the allegation that Jesus had made himself equal with God, in their sense, by saying that God was his Father, was about as true as the charge that he had broken the Sabbath by healing the impotent man. The answer of Jesus shews what sort of equality he meant: it was an equality quoad hoc: an equality consisting in this, that both the Father and he wrought on the Sabbath day. “Theh answered Jesus, Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for
whatsoever things he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” In v. 30, he repeats the declaration, “I can do nothing of myself.” And elsewhere he refers all his mira. cles, as well as his doctrines, to the Father who was in him, “My Father, which dwelleth in me, he doeth the works;" John 14: 10, 11. By the Father who dwelt in him, who wrought his miracles, imparted his doctrine, and controlled him in all things, it seems evident that Jesus meant the Godhead which was united with him ; not occasionally visiting him, as he visited the prophets when they received his inspirations, but abiding in him, and mysteriously united with him.* This Godhead he calls his Father, and from it dis
* The union of the man Jesus Christ is specifically with the WORD, the Logos: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." John i. 14. Of this Word or Logos the apostle says, “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” There is therefore a sense in which the Word is distinct from God, and can be said to be with God; and there is a sense also in which he is not distinct, but the same: “ The Word was God.” It is in this latter sense that Jesus views the Word when, instead of saying, “The Word which is in me,” he says, “ The Father who is in me;" meaning by the term Father the Godhead. So, also, the apostle Paul viewed the Word, or Logos, when he said, “God was in Christ.”—“God was manifested in the flesh.”—“ Of whom Christ came, who is God over all, blessed for ever.” That it was not one distinction only in the Godhead, but the whole Godhead, (if the expression may be allowed) that was united with the man Jesus, is plain from those words of Paul; “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Col. ii. 9. All the fulness of the Godhead cannot be one distinction in it, exclusive of the two other distinctions, unless it be that each of the three distinctions be a mere mode or aspect of the same fulness. The same view is taken in all the places, so far as I remember, where this apostle speaks of the divinity in Christ; for he makes no distinction between that divinity and the Jehovah who was the object of worship to the Israelites. See 2 Cor. v. 19, 1 Tim. iii. 16, Rom. ix. 5, Act. xx. 28. Titus ii. 14, in the Greek Testament. Compare also 1 Cor. x. 9. with Numbers xxi. 5–9, and Heb. i. 10-12; with Ps. cii. 24-27. So also the apostle John identifies the divinity of Christ with the Jehovah of the Old Testament, where speaking of Christ, he quotes the words of Isaiah, ch. vi. 9, 10; and referring to the
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tinguishes himself as the Son. It was God, his Father, that spake through him and wrought miracles. The Son, as such, could of his own self do nothing. He claimed only to be the instrument of God in executing the great purpose of the salvation of man. He possessed, indeed, a distinct, intelligent nature, an understanding and a will of his own, but so perfectly assenting to every purpose of God, that he never deviated from his will; and in all things that belonged to his mediatorial office, he acted only so far, and at such times, as he perceived the indwelling Godhead acting in him, and moving him to act. If he perceived this motion on the Sabbath day, he wrought on that day; if not, he refrained. This is what he means, when he says, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” The miracle was not his own, but was the work of God, who could do no wrong; and all the indignation of the querulous Jews was therefore uncalled for, and impious. In this text Jesus has not directly explained the import of the title Son of God, but he has clearly shewn that, in assuming it, so far from claiming that equality with God which the interpretation we are opposing ascribes to him, he entirely disclaims it.
vision which the prophet had of Jehovah, he says, “ These things said Isaiah when he saw his glory and spake of him.” John xii. 38–41. Jehovah and the Word or Logos are therefore one and the same. So again Jesus himself, while he ordinarily speaks of the divinity within him, by which his miracles were wrought, as the Father, says in another place, Matth. xii. 28: “If I cast out demons by the spirit of God;" which in Luke is expressed: “If I by the finger of God cast out demons.” Luke xi. 20. So finally John the Baptist, when Jesus was marked out to him as that man with whom the Godhead was united, saw the Holy Ghost descend upon him and remain upon him. John i. 31–33. I do not mean that this union then began ; but that Jesus was then marked out as the man with whom it subsisted. The divinity in Christ is thus sometimes spoken of as God, or Jehovah, or the Father, sometimes as the Holy Ghost, and once specifically as the Word or Logos. We must therefore conclude that while in one respect, God, the Word, and the Holy Spirit are distinct, in another respect, they are one and the same: and that the union of Jesus with the Word is at the same time a union with the fulness of the Godhead.