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is often interchanged with the term Son of Man, which is acknowledged to be a designation of humanity; and is so interchanged with it as to shew that the latter is, in this respect, equivalent to the former. When the high-priest adjured Jesus by the living God, saying, “Tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God:” Jesus answered, “ Thou hast said : nevertheless, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” In Mark the question is, “ Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed ?" And Jesus answers, “I am; and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Luke's account is thus : “ Art thou the Christ? Tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe me ; and if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sit on the right hand of the power of God.” Jesus evidently alludes in his answer to the place in Daniel, ch. 7: 13. “I saw in the night-visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came in the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him ; his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” The Son of God is that Son of Man, and that Son of Man is the Son of God. He is called the Son of Man on account of his form and nature, and the Son of God on account of the divine favor shewn him in the high distinction which he obtains. In Matthew, ch. 16: 13, Jesus asked his disciples, “ Whom do men say that 1, the Son of Man, am ?" And
21—24, ch. 5: 17, 18, ch. 6: 32, 33, 44–46, ch. 8: 29, 38, 40, 42, 47, 49, 54, ch. 16: 27—30, ch. 20: 17. The Lord's preference for this designation is expressive of the spirit of his revelation. He made the Deity known in his mercy and his love. The majesty and glory of God, as the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Judge, were known before ; but in the richness of his grace he was revealed by Jesus Christ; and the Saviour designed to impress upon the believer's heart a deep and grateful sense of his paternal kindness by speaking of him as the Father, and using this as the common designation of him.
Peter says, “ Thou (the Son of man) art the Christ, the Son of the living God." The Son of man, therefore, is the Son of God; and this title belongs to him because he is the Christ, i. e. the anointed one, the king of Israel: the selection of him to this high dignity is the evidence that he is the Son of God, the favored and beloved one of God. In John, ch. 6: 27, Jesus says to the people who followed him, • Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you; for him hath God the Father sealed." Here God is called the Father of the Son of Man: the Son of Man, as such, is therefore the Son of God.
It is worth our while to enquire here what Satan meant when he tempted Jesus to prove that he was the Son of God. He doubtless used the term in the sense in which the Jewish people understood it; and there is no reason to think that the sacred writers have used it in any other, when they apply it to Christ. See the history of the temptation in Matthew 4: 1-11.
If the tempter took Jesus to be a man, and understood the term, Son of God, to mean the favorite, the beloved one of God, all this history is plain and easy to be understood. Jesus having fasted forty days and forty nights, and being then oppressed wiih extreme hunger, seemed to be neglected and forgotten by the Deity, and very far from appearing like a beloved favorite. The tempter suggests to him, Convert these stones into bread. If thou be the beloved one of God, he cannot leave thee to suffer in this manner, and will assuredly give effect to thy command. So again when Jesus stood upon the pinnacle of the temple : “ Cast thyself down,” etc. If thou be the beloved one of God, he will take care of thee, and thou shalt receive no harm : the angels will, at his command, bear thee up in their hands, etc. The answers of Jesus also are predicated on the supposition that the Son of God is a man, who may hunger and must be sustained by the providence of God, like other men; and who like other men, is subject to the law, “ Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Man, he says, does not live by bread alone ; therefore the Son of God does not, etc. Man must not tempt the Lord his God; therefore the Son of God must not tempt him, etc. But if the tempter understood the term Son of God to be a title of divinity, and to belong to the divine nature of Christ, the whole history of the temptation is a mass of contradictions which it is impossible to make consistent. If the title Son of God was understood by the tempter to be a designation of divinity, then he doubted whether Jesus was God because he was hungry and destitute, and demanded that he should supply himself with bread by a miracle to prove his divinity !-He demanded that Jesus should prove himself divine by casting himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, alleging that, if he were God, then God, his Father, would command his angels to take care of his safety! The angels bearing up God in their hands, in his descent from the pinnacle, lest he should be hurt by the fall ! And this too a proof that he is God! Or, if the tempter meant, If thou be the Son of God, according to another nature which is in thee, cast thyself down, etc.; how could the fact, that God the Father would preserve him by the ministry of angels, be a proof that he himself possessed a divine nature ? It would prove that he was beloved and highly favored; but it could prove nothing more.
On the ground that the title Son of God belongs to the man Jesus Christ, and that it designates him as the object of the peculiar love of God, almost every text in the New Testament, where this title occurs, admits of an easy explanation. If a few remain where the meaning is obscure, and the reference of the title doubtful, they must submit to the established rule of hermeneutics, to receive their light from those which are clear. Let us examine some of the most striking texts of this class, or that seem to belong to it.
Heb. 1: 8-12. “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever," etc.
This whole passage is represented by the sacred writer as addressed to the Son, in the Psalms from which its several parts are quoted. The first two verses, as we have already seen in another part of this discussion, describe him as a king among the kings of the earth, but pre-eminent above them. The last three, quoted from Ps. 102, where they are addressed to Jehovah, ascribe to him divine attributes, and make him the same Being whom the Jews wor. shipped as the eternal and immutable Creator of all things. What shall we say ? Does this text make the Sonship of Jesus divine ? Does it prove that the title Son of God is a title of divinity? We are then reduced to this dilemma, that either the New Testament teaches two opposite doctrines on the same subject, or in all the numerous other places where the title occurs in a different sense, the obvi. ous meaning of the words must be disregarded. But who will gravely contend for this? This text is situated precisely like that in Romans 9: 5, where Christ is said to be “God over all blessed for ever.” In that place the learned Commentator will maintain that the term Christ is not a title of divinity, but a mere personal designation of the God-man, in which the proper import of the term, and the original ground of its application are neglected. But may we not say, It is equally so in this place with the title Son of God ? It is a mere designation of the person who is both God and man, without regard to its import or the original ground of its application. If we take this ground, I am not aware that any answer can be given which will not be as good to prove that the term Christ is a divine title. Either both the one and the other is such a title, or neither of them is such. I will, however, not take exactly this ground. Throughout this chapter the term Son of God designates the nian Jesus Christ, by whom God spoke to us, who purged away our sins with his own blood, and whom the Father has exalted as the one whom he loves and delights to honor ; and now in this part of the chapter, as also in portions of v. 2 and 3, we are taught, that such a union subsists between this man and the Deity, that what is said of Jehovah in the Old Tes. tament may be understood as being said of him. In his person the unseen Deity is made visible to men ; God is manifested in the flesh. Hence he is called “the express image of God's person, and the brightness of his glory," i. e., his bright or splendid glory; and St. Paul says of him, “Who is the image of the invisible God;" Col. 1: 15; and Jesus himself, “ He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father." John 14: 9.
Col. 1: 13–20. “ Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son;" etc.
This text is similar in its character to the preceding one, in predicating of the same subject both human and divine attributes. It speaks of Jesus Christ and calls him God's dear Son. In him, it is said, we have redemption through
schobject both had calls him hrough
his blood; he is therefore the crucified Saviour. He is the image of the invisible God: consequently himself visible. He is the First-born, the most eminent, of every creature ; therefore himself a creature. He is the beginning (of the resurrection), the first-born from the dead; consequently the man who expired upon the cross. And the fulness that dwells in him is one that results from the good pleasure of God. All this is predicated of the Son, and proves that the Son is the man Jesus Christ. At the same time he is described as the Being by whom all things were created, and by whom they consist. Does this prove that the Son, as such, is God? If as the Son he is God, he is not in the same respect man; if as the Son he is man, he cannot in the same respect be God. This title is here a personal designation of him who is both God and man; but still with reference to that nature to which it originally and properly belongs, that is, the human nature. Can any one prove the contrary ?*
* Feeling some doubt of the entire correctness of our author's conclusions as to the general application of the title “Son of God,” in the New Testament, we took the liberty to correspond with him and to make the following suggestions. “Is it not the incarnate Logos, the God-man, the Mediatorial person, that is so named? I have no difficulty in admitting that the name, Son of God, was given in reference to his incarnation. Son he became by his incarnation. But this name once given, no matter on what ground, becomes descriptive of his whole person, of both natures and of either nature. So it appears to me to be employed; and so “Son of man" is employed, although this title was originally given in reference to the human origin of Messiah. The Messiah, (not the Logos,) is the Son of God in respect to his miraculous origin, and Son of man in respect to his human origin. But being once given these names appear to be used indiscriminately to designate the person of the Messiah, whether considered in respect to his divine or his human nature, or in respect to both.'
To these suggestions the learned author's reply is as follows, which he requests us to insert in further explanation of his views.
“ Those who do not make the title, Son of God, a title of divinity, and consequently do not consider the Sonship of Christ a divine Sonship, generally, perhaps universally, understand this title as a designation of the compound person, the