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which is to come, the Almighty. For who is the Almighty that is to come, but Christ? •
The Texts that folow, with this mark (+) prefixed to them, are such as have been abused by the Arians to support their Heresy; and to the best of my knowlege, there are some of every fort. But when the Scripture is brought to declare its own sense of them, they will either appear to be nothing to the purpose, or confirm and preach the faith they have been supposed to destroy. of Matth. XIX. 17. Why callest thou me
GOOD ? there is none good but one, that is GOD.
The objection is founded upon the Greek, which runs thus - Ouders Egly ago Jos, a un 45, o Geos. There is none good, but, as, one ; and that (one) is, o feos, God. Whence it is argued, that
a Ut autem unam & eandem omnipotentiam Patris & Filii esse cognoscas, ficut unus atque idem est cum Patre Deus & Dominus, audi hoc modo Joan. in Apocalypfi dicentem : Hæc dicit Dominus Deus qui eft, & qui erit, & qui venturus eft omnipotens. Qui enim venturus eft omnipotens, quis eft alius nisi Christus ? - De principiis Lib. I. C. 2.
the adjective as being in the masculine Gender, cannot be interpreted to signifie one Being or Nature (for then it should have been en, in the Neuter) but one Person: so that by confining the attribute of goodness to the single person of the Father, it must of course exclude the persons of the Son and Holy Ghost from the Unity of the Godhead.
To say the truth, I think this is the most plausible objection I have ever met with ; and I have sincerely endeavoured to do it justice. If it is capable of being set in a stronger light, any man is welcome to add what he pleases to it. For supposing the word as to signifie one person, (and in that lies the whole force of the argument,) then if one person only is good, and that person is God; it must also follow that there is but one person who is God: the name of God being as much confined hereby to a single person, as the attribute of goodness. But this is utterly false ; the names of God, Lord, Lord of Hosts, the Almighty, most High, Eternal, God of Israel, &c. being also ascribed to the second and third Persons of the blessed Trinity. Take it this way therefore, and the objection by proving too much, confutes itself, and proves nothing.
The truth is, this criticism, upon the strength of which some have dared to undeify their Sa
viour, has no foundation in the Original. The word as is so far from requiring the substantive. person to be understood with it, that it is put in the masculine gender to agree with its substantive Jeos, and is best construed by an adverb. If you follow the Greek by a literal translation, it will be thus — There is none Good aun as o Jeos - but the one God; that is, in common English — but God only. And it happens, that the same Greek, word for word, occurs in Mark II. 7.Who can forgive fins —- 4 pen o Jeos — but God only: so it is rendred by our Translators : and we have a plain matter of fact, that es in this place cannot possibly admit the sense of one perfon, because Chrif, who is another person, took upon him to forgive fins. In the parallel place of St. Luke's Gospel,. the expression is varied, so as to make it still clearer — Quen povos e JEOS
- not us, but novos, another adjective of the masculine gender ; which though it agree with its substantive Deos, is rightly construed as an adverb - either the alone God, or, God only. And the Greek itself uses one for the other indifferently as, en' aptæ uova, by Bread only -- EV doya rovov, in word only. The utmost that can be gathered, therefore, from these words, is no more than this; that there is one God (in which
a Luke V.21. b Matt. IV.4. c 1 Thes. I. 5.
we are all agreed,) and that there is none good beside him; which nobody will dispute. Whether in this God, there be one person, or three, remains yet to be considered : and the Scripture is · so express - in other places, as to settle it beyond all dispute.
If it should here be asked, for what reason Christ put this Question “Why callest thou “me good?” I answer ; for the same reason that he asked the Pharisees, why David in Spirit called him LORD:', and that was, to try if they were able to account for it. This ruler, by addressing our Saviour under the name of good Master, when the inspired Psalmist had affirmed long before, that there is none that doeth GOOD, no NOT ONE;" did in effect allow him to be God; no mere man, since the fall of Adam, having any claim to that Character. And when he was called upon to explain his meaning, for that God only was good; he should have replied in the words of St. Thomas — "My Lord and my “GOD;” which would have been a noble Instance of Faith, and have cleared up the whole difficulty. If the case be considered, this man was a very proper subject for such a trial. Fully convinced of his own sufficiency, he comes to Christ in the presence of his disciples, to know a Matth. XXII. 43. b Psalm XIV. 3.
what good thing he might do to merit everlasting life. Whence our Saviour takes occasion to correct his mistake as to the nature of goodness; and having tried this good and perfe&t man in a tender point, sent him away grievously dissatisfied.
+ 1 Cor. XV. 24. Then cometh the
END, when he shall deliver up the
KINGDOM to God, even the father. Luke I. 33. He (Jesus) shall reign over
the house of Jacob for ever ; and of HIS KINGDOM there shall be NO END.
This of St. Luke, being a contradiction in terms to that of the Apostle, shews the former to be spoken only of Christs humanity; as the latter relates only to his Divinity. When both are laid together, it is evident to a demonstration, that Christ is perfe&t God, as well as perfeet man. As man, he received a kingdom, which again, as man, he shall deliver up, when his mediatorial office, for which he took the nature of man, shall be at an end. But there is a kingdom pertaining to him, which shall have no end. And this cannot be true, unless he is a person in that