But to this they Object, That though he be sometime called God; yet by God is not there meant the Supreme God: But either a mere Titular God, as the Socinians will have it; (as one of the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 1 Cor. 8.5. one who is called God, but indeed is not, but a mere Man however highly dignified.) Or (as the Arians will have it) that he is God indeed, but not the Supreme God, not the same God with the Father, but an Inferiour God, (Deus factus) a made-God, a Creature-God; who was in∣deed before the World, but not from Eternity,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, there was (a Time, a Moment, a Quando) when he was not, when he had not a Being.
In Answer to both which; I shall endeavour to shew, (by the most signal Characters, whereby the Supreme God, the Onely true God, is set forth to us in Scripture; and by which he is therein Distinguished from all false Gods, or other pretended Gods;) that Christ is the True God, the Supreme God, the same God with the Father, and not another God.
The first Character, which we meet with, of this God, is that of Gen. 1.1. In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth. Which I think no man doubts but to be meant of the True God, the Supreme God. And by virtue of this, he claims the Sovereignty thereof; The Earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof, Psal. 24.1. Je∣hovah, the Lord of all the Earth, Josh. 3.11, 13. The God of the Heaven, and the God of the Earth, Gen. 24.3. The Heaven is my Throne, and the Earth is my Footstool, Isa. 66.1. Behold the Heaven, and the Heaven of Hea∣vens, is the Lord's, the Earth also, and all that is therein, Deut. 10.14.
The same Character is applied to God very often, Isa. 42.5, 8. Thus saith God the Lord (Jehovah) he that created the Heavens and stretched them out; he that spread forth the Earth and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein. I am the Lord (Jehovah) that is my name, and my Glory will I not give unto another. And Isa. 48.13. Mine hand hath laid the foundation of the Earth, and my right hand hath spanned (or spread out) the Heavens. So Psal. 8.3. When I consider the Heavens, the work of Thy fingers; the Moon and the Stars which thou hast ordained. Psal. 146.6. Which made Heaven and Earth, the Sea, and all that there∣in is. And many other places, not only in the Old Te∣stament; but in the New Testament likewise; as Acts 14.15. That ye should turn from these vanities unto the Living God, who made Heaven and Earth, and the Sea and all things that are therein. And Acts 17.24. God that made the World, and all things therein. So Revel. 4.11. Thou hast created all things. Chap. 14.7. Him that made Hea∣ven and Earth, and the Sea, and the Fountains of Water.
And it is the distinctive Character, whereby he doth Page 72 distinguish himself from all other pretended Gods, Jer. 10. Where he who at ver. 10. is called The Lord, the true God, the living God, an everlasting King, at who's wrath the Earth shall tremble, and the Nations shall not abide his indignation; doth at ver. 11. give this defiance to all other Gods, Thus shall ye say to them; The Gods which have not made the Heavens and the Earth, they shall perish from the Earth, and from under these Heavens.
Now this Character we find ascribed to Christ. Not only, where it is spoken as of God indefinitely, but to be understood of Christ; (as are some of the places al∣ready mentioned:) But even where it is particularly applied to him.
I shall begin with that of Joh. 1.1, 2. where we have a large Discourse of him, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Where, by the Word is meant Christ, as is evident from the further descriptions of him in the following verses; 'Tis he of whom John the Baptist came to bear witness, ver. 7, 8. He who came into the World, but the World knew him not. ver. 10. Who came to his own, but his own received him not; but to as many as received him, he gave power to become the Sons of God. ver. 11.12. Who was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we beheld his glory; the glory as of the onely begotten of the Father. ver. 14. He of whom John bare witness and cryed, saying, This is he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred •efore 〈◊〉•or he was before me; (not as to his Humane Na•ure; fo• so, John the Baptist was older than he, by six months, Luk. 1.26.) and of his fulness (saith St. John) we have all recei∣ved grace for grace; For the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, ver. 15, 16, 17. 'Twas Jesus Christ therefore that is here called the Word.
Now of this same Word, it is said, The same was in the beginning with God; All things were made by him, and with∣out Page 73 him was not any thing made which was made, ver. 2, 3. He was in the World, and the World was made by him, ver. 10. Consonant to that of Heb. 11.3. The Worlds we refrmed by the Word of God: and 2 Pet. 3.5. By the Word of God the Heavens were of old, and the Earth standing in the Water and out of the Water. And by the same Word, the heavens and earth are kept in store, or preserved, ver. 7.
And to the same purpose, Col. 1.16, 17. By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And Heb. 1.2. By whom also he made the Worlds.
In Psal. 102. we have a long Prayer (to the Supreme God doubtless) which bears this title, A Prayer of the Affli∣cted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord, (the Lord Jehovah.) It begins thus, Hear my Prayer, O Lord, (Jehovah) and let my cry come unto thee. And at the same rate he proceeds, addressing himself to the same God all along. And at ver. 24, 25, 26, 27. he speaks thus, O my God, thy years are throughout all Generations; Thou of old hast laid the Foundations of the Earth, and the Heavens are the work of thy hands; (who is the same God therefore of whom Moses had before said, In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth, Gen. 1.1.) They shall perish (as the Psalmist proceeds) but thou shalt endure: Yea all of them shall wax old as a Gar∣ment, as a vesture shalt thou change them and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. And doubtless the Psalmist, when he made this long Prayer, thought not of addressing himself to any other than the Supreme God. (Not to a God who had not, then, a Being, nor was to have till a Thousand Years after, as the Socinians would have us think of Christ.) He prays to God as his Redeemer; that is, to Christ.
And that Christ is that God to whom he did thus ad∣dress, we are expresly told, Heb. 1.8, 10, 11, 12. Page 74But unto the Son he saith,—Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the Earth, and the Heavens are the Works of thine hands; They shall perish, but thou remain∣est: and they all shall wax old as doth a Garment, and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. All which is plainly cited from that Psalm. Christ therefore is that God to whom that Prayer was made; the same Supreme God, who created the Heaven and the Earth: even Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and to day and for ever, Heb. 13.8.
And it is very frequent in Scripture, that what in one place is spoken of God Indefinitly (without specification of this or that Person) is elsewhere applied to one or o∣ther of the Persons in particular, as that of the Creation is here to Christ, the Redeemer; as being the same God who is the Creator also. And that of Redemption, to God the Creator (who is the Redeemer also) Isai. 43.1. Thus saith the LORD (Jehovah) that Created thee,— Fear not, for I have Redeemed thee. So that God the Creator, and God the Redeemer, are the same God.
The next Character I shall insist upon, is that where∣by God denotes himself to Moses, Exod. 3.13, 14, 15. I Am that I AM; and I AM hath sent me unto you. When God was sending Moses to the Children of Israel, in order to their deliverance out of Egypt, Moses puts this Question, When I come to the Children of Israel, and shall say them, The God of your Fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say, What is his Name? What shall I say to them? 'Tis certainly, therefore the True God, that is here spoken of: Let us see what is the Character that this God gives of himself. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: And he said, Thus shalt thou say to the Children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. This therefore is a proper Character of the True Page 75 God. I am that I am, (Ehjeh asher Ehjeh,) or I am, who AM; or I am, He who AM, so the vulgar Latin; (Ego sum QVI SVM;) and (QUI EST) He that IS, hath sent me: As if, what God says of himself (in the first Person) I that AM, were proper for Moses to say of him (in the third person) He that IS. And so the Septuagint, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, I am, He that AM, or He that IS; and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉(He that IS) hath sent me. Where simply TO BE, is made a Distinctive Character of God, as he whose Essence is To be; and it is Impossible for him Not to Be. Who IS of Himself (or rather Himself IS) without deriving ought from any other; and from whom all other Beings, have their Being. Who giveth to all, life and breath and all things; In whom we live and move and have our Being, Act. 17.27, 28. Who hath first given to him? that is, None hath: He receives no∣thing (aliunde) from ought else; but of him, and through him, and to him are all things, Rom. 11.35, 36. who is therefore called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.
The same notion the Heathens also had of the Su∣preme God. Hence Aristotle calls him 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Being of Beings; and Plato〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the self Being; who himself IS, and gives Being to all else.
And (being thus self-existent) he must be also a Ne∣cessary Being (Ens Necessarium) and Eternal, (for if ever he had not been, it were impossible he should ever Be; for how could Nothing make it self to be:) and like∣wise Infinite (as the Source of all Being.) All which the Heathen acknowledged (as consonant to Natural Light) as well as We.
Now this same Character I Am, or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (which is the word whereby the Greek Septuagint doth here ren∣der the Hebrew word Ehjeh, which we translate I AM) that is I who AM, or He who IS, we find signally ap∣plied to Christ, Rom. 9.5. He that IS. For what there Page 76 we render, Who IS, in the Greek is not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, He that IS, or the Being: With this addition, over all; (the Being, over all, or the Supreme Being:) with this further Character, God Blessed for ever; (or the ever blessed God.) Amen.
Where it is not amiss to note, that the Blessed (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) was an usual Title whereby they were wont to de∣sign the True God. And accordingly, that question which Caiaphas the High Priest, puts to our Saviour, Mat. 26.63. I adjure thee by the Living God, that thou tell us, whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God; is in Mark 19.53. Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Where no man doubts but that by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is meant, the Supreme God. And when Christ is here call∣ed, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, (the Su∣preme Being, the ever-Blessed God;) with the Solemn note of Asseveration, Amen: It is certainly too August a Title for any less than the Supreme God, the Only God.
The same Character we have of him again, Rev. 1.8. where we have not only the Title 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, importing his Being, but the additional intimation of his Eternity, through all the variety of continued Duration, past, pre∣sent, and to come.
Where we are to observe, that at ver. 4. we have this Character of God•ndefinitely, without restriction to this or that Person in the Deity, (as appears by its being con∣tradistinct to Christ personally considered, ver. 5.) Grace be unto you and peace, (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) from him which Is, and which Was, and which is to come,— and from Jesus Christ, &c.
Where it is manifest from the unusual construction, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉&c. that the Title 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, (who is and was, and shall be) is taken, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as the Grammarians speak, (as one undeclined-Sub∣stantivePage 77 joined with the Article 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) as being (all toge∣ther) one joint title of God, Indefinitely taken, (because of that contradistinction which follows; And from Jesus Christ;) and with particular respect (as the Margin of our Bible directs) to that of Exod. 3.14. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, I am〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or He who AM; and can relate to none but the Supreme God.
Now what is thus said of this God indefinitely, at ver. 4. is again repeated of Christ in particular at ver. 8. (with a further addition of Omnipotence,) I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending (the First and the Last) saith the Lord, which Is, and which Was, and which is to Come; the Almighty. So that he is here design'd, not only by his Absolute Being; but by his Eternity also, through all variety of continued duration, (past, present, and fu∣ture;) who Is, and Was, and shall Be; who was the First (before whom nothing was) and the Last (after whom nothing shall be;) and, by his Omnipotence, the Al∣mighty.
The same title of Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, is given him in divers other places; as at ver. 11, and 17. of the same Chapter, I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last; I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen. And Rev. 2.8. The first and the last, which was dead and is alive. And again, Rev. 21.6. and Rev. 22.13. All relating to Isai. 41.4. Isai. 44.6. Isai. 48.12. where the like had before been said, as a Character (no doubt) of the True God. And Isai. 43.10. Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
And what can this be other than the Infinite, the E∣ternal, the Almighty God. The same yesterday, and to day, and for ever, as he is called, Heb. 13.8. The Blessed, and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, who only hath Immortality, &c. as he is described, Page 78 1 Tim. 6.14, 15, 16. And again, The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Rev. 17.14, and Rev. 19.16. The Great God, and our Saviour, Tit. 2.13. Where, our Savi∣our, is so contra-distinguished, not as another from the Great God, but as another Title of that same Person: He that is our God and Saviour, or God our Saviour, as it is Tit. 3.4. (like as God and the Father, Ephes. 5.2. and again, Col. 3.17. Giving thanks to God, and the Father.) For 'tis manifest that here (Tit. 2.13.) it is spoken of Christs coming to judgment; which is here called, the Glorious appearance of the Great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ; that is, the glorious appear∣ance of Jesus Christ, who is the Great God and our Saviour; The title that Jeremy gives to God, Jer. 32.18. The great and mighty God, the Lord of Hosts is his name. Christ therefore, our Saviour, is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Great God.
And the Doxology there added, Rev. 1.6. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen; is equi∣valent to that of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Rom. 9.5. God bles∣sed for ever. And the like, 1 Tim. 6.16. To whom be Honour and Power everlasting, Amen. And much more, that of Rev. 5.12, 13, 14. Worthy is the Lamb, that was slain, to receive Power, and Riches, and Wisdom, and Strength, and Honour, and Glory, and Blessing: (As High a Doxolo∣gy as that in the close of the Lords-prayer;) To which we have the Acclamation of every Creature (which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the Sea, and all that are therein,) saying, Blessing, Honour, Glory, and Power, be unto him that sit∣teth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four Beasts said, Amen; And the four and twenty Elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. Too great things to be said of a mere Creature, or a Titular God; but very agreeable to Christ, being (as he is) the same God with the Father, the only True God.
Page 79I might here add a like Remark, on that of Isai. 48.12. Hearken O Israel, I am HE; I am the First, I am also the Last. And in like manner, Isai. 41.4. Isai. 43.10, 13, 25. Deut. 32.39. I, even I, am HE (Hu) and there is no other God with me, or beside me. (And to the same purpose elsewhere.) Ani Hu; I am HE; so we render it.
I am HE; What HE? 'Tis 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. 'Tis the HE Absolutely taken, and Emphatically applied to God. Which I take to be of like import with, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, I AM; I that Am, or That which IS.* The Greek Septuagint (in the places cited) renders Ani Hu by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: And the vulgar Latin (indifferently) by Ego Page 80 Sum, Ego Ipse, Ego Sum Ipse, Ego Ipse Sum: That is, I am He, or I AM. And Christ, of himself, Joh. 8.58. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Before Abraham was, I AM. And I the rather take it so to signify (in the places cited) because I there find it attended (exegetically) with an In∣timation of his Eternity; He Is, He is the First and he is the Last; Before him none Was, and after him none shall Be: He Is, and ever Was, and ever shall Be.
The next Character that I shall insist upon, is that of the two Proper Names of God, Jah and Jehovah; which I take to be Proper to God, and Incommunicable to any other. I put them both together, because they be both of the same import; and indeed, of the same with Ehjeh, (I AM) before-mentioned. The chief difference is, that Ehjeh (I AM) retains the form of the Verb; but Jah and Jehovah are Nouns verbal, from Hajah or Havah which signifie to Be: All denoting Gods absolute Being: And All peculiar to the Supreme God, and no where applied in Scripture (that I know of) to any other. I know the Socinians would perswade us that Jehovah is sometime given to an Angel, which we do not deny; but we say that Angel is not a Created Angel, but the Angel of the Covenant, who is God himsel•.
The name Jah comes often in the Old Testament, but not so often as Jehovah. Particularly in Psal. 68.5. Sing unto God, sing praises to his Name, extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his Name JAH. So we find it in our Bibles, and it agrees with the Original. But in our Psalters, (by a continued mistake,) instead of Jah or Ya, is printed Yea.*.
Page 81But this name is no where (I think) retained in the Greek Septuagint, (the Septuagint renders it by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉:) Nor in the New Testament (which frequent∣ly follows the Septuagints form of Speech,) unless in the Solemn Form of praise Hallelu-Jah (which the Greek puts into one word Alleluia) that is, Praise Jah, or (as it is usually rendred) Praise ye the Lord. Which is joint∣ly applied to him that sits upon the Throne and to the Lamb, Rev. 19.1, 3, 4, 6. whom I take to be there meant by the Lord our God, ver. 1. and the Lord God Omnipotent, ver. 6. and the Great God, ver. 17. For the Supper of the Great God, ver. 17. is the same with the Supper of the Lamb, ver. 7, 9.
The name Jehovah is, in the Old Testament, much more frequent; especially in the Original Hebrew. But in our Translation is frequently rendered by the LORD; as in all those places (if the Printers have been careful) where LORD is printed in Capital Letters.
The name Jehovah, is at Exod. 3.14, •5. made e∣quivalent to Ehjeh, I AM. For what is said at ver. 14. Thus shalt thou say unto the Children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you; is thus repeated at ver. 15. Thus shalt thou say unto the Children of Israel, JEHOVAH (the God of your Fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob) hath sent me unto you: with this Addition, This is my name for ever, and this is my me∣morial Page 82 unto all generations. And Psal. 81.18. That men may know, that thou, whose Name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most High over all the earth.
In which place, the restrictive word Alone, cannot be understood to affect the word Name, as if it were thus to be construed, (cujus nomen est Jehovah solum,) Whose name is Only Jehovah; (For God we know had other Names, whereby he is often called:) But to the word Whose, (cujus solius nomen est Jehovah,) To whom Alone (or to whom Only) the name Jehovah doth belong. So Isai. 45.5. I am JEHOVAH and none else; there is no God beside me. And Deut. 5.35, 39. JEHO∣VAH he is God, and there is none else beside him: JE∣HOVAH he is God in heaven above, and upon earth beneath, there is none else. And Isai. 42.8. I am JE∣HOVAH that is my name; and my Glory will I not give unto another. And Deut. 6.4. Hear, O Israel, the LORD thy God is one LORD; or, JEHOVAH thy God is one JEHOVAH; there is no other Jehovah but he. And Deut. 28.58. That thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD, or JEHOVAH thy God. And to the same purpose, Deut. 32.39. 1 Sam. 12.2. and in many o∣ther places.
I will not despute, whether this name JEHO∣VAH, were never made known, till God did thus declare it to Moses, at Exod. 3.15. It might seem so to be by that of Exod. 6.3. I appeared unto Abraham, and to Isaac, and to Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. 'Tis true, that God is often so called in the Book of Genesis: But that Book was written by Moses, after the time that Moses speaks of, in Exodus. And Moses might so call him, by a name known at the time when he wrote, though it had not been known at the time whereof he Page 83 wrote. As when Abraham is said to go forth from Vr of the Chaldees, or of Chasdim, Gen. 11.31. though Chesed the Son of Nahor (from whom, in likelihood, the Chaldees were called Chasdim) was not born till afterwards, as appears Gen. 22.22. So Exod. 12.40. where the Children of Israel are said to have sojourned four hundred and thirty years; it must be reckoned back∣ward as far as Abraham's coming forth from Vr of the Chaldees, at which time they could not be called, the Children of Israel, (for Israel was not then born,) but it was that people, who were afterwards called the Children of Israel. And many such Prolepses, or anticipa∣tions of Names, there are in all Historians.
But, whether it be upon this account, or some o∣ther, that he is said, by his Name JEHOVAH not to have been known to them, is not material to our present business. 'Tis enough, that Jehovah is now known to be the signal Name of the True God; and (I think) no where given to any other.
Now that our Saviour Christ is called Jehovah, is not to be denied. And it is for this reason, that the Soci∣nians would have us think that this Name is not pecu∣liar to God. In Jer. 23.5, 6. he is called Jehovah Tzidkenu, the LORD our Righteousness. Behold the days come saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a Righteous Branch; and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice on the Earth; In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell in safety: (which is agreed, by Jews and Christians, to be understood of the Messias.) And this is the name whereby he shall be called (JEHOVAH Tzidkenu) the LORD our Righteousn••s, (JEHO∣VAH our Righteousness.) And to the same purpose, Jer. 33.15, 16.
In Psal. 102. which is called, A prayer of the afflicted, when he poureth out his complaint before the LORD (Je∣hovah.) Page 84 It begins thus, Hear my prayer O LORD (Jehovah) and let my cry come unto thee. And he to whom this prayer is made, is eight or nine times called the LORD (Jehovah.) Now he to whom this prayer is made (we are told, Hebr. 1.8, 10, 11, 12.) is our Lord Christ; Vnto the Son he saith,—Thou Lord in the be∣ginning hast laid the foundations of the earth, and the hea∣vens are the works of thy hands; They shall perish, but thou remainest; They all shall wax old as a garment, and as a ve∣sture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. All which is cited out of that Prayer, made to the Lord Jehovah.
So I the LORD (Jehovah) the first and the last, Isai. 41.4. Thus saith the LORD (Jehovah) before me there was no God, neither shall there be after me, Isai. 43.10. Thus saith the LORD (Jehovah,) the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, (Jehovah) the LORD of Hosts, I am the first and I am the last; and beside Me there is no God, Isai. 44.6. which are the Characters applied to Christ, Rev. 1.8, 9. & 2.8. & 21.6. & 22.13. as was shewed before.
'Tis true, that in the Greek Septuagint of the Old Testament, the name Jehovah is no where retained; but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (I think) every where put for it. Whe∣ther because of a Jewish Superstition, no where to pronounce that Name; or because it could not conve∣niently be expressed in Greek Letters; I will not de∣termine. And for that reason (because the Sep∣tuagints did not use it) it is not used in the New Testament (which doth mostly comply with the Lan∣guage of the Septuagints; as being the Greek Tran∣slation then in use.) And therefore we are not to look for the Name Jehovah there applied to Christ. But di∣vers places are in the New Testament applied to Christ, wherein the name Jehovah was used in the Old Testa∣ment. And the name 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (the Lord) by which Page 85 both the Septuagints and the New Testament do con∣stantly render the Hebrew Name Jehovah, is so frequent∣ly applied to Christ in the New Testament, as that (throughout the New Testament) it is almost his con∣stant Character, the Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ, &c. One Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 8.6. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, Jam. 2.1. My Lord and my God, Joh. 20.28. No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 12.3. And elsewhere so often, that none can be ignorant of it.
The last Character (which I shall insist upon) of the True God, the Only God; is that of the Lord God of Israel; Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, &c. Deut. 6.4. And the Lord thy God, is almost the constant Language of Moses to the Children of Israel: And it is the Character which God directs him to use; Thus shalt thou say unto the Children of Israel, The Lord God of your Fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me; this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all Generations, Exod. 3.15. and the Lord God of the Hebrews, ver. 18. And elsewhere very often throughout the Bible. And doubtless, he that was the Lord God of Israel, is the true God, the only God.
'Tis He who tells us, I am the Lord thy God— Thou shalt have no other God but Me, Exod. 20.3. And, Be∣sides Me, there is no other God, Isai. 44.6. and so often elsewhere, that it is needless to name the places.
And this Character, as well as the rest, is expresly given to Christ also, Luk. 1.16, 17. where we are ex∣presly told of John the Baptist, that many of the Children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord Their God (to the Lord God of Israel:) for he shall go before Him in the spirit and Page 86 power of Elias. Now we all know, whose fore-runner John Baptist was; and before whom he was to go, in the Power and Spirit of Elias. And he before whom he was thus to go, is the Lord God of Israel; and therefore not only a Titular God, or a Creature God, but the True God, the Supreme God, the same God with that God who is the Lord God of Israel; whom no man doubts to be the True God, the Supreme God, the Only God.
I might add many other Characters given to Christ, proving him to be the True God; as that Rev. 2.13. I am he which searcheth the Reins and Hearts, and I will give unto every one according to his Works, (and to the same purpose, Rev. 22.12. and elsewhere:) which God (the True God) claims as his peculiar Prerogative, Jer. 17.9, 10. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperate∣ly wicked, Who can know it? I the LORD search the Heart, I try the Reins; to give to every man accor∣ding to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. And to the same purpose, Jer. 11.20. Jer. 20.12. 1 Chron. 28.9. Psal. 7.9. Psal. 139.1. and in many o∣ther places. And that likewise of Isai 9.6. His Name shall be called Wonderful Councellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, &c. with many other Characters of like nature, which can never a∣gree to any but the True God.
But it is not my business, in this short Discourse, to say All that might be said; but what may be sufficient.
He therefore that is (as hath been shewed) God, the True God; the Mighty God; the Everlasting Father; the Eternal God; the First and the Last, (before whom nothing was, and after whom nothing shall be) that Was, and Is, and shall Be; the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever; the Almighty; by whom the World was made; by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made that was made; Page 87 who laid the foundations of the Earth, and the Heavens are the work of his hands; who, when the Heavens and the Earth shall fail, his years endure for ever; who searcheth the heart and the reins, to give to every one according to his works; who is Jehovah; the Lord God of Israel; the Su∣preme being; which is over all, God blessed for ever; who is the Blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who only hath immortality, to whom be Ho∣nour and Power Everlasting, Amen. That God (I say) of whom all these great things are said, is (certainly) not a mere Titular God, (who is called God but is not,) a Creature God, or only a dignified Man. For, if these be not Characters of the True God, by what Cha∣racters shall the True God be described?
I know, the Socinians have imployed their Wits to find out some tricks to evade or elude some of these plain places, which I shall not trouble my self, or you to re∣peat; or to give an answer to them. For they are so weak, and so forced, that the plain words of Scripture, read together with the forced senses they would put upon them, are answer enough; nor do they need or deserve any further answer.