Info

names him God (chap. vii): Hermas speaks of him as ?the holy preexistent Spirit, that created every creature?, which style of expression is followed by Justin, who calls him God, as also all the later great writers. In the second epistle of Clement (130-166, Harnack), we read: ?Brethren, it is fitting that you should think of Jesus Christ as of God ? as the Judge of the living and the dead.? And Ignatius describes him as ?begotten and unbegotten, passable and impassible? who was before the eternities with the Father.??

These testimonies only give evidence that the Church Fathers saw in Scripture divine honor ascribed to Christ. They were but the precursors of a host of later interpreters. In a lull of the awful massacre of Armenian Christians at Sassouan, one of the Kurdish savages was heard to ask: ?Who was that ?Lord Jesus? that they were calling to?? In their death agonies, the Christians, like Stephen of old, called upon the name of the Lord. Robert Browning quoted, in a letter to a lady in her last illness, the words of Charles Lamb, when ?in a gay fancy with some friends as to how he and they would feel if the greatest of the dead were to appear suddenly in flesh and blood once more ? on the first suggestion, ?And if Christ entered this room?? changed his tone at once and stuttered out as his manner was when moved: ?You see ? if Shakespeare entered, we should all rise; if He appeared, we must kneel.?? On prayer to Jesus, see Liddon, Bampton Lectures, note F; Bernard, in Hastings? Bib. Dictionary, 4:44; Zahn, Skizzen aus dem Leben der alten Kirche, 9, 288.

(f) His name is associated with that of God upon a footing of equality.

We do not here allude to <620507>1 John 5:7 (the three heavenly witnesses), for the latter part of this verse is unquestionably spurious; but to the formula of baptism, to the apostolic benedictions, and to those passages in which eternal life is said to be dependent equally upon Christ and upon God, or in which spiritual gifts are attributed to Christ equally with the Father.

The formula of baptism <402819>Matthew 28:19 ?baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?; cf. <440238>Acts 2:38 ? ?be baptizes every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ?; <450603>Romans 6:3 ? ?baptized into Christ Jesus.? ?In the common baptismal formula the Son and the Spirit are coordinated with the Father, and eiJv o]noma has religious significance.? It would be both absurd and profane to speak of baptizing into the name of the Father and of Moses.

The apostolic benedictions : <460103>1 Corinthians 1:3 ? Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ? ; <471314>2 Corinthians

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment