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Some critics tell us, that the phrase Etixadovlevol TO Ovou.& Xgrotou, "calling upon the name of Christ,” is to be taken passively, as denoting those who were named by the name of Christ, or who were called Christians. But this cannot be. The name, Christian, was not known in the world, till some time after St. Paul's conversion, when, as St. Luke expressly in
“the disciples were called Christians first “at Antioch ;" whereas, before that time, they were distinguished by the title of επικαλούμενοι το Ονομα Χριστου, " those who called on the name of Christ.” Besides that enixadequas (as hath been justly observed), when followed by an accusative case, always signifies to invoke, or worship, except only where it signifies to appeal to. Thus, in the chapter from whence my text is taken" The same Lord is rich to all who “call upon him-for whosoever shall call on the “ name of the Lord shall be saved.” In the twentysecond chapter of the Acts, Saul is bidden to “ wash
away his sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” And Origen, who'must have understood the import and force of a Greek participle, at least as well as any modern critic, commenting on one of the above cited
passages, says—“The apostle, in these words, “ declares him to be God, whose name was called
upono.” The argument, therefore, deduced from
εις παντας τους επικαλούμενους αυτον-πας γαρ ος αν επικα» λεσηται το Ονομα Κυριου σωθησεται. • Επικαλεσαμενος το Ονομα του Κυρίου.
Origen. Com. in Rom. x. lib. viii.
this expression, we may venture to say stands good; nor can it admit of any farther reply or evasion.
St. Paul's usual form of benediction was by invocation of the name of Christ. “Grace be to you, " and peace, from God the Father, and from our “Lord Jesus Christ.” Sometimes the name of Christ stands in the first order; “The grace of the Lord Jesus
Christ, and the love of God, and the communion “ of the Holy Ghost be with you all.” In another place, “The Lord Jesus Christ comfort your hearts";" " that is, I pray the Lord Jesus Christ so to do. And speaking of his thorn in the flesh, he says, “I besought
, “ the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. * And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for
thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. “ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon “me';"— The power of Christ,—that is, plainly, of the Lord whom he besought, and who said, “My
strength is made perfect in weakness.”—I would entreat your attention to the following passage in 1 John, v. 13. &c. “These things have I written unto
ye may believe on the name of the Son " of God. And this is the confidence we have in “him, that if we ask any thing according to his
will, he heareth us. · And if we know that he "hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we “have the petitions we desired of him.” In another part of the epistle, the same precept is repeated,
% 2 Cor. xiii, 14.
h 2 Thess. ii. 16.
i 2 Cor. xii. 8.
but the word God is used, instead of the word Christm"We have confidence toward God, and “ whatsoever we ask, we receive of him *.”
Can a man read these two passages, and doubt for a single moment, whether his Saviour be the God that heareth prayer?
The blessed martyr Stephen, just before he expired, preferred the following prayer to his Saviour, “ Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Can a departing soul be thus solemnly committed into the hands of any one, but of him, who is “the God of the spi“ rits of all flesh?" Does not St. Stephen here worship Christ, in the very same manner in which, a little before, Christ himself had worshipped the Father?. Where is the difference between, “ Father, “ into thy hands I commend my spirit”-and“ Lord Jesus, receive my spirit?” Does not the martyr likewise address Christ, as the person who could forgive sins ? Where is the difference, again, between--" Father, forgive them, for they know “not what they do”-and" Lord, lay not this sin
to their charge?” Or sball a dying Christian scruple to say what St. Stephen said, because Christ does not appear to the one, as he was pleased to do to the other? It is a cavil not fit to proceed from the mouth of a serious man.
We read of many persons, who, when Christ was upon earth, falling down upon their faces, and worshipping him, were never checked or reproved
k 1 John, iii. 21, 22.
for so doing, as St. John was when he offered to worship the angel; and Cornelius, when he made the same offer to St. Peter.
The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, evincing the superiority of the Son of God over all created spirits, produces the following testimony: “When “ he bringeth in his first begotten into the world, he
saith, And let all the angels of God worship “ him!.” If you ask what kind of worship the apostle may be supposed to intend, let us turn to the Revelation. There, upon the exaltation of our Lord, after his sufferings, St. John represents to us the church universally.in heaven and earth, with the parts of created nature, and all the angelic intelli. gences, ascribing the very same “ blessing, and “honour, and glory, and power, to him that sitteth “ on the throne, and to the Lamb,” in conjunction ". In heaven, the will of God is duly performed, and all “honour the Son, even as they honour the " Father." Why should it be otherwise on earth?
That it ought not to be otherwise, but that equal honour should be paid to both Father and Son, with the Holy Spirit, is evidently implied by the baptismal form running in the name of all the Three. If the Holy Spirit were a property only, as the Socinians pretend, could a property be thus joined with the Father and the Son? They are not properties; they are persons, certainly. If the Son and the Spirit were creatures, could they be joined with the Father in the solemn act of baptism? Baptism is
1 Heb. i. 6.
m Rey, v. 13.
"John, v. 23.
the consecration of him who is baptized, to the service-of whom? Of God, and two creatures ? No, surely, but of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and, whether St. John hath said it or not, if there be any meaning in words, THESE THREE ARE ONE, they are the one object of our faith and our love, of our prayers and our praises. While this form continues to be used in the Church, the doctrine of the TRINITY cannot perish from it; and who denies glory and worship to be due to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, dves, in effect, renounce his baptism, and ought to be initiated, by a new form, into a new religion.
Thus stands the Scripture evidence: and we find the practice of the primitive Christians entirely conformable to it. A remarkable instance offers itself, very early, in the case of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna. He suffered in the year 167. He joins God the Father and the Son together in his prayers
and benediction upon men, conceived in the following manly and exalted strain of piety and charity—“The God and “ Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Christ himself “ the eternal High Priest, the Son of God, build you
up in faith, and truth, and in all meekness, to live “ without anger, in patience, in long-suffering,
, " and forbearance, and give you a lot and part
among the saints, and to us with you, and to all " them that are under heaven, who shall believe in “ Jesus Christ our Lord, and in his Father, who 66 raised him from the dead." And when he was
· Polycarp. Epist. ad Philipp. sect. xii.