Archibald McLean — was a Scotch Baptist minister.
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Born 1 May O. As a child he spent time on Mull , where he learned Scottish Gaelic. Sent to school at Cathcart , and then at Cucaddins , he was apprenticed to a printer in Glasgow in Marriage allowed McLean to set up as a bookseller and printer in Glasgow; on a matter of conscience he gave up the business seven years later. After a short time in London he acted from to as overseer of the printing establishment of Messrs. In he left them for the Baptists, and in June he was chosen for pastoral office as Robert.
Carmichael's colleague at Edinburgh. He then toured Scotland and England, set up Scotch Baptist associations, and helped run them.
McLean died at Edinburgh on 21 December These are fair questions; let them answer. I strongly object to the theory now put out that God becoming Father, and Christ becoming Son, was a sort of accommodation to man having such relationships as fatherhood and sonship. One is ashamed to put baldly what they teach with more embellishment. It puts things the wrong way round. Has the history of sin added something to the Relationships of Divine Persons that was not there before?
That it has been the occasion for the revelation of what God is, is theme for our everlasting praise. But the truth is quite the other way round; the creation of man is after the image and likeness of God. Marvellous indeed that God in infinite wisdom should be able to create a being, — none the less a creature — in whom might be found such counterpart to what is in the Godhead. Now what appears sad to me is that the teachers of the "new light" present their teaching as gain. But what gain? All that such teachers have of truth as to the inscrutability of the essence or being of God we have always had.
All they press as to the Deity of Christ is not new. All the truth of the Father's counsels, and of the purposes of God is precious, but nothing fresh. All the beauty of Christ, and His offices, the revelation of God, the triumph over sin and death and Satan's power, the blessed subjective work of the Spirit, the calling, and equipment, of the Assembly, the saints' priesthood, the coming kingdom and glory, are from time to time freshly presented, but it is not fresh light.
When I read of these things that are true, I enjoy them, and find food. But 'fresh light'! I suppose they thus describe it because they do not happen to know of these things being presented elsewhere. But I think they sometimes unfairly judge their fellow Christians, and in so doing plume themselves with much complacency on superior light.
But gain? The antichrist yet to come will deny the Father and the Son. He will not deny I suppose that there was ever such a Person as Jesus. But he will deny what Christians have always believed concerning Him. He will not credit, but will deny, that underlying the fact of Jesus in Manhood, there was the coming into this world of the One Who was in a certain defined relationship in the Deity.
He will not only call in question the Eternal Sonship of Jesus, but will deny it. He will endeavour to blot it out of existence as though it had never been.
An inquiry into the doctrine of the eternal sonship of ... Jesus Christ
Every book that refers to it, every hymn that proclaims it, he will ruthlessly destroy; every ministry that avows it he will discredit and silence. He will inspire his devotees to look upon it as the misty gropings of an unenlightened, credulously "orthodox" age. And accompanying this anti-christian campaign there will be emphasis laid upon man; upon himself in fact, as the centralisation of all new light, the one in whom is focused the best of which man is capable, an acme to satisfy every aspiration of the spirits of men, the summit of all spiritual attainment, before whom all should bow down, his voice the voice of God; yet, — the Antichrist.
Of these things we are warned; we are not encouraged to follow them. That the germs of this need not be in some hole-and-corner movement, but in the very citadel of sainthood, and just at the time when saints are loudly proclaiming advance all along the line, is possible. That it should have the garb of spirituality, that it should have as its advocates very angels of light, yea, that ultimately it should have two horns as a lamb, yet speak as a dragon, is also conceivable. All I can say is, may the Lord keep us amid the real dangers that undoubtedly are near their full development.
Things Eternal: Sonship, Generation, Generatedness
I will add a note on 1 Tim. I take it that v. If that verse had been written before the Creation, or before the Incarnation of Christ, we might have believed it to exclude any revelation of God at all. But seeing that it is written after the full revelation of God in Christ, we must be careful, in our interpretation of it, not to contradict the revelation that Christ has brought to us. I ask, Is GOD now in the light?
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I ask, Is GOD now approachable? I ask, Are the pure in heart blessed because they shall see GOD? I know the writer of the letter I have received too well to think for one moment that he would deny these. Then let him be careful lest he give an application to his passage in Timothy, which is destructive of Christianity itself. Be it remembered that the inspired apostle Paul wrote those words in the same epistle as the words of 1 Tim. Our brother cannot give a meaning to the sixth chapter which flatly contradicts the meaning of the third chapter: the latter being meanwhile the basis of all true moral rectitude.
The unrevealed and unrevealable "essence" of 1 Tim. They have been expressed to us in their manifestation; but what has been manifested was there before it was manifested. I cannot understand how such brethren can bring themselves to believe that Christianity has added anything to God in the sense of creating new relationships between Divine Persons that they never knew before. In the other letter which you have forwarded the writer says, "Now as to the expression we have made use of without the authority of Scripture, — and based no doubt largely, with most of us, on our hymns, — it seems perfectly clear to me that if we accept John , 2, as it doubtless is, an absolute statement of fact, it precludes the idea of emanation of Christ by way of Sonship, which of necessity would have been subsequent to the beginning," etc.
I do not know whom he is combating in thus speaking of 'an emanation of Christ by way of Sonship. But if he contend with that, so do we all. In fact I should have thought that the expression "Eternal Son" would itself have precluded the idea of "emanation of Christ by way of Sonship. For these last, in their misconception of the word 'only-begotten,' do think of Sonship ages before incarnation "begotten before all worlds" , but those deny it altogether to pre-incarnation ages, or at any rate exclude it from their belief.
Of course the difference lies in this that these many theologians do not apparently accept what my correspondent does, namely, that Christ is God, and from eternity. But I have yet to meet with the brother amongst us who, having given thought to the matter, imagines that Christ as Son had a beginning in the sense alluded to by your correspondent. He says further, "I feel sure that it has been spiritually damaging to many of us to attempt to dissect the Person of Christ, — viewing Him in a way as two Persons, Divine and Human, whereas Scripture never does.
But here again, I have no personal acquaintance with any who present Christ as two Persons. He appears to put emphasis on the future tense in Luke It affirms incidentally and precisely that the title "Son of God" would attach to Him in Humanity, in the condition He would take up in Manhood, — which we have always understood. The angel was not giving a dissertation on the truth of the Person of Christ, for he says nothing about His pre-Existence at all.
Elie Wiesel Essay
His omission of this latter does not lead us to call in question His pre-existence. It simply shews that beneath the simple and yet miraculous appearance of Jesus in Manhood there would lie the unfathomable Mystery of Who He is, a fact that always bows the heart in worship. It does not impair the truth of His eternal existence nor of His eternal Sonship.
I may conclude by saying that several paragraphs in your correspondent's letter would call for comment, but I must stop. In reporting on. Wisdom was His nursling. I cannot love Wisdom, it is a quality.
A Letter on Eternal Sonship
Let us remember that the dictum 'I cannot love Wisdom, it is a quality' is in relation to the very chapter in which occurs "I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me. Here we find not only that we can love Wisdom. We do not bring incarnation into Prov. The passages which have always seemed to us to convey this truth are well-known to you, and it would be invidious in me to pretend to remind you of them.
Yet in a family reading recently in a brother's house, considering the personal glory of the One Whom we now know in His Mediatorial position, I was decidedly struck by Heb. It is true one does not look for the unfolding of relations between Divine Persons in Eternity in that Epistle, but attention is called to the greatness of the Person — Melchizedek — brought so mysteriously into the narrative in Gen. You will note if I comment upon it, that in speaking of the Son as come into the world Incarnate, we have to speak of a time of beginning of days.
Further, if we have to speak of the risen One us taking up the place of Mall according to the purpose of God, this too implies a beginning of days. The greatness of Melchizedek consists in his being type of the One Who had no beginning of days, even the Son of God. The idea conveyed by Mr — seems unavoidably to involve the error that the Son of God had a beginning of days. Have you thought of this?
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Candidly I felt when I read his remarks as though I was being robbed of one of the choicest joys I had known. To me, the passages he quotes declare that the One Who is ever Son, came forth as the expression of the Father, and the bearer of the Revelation of His Father's Name, and Hand, and Heart.
I know that the utterances were made when He was incarnate, but the things uttered lose none of their meaning when one reads them as declaring what subsisted eternally; and the defects of his explanation of them are two-fold: one being that one has to submit to a lengthy line of reasoning ere one can bring himself to comprehend mentally all that is alleged; and the other is that any simple soul learning from the plain words that the Father it was Who sent the Son, has to unlearn what the plain words say and apply his mind to the study of this new theology ere he can consent to their interpretation.
As to Revelation and Incarnation, it has appeared simple to faith that the Revelation is the rolling away of a veil from before an existing object. In Christ Incarnate is revealed to us the fact that God is Love. Did not the fact exist before the disclosure of the fact? So, God is Light; so, God is a Spirit. These things were eternally and essentially true, though for their revelation and demonstration, a certain platform was required; — the revolt of Satan, the fall and subsequent testing of man.
Related A DISSERTATION CONCERNING THE ETERNAL SONSHIP OF CHRIST
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