Imatges de pÓgina
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ceive such sacred honors. When the priests of Jupiter brought out their oxen and garlands at the gates of Lystra, to sacritice to Paul and Barnabas whom they supposed to be gods; these holy men “rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying, sirs, why do ye these things? We are men of like passions with you.” When John fell down before the angel of the Apocalypse whom he mistook for the immaculate God, the heavenly visiter at once cried out “See thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets.” But when Christ Jesus is made the object of such worship, not the least intimation is given either by himself or by bis apostles that it was wrong, or that this homage was conferred upon an improper object. If he were not God, and not entitled to the same honor due his Father, would not that meek and lowly Jesus, jealous for his Father's rights, have declined such holy honors, and indignantly repelled such gross idolatry? But instead of rebuking, he everywhere encouraged it; enjoining upon all to lift up holy hands unto him—to love bim—to serve him ; promising at the same time all the joys of everlasting life to the obedient.

These facts are very remarkable, and go on to confirm with a considerable degree of certainty the statement of the text, and to show that Christ is “the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person”—that he possessed substantially in himself all the perfections and consequently the nature of Divinity. Who will venture to criminate God's worshiping universe by deoying it?

With these things all before us, I can see no difficulty as to the plain meaning of the Holy Scriptures. Not one reader in a thousand, unsophisticated by human theories, would fail to apprehend their true import, or receive any other impression than that Jesus Christ is a Divine personage. Suspicions I know have been cast upon many of the passages which I have quoted as to the faithfulness of their translation. But such representations bear upon their very face the strongest marks of improbability. It is not at all to be supposed, that a company of some fifty of the most learned Englishmen in the reign of James I., after making individual translations, and comparing and correcting by private conferences and public examinations before fixing upon a single passage, should have committed such glaring errors. But the providence of God

has preserved unto us the original Scriptures in as much purity as they existed when the English version was made. And I pronounce the result of a patient and thorough investigation, as well as the almost unbroken opinion of ages, when I say, that the passages relating to the subject of the Savior's Divinity stand as fair as any other portions of the Bible. The texts upon which this doctrine rests, have been no more perverted than any others. And they prove to the conviction of every unprejudiced mind, that Jesus Christ performed the sublimest works-possessed the sublimest perfections—bore the sublimest names-and received the sublimest honors of Divinity, and therefore must be Divine.

5th. The remark of the text which represents Christ as “ having purged our sins by himself,comprises another argument for his Divinity. It is necessary that he should have a Divine nature, in order that he might till the office of Mediator. He who undertakes the mediatorship between offended God and apostate man, must take upon him the same nature which sinned. He must be related and that closely to those for whom he officiates. He must obey and magnify the law in the same nature which broke it. But it is equally necessary that he possess in connection with his humanity, a Divine nature to give merit to his obedience. Otherwise it would be no more than duty. He must have a human nature to have a brother's heart; we need one who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmity. But he must also have an almighty arm · to succor and to save. It is requisite that he be a man, in order that he might suffer. Divinity is impassible, and cannot be " 1ounded for our transgressions and bruised for our imquities;" yet" without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” But he must be Divine to give efficacy to his sufferings. If he were a mere man, his atonement would avail nothing. The prophets and martyrs suffered much; their blood flowed in torrents; but all that could never cancel a single sin. It was Divinity in the Savior which gave to his blood its atoning and purging power.

And though the Divine nature cannot suffer, nor the suffering of humanity merit ; yet it is by a union of these two in the person of Christ, and by this union alone, that the case could be met, or our souls saved.

6th. Compare now the doctrine which has been engaging our attention with the evangelical account of Christ's life, and see how

beautifully every thing harmonizes. Here we find circumstances of humility and circumstances of grandeur strangely but sweetly blended together, indicating at the same time both the human and the Divine natures of the personage of whom they are predicated." Under the first view in which Christ is presented in the Gospel, we see him as a poor and helpless insant lying in a manger. These are circumstances pointing out his humanity. But mark the circumstances of grandeur denoting his Divinity. Immediately an unusual star marches through the firmament to designate his birthplace, and the hosts of heaven strike up his loud natal anthem. Some time afterward we find him going up to the temple to worship as a man; and after the feast contounding the Jewish doctors with the wisdom of a God. At another time we find him standing at the grave of a departed friend weeping as a man; and then calling Lazarus from the tomb like a God. Again, we see him coining to the fig-tree hungering as a man; and then blasting it with a word like a God. Storm-tossed and weary on the angry Tiberias we see him sleeping in the ship as a man; and then rising and rebuking the winds and the sea like a God. Oppressed with the bustle of the crowd he retired to the mountain to pray as a man, and then at the fourth watch of the night came walking on the water like a God. Nailed to the bloody cross he suffered as a man; but opened the gates of Paradise to the dying thief like a God. We behold him at last in the rocky tomb, pale and mangled, in the grasp of death as a man; and then stirring with life-bursting open

the bars of hell-in triumphant resurrection leading captivity captive--and ascending up in radiant majesty to heaven like the mighty God! And thus “ having purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."

7th. In the conclusion of this argument for the Deity of Jesus Christ it may be observed, there are a number of passages in the Scriptures which cannot be satisfactorily reconciled with each other, but by admitting the doctrine for which I have been contending. For instance, in one place Christ is called a man, in another place Godin one place he says, “My Father is greater than I,” in another, “I and my Father are one”-in one place he is called David's son, in another David's Lord—in one place the Lamb slain, in another “the Prince of life who only hath, immortality,” &c.

See the sermon referred to in the previous note.

Now upon the supposition that the doctrine of his Divinity be untrue, neither human nor angelic ingenuity could possibly reconcile these and such other passages of the Word of God. Some have attempted it by reducing the language of the Holy Ghost to a mere shadow; but it never has been done, and it never can be done by a just and faithful exegesis. But when the doctrine of the text is received, all is harmonious and reconcilable. As respects bis human nature, Christ was a man. With regard to his divine nature, he was God. In regard to his humanity, he was subordinate to God the Father, the son of David, the Lamb slain, &c. In regard to his Divinity, he is properly called equal with the Father-David's Lord—the Prince of life--and so on. Thus these texts are made to mean something—the credit of the Spirit in dictating them is preserved—and the whole is the most beautifully harinonized.

It seems to me then, to be proven beyond rational controversy, that Jesus Christ, our adorable Lord and Savior, possessed a Divine nature in mysterious but all-harmonious anion with his humanity—that he is indeed, as I have explained it “the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person.”

That this doctrine involves mystery, all will concede. But it is none the more objectionable for that. Mystery in a thing is no ground for its rejection. Else would we reject the existence of an omnipresent and self-living God--the Divine decrees as not reconcilable with human freedom—the resurrection of the dead—a future existence—the union of soul and body-and even the incontrovertible realities of our own being. All these matters involve mystery, mystery so profound that human sagacity cannot penetrate it. But having evidence of the facts we believe them, though unable to explain their nature and circumstances. Why not then, having evidence of the fact, and every evidence too which we can conceive possible, that Christ is Divine, receive it also ? This mystery of the incarnation is not a new discovery. It is an anciently conceded point. Paul said in his day,“ Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness; God was made manifest in the flesh.” It is something which admits of no dispute. But if it is a mystery, it is one of which we need not be ashamed. It is a blessed mystery, full of sweetness as well as full of wonder. If we err in believing it, it is with Stephen when “full of the Holy Ghost," and with the whole apostolic church. Let us now then and forever cling to and

adore the Divinity of the Son of God. And if we are mistaken, it will be with the angels themselves, and all the ransomed hosts around the throne.

And how greatly does the doctrine of Christ's Divinity tend to exalt our conceptions of Jehovah's love for our fallen world! To think, it was not a mere man who was so much interested for our salvation, but the eternal God! It was the heart of the infinite Deity that beat with compassion for us poor and wretched offenders. And 0, what must have been the amazing depths of that affection which brought down the Divinity from heaven to this sinful and sorrowful world, for the . purpose of rescuing the guilty from perdition! What love that could lead to so great a humiliation, or prompt to the endurance of so much shame and wo! What a sublime conception of goodness! The incarnate Deity laboringpreaching-praying-weeping and dying for the recovery of the lost! The fulness of Almighty grace moving to rescue the perishing! "The very heavens stooping to save an apostate world!

Oh, for such love let rocks and hills

Their lasting silence break,
And all harmonious human tongues

The Savior's praises speak !”

What secure grounds of confidence does the Savior's Divinity also furnish believers. It is not in an arm of flesh, my brethren, that we have reposed our trust. It is not upon the sand that we have founded our hopes, if founded on Jesus. Ours is a secure foundation, for we build upon the Rock of Ages. We know in whom we have believed; how he is able to save even unto the uttermost, all them that come to him. The rock which shelters the Christian is higher than we. Jehovah-Jesus is our God; there is no room for doubt or gloomy apprehensions here. None shall be able to pluck us out of his hand. Encompassed by his almighty arms we need fear no evil; for " as the mountains are around about Jerusalem, so the Lord is around about his people from henceforth even for ever." No matter what furious convulsions shall be felt in heaven, earth, or hell—though the whole universe be thrown into disorder and anarchy, we shall still in perfect safety outride the storm, and live to chaunt the requiem of sepulchred nature.-Our Savior sways the mighty sceptre of a God, and our blood

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