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abhorrence every thing that seemed to derogate from the absolute unity of the Supreme Being. It is therefore so much the more remarkable, that he should habitually speak of himself in terms which not only militated so strongly against their feelings and persuasions, but which, upon the supposition that his pretensions to Divinity had no just foundation, could hardly fail to lead them into a most fatal error. Surely, he, “who did no “ sin, neither was guile found in his mouth,” would never thus have given occasion to the delusion of his hearers, had he been nothing more than a creature like ourselves, or not indeed a partaker of that “fulness of the
Godhead,” of which he gave assurances so ample and so unequivocal.
The Apostles, throughout their writings, abundantly confirm these testimonies of our Lord himself, and establish them as the foundation of the whole Christian system. These sacred authors had, doubtless, been fully instructed by him, in this as well as every other essential point, during the forty days in which he continued with them after his resurrection, “ speaking of the things pertain
ing to the kingdom of God.” Still further were they instructed in these truths, after that descent of the Holy Spirit upon
them, which he had so expressly foretold. Their writings are therefore to be regarded as infallible comments of the Spirit of Truth upon whatever He had before delivered to them.
But the root and foundation of every essential article of our faith is unquestionably to be found in the records of our Lord's own personal communications with his Apostles, and of his discourses to the multitude around him. Some of the most prominent of these it has been the object of the present discourse to bring together in one collective point of view, in order to give to the doctrine deduced from them the strongest possible authority, that of our blessed Saviour himself.
The proofs which have thus been brought forward are neither subtle nor obscure. They lie upon the very surface of the sacred writings, and can hardly escape the eye of the most cursory observer.
observer. But they are not of the less intrinsic value. That which was intended to make an impression upon minds the least capable of deep investigation, and which appears actually to have made such an impression, was delivered in the most unambiguous terms: and by these plain and simple declarations such as are more recondite or questionable will be most successfully interpreted. We know, indeed, but too well, the labours of many opponents of this doctrine to render even the clearest of these evidences dark and doubtful, or altogether to set them aside. But if any thing can add to the force of the arguments drawn from these texts of Scripture in their plain and obvious signification, it is the manifest difficulty under which such writers labour in endeavouring to distort their meaning.
Without searching, then, after remote evidence, without affecting profound disquisitions, and without attempting to know more of the mysteries of God than he hath seen fit to reveal, or more than can be made intelligible to Christians of the lowliest attainments, a body of substantial proof is thus presented to our contemplation, above all suspicion either as to the purity of its source or its title to demand our unqualified reception. It is Christ himself who says, “ All things that the “ Father hath are mine." It is Christ who calls himself “the Son of God," who declares his eternal pre-existence, who applies to himself the title of Lord; who accepts divine worship as his due; who claims authority to forgive sins, to raise himself from the dead, and to judge the world ; who assumes omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence; who places himself on an equality with the Father and the Holy Ghost in the solemn rite of Baptism.
If He, then, who established the truth of whatever he affirmed by signs and wonders and indisputable manifestations of “
power “ from on high,” bore such testimony of himself; we trust that we neither deceive nor are deceived, in inculcating these doctrines upon mankind. And if he who revealed these truths declared it to be the purpose of his so revealing them “ that all who believe in him “should not perish, but have everlasting life;" then does it behove us to consider well, what obligations are hereby laid upon us to “make “ our calling and election sure.” We know whom we have believed ; “ a Saviour, which 6 is Christ the Lord ;"—a Mediator between God and man, who in himself united both the Godhead and the manhood; an all-powerful Lawgiver and Ruler; and the same who will hereafter come to be our Judge. We know likewise what remains to be done on our part, and the final retribution that awaits us. Such is our faith, such our duty, such our expectations. And “if we know these things, happy “ are we if we do them.”
* John xiii. 17.
JOHN v, 27.
And hath given him authority to execute judgment
also, because he is the Son of man.
THERE are two remarkable appellations by which our Saviour is frequently described in the New Testament, the Son of God, and the Son of Man. To understand in what peculiar or appropriate sense these titles are given to him, is requisite to a right apprehension of many passages of Scripture.
The appellations themselves may be used in a general or in a particular signification.
In a general acceptation, angels and men are called “ sons of God ;” since both owe their existence to the supreme Author of all being. When Job says that at the creation “ all the sons of God shouted for joy,” it is evident that he speaks of angels and all the heavenly host. When our Lord enjoins his