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the confessions of apostates, and even the putting to the torture persons of inferior rank, who assisted as servants in their religious assemblies, even he describes, as the very first and most prominent feature in these assemblies, “ that they met before day to sing a hymn to Christ as God.”

I have dwelt the longer on this point, not only because the adoration paid to Christ, is the clearest conceivable proof that he was universally revered as God by the primitive Christians, but because it forms the most direct and essential effect and preservative of that reverence, and constitutes the first practical and obvious distinction between those who revere and honour as they ought the Son of God, the Saviour of man, and those who entertain much lower views of his nature and character, and thence unhappily labour to degrade him from the dignity ascribed to him as God incarnate; and who would thus deprive Christians of their brightest consolation, and their dearest privilege: for oh! how great is the consolation to the penitent, suffering, sorrowing sinner, who deeply feels his unworthiness and his weakness, to be allowed to offer up prayers and supplications to that Jesus, the Son of God, who hath “passed into the heavens," and who, “ being placed at the right hand of God, ever liveth to make intercession” for the sincerely contrite heart. This is the motive by which the apostle encourages our prayers. “We have not (says he) an high priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, but one who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin ; let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”+

Yes, my fellow-Christians, in the hour of temptation trial, of dejection and sorrow, of terror and suffering, invaluable is the privilege, heart-reviving the consolation of being permitted to approach this our all-merciful Redeemer, of confessing to him our manifold sins, imploring his mediation, throwing ourselves on his mercy, and claiming the benefit of his allsufficient atonement. This alone can soothe the sorrow which mourns for the friend of our heart, and cheer the gloom of our own approaching dissolution.

* Vide Pliny's celebrated letter to Trajan.

+ Heb. iv. 14–16.

It is such rational faith and devotion towards this our glorious Saviour, which alone can prepare us to join that grand chorus of all the host of heaven, and all the redeemed from earth, whom the beloved apostle was permitted in prophetic vision to behold: even “a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues, who stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, and cried with a loud voice, Salvation to our God, which sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb." There also he beheld the four angelic living creatures, and the four and twenty elders who surrounded the eternal throne; “having every one of them harps, and vials full of odours which are the prayers of the saints : and they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the leaves thereof; (that book which contained the decrees of Providence ;) for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and people, and nation.”* Such is the adoration which the redeemed are described as paying to their Saviour. Nor is this all; the entire creation is represented as uniting him with the eternal Father, whose throne he shares, in the prayers which they pour forth before that celestial throne.

May we, my friends, be, by the grace of God, so animated with this faith and devotion, that we may be called to join this assembly of the blessed, who having “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, shall stand before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple, and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them; they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, neither any heat; for the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall lead them unto living fountains of water, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”+ That such

may

be our steady faith now, and such our blessed lot hereafter, may God of his infinite mercy grant, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemerto whom be glory, now and for ever! Amen.

• Rev. v. 8, 9:

+ Rev. vii. 14-17.

DISCOURSE III.

JOHN, V. 21, 22, 23.

" As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He

will; for the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father; he that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him."

It shall be my object in this discourse to inquire, how far the divine nature of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is attested by the powers attributed to Him in the Scriptures, and the part he is described as sustaining in the formation and government of the human race. The result of this inquiry will, I trust, be found most convincing, as derived from facts which form the basis of the Scripture history, and which cannot be removed from it, without overturning the entire superstructure, and changing the order and harmony of the divine dispensations into a mass of contradiction and perplexity.

On this inquiry I trust it will appear, that the nature and extent of the powers exerted by Christ, were not only such as no other prophet ever before claimed or exercised; but that they were also employed in a manner indicating a degree of authority and self-direction, which no other prophet ever assumed ; and which would have been entirely unjustifiable in any being not possessing, in his own person, the power and authority of God Himself.

Every Christian acquainted, with the Scriptures will recollect, how carefully they every where inculcate, that God alone is the Creator, the Preserver, the Lord, and Judge of man; that God alone can bestow any supernatural power; that to Him alone is to be ascribed every miracle which is performed; that God alone* knoweth the thoughts and searcheth the hearts; that God alone

can kill and make alive, neither is there any that can deliver

Deut. xxxii. 39.

out of His hand.” Now, if they observe that to Christ Jesus are attributed the same powers and offices, of Creator, Saviour, the Author of life, the Ruler and Judge of man, it will clearly follow, that he is identified with that God, to whom by the whole tenor of the Scriptures, these characters exclusively belong.

Thus also the reader of the Scriptures will recollect how vigilantly, I may say how jealously, they maintain the exclusive right of God to the glory and the honour of every word and work for which His supernatural interference is required. "I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory will I not give unto another."*

Whenever any human being, however highly favoured or miraculously assisted, did not take care, in every instance, to ascribe the glory of every great work to God alone—when he gave the slightest indication that he claimed as his own any share of the power which was wrought, and the praise which was due to it, that instant he was rebuked and punished.

Moses and Aaron were commanded in the desert of Zin, to " speak unto the rock, before the assembled congregation, that it should give forth water for them to drink :"4 they spake unadvisedly, they said, “ Hear now, ye rebels, must we fetch

you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice, and the waters gushed out abundantly." This word and gesture of Moses (otherwise the meekest of ment) offended God, because it gave Him not the undivided glory of this miracle. The Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, “Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them."

This is the uniform language of Scripture. Now compare with this, the conduct and language of Christ, and a most remarkable distinction will appear. It is true, he frequently and clearly speaks of God the Father, as He who " sent Him into the world, to do the mighty works. He wrought;" yet of His own part in these works, He speaks in a language wholly different from any other prophet. Who ever said, “The Father who dwelleth in me, He doeth the works ; believe me, that I am

• Isaiah, xlii. 8.

Numbers, xx, 8, 12.

Numbers, xii 3.

*

66

in the Father, and the Father in me, or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto my Father, and whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if ye shall ask any thing in my name I will do it." Is not this an assumption of authority and power, a promise of perpetual assistance and support, to proceed directly from himself, which nothing could justify but His participation of the nature and power of God ?

Thus again ; after healing the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda, “ The Jews sought to slay Jesus, because He did these things on the Sabbath day,”+ how remarkable was our Lords reply.

My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Could any language more clearly identify Himself with God? And so it was understood by the Jews, who sought the more to kill Him, because “ He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also, that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus, and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what he seeth the Father do, for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him." From all this does it not irresistibly force itself upon us, "did ever man speak like this man?” Could

any mere human being speak thus “who had no existence before his human birth, and of whom we cannot certainly learn from the Scriptures, that in the usual course of the moral administration of Providence, He has any immediate agency, or in any way directly influences the minds of His disciples.”! Would such

* John, iv. 11.

+ John, v. 16-31. Dr. Carpenter's Unitarianism the Doctrine of the Gospel, p. 7, and 263. VOL. III.

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