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to his murderers : or on similar grounds we might deny Christ's own prayers to the same effect, when he hung on the cross, to be an adoration of the Father. What candid person can deny that Paul addressed Christ concerning “the thorn in the “ flesh ?" for, when the Lord answered that “his

grace was sufficient for him,” he even “ gloried “ in his infirmities, that the power of Christ might “ rest upon him."2–Did he not pray to Christ when he said, “Now God himself and our Father, “ and the Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto

you ?" and, “ Now our Lord Jesus Christ him

self, and God even our Father, comfort your “ hearts, and stablish you in every good word and “ work ?"3 Such instances shew how familiar it was to the apostle “to honour the Son even as “ he honoured the Father ;" and to consider this as tending to the “ glory of God the Father.”__ The apostolical blessing is an act of worship resembling that appointed by Moses ;5 yet Christ and the Holy Spirit are joined in it: and doubtless he was prayed to whenever “ grace and peace” (the sum of all spiritual blessings,) were sought“ from “ God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus “ Christ.” Indeed it was the grand peculiarity of Christians, that “they called on the name of the “Lord Jesus ;"& and those who have attempted to interpret such expressions in some other sense do as little credit to their critical talents as to their orthodoxy. Not to multiply instances to which

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some possible objection might be made, the words of Peter are incapable of any other construction than that which makes them an act of divine adoration to Christ ; “Grow in grace, and in the “knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus “ Christ: to him be glory both now and for ever. « Amen."

As all the angels of God were “ commanded to worship” his incarnate Son; so, when “a door “ was opened in heaven,” the whole angelic host is introduced as joining the company of redeemed sinners, in ascribing eternal honour and praise to “ the Lamb that was slain,” in union with “Him " that sitteth on the throne ;'? and no words can possibly be more emphatical than those used on these occasions. Can any man then, after reading them, assert that Christ is a mere created being? or that it is idolatry to worship him? Or will he pretend to believe the Revelation of John not to be the unerring word of God? or can he disprove its divine inspiration, when its prophecies have been so remarkably accomplished ?—This shews that our version is faithful in another place, and that every Christian ought to join the saints of old, in saying, “Unto him that loved us, and washed

us from our sins in his own blood,-be glory and “ dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

VII. Lastly, our doctrine is confirmed by the absurdities into which its most able opposers have been driven. Such men have principally laboured to invalidate those texts which seem most explicit

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* Rev, v. 9–14. vii. 9-12.

1 2 Pet. iii. 18.

Rev. i. 5,6.

3

on the subject : though we could prove our doctrine even if these evidences were set aside. I have therefore declined adducing one testimony in the Epistle of John, which is decisive, if genuine, (as upon the whole I suppose it to be ;) because its authenticity has been so much disputed. A short specimen, however, may shew with what success they who deny the Deity of Christ have laboured. The Psalmist, and from him the apostle, says of the Messiah, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever."2 To elude the obvious inference from this text, it has been said that the words may be rendered, “God is thy throne, for ever and ever.” We read that “heaven is God's throne, and the “ earth is his footstool ;" but who can conceive God himself to be the throne, on which a creature should reign to eternity ?-Instead of “God was manifest in the flesh," some would read it, “ who was manifested in the flesh ;" in which case God must be the antecedent, as the context shews; and then the sense remains precisely the same. Others would read it, “ which (mystery) was manifested 6 in the flesh:” and then the mystery must be that to which all the subsequent clauses in the verse refer; and, whatever may be thought of the other propositions, “ which mystery was received up into “ glory” will scarcely be deemed the language of inspiration, by any who do not prefer nonsense to orthodoxy. But sometimes these persons seem disposed to retain our reading, and to explain the expression to mean, that the wisdom and power

11 John, v. 7,8.
* 1 Tim. ii. 15, 16.

? Ps. xlv. 6, 7. Heb. i. 8, 9.

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of God were conspicuous in Christ ;' which would be also true of Peter or Moses; and so this “ great

mystery of godliness” at length is found to be no mystery at all.

When incredulous Thomas was at last convinced of Christ's resurrection, he exclaimed, “My “ Lord, and my God!" And it cannot seem wonderful to those who consider that he knew the Messiah was to be called Emmanuel, and had heard him say, “He that hath seen me hath seen “ the Father;" that he should be convinced of his Deity by his resurrection from the dead. To set aside this testimony, it has been said, that the apostle's words were the language of astonishment, and not of adoration ; as men often exclaim, ‘My 'God! when greatly surprised. But are not such exclamations manifest violations of the third commandment, and certain proofs of irreverent contempt of the name of God? Who then can believe that the apostles used such profane language before Christ, without meeting the least reproof for it ?? Surely such a solution must be improbable in the highest degree; and they who can' admit it have no right to despise other men's credulity. But indeed the words cannot admit of any such construction, consistently with the idiom of the original language.

That most august passage with which John opens his gospel has been so construed, in order to evade our inference from it, that the nominative case to the verbs used in it must be changed again

again, without the least intimation given of it;

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'x. 26-31. Rom. i. 3, 4.

2

Matt.

34-37.

contrary to all the rules of grammar.-By others, “ the Word” is supposed to mean nothing more than the energy or power of God, which was eternally with him and essential to him, by which he made the world, and which was manifested in the man Jesus : but can any one in his senses suppose, that this was all the meaning of the apostle's introduction to his gospel, of the sublime things which he says of the Word, and of his “ becoming flesh " and dwelling among us?”

If any one should think so for a moment, a second attentive perusal must surely convince him of his mistake. Aware of this, it is now deemed convenient to set it aside as no part of revelation !

The interpretation, given of another decisive evidence,' is grounded on a proposed different translation, implying that Christ did not think of ' such a robbery as that of being equal with God.' But, not to mention the various expressions used by our Lord, which certainly were thus understood by the Jews; who can believe that the apostle should propose to his brethren, as a perfect example of humility, the conduct of a mere man, or creature, who barely did not claim equality with the eternal God; when at best, this could be no more than an exemption from the very summit of all possible pride and ambition ? His argument (as well as the meaning of the words,) proves that " in the form of God” signifies being truly God, and appearing so; even as “the form of a servant," and “ the fashion of a man,” signify being truly man: and how could a mere creature take upon

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