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iii. 31.

sustain them by his power, on his heart that he may bless them with his love. Whether he needs to mediate for them by express words is a use-He that cometh from above is above all, John less inquiry. The blood of Abel had no audible voice, any more than the spheres in the firmament, which nevertheless speak the Maker's praise to men of every tongue. Abel's blood had a voice, and so has the blood of Christ. But it speaketh better things than the blood of Abel. The blood of Abel cried loud for vengeance; the blood of the Lamb slain, seen in the midst of the throne, gently whispers peace. This is the true Israel, who as a Prince hath power with God and with man, and prevails.

Ir is of the utmost consequence, that we entertain correct and scriptural views of the person of Christ the Mediator. Now his forerunner, John, here solemnly testifies to the great and essential difference that existed between himself and the Master, in that, while he, like all former divine messengers, was of the 'earth, earthy,' Christ was from heaven above, and coming as the Lord from heaven, is above all.'


Mark here the recognition of a distinction of But if it be a blessed truth that there is a natures in Christ; for the words seem clearly Mediator between us and our offended Sovereign, to imply that he possesses another nature belet it be deeply impressed upon our minds that sides his human. And the same idea is confirmed there is but one. This necessarily results from by a variety of other passages, where there the fact of there being but one God, with whom is no express assertion of his Supreme divinity. we have to do. As he is the infinite and un-What and if ye should see the Son of Man changeable, there is but one sacrifice can meet ascend up where he was before? I went out the demands of his perfect law; there is but one from the Father, and am come unto the world; Intercessor who, upon the plea of that sacrifice, again I leave the world, and go unto the Father. can propitiate his favour. Every saint, however No one hath ascended up to heaven, save he who holy, is a sinner saved by grace; every seraph, came down from heaven, even the Son of Man, however exalted, is but a servant fulfilling his who is in heaven.' To denote his possession of a own appointed work. Other foundation for ac- nature superior to the human, is he not often exceptance can no man lay, save that which is laid, pressly distinguished from men? 'Paul an aposwhich is Christ Jesus. His is the only name tle not of man nor by men, but by Jesus Christ. given under heaven among men whereby (if we Not as pleasing men, but as the servants of are to be saved at all) we must be saved. 'I The law maketh men high priests, but am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man the word of the oath maketh the Son.' What cometh unto the Father but by me.' mystery, indeed, could there have been in the Rejoice, O Christian! in your having such anWord being manifest in flesh,' unless it was advocate with the Father, as Jesus Christ the Righteous One, who urges your suit at the court of heaven in the form of a man, and with the feelings of a brother. Yes! the Mediator is the man Christ Jesus. Men as they rise in honour and power too often lose the recollections and forsake the friendships of their humbler days. But though Jesus the Son of God hath passed into the heavens, we have not there a High Priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, but one who feels with us and careth for us. Does Christ live for you in heaven, and ought not you to live for him on earth? Does he represent you before God? And should not you, in your humble sphere, seek to represent him among men? Does he stand and plead your cause with God? And will not you stand up for him before the evildoers, and plead his cause with the workers of iniquity?

the manifestation of a higher nature than that of mere man-a nature till then invisible?

But the Baptist here further asserts the preexistence of Christ, or that his superior nature had a being before his appearance in our world. The same sentiment had previously been uttered by John when he said: 'He that cometh after me is preferred before me, (or goes before me) for he was before me.' Witness, too, Christ's own remarkable declaration to the Jews: 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.' Even if that does not imply self-existence, it must certainly denote an existence prior to that of Abraham; for this was the proof which he adduced of his being 'greater than Abraham,' and so the Jews understood him, nor did he contradict the inference they drew from it.

It is farther intimated here, that this higher, invisible, pre-existent nature of the Christ, had its abode in heaven; and lest we might suppose that it was an angelic nature, other passages assure us that it was not the nature of angels, but

a nature far superior to theirs. In describing his
incarnation it is said, 'He took not on him the
nature of angels,' i. e. the new nature he assumed
was not that of angels; the angelic was not his for-
mer superior nature, nor was it the inferior nature
which he afterwards assumed. Angels, as their
name imports, are only messengers or servants;
and the Almighty employs, in that capacity, even
inanimate creatures, making the winds his mes-
sengers, and the flaming fire his ministers.'
unto which of the angels saith he at any time,
'Thou art my Son. Sit thou at my right hand!'
Unto which of the angels saith he not, 'Let all
the angels of God worship Him!'


'He that cometh from above is above all,' because he was before all. He had an existence prior to the foundation of the world. In the beginning was the Word,' even in that beginning when God created the heavens and the earth. He had a glory with the Father before the world was, for the Father loved him before the foundation of the world. The same was in the beginning with God;' he was 'before all things.' These declarations, if they do not explicitly assert his existence from eternity, seem necessarily to imply it; and it is elsewhere set forth in terms as plain and distinct as can be furnished by the language of man. He is that Eternal Life that was with the Father and was manifested unto us.' To him the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews applies the sublime description of the psalmist: "Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hands,' (there is the past eternity). 'They shall perish, but thou endurest-thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail,' (there is the eternity to come). How is the eternal, independent, necessary self-existence of God the Father set forth in the book of Revelation? By language which is elsewhere in the same book applied to the Lord Jesus Christ: 'I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last.' Connecting all these proofs together, can we now err in acknowledging, that he who came from above is above all, seeing that he is God over all, blessed for ever? Amen.

not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven.'


'That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father,' John v. 23.

WE have seen the plain testimony of scripture as to a distinction of natures in Christ-the one human, the other superior to the nature of man, superior to the nature of angels-a nature which existed before his manifestation in flesh, yea, before the foundation of the world, even from all eternity. But, in addition to this, the bible contains many intimations, more or less direct, of his true and proper divinity.

How is the Supreme God known and acknowledged by his rational creatures? Is it not by the perfections of his character, and the names that are consequently given to him? Is it not by the works of his hand, and the worship that is consequently paid to him.

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Is omnipotence, or the power of doing every thing that seemeth to him good, an essential attribute of Jehovah? Jesus is the Mighty God.' In nothing is the 'exceeding greatness' of the divine power more signally exhibited than in raising the dead. Yet he had power to lay down his own life, and he had power to take it again; and he will raise and change the vile bodies of his saints, and fashion them like unto his glorious body, according to the energy whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Is omnipresence a necessary perfection of the divinity, no less than underived eternal self-existence? Christ's ability to show himself everywhere present is asserted in terms as express as those which the Old Testament had employed in reference to the God of Israel. By Jehovah it was promised: In all places where I record my name I will come unto you, and I will bless you.' And by the Saviour it is promised: 'Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I How consoling to the Christian to know, that in the midst of them. Lo, I am with you his Lord and Saviour came from above!' Did always, even unto the end of the world.' he reveal the character of God? He had been same perfection is involved in his omniscience, or in his bosom from eternity. Did he make known the prerogative of knowing all things. Every the bliss of heaven? It had been his eternal circumstance in human character and human conhome. On the other hand, how much does this duct lies naked and open before him. He knew all consideration enhance the responsibility and ag- men, and needed not that any man should testify gravate the guilt of those who reject him! He to him of man; for he knew what was in man.' is the Lord from heaven!' 'See then that ye He knew from the beginning who they were that refuse not him that speaketh; for if they escaped | believed not, and who he was that should betray

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him. Now to know the human heart is de- | honourable and glorious, which demonstrate his scribed as a distinguishing characteristic of existence, and show forth his praise, and these Jehovah. "The heart is deceitful above all likewise are ascribed to Christ. The Father things. Who can know it? I, Jehovah, search loveth the Son, and hath given all things into the heart, I try the reins, even to give every his hand-all things pertaining to the proman according to his ways, and according to the vidence of the universe, the government of fruit of his doings.' But the self-same power is the church, the judgment of the great day. asserted of the Son of God, who hath his eyes He upholdeth all things by the word of his like unto a flame of fire:'All the churches power; by him all things consist. When on shall know that I am He which searcheth the earth he had power to forgive sins, and now he reins and hearts; and I will give unto every one is exalted far above all principality, and power, of you according to your works.' Hence the and might, and dominion, and every name that declaration of Simon Peter: Lord, thou know- is named, not only in this world, but also in that est all things, thou knowest that I love thee.' which is to come. All things are put under Hence the prayer of the disciples when assem- his feet; in all things he has the pre-eminbled to appoint a successor to Judas: Thou, ence; he is the Head over all things to his Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show church; and as in him dwelleth all the fullness whether of these two thou hast chosen.' Hence of the Godhead bodily, he filleth all in all. the expectation of the waiting church for the Hence to him belongs the mighty work of the time when the Lord shall come, who will bring resurrection, and none but He shall fill the seat to light the hidden things of darkness, and will of judgment. We must all appear before the make manifest the counsels of the hearts.' judgment-seat of Christ: so then every one of us must give an account of himself unto God.'

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Turn we from his perfections to his works,from what he is to what he does. What is the most common representation given of the Supreme God in the bible? Is it not as the Maker of heaven and earth?' What is the most common of all the proofs appealed to there, as well as in natural religion, for the being of a God? Is it not the work of creation, in which the invisible things of him, even his eternal power and Godhead, are clearly seen from the things that he made? But of Christ it is asserted, in terms the most explicit and comprehensive, that he made the worlds-that without him not any one thing was made that was made-that by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him. Is it alleged that he may have done all this by delegated authority and communicated power? What then becomes of the argument for the existence of a Supreme God, drawn from the works of his hand? Is it supposed that nothing more was intended in these passages than a spiritual and moral creation by the gospel? But did the unfallen principalities or powers stand in need of this new creation? Or can it be said that in this sense the world was made by him, when it is added of the same world, the world knew him not.' Moreover, of the earth and the heavens which he created, it is affirmed that they shall perish,' but can that be affirmed of any part of his new creation?

But there are other works of God, no less

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It is after we find these attributes and works of God ascribed to the Saviour, that we are prepared to understand the sense in which the names and titles of God are given to him, for we then perceive that it is not the language of figure but of fact. The Word was God.' 'God was manifest in flesh.' As concerning the flesh he was of the seed of David, but being justified in the Spirit, he was declared to be God over all, blessed for ever.


Need we wonder then that he has been, and now is, the object of humble adoration, and the subject of grateful praise, both on earth and in heaven. The first disciples in every place called upon the name of the Lord. Thomas owned him as 'his God;' often was he besought of Paul, and to him Stephen commended his departing spirit. All the angels of God worship him; all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father; and a time is coming, when at the once despised name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that he is Maker, Proprietor, Governor, Lord of all-to the glory of God the Father.


He was

reached the stature of a perfect man. susceptible of hunger and thirst, cold and heat

and pains of our common humanity.

This truth of the incarnation is set forth by the apostles of the Lord in a great variety of phraseology; and the frequent and emphatic manner in which they dwell upon it seems to show, that they thought there was a risk of the primitive Christians losing sight of it in the acknowledged glories of his divinity. But while they delight in unfolding that glory in all its splendour, they represent it as enshrined on earth in the tabernacle of his flesh. Great, indeed, is the mystery of godliness, 'God manifest in flesh.' It passeth the knowledge of men; it transcends the comprehension of angels; and, therefore, all our speculations and conjectures about the mode of the union and co-existence of the two natures, divine and human in one person, are unprofitable and vain. But as a clearly revealed bible-truth we must receive it in the simplicity of faith, in the same manner as all but atheists receive the truth of the being of a God who yet cannot be searched out or understood-in the same manner as all but materialists admit the union and co-existence in one person of the fleshly body and spiritual soul of man, who is himself one of the greatest mysteries with which he is conversant.

'Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be and weariness; in short, of all the sinless pleasures made like unto his brethren,' Heb. ii. 17. In setting forth the love of God the Son towards our sinful race, as shown in his spontaneous and devoted interposition between them and merited punishment, the scriptures often dwell upon the fact, that he did not disdain to assume their own frail and dying flesh. And it is, indeed, very evident, that this is a circumstance which is well fitted to show the deep intensity of his attachment to them, and the low condescension to which, on their account, he was willing to submit. For suppose the case, that it had come within the purpose of the Father's mercy to have devised, and of the Son's grace to have undertaken a scheme of redemption for fallen angels, and that, in order to its execution, Christ had taken upon him the nature of angels; though doubtless it had been infinite humiliation for the Creator to have vailed himself in any nature not his own, still as he made angels spirits like himself, and as they retain their high powers of intellect, even in their apostacy, there would have been some shadow of assimilation in point of spiritual capacities and spiritual energies between God the Spirit and those angelic spirits whose nature he had deigned to assume. 'But verily he took not on him the nature of angels-he was made lower than the angels,—he took on him the seed of Abraham.' There was this peculiarity in the case of ruined man, that that body in which, had he pre-merciful towards them, while faithful in the served his innocence, he would have flourished in immortal health and strength, has now become the source of debility, disease, death. And yet that is the very body in which, with all its weaknesses, the Son of God appears-that is the very body which, with all its meanness, misery and mortality the ever-blessed One deigns to put on. Knowing that without this depth of humiliation, the salvation of men could not have been accomplished, he despised not their affliction, he abhorred not their misery, he consented that a body should be prepared for him, and forasmuch as 'it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren,'-like unto his brethren in all things, sin only excepted, did he become.

But if the Son of God became man, it was purely for the benefit and advantage of men his brethren; it was that he might be a High Priest,

things of God, and that fulfilling the law's righteousness and suffering the law's penalty in the nature that had transgressed, he might make reconciliation for the sins of the people. The heathen represented their deities as sometimes coming down to earth in the likeness of men. But with their grovelling conceptions of the divine character, they ascribed as the reasons for this disguise, either motives of curiosity, a wish to engage in vain-glorious exploits, or to indulge in the most debasing vices. But contrasted with these imaginary visits, O how holy and beneficent, how pure and godlike, does the manifestation of the Son of God appear, when He descends into the lower parts of this earth. The meanness of our origin, the frailty of our frame, the agonising sufferings and ignominious and accursed death which in our flesh and blood he knew he was to undergo, nothing repelled him, nothing could dis

The leading fact involved in this statement is the incarnation of our blessed Lord, or his taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, becoming a partaker of the flesh and blood of those whom he came to redeem, and whom, in conse-courage him. Never was there disinterestedness, quence of this assumption of their nature, he acknowledges as his brethren. Like them he passed through infancy, childhood, and youth, till he

never self-devotedness like his; for he became like unto man, not merely that he might introduce them into God's family as his brethren, but

in order that in their,nature for them he might | writings, which was sometimes simply called suffer, and for them he might die, and that by his sufferings and death they might escape endless suffering and death everlasting. The importance then of this doctrine cannot be too greatly magnified. Reject the fact of the incarnation, and you undermine the whole gospel scheme, you destroy the possibility of a sacrificial atonement, you deprive the Christian of a suffering and sympathising brother, a powerful succourer, a once crucified but now ever-living Redeemer.

Let his own people, whom he is not ashamed to call his brethren, fix their adoring and grateful contemplation upon this marvellous truth, that he was in very deed partaker of their flesh and blood. We see him who thought it no robbery to be equal to God, vailing for a time his glory behind our feeble, dying clay, and humbling himself to the manger, to the cross, to the dust of death. We see him who inhabited the praises of eternity, leaving the happy society of heaven, and mingling with wretched outcasts; becoming an heir of the same infirmities, subject to the same laws, exposed to the same curse, and coming down among us, not in the splendours of majesty and power, but in a form of meanness and poverty, degradation and servitude. When we can realize the simple fact, that in that young man of Nazareth there dwelt for a period of thirty-three years, all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,' we stand in amazement at the divine condescension; we are overawed by a sense of the divine loving-kindness; we fear the Lord and his goodness." Will God in very deed dwell with man upon the earth? When we know that God did, in very deed, dwell with man upon the earth, we feel as if this polluted globe had been sanctified by such a visitant, and every spot of it on which we tread is now holy ground.


And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me,' Luke xxiv. 44.

THE ancient Jews divided the Old Testament scriptures into three great portions, viz. the Pentateuch, or five books of Moses: the Prophets, comprising the historical books (exclusive of the Pentateuch), and the Prophets strictly so called: and the Chetubim or Hagiographa, i. e. holy

the Psalms,' from the book with which it began. Our blessed Lord then in the above passage, before opening the understandings of his disciples to understand the scriptures,' intimates to them that all these scriptures had testified of himself. He was the sum and substance of all the ancient revelations, and especially of the recorded predictions. To Him gave all the prophets witness, throwing around him the beams of their united light. The spirit of prophecy' was 'the testimony of Jesus;' for it was the Spirit of Christ' that was in these holy seers, and it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.


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Even in the age before the flood, God left not himself without witness to the great work of redemption that was to be accomplished by his Son. No sooner had man fallen, than his guilty fears were relieved (even before the threatened curse was uttered) by the cheering announcement that the woman's seed should bruise the serpent's head.' In the faith of his advent, Adam worshipped and Abel sacrificed before the 'presence of the Lord' at the east of Eden; and Enoch walked with God as reconciled by the Messiah's first coming, while he prophesied of his second coming to judgment. Noah, too, was a preacher of that righteousness of faith of which he was an heir, his deliverance by the ark being a figure at once of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and of the baptismal purification of his people.

In patriarchal times the Redeemer was made known to Abraham as he in whom all the families of the earth shall be blessed;-and the gospel promise thus preached to him was, through his faith, counted unto him for righteousness. The same assurance was often renewed to him, more especially on the occasion of his offering up Isaac the son of promise-an affecting emblem of God not sparing his own Son but delivering him up for us all. In Melchisedec, the righteous and peaceful king of Salem, and the priest of the Most High God, do we not perceive a figure of the Son of God, who is now a priest upon throne, and being a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec hath, like him, a divinely-derived and untransferable priesthood? At Bethel, where the Angel of the covenant talked with Jacob, he saw a mystic ladder bringing heaven and earth into union like the great Mediator, and upon which the holy angels of God ascended and descended as on the Son of man. But from which of Jacob's many sons is the Messiah to be born? That our Lord was to spring out of Judah


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