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the throne of his glory; will with thorns, mocked, spit upon, judge both angels and men scourged, nailed to the cross, according to their works; will and carried to the tomb. punish the wicked with an everlasting destruction from the glory of his power ; will conduct the righteous into heaven ; and will cause thein to live, and reign, with him for ever and ever.
Finally, in his divine cha- But that having emptied racter, it is said, that he was himself, and taken upon him in the form of God, and thought the form of a servant, he was it no robbery to be equal with born in the likeness of men ; God.
and being found in fashion as a man, he became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
At the close of this wonderful career he was raised from the dead. He himself informs us, that he laid down his own life' voluntarily, and that no one was able to take it out of his hands. He also informs us, that he himself took it
up again.' Accordingly, he rose from the grave on the third day, and after conversing familiarly with his disciples concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God,' forty days, he ascended to heaven in a cloud of glory, attended by the heavenly host; entered the world of glory in triumph, and sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high ;' or as it is elsewhere expressed, . This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, sat down for ever on the right hand of God.' • At his name,' henceforth,' every knee' is required to · bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue to confess, that he is the Lord,' or sovereign of all things, 'to the glory of God the Father.' The throne of infinite dominion is accordingly, and appropriately, styled 'the throne of God and the Lamb. Before this throne, the four living ones cry, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. who wast, and who art, and who art to come. The four-and-twenty elders cast their crowns at his feet, and say, Thou art worthy, O Lord! to receive glory, and honour, and
power, for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created. And the multitude of angels round about the throne, and the living ones, and the elders, say with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing: and every creature, which is in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, and in the sea, is heard, saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.' To this divine ascription, the four Living Ones subjoin their solemn. Amen.'
On this comparative view of the wonderful subject under consideration, I make the following remarks:
1. It is evident to the least consideration, that the things which are here said of Christ are exceedingly unlike each other.
So unlike are they that, if we suppose two beings to be the subjects of holiness, their characters cannot be more different from each other, than the things are which are here declared concerning Christ. Let
any man attempt to describe two, the most distant characters of two, the most distant holy beings, and he will find himself unable to place them farther asunder than these two characters of Christ are placed. Therefore,
2. These two characters cannot be given to any being possessed of a simple nature.
That they are all truly said will not be here called in question. If we suppose the person of whom they are said to be only God, we shall be obliged either to say, with the Sabellians, that Christ was no other than God manifesting himself in one particular form; or, with the Patripassians, that the Father lived here, suffered, and died, as a man ; or, with the Docetæ, that Christ was God only; that his appearance as a man was an illusion ; that he had a visionary body; and suffered only in appearance and pretence ; while Judas Iscariot, or some other culprit, was crucified in his stead.
It is plainly impossible, that the same simple being should be set up from everlasting,' be the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending ;' and yet · be born in Judea in the
reign of Herod the Great:' be the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever ;' and yet increase in wisdom, and in favour with God and man:' 'create all things visible and invisible;' and yet be made of a woman' be the lawgiver to the universe, and yet be made under the law :' 'uphold all things by the word of his power;' and yet be a petitioner for the daily supplies of his wants, and the protection of his person : possess all things, and yet' have not where to lay his head : ' • know all things ;' and yet not know, as, if we adopt the common interpretation, we must suppose he did not know the time of the destruction of Jerusalem : Be the final judge and rewarder of the quick and the dead; and yet be tried, condemned, and executed by men: and be in the form of God,' and justly ' think it no robbery to be equal with God;' and yet be a servant,' a man, and a frail and dying man.
But all these things, and innumerable others, substantially of the same nature in both respects are declared concerning Christ. All also are declared by God himself. They are therefore true, and true in the natural, obvious sense. course, they are worthy of all acceptation.'
It follows then that Christ is, notwithstanding the sneers of Unitarians, God and man. In the language of the Scriptures, The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.' Yet, humble as were the station and circumstances in which he appeared, 'we' are able still to · behold his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.'
3. There are three important facts recorded concerning Christ, in which he differs wholly from all created beings, and which merit the attentive consideration of every serious
. (1.) He always taught in his own name, even when altering and annulling the acknowledged word of God.
Christ came to change the Mosaic system into the Christian; and accordingly substituted the latter for the former. In every part of this employment he taught in his own name. The preceding prophets had uniformly introduced their instructions with • Thus saith the Lord ;'
_Thus saith Jehovah.' Christ, immediately after addressing his consolations to his disciples by way of preface, introduces bis sermon on the mount in the following manner :
· Think not that I am come
to destroy the law or the prophets ;' that is, the system of religion in the Old Testament: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you,' &c. This phraseology he repeats everywhere throughout this sermon, and throughout the Gospel. Not once does he say, 'Thus saith the Lord,' during his ministry, nor teach with any authority except his own. Now it is evident, that the authority which he actually assumed was equal in his view, and in the view of the Scriptures, to that which sanctioned the declaration of the Old Testament, because he changes and annuls both the doctrines and the precepts of the Old Testament at his pleasure.
In the same manner, when he appeared unto St. Paul in the way to Damascus, after informing Paul that he was Jesus, whom he persecuted,' he commissioned him to preach the Gospel to the gentiles, and sent him as his apostle to them, by his own authority, without appealing to any other.
As, therefore, the authority assumed in these cases is equivalent to that by which the Old Testament was revealed, he who rightfully assumed it was God.
The same authority, also Christ assumed and exhibited, generally, when he wrought miracles ; and he never makes mention of any other.
(2.) The apostles uniformly appeal to the authority of Christ in their preaching and miracles.
• In the name of Jesus Christ,' says St. Peter to the impotent man,' rise up, and walk.'
• By what power,' said the Sanhedrim to Peter and his companions, or by what name, have you done this?' that is, healed the impotent man.
• Be it known unto you all,' answered the apostle, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.' ' Æneas,' said Peter, · Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.' • All authority,' says our Saviour, ' is delivered to me in heaven and in earth. As my Father hath sent me, so send I you.'
Under this commission the apostles preached and acted, and in multiplied instances have declared to us that it was the authority of God.
A single declaration of this sort will suffice for them all. Mark xvi. 20, . And they went forth, and preached every
where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.'
(3.) In the Revelation of St. John, it is to be observed, Christ receives the praises of the heavenly host, both singly and in conjunction with the Father, but never unites in them.
Neither Christ nor the Holy Spirit is ever called upon to perform the great duty of all creatures to praise God, or to pray to him. Both these duties Christ performed as a man, when here on earth, but he is never exhibited as performing the duty of praise in heaven. All other virtuous beings are exhibited as making this their constant worship, and a prime part of their duty. But amid all their ascriptions of praise to God, Christ is nowhere exhibited as uniting with them in this duty, in itself so delightful to a virtuous mind, and so naturally and obviously obligatory on every rational being. The whole multitude of saints and angels, with the four living ones at their head, join without exception in the heavenly song ; • Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth on the throne.' But the only part ever attributed to Christ, is to be united in receiving the ascription together with • him that sitteth on the throne :' for the ascription is made ' to him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever.'*
I have now finished the observations which I intended to make concerning this interesting subject, and exhibited what appears to me to be the true meaning of the remarkable phraseology in the text, • God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,' and of other similar passages found in the Scriptures : such as, . The word was made flesh ;' the seed of David according to the flesh ;' of whom, as conceming the flesh, Christ came;' Christ is come in the flesh,' &c.
I shall now conclude the Discourse with the following
1. This doctrine teaches us, in the strongest manner, the condescension of Christ.
* Rev. v. 13