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The title to dominion, conferred on him as man, and on account of his death, he is to resign; but that which he holds as God, he keeps for ever and ever ; 'for he shall reign for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end ;' Luke i. 33 ; Rev. xi. 15. This last text was uttered by the seventh angel, . When the time of the dead was come that they should be judged;' ver. 18; so that Christ's kingdom is to last for ever, from and after the day of judgment. Accordingly, power, as well as 'honour and glory,' are ascribed to bim, in conjunction with the Father, ‘for ever and ever, in the hymn of the whole universe, Rev. v. 13.
As in the next Discourse, I intend to prove the divinity of our blessed Saviour, sometimes from passages, which, in this, I have shewn to have been spoken of him as a man; to prevent your thinking I contradict myself in so doing, give me leave to observe to you here, that the same passage, which, in one part of it, speaks of him as God, in another speaks of him as man; or, at the same time that it speaks of him as man, necessarily leads us, by a verbal quotation, to other passages where the name or attributes of God are expressly given him. I need not trouble you with instances of this now, because they will be sufficiently apparent to the attentive, in the prosecution of my design.
They who are acquainted with the controversy concerning the divinity of Christ must see, that I have singled out those objections from Scripture, to that divinity, which are of the greatest weight and inoment; indeed, which are of any weight at all; and they see, I hope, that there is nothing in them, nothing, I mean, when set in opposition to the many express and positive passages that prove our blessed Saviour to be truly and properly God. Had the objected texts been accompanied by no such passages, although some of them might have stood for us, rather than our adversaries, on a fair and natural construction, yet I must own there are others, from which it must have been inferred, that he was only a creature. But what are the inferences of human reason, so apt to err in every branch of knowledge, when placed over against the clear and positive assertions of God himself? He tells us, “There is but one God. He says, • To us there is but one God.' He commands us ' to worship and serve him alone.' He also often assures us, that Christ
is God; and orders the very angels to worship him.' Christ, therefore, is the one only true God. This, surely, with men of reason and candour, who believe the Scriptures, is sufficient to decide the controversy about our Saviour's divinity, come what will of the conclusions and deductions drawn from the darker passages of Scripture, which no where says, that he is not God, or that he is but a mere creature.
Although every real Christian must be concluded by this short decisive summary of the merits, whereon both the learned and illiterate ought to found their faith in Christ's true and proper divinity; as, nevertheless, something farther may be requisite to the conviction of men already prejudiced against it, I shall, God willing, in the next Discourse, lay before you the scriptural proofs of that doctrine, which, I trust, will appear too full and satisfactory to leave any doubts about it in the mind of him who takes the Scriptures for the word of God, and knows they can neither contradict him, nor themselves.
In the mean time let us earnestly beseech God so to direct our inquiries, that we may find the truth, and that the truth may set us free from all our doubts and divisions concerning our blessed Saviour; to whom, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all might, majesty, dignity, and domipion, now and for evermore. Amen.
THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST PROVED.
PHIL. III. 8.
I count all things but loss, for the ercellency of the knowledge of
Christ Jesus my Lord.
It is no wonder the apostle should esteem all other gains as losses, in comparison with the knowledge of Christ, since to know Christ, is to know God, and all the means of salvation;
• for in him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily;' Coloss. ii. 9. And with him God shall freely give us all things;' Rom. viii. 32. This is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent;' John xvii. 3. Thus, therefore, saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might; let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me;' Jer. ix. 23, 24. It was for these reasons that St. Paul, speaking of his visit to the Corinthians, says, I, brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God; for I determined not to know any thing among you save Jesus Christ, and him crucified;' 1 Cor. ii. 1, 2.
To know Christ, therefore, is infinitely better than all other knowledge; and the most excellent part of this knowledge is, to know that which is most excellent in Christ, namely, his divine nature, which gave dignity to those sufferings whereby we are redeemed, and majesty to that dispensation whereby we are reclaimed and governed. If he is God, we must believe in him, depend on him, and worship him, as such. As he is the way, and the truth, and the life,' so that no man cometh to the Father but by him,' John xiv. 6. to know who he is, must be the prime article of knowledge ; for he that hath seen him, hath seen the Father ;' ver. 9.
But whereas about this there are infinite disputes in the world, some insisting, that Christ is the one only eternal God; others, that he is only an angel, and raised to the dignity of a god; and others again, that he is but a mere man ; I endeavoured, in the preceding Discourse, to answer the chief objections brought against his true and proper divinity; and shall now, in this, lay before you the principal proofs of that divinity, as they are found in holy Scripture, which alone can determine the question either way, this being a point above the investigation of reason, and not to be decided but by God himself. And that I shall do by shewing,
First, That as he is the Messiah, the Word, and the Son of God, he must be God :
Secondly, That the incommunicable attributes of God are given to him by the inspired writers :
Thirdly, That the incommunicable name, or names, of God, are given to him by those writers :
Fourthly, That he takes the same to himself, and denies the being of any other God:
And, lastly, That divine worship, that is, the incommunicable worship of God, is actually given him by. divine appointment.
That Jesus is the Christ, or Messiah, according to 1 John v. 1. is now taken for granted by all Christians; and that, agreeably to the prophetic character of the Messiah, he must as such, be God, is evident from Isa. vii. 14. 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel ;' compared with Matt. i. 22, 23. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which, being interpreted, is God with us ;' and farther compared with John i. 1. 14. 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.' Psal. xxiv. 4. 3. and Hosea i. 7. are generally applied to the same purpose. But the texts already cited at large make it as plain that the Messiah is God, as it is that Jesus is the Messiah. But the divinity of the Messiah is farther cleared of all doubt by what is said in Rev. xxi. 3, 4, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying;' and, in the twenty-second and twenty-third verses, where the apostle speaks of the New Jerusalem ; 'I saw no temple therein ; for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.' Observe here, that these words,
the tabernacle of God is with men,' and he will dwell with them,' are in substance the very same with John i. 14, • The Word,' or God, was made flesh, and dwelt,' or, as it
is in the original, 'made his tabernacle, among us.' Now compare this with what God is pleased to say in Ezek. xxxvii. 27, ‘My tabernacle also shall be with them; yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people;' and with what Isaiah says of the church, or the New Jerusalem; chap. lx. 1, 'Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee;' ver. 19, 20, .The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory; and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.' Here it is very observable, that the Spirit, speaking by St. John, does but quote what he had said by Ezekiel and Isaiah; that in the passages both of the apostle and the prophets, the same subject, Christ's church, city, or kingdom, is treated of; that, in both, the same expressions are used ; that the Lamb is Christ; that this Lamb is called the light of the New Jerusalem; and that this light, or glory, is called the Lord, and God.
In the second place, Christ is called the Word, or wisdom, of God. If we consider the sense of this title, as applied to him in Scripture, and observe the connexions that attend it, we shall need nothing more to convince us of his divinity. This word, as St. Ignatius observes in his epistle to the Magnesians, is not the pronounced, but the substantial, Word of God. It is worth remarking, that this substantial or personal Word was not altogether unknown to the people of God before our Saviour's time; nor even to the pagan philosophers both before and after it. We are told, 1 Sam. iii. 21, that the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh, by the Word of the Lord.' David aks plainly of him in the thirty-third Psalm, as St. John; ‘By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made.' Solomon also, in the eighth of his Proverbs, gives his encomium under the name of Wisdom; but with such personal characters, and in such terms, as would induce one to think St. John had the passage in view when he writ the first verse of his Gospel. • The Lord possessed me,' says Wisdom, ‘in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting. When God prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass on the face of the depth, &c. then