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and ever.” Here observe, men and angels were commanded to worship Christ, inspired Apostles worshipped him on earth, saints and angels worshipped him in heaven ; and all these acts of devotion never would have been performed, had he not been the proper Object of worship.
Consider farther, all these beings were prohibited worshipping any other being but the Supreme God. Exod. xx. 3, 5. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
"_" Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” Christ himself enforced this prohibition. Matt. iy. 10. “It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Say now, how could Christ require the same honour to be paid to him, that was paid to the Father, unless he were God? How could inspired saints on earth, and saints and angels in heaven, worship him, unless they knew him to be God? The word of God had said, Exod. xxii. 20, “He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.” If Christ were not the True God, and if the Apostles worshipped him, they knew the law of God condemned them to temporal and eternal death for worshipping an idol; and that the Jewish rulers were under an obligation to put them to death for this crime.
Christ also knew whether the Apostles were worshipping an idol, or not, when they were offering their devotions to him. And if he had not been the True God, he would have refused to receive such worship, and rebuked the Apostles for their "abominable idolatries.” But notwithstanding he was so frequently worshipped, he never once gave the least intimation that such worship was wrong, nor said a single word to prevent it; but said and did every thing to encourage it; he was, therefore, the proper Object of worship.
Suffer me to make one remark more on this point. Moses and the Prophets, Christ and the Apostles, were sent into the world to put down idolatry, and to establish the worship of the True God. But if Christ were not the True God, then he and the Apostles, in uniting to establish his worship, combined to establish idolatry ; just as bad an idolatry as that of the Pagans. But this conduct, combining to establish idolatry, would have been utterly inconsistent with their character, therefore, they were never guilty of it; consequently, Christ, whose worship they established, is the proper Object of worship.
9. Christ is the Creator of all things. * John i. 3. “ All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” This passage, taken in connexion with our text, which it immediately follows, wherein it is asserted that the Word was in the beginning, and that he made all things, appears to have reference to Gen. i. 1. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." The one, therefore, as plainly shows that the Word created all things in the beginning, as the other
does that God created the heaven and the earth in the beginning; and both together prove that God and the Word are the same Being; the Creator of all things. No being can have created himself; but the Word created all things; therefore, he was not created, but is the uncreated God.
Again Heb. i. 8, 10. “But unto the Son, he saith,”'_“Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thy hands.” If the Son laid the foundation of the earth, and if the heavens be the works of his hands; then certainly, he is the same Being of whom it is said in the first verse of the Bible, God created the heaven and the earth. But hear the word of eternal truth once more. Col i. 16. “For 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.” Whoever will compare this text with the context, will easily perceive, that the Apostle is speaking of Christ. And I desire you all to observe, how positively he declares that Christ created all things. And, as though he foresaw that this truth would be denied; he adds, all things in heaven and in earth, visible and invisible. And, lest it should be said he was only employed by the Father to create for him, the Apostle affirms that Christ created all things for himself. I cannot conceive that it is possible for words to declare more strongly than these do, that Christ is the Creator of all things. If Christ had not been God, and yet created all things, then God created nothing ; but God created all things, and Christ created all things; therefore God and Christ are one Being: the Creator of all things.
10. Christ is the Upholder of all things. Col. i. 17. "And by him all things consist." Hebrews i. 3. “Upholding all things by the word of his power.” Can any of you believe that any being less than the Almighty God, can uphold all things by the word of his power? Dare you risk yourselves in any other bandsNo: then you must believe that Christ is the Almighty God, for he upholds you by the word of his own power. If Christ be not God, and yet upholds all things; then God upholds nothing ; but God upholds all things, and Christ upholds all things : therefore, God and Christ are the same Being, by whom all things consist.
Now, my brethren, I think the Supreme Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is fairly proved, by many unequivocal testimonies of the word of God. You have observed that the same titles, attributes, and works, which are ascribed to God the Father, are also ascribed to God the Son. And in all these texts, and in many more which might have been mentioned, it is represented that they as properly belong to the Son as to the Father; without the least intimation that they are attributed to him by way of accommodation, or, on account of his appointment to any office : but plainly showing that they are ascribed to the
one, the same as they are to the other. If these Scriptures do not prove that Jesus Christ is the Supreme God, it is impossible to prove by the Bible that there is any such Being in the universe : for there are no passages which more positively declare that there is such a Being, than these do that Christ is that Being. If these passages do not prove, that those attributes which we have supposed to belong to God, really belong to Christ; then there are no Scriptures that prove they belong to any being in existence: for no portions of the word of God show more plainly, that they belong to any being, than these do, that they belong to Christ. Again, if these testimonies of the word of God do not prove, that the works which we suppose to have been done by God, were really performed by Christ; then there are no Seriptures which prove that they were ever done by any being : for no Scriptures declare more plainly, that God did them, than these do that Christ did them. Finally, if these Scriptures do not prove that Jesus Christ is really the Supreme God, no proposition whatever can be proved by the Bible : for no proposition can be named, in support of which the Scriptures speak more decisively, than they do in support of this; and if the Bible cannot be believed respecting this doctrine, it cannot be believed in any thing it says of another world.
The subject, then, is brought to this point-we must either renounce the Bible, and go back with the Pagans to the dim light of nature to be instructed respecting God and religion, or we must believe what it declares of Christ Jesus OUR LORD.
Now, my brethren, what say you? Are you prepared to give up the Bible? Are you willing to be Pagans or Deists? No: you are Christians ;-Christians by conviction and choice. You believe that the Almighty Being who made you, has redeemed you. You believe in the Unity of the Godhead. Not that there are two gods, or three gods; but that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are One God: one in essence, though three in Persons, or modes of existence. You are, therefore, consistent Unitarians : for a Unitarian is a believer in one God.
Whereas those who deny the Supreme Divinity of Christ, and yet believe the Bible, are not Unitarians. For they must believe that Christ is God in some sense, if they suppose him such only by office; and if they believe he is God in any other sense whatever, than that in which we have proved him to be, and if they believe in him as the Scriptures require them to do; then they believe, at least, in two gods: a Supreme God, and a secondaTy God!
The faith we entertain in our Lord and Master, is perfectly consistent with his whole life.
It is true, that in a few instances, when speaking of his human nature, or of his office as Mediator, he represents himself less than the Father ; but he always does this in such a manner, or
in such circumstances, as to make it appear that he speaks of his humanity or of his office, as Mediator, showing us at the same time, that what he says on this point is not inconsistent with his Supreme Divinity. Take an example. “My Father is greater than I." These are suitable words for the Eternal Word to use in the time of his humiliation. But for the highest creature in the universe, it would be a haughty piece of humility to say, God is greater than I. What should we think of Moses, Isaiah, or Paul, had one of them said so? And if Jesus were only a man, as some say, admitting him to be higher than any man on earth, or than any angel in heaven, how would he appear saying, God is greater than I? What comparison can there be between the Infinite God and any creature ?
The conduct, conversation, and preaching of Christ, were calculated to lead the people into a belief of his Divinity. He wrought his miracles in his own name. He used the same language respecting himself, that the God of the Hebrews had done respecting himself. Before Abraham was, I am. He claimed equal honours with the Father. He professed to be able to do what none but God could do. The Son quickeneth whom he will. The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth. He could lay down and take up the life of his body at pleasure, by his own power, “I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again." He spake of this power as an evidence of his Divinity. "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him.” He speaks of himself as being of the same essence with the Father, by saying, “He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.” "If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” He that seeth me, seeth him that sent me.
Christ prohibited the people serving any other but the true God, “Him only shalt thou serve." Yet he frequently required them to serve him, love him, &c. He commanded them to place the same confidence in him, they placed in the Father. John xiv. 1. “ Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” And all these duties he enforced, by promising to give them the greatest possible blessings ;-blessings which none but God could give. “I will give you rest.”—I will receive you unto myself. “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” I give unto them eternal life. I will raise him up in the last day. “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
He speaks of himself as having authority to send the Holy Spirit. "But if I depart, I will send him unto you.”—“He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.
Consider how Christ uniformly condemned ostentation, and recommended humility. Hear him say to his disciples, Be not ye called Rabbi-neither be ye called Masters. Then hear him speak of himself: "For one is your Master, even Christ.”—“Ye call me Master, and Lord, and ye say well; for so I am.'
If Jesus Christ were God, all these declarations respecting himself appear consistent, rational, and sublime. But call him a mere creature, and you change the character from the highest state of glory to the lowest state of degradation and wretchedness. For then, instead of appearing to us, as that merciful and powerful God he represented himself to be, he comes forward only as the son of Joseph and Mary, only as Jesus of Nazareth; a mere man!-yet assuming the authority of God, claiming all the honours and services God claimed, professing to do all that God did, promising in his own name all that God promised, even blessings which none but God could bestow, making himself equal with God! In this view of him, it is impossible for us to believe he was a good man.
Farther, viewing him as a mere creature, if we could believe he was a good man, and if we could keep our souls from being chilled with horror at his high-sounding pretensions, what excellency could we see in him, superior to that of many other servants of God? If he were but a creature, he made no atonement for sin, which, I believe, all allow who deny his Divinity. Take away the divinity and the atonement, and wherein, I ask again, is he superior to the other servants of God? Leave him destitute of these excellencies, and he falls at once into a level with the rest of his fellow creatures. He taught no more than Moses had taught before him; he brought no new light into the world, though he said, he was the light of the world. Is it said, he set a good example ? So did other servants of God. You reply, he laboured for the good of mankind. Moses did more for the Hebrews than he did. Paul laboured more abundantly. Jesus preached three or four years : Paul preached about thirty years. Jesus preached only through Palestine : Clement says, Paul preached in the East, and to the uttermost bounds of the West. Did Jesus work miracles? Paul probably wrought more, for he lived longer; and if both were only men, both were equally dependant for the power by which they wrought them. " But Jesus died for sinners." Hold! This strange doctrine says he did not die to atone for sin, he died only as martyr! So did Isaiah: so did Paul. But it is further stated, “He is the Son of God.” God has other sons besides him: and if he be only a man, we do not believe our keavenly Father placed him so much above his brethren, as he represents himself to be; Paul was a son of God also. Finally, making Jesus the character to which we have alluded, Paul did more for the salvation of mankind than Jesus did; and we are VOL VII.