« PreviousContinue »
tify his ministers, and leave none of them to depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” And may he through the truth glorify his own name, and prepare a great multitude, that no man can number, to worship about his throne forever and ever.
THE FATHER THE PROTOTYPE OF THE SON.
John xiv. 8, 9. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show. us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?
THE doctrine which our Lord here intended to teach is evidently this, that in himself dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. It was impossible to know hin and not know the Father, to see him and not see the Father. In him the divinity was embodied, and thus; in the only possible way, brought down to human
He was God manifest in the flesh. In no other case was it possible that any man should see God.
In our ideas of the Supreme Being, if our views are correct, we conceive not of a being possessed of locality and visibility, but of attributes dwelling in one incomprehensible, and infinite mind, whose duration applies to every point of time, and whose presence to every portion of space. When we think of him, or pray to him, we conceive of a junction of every great and amiable attribute. We worship a cluster of perfections which, as to the mode of their existence, lays the foundation for the distinction of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. It will be my object to show that these perfections, which, when associated, constitute the object of our worship, were all found in the Saviour, were attached to the man Christ Jesus, and prove him to be truly divine. If in him some of these attributes are less conspicuous than others, it is because his connexion with human nature,. and the point of time at which we view him, rendered it difficult, if not impossible, that such attributes should be developed. Every perfection which it was possible that he should exhibit clearly, was exhibited, and all others which enter into our ideas of God, are said to belong to him, and are inferrible from what he did. The truth at which I aim is this, If we find in Christ Jesus every
attribute of Jehovah, and if these attributes appear not to be borrowed but to belong to him as originally his own, it is our duty to own his divinity, and worship him as our Lord and our God. I notice how freely the Scriptures ascribe to the Saviour these attributes.
For instance Omniscience. The most superficial observer of the history of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot fail to have noticed how perfectly naked and open to his inspection were all creatures and all things..
Peter came; to him to inquire respecting their obligations to pay tribute. Our Lord, it is said, prevented him, i. e. he knew his errand and anticipated his request. He sent him to the sea, and directed him to angle for a fish which had swallowed a piece of money, and would be at the shore. ready to be taken when Peter should cast in his hook. Here was displayed in one act intuitive knowledge of the natural and moral world, such as can belong to none but God.
When, in fulfilment of an ancient prophecy, he would enter Jerusalem amid the hosannas of the multitude, he sent two of his disciples to bring an ass which they would find tied in a certain place, and whose owner was friendly to their Lord, and would readily send his beast to do him honour. Here was exhibited an omniscience which can belong to none but God.
So while Nathaniel was under the fig-tree he saw
him. He knew of the sickness and death of Lazarus, although he was at a distance, and had received no intelligence of these events through any human communication. When he would eat the passover, he knew that a man friendly to his religion would go for a pitcher of water, and would meet the disciples whom he had sent to prepare for the feast, and offer them for this purpose an apartment of his house. He knew the hearts of all about him; that the scribes and pharisees had come to catch him in his words; that the disciples were contending for superiority, and that Judas had it in his heart to betray him.
Omnipresence, as distinguished from omniscience, was an attribute which could not be displayed in connexion with humanity without bringing the latter into doubt. If at the same moment that he was teaching the multitude on Mount Olivet, he had also been known. to be in the same employment by the sea of Galilee, his cotemporaries would have doubted whether he had a human as well as a divine nature, or would have believed that there were more than one Messiah ; and either of these errors would have been dangerous. Hence we are not to expect to see in the history of his life any evidence of this attribute, but must learn that he possesssed it from what he says of himself, or from what inspired writers say of him.
His Almighty Power is conspicuous in every parti of his history. The waves of the sea were calm at his word; he created bread to feed the multitude; every disease yielded to his touch; devils were dispossessed at his bidding; and the lame, the deaf, the blind, and the dumb were relieved at his command. His voice waked the dead, restored the dying, and fed the living. Of his
almighty power there cannot be a doubt with such as credit his history.
And we see some traces of his sovereignty, although: this attribute is evidently concealed by the very design of his incarnation. He came to teach the truth, to save. men's lives, and not to destroy them; to explain, rather than cloud the purposes of heaven. Still in many things: that he did he concealed his motives, and gave no account of his purpose. He performed cures in Capernaum, and none in Nazareth, where he was bred, and where they claimed a right to his mercy. He blasted the innocent fig-tree because it did not yield him fruit, while yet the time of figs was not come. He scourged the marketmen from the temple, and refused to tell them by, what authority he acted. He selected his apostles from the fishing-boat and the shop of the tentmaker, passing by the scribes, and pharisees, and lawyers. And in all his. distributions of
he chose whom he would to love and follow him, and left whom he would to perish.
He acted with an independence which bespoke him. the sovereign Lord of his own kingdom.. He took counsel of none. His own apostles he made acquainted with his purposes no farther than was necessary for their com-fort and usefulness. Many of the most decisive steps relative to his kingdom, he appears to have taken without giving any indications that he acted by a wisdom not his own, or a power not his own. His.infinity, his eternity, his ubiquity, and his spirituality, as they are. properties of divinity, were in a measure concealed by his humanity, or were attributes which could not be clearly exhibited in a point of time. We know that he possessed them all, but we gather this knowledge from. the testimony of Scripture.
His wisdom, which forms the connecting link between