Page images
PDF
EPUB

quotations :-Ps. lxxviii, 56, “ They temp- ted and provoked the most high God.”

1 Cor. x. 9, “ Neither let us tempt Christ as some of them also tempted.”

These texts both relate to the same rebellious acts of the Israelites, in the wilderness. The person, whom they tempted, is called by the Psalmist, the most high God, by St. Paul, he is called Christ, therefore Christ is the most high God, the Jehovah of the old testament. “In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw” says the prophet Isaiah, “ the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims : each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts. Isaiah vi. 1. « These things said Esaias when he saw his (Christ's) glory, and spake of him.” John xii. 41. As Christ is here declared by the Evangelist to be the person, whose glory Esaias saw, therefore Christ is the Lord of Hosts.

In a later period of the world, the prophet Daniel records a most extraordinary manifestation, both of the Father and the Son. Few descriptions are so sublime and magnificent. The first Person in the Holy

Trinity is distinguished, in the following manner :-" I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool, his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” After this, the second Person in the Trinity is introduced, “ I saw in the night visions and behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him, and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him, his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. Dan. vii. 9. and 13 14.

I will now select two passages from the new testament, in which our Saviour speaks of his own dignity-" no man hath ascended

up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” John iii. 13. “I am the living bread which came down from heaven, if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever ; and the bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world.” John vi. 51.

Upon these texts Dr. Price observes :66 The Jews understood our Lord's expression to be an intimation, that he had existed in heaven before he came into this world, and therefore murmured at him and said, “ is not this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know ? how is it then that he saith I came down from heaven? There is in this case, continues the Doctor, a presumption that the sense in which the Jews understood our Lord, was the most obvious and natural sense. Jf, however, it was not, and the Jews perversely misinterpreted his words, it was reasonable to expect that Christ should have said something to correct their mistake. But instead of this, we find, that in his reply, he repeated the same declaration, in stronger language, and intima

tel that they understood him ryhtiv. Does this ofend you? what! and i ve shall see the Sen of man ascend up where he was before." Sermons Page 132

Our blessed Lord told the unbelieving Jews, that he came down from heaven, not to elo his own will, but the will of him that sent him. No persons are said to descend from hearen, but such as were really there, before ther appeared upon earth. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb. vet he distinguishes himself from Christ in this-" he that cometh from abore is above all —he that is of the earth is earthy, and speaketh of the earth." Adam was created immediately by God, without the intervention of man or woman, vet he was so far from being from heaven, that even in this respect, he is distinguished from the second Adam. * The first man is of the earth earthy, the second man is the Lord from heaven," wherefore the descent of Christ from heaven, clearly presupposes his being there, and that antecedently, to any ascent thither, - for that he ascended what is but thi he also first descended." Eph. iv. 9.

To plain, honest men, who believe the testimony of Him, who cannot lie, the following text, on this head, will be conclusive. " And now 0 Father glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” John xvii. 5. Here our Saviour himself, in a solemn act of devotion, declares to the Almighty, that he had glory with him, before the world was, and he fervently prays, that his Father would be graciously pleased to re-instate hini in his former felicity. The language is serious and very striking ; every word is emphatic : “ glorify thou me with that glory which I enjoyed in thy presence, and near thy person before the world was.” Upon this single passage the christian may with safety rest his faith.

When any doctrine, of a mysterious and important nature, is presented to the mind, we generally feel a strong curiosity to know the manner, in which the same doctrine has been regarded by others, particularly by such as have lived before us, and peculiarly, by the ancient members of the christian churches ; nor is this a matter of small moment, for

« PreviousContinue »