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" What think ye of Christ? The Pharisees were the most be will be? Do you think he will learned, as well as the most devout be a Divine Person, or a superand punctilious sect of the Jews.angelick person, or a mere human And though they hated the Sad person? What think ye of the Perducees, who were a kind of free- son of Christ? thinkers; yet they were gratified This seems to be the obvious with the opposition of this licen- import of our Lord's question; and tious sect to Christ, and were dis- thus understood, it is as interestpleased and alarmed when the Di- ing and important now, as ever it vine Teacher refuted, confounded, was; and, for ought that appears, and silenced them. “ But, when may be put, with as much proprithe Pharisees had heard that he had ety, to professing Christians, who put the Sadducees to silence, they believe that Jesus of Nazareth was were gathered together.” While the true Messiah, as to Jewish they were assembled, with an evi-doctors, who viewed him to be an dent design to entangle Christ in impostor. For, though all who his talk, He took occasion to ask profess to believe the Christian Relithem a question, in order to ex- gion, will assent to the proposition, pose their ignorance and absurdity | That Jesus of Nazareth was the in accusing him of blasphemy, be- Christ; yet they entertain as difcause he laid claim to Divinity: ferent opinions, respecting the He knew what their answer would | Person of Christ, as the Jews ever be; and he knew, that in their did or can, And, it must be as answer, they would contradict | important to us, as to those who either themselves, or the Scrip- lived in Christ's day, to have cortures. His question was this : rect and scriptural views of the What think ye of Christ? As if he Person of the Messiah. Let the had said, " What is your opinion question, then, be seriously put to with respect to the long predicted all present, what think ye of Christ? and long expected Messiah? How In prosecuting this subject, I do you understand the Prophets? shall, Though you treat me as an impos- I. Mention some of the different tor, yet you all believe that there opinions which professing Christis to be a Messiah, a Christ: Andians entertain of the Person of what sort of a Person do you think Christ.
II. Enquire what the Scriptures | tury. Of the Arians, some attriteach us to believe respecting the bute a higher and some a lower Person of Christ: And,
degree of dignity to the Saviour. III. Show the importance of They generally hold, however, that having correct sentiments of the Christ was the first of created bePerson of Christ.
ings, and that he possessed every 1. I shall mention some of the divine attribute, except self-existdifferent opinions, which profes-ence and independence. sing Christians entertain of the 3. It is the opinion of some, Person of Christ.
that Christ was neither a mere While the professors of Christ- man, nor a created spirit, but, as ianity agree in their belief, that they choose to express themselves, Jesus, the son of Mary, was a per- “properly and literally the Son son of veracity, of pure morals, of God." They suppose that Christ and of great wisdom and piety, had no human soul; and that his that he was a teacher sent from spirit was not created, but literally heaven, and in some way or other, begotten of the substance of the instrumental of the salvation of Father. Hence, they conclude, lost men; that he was, indeed, the that Christ derived å real Divine Messiah or Christ, foretold by the nature from the Father, and that prophets and promised to Israel; he is truly and without a figure, still, they differ, greatly, in their God; though destitute both of selfopinions respecting his personal existence and independence. properties and dignity.
It will readily be perceived, 1. It is the opinion of some, that that there is no more difference Christ was a mere man. These | between the above notions of are called, for the sake of distinc- Christ's person, and that of the tion, Socinians, from one Socinus, Arians, than there is between the a man of genius and learning, who meaning of the term derived and first advanced this opinion in the the term created. But, what the sixteenth century. They deny real and essential difference is, that Christ had any existence be- between the meaning of these two fore he was born of the virgin terms, remains, perhaps, yet to Mary. And they hold, that Jesus be explained. I only add, was in no respect superior to other 4. It is the belief of the majormen, except as he was endued i ity of professing Christians, and with an uncommon degree of wis- ever has been, that in Christ, the dom and virtue, and received an author and finisher of our faith, unusual measure of the spirit of the Divine and human natures prophecy and gift of miracles.
were mysteriously united: that He 2. It is the opinion of some, was truly God and truly man, in that Christ was more than a man,
but one person. though no more than a creature. Thus different and contradictory They suppose he was a man as to are the sentiments of professing his body only, which was born of Christians, respecting the Person the virgin; and that his soul was of the Messiah. It is agreed, a superangelick spirit, created by however, by all denominations, the Father. These are usually that our knowledge of this subject, denominated Arians, from Arius, is to be derived, wholly from the “6 a man of a subtle turn, and re- sacred Scriptures. This is the inmarkable for his eloquence, who fallible judge, which must end the originated this opinion of the per strife. To the Law and to the son of Christ, in the fourth cen- | Testimony, then; if any speak not
according to this word, it is be-/ vine Names are given to Christ. cause there is no light in them.' He is called God. “ The Word Which leads me,
God was manifest in II. To enquire, what the Scrip- the flesh.” He is called the great tures teach us to believe, respect. God.
“ The glorious appearing ing the Person of Christ?
of the GREAT God, and our Sav1. The Scriptures teach us to iour, Jesus CHRIST.” He is called believe that Christ was truly a the only Wise God. " To the man. We read, that he was born, Only Wise God our Saviour, like other infants. His under be glory and majesty, dominion standing, as well as his stature, and power, both now and ever." was progressive, like that of other Christ is called by the peculiar children. We are told by Luke, and incommunicable name Jenothat he increased in wisdom and
“ The voice of him that stature, and in favour with God crieth in the wilderness, Prepare and man. The Evangelists repre- ye the way of the Lord (JEHOVAH) sent Christ as possessing all the make straight in the desert a highinnocent natural affections of hu- way for our God.” “ Behold, man nature. They inform us, that the days come, saith the Lord, he was subject to hunger, thirst, that I will raise unto David a fatigue and pain; that he felt sym-righteous Branch, and a King pathy, pity and sorrow. They shall reign and prosper, and shall inform us, that Christ frequently execute judgment and justice in called himself a man. In more the earth. In his days Judah shall than sixty places, they say, that be saved, and Israel shall dwell Christ called himself the son of safely; and this is the name wheremum; by which peculiar mode of by He shall be called, The LORD, expression, he always meant, and (JEHOVAH) our RIGHTEOUSNESS. was always understood, to assert his proper humanity.
Secondly. In Scripture, Divine If
, therefore, we give credence Perfections are ascribed to Christ. to the testimony of Scripture, we
Eternity is ascribed to him. must believe that Christ was truly
“ But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, a man, possessing a material body thousands of Judah, yet out of
though thou be little among the and a rational soul.
thee shall He come forth unto me 2. The Scriptures teach us to believe, that Christ was truly God.
that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose The passages, in which this is goings forth have been from of old, taught, are very numerous. The from everlasting: -I am Alpha and bare quotation of them, without Omega, the beginning and the endnote or comment, would fill a con- | ing, saith the Lord, which is, and
which siderable volume. The Divinity
was, and which is to come." of Christ is a doctrine running Omnipresence is ascribed to through the whole bible, and inter-Christ. 6 Where two or three woven with all its declarations, are met together in my name, there predictions, precepts, promises am I in the midst of them. The and ordinances. The evidence, fulness of Him, that filleth all in in Scripture, that Christ was truly
all." God, is multifarious and abundant: Omniscience is ascribed to Christ. a brief summary of it, is all that 6 Lord, Thou knowest all things. we have time at present to exhibit.
He knew what was in man.
the Churches shall know, that I am First. In sacred Scripture, Di. 'He, who searcheth the reins and
66 The grate
hearts; and I will give unto every the name of Christ. one of you according to his works." of our Lord Jesus Christ be with
Omnipotence is ascribed to Christ. you." “ His name shall be called the Baptism is to be administered in Mighty God. The Lord Jesus the name of Christ.-" They were Christ—is able even to subdue all baptized in the name of the LORD things to himself. I am the Al-Jesus.” Christ is represented as
worthy of supreme worship.—“We Immutability is ascribed to Christ. have seen his star in the East, and 66 Jesus Christ, the same yester- are come to worship him.—Let all day, and to-day, and forever." the Angels of God worship him.
Thirdly. In the sacred Script- And I heard the voice of many ures, Divine Works are attributed Angels round about the throne, and to Christ.
the beasts and the elders, and the The work of Creation is attri- namber of them was ten thousand buted to him, “All things were times ten thousand, and thousands created by Him and for Him." of thousands; saying, with a loud
The work of Preservation is at- voice, worthy is the Lamb that was tributed to Christ. By Him all slain, to receive power, and riches, things consist. Upholding all things and wisdom, and strength, and by the word of his Power." honour, and glory and blessing."
The work of raising the dead is It may be added, attributed to Christ. 6. The hour Fifthly. That the Scripture repis coming, in the which all that resents Christ, as claiming equality are in the graves shall hear His with God. “ He thought it not voice, and shall come forth.” robbery to be equal with God."
The work of judging the world, He called himself, not only the is attributed to Christ. “ We Son of God, but one with the Fathshall all stand before the judgment er.
“ I and
Father are One." seat of CHRIST. For it is written, He permitted his disciples, without As I live, saith the Lord, every censure, to call him their Lord knee shall bow to Me, and every and their God, and to worship and tongue shall confess to God.” adore him. Yea, He suffered him
Fourthly. In sacred Scripture, self to be crucified, rather than to Christ is represented as worthy of deny that he meant to claim absoDivine Honours.
lute Divinity. He is represented as worthy of 3. The Scriptures teach us to the same honour, as God the Fath- believe, that Christ was God and er.-"6 All men should honour the
man, in but one Person. He alSox, even as they honour the Fath- ways spake of himself as an indi
vidual person. He never intimatHe is represented as the proper ed that his two natures made him Object of prayer. 66 Whosoever
He always used the shåll call upon the name of the first person of the singular number, Lord shall be saved." His primi- when speaking of himself. He tive Disciples did address their uniformly ascribed both what he prayers to him. “Lord, increase did as God, and what he did and our faith. Lord save us. Lord suffered as man, to one and the Jesus, receive my spirit.” Paul same person: speaks of the Saints, in every place, On a certain occasion, he repreas calling upon the name of Jesus sented his individual person, as Christ our Lord.
being in heaven and on earth., at Benedictions are pronounced in the same time. “No man hath
ascended up to heaven, but He that natural to infer, that repentance came down from heaven, even the does not imply a sense of having son of man, who is in heaven. deserved interminable wrath; and
The Apostles, while speaking that the believer does not feel unboth of the human and Divine nat- der infinite obligation to the grace ures of Christ, always represent of God. him as one individual person. Unscriptural sentiments of the They attribute the same works to Person of the Redeemer, open the the man Christ Jesus, and to the door to unscriptural notions of his only wise God our Saviour. design in coming into the world;
Thus the Scriptures teach us to of the guilty, perishing state of believe, that Christ was both God fallen man; of the atonement made and man, in two natures and one by Christ's blood; and of salvaperson. It now only remains, tion by grace. If those, who reject
III. To show the importance of the testimony of the inspired writhaving correct sentiments of the ers, respecting Christ, do not emPerson of Christ.
brace the most absurd and danger1. It is necessary to have correct ous errors, it must be, because sentiments of the Person of Christ, they either lack the discernment in order to have correct views of or the resolution, to be consistent the Gospel scheme of salvation with themselves. Every person's views of the pecul- 2. It is necessary to have coriar doctrines of the Gospel, will rect sentiments of the Person of receive their complexion from the Christ, in order to have true faith sentiments which he entertains of in him. True faith is a cordial the Person of the Redeemer. belief of the truth, and not a cordial
If one believes that Christ was a belief of falsehood. Though two mere man, he will of course con- persons may both believe that Jeclude that the principal design of sus is the Christ; yet, so long as his mission, was not to make atone- they have essentially different senment for sin, but only to bear wit-timents respecting what Christ is, ness to the truth; that repentance or what it is to be the Christ, it is is all that is requisite to pardon; manifest, that they have not both that sin is but a small evil; and the same faith. If the one has that believers are justified solely true faith, the other must have on the ground of their person- false faith. If one believes that, al merits. Again,
to be the Christ, is to be merely If one believes that Christ was an inspired man; and another beonly a superangelick, or created, lieves that, to be the Christ, is to or derived being; he will conclude, be a superangelick spirit, created if he is consistent with himself, or derived from the Father; and a that an infinite atonement for sin third believes that, to be the Christ, was not necessary, since a person is to be God and man, in two disof less than infinite excellence and tinct natures, and one person fordignity could not make an infinite ever; must it not be evident, to atonement in a limited time.- every reflecting mind, that their Hence, pursuing his theory, he faith is really and essentially difwill be led to conclude, that sin- ferent; although they may all asners do not deserve, and will none sent, in words, to the undefined of them suffer, an endless punish- proposition, that Jesus is the Christ. ment; because an endless punish- 3. It is necessary to have corment is an infinite punishment. rect sentiments of the Person of From whence it will be easy and Christ, in order to feel right affec