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us. Thus we are conducted to the knowledge of that faith and that peace and holiness, without which no man shall fee the Lord : for this is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.
SUNDAY III. PART II. VI. We profess in the second Article of our christian De faith faith, that we believe in Jesus Christ his only-begotin felus ten Son our Lord: because, as we believe in God, Cbrift. fo we must also believe in Christ: for this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, who shall save his people from their sins. Therefore to believe in Jesus Christ our Lord imports not only to be fully persuaded, that he is that eternal Son of God, whom he declared himself to be, and that he is the true Messiah and Saviour of the world; but it farther includes our obligation and consent to obey all his commandments, who is our Lord and our King; and to put our whole truit in him alone, for our obta eternal life, and all other intermediate blessings, only by his mediation for us with his Father. Therefore, says the apostle, there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be faved. So that we are absolutely obliged to believe this part of the christian faith ; because we cannot be saved by Christ, but by believing in him.
When we give the title of the Christ or Messiah unto Jesus Who is the our Saviour, when we profess to believe that Jesus Chrift. is the person consecrated of God, by the most facred anointing, to that high office of saving mankind; like which were the offices of king, priest, and prophet, under the law (in the setting of whom apart to their proper offices the anointing oil was used) as types and shadows of the Sa
www viour of all mankind. Wherefore the prophet A propoet. Ifaiah, foresecing this coming of the Son of God for our redemption, cries out in the person of the prophet Jesus, The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath a
. A prift.
nointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. And
no • that Jesus was anointed to the facerdotal office appears from that of the Pfalmist, The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchifedeck. It also appears that Jesus was to be anointed to the regal office, from the most ancient tradition of the Jews, and predictions of the prophets; and to“ king this hewas folemnly set apart, when God raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in heavenly places, far above all principality, might, dominion, and power. And he exerciseth this office by delivering his people a In what law: and by his grace inabling them to walk in it: manner. by preserving them from temptations; by supporting and delivering them under afflictions; and will at last complete all, by rewarding them in the most royal manner, making them kings and priests unto God and his Father. Wherefore,
If we believe him to be our prophet, we should beinduced thereby to hear, and receive, and observe his word, the
ord, The influas being delivered by one whom God himself hath ence of this declared to be his beloved Son, and hath command- belief. ed us to hear: andour belief in him, as our priest, should add confidence to that obedience, and give us boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus; and, having a highpriest over the house of God, to draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith; to consider ourselves as bought with a price and no longer our own, but bound to live only to him who died for us. Our belief in him, considered as our king, should induce us to be his faithful subjects, and to honour him by a chearful and ready obedience to his laws. And we may always remember, that this is part of the seal of the foundation of God, that every one that nameth the name of Christ shall depart from iniquity.
When we acknowledge Christ to beour Lord, it is not only in respect of his general dominion over all things, Wby called but more particularly as having by his death con- our Lord. quered him, to whom we had before yielded ourselves fervants to obey; and also having by that death purchased us by his blood. Consequently, seeing that Christ is our absolute Lord and Master; since he has bought us, and hath the sole right to the property and possession of us, we must remember that we are not our own; that we ought not to do our own will, but his; and neither live nor die to ourselves, but only to him,
Some, that pretend to be guided by right and sound reason, Obječtion.
... seem to stumble at the dignity of the person, whom
107. we believe to havegiven himself a sacrifice and propitiation for the sins of mankind: they ask, How itis poffible. that the only-begotten Son of God should be made flesh, and become man? How it is conceivable that God should condescend so far as to fend, and the Son of God condescend willingly to be sent, and do such great things for his creatures? and above all, How it is consistent with reason to suppose God condescending to do so much for such frail and weak creatures as men, who, in all appearance, seem to be but a very sınall, low, and inconsiderable part of this world?
Here it must readily be acknowledged, that human reason Anfwer.
could never have discovered such a method as this *** for the making peace between finners and an offended God without express revelation. But then neither, on the other side, when once this method is made known, is there any such difficulty or inconceivableness in it, as can reasonably make a wise and considerate man call in question the truth of a well-attested revelation, merely upon that account: which indeed any plain absurdity or contradiction, in the matter of a doctrine pretended to be revealed, would, it must be confessed, unavoidably effect. For, as to the possibility of theincarnation of the Son of God, whatever mysteriousness there onfessedly was in the mannerof it; yet, as to the thing itself, thereisevidently no more unreasonablenessin believing the possibility of it, than in believing the union of our soul and body, oranyo-. ther certain truth; which we plainly see implies no contradiction in the thing itself, at the same time that we are sensible we cannot discover the manner how it is done. And it is notatall unreasonable to believe, that God thould make so greata condescension to his creatures; and that a person of such dignity, as the only-begotten Son of God, should vouchsafe to give himself a sacrifice for the fins of men: he who duly considers that it is no diminution to the glory and greatness of the Father of all things to inspect, govern, and direct every thing by his all-wise providence through the whole creation ; to take care even of the meanest of his creatures, so that not a sparrow falls to the ground, or a hair of our head perishes,
without his knowledge; and to observe exactly every particle, even of inanimate matter, in the universe: he (I say) who duly considers this, cannot with reason think it any real disparagement to the Son of God (though it was indeed a most wonderful and amazing instance of humility and condescenfion) that he should concern himself so far for sinful men, as to appear in their nature, to reveal the willof Godmore clearly to them, to give himself a sacrifice and expiation for their fins, and to bring them to repentance and eternal happiness.
By these and such-like considerations wearrive at the truth and excellency of the christian religion, or that way The truth and manner of worshipping and serving God, which and exwas revealed to the world by Jesus Christ; wherein chenne are contained articles of faith to be believed, pre- proved. cepts of life to be practised, and motives and arguments to inforceobedience. For the truth of this religion appears from that fulland clear evidence, which our Saviour and his apostles gave of their divinemission and authority, and from the nature of that religion they taught, which was worthy of God, and tended to the happinessand welfare of mankind. And it is not only universallyacknowledged by christians; but it hath been owned by Jews and Heathens, who have writ of From hifthose times, That there was such a person as Jesus tory. Christ, who lived in the reign of Tiberius Cæsar. And that the same yefus was crucified is averred both by the christians, who, notwithstanding the ignominy they might thereby seem to bring upon themselves, worshipped him as God; but also by the Jews. Also it is very probable there were public records of the whole matter at Rome, as the account was sent by the Roman governor from Jerusalem to Cæsar : for the ancient christians in their writings, in the defence of their religion, appeal thereto; which they had too much understanding and modefty to have done, if no such account had ever been sent, or had not been then extant to be produced : so that no history can be better established by the unanimous testimony of people otherwise very different from one another, than the life and death of Christ Jesus, Besides,
All the former prophecies, which related to the Messiah, combros were fulfilled in him alone: He received the testiphecy, mony of a voice from heaven several times : and he was endowed with the power of working miracles, particularly with the giftof prophecy, proved and made good by the fulálling of his own predictions ; than which nothing can be a greater evidence of a divine mifsion, because it is the greatest argument of infinite power and wisdom. And
The miracles which he wrought prove him to be sent From min from God. For the power of working true miracles. racles, when they are great and unquestionable, and frequently wrought in public, is one of the highest evidences we can haveof the divine mission of any person. Upon this ground, Nicodemus concludes that our Saviour was sent from God: and our Saviour himself insists upon this as the great proof of his divine authority; and the resisting the evidence of his miracles he reckons as an aggravation of unbelief: If I had not, faith he, done among them the works which no other man did, they had not had sin: and further, he tells us such an obstinate resistance of the evidence of his miracles is the fin against the Holy Ghost. And the greatest enemies to him andour holy religion confess, thatour Saviour did many wonderful things, though they attributed them to the power of magic: he healed all sorts of diseases in multitudes of people, by a touch or word, and that sometimes upon those at a distance. The most desperate diseases submitted to his power : he restored fight to the man born blind: he made the woman straight that had been crooked and bowed together eighteen years : and the man that had an infirmity thirty-eight years, he bids take up his bed and walk: hemultiplied a few loaves and fishes for the feeding of some thoufands: and he raised several from the dead, particularly Lazarus, after he had been four days in the grave. All these miracles he wrought publicly in the midst of his enemies; and indeed they were so public and so undeniable, that the apostle appeals to the Jews themselves, declaring, that Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved of God among them by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of them, as they themselves also knew. But the great