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Others say, that he was only a man, and of course deny the efficacy of his obedience and death in rendering God propitious to us. They assume, that God can remit, and is disposed to remit, sin, without any sacrifice; and they declare, that Christ was sent into the world merely to reveal the will of God to men, and by his sufferings to set them a pattern of magnanimity and patience. Now, it is an indubitable principle, that reason and Scripture cannot contradict each other;-both speak the same language, when properly consulted. Granting, then, for a moment, the latter opinion to be true, let us examine it, and see whether it can stand the test of rational inquiry, or does not involve an absurdity. Self-preservation is not only an instinctive principle, but a commanded duty. God, in his word, threatens with eternal punishment, all such as wilfully violate this most sacred obligation: and, therefore, consistently with his truth and justice, he cannot require or compel a creature, upon any reason whatever, designedly to endanger his life, or court death. Did Christ, then, freely consent to prosecute his commission? The inference, upon the supposition that he was an innocent and holy man, is undeniable, that he consented to become guilty of suicide; there being, according to the above opinion, no necessity of his death,<-and, of course, to forfeit for ever the happiness which he enjoyed by virtue of his holiness, in diametrical repugnance to the law of his nature, and the injunction of his Creator. And what can be pleaded in justification of his conduct? The bare benevolence of his motives;–a palliative as frivolous as sophistical. For if, as we are told, God is disposed to forgive sin without any sacrifice, there is no indispensableness attached to an example of meekness and patience, in order to salvation, and consequently the gain of Christ must be infinitely less than his loss. Consent implies a proposition being made; but the very idea of a righteous God proposing to an innocent creature, to endure what Christ did, for no other purpose than the introduetion of a little more religion upon earth, is replete with impiety an horror. Again: If we suppose he was fallen, like the rest of his species, though sanctified in an extraordinary manner as a prophet of God, he is free, in a measure, of the imputation of suicide; sorrow and death being the unavoidable consequences of Adam's first sin upon all his posterity. But then, he cannot assert any right, save upon the grounds of guilt and demerit, to a reward which it is acknowledged he does claim, and has received, as an equivalent for his work. Can he plead his miracles No; for these were not of himself, but by the power of God. Can he plead his excellent and perfect life No; except upon the principle, that he had a native power of hating sin and loving holiness, which, if true in one instance, must be true in every other; and therefore, all mankind may, with him, become entitled to the same dignities and honours, the same power and authority. Are the unparalleled firmness and magnanimity which he exhibited under the various circumstances of his death, affirmed to be pre-eminently worthy of such exalted privileges? The affirmation is not true, if he bore up under human infirmities alone, for it is not difficult to produce from the historic page examples of those virtues, in circumstances less provoked, and equally ignominious. Whether, therefore, upon the principle that he was an innocent or fallen creature, we suppose he consented freely or necessarily, it is evident he was not a suitable person to supply the mediatorial office between God and man. Upon either ground, we are involved in the most egregious absurdity. FREE AND UNNEcEss ARY consent in such an undertaking, reason teaches was fit and proper; and the Scriptures affirm, that Christ yielded it in the eternal counsels of peace. “Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” What is the just inference from hence It is this;—that our Redeemer had a power which no finite being possesses, of disposing of his own life; and this well agrees with his own language, “I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it up again.” Christ, therefore, was a divine person. This will further appear, by considering the objects proposed to be accomplished in his mission. We believe that he came to atone for the sins of his people—in other words, to satisfy the demands of divine justice, and bring in an everlasting righteousness to the glory of God the Father. What is sin f Sin is the trangression of the law of God. But what is the law of God? Not a few positive precepts, which may, as Socinians suppose, be repealed without a violation of the principles of justice; but it is a transcript of God's moral persections, founded in his very nature, and as unalterable as God himself;-a law, involving infinite obligations, sanctioned by infinite penalties, which a God of truth cannot but execute upon every sinner that dies under its curse. SiN, therefore, is, objectively, an infinite evil, which is altogether irremissible without adequate satisfaction to divine justice. Now, Christ is invariably designated in the sacred volume, as a great propitiatory and atoning victim. All the rites and sacrifices under the Mosaic economy, were intended to prefigure and set forth the efficacy of his obedience and death, in rendering God free to pardon and willing to receive returning sinners. He is, moreover, styled a Saviour, a Redeemer, a Sacrifice, which needed to be but once offered. He is also said to have borne our sins in his own body upon the cross—to have finished transgression, and to have made reconciliation for iniquity. Whence it follows, that the nature of his mediatorial office required that he should not be obligated, either by law or justice, to yield any obedience for himself. If it were otherwise, much being required where much is given, no part of it, however excellent and perfect it might be, could be transferred from him, and laid to the account of any other creature. Sin being an infinite evil, made it necessary too, that his righteousness be infinitely precious. But if he had been only a man, a limited, finite creature, he could not, in the nature of things, have possibly rendered a satisfaction proportionable to the evil of sin. Since, therefore, none but a divine Being, can be free of all obligations to render obedence for himself, or can pay an infinite debt, Christ being thus free, and having thus satisfied, is a divine person. Further, Christ, as Mediator, governs his Church, bestows his Spirit, converts sinners, conducts his saints to the end of their vocation, and conquers all his and their enemies. The enemies of Christ are sin, Satan, the world, and death. By his death, he secured salvation to his people; he delivered them from the condemnation of sin: but he did not then rescue them from its enslaving power, nor overcome the corruption and enmity of their hearts. This was a subsequent work, to be accomplished by the operations of his Holy Spirit, which he now carries on, and will complete at the termination of their present existence. SATAN is an inveterate foe. Although he received a fatal wound when the Redeemer was suspended upon the cross, still he struggles to wrest from him the sceptre of righteousness, that he may eclipse his glory and control his sovereignty. With infernal stratagem and malice, he embattles against him the combined forces of earth and hell, and attempts the usurpation of absolute dominion. These hostile machinations our exalted Saviour overrules by his Providence, and will finally defeat, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. The friendship of the world is enmity with God. The interests, customs, plans, and enjoyments thereof are sordid, grovelling, devilish, and diametrically opposed to the pacific and benign reign of the gospel. This enemy he will also destroy. He governs it in righteousness, restrains its maliee, preserves his Church amid its conflicts and snares, and in the fulness of time, will make his name to be acknowledged and adored from sea to sea, and from the river even unto the ends of the earth. DEATH will be the last enemy that shall be destroyed. He will be permitted to detain the bodies of believers as prisoners of the grave till the second coming of our Lord; but then, the sound of the trumpet shall disarm him of his power, and the

sleeping dust shall arise, completely freed of his shackles, and delivered from his thraldom. The conquest of these powerful enemies, it will doubtless be acknowledged, is a divine work; and hence we conclude, that he who brings it about is a divine person. The same conclusion will result from a consideration of his other mediatorial works. It may, perhaps, be objected, that the enemies of the Redeemer's kingdom, being finite objects, and possessing only a finite power, a finite being, such as Christ is supposed to be, being endued with a power superior to them, may overcome and conquer them; but this can never prove him to be a divine person. To this objection we answer, that notwithstanding their power be finite, yet, the conquest of them involves a change of the laws of nature. Thus, by the conquest of death, man is changed from a corruptible to an incorruptible creature. But no finite power is adequate to work such a change. Gabriel, or any other creature, cannot alter the nature of man, any more than man that of a worm, It may then be conceded, that the power is infinite, but the divinity of the person exerting such power is still denied, upon the principle, that it is all communicated to him as an instrument in the hands of God. Miserable sophistry! Suppose a giant to employ a straw in order to strike a blow, what would be the effect of the action * Would not the power exerted and communicated be entirely lost, and the object on which it was designed to have effect, remain unhurt? In like manner, if the Deity should employ a creature in order to overturn the world, no visible change could be effected; the laws of nature would continue in regular and uninterrupted operation. But further, to suppose infinite power can be communicated to any finite being whatever, is to imagine a power in the Deity to undeisy himself, which is absurd. To these observations, it may be replied, that miracles, which are the effects of divine power, have been wrought by men as instruments in the hand of God. Vol. I....No. 4. 11

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