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Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Q. 73. What evidences were there of the divine author. ity and commission of the Lord Jesus ?
· A. His divine commission was established, and all his claims were proved to be just and well-grounded, in various ways; particularly by his supernatural birth, by his holy life, by his heavenly doctrine, by his remarkable predictions, by his astonishing miracles, by the testimonies of God the Father, by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, by the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pen. tecost.
Q. 74. What was there peculiar in the birth of Jesus Christ?
A. His human nature was forined by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary; so that he had no human father.
Q. 75. Was it necessary that Christ should thus be born of a woman without a human father?
A. Yes; in order that he might be truly and properly a man, subject to all the innocent wants and sufferings of human nature, and yet at the same time might stand distinguished from all other human beings that have lived since the fall, or that ever will live, in not bringing into the world with him any depravity or corruption whatever ; but being from his very birth perfectly pure and holy.
Q. 76. In what else did Christ, as to his human nature, differ from other men ?
A. In not being naturally liable to death, but having his life entirely in his own power :
I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.
Q. 77. Was Jesus Christ under any obligation to obey the divine law ?
A. Yes; in assuming human nature, he voluntarily laid himself under obligation to obey that law; and he did obey it fully and uniformly :
Lo, I come to do thy will, O God!
Q. 78. What important ends were answered by Christ's obedience to the law ?
A. His obedience shed a lustre on the law of God, exhibiting its beauty and excellence in the most striking man. ner, and presenting to our view a pattern most worthy of imitation. His perfect obedience and holiness served also to qualify him for becoming the surety and substitute of guilty man, and for making an atonement for the sins of the whole world.
Q. 79. How does the life of Christ tend to prove his divine authority and commission ?
A. No impostor could have sustained through life so unblemished a character, or have acted on all occasions in so disinterested a manner.
Q. 80. What was there particularly worthy of notice and imitation in the conduct of Christ ?
A. The devotional spirit which he perpetually maintained, and his constant attention to prayer and other religious exercises ; his diligence and fidelity in doing the work assigned him by his heavenly Father ; his zeal for the glory of God; his unreserved submission to the will of God; his patience and meekness amid all the trials and sufferings he had to endure; his disinterestedness, and indifference to worldly applause and advantages ; his gentle and forgiving disposition toward his enemies, persecutors, and murderers; his benevolence toward all men.
Q. 81. Wherein does the peculiar excellence of the doctrine of Christ appear?
A. In the authoritative manner in which he spoke; not delivering mere opinions or advices, but pronouncing judgments which could not be reversed, and publishing laws which required unqualified and universal obedience; in his clear and distinct views of the nature of true religion, and the way of attaining it ; in his most interesting and important statements relative to the heavenly world, the circum. stances and employments of angels and glorified saints; the proceedings at the day of judgment, and the eternal destinies of the different classes of men.
Q. 82. How does the doctrine of Christ confirm his divine authority and commission?
A. It shows that he was intimately acquainted with the mind and will of God, and fully empowered to instruct men therein.
Q. 83. What predictions were delivered by the Lord Jesus?
A. He foretold his own sufferings and death, his resurrection and ascension, the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, the persecution of his disciples, the extensive spread of his religion, and his own final coming in glory to raise the dead and judge the world. Besides this, he delivered some very remarkable prophecies relative to the demolition of the temple, the overthrow of Jerusalem, and the tremendous calamities that were to fall upon the Jewish nation; as also the gracious preservation of all who, in the midst of these calamities, should remain the steadfast and faithful disciples of Christ. All these predictions were literally verified.
Q. 84. What may be inferred from the predictions of Christ?
A. They prove either that he had inherently and inde. pendently the power of looking into futurity, so as to describe distant and contingent events with perfect accuracy,—which is the peculiar prerogative of Jehovah, and, if possessed by Christ, was an evidence of his Deity,-or else they prove that our Lord acted with the full sanction and entire approbation of his heavenly Father, who enabled and authorized him to make these communications; and, if so, they firmly establish his divine commission.
Q. 85. What miracles were wrought by Jesus Christ?
A. He converted water into wine; walked on the sea, and enabled Peter to do the same; calmed the winds and the waves by his word; fed several thousands of persons, on two different occasions, with a few loaves and fishes; restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to
PRINCIPLES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
the dumb; cleansed lepers ; enabled the lame to walk; and healed all manner of diseases ; expelled evil spirits from the bodies of many, and raised several persons from the dead.
Q. 86. What do the miracles of our Lord prove ?
A. They prove that he had, in the fullest sense, the sanction and approbation of Jehovah ; that his character, as the Messiah, was completely established ; and that all his claims were just and true.
Q. 87. What was there particularly remarkable in the miracles of Christ ?
A. Only two of his miracles, namely, the destruction of the herd of swine in the sea, and the cursing of the barren fig-tree, were of a punitive nature : all the others were miracles of benevolence and mercy. Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Peter, John, Paul, and others, wrought miracles in the name of God, or in the name of Jesus Christ ; acknowledging that such things were done, not through any excellence or power in them, but solely through the power of God. But Jesus Christ wrought miracles in his own name, acting on his own responsibility, without adverting to any superior Being : and when the persons who beheld these miracles inferred that he was truly a Divine Person, possessed of supreme and almighty power, he did not discourage, but confirm, those sentiments.
Q. 88. Do the miracles of Christ, then, prove any thing more than that he was a duly accredited messenger and servant of Jehovah ?
A. Yes; his miracles prove not only his divine authority and commission, but his real and essential Deity. They prove that he was truly and properly Emmanuel, God with us, God manifested in the flesh.
Q. 89. What attestations did God the Father give to the person and character of Christ ?
A. He sent angels to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and to announce the joyful event to the shepherds at Bethlehem. He sent a star to guide the wise men from the east to Bethlehem, and to the very house in which Christ was. He raised
up and sent forth John the Baptist, as the forerunner of the Messiah. He gave testimony, at the baptism of Christ, by a voice from heaven, saying, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ;” and again, in the same words, when Christ was transfigured on the high mountain ; and again, on another occasion, when, our Lord having prayed, " Father, glorify thy name,” there came a voice from heaven, saying, “ I have both glorified it, and I will glorify it again. He bore testimony to the peculiar nature and the infinite importance of the sufferings of Christ, by the supernatural darkening of the sun, the earthquake, the opening of the graves, and the other miracles which accompanied or followed his death.
Q. 90. How did the resurrection of Christ confirm his divine authority and commission ?
A. It showed that he was a true Prophet, inasmuch as he had predicted his resurrection. It showed that he had power over death and the grave; that his life was entirely at his own disposal; and that, although for a season he voluntarily resigned it, he could resume it when he pleased. It proved that the sacrifice of Christ was accepted by Jehovah, and that all the claims of divine justice were thereby satisfied. The resurrection of Christ was accomplished by the power of God; and to imagine that God would have employed his power to raise to life an impostor, would be absurd and blasphemous.
Q. 91. How did the outpouring of the Holy Spirit confirm the divine authority and commission of Christ ?
A. It established his character as a true Prophet, that event having been predicted by him. It proved that Christ was still living in a state of glory in heaven, where all his claims were admitted, and his petitions granted ; and that the honour of Jehovah was concerned in verifying the predictions, and fulfilling the promises, uttered by Christ while on earth.
Q. 92. How did Christ, while on earth, execute the office of a Prophet ?
A. Partly by his own personal ministry, and partly by