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creatures as we are, forming an absolutely correct judgment as to the precise nature and dignity of the Redeemer. As, however, I conceive this low view of the character of Christ to be grossly erroneous and unscriptural, I shall do my utmost, through the grace of God, and by the aid of his holy word, to prevent its reception. For I have not yet done with this part of my subject. In those direct testimonies to the divinity of Christ contained in the several portions of Scripture which have already been brought under review, there are incidental but striking notices of various important facts, from which the same doctrine may be fairly and conclusively drawn. Among these you will recollect the following facts of this description :—his existence in glory before the foundation of the world:—his being clothed with the power of God in the creation of all things:—his promise of being present with his church and servants, wherever they are met in his name, to the end of the world:—his appointment to the high office of Mediator between God and men; including his spotless example, his atonement for the sins of the world, his continued advocacy and intercession at the right hand of God, and his appointment as judge of the quick and the dead. These, and some other facts, plainly recorded in scripture, are, to my mind, among the most satisfactory testimonies to the superior dignity and divinity of the
Son of God. On these subjects I shall not, however, fatigue you and myself by enlarging at present; but reserve them, God willing, for our serious consideration in a succeeding discourse. In the mean time, may God bless the preaching of his word, and give us a due understanding of all things necessary to our salvation, and to his holy name, through Christ our Lord, be everlasting praise. Amen.
ON THE MEDIATION AND DIVINITY OF CHRIST.
A 1 John ii. 1, 2.
"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world"
In addressing you, last Lord's day, on the interesting subject of the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, I took occasion to observe—that, among those extremes into which mankind are so prone to fall upon points of controverted theology, I could not help regarding that opinion respecting the nature of Christ as most unscriptural and erroneous, which refuses to admit his pre-existent state; which denies, of course, the glory he had with the Father before the world was; and indeed brings him down without scruple to the level of humanity—clothed, however, with such supernatural powers as were necessary to fulfil the office of a prophet. These are the distinguishing features of that erroneous system of belief respecting the character of Christ, which is commonly known under the denomination of Socinianism. And this system of faith has always appeared, to my mind, not only contradictory to the plainest declarations of sacred scripture, but subversive of those foundation facts and principles, on which, as I take it, the hopes of sinners—the hopes of pardon and salvation, are made to rest.
I therefore took care, in my last discourse, to produce such plain and unequivocal representations of scripture on this subject—representations made by Christ himself, and by his inspired Apostles, as I trust have laid the foundation of a very different faith in your minds; and, through the grace of God, shall never permit you or me to entertain a doubt of the divinity of that merciful Saviour, who is Jhe way, and the truth, and the life, and through whom alone we look to the living God for pardon, acceptance, and salvation.
But independent of the direct and overwhelming testimony to the divinity of the Redeemer, furnished in such rich abundance throughout the sacred volume, there are distinct views every where exhibited of the high and glorious office which the Son of God sustains, as Mediator between God and man, and of the important functions which he has performed, and is still performing, in fulfilment of that office, which, though they do not come to us in the form of direct and explicit announcements of his divinity, do yet bear most forcibly upon the subject; and have so filled my mind with impressions of his exalted dignity and of his divine nature, as to leave there no room, no possibility of admittance, for any lower views of the character of Christ. And these offices and functions of our Divine Saviour, I propose, with God's blessing, to make the subject of our present consideration, and to offer them as direct evidences of his divinity; and, whilst so occupied, may God vouchsafe us the guidance of his Holy Spirit.
I do not know whether I may be able fully to explain myself upon these points; or to put you in distinct possession of those views which I entertain of the offices and functions of the Redeemer—views which I believe to be founded on scripture, and which to me have ever been so clearly indicative of his divinity. My aim, however, is, to do so with all the plainness and precision in my power; and I trust my God will employ me as an instrument in setting forth that only which is according to his will; and at the same time open your hearts to receive the truth in the love of it.
In a former discourse, you will recollect, that, among other things, I submitted to you the scrip