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ning and the ending, the first and the last, the Almighty? Who is he that knows what is man,' because he searches the deep and dark recesses of the heart? Who is the Omnipresent, that has promised, “Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them ? the light of whose countenance is, at the same moment, the joy of heaven, and the salvation of earth : who is incircled by the Seraphim on high, and walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks : who is in this assembly; in all the assemblies of his people : in every worshipping family : in every closet of prayer : in every holy heart. Whose hands have stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth?" Who hath replenished them with inhabitants, and gar. ' nished them with beauty ; having created all things that are in both, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or pow. ers ?' By Whom do all things consist ? Who is the governor among the nations, having on his vesture and on his thigh a name written “ King of kings and Lord of lords.” Whon it is the Father's will that all men should honour, even as they honour himself ?" Whom has he commanded his angels to worship? Whom to obey ? Before Whom do the devils tremble ? Who is qualified to redeem millions of sinners · from the wrath to come,' and preserve them, by his grace, to his everlasting kingdom? Who raiseth the dead, in trespasses and sins ?" having life in him.self, to quicken whom he will;' at Whose voice shall all that are in their graves come forth; and death and hell' surrender their numerous and forgotten captives? Who shall weigh, in the balance of Judgment, the destinies of angels and men ? dispose of the thrones of paradise ? and bestow eternal life? Shall I submit to the decision of reason? Should I ask a response from heaven?' Shall I summon the devils from their chains of darkness ?" The response from heaven sounds in my ears ; reason approves, and the devils confess—This, 0 Christians, is none other than the Great GOD OUR SAVIOUR !
Indeed the doctrine of our Lord's divinity is not, as a fact, more interesting to our faith, than, as a principle, it is essential to our hope. If he were not
the true God,' he should not be eternal life.? When pressed down by guilt and languishing for happiness, I look around for a deliverer such as my conscience and my heart and the word of God assure me I need, insult not my agony by directing me to a creature to a man, a mere man like myself! A creature! a man! My Redeemer owns my person. My immortal spirit is his property. When I come to die, I must commit it into his hands. My soul! My infinitely precious soul, committed to a mere man! be. come the property of a mere man! I would not thus entrust my body to the highest angel in heaven. It is only the Father of spirits,' that can have propera ty in spirits, and be their refuge in the hour of transition from the present to the approaching world. In short, the divinity of Jesus, is in the system of grace, the sun to which all its parts are subordinate, and all their stations refer-which binds them in sacred concord ; and imparts to them their radiance, and life, and vigour. Take from it this central luminary, and the glory is departed--Its holy harmonies are broken-The elements rush to chaos-The light of salvation is extinguished for ever.
But it is not the deity of the Son, simply considered, to which our attention is directed. We are to contemplate it as subsisting in a personal union with the human nature.
Long before this epistle was written (the epistle to the Hebrews) had he 'by himself purged our sins, and sat down at the right hand of majesty on high.' It is, therefore, as ‘God manifested in the flesh;' as my own brother, while he is "the express image of the Father's person,' as the Mediator of the new covenant, that he is seated on the throne. Of this throne, to which the pretensions of a creature were mad and blasphemous, the Majesty is, indeed, maintained by his divine power; but the foudation is laid in his
Mediatorial character. I need not prove to this audience, that all his gracious offices and all his redeeming work originated in the love and the election of his Father. Obedient to that will, which fully accorded with his own, he came down from heaven; tabernacled in our clay ; was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs ;" submitted to the “contradictions of sinners ;" the temptations of the old Serpent, and the wrath of an avenging God. In the merit of his obedience which threw a lustre round the divine law; and in the atonement of his death by which he offered “ himself a sacrifice without spot unto God,' repairing the injuries of man's rebellion, expatiating sin through the blood of his cross ; and conciliating its pardon with infinite purity, and unal. terable truth ; summarily, in his performing those conditions on which was suspended all God's mercy to man, and all man's enjoyment of God, in these stupendous “works of righteousness” are we to look for the cause of his present glory. “He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross ; wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glo. ry of God the Father.” “Exalted” thus “to be a Prince and a Saviour," he fills heaven with his beau. ty, and obtains from its blest inhabitants the purest and most reverential praise. “ Worthy, cry the min. gled voices of his angels and the redeemed, “worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” “ Worthy” again cry his redeemed in a song which belongs not to the angels, but in which with holy ecstacy, we will join, “ worthy art thou, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.”
The sufferings of the Saviour may be exemplified, in numberless instances, but in none so easily and so fully, as in the redemption of the world by the means of a Mediator, “ obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” The sun never beheld such a scene. History record's no such a transaction. The scheme would never have entered the mind of any finite in. telligence " It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in your eyes.” “The thing proceedeth forth from the Lord of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working." " It is the wisdom of God in a mystery ;' and the more we are enlightened. from above to examine its sublime contents, the more of their perfection shall we discover, the more worthy of God will they appear. “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of thtir salvation perfect through sufferings."
The sufferings of the Saviour are described in the gospels with siinplicity and grandeur combined. Nothing can add to the solemnity and force of the exhibition ; and if we are not affected with the relation, it shews that our hearts are harder than the rocks, which could not retain their insensibiliy when the Lord of life and glory" expired. The subject has often come under your review. Sometimes we have called upon you to consider his sufferings as peculiar and unparalleled ; and you have heard a plaintive Saviour saying, “is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by ? behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.” We have sometimes considered his sufferings as foreknown, and led you to imagine what were his
feelings while reading the prophecies, or foretelling himself the circumstances of his passion. From your eye futurity is kindly concealed. Could some of you be immediately informed of the troubles through which perhaps one year only will require you to wade, you would be overwhelmed in the prospect. But he saw the end from the beginning, and advanced with Judas, and the high-priest, and the nails, and the cross, full in view. You have seen that his sufferings were not the sufferings of an hour or a day; they were perpetual: from Bethlehem to Calvary “ he was a man of sorrow, and acquainted with grief.” You have seen him suffering in his condition, in his character, in his body, in his soul. This morning you have been led to another view of the same interesting snbject, the accomplishment which our Saviour deri. ved from them; he was “made perfect through suf. ferings,"
In perusing history, what characters principally engage and improve us ? Those who have struggled through trying and awful scenes. Read the Scriptures, fix your eyes on Job, and Joseph, on David and Daniel, and Paul : were they not all “made perfect through sufferings ?” The picture would have. no beauty or effect without shades. It is on the rainy cloud, the heavenly bow spreads its variegated tints. The character of the hero is formed, and his laurels are gathered only in the hostile field, among "the confused noise of warriors, and garments rolled in blood.” Never was the glory of a prince, however illustrious, rendered complete, without some sudden reverse of fortune which tried him ; some heavy ca. lamity, under which he had an opportunity to discover his internal resources. That nobility is the truest, which a man derives, not from his pedigree, but from himself ; that excellency is the greatest, which is personal ; that glory is the most estimable, which is fixed in our intellectual and moral attributes; not that which a man locks up with his cash, or puts by with his ribbon ; all these are extrinsical, they are no parts