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II. Because he not only never said that himself was God, but, on the contrary, spoke of the Father, who sent him as God, and as the only God. "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent," John xvii, 3. This language our Saviour used in solemn prayer to "his Father and our Father."
III. Because he is declared in unnumbered instances, to be the Son of God. "And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” Matth. iii, 17. Can a son be coeval and the same with his father?
IV. Because he is styled the Christ, or the anointed of God. "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power," Acts x, 38. Is he who anoints the same with him who is anointed?
V. Because he is represented as a Priest. "Consider the * * * high Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus," Heb. iii, 1. The office of a priest is to minister to God. Christ, then, as a priest, cannot be God.
VI. Because Christ is Mediator between the "One God," and " men." "For there one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," 1 Tim. ii, 5.
VII. Because as the Saviour of men, he was sent by the Father. "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world,” 1 John iv, 14.
VIII. Because he is an apostle, appointed by God. "Consider the apostle, * * * Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him," Heb. iii, 1, 2.
IX. Because Christ is represented as our intercessor with God. "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us," Rom. viii, 34.
X. Because the head of Christ is God. "I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God,” 1 Cor. xi, 3.
XI. Because in the same sense, in which we are said to belong to Christ, Christ is said to belong to God. "And ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's," 1 Cor. iii, 23.
XII. Because Christ says, " My Father is greater than all," John x, 29. Is not the Father, then, greater than the Son?
XIII. Because he affirms, in another connexion, and without the least qualification, " My Father is greater than I," John xiv, 28.
XIV. Because he virtually denies that he is God, when he exclaims, "why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God," Matth. xix, 17.
XV. Because our Saviour, after having said, "I and my Father are one," gives his disciples distinctly to understand that he did not mean, one in substance, equal in power and glory, but one only in affection and design, &c. as clearly appears from the prayer he offers to his Father in their behalf,-" that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us," John xvii, 21.
XVI. Because the Father is called the God of Christ, as he is the God of Christians. "Jesus saith unto her,
tem. To do God's will is thought to be the great and prime consideration. When men have done this, from the right motives, it teaches that they are safe; for there can be no doubt that God will do what he has purpose d and promised, whether we understand rightly or not the method and the means.
When we see a system thus exclusively practical, laying its chief stress on obedience to God and conformity to his laws; we cannot hesitate to regard it as the genuine faith. For we see that it tends directly, without circumlocution or delay, to affect that great purpose of man's moral regeneration which it was the object of the Gospel to accomplish. It places nothing before that. It makes every thing inferior to it. It allows of no substitute for it.
And while we regard it as thus favorable to virtue, we cannot pass without special mention of the graces of charrty and candour,, to which it is peculiarly favourable, and which, in a manner, may be considered as its own. I know that we have been accused of boasting on this subject, and that we expose ourselves to certain sneers and ridicule if we mention it. But we can repeat, without boasting, that we still believe it to be true. God knows, that, in practice, we are but too deficient in a grace which we so much honour; and that we often exhibit examples of illiberality and uncharitableness wholly at war with our profession. Would that we might be more consistent. But inconsistency with an opinion is no proof that the opinion is false. And, be it remembered, it never has been asserted that all rational christians are charitable, but that the rational system is peculiarly, favorable to charity. The reason is this: That, being confined to a few plain articles of essential truth, it is able to allow
and feel, that on other articles men may differ and err, and yet be acceptable and saved. But those who add largely to their list of articles, and hold them all to be essential, of necessity maintain that men cannot innocently differ, and that therefore there is no salvation for those who dissent. Hence the Papal church is exclusive. The orthodox church is exclusive. They must be so. Their systems require it. The rational system requires the contrary. And if the christian religion make charity the chief grace, which system must be nearest that delivered to the saints that which makes it impossible to judge charitably of those who err, or that which requires it?
9. It is still another circumstance favourable to the claims of this system, that even unbelievers and men of the world are compelled to look upon it with approbation and respect. It never has been a popular system, because it is too plain and unimposing. But then it is well known that men of inquiring and reflecting minds, who have disbelieved Christianity under some of its forms, have become converts to it under this form; and that even irreligious and worldly men do not withhold from it the expressions of their respect.
This has been accounted for by saying, that it is near akin to infidelity and worldly-mindedness. But candid reflection might suggest a truer cause; it might discern in this a proof of the strong marks which the system bears of divine original and truth-so strong, that they, who have resisted the evidence for Christianity in any other form, have been compelled to assent to it in this; so evidently, conspicuously, and incontrovertibly worthy of God and suitable to man, so undeniably consonant to all the desires and wants of human nature, that scepti
cism itself cannot doubt, and the veriest worldly-mindedness is compelled to acknowledge and adore. If they do not give it all their hearts, if they will not make sacrifices for its sake, if they will not conform to it, as they ought, in a new life and holier conversation,-yet they cannot deny it the homage of their respect, and dare not pour upon it reviling and contempt. We confess that, however others may feel, we cannot help regarding this circumstance, for our part, as a presumption in favour of its claims; for it coerces, as we may say, the regard of men, who-with this exception-have been disinclined to believe or to honour the religion of Jesus. It verifies the words of Solomon: "The evil bow before the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous." It reminds us of the days of our Saviour, when it was a signal attestation to his divine authority and power, that even the demons, when they saw him, were made to cry out and acknowledge him.
Being thus persuaded of the divine authority of the faith which we hold, we esteem it our duty to contend for it. We must not suffer our religion to be a matter of indifference to us, but of hearty interest. We must feel it to be important and precious-not merely a good sort of thing, which it is well enough to have, but which also we can do well enough without; but the best of all things, which we can by no means do without; which is dear to us as any of our possessions, and which we are ready to defend and advocate, as we would our property, liberty and life, against any who should assail them.
And truly, if it have enlightened our minds, if it have given us trust in God and access to his favour, if it have