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their steps, to control their enemies, to over-rule all things for their good, and to be a very present help in every time of trouble. Toexecute this important charge, it is necessary that his knowledge, his compassion, his power, and his patience, must be boundless. His eye must be every moment upon all their cases at once; his ear must be incessantly open to receive the
of all people, nations, and languages; his arm must be continually stretched out to support so many that stand, to raise up so many that fall, to afford seasonable and suitable supplies, at the same instant, to the distresses and temptations of millions. If this is the office he has undertaken, and if he is acknowledged sufficient and faithful in the discharge of it, what more undeniable evidence can be given, that he has all the attributes we can conceive as essential and peculiar to the godhead? The provocations, defects, and backslidings of his people, are likewise so numerous, so often repeated, and attended with such black aggravations, that if he was not God, invincible in goodness, unchangeable in purpose, if his
mercy was not, as his majesty, infinite, he would be wearied out, and provoked to cast them off for ever. The great reason why he bore with his people of old holds equally strong with respect to us: “I am the Lord, “ I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not con« sumed*."
(2.) The like may be said of the high office, character, and appointment he has received, to be the judge of the world, of angels and of men. For, besides that it is quite incredible that God, who is jealous of his glory, should intrust this most illustrious prerogative to any mere creature, it seems evident at first sight, that no
* Mal. iii. 6.
creature can be possibly qualified for the discharge of it. To the great and final Judge all hearts must be open, all desires known, and every secret disclosed. He must be intimately acquainted with the counsels and plans that lay hid in God from eternity; he must have a sovereign, comprehensive, intuitive view of every event, of every design, that took place within the limits of time and creation; he must have unlimited authority to pronounce the decisive sentence which will fix the everlasting state of all intelligent beings, and uncontrolled power for the immediate and irrevocable execution of his supreme decree. And what higher than this can our most laboured conceptions reach of the Almighty God? If it be said, that Christ will act by a delegated authority; we answer, It is a contradiction to say, that God can delegate his omniscience to a creature; and without this attribute, any assignable measure of wisdom or power would be insufficient. The power and fulness of the godhead must so reside in the judge, as justly to denominate him to be “ God over all, blessed for ever*." And this the Scripture assures us is the case in fact. The man Christ Jesus, who is appointed the Judge of quick and dead, is so intimately and essentially united to and inhabited by the Deityt, that he is the proper object of our faith, as the true God, and eternal life.
Fourthly, The honours he claims from us afford a further argument for his proper divinity. He challenges our supreme love, obedience, trust, and worship : “ Ye “ believe in God, believe also in me. Except ye eat " the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye “ have no life in you." " That all men should honour “the Son as they honour the Father.” “My sheep
"know my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; " and I give unto them eternal life." "I am the light "of the world." "I am the resurrection and the life*." If we could suppose an apostle or an angel speaking of himself in terms like these, requiring our unlimited dependence, and directing our hope and love to centre wholly on him, we might justly reject him as a blasphemer. How the apostles understood these expres sions, and that they did not mistake our Lord's meaning, is evident from the behaviour of Thomas. He saluted his risen Saviour, "My Lord, and my Godt." Had his transport of joy carried him too far in giving this ascription to Jesus, he would doubtless have corrected him, and provided us with a caution against committing the like fault. For who that has tasted his love, and been made partaker of the power of his resurrection, can avoid adoring him with the utmost homage their words can express, or their hearts conceive!
From hence we may take occasion to observe,
1. His wonderful condescension; that, for us and our salvation, he stooped so low, drew a veil over his eternal glories, and appeared in the form of a servant, to suffer and to die: "Though he was rich, for our sakes he be"came poor, that we through his poverty might be made "richt.". This was love passing knowledge, to pour out his blood, his life, his soul, for those who by nature and practice were enemies and rebels, disobedient to his government, and averse to his grace!
2. What a blessed and glorious hope is set before awakened sinners! Add to the consideration of his per
* John xiv. 1.; vi. 53.;. v. 23.; x. 27, 28.; viii. 12.; xi. 25. John xx. 28. 2 Cor. viii. 9.
son, what we have yet to offer from the word of God concerning his authority and purpose, and say if these truths do not give sufficient encouragement to believe and be saved !
3. How awful must be the case of those who shall be found in final rebellion against him, and die in a state of impenitence and unbelief! Alas! poor obstinate sinners, that have stood out so long, will harden your hearts, and stop your ears, and rush, (like the thoughtless horse in the battle,) upon your own destruction? Do you consider whom you are opposing? “ Did ever any harden himself against the Lord, and
“ Have you an arm like God? or can you thunder with a voice like him t?” Where will you stand, or what will you say, “when he shall arise
to shake terribly the earth? when he shall be re, “ vealed in fire, to take vengeance on all that know not
God, and obey not the Gospel .” O kiss the Son, throw down your arms, and fall prostrate at his footstool, lest his anger awake, and you perish without hope; for in a little time the great day of his wrath will be revealed, “which will burn like a furnace, and all “the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be
stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them
up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them “ neither root nor branchş.” Then will it appear, that those, and those only, are blessed, who put their trust in him : For those who trust in bim shall never be " ashamed; but when Christ who is their life shall
appear, they also shall appear with him in gloryll.”
* Job. ix. 4.
Mal. iv. I.
| 2 Thess. i. 8.
† Job xl. 9.
OF THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST.
MATTH. XI. 27.
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
WE have spoken something of the dignity and excel
lence of that Mighty One on whom our help is laid; and are now to consider,
II. The covenant authority he is intrusted with to manage the great concern of man's salvation. He is not only infinitely sufficient, but divinely appointed for this great work.
Of this covenant there is express mention in many parts of Scripture, to some of which I have referred in the note. It is styled the covenant of peace, the everlasting, ordered, and sure covenant. The power and efficacy of this covenant respected the future incarnation of our Saviour. He asserted his right, while in the form of a servant, in the words of my text; and to the same purpose are the words of John the Baptist : "The Father loveth the Son, and hath delivered all "things into his hands †. But the full manifestation of it was deferred to the time of his resurrection, when, and by which, he was declared to be the Son of God
* Ps. lxxxix. 19.; Prov. viii. 23.; Isai. xlii. 1-6. compared with Matth. xii. 18-21.; Isai. xlix. 8, 9.; Zech. vi. 13.
↑ John iii. 35.