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John iv. 2-6) lays it down as a Son," &c. As all revelation centres rule, that the truth was to be known in this point, it is vain for a man to by its agreement with the doctrine pretend that he believes other parts taught by him and his brethren, of it, whilst he rejects its principal "with the Holy Ghost sent down doctrine. His opinion may indeed from heaven;" and that every tenet, accord with the testimony of God however supported, must be a doc-in some particulars; he may assent trine of Antichrist, which accorded to Scripture truths, because he not with what they had taught con- thinks they may be otherwise proved; cerning the person of Christ. Ac-but if his own reasonings, or those cording to this rule, all pretences of some philosopher, lead to conto new revelations, and every phi-clusions opposite to the word of losophical reasoning, must be wholly God, he hesitates not to treat that disregarded, as springing from the as a lie. So that, in fact, such men spirit of error, if they contradict the do not believe God, but other wittestimony of the apostles, as re-nesses, when they assent to Scripture corded in the Scriptures; and if this truths; for they treat him as a false error relate to the person of Christ, witness, when he contradicts their it is of Antichrist. It may be al- preconceived opinions. Whence it lowed, that, by "coming in the is evident, that no man's belief of flesh," the reality of our Lord's the Bible, or of any thing contained human nature was maintained: but in it, can be genuine, whilst he rewho could have doubted, that he jects "the testimony which God was really a man, if it had been hath given to his Son." This also generally believed, that he was no illustrates all those other passages more than a man? And if he could in which it is declared, that "he not have come otherwise than in that believeth not shall be damned:" the flesh, the apostle would hardly that " he who believeth not the Son have made that an essential part of shall not see life, but the wrath of his confession. But the coming of God abideth on him," &c.; because the only begotten Son of God in the it hence appears, that they treat flesh, as the anointed King, Priest, the truth of God as a lie, and so and Prophet of the church, was in- exclude themselves from that saldeed essential to his doctrine; and vation which is in Christ Jesus for they who denied it, must reject or sinners, that by faith apply for an pervert all the rest. Some of those interest in it. And a man cannot heretics whom John here so strenu- believe the Son, if he refuse to ously opposed, as the forerunners of credit what he says of himself, as the principal Antichrist, were the One with the Father, &c. very persons whom certain modern same important caution is again Unitarians would persuade us to inculcated by the apostle (2 John regard as the only primitive Chris-7-11), who declares the man "to tians who retained the faith of the be a deceiver and an antichrist, who gospel in its original purity! After- confesses not that Jesus Christ is wards the same apostle (1 John v. come in the flesh," and that "who10-13) declares, that the principal soever abideth not in the doctrine testimony of God related to his Son; of Christ, hath not God." Now the and that he who believes not this doctrine of Christ must have relatestimony," hath made him a liar. tion to his person, either as God because he believeth not the testi- and man, or merely man. But if mony which God hath given of his he that abode not in that doctrine
had not God, and if the Christians] But (not to anticipate the subject of were forbidden to receive him into a future Essay) it suffices to observe their houses, or bid him God speed, at present, that if the Father saw or at all to sanction his delusions it necessary for the display of his (though they might doubtless have glory in the salvation of sinners, relieved his urgent wants, as an that the Mediator should be Emenemy in distress), it must follow, manuel, his coequal Son in human that the doctrine concerning the nature, God manifest in the flesh; person of Christ is essential to and that it was wholly improper for Christianity, and a rejection of the any other person to sustain this true doctrine is an antichristian de-office, or approach him in this chaparture from the faith. And I appeal racter, except his well beloved Son to every impartial man to determine, in whom he is well pleased; and if whether such language, if we had sinners pertinaciously reject his aufirst used it, would not have excited thenticated testimony to this divine the sneer of numbers, and an outcry Mediator, and will regard him as a of bigotry against us. The reader mere man, they must exclude themmust observe, that the texts here selves from the benefit of this graquoted are not brought as direct cious constitution, and exceedingly proofs of our Lord's Deity (though affront both the Father and the Son. many of them do prove it), but to And can it be supposed that they show that a right faith in this re- are taught by that Spirit, whose spect is essential to salvation by office it is to glorify Christ, when Christ; and they doubtless so far they thus studiously degrade him? establish this point, that they who treat such questions as immaterial, will find it most convenient wholly to overlook them, or to deny them to be the unerring dictates of the Spirit of Truth.
And yet, " if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Indeed, it will be shown, in due time, that the mediation of Christ is the grand display of the divine glory, of the honour of the law, of II. The peculiar nature of our the evil of sin, &c.; and, in this Lord's mediation warrants the same view of it, the personal dignity of conclusion. The office of mediator, Christ (like the centre stone of an between two parties who are at arch) sustains the whole; take that variance, seems to imply, that the away, the whole must fall, either at person performing it stands in some once, or by degrees. And do not relation to each party; is likely to facts prove, that they who deny the take care of the interests of both in Deity of Christ, soon learn to exan equitable manner; and possesses plain away the doctrine of the influence (either from excellency atonement? And that of his interof character, dignity of rank, or cession and priestly character is services performed) to give weight proportionably disregarded: the evil to his interposition. Now Jesus is and desert of sin then seem to vanish Mediator between the great Creator from their view; they have little and holy Governor of the universe, fear of future punishment, but object and his unholy, rebellious creatures; to the plain language of Scripture and it is supposed, that there are on that subject: this makes way those things in his character, &c., for doubts about the authenticity or for the sake of which the Father is divine inspiration of the sacred orapleased to pardon and bless them cles, and often terminates in rejectin behalf of whom he mediates. ing them: and, when such men are
still pressed with difficulties from is invisible to us, and not present
Does he send his arm," &c. And the Psalmist the Holy Spirit to teach, comfort, (Psalm cxlvi. 3) says, "Put not and sanctify his people? and ought your trust in princes, nor in the son we not to depend on him for that of man, in whom there is no help :" blessing? Hath he all power in yet nothing can be plainer, than heaven and earth? and shall we do that we are required to put our wrong to trust that power in all trust in Christ; and if he were only circumstances? Has he engaged to the son of man, and had only an be with his assembled disciples? arm of flesh, I cannot see how we and should they not expect and could trust in him, without in heart depend on his gracious presence? departing from the Lord. The form (John xiv. 20-24.) In short, the of baptism, into the name of the believer can do nothing of himself, Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and "can do all things through implies a professed dependence for Christ who strengtheneth him." salvation on the Son, and on the" He has communion with the FaHoly Ghost, and a devoted, faithful ther, and with his Son Jesus Christ:" attachment to them, as well as to and how can this be, unless he hathe Father. The expression, "be-bitually relies on, and applies to lieve in the Son of God," implies him for every thing? If men do not only an assent to his truths, but not trust in Christ, they can expea reliance on him for all the bless-rience no communications from him, ings which he is exalted to bestow. nor maintain any intercourse with The apostle describes Christians as him; and it is no wonder that they those who trusted in Christ" deride those as enthusiasts, who (Eph. i. 12). Faith, or its inse- experience what they despise. But parable effect, is commonly de- surely it would be idolatry to rely scribed by "coming to Christ," on a mere creature, in the manner "receiving him," "abiding in him," that hath been stated; if then such &c. and such expressions must a dependence on Christ be essential imply application to, and habitual to faith, the doctrine of his Deity dependence on him, even now he must be essential also; for no man
can reasonably rely on a mere crea- love of Christ had been entirely ture to forgive his sins, to sanctify distinct from it, or if it were not his soul, to raise his body from the certain, that the more we love the grave, and to give him eternal life. Son, the more we love the Father To form such expectations from that sent him? Thus the apostle's him, we must believe that he is benediction includes all " that love "God over all, blessed for ever- the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity;" more;" "the same yesterday, to- he denounces an awful curse on day, and for ever " (Heb. xiii. 8; every man who does not love him Rev. i. 4; xi. 17). In like manner, (Eph. vi. 24; 1 Cor. xvi. 22); and the love, which Christ demands of he represents the love of Christ as us, cannot belong to any mere crea- the constraining principle of all his ture; we are required to love him own devoted labours and services more than our nearest relatives, or (2 Cor. v. 14, 15). Another apostle even than our own lives; nay, to speaks of the love of an unseen Sahate all these, when they come in viour, as the universal experience competition with our love to him, of all Christians (1 Pet. i. 8): and otherwise we are not worthy of him, when that apostle denied his Lord, and cannot be his disciples (Matt. he was thrice interrogated, whether x. 37; Luke xiv. 26). Now, what he loved him, before he was reinis this but to love him supremely, stated in his pastoral office (John and as we should love the Father? xxi. 15-17). But no such special Nor are we once cautioned not to and preeminent love towards any let our love of Christ interfere with one of the mere servants of God is "that love of God with all our required of us; nay, the apostle was hearts" which the law requires: it afraid lest he or his brethren should is not intimated, that there is any be put in Christ's place, when he incongruity, disparity, or even dis- inquired, was Paul crucified for tinction, between our love of the you? or were you baptized in the Father, and of the Son: nay, the name of Paul?" (1 Cor. i. 13.) more we love Christ, the greater Yet our Lord never intimated that our love of the Father is supposed there was any danger, lest his disto be, and the more shall we be ciples should love him, in a degree, loved of him (John viii. 42; xiv. that would be derogatory to the 21-24; xv. 23). The decisions rights of God the Father, who is a of the great day of account are re-jealous God, and cannot endure a presented as to be awarded by this rival in our affections, but demands rule; they, who have loved Christ, our whole heart. How then can and shown their love to him by Christ dwell in our hearts, as Lord kindness to his disciples for his of our affections, if he and the Father sake, will be considered as true be- be not One? As therefore we ought lievers and righteous persons: they, to love Christ, even as we love the who shall be proved not to have Father; it must be necessary that loved him, by their neglect of his we believe him to be the adequate poor disciples, will be considered object of that love; both for what as unbelievers, and impenitent sin- he is in himself, and what he hath ners, and condemned to have their done for us; and thus the doctrine portion with the wicked (Matt. xxv. of his Deity, if true, must be essen31-46). But can we suppose, that tial; and unless we believe it, how no mention would on this occasion can we keep clear of the apostle's be made of the love of God, if the anathema?
Moreover, we are constantly re- the Father," who is glorified in the minded, that we are not our own Son" (John xiii. 31, 32; xvii. 1— but the Lord's; we are his property, 10; Phil. i. 20; ii. 11). Who can because he made us: and, when by believe that it should be the office sin we had alienated ourselves, we of the Holy Spirit to glorify became his again, "bought with a Christ," if it be of little or no conprice, to glorify him, in body and sequence what men think of his spirit, which are his" (1 Cor. vi. person, or if proper views of it are 19, 20; x. 31). Yet the apostles not essential to Christianity? or always speak of believers as be- that the apostle, in this case, would longing to Christ; they are his have spoken of his "name being servants, his purchased flock, his glorified" in and by his saints, both espoused bride (though the Lord of now and at the day of judgment? (2 Hosts is called the husband of the Thess. i. 10-12.) If Jesus were only church, Isa. liv. 5), the members a mere creature, Jehovah would give of his body, &c. St. Paul says, in his glory to another, if he inspired one place, that "he was dead to his servants to use such language: the law, that he might live unto so that the confidence, love, gratiGod;" in another, " that he lived no tude, devotedness of heart, and the longer to himself, but to him who honour which the Scriptures require died for him and rose again;" and us to render to Christ, must be imthat "Christ died and rose again, practicable, unless we have a proper that he might be the Lord, both of judgment of his dignity and excelthe living and of the dead" (Rom. [lency; and we must either rob him xiv. 8, 9; 2 Cor. v. 14; Gal. ii. 19). of the glory due to his name, or give And he observes, that the Lord Jehovah's glory to another, if we Jesus "redeemed us from all in- mistake in this fundamental matter. iquity, and purifies us unto himself, IV. The nature of heavenly feto be a peculiar people," &c. (Tit. licity evinces this. The language ii. 14). Could such language as of the apostle is emphatical, "To this be properly used concerning depart hence, and to be with Christ, services to be rendered to a mere which is far better;" for this imman? Surely this would be an plies, that the presence of Christ, idolatrous alienation of ourselves the discoveries of his glory, and the from the service of our Maker to enjoyment of his love, constitute devote ourselves to that of a fellow- the happiness for which he longed creature. But if Christ be truly (Phil. i. 23; John xvii. 24); and God, one with the Father, then our wherein does this differ from the dedication of ourselves to his ser- beatific vision? But in the last vice is the same as our devoted chapters of Revelation, which deobedience to the Father that sent scribe the heavenly state, this is him and is no other than the pre- still more plainly declared. He scribed manner in which, as re- whose name is “ Alpha and Omega," deemed sinners, we are required to says, "I will give him that is athirst render it. In short, it must be evi- of the water of life freely: he that dent to all who reverence the lan- overcometh shall inherit all things: guage of Scripture, that we honour, and I will be his God, and he shall obey, and worship the Father, when be my Son" (xxi. 6, 7). If any we honour, obey, and worship the person should explain this passage Son; and that all the glory rendered of the Father, it would only prove, to the Son redounds to the glory of that "the Father and the Son are