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“I think myself happy," in the subject allotted to me, in this deeply interesting course of Lectures: so fully am I assured that the truth I am called upon to prove is, indeed, the truth of God.
For when I have to shew the proper Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, or to shew that He who was in the bosom of the Father from all eternity,* “ His only begotten Son,”+ “by whom also He made the worlds; the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person;"| the King, “whose throne is for ever and ever;"'$ who says of Himself, “ Before Abraham was, I am ;''|| of whom the command is given, “Let all the angels of God worship him”[ -a command so accordant with their minds, that no sooner do they hear the voices of the redeemed acknowledging his worthiness, than ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands of angels unite in ascribing “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power to Him that sits upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever
!_** to shew, I say, his proper Deity, or that He is “the true God and eternal life,”+t is to prove a truth which shines through this Inspired Volume with a glory far surpassing the brightness of the meridian sun, -a glory so manifest, that it is difficult to conceive how it can for a moment remain unacknowledged.
Whilst I deeply regret my total inability to do justice to so great and glorious a subject, this is my consolation :
-That if the highest among the orders of the Host of Heaven, one, for instance, of the seraphim, who burn with love, or of those mighty angels who excel in strength, was to have united in him, not only his own powers, but the powers of all the numerous choirs who surround the
* John i. 18. compared with Prov. viii. 294-28
John. iii. 16. * Heb. i. 2, 3.
Psalms xlv. 6. 1 John viii. 58. ( Heb. i. 6. ** Rev. v.9-14.
# I John v. 20.
throne, and thus endowed, was commissioned to speak forth the excellencies of the Lord Jesus Christ, even his exalted faculties could not sufficiently make known His worth. His love alone has a height, a depth, a length, and breadth, which passeth knowledge. But while a seraph's mind would fail in making known his exceeding and eternal weight of glory, God “has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise,–He has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence.” It is upon his Almighty arm, and upon the aid the Holy Spirit may be pleased to grant, that, as one of the lowest of the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, my Divine Lord and Master, I altogether depend, For it is, my beloved friends, as one of his servants, and in his name, and, as I trust, by his authority, that I desire to address you. For, however prejudiced persons may be disposed to charge us with assuming an office to which we have no special right, my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I spoke the truth, and nothing but the truth, when I gave the annexed answers to the following questions put to me, by the Bishop, at my ordination:
-Question : “Do you trust that you are inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost, to take upon you this office and ministration, to serve God, for the promotion of his glory and the edifying of his people? Answer: I trust so. Question : Do you think that you are truly called, according to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the due order of this realm, to the ministry of the Church? Answer: I think so.”* This is my trust, as to myself; and, ac
* See Ordination Service of the Church of England,
cording to the best of my knowledge and belief, I have a similar confidence as to my beloved brethren in the ministry, who have united in preaching this course of Lectures. I believe, unworthy as we are of such grace, that we are all the servants of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
It is for this reason that I am grieved at the advantage which has been taken of the very kind invitation of my much beloved and highly-respected friend and fellow-servant in the Gospel, the Minister of this Church. He, with the benevolent design of affording to those persons, whom, we all conscientiously believe, have embraced the most dangerous errors, the opportunity of hearing the truth, and thus saving their souls from death, invited those who hold what are commonly termed Unitarian sentiments, to attend the delivery of these Lectures. This Christian regard for their best, their everlasting interests, has been made use of to attempt to change this Gospel ordinance into a mere discussion of two opposite parties; and thus to give to this all-important declaration of “the truth as it is in Jesus," the air of a trial of skill, and human talent, and superior learning, rather than that which these services, in this hallowed place, were intended to be—namely, to use, in the mild and gentle spirit of Christian affection, one of the divinely-appointed means of grace, to impart to those who, we believe, have set up a god of their own, the knowledge of the true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. For I would desire all who are present, to bear in mind, that the preaching of the Gospel widely differs from an ordinary discussion, carried on between two parties, either viva voce or in writing. The preaching of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is a divinely-appointed ordinanceone of those means of grace in which God puts forth his Almighty power : as the Apostle declares,—“ After that,
in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe.”* It pleased God to accompany the outward preaching of the Word with the inward power of the Holy Spirit ; and, without this power, even an angel would preach in vain. For it is expressly declared, that “no man can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Ghost.”+ It is His shining into the soul,—His giving the light of the knowledge of theglory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ; oh, that He would now grant this light to every one present! It is this alone which will enable any person cordially to say to our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, “My Lord and my God.” I would, therefore, request you, my beloved friends, to view these discourses in their true light. Regard them not as mere strivings for the mastery, but look beyond the instruments to that gracious God who appoints the ordinance. And, that He may of his abundant mercy, bless the present discourse to the enlightening every soul in error, and for the confirming of the faith of all who truly believe, let me entreat you, my beloved Christian friends and brethren, to lift up your hearts to God, in silent but earnest prayer, for the aid of his Holy Spirit, by him so to glorify his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, that “every knee may bow to him, and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Oh Thou, who in the economy of our salvation, hast undertaken to glorify the Lord Jesus—thou who art the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, God the Holy Ghost, do thou now vouchsafe thy aid, for His name's sake! Amen.
The subject for our consideration this evening is this:
THE PROPER DEITY OF OUR LORD Jesus Christ, PROVED FROM PROPHECIES, TYPES, AND Jewish ORDINANCES.
You mark the words, my friends,-the proper Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. For there are those who, when closely pressed by the plain declarations of the Word of God, from an unwillingness to be classed among Deists or Infidels, will admit the Divinity, as they term it, of Jesus Christ, but who still deny his Deity and Godhead. Thus retaining their errors, though to the unwary they seem to have renounced them. But this must ever be borne in mind, that there is, in fact, no such thing as an inferior Deity. They are mere human inventions,—the so-called gods of them who “professing themselves to be wise, became fools.” It is Jehovah alone who can say, “I am, and there is none beside me;" I alone am the eternal, self-existent God. All other beings are entirely dependent upon Him. It is He alone who can “lift up his hand to heaven and say, I live for ever.”* Call them what you will, good men, angels, archangels, or beings superior to the highest order of angels, as our blessed Saviour is by some said to be, still, if any one of these names is all that you admit our Lord to be, "you cast him down from his excellency,”+ you rob him of that which he thought it no robbery to claim, EQUALITY with God; one in nature, one in essence, one in Almighty power, sufficiency and eternal existence with Jehovah—from everlasting to everlasting, God over all, blessed for evermore. I