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SERMON XXVI.

SCRIPTURAL VIEWS OF CHRIST.

Matthew xxii. 42.

What think ye of Christ?

THIS is a great question. It behooves us all to make this inquiry. What are our views of him and his great work? Is he altogether lovely in our eyes, and precious to our hearts? Do we trust him as the Incarnate Son of God, and submit to him as the anointed King of Zion? Is he our joy, our confidence, our all? According to a man's practical judgment in these matters, are his state and character. His thoughts on other subjects will be greatly influenced by his view of this. His spirit, his conduct, and his destiny are all influenced by his views of Christ. We have more to do with Christ than with any other being in the universe. And the Bible has more to say of him than of any other.

I. The first and most important fact which is revealed concerning Christ is, that he is truly and properly God.

His divinity is the foundation on which the Christian system rests. "To us a child is born," says the Prophet Isaiah, "to us a Son is given, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." "Out of thee, thou Bethlehem of Judah," says the Prophet

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Micah, "shall he come forth unto me, that is to be Ruler in Israel, and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity." In a style peculiarly his own, and lofty as his subject, the inspired Evangelist affirms," In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. "He thought it no robbery," says the Apostle, " to be equal with God." His works attest his divinity. "All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made." His authority attests it; for in his own name, he issues the laws of the God of heaven. His promises attest it; for they are such as God only can make, and fulfil. The final Judgment attests it; for life and death are decided by his sentence; and the eternal destiny of all intelligent beings is suspended on his pleasure. It is a fact of deep and everlasting interest therefore, that Christ is no other than the God of heaven and earth; the Lord and Creator, and Judge of the universe. He it is who was, and is, and is to come. He it is who is worshipped by all the heavenly hosts, and receives their everlasting praise and adorations. Look up, and behold your Lord and Redeemer. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

II. Another fact revealed concerning Christ is, that he became incarnate and dwelt among men.

This

God is one in nature, and three in Persons. Trinity of Persons in the Godhead includes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. These three exist from eternity in the same undivided nature, with the same power, the same wisdom, and the same equality of all perfection. They are consequently the same one, in

comprehensible and Eternal God; because in each of them the Divinity is the same. The second of these is the Eternal Son; the Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us. A real and substantial union of the divine and human nature has taken place in the Person of Jesus Christ; so that he is become both God and man. From the early promise made to our first parents in Eden, this consolatory truth was revealed from generation to generation, and more and more distinctly revealed, through a long series of ages, till the branch rose from the root of Jessee; till the Virgin conceived and brought forth her Son; till the child was born, who should sit upon the throne of David, and of whose kingdom there should be no end. After the lapse of four thousand years from the apostasy, the angel Gabriel was sent to Mary with the message," Behold, thou shalt conceive and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus." He is God, because he retains the same divine nature, which he had, and always will have from eternity to eternity; and he is man, because having assumed the nature of man, by uniting to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, he was placed in a state of perfect dependence; was accountable to God, like other men; and like all other men, was in a state of trial, from his birth to his death.

It may not be supposed that God altered in his nature, or by any change in his divinity was transformed into man; nor that the divinity was mixed or blended with human nature, so as to form out of the two a compounded nature, which should be neither human nor divine. Though the two natures really and substantially unite, yet each remains entire in itself; so that by the one, Christ is inferior, by the other, he is equal to

the Father in all things. This is the doctrine of the Bible, concerning the mystery of the Incarnation. We frankly acknowledge it is a fact beyond the natural comprehension of men. We say concerning it as Paul said, “Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh!" We should not credit it upon any other than the divine testimony. And is it not a mystery, so full of goodness on the part of God, that it claims our most grateful homage ?-unfathomable indeed, but the depth of his mercy and grace! The great God, infinitely and completely happy within himself, assumed our nature with all its pains and miseries; the God omnipotent and immortal, assumed our weakness, and dwelt in mortal flesh. O thou divine Redeemer! to redeem a slave, thou hast descended from thy throne; thou hast become like one of us!

III. Another fact revealed concerning Jesus Christ is, that he died to make an atonement for the sins of

men.

The low estate in which he was born, well answered to the great purpose for which he came. The shepherds of Bethlehem found Joseph and Mary, and the infant lying in the manger. It was by this humble assumption of our nature, that he rendered himself capable of making an adequate atonement for our sins. From the moment of his birth he became the humble, obedient sufferer. And from that moment, he began the work of our redemption. "It became him, by whom are all things, to make the Captain of our salvation perfect THROUGH SUFFERINGS.”

We had become the slaves of sin, fettered by the curse, and bound over to eternal death. But he assumed our guilt, and took our chains. He has blotted

out the hand-writing that was against us; has effaced the otherwise indelible mark of reprobation; and raised us to the adoption of sons. The divinity of his Person stamped an efficacy upon his sacrifice, that made it effectual to all who believe; while it opened the door of hope to our lost race, which had otherwise been shut forever.

Under the law, almost all things were purified with blood; and without the shedding of blood, there is no remission. For the first four thousand years of the world, the bloody sacrifices of the Patriarchal and Mosaic economy led all those who feared God to look for this great sacrifice of his Son. It was impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin. These sacrifices were limited in their duration, and only prefigured the mighty Christian sacrifice, the great propitiation of Jesus Christ, who, through the Eternal Spirit offered up himself unto God. Though he knew no sin, yet was he made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. How often do the Scriptures express this truth, in all their own impressiveness and variety. "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all:"-" Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world:"-" The Son of Man is come to give his life a ransom for many :”"This is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for many, for the remission of sins :"-" Christ died for the ungodly:"-" He hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us :”—“ His own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree." The death of the Son of God, as the Propitiation for sin! My friends, what shall we say of it ?-Interesting, but solemn fact! Joyful, but mournful topic! O!

:”

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