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mine own glory. If I honour myself, my honour is nothing. It
Father that honoureth me, of whom ye say, that he is your God. And with equal simplicity and explicitness he asserts, that he did not his own will. [ch. vi. 38.] I came down from heaven, NOT TO DO MINE OWN Will, but the will of the Father that sent me. [ch. xv. 10.) If
10.] If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I HAVE KEPT MY FATHER'S COMMANDMents, and abide in his love. [ch. xiv. 31.] As the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. [ch. iv. 34.] My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. [ch. viii. 39.) The Father hath not left me alone ; for I DO ALWAYS THOSE THINGS THAT PLEASE HIM. [ch. xvii. 34.] I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. [ch. xviii. 11.] The cup that my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? Could our Saviour, in language either more plain, or more forcible, have referred us to God as the end of our faith ; or expressed his own entire dependence on the Father, and his unreserved devotion to his will ?
VIII. I will only add, that Jesus not only calls God his Father, but also his God; and, the only true God; and as his God, always prayed to him. [ch. xx, 17.] Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend to my FATHER, and to your FATHER; to my God, and to your God. And, [ch. xvii. 3.] This is LIFE ETERNAL, that they might know THEE, THE ONLY TRUE God, and Jesus Christ whom THOU HAST SENT. And, at the grave
of Lazarus, [ch. xi. 41, 42.] he lifted up his eyes and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always. But because of the people that stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent me. See also his prayer in the 17th chapter, the longest on record in the New Testament. Can we doubt then, whether God was not equally his Father, as he is our Father? Are not these simple and perspicuous views, at once of the relation between God and Christ, and of the actual mission of our Saviour from the Father; of the derivation of all his powers from God; of his dependence on God, to whom he prayed; and of the connexion of life everlasting with him, because it is by him that the Father has spoken to us the words of eternal life? I have not spoken of myself, says this blessed Teacher; [ch. xii. 49,50.) but THE FATHER WHICH SENT ME, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting. Whatsoever I speak, therefore, EVEN AS THE FATHER SAID UNTO MES so I speak.
You will observe, that all these ttotimonies concerning our Lord are given by the evangelist John; and that all of thein are taken from his gospel. And are they not most explicit in attes
tation of the doctrines, that our blessed Lord was the great Apostle and Ambassador of God; that he was one with the Father, because the Father peculiarly dwelt in him ; because, as no other ever did, he spake the words, and did the works of God, in the great cause of the salvation, and eternal life and happiness of men? That he was, however, not only a distinct person from God, but dependent on him, and subordinate to him; that all his . power, and wisdom, and honour, were derived from God; and that his was a divine authority, claiming and deserving the most grateful acknowledgment, and most entire submission; claiming honour to him as we honour the Father, because by him only we know with certainty the will and purposes of the Father; through him only we can acceptably approach the Father; and he it is who is appointed to give eternal life to as many as hear, believe and obey him? Can it be supposed then, when John said, in the beginning of his gospel, the Word was with God, and the Word was God; and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us ; that he meant to assert the Supreme Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ? Is it not much more reasonable to suppose, that he intended these expressions should be understood in consistency with the numerous expressions here adduced, and ascribed by him to our Lord? Do we impose the smallest constraint on the expressions, the Word was God, by supposing that John meant them to be understood in the same sense, in which Jesus himself said, I and my Father are one ?-But, it is objected, all things were made by him. And again, the world was made by him. I would ask, if it may not be, and if it probably is not, the full import of these words, that the christian world, or the new spiritual creation of the gospel, and all things in this new spiritual creation, were made by him? We, and all things,-I mean literally, all things-are indeed God's workmanship ; for he that built, or made all things, is God. But, if we are christians, we are created in, or through Christ Jesus, unto good works. (Eph. ii. 10.) He has made both Jews and Gentiles one new man in himself. (Eph. ii. 16.) And, we are told, (2 Cor. v. 17.) if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. And when Paul says, in his epistle to the Colossians, (ch. i. 16–19.) by him, that is, by Christ, were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by him, and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist; he also immediately informs us, that it was BECAUSE IT PLEASED THE FATHER, THAT IN HIM SHOULD ALL FULNESS DWELL.
While we believe therefore, and aejoice in the faith, that he is the head of the body, the church, we must believe also, for so it is declared
WHICH DID PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIM.
unto us, (1 Cor. xy. 24–28.) that the end cometh, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father ; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power. He must reign indeed, until he hath put all enemies under his feet; for God hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that HE IS EXCEPTED
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then will the Son also himself be subject unto him that did put all things under him, That GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL.
From erroneous views of the person and offices of our Lord, have resulted, I think, very erroneous views of his religion. The belief that there is no real distinction between the only true God and our Lord Jesus Christ, or a distinction not to be understood, or defined ; that Jesus Christ is himself the only true God; and therefore that God, the great Jehovah, the infinite and eternal Father, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, came into the world, toiled, suffered, and died for us; that thus an infinite satisfaction was made to divine justice; that God himself received an infinite punishment for the sins of the whole world; that the violated law of God was thus vindicated; that men are made righteous, not by doing righteousness, but by having the righteousness of a dying God imputed to them; and that, so far from being called by the gospel to give all diligence to make their calling and election sure, salvation is wrought out, by means wholly independent of their own efforts, for those who are to receive it; and that their own righteousness therefore, in the sight of God, is utterly worthless; these, and other very great errors,- for so they seem to me to be,-have, I think, principally grown out of the misconception concerning our Lord, that he is literally the only living and true God. I pray you then diligently, ingenuously, and seriously to search, examine, and compare the scriptures for yourselves. And daily remember, and dwell on the petition in the prayer of our blessed Lord, in the 17th of John, for it most nearly concerns us,-neither pray I for these alone,-my apostles,—but for THEM ALSO THAT SHALL BELIEVE ON ME THROUGH THEIR WORD, THAT THEY MAY ALL BE ONE; AS THOU, FATHER, ART IN ME, AND I IN THEE, THAT THEY MAY BE ONE IN US; THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT THOU HAST SENT ME.
EXAMPLE OF ELOQUENCE. Charles Butler, in a late work entitled “ Historical Memoirs,” gives the following anecdote of Dr. Thomas Hussey, the Catholic bishop of Waterford.
“ His eloquence in the pulpit was really great; but it rather subdued than satisfied reason. The writer of these pages was present at a sermon which he preached, on the small number of the elect. Copying Massillon, he asked, Whether if the arch of heaven were to open, and the Son of Man, bursting from the mercy in which he is now enveloped, should stand in that chapel, and judge his hearers, it were quite certain that three, or even two;—nay, trembling for myself, as well as for you! is it quite certain that even one of us !-exclaimed the Doctor, in a voice of thunder, will be saved ? During the whole of this apostrophe, the audience was agonized. At the ultimate interrogation there was a general shriek, and some fell on the ground. This was the greatest triumph of eloquence that the writer has ever chanced to witness; but, as he has before observed, it rather subdued than satisfied."
A WEDNESDAY EVENING IN LINCOLN. “ Passing through Lincoln a few months ago in company with a friend, and having been informed that there was a small society of Unitarians in the city, who met together every Wednesday evening for the purpose of mutual edification, by religious reading and conversation, we felt very desirous of attending one of these meetings.
“We found it was their custom to begin the meeting with prayer, and afterwards to read a portion of some plain, popular and interesting Unitarian publication; and it was a rule that any person present was at liberty to stop the reader, to ask any questions, or to make any remarks he might think proper. In the present instance the meeting was opened with an excellent and appropriate prayer by an elderly and respectable gentleman, a member of the congregation ; after which Mr. H_ read a portion of Dr. Toulmin's Letters to Freestone, frequently stopping to introduce some useful remarks, both by way of elucidating the subject, and drawing out the latent faculties of the young, by leading them to
reflect, and to form an opinion upon the subject before them; and this he did in a way so easy, so interesting and familiar, that the young people appeared to look up to him, as to a friend and a father. Mr.
Hwas particularly careful to encourage young persons to express their sentiments; and he shewed great address in making every speaker appear to the best possible advantage. We were particularly gratified by seeing five or six young men come in from brick-making; they had left off their labours a little the earlier that they might enjoy the benefit of social and religious converse ; and on Mrs. H- 's asking them if they had lost any thing by coming, they replied that they had not, for that they had risen a little earlier in the morning. Mr. H-concluded the meeting with another excellent and impressive prayer; and the little friendly society then separated with a very strong appearance of the most unfeigned attachment to each other, and particularly to their beloved pastor, who thus interested himself for their intellectual and religious improvement.
This easy and interesting mode of communicating instruction, is certainly attended with many advantages. Young persons are not merely listening in 'passive silence to what is delivered to them; but they are encouraged and invited to take an active part in these improving exercises : and it is obvious how much more interesting they will be on this account to a young person of the least degree of activity of mind. These meetings are likewise a powerful means of bringing the members of this small society acquainted with each other, and of forming a bond of Christian love and fellowship between them, the very reverse of what we too commonly see, in societies where no such means are practised."
THE PECULIAR DOCTRINES OF THE GOSPEL.
Mr. Yates has lately published a sermon with this title, of which the following paragraphs constitute the introduction.
“ Nothing is more common among those of our fellow-christians, who are called orthodox, than to speak of their opinions as the Peculiar Doctrines of the Gospel. By this expression they evidently intend to convey the idea, that those opinions are not to be found in any other system of religious belief, and that in the communication of them to mankind the chief and distinguishing value of Christianity consists. Nevertheless we find it repeatedly asserted by the more learned of the orthodox writers, that indubitable traces of these opinions are to be found in the tenets and practices of many heathen nations, and that, although now altered and corrupted in various ways, they appear to have been received from time immemorial over every quarter of the globe.