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are above, and not on the things of this earth. There Jesus sits enthroned in all his glory, and there do you hope to take up your eternal residence. And when you feel the things of time gaining an ascendancy over your hearts, think on the solemenities of death and judgment, and the endless eternity which follows. Endeavour now to realize the feel. ings with which you shall stand at the tribunal of your Judge, and look upon the world involved in one mass of liquid fire. Then shall the thrones and sceptres of princes, the bonours and riches of earth, be all included in the general wreck. Eternity, with its joys and sorrows, shall then engross every thought of
Familiarize your minds with such scenes, by frequently meditating on the magnificent descriptions given of them in the Word of God -prepare for them, that ye may stand unmoved in that solemn day, and meet the coming of your Saviour, in company with all his saints-join with them in celebrating the jubilee of release from the dominion of the grave—and enter with them into the presence-chamber of the Godhead, to spend an eternity in admiring the Divine perfections, exploring the ways of Providence, and adoring the wonders of redeeming grace. Amen.
MATTHEW, viii. 1, 2. “ When he was come down from the mountain great multitudes fol
lowed him: and behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean."
The knowledge of a simple fact will often explain or harmonise things which previously appeared to us mysterious or self-contradictory. In the common affairs of life, for example, how often are we told by different relaters of the same event of occurrences which seem to be so utterly inconsistent, that we are certain both reports cannot be true. The one or the other, we are persuaded, must be incorrect. Perhaps we begin carefully to explain away this particular incident, and mould that occurrence, and so to form to ourselves a plausible conjecture on the subject, that both statements may yet in some measure be made to correspond. In the midst of our attempts, however, to adjust the apparently conflicting relations, lo! some other individual mentions a new fact in regard to the matter, and instantly the whole affair is explained, and rendered perfectly consistent. Every difficulty is now removed, and it is plain, even to a child, that there was not the slightest contrariety in the statements which were given.
What takes place so often in the common affairs of life, also frequently occurs in reference to the mysteries of our holy religion. A precipitate judgment would often pronounce two important doctrines inconsistent, and, therefore, absurd; but prudent discretion whispers either that the third and connecting link is not yet revealed, or, what is more frequently the case, not yet believed in by the rash inquirer. The foreknowledge of God, for instance, and the free-agency of man are apparently incongruous: we yet want the third fact as a connecting link to show how they harmonise; but true wisdom, tempered by humility says, wait patiently till this hidden truth also is unfolded by the Judge of all, who will yet manifest how he who knew the end from the beginning could, notwithstanding of his foreknowledge, make a free, rational, and accountable agent.
In the mysterious relation, also, wbich Christ sustains, both towards his Father and his people, the same principle comes bappily to our aid to explain what otherwise would appear contradictory. To the Father Christ, while on earth, prayed “with strong crying and tears," and yet his disciples also while he was upon earth as well as after he bad ascended to heaven, knelt before him and did him homage. Now, how could these things be? How could the same personage both give and receive religious worship? How could he, at the same time, be a dependent creature and a divine personage? These two conditions we are ready at first sight to say are incompatible. Either the one or the other must be modified or explained away so as to render them consistent. But before we begin to twist and torture the Word of God so as to make two things coalesce which apparently disagree, it may
be proper to inquire if there is no third or intermediate fact which interposes between them, and, after all, cements and unites them together. Such a truth does present itself in the incarnation of the Son of God. When this fact is admitted, that “the Word, who was God, be
came flesh and dwelt among us,” then we perceive how the same person might both honour the Father and be himself the object of divine adoration. It may, indeed, be a great mystery bow God should be manifest in the flesh. This is quite a different matter. It is with the fact, and not with the mode of the fact that we have at present to do. And it being once granted that he is Immanuel—God in human nature—the apparent contrariety is removed, and an easy solution is given of those two classes of passages, the one of which attributes to Jesus all the weaknesses and dependences of man, while the other claims for him all the excellences and honours which belong to God.
These things being premised to show you how that by the help of the doctrine of the incarnation we can easily explain how Christ could both be the giver and receiver of religious worship; we shall now proceed, according to the spirit of the passage
which we have selected as the subject of our discourse, to prove to you that Christ is really the object of religious homage.
I. He was worshipped by his disciples.
In establishing these three points, which rise in natural progression, the one above the other, I do not feel myself called upon to enter upon the wide field of establishing the truth that Christ is divine, and therefore that he ought to be worshipped. I intend merely to show you that the Scriptures represent him as being worshipped, and leave you to draw the inference either that they teach idolatry, or that he is “God over all, blessed for ever." Before I do this, however, I would carefully guard you against imagining that there are more Gods than one, who are to be adored. I consider the Son of God entitled to divine worship solely on account of his divine nature; and, farther, whatever is the distinction which subsists in
the divine nature, that nature is one. The deity of the Son and the deity of the Holy Ghost I believe to be one and the same with the deity of the Father. " Let this doctrine stand or fall, according to the evidence with which it is supported in the Sacred page. Yet, let it not be forgotten that this is our doctrine." * The object of religious worship, under the personal distinctions of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, is the one living and true Jehovah. I readily grant this worship is usually, though not uniformly, paid to the Father, as he, according to the covenant of redemption, supports the honour of the Godhead, while the Son and the Holy Ghost are subordinated to him in their official characters, that God may be glorified in Christ, and that man may be saved. Surely it becomes not the human family to carp at this subordination if it is Scriptural, since it is an arrangement intended for their good.
But, while I would thus guard you against thinking that I am making an inroad upon the divine unity, because I am teaching that Christ, according to the Scriptures, is to be worshipped, I would also make another remark, which I deem of importance.
It is customary to say that the word which is translated “worship,” as offered to Christ, is a word that denotes civil honour as well as religious adoration, and that the respect shown to Jesus was merely civil honour, and not religious homage. This, however, is begging the question. It is jumping to the conclusion without having examined the premises. I do not deny that the word signifies civil honour as well as religious adoration. There is nothing wonderful in its doing so.' Even our own English word “worship” does not always signify religious adoration. We say of a Magistrate," your worship," but do we pay him thereby religious homage? In the marriage ceremony of the Church of
* Dr. Smith.