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This seems to be the obvious import of our Lord's question; and thus understood, it is as interesting and important now, as ever it was; and, for ought that appears, may be put, with as much propriety, to professing Christians, who believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah, as to Jewish doctors, who viewed him to be an impostor. For, though all who profess to believe the Christian Reli

The Pharisees were the most be will be? Do you think he will learned, as well as the most devout be a Divine Person, or a superand punctilious sect of the Jews. angelick person, or a mere human And though they hated the Sad-person? What think ye of the Perducees, who were a kind of free- son of Christ?' thinkers; yet they were gratified with the opposition of this licentious sect to Christ, and were displeased and alarmed when the Divine Teacher refuted, confounded, and silenced them. "But, when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together." While they were assembled, with an evident design to entangle Christ in his talk, He took occasion to ask them a question, in order to ex-gion, will assent to the proposition, pose their ignorance and absurdity in accusing him of blasphemy, because he laid claim to Divinity. He knew what their answer would be; and he knew, that in their answer, they would contradict either themselves, or the Scriptures. His question was this: What think ye of Christ? As if he had said, What is your opinion with respect to the long predicted and long expected Messiah? How do you understand the Prophets? Though you treat me as an impostor, yet you all believe that there is to be a Messiah, a Christ: And what sort of a Person do you think


That Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ; yet they entertain as different opinions, respecting the Person of Christ, as the Jews ever did or can. And, it must be as important to us, as to those who lived in Christ's day, to have correct and scriptural views of the Person of the Messiah. Let the question, then, be seriously put to all present, what think ye of Christ?

In prosecuting this subject, I shall,

I. Mention some of the different opinions which professing Christians entertain of the Person of 'Christ.

II. Enquire what the Scriptures | tury. Of the Arians, some attri

teach us to believe respecting the Person of Christ? And,

III. Show the importance of having correct sentiments of the Person of Christ.

1. I shall mention some of the different opinions, which professing Christians entertain of the Person of Christ.

While the professors of Christianity agree in their belief, that Jesus, the son of Mary, was a person of veracity, of pure morals, and of great wisdom and piety, that he was a teacher sent from heaven, and in some way or other, instrumental of the salvation of lost men; that he was, indeed, the Messiah or Christ, foretold by the prophets and promised to Israel; still, they differ, greatly, in their opinions respecting his personal properties and dignity.

bute a higher and some a lowe degree of dignity to the Saviour. They generally hold, however, that Christ was the first of created beings, and that he possessed every divine attribute, except self-existence and independence.

3. It is the opinion of some, that Christ was neither a mere man, nor a created spirit, but, as they choose to express themselves, "properly and literally the Son of God." They suppose that Christ had no human soul; and that his spirit was not created, but literally begotten of the substance of the Father. Hence, they conclude, that Christ derived a real Divine nature from the Father, and that he is truly and without a figure, God; though destitute both of selfexistence and independence.

It will readily be perceived, that there is no more difference between the above notions of

Arians, than there is between the meaning of the term derived and the term created. But, what the real and essential difference is, between the meaning of these two terms, remains, perhaps, yet to be explained. I only add,

1. It is the opinion of some, that Christ was a mere man. These are called, for the sake of distinc-Christ's person, and that of the tion, Socinians, from one Socinus, a man of genius and learning, who first advanced this opinion in the sixteenth century. They deny that Christ had any existence before he was born of the virgin Mary. And they hold, that Jesus was in no respect superior to other men, except as he was endued with an uncommon degree of wisdom and virtue, and received an unusual measure of the spirit of prophecy and gift of miracles.

2. It is the opinion of some, that Christ was more than a man, though no more than a creature. They suppose he was a man as to his body only, which was born of the virgin; and that his soul was a superangelick spirit, created by the Father. These are usually denominated Arians, from Arius, 66 a man of a subtle turn, and remarkable for his eloquence, who originated this opinion of the person of Christ, in the fourth cen

4. It is the belief of the majority of professing Christians, and ever has been. that in Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, the Divine and human natures were mysteriously united: that He was truly God and truly man, in but one person.

Thus different and contradictory are the sentiments of professing Christians, respecting the Person of the Messiah. It is agreed, however, by all denominations, that our knowledge of this subject, is to be derived, wholly from the sacred Scriptures. This is the infallible judge, which must end the strife. To the Law and to the Testimony, then; if any speak not

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according to this word, it is be- | vine Names are given to Christ.
cause there is no light in them.'
Which leads me,

II. To enquire, what the Scriptures teach us to believe, respecting the Person of Christ?

He is called God. "The Word was God. God was manifest in the flesh." He is called the great God. "The glorious appearing of the GREAT GOD, and our Sav1. The Scriptures teach us to iour, JESUS CHRIST." He is called believe that Christ was truly a the only Wise God. "To the inan. We read, that he was born, ONLY WISE GOD our SAVIOUr, like other infants. His under- be glory and majesty, dominion standing, as well as his stature, and power, both now and ever." was progressive, like that of other Christ is called by the peculiar children. We are told by Luke, and incommunicable name JEHOthat he increased in wisdom and VAH. "The voice of him that stature, and in favour with God crieth in the wilderness, Prepare and man. The Evangelists repre- ye the way of the Lord (JEHOVAH) sent Christ as possessing all the make straight in the desert a highinnocent natural affections of hu- way for our God." "Behold, man nature. They inform us, that the days come, saith the Lord, he was subject to hunger, thirst, that I will raise unto David a fatigue and pain; that he felt sym-righteous Branch, and a King pathy, pity and sorrow. They inform us, that Christ frequently called himself a man. In more than sixty places, they say, that Christ called himself the son of man; by which peculiar mode of expression, he always meant, and was always understood, to assert his proper humanity.

If, therefore, we give credence to the testimony of Scripture, we must believe that Christ was truly a man, possessing a material body

and a rational soul.


2. The Scriptures teach us to
believe, that Christ was truly God.
The passages, in which this is
taught, are very numerous.
bare quotation of them, without
note or comment, would fill a con-
siderable volume. The Divinity
of Christ is a doctrine running
through the whole bible, and inter-
woven with all its declarations,
predictions, precepts, promises
and ordinances. The evidence,
in Scripture, that Christ was truly
God, is multifarious and abundant:
a brief summary of it, is all that
we have time at present to exhibit.

First. In sacred Scripture, Di

shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD, (JEHOVAH) OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Secondly. In Scripture, Divine Perfections are ascribed to Christ.

Eternity is ascribed to him. "But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, thousands of Judah, yet out of though thou be little among the

thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.-I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come." Omnipresence is ascribed to Christ.

"Where two or three are met together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. The fulness of Him, that filleth all in all."

Omniscience is ascribed to Christ. "Lord, Thou knowest all things. All He knew what was in man. the Churches shall know, that I am He, who searcheth the reins and

the name of Christ.

"The grac

of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you."

hearts; and I will give unto every one of you according to his works." Omnipotence is ascribed to Christ. "His name shall be called-the MIGHTY GOD. The Lord Jesus Christ-is able even to subdue all things to himself. I am the AL-JESUS." Christ is represented as


Immutability is ascribed to Christ. "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever." Thirdly. In the sacred Scriptures, Divine Works are attributed to Christ.

The work of Creation is attributed to him, "All things were created by Him and for Him."

The work of Preservation is attributed to Christ. "By Him all things consist. Upholding all things by the word of his Power."

The work of raising the dead is attributed to Christ. "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth."

The work of judging the world, is attributed to Christ. "We shall all stand before the judgment seat of CHRIST. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to ME, and every tongue shall confess to God."

Fourthly. In sacred Scripture, Christ is represented as worthy of Divine Honours.

He is represented as worthy of the same honour, as God the Father." All men should honour the SON, even as they honour the FATH


He is represented as the proper Object of prayer. "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." His primitive Disciples did address their prayers to him. "Lord, increase our faith. Lord save us. Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Paul speaks of the Saints, in every place, as calling upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Benedictions are pronounced in

Baptism is to be administered in the name of Christ.-" They were baptized in the name of the LORD

worthy of supreme worship.

We have seen his star in the East, and are come to worship him.-Let all the Angels of God worship him. And I heard the voice of many Angels round about the throne, and the beasts and the elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying, with a loud voice, worthy is the LAMB that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory and blessing." It may be added,


Fifthly. That the Scripture represents Christ, as claiming equality with God. "He thought it not robbery to be equal with God." He called himself, not only the Son of God, but one with the Father. "I and my Father are One." He permitted his disciples, without censure, to call him their Lord and their God, and to worship and adore him. Yea, He suffered himself to be crucified, rather than to deny that he meant to claim absolute Divinity.

s. The Scriptures teach us to believe, that Christ was God and man, in but one Person. He always spake of himself as an individual person. He never intimated that his two natures made him two persons. He always used the first person of the singular number, when speaking of himself. uniformly ascribed both what he did as God, and what he did and suffered as man, to one and the same person.


On a certain occasion, he represented his individual person, as being in heaven and on earth, at the same time. "No man hath

ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the son of man, who is in heaven."

The Apostles, while speaking both of the human and Divine natures of Christ, always represent him as one individual person. They attribute the same works to the man Christ Jesus, and to the only wise God our Saviour.

Thus the Scriptures teach us to believe, that Christ was both God and man, in two natures and one person. It now only remains,

III. To show the importance of having correct sentiments of the Person of Christ.

1. It is necessary to have correct sentiments of the Person of Christ, in order to have correct views of the Gospel scheme of salvation. Every person's views of the peculiar doctrines of the Gospel, will receive their complexion from the sentiments which he entertains of the Person of the Redeemer.

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natural to infer, that repentance does not imply a sense of having deserved interminable wrath; and that the believer does not feel under infinite obligation to the grace of God.

Unscriptural sentiments of the Person of the Redeemer, open the door to unscriptural notions of his design in coming into the world; of the guilty, perishing state of fallen man; of the atonement made by Christ's blood; and of salvation by grace. If those, who reject the testimony of the inspired writers, respecting Christ, do not embrace the most absurd and dangerous errors, it must be, because they either lack the discernment or the resolution, to be consistent with themselves.

2. It is necessary to have correct sentiments of the Person of Christ, in order to have true faith in him. True faith is a cordial belief of the truth, and not a cordial belief of falsehood. Though two persons may both believe that Jesus is the Christ; yet, so long as they have essentially different sentiments respecting what Christ is, or what it is to be the Christ, it is manifest, that they have not both the same faith. If the one has true faith, the other must have

If one believes that Christ was a mere man, he will of course conclude that the principal design of his mission, was not to make atonement for sin, but only to bear witness to the truth; that repentance is all that is requisite to pardon; that sin is but a small evil; and that believers are justified solely on the ground of their person-false faith. If one believes that, al merits. Again,

If one believes that Christ was only a superangelick, or created, or derived being; he will conclude, if he is consistent with himself, that an infinite atonement for sin was not necessary, since a person of less than infinite excellence and dignity could not make an infinite atonement in a limited time.Hence, pursuing his theory, he will be led to conclude, that sinners do not deserve, and will none of them suffer, an endless punishment; because an endless punishment is an infinite punishment. From whence it will be easy and

to be the Christ, is to be merely an inspired man; and another believes that, to be the Christ, is to be a superangelick spirit, created or derived from the Father; and a third believes that, to be the Christ, is to be God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person forever; must it not be evident, to every reflecting mind, that their faith is really and essentially different; although they may all assent, in words, to the undefined proposition, that Jesus is the Christ.

3. It is necessary to have correct sentiments of the Person of Christ, in order to feel right affec

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