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and yet that the divine nature did not suffer: or to consider him as a living Saviour while he continued in the state of the dead: or to conceive how it is possible, seeing there is only one God, the object of divine worship, to pay that worship distinctly to each of the divine persons. In worshipping the Mediator, the mind ought to consider that supreme Deity is the ground of his claim to divine honours, and that all acts of worship terminate upon his person, in which human nature subsists. But I shall now proceed
IV. To show wherein that worship, which the church is enjoined to render unto her Lord, consists.
1. THIS worship consists in the ascription of supreme Deity to him. The whole of divine worship lies radically here; though the operations of the mind, by which it is performed, are varicus. The highest glory and excellence of the Mediator lie in his Deity, and if we deny this we allow him no more excellence than a creature. It is a truth firmly to be believed on the footing of the divine testimony in the Scriptures. If we disbe lieve the divine testimony, we make its author a liar, and deny his truth and faithfulness, his Deity. To de ny the Redeemer's Deity is to blaspheme him, to strike through, and wound his character; because it is rob bing him of all that is worthy and excellent in his character. It is blasphemy in a creature to arrogate to himself Deity or any thing belonging to it, because he robs God and claims his honours to himself. When Christ healed the paralytic by saying, "Thy sins are forgiven thee," the Jews instantly said, "This man blasphemeth." To pardon sin is the province of God only, and as they did not believe his Deity they concluded he was guilty of blasphemy. On another occa sion, they went about to stone him for blasphemy, be
cause he had said, "I and my Father are one." Their inference was just had Christ been only a creature. If it is the highest arrogance and blasphemy for a creature to claim to himself Deity, to which he has no right, it must be the highest honour paid to the Mediator to believe his Deity and respect him as possessed of it. But it is not enough that we assent to the truth of his Deity, we must cordially approve of it and highly esteem him as possessed of it. We often meet with solemn ascriptions of Deity to him by his people. When Christ had put the question to Peter, "Whom say ye that I am?" He answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." The same thing was implied in Thomas' confession," My Lord, and my God." He claimed interest in him and ascribed Deity to him in the same words. Peter, in name of the twelve, when Christ asked them, " Will ye also go away?" replied; "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure, that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." The angels worship him in the same way, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." Rev. v. 12. Because all divine perfections belong to him, he is a divine Mediator, and the ascription of these to him, is paying him the highest honour. Let me remind you that this ascription of Deity is implied
every act of worship, and lies at the foundation of it, as may be seen in the few additional remarks I am to offer.
2. FAITH is an act of divine worship. Faith may be considered, either as giving credit to his testimony in what he reveals; or as a trusting in him for what he promises.
WE worship him when we cordially believe what he
reveals in his word. We also credit the testimony of men; but this is not worshipping them, because, not being possessed of divine perfections, their testimony is fal lible: when we credit their testimony then we only ascribe human veracity, candour, and faithfulness, to them. Our faith, in such a case, is only human faith, implying a certain degree of civil or moral respect to the object, but nothing of divine worship. But Jesus is the faithful and true Witness, infallible in his testimony, because he is God that cannot lie. "To this end was I born," said he to Pilate," and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." John xviii. 37. His testimony is infallible, and when we believe it to be so, our faith is divine faith, as resting on divine testimony; and it is divine worship because it ascribes truth, veracity, perfect knowledge, and faithfulness, to him. He is the great mediatory prophet promised by God to the church, whom she was commanded to hear and believe. "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you--him shall ye hear in all things." "This is my beloved Son hear him." The command to hear him is a command to worship him.
FAITH also implies trusting in him. We put a certain degree of trust in man, respecting the affairs of common life; but it is not worship. If we put that trust in man which we ought to put only in God, we give his glory to another, and secure a curse to ourselves." Cursed is he that trusteth in man." The design of trusting in him is to obtain salvation, but this would be in vain unless he were possessed of supreme Deity, which enables him to confer it. Trust is, therefore, an acknowledgement of wisdom, grace, power and faithfulness as possessed by him. These perfections pledged for our salvation are the very ground and reason of our trust. "Trust yein
the LORD for ever; for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength." Isaiah xxvi. 4. "Behold, God is my salvation: I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength." Isaiah xii. 2. We are to trust in his omnipotence to subdue our enemies, to destroy our sins, and to secure us from falling away. We must rely on his divine wisdom for managing all the concerns of our salvation, and giving us counsel in all difficult cases. We should confide in his faithfulness and veracity that he will fulfil his promises to us according as our situation may require. Unless we believe that these are divine perfections in him, and that they are necessary to carry on our salvation, our trust is not divine faith, and possesses nothing of the nature of divine worship. Nothing tends more to exalt its object, or puts higher honour upon it than faith. It strips the sinner naked, and places him in the presence of God in want of all things, while it ascribes all divine excellence to its object, adheres to it, and relies upon it.
THE Mediator is as much and as properly the object of faith as the Father. He is the first and immediate object of it as he is exhibited to us in the gospel. It is the commandment of the Father, "That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ." He is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him, because he is God, and there is none else: hence it is that sinners are directed to believe in him in order to their salvation, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." He directs his people to exercise the same faith in himself as they do in the Father, "Ye believe in God, believe also in me." There is the same reason of faith in him as in the Father, therefore we are bound to believe in him equally with the Father. He is the same one true and living
God, possesses the same divine perfections, and carries on the same great salvation; to believe in him as such to the saving of the soul, is doing him the highest honour; because it ascribes to him all divine perfections, and all the glory of the work of salvation, in which these are so wonderfully displayed.
worship because suLove to any object
3. SUPREME love. Love, in every case is not worship. God's love to us is the spring of our salvation; but this love is not worship paid to us, we not being possessed of any thing worthy of that love. The love of creatures to each other is not preme Deity belongs not to them. ought always to be regulated by the reasons which require it. In God the reason is his divine excellence. This renders him infinitely worthy of our love, and renders it, when rightly exercised, divine worship. The love of the divine persons to each other is not worship, as divine worship implies the infinite superiority of the object worshipped above the worshipper: Besides it would be improper to form the idea of God worshipping himself, although he loves himself infinitely.
LOVE to the Mediator must be very different from that affection which we exercise towards one another. It must be suited to his character; and as this is divine so must our love. He is worthy of infinite love; but of this we are incapable, being only finite creatures. We ought, however, to love him as one who is infinitely worthy. The consideration of his divine excellencies should enter into our love, and engage our highest esteem. "He is the Lord our God, and, on that account, we should love him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind." In such a light did the spouse view him as the supreme object of her esteem. "My beloved is white and ruddy,