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tions towards him. If Christ be God as well as man; then He ought to have the supreme affection of all hearts.
But, how can those give Christ the supreme affection of their hearts, who imagine that he was no more than a man, or, at most, a created or derived being, infinitely inferior to the Deity? Though one's love to Christ may fall below; yet, it is hardly credible, that it should ever rise above his views of his personal dignity and worth. I only add,
4. It is necessary to have correct sentiments of the Person of Christ, in order to treat him in a becoming manner; or, to give unto him the glory which is his due.
As Christ is a Divine Person, He ought to be worshipped as the supreme God: all men should honour the Son, even as they ought to honour the Father.'
But, to give Divine honours to any created or derived being, is idolatry. And though some argue, that it is right to pay Divine honours to such a being; yet, it is not believed, that even they themselves can sincerely and understandingly do it.
A few INFERENCES will now close the discourse.
1. It appears from what has been said, that the professors of Christianity, in embracing such different and erroneous sentiments of the Person of Christ, have incurred great guilt. They have embraced such sentiments, with the sacred Scriptures in their hands, in which
person of the adorable Redeemer is clearly and fully described. It is plainly taught, in Scripture, that Christ was truly man. And it is as plainly taught, in Scripture, that Christ was truly God. There is as much evidence, in the New Testament, of the supreme Divinity of Christ, as there is of his veracity. Indeed, there is as
much evidence, in Scripture, that Jesus Christ is truly God, there is that there is any God.— For if He, to whom Divine Names are given, Divine Perfections ascribed, Divine Works attributed, and the highest Divine Honours rendered, be not truly God, it must be impossible to prove, from the Scriptures, that there is a God. It has been owing, not to want of evidence, but to blindness of heart, that the professed believers of the Christian religion, have so frequently rejected the truth respecting the Person of the Messiah. If they had all been divested of reasoning pride; if they had all been disposed to receive with meekness the ingrafted word, they would all have been agreed on this important subject.
By rejecting the testimony of Christ and his apostles, they have caused divisions and contentions in the church, subverted the doctrines of grace, and robbed the blessed Redeemer of the glory due unto his great and holy name.
2. If the sacred Scriptures teach us, that Jesus Christ is both God and man, in two natures and one person; then his Person is truly mysterious. His Divine nature could not have become human; nor could his human nature have become Divine; nor can his two natures be blended together. How, then, could the Divine and human natures be so united in Christ Jesus, as to constitute but one, individual person? It is a profound mystery. "Great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh."
But, be it remembered, that a mystery and an absurdity, are two things. Absurdities are inconceivable, and must be rejected: mysteries may be stated, and must be received. Mysteries are not peculiar to the volume of Revelation. The world of nature is full
of them. There are mysteries relating to electricity, to magnetism, to gravitation. The union of soul and body in man, is an inscrutable mystery. Dr. Price, who rejected the mystery of Christ's Person, confessed, that there is a mystery in "the running of water down hill.”
The Conception of Christ, as well as the union of two natures in his Person, was a mystery. But neither of them is more mysterious, than the very ground of the Divine Existence.
S. Does the sacred Scripture teach us, that Christ possesses the Divine and human natures, in one Person? Then there may be Three Persons in the Godhead. Since the Person of Christ comprises the human nature, it must, necessarily, be distinct from the Person, both of the Father and the Spirit. Hence, Christ always spake to and of the Father, as a Person distinct from himself; and of the Holy Spirit, as a Person distinct from both.There is no greater mystery in the Trinity, than in the Person of Christ. Those, who can believe what the Scripture says of Christ, may believe what the Scripture says of the Godhead; "There are Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: AND THESE THREE ARE ONE."
4. If it be so important, as has been shown, to have correct sentiments respecting Christ's Person; then those are in an error, who argue, that it is of no consequence what sentiments professing Christians entertain of the Person of the Redeemer.
Some say, and publicly preach, that, to be a Christian, it is only necessary to assent to this single proposition, "Jesus is the Christ." This is opening the door of liberality very wide. For, according to this opinion, all are true believers, except Deists.
But if, as has been shown, none can have right views of the Gospel, or right affections towards Christ, or true faith in Him, or can render Him due honours, without essentially correct sentiments of His Person; it will follow, that all, who have never had such sentiments of the Person of the Saviour, were never real Christians; and that all, who are now destitute of such sentiments, are destitute of true faith." If (said Christ) ye "If believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
5. It appears, in the light of this subject, that those must be very criminal, who entertain correct sentiments of Christ's Person, and yet, do not feel towards Him, and treat Him as they ought. Their own consciences bind them to love, serve and worship Him, as their Lord and their God. If they refuse, they stand condemned of themselves: and not only so, but the wrath of God is revealed from heaven, against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. It deeply concerns such persons, and all others, who enjoy the light of the Gospel, immediately to give Christ their hearts, lest they perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. BLESSED ARE ALL THEY THAT PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM.
On Revivals of Religion.
There are some who look with a suspicious eye on every thing which bears the name of a revival of religion. They consider the whole as enthusiasm or sympathy, or the effect of terror, or a strong excitement of the animal feelings, which will soon subside, and produce no permanent good effects. And some do not hesitate to say, it is all produced by humau exertion, and its subjects are only those of weak minds, and such as are easily led away; and they apply to those who attempt to promote revivals, the declaration of the apostle"For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women, ," &c. Now, that all this may not be true with respect to some of those excitements which are called revivals, I shall not undertake to affirm. But that it is true with respect to all, will by no means be admitted. That there are some genuine revivals of true religion, which are produced by the saving operations of the Spirit of God, is my full belief; and that they are numerous at the present day, I have no doubt. And I think a candid attention to the subject will convince any one, that the attempt to account for them on any other principles, must utterly fail. The opposers of revivals sometimes say, it is all enthusiasm; and in confirmation of it, allege the warmth of feeling manifested by many on such occasions, the neglect of their ordinary concerns, for the purpose of going from house to of going from house to house, to converse on religious subjects; the little interest they feel in those things which usually engage the attention of men, their contempt of pleasure, and honour, and wealth, and their waste of time in attending so many religious meetings; all which appear to them like the effects of partial derange
ment. They would not object to the regular attendance upon religious meetings on the Sabbath, but they think the commandment is, six days shalt thou labour," and they view it as a violation of this commandment, to spend so much of the week in attending to religious concerns.
By enthusiasm, these persons undoubtedly mean a warmth of feeling altogether disproportioned to the importance of the object in view. They do not consider that man chargeable with enthusiasm who pursues an important object with great engagedness. When the state is in danger, they think no efforts too great, to rouse the public attention, and to stimulate every lover of his country to active exertion. No warmth of feeling which can be manifested on such an occasion, appears to them unreasoable or enthusiastic. When the country is invaded, they condemn no man who neglects his ordinary concerns, and flies to arms to repel the invader. They charge no man with enthusiasm, who devotes his time, and his talents, and his wealth, to save his country from foreign domination. Nay, when much smaller interests are at stake, these persons are not over scrupulous in their regard to the commandment to labour six days and rest the seventh. On the eve of an election on which they deem the interests of their party to depend, when the only question is, whether this or that set of men shall enjoy the honours and emoluments of office, they do not scruple to spend much time and money in securing the object they have in view. And if they manifest great warmth of feeling on such an occasion, and labour with great zeal to secure the ascendancy of their party, they are very far from charging themselves with enthusiasm, or supposing that all who feel
as they do, are under the influence of mental derangement.
To ascertain, therefore, whether the advocates of a revival of religion are chargeable with enthusiasm, we must consider the importance of the object they have in view. To determine whether the warmth of feeling they manifest is beyond the bounds of reason, we must consider the interests which are at stake. The object they have in view, is the glory of God in the salvation of souls. The interests which are at stake, are the eternal well-being of themselves and their fellow men. They believe that the soul is immortal, and capable of an endless progression in happiness at the right hand of God, or of misery in the regions of despair. They believe that all are by nature children of wrath, and exposed to endless perdition, and that none but those who are born again can enter into the kingdom of heaven. If those who believe thus, manifest deep solicitude for themselves and others, if their feelings are warmly engaged, is their zeal disproportionate to the object? If they are disposed to spend their time and employ their wealth in securing the salvation of souls, are they to be accounted as madmen? If, in comparison with this object, they disregard those things which engross the attention of other men, and count the pleasures and honours of this life as nothing worth, do they make a choice which ought to brand them with the name of wild enthusiasts? On a sober review of the subject in their calmer moments, do they condemn themselves for manifesting too great warmth? Do they not uniformly consider themselves as cold, and stupid, and dead, in comparison with what they ought to be, in pursuing an object so unspeakably interesting and important? Do they not look back, with
shame and regret, to those seasons in their lives in which they have felt otherwise? But you will say, perhaps, that they are not proper judges in their own case; for enthusiasts and madmen always think themselves to be sober and rational. Who, then, are the proper judges? Are they those who know nothing of the matter? Are they those who have never seen the worth of their own souls, and who have never felt their exposedness to the wrath of God? Are they those who are so engaged in the concerns of this world, that they have given no attention to the concerns of the next? Are they those who flatter themselves that all are equally safe, and that no danger is to be apprehended by any? It is expected that such men will consider the subject as of no importance. It is expected that they will feel no concern for themselves or their fellow man, and that they will regard as weakness and enthusiasm all the concern for them which is manifested by others. It is clear, then, that these are not the proper judges in this matter and that we have a right to appeal from their judgment to a more impartial tribunal. We appeal to the Scriptures of truth. We appeal to Him who made the soul, and who knows its value. We appeal to Him who died on the cross, and gave his life a ransom for sinners. We appeal to those holy apostles and martyrs, who submitted to the loss of all things, that they might win souls. By their judgments we are willing to abide.-When we shall have manifested more concern for the salvation of men, than did the Lord Jesus in dying to redeem them; when we shall have shown more ardour of feeling on this subject, than that. which brought prophets and apostles to the stake; when we shall have made greater sacrifices for the
spread of the gospel, than did Paul | pressions, and appear no better
and his companions; when we shall have done this, we will stand reproved, and confess that our zeal has transcended its proper lim
But it is said that those who are the advocates of revivals, and the subjects of their operations, are only silly women, and weak-minded men; those who are easily affected by sympathy, and led away by animal feeling. It is said, that a revival of religion is only a storm of the passions, which soon subsides, and leaves no permanent good effects. Was Paul a weakminded man? Was he led away by sympathy, and actuated by mere animal feeling? Did the operation of the Spirit of God on his heart produce no permanent good effects? And are no similar instances to be found among the subjects of modern revivals? Are there none who are men of superior intellect, and uncommon stability of character, who are advocates for revivals, or the subjects of them? No one, who is acquainted with the history of revivals, will venture to assert it. A multitude of instances might be produced, of men of talents, and learning, and firmness of mind; men who had been opposed to revivals, and who had regarded all pretensions to experimental religion as weakness and folly, who have, nevertheless, become subjects of the work, and have been made to feel the almighty energy of the Spirit of God. These men say they have experienced a change; and why should we doubt their veracity? Their subsequent lives give evidence of the change; and why should we shut our eyes to so convincing a proof?
That there is much sympathy and much animal feeling in times of revival, is not to be doubted; and that those who are merely affected by these, lose their im
than before, is not denied. But i it were all sympathy and anima feeling, it would all disappear wher the excitement was past, and no permanent good effects would remain. That some men are made better, is not to be questioned That some of the most proud, and obstinate, and determined oppos ers of the religion of the gospel, are changed into meek and humble followers of the Lamb, is fully susceptible of proof. And this is a satisfactory demonstration that the work is a divine reality. The circumstances, too, under which the work often commences, and the manner in which many are first awakened, are such as to preclude the possibility of its being the effect of any human exertion. Revivals often commence, when there had been no visible alteration in the means which are used, no change in the matter or manner of preaching, and no increase of exertion on the part of the friends of religion. Those means which had been used for years, without producing any other visible effect than that of hardening sinners still more, now operate with resistless energy. The same truths which have long been heard with indifference, now carry alarm, and conviction, and terror, to the most stupid. This difference cannot be accounted for on the supposition that it is all the work of man. The manner, also, in which many are first awakened, is a proof equally conclusive, of the operation of a divine agent. They have heard the most solemn and affecting declarations of the word of God, from time to time, without being in the least alarmed; they have been conversed with, in private, to no purpose; but now, without any new considerations being presented, without any thing being said to them, or any particular occurrence to call up their at