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the human race, Christ will intercede. The Father delighteth in his Son and be delighteth to grant his requests. None that cometh to the Father by him shall in any wise be cast out.
The near relationship, which subsists between Christ and his subjects, argues that he will save them. He is the Ruler of his people. He is frequently styled, in the Scriptures, Governor and King. God, by the Psalmist, saith, “I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion.". The prophet Zechariah, in view of the approach of the Messiah, breaks out in this elevated strain, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout O daughter of Jerusalem, thy King cometh unto thee, he is just and having salvation.” Nathanael
, that Israelite, in whom was no guile, addressed Christ in the most decisive language; “Thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” It was prophesied of the Messiah, that the government should be upon his shoulder. As Christ is King of his people, he will save them from all their enemies. It is the characteristic of a good ruler, as he has ability, to save his subjects from their foes; to deliver them from evils, and secure them from danger. Christ is a wise, powerful, and good Ruler. He will therefore save his own peculiar people. If he suffers them, at times, to be chastised by their enemies; he suffers it no farther than it serves as salutary discipline. He will finally lead them to victory and to salvation.
Christ styles himself a shepherd, "the good Shepherd.” As it is the duty of a shepherd to feed his sheep and secure them from beasts of prey; so Christ supports his flock; secures them from their enemies, and finally saves them. Christ claims the relationship of bridegroom to his church. This figurative appel lation conveys the idea of the most intimate union, and of the most endearing care and affection. A mother may forget her tender offspring, but Christ declares that he will not forget his church. Arguments need not be multiplied to prove that Jesus Christ is the
Author of salvation. The Sacred Scriptures bear testimony to the truth of this doctrine; and if they be true, the doctrine of salvation by Christ is also true. Upon this ground mankind are, with propriety, required to put their trust in him; to apply to him for every aid, and commit their highest concerns to his hands.
The inference then is plain that Christ is not merely a man. The Scriptures expressly declare, "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm.” But, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” It is not reasonable that a mere man could work out such a complete righteousness, that offers of pardon and salvation could be consistently made to the human race. No man liveth, or ever lived, and sinned not. Consequently no man can save himself. He can make no expiation for his own sins, excepting by suffering the threatened penalty. If he cannot save himself, it is presumable that he cannot save others. If a man were appointed to be the author of salvation, by making satisfaction for sin, by officiating as mediator between God and the human race, and forgiving their offences; it would greatly diminish the dignity of the divine character; it would greatly diminish the evil of sin; it would greatly diminish the price and the value of salvation; it would contract every part of the work of redemption.
Similar objections lie against the hypothesis that a superangelic creature was the author of salvation. Whoever the Savior is, whatever his nature and his character are, the Sacred Scriptures attribute to him the highest excellences; the highest honors; the highest authority; and require the highest love to be exercised toward him. God has given us the Sacred Scriptures to be the object of our faith and the rule of our practice. Can it be supposed that God, who is jealous for the honor of his name; who is jealous for the rights of his throne, would appoint a creature, (of however exalted nature,) to take his place; to receive his authority; to do his works; to receive the glory which is due only to himself and be the object of the highest love of the human race! Will God suffer a creature to be on equality with himself in the work of redemption, the noblest of all his works? Will he, who has manifested the strongest displeasure against idolatry, encourage, nay, require the human race to pay divine honors to one of his creatures? There is not such inconsistency; there is not such contradiction in the divine Mind.
It is rational to suppose that the Author of salvation has a nature and character proportionate to the work. It appears that it would require as great power, as deep wisdom, as much goodness, to repair and restore a ruined world, as it required to create it. He alone, that required obedience to the divine law, has authority to forgive sin. He alone that formed the mechanism of the human mind can repair it. He alone that organized the human body and animated it with a rational soul, can reorganize and reunite it with its kindred spirit. He alone that hath all authority in heaven and in earth, can distribute reward and punishment at the day of judgment. He that doth these things is Christ; and consequently Christ is divine.
THE MEDIATORIAL OFFICE OF JESUS
To form correct ideas of the nature and character of Jesus Christ, it is important to notice his offices and his duties arising from them. It is not from one attribute, one name, one office, or one work, we can learn the qualities of his nature. But from an examination of them all, we have a more extensive view of the subject; and shall more probably be unbiassed in our inquiries, and be better qualified to discover the truth. When we examine a large structure, we notice its parts; their connexion; and then the general design and appearance of the whole. When we contemplate on Jesus Christ, the subject appears so vast, that we need to examine it, as it were, by parts, or in different points of view. When we have made these distinct investigations, we can bring them together and see what is the amount of the whole. It will cast some light on this subject to examine the mediatorial office and work of Jesus Christ.
It appears that the Father has holden intercourse with mankind since the apostasy, through a mediator. He, who conversed with our first parents in Eden after their transgression, was probably the Word. The Angel, who appeared to the patriarchs and made important communications of the divine will; who led Israel out of Egypt, conducted them through the Red Sea, and directed them in the wilderness; who appeared
many other times, and spoke with divine authority
exhibited traits of character, which identify him with the Lord Jesus. He was the Angel of the covenant. So is Christ. He was the Mediator between God and mankind after the covenant of mercy began to be revealed. Christ is the Mediator of the new covenant. He was tempted in the wilder
So was Christ. It was implicitly declared, that the Angel could forgive sin. When Christ was upon earth, he proved that he had authority to forgive
It is admitted by those, who grant that Christ is a Savior, that the saints, during the first four thousand years of the world, were saved in view of the merits, and through the mediation of Christ.
The Mediator between God and men, the apostle calls the man Christ Jesus." From this and similar expressions in the Scriptures, it has been inferred, that Christ was merely a man. This inference does not appear to be conclusive. The Angel, who wrestled with Jacob, was called a man. Angels, who appeared at various times on special occasions, were called men. God himself is called a man, “a man of war.” But this mode of expression does not prove that they were really men. The Angel, who wrestled with Jacob, and frequently appeared to the patriarchs, and those ministering angels, who were occasionally sent into the world on important business, were called men, because they assumed a human appearance. God is figuratively called a man of war, because he has power to overcome, and actually does overcome his enemies. But for other reasons, was Christ called a He really was a man.
He was made flesh. He was made of a woman. He was tempted in all points like as we are. Because he was a man, it does not follow that he was simply a man. ances of men had a different nature connected with them, there appears to be no absurdity, in admitting that a real man might have a different nature connected with him. If Christ consist of human and divine nature, it is not surprising that he should some
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