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3. David worships Christ in Psalms xlv. and lxxii. and cii. in ascribing to him the praise which is due to God only. In the two first he declares, that the people shall praise him, and fear him, and fall down before him, and serve him for ever and ever.' In the last he makes to him a long continued prayer.
4. In Isaiah vi. the seraphim worshipped him, saying, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of Hosts.'
5. Stephen, in Acts vii. 59, 60. prayed to Christ. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God;' or as in the original, they stoned Stephen invoking, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge; and, having said this, he fell asleep.'
On this prayer of St. Stephen I make the following remarks :
(1.) Stephen at this time was full of the Holy Ghost,' (verse 55.) and therefore perfectly secured from error.
(2.) He was singularly favoured of God on account of the greatness of his faith and obedience; and, as a peculiar testimony of the divine favour, he was permitted to see the heavens opened, and to behold the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.'
(3.) In the full assurance produced by this vision, and the faith with which he beheld it, he presented his final petitions to Christ.
(4.) The first of these petitions respected the highest personal object which can be prayed for, viz. the eternal salvation of his soul; and attributed to him to whom it was made that infinite power, wisdom, and goodness which alone can bestow salvation.
(5.) The second petition was of the same nature, being a prayer, that his enemies might not be finally condemned for the sin of murdering him; and of course attributed to the person, to whom it was addressed the power of forgiving or condemning these murderers. No higher act of worship was ever rendered than this, nor was any act of worship ever performed on a more solemn occasion, nor by a person better qualified to worship aright, nor with a more illustrious testimony of acceptance. Yet this act of worship was performed to Christ.
(6.) This was the very worship, and these were the very prayers offered to God, a little before, by Christ at his crucifixion. Stephen, therefore, worshipped Christ just as Christ worshipped the Father.
6. St. Paul often prayed to Christ directly.* Particularly 1 Thess. iii. 11, 12. Now God' himself, even our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.' Here a prayer is offered up by St. Paul, that he may be guided to the Thessalonians; and that they may be made to increase and abound in holiness, and established unto the end. This prayer is offered up to God the Father and to our Lord Jesus Christ, in the same manner and the same terms; both being unitedly addressed in the same petition, without any note of distinction. The second of these petitions is also offered up to Christ alone. The same petition in substance is presented to the Father and Son united, in the same manner: 2 Thess. ii. 16, 17. In the third chapter, verse 5, Paul prays, Now may the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God, and to the patience of Christ:' and verse 16, Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace by all means. The Lord be with you all.' Again, 2 Cor. xii. 8, Concerning this,' that is, the messenger of Satan to buffet him, St. Paul says, 'thrice I besought the Lord, that it might depart from me. But he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in mine infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.' In this passage St. Paul informs us that he thrice prayed to Christ respecting the particular subject mentioned.
7. St. Paul, in all his epistles except that to the Hebrews, and St. John, in his second epistle, pray to Christ, in that noted request, in which also Silas, Timothy, and Sosthenes united, that Grace, mercy, and peace might be multiplied,' or communicated, to those to whom they wrote, from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.' This is an express prayer to the Father and the Son united, to grant grace, mercy, and peace to men. These are the highest of all
• See Bishop Burnet on the Articles, p. 48.
blessings, and such as none but Jehovah can grant. Yet Christ can grant them, because the Spirit of inspiration directed that he should be prayed to for them.
8. The baptismal service, directed by Christ himself, is an act of religious worship to Christ.
Baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' Whether this be interpreted to mean, Baptizing them into the name, or in the name, it makes no difference. If Christians are baptized into the name, they are baptized into the name of God only; for they are the children of God only by adoption; that adoption by which they take his name upon them; and Christ is here declared to be the God whose name they assume. If they are baptized in the name, they are baptized in the name, or authority, of God only but Christ is this God.
9. The blessing pronounced on Christian assemblies, is an act of religious worship, rendered to Christ.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.' 'Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph. vi. 23. Or, as it was more commonly, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.' The first of these is equivalent to the blessing anciently pronounced by the high priest on the children of Israel. Jehovah bless thee, and keep thee: Jehovah make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious to thee: Jehovah lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.' It is the appropriate office of the Father to bless and preserve, of the Son to give grace and illumination; and of the Spirit to communicate peace.
Finally: So universal was the custom of praying to Christ, that Christians were originally entitled, as their distinguishing appellation, "Those who called on the name of Christ." Thus Ananias says to Christ, Acts ix. 14. And he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all those that call on thy name.' The people of Damascus also, when they heard Paul preach, were amazed, and said, Is not this he, who destroyed them that called on this name in Jerusalem?' 1 Cor i. 1. Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, and Sosthenes the brother, unto the Church of God which is at Corinth, called to be saints, with all that in every place call
upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.' 2. Tim. ii. 22. 'Follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.' Romans x. 12. The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.' That Christ is here meant is evident from the preceding
In all these instances, and in this universal manner, was Christ worshipped. In the greater part of the instances, the persons who rendered the worship were inspired, and in the remaining instances were plainly under divine direction, because the worship was approved and accepted.
But religious worship is lawfully rendered to God only. This we know from the mouth of Christ himself, quoting Deuteronomy x. 20. in Matthew x. 12. It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.' The angel also forbade John to worship him, saying, ' See thou do it not; worship God.' Isaiah also commands, 'Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself: and let him be your fear and your dread.' God, also, in Exodus xxxiv. 14. says to the Israelites, 'Thou shalt worship no other God: whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.'
Yet Christ is here directed to be worshipped, and is actually worshipped, by persons inspired. If then Christ be not God, God has commanded another to be worshipped; and persons under the immediate direction of his Spirit have worshipped another.
The whole church, the bride, is commanded, in Psalm xlv. by that God who said unto him, Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever,' thus: Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; so shall the King greatly desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him.' The church has in all ages obeyed this command, and worshipped him; prophets have worshipped him; apostles have worshipped him: men, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, have besought his guidance, aid, grace, and blessing while they lived, and when they died have besought him to receive their spirits into his own eternal kingdom. If Christ is God, if he is Jehovah, they have done their duty. If he is not God, if he is not Jehovah, they have violated through life and in death the first of Jehovah's commands in the decalogue; Thou shalt have no other God before me.'
DIVINITY OF CHRIST.
THIS THE ONLY GROUND OF CONSISTENCY IN THE SCHEME OF REDEMPTION.
THE JEWS OTHERWISE NOT CHARGEABLE WITH GUILT IN CRUCIFYING CHRIST.
THE APOSTLES OTHERWISE CHARGEABLE WITH LEADING MANKIND INTO IDOLATRY.
FOR WHAT THE LAW COULD NOT DO, IN THAT IT WAS WEAK THROUGH THE FLESH, GOD, SENDING HIS OWN SON IN THE LIKENESS OF SINFUL FLESH, AND FOR SIN, CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH THAT THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW MIGHT BE FULFILLED IN US, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT.
ROMANS VIII. 3, 4.
FOR GOD, SENDING HIS OWN SON IN THE LIKENESS OF SINFUL FLESH, AND OF A SIN-OFFERING, HATH CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH (THE THING IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE LAW, BECAUSE IT WAS WEAK THROUGH THE FLESH:) THAT THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW MAY BE FULFILLED BY US, WHO WALK NOT ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, BUT ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT.
DR. MACKNIGHT'S TRANSLATION.
ACCORDING to the plan originally proposed from these words, I have, in the three preceding Discourses, considered at length, the proofs of the Deity of Christ, arranged under the first general head: viz. That Christ is spoken of in the Scriptures as the true and perfect God.