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though in the room of it he should have Serm. gotten all that a misjudging World thinks I. desirable.......... .
AND, Goodness. being always communicas tive of itself, the holy Man was far from concealing what he had thus happily discovered. Nay his Zeal for the Honour of God and the Good of Man, prompted him, in Spite of the bitterest Opposition, and at the Hazard of Life itself; to speak and declare the Wisdom of God in a Mystery, even the hidden Wisdom which God ordained before the World unto our Glory (e). So that he persevered in preaching Christ and him crucified, notwithstanding there were many in those Days, as well as in these, that were offended at it We preach, says he, Chrift crucified, to the Jews a' Sumbling-block, and... to the Greeks Foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God (f).-. To such as attended to the Apostles Doctrine and were converted by it, the Gospel apa peared to be the Product of infinite Wisdom and Power, equally wise in the Contrivance, and powerful in the Execution and Effect.
B 3 . But
(F) 1 Cor. ii 23, 2kg
But they, who pride themselves in their worldly Wisdom, Thall, as a Judgment upon them for their incorrigible Vanity, be left destitute of that, which is from above. These are they, who are resolved not to be saved by the Foolishness of Preaching. Yet it.concerns them to take Notice, that the preaching of the Cross is to them only that perish Foolisness (8). and if our Gospel be bid, it is bid to them that are loft: In whom the God of this World hath blinded the Minds of them which believe not, left the Light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the Image of God, would shine unto them (h). So that they, who de spise the Knowledge of Christ Jesus, have no Reason to value themselves upon their fuperior Discernment ; it being no other, than the most signal Folly of Wretches, fitted to Destruction. St. Paul, we find, when inspired by the Spirit of God himself, was in a quite opposite way of thinking: For he. determined not to know or to make known' any thing among those to whom he preached the Gospel, but Jesus Christ, and bim crucified,
(8) • Car, i. 18.
(b) 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4,
SERM. And, having the Example of so great an I. Apostle before me, I judge it a sufficient Authority for undertaking--- to entertain your Meditations with some of the most confiderable Points which we ought to know concerning Christ Jefus,-----and to convince your Minds, that this is in all respects the most excellent Knowledge.
In general to know Christ is to be well acquainted with that Religion, which he founded in all its Parts, and to have a clear Insight into those lively Oracles of Truth, in which the Whole of his Doctrine is contained : But more particularly it may fignify a' right Apprehension of those Branches of his Revelation, which immediately relate to himself, and are to be looked upon as such fundamental. Articles of it, that it is in vain to pretend to the Knowledge of him, without heartily and fully acknowledging them. And to this restrained Sense shall I limit, what I beg Leave to lay before you on the Subject.
· That there was such a Person as Jesus Christ, who lived in the Time, Country and Manner specified in the Scriptures, we must
Serm. be at least as certain of, as we can be of the
I. Existence of any Man whatsoever, whom we n have not seen with our own Eyes.
And we must also be assured, by reading the Account of him recorded in the Gospel with Care and without Prejudice, That there never was, nor ever can be such another Person in the World. Since it is there expressly revealed of him, that he was not barely Man, but even God likewise ; that he as really partook of the Divine Nature by being Son of God, as he did of the Human by being Son of Man, and-----that he thus became both God and Man united in one and the same Person. His Works declare him as powerfully to be God, as his Sufferings prove him sensibly to be Man ;. and unless we are satisfied, that he is God, we cannot believe him to be Jesus or a Saviour ; nor unless we are satisfied, that he . is Man, can we believe that his Merits extend unto us ; neither unless we are satisfied, that he is both God and Man, can we believe him to be the Mediator between God and Man. Surely then so material a Point calls for the most serious Attention, and nothing can justify the treating that Doctrine either with Scorn, or with Indifference, upon
which are grounded all our Hopes and Ex- Serm. pectations ; especially since it is maintained, I. and has been abundantly proved by its Advocates to be a Truth so evidently revealed (as far as so high a Mystery can be made known unto us) in God's holy Word, that none, but such as wilfully shut their Eyes or harden their Hearts, can be either ignorant or doubtful of it.
The Proofs in support of this Article are as weighty and numerous in the New Tel. tament, as the Importance of it is great and momentous in the Christian Dispensation. But these have been so often and so indisputably established by the Labours of the Learned ; Difficulties have been so satisfactorily cleared up, and Evasions so solidly refuted, that it were an Abuse of Time here to offer at more, than to remind Men of a few of those Texts of Scripture, without entering into any critical Disquisitions about them, by which this Doctrine is taught and supported. And among them I shall confine myself to such, as ascribe the Divine Titles, and the incommunicable Attributes, Worship and Operations of God equally to the Son with the Father. Thus, he is pronounced to be