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Now in cases where worship was offered to the saviour, we find none of these particulars-Thus in Matthew, And as they went to tell his disciples, behold Jesus met them saying: All hail, and they came and held him by the feet and worshipped him. How did he receive it? As his due, for he rebuked them not, but said: "Be not afraid." When Thomas addressed him, in this strange language of adoration "My God, my God." Jesus rebuked him not. What did I say? He did rebuke him, but it was because he had not sooner believed in him. "Thomas because thou hast seen me, and hast believed, blessed are they that have not seen me yet have believed." Jesus, then received, divine worship without expressing the least disapprobation. Nay more, in commanding his disciples to baptise in his name, he enjoined this worship.-He must then either have been entitled to it, or he must have been a wicked man-but he was not a wicked man, for we are expressly told, that he was holy and without sin.-Then he must have been entitled to it, and if entitled to it, he must have been God—for it is written-Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."—But the remarks already made, prove that he received divine worship before his ascension, and how was it afterwards. In the epistles, this ascription of praise is frequently given to Christ, "Unto whom, be glory and dominion for ever, Amen." Nothing surely can be more completely in the strain of divine worship-and we know that the spirits of the just, and the very angels of heaven, are represented before his throne, as joining in the sublimest acts of worship, saying Worthy is the lamb, that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory and blessing." It is worthy of remark, then when John fell at the feet of the angel, the angel said "I am thy fellow servant" but when John fell at the feet of Jesus, Jesus said "I am the first and the last-I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell, and of death." The case then is clear, the Saviour before and after his ascension received and encouraged divine worship. I repeat it then, he must be an impious creature, or a divine being. None say he was an impious creature, therefore we conclude he was divine.
We have now shown from scripture testimony, that Jesus Christ has a human nature and also a divine. The scriptures also shew that these natures are in union, for they tell us-That God was manifest in the flesh. That he, who thought it no robbery to be equal with God, took upon him the form of a servant-and in our text "That the word was made flesh," &c. These passages are certainly expressive of this union, and will appear strikingly so, if viewed in connection with certain correspondent facts. In the facts, to which I allude, circumstances of humanity and circumstances of grandeur are strangely blended, and cannot be well accounted for, except on the supposition that the divine and human natures, are united in the person of Christ. Thus, in Bethlehem, Mary brings forth her first born, and lays him in a manger. This is indicative of poverty-but mark the other circumstances of his Advent A star appears to the wise men of the East-goes before them to
Bethlehem, and hovers over the place, where the young child is laid -An angel too, descends, and announces his birth to certain shepherds, who were keeping watch, over their flocks by night. This is not all--the sweet melodious songs of angels, fill the air, for a multitude of the heavenly host, sung glory to God, in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men. What a strange assemblage of circumstances is here! A child, laid in a Manger-Yet we see the hovering star-the adoring Magi-Whilst on high, we hear the notes of Angels, who sweetly sing his natal song.-In Bethany we see Jesus, at the grave of Lazarus-he wept-like a man-raised the dead-like a God! During a storm on the sea of Tiberias, he lay in the hinder part of the ship, and with his head upon his pillow, he slept-like a man-being called upon he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea-like a God. Approaching the barren fig-tree, he hungered-like a man-with a word withered the fig tree away-like a God.—After miraculously feeding the multitude, he went into a mountain apart to pray-like a man at the 4th watch of the night he went unto his disciples, walking upon the water-like a God. On the cross he suffered-like a man-yet opened the gates of Paradise to the dying thief-like a God. At the ninth hour, he cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost-like a man—yet rent the veil of the temple, caused the earth to quake, the rocks to burst, and the graves to be opened -like a God. In the sepulchre he lay in his winding sheet, pale in death-like a man-on the third day, by his own immortal energies, he burst the bars of death, and rose triumphant-like a God. After his resurrection in the midst of his eleven disciples, he took a piece of broiled fish, and of an honey comb, and did eat before themlike a man-after that he led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands and blessed them, and as he blessed them he ascended in majesty and glory far above all heavens-like a God. These things are truly remarkable; some bespeak the human and others the divine nature, and all are sweetly blended in the person of Christ. Surely then Jesus Christ is very God and very man, is possessed of two natures, the human and divine, in mysterious, yet all harmonious union. This union is mysterious--we grant it freely, is & not the union of soul and body likewise mysterious? The soul is spirit, the body matter, the one is mortal, the other immortal; and yet they unite and constitute one individual. This is mysterious, grant it freely, but it matters not, having evidence of the fact, we are satisfied.—Precisely so with the doctrine before us. We prove, 1st, that Jesus Christ has a human nature, 2d, that he has a divine nature, and 3d, that these natures are so united as to constitute one person. Is this mysterious? It matters not, having evidence of the fact, our belief is firm. It is mysterious? We never denied it, nor did Paul. "Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness" &c. We shall now make three uses of this doctrine. 1st use, To explain certain passages of scripture which seem to be at variance with each other. In one place our Saviour says "my father is greater than I." In another "I and my father are one." In one place it is written
"of that great day and hour knoweth no man, nor the angels, neither the Son, but my father only." In another place, "In Jesus are laid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." In one place he is called David's Son, in another David's Lord. In one place, man; in another, God. In one place, a servant ; in another King of Kings, and Lords of Lords. In one place a lamb slain, in another the Prince of life, who only hath immortality. Now, my hearers, deny the doctrine of our text, and how can you reconcile these passages. Admit our doctrine, and they sweetly harmonise. In his human nature, Jesus Christ could say, "My father is greater than I.” In his divine nature, "I and my father are one.” In his human na. ture he was David's Son, in his divine nature David's Lord. In his human nature, he was man; in his divine nature, God. In his human nature, servant; in his divine nature, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In his human nature, a lamb slain; in his divine nature, "The Prince of life, who only hath immortality 2d use. To sound a seasonable alarm in the ears of those, who reject our glorious creator-our final judge. You reject him, who holds your destinies in his hands, and can raise you to heaven, or sink you to hell. You reject your best friend-your great redeemer. The worlds last and only hope. In rejecting Christ, you incur his wrath, his burning wrath! And can you brave his wrath? You may brave the sweeping whirl-wind, but not the wrath of the lamb! Behold, he cometh, with clouds and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail, because of him, even so Amen.
3d use, To encourage penitent sinners to come to their gracious redeemer.-Trembling sinner! behold your Saviour, high in glory, looks kindly upon you-he calls you, he bids you come.-As man, he can be touched with a feeling of your infirmities-As God, he can save to the very uttermost. He is great, the heaven of heavens cannot contain him.-Yet his heart is compassionate, is still full of love. See him arrayed in glorious majesty, fear not.-This is he, who, though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor.-Yes this is the good shepherd, who gave his life for his sheep.-Precious Shepherd, when he beheld a hundred worlds, rolling around his father's throne, and one was lost, he left the ninety and nine, and came to seek and save that which was lost. Amen. J. K.
DR. M. LUTHER'S SERMON ON SUNDAY SEPTUAGESIMÆ.
Mr. Editor, I hereby send you for publication a sermon of Luther. Ever since I became acquainted with the standard works of English theological literature and English doctors of divinity, it was a matter of great astonishment to me, to see the false representations contained in the former and the inexcusable ignorance displayed by the latter with reference to the doctrines taught and held by the great Reformer Luther, and the Church that bears his name. To adduce
but one Author among many, Buck in his theological dictionary under the article Lutherans" says, " Luther believed the impanation or consubstantiation." This is erroneous. He did not believe and maintain a corporeal or material presence of the body and blood in the Sacrament of the Altar. He never used such language. And again Buck says "it is in this article of consubstantiation that the the main difference between the Lutheran the English church consists;" but this is entirely groundless. The doctrine of absolute predestination and reprobation constitutes a far greater difference than the one mentioned. Buck however says, "Luther maintained predestination." This is a third error, for Luther did not believe in such a predestination as Buck defines it. Is it to be wondered at, that the English clergymen have such an imperfect knowledge of the Lutheran Church, if the works from which they derive their information abound in misstatements ? They betray an ignorance of the fact, established by ecclesiastical history, that the publication of Calvin's Institutes in 1551, (in which he first made known to the world his opinion with respect to absolute predestination) gave rise to an unhappy controversy between him and the Lutheran divines and finally was the principal cause of that separation (in 1560) that still exists between the Lutheran and Reformed churches. From the assertions in the writings of the English divines, and from their expressions in conversation, we are led to believe that they know not the fact, that it is from this period (1560) we mu t date the ever to be lamented division of the Protestants into Lutherans and Reformed or (Calvinists) and that ever since that time those who adopted the opinion of Calvin with respect to absolute predestination were called (in Germany-the country in which the separation took place and where they have the best right to know how to make the proper distinction) Die Reformirten, the Reformed, that is to say, the followers of Calvin, and those who hold the opposite views, viz: that the kingdom of Heaven was open to all,-Lutherans. With this fact before us, what idea can we form of the literary acquirements of those who ask us: Are the Lutherans no Calvinists? Was not Luther a Calvinist? What would we think of the state of that man's reason who would ask us: Is water, fire? is light, darkness ?
Is it not passing strange, that some divines are so utterly ignorant of the distinctive characteristic of the oldest Protestant Church, that they know not that a Calvinistic Lutheran would be an anomaly in the Church, and just as absurd as to speak of a triangular circle in Geometry. There are Calvinistic Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists, Calvinistic Episcopalians, but there never was such a distinction heard of in the Lutheran Church from the time of Reformation to the present day. HELVETIUS.
MATTHEW xx. 1-16.
Refutation of the erroneous explanation of the passage called, but few chosen.
:: Many are
From the last words, " many are called, but few chosen" some inquisitive heads conceive very strange and ungodly notions, and reason after this manner: he, whom God has chosen, will be saved with
out means; on the other hand, he, who is not chosen, will be damned, let him strive as he pleases, let him be pious and faithful, it is to no purpose, God has decreed that he must fall, and he cannot be saved. Therefore I will let things have their course. If I am destined to be saved, it will be accomplished without my interference; if not, any thing that I could undertake or do, would be all in vain.--That people, who harbor such thoughts grow careless, wicked and secure, will be easily perceived by any one of you. It will be recollected that on Epiphany, while, treati of the passage from Micha we proved sufficiently, that such thoughts ought to be shunned and guarded against as the Devil, that a different manner of studying and regarding the will of God should be adopted, namely the Majesty of God in his decrees should not be meddled with, for in these He is incomprehensible. Nor is it possible that any should harbour such opinions and not find them a stumbling block, either driving them to despair or inducing them to become dissolute or regardless of religion and divine things altogether. Whoever wishes to come to a true knowledge of God and his holy will, must seek for it in the right way, then he will not be offended, but edified and improved. But the right way is our Lord Jesus Christ as he himself has said, John 14. 6. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Therefore whoever wishes to know the Father rightly, and to come to Him, let him first come to Christ, and learn to know him, viz. thus: Christ is the son of God and Almighty and eternal God. What does the son of God do? He became man for our soul, put himself under the law, suffers himself to be crucified and dies on the Cross, to atone for our sins, and rises again from the dead, that by his Resurrection he might conquer Death and obtain for us admission to eternal glory, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, to intercede for us and give his holy spirit, by which to direct and guide us and to secure his true believers against all the wiles and temptations of the Devil. This is to know Christ truly. And whenever this knowledge has taken firm hold in the heart, then it is time enough to let your mind soar to make an estimate of the disposition of God towards man, then if you reflect that the son of God accomplished these things for the salvation of man in accordance with the will and command of the Father, surely you will be constrained to exclaim: For as much as God has given up his only begotten son and for our sake did not spare him, there is good reason to believe that God intends us no harm, that it is not his will that any of us should be lost, because he devises and makes use of the highest and most suitable means, in order to lead us to life and salvation.Thus we come to God in the right manner, as Jesus himself preaches John iii. 16. "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life." Now compare these conclusions with those resulting from the opposite manner of reasoning stated at the commencement, and it will appear that those are the work of the arch enemy calcula ted to mislead and offend man, causing him to doubt and despair, or to approach the other extreme of utterly disregarding God and divine things, for he cannot and does not look for any good thing from God.