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" that all men should honour the Son, even as
they honour the Father. He that honoureth “ not the Son, honoureth not the Father who “ hath sent him. The works that the Father “ hath given me to finish, the same works that “ I do, bear witness of me, that the Father “ hath sent me.” When the Jews required of him a sign from heaven, as a proof of his divine mission, and said, that Moses had given such proof; observing, that “ our fathers did “ eat manna in the wilderness ; Jesus said “ unto them, My Father giveth you the true “ bread from heaven; for the bread of God “ is He which cometh down from heaven, “ and giveth life unto the world. I came 66 down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. I
from above: ye are of this world ; I am not of this world; I proceeded forth and “ came from God: neither came I of myself, “ for he sent me. The Father loveth the Son, “and hath given all things into his hand. He " that believeth on the Son hath everlasting “ life; and he that believeth not on the Son “ shall not see life, but the wrath of God 66 abideth on him. Now is the judgment of “ this world, now shall the prince of this “ world be cast out; (that is, the power of
“ the Devil shall be vanquished ;) and I, if I “ be lifted up from the earth, will draw all
men unto me. This he said, signifying “ what death he should die. Thus it is writ“ten, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, “ and to rise from the dead the third day; “ and that repentance and remission of sins “ should be preached in his name among
all “ nations. All power is given to me in heaven " and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all “ nations, baptizing them in the name of the “ Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: “ teaching them to observe all things whát“soever I have commanded you: and, lo, “ I am with you alway, even unto the end of 66 the world.”
In exact conformity to these doctrines were the actions of our Saviour ; for these doctrines of charity, benevolence, and goodwill to man, which he preached, he literally practised. All the miracles he performed bore evident and infallible marks of his gracious and benign spirit to the human race in general, and which was very strongly exemplified in particular to the Jews, by this tender and pathetic exclamation respecting Jerusalem, when, by his prescience, he contemplated the exquisite misery the inhabitants
of this city would incur and suffer, from their cruelty and injustice in crucifying him : 60 " Jerusalemn, Jerusalem, thou which killest “ the prophets, and stonest them that are 46 sent unto thee, how often would I have
gathered thy children together, as a hen “ doth gather her brood under her wings, " and ye would not !"
But of all the actions of our Redeemer, (excepting his resurrection) the one which, in my humble judgment, is the most extraordinary, the most peculiar, most particularly impressive of his divinity, and a sensible demonstration of his being the Son of God, is the action of his imparting the holy Spirit to his Apostles : “ He breathed on them, and “ saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy 65 Ghost.” This is not at all the action of a mere man; as such it would have been a contemptible puerility : but as the action of the Son of God, conscious of his divine power, and of his ability to impart its heavenly influence, in how great, how awful and imposing a way ought it to be considered ! When God created man, “he breathed into 66 his nostrils the breath of life, and man “ became a living soul :” and when the Son of God means that man, dead in trespasses
and sin, should again become a living soul, he imitates this action of his Father, and, by this heavenly inspiration, imparts to man that holy Spirit, without which, in a spiritual sense, he must ever have continued to be dead. By this gracious action of our Saviour man becomes, in deed and in truth, regenerate; a right spirit is renewed within him; that spirit by which alone his natural corruption and depravity, and the venom of original sin, can be subdued in his mind, and by which alone his soul is disposed to the acquisition of that holiness, without which no man can see the Lord, or be admitted into his kingdom. By this divine afflatus of our blessed Redeemer man is emancipated from the power of sin and death; and therefore it is a literal fulfilment of that promise to Adam, that “ the seed of the woman “ should bruise the serpent's head ;” and likewise of that to Abraham, that in the Messiah “ all nations of the earth should be blessed.”
This passage of Scripture merits the particular consideration of those who entertain any doubts of our Saviour's divinity, it being one of those strong proofs which is calculated to influence the human mind, in the most powerful and efficacious manner, to a con
viction and belief of his being the Son of God. And though this passage has not been explained, in the peculiar sense here annexed to it, by any commentator I have met with; I submit to the reader's judgment, whether I am not authorized in imputing to it the interpretation I have presumed to do.
In the preceding investigation of the character of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, it harmonizes in all its parts exactly with prophecy, with miracles, and with the express declaration and affirmation of Almighty God; and there is so evident, so perfect a coincidence and agreement between the life, doctrines, and actions of our blessed Saviour, that they cast a reciprocal lustre, and alternately illuminate each other. But if we consider his character in any other light than that of the Son of God, what insuperable difficulties rush on the mind! The goodness of God must by such consideration be exceedingly lessened and degraded in the estimation of man.
For though the various instances of God's goodness are not to be numbered, yet the greatest of all, that instance which, more than all others, attaches the heart of man' to God, is the consideration