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rest upon me." He begins almost all his epistles with a prayer, for "Grace and peace," as "from God the Father," so also "from our Lord Jesus Christ;" and concludes several of them with, "The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all,”—or, * with you,”—or, "with thy Spirit." And sometimes we find him presenting us with set, solemn, and formal prayers, addressed to the Lord Jesus, together with the Father. Thus, " Now God himself, even our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you and the Lord, (viz. Christ,) make you to increase in love one towards another, and towards all men, to the end that he, (Christ,) may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness, before God, even our Father."* And again, "Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, who hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work." Add to this, that the first Christians in general, are described in the inspired writings, as calling on the name of Jesus Christ. Thus, Ananias, speaking of Saul, says,† "He hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name;" and St. Paul directs one of his principal epistles to all that, in every place, "call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs, says he, and ours.”‡

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That praise, and honour, and glory, are ascribed to Christ, as well as to the Father, I need not say. You all recollect, I presume, that divers instances of this occur in the New Testament. One, and that not a little remarkable, occurs at the close of St. Peter's second epistle. He had concluded his former epistle, with ascribing honour, in the following words, to the Father, the God of all grace, who hath called us to his own eternal glory by Christ Jesus, "To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever! Amen." And at the close of the second, speaking of the Son, in whose grace, and in the knowledge of whom he exhorts us to grow, he ascribes similar honour to him, saying in almost the same words, "To him be glory, now and for ever! Amen." Of a similar kind is the language of St. John,§ "Unto him that hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever!" And this language, you well know, has had, and still has the sanction of all the angelic armies, and shall have that of every creature in one form or another. For, "I beheld,"

* 1 Thess. iii. 12, 13. +Acts ix. 14.

2 Cor. i. 2. § Rev. i. 5, 6.

says St. John,*" and heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."

Now, you well know, that prayer and praise imply all other acts of worship, even such as are internal. Prayer, if sincere, implies desire, confidence, and hope; and praise implies gratitude and love. If, therefore, it be proper to address prayer and praise to the Lord Jesus, it is proper that our desire should be unto him, our confidence in him, and our expectation from him, for such blessings as we want, and that he should be the object of our love and gratitude.

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Accordingly, this we find was actually the case with the apostles and first Christians. Their desire was directed to the Lord Jesus, and their hope and confidence were placed in him for the greatest of all blessings, even for eternal salvation; and He, in union with the Father, was the great object of their unlimited gratitude and love. Hence it is, that we meet with such passages as the following in the apostolic writings, "whosoever BELIEVETH in him shall not be ashamed." "He that BELIEVETH in him shall not be confounded." Ye BELIEVE in God, BELIEVE also in ME. "There shall arise a ROOT of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in him shall the Gentiles trust." That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first TRUSTED in Christ, in whom also TRUSTED." "Jesus Christ our HOPE."" ye " Christ in you the HOPE OF GLORY. "I THANK Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me in the ministry." "Simon, son of Jonas, LOVEST thou me! Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I LOVE thee." "Grace be with all those that LOVE our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity." "If any man LOVE not the Lord Jesus, let him be Anathema, Maranatha."

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Now, as I have observed in the Vindication above referred to,

these, and such like passages, show, that the Lord Jesus was

Rev. F. 11-14.

worshipped, and that in the highest sense, viz. in spirit and in truth, and with the best and purest worship, the worship of the heart." They show that he was the object of the religious confidence and hope, gratitude and love of his ancient servants, and that in an unlimited degree, which surely no mere creature was or could be. And as a fruit of this, their whole lives were dedicated to him.

"The love of Christ constrained them, so that they lived not unto themselves, but unto him that died for them, and rose again." Yea, 66 none of them lived unto himself, or died unto himself: but whether they lived they lived unto the Lord, or whether they died they died unto the Lord: living or dying therefore they were the Lord's." Considering themselves as his servants, they were wholly devoted to, and employed in doing his will, and promoting his glory, "not accounting even their lives dear to themselves, so that they might finish their course with joy, and that Christ might be magnified by their bodies, whether by life or death.”

Let us now compare all this with those precepts of the law, which prohibit, in the most express terms, our worshipping any being but Jehovah, the living and true God, and we shall no longer entertain any doubt concerning the true and proper deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need not wonder, therefore, that he is entitled,

4thly. The Everlasting Father. As I have enlarged so much on the last particular, I shall be very short on this and the following. They who apply this to Hezekiah, render it, The Father of an age, and expound it of his long life, and numerous posterity, which shows to what absurd shifts they are driven, who interpret this text of any other but Christ. For Hezekiah did not live very long, nor had he, that we read of, more than one son, viz. Manasseh. And if both these things had been true of him, they were much more eminently true of many others. But the Messiah, the Word that was in the beginning with God, was, in union with his Father, the Father of all things: the creation and preservation of the universe being, as we have seen, ascribed to him by the inspired writers. And he is the Father of all believers, who are called his children in the Scriptures,* as being begotten by his gospel; and his tenderness towards them, and fatherly care of them, is everlasting. He is also the Author of everlasting life and happiness; in other words, he is the Father of a blessed eternity to them: for, says the apostle, he is "the author of eternal salvation to all that obey

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* Isa. viii. 18. and Heb. ii. 13.

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him." Add to this, that he is the Father of the world to come, as the Septuagint version of the Old Testament renders the words, that is, the Father of the gospel state, which, according to the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, is put in subjection to him, and not to angels.* He was from eternity the Father of the great work of redemption and salvation. His heart was set upon it, and it was the product of his wisdom, as the Counsellor, and of his love, as the Everlasting Father.

5. We have now only to notice one title more. He is the Prince of Peace. It is certain that this character does not suit Hezekiah, whose reign was far from being free from wars; but it agrees perfectly to Christ, who is repeatedly† termed our Peace, in Scripture. He, as you are well informed, hath made peace between God and man, "the chastisement of our peace," that is, the condemnation and punishment of our sins, which was necessary to procure our peace, being laid on him. "When we were enemies, we were reconciled unto God by the death of his Son." For, it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell, and having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things," or persons, "to himself, whether those" still alive" on earth, or those" who have died in the faith, and are now "in heaven" For "God is in him, reconciling the world to himself, and not imputing their trespasses unto them." True believers, therefore, who accept the blessing in genuine repentance, although formerly" alienated, and enemies in their minds by wicked works, are now reconciled in the body of his flesh through death," and "being justified by faith, have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." For peace of conscience and tranquillity of mind, are the effect of his merits, and the fruit of his Spirit, and are obtained by faith in him. He is also said to be the Peace, because he hath made "both Jews and Gentiles one, having broken down the middle wall of partition between them ;" and wherever the influence of his grace is truly experienced, man, being reconciled to God, is also reconciled to man, and peace and mutual love take place.

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"His kiugdom from above, He doth to us impart,

And pure benevolence and love, O'erflow the faithful heart.
Chang'd in a moment, we, The sweet attraction find,
With open arms of charity, Embracing all mankind."

I shall only add that, as a Prince he is peaceable, commanding,

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+ Micah v. 5. Eph. 14.

* Heb. ii. 5.

making, and preserving peace in his kingdom: that he leaves peace as a legacy to his disciples, and is the author of it and of all blessings, temporal, spiritual, and eternal to them.

Let me now only beg your patience a moment longer, till, with as much brevity as possible, I draw some inferences from what has been advanced.

And, 1st. Is the name or person of the Messiah wonderful, mysterious, or secret? Then while we frequently and seriously meditate thereon, and determine, with St. Paul, to know nothing in comparison of him, let us not be surprised if we cannot fully comprehend the awful, although delightful subject: and if, after all our reading and hearing, study and contemplation, his person and nature remain still an unscarchable mystery. While, with the same apostle, we "count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord;" while we seek eagerly and with unwearied diligence," to know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings:" and as St. Peter exhorts, labour

to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ;" let us not fail to check all idle and extravagant curiosity respecting both his person and government. And believing in simplicity, as far as we understand them, the declarations of the inspired penman concerning him, let us adore where we cannot comprehend, remembering that, at the best, we see through a glass darkly, while on earth, and that genuine love and true holiness, rather than profound investigation and perfect knowledge, must be our principal objects of attention and pursuit.

2. Does the Messiah also bear the name of Counsellor, or Wonderful Counsellor? And is his nature in reality what his name imports? Then let us make application to him for direction in all our straits and difficulties, with humility of mind and confidence of hope, fully persuaded that he will not deny us the blessing which his very name authorizes us to expect. Let us "trust in him," as the wise man advises, "with all our heart, and not lean to our own understanding; let us acknowledge him in all our ways, and he will direct our steps." We shall not be suffered greatly to err, either as to truth or duty; but "our light shall rise in obscurity, and our darkness be as the noon-day." He will lead us, though "blind, by a way that we know not, and guide us in paths that we have not known: he will make darkness light before us, and crooked things straight: these things will he do unto us, and not forsake us ;" and we shall evidently be those "children of God that are led by the Spirit of God."

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