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that we have no disposition to cavil or speculate, to review the leading proofs of the Saviour's supreme godhead; for some of them are quite as decisive proofs of the Father's good will, as they are of the Son's proper divinity and as they have freed our minds from all doubts on the subject of the Trinity, they may free us from other doubts, however little we may at present see in what way they can do so.
Be not surprised at this proposal, to review the Scriptural evidences of the divinity of the Saviour. True; you have no doubt of its truth, nor have you forgotten its proofs. You have, however, forgotten, or never marked the fact, that the cordial belief of His full equality with the Father, is, itself, no small proof or part of saving faith. One thing is certain-there neither is nor can be any real faith, where His divinity is disbelieved. You may not attach much importance to your own belief of His godhead: but, remember, if you did not believe that, nothing else you could believe, however much or pleasing, would amount to saving faith. That, therefore, is no insignificant step in the way of salvation, without which no other steps would be of any avail. But you are not yet prepared to take all the fair advantage of this fact, which it warrants; and at present I do not urge it. I prefer to tell you, at this stage of our inquiry, that we have only believed one half of what God has revealed concerning the divinity of Christ, when we believe the equality of the Son with the Father. That equality is moral as well as natural. They are one in character-one in will-one in disposition and design, as well as one in essence. It is just as true that all the warm sympathies of the Saviour's heart glow in the heart of God, as that all the perfections of God meet and shine in the person of the Saviour. He is all that God is, naturally; and God is all that Christ is, morally.
Now, meet the question-" What think ye of Christ!" What impression does His lovely character make and leave upon your mind? Remember, how His heart melted and yearned over the chief of sinners; how it sympathized
with the timid and trembling; how it welcomed the poor, however needy, and the low, however guilty, and the lost, however unworthy. It breathed and burned with pity to the perishing. You do remember all this. Well; what do you think of Christ, judging of Him from all this? You cannot dislike Him. You can hardly be afraid of Him. Were He now on earth, going “about doing good," on this grand scale, and in this gracious spirit, you feel as if you could venture to trust Him. Well, all that the Saviour was, on earth, God is, in heaven. What you think of the Son, you ought to think of the Father. Whatever hope you would place in a visible Saviour, you ought to place in the invisible God for Jesus is the "express image of the invisible God." It is, therefore, just as wrong to distrust the heart of the Father, as it would be to deny the divinity of the Son. It is as much your duty to believe that the Father is not less gracious than the Son, as to believe that the Son is not less glorious than the Father: for it is the revealed fact, that they "are one" in grace and glory.
Now, amongst all your doubts, you have no doubt of the Saviour's divinity. You neither dare nor wish to question his equality with the Father. You both think and feel, that to do so, would be to dishonour Emmanuel, and discard Revelation!-WHY? You are surprised at this question; and ready to say, "He himself claimed equality with God; and Revelation substantiates His claims: so that I must give the lie direct to both, if I doubted them." To deny His godhead, would be to brand as impostors or fools, prophets, apostles, and martyrs; for they unite in declaring Him to be both God and man-would be to brand as idolaters, all the angelic and glorified spirits in heaven; for they unite in worshipping Him equally with the Father: -yea, it would be to charge God himself with fraud and falsehood; for "Unto the Son, He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever."
You are right. O that you would make a right use of your own argument, in your own case! All heaven is both
in error and in rebellion, if the Son be not equal with the Father. This may be a strong way of stating the fact; but, to this point the matter really comes, whatever form may be given to the argument. Well; just observe now, how you proceed, when you are not arguing, but only reflecting, on this subject. You look at the perfections of God, one by one, and then look for the same perfections in the Saviour. God is Omniscient; and you see omniscience in the heart-searching eye of the Saviour. God is Omnipotent; and you see omnipotence in the hand, the word, and will of the Saviour. God is unchangeable; and you see unchangeablness in the character and spirit of the Saviour. God is "from everlasting to everlasting ;" and you see proper eternity claimed by the Saviour Himself, and ascribed to Him by prophets and apostles. Thus you miss no perfection of godhead in Him; and find none of them in a dim or doubtful form. In them all, the Son is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person.
Now, you feel it your duty to judge of the Saviour's claims, in this way. You even love to look, thus alternately, at God and the Lamb, as their equal glories evince one essence. Well; it is just as much your duty, to look for , the lovely and gentle spirit of the Saviour, in God; as to look for the perfections of God, in the Saviour: for the Son came into the world, to "declare the Father;" to "show the Father;" to "reveal the Father," unto us: and that, as a father, as well as a God.
Hence the express assurance. "He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father." The character of the Saviour, as displayed in His gracious words, works, spirit, and deportment, towards sinners, is, therefore, the visible illustration of the real character of the invisible God; and thus the grand mirror which fully and clearly reflects it. Unless, therefore, that luminous and living mirror show forth the same dark and dread image of God, which your fears imbody, you are not warranted to indulge these fears. Yea;
you are dishonouring God, if you imagine Him to be any thing in will or wish, but what He appears "in the face of Jesus." That is the true mirror of both the heart and hand of God: and, therefore, if your ideas of God be drawn from any other source, they cannot be correct. Consider! Were I to tell you, that I had drawn all my opinions of the heart of God from the face of NATURE; and that I had found nothing in that mirror which gave me any hope of salvation; you would not wonder at my failure: you would blame my folly; and tell me, that I had been looking in quite a wrong quarter for hope. And, well you might say so! The light of Nature was never intended to show the way of Salvation. Every ray of Revelation supposes the darkness of nature on this subject; and the whole light of the Bible is just the measure of that darkness.
Now, be not surprised, if I turn your argument against your own fears; and say, that the face of your conscience reflects as imperfect an image of the God of salvation, as the face of Nature. You have no more right nor occasion to judge from your own feelings and fears, how God will act towards you, than I have to judge from the aspects of nature how He will act towards me. You say that Nature is not the mirror of His character; and I say that your conscience is not so. I accept your protest: will you accept mine? O, it is just because a guilty conscience, when awakened and agitated, reflects an intimidating image of God, that the "face of Jesus" is made the mirror of His glory. God foreknew how we would judge, and conjecture, and doubt, when we saw ourselves in our real character; and, therefore, He manifested His own real character in the face of Jesus. We might, therefore, just as well listen to infidels, when they call us off from revelation unto nature, to judge of God; as listen to our own suspicions, when they call us off from the face of Jesus unto the face of our own unworthiness, to judge of Him. We have as little reason to say, that "there is no hope," as to say that "there is no God." We are as unable to prove
that there is no hope, as is the atheist to prove that there is no God: for as the face of nature refutes the atheist's assertions, so the face of Jesus refutes our suspicions.
Now the fact is, (and you must bear to be told it in plain terms,) that, into this chief mirror you have not looked often, nor very attentively. You have looked far more at yourself, than at "God in Christ," since you began to look forward to judgment and eternity. And I need hardly say, that before you began to care for your soul, you gave very little time or thought to the study of the Divine character, either as it is revealed in the Bible, or as it is explained in the character of the Saviour. No wonder, therefore, if your knowledge of God, as love, is not sufficient to balance your fears. It would be a wonder if it did; yea, a pity if it did for, if we could balance our fears by the knowledge we can pick up without thought or prayer, we should neither prize nor improve the comfort it gave. It is therefore, only what might be expected, when those are "troubled" whilst they think of God, who have not thought much about Him before they were awakened. Indeed, scanty and superficial knowledge of the covenant character of God, is more likely to aggravate weighty fears, than to alleviate them. Allow me, therefore, to press you on this point. Is it likely, from the degree of attention you have paid to the living illustration of the Divine character in the person and work of Christ, that you could be less afraid to hope in God? Recollect; did you ever spend an hour alone in the calm contemplation of the glory of God, as it shines in the face of Jesus? Have you ever made this a subject of study, during a succession of days, at your leisure moments, since you began to feel your guilt and danger? You have thought much of the evil of sin, and of your own vileness and unworthiness: and certainly not too much. But, have you thought as much about God's condescension, and sympathy, and love towards sinners? In a word; have you looked as often on the bright side of His character, as on the dark side of your own character? If not-no wonder