BY RICHARD DE CHARMS,
AN ORDAINING MINISTER OF THAT CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES.

PHILADELPHIA:

BROWN, BICKING & GUILBERT, PRINTERS, 56 NORTH THIRD ST.

1840.

ADVERTISEMENT.

THE writer of these sermons cannot give them publicity without disclaiming, on the very threshold, all credit for any truths which they may contain. All that belongs to him is some peculiarity in the presentation and illustration of the doctrines taught by Emanuel Swedenborg, who, he believes, was peculiarly qualified, and personally commanded by the Lord, to teach those doctrines to his church. He is even willing to think that what he calls his illustrations, may in fact be nothing more than tempering mediums of a too bright light. He hopes, however that the spiritual objects seen through them will not be found to be distorted. If the light has been merely dimmed by the medium in which it is refracted, it is perhaps well; for our weak eyes, in taking altitudes, need to be defended from the suns effulgence by coloured mediums. In short, these sermons are designed to be simply an index to the writings of Swedenborg which contain "truths continuous from the Lord:" and the author hopes that the reader will go from the index to the bourn at which it points. In the works of that enlightened writer, every sincere seeker of truth, of all denominations, will find fuller information and far clearer illustration of the subjects discussed in this book. And to aid him in his search for truth, the titles of some of the principal theological works of Swedenborg, and the places where they may be procured, are here indicated.

                                                                                                                                            Price
Arcana Coelestia, 12 vols., 8vo.,                     $30.00
Apocalypse Revealed, 3 vols., 12mo.,              3.00
Apocalypse Explained, 6 vols., 8vo.,              16.00
The True Christian Religion, 1 vol., 8vo.,       2.75
Heaven and Hell, 1 vol., 12mo.,                     .75
Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, 1 vol., 12mo.,                      .50

Do. do. the Divine Providence                                                  

1 vol., 8vo.,                                                                      1.75
Four Leading Doctrinesof the Lord, of Life, of Faith, and of the Sacred

Scriptures, 1 vol., 12mo.,                     .75
The Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem pamphlet, 12mo.,       12-1/2

These works, with others pertaining to the new church, are kept for sale by Otis Clapp, 121 Washington Street, Boston; Samuel Colman, Bookseller, 56 Gold Street, New York; Daniel Goddard, 109 North Second Street, Philadelphia; T. S. Arthur, 8 North Street, Baltimore; and Southworth Holmes, Main Street, near Fifth Street, Cincinnati.

Philadelphia, May, 1840.

PREFACE

THESE sermons are designed for persons, especially young persons, just embracing the doctrines of the new church. They are, therefore, written in a diffuse style, with much plainness and familiarity of illustration, without any pretensions to originality of thought, and with only an effort, perhaps an ineffectual one, to make the abstruse and fundamental principles of our theology plain to the commonest minds. To do this well and effectively, would be the greatest use, worthy of the utmost efforts of the strongest minds. To do this well and effectively, would be the greatest use, worthy of the utmost efforts of the strongest minds. The author dare not hope that his effort can prove successful. But his best feelings have been exercised in making it, and his prayer now is that He who can give increase to the planting and watering of his weakest agents, will, in his mercy, bless it with unforeseen productiveness.

Young persons, when first embracing the doctrines of the new church, are sometimes subjected to doubts, owing to infestations from those of different faiths with whom they are obliged to associate. The reason of these doubts seems to be given in the following law of the spiritual world: "It is to be noted that it is according to the laws of order, that no one ought to be persuaded instantaneously concerning truth that is, that truth should instantaneously be so confirmed as to leave no doubt concerning it. The reason is, because the truth which is so impressed, becomes persuasive truth, and is without any extension, and also without any yielding. Such truth is represented in the other life as hard, and of such a quality as not to admit good into it, that it may become applicable. Hence it is, that, so soon as any truth is presented before good spirits in the other life by manifest experience, there is presently afterwards presented some opposite which causes doubt. Thus it is given them to think and consider whether it be so, and to collect reasons, and thereby to bring that truth rationally into their minds. Hereby the spiritual sight has extension, as to that truth, even to opposites." (A. C. 7298.)

From this it appears to be orderly, both that doubts should be experienced in the reception of the true faith, and that those doubts should be removed by rational confirmations of its truths. On this ground a reasoning method will be found to form a prominent feature of these sermons. For a chief design in writing them was, to furnish reasons suited to remove the doubts incident to young and ingenuous receivers of our faith, and to enable them to bring the truths of that faith rationally into their minds.

Reasoning whether a thing be so or not so will never bring a negating mind into the perception of what is. The mind itself must first be true before it can perceive what is true. It is easy to believe things to be as we love to have them: but nothing is so difficult as to reason a man into a belief of that which he does not love. The natural man does not love spiritual truths; and hence, it is not only difficult to reason him into a belief of them, but it is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, for him to comprehend them. Now the truths which the New Jerusalem teaches are eminently spiritual. Hence the natural man is prone to negate them. While the evils of his will are quiescent, he may give a mere intellectual assent to these truths, but he will always deny them in spirit whenever they touch his life. They cannot be perceived until, by the life of the doctrines that contain them, spiritual discernment is attained; when a man ceases to be natural and becomes spiritual. Therefore we do not imagine that natural men are to be converted to our faith by argument, but by that change of internal state, which Divine Providence, in the exercise of some of his infinite means, effects.

Still, as it is admissible to reason whether a thing be so or not so, when the end is to conform truths already admitted on a ground of faith, rational argument has been used here in illustrating and confirming the truths contained in the doctrines of the true church. And although we cannot hope to convince confirmed negaters by rational arguments for our tenets against their faith, yet we may free and defend ourselves from doubts respecting our own faith, which their sphere may infuse into us during our daily intercourse with them.

The mode of contrasting our views with others has been adopted, not for the purpose of attacking and putting down the principles or men of any prevailing denominations, but simply for the purpose of confirming ourselves in the rational and vital reception of the most essential principle of our faith, which cannot be so distinctly seen as when it is contrasted with its opposite.

CONTENTS.

SERMON I.

Jesus and the Father are one.--John, xiv. 8-11.

SERMON II.
True nature of the Spirit that testifies of Jesus.--John, xv. 26.

SERMON III.
The Nature and Necessity of a Second Coming of the Lord, in respect to the regeneration of the individual soul, together with a disquisition on the internal and external revelation of truth, and an incidental explanation of the Lords declaration that the Father is greater than he.--John, xiv. 28.

SERMON IV.
The Holy Spirit is not a Person separate from Jesus Christ, but is a Divine Sphere proceeding from him.--John, xx. 22.

SERMON V.
What are the three Constituent Principles of Deity?--John, i. 1, 4, 14.

SERMON VI.
The three Constituent Principles of Deity are in Jesus Christ, so as to constitute him God alone.Matthew, xxviii. 18, 14.

SERMON VII.
Jesus Christ is God alone because he is possessed of all the Divine Attributes.--Matthew, xxviii. 18.

SERMON VIII.
Jesus Christ, or the Humanity of Jehovah, or the Reactive Principle of Deity, is the Proper Object of Christian Worship.--Psalm ii. 10.

SERMON IX.
Jesus Christ was worshiped when on earth.Matthew, xxviii. 9.

SERMON X.
Jesus Christ was not only worshiped on earth, but is now worshiped in heaven, and, therefore, was presumably the Object of Apostolic Worship.--Revelation, v. 3.

SERMON XI.
That Jesus Christ was the God of the Apostles, proved from their Epistles, together with an Exposition of the Ground and Nature of the Distinction which the Apostles make between Jesus and the Father, and a consideration of the question, If the Apostles saw clearly that Jesus Christ and the Father are one person, why did they not utter this truth plainly?

SERMON XII.
That Jesus Christ was the God of the Apostles, proved particularly from the Epistles of John.Isaiah, ix. 6.

SERMON XIII.
Statement of the Difficulty which the Sensual Mind has in conceiving the Unity of God and Man in one person, with a Declaration and Explanation of the New-Church Faith, both general and particular, concerning the Lord, whereby the Lords alternate states of humiliation and glorification are brought to bear upon the difficulty in question.Matthew, xxvii. 46.

SERMON XIV.
The Doctrine of the Lords Alternate States of Humiliation and Glorification made to explain the Apparent Separation of Jesus and the Father, so as to consist with the idea of their real Unity and Identity; together with a consideration of the Unitarian Objections to the views of the New Church on this subject; and a disclosure of the Root of the Difficulty which is felt in receiving those views.--John, x. 17, 18, 19.

SERMON XV.
Consideration of the Lords apparently contradictory assertions both of his equality and inferiority to the Father.--Total difference between the New-Church and Unitarian Views of this subject.--True Reason of the wide difference.--And a demonstration that the Divine Essence must have had a Divine Form to effect either creation, or redemption and salvation.--Isaiah, lix. 16.

SERMON XVI.
A Familiar Illustration of what the Divine Humanity of the Lord is.--Jeremiah, iv. 25.

SERMON XVII.
The Doctrine of a Divine Humanity the Touchstone which is to try who belong to the True Christian Church, and to be the means of breaking up all existing Denominations of the Old Christian Church, by separating its Wheat from its Chaff or secerning its Spiritual from its Natural Men.--Luke, xx. 18.

SERMON XVIII.
The Necessity of Redemption.--An Answer to the Question, What did Jesus Christ come for? In which it is shown that Jesus Christ came to Redeem and Save Mankind by subduing the Hells, reducing the Heavens to order, and thereby establishing a True Church on earth.Matthew, ix. 12, 13.

SERMON XIX.
The True Nature of the New Birth, in an explanation or what is meant by being born of water and the spirit.--John, iii. 5.

SERMON XX.
The Necessity of the New Birth, together with a demonstration of the gradual and progressive nature of this change; and of the source from whence alone it can be effected.--John, iii. 7.

SERMON XXI.
The Sum of all True Religion is the Life of Use from the Love of Use for its own sake.Matthew, vi. 33.

INTRODUCTION.

THE entire series, of which the sermons published in this volume form a part, was originally delivered in Cincinnati. After their delivery it was the design of the author to work them up into articles for a periodical publication which he was then editing in that city. But being subsequently removed, in the Divine Providence, to another quarter of the general church, and yielding to repeated requests to have these sermons published elsewhere, it seems proper that the preceding parts, which are necessary to complete the series, should be published in connection with them. Therefore, four numbers, which originally appeared in "The Precursor," the periodical work above alluded to, under the head "Doctrines of the New Church," are here presented as an introduction. These four numbers were so many articles discussing

I. THE UNITY AND TRINITY OF GOD.

II.}        THE DIVINE TRINITY SHOWING THAT THERE IS

III.}       A TRINITY IN THE ONE GOD. AND SHOWING

IV. THAT THERE MUST BE A TRINITY IN GOD.

I. The Unity and Trinity of God.--These principles have ever been elemental and fundamental in all Christian theology. They are subjects so trite, and made so threadbare by immemorial and all varied discussion, that it is perhaps impossible to give to them any forms of newness. It is essential, however, that they should be noticed in the formal presentation and exposition of any doctrinal system; and the mists which have shrouded them with utter darkness in the old church, have made it especially needful that they should be placed in clear light when we essay to unfold the lucid doctrines of the new. It will be our aim to make them clear to common minds, although, in the effort, we may incur the charge of commonplace dullness by uncommon ones. And, in our discussion of these and other topics, we shall contrast, as we go along, the views of the new church with those of the old, because "every perception of a thing is according to reflection relative to discriminations arising from contraries in various modes and degrees," (A. C. 7812,) and because "we have no idea of truth without falsity." (H. K. to C. 17.)

As the Divinity is the First and the Last of all things, therefore the true knowledge of him is the foundation of religion, and the doctrine concerning him is the corner stone of the church: consequently, a proper idea of the Divine Being is the first subject of theological instruction.

In discussing this subject at some length, we shall take for granted the divine existence and unity, and shall, in the first place, show, from Scripture and the nature of things, that there is and must be a trinity in the one God; secondly, that this trinity is in the one person of our Lord Jesus Christ; thirdly, that Jesus Christ, or the son, ought to be directly approached in worship; fourthly, that he was worshiped when on earth; fifthly, that he is now worshiped in heaven; sixthly; that he was very presumably the God of the apostles; seventhly, that, therefore, he solely is the only true object of all Christian worship; eighthly, that he came into the world to subdue the hells, to restore the heavens, and by these means to redeem and save mankind; ninthly, that he effected this subjugation, restoration, redemption, and salvation, by a human nature which he look unto himself in the world and made divine; and, tenthly, that now the doctrine of the divinity of his humanity is the touchstone by which the Christian church is to be tried.

But before we proceed, it may be well, in this paper, just to glance at the subject of the divine unity. As already premised, we take for granted that God is, and that he is one. For the voice of enlightened reason, and the express language of Holy Writ, unequivocally pronounce that there is one, and but one, God. This truth is written as it were on the frontlet of creation. It is declared by the unity of design, and the coherency and harmony of operation, every where conspicuous in the universe. Hence there is a universal impression that the Divine Being is individual: so much so, that nothing can be more revolting to the common sense of mankind than the idea of a plurality of gods.

The very definition of the Deity clearly evinces the individuality of his nature. He is defined, an infinite, eternal, omniscient and omnipotent being; and it is very manifest that there cannot be more than one such being, for the idea of two infinites, or two omnipotents, is absurd.

The idea which every rational mind forms to itself of the Deity also shows that he is one. We conceive that he has life in himself, or suppose and admit that he is essential and underived life. Now it is perfectly manifest that a self-existing being cannot generate another being that is self-existent. For this involves contradiction and absurdity in the very terms: since that which is generated derives existence from that which generates, and of course cannot exist of itself. Hence it is impossible for God to generate a god. And thus there can be but one God.

This truth, which is so clearly demonstrable by reason, is as explicitly set forth in the Sacred Scriptures. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." (Deut. vi. 4.) "I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God besides me." (Isa. xlv. 5.) "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." (v. 22.) "I am the Lord thy God, and thou shalt know no God but me." (Hosea, xiii. 4.) "Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel; I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no God." (Isa. xliv. 6.) "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one." (Zech. xiv. 9.)

We assume, then, that God is one, and proceed now to discuss the subject of a divine trinity.

In consequence of the above express declarations of the Sacred Scriptures, all denominations of Christians admit and maintain the unity of God. But they entertain very different ideas of the nature of this unity. In general the old Christian church resolves itself into two parties; one of which maintains that God is a simple oneness of being, and the other that his existence is tripartite. The one party of course denies, and the other affirms, the doctrine of a trinity. We, who believe that we have received the doctrines of a new church, sent down from the Lord out of heaven by the medium of an agent whom he raised up, enlightened, and commissioned expressly to teach them, hold, in common with the two parties just mentioned, that God is one; but differ from the former in asserting that there is a trinity, and from the latter in denying that this is a trinity of persons.

Trinitarians of the old school divide the godhead into three persons, to each of which they assign distinct offices. What they mean by person it is difficult to apprehend; and even they are not agreed among themselves as to what is to be understood by this word. But whatever it means, they assert that each person is "of himself" God. Hence you will find in the Litany of one of the most respectable denominations of the old church, adoration addressed in the form of separate supplications to "God the rather," "God the son," and "God the holy ghost." Still, however, they aver, that these three persons, each of which is of himself God, are not three gods, but one god. And they aver this, because the contrary would be repugnant to reason and common sense. They assert that these three,--though clearly and definably distinct and separate,--are some how one. They do not undertake to say how: this they consider an impenetrable mystery; a mystery which no human understanding can see into, and which it is the height of presumption to attempt to understand. It is, they say, a holy mystery, which is to be believed, whether it is understood or not, because it is revealed in the Holy Scriptures. Thus Trinitarians of the old church hold to one God in three persons--God the father, Creator, God the son, Redeemer, and God the holy ghost, Regenerator and Sanctifier. And though they say these three persons are one god, they believe each is separate and distinct from the others. For they will refer you to the baptism of our Lord by John, where the voice from heaven says, "This is my beloved son," and will ask you if the father and the son are not here clearly separate, nod of course distinct. They will tell you, too, that the son intercedes at the right hand of the rather, and of course is separate and distinct from him. And they will ask you if the holy ghost does not proceed from the father and the son, and they will say, if he proceeds from them, he cannot but be a separate person. Hence they believe in a trinity of separate and distinct persons.

But the idea of the trinity as entertained by the new church is essentially different. The new church believes there is one God in one person, and that this one God consists of a trinity of distinct principles, which have only a representative personification in the Sacred Scriptures as father, son, and holy ghost. She believes that this trinity is essential to the existence of the one God. She believes that, if either part of it were taken away, the others could not exist. And hence she believes that the father, the son, and the holy ghost, though they may be distinct, are not, and cannot be separate: and she believes that they are in no other sense distinct than end, cause and effect, or soul, body and conduct, or will, understanding and act, or love, wisdom and use. Hence she believes that three divine principles are distinctly one in God, and thus that there is a trinity in unity: in other words, that the godhead consists of a trine, which is indispensable to every one, viz: an essential, a formative, and a spherical principle; and that these three are distinctly one in their subject, which, as to the divine, or a human, being, is one person.

The difference, then, between the old church and the new church is, that the former believes there is one God in a trinity of separate and distinct persons, while the latter believes there is a triune God in one person. Consequently, it is the peculiar and distinguishing trait of the new church, as respects the doctrine of the trinity, that, while the old church believes the godhead is in three separate and distinct persons, she holds that the Lord is constituted by three divine principles, which are three essential requisites of one person.

Thus we trust me have distinctly, because distinctively, set forth our view of the trinity. Be it then clearly understood, that we do not contend for a trinity of separate or individually and functionally distinct divine existences, but, for a threefold distinction in the essential constituents of the one Divine Being.

II. The Divine Trinity.We have assumed the existence and unity of God; and we have distinctly stated our view of the divine trinity. We proceed in this paper to show, from the Word, that there is a trinity in the one God.

The passages of Scripture which assert in just so many words that there is a triple principle in the godhead, are not numerous. But many passages prove this truth inferentially. And the whole Word is full of it in its spiritual meaning. But in view of the letter of the Word we would premise, that the Bible must be consistent; and therefore, the unequivocal meaning of one passage cannot be contradicted by the real meaning of any other, however seemingly conflicting they may be. Hence, if we can deduce the existence of a trinity from a single passage of the Word in the letter, we shall claim to have attained our end.

Now, in our view, the existence of such a trinity as we contend for is shown most unequivocally in this passage, from Genesis xviii. 1-5, "And the Lord appeared unto Abraham in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself towards the ground, and said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; and I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on; for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said."

To understand this passage fully, we should see it in its spiritual sense. But it would be contrary to our design in these papers, to unfold these verses as to their entire spiritual import. It is sufficient for our present purpose to direct attention to the fact which they state, that the Lord appeared to Abraham under the representative and significative personification of three men. For on this fact we ground our argument.

But in remarking upon these verses me must regard them as having a spiritual meaning, although we do not undertake to show fully what that meaning specifically is. For it is only from this spiritual ground that the true meaning of their literal sense can be seen. We at once, then, take the ground that what Abraham here saw, was a vision. This is manifest from the fact, that angels, as they are spiritual beings, cannot be seen by the reflection of natural light. And hence Abraham could not have seen them with his natural eyes. It was a vision similar to those which the prophets had--similar to that of the three disciples when they saw the Lord transfigured on the mount--similar to that of Mary Magdalene, in which she saw "two angels in white, sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain." (John, xx. 12.) It was similar also to those visions that the disciples had of our Lord, in which they communed and ate with him after his ascension from the sepulchre. And it was likewise similar to the visions of the martyred Stephen and of St. John. The things beheld by these persons respectively were objects seen in the light of heaven or the spiritual world, thus by the opening of the spiritual sight. For in the case of Stephen it is said that he saw the heavens opened, and in the case of St. John it is expressly said he was "in the spirit on the Lords day." What they saw, therefore, was in spiritual and not in natural vision. And we may presume it was the same in the case of Abraham and the rest, inasmuch as the objects which they saw were spiritual objects.

But as the spiritual sight can be opened in a state of bodily wakefulness, and consists in the minds consciousness being raised above the sphere of natural into the sphere of spiritual existences, while the natural plane of the mind is quiescent,--as in a reverie,--the objects seen by the spiritual eye would seem, to a person not aware of the fact that there is a spiritual sight distinct from the natural sight and that his spiritual sight was opened, as existing in the natural world: much the same as when a person has had a remarkably impressive dream, he can hardly divest himself of the notion that the things seen and heard in the dream have been actual natural occurrences. The only difference is, that, in the case of the dream, the transition from sleep to wakefulness, or from bodily quiescence to bodily activity, makes the person sensible of his two states of consciousness, and thus enables him to discriminate between them; whereas, in the case of the visions, the spiritual sight passing through the natural sight, which is now quiescent or altogether subservient, the person has nothing to mark the two states of his consciousness, and hence the spiritual objects seem to be natural objects. And thus, when those spiritual objects were persons, the circumstance of the spiritual eye being opened and closed would be attended by the natural appearance doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, and Jesus came and stood in the midst," (John, xx. 19,) it doubtless appeared to his disciples as a natural event, and they seemed to see him with their natural eyes; but it was manifestly a spiritual vision, because the walls of the room where they were assembled, which did obstruct their natural sight, were no obstruction to the Lords apparent natural entrance. So in the case of Abraham, the approach of the Lord to him in the form of three men appeared to him as a natural event; when in fact it was a spiritual event, occurring to the view of his spiritual sight. Fur Jehovah appeared to him under angelic forms, which, being spiritual, evidently could not have been seen naturally. And as Abraham probably was not aware that he saw by the opening of his spiritual sight, and thus rested in the natural appearance; hence it is recorded as an historical event, that three men stood before him as he sat in his tent door; and it is related that he performed natural offices to them. It is however manifest that all this must have been a spiritual occurrence of the merely mental world, seen by Abrahams spiritual eyes; and was but a representative imaging of divine and spiritual things, intended for the church in all ages. For these things, in common with other historical events which are recorded in the Old Testament, "happened," as Paul says, "for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." (1 Cor. x. 11.)

The end of the Divine Being in giving man a revelation, is the salvation of his soul. He could not therefore have given the Bible simply as an historical relation of events which took place in the early ages of the world: for how can the mere knowledge of an historical event avail to the souls salvation? But when the historical event is supposed to be representative of spiritual and divine realities, and is supposed to be related for the purpose of embodying those realities in sensible images and of thereby representing them to the human mind, so that when those sensible images are in the mind of man, angels can be associated with him thereby; we can very readily conceive how the divine end in giving that relation would be attained. For those spiritual and divine realities, when so communicated to the soul of man through angelic influence, might, by their enlightening and purifying effects on his will and understanding, save those faculties of his mind from evil and false principles. We say, then, that this historical event which is related as having occurred to Abraham in this world, was a representative imaging of divine and spiritual things intended for the church in all ages. We call it a representative imaging; for though these might have been, and doubtless were, actual angelic beings, still they were a representative personification of the Lord. For it is said "the Lord appeared unto him""and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him, and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door and bowed himself toward the ground, and said, my Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant." All which shows that these three men were characters representative of the one God. They were representative, because they purported to be the Lord, who is God; but were not actually God, for Abraham saw them, and "no man hath seen God at any time." (John, i. 18.) And they were representative of the one God, because Abraham addressed them as one. He calls them my Lord; and throughout the chapter they are called the Lord, and in most instances spoken of in the singular number. Thus in the last verse it is said, "And the Lord went his way as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place." We may here observe, incidentally, that this expression, "Abraham returned unto his place," is a further proof of Abrahams having been in a spiritual state when he saw the Lord as three men: for it denotes that he came again into his previous natural state. As before, his transition from a natural to a spiritual state was attended by the circumstance of the Lords appearing, so here, his return to a natural is accompanied by the appearance of the Lords going away.

Now this is our argument. Abraham saw the Lord representatively; for he could not see the Lord himself and live. (Exod. xxxiii. 20.) But a representation of the Lord must have corresponded to his nature; or else, it could not have brought him forth to view. Now this representation of the Lord presented him as three men. Therefore, there is something threefold in his nature. And thus we prove there is in God a trinity. Were there not, then, another test in Scripture, on this alone we would boldly take our stand and confidently proclaim a trinity in God!

But, say the Tripersonalists, Granted. We too proclaim that there is a trinity in God, and bring this same passage to prove that this is a trinity of persons. For, if this representation indicates the Lords nature,--as he is represented by three men, and three men are three persons,--therefore, the Lord in his nature is three persons. No! we answer. This representation only indicates that there are in the Lords nature three constituent principles. For the Word of God is so written that it uses sensible forms to represent and signify spiritual principles in the church and heaven, or divine principles in God. And the person of a man is his outward form. Hence his person must represent his inward principles. And when the forms or persons of men are used in the Word to represent the Deity, they represent the principles which constitute him. Thus Moses represented the Lord as to his divine law, or as to the principle of truth. Aaron represented the Lord as a divine priest, or as to the principle of goodness. David represented the Lord as a divine king, or as a principle of truth ruling and governing the refractory passions of men by bringing them into obedience to its dictates. So universally a form or person is never used in the Word simply to suggest an idea of itself and no more, but to involve and present some principle to which it corresponds. This is the case in the passage before us. Therefore, when the Lord was presented as three men, it did not indicate that he was three men in form, but that there were in his nature three principles which could be so represented. So when the Lord is called a shield end buckler, it is not meant that he is in that form, but that he effects that for the spirit of him who trusts in state him which a shield does for his body; namely, defends it from evil. Thus, in this instance, the sensible forms of a shield and buckler are used to represent the Lord as a principle of defence. So when the Lord was represented to John in a vision as a lamb standing in the midst of the throne, it did not indicate that he is actually in the form of a lamb, but represented him as to a certain principle of his nature, the principle of innocence, to which the lamb corresponds. We repeat, then, that these three men represented principles and not persons.

Again, we argue from this passage that there is a trinity of principles in the individual Divine Being, and not a trinity of individualities in the godhead, because Abraham addressed these three men as one person, calling them my Lord. For thus we reason: if the three men represented three persons, then Abraham would have addressed them as Lords, and would uniformly have spoken to and of them as plural in number. But this he did not. For though he saw three, he addressed them as one. We conclude, therefore, that these three represented three essential constituents of one Lord.

Hence we are not to regard this figurative representation as indicating that there are three persons in the one God; but that the one God is constituted one person by three distinct but essential principles of his being. These principles are distinct, because they are not absolutely the same; and they are essential, because without them he could not be one person. Thus these three are distinctly one.

But it is perhaps difficult for some minds to conceive how three can be distinctly one. Let us endeavor to illustrate this. Take for example that mathematical figure called a cube. How are three essential mathematical properties distinctly one cube? The properties of a cube are length, breadth and depth. These properties are distinct, because the length is not the breadth, but is altogether different from it; and the length or breadth is not the depth. But they are essential, because without all three of these properties the figure would not be a cube. Were there merely length and breadth, the figure would not he a cube, but a superficies. Still less would it be a cube, if there were only one of these properties. Hence, length, breadth and depth are essential properties of one cube. And being distinct, therefore they are distinctly one cube. Just so it is with God. There are three principles essentially constituent of his being. What these principles are, it would be out of place here to say. We merely take the fact as set forth in the passage of the Word under consideration. In this passage the Lord is represented as three, and addressed as one. From which it appears that there is a threefold something in the one God. This, we maintain, is a threefold principle. Or, we maintain that there are three principles by which God is constituted one person. And we present to view the sensible figure of a cube, not to show the quality of the divine principles, but simply to illustrate how three principles can constitute one thing; and thus show how three divine principles may constitute one God. The nature of those principles will be discussed hereafter.

Now it is merely this distinction of the constituent principles of the one God which was represented to Abraham by the three men. Of this he doubtless had an intuitive perception. Hence, when he regarded the Deity in his complex character, he addressed these three men as one Lord: but when he regarded the Deity as to his distinctive constituent properties, he addressed the one Lord as several. So the mathematician, when he looks at the cube in the concrete, considers it one thing. But, to serve the purposes of abstract reasoning, he regards its three essential properties as distinct and several. In some cases, as in an algebraic process, he even considers these properties as separate from the subject in which they necessarily inhere, and represents them by distinctive characters. But this does not destroy the individuality of the subject, and imply that there are three separate things in one cube. So neither did Abraham, when he addressed the three men as several, destroy the individuality of God, and imply that there are three persons in the one God. He addressed the men as several only when he regarded the essential constituent divine principles distinctively. He still regarded them as one in their subject; that is, as existing in and constituting one divine person. Hence he most frequently addresses them as one, and speaks of them in the singular number. Of course, God is individual in person, though his individuality may consist of a threefold principle. And as he was represented to Abraham as three men, we argue that he does consist of three principles. And as Abraham addressed these three as one, we argue that they are the constituent principles of one God. Therefore, in our view, this passage of Scripture affords incontrovertible proof that there is a trinity in the one God.

III. Same Subject Continued.--It is usual for those who believe in a trinity to bring forward, in proof of their belief, Genesis, i. 26, "let us make man in our image." But we do not advance this passage, because we think the plurality of the pronouns herein does not prove trinity. It would serve just as well to prove that there are four, or a hundred, as three. Nor do we think that one person in the godhead could say to two other persons, re let us make man in our image;" because it is utterly inconceivable how they could be so separate as to talk to one another and yet not be three gods. Besides, it is clear that God did not say this as three persons conversing together, first, because it is afterwards said, in the singular number, (verse 27,) "So God created man in his own image;" and, secondly, because man when created in Gods image was in one person and not in three.

But in Luke, i. 35, it is written, "And the angel answered and said unto her, The holy ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the son of God." Here mention is made of three, namely, the Highest, the holy ghost, and the son of God.

In Matthew, i. 16, 17--"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God, descending like a dove, and lighting upon him; and, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. Here, too, there are three indicated--God, the spirit of God, and the son of God.

We are aware that this passage is a strong redoubt of the tripersonal scheme. But if we regard it in the same light in which we viewed the passage from Genesis in our last number, this text will be seen to afford to that scheme no defence. Let it be observed, then, that what was here seen by the Lord, although an occurrence actually taking place before the minds eye of a person living on this earth, was a representation in the spiritual world. For it is said "the heavens were opened." Of course, the things seen by the Lord were in the heavens. This is a mode of expression .uniformly used in the Word in reference to the opening of the spiritual sight. Hence it is used by the prophets, and others, when speaking of their visions. Thus Ezekiel says, (i. 1,) "Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year," &c. "that the heavens were opened, and saw visions of God." Stephen, when about to be stoned to death, (Acts, vii. 56,) said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the son of man standing on the right hand of God." So, too, Peter, when he fell into a trance, (Acts, x. 9-13,) "saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet, knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air." The least reflection on these passages will show that the opening of the heavens here spoken of means an opening of the spiritual sight of men on earth, so as to enable them to see visual representative forms of spiritual and celestial things existing in heaven and the church. This is especially manifest from the vision of Peter. For he was afterwards made to understand that his vision was a representative mode of signifying to him this truth, "that God is no respecter of persons: but, in every nation, he that feareth him and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him," (verses 34, 35.) Besides it is dearly seen that "fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air" represented men and those mental qualities which constitute men, because Peter, in reference to these animals which he saw in his vision, says, "God hath shown me that I should not call any man commoner unclean," (verse 25.) Hence we may conclude it is a law of the spiritual world, that mental things, that is, voluntary and intellectual things, should be represented by visible images. And when men are in that state in which these images of heavenly things are seen, heaven is said to be opened, for such is the appearance; but in fact mans visual powers are so expanded or extended, or, are rather so indrawn, as to see things as they exist in a heavenly state. This is what we mean by his spiritual sight being opened. This undoubtedly was the case with the Lord when he, as recorded in the passage of the Word which we are now considering, saw heaven opened, and a dove descending and lighting upon him, and heard a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved son. Doubtless all this appeared, at the time, to be an event transpiring in this natural world, but it was, in reality, a visual representation and spiritual perception of things spiritual and divine which were transpiring in the Lords internal man, or in the spiritual world. Therefore what is said in this passage is not to be taken in its mere literal sense. And hence the argument, based upon this sense, that the father, son and holy ghost are separate and distinct persons, is fallacious.

But even though you take this passage in its apparent meaning, it will not support the argument of the Tripersonalists. For, as a certain writer has remarked, if this passage, in its literal sense, proves any thing for the tripersonal scheme, it proves too much: since it proves, not only that the holy ghost is separate from the Lord, but that he is in the form of a bird!--which we presume the advocates of the personality of the holy ghost are not disposed to maintain. Yet this is the conclusion to which we must come, if we adhere to the strict literal sense of this passage.

But this is not all: for, to prove the separate personality of the father and the son from this passage, you must suppose that there was an audible voice from heaven, and that this was actually the voice of the father. Yet the Lord says, (John, v. 37,) respecting the father, "Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape." It could not then have been the voice of the father which was heard from heaven in this case; and thus the argument resting upon the supposition that the father was, as a person, where the voice came from, and hence was separate from the son, falls to the ground. Thus is manifest the fallacy of these reasonings from appearances in the mere letter of the Word. And it is high time that Christians should awake, and open their eyes upon the spiritual import of that book which they believe to be the Word of God!

In fine, the Tripersonalists might just as well argue that cherubim are actually in the form in which they were represented in Ezekiels vision, or that the Lord Jesus now actually exists in the form of a lamb, slain, standing in the midst of the throne of heaven, and that the New Jerusalem will actually descend from heaven in the form of a city,--because these things were so represented to John in vision,--as to argue, from our Lords vision in the present instance, that the father and the holy ghost are persons separate or distinct from him, because he saw the spirit descend as a dove and light upon him, and heard a voice, as it had been the voice of the father, calling him his son. The separation is only an appearance. It is a visual representation of a certain process then going on in the glorification of the Lords human nature, and indicates that the spirit is in him, or that he, even as to his human nature, is infinitely imbued with the divine spirit--"For God giveth not the spirit by measure unto him," (John, iii. 34.) Hence, we have no more right to conclude that the holy ghost is actually separate from the Lord Jesus, because it descended upon him in the form of a dove, than we have to conclude that length, breadth, and depth are actually separate from a cube, because the mathematician can so represent them in an algebraic process. This vision which the Lord saw, like that which Abraham saw, was representative. And if the three men, which Abraham saw, represented the one God without distinction of persons; much more does this three fold appearance of the dove, the voice, and the Lords person, represent the same.

Thus this passage, though it does indeed prove a trinity, does not prove a trinity of persons. And we deem ourselves justified in concluding from this passage too, that there are three essential divine principles in the one God.

Besides the passages above noticed, there are many others in the New Testament from which the doctrine of a trinity can be inferentially deduced: but it is needless to do more than advert to the first of John, where it is said, "In the beginning was the word," "and the word was made flesh;" which word made flesh afterwards breathed on his disciples and said "receive ye the holy ghost." Here mention is made of the word, "which was God," or the essential divine principle--the word made flesh, which was "Immanuel, or God with us," the "express image" of Gods substance, the "form of God," and therefore the divine formative principle--and the breath, or proceeding influence of Jesus Christ, the word made flesh, which was called the holy ghost, and was the divine spherical principle. Thus by this passage a trinity of principles is most clearly proved.

We may here just add, finally, that the Lord Jesus frequently speaks of the father as in him, of himself as coming forth from the father, and of the holy ghost, or the comforter, as sent by him from the father. And in the last of Matthew he commands his apostles expressly to baptize all nations in "the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy ghost." In these passages, too, the same three fold distinction is kept up. Frequent mention is made moreover of the father, the son, and the holy ghost in the Epistles of the Apostles; acid so their testimony is given to the existence of a trinity. A very remarkable instance of distinct reference to a trinity in the one God is found in Johns First General Epistle, (v. 7,) "There are three that bear record in heaven, the father, the word, and the holy ghost: and these three are one. Here both the trinity and unity of God are expressly asserted.


We are aware that this is a disputed passage, and that many Trinitarians have relinquished their hold upon it as an authentic part of the original epistle. But we are not disposed to give it wholly up, both because it is quoted as genuine by the divinely commissioned teacher of the doctrines of the New Jerusalem and because there are both intrinsic and extrinsic evidences of its genuineness.

Some of the arguments for the authenticity of this verse are:

1. That the connection would be incomplete without it. To see this, just read the sixth, seventh and eighth verses consecutively. Now would not the mention in the eighth verse of three who bear witness in earth be too abrupt a transition from the sixth verse? What possible connection can there be imagined, in the drift of the apostles ideas, between the sixth and eighth verses? Moreover, can there be three principles in earth without three correspondent principles in heaven? There is no question about the authenticity of the eighth verse, and if this is genuine, then there is a trinity m earth; and if so, why should there not be a trinity in heaven also? Is not the earth created of God, and does not the creation bear the image of its creator? Are not "the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made--even his eternal power and godhead?" (Heb. i. 20.) Hence, if there is a trinity in earth, must there not be a trinity in God too? And if there are three correspondent principles in the Divine Being, and in heaven from him, why not mention them? We reason, then, that the connection requires the verse which is supposed to be spurious; and, therefore, there is intrinsic evidence that it is in reality genuine. But, from what has been just advanced, we may shift our position, and directly argue, that, though the seventh verse be omitted, still the doctrine of a trinity is effectually proved by the eighth. For in this it is said there are three that bear witness in earth. And we contend that there cannot be principles in earth which have not principles in heaven from which they exist and to which they correspond. And therefore, if it be admitted that there is a trinity in earth, it will follow that there is a trinity in heaven. Indeed Paul clearly shows that this is so, when he says he was caught up into the third heaven. Hence there is a trinity in the complex heaven. Consequently there must be a trinity in God, from whom heaven exists.

2. The clause in the eighth verse, [scanner unable to insert words] which is rendered, "and these three agree in one," if rendered literally would read, "and these three are in (the or) that one." It might be rendered, "and these three correspond to that one. The article in the phrase [scanner unable to insert words] evidently relative, and relates to a one which has been previously mentioned. So that the sense of the eighth verse is in this way, too, proved to be defective without the seventh.

3. The most ancient and most accurate manuscripts are said to contain this verse: thus affording extrinsic evidence that it is genuine.

4. It rests upon the authority, among others, of Cyprian, one of the Fathers, who lived in the third century, before the rise and spread of arianism: which proves that this seventh verse existed in copies of Johns First Epistle at a time when there could be no temptation to interpolate arising out of the arian controversy.

We conclude, then, that this verse is authentic; and, of course, the doctrine which it so unequivocally sets forth, cannot be impugned. But, admitting that it were not genuine, still the doctrine of the trinity is so interwoven with the very texture of the whole Sacred Scriptures, that the whole must be destroyed before it can be obliterated. And passages enough, without this, have been adduced from the Word of God to prove that there is a trinity in the one God.

IV. There MUST BE a trinity in God.--We proceed in this number to demonstrate that, in the nature of things, there must be a trinity in the one God.


Paul says, (Rom. i. 20,) "the invisible things of God,--even his eternal power and godhead,--are clearly seen from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that are made." Wherefore, the nature of the Deity is discernible in his works. Consequently, we may reason from the essential principles of natural existence to the essential principles of divine existence, or, to use the words of the poet, we may "look through nature up to natures God."

This mode of reasoning is not only legitimate and admissible, but, in the present constitution of man, it is the only way in which he can form any adequate conceptions of the Divine Being. Man is born in entire ignorance and helplessness. And, without instruction, he cannot know even how to feed and clothe himself. How then can he know his creator, unless he be instructed? And unless he has ideas in his mind from the objects of nature around him, there are no vehicles whatever by which instruction respecting the Deity can be conveyed to his mental apprehension or his moral feeling.

"That is first which is natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual." The form must first be impressed on the senses, before the rational and intellectual faculty can apprehend its qualities and its essence. Hence nothing of thought or affection can exist with man which has not with it a natural or sensual idea. Qualities cannot exist without subjects in which they inhere; and the mind cannot comprehend qualities without a distinct idea of their subjects. Hence the mind cannot apprehend the qualities of the Deity unless, and only in the degree that, it has a distinct idea of the forms which these qualities assume. And this is one meaning of that scripture, "No man cometh to the father, but by me," the son.

The essential divine principles, which, in the unapproachable and indescribable adytum of their own infinite and eternal being, no man hath seen nor can see, flowing down by a regular gradation of cause and effect, at length clothe themselves in natural forms and thus produce creation. In this plane of creation man first exists; and the images of the natural forms, that are the outermost coverings of the divine principles from which they ultimately exist, form the ground-work of his mind. When the form is presented, and is seen or perceived, by the imprinting of its image on organs suited to receive it, the qualities of that form may be gradually discerned, and thus its essence apprehended. And no quality can be discerned, and no essence apprehended, until the image of the form in which they inhere is thus received. And unless the qualities and essences of natural forms are discerned and apprehended, there is no possible may by which the mind can have any conception of the divine principles from which they exist, and which are most intimately within them. Hence, without the images of natural forms impressed on the senses, it is altogether impossible that man can have any idea of God. But, when the images of these forms are thus impressed, then the perfection of mans wisdom consists in the eternal opening up of his mind towards the essential divine principles from which those forms come forth.

These natural forms are the effects of the influx of spiritual forms as causes. They are common things which involve innumerable spiritual and infinite divine particulars; which particulars can never he reached or approached, before the common things which contain them are known and apprehended. For illustration, take the case of the human body. This consists of various common members, which involve many organical, visceral, muscular, fibrous, nervous and other particular parts. And these again, may be traced to singular constituents so minute and hidden that they elude the ken of the most searching and scrutinizing microscopic vision. Now what anatomist can, or attempts to know the hidden parts of the human body without first becoming acquainted with its common and obvious parts? In short, what is common is an effect caused by the influx of what is particular. And we cannot discern the cause if we do not know the effect.

Thus the only way in which man can attain to any knowledge of the hidden essences of things is, by tracing effects up to their causes. So that it is legitimate to reason from the essential principles of natural existence to the essential constituent principles of the Divine Being. In fact, these natural existences, or the works of creation, are the fruits of the Divine Being. And his own divine law must be universal in its application--"By their fruits ye shall know them." Therefore, by his fruits we must know him.

Hence, if we discern that in every natural existence there is a threefold principle, we must conclude that there is a trinity in God.

In pursuing this argument, we must take things as they are. It is not necessary far us to show why they are so; nor to inquire whether the Divine Being could not have constituted things differently. It is sufficient for us to know that the order in which things do exist, is the result of infinite wisdom; and we are not to suppose that infinite wisdom could devise any other order than that which it has produced. For an infinite being cannot act otherwise than according to his nature--thus infinitely. And to suppose that he could produce any other order than the one he has produced, would be to suppose that he could produce either what is more than infinite, which is absurd; or what is less than infinite, which is impossible.

Our prescribed limits will not allow us to expatiate so widely on this head as might be necessary. And we must therefore confine ourselves within the narrow compass of a very cursory view of the general principles of natural existence.

In starting we take this position, that a trinity is necessary to every unity; which we will strive to maintain, first, by the fact that there is a threefold principle in every existence, and, secondly, by the rational deduction from this fact, that from a simple or metaphysical oneness of being nothing can exist: which will lead us directly to the conclusion that the Deity is not a simple oneness of being, and of course that he is a triune being.

Casting our eyes over the whole scope of creation, we cannot but observe this fact, viz. that in every existence there are three things essential to that existence, namely, an inmost, a middle and an ultimate. These three things are the essential principles of all being, and universally manifest themselves as action, reaction, and the operation or result of these two. In philosophical language these three principles are called end, cause, and effect. The end is the intimate, the cause is the intermediate, and the effect is the ultimate. The end is the essential principle, the cause is the formative principle, and the effect is the spherical or influential principle. Thus there are three essential principles in every one existence, which are essentially distinct the one from the others.

That this is the constitution of things, any of us may be sensible by attending to the subjects of our observation or consciousness. For in whatever we behold or examine, we find an inmost, a middle, and an outermost. In a circle, there is a centre, an area, and a circumference. In the earth there is a entre, a spherical bulk, and a surface. In a flower of the field there is its essence, its form, and its odor. In ourselves there is an inmost, a middle, and an ultimate principle; that is, there is a voluntary, an intellectual, and an operative principle; or a will, an understanding, and an act; or a love, a wisdom, and a use. And in this inmost of us are our ends, in this middle our causes, and in this ultimate our effects: that is, in our inmost are motives to action, in our middle are modes of action, and in our ultimate are actions themselves. So in every thing which is an object of our sight or consciousness, there is an end, a cause, and an effect--or an inmost, a middle, and an outermost.

And every effect is seen to be the result of an action and a reaction. Our will acts, our understanding reacts, and the consequence is affection and thought. Our mind acts, our body reacts, and the consequence is the varied modes of bodily motion. The head acts, the trunk reacts, and in consequence the animal fluids pervade the system, causing sensation in all its forms. The heart acts, the arteries react, and hence the blood circulates, producing bodily sustentation. All the viscera act, while the bony, muscular, membranaceous, and cuticular parts react, and thus the various members are formed, and the whole body is kept in order, symmetry, and beauty.

Now in all these things the result of action and reaction is essential to the mode of existence and subsistence. And this is true of all nature and of every object of nature--of every animal, plant, and mineral--of every work of art and of every mechanical invention. You could not shoot a gun unless the barrel reacted on the expanding powder, and thus caused it to speed the bullet in its course. Unless the projectile tendency of a planet reacted on the suns attractive power, the planet would not move in its orbit. Unless the earth reacted on the suns influences, no material form whatever could exist. You could not walk, unless the ground reacted on your feet: and hence the tiresome effects of walking on loose sand or newly fallen snow. You could not breathe, if the air did not react upon your lungs. You could not speak if the various conformations of the throat and mouth did not react on the air sent back again from the lungs. You could not hear your preachers, unless the walls of your temples and the atmosphere reacted on their voice. You could not understand their teachings, unless your minds reacted on theirs so as to give the requisite attention. And all preaching would be vain, unless the hearts of the people so reacted on its practical precepts as to bring them into life.

There is, then, in every thing, action, reaction, and the result of these. Or, in other words, there is an active principle and a passive subject; and the flowing of the active into the passive, and the reaction of the passive on the active, produce life in all its varied forms.

Thus there are in every thing end, cause, and effect. And these three are essential to every existence. For if you were to take any one away, the others would cease to exist. If, for instance, you take away the effect, the end and the cause would be nonentities for want of a power of ultimation. If you take away the cause, the end could not come into effect for want of the requisite means. And if you take away the end, cause and effect must of course cease for want of a first principle of their existence. Thus, if you take away exercise from the mind, it becomes enervated. If you take away understanding, will cannot effect its purposes. And if you take away volition, understanding is dormant. A disorganization of the brain produces insanity. A sudden recession of the spirit, as in the case of excessive fright, joy, or what not, produces instant death of the body. And a violent assault of the love, by some cruel treatment, sad disappointment, or dire calamity, oftentimes produces alienation of mind and premature dissolution. All which are instances in which the end, the cause, or the effect are suspended, obstructed, or taken away. So a workman without tools, though he has the best design and most perfect practical skill, can produce nothing useful. Without skill his design could do nothing with the best of tools. And without design his skill and tools would be both inoperative.

Thus we see, that in every thing there is an inmost, a middle, and an outermost. And we also perceive that they never can be blended. For they are evidently separated by discrete degrees. Hence the end by any continuity can never become the cause. So neither can the cause ever become the effect. Your will by any increase or activity whatever can never become understanding. And your understanding can never become act. Or your desire can never become thought; or your thought speech; except by correspondence. So that these three essential constituents of one thing, are and must be distinct. This is universal. It is true of every thing which comes within our observation. And hence we conclude that it is true with respect to the whole creation in general, and every part in particular. Consequently, there is a distinctly threefold principle in every existence. And thus a trinity is necessary to every existence.

Now,--taking things as they are, and supposing that they could not be otherwise in the divine economy,--from the fact that there is a threefold principle in every existence, we reason that, from a simple oneness, nothing can exist. By simple oneness we mean oneness in a metaphysical sense--that is, mere, abstract oneness, or a principle of unity without a subject of unity: which is the idea that we suppose Unitarians to have of the divine unity.

In arguing this point, we lay it down as an axiom that all things exist and subsist from the Divine Being. Of course, existing from the Divine Being, they cannot exist of themselves; but must exist by virtue of life flowing into them. Now as every thing which exists is the result of action and reaction; hence there must be a twofold influx, that is an immediate and a mediate influx. For the acting principle must be distinct, and we have seen that it is distinct, from the reacting principle: and that which acts must be distinct from that which reacts: since to predicate action and reaction of absolutely one and the same thing is absurd. For to do this we must consider absolutely one and the same thing distinctly from itself: which would be like considering length as distinct from length: than which there cannot be a greater absurdity. And as action and reaction are distinct and twofold, hence the influx of the active and reactive principles, which produces these, must be twofold likewise. Thus there must be the influx of the active principle, or life, and this is called immediate influx; and the influx of that which forms the plane of operation of the former, and this is called mediate influx.

Let us illustrate this. In the formation and growth of a plant, for instance, the germ in the seed manifests itself by expanding and clothing itself in the elements of nature. Here there is the influx of life from the spiritual world into the germ; and the influx of the sun and earth into that material form which the life assumes in the natural world. The former is called immediate influx, not because it is life from the Divine Being flowing in without any media, but because it flows through spiritual agents, and thus is more direct than the latter, which comes from the same source by the round about way of material agents.

Take the case of man. His spirit or active principle flows in from the spiritual world, and his body or reactive principle flows in from the natural world. So his love, affection, or virtue, as an active principle, flows in immediately, or from within, into instruction, knowledge, or wisdom, which, as a reactive principle, flows into him mediately, that is by instructors and teachers, thus from without.

So in the various parts of his body, as the hand, for instance, or the arm. There is the immediate influx of the soul into the arm, by which it acts and performs its wonted operations for the body; and the mediate influx of the heart and lungs, by which it exists as a material reactive plane for the souls activity. The immediate influx in this case is by the nerves--the mediate by the arteries and veins: and the immediate is so called, because its medium, the nerves, is also the medium of the active principle to the heart, the source of the arteries, as well as to the arm, which those arteries support. That there is this twofold influx in the case of the arm, is proved by the fact, that, if you destroy the nerves, or interrupt the communication by them, as in a paralysis, the arm loses its power of action, while it still exists by nourishment from the heart; and if the communication from the heart is cut off, or the requisite supply of nourishment is lessened, as is the case in some diseases, the arm withers, while it is still capable of acting until it ceases to furnish an adequate reactive plane for the active principle.

So, universally, there must be into every thing that exists a twofold influx. Of course, this influx must have a twofold source. For how can that which is twofold proceed from that which is absolutely simple? Manifestly, that which is absolutely simple cannot both act and react in itself. How then can it produce action and reaction in that which is out of itself? Clearly mere, abstract, simple oneness can produce nothing at all. It is just as impossible as it is for an apothecary to make a compound medicine out of one drug; or for an arithmetician to compute with nothing but units; or for a conspiracy to be formed by one man. Thus nothing can exist without action and reaction. And action and reaction cannot exist without a twofold influx. And a twofold influx cannot proceed from a simple oneness of being. Therefore, from a simple oneness of being nothing can exist.

But things do exist. And their existence is the result of action and reaction: which are owing to a twofold influx; that is, both an immediate and a mediate influx of life from the Divine Being. Since, then, action and reaction, and their twofold influx, cannot exist from a simple oneness of being, and they do exist from the Deity, therefore, the Deity is not a simple oneness of being.

And further, as it is legitimate to reason from the essential principles of natural existence to the constituent principles of divine existence, and as a threefold principle is essential to every thing which exists in nature, hence we conclude that there is a threefold principle in the Deity. Thus there must be in the Deity, a divine active, a divine reactive, and a divine influential principle. And as we are not to suppose that things can exist in any other order than that in which they do exist, consequently are bound to suppose, that, as there is a trinity in every unity, there must be a trinity in every unity; hence we conclude that in the nature of things, there must be a trinity in the one God.

And this trinity does not consist in three persons or individualities. For every individual thing must be constituted by an inmost, a middle and an outermost. And hence, if there were three persons or individualities in the one God, there would be in the one God three inmosts, three middles, and three outermosts--or three divine actives, three divine reactives, and three divine influences; which is absurd.

But the trinity in the one God consists in three essential and indispensable principles, which are his inmost, his middle, and his outermost--that is, it consists in a divine active, a divine reactive, and a divine spherical principle; which, on another occasion, we shall prove to be divine love, divine wisdom, and divine use; and which, in the divine language of the Sacred Scriptures, are called,--that is, are personified to the thought of man as,--the father, the son, and the holy ghost. Thus, then, "there are three that bear record in heaven--the father, the word, and the holy ghost; and these three are one."

We have now, as we proposed, proved from the Holy Word that there is--and have shown by rational deduction from the nature of things that there must be--a trinity in the one God. And we have pointed out the true nature of this trinity as consisting, not in three divine persons, but in three indispensable divine principles.

To those persons, then, whose minds are not made up on this subject, we will, in concluding this paper, hold up to them a miniature portrait of the faith of the old church, and one of the faith of the new, in respect to the trinity.

The old church believes--"There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this godhead, there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity--the father, the son, and the holy ghost."--"There is one person of the father, another of the son, and another of the holy ghost: the father is God and Lord, the son is God and Lord, and the holy ghost is God and Lord; nevertheless there are not three gods and three lords, but one God and one Lord. For as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say there be three gods or three lords."

The faith of the new-jerusalem church isThat there is one infinite and eternal God in one divine person--that this one person is necessarily constituted by an active, a reactive, and an influential principle--which are a divine essence, a divine form, and a divine sphere: and that these three principles, which in the Scriptures are called father, son, and holy ghost, are distinctly one God, just as soul, body, and conduct, are distinctly one man.

There are the two portraits before you. Judge ye for yourselves which is the best likeness of the truth. Look at them and compare them with the portraiture of the Divine Being, as seen in his Word and in his works; and, in the free and responsible exercise of your own reason and volition, take that which is conscientiously deemed best.



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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 2        SERMON I.

JOHN, XIV. 8-11.

"Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the father, and how sayest thou, Show us the father? Believest thou not that I am in the father, and the father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me, that I am in the father, and the father in me."

ALL religion is founded on the knowledge of God; and the nature of a religion is determined by the quality of this knowledge. Hence its idea of the Divine Being wholly characterizes a church. Consequently the difference between churches may be known by knowing the difference between their ideas of the Deity.

The new-jerusalem church, which is now making its appearance in the world, differs essentially from the old Christian church. It is a new church, not because it advances entirely different doctrines, but because it understands the same doctrines in a new way. The old church is divided chiefly into Unitarians and Trinitarians. We have already stated our doctrine of the unity and trinity of God, and contrasted it with those of these two grand divisions of the old Christian church.

But that doctrine which most peculiarly distinguishes the new Christian church from the old, is her doctrine of the Lord, and especially of the divinity of his humanity. This doctrine we shall now proceed to unfold. However, before we go on to the specific consideration of this doctrine, it may be well to give here a brief recapitulation of what has been advanced in the introduction.

We of the New Jerusalem hold, in common with Unitarians of the old church, to the unity of God; yet differ from them in holding also to the personality of God. The Unitarians idea of the divine unity is, that God is a simple, abstract divine principle without any conceivable divine embodyment. Our idea is, that God is one, because all the divine principles are embodied in one person. We believe, with Paul, that all the fullness of the godhead dwells bodily in Jesus Christ; whereas the Unitarian believes that Jesus Christ is a mere man--highly gifted, indeed, above all other men--but still in respect to God a mere man; and that God is a divine, an infinite, an eternal, an omnipotent and an impersonal mind, dwelling infinitely above and entirely out of him.

On the other hand, we agree with Trinitarians in admitting a trinity; yet differ from them in denying that this is a trinity of persons. They maintain that there are three divine persons called father, son, and holy ghost, each of which is "of himself" God, and yet that these three are not three gods but one God. How these persons can be each of himself-God, and yet not three gods, they do not undertake to explain. They say it is a mystery which is to be believed because it is revealed in the Bible. It is a mystery, they say, which is above reason, and which is to be humbly admitted on a ground of faith.

But we of the New Jerusalem hold that such a trinity as that held by Trinitarians of the old Christian church is not only above, but contrary, to reason; and therefore that it cannot be revealed in the Word, because the Word of God cannot reveal that which is contrary to reason and therefore impossible to be understood.

Yet we do believe that the Word of God inculcates a doctrine of the trinity--namely, a doctrine of three divine principles dwelling bodily in the one divine person, Jesus Christ. What these principles are, we shall show hereafter, when we come to demonstrate, from the Word, that Jesus Christ is their embodyment. And at this time will only add, as a succinct contrast of our idea of God with those of old-church Trinitarians and Unitarians, that the Trinitarians believe there is one God in three persons--the Unitarians, that there is one God without any person--and we, that there is one God in one person.

In this discourse we shall trace the difference between the New-jerusalemists and the Trinitarians, and therefore shall take for granted the divinity of our Lord, because they hold that he is "very God," as well as "very man."

We proceed to show, first, negatively, that Jesus Christ and the father cannot be two divine beings; and then, affirmatively, that Jesus and the father are one and the same.

First, Jesus Christ and the father are not two. To show this, it will be necessary to bring forward the preliminary proof that the Lords human, is not separate from his divine, nature; and that Jesus Christ as God has not an individuality distinct from the father.

In the first chapter of John, first verse, it is said, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and God was the word"--which word, it is said in the fourteenth verse, "was made flesh and dwelt among us." Thus God being the word, and the word being made flesh, it is manifest that God was in the flesh, or that the flesh was nothing more than an outward manifestation of divinity within it. Hence it is manifest that the flesh, that is the human nature of the Lord, had not a soul, or a vital principle, separate or distinct from the Divinity within it, from which as its only soul, it was originally formed and continued to exist. Therefore the New Jerusalem teaches that the Lord "was conceived from Jehovah; hence he had a divine esse from nativity, which was to him for a soul, and consequently was the inmost principle of his life--which was exteriorly clothed with what he assumed from the mother." (A. C. 4641.)

Again, "the Lords soul, being derived from the father, was of itself the essential divinity, and his body became a likeness of the soul, that is, of the father," T. C. R. 81.--And lastly, "He whose thought is from intellectual truth, and whose perception is from divine good, which also was the Lords as being the fathers, for he had no other soul,) must needs act from his own proper power. * * * He who is conceived of Jehovah, has no other internal, that is, no other soul than Jehovah; wherefore, as to his veriest life, the Lord was Jehovah himself. Jehovah, or the divine essence, cannot be divided, like the soul of a human father, from which an offspring is conceived. This offspring, in proportion as it recedes from the fathers likeness, recedes from the father himself, consequently, it recedes more and more according to its advancement in age. Hence it is that the love of a father towards his children diminishes as they advance in years. But the case was otherwise with the Lord, who, as he advanced in age in respect to his human essence, did not recede, but continually approached to his father, even to perfect union. Hence it is evident that he is the same with Jehovah the father; as he himself also plainly teaches." (A. C. 1921.)

It is clear, then, that the Lords human was but an embodyment of Jehovah, or the essential divinity, which was in it as soul. And this is seen, likewise, from the birth of our Lord, as recorded in Matt. i. 18, and following verses, which shows an essential difference between the human of the Lord and that of any other man. The Lords human is there stated to have been conceived directly from the holy ghost or the divine sphere, and hence he was expressly called God-with-us. If he had possessed a human soul which intervened between the divine essence and us, then he would not have been God with us, but would have been one of us. Or he would have been God with us only in the sense that the Divine Being is with us through the medium of any mere man who is in some remarkable degree a subject of the divine influences--and this is precisely the unitarian doctrine. But the Holy Scriptures are explicit: "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: when, as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the holy ghost." (Matt. i. 18.) And again, in the twentieth verse, where the angel, encouraging Joseph to take Mary as his wife, says, "fear not to take unto thee Mary, thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the holy ghost." See also Luke, i. 26-35.

Here you see there is no ground of equivocation; but a plain and direct assertion that Jesus was the immediate offspring of the holy ghost, that is, of the divine emanating sphere. The assertion is so direct and plain, that no subterfuge can get over it. And hence certain theologians--to whose system it is completely fatal--sometimes assert and maintain that these passages are interpolations. But this will not do: for the whole tenor of Scripture clearly intimates that Jehovah himself would come unto his people, and hence that that body, that human form, that person, by which he would manifest himself, would be the "mighty God himself," (Isaiah, ix. 6,) and not a mere man, highly gifted, and commissioned by God. Thus the child that is born unto us, is, to use the words of Paul, the express image of Gods substance, and the brightness of his glory. And thus the Lords human is a mere continent of his essential divinity.

Since, then, the Lords humanity is comparatively a mere covering of the divinity which is within it, and from which it immediately exists, it is clear that his human, is not separate from his divine, nature.

This is confirmed moreover by his own express declarations. For in John, v. 20, he says, "I can of mine own self do nothing." And, in the nineteenth verse, "The son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the father do: for whatsoever things he doeth, these also doth the son likewise." So in chapter xii. v. 49, "For I have not spoken of myself; but the father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." And in our text, " I speak not of myself, but the father that is in me, he doeth the words." It is evident, then, that the Lords human nature is not separate from his divine nature.

Neither is his divine nature separate from the divine nature of the father: that is, Jesus Christ, as God, has not an individuality distinct from the father.

Old-church Trinitarians hold that the son, or second person in the trinity. was begotten of the father from eternity; and that this son, who is himself "very and eternal God," "took mans nature in the womb of the blessed virgin:" "so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the godhead and manhood, mere joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man." From this it would seem that the second person of the trinity is the divinity in connexion with the Lords humanity: and as this divinity, being begotten of the father, must, of course, be distinct from the father, it follows from this view that the Lords divinity is distinct from the divinity of the father. But we cannot find any authority in the Word for the doctrine of a son of God begotten from eternity. May, we even dare to deny that any such doctrine can be either expressly, or by implication, drawn from the Sacred Scriptures. It would be irrelevant to our present purpose to discuss this point at length here, or we could prove fully that the word made flesh is the only son of God. We will, however, refer you again to the quotation we have already made from John, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." Here there is an absolute identity explicitly stated between God and the word. It is not said, nor intimated, that the word was begotten of God; but it is said expressly that the word was God: thus at least intimating that God and the word were one and the same being; however they might--from its being said that the word was With God--be supposed to be in some sense distinctly one. And this word, which was God, and the only God, inasmuch as there is but one God, "was made flesh, and dwelt among us, fall of grace and truth. And it was of this flesh that John said, "we beheld his glory, the glory as or the only begotten of the father." For they could not behold the word, which was within the flesh; because this was God: and it is expressly said, in the eighteenth verse, "No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten son which is in the bosom of the father, he hath declared him." It was, then, the glory of the human principles which the Divinity assumed--in other words, the human nature of our Lord, which the evangelist means when he says "We beheld his glory." But mark, this was the glory of the only begotten of the father. The human nature of the Lord, assumed in time, is, then, the only begotten son, which is in the bosom of the father. If, then, this son begotten in time, is the only begotten son; how can there be another son begotten from eternity? And if there is not a son begotten from eternity, which, as a distinct divine being, is the divinity of our Lord, but the word--which the Scriptures say is the very God, and is so with the father as to make one with himself--forms his divine nature, then it is perfectly clear that the divine nature of Jesus Christ is not separate from that of the father.

But further, if we admit that Jesus Christ is in any sense God, it is altogether irrational to suppose that he can have an individuality distinct from the father. The idea we have of God is, that he is infinite, eternal, and unchangeably the same; that he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. If, then, Jesus Christ is God, he must be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." But, if so, how can he have an individuality separate or distinct from the father? If there is a deity, called the father, separate and distinct from the divine nature of the Lord Jesus, then there are two infinite beings; which cannot be, for the supposition of two infinites is infinitely absurd. Nor does it avail to say, that they are not separate, but are in some way mystically united so as to make one. For they are not supposed to be absolutely one and the same; but, notwithstanding their unity, they are still imagined to be distinct individualities, having distinct characteristics, and distinct functions to perform--one being creator, another redeemer, and the third regenerator: and they cannot be in any possible degree distinct, in this sense, unless the one possesses something which the others do not. But this also involves an absurdity; for this distinctive something in the one would detract from the infinity of the other. The difficulty is the same, too, whether we suppose them to possess something different in kind, or something respectively their own of the same kind.

The fact is, the attributes of deity are absolutely incommunicable; and the idea of a Gods making or generating a god is utterly absurd. Divine attributes are in their very nature essentially one and indivisible; and thus, where they exist at all, they must exist wholly. Hence, if the Lord Jesus Christ is God at all, he is wholly God. He cannot, therefore, have a divine nature separate or distinct from the divinity of the father. For it is ridiculous to think he can have an omnipotence in any possible degree distinct from that of the father. So of omnipresence and all the other divine attributes. For if the Lord possesses any power, of any kind, or of a degree ever so minute--to say nothing of all power--which the father does not, then the father is not omnipotent. Yet if the Lord does not possess a power in some respects different from that of the father, there cannot be any distinction between them in respect to this attribute: for if their power is in no respect different, it is absolutely the same. Again, if omnipresence is attributed to the Lord, he is every where. But if he is every where, how can you conceive of the fathers being where he is not? And if the father cannot be where he is not, how can the father be in any possible degree separate or individually distinct from the Lord? But if he is not separate or individually distinct from him, then they are one and the same being. The omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of the father are those of the Lord, and thus the divinity of the father is the divinity of the Lord. Consequently, as the Lords humanity is the bodily manifestation of his divinity, it is the bodily manifestation of the divinity of the father; and thus the Lord and the father are absolutely one and the same divine being. Of course, Jesus Christ and the father are not two.

In the second place, Jesus Christ and the father are one. The unity of the Lord and the father was negatively established, under the foregoing head, principally on rational grounds; we purpose now to establish it affirmatively by scriptural quotations.

When we say that Jesus Christ and the father are one, we mean that they are one as the soul and body are one. Now it appears to us that such a union between the Lord and the father could not possibly be more clearly set forth than it is in our text.

We are aware that the words of our text, having been uttered by a divine being, must have a recondite as well as an apparent sense; and that the unity of the Lord and the father is much more incontrovertibly seen by the light of their spiritual sense, than by any proof which the mere natural sense can furnish: for, in attaining to a spiritual perception of the Lords words, we ourselves must pass through a process in some sort resembling that by which his unition with the father was effected; and thus, feeling in ourselves something resembling this union, we can best understand what it is. But as theologians of the present day, in deducing doctrines from the Sacred Scriptures, regard their natural or apparent sense alone--as they suppose that the Lord spoke from natural thought and affection, and have no idea that his aim was to embody in natural images divine and essential truths, but imagine that he inculcated mere dogmatic truths--we will, for the sake of confuting their false notions even on their own premises, reason from these words taken in their apparent sense merely.

It would seem, then, that Philip, having heard the Lord often speak of the father, and pray to him--having witnessed, perhaps, the opening of the heavens at his baptism, and heard the audible voice, as it were of the father, in heaven, proclaiming him his beloved son--was deeply impressed with the idea that the father and the son were separate and distinct persons. And when the Lord intimated that they from that time knew and had seen the father, Philip--conscious that he had seen no divine person other than the Lord, and thus being unable to conceive how he could have seen the father, as he was not yet aware of the intimate connection between the Lord himself and the father--intreats of him, "Lord, show us the father, and it sufficeth us." Now let us suppose that the doctrines at this day prevalent with respect to the distinct individuality of the father and the son are true. If so, then the Lord could have inculcated no other: for he is "the truth," and therefore nothing but truth can proceed from him. Let us suppose, too, that he spake for the purpose of uttering dogmatic truths, which must be the case if his words are to be understood only in their apparent sense. Here, then, the point of theology which we are discussing was brought distinctly into view. Philip, imagining, as the Christian of the present time does, and as does the mere natural man of every age, that the Lord and the father are distinct beings, wants to see the father. The Lord he had seen, and wanted no further evidence of his existence. To have seen the father, therefore, would have answered his doubts, and satisfied his desires. He very naturally, therefore, asks to see the father. On the supposition, then, that the Lord was teaching truths dogmatically, would he not have satisfied his inquiry in the precise Way in which He, who always knows what is in man, must have known that Philip wished for information? And on the supposition that he and the father are actually distinct, would he not have proceeded to explain to Philip the distinction between himself and the father? Would he not have portrayed the fathers character, described his person, spoken of his distinct offices, or in some way have intimated that he was a distinct individuality? But does he do this? No: so far was he from even hinting at a distinction--so far was he from implying that he as the son was a person separate and distinct from the father, he even proceeds to say that he is the very father himself: "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the father.

Having so often assured them that he of himself could do nothing--that he spake not of himself, and that he had not a thought or a will of his own; knowing that they had heard him speak "as never man spake," and had seen him do works which none but a divine being could do; and hence supposing that they could not but have been sensible that the Divinity was in him, and hence that he himself was divine; having, in short, expressly told them, as he did, on another occasion, (John, x. 30,) that he and the father are one; there is in the apparent sense of his words an expression of surprise at the request of Philip. Show us the father! Can you behold the essential divine principle and live? No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten son, which is in the bosom of the father, he hath brought him forth to view. As if he had said, Do not I, begotten of him as you know, manifest him in the only way in which he can be manifested to finite apprehension? How are the affections and thoughts of your invisible soul manifested to your fellow-men? How can they be manifested but by your body? How then can you expect to sec the divine affections and thoughts of your heavenly father, except by his body? Now, being intimately united to him by the peculiarity of my birth, and thus having him within me as my soul or inmost principle of life, speaking as he dictates, and doing as he doth; having nothing which I do not derive from him, my every feeling, thought and action being his in and by me; I am the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his substance am, in a word, his body; and thus am a lower manifestation of him who would otherwise be unapproachable and incomprehensible to you. Being, therefore, so thoroughly identified with him, am not I and the father one--as much so as a soul and body? and do I not, therefore, show him to you? "How sayest thou, then, Show us the father? Believest thou not that I am in the father, and the father in me, the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself, but the father that dwelleth in me, he doth the works. Believe me, that I am in the father and the father in me."

Now, my hearers, I appeal to you as men of common sense, whether, on the supposition that the Lord spoke in only a literal sense, language can be more explicit than this. Mark, he expressly says," I speak not of myself." He could not even speak without the indwelling father. How then could he be an individual distinct from him?

It is of no moment to urge that, when the Lord Jesus said he did not speak of himself, he meant to intimate that he was a subordinate being; for this is true of all creatures. His hearers did not in this sense speak of themselves, and they knew it. Hence it was hardly necessary for him to utter a truth so obvious. It could not then have been with the view of signifying that he was a mere man, as the Unitarians suppose, that he spake these words. For had he been a mere man, and the people had supposed him to be such, he need not have said any thing about it. But if, on the other hand, the people supposed him to be divine, and he perceived that they did so, when he knew he was not, he certainly should have adopted a more explicit mode of undeceiving them than he did, when he proceeded not only to say, "the father is in me," but also, "I am in the father." For he might have said the father was in him, if he were only a divinely commissioned agent, but he could not have said that he was in the father unless he had been himself divine. For no one can be in the Infinite, the Eternal, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient, but he who is himself possessed of infinity, eternity, omnipotence, and omniscience. When, therefore, the Lord says, "I speak not of myself," he indicates his identity with the father, and not his subordination to him. So that this clause harmonizes perfectly with that in which he says, "I am in the father:" for it implies that he himself is very God--since, as we have said, to be in the father, who is infinite, he must be himself infinite; and if he is infinite, he is God. And if he is God at all, he must be the only God; for if he is not the only God, and yet is God at all, then there are more gods than one--which is impossible and absurd.

We say, then, confidently, that Jesus Christ and the father are one. And, in doing so, we only echo the Lords own words when he says, (John, v. 30,) "I and my father are one." Here you see a direct and explicit assertion, by the Lord himself, of the point which we are maintaining. Observe, too, that the Lord says he and the father are one-completely subverting the notion that the humanity has for its proximate divine principle a son or second person in the trinity.

We again, then, appeal to all men of common sense and rational Christians, whether--even on the grounds of argument taken by those who support a contrary doctrine--we are not justified in concluding, from these express declarations of the Lord, that Jeans Christ and the father are one.

Here we might leave our case as entirely made out; but, as this is a most important point, we will confirm it by a few more passages from the Word.

Jesus says, in our text, that they who saw him saw the father; and he could say this in truth, because Jehovah himself had declared, (by Isaiah, ix. 8,) that the child which was to be born should be called "the ever lasting father." Isaiah says, (xl. 3,) "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of Jehovah; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." But John said, (i. 23,) "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord." And it is well known that John made straight the way of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Jesus Christ is one with Jehovah. In Isaiah, xliii. 11, are these words, "I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no saviour"--Hosea, xiii. 4, "I am Jehovah thy God, thou shalt know no God but me, for there is no saviour besides me." But it was the express injunction of the angel of the Lord to Joseph, in respect to the son born of Mary, "thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." If, then, there is no saviour besides Jehovah, and Jesus Christ is saviour, Jesus Christ is Jehovah.--Again, in Isaiah, xlix. 26, and xl. 16, Jehovah is called the "redeemer;" and by this name too he is identified with the Lord Jesus, who is confessedly the redeemer of the world. We have also, in Pauls Epistle to the Hebrews, xiii. 8, this remarkable passage, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." From which, compared with John, iv. 42, "This is Christ, the saviour of the world," it follows, that, if Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, and in Johns time, or tit any time, was saviour, he must have been saviour at all times; and consequently was so when Jehovah said, by Isaiah, "besides me there is no saviour." Wherefore this, too, shows that Jesus and Jehovah are one and the same being. The Lord himself declares, " I am Alpha sad Omega, the Beginning and the End, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty"--"I am the First and the Last." But how could he be the First, if he were a son begotten from eternity? In this case there would have been a divine principle eternally before him, and therefore he could not be in a divine sense the First. To be the First, therefore, he must be the father himself. And this the more especially, as he is "the Almighty;" for if he is not the very father, then there are two almighties--which is absurd. Hence, when Jesus Christ declares that he is the First and the Last, he only uses another form of saying that he and the father are one.

It is needless to multiply quotations on this head, had we time: for were we to quote all that would go, either directly or indirectly, to prove this point, we should be obliged to read the whole Bible.

Still we are aware, that, notwithstanding this overwhelming evidence from the Word, many will continue to cling to appearances of truth which seem to inculcate a different doctrine. And if they are resolved to adhere to the tenets, true or false, in which they may happen to have been educated, they may do so easily: they will find enough in the mere letter of the Word, which will give plausible colouring to their views; because any doctrine, however false or heretical, may be confirmed by the apparent sense of Scripture. But let all such beware how they ground their doctrines upon constructions of Scripture when those doctrines are at variance with the Lords express declarations. When the Lord says the father is in him, and that he is himself the father, let them beware how they set about making the father a being out of him, so as to be a person separate and distinct from him. "Let them kiss the son, lest he be angry, and they perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little." And while they are confirming their views by the appearances of truth in the mere letter of the Word, let them take good heed to the apostle Paul, when he says, "the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."



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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 3        SERMON II.

JOHN, XV. 26.

"When the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the father, even the spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the father, he shall testify of me."

THESE are the words of the Lord Jesus to his disciples. They form a link in that chain of comforting and sustaining assurances which he gave them in view of his departure from this world, when they were to be left scattered like sheep while their shepherd was smitten.

This text will lead us to consider, first, the true nature of the spirit which testifies of Jesus; and, next, to explain some difficult points of our theology, by throwing upon them its light. The first of these topics will be the theme of our present discourse, the second that of our next.

Let us, then, remark here that the spirit which testifies of Jesus is "the spirit of truth which proceeds from the father." A father is one who begets, or has begotten, children; and who sustains them in existence. Hence, in the abstract, the term father denotes a begetting and sustaining principle. Consequently, the term father as applied to the Deity, means a divine begetting and sustaining principle in God. And what this is, will appear plainly to any spiritually minded person who duly considers the apostolic declaration that "God is love." The father, or all begetting and all sustaining principle in God, is, then, divine love. Therefore, "the spirit of truth which proceeds from the father," is the spirit of truth which proceeds from divine love. And what this is, is clearly indicated by that other apostolic declaration that "God is light." Hence, "the
spirit of truth which proceeds from the father," is the sphere of divine light which flows from divine love.

It is the same thing to say the spirit of truth which proceeds from Jesus; for he expressly says, "I and my father are one:" and "he that seeth me, seeth the father." For Jesus Christ, when he was glorified with the glory which he had with the father before the world was, became the divine good of the divine love even as to his very body. This was the reason that, on the mount of transfiguration, his face did shine as the sun; because the activities of the divine love are the sun of heaven, and the divine love, being within Jesus Christ as his soul, shined forth through his race, as a mans face corresponds to and manifests the interiors of his mind. Thus "the spirit of truth which proceeds from the father," is the sphere of divine light which flows from the divine love in Jesus Christ, which is a sphere of life enlightening the mind; because "in him was life, and the life was the light of men." (John, i. 4.) Hence, the Lord says, in our text, the comforter which is the spirit of truth, "whom I will send unto you from the father." For when Jesus was so glorified that he and the father were one, and those that saw him saw the father, he was divine good in form; and as the form of good is truth, therefore he, as the form of divine good, was divine truth, that is, truth itself. And hence, his spirit, that is his breath or proceeding influence, must have been the spirit of truth, or a sphere of light and life.

We reason, then, that the spirit spoken of in our text, and which is therein said to testify of Jesus, is truth itself in its sphere or its activity. It is thus the fruit of truth, by which truth, or He who is "the truth," may be known. For the law is, "By their fruits ye shall know them." Thus the spirit in question is truth proceeding from the Lord Jesus Christ, as the sphere of his life, and so expressing his quality. And as it is the sphere of his life, it is the activity of his love, which is the divine love, and is the father in him. Consequently, the spirit of truth, spoken of in our text, being the activity of divine love in Jesus Christ, is the sphere of truth proceeding from the father in him which activity, as it is the fruit of his life, is of course that by which his quality is to be known, and therefore is that which testifies of him.

We are aware that this view conflicts with the commonly received opinion, that the spirit is not a mere principle of truth, but a third person co-equal with two other persons in the godhead. But that the spirit is nothing more than truth proceeding from the Lord Jesus as a sphere of his life, and so bearing witness of him, is evident from what John says in his First Epistle, v. 6, "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the spirit that beareth witness, because the spirit is truth."

To understand the phraseology of the apostle here, we shall have to regard his words in spiritual light. We must attach to his words spiritual ideas; or we must give to his natural language a spiritual interpretation. Because the apostolical principle of exegesis was, to "compare spiritual things with spiritual;" and not to rest in the mere "letter which killeth." By water, therefore, in this passage from the Epistle of John, we are not to understand mere material water, but spiritual water, which is truth; for wasting with truth cleanses the spirit as washing with water cleanses the body. The Lord says, "now are ye clean through the words which I have spoken unto you." And Paul speaks of Christ having cleansed his church "by the washing of water with the Word."

And by blood, also, is not to be understood material blood, but spiritual blood, that is, truth of another and a higher degree; for the saints are said, in the Revelations, to have "washed their robes, and made them white, in the blood of the Lamb;" which passage evidently indicates some sort of purification which the spirits of just men made perfect have undergone by means of truth from the Lord Jesus, who is expressly called "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world."

The difference between truth as water and truth as blood is, that in the latter case, truth has more of a vital quality. For it is said in Genesis, "the blood is the life." Hence, in the passage of Johns Epistle before us, water means truth in a clear but cold degree, and blood means truth in a warm and vital degree. Water means truth of the intellect merely, and blood truth of the will and the life also. In short, water means natural truth,--and blood means spiritual truth. Natural truth is external truth--truth of the body, that is, truth as mere knowledge and intelligence; but spiritual truth is internal truth, truth of the spirit, that is, truth of life, or truth united to good, which is intellectual truth reduced to practice.

Thus we can see that Jesus Christs coming by blood as well as by water, or his not coming "by water alone, but by water and blood," means that he came not as a principle of truth alone, but as a principle of truth united with good. He was in fact God with us, saving us from our sins. Hence he was the divine principle of good operating by truth in the glorification of human nature, so as to provide for all human redemption and salvation. Thus there was in him the essential principle of good, which was divine love in its activity, forming his inmost soul; and there was in him the truth of this good, which is the form of this good, hence the form of the divine love; and there was in him, or proceeding from him, the sphere of this divine love or this essential principle of good, operating by the truth, which is the form of it, in the salvation of men. Hence there were in him these three, good, truth, and the spirit of truth. Therefore John immediately adds, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the father, the word, and the holy ghost, and these three are one; and there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree, or correspond, with that one." (v. 7, 8.)

By heaven, here, the apostle meant the Lords internal man--that man which appeared to the angels, and to his disciples when he was transfigured before them; and by earth, he meant the Lords external man--that man which appeared to men here on earth. And by his saying there are three that bear record in heaven, he meant that the Lords internal man was constituted by divine love, divine wisdom, and the divine sphere of use--meaning the divine love by the father, the divine wisdom by the word, and the divine sphere by the holy ghost. These three are the eternal and infinite evidences that there is a God. For, if there were not a God, there could not be either love, wisdom, or use. And, conversely, the fact that there is either love, wisdom, or use, is irrefragable proof of a divine existence. And the apostle says these three are one, because they are all three indispensable principles of unity, inasmuch as they are all three indispensable to any one thing,--as an essence, a form, and an action,--and because neither of these divine principles could exist or be any thing without the others, any more than an essence could exist or be any thing without a form and an activity. And, as qualities, or properties, or principles, cannot exist unless they have a subject in which they inhere, therefore the apostle says these three divine qualities, properties, or principles are one because they inhere in and constitute the one divine person Jesus Christ. For the faith of the apostles in respect to the Lord Jesus must have been one and the same; and Paul says that in Christ Jesus dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily; therefore John must have held that all the divine qualities, properties, or principles, were dwelling in Jesus Christ as one divine embodyment or person. The three divine principles of love, wisdom and use were more over one in Jesus Christ, because in him there was no such thing as goodness abstract from truth, or truth abstract from goodness, or conduct abstract from either truth or goodness. His words were spirit and life. Every thing he said was but an outer form or manifestation of wisdom and of love. Wisdom was the spirit, and love the life, of his every utterance. And there was no word of his without the divine intelligence of a divine wisdom, and without the vital power of a divine love. Into his speech divine love and divine wisdom flowed simultaneously, imparting to it all their own divine heat and light, and producing such a unity of themselves with it as to make Jesus Christ, in respect to it, as he is emphatically called, the Holy One of God--so that he spake "as never man spake," and with an "authority" adequate to the expulsion of all evil and false spirits, and with a power adequate to the impartment of all degrees of spiritual and eternal life. The same was true of his acts. They were the works of the father, or the divine love, in him. "I speak not of myself, the father that is in me, he doeth the works." "My father worketh hitherto, and I work." "I came not to do my own will, but the will of the father that sent me." Thus, there was no act of his that was abstract from the divine love, or the divine wisdom within him; So that he not only spake as never man spake, but he did works which he could not have done unless God had been with him. Thus divine love, and divine wisdom, (for Paul expressly calls him the "Wisdom of God,") and the energy of divine use or operation, (for Paul as expressly calls him the "Power of God,") made one in Jesus Christ-constituting him (as John also expressly calls him) the Holy One--having the divine love so fully in him as to be the anointed of the father, "full of grace and truth;" and having the divine wisdom so fully in him as to have the spirit given unto him "without measure;" and having these Divine principles so fully ultimated in his conduct as to be the word, which was in the beginning with God and was God, "made flesh," in him, and constituting him "God WITH US." Wherefore, there were these three, divine love, divine wisdom, and divine use, in him, that is constituting his internal man, and testifying, or for ever bearing record, in that man, that he is the one God. And this is what John means when he says, in that passage of his Epistle, which we are considering, "There are three that bear record in heaven."

By the three that bear witness on earth, the apostle John meant so many corresponding principles in the Lords external man or the humanity which he assumed and glorified on earth; that is to say, the good of the Lords precepts, the truth of his doctrines, and the savour of good and truth which was every where perceptible in his conduct. The good of the Lords precepts is the spirit of the church on earth, the truth of his doctrines is the water whereby that church is cleansed, and his blood is the truth mid good of his doctrines brought into the rational voluntary conduct of his disciples, all so giving them spiritual and eternal life. And these three in earth--that is, the spirit, the water, and the blood--are said to agree with the three in heaven--namely, the father, the word, and the holy ghost--because the Lords external man fully corresponded to his internal man, so that his external man was so completely transfused with his indwelling divinity as to become itself divine. His will, his doctrines, and his works, were those of the father that sent him. For Jesus expressly says, "I came not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John, vi. 3-8.)"My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." (John, vii. 16.)"My father worketh hitherto, and I work"--"the son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the son likewise." (John, v. 17, 19.) Thus the Lords will, doctrine, and works were those of the father that sent him; that is, they were the will, the doctrine, and the works of the divine love, and not of any merely human love. They were the will, the doctrine, and the works of the divine love, the divine wisdom, and the divine sphere of use.

Thus the will, the doctrine, and the works which constituted the Lords external man, proceeded from, and made one with, the three corresponding divine principles which constituted this internal man. And thus it is that the spirit, the water, and the blood on earth, agree with the father, the word, and the holy ghost in heaven.

And as the father, the word, and the holy ghost, in the one person Jesus Christ, bear record to angels that he alone is God in heaven; so the spirit, the water, and the blood, in the same one person Jesus Christ, bear witness to men that he alone is God on earth. He has "all power in heaven and on earth." He is "Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, who was, who is, and who is to come, the Almighty"--"the same yesterday, to-day and for ever""God our Saviour"--"God over all, blessed for ever"--"the only true God and eternal life."

And the evidence of all this was, that from him, when on earth, proceeded the spirit of truth--the life, the practical operation of truth. The evidence of all this was, that he did "the WORKS of God"--the works of truth itself--the works of divine love and essential goodness as formed by, and operative in, divine truth. "The works that I do," says he, (John, v. 37,) "bear witness of me, that the father hath sent me." And, in showing that the son of man had power on earth to forgive sins,--a power belonging to God only,--he said to the man sick of the palsy, or Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee""arise, take up thy bed and go unto thy house." Thus the Lord Jesus gave the evidence of his divinity when he was on earth by doing the works of God; that is, by manifesting the spirit of truth from a principle of divine love within him. For the miracles which he wrought, were types of those subjugations of the principles and powers of evil, and of those purifications, reformations, and regenerations of universal human nature, which a principle of divine love alone could effect. And these miracles, or mighty works, the divine love in him did by means of the divine wisdom, or by means of truth; they were, in fact, the breath or spirit of truth glorifying human nature in himself, and from himself in universal humanity out of himself. Hence the works he did were the spirit of truth operating in him mans salvation, and so bearing witness that He was God then: and the same spirit, ever proceeding from him as a divinely glorified humanity, so as perpetually to redeem and love, from sin all who go to him in faith, love, and practice, is constantly testifying that He is God now.

We conclude, then, that the spirit is truth, proceeding as vital principle from the Lord Jesus and testifying, by the divine love, wisdom, and power conspicuous in his life, that he is God. And this is what John means when he says, "It is the spirit that beareth witness, because the spirit is truth."

Of course, the spirit cannot be a person distinct and separate from Jesus, because truth is not a person distinct and separate from him. Truth is a principle in Jesus, so that he could say expressly I am "THE truth." And the spirit or life of truth must proceed from him, because he expressly says I am "THE life." Thus the spirit of truth proceeding from him, must be a principle of life proceeding from him.

And this is further manifest from that property of the spirit which Jesus himself attributes to it, when he says, "the spirit of truth shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak--He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." (John, xvi. 13, 14.) For this could not be said of a person proceeding from the father and the son as two other persons with whom he was co-equal in power and glory; because, in this case, he must have spoken of himself at the same time that he spoke of them, and he must have glorified himself at the same time that he glorified them, otherwise he could not have been co-equal with them. But the Lord Jesus expressly says, that "he shall not speak of himself," and "he shall glorify me;" which could not be done except by something proceeding from Jesus, as a part or extension of himself, so as to express his quality, as light or heat, proceeding from the sun, expresses the suns quality. And light or heat proceeding from the sun, is a principle of the sun; and not a person distinct or separate from it. So the spirit of truth proceeding from Jesus, is a principle of his nature; and not a person distinct or separate from him.

And that the spirit of truth is a principle proceeding from Jesus, is not contradicted by our text, which says that it proceeds from the father,--"even the spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the father,"--because Jesus, in the very next verse to those just quoted, (xvi. 15,) says, "All things that the father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine and shall show it unto you." And he elsewhere says, "I and the father are one""I am in the father, and the father in me""He that seeth me seeth the father." So that the spirit, in proceeding from the father, proceeds in fact from Jesus--just as the light or heat which proceeds from the fire of the sun, does in fact proceed from its flame: for there is precisely the same relation between Jesus and his father that there is between flame and its fire, because flame is the brightness of fires glory and the express image of its substance, and this Paul declares to be the very relation of Jesus Christ to God. And thus it is that Jesus sends the comforter, the spirit of truth, unto his disciples from the father--namely, as the flame of the sun sends light and heat, with all their enlightening, verifying, fructifying, and so materially comforting influences, from the fire of the sun to the multifarious objects of its production and sustentation upon earth. And the spirit of truth testifies of Jesus just as the heat of light, that is, the heat which light bears in its bosom, testifies of the suns flaming properties. The light alone, as in winter, does not testify any of the properties of either the suns flame or its fire. For in winter all vegetation is dead. It is only when the light is united with heat, so as to convey and impart heat as the spirit of it, that it can make any testification whatever of what the sun is either in its fire or its flame. It is only summer light that causes the barren earth to bud, and blossom, and yield fruit And when the light with heat in it, or rather when the heat of light, that is, the life or spirit of light shows what flame is,--takes of the dame and shows it unto the objects of the natural world,--it shows at the same time the fire unto them; for the dame is but the form and activity of the fire as its vital essence, so that all things of the fire belong to the flame, just as all things of the essence belong to its active form. And hence, whatever proceeds from the flame does at the same time proceed from the fire in the dame; and, in expressing the quality of the one, does equally express the quality of the other. And thus the spirit of truth, in proceeding from Jesus, does at the same time proceed from the father in him; and, in expressing the quality of Jesus, does also and equally express the fathers quality.

The spirit of truth, then, is not a person, because it testifies, not of itself, but of Him who sends it. It testifies of Jesus, that he is God, and God alone--God in essence, God in form, and God in proceeding energy. In other words, it testifies that Jesus is God in love, God in wisdom, and God in redeeming and saving power. Therefore, it testifies, not that itself is a person separate from Jesus, nor that Jesus is a person separate from the father; but it takes of what belongs to Jesus and shows it unto his disciples. It takes of the love, and the wisdom, and the life of Jesus and shows them unto those who take up their cross daily and follow him in the regeneration. It takes thus of the divine qualities of Jesus and shows them unto those who truly learn of him in keeping his commandments. It expresses only his quality, as being in the father and having the father in him; so that they who see him, may in him see the father. And it shows itself to be nothing but his breath--nothing but his divine effluence and his human influence, breathing into mens nostrils the breath of lives. Thus it shows most clearly that the spirit of truth is a principle, and not a person, proceeding from Jesus.

The conclusion to which we have thus come, is clear, not only from the apostolic testimony which has been advanced, but likewise from the Lords own and infinitely more conclusive testimony, when, in being about to leave his disciples, he told them that he would send them the spirit of truth, the comforter, which spirit of truth--testifying of him, and taking of his and showing it unto them--was to abide with them for ever, so that they were to know him, and he was to dwell in them and be in them. For the disciples of the Lord never have known the holy spirit as a personal individuality distinct from Jesus Christ: neither could a divine individuality dwell and be in finite creatures. His disciples received the truth from the Lords lips, and they continue to receive it from his Word, while his influences on their hearts open the eyes of their minds to see its divine-contents. Jesus is the mediator between the essential divine principle and man; and the Divine Being, in and through him, declares to those who believe in and obey him, the truth which is necessary for their regeneration--the truth which convicts them of sin, delivers them from evil, supports them in temptation, and comforts them in affliction. And thus it is that the father--that is, the essential, invisible and incomprehensible divine essence--sends the comforter, which is the holy spirit, in the name, that is, in the quality, the character, the doctrine, the person, of Jesus Christ, who is that human nature, and consequent form, which the divine essence assumed and glorified upon earth.

But, as this divine human nature and form makes one with the divine principle which is in it, as a soul and essence, hence the Lord Jesus says, "All things that the father hath are mine: therefore, said I, that he [the spirit of truth] shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you." (John, xvi. 8-15.) And as this divine human nature and form of Jehovah, acts of itself from the Divinity, as our bodies act from our souls, hence the Lord Jesus says, also, "As the father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the son to have life in himself."--"I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my father." And thus, as Jesus had life in himself as the father or divine essence had life in himself, thus infinitely, eternally, and omnipotently, therefore he himself was, and is, as the apostle John expressly and very emphatically calls him, eternal life;--"this is the true God, and eternal life;"--and as Paul expressly says that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever," therefore, consequently, Jesus Christ had, and has, and ever will have, "all power, in heaven and on earth," to impart life to all who will "come unto him that they may have life." Hence he can impart to all, who will so come unto him in faith and practice as to open their hearts for its reception, the life of truth, that is, the spirit of truth; which, when it comes unto men, delivers them from their evil--hence, brings them off conquerors in the spiritual combats which they have to undergo in consequence of their evils--thus sustains them in temptation, and comforts them in those salutary afflictions which the outbreakings of their inbred corruptions bring upon them for their eternal glory. And thus it is that Jesus sends unto his disciples the spirit of truth, as a comforter, from a principle of love in him, which imparts a corresponding principle of love to them, that, in its pervading controlling, cleansing, and rectifying activities, develops in them the redeeming and saving spiritual and celestial properties of its divine source. So that the divine good of his love becomes so correspondently active in them as to shine with its own brightness and thus be in its glory, and to impart to them its own image and likeness. And therefore the Lord says of the spirit of truth, which he was about to send unto his disciples from the father, "He shall glorify me: he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you;" which words import, that the divine truth or wisdom of the divine love, becoming active in those who receive that truth in obedience, faith, and love, so brings that love, or its goodness, out into manifest form and light, as not only to show what that goodness is in all its own intrinsic resplendency, but also to impart its qualities to those who keep its commandments--to those who do the truths that are its form and activity. And to such as thus experience the good of truth proceeding from the Lord, it is perfectly clear, that good and truth are absolutely one in him; so that, when the truth comes unto them from him, it of course brings along with it his good; and, consequently, that the sphere of truth from him, is at the same time and equally the sphere of goodness.

Thus, finally, it is the same whether Jesus or Jehovah sends the spirit of truth. In both cases it is truth proceeding from the Lord, enlightening, vivifying, supporting, and comforting his disciples, and, by imparting to them his own nature, testifying to them concerning him.

Such, then, is the true nature of the spirit. And, therefore, we say again, the spirit spoken of in our text, is not, as some suppose, a divine person, equal in power and glory, and co-existent with two other divine persons in the godhead; but it is a divine sphere, emanating from Jesus Christ, and containing and expressing his qualities, so as to bear witness of these qualities in all who, by its influence, receive into themselves their image and likeness.

In concluding this discourse, we will remark, what ought never to be lost sight of, that it is not truth merely which testifies of Jesus to his disciples, but it is the spirit of truth. It is not truth alone, but it is the life of truth, which bears any adequate testification of who and what Jesus Christ is. Hence, the old Christian church does not discern the sole divinity of Jesus Christ; because that church is principled in faith alone, and the mere faith of truth is not the spirit of truth. Hence, there is not, in the old Christian church, any thing which can testify to it of Jesus. Though the Christian church has faith to remove mountains, still that faith is nothing without charity, and has no power whatever to form in the soul an idea of Jesus Christs true character. Charity is the essence of faith, so that there is no true faith without genuine charity; and the life of charity, operating by a true faith, is that spirit of truth which alone testifies of Jesus to the individual soul and the collective church: for charity is itself the Lords image and likeness in the soul.

We may, then, learn from our text why men in their natural state--why men who are actuated by selfish loves and worldly passions--cannot comprehend the grand truth that Jesus Christ is God, and God alone. It is because this truth can be seen only in the light which the spirit of truth sheds--thus in spiritual light: and this shines only in spiritual men. Hence it is because this truth is eminently spiritual, and men in a mere natural state are as grossly carnal. This truth is emphatically the mystery of God. And without godliness, that is, without God-like-ness, it can never be comprehended. "Without controversy," says Paul, "great is the mystery of godliness-God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. And no one knows the mysteries, the deep things of God, unless the spirit of God be imparted to him. No one can know these mysteries unless he have, as the apostles had, "the mind of Christ." Thus no one can understand this greatest of mysteries, the divinity of the Lords humanity, except so far as the mind of Christ is in him by the spirit of truth proceeding from Jesus and testifying the qualities of Jesus Christ unto him. Before this is the case, or while man is in a natural state, he sees Jesus Christ, as John expresses it, "as through a glass, darkly." And it is only when Christ so comes unto us as to make us like him, that we can see him as he is. And Christ comes to us when he sends the spirit of his truth unto us in our life of his commandments. For the Lord says, "he that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."

Thus it is that no one call believe that Jesus Christ is God, and acknowledge him alone as such, while he is a natural man, or until he is made spiritual, by the spirit of truth sent unto him from the father in Jesus Christ, in the actual formation of Jesus Christ in him as "a new creature. And hence Paul expressly says, cc No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the holy ghost." For it is only when a man has the spirit of truth, proceeding from Jesus Christ and regenerating him into the image and likeness of the divine love, that he can see Jesus in himself as the divine flame and form of that love. And it is the light of the flame of this love, shed from the human heart into the human understanding, which alone displays Jesus in his true character--throwing around the idea of him in the mind that light which alone shows what he truly is, as the Form of God, the Wisdom and Power of God, the Express Image of Gods substance, and thus as God himself made manifest. Hence Jesus says, No man cometh unto me except the father which sent me, draw him."

Thus it is the life or practice of truth, flowing from the love of truth, and so proceeding from good, which alone bears true testimony of Jesus: and thus that which alone truly testifies of Jesus, is "the spirit of truth which proceedeth from the father."

And my dear brethren, if this was ever true in the Lords first and natural advent, it is more especially true now in this his second and spiritual coming. Wherefore, it is all in vain that we seek to proselyte men to our faith by merely preaching the truth to them. This will never testify to them of Jesus. It will never show them Jesus in the spirit of his Word, wherein his second coming most conspicuously is. It will never show to men around us that the divine love, wisdom, and energy are in the spiritual sense of the Word. It is not enough merely to teach men who the Lord is, we must also lead them to him. The mere verbal uttering of the truths of the Word never presents the divine quality of those truths to the apprehensions of any. To make these truths known, and to make men receive them as such, so as by them to bring the Lord present to the souls of men in the good of them, we ourselves must live them. Then the sphere of those truths goes forth from us; and, as the spirit of those truths, does indeed testify to men around us that Jesus Christ is in them; and, by leading them to the life of them, does verily bring him present in a new and second advent to their souls.

Such is the doctrine of our text as to the true nature of the spirit which testifies of Jesus, and such is the practical conclusion we deduce from that doctrine in its application to us as members of the Lords new church.

May the Lord, in his mercy, bless what is here dispensed in his name; and cause all to redound to his glory in the reformation of our lives, and the eternal good of our souls!


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 4        SERMON III.

JOHN, XIV. 26.

"Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the father: for my father is greater than I."

JESUS, in sundry places of his Word, speaks of his leaving his disciples and coming to them again; of his going away, and sending the comforter, which is the spirit of truth, unto them; and of this spirit of truths testifying of him, and leading his disciples into all truth--bringing all things to their remembrance which he had spoken to them when he was with them on earth. There must, then, be some important spiritual truth involved in this thing of the Lords going away from his disciples and coming to them again, which it may be a matter of great spiritual moment to have explained. It involves the necessity, and would lead us to consider the nature and use, of a-twofold advent of the Lord. To this subject the text before us has explicit allusion"Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again." Here the Lord sanctions, by repetition, a previous declaration of his departure after his first advent, and his prediction of a second advent. It may be well, then, in this discourse, to discuss and explain the nature and necessity of a second coming of the Lord, especially in respect to the regeneration of the individual man.

But the Lord, in the text, makes a very singular and striking declaration, which needs, perhaps, more than any other parts of the word, an explanation by us, because it seems to militate against our fundamental article of faith, that Jesus Christ is God alone. It is the declaration of his inferiority to the father. He is assigning a reason why his disciples, instead of being grieved in the prospect of his leaving them, should rather rejoice in that prospect, because, in leaving them, he went to his father: and, in giving this reason, he says expressly, "for, my father is greater than I." Now the opponents of our faith instantly say, if the father is greater than Jesus, how can he and the father be one and the same person; and therefore, how can Jesus Christ be, as you say he is, the one and the only God? This is a specious objection, which ought to be answered; and we design to discuss this topic also, in the present discoursealthough we must necessarily touch on it rather incidently and briefly.

In the last discourse we showed, at considerable length, the true nature of the spirit that testifies of Jesus. And that discourse was introductory to this, because, in a true idea of the spirit, and of its proceeding from the father and the son, there is involved a correct idea of the relation of Jesus to the father, which, when it is clearly comprehended, enables the mind to discern, very satisfactorily, not only why it was expedient for Jesus to leave his disciples and go to the father, or why he must needs go to the father before he could send the holy spirit unto them as a comforter and a leader into all truth, or why it was necessary for him to come unto them himself a second time; but also in what sense it is that he is inferior to the father. And when the mind once gets an accurate, clear, and distinct idea of what the father is, and of what Jesus Christ is, and thus of the true relation of Jesus Christ to the father, then there will be no difficulty whatever in seeing that Jesus Christs saying, in our text, that his father is greater than he, does not at all militate against the truth that he and the father are one, and that he himself is God alone.

We will now proceed to throw the light of our last text, as it has been unfolded, upon the distinct subject of our present consideration.

The first point to be illustrated is, why it was expedient for the Lord to go away and come again. This involves the consideration Of the nature and necessity of the Lords second advent. And the clear understanding of this, requires a disquisition upon the internal and the external revelation of truth.

As man was originally created, he received truth by only an inner way. The Lord flowed into his soul with the love of good; and from this there was the intuitive perception of all truth: There was then no written revelation; for the Word was then written on the heart. But then, as now, life flowing from the Lord into man appeared to be in him as his own. Hence the good by which man was actuated, and the truth which he perceived, were both apparently his. This was the external appearance. While, however, man remained in his integrity, he had as inward perception that the good and the truth, which were his apparently, really flowed into him from the Lord. He inwardly perceived that he was but the recipient of life from the Lord, who alone has in himself life underived. And while he remained in the interior acknowledgment of this truth, his seeming to have, and his acting as if he had, life in himself, was not injurious to his spiritual state. The intelligence of this state is represented in the Word by the garden of Eden, and his appearing to live--that is, to will good and understand truth--from himself, while he inwardly acknowledged that he lived from the Lord, is signified by his eating of the tree of life which grew in the midst of the garden. This acknowledgment of the Lord kept the internal of his mind constantly open up to the Lord, so that life from the Lord could perpetually flow into his inmost with a perennial stream of divine revelation, that flowed, like a river, out of his Eden, or his celestial mind, to water its garden, or his spiritual mind, and parted into fountain heads of heavenly intelligence to all his minds inferior regions.

But from this state of integrity, man ultimately fell. And his fall consisted in his resting in the appearance that life flowing into him from the Lord was in him as his own. For thus he supposed himself to be a god knowing good and evil. That is, he imagined that his will of good and his understanding of truth were really his own--which led him at length to love himself supremely, and hence to take pride in his own righteousness and his own intelligence. This was eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And thus ceasing to acknowledge the Lord in the internal of his mind, that internal was closed, so that revelation from the Lord could no longer flow in by the way of his love; for his love being now self-love, truth flowing from the Lord through it, would not be divine or real truth, but only such appearances of truth as would favor mans loving and honoring of himself: and, consequently, he by degrees lost all intelligence of heavenly and divine things--which was represented by his being driven out of the garden of Eden; and was at last filled with the most direful evils of life and falsities of doctrine, so as to have all spiritual life extinguished--which was represented by the worlds being destroyed with a deluge.

Then a radical change took place in the genius of man, and the economy of divine order in respect to him was entirely altered. The Lord could no longer reveal truth to him by an inner way, but had to make a verbal and written revelation to his senses. And this necessity has been entailed on human nature ever since. Thus, originally, truth was revealed from the Lord within, through the will, into the understanding. But now that man has acquired to himself a contrariety to divine goodness and truth--has become sunk in selfish, worldly, sensual and corporeal loves--it is manifest that truth can be no longer revealed to him in this inner way. For, when the divine love,--which would lead man to prefer others to himself, for it would lead him to love God above all things and his fellow-men for Gods sake,--flows down by divine goodness into mans perverted form, it becomes self-love, which manifests itself in a will to self-gratification, and this in an understanding of all those false maxims which justify self-indulgence; and thus man, from the impulses of this love, prefers himself to others, and makes others subservient to himself. In this state, man thinks the gratification of self-love good, and the maxims which favor self-love truth. He thus "calls evil good, and good evil, puts darkness for light, and light for darkness; and puts bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter." (Isa. v. 20.) And divine goodness and truth being thus altered in their nature as they flow into him, are not seen in their true light, and, of course, are not revealed to him. Hence, as man has now become evil and false in his nature, there is no possibility of revealing goodness and truth to him by an inner way. For the truth flowing into him, and appearing in him as his own, does not produce real good in him, but is perverted into a nature similar to his, and thus is changed into what is false and evil. The truth thus coming into man appears, indeed, to him to be true, because it favours his love; but it is really false, because his love is evil.

We say the divine goodness and truth, flowing into man as a perverted form, are altered in their nature. But this is speaking according to appearance. What is divine is unchangeable, and hence cannot be altered in its essential qualities. But it may be altered in its effects, according as the forms into which it flows become less and less correspondent.

Now that mans form or nature had, in process of time, become so perverted as not to receive and manifest the divine goodness and truth correspondently, is clearly proved, both by the Word and by daily experience. Thus the Word declares, (Ps. xiv. 2, 3,) "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are altogether become filthy, there is none that doeth good, no not one." And the daily experience of all proves that men are now born into the loves of self and the world, thus with a character which is contrary to the divine goodness. And hence, now, and ever since this became the condition of man, the divine truth, not finding in man a correspondent form, cannot be revealed to him by an inner way, so as to form the divine goodness in him, and present to his apprehension an idea of what the divine goodness is.

Truth is the form and light of goodness. And while man is in a fallen state, the divine truth cannot pass into him without having its nature changed, so as to prevent divine goodness being seen in its own light. Thus, in this fallen state of man, there is nothing to declare to him what the divine goodness is, and thus there is nothing to testify to him of Jesus, who is that goodness in an express image and likeness. The divine qualities flowing into him are perverted in him into an evil nature, and the more they flow into him, the more inveterately evil does that nature become. Hence, that man may be saved from evil, it is needful that the Lord should go away from himit is needful that the divine qualities should not flow into man internally, but that his internal should be closed. For the divine truth thus coming to man, while he is in evil, is only his tormenter, by increasing his evil and of course the punishment of it. Hence the divine truth must needs go away from man, that is, must cease to enter into him by an internal way, and must come again in an external way, so as to alter his form, and, by a true form, externally or intellectually induced, reproduce a good quality in his will or love. In this way only can divine truth come to him as a comforter, for in this way only can his forms be so rectified as to fit him to receive the influx of the divine love and wisdom without torture to his spirit. This was a first and second advent of the Lord which was needed in mans decadency from pristine order. Another twofold advent is necessary in his restoration.

Man, in his fall, like the earth in its diurnal revolution, has turned from the sun of righteousness so that its direct rays cannot reach him. The only way, therefore, in which he can now receive the light of heaven is by reflection. Hence the faith of truth in his understanding, must, as a moon, reflect the light of truth to his darkened will, so as to form a new will from an intellectual ground. Thus the truth must now flow into man by an outer way. It must be brought down to a plane which is below his internal, and be reflected from the lower powers of his mind. It must be brought to his sensesto his sight, hearing and touch. In the way it must enter, and be stored in, his memory. From hence it must enter his understanding and by means of right forms in his understanding renew his will.

But, that mans will may be again opened to goodness, the Lord must again go away from him and once more come again. He must go away as mere truth, in science, knowledge and intellection, and come again as truth in practice, truth in life, thus as the spirit of truth. Then mans internal, that is, his love, will again be reduced to order, so as once more to receive the divine truth in a correspondent form. Then the divine truth can again come into him by an inner way. And the spirit of truth thus coming to him and transfusing him, will be to him a comforter, because it will then be in him a principle that removes his evils and conforms him to good, so that the divine truth coming into him inwardly, and descending from within out, is only the truth of good producing in him nothing but good. Before this, the divine truth flowing in by this way would have only increased his self-love, and multiplied and magnified its evils; but not it increases his love to God and the neighbour, and increases indefinitely and renders indefinitely more intense, its felicities. Now, therefore, the divine truth is in him a comforter--being sent unto him by the father, that is, flowing down from a principle of good in the inmost of his mind, because it is now the spirit or life of truth flowing from a love of truth for its own sake, and forming all the qualities of truth, which are the varied forms of true goodness, in the soul, so as to give to the soul a conscious perception of what true goodness is, and thus to give to the soul a true testimony of Jesus.

Thus, by comparing spiritual things with spiritual, so as to throw the light of our last text upon other passages of Scripture, which are parallel to it, we can see distinctly why the Lord, having come once, must go away and come again. Thus we can see the necessity of the Lords twofold advent.

We can see that mankind, being now fallen, and so in evil, must first be led by truth to good, and then be led from good to truth. Hence, in the redemption of mankind, Jehovah descended to the earth as divine truth, in which, nevertheless, the divine goodness was stored up as a germ in a seed. He came as the word made flesh, yet as the word so in the beginning with God that it was still God, and so in the bosom of the divine essence that it brought that essence forth to view. Thus, though he came as the divine truth, he did not separate it from the divine goodness. He came as Jesus saving his people from their sins; for he came as "God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself." Thus he came as good in truth, bringing men from a state of evil into a state of good by conformity to that truth. For Jesus, when on earth, told his disciples the truthhis words are truth, and by his words are his disciples made clean. He spoke his truth to their ears, showed it by his conduct to their eyes, and otherwise exhibited it to their senses, which are the earth or groundwork of the human mind. Thus the Lord not only descended to the earth, but he spake to his disciples from the earth. He came as truth down to a bodily form and a sensible manifestation, and he addressed the higher faculties of mans mind, by and from its lowest faculty. In other words, the Lord flowed into the minds of his disciples with truth from without. He presented truth to their mere knowing faculty.

But the disciples of the Lord, not being in a state of conformity to the truth which he taught--not having experienced it--not having received from him the spirit of it--in fact, being rather in a state of opposition to it, they could not hear its dictates. Its dictates were contrary to all they had previously willed and understood; and hence it was hard to assent to or obey them. In their natural state, assent or obedience to the dictates of truth was an affliction. And to comfort them in this affliction, it was necessary for the Lord to go away. For, in order that his disciples might interiorly understand the truth, it was necessary that they should will it. And they could not will the truth unless the Lord gave them an interior affection for it; that is, affected them inmostly with a love of truth for its own sake--thus told them the truth from within. And to do this it was necessary that he should go away from them; that is, as they were in a natural state, it was necessary that he should rise above the natural plane of existence, and flow into them from the spiritual and the celestial planes--it was necessary that he should ascend to their father and his father, that he should leave their senses with a visible presentation of divine truth, and flow into, and act upon, their spirits from a principle of divine love or goodness--should not only tell them the truth as a matter of thought, assent, and obedience, in which state it ire a cross to their natural man, and so afflictive, but should give them the truth as a principle flowing from their love, that is, should give them a love of the truth for its own sake, in which state, the truth, being an object of their affection, is delightful to them, thus a comforter.

But, the incident of the Lords going away from his disciples and coming to them again, is susceptible of a more specific application to the individual member of the church. In viewing this point, we have to remark, that this incident which our text brings into view, represents and signifies the following well known state in the process of individual regeneration. The first affection developed in the course of regeneration, is the love of knowing truths of the church and of heaven. From the activities of this love our memories became stored with knowledge. In this state the mere knowing of truths is delightful. This is the budding and blossoming state, and is a means whereby truths are made to conduce ultimately to the good of life, just as the bud and blossom serve to form the incipient fruit. But this love of knowing is at first stimulated by impure loves, that is, the loves of self and the world. And hence it is seen to be necessary, in the Divine Providence, that the truths thus acquired should presently disappear from the recollection, lest they should be profaned by being made subservient to the defence and gratification of those loves, and man be brought into eternal condemnation by having: those loves thereby irrevocably confirmed, And hence, in most, if not in all cases, the mere delight of knowing spiritual truths wanes away, and is succeeded by the delights of sensual, natural, and moral life. Then the spiritual truths which were at first vividly in the memory, seem to lapse from the mind. The blossoms fall from the tree. The external memory in which those truths were stored, holds nothing with tenacity which is not constantly used in the minds daily operations. And we can at length recollect, or recall at our will, those things only which are transferred from the external to the internal memory, that is, from the memory of the thoughts to the memory of the affections.

But what is once in the external memory never in fact leaves it. Those things that are not recollected become only quiescent. And hence, when the affections of the love of use flow down into the external memory, they bring to remembrance all its dormant truths which are correspondent to those affections. Those truths thus sleeping unseen in the external memory, are like the obliterated devices impressed on time-worn coins, which, when the coins are thrown on a red-hot bar and heated to a red heat, become again visible. And just as a red heat makes visible the impressions on these ancient coins, so the affection of use, flowing into the external memory, makes visible the truths dormant there.

Thus the spiritual truths that are only stored in the external memory by the mere affection of knowing, go away, and only come again, when the affection of use in the internal man needs and seeks them with an end of applying them to life. This, therefore, is a particular sense, in which the Lord as truth goes away from his disciples, that he may come again unto them in the good of that truth.

Thus the Lord first comes as truth to the sense, knowledge and understanding. Then, that the truth may not be defiled by remaining in the external man alone, the Lord as truth goes away to the father or good; and from good comes again, by flowing through the affections of good in the internal man into the truth corresponding to it previously stored up in the external memory. And when the Lord, from this high elevation of a principle of good, flows into the wills of his disciples, and thus influences their principle of life--hereby leading them to do the truth he had previously told them as a matter of knowledge, the spirit of truth comes to them; for the spirit of truth is the life of truth; and the life of truth gives the experience of truth, which is the seeing truth in its own light. It is the coming into the hidden essence of truth; for the life of truth leads to the good of truth, and good is the essence of truth: and when we have the essence, we have the form of course. Hence, when we are in good, we perceive truth intuitively; for truth is the form of good. Consequently, when we are in good of any degree, we from that good discern all the truth which belongs to that degree of good, as an animal has an instinctive perception of all the science necessary to attain the ends of its affections. Thus it is that the spirit of truth, when it comes from the Lord to his disciples, guides them into all truth.

We presume it is clear, from what has now been shown, that the spirit, in its true nature, is truth proceeding from the Lord; and therefore, by the spirit, the comforter, which testifies of Jesus, is not meant, as is very generally supposed, a distinct individuality, or a person separate from two other persons in the godhead, but a spherical emanation from the Lord Jesus, expressing his quality, as the effluvium of a rose expresses the quality of that flower, and affecting the minds of his disciples internally with a love of the truth for its own sake; which love, flowing into their wills and prompting them to do the truth, gives them, in the doing of it, an experimental knowledge, and so an inward perception, of the truth. All which was signified by the Lords breathing on his disciples and saying, "Receive ye the holy ghost."

Before we close this topic, we may just observe, that this subject admits of a somewhat varied presentation. This spirit of truth proceeds from the Lord and flows into man in a twofold way: for there is a twofold influx of life from the Lord, that is to say, an immediate and a mediate influx. The spirit of truth proceeds from the Lord, and flows into men, by the intermediation of angels, as well as from his own glorified humanity immediately: for angels are "ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who will be heirs of salvation." Hence the spirit of truth may now, as well as in apostolic times, be continually flowing into man through particular angelic societies and by the spirits attendant on him from thence, as well as immediately from the Lords divine humanity in the whole complex heaven. The immediate influx from the Lords humanity gives to man a general light to see spiritual truths is objects of faith in the Word, as well as a general inclination and faculty to live those truths. And the Lords mediate influx through angels and spirits, excites mans general powers to determinate activity. And when angels and spirits, as the Lords agents, acting on what is correspondent to themselves in man, that is, on his understanding to see, and his will to do, lead him from motive and precept to act according to truth, while the Lord himself flows directly into mans inmost with a love of truth for its own sake, so as to lead him to do the truth spontaneously; then the Lord sends unto man the spirit or life of truth, whereby he perceives in his own experience, thus by a light within himself, that the truth which Jesus Christ uttered when on earth, and now utters in the letter of his Word, to his knowing and understanding faculty, is indeed true. Thus it is that the spirit of truth, when it comes unto his disciples from Jesus, testifies to them concerning him as "the truth," and brings all things which he had said unto them to their remembrance. For, when this spirit comes to man; that is, when man acts according to the Lords precepts, the life of these precepts forms the Lord himself in man, so that man call see in himself the Lords form, which is his truth, and perceive the Lords quality, which is his goodness; and thus he receives testification of who and what the Lord is.

We come now, in the second place, to consider the latter clause of our text, which contains the assertion of our Lord, that he is inferior to the father. This matter will be discussed more fully hereafter. We shall notice it briefly here, because the subject which we have now discussed helps to explain it, and because a brief explanation of it now is needful to do away its apparent contradiction of the theme of our first discourse, that Jesus Christ and the father are one. "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the father: for my father is GREATER than I."

Some contend from this that Jesus is not only a distinct person from the father, but also a being inferior to him. But the connection, when properly explained, shows that he did not intend to teach any such doctrine. He had before said that he and the father were one,--that they who saw him saw the father,--thus asserting an absolute identity between himself and the father. Paul also declares, expressly, that, "being in the form of God, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God." This expression of Paul confirms the view which we have taken of the relation of Jesus Christ to the father, namely, the relation of a form to an essence. For God in his essential being must be confessedly an invisible and incomprehensible divine essence, in the bosom of which Jesus Christ dwells as the son of it--the image, the likeness of it--so as to bring it forth to view; that is, a principle of truth or wisdom flowing forth from it as a principle of love, and showing the quality of that love in the perfect practice of its precepts. Hence Paul, in another place, speaking of "the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ," says, "which [appearing or appearance] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of lords--who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen nor can see, to whom be honour and power everlasting; amen--shall, in his own time, show forth." (1 Tim. vi. 15.) Thus the appearing, the outward manifestation, or the personal appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ is at the same time the bringing forth to view the otherwise unapproachable and invisible divine essence; so that Jesus Christ could say, those who see him see the father, and that no man cometh unto the father but by him. Wherefore, the true relation of Jesus to the father is that of a form to an essence, which is the relation of wisdom to love, or of truth to good.

Hence it is clear that the Lord does not, in the present passage, mean to teach that he as one person is inferior to the father as another person. He is speaking to his disciples, as truth personified, and apparently distinct from the love which was in him as a soul. He was about to leave them, as a visible doctrinal and sensible presentation of truth, and to "ascend far above all heavens, that he might fill all things"--to "ascend to their father and his father," "to their God and his God," that is, to the essential divine love, which is the generator and so the rather of all things, and from which, therefore, Christ, as a distinctive principle and personification of truth, was at first begotten. He as "the truth" was about to be more fully, that is, infinitely, united to the divine good from which he originally came forth, and so to be "glorified with the glory which he bad with the father before the world (scanner unable to insert word) was;" that is, before the incarnation of the word or divine truth. For, as to the word, he was from eternity with God and was God--the infinite and eternal form of the divine essence. And his birth in flesh on earth was the enveloping of the divine truth or the word in an orderly arrangement (scanner unable to insert word) of all the parts and principles of human nature; so that, by conforming human nature to the divine truth, in fulfilling every jot and tittle of the word from a principle of divine love, he might take human nature infinitely up to the divine essence, from which he came forth into this temporal world, and of which he had ever been the form in the eternal world. The divine essence is, as we have said, the divine love or goodness: and the whole of the Lords life on earth was a process of glorification, whereby this love or goodness, his inmost principle at conception on this earth, was developed in his outward conduct, so as to make his external man, assumed in lime, more and more conformed to that inmost as his internal man, until his external on earth should bear the same relation to the divine essence or goodness that he as the word had done before conception, that is, from eternity. And when Jesus Christ, as this external man, was thus more intimately because infinitely united to the divine goodness, so as to become divine goodness itself in outward form, and thus to have all power given to him on earth (or his external man) as well as in heaven (or his internal man); then he was to come to his disciples AGAIN--not, as before, outwardly, in the form of mere truth, as a form of doctrine or sensible precept, but, inwardly, in the hearts emotion and the wills determination, as the good of that truth--thus in filling his disciples from an inmost ground with the vastly increased powers and
felicities of that good, which, as it is in a higher degree than the truth that proceeds from it, just as an essence is in a higher degree than its form, is therefore said to be greater than the truth. Thus it is that the father, as a principle of good, was greater than Jesus Christ, as a principle of truth.

And the disciples, if they had really loved the Lord, instead of loving themselves--if they had loved the truth for its own sake, instead of loving it on account of its administering in some way to self-interest or self-gratification--thus, if they had loved the truth for the sake of the good to which it leads in the regeneration of their own souls and the souls of all men, they would have rejoiced, because the Lord said he was going unto the father; for they would have seen that the father was greater than he--they would have perceived that the principle of goodness was in a higher degree and therefore more important and more essential to their salvation than a principle of mere truth. And the thought of his more intimate union with the father, and his consequent more powerful operation on their spirits with the spirit of his truth, would have been in the highest degree delightful to them; because this thought and conviction would have refreshed and strengthened their spiritual love of the Lords essential qualities; whereas they were in the natural love of his person, and promising themselves that worldly eminence and that earthly comfort which the presence and the influence of his person here on earth would give; and hence were feeling sorrowful ..d desolate in the thought of his departure.

Thus this passage does not imply a personal inferiority of the Lord Jesus to the father. It only implies that inferiority which exists between truth and good, or between a form and its essence, or a body and its soul. And it implies this only when the body is considered distinctively from the soul, or the form from the essence, or truth from good. Hence it was only said by the Lord, that the father was greater than he, while he was yet not fully glorified--while, as divine truth apparently separate, he was not yet fully, that is, infinitely, united with the divine Good, from while he originally proceeded. In the degree that this union took place, in the same degree he and the father were one; so that all things which the father had were his, and they that saw him saw the father. Hence it was a ground of rejoicing that, when he left the disciples as to the flesh, he would, by a more intimate union with the father or essential divine principle, be in a capacity to impart infinitely greater blessings to their spirits.

The consideration which we have given to our subject enables us, then, to see, that the inferiority of himself to the father, of which the Lord Jesus speaks, is not the inferiority, of one person to another in the godhead, but the subordination of an external to an internal principle, which is indispensable to a perfect unity of all the divine principles in the one divine person, Jesus Christ. Such is the clear evidence of his sole divinity, which the spirit of truth, when its true nature is known, gives, in its testification of Jesus.

What, then, is the sum of the subjects discussed in this and the last discourse? It is, in few words, this: that the spirit which testifies to us truly of Jesus Christ, is the life of his truth, proceeding from good in him and leading to corresponding good in us. It is the life of truth, flowing from the love of truth for its own sake. This life cannot be lived at first; for all men are first natural, and therefore at first actuated by the love of self; but, if we mortify and deny self-love, in obedience to the divine commands, we shall at length become so spiritual, that the Lord can send this life unto us. And when this spirit or life comes to us, it relieves us from the turmoils and deep temptations consequent on the conflicts between our external and our internal man--thus gives us internal peace and external tranquillity, and so is our comforter, guiding us into all the truth that is correspondent to the love in which me are principled, and making us know, in the liveth experience of its effects, the good to which that truth leads, so as to testify to us of that good.

If, then, we would know the truth, and the good of it, without any possibility of deception, let us put away, by self-examination, contrition and repentance, every love which is contrary to the divine love: then will the divine love flow into us, and by its own light guide us in true wisdoms ways, which are pleasantness, and keep us unerringly in her paths, which are peace.


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 5        SERMON IV.

JOHN, XX. 22.

"And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said, Receive ye the holy ghost."

IN the first of the two discourses immediately preceding, we showed the true nature of the spirit which testifies of Jesus, and in the last, we proceeded to throw the light o that discussion upon certain passages of the Word in which the holy spirit is mentioned, so as to show the nature and necessity of the Lords second advent, as well as to explain the sense in which Jesus Christ asserts his inferiority to the father. The design of all was, to demonstrate that Jesus Christ is one with the father and the holy spiritthat in him, as one divine person, dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily; and, therefore, that he is God alone, and the sole object of Christian worship.

We shall, in this discourse, pursue this subject, so as still further to show the identity of Jesus Christ in person, with both the holy spirit and the father. For it is only in the degree that we can remove from the common mind the prevalent erroneous notion of these being three separate and distinct persons in the godhead, that we can have any hope of introducing the true idea of their being nothing more than three distinct principles in the one person Jesus Christ. On the present occasion, therefore, we shall still further show from the Word, as the true and palpable meaning of our present text, that the holy spirit is not a person separate from Jesus, but a divine sphere proceeding from him.

Little need now be said in further disproof of the personality of the holy spirit. For we have shown that the father, the son and the holy spirit are no otherwise distinct than fire, flame and a sphere of heat and light are in the sun. We may here just say, that they are no otherwise distinct than are soul, body and conduct in man. We suppose, therefore, that the holy ghost is the operation of the Lord Jesus from the father within him. For it is our doctrine, that the father, or essential divine principle, is the soul of the Lord Jesus; that Jesus Christ, or the human principle which the essential divinity assumed and glorified in time, is the body of the father; and thus that the holy spirit is the conduct, or operation of this body from this soul. It is, then, in the sense of the holy spirits being a divine sphere proceeding from the son, that we suppose the Lord Jesus and the holy spirit to be one: and a very few passages from the Word will prove this.

But, before we bring forward this proof from the Word, we must remark upon the term person, and notice the argument in favour of the personality of the holy spirit from the use of the masculine pronoun.

Among those who hold to a tri-personal God, there seems to be, as already intimated, some diversity of opinion as to what is to be understood by the term person. It is generally defined "an individual substance of a rational intelligent nature." This is the common theological definition. And, though some object to the use of the term person in this sense, in reference to the trinity, yet it is generally maintained, that "no single term, at least, can be found more suitable, and that it can hardly be condemned as unscriptural or improper. Let us see.

In the English translation of the New Testament, the word person is used in the singular about eight times, and in the plural, persons, about six times. This word is used more frequently in the Old Testament, but never, it is believed, in express application to the Divine Being. And of the fourteen times that it is used in the New Testament, it is applied to the Divine Being, as the father or the son, only twice, and as the holy spirit not once. The instance in which it is applied to the father is Heb. i. 3; where, speaking of the son, it is said, "who, being the brightness of [Gods] glory, and the express image of his person," &c. And the instance in which it is applied to the son is 2 Cor. ii. 10"for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, For your sakes forgave I it, in the person of Christ." Of the instances in which the word person is used not in express application to the Divine Being, take Matt. 18; where the disciples of the Pharisees and the Herodians say to the Lord, "Master--we know that thou carest not for any man; for thou regardest not the person of men." Paul says, (1 Cor. v. 13,) "But them that are without, God judgeth. Therefore, put away from among yourselves that wicked person." Again, (Heb. xii. 16,) he says, "Lest there be any profane person, as Esau, who, for one morsel of meat, sold his birth-right." Peter says, (2 Epist. iii. 11,) what manner of persons ought ye to be?" And Jude, in the sixteenth verse of his Epistle, speaks of "having mens persons in admiration for advantage."

In general, the word person is applied to signify, first, a particular individual man or woman; second, the outward qualities and conditions of men; and, third, sight, name, or authority. As an instance of this last signification, you have the passage of Paul which we have quoted from 2 Cor. ii. 10; where, when he says he forgave in Christs person, he means in the sight, the name or the authority of Christ. Now by a reference to the original, we find that the Greek word which is rendered person, in reference to individuals and to their external qualities, is [scanner unable to insert word]. It is this same word which Paul uses when speaking of the person of Christ in the 2 Cor. 11. 10, [scanner unable to insert words], as well as when he speaks, in the eleventh verse of the first chapter of the same epistle, of "the gift bestowed on the apostles by the means of many persons." The word, then, which was used in the Greek language to signify an individual man or woman, or the outward qualities and conditions of men, or the name and authority of Jesus Christ, is [scanner unable to insert word]. And this word is derived from [scanner unable to insert word], to, and [scanner unable to insert word], the eye; and signifies, in the literal idea, whatever meets the eye. Hence it was used in Greek to signify the visage, the face, the countenance, the mien, the aspect, or appearance; as in the phrase [scanner unable to insert words], before his face, and in the word [scanner unable to insert word], a respecter of persons; for these are what meet the eye, when we behold an individual. From this ground the Grecians employed the word to signify the mask, which, among them, was used by a performer on the stage. And hence it came to signify a character or a person in a theatrical representation. And in general it signified a person considered with respect to external appearance or circumstances. It is therefore manifest that, when the word person is used in reference to the Divine Being, it should mean all that of God which meets the eye. Hence the person of God is he who is the manifestation of the whole godhead; it is he in whom all the fullness of the godhead dwells bodily; it is the only begotten son, who is in the bosom of the father and brings him forth to view. And the word person used in this sense in express application to the Divine Being, is only spoken of Jesus Christ, or the son, and never of the father. For in Heb. i. 3,--the only instance in the Bible in which the word person is used in reference to God the father,--the Greek word which the English translator has rendered person is [scanner unable to insert word], which never means person in the Greek language, except when applied to personality as a distinct substance; and in this sense it surely can never be applied to the trinity: for to maintain that the father the son, and the holy spirit are three distinct divine substances, would be to maintain, in the most unequivocal manner, that there are three gods. And this is against the creed of even the old church, which holds that, though there are in the godhead three, yet these three are one in substance, power and glory.

The word person, therefore, in any sense in which it can be applied to the Divine Being, that is, the word person as the rendering of the Greek word [scanner unable to insert word], is never used in the Word in reference to the father. And hence it is unscriptural to call the father a person.

The word [scanner unable to insert word], which Paul applies to God the father, is derived from [scanner unable to insert word]o, under, and [scanner unable to insert word], to stand; hence it signifies, in the literal idea, that which stands under, and was used by the Greeks to mean a basis, foundation, bottom, supporter, or stay. Hence it signified a ground or motive of action, and the first principle, cause, or beginning of a thing. And hence, by a very natural figure of speech, it might be applied to the soul, in respect to the body. For as the body is formed from the soul, and all the activities of the body are derived from the soul, and the body dies when the soul leaves it, hence the soul may be said to stand under the body, or may be said to be its basis, foundation, bottom, supporter, or stay.

Now the body is that which meets the eye in respect to the soul. Hence the body is the [scanner unable to insert word] of the soul, and the soul is the [scanner unable to insert word] of the body. As, then, the word [scanner unable to insert word] is by the apostle invariably applied to the son, while the word [scanner unable to insert word] is applied to the father, it would seem to be intimated hereby that there is the same relation between the father and the son that there is between the soul and the body, or between an invisible divine substance and its visible form.

The two Greek words from which [scanner unable to insert word] is derived, namely [scanner unable to insert word] and [scanner unable to insert word], are the same as sub and sto in Latin; from which comes our word substance. And, therefore, the proper rendering of [scanner unable to insert word] in English would be substance. Hence substance is the only proper word to apply to God the father.

And the son is the express image of the fathers substance--the [scanner unable to insert words]. This Greek word, [scanner unable to insert word], from which comes our English word, character, signifies any instrument for making an incision or impression; hence, a die; for coining; hence, the image on the coin made by the die; hence, the engraved image, the portrait, the lineaments, the features, the form, the appearance, the peculiar disposition and. character of the substance or thing which is brought into form. The son, then, is the express image, the portrait, the character, of the fathers substance--he is the distinct form, the expressed nature, by which the essential divine substance is discriminated and brought forth to view; thus he is the [scanner unable to insert word] of God--he is that which makes God meet the eye; hence he said to Philip, "he that seeth me seeth the father:" and therefore he is the person of God, And as he only presents God to view, therefore we say there is but one person in the godhead: for the holy ghost is never called in any sense the person of God.

We are, therefore, more free to prove, from the Word, what we advanced, in our last two discourses, namely, that the holy spirit is a divine sphere flowing forth from Jesus Christ. And before we proceed to quote texts from the Word in proof of this position, we shall only stop to draw an argument in favour of it from the etymology of the expression that is used in the Word to signify the spirit.

The Greek word in the New Testament for spirit is, [scanner unable to insert word]--[scanner unable to insert words], holy spirit or ghost. Now the literal signification of this Greek word is, wind, and, by derivation from this, breath. Hence, as we live by breathing, it is put for spirit, or life. Thus holy spirit properly signifies holy life. And hence, when applied to the Divine Being, it properly signifies divine life.

Thus the etymology of the term shows that the life or operation of the Lord is meant by holy ghost. Keeping this idea in our minds, we shall be able to understand all those passages of the Word where mention is made of the holy ghost, the holy spirit, or the spirit of truth, without supposing that these terms mean a person separate and distinct from the Lord. It is called the spirit of truth, because the Lord, from whom it proceeds, is truth itself. For he says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life," (John, xiv. 6;) and hence, all that which proceeds from him must of necessity be the breath, the active operation, or the spirit, of truth; and this is the same as truth itself: the only difference being that of truth in cause and truth in effect. Hence the holy ghost is effectual truth proceeding from the Lord.

That the holy ghost is truth--thus a principle, and not a personality or individuality, could not be proved more conclusively than it has been in a previous discourse, by that direct and remarkable assertion of John, (1 Epist. v. 6,) "And it is the spirit that beareth witness, because the spirit is TRUTH." It was also shown that, therefore, the holy spirit is called the comforter, because truth proceeding from the Lord and entering the minds of men, is that which supports them in temptation, strengthens them in weakness, and consoles them in affliction.

These things being known, we need not be at any loss to understand the Lord where be says, "I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you," (John, xvi. 7.) "Howbeit, when the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak," (John, xvi. 13.) "He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you," (John, xvi. 14, 15.) "I will pray the father and he shall give you another comforter, the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you," (John. xiv. 16, 17.) "When the comforter shall come, whom I will send unto you from the father, even the spirit of truth, he shall testify of me," (John, xv. 26.) This spirit of truth is called the holy ghost in John, xiv. 26.

Now from these passages, explained as they have been on former occasions, it surely must be manifest, that the Lord, by the comforter or holy ghost, means himself as to the sphere of truth which proceeds from him. And this is made evident especially by these clauses, "the world would not know him""but ye know him." For, as we have before remarked, his disciples had not known the holy ghost as a person separate and distinct from the Lord. It could not have been in this sense, therefore, that the Lord said they knew him. Mow then did they know him? Clearly in no other way than as truth, or as a divine spiritual influence, proceeding from the Lord Jesus.

And as the sphere which emanates from a person makes one with the person himself, hence the Lord, when speaking of sending the holy ghost to them, said "I will come unto you"--and "ye shall see me." Thus, when they saw the holy ghost, they saw Jesus; for they saw the emanating sphere of Jesus; that is, they saw mentally, or inwardly perceived, his sphere operating on their hearts. And that he himself was present with them by his holy spirit, he indicates where he says, "Lo! I am with you always, even unto the end of the world," (Matt. xxviii. 20;) and "He shall not speak of himself, but he shall take of mine." Consequently, Jesus Christ and the holy ghost are one.

But here we come to the main design of this discourse, namely, to answer the argument which the old church advances for the personality of the holy ghost from the fact that he is spoken of in the third person masculine: thus, "he shall not speak of himself." For this is the only plausible argument which we have ever heard advanced from the Bible to prove the holy ghosts distinct personality.

Now, in answer to this argument, we have to observe, that, in the Greek language, the genders have not the same grammatical power that they have in the English. In the English language, except in poetic usage, all objects which are not either male or female, are put in the neuter gender, and take the neuter pronoun it. But it is not so in the Greek. In that tongue, the gender of nouns is not determined by sexual distinction, but on the apparently arbitrary principle of the termination of words. Thus a noun will be masculine because it ends in or, feminine because it ends in a, and neuter because it ends in a; and this without any regard to distinction of sex. Hence it is, that words which signify things impersonal and inanimate, are in the masculine or the feminine gender.

For the same reason the masculine and feminine pronouns are put for nouns signifying impersonal and inanimate things, because the nouns are grammatically in the masculine or feminine gender. Thus, when the holy spirit is called the comforter,--because this word comforter in the Greek has a masculine termination [scanner unable to insert words]--the holy Ghost is styled he: but when the words holy spirit [scanner unable to insert words] occur, because the word spirit [scanner unable to insert word] has a neuter termination, the holy ghost is styled it; as may be seen in John, xiv. 17. So that no argument for the personality of the holy ghost can be raised from the use of the masculine pronoun.

It is true that the masculine pronoun [scanner unable to insert word], he, is in some instances used for the neuter noun [scanner unable to insert word], spirit, as in John, xvi. 13; but this is not conclusive, because it is not uniform. For, if this masculine pronoun was used in this instance expressly to signify that the holy ghost is a person, the evangelist would have always used it in the same connection. But this he does not. Thus, in ch. xiv. 16, 17, he says, [scanner unable to insert words.] "And I will pray the father, and he shall give you another comforter, that it may abide with you for ever; the spirit of truth; which the world cannot receive, because it seeth if not." In the common English version, it is said, "whom the world cannot receive; because it seeth him not;" but, in the original, these are neuter pronouns [scanner unable to insert word] and [scanner unable to insert word], agreeing with the neuter noun [scanner unable to insert word], and should be rendered which and it. So that, admitting that the use of the masculine pronoun he, in one place, in reference to the holy ghost, proves his personality; we have just as good grounds to argue that the use of the neuter pronoun it, in another place, proves that the holy ghost is not a person. And thus the arguments drawn from the grammatical structure of sentences, confute one another.

Besides, there are instances in which pronouns, or pronominal adjectives, are used in the masculine gender for words in the neuter gender, which obviously cannot signify persons. Thus, Johns 1 Epist. v. 8, [scanner unable to insert words.] "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood." Here the pronominal adjective [scanner unable to insert word] and the article [scanner unable to insert word] are in the first person, plural, masculine gender, relating to the neuter nouns, [scanner unable to insert words], and [scanner unable to insert words]. And hence, if the use of the masculine pronoun [scanner unable to insert word] in reference to the neuter noun [scanner unable to insert word] proves that to be a person, so the use of [scanner unable to insert words] in this instance proves that [scanner unable to insert words] and [scanner unable to insert words] are persons.

The truth is, that nothing can be more futile than an argument of this kind. On the same grounds you might prove the personality of a thousand shapeless and inanimate things which are expressed in Greek by words of masculine termination. The genius of the ancient languages is essentially different from the English in this respect. The genders of their nouns and pronouns were not determined by a regard to sex and person; and hence the use of pronouns in a particular gender, proves nothing with regard to personality. In the Hebrew language, as also in some modern languages, the French, for instance, there is no neuter gender at all: and hence, in those languages, all objects are either masculine or feminine, and require the masculine and feminine pronouns. Thus, in the French, the nose [le nez] is masculine, and the mouth [la bouche] is feminine; and the Frenchman would say of the one he, and of the other she. Now an argument upon which so important a doctrine as the personality of Deity is grounded, should apply with equal force in all languages: but what argument would it be to the Frenchman that the holy ghost is a person because it is called he, when the Frenchman calls the nose in his face he! This argument then avails nothing in proving the personality of the holy ghost.

To return, then, to our proof from the Word, we may observe, finally, that there are many other passages which go to show that the holy ghost is not a person distinct from the father and the son as two other persons. Let these few suffice. "The holy ghost was not yet given because Jesus was not glorified," (John, vii. 39.) With the idea that the holy ghost is a person separate from the father and the son, of equal power and glory, very and eternal God, this passage, especially when taken in connection with Matt. i. 20, where the Lords humanity is said to be conceived of the holy ghost, is totally unintelligible; but its meaning is comprehensible enough, if by the holy ghost we understand the divine truth proceeding from the Lords glorified body.

Again, and very especially, in our text, after the Lords glorification, it is said, "he breathed on his disciples and said, receive ye the holy ghost." From this it is perfectly manifest that the holy ghost is not a person, for how could the Lord breathe a person on his disciples? or how could his disciples receive a person in his breath? If it be said, that the holy ghost as a person might have existed invisibly in the Lords breath; we ask, in reply, how could the holy ghost, who is supposed to be coequal with the Lord, be less visible as a person than the Lord himself? Let it be borne in mind, in this connection, that the scripture signification of the word person, or [scanner unable to insert word], is, that which meets the eye; and then let it be told us, how the holy ghost, or any thing else, can be a person, when it is invisible. Surely, it must be perfectly plain, from this text, that the holy ghost is nothing else but the Lords proceeding sphere or influence.

Again, John (Matt. iii. 11) says, "I indeed baptize you with water; but he that cometh after me shall baptize you with the holy ghost." Now you might just as well suppose that the water with which John baptized was a person distinct from John, as to suppose that the holy ghost with which the Lord baptizes is a person distinct from the Lord.

But enough. We cannot believe there is any one who, after a deliberate and candid investigation of the texts of Scripture which have been cited, will still maintain the distinct individuality of the holy ghost. Jesus Christ and the holy ghost, then, are one. And as he and the father are one, we come to the conclusion, that Jesus Christ is a complex of the father, the son, and the holy ghost.

With what peculiar propriety and force, then, does Paul say, "In Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead bodily" (Col. ii. 9.) And how fully is the new church justified, both on rational and scriptural grounds, in maintaining that the trinity is in Jesus Christ!

We will close this branch of our subject with some sententious reflections. If Jesus Christ and the father are one and the same person, what becomes of that system of theology which rests on the idea that there are three separate and distinct persons in the godhead?--like the baseless fabric of a vision, it vanishes, and leaves not a wreck behind! If there is no son begotten from eternity,--very God, equal in all respects with the father, and yet separate and distinct from the father--how could such a son descend, assume our nature and be "crucified, dead and buried, to reconcile his father to us, and to be a sacrifice both for original guilt and for actual sins of men"? If there is not an infinite and eternal being separate and distinct from the father, how can it be said that such a being has rendered an infinite sacrifice for sin; and, by thus satisfying the infinite justice of the father, and atoning for the infinite transgression of finite man, has made his salvation possible without a conformity to the divine law? If Jesus Christ and the father are one and the same being, how can the father, as a separate being, impute his righteousness to man? If Jesus Christ is God himself how can his righteousness be imputed? How can that which is divine be imputed to a finite being? The Lords righteousness consists in that process by which he wrought out redemption. But this was a divine work. His redemption, then, or his righteousness, can no more be imputed to man than creation, or any divine attribute. If, moreover, we cannot be saved by the righteousness of a second person in the godhead, imputed to us, what becomes of faith alone, and the imputation of faith, and all that concatenation of doctrines which teach that man may, and must be saved, without an actual conformity to the divine law?--which teach that we are saved by the passive reception of divine grace, instead of an active co-operation with the Lords spirit, operating in and by us?--which, in a word, teach that we are saved by believing right, instead of doing right? Admit that the godhead is in one person,--that in "Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead bodily,"--and these dogmas fall to the ground. Yes! that chain of false principles--dependent from a tri-personal god--which has shackled and cramped the human mind for centuries, and still binds it down in adamantine bonds, is fused and scattered to the winds by this electric truth, Jesus and the father are one!

Finally, if the father is in Jesus Christ, we can only approach the father through him. Is it not then a lamentable fact, that many--alas, too many!of those calling themselves Christians, are looking for the father out of him? How many consider Jesus as a mere messenger sent from God! And though he expressly says, "No man cometh to the father but by me;" though he avers explicitly, "I and my father are one," "he that seeth me seeth the father," "I am in the father and the father in me"--how many are forming to themselves notions of the father as a being out of and separate from the Lord, and, by addressing their prayers to the father as a being distinct from the Lord, are thus passing by him and going to the father direct! Oh, let us devoutly pray, that all such may take care that they come not under the description of persons who enter not in at the door, but, climbing up some other way, are thieves and robbers!


5



Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 6        SERMON V.

"In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.--In him was life, and the life was the light of men.--And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father,) full of grace and truth."

IN former discourses we have shown that Jesus Christ and the father are one person; and that the holy ghost is not a person, but a sphere of truth, proceeding from Jesus Christ and the essential divinity within him, and teaching that Jesus Christ is God alone. Thus we have subverted the idea of three divine persons in the godhead, at the same time that we have affirmed the doctrine of a trinity of principles as constituent of the one God.

We are now to inquire what are the three constituent principles of Deity. We have shown that, in all things which exist around us, there is an inmost, a middle, and an outermost--that is, an active principle, a reactive principle, and the result of these, which is a spherical, an operative, or an influential principle. And, reasoning from nature up to natures God, we have concluded that there must be in the Divine Being also, an active, a reactive and. an influential principle. But it may be asked, what are these distinctive principles in the Deity? This can be answered only by the revelation which he has made of himself. For it is not possible that any created being can know who or what God is, unless God informs him. Now the Divine Being has revealed himself in his works and his Word. For his "eternal power and godhead are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made," (Rom. i. 20.) And his written Word must manifestly present a declaration of his being and a portraiture of his character. Let us then see what evidence, bearing upon the question before us, is furnished by these two witnesses.

There is no one of the Creators works which so entirely and vividly reflects himself as man. Indeed, man is asserted to be a world in miniature, and hence he must present all the scattered reflections of the Deity, which are to be seen in the whole of his other works, in one focal image. It is moreover expressly asserted in the Word that God created man in his own image and likeness. Wherefore, by seeing what are the constituent principles of man, we are to understand what are the constituent principles of God. But our understandings are not left to inductions from the evidence of our senses solely. Our spiritual-rational faculty is addressed and enlightened by truth revealed in an intellectual form in the Sacred Scriptures. In pursuing our present inquiry, therefore, we shall at the same time bring forward the documents of Holy Writ, as well as the evidence furnished by our own internal consciousness.

The first point of our inquiry is, what is the active principle of God? And here me must remark, that we can have no adequate conception whatever of the Deity as he exists in his essential substance and form, because that which is finite cannot grasp that which is infinite. We do not, therefore, presume to say what any divine principle is as such; for this is totally incomprehensible. We merely profess to show the constituents of the divine nature only as they can be apprehended by our finite capacities. Nor is it necessary that we should be able to comprehend the Divine Being fully: for this is not required by the ends of our creation. All that is necessary is, that we should have such a conception of him as will enable us to enjoy eternal life in conjunction with him. Now, the only way in which me can conceive of his properties, is by attending to our consciousness of the corresponding properties in ourselves which exist by influx from him. Thus we can form no idea of the divine active principle unless it be as something similar to the active principle in us. We must suppose that God is that in an infinite form which we perceive ourselves to be in a finite form. We must suppose, therefore, that that which is the active principle in us finitely is the active principle in him infinitely. And we must call this property in him by the same name which we attach to the corresponding property in ourselves, and signify all that which we cannot comprehend in his property, by the qualifying adjective, divine.

What, then, is the active principle in ourselves? A strict scrutiny of the human constitution will show that the active principle of man is love. By this we mean not a mere pleasurable emotion of our heart, but the all-pervading conatus or tendency of that inmost organized spiritual substance which constitutes our soul. This conatus is the effect of the divine life flowing as heat into the inmost forms of our soul, and is perceived by us as an all-prevading end of action. Thus, if we are in our state by nature, our love is love to self, that is an all-prevading end of self-gratification. But, if we are regenerated, our love is love to God and the neighbour; that is, an end incessantly proposed to ourselves of doing what God would have us do for the good of our fellow-men. Such is mans inmost principle or love. It is this that prompts to action; in this are all our motives of action; and according to the intensity and permanence of this are our efficiency and continuance of action. We conclude therefore, that love is the active principle in the Divine Being. In other words, we conclude that the active principle in God is an infinite conatus, endeavour and effort to make, sustain and bless beings formed out of himself, by imparting to them gratuitously from himself all that is suited to make them eternally happy in conjunction with himself. From reciprocal affection. This principle undoubtedly prompts all the divine action. And, therefore, we mean this principle, when we say the active principle in God is love.

Again, our love is that principle in us which generates all our affections and thoughts, and all the activity consequent on these. The whole mind and body are a complex of faculties and forms of use produced from the love and so reacting upon it as to serve and gratify it in the attainment of its ends. Thus, as our love produces all things of our activity, it may be considered, and virtually is, the father in respect to the other principles of our being. Therefore, we suppose that love is the generative principle in God. And thus we conclude that the divine love is the principle in the Divine Being, which, in the Sacred Scriptures, is called the father.

The word of God properly so called--that is, the word which Jehovah himself uttered by the mouths of his prophets and by the mouth of his own truth incarnate--cannot be supposed to say, in just so many conventional terms, that his active principle is love. This is precluded by the peculiar style in which the Word of God is written. This style, requires that spiritual and divine things should be expressed by correspondential forms and sensible images. Therefore, we cannot expect to find truths taught in the Word dogmatically. But dogmatic truths must be deduced from its literal sense as seen in the light of its spirit. For the Lords words "are spirit, and are life;" and therefore, we can see their true literal meaning only when we understand them from their spirit and life. Hence to ascertain from the Word what the essential divine principles are, we must look through its letter up to its spiritual sense. Now, according to this sense, we can learn what are the divine constituent principles from our text.

In our text we learn that, in the beginning was the word, and the word was God, and in him was life. Thus we see that there are two distinct principles--the word, and the life within him. It is also said in the context, that by the word all things were made, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Now, if there was life in the word, and the word made all things, the word must have made all things from the life within him. Thus the life must be the active principle of the word, and the word was God. From our text, therefore, it appears that the active principle of God is life.

Recollect, now, that in the Sacred Writings the form is used to signify the essence, the effect to signify the cause, that which is produced to signify that which produces, and you will understand by the term life that which is the essence or producing cause of life. Now what is the essence or producing cause of life, if it be not love? Love is the essence of our life, why then is it not the essence of the divine life? We suppose that it is; and therefore conclude from our text that the active principle of God is love.

This conclusion is confirmed by John, in his First Epistle, iv. 16, where he expressly says, "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him." The active principle of the Deity, which in the Sacred Scriptures is called the father, is, then, divine love.

Thus we prove from the Sacred Scriptures themselves that the term father which they use in speaking of the Divine Being, does not denote a divine person, but a divine principle, namely, the principle of divine love, which, as being an infinite and eternal end to action in him, is consequently the active principle of God.

What now, in the second place, is the divine reactive principle? A principle is called reactive because it so reciprocates the energies of an active tendency within it, as to bring the purposes of that active tendency into effect. The acting principle is an endeavour or a tendency to action, and the reacting principle is a plane, or form, which furnishes to this tendency the means of coming into action. Thus steam is an active power, and the resistance of machinery is a reactive power. Steam is an expansive energy, and the machinery of a steam engine is a mechanical form so reacting on that energy as to give to its propulsive effect. Again, the whole body of man is a human machine, so reacting upon his moral and mental faculties as to effectuate the purposes of his will. Thus the arm is a form so reciprocating the tendencies of the will as to write, to sew, and to perform all those manual operations which are necessary to the various purposes of life. The reactive principle, then, is that by which the active principle operates. Hence, in ourselves, it is that by which our love operates: and this, in general, is our thought, our intelligence and our wisdom, or, in one word, the form of our will. We reason, therefore, that the divine reactive principle is divine wisdom, or the form of the divine will.

This rational deduction is supported by the Sacred Scriptures. For the heavens and the earth are the handy-work of God; and (Ps. civ. 24) it is said, "In wisdom hast thou made all thy works."--(Ps, cxxxvi. 5,) "To him that by wisdom made the heavens."--(Jer. x. 12,) "He established the world by his wisdom.""The sea is his, and his hand formed the dry land," (Ps. xcv. 5.)"Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me," (Isa. xliii. 10.)"God himself formed the earth--He formed it to be inhabited," (Isa. xlv. 18.)"God hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his substance," (Heb. i. 2, 3;) and "who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God," (Phil. ii. 6;) "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," (Col. ii. 3)--so as to be emphatically "the power of God, and the wisdom of God." (1 Cor. i. 24.)

Thus the reactive principle in the Deity is wisdom or the form of the divine substance, which is the divine essence, or the divine will.

Now, our wisdom is formed by the truth me know and practise. Thus our wisdom is truth. Hence, we conclude that the divine wisdom is divine truth.

This conclusion is supported by our text. "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.""All things were made by him," (v. 3.) Thus, as it is here said by the word were all things made, and it is elsewhere said that the Lord by wisdom made his works, hence the Lords word and wisdom are synonymous. But the Lord Jesus, in addressing the father, (John, xvii. 17,) says, "Thy word is truth." Wherefore, Gods wisdom is his truth. And thus truth is the divine reactive principle. Hence it is the same whether we say the divine reactive is wisdom, or the word, or truth.

Again, we may remark that the effect of truth is light. By truth the mind is enabled spiritually to see. And that which enables us to see, we call light. Hence, as the effect is used in the Scriptures to signify the cause, light is used to signify truth. Thus in our text it is said, in the word was life, and the life was the light of men. Where, by light, truth is manifestly meant. For it is most plain that men are enlightened by truth.

On this subject the New Jerusalem teaches this express doctrine:--"The divine sphere which proceeds from the Lord, and which is called divine truth, is universal, filling the universal heaven and constituting the all of life therein. It appears there before the eyes as light, which not only illuminates the sight, but also the mind. It is the same sphere likewise which constitutes the understanding appertaining to man." (A. C. 9407.)

Thus the effect or sphere of the divine wisdom is light. The life of the divine wisdom, it will be recollected is divine love; and the effect or sphere of the divine love is heat. This is the cause of heat in heaven and in angelic minds. Love is the cause of heat in men too. For it is clearly seen that they grow hot or cold according to the presence or absence of love. And all love has its ultimate source in the divine love. Hence men have heat and consequent life from the divine love. This love, flowing into the souls of men, quickens them and gives activity to all their powers. And this activity is always proportioned to the intensity of the exciting cause. Thus, in proportion to the exciting influence of love, the understanding of man is active. When the love is quiescent, the understanding does not think at all; and the clearness and purity of its thought is always in the ratio of the intensity and purity of its affection. This then is what is meant by the life being the light of men: when the affections of men are purified and vivified by the quickening influences of divine love, they have a clear intellection and perception of truth. Hence the new church teaches, that, "When man is in good, and from good in truth, then he is elevated into that divine light which is divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and more interiorly according to the quality and quantity of good." (A. C. 9407.)

Here then we clearly see what is the divine active, and what is the divine reactive. The divine active is life, that is love; and the divine reactive is light, that is wisdom. Hence it is that John says, in his First Epistle, i. 5. "God is light." You will recollect he says, in the passage already quoted from the same Epistle, (iv. 8, 16,) "God is love." In these two declarations he evidently alludes to two fundamental constituent principles of God: for the constituent principles of God are God himself. Hence two of the constituent principles of God are love and light: or, as light is truth and truth is wisdom, they are love and wisdom.

Now, as we have seen, our wisdom is generated by our love; because the life is the light of men. Hence our wisdom has its quality and nature determined by our love; reflects and represents our love; and is the express image of our love. Our wisdom is an intellectual form, which, existing from our love as an essence, may be said to be in the bosom of our love, and, view. Thus our wisdom is a propagated form of our love, or is an image and likeness of our love begotten from itself. Hence wisdom is the son of our love. We conclude, therefore, that the divine wisdom is that principle in the Divine Being which the Sacred Scriptures call this son. Indeed, there can be no doubt of this. For the word, which is the same as the divine wisdom, was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father. And John expressly re bare record that this is the son of God." (verse 34.)

Having, then, ascertained the divine active and reactive principles to be love and wisdom, it follows that the third divine principle is the sphere or influence of these two. It is the sphere of the divine operation. It is the breath of Jehovah breathing into the nostrils of man the breath of lives. It is the life of divine love manifesting itself by divine wisdom in the works of creation, preservation, providence, redemption, and salvation. And this may be called divine use. It is in fact the divine action, and therefore is the breath, the life, the spirit of God. And hence it is called, in the Sacred Scriptures, the holy ghost or spirit. For the Greek word which is rendered ghost or spirit, means wind and breath; and the divine breath is the proceeding divine sphere, which is Gods spirit.

The breath of God in the natural or material world is evidently the air or wind, as composed of the atmosphere and its currents. For this is that in the material world which corresponds to his breath in the spiritual world. From the suns three atmospheres, and from the earths three atmospheres thence proceeding, in indefinite combinations, all material things are produced, comparatively as is formed from the combination of oxygen and hydrogen gasses. And this is proved by the fact that all material substances, when decomposed by the compound blow pipe, pass up and off into vaporous, aerial, etherial, or aurial substances. Thus the breath of God as the air or atmosphere, produces all material things. And when we see how necessary to material existence are the currents in the atmosphere--when we see that stagnation of the air, as a calm on the sea, leads to putrescency in the seas waters, for want of the motion which is necessary to their sweetness, and which motion is produced by the agitations of the wind--when we see that stagnation of the air, undisturbed by the concussive effects of thunder and lightning, leads to the death of all animal and human existence, by the noxious miasmata and pestilential vapours thence produced--when we see how the life of our bodies, and all animal life is sustained by the oxygen of the air--how combustion is kept up by it, whereby the elaborations of science, art, manufacture and culinary work are carried on for the varied use, support, comfort and delight of manwhen we see too that this oxygen imbibed by vegetable forms and given out in day time, compensates for the destruction of the vital principle of the air which combustion and human and animal respiration is incessantly producing--when, I say, we see all this, we must surely discern that that which gives life to the material world is the breath of God--is wind breathed from his divine mouth into the nostrils of the material creation and imparting to it the breath of its lives.
And thus we see, in an image, the law of sustentation for the spiritual creation, namely, the breath of Jehovah, as divine truth, with divine good in it, coming down from heaven, and giving life unto the world. The descent on the day of Pentecost was "as a mighty rushing wind"--corresponding in the spiritual world to those gusts of wind which purify the air and give material life and health to the material world. It is highly probable that the saxon word ghost [scanner unable to insert word] from [scanner unable to insert word] originally signified gust; and therefore the term holy ghost, as applied to the Divine Being, would literally mean the holy gust--the afflatus of Gods divine breath, by which reformation and regeneration are conveyed to the soul, and thus spiritual vitality and health are given to the spiritual and moral universe.

Moreover, truth is that which proceeds from good and is operative in the regeneration and salvation of man. Therefore, (Ps. lvii. 3,) it is said, "God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.""Mercy and truth shall go before thy face." (Ps. lviii. 14.)"Send out thy light and thy truth, let them lead me." (Ps. xliii. 3.)"All his works are done in truth." (Ps. xxxiii. 4.) And that truth, as the operative principle of God in the regeneration and salvation of men, is, every where in the New Testament, called the holy spirit, has been very fully shown in our former discourses.

The third principle in the Deity, then, is the operation of truth from good, or wisdom from love, in the works of creation, redemption and salvation. And this is divine use.

Wherefore, the three principles which are in and constitute the one God, are, divine love, divine wisdom and divine use. Love acts, wisdom reacts, and the result of this action and reaction is use, which is a creating activity that produces all inferior existences. And as all existences bear the impress of the hand which made them, hence every existence has the threefold principle of action, reaction and efficient result. In the divine love are ends, in the divine wisdom are causes, and in the divine use are effects. And this is the reason that there are in every existence which meets our observation, end, cause and effect. And as end, cause and effect are one, or as essence, form and odour are one, or as soul, body and activity are one--so are divine love, divine wisdom and divine use one: and as end, cause and effect are distinct, so are divine love, divine wisdom and divine use distinct. So too, and in no other way, are the father, the son and the holy ghost distinct. And as no one created thing call exist without its three constituent principles of end, cause and effect, so neither can the one God exist without his three constituent principles of love, wisdom and use. For take away either of these, and the others would be nonentities.

These three constituent principles may be called the essential qualities of the Divine Being. And as in created being quality cannot exist out of a subject, so we reason that in uncreated being divine quality cannot exist out of a divine subject. And the subject in which the divine qualities inhere is the person of God. And the three essential qualities of love, wisdom and use inhere in and constitute the one person of God, just as the three essential qualities of will, understanding sad activity inhere in and constitute the one person of man. In the next discourse of this series we shall show that these three essential qualities of God are in the person Jesus Christ.

We have thus, in our peculiar way, illustrated the scripture doctrine of the trinity. And whatever else may be said of it, we are persuaded it cannot be thought obnoxious to the charge of irrationality. Indeed, we never yet have met a candid person, of any denomination, who, on having this doctrine thus presented to him, did not acknowledge it to be highly rational or plausible. Why then is it not adopted?

One would think that those who have been taught to believe in the doctrine of a trinity, and yet have never been able to understand how three could make one, would be glad to have this matter cleared up to them: more especially, when their church has been so heavily and so successfully assailed on this point by Unitarians. Yet, on hearing it, they either reject it at once, simply because it was not suggested by themselves; or, at first admitting it, they afterwards give it up, when they discern the consequences to which it leads.

The truth is, as we said on setting out, that the whole of theology and religion rests on the idea which is conceived of God. And hence, to alter essentially the idea of God, is to subvert the whole theological system which is based upon it. Now the whole of the most prevalent theology of the present day is founded upon the notion of God as three separate and distinct persons. Consequently, the idea which we entertain of God as one person must be subversive of that theology. Hence our doctrine of the trinity--though so consonant with Scripture, reason and common sense--is pertinaciously rejected. However readily this truth is assented to at first, it is at length seen that it militates against some darling distinguishing tenet, which cannot be given up on any account. It is seen, for instance, that, if God be only one person, then the second person could not die in mans stead to appease--the wrath of the first person; and thus the whole system of a vicarious sacrifice falls to the ground: and to give up this, would be to relinquish all the hopes which the natural man so fondly cherishes of getting to heaven without the sacrifice of his natural loves in keeping the commandments from spiritual affection. Any one who has experienced any thing of the nature of true self-denial, knows how difficult it is to give up self in our religious opinions as well as in our personal and worldly pleasures. It is indeed like plucking ones heart out. Hence we do not wonder that our doctrines are so reluctantly embraced by those who have been initiated and partly confirmed in the doctrines of the old church. Nay, it is much more a matter of surprise that so many embrace them as do. "No man can enter into a strong mans house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man, and then he will spoil his goods." The strong man is the understanding of the false, and the house of this man is a will and practice conformed to this understanding. The man who is to enter this house and spoil this strong mans goods is the Lord as to truth, who cannot enter into the will of man, and bring it and all its principles into subjection to himself, until the preconceived opinions, the false persuasions, and the darling tenets of his understanding, are given up and renounced. How little likely is it, then, that the Lord in his new church can he readily received by those who are confirmed in the doctrines of the old church!

But still, the truth must be preached, whether men will hear or whether they will forbear. We cannot, on the peril of our souls, do any thing but preach the truth, and leave it to do its own peculiar and thorough work--to divide between the joints and the marrow, and to search the thoughts and intents of the heart. And happy shall we all be, if we are in that state indicated by the Lord when he says, "Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me."


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 7        SERMON VI.

MATT. XXVIII. 18, 19.

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth; go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, end of the son, and of the holy ghost."

In the preceding discourse, we endeavoured to show, both from the Word and from reason, what are the three divine principles, or the trinity, which constitute God. Our course of reasoning was briefly this. All things have been created by God, and bear in some degree his image and likeness. This is especially the case with man, who, being a microcosm, is a miniature of the whole material creation. Therefore, the essential principles of mans being are in an infinite degree the essential principles of the Divine Being. Now, as far as our knowledge extends, all things, including man, have three constituent principles of their existence, namely, an active principle, a reactive principle, and the result of these, which is a spherical principle: and we proved, from Scripture and from reason, that the divine active is lore, the divine reactive is wisdom, and the divine sphere is use. Hence we inferred that divine love, divine wisdom and divine use are signified in the Sacred Scriptures by the terms father, son and holy ghost.

The next point in the new-church view of the Lord to which attention is to be directed, is, that these three divine principles are in the one person, Jesus Christ, so as to constitute him God alone. This is the most peculiar doctrine of the New Jerusalem, which runs through and characterizes her whole theology, and which most especially distinguishes her from every other church. It is meet, therefore, that we should discuss this doctrine fully.

It is usual to prove the divinity of Jesus Christ by demonstrating that the attributes of God are ascribed to him in the Sacred Scriptures. This, perhaps, is proper as a popular mode of proving this fundamental truth; and we shall adopt it in our next discourse. We shall therein show that Jesus Christ is God alone, because there are ascribed to him the divine attributes of life in himself, unchangeableness, infinity, eternity, omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence, together with the creation and sustentation of all things.

But the attributes of God are not God himself. God himself is constituted by his substance, his form and his work. His substance is his active principle, his form is his reactive principle, and his work is his spherical or influential principle. His substance is love, his form is wisdom, and his work is use. His substance is the father, his form is the son, and his work is the holy ghost. And the complex subject or bodily manifestation of these three divine principles, is the sole person of Deity, and therefore the only God.

In order, therefore, to show that Jesus Christ is this only God, we must show from the Scriptures that these three constituent divine principles are in him; which we shall do by showing that he is synonymous, in name and person, with the three terms father, son and holy ghost, and with what is signified by them.

This is clearly inferable from our text. You will observe, from the context, that "the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them." *** And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth, go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy ghost.

Now, in commenting on this passage, we wish you to observe particularly what meaning there is in this word therefore. But, to feel the force of this word, we must discern somewhat of the spiritual sense of the passage.

Bear in mind, what has been remarked heretofore, that the Lords words were uttered, not merely to give verbal commands,--though, in their natural sense, they ought to have the utmost force of such commands,--but also to enunciate and to give form and fixedness to spiritual and eternal truth; and you will then see that whatever the Lord says, is a declaration of what eternally is as regards himself, and of whatever is or will be with regard to man. Now the Lord assumed human nature, and was manifest in the flesh, to redeem and save mankind. To do this, he had first to redeem and save mans nature in himself, from the evils into which man had fallen, and then to make it the medium of imparting to man a regenerated nature. Therefore, by a process of glorification, which is the type of mans regeneration, he made human nature in himself divine; that is, he made it the unmodifying subject and fully correspondent medium of the divine attributes. By this process, the human nature which Jehovah assumed, became the living temple of the living God. Hereby the living God was made manifest. And now and ever "the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen nor can see," is shown to us, just in the degree, and only in the degree, that the Lord Jesus Christ, by his appearing in our hearts and lives through regeneration, "shows us plainly of the father," (John, xvi. 25.) Thus, by that process of glorification whereby the human nature of Jehovah was made divine, the whole godhead, the three essential principles of Deity--the father, the son and the holy ghost, were made to dwell in the Lord Jesus Christ bodily. And when this process of glorification was completed by his "ascending up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things," (Eph. iv. 10,) then the way was opened for the descent of divine influences to men. For the operation of divine love and divine wisdom in redeeming and saving men is the holy ghost; and it is said, (John, vii. 39,) "the holy ghost was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." Hence, when Jesus was glorified, the holy ghost was given. And it should be well noted, that these words were spoken in reference to that "spirit which they who believe on him should receive:" thus showing, both that the holy ghost is that spirit which is received from Jesus Christ, and that it could not be received,--of course could not be given,--until it proceeded from him. But when it was so given and received, it was a comforter which Jesus sent unto his disciples, which received of his and showed it unto them, and which thus led them into all truth.

Hence it appears that the spirit of truth is in and proceeding from Jesus Christ. And as this spirit of truth manifests to his disciples Jesus who is "the truth," it must also show, in him, to his disciples, the good, for good dwells in truth as an essence in its form, and truth presents good to view as a form brings to view its essence. Thus when the holy spirit shows Jesus as the truth to his disciples, it also shows to them the father, for good is the father of truth as an essence is the father of its form. Hence when Philip (John, xiv. 8) said to the Lord, "show us the rather and it sufficeth us, Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the father." Wherefore, when the holy ghost opens the hearts of men to call Jesus Lord,--to see that he is the son, the truth,--it also enables them to perceive that he is the father, the good: for through him, as the divine truth, the divine goodness is manifested in their hearts: and thus the son, who is in the bosom of the father, brings him forth to view. Wherefore, when Jesus was fully glorified, the father, the son and the holy ghost were all in him, and the way was opened for those divine principles to descend from him to men; and, by gradually restamping upon them the divine image and likeness, to save them from their sins.

Now the Gospel by Matthew, as well as by the other evangelists, is a book in which this process of glorification is described. The close of the book treats of the close of the work. And, therefore, the words of our Lord in the text are, spiritually, an enunciation or the state of things incident and consequent upon his entire glorification. For when the human nature of Jehovah was fully glorified, it was entirely one with himself; it was his right arm; it was the body in which he dwelt and by which he acted. He, therefore, did not give the spirit by measure unto it. Wherefore, it was full of the spirit of might, majesty and dominion. Hence, in the conclusion of that book which describes his glorification, Jesus comes to his disciples in Gallilee,--in a gentile state, in which the mind is not perverted by false doctrines, but is in a state of simple and teachable good,--and speaks unto them, saying, "All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth;" thus declares, the fact that he was so fully glorified as to have in him the divine attribute of omnipotence: and, as a consequence of this, commands them to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy ghost: which command spiritually signified, that Jehovah, by the assumption and glorification of humanity, had acquired all power to impart spiritual truths to mankind for their regeneration in all the three discrete degrees of the human mind. In other words, it denotes that in consequence of the Lords full glorification, the divine influences of love, wisdom and use are to be imparted from him through the truths, which his apostles represented and taught, to well disposed men of all names and professions. Hence, after announcing that all power is given unto him in heaven and on earth, he says, "Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." By observing whatsoever things he had commanded them, they would conform themselves to his commandments; and by such conformity they would receive from him the influences of the divine love, the divine wisdom and the divine sphere of usefulness--which three divine principles are personified in the Word as the father, the son and the holy spirit: and thus they would be baptized in the name, that is, in the quality of those three divine principles, and so cleansed from all contrary defilements.

The apostles, to whom the Lord gave the command of the text. represented all the truths of his church in the complex. These truths, when received and practised in spiritual faith, form the image and likeness of Jesus Christ in the soul--so that the soul reflects, as in a mirror, his love, his wisdom and his usefulness. And thus when truths come to us from the Lord in the doctrines of his church, they baptize us into the Lords death and raise us again from the dead into his life, so as to ingenerate in us the quality of the Lords internal, interior and ultimate principles, which are called in the Sacred Scriptures the father, the son and the holy spirit.

Hence the Lords commanding his apostles to baptize all nations in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit, as a consequence of all power having been given unto him in heaven and on earth, is an evidence that all the divine principles which are signified by the terms father, son and holy spirit are dwelling bodily in him, so as to constitute him one divine person, and invest him with all the properties of Deity.

Now, our argument from this passage of the Word is, that the apostles to whom the Lord addressed it, must have understood what the Lord meant by the terms father, son and holy ghost; and, if they had understood him to mean by those terms three separate and distinct persons in the godhead, that they, in obeying his command, would have baptized into the three separate and distinct names of father, and of son, and of holy ghost. But, in fact, although the Lord had expressly commanded them to baptize in those three names, still there is no record of their ever having baptized in any other name than simply Jesus Christ.

Wherever the rite of baptism is spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles, we see the truth of this assertion. For example, in the second chapter, verse thirty-eight, "Peter said, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ." So, in the nineteenth chapter, verse five, it is said, certain disciples at Ephesus "were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." When the people of Samaria, who had been bewitched by Simon the sorcerer, had "believed the apostle Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ," and were in consequence "baptized both men and women," it is said "the holy ghost was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus:" but "they received the holy ghost" when the apostles "laid their hands on them." (Acts, viii. 12-17.) Peter commanded the Gentiles whom he had converted cc to be baptized in the name of the Lord." (Acts, x. 48.) And Paul speaks (Rom. vi. 3) of being cc baptized into Jesus Christ."

Hence we conclude, that the apostles did not understand the Lord to mean by the three terms father, son and holy ghost, so many persons; but, on the contrary we conclude that in their view the one name Jesus Christ was entirely synonymous with those three terms; and that, as the one name Jesus Christ included the three names rather, son and holy ghost, so the one person Jesus Christ is an individual embodyment of all the divine principles or properties which those three names signified. For names are given to express qualities; and hence the fact that the apostles substituted the one name Jesus Christ for the three names father, son and holy ghost, makes it clear that they must have regarded the person Jesus Christ as possessing all the divine qualities of the "Everlasting Father," of "the Son of God," and of "the Spirit of Truth."

Wherefore, we conclude, from this text, that the three essential qualities of God, namely, the divine active, the divine reactive and the divine spherical principles, are in, and constituting, the one divine person, Jesus Christ: and, of course, that Jesus Christ is the only God.

Hence we can see with what strict propriety the angels could direct that Jesus, as the word made flesh, should be called God-with-us. We can see with what propriety John, too, could say that in Jesus was life, that is, divine love; and that he was "the light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world," or the divine truth or wisdom: hence that he was full of "grace and truth;" for fullness of grace is infinity of love, and fullness of truth is infinity of wisdom. And we can see, moreover, with what truth John could say, (in iii. 24,) that "God giveth not the spirit by measure unto him"--thus that Jesus has in himself the spirit in an immeasurable and so in an infinite degree. Moreover, we can see why Jesus, when, as it is recorded in John, xx. 22, "breathed on his disciples," said, "Receive ye the holy ghost,"--thus clearly indicating that from him, as the truth itself, proceeds the sphere of truth, which is the spirit of truth, or the holy spirit. For all these are only so many confirmations of the truth which we have deduced from our present text, that in Jesus Christ is divine love, which is the father--as well as divine wisdom, which is the son--and that in and proceeding from him is the truth, and the spirit of it, which is the sphere of divine operation, or divine usefulness.

The same doctrine is strikingly confirmed by that remarkable saying of Paul, which we have before quoted, that "in Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead bodily;" for this most expressly asserts that all divine properties whatsoever are in him, so that he must of course possess the three essential principles of Deity. Paul expressly calls. him, too, the power of God and the wisdom of God," (1 Cor. i. 24)--asserting, in just so many words, that, "being in the form of God, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God," (Phil. ii. 6)--that he is "the express image of Gods substance" (Heb. i. 2,) and says, that " by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible--all things were created by him and for him--thus asserting that Jesus Christ was not only the instrumental cause, but also the end, of creation. In declaring then that Jesus Christ had in him all the fullness of the godhead, that he was the power and wisdom of God, that he is the form of God and the express image of his substance in such a degree as to be equal with God, and that he is both the cause and the end of creation--how clearly does Paul show that Jesus Christ is God himself! Well, then, might he speak of him as "the same yesterday, to-day and for ever," (Heb. xiii. 8;) and well might he call him "God over all, blessed for ever," (Rom. ix. 5:) for he must have known that Jesus Christ himself had said, "I Before Abram was I AM" (John, viii. 58)--thus had an essential and eternal existence; and of course is God.

The truth, that Jesus Christ is God, because he is possessed of the three essential properties of Deity, we shall consider as established. We might prove it further by the most abundant testimony from all parts of the Word. But this one passage makes this point of our faith clear enough, and were we to bring forward a too great multiplicity of corroborative passages, we should but darken it with excess of light. In our next discourse, we shall go on to prove the same truth, by showing that Jesus Christ is possessed of all the divine attributes, and will now call your attention to two particular texts of Scripture which seem to us very forcibly to controvert the far too prevalent notion that Jesus Christ is a mere man.

In former discourses, we have more particularly traced the difference between the New Jerusalemites and the Trinitarians, as to the doctrine of the Lord. In this and the last discourses, you have seen how entirely and widely we differ from the Unitarians. There is not time now to state specifically what are the distinct and the distinguishing points of the Unitarian faith. Indeed it would be difficult to do this, if we had ever so much time. For Unitarians are much more remarkable for what they do not believe, than for what they do. They are far more acute in discerning the absurdities of the Trinitarian faith than in presenting convincingly the truths of a contrary faith of their own. They are far more powerful in demolishing the strong holds of Trinitarian error than in building up any peculiar temple of Unitarian truth. The common bond that seems to hold them together is, opposition to some other sect, or negation of some other faith. When they come to consider what tenets of positive faith there are which all Unitarians as a common body are bound to admit and hold, there appears to arise division among them. There are no articles or confessions of faith which Unitarians are required to subscribe, or to make, on penalty of exclusion. The Bible in its mere literal sense is their only rule of faith and catechism; and every one is left free to interpret it for himself. Hence a good deal of diversity of opinion prevails among persons of that denomination. But the most general division of them is into Arians, who hold that Christ is a super-angelic, though still a created, being, and Socinians, who maintain that he is a mere man, in no respect differing From other men, except that he is more highly gifted of God.

Now this position, that Jesus Christ is only a super-angelic, or a mere, man, is the very antipode of our faith. And the first argument against this position, which we shall now present to your consideration, is derived from Johns hesitation to baptize Jesus Christ when he had come to him to be baptized. John was too well aware of the character of Jesus to regard him as a mere man. He knew that "He who cometh from above is above all," (iii. 31.) Knowing, in fact, that he was God-with-us, how could he do otherwise than hesitate to baptize him? And the fact that he did so hesitate, is as direct a testimony as he could give to the divinity of Jesus Christ. For had Jesus been a mere man, a prophet, or a messenger sent from God, then John need not have hesitated to perform upon him the rite of baptism: since, of this same John, Jesus says, (Matt. xi. 9,) "But What went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet." And, again, (verse 11,) "Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist." Hence, as John the Baptist was more than a prophet, and greater than any born of women, he need not have hesitated to baptize a prophet, or any mere agent or messenger of God that was born of a woman. The fact, therefore, that John did hesitate to baptize Jesus, proves that he was more than a prophet, or a messenger sent from God, or a mere man.

John, moreover, expressly says of Jesus, (Matt. iii. 11,) "He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear"--(whose shoe-latchets I am not worthy to unloose, John, i. 27):--and if John is more than a prophet, and greater than all born of women, and yet is not worthy to unloose the shoe-latchet of the Lord Jesus, how, then, can the Lord Jesus be a mere man, a mere prophet, or a mere messenger sent from God? Does not all this show that he is, as John asserts, in a peculiar and an emphatic sense, the Son or God (ch. i. 34)? Does it not prove that he is "the word which was with God, and was God"? and which, being made flesh, "dwelt among us? And thus, does it not prove that he is God with us? Hence, as the Divine Being is one and indivisible, that he is God himself, the very and the only God?

The second passage which we would advance to rebut the position that Jesus Christ is only a super-angelic being, or that he is nothing more than a man, is John, vi. 62, where our Lord says, "What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before?" Jesus put this question to some of his disciples when they had murmured at his saying, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven:" and therefore he, by this interrogatory, implied that he was originally in heaven before his coming down to earth. How strong a proof is this, then, that Jesus in his conception was not a mere man! The Socinian asserts that Jesus was only the son of Joseph the carpenter. If this were true, then the beginning of his existence was in the moment of his conception; and the highest point to which he could ascend towards the origin of his being would be to his state in that conception. But it is clear that heaven could not have existed in the soul of Joseph the carpenter; and if the Lord had been only the son of Joseph, his soul would have been only the transcript of Josephs soul. But, as the Lord declares that he had an existence in heaven before his conception on earth, therefore he must have had an existence prior to his conception, and, consequently, could not have been in his origin a mere man.

And that Jesus Christ was more than merely super-angelic, was in fact divine, in his origin, is clear from his intimating, as he does in chapter xvi. 27, 28, "that he came forth from God;" and from his expressly saying, "I came forth from the father, and came into the world; again I leave the world, and go to the father." These passages show that the Lord not only had an existence before he came into the world, but that the origin of his existence was so far above that of the angels, as to be in the very divine emanating sphere of Jehovah. Hence he had his origin in God himself; so that John could say that he, in his Beginning, was hot only the word which was but God, but the word which was God. The emanating sphere of Jehovah, descending as an operative divine energy into the virgin, Mary, upon earth, web that holy spirit from which Jesus was begotten a material embodyment of all latent divine properties--so that, when born into this world, the "holy child Jesus" could be "the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace," upon whose shoulders the government of the whole universe might depend. On this account it was that the Magi worshiped him, though a child, as God, and, in the gifts which they gave him, ascribed to him, correspondentially and representatively, the possession and source of all divine things.

Hence it is manifest that Jesus Christ had an existence prior to his conception on earth, and that his origin was not merely super-angelic, but divine. And hence we can see with what propriety Paul should say of Jesus Christ that he is "the same yesterday, to-day and for ever"--which he could not have said, with any kind of propriety, if Jesus had not had an existence prior to his conception and birth in time and space, or if he had not existed "from everlasting to everlasting." But this truth is resistlessly set forth by those words already quoted, "Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM"--than which there cannot be a more direct and unequivocal assertion of the eternity and divinity of the being of Jesus Christ.

Wherefore, the notion that Jesus Christ is a mere man, or a mere super-angelic being, is false: and it becomes the whole Christian world to regard him as a divine man, as God-Man; and to ascribe to him as such, "the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever." For he is the arm of Jehovah, and has, therefore, "all power given unto him in heaven and on earth," so that he can in truth be called "the Almighty." (Rev. i. 8.) He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world"--that principle of divinely human innocence, which, so far as it is received by us, in our becoming regenerated into his image and likeness, takes away all the evils and falses of our utterly corrupt hereditary nature. And therefore we, in the words of Holy Writ, should incessantly ascribe "Blessing, and honour; and glory, and power, unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever"--for there has been "given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him:" and "his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." To which the New Jerusalem especially sends up, in reverberated echoes from all her walls, the glad and glorious response"Amen and Amen."

Such is our proof from the Word that Jesus Christ is the embodyment and radiant form of the three essential divine principles, so as to be the only God. And if he is the only God, then he should be the sole object of all Christian worship. Why, then, is not he alone worshiped by all Christians as their God?

In closing our last discourse, we animadverted rather freely upon Trinitarians on account of their rejecting the rational doctrine of the trinity which the new church teaches. And we have here and elsewhere contrasted our views of the Lord with those of the Unitarians, as some may think, disparagingly. But let it not be supposed that we wish to attack and vituperate the views of others in propounding and defending our own. For whenever we point out the errors of others, it is merely for the purpose of presenting our own views in such bold relief, that our hearers may more distinctly see what it is we believe. Heaven forbid that we should even desire to take from by others, that most precious privilege, which we claim to ourselves, of freely adopting, and honestly maintaining, what they sincerely believe to be the truth. And our religion, so far from teaching us to condemn all who do not agree in faith with us, expressly teaches us that the good of all denominations will be saved, and that, too, even by their false doctrines, provided they innocently believe those doctrines to be true. For the new church teaches, that, "whilst man is regenerating, he is let into combats against falses; and in this case he is kept by the Lord in truth--but in that truth which he had persuaded himself to be troth, and from this truth combat is waged against the false. Combat maybe waged even from truth not genuine, provided it be such that by any means it can be conjoined with good; and it is conjoined with good by innocence, for innocence is the medium of conjunction. Hence it is that they within the church may be regenerated by means of any doctrine whatever, but they especially who are in genuine truths."(A. C. 6785.)

Hence, though we may believe the doctrines of all the prevailing sects of the old church to be false, yet we can and do admit that there are many good people in all of them who honestly embrace those doctrines as the true ones. And while duty may compel us to expose their principles, still we leave them in the hands of Him whose tender mercies are over all his works--who well knows our frame, and who remembers that all, even the best of us, are but dust, are but the frail and erring subjects of sinful mortality.

In the sight of God we are all nothing but sinners, and hence are all more or less in error. Even those who have the truth, see it but imperfectly, and too often mix it up and defile it with their inbred corruptions. It becomes none of us arrogantly to say to his fellow-man, stand aside, for I am holier than thou: but it becomes all humbly to acknowledge our ignorance and unworthiness, and to commend ourselves, as well as those who differ from us in opinion, to the care and guidance of Him in whose light alone we can see light, and whose life is that true light which enlightens every man that cometh into the world. He breaks not the bruised reed and quenches not the smoking flax--neither should we. Like him, we should not seek to force the conviction of unsuitable truth upon any, however great their errors, however low their state.

Still, it is no charity in us to blind our eyes to errors because good people may be innocently in them. It is no part of true charity to confound error with truth, because error may be embraced innocently. True charity would lead us to discriminate error and falsehood from truth, and to expose error and falsity for the good even of those who may be the innocent subjects of them. But when we have seemed to attack the views of others, our only aim has been to guard ourselves from their errors; and though we would not be insensible to their good, and hence would not refuse to expose their errors for their good, still we would not rashly take away their errors before we are sure they are in a state to receive higher and truer views than those they now possess.

While, therefore, we guard ourselves from the false principles of the well meaning professors of religion in the old church, we charitably leave those professors themselves in the hands of the Great Physician, who, mercifully regarding their infirmities, has placed them for a time in the faith which they now hold, as a spiritually dark chamber, that he may kindly temper the light of heaven to their diseased eyes. If the eye be evil, as it is when the understanding is consciously and rationally confirmed in self-love and love of the world as principles of action, then indeed the whole body will be full of darkness which no light call dispel: and it was to those who possess such an eye, that we alluded in the conclusion of our last discourse.

But an eve not evil may be unable to see in consequence of darkness arising from the mists of ignorance and the honest prejudices of erroneous education. And we hope there are many more than we are aware of, among all the existing sects of Christendom, who have an eye that is thus not evil. Upon all such, we doubt not that the Lord will, in his own good time, cause abundant light to arise, if, though they are thus sitting even in the valley of the shadow of death, they are nevertheless sincerely seeking and ardently desiring the truth. Most certainly we do not doubt that all who really wish to go right, will be led right. There are many wayward children, wandering from their Heavenly Father like lost sheep: but he has come to seek and to save that which was lost, and all who are inwardly good children will, though they may now be lost, find their way home to him at last.

Therefore, however few there may now be, who are prepared as yet to embrace this doctrine of the Lord which we preach; still, as we are taught from heaven that it is true, we doubt not it will ultimately be embraced by all the good. Hence we are not disposed to quarrel with those who differ with us. We know that the truth is hid from those who are not in a state to embrace it; and we are fully aware that we cannot fight them into a better state. The holy spirit from on high alone can give sight to the blind and raise the dead to life. And as all who can be healed will be, we doubt not that, in the coming world, if not in this, there will be some of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues--some of every denomination of religionists--who, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, will be heard saying, "Salvation to our God which sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb:" for "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure, they are and were created"! Amen.


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 8        SERMON VII.

MATTHEW, XXVIII. 18.

"And Jesus came end spake unto them; saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth."

WE are now to prove from the Word, that Jesus Christ is God alone because he has ascribed to him the divine attributes.

The attributes of Deity are, life in himself; eternity, infinity, omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, together with the creation and sustentation of all things. Now it will be conceded by all, that these attributes belong to the father, or the essential divinity: but the Lord Jesus says, (John, xvi. 15,) "All things that the father hath are mine." Therefore the attributes of the father must be those also of Jesus Christ.--In John, i. 1-4, it is said, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men:" this light John came to bear witness of, and says that "he was in the world, and the world was made by him:" and afterwards that the "word was made flesh and dwelt among us:" and he bare witness of him, and cried saying, "This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me; for he was before me;"--thus clearly showing that Jesus, who came after him, was the word that was with God and was God, by whom all things were made, in whom was life, who was in the world, and who made the world.

Hence, according to John, Jesus Christ has life in himself, is the creator of all things, and is God. At least John expressly ascribes to him the divine attribute of creation: for he says all things were made by the word.

Paul also ascribes creation to Jesus, in Col. i. 18, "For by him," says he, "were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible; whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him."

The Lord himself expressly says, too, (John, v. 26,) "as the rather hath life in himself, so hath he given to the son to have life in himself." There is no difference, the son, or humanity, has life in himself as the rather, or essential divinity, has life in himself.

From these passages of Scripture it is sufficiently clear that the attribute of essential life is ascribed to Jesus Christ. And as creation also is ascribed to him; and as he is by fair implication proved to be the word which was God; he himself, therefore, is God. And if God, he possesses of course all divine attributes.

But his eternity is expressly asserted by himself in John, viii. 58: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am." He thus assumed the title of Jehovah, who calls himself the I am. It should be observed, too, that the Jews took up stones to stone him for this saying: thus evidencing that they understood him to assume to himself this divine attribute of Jehovah. Paul also ascribes to him eternity and unchangeableness in Heb. xiii. 8, where he says, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever." His omnipresence is shown by his own words, (Matt. xviii. 20,) "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them:" and (xxviii. 19, 20,) "Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." His omniscience may be inferred from the fact "that he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man." (John, ii. 25.) Also by its being said in John, i. 47-49, "Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathaniel saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip caned thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee. Nathaniel answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God." You see the true import of the Lords saying, from the effect which it had on Nathaniel. Doubtless divinity beamed from his eye and glowed in his countenance as he spake. And his overpowering omniscient sphere wrested from the at first wondering but now adoring Nathaniel, the confession, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God!" That Jesus is possessed of omniscience may be further gathered from the account of his appearing to the doubting Thomas, recorded in John, xx. 19-28. You will observe that, when the Lord appeared the second time, he immediately, without any previous information derived from the other apostles, began to satisfy Thomass doubts. Now how could he have known the doubts expressed by Thomas eight days before, and retained in his mind since, unless he had been omniscient and omnipresent? That Thomas believed him possessed of these attributes, is evident from his exclamation, "My Lord, and my God!" Is it not evident from this that even the most doubting and external of the apostles, had an ocular, sensible, perceptive demonstration of the divinity of Jesus Christ?--a demonstration which no powers of reasoning could resist, and which constrained even the most sensual to cry out, My Lord--my God! This passage proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the humanity of the Lord is itself divine: for, otherwise, such effects could not follow its mere presentation. Jesus Christ, then, is Lord and God, and as such must possess every divine attribute.

But the Lords own language in the Apocalypse, indicates, if possible, still more clearly, that he has all the attributes of God. He there says, (ch. i. 8,) "I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End: which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Here he, if not in express language, at least in language which can bear no other import, claims to himself eternity, infinity, omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. You are aware that alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Taken in the above connection, therefore, they must signify what is absolutely first and last: that is, absolute being through all its gradations. Now Jesus Christ is first and last in this sense, because Jehovah, or the essential divinity, is in him as a soul in a bodily form. For the essential divinity being in him as a soul, he has within him all first principles: and all ultimate principles being congregated in the bodily form of this soul, be has likewise in him all last principles. His essence is God, his form is man. And as the form can have nothing but what it derives from the essence, and is of a nature altogether correspondent to the essence, he is also God in ultimates as well as God in intimates. He is thus essential and actual being--lives in all life and extends through all extent--is very and eternal God. He is the Beginning and the End--which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. These words need no comment. The commonest minds must understand their meaning and feel their force. They imply infinity; for such must be the meaning of beginning and ending when taken in an absolute sense. They imply eternity, for such is the manifest meaning of all time--present, past and future. They imply omniscience and omnipresence; for these are the consequence of infinity and eternity. And they expressly assert omnipotence; for they say he is the Almighty.

Nor can there be any doubt that it is Jesus Christ, or the Divine Humanity, which is speaking. For John afterwards describes his person, as "one like unto the Son of Man,"(ch. i. 13;) and then says, (ch. i. 17,) "when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead: and he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last." It was, then, this person, in a human form, like unto the Son of Man--all the principal parts of which form are described--who said, in the verse we first quoted, and again in the eleventh verse, "I am Alpha and Omega." Now it is this divine human form which we are to understand by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, then, is Alpha and Omega. There can be no doubt that John understood it thus: for in the first verse of the first chapter he says, "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John." Now some minds may apprehend that John makes a distinction in this verse between Jesus Christ and God; and to such it may seem a matter of doubt whether Jesus Christ or God sent his angel unto John. But if we compare the sixth and sixteenth verses of the twenty-second chapter, doubt on this subject will vanish. In the sixth verse are these words: "And the Lord God of the holy prophets, sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done:" and in the sixteenth, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches." From these two verses taken together, it is evident that Jesus and the Lord God of the holy prophets are one person; and it amounts to the same thing whether God sent his angel or Jesus sent his angel.

Observe too, in the seventh verse, immediately after the words, "And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done"--these words, "Behold I come quickly:" which, evidently, in this connection, refer to the Lord God of the holy prophets. Then glance your eye to the twentieth verse, and read, "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly;" and hear John add, "Amen, Even so come, Lord Jesus"--and you can have no doubt that John identified the Lord Jesus with the Lord God of the holy prophets, and hence must have regarded him as the Alpha and the Omega. Jesus Christ, therefore, is possessed of all divine attributes; and, consequently, is very and eternal God.



Now we presume there cannot be a doubt in the mind of any truly rational man, that the conclusion to which we have come is fairly deducible from the texts of Scripture brought forward; and, therefore, that Jesus Christ has ascribed to him all the divine attributes in general. This point then is settled. And here we might leave it. But we will detain you with a remark or two upon our text; in which the same doctrine is clearly set forth.

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth." Here the omnipotence of Jesus Christ is unequivocally shown; and with it every other divine attribute. For divine attributes are inseparable; and the possession of one implies the possession of all the rest. He has all power in heaven and on earth. He has therefore the power of seeing all things and of being every where. Thus he has omniscience and omnipresence; and of course every other characteristic of God.

We are aware that the word given in this passage seems to imply that there is a power superior to Jesus; and hence that his power is but delegated. But this is only an appearance, similar to many others in the Word, where Jesus is represented as separate from God. This subject, however, is particularly discussed on another occasion; and we will not dwell upon it now. We will here only remark that the difficulty arises from attaching to the word given a natural idea, that is an idea derived from lime and space; which supposes distinct personality in the giver and receiver, and a separation between him that gives and him that receives. But all this difficulty vanishes when we attach to the word given a spiritual idea. According to such an idea Jehovah gives all power to Jesus, in the same sense that my soul gives all its power to my body, or an essence gives all its power to its form, or a cause gives all its power to its effect. And you might just as well argue that my body is separate from my soul, or a form is separate from its essence, because the power of the one is given to it by the other, as argue that Jesus is separate from Jehovah, because all power is given to him by Jehovah. Every interior principle is full and perfect in its ultimate; and has no power without its ultimate. Thus my soul has no power without its body; affection has no power without thought; will no power without understanding; virtue no power without wisdom: and these spiritual principles together have no power without a bodily organization in which they are ultimated, and by which they manifest themselves. So the divine essence has no power without its form Jehovah has no power without his body. But the essential divine principle is full and perfect in its ultimate, and has all power by its ultimate. Thus the divine soul gives all power to its body. And thus Jesus, the body or Jehovah, has all power given unto him in heaven and on earth.

But we waive this subject. It is not relevant here. The question before us is, whether the humanity is divine--not how the divine attributes: there can be no question that the divine essence does. Now it seems to us there could not be a passage it became so. The question is, whether the humanity possesses the divine attributes: there can be no question that the divine essence does. Now it seems to us there could not be a passage more perfectly in point than our text. "Jesus came and spake"--they saw him and heard him. It was not an impalpable, incomprehensible, inconceivable, unseen and unknown being; it was some thing that came and spake: it was a divine human form which came and spake unto them, saying, "all power is given unto me in heaven and on earth." The form that spake possessed all power. Jesus possessed all power. And as "Jesus is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever," he, therefore, possesses all power now. Hence it is perfectly manifest that the humanity has all power. Thus it is clear that Jesus is omnipotent. It is no matter how he became so, or when he became so. That is not the question. The question is, is the human possessed of divine attributes now. This is settled. Jesus is omnipotent. And if omnipotent, then he is possessed of all divine attributes: and if possessed of divine attributes, then he is God: and if God--should be worshiped. Hereafter we shall proceed to show that he was actually worshiped when on earth, and that he is now worshiped in heaven.

We shall conclude this part of our series with two reflections.

First, if Jesus Christ has all power in heaven and on earth--is hence God, and ought to be worshiped, then we ought to address our prayers to him directly. When, in your worldly vocations, you want any favours, do you not go to those who are able to give them to you and ask them For them? If, now, Jesus Christ has all power in heaven and on earth, he is able to give you whatever you want, or can ask for, in heaven or on earth. Should you not then ask him for what you desire? thus should you net pray to him?

But you say, we are commanded to pray to the father, and to supplicate him to have mercy on us for Jesus Christs sake. It is true the Lord has said, "whatsoever ye shall ask the father in my name, he will give it you." But the name of Jesus in this passage means Jesus himself--his name is his quality, his state; and we ask in his name, when we ask from a quality and state similar to his--when we ask from his spirit abiding in us and dictating to us what we shall ask. And the father will give us whatsoever we ask from this spirit, because it will be according to his order to grant it. But if we were to ask from our own spirit, that is in our own name, the father could not grant it because it would not be good for us.

Again, the name of Jesus means Jesus himself; and Jesus is the form, the body, the express image of the rather. Hence, we pray to the father in the name of Jesus when we pray to Jesus himself as the personal manifestation of God. For the father is in Jesus, and we come to the rather in him and through him. He does not mean that we should put up verbal petitions to the father as a separate being, in the mere words Jesus Christ. This is taking in a far too literal sense the Lords words, which he elsewhere says are spirit and are life. And how are we to come to the father, unless we come to him in Jesus Christ? and how are we to pray to him unless we pray to him in Jesus Christ? Where is he? What is he? How can you conceive of him? How can you think of him? You may pray to something out of Jesus Christ, which you call the father: but it is a thing of your own imagination. It is not really the father; and when you pray to it, you do not pray really to the father, you only pray to your own imagination of the father. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father but by me." Now by coming to the father, he does not mean walking up to him with our bodies. He means approaching him spiritually, mentally; that is, coming to him in thought: and this we do in prayer. No man, therefore, prays to the father unless he prays to Jesus Christ in his proper person. No man prays to the father, unless he thinks of Jesus Christ at the same time that he thinks of the father. Again he says, "I and the father are one;" "I am in the father and the father in me;" "he that hath seen me hath seen the father." Now by seeing he does not mean corporeal sight, but spiritual or mental sight. Therefore, he that mentally sees Jesus mentally sees the father. That is, he who thinks of Jesus, has, in so far, the father in his thought at the same time: because Jesus is " the form of God" and the "express image of his substance:" so that he who sees Jesus must at the same time see the father in the only way in which he can be seen. For no man has at any time seen God in his essence, and no plan can so see him and live. But to see Jesus in thought is to see the father in him, as a divine essence in its appropriate divine form. Now this mental sight is exercised in prayer. Hence praying to Jesus is praying to the father. And hence to pray to the father in the name of Jesus is, in one sense, to pray to the Divine Being in 'that divine human form by which he has manifested himself. Thus it is to pray to Jesus Christ himself.

Wherefore, we are not required by the Lords command to pray to the father as a being out of Jesus Christ, and to supplicate of him spiritual favours for the sake of Jesus Christ as a being distinct from him. And, consequently, it is a direct inference from our text, that, if Jesus Christ is God, we should offer up our prayers to him directly.

Secondly, As Jesus Christ is God, he should be the object of our highest reverence and love.

We should reverence him, because he is the source of all truth; and we should love him because he is the source of all good. He says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." He is the word which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He is, therefore, the great fountain of wisdom, and the source of all human intelligence. And as he has "all power in heaven and on earth;" and as "a man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven;" therefore, a man can receive nothing except it be given him from Jesus Christ: who is thus the "giver of every good and perfect gift."

Now we are accustomed to reverence and love men for their wisdom and virtue. Those who are learned, experienced and sage, we ever treat with deference. We have respect to their opinions, and treasure up their sayings. We seek their advice and regulate our conduct by it. We hold them in honour, rise in their presence, and are silent while they speak. But if all this is due and paid to men noted for their wisdom, how much rather ought it to be paid to Him who is wisdom itself. But you ask how are we to reverence him? We answer by attending to, and paying deference to what he says in, his Word. The wise man lives and speaks in his writings, when his body has left our sight and is mouldering in the dust. In them are contained his choicest thoughts, hit; deepest reflections, his most deliberate judgments, the sums total of his knowledge, the results of his experience, and his wisest maxims. If we were wont to reverence him, we reverence these his writings. We procure them with avidity, preserve them with care, peruse them with attention, and carefully reduce to practice the maxims they contain. So too, our Lord, though he has left the earth, so as not to be visible to our bodily eyes, yet he lives and speaks to us in his Word. If, then, we would reverence him, we will reverence his Word. We will procure it, if we have it not; we will value it above price; we will read it with the most profound attention; and we will most scrupulously practice its precepts. For "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb." (Ps. xix. 7-10.) And the Lord has said, "Search the Scriptures, for they are they which testify of me."

Therefore, if we would honour the Lord, we shall study diligently his Word, and regulate all our conduct by its precepts. And in like manner shall we: express towards; him our love. For he says, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me;" and "if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him." "Amen. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus," and take up in us thy everlasting abode!


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 9        SERMON VIII.

PSALM II. 10.

"Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little."

IN discussing the doctrine of the Lord, we come now, in the series which has been proposed, to the consideration of the proper object of Christian worship.

Both of the principal divisions of the old Christian church, namely the Trinitarians and the Unitarians, with whose views we have been comparing and contrasting the views of the new-jerusalem church, regard God as an invisible and incomprehensible divine essence. The Unitarians, especially, think it essential idolatry to conceive of God as existing in form. Therefore they, in worship, approach the Deity as a mere principle of goodness, mercy, wisdom, or power, which is inconceivable in any embodyment appreciable to human thought or to any human faculty.

The Trinitarians, too, expressly define God as a being "without body, parts or passions;" and, in the thought and feeling of their worship, endeavour to approach directly the unembodied divine essence. Thus they pray to the father directly, and implore him to grant them divine favours for the sake of the son.

Hence both Trinitarians and Unitarians regard the essential divinity as the proper object of worship. They worship directly the active principle of the godhead.

But the new-jerusalem church, on the contrary, looks to the reactive principle of the godhead as the appropriate object of her worship. That is, she regards the active only in the reactive. She worships the son as the image, the likeness, the glory, the wisdom, the power, and thus the full embodyment of the father. She does not, indeed, regard the form or person of God as God himself, but she does not attempt to conceive of God except in and through his form, and does not attempt to approach to God in thought except through his person. She does not therefore worship his person, but his qualities in his person. She worships his love and his wisdom in their appropriate manifestation. Hence, as Jesus Christ is the full and most appropriate manifestation of divine love and divine wisdom, she regards him as the proper object of worship: that is, the new-jerusalem church believes that Jesus Christ should be the object of thought whenever the human mind endeavours to form any conception of what the divine love or the divine wisdom is, and that the divine love and the divine wisdom should be regarded and loved in his person as well as received into our souls by the regenerating influences of the divine sphere which incessantly proceeds from his person as a glorified divine-human essence. In short, the new-jerusalem church teaches that, whenever we think of God, we must think of Jesus Christ; and whenever we think of Jesus Christ, we must think of God.

This chief tenet of her faith, as well as all others of minor consequence, the new church founds upon the Word. And among the passages of the Word by which this tenet may be confirmed, our present text stands forth conspicuous.

"Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little." In discoursing upon these words, we intend to show, first, that the son ought to be worshiped; and, secondly, that the son whom we are here commanded to worship, is Jesus Christ.

In the first place, the son is the proper object of worship. This follows from the spiritual signification of the verse from which our text is taken. For, "Kiss the son," signifies conjunction with the Lord by love. "Lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way," signifies, lest evils invade you, and ye be condemned: for to be angry, when it is said of the Lord, signifies the aversion or turning away of men from him, consequently their anger and not the Lords; and evils [that is the passions and conduct which flow from self-love and love of the world] are the things which cause men to avert themselves, and afterwards cause them to be angry. "Because his anger will kindle shortly," signifies the last judgment, and the casting down of the evil into hell. "Blessed are all they that put their trust in him," signifies salvation by love and faith in the Lord. (Ap. Ex. 684.)

Hence when we are commanded to kiss the son, it is manifestly signified that we should worship him. For the kiss is a sign of love; and hence the act of kissing denotes conjunction from love. Therefore to kiss the son signifies conjunction with him from love. Now conjunction from love implies every kind and degree of worship. For, as Paul says, "love is the fulfilment of the law;" and the law, which is the divine truth, embraces every formulary of faith and worship. Love implies the keeping the Lords commandments; for Jesus says, "He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:" and this implies conformity to all the requisitions of the Gospel, wherein prayer, and its modes, the ordinances, and all the observances of the Christian church, are set forth and enjoined.

Thus conjunction from love implies every kind and degree of worship. Hence to kiss the son implies the worship of the son. It does not imply merely the verbal ascription of honour to him, by saying that he is God, and thinking him equal with the father; but it implies the actual rendering of honour to him as God himself--to him as the sole or only God: for it implies that we should give him our love, whereas it is expressly commanded that we should "love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind. Hence, as we are commanded to kiss the son, that is, to love and serve him, the son must be the Lord our God.

And if we are to be conjoined to the son from love, and this implies all worship, then we are to love and worship him alone for it is written, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

Thus we are to worship the son as God alone, and we are to serve him only. We are to pray to him alone; for to pray to another, would be to worship that other: and we pray to another than the son, when we pray to the father out of the son. Hence we are not to pray to the father for the sake of the son. For we are commanded to kiss the son, not to kiss the father.

We are commanded to "honour the sea, even as we honour the father;" and "he that honoureth not the son, honoureth not the father who sent him." Hence we are to pray to the son; for this is to honour him: and he that prayeth not to the son, prayeth not to the father.

All who are heavily laden are to come unto the son for rest. To him it "every knee is to bow, of things in heaven, things in earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue is to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father:" for unless we bow the knee and confess to the son, we cannot worship the father, or render glory to him; because the father and the son are one; the father is in the son and the son is in the father; and no man can come to the father but by the son. Hence the son must be approached directly.

The son is the door by which we are to enter to the father; and he that climbs up any other way is a thief and a robber. Hence we are not to make to ourselves any graven image of the father--we are not to devise in our own minds any general, indistinct, or bodiless notions of divine goodness, excellence, or perfection; thus we are not to form in our imagination any conceptions of the rather as a being separate from Jesus; but we are to go to the father in Jesus--we are to know what divine goodness is by studying what is good in him, and to know what is good in him we must have him formed in us by regeneration. For he is the express image, the bodily manifestation, of the fathers substance--he is in the bosom of the father and by his character brings him forth to view; and by regeneration from him we have our sins wiped away, and, being made new creatures in Christ by having Christ formed in us the hope of glory, we know who the father is by thus knowing Christ.

We must go, therefore, to the son to have our sins forgiven: for though we know that no one can forgive sins but God only, yet we also know "that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins;" and hence we must go to the Son of Man to have our sins forgiven. And we must go to the Son of Man alone. We must not go to the father out of the son. For if the father out of the son forgives sins, and the son himself also forgives sins; then there are two beings who forgive sins; thus there are two Gods: because God only forgives sins. But "the Lord our God is one Lord." (Deut. vi. 4.-Mark, xii. 29.) And "to the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses." (Dan. ix. 9.) And the son of man hath power to forgive sins. Thus the son of man is the one Lord, who is the Lord our God, to whom belong mercies and forgivenesses; and to whom alone, therefore, we are to go to have our sins forgiven. And thus there are not two beings who forgive sins: and hence we are not to go to the father out of the son, by praying to him to forgive our sins for the sons sake; but we are to go to the father in the son, and to pray to the son himself, as "the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace, who hath the government upon his own shoulders," and pray to him to forgive us our sins, "for his own names sake," (Jer. xiv. 7,)
and "for his mercies sake." (Ps. vi. 4.)

All things whatsoever we ask in the sons name, that the son will do: or whatsoever we ask the father in the sons name--that is, in the sons person and character--that the father will do. For all things that the father hath are the sons also. Hence, all worship is to be paid to the son, and only through the son to the father. "Whosoever denieth the son, the same hath not the father: but he that acknowledgeth the son hath the father also." (2 John, ii. 23.) For the father dwelleth is the son; since in him "dwells all the fulness of the godhead bodily:" and is manifested only by and through the son; since "no man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten son, which is in the bosom of the father, he hath declared him." "No man," therefore, "cometh unto the father but by the son." (John, xiv. 6.) Hence, no man can worship the father, except he worship the son. The son, therefore, is to be worshiped. Wherefore, "Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little."

But, in the second place, let us inquire, who is this son, whom we are commanded to worship upon so heavy a penalty? Some, as we have before stated, hold that he is a son born from eternity, who is equal in all respects to the father, and who descended and assumed human nature upon earth. And hence this son of God from eternity is the divine nature of Christ, from which his human nature was begotten. Hence they seem to maintain that there are two sons of God--one begotten from eternity, and the other begotten in time. And, as has also been said, they make such a distinction between the divine and human natures of Christ, that the human is not an object of worship; for they make his human to differ in no respect from that of a mere man.

But we maintain that the son alluded to in the text is the son born in time, and not a son born from eternity. We maintain that it is the human nature which Jehovah himself assumed and glorified upon earth. In other words, by the son is here meant the Divine Humanity, which is called Jesus Christ. This is evident from the fact that John, speaking of the word made flesh, calls him the only begotten of the father. (ch. i. 14.) And that the word made flesh is Jesus Christ, is manifest: for John says, (verse 14,) "The word was made flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth." Yet he says, (verse 17,) "but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ, then, and the word made flesh are one and the same. Again, (verse 15,) John bare witness of him, (that is, of the word made flesh,) and cried, saying, "This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me, is preferred before me; for he was before me." And, (verses 29, 30,) "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man, which is preferred before me: for he was before me:"--thus expressly and completely identifying Jesus with the word made flesh. But Jesus and the word made flesh being the same, and the word made flesh being the only begotten of the father, Jesus, therefore, is the only begotten of the father.

This may be still further confirmed. For, in Matt. iii. 16, 17, it is said,--"when Jesus was baptized, and went up out of the water, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." And John, (i. 32, 34,) bare record of Jesus," saying, I saw the spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I saw and bare record that this is the son of God." But he had said (verse 18,) "No-man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the father, he hath declared him."

Now it appears from this, that there is but one son begotten of God. And Jesus is shown to be the son of God, both by the voice from heaven, and the express declaration of John his forerunner. Jesus Christ, therefore, is the only begotten son of God.

So when Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John, (Matt. xvii. 1-5,) a voice out of the cloud said, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." In this passage there cannot be a question that Jesus is designated as the son of God.

But Jesus himself settles this point, by what he says in John, (ix. 35-37,) to the man born blind, to whom he had given sight, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee:"--thus directly asserting that he was the son of God. Now compare this with the eighteenth verse of the first chapter of John already quoted, "No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten son, which is in the bosom of the father, he hath declared him:" and you cannot for a moment hesitate to admit that Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God.

You may gather this, too, from the First Epistle of John. For instance, in ch. iv. 9, "In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten son into the world, that we might live through him." And in verses 14, 15, "we have seen and do testify, that the father sent the son to be the saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God." He had before said, too, in the second verse,
"Hereby know ye the spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God." Now put these things together, and you cannot resist the conclusion, that Jesus Christ is not only the son, but is the only begotten son of God.

We feel warranted in asserting, then, that the idea of a son of God born from eternity is no where held forth in the Word. If you examine the Word attentively, you will find there is but one son of God--an only begotten son, namely, the word made flesh, which was a son begotten in time, and was called Jesus Christ.

We admit that a son of God has existed ever since creation, namely, the divine truth, which is the form and manifestation of the divine goodness, and which is the word that was in the beginning with God and was God, by whom every thing was made that was made. And in the sense of proceeding from, this son may be said to be born, from eternity. But it cannot be said to be begotten, because this term implies a beginning to exist. Nor can it be said to be born, so far as born and begotten are synonymous in this sense. For it is manifest that this son was not born in this sense from eternity, because it is said "In the beginning was the word," and eternity has no beginning. In fact, it is not possible that there could be any son of God before creation; because, according to this sacred record itself, the son is he by whom all things were made: in other words, the son is that emanation of the Divine Being which produces creation as an inevitable result. Thus the son can no more exist without creation than a cause can exist without its effect. The son is "the wisdom of God and the power of God;" and you see clearly that the wisdom and the power of God cannot possibly exist but in his divine acts or operations, which are the manifestations of his power and wisdom, and these are creation. So that, as the wisdom of God and the power of God can have no possible existence without the manifestations of divine wisdom and power, thus without the works of creation--just as, comparatively, the concussion of the atmosphere cannot exist without sound, or any other cause cannot exist without its effect--in like manner the son of God could have no possible existence without creation. And, therefore, there could not possibly be a son of God born from eternity; because creation must take place in time. Hence we maintain there is but one son of God--an only begotten son, namely the word which was a son begotten in time. In the very begetting of this son of God, time commenced. And hence it is said "In the beginning was the word." And it is manifest that this son of God, which was in the beginning, and Jesus Christ are the same. For Jesus Christ was this very word made flesh. Hence Paul speaks of Jesus Christ as "the same yesterday, to-day and for ever." And John (1 Ep. iv. 3) says, "every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God"--thus intimating that Jesus Christ had an existence before he came in the flesh; and of course was the son of God that was in the beginning with God and was God. But there is a distinction between a son existing or proceeding in the beginning with God, and a son born or begotten of God. The son existing in the beginning is the first or inmost manifestation of the Divinity, that is, the most proximate sphere of the divine essence; and the son born, or, as Paul expresses it, "the first begotten brought into the world," is the last or outermost manifestation of the Divinity. The one is the Alpha, the other is the Omega. And as we cannot suppose a state of divine inaction; hence must suppose creation infinite, and thus as far as our conceptions go, eternal, there must have been, in one sense, a son of God existing from eternity--that is, there must have been a son of God in every point of time: thus a soil of God has existed throughout all time; and all time is to us eternal time. But the son of God was born in one point of time; and of course was not born or begotten from eternity. Hence it is said that the word which was in the beginning was made flesh, and dwelt among us: that is, the divine truth came into a state and form accommodated to our perceptions; and thus the infinite was finited for our salvation.

There is, then, clearly a distinction between a son born or existing from eternity and a son born or begotten from eternity. And though, in a certain sense, we may suppose a son of God to have existed from eternity, yet it is totally absurd to suppose son of God begotten from eternity. The truth is that the son of God existing from eternity, was born in time. And thus the son existing and the son born are the same. Wherefore, we say there is but one son of God. And we say there was an only begotten son, namely, the word made flesh. For the son which is in the beginning, that is, the word itself which was made flesh, was not also the begotten son of God; because John expressly says "the word was God." Hence God himself was made flesh; and for this reason the child which was conceived of the holy ghost and born of the virgin, was called Emmanuel, God-with-us. This child was also called Jesus because he saves his people from their sins; and Jesus Christ, because in him dwells all the fulness of the godhead bodily: and these two terms signify that fulness, Jesus signifying the divine good, and Christ, the divine truth.

Jesus Christ, then, or the son born in time, or the divine human nature of Jehovah God, which he manifested and glorified upon earth, is the son referred to in our text. And hence our text, at the time it was written, had a prophetic bearing, and referred to the Messiah who was then to come, and not to a son who had existed from eternity.

Paul also shows this clearly and unequivocally in his Epistle to the Hebrews, in which he quotes a passage of this very Psalm, and applies it expressly to Christ--as you will find in the fifth chapter at the fifth verse. "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but He that said unto him, Thou art my son, to-day have I begotten thee." Thus he shows, without a shadow of doubt, that the son alluded to in out text is Jesus Christ, and not a son who had been born from eternity and who had an individuality distinct from the father. For he not only in express language identifies Christ with the son mentioned in our text, but says he "glorified not himself:" whereas, if he, as to his divine nature, had been an individuality distinct from the father and yet equal with the father, he would have glorified himself by his own proper power.

Here we may observe, by the way, the fallacy of those who ground salvation upon a righteousness wrought out by the son to appease the father. For the righteousness of the son must have been his glory. And hence the righteousness which he wrought out must have been the glorification of himself. Yet he did not glorify himself by any distinctive power. But the father glorified him. The same doctrine is taught by the Lord where he says, (John, xii. 28,) "Father glorify thy name:" and again, (John, xiii. 28,) "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him." Hence the righteousness of Jesus Christ is the righteousness of the father in him. And it is absurd to suppose that the father wrought out a righteousness to appease his own wrath.

But, to return, if now Christ was the son of God alluded to in the text, and he had not a divine self-hood, that is, an appropriate divine nature distinct from the father, but was divine by virtue of the glorification which the rather wrought in him--then the son of God to which the text alludes, is not a distinct divine individuality born from eternity. This view Paul confirms, when he says, in the beginning of the epistle, "God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath, in these last days, spoken unto us by his son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who, being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High, being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee?" And again, "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son?" And again, "when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, Let all the angels of God worship him." (ch. i. 1-6.)

Could any thing be more to the point than this quotation? Here Paul mentions Gods speaking to us in these last days by his son: thus showing that the son is the humanity which was born in time.

But especially mark these words: "When he bringeth the first-begotten into the world, he saith, Let all the angels of God worship him." By this passage all we are contending for is established. For it shows that the first-begotten was brought into the world: of course, he was not begotten from eternity. This term first-begotten, may signify, either that which was begotten in the beginning now brought forth in this particular point of time, or what is now begotten for the first time. But in either case it must allude to only one begotten. For if it does not, and if it alludes to priority of birth in one among several, then it would follow that there are more than one begotten. But it has been clearly shown that the son of God is his only begotten son. The first and only begotten son, then, was the son which was brought into the world. Consequently, there could not have been a son begotten from eternity.

Moreover, the angels of God are expressly commanded to worship this son which was brought into the world. For it is said, "Let all the angels of God worship him." Now, if the angels of God are to worship this son, surely he ought to be worshiped by men.

Thus this single passage of Paul proves the two points for which we have been contending, namely, that there is not a son born from eternity, but a son born in time; and that the son born in time, that is the human nature of the Lord, ought to be worshiped. And in the fourth chapter, at the fourteenth verse, we find Paul saying, "we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, Be son of God." Here he most clearly identifies Jesus with the son of God. Wherefore Jesus is the first-begotten who was brought into the world, whom angels were commanded to worship, and whom consequently men ought to worship.

Thus, then, is it established that Jesus Christ is the son referred to in the text, and therefore is the legitimate and sole object of Christian worship. On another occasion we shall show that Jesus Christ was worshiped when upon earth.

The remainder of our text suggests so much matter of the most important consideration that our time will not allow us to dwell upon it. We will therefore conclude by illustrating it with one or two familiar comparisons.

It is conceded on all hands that the Creator of the Universe, "who only hath immortality, dwells in light which no man can approach unto." Hence, in his essential nature, he is a being "Whom no man hath seen, nor can see." Yet, as he is the source of all life and blessedness, it is manifest that man cannot enjoy the felicities of eternal life without conjunction with him. If, then, the great and glorious Jehovah did not descend from his essential and hidden nature, and, by an accommodated presentation make himself approachable and apprehensible by man, it is perfectly clear that man could not possibly enjoy the blessedness of eternal life. Now, to render himself approachable and apprehensible by man, Jehovah must make himself the subject of mans thought and affection. For the whole of man is referable to two universal principles of his being, namely, his love and his wisdom. Love is his essential life, and wisdom is the form which that life acquires to itself by the reception and appropriation of truth. From love comes will and perception: from wisdom comes understanding and thought. Love feels, wisdom sees. The object of love is good: the object of wisdom is truth. Truth is the form of a thing, good is its quality. Truth, abstractly, is form, in which good inheres as quality. Hence the love of man perceives, that is, feels good, and the wisdom of man understands, that is, sees truth. The thought of man is nothing more than his mental cognizance of some form in his imaginative faculty. And when his thought is the mental cognizance of the entire form of a thing, he is said to understand that thing. And the form of a thing thus taken cognizance of by the minds seeing faculty, is a medium whereby the affection of the love perceives, reels, and delights in the good of that thing, which is its essence manifesting itself as the quality of its form. And it is perfectly clear that nothing can approach, or come into man, which does not thus enter by his thought into his affection. For, although good may flow from the Lord immediately into the will and its affections, still, if there were not truth in the understanding, or knowledge and science in the life, to react upon it, it would pass off unperceived, and without any abiding place.

Now it is self-evident that an essence cannot exist out of its form; and therefore cannot be perceived out of its form. But, from what has been said, it is clear that the quality of a form cannot be perceived, until the form itself is a subject of thought. Hence, if an essence does not present itself in form, so that its form can be seen in thought, it is totally impossible that man can ever know any thing about, or be affected with, that essence. This is universal. And hence unless Jehovah, who is the Essence of all essences, presents himself in form so that his form also can be seen in thought, it is totally impossible that man can ever know any thing about, or feel any affection for him.

Now the form of Jehovah is the wisdom, or the word, or the truth of God; and this form is presented to the thought of man in Jesus Christ, who is the word made flesh. Hence, if man does not think of Jesus Christ as God, it is totally impossible for him ever to know any thing about, or to feel any affection for, God. And therefore, if he rejects Jesus Christ as God, he must sink in endless perdition. For there is "no other name given under heaven whereby we can be saved." This is the reason that we are commanded to kiss the son. And this is the reason why, if we do not kiss the son, we must perish!

The case, then, is this: Jehovah in his essential nature is invisible and unapproachable by man. But man cannot be blest unless he does in some measure see, approach and become conjoined to Jehovah. And man cannot spiritually see, approach and become conjoined to Jehovah, unless Jehovah so presents himself in form that he can be an object of mans thought and affection: In order, therefore, to save and bless man, Jehovah has actually so presented himself in form in the person of his only begotten son. If, then, man denies and rejects this son, he must inevitably be lost.

The fact is, that man is fallen. By a perversion and abuse of his faculties he has so estranged himself from his Heavenly Father that he is utterly unfit for conjunction with him, and unless his nature is changed, he must plunge into remediless ruin. Now in this his deplorable condition, Jehovah,--who is a being of infinite love and mercy, who desires not the death of a sinner, but had rather he would turn from his wickedness and live, and whose bowels of tender mercies yearn over his fallen creatures with infinite compassion,--descends to earth, and so accommodates himself to man that he can communicate with him, and, by imparting to him his divine life, can raise him from the defilements in which he is immersed to the purity and bliss of heaven. This is the way which Jehovah has actually adopted. And we are to presume that this is the only way in which man can be redeemed or saved. For, as we have said on another occasion, it is clear that infinite wisdom can take but one course to attain the ends of divine love--namely, the: best course: and, therefore, the way which infinite wisdom actually does point out for mans salvation, is the only way in which he can be adequately saved. Consequently, if man neglects this way--if he will not come onto his God thus manifested, that he may have life--if he perversely marks out for himself some other way than that which has been indicated by Him who is "the way, the truth, and the life," what alternative Fan there be but that he must perish!

To feel the force of the latter clause of our text still more strongly, we may use the following illustration. Suppose all men were labouring under an epidemic disease, which so prostrated their strength, and paralyzed their faculties, that they could neither devise a remedy for themselves, nor apply one when devised. And suppose a spiritual agent was to enter into a body like to theirs, undergo himself the disease, and by conformity to the rules of the most perfect medical skill, cure his own body and gain that sensible experience of the nature of the disease which would enable him to prescribe for the cure and restoration to perfect health of those who were dying around him. But suppose, because he appeared to be a weak mortal like themselves, they were to despise him, scorn his prescriptions, and, in the delirium of their disordered imaginations, were to eat and drink those things which were most palatable to their diseased appetites: would not death be the inevitable consequence, and a death aggravated by pains and torments proportioned to the indulgence of their morbid propensities?

Now this is precisely what results in a spiritual way to who reject Jesus Christ as the manifested Jehovah healing body of human nature which he assumed in the womb of the virgin, and who imagine salvation to consist in any thing but a life according to his commandments. This natural picture portrays most accurately the present spiritual condition of the world. We have estranged ourselves from God. We have degenerated from the purity, and lost the bliss, of angelic perfection. We are spiritually diseased. Our moral strength is prostrated, and our spiritual faculties are paralyzed. And though we think we live, and are glorying and boasting in our strength, it is nothing but feverish excitement, and the ravings of delirium. We are sunk in selfishness and worldly-mindedness. "The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment." (Is. I.) And in this our state of utter helplessness, Jehovah himself has descended. The Great Physician of Souls has visited us. He has taken upon himself our diseased body. By conforming to the prescriptions of divine truth, he has restored it to perfect health. And by and through the mode of treatment in this his own case, he has left us such a curative formulary--such rules of life--as will, by his continued assistance, enable us, in like manner, to attain to spiritual health. He has himself overcome "the world, the flesh and the devil," and has commanded us to deny ourselves, to take up our cross daily, and to follow him. He has commanded us to mortify our selfish propensities, to renounce the world, and to love God supremely and our neighbour as ourselves. For without this love, we can never enjoy conjunction with him, nor consociation with angels in heaven, but must die the second death.

But mankind, too generally, are not willing to give up themselves and the world. They maintain that self-love is natural to us, and therefore allowable. And, instead of following the Lords example, and pouring out their "soul even unto death"--instead of being willing to "lose their life for the Lords sake, that they might find it"--instead of being willing "to lay down their life for the brethren"--they set about refining the principle of self-love, and maintain that, when properly regulated, it is the fountain head of virtue. Thus they take their cure into their own hands; and in their fancied strength and superior wisdom, they despise the humiliating prescriptions of the meek and humble Jesus. They "will not have this man to rule over them." They make to themselves a god, whom they worship, and whom they can worship, without giving up self. They pass by and slight the appointed medium of their salvation--turn from Him who "giveth that water which would be in them a well of water springing up into everlasting life," and "hew out to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, which will hold no water." They create for themselves imaginary heavens in the delights of forbidden loves, and so confirm themselves in the principles which justify these Loves and make them seem allowable, as to render their minds impervious to the light of heaven, and their hearts callous to its sanative effects. In vain, then, does the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings: for the morbid state of their affections turns his genial influences into effects of a contrary nature, and their immortal souls perish as to all that is good, and exist only as loathsome forms of spiritual putrescence. Love to God--that heavenly flame which warms and dilates angelic hearts--becomes in their breasts the love of self. And this principle with all its appearances of life, is death. Yes! refine it, gild it, polish it as you may, it is nothing else but death! For it is death to the Lords life: and therefore it is death to heaven--death to angelic consociation and angelic bliss!

This is the death which man inevitably dies when he goes away from the Lord Jesus Christ to any other as having the words of eternal life. For God hath given to him a name which is above every name. The divine essence which was in Jesus by conception, has by its full development in his character, given him the quality of divine truth and divine goodness. And that soul whose knee bows not at the name of Jesus, or whose tongue confesses not that he is Lord--that soul whose understanding does not bend its own intelligence, and see and receive truth as it is in Jesus, and whose will and affections do not perceive that the good which is in Jesus is the divine good, and do not appropriate that good to themselves, and thus do not become good as he is good--that soul whose knee does not thus bend at the name of Jesus, and whose tongue does not thus confess that he is Lord; that soul, I say, does not and cannot "with the heart believe unto righteousness, and with the mouth make confession unto salvation"--that soul does not and cannot swell with the heavings of divine benevolence, and thus live in the activities correspondent to divine beneficence, but must die the death of sordid and unmingled selfishness!


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 10        SERMON IX.

MATTHEW, XXVIII. 9.

"And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him."

IN our last discourse we showed conclusively that the son is to be worshiped; and as conclusively that by this son, is not meant a son born from eternity, but a son begotten in time--that is, a human nature and form manifested by Jehovah God himself upon earth, and called Jesus Christ. Hence we have shown upon scriptural authority, that Jesus Christ ought to be directly worshiped. And we have now to prove that he was actually worshiped when on earth.

A preliminary question here: naturally presents itself--what is worship? Worship consists in two things, an internal feeling and an external act. It is a feeling of reverence, awe and profound humiliation proceeding from fear or love, and accompanied by a correspondent bodily prostration. The Divine Being is the only proper object of this feeling, and before him alone should we thus prostrate ourselves. For he only is possessed of those perfections which deserve our supreme love. He is all-good, all-wise and almighty; and all goodness, wisdom and power in others are derived from him. Hence he has expressly commanded, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness, of any thing in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, or serve them." (Exod. xx. 3-55.) And again, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (Matt. iv. 10.) But men, having become estranged from God, in their ignorance, their weakness and their wickedness, have "worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator." They actually worship whatever they love or fear. And when they know nothing of the true God, or do not love him, they attribute what is divine to the objects which they do love or fear, and pay them that honour and reverence which is due to God only.

By superior knowledge, greater power, or in some other way, some men can command the lives and property, or control the welfare of others; and thus become the objects of love or fear to those who are in this way subject to them. And when this love or fear is in activity, it produces a greater or less prostration of the body, according to the intensity of the feeling. Hence a subject prostrates himself before his king--a captive before his conqueror--a lover before his mistress--the suppliant of mercy before the highwayman who is about to take his life. This is the reason that we incline our bodies in bowing to those whom we respect or love, or whose: favour we wish for any reason to conciliate. This is the deference which we invariably pay to goodness, or wisdom, or power. And it is a deference paid to men on account of those qualities which, when considered abstractedly from them, are divine.

So far as this deference is paid to the dualities of goodness, wisdom, or power themselves as divine, and to men for the sake of them, so far it is proper: for it is the worshiping the Creator in the creature as his legitimate representative. For this reason, reverence and respect paid to a king, or other chief ruler, a governor, a judge, or a priest, are proper: because the principles of royalty, justice, judgment and priesthood are in themselves holy. Hence Paul says, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers; for there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God." (Rom. xiii. 1.) "Render, therefore, honour to whom honour is due." (verse 7.) "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour." (1 Tim. v. 17.) And Peter says, (1 Ep. ii. 17,) "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king."

But so far as this deference is paid to men themselves on account of these qualities as their own, go far it is wrong: because it is attributing what is divine to men, and is thus idolatry. Hence, when Herod, as recorded in Acts, xii. took to himself the honour due to God, "the angel of the Lord smote him because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost."

This distinction it is important we should keep in mind. Let us, therefore, repeat it. Reverence paid to men on account of what is good and true as divine in them, is the worship of God in them: but reverence paid to men themselves, on account of what is good and true as their own in them is the worship of the creature instead of the Creator, and is idolatry.

From what has been said, it follows, that divine worship is reverence paid to a being on account of divine virtues supposed to be in him as his own. It is perfectly evident that this worship can be legitimately rendered to none but God; for he alone has divine virtues in him as his own. Reverence paid to those who have divine virtues delegated to them by him, is not the worship of them, but of him in them. It is like the respect paid to the ambassador of a king; which is not paid to him in his proper person, but to him as the representative of his sovereign. In order to show, then, that Jesus Christ was worshiped when on earth, we must make it appear that he was reverenced on account of divine virtues supposed to be in him as his own.

That Jesus Christ was thus reverenced, appears from two facts: first, that he had divine virtues in him as Iris own; and, second, that people paid him adoration on account of them.

That the Lord had divine virtues as his own, appears from his own words. Life in itself is divinity; and of course is the fountain of all divine virtues. But Jesus says, (John, v. 26,) "As the father has life in himself, so hath he given to the son to have life in himself;" thus Jesus, who is the son, has life in himself; which implies the possessing, and the power of imparting, every divine virtue. John, too, speaking of him, says, "In him was life, and the life was the light of men." (i. 4.) Jesus again says, (xi. 25,) "I am the resurrection and the life." And that he is the source of this life to men, he intimates (v. 4) where he says to the Jews, "ye will not come to me, that ye might have life;" That this life is in him as his own, is moreover manifest from what he says in chapter x. 17, 18, "Therefore doth my father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." And there can be no doubt that he assumed to himself this as a divine attribute, as any one will be convinced, if he reads on in this chapter. For when he had said in verse 30, "I and my father are one," the Jews took up stones to stone him, because "he, being a man, made himself God." (verse 33.)

Again, the forgiving of sins is a divine virtue. It is the exercise of a power which belongs to God only. Yet Jesus assumed to himself this power, and actually did forgive sins; as appears from Mark, ii.--where he says to the sick of the palsy, "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee." And when certain of the Scribes reasoned in their hearts "Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?" he, by an ocular demonstration of divine power, showed them that "the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins." Thus by his own express declaration it appears that he had the divine virtue of forgiving sins.

And that the Lord possessed all divine virtues, is summarily declared by him in these words, (John, xvi. 15,) "All things that the father hath are mine."

We might go on to show that Jesus had divine virtues in him as his own, by many other declarations of his; but these will suffice.

That the Lord had divine virtues in him as his own, appears also from his acts. It is a divine virtue to raise the dead. But this he did, in the cases of Lazarus and the widows son. It is by the exercise of divine virtue that the sick are miraculously healed, the lame are made to walk, the deaf to hear, those born blind are restored to sight, and devils are cast out; but all these things Jesus did in ways and instances so numerous, that it would take hours to repeat and comment on them. And that he did these from himself, is evident from the fact that when the Jews threatened to stone him because he assumed to himself this power, he justified himself by asserting that he and God were one--that the father was in him, and he in the father. Had he been a mere man, and hence acted by a delegated divine power, he would have been anxious, as a good man, to do away even the appearance of assuming the power and the glory to himself: and, especially as the Jews accused him of blasphemy, he would have strenuously denied that he took any honour to himself, and would have expressly ascribed the power and given the honour solely to God. Instead of this he did not attempt to undo the impression in the minds of the Jews that he, though to appearance a man, made himself God; but goes on to reason with them, and show, that there was an absolute unity between him and God, and thus that he had divine power in himself. He even made it a requisite or a condition of imparting these divine influences, that they should believe he had the power. Thus, when the two blind men followed him, crying and saying, "Son of David, have mercy on us," he "saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you." Now if this was not acting in his own strength, and if it was not taking to himself the praise of it, we are utterly at a loss to know what could be.

It is true that the Lord elsewhere says, "I can of mine own self do nothing." (John, v. 30.) "The father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." (xiv. 10.) But this he says, not to disclaim the power he exercised as his own--not to show that he was a mere man, and thus a mere passive agent of God, like a prophet or an apostle; but to show that he was not an individuality distinct from the father, but did the works from the father in him as a soul; thus to show his absolute unity with God, and that he had power to do what he did by virtue of divinity in him as his own. For, in the context, he had said that he himself is the father, and he utters these words to confirm that assertion. Therefore these words of his taken in connexion with what goes before, evidently mean that he, as a mere human being, without the father, would have no life or existence at all, and thus no, power whatever, just as a body would have no life without its soul because he and the father are so intimately united as to be one, just as the soul and body of man are one.

To see this, it is only necessary to read the context. The Lord said to Philip, "If ye had known me, ye should have known my father also: and from henceforth ye know him and have seen him." When Philip could not conceive how he had seen the father as he had only seen Jesus, and begged the Lord to show them the father because that would be enough, Jesus proceeds to say unto him "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the father. Believest thou not that I am in the father, and the father in me?" Then follow the words we quoted above, "The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the father, and the father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake." Hence it is evident that he says this to show, not that he is a mere man, but that he is God, and that there is no more distinction between him and God, than there is between a manifested form and its hidden essence, or between a soul and its body. And as they could not yet believe him on his assertion--because the appearance of his being a mere man was yet so strong--he refers them to the works as an incontrovertible evidence of the truth of what he says. He says that he is the father--not sent by the father, or the accredited agent of the father--but the father himself. And the evidence he gives is, that he does the works of the rather. Now, if he did not do the works himself, from the father as a soul in him, but the father, as a separate person, did the works by him as an agent; then the works would be no evidence that he was the father, but only that he was the agent of the father. But as he asserts that he is the father, and gives the works as an evidence of the fact; he evidently asserts that he does the works himself by a power which is in him as his owe, and not by a delegated power: that is, that he does the works from the rather dwelling in him; and not from the father dwelling above him, and acting on him, as would be the case were he a mere man, acting by a delegated power.

It was necessary, too, that the Lord should have shown his absolute unity with the rather by saying "I can of mine own self do nothing"--"the father that dwelleth in me he doeth the works:" because, as he invariably did these works of himself, and thus by a divine power in himself, if he had: not shown his oneness with the father, he would have countenanced the idea, now so generally prevalent, that he had a divinity in him separate and distinct from the father. For, as he invariably assumed to himself divine power, and acted from a power avowedly his own, if this power had not been shown to be identical with the fathers, then the conclusion would have been that there are two divine powers--thus two gods: or, at least, that there are two persons, of distinct, and separate, and equal power, in the godhead. But by thus identifying his power with the fathers, and himself with the father, he completely subverted the idea of distinct duality in the godhead, which he, doubtless, in his omniscience foresaw would exist, and left no scriptural foundation for this thing of mere human devising.

The acts of Jesus Christ, then, show that he had divine virtues in him as his own. The acts themselves were divine; and, as he did them himself, he gave them as an evidence that he was God. Hence, when John sent two of his disciples to Jesus to know whether he were the true Messiah, Jesus commanded them to go and show John again the things which they heard and saw, thus to show his works, as the evidence of his messiahship.

And the Lord invariably spoke and acted, as we have said, from a power avowedly his own. Thus, when he raised the widows son, "he said, Young man, I say unto thee arise." He did not command him to arise in the name of the father, as the apostles did in his name afterwards, but, without even mentioning the father, or alluding to the father, he himself commanded him to arise: thus clearly showing that he raised the young man from the dead, by a power which was his own. So, too, at the grave of Lazarus, "he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth"--without mentioning the fathers name. It is true, that he previously addressed the father: but this he did, as he expressly said, for the sake of those who stood by that they might know that the father had sent him--that is, that he proceeded from the father as a sphere from its essence--that the father was in him as a soul--that he was born from the father--that he acted from the fathers power in him as his own, thus from a divine power, thus, that he was not a mere man, but a divine man. So, again, when he commanded the sick of the palsy "to arise, take up his bed, and go his way into his house," he did not take care to inform the by-standers, as he should have done, if he had been a mere man, that he was exercising merely a delegated power from the father; but he did it expressly to show that he himself had power on earth to forgive sins, which he knew that they were aware was a power which God alone could exercise.

Thus the Lord invariably acted by his own authority and in his own strength. And herein he differed from the apostles, and all others who are stated, in the Bible, to have manifested miraculous powers. For the apostles invariably performed miracles in the name of Jesus, as is abundantly seen in the record of their acts; and they always utterly disclaimed honours on account of these acts as their own. So Moses performed signs and wonders in Egypt in the name of Jehovah, and at his express command. And all know that Moses and Aaron were not permitted to enter the promised land, because they did not "sanctify the Lord in the eyes of the children of Israel," when they brought water for them out of the rock.

Thus, then, it appears, both from his words and his acts, that the Lord Jesus Christ had divine virtues in him as his own.

But, secondly, it appears that Jesus Christ was worshiped when on earth, from the fact that people paid him adoration on account of these divine virtues in him as his own. To show this fact, all we have to do, is to present those passages of the New Testament, in which it is said he was worshiped.

It will be recollected that the conception and birth of Jesus was altogether miraculous. The proceeding divine sphere overshadowed the virgin; and, therefore, that which was conceived in her was of the holy ghost. The angel of the Lord dictated to Joseph the childs name; and he was called Jesus because he was to save his people from their sins. Jehovah by his prophet had himself foretold this event, in these words: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which, being interpreted, is, God-with-us." Thus Jesus in his very conception and birth was divine. He was not born of a mere human parent, and thus from a mere man at first afterwards made divine: but he was divine in the very beginning, and from the instant he was brought into the world he was God with us. And his subsequent life on earth was not an acquisition, but a development of godhead. Hence, when the wise men from the East,--miraculously conducted from Jerusalem to Bethlehem where the young child was by a star,--had come into the house and seen the young child with Mary his mother, they fell down and worshiped him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." (Matt ii. 11.) Here you see there was profound reverence paid to Jesus, and paid to him as God. The wise men did not say any thing about the father--they did not say any thing about Jesus as the accredited messenger of the father--they did not worship the father for his sake; but they "worshiped him." And they came, propelled by a spiritual influence, and led by a miraculous guide, for the purpose of worshiping him. They came "from the East to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." (ii. 2.) And they came to worship him as God with usas Jesus, who was to save his people from their sins. Thus they worshiped him on account of his saving power, which was a divine virtue in him as his own: because he was to save his people. Thus do we establish the divinity of Jesus Christ upon the letter of his Word.

Again, in Matt. viii. 2, 3, we find these words: "And behold there came a leper, and worshiped Him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." Here you see an exercise of divine power, proceeding from his own will, without any mention of the father. And you behold the prostrate adoration of the leper, who worshiped him on this account. He worshiped him, because he believed he could heal him if he would. It was evidently an act of divine adoration, and it was paid to Jesus in his proper person. The man evidently meant it as such; and Jesus as evidently received it as such.

In Matt. ix. 18, it is said, "Behold there came a certain ruler, and worshiped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live." Here reverence was paid to the Lord, because it was believed he could raise the dead to life, which is a divine power. And as there was no mention made of God as distinct from Jesus, either by the ruler or by Jesus, it is evident that this reverence was paid to Jesus himself, on account of this divine power.

In the fourteenth chapter of Matthew, is this remarkable relation: "And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the: other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit: and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and, beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God." This passage needs no comment. There can be no doubt, that, whatever we at the present time may think of Jesus, they, at that day, worshiped him us a divine being.

In the fifteenth chapter, is the account of a woman of Canaan, who came unto Jesus, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she, and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me." And after her great importunity had drawn from the Lord the exclamation "O woman, great is thy faith!" he said, "be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. Here you see the Lord supplicated for mercy, which is a divine gift; and adoration paid to him on account of his power of casting out devils: a power exercised in this case without the bodily presence of the person from whom the devil was cast out. Which circumstance strikingly evinces the divine power of the Lord, and, together with other instances, peculiarly distinguishes his acts from the miraculous operations of mere human agents. For this circumstance shows that bodily presence was not necessary for the exercise of his power; and thus indicates his omnipresence.

As to the Lords being sent unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, we are not to infer from this any separation of individuality; because this word sent is to be understood in a spiritual sense. We are to suppose that the father sends the son, not as one person sends another person, from one part of space to another, but as a cause sends its effect--thus as the soul forms to itself a body, or as affection sends thought, and thought speech. In fact, the son is an emanation of the hidden, the invisible and the unapproachable divine essence, by which that essence is brought forth and made apprehensible and perceptible to human minds. Hence the father sends the son as any emanating body sends its emanation--thus as a luminous body sends light. And in spiritual language, Israel represents the spiritual church, that is, the church as to the love, understanding and life of truth. House signifies good. Thus house of Israel signifies the good of the spiritual church. Sheep signifies innocence. Lost sheep, one who is in error or false principles innocently--thus one who is in a fallen state by hereditary transmission without known, voluntary and actual transgression. Therefore, the Lords being sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, means an out-birth of the divine essence, whereby the essential divine qualities of goodness and of truth were accommodated to the good or well-disposed of the spiritual church, who were in a fallen state. And hence, when the Lord Jesus says, he was sent, it does not imply that he is separate from the father.

Wherefore, when the woman, crying for mercy, worshiped Jesus, she evidently regarded him as the fountain of mercy, thus as one with God. Mercy is a divine virtue. The woman supposed this virtue to be in Jesus. And therefore she worshiped him. Thus it is seen by this example that Jesus was worshiped on earth on account of a divine virtue supposed to be in him as his own.

Having read to you the chapter from which our text is taken, I need not repeat to you the context. Considering the view which his followers had had of his character--considering that they had heard him speak as never man spake--had witnessed his performance of acts which a divine being alone could perform--had heard his express declarations that he was one with the father, and, of course, was God--had beheld the dazzling splendour of his divine countenance when transfigured on the mount--had seen the veil of the temple rent, the heavens hung in black, the sun turned to blood, and the quaking earth by its convulsions bearing trembling testimony to the awful consummation of his crucifixion--considering all this, need we wonder, that, on beholding him again, risen from the dead, and, doubtless, beginning fuller divine majesty from his disencumbered body, they should prostrate themselves in the profoundest veneration? And while we behold them clasping his feet, can we doubt that they are worshiping him as God?

It is said, in the seventeenth verse, that the eleven, having gone away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them, when they saw him, worshiped him: but some doubted. It does not say of what they doubted--whether it was of the reality of his existence or of his being the divine person which they supposed him to be. The fact of his ascension from the dead might have appeared to them an illusion. They might have supposed his appearance an apparition. Or supposing him to be really alive, the appearance that he was a mere man being still so strong", they might have doubted that he was the divine being which his whole life on earth, and even the circumstances attending his crucifixion, had declared him to be. Probably they doubted in both these respects. And without question, the unbelieving Thomas was among the some who doubted here. But, if we turn to the twentieth chapter of John, we shall see how effectually his doubts were removed.

"And, after eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then said he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord, and my God." Mark Thomass answer--"My Lord and my God." Can there be any question now that Thomas considered Jesus Christ as God? And hence can there be any question that the other disciples, who were less unbelieving than he, when they worshiped Jesus worshiped him as God? When, therefore, Luke says, (xxiv. 52,) "And he led them out as far as Bethany; and he lifted up his hands and blessed them--And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven--And they worshiped him;" we are to understand that they paid adoration to him as a divine being.

The last instance, which we shall notice, in which it is expressly said that Jesus was worshiped, is in John, ix. 38. Nearly the whole of the chapter is taken up in giving an account of his restoring to sight a man who was born blind, and the fermentation which this produced among the Jews. They tried to prevail upon the man to "give God the praise," by denying that Jesus had wrought this miracle upon him. But he persisted in thinking, and argued to convince them, that Jesus was the Christ; until, indignant at the thought that he, "who was altogether bore in sin, should presume to teach them," they cast him out. And when Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and had found him, he said unto him, "Lost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshiped him." This instance furnishes direct and incontrovertible evidence that Jesus Christ was worshiped when upon earth. For the worship in this case was reverence paid to him not as a mere man, or as a prophet, or as a man highly gifted of God; for he that had been blind believed Jesus to be all this before he revealed himself to him as the Son of God; but it was reverence paid to him as the Son of God, that is, as the brightness of Gods glory, the express image of his substance, the bodily manifestation of his whole godhead; thus as one with God, as God himself. When, then, this man worshiped Jesus, he paid him divine adoration, on account of divine virtues in him as his own.

Thus it appears conclusively, that the Lord Jesus Christ was worshiped when on earth; both from the fact that he had divine virtues in him as his own, and from the fact that adoration was paid to him on account of them. And thus we have shown, on scriptural authority, that Jesus Christ ought to be worshiped, and that be was worshiped when on earth.

Since, then, Jesus Christ was worshiped directly when on earth, we cannot be far wrong, who worship him now he is in heaven, and has, as he expressly assures us, "all power in heaven and on earth." But let all those who worship the father directly, by praying to him out of Jesus Christ, instead of worshiping the father in Jesus Christ, by praying to Jesus Christ himself as the father--beware lest they perish because they kiss not the son. And especially let those who are degrading the Lord Jesus to the level of a mere man, see well to it, that they are not committing that sin which can never be forgiven, either in this world or that which is to come!


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 11        SERMON X.

REV. V. 13.

"Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever."

HAVING proved from the Word that the three essential constituents of God are in Jesus Christ, that all the divine attributes are ascribed to him, that, therefore, he is the proper object of Christian worship, and that he was actually worshiped when on earth, we come now, in the regular course of our series, to show that he is worshiped in heaven, and, consequently, must be presumed to have been the object of apostolic worship. For as Paul, the chief of the apostles, was caught up into the third heaven, he must have had his views of the proper object of his worship on earth, very much, if not wholly determined by what he saw in the heavens. Hence, if Jesus Christ is worshiped in the heavens, and Paul was permitted to see and to know that fact, it is most presumable that his worship on earth would be after the pattern of that heavenly worship which he had seen, as it were, upon the mount. And it cannot be doubted that his views and practices in this respect, would be those also of the other apostles. Besides, as they that live and worship in heaven, once existed on earth,* and have carried with them the ideas of God by which their earthly character was formed, and the essential principles of worship with which their earthly life was replete, hence those that worshiped the Lord on earth will of course worship him in heaven; and, therefore, the fact that Jesus Christ is now worshiped in heaven must go hand in hand with the other fact that he was worshiped when on earth; and the fact that he was both worshiped on earth and is worshiped in heaven must he inseparably connected with the supposition that he was the God of the apostles. Hence the proof of either of these positions will be but the confirmation of the others. And hence we shall now blend these topics in some degree together.

*"The angel which showed me these things, then saith unto me, See thou do it not I for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets." (Rev. xxii. 8, 9.)

Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, (i. 8,) quoting from the Word of the Old Testament, most fully ascribes a divine character to the Lord Jesus, and, in express reference to him, represents Jehovah, when bringing the first begotten into the world, as saying, "And let all the angels of God worship him." This proves that Jesus Christ is the object of angelic worship, and therefore renders more intensive the argument that the reverence paid to Jesus when on earth was divine adoration. We have, then, the greater boldness in assuming and maintaining that the attitude of adoration was assumed before Jesus Christ on earth because of his manifestation of a divine character, and not, as some in the present day pertinaciously maintain, because that was the attitude of respect to superior power and excellence ordinarily assumed by the people of eastern countries in ancient times. And the best proof of this is that the Lord Jesus always received the divine honour of worship as paid to himself without referring it to any superior being. In not one of the many passages which we have heretofore cited from the Word to prove that he was worshiped when on earth, did he forbid the prostration of the body before him, or any other act of worship, although he well knew the express command of Jehovah to be, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them." (Exod. xx. 3-5.) And again, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (Matt. iv. 10.) Hence he could not have permitted these acts of worship, if, as some suppose, he had been a mere man, or if he had been any other than the very God. For admitting--and from the passages cited there can be no doubt--that this worship was divine adoration, he, as a messenger sent from God, or as any being subordinate to God, could not have received it, and yet be a good man.

It matters not to say that the prostration of the body by persons of inferior rank when they approached persons high in authority or conspicuous for their dignity and virtue was an eastern custom prevalent in our Lords day, because, except in cases of idolatry, this prostration was not considered as divine honour, while in the case of Jesus there was none of that dignified elevation of worldly rank, those trappings of royalty, or that pomp of circumstance, which would command ceremonial reverence. He was a despised Nazarene--a man of low estate--reputed a carpenters son; and it was only the display of divine virtue, which emanated from his person and beamed from his character, which prostrated before him the healed, the blessed and the gladdened subjects of his miraculous power. Hence this attitude was assumed before him as divine adoration. This distinction should be attended to. It is true, that, in eastern countries, subjects did then, and do still, prostrate themselves in the presence of their sovereigns or those high in power and authority. But, except in cases of gross ignorance, this honour was not paid to the sovereign, or other dignitary, on account of any divine excellence supposed to be his own. And we see that, in the case of Jesus Christ, this honour could not have been paid to him for the same reason that it was paid to eastern potentates, or others high in power or station, because, as he himself expressly says, his kingdom is not of this world. Therefore the honour paid to him must have been on account of divine virtues in him as his own, and thus to him as a divine being. Here, then, is the difference: prostration of the body as an eastern custom was a deference paid to rank without any reference to an exercise of divine power; but in the case of our Lord this attitude was assumed before him because "he spake as never man spake," and "did works which he could not have done unless God had been with him." And as Jesus did not refer to a superior being the honour thus paid to himself it is evident that it was paid to him himself, and received by him as God.

This distinction is clearly seen in the Sacred Scriptures throughout. Wherever the prostration of one man before another is mentioned in the Word, it is manifest from the context that this is not honour paid to him as God. Thus, although it is said in Daniel, (ii. 46,) that "the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and worshiped Daniel," yet it is evident that this worship was not paid to Daniel as God; for it is said, in the next verse, by the king, "Of a truth it is that your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldst reveal this secret. Thus the honour was expressly referred to Daniels God, and therefore not paid to Daniel himself. It was paid to Daniel because he was a representative person--was sustaining that prophetic office by which the Word of Truth, which is the Lord, was brought down to men--thus was in the Lords place, that he permitted the prostration of the body before him. He allowed it as a becoming deference to the divine truth, which he represented. But whenever worship was about to be paid to mere men as divine adoration, we find that they invariably forbade it. Thus in Acts, x. 25, 26, when the devout Cornelius,--commanded by an angel to send for Peter, "as Peter was coming in,--met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshiped:" it is said, "Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man."

In this case, Peter evidently discovered that Cornelius was paying him adoration on account of some supposed divine virtue; and conscious that he was but a man, or an apostle, he could not allow that reverence to be paid to him which was due only to God. Had it been only a mark of respect for his office, he might have permitted it as Daniel did. But he discovered more than mere respect: he perceived religious veneration. And hence he bade him "Stand up:" reminding him that he also was a man.

And here you see the contrast between Peter and the Lord. In no case did Jesus Christ forbid the worship which was paid to him: though there can be no doubt that it would have been as improper for him to have permitted it, as for Peter, if he had been a mere man; for there cannot be a shadow of doubt that the worship which wets paid to Jesus was at least as much divine worship as this which was offered to Peter.

All must recollect, too, the case of Paul and Barnabas, as recorded in Acts, xiv. 8-15.

In this case the worship was manifestly about to be offered to Paul and Barnabas as gods. And these apostles, so far from allowing it, discountenanced it with the most violent demonstrations of disapprobation"They rent their clothes, and ran in among the people crying out" to them and dissuading them from doing sacrifice to them who were men of like passions with themselves. How different this conduct from that of the Lord Jesus! who not only did not prevent those who prostrated themselves before him as God; but, when the Jews accused him of blasphemy, because he (in their estimation) being a man, made himself equal with God, began to justify himself by showing his unity with the father, and thus his identity with God. Nay, he even allowed himself to be crucified by the Jews on this very charge of blasphemy, because he called himself the Son of God, that is, the visible manifestation of God,--and predicted that they would see him, as the Son of Man, sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven," (Matt. xxvi. 65)--that is, possessing the omnipotence of divine love in and through the spirit of truth in the letter of his Word.

Take, as another example, the case of John, in the Apocalypse, who fell at the feet of the angel to worship him, under the impression that he was God. And the angel said unto him, "See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God." (Rev. xix. 10.) You here see that an angel, a commissioned messenger of the Lord to his beloved apostle, would not receive that honour which was due to God only: while it is remarkable that when this same John fell at the feet of the Son of Man, (i. 17,) who manifestly was the Lord Jesus Christ, he did not forbid this act, and tell John to worship God, as a being separate from himself; but, laying his right hand upon him, said unto him, "Fear not; I am the First and the Last:" thus receiving the worship; and directly asserting that he was God.

Seeing, then, that an angel as a commissioned messenger of God, would not permit John to prostrate himself before him, and yet that Jesus did allow this prostration before him, it follows that Jesus was more than a messenger of God--was God himself in an ultimate form. Wherefore, we presume it is evident to every reflecting mind, that the veneration which was paid to Jesus Christ when on earth was divine worship. And therefore it is clear that Jesus Christ was worshiped as God when on earth.

Now a reference to the Apocalypse will prove as clearly that he is also worshiped in heaven. The instance just cited, in which John in spirit fell prostrate before him as dead, goes to prove this. In the fourth chapter, John describes the throne of God in heaven and one sitting on it. He speaks of four and twenty seats round about the throne, and of four and twenty elders sitting thereon; which we may suppose to be a representative form of all who are in the heavens. And, in the conclusion of the chapter, he says that these "four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (verses 10, 11.) Now who was this one that sat upon the throne of God? In John, i. 18, it is said, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten son who is in the bosom of the father, he hath declared him." And Jesus himself says of the father, (John, v. 37,) "Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape." But on another occasion, when Philip had asked him to show them the father, he replied, "He that hath seen me, hath seen the father." (John, xiv. 8.) And John in this vision saw the shape of him that sat on the throne. He that sat upon the throne, then, was Jesus Christ, the only begotten son who manifests the father. Paul, too, in his Epistle to Timothy, (vi. 15,) speaks of "our Lord Jesus Christ," as of him, who, "in his times, shall show who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; which no man hath seen, nor can see." Thus he shows that Jesus Christ is he who manifests the invisible and unapproachable God. And hence it is clear that he who sat upon the throne of God was Jesus Christ; and thus that Jesus Christ was worshiped by the four and twenty elders, who represented all who are in the heavens.

This is clear, too, from its being said that they "worship him that liveth for ever and ever." For the Son of Man, who is manifestly Jesus Christ in his glorified body, says to John, (i. 28,) "I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore." And still more clear from its being said by the elders to him who sitteth on the throne "for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." For Paul, in his Epistle to the Colossians, says expressly of Jesus Christ, "by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him." Thus he that sat upon the throne and Jesus Christ are clearly identified. Hence, when the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sitteth upon the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, they worship the Son of Man, who is Jesus Christ.

Again, in the chapter that contains our text, John, after saying, in the sixth verse, "And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain," &c.--says in the thirteenth verse, "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saving, 'Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." Now by the Lamb in this passage is evidently meant Jesus Christ as to that human nature, or in that character of divine human innocence, in which he was rejected by the church on earth: for it is said "a Lamb, as it had been slain:" and Jesus is expressly styled by John the Baptist, "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John, i. 29.) And thus it is clearly seen that the universal heavens worship Jesus Christ. For they ascribe blessing, and honour, and glory, and power unto the Lamb.

It may be asked, why the Lamb is mentioned as distinct from him who sat upon the throne, and if he that sat upon the throne signifies Jesus, how is it that the Lamb also signifies Jesus? Does not he that sat upon the throne signify the father and the Lamb represent Jesus as distinct from him? Even admitting this; still it is seen that the Lamb is worshiped equally with him who sits upon the throne. And thus our position is proved that Jesus Christ is worshiped in heaven. But we have shown that he who sat upon the throne could not signify the rather; because he was seen by John, and no man hath seen the father, and no man can see him in his essence, and live. But the father may be seen in his form; and he is seen in Jesus Christ, for he is the "form of God," thinking it "not robbery to be equal with God," because he is the "express image of his substance." It was, therefore, Jesus Christ, the son who reveals the father, that sat upon the throne. And the Lamb which was seen in the midst of the throne, did not represent a being or person separate from Jesus, but a part of his complex nature, considered abstractly for the sake of the illustration and instruction of John, and of the church through him. The Lamb here was a kind of hieroglyphical or representative imaging of the human nature of Christ, considered abstractly or distinctively from his divine nature, which was represented by him who sat upon the throne. It was not that there is in fact any separation of these natures in Christ; but it was only a distinct consideration of these natures, as we have said, for illustration and instruction: just as, comparatively, the length of a room is considered as separate from its breadth and depth in an algebraic process for the determination of its solid contents. In that case the length is only a property of the room considered abstractly from its other properties. Just so in the case before us, the Lamb represents a property of the Lords nature considered abstractly from his other properties. It represents his human nature considered abstractly from his divine nature. But this representation no more signifies that his human nature exists separately from his divine nature, than the mere abstract consideration of its length would imply that the length of the room exists independently of the room itself. And the divine and human natures together--thus He that sitteth upon the throne and the Lamb--form the one person of the one God, just as the length, breadth and height of the room form together the common properties of the room, and are inseparable from the room itself. Thus, then, when it is said, "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever," it is an ascription of divine honours to both the divine and human natures of Christ--that is, to the divine in his human nature; and thus an entire and a full worship of him. And as this is said to be rendered to him by all in all the heavens, it is seen that the prophetic command of Jehovah as quoted by Paul is accomplished"Let all the angels of God worship him."

This command was uttered by Jehovah in reference manifestly to Jesus Christ, because he undoubtedly was "the first-begotten into the world." And as Jesus Christ is worshiped by all the angels of God, it is only expressing the same thing in other words to say he is worshiped in heaven. Wherefore, we deem ourselves justified on scriptural grounds in asserting, not only that Jesus Christ was worshiped when on earth, but also that he is now worshiped in heaven.

And now as to the fact that Jesus was worshiped by the apostles. We shall discuss this topic more at length in a subsequent discourse. And in introducing the subject here, we will recall attention to the remarkable instance of Thomas, who was one of the eleven, in that memorable exclamation of his"My Lord, and my God!" This puts it beyond any question that Thomas, at least, considered Jesus Christ as God. The answer to this argument which is made by some, that Thomas herein only expresses his surprise and wonder at seeing the Lord alive after he had supposed him dead, is too futile to need refutation. Such expositions of the Word of God are too manifestly paltry to deserve notice. It is very clear from all the circumstances that Thomas was aroused from a state of doubt, and hereby makes a declaration of his faith, that Jesus Christ is God. And what right have we to suppose that he was the only one of the Lords chosen apostles who so regarded him? Nay should we not reason from their being less unbelieving than Thomas, that the other disciples had a clearer perception of the Lords divinity than he, and hence were more ready to acknowledge him as the Divine Being? And consequently, when it is stated in the Scriptures that they worshiped Jesus, must we not suppose that they worshiped him as God? When, therefore, Luke says, (xxiv. 52,) "And he led them out as far as Bethany; and he lifted up his hands and blessed themAnd it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven--And they worshiped him;" we are to understand that they paid adoration to him as a divine being. And thus we conclude that the Lords eleven disciples considered him as their God.

We might argue that the apostles regarded Jesus as God from the fact that they performed miracles in his name. For who ever heard of real miracles being performed in any other name than that of God? But we will say nothing about this, and will advert on the present occasion only to the case of Stephen, who was stoned to death as recorded in the seventh chapter of Acts. It will be recollected that Stephen was one of the seven deacons appointed for the daily ministration of the temporal concerns of the church, and that he was "a man full of faith and of the holy ghost." Hence his example is equivalent to that of the apostles. It will be recollected also that he foiled certain persons of the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia, and of Asia, in disputation; that they suborned men to accuse him falsely of blasphemy; that, in defending himself against this charge, he reprehended them for their rebellion and for murdering Christ: whereupon they stoned him to death. "When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the holy ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young mans feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge! And when he had said this, he fell asleep."

Now you will observe it is said, in verse 59, "they stoned Stephen calling upon God." But the word God is not in the original. It is evident that he was calling upon the being whom he saw, and to whom he spoke, namely, the Lord Jesus. It was the Lord Jesus then, to whom he kneeled down and prayed not to lay this sin to their charge: thus showing that he regarded Jesus as the being who remits sins, which God alone gave it? And he expressly calls on the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit. And who can receive the spirit but God, who gave it?

Compare this passage with Psalm xxxi. 5, "Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth." Here you see the psalmist, who speaks in prophetic allusion to the Lord Jesus, commits his spirit into the hands of "the Lord God." The fulfilment of this prophetic allusion is recorded in Luke, xxiii. 46," And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." But the needs some explanation. For it may be asked, if Jesus Christ committed his spirit into the hands of the Lord God, how then can he himself be God? And to explain this matter, we must anticipate the contents of a future discourse.

Jesus, when on earth, was continually engaged in combating the false and evil principles of the human nature which he had assumed from the mother Mary. And when he was in that human nature,--that is, when he was thinking and reeling in the external plane of his mind,--he would address his internal, or the father, as a being separate from himself; when, nevertheless, his internal was intimately connected with his external, and was that divine energy of love and wisdom which at all times enabled him to overcome the false thoughts and evil feelings of his external man.

The case is similar with an ordinary man. He has an external and an internal. In his internal are those feelings of religious love and those motives of wisdom and virtue by which he regulates his speech and actions, which are his external. And it is often the case, when he is in his external, that is, in the sphere of mere bodily or animal thought and feeling, he is tempted to say and do those things which are contrary to the dictates of the wisdom and virtue that form his internal. How often is it the case that a man in the excitement of mere natural feeling, says and does things, for which he is sorry in his cool, rational moments. In this case his internal appears to be separate from him: when, in fact, it is now more present with him than ever. For, if his internal principles were not acting on him as a conscience of right and wrong, he would, like a mere animal, go on in the indulgence of his sensual appetites without any compunction. And when his internal thus appears to be separate from him, he often addresses it as if it were another person. Hence we hear David addressing his soul as a being separate from him--"Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, the help of his countenance." (Ps. xlil. 5.) And how often do we find ourselves, in a burst of strong feeling addressing our heart, in some such way as this, "Oh my heart, thou hast deceived me!" Or when a man makes a miscalculation, how prone is he to say, "My head missed it that time!"

These observations are made to show, that, though the Lord Jesus addresses the father as a being separate from him, it is only an appearance resulting from the circumstances of trial in which his mere human nature was then placed. For, in the nature of things, the human nature appeared to have life in itself without any distinct vision of the inward divine life from which it was begotten, and by which it was continually sustained, in all its temptations, until its full glorification with that glory which it had with the father before the world began. For it is a law of order that internal life shall seem to be in the external form of it--the efficient cause of life shall seem to be in the instrumental cause of it; and hence the human nature of the Lord, while it was undergoing temptations, seemed to be left alone in its combats with the powers of evil--though in fact the divine nature was then most intimately present in it, giving it strength to conquer, and becoming so completely united with it in its conquest as to become distinctly one with it, and transfuse it with its own glory, gift it with its own life and deify it with all its own divinity. Thus, although the humanity of Jesus Christ seemed at times to be separate from the divinity within it, and to be subordinate to that divinity, still this was only an appearance; for, in reality, it was so completely one with the divinity as to be itself divine. Hence the Lord Jesus himself says, "I and my father are one.""As the father hath life in himself so hath he given to the son to have life in himself.""Therefore doth my father love me, because I lay down my life, that might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down OF MYSELF. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my father." (x. 17, 18.) These passages show clearly that there was divine life and power in the humanity itself and that its human infirmity, inferiority and subordination to divinity was but an appearance incident to the state into which divinity had voluntarily come for human redemption and salvation--incident to that state into which it had come to be a type or ensampler of mans regeneration and salvation. For the Lords humanity was glorified just as a mans external is brought into order. A mans external,--that is, his speech and actions,--is reduced to order by putting off or desisting from all that is contrary to the dictates of wisdom and virtue. So the Lords humanity was glorified by his putting off or desisting from all that was corrupt in mere human nature, and by his acting from the dictates of divine love and divine wisdom, which were the father within him. It was this corrupt human nature, with its corporeal body, which died on the cross, and not the divine body of the Lord, which was in it, and which was seen at his transfiguration on the mount--that could not be crucified or die because it was divine. And this corporeal body died, and with it all the corrupt principles of human nature were put off, that the Lord might exist fully and solely in his glorified body, which was afterwards seen and worshiped by his disciples as his divine human form. But, before this corporeal body or corrupt humanity was put off, there was contrariety between it and the Lords internal principles of love and wisdom, which were the father within him; and while the Lord was still thinking and feeling in this corrupt humanity, his internal principles, or the father, appeared to be separate from him; and under the strength of this appearance he addressed the father as a separate being. But the father was, in fact, no more separate from him than Davids soul was from David, or my heart and head from me.

Hence, when the Lord gave his spirit up to the father, it was his human consciousness yielding itself entirely up to his divine consciousness; and by that act it was signified that there was an entire conjunction between the divine and human natures of Christ, because all that was contrary to the divinity being put off, the humanity became entirely one with the father, and was thus an unresisting and unperverting medium of divine love and divine wisdom.

When, then, the mere humanity of the Lord gave up its spirit to the father, it was shown that the father is the being to whom the spirits of men are to be commended: and hence that God only is the being who can receive the spirits of men. Wherefore, when Stephen called upon the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit, it is clear that he considered him as the father; consequently, as God. And thus it is manifest that Stephen worshiped the Lord Jesus as his God. And this proves collaterally that Jesus Christ was the God of the apostles.

But it may be objected here, that Stephen saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God: which implies that Jesus was separate and distinct from God, and of course could not be God himself. In answer to this, we can only observe, as heretofore, that Stephen saw with his spiritual eyes opened; and hence that which he saw was a representation in the spiritual world, similar to those representations which John saw in vision, and which he has described in the Apocalypse. For Stephen saw "the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God." And John (Apoc. iv. 2) beheld a throne set in heaven, and one sitting on the throne, who was evidently the same whom he had before described as "one like unto the Son of Man standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks." (i. 13.) Hence it is clear that this representation to the eye of Stephen is to be explained in the same way that those are which were seen by John. And as, from the representation made to John of one sitting on the throne with a Lamb in the midst of the throne, we are not to suppose that He who sat upon the throne and the Lamb are separate and distinct beings; so neither are we, from this representation to Stephen of Jesus standing on the right hand of God, to suppose that Jesus and God are separate and distinct beings.

That this was but a mere representation, is clear from its being said that Stephen saw the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God: which, if supposed to be a presentation of a real truth, would imply that he saw God, on the right hand of whom the Son of Man stood. But it is elsewhere said, "No man hath seen God at any time." It was not, then, really God whom Stephen saw. And, of course, it was not really the Son of Man whom he saw standing on the right hand of God. Consequently it was only a representation of God and of the Son of Man. And of the meaning of this representation Stephen doubtless had an intuitive perception. He, without doubt, perceived that the right hand represents power, because mans right hand is the member by which his power is exercised. Hence he perceived that the right hand of God signifies the power of God; and of course that the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God signified that Jesus, who was represented by the Son of Man, had the power of God: which is "all power in heaven and on earth." Thus he perceived, from this representation, that Jesus was God himself. And hence he called upon him and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

In this vision, we should particularly observe, that Stephen, in his prayer, did not address the glory, but the Son of Man which was standing on the right hand of the glory: thus he addressed the Lord Jesus directly, and prayed to him to forgive his persecutors this sin. From which it follows that the Lord Jesus had the same relation to Stephen in his prayer, which the father had to the Lords humanity in his prayer on the cross. And hence that the Lord Jesus was the father in the view of Stephen. But, to say nothing of that, it is clear that Stephen prayed to the Lord Jesus to forgive his persecutors their sin. And hence, as no one can forgive sins but God, it is clear that he worshiped the Lord Jesus as his God. Thus this single example will of itself suffice to show from the Acts of the Apostles that Jesus Christ was the God of the apostles.

We might also prove from ecclesiastical history, that the early Christians in general were in the habit of addressing prayers, and singing hymns, and offering up all their acts of public worship to Jesus Christ as God. For it is well known that some of them suffered persecution and martyrdom on this very account. But this does not come within our present plan. And we shall only further confirm the truth we have now established by adverting in our following discourses to the Epistles of the Apostles; all of which, we doubt not, will show that the apostles regarded Jesus Christ as their God.

We have not time now to indulge in any reflections upon this important subject. And we will only beg you to mark attentively that Stephen called on the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit. There was the glory of God, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of it. Yet Stephen did not address himself to God as the glory, but prayed to Jesus himself. And while you are reflecting upon this most important fact, we will conclude with simply this solemn injunction--"Go, and do thou likewise!"


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 12        SERMON XI.

ISAIAH, XLV. 8.

"I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."

IN our last discourse, we showed, from the recorded acts of the apostles, as exemplified in the case of Stephen when about to be stoned to death, that they paid to Jesus divine adoration. For it was to be inferred from this instance of "a man," acknowledged to be "full of faith and the holy ghost," praying directly to Jesus as a divine being, that the apostles also, by whose instructions and instrumentality this man had been brought into the church, must have regarded Jesus in the same light, and thus must have worshiped him as God. It remains for us, in this and the following discourse, to discuss this topic at length. The drift of our argument will be, that the apostles have used language in their Epistles, in reference to the Lord Jesus, which they could not have used unless they had considered him as God.

But it must be admitted that, in arguing this point, we have to encounter difficulties. It cannot be denied that the apostles so speak of Jesus Christ in connection with the father as if they considered them personally separate. It is undoubtedly true, that they make a distinction between Jesus end the father. And though, by pointing out the grounds and nature of that distinction, we should show clearly that it did not conflict with the idea of Jesus and the father being one person, yet still the question might arise in the minds of some, if the apostles had this idea in their minds, why did they not state it plainly? Admitting, then, that the apostles in some passages of their writings clearly indicate that they considered Jesus Christ as God, an answer must be given to the inquiry, why do they not state this in express language, and why do they in other parts of their writings speak of him as a man to all appearance personally distinct from the Lord God?

In the conduct of this discourse, therefore, it is our intention to make cursory quotations from the Epistles of all the apostles except John--to explain the ground and nature of the apparent distinction which the apostles make between Jesus and the father--to suggest the probability that they meant by the terms father, son and holy ghost a distinction of principles in the godhead--and finally to answer the question, why they did not speak plainly of the Lords unity with the father, when they themselves saw it clearly.

The limits of one discourse will not allow us to quote all the passages in the writings of the apostles which go to show that they regarded the Lord Jesus as their God. We shall therefore select some of the most prominent.

In writing to the Romans, Paul has these words, (ch. ix. 5,) "Whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God, blessed for ever." Here is a direct assertion that Christ is God. We are not then surprised when Paul ascribes to him the attributes of God, as he does in his Epistle to the Colossians, (i. 16, 17,) where he says, "For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist." So in Heb. i. 3, "who upholds all things by the word of his power. Thus Paul ascribes to Jesus Christ the creation and sustentation of all things; which are manifestly the attributes of God. Again, in his Epistle to the Hebrews he says, (xiii. 8,) "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever." Here he ascribes to him unchangeableness, which implies infinity and eternity; and these are the well known attributes of God. Hence Paul swears by him, (Rom. xi. 1,) "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not." Now swearing is an act of worship; a solemn appeal in important cases to the omniscient God as our witness that what we say is true. As then Paul solemnly appeals to Christ in this case, he shows that he considered him as God.

That Paul supposed Jesus Christ to have something more than a mere superangelic origin, and regarded him as an emanation of the essential divinity, is plain from what he says of him in Hebrews, i. where he styles him the brightness of Gods glory and the express image of his substance, and speaks of his being made "so much better than the angels," as to be the very son begotten of the rather, whom the angels of God were to worship, (verses 4, 5, 6,) and whom (ii. 16) he expressly speaks of as not "taking on him the nature of angels." In this and what follows Paul most evidently intimates that Jesus Christ had an existence anterior to his incarnation; for he speaks of his "taking on the seed of Abraham;" and how could that which did not exist take on any thing? To have taken on human nature in the seed of Abraham, it is plain that Jesus must have had prior being as an active agent. And that Paul regarded him as such an active agent above the plain of all angelic being, is quite manifest from his saying that he took not on him the nature or being of the angels. Consequently he must have regarded him as divine in his origin. Hence he speaks of him (Phil. ii. 6) as being so in the form of God as to be equal with God.

A very striking confirmation of this view may be seen in the Epistle of this apostle to the Ephesians, iv. 9, 10, where he says, "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lowest parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." This passage most clearly shows that Paul regarded the origin of Jesus as divine; for how else could Jesus in ascending up to where he was before have gone so high as to rise to omnipresence? Water rises as high as its source; and therefore the height to which Jesus ascended, shows that the source of his being was divinity itself. This declaration of Paul compared with the Lords own declaration that he is Alpha as well as Omega--the Beginning as well as the End--the First as well as the Last, must make it plain that the apostle regarded Jesus in his origin as no less than God, who, as he descended from the highest principles of the godhead, could descend to the "lowest parts of the earth;" and in again ascending from the lowest parts of the earth, would rise again to the highest or first principles of Deity, so as to be in his exaltation God himself.

If the above had not been Pauls view of Jesus Christ, how could he have said, as he did to Timothy, (1 Ep. iii. 16,) "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory?" Mark, he says "God was manifest in the flesh, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world." And did not Paul preach Christ and him crucified? and was not Christ, when so preached, believed on in the world? Therefore, when Paul says God was received up into glory, is it not clear that he means that Christ was so received up?--thus that Jesus Christ in his descent, as well as in his ascent, was God; and so was in his origin, as he is now in his final existence, divine?

See, in this connection, Pauls Epistle to Titus, i. 3, where he says, "But hath in due times manifested his Word through preaching, which is committed unto me, according to the commandment of God our Saviour." Now who was it gave commandment to Paul to preach? Turn to the ninth chapter of the Acts, and you will see that it was Jesus Christ. It is plain, then, that he considered Jesus Christ as "God our Saviour." Indeed, in the next verse he expressly says, "Grace, mercy and peace from God the father, and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour." It is clear, then, that Paul considered Jesus Christ as God our Saviour. Hence there can be no doubt about the person to whom he alludes in the second chapter of this same Epistle to Titus, where he enjoins it on him to exhort servants to a faithful performance of their duties, "that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things," (verse 10): adding, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world: looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ," (verses 11-13): thus clearly intimating that Jesus Christ our Saviour is the great God.

It is not surprising, then, that Paul should say, (Rom. xiv. 10-12,) "for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." It would indeed have been surprising and unaccountable if he had said this and not considered Christ as God. For he says we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ--of course, to give account to Christ. But he says "every one of us shall give account of himself to God." Clearly, then, he must have considered Christ as God. For he asserts that Christ will be our judge, and to prove it quotes our text, in which Jehovah says "every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God:" thus leaving us to make the plain inference that Christ, who is to be our judge, is the same with Jehovah, and is God.

Since, then, it is clear that Paul considered Jesus Christ as God our Saviour, we need not be at a loss to understand these words of his in the third chapter of his Epistle to Titus, verses 4-6, "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy ghost; which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour." This apostle here seems, indeed, to make a distinction between "God our Saviour" and "Jesus Christ our Saviour." But is it not manifest that by "God our Saviour" he means the divine essence which dwells in Jesus Christ as a soul in a body? if he does not, and makes a personal distinction between them, then we have two saviours. But this is evidently not the case. For it is said in Hoses, (xiii. 4,) "I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no God but me: for there is no saviour besides me. Manifestly, then, "God our Saviour" and "Jesus Christ our Saviour" are one and the same. And hence Jesus Christ is God our Saviour.

Thus, by these passages of Pauls writings, we may see that he ascribes to Jesus Christ the attributes of God. For he ascribes to him the divine attribute of the creation and sustentation of all things; speaks of him as "the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever;" asserts that every knee should bow to him, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, thus that he should be the object of universal worship; and expressly calls him God our Saviour, and God over all blessed for ever.

Now it is perfectly evident that Paul could not have used this language in reference to the Lord Jesus unless he had considered him as God. And if there is but one God, as he expressly says there is, (Ephesians, iv. 6,) then Jesus Christ was in his estimation that one God. It is true that Paul makes a distinction between Jesus and the father, and seems to speak of them as if they were separate: bat we shall presently point out the grounds and nature of that distinction, and show, we trust clearly, that it does not militate against the idea that Jesus and the father are one person.

In order to confirm this position, let us now advert to one or two passages in the Epistles of the other apostles. We shall find that they too use language in reference to Jesus which is only applicable to the one supreme God. Thus James, in his Gen. Epist. ii. 1, says, "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons." Now how could he call Jesus Christ the Lord of glory if he did not regard him as a divine being? For who is the Lord of glory? Is he not the King of glory? And who is the King of glory? We are informed in the twenty-fourth Psalm, tenth verse, "The Lord of hosts, he is King of glory." According to James, then, Jesus Christ is the Lord of hosts, who is the supreme and only God. Compare this with Rev. xvii. 14, and xix. 16, where Jesus Christ,--who is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, (John, i. 29,) and the Word, which was God made flesh, (verse 14,)--is expressly called "King of kings and Lord of lords."

Again, Peter, in his First Epistle, i. 10, 11, says, "of which salvation the prophets have inquired, and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you; searching what, or what manner of time the spirit of Christ which was in them did testify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." Here Peter speaks of the spirit of Christ being in the prophets: while in his Second Epistle, i. 21, he says, "prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy ghost." Hence, according to him, the holy ghost and the spirit of Christ are the same. Now how could he have spoken of Christ in this way, if he had regarded him as a mere man, or if he had not regarded him as God? For compare this with Luke, i. 68-76, where Zacharias, filled with the holy ghost, prophesies, saying, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began." Here it is said the Lord God of Israel spake by the mouth of his holy prophets. Hence the spirit of Christ must have made one with the Lord God of Israel. And Christ and his own spirit are evidently one. According to Peter, then, Jesus Christ made one with the Lord God of Israel.

See, also, the conclusion of the Epistle of Jude, in which he ascribes glory and majesty, dominion and power, "to the only wise God our Saviour." Here he evidently alludes to the Lord Jesus, and hereby shows as clearly that he regarded him as God. So John (1 Epis. v. 20) speaks expressly of Jesus Christ as the "true God and eternal life." Wherefore, we may conclude that Jesus Christ was considered as God by all the apostles.

It is true, as we have already admitted, that both in the Acts and in the Epistles of the Apostles, there is a very manifest distinction made between the rather and the Lord Jesus. The most remarkable instance in the Acts is recorded in the fourth chapter, verses 24-30. Here there is a prayer addressed to the Lord God as a being distinct from his "holy child Jesus." This, it is believed, is the only instance recorded in the Bible of a direct address, made by the apostles or their disciples, to the Lord God, without going to him through the person Jesus Christ. In the case of Stephen, as remarked in our last discourse, the prayer was addressed directly to Jesus and not to God as the glory. But here the prayer is addressed to the Lord God, as the father of the child Jesus whom he had anointed. It may be that the apostles, like other men, were liable to fluctuations of state. They could not, any more than we can now, be made spiritual at once. They must, therefore, have frequently relapsed into the states peculiar to them as natural men. (See Rom. vii. 8-25.) Hence, as the ark rose and fell before it rested on Ararat, so they were, probably, at first, in alternate states of light and obscurity respecting the Lords true character. When they were opposed, persecuted and afflicted, and hence were brought into a desponding state, they would see less clearly the identity of Jesus and the father, and rest more in the apparent distinction between them: for they would be now in a more sensual and corporeal state of thought and affection; and therefore in a greater state of obscurity as to spiritual and divine thing: because the opposition, persecution and affliction which the Lord permitted them to suffer, were doubtless consequences of some low state, and designed in the divine mercy as means of elevating them out of it. Thus, after Peter and John had healed the cripple at the beautiful gate of the temple, and, having taught the people to ascribe the power and glory of their act to Jesus, because "his name, through faith in his name, had made the man strong," had consequently drawn upon themselves and their brethren the severe rebuke of the high priest and his council, the apostles must necessarily have been affected by the state of their accusers. Therefore they must have spoken in accommodation to their state, when speaking of Jesus. Hence they must have spoken both to and from a more or less sensual and corporeal slate. And hence their view of Jesus, at the time, must as necessarily have been an obscure one. Therefore, in praying from this state, they would of course pray obscurely to him as one with the father. But when, like Stephen, they became wrapped in beatific vision, or were strongly under the influence of potent heavenly associations, their views of the Lords true character would be clearer; and then they would, as Stephen did, regard Jesus as one with the father, and pray to the father only in and through him.

Such may be one way of explaining this discrepancy in the apostolic mode of addressing the Divine Being in prayer. But I rather think it is a strong case of discrimination between the Lords divine and human natures, in which the thought reverts to the human nature, before its glorification and full unition with the Divinity. The expression "holy child" indicates this--especially when compared with the thirty-sixth verse of the preceding chapter, where the apostle had said, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God bath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both LORD and CHRIST." Here Jesus is distinctly presented to the mind in a two-fold character, as one who could be crucified by the Jews, and therefore not the Divine Being; and as one who was made to become LORD as well as Christ, and therefore God himself. Why, then, is it not presumable that when Peter in the next chapter prays to the Lord God,--as, doubtless, he and John both did, with the rest of "their own company,"--he in reality prays to him who was made "Lord and Christ"; thus to Jesus Christ himself in his divinity; and only alludes to "the holy child Jesus;" as the humanity, contradistinguished from that divinity, as its bodily form in a yet subordinating state? The whole connection shows to my mind that the thought of the prayer, in respect to Jesus as the humanity or form of the divine essence, is retrospective.

But, be this as it may, it is certain that there is every where manifest a clear distinction between Jesus and the father in the minds of the apostles. Thus James styles himself "a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." Peter speaks of "the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Jude, too, addresses his Epistle "to them that are sanctified by God the father, and preserved in Jesus Christ." So Paul speaks of God our Saviour as saving us through Jesus Christ our Saviour--as if God our Saviour and Jesus Christ our Saviour were two persons. Hence it may be asked, how can we suppose the apostles considered Jesus Christ as God, when they thus speak of him as separate from God? How, it may be asked, can it be said that God our Saviour saves us through Jesus Christ our Saviour, if Jesus Christ is himself God our Saviour? Is not this as much as to say Jesus Christ saves us through himself? In order to answer these questions we must here again anticipate the subject of a future discourse, and lay open the grounds of the apparent distinction which the apostles make between Jesus and the father.

There is in the one person of Jesus Christ, a two-fold nature--a divine and a human nature. But these natures are not separate in Jesus Christ: for his human can no more exist separately from his divine nature, than an effect can exist separately from its cause, or a form from its essence, or a body from its soul. But the human and divine are distinct in him, just as an effect is distinct from its cause, or a form from its essence, or a body from its soul. And, for the sake of distinction, they are sometimes spoken of as separate, and in the spiritual world are sometimes represented as separate. Thus the divine and human natures of Jesus Christ were represented to John by "One sitting on the throne of God, and by a Lamb in the midst of the throne:" and the same was represented to Stephen by the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. And it is in reference to this distinction that the apostles speak of Jesus in connection with the father. For the speaking of Jesus in connection with the father, is the same, in an intellectual point of view, as the representing him standing on the right hand of the glory of God, is in a sensual point of view. Thus grace, mercy and peace are no less than twenty times implored of Christ together with the father. For example, Paul, in his Epistle to Titus, says, "To Titus mine own son after the common faith, grace, mercy and peace from God the father, and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour." Now here it would seem that God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour are two separate beings. But this cannot be. For grace, mercy and peace are the gifts of God only. And hence, if they are derived from two separate beings, there must be two Gods--which is impossible. But there is certainly a distinction made between them by the apostle. And it becomes a question what that distinction is. This can be determined only by a reference to other passages of his writings.

In Colossians, i. 15, this apostle says, Jesus Christ "is the image of the invisible God;" and, in another place, that he is "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his substance." (Heb. i. 3.) The relation of Jesus to the father, then, is that of brightness to glory, or of image to substance, which is the same as form to essence. When, then, Paul speaks of God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ, he alludes to the divine essence and the divine form, which together make one God. Thus he does not allude to Jesus Christ as a being separate from God, but to a principle in the one God, in contradistinction to another principle in the one God--to the external man of Deity as distinguished from his internal man--to the visible form as distinguished from the invisible essence. So in the terms "God our Saviour" and "Jesus Christ our Saviour," he alludes to the hidden essence and the manifested form of God. And as the form has nothing but what it derives from the essence--as the effect has nothing but what it derives from the cause--hence the form is one with the essence. Consequently, as the essence is divine, so also is the form. Thus,
as the father is God, so also is Jesus Christ God. And thus, as the father is Saviour, so also is Jesus Christ Saviour. When, then, it is said that God our Saviour saves us through Jesus Christ our Saviour, it is meant that the Essential Divinity saves us through the medium of his manifested form; and not that God in one person saves us by the mediation of God in another person.

Thus, then, when the apostles speak of Jesus Christ in connection with the father, they merely allude to what is external and internal in the one God. And hence, whether they say "God the father," or "Jesus Christ the Saviour," they equally mean the one, only, living and true God.

Therefore, when Paul says God our Saviour, according to his mercy, saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, he means, that God the father saves us by that regenerative process which he himself works in us through the medium of the human form and character by which he manifested himself upon earth. Thus he saves us by the mediation of Jesus Christ, who is "the image of the invisible God," and who has dwelling in him "all the fulness of the godhead bodily." In other words, God the father, as the soul and mind of Jesus Christ, saves us by the doctrines, precepts and divine spiritual influences of Jesus Christ--who is thus a mediator between God and man, just as my body is a mediator between my soul and you. And in this light it is, that Paul says, (1 Tim. ii. 5,) ii There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus:"not that the man Christ Jesus is a separate person, or an individuality distinct from the one God, but is that human principle, nature and form which the one God has taken to himself, or by which he has brought himself down to the sense, thought and affection of man--through which he thus communicates with man, and which, in a sense, he has in common with man. The man Christ Jesus is the external man of Jehovah himself--is the manifestation of his glory--is the express image of his substance; and hence he is not a person distinct from Jehovah. Jehovah is the invisible divinity which resides within him as a soul in its body, or as fire in its flame, or as an essence in its form. And as the invisible Jehovah God can be approached only through the form by which he manifests himself, hence that form is a mediator between him and man: and thus it is that the man Christ Jesus, who is the form of Jehovah, is the mediator between God and man. Hence, when Paul says "there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus," it is as if he had said illustratively, there is one sun, and one mediator between the sun and the earth, the light which proceeds from the sun. And the man Christ Jesus is no more separate from the one God, than the light which proceeds from the sun is separate from the sun.

Jesus Christ is actually, too, the "true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world." (John, i. 9.) And comparatively in the same way that light proceeds from flame, does Jesus, who is the light of truth, proceed from God the father, who is the dame of love. For "in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and God was the word--and the word was made flesh and dwelt among us." The word was the divine wisdom or truth, which was with God, because it was the form of divine love or goodness. And the divine wisdom or truth, descending from the divine love or goodness, manifested itself upon earth through a material body, with which it clothed itself and was thus made flesh, as light proceeds from the suns flame, and, descending into the atmospheres of this earth, manifests itself in the various material existences of nature. This body, through which the divine truth manifested itself, was called Jesus Christ. And thus Jesus Christ was the true light, because divine truth from divine goodness was in him as an animating soul, and beamed from his life and conversation, as a wise and virtuous soul shines in a good mans speech and actions.

Now, from what has been said, it results that there is the same relation between Jesus and the Essential Divinity that there is between the light of the sun and the flame or essential fire which constitutes the sun. And, if we keep this idea in our minds, it will enable us to apprehend rightly the distinction which the apostles make between Jesus and the father, when they mention them together. For the word was with God, that is, with the essential divine principle, or divine goodness, as light is with the suns flame: and the word was God, that is divine truth made one with the divine good, or the divine understanding made one with the divine will, as the suns light makes one with the suns flame. Hence, when it is said, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and God was the word--and the word was made flesh," we may imagine it is something similar to its being said, in the beginning there was light, and the light was with the sun, and the sun was the light, and the light was made matter.

Thus, then, there is no other distinction between Jesus Christ and God than there is between light and flame, brightness and glory, form and essence, or the visible image and the invisible substance. And Jesus Christ is no otherwise separate from the father than the light which proceeds from and manifests the sun is separate from the sun. He is "the glory as of the only begotten of the father"--"He is in the bosom of the father, and hath brought him forth to view"--"He came forth from the father," and hath shown him unto us. And thus those that see him see the father. For "all things that the father hath are his;" and "he is in the father, and the father in him." Hence "he and the father are one." Consequently, we may conclude, that the apostles, as they were filled by his spirit,--though they speak of him as if separate from the father,--must, nevertheless, have regarded him and the father as one. And this accounts for the fact that they ascribe to him the attributes, the perfections, and the acts of the father; implore from him together with the father, grace, mercy and peace; perform miracles, and pronounce benedictions in his name; expressly call him the Lord God of the holy prophets, (Rev. xxli. 6, 16,) and in all respects regard and worship him as God.

This enables us to understand, too, why Paul, though he often names Jesus in connexion with the father, seemingly as if they were separate, nevertheless expressly calls him God our Saviour, and God over all, blessed for ever. It is evident that he makes no other distinction between him and the father, than between what is visible and what is invisible, or the divine essence and its manifested form. Hence in Philippians, ii. 5, 6, he says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Mark, he here expressly says Christ Jesus is in the form of God, and implies that he is equal with God. Now in what sense can he be the form of God, unless as divine truth is the form of divine goodness? Supposing this to be Pauls meaning, then this passage runs parallel with the passages from John above quoted and illustrated. Thus he is the form of God, and is equal with God, because be is the word which was in the beginning with God, and was God.

But Paul proceeds to say, (verses 7, 8,) that, notwithstanding this his high estate, he "made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and, being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Now it is utterly inconceivable to me how any one, on reading this passage of Pauls writings, could doubt that he regarded Jesus Christ as God. Most certainly it is evident, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Paul did not, like the Socinian, regard Jesus as a mere man. For he speaks of his taking upon him the form of a servant, which shows that he had another form before he took upon him that of a servant. And as Paul says he was in the form of God, it follows that he was God before he appeared on earth as man. Thus it is manifest that Paul did not regard him as a mere man, but as God. And the Socinian, who, judging from mere appearances, mistakes Jesus Christ for a mere man because he, to effect the purposes of Iris mercy, took upon himself the form of a servant, is like a clown who should mistake a king for a peasant because he had assumed that disguise in order to become acquainted with, and to relieve, the actual condition of his subjects. But Paul was no Socinian. His spiritual discernment was too acute to be deceived by mere appearances. Beneath the habiliments of the despised Nazarene, he could see the royal robes of the King of kings. And though he calls him the man Christ Jesus, he was not therefore ignorant that he is also the Lord of lords. Hence he speaks of him as being found in fashion as a man, as humbling himself, and as becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Which is equivalent to the words being made flesh and dwelling among us: and implies that the divine truth assumed our nature with all its corruptions--that is, assumed a human free agency disposed to all evil, without destroying its appropriate life by a too powerful influx of the divine life, and experienced in it all the consciousness of human nature as it was then defiled; and by acting in this nature as another man, except that he acted from a divine impulse, dictate, or influx, he submitted to those trials and conflicts--even to death on the cross--which were necessary to purify and glorify this nature until it became divine. And when the divine nature of Jesus Christ had entirely broke the bonds of evil hereditarily accumulated in the human nature which he assumed upon earth, had entirely conformed himself to the laws of divine order, and had thus "by himself purged our sins," "he then ascended up on high leading captivity captive and receiving gifts for men." "He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High; being made so much better than the angels as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." For Jesus came forth from the father, and came into the world, and again he left the world, and went to the father. And the father glorified him with the glory which he had with him before the world was. "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father." All which implies that Jesus Christ was the manifested form of Jehovah upon earth--that the divine essence which was in him as a soul enabled him to purify himself until he became one with that divine essence, and thus became himself God--and that now he is to be worshiped directly as God, to the glory of the divine essence of which he is the manifested form. So "that all men should honour the son even as they honour the father." And "he that honoureth not the son, honoureth not the father which hath sent him."

Now was it possible for Paul thus to hold up Jesus Christ as the being before whom all created intelligences should prostrate themselves in adoration, and yet not regard him as God? For our part, we think this last passage alone conclusive; but when it is added to the other passages which we have brought forward from his epistles as well as those of the other apostles, there is an accumulated weight of evidence that they considered Jesus Christ as God which cannot be withstood. And therefore we conclude, that, though they speak of Jesus as if he were separate from the father, yet they saw clearly that he and the father are one person, and consequently must have considered him as God.

Indeed all difficulty on this subject would vanish if we were to apply the principles of our preceding discourses, and suppose that the apostles, by the terms father, son and holy ghost, understood a distinction of principles in the godhead.

Peter, when he addresses his First Epistle to the "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the father, through sanctification of the spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ," does indeed seem to imply that the father, the spirit, and Jesus Christ are three separate beings. But may not this be a mere appearance? May we not suppose that he considered these three as the distinct constituents of the one God? In short, may we not suppose that all the apostles considered God the rather as the essential divine principle, which in itself is incomprehensible and unapproachable by man?--Jesus Christ as this essential divine principle in a manifested form?--and the holy ghost as the spirit and influence of Jesus Christ? The more we consider this matter, the more are we convinced that the above suggestion is probable. The essential divine principle is love; the manifested form of this is light, or wisdom, or the word, or the truth; and the spirit of truth is truth operating in and sanctifying the hearts of men. May it not have been, then, in reference to these principles that the apostles spoke, and not to any separate individualities in the godhead? At least, will not their language bear this construction? And will not their language thus construed be less exceptionable, more consistent with reason as well as the Sacred Scriptures, and less liable to the charge of tritheism in ascribing to the father, the son and the holy ghost, each as a separate person, the incommunicable attributes of God? We have seen that, in speaking of Jesus, they use language which is only applicable to the supreme and only God; and it is utterly inconceivable how he can possess divine properties, and yet be an individuality separate from God the father, without supposing there are two beings possessing divine properties, which is to suppose there are two gods. But supposing that he is only the manifested form of God the father, and that there is no more distinction between him and the father than there is between a form and its essence, or a body and its soul, then all becomes plain and rational. For, in this case, it is no more absurd and improper to ascribe divine attributes to Jesus Christ than it is to ascribe the energies of a mans soul to his body. The essence and the form make one: for the essence cannot exist without its form, and the form cannot subsist without its essence. Hence what belongs to the essence belongs to the form, and what is ascribed to the essence may be ascribed to the form. Supposing, then, that Jesus is the form of God as a hidden divine essence within him, all that belongs to the divine essence may be ascribed to him; because all that belongs to the divine essence belongs also to him. And that this really is so, may be gathered from the Lords own words in John, xvi. 15, "All things that the father hath are mine." And again, ch. xii. 10, "all mine are thine, and thine are mine." And, therefore, supposing the apostles to regard him as holding this relation to the essential divine principle, or God the father, there would be no impropriety in their ascribing to him the attributes of God the father. Since, then, this view so satisfactorily explains their language, why may we not suppose they entertained it? And hence, when they speak of God the father, why may we not suppose that they allude to the principle of divine love, and not to an individual being or person called the father?--and when they speak of Christ, why may we not suppose that they allude to the principle of divine wisdom, or truth, in a human form, and not to another individual being, or person, called the son?--and when they speak of the holy ghost, why may we not, in like manner, suppose that they allude to the proceeding influence or spirit of Christ, instead of a third separate or distinct personality? The view of three separate or distinct personalities is clogged with insuperable difficulties, but that of three essential principles in one divine person is highly rational; and while it enables us to account for the threefold distinction which the apostles every where in their writings make, it also enables us to account for their ascription of the incommunicable properties of God to the man Christ Jesus. For, according to this view, they regarded the man Christ Jesus as nothing more than the outward form of the essential divinity dwelling within him.

And we are not left to conjecture on this point: for Paul expressly says that Jesus Christ was in the form of God--that he is the express image of Gods substance, and the brightness of his glory: and thus the Lord Jesus can no more be a person separate or distinct from the father, than brightness is a person separate or distinct from glory, or the form of God a person distinct from the essence of God.

John also, as we have shown before, and as we shall show more fully in our next discourse, speaks of God as love, and God as light. And it is very manifest to those who study his Epistles in connection with the Gospel written by him, that he identifies Jesus Christ with God as light. Supposing, then, that he alluded to the father, or essential principle of Deity, when he speaks of God as love, we have it clearly indicated that be distinguished between Jesus Christ and the father, as between the two principles light and love.

Jesus Christ is, moreover, clearly identified with the second or formative principle in the godhead mentioned above, viz. the light, the divine wisdom, the word, or the truth. For Paul expressly calls him "the wisdom of God." (1 Cor. i. 24.) John shows that he was "the word made flesh, and the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world." (John, i. 1, 14.) And Jesus himself asserted that be is "the truth." (John, xiv. 6.)

We conclude, then, that the apostles, when they speak of Jesus as distinct from the rather, regard him as no otherwise so than a form is distinct from its essence. And as the form of a divine essence must be divine as well as the essence, hence, that they ascribed to him divine attributes and considered him as their God.



We have now seen, by quotations from the Epistles of all the apostles except John, that there is language used in reference to Jesus Christ which can only be applied to God. We have reserved our quotations from the Epistles of John to the last, because they contain a passage which we wish to consider somewhat minutely.

And now, in conclusion, we are to answer the question, why the apostles, when they saw clearly that the Lord Jesus and the father are one person, did not utter this truth plainly. The reason we have to give why the apostles did not state in express language that Jesus Christ and the father are one person, is because this was too spiritual a truth for the incipient state of the church. It was in express reference to this point that we introduced the second sermon of this series, the main object of which was to show the great spirituality of the truth that Jesus Christ is God alone, and the consequent difficulty of its reception by natural men. Hence the low natural views of the first Christians did not allow them to comprehend this truth. It is a truth which the spiritual mind alone can in any degree comprehend. The merely natural mind cannot conceive how God can be man. It cannot conceive how the infinite, the eternal, the omniscient, and the omnipresent God can be at the same time in heaven, and in a circumscribed bodily form upon earth. All the ideas of the natural mind are derived from time and space; and therefore time and space must enter into the idea which this mind forms of the Divine Being. Thus its idea of the Divine Being is as duration without beginning or end and space without limit. For these are the eternal and infinite of time and space. And as it is impossible for the mind to form any conception of time without beginning and end, or of space without limit, hence it is impossible for the natural mind to conceive of the Deity as existing in form. For in the idea of the natural mind, form is limited in space. Consequently, it would be impossible for the natural mind to conceive of the Divine Being as existing in a human form, thus as existing in Jesus Christ. This is one of those deep arcana of heaven, one of those things of God, which Paul says are foolishness to the natural man, and which must be spiritually discerned. "Great" says he, "is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." (I Tim. iii. 16.) These words have reference to the assumption and glorification of human nature by the Divine Being: and this is called a great mystery. Is it, then, to be supposed that the natural mind can comprehend it. Surely not. And hence we may see why Paul says, in another place, "no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the holy ghost." (1 Cor. xii. 3.) Hence, that Jesus Christ is God and God alone, is a truth which the mere natural mind cannot conceive and admit. And hence Paul, though he might have had a very clear idea of this truth himself,--as he had been caught up into the third heaven and had seen unutterable things,--was under the necessity of being cautious how he uttered this truth plainly when he was addressing natural men.

But it may be asked what evidence have you that this was the character of the first Christians? We reply, does it not stand to reason, that, in that period of the world in which it was necessary for the Divine Being to descend to earth to redeem men from perdition, all men must have been in the most gross and grovelling condition; and was it possible to raise them instantly from this to a state of spiritual perception? It is said that the kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed--small in its beginning and gradual in its growth. Must not, then, the church, which is the kingdom of heaven upon earth, be of a similar nature; and thus must not those who first constitute the church be in a lower state than those by whom it is subsequently and finally constituted? That the character of the Lords disciples, and of course of the first Christians, was merely natural, is evident from the fact that they so often understood him in a natural sense when his words had a spiritual import; and from the fact that he so frequently had occasion to explain to them the meaning of what he had uttered. That this was their character is plain, too, from his expressly saying, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." (John, xvi. 12.) And again, "These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs; but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the father." (verse 25.) These words of the Lord show clearly that the state of the first Christians was more obscure then that of the church at some future day would be. And we may gather that it was an obscurity as to perception of the truth that he was the very father.

That Paul, too, considered the first Christians in a low natural state, and on this account did not speak more plainly of Jesus as identical with the father, must be manifest to any one who attentively reads his Epistles. See, for instance, what he says to the Corinthians, in his First Epistle, iii. 1-3, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it: neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal." This language is express with regard to the Corinthians, showing them to be in the lowest natural state as Christians, or only on the verge of spirituality. How then could he speak to them plainly of a truth which is so highly spiritual and mystical in its character that even the angels desire to look into it (1 Pet. i. 12.) And we may conclude, from the tenor of his Epistles to the Christians of other churches, that they were in a state little if any superior to that of the Corinthians. See his Epistle to the Gallatians, i. 6, and iii. 3. Also, Ephesians, iv. 14; and his Epistles throughout.

Turn especially to the fifth chapter of his Epistle to the Hebrews, which is directly in point. For in that chapter he is speaking of Christ. And "of whom" he expressly says, (verse 11,) " we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when, for the time, ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." Here all we are contending for is uttered in so many words. For Paul says explicitly, that he had many things to say of Christ, which he could not say on account of the low state of those to whom he addressed himself. They were only in the first principles of Christianity, and therefore could not bear the plain enunciation of its sublimest truth, that Jesus Christ and the father are one and the same person. In their mere natural views of things they were prone to regard Jesus as a mere man like themselves; and to have told them in direct terms that he and the father are absolutely identical, would have been uttering to them a hard saying, which they could not have borne. He was obliged, therefore, to accommodate himself to their state, and to speak as unto babes. He, therefore, spake according to the appearances of things, and seemed to speak of Jesus as if he were separate from the father: just as an earthly parent must speak, according to appearances, to his infant children in relation to the things of this world. Because, if a parent were to talk to his children in philosophical language, it would be perfectly impossible for them to understand him. Thus he must speak of the suns rising and setting--though it is philosophically true that the sun is stationary, and the appearance of its rising and setting is produced by the earths rotary motion on its axis. For a childs mind being as yet formed by the appearances of truth only, he is not able to apprehend the philosophical truth. And if you talk to him about the fact as it really is, the appearance in his mind is so contrary to what you say, that he cannot believe you. So had Paul spoken to the early Christians in plain terms about the identity of the Lord Jesus and the father, his doctrine would have been so contrary to appearances in their natural mind, that they would have rejected it wholly. And thus, that they might receive this most important spiritual truth in any degree, he was obliged to clothe it in a natural form suited to their natural state. Hence he spoke of Jesus in connection with the father, and ascribed to him divine attributes; thus intimating that he was in some sense divine, and hereby leading them to regard him with religious veneration, without expressly asserting his identity with the rather. This statement of the truth was explicit enough for that state of the church. It was as full a disclosure of the divine character of Jesus Christ as the minds of men at that time would bear. And it enabled the natural Christian to understand the truth in his degree, white the spiritual Christian could understand ii in his: just as the usual custom of saying the sun rises and sets is accommodated to the apprehension of the illiterate man, while it does not prevent the philosopher from understanding the truth philosophically.

Thus we may discern why Paul,--though he himself saw clearly, as every Christian who arrives at his state: of spiritual discernment, will, that Jesus and the father are one and the same person,--yet does not, in his Epistles to the first Christians, state this truth plainly.

But although Paul does not say in so many words that Jesus Christ and the father are one person, he speaks of him in such a way as clearly to intimate that this is the truth. He uses such language in relation to Jesus that it is impossible for the mind to conceive of the truth in any other way, without an idea of two divine beings or of two gods.

Notwithstanding, then, the apparent distinction between Jesus and the father in the Epistles of Paul, it is evident that this apostle considered Jesus Christ as God. Hence we conclude that Jesus Christ was the God of Paul; and, of course, of all the apostles.

To Jesus Christ, then, be glory and dominion, for ever! For "there is given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages should serve him--his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Dan. vii. 13, 14.)


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 13        SERMON XII.

ISAIAH, IX. 6.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."

IN our last discourse we made quotations from all the Epistles except those of John. And we trust it was proved satisfactorily, that the authors of those Epistles, though they speak of Jesus Christ as if he were separate from the father, nevertheless really considered him as one with the father, and thus as God. We pointed out the grounds and nature of the distinction which the apostles make between Jesus and the father, suggested the probability of their understanding by the terms father, son and holy ghost three distinct principles in the godhead, and showed that the reason why they did not say plainly that Jesus and the father are one person, was, because the church in their day was not in a state to see and admit a truth so highly spiritual. We now bring forward the testimony of John also, that Jesus Christ was the God of the apostles.

Glancing our eye over the Epistles of John, we every where discern that he speaks of Jesus Christ as the son of God; and by this term, it is very evident that he understood, as we have theretofore explained it, an embodied presentation of the divine essence.

A son of any thing, in the sense in which the Scriptures use this term, is that which proceeds from it and presents an image of it in another degree. Thus a plant is the son of the vegetable soul that flows into the elements of nature and clothes itself with a correspondent form. Certain mineral substances, if their minute parts are suspended in a suitable solvent and are left free to obey the laws of attraction flowing in from the spiritual world, invariably arrange themselves into certain crystalline forms. Thus the carbonate of lime, or limestone, crystallines in the form of a rhomboid; common salt in the form of a cube; and silex, or quartz, in the form of a six-sided prism. Now this prismatic form is the son of the spiritual principle which so flows into and clothes itself in the natural world. And by seeing the form of the crystal, we know the quality of the spiritual principle which produces that form. Just so Jesus Christ is the son of God. And hence Paul calls him the express image of Gods substance. So that when we see him, we see the image of the divine essence; and by seeing his form may know the quality of that essence. Wherefore, he himself says, "He that seeth me seeth the father." It is evidently in this sense of an embodied presentation of the divine essence, that John speaks of Jesus Christ as the son of God throughout his Epistles; and therefore, by virtue of Jesus Christs conjunction with the Eternal Divinity, regards him as a divine principle which existed antecedent to the incarnation.

Thus he says, (1 Ep. v. 5,) "who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the son of God?" So throughout the chapter, in which he evidently ascribes to Jesus divine properties, and makes him one with God the father. For he says "there are three that bear record in heaven, the father, the word and the holy ghost: and these three are one." (verse 7.) It is clear that the word in this passage is identical with Jesus, as will be seen by comparing it with the Gospel by John, i. 1, 14. "And," again, "this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his son. "He that hath the son hath life; and he that hath not the son of God hath not life." (verses 11, 12.) Here eternal life is ascribed to Jesus Christ, and is said to be in him: and this is ascribing to him a divine property which is absolutely incommunicable from one person to another.

So in chapter iv. 2, 3, he says, "Hereby know ye the spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God; and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God." Here he speaks of Jesus Christ coming in the flesh, as if he existed before he came in the flesh--thus intimating that Christ is a divine principle.

Compare, too, the first and sixteenth verses of the third chapter: "Behold what manner of love the father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God""Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us." Now it is manifest that Jesus laid down his life for us: how, then, could John say that God laid down his life for us, if he did not consider Jesus Christ as God? See in connection with this, Acts, xx. 28, where Paul, speaking to the elders of the church at Ephesus, says, "Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock over the which the holy ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." We presume there cannot be a doubt in any mind that Paul alludes here to Jesus Christ; and therefore, he expressly calls him God. Thus we may conclude from the express language of both Paul and John, that they considered Jesus Christ as God.

But it is likewise true that John, with the other apostles, makes a distinction between Jesus and the father. Thus (1 Ep. i. 3) he says, "And truly our fellowship is with the father, and with his son Jesus Christ." But if any one has read attentively the sermons of this series, we think he will say it is perfectly manifest that this distinction, as it existed in the mind of John, was nothing more than a distinction of divine principles. For, in chapter iv. 8, he says, "God is love:" this is the father. And, in chapter i. 5, he says, "God is light:" this is the son. For turn to his Gospel, i. 1, 9, and you will find him saying, of the word which was in the beginning with God and was God, that he "was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world:" and afterwards, (verses 14, 34,) of this word made flesh, or Jesus, you will find him saying, "And I saw and bear record that this is the son of God." Thus the distinction between the father and the son is as of love and light: or as of love and wisdom; because light is truth and truth is wisdom. And Jesus Christ is the son, because he, as the light, is the embodied presentation of the dame of divine love; or because he, as "the truth," is the embodied presentation of the divine goodness, and thus is, to use the words of Paul again, "the brightness of the fathers glory." Therefore, the distinction between Jesus Christ and the father is the same as that between truth and goodness or wisdom and love: thus is a distinction of principles, and not of persons. When, then, John says, "our fellowship is with the father, and with his son Jesus Christ," he means that our fellowship is with the divine love or goodness, and with the divine wisdom or truth, which is the manifested form of the divine love or goodness, and is thus the only begotten son of the divine love or goodness.

And this distinction does not so destroy the unity of the father and the son as that he might not say, as he does in chapter v. 7, they are one. For the father and the son, though they are distinct, make one as love and wisdom make one; or as will end understanding, or thought and speech, make one. That this is the distinction, and this the unity, between the father and the son, which were conceived in the mind of John, is very manifest from what he says in-chapter ii. 20, "But ye have an unction from the Holy One"--and in verses 22, 23, "who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? he is anti-christ that denieth the father and the son. Whosoever denieth the son, the same hath not the father." Here he calls Jesus the Holy One, and implies that he who denies Jesus denies the father also: for he says he is anti-christ who denieth the father and the son: which is the same as saying he that is against Christ is against both the father and the son; inasmuch as to deny one is to deny the other. Thus it is plain that he considered the son and the father one, and only distinct as truth and goodness are distinct. For whosoever denieth the truth denieth the good of which it is the manifested form. And as there can be no distinction between Jesus Christ and the truth which he utters, hence he that denies the truth denies Jesus Christ. And as Jesus Christ is "the truth;" and as the truth comes forth from, thus is the manifested form, or the son, of the divine goodness or father; and he that denieth the truth denieth the good which sent it; hence he that denieth Jesus Christ denieth the father that sent him.

By denying Jesus a man renounces the doctrines and the precepts which Jesus when on earth uttered, and which his Gospel now contains; and by renouncing these doctrines and precepts, or by not living according to these doctrines and precepts, he is without the good from which they came forth in the divine mind of Jesus, and to which they lead in the human mind of every one who faithfully and perseveringly reduces them to practice. And thus "whosoever denieth the son, the same hath not the father." Hence John says, in the next verse, the twenty-fourth, "Let that therefore abide in you which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the son, and in the father." Now what did they hear from the beginning but the truth? and how could this remain in them but by their practicing it? In the degree that they practised the truth, they continued in the truth; and in the degree that they continued in the truth, they continued in the son, that is Jesus Christ, for he is "the truth," (John, xiv. 8;) and in the degree that they continued in the son, they continued in the good to which the truth he utters leads--that is, they continued in the father. Hence it is that John said to them to whom he wrote, that if what they had heard from the beginning remained in them, they should continue in the son and in the father. And hence the Lord himself said to his disciples, (John, xiv. 23,) "if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." For, in the degree that a man loves the truth, he does it; and in the degree that he does the truth, his mind is opened to the influences of divine love--thus the father loves him; and in the degree that the divine love is shed abroad in a mans heart, with all its sanctifying and perfecting influences, he has a clearer and fuller internal perception of goodness and truth, even the same truth which he before had seen only intellectually : thus both the father and the son "come unto him;" and in the degree that he, from the delight of this perception, more thoroughly and effectively reduces these principles to practice, so that they become a matter of habit with him, they acquire within him a fixed habitation, and thus both the rather and the son "make their abode with him."

To the same purport, the Lord says, (John, xv. 7-10,) "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.--If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love." "He that hateth me, hateth my father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now they have both seen and hated both me and my father." (verses 23, 24.) Now it was impossible for them to have seen and hated the father in any other sense than as divine goodness manifested in his speech and actions. For the Lord says, on another occasion, (John, v. 37,) they had neither heard the fathers voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And John ii. 18) says; "No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten son which is in the bosom of the father, he hath declared him:" by which he means that no man has had presented to his outward vision, or to his mental perception, the essential divine principle or divine love, except so far as that principle is manifested in the person and character of Jesus Christ. For in 1 Ep. iv. 2, he uses the same words, "No man hath seen God at any time;" and proceeds, "If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us:" and afterwards, (verse 16,) "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him:" thus showing that God is a principle of love, and that God is in us in the degree that that principle operates in us and produces the activities of love to one another.

Now that this principle of divine love is most fully manifested in Jesus Christ, John leaves us to infer from these words, (verse 15): "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God:" for to confess that Jesus is the son of God, is to believe that he came forth from God so as to be God in form--that is, that he came forth from divine love so as to present the divine love in form--thus that he is the outward form of the divine essence. Or, in other words, it is to believe that he is the divine truth manifesting the divine goodness--for nothing but a divine form can adequately present to view a divine essence, and the form of the divine essence is truth itself. Hence the idea of Jesus Christ as the son of God, implies nothing less than that he is that very truth itself, or that divine truth which manifests the divine goodness. And to confess that Jesus is the son of God in this sense, is not only to make a verbal asseveration of belief in the proposition which asserts that such is his divine character, nor to make a mere intellectual assent to that proposition; but the confession to which the apostle here alludes consists in an internal acknowledgment, or a full assent of the will, that such is the Lords character; and this acknowledgment or assent, if sincere and abiding, leads inevitably to the practice of his precepts. In short, the true confession of the Lord, is simply the keeping of his commandments. For Paul says, "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Rom. x. 10.)

And if Jesus Christ is the divine truth, or the form of divine goodness, his precepts, embracing as they do his truth, must be the dictates of the truest wisdom, which point out the way to eternal life, and which, therefore, in the conformity of the will to them produce the only true righteousness, and in the regulation of the life by them lead to the only sure salvation. Hence, to believe, that is, to acknowledge from the will, that Jesus is the son of God, or the divine truth, brings us under the necessity of obeying his precepts, as much as a sick mans believing that a physician can cure him, brings him under the necessity of taking his prescriptions. But, as the precepts of Jesus are practiced, the character of him who practices them becomes, as we have said, perfected in the internal perception and the outward exhibition of all that is good and true; which is to have the love of God shed abroad in the heart. And thus it is that the love of God is shed abroad in the heart, that is, in the will and its consequent conduct, so as to have God himself dwelling in the man who is thus perfected.

Thus, then, it is because the belief of the Lords divinity, with the consequent practice of his precepts, brings men into the slate in which they perceive the divine love in their hearts, that John says, "Whosoever shall confess [that is, show by his life] that Jesus is the son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God." And, consequently, this apostle clearly shows that Jesus Christ, being the visible manifestation of divine love, is the "only mediator" between the divine love and men; and that he makes one with the divine love as a form makes one with its essence.

Hence we can clearly see what John means when he says, (1 Gen. Ep. v. 20,) "We know that the son or God is come." For the word, or the truth, is God; because "the word was in the beginning with God, and God was the word;" and the son of God is the bodily presentation of this word, or truth, in a lower degree; and the true disciples of the Lord are those who so learn of him as to have the truth, which is the son of God, that is, a bodily presentation of the Lords truth or commandments formed in their lives by regeneration from him. And therefore when any are so far regenerated from the Lord as to have his truth not only acknowledged in their wills, but also presented bodily in the lower degree of their outward lives, then they know that the son of God is come. They see, they feel, they have the vital experience of the truth of good in their own regenerated lives. This is what John meant when he said "We know that the son of God is come. And that such is really the meaning of these words, must surely be plain to every spiritually-minded person who duly considers what follows"and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true: and we are in him that is true, in his son Jesus Christ--This is the true God, and eternal life."

To clearly understand these latter clauses of this passage, we have only to bear in mind the remarks which have already been made upon the passages just quoted from the writings of the same apostle. If our minds have dwelt profitably upon those passages, and have heeded well the remarks which have been made upon them, we have clearly discerned that John calls the word which was in the beginning with God, and was God, and which was made flesh and dwelt among us so as to be "God-with-us"--the son of God. He also calls this word made flesh "the true light," and says, in another place, that "God is light." From which we may conclude that this word made flesh is divine truth made manifest; because truth is spiritual light. And hence the son of God is divine truth proceeding from and manifesting divine goodness or love. For John says that God is love, and the son of God must be the manifested form of God. Hence the son of God is the manifested form of love. And it is perfectly clear that Jesus Christ is this son of God: for he is the word made flesh and "the truth." When, then, John said, "we know that the son of God has come" he means that divine truth, which is the form of divine love, had been manifested in the character of Jesus Christ,--and that they his disciples, had had a perception of this divine truth in their own minds, by having the image and likeness of that character stamped on their souls by regeneration. Hence he says," And hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true"--that is, the divine truth in and through Jesus Christ has opened our understandings, and has elevated our mental perceptions, so that we can see the truth.

The word in the original, which is rendered "him that is true," is [scanner unable to insert words], a mere adjective, without any substantive which it qualifies, and thus may be taken in a substantive sense to signify truth in the abstract, that is, the principle of truth. And hence this clause signifies that the Lord Jesus has given us an understanding whereby we can understand the truth. This is in fact, too, what Jesus Christ did. For, in Luke, xxiv. 45, we read that he "opened the understandings of his disciples that they might understand the Scriptures." So, while journeying with the two who were going to Emmaus, he "beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." And after he had vanished from their sight, "they said one to another, did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?"

This, then, is the sense in which we are to understand John when he says the son of God "hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true" he hereby implies that Jesus Christ has elevated our spiritual state, so that we can understand the truth.

"And we are in him that is true, in his son Jesus Christ." This clause, too, if literally rendered, would imply that we are in the principle of truth, and the son of it, that is, the sensible or bodily presentation of it in a still lower degree. For him that is true, signifies, as we have seen, abstract truth, or the principle of truth, as the son of God, and hence the son of him that is true is a bodily manifestation of this essential truth to the senses or the lowest perceptive faculty of man. And such a bodily manifestation of divine truth was Jesus Christ. For he was the word made flesh. These words, therefore, imply that we are the disciples of Jesus Christ--that is, those who believe in him and practice his precepts. For in the degree that we believe in Jesus and practice his precepts, we are in the principle which proceeds from him, and this is the truth: because "in him is life, and the life is the light of men"--he is "the way, the truth, and the life"--and the words he "speaks unto us are spirit and are life;" and John says "the spirit is truth." And the Lord plainly shows what it is to be in him, to abide in him and to be his disciples, (John, xv. 5, 8,) where he says, "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit;" and "herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much fruit--so shall ye be my disciples" and again "ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." (verse 14.)

Thus, we are in him that is true, when we are in a rational conviction of truth, and in the son of him that is true, when our characters are formed according to that rational conviction. For the life of a rational conviction of truth, or the life of truth in the abstract, is a bodily presentation of that truth in a lower degree, thus is the son of that truth. And as Jesus Christ was the most perfect, the infinite life of truth in the abstract, that is of the Word of God, and his Gospel is the record of his life, hence we are in him that is true, and in the son of him that is true, when our understandings are enlightened, when our wills are rectified, and when our lives are formed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When, then, the disciples of the Lord are regenerated from him, and thus have "the old man put off, which is corrupt after the deceitful lusts of the flesh, and have the new man put on, which is created after God in righteousness and true holiness," they know that the son of God has come, they see him reflected in their own mind as in a mirror. And they perceive that this son of God has given them an understanding, by which they are enabled to see the truth in rational light--thus to know him that is true; and to appropriate this truth into their wills--thus to be in him that is true; and to bring this truth into their lives--thus to be in the son of him that is true.

Now when any are in the son of him that is true, that is, when they are in the life of rational truth, they perceive that the perfect life of that truth is divine. Thus they are enabled to perceive that Jesus Christ, who is the perfect, the infinite, life of divinely rational truth, is divine. And hence they are enabled to say, This,--that is, the perfect life of divine rational truth, which is the Divine Humanity of Jehovah, which is Jesus Christ,--this is the true God and Eternal life!

Thus you see that John confirms the doctrine that the Lord as to his human nature is divine; and that he clearly inculcates that Jesus Christ, the Divine Humanity of Jehovah God, is the true God, and therefore the proper object of Christian worship.

We know, there are those who quibble about the antecedent to the pronoun this; and say that it refers to God, and not to Jesus Christ as the son of God. We cannot, therefore, better conclude this discourse, and our whole subject, than with a cursory argument on this point.

It would seem, from the tenor of the Epistles of John, that the minds of the early Christians were unsettled by heretical opinions, already broached in the church, with regard to the incarnation of the divine truth. It was probably held that the divine truth had been manifested; but it was perhaps supposed that it had been by means of a vision only, and not by an actual incarnation. Hence, that there was such a being as Jesus Christ; but that he had existed only in an ideal and not in an actual corporeal form. To combat this heresy, therefore, appears to be the drift of John in his Epistles. Thus he condemns those as anti-christ who deny that Jesus had come in the flesh. And by all the force of his authority maintains that the divine truth, or the son of God, had actually assumed a human form upon earth; and clearly, unequivocally and emphatically asserts, that Jesus Christ--who was the divine truth so manifested--is the true God and eternal life.

This was the grand object of the apostles design--to show that Jesus Christ, he whom they had known on earth, with whom they had been from the beginning, from whose own lips they had received command. to preach the gospel, whose gospel had been preached and received, and by the knowledge and practice of whose precepts his disciples had been formed as a body from him its head--it was the main object of the apostles design, I say, to show that this Jesus was not merely an ideal but an actual manifestation of divine truth, and thus was himself the very and eternal God, the fountain and stream of eternal life. Hence we see the error of those who argue that the pronoun this does not refer to Jesus Christ as its antecedent, but to the father understood. For who doubts, or ever doubted, that the father is the true God. The first Christians had worshiped Jesus Christ as God; and this was the matter which had now come into doubt. John was writing about the true object of worship, and cautions those to whom he writes to beware of idols. In order to show them the true object, it was not necessary for him to say that the father is the true God; for this they all knew as well as he did. The only question was about the son. Some were for rejecting the son, and for going to the Father direct without him. They denied that the son had come. And it was for the express purpose of combating these notions that John writes. Thus it was his design to show that the son is the true object of worship; and that it is impossible to worship the father without worshiping the son. Hence he says, "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is anti-christ that denieth the father and the son. Whosoever denieth the son, the same hath not the father. Thus, in answer to those who were for rejecting the son, and for worshiping the father out of the son, he directly asserts that they who have not the son have not the father: of course, intimates that they who do not worship the son cannot worship the father who is in him, and whom he manifests. And, in answer to those who denied that the son had come, he as directly asserts, that "every spirit which confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God. And this is that spirit of anti-christ whereof ye have heard that it should come." Again, he says expressly, "we know that the sop of God is come; and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true: and we are in him that is true, in his son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." Thus he completely rebuts the idea that the son had not come, and that the son was not to be worshiped, by directly asserting that they could not have or worship the father without the son, and by unequivocally declaring that the son had come, and that the son is the true God and eternal life.

That John refers to Jesus Christ when he says "this is the true God and eternal life," is confirmed by the eleventh verse, where he says, "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his son." For if eternal life is in the son, then the son may be called eternal life. And, therefore, John must have had reference to the son, when he said this is eternal life. Moreover he that hath eternal life in him, and may be called eternal life, is the true God. Jesus himself also says, "As the father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the son to have life in himself." And as none can have life in himself but God, therefore the son is God. And hence John meant the son when he said, "This is the true God and eternal life." Again, the son is expressly called God in Ps. xlv. 6, and in Heb. i. 8, as well as in this verse of John"But unto the son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."




But nothing can be more directly to the point than the express and emphatic words of our text: "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Hero, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." From this passage, there cannot be a shadow of doubt, that there was the best authority for calling the son, God. And hence we are not under the necessity of supposing that the term God must in all cases refer solely to the essential divine principle or to the father. And let it be well remarked that it is the child who is born unto us, that is to be called God. For then it will be most clear that it is Jesus Christ who is to be called God. And moreover, call to mind the words quoted in our last discourse from Paul, "It was commanded that all the angels of God should WORSHIP the son." Thus it is clear that the son is the object of angelic worship; and He whom angels worship, ought surely to be worshiped by men. Yet no being ought to be worshiped besides the true God. Therefore, John was justified in calling the son the true God, and in holding him up as the proper object of worship. And hence we may conclude that he does call him "the true God and eternal life;" and, of course, that John considered Jesus Christ, who is the only begotten son of God, as his God.

Wherefore, Jesus Christ was the God of the apostles; and is, both now and for ever, the only true object of all Christian worship. And therefore, if any are worshiping any other God than him--if any can think of the one, ever living, and true God without at the same time thinking solely of Jesus Christ, or think of Jesus Christ, without at the same time thinking solely of the one, ever living, and true God--they are guilty of idolatry! and it greatly behooves them, in view of any other notions of God which they may have formed, to take heed to this apostles closing and most solemn injunction--"Little children, KEEP YOURSELVES FROM IDOLS!"


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 14        SERMON XIII.

MATTHEW, XXVII. 46.

"And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

IN heretofore discoursing upon the nature of the godhead, we have illustrated, it is presumed, with sufficient clearness, how there is and must be a trinity in the one God. We have shown the nature of the word which was in the beginning with God, and was God. We have shown how this word was made flesh and dwelt among us. The perfect unity of the humanity and divinity has been demonstrated. So that in Jesus Christ God is seen as man and man as God, as a divine essence in a human form, or a divine soul in a human body, and thus one as a soul and body are one--one God in one person, the only proper object of all Christian worship--"God over all blessed for ever"--"the only true God and eternal life."

But there is no subject so difficult, in the nature of things, for the sensual mind to conceive, as the unity of God and man in one person. And appearances in the letter of the Word are so much against the idea, that, while the sensual mind rests in those appearances, the difficulty of its conception is increased. Hence it is almost impossible to explain this matter to such a mind.

To appearance, man is a determined form, limited and fixed in time and space, and, though possessed of powers of almost indefinite variety and extent, yet essentially ignorant, weak, dependent and erring; while God is supposed to be all that is opposite to these qualities--formless, unlimited mind--infinitely above time and space, yet omniscient and omnipresent--totally independent of all beings--in himself possessed of life--eternal, infinite, all wise and all powerful in his being and attributes, and absolutely unerring in all his operations. To conceive a union of such opposites, therefore, is impossible. And hence, to speak of a divine human is, to some minds, a solecism--is sneered at as a contradiction in terms. And to them, the assertion that Jesus Christ is God, is equally so. His own declarations that he and the father are one, and they that see him see the father--that he is in the father and the father in him--that he has life in himself as the father has life in himself--that he has all power in heaven and on earth--that he is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, who was, who is, and who is to come, the Almighty, are interpreted to mean any thing but what they really do mean--his individual unity and identity with the whole godhead. These declarations are supposed to have a figurative meaning--to mean that he, as the first and highest, though subordinate, agent of the Divine Being, is gifted with those supreme titles on account of his delegated divine functions--that he is called God as angels, to whom the word of God came, were so called. They contend that it would have been arrogant and blasphemous in the extreme for him to have claimed those titles to himself as expressing qualities inherent in him as his own; and they prove, to their own satisfaction, that he used them in relation to himself only in some modified, conditional, relative or derivative sense. And they feel themselves fully borne out in their view by the letter of the Sacred Scriptures. Hence, when, from these his own declarations, you argue for his unity with the Essential Divinity, their minds instantly revert to those other sayings of his in which he confesses his inferiority to the father, or his subordination to him,--as where he declares, "My father is greater than I"--"I speak not of myself, but the father that is in me, he doeth the work"--"I ascend unto your father and my father, to my God and your God," and, in our text, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!"--and they reply, how can Jesus Christ be one and the same God with the Essential Divinity when he expressly addresses that Divinity as his God? And when he calls himself the father, and says he is one with him, how can he literally mean what he says, when he elsewhere positively declares his inferiority to the father? It is, indeed, a strong case for them as well as for us. Both of us are justified in our views by the mere letter of the Word. The flaming sword of the cherubim turns every way. The Lord does indeed say as positively in the letter that the father is greater than he, as he positively says that he and the father are one, and that they who see him see the father. So that, if we stick in the mere letter, the Lord apparently contradicts himself. Hence, those who look upon him only as a man, reconcile his words by supposing him, when he asserts his identity and unity with the father, to speak figuratively; and to speak literally, when he asserts his inferiority to him. And they explain those his figurative expressions, so as to make them harmonize with these which they deem the literal truth.

The reason why they suppose those to be figurative, of course, and these literal is, because it is contrary to all appearance that Jesus as man should be God, and they rest in appearances. It was so with the Jews, who when he asserted his divinity took up stones to stone him, because "he, being a man, made himself equal with God." The Jews, in this case, judged according to appearance, and the appearance to them was indeed such as to justify their judgment. And nothing was more contrary to the appearance than the Lords assertion to Philip, "He that hath seen me hath seen the father." If he had been to appearance the father, Philip would not have asked him to show them the father, and he need not have asserted his and the fathers identity with so much asseveration. Thus, if he had manifestly appeared to be the father, he need not have said to Philip, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?" For Philip would of course have discerned him to be the father, if he had appeared such to Philip. Hence we say his assertion to Philip was contrary to appearance; and, consequently, those in the present day who rest in appearances, and suppose things as they appear to them, to be alone really true, suppose the Lords words to Philip to be figurative expressions, and explain them accordingly to mean something other than their literal import, namely, that he and the father are one God as a body and soul are one person; so that when we think of him we should think of God, and when we think of God we should think of him: for if Philip saw the father when he saw Jesus in person, we must think of the father when we think of Jesus, because thinking of any one is seeing him in spirit.

But, to the sensual mind, God did not when he was on earth, and does not now, appear to be in Jesus; and, thinking as that mind does according td appearance, it, consequently, cannot think of God when it thinks of Jesus; but thinks of God as a formless, unlimited, infinite, eternal and omnipotent spirit, separate and distinct from Jesus Christ; and only thinks of Jesus Christ, as he appeared on earth, to be "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." (Isa. liii. 3.) And hence, as we have said, it is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, for this mind to conceive of God and man as existing in one person. And all our attempts to explain this unity to the sensual man are abortive, because no explanation of ours can ever make it true according to appearance, that is, true as things appear to him.

In fact, the subject is not to be brought down to the sensual mind, but the sensual mind is to be brought up to the subject. The sensual and natural man must, by regeneration, be raised out of the region of mere sensuous appearances, that is, be raised, in mental perception, above the mere natural plane of being, and be made by regeneration to see things as they appear in the spiritual plane, before he can see Jesus as God and God as Jesus. There must be, as we have fully shown on another occasion, a renewing and transforming of the natural mans spirit by the spirit of God, sent unto him by Jesus Christ from the father, before he can have any such testimony to the character of Jesus Christ in his soul. And this we may confirm, more particularly than we did on that occasion, by Pauls assertion, that "no man can call Jesus Lord but by the holy ghost." To call Jesus Lord is to see and acknowledge him to be Jehovah in form or person. For Jehovah himself expressly says, (Isaiah, xlii. 8,) "I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another." The name of Jehovah could not therefore be given to Jesus, if he were another than Jehovah, without making Jehovah himself utter an untruth, which the holy ghost, or the spirit of Jehovah, certainly could not do. Yet the holy ghost would do this, if it gave unto any one to call Jesus Lord, while Jesus were a separate and distinct person from Jehovah; for then Jehovah, by his own spirit, would, contrary to his express declaration in Isaiah, have given his name, and so his glory, to another. But this is impossible; and therefore, we say, when the holy ghost gives unto any one to call Jesus Lord, it gives unto him to see and acknowledge that Jesus and Jehovah are one person, and so one God. But, until the sensual or natural man is so operated upon by the holy ghost as to be raised above the sphere of sensuous appearances, he cannot see and acknowledge this identity and unity of Jesus and Jehovah; and thus the sensual and mere natural man must continue to think of Jehovah as God and Jesus as man, separate and distinct the one from the other, notwithstanding all our efforts to explain their real unity and identity.

Still such men are perpetually calling upon us for explanations of this to them inexplicable truth. When we speak of, and demonstrate from one class of scriptural quotations, the unity of Jesus and the father, they fly into the citadel of some certain passage of Scripture favouring their views, and defy us to dislodge them. Their minds pertinaciously adhere in those other scripture sayings, spoken according to mere appearances in the sensual mind, in which Jesus is represented addressing the father as a person separate from and superior to him, and they exclaim with seeming triumph, "Well, what do you make of these passages, then!" And foremost among these passages is our text, wherein Jesus on the cross is represented as addressing the father and exclaiming, just previously to his giving up the ghost, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!" It behooves us, then, to show how this apparent separation of Jesus and the father can consist with the idea of their real unity and identity.

We shall first declare the doctrine of the new church on this subject, and then attempt its explanation.

The faith of the new church comprehended in one universal idea is this, that the Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, came into the world to subdue the hells and glorify his humanity; and that without this, no flesh could have been saved; and that those persons will be saved who believe in him.

"It is called a universal idea, because this is the universal of faith, and the universal of faith is that which enters into all the particulars and every particular of faith. It is a universal of faith, that God is one in person and in essence, in whom there is a trinity, and that the Lord Jesus Christ is that God. It is a universal of faith, that no mortal could have been saved unless the Lord had come into the world. It is a universal of faith, that he came into the world to glorify the humanity which he assumed in the world, that is, to unite it, with the all-begetting divinity, from which are all things: thus having subdued hell, he keeps it in order, and under obedience, to eternity. Now as neither of these could have come to pass except by means of temptations, even to the last and most extreme of all, which was the passion of the cross, therefore he endured it. These are the universals of faith concerning the Lord." (Apoc. Rev.)

A more particular statement may be gleaned from the following heads of doctrine that are treated at large in the new-church writings but expressed here mainly in our own language for the sake of brevity and adaptation.

"Jehovah in the Word of the Old Testament, is the Lord himself." By the term Lord is here meant the godhead, in a human form, and named Jesus Christ. The most ancient church, which was before the flood, and the ancient church, which was after the flood, understood by Jehovah no other than the Lord. In the Lord there is a trinity; namely, the divinity itself, the divine humanity, and the divine holy proceeding; and these three are one. The whole trinity in the Lord is Jehovah, and all and singular things in him are Jehovah. The Lord is one with the father, and no other is meant by the father in heaven. The Lord constitutes the universal heaven, as being the all and all of it; for from him is the all of innocence, of peace, of love, of charity, of mercy, of conjugial love, in short all good and all truth. Hence Moses and the Prophets, consequently the whole Word in all its particulars, have relation to him, and all the rites of the church represented him. In the Lord, when on earth, there was, as in us, an internal and an external man: his internal was Jehovah, and his external was a form of goodness and truth thence derived. This external form of goodness and truth, when made fully correspondent to the divine essence or Jehovah within, was said to be glorified with the glory which it had with the father before the world was, and is what is now meant by the term divine humanity. This divine humanity of the Lord was not only conceived, but was also born, of his divine essence, which is Jehovah. Thus the Lord as to his humanity was made Jehovah, that is divine good itself, in form and activity, so that his humanity had life in itself just as his divinity had life in itself; for the power of the divinity was given to the humanity, so that the humanity had "all power in heaven and on earth," was filled with the divine spirit "without measure," that is, infinitely, and hence could of himself lay down his life and take it again, as well as perform all other acts of divinity.

That the Lord was from eternity, manifestly appears from the Word, and especially from his saying "before Abraham was I AM;" and that David called him, who was as to the flesh his son, in spirit Lord. Hence he himself spake by Moses and the Prophets; he himself appeared to many in an angelic human form, and it is on those occasions said that he was Jehovah. Hence it is that Paul speaks of Jesus Christ as "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever;" and John speaks of him as coming in the flesh, thus clearly intimating that he had an eternal existence before he so came.

But the greatest of all mysteries, which even the angels have desired to look into, cannot be revealed to any except to those who are in celestial perception, as were the men of the most ancient or celestial church. From the men of that church it has now been revealed, that Jehovah himself was the Lord as to the divine humanity, when he descended into heaven, and flowed into men through heaven; for heaven represents a man as to all his members, and therefore is called the greatest man, or man on the largest scale and in the largest form. The divinity itself in heaven, or in the greatest man, was the divine humanity, and was Jehovah himself thus clothed with humanity. This humanity it was that, in descending to earth and acting in men as rational free agents so as to mould men to itself, produced in men on earth a truly human form and activity. But when mankind became such that the divinity itself clothed with the heavens as the divine humanity, could no longer affect them correspondently to itself, that is, when Jehovah could no longer come to man, because he had so far removed himself from the divine form and activity by degenerating into a contrary stale, then Jehovah, who is the Lord as to the divine essence, transcended the heavens, and himself descended to the earth, by clothing that essence in matter, through conception in and birth from a virgin, so as to take upon it a natural humanity, as to external form and quality just like that of other men on earth. But all of this external humanity which was derived from the virgin, he expelled by divine means, and substituted an external humanity which was purely divine, by production from the divine essence.

This production is to us, and must ever remain to all finite minds, an inexplicable operation. So incomprehensible is it thought to be, that some presume to pronounce the supposition of it absurd. We cannot undertake to explain it; we can only essay to vindicate the supposition of such a thing from the charge of absurdity. At least, we can conceive that the Lords material humanity was expelled, and another humanity substituted in its place, just as, in the petriraction of wood, stony particles are made to take the place and assume perfectly the form of the woody particles which pass off in the process: so that, as a whole tree, not only as to general form of trunk, branches, twigs and external bark, but also as to the internal barks, and the very grain and fibrous texture, is, by petrifaction, made to exist a perfect stony facsimile of the previous woody structure, so, by glorification in the Lord, a perfect divine external human substance, form and activity, was made to exist instead of the humanity which he assumed from the virgin. Hence, as the new church expressly teaches, "with the Lord, the former forms, which were from the maternal principle, were altogether destroyed and extirpated, and divine forms received in their place; for the divine love does not agree with any but a divine form; all other forms it absolutely casts out: hence it is, that the Lord, when glorified, was no longer the son of Mary." (A. C. 6872.)

Thus the divine essence descended into an ultimate form, so as to be the very omega, the very last, the very end of its whole creation. And in, by and from this ultimate form, the divine essence spread a sphere of its own quality, so as to fill, not only the heavens as before, but also the earths, with a saving efficacy. For infernal spirits could not abide the sphere of a quality so totally contrary to theirs, and were obliged to recede from it into outer darkness; and by this recession the heavens, which they were infesting, and the bodies of men, which they had possessed, were freed from their influences, so that both angels and men were made free to reject the influences of hell, and once more to act correspondently to the influences of the divine essence through heaven, so as to be capable of living the life and enjoying the felicities of heaven, which is salvation. Hence the Lord when on earth said, "Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out." (John, xii. 31.) And it is recorded in sundry places, that he actually expelled evil, false and unclean spirits from the bodies of those whom they had possessed. And, moreover, the seventy disciples, whom he sent forth clothed with his power, returned saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Luke, x. 17-19.) And, further, the apostles were endued with power from on high to dispossess men of magical spirits, and to heal diseases which evil spirits had through mans perverse volitions induced. Thus Jehovah, who is the Lord as to the divine essence, having descended and taken upon him humanity, by divine conception, and by birth from a virgin like another man, but having expelled by divine means all that he received from the virgin, and having substituted a divine human form and activity, so as to spread therefrom all that is holy, he existed a divine humanity, which was an essence or life in itself, filling the universal heaven and the universal earth, and effecting salvation with those who before could not be saved. And this divine human form, existing and active in ultimates, is now the Lord, who alone is man, and from whom alone mortal men have that goodness and that truth which constitute them truly men, in making them like himself; and thus the Lord saves them from their sins, by removing out of sight all evil forms, and inducing on them from himself all those forms of good, which in the complex present that form which is truly human.

Thus "liberation from hell by the Lord was accomplished by his assuming humanity, and thereby subjugating the hells and reducing to order all things in the heavens, which could not have been done by any other means than by a humanity so assumed;" for the Divinity operates from first principles to ultimates, thus from himself by those things which proceed consecutively from himself and exist in connection with himself in ultimates, which things, existing in a complex and concentrate ultimate form, constitute his humanity. This is the operation of the divine power in heaven and the world. Hence the humanity of Jehovah is called his right arm, because the right arm is expressive of power; and hence Jesus Christ, as being the humanity of Jehovah and possessing his power, is represented as sitting on the throne of God, or standing on the right hand of God, and is said by Paul to be the "power of God." He, as the power and wisdom of God, is the form and order of divine love impressed upon, or spread through, universal human nature in the lowest as well as the highest planes of being. And, according to this order, they who are of the spiritual church can now be elevated into heaven, and enjoy eternal blessedness, who could not have been saved according to the order which prevailed before "Christ came in the flesh." For the Lord, before his advent, arranged all things by or through heaven, into the 'confines of which evil spirits had ascended, so as to intercept and pervert his influences in their descent to men on earth, so that men on earth could not be raised up to spirituality of life. But, afterwards, he arranged all things by or through his own humanity, which he glorified and made divine in the world; by which there was such an accession of strength, that evil spirits from on all sides receded and were shut up in their hells, and those were elevated into heaven who before could not be elevated. (A. C. 7926.)

Now the Lord, "as to the external man in respect to Jehovah, is called the Son of God, but, in respect to his mother, is called the Son of Man." And "the Lords human essence [considered distinctively from his divine essence] is what is called the Son of Man." Or "by the Son of Man is signified the essential truth, and by the Son of God the essential good, which appertain to the Lords human essence when made divine." (A. C. 2159.) But, in respect to his divine essence, "the Lord, in the Word, is called Jehovah as to the divine good, for divine good is the very Divinity, and he is called the Son of God as to divine truth, for divine truth proceeds from divine good as a son from a father, and is also said to be born. Hence while the Lord, on earth, had, in the process of glorifying the natural humanity which he had assumed, made this humanity only divine truth, or while he as to his external form and activity, was as yet only divine truth, he called the divine good, which was Jehovah within him, his father, since, as was said, divine truth proceeds and is born from divine good ; but after that the Lord fully glorified his external form, which was done when he endured the last of temptations on the cross, he then made his humanity divine good also, that is, Jehovah; and, in consequence thereof, the very divine truth proceeded from his divine or glorified humanity. This divine truth, thus proceeding, is what is called in the Word the holy spirit, and is the holy principle which ever proceeds solely from the Lords humanity glorified." (A. C. 7499.) Hence it was said that "the holy ghost was not given because Jesus was not yet glorified;" and hence it was that the holy ghost could be imparted by Jesus merely breathing on his disciples.

Such is the doctrine of the new church concerning the Lord in a more particular form. And from it we may deduce the following points: 1. That the Lord is one with the father. 2. That the Lord was from eternity. 3. That the Lord rules the universe. 4. That he had when on earth an external with an internal, which was as a form of truth with an essence of good in it. 5. That the Lord in his essence is now nothing else but divine good, and this as to each principle, namely as to the essential divine principle and as to the divine humanity. But "whereas divine truth is not in divine good, but from it, for so the divine good appears in heaven; and whereas divine good appears as divine truth; therefore, for the sake of mans apprehension, the Lords divinity is distinguished into divine good and divine truth, and divine good is in the Word called the father, and divine truth is called the son." (A. C. 3704.)

This universal and particular view of the new-church faith respecting the Lord, will enable us to understand what she still more particularly teaches concerning his alternate states of humiliation and glorification during the progress of his life on earth. And the right understanding of this can alone enable us to see why he should in some parts of the letter of the Word speak of himself as inferior to the father, and in others as equal with him.

It has been shown that the Lord possessed both divinity and humanity--divinity from his father, Jehovah, and humanity from the virgin, Mary. Hence he was both God and man, having a divine essence and a human nature--a divine essence from the father, and a human nature from the mother, whence he was equal to the father in respect to his divinity, but inferior to the father in respect to his humanity. This was his condition on earth. Now this humanity derived from the mother, evidently could not be transmuted into the divinity; for it was not only finite, but corrupt, and finity and corruption cannot be transmuted into infinity and incorruption. This is so manifest that it is admitted by all, and is expressly taught in the Athanasian creed. And it is so admitted and so taught because every mind that is at all rational perceives in an instant that any transmutation or commixtion of what is finite and what is infinite is impossible. But still the Word throughout teaches, and therefore the creed of Athanasians also teaches, that the essential divinity did take to itself humanity, and did, in some way inscrutable to mortals, so unite humanity to itself, as to make even that humanity divine from itself. And that this union was as of a soul with a body; so that the soul and the body, although distinct, were nevertheless one divine person, who was divine even as to the body; so that the very body of this person rose, unlike the body of any other man, and, ascending far above all heavens, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High, that is, became intimately united to and one with the inmost principle of divinity: so that the Lord, even in respect to his humanity, is called, by the Prophets, Jehovah and God; and, by the Evangelists, is called the Lord, God, Messiah or Christ, and the Son of God, in whom we must believe, and by whom we must be saved. There can be no doubt of this with any one who studies the whole Word dispassionately and with a sole desire to know the truth from the love of truth for its own sake. And we could confirm it by a volume of quotations from all parts of the Word, if this were the proper place.

Now, if these two positions are true, namely, that the Lord, who was Jehovah as to essence, took by birth from a virgin a humanity, which was finite and corrupt, and which therefore could not be united to divinity, but yet, nevertheless, did form to himself a humanity which was divine, with which "he ascended far above the heavens that he might fill all things," then it follows necessarily that he must have put off entirely the humanity which he had from the mother, and have put on a humanity by production of substance and form from the divine essence within him.

How this process took place, is certainly, as we have already confessed, a divine mystery which no finite mind can comprehend, yet it is a truth so unequivocally revealed in the Word, that it cannot be denied without denying the Word itself. And yet, though this process cannot be comprehended, still the supposition of it may be seen to be not absurd. For there are images and likenesses of it every where in the creation, which God has made, and which constantly gives some reflection of its maker, so that the invisible things of his eternal power and godhead may be known thereby. Hence we have tried to illustrate it by the process of petrifaction, in which precisely the same form is made to exist from an entirely different substance. And, from this simile, we may see that it is not impossible or absurd to imagine, that a divine substance might have been made to assume precisely the form of the Lords humanity, by displacing and exactly replacing the material substance of which it was previously composed: so that, when the Lord was risen as to the body, he would appear, to the spiritual eye of his disciples, in precisely the same body with which their natural eye was familiar on earth. And that this is not mere conjecture is proved from the fact of his transfiguration on the mount, where he appeared to Peter, James and John in his divine body, by such an opening of their spiritual sight that they could see through his material enveloping and behold the divine form and substance that were being formed and residing intimately within it. There was a perfect identity between the two bodies, so that the disciples knew it to be still Jesus, though his countenance did shine as the sun in his strength, and his raiment did glitter as the light. Hence it is evident that the Lord had a divine body, in a process of formation on earth, and ultimately fully formed, in his material body, a perfect facsimile of it, and yet constituted of a substance totally distinct from it. And we can conceive that this process was going on gradually in this world, by the displacing of material particles and the replacing of corresponding divine particles, just as, in petrifaction, particles of stone are made to take the place of particles of wood, as these particles of wood pass off by decomposition. And we can conceive that the divine particles might retain the same form as the material particles which they replaced,--only in a more perfect and resplendent degree,--just as the stony particles preserve the general shape, intimate texture, and altogether similar resemblance of the woody particles which they have replaced.

The foregoing illustration is perfectly conceivable. But our own bodies, perhaps, furnish a truer image of the same process. We know that the particles of matter which now compose our bodies are incessantly passing off, by insensible as well as sensible perspiration, and by other modes of evacuation more or less obvious, so as to form a perfect sphere of our quality around us. It is this sphere of a mans quality, not only emanating from his body, but lodged in his clothes and stamped on the very prints which his shoes have left in the dust of the earth, which enables his dog to trace him out and know him amidst ten thousand other men. And as these particles pass off, we know that they are incessantly replaced by other particles of matter, which are made to assume the same form, so as to preserve perfectly a mans identity, however much his quality may alter. All of you have probably seen the marks of anchors, and other images, made on sailors arms, during youth, by pricking Indian ink into the skin with a needle. These images never disappear, although the matter of the arm is, as we have seen, continually changing. The reason is, that the particles of matter which replace those that are passing off, come into precisely the same form, so as to preserve that form unchanged although the substance is different. And this change of matter is not confined merely to the skin, flesh and fluids of the body, but takes place also in the solid and earthy structure of the bones. The experiments of Sir Charles Bell on fowls has fully proved this. He fed fowls with madder, and found, on killing them after some time, that this dye stuff had entered into their very bones, and tinged them red. Then he discontinued giving them madder in their food, and killing and examining them at certain determinate intervals of time, he found their bones to become less and less red, until they assumed again their natural colour. Now this could not have been, unless the particles of bone coloured with madder had passed off, and had been replaced by other particles of bone fresh formed From the blood: which proves that the matter which forms even our bones is constantly changing. Hence all the matter of our bodies is incessantly passing off and being replaced by fresh matter. And it is calculated that a thorough change of matter takes place in every ones body about once in seven years. It is on this principle that medical men ground the necessity of revaccination every seven years. For my part, if I may be allowed to express an opinion on a subject that comes so little within my own province, I would say, I do not think their doctrine true. For I hold that, since the Lords advent, disease is in the forms, not in the substance, of the body; and, as we have seen, the form of the body remains, however much its substance has changed. Hence I believe that the vaccine form, when once induced, always remains, notwithstanding any periodic changes of substance which the body may undergo.* In the same way the forms of baptism and the holy supper, and all other religious forms of faith and practice, remain in the spiritual body of man, although his material body is decomposed and wholly merged in elemental nature.

*The fact that vaccination loses its power is owing, I apprehend, either to a spurious virus being used, or to the vaccine matter becoming modified by passing successively through many human bodies. it is manifest that the vaccine matter must lose some of its salutary power every time it passes through a diseased human body: for inoculation with the scab from this human body must have a less sanative effect than the infection taken by dairymen immediately from their kind and this effect must be less and less in proportion to the number of the diseased human bodies through which the virus has passed. But I presume the effects of the vaccine matter must also be weakened by passing through a healthy human body. For a human body made relatively more healthy by regeneration, and especially the body of an innocent child, must modify the vaccine matter in the same way that the orderly body of a cow modifies the human small pot. The reason why the same disease is lighter in an animal than in a human subject must be, that mankind have perverted the order of their nature, which the subjects of the mere animal kingdom have not; so that, when a disease, generated by human corruption, is made, in the divine economy, to pass through an animal body, the virulence of that disease is abated. And when the matter of this disease, so modified by the orderly animal body, is introduced into the human body, prone as this is by hereditary taint to disorder, it cures, or prevents, or causes to appear in a milder form, the similar and more virulent human disease by substitution. But, as the orderly animal body modifies the human disease, so must the healthy and relatively innocent human body modify, that is, weaken by a kind of dilution, the vaccine matter. For every time the vaccine matter passes through the human body, it becomes more assimilated to the human form, so as to lose its properties of a distinctive animal disease. And if vaccination is to be kept efficient, each human subject must be vaccinated with matter directly from the cow, and not by matter which has been made to pass through an indefinite number of other human subjects. This custom of vaccinating children with matter taken from other children is also exceptionable, because, as I imagine, a more healthy child may, in some cases, be incommoded by scrofulous and other morbid forms derived from a less healthy one.

Now we must presume that the Lords body, when on earth, was subject to the same law. And therefore we may conceive, that, as the particles of his material body, even to the bones, passed off, in the progress of his divinely spiritual-natural life, they, instead of being replaced as ours are by other material particles, were replaced by particles of divine substance; and these divine particles, coming into precisely the same relation to one another which the material particles before them had held to one another, would necessarily preserve the same form, although they were of a totally different substance; and thus they would form to the Lords divine essence a body, even to the very bones, altogether like that which they had replaced: so that, when appearing to his disciples after his resurrection, he could say to them, "Behold my hands and my feel, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and hones as ye see me have." And this explains the fact that he could live for many days without eating material food, as his disciples were under the necessity of doing, because he had "meat to eat which they knew not of." For he received gradually a divine substance, which supplied and satisfied his body in the daily wastage of its material particles, while the bodily wants of his disciples had to be satisfied with fresh supplies of material substance. Hence he could live and act in a divinely natural sphere of use, without feeling the sensations of material hunger and thirst, which ordinary men must needs feel and satisfy while inhabitants of this terrestrial sphere.




This illustration will, I presume, enable you to see that it is not absurd, but highly rational, to suppose the Lord did in fact, when on earth, put off a material, and put on a divine, humanity. And in a clear discernment of this fact, we have a groundwork for an explanation of the whole difficulty before us. For it can now be seen, at a glance, that, while this process of putting off the one and putting on the other was going on in the Lord, he was subject to alternate states, which would give rise to very different appearances; and a due consideration of these appearances, will satisfactorily account for all the relations of his human infirmily and inferiority to the father which the Bible contains, without invalidating the position, that he is, notwithstanding, the very and the only God. Hence we have dwelt, at considerable length and with some minuteness, upon this subject, reserving for another occasion our application of it to the removal of the difficulty in question.

But, by way of transition to our next discourse, we will, in closing this, just observe briefly, that, "in consequence of the Lords having at first a humanity from the mother, which he put off by successive steps, the Lord, during his abode in the world, was alternately in two states; the one a state of humiliation, or exinanition, and the other a state of glorification, or of union with the divinity which is called the father." He was in the state of humiliation at the time and in the degree that he was in the humanity from the mother; and he was in the state of glorification, at the time, and in the degree, that he was in the humanity from the father. In the state of humiliation, he prayed "to the father, as to a being distinct from himself; but in the state of glorification, he spake with the father as with himself. In this latter state the Lord said that the father was in him, and he in the father, and that the father and he were one; but in the other state he underwent temptations, and suffered the cross, and prayed the rather not to forsake him; for the divinity could not be tempted, much less could it suffer the cross." (Doc. of Lord, 35.)

It was, therefore, in this last state--his state of deepest humiliation, that is, this state of fullest conformity of his external humanity to his indwelling divinity, that be exclaimed in our text, "My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" The Lord, thinking and feeling in infirm humanity, was tempted to believe that he was not one with the Divinity. It was the deepest temptation, because it was a consciousness in the lowest corporeal principle. But at the very time the Divinity within was putting off the last vestiges of material humanity, and as these vestiges passed off, it seemed to the Lords consciousness in that humanity as if the life within was deserting it, when in reality it was leaving the life within, by ceasing to have any further connection with it. But as the Lords consciousness in infirm humanity ceased by the last vestiges of that humanity passing away, he came into a fuller consciousness of life in another and purer humanity, which was fully correspondent to his divine essence. And as he came into this divine human consciousness, which could not be tempted with any further doubts as to his entire divinity, he perceived his trials were completed; and, perceiving this, he cried again with a loud voice, "It is finished, and, bowing his head, gave up the ghost." Thus passed away his mere natural life. But his dying to were natural life, was his rising to divine natural life. Yet, though he became more truly alive, still the appearance was that he died; and the scoffing crowd railed at the apparent fallacy of all his claims to, and professions of, divinity, and exulted in the feelings of self-justification which his apparent death produced--

"Now Satan triumphd; 'now, he cried,

'Who shall my power oppose!
But when the Son of Mary died,

The Son of God arose.

"He finishd with his dying breath
       Redemptions grand design;
His human bore our sins to death,

And then arose divine."


14



Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 15        SERMON XIV.

JOHN, X. 17, 18, 19.

"I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received from my father."

THE Lord spake these words in reference to the life which was distinctively his own as the human form of God. They denote that the human nature of the Lord acted of itself, or by its own power, from the divine nature within it. For the Lord says, "This commandment have I received from my father." They imply that the Lord put off the material humanity which he derived from the virgin mother, and put on a divine humanity from the divine essence, which was the father within him, by his own proper power. The laying down his life denotes his putting off the human proprium which he had received in hereditary transmission from the mother; and his taking his life again denotes his putting on a human proprium from the divine essence. The one process constituted his various states of humiliation or human inanition; the other, his various states of glorification or divine impletion. This text, therefore, leads directly to a renewed consideration of the topic with which we closed our last discourse.

In our last discourse, we took a universal and particular view of the new-church doctrine concerning the Lord. We especially regarded this doctrine in its respects to the Lords putting off the infirm humanity which he had assumed from the virgin Mary, and putting on a divine humanity by production from the divine essence within him.

We endeavoured to illustrate that mysterious process by a striking operation of nature, namely, petrifaction; and by the constant change and reproduction of matter in our own bodies. We are aware that this was but a very faint and exceedingly imperfect illustration of so divine and therefore inscrutable a work. But we did not design to attempt to make clear the divine process itself; for this, being a divine thing, can never be comprehended by mortal minds. We only strove to show that the supposition of such a process, when revealed in the Word, or to the church, is not so absurd a thing as some theologians would have us think. And we presume the rationality of the doctrine that Jehovah did actually take to himself a material humanity, and, on the gradual exinanition of this, did actually clothe himself with a divine humanity, in the person of Jesus Christ, was fully or satisfactorily shown.

Our object in this was to make way for a clear presentation of the new-church view of the Lords alternate states of humiliation and glorification while he was on earth. For this view explains why he sometimes spake of himself as inferior to the father, and at other times as one and equal with him. And this explanation is the only solid answer that can be given to the objections to the doctrine of the sole and exclusive divinity of Jesus Christ.

We now purpose to present again and more fully, the view of our church in respect to these alternate states of the Lord, and then proceed to such explanations of the main subject before us as it may suggest.

It has been shown, that the Lord, when on earth, had, like another man, an internal and an external. In respect to an ordinary man, "there is a difference between what he receives from his father and what he receives from his mother. Man receives from his father all which is internal, that is, his very soul or life, but he receives from his mother all which is external. In a word, the interior man, or the real spirit, is from the father; but the exterior man, or the body, is from the mother. (A. C. 1815.) Now "the Lord was as another man in every respect, except that he was conceived of Jehovah; nevertheless, he was born of a woman, a virgin; and consequently, by such nativity, he derived infirmities from the virgin mother, such as are common to other men. These infirmities were of a corporeal nature, from which he receded, in order that things celestial and spiritual might be presented to his view. There are two hereditary principles which are connate in man, one derived from the father, the other from the mother. The Lords hereditary principle which was derived from the father was divine, but that which was derived from the mother was human and infirm. This infirm part or principle which man derives hereditarily from his mother, is somewhat corporeal, which is dispersed during regeneration; but that which a man derives from his father remains to eternity. But the hereditary principle of the Lord derived from Jehovah, was, as just observed, divine. And moreover the Lords humanity also was made divine, by production from the divine essence, and substituted instead of the infirm maternal humanity, which was entirely expelled. In the Lord alone was there a correspondence of things which belong to the body with the Divinity, and such a correspondence as was most, or rather infinitely, perfect. Hence there was in him a union of things corporeal with divine celestial things, and of things sensual with divine spiritual things. Thus the Lord is the perfect man; and the only real man." (A. C. 1414.) For man is not man on account of his bodily shape and powers, but on account of his love and his wisdom, or of his will and his understanding; and so far as these internal forms and qualities are conspicuous and potent in his body. And the love and the wisdom are conspicuous and potent in the body so far as corporeal and sensual things are made correspondent with the love and wisdom. Hence, as the Lords corporeal desires and sensual perceptions were alone made correspondent with the divine love and the divine wisdom, therefore he only was made really, because divinely, man. He was made man, indeed, as to the very ultimates of nature; whereas ordinary men can be made such only as to their spirits, and not as to their bodies. For the sensual and corporeal principle in man is utterly depraved by the fall, and can never be regenerated. The mere natural part of men is brought into quiescence, and their spiritual part alone is purified and saved by the formation of a new will in the intellect over and above the old will depraved by nature. Hence an ordinary man approximates to true manhood only so far as he is raised out of the body; that is, so far as his mind is raised out of corporeal affections and sensual thoughts.

But with the Lord it was different, for the Lords glorification commenced in his interior, middle or rational part by the knowledge of truth from the Word. For "the rational principle is that in which the human principle commences, and thus from which and by which the human principle is." (A. C. 3704--also 2194.) And his glorification ascended just in the degree that it descended; that is, the Lord became intimately united to the divine essence, which is divine love, just in the degree that he became ultimately conformed to the truth of the good of that love. The Lords external was united to Jehovah precisely as another man is united to him, namely by the knowledge and practice of truth. The only difference was that the Lord was united to Jehovah infinitely, but other men finitely: but this is a difference as to degree and not as to manner. The Lord, like other men, was born in ignorance, and acquired the knowledge of truth from infancy to adult age, in subjection to his ostensible earthly parents, and by instruction from the doctors of the Jewish church. His rational mind was first purified and formed by the understanding and will of this truth from the Word, and then his external man was also purified and formed by the practice of it, even to the fulfilling of its every jot and tittle. As his rational mind was thus rectified by the divine truth, and his external man conformed to it, his external man ascended to the divine essence; that is, came into a state of form and activity homogeneous with the divine love; and in this degree the good of that love descended into, was manifested in, and appropriated to, his external man. Thus by truth, or the practice of it, the Lords external form was lifted up to and united with the divine essence; and by the good of that truth the Lords internal, or the divine essence, descended into and was united with his external form. The ratio of descent was precisely equal to that of the ascent: so that, just in the degree that he ascended, in the same degree he descended; till, in rising far above all heavens to the very Divinity, he also descended infinitely to the very limits of creation, so as "to fill all things." Hence, unlike all other men, he glorified his very body, and therefore had a more perfectly ultimate external man than they.

On this subject, the new church holds the following doctrine; "It is scarcely known at this day what the external man is; for it is generally supposed that the things appertaining to the body alone constitute the external man--as his sensual things, namely, the touch, the taste, the smell, the hearing, the seeing, and also appetites and pleasures; but these constitute the outermost man, which is merely corporeal. The external man properly so called, consists of and is constituted by scientifics appertaining to the memory, and by affections appertaining to the love in which man is principled; and also by the sensual things proper to spirits, together with the pleasures which likewise appertain to spirits. The body is only as a covering or incrustation, which is dissolved, in order that man may truly live and that all things appertaining to him may become more excellent." This is the case with man now since the fall: and hence, now, his body has to be laid aside, or his mind has to be raised above his body, in order that he may converse with spirits and angels. And his mind must be raised above the delights of the body, such as eating, drinking and the like, before he can be made capable of enjoying here spiritual or angelic delights. Hence it is a common observation, that men who are addicted to the gratification of mere sensual appetites, are remarkable for their mental obtuseness and their moral pravities. It is well known, too, that no high attainments are made in purely intellectual pursuits without great self denial in respect to the bodily appetites. And the constant proneness of men to break through restraints on these appetites, and give way to, at least, occasional excessive indulgences, is manifest proof that mans corporeal principle is now irrevocably depraved.

Before the fall, however, that is, in the most ancient or celestial church, man had his material body so fully correspondent with his spirit, that he could see angels, and converse with them, although he was existing on earth. At that time, indeed, he had no external respiration, and no external or audible speech. He respired with the atmosphere of heaven, not with the atmosphere of this world; and his speech was tacit, consisting in a sort of pantomimic action of the muscles of the mouth and face. Hence there were muscles of the mouth existing then, which are not developed in men at the present day, and the material bodies of men, were then so fully correspondent to their spiritual bodies, that they did not intercept at all the perceptions of the spiritual mind, but this mind looked intuitively through all natural objects to the corresponding spiritual things in heaven which cause them to exist on earth. Their material bodies being thus correspondent with their spiritual bodies, they were put off without any disorders, pains, or convulsions of disease--probably by some kind of gradual exsiccation, and death was but a sweet sleep, from which the spirit woke into the spiritual plane, instead of the material plane, as before, and, without a struggle or a pang, left the body on earth a mere exuvium.

But since the fall, the spirits of men have become gross and sensual, so as to be unable to feel out of the body, or think out of the senses. Hence they can now no longer converse with spirits or angels; and to enjoy the delights of a purely spiritual state, they must not only have their bodies laid aside, but they must also have all their memory of natural things brought into entire quiescency. With the Lord, however, all is Jehovah, not only his internal and interior man, but also his external man, and his very body. Wherefore he is the only one who rose up into heaven with the body also, as plainly appears in the Evangelists, where they speak of his resurrection, and especially from his own words in Luke, xxiv. 39, "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have."

That the Lord arose with his body into heaven, is confirmed by the vision of the martyred Stephen, who, in seeing the heavens opened, saw him standing on the right hand of the glory of God; and by the declaration of Paul, who says, (Eph. iv. 20,) "He that descended is the same that ascended up far above an heavens, that he might fill all things;" and again, (Heb. i. 3,) "When he had through himself purged our sins, eat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High; being made so much better than the angels as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." Thus he ascended above the abodes of the angels; and, as he himself expressly says, "went back to the father from whom he had come forth into the world"--"I came forth from the father, and am come into the world; again, I leave the world and go to the father." Hence he ascended to the very divine essence, and, of course, above the heavens of angels, for he was begotten of Jehovah, so as to be the son of God, that is, the continuous proceeding from the divine essence; and therefore, in having gone back to that essence, he is now sitting on the heavens as the throne of God, for ever swaying a sceptre of righteousness as the sceptre of his kingdom, and from the right hand of Jehovah commissioning the angels as the ministering agents of his salvation to men. Hence it is clear that the Lords body arose, not only into, but above, the heavens; and that it is not confined there, but fills all things, even the material universe, so that a light could shine from it on Paul even on this earth for his conversion. That the light of the Lords presence, in Pauls conversion, did actually shine into this earth, so as to affect the matter of it, is proved by the fact that it scorched the cornea of Pauls material eyes, and made them for a time blind. Hence the body of the Lord pervades with its presence, and its consciousness, and a sphere of its quality, even the earths, so as to keep expelled from matter, and hold chained for ever in hell, the infernal crew who were wont in olden times to possess the bodies of men. Thus it is that the Lord, by the presence of his divine humanity even in matter, redeems and saves man to eternity, by keeping the devils so far away from his body and its involuntary muscles, as that they can never destroy again his free will and rationality in spiritual things.

Thus the Lord has an embodyment which spirits have not, because he has a body present and conscious throughout the natural world; whereas spirits have only a body which is extant and conscious in the spiritual world. Hence the Lord said to his disciples that a spirit hath not flesh and bones as they saw he had. Mark, he did not say, that a spirit has no flesh and bones; but that a spirit hath not flesh and bones as he has, that is, such flesh and bones as his. Doubtless spirits have substantial flesh and bones, but they are spiritual, whereas the Lords were divinely natural.

Thus it is evident that the Lord had an external and an internal. His internal was Jehovah, that is, I AM, or essential being, or divine love, which is the only thing that is, and the only fountain of all existence. And the Lords external which he assumed upon earth, was just like that of another man, except that it was an enveloping of divine love in materiality: but, in process of time and state, this external was wholly put off, and an external fully correspondent to his divine internal was put on. The external that was put off, was not the infirm and corrupt humanity of any one particular man or nation, but the entire humanity which mankind in the whole complex, from the creation till the Lords advent, had made their own. The external that was put on, is the humanity which the Lord, by his own proper power, acquired to himself from the impulses of the divine love within him: for, according to the human economy, "the activity of man does not proceed from his soul by his body, but out of his body from his soul." (T. C. R. 188.) This was especially true of the Lord. Hence his external acted of itself from his internal. Therefore we say, the Lord acquired to himself a humanity from the divine love within him, by his own proper power. And our authority for saying so is the divine truth of our text, in which the Lord declares, "I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."

Now this putting off of the infirm humanity, was a state of gradual and progressive HUMILIATION. Humiliation consists in the prostration and consequently entire subjection of one to another. Hence the Lords humiliation was a prostration, or a bowing down, of his infirm external before his divine internal, until this internal, by the production from itself of an external fully corresponding to itself, so completely subdued that infirm external as at length to put it under its feet and shake it off like dust.

But while that infirm external existed, it obscured and blunted the influences of divine love and wisdom from the Lords internal, so that those influences could not shine out and be active in ultimates in any thin of a degree at all adequate to their intrinsic infinite brilliancy and power. Hence, while the Lord was in his infirm external, the glory of his divine internal could not appear. But so far as, by his humiliation in it, he put that external off, and produced from within an external more correspondent to his divine internal, this internal shone forth and came out in its glory even in ultimates. This glory becoming the Lords in his ultimate form,--because the Lord, as we have shown, acquired to himself a humanity by his own proper power,--he, therefore, was himself glorified in his ultimate form, just in the ratio of his humiliation in his infirm external. The Lords putting on an external corresponding to his divine internal, was, therefore, his state of gradual and progressive GLORIFICATION.

These two states of humiliation and glorification were alternate in the Lord, precisely as states of good and evil, or truth and falsity, are alternate in man when he is undergoing regeneration: for the glorification of the Lord is the type of mans regeneration.

We may say, then, in the words of the new church, "That the Lord put off, by successive steps, the humanity from the mother, and put on a humanity from the divinity in himself, which is the Divine Humanity and the Son of God;" and, that thus "God became man in ultimates as he was before man in first principles."

Such is the doctrine of the new church respecting the Lords alternate states of humiliation and glorification. And in applying this doctrine to the explanation of the subject before us, namely, how the Lord, although one and equal with the father, should nevertheless sometimes speak as though he was inferior to him, we have only to take her own words in the following extract somewhat modified by our interlarded explanations.

"To fall on the face was a ceremony of adoration in the most ancient church, and thence was adopted by the ancients, by reason that the face signified the interiors, and the state of their humiliation was represented by falling on the face: hence this became a usual ceremony in the Jewish representative church. True adoration, or humiliation of heart, is attended with prostration on the face to the earth before the Lord, as a gesture naturally flowing from it. For in humiliation of heart there is an acknowledgment, on mans part, that he is mere filthiness; and at the same time an acknowledgment of the infinite mercy of the Lord towards such a being. And when the mind is left in these acknowledgments, it lets itself down towards hell and prostrates the body. Nor does it elevate itself, but remains prostrate, until it is elevated by the Lord. This is the case in all true humiliation, accompanied with a perception of elevation by the Lords mercy. Such was the humiliation of the members of the most ancient church. That the Lord adored, and prayed to, Jehovah his father, is known from the Word in the Evangelists; and that he did this as to a being different from himself, although Jehovah was in him. But the state in which the Lord was at such times was his state of humiliation, when he was thinking and feeling in the infirm humanity derived from the mother. But so far as he put off that humanity, and put on a divine humanity, he was in a different state, which is called his state of glorification. In the former state, he adored Jehovah as a person different from himself, although, in reality, Jehovah was in himself; for his internal was Jehovah: but in the latter, namely, the state of glorification, he discoursed with Jehovah as with himself; for he was Jehovah himself. But how these things are cannot be conceived, unless it be known what the internal is, and how the internal acts on the external; and, further, how the internal and external are distinct from each other, and yet are joined together in one. This, however, may be illustrated by the internal appertaining to man, and its influx into, and operation upon, his external. The internal of man is that principle by virtue of which man is man, and by which he is distinguished from brute animals. By this internal he lives after death and to eternity; and by this he is capable of being elevated by the Lord amongst angels:" it is the very first or most intimate seminal form by virtue of which he becomes, and is, a man. By this internal the Lord is united to man. The heaven nearest to the Lord consists of these human internals: this heaven, however, is above the inmost angelic heaven. Wherefore these internals are the habitations of the Lord himself. The whole human race is thus most intimately present under the eyes of the Lord. "In the sublunary world there appears distance; but there is none in heaven, much less above heaven. In heaven apparent contiguity in space, is nothing else but similarity of state, so that those who are in similar states are together, and those who are in dissimilar states are asunder. The case is the same with the spirits of men." Hence, as the internals of all men are in a similar state, because these are the Lords presence with all men alike, in his own love and mercy, giving them the universal and essential principles of their existence, therefore the internals of all men are essentially alike, having a common likeness to the Lord; and consequently there is so separation or contiguity of space in respect to them; and therefore all are immediately in the inspection of the omniscient and omnipresent God.

But these internals of men are not God himself, though they are the direct effects of his most proximate presence. Hence they have not life in themselves, but are forms recipient of the life of the Lord. In proportion, then, as man is in evil, whether actual or hereditary, he is, as it were, separate from his own internal, which belongs to the Lord, and which is the Lord with him; consequently he, in the same proportion, is separate from the Lord himself: for although this internal be adjoined to man, and inseparable from him, still, as man recedes from the Lord, that is, comes into a state dissimilar to his, in the same proportion he, as it were, separates himself from his own internal. This separation, however, is not an evulsion, or plucking asunder from it; for man would then be a beast, and no longer capable of living after death; but it consists in a dissent and disagreement of those faculties of man which are beneath it, or external to it; that is, it consists in his rational and natural part coming into a state of contrariety to it. In proportion to this dissent and disagreement, or contrariety of state, there is a spiritual disjunction of mans external from his internal; but in proportion as there is no dissent and disagreement, or no contrariety of state, mans external is joined to his internal, and by his internal is conjoined with the Lord. This conjunction is effected in proportion as man is principled in love and charity; for love and charity are what conjoin.

Such is the case in respect to man. But in respect to the Lord. his internal was Jehovah himself, inasmuch as he was conceived of Jehovah himself, through the overshadowing of a virgin by the holy ghost: and Jehovah cannot be divided and become anothers, as the soul or internal of man can, in the case of a son who is conceived of a human father: for what is divine is not capable of division or propagation, like what is human, but is one and the same, and is permanent. Hence the Lords internal could not be distinct from the father or Jehovah, as mans internal is, and much less separate from Jehovah, inasmuch as Jehovah, in conceiving the Lord, could not be distinct and separate from himself, but became himself, in all his fullness, the Lords soul. Whereas, in creating a mere man, Jehovah conceives him through his human father as a medium. Hence a mere man has a human soul, which is a recipient form of the divine life, existing discretely from it; but the Lord, having had no human father, could have, of course, no human soul, and therefore had not an internal discrete from the divine life, but an internal continuous with it. Thus he had no other soul but Jehovah himself. Jehovah alone, and in all his fullness, therefore, was the Lords internal; so that Paul could say, "in Jesus Christ dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily.

With this internal the Lord united his external as a corresponding form with its essence; so that his external form, or human essence, became altogether one in quality and degree with his internal divine essence. Thus as the internal of the Lord was Jehovah, it could not be a form recipient of life, as the internal of man is, but was life itself. And his human essence, by union with his divine essence, was also made life itself. Wherefore, the Lord said, "As the father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the son, to have life in himself."
(John, v. 26.)

Thus man has an internal and an external; and when man is in a mere, which is an evil, external state, he appears disjoined from his own internal. And as there was a perfect parity between the Lord and man in this respect, therefore, in proportion as the Lord was in the humanity which he received hereditarily from the mother, and which was infirm, finite, false and evil, he was in states of contrariety to his own divine internal or Jehovah, so as to appear distinct from him; and in these states adored Jehovah as a being different from himself: but in proportion as he put off this humanity, the Lord came into states which were not contrary to his divine internal; and as his external states became fully correspondent to his internal, he no longer appeared distinct from Jehovah, but appeared as he really was, one with him, and spake with him as with himself. (A. C. 1999.) The former state, as remarked above, was the Lords state of humiliation, which was temporary and passed away; but the latter was his state of glorification, which is eternal. Consequently, though the Lord did, at certain times, speak as though he was inferior to the father, yet, nevertheless, he in reality was, is now, and ever will be, equal with him; as Paul says, "the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever"--the one "God, over all, blessed for evermore."

Thus the whole new-church view of our subject is distinctly before us. What has the Unitarian to object? Why he will say, What evidence have we that man has such an internal as you speak of? Who sees, who knows any thing about such an internal in himself? And if a man be not conscious of an internal in himself, how can one be there? What illustration, then, does the example of such an internal give of the Lords internal which you say was Jehovah? And as for your humiliation of a divine external before a divine internal, I know nothing of it. I can only conceive of Deity as an all extended essence, or divine mind--as an infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and therefore limitless, indeterminate and formless unity--a mere principle of benevolence, wisdom and beneficence. And to my mind it is not only absurd, but impiously and most criminally profane, to attempt to think of such a being in a form or under an idea comprehensible to a finite mind. It is therefore to me the height of impiety, as well as absurdity, to speak of an external to Deity, or of God: being a man; and your talk of Gods putting off one external and putting on another external is to me nothing else than theological gibberish.

Such, or something like it, I should imagine would be the answer of a Unitarian to the explanations of our church now given. The root of the difficulty, then, seems to be the sensual mans inability to discern spiritual things; and this root has two main radicals: first, the sensual mans inability to conceive that there is any internal man, and therefore how there could have been a divine internal in the Lord; and second, his inability to conceive how a divine internal could have a divine external, or a divine essence have a divine form.

The first of these difficulties it is impossible to remove, because it is inherent in the very nature of the sensual mind. For the sensual mind is formed by the appearances of truth, that is, truth as it appears to the senses; and the existence of an internal man is contrary to appearance. Most men do not know, and if they be told it, do not believe, that there is an internal man; because they live in corporeal and sensual principles, which cannot possibly see what is of an interior nature. "Interior things are capable of seeing what is exterior, but exterior things are not capable of seeing what is interior; as in the case of vision, the internal sight can see what the external sight does, but the external sight cannot see at all what the internal sight does: or, what is similar, the intellectual and rational principles can perceive the nature and quality of the scientific, but the scientific principle cannot perceive the nature and quality of the intellectual and rational. A further reason why men do not know, and if they be told it, do not believe, that there is an internal man, is, because they do not actually believe that there is a spirit which is separated from the body at death, and scarcely that there is an internal life which is called the soul: for when the sensual and corporeal man thinks of separating the spirit from the body, it occurs to him as an impossibility, by reason of his making all life to reside in the body; in which idea he confirms himself by several considerations drawn from mere appearances in this world." "But the chief cause why the greatest part of mankind, and the most learned more than the simple, are influenced by incredulity respecting an internal man, or respecting a spiritual world, and spiritual things in general, is, because almost all men are immersed in self-love and the love of the world, which are diametrically opposite to celestial love; that is, love to the Lord, and spiritual love, which is love to the neighbour." (A. C. 1594.) For love to the Lord and the neighbour is spiritual, while love of self and the world, is natural, sensual and corporeal. And while a man is in the latter, he cannot conceive: of the existence of the former. A single fact proves this, namely, the fact that there is among sensual men so much disputing whether there be any such thing as disinterested benevolence. If a man were spiritual, he could have no doubt or dispute on this subject; but the man who is principled in self-love, cannot conceive of any principle of action but an ultimate regard to ones own interest; and therefore, in his view, there can be no benevolence which is disinterested. It is impossible to conceive of any purely disinterested action, until a man is raised out of self-love into the love of the Lord. For a man can never know what he has never seen or has never been. And no one can be purely disinterested but the Lord and he who is made like him by regeneration. And "no one knoweth the things of God, but the spirit of God, and he unto whom God reveals them by his spirit." (l Cor. ii.) Therefore a selfish man cannot know or conceive of a disinterested action. In like manner every thing spiritual is hid from his eyes; because "the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Now the internal of man, of which we have been speaking, is most intimately spiritual, and is in fact nothing else but love; for, as has been shown, man is not bodily form merely, but love and wisdom in a bodily form; therefore the essential man is the love. Consequently, the true and genuine man is the love of God in us, which is mutual love. Wherefore mutual love is emphatically the internal man. But self-love is opposite to mutual love; hence it is that they who are principled in self-love cannot conceive of the internal man.

"The spirit of man, or the soul, is the interior man, which lives after death, and is an organized spiritual substance, being within the body during a mans abode in this world. This interior man, or mans soul, or spirit, is not the internal man, but the internal man is in it, when mutual love is there. The things appertaining to the internal man are, as we have shown, of the Lord in man, so that it may be said that the internal man is the Lord; but as the Lord grants unto angels and men, whilst they live in mutual love, to have a celestial selfhood, so that it appears to them as if they did good of or from themselves; hence we speak of the internal man, as if it were a part of man himself. But any one who is principled in mutual love acknowledges and believes that all goodness and truth are not his, but the Lords, and that the ability to love another as himself, and especially like the angels, to love another more than himself, is the continual gift of the Lord; from which gift and its happiness, man recedes in the proportion that he recedes from the acknowledgment that that gift is the Lords, (A. C. 1594,) and comes into the appearance that his good and his truth are his own; that is, recedes from an internal and comes into an external state, which is the same as receding from love to God and coming into self love. Thus it is that they who are corporeal and sensual, as all are who are principled in self love, cannot conceive of an internal man that is the Lord, and hence cannot conceive how the Lord could have had an internal man which is Jehovah. As the great mass of men in the present day are so principled, it is consequently difficult, nay impossible, for us to convince them by argument of this point of our doctrine. Still it is nevertheless true, although there is no way of making them see its truth, until they cease to be sensual and become spiritually rational men. And "whether men will hear or whether they will forbear," the doctrines of truth must be preached.

We see, then, that the sensual minds inability to conceive that there is any internal man, is an obstacle in the way of receiving the doctrine which teaches a personal unity of Jesus Christ and the Essential Divinity within him. And this is an obstacle which cannot be removed by mere argument. The natural man may give a mere intellectual assent to the truth that Jesus and Jehovah are one; but this truth never can find in him that vital reception which alone constitutes the church in spirit. This truth being, as we have fully shown, eminently spiritual in its character, it cannot be truly seen, or effectively received, until men, by the life of the doctrines which teach and enforce it, come into the degree of spiritual discernment requisite for its perception. All attempts, therefore, to propagate this truth by argument will be vain. Before spiritual life is formed by the doctrine of spiritual truth, there is always some latent natural passion, which, often unconsciously tot he man himself, so obscures his mental vision, as to prevent his seeing such truth, however clear the light in which it may be presented; and causes him to negate it spontaneously, on account of its opposition to the ends of natural life. And we may reason till doomsday with men who are in the negation of spiritual truth, without ever advancing them one step towards its rational perception or its vital admission. Hence, Unitarians, to receive our doctrine of the Lord, must cease to be such; for I hold all distinctive Unitarians to be nothing else than natural moral men, who are in the negation of spiritual truth.

The difficulty before us, therefore, is not to be removed by argument, but by change of internal state, effected, in the Divine Providence, through the affliction of natural loves conspiring with remains of good and truth stored up in infancy.

Still rational argument is of use in illustrating the willing or affirmative mind, preparatory to the vital reception of true doctrine; and it is more than all of use in confirming the rational mind after the doctrine of truth has begun to be vitally received.

Although, then, we cannot hope to convince confirmed Unitarians, or negators, by rational arguments for our doctrine of the Lord against their views, yet we may thereby defend ourselves from doubts respecting the truth of our own views, which opposing spheres may infuse into us during our daily business or social intercourse with mankind around us; and we may confirm ourselves in the rational and vital reception of this most essential principle of our faith by seeing it more distinctly in vivid contrast with its opposite.

Therefore, as it would detain you too long now, we shall, on another occasion, consider the other radical branch of the Unitarian difficulty in conceiving of the sole and supreme divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 16        SERMON XV.

ISAIAH, LIX. 16.

"Therefore his own arm brought salvation unto him."

IN the Gospel according to John, there occur the following passages: "I and my father are one" (x. 30.)"Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he had not only broken the sabbath, but said also, that God was his father, making himself EQUAL with GOD" (v. 18.)"If ye loved me, ye would rejoice because I said, I go unto the rather: for my father is GREATER than I" (xiv. 28.)--"The son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the father do" (v. 19.)"I speak not of myself; but the father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." (xiv. 10.)

These passages bring fully into view the subject which we have been discussing. They show an apparent contradiction between the Lords words, where he asserts his unity and equality with the father, and where he also asserts his inferiority to him. We of the new church explain this apparent contradiction by saying, that when the Lord speaks of himself as inferior to the father, he does so in respect to that infirm humanity which he assumed from the mother and which he subsequently put off; but when he speaks of himself as one and equal with the father, he does so in respect to that glorified humanity which he produced from the divine essence. Hence we say, that when he speaks of himself as inferior to the father, he speaks only apparent truth, because he speaks in an external natural state, in which things are seen only according to appearance; but when he says he is equal with the father, he speaks the real truth, because he speaks in an internal or divinely spiritual state, in which things are seen as they really are. But, on the other hand, they of the Unitarian church say, that Christ speaks the real truth when he says he is inferior to the father; and that he speaks figuratively, when he says he and the father are one. It may be seen, then, that the difference between us and the Unitarians is as wide as the poles. And this difference runs as it were in parallel lines between our ideas of God, of manhood, and of every thing which might be brought to elucidate the true relation of the Lord to the father, or to remove the natural difficulties which are inherent in the apprehension of the Lords absolute unity with him.

The true reason why there is so wide a difference between us and the Unitarians in our views of the Lord, is, because the Unitarian doctrine of the Lord is drawn from the natural world, and ours from the spiritual world. Unitarian doctrines are drawn from the mere letter of the Word, explained by mere natural science; but the doctrines of the new church are drawn from the letter of the Word as it is understood by angels, and are confirmed by the letter illustrated by the light of its spiritual sense. The doctrines of the Unitarians are drawn from the Word by men in the exercise of the ordinary natural-rational powers of the mind; but the new-church doctrines were drawn from the Word by one in the exercise of peculiar spiritual-rational powers, because his spiritual eyes were opened to see and converse with angels, and to see and reveal the facts and laws of the spiritual world; and because he was otherwise especially filled with the Lords spirit to teach those doctrines from him. Hence, as Unitarian doctrines come from a mans own natural intelligence formed from the knowledge of truths as seen here in this world, therefore the Unitarian stands on the earth and looks at the Lord from without; but as the doctrines of the new church come from the Lord himself through heaven, and come from a spiritual intelligence not mans own, but formed from the knowledge of truths as seen in the spiritual world, such Newchurchmen as fully embrace those doctrines and adequately understand them, stand as it were in heaven and look to the Lord from within. Consequently, these two views of the Lord will be as variant as the natural man and the spiritual man: and these, as is well known, are antagonists. Hence the Unitarian must, from the very nature of his mind, experience insuperable difficulties in comprehending or receiving any explanations which the new church may have to give of the Lords apparent contradiction of himself when he at one time says he is equal with the father and at another says he is inferior to him. Thus when, in explanation of this subject, she teaches the doctrine of an internal, which is the Lords abode with every man, giving him the universal and essential principles of his being,--hereby distinguishing him from the brutes and consociating him with angels,--and that this internal in the Lord was Jehovah himself; the Unitarian objects that we have no evidence of the existence of such an internal in ourselves, and therefore the supposition of its existence does not explain how Jehovah could have been Christs internal. Again, when the new church teaches that Jehovah himself clothed himself in material humanity by conception and birth in the womb of a virgin--that the Lord Jesus Christ so existing from Jehovah, put off, by his own proper power, this material humanity, and put on another which was an external divine form perfectly correspondent to Jehovah as an internal divine essence--that while the Lord was thinking and feeling in his material humanity, he was in a state of contrariety to his internal which was Jehovah, and, as contrariety of state produces apparent separation in space, therefore appeared distinct from him; so that, in that humanity, he prayed to Jehovah, his father, as a separate being, and spoke of himself as inferior to him--but that the Lord, as he expelled his material humanity, and put on a divine humanity by production from his divine essence, so as to come into a state of perfect correspondence with Jehovah, and therefore to do away the appearance of separation from him, then spake to him as to himself and said, that he and the father were one; the Unitarian objects to all this that he cannot conceive of God as having, or coming into, an external form--he cannot conceive of a divine essence as having a divine form, which is man--he cannot conceive how God can be man, or man God--he cannot conceive of the Infinite, or the Eternal, or the Omnipresent, or the Omniscient, or the Omnipotent Divine Mind, as being limited or finited in human shape: and he not only cannot conceive such a thing, but he is shocked at the thought of any such conception as the most heinous profanity. He thinks of the Deity as a spirit--the idea of which in his mind is as air or ether. He regards God as an abstract divine essence without any form--as a mere principle of goodness, and wisdom, and power, without any distinct or conceivable divine embodyment whatever. And he so fortifies himself in these objections by natural and sensual appearances, both in the world and the letter of the Word, that it is impossible to dislodge him from these his strong holds while he remains a natural or a sensual man.

The Unitarian and the Newjerusalemite, therefore, so far from being the same, are the most entire antipodes. And, what is more, the natural and sensual principle is so strong in all of us, and, the natural-rational arguments drawn from natural and sensual appearances are so cogent, and so subtlety insinuate themselves into our external man, that the acute and learned Unitarian, especially if he be also a good nature! man, has great power, so far as we come into his sphere, of infesting our spiritual mind, by secretly infusing doubts, which disturb and unsettle our clear rational convictions of spiritual truth. Hence it is needful, that such of us as mingle much in promiscuous society, should be armed at all points, and especially have our rational mind fortified against these subtle influences.

Doubtless the best protection against this and all spiritual dangers, is the sphere of a good life; but good, mere good, is powerless without truth; and a good life is protective only because it is a flame which sheds a rational light for its own protection, and of course for the protection of any who are principled in it. This rational light is the form itself of good, and is the truth of good, which, as a covering of common sense and intuitive spiritual perception, serves good as a coat of mail, and a whole panoply of defense against the fiery darts of its enemies. But few men in the present day are in this good, into which no one can come without reformation and regeneration. While men are not in good, there is no way of protecting them from the inevitable conquest of evil by its false principles, unless truth is first received as mere science. Truth thus received into an understanding made dispassionate by the quiescency of evil loves, may be instrumental in eradicating evil and implanting good. And as good is implanted by truth, and grows, it again forms truth around itself for its defense and further propagation. Thus good has no power either to exist or subsist without truth. We must therefore have truth united with our good, or the life of our good will have no power to protect us. Hence it is so often the case that persons in simple good, not only endanger themselves, but jeopardize whole communities by their well meant but indiscreet acts. In short, truth is the sword of good, by which it protects itself from the assaults of falses that would unsettle and destroy it. And the doctrine of truth is the scythed chariot which carries good to the conflict, and mows down the serried ranks of its enemies, while truth, as a falchion in the hand of man as good, waves and glitters in the light of heaven above.

The doctrine of truth for the new church is represented as a man-child, born of the woman in the wilderness, which is to rule the nations, and break them in pieces, as a potters vessel, with a rod of iron. This rod of iron in the hand of a man-child denotes the doctrine of spiritual truth made potent against evils and falses by the aids of illustration from natural science. We must therefore defend ourselves from Unitarian doubts, and strengthen ourselves against all the evils to which our natural minds are prone, by such aids. And hence we must be so furnished as to be able to give to the spiritual truths of our church the equipment of every requisite, or appropriate, natural-rational illustration. We must, as the apostle says, be able to give a reason for the hope that is in us. For although it is not admissible to enter into the faith of spiritual things by reasonings from natural things, yet when spiritual things are admitted on a ground of faith and obedience, then it is admissible to confirm those things by rational arguments drawn from the natural world. Hence we have been engaged in illustrating our doctrine of the Lord, which is fundamental to all our theology and to all our religion; and in maintaining it, in our own minds, against Unitarian objections, by rational illustrations drawn from natural science.

In our last discourse, we resolved the whole root of the difficulty, which the Unitarian encounters in admitting or receiving our explanations of the subject before us, into two main radicals; namely, the sensual mans inability to conceive of the internal man as we do, and therefore to conceive how there could have been a divine internal in the Lord; and his inability to conceive how a divine internal could have a divine external, or a divine essence have a divine form.

The first of these radicals we discussed then, and reserved the second for this occasion. Let us now, then, in the last place, scrutinize this second ground of difficulty, namely, the sensual mans inability to conceive of a divine essence in a divine form. This latter difficulty is more accessible to natural reason than the former; for although, like the other, it is a mere fallacy of sense, still it is a fallacy which can be more readily shown to be such. It arises out of a false idea of God, which the testimony of his own works will correct; since "the invisible things of the Creator; even his eternal power and godhead, are clearly seen from the creation, being understood from the things that are made."

This false idea of God is, that he is a simple oneness of being. On the contrary, the true idea of God Is, that, he is a trine of divine principles in one divine person. Now it can be demonstrated, and I flatter myself it has been already fully demonstrated heretofore, that in the things which God has made, or in the world of nature, there is no such thing as a simple oneness of being, that is, a mere abstract principle of goodness, or power, or of any sort: but every principle inheres necessarily in some subject, as an essence for instance in its form. Therefore, "looking through nature up to natures God," we conclude that all divine principles must necessarily inhere in some appropriate divine subject. And the subject in which all the divine principles dwell bodily, is what we hold to be the person of God.

The ground of Unitarian error in conceiving of God, lies in an undue exercise of a peculiar property of the human mind called abstraction. The human mind can abstract colour from cloth, the countenance from the bony and fleshy visage, intelligence from the eye, affection from the thought, and the whole mind of man from its spiritual or material embodyment; but in fact these things do not and cannot exist abstractly. The human mind has the power of abstracting in thought the attributes and qualities of things from the things in which they inhere; but in nature, or in fact, no such abstraction exists. Thus the human mind can in thought abstract length and breadth from a superficies, or length, and breadth, and depth, from a cube; but in fact length, or breadth, or depth, no where exists abstractly from the matter in which it inheres. So, universally,
there is no such thing as an abstract principle. Such a principle is a mere thought, idea or notion of the mind in its apprehension of the attributes and qualities of natural things. For instance, there is no such thing as an essence abstracted from its form, or a cause abstracted from its effect, or an end abstracted from its cause, or a mind abstracted from a natural or spiritual body: yet the human mind can give an ideal existence to its own abstractions, and its imaginative faculty consists in this. Hence the mind can conceive of essence abstractly from form, or cause from effect, or end from cause, or mind from body. And hence it is, that it can conceive of an abstract divine mind; can conceive of a divine essence abstractly from a divine form, though in the nature of things no such abstraction ever did or can exist. For no such thing ever did or can exist as divine goodness out of divine wisdom; or such a thing as either or both of these out of some divine or operative agent. To suppose this, is to suppose that divine ends could come into effect without divine means. Hence all things were made by the word, and without the word was not any thing made that was made. The word is the universal agent of God, which is, with God in the beginning of every created work, and thinks it not robbery to be equal with God. God. is the divine essence, the word is the divine form. Hence any thing is made, not by the divine essence abstractly, but by the divine essence in the divine form; that is, by the divine form from the divine essence, or by the word from God. Now Jesus Christ is the word of God, that is, the son of God, the form of God, the wisdom of God, the power of God, the express image of his substance, "by whom," as the apostle Paul expressly says further, "he made the worlds." Therefore, the divine essence no where exists out of the divine form; consequently, the divine essence, or God, exists in Jesus Christ and no where out of him. And the Unitarian conception, that God the father exists, as a simple principle of unity, out of Jesus Christ, is a mere exercise of the human minds power of abstracting in thought an essence from a form, which no where exists so abstracted in nature or in fact. And I hesitate not to say, that all the theological errors of the Christian world--pregnant as that world now is with errors--may be traced to this power of abstraction in the human mind. Or, what is the same thing, these errors originate in sensual appearances. For the abstractions of the human mind are such appearances realized in the minds imaginative faculty. For it appears to human sense as if God did indeed exist no where in form, although, in reel truth, every form that exists is full of him, or rather derives its form from the influx of his form. This arises out of that law of the divine economy which grants unto any and every subject. of life, the appearance of living in itself, instead of the appearance of living from the divine essence which is discretely within it. This appearance is necessary to the distinctive or appropriate life of any created thing; and without it there would be nothing but God; for God could not appear manifestly in every thing, unless every thing existed continuously from him; and such continuous existence would be absolutely himself. But when things exist discretely from him, as the body does from the soul, or the speech from the thought, or the tone from the affection, and when he gives to each thing the appearance of living or existing in itself, as the body appears to live in itself, or the speech or tone to exist of itself, then every thing can have a proprium, or a life seemingly its own, which gives to it an existence that is distinctive from the divine existence; for then God does not manifestly appear in any thing, although that thing has no life but from him, just as the body has no life but from the soul, and the speech no existence but from the thought, or the tone no existence but from the affection. Thus, although every thing that exists appears to have a distinct and independent existence of its own, still it is the dictate of sound human reason, that God does exist every where, and that nothing can exist without him. And yet, as God exists no where in appearance, when human reason rests in appearances, it imagines that God is an all extended invisible and formless essence, a mere spirit or abstract mind, "without body, parts or passions." Hence this idea of God originates in the mere appearances of natural things; and is therefore a sensual or natural idea. And that this is but a natural idea of God, is evident from the savages of our forests conceiving him to be a great invisible spirit.

But it does not follow that God has no form, because his form does not appear to us in our natural state: and although he does not appear in common natural, and in ordinary human, forms, yet he must exist in an appropriate divine form; because, in the nature of things, no essence whatever can exist without a form; and therefore because a divine essence without a divine form would be a divine nonentity. He may have a divine body as invisible to our natural eyes as the glorified body of the Lord was invisible to the natural eyes of his disciples when he existed in a material body on earth, but as visible to our spiritual eyes as was his divine natural body to the spiritual eyes of his disciples in his transfiguration on the mount.

Hence the notion that God as a divine essence exists without a divine form is a fallacy of human sense. And as the Word of God expressly declares that God made man in his own image end likeness, therefore the form of God is man--that is, a divine man is the appropriate form of the divine essence. And as Paul expressly says the fullness of the godhead dwells in Jesus Christ bodily, therefore we may conclude that the Unitarian notion of God, as a divine mind out of, or abstract from, the divine man Jesus Christ, is grounded in a mere fallacy of human sense, and is itself utterly fallacious.

But the points which we have thus brought distinctly to view in the light of the new church, are susceptible of some exemplification by the principles of philosophy and natural science; and it is the especial purpose of this discourse to make such an exemplification.

Recollect that there is but one point which we wish to be now kept distinctly before the view, namely, that the divine essence must have a divine form to effect either creation, or redemption and salvation. To show this we need advert to but two philosophical principles. The first principle to which we shall advert, is expressed in these words of the new church: "Every active principle has its reactive or reciprocal principle that any effect may be produced; and the active principle is the cause, and the reactive is the thing caused: therefore reactivity is also of the active principle, as the thing caused is of the cause, for all energy in the thing caused is from the cause. This is the case with reaction, in singular the things of universal nature." (A. C. 6262.) The other philosophical principle is, that the form determines the quality of the influent life. Thus the form of the plant determines the quality of life flowing in from the sun. The form of a peach tree determines the influences of the sun to the production of a peach, the form of an apple tree to an apple, of a plum tree to a plum, and so on. Just so the form of man determines the quality of life flowing in from the Lord, who is the Sun of Righteousness in heaven. Hence the benevolent man determines the Lords influences to benevolence, the avaricious man to avarice. The selfish man determines the influx of divine love into self love, the worldling into love of the world. This principle is the groundwork of the law that life appears to be in the subject of it. Thus that life appears to be in the tree, and not in the sun; or in man and not in God. And it is the groundwork of that other law to which we adverted in our last discourse, namely, that "the activity of man does not proceed from his soul by his body, but out of his body from his soul." (T. C. R. 188.) For the soul acts upon the body, as the suns rays act upon the plant, that is, discretely. Hence the body determines the influences of the soul, as the plant determines the influences of the sun. Hence idiocy or insanity of the mind results from malformation or lesion of the brain; and hence the necessity of a sound body to the adequate manifestations of a sound mind.

These two principles we take to be ultimate facts, which are ascertained by observation of things as they exist. Why God has made things so, it is not our province to determine, nor is it in our ability to see. The counsels of the Almighty are past knowing, and his ways past finding out. All we have to do, is to take these facts, and reason from them to the nature of Him who has so constituted things, on the principle that the Deity is subject to his own law, "by their fruits ye shall know them."

Assuming, then, that nature is an image of its Creator; and that every essential principle of nature must have a corresponding principle in God, therefore we reason, that as in nature every active has a reactive, in order that any effect may be produced, consequently the divine essence must have something that is divinely reactive to it, in order that it may produce any effect. The effects of the divine essence are in general creation, preservation, redemption and salvation. Neither of these effects, therefore, could be produced if there were not something to react on the divine essence.

But what is the divine essence? The apostle John says, "God is love." And love is evidently the essence of all things. All things of a man proceed from and body forth his love. If a mans love is self, self will be perceived to be the centre of his thoughts, and will be seen to be in all his actions. If his love be the world, every thing in him will regard and tend to the world. If his love be ambition, or avarice, or any other specific form of love of self and love of the world, not only his acts and his thoughts, but the visage of his face, the tone of his voice, the habitual contraction of all his muscles, and the very clothes on his back, will have the lineaments or wear the semblance of ambition or avarice. Ambition or avarice will ooze through every pore, and form a complete sphere of itself around the man, so that every one who comes near him can feel or perceive its quality, just as one perceives the quality of a flower in the smell of its odour. So of any other love, whether it be love of God, or love of man, in some one or other of its specific forms of love of goodness or love of truth. This love will be found to be the essence of every thought, deed, physical conformation and spherical influence of the man who is principled in it. Therefore love is the essence of the man. And hence divine love is the essence of God.

Love too is manifestly the active principle in man. Who does not see that love of self, or love of the world, is the mainspring of action in those who are under its predominating influence. The ruling love is the end which a man proposes to himself. For what he loves, this he calls good, and this he constantly seeks to attain. It reigns universally in his thought, and is always clasped in his affection. Awake, it enters into all his plans; and asleep, he dreams of it. The man who loves money, for instance, is constantly projecting ways and means of getting and keeping it; and all Iris action is but the ultimate form of his cogitations. Therefore the love of money, in his case, is the active principle. Who does not know that the love of a man for a woman, when strong and engrossing, fills every thought, gives form to every affection, and completely stimulates every action. What is it that a man will not do for the woman whom he truly and ardently loves. He will fight for her--he will die for her--he will compass sea and land to gain her: nay, he will totally change his character, that he may win her favour, or secure her acceptance of him. No one can fail to see and feel that love in his case prompts incessantly to action. Love is, therefore, the active principle of man. So of every other ruling love. This is seen to be so from the fact, that if the hopes of the love are destroyed, the man sinks into despair or apathy, and consequent total inaction. The man whose prospects in business are hopelessly blasted, gives up business, and too often sinks into dissipation. He who utterly despairs of gaining the affections and the person of his mistress, becomes reckless of the proprieties of life, and not unfrequently commits suicide. Indeed, innumerable are the instances which go to show, that if the love is destroyed, the principle of action is entirely gone. Hence love is the active principle of man; and, by parity, love must be the active Principle of God.

Now the simple question is, can love act, if it have not something to react on it? Can love exist, or operate, or show itself, or be appreciable to the objects of it, without a form? How can the divine love appear, or be appreciable, to any man, if it has not a son in the bosom of it, to bring it forth to view? Who can see the love of man without his body? Mans thought, or his affection, is but an embodyment of his love. It is a form of it, that flows from it, reacts on it, is in the bosom of it and brings it forth to view. And the thought, or the affection, cannot at all exist without an organ; and this organ is some conformation of substance which ultimates, limits, reacts on, and furnishes a perfectly correspondent form to, the thought or the affection. For instance, how can the thought speak without the organs of speech. How can the affection, or its intelligence, see without the eye, hear without the ear, act without the hand, or effectuate any of its ends without an appropriate organization? So the love, which is a still more universal principle--is the essence of all--can effect no end, without an organized form, which ultimates, limits and reacts on it, so as to produce it correspondently in effect. How can the air as a simple substance produce any effect? Suppose it to issue from a central source without any thing to react on it, would it not spend itself in the immensity of space? And if thus infinitely diffused, what effect could it produce? It would discourse no etherial music, if there were no Eolian strings to vibrate at its touch. And it would utter no intelligible sound, if that which reacted on it were not an intelligent form. How call you produce music by air alone, without the conformation of the mouth, or of the flute, or of some other instrument? Is not the perfection of the music in the perfection of the form? Look at the fluids of the body. How can the blood effect any thing in the nutrition of the body, without the apparatus of heart, and arteries, and veins, to react on it? How can the nervous fluid perform the function of the mind, without the reactive powers of the nerves? How would any of the humours be contained, and be efficient in their respective uses, unless they were limited, held in and reacted on by the skin? If the skin is taken away, it is well known that the vital fluids pass off, and the body dies: and by no possibility can the body be kept alive if the skin is destroyed, as by burning. This shows the indispensable necessity of reaction on the bodily fluids, to preserve bodily life. This principle is universal. If you do not hem your handkerchief, or if the weaver has not made a selvedge to it, it will fray out. If you do not tie a knot in your thread, your seam will ultimately rip. Nothing, in fact, can consist in a permanent existence--nothing can at all exist--if it have not a limit, an ultimate, a reactive plane or principle. And why should not this be true of God? How can a divine essence, simply or abstractly considered, produce any divine result? The divine love is the divine essence, or the divine active principle; how can this produce any effect either in creating and sustaining the world, or in redeeming or saving men, without some divine reactive principle? It is clearly against the whole nature of things to suppose such a thing.

Now we have already proved that that which reacts on the divine love or essence is the word, which is Jesus Christ, who is the form, the wisdom, the power, the express image of God. Thus the divine internal must have a divine external--the divine essence must have a divine form. God must be in the word, or the world could not be created and sustained--God must be in Christ Jesus reconciling the world unto himself, or mankind could not be redeemed and saved.

But it is difficult to conceive how the divine: essence can be limited. And the reason is, because our ideas of a limit are formed from time and space. It is true that God cannot be limited in space: and all the difficulty of conceiving of Jesus Christ as God, arises from our thinking of him as a material man. Matter is a subject of extension in space and of permanence in time: and a limit of matter, therefore, is a limit of time and space. But God is not a subject of either. He is in all time without time, and in all space without space. This may be apprehended by reflecting on the properties of thought and affection within ourselves. Time and space cannot be predicated of these. There is nothing of length, or breadth, or depth, or of lapse of time in affection or thought. These are indeed in space when they act into the body, or become conspicuous in the body. But who does not see that an intelligent thought, or a benevolent affection, has nothing to do with the size, or age, or matter of a mans face? Who does not see that the perfect picture of that thought or affection may be as well expressed in the smallest miniature as in the largest full length portrait? Reflection, then, will soon tell us that thought and affection have nothing of the properties of matter, or its time and space, in them. It cannot be said that they are so long or so broad, or so young or so old. The lines of mathematics cannot limit or express them. They are something within and above all material configuration, though they may, for a time, dwell and be conspicuous in a material body. So God may be in matter without being subject to matter: and the external which forms, limits and reacts on the divine essence is something which is above the properties of matter, or its time and space. Therefore, to conceive of this external, we must lift our thoughts out of time and space, and think of form in a philosophical sense.

Now, in a philosophical sense, form is not material shape, but relation and adaptation of means to an end. Hence you will hear an anatomist, when speaking of a skeleton, say it is beautiful--certainly not beautiful as to its shape, but admirably so indeed, when its wonderful adaptation to the ends of its construction are considered! You will hear a mechanic extolling in the same way his machine. It is the perfect adaptation of the machine to the purpose for which it is made, which constitutes its perfection of form in his eye. The perfect form of a flute is its perfect adaptation to produce certain modifications of the air in musical tones. So of a violin. A boy would say a beautiful flute was one made of ivory or ebony, and inlaid with silver or gold, and exquisitely wrought and polished. He would regard in the violin, top, the material and the cabinetwork. But the enthusiastic professor or amateur in music values his old Cremona for no such properties. Philosophical perfection of form, then, is not perfection of shape or material configuration. Therefore the form of God is not the shape of God, but the adaptation of means to his ends: and Gods limit is that in which his ends close; and his ends close in their perfect effectuation.

There are, as we have shown, three principles in God--love, wisdom and use. These are ends, causes and effects. Or they are good, truth and the conjunction of good and truth. Good is an active endeavour, truth is its reactive power, and when endeavour is conjoined to its perfect power, it is an efficient form of use in some subject of that use. The conjunction of good and truth in use, then, is the limit of God. It is that in which God rests from his labour and says it is good, it is very good.

Use is love in form: and it is clearly evident that the form of use may be as perfect in an animalcule as in an elephant, or in a single man as in a world. It might, therefore, have been as perfect in the one person Jesus Christ, as in the whole universe; and as divinity consists in this perfection of state, and not in physical extension or conformation, therefore Jesus Christ was God, because in him there was a perfect union of divine goodness and divine truth in divine use.

Thus the perfect ultimation of interior principles in use is perfect form. The degree of space or time, or the material configuration, has little or nothing to do with its perfection. Hence it is the perfect adaptation of man for all uses, which makes him a perfect form. And this does not lie in his shape, but in the perfect relation and subordination of parts to a whole. To conceive, therefore, of the form, the limit, the external of God, we must lift our minds out of the ideas of time, space and materiality, and fix them on the ideas of a perfect slate of relation of parts to a whole, or of adaptation of means to an end. We must think of the perfect conjunction of good and truth in the forms of use--of the perfect and inevitable effectuation of ends by their adequate causes-in which effectuation the ends close and rest as in their appropriate term or limit.

Therefore, in considering Jesus Christ as God, we must not regard him as a person merely, but look at his qualities in his person: for his divinity lies not in his person, but in the divine qualities, even the complex qualities of the whole godhead, which dwell and are conspicuous in his person. These constitute his form. His person is but the subject of this form, as matter is but the subject of shape. His manhood is his form of divine goodness, which is a perfect correspondence to divine love--is a perfect adaptation to present the emotions, and effect the ends, of divine love. His person is but an object which fixes the thought and determines it to the consideration of the divine qualities which inhere in and are operative through his person. To allow the thought to rest in the person, is idolatry; for it is worshiping what is external without what is internal. Thus the divine essence must have a divine form; and the divine essence in form is divine love in divine use.

Now the main use of divine love is a heaven of human beings: for the very nature of love is a desire and an effort to make others happy out of itself. Hence comes creation: for without creation there would be no beings to receive and reciprocate the divine love. No other end could actuate God in creation, because his own glory, or his own happiness, was complete from eternity; and therefore he could not effect or increase either by any creation in time. Hence his end in creating was to make beings happy out of himself, by making them more and more receptive of him to eternity. Hence the creation of man: for man is a form most perfectly receptive of the influences of divine love, so as to be made happy in the reception and manifestation of it. Heaven is that state of man in which he is most perfectly concordant and correspondent to the activities of the divine love; or, it is the most perfect consociation and arrangement of all those beings who are thus concordant and correspondent.

But man, to enjoy heaven in the reception and reciprocity of divine love, must be free to receive it and live it as of himself. And in the abuse of this freedom, he in fact lost all conformity to the divine love, so as to be on the verge of utter destruction as a true man. The spirits of men, passing into the spiritual world by the death of the material body, had risen to the very confines of heaven, and were endangering the existence of heaven and the kingdom of God itself; just as a mortification of the foot, in rising to the vitals, endangers the life of the whole body. And unless these spirits had been removed, the heavens been reduced to order, and man on earth been again subjected to healthful divine influences, all flesh must have perished.

Now how was man to be saved? Could he have been saved by a mere principle of divine love? That is the question. We have seen that all principles of life are modified by the forms into which they flow. Now how could the divine love save a diabolical man, or a diabolical spirit, by flowing into him as a simple principle, a mere unity of essence, a mere etherial emanation? Would not divine love flowing into a diabolical spirit in this way have made him still more diabolical? For, according to the law of order, the divine life flowing into him would appear to be in him as his own, and would not be received in its own intrinsic quality, but would be modified by the quality of his form, just as wholesome food is modified by a diseased stomach, or the rays of the sun by a putrifying substance, or by a poisonous plant. Hence God flowing as a simple divine principle into a devil, would make: him still more a devil. In like manner, coming to a bad man thus, he would make him still worse; for the divine love flowing as a principle of love into man as a form of self-love, would make him still more selfish. Hence the divine love flowing in this way into man, would have been most inevitably destructive of him, and consequently of heaven and the whole universe. How then was man to be saved by a mere principle of love or goodness in God, or by a mere divine essence? Man could not see God as such an essence, for he lives, and moves, and has his being in that essence as an all pervading principle. And if he could not see God, he could have no idea of him so as to be conformed to him: and without such conformation he could not receive God as a principle adequately to his salvation; for God coming as such a principle to him in a contrary state, would destroy him, just as the heat of the sun decomposes a dead carcass.

It is very evident, then, that God, to save man, must come to him in a form adapted to his state; that is, the divine essence must clothe itself in a form apprehensible to human thought and affection; and without such a clothing, or limiting, or finiting of the essence, it is clearly manifest that no flesh could have been saved.

And it can be shown with equal clearness, that the Deity never could have created any thing unless, or until, he had produced from his essence an ultimate, by the reaction of which on his essence he could form and make discrete recipient subjects of his own life. It is perfectly evident, also, that he could not make man in any other way, because, in the actual creation of him, he formed first the earth and the world, with all their material appurtenances, and all the most common forms of vegetable and animal life, before man was produced. Hence it is perfectly clear, that, without something to react on the divine essence, that essence never could have created and sustained the world, or redeemed and saved man.

The Word of God declares that by the word the heavens and the earths were made; and when man had corrupted his way on the earth, so that no flesh could have been saved--when "his iniquities had separated between him and his God, and his sins had hid his face From him," the same Word of God declares that Jehovah took to himself an arm of flesh, and expressly says, that he put on an external covering, as it were a breastplate, a hemlet, a garment and a cloak. "Yea, truth faileth, and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment, And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garment of vengeance for clothing; and was clad with zeal as a cloak." Here you see that the divine essence took to itself an external which came between it and the human race, and so was an intercessor between God and man. By this external, the divine internal acquired the power to reach and affect the state of man, while man acted as a free agent, having apparently life in himself. By this external, the divine essence acquired power to change mans state without destroying the appearance of mans living in himself, or without destroying the appearance of his changing his character himself by the exercise of his own faculties. Hence this external was to the divine essence an arm; for the arm is the instrument of the bodys power.

You see, then, it was not the divine essence of itself which produced salvation, but the divine essence stretched out from itself an arm, and the arm brought salvation to the divine essence. Thus it was the reactive principle from the active, and not the active of itself. Consequently, it was necessary for the divine active to have a divine reactive, or salvation could not have been effected. "And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me, and my fury it upheld me."

It is perfectly clear, then, on philosophical principles, that God must have had an external, either to create or to save man. And the same train of reasoning leads directly to the conclusion, that it was necessary for him, in order to save the human race, to clothe himself in materiality. For we have seen that God, to save man, must needs have come into a form apprehensible to his thought and affection. Now man is lost when he is in a completely corporeal and sensual state of affection and thought. In this state his thoughts are suggested, and his affections ruled, entirely by evil spirits, till at length his very body is possessed by them, and they, by acting through his involuntary muscles, move him at their will without any will of his own. And the Lord flowing as a mere active divine principle into man in this state, would have been received according to mans form, so as to have smitten him with a more direful curse. The divine life, flowing as a principle of life into the evil spirits attendant on him, would but have increased the appearance of life in those spirits, and this would have rendered indefinitely more intense their diabolical influence on man, until all men would have been utterly destroyed in the consummation of hellish passions. The Lord could not, therefore, how into man from within, but had to close up the issues of interior divine life and approach him from without. By coming to him as a personification of truth to his senses and his corporeal affections, while the evil of those affections was kept quiescent, or covered and removed by an association with good spirits, or by a divine sphere from himself, he could gradually inform his understanding, store his memory, rectify his will, and ultimately correct his action, so as to change his form, and fit it once more to receive correspondently the influences of divine love from within. But to do this, he had to clothe his own divine form in a form similar to mans, and similar to that of the spirits attendant on him. Hence he had to come in a sensual and corporeal form. Else man and devil would have been repelled from him, just as an owl or a bat is repelled from light, or a frozen serpent is repelled from fire.

Indeed the Lord could not at first approach men even in the most ultimate material enveloping which he himself could put on; but he had to send John the Baptist, as a forerunner, to prepare the way for him. John by the baptism of repentance associated men with better spirits, and so loosened them from an association with infernal spirits that they were in some degree able to bear the Lords presence, and in some degree free to receive and obey his teachings. If the Lord had not thus prepared the way for himself, the evil spirits attendant upon men, by which many of them were possessed, and without whom no man could otherwise have been kept in life and its activities, would have receded, so that men would have dropped instantly dead, immediately on the Lords presentation; or if this were by any means prevented, all men, under demoniac influence, would have so fully acted out their latent evils as to produce the utter destruction of the whole human race. But by Johns baptism, and the repentance of it, some men were dissociated from infernal spirits and associated with good spirits on the confines of heaven, so as to be able to receive and be purified by baptism into the Lords light and life; that is, by baptism into his wisdom and his love.

And unless the Lord had taken to himself a corrupt humanity, similar to that which infernal spirits had possessed in other men; he could never have come in contact with them so as to have let upon them the light of his divine countenance for their subjugation, But when he had wrapped up his divine essence in a mantle of corrupt clay, which was common to him and to them, he could approach them and grapple them; and then by transfusing his essence through his covering, could let them perceive and feel its quality even in matter, so that they, tormented by a quality so different from their own in matter, would, in the exercise of their own freedom, recede entirely from all matter. Thus the Lord, by taking to himself a covering of matter, and expelling from matter in its universal principles all that was homogeneous to infernal spirits, effected their expulsion from matter, and so from the involuntary parts of man. And by remaining for ever in a divine natural humanity, which infinitely and eternally reacts on his divine essence, so as fully to ultimate the qualities of that essence in all worlds, he has not only effected the expulsion of infernal spirits from man and from earth, but he holds them chained for ever, by entire and perpetual seclusion, in abodes of outer darkness, so that man, no longer possessed by them as to his sensual and corporeal principles, can be for ever able to receive the light of truth, and free to follow its guidance in ceasing to do evil and learning to do well.

Thus it is clear that God could not have redeemed and saved man, if he had not ultimated, and so finited, his divine essence in a corrupt material humanity. Without this, neither devils nor men could have perceived the divine essence as distinct from, and contrary to, their own life. On the contrary, their own life would have been strengthened and confirmed by the inner influx of that life: hence, without this, the Lord could have had no power to remand the one and correct and save the other. And therefore Jehovah took a material humanity to himself as an arm, whereby he gained power for the subjugation of hell and for human redemption.

Thus we see that, on strict philosophical principles, God could not have redeemed and saved man if he had not clothed his divine essence in an ultimate form. Wherefore, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore am thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine-press? I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury ii upheld me." (Isa. lxiii. 1-5.)


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 17        SERMON XVI.

JEREMIAH, IV. 25.

"I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled."

WE have now, at some length and with considerable minuteness of illustration, stated the new-church doctrine of the Lord. And those who investigate the matter will find that no where but in the New Jerusalem is there a belief in a divine humanity. The truth that Jehovah assumed human nature upon earth--that this human nature has life in itself as Jehovah has life in himself; and thus that this human nature is God as Jehovah is God--has no place in the tenets of the sects now prevailing in Christendom. In respect to Unitarians this is quite manifest: for they hold that Jesus Christ is a mere man, and that it is impious to give form and embodyment to Deity. And though it may not be so clear in respect to Trinitarians, since they hold that Jesus Christ is in some sense divine; yet it will be found to be correct in respect to them also. For they hold that Jesus Christ has two natures, a divine and a human: and they so separate his human from his divine nature as to suppose that there is no divinity in his human nature. But the truth is that his human nature is divine. For Peter confessed that Jesus, as the son of man, is Christ the son of the living God; and we have shown, in our previous discourses, and shall have occasion to show again in our next, that the son of man as the son of the living God, is the humanity of the Lord made divine by a process of glorification.

Since, then, nothing more peculiarly characterizes a church than the view which it takes of the Lord Jesus Christ, and since the truth that the humanity of the Lord Jesus is divine, is no where received in the old Christian church; while it is the truth which is fundamental and central to that whole doctrinal system called the New Jerusalem; hence it must be manifest how totally different the New Jerusalem is from the old Christian church. It must be quite clear, that the new-jerusalem church makes no part whatever of the numerous sects into which the old Christian church is now split up, but is an entirely new dispensation of doctrinal truths from the Word of God.

It becomes, therefore, a matter of very considerable importance to get a clear and distinct idea of this divine humanity, which so peculiarly characterizes the new-jerusalem church, and so thoroughly discriminates it from all other churches. This is the more necessary, because, as both the idea and the term are new, many to whom we preach, not only find a difficulty in comprehending what we mean by the Lords humanity, but fall into great misapprehensions of our doctrinal tenets generally from obscure or wrong conceptions of this fundamental tenet. We shall, therefore, devote this discourse to a familiar illustration of what we understand by the Lords divine humanity.

Doubtless, enough has been said and shown in our previous discourses to make the term we are here to explain sufficiently apprehensible to some minds, but we design in this discourse to make it clearly so to all who have any genuine affection for spiritual things.

Now the only way in which we can form a correct idea of the Lords humanity is by acquiring a right idea of our own. Our ideas of manhood are always according to our state. The mere sensual and corporeal man makes it to consist in the bodily form and the bodily powers. Hence the ancient Romans applied the word virtus, from which comes our word virtue, to virile strength and animal courage. They were a martial people. Their delight was war. The gratification of their lifes love, the attainment of all the objects of their ambition, therefore, lay in military prowess; and this, in that day, was grounded in physical strength: for the science by which men are now killed secundum artem, was not then known, but whole armies fought man to man in so many single combats, which were mainly decided by the greater bodily powers of the individual combatants. Hence, with the ancient Romans, manhood was esteemed to consist in a great development of the animal powers.

But as the character of man changes, from physical to scientific, intellectual, moral, or spiritual, the idea of manhood becomes elevated. Still the difference in the forms of manhood of the respective grades is strongly marked. And if those who are in a lower grade form their ideas of the Lords manhood by their own model, they will have wrong conceptions of his humanity. For instance, the intellectual man, the man of bare intellect, whose heart has not been softened by the mellowing influences of celestial love, thinks manhood consists in mere strength of intellect. His character is formed upon mere truth; and truth without good is hard, harsh and condemnatory. With him, therefore, manhood is strength, vigour, boldness, daring and stern inflexibility of character. He eschews, as he would the pollution of dishonour, any thing like softness of feeling. This he calls unmanly weakness. He is rough in his manners, and negligent of his personal appearance. He prides himself upon the strength and thickness of his beard, the brawn of his muscle, and his infinite elevation above all womanish sensibility. It would be irreverent to express what such a man might have thought, if he had been present, when as it is stated in the Gospel, "Jesus wept"!

But, not to follow out the train of thought into which this suggestion would lead us, we will only say, it cannot but be manifest to any person of any considerable degree of mental elevation, that our bodies are but inert matter, determined in their form and propelled in their activities by certain mental, moral or spiritual principles within them. Hence it is evident that our humanity does not consist in our bodies. And thus, if we suppose the Lords humanity to consist in his body, or his personal form and appearance, we shall be egregiously mistaken. Yet we imagine that the great difficulty in conceiving how the Lords humanity could become divine by glorification, which some persons profess to feel, arises out of some such corporeal or personal notion of his humanity.

Let it be carefully remarked, then that our humanity does not consist in our bodies, but in those spiritual principles from which our bodies exist. Our bodies hold the same relation to our real human that our clothes do to our bodies. They are but an external material covering suited to the operation of our human principle in a world of matter. Let us consider, then, what are those spiritual principles which constitute our humanity?

By attending to the subjects of our own consciousness, we perceive that we are beings who think and feel, or understand and will, or have motives to action and modes of acting. These properties of our being we in general call mind, and we perceive that from the activity of these proceed the activity of our bodies and all the energies of life. We are aware that the discrimination of the human mind into will and understanding as its two chief constituent faculties, is not common in the present day: but that it is not wholly peculiar to the new church, and that it has not been unknown to philosophers, may be concluded from the following views of Addison, as expressed in the Spectator. No. 600: "The soul consists of many faculties, as the understanding and the will, with all the senses, both outward and inward." This is a strictly true definition of the human constitution, with its three discrete divisions--of the will, to which belongs love or good; of the understanding, to which belongs wisdom or truth; and of the senses, to which belongs science or knowledge. And a mans love, wisdom and learning, flowing simultaneously into, or subsiding in, a useful life, constitute his humanity. The body is merely a complex of material organs or instruments by which this humanity acts in and upon the material world.

It is clear, then, that our humanity is not our material form and energy, but is our mind, or that spiritual form, in and by which our essence, or inmost principle of life, or our love, operates. Our humanity, therefore, is that which thinks, reasons, understands, perceives, feels, and acts; or, in a word, is the form of our love. It is the complex form of use, in which a good will clothes itself by means of an enlightened understanding.

Now these faculties of ours, in our original creation, were in a perfect state; and, as nothing which exists can be without form, they were in a perfect form. We were created in the image and likeness of God, and thus were in a truly human form. We were made capable of knowing, loving and serving God; and in the degree that we became acquainted with him and his laws of order, and conformed ourselves to those laws, we became moulded into his image and likeness, and were thus truly men. For in this degree we mere influenced by the divine love, and our form was the form of the divine love, which is the truly human form.

But from this high estate we fell. And our fall consisted in a perversion of these our faculties; in withdrawing them from God, and attaching them to earth. It consisted in a perversion of our love, whereby we ceased to love God as our ultimate end, and learned to love self and the world, as ultimate ends; and thus from celestial and spiritual we became merely corporeal beings. From this radical change in our character, we ceased to act with a view to the good of others, and began to act with a sole reference to our own gratification. This principle in its entire ultimation leads to the destruction of all others when they oppose the gratification of our wishes, and to the indulgence of mere corporeal appetites without any relish whatever for intellectual and moral delights. We mere now, therefore, on the point of losing every vestige of the truly human character, and of becoming mere animals. Our destruction as men, therefore, was at hand. And it was necessary to redeem and save us from this destruction. We could not save ourselves; for we had lost all power to see what is true and to do what is good. He that made alone could save. And he saw that there was no man; and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him, and his righteousness it sustained him." (Isaiah, lix. 16.)

The import of this text was shown in our last discourse. Here we may remark so much of it as is parallel to our present text. It says, Jehovah "saw there was no man." This was spoken in prophetic allusion to the consummation of the church--to that state of the world in which true humanity was about to become extinct, and all mankind were on the verge of moral and spiritual destruction. It was not because there were no animals in human shape. For there were Nephalim and Anakim in those days--men of prodigious physical and mere intellectual strength--men, too, who were proud of their strength and their intelligence: but there was none of that innocence of wisdom, none of that child-like simplicity of character, that child-like teachableness of spirit, that child-like imitation of our Heavenly Fathers example, which constitutes the true man,--the spiritual and the celestial man,--and without which no one can enter into the kingdom of God.

There was then no man because the Lord was no where received, and his image and likeness were no where reflected. He is chaste, meek and lowly; doing not his own will, forgiving injuries, lending without expectation of return, doing good without a view to any recompense of reward; in short, actuated in all things by love unconfined, all-embracing love. Hence from his love of the universal human race, he could weep in the view of their utter destruction.

But, at the time the Lord came into the world, mankind, as they are described by an apostle of that day, were "vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkenedprofessing themselves to be wise, they became fools: and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and to birds and to four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore, they were given up to the vilest and most abominable affections and practices--Being filled with all unrighteousnessfornication , wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful; who, knowing the judgment of God, (that they which commit such things are worthy of death,) not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." Yes! with the men of that day it was manly to do such things. And he who could surpass all others in such things, was, in their estimation, most truly a man. As in the time of Alexander, or the early kings of England, so then, he was the most of a man who could drink the greatest quantity of spirituous liquor without getting drunk. Then, as now, it was manly to deflower innocence, or pollute the sacred shrine of domestic virtue and peace, and boast of it. To resent an injury, to call a man out and kill him in deadly combat for calling you a liar, even when he told the truth, was then as now, to be a man of spirit a true man. Then any thing like refinement of sentiment or feeling was effeminacy; and to weep was to be a woman or a baby. Then, in short, pride, vanity, conceit in his powers as his own, and all that concatenation of evil affections and false imaginations which hang from self-love as a hook, had destroyed every vestige of true humanity in mankind. And therefore, when Jehovah looked down upon the earth, "he saw that there was no man." The turning of the affections of mankind outward to things of sense had closed up the interiors of their minds. The heaven that was over their head was brass, and the ground that was under their feet was iron. Mere natural passion was the inmost of their soul, and the form of this was their manhood.

But the only true manhood is the form of divine love. It is that development of muscular form and force, that contour of visage, that expression of countenance, that symmetry of relative parts; in short, it is just that, whatever you choose to call it, by which the affections and purposes of divine love are manifested and effected in corresponding uses. When, therefore, the human soul had perverted the influences of the divine love into self-love, and the form of the human soul no longer manifested the activities of the divine love, but manifested the activities of self-love, there was no man.

And there was no intercessor, because there was no medium between the divine love and the human soul, by which the divine love might be communicated to it, and produce in it again the form of that love, which is the truly human form.

The mediator between the divine love and the human soul, is divine truth. For this binds the strong man of self-love and spoils his goods. Truth leads to self-denial; and in the degree that self is denied and driven out, the love of God flows in. For there can no more be a vacuum in the spiritual, than in the natural, world. Thus truth mediates, by so altering mans love as to make it correspondent to the divine love. And as mans mind was so perverted that light from heaven flowing into it was changed into falsehood,--since men had put darkness for light and light for darkness,--therefore there was nothing to come in between God and man, so that divine influences could reach man for his salvation. Therefore the arm of Jehovah "brought salvation unto him, and his righteousness it sustained him."

Jehovah who had made man, descended himself to redeem him to redeem him it "as necessary to bring his faculties from a perverted into an orderly state--to pluck them from the corporeal things in which they were immersed, and to make them again receptive of the things of heaven. To effect all this, it seems it was necessary that he should descend to earth and assume that nature which man had corrupted. The Scriptures tell us that he did so. He shed forth from himself a sphere of his essence. He shed forth from his essence an emanation of vital truth. This was his holy spirit breathed into the material universe for mans redemption. This spirit of the Most High clothed itself in matter in a virgins womb. Thus Jehovah took human nature into conjunction with his invisible and unapproachable essence; and thus stretched forth an as arm into the natural world. He "bowed his heavens and came down." The virgin, overshadowed by the spirit of the Most High God, brought forth a child that was God-with-us. The word which was in the beginning with God, and was God, was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth. As the whole spiritual world, like a vast ocean pressing on a point, clothes itself in a seed, and develops itself in a tree, a plant or a flower, so the whole godhead--all that is good and all that is true--the infinite essence and the infinite form, clothed itself in a child, so that all, from essential divinity to matter, could say, "unto us a child is born." All that is divine, all that is celestial, all that is spiritual, clothed itself with a correspondent natural form, comparatively as the vegetable soul clothes itself with a correspondent material form--the essence of the rose with the form of the rose--or as the vital blood clothes itself with brain, and nerve, and heart, and arteries, and bone, and sinew, and muscle, and all the compages of various fibres and simple component parts, which, with their enveloping membranes and cuticles, make up the body; and thus all that is divine, and celestial, and spiritual, bodied itself forth in a natural image and likeness of itself as a mans soul bodies itself forth in a son that is begotten of him: so that all that is divine, and celestial, and spiritual, could say, "unto us a son is given:" which son, like the fulcrum of a lever, sustained in a point all the power of Deity; for all the fulness of the godhead dwelt in him bodily: so that "the government was upon his shoulder;" and he, hence, could be called "Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of peace."

Thus Jehovah descended, as the word or divine truth, into the form of a child, which was Immanuel. "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him." (Luke, ii. 40.) "He increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." (verse 52.) He received instruction from the doctors in the temple, and he fulfilled every jot and tittle of the Scriptures. Thus he assumed the mental faculties of man, with all the corruptions of mans moral turpitude--he assumed mans sensual, scientific, rational, intellectual and moral faculties, and made them divine by conforming them to the divine law. He thus assumed mans corrupt humanity, and made it a divine humanity. All that corporeal part in which he was born from the virgin, and by which he took upon him all the sins and corruptions of the whole mass of mankind, he put off, with all its evil affections and desires, and all its false maxims; and from the divine principle within him acquired to himself an absolutely perfect, a divine human character. And as this character, consisting of certain specific faculties or properties, is an absolute existence; and all and every existence must have form, he thus acquired to himself a divine human form. This is what we understand by the two terms Jesus--Christ; Jesus signifying all that is good in that character, and Christ all that is true.

Thus, Jesus Christ is the outward manifestation of Jehovah himself, and so is the form of Jehovah himself. This form, this outward manifestation, is what we are to understand by the Lords divine humanity. This is that glorious body, which Peter, James and John saw when Jesus was transfigured on the mount. This is that glorious person who so did the will of the divine love as to be the divine love in form. This is that glorious Son of God who hath like in himself as his father hath life in himself, so as to be essential life in form Hence this is He who is God in form--who is God in humanity--who is, in short, the DIVINE HUMANITY. For the new church teaches that "Jesus Christ was the name of the Lord in the world; thus the name of his human principle. But as to his divinity, his name was Jehovah and God." (Apoc. Ex. 26.) Hence Jesus Christ is the name of what the Lord still retains from the world, namely, his divine-natural body, or his human form, which is the divine humanity of Jehovah God.

Such is a familiar and plain illustration of what we understand by the term divine humanity. It is, in short, true manhood.

All we have to do, then, in concluding this topic, is to confirm the views which we have advanced, by a brief explanation of our text--"I beheld, and, lo, there was no man; and all the birds of the heavens had lied."

If this text, and the chapter from which it is taken, are compared with the passage from Isaiah, upon which we have just remarked, any one of any spiritual discernment must see that they treat of a state of the church, in which it is vastated of all genuine goodness and truth. This must be the conviction especially in studying the text together with the verse which immediately precedes, and that which immediately succeeds, it. "I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled; and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man ; and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness; and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger. Thus hath the Lord said, The whole land shall be desolate."

It must be very manifest that "these things are said concerning the devastation of the church as to all the good and truth thereof," when the Lord, by the light of his advent, has made plain its real spiritual condition.

By mountains and hills in the natural world, are signified celestial and spiritual loves: for what is high in nature, signifies what is interior or internal in spirit; and spiritual love is the interior, and celestial love is the internal, principle of man. Hence, by the mountains trembling, and by the hills moving, which are catastrophes that overturn and destroy the natural form of things, is meant those changes in the form and quality of mans spirit, by which the celestial and spiritual character of his loves is destroyed. And we are now instructed, that, in the spiritual world, where natural objects appear as in this world, but not of a fixed material nature as here, being merely spiritual forms corresponding to the minds of spirits and angels there, the mountains and hills upon which spirits dwell, are actually put in commotion and overthrown, when there no longer exists with the spirits that inhabit them any celestial or spiritual love. Hence any such similar changes of state in the church are represented in the Word--which is written according to correspondences--by the recital of such natural commotions in this world.

When, therefore, it is said in the text, the Lord beheld no man, it is not to be supposed that the Lord in his advent saw no material bodies, or no natural personages, on earth: but by man is to be understood the spiritual form or quality of the mind, to which the natural form and activity of the body correspond; and by the Lords beholding no man, when he makes his advent, is to be understood, that, at that time, there is none of the true form, or the genuine duality, of real manhood in the church.

Now that which constitutes a man, distinctively such, is strength of intellect. And strength of intellect in spiritual things is the effect of the understanding of truth. And there is no genuine and permanent understanding of truth, without the love of truth for its own sake, which is spiritual love, or the love of good for its own sake, which is celestial love. The true man, then, is celestial or spiritual love formed by and in the understanding of truth. And when it is said in the text, or elsewhere in the Word, that there is no man, it means that there is no understanding of truth in consequence of a defect of that genuine love of good and truth which is charity in the church.

By birds are signified the intellectual powers of the mind raised high up in the regions of spiritual contemplation by the science and thought of truth, as birds are raised up high in the air by wings. Hence by all the birds of the heavens being fled, is meant there was no longer any science and consequent thought of spiritual truth in the church.

Compare this text with Zephaniah, i. 3. "I will consume man and beast; I will consume the birds of the heavens and the fishes of the sea; I will cut off man from the faces of the earth." Here "to consume man and beast, signifies to destroy spiritual and natural affection; to consume the birds of the heavens and the fishes of the sea, signifies to destroy the perceptions and the knowledges of truth. And as the state of the church is described as to its devastation of all those spiritual forms and qualities which in the complex make it a true and genuine church of the Lord, therefore, it is said, "I will cut off man from the traces of the earth;" for by the earth is signified the church, as the church exists on earth, and the thing containing is named to signify the thing contained; and by the faces of the earth is signified the interior of the church, because the race is that in which the interiors of the mind are expressed; and by man is signified the all. of the church as to its interior qualities in one complex form."

See, further, Isaiah, xli. 28, "I beheld, and there was no man, even amongst them, and there was no counselor." Here it is manifest, by inspection of the context, that by man and counselor is meant the internal of the church, that is, the internal man, who is one that is wise and intelligent. So in Jeremiah, v. 1, "Run ye through the streets of Jerusalem, and see if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh truth."

By comparing these parallel passages of Scripture with our text, it is made sufficiently plain what it is that constitutes a true man, and hence what it is that makes true manhood.

A true man is he "that executeth judgment, and that seeketh truth." One that executes judgment is a wise man, and one that seeks truth is an intelligent man. For none but the truly wise can judge justly, and no one can be truly intelligent who is not made so by the knowledge and practice of truth. Hence true manhood consists in wisdom and intelligence. And when these dualities are wanting in the church, it is said the Lord can find no man on the earth. And as man is made intelligent and wise by the knowledge and practice of truth from the love of it for its own sake, therefore truth itself, abstractly considered, is truly man; so that when it is said there is no man on earth, it is meant that the church has become devastated of all genuine truth, and all genuine love of truth.

But by the term truth as here used, is not to be understood a mere intellectual form. It is a vital activity. It is the form of good. Hence it is good itself in form and activity. Wherefore true manhood is the form and activity of genuine goodness. And as there is no genuine goodness which does not flow from and body forth the divine love, hence true manhood is the form and activity of divine love.

It is perfectly clear, then, what we are to understand by the term divine humanity, namely, the perfect form of divine love, which is the perfect effectuation of the ends of that love. By the perfect effectuation of its ends, the divine love comes fully forth into spiritual form and efficiency. And the complex of all means for the effectuation of the ends of divine love is the divine truth. Hence the divine love brought into life, by conformity of the divine will to the precepts of divine truth, is the Humanity of Jehovah God. And this is Jesus Christ, who came not to do his own will, but the will of the father who sent himwhose meat was to do the will of the Father who sent him, and to finish his work; and who did this will by fulfilling every jot and tittle of the Sacred Scriptures--even in his sufferings enduring only what Moses, the Prophets and all the Scriptures predicted he must needs suffer, "to enter into his glory," which was "the glory of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth."

Having thus shown what the New Jerusalem teaches respecting the Lord Jesus Christ as the Divine Humanity of Jehovah God, we shall proceed, in our next discourse, to point out the alternative and rending effects which the doctrine of this divine humanity is to produce in Christendom.


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 18        SERMON XVII.

LUKE, XX. 19.

"Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall he broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."

THERE are many in the present day who think the words and sentences of the Bible have no other sense than that which they had in the ordinary language of the time in which they were written or uttered. And hence they suppose that the Bible is to be interpreted by the same rules which would govern the interpretation of any other book of antiquity. But it is very manifest that the language which the Divine Being condescends to use in accommodation to man, must be only an outward covering of a deeply inward form of divine thought and affection. For the sayings of wise men, though framed with words familiar to common ears, are pregnant with ideas of hidden wisdom; and we cannot for a moment suppose that the Divine Being would speak with less meaning than a wise mortal. Hence the apostle speaks of "the deep things of God." And he makes a distinction between the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of God, which, he says, is spoken in a mystery; and is only to be discerned by those who have become spiritually minded by receiving the mind of Christ. According to this apostle, then, there is the hidden wisdom of God in the things which the holy ghost teaches. And as, according to another apostle, the Scriptures were given in olden time by holy men of God, who spake as they were moved by the holy ghost, and as, in after ages, the Scriptures of the New Testament were spoken by the Lord, who had the holy spirit dwelling in him and proceeding from him, hence the Word of the Old and New Testaments has within it the hidden wisdom of God. Of course, this Word must be understood by spiritual discernment, and not by mere natural interpretation: because "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Hence he who thinks that the Bible has no other meaning than the natural sense of its verbal expressions, is like one who should determine that no mines of gold and silver were in the bowels of a mountain because he saw nothing but forest trees upon its surface. But as a nearer approach and a closer inspection sometimes discover veins of precious ore jutting from even the surface of a mountain, so a diligent perusal often discerns a manifest spiritual sense protruding itself even into the literal expressions of the Sacred Scriptures. Such is the character of our text. For it is very manifest that under the similitude of a stone, which the builders rejected, becoming the head of the corner, breaking those who should fall upon it, and grinding to powder those upon whom it should fall, is conveyed some lesson of deep spiritual instruction. Let us then inquire, what is meant by the stone which the builders rejected. And when we have ascertained this, we can know what it is to fall on that stone and be broken; and also, what it is to have that stone fall on any one and grind him to powder.

The stone which the builders rejected means Jesus Christ. Or stone is a word suggesting the appropriate material idea of that truth which declares Jesus Christ to be the son of God, that is, the proceeding emanation and the manifested form of the divine essence. And by this stones becoming the head of the corner, is clearly meant, that this truth is fundamental to that entire temple of consecutive and orderly arranged truths which constitute the church in a doctrinal form.

That this is the spiritual meaning of the word stone in our text is deal from parallel passages. For instance, in Matthew, xvi. 13, Jesus asked his disciples, saying, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am? And they said, some say that thou art John the Baptist, some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art Christ the son of the living God.--And Jesus answered and said unto him, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The name Peter in this passage signifies stone. For the word that is here rendered Peter, signifies stone in the Greek. And the word which is rendered rock, also signifies stone in that language.

Now the question is, what did the Lord mean by "this rock," upon which he said he would found his church. Some tell us that he meant Peter; and that he, by these words, constituted Peter, or his successor, his vice-gerent, or the head of his church, on earth. And they moreover tell us that, when the Lord says, in the next verse, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven," he transferred to Peter, and to his successor the pope, the power of opening and shutting heaven, and of absolving men from their sins, or of dooming them to punishment on account of them. They insist upon this, too, and say there can be no doubt of it, because it is plainly and positively asserted. Thus they found their doctrine upon the Scriptures in their apparent sense only, as if the words of Scripture have no other meaning than they would have in any ordinary book.

But we are not sure that their doctrine that the Lord meant Peter when he said upon "this rock" will I found my church, can be drawn even from the apparent sense of this passage. For any one who can read the Greek will see that the Lord uses to express rock a different word from that by which be called Peter. He says, in answer to Peters confession of him as the son of God, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona," that is, Simon son of Jonas, "for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, Thou art [scanner unable to insert word]"--that is the word in Greek by which the Lord named him; and it signifies, as we have said, a stone. But when the Lord proceeds and says, "Upon this rock I will build my church," he uses the word [scanner unable to insert word], which, as you will perceive, is a different word from [scanner unable to insert word], and signifies a rock as well as a stone.

It is clear, then, that the Lord did not allude to Peter, even in the mere letter of his words, when he said upon this rock will I build my church. We may rather imagine that the Lord, while he looked at Peter and said to him with his lips "Thou art Peter," pointed with his finger to himself as he used the words "this rock." And then the church would not be founded even apparently on Peter. For the apparent sense would then be, Thou art a stone--thou art a truth, or thou art true as to the confession which thou hast made--thou art faith, or thou representest faith in the truth which thou hast confessed: and upon this rock [pointing to himself]--upon me, that is, upon the truth itself which thou hast confessed, upon the truth that I am Christ the son of the living God, will I build my church.

The rock, then, upon which the church is built is the truth itself--Peter is the faith of that truth; and the church is only so far built in us, as that truth comes into our faith. Therefore, the chief corner stone on which the whole temple of doctrinal truths is built, is the rock, the truth that Christ is the son of the living God. Thus the chief corner stone is Christ himself. For Christ and his truth are one.

This is clear from the verses which precede our text. For it was in express reference to the son whom the Lord of the vineyard had sent, and whom the husbandmen cast out of the vineyard and killed, that Jesus applies the prediction in Psalm cxviii. 22, where it is written, "The stone which the builders refused, is become the head of the corner." Jesus, therefore, identifies the son with the corner stone. Wherefore, he alluded to the son--to Christ--to himself--when he said, "upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it:" which means that he would found the church upon the truth, that Jesus Christ is God manifested in human nature; and that all those false doctrines which open from hell, that is, which flow into the mind from self-love and love of the world; and which lead to hell, that is, which confirm the mind in the indulgence of those evil loves, and thus are the gates of hell; shall not prevail to sap that fundamental truth of the church, or to destroy the church which is founded upon the practical acknowledgment of it. And the universal extension of this truth ultimately in the church, is predicted by Daniel, (ii. 35,) in these words, "The stone which smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth."

They are wrong, then, who suppose that the Lord meant to say that he would build his church upon Peter. For he meant to say that he would build his church upon himself, or upon the truth which proceeds from him, or upon Peter only so far as he represented faith in that truth. And you may see this confirmed by Peter himself in Acts, iv. 10, 11, where he says, "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which is set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner." Here this same prediction in the Psalms is applied expressly to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and he is most unequivocally shown to be that corner stone, that rock, upon which the church is built. Paul also says, "Other foundation can no man lay than is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. iii. 11.)

In a general sense, then, the stone which the builders rejected is that truth upon which heaven and the church is founded, namely, the truth that Jesus, as the son of man, is Christ, the son of the living God. But it is all-important that we should have a more specific idea of this fundamental truth of the church. And in order to see what specific truth is meant by the stone which the builders rejected, we must understand the distinction between the two terms son of man and son of God, as well as attend to the meaning of the word Christ. And in order to understand the distinction between the son of God and the son of man, we must recollect what has been stated on former occasions, namely, that the Lord Jesus had, like one of us, an internal, an interior, and an external mind. In man these, which are called the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural regions of the mind, and which make man capable of enjoying eternal life in the three heavens, are as distinct as affection, thought and speech, or as will, understanding and action; and they are equally distinct in the Lord. The Lords internal was Jehovah, or the divine esse, or the divine love; the Lords interior was the divine wisdom, which is the form of the divine love, and is the word which was in the beginning with God and was God; and the Lords external was, at first, the human nature which he assumed from the mother Mary, and afterwards was the humanity which, in the glorification of that human nature, he produced from the divinity within him. Now the Lord Jesus, as to the divine wisdom or the word, which was made flesh in him, and formed his interior or rational mind, was called the son of God; but as to the human nature which he assumed from his mother, and which formed his external or natural mind, he was called the son of man. This was the son of man before his glorification, and it was then formed by truth from the letter of the Word. But after his glorification, the son of man was divine truth in the natural degree.

The distinction, then, between the son of God and the son of man is the same as the distinction between the Lords interior and external mind. And Christ signifies the Anointed. For this is the meaning of the Greek word [scanner unable to insert word]. The same is the meaning of the Hebrew word Messiah. Hence, in John, i. 41, Andrew, after he has found his brother Simon, says unto him, "We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ," or the Anointed.

Now it will be recollected that anointing was made with oil. Thus the kings of Israel were anointed by pouring oil on the head. And when the king had royalty thus conferred on him, he was called the Lords anointed. Thus David, after his heart smote him for having privily cut off the skirt of Sauls robe, says to his men, respecting Saul, who was then king of Israel, the Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master the Lords anointed, to stretch forth my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord." And kings were so called because they were the types of Christ. Hence, because David too, as king of Israel, was a type of Christ, he says, in the twentieth Psalm, "Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed." In like manner Isaiah says, xlv. 1, "Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus:" for Cyrus also was a type of Christ.

If, then, it is known that oil in the Word signifies the good which is done from a principle of love, and that, therefore, the anointing with oil signifies the imparting of love as a principle of action to the mind, it will be seen that the Lord Jesus, so far as he acted from the principle of divine love, was the Christ, or the Anointed.

To see this yet more clearly, it may be well to reflect that the Lord descended from heaven as the divine truth; for he was the word made flesh, and the word is the truth of God. Yet he did not separate from it the divine good: for John says that he was in the bosom of the father and brought the father forth to view; and he himself said, "the father is in me and we have frequently proved that the father signifies, in the Sacred Scriptures, the divine good. Therefore, he was divine truth as to his external, and divine good as to his internal man. Or he was truth as to his understanding, and good as to his will. Or, to be still more accurate, he was the obedience of divine truth as to his external man--hence, he fulfilled every jot and tittle of the Sacred Scriptures; he was the understanding of all that is divinely good and true as to his interior man--hence he says, "No man knoweth the father save the son;" and he was the will of what is divinely good and true, or the divine love itself, as to his internal man--hence he said, "All things that the rather hath are mine:" and in respect to his being all three, namely, the obedience, the understanding and the will of all that is divinely good and true, he says, "I am the way, the truth and the life." Now so far as the Lord Jesus brought good, from his will or love, by truth, which formed his understanding, into action, and thus united his external to his internal man, just so far the truth in his understanding was anointed with oil, and he as to that truth so anointed was the Christ.

The stone, then, on which the church is founded, is truth anointed with good; or, to use the phraseology of the new church, it is the truth of good, that is, the truth seen in the light which is shed abroad in the mind by the good affections of a regenerated heart. Hence, when Peter had confessed that the Lord as the son of man is Christ the son of the living God, Jesus answered and said unto him, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my father which is in heaven." Peter, and those who are, signified by Peter, namely, those who are in mere faith, or in mere truth, do not discover the truth that the son of man is the son of the living God by the light of their own reason, nor are they able to confess it from the affections of their natural heartflesh and blood do not reveal it unto them; for, as Paul also says, "flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven," and hence cannot ascend into heaven and bring down Christ from above: but it is revealed to them by the Lords father which is in heaven; that is, it is revealed to them by the principle of love in their internal man: for heaven signifies the internal mind, because the internal has correspondentially the same relation to the external mind, which heaven has to earth. And in the Lords internal mind was the divine love. Thus the divine love was his father in his heaven; and so far as by regeneration from him the principle of divine love is imparted to the internal mind of his disciples, so far his father is in their heaven: and when the principle of divine love is in the internal mind of his disciples from the Lord, there is a light generated by this love in their understandings which enables them to see that Jesus Christ is God. Hence the Lord said to Peter, "my father which is in heaven hath revealed it unto thee;" that is, love from God in your internal mind has enabled you to see that the son of man is the anointed of the father, is the son of the living God--in other words, has enabled you to see that even my external man, or my ultimate humanity, is divine.

So then the stone upon which the church is founded is truth grounded in good. It is not truth as science merely--nor is it truth as mere doctrine--nor is it truth as faith alone; but it is truth as charity and its works. It is truth in outward life. It is truth as seen and felt in experience, and confessed from the good affections of a regenerated heart. For as the corner and foundation stone is laid in the earth, and is sustained by the earth, so is the truth, on which the church is founded, laid in ULTIMATE good, and is sustained by that good. And as the whole house or temple rests upon its foundation, hence the corner stone, or chief fundamental truth, by which all the rest are squared, signifies and involves all other fundamental truths and all the truths of heaven and the church which rest upon these. Hence it is on account of this signification of the corner stone, as denoting all divine truth upon which the church is founded, that it is said in Isaiah, xxviii. 16, "Behold, I lay in Zion, for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation." Mark, the Lord says, I lay in Zion, a stone--not in Jerusalem. For Zion signifies the church as to love, and Jerusalem the church as to faith. Hence the foundation stone of the church is laid in the good of love: and the good of love is what love does according to truth. So, also, it is on account of the signification of corner stone as denoting all divine truth on which the church is founded, that the Lord says, in the verses to which we have adverted, "upon this rock," that is, upon the one truth which Peter had confessed, "will I build my church." The true church is genuine charity; and when the truth that the humanity of the Lord is divine has become the pervading, or universally reigning, principle of a mans conduct, then genuine charity exists and abides in his soul, and spreads a sphere of its quality on all around.

The specific truth, then, which is meant by the stone which the builders rejected, is that one particular truth which Peter confessed, namely, that the son of man, or the Lords external man, is Christ, the son of the living God. In other words, it is the truth that the human nature of Jesus Christ is divine, or that Jesus Christ is God even as to his human nature. For the confession of Peter is, that the son of man is Christ, the son of the living God. And, as we have seen, the son of man is the Lords external man, that is, the humanity which he assumed in this world. And this became Christ, the son of the living God, by being anointed from the father, that is, by being united through the Lords interior with his internal man; or, in other words, the Lords external man was made entirely correspondent to the divine love, which was the Lords internal man, by acting in all things according to the dictates of the divine wisdom in his interior or rational mind. Thus the Lords external man became itself divine, just as a man becomes externally good by regeneration from God. That is, the external, with its external thoughts and affections, became good by being united to a good will through obedience to the rational dictates of an understanding enlightened by the truths of Gods Word. Thus Gods Word guided the Lords external man as a father guides a son. And hence the Lords external man, so far as it was thus regenerated or glorified by the Word, became the son of the Word. For the external man of the Lord, by being conformed to the Word, was begotten into the image and likeness of the Word, and thus was its son. And as the divine truth, which the Word contains, when it was made flesh and dwelt among us, was not separated from the divine good, but, as the Lords interior mind, had the divine love dwelling in it its his internal mind, hence it was the living Word. And as this Word was thus in the beginning with God and was God, hence when the Lords external man or humanity became the son of this living Word, it also became the son of the living God, and consequently is itself divine.

The truth, then, that the humanity of Jesus Christ is divine, is that one fundamental truth, that sure foundation stone, on which the true church is ever founded. This is the truth on which rest all the doctrines of the New Jerusalem.

This is the radical truth which the Jews refused. For men in the days of the Jewish church said that Jesus, as the son of man, was John the Baptist, or Elias, or Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Thus they regarded him only as an ordinary man, or as a prophet sent from God, and not as God himself. It is well known that the Jews sought to stone him, and did at length crucify him, for calling himself the son of God, and making himself equal with God by doing the work of God in forgiving sins.

This, too, is the truth which all denominations of the old Christian church have rejected in the present day. For now also Jesus, as the son of man, is regarded only as a prophet sent from God. Even those who believe that Jesus Christ is in any sense divine, hold that his human nature, or his human soul, is like that of any other man, and thus not divine. They all, therefore, have rejected the truth that Jesus Christ is divine as to his human nature. Consequently, this truth is that stone which the builders in all ages have rejected. And the reason why they have rejected it is, because it is laid in Zion, and not in Jerusalem; because it is revealed by the Lords father in heaven, and not by flesh and blood; or, in a word, because it can be seen only in spiritual and not in natural light. Did the Lord come in his own name, that is, did he come in the character and quality of a natural man, the natural man would receive him. He would then favour the loves of the natural man, and would preach the doctrines which the natural man can understand. But because he comes in the name of the father who sent him-- because he comes in the quality of a divinely spiritual man, and preaches the doctrines of supreme love to God and the neighbour, the natural man, who is principled in love to self and the world, does not understand, and cannot but reject him.

From what has now been advanced, we con clearly see, that the stone which is mentioned in our text, is the truth that Jesus Christ is divine even as to his human nature: and the text very significantly portrays the effects which the rejection or the reception of this truth must produce in the church.


We have repeatedly said that nothing more peculiarly characterizes a church than the view which it takes of the Lord Jesus Christ: and no one point of doctrine so accurately and so thoroughly discriminates the different divisions of the Christian church as the doctrine of the Lord. The reason is, because all Scripture concerns Jesus Christ: for the Lord, as he accompanied the two disciples to Emmaus, "beginning at Moses, and all the Prophets, expounded to them, in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself," (Luke, xxiv. 2:) thus showing that there are things which concern him in all the Scriptures. Since, then, all Scripture treats of Jesus Christ, and the church is founded on the Scriptures, and has a quality according to its view of the Scriptures, it is hence manifest that the character of the whole church, and the distinctive character of its divisions, must be determined by its views of Jesus Christ. Hence it is that the truth which respects him and his divinity, is put for all other truths in the Word, and is called the corner stone on which all the doctrines that constitute the church are built. For all other truths in the Word converge to this truth as radii to a centre.

The Lord spoke and acted out the Word, and therefore the Word and he are one. Thus the church that is founded on the Word is founded on him. And hence, if there is error in the view of his character, there is error in the view of the Word. If he, for instance, be regarded as a mere man, the Word will be considered as only a natural book. But if he be regarded as a divine man, the Word will be admitted and seen to be a divine book. If he be rejected, the Word will be despised. But if he be received, the Word will be loved and practiced. Thus invariably will the Word he viewed in precisely the same light in which the Lord its author is viewed. Thus the whole Word rests on him, and hence the whole church, which is formed from the Word, must likewise rest on him.

Hence rending and alternative consequences must flow from the rejection or reception of the truth which declares him to be divine. For if he is divine, and men deny it,--as a truth which regards him must be fundamental,--then their denial of this truth vitiates their whole mind as to the things of the church. For, as we have said, it vitiates the view which their mind takes of the Word--it causes them to view the Word in the same light as any mere human composition. But if the Lord was divine, then the Word also which he spoke, was divine. Consequently, the notion that his Word is a mere human composition is false. And a false idea of the Word in general causes a false construction of all its particular truths. Hence their entire view of the Word is false. And as the church is founded on the Word, and has its quality according to its view of the Word, hence the whole church in them is made false by a false view of the Word resulting from their denial of the Lords divinity.

On the other hand, supposing men to have imbibed, by education or prescription, notions of faith and practice founded on the idea that Jesus Christ, as t, his human nature, is nothing more than any other man, when they fully and practically admit this fundamental truth that the human nature of Jesus Christ is divine, all such notions are dissipated; because they cannot square with this as a corner stone, and cannot cohere as a regular foundation built upon it.

Thus, so far as a man rejects and opposes the truth that Jesus Christ as to his human nature is God, his spiritual mind is crushed and destroyed; and so far as this truth gets admission into a man by a practical reception, it dissipates the false notions which previously existed in his mind. And thus whosoever falls on this stone is broken; but on whomsoever it falls it grinds him to powder.

When, therefore, the Lord said to his disciples, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" you see that he propounded a most penetrating and searching question. And if you reflect deeply on Peters answer in connection with our text, you will perhaps see that the truth which he confessed, namely, the truth which declares the Lords humanity divine, is destined to break up and destroy all the existing combinations of the old Christian church.

The effect of the rejection of this truth upon the individual character, can be easily seen. For if a man denies, opposes or rejects this truth in spirit, he cuts himself off from the true vine. He is without the influx of spiritual truth. He is dissociated in spirit from those angels who are in that truth and who could, as ministering spirits, convey it to him. He is without the influence of celestial affections, because dissociated from those celestial angels who behold their Heavenly Fathers face, and who therefore are the mediums of his heavenly good to man; He is, therefore, without the culture of the Heavenly Husbandman, who alone can impart to man the truly vegetative soul of heaven. Not thinking of the divine humanity of Jehovah, which is the only mediator between God and man, he has not that humanity spiritually present to his soul; and not loving and doing the good of that humanity, it is not conjoined to his soul; and thus there is no means of Jehovahs immediate influx into him so as to impart to him the principles of celestial and spiritual life. Hence, when a man rejects the truth that the Lord as to his humanity is divine, he cuts himself off from the mediate and more immediate influx of the Lords love and life, so as to come gradually under the entire influence of selfish and worldly affections. He may not, indeed, while in this world of deceptions appearances, where there is an outside to things often very different from their inside, put off the courtesies and elegancies of life; but he has only the shell of humanity, without its kernel. He has the shell with a rotten kernel: for the sound kernel of humanity is divine and heavenly love--is supreme love to God and purely disinterested love to others. Yet selfish and worldly love may assume the form of heavenly love--wolves may put on sheeps clothing, and a devil may appear as an angel of light. But when the soul passes into the other world, the shell of humanity, in which selfish and worldly love envelopes itself, is cracked, so as to expose to view the rotten kernel: and the stone on which it is cracked is the divinity of the Lords humanity.

In the spiritual world, where spiritual things present themselves in forms visible and perceptible to the senses of its inhabitants, this process is represented by a way, in which all who pass from this world to the next are seen walking in common. The reason of this is, because, when men first come into the world of spirits, they are in their external characters, which are nearly similar. But after a while the road forks, with a stone in the comet. This stone represents the truth of which we are now treating, and which is signified by the stone in our text. The one road represents the way to heaven, which is the life of celestial and spiritual loves; the other road represents the way to hell, which is the life of selfish and worldly loves. On coming to this stone, the internal states of men departed from the natural world are first manifested. Those who have been in the internal acknowledgment of the divinity of the Lords humanity, take the road to heaven; but those who have been in the internal rejection of this truth, take the road to hell. This is a spiritual representation of the gradual development of their internal life, according to the laws of the spiritual world. And the spiritual world is nothing more than the mind of man, in this case made visible to mental discernment. Every individual mind is an image of the whole spiritual world, and all individual minds taken together constitute the spiritual world in the complex. Hence what is here said of the spiritual world is true of the minds of men even while they are existing on earth; for the spiritual world makes one with the natural world, just as the soul makes one with the body.

But the original text is susceptible of a somewhat different rendering. The word which our English translators have rendered grind to powder, is [scanner unable to insert word]; which is the third person singular, future tense, of the verb [scanner unable to insert word], derived from [scanner unable to insert word], which means a van, or sieve, for sifting or winnowing corn. The true literal idea of this Greek word is, therefore, to separate corn from the chaff, and hence, metaphorically, to separate and disperse in a general sense. Consequently, the true literal meaning of the text is, on whomsoever that stone shall fall, it shall winnow him--it shall separate the corn from the chaff in him.

The English translators were, doubtless, led to render this Word by the English verb to grind, from their keeping in mind the material meaning of the word stone. For, not being able to conceive how a stone could winnow grain, they imagined that allusion was made to triturating grain in stone mortars, or grinding it with a mill stone. Hence they rendered this word by grind to powder. But the Greek word has not this signification; and this signification is not required by the spiritual sense of the passage. The stone which the builders rejected, as a fundamental truth of the church, separates the spiritual from the natural man, both in the individual and in the mass. Hence a word was wanted which signified separation, and such is the Greek word [scanner unable to insert word.]

However, grinding, so far as it separates the outer husk from the inner farinaceous substance of the grain, expresses substantially the same idea. The separating of the bran from the fine flour by bolting, [which may be embraced in the generic term grinding,] is the same thing in relation to the internal man, which the separating the chaff from the grain by winnowing is in respect to the external man. Therefore the phrase grinding to powder may be retained without perversion of the truth. Still the strict literal meaning of the text is to winnow the chaff from the corn: and we think the idea which this meaning conveys is the most appropriate; for the natural thoughts and affections of the mind have precisely the same relation to its spiritual thoughts and affections which chaff has to corn. The natural thought and affection is developed first, and is a means of covering and defending the spiritual thought and affection until it is fully formed and ripened. But when the spiritual is fully formed and perfected, then the natural dries up, or whithers away, and the chaff is separated from the corn. This is strikingly illustrated by the decay of the external memory. In early life our memory of natural things,--of persons, names, events and dates,--is vigorous; but in after life this memory fails, and we have only the memory of our affections, which, as to natural things, are affections of their uses. In youth, the affections of natural things are a plane for the development of spiritual affections; and when the spiritual affections are formed, the natural affections fall away like the husk from the ear of corn, or like the burr from the chestnut.

This is seen in that love of knowledge which we have spoken of on another occasion, and which peculiarly characterizes youth. This love stimulates the young to get knowledge simply from the delight of knowing. But when they become men, this love in a great measure falls away, and leaves the love of the uses to which knowledge may be put. And it is found that, in after life, we forget most, if not all, of the knowledge which we have no use for. All the knowledge which we acquire in youth serves its use, during that period, in developing our faculties; but when this end is attained, the science which was only useful to this end, and which is no longer applicable to our present pursuits in life, fails away like withered chaff.



We say, then, universally, that our natural thought and affection is a rudiment in which our spiritual principle is first held in embryo, and is afterwards formed and perfected; and that when the corn of spiritual good is fully formed and ripened, it is winnowed, and separated from the chaff of mere natural affection.

But this general idea leads to one that is more particular, and more appropriate to the text before us. It will be found that all false doctrines are apparent truths, which are the forms of our natural affections; and therefore may be in the same predication with respect to our spiritual good that our natural affections themselves are. Hence false doctrines have, in the divine mercy, been permitted to prevail, because mankind had become merely natural, sensual or corporeal in their affections, and these false doctrines were the only approximations to the truth which, in such a stale of their affections, they were capable of receiving. Being apparent truths, they were capable of union with good, so as to preserve it until it could be united with truths more genuine. Thus they were permitted that they might defend and preserve the principle of spiritual life, which is latent in natural good. And thus they serve as a kind of husk, in which the grain of wheat is secured from blight, until it is fully developed and ripened; then this husk dries up, is threshed off, and winnowed away, as chaff. Hence by chaff in the Word is meant false doctrines of every kind. The chief of false doctrines is faith alone, which Peter represented, in Luke, xxii., when he denied the Lord thrice: therefore the Lord said to him on that occasion, "Simon, lo, Satan hath earnestly desired you, that he might sift you as wheat." The faith of the false is like chaff before the wind. And when a man is in this faith, the principle of falsity, which is Satan, bears a man before it like a hurricane. Hence Satans sifting Peter as wheat represented the churchs departure from genuine good, or from true charity, so far as from a principle of falsity it came into the doctrine of faith alone. And so far as the church comes into faith alone as a confirmed principle, it totally denies the Lord, who is love or charity itself. When this takes place in the church, it is at its consummation, or midnight; which is signified in the Word by cock-crowing. Hence the Lord told Peter, that before the cock crew, he would deny him thrice, to denote that the Christian church, the faith of which Peter then represented, would so decline from its first love, or charity, as to come into a state of faith alone; when, having no true charity, it would cease to be a true church, and so come to its close, or to spiritual midnight.

Still this doctrine of faith alone is an apparent truth. For it is apparently true that truth, and the faith of truth, are primary because, in point of time, they appear to come first in mans salvation. And when this doctrine is embraced by good persons of the church in the innocence of ignorance, and so embraced in an honest heart as to lead them to do the works of faith or truth, it is, in the divine mercy, a means by which spiritual life is preserved in them. Thus it serves as a husk to defend the grain of wheat in them, when it is green. The case is similar with other false doctrines which may be joined with good. On this subject the new church teaches, that "the truths which enter into good and qualify it are seldom genuine, but are appearances of truth, and are also falses, but still falses not opposite to truths: nevertheless, when these flow into good, which is the case when the life is formed according to them from ignorance, in which ignorance is innocence, and when the end is to do good, in this case they are regarded by the Lord and in heaven not as falses, but as bearing a resemblance to truth, and according to the quality of innocence are accepted as truths." And "they within the church may be regenerated by means of any doctrine whatsoever--though more especially by means of genuine truths. For "the Lord does not require more from the man of the church than to live according to what he knows." This is plainly intimated by the apostle, in Acts, xvii. 30, where, speaking of the idolatrous practices of the heathen, he says, "And the time of this ignorance God winked at:" thus showing that God excuses idolatry in those who know no better; and so establishing the principle that the Lord requires men only to act according to their knowledge.

But in the consummation of the age, when fresh revelations of truth are made, and greater and higher knowledge is given, He, to use the words of the same apostle, "then commandeth all men every where to repent--Because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained." The man whom Jehovah God has ordained is the man Christ Jesus, whom he hath made the heir of all things, hath gifted with all power in heaven and on earth--thus is that humanity which he himself has assumed upon earth, and so glorified as to make it one with himself, possessing his life, his infinity and his omnipotence--is, in short, the truth which manifests-his good, and, by exposing the false doctrines which are contrary to this good, causes the good in all churches to separate themselves from them; and in this manner commands all men every where to repent of their false doctrines. And just so far as the truth that Jesus Christ is the divine humanity of Jehovah God is received in faith and practice as the fundamental truth of the church, it must and will separate the spiritual from the natural man in the church general and particular--it will dissipate the false doctrines in which the good may be ignorantly and innocently principled--and thus will winnow the chaff from the wheat.

Thus we see how the truth that Jesus Christ is God is the touchstone which is to prove the whole Christian church. It is, as we have shown fully on former occasions, a spiritual truth, which none but the spiritually minded can discern and bear in their lives. Hence it will be "like a sharp two-edged sword,piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and proving a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,"--which will most effectually separate between the spiritual and the natural man. Those that fall upon, that is, deny this truth, will be broken, or spiritually destroyed; and those upon whom it falls, that is, those in whom it becomes the reigning principle, it will grind to powder, that is, it will dissipate all their false doctrines.

And who is so blind as not to see that this winnowing process is now going on. The question, is Jesus Christ God, or not? is convulsing the whole church to its very centre. Old lines of demarcation are broken. It is no longer denomination against denomination: but the commotion is becoming intestine, and war is waging between brethren of the same professions. Thus, in a sense, "a sword is sent upon the earth, and a man is set at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." "There are wars and rumours of wars--nation is rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom: and there are famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places." This, we apprehend, is a prelude to the final consummation of the old church, and the formation of the new. To this end there is a fermentation going on in the whole body of the church, which will continue till the pure wine stands clear upon its lees. The great line of demarcation will hereafter be between what is spiritual and what is merely natural. Men of these respective descriptions exist more or less in every denomination of the old church, and a separation must take place between them. Hence existing denominations will be broken into pieces. This has already taken place, or is taking place, in some denominations; and it will ultimately take place in all.

We dare to hazard the assertion, that every merely natural man is at heart a Unitarian--no matter what may be his external profession. The prejudices of education, and considerations of interest or policy, may now keep him in connection with those who hold a different faith; but when it shall be as much to his interest to profess an opposite faith; so soon as the sharp two-edged sword of truth, pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, so as to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart; his true character will be manifested.

There are, undoubtedly, pious and good people in all the denominations of the old church, who will ultimately be saved in the light and life of the New Jerusalem: but we apprehend this is the exception to a general rule. A new church is always formed mainly among the Gentiles--those who are in simple good out of the consummated church. Many men, belonging to all the denominations of the old church, scarcely know what they believe. The fact is, they do not trouble their heads about the principles of faith held by their church. They are connected with the church by external considerations merely. Their chief object is to get along in the world: to acquire business, wealth, influence or power. And they attach themselves to that persuasion which is most likely to further their views in these respects. There are others again who have been educated in the principles of religion professed by their fathers, and have grown up in an attendance upon its ceremonials of worship. They have never investigated for themselves the principles they profess. They have taken them for granted from their parents or their spiritual teachers. The dogmas of their church have never been seen in rational light. Such dogmas are matters of memory merely, and of thought from memory. Hence they can talk about their religion; be zealous in its propagation; rigid in a conformity to its ceremonial requisitions; while it has no influence whatever in altering the stamina of their character. It does not reach and change their love. They are still natural men; because still influenced by natural loves. All such men, both those who are influenced by motives of interest and policy, and those who are led by prejudices of education, are ready to belong to any party which is the most popular, and which can be assimilated externally to their previous modes of thinking. They cannot discriminate principles. They are in results only; and if results are the same, they care not about principles. These are natural men. Those of them who are internally good; that is, those whose wills and intentions are upright, or whose lives are, in their degree, conformed to the Lords commandments, are natural-spiritual; that is, are from natural capable of being made spiritual. These will ultimately come into the new church. But those of them who are internally evil, that is, who are actuated by self-love and love of the world, are merely natural, and will ultimately become Scoinians or Deists.

This we are inclined to think, will be the ultimity of the old Christian church. Socinianism, and the next step, deism, are naturalism; and naturalism is the old church gone to seed.

Persons of the above descriptions form the mass of the Christian church. There are others less numerous, but of more strongly marked character. They may be embraced in the general description of those who have confirmed themselves in the dogmas of their church from fallacious reasonings. These, too, and even those among them who are learned,: notwithstanding their learning and supposed spiritual sagacity, are natural men; because they derive and confirm their tenets from the mere letter of the Scriptures, which consists of the appearances of truth only. These will decrease as the spirits of the dragon are cast out by Michael and his angels: that is, as the spirits of those who have been confirmed in the false doctrines of the old church are removed from the world of mind, and there is a corresponding descent of the new heaven, which we are taught has been formed since the last judgment in 1757. And as the influences of this heaven descend upon earth, they will produce a resolution of the church into the two descriptions of men above noticed, namely, natural-spiritual and merely natural. There may be many distinctive varieties, but these will be the general divisions. To this end the commotions which are now racking the Christian church are tending. For it is a universal law, that old affinities must be broken up, sometimes by violent processes, before new combinations can be formed. Not to use the example of threshing and winnowing grain which our text suggests, this is strikingly seen in the formation of chemical combinations; where the previous connection between the parts of substances is destroyed by pounding, concussion or attrition, so as to leave them free to obey other laws of attraction and form various other compositions--examples of which every one can see by daily observation of the arts. As a very familiar instance we may take the formation of mortar for building. The constituents of mortar are lime, sand and water. The sand consists of particles of stones separated from their previous connections by the operations of nature. The lime is made from limestone by the action of fire; by which process certain parts of the limestone are driven off and the connection of the remaining parts loosened. The water consists of two species of air, or of two gasses; and thus, though generally supposed to be a simple substance, is itself a compound. By the union of the water with the lime a further resolution takes place, which is called slacking the lime. By this process the parts of the lime are still further separated, and are brought into such a state that they can be combined with the sand. And thus by the union of lime, sand and water, mortar is formed. Now it is perfectly manifest that if you were to place unmodified limestone, sandstone and water together, no combination would take place: and thus you see, in this case, the necessity of a previous comminution of the parts.

Again, wheat in the sheaf must be first threshed, then winnowed, then ground, then bolted, before it can be made into bread; and then it must be cut or broken, chewed, swallowed and digested, before it can go into the composition of our bodies. So universally.

Thus it must be in the formation of new spiritual combinations. Old spiritual affinities must be broken up, and the parts of old associations be comminuted by concussions of various kinds, before new associations of be formed by the attractions of new spiritual affinities. And this process is now going on. Almost all the denominations of the old Christian church are quarreling among themselves, and splitting up into parties; and those that are not, have within themselves the elements of discord, which only require an occasion to burst forth into violent action. In this way the associations of the old church are breaking up; and the parts being thus left free, such of them as have an affinity will ultimately obey the attractions of the new heaven, and arranging themselves according to its order, will form the new associations of the new-jerusalem church, which is now descending from the Lord out of that heaven.

Thus it may be seen that a great spiritual threshing is going on. The Lord has his fan in his hand, and, by his holy spirit of truth, he will "thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into his garner: but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Matt iii. 12.)

And it must now be clear that the touchstone which is to try the characters of men and to effect this mighty work of separation, is the divinity of that humanity which the Lord assumed upon earth. This, therefore, is that stone, on which "whosoever shall fall shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder," or separate in him the chaff from the corn.

Oh that this truth may so fall upon each one and all of usmay be so made the corner stone of all our doctrines, and so the ruling principle of our lives, that we may be winnowed clean from all our falses, and be garnered for ever in heaven! And oh thou Son of Man, "thrust in thy sickle and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap: for the harvest of the earth is ripe"!


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 19        SERMON XVIII.

MATT. IX. 12, 13.

"But when Jesus heard, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice; for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

WHEN the New Jerusalem has presented and enforced her peculiar views of the Lord, and it begins to be felt how completely these views subvert the commonly received notion that the Lord came to make a propitiation by offering a vicarious sacrifice for sin, we often hear it asked, What, then, did Jesus Christ come for? It is the design of this discourse to answer that question.

Our present text involves the doctrine, that man, both as an individual and as a mass, is fallen from a state of spiritual integrity, and that he cannot be again made whole without redemption. The text, therefore, teaches the necessity of redemption. It teaches that, without redemption, there can be no salvation. In other words, it teaches that mankind, individually and collectively, are spiritually sick--sick unto death; and that, without a physician, they must all perish eternally. It teaches that Jehovah God in humanity, whose high and holy name is Jesus Christ, is the true and only physician of the sin-sick soul. And it teaches that the prescription which this physician gives for the sickness or sin of the soul is repentance. Our text, therefore, teaches, that there can be no salvation without cessation from sin; for repentance implies, not merely sorrow and contrition on account of sin, but the actual putting of sin away--the incessant putting away of all evil as sin against God. In one word, the text teaches that there can be no regeneration without previous reformation--no doing good without first ceasing to do evil--no spiritual health in our spiritual bodies until, by the physicing of truth from the Lord, all diseased spiritual action is previously removed.

It should be observed, too, that our text exposes a very fundamental error in the prevailing Christian church. For the fundamental doctrine of that church is, salvation by a vicarious sacrifice; whereas the text teaches that the Lord will not have sacrifice but mercy. The prevailing church teaches that man is saved by the sacrifice of a divine victim as an atonement to divine justice for mans violation of its law; and that the merit of this sacrifice, or this atonement, is imputed to man, not as his own, but as Christs, righteousness: so that, when man, by faith, puts on this righteousness, he, though in himself a sinner, is regarded by Jehovah as just or righteous for Christs sake. Thus, in the view of the prevailing Christian church, man is saved by an imputed righteousness,--a righteousness that is not his own, but the Lords imputed to him,and so imputed as to make him just in the eyes of Jehovah. Therefore, in this view, man is saved by a principle of justice through sacrifice. He is pardoned and accepted of Jehovah because he is just, or righteous, and made so, not by any act, either seemingly or really his own, but by the sacrifice of the innocent son of God. But the text expressly declares that the Lord came not to call the righteous, but sinners; and that he saves sinners, not by a sacrifice rendered to his justice, but by their own repentance of sin, which is an offering to his mercy. In truth, then, sinners never are made righteous in the eyes of Divine Justice, for even the heaven of heavens is unclean in his sight; but sinners ore made righteous in the hands of the Divine Mercy, which are the operations and powers of the Divine Love, so influencing the hearts and lives of sinners as to enable sinners themselves to repent of their sins, in order that iniquity may no longer be their rain.

The New Jerusalem adopts, therefore, the doctrine of the Lord in the text, and, with the apostle Paul, holds it to be a faithful saying, which is worthy of all acceptation--worthy of the acceptation of those who have received the atonement, as well as of those who have not, of Christians as well as of Infidels--that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. She holds that our salvation is at all times of mercy, and not of justice--is at all times of goodness, and not merely of truth. For truth condemns all to hell, and would eternally keep them there; but goodness elevates to heaven all who will so put away evil as to receive good in its stead. The New Jerusalem holds that all who are saved, are saved my mercy as a principle of divine goodness flowing forth from the divine love and leading the sinner, in the light and by the power or truth, to such a repentance and godly sorrow for sin as prompts and enables him freely and rationally to put it away. She takes it for granted that salvation is a process whereby the sinner ceases to be such. But she maintains that the process whereby man ceases to be a sinner is one which takes place in his own proper person, and consists in such a change of his character, that he is reconciled to God.

The members of the new-jerusalem church believe that man by degeneration has come into a state of contrariety to divine order, and that his redemption and salvation consist in bringing him by reformation and regeneration into a state of reconformity to that order. Thus, in the view of our church, redemption or salvation is a process which goes on in man himself, and which cannot take place by substitution. Thus it is a change in his actual condition, whereby he, not factitiously, but virtually ceases to be a sinner. And in our view this redemption is wrought out by Immanuel, or God-with-us, who is Jesus, or Jehovah, saving his people from their sins. And we believe that Jehovah redeems and saves his people, when the truth--which Jesus uttered and manifested by his personal influences on earth, and which he now, having ascended far above all heavens, sheds abroad by his divine human influences on the hearts of all who embrace him in faith and love--is received into mans understanding from having its image and likeness stamped on his will and life. For in the degree that truth is thus formed in man, his character and condition is so changed as to be reconformed to the laws of divine order, and thus he is redeemed from the bondage of evil, and is saved from his sins.

This, in our view, is what Christ Jesus came for. And we believe he effected this in the general principles of humanity, when he came forth from the father and came into the world through the assumption of our corrupt nature by conception in the womb of the virgin, and when again he left the world and went back to the father through the unition of that nature to the divine goodness by its glorification in a, full conformity to the divine law. And this, we believe, is what he still continues to effect in the particular parts of humanity, when he comes forth from the purified heart into the reformed conduct of every individual regenerated soul.

How this descent and ascent of divinity was effected, none but a divine intelligence can know, because it was a divine work. But we must believe that God did come down to earth to redeem mankind, simply because it is declared that he did so in the Word of God. And as in our attempts to illustrate the inscrutable process of the Lords substitution of a divine for a material humanity, so in the faint illustrations of this incomprehensible work of redemption which we may attempt to make, we do not presume to explain the matter, but endeavour merely to assist our weak conceptions by recurring to those similitudes in the nature of the world and of ourselves which correspond to the Deity and his invisible operations.

In illustrating this deep subject, we first show the necessity of redemption. We suppose that the universe is created and held in consistency as one man: that Jesus Christ, or the humanity of Jehovah, is this man; and that the divinity of Jehovah is its soul. In other words, we suppose that Jehovah is the soul of the universe as a body: and that all who are saved come into this body, that is, come again into the form of this man; for, says the apostle to members of the church, "Ye are the body of Christ." (1 Cor. xii. 27.) Hence we believe that the same laws have force in the moral government of God which obtain in the human system. Consequently, that the derangements of the moral system of the universe are of a nature like to those of mans physical system, and require a somewhat similar curative process. This we infer from the fact that the body exists from and corresponds to the soul, and from the philosophical axiom that the parts resemble a whole. For we thus reason, that, as God is infinite, he acts through all--thus infinitely, in creating and sustaining each part; hence that each and every part must bear the impress of the whole through which it is created; and thus that each part must be a likeness of the whole. Wherefore, as God has created this world, and man, who is its miniature form, through the universe, this world, or man, is a likeness of the universe. And, therefore, conversely, as this world, or man, its miniature, is a component of the universe, we conclude that the universe is a human body in a vast complex form; and therefore subject, to the same laws on a larger scale which govern the human body in its miniature form. Hence we suppose that as from man on earth to matter there are gradations of natural beings, so from God in heaven to man on earth there are gradations of spiritual beings; and that all from God through spirits and men to matter are held in consistence precisely as all things are in an individual human body. And thus we suppose that all the parts of the universe have the harmonious relations, the regular connections, the mutual dependencies, and the reciprocal actions of one vast body with God as its all-pervading soul; and that the salvation of this body, and of each and every part, is its state of universal health.

Then, as we know that the health of the physical body depends upon the equilibrium of its parts, we further suppose that the health of the great body of the universe depends upon that state of universal equilibrium in which, though the whole is connected with and acts upon each part, yet each part is kept free to obey the impulses of the divine soul flowing into it. And we suppose that, if this equilibrium were destroyed in any part, the whole must ultimately be destroyed, just as the whole physical body dies from lock-jaw when the foot has been wounded by a rusty nail.

We then assume, as a matter of revelation, that the Divine Being keeps up this equilibrium by exactly balancing the counter influences of heaven and hell, which have a common plane of operation in the breast of mankind upon earth. Man in his integrity upon earth is a rational free agent, made and kept at liberty to turn to good or to evil. This is the result of his being placed between heaven and hell; which being suffered to act upon him with equal strength in opposite directions, the force of one neutralizes the force of the other, and this produces that equilibrity which leaves him free to turn to either. By the rational consideration of truth, mans will is determined to good--thus he turns to heaven, and hereby heaven flows fully into him, rules him, and keeps him free to obey the impulses of the divine life. For w hen the truth makes man free, he is free indeed. But by the irrational consideration of what is false, mans will is determined to evil--thus he turns to hell, and hell hereby gets dominion over him, perverts his form, obstructs the influences of the divine life, and makes him the slave or sin and death.

The fact, then, being assumed as a matter of divine revelation, that man, having been created perfect, that is, an entire rational free agent, did actually fall by the abuse of his free will, whereby he did actually become the slave of sin and death, we can clearly see the necessity of redemption. For, by the universal determination of mans will to evil, hell had got such a dominion over the human race that the equilibrium between heaven and hell was destroyed. Hereby a diseased action was induced in this part of the grand man of the universe. A mortification took place in the feet, and was spreading up towards the vitals. The whole system became sympathetically affected. Morbid forms being ingenerated in the superior parts, those parts too were becoming diseased, and, assuming a morbid action; were obstructing or perverting the influent divine life, and hastening on the general dissolution. So that, unless a medicative remedy had been applied--unless by external and internal applications of counteracting causes, the diseased action had been changed, a healthy action brought on, the mortified parts made to slough off, and sound parts reproduced by fresh depositions of healthful substance, no flesh could have been saved.

But how was this remedy to be applied? The diseased parts could not heal themselves. A diseased gland, for instance, could not secrete from the blood a substance which would serve as an alternative to its morbid action. Nor could the deranged stomach secrete sickly juices and at the same time generate a medicament to counteract their morbific operation. Nor could the mortified limbs cut themselves off, or reassume a healthful constitution. It is clear, therefore, that the aid of a physician was necessary. Hence a world "dead in trespasses and in sins" could not possibly have been raised to life and health without "the balm in Gilead and the Great Physician there."

Thus it is seen that Jehovah himself, who made man, could alone redeem him. He only who made the world originally, could make it again, when it was destroyed by sin. Only the divine soul, which produced the universe, as a body, could heal that body by coming down with fresh life and throwing off its diseases. This, therefore, is what Jesus Christ came for Immanuel, God-with-us, "was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed."

By the abuse of the human will, human nature had come into a state of contrariety to the divine nature. This contrariety is sin. All men, being part and parcel of human nature in the complex, were becoming involved, or were actually involved, in this sin. And all flesh having corrupted itself, there was no uncorrupting medium of divine life. Jehovah "looked, and there was none to help, and he wondered that there was none to uphold; therefore, his own arm brought salvation." He descended as divine truth into flesh. Divine truth clothed itself in human nature, with all its corruptions thick upon it. And the soul of Christ, that Truth so manifested was Christ, that is, the soul of divine truth manifested in the flesh, was divine goodness, which, as a principle of life, conformed human nature in Christ to the divine truth. Thus the divine goodness was in Christ, reconforming and so reconciling the world, that is, human nature,--for human nature is the world in its complex,--unto itself. And so far as human nature was by divine truth made conformable and correspondent to divine goodness in Christ, that nature was itself made divine. And just so far as human nature was in Christ made divine, it was saved from sin, that is, it was restored from a state of contrariety to a state of conformity to the divine nature. Hence human nature made divine goodness by divine truth was called Jesus, because by such a glorification of human nature, it was saved from its sins. Hence the angel said of God incarnate "thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins."

The sins of all Gods people consisted. in that state of contrariety to the divine nature which had been induced upon human nature by the abuse of mans free will. Wherefore, just so far as that state of contrariety was removed from human nature, the sins of Gods people were removed. And this state of contrariety was, in Jesus Christ, removed from human nature in its general and essential principles. This was redemption: for hereby hell was subdued and its preponderance over heaven done away. And the bringing down this redemption to men individually by reformation and regeneration into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ is salvation: for hereby the state of contrariety to the divine nature which exists in men individually is removed, and thus they are saved from their sins. The same effects are hereby wrought in them as a body which were wrought in Christ as their head.

Human nature taken into connection with the divine nature, and thus making the man Christ Jesus, is a mediator between God and man. Thus in the man Christ Jesus the rays of the Sun of Righteousness, the all-glorious beamings of the whole god-head, are brought to a focus; and being made to pass through human nature purified and elevated in him, as, comparatively, the light of a lamp is made to pass through the painted object in a magic lantern, they form that nature correspondently in men beneath, and cause them, as a screen, to reflect its image and likeness. And so far as men have the image and likeness of Jesus Christ thus formed in them, they are saved, and no further. For so far the divine life, which is in itself unapproachable and incomprehensible, flows into them, in a way accommodated to their state, and throws off their spiritual maladies. Thus Jesus Christ is glorified in them who are given to him out of the world, and they and he become one, as he and the essential divinity are one.

Thus it is seen wherein consists the necessity of redemption, and the necessity of Jehovah coming into the world to effect it. And from this portraiture of the necessity of redemption, it is discerned what was the process by which redemption was effected. In short, by the abuse of mans free agency hell had preponderated over heaven in the human breast, and by the departure of the spirits of men into the spiritual world was invading and bearing death and desolation into the confines of the heavens. And redemption consisted, first, in Jehovahs coming down to the common plane of heavenly and hellish operation and conquering there the infernal spirits of evil and falsity, thus detruding them from man, and bringing them down to their proper grade in the scale of being, so as to make men free to do good according to a rational conviction of truth; and secondly, having glorified mans nature in himself, in passing up with that nature through all the heavens, so as to arrange them and reduce them to order by spreading its glorified influences throughout them, and thus freeing them from the defilements occasioned by the contaminating approach of infernal spirits from hell. For when the powers of hell were cast down, and the heavens reduced to order, the causes of diseased action in the grand man of the universe were counteracted. Thus a remedy was applied to its diseased parts both externally and internally. And, consequently, a healthy action was brought about, which has been going on, and will continue to go on, until man in the universal form shall enjoy a state of universal health.

A familiar illustration of this process of redemption will be had, if we advert to the simile of the sun and its earths which we used on a former occasion: and we do this the rather, because the sun of the world is the actual correspondent and representative of the sun of heaven, in which is the Lord; and because, therefore, what is true in a natural sense of the natural sun, and the earth, and their respective phenomena, is also true, in a spiritual sense, of the Lord, as the Sun of Righteousness, and the aspects and relations which he and man respectively bear to each other. It is sufficient to represent man by the earth, the spiritual world by the earths atmospheres, and the Lord by the sun.

The atmospheres and the earth are created from the Lord through the sun: and all the forms of being in both are sustained by the continued influx of the suns heat and light. The earth, in certain states, sends up vapours, which, rising into the atmosphere, intercept the suns influences; and the earth generates miasmata and noxious gasses, which corrupt the vital principles of the air. Thus light is measurably cut off and heat flows into perverted forms. And unless the vapours are dissipated and the atmosphere purified, vegetable decay and animal disease and death are the universal consequence. Thus far we have a similitude of mans creation by the Sun of Righteousness, his perversion of the influences of that sun, of the derangement of the spiritual world by the humid vapours and perverted forms of life which this perversion sends up, and of the spiritual death which impends over him in consequence of the rays of the sun of heaven being intercepted by this derangement of the spiritual world.

To redeem the earth, the vapours which surround it must be dissipated, its atmosphere purified, and the causes of noxious exhalations removed. The equilibrium of the atmosphere, which had been disturbed, must be restored. The restoration of this equilibrium produces aerial currents, and the storms which result dissipate atmospheric vapours and purify the air by agitation. The electric fluid, too, by its concussive and other purificative effects on the air, frees the atmosphere of its morbific matters and makes it a clear medium of the suns salutary influences.

Now, if we thoroughly understood these natural phenomena, we doubt not that a striking analogy might be traced between them and the process by which the hells were subdued, the heavens reduced to order, and mankind redeemed. According to the most approved philosophy the electric fluid comes from the earth. May it not be the action of certain highly ethereal influences of the sun, which the earths surface will not reflect, and which, being converged by the atmosphere, as a convex lens, are continually brought to a focus at the earths centre, and thence transmitted divergently to the earths surface in the opposite hemisphere? If so, then may not the electric fluid represent the Lords life descending more immediately than in the ordinary way, that is, by the medium of the atmospheres, which the electric and magnetic fluids transcend? May not its effects in thunder and lightning represent his conflict with the hells by divine truth; and its purifying effects on the atmosphere represent his reduction of the heavens to order? And may not the same things be represented by the storms of wind and succeeding calms? May not the currents in the atmosphere, which are caused by warm air rising and cold air descending in consequence of the suns direct action at the equator, figure forth the detrution of the wicked and the elevation of the good, which occurs in consequence of the Lords more immediate presence and more direct influence in his advent? And may not the equilibrium which is produced in the atmosphere by means of its currents, aptly represent the equilibrium which the Lord restores between heaven and hell by casting down the evil and elevating the good? For my part, I am persuaded that nature, in these phenomena, furnishes us with something more than fanciful similitudes. Certain it is, that nature is nothing else than God operating in the material plane of existence. And if we could rightly understand her language, she would read us a lesson which would greatly help our conceptions of that vast process by which the universe was redeemed and mankind are saved.

But there is, a view of this subject which is more strictly theological. The necessity of the Lords coming into the world to save sinners is seen in the necessity which mans fall created of revealing truth to his senses. This was stated in the third sermon of this series; and also in the fifteenth. All that need be repeated here is, that it was necessary for Jehovah himself to assume a body and dwell among us as the divine truth made flesh, and in this body to speak to the ears, manifest a divine character to the eyes, and impart divine virtues to the very bodies of men. Thus men were approached by divine truth from without. For divine truth came down from the alpha to the omega of existence--from intimate principles to ultimate forms--and, through matter as the last plane, acted upon and imparted to the lower faculties of man a healing virtue. This was the external remedy which diseased human nature needed.

But the health of the universe required an internal remedy also. For existence is sustained in created beings by a twofold influx of life into them from the Divine Being, that is an influx immediately from himself, and an influx mediately through angels and spirits. Hence when Jehovah by coming down to earth had expelled infernal spirits from the bodies of men, and thus caused the mortified parts of the grand man to slough off, he at the same time caused "Satan to fall as lightning, from heaven;" then leaving the earth, and going up through the heavens, he healed the vital organs of the universal man, thus restored the equilibrium of its internal parts, and, hereby restoring the rational free agency of man upon earth, opened a way for universal and permanent salvation.

All that is necessary for man to be saved is, therefore, to avail himself of the power which is continually sent down to enable him to put off the diseased forms which have been hereditarily entailed upon him. In the degree that these are put off, together with the old natural will which produces and excites them, and a new spiritual will is formed by obedience to truth from the Word, a way is cleared for the Lords second or spiritual advent. The Lords first advent is by truth externally into the natural plane, or into the understanding; and his second advent is by good internally into the spiritual plane, or into the will.

In order to be saved, therefore, man must receive truth from the Word into a ground of vital faith, which is a practical principle, and, suffering his will to be determined by truth rationally considered, he must bring himself more and more into a state of thorough conformity to it, by exercising his powers as his own, and yet acknowledging that all his power is of God. For mans essential nature can never be changed without destroying him as man. He must, therefore, ever be constituted so as to act in freedom according to reason. Life flowing into him must still appear to be in him as his own. And hence, though God in Christ Jesus has given man the power to will and to do of his good pleasure, by reconciling mans nature to the divine nature, and so opening a way for the divine influences to reach him, yet man must use his faculties as though they were his own, and must "work out his own salvation with fear and trembling." He must put forth his energies as a man, and not wait to be acted upon as a machine. By a power vouchsafed to him continually to act as of himself, he must stretch forth his withered hand, that the Lord may, by this very act, flow into him with fresh life from within and heal him. This is the only way that he can be made whole. And thus he must be saved by obeying, as a rational free agent, the dictates of divine love and wisdom. He, acting as of himself, yet believing that power is given to him by the Lord, must "wash him, make him clean, put away the evil of his doings from before the eyes of Jehovah, cease to do evil, learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."

In short, man, acting in freedom according to reason, must "repent, and turn from his transgressions, so iniquity may not be his ruin." He must "cast away from him all his transgressions whereby he has transgressed, and make him a new heart and a new spirit," whereby he may keep the first and great commandment, and the second, which is like unto it, on which hang all the Law and the Prophets, and in keeping which there is the great reward of the life that now is and that which is to come. Yes, "if any man will enter into life, let him keep the commandments." The Great Physician has given this prescription--" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," and "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself--"This do, and live." And although this may be bitter physic, yet it must he taken.

Love of self and the world, which comes from hell and leads to hell, and which is the cause of all diseased action in the limbs, organs or viscera of the universal man, must be denied and put off as a principle of action. Love of God and the neighbour must become the all-actuating principle. Then man will come from under the influence of hell, which is obstructing the divine influences and mortifying his immortal soul. Then the arteries of the divine life, again ramifying through him, will cause him to pulsate with heaven, and will impart to him its health, its happiness and its "joy unspeakable and full of glory." And then, though his sins "were as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they were red, like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Thus, finally, there can be no doing of good without putting away evil--no regeneration without reformation--no salvation without redemption; and, consequently, no salvation of man without his ceasing to do evil. For man is spiritually lost by sin, which is the derangement and disease of his spiritual frame; and the only way to save him is to have all those things which "work abomination and make a lie" purged from his spiritual body "as with hyssop." The blood is the life:" and that blood of mans spirit, which is inflamed and vitiated by influences from hell, must be so altered in its quality as to correspond to the divine life flowing from within. The blood of self-love must be regenerated and become the blood of love to God. External truth from the Word (which is signified by hyssop) must be taken as medicine, and the morbid forms of mans depraved natural will must be corrected by "the leaves of the tree of life, which are for the healing of the nations." Nay, that will itself must, as an old man, be put off, and a new will, as a new man, must be put on. Thus sin, which obstructs mans salvation, must be removed by mans repentance unto reformation, and new life must be infused into him by obedience to the divine commandments. This is the way of salvation prescribed by the True and Good Physician, and they who prescribe any other way are spiritual quacks.

Oh, then, "Jerusalem wash thy heart from wickedness that thou mayest be saved"! (Jer. iv. 14.) Trust not to those who are crying "Peace, peace, when there is no peace"--who, for fear of disturbing thee on thy death bed, would soothe thee with flattering representations of thy health, when thou art dying! Oh rather listen to the still small voice of the spirit of truth, which, pointing to the way of reformation by the life of the commandments, says, "This is the way, walk ye in it." And be ye well assured, "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it"!


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 20        SERMON XIX.

JOHN, III. 5.

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say onto thee, except a man be born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

THESE words suggest two topics of discourse: first, what is meant by being born of water and the spirit; and, second, the impossibility of entering into the kingdom of God without this birth.

Reserving the necessity of a new birth for another discourse, we shall, in this, first take a view of mans state before regeneration, in order that we may see more distinctly the nature of that change which regeneration effects; and then consider the means by which this change is wrought; which will lead us to unfold the scriptural meaning of the being born of water and the spirit.

Paul says that is first which is natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual. This, as it regards man, is a universal truth. In general, then, regeneration is the bringing us from a natural into a spiritual state.

But what is radically and distinctively our stale by nature? It is all-important that we should have right ideas on this point. For according to our views of this will be our views of religion, and the change which religion effects. And hence if our views on this point are erroneous, our religion will be false, and we shall stop short of that change which is indispensable to our salvation.

It is very generally thought that our state by nature is depraved. It is admitted that we are fallen creatures; that we are prone to evil and this continually; that "the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;" that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; but, in the minds of most people, the conception of this scriptural truth amounts to nothing more than a general and vague impression that we are evil, without distinctly knowing in what this evil consists. It is true we can discern that we are by nature inclined to anger, hatred, malice, revenge, cruelty, unkindness, and many other evil feelings; and that we are continually prone to give vent to these feelings, and to adopt and maintain those false maxims which justify or palliate their indulgence. But these evil feelings, maxims and acts are only effects of a cause, with which many seem not to be acquainted. And as these effects may be restrained and modified by even the cause from which they proceed; hence many people rest satisfied with an alteration of the effects, without an alteration of removal of the cause. The cause is in the ruling love, and the effects are in the affections and thoughts, or the motives and maxims, which proceed from this love and determine themselves in act.

Mans ruling love forms his life; and the destruction of the life is the destruction of the love itself. Hence, when the passions and principles which proceed from the love, would, in their unrestrained indulgence, destroy its life, the love prevents them from coming into act, and assumes an orderly and decent exterior, in order to prevent its own destruction. For example: suppose a man is governed by a covetous love, which prompts to the aggrandizing oneself at the expense of others. If this love met with no restraints, it would urge him to take, without leave, and even with violence, whatever he wanted. He would overreach his neighbour whenever he could: and when he could not do this, he would rob and plunder him without mercy. But the general consequences of such conduct as this would destroy society; and hence men have agreed together to enact laws, with penalties annexed, by which the aggressions of any one upon the others are restrained. And now any one who should indulge the direct inclinations of such a love, would not only incur the penalty of the law, but also the loss of reputation, and of gain, which would defeat the attainment of his objects. In order to attain its ends, therefore, this love prompts him to avoid an open course of villainy, and to assume the character and conduct of an honest man: and when, by this means, he has gained the confidence of his neighbours, it prompts him, under the garb of fair pretences, to cheat them, whenever he can do so without detection. Thus his love restrains its own passions and principles, and assumes a fair exterior, that it may attain its ends, and continue in the enjoyment of its delights. So in the case of any other predominating love.

It is in this way that people may undergo an exterior religious change, while the love from which their previous course of conduct proceeded, is unremoved.

Now, as the love is the cause of all that proceeds from it, and constitutes the life of man, the love is the essential man. Hence whatever is the quality of his love, that is his quality, in order, therefore, to ascertain what is radically and distinctively mans state by nature, we must ascertain what is the all-prevailing or general love by which he is naturally actuated. In other words, what is the love into which man is born?

Is not mans natural love the love of self? Is not the gratification of oneself, or a regard to ones own interest, the ruling end of life with the natural man? This is a question for our own consciousness to decide. Experience and observation can better determine the matter than argument. It is a matter of fact; and all matters of fact must be ascertained, not by reasoning, but by observation and experience. For all science is rounded upon matters of fact, or the knowledges of truth; from which knowledges we, by reasoning, deduce the general and doctrinal principles of the science. And this, therefore, must be the mode of proceeding in the science of theology. In the present case, therefore, we must ascertain the matter of fact. Appealing, then, to observation and experience, I ask is it not the character of the mere natural man, from the cradle to the grave, to love himself above all things? Do not all things with him begin and end in self? Does he not love the world--does he not seek money and wealth, for the sake of self-gratification? Does he not seek office, and every kind of honour and distinction merely for the sake of self? Your experience and observation differ very widely from mine, if they do not bear me out in the assertion that it is the radical characteristic of the mere natural man to love himself above all things, and the world for the sake of himself. The love of self, then, is the general and all predominating love in the natural mind. This is the progenitor of every ruling natural passion. From this, for instance, proceeds covetousness. For we first set about acquiring property on account of the power, influence and respectability which it gives to self; and we become insatiable in this acquisition, because the more property we have, the more consequence or gratification we imagine it gives to self. In the same way it may be seen that from the love of self proceeds ambition. For ambition is another term for the desire of rule and domination, which are the subjection of others to self. And the root of such desire manifestly can only be a supreme regard to self, which is self-love. And so of every other ruling passion of the natural mind. From this, too, arise envy, hatred, anger, malice, revenge, and ill will of every kind; and from these aggression, war, murder, bloodshed, rapine and every species of violence. For it is the nature of self-love to desire to bring all things into subjection to itself; since, in the degree that they are in subjection to it, they minister to its gratification: and whatsoever resists it, and thus does not minister to its gratification, this it hates and endeavours to force into its measures, or to destroy. But as self-love predominates in all, it hence produces in each the same desire of a subjection of all the rest to itself; and, consequently, there must be in every form of self a tendency to resist the efforts of any other form of self to bring it into subjection, and thus there must be, in the nature of things, that apposition, resistance and confliction which result in the above named, and all other, evil passions, and their bad consequences.

Thus self-love is the source of all evil. And it is because man is born with this disposition to love himself supremely, that he is said to be born in evil. It is because all his thoughts and affections, all his principles of action, and rules for the regulation of his conduct flow from the love of self, and because all the ends which he proposes to himself in doing what is good and refraining from what is evil, have respect solely to self, that it is said his "whole head is sick and his whole heart is faint." This, then, is mans natural state. And this, therefore, is the state out of which he is to be brought by regeneration.

Let us now see how this is effected. The text informs us that we must be born of water and the spirit. What, then, are we to understand by being born of water and of the spirit?

In the passage before us, water signifies truth; or it signifies those doctrinal precepts from the Word of God by which our minds are informed in relation to the being of a God, to a future state of existence, to our own fallen nature in the present state, and to the way of salvation. And when we hear, understand and embrace these doctrinal truths, so as to renounce the false and evil principles, or the selfish and worldly motives and maxims, by which we are actuated in our natural state, a change takes place in the quality and character of our minds, which is the being born of water.

We will not now detain you by proving at length from the Word that the spiritual signification of water is truth. It will be sufficient to show this is the Lords meaning in the text. There can be no doubt that these words of the Lord have a spiritual signification: for he elsewhere says, (John, vi. 63,) "The words that I, speak unto you, are spirit and are life." This is true of all his words; consequently of the words of the text. Therefore, water in the text means spiritual water. And hence there can be no question that the Lord, by the birth of water, means spiritual cleansing; which is a removal of what is evil and false from the mind. Hence he says, in Isaiah, i. 16, "Wash ye, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, cease to do evil." And in Jeremiah, iv. 14, "O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved: how long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?" Here salvation is the effect of washing the heart from wickedness, and removing vain thoughts from the mind. And salvation and being born again are one and the same.

Thus it is evident that by being born of water the Lord means the spiritual process of removing from the mind what is evil and false, and not a submission to the mere ceremonial rite of baptism, or a mere exercise of faith in his merits, or a mere feeling of confidence in his mercy. Such things may be experienced, and should be attended to, but they are of no avail without the weightier matters of self-renunciation, and the departing from all iniquity. The cleansing to which the Lord refers is a washing from the uncleanness of our spirit, a washing from our sins. Hence the devout Ananias said to Saul, "And now why tarriest thou; arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy Sins." (Acts, xxii. 16.) And Paul himself says, (Titus, iii. 5,) "he saved us by the washing of regeneration." And James says, (iv. 8,) "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded." And John, (i. 9,) "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,"

Thus, then, there can be no question that the being born of water means spiritual cleansing. The only question can be, how this cleansing is effected. We maintain that it is effected by instructions from the Word; and hence that the Lord means, by the being born of water, that change which is wrought in the state of the mind of the reception and practical acknowledgment of his doctrinal precepts.

That the Lords Word is the instrument of our spiritual cleansing, is evident from what he says, (John, xv. 7,) "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you and (xvii. 17,) "sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth." Here you see sanctification, which is evidently spiritual cleansing, is effected by truth from the Word: that is, we are made clean by what the Lord teaches in his Word: thus we are made clean by his doctrinal precepts.

This is confirmed by Paul in Ephesians, v. 26, where he says, "Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word." Now with those who allow Pauls authority, this should settle the matter. What is true of the church is true of the individuals that compose it. If the church, then, is cleansed with the washing of water by the Word, so are individuals. Hence, according to Paul, we are cleansed with the washing of water by the Word. This shows us, moreover, the meaning of water in the text, namely, truth from the Word. And also shows us how we are born of this water, namely, by the being cleansed from our evil and false principles with the washing of this truth, that is, by that change which is wrought in the quality of our minds by the reception and practical acknowledgment of this truth. But how can this truth be received, and a change be effected by it, unless by gradual and long-continued instructions from the Word? The being born of water, then, is that change which takes place in the character of our spirit, that is, of our will and our understanding, by the reception and practical adoption of regular instructions from the Word of God. Consequently, regeneration by mater does not consist in a ceremonial ablution with consecrated material water; nor in an intellectual assent to a creed or confession of faith nor in any instantaneous emotion of the heart or ebullition of animal feeling.

We are now, in the second place, to determine what is meant by being born of the spirit. Having so fully shown, in the second and fourth sermons of this series, what is meant in the Sacred Scriptures by this term, we need only say here, that whatever proceeds from mans love, or the inmost principles of his life, is called his spirit. Hence, the life of a man is his spirit; because the life proceeds from, and outwardly manifests, his love. Literally, then, by being born of the spirit, is meant being born of the life. And we are born of the life when the inmost principles which actuate us are brought into our life; that is, are manifested in our conduct. Taking, therefore, the term spirit in its present connection; that is, in connection with the term water; the being born of the spirit means a change in our life and conversation corresponding to the interior change which has taken place in our maxims and motives.

Since, then, water signifies truths from the Word, spirit signifies a life according to these truths. And hence the being born of water and the spirit signifies regeneration by truths from the Word, and by a life according to them.

To sum up all in a few words, the truths of Gods word are first received into mans understanding: that is, man acquires the knowledge of truths by reading the Word, and by listening to preachings from the Word. And by faith in these truths, he mentally adopts them as principles of action. When these truths are thus known, understood and adopted, they produce a change in the intellectual form of the mind, by removing the false and evil principles which previously predominated there: and this change is the being born of water. Afterwards, when these truths, as convictions of mans understanding, act upon his will, and remove from his conduct all false and evil practices, there results a change in the form of his love and consequent life: and this change is the being born of the spirit.

But there is a more specific meaning to this text. Water, in the Word, signifies natural truth, (see Sermon II, p. 43,) and the spirit signifies spiritual truth. Natural truth, is truth as apprehended by the senses, and by the minds mere natural faculties. And as the Word in the letter is written according to the appearances of things in the natural mind, hence water signifies truth in the mere letter of the Word: and, therefore, to be born of water denotes the having our lives determined and regulated by truth drawn from the Word in only its literal or natural sense.       But as the spirit signifies the spiritual sense of the Word, hence, to be born of the spirit denotes the having our lives determined and regulated by the truths of the Word in its spiritual sense of all minds, we may now more plainly

To meet the states of all minds, we may now plainly illustrate the subject before us, by attending somewhat more specifically to the human constitution.

There are two parts in man, an internal and an external. The internal consists of the love, with the secret purposes, intentions and thoughts which flow from it. In this internal reside all mans ends of action--the principles which govern him, and determine him to any course of conduct. Man is conscious of this internal when he is in secret, and thinks with himself. The external of man consists of his actions, and the thoughts and affections which are in immediate connection with and produce his actions. It consists of his external memory, and all those maxims, sayings and matters of fact which he learns from persons and things around him, and which he talks of, and acts out, in the presence of those with whom he has intercourse. That man has this external distinct from his internal, any one may know by reflecting that a person may talk and act one way with another, while he thinks and feels directly opposite in his heart: as is the case with hypocrites and dissemblers. Thus a man may profess to be your friend, and treat you with every kindness, while he has secret designs of defrauding and injuring you. The spy, when he goes to discover the strength and position of a hostile army, acts the deserter by virtue of his external, while with his internal he makes the requisite observations of the enemys posts. These examples are given that you may see distinctly that there are an external and an internal in man, and that you may have a clear idea of the manner in which they are distinct.

Now the external is determined and governed by the internal. And hence the character of the external is altogether such as is the quality of the internal. Thus though the external be ever so fair and honest to appearance, it is really bad, when the internal from which it proceeds is bad. Though a person be in the highest degree moral in his conduct, honest and upright in his dealings, kind and obliging in his deportment, or polite and elegant in his manners, he is no more a good man, if his secret purposes are evil, than brass is gold because it resembles it in its external form. Hence the internal is the real man. And when the internal is changed, the whole man is changed. Any alteration, which takes place in the external, that does not proceed from a radical change of the internal, is no change of the man. He only puts on a new coat. It is the same man in another dress. But when the internal is changed, the external, proceeding as it does from ii, must be changed of course; and thus the whole man is changed. This is the reason that the Lord commanded the Jews to cleanse the inside of the cup and platter that the outside might be clean also. (Matt. xxiii. 26.)

Now the inside is cleansed by the reception of truth into the love, or into the secret purposes, intentions and thoughts which flow from it--which is effected, in the first place, by knowing, understanding and practicing the doctrinal precepts of the Lord in the letter of the Word. So far as man practices the truths of the Word in its letter, his internal mind is opened. For the Lords precepts in the letter, when practiced, cause the subsidence of natural loves; and then the Lord can Bow in with spiritual loves--such as the love of truth, and the love of good for their own sakes: and when these loves are active, the spiritual mind is opened, and receives light from heaven, so as to see truth of a spiritual degree in the Word, shining in its letter like glory in a translucent cloud. And then from the love of the good to which truth leads, the spiritual truths of the Word are brought into ultimate life. First natural truth from the Word is received into mans inner thought, conviction, acknowledgment and intention. But from thence it must descend, so as to alter correspondently the external character. It is necessary that change of intention should produce change of conduct. It is necessary that knowledge of duty should become performance of duty. It is necessary that man should remove from his life and conversation whatever truth in his understanding points out therein as wrong: and from the will of good in his internal should do good in his external. For goodness and truth, or charity and faith, are ideal and evanescent until they are determined to act or brought into works. But when charity and faith are in works, then they are full and complete; and the man is every whit while. Thus the internal is regenerated first, and by it the external. When truth from the letter of the Word is thus received in the internal and brought forth into the external, then man is born of water. This birth of water opens the internal mind to perceive the Word in its spiritual sense. Then the truths of this sense, having become acknowledged in the will, descend through a clear rational intellection of them into ultimate life; and thus man is born of the spirit.

This reformation of the external by the principles of goodness and truth, or charity and faith, in the internal, is represented by the Lords washing his disciples feet. For the Lord is the Word. And therefore he is in the principles of goodness and truth from the Word. When, then, these principles, received into the internal of man, change that internal, and lead him to regulate his outward conduct by them, his external, to which his feet correspond, is cleansed by principles proceeding from the Lord. And thus it is that the Lord is said to cleanse or wash his feet. And as the cleansing of the external implies, because it is the effect of, the previous purification of the internal, and thus the entire man is clean when the external is clean, hence the Lord said to Simon Peter, "He that is washed, needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit." (John, xiii. 10.)

When man, from the love of what is good and true in his internal, does what is good and true in his external, and thus every part of him becomes conformed to goodness and truth as contained in both the letter and the spirit of the Word, he is born of water and the spirit, and his regeneration is complete.

It is said, when man, does all this; but it is to be understood that he does it from the Lords operation in and by him. For the Lord fights for him in temptation, overcomes the powers of hell which infuse into him evil loves--thus removes from him evil loves, and flows into his internal with that love of goodness and truth, which is the cause of all his virtuous activity. Thus the Lord washes "not his feet only, but also his hands and his head." (John, xiii. 9.)

Now from what has been advanced it conclusively follows, that the love of man is really the man himself. Hence, unless his love is altered, he remains essentially unchanged. Consequently, the new birth truly consists in the changing of mans love. And as regeneration is bringing him out of a natural into a spiritual state, it is the bringing him out of a natural into a spiritual love. The love into which man is born is, as we have seen, the love of self and the world. This, therefore, is the natural love out of which man is to be brought by regeneration. And man must be born again of water and the spirit: that is, by the truths of Gods Word and a life according to them. But all of the Law and the Prophets--thus the whole Word--hangs upon one precept, "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The love of God and our neighbour, then, is the fulfilling of the whole law; and is, therefore, the sum and substance of religion. This is the true spiritual love into which man must be brought by regeneration. Hence, the true new birth is that spiritual process by which man is brought out of the love of self into the love of God, and from the love of the world into the love of his neighbour. And the way to have this effected, is for him, as of himself, yet looking to the Lord, to "cease to do evil, and learn to do well." For then, though "his sins were as scarlet, they become white as snow, though they were red like crimson, they become as wool."

Thus the all-important work which man has to do, is to "deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow the Lord in the regeneration." Any change of character short of entire self-renunciation, will be of no avail; and any hope of heaven other than that which consists in the delights of the life of supreme love to God and the neighbour, or the delight of doing what is good and true For its own sake--is delusion.

John says, "Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin." Some may interpret this to mean, that when a man has the righteousness of Christ imputed to him by faith, whatever he may do is not considered as sin. But this passage really means that he who is born of God renounces sin. In other words, it means that the first stage of the process by which he is born of God is the renunciation of sin, or repentance; which is necessary as a preparatory step, and lends to a subsequent actual conformity to the Lords commandments. And as if for the very purpose of gainsaying the false doctrines which might be deduced from the form of this clause, John afterwards varies the mode of expression, and says, "whosoever doth not righteousness is not of God." You will observe that in the previous clause he had said, negatively, he that is born of God
doth not commit sin. Here he says, affirmatively, he that doth not do righteousness is not of God: thus showing conclusively that the new birth of man consists, not in the imputation to him of a righteousness wrought out for him by another, but in his actually doing righteousness himself--that it does not consist merely in a pardon of his sins, and the not considering his conduct sinful because he believes and trusts in the merits of another who has made an infinite atonement for those sins, but in his actually ceasing to commit sin himself.

By these two passages John also shows, that regeneration is not only a negative desisting from sin, but also a positive doing of good--that it consists not only in ceasing to do evil, but also in learning to do well. Thus you see John supports our position that man is born again by coming out of self-love, which he does by renouncing the evils that flow from self-love; and by coming into the love of God, which he does by keeping the commandments of God.

John also shows that we are born again by coming into brotherly love; which makes one with love to God; for it is the manifestation of love to God by doing good to one another. Hence he says, "Whosoever doth not righteousness is not of God--neither he that loveth not his brother." And again, "whosoever doth not righteousness, is not of God;""whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." Now all of us cannot lay down our bodily lives for the brethren. In what sense then can we lay down our lives for them, if it is not by renouncing our selfish and worldly feelings and principles of action, which are distinctively our lives, and acting towards them in all things from a principle of justice and judgment, from a regard to what is good and true in itself considered, without any design of making them subservient to our selfish or worldly purposes, and thus from the pure love of God, or the Lords life, shed abroad in our hearts? For again he says, "But whoso hath this worlds good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth""Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love." Now it is manifest that the love of God, that is the love which belongs to God--which is in God or which is God, and which is of God in us, is not a matter of feeling, but a desire and effort to do good. Hence by this love John did not mean a mere animal feeling--a mere leaping of our bodily heart--an enthusiastic and violent emotion of the mind accompanied by some vehement gesture of the body, but a cool, deliberate principle of action--a full and fixed purpose of the mind--a persevering intention of the will, to do good to our fellow-men; which leads us to act towards them in all circumstances according to the dictates of an understanding enlightened by the truths of Gods Word. For he expressly says, "this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments." Here he evidently shows that the love to which he alludes, is a principle of action, a matter of life, a steady, unwavering and long-continued course of conduct; and not a sudden emotion of the heart, or an instantaneous change of feeling. There may be, and we have no doubt there often is, a sudden change of feeling, which leads ultimately to this permanent change of purpose and actual conformity to Gods commandments; but this matter of feeling is not what John means by the love of God. It is evidently, as we have said, a settled purpose of the soul, which leads man to desist from whatever Gods commandments say we shall not do, and to do whatever Gods commandments say we shall do. It is that love which Paul calls the fulfilling of the law. "Owe no man any thing," says he, "but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet: and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law."

Thus, then, the new birth is that spiritual change in which we renounce all the evils of self-love, and continually act from a principle of love to God and our neighbour. It is a change of the love and the life; and if we rest in any other change than this, we shall stop short of heaven.

Any, therefore, who have experienced merely an external change of character--who have conformed, and are conforming with ever so much exactness, to the rites and ceremonies of the church, or are yielding assent to the most perfect forms of faith, while they are still selfish in their hearts and principles of conduct, are really not born again. And while they are confiding in a vicarious sacrifice and an imputed righteousness, wrought out of and independently of them, without that personal holiness which results from the sacrifice of self with all its evil loves and practices, and a faithful conformity to Gods commandments, they are trusting to a broken reed, and are "crying peace, peace, when there is no peace!"

How many people, in the present day, make religion to consist solely in going to meeting, praying, singing, or certain enthusiastic acts of devotion, without any strict regard to the motives and principles of action which govern them in their daily walks of life. Yet how futile is such a religion! From what has been now shown, it is clear that a mans natural loves or ends of life may remain all unchanged, while his external character is completely altered. Hence the religion which consists merely in such an external alteration of character is likely to be very extensively embraced by natural men, who like to be lulled with the hope of getting to heaven without the renunciation of selfish and worldly principles.

Men are very apt to believe what they love. Hence it is that "the generality of people at this day believe they shall get to heaven solely by attending churches, and by adorations and prayers:" for all this is compatible with unchanged natural loves. Attendance at church, and a due regard for the proper ceremonials of religious worship, are high and important duties, which, by all means, should be attended to in their season. But they do not make up the whole of religion. Nay, they may be scrupulously attended to with an utter destitution of all true religion. All true religion has relation to life. Life according to the doctrines of a true faith, or the life of charity--in which a man acts invariably from justice and judgment in the various duties of common life--is the essential worship of God. The several acts of religious veneration before mentioned, constitute the life of piety, in contradistinction to this life of charity, and are formal worship, which is of no avail to salvation unless essential worship be in it. Hence it is evident that such Christians as imagine that they are going to be saved by a mere confession of faith, by worshiping God in temples, by partaking of the sacraments of the church, or by any or all of the acts of a merely pious life, are deluded. For is it not perfectly clear, from what has been shown, "that such of them as have no concern about the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, and who neglect to imbue not only the memory, but also the life therewith, remain natural as before? They certainly do not become spiritual, inasmuch as their external professions and religious acts do not proceed from their spirits, thus, from a spiritual origin: for their spiritual mind is not formed by the knowledge and love of spiritual things, and by a life according to them, but is void of any internal principles of goodness and truth; and worship which proceeds from a mind thus void, is only a natural gesture, entirely destitute of spirituality. If such persons, as to moral and civil life, are insincere and unjust, then their worship, adorations and prayers have inwardly such a duality as repels heaven from them, instead of bringing them into heaven as they suppose. For their worship is like a garment enveloping a diseased body, or a 'whited sepulchre, which indeed appears beautiful outwardly, but within is full of dead mens bones and all uncleanness.

"Very different is it, however, with the holy worship the adorations and prayers of those who are in the knowledge of truth and good, and in a life according to it. With such persons those things are pleasing to the Lord; for they are the effect of their spirit in their body, or the effect of their faith and love; and thus are not only natural gestures, but spiritual acts." (Ap. Ex. 126.)

Let us, then, guard against delusion in this matter. Let us deeply and solemnly reflect, that however exact we may be in our religious observances, however fervent in our prayers, however enthusiastic in our feelings, and however vehement in our devotional gestures; we have not a spark of true religion while we are governed by self-love and love of the world in our daily walk and conversation. Oh let us not mistake passion for principle!--mere natural feeling for true spiritual-mindedness! With the Word of God, spiritually understood, as the man of our counsel and the guide of our life, let us, as we hope for salvation, renounce self and the world; and perform faithfully all our individual and relative duties--as well as our peculiar religious exercisesfrom a supreme regard to the glory of our God in the good of our fellow-men Let this be the all-actuating and all-governing principle of our souls; and the life that flows from this, our religion! "If any man will enter into life, let him keep the commandments."


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 21        SERMON XX.

JOHN, III, 7.

"Ye must be born again."

IN the last discourse we considered the true nature of the new birth. The present text will lead us to consider its necessity. Two principal topics of discourse are suggested by the manner in which the emphasis is laid in reading this sentence. Ye must be born again, suggests the necessity of the new birth; and ye must be horn again, would lead us to reflect upon the gradual and progressive nature of that change. These two topics we intend to make the principal heads of discussion in this sermon.

But before we proceed to this discussion, we will premise, that by laying the emphasis on the last word of our text, we bring into relief the source from whence the new birth is effected. The original word which our English version renders again in this clause, is [scanner unable to insert word]. This Greek word does sometimes signify again, but it most commonly means from above. The word again so far as it implies the spirituality of the new birth, involves the same idea; because the spirituality of the second birth consists in its coming from above; for the natural man, or the natural plane of the mind, is quickened, thus made alive, by influx from the Lord through the spiritual plane, which is above or within the natural plane. Therefore we say, so far as the English word again implies the spirituality of the new birth, it involves the idea of from above: but as again, in the English idiom, implies repetition simply, it does not adequately express the sense of the original word [scanner unable to insert word]. This is the same word which is rendered from above in the thirty-first verse, "He that cometh from above, is above all:" and it is evidently proper to give the same rendering to this word in our text. Hence if we read, Ye must be born from above--we have it indicated, that the true new birth comes from the Lord, because he "cometh from above, and is above all."

It is not, then, by any merit in ourselves--by any truth which we can devise, or by any good which we can of ourselves do--that we can be regenerated. Neither self-derived learning, refinement, morality or elegance of manners--neither our amiableness of disposition, nor any or all of our merely natural good qualities, can avail to our salvation: for "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but by the washing of regeneration slid renewing of the holy spirit, doth God our Saviour save us." "All flesh is grass; the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the spirit of the Lord bloweth on it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God will stand forever." (Isa. xl. 6, 8.) The truths of the Word, received in faith and practiced with an end to God and the neighbour, will alone produce that change in us which will fit us for, and bring us into, heaven. We must thus be born from above. We must go to the Lord Jesus that we may have life. "For no man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man, which is in heaven." Hence, if we go to heaven we must be carried thither by him who came down from thence. He "being formed in us," must renew our minds, and transform our vile bodies into the fashion of his glorious body, so as to elevate our spirits from a carnal to a spiritual quality, and from an earthly to a heavenly state.

"That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit, is spirit. All that comes from self, goes to self"dust to dust; but the spirit to God who gave it." That only can go to God which comes from him. "The things of God knoweth no man, but the spirit of God:" but they who "have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit of. God," are able to "know the things that are freely given to us of God." Hence, if we ever go to God, or to heaven, we must be carried thither by that which comes down from thence, namely, the spirit of God, which the Lord Jesus sends to us in his fathers name.

That we may be the subjects of spiritual life, our actions must spring from an ultimate end to God and our neighbour; for this alone is the true spiritual principle of action. This is that law of love which worketh no ill to the neighbour; and in the keeping of which law, or in the godliness that results from the keeping of it, there is the "promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." But who is of himself sufficient unto this? No one can of himself live the life of so pure a love. The Lord expressly says "without me ye can do nothing." And the apostle declares, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." Hence our power to live the life of love to God comes only from Christ our Lord and Master.

The flesh is the natural man--the ends, the motives and the reasonings of the natural mind. It is that mind which a man receives by birth and education in this world. In its utmost perfection it is but love of self and love of the world enlightened and refined by the light of nature: and, in a distinctive reference to the church, it is the religious character as formed by a natural interpretation of the mere letter of the Word, without any spiritual sense within it. It is that natural man which Paul says "receiveth not the things of the spirit of God," and which "cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Hence, that which proceeds from the natural mind is still natural: consequently, the religion which a man professes, and to the requisitions of which he renders the most rigid external conformity, is still a natural religion while the mans ends of life are natural. However spiritual the religion may be in itself or in its divine source, it is notwithstanding natural in such a man. That which is born of the flesh, is still flesh, and nothing but flesh. It is impossible for a natural affection to generate a spiritual affection, or for a natural thought to generate a spiritual thought: for all that is born of the flesh is flesh. Spiritual thoughts and affections can proceed only from that which is spiritual: for that only "which is born of the spirit, is spirit;" and "the spirit is truth;" and the Lord is "the way, the truth, and the life." Therefore, spiritual thoughts and affections can proceed from the Lord alone. And, consequently, if we are ever born of the spirit, it must be from the Lord--thus from above.

Having seen the source from whence the new birth springs, we may now proceed to discuss the especial topics of this discourse. And first as to the necessity of the new birth.

"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The Lord Jesus says, (John, xviii. 36,) "My kingdom is not of this world." And it is said of him by John, (i. 10,) "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." Again Jesus says, (John, vii. 7,) "The world cannot hate you, but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." And (xv. 18, 19,) "It the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." And, (xvii. 16,) speaking still of his disciples, he says, "They are nor of the world, even as I am not of the world."

From these passages it is clear that there is a contrariety between man, in his natural state, and the Lord. For by the world in these passages is evidently meant the mass of men in their natural state, who, while in that state, are actuated by a regard to the world-its wealth, its power, its honour and its glory. And by the kingdom of the Lord is meant his church on earth and in the heavens. His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom; a kingdom which rules in and over the spirits of men--which forms their understandings and creates their wills--corrects their thoughts and purifies their affections. His kingdom is the dominion of spiritual truth, and the righteousness which results from the love and practice of that truth. And it is because the world is actuated by principles contrary to spiritual truth and righteousness, that it hates the Lord.

Like loves like--the world loves its own. Opposites hate and shun each other. The Lords kingdom is not of this world; therefore this world hates it. The Lord "desires truth in the inward parts," (Ps. ii. 6;) but the inward parts of the mere natural man "are very wickedness." (Ps. v. 9.) The Psalmist says of the Lord, "thou are not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; neither shall evil dwell with thee," (Ps. v. 4;) and the Prophet, (Hab. i. 13,) "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:" but "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually," (Gen. vi. 5:) and "the Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doth good, no not one." (Ps. xiv. 2, 3.) Not that men are not "Clean in their own eyes," and "wise in their own conceits;" but their "righteousness is as filthy rags," and their "wisdom is foolishness with God." "The thoughts of God are not our thoughts, nor his ways our ways." "All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way." (Isa. liii. 6.) And now, when the truth comes and points out our state, we will not come to the light lest our deeds should be reproved--we hate the light, because our deeds are not wrought in God. "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world; but men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil."

Thus, by nature, we are in a state of contrariety to God. We are in a state of rebellion against him. Hence Paul says, "the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Rom. viii. 7.) And James says, (iv. 4,) "the friendship of the world is enmity with God--whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God." While, then, we are in the world, that is, while we are in and governed by the principles which govern the world--thus, while we are in our natural state, we are the enemies of God--our minds are not subject to the law of God, and cannot be. How clear is it, then, that, if we ever become the friends of God, if we are ever made the happy subjects of his kingdom, we must undergo a change. A new birth, therefore, is necessary.

The ground and reason of the necessity of a new birth are, that heaven is spiritual, and man is born natural "God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John, iv. 24.) Now it is manifest that heaven is where God is. As, then, God is a spirit, and they that worship him, worship him in spirit, it is evident that they who are in heaven are in a spiritual state--thus that heaven is spiritual. And that man is not born spiritual every one knows and cannot but admit. "It is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterwards that which is spiritual The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven." (1 Cor. xv. 45-47.) Hence, in order that man may come into heaven, he must from natural become spiritual.

In order to see the necessity of a new birth on the ground and reason here stated, we have need to know, and reflect upon, the nature of degrees. For "the knowledge of degrees is as a key to open the causes of things and to enter into them. The interior things which lie hid in both the natural and the spiritual worlds can by no means be disclosed, unless degrees be known. Hence without this knowledge nothing can be known concerning the state of men as to reformation and regeneration. All and each of the things which exist in the spiritual and the natural worlds co-exist from discrete degrees and at the same time from continuous degrees. Continuous degrees are decrements from coarser to finer, or from denser to rarer; or rather are increments from finer to coarser, or from rarer to denser, just as of light to shade, of heat to cold, of hard to soft, or of thick to thin. But discrete degrees are entirely different, they are as things prior, posterior and postreme; and as end, cause and effect. These degrees are called discrete, because the prior is by itself, the posterior by itself, and the postreme by itself; but still, taken together, they make one. There are atmospheres, from the highest to the lowest, or from the sun to the earth, which are called ethers and airs, discreted into such degrees; and there are as it were simples, congregated from them, and again congregated from these, which taken together are called a compound. These degrees are discrete, because they exist distinctly, and are understood by degrees of altitude; but the former degrees are continuous, because they contain ratios of more or less, or less or more, of the same things, and are understood by degrees of latitude." "It is known by ocular experience, that each muscle in the human body consists of the smallest fibres, and that these, being disposed in fascicles, make up the larger fibres, which are called moving ones; and that from bundles of these exists the compound, which is called the muscle. It is similar with the nerves: in these, from the smallest fibres are compacted larger ones, which appear as filaments, and from these collected the nerve is compacted. It is similar in all and every thing of the vegetable and mineral kingdoms: in woods there are compactions of filaments in a triple order; in metals and stones there are conglobations of the parts also in a triple order. From these things it is manifest what discrete degrees are, namely, that one is from another, and by the other a third, which is called a compound; and that each degree is distinct from another. It is said that degrees are such among themselves, but it is meant that substances are such in their degrees. There are three heavens, and these distinguished by discrete degrees. Wherefore one heaven is under another; nor do they communicate with each other otherwise than by influx, which is effected from the Lord through the highest and the higher to the lowest, and not the reverse. But each heaven in itself is distinguished, not by discrete, but by continuous degrees: that is, the wisest are in the centre, and the less wise are more and more in the circumference: thus wisdom decreases even to ignorance, as light decreases into shade, which is done by continuity. It is similar with men: the interior, which are of their mind are distinguished into as many degrees as are the angelic heavens, and one degree of them is above another; wherefore the interiors of men, which are of their mind, are distinguished by discrete degrees: hence it is that man may be in the lowest degree, or in a higher, or in the highest, according to the altitude of his wisdom; and what when he is in only the lowest degree, the higher degree is shut; and that it is opened as he receives wisdom from the Lord. In man also, as in heaven, there are continuous degrees as well as those that are discrete. The reason why man is similar to the heavens is, because he is, as to the interiors of his mind, a heaven in the least form, so far as he is in love and wisdom from the Lord." (D. L. W. 184-198.)

Now nature and spirit, or the natural and spiritual planes of the mind, are separated by a discrete degree; and are just as distinct as act and will, speech and thought, body and soul, effect and cause. Hence it is just as impossible for what is natural to become what is spiritual, as it is for effect to become cause, or body to become soul.

But man is born in nature. He first comes into existence with a material body. In this first stage of his existence he knows nothing and can do nothing without help. He opens his eyes upon material objects, and his mind is first formed by the knowledge of natural things. All his thoughts and affections are formed by things of time and space. He understands natural things only; he wills those things alone which the natural world affords. Hence he is incapable of a spiritual thought or a spiritual affection. For the Lord says, "My kingdom is not of this world;" of course has nothing in common with this world: and therefore, he whose thoughts and affections are wholly formed by the things of this world, can have no thought of, or affection for, the things of the Lords spiritual kingdom.

The things of heaven and the spiritual world have nothing to do with time and space--except that they act upon time and space, as spirit does upon matter, or soul upon body. The thought, therefore, which is formed by time and space only, is incapable of comprehending those things which exist independently of time and space. Thus the natural mind is in itself incapable of comprehending the things of heaven, just as space cannot comprehend that which is above and without space. Hence Paul says, (1. Cor. ii. 14,) "The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

Nor is it possible by any perfection of the natural mind in natural things to bring it to a perception of spiritual things: for "that which is born of the flesh, is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit, is spirit;" and "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." It is just as impossible for the mere natural man by any cultivation of his mere natural powers to see spiritual things in spiritual light, as it is for a mere animal by any perfection of his animal nature to understand rational things in rational light; just as impossible for a man, without spiritual discernment, to understand the things of the spirit of God, as it is for a horse to understand mathematics.

Man is, in fact, as to his corporeal part, a mere animal. In this he thinks and feels as an animal. Hence the apostle Peter, (3 Epis. 11. 12,) speaking of "them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness," says, "these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption." So Jude, speaking of the same description of persons, "But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves." And Paul, evidently in allusion to mere natural and evil disposed men, speaks of having "fought with beasts at Ephesus." (1 Cor. xv. 32.) Thus man as to his corporeal part is a mere animal. He, however, differs from an animal in the capacity which he enjoys of becoming spiritual, which a brute does not possess. But if he does not exercise this faculty, and thus does not rise above his mere animal nature, he is virtually a brute.

And hence, in the degree that his mind is immersed in corporeal or sensual things, even a man is incapable of understanding mathematics, or becoming proficient in those sciences which dwell in the rational plane of the mind. Any person who has studied these sciences well knows how necessary it is for a man to keep under his animal nature in order to reach proficiency in them. Those who have been engaged in the education of youth know well enough, too, how difficult, if not impossible it is, to make some boys, whose animal propensities are strong, understand abstract scientific truths.

Any perfection of mans mere animal nature, then, will never give a man a rational discernment of scientific things. Let his sight, his hearing, his smell, his taste, his touch, be ever so exquisite; let his form be ever so perfect in symmetry, or powerful in muscular energy; all will avail him nothing in the comprehension of mathematical truths, for instance, unless he has a mathematical mind. Just so it is with spiritual things. Any perfection of mans mere natural mind will avail him nothing in the comprehension of spiritual truths, unless be has a spiritual mind. And this can be acquired only by an elevation of his mental and moral powers, discretely, out of mere natural things into the light of heaven. A spiritual body most be developed and perfected, with a spiritual eye, and all the organs of spiritual discernment, before he can see the things of the spirit of God. He must, as Paul expresses it, "be transformed by the renewing of his mind." And as, in the case of the acquisition of scientific discernment, it is necessary to mortify and keep under the propensities of our mere animal nature by an obedience to the dictates of prudence and propriety; so, in the case of spiritual discernment, it is necessary for us to mortify and keep under the propensities of the mere natural man--"the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life"--by a life according to the Lords commandments;

Any thing but a life according to the Lords commandments will not suffice to open the spiritual mind. And an obedience to the Lords commandments as mere natural rules of life, will not do this. These commands must be done as spiritual truths--as truths which teach spiritual motives, and which inculcate spiritual ends of action. No motives of action, no maxims of conduct, no rules of morality which the natural man can feel, devise, or put in practice will avail to the opening of his mind up to heaven. That which is born of the flesh is still and only flesh. The Lord is "the way, the truth and the life;" and no man can ascend up to heaven--can attain to that spiritual perception and blessedness which constitutes heaven--but he who takes up his cross daily and follows the Lords footsteps in the regeneration. Jesus says, (John, viii. 12,) "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life:" and no man can have the light of life, unless he derive it from the word made: flesh: for "in him was life; and the life was the light of men," (John, i. 4:) "that was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world:" and "Simon Peter answered him, Lord to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life," (John, vi. 68:) "it is the spirit that quickeneth"--"The words that I speak unto you, are spirit and are life," (John, vi. 63:) and the only way in which we can attain this spirit, and enjoy this life, is by keeping these words which the Lord speaks to us; for he says, (John, v. 24,) "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life;" "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matt. xviii. 17.) Hence it is clear that keeping the Lords words, or his commandments, is the way in which we draw nigh to him, and receive the life which is in him, and which is spiritual life.

Thus, then, a new birth is necessary, because man is first born in this world, and there is a contrariety between this world and heaven in which man was destined to live for ever. Heaven is spiritual, and this world is natural; and what is natural is separated from what is spiritual by a discrete degree. Hence, as man is first born natural, he, to become spiritual, must be born again. His natural loves, with their affections and thoughts, must be exchanged for spiritual loves, with their affections and thoughts. It is natural for man to love himself and the world; but it is spiritual for him to love God and his neighbour: and "a man cannot serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold, to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt. vi. 54.) Man, therefore, cannot act from the love of self and the world and from the love of God and his neighbour, at the same time. Hence his selfish and worldly love must be brought into subjection to the love of God and the neighbour. He must cease to regard himself and the world in the first place, and he must make God and his neighbour first. In this way the "first must become last and the last first." Hence a change must take place.

Moreover, the necessity of a radical change is not only inherent in mans constitution, in that he is first born natural, and must afterwards be made spiritual; but this necessity is made still greater by the hereditary evil into which he is born. For "man is born into sin which is increased in a long series from parents, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, and is become hereditary, and thereby translated into the offspring. And every man who is born, is born into so many hereditary evils, which have thus successively grown one upon another, that he is nothing but sin. Wherefore, unless he be regenerated, he remains wholly in sin as to every power and faculty." (A. C. 8280.) Hence, if he does not receive spiritual life, or if he is not begotten anew by the Lord, he cannot come into heaven. This is the reason that the Lord says, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," (John, iii. 3;) and "except a man be bent of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," (verse 5.) Wherefore, marvel not that he says unto you, "Ye must be born again."

From all that has been said, we summarily conclude, under this head, "that man is not born of his parents into spiritual life, but into natural life. Spiritual life is to love God above all things and to love the neighbour as himself; and this according to the precepts of faith, which the Lord has taught in the Word: but natural life is to love self and the world above the neighbour--yes, above God himself! Every man is born of his parents into the evils of the love of self and the world. Every evil, which, by habit as it were, has contracted a nature, is derived into the offspring: thus successively from parents, from grandfathers, and from great-grandfathers, in a long series backwards. Hence the derivation of evil is at length become so great that the whole of mans life, which is properly or distinctively his own, is nothing else but evil. This continued determinated evil is not broken and altered except by the life of faith and charity from the Lord. Man continually inclines and lapses into what he derives hereditarily from his parents. Hence he confirms within himself that evil, and also of himself superadds more evils. These evils are altogether contrary to spiritual life, and destroy it. Wherefore, unless man, as to spiritual life, is by the Lord conceived anew, born anew and educated anew, or, in other words, is created anew, he is damned: for he wills nothing else, and hence thinks nothing else, but what is infused into him by evil spirits from hell. Consequently, since man is such by nature, the order of life is inverted with him: what ought to have dominion, this is made to serve, and what ought to serve, this has dominion. And that man may be saved, this order which appertains to him by nature, must be absolutely changed by regeneration from the Lord." (A. C. 8548-8553.) Therefore, marvel not that he says unto you, "Ye must be born again."

We come now, in the second place, to show that this change must be gradual and progressive: for "ye must be born again."

The objects of this material world, existing as they do from the Divine Being, correspond to him, and figure forth his operations. All things in nature are determined in their forms, and have their qualities, by the influx of life into them from the Deity through suitable mediums. Hence every thing in nature must represent some principle in the Divine Being; just as the print of the hand in some plastic substance represents its form, or as the features of the face represent the character of the mind. And thus "universal nature is a theatre representative of the Lords kingdom." We may, therefore, reason that there is an analogy between the operations of the Deity in the natural world and his operations in the spiritual world. And as we discover that all things in the natural world are gradual and progressive in their growth, we may hence conclude that all things in the spiritual world are subject to a like order.

Throughout all nature, a single instance cannot be produced, in which a thing is made complete and perfect at once. Every thing has a beginning, a middle and an end. Every thing starts from something as a first principle, and progresses gradually towards maturity. Thus from the sun go forth heat and light; from these atmospheres, in various successions; and from these, in regularly progressive combinations, those innumerable etherial, aerial, vapourous, fluid and solid substances which make up the globe. From springs flow streamlets; these, collecting, form rivulets; which, running together, form rivers; and these, uniting, from smaller become larger, till they pour their mingling waters into lakes, and seas, and oceans. Again exhaled by the action of the suns rays upon the surface of the ocean, the waters rise in vapours, which, collecting, form clouds, and these, wafted by the winds to some colder region, are condensed, and descend in rain to refresh and fertilize the thirsty earth.

Throughout the vegetable kingdom, also, how striking is the operation of the law of progressive order! There is first the seed, then the germ, then the shoot, then the stalk, then the branches, then the buds, then the leaves, then the flowers, and at last the fruit, in which is deposited fresh seeds for further propagations.

So in the animal kingdom, there is no such thing as an animal formed entire at once. But with these, as with vegetables, and all other things in nature, there is a beginning and a progressive growth to maturity.

In like manner man, as to his bodily form and animal life, is conceived, carried in the womb, born, grows up, and is educated, before he comes to maturity and enjoys the full exercise of his powers.

Now as this is so in the natural world, why should it not be so in the spiritual world? Can the Deity, who is "the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever," be thus orderly and progressive in his works of nature, and not be so in his works of grace? Can he be so long in forming the body, and in bringing it to maturity, and yet regenerate the soul at once? Surely it is the dictate of sound reason that the new birth must be gradual and progressive.

The new birth is so represented in the Scriptures. For the Lord says, (Mark, iv. 26-28,) "So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground, and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit or herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." Again he says, (verses 30-32,) "Whereunto shall me liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard-seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: but when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches, so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it." It is manifest that these passages refer to the implantation of the church in man, which is the same as regeneration. And we here see that the Lord himself compares the kingdom of heaven, that is, the dominion of spiritual principles in the mind of man, to seed and to the progressive growth of plants--thus establishing the analogy between spiritual and natural things, and thus fully confirming the argument we have advanced for the gradual and progressive nature of the new birth.

Wherefore, the new birth of man is not instantaneous. For it is like the growth of a tree. Hence, the man who is reborn begins, like a tree, from seed; next he produces leaves; next blossoms, and finally fruit. The seed from which he begins is the truth of the Word. For the Lord (Matt. xiii.) represents himself as a sower going forth to sow, in evident allusion to the spiritual instructions which he gave by the truths that he uttered; and he compares the various reception of these instructions to seed falling by the way-side, upon stony places, among thorns and into good ground. Hence the first stage of regeneration in man is the reception of truth from the Word; for in this are contained all the Lords spiritual instructions. The truths of this Word become seed sown in him, Next he produces such things as are of intelligence, which in the Word are signified by leaves. For when the Lord cursed the barren fig tree, it was because it had leaves only-hereby intimating that those who received truth into the understanding merely, without bringing it down to the regulation of their lives, and who are thus intelligent without being wise, are cursed. Next he produces such things as are of wisdom, which are signified by blossoms. For in Isaiah, xxvii. 6, it is said, "Israel shall blossom, and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit." Here Israel represents the internal or spiritual church, and the church is said to blossom when its principles come down into practice from a principle of obedience, and the practice of the principles of the church is true wisdom. And finally man produces such things as are of life, that is, the good acts which flow from a principle of love to God and charity to his neighbour, which in the Word are signified by fruits. For the Lord says, "These are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the Word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty, and some an hundred," (Mark, iv. 20:) and it is well known that the sum and substance of the Word is to love God supremely, and our neighbour as oneself. Hence, to bring forth fruit, is to hear and receive this precept; that is, in heart and soul to act from the principle of love to God and charity to the neighbour.

Such, then, is the representative similitude between the fruit-bearing tree and the man who is regenerated: and by this comparison, which the Lord himself has instituted, we know that regeneration is gradual and progressive.

But the words of our Lord in the text are still more striking and conclusive. Marvel not that I say unto thee "ye must be born again." As now there is a strict analogy between the natural and the spiritual worlds, it follows, from these words of our Lord, that the regenerative process in man is similar to his natural birth. And as natural birth is gradual and progressive, so in like manner must be the spiritual birth.

The Lord does not here make a comparison, but asserts an actual birth. "Ye must be born again:" and "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus, it seems, from his low natural state, could not conceive of a spiritual birth; and, understanding the Lords words literally, he inquires, "How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mothers womb; and be born?" The Lord then explains himself to mean a spiritual birth, by saying, "Except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

In this text, as we showed in our last sermon, the Lord intimates the nature of the new birth--that it is a spiritual process, whereby mans mental, moral and religious character is radically changed by truths received from the Sacred Scriptures and a life according to them. Be also shows that this is an entirely separate and distinct thing from the formation of the natural mind: for he says, "that which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit, is spirit;" and dearly intimates that the process is not only not instantaneous, and perceptible to man, but that it goes on secretly, and we may conclude gradually, without mans knowing any thing about it--except so far as its effects are seen in the external, by comparing a more with a less advanced state of growth in grace. For he says, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the spirit." By wind in this passage is evidently meant truth, because, in the original, it is the same word which in the last clause of this verse is rendered spirit; and by the spirit in the Word, is meant truth. The oft quoted declaration of John confirms this--"it is the spirit that beareth witness, because the spirit is truth." (1 Ep. v. 6.) Inasmuch, then, as man is regenerated by a life according to divine truth, when the Lord says, "the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, or whither it goeth," he intimates that all divine truth, whereby a man is regenerated, Bows into him when he does not know it.

By the wind blowing where it listeth, or the spirit breathing where it willeth, is signified, that the Lord by divine truth, out of mercy, gives new life; by hearing the voice thereof, is signified that those things come to perception in the external or natural man--for voice denotes what is announced from the Word; and by not knowing whence it comes and whither it goes, is signified that man does not know how regeneration is effected--for it is effected by innumerable and unspeakable secret means from the Lord." (A. C. 10,240.)

Thus the Lord clearly shows that the new birth goes on gradually and progressively, while man himself is unconscious of the process. All which goes to show the exact analogy which there is between the birth of the spiritual man and that of the natural man. For mans natural preservation and birth goes on and takes place without his consciousness. And after he is born, he grows imperceptibly to himself. It is only by comparing his size at one time with his size at another, that he can have any idea of his bodily growth. And with regard to his bodily life--digestion, the circulation of the blood, and the operations of the nervous system, by which the bodily frame is kept in health and vigour, go on without mans knowing any thing about them. All that he knows is their effect in a conscious power of willing, thinking and acting. Thus, even in regard to the life of his body, "the wind bloweth where it listeth, and he knows not whence it cometh, or whither it goeth." He knows nothing of those secret operations by which life flowing into his body causes it to exist and subsist as a living form. He only hears the voice thereof. He is only conscious of life in its external effects.

Since, then, there is so strict an analogy between the spiritual birth and the natural birth, the fact of the gradual and progressive: nature of the natural birth proves incontrovertibly that the new birth also is in its nature gradual and progressive. And we may have some idea of the process of the new birth by the various stages in the natural birth. Thus "the man who is regenerating is also, in like manner, as it were, conceived, carried in the womb, born and educated, as a man is conceived from his father, carried in the womb of his mother, born and afterwards educated." (A. E. 721.)

We may be able to apprehend this truth more clearly by attending to the human constitution as it has been now so minutely portrayed in the preceding sermons. It has been seen that there are three things which constitute a man--will, understanding and act, or affection, thought and speech, or love, wisdom and usefulness. These three things, or principles, may be said to constitute the whole man, because they enter into and produce every thing which is in him, or which proceeds from him.

Now the thought, or the understanding, is that in man which sees and receives truth. Into this, therefore, truth is inseminated. But a man may think and understand truth some time before he wills it. And we all know that men do very frequently have clear and rational views of truth for some time before they will them, and bring them into practice. The reception of truth in the understanding, therefore, is only a part of the regenerative process. It is the first stage of the new birth. And the spiritual man is only now mentally conceived.

In the next stage, truth becomes a matter of will. And a man may will and intend a truth some time before he brings it into practice. He may resolve, and re-resolve, and yet not effect his resolution. The truth must be perfectly formed in his will before he can bring it forth. Thus the truth is carried in the will as a womb. This is spiritual gestation.

When the truth has acquired a perfect form in the will--when a man has such an affection or love for it, as to desire to make it the end of his life, he is then stimulated to bring it into act. And when man, from the will does bring the truth into act, and thus makes it a matter of life, it becomes a living thing, and is said to be born. This birth of truth by bringing it into practice, is the third stage of the regenerative process.

In this stage, the truth in man meets with a great deal of opposition from the false principles which arise from his hereditary evil nature. The false maxims of selfish and worldly propensities array themselves against the truths which he has learnt from the Word, and a mental conflict ensues. These conflicts are temptations, that produce anxiety and anguish of mind, which continue until the truth is brought forth into the life, and the life becomes conformed to it! This anxiety and anguish of mind are the labour pains attendant on the birth of truth. To which succeeds a state of tranquillity and peace, when truth has become predominant over the false and evil principles opposed to it, and there is the delight of doing what is good and true for its own sake. This is the spiritual signification of the Lords words in John, xvi. 21, "A woman, when she is in travail, hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world."

But it is some time before the life can be purified and entirely conformed to the truth which man understands and wills. It is like doing away a bad habit which has been long indulged. This is not to be done in a moment. The habit frequently returns upon him, and he frequently relapses into it. And it is only by a persevering and constant endenvour that it is eventually overcome. So, in the regeneration, the evils of self-love and love of the world, which are hereditarily in man, cannot be overcome at once. A man may understand and will that truth, on which hang all the Law and the Prophets--"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Matt. xxii. 37, 39)--long before his conduct is thoroughly conformed to it as a principle of action. "The old man, with his deeds," is not so soon or so easily put off. It is not without great conflict--not without many down-failings and uprisings--that we can "put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the mage of Him that created him." (Col. iii. 9, 10.)

The conflict and difficulty attendant upon bringing our life into order by an entire subjection to truth in the inner man, is very forcibly described by Paul in Rom. v,.--particularly in Verses 18-25. "For I know, that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but to perform that which is good, I find not. For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, (here he evidently alludes to involuntary lapses into previous bad habits,) it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find, then, a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. But I see another law, in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death! I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." Who is there that has made almost any advancement in the regenerate lift: that cannot testify to the truth and pathos of this quotation! How strikingly does it display the dire conflicts which ensue when we endeavour to bring the principles of divine love and charity into practice! Oh, he who imagines he can be born again in an instant, does not know himself! Little does he know of those agonies which the soul endures, and those appalling difficulties which it encounters, in bringing into subjection the inbred loves of self and the world! And those who think they know they are born again; can, with the utmost confidence, tell the very moment when it took place, and are boasting that they have experienced a change of heart; had better take care that they are not still "in the gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity"!

This reduction of the life to order, by the bringing forth truth from the inner to the outer man, is the fourth stage in the regeneration, and is the education or bringing up of the spiritual man when born. This stage lasts till the end of life in this world. And the life which a man has lived in this world, then serves as a plane for his eternal progression in the knowledge and love of God in the world to come, which is the spiritual mans growth in wisdom to eternity.

Thus a man must be spiritually conceived, gestated, born, and brought up, before he can come unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ," (Eph. iv. 13:) all which shows that the change by which a man comes out of a natural into a spiritual state is gradual and progressive. Wherefore, marvel not that the Lord says unto you, "ye must be born again."

We conclude, now, from all that has been said and shown, that there is no newness of life without a radical change in the principle of action--that there is no true new birth until the principle of action, which is the end that a man proposes to himself in all he does, is from natural made spiritual ; and that, consequently, the new birth consists in ceasing to act from the impulses of natural will as guided by natural reason, and the learning to act in all things from a regard to the Lords commandments, which are all spiritual truths, and therefore produce, in the conformity of the life to them, spiritual life. We conclude, in short, that the new birth consists in the ceasing to act from the principle of self love, and love of the world, which is a supreme regard to self-interest and to worldly elevation or aggrandizement, in all we do; and the learning to act from a principle of love to God and the neighbour, which is a supreme regard in all we do to what is good simply because it is good, and what is true simply because it is true. We conclude, further, as to the necessity of the new birth, that this arises out of the contrariety between the natural world and God, and out of the fact that man is first born natural, and must afterwards become discretely spiritual. And we conclude, finally, that the new birth is gradual and progressive in its nature, and not an instantaneous work. In short, we are born anew from above; thus the Lord alone is our spiritual father, the sole source of our regeneration; who begets us anew unto righteousness and true holiness, by a successive process of spiritual conception, gestation, birth, and education to eternity: for not one single spark of spiritual life can be given to us by the light of our own wisdom or the heat of our own love.

Wherefore, may the Lord in his infinite mercy give us the spirit of adoption, whereby we can cry Abba, Father! May he thoroughly renew us in the spirit and temper of our minds, giving that faith which works by love and a new creature! And may he, in short, give us "power to become the sons of Godenabling us so to believe on his name as to be "born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God"! Amen.


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Sermons Illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord p. 22        SERMON XXI.

MATTHEW, VI. 33.

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

WE commenced these sermons with the observation, that the New Jerusalem differs from the old Christian church, not in advancing entirely different doctrines, but in understanding the same doctrines in a new way. We now conclude our series with the remark, that, in the true Christian church, all things are made new, not by a change of externals, but by a change of internals--not by a change of ordinary and proper natural actions, but by a total change of the ends from which such actions are commonly done. Hence the prescription which the Great Physician has given for the securing of spiritual life, "Thou shalt love God supremely and thy neighbour as thyself--This do, and thou shalt live," is a formulary for every day practice. It is a principle which is to be brought into every duty, every vocation, every pleasure, every enjoyment of this natural life and it is a spiritual principle, which, when so brought into natural life, makes natural life itself spiritual; that is, makes natural life so subservient as to conduce to the strengthening and perfecting of spiritual life. When natural things are thus done from a spiritual principle--when natural things are sought, acquired and used from an end to God and the neighbour--from an end to what is good and true for its own sake--from an end to what is just and honest for the sake of justice and honesty, and without any ultimate or final reference to selfish and worldly gratification, then natural things are truly and eternally enjoyed. But when natural life is in any way separated from spiritual life, so that natural things are sought, acquired and used without a continual as well as an ultimate and a final reference to spiritual and eternal things, then, not only is true spiritual life lost, but the fruition of natural life also is for ever put out of our reach. Therefore it is, that the Lord gives us the weighty injunction of our text: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

All things in the universe have reference to two principles, namely, goodness and truth, and to their conjunction in ultimate use. And in the Sacred Scriptures there are constantly two terms used and mostly coupled by the conjunctive particle and. One of these terms has specific reference to good, while the other refers to truth, and the coupling of them by the particle and denotes the conjunction of good and truth in use. Thus the terms Lord and God are used--the term Lord referring to the divine good, and the term God to the divine truth. Hence the kingdom of God is the kingdom of divine truth.

In the text, "the kingdom elf God" is coupled with "his righteousness" by the particle "and: therefore, according to the general law just stated, while the kingdom of God means the kingdom of the divine truth, his righteousness means the divine good of that truth. The kingdom of truth is its controlling influence in the mind of man, and the righteousness of truth is the good to which truth in practice leads. The king is the inmost or central functionary of the kingdom. And the king, in the human soul, is its inmost principle, or its ruling end of life. The king sits on the throne, whish is the highest and first place of the kingdom. The throne is the seat and emblem of power and authority, and from it flows all that which constitutes the kingdoms force and integrity. The kingdom is in fact nothing but the holy principle of royalty extended from the king and his throne. Hence it is that the throne is put for the kingdom, and the king for the kingly office.

Now, in the human soul, the first place is its inmost principle; and whatever rules there, rules throughout the whole soul. And, as we have already shown, the inmost of the soul is its ruling love, which makes one with its end of life; for whatever a man loves supremely, that he proposes to himself as his end of life. Hence the end of life, is the first place in the human soul; and whatever is in its end of life, this is the ruling principle of the soul. Hence the command to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, implies that the divine truth and the good of that truth should be made mans end of life. It implies that truth should be sought for its own sake, and good be done for its own sake. When truth, with the good of it, is in mans end of life, then it is in the first place, and has dominion over all the inferior principles and parts of the soul. In short, Good is as a king, and truth is as a throne, in the mind of man, which is a spiritual world and dominion. Hence, when truth is in the end of life, it is Gods throne set in the soul; and when the good of that truth is in the ruling love, that good is as a king, seated on that throne, exercising dominion over the whole will, understanding and ultimate conduct, as his kingdom.

The things which are to be added unto us, when we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, are all the things which are exterior to that kingdom and righteousness. The kingdom of God and his righteousness constitute spiritual and celestial life in the soul, and the things exterior to this life are all those things which constitute natural life.

Now, if a man makes spiritual and celestial life his end, then all things of natural life will happen as he wishes for his salvation. For "the delights of gain and honours in this natural world, when they are regarded as means conducive to heavenly life as an end, have then life in them by virtue of life from heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord; for in this case the end regarded is the Lord. When man is in such an order of life, then worldly gains and honours are a blessing to him; but if he be in an inverted order,"--if he looks first to earthly gains and honours, and pays regard to spiritual and divine things as means to such gains and honours as his end of life,--then they are curses to him. Hence that all things of natural life are blessings when man is in the order of heaven, is meant by its being said, in the text, all things shall be added unto you, "if ye seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

The Lords divine providence is most particular and singular in all that concerns mans spiritual and eternal welfare. "Even the hairs of our heads are all numbered, and not a sparrow falls to the ground without his notice." He decks the lily and clothes the grass of the field. He gives to man all natural good, and every appliance of temporal life, as means of attaining the life which is spiritual and eternal. All physical power, all mentalability, all external science, all that knowledge and skill which gains the wealth and constitutes the power of this natural life, are, in his divine providence, furnished as the substratum of heavenly life. And if "the Lords providence extends to the lowest things and principles in the regenerate life, how much more will it extend to the things and principles that are of a higher order. Therefore man ought to depend upon the Divine Providence for sustenance in all the degrees of his life, and not to trust to his own prudence. Nevertheless the unregenerate are more solicitous about external or natural life than about internal or spiritual life--when yet it is the Lords will, in giving natural life and its goods: that external or natural life should be subservient and administer to internal or spiritual life. For when spiritual life flows into and rests on natural life, then both are preserved; but when natural life has the preeminence and rules over spiritual life, then both are destroyed. Therefore spiritual truth and good ought to be exalted above natural; for then natural truth and good are blessed from a spiritual principle within, and become conducive to the eternal life of the soul."

Such is the general spiritual import of the text. It may have a more particular illustration, if we consider what is more specifically meant by the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

We are now taught in the new church, that the kingdom of God is a kingdom of uses. The reason is, because truth is not a mere ideal or intellective thing, but is a vital form. Truth is the form of good--is good in its activity: and good in form and activity is use. Hence the kingdom of God, which, is the kingdom of all truths in the complex, is the kingdom of all good uses. Therefore, to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness is to have use, and the love of it, in the first place. It is to have use for an end in all we do, and to perform use simply from the love of use. And when we engage in and discharge faithfully all the common duties, as well as enjoy all the common pleasures, of this natural life, from a simple regard to their use, then all natural good things--wealth, honour, fame--may be added unto us, not only without loss, but with positive grain, to our spiritual life. On the other hand, if a man seek natural good as an end, even though he gain it temporarily, still he will lose the enjoyment of it eternally.

Nor is there any real enjoyment of natural good in time, when it is sought as an end--when it is sought from the love of self and the world--when it is sought for selfish and worldly gratification, and not with a sole view to its use. For however much natural wealth or honour we may attain, when sought from the love of sell and the world, it is a law of our nature that we can never be satisfied. In this case, the possession of wealth and honour brings with it increased care for what we have got, and increased solicitude for more.

It is not contrary to order that a man should have care in providing for himself and his dependents present food and raiment, and also wealth for the time to come. But the selfish and worldly, that is, the unregenerate, seek only worldly and terrestrial things as an end, and have no primary respect to heavenly things; and, in seeking this end, they have no regard to a divine principle, but look only to themselves, and expect to gain all by the exercise of their own prudence. Hence they are the prey of universal solicitude about things future. They are goaded by a desire of possessing all things and of exercising universal rule, which desire burns more fiercely in proportion as it is gratified, until it exceeds all bounds. "Such persons grieve if they do not enjoy what they desire, and are tormented when they lose the objects of their love. And in the loss of what they love, they can have no consolation; for, on such occasions, they are angry with the Divine Being, and reject all that faith in his goodness, and that trust in his providence, from which alone all true consolation in affliction springs. It is altogether otherwise with those who seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and who desire and procure to themselves earthly goods with a sole reference to their use. These trust to the Divine Being acknowledging and seeking the Lord as a principle of goodness and truth in all they do." And having the Lord as a principle of good and truth in their end of life, they are wholly ruled by the Lord and his angels flowing into that end, so as to be led, while they themselves are ignorant of it, into all that is happy to eternity. "These, although they may feel care for things future, nevertheless do not suffer any anxiety about them. They are of an equable mind whether they enjoy what they desire or not-neither do they grieve at the loss of what they desire, being content with their lot. If they become opulent, they do not place their hearts in opulence. If they are raised to honours, they do not regard themselves as more deserving than others. Neither are they sad, if they become poor; nor are they dejected in mind, if their condition be low: for they know that, with those who trust to the Divine Being, all things succeed for a happy state in eternity; and that the things which befal them in time--however adverse to their apparent and temporal prosperity--are always made conducive to an eternal state of happiness." Thus they enjoy temporal peace and joy, which is all that the selfish and worldly can propose to themselves in the search and acquisition of earthly goods, though they may, in the Divine Providence, be deprived of them. But seeking earthly good for the sake of heavenly good,--in discharging the duties, and enjoying the delights, of natural life with an end to eternal life,--the Lord, in his providence, will most assuredly add unto them all those terrestrial and worldly good things which his wisdom sees will tend to secure them in the enjoyment of their eternal happiness.

If then, any of us are seeking for wealth, for fame, for influence among our fellow men, or for any of those things which the unregenerate natural man regards and seeks as his chief good, let us know that it is not wrong for us to seek such things; for our humanity is to be regenerated, not destroyed. But let us at the Dame time know, that we are not to seek these things as an end--we are not to seek them first--we are not to make them central and internal; but we are to put them in the second place--we are to put them into the circumference--we are to make them subservient to spiritual life--we are to seek and procure them only as means to spiritual and eternal use as our final end. Then they will be most assuredly added unto us, just so far as the Divine Wisdom sees they will conduce to that end.

In a familiar illustration of our subject we may take a few specific cases. Our text as a practical maxim may be thus expressed--No man becomes eminent in his profession who has not such a passion for it as leads him to pursue it from a delight in it for its own sake, or for the sake of the use which is effected by it to the community.

Men, from the love of self, the love of fame, or the love of gain, may be stimulated to such exertions as will lead them to a certain degree of eminence and success in their pursuits, when they do not love them for their own sakes; but the degree will never be that which they would have attained if they had been actuated solely by the pure love of the use. Thus the poet, the musician, the painter, or the civilian--the statesman, the scientific man, the artizan, or the man of any ordinary business, though he may attain to some success when goaded by ambition, or stimulated by necessity, still will not reach consummate excellence until he is actuated by the love of use, or until use simply is the end of his life. The reason is, because all excellence comes from God; and the highest excellence can flow into man only when he is acting from ends similar to those which are actuating the Divine Being, or solely by the medium of angels of the highest order, who are living nearest to the Lord.

The celestial angels flow solely into mans ends of life, and are themselves in the supreme love of use. For heaven is a continent of uses, and not any can come into heaven except so far as they are in the performance of use from the love of use. And the heavens are discriminated according to the degrees of supereminence in the uses which they perform. Hence the highest heaven is in the highest uses. Thus the celestial heaven, which is emphatically the heaven of love, and therefore the heaven in which the love of use supereminently prevails, is that alone from which the highest excellence can descend into the uses of earth. Now, as the angels of this heaven, who are loves in form, can flow only into mans loves, so as to rule thence his ends of life; therefore, where the love of use does not exist in man, there can be no ground in man for celestial influx, from which alone the highest use, and the highest excellence in the performance of use on earth, can be produced.

For instance, it is said that the architectonic art is in its perfection in the heavens. Now an architect on earth, when stimulated by ambition, the love of fame, or the love of wealth, may design architectural forms of beauty and use in a certain degree. He may study the ancients;--who attained a perfection which he cannot surpass, because they went up to the well-springs of perfection in the adytum of their souls, and were not copyists as he is;--and by the study of their models, and the science of their art, may recombine their elements in forms of fancied novelty and imaginary beauty. But he can never, as with the hoofs of a winged horse, unloose the gushing fountains of original conception, and pour down streams of fresh real beauty and use from that sole abode of beauty and use, the celestial heaven. There must be a love of use for its own sake--a supereminent love of the supremely true and the supremely good in architecture, and the constant end of universal good or use to men, without any other recompense of reward than simply the delight of performing that use for the good of others, before we shall have any original conceptions in architecture, that shall equal or surpass those of the ancients.

The ancients were lovers of their art, and sought excellence in it simply for the sake of excellence. Their philosophers, as the very term imports, were lovers of wisdom; and sought wisdom for its own sake. Their legislators, as Solon and Lycurgus, made laws from the love of justice, and sought the good of their country in just laws, though that good was to be alone found in their own banishment or expatriation. Their teachers of youth were their philosophers--their greatest and best men--like Socrates--who taught from the love of the use, and not from the love of gain. Hence there is an excellence in their arts, their philosophy, their laws and their education, which the moderns have never reached except by copying. For the moderns have become sensual and sordid in their ends of life. They seek not excellence for the sake of excellence alone, but for the sake of some extrinsic selfish and worldly gratification. Thus they seek excellence for the sake of worldly distinction--for the sake of fame among men--for the sake of present gain or future glory. And this, in my humble opinion, is the reason why modern poets, sculptors, architects, and the like, have never equaled or excelled the ancients--why they are the mere copyists of ancient models, and not the givers forth of original conceptions of superior beauty and supereminent use.

It is true, that, in the present day, the arts and sciences have received a new impulse; and all the fields of excellence therein, are extending, widening, and opening vistas through which visions of coming beauty and excellence may now be daily seen that never dawned on ancient eyes and never could have been conceived by ancient hearts: but all this is because of immediate revelation from heaven in consequence of the consummation of the church. The sun has been clothed in sackcloth, the moon been turned to blood, the stars of heaven detruded to earth and put out in its dust. But the Sun of Righteousness has again arisen with healing in his beams. The light of the sun has become, or is becoming, as the light of seven days. Its floods of seven-fold brightness are pouring down to earth, and pressing and beaming through, wherever there is a chink. The powers of the heavens are every where pressing for admission. And the laws of heaven are revealed, in the relations of heavenly arcana, and in the knowledge of the constitution of the spiritual world and of its operation on and influx into the natural world.

Now the poet, the painter, the sculptor, the architect, and the man of any science and of every art, may attain to a more than ordinary excellence; but, to do so, he must connect his spirit with the highest influences of the spiritual world, in order that their powers may be in his efforts. He must connect himself with the highest heaven by the love of use, or he never can originate on earth those celestial forms of use and beauty which shall command the need of universal praise, and prosper him in the possession of those external goods, which are the unsought and unbought adjuncts of sincerely seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

The life of the love of use is not only heavenly, but eternal, life; and he who ultimates that life here, will produce in his profession or calling, whatever it may be, not only a heavenly, but comparatively an infinite, perfection. The acknowledgment of the Divine Being in any thing, tends to bring into that thing a sort of divine presence and divine form. If therefore, the artist of any kind wishes to produce a divine perfection in his art, let him acknowledge in his art the Divine Being. It is said of Haydn, one of the most famous musical composers, that he was wont to invoke the Lord in prayer for inspiration, when he engaged in composing his pieces of sacred music. And the stamp of that prayer is on his composition, giving it an indelible mark of immortality. It is well known, too, that the ancient poets always began their poems with an invocation to some Deity; which, if sincere, doubtless gave a character to their poetic conceptions. So must the new-church poet and the new-church artist, invoke his Lord in all his undertakings, if he would certainly attain eminence, excellence, usefulness and spiritual power in his calling.

The Lord of the Newchurchman is Goodness Itself and Truth Itself in a Divine Human Form; and the true invocation of this Lord, is the acting from a principle of goodness and truth, a principle of justice and judgment, in all the good uses of society, which is a common man. It is to do use from the love of use merely to do use with an end to the common good, and not with an end to fame, honour, gain, or any other merely selfish and worldly good. When use is thus done, fame, honour, wealth and every other good will be added unto us,--although we sought them not,--because they are the natural consequents of use well and supereminently done. And so it is that all else is added unto us, if we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

If the poet writes from a passion for poetic excellence, and finds his chief and all sufficient reward in the mere delight of ultimating poetic beauties for their own sakes, there will be added unto him, fame, honour and perhaps worldly gain, as consequences of his poetic excellences. But if he think of fame, of honour or of wealth, and especially if he seek these as ends in his poetic compositions, the founts of true inspiration will be closed, and the sordid principle, that actuates him in writing, will descend into and defile all his writings, so as to make his fame evanescent and his gains unsubstantial.

So with the painter, if he wants excellence in his art, he must seek it for its own sake. He must seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness first in his art; and then fame, wealth and every other external good will be added unto him. But if he look at these external goods as ends of life, the founts of true inspiration in him, too, will be closed up; and his external ends will be lost: or if he succeeds, he will paint only by the lumen of some infernal fire, cater for the lusts of some prevailing selfish or worldly passion, and in the wealth and the fame which he may hereby gain, he will find only the foothold and the food of an ephemeral natural life, to the destruction of the life that is heavenly and eternal.

Just so it is with any other profession in which we as New-churchmen may engage. We must pursue them simply from the love of use, or they will not strengthen in us spiritual life. If we propose to ourselves only natural ends in what we do, natural life can alone be strengthened by our success. And the true church can alone be built up in us, and spread from us, or through us, on men around, by our pursuing all our natural duties and callings from spiritual ends. Therefore, if we desire the true good of our Jerusalem, we will diligently heed our Lords injunction in the text, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

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