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evil in your hearts? For whether is it easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee? or to say, arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house." Again,
It belongs to a divine Person to perform divine works; and such Christ professed to perform. He said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” He said, she had power to lay down his life, and power to take it again.” He said, “he had power to raise the dead, or quicken whom he would.” He wrought miracles in his own name, and by his own power. When he was requested to work a miracle, his usual reply was, I will, and then wrought the miracle desired. The prophets wrought miracles in the name of God, and the Apostles in the name of Christ. But Christ wrought miracles in his own name, which was a public and explicit profession of his divinity.
Moreover, many persons, who came to our Savior, paid him divine homage, for which he never rebuked them. “And behold there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, saying, I will, be thou clean." We are told, “There came a certain ruler and worshipped him, saying, my daughter is even now dead: but comethou and lay thine hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose and followed him.” When Christ had walked
the sea, saved Peter from drowning, and came into the ship, then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him." The women, who met him after his resurrection, as they were returning from the sepulchre, “came and held him by his feet, and worshipped him.” The eleven disciples conducted in the same manner in Galilee, for “when they saw him, they worshipped him." And when believing Thomas said unto him, My Lord and my God, Jesus approved and commended his faith and worship. In such various ways, and by such various forms of speech, our Savior made himself God. And to give his expressions their full force, it may be proper to obserye,
In the first place, that they convinced the Jews, that he meant to assert his divinity. When he inquired why they went about to stone him, they replied, “For a good work we stone thee not: but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” The Jews, who knew their own language, would never have charged Christ with blasphemy, unless he had used expressions concerning himself which properly conveyed the idea of divinity. But when they heard him say, that he was the Son of God; that God was his Father; that he and his father were one; that he did the works of his Father; that he had power to raise the dead; that he had authority to forgive sins; and that it was the will of God, that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father; it was extremely natural for them to believe, that he meant to make himself God as well as man, And this leads me to observe,
In the second place, that Christ never contradicted his professions of divinity, nor explained them in any sense different from that, in which they were understood. Though he was blamed, and even charged with blasphemy, for making himself God; yet he nev. er denied that he was a divine person, nor that he had professed to be so. But if he had not been a divine person, and had never intended to convey this idea of himself, then it was highly incumbent upon him, to explain his meaning, and undeceive those, whom he
had deceived, by his unusual and improper expressions. And this we presume he would have done, had he been a mere man of common honesty. Honest men have always been very careful not to claim, nor even to receive divine honors. When Pharaoh told Joseph, “I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it; Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, it is not in me, God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” When Nebuchadnezzar asked Daniel whether he could interpret his dream, Daniel replied, " As for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any
livWhen Cornelius met Peter, "and fell down at his feet and worshipped him; Peter took him up, saying, stand up: I myself also am a man.” When the Lycaonians were about to offer sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas, they rectified their mistake, and rejected their impious honors. And when the apostle John was about to worship an angel, he rebuked him, “saying, see thou do it not. Worship God.” Now, if Christ were not a divine person, and yet knew that he was taken to be divine, by those who conversed with him, and that too in consequence of his own expressions; how could he consistently with a proper regard to them, to himself, and to his Maker, neglect to rectify their great and dangerous mistake? To have 'neg. lected this, would have proved him to be not only destitute of the virtue of the Prophets and Apostles; but to possess the vanity of Herod, who was struck by the hand of heaven, for receiving that honor, which was due to God only. Since, therefore, Christ never contradicted his professions of divinity, nor attempted to explain them differently from what they were understood, we are constrained to conclude, that he was, in truth, what his expressions naturally implied and
conveyed, a divine Person. Especially, if we consider once more,
That he justified himself in professing to be a divine person; and persisted in that profession, in the full view of death. When the Jews charged him with blasphemy, for making himself God, he boldly justified his conduct. “Say ye of him whoin the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blas. phemest, because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him.” Indeed, he was so willing to justify his pretensions to divinity, that he once proposed the question himself, on purpose to confound and silence the Pharisees, upon this subject. “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them saying, what think ye of Christ? Whose Son is he? They say unto him, the Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in Spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. : If David then call him Lord, how is he is Son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” Nor did he barely justify his claim to divinity, but even persisted in the claim, when he knew it would cost him his life. After he was apprehended and brought before the High Priest, the capital charge laid against him was his professing to be a divine person. It is true, they accused him, before Pilate, of professing to be a King. But before the High Priest and Ecclesiastical Court, they charged him with no other crime than that of blasphemy, in making himself God. Accordingly, “the High Priest said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou sayest it. Nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven, Then the High Priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy, what think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.” Thus Christ professed to be a divine Person while he lived; and when he died, he sealed his testimony with his own blood. It is as cer, tain, therefore, that he possessed divinity, as that he possessed the least degree of truth or moral sincerity.
It only remains to consider,
III. Upon what grounds Christ asserted both bis humanity and divinity.
And here, in the first place, let us inquire upon what foundation he asserted his humanity. Was it simply because he was born of a woman, and had a body of human shape and size? This is what some suppose. But is this supposition credible? Does a mere human body, born of a woman, though destitute of a human soul, constitute a human person? Adam was a man, though he never was born. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are men, though their bodies have been long since separated from their souls. It is not to be supposed, therefore, that Christ would assert his humanity, upon the slender ground of being born of a woman, and having only a human body. A human soul without a human body might have constituted him a man. human body without a human soul, could not have given him the essence of humanity. This leads us to conclude, that he asserted his humanity, upon the just