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AND OF ALL DEVOTION,
and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever:” Rev. v, 11–13.
Such are the scriptural evidences, from which we learn that prayers, praises, and thanksgivings, are rightly addressed to the Son as well as to the Father. But the worship of Jesus Christ, in his reign, is by no means restricted to these spiritual offerings. He is also the object of that practical service and allegiance, of that fixed reliance of soul, and of all those humble and devoted dispositions, which divine authority, wisdom, and love, must ever demand at the hands of frail and dependent man.
The apostles frequently introduce themselves to our notice as the servants of Jesus Christ; and, the Greek substantive, which we render “ servants," designated them as the actual property of their Master-as persons absolutely subject to his sovereign disposal. Their spiritual allegiance to the Son of God, and their unqualified reliance on his providence and power, were indeed manifested by their whole conduct. In his name they called to repentance, proclaimed remission of sins, wrought miracles, and performed all the other functions of their apostolic office; and, for his sake, they cheerfully submitted to a life of the severest labour, privation, trial, and persecution. They gloried in their infirmities, and rejoiced in their sufferings, for the love of Jesus : II Cor. xii, 9; I Pet. iv, 14.
When Paul was besought by his friends not to go up to Jerusalem, he answered, “ What mean ye, to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem, for the
name of the Lord Jesus ;” Acts xxi, 13. That apostle was, indeed, an eminent example of Christian zeal and dedication. A brand plucked from the burning-a sinner saved by the peculiar interposition of divine grace-he was, in all his subsequent conduct, powerfully actuated by faith, and love, and loyalty, towards Jesus, the Holy One of Israel. His extraordinary talents, gifts, and energies, were all directed, as a mighty stream, into one channel. He gives up all for Christ: he delights in a conformity to his sufferings ; (Rom. v, 3; Phil. iii, 10;) he lives in the power, moves under the guidance, and glories in the cross, of Jesus. Every page which he writes teems with allusions to his Saviour; every thought brings Christ to his remembrance; and no sooner does that holy name drop from the apostle's pen, than all secondary subjects yield to the praises of redeeming love. To “me," he cries, “ to live is Christ, to die is gain :" Phil. i, 21. “ I am crucified with Christ ; nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me:" Gal. ii, 20. “ What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ:" Phil. iii, 7, 8.
The services of this admirable individual, and of the other apostles of our Lord, were indeed of a very peculiar nature; but it is plain, from their doctrine, that the spirit in which those services were performed, is that to which every Christian is bound to aspire. Christians are not their own: they are “ Christ's ;"
AND SPIRITUAL ALLEGIANCE.
they are “ bought with a price;" they are become his “ purchased possession;" (1 Cor. iii, 23. vi, 19, 20; Eph. i, 14;) and, therefore, to him, and to the Father by him, are all their service and allegiance due. Since he is the good Shepherd who gave his life for the sheep; (John x, 11;) the Shepherd and Bishop of souls; (1 Pet. ii, 25 ;) the Chief Shepherd; (1 Pet. V, 4;) it is our unquestionable duty to live in his fear; (Eph. v, 21, Griesbach's text;o) to obey his voice; (John x, 27;) to follow him whithersoever he goeth ; (Rev. xiv, 4;) and to do all things in subjection to his will, and with reference to his authority and approbation. “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed," says the apostle to the Colossians, “ do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him..... Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ:" Col. iii, 17—24.
The sentiment embodied in these precepts may be said to pervade the whole Epistles of Paul, who has recorded an express judgment, “ that if one died for all, then were all dead, and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again :" II Cor. v, 14, 15. In the numerous injunctions which are, in these writings, addressed to children, parents, husbands, wives, servants, and subjects, obedience to the will of Christ is held up as the great motive and principle of Christian conduct; and even in matters of a comparatively unimportant nature, the same rule is virtually
FROM THE WHOLE PREMISES, 347 prescribed. “ He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord, and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks ; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died and rose, and revived, that he might be LORD both of the dead and living :” Rom. xiv, 6–9.
On the whole, therefore, it is evident, that a real devotion of heart to the Lord Jesus Christ is a main distinguishing characteristic of all true Christians. While they agree in this great principle of their religion, they will not be separated from one another by merely circumstantial differences. With them “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor free, but CHRIST IS ALL AND IN ALL:” Col. iii, 11.
Abundant evidence has now been adduced from Scripture, to prove that the reign of Jesus Christ 'is eternal in its duration, absolute in its authority, extending over all creatures, spiritual in its nature, and perfectly moral in its results — that divine providence and grace are the means by which it is conducted—that Christ, in his regal capacity, is the unfailing source of those celestial influences by which the human heart is renovated and purified, and the church on earth maintained and that he is a proper object of religious worship and all devout allegiance. Now, from the whole of this statement, we may surely deduce, as a sound and necessary
HE IS PROVED TO BE GOD.
consequence, the actual divinity of the Lord Jesus. The most practical notions which we are capable of entertaining respecting the divine nature, are here exhibited as belonging to the person and character of our Saviour. Were it required of us to describe the God whom we serve, should we not say, that he is a being who exercises an endless, unlimited, absolute dominion over the Church, and over all creatures —that to him we are responsible for all our actions —that he is the ever-present helper and protector of of his people, the disposer of events, the author of all our spiritual gifts and graces, the object of prayer and all manner of true religious worship—that he upholdeth all things by the word of his power—that he filleth all in all—that by him all things consist ? Must we not allow that every particular of this description is applicable to God, and to God alone? Yet the whole of it is applied to Jesus Christ
in his reign ; and hence we justly draw the conclusion, · that Jesus Christ, in his reign, is God.
In this conclusion we are satisfactorily confirmed, by a comparison of the doctrine of the New, with that of the Old Testament: it being certain that these two constituent parts of Holy Writ reveal to us in its true order and harmony, a single scheme of true religion : for, although true religion may be gradually unfolded, and may, in its nature, be progressive, yet, in its most substantial characteristics, it is always the same. Now, in the Old Testament, Jehovah alone is ever declared to be the Supreme Lord and Lawgiver, the omnipresent Protector, the Shepherd, the Husband, and the Redeemer, of his people. In the New Testament, every one of these gracious offices is described as the offices of the