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and a tinkling cymbal. But those deeds of charity which spring from a living faith in a living Redeemer; those works of obedience which are performed from a principle of love for his name ; ---these are the good works, and the almis-deeds, which shed a lus: tre around the bed of death, and upon which, in a dying hour, we may look back with holy satisfaction, with heavenly joy :---not as the ground of our confidence; not as the price of pardon; not as our title to everlasting life :---no; the righteousness of Him, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God,' is the only foundation of a sinner's hope: but as means by which a Divine Saviour has · enabled us to glorify the riches of his grace ; as the fruits of his blessed Spirit; as evidences of a vital union to his body; and as pledges of admission to the glories of his presence.
May that God, who has declared himself the · Father of the fatherless, and the Judge of the widow, in his holy habitation, fill us all with the spirit and the consolations of his children, enable us to imitate his holy benevolence, and prepare us, in due time, for his heavenly kingdom ! And to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, one God, be all the praise, both now and ever! Amen!
PREACHED BEFORE THE LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY 1802.
JOHN M. MASON. D. D.
PASTOR OF THE ASSOCIATE-REFORMED CHURCH, IN THE CITY OF
HEB. i. viii.
But unto the Son be faith, Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever.
IN the all important argument which occupies this epistle, Paul assumes, what the believeing Hebrews had already professed, that Jesus of Nazareth is the true Messiah. To prepare them for the consequences of their own principle; a principle involving nothing less than the abolition of their law, the subversion of their state, the ruin of their city, the final extinction of their carnal hopes, he leads them to the doctrine of their Redeemer's person in order to explain the nature of his offices, to evince the value of his rpiritual salvation, and to shew in both, the accomplishment of their economy which was now ready to vanish away.' Under no apprehension of betraying the unwary into idolatrous homage by giving to the Lord Jesus greater glory than is due unto his name; the apostle sets out with ascribing to him excellence and attributes which belong to no
creature. Creatures of most elvated rank are introduced; but it is to display, by contrast, the pre-eminence of Him who is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person." Angels are great in might and in dignity; but unto them hath he not put in subjection the world to come. Unto which of them said he, at any time, Thou art my son? To which of them, Sit thou at my right hand?" He saith they are spirits, ministering spirits, sent forth to minister unto them who are the Heirs of salvation, But unto the SON, in a style which annihilates competition and comparison, unto the SON he saith, thy throne, O God, is forever and
Brethren, if the majesty of Jesus is the subject which the Holy Ghost selected for the encouragement and consolation of his people, when he was shaking the earth and the heavens, and diffusing his gospel among the nations; can it be otherwise than suitable and precious to us on this occasion? Shall it not expand our views, and warm our hearts, and nerve our arm, in our efforts to exalt his fame? Let me implore then, the aid of your prayers; but far more importunately the aids of his own Spirit, while I speak of the things which concern the king:' those great things contained in the text-his personal gloryhis sovereign rule.
I. His personal glory shines forth in the name by which he is revealed; a name above every name, THY throne...O GOD!
To the single eye nothing can be more evident, in the
First place, than that the Holy Ghost here asserts the eessential deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of his enemies, whom he will make his footstool,' some have, indeed, controverted this position, and endea voured to blot out the text from the catalogue of his witnesses. Instead of thy throne, O God; they
would compel us, by a perversion of phraseology, of figure, and of sense, to read, "God is thy throne;" converting the great and dreadful God into a symbol of authority in one of his own creatures. The scriptures, it seems, may utter contradictions or impiety, but the divinity of the Son they shall not attest. The crown however, which flourishes on his head,' is not to be torn away; nor the anchor of our hope to be wrested from us, by the rude hand of licentious: criticism.
2. I cannot find, in the lively oracles, a single distinc tive mark of deity which is not applied, without reserve limitation, to the only begotten Son. All things that the Father hath are bis.bo is that mysterious WORD that was in the bginning, with God? Whe is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and. the ending, the first and the last, the Almighty ??: Who is he that knows what is in man," because he searches the deep and dark recesses of the heart? Who is or the Omnipresent, that has promised, Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am in the midst of them? the light of whose countenance is, at the same moment, the joy of heaven. and the salvation of earth who is incircled by
the Seraphim on high, and walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks: who is in this assembly; in all the assemblies of his people: in every work shipping family in every closet of prayer: in every holy heart. Whose hands have stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth?? Whe hath replenished them with inhabitants, and gar. nished them with beauty; having created all things that are in both, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or pow ers?? By Wham do all things consist? Who is the governor among the nations, having on his vesture and on his thigh a name written King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Whom is it the Father's will that
'all men should honor, even as they honor himself?! Whom has he commanded his angels to worship? whom to obey? Before whom do the devils tremble? Who is qualified to redeem millions of sinners from the wrath to come,' and preserve them, by his grace, to his everlasting kingdom? Who raiseth the dead, in trespasses and sins, having life in himself, to quicken whom he will,' at whose voice shall all that are in their graves come forth; and death and hell' surrender their numerous and forgotten captives? Who shall weigh, in the balance of Judgment, the destinies of angels and men? dispose of the thrones of paradise? and bestow eternal life? Shall I submit to the decision of reason? Shall I ask a response from heaven? Shall I summon the devils from their chains of darkness? The response from heaven sounds in my ears; reason approves, and the devils confess---This, O Christians, is none other than the GREAT GOD our SAVIOUR!
Indeed my brethren, the doctrine of our Lord's divinity is not, as a fact, more interesting to our faith, than, as a principle, it is essential to our hope. If he were not the true God,' he could not be eternal life. When pressed down by guilt and languishing for happiness, I look around for a deliverer such as my conscience and my heart and the word of God assure me I need, insult not my agony by directing me to a creature---to a man, a mere man like myself! A creature! a man! My Redeemer owns my. person. My immortal spirit is his property. When I come to die, I must commit it into his hands. My soul! My infinitely precious soul committed to a mere man! become the property of a mere man! I would not thus, entrust my body to the highest angel in heaven. It is only the Father of spirits,' that can have property in spirits, and be their refuge in the hour of transition from the present to the approaching world. In short the divinity of Jesus, is in the