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The Divinity of Christ.

A DISCOURSE

BY THE

REV. THOMAS SMYTH, D. D.

THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST.

John xi:35.—JESUS WEPT. In all our meditations on the character and works of Jesus of Nazareth, we are to keep steadily in view his proper and essential divinity. Shorn of that divinity, Jesus is for us no Saviour. Without that divinity, we, professing christians, must all perish in our sins.

What is Jesus without Deity? a man 'tis true, according to the description given us in holy writ, of excessive sensibility, virtue, amiability—all that is kind, all that is to be commended; but, being not God incapable of answering for the sins of a world. To give effect to the christian dispensation, there must be the divinity of Jesus clearly proved, in order to stamp value on his ministry, in all that we profess to believe of his atonement; because there is in every human soul, however much man may endeavour to hide it from himself, a desire to be free from all iniquity, to transfer all guilt to some other being. Thus was it with the heathen, they laid their hands on the beasts prepared for immolation, believing in the imputation of guilt. Thus is it now-a-days with the Romanist; he imputes his sin to the priest, or to the sacrifices that are offered by the hands of that priest. While life lasts, while there is health, strength, prosperity, there may be an unconsciousness of guilt; but when all are past away, and when man is left to reason with his conscience alone, then must he look to some object, being or individual, to whom he may transfer his iniquities, and become saved.

When we consider our race, we are compelled to confess that man is a monster of sin. In every rank, every class, every nation, every State, man is a monster of iniquity. His crimes are fearful, they press his soul down to the very nethermost hell; and therefore, do we desire and long for the proof of Jesus' divinity. It may sound harsh and unjustifiable to say that man is, in every class and state and nation, a monster of iniquity. What is your work in watching over the education of man in his infancy? Is it not to counteract and crush the instinctive and precocious love of sin that develops itself in infancy? You find the children committed to your care as parents, or teachers ready for theft and falsehood; and your labor is, to train them up in self-restraint, and ensure them the mastery over their own evil passions.

When the days of childhood are departed, what is youth? The same in moral disposition. Whenever the restraint and control of parent or guardian are removed, you find, that youth, liberated from every impediment to indulgence, rushes forth to the free gratification of sensual passion, to revel in the enjoyment of long desired but forbidden pleasures, withering and blasting many a fond hope once formed of better things, of happier results, from early moral discipline. And why? because the disposition of man's nature is to evil, and to "evil continually.” Of the few who retain some sense of virtue for a while, after emancipation from the discipline of schools, who go to mingle with the world, how rarely do any prosper to the end in goodness! The great proportion of that few mixing with the world with an evil, a corrupt, a selfish, a covetous world, a world exercised to cunning, crafty, and accursed practises, learn all its wisdom, grow formed into its ways and habits, are bound up with it; and after having embraced its maxims as their creed, spend their days commercially, or professionally, or politically, in the accumulation of wealth, the increase of popularity, and the advancement of self, the Idol, Mammon, or rather that Idol self is worshipped; and then, when the Gospel is preached to such subjects of cool, deliberate worldliness, they contemn it. Imagine to yourselves, one of accomplished manners, as well as most amiable life,-bring such a one, for the first time into contact with the Gospel of Christ,-open to him the riches of God's love-he starts from you with shuddering abhorrence, as if a serpent had risen in his path, or as if Satan had stood before him: and why? Because the soul hates all the tender mercies of God, because it is fearfully corrupt; and where this abhorrence does not show itself, you observe a cool indifference, a scorn of all the statements, all the arguments, and all the entreaties of Holy Writ; so that man in his every condition—find him as you may, and visit him as you please, is a monster of iniquity.

Because of this truth, how desirable is it that the divinity of Christ may be clearly proved; that we may know him to be in all things adequate to bear the weight of our iniquities! Hence, then, we shall proceed to the examination of Christ's divinity, not in the form of controversy, but for the purpose of comfort and instruction. We shall turn merely to the passage before us, and from the whole occurrence there reported, deduce cer

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