Mr. Barnard's DISCOURSE PREACHED At the Public Lecture in Boston, 16 July 1761.


THE True Divinity of JESUS CHRIST; Evidenced in a DISCOURSE AT The Public Lecture in Boston, The Day after the Commencement, July 16, 1761. And Published at the Desire of the Hearers.

By JOHN BARNARD, A.M. Pastor of a Church in MARBLEHEAD.

I, even, I, am JEHOVAH, and beside me there is no SAVIOUR.

Isa. 43. 11.

The Man that is my Fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts.

Zec. 13. 7.

BOSTON: N. E. Printed and Sold by EDES and GILL. MDCCLXI.


The true Divinity of JESUS CHRIST.

I. JOHN V. 20.‘This is the true GOD.’

THE Belief of the Being of an intelligent Agent, eternally self- [...], and inde­pendent, the first Cause of all Things, the supream Governour of all Worlds, to whom all national Agents must be accountable, is the only sure and solid Foundation of all Religion: for he, that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and that he is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him. The just Conceptions in our own Minds of the true GOD include in them every possi­ble Excellency, and that in the highest Degree of Perfection; and may well strike us with the pro­foundest Aw and Reverence, inspire us with the most fervent Love and Complacency, and excite us to the highest Obedience and deepest Submission.

BUT of what high and mighty, of what illustri­ous and august Person does the inspired Writer here most strongly affirm? This is the true GOD. This seems to be the only Thing necessary to be enquired into, that we may come into a clear and full Under­standing of the Words now read. And it appears, to me, a Matter of no great Difficulty, to attain to a sa­tisfactory Answer to the Enquiry, if we do but im­prove our common unbiased Reason, in a close Atten­tion [Page 6] to the Apostle's own Language, in the Verse which contains the Words of our Text. Says he, We know that the Son 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, even in his Son Jesus Christ; this is the true God, and eternal Life. We know that the Son of God is come. There is no Difficulty in understanding, the Son of God is come, to mean our LORD JESUS CHRIST, who is the SON OF GOD, and hath appeared in this our World; for the Words cannot be understood of any other. And hath given us an Understanding, (a thinking, reason­ing Mind,) that we may know him that is true, (or the true one). The Connection plainly shews that he speaks of the SON of GOD giving us an Understanding, (an enlightened Mind,) that we may know him that is true, or the true one. And adds the Apostle, we are in him that is true; that is, by Faith engrafting us into JESUS CHRIST. For that he intends JESUS CHRIST by the SON of GOD, and the true one, he plainly telleth us in the next Words, even in his Son Jesus Christ. The Apostle does not here speak of another Subject, but evidently explains whom he meant by him that is true; and therefore our Translators justly say, even in his Son Jesus Christ. The whole Discourse evi­dently speaks of one and the same Subject, namely, the SON of GOD, or JESUS CHRIST, the true one. And then the Apostle positively affirms, This is the true God. That is, This SON of GOD, This him that is true, This JESUS CHRIST, is the true God.

So [...], indeed, supply the Word, the true, with the Word God, and so render it, we are in him the [Page 7] true God; with Design, it is to be feared, to evade the Force of the Apostle's Reasoning, and what he chiefly aims at. But admit their Supplement, without their wrong Comment upon what follows, and it really confirms what the Apostle asserts, we are in the true God in his Son Jesus Christ. Only the Supple­ment seems to be too great an Inaccuracy for an in­spired Writer; we are in the true God, this is the true God. By this Supplement, which they supposed to mean one essentially distinct from JESUS CHRIST, they intended to exclude JESUS CHRIST from being the true GOD, whereas the Apostle expressly affirms of Him, THIS IS THE TRUE GOD. The proper Sig­nification of the Pronoun here used, in the Original, necessarily infers, that the Words the true God, re­fer to JESUS CHRIST. And eternal Life, adds the divine: by which Mode of Speech the Apostle seve­ral Times in this Epistle, and in this very Chapter, characterises JESUS CHRIST, and hereby gives fur­ther Confirmation to the Truth he intended, that JESUS CHRIST is the TRUE GOD.

THE Form of Speech, thro'out the whole Verse, is so clear, and plain, and agreeable to common Lan­guage, that an ordinary Understanding, for whose Use the Words were wrote, cannot easily mistake it; however a vain Mind may pervert it. And now, having such an inspired Writer going before us, in asserting it, and who designedly wrote in Defence of the Divinity of CHRIST, we may, without Hesitan­cy, lay it down for a doctrinal Truth,

[Page 8]THAT JESUS CHRIST is the TRUE GOD. That JESUS CHRIST, the SON of GOD, him that is true, is truely, really, essentially, GOD. He is not merely nominally, titularly, by Deputation, or Office, but truely, by Nature, and Essence, GOD.

IN discoursing upon this Subject, I shall not look upon myself as any Ways concerned to treat it in a philosophical Manner; forasmuch as all that can be affirmed, or denyed, about it, must be fetched intirely from divine Revelation, the Pillar and Ground of Truth: and therefore, that I may not pretend to be wise above what is written, I shall confine myself to that sacred Volumn, sufficiently confirmed unto us, which all Christians acknowledge to contain a Reve­lation from GOD; and endeavour, in what I have to offer, to take Head unto that more sure Word of Pro­phecy, as unto a Light that shineth in a dark Place.

O THOU SON OF GOD! who art the true Light, irradiate our Minds, and give to us an Understand­ing, that we may know Thee the only true One, as thou hast revealed Thyself to us in thy holy Word; that knowing of Thee, we may be in Thee; and, being in Thee, may have eternal Life.

THAT I may discourse intelligibly, I shall as plainly, and briefly, as I can,

I. SHEW what we understand by JESUS CHRIST his being the TRUE GOD. And then,

[Page 9]II. LAY before you such Evidences, from the sa­cred Writings, as are fully convictive, to me, of His being the TRUE GOD.

I. I SHALL as briefly, as the Subject will admit, shew you what we understand, by JESUS CHRIST his being the TRUE GOD. In the stating of this Truth, I observe,

THAT it cannot in Reason be supposed, that we mean, (for we do not,) that the Humane Nature, in the Man JESUS; or, that any mere Creature, of the highest possible Order of created Beings, and when­soever formed, appearing in our Nature, is the TRUE GOD. For GOD Himself, in his holy Word hath plainly said, Hos. XI. 9. I am God, and not MAN. Accordingly we have ever understood, and openly de­clared, as the holy Writings abundantly hold forth, that there is an essential Difference and infinite Dis­tance between the TRUE GOD, and the most excel­lent and exalted, mere Creature whatever. And therefore our Adversaries treat us very injuriously, when they run away with the Cry of the Self-con­tradictions of our Doctrine; as tho' we set up a mere Creature to be eternal, self-existing and independent; and vilify the Doctrine of JESUS CHRIST his being the TRUE GOD, as so gross an Absurdity, as to be fit only to be turned into Ridicule; hereby plainly evidencing, that they know not what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

NOR do we, by asserting, that JESUS CHRIST is the TRUE GOD, in the least imagine, that there is [Page 10] more than One truly Divine Nature, or Essence. For we firmly believe, and constantly teach, that there is but One, only living, and true GOD, as the sacred Scriptures have abundantly assured us. For so we read, Deut. VI. 4. Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, is one Lord. And David, in his Prayer, says, 2 Sam. VII. 22. Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God, for there is none like thee, neither is there any God be­sides thee. And we have the Divine Being assuming it unto Himself, Isa. XLV. 5. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God besides me. After which, suffer me to add, the Apostle assures us, 1 Cor. VIII. 4. There is no God but one. This Revelation we heartily embrace, and are at the utmost Distance from advancing any doctrine of Polytheism.

BUT then, by JESUS CHRIST his being the TRUE GOD, we understand, the Divine Nature, or Essence, in the eternal Three-one GOD communicating of it­self to the Humane Nature in the Man Jesus; or, if you will, taking the Humane Nature, in the Man Jesus, into an Union with itself, in such a special and appropriate Manner, as to constitute thereby one Per­son: by Virtue of which Union JESUS CHRIST be­comes TRULY GOD, as well as really MAN. All of this appears plain, to me, from the sacred Writings.

For it is very evident, that the sacred Language is expressive of a Plurality in the Divine Essence, tho' there be but One GOD. Therefore the Name, or Style, of GOD, the Creator of all Things, thro'out the first Chapter of Genesis, runneth in the Plural Number, and that not for want of a Singular, as a [Page 11] late Writer has well observed. It is also very plainly expressed, Gen. I. 26. God said, let us make Man in OUR Image. And, Gen. III. 22. The LORD GOD said, behold, the Man is become as one of us. And in the forementioned, Deut. VI. 4. the Hebrew runs, The LORD, our GOD, the LORD, is ONE: which fully asserts the Unity of the Deity, and a Trinity in that Unity; which Trinity wears the Character of the Fa­ther, the Word or Son, and the Holy Ghost or Spirit, thro'out the Divine Revelation.

THAT the Divine Nature, or Essence, and most probably in, or under, the second Character, or Deno­mination, in the sacred Trinity, the Son, or our God, hath communicated itself to the Humane Nature, or taken this Nature, in the Man JESUS, into an in­timate Union with itself, is evident, not only from the ancient Prediction thereof, but from the actual Accom­plishment of this Prediction, in the Fulness of Time. Therefore we are told, 1 Tim. III. 16. Without Con­troversy, great is the Mystery of Godliness, GOD was manifest on FLESH: and, Heb. II. 16. For verily, He took not on Him the Nature of Angels, but He took on Him the Seed of Abraham. Which necessarily implies and asserts the Union of the Divine Essence to the Humanity; and this with a special Regard to the Humane Nature in the Man JESUS.

AND further, that this Union of the Deit, to the Humane Nature, in our LORD JESUS CHRIST, is so special and appropriate, as not to be affirmed of any other; and so close and intimate as to constitute one Person, appears, in that what is proper and pe­culiar [Page 12] to each Nature, either the Divine, or Humane, in the incarnate SON of GOD, is in Scripture applied to the Person of JESUS CHRIST, without dividing, or confounding the two Natures. Thus, when our blessed Lord was upon Earth, He said of Himself, Joh. III. 13. No Man hath ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of Man which is in Heaven. And hence the Sufferings, Cru­cifixion and Death, which were proper only to the Humane Nature, are ascribed to the Deity in JESUS CHRIST, and the Blood which He shed, is called the Blood of God, Act. XX.28.

IN this Sense it is, we affirm that JESUS CHRIST is the TRUE GOD, forasmuch as the Divine Essence, in the Character of the SON, hath taken the Humane Nature, in the Man JESUS, into such an intimate and inseparable Union unto Himself, as to render the Di­vine and Humane Nature in Him one Person; and thus He is truely and properly GOD, and truely and properly MAN.

I proceed now,

II. To lay before you such Evidences from the sacred Writings, as are fully convictive to me, that JESUS CHRIST is the TRUE GOD. And I shall com­prise the Proofs I have to offer under these four Heads.

1. THE Titles that are given to Him.

2. THE Attributes of the TRUE GOD, which are ascribed to Him.

3. THE Works of GOD, which were wrought by Him.

[Page 13]4. THE peculiar Honours of GOD, which are due to Him.

IF these Things are to be found belonging to JESUS CHRIST, whatever may be our Conception of the Way and Manner, by which this is brought about, and tho' we should happen to be mistaken in our At­tempts to give an Explication of this Mystery of God­liness, it will evidently appear that He is really, in the full and proper Sense of the Words, the TRUE GOD. I shall offer something to each of these Heads in their Order.

1. THE Titles that are given to JESUS CHRIST carry in them a Proof of His being the TRUE GOD. As that Title the SON of GOD. By this He is often denominated in the Holy Scriptures; so, Mark I. 1. The Gospel of JESUS CHRIST the SON of GOD. We find Peter making that noble Confession of Him, Joh. VI. 69. We believe and are sure, that thou art that CHRIST the SON of the living GOD. And our blessed Lord, who is the Truth, affirmed this of Him­self; when the high Priest asked Him, art thou the CHRIST, the SON of the BLESSED? JESUS said, I am, Mar. XIV. 62. And so often is He styled the SON of GOD in the New Testament, that there is no Room to call in Question His wearing this Title. But then it is to be observed, the sacred Writings point out JESUS CHRIST, as the SON of God, in an higher and more exalted Sense, than is to be affirmed of any Creature; either by Similitude or Office, by Adoption or Regeneration; and therefore style Him the Begotten SON of GOD. As the Apostle speaking [Page 14] of JESUS CHRIST, whom GOD raised from the Dead, applies to Him what is said in the second Psalm, Act. XIII. 33. Thou art my SON, this Day have I begotten Thee. And He is often styled, the Only-begotten SON of GOD; plainly denoting that there is none among all the Creatures in Earth, or Heaven, who is the SON of GOD, in that highly exalted and peculiar Sense, in which the Lord JESUS CHRIST is. So we read, Joh. III. 16. GOD so loved the World, that He gave his Only-begotten SON. And I cannot but think, that the Words mean no less than to hand to our Minds, that JESUS CHRIST is as truely and properly the SON of GOD, as Isaac was the Son of Abraham, whom Abraham is said to beget: nor can it reasonably be supposed, that the divine Being has given such an high Character of his SON, and so distinguished Him from all created Beings, with Design to impose upon our Understandings; and therefore this Title, thus given to JESUS CHRIST, carries in it a strong Evidence, that he truely partakes of the Divine Nature, as every proper Son partakes of the same Nature with his Father; and so He is the TRUE GOD.

THUS also JESUS CHRIST has the Title of GOD, in express Terms put upon Him. So He is called EMANUEL, GOD with us; Math. I. 23. Or, GOD in our Nature. Hence we have that sublime Passage of the Evangelist, Joh. I. 1. In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with GOD, and the Word was GOD. That WORD which we are told at the 14th ver. was made FLESH, (which evidently means JESUS CHRIST,) that WORD was with GOD, in the Beginning, before all Worlds; and the WORD [Page 15] was GOD, one with GOD, participating of the same Nature and Essence with GOD. The Subject here spoken of is the WORD, as is evident from the Ar­ticle preceding, as is the Manner of the Greek Lan­guage; and what is affirmed of this WORD is, that it was GOD, in the full Purport and natural Meaning of the Phrase. Nor is there the least Hint in all the Chap­ter; that by the Word GOD in the latter Clause is to be understood GOD, by Deputation or Office, titu­larly and by Way of Eminency, or in any figura­tive Sense Whatsoever. But as by the Word GOD, in the former Clause, was with GOD, is meant the true proper Deity, or Divine Essence; so in this latter Clause, the Word was GOD, (and so thro'out the whole Chapter,) the Word GOD signifies the One, only living and true GOD; and cannot, without a great Abuse of Language, be understood to mean any other. It must therefore be to serve some idle Scheme of vain Philosophy, for any to torture the Word, and themselves too, to mean some Being, and that a mere Creature, essentially distinct from, and infinitely below the TRUE GOD. According to their Method of cri­ticising, they must suppose, or necessarily imply in what they say, that the infinitely wise and good GOD does not speak intelligibly to the common Capacities of Mankind, but designedly expresses Himself in such Terms as they could not know the Meaning of; which would be to tax the Holy GOD with fraudu­lent Dealing, and turn the sacred Writings into unin­telligible Language. Again, we read, Tit. III. 4. After that the Kindness and Love of GOD OUR SAVIOUR towards Man appeared. OUR SAVIOUR is the appro­priate Character of JESUS CHRIST, plainly pointing [Page 16] to, and describing Him thro'out the whole Gospel; and He is here styled GOD in express Terms; as also in several other Places in this Epistle, as well as else­where. GOD OUR SAVIOUR, or, as the Greek may be justly rendered, the SAVIOUR OUR GOD. Here, again, we must observe, that the Article used be­fore SAVIOUR, determines the Subjects spoken of to be the SAVIOUR, and what is affirmed concerning Him is, that He is OUR GOD. And what is there in the Text orContext to lead us into the Conception, that the Word GOD here used does not mean the same Divine Essence, that is means in all the other Parts of the Epistle; but denominates some one pecu­liarly dignified Creature, which yet is at an infinite Distance from the TRUE GOD? I will only name the forecited Text, 1 Tim. III. 16. GOD manifest in FLESH. Can Words be plainer? What is there in them, or what they stand related to, to make us think they are not spoken of the Divine Essence, but of a mere Creature? Verily, without a violent forcing of them, they are plainly expressive of the TRUE GOD, in the full and proper Meaning of the Words, and assert that this GOD was manifest in FLESH, or united to the Humane Nature in the MAN JESUS; and so our LORD JESUS CHRIST is the TRUE GOD.

THERE are other Titles which are given to JESUS CHRIST, too many to be now taken Notice of; but I shall only mention this in the last Place at present, viz. He is called JEHOVAH. This venerable Name is peculiarly significative of the Divine Essence, and denotes the ever living One, and is appropriated to the TRUE GOD alone, being incommunicable unto any [Page 17] mere Creature. Hence we have the Psalmist saying. Psal. LXXXIII. 18. Thou whose Name alone is JE­HOVAH; and GOD Himself saying, Isa. XLII. 8. I am JEHOVAH; that is my Name; and my Glory will I not give to another. And yet we find in the sacred Writ this appropriated Name of the only TRUE GOD given to JESUS CHRIST, the MESSIAH, the SON of GOD. Eve, at the Birth of her first born Son, with a Sort of Ecstacy, cried out, Gen. IV. 1. I have gotten a Man, the JEHOVAH: supposing the first Promise of the Seed of the Woman had been then fulfilled. The Prophet Isaiah, speaking of John's coming in the Spirit and Power of Elias, as the Fore­runner of our Lord JESUS CHRIST, said, Isa. XI. 3. The Voice of him that crieth in the Wilderness, prepare ye the Way of JEHOVAH. Jeremiah, speaking of the righteous Branch that should be raised up unto David, to reign and save his People, said Jer. XXIII. 6. This is His Name, whereby He shall be called, JEHOVAH, our Righteousness. When Israel tempted GOD in the Wilderness, and JEHOVAH sent fiery Serpents among them, an inspired Expositor directly applies it to CHRIST, saying, 1 Cor. X. 9. They tempted CHRIST. When Isaiah had a Vision of JEHOVAH sitting upon His Throne, the inspired Apostle assureth us, Joh. 12. 41. These Things said Isaias, when he saw His Glory, (the Glory of CHRIST,) and spake of Him.

AND I doubt not but the Style JEHOVAH, in the Old Testament, is almost constantly to be understood of the MESSIAH, the CHRIST, who was the Angel of the Covenant, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the JEHOVAH that appeared to Moses in the [Page 18] burning Bush, who dwelled between the Cherubims, and was peculiarly the God of Israel; as KURIOS, into which the Septuagint constantly translates JEHO­VAH, is peculiar to JESUS CHRIST in the New Testa­ment. But I may not enlarge here, not need I, since you have had so elaborate and judicious a Discourse, upon the venerable Name JEHOVAH, lately put into your Hands. I therefore go on to say,

2. THE Ascription of the Divine Attributes to CHRIST is a full Proof of His being the TRUE GOD. I do not now mean to go over all the Divine Attri­butes, some of which may be common to Creatures, but only to take Notice of such of them as are pe­culiarly descriptive of the TRUE GOD, whereby He is known and distinguished from all other Beings, as a Man is known by his Name; and shew, that these incommunicable Perfections of the Deity belong to JESUS CHRIST, which necessarily infers that He is the TRUE GOD. I shall have Time only to select some of these Attributes, and give you but brief Touches upon them. Thus,

Omniscience is peculiar to the Divine Being, and not to be attributed to any mere Creature. Know­ledge is communicable to a rational Agent, but all Knowledge is one of the distinguishing Characters of the TRUE GOD, who is perfect in Knowledge; whose Immensity filleth Heaven and Earth, who is every where intimately present with all Things, and, as an intel­ligent Being, therefore knoweth all Things past, pre­sent and to come. What a beautiful Description of the Divine Omniscience and Omnipresence does the Psalmist give us, Ps. CXXXIX. init. O Lord, says [Page 19] he, thou searchest me, and knowest me; thou knowest my down-sitting, and my up-rising; thou understandest my Thoughts afar off; thou art acquainted with all my Ways; there is not a Word under my Tongue, but thou knowest it altogether. Tis a special Instance and peculiar Prerogative of the Divine Omniscience, which no Creature can intermeddle with, to have a perfect Knowledge of the Hearts of Men. Therefore Solo­mon, in his Prayer, said, II Chron. VI. 30. Thou only knowest the Hearts of the Children of Men. And GOD assumes it unto Himself, as His special Preroga­tive, Jer. XVII. 10. I the Lord search the Heart, I try the Reins. And yet this adorable Perfection of the Deity is ascribed to our Lord JESUS CHRIST. Hence when He said to Peter, Simon, Son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter replied, Joh. XXI. 17. Lord, thou knowest all Things, thou knowest that I love Thee. And the Apostle John said of Him, Joh. II. 25. He knew what was in Man. Our blessed Lord, after His Ascention, asserts concerning Himself, Rev. II. 23. I am He, which searcheth the Reins and Heart: which Words are evidently fetched from Jeremiah XVII. 10. So that the Omniscience ascribed to JEHO­VAH, the TRUE GOD, in Jeremiah, is ascribed to JESUS CHRIST in the Apocalypse. And indeed, the ex­act Agreement, in numberless Instances, of what He foretold, even of the minutest Circumstances of Things, attended with a vast Variety of fortuitous Incidents, plainly speaks His Divine Omniscience.

AGAIN, Omnipotence is another of the divine At­tributes, which belongeth to the TRUE GOD alone, [Page 20] and not to any mere Creature whatever. Whatever Degrees of Power and Strength any Creature may be furnished withal, Omnipotence is compatible only unto that Supream Being, who is unlimited in all Perfections. Therefore we find Joh saying unto the Lord, Joh XLII. 2. I know that thou canst do everyThing. And Abraham said, Gen. XVIII. 14. Is any Thing too hard for the Lord? And GOD wears the Name of the Almighty, in the holy Writings, to distinguish Him from the feeble, limited, false Gods of the Heathen World. Now this glorious Perfection of the true GOD is attributed to our Lord JESUS CHRIST. Thus we are told, Gen. XVII. 1. The Lord appeared unto Abraham, and said unto him, I am the almighty God. So He appeared unto Jacob, and said unto him, Gen. XXXV, 11. I am GOD almighty. And again, Jacob said, Gen. XLVIII. 4. GOD almighty appeared unto me at Luz. Now, tho' GOD the SON often appeared unto the Partriarchs, and in the Shechinab, yet GOD the FATHER is never sup­posed to have made any Appearance, in any Likeness, Shape or Similitude whatever. Hence Moses said, Deut. IV. 12. The Lord spoke unto you out of the Midst of the Fire; ye heard the Voice of the Words, but saw no Similitude: and therefore adds he, ver. 15, 16. Take ye therefore good Heed unto yourselves,—lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven Image, the Similitude of any Figure, the Likeness of Male or Female. It was evidently therefore GOD the SON, the WORD, or CHRIST, who of old appeared unto his Servants, and under the Name and Style of GOD ALMIGHTY. But lest this should not be thought con­clusive enough, we are assured that the four and twen­ty Elders worship Him, saying, Rev. XI. 17. We give [Page 21] Thee Thanks, O Lord GOD ALMIGHTY,—because thou hast taken to thee thy great Power, and hast reign­ed. All of which is most certainly spoken of JESUS CHRIST, to whom the Kingdom, Dominion and Pow­er belongeth, and the Right to pour out the Woe upon the antichristian Adversary, and give Rewards unto His faithful Servants. But to put it beyond all Doubt, it is the enthroned JESUS CHRIST Himself, who said, Rev. 1. 8. I am—the Almighty. In which Place, as in several others, the Word PANTOCRATOR is used.

BUT, that I may remove, at least confront and si­lence, the most plausible Objections some have been wont to make against the true Deity of CHRIST, fetched from the Ideas of eternal, self-existing and independent, which they allow to be Characteristicks of the TRUE GOD, and say they belong unto the Father only, I shall go on to observe, that

THE Attribute of ETERNAL, in the full Sense of it, is given to our Lord JESUS CHRIST; if not in express Words, yet by necessary Deduction. So John the Divine, who wrote his Gospel, as we are told, de­signedly to confirm the true Divinity of CHRIST says, Joh. I. 1. In the Beginning was the Word. By the Word, he evidently means JESUS CHRIST, who was in the World, and dwelt among us, tabernacling in Flesh: and what he asserts of this Word is, that He was in the Beginning. The Word was, existed, and had a Being, in the Beginning, when Time, and all created Beings first began to be; and therefore He existed before all Creatures, of every Order and De­nomination; He is before all Things, as the Apostle expresses it. Col. I. 17. And let who can conceive this [Page 22] to mean any otherwise than from all ETERNITY. It is also said of Him, Heb. XIII. 8. JESUS CHRIST to Day, Yesterday and forever the same. Which speaks not only the Immutability of His Office and Doctrine, but the Immutability and Eternity of His Person. To which Purpose also, the Apostle, quoting a Passage out of the Hundredth and second Psalm, where the Psal­mist designedly setteth the ETERNITY of the TRUE GOD in Opposition to the Finiteness of all Creatures, directly applies it to CHRIST, saying of Him, Heb. I. 10. Thou Lord, in the Beginning, hast laid the Foundation of the Earth, and the Heavens are the Works of thine Hands; which denotes His Preexistence to all Worlds, or His Existence from ETERNITY. He goes on, they shall perish, but Thou remainest;—Thou art the same, and Thy Years shall not fail. Which plainly speaketh His ETERNAL Duration. So that this is a clear Testimony, brought by an inspired Writer, to the true and proper ETERNITY of JESUS CHRIST. I make no Doubt but the inspired Paul spake of CHRIST, when he said, 1 Tim. VI. 16. Who only hath Immortality: and it is plainly said of Him, Mic. V. 2. Whose goings forth have been from of old, from ETERNITY. But, what to me putteth it beyond all Question is, the Evangelist John introducing the Lord JESUS CHRIST Himself saying, Rev. I. 8. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending; saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, is evidently taken from the Character of the TRUE GOD, in Isa. XLIV. 6. Thus saith JE­HOVAH, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of Hosts, I am the first, and I am the last, and [Page 23] besides me there is no GOD. These Words of Isaiah are evidently spoken of CHRIST, who is the King of Israel, his Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts; and there­fore very properly used by CHRIST. The Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, is clearly descriptive of the proper ETERNITY of the everliving GOD, who ever did, now does, and forever will, exist; and most probably are spoken of the eternal Father, ver. 4. but here are spoken by JESUS CHRIST, and of himself. So that in this we have a full and clear Ac­count, if words can give it, of the proper ETERNITY OF JESUS CHRIST, in the natural Sense of the Words.

AND let us see, if we cannot find Him to be a self-existent and independent Being. Now beside, that Being properly eternal, as I think we have proved JESUS CHRIST to be, necessarily infers him to be self­existent and independent, because there can be no Being prior to Him, from which He should derive, and on which He can be dependent; I say, beside this, we find the sacred Scriptures give us to understand, that the same Marks and Characters of self-existent and independent, (for the Words are not to be found in holy Writ,) which belong unto the only TRUE GOD, are ascribed also unto JESUS CHRIST. Thus when Moses enquired of GOD, what he should say to them that asked him, What is the Name of Him that sent you, we are informed, Exod. III. 14. God said unto Moses, I am that I am: and He said, thus shalt thou say unto the Children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. It may be this is the most direct and ex­press Assertion of the Self-existence and Independency of the Divine Being, of any Passage in the Holy [Page 24] Scriptures; tho' there are many others that necessa­rily infer the same. For all, that have any Under­standing in the Hebrew Language, do know that this Phrase, I AM, carries in it absolute Being and Existence. And we find that this very Phrase, (tho' in the Greek Language,) is directly applied to, and assumed by our Lord JESUS CHRIST Himself, who never spake other­wise than the Words of Truth. For, said He unto the Jews, who, upon a certain Occasion, tell Him, He was not yet Fifty Years old, Joh. VIII. 58. Before Abraham was, I AM: not I was, which would have been a full Reply to the Objection they had made, but I AM; thereby challenging unto Himself, and that with a double Asseveration, verily, verily, the appropriate Character of the ETERNAL GOD, to shew that the Self-existing and independent Nature of the TRUE GOD was in Him.

AND now, since the Divine Attributes, and those especially which are incommunicable to any more Creature, even of the highest Order, are to be found in the sacred Scriptures, ascribed to our Lord JESUS CHRIST, we may with great Justice to our Reason, look upon this as a clear and full Proof, that all the Perfections of the God-Head are to be found in Him, and that in the highest Sense of them; and therefore have all imaginable Reason to conclude, that This is the TRUE GOD, as the Apostle affirms Him in my Text to be. I pass to say,

3. THE sacred Scriptures assure us, that the great and distinguishing Works of God were wrought by our Lord JESUS CHRIST; which abundantly proves Him [Page 25] to be the TRUE GOD. Here I do not take into Consi­deration those miraculous Operations which were per­formed by the Concurrence of the Divine Presence and Power, with the Agency of Men or Angels; but I speak only of those Works of God which are so peculiarly and distinguishingly His own Operations, and which no Creature is, or could be, the Author of. As particularly, the Creation, Sustentation and Govern­ment of the World; which are wonderful Displays of almighty Power and boundless Wisdom and Good­ness. Respecting the two last of these Instances, I shall only now observe, That it is entirely out of the Reach of any mere Creature to Support the World, because it requires an almighty Power, which no mere Creature is furnished with. And tho' some Creatures may be employed as Instruments in some Parts of the Government of the World, yet it is absolutely neces­sary, that the supream Governour of the Universe, the first Cause of all Things, should be every where present, at one and the same Time, to inspect the va­rious Wants, Situation and Circumstances of Things, and to direct, assist and govern those Instruments He may make Use of; which no Creature can be capa­ble of.

As to the former of these Instances, the creating of the World, This is apparently more peculiar to the TRUE GOD; of which the sacred Writings give us a full and clear Account. As in the Mosaic History of the Creation, in the first Chapter of Genesis. And so sang the Levites, Neb. IX. 6. Thou, even Thou art Lord alone; Thou hast made Heaven, the Heaven of Heavens, with all their Host; the Earth, and all [Page 26] Things that are therein; the Seas, and all that is therein. And how often does GOD assume it to Himself, as His sole Prerogative, to be the Creator of all Things? As in Isa. XLV. 12. I have made the Earth, and created Man upon it; even my Hands have stretched out the Heavens, and their Hosts have I commanded.

Now all of these great & stupendous Works of GOD, which declare Him to be GOD alone, are, in the sa­cred Scriptures, affirmed to be wrought by our Lord JESUS CHRIST. Colos. I. 17. By Him all Things consist; are upheld, preserved, and continued in Being. Eph. I. 22. All Things are said to be put under his Feet; in Subjection to his Rule and Government; for the Government shall be upon His Shoulders, Isa. IX. 6.

BUT what I more specially take Notice of is, that the Holy Writings assure us, that JESUS CHRIST is the Maker of the World, and all the Creatures in it. Therefore the Apostle John says, Joh. I. 3. All Things were made by Him; and without Him was not any Thing made that was made: and again, ver. 10. He was in the World, and the World was made by Him. He first affirms that all Things, without any Excep­tion, all Worlds, and the several Creatures in them, were made by Him: and then he as strongly denies, that there was so much as any one Thing received a Being, but what received it from Him; without Him was not any Thing made that was made. From which it is very evident, that He was not made Himself, for then it could not have been said, all Things were made by Him; there would have been Something made, [Page 27] which He did not make. One would think, that it is hardly possible to find out any Language, which would more strongly deny that JESUS CHRIST is a Creature; and if He be not a Creature, then He is the TRUE GOD, the Creator of all Things. But could not GOD (will some say,) have made a Crea­ture, by whom He should make all Things? I think I may, without attempting to limit the Holy One of Israel, venture to answer in the Negative. Because the infinitely holy and good GOD cannot contradict Himself, nor impose upon us. He that made all Things is GOD; this is one of the first natural Con­ceptions of the Humane Mind, and this is what GOD hath made Himself known to us by, in his holy Word, in too many Places to be now named. And there­fore to imagine that GOD has made a Creature, which Creature by itself, its own Power and Ability, has made the World, is to suppose, that a Creature distinct from GOD, and infinitely below Him, is the Maker of all Things, when it is clearly evident, that it could not make itself; and carries in it this gross Absurdity, that the infinitely good and holy GOD has imposed upon our Understanding, in leading us to conceive of Him as the alone Maker of the World, when really it was made by another; and this flagrant Contradiction, that the GOD of Truth is not true to Himself. It is therefore but a vain Conceit, advanced in Support of a groundless Scheme, built upon vain Philosophy, that the Apostle John, in the Beginning of his Gospel, is speaking, not of a natural, but of a moral Creation; when there is not so much as the least Hint given, thro'out the whole Paragraph, to lead us into such a Conception.

[Page 28]BUT if this Text was out of the Way, we have full Testimony, from other Parts of the sacred Scrip­tures, to the Truth of JESUS CHRIST His being the Creator of all Things. To name only that in Colos, I. 15. 16. There the Apostle is speaking of Him, in whom we have Redemption thro' his Blood, and says he of him, who is the Image of the invisible GOD, the First-born (or, as I think it should be read, the First Cause, or Bringer forth,) of every Creature: 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. Under which Expressions the Apostle meaneth to in­clude every Rank and Order of created Beings, from the lowest to the highest, and affirms that they were all created by Him, and he doubles his Affirmation, all Things were created by Him, to assure us, that there is not so much as one mere Creature, but what was created by Him. Therefore He Himself could not be a mere Creature; for He could not make Himself. And shall we, after all this Force of Lan­guage to the contrary, vainly imagine, that there is a Creature which He did not make? Besides the Apostle further adds, and for Him; to shew, that as all Things originate from Him, so they all ultimately terminate in Him, and were made for His Glory: so that He is the first Cause, and last End of all Things, which is the high Character of the only TRUE GOD.

IT were easy to turn to other Parts of holy Writ, which assert the same Doctrine, but I need not: I shall therefore only say, that, from this clear Account, [Page 29] which Divine Inspiration gives us, of JESUS CHRIST His being the Creator, and Maker of all Worlds, and all the Creatures in them, we have a full and demon­strative Proof, that He is the TRUE GOD, because none but the TRUE GOD can be the Creator of all Things. From the Creation of the World are clearly seen the invisible Things of GOD, even His eternal Power and Godhead, Rom. I. 20. Nor is it in the Power of the most penetrating Genius, and most subtle metaphysical Head, to discover a single Passage, in all the Divine Inspirations, that styles the Creator of the World, or, JESUS CHRIST, a mere Creature. But I proceed to the fourth and last Head of Argument proposed; namely,

4. The peculiar Honours, which are due unto the only living, and TRUE GOD, are to be given unto our Lord JESUS CHRIST, and that by Divine Direction and Appointment; which is an abundant Proof that He is the TRUE GOD. By the Honours due unto the only TRUE GOD is meant Religious Worship, as Faith in Him, Love to Him, Reverence and Fear of Him, our Prayers and Praises to Him, our universal and unlimited Obedience and Submission to His Will, in all Things concerning us, with our final Accoun­tableness to Him; which we, and all reasonable Crea­tures, owe to Him, as our Maker, Preserver, Benefac­tor and supream Judge. This Homage GOD chal­lenges from us, as what of Right belongeth to Him, and to no other. The Proof of this, from the sacred Scriptures, in the Whole, and in the several Parts, are so numerous and so plain, that I know not well which to turn you to. Let it suffice to quote the Saying of [Page 30] Moses, the Man of GOD, Exod. XXXIV. 14. Thou shalt worship no other GOD, for the Lord whose Name is Jealous, is a jealous GOD: and that of the royal Psalmist, Ps. XXIX. 2. Give unto the Lord the Ho­nour due unto His Name, worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness; and of our SAVIOUR, Math. IV. 10. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy GOD, and Him only shalt thou serve. It was apparently one great Design of Divine Revelation to call off an idolatrous World, from the Acknowledgment and Worshipping of many false Gods, to the Worship of the One, only living and TRUE GOD. And as the Divine Being asserts it, as His peculiar Right, to be GOD alone, so He lets us know, that He is so jealous of the special Honours which are due unto Him, that He will not suffer any Part thereof to be given to any Creature whatever: as in the forementioned Isa. XLII. 8. I am the Lord, that is my Name; and my Glory will I not give to another, neither my Praise to graven Images.

NEVERTHELESS, notwithstanding the peculiar Right of the TRUE GOD to these Divine Honours, and the solemn Enclosure around this sacred Mount, that whosoever should invade it the Wrath of the Lord would be enkindled against that Man, and he should surely perish; for cursed is the Man, that mak­eth any molten or graven Image, an Abomination to the Lord: yet we have the fullest Assurance, that all of this Divine Honour is to be given unto the Lord JESUS CHRIST, by Men upon Earth, and by Angels in Heaven. We are to believe in Him, to love and reverence Him, to pray to Him, and praise Him, to obey and serve Him, and that religiously, with all [Page 31] the Powers of our Minds, as well as those of our Bodies, and to account unto Him as our Judge. Thus it was prophesied of Him, who should be a Light unto the Gentiles, and for Salvation unto the Ends of the Earth, Isa. XLIX. 7. Kings should see, and arise, and Princes also should worship Him. Zecha­riah prophesied of Him, whose Feet should stand upon Mount Olivet, Zec. XIV. 16. He should be King over all the Earth, and they should go up from Year to Year, to worship the King, the Lord of Host. The high Intelligences of the heavenly World, who surround the Throne of GOD with their joyful Hal­lelujahs, are commanded to worship Him. Heb. I. 6.When He bringeth in the First-begotten into the World, He saith, let all the Angels of GOD worship Him. And these bright and morning Stars are represented as paying their religious Acknowledgments to Him, casting their Crowns before the Throne, and worship­ing Him that liveth forever and ever, saying, Rev. V. 12. Worthy is the Lamb that was stain to receive Power, and Riches, and Wisdom, and Strength, and Honour, and Glory, and Blessing. And 'tis added, ver. 13. 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 saying, Blessing, Honour, Glory and Power be unto Him that Sitteth upon the Throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever. In a Word, the great GOD and Father of all Things hath made it the Duty of all Men, command­ing them to honour the SON, as they honour the FA­THER, Joh. V. 23. To pay the same religious Wor­ship to the SON, which they are to pay unto the FA­THER. And we are assured, Rom. XIV. 10. We [Page 32] shall all stand before the Judgment Seat of CHRIST.

Now what a full and clear Proof is this, that JE­SUS CHRIST is the TRUE GOD.? For if He were not truely GOD, partaking of the Divine Nature and Essence, but only a mere Creature, we should be guilty of the grossest Idolatry in giving Divine Honour to that which is, by Nature, no GOD: and the everliving JEHOVAH Himself, in commanding Men & Angels to worship Him, would be introduced, instead of curing the World of Idolatry, as the great Patron of it; than which nothing is more contradictory to His Nature, and abhorrent to the Divine Majesty. So that, from this brief Account, which I have set before you, it appeareth plainly evident, from the sacred Scriptures, the only Rule of our Faith, that it is an established Truth, and what we ought firmly to abide in the Be­lief of, that JESUS CHRIST is the TRUE GOD.

BUT it is Time to improve this Doctrine in a few Hints.

1. And now, my Beloved, stand still, and admire, and magnify the stupendous Grace of our GOD; that the high and lofty one, who inhabiteth Eternity, and dwelleth in Light unapproachable, should condescend to assume the Humane Nature into a personal Union with Himself; a Nature so deeply guilty and polluted, and obnoxious to the Vengeance of Heaven; that, as a glorious and powerful Mediator for us, taberna­cling in Flesh, and every Way adapted to our Necessi­ties, He might submit to a Series of the greatest Mean­nesses and Sufferings, and to the most shameful and [Page 33] painful Death, on our Behalf, to satisfy for our ma­nifold and enormous Offences, and buy off the heavy Punishment, which our Sins had justly deserved; and by a Life of consummate Obedience instruct us in the whole of our Duty, and bring in an everlasting Righ­teousness, wherein we may appear before an infinite­ly holy GOD, as without Spot, or Wrinkle, or any such Thing; and by His Obedience and Sufferings procure for us the Gift of the holy Spirit, to renew and sanctify our Natures, and transform us into the Divine Likeness, and to open to us a new and living Way into the holiest, the endless Glory and Happi­ness of the heavenly World.

O LET the Thoughts of this high and true Dig­nity, which the incarnate SON of GOD hath raised our ruined Nature unto, inspire us with an holy Am­bition of Soul, never to indulge ourselves in any Thing that would debase, and cast Contempt and Dis­honour upon it. And let the View of this wondrous Grace and Love to us, in the SON of GOD emptying Himself for us, that we might be filled with the Blessings of Goodness, constrain us to love and serve Him with all our Powers, both of Body and of Mind, as long as we live, yea, while we have any Being.

2. SEE, my Friends, what a firm Foundation we have for our Faith and Hope in a mighty and glori­ous Redeemer, who is truely GOD, as well as really MAN. For He has not only the tender Sympathy of the Humane, but the boundless Compassions of the Divine Nature in Conjunction, in continual and vi­gorous Exercise towards us, under all our Weaknesses and Infirmities, our Wants and Distresses, our Temp­tations [Page 34] and Tryals; and knoweth how, and is able and willing to succour us; and with the Temptation will find out a Way for our Escape, that we may be able to bear it. What mighty Encouragement is this to us, to cast all our Cares upon Him who careth for us?

AND because the truely Divine and Humane Na­tures are so closely united in our Lord JESUS CHRIST, as that in Him dwelleth the Fulness of the GOD-HEAD bodily, therefore we may be sure, that His Sacrifice of Atonement is perfectly meritorious, and His Intercessi­on most valid and efficacious, to procure the full Par­don of all our Sins, be they ever so many and great, & bring us into a State of Peace and Friendship with our GOD; to obtain for us the sanctifying and comfort­ing Influences of the Holy Spirit; and to secure to us the promised Mercy of our GOD unto eternal Life. So that upon this solid Foundation, we may safely build our Faith and Hope, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting Life.

IF JESUS CHRIST is not truely GOD, as well as MAN, I cannot see upon what good Foundation, a reasonable, but guilty, Creature could possibly place his Faith in Him, or build a well grounded Hope of eternal Salvation; for all his own Obedience would be so very defective, and short of the Demands of the exceeding broad Law of GOD, as that it could never recommend him to the Divine Favour, so as to obtain the Forgiveness of his Sins, and an Inheritance among them that are sanctified; and a SAVIOUR, who is but a mere Creature, could not possibly have any Thing properly meritorious in him, nor a Sufficiency of Pow­er [Page 35] to confer the promised Blessedness, upon them that put their Trust in Him.

3. LET us all therefore, my Brethren, hold fast this great Gospel Truth, which Divine Revelation only maketh known to us; and suffer no Man to take away this Crown from us, That JESUS CHRIST is the TRUE GOD. Well might our blessed SAVIOUR say, Joh. X. 30. I and my Father are One; one in Nature and Essence, as well as in Will and Operation, thereby making Himself equal with GOD; and His Apostle assures us, Phil. II. 6. He thought it no Rob­bery to be equal with GOD: He looked upon it as no Invasion of the Rights of the supream Deity to be equal with GOD. And shall we vainly attempt to reduce Him to the State of a mere Creature? of the whole Universe of which it can not be said, they are equal with GOD. Shall we esteem Him a finite Bein the Result of the Will of a Maker, to whom all t' peculiar Titles and Attributes of the eternal Godhead belong? Or that He is made by and dependent upon another for His Being, who is the great Maker, Pre­server and Governour of the Universe? Or that He is infinitely below the Deity, who has a just Right to all the incommunicable Honours of the TRUE GOD? No; let the Absurdity be far from our Thoughts; rather let us, in the Faith of the Divine Revelation, believingly say with Thomas, Joh. XX. 28. My Lord and my God! O give unto Him the Glory which is His due, by our Faith in Him, as JEHOVAH our Righteousness, in whom we have everlasting Strength; and our Obedience to Him, as our Lawgiver, our King, and our Judge. Then may we with Comfort [Page 36] look for the blessed Hope and glorious Appearing of the GREAT GOD and OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST; and when He, who is our Life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in Glory.

SUFFER me, seeing it hath pleased a merciful GOD to spare me to a great old Age, to spend some of my latest Breaths, in asserting and vindicating the Honour of our common SAVIOUR, by improving this last Opportunity I can ever expect of standing in this Place, and upon such an Occasion, to address myself, with great Humility and all due Respects, particular­ly to my younger Brethren in the Ministry, and to the Candidates therefor. Dearly beloved in our Lord JESUS CHRIST, let it be your great Care firstly to get your own Hearts firmly established in the Faith of this vital Principle of the Christian Religion, and then to [...]struct the Souls that may be under your Charge, and confirm them in the Belief of it, that the Lord JESUS CHRIST is the TRUE GOD.

REMEMBER, my Brethren, you owe this in Fide­lity to your Lord, and in Love to the Souls of His and your People. You owe it in Fidelity to your Lord and Master, both your Lord and ours. For if, thro' an Affectation of being thought deeply studied in Philosophy, you should insinuate in your Conver­sation, or publickly teach your People, otherwise then this wholsome Doctrine of found Words, that JESUS CHRIST, the SON of GOD, and SAVIOUR of the World is the TRUE GOD, would you not degrade Him from His Throne of Glory, strip Him of His peculiar Honours, and number Him, who is higher than all the angelic Orders, in the Rank of Beings, [Page 37] the most exalted and refined of which is infinitely below the Deity; and thereby cast the highest Con­tempt and Indignity upon Him? Would not such a Treatment of the incarnate SON of GOD expose you to the Danger of being found among those Teachers, of whom Peter says, II. Pet. II. They bring in dam­nable Heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them? or Jude's ungodly Men, before of old ordained to Condemnation, who turn the Grace of God into Lasciviousness, denying the only Lord GOD, and our Lord JESUS CHRIST? Jude ver. 4.—Where, by the Way, I observe, that the Article in the Greek, placed before the only LORD GOD, without any before our Lord JESUS CHRIST, evidently sheweth, (for the Reason before mentioned,) that it is one and the same Subject, that is spoken of the only LORD GOD, and OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

AND you owe it in Love to the precious Souls he His and your People, who are put under your pe­cular Care. For if, by an unmanly Sneer at the great Doctrine of the true DIVINITY OF CHRIST, or by laboured and sophistical Periods, you should teach them any Thing herein, that is contrary to the found Doctrine of the glorious Gospel of the blessed GOD, will you not be guilty of leading them into gross Error? of teaching them to believe in and worship a meer Creature, instead of the only TRUE GOD, and so blindly conduct them into abominable Idola­try? Will you not herein direct them to build all their Hopes of Salvation upon a sandy Foundation, which in the Time of Tryal, will prove ruinous and destructive to their immortal Souls? And if the Blood [Page 38] of Souls should at last be found to lie at your Doors, what the Consequence of this will prove unto your­selves, you are fully able to judge.

I DO not write not speak these Things, my Bre­thren, to shame any of you, but, as my Beloved, I would humbly warn you. Neither would I be un­derstood to mean, that every Man should be tied up to exactly the same Mode of Speech; for I look upon a Controversy about Words both as unmanly and un­christian; but that we should carefully preserve and teach the Essentials of this sublime Doctrine, that JESUS CHRIST is the TRUE GOD, and contend ear­nestly for this Faith, which, from Heaven, has been delivered unto the Saints.

LET therefore the sacred Scriptures, my Brethren, in the only Rule by which we judge of, and the sure Foundation on which we build, all the Doctrines of the great Mysteries of the Christian Religion; and let us not suffer ourselves to be warped and turned away from the Truth, as it is in JESUS, by any of the precarious Principles, and uncertain Maxims of Phi­losophy; which, however valuable in the Things of Nature, to which they properly belong, and however ornamental they may be to him that possesses them, can no more be a Standard by which to judge of re­vealed Mysteries, than the scanty, finite Reason of Man can be a fit Line, by which to found the unsa­thomable Depths of infinite Wisdom & Understanding.

To the only wise GOD our SAVIOUR, be Glory and Majesty, Dominion and Power, both now and ever.


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