DISPUTATION XII ON THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, ITS NAME AND RELATION
Beginning now to treat further on the Christian religion, we will first declare what is the meaning of this term, and we will
afterwards consider the matter of this religion, each in its order. II. The Christian religion, which the Jews called "the
heresy of the Nazarenes," obtained its name from Jesus of Nazareth, whom God hath appointed as our only master, and hath made
him both Christ and Lord. III. But this name agrees with him in two ways -- from the cause and from
the object. (1.) From the cause; because Jesus Christ, as "the Teacher sent from God," prescribed this religion, both
by his own voice, when he dwelt on earth, and by his apostles, whom he sent forth into all the world. (2.) From the object;
because the same Jesus Christ, the object of this religion, according to godliness, is now exhibited, and fully or perfectly
manifested; whereas, he was formerly promised and foretold by Moses and the prophets, only as being about to come. IV. He
indeed, a teacher far transcending all other teachers -- Moses, the prophets, and even the angels themselves -- both in
the mode of his perception, and in the excellence of his doctrine. In the mode of his perception; because, existing in the
bosom of the Father, admitted intimately to behold all the secrets of the Father, and endued with the plenitude of the Spirit,
he saw and heard those things which he speaks and testifies. But other teachers, being endued, according to a certain measure
with the Spirit, have perceived either by a vision, by dreams, by conversing "face to face," or by the intervention of
an angel, those things which it was their duty to declare to others; and this Spirit itself is called "the Spirit of Christ."
V. In the excellence of his doctrine, also, Christ was superior to all other teachers, because he revealed to mankind, together
and at once, the fullness of the very Godhead, and the complete and latest will of his Father respecting the salvation of
so that, either as it regards the matter or the dearness of the exposition, no addition can be made to it, nor is it necessary
that it should. VI. From their belief in this religion, and their profession of it, the professors were called Christians.
(Acts xi. 26; 1 Pet. iv. 16.) That the excellence of this name may really belong to a person, it is not sufficient for him to acknowledge Christ as a
teacher and prophet divinely called. But he must likewise
religiously own and worship him as the object of this doctrine, though the former knowledge and faith precede this, and
though from it, alone, certain persons are sometimes said to have believed in Christ.