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from the dead, Rom. i. 4. VI. The last reason I shall take notice of, which the Socinians give of the sonship of Christ, is his office as mediator ; they say he is called the son of God, because he was sanctified, or set apart to his office, as such ; but that Christ is not the son of God, by his office as mediator, the following reasons may be given.1. Because if Christ is the son of God, not by nature, but by office, then he is only the son of God in an improper and metaphorical sense : whereas, he is the Son of the Father in truth, 2 John 3. 2. Because the mediatorial office of Christ is so far from being the ground of his sonship, that it is his sonship that is the ground of his mediatorship. Thus in his inauguration into, and investiture with his kingly office, his father addressed him under this relative character: unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, Heb. i. 8. and of his consecratii n to his priestly Office we read, The Lord maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, (the eternal council and covenant, made more clear and manifest since the law, Psal. cx. 4.) maketh the Son who is consecrated for evermore; that is, noi makes the Son a Son, but the Son a priest. Heb, vii. 28. and, with res. pect to his prophetic office, previous to his investiture with, that, he was the son of God; No man hath seen God at any time; the orly begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him ; John i. 18. 3. Because he is frequently distinguished as a son, from the consideration of him in his mediatorial office; as in the Eunuch's confession of Faith ; I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Acts viii. 37. and in the ministry of the apostle Paul, who is said to preach Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God, Acts ix. 20. 4. Because Christ, as mediator, is the servant of God; and especially such he appears in the discharge of some parts of that his office; as in his obedience and suffering death, see Isai. xlii. 1. and xlix. 3. and liii. 11. Phil. i. 7,8. If Christ was a son by office, or as imediator, he would be no other than a servant, as Moses was, only of an higher rank, and a greater
office. 5. Because the Sonship of Christ is sometimes spoken of as adding a lustre to his office as Mediator; as when the apostle says Seeing then that we have a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession, Heb. iv. 14. that which makes this High Priest so great an one, is his being the Son of God, not by office, but by nature; the Sonship of Christ is represented as putting a virtue and efficacy into what he has done as Mediator, and therefore must be distinct from his office as such; And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, (there lies the emphasis) cleanseth us from all sin, 1 John i. 7. 6. Because the Sonship of Christ is made use of to express and enhance the love of God, in the gift of him to the sons of men, John iii. 16. Lastly, if Christ is the Son of God, and may be called his begotten Son, by virtue of his constitution as a Mediator, it should be shown, that there is something in that constitution which is analogous, to generation and Sonship, but what is there in the first Person's appointing and constituting the second to be a Mediator, that gives him the name of a Father? and what is that in the constitution of the second Person in such an office, that gives him the name of the Son, of the only begotten Son?
Having removed the chief and principal of the false causes, and reasons of Christ's Sonship, assigned by the Socinians; I shall proceed to establish the true cause of it; and settle it on its true basis ; by assigning it to its proper and sole cause, his eternal generation by the Father; which I shall attempt to do by various passages of scripture. There are some pasó sages of scripture, which have been made use of to prove the eternal generation of the Son of God, I shall not insist upon particularly Isai. liii. 8. Who shall declare his generation But, The text in Psal. ii. 7. though some have parted with it, as a proof of this point, I choose to retain, The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thees these words are quoted in Heb. i. 5. to shew the pre-emiDence of Christ to the angels : and as for the date, this day! it may well enough be thought to be expressive of eternity,
since one day with the Lord is as a thousand years. The text in Prov. viii. 22. though a glorious proof of Christ's eternal existence, yet I formerly thought not so clear an one of his eternal generation. But, upon a more close consider. ation of it, it appears to me a very
clear one ;
be dered here, the Lord begat me, and so possessed him as his own Son, laid a claim to him, and enjoyed him as such ; for this possession is not in right of creation in such sense as he is the possessor of heaven and earth, Gen. xiv. 19, 22. but in right of paternity, in which sense the word is used, Duet. xxxii. 6. Wisdom further says of himself; Then was I by him, as one brought up with him, v. 30. being begotten by him, and being brought forth; he was brought up with his Father, which expresses the most tender regard to him, and the utmost delight in him. To these proofs might be added, all those scriptures which speak of Christ as the begotten, the only begotten of the Fathers John i. 14, 18. and iii. 16. 1 John iv. 9. Athanasius expresses the thing well; “ How the Father begat the Son, I do not curiously enquire; and how he sent forth the Spirit I do not likewise curiously enquire ; but I believe that both the Son is begotten, and the Holy Spirit proceeds in a manner unspeakable and impassible.” And says Gregory Nazianzen, “ Let the generation of God be honoured in silence; it is a great thing, (abundantly so,) for thee to learn or know, that he is begotten; but how he is begotten; is not granted to thee to understand, nor, indeed to the angels." "Ii is enough for me, says the same ancient divine that I hear of the Son; and that he is of the Father ; and that the one is a Father, and the other a Son: and nothing besides this do I curiously enquire after, if you curiously enquire into the generation of the Son, and the procession of the Spirit; I also, in my turn, will curiously enquire of thee, the temperament of soul and body; how thou art dust, and yet the image of God.” To close all ; this phrase, the Son of God, intends what is essential and patural to him ; and suggests to us, that he is the true and natural Son of God;
not a Son in an improper and figurative sense, or not by office, but by nature; that, as such, he is a divine Person, God, the true God, Heb. i. 8. 1 John v.20. It is to be observed, that he has been concluded to be the Son of God from his divine perfections and works; from his omniscience, John i. 48, 49. from his omnipotence, Matt. xiv. 33. and from the marvellous things that happened at his crucifixion, Mait. xxvii. 54. I proceed, to consider the third Person, and his personal relation; or distinctive relative property, which is, to be breathed, or to be the breath of God; which is never said of the Father and Sun. I shall treat of this very briefly, since the scriptures speak sparingly of it, Breathing into Adam the breath of life, Gen. ii. 7. breathing the breath of spiritual life, in the regeneration and conversion of men, Ezek, xxxvii. 9. John iii. 8. the inspiration of the scriptures, 2 Tim. iii. 16. receiving the Holy Ghost through Christ's breathing upon them, John xx. 22. are symbolical of, analogous to, and serve to illustrate his original character. Let none be offended, that the third Person is called Spirit or Breath, since this suggests not, a mere power, or quality, but designs a Person; so an human person is called, Lam, iv. 20, and here a divine Person ; to whom personal acts, and these divine, are ascri. bed : such as the establishing of the heavens, the making of man, the enditing of the scriptures, and filling the apostles with extraordinary gifts, Psal. xxxiii. 6. Job xxxiii. 4. 2 Pet. i; 21. John xx. 22.
OF THE DISTINCT PERSONALITY, AND DEITY
OF THE FATHER, THOUGH what has been already observed, clearly shews there is a distinction of Persons in the Godhead, and wherein that distinction lies; yet other things may be added, which will serve to illustrate and confirm it. I shall begin with the personality of the Father: the word Person is expressly used of him in Heb. i. 3. where Christ his Son, by whom he made the worlds, is called the express image of his person. The personality of the Father may be included from those personal actions which are ascribed to him: as,-1. The creation of all things is ascribed to him, Heb. i. 2. Eph, ji. 9.-2. The works of providence, are attributed to him, in distinction from his Son, though in conjunction with him, my Father worketh hitherto, and I work, John v. 17.-3. The mission of his Son into the world to be the Saviour of men, shews his distinct personality from him, Isai xlvii. 16.1 Pet. i. 2. Eph. i. 4. 2 That the Father of Christ, as he is a person, so a divine person will not be doubted; and yet it may
be proper to say something of it, and establish it: which may be done, not only by oberving that he is expressly and distinctly called God, Rom xv. 6. Gal. i. 1 Phil, ii. 11. but this may be proved, 1. From his divine perfections: God is from everlastįng lo everlasting, without beginning and end; so is the Father of Christ, Rev. i. 4. God is immense and omnipressent; such is the Father of Christ, John xiv. 23. and xvi. 32. God is ompiscient, knows all persons and things; and so does the Father of Christ, Matt xi. 27. Mark xiii. 32 God is omnipotent, he can do all things; and so can the Father of Christ, Abba, Fa. ther, says Crist, all things are possible unto thee, Mark xvi. 56. Once more, God is immutable, not subject to any change and variations ; God the Father of Christ, is the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning, James i. 17.
11. His Deity will appear from the works which are ascribed to him, Acts iy, 24–27. see Matt. vi. 26, 32. Eph. ii. 1. Ili, From the worship due to him, and given to him ; true worshippers of God worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship him, John iv. 23,
OF THE DISTINCT PERSONALITY, AND DEITY
OF THE SON. THAT the Son of God is a person, and a divine person distinct from the Father and the Spirit, cannot be doubted; for since his father is a person and he is the express image of his person, he must be a person too. For as Plato says, that