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proper virtue and efficacy in all his actions, as Mediator. The reason why his facrifice is expiatory of fin, and acceptable to God, is because it is the facrifice of himself, who is God. The reafon why his righteoufnefs is fufficient to justify all the elect, is because it is the righteoufnefs of God. And the reason why his blood cleanfeth from all fin, is because it is the blood of him who is the Son of God: no other blood could be a fufficient price to purchase the church, and procure all bleffings of grace for her. Hence God is faid to "purchase the church with his own blood "." As Chrift hath raised himself from the dead by his own power, and thereby has declared himself to be the Son of God, who had power to lay down his life, and to take it up again; which no mere creature has: fo he will quicken and raise the dead at the last day; for it will be owing to his powerful voice that "they that are "in their graves fhall come forth; fome to the refurrection of life, and some "to the resurrection of damnation "." And as the dead will be raised by him, fo by him will, both quick and dead, be judged: "For the Father "judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son, that all "men might honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." Now if he was not truly and properly God, he would not be equal to, nor able to go through this work. Was he not God, he could not gather all nations together before him, nor feparate the sheep from the goats, and fet the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. Nor would he be able to make manifest the counfels of all hearts; or give to every man according to his works; or execute the decifive fentence, which his lips had pronounced.
Fourthly, That Chrift is truly God, may be concluded from the divine worship which is due unto him, and is given him. All the angels of God are called upon to worship him, as they accordingly have, both before and after his incarnation; yea, all men are required to honour the Son, and to give the fame homage and worship to him as they do to the Father. Now this would not be admitted if he was not the one God with him. For he has faid, "My glory will "I not give to another; nor my praise to graven images"." He is the object of the faints love, hope, faith, trust, and dependance; which he would not be, if he was a creature: for, "curfed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh "flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." His name is invoked in prayer, and folemn addrefes are made to him; which if he was not God would be idolatry. Yea, the ordinance of baptism, which is a folemn act of religious worship, is ordered to be administered in his name, as well as in the name of the Father, and of the Spirit. In fine nothing more strongly VOL. III. proves
" Acts xx. 28.
r Ifa. xlii. 8.
w John v. 28, 29.
* John v. 22.
proves the divinity of Chrift than his being the object of religious worship, of which God is always jealous; nor would he ever admit him a partner in it, was he not, in nature and fubftance, equal to him. From the whole, we need not fcruple to affert the Deity of Chrift in the fulleft and strongest terms; which is an article of the utmost moment and importance, and furnishes out the most solid argument and foundation for faith, peace, joy, and comfort.
CHA P. VII.
Concerning the Sonship of Chrift.
HAVING, in the preceding chapter, proved that Christ is truly and
God; I shall now,
III. Confider him as the Son of God, which I fhall do in the following method:
First, I fhall give fome proofs and teftimonies of his Sonship.
First, I fhall give some proofs and teftimonies of Christ's Sonship. Nothing is more strongly afferted than this truth, That Chrift is the Son of God. The Father, Word, and Spirit, have bore record of it; an angel from heaven has declared it; faints have made confeffions of it, and devils have acknowledged it.
1. God the Father bore teftimony to the truth of Chrift's Sonship at the time of his baptism, by a voice from heaven, faying, "This is my beloved "Son, in whom I am well pleased." As he also did in much the fame words, and in the fame way, at his transfiguration upon the mount".
2. The Word bore witness of himself, as the Son of God. Perhaps this may be the reason why the apostle John makes ufe of the phrafe, the Word, and not the Son, when he speaks of the three that bear record in heaven; because the thing they bore record of, was the Sonship of Chrift. The charge which the Jews brought, and for which they demanded judgment against Christ, was "because he made himself the Son of God." He not only • John xix. 7.
Matt. iii. 17.
Matt. xvii. 5.
afferted that he was, but proved himself to be the Son of God, by unquestionable works and miracles: he afferted himself to be fo, when he said: “ "Father worketh hitherto, and I work ;" and "I and my Father are one"." The Jews understood him, in these paffages, to affert himself to be the Son of God; and that in fuch a fenfe, as to make himself equal with him; which had it been a mistake, he would have rectified; but instead of that, he fays all the things that were proper to strengthen his Sonship. And when he was charged with blafphemy for afferting it, he appeals to his works for the vindication. of it; nor does he ever call in his words. Yea, when the high priest asked him, upon his trial, faying, "Art thou the Chrift, the Son of the Bleffed? Jesus said, I am." If the validity of Christ's teftimony should be objected to, and called in question, because it is concerning himself; he has furnished us with an answer which he gave to the Pharifees, when they faid, "Thou "bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true." To which he replied;
Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true for I am not "alone, but I and the Father that fent me. It is alfo written in your law, "that the teftimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witnefs of my"felf, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." Hence Chrift's testimony concerning himself, is good and valid; because it is not alone, but is in conjunction with the teftimony of the Father, and also of the Holy Ghost; who,
3. Bore witness to the fame truth, by his defcent upon him as a dove, at the time of his baptism; when the Sonship of Chrift was fo fully expressed. And also, by his plenteous effufion of his gifts and grace upon the disciples on the day of Pentecoft; whereby they were fufficiently qualified to affert, demonstrate and maintain this great truth, that Jefus was the Son of God; which they every where did; "God working with them, and bearing them "witnefs, both with figns and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the "Holy Ghost according to his will "."
4. The angel which brought the news of the ftupendous incarnation of Chrift to the virgin, declared, that he should be great, and be called the "Son of the Higheft":" Yea, says he, "That holy thing that fhall be born "of thee, fhall be called the Son of God."
5. Many of the faints have made full and ample confeffions of it. John the Baptist, when he saw the Spirit of God descending and remaining on him, at his baptifm, bore record that he was the Son of God. Nathanael, upon the
John v. 17. and x, 30. 8 Heb. ii. 4.
e Mark xiv. 61, 62.
f John viii. 13, 14, 16-18. i John i. 34.
first fight of him, faid unto him, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, the "King of Ifrael." When Chrift put this question to his disciples, "Whom say ye that I am?" Simon Peter answered and faid, "Thou art Christ, "the Son of the living God." As he alfo at another time, in the name of the rest of the difciples, declared, "We believe, and are fure, that thou "art the Chrift, the Son of the living God "." Martha, when she was called upon to make a confession of her faith in Christ, expressed it in these words: "I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which fhould come "into the world"" as did the eunuch alfo in much the fame words, in order to his admiffion to baptism: "I believe, fays he, that Jesus Christ is the "Son of God "." And indeed, this is the faith of every true believer : for, "who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jefus is "the Son of God P?"
6. The devils themfelves have been obliged to acknowledge it. Though Satan twice put an if upon Chrift's Sonship, when he tempted him in the wilderness; yet he, at the fame time, knew that he was the Son of God; and at other times was forced to confefs it; crying out and faying, "What have "we to do with thee, Jefus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to tor"ment us before the time?" And in another place: "And unclean fpirits, "when they faw him, fell down before him, and cried, faying, Thou art the "Son of God." Yea, it is faid elsewhere', " And devils alfo came out of "many, crying out, and faying, Thou art Chrift the Son of God." This then. is a truth confeffed on all hands, is without controversy, and beyond all contradiction; but in what fenfe he is the Son of God, is not fo eafily agreed on; and is what I fhall
Secondly, Enquire into. The Socinians deny, that Chrift is the eternal Son of God. They own that he is the Son of God, but not before he was the Son of Mary; yet, where to fix his Sonship, and to what cause to afcribe it, they are at a great lofs. Calovius', an Anti-Socinian writer, has collected out of their writings, no less than thirten caufes, or reafons of Chrift's Sonship; and more might be added, which fhews the wretched uncertainty they are at. Now twelve of thefe caufes must be falfe ones; for there can be but one true cause of Chrift's proper Sonship. It would be tedious, and to little purpofe to confider all that are mentioned by them. Sometimes they tell us, that he is called the Son of God; because of the exceeding great love which
God bears towards him": and that to be the only begotten Son, and to be the beloved Son, are terms fynonymous. That Chrift is the Son of God's love, and that he, who is the begotten Son, is also the beloved Son of God, is certain; but God's love to him is not the foundation or cause of this relation. The reason why he is the Son of God, is not because God loves him; but the reason why he loves him, is because he is his Son. It is not love among men that is the cause of fuch a relation; there may be love where there is no fuch relation; and there may be such a relation where there is no love. Sometimes they tell us, that he is called the Son of God, because of the likeness which is between them. That Chrift is like unto the Father is certain; for he is "the image of the invisible God, the brightness of his glory, and the express "image of his perfon :" but then this likeness is not the cause or foundation of his Sonship. The reason why he is the Son of God, is not because he is like him; but the reason why he is like him, is because he is his Son, of the fame nature and effence with him. At other times they fay, That he is the Son of God by adoption; but the fcriptures fay nothing of that. Moreover, if he was his adopted Son, then he could not be his own Son, or the Son of himfelf, which he certainly is; and if his own Son, then not his adopted one: an own son is never an adopted one. Nor would he be his begotten Son; for to be begotten, and yet adopted, is not confiftent. Befides, he could: not be called his only begotten Son in this fense, because there are many adopted fons, even all the elect of God, who are predeftinated unto the adoption of Children, by Jefus Chrift; which bleffing.comes to them through the redemption that is in Chrift Jefus, and which is witneffed to them by the Spirit of Chrift, who is therefore called the Spirit of Adoption.. But paffing these, with many others, I fhall fix upon three of the reafons or causes of Christ's Sonship, affigned by them, and consider them, which seem to have the most countenance from fcripture; which are these,
It, That Chrift is called the Son of God, on the account of his miraculous conception and birth.
2dly, That he is fo called on account of his refurrection from the dead.. And,
3dly, That he is fo called on the account of his office as Mediator, Pro-phet, Priest, and King, and his performance of the fame.
Enjedin. Explic. loc. Vet. & Nov. Teft. p. 178, 179. Catechif. Racov. de perfona Chrifti,, c. I. p. 105. Socinus, Smalcius & alii.
* Socinus, Smalcius. Vide Smiglecium de Chrifto vero, &c. c. 5 & 9. Et Calov. Socinifm.. profligat. Artic..2. Controv. 5 & 6.