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CoJ. ii. 9. In him dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead bodily. This is a very proper expression, being strictly and literally true, though Christ himself was a mere man, since the wisdom and power of the one true God, the Father, were manisest in, and acted by him, agreeably to his own declarations, that the words which he spake were not his own, hut the father's who sent him, and that the father 'within him did the works. Nay, this very expression, that the fullness of the godhead dwelled or resided in him, seems to imply that it did not naturally belong to him. Besides phrases similar to this are applied by way of figure to christians in general. They are said to he partakers of the divine nature, 2 Pet i. 4. to be filled with all the fullness of God, Eph. iii. ig. and to be the fullness of him, that filleth all in all, Eph. i. 13.
These observations will easily help us to understand what is meant by Christ being called the image of the invisible God, 2 Cor. iv. 4. Col. i. 15. and the express image of his person, Heb. i. 3. and also his being in the form of Gad, Philip, ii. 6. for they all allude to thedivine power and wisdom which were displayed in him when he was on earth, but more especially now>that he is ascended into heaven; at the same time, Christ being called only the image of God, is a sufficient intimation that he is not God himself. Indeed, if this expression was to be allowed to be any proof of the divinity of Christ, it would follow that Adam was God; for it is said. Gen. i. 26. 27. That God made man in his own image, and after bis likeness.
It is with as little appearance of reason that Christ is argued to be very and eternal God, because he is stiled the Son of God; for all christians have the same appellation, 1 John iii- 2. Now are we the sons of God. We are also ca! led not only the children but also the heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, Rom. viii. 17. Adam is more especially called the son of God, Luke iii. 18. and Ephraim is called his dear son, Jer. xxxi. 20.
John x. 30. / and my father are one. xiv 10. I am in the Father, and the Father in me. That is, we are one in design and interest. But whatever be the union between the Father and the Son; it is of such a kind, that his disciples are capable of it with respect to them both; for, in Christ's prayer for his disciples, , he says, John xvii. 2Q. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us: and the glory which
thou gave/I me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one; / in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world ti,ay know that thou hast sent me, andhaJl loved them as thou hast loved me.
John v. 23. That all men should honour the Joh9 even as they honour the Father; that is, as well as the Father. The fame word is used, where it can have no other sense, in John xvii. 23. And hasl loved them as thou hall loved me; that is, not in the same degree, but in like manner as. To explain the fense of the entire passage in which the words abovemeritioned occur, let it be observed, that the jews had persecuted Jesus, because be had made a man whole on the sabbath-day. By way of apology, he says, v. 17. My Father worketh hitherto, that itf, in the course of his providence on the sabbath, as well as on other days, and I work; that is on the sabbath-day also. Upon this the pharisees were more enraged, because he called God his father, and because he made himself ( not equal with God, as We render it) but like unto God, assuming so much of his prerogative, as to claim the privilege of working on the sabbath-day as well as God. However, to shew them that he meant nothing arrogant in what he had said, and that this privilege Was given to hirrt by God, he immediately replies,' v. 19. Verilfy verily, I say unto you, the Son can *6 nothing if himself, but what he sees the Father do ; for what things soever he doth, these also doth the son likewise. He then proceeds to represent all his extraordinarypower as the gift of his Father, v. 20. For the Father loveth the son, and sheweth him all things that he himself doth; and he will shew him greater things than
these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raifeth up the dead, and quickenetb them, even so the son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth m man, but hath committed all judgment unto the son, that all men should honour the son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the son, honoureth not the Father who hath sent him. Indeed, this very last clause sufficiently shews that the honour so which Christ is intitled is not onaeccunt of what he is, or has of himself, but on account of what he derives from God, as his ambassador.
II. Very high titles are justly given to Christ as the founder of the christian religion, and especially as superintending the affairs of his church, and as controuling whatever can affect the interest of his church. Thus the author of the epistle to the Hebrews stiles him the author and finishtr of our faith. Heb. xii. 2. He is also said to be the head over all things to his church, Eph. i. 2. These high titles are attributed to Jesus with respect to the state of glory, and universal dominion, lo which he is exalted by the Father.
The author of the epistle to the Hebrews makes use of a phrase of the same import with this of the apostle John, where he only means to express the unchangeableness of the doctrine of Christ, as the connection of it, with what goes before and after, makes very evident. Heb. xiii. 7. Remember them Vihicb have the rule- over you, who have spoken uirts
xou you the word os God, whose faith sallow, considering the end of their conversation, Jesus Christ the fame yeflerday, to-day, and for ever. Be not carried away with diverse and Jlrange doftrines. The whole is intended to inculcate a stedsast adherence to the genuine doctrine of Jesus Christ.
It is plain, from many passages in the book' of Revelation, that the author of it considered Christ: as a person subordinate to the Father, and the minister of his will, and therefore no single expression should be interpreted in such a manner as to make it imply the contrary. The very first words of the book sufficiently express this. The Revelation of fefus Chrifl, which Godgave unto him. ver. 6. Who has made us kings and pricfls unto God, and (or rather, even) his Father, ii. 26. And he that overcometb and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations—even as I received of my Father, iii. 14. Him that overcometb will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out, and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name cf the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which c'ometh down out of heaven from my God, ver. a I. To him that overcometb will I grant to fit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am sttten down with my Father in his throne. Farther, this writer, evidently speaking of Christ in his highest capacity, uses the following expressions, ver. 14. These things faith tie