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know filially, or in a way of obedience, is life eternal. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 1 John v.
So amply this matter of the divine union of Father and Son is laid down in the fcriptures of truth, as the doctrine of God our Saviour, the grand rule of the gofpel, and eternal life.
3. I fhall conclude thefe confiderations of the evidence, that the union of Father and Son, so much infifted on in the New Teñament, is of a voluntary nature, by fetting down two or three paffages of fcripture, with very little comment.
I fpeak that which I have feen with my Fa ther; and ye do that which ye have feen with your father. John viii.-It cannot be doubted that the Devil is here called the Father of Sinners, on account of the union of will; but there is fuch a clofe connexion between the two fentences, that it feems neceffary to underftand, that God is called the Father of Chrift in the fame voluntary fenfe.-If in one verse, framed together in the clofeft manner, the fame word be used in widely different senfes, no certain idea is conveyed; we can only guefs at the meaning; and, in a dispute which feemed to hinge upon the meaning of the word, is it pollible that this teacher fhould use the word Father in different fenfes in one breath, and give his enemies fuca occafion to fay, as they did, that his speec was unintelligible?
Whofoever shall confefs that Jefus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.-God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. 1 John iv.-This oneness of God and believers is certainly an unity of will; but this is precifely the language which Je fus Chrift used to exprefs the unity, or onenefs of himself and his Father. And not only the ftile, but the argument fhews that the union is the fame in its nature and principle. -This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; this is believing, that Jefus is the Chrift; and this is confeffing him: But, as this commandment conftituted the eternal generation, and the ineffably bleffed union of Father and Son; the following inferences are plain:-Whofoever believeth that Jefus is the Chrift is born of God; for the fame which conftituted him the Son of God, will alfo conftitute us children.-Every one that loveth is born of God; for the fame which gave the filial character to the firstborn, will give the character of fons to all who poffefs it. He that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.-Whofoever fhall confefs that Jefus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.And he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him; for the fame which conflituted the Father and the Son one, will also conftitute God and the believer one. Underftanding this divine relation in the voluntary fenfe, thefe inferences, and numberless others
in the New Teftament, appear to be drawn, in a direct line, from one all-commanding point, emphatically called Truth; as in 2 John-I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.But, if it be not fo understood, I am not diffident to say, that many of thefe inferences, fo important to our inftruction, appear to stand without any clear premifes, and without connexion or relation; and, therefore, greatly expofed to be mifapprehended, or, at least, they do not poffefs their proper ftrength to make an impreffion upon the mind.
That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou haft fent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou haft sent me, and haft loved them, as thou haft loved me. John xvii.—I have often thought that this paffage alone was more than enough to determine the fenfe of this most interesting article of divine revelation, against all the authorities of the world. It is wonderful how many proofs are here crouded together. Were they fully laid down, they would out-number the words!-There is an argument upon the face of this paffage, which is irrefragable, that the oneness of believers is of the fame nature with the oneness of the
Father and Son.-But, the strength of the evidence lies in the matter of fact; for as Jefus Chrift was made a Son, and one with the Father, by that commandment which fent. him into the world, and by that love and glory which was given to him; fo Chrift here fpeaks of his people, as being in like manner fent into the world, verfe 18. and prays that they may be glorified with him; which, of course, makes them fons of God, one with each other, and one with him and the Father, even as the Father and Son are
OBJECTIONS TO THE STATEMENT AND DEFINITION CONSIDERED.
It is neceffary, in this place, to attend to fome objections which may arife to the foregoing Statement and Definition.
1. It may be objected, that, although in the paffages quoted, an union of will, fuch as fubfifts between Chrift and believers, be clearly intended; yet an union of another nature, as fubfifting between Chrift and God, is alfo taught in the fcriptures. To which I reply-If these, and fuch like paffages be given up, where are the texts upon which the fentiment of a myfterious union is to be founded? Thefe are the texts which have generally been used to fupport the fentiment; and if they be found to mean no more than a relation of will, the myfterious fenfe of the di
vine union of Father and Son must be relinquifhed, as having no fupport from the fcrip
2. If the divine relation of Father and Son be the fame in its nature with that which fubfifts between God and believers, why is Jefus Chrift called the only begotten of the Father? The fcriptures furnifh us with a clear anfwer to this question; for though the relations be the fame in their nature, they differ effentially in refpect of their being mediate or immediate.-Believers come to God mediately through Chrift; and, therefore, are children and united to the Father fecondarily, and only as they are united to Chrift; but the Lord Jefus Chrift is the immediate fubject of the divine will; and, therefore, alone the Son of the Father, in a firft and immediate union; this may be seen in the following paffages,
No man hath feen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him, John i.—He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that fent me. John xii.-I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me. John xiv.—If ye keep my commandments, ye fhall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. John xvii. -Whofoever denieth the Son, the fame hath not the Father; but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father alfo.-If that which ye have heard from the beginning fhall remain in you ye alfo fhall continue in the Son, and in