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itance obtained a more excellent name than they.” No other name can be intended but that of Son, as the following verse proves: "for unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee?" The Son also declares the same of himself. John x. 35, 36,
say ye of Him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God?" By a similar figure of speech, though in a much lower sense, the saints are also said to be begotten of God.
It is evident, however, upon a careful comparison and examination of all these passages, and particularly from the whole of the second Psalm, that however the generation of the Son may have taken place, it arose from no natural necessity, as is generally contended, but was no less owing to the decree and will of the Father than his priesthood or kingly power, or his resuscitation from the dead. Nor is it any objection to this that he bears the title of begotten, in whatever sense that expression is to be understood, or of God's own Son, Rom. viii. 32. For he is called the own Son of God merely because he had no other Father besides God, whence he himself said, that God was his Father, John v. 18. For to Adam God stood less in the relation of Father, than of Creator, having only formed him from the dust of the earth; whereas he was properly the Father of the
Son made of his own substance. Yet it does not follow from hence that the Son is co-essential with the Father, for then the title of Son would be least of all applicable to him, since he who is properly the Son is not coeval with the Father, much less of the same numerical essence, otherwise the Father and the Son would be one person; nor did the Father beget him from any natural necessity, but of his own free will, a mode more perfect and more agreeable to the paternal dignity; particularly since the Father is God, all whose works, and consequently the works of generation, are executed freely according to his own good pleasure, as has been already proved from Scripture.
For, questionless, it was in God's power consistently with the perfection of his own essence not to have begotten the Son, inasmuch as generation does not pertain to the nature of the Deity, who stands in no need of propagation; but whatever does not pertain to his own essence or nature, he does not effect like a natural agent from any physical necessity. If the generation of the Son proceeded from a physical necessity, the Father impaired himself by physically begetting a co-equal; which God could no more do than he could deny himself; therefore the generation of the Son cannot have proceeded otherwise than from a decree, and of the Father's own free will.
Thus the Son was begotten of the Father in consequence of his decree, and therefore within
the limits of time, for the decree itself must have been anterior to the execution of the decree, as is sufficiently clear from the insertion of the word to-day...
According to the testimony of the Son, delivered in the clearest terms, the Father is that one true God, by whom are all things. Being asked by one of the scribes, Mark xii. 28, 29, 32, which was the first commandment of all, he answered from Deut. vi. 4, "the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord ; or as it is in the Hebrew, "Jehovah our God is one Jehovah." The scribe assented; "there is one God, and there is none other one but he "; and in the following verse Christ approves this answer. Nothing can be more clear than that it was the opinion of the scribe, as well as of the other Jews, that by the unity of God is intended his oneness of person. That this God was no other than God the Father, is proved from John viii. 41, 54, "we have one Father, even God ... it is my Father that honoreth me; of whom ye say that he is your God." iv. 21, "neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father." Christ therefore agrees with the whole people of God, that the Father is that one and only God. For who can believe it possible for the very first of the commandments to have been so obscure, and so ill understood by the Church through such a succes
sion of ages, that two other persons, equally entitled to worship, should have remained wholly unknown to the people of God, and debarred of divine honors even to that very day? especially as God, where he is teaching his own people respecting the nature of their worship under the Gospel, forewarns them that they would have for their God the one Jehovah whom they had always served, and David, that is, Christ, for their King and Lord. Jer. xxx. 9, "they shall serve Jehovah their God, and David their King, whom I will raise up unto them." In this passage Christ, such as God willed that he should be known or worshipped by his people under the Gospel, is expressly distinguished from the one God Jehovah, both by nature and title. Christ himself therefore, the Son of God, teaches us nothing in the Gospel respecting the one God but what the law had before taught, and everywhere clearly asserts him to be his Father. John xvii. 3, "this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." xx. 17, “I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God"; if therefore the Father be the God of Christ, and the same be our God, and if there be none other God but one, there can be no God beside the Father.
Recurring, however, to the Gospel itself, on which, as on a foundation, our dependence should chiefly be placed, and adducing my proofs more
especially from the evangelist John, the leading purpose of whose work was to declare explicitly the nature of the Son's divinity, I proceed to demonstrate the other proposition announced in my original division of the subject, namely, that the Son himself professes to have received from the Father, not only the name of God and of Jehovah, but all that pertains to his own being, that is to say, his individuality, his existence itself, his attributes, his works, his divine honors; to which doctrine the apostles also, subsequent to Christ, bear their testimony. John iii. 35, "the Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things unto him." xiii. 3, “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things unto him, and that he was come from God." Mat. xi. 27, "all things are delivered unto me of my Father."
Christ therefore, having received all these things from the Father, and “being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God," Philipp. ii. 5, namely, because he had obtained them by gift, not by robbery. For if this passage imply his co-equality with the Father, it rather refutes than proves his unity of essence; since equality cannot exist but between two or more essences. Further, the phrase he did not think it,
he made himself of no reputation, (literally, he emptied himself,) appear inapplicable to the supreme God. For to think is nothing else than to entertain an opinion, which cannot be properly