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plainly no such relation as Father and Son then existed. God, it is true, was always the universal Father, but not from eternity the Father of the Son. This tecbnical accuracy indeed is not observed at 1 John, i. 1, 2, with respect to the Father, but we even there see, how St. John in his intentness to exhibit the Son as the realisation of the ideal and abstract combination, the Word, in flesh, nevertheless delicately escapes confounding the pure
Word itself with its audible, visible, and tangible amalgamation, the Son. For thouglı he directly says, that he saw the Life, (and life may be seen,) yet he avoids directly saying, that he saw the Word of Life, the Author or Cause of Life, nicely avoiding so gross an absurdity and inconsistency with the commencement of bis Gospel, John, i. 1, 18, by a convenient “of” or “ with respect to," I John, i. 1, " that which what
“ with respect to the Word of Life," &c. The Father also may here mean the universal and not particular Father, as at 1 Cor. viii. 6, But how explicit is St. Luke, j. 35! The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; THEREFORE also that holy thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God; and St. Paul, St. Luke's teacher, we may suppose, who makes our Lord of the seed of DAVID according to theFLESH, but the Son of GOD by a miracle according to the SPIRIT OF HOLINESS or HOLY GHOST, proved by the resurrection of bis body, Rom. i. 3, 4, thus ascribing the Sonship solely to the Holy Ghost, as a
or nature of the Word of God, and not to any preceding generation.
There is no passage of Scripture which speaks of any generation of the Son of God prior to that which St. Luke mentions, though there is a passage which speaks of one subsequent to it, viz, his generation or resurrection from the dead, Acts, xiii. 32, 33, and then only because his Sonship is by that time completed by his succeeding to the inberitance, and becoming the “Lord of all," and “ beir of all things” by possession, as well as by the title derived from his birth of the Virgin by the Holy Ghost, Acts, ii. 36 ; Philip. ii. 9,11 ; Heb.i. 2 ; Matt. xxviii. 18. He is then truly the Son of God, because his divinity is then perfected, being set down with his father in his throne, having seven eyes and seven horns, being endowed with all knowledge and all power, Rev. iii. 22 ; v. 6. He is then also the first born from the dead, Col. i. 18, the first-begotten of the dead, Rev. i. 5, the first-fruits of them that slept, i Cor. xv. 20. The passage Micah v, ž, has been made to signify a prior and even eternal generation of the Son of God. But besides being falsely translated, it alludes to quite a different thing. But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel ; whose goings forth have been from old, not from everlasting, but from the days of yore, according to the meaning of the words of wisip at Deut. xxxii. 7; Gen. vi. 4; Ezek. xxvi. 20. And these goings forth allude to nothing more than the march of the Word or Jehovah, or Omnipotence and Omniscience, before the Israelites to the promised land in the days of Moses, in character or quality of his future Sonship or generation in flesh. For it is not denied that the Supreme Subsistence always carried on transactions with the human race as trustee for
the future and additional Subsistence of his Essence, the Son, by prophetical anticipations of him as the man his fellow, or by symbolical pretigurations of bim as the Angel of the LORD, and the Captain or Prince of the Lord's host, Zech. xiii. 7; Ex. xxiii. 20,
-23 ; Josh. v. 14, 15; Dan. viii. 11,25; ix. 25; X. 21; xii. 1; Mal. ii. 1.-See Michael.
But it is argued that because God is said to send his Son, (notwithstanding it is expressly said, that he was sent, made of a woman,) he must have had some Son beforehand to send. Now this is a good argument with those who take for granted that a popular mode of expression is also a logical mode, or that the construction of all language is built upon strict principles of reasoning, or that the rules of logic are to be applied to the interpretation of rhetoric. This I say is a good argument with those who do not know, that the language of Scripture is more rhetoric than logic, very often technically and literally talse, and only popularly and figuratively true. This I say is a very good argument with those who do not know, that the New Testament contains more paradoxes than any other book in the world, and that its expressions are sometimes, what I may call in this scientific age, exceedingly loose. This I say is an exceedingly good argument with those who do not know, that the truths of our Holy Book are elicited only by the collision of its strong antagonist statements. For it is the very same argument by which the devil proved to the Papists the sublime doctrine of Transubstantiation : This is my body, literally and not symbolically, said the Dragon. It might be just as well said, that Christ was the Son of Man before he was born of the Virgin, because he is made to say, What, and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before ? John, vi. 62. Was Christ the Son of Man before he took upon him our human nature ? No-no more than he was the Son of God before. What then? Why, God did have something to send. But it was neither the Son of Man nor the Son of God strictly speaking, but his own Power and Wisdom, or his own Omnipotence and Omniscience, which he had to send, which became the Son of Man, and the Son of God by their union with human nature, which were called the Son of Man and the Son of God before, only hy a figure of rhetoric called a Prolepsis. Io which figure God is also said to send propbets. Luke xi. 49. Nor is the sacrifice so vividly painted by St. Paul, Rom. viii. 32, which God made of his Son, the less, hecause the Son had no personal existence, before the Incarnation ; because it appears by the constitution of the Son, that God
gave up, not merely a being eternally distinct from himself, but one which must have been infinitely more dear, a procreation of bimself.
But that the Son of God consisted solely of the union of a divine with a human nature, where it is not expressed, is implied throughout the New Testament, to which the very name as view, perhaps Dan. iii, 25 excepted, is peculiar. Thus St. Paul in his celebrated first chapters to the Hebrews and Colossians, though he ascribes the creation of the worlds to the Son in his eagerness, common to the Sacred Writers, to identify the Essence of the Son with the Word or Fiat or LORD, yet plainly had no notion, tbat the Son had any proper existence before the Incarnation. For
what does he say? He says that the Son seated bimself on the right hand of God by virtue of his being the brightness of God's glury, and the express image of his person, being made so much better than the angels in proportion as he hath OBTAINED the more honorable name of the Son. Now, why is the Son the brightness or visible splendour of God's glory? The only Scriptural reason is, because God's glory, (for the Word was God) was seen as the glory of an only-begotten from a father in a Schechinah of flesh, because he that bath seen the Son, bath seen the Father, John, xiv. 9. And why is he the express imuge, or impression, or mark of God's person, or being, or existence? The only Scriptural reason given is, because in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Deity BODILY, Col. ii. 9, because he is the IMAGE of the INVISIBLe Gud; Col. i. 15. It is true be was made a little lower than the angels as well as so much better, Heb. ij. 7; 1.4; but the former regards his human body solely, as the latter does his divine soul shining through his human body. If the Son was not constitutively a visible being, could be have been the image of an invisible one, or an ocular mark or proof to men of God's existence ? And co the other hand, if the Son had been constitutively an eterpal, invisible being, could he have been rendered more visible than the Father, of whom it is said, Not that any man hath seen the Father, John, vi. 46 ? Yet the visibility of the Son is not only never denied but plainly affirmed, John, ix. 37, and more strongly implied than affirmed. What then? He was made so much beiter than the angels in proportion as he hath OBTAINED (xerampovó enxev) the more honorable name of the Son. Now, here plainly the prevailing notioo is, that the Sonsbip was a new acquisition to the maker of the worlds. He does not say in
proportion as he was the Son of God before, but in proportion as he hath obtained that name since. He was made i. e. out of the all creative substauce or essence and flesh, a creature more exalted tban any that had yet been made, because he was to be the SON, the heir of all things and Lord of all, Heb. i. 2 ; Acts x. 36, the first-born or chief of every creature, Col. i. 15, the beginning or head of the creation of God, Rev. iii. 14, the first-born among many brethren, Rom. viji: 29, because he was to be the crownwork of bis own visible creation by becoming a visible creature bimself. Coloss. i. 15, 16. And what is further implied when St. Paul says, When he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith let all the angels of God worship him? Was not the Son of God worshipped by the angels before he was brought into the world, i. e. this world according to John, xvi, 28 ? No-nor ever seen of them till then, according to I Tim. ii. 16. Yet the angels always see the face of his Father which is in heaven, Matt. xviii. 10. And wbat is further implied, when St. Paul says, But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom : thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity : THEREFORE, O God, thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows ? Does not this prophecy denote, that the distinct Godship, and the exaltation to the more bonorable name of the Son or first-born among many brethren, above bis fellows, were accorded rather subsequent than prior to Christ's meritorious victory over sin here on earth ? Assuredly: as is explicitly stated
in Philip. ii. 9-11; Acts ii, 36 : xiii. 32, 33, God having fulfilled the promise unto us, in that he hath ruised up Jesus again ; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee; having made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ; and given him a name which is above every name, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, i. e. SON AND Heir, (not LORD,) to the glory of God the Father, where it is evident that the Scripture terms, Christ the Son of God, and Lord and Christ are synonymous. And what is further implied of the Son, when St. Paul asks, But unto which of the angels said he at any time, Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool ? Does it not imply that tbe Son never sut down on the right hand of the Majesty on high before bis exaltation from humiliation ? Else would he not have had to descend for his humiliation before his victory over his enemies ? And is not even the address to the Son as the LORD, (not Lord,) who laid the foundation of the earth, in the past tense, as thougb the creation har been finished prior to the Sonship?
Let us therefore “ render unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's, and unto God the things which are God's :" and the eternal Sonsbip is Cæsar's own, who established it at the Council of Nice, A.D. 325, while the true nature of the Word of God no man knoweth but that Word of God which reveals it, so that it is useless to look for it in any human creeds or systems. He is Antichrist that denieth the Faiher and the Son: and what Father and Son can there be in two Persons which are “ peither afore nor after each other?” They who hold out for the genuineness of 1 John, v.9, will find a new enemy to the identity of the Word and Son. For the Word could not bear witness to the Son, unless it were distinct from him. We thus see, that the Word is originally
an ideal abstract Combination of God's natural attributes of Power and Wisdom (to which Holiness, as a necessary quality of these attributes in Deity, must be added,) existing in the Supreme Subsistence, the Universal Father, till it becomes realised in flesh in the Person of the Son of God, when according to the third class of texts it is derived from the preceding Subsistence, who then possesses its elements in the new relation of Particular Father. The constitutive holiness of the Son of God is plainly indicated at Mark, i. 24 ; Luke, iv. 34; Acts, ii. 27 ; iii. 14; iv. 27.
IV. The Son of God identical with the Supreme Subsistence, not CONSTITUTIVELY, but by ORIGIN.
1. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus ; who being in the form of God, thought it no boot to be as God; but emptied himself, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. Philip. ii. 447. Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Heb. ii. 9, 16. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 Cor. viii. 9. Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool ; where is the house that ye build unto me? Is. lxvi. l. Do not I fill heaven and carth? saith the LORD. Jerem, xxiii. 24. Jesus answered and said unto them, destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it upBut he spake of the temple of liis body. John, ii. 19, 21.--11. And now O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory, which I had with thee before the world was. John, xvii. 5. A little while and ye shall not see me; and a little while and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. John, xvi. 16. I came forth from the Father and am come into the world; again I leave the world and go to the Father. John xvi. 28. Now is the Son of