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from the Father and the Son. And therefore it likewise follows, that as the Spirit could not unite itself before, so neither can it apply itself here, to the human nature; for to assume the human nature into the divine, and to apply the divine nature to the human, are two distinct offices, and therefore to be performed by two distinct per
The first could have been done only by one that was really man, as well as God; the other only by one that was merely God, and not man.
And that must needs be so ; for otherwise God should act upon man by man, by the person man, as well as God; and, by consequence, all the dispensations of his grace towards us would have been stopped in the frailty of the human, though perfect, nature. So that it would have availed me nothing if the Spirit had taken my nature upon him ; because, though he had assumed the human, I could not thence have participated of the divine nature; nay, therefore I could not have participated of this, because he had assumed that by which alone I could be brought into this capacity; and so by this means I should be farther off than I was before.
And lastly, as, if the Father had become man, there would have been two Fathers; so, if the Spirit had become man, there would have been two Sons, the second person begotten from eternity, and the third person begotten in time. But now, by the Son's taking our nature upon him, these and far greater difficulties are avoided, which we might easily perceive, could we sufficiently dive into the depth of that wisdom of the Father, in sending his Son, rather than his Spirit, or coming himself in his own person. Howsoever, to us it cannot but seem most equitable, (if reason may hold the balance,) that he who is the middle person, betwixt the Father and the Spirit, should become the Mediator betwixt God and man; and that he who is the Son of God in the glorious Trinity, should become the Son of man in this gracious mystery.
But, on the other side, as it was not the divine nature, but a divine persov, that did assume, so neither was
it a human person, but the human nature, that was assumed; for otherwise, if he had assumed the person of any one man in the world, his death had been beneficial to none but him whose person he thus assumed and represented. Whereas, now that he has assumed the nature of man in general, all that partake of that nature are capable of partaking of the benefits he purchased for us, by dying in our stead. And thus, under each Adam, as the representation was universal, so were the effects designed to be: for as in Adam all died, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, 1 Cor. xv. 22.
Again, when I say the Son of God became the Son of man, I do not mean as if by this he should cease to be what he was before, the Son of God; for he did not leave his Godhead to take upon him the manhood; but I helieve he took the manhood into his Godliead ; he did not put off the one to put on the other, but he put one upon the other: neither do I believe that the human nature, when assumed into the divine, ceased to be human ; but as the divine person so assumed the human nature as still to remain a divine person, so the human nature was so assumed into a divine person as still to remain a human nature; God therefore so became man, as to be both perfectly God and perfectly man, united together in one person.
I say, in one person ; for if he should be God and man in distinct persons, this would avail me no more than if he should be God only, and not man, or man only, and not God; because the merit and value both of his active and passive obedience is grounded merely upon the union of the two natures in one and the same person. He therefore, by his life and death, merited so much for us, because the same person that so lived and died was God as well as man; and every action that he did, and every passion that he suffered, was done and suffered by him that was God as well as man. And hence it is that Christ, of all the persons in the world, is so fit, yea, only fit, to be my Redeemer, Mediator, and Surety, because he
alone is both God and man in one person. If he was not man, he could not undertake that office ; if he was not God, he could not perform it. If he was not man, he could not be capable of being bound for me ; if he was not God, he would not be able to pay my debt. It was. man by whom the covenant was broken, and therefore man must have suitable punishment laid upon him : it was God with whom it was broken, and therefore God must have sufficient satisfaction made unto him : and as for that satisfaction, it was man that had offended, and therefore man alone could make it suitable; it was God that was offended, and therefore God alone could make it sufficient.
The sum of all is this : man can suffer, but he cannot satisfy; God can satisfy, but he cannot suffer; but Christ being both God and man, can both suffer and satisfy too; and so is perfectly fit both to suffer for man, and to make satisfaction unto God; to reconcile God to man, and man to God. And thus, Christ having assumed my nature into his person, and so satisfied divine justice for my sins, I am received into grace and favour again with the most high God.
Upon this principle, I believe that I, by nature the son of man, am made by grace the son of God, as really as Christ, by nature the Son of God, was made by office the son of man: and so, though in myself I may say to corruption, Thou art my mother ; yet in Christ I may say to God, Abba Father. Neither do I believe this to be a metaphorical expression, viz. because he doth that for me which a father doth for his child, even provide for me whilst young, and give me my portion when come to age; but I believe, that in the same propriety of speech that my earthly father was called the father of self, is God the Father of my spiritual self: for, why was my earthly father called my father, but because that I, as to my natural being, was born of what proceeded from him, viz. his seed? Why so, as to my spiritual being, am I born of what proceeds from God, his Spirit: and as I
was not born of the very substance of my natural parents, but only of what came from them ; so neither is my spiritual self begotten again, quickened, and constituted of the very substance of my heavenly Father, God, but of the Spirit, and spiritual influences proceeding from him. Thus therefore it is that I believe that Christ, the Son of God, became the son of man; and thus it is that I believe myself, the son of man, to be made thereby the son of God. I believe, () my God and Father, do thou help mine unbelief! and every day more and more increase my faith,till itself shall be done away, and turned into the most perfect vision and fruition of thine own most glorious Godhead!
ARTICLE VI. I believe that Christ lived to God, and died for sin,
that I might die to sin, and live with God. AND thus by faith I follow my Saviour from the womb to the tomb, from his incarnation to his death and passion, believing all that he did or suffered to be for my sake ; for Christ did not only take my nature upon him, but he suffered and obeyed, he underwent miseries and undertook duties for me ; so that not only his passive, but likewise his active obedience unto God, in that nature, was still for me. Not as if I believed his duty as man was not God's debt by the law of creation ; yes, I believe that he owed that obedience unto God, that if he had coinmitted but one sin, and that of the lightest tincture, in all his life-time, he would have been so far from being able to satisfy for my sins, that he could not have satisfied for his own; for such an High-Priest became Us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens ; who needeth not daily, as those high-priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's, Heb. vii. 26, 27. So that if he had not had these qualifications in their absolute perfection, he could not have been our High-Priest, nor by consequence have made atonement for, nor expiated, any sins whatsoever. But now, though both as man, and as God-man or Mediator too, it behoved him to be thus faithful and spotless ; yet, as being God coequal and coessential with the Father, it was not out of duty, but merely upon our account, that he thus subjected his neck to the yoke of his own law; himself as God being the legislator or lawgiver, and so no more under it than the Father himself.
And hereupon it is that I verily believe, that whatsoever Christ either did or suffered in the flesh was meritorious ; not that his life was righteous towards God, only that his death might be meritorious for us, (which, I believe, otherwise it could not have been,) but that his life was equally meritorious as righteous. So that I believe my person is as really accepted, as perfectly righteous, by the righteousness of his life imputed to me, as my sins are pardoned by God, for the bitterness of the death he suffered for them ; his righteousness being as really by faith imputed to me, as my sins were laid upon him: as these are set upon his, so is that set upon my score ; and so every thing he did in his life, as well as every thing he suffered in his death, is mine ; by the latter, God looks upon me as perfectly innocent, and therefore not to be thrown down to hell; by the former, he looks upon me as perfeetly righteous, and therefore to be brought up to heaven.
And as for his death, I believe it was not only as much, but infinitely more satisfactory to divine justice, than though I should have died to eternity. For by that means, justice is actually and perfectly satisfied already, which it could never have been by my suffering for my sins myself; for if justice by that means could ever be satisfied, if it could ever say, It is enough, it could not stand with the same justice, now satisfied, still to inflict punishment, nor by consequence could the damned justly scorch in the flames of God's wrath for ever, Nei