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names, however, are supposed stricted to the human nature, or by some who are friends to the to the office of the Messiah, and real divinity of the Saviour, to must imply pretty much the be expressive rather of his hu- same with the Son of Man, manity, or of his mediatorial of- Righteous Servant, &c. or the fice, than of his divine nature, real divinity of Christ must be as proceeding from the Father, given up. by an eternal, ineffable genera- But although it be readily adtion ; and to be pretty much of mitted, that the name and title the same import with the names Son of God, is many times given Son of Man, Righteous Servant, to Christ where the inferior naBranch of Righteousness, &c. ture is included, and, perhaps,
In support of this idea of the sometimes where his humanity Sonship of Christ, it is alledged, is principally intended ; for this that the name and relation of plain reason, that many things Son, according to the idiom of are, in scripture, asserted coniall languages with which we are cerning his person, which are acquainted, necessarily implies true only of one of his natures, derivation, and a certain degree as, “That the Lord of glory of inferiority. That the title was crucified,” and, « That the Son, or Sons of God, is one church was redeemed by the which is, in scripture, given both blood of God”-it nevertheless to angels and
That appears evident from revelaChrist frequently speaks of him- tion, that Christ's Sonship exisself as being, in the relation and ted, previous to either his ascapacity of a Son, inferior to sumption of human nature, or the Father, and acting by a de- his appointment to the office of Itsed, delegated power, saying, Messiah. To admit the con“ I can do nothing of myself :" trary supposition appears, “ My Father is greater than I." small degree, to weaken the That the term Son, implies
evidences of the supreme deity either the derivation of one be- of Christ. As this is a subject of ing from another, as men are pure revelation, we must expect called sons, or children of men; to derive all our information or the likeness of one being or from the law and the testimony. thing to another, as angels and The following considerations are holy men are called sons submitted to the reader. children of God; young men It is allowed by nearly all that were instructed and prepar- judicious interpreters of Scriped for the gift of prophecy, are ture, to be most natural to adcalled sons, or children of the mit the literal sense of a term prophets. Wicked
or phrase, as the true sense, uncalled children of Belial, or less where various circumstanwickedness, and proud men are ces concur to show it to be used called the children of Pride.- figuratively. But the term Son, This being, therefore, a title in the most strict, literal, and improper to be applied to su- generally received sense, in all preme Deity, and necessarily languages, supposes a father a implying derivation and inferi- being of the same common naority, it is urged, that either the ture with him. Though it be term Son of God must be re- admitted that the term is many
times used in a lower sense, as was God's own Son, only begotin the case of angels and men, ten Son, &c. ? who are called sons or children With respect to the objecof God; yet, it is much question, that Sonship implies deritioned whether those strongly vation and inferiority, it appears definite terms The Son, by way to originate from our connectof eminence, God's own Son, and ing those ideas with the supreme Only begotten Son, are ever used Being, which belong to creato express a lower idea of Son- tures.
But, because among ship than what is implied in a men a father necessarily begets sameness of nature with the a son younger than himself, it Father. Certain it is, neither will not follow that the title son, angels nor men are the sons of as applied to Christ, implies inGod, according to the sense of feriority. All the inferiority of these terms. “ For unto which a son to father, among men, of the angels, said he, at any arises from this circumstance of time, thou art my Son, this day human generation, and the nahave I begotten thee.” Heb. i. 5. ture of created beings. SeparSupposing one person was cal- ate from this, the son being of led the Son, the only Son, the the same nature is the father's only begotten Son of another, if equal. Perhaps, a more just we should understand the terms idea of the manner in which the in any other sense than as ex- Son of God is begotten of the pressing a sameness of nature, Father, cannot be formed by and a descent by natural gene- mortal man, than what is derived ration, it would introduce such from Psalm ii. 7. “ Thou art a confusion of ideas and terms, my Son, this day have I begotas would go far towards redu- ten thee.” The divine exiş, cing all language to the utmost tence is not in succession, aduncertainty. What more, there mitting past, present and future; fore, could the inspired penman but is one eternal day, or now. say, to assert Christ to be a Son So the Son's being begotten of of the same nature with the the Father, is the immanent act Father, and proceeding from of one eternal day. Therefore, him by an eternal, though in this text is equally true of a explicable generation, than to whole eternity, as of any given call him God's own Son, only point of time. Consequently, begotten Son, &c. ? Supposing the term begotten, as applied the doctrine of Christ's eternal to Christ, implies no inferiority, Sonship to be true, I see not either of dignity, or in point of how the truth of it could be con- succession of existence. veyed in sufficiently strong
Other circumstances, besides terms, or how we could have a the obvious sense of the term, revelation sufficiently clear, to also concur to show us that this fix our faith in the belief of it, title is originally divine, or exif such a revelation is not given pressive of the supreme deity of in the terms made use of by the Christ particularly. As Son, sacred penınan ; for what more and in the relation of a Son to could be said to prove him to be the Father, he is declared to be a Son by nature, than to say he
an object of worship, both by men and angels; and, in many
places, the reason why he was worship. He hath said, I am worshipped was, that he was the Lord, this is my name, and thie Son of God. John v. 23. my glory will I not give to an66 That all men should honor the nother. When John, in the Son, even as they honor the isle of Patmos, would have worFather.” Heb. i. 6. “When he shipped the angel, who bringeth his first begotten into the God's minister in imparting to world, he saith, And let all the him the revelation, doubtless angels of God worship him.” supposing him to be the Lord Ps. xlv. 11." He is thy Lord wor- Jesus Christ, and no created ship thou him.” Agreeably here- angel, he was immediately forto, we find various instances, in bidden : “ See thou do it not, I which divine worship was given am thy fellow-servant, and of to him while on earth, as soon as thy brethren that have the teshe was known to be the Son of timony of Jesus. Worship God. As By the wise men of God.” Rev. ix. 10. and xxii. 9. the east. Matt. ii. 2.-By the But if worship was to be given cicansed leper. Matt. viii. 2.- him, upon a ground which did By the ruler of the synagogue, not imply Deity, would it not when he intreated him in be- be to countenance idolatrous half of his daughter. Matt. ix. worship? Admitting him to 18.--By the people who had be truly God, yet if the worshipbeen with him in the ship, and per had no knowledge or belief had seen his power in calming of his divinity, nor any knowlthe tempest. Matt. xiv. 3.6 edge of his person and office, but By the woman of Canaan.- through the medium of a title Matt. xv. 25.-By the man which implied no proper diviniwho had been possessed of the ty, and was only appropriate to legion. Mark v. 6.-By the the inferior nature, or at best, blind man who had been restar- represented him as supered to sight. John ix. 38.-By angelic created being, it would the woman who first repaired | be no more than creature worto the sepulchre after his resur- | ship. And if worship was comrection. Matt. xxviii. 9.-And inanded to him on such by his disciples when they first ground, as it is expressly, Heb. saw him after he was risen from i. 6. would it not contradict the the dead. Luke xxiv. 52.-command, “ Thou shalt worThe ground upon which divine ship the Lord thy God, and him worship was, in these instances, only shalt thou
serve." given him, was, that the parties Farther, as Son, and in the reknew and believed him to be the lation of a Son to the Father, Son of God. But we cannot divine works are ascribed to him. admit the supposition, that, in But neither the mere human so many instances, divine wor- nature of Christ, nor any creaship would be given to, and re- ted being, however exalted, ever ceived by him, upon a ground did such works as are properly which implied no proper divini- the works of God. Among ty. God is ever jealous of his such works note the creation of giory, particularly of the glory the world, John i. 3. All things of being the sole and exclusive were made by him, and without mbject (in ail livine and religious! lm was thers not any thing
made that was made. By com- grace, mercy and peace, 2 John paring this with verse 14, it ap- 3. “Grace be with you, and pears that the Logos, or Word, mercy and peace from God the and only begotten Son, are titles Father, and from the Lord Jeof the same import, unless we sus Christ, the Son of the Father, are rather to view the latter as in truth and love.” And the exhibiting the stronger evidence Apostle's elaborate proof that of real underived deity, i. e. Jesus is the Son of God, conseviewing him as the maker of all quently an object of faith, issues things, we behold a glory as of in an assertion that he is the the only begotten of the Father. true God, and eternal life, i. e. Creation is also ascribed to him The Son of God, in whom we as the Son, Col. i. 16. and Heb. have life, upon whom we are to i. 2. Not creation only, but all believe for eternal life, and who other divine works are ascribed giveth spiritual understanding, to him as a Son, and in the re- is the true God and eternal life. lation of a Son to the Father, 1 John v.11,12,13, 20. UnbelievJohn v. 17-19. He raiseth ing Thomas, reclaimed from his the dead, ver. 21, and judgeth incredulity, exclaims, My Lord the world, ver. 22. The term and my God! John xx. 28.Son of God, therefore, I think, This exclamation related to the plainly suggests the idea of a same person whom he had seen, divine person and worker. Ap- and with whom he had freplied to the Messiah, it does not quently conversed in the days point us so directly to the office, of his flesh. Our Lord, so far as to the real underived deity of from correcting his error, if it the officer.
was one, pronounceth him bles. The same idea of Christ's sed as a believer ; and the inSonship appears, also, to be spired penman adds, “These
plainly expressed in such Scrip- are written, that ye might be-
« The Lord possessed me in the the divine, original dignity of his beginning of his ways ; before nature, the passage would be a his works of old. I was set up tautology. That the word Mesfrom everlasting, from the be- siah in the Hebrew, is of the ginning, before ever the earth same import with Christ in the was.” According to the well Greek, is clear from John i, 41. known idiom of the Hebrew “ We have found the Messiah, language, the words rendered which is, being interpreted, the possessed, and brought forth, Christ.” But if we consider the plainly imply generation. That term Son of God, as expressing this generation is eternal, is far- only the Messiah's office, withther manifest from Isa. liii. 8. out any reference to the original « Who shall declare his genera- dignity of his nature, will it not tion.” And Mic. v. 2. “Whose follow that when Paul preached goings forth have been from of Christ in the synagogue, that he old, from everlasting.” Point is the Son of God, it only meant ing not barely to simple exis- that he preached that Christ tence, but to the date of his Son- was Christ, or the Messiah was ship. It seems, therefore, plain, the Messiah? And Peter's imthat the name and title Son of portant confession, “Thou art God, Only begotten Son, &c. Christ, the Son of the living are terms used, not so much to God,” will be no more than tel. point to the Messiah's office, as ling, that Christ was Christ. to express the divine dignity of And the disciples' profession of him who was invested with it, faith, “We believe and are sure, and who humbled himself, that that thou art Christ, the Son of he might become the author of the living God,” will be only eternal salvation to all them that saying, thou art Christ the , obey him.
He was not called | Christ. Such unmeaning tauthe Son of God because he was tologies must not be charged the Messiah ; but because he upon inspiration. But if we was the Son of God, he was understand the term Son of the every way qualified to bear the living God, as pointing out the weight of that office.
divine, original dignity of the Christ's Sonship is also dis- person or character, who is, by tinguished from his office, and divine constitution, appointed to declared to be prior to it, in the office of the Messiah, or such passages as these : Speak-Christ, the anointed, according ing of his Father, Christ says, to the literal and natural signifiJohn v. 29. “I know him, for Ication of the term, in all lanam from him, and he hath sent guages, then the phrases are me." Being from the Father not only vastly important, but by an eternal generation, is dis- very plain and intelligible. tinguished from his being sent, In this sense, it is abundantly which relates to his office. Sev- evident, the Jews understood the eral places might also be men- term, John v. 18. “ Therefore tioned, in which, if we under- the Jews sought the more to stand the term Son of God, kill him, because he not only either of Christ's inferior na- had broken the Sabbath, but ture, or of his office, or as ex- said also that God was his Fapressing any thing lower than ther, making himself equal with