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CHAPTER III.

FROM DOCT. FLETCHER,

That, according to the Scriptures, God the Father has a proper

Son, by whom he made, governs, and will Judge the world.

We cannot read the divine oracles without finding out this capital truth, that God, considered as Father, has an only begotten Son, called the Logos or the Word, whom he loved before the foundation of the world," Johộ xvii. 24. *6 who is the express image of his person,” Heb.. i. 3.-" - by whom he made the world, who was in the beginning with God, and was God,"? John i. 1.

We need only to consider the first verse of Genesis, to find an intimation of this capital truth. es in the beginning,” says Moses, “ Elohim, the Gods,” in the plural number, or God, considered in the distinctions, peculiar to his nature, “He created the heaven and the earth.” The learned know, that Elohim is a word in the plurat number, signifying more exactly Gods than God: and accordingly it is sometimes so translated in our Bible: "Thou shalt have no other ELOHIM," no other Gods, “but me? Exod. 20. “The Elohim doth know, that ye shall be as the Elohim;" which is rendered by the Septuagint, and in our verson, “ God doth know, that ye shall be as Gods :" Gen. iii. 5. a proof this, even to an illiterate reader, that the very first line of the Bible gives us some notiee of the mysterious distinctions in the divine nature, one of which is

called the Spirit in the very next verse : “ And the Spirit of the Elohim moved on the face of the waters.

“In the beginning was the Word,” the Son, the second of the distinctions in the Godhead, says St. John, “and the Word was with God, the Father, “and was God;" partaking of the divine nature in union with the Father, John, i. 1.

Is man to be created, these divine subsistences consult together : the Elohim says, Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness : and when man is fallen in attempting to be like the Elohim, God says, “Behold, he is become like one of us to know good and evil.”

Light is thrown upon this mysterious language, where David, speaking of the Son manifested in the flesh, introduces Jehovah as saying to the Messiah, “Thou art my son-this day have I begotten thee." Struck with the awfulness of this decree, or divine declaration, the psalmist cries out, "serve Jehovah with fear, kiss the Son,” give him the kiss of adoration by trusting in him as Jehovah-Saviour, kiss him, “lest ye perish out of the way of saving faith, if his wrath, the terrible wrath of the Lamb, described Rev. vi. 16. “be kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him," Psalm ii. 7, 11, 12. And to prove that this Son of Jehovah, whom we are to trust in under pain of destruction, is not a mere man (as Dr. P. supposes,) but the proper son of God, we need only compare with the above, these two scriptures : “ Trust ye in the Lord Jehovah, for in him is everlasting strength--Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and whose heart de

Farteth from Jehovah;” Isaiah xxvi. A. and Jer. xvii. 5.

Agur had a sight of the mystery revealed in the second psalm, when he asks, . Who hath established the earth? What is his name, and what is his Son's name ?” Prov xxx, 4. And that this everlasting Son was, at times, the object of the religious addresses of prophets and kings, appears from these words of the psalmist: “All kings shall fall down before him, and all nations shall serve him," Psalm lxxii. 11. « And worship Him all ye Gods," Psalm xcvii. 7. the very passage to which St. Paul alludes, where he writes, « When God bringeth in his first begotten into the world, he saith, Let all the angels of God worship him," Heb. i. 6.

But what was only on particular occasions taught the prophets, was continually held out to view by the apostles. God the Son, or the Son of God, or God manifested in the flesh is the sum of the New Testament. He plainly spoke of God the Father ; and with the blood of human nature, which he assumed for our salvation, he publickly sealed this great truth, I am the son of God: before Abraham was, I am.

He speaks of his eternal Father, as of his proper and natural Father, with whom he shared divine honors before he appeared upon earth. “And now, 0 Father," says he, “ glorify thou me,” in my complex nature, “ with thine own self,” at thy right hand,“ with the glory which I had with thee before the world was, John xvii. 5. Speaking of his appearance as Son of man, he calls himself both * the Son of God,” and “the Son of man, whom God the Father hath sealed," John x, 36, and vi. 27, St. Paul seaks the same languages

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when he mentions - the church in God the Fa.
ther, and in the Lord Jesus Christ," i Thess. 1. i.
If he wishes peace to the Ephesians, it is 6 from
God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ,"'
Eph. vi. 23. If he prays that Titus and Timothy
may be filled with grace, he looks up to “God
the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ our Sav-
iour," Titus i 4. St. Jude salutes those who are
6 sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in
Jesus Christ, Jude ver. 1. St. Peter, full of the
glorious idea of the Trinity, writes to them that
are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God
the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit,
unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Je-
sus Christ,” i Peter i. 2. In his second épistle,
he adds, “ We were witnesses of his majesty: For
he received from God the Father honor and
glory, when there came such a voice from the
excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased,” 2 Peter i. 17. And
St. John, who declares, “ the Son of Godis come,
the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only be-
gotten of the Father."-St. John I say, salutes
the elect Lady, by wishing her “ mercy from God
the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the
Son of the Father,” 2 Johni, 3,-John i. 1. 14.-
1 John v. 20.

It is not possible, that an unprejudiced person should read these srciptures, without being struck with this thought, If the gospel teaches us, that there is in the Godhead One, who is called God the Father, it teaches us, at least indirectly, that there is another, who may with propriety be called the only begotten, or proper Son of God

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a Son by nature, and not barely a son by creations: as Adam, or by adoption, as St. Paul and St. John, or by the resurrection from the dead, as : . those saints who came out of their graves when our great High Priest died to overcome death and the grave. And, therefore, unless the gos. , pel sets before us the most strange temptation to idolatry, (the bare supposition of which is not to be allowed for a moment,) there is in the Godhead a Son, who was in the beginning with God the Father, and who was as truly God with Him, as Isaac the proper son of the man Abraham, was truly man, like his father.

This will appear beyond all doubt, if the reader weighs the following scriptural remarks upons our Lord's sonship.

1. Some are the created sons of God, whether they are supernaturally formed out of nothing as as angels, or of pre-existent matter as our first parents : 2. Others are the reputed sons of God, as all those who profess to serve him with filial reverence : 3. Others are the titular sons of God, as all those to whom a share of God's supreme authority has been delegated : 4. Others are (in one sense) the adopted sons of God, as St. John, and all those who receiving by faith the proper Son, and being led by the spirit, receive the initial adoption_namely, the redemption of their souls : And 5. Others, (as Enoch, Elijah, and the saints who now share in the first resurection,) being sons of the resurection, are the adopted sons of God in the full sense of the word; for they have received the (full) adoption,-namely, the redemption of their body, Luke xx. 36. and Rom, viii. 14. 23.

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