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The first and the last of these fiye degrees of sonship, are the mast extraordinary: but neither is peculiar to our Lord. For, if with respect to his humanity, he was miraculously and supernaturally formed of the substance of his virgin mother, Mary, Adam was thus formed of the substance of our then virgin mother, the earth : And if our Lord burst triumphantly out of the womb of the grave, on the day of his resurection, so had some of the saints done three days before him, when entered as Prince of life into the territories of death : For, when He gave up the ghost, the earth did quake, the rocks rent, the graves were opened, and many bodies of saints which slept arose : And supposing they rose only with him, yet even upon this footing, it could not be said, that, as Son of the resurrection, he is God's only begotten Son, seeing many rose with him, even the multitude of rescued prisoners who graced his triumph, when he ascended upon high, leading captivity captive. It follows then, that our Lord hath a peculiar and incommunicable Sonship, of which these are some of the principal characters.
1. Though he is a created Son of God, as well as Adam, with respect to his humanity ; yet, with regard to his superior nature, he is such a Son by whom the Father made the worlds, Heb. i. 2. “The world was made by him:" For " by Him all things were made, and without Him was not any thing made that was made,” John i. 3.10. HenceSt.Paul speaking of Adam and ofChrist,says, “ The first man, Adam, was made a living soul; the last Adam a quickening spirit. The first man is of the earth, earthy: but the second man is the Lord from heaven, 1 Cor. xv. 4. 5. 47.
2. Hence our Lord spoke in the most positive manner of his coming from heaven: “I proceeded forth, and came from God,” John viii. 32. “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. 6 I came down from heaven, to do the will of Him that sent me. This is my Father's will that sent me, that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” And when the Jews murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.”_when they whispered, “Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph ? how is it, then, that he saith, I came down from heaven ?” Our Lord saith, “ Doth this offend you ? What, and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before ?" John vi. 38, 40, 42,62. And, alluding to the glory which Christ had with the Father before the world was, John xvii. 5. John the Baptist says of him, “ He that cometh from above, is above all: He that is of the earth, is earthy, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all,” John ii. 31, Who does not see, that if our Lord and his forerunner be allowed to have spoken the words of soberness and truth, he reigned in glory with the Father before his incarnation. · John the Baptist was older than our Saviour, according to his humanity, and began to preach before him ; nevertheless, with regard to his deity, John said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world : This is he of whom I spake: He that cometh after me is preferred before me ; for he was before me,'' John i, 15, 29. And well might he say so, if our Lord
himself says, “ Before Abraham was I am, if St. John declares that “the Word was in the begin' ning with God," the Father, “and was God," and if David and St. Paul agree to say of him, « Thy throne O God, is forever and ever-Thou, Lord, in the beginning, hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands: They shall perish, but thou remainest; They shall wax old, as doth a garment, and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years fail not."
3. He is a Son so exalted above all that are called gods upon earth, that St. Paul fears not to say, “ He is the image of the invisible God," as a son is the image of his father, “the first-born of every creature,” (that is, begotten before any creature-for, adds the apostle, showing that this is his true meaning,)“ by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible; whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers—all things were created by Him and for Him : and he is before all things,” before all creatures, “and by him all things consist,” Col. i. 15, &c.
4. He is such a Son as can say, “ All things that the Father hath, are mine," being fully possessed of the most incommunicable attributes of the Supreme Being. If the Father say, “I, Jehovah search the heart; I try the reins," Jer. xvii. 10.--the Son says, with equal truth, “I am he that searcheth the reins and the heart," Rev. ii.23. If Solomon said to the Father, “ Thou, even Thou only knowest the hearts of all the children of men,” Kings viii. 39.--the apostles say to the Son, 56 Thou knowest the hearts of all men," Acts i.
24. John ii. 24. Doth the Father say, “ I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God?” Isa. xlıy. 6.--the Son says, “I am the first, and I am the last-I and the Father are one," Rev. i. 17. John X. 30. Doth the Father say, “I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the end,” Rev. i. 8.—the Son, his adequate image, echoes back the awful declaration, and says, “I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.” Rev. xxii. 13. Is the Father called “King of kings, and Lord of Lords ?" 1 Tim. vi. 15.
-the Son is proclaimed “ Lord of lords, and King of kings," Rev. xvii. 14. Doth St. Paul call the Father “ Lord of all ?” Rom. x. 12.-St. Peter says of the Son, “He is Lord of all,” Acts x. 36. And to crown these glorious testimonies, if Isaiah name Jehovah “the mighty God," Isa. X. 21, he gives the very same title to the Son, chap. ix. 6.
and the apostle calls him, “Over all God blessed for ever,” Rom. ix. 5. And if the Father is so incomprehensible, that “no one knoweth him," (fully) “but the Son," the Son is likewise so incomprehensible, that « no one knoweth him” (fully,)“ but the Father,” Mat. xi. 27. If “no man cometh to the Father but by the Son,” John xiy. 6. - no man can come to me,” says the Son "except the Father draw him," John vi. 44. And as Philip did not satisfactorily know the Father, before the joysul day, in which the Son revealed him to the apostles by the spirit, (see John xiv. S, 20, 23. and Acts ii. 1.) so St. Paul did not satisfactorily know the Son, till it pleased God to reveal his Son in him, by filling him with the Holy Ghost, who alone can savingly teach us to “call Jesus Christ Lord, my Lord, and my God!" Gal. i. 16. Acts ix. 17. and i Cor. xiii. 3.
From this common, equal, and full participation of the highest titles, and most distinguishing perfections of the Supreme Being, it follows, that the Son (with respect to deity) is as perfectly equal to the Father, though all the Son's deity came from his Divine Father; as Isaac (with respect to humanity) was eqaal to Abraham, though all the humanity of Isaac came from his human parent.
5. Accordingly our Lord was not only declared Son of God with power by his rising from the dead; but he declared himself the very source and fountain of life: “I am the resurrection and the life,' said he, “he that believeth in ME, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die,” John xi. 25, 26. Could the Father speak stronger words to declare himself the true and living God? Nor ought we to wonder, that the Son should speak in so lofty a manner; for being the Truth itself, he must speak the truth—he must speak as the oracles of God, which represent the Father and the Son as so perfectly united, that they are one inexhaustible spring of life and action, of grace and peace. “No man hath seen God," the Father, « at any time; the only begotten Son, who is,"even while on earth,“ in the bosom of the Father," and who came in the flesh, “ he hath declared him," John i. 18. “I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent me," John viii. 16. “Believe that the Father is in me, and I in him,” John X. 38. “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father :-I am in the Father, and the Father in me,” John xiy. 9, 11. « They have not known the Father, nor me," John xvi. 3. 6 Whoso denieth the Son, hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son, hath the Fa