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we must be saved.” 1 Tim. ii. 5. “ there is one mediator
the man Christ Jesus." John xiv. 6. " no man cometh into the Father, but by me.
There was a promise made to all mankind, and an expec. tation of the Redeemer, more or less distinct, even from the time of the fall. Gen. iii. 15. “I will put enmity.” xxii. 18. " in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” See also xxvi. 4. xxviii. 14. xlix. 10. “ until Shiloh, or the peacemaker come. Deut. xviii. 15. “ Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken: according to all that thou desiredst of Jehovah thy God in Horeb
saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Jehovah my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not."
Job xix. 25, 26. “I know that my redeemer liveth.” In the Psalms and prophetical writings the advent of the Redeemer is intimated with less obscurity. Psal. lxxxix. 35, 36.
once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever.” Isai. xi. 1, &c. "there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse." Jer. xxx. 9. "they shall serve Jehovah their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.” xxxii. 15. “at that time will I cause the branch of righteousness to grow up unto David.”
At the appointed time he was sent into the world. Gal. iv. 4. as above.
Two points are to be considered in relation to Christ's character as Redeemer; his NATURE and OFFICE.
His NATURE is twofold ; divine and human. Matt. xvi. 16. “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Gen. iii. 15, “the seed of the woman.” John i. 1, 14. “the Word was God..., and the Word was made flesh.” üï. 13. “ he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man that is in heaven.” v. 31. “ he that cometh from above .... he that cometh from heaven.” Acts ii. 30. “ of the fruit of the loins of David, according to the flesh.” See also Rom. i. 3. vii. 3. “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.” ix, 5. "of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God.” 1 Cor. xv. 47. “the second man is the Lord from heaven.' Gal. iv. 4. “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman.' Philipp. č. 7, 8. “but made himself of no repu
tation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a
Heb. ii. 14, 16. “he also himself took part of flesh and blood.... he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” x. 5, &c. “wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me
... then said I, Lo, I come.” 1 John i. 7. “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son." iv. 2. "
every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God.” Col. ii. 9. “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily;" which passage I understand, not in the divine nature of Christ, but of the entire virtue of the Father, and the full completion of his promises, (for so I would interpret the word, rather than fulness,) dwelling in, not hypostatically united with, Christ's human nature, and this bodily, that is, not in ceremonies and the rudiments of the world, but really and substantially ;) according to Isai. xi. 2. &c. "the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom.” John üï. 34. “God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” i. 17.“grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” 1 Tim. ii. 16. “God was manifest in the flesh,” that is, in the incarnate Son, his own image. With regard to Christ's divine nature, the reader is referred to what was proved in a former chapter concerning the Son of God; from whence it follows, that he by whom all things were made both in heaven and earth, even the angels themselves, he who in the beginning was the Word, and God with God, and although not supreme, yet the first born of every creature, must necessarily have existed previous to his incarnation, whatever subtleties may have been invented to evade this conclusion by those who contend for the merely human nature of Christ.
This incarnation of Christ, whereby he, being God, took upon him the human nature, and was made flesh, withcut thereby ceasing to be numerically the same as before, is gene
3 Clarke (Scripture Doctrine) agrees with Milton in his interpretation of this text, but is fully refuted by Waterland in his 7th sermon on Christ's Divinity proved from his Attributes, to which the reader is referred for a masterly criticism on the passage. Works, II. 156.
4 Alluding to the sophistries of Socinus, Cellius, and other writers of the same school.
i rally considered by theologians as, next to the Trinity in
Unity, the greatest mystery of our religion. Of the mystery of the Trinity, however, no mention is made in Scripture ;' whereas the incarnation is frequently spoken of as a mystery, 1 Tim. iii. 16. “ without controversy great is the mystery of godliness ; God was manifest in the flesh." Col. ii. 2, 3. "to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whicho (namely, in this mystery) are hid all the treasures of wisdom.” Eph. i. 9, 10.“having made known unto us the mystery of his will.... that he might gather together in one all things in Christ.” iii. 4. "in the mystery of Christ.” See also Col. iv. 3. Eph. iii. 9. “the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ." Col. i.' 26, 27. “ the riches of the glory of this mystery.... which is Christ.”
Since then this mystery is so great, we are admonished by. that very consideration not to assert anything respecting it rashly or presumptuously, on mere grounds of philosophical reasoning ; not to add to it anything of our own; not even to adduce in its behalf any passage of Scripture of which the purport may be doubtful, but to be contented with the clearest texts, however few in number. If we listen to such passages, and are willing to acquiesce in the simple truth of Scripture, unencumbered by metaphysical comments, to how many prolix and preposterous arguments shall we put an end! how much occasion of heresy shall we remove! how many ponderous volumes of dabblers in theology shall we cast out, purging the temple of God from the contamination of their rubbish! Nothing would be more plain, and agreeable to reason, nothing more suitable to the understanding even of the meanest individual, than such parts of the Christian faith as are declared in Scripture to be necessary for salvation, if teachers, even of
6 Much stress is said by Anti-Trinitarians on the non-occurrence of the word Trinity in Scripture. It seems to have been brought in from the Platonic school in the second century, to express the union of the three persons; and about the fourth century, when disputes concerning the nature of the Godhead first began to excite much attention, it came into general use as the most convenient term for expressing the Scripture doctrine on the subject. Hey's Lectures, Book iv. Art. 1. Sect. 4. fill's Lecturcs, Book iii. Chap. x. Sect. 1. Welshman On the Articles, p. 7.
6 In whom. Authorised Translation.
the reformed church, were as yet sufficiently impressed with the propriety of insisting on nothing but divine authority in matters relating to God, and of limiting themselves to the contents of the sacred volume. What is essential would easily appear, when freed from the perplexities of controversy ; what is mysterious would be suffered to remain inviolate, and we should be fearful of overstepping the bounds of propriety in its investigation.
The opinion, however, which now prevails, or rather which has prevailed for many ages, is this ; that whereas it was contended in a former stage of the controversy respecting Christ, that the three persons of the Trinity were united in one nature, it is now asserted, on the other hand, that two natures , are so combined in the one person of Christ, that he has a real and perfect subsistence in the one nature independently of that which properly belongs to the other ; insomuch that two natures are comprehended in one person. That is what is called in the schools the hypostatic union. Such is the explanation of Zanchius, Vol. I. Part II. Book II. Chap. 7." • He took upon him not man, properly speaking, but the human nature. For the Logos being in the womb of the virgin assumed the human nature by forming a body of the substance of Mary, and creating at the same time a soul to animate it. Moreover, such was his intimate and exclusive as
Assumpsit humanam naturam, non hominem proprie loquendo. Nam Nóyos in utero virginis existens, humanam naturam sibi ipse, in seipso, tum corpus ex substantia Mariæ formando, tum animam simul creando, assumpsit; atque ita illam in seipso, et sibi assumpsit, ut illa natura nunquam per se substiterit, extra lóyov; sed et tum primum, et deinceps semper in loyw tantum substiterit.' It may be proper to subjoin the language of our own article on the subject, that it may be seen in what degree Milton differs from it. The Son....the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed virgin of her substance; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is, the Godhead and manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided ; whereof is one Christ, very God and very man.' Art. 2. The two great heresies on this doctrine were those of Nestorius and Eutyches, of whom the one confounded the natures, the other divided the Persons. The council of Chalcedon declared it to be the true faith that Clhrist was perfect God and perfect man, ασυγχύτως, ατρέπτως, αδιαιρέτως, áxwiotws. See Euagrii Eccles. Histor. lib. ii. cap. 4. Hooker's Eccles. Polity, Book Sect. 51--54, and the authorities there noted. Hey's Lecture: , Book iv. Art. ii. Sect. 8, 9, 10. Horsley's Sermon on Luke i. 28. vol. 3.
sumption of this nature, that it never had any separate subsistence, independent of the Logos; but did then first subsist, and has ever since subsisted, in the Logos alone.' I say nothing of the silence of Scripture respecting the above arcana, though they are promulgated with as much confidence, as if he who thus ventures to deliver them on his own authority, had been a witness in the womb of Mary to the mysteries which he describes. He argues as if it were possible to assume human nature, without at the same time assuming man; for human nature, that is, the form of man in a material mould, wherever it exists, constitutes at once the proper and entire man, deficient in no part of his essence, not even if the words have any meaning) in subsistence and personality. In reality, however, subsistence is the same as substantial existence; and personality is nothing but a word perverted from its proper use to patch up the threadbare theories of theologians. It is certain that the Logos was made that which he assumed ; if then he assumed the human nature, not man, he was made not man, but the human nature ; these two things being inseparable.
But before I proceed to demonstrate the weakness of the received opinion, it is necessary to explain the meaning of the three terms so frequently recurring, nature, person, and hypostasis, which last word is translated in Latin, substantia or subsistentia, substance or subsistence. Nature in the present instance can signify nothing, but either the actual essence or the properties of that essence. Since however these properties are inseparable from the essence, and the union of the natures is hypostatical not accidental, we must conclude that the term nature can here mean only the essence itself. Person is a metaphorical word, transferred from the stage to the schools of theology, signifying any one individual being, as the logicians express it; any intelligent ens, numerically one, whether God, or angel, or man. The Greek word hypos. tasis can signify nothing in the present case but what is expressed in Latin by substantia or subsistentia, substance or subsistence ; that is to say, a perfect essence existing per se ; whence it is generally put in opposition to merely accidents.
Hence the union of two natures in Christ must be considered as the mutual hypostatic union of two essences; for where there is a perfect substantial essence, there must also