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nally exalt the glory of his Father's love, wisdom, mercy, and grace. He laid the foundation in his own blood, which he gave as a price to redeem them who were children of wrath, dead in trespasses and sins,-enemies to God in their minds by wicked works, walking after the lusts of the flesh, and fulfilling the desires thereof: by the powerful efficacy of his word, he gathers them out of all nations,-quickens and sanctifies them by his Spirit, and so makes them polished living stones in the spiritual building of God, which is wholly entrusted to his care, as the great architect of this fabric of mercy, which is begun, carried on, and finished ta the eternal praise of God, by him“ who is faithful in all things over this his own house, AS A Son."
I shall only mention one idea more of sonship, which is that of one transmitting his Father's name down to posterity. To what was said above on this, I shall just add, that as the name of God, is in his Son Jesus Christ, so it is made known by him. We can have no saving knowledge of God, but as revealed in him, who is not only the medium of our knowledge, but the means of our access to God. He is with the greatest propriety called, “ the image of the invisible God. No man knoweth the Father, but he to whom the Son doth reveal him."
* Ps. sci. 14, which we have translated," Because he hath knowo my name, "-reads literally," I will set him on high, because he hath made my name known." A promise respecting the exaltation of Christ, after glorifying his father in his humiliation upon earth. The life of Christ, was a visible represeutation of the name of God, and the clearest display of the divine perfections. That power by which he did so many stupendous works, was the almighty power of God. He gave the clearest display of divine benevolence or good will to men, in living and dying for them: he went about always doing good, diffusing his godlike kindness in the greatest acts of compassion, sympathy, and tenderness : he gave a most striking exhibition of the mercy of God, in forgiving his most inveterate enemies, and shedding his own blood for their salvation : he shewed the purity and holiness of God in real life: in short, all the revealed perfections of God were conspicuously manifested in his life, death, and satisfaction; in him, “ inercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
When Philip wanted to see the Father, Jesus said to him,
Have I been so long time with you, and yet sayest thou, shew us the Father? He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father. No man cometh to the Father, but through him.” All this is certainly said of him as the mediator betwixt God and man.
From the consideration of these, and other ideas of sonship, being so clearly applied to Jesus Christ as Emanuel, the all-sufficient Savior of men, it amounts to one good argument, that in that sense he is called the Son of God.
2. It may be observed as another argument, that as he is called the son of man, to point him out to us as the Messiah, signifying his relation to men in an eminent sense, as the promised seed of the woman, and chief of all the sons of men; so he is called the Son of God, as he is the Messiah, including that sublime relation to God, by which he is in a more eminent sense, the Son of God, than any other who are called so.
The first promise that was made of the Messiah, was, as the seed of the woman, who should bruise the serpent's head, that is, destroy his power. Now his being called the seed of the woman, must have a near relation to the title son of man; but this promise concerning him is said to be fulfilled by him, as the Son of God; for John says, “ The Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil. He, as the son of man, was promised to do this great work, and as the Son of God, he actually finished it; which evidently shews they have both a respect to him as the Messiah, the Savior of men.
Perhaps some will think this argument not conclusive, because he is not called son of man in the first promise, and therefore it has not a relation to his being the Messiah. But there is abundance of texts to support the idea; as for example, “Let* thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, the son of man, whom thou madest strong for thyself.” Whether the first clause refers to the atonement he was to make, or the support that should be given him in the work, -and the settling of his kingdom and glory after it, I need not here enquire, as it' cannot be doubted that the Messiah is meant, that son of man, on whom God has devolved the care of man's salvation, “ I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.
Daniel says, “ It saw,--and behold, one like the son of man, come with the clouds of heaven, and there was given to him, dominion, glory, and a kingdom,” &c. This so plainly refers to the Messiah, as it needs no comment.
The people answered him, we have heard out of the law, that Christ (Messiah) abideth for ever: and how sayest thou the son of man must be lifted up? Who is this son of man?" The Jews had no notion of any other son of man, in that dignified sense the prophets had spoken of him, than the Christ or Messiah, whom they had heard of out of the law, or old testament: and they seem sur prized, that any thing should be said of him as the son of man, that was not consistent with what they had learned of the Messiah whom they expected.
* Psa. lxxs. 17.
+ Dan, vii, 13.
Jolu xii. 31.
“ It* is written of the son of man that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.” This includes all that is said in the old testament, concerning the sufferings of the Messiah, who is here called the son of nuan; and in many other instances Christ applies to himself under the title son of man, what was said of him as the promised Messiah. But these are sufficient to prove, that the tide son of man, in that eminent sense it was applied to our Savior, points him out as the Messiah, implying his relation to man: so his being called Son of God, points him out in the same character, including his peculiar relation to God, above all that are called his sons.
3. This sense of Christ's sonship may be proved from the few hints that are given in the old testament concerning the Messiah, under the title of a Son. These are either under some shadow or type; or they are spoken prophetically concerning some part of his economical character,—his incarnation,--resurrection from the dead, or his kingdom, exaltation, and goverment: and we have the most certain rule of interpreting these passages, as they are all applied to him in the new testament. That which the apostle cites from Samuel, as a proof of Christ's character being more honorable than angels, because he was called a Son, I have considered above, where it appears in what sense it is applied to him. To much the same purpose is that promise concerning him in the Psalms.t“ He shall cry unto me, thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation: also, I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.” Where his filial dependence upon God, as his Father, is pointed out in the strongest light,
* Mark ix. 12.
Psa. lxxxix, 26, 27.
and the confidence he should have as a Son, in going through the arduous work of man's salvation; also, the great dignity conferred upon him after it was finished.
Isaiah tells the house of David of a very remarkable sign, which JEHOVA Hwould give them. “ Behold, * a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name EMANUEL." This is expressly applied to Jesus Christ, with respect to his appearing in flesh as the Savior of mankind, by the concurrent testimonies of Matthew, and the angel Gabriel, who said to Joseph concerning Mary, “ She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now, (says Matthew) all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord, by the prophet, saying, behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name EMANUEL, which being interpreted, is God with us.” It is too evident to need explication, that in this instance, the sonship of Christ is restricted to his complex character EMANUEL, the Savior of men.
In the other instance where Isaiah speaks of him as the child born, and the Son given, he says,
Thet government shall be upon his shoulders, of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth, even for ever.” We cannot refuse the justness of that application, in a very similar description, wbich the angel gave Mary of the son she should bring forth.-" Thef angel said, fear not, Mary,
* Isa, vii. 14.
| Luke i. 31, 32, 33.
+ lbid. ix. 6, 7.