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he adds, “the Unitarian scheme of Christianity is the last therefore, to which the Jews are likely to be converted ; as it is most at enmity with their ancient faith.” This author again says, “the deification of the Messiah, was not that, which gave offence to the Jews; but the assertion, that a crucified man was that divine Person." And again. “ The Jews in Christ's day had notious of a Trinity in the divine nature. They expected the second Person, whom they called the Logos, to come as the Messiah. For the proof of these assertions, (he says) I will refer you to the works of a learned Doctor Peter Allix, entitled, The Judgment of the ancient Jewish church against the Unitarians. An anonymous work, (the Bishop further adds) entitled Historical Vindication, or The naked Gospel ; supposed to have been written by Le Clerc, printed in 1690, in vindication of Unitarians, acknowledged, that the Jews were Trinitarians : But says, they derived it from the Platonic philosophy ; -as did the first Christians from the same Platonism of the Jews.”* The fact, that the Jews were Trinitarians, is all we wish. We shall form our own sentiments, relative to the source, whence they, and the first Christians, derived the sentiment.
The evidence I conceive to be very ample, that the great point in dispute, when Christ appeared in the flesh, was, Is this the Nes
Tracts, p. 216.
siah ? Is this Jesus that sacred Person, who is to be known under the divine designation of the Son of God ? If the affirinative were granted, they had no further dispute who he was. He was the Logos; the second Person in the Trinity of heaven; one with God. Hence the Jewish rulers charged him, that he being a man, made himself God: And again, making himself equal with God.”
No declaration then, of Christ, or of others, at that day, that Christ was the Son of God, afford the least evidence in favor of a literal derivation of his Divinity from God, as a son from a father. And all attempts to obtain evidence in this way, in favor of such a derivation, are illusory and vain.
On the Sonship of Christ.
JESUS CHRIST is called the Son of God. Much we read of his Sonship, and of his divine Father. Are we not hence taught, that Christ, in his divine nature, was derived from God, as really as was Isaac from Abraham ? Answer. Merely Christ's being called the Son of God, leads to no such con
clusion. There are children constituted, as well as children derived. God is the fath. er of the rain, and begets the drops of the dew,”—because he produces them. Angels are called the sons of God, because he formed them in his own image. Adam for the same reason is called, the son of God. Men are said to be God's offspring. Christians are peculiarly the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, because they are adopted into his family ;-possess his Spirit ;-cry Abbe, Father; and he is making them meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
The circumstance then, of Christ's being called the Son of God, no more necessarily implies that his Divinity was derived from God, than the term when applied to other beings implies that they were literally derived from the divine nature. No doubt there is a peculiarity in Christ's relation to God, as a Son. He is hence called God's own Son ;-his only Son ;-his only begotten. But those phrases do not necessarily enforce the idea, that the Divinity of Christ was derived from God. And other scriptures utterly forbid such an idea, as I shall endeavor, in future pages, to make appear. The Divinity of Christ is “ without father, without mother, without descent; having neither beginning of days, nor end of time.'
What sentiments then, does the word of God furnish, relative to the Sonship of Jesus
Christ? It teaches that Christ is a Son (in a sense) literally; and also he is figuratively the Son of God. He has two natures in his one Person.
One of them was begotten of God, in the womb of the virgin Mary : which is a reason, expressly assigned by God himself, why Christ is called the Son of God. And Christ in both his natures, Divine and human, was, as our Mediator, inducted—-constituted—-begotten-into his mediatory office, in which he was perfectly obedient to God, as a perfect son obeying a father. And Christ was begotten (raised) from the dead, to his inheritance in glory ; as I shall endeavour to show.
The Sonship of Christ clearly originates in his being begotten of God. This is decided by inspiration : Psalm ii. 7; “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Find the fulfilment then, of this passage, and we infallibly find the true origin of Christ's Sonship. It is evident that this passage in the second Psalm was a prediction of something then future. The event predicted existed at the time when David wrote the Psalm, only in the divine counsel. It was in the eternal counsel of God, that the second Person in the Trinity should become a Mediator, and be known as the Son of God. In this sense, he was - the eternal Son of God.” But the actual event, noted in this Psalm as the only ground
siah to appear.
of Christ's Filiation, was then only in decree. As certain therefore, when and how it was fulfilled ; and the true origin of the Sonship is ascertained. But we find it clearly ascertained when, and how it was fulfilled. It was not at some period before the foundation of the world. It was not in the ancient times of the Old Testament. It was when the fulness of time was come for the Mes
The text is applied by the Holy Ghost—to the time and manner of Christ's coming in the flesh; or his miraculous conception ;-to his induction into his office, as the Prophet, and especially the High Priest of his people ;-and to his resurrection from the dead, and exaltation to glory. To the first it was applied, as in a sense literally fulfilled; and therefore in a sense which exbibits the primary reason of the Mediator’s being called, the Son of God. And to the two other occasions above hinted, the noted text in the second Psalm is applied, as in a figurative sense fulfilled. We find the humanity of Christ begotten, at the time of his coming in the flesh. We also find the Person of the Mediator represented as begotten, by induction into his public character, especially as High Priest.. And we find him represented as “ begotten from the dead," and to his inheritance in glory, when he passed from his humiliation, to his exaltation.
Where the character, relation and circumstances of fathe” and son are perfect, the re