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SERM. If he be a King, we must maintain our due alleXX. giance to him, pay him honour and reverence, submit to his laws and commandments, repose trust and confidence in him, fly to his protection and assistance in all our difficulties and needs.
If he be a Priest, we must with sincere faith and hope apply ourselves unto him for, and rely upon, his spiritual ministries in our behalf; sue for and expect propitiation of our sins by virtue of his sacrifice; the collation of all spiritual gifts from his intercession; all comfort, joy, and felicity in conseHeb. x. 21, quence of his effectual benediction. Having, (so the apostle to the Hebrews admonisheth us,) a great Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.
In short, if Jesus be Christ, let us be Christians; Christians, not only in name, in outward profession, in speculation and opinion, but in very deed and reality, in our heart and affection, in all our con2 Tim. ii. versation and practice. Let every one that nameth
the name of Christ (that is, who confesseth Jesus to be Christ, and himself to be his follower) depart from iniquity.
Now the God of peace, that brought from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us perfect in every good work to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
His only Son, &c.
JOHN i. 14.
And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.
iii. 16, 18.
THAT Jesus Christ our Lord is the povoyens, SERM. the only Son of God, that is, the Son of God in a XXI. peculiar and high manner, otherwise far than any John i. 18. ereature can be so termed, St. John doth here (and Johniv.9. in several other places) suppose, or assert plainly; and it is a great point of the Christian doctrine, a special object of our faith. To shew the truth of which, to explain how it is to be understood, and to apply the consideration thereof to our practice, shall be the subject and scope of our present discourse.
Heb. i. 5.
I. That the Messias, designed by God to come into the world for the restoring and reconciling mankind unto God, was in an especial manner to be the Son of God, even the ancient prophets did foretell and presignify; Thou art my Son, this day Ps. ii. 7. have I begotten thee, saith God of him in the se- Acts xiii. cond Psalm. And of him, that which in the first less perfect sense was spoken to king Solomon, (who as the son and heir of David, as the builder of God's house, as a prince of peace, reigning in great glory, wealth, and prosperity; as endued with
I Chron. xxii. 10.
SERM. incomparable wisdom, did most signally represent and prefigure him,) was chiefly intended for him, and did more exactly agree to him; He shall be xxviii. 6. my son, and I will be his Father; and I will 2 Sam. vii. establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel
Ps. lxxxix. for ever: and again; He shall cry unto me, Thou
Heb. i. 5. art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation: Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. And accordingly it was, even before our Saviour's appearance, a persuasion commonly passing among the Jews, (both learned and unlearned,) that the Messias should be the Son of God; as may be collected from several passages in the New Testament; in which being the Christ and being the Son of God are conjoined as inseparable adjuncts, whereof one did imply the other, according to the sense then current, and previous to the embracing our Lord's doctrine. For Nathanael, we see, was no sooner persuaded that Jesus was the Christ, but he (according
to his anticipation, common to the people) confessJohn i. 49. eth thus; Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; Rabbi, thou art the King of Israel. Martha in like manner being moved to declare her faith concerning John xi. 27. Jesus, expresseth it thus; Yea, Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world: and likewise doth St.
Peter, in the name of all his brethren, the apostles; John vi. 69. We have believed, and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. St. John the
Matt. xvi. 16.
Baptist also doth thus express his belief and yield John i. 34. his testimony concerning Jesus; And I said, and bare record, that this is the Son of God. Yea even the high priest himself implied the same, when ex
amining our Lord he said, Art thou the Christ, the SERM. Son of the Blessed? I adjure thee by the living XXI. God, tell us, whether thou be the Christ, the Son of Mark xvi. God: supposing that to be the Christ and to be Matt. xxvi. the Son of God would concur in the same person. Yea, the devils themselves had learned this, who cried out, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, Matt. viii. thou Son of God?
Mark i. 24.
xii. 18. xvii.
Col. i. 13.
John v. 18.
Thus did the ancient scriptures intimate, and thus were God's people generally persuaded about the Messias; and that he is indeed the Son of God, the evangelical scripture doth every where teach us, calling him not only at large the Son of God, but more emphatically the άyaπròs, (the darling Son of Matt.iii.17. God;) the vids τñs άуáπns, Son of God's love; the vids aλnoivos, God's true Son, (that is, such most properly, in a most excellent manner incomparably representing and resembling God ;) the ïdios vids, (God's Eph. i. 6. proper, or peculiar Son ;) the wтOTÓKos, God's first- Rom. viii. born; God's vios povoyens, his only begotten Son: all 32; which epithets import somewhat of peculiar eminency in the kind and ground of this his relation unto God. The relation itself in a large sense, and equivocally, is attributed to several: Adam is called the son of God; and the angels are usually entitled Luk. iii.ult. such; and princes are styled the children of the Ps. Ixxxii. Most High; and all men are said to be God's off-Acts xvii. spring, and good men are especially dignified with 29 that appellation; God's people, as such, (the Israelites of old, and Christians now,) are the children of God; yea, God is the Father of all things, as the maker and preserver of them: but all these, in comparison to Christ, are such in a manner very inferior, and in a very improper sense; for he is the only
Matt. v. 45.
Joh. v. 20
Col. i. 15.
Heb. i. 6.
xarà Tiva σχέσιν ύψη λοτέραν. Naz. Orat.
SERM. Son of God: which denotes a relation in its kind XXI. singular and incomparable; from which all other
things are excluded.
Now that we may discern the difference, let us consider the grounds and respects upon which this relation of our Saviour to God is built, or the reasons why he is called the Son of God: there are several expressed or implied in scripture.
1. Christ is called the Son of God in regard to his temporal generation, as being in a manner extraordinary conceived in the Blessed Virgin by the Holy Luke i. 35. Ghost; so the angel expressly telleth us: The Holy Τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον. Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be callGal. iv. 4. ed the Son of God: so the apostle also; When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son
He shall be
Luke i. 32. made of a woman, (or born of a woman, yevóμevov ÉK great, and γυναικὸς—γεννώμενον in some copies :) a generation sa called the peculiar and wonderful, without intervention of any Son of the father but God himself, is one ground of this relation Highest : and God and title; he therein excelling the common sort of shall give him the throne of his father David. Dies iste
2. Christ also may be termed the Son of God in regard to his resurrection by divine efficacy; that quem tan- being a kind of generation, or introduction into an
other state of life immortal.
æterni ua ground called the sons of God;
Others are upon this
They, saith our Saviour, who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead-can die no more; for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, (vicí eloi Toũ Oeoũ,) being sons of the resurrection. How much more then may he 1 Cor. xv. be thence so named, who is the firstfruits of them
Luke xx. 35, 36.