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which answers to it in the new testament, is ren dered son for the same purpose, because a son builds up his father's house. This idea of sonship is properly applied to the Son of God, who builds up, or edities the church, which is the house of God, his heavenly Father. He is the foundation, the edifier, the supporter, and chief corner stone* of this building of God.
Another similar idea is included in the word NIN, which also signifies a son that transmits his father's name down to posterity. This is expressly applied to the Son of God,—“ Het shall be as a son to continue his father's name for ever.” And he
If will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.--IŞ have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it."
* It is an idea too limited, (and not worthy the subject, that because Christ is called in a general way, the corner stone, in the singular number) to suppose, that he is compared to some one stone in some corner. When the apostle mentions it, Eph. ii. 20. he is comparing the church in general to a vast temple, aud says, it was founded on the doctrines of the prophets and apostles jointly: consequently, he means the church in the most comprehensive sense, taking in all good men in all ages, from the beginning to the end of time; and so must speak of Christ in his relatiou to the church, in a sense that is equally large and comprehensive. Corner stones in great editices, unite and join together the walls on all sides, below, and above; cement, strengthen, and adorn the whole building from top to bottom. Thus only can we form any genuine notion of Christ, being compared to corner stones. He is the foundation, corner, and finishing part of the superstructure. That expression of God to Job, Whereupon are the foundations of the earth fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof ?" must denote the finishing of its creation; so Christ being called the corner stone of the church, when compared to a building, must denote that he is the strength, security, glory, and perfection of the whole in all times; which since his appearing in flesh, he has made more conspicuous to all men. The reader may consult 1 Pet. ii. 6, 7. Isa. xxviii. 16. Psa. cxviii. 22. Acts iv. 11. Luke xx. 17. Mark xii. 10. Matt, xxi. 42. Job xxxviii. 6. + Psa. lxxii, 17, mar. | Heb. ii, 12. § John xvii. 26.
Now, from several of these scripture ideas of sonship, as applied to Jesus Christ, especially the two last, it is clear that they have not the least relation to begetting in any sense the word can be taken in. It must then be true, that the scripture account of Christ's sonship, includes more in it than we can learn from his being begotten.
And it is also evident from a due consideration of the whole of these scripture ideas of sonship, that either derivation, dependence, subordination, or inferiority, is necessarily implied in every notion that can be conceived of it, from any one instance singly, or the whole taken together. I may therefore venture to affirm, that there is not one idea of sonship considered as such in the bible, but what points out the inferior character of that person or thing it is applied to, with respect to the opposite or superior character of that person or thing they are said to be sons of. Whatever they may be in other respects, the sense in which they are called sons, confines the idea (according to the scope of revelation, and the best conceptions we can have of it) to the notion of inferiority. One may be an equal or superior in other respects, but in that part of his character, in which he is a son, he is certainly inferior. As for example; a magistrate, as such, is equal to those in the same station, and superior to such as are under his government; but as he is called a son of the Most High, in that respect he is inferior. As a magistrate, he may be superior to his natural father, but as a son he is inferior to him. And with respect to Jesus Christ, the scripture holds him forth to be JEHOVAH, GOD OVER ALL, as was proved above; but all the ideas which revelation affords us of his character as a Son, imply inferiority: and therefore by the light of the divine word, we are led to view his Sonship in another character than pure Deity. Which brings me to a more direct
and particular answer to this question, in what sense Jesus Christ, in scripture, is called the SON OF God.
THE Lord Jesus Christ, while in this world, generally spoke of himself under the title of the son of man. I do not remember that he is called so by any other, except the Psalmist, Daniel, Stephen, and John. Let* thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man, whom thou madest strong for thyself. Andt behold, one like the son of man, came with the clouds of heaven,and there was given him dominion and glory, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him. Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the son of man standing on the right hand of God. Andə I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat, like unto the son of man, having on his head a golden crown, &c. And|| in the midst of the seven candlesticks, one like unto the son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot,” &c. The magnificent descriptions that are given him, who is called son of man in these texts, leave the reader of them at no loss to know that it is Jesus Christ, as an exalted mediator, who is meant through the whole.
Notwithstanding the sacred penmen were so sparing in giving this title son of man to Jesus Christ, he seems to delight particularly in it himself; for we seldom find that he calls himself by any other name. As this part of his conduct is worthy of regard, it may teach us, who have his character fully exhibited in revelation, what honor he choosed to put upon his ancestors according to the flesh,—and the truth of his being descended from them in whom he was promised. It may shew his great love and regard to man, when he so frequently calls himself the son of man. It points out the great depth of his humility, in being clothed with_flesh; and implies the reality of his humanity. But though some of these may appear to us good reasons for his assuming that name, especially the two last, which are commonly sustained as the only reasons; yet I can see no reason at all for his calling himself so often the son of man, to shew that he was really man, as this could be of no advantage to those he conversed with; for in his life time here, none doubted that he was real man, and but very few thought him any thing more than a mere man, and none of the best sort neither,
* Psa. Ixxs. 17.
Acts vił. 56. § Rev. xiv. 14.
# Ibid. i. 13.
But I think there remain greater reasons for Christ having used this title, the son of man, so frequently. By it he leads naturally back to the first promise of himself, in which he, the most eminent son of man, was promised as the seed of the woman, for the grand purposes of destroying the works of the devil, and bringing redemption to his chosen. By assuming this name, he sħewed himself to be the true Messiah, now come to set up that kingdom which should never be destroyed, whom Daniel describes under the character of the son of man. He, by it, directs the hearers to the consideration of himself as the second Adam, now coine to restore what the first Adam lost to himself, and his seed.
Under this character, the son of man, the Lord Jesus, has the pre-eminence above all that ever did, or shall bear that title; as in him dwells
all the fulness of Deity,—with respect to the wonders of his extraordinary conception,--the singular graces he was endowed with above all the sons of men,—the admirable works he performed, which none other could do,-the offices he sustained, and the commission he bore,-together with the names, privileges, dignity, and glory, conferred upon him: in all which, and many other respects, he is the chief of the sons of men,—the choicest work of GOD.
Some of the prophets, as Ezekiel and Daniel, have the title son of man given them, whether to point out the dignity and eminence of these prophets, in any particular respect; or, to put them in mind of their frailty and low original, to keep them humble amidst so many visions, and such near intercourse with God, I shall not determine. But it is remarkable, that though Ezekiel in his prophecy, is called son of man about a hundred times; yet he is never called the son of man, which Jesus Christ is called, near a hundred times in the gospels; which certainly points out his singular eminence above all others under that title.
The Lord Jesus Christ, in revelation, is also very often called the Son of God: and in the new testament, this part of his character is represented to be so important,-so much weight laid upon the proper or improper use of it, that it nearly concerns every christian, to endeavor with the utmost diligence, to attain the right understanding of the true sense and meaning thereof. This can only be had by a careful and impartial enquiry into revelation itself.
Whatever may be the various opinions of others concerning this term, as applied to Jesus Christ, I am satisfied that he is called the Son Of