Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

"the Mediator," or "the Son of Man." None of these modes of expression are adopted, but it is simply said, "The Father loveth the Son "; that is, whatever is comprehended under the name of the Son. The same question may also be repeated which was asked before, whether, from the time that he became the Mediator, his Deity, in their opinion, remained what it had previously been, or not? If it remained the same, why does he ask and receive every thing from the Father, and not from himself? If all things come from the Father, why is it necessary (as they maintain it to be) for the mediatorial office, that he should be the true and supreme God; since he has received from the Father whatever belongs to him, not only in his mediatorial, but in his filial character? If his Deity be not the same as before, he was never the supreme God. From hence may be understood John xvi. 15, "All things that the Father hath are mine," - that is, by the Father's gift. And xvii. 9, 10, “ Them which thou hast given me, for they are thine; and all mine are thine, and thine are mine."

In the first place, then, it is most evident that he receives his name from the Father. Isai. ix. 6, "His name shall be called Wonderful," &c., "The everlasting Father"; if, indeed, this elliptical passage be rightly understood; for, strictly speaking, the Son is not the Father, and cannot properly bear the name, nor is it elsewhere ascribed to him, even if we should allow that in some sense or other it is applied to him in the passage before us.

* Milton follows the version of Tremellius, who translates the passage thus:" Cujus nomen vocat Jehova, admirabilem," &c.

The last clause, however, is generally translated, not "The everlasting Father," but "The Father of the age 'to ""* come, T that is, its teacher, the name of father being often attributed to a teacher. Philipp. ii. 9, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and hath given him (xαì éxαpioɑto) a name which is above every name." Heb. i. 4, "Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." Eph. i. 20, 21, "When he set him at his own right hand, far above all principality," &c., "and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." There is no reason why that name should not be Jehovah, or any other name pertaining to the Deity, if there be any still higher; but the imposition of a name is allowed to be uniformly the privilege of the greater personage, whether father or lord.

We need be under no concern, however, respecting the name, seeing that the Son receives his very being in like manner from the Father. John vii. 29, "I am from him." The same thing is implied John i. 1, "In the beginning." For the notion of his eternity is here excluded, not only by the decree, as has been stated before, but by the name of Son, and by the phrases, "This day have I begotten thee," and "I will be to him a father." Besides, the word "beginning can only here mean "before the foundation of the world," according to

[ocr errors]

*

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Ilario μellortos alvos. Septuag. "Pater futuri sæculi." Vulg. "The Father of the everlasting age." Lowth. "The Father of the world to come." Douay Bible.

"The

John xvii. 5, as is evident from Col. i. 15–17, first-born of every creature; for by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth," &c., "and he is before all things, and by him all things consist." Here the Son, not in his human or mediatorial character, but in his capacity of creator, is himself called the first-born of every creature. So, too, Heb. ii. 11, "For both he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all of one "; and, iii. 2, "Faithful to him that appointed him." Him who was begotten from all eternity the Father cannot have begotten, for what was made from all eternity was never in the act of being made; him whom the Father begat from all eternity he still begets; he whom he still begets is not yet begotten, and therefore is not yet a son; for an action which has no beginning can have no completion. Besides, it seems to be altogether impossible that the Son should be either begotten or born from all eternity. If he is the Son, either he must have been originally in the Father, and have proceeded from him, or he must have always been as he is now, separate from the Father, self-existent and independent. If he was originally in the Father, but now exists separately, he has undergone a certain change at some time or other, and is therefore mutable. If he always existed separately from, and independently of, the Father, how is he from the Father, how begotten, how the Son, how separate in subsistence, unless he be also separate in essence? since (laying aside metaphysical trifling) a substantial essence and a subsistence are the same thing. However this may be, it will be universally acknowledged that the Son now at least differs numerically

from the Father; but that those who differ numerically must differ also in their proper essences, as the logicians express it, is too clear to be denied by any one possessed of common reason. Hence it follows that the Father and the Son differ in essence.

Since, therefore, the Son derives his essence from the Father, he is posterior to the Father not merely in rank (a distinction unauthorized by Scripture, and by which many are deceived), but also in essence; and the filial character itself, on the strength of which they are chiefly wont to build his claim to supreme divinity, affords the best refutation of their opinion. For the supreme God is self-existent; but he who is not self-existent, who did not beget, but was begotten, is not the first cause, but the effect, and therefore is not the supreme God. He who was begotten from all eternity must have been from all eternity; but if he can have been begotten who was from all eternity, there is no reason why the Father himself should not have been begotten, and have derived his origin also from some paternal essence. Besides, since father and son are relative terms, distinguished from each other both in theory and in fact, and since according to the laws of contraries the father cannot be the son, nor the son the father, if (which is impossible from the nature of relation) they were of one essence, it would follow that the father stood in a filial relation to the son, and the son in a paternal relation to the father, a position, of the extravagance of which any rational being may judge. For the doctrine which holds that a plurality of hypostasis is consistent with a unity of essence has already been sufficiently confuted. Lastly, if the Son be of the same

essence with the Father, and the same Son after his hypostatical union coalesce in one person with man, I do not see how to evade the inference, that man also is the same person with the Father, an hypothesis which would give birth to not a few paradoxes.

With regard to his existence. John v. 26, "As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." vi. 57, "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me," &c. This gift of life is for ever. Heb. i. 8, "Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever "; hence, ver. 11, 12, "They shall perish, but thou remainest; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."

With regard to the divine attributes. And first, that of Omnipresence; for if the Father has given all things to the Son, even his very being and life, he has also given him to be wherever he is. In this sense is to be understood John i. 48, "Before that Philip called thee, I saw thee." For Nathaniel inferred nothing more from this than what he professes in the next verse,

"Thou art the Son of God," and, iii. 13, "The Son of man which is in heaven." These words can never prove that the Son, whether of man or of God, is of the same essence with the Father; but only that he, who when made man was endowed with the highest degree of virtue, is, by reason of that virtue, or of a superior nature given to him in the beginning, even now in heaven; or rather "which was in heaven," the Greek v * having both significations. Again, Matt. xviii. 20, "There am I in the midst of them." xxviii. 20, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »