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unto faith, and fallen into manifold contradictions among themselves. Hence Aquinas affirms, that three of the ways of declaring the hypostatical union which are proposed by the master of the sentences, are so far from probable opinions, as that they are downright heresies. I shall therefore confine myself in the explication of this mystery unto the propositions of divine revelation, with the just and necessary expositions of them.

What the Scripture represents of the wisdom of God in this great work, may be reduced unto these four heads.

1. The assumption of our nature into personal subsistence with the Son of God.

2. The union of the two natures in that single person which is consequential thereon.

3. The mutual communication of those distinct natures, the divine and human, by virtue of that union.

4. The enunciations or predications concerning the person of Christ, which follow on that union and communion.

1. The first thing in the divine constitution of the person of Christ as God and man, is assumption. That ineffable divine act I intend, whereby the person of the Son of God assumed our nature, or took it into a personal subsistence with himself. This the Scripture expresseth sometimes actively with respect unto the divine nature acting in the person of the Son, the nature assuming; sometimes passively with respect unto the human nature, the nature assumed. The first it doth, Heb. ii. 14. 16. Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.' Phil. ii. 6, 7. ' Being in the form of God, he took on him the form of a servant;' and in sundry other places. The assumption, the taking of our human nature to be his own, by an ineffable act of his power and grace, is clearly expressed. And to take it to be his own, his own nature, can be no otherwise but by giving it a subsistence in his own person; otherwise his own nature it is not, nor can be. Hence God is said to purchase his church with his own blood,' Acts xx. 28. That relation and denomination of his own,' is from the single person of him whose it is. The latter is declared, John i. 14. • The Word was made flesh.' Rom. viii. 3. “God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. Gal. iv. 4. · Made of a woman, made under the law.' Rom. i. 3. · Made of the seed of David according to the flesh. The eternal Word, the Son of God, was not made flesh, not made of a woman, nor of the seed of David, by the conversion of his substance or nature into flesh, which implies a contradiction, and besides is absolutely destructive of the divine nature. He could no otherwise, therefore, be made flesh, or made of a woman, but in that our nature was made his, by his assuming of it to be his own. The same person who before was not flesh, was not man, was made flesh as man, in that he took our human nature to be his own.

(1.) This ineffable act, is the foundation of the divine relation between the Son of God and the man Christ Jesus. We can only adore the mysterious nature of it; 'great is this mystery of godliness. Yet may we observe sundry things to direct us in that duty.

[1.] As unto original efficiency, it was the act of the divine nature, and so consequently of the Father, Son, and Spirit. For so are all outward acts of God, the divine nature being the immediate principle of all such operations. The wisdom, power, grace, and goodness exerted therein, are essential properties of the divine nature. Wherefore, the acting of them originally belongs equally unto each person, equally participant of that nature.

[2.] As unto authoritative designation, it was the act of the Father. Hence is he said to send his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,' Rom. viii. 3. Gal. iv. 4.

[3.] As unto the formation of the human nature, it was the peculiar act of the Spirit; Luke i. 35.

[4.] As unto the term of the assumption, or the taking of our nature unto himself, it was the peculiar act of the person of the Son. Herein, as Damascen observes, the other persons had no concurrence, but only katà Buúdnou kai évdokiav, ' by counsel and approbation.'

(2.) This assumption was the only immediate act of the divine nature on the human in the person of the Son. All those that follow in subsistence, sustentation, with all others that are communicative, do ensue thereon.

(3.) This assumption and the hypostatical union are disunto faith, and fallen into manifold contradictions among themselves. Hence Aquinas affirms, that three of the ways of declaring the hypostatical union which are proposed by the master of the sentences, are so far from probable opinions, as that they are downright heresies. I shall therefore confine myself in the explication of this mystery unto the propositions of divine revelation, with the just and necessary expositions of them.

What the Scripture represents of the wisdom of God in this great work, may be reduced unto these four heads.

1. The assumption of our nature into personal subsistence with the Son of God.

2. The union of the two natures in that single person which is consequential thereon.

3. The mutual communication of those distinct natures, the divine and human, by virtue of that union.

4. The enunciations or predications concerning the person of Christ, which follow on that union and communion.

1. The first thing in the divine constitution of the person of Christ as God and man, is assumption. That ineffable divine act I intend, whereby the person of the Son of God assumed our nature, or took it into a personal subsistence with himself. This the Scripture expresseth sometimes actively with respect unto the divine nature acting in the person of the Son, the nature assuming; sometimes passively with respect unto the human nature, the nature assumed. The first it doth, Heb. ii. 14. 16. • Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Phil. ii. 6, 7. ' Being in the form of God, he took on him the form of a servant;' and in sundry other places. The assumption, the taking of our human nature to be his own, by an ineffable act of his power and grace, is clearly expressed. And to take it to be his own, his own nature, can be no otherwise but by giving it a subsistence in his own person; otherwise his own nature it is not, nor can be. Hence God is said to purchase his church with his own blood,' Acts xx. 28. That relation and denomination of his own,' is from the single person of him whose it is. The latter is declared, John i. 14. The Word

was made flesh. Rom. viii. 3. · God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. Gal. iv. 4. · Made of a woman, made under the law.' Rom, i. 3. Made of the seed of David according to the flesh.' The eternal Word, the Son of God, was not made flesh, not made of a woman, nor of the seed of David, by the conversion of his substance or nature into flesh, which implies a contradiction, and besides is absolutely destructive of the divine nature. He could no otherwise, therefore, be made flesh, or made of a woman, but in that our nature was made his, by his assuming of it to be his own. The same person who before was not flesh, was not man, was made flesh as man, in that he took our human nature to be his own.

(1.) This ineffable act, is the foundation of the divine relation between the Son of God and the man Christ Jesus. We can only adore the mysterious nature of it; ‘great is this mystery of godliness.' Yet may we observe sundry things to direct us in that duty.

[1.] As unto original efficiency, it was the act of the divine nature, and so consequently of the Father, Son, and Spirit. For so are all outward acts of God, the divine nature being the immediate principle of all such operations. The wisdom, power, grace, and goodness exerted therein, are essential properties of the divine nature. Wherefore, the acting of them originally belongs equally unto each person, equally participant of that nature.

[2.] As unto authoritative designation, it was the act of the Fatber. Hence is he said to send his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,' Rom. viii. 3. Gal. iv. 4.

[3.] As unto the formation of the human nature, it was the peculiar act of the Spirit; Luke i. 35.

[4.] As unto the term of the assumption, or the taking of our nature unto himself, it was the peculiar act of the person of the Son. Herein, as Damascen observes, the other persons had no concurrence, but only carà ßuúlnou kaì {vdoklav, ' by counsel and approbation.'

(2.) This assumption was the only immediate act of the divine nature on the human in the person of the Son. All those that follow in subsistence, sustentation, with all others that are communicative, do ensue thereon.

(3.) This assumption and the hypostatical union are distinct and different in the formal reason of them. [1]. Assumption is the immediate act of the divine nature in the person of the Son on the human; union is mediate by virtue of that assumption. [2.] Assumption is unto personality; it is that act whereby the Son of God and our nature became one person. Union is an act or relation of the natures subsist, ing in that one person. [3.] Assumption respects the acting of the divine, and the passion of the human nature, the one assumeth, the other is assumed. Union respects the mutual relation of the natures unto each other. Hence the divine nature may be said to be united unto the human, as well as the human unto the divine; but the divine nature cannot be said to be assumed as the human is. Wherefore, assumption denotes the acting of the one nature, and the passion of the other, union the mutual relation that is between them both.

These things may be safely affirmed, and ought to be firmly believed, as the sense of the Holy Ghost in those expressions, 'He took on him the seed of Abraham; he took on him the form of a servant;' and the like. And who can conceive the condescension of divine goodness, or the actings of divine wisdom and power therein!

2. That which followeth hereon, is the union of the two natures in the same person, or the hypostatical union. This is included and asserted in a multitude of divine testimonies; Isa. vii. 14. “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,' as Matt. i. 23. He who was conceived and born of the virgin was Immanuel, or God with us; that is, God manifest in the flesh, by the union of his natures in the same person. Isa. ix. 6. • To us a child is born, to us a son is given : and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.' That the same person should be the "mighty God,' and a child born,' is neither conceivable nor possible, nor can be true, but by the union of the divine and human natures in the same person. So he said of himself, . Before Abraham was, I am ;'John vii. 58. That he, the same person who then spake unto the Jews, and as a man was little more than thirty years of age, should also be before Abraham, undeniably confirms the union of another nature in the same person with that wherein he spoke those

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