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ture to be his own, is the same with that of the assumption of the human nature into personal subsistence with himself. And the ways of the presence of the Son of God with the man Christ Jesus before-mentioned, do express nothing in answer unto this divine testimony, that the Word was made flesh.'
Being in the form of God he took on him the form of a servant, and became obedient;' Phil. ii. 7, 8. That by his being in the form of God,' his participation in and of the same divine nature with the Father is intended, these men grant. And that herein he was a person distinct from him Nestorius of old acknowledged, though it be by ours denied. But they can fancy no distinction that shall bear the denomination and relation of Father and Son, but all is inevitably included in it, which we plead for under that name. This person took on him the form of a servant;' that is, the nature of man in the condition of a servant. For it is the same with his being made of a woman, made under the law; or taking on him the seed of Abraham. And this person became obedient. It was in the human nature, in the form of a servant, wherein he was obedient. Wherefore that human nature was the nature of that person, a nature which he took on him and made his own, wherein he would be obedient. And that the human nature is the nature of the person of him who was in the form of God, is that hypostatical union which we believe and plead for.
To us a son is given, to us a child is born, and he shall be called the mighty God;' Isa. ix. 6. The child and the mighty God are the same person, or he that is born a child' cannot be rightly called 'the mighty God.' And the truth of many other expressions in the Scripture hath its sole foundation in this hypostatical union. So the Son of God took on him the seed of Abraham, was
made of a woman,' manifest in the flesh,'
did' partake of flesh and blood,' was that he who was born of the blessed virgin, was 'before Abraham,' that he was made of the seed of David according to the flesh,' whereby God purchased the church with his own blood,' are all spoken of one and the same person, and are not true but on the account of the union of the two natures therein. And all those who plead for the accidental metaphorical union, consisting in the instances before men
tioned, do know well enough, that the true Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ is opposed by them.
3. Concurrent with, and in part consequent unto, this union is the communion of the distinct natures of Christ hypostatically united. And herein we may consider, (1.) What is peculiar unto the divine nature: (2.) What is common unto both.
(1.) There is a threefold communication of the divine nature unto the human, in this hypostatical union.
[1.] Immediate in the person of the Son. This is subsistence. In itself it is avvrósTaToç, that which hath not a subsistence of its own, which should give it individuation and distinction from the same nature in any other person. But it hath its subsistence in the person of the Son, which thereby is its own. The divine nature, as in that person, is its suppositum.
[2.] By the Holy Spirit he filled that nature with an allfulness of habitual grace, which I have at large explained elsewhere.
[3.] In all the acts of his office, by the divine nature, he communicated worth and dignity unto what was acted in and by the human nature.
For that which some have for a long season troubled the church withal, about such a real communication of the properties of the divine nature unto the human, which should neither be a transfusion of them into it, so as to render it the subject of them; nor yet consist in a' reciprocal denomination from their mutual in-being in the same subject, it is that which neither themselves do, nor can any other well understand.
(2.) Wherefore concerning the communion of the natures in this personal union, three things are to be observed, which the Scripture, reason, and the ancient church, do all concur in.
[1.] Each nature doth preserve its own natural, essential properties, entirely unto, and in itself; without mixture, without composition or confusion, without such a real communication of the one unto the other, so as that the one should become the subject of the properties of the other. The Deity, in the abstract, is not made the humanity, nor on the contrary. The divine nature is not made temporary,
finite, limited, subject to passion or alteration by this union; nor is the human nature rendered immense, infinite, omnipotent. Unless this be granted, there will not be two natures in Christ, a divine and a human; nor indeed either of them, but somewhat else, composed of both.
[2.] Each nature operates in him according unto its essential properties. The divine nature knows all things, upholds all things, rules all things, acts by its presence every where; the human nature was born, yielded obedience, died, and rose again. But it is the same person, the same Christ, that acts all these things, the one nature being his, no less than the other. Wherefore,
[3.] The perfect complete work of Christ in every act of his mediatory office, in all that he did as the King, Priest, and Prophet of the church, in all that he did and suffered, in all that he continueth to do for us, in or by virtue of whether nature soever it be done or wrought, is not to be considered as the act of this or that nature in him alone, but it is the act and work of the whole person, of him that is both God and man in one person. And this gives occasion,
4. Unto that variety of enunciations which is used in the Scripture concerning him, which I shall name only and conclude.
(1.) Some things are spoken of the person of Christ, wherein the enunciation is verified with respect unto one nature only. As the 'Word was with God, and the Word was God;' John i. 1. Before Abraham was, I am;' John viii. 58. Upholding all things by the word of his power; Heb. i. 3. These things are all spoken of the person of Christ; but belong unto it on account of his divine nature. So is it said of him. To us is a child born, to us a son is given;' Isa. ix. 6. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;' Isa. liii. 3. They are spoken of the person of Christ, but are verified in human nature only, and the person on the account thereof.
(2.) Sometimes that is spoken of the person which belongs not distinctly and originally unto either nature, but doth belong unto him on the account of their union in him, which are the most direct enunciations concerning the person of Christ. So is he said to be the head, the king, priest, and prophet of the church; all which offices he bears, and
performs the acts of them, not on the singular account of this or that nature, but of the hypostatical union of them both.
(3.) Sometimes his person being denominated from one nature, the properties and acts of the other are assigned unto it. So they crucified the Lord of glory.' He is the Lord of glory on the account of his divine nature only; thence is his person denominated, when he is said to be crucified, which was in the human nature only. So God purchased his church with his own blood;' Acts xx. 28. The denomination of the person is from the divine nature only; he is God; but the act ascribed unto it, or what he did by his own blood, was of the human nature only. But the purchase that was made thereby, was the work of the person, as both God and man. So on the other side, the Son of Man who is in heaven;' John iii. 13. The denomination of the person is from the human nature only; 'the Son of man.' That ascribed unto it was with the respect unto the divine nature only; who is in heaven.'
(4.) Sometimes the person being denominated from one nature, that is ascribed unto it which is common unto both; or else being denominated from both, that which is proper unto one only is ascribed unto him. See Rom. ix. 4. Matt. xxii. 42.
These kinds of enunciations the ancients expressed by ἐναλλαγὴ, ‘alteration;” ἀλλαίωσις, ‘permutation;' κοινότης, 'communion;' Tpóπos áντidóσews, the manner of mutual position;' kowvwvía idμúrwv, the communication of properties;' and other the like expressions.
These things I have only mentioned, because they are commonly handled by others in their didactical and polemical discourses concerning the person of Christ; and could not well be here utterly omitted.
The exaltation of Christ; with his present state and condition in glory during the continuance of his mediatory office.
THE apostle describing the great mystery of godliness, 'God manifest in the flesh;' by several degrees of ascent, he carrieth it within the vail, and leaves it there in glory, åveλýden év dóky, 1 Tim. iii. 16. God was manifest in the flesh, and received up into glory.' This assumption of our Lord Jesus Christ into glory, or his glorious reception in heaven, with his state and condition therein, is a principal article of the faith of the church, the great foundation of its hope and consolation in this world. This also we must therefore consider in our meditations on the person of Christ, and the use of it in our religion.
That which I especially intend herein, is his present state in heaven in the discharge of his mediatory office before the consummation of all things. Hereon doth the glory of God, and the especial concernment of the church, at present depend. For at the end of this dispensation he shall give up the kingdom unto God, even the Father, or cease from the administration of his mediatory office and power, as the apostle declares, 1 Cor. xv. 24-28. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom unto God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, until he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, who did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.'
All things fell by sin into an enmity unto the glory of God, and the salvation of the church. The removal of this enmity, and the destruction of all enemies, is the work that God committed unto his Son, in his incarnation and mediation; Eph. i. 10. This he was variously to accomplish in