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this belief roundly, that he was the Son of God. Therefore this Dame does not certainly declare his divine nature.

Objection II. It will be said then, how comes it to pass, that when the high-priest asked our Saviour, “ Art thou the Christ, the Son of the blessed? And Jesus answered, I am ;” Mark xiv. 61, 62, in verse 61. he charges our Saviour with blasphemy, if bis calling himself the Son of God did not imply his true godhead?

Answer. It is evident that the design of the wicked Jews was to fix the highest and most criminal charge they could against bim: But there was no sufficient foundation for this charge, which our Saviour in another place fully proves; John X. 33, 34, as I have shewn elsewhere, in what follows. Thus it appears, that though it be fully agreed that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has true godhead belongiog to him, because divine names and titles are given him,yet this

name Son of God does not necessarily and certainly discover or imply it. Thus much for the first supposed sense of this name.

II. Some may suppose the name Son of God relates to his human soul, and signifies the glorious peculiar derivation of it from God the Father before the creation of the world, and that in this sense he is called the first-born of every creature, and the beginning of the creation of God ; Col. i. 15. and Rev. iii. 14.

Answer. Though I am very much inclined to believe that Christ is in this sense the Son of God, and that his human soul had such a glorious derivation from the Father before the creation of the world, and that he is the first-born of every creature and the beginning of the creation of God, as in Col. i. 15. and that his human soul had as noble a pre-eminence above other souls in its origin, as his human body had a pre-eminence above other bodies, that so in all things he might have the pre-eminence ; Col. i. 18. Yet I cannot think this precise idea is the very thing designed in those texts of scripture, wherein our salvation is made to depend on the belief of Christ being the Son of God ; for,

1. Though the apostles Paul and John, and perhaps the rest of them, arrived at this complete idea of his glorious pre-existent human soul in due time, yet it doth not appear evidently that the disciples had all attained such an idea so soon as they believed that he was the Son of God, in a sufficient manner for their at. taining the favour of God and a state of salvation.*

* I will pot deny but that one considerable ground on which Christ was cal. led the Son of God, at first, aod for which he eminently merited that name, was the digoity of his buman soul both in the native excelleocies of it, and in the original and early generation, or peculiar way of creation of it before all other Creatures : But as ibe belief of his being the Son of God, is made a requisite to salvation, I suppose the idea of that title Son of God, arises oo bigher than to mean in general sume glorious relation to God, partly Dalural, and partly economical, without a preaise determination how far this relation reached, as will apo pear more particularly afterward.

2. There have been thousands of christians in several ages of the church who have been saved, and yet have not entertained this opinion concerning the soul of Christ, that it had a being before the world was created, and that it was the first-bory of all the creatures of God; and therefore this cannot be the sense of that title in those texts.

III. I say therefore, in the third place, that this title, Son of God, is given to Christ, sometimes upon account of his incarnation and miraculous birth. Luke i. 31, 32. . “ Thou shalt bring forth a Son, and shalt call his name Jesus : he shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest ;" verse 35. « The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called THE SON OF GOD."

Though God be the Father of all men by creation, and the Father of all the saints by a new creation or regeneration, yet in a more especial manner he is the Father of the blessed Jesus ; because his body was so formed or begotten by him, in so peculiar a manner, as no other man ever was.

But this cannot be the chief meaning of the name Son of God in the texts before cited : For surely the belief that the man Christ Jesus was begotten of God and born of a virgin without an earthly father, was not made the term of salvation any where that we can find in the New Testament. It is not this sort of sonship that Christ and the apostles lay so great a stress on, nor make the matter of their sermons, and the labour of their arguments, to convince the world of it in order to their salvation. This circumstance of his extarordinary birth, doth not seem to have any such special connexion with the redemption and salvation of men, as to have it made the peculiar matter of their faith and the very

article on which their salvation was to depend.

Doubtless many a poor creature might become a true believer in Christ when he was upon earth, by the sight of his miracles, and hearing his doctrine, without the knowledge of this particular circumstance of his incarnation or birth ; and doubtless many a one was converted by the apostles without any notice of this part of the history of Christ ; for we scarce find so much as thre mention of it in their preaching or writings. This therefore cannot be the meaning of this name, in those scriptures.

IV. In the fourth place, Christ may be sometimes called the Son of God, because of his resurrection from the dead, and his exaltation to universal dominion, by the peculiar favour and power of God. In this seuse Christ is said to be begotten of

God when he is raised from the dead ; Acts xiii. 32, 33. “ And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."

And it is upon this account that he is called the first-begotten of the dead ; Rev. i. 5. and the first-born from the dead ; Col. i. 18. though the Greek word is in both places the same, viz. ngwlotox® ER TWY vergwy, because he was raised immediately by God himself from the earth into eternal life.

His exaltation to the kingdom as heir of all things, is supposed to be a farther ground of this title. Heb. i. 2. «His Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things.” Ps. Ixxxix. 27. “I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.” And some divines are ready to think, it is in this sense he is called the first-born of every creature ; Col. i. 15. because he is Heir and Lord of all the creation. And some join his exaltation together with his resurrection in that prophecy ; Psalm ii. 7. “ Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee;" because it is the chief sense in which the words of the second or of the eighty-ninth Psalm, now cited, could literally be applied to David in the day of his being raised from the earth and obscurity unto a throne : Now David in this his exaltation to the kingdom of Israel was a type of Christ, and was said to be the Son of God begotten that day, as a proper type and figure of our blessed Saviour.

But whatever may be the prophetical sense of those words of the Psalmist, it is certain that the name Son of God cannot directly and chiefiy signify his resurrection and future exaltation in all those places of the gospel, where the belief of it is made the term of salvation.

1. Because he is very often called the Son of God, long before his death, resurrection, and exaltation, to describe the person who was to be thus raised and exalted. He is called by the apostle John, the only begotten of the Father, who lay in the bosom of the Father; John i. 14, 18. and Paul calls him God's own Son, who was delivered up to death for us ; Rom. viii. 32. as a name that belonged to him long before his death, or indeed before his birth into this world : For when he was first sent into the world he was then the Son of God; John iii. 16, 17. and xi. 27. apd as such he was appointed the heir of all things ; Heb. i. 2.

2. This title the Son of God in those texts of the gospel does not depend upon his resurrection and exaltation, because the Jews were required to believe him to be the Son of God long before his death and resurrection. Nor did Cbrist himself in plain language openly and publicly preach his own death and resurrection to the multitudes. Therefore the belief of Christ to be the Son of God in this sense of the words could not in his lifetime be made necessary to salvation.

3. And let it be noted further, that at this time even the apostles themselves, who were true believers in the Son of God did not know that he was to die and to rise again, for Peter began to rebuke him, when he spoke of his own dying; Mark viii. 32. “ And they knew not what rising from the dead should mean." Mark ix. 10. yet they all believed him to be the Son of God.

4. I might add, that it is abundantly evident from scripture that he was the Son of God, before he died or rose again, because he was only proclaimed or declared to be his Son by his resurrection and exaltation : The apostle Paul explains it thus; Rom. j. 4. “ He was declared to be the Son of God with power, by his resurrection from the dead."

Nor is it any wonder that Christ in some scriptures should be represented as born or begotten of God at bis resurrection, since it is the way of the sacred writers sometimes to represent a thing to be transacted or done in that day when it is published or proclaimed ; and upon this account Christ may be said to be born or to be begotten, or to be made the first-born of God, in the day of his resurrection and exaltation, because he was then proclained and published to be the Son of God ; even as a king may be said to be made that day when he is proclaimed or crowned.

V. The last sense in which Christ is called the Son of God, is to signify that “ glorious person who was appointed to be the Messiah, the anointed Saviour who was derived from God, and did bear some very near and extraordinary relation to God above all other persons ; and therefore he is called his Son, bis own Son, his only begotten Son, his beloved Son." And since the several other senses cannot be adınitted to be the precise idea and common meaning of the name Son of God in the New Testament, I take this to be the true idea of it, as it is generally used in the New Testament, and especially in those scriptures where the belief or profession of it is made necessary in order to the salvation of men in the writings of the apostles.

It includes some special and glorious relation to God; but whether that relation belongs to his flesh, or his human soul, or bis divine nature, or to all these, is not so directly determined in those texts, because the chief design of them is but to point out the person and character of the Messiah.

Now let us consider the reasons to prove this to be the true sense of the name.

That the naine Son of God dotb originally respect the glory

and excellency of his person, and his near relation and resemblance to God, appears from the use of the word Son and Son of God in other places of scripture.

Son or daughter or child in the hebrew tongue implies emiDently til o things. 1. It notes some derivation of one thing from another. Men are frequently called sons of men. Israelites are called the sons or children of Israel. So sparks are called the sons of the burning coal ; Job v. 7. to signify the derivation of one from the other.

2. It is also an idiom of the Hebrew language, and a peculiar way of speaking much io use among the Jews, to call one person the son of any other thing or person whose quality and likeness lie bears. So wicked men are called the sons of Belial, or wickedness ; 2 Sam. xxiii. 6. So young men that were instructed and prepared for the gift of prophecy are called the sons of the prophets ; 2 Kings ii. 3, 5, 7. Proud men are named the children of pride ; Job xli. 34. Chil: of the devil, signifies a very wicked man, one a-kin to the devil in malice and subtility, &c. Acts. xiii. 10. So the word sons of God siguifies persons who in a peculiar manner were derived from God, and had some resemblance of him.

Adam was called the Son of God; Luke iii. 38. because he was formed in the image of God ; and in an immediate manDer derived bis being from God without human generation.

Angels are ealled sons of God; Job i. 6. and ii. 1. and Xxxviii. 7. because they are glorious and excellent beings, with spiritual powers and perfections, in some measure like to God, and were the chief rank of his creatures, and not derived from each other by successive generations, but all created immediately by God himself.

Saints are called sons of God in John i. 12. and many other places, both because they are like God, or created anew after his image in knowledge, righteousness and holiness; Col. iii. 10. Eph. iv. 24. and because they are said to be new created, or begotten and born of God, John i. 13. and 1 John v. l.

Magistrates are called gods, and sons of the Most High ; Psalm lxxxii. 6. partly to denote that they are raised by God to that dignity ; so David in the letter and type was the son of God; Psalm ii. 7. and was made God's first-born ; Psalın kxxșix. 26, 27. as a type of Christ ; and partly also to denote that in their authority and majesty they resemble God the supreme Magistrate and Ruler.

The Son of God who was with the three children in the fiery furnace ; Dan. iii. 25. is so called, to signify a glorious and excellent being, that bad something divide or god-like

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