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sent from God thus addressed Mary, “ The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy thing which shall be horn of thee, shall be called the son of God.” Luke i. 35. That our Saviour was indeed the Son of the living God, the new Testament every where teaches us, calling him not only generally the Son of God, but His only begotton Son--His beloved Son His first-born Son--His proper and peculiar Son. And as Jesus Christ is called the Son, so God is called his Father, and in such an emphatic manner, as to intimate a proper and peculiar degree of paternal relationship. This I infer from the first chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews, where the apostle intraduces the title of Son, in order to shew the superiority of Christ over the angels ; unto which of the angels said he at any time, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."
Again, “ I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son,” this clearly proves his divine origin, for as St. Paul argues in a following verse—“ Being made so much better than the angels, he hath, by inheritance,
(or hereditary right) obtained a more excellent name than they.” Now our Saviour can possess, by inheritance, his name of Son, in no other way, than by descent from the Father. Other beings may be sons of God by creation or adoption, but they do not inherit that name, because they are not from the Father, by generation.
In the first chapter of the epistle to the Romans, we meet with a remarkable passage, which illustrates the doctrine under consideration still further" His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God, with power, according to the spirit of holiness." Here there is a plain distinction made, between the son of David, and the Son of God, to which I add a parallel text of the same apostle, which will enable us to ascertain distinctly St. Paul's meaning; it is that where he says, “ of whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed' for ever.” Rom. ix. 5. In the two texts, the antithesis between the words, “ according to the flesh,” and “ according to the spirit,” is
very important; with respect to the flesh, Christ is the son of David, with respect to the spirit, he is the Son of God. With this light we can clearly discover the meaning of our blessed Lord's expression, when he says, “My Father is greater than I,” greater as to that peculiarity of generation which he had from the Father, and greater as to that state of glory, of which the Son divested himself, “ when being in the form of God, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God, yet made himself of no reputation, and was found in fashion as a man.' This condescension or humiliation of the Son of God, from a state of glory, (which he enjoyed with the Father before the world was,) to the low, passive, and indigent condition of a servant, is that stupendous display of loving kindness which prophets were inspired to foretell, and apostles commissioned to publish, – that sublime mystery of godliness which even angels desire to look into, and which we cannot better define, than when we say, in the words of the Athanasian creed :-" That Christ was equal to the Father as touching his Godhead, but inferior to the Father as touching his manhood, who although, he be God and man, yet
(by an ineffable, and incomprehensible union of the human nature with the divine,) he is not two but one Christ, one altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by Unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one. man, so God and man is one Christ.”
The Jews had learned from the writings of the Old Testament, that the title of Son of God belonged to the Messiah, though perhaps they might not thoroughlyunderstand it, according to the full and proper sense, in which the prophets intended it and some of their own commentators had expounded it ; and no wonder, if the generality of the Jews, who thought of little but a temporal kingdom of the Messias, should lose the just and sublime notion of his being the Son of God. But in the New Testament, sufficient care was taken, to elucidate this point, and revive and inculcate the true doctrine of his filiation. John the Baptist, our Lord's forerunner, began his ministry, by proclaiming him to be the Son of God. Our blessed Lord himself, in his discourse with Nichodemus, speaks of the exceeding great love of God to
mankind in sending his only begotten Son into the world, to save it, and states the heinous aggravation of their guilt, who will not believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Now why is so great an emphasis laid upon this appellation, " The only begotten Son,” why is it so highly extolled, not only beyond that of a prophet, but of an angel or archangel; if not on account of some extraordinary dignity of his When our Saviour was accused by the Jews, of breaking the sabbath, he immediately, by way of justification of what he had done, declared' who he was, telling them that his Father performed works of mercy on the Sabbath day, and that he had a right to do what his Father did—and when a charge is brought against him for forgiving sins, he shews what great power, eminence, and authority, the Son possessed, and commands all men to honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. These are strong expressions to come from any person, who knew himself to be no more than a man, or a mere creature, and even in answer to an accusation of blasphemy, for making himself equal with God.