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is in me, and I am in the Father;' namely, because they were one in nature and essence. For the divine nature being simply the same in them all, the divine persons are in each other by virtue of the oneness of that nature.
2. That he be distinct from him. For otherwise there cannot be a seeing of the Father by the seeing of him. He is seen in the Son as represented by him, as his image; the Word, the Son of the Father, as he was with God. The unity of nature, and the distinction of persons, is the ground of that assertion of our Saviour; "he that hath seen me, hath seen the Father also.'
3. But moreover, the Lord Christ hath a respect herein unto himself, in his entire person as he was incarnate, and therein unto the discharge of his mediatory work. Have I been so long time with you, and hast thou not known me?' Whilst he was with them, dwelt among them, conversed with them, he was the great representative of the glory of God unto them. And notwithstanding this particular mistake, they did then see his glory, 'the glory of the only-begotten of the Father;' John i. 14. And in him was manifested the glory of the Father. He is the image of the invisible God.' In him God was, in him he dwelt, in him is he known, in him is he worshipped according unto his own will, in him is there a nearer approach made unto us, by the divine nature, than ever could enter into the heart of man to conceive. In the constitution of his person, of two natures, so infinitely distinct and separate in themselves, and in the work it was designed unto, the wisdom, power, goodness, love, grace, mercy, holiness, and faithfulness of God, are manifested unto us. This is the one blessed image of the invisible God,' wherein we may learn, wherein we may contemplate and adore, all his divine perfections.
The same truth is testified unto, Heb. i. 3. •God spake unto us in the Son, who is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.' His divine nature is here included, as that without which he could not have made a perfect representation of God unto us. For the apostle speaks of him, as of him 'by whom the worlds were made,' and who upholdeth all things by the word of his power.' Yet doth he not speak of him absolutely as he was God, but also as he, who in himself purged our sins, and is sat down
at the right hand of the Majesty on high; that is, in his whole person. Herein he is átaúyaoua rñs dons, the effulgency, the resplendency of divine glory; that wherein the divine glory shines forth, in an evident manifestation of itself unto us. And as a farther explication of the same mystery, it is added, that he is the character or ‘ express image' of the person of the Father. Such an impression of all the glorious properties of God is on him, as that thereby they become legible unto all them that believe.
So the same apostle affirms again, that he is the image of God;' 2 Cor. iv. 4. in what sense, and unto what end, he declares, ver. 6. We have the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.' Still it is supposed that the glory of God, as essentially in him is invisible unto us, and incomprehensible by us. Yet is there a knowledge of it necessary unto us, that we may live unto him, and come unto the enjoyment of him. This we obtain only in the face or person of Christ εν προσώπων του Χριστού; for in him that glory is represented unto us.
This was the testimony which the apostles gave concerning him, when he dwelt among them in the days of his flesh. * They saw his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth;' John i. 14. The divine glory was manifest in him, and in him they saw the glory of the Father. So the same apostle witnesseth again who recorded this testimony, 1 John i. 2. 'For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness that eternal life was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.' In the Son incarnate that eternal life which was originally in and with the Father, was manifest unto us.
It may be said, that the Scripture itself is sufficient for this end of the declaration of God unto us, so that there is no need of any other representation of him; and these things serve only to turn the minds of men form learning the mind and will of God therein, to seek for all in the person of Christ. But the true end of proposing these things, is to draw men unto the diligent study of the Scripture, wherein alone they are revealed and declared. And in its proper use, and unto its proper end, it is perfect and most sufficient. It is lóyos toū Okoủ, 'the word of God;' howbeit it is not λόγος ουσιωδής, the internal, essential word of God, but λόγος
i popópicos, the external word spoken by him. It is not, therefore, nor can be the image of God, either essential or representative, but is the revelation and declaration of it into us, without which we can know nothing of it.
Christ is the image of the invisible God, the express image of the person of the Father. And the principal end of the whole Scripture, especially of the gospel, is to declare him so to be, and how he is so. What God promised by his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son Jesus Christ, that is fully declared in the gospel ; Rom. i. 1–4 The gospel is the declaration of Christ as 'the power of God, and the wisdom of God;' 1 Cor. i. 23, 24. or an evident representation of God in his person and mediation unto us; Gal. iii. 1. Wherefore three things are herein to be considered.
1. Objectum reale et formale fidei;' the real, formal object of our faith in this matter. This is the person of Christ the Son of God incarnate, the representative image of the glory of God unto us; as in the testimonies insist
2. “Medium revelans,' or 'lumen deferens;' the means of its revelation, or the objective light whereby the perception and knowledge of it is conveyed unto our minds. This is the gospel ; compared unto a glass because of the prospect which we have of the image of God therein; 1 Cor. iii. 18. but without it, by any other means, and not by it, we can behold nothing of this image of God.
3. 'Lumen præparans, elevans, disponens subjectum.' The internal light of the mind in the saving illumination of the Holy Spirit, enabling us by that means, and in the use of it, spiritually to behold and discern the glory of God in the face of Christ; 2 Cor. iv. 6.
Through both these, in their several ways of operation, there proceedeth from the real object of our faith, Christ as the image of God, a transforming power, whereby the soul is changed into the same image, or is made conformable unto Christ, which is that whereunto we are predestinated. But we may yet a little farther contemplate on these things, in some instances wherein the glory of God and our own duty are concerned.
1. The glory of God's wisdom is exalted, and the pride
of the imaginations of men is proportionably debased. And in these two consists the real foundation of all religion in our souls. This God designed in the dispensation of himself and his will; 1 Cor. i. 29. 31. This he calls us unto, Isa. 1. 22. Zech. ii. 13. As this frame of heart is prevalent in us, so do all other graces shine and flourish. And it is that which influences all our duties, so far as they are acceptable unto God. And there is no truth more instructive unto it, than that before us. It is taken for granted, and the event hath demonstrated it to be so, that some express representation should be made of God unto us; wherein we might contemplate the glorious excellencies of his nature, and he might draw nigh unto us, and be present with us. This therefore men attempted to effect and accomplish, and this God alone hath performed and could so do. And their several ways for this end are herein manifest. As the way whereby God hath done it is the principal exaltation of his infinite wisdom and goodness, as shall be immediately more fully declared, so the way whereby men attempted it, was the highest instance of wickedness and folly. It is, as we have declared, in Christ alone that God hath done it. And that therein he hath exalted and manifested the riches, the treasures of his infinite wisdom and goodness, is that which the gospel, the Spirit, and the church, do give testimony unto. A more glorious effect of divine wisdom and goodness, a more illustrious manifestation of them, there never was, nor ever shall be, than in the finding out and constitution of this way of the representation of God unto us. The ways of men for the same end were so far from giving a right representation of the perfections of the divine nature, that they were all of them below, beneath, and unworthy of our own. For in nothing did the blindness, darkness, and folly of our nature, in its depraved condition, ever so exert and evidence themselves, as in contriving ways for the representation of God unto us, that is, in idolatry, the worst and vilest of evils. So Psal. cxv. 4-8. Isa. xliv. Rev. i. 19, 20, &c. This pride and folly of men, was that which lost all knowledge of God in the world, and all obedience unto him. The ten commandments are but a transcript of the light and uw of nature. The first of these required that God, the aly true God, the Creator and Governor of all, should be
acknowledged, worshipped, believed in, and obeyed. And the second was, that we should not make unto ourselves any image or representation of him. Whatever he would do himself, yet he strictly forbid that we should make any such unto ourselves. And here began the apostacy of the world from God. They did not absolutely reject him, and so cast off the first fundamental precept of the law of nature; but they submitted not unto his wisdom and authority in the next, which was evidently educed from it. They would make images and representations of him unto themselves: and by this invention of their own, they first dishonoured him, and then forsook him, giving themselves up unto the rule and service of the devil. Wherefore, as the way that God in infinite wisdom found out for the representation of himself unto us, was the only means of recovery from the first apostacy; the way found out by men unto the same end, was the great means of casting the generality of mankind unto the farthest degree of a new apostacy from God whereof our nature is capable. And of the same kind will all our contrivances in what belongs unto his worship and glory be found to be, though unto us they may appear both specious and necessary. This, therefore, should lead us into a continual admiration of the wisdom and grace of God, with a due sense of our own vileness and baseness by nature. For we are in nothing better or wiser than they, who fell into the utmost folly and wickedness, in their designs for the highest end, or the representation of God unto
The more we dwell on such considerations, the more fear and reverence of God, with faith, trust, and delight in him, will be increased; as also humility in ourselves, with a sense of divine
and love. 2. There is a peculiar ground of the spiritual efficacy of this representation of God. The revelation that he hath made of himself, and of the glorious properties of his nature in the works of creation and providence, are in themselves clear, plain, and manifest; Psal. xix. 1, 2. Rom. i. 21, 22. Those which are made in Christ are sublime and mysterious. Howbeit the knowledge we have of him as he is represented unto us in Christ, is far more clear, certain, steady, effectual, and operative, than any we can attain in and by all other ways of revelation. The reason hereof is, not only because