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they are attributes (or properties, or perfections, or whatever names they are called by) which take place in God without measure; so they may be considered in three respects; first, with respect to themselves, as they are essential properties in him. fecondly, with respect to their use and exercise; and thirdly, with respect to the effects and produce of them. And,
First, With respect to power and wisdom, as they are essential properties in God. Now as power and wisdom always supposes a subject which they take place in ; so, if we consider them separate from that subject, they are not; because there is no such thing in nature, as power and wisdom, consider’d separate from any subject; and consequently the power and wisdom of God, consider'd separate from the subject which they take place in, cannot constitute a son ; because in reality they are not, when consider'd feparate, as aforesaid. And if we consider wisdoin and power as essential properties in God, and consider them as they are in him, then they are in no respect the Son of God : nay, they are so far from it, that on the contrary, they are the Father of God's Son. Whatever is essential to, and constitutes that Being which we call the Father, that properly speaking is the Father ; for though the tern Father is a relative term, which in its most proper sense is expressive, not of the nature, but the relation of him to whom we apply that term; and though the act, by which a child or son is begotten or produced is essential to, and is that which constitutes the fatherhood in this case ; yet that act is not the father, but only the act of the father, or rather the act of that being who becomes or is constituted a father by that act, and whose fatherhood or fatherly relation is founded in it, and flows from it: and therefore whatever is efiential to, and constitutes that being which
We call the father, that, properly speaking; is the father. And forasmuch as the substantial power and wisdom of God, or the Father, are essential to, and in part constitute that Being which we call God, or the Father ; therefore that substan. tial power and wisdom are the very Father, tho? they are not the whole or all that is the Father. And with respect to these, there is no room to dispute, whether they are begotten by a neceflity of nature, or by a freedom of will ; because they are not begotten at all. God is necessarily a wise and powerful Being, and his wisdom and
power take place in him, antecedent to all causes, and consequently are never begotten ; and therefore to say, that God or the Father begets this Son, (viz. his essential power and wisdom, which in fact are himself) by a necessity of nature; and to fay, that he begets these by a permanent act, is a contradiction, because, as there is no act exercised in this case, so it is the same as to say, that God, or the Father, begat or gave Being to himself. Besides the relation of Father and Son necessarily supposes two distinct individual Beings, the one begetting or producing the other. Take away this, and the relation is not, it being impoffible in nature that the same individual being should be both father and son to himself; that he should beget himself, and be begotten of himself; that he should be the cause and the effect to himself ; and therefore, to make the same individual being, to be both father and son to himself, is to introduce the utmost confusion, by supposing the relations of father and son to take place, where in reality, and in fact, they do not.
And conse quently, the effential power and wisdom of God, consider'd as they are in him, cannot be the Son of God, upon any account, or in any sense whatcver. That St. Paul afirms Christ to be the power and wisdon. of God, as in i Cor. i. 24. Į readily grant; and that he is fo in the sense of which St. Paul affirms it of him, I verily believe, viz. the wisdom and power of God was abundants ly manifested in and by him, in the work of man's falvation; and in this fenfe Jesus Christ may
well be faid, to be the power of God, and the wisdom of God, but that the anointed Saviour, or Son of God, is the very and substantial power and wis. dom of God, as they are essential properties in him, this I deny, upon the grounds before mens tioned.
Secondly, The power and wisdom of God may be consider'd with respect to their use and exercise. Now tho' wisdom and power are neceffafily in him, yet he is entirely free in the use and exercise of these ; so that he exercises them, when, where, and howsoever he pleases. Thus, he exercised his power, wisdom, and goodness, in the creation of this world. And as he created it when he did; fo he might have done it sooner, or not have done it to this day, if he had pleas'd; which abundantly proves, that the exercise of these depends wholly upon God's good pleasure, And if we should be so weak, as to call the exert cise of thefe, by the name of the Son of God; yet this Son would be the product of freedom and choice, which Mr. Claggett will not allow the Son of God to be. And as God is pleased to manisest, or shew forth his glory, in the exercise of these to his Son Christ is said to be, the brightness of hiş glory, because the wisdom, goodness, love, and mercy of God, (his darling attributes) were ex. ercised in the work of man's falvation in and through him, in a more plentiful and full many der than had ever been exercited towards the fons of men, and so he might well be faid, to be the leys of his Father's glory,
Thirdly, The power and wisdom of God may be consider'd with respect to the effe&s and produce of them. Now as the exercise of God's power and wisdom is from freedom and choice, and depends wholly upon his good pleasure, so it will follow, that whatever is produced by them must be so ; and consequently, if God hath, or Thall beget, create, make, or any other way produce, a Son, or Sons, in the use and exercise of his essential power and wisdom, such a Son, or Sons, would be begotten, created, made, (or whatever way they are produced) not from a necessity of nature, but wholly and solely from the freedom of his will, and so such a Son of God would not be the Son of God, which Mr. Claggett hath been pleading for. And if we should make all the effects and produce of God's essential power and wisdom to be the Son of God, then it will follow, that as this is a contingent Son, fo he is constituted or compounded of this ball of earth on which we tread, with all its inhabitants, and all the rest of God's works; but this is so monstrous as no man in his senses will be supposed to own.
Thus I have confider'd the substantial power and wisdom of God, both with respect to themselves, as they are essential properties in him, and with respect to the use and exercise of these, and also with respect to the effects and produce of them; and have shewed, that they neither do, nor can afford any such Son of God as Mr. Claggett contends for ; and consequently, such a son is but an imaginary son, and not the true and real Son of God, which the scriptures give us an. account of. It is such a fon as hath no foundation in the nature of things, nor in the christian revelation. I have no need to take notice of the parallel he draws betwixt the fun, with its light, and the father, with this imaginary fon ; which, upon examination, I find to be as little to his
purpose as the rest. I say, there is no need for me to take notice of these, seeing he hath plainly fhewn, that the Son, which he is arguing for, is the substantial power and wisdom of the Father; and consequently, is not a fon in reality, or in fact, but only in imagination. Nay, that he is so far from being the real and very Son of the Father, that on the contrary he is the Father of God's Son. And as he hath substituted an imaginary fon, fo he hath excluded the real and true Son of God out of the question; whereas my arguments relate wholly to the real Son of God, and not to. that imaginary son which he hath substituted in his stead. By the real Son I mean, that divine Person (that man, consisting of soul and body, which Mr. Chaggett calls the human nature) which was prophesied of, and promised to the Fews as their Meffiah ; which was born of the Virgin, and was baptized of John in Jordan ; and upon whom the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, and rested upon him, and so he was anointed to his office with the Holy Ghost, and with power ; and to whom God bare witness by an audible voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ; that man which preached the gospel of peace, which suffered death upon the cross, which was raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and is exalted at the right-hand of God, whom the heavens must retain till the restitution of all things ; that man whom God hath made both Lord and Christ, as in Aets ii. 36. I say, this heavenly Person, this man, is the true and only begotten Son of God, and him alone. And I challenge Mr. Claggett to prove, from fcripture, any other only begotten Son of God, but he. This is the Son of God which my arguments relate to. Now if ke hath proved this Son to be equal to the Fa