« AnteriorContinua »
must be led to say within himself, It is quite above my comprehension ; but still I say it because others say it, and I believe it because others believe it. Be it known, then, that there is no Son from eternity; and yet that the Lord is from eternity. But when it is known what is implied by the term Lord, and what by the term Son, it will then be possible, and not before, to think with understanding of a Triune God.
That the Human of the Lord, conceived of Jehovah the Father, and born of the Virgin Mary, is what is called the Son of God, manifestly appears from the following passages : “The angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured! The Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called The Son OF THE HIGHEST.” “ Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that HOLY THING which shall be born of thee shall be called THE SON OF GOD” (Luke i. 26, 32–35). It is here said, “Thou shalt conceive and bring forth a son; he shall be great, and shall be called THE SON OF THE HIGHEST : and again, “That Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called THE SON OF GOD: whence it is evident, that the Human conceived of God, and born of the Virgin Mary, is what is called the son of God. So in Isaiah : “ Jehovah himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name IMMANUEL” (that is, GOD WITH Us—vii. 14): where also it clearly appears, that the Son conceived of God, and born of the virgin, is what was to be called “GOD WITH US,” consequently what is termed the Son of God; as is again further confirmed by Matthew (i. 22, 23). Again, in Isaiah : “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the EVERLASTING FATHER, the Prince of Peace” (ix. 6). Here the same doctrine is taught; for it is said, “ Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given," who consequently is not a Son from eternity, but the Son born in the world; as also appears from the words of the prophet in the next verse, which are similar to those of the angel Gabriel to Mary (Luke i. 32, 33).
So in David: “I will declare the decree: Jehovah hath said unto me, THOU ART My Son, this day have I begotten thee. KISS THE Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way (Psalm ii. 7, 12). Here no Son from eternity is meant, but a Šon that was to be born in the world ; for the passage contains a prophecy concerning the coming of the Lord, and therefore it is called a decree, which Jehovah declared unto David : this day, denoting in time, cannot mean from eternity. Again, in David "I will set his hand also in the sea.—He shall cry unto me, thou art my Father.— I will make him my First-Born” (Psalm lxxxix. 25—27). The whole of this Psalm treats of the coming of the Lord; of course, it is he that should call Jehovah his father, and that should be the first-born, consequently who is the Son of God. So, also, in other passages; as where he is said to be “A rod out of the stem of Jesse (Isaiah xi. 1): A branch of David (Jerem. xxiii. 5): The seed of the woman (Gen. iii. 15): “ The Only-Begotten” (John i. 18): “A Priest for ever” and “The Lord” (Psalm cx. 4, 5).
The Jewish Church understood, by the Son of God, their expected Messiah, of whom they knew that he should be born in Bethlehem. That, by the Son of God, they understood the Messiah, appears from these passages : in John: Peter said, “We believe and are sure, that thou art THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING God” (vi. 69).
In the same: "Thou art THE CHRIST, THE Son of God, who should come into the world” (xi. 27). In Matthew : The high priest asked Jesus, whether he was THE CHRIST, The Son of God? Jesus saith unto him “Thou sayest” (xxvi. 63, 64). In John: “ These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD” (xx. 31). So also Mark i. 1. Christ is a Greek word which signifies Anointed, the same as Messiah does in Hebrew: wherefore it is said in John: “ We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, THE CHRIST” (i. 41). And in another place: “The woman said, I know that MESSIAS cometh, who is called Christ” (iv. 25). It has been shewn in the first section, that the Law and the Prophets, or the whole Word of the Old Testament, treat of the Lord; consequently by the Son of God, whose future advent was predicted, nothing can be meant but the Human which the Lord assumed in the
Hence, too, it follows, that the Human was what was meant, when Jesus, at his baptism, was called by Jehovah, in a voice from heaven, his son : “ This is MY BELOVED Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. iii. 17; Mark i. 11; Luke iii. 22); for it was his Human that was baptized. The same appellation was given him when he was transfigured : “This is My BELOVED Son, in whom I am well pleased : hear ye him” (Matt. xvii. 5; Mark ix. 7; Luke ix. 35). And so in other
passages, as Matt.
viii. 29; xiv. 33; Mark iï. 11; xv. 39; John i. 34, 49; ii. 18; v. 25; x. 36: xi. 4.
20. Since by the phrase, Son of God, is signified the Lord as to the human which he assumed in the world, which is the Divine Human, we may discover what the Lord means by saying repeatedly, " That he was sent by the Father into the world," and that “He came forth from the Father ;” namely, that he was conceived of Jehovah the Father. That no other meaning belongs to the expression, sent of the Father, appears from all those passages where it is said, that he came to do the will and works of his Father. These works consisted in conquering the hells, glorifying his Human, teaching the Word, and instituting a new church ; and these could not possibly be accomplished but by a Human conceived of Jehovah and born of a virgin ; thus, they never could have been effected had not God become
Examine the passages where the term sent is used in reference to the Lord, and you will see the truth of what is here asserted : as Matt. x. 40; xv. 24 ; Mark ix. 37; Luke iv. 43; ix. 48; x. 16; John ii. 17, 34; iv. 34 ; v. 23, 24, 36–38; vi. 29, 39, 40, 44, 57; vii. 16, 18, 28, 29; viii. 16, 18, 29, 42; ix. 4; xi. 42; xii. 44, 45, 49; xiii. 20; xiv. 24 ; xv. 21 ; xvi. 5; xvii. 3, 8, 21, 23, 25; xx. 21. Examine, also, the passages where the Lord calls Jehovah, Father.
21. Many at this day think of the Lord only as of an ordinary man, like themselves; the reason is, because they only think of his Human, and not at the same time of his Divine; although his Divine and his Human cannot be separated: For the Lord is God and man, and God and man in the Lord are not two but one person, yea, altogether one, even reasonable soul and flesh are one man; as is taught in the doctrine received throughout the whole Christian world, called the Athanasian Creed, which has been confirmed by several councils. Let me, therefore, entreat the reader, that he may not henceforward separate in his thoughts the Lord's Human from his Divine to peruse the passages quoted above from Luke, as also the following from Matthew : "'The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of THE HOLY SPIRIT. Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife ; for that which is conceived in her is of THE HOLY SPIRIT: and she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus : for he shall save his people from their sins. Then Joseph, being raised from sleep, did as the angel of
as the * This name does not occur in the authorized version of the English Bible, being there always translated the Almighty; the learned, however, are much divided about its exact meaning.
the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife. And he knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born son; and he called his name Jesus (i. 18—25). From these words, as well as from the relation of the nativity given in Luke, and from the other passages adduced above, it is evident, that Jesus, who was conceived of Jehovah the Father, and born of the Virgin Mary, is the Son of God, of whom all “ the prophets and the law prophesied until John."
22. He who knows in what respect the Lord is called the Son of God, and in what the Son of Man, possesses a key to many arcana of the word : for the Lord at one time calls himself the Son, at another, the Son of God, and again, at another, the Son of Man; always using the epithet which is appropriate to the subject of his discourse. When his Divinity, his unity with the Father, his divine power, faith in him, and life from him, are treated of, he then calls himself the Son, and the Son of God; as in John v. 17–26, and elsewhere: but where his passion, the judgment, his coming, and, in general, redemption, salvation, reformation, and regeneration, are treated of, he calls himself the Son of Man; the reason is, because he is then spoken of as the Word. The Lord is designated by various names in the Word of the Old Testament, being there named Jehovah, Jah, the Lord, God, the Lord Jehovih, Zebaoth, the God of Israel, the Holy One of Israel, the Mighty One of Jacob, Shaddai,* the Rock; as also the Creator, Former, Saviour, and Redeemer; that name being always applied which is appropriate to the occasions on which it is used. Similar distinctions are made in the Word of the New Testament, where the Lord is called Jesus, Christ, the Lord, God, the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Prophet, and the Lamb, with other names: which are never applied indiscriminately, but that is adopted which is suitable to the subject.
23. Having shewn in what respect the Lord is called the Son of God, we will now explain in what respect he is called the Son of Man. He is called the Son of Man, when his passion, the judgment, or his coming is treated of; and, in general, where it relates to redemption, salvation, reformation, or regeneration : the reason is, because the Lord is the Son of Man as to the Word ; and it is as the Word that he suffers, judges, comes into the world, redeems, saves, reforms, and regenerates. This shall be now shewn in what follows.
24. I. THAT THE LORD IS CALLED THE SON OF MAN WHEN THE PASSION IS TREATED OF, is evident from the following passages : Jesus said unto the disciples, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and THE SON OF Man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles, and they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him; and the third day he shall rise again” (Mark x. 33, 34). So, likewise, in other places where he foretels his passion, as Matthew xx. 18, 19; Mark viii. 31; Luke ix. 22. Jesus said, “Behold, the hour is at hand, and The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners” (Matt. xxvi. 45). The angel said unto the women that came unto the sepulchre, “Remember how he spake unto you,-saying, THE SON OF MAN must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” (Luke xxiv. 6, 7). The reason why the Lord then called himself the Son of Man, is, because he suffered himself to be treated after the same manner as they had treated the Word; as has been shewn at large above.
25. II. THAT THE LORD IS CALLED THE SON OF Man WHEN JUDGMENT IS TREATED OF, is clear from these passages : “When THE SON OF MAN shall come in his glory,—then shall he sit on the throne of his glory, and he shall set the sheep on his right-hand, but the goats on the left” (Matt. xxv. 31, 33). « When the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. xix. 28).
(Matt. xix. 28). “The Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father,—and he shall reward every man according to his works” (Matt. xvi. 27).
« Watch ye, therefore,—that ye may be accounted worthy,—to stand before THE SON OF MAN” (Luke xxi. 36). “In such an hour as ye think not, The Son of Man cometh” (Matt. xxiv. 44; Luke xii. 40). “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son,—because he is The Son of Man (John v. 22, 27). The reason why the Lord thus calls himself the Son of Man when judgment is treated of, is, because all judgment is executed according to the Divine Truth, which is in the Word. That it is this which judges every one, the Lord himself declares in John: “If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world :—the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (xii. 47, 48). And in another place : “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world ; but that the world through him might be saved : he that believeth on him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the onlybegotten Son of God”* (iii. 17, 18). That the Lord does not sentence any one to hell, nor cast any one down to hell, but that evil spirits do so themselves,t may be seen in the treatise
* The change of terms is here very remarkable. The Lord had just before (verse 13, 14,) twice called himself the Son of Man; but as it would be contrary to the import of this term to use it in connexion with a declaration, that he did not come to judge the world, the Lord immediately calls himself the Son of God.
of N. 545-550, 574.