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    CHAPTER 1. Mr Biddle’s first chapter examined — Of the Scriptures. MR BIDDLE having imposed upon himself the task of insinuating his abominations by applying the express words of Scripture in way of answer to his captious and sophistical queries, was much straitened in the very entrance, in that he could not find any text or tittle in them that is capable of being wrested to give the least color to those imperfections which the residue of men with whom he is, in the whole system of his doctrine, in compliance and communion, do charge them withal: as, that there are contradictions in them, though in things of less importance; f130 that many things are or may be changed and altered in them; that some of the books of the Old Testament are lost; and that those that remain are not of any necessity to Christians, although they may be read with profit. Their subjecting them, also, and all their assertions, to the last judgment of reason, is of the same nature with the other. But it not being my purpose to pursue his opinions through all the secret windings and turnings of them, so [as] to drive them to their proper issue, but only to discover the sophistry and falseness of those insinuations which grossly and palpably overthrow the foundations of Christianity, I shall not force him to speak to any thing beyond what he hath expressly delivered himself unto.

    This first chapter, then, concerning the Scriptures, both in the Greater and Less Catechisms, without farther trouble I shall pass over, seeing that the stating of the questions and answers in them may be sound, and according to the common faith of the saints, in those who partake not with Mr B.’s companions in their low thoughts of them, which here he doth not profess; only, I dare not join with him in his last assertion, that such and such passages are the most affectionate in the book of God, seeing we know but in part, and are not enabled nor warranted to make such peremptory determinations concerning the several passages of Scripture, set in comparison and competition for affectionateness by ourselves, CHAPTER 2. Of the nature of God. HIS second chapter, which is concerning God, his essence, nature, and properties, is second to none in his whole book for blasphemies and reproaches of God and his word.

    The description of God which he labors to insinuate is, that he is “one person, of a visible shape and similitude, finite, limited to a certain place, mutable, comprehensible, and obnoxious to turbulent passions, not knowing the things that are future and which shall be done by the sons of men; whom none can love with all his heart, if he believe him to be ‘one in three distinct persons.’“ That this is punctually the apprehension and notion concerning God and his being which he labors to beget, by his suiting Scripture expressions to the blasphemous insinuations of his questions, will appear in the consideration of both questions and answers, as they lie in the second chapter of the Greater Catechism.

    His first question is, “How many Gods of Christians are there?” and his answer is, “One God,” Ephesians 4:6; whereunto he subjoins secondly, “Who is this one God?” and answers, “The Father, of whom are all things,” 1 Corinthians 8:6.

    That the intendment of the connection of these queries, and the suiting of words of Scripture to them, is to insinuate some thoughts against the doctrine of the Trinity, is not questionable, especially being the work of him that makes it his business to oppose it and laugh it to scorn. With what success this attempt is managed, a little consideration of what is offered will evince. It is true, Paul says, “To us there is one God,” treating of the vanity and nothingness of the idols of the heathen, whom God hath threatened to deprive of all worship and to starve out of the world. The question as here proposed, “How many Gods of Christians are there?” having no such occasion administered unto it as that expression of Paul, being no parcel of such a discourse as he insists upon, sounds pleasantly towards the allowance of many gods, though Christians have but one.

    Neither is Mr B. so averse to polytheism as not to give occasion, on other accounts, to this supposal. Jesus Christ he allows to be a god. All his companions, in the undertaking against his truly eternal divine nature, still affirm him to be “Homo Deificatus” and “Deus Factus,” and plead “pro vera deitate Jesu Christi,” denying yet, with him, that by nature he is God, of the same essence with the Father; so, indeed, grossly and palpably falling into and closing with that abomination which they pretend above all men to avoid, in their opposition to the thrice holy and blessed Trinity. Of those monstrous figments in Christian religion which on this occasion they have introduced, of making a man to be an eternal God, of worshipping a mere creature with the worship due only to the infinitely blessed God, we shall speak afterward.

    We confess that to us there is one God, but one God, and let all others be accursed. “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth,” let them be destroyed, according to the word of the Lord, “from under these heavens,” Jeremiah 10:11. Yet we say, moreover, that “there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one,” 1 John 5:7.

    And in that very place whence Mr B. cuts off his first answer, as it is asserted that there is “one God,” so “one Lord” and “one Spirit,” the fountain of all spiritual distributions, are mentioned; which whether they are not also that one God, we shall have farther occasion to consider.

    To the next query concerning this one God, who he is, the words are, “The Father, from whom are all things;” in themselves most true. The Father is the one God whom we worship in spirit and in truth; and yet the Son also is “our Lord and our God,” John 20:28, even “God over all, blessed for ever,” Romans 9:5. The Spirit also is the God “which worketh all in all,” 1 Corinthians 12:6,11. And in the name of that one God, who is the “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,” are we baptized, whom we serve, who to us is the one God over all, Matthew 28:19. Neither is that assertion of the Father’s being the one and only true God any more prejudicial to the Son’s being so also, than that testimony given to the everlasting deity of the Son is to that of the Father, notwithstanding that to us there is but one God. The intendment of our author in these questions is to answer what he found in the great exemplar of his Catechism, the Racovian, two of whose questions are comprehensive of all that is here delivered and intended by Mr B. But of these things more afterward.

    His next inquiry is after the nature of this one God, which he answers with that of our Savior in John 4:24, “God is a spirit.” In this he is somewhat more modest, though not so wary as his great master, Faustus Socinus, and his disciple (as to his notions about the nature of God) Vorstius. His acknowledgment of God to be a spirit frees him from sharing in impudence in this particular with his master, who will not allow any such thing to be asserted in these words of our Savior. His words are (Fragment. Disput. de Adorat. Christi cure Christiano Franken, p. 60), “Non est fortasse eorum verborum ea sententia, quam plerique omnes arbitrantur: Deum scilicet esse spiritum, neque enim subaudiendum esse dicit aliquis verbum ejsti< , quasi vox pneu~ma , recto casu accipienda sit, sed ajpo< koinou~ repetendum verbum zhtei~ quod paulo ante praecessit, et pneu~ma quarto casu accipiendum, ita ut sententia sit, Deum quaerere et postulare spiritum.”

    Vorstius also follows him, Not. ad Disput. 3, p. 200. Because the verb substantive “is” is not in the original expressed (than the omission whereof nothing being more frequent, though I have heard of one who, from the like omission, 2 Corinthians 5:17, thought to have proved Christ to be the “new creature” there intended), contrary to the context and coherence of the words, design of the argument in hand insisted on by our Savior (as he was a bold man), and emphaticalness of significancy in the expression as it lies, he will needs thrust in the word “seeketh,” and render the intention of Christ to be, that God seeks a spirit, that is, the spirit of men, to worship him. Herein, I say, is Mr B. more modest than his master (as, it seems, following Crellius, who in the exposition of that place of Scripture is of another mind), though in craft and foresight he be outgone by him; for if God be a spirit indeed, one of a pure spiritual essence and substance, the image, shape, and similitude, which he afterwards ascribes to him, his corporeal posture, which he asserts (ques. 4), will scarcely be found suitable unto him. It is incumbent on some kind of men to be very wary in what they say, and mindful of what they have said; falsehood hath no consistency in itself, no more than with the truth. Smalcius in the Racovian Catechism is utterly silent as to this question and answer. But the consideration of this also will in its due place succeed.

    To his fourth query, about a farther description of God by some of his attributes, I shall not need to subjoin any thing in way of animadversion; for however the texts he cites come short of delivering that of God which the import of the question to which they are annexed doth require, yet being not wrested to give countenance to any perverse apprehension of his nature, I shall not need to insist upon the consideration of them.

    Ques. 5, he falls closely to his work, in these words, “Is not God, according to the current of the Scriptures, in a certain place, namely, in heaven?” whereunto he answers by many places of Scripture that make mention of God in heaven.

    That we may not mistake his mind and intention in this query, some light may be taken from some other passages in his book. In the preface he tells you “That God hath a similitude and shape” (of which afterward), “and hath his place in the heavens” (that “God is in no certain place,” he reckons amongst those errors he opposes, in the same preface; of the same kind he asserteth the belief to be of God’s “being infinite and incomprehensible);” and, Cat. Less. p. 6, “That God glisteneth with glory, and is resident in a certain place of the heavens, so that one may distinguish between his right and left hand by bodily sight.” This is the doctrine of the man with whom we have to do concerning the presence of God. “He is,” saith he, “in heaven, as in a certain place.” That which is in a certain place is finite and limited, as, from the nature of a place and the manner of any thing’s being in a place, shall be instantly evinced. God, then, is finite and limited; be it so (that he is infinite and incomprehensible is yet a Scripture expression): yea, he is so limited as not to be extended to the whole compass and limit of the heavens, but he is in a certain place of the heavens, yea, so circumscribed as that a man may see from his right hand to his left; — wherein Mr B. comes short of Mohammed, who affirms that when he was taken into heaven to the sight of God, he found three days’ journey between his eye-brows; which if so, it will be somewhat hard for any one to see from his right hand to his left, being supposed at an answerable distance to that of his eye-brows. Let us see, then, on what testimony, by what authority, Mr B. doth here limit the Almighty and confine him to a certain place, shutting up his essence and being in some certain part of the heavens, cutting him thereby short, as we shall see in the issue, in all those eternal perfections whereby hitherto he hath been known to the sons of men.

    The proof of that lies in the places of Scripture which, making mention of God, say, “he is in heaven,” and that “he looketh down from heaven,” etc.; of which, out of some concordance, some twenty or thirty are by him repeated. Not to make long work of a short business, the Scriptures say, “God is in heaven.” Who ever denied it? But do the Scriptures say he is nowhere else? Do the Scriptures say he is confined to heaven, so that he is so there as not to be in all other places? If Mr B. thinks this any argument, “God is in heaven, therefore his essence is not infinite and immense, therefore he is not everywhere,” we are not of his mind. He tells you, in his preface, that he “asserts nothing himself.” I presume his reason was, lest any should call upon him for a proof of his assertions. What he intends to insinuate, and what conceptions of God he labors to ensnare the minds of unlearned and unstable souls withal, in this question under consideration, hath been, from the evidence of his intendment therein, and the concurrent testimony of other expressions of his to the same purpose, demonstrated. To propose any thing directly in way of proof of the truth of that which he labors insensibly to draw the minds of men unto, he was doubtless conscious to himself of so much disability for its performance as to waive that kind of procedure; and therefore his whole endeavor is, having filled, animated, and spirited the understandings of men with the notion couched in his question, to cast in some Scripture expressions, that, as they lie, may seem fitted to the fixing of the notion before begotten in them. As to any attempt of direct proof of what he would hare confirmed, the man of reason is utterly silent.

    None of those texts of Scripture where mention is made of God’s being in heaven are, in the coherence and dependence of speech wherein they lie, suited or intended at all to give answer to this question, or any like it, concerning the presence of God or his actual existence in any place, but only in respect of some dispensations of God and works of his, whose fountain and original he would have us to consider in himself, and to come forth from him there where in an eminent manner he manifests his glory.

    God is, I say, in none of the places by him urged said to be in heaven in respect of his essence or being, nor is it the intention of the Holy Ghost in any of them to declare the manner of God’s essential presence and existence in reference to all or any place; but only by the way of eminency, in respect of manifestations of himself and operations from his glorious presence, doth he so speak of him. And, indeed, in those expressions, heaven cloth not so much signify a place as a thing, or at least a place in reference to the things there done, or the peculiar manifestations of the glory of God there; so that if these places should be made use of as to the proof of the figment insinuated, the argument from them would be a non causa pro causa. The reason why God is said to be in heaven is, not because his essence is included in a certain place so called, but because of the more eminent manifestations of his glory there, and the regard which he requires to be had of him manifesting his glory as the first cause and author of all the works which outwardly are of him. 3. God is said to be in heaven in an especial manner, because he hath assigned that as the place of the saints’ expectation of that enjoyment and eternal fruition of himself which he hath promised to bless them withal; but for the limiting of his essence to a certain place in heaven, the Scriptures, as we shall see, know nothing, yea, expressly and positively affirm the contrary.

    Let us all, then, supply our catechumens, in the room of Mr B.’s, with this question, expressly leading to the things inquired after: — What says the Scripture concerning the essence and presence of God? is it confined and limited to a certain place, or is he infinitely and equally present everywhere?

    Ans. “TheLORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath,” Joshua 2:11. “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” 1 Kings 8:27. “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there,” etc., <19D907> Psalm 139:7-10. “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool,” Isaiah 66:1, Acts 7:47,48. “Am I a God at hand, saith theLORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the\parLORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith theLORD,” Jeremiah 23:23,24.

    It is of the ubiquity and omnipresence of God that these places expressly treat; and whereas it was manifested before that the expression of God being in heaven doth not at all speak to the abomination which Mr B. would insinuate thereby, the naked rehearsal of those testimonies, so directly asserting and ascribing to the Almighty an infinite, unlimited presence, and that in direct opposition to the gross apprehension of his being confined to a certain place in heaven, is abundantly sufficient to deliver the thoughts and minds of men from any entanglements that Mr B.’s questions and answers (for though it be the word of the Scripture he insists upon, yet male dum recitas incipit esse tuum) might lead them into.

    On that account no more need be added; but yet this occasion being administered, that truth itself, concerning the omnipresence or ubiquity of God, may be farther cleared and confirmed.

    Through the prejudices and ignorance of men, it is inquired whether God be so present in any certain place as not to be also equally elsewhere, everywhere? Place has been commonly defined to be “superficies corporis ambientis.”

    Because of sundry inextricable difficulties and the impossibility of suiting it to every place, this definition is now generally decried. That now commonly received is more natural, suited to the natures of things, and obvious to the understanding. A place is “spatium corporis susceptivum,” — any space wherein a body may be received and contained. The first consideration of it is as to its fitness and aptness so to receive any body: so it is in the imagination only. The second, as to its actual existence, being filled with that body which it is apt to receive: so may we imagine innumerable spaces in heaven which are apt and able to receive the bodies of the saints, and which actually shall be filled with them when they shall be translated thereunto by the power of God. Presence in a place is the actual existence of a person in his place, or, as logicians speak, in his ubi, that is, answering the inquiry after him where he is. Though all bodies are in certain places, yet per sons only are said to be present in them. Other things have not properly a presence to be ascribed to them; they are in their proper places, but we do not say they are present in or to their places.

    This being the general description of a place and the presence of any therein, it is evident that properly it cannot be spoken at all of God that he is in one place or other, for he is not a body that should fill up the space of its receipt, nor yet in all places, taking the word properly, for so one essence can be but in one place; and if the word should properly be ascribed to God in any sense, it would deprive him of all his infinite perfections.

    It is farther said that there be three ways of the presence of any in reference to a place or places. Some are so in a place as to be circumscribed therein in respect of their parts and dimensions, such are their length, breadth, and depth: so cloth one part of them fit one part of the place wherein they are, and the whole the whole; so are all solid bodies in a place; so is a man, his whole body in his whole place, his head in one part of it, his arms in another. Some are so conceived to be in a place as that, in relation to it, it may be said of them that they are there in it so as not to be anywhere else, though they have not parts and dimensions filling the place wherein they are, nor are punctually circumscribed with a local space: such is the presence of angels and spirits to the places wherein they are, being not infinite or immense. These are so in some certain place as not to be at the same time, wherein they are so, without it, or elsewhere, or in any other place. And this is proper to all finite, immaterial substances, that are so in a place as not to occupy and fill up that space wherein they are. In respect of place, God is immense, and indistant to all things and places, absent from nothing, no place, contained in none; present to all by and in his infinite essence and being, exerting his power variously, in any or all places, as he pleaseth, revealing and manifesting his glory more or less, as it seemeth good to him.

    Of this omnipresence of God, two things are usually inquired after: 1. The thing itself, or the demonstration that he is so omnipresent; 2. The manner of it, or the manifestation and declaring how he is so present. Of this latter, perhaps, sundry things have been over curiously and nicely by some disputed, though, upon a thorough search, their disputes may not appear altogether useless. The schoolmen’s distinctions of God’s being in a place repletive, immensive, impletive, superexcedenter, conservative, attinctive, manifestative, etc. have, some of them at least, foundation in the Scriptures and right reason. That which seems most obnoxious to exception is their assertion of God to be everywhere present, instar puncti; but the sense of that and its intendment is, to express how God is not in a place, rather than how he is. He is not in a place as quantitive bodies, that have the dimensions attending them. Neither could his presence in heaven, by those who shut him up there, be any otherwise conceived, until they were relieved by the rare notions of Mr. B. concerning the distinct places of his right hand and left. But it is not at all about the manner of God’s presence that I am occasioned to speak, but only of the thing itself. They who say he is in heaven only speak as to the thing, and not as to the manner of it. When we say he is everywhere, our assertion is also to be interpreted as to that only; the manner of his presence being purely of a philosophical consideration, his presence itself divinely revealed, and necessarily attending his divine perfections; yea, it is an essential property of God. The properties of God are either absolute or relative. The absolute properties of God are such as may be considered without the supposition of any thing else whatever, towards which their energy and efficacy should be exerted. His relative are such as, in their egress and exercise, respect some things in the creatures, though they naturally and eternally reside in God. Of the first sort is God’s immensity; it is an absolute property of his nature and being. For God to be immense, infinite, unbounded, unlimited, is as necessary to him as to be God; that is, it is of his essential perfection so to be. The ubiquity of God, or his presence to all things and persons, is a relative property of God; for to say that God is present in and to all things supposes those things to be.

    Indeed, the ubiquity of God is the habitude of his immensity to the creation. Supposing the creatures, the world that is, God is by reason of his immensity in-distant to them all; or if more worlds be supposed (as all things possible to the power of God without any absurdity may be supposed), on the same account as he is omnipresent in reference to the present world, he would be so to them and all that is in them.

    Of that which we affirm in this matter this is the sum: God, who in his own being and essence is infinite and immense, is, by reason thereof, present in and to the whole creation equally, — not by a diffusion of his substance, or mixture with other things, heaven or earth, in or upon them, but by an inconceivable indistancy of essence to all things, — though he exert his power and manifest his glory in one place more than another; as in heaven, in Zion, at the ark, etc.

    That this is the doctrine of the Scriptures in the places before mentioned needs no great pains to evince. In that, 1 Kings 8:27, the design of Solomon in the words gives light to the substance of what he asserted. He had newly, with labor, cost, charge, and wisdom, none of them to be paralleled in the world, built a temple for the worship of God. The house being large and exceedingly glorious, the apprehensions of all the nations round about (that looked on, and considered the work he had in hand) concerning the nature and being of God being gross, carnal, and superstitious, themselves answerably worshipping those who by nature were not God, and his own people of Israel exceedingly prone to the same abomination, lest any should suppose that he had thoughts of including the essence of God in the house that he had built, he clears himself in this confession of his faith from all such imaginations, affirming that though indeed God would dwell on the earth, yet he was so far from being limited unto or circumscribed in the house that he had built, that “the heaven and the heaven of heavens,” any space whatever that could be imagined, the highest heaven, could not, “cannot contain him;” so far is he from having a certain place in heaven where he should reside, in distinction from other places where he is not. “He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath,” Joshua 2:11. That which the temple of God was built unto, that “the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain.” Now, the temple was built to the being of God, to God as God: so Acts 7:47, “But Solomon built him an house;” him, — that is, the Most High, — “who dwelleth not,” is not circumscribed, “in temples made with hands,” verse 48.

    That of <19D907> Psalm 139:7-10 is no less evident; the presence or face of God is expressly affirmed to be everywhere: “Whither shall I go from thy face?

    If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I go into hell, behold, thou art there” As God is affirmed to be in heaven, so everywhere else; now that he is in heaven, in respect of his essence and being, is not questioned.

    Neither can that of the prophet Isaiah, <231601> chap. 66:1, be otherwise understood but as an ascribing of an ubiquity to God, and a presence in heaven and earth: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.”

    The words are metaphorical, and in that way expressive of the presence of a person; and so God is present in heaven and earth. That the earth should be his footstool, and yet himself be so inconceivably distant from it as the heaven is from the earth (an expression chosen by himself to set out the greatest distance imaginable), is not readily to be apprehended. “He is not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being,” Acts 17:27,28.

    The testimony which God gives to this his perfection in Jeremiah 23:23,24, is not to be avoided; more than what is here spoken by God himself as to his omnipresence we cannot, we desire not to speak: “Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him? saith theLORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith theLORD.” Still where mention is made of the presence of God, there heaven and earth (which two are comprehensive of, and usually put for the whole creation) are mentioned: and herein he is neither to be thought afar off nor near, being equally present everywhere, in the hidden places as in heaven; that is, he is not distant from any thing or place, though he take up no place, but is nigh all things, by the infiniteness and existence of his being.

    From what is also known of the nature of God, his attributes and perfections, the truth delivered may be farther argued and confirmed; as, — 1. God is absolutely perfect; whatever is of perfection is to be ascribed to him: otherwise he could neither be absolutely self-sufficient, all-sufficient, nor eternally blessed in himself. He is absolutely perfect, inasmuch as no perfection is wanting to him, and comparatively above all that we can conceive or apprehend of perfection. If, then, ubiquity or omnipresence be a perfection, it no less necessarily belongs to God than it does to be perfectly good and blessed. That this is a perfection is evident from its contrary. To be limited, to be circumscribed, is an imperfection, and argues weakness We commonly say, we would do such a thing in such a place could we be present unto it, and are grieved and troubled that we cannot be so. That it should be so is an imperfection attending the limitedness of our natures. Unless we will ascribe the like to God, his omnipresence is to be acknowledged. If every perfection, then, be in God (and if every perfection be not in any, he is not God), this is not to be denied to him. 2. Again; if God be now “in a certain place in heaven,” I ask where he was before these heavens were made? These heavens have not always been.

    God was then where there was nothing but God, — no heaven, no earth, no place. In what place was God when there was no place? When the heavens were made, did he cease this manner of being in himself, existing in his own infinite essence, and remove into the new place made for him? Or is not God’s removal out of his existence in himself into a certain place a blasphemous imagination? “Ante omnia Deus erat solus ipse sibi, et locus, et mundus, et omnia,” Tertul. Is this change of place and posture to be ascribed to God Moreover, if God be now only in a certain place of the heavens, if he should destroy the heavens and that place, where would he then be in what place? Should he cease to be in the place wherein he is, and begin to be in, to take up, and possess another? And are such apprehensions suited to the infinite perfections of God? Yea, may we not suppose that he may create another heaven? can he not do its. How should he be present there? or must it stand empty? or must he move himself thither? or make himself bigger than he was, to fill that heaven also? 3. The omnipresence of God is grounded on the infiniteness of his essence.

    If God be infinite, he is omnipresent. Suppose him infinite, and then suppose there is any thing besides himself, and his presence with that thing, wherever it be, doth necessarily follow; for if he be so bounded as to be in his essence distant from any thing, he is not infinite. To say God is not infinite in his essence denies him to be infinite or unlimited in any of his perfections or properties; and therefore, indeed, upon the matter Socinus denies God’s power to be infinite, because he will not grant his essence to be, Cat. chap. 11 part 1. That which is absolutely infinite cannot have its residence in that which is finite and limited, so that if the essence of God be not immense and infinite, his power, goodness, etc., are also bounded and limited; so that there are, or may be, many things which in their own natures are capable of existence, which yet God cannot do for want of power. How suitable to the Scriptures and common notions ‘of mankind concerning the nature of God this is will be easily known. It is yet the common faith of Christians that God is ajperi>graptov kai< a]peirov . 4. Let reason (which the author of these Catechisms pretends to advance and honor, as some think, above its due, and therefore cannot decline its dictates) judge of the consequences of this gross apprehension concerning the confinement of God to the heavens, yea, “a certain place in the heavens,” though he “glister” never so much “in glory” there where he is.

    For, (1.) He must be extended as a body is, that so he may fill the place, and have parts as we have, if he be circumscribed in a certain place; which though our author thinks no absurdity, yet, as we shall afterward manifest, it is as bold an attempt to make an idol of the living God as ever any of the sons of men engaged into. (2.) Then God’s greatness and ours, as to essence and substance, differ only gradually, but are still of the same kind. God is bigger than a man, it is true, but yet with the same kind of greatness, differing from us as one man differs from another. A man is in a certain place of the earth, which he fills and takes up; and God is in a certain place of the heavens, which he fills and takes up. Only some gradual difference there is, but how great or little that difference is, as yet we are not taught. (3.) I desire to know of Mr B. what the throne is made of that God sits on in the heavens, and how far the glistering of his glory doth extend, and whether that glistering of glory doth naturally attend his person as beams do the sun, or shining doth fire, or can he make it more or less as he pleaseth? (4.) Doth God fill the whole heavens, or only some part of them? If the whole, being of such substance as is imagined, what room will there be in heaven for any body else? Can a lesser place hold him 1 or could he fill a greater? If not, how came the heavens [to be] so fit for him? Or could he not have made them of other dimensions, less or greater? If he be only in a part of heaven, as is more than insinuated in the expression that he is “in a certain place in the heavens,” I ask why he dwells in one part of the heavens rather than another? or whether he ever removes or takes a journey, as Elijah speaks of Baal, 1 Kings 18:27, or is eternally, as limited in, so confined unto, the certain place wherein he is? Again; how cloth he work out those effects of almighty power which are at so great a distance from him as the earth is from the heavens, which cannot be effected by the intervenience of any created power, as the resurrection of the dead, etc. The power of God doubtless follows his essence, and what this extends not to that cannot reach. But of that which might be spoken to vindicate the infinitely glorious being of God from the reproach which his own word is wrested to cast upon him, this that hath been spoken is somewhat that to my present thoughts doth occur.

    I suppose that Mr B. knows that in this his circumscription of God to a certain place, he transgresses against the common consent of mankind; if not, a few instances of several sorts may, I hope, suffice for his conviction.

    I shall promiscuously propose them, as they lie at hand or occur to my remembrance. For the Jews, Philo gives their judgment. “Hear,” saith he, “of the wise God that which is most true, that God is in no place, for he is not contained, but containeth all. That which is made is in a place, for it must be contained and not contain.” And it is the observation of another of them, that so often as µwOqm; , a place, is said of God, the exaltation of his immense and incomparable essence (as to its manifestation) is to be understood. And the learned Buxtorf tells us that when that word is used of God, it is by an antiphrasis, to signify that he is infinite, illocal, received in no place, giving place to all. That known saying of Empedocles passed among the heathen, “Deus est circulus, cujus centrum ubique, circumferentia nusquam;” and of Seneca, “Turn which way thou wilt, thou shalt see God meeting thee. Nothing is empty of him: he fills his own work.” “All things are full of God,” says the poet; and another of them: — “Estque Dei sedes nisi terrae, et pontus, et aer, Est coelum, et versus superos, quid quaerimus ultra:

    Jupiter est quodcunque Tides, quocunque moveris.” f140 Of this presence of God, I say, with and unto all things, of the infinity of his essence, the very heathens themselves, by the light of nature (which Mr B. herein opposes), had a knowledge. Hence did some of them term him kosmopoioframing the universe,” and affirmed him to be infinite. “Primus omnium rerum desoriptionem et modum, mentis infinitae vi et ratione designari, et confici voluit,” says Cicero of Anaxagoras, Tull. de Nat. Deor. lib. 1:11; — “All things are disposed of by the virtue of one infinite mind.” And Plutarch, expressing the same thing, says he is nou~v kaqaronov pa~si , — “a pure and sincere mind, mixing itself, and mixed” (so they expressed the presence of the infinite mind) “with all things.” So Virgil, Jovis omnia plena,” — “All things are full of God,” (for God they intended by that name, Acts 17:25,28,29; and says Lactantius, “Convicti de uno Deo, cum id negare non possunt, ipsum se colere, afrmant, verum hoc sibi placere, ut Jupiter nominetur,” lib. 1:cap. 2.); which, as Servius on the place observes, he had taken from Aratus, whose words are: — Ek diomesqa topot a]ndrev ejw~men ArjrJhton mestai< de< diopwn ajgorai< mesth< de< qa>lassa Kai< lime>nev pa>nth de< diomeqa pa>ntev — giving a full description, in his way, of the omnipresence and ubiquity of God. The same Virgil, from the Platonics, tells us in another place: — “Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus Mens agitat molem.” — Aen. 6:726.

    And much more of this kind might easily be added. The learned know where to find more for their satisfaction; and for those that are otherwise, the clear texts of Scripture cited before may suffice.

    Of those, on the other hand, who have, no less grossly and carnally than he of whom we speak, imagined a diffusion of the substance of God through the whole creation, and a mixture of it with the creatures, so as to animate and enliven them in their several forms, making God an essential part of each creature, or dream of an assumption of creatures into an unity of essence with God, I am not now to speak.

    CHAPTER 3. Of the drape and bodily visible figure of God. MR BIDDLE’ S question: — Is God in the Scripture said to have any likeness, similitude, person, shape?

    The proposition which he would have to be the conclusion of the answers to these questions is this, That, according to the doctrine of the Scriptures, God is a person shaped like a man; — a conclusion so grossly absurd that it is refused as ridiculous by Tully, a heathen, in the person of Cotta (De Nat. Deer. lib. 1:6), against Velleius the Epicurean, the Epicureans only amongst the philosophers being so sottish as to admit that conceit. And Mr B., charging that upon the Scripture which hath been renounced by all the heathens who set themselves studiously to follow the light of nature, and, by a.strict inquiry, to search out the nature and attributes of God, principally attending to that safe rule of ascribing nothing to him that eminently included imperfection, hath manifested his pretext of mere Christianity to be little better than a cover for downright atheism, or at best of most vile and unworthy thoughts of the Divine Being. And here also doth Mr B. forsake his masters. Some of them have had more reverence of the Deity, and express themselves accordingly, in express opposition to this gross figment.

    According to the method I proceeded in, in consideration of the precedent questions, shall I deal with this, and first consider briefly the scriptures produced to make good this monstrous, horrid assertion. The places urged and insisted on of old by the Anthropomorphites were such as partly ascribed a shape in general to God, partly such as mention the parts and members of God in that shape, his eyes, his arms, his hands, etc.; from all which they looked on him as an old man sitting in heaven on a throne, — a conception that Mr B. is no stranger to. The places of the first sort are here only insisted on by Mr B., and the attribution of a “likeness, image, similitude, person, and shape” unto God, is his warrant to conclude that he hath a visible, corporeal image and shape like that of a man; which is the plain intendment of his question. Now, if the image, likeness, or similitude, attributed to God as above, do no way, neither in the sum of the words themselves nor by the intendment of the places where they are used, in the least ascribe or intimate that there is any such corporeal, visible shape in God as he would insinuate, but are properly expressive of some other thing that properly belongs to him, I suppose it will not be questioned but that a little matter will prevail with a person desiring to emerge in the world by novelties, and on that account casting off that reverence of God which the first and most common notions of mankind would instruct him into, to make bold with God and the Scripture for his own ends and purposes. 1. I say then, first, in general, if the Scripture may be allowed to expound itself, it gives us a fair and clear account of its own intendment in mentioning the image and shape of God, which man was created in, and owns it to be his righteousness and holiness; in a state whereof, agreeable to the condition of such a creature, man ing created is said to be created in the image and likeness of God, — in a kind of resemblance unto that holiness and righteousness which are in him, Ephesians 4:23,24, etc.

    What can hence be concluded for a corporeal image or shape to be ascribed unto God is too easily discernible. From a likeness in some virtue or property to conclude to a likeness in a bodily shape, may well befit a man that cares not what he says, so he may speak to the derogation of the glory of God. 2. For the particular places by Mr B. insisted on, and the words used in them, which he lays the stress of this proposition upon: the first two words are tWmD] and µl,x, ; both of which are used in Genesis 1:26. The word tWmD] is used Genesis 5:1, and µl,x, , Genesis 9:6; but neither of these words doth, in its genuine signification, imply any corporeity or figure. The most learned of all the rabbins, and most critically skillful in their language, hath observed and proved that the proper Hebrew word for that kind of outward form or similitude is raæTo ; and if these be ever so used, it is in a metaphorical and borrowed sense, or at ]east there is an amphiboly in the words, the Scripture sometimes using them in such subjects where this gross, corporeal sense cannot possibly be admitted: vj;n;Atmæj\ tWmd]Ki , — “Like the poison of a serpent,” Psalm 58:4.

    There is, indeed, some imaginable, or rather rational, resemblance in the properties there mentioned, but no corporeal similitude. Vide Ezekiel 1:28, and 23:14 (to which may be added many more places), where if tWmD] shall be interpreted of a bodily similitude, it will afford no tolerable sense. ‘The same likewise may be said of µl,x, . It is used in the Hebrew for the essential form rather than the figure or shape; and being spoken of men, signifies rather their souls than bodies. So it is used, Psalm 73:20; which is better translated, “Thou shalt despise their soul,” than their “image.” So where it is said, Psalm 39:6, “Every man walketh in a vain show” (the same word again), however it ought to be interpreted, it cannot be understood of a corporeal similitude. So that these testimonies are not at all to his purpose. What, indeed, is the image of God, or that likeness to him wherein man was made, I have partly mentioned already, and shall farther manifest, chap. 6; and if this be not a bodily shape, it will be confessed that nothing can here be concluded for the attribution of a shape to God; and hereof an account will be given in its proper place.

    The sum of Mr B.’s reasoning from these places is: “God, in the creation of the lower world and the inhabitancy thereof, making man, enduing him with a mind and soul capable of knowing him, serving him, yielding him voluntary and rational obedience; creating him in a condition of holiness and righteousness, in a resemblance to those blessed perfections in himself, requiring still of him to be holy as he is holy, to continue and abide in that likeness of his; giving him in that estate dominion over the rest of his works here below, — is said to create him in his own image and likeness, he being the sovereign lord over all his creatures, infinitely wise, knowing, just, and holy: therefore he hath a bodily shape and image, and is therein like unto a man.” “Quod erat demonstrandum.” ‘His next quotation is from Numbers 12:7,8, where it is said of Moses that he shall behold the “similitude of the LORD. ” The word is hn;WmT] ; which, as it is sometimes taken for a corporeal similitude, so it is at other times for that idea whereby things are intellectually represented. In the former sense is it frequently denied of God; as Deuteronomy 4:15, “Ye saw no manner of similitude,” etc. But it is frequently taken, in the other sense, for that object, or rather impression, whereby our intellectual apprehension is made; as in Job 4:16, “An image was before mine eyes,” namely, in his dream; which is not any corporeal shape, but that idea or objective representation whereby the mind of man understands its object, — that which is in the schools commonly called phantasm, or else an intellectual species, about the notion of which it is here improper to contend. It is manifest that, in the place here alleged, it is put to signify the clear manifestation of God’s presence to Moses, with some such glorious appearance thereof as he was pleased to represent unto him; therefore, doubtless, God hath a bodily shape.

    His next quotation is taken from James 3:9, “Made after the similitude of God,” — Touwsin Qeou~ gegono>tav. Certainly Mr B. cannot be so ignorant as to think the word oJmoi>wsiv to include in its signification a corporeal similitude. The word is of as large an extent as “similitude” in Latin, and takes in as well those abstracted analogies which the understanding of man finds out, in comparing several objects together, as those other outward conformities of figure and shape which are the objects of our carnal eyes. It is the word by which the LXX. use to render the word tWmD] ; of which we have spoken before. And the examples are innumerable in the Septuagint translation, and in authors of all sorts written in the Greek language, where that word is taken at large, and cannot signify a corporeal similitude; so that it is vain to insist upon particulars.

    And this also belongs to the same head of inquiry with the former, — namely, what likeness of God it was that man was created in, whether of eyes, ears, nose, etc., or of holiness, etc.

    His next allegation is from Job 13:7,8, “Will ye accept his person?” wyn;p;h’ , pro>swpon aujtou~ , — an allegation so frivolous that to stand to answer it studiously would be ridiculous, 1. It is an interrogation, and doth not assert any thing. 2. The thing spoken against is proswpolhyi>a , which hath in it no regard to shape or corporeal personality, but to the partiality which is used in preferring one before another in justice. 3. The word mentioned, with its derivatives, is used in as great or greater variety of metaphorical translations than any other Hebrew word, and is by no means determined to be a signification of that bulky substance which, with the soul, concurs to make up the person of mare It is so used, Genesis 33:18, ynep]Ata, , — “Jacob pitched his tent before” (or “in the face of”) “the city.” It is confessed that it is very frequently translated pro>swpon by the LXX., as it is very variously translated by them; sometimes oJ ojfqalmo>v . See Jeremiah 38:26; Nehemiah 2:13; Job 16:16; Deuteronomy 2:36; Proverbs 27:23. Besides that, it is used in many other places for ajnti> e]nanti ajpe>nanti ejpa>nw ejnw>pion , and in many more senses. So that to draw an argument concerning the nature of God from a word so amphibological, or of such frequent translation in metaphorical speech, is very unreasonable.

    Of what may be hence deduced this is the sum: “In every plea or contest about the ways, dispensations, and judgments of God, that which is right, exact, and according to the thing itself, is to be spoken, his glory not standing in the least need of our flattery or lying; therefore God is such a person as hath a bodily shape and similitude, for there is no other person but what hath so.”

    His last argument is from John 5:37, “Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape,” — Ou]te ei+dov aujtou~ eJwra>kate . But it argues a very great ignorance in all philosophical and accurate writings, to appropriate ei+dov to a corporeal shape, it being very seldom used, either in Scripture or elsewhere, in that notion; — the Scripture having used it where that sense cannot be fastened on it, as in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, Apo< pantocesqe which may be rendered, “Abstain from every kind,” or “every appearance,” but not from every shape “of evil;” and all other Greek authors, who have spoken accurately and not figuratively of things, use it perpetually almost in one of these two senses, and very seldom if at all in the other.

    How improperly, and with what little reason, these places are interpreted of a corporeal similitude or shape, hath been showed. Wherein the image of God consists the apostle shows, as was declared, determining it to be in the intellectual part, not in the bodily, Colossians 3:10, Endusa>menoi toon (a]nrqwpon) tomenon eijv epi>gnwsin kat eijko>na tou~ kti>santov aujto>n . The word here used, eijkw>n , is of a grosser signification than ei+dov , which hath its original from the intellectual operation of the mind; yet this the apostle determines to relate to the mind and spiritual excellencies, so that it cannot, from the places he hath mentioned, with the least color of reason, be concluded that God hath a corporeal similitude, likeness, person, or shape. f147 What hath already been delivered concerning the nature of God, and is yet necessarily to be added, will not permit that much be peculiarly spoken to this head, for the removal of those imperfections from him which necessarily attend that assignation of a bodily shape to him which is here aimed at. That the Ancient of Days is not really one in the shape of an old man, sitting in heaven on a throne, glistering with a corporeal glory, his hair being white and his raiment beautiful, is sufficiently evinced from every property and perfection which in the Scripture is assigned to him.

    The Holy Ghost, speaking in the Scripture concerning God, cloth not without indignation suppose any thing to be likened or compared to him.

    Maimonides hath observed that these words, Aph , Ira, etc., are never attributed to God but in the case of idolatry; that never any idolater was so silly as to think that an idol of wood, stone, or metal, was a god that made the heavens and earth; but that through them all idolaters intend to worship God. Now, to fancy a corporeity in God, or that he is like a creature, is greater and more irrational dishonor to him than idolatry. “To whom will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” Isaiah 40:18. “Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth,” etc. “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One,” verses 21-23, 25.

    Because the Scripture speaks of the eyes and ears, nostrils and arms of the Lord, and of man being made afar his likeness, if any one shall conclude that he sees, hears, smells, and hath the shape of a man, he must, upon the same reason, conclude that he hath the shape of a lion, of an eagle, and is like a drunken man, because in Scripture he is compared to them, and so of necessity make a monster of him, and worship a chimerA. f149 Nay, the Scripture plainly interprets itself as to these attribution unto God. His arm is not an arm of flesh, 2 Chronicles 32:8. Neither are his eyes of flesh, neither seeth he as man seeth, Job 10:4. Nay, the highest we can pretend to (which is our way of understanding), though it hath some resemblance of him, yet falls it infinitely short of a likeness or equality with him. And the Holy Ghost himself gives a plain interpretation of his own intendment in such expressions: for whereas, Luke 11:20, our Savior says that he “with the finger of God cast out devils;” Matthew 12:28, he affirms that he did it “by the Spirit of God,” intending the same thing. It neither is nor can righteously be required that we should produce any place of Scripture expressly affirming that God hath no shape, nor hands, nor eyes, as we have, no more than it is that he is no lion or eagle. It is enough that there is that delivered of him abundantly which is altogether inconsistent with any such shape as by Mr B. is fancied, and that so eminent a difference as that now mentioned is put between his arms and eyes and ours, as manifests them to agree in some analogy of the thing signified by them, and not in an answerableness in the same kind.

    Wherefore I say, that the Scripture speaking of God, though it condescends to the nature and capacities of men, and speaks for the most part to the imagination (farther than which few among the sons of men were ever able to raise their cogitations), yet hath it clearly delivered to us such attributes of God as will not consist with that gross notion which this man would put upon the Godhead. The infinity and immutability of God do manifestly overthrow the conceit of a shape and form of God. Were it not a contradiction that a body should be actually infinite, yet such a body could not have a shape, such a one as he imagines. The shape of any thing is the figuration of it; the figuration is the determination of its extension towards several parts, consisting in a determined proportion of them to each other; that determination is a bounding and limiting of them: so that if it have a shape, that will be limited which was supposed to be infinite, which is a manifest contradiction. But the Scripture doth plainly show that God is infinite and immense, not in magnitude (that were a contradiction, as will appear anon) but in essence. Speaking to our fancy, it saith that “he is higher than heaven, deeper than hell,” Job 11:8; that “he fills heaven and earth,” Jeremiah 23:24; that “the heaven of heavens cannot contain him,” 1 Kings 8:27; and it hath many [such] expressions to shadow out the immensity of God, as was manifest in our consideration of the last query. But not content to have yielded thus to our infirmity, it delivers likewise, in plain and literal terms, the infiniteness of God: “His understanding is infinite,” <19E705> Psalm 147:5; and therefore his essence is necessarily so. This is a consequence that none can deny who will consider it till he understands the terms of it, as hath Been declared. Yet, lest any should hastily apprehend that the essence of God were not therefore neces. sadly infinite, the Holy Ghost saith, <19E503> Psalm 145:3, that “his greatness hath no end,” or is “inconceivable,” which is infinite; for seeing we can carry on our thoughts, by calculation, potentially in infinitum, — that is, whatever measure be assigned, we can continually multiply it by greater and greater numbers, as they say, in infinitum, — it is evident that there is no greatness, either of magnitude or essence, which is unsearchable or inconceivable besides that which is actually infinite. Such, therefore, is the greatness of God, in the strict and literal meaning of the Scripture; and therefore, that he should have a shape implies a contradiction. But of this so much Before as I presume we may now take it for granted.

    Now, this attribute of infinity doth immediately and demonstratively overthrow that gross conception of a human shape we are in the consideration of; and so it cloth, by consequence, overthrow the conceit of any other, though a spherical shape. Again, — Whatever is incorporeal is destitute of shape; whatever is infinite is incorporeal: therefore, whatever is infinite is destitute of shape.

    All the question is of the minor proposition. Let us therefore suppose an infinite body or line, and let it be bisected; either then, each half is equal to the whole, or less. If equal, the whole is equal to the part; if less, then that half is limited within certain bounds, and consequently is finite, and so is the other half also: therefore, two things which are finite shall make up an infinite; which is a contradiction.

    Having, therefore, proved out of Scripture that God is infinite, it follows also that he is incorporeal, and that he is without shape.

    The former argument proved him to be without such a shape as this catechist would insinuate; this, that he is without any shape at all. The same will be proved from the immutability or impassibility of God’s essence, which the Scripture assigns to him: Malachi 3:6, “I am the\parLORD; I change not” “The heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou endurest: they shall Be changed: but thou art the same,” <19A225> Psalm 102:25,26.

    If he be immutable, then he is also incorporeal, and consequently without shape.

    The former consequence is manifest, for every body is extended, and consequently is capable of division, which is mutation; wherefore, Being immutable, he hath no shape.

    Mr B.’s great plea for the considering of his Catechism, and insisting upon the same way of inquiry with himself, is from the success which himself hath found in the discovery of sundry truths, of which he gives an account in his book to the reader. That, among the glorious discoveries made by him, the particular now insisted on is not to be reckoned, I presume Mr B. knoweth. For this discovery the world is beholding to one Audaeus, a monk, of whom you have a large account in Epiphanius, tom. 1:lib. 3, Haer. 70; as also in Theodoret, Lib. 4 Ecclesiastes Hist., cap. 10, who also gives us an account of the man and his conversation, with those that followed him. Austin also acquaints us with this worthy predecessor of our author, De Haer. cap. 1. He that thinks it worth while to know that we are not beholding to Mr B., but to this Audaeus, for all the arguments, whether taken from the creation of man in the image of God or the attribution of the parts and members of a man unto God in the Scripture, to prove him to have a visible shape, may at his leisure consult the authors above mentioned, who will not suffer him to ascribe the praise of this discovery to Mr B.’s ingenious inquiries. How the same figment was also entertained by a company of stupid monks in Egypt, who, in pursuit of their opinion, came in a great drove to Alexandria, to knock Theophilus the bishop on the head, who had spoken against them, and how that crafty companion deluded them with an ambiguity of expression, with what learned stirs ensued thereon, we have a full relation in Socrat. Ecclesiastes Hist. lib. 6:cap. 7. f151 As this madness of brain-sick men was always rejected by all persons of sobriety professing the religion of Jesus Christ, so was it never embraced by the Jews, or the wiser sort of heathens, who retained any impression of those common notions of God which remain in the hearts of men. The Jews to this day do solemnly confess, in their public worship, that God is not corporeal, that he hath no corporeal propriety, and therefore can nothing be compared with him. So one of the most learned of them of old:

    Ou]te gamorfov oJ Qeopinon sw~ma , Phil de Opificio Mundi; “Neither hath God a human form, nor does a human body resemble him.” And in Sacrifi. Abel: Oujde< ta< o[sa ajnqrw>poiv ejpi< Qeou~ kuriologei~tai kata>crhsiv de< ojnoma>twn ejsti< parhgorou~sa thran ajsqe>neian — “Neither are those things which are in us spoken properly of God, but there is an abuse of names therein, relieving our weakness.”

    Likewise the heathens, who termed God nou~n , and yu>cwsin and pneu~ma , and dunamopoio>n or du>namin , had the same apprehensions of him. Thus discourses Mercurius ad Tatium, in Stobaeus, serm. 78: Qeosai de< ajdu>naton to< gamaton sw>mati shmh~nai ajdu>naton kai< to< te>leion tw~| ajtelei~ katalabe>sqai ouj dunato>n kai< to< aji`>dion tw~| ojligocroni>w| suggene>sqai du>skolon oJ me ejsti to< de< pare>rcetai kai< to< meqeia> ejsti to< de< uJpo< fantasi>av skia>zetai to< de< ajsqene>steron tou~ ijscurote>rou kai< to< e]latton tou~ krei>ttonov di>esthke tosou~ton o[son to< qnhtosh tou>twn dia>stasiv ajmauroi~ than ojfqalmoi~v memata qeata< glw>tth| de< ta< oJrata< lekta< to< de< ajsw>maton kai< ajfanetiston kai< mh>te ejx u[lhv uJpokei>menon uJpo< tw~n hJmete>rwn aijsqh>sewn katalhfqh~nai ouj du>natai Ennoou~maiv w=| ta>t ejnnoou~mai o\ ejxeipei~n ouj dunatov And Calicratides apud Stob., Serm. 83: To< de< e[n ejstin a]riston aujtonion a]fqarton ajrca> te kai< aijti>a ta~v tw~n o[lwn diakosma>siov Of the like import is that distich of Xenophanes in Clemens Alexan., Strom. 5: — Eijv Qeopoisi me>gistov .

    Qu]te de>mav qnhtoi~sin oJmoi>i`ov oujde< no>hma . “There is one great God among gods and men, Who is like to mortals neither as to body nor mind.” Whereunto answers that in Cato: — “Si Deus est animus nobis ut carmina dicunt,” etc.

    And A Eschylus, in the same place of Clemens, Strom. 5: — Cwrei~te qnhtw~n tokei .

    Omoion aujtw~| sarkikonai . “Separate God from mortals, and think not thyself, of flesh, like him.” And Posidonius plainly in Stobaeus as above: O Qeon — “God is an intelligent fiery spirit, not having any shape.” And the same apprehension is evident in that of Seneca, “Quid est Deus? Mens universi. Quid est Deus? Quod vides totum, et quod non vides totum. Sic demure magnitude sua illi redditur, qua nihil majus excogitari potest, si solus est omnia, opus suum et extra et intra tenet. Quid ergo interest inter naturam Dei et nostram? Nostri melior pars animus est, in illo nulla pars extra animum.” Natural. Quaest. lib. 1. Praefat. It would be burdensome, if not endless, to insist on the testimonies that to this purpose might be produced out of Plato, Aristotle, Cicerco, Epictetus, Julius Firmicus, and others of the same order. I shall close with one of Alcinous, de Doctrina Platon. cap. 10 Atopon de< tov — “It is absurd to say that God is of matter and form; for if so, he could neither be simple, nor the principal cause.”

    The thing is so clear, and the contrary, even by the heathen philosophers, accounted so absurd, that I shall not stand to pursue the arguments flowing from the other attributes of God, but proceed to what follows.

    CHAPTER 4. Of the attribution of passions and affections, anger, fear, repentance, unto God — In what sense it is done in the Scripture. HIS next inquiry about the nature of God respects the attribution of several affections and passions unto him in the Scriptures, of whose sense and meaning he thus expresseth his apprehension: — Ques. Are there not, according to the perpetual tenor of the Scriptures, affections and passions in God, as anger, fury, zeal, wrath, love, hatred, mercy, grace, jealousy, repentance, grief, joy, fear?

    Concerning which he labors to make the Scriptures determine in the affirmative. 1. The main of Mr Biddle’s design, in his questions about the nature of God, being to deprive the Deity of its distinct persons, its omnipresence, prescience, and therein all other infinite perfections, he endeavors to make him some recompense for all that loss by ascribing to him in the foregoing query a human visible shape, and in this, human, turbulent affections and passions. Commonly, where men will not ascribe to the Lord that which is his due, he gives them up to assign that unto him which he doth abhor, Jeremiah 44:15-17. Neither is it easily determinable whether be the greater abomination. By the first, the dependence of men upon the true God is taken off; by the latter, their hope is fixed on a false. This, on both sides, at present is Mr B.’s sad employment. The Lord lay it not to his charge, but deliver him from the snare of Satan, wherein he is “taken alive at his pleasure”! 2 Timothy 2:26. 2. The things here assigned to God are ill associated, if to be understood after the same manner. Mercy and grace we acknowledge to be attributes of God; the rest mentioned are by none of Mr B.’s companions esteemed any other than acts of his will, and those metaphorically assigned to him. f153 3. To the whole I ask, whether these things are in the Scriptures ascribed properly unto God, denoting such affections and passions in him as those in us are which are so termed? or whether they are assigned to him and spoken of him metaphorically only, in reference to his outward works and dispensations, correspondent and answering to the actings of men in whom such affections are, and under the power whereof they are in those actings?

    If the latter be affirmed, then as such an attribution of them unto God is eminently consistent with all his infinite perfections and blessedness, so there can be no difference about this question and the answers given thereunto, all men readily acknowledging that in this sense the Scripture doth ascribe all the affections mentioned unto God, of which we say as he of old, Tau~ta ajnqrwpopaqw~v megontai qeoprepw~v de< noou~ntai .

    But this, I fear, will not serve Mr B.’s turn. The very phrase and manner of expression used in this question, the plain intimation that is in the forehead thereof of its author’s going off from the common received interpretation of these attributions unto God, do abundantly manifest that it is their proper significancy which he contends to fasten on God, and that the affections mentioned are really and properly in him as they are in us.

    This being evident to be his mind and intendment, as we think his anthropopathism in this query not to come short in folly and madness of his anthropomorphitism in that foregoing, so I shall proceed to the removal of this insinuation in the way and method formerly insisted on.

    Mr B.’s masters tell us “That these affections are vehement commotions of the will of God, whereby he is carried out earnestly to the object of his desires, or earnestly declines and abhors what falls not out gratefully or acceptably to him.” I shall first speak of them in general, and then to the particulars (some or all) mentioned by Mr B.: — First, In general, that God is perfect and perfectly blessed, I suppose will not be denied; it cannot be but by denying that he is God. ( Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 37:16; Romans 1:25, 9:5; 1 Timothy 1:11, 6:16.) He that is not perfect in himself and perfectly blessed is not God. To that which is perfect in any kind nothing is wanting in that kind.

    To that which is absolutely perfect nothing is wanting at all. He who is blessed is perfectly satisfied and filled, and hath no farther desire for supply. He who is blessed in himself is all-sufficient for himself. If God want or desire any thing for himself, he is neither perfect nor blessed. To ascribe, then, affections to God properly (such as before mentioned), is to deprive him of his perfection and blessedness. The consideration of the nature of these and the like affections will make this evident. 1. Affections, considered in themselves, have always an incomplete, imperfect act of the will or volition joined with them. They are something that lies between the firm purpose of the soul and the execution of that purpose. The proper actings of affections lie between these two; that is, in an incomplete, tumultuary volition. That God is not obnoxious to such volitions and incomplete actings of the will, besides the general consideration of his perfections and blessedness premised, is evident from that manner of procedure which is ascribed to him. His purposes and his works comprise all his actings. As the Lord hath purposed, so hath he done. “He worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” “Who hath known his mind? or who hath been his counsellor? Of him, and through him, and to him, are all things.” ( Isaiah 14:24; Ephesians 1:11; Romans 11:33-36; Isaiah 40:18,14.) 2. They have their dependence on that wherewith he in whom they are is affected; that is, they owe their rise and continuance to something without him in whom they are. A man’s fear ariseth from that or them of whom he is afraid; by them it is occasioned, on them it depends Whatever affects any man (that is, the stirring of a suitable affection), in all that frame of mind and soul, in all the volitions and commotions of will which so arise from thence, he depends on something without him. Yea, our being affected with something without lies at the bottom of most of our purposes and resolves Is it thus with God, with him who is I AM? Exodus 3:14. Is he in dependence upon any thing without him? Is it not a most eminent contradiction to speak of God in dependence on any other thing? Must not that thing either be God or be reduced to some other without and besides him, who is God, as the causes of all our affections are? “God is in one mind, and who can turn him? what his soul desireth, that he doeth,” Job 23:13. 3. Affections are necessarily accompanied with change and mutability; yea, he who is affected properly is really changed; yea, there is no more unworthy change or alteration than that which is accompanied with passion, as is the change that is wrought by the affections ascribed to God.

    A sedate, quiet, considerate alteration is far less inglorious and unworthy than that which is done in and with passion. Hitherto we have taken God upon his testimony, that he is the “LORD, and he changeth not,” Malachi 3:6; that “with him there is neither change nor shadow of turning;” — it seems, like the worms of the earth, he varieth every day. 4. Many of the affections here ascribed to God do eminently denote impotence; which, indeed, on this account, both by Socinians and Arminians, is directly ascribed to the Almighty. They make him affectionately and with commotion of will to desire many things in their own nature not impossible, which yet he cannot accomplish or bring about (of which I have elsewhere spoken); yea, it will appear that the most of the affections ascribed to God by Mr B., taken in a proper sense, are such as are actually ineffectual, or commotions through disappointments, upon the account of impotency or defect of power.

    Corol. To ascribe affections properly to God is to make him weak, imperfect, dependent, changeable, and impotent.

    Secondly, Let a short view be taken of the particulars, some or all of them, that Mr B. chooseth to instance in. “Anger, fury, wrath, zeal” (the same in kind, only differing in degree and circumstances), are the first he instances in; and the places produced to make good this attribution to God are, Numbers 25:3,4; Ezekiel 5:18; Exodus 32:11,12; Romans 1:18. 1. That mention is made of the auger, wrath, and fury of God in the Scripture is not questioned. Numbers 25:4, Deuteronomy 13:17, Joshua 7:26, Psalm 78:81, Isaiah 13:9, Deuteronomy 29:24, Judges 2:14, Psalm 74:1, 69:24, Isaiah 30:30, Lamentations 2:6, Ezekiel 5:15, Psalm 78:49, Isaiah 34:2, 2 Chronicles 28:11, Ezra 10:14, Habakkuk 3:8,12, are farther testimonies thereof. The words also in the original, in all the places mentioned, express or intimate perturbation of mind, commotion of spirit, corporeal mutation of the parts of the body, and the like distempers of men acting under the power of that passion. The whole difference is about the intendment of the Holy Ghost in these attributions, and whether they are properly spoken of God, asserting this passion to be in him in the proper significancy of the words, or whether these things be not taken ajnqrwpopaqw~v , and to be understood qeoprepw~v , in such a sense as may answer the meaning of the figurative expression, assigning them their truth to the utmost, and yet to be interpreted in a suitableness to divine perfection and blessedness 2. The anger , then, which in the Scripture is assigned to God, we say denotes two things: — (1.) His vindictive justice, or constant and immutable will of rendering vengeance for sin. So God’s purpose of the demonstration of his justice is called his being “willing to show his wrath” or anger, Romans 9:22; so God’s anger and his judgments are placed together, Psalm 7:6; and in that anger he judgeth, verse 8, And in this sense is the “wrath of God” said to be “revealed from heaven,” Romans 1:18; that is, the vindictive justice of God against sin to be manifested in the effects of it, or the judgments sent and punishments inflicted on and throughout the world. (2.) By anger, wrath, zeal, fury, the effects of anger are denoted: Romans 3:5, “Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance?” The words are, oJ ejpife>rwn thn , — “who inflicteth or bringeth anger on man;” that is, sore punishments, such as proceed from anger; that God’s vindictive justice. And Ephesians 5:6, “For these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” Is it the passion or affection of auger in God that Mr B. talks of, that comes upon the children of disobedience? or is it indeed the effect of his justice for this sin? Thus the day of judgment is called the “day of wrath” and of “anger,” because it is the day of the “revelation of the righteous judgment of God:” Romans 2:5, “After thy hardness,” etc. In the place of Ezekiel ( chap. 5:13) mentioned by Mr B., the Lord tells them he will,” cause his fury to rest upon them,” and “accomplish it upon them. I ask whether he intends this of any passion in him (and if so, how a passion in God can rest upon a man), or the judgments which for their iniquities he did inflict? We say, then, anger is not properly ascribed to God, but metaphorically, denoting partly his vindictive justice, whence all punishments flow, partly the effects of it in the punishments themselves, either threatened or inflicted, in their terror and bitterness, upon the account of what is analogous therein to our proceeding under the power of that passion; and so is to be taken in all the places mentioned by Mr B. For, — 3. Properly, in the sense by him pointed to, anger, wrath, etc, are not in God. Anger is defined by the philosopher to be, o]rexiv meta< lu>phv timwri>av fainome>nhv dia< fainome>nhn ojligwri>an , — “ desire joined with grief of that which appears to be revenge, for an appearing neglect or contempt.” To this grief, he tells you, there is a kind of pleasure annexed, arising from the vehement fancy which an angry person hath of the revenge he apprehends as future, — which, saith he, “is like the fancy of them that dream,” — and he ascribes this passion mostly to weak, impotent persona Ascribe this to God, and you leave him nothing else. There is not one property of his nature wherewith it is consistent. If he be properly and literally angry, and furious, and wrathful, he is moved, troubled, perplexed, desires revenge, and is neither blessed nor perfect. But of these things in our general reasons against the propriety of these attributions afterward. 4. Mr. B. hath given us a rule in his preface, that when any thing is ascribed to God in one place which is denied of him in another, then it is not properly ascribed to him. Now, God says expressly that “fury” or anger “is not in him,” Isaiah 27:4; and therefore it is not properly ascribed to him. 5. Of all the places where mention is made of God’s repentings, or his repentance, there is the same reason. Exodus 32:14, Genesis 6:6,7, Judges 10:16, Deuteronomy 30:9, are produced by Mr. B. That one place of 1 Samuel 15:29, where God affirms that he “knoweth no repentance,” casts all the rest under a necessity of an interpretation suitable unto it. Of all the affections or passions which we are obnoxious to, there is none that more eminently proclaims imperfection, weakness, and want in sundry kinds, than this of repentance. If not sins, mistakes, and miscarriages (as for the most part they are), yet disappointment, grief, and trouble, are always included in it. So is it in that expression, Genesis 6:6, “It repented theLORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” What but his mistake and great disappointment, by a failing of wisdom, foresight, and power, can give propriety to these attributions unto God? The change God was going then to work in his providence on the earth was such or like that which men do when they repent of a thing, being “grieved at the heart” for what they had formerly done. So are these things spoken of God to denote the kind of the things which he doth, not the nature of God himself; otherwise such expressions as these would suit him, whose frame of spirit and heart is so described: “Had I seen what would have been the issue of making man, I would never have done it. Would I had never been so overseen as to have engaged in such a business! What have I now got by my rashness? nothing but sorrow and grief of heart redounds to me.” And do these become the infinitely blessed God 6. Fear is added, from Deuteronomy 32:26,27. “Fear,” saith the wise man, “is a betraying of those succours which reason offereth;” — nature’s avoidance of an impendent evil; its contrivance to flee and prevent what it abhors, being in a probability of coming upon it; a turbulent weakness. This God forbids in us, upon the account of his being our God, Isaiah 35:4; “Fear not, O worm Jacob,” etc, chap. 41:14. Everywhere he asserts fear to be unfit for them who depend on him and his help, who is able in a moment to dissipate, scatter, and reduce to nothing, all the causes of their fear. And if there ought to be no fear where such succor is ready at hand, sure there is none in Him who gives it. Doubtless, it were much better to exclude the providence of God out of the world than to assert him afraid properly and directly of future events. The schools say truly, “Quod res sunt futurae, a voluntate Dei est (effectiva vel permissiva).” How, then, can God be afraid of what he knows will, and purposeth shall, come to pass? He doth, he will do, things in some likeness to what we do for the prevention of what we are afraid of. He will not scatter his people, that their adversaries may not have advantage to trample over them. When we so act as to prevent any thing that, unless we did so act, would befall us, it is because we are afraid of the coming of that thing upon us: hence is the reason of that attribution unto God. That properly He should be afraid of what comes to pass who knows from eternity what will so do, who can with the breath of his mouth destroy all the objects of his dislike, who is infinitely wise, blessed, all-sufficient, and the sovereign disposer of the lives, breath, and ways of all the sons of men, is fit for Mr. B. and no man else to affirm. “All the nations are before him as the drop of the bucket, and the dust of the balance, as vanity, as nothing; he upholdeth them by the word of his power; in him all men live, and move, and have their being,” and can neither live, nor act, nor be without him; their life, and breath, and all their ways, are in his hands; he brings them to destruction, and says, “Return, ye children of men;” ( Acts 15:18; 2 Samuel 22:16; Job 4:9; Psalm 18:15; Romans 1:25; Genesis 17:1; Romans 9:16-18, etc., 11:34-86; Isaiah 40:15; Hebrews 1:8; Psalm 33:9; Acts 17:24-28; Psalm 1. 8; Daniel 5:23; Psalm 90:8; Job 34:19.) and must he needs be properly afraid of what they will do to him and against him 7. Of God’s jealousy and hatred, mentioned from Psalm 5:4,5, Exodus 20:5, Deuteronomy 32:21, there is the same reason. Such effects as these things in us produce shall they meet withal who provoke him by their blasphemies and abominations. Of love, mercy, and grace, the condition is something otherwise: principally they denote God’s essential goodness and kindness, which is eminent amongst his infinite perfections; and secondarily the effects thereof, in and through Jesus Christ, are denoted by these expressions. To manifest that neither they nor any thing else, as they properly intend any affections or passions of the mind, any commotions of will, are properly attributed to God, unto what hath been spoken already these ensuing considerations may be subjoined: — (1.) Where no cause of stirring up affections or passions can have place or be admitted, there no affections are to be admitted; for to what end should we suppose that whereof there can be no use to eternity? If it be impossible any affection in God should be stirred up or acted, is it not impossible any such should be in him? The causes stirring up all affections are the access of some good desired, whence joy, hope, desire, eta, have their spring; or the approach of some evil to be avoided, which occasions fear, sorrow, anger, repentance, and the like. Now, if no good can be added to God, whence should joy and desire be stirred up in him? if no evil can befall him, in himself or any of his concernments, whence should he have fear, sorrow, or repentance? Our goodness extends not to him; he hath no need of us or our sacrifices, Psalm 16:2, 50:8-10; Job 35:6-8. “Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable to himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?” chap. 22:2, 3. (2.) The apostle tells us that God is “Messed for ever,” Romans 9:5; “He is the blessed and only Potentate,” 1 Timothy 6:15; “God allsufficient,” Genesis 17:1. That which is inconsistent with absolute blessedness and all-sufficiency is not to be ascribed to God; to do so casts him down from his excellency. But can he be blessed, is he all-sufficient, who is tossed up and down with hope, joy, fear, sorrow, repentance, anger, and the like? Doth not fear take off from absolute blessedness?

    Grant that God’s fear cloth not long abide, yet whilst it doth so, he is less blessed than he was before and than he is after his fear ceaseth. When he hopes, is he not short in happiness of that condition which he attains in the enjoyment of what he hoped for? and is he not lower when he is disappointed and falls short of his expectation? Did ever the heathens speak with more contempt of what they worshipped? Formerly the pride of some men heightened them to fancy themselves to be like God, without passions or affections, Psalm 50:21; being not able to abide in their attempt against their own sense and experience, it is now endeavored to make God like to us, in having such passions and affections. My aim is brevity, having many heads to speak unto. Those who have written on the attributes of God, — his self-sufficiency and blessedness, simplicity, immutability, etc., — are ready to tender farther satisfaction to them who shall desire it, CHAPTER 5. Of God’s prescience or foreknowledge. HIS next attempt is to overthrow and remove the prescience or foreknowledge of God, with what success the farther consideration of the way whereby he endeavors it will manifest. His question (the engine whereby he works) is thus framed: — As for our free actions which are neither past nor present, but may afterward either be or not be, what are the chief passages of Scripture from whence it is wont to be gathered that God knoweth not such actions until they come to pass, yea, that there are such actions?

    That we might have had a clearer acquaintance with the intendment of this interrogation, it is desirable Mr Biddle had given us his sense on some particulars, which at first view present themselves to the trouble of every ordinary reader; as, — 1. How we may reconcile the words of Scripture given in answer to his preceding query with the design of this. There it is asserted that God “understandeth our thoughts” (which certainly are of our free actions, if any such there are) “afar off;” here, that he knows not our free actions that are future, and not yet wrought or performed. 2. By whom is it “wont to be gathered” from the following scriptures that “God knoweth not our free actions until they come to pass.” Why doth not this “mere Christian,” that is of no sect, name his companions and associates in these learned collections from Scripture? Would not his so doing discover him to be so far from a mere Christian, engaged in none of the sects that are now amongst Christians, as to be of that sect which the residue of men so called will scarce allow the name of a Christian unto? f163 3. What he intends by the close of his query, “Yea, that there are such actions.” An advance is evident in the words towards a farther negation of the knowledge of God than what was before expressed. Before, he says, God knows not our actions that are future contingent; here, he knows not that there are such actions. The sense of this must be, either that God knows not that there are any such actions as may or may not be, — which would render him less knowing than Mr B., who hath already told us that such there be, — or else that he knows not such actions when they are, at least without farther inquiring after them, and knowledge obtained beyond what from his own infinite perfections and eternal purpose he is furnished withal. In Mr B.’s next book or catechism, I desire he would answer these questions also.

    Now in this endeavor of his Mr B. doth but follow his leaders. Socinus in his Prelections, where the main of his design is to vindicate man’s free-will into that latitude and absoluteness as none before him had once aimed at, in his eighth chapter objects to himself this foreknowledge of God as that which seems to abridge and cut short the liberty contended for. He answers that he grants not the foreknowledge pretended, and proceeds in that and the two following chapters, laboring to answer all the testimonies and arguments which are insisted on for the proof and demonstration of it, giving his own arguments against it, chap. 11. Crellius is something more candid, as he pretends, but indeed infected with the same venom with the other; for after he hath disputed for sundry pages to prove the foreknowledge of God, he concludes at last that for those things that are future contingent, he knows only that they are so, and that possibly they may come to pass, possibly they may not. Of the rest of their associates few have spoken expressly to this thing. Smalcius once and again manifests himself to consent with his masters in his disputations against Frauzius, expressly consenting to what Socinus had written in his Prelections, and affirming the same thing himself, yea, disputing eagerly for the same opinion with him. f166 For the vindication of God’s foreknowledge, I shall proceed in the same order as before in reference to the other attributes of God insisted on, namely: — 1. What Mr B. hath done, how he hath disposed of sundry places of Scripture for the proof of his assertion, with the sense of the places by him so produced, is to be considered; 2. Another question and answer are to be supplied in the room of his; 3. The truth vindicated to be farther confirmed.

    For the first: — In the proof of the assertion proposed Mr B. finds himself entangled more than ordinarily, though I confess his task in general be such as no man not made desperate by the loss of all in a shipwreck of faith would once have undertaken. To have made good his proceeding according to his engagement, he ought at least to have given us texts of Scripture express in the letter, as by him cut off from the state, condition, and coherence, wherein by the Holy Ghost they are placed, for the countenancing of his assertion: but here, being not able to make any work in his method, proposed and boasted in as signal and uncontrollable, no apex or tittle in the Scripture being pointed towards the denial of God’s knowing any thing or all things, past, present, and to come, he moulds his question into a peculiar fashion, and asks, whence or from what place of Scripture may such a thing as he there avers be gathered; at once plainly declining the trial he had put himself upon of insisting upon express texts of Scripture only, not one of the many quoted by him speaking one word expressly to the business in hand, and laying himself naked to all consequences rightly deduced from the Scripture, and expositions given to the letter of some places suitable to “the proportion of faith,” Romans 12:6. That, then, which he would have, he tells you is gathered from the places of Scripture subjoined, but how, by whom, by what consequence, with what evidence of reason, it is so gathered, he tells you not. An understanding, indeed, informed with such gross conceptions of the nature of the Deity as Mr B. hath labored to insinuate into the minds of men, might gather, from his collection of places of Scripture for his purpose in hand, that God is afraid, troubled, grieved, that he repenteth, altereth and changeth his mind to and fro; but of his knowledge or foreknowledge of things, whether he have any such thing or not, there is not the least intimation, unless it be in this, that if he had any such foreknowledge, he need not put himself to so much trouble and vexation, nor so change and alter his mind, as he doth. And with such figments as these (through the infinite, wise, and good providence of God, punishing the wantonness of the minds and lives of men, by giving them up to strong delusions and vain imaginations, in the darkness of their foolish hearts, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, so far as to change the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of a corruptible, weak, ignorant, sinful man, Romans 1:23), are we now to deal.

    But let the places themselves be considered. To these heads they may be referred: — 1. Such as ascribe unto God fear and being afraid. Deuteronomy 32:26,27; Exodus 13:17; Genesis 3:22,23, are of this sort. 2. Repentance, 1 Samuel 15:10,11, ult. 3. Change, or alteration of mind, Numbers 14:27,30; 1 Samuel 2:30. 4. Expectation whether a thing will answer his desire or no, Isaiah 5:4.

    Conjecturing, Jeremiah 36:1-3; Ezekiel 12:1-3. 5. Trying of experiments, Judges 3:l, 4; Daniel 12:10; 2 Chronicles 32:31. From all which and the like it may, by Mr B.’s direction and help, be thus gathered: “If God be afraid of what is to come to pass, and repenteth him of what he hath done when he finds it not to answer his expectation; if he sits divining and conjecturing at events, being often deceived therein, and therefore tries and makes experiments that he may be informed of the true state of things: then certainly he knows not the free actions of men, that are not yet come to pass.” The antecedent Mr B. hath proved undeniably from ten texts of Scripture, and doubtless the consequent is easily to be gathered by any of his disciples. Doubtless it is high time that the old, musty catechisms of prejudicate persons, who scarce so much as once consulted with the Scriptures in their composures, as being more engaged into factions, were removed out of the way and burned, that this “mere Christian” may have liberty to bless the growing generation with such notions of God as the idolatrous Pagans of old would have scorned to have received.

    But do not the Scriptures ascribe all the particulars mentioned unto God?

    Can you blame Mr B. without reflection on them? If only what the Scripture affirms in the letter, and not the sense wherein and the manner how it affirms it (which considerations are allowed to all the writings and speakings of the sons of men) is to be considered, the end seeming to be aimed at in such undertakings as this of Mr B., namely, to induce the atheistical spirits of the sons of men to a contempt and scorn of them and their authority, will probably be sooner attained than by the efficacy of any one engine raised against them in the world besides.

    As to the matter under consideration, I have some few things in general to propose to Mr B., and then I shall descend to the particulars insisted on: — First, then, I desire to know whether the things mentioned, as fear, grief, repentance, trouble, conjecturings, making trials of men for his own information, are ascribed properly to God as they are unto men, or tropically and figuratively, with a condescension to us, to express the things spoken of, and not to describe the nature of God. If the first be said, namely, that these things are ascribed properly to God, and really signify of him the things in us intended in them, then to what hath been spoken in the consideration taken of the foregoing query, I shall freely add, for mine own part, I will not own nor worship him for my God who is truly and properly afraid of what all the men in the world either will or can do; who doth, can do, or hath done any thing, or suffered any thing to be done, of which he doth or can truly and properly repent himself, with sorrow and grief for his mistake; or that sits in heaven divining and conjecturing at what men will do here below: and do know that he whom I serve in my spirit will famish and starve all such gods out of the world.

    But of this before. If these things are ascribed to God figuratively and improperly, discovering the kind of his works and dispensations, not his own nature or property, I would fain know what inference can be made or conclusion drawn from such expressions, directly calling for a figurative interpretation? For instance, if God be said to repent that he had done such a thing, because such and such things are come to pass thereupon, if this repentance in God be not properly ascribed to him (as by Mr B.’s own rule it is not), but denotes only an alteration and change in the works that outwardly are of him, in an orderly subserviency to the immutable purpose of his will, what can thence be gathered to prove that God foreseeth not the free actions of men? And this is the issue of Mr B.’s confirmation of the thesis couched in his query insisted on from the Scriptures 2. I must crave leave once more to mind him of the rule he hath given us in his preface, namely, “That where a thing is improperly ascribed to God, in some other place it is denied of him,” as he instances in that of his being weary; so that whatever is denied of him in any one place is not properly ascribed to him in any other. Now, though God be said, in some of the places by him produced, to repent, yet it is in another expressly said that he doth not so, and that upon such a general ground and mason as is equally exclusive of all those other passions and affections, upon whose assignment unto God the whole strength of Mr B.’s plea against the prescience of God doth depend: 1 Samuel 15:29, “Also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.”

    The immutability of his nature, and unlikeness to men in obnoxiousness to alterations, are asserted as the reason of his not repenting; which will equally extend its force and efficacy to the removal from him of all the other human affections mentioned. And this second general consideration of the foundation of Mr B.’s plea is sufficient for the removal of the whole. 3. I desire to know whether indeed it is only the free actions of men that are not yet done that Mr B. denies to be known of God, or whether he excludes him not also from the knowledge of the present state, frame, and actings of the hearts of men, and how they stand affected towards him, being therein like other rulers among men, who may judge of the good and evil actions of men so far as they are manifest and evident, but how men in their hearts stand affected to them, their rule, government, and authority, they know not? To make this inquiry, I have not only the observation premised from the words of the close of Mr B.’s query being of a negative importance (“Yea, that there are such actions”), but also from some of the proofs by him produced of his former assertion being interpreted according to the literal significancy of the words, as exclusive of any figure, which he insisteth on. Of this sort is that of Genesis 22:1,2, 10-12, where God is said to tempt Abraham, and upon the issue of that trial says to him (which words Mr B., by putting them in a different character, points to as comprehensive of what he intends to gather and conclude from them), “Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.” The conclusion which Mr B. guides unto from hence is, that God knew not that which he inquired after, and therefore tempted Abraham that he might so do, and upon the issue of that trial says, “Now I know.” But what was it that God affirms that now he knew? Not any thing future, not any free action that was not as yet done, but something of the present condition and frame of his heart towards God, — namely, his fear of God; not whether he would fear him, but whether he did fear him then. If this, then, be properly spoken of God, and really as to the nature of the thing itself, then is he ignorant no less of things present than of those that are for to come. He knows not who fears him nor who hates him, unless he have opportunity to try them in some such way as he did Abraham. And then what a God hath this man delineated to us I How like the dunghill deities of the heathen, who speak after this rate! Doubtless the description that Elijah gave of Baal would better suit him than any of those divine perfections which the living, allseeing God hath described himself by. But now, if Mr B. will confess that God knows all the things that are present, and that this inquiry after the present frame of the heart and spirit of a man is improperly ascribed to him, from the analogy of his proceedings, in his dealing with him, to that which we insist upon when we would really find out what we do not know, then I would only ask of him why those other expressions which he mentions, looking to what is to come, being of the same nature and kind with this, do not admit of, yea call for, the same kind of exposition and interpretation.

    Neither is this the only place insisted on by Mr B. where the inquiry ascribed unto God, and the trial that he makes, is not in reference to things to come, but punctually to what is present: Deuteronomy 8:2, 13:3, “TheLORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the\parLORD your God with all your heart and With all your soul;” 2 Chronicles 32:31, “God loft him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart;” and Philippians 4:6, “In every thing let your requests be made known unto God.”

    Let Mr B. tell us now plainly whether he supposes all these things to be spoken properly of God, and that indeed God knows not our hearts, the frame of them, nor what in them we desire and aim at, without some eminent trial and inquiry, or until we ourselves do make known what is in them unto him. If this be the man’s mind (as it must be, if he be at any agreement with himself in his principles concerning these scriptural attributions unto God), for my part I shall be so far from esteeming him eminent as a mere Christian, that I shall scarcely judge him comparable, as to his apprehensions of God, unto many that lived and died mere Pagans.

    To this sense also is applied that property of God, that he “trieth the hearts,” as it is urged by Mr B. from 1 Thessalonians 2:4; — that is, he maketh inquiry after what is in them; which, but upon search and trial, he knoweth not! By what ways and means God accomplisheth this search, and whether hereupon he comes to a perfect understanding of our hearts or no, is not expressed. John tells us that “God is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things;” and we have thought on that account (with that of such farther discoveries as he hath made of himself and his perfections unto us) that he had been said to search our hearts; not that himself, for his own information, needs any such formal process by way of trial and inquiry, but because really and indeed he doth that in himself which men aim at in the accomplishment of their most diligent searches and exactest trials.

    And we may, by the way, see a little of this man’s consistency with himself. Christ he denies to be God, — a great part of his religion consists in that negative, — yet of Christ it is said that “he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man, for he knew what was in man,” John 2:24,25: and this is spoken in reference to that very thing in the hearts of men which he would persuade us that God knows not without inquiry; that is, upon the account of his not committing himself to those as true believers whom yet, upon the account of the profession they made, the Scripture calls so, and says they “believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did,” verse 23. Though they had such a veil of profession upon them that the Holy Ghost would have us esteem them as believers, yet Christ could look through it into their hearts, and discover and know their frame, and whether in sincerity they loved him and believed in his name or no; but this God cannot do without inquiry I And yet Christ (if we believe Mr B.) was but a mere man, as he is a “mere Christian.” Farther; it seems, by this gentleman, that unless “we make known our requests to God,” he knows not what we will ask. Yet we ask nothing but what is in our thoughts; and in the last query he instructs us that God knows our thoughts, — and doubtless he knows Mr B.’s to be but folly. Farther yet; if God must be concluded ignorant of our desires, because we are bid to make our requests known unto him, he may be as well concluded forgetful of what himself hath spoken, because he bids us put him in remembrance, and appoints some to be his remembrancers. But to return: — This is the aspect of almost one-half of the places produced by Mr B. towards the business in hand. If they are properly spoken of God, in the same sense as they are of man, they conclude him not to know things present , the frame of the heart of any man in the world towards himself and his fear, nay, the outward, open, notorious actions of men. So it is in that place of Genesis 18:21, insisted on by Crellius, one of Mr B.’s great masters, “I will go down now, and see” (or know) “whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me.” Yea, the places which, in their letter and outward appearance, seem to ascribe that ignorance of things present unto God are far more express and numerous than those that in the least look forward to what is yet for to come, or was so at their delivery. This progress, then, have we made under our catechist, if we may believe him, as he insinuates his notions concerning God: “God sits in heaven (glistering on a throne), whereunto he is limited, yea, to a certain place therein, so as not to be elsewhere; being grieved, troubled, and perplexed at the affairs done below which he doth know, making inquiry after what he doth not know, and many things (things future) he knoweth not at all.”

    Before I proceed to the farther consideration of that which is eminently and expressly denied by Mr B., namely, “God’s foreknowledge of our free actions that are future,” because many of his proofs, in the sense by him urged, seem to exclude him from an acquaintance with many things present, — as, in particular, the frame and condition of the hearts of men towards himself, as was observed, — it may not be amiss a little to confirm that perfection of the knowledge of God as to those things from the Scripture; which will abundantly also manifest that the expressions insisted on by our catechist are metaphorical and improperly ascribed to God. Of the eminent predictions in the Scripture, which relate unto things future, I shall speak afterward. He knew, for he foretold the flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the famine in Egypt, the selling and exaltation of Joseph, the reign of David, the division of his kingdom, the Babylonish captivity, the kingdom of Cyrus, the return of his people, the state and ruin of the four great empires of the world, the wars, plagues, famines, earthquakes, divisions, which he manifestly foretold. But farther, he knows the frame of the hearts of men; he knew that the Keilites would deliver up David to Saul if he stayed amongst them, — which probably they knew not themselves, 1 Samuel 23:12; he knew that Hazael would murder women and infants, which he knew not himself, 2 Kings 8:12,13; he knew that the Egyptians would afflict his people, though at first they entertained them with honor, Genesis 15:13; he knew Abraham, that he would instruct his household, Genesis 18:19; he knew that some were obstinate, their neck an iron sinew, and their brow brass, Isaiah 48:4; he knew the imagination or figment of the heart of his people, Deuteronomy 31:21; that the church of Laodicea, notwithstanding her profession, was lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, Revelation 3:15. “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but theLORD looketh on the heart,” 1 Samuel 16:7. “He only knoweth the hearts of all the children of men,” 1 Kings 8:39. “Hell and destruction are before theLORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?” Proverbs 15:11. So also Proverbs 24:12; Jeremiah 17:9,10; Ezekiel 11:5; Psalm 38:9, 94:11; Job 31:4; Matthew 6:4,6,8; Luke 16:15; Acts 1:24, etc.

    Innumerable other places to this purpose may be insisted on, though it is a surprisal to be put to prove that God knows the hearts of the sons of men.

    But to proceed to that which is more directly under consideration: — The sole foundation of Mr B.’s insinuation, that God knows not our free actions that are future, being laid, as was observed, on the assignation of fear, repentance, expectation, and conjecturing, unto God, the consideration which hath already been had of those attributions in the Scripture and the causes of them is abundantly sufficient to remove it out of the way, and to let his inference sink thither whence it came. Doubtless never was painter so injurious to the Deity (who limned out the shape of an old man on a cloth or board, and, after some disputes with himself whether he should sell it for an emblem of winter, set it out as a representation of God the Father) as this man is in snatching God’s own pencil out of his hand, and by it presenting him to the world in a gross, carnal, deformed shape. Plato would not suffer Homer in his Commonwealth, for intrenching upon the imaginary Blessedness of their dunghill deities, making Jupiter to grieve for the death of Sarpedon, f171 Mars to be wounded by Diomedes, and to roar thereupon with disputes and conjectures in heaven among themselves about the issue of the Trojan war, though he endeavors to salve all his heavenly solecisms by many noble expressions concerning purposes not unmeet for a deity, telling us, in the close and issue of a most contingent after, Dioeto bolh> . Let that man think of how much sorer punishment he shall be thought worthy (I speak of the great account he is one day to make) who shall persist in wresting the Scripture to his own destruction, to represent the living and incomprehensible God unto the world trembling with fear, pale with anger, sordid with grief and repentance, perplexed with conjectures and various expectations of events, and making a diligent inquiry after the things he knows not; that is, altogether such an one as himself: let all who have the least reverence of and acquaintance with that Majesty with whom we have to do judge and determine. But of these things before.

    The proposure of a question to succeed in the room of that removed, with a scriptural resolution thereof, in order to a discovery of what God himself hath revealed concerning his knowledge of all things, is the next part of our employment. Thus, then, it may be framed: — Ques. Doth not God know all things, whether past, present, or to come, all the ways and actions of men, even before their accomplishment, or is any thing hid from him? What says the Scripture properly and directly hereunto?

    Ans. God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things,” 1 John 3:20. “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do,” Hebrews 4:13. “TheLORD is a God of knowledge,” 1 Samuel 2:3. “Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, OLORD, thou knowest it altogether,” <19D902> Psalm 139:2-4. “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite,” <19E705> Psalm 147:5. “Who hath directed the Spirit of theLORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding?” Isaiah 40:13,14. “There is no searching of his understanding,” verse 28. Romans 11:36, “Of him are all things;” and, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world,” Acts 15:18, etc.

    Of the undeniable evidence and conviction of God’s prescience or foreknowledge of future contingents, from his prediction of their coming to pass, with other demonstrations of the truth under consideration, attended with their several testimonies from Scripture, the close of this discourse will give a farther account.

    It remains only that, according to the way and method formerly insisted on, I give some farther account of the perfection of God pleaded for, with the arguments wherewith it is farther evidenced to us, and so to proceed to what followeth: — 1. That knowledge is proper to God, the testimony of the Scripture unto the excellency and perfection of the thing itself doth sufficiently evince. “I cannot tell,” says the apostle: “God knoweth,” 2 Corinthians 12:2,3. It is the general voice of nature, upon relation of any thing that to us is hid and unknown, that the apostle there makes mention of: “God knoweth.” That he knoweth the things that are past, Mr B. doth not question. That at least also some things that are present, yea some thoughts of our hearts, are known to him, he doth not deny. It is not my intendment to engage in any curious scholastical discourse about the understanding, science, knowledge, or wisdom of God, nor of the way of God’s knowing things in and by his own essence, through simple intuition.

    That which directly is opposed is his knowledge of our free actions, which, in respect of their second and mediate causes, may or may not be.

    This, therefore, I shall briefly explain, and confirm the truth of it by Scripture testimonies and arguments from right reason, not to be evaded without making head against all God’s infinite perfections, having already demonstrated that all that which is insisted on by Mr B. to oppose it is spoken metaphorically and improperly of God.

    That God doth foresee all future things was amongst mere Pagans so acknowledged as to be looked on as a common notion of mankind, So Xenophon tells us, “That both Grecians and barbarians consented in this, that the gods knew all things, present and to come.” And it may be worth our observation, that whereas Crellius, one of the most learned of this gentleman’s masters, distinguisheth between ejso>mena and me>llonta , affirming that God knows ta< ejso>mena , which, though future, are necessarily so, yet he knows not ta< me>llonta , which are only, says he, likely so to be. Xenophon plainly affirms that all nations consent that he knows ta< me>llonta . “And this knowledge of his,” saith that great philosopher, “is the foundation of the prayers and supplications of men for the obtaining of good or the avoiding of evil.” Now, that one calling himself a “mere Christian” should oppose a perfection of God that a mere Pagan affirms all the world to acknowledge to be in him would seem somewhat strange, but that we know all things do not answer or make good the names whereby they are called.

    For the clearer handling of the matter under consideration, the terms wherein it is proposed are a little to be explained: — 1. That prescience or foreknowledge is attributed to God, the Scripture testifieth. Acts 2:23, Romans 8:29, 11:2, 1 Peter 1:2, are proofs hereof. The term, indeed (foreknowing), rather relates to the things known, and the order wherein they stand one to another and among themselves, than is properly expressive of God’s knowledge. God knows all things as they are, and in that order wherein they stand. Things that are past, as to the order of the creatures which he hath appointed to them, and the works of providence which outwardly are of him, he knows as past; not by remembrance, as we do, but by the same act of knowledge wherewith he knew them from all eternity, even before they were. Their existence in time and being, cast by the successive motion of things into the number of the things that are past, denotes an alteration in them, but not at all in the knowledge of God. So it is also in respect of things future. God knows them in that esse intelligibile which they have, as they may be known and understood; and how that is shall afterward be declared. He sees and knows them as they are, when they have that respect upon them of being future; when they lose this respect, by their actual existence, he knows them still as before. They are altered; his knowledge, his understanding is infinite, and changeth not. 2. God’s knowledge of things is either of simple intelligence (as usually it is phrased) or of vision. The first is his knowledge of all possible things; that is, of all that he himself can do. That God knows himself I suppose will not be denied. An infinite understanding knows throughly all infinite perfections. God, then, knows his own power or omnipotency, and thereby knows all that he can do. Infinite science must know, as I said, what infinite power can extend unto. Now, whatever God can do is possible to be done; that is, whatever hath not in itself a repugnancy to being. Now, that many things may be done by the power of God that yet are not, nor ever shall be done, I suppose is not denied. Might he not make a new world? Hence ariseth the attribution of the knowledge of simple intelligence before mentioned unto God. In his own infinite understanding he sees and knows all things that are possible to be done by his power, would his good pleasure concur to their production.

    Of the world of things possible which God can do, some things, even all that he pleaseth, are future. f179a The creation itself, and all things that have had a being since, were so future before their creation. Had they not some time been future, they had never been. Whatever is, was to be before it wan All things that shall be to the end of the world are now future. How things which were only possible, in relation to the power of God, come to be future, and in what respect, shall be briefly mentioned. These things God knoweth also. His science of them is called of vision. He sees them as things which, in their proper order, shall exist. In a word, “scientia visionis,” and “simplicis intelligentise,” may be considered in a threefold relation; that is, “in ordine ad objectum, mensuram, modum:” — (1.) “Scientia visionis” hath for its object things past, present, and to come, — whatsoever had, hath, or will have, actual being. The measure of this knowledge is his will; because the will and decree of God only make those things future which were but possible before: therefore we say, “Scientia visionis fundatur in voluntate.” For the manner of it, it is called “Scientia libera, quia fundatur in voluntate,” as necessarily presupposing a free act of the divine will, which makes things future, and so objects of this kind of knowledge. (2.) As for that “scientia” which we call “simplicis intelligentiae,” the object of it is possible; the measure of it omnipotency, for by it he knows all he can do; and for the manner of it, it is “scientia necessaria, quia non fundatur in voluntate, sed potestate” (say the schoolmen), seeing by it he knows not what he will, but what he can do. Of that late figment of a middle science in God, arising neither from the infinite perfection of his own being, as that of simple intelligence, nor yet attending his free purpose and decree, as that of vision, but from a consideration of the second causes that are to produce the things foreknown, in their kind, order, and dependence, I am not now to treat. And with the former kind of knowledge it is, or rather in the former way (the knowledge of God being simply one and the same) is it, that we affirm him to know the things that are future, of what sort soever, or all things before they come to pass. 3. The things inquired after are commonly called contingent. Contingencies are of two sorts: — (1.) Such as are only so; (2.) Such as are also free. (1.) Such as are only so are contingent only in their effects: such is the falling of a stone from a house, and the killing of a man thereby. The effect itself was contingent, nothing more; the cause necessary, the stone, being loosed from what detained it upon the house, by its own weight necessarily falling to the ground. (2.) That which is so contingent as to be also free, is contingent both in respect of the effect and of its causes also. Such was the soldier’s piercing of the side of Christ. The effect was contingent, — such a thing might have been done or not; and the cause also, for they chose to do it who did it, and in respect of their own elective faculty might not have chosen it. That a man shall write, or ride, or speak to another person to-morrow, the agent being free, is contingent both as to the cause and to the effect. About these is our principal inquiry; and to the knowledge of God which he is said to have of them is the opposition most expressly made by Mr B. Let this, then, be our conclusion: — God perfectly knows all the free actions of men before they are wrought by them. All things that will be done or shall be to all eternity, though in their own natures contingent and wrought by agents free in their working, are known to him from eternity.

    Some previous observations will make way for the clear proof and demonstration of this truth. Then, — 1. God certainly knows everything that is to be known; that is, everything that is scibile. If there be in the nature of things an impossibility to be known, they cannot be known by the divine understanding. If any thing be scibile, or may be known, the not knowing of it is his imperfection who knows it not. To God this cannot be ascribed (namely, that he should not know what is to be known) without the destruction of his perfection. He shall not be my God who is not infinitely perfect. He who wants any thing to make him blessed in himself can never make the fruition of himself the blessedness of others. 2. Every thing that hath a determinate cause is scibile, may be known, though future, by him that perfectly knows that cause which doth so determine the thing to be known unto existence. Now, contingent things, the free actions of men that yet are not, but in respect of themselves may or may not be, have such a determinate cause of their existence as that mentioned. It is true, in respect of their immediate causes, as the wills of men, they are contingent, and may be or not be; but that they have such a cause as before spoken of is evident from the light of this consideration: in their own time and order they are. Now, whatever is at any time was future; before it was, it was to be. If it had not been future, it had not now been. Its present performance is sufficient demonstration of the futurition it had Before. I ask, then, whence it came to be future, — that that action was rather to be than a thousand others that were as possible as it? for instance, that the side of Christ should be pierced with a spear, when it was as possible, in the nature of the thing itself and of all secondary causes, that his head should be cut off. That, then, which gives any action a futurition is that determinate cause wherein it may be known, whereof we speak. Thus it may be said of the same thing that it is contingent and determined, without the least appearance of contradiction, because it is not spoken with respect to the same things or causes. 3. The determinate cause of continent things, that is, things that are future (for every thing when it is, and as it is, is necessary), is the will of God himself concerning their existence and being; either by his efficiency and working, as all good things in every kind (that is, that are either morally or physically so, in which latter sense all the actions of men, as actions, are so); or by his permission, which is the condition of things morally evil, or of the irregularity and obliquity attending those actions, upon the account of their relation to a law, which in themselves are entitative and physically good, as the things were which God at first created. Whether any thing come to pass beside the will of God and contrary to his purpose will not be disputed with any advantage of glory to God or honor to them that shall assert it. That in all events the will of God is fulfilled is a common notion of all rational creatures. So the accomplishment of his “determinate counsel” is affirmed by the apostle in the issue of that mysterious dispensation of the crucifying of his Son. That of James 4:15, Eariov qelh>sh| , intimates God’s will to be extended to all actions, as actions, whatever. Thus God knew before the world was made, or any thing that is in it, that there would be such a world and such things in it; yet than the making of the world nothing was more free or contingent. f184 God is not a necessary agent as to any of the works that outwardly are of him. Whence, then, did God know this? Was it not from his own decree and eternal purpose that such a world there should be? And if the knowledge of one contingent thing be from hence, why not of all? In brief, these future contingencies depend on something for their existence, or they come forth into the world in their own strength and upon their own account, not depending on any other. If the latter, they are God; if the former, the will of God or old Fortune must be the principle on which they do depend. 4. God can work with contingent causes for the accomplishment of his own will and purposes, without the least prejudice to them, either as causes or as free and contingent. God moves not, works not, in or with any second causes, to the producing of any effect contrary or not agreeable to their own natures. Notwithstanding any predetermination or operation of God, the wills of men, in the production of every one of their actions, are at as perfect liberty as a cause in dependence of another is capable of. To say it is not in dependence is atheism. The purpose of God, the counsel of his will, concerning any thing as to its existence, gives a necessity of infallibility to the event, but changes not the manner of the second cause’s operation, be [it] what it will. That God cannot accomplish and bring about his own purposes by free and contingent agents, without the destruction of the natures he hath endued them withal, is a figment unworthy the thoughts of any who indeed acknowledge his sovereignty and power. 5. The reason why Mr B.’s companions in his undertaking, as others that went before him of the same mind, do deny this foreknowledge of God, they express on all occasions to be that the granting of it is prejudicial to that absolutely independent liberty of will which God assigns to men: so Socinus pleads, Praelect. Theol. cap. 8; thus far, I confess, more accurately than the Arminians. These pretend (some of them, at least) to grant the prescience of God, but yet deny his determinate decrees and purposes, on the same pretense that the others do his prescience, namely, of their prejudicialness to the free-will of man. Socinus discourses (which was no difficult task) that the foreknowledge of God is as inconsistent with that independent liberty of will and contingency which he and they had fancied as the predetermination of his will; and therefore rejects the former as well as the latter. It was Augustine’s complaint of old concerning Cicero, that “ita fecit homines liberos, ut fecit etiam sacrilegos” Cicero was a mere Pagan, and surely our complaint against any that shall close with him in this attempt, under the name of a “mere Christian,” will not be less just than that of Augustine. For mine own part, I am fully resolved that all the liberty and freedom that, as creatures, we are capable of is eminently consistent with God’s absolute decrees and infallible foreknowledge; and if I should hesitate in the apprehension thereof, I had rather ten thousand times deny our wills to be free than God to be omniscient, the sovereign disposer of all men, their actions, and concernments, or say that any thing comes to pass without, against, or contrary to the counsel of his will. But we know, through the goodness of God, that these things have their consistency, and that God may have preserved to him the glory of his infinite perfection, and the will of man not at all be abridged of its due and proper liberty.

    These things being premised, the proof and demonstration of the truth proposed lies ready at hand in the ensuing particulars: — 1. He who knows all things knows the things that are future, though contingent) In saying they are things future and contingent, f187a you grant them to be among the number of things, as you do those which you call things past; but that God knows all things hath already been abundantly confirmed out of Scripture. Let the reader look back on some of the many texts and places by which I gave answer to the query about the foreknowledge of God, and he will find abundantly enough for his satisfaction, if he be of those that would be satisfied, and dares not carelessly make bold to trample upon the perfections of God. Take some few of them to a review: 1 John 3:20, “God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” Even we know things past and present. If God knows only things of the same kind, his knowledge may be greater than ours by many degrees, but you cannot say his understanding is infinite; there is not, on that supposition, an infinite distance between his knowledge and ours, but they stand in some measurable proportion. Hebrews 4:13, “All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” “Not that which is to come, not the free actions of men that are future,” saith Mr B. But to distinguish thus when the Scripture doth not distinguish, and that to the great dishonor of God, is not to interpret the word, but to deny it, Acts 15:8, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” I ask, whether God hath any thing to do in the free actions of men? For instance, had he any thing to do in the sending of Joseph into Egypt, his exaltation there, and the entertainment of his father’s household afterward by him in his greatness and power? all which were brought about by innumerable contingencies and free actions of men. If he had not, why should we any longer depend on him, or regard him in the several transactions and concernments of our lives? “Nullum numen abest, f187b si sit prudentia: nos to, · Nos facimus, Fortuna, Deam.” If he had to do with it, as Joseph thought he had, when he affirmed plainly that” God sent him thither, and made him a father to Pharaoh and his house.,” Genesis 45:5-8, then the whole was known to God before, for “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” And if God may know any one free action beforehand, he may know all, for there is the same reason of them all Their contingency is given as the only cause why they may not be known, Now, every action that is contingent is equally interested therein. “A quatenus ad omne valet argumentum.”

    That place of the psalm before recited, <19D902> Psalm 139:2-6, is express as to the knowledge of God concerning our free actions that are yet future. If any thing in the world may be reckoned amongst our free actions, surely our thoughts may; and such a close reserved treasure are they that Mr B. doth more than insinuate, in the application of the texts of Scripture which he mentioneth, that God knoweth them not when present without search and inquiry. But these, saith the psalmist, “God knoweth afar off,” — before we think them, before they enter into our hearts. And truly I marvel that any man, not wholly given up to a spirit of giddiness, after he had produced this text of Scripture to prove that God knows our thoughts, should instantly subjoin a question leading men to a persuasion that God knows not our free actions that are future; unless it was with a Julian design, to impair the credit of the word of God, by pretending it liable to self-contradiction, or, with Lucian, to deride God as bearing contrary testimonies concerning himself. 2. God hath, by himself and his holy prophets, which have been from the foundation of the world, foretold many of the free actions of men, what they would do, what they should do, long before they were born who were to do them. To give a little light to this argument, which of itself will easily overwhelm all that stands before it, I shall handle it under these propositions: — (1.) That God hath so foretold the free actions of men. (2.) That so he could not do unless he knew them, and that they would be, then when he foretold them. (3.) That he proves himself to be God by these his predictions. (4.) That he foretells them as the means of executing many of his judgments which he hath purposed and threatened, and the accomplishment of many mercies which he hath promised, so that the denial of his foresight of them so exempts them from under his providence as to infer that he rules not in the world by punishments and rewards.

    For the first: — (1.) There needs no great search or inquiry after witnesses to confirm the truth of it; the Scripture is full of such predictions from one end to the other. Some few instances shall suffice: Genesis 18:18,19, “Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him; for I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of theLORD, to do justice and judgment; that theLORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”

    Scarce a word but is expressive of some future contingent thing, if the free actions of men be so before they are wrought. That “Abraham should become a mighty nation,’’ that “all the nations of the earth should be blessed in him,” that he would “command his children and his household after him to keep the ways of theLORD,” it was all to be brought about by the free actions of Abraham and of others; and all this “I know,” saith the Lord, and accordingly declares it. By the way, if the Lord knew all this before, his following trial of Abraham was not to satisfy himself whether he feared him or no, as is pretended.

    So also Genesis 15:13,14, “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.”

    The Egyptians’ affliction on the Israelites was by their free actions, if any be free. It was their sin to do it; they sinned in all that they did for the effecting of it. And, doubtless, if any men’s sinful actions are free, yet doth God here foretell “They shall afflict them.” Deuteronomy 31:16-18, you have an instance beyond all possible exception: “And theLORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?” etc.

    The sum of a good part of what is recorded in the Book of Judges is here foretold by God. The people’s going a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, their forsaking of God, their breaking his covenant, the thoughts of their hearts and their expressions upon the consideration of the evils and afflictions that should befall them, were of their free actions; but now all these doth God here foretell, and thereby engages the honor of his truth unto the certainty of their coming to pass. 1 Kings 13:2 is signal to the same purpose: “O altar, altar, behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that bum incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon then” This prediction is given out three hundred years before the birth of Josiah.

    The accomplishment of it you have in the story, 2 Kings 23:17. Did Josiah act freely? was his proceeding at Bethel by free actions, or no? If not, how shall we know what actions of men are free, what not? If it was, his free actions are here foretold, and therefore, I think, foreseen. 1 Kings 22:28, the prophet Micaiah, in the name of the Lord, having foretold a thing that was contingent, and which was accomplished by a man acting at a venture, lays the credit of his prophecy (and therein his life, for if he had proved false as to the event he was to have suffered death by the law) at stake, before all the people, upon the certainty of the issue foretold: “And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, theLORD hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you.”

    Of these predictions the Scripture is full. The prophecies of Cyrus in Isaiah, of the issue of the Babylonish war and kingdom of Judah in Jeremiah, of the several great alterations and changes in the empires of the world in Daniel, of the kingdom of Christ in them all, are too long to be insisted on. The reader may also consult Matthew 24:5; Mark 13:6, 14:30; Acts 20:29; 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4, etc.; 1 Timothy 4:1; <550301> Timothy 3:1; 2 Peter 2:1; and the Revelation almost throughout. Our first proposition, then, is undeniably evident, That God, by himself and by his prophets, hath foretold things future, even the free actions of men. (2.) The second proposition mentioned is manifest and evident in its own light: What God foretelleth, that he perfectly foreknows. The honor and repute of his veracity and truth, yea, of his being, depend on the certain accomplishment of what he absolutely foretells. If his predictions of things future are not bottomed on his certain prescience of them, they are all but like Satan’s oracles, conjectures and guesses of what may be accomplished or not, — a supposition whereof is as high a pitch of blasphemy as any creature in this world can possibly arrive unto. (8.) By this prerogative of certain predictions in reference to things to come, God vindicates his own deity; and from the want of it evinces the vanity of the idols of the Gentiles, and the falseness of the prophets that pretend to speak in his name: Isaiah 41:21-24, “Produce your cause, saith theLORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be; or declare us things for to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods. Behold, ye are of nothing.”

    The Lord calling forth the idols of the Gentiles, devils, stocks, and stones, to plead for themselves, before the denunciation of the solemn sentence ensuing, verse 24, he puts them to the plea of foreknowledge for the proof of their deity. If they can foretell things to come certainly and infallibly, on the account of their own know]edge of them, gods they are, and gods they shall be esteemed. If not, saith he, “Ye are nothing, worse than nothing, and your work of nought; an abomination is he that chooseth you.” And it may particularly be remarked, that the idols of whom he speaketh are in especial those of the Chaldeans, whose worshippers pretended above all men in the world to divination and predictions. Now, this issue doth the Lord drive things to betwixt himself and the idols of the world: If they can foretell things to come, that is, not this or that thing (for so, by conjecture, upon consideration of second causes and the general dispositions of things, they may do, and the devil hath done), but any thing or every thing, they shall go free; that is, “Is there nothing hid from you that is yet for to be?”

    Being not able to stand before this interrogation, they perish before the judgment mentioned. But now, if it may be replied to the living God himself that this is a most unequal way of proceeding, to lay that burden upon the shoulders of others which himself will not bear, bring others to that trial which himself cannot undergo, for he himself cannot foretell the free actions of men, because he doth not foreknow them, would not his plea render him like to the idols whom he adjudgeth to shame and confusion? God himself there, concluding that they are “vanity and nothing” who are pretended to be gods but are not able to foretell the things that are for to come, asserts his own deity, upon the account of his infinite understanding and knowledge of all things, on the account whereof he can foreshow all things whatever that are as yet future. In like manner doth he proceed to evince what is from himself, what not, in the predictions of any, from the certainty of the event: Deuteronomy 18:21,22, “If thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the\parLORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of theLORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which theLORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” (4.) The fourth proposition, That God by the free actions of men (some whereof he foretelleth) doth fulfill his own counsel as to judgments and mercies, rewards and punishments, needs no farther proof or confirmation but what will arise from a mere review of the things before mentioned, by God so foretold, as was to be proved. They were things of the greatest import in the world, as to the good or evil of the inhabitants thereof, and in whose accomplishment as much of the wisdom, power, righteousness, and mercy of God was manifest, as in any of the works of his providence whatever. Those things which he hath [so] disposed of as to be subservient to so great ends, certainly he knew that they would be. The selling of Joseph, the crucifying of his Son, the destruction of antichrist, are things of greater concernment than that God should only conjecture at their event. And, indeed, the taking away of God’s foreknowledge of things contingent renders his providence useless as to the government of the world. To what end should any rely upon him, seek unto him, commit themselves to his care through the course of their lives, when he knows not what will or may befall them the next day? How shall he judge or rule the world who every moment is surprised with new emergencies which he foresaw not, which must necessitate him to new counsels and determinations? On the consideration of this argument doth Episcopius conclude for the prescience of God, Ep. 2, “ad Beverovicium de termino vitae,” which he had allowed to be questioned in his private Theological Disputations, though in his public afterward he pleads for it. The sum of the argument insisted on amounts to this: — Those things which God foretells that they shall certainly and infallibly come to pass before they so do, those he certainly and infallibly knoweth whilst they are future, and that they will come to pass; but God foretells, and hath foretold, all manner of future contingencies and free actions of men, good and evil, duties and sins: therefore he certainly and infallibly knows them whilst they are yet future.

    The proposition stands or falls unto the honor of God’s truth, veracity, and power.

    The assumption is proved by the former and sundry other instances that may be given.

    He foretold that the Egyptians should afflict his people four hundred years, that in so doing they would sin, and that for it he would punish them, Genesis 15:13,14; and surely the Egyptians’ sinning therein was their own free action. The incredulity of the Jews, treachery of Judas, calling of the Gentiles, all that happened to Christ in the days of his flesh, the coming of antichrist, the rise of false teachers, were all foretold, and did all of them purely depend on the free actions of men; which was to be demonstrated. 3. To omit many other arguments, and to close this discourse: all perfections are to be ascribed to God; they are all in him. To know is an excellency; he that knows any thing is therein better than he that knows it not. The more any one knows, the more excellent is he. To know all things is an absolute perfection in the good of knowledge; to know them in and by himself who so knows them, and not from any discourses made to him from without, is an absolute perfection in itself, and is required where there is infinite wisdom and understanding. This we ascribe to God, as worthy of him, and as by himself ascribed to himself. To affirm, on the other side, — (1.) That God hath his knowledge from things without him, and so is taught wisdom and understanding, as we are, from the event of things, for the more any one knows the wiser he is; (2.) That he hath, as we have, a successive knowledge of things, knowing that one day which he knew not another, and that thereupon there is, — (3.) A daily and hourly change and alteration in him, as, from the increasing of his knowledge there must actually and formally be; and, (4.) That he sits conjecturing at events; — to assert, I say, these and the like monstrous figments concerning God and his knowledge, is, as much as in them lieth who so assert them, to shut his providence out of the world, and to divest him of all his blessedness, self-sufficiency, and infinite perfections. And, indeed, if Mr B. believe his own principles, and would speak out, he must assert these things, how desperate soever; for having granted the premises, it is stupidity to stick at the conclusion. And therefore some of those whom Mr B. is pleased to follow in these wild vagaries speak out, and say (though with as much blasphemy as confidence) that God doth only conjecture and guess at future contingents; for when this argument is brought, Genesis 18:19, “‘I know,’ saith God, ‘Abraham, that he will command his children and his household after him,’ etc, therefore future contingents may be certainly known of him,” they deny the consequence; or, granting that he may be said to know them, yet say it is only by guess and conjecture, as we do. And for the present vindication of the attributes of God this may suffice.

    Before I close this discourse, it may not be impertinent to divert a little to that which alone seems to be of any difficulty lying in our way in the assertion of this prescience of God, though no occasion of its consideration be administered to us by him with whom we have to do. “That future contingents have not in themselves a determinate truth, and therefore cannot be determinately known,” is the great plea of those who oppose God’s certain foreknowledge of them; “and therefore,” say they, “doth the philosopher affirm that propositions concerning them are neither true nor false.” But, — 1. That there is, or may be, that there hath been, a certain prediction of future contingents hath been demonstrated; and therefore they must on some account or other (and what that account is hath been declared) have a determinate truth. And I had much rather conclude that there are certain predictions of future contingents in the Scripture, and therefore they have a determinate truth, than, on the contrary, they have no determinate truth, therefore there are no certain predictions of them. “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” 2. As to the falsity of that pretended axiom, this proposition, “Such a soldier shall pierce the side of Christ with a spear, or he shall not pierce him,” is determinately true and necessary on the one side or the other, the parts of it being contradictory, which cannot lie together. Therefore, if a man before the flood had used this proposition in the affirmative, it had been certainly and determinately true; for that proposition which was once not true cannot be true afterward upon the same account. 3. If no affirmative proposition about future contingents be determinately true, then every such affirmative proposition is determinately false; for from hence, that a thing is or is not, is a proposition determinately true or false. And therefore if any one shall say that that is determinately future which is absolutely indifferent, his affirmation is false; which is contrary to Aristotle, whom in this they rely upon, who affirms that such propositions are neither true nor false. The truth is, of propositions that they are true or false is certain. Truth or falseness are their proper and necessary affections, as even and odd of numbers; nor can any proposition be given wherein there is a contradiction, whereof one part is true and the other false. 4. This proposition, “Petrus orat,” is determinately true de praesenti, when Peter doth actually pray (for “quicquid est., dum est, determinate est”); therefore this proposition de future, “Petrus orabit,” is determinately true. The former is the measure and rule by which we judge of the latter. So that because it is true de presenti, “Petrus orat;” ergo this, de futuro, “Petrus orabit,” was ab aeterno true (ex parte rei). And then (ex parte modi) because this proposition, “Petrus orat,” is determinately true de praesenti; ergo this, “Petrus orabit,” was determinately true from all eternity. But enough of this.

    Mr B. having made a sad complaint of the ignorance and darkness that men were bred up in by being led from the Scripture, and imposing himself upon them for “a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, and a teacher of babes,” doth, in pursuit of his great undertaking, in this chapter instruct them what the Scripture speaks concerning the being, nature, and properties of God. Of his goodness, wisdom, power, truth, righteousness, faithfulness, mercy, independency, sovereignty, infiniteness, men had before been informed by books, tracts, and catechisms, “composed according to the fancies and interests of men, the Scripture being utterly justled out of the way.” Alas! of these things the Scripture speaks not at all; but the description wherein that abounds of God, and which is necessary that men should know (whatever become of those other inconsiderable things wherewith other poor catechisms are stuffed), is, that he is finite, limited, and obnoxious to passions, eta “Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?”

    CHAPTER 6. Of the creation, and condition of man before and after the fall.


    Ques. Were the heaven and earth from all eternity , or created at a certain time? and by whom?

    Ans. Genesis 1:1. <010101> Q. How long was God a making them?

    A. Exodus 20:11. Q. How did God create m an?

    A. Genesis 2:7. Q. How did he create woman?

    A. Genesis 2:21,22. Q. Why was she called woman A. Genesis 2:23. Q. What doth Moses infer from her being made a woman, and brought unto the man A. Genesis 2:24. Q. Where did God put man afiter he was created?

    A. Genesis 2:8. Q. What commandment gave he to the man when he put him into the garden?

    A. Genesis 2:16,17.

    Q. Was the man deceived to eat of the forbidden fruit A. 1 Timothy 2:14.

    Q. By whom was the woman deceived?

    A. 2 Corinthians 11:9.

    Q. How was the woman induced to eat of the forbidden fruit? and how the man?

    A. Genesis 3:6.

    Q. What effect followed upon their eating?

    A. Genesis 3:7.

    Q. Did the sin of our first parents in eating of the forbidden fruit bring both upon them and their posterity the guilt of hell-fire, deface the image of God in them, darken their understanding, enslave their will, deprive them of power to do good, and cause mortality? If not, what are the true penalties that God denounced against them for the said offense?

    A. Genesis 3:16-19.


    Having delivered his thoughts concerning God himself, his nature and properties, in the foregoing chapters, in this our catechist proceeds to the consideration of his works, ascribing to God the creation of all things, especially insisting on the making of man. Now, although many questions might be proposed from which Mr B. would, I suppose, be scarcely able to extricate himself, relating to the impossibility of the proceeding of such a work as the creation of all things from such an agent as he hath described God to be, so limited both in his essence and properties, yet it being no part of my business to dispute or perplex any thing that is simply in itself true,and unquestionable, with the attendancies of it from other corrupt notions of him or them by whom it is received and proposed, I shall wholly omit all considerations of that nature, and apply myself merely to what is by him expressed. That he who is limited and finite in essence, and consequently in properties, should by his power, without the help of any intervening instrument, out of nothing, produce, at such a vast distance from him as his hands can by no means reach unto, such mighty effects as the earth itself and the fullness thereof, is not of an easy proof or resolution. But on these things at present I shall not insist. Certain it is that, on this apprehension of God, the Epicureans disputed for the impassibility of the creation of the world. f195 His first question, then, is, “Were the heaven and earth from all eternity, or created at a certain time? and by whom?” To which he answers with Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

    Right. Only in the exposition of this verse, as it discovers the principal efficient cause of the creation of all things, or the author of this great work, Mr B. afterward expounds himself to differ from us and the word of God in other places. By “God” he intends the Father only and exclusively, the Scripture plentifully ascribing this work also to the Son and Holy Ghost, manifesting their concurrence in the indivisible Deity unto this great work, though, by way of eminency, this work be attributed to the Father, as that of redemption is to the Son, and that of regeneration to the Holy Ghost, from neither of which notwithstanding is the Father excluded.

    Perhaps the using of the name of God in the plural number, where mention is made of the creation, in conjunction with a verb singular, Genesis 1:1, and the express calling of God our Creators and Makers, Ecclesiastes 12:1, <19E902> Psalm 149:2, Job 35:10, wants not a significancy to this thing. And indeed he that shall consider the miserable evasions that the adversaries have invented to escape the argument thence commonly insisted on must needs be confirmed in the persuasion of the force of it. Mr B. may haply close with Plato in this business, who, in his “Timaeus,” brings in his dhmiourgo>v speaking to his genii about the making of man, telling them that they were mortal, but encouraging them to obey him in the making of other creatures, upon the promise of immortality. “Turn you,” saith he, “according to the law of nature, to the making of living creatures, and imitate my power which I used in your generation or birth;” — a speech fit enough for Mr B.’s god, “who is shut up in heaven,” and not able of himself to attend his whole business.

    But what a sad success this demiurgus had, by his want of prescience, or foresight of what his demons would do (wherein also Mr B. likens God unto him), is farther declared; for they imprudently causing a conflux of too much matter and humor, no small tumult followed thereon in heaven, as at large you may see in the same author. However, it is said expressly the Son or Word created all things, John 1:3; and, “By him are all things,” 1 Corinthians 8:6, Revelation 4:11. Of the Holy Ghost the same is alarmed, Genesis 1:2, Job 26:13, Psalm 33:6. Nor can the Word and Spirit be degraded from the place of principal efficient cause in this work to a condition of instrumentality only, which is urged (especially in reference to the Spirit), unless we shall suppose them to have been created before say creation, sad to have been instrumental of their own production. But of these things in their proper place.

    His second question is, “How long was God in making them?” and he answers from Exodus 20:11, “In six days theLORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.”

    The rule I formerly prescribed to myself of dealing with Mr B. causes me to pass this question also without farther inquiry; although, having already considered what his notions are concerning the nature and properties of God, I can scarce avoid conjecturing that by this crude proposal of the time wherein the work of God’s creation was finished, there is an intendment to insinuate such a gross conception of the working of God as will By no means be suited to his omnipotent production of all things. But speaking of things no farther than enforced, I shall not insist on this query.

    His third is, “How did God create man?” and the answer is, Genesis 2:7.

    To which he adds a fourth, “How did he create woman?” which he resolves from Genesis 2:21,22.

    Mr B., undertaking to give all the grounds of religion in his Catechisms, teacheth as well by his silence as his expressions. What he mentions not, in the known doctrine he opposeth, he may well be interpreted to reject. As to the matter whereof man sad woman were made, Mr B.’s answers do express it; but as to the condition and state wherein they were made, of that he is silent, though he knows the Scripture doth much more abound in delivering the one than the other. Neither can his silence in this thing be imputed to oversight or forgetfulness, considering how subservient it is to his intendment in his last two questions, for the subverting of the doctrine of original sin, and the denial of all those effects and consequences of the first breach of covenant whereof he spesks. He can, upon another account, take notice that man was made in the imago of God: but whereas hitherto Christians have supposed that that denoted some spiritual perfection bestowed on man, wherein he resembles God, Mr B. hath discovered that it is only an expression of some imperfection of God, wherein he resembles man; which yet he will as hardly persuade us of as that a man hath seven eyes or two wings, which are ascribed unto God also. That man was created in a resemblance and likeness unto God in that immortal substance breathed into his nostrils, Genesis 2:7, in the excellent rational faculties thereof, in the dominion he was intrusted withal over a great part of God’s creation, but especially in the integrity and uprightness of his person, Ecclesiastes 7:29, wherein he stood before God, in reference to the obedience required at his hands, — which condition, by the implanting of new qualities in our soul, we are, through Christ, in some measure renewed unto, Colossians 3:10,12, Ephesians 4:24, — the Scripture is clear, evident, and full in the discovery of; but hereof Mr B. conceive, not himself bound to take notice. But what is farther needful to be spoken as to the state of man before the fall will fall under the consideration of the last question of this chapter.

    Mr B.’s process in the following questions is, to express the story of man’s outward condition, unto the eighth, where he inquires after the commandment given of God to man when he put him into the garden, in these words: — “Q. What commandment gave he to the man when he put him into the garden?”

    This he resolves from Genesis 2:16,17. That God gave our first parents the command expressed is undeniable. That the matter chiefly expressed in that command was all or the principal part of what he required of them, Mr B. doth not go about to prove. I shall only desire to know of him whether God did not in that estate require of them that they should love him, fear him, believe him, acknowledge their dependence on him, in universal obedience to his will? and whether a suitableness unto all this duty were not wrought within them by God? If he shall say No, and that God required no more of them but only not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, I desire to know whether they might have hated God, abhorred him, believed Satan, and yet been free from the threatening here mentioned, if they had only forbore the outward eating of the fruit? If this shall be granted, I hope I need not insist to manifest what will easily be inferred, nor to show how impossible this is, God continuing God, and man a rational creature. If he shall say that certainly God did require that they should own him for God, — that is, believe him, love him, fear him, and worship him, according to all that he should reveal to them and require of them, — I desire to know whether this particular command could be any other than sacramental and symbolical as to the matter of it, being a thing of so small importance in its own nature, in comparison of those moral acknowledgments of God before mentioned; and to that question I shall not need to add more.

    Although it may justly be supposed that Mr B. is not without some thoughts of deviation from the truth in the following questions, yet the last being of most importance, and he being express therein in denying all the effects of the first sin, but only the curse that came upon the outward, visible world, I shall insist only on that, and close our consideration of this chapter. His question is thus proposed: “Q. Did the sin of our first parents in eating of the forbidden fruit bring both upon them and their posterity the guilt of hell-fire, deface the image of God in them, darken their understandings, enslave their wills, deprive them of power to do good, and cause mortality? If not, what are the true penalties denounced against them for that offense?”

    To this he answers from Genesis 3:16-19.

    What the sin of our first parents was may easily be discovered from what was said before concerning the commandment given to them. If universal obedience was required of them unto God, according to the tenor of the law of their creation, their sin was an universal rebellion against and apostasy from him; which though it expressed itself in the peculiar transgression of that command mentioned, yet it is far from being reducible to any one kind of sin, whose whole nature is comprised in that expression. Of the effects of this sin commonly assigned, Mr B. annumerates and rejects six, sundry whereof are coincident with, and all but one reducible to, that general head of loss of the image of God; but for the exclusion of them all at once from being any effects of the first sin, Mr B. thus argues: “If there were no effects or consequences of the first sin but what are expressly mentioned, Genesis 3:16-19, then those now mentioned are no effects of it; but there are no effects or consequences of that first sin but what are mentioned in that place:” therefore those recounted in his query, and commonly esteemed such, are to be cashiered from any such place in the thoughts of men.

    Ans. The words insisted on by Mr B. being expressive of the curse of God for sin on man, and on the whole creation here below for his sake, it will not be easy for him to evince that none of the things he rejects are not eminently inwrapped in them. Would God have denounced and actually inflicted such a curse on the whole creation, which he had put in subjection to man, as well as upon man himself, and actually have inflicted it with so much dread and severity as he hath done, if the transgression upon the account whereof he did it had not been as universal a rebellion against him as could be fallen into? Man fell in his whole dependence from God, and is cursed universally, in all his concernments, spiritual and temporal.

    But is this indeed the only place of Scripture where the effects of our apostasy from God, in the sin of our first parents, are described Mr B. may as well tell us that Genesis 3:15 is the only place where mention is made of Jesus Christ, for there he is mentioned. But a little to clear this whole matter in our passage, though what hath been spoken may suffice to make naked Mr B.’s sophistry: — 1. By the effects of the first sin, we understand every thing of evil that, either within or without, in respect of a present or future condition, in reference to God and the fruition of him whereto man was created, or the enjoyment of any goodness from God, is come upon mankind, by the just ordination and appointment of God, whereunto man was not obnoxious in his primitive state and condition. I am not at present at all engaged to speak de modo, of what is privative, what positive, in original sin, of the way of the traduction or propagation of it, of the imputation of the guilt of the first sin, and adhesion of the pollution of our nature defiled thereby, or any other questions that are coincident with these in the usual inquest made into and after the sin of Adam and the fruits of it; but only as to the things themselves, which are here wholly denied. Now, — 2. That whatsoever is evil in man by nature, whatever he is obnoxious and liable unto that is hurtful and destructive to him and all men in common, in reference to the end whereto they were created, or any title wherewith they were at first intrusted, is all wholly the effect of the first sin, and is in solidum to be ascribed thereunto, is easily demonstrated; for, — (1.) That which is common to all things in any kind, and is proper to them only of that kind, must needs have some common cause equally respecting the whole kind: but now of the evils that are common to all mankind, and peculiar or proper to them and every one of them, there can be no cause but that which equally concerns them all; which, by the testimony of God himself, was this fall of Adam, Romans 5:12, 15-19. (2.) The evils that are now incumbent upon men in their natural condition (which what they are shall be afterward considered) were either incumbent on them at their first creation, before the sin and fall of our first parents, or they are come upon them since, through some interposing cause or occasion. That they were not in them or on them, that they were not liable or obnoxious to those evils which are now incumbent on them, in their first creation, as they came forth from the hand of God (besides what was said before of the state and condition wherein man was created, even “upright” in the Sight of God, in his favor and acceptation, no way obnoxious to his anger and wrath), is evident by the light of this one consideration, namely, that there was nothing in man nor belonging to him, no respect, no regard or relation, but what was purely and immediately of the holy God’s creation and institution. Now, it is contrary to all that he hath revealed or made known to us of himself, that he should be the immediate author of so much evil as is now, by his own testimony, in man by nature, and, without any occasion, of so much vanity and misery as he is subject unto; and, besides, directly thwarting the testimony which he gave of all the works of his hands, that they were exceeding good, it being evident that man, in the condition whereof we speak, is exceeding evil. 3. If all the evil mentioned hath since befallen mankind, then it hath done so either by some chance and accident whereof God was not aware, or by his righteous judgment and appointment, in reference to some procuring and justly-deserving cause of such a punishment. To affirm the first, is upon the matter to deny him to be God; and I doubt not but that men at as easy and cheap a rate of sin may deny that there is a God, as, confessing his divine essence, to turn it into an idol, and by making thick clouds, as Job speaks, to interpose between him and the affairs of the world, to exclude his energetical providence in the disposal of all the works of his hands. If the latter be affirmed, I ask, as before, what other common cause, wherein all and every one of mankind is equally concerned, can be assigned of the evils mentioned, as the procurement of the wrath and vengeance of God, from whence they are, but only the fall of Adam, the sin of our first parents, especially considering that the Holy Ghost doth so expressly point out this fountain and source of the evils insisted on, Romans 5:12, 15-19? 4. These things, then, being premised, it will quickly appear that every one of the particulars rejected by Mr B. from being fruits or effects of the first sin are indeed the proper issues of it; and though Mr B. cut the roll of the abominations and corruptions of the nature of man by sin, and cast it into the fire, yet we may easily write it again, and add many more words of the like importance.

    The first effect or fruit of the first sin rejected by Mr. B. is, “its rendering men guilty of hell-fire;” but the Scripture seems to be of another mind, Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” That all men sinned in Adam, that they contracted the guilt of the same death with him, that death entered by sin, the Holy Ghost is express in. The death here mentioned is that which God threatened to Adam if he did transgress, Genesis 2:17; which that it was not death temporal only, yea not at all, Mr B. contends by denying mortality to be a fruit of this sin, as also excluding in this very query all room for death spiritual, which consists in the defacing of the image of God in us, which he with this rejects: and what death remains but that which hath hell following after it we shall afterward consider.

    Besides, that death which Christ died to deliver us from was that which we were obnoxious to upon the account of the first sin; for he came to “save that which was lost,” and tasted death to deliver us from death, dying to “deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage,” Hebrews 5:15. But that this was such a death as hath hell-fire attending it, he manifests by affirming that he “delivers us from the wrath to come.” By “hell-fire” we understand nothing but the “wrath of God” for sin; into whose hands it is a fearful thing to fall, our God being a consuming fire. That the guilt of every sin is this death whereof we speak, that hath both curse and wrath attending it, and that it is the proper “wages of sin,” the testimony of God is evident, Romans 6:23. What other death men are obnoxious to on the account of the first sin, that hath not these concomitants, Mr B. hath not as yet revealed. “By nature,” also, we are “children of wrath,” Ephesians 2:3. And on what foot of account our obnoxiousness now by nature unto wrath is to be stated, is sufficiently evident by the light of the preceding considerations.

    The “defacing of the image of God in us” by this sin, as it is usually asserted, is in the next place denied. That man was created in the image of God, and wherein that image of God doth consist, were before declared.

    That we are now born with that character upon us, as it was at first enstamped upon us, must be affirmed, or some common cause of the defect that is in us, wherein all and every one of the posterity of Adam are equally concerned, besides that of the first sin, is to be assigned. That this latter cannot be done hath been already declared. He that shall undertake to make good the former must engage in a more difficult work than Mr B., in the midst of his other employments, is willing to undertake. To insist on all particulars relating to the image of God in man, how far it is defaced, whether any thing properly and directly thereunto belonging be yet left remaining in us; to declare how far our souls, in respect of their immortal substance, faculties, and consciences, and our persons, in respect of that dominion over the creatures which yet, by God’s gracious and merciful providence, we retain, may be said to bear the image of God, — is a work of another nature than what I am now engaged in. For the asserting of what is here denied by Mr B., concerning the defacing of the image of God in us by sin, no more is required but only the tender of some demonstrations to the main of our intendment in the assertion touching the loss by the first sin, and our present want, in the state of nature, of that righteousness and holiness wherein man at his first creation stood before God (in reference unto the end whereunto he was created), in uprightness and ability of walking unto all well-pleasing. And as this will be fully manifested in the consideration of the ensuing particulars instanced in by Mr B., so it is sufficiently clear and evident from the renovation of that image which we have by Jesus Christ; and that is expressed both in general and in all the particulars wherein we affirm that image to be defaced. “The new man,” which we put on in Jesus Christ, which “is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him,” Colossians 3:10, is that which we want, by sin’s defacing (suo more) of that image of God in us which we had in knowledge. So Ephesians 4:23,24, that new man is said to consist in the “renewing of our mind, whereby after God we are created in righteousness and holiness.” So, then, whereas we were created in the image of God, in righteousness and holiness, and are to be renewed again by Christ into the same condition of his image in righteousness and holiness, we doubt not to affirm that by the first sin (the only interposition of general concernment to all the sons of men) the image of God in us was exceedingly defaced. In sum, that which made us sinners brought sin and death upon us; that which made us liable to condemnation, that defaced the image of God in us; and that all this was done by the first sin the apostle plainly asserts, Romans 5:12,15, 17-19, etc.

    To the next particular effect of sin by Mr B. rejected, “the darkening of our understandings,” I shall only inquire of him whether God made us at first with our understandings dark and ignorant as to those things which are of absolute necessity that we should be acquainted withal, for the attainment of the end whereunto he made us? For once I will suppose he will not affirm it; and shall therefore proceed one step farther, and ask him whether there be not such a darkness now upon us by nature, opposed unto that light, that spiritual and saving knowledge, which is of absolute necessity for every one to have and be furnished withal that will again attain that image of God which we are born short of. Now, because this is that which will most probably be denied, I shall, by the way, only desire him, — 1. To cast aside all the places of Scripture where it is positively and punctual]y asserted that we are so dark and blind, and darkness itself, in the things of God; and then, 2. All those where it is no less punctually and positively asserted that Christ gives us light, knowledge, understanding, which of ourselves we have not. And if he be not able to do so, then, 3. To tell me whether the darkness mentioned in the former places and innumerable others, and [of which mention is made], as to the manner and cause of its removal and taking away, in the latter, be part of that death which passed on all men “by the offense of one,” or by what other chance it is come upon us.

    Of the “enslaving of our wills, and the depriving us of power to do good,” there is the same reason as of that next before. It is not my purpose to handle the common-place of the corruption of nature by sin: nor can I say that it is well for Mr B. that he finds none of those effects of sin in himself, nothing of darkness, bondage, or disability, or if he do, that he knows where to charge it, and not on himself and the depravedness of his own nature; and that because I know none who are more desperately sick than those who, by a fever of pride, have lost the sense of their own miserable condition. Only to stop him in his haste from rejecting the evils mentioned from being effects or consequences of the first sin, I desire him to peruse a little the ensuing scriptures; and I take them as they come to mind: Ephesians 2:1-3,5; John 5:25; Matthew 8:22; Ephesians 5:8; Luke 4:18; 2 Timothy 2:25,26; John 8:34; Romans 6:16; Genesis 6:5; Romans 7:5; John 3:6; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 3:12; Acts 8:31; John 5:40; Romans 8:7; Jeremiah 13:23, etc.

    The last thing denied is its “causing mortality.” God threatening man with death if he sinned, Genesis 2:17, seems to instruct us that if he had not sinned he should not have died; and upon his sin, affirming that on that account he should be dissolved and return to his dust, Genesis 3:19, no less evidently convinces us that his sin caused mortality actually and in the event. The apostle, also, affirming that “death entered by sin, and passed upon all, inasmuch as all have sinned,” seems to be of our mind. Neither can any other sufficient cause be assigned on the account whereof innocent man should have been actually mortal or eventually have died. Mr B., it seems, is of another persuasion, and, for the confirmation of his judgment, gives you the words of the curse of God to man upon his sinning, “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return;” the strength of his reason therein lying in this, that if God denounced the sentence of mortality on man after sinning, and for his sin, then mortality was not an effect of sin, but man was mortal before in the state of innocency. Who doubts but that at this rate he may be able to prove what he pleases A brief declaration of our sense in ascribing immortality to the first man in the state of innocency, that none may be mistaken in the expressions used, may put a close to our consideration of this chapter. In respect of his own essence and being, as also of all outward and extrinsical causes, God alone is eminently and perfectly immortal; he only in that sense hath “life and immortality.” Angels and souls of men, immaterial substances, are immortal as to their intrinsic essence, free from principles of corruption and mortality; but yet are obnoxious to it in respect of that outward cause (or the power of God), which can at any time reduce them into nothing.

    The immortality we ascribe to man in innocency is only an assured preservation by the power of God from actual dying, notwithstanding the possibility thereof which he was in upon the account of the constitution of his person, and the principles thereunto concurring. So that though from his own nature he had a possibility of dying, and in that sense was mortal, yet God’s institution assigning him life in the way of obedience, he had a possibility of not dying, and was in that sense immortal, as hath been declared. If any one desire farther satisfaction herein, let him consult Johannes Junius’ answer to Socinus’ Prelections, in the first chapter whereof he pretends to answer in proof the assertion in title, “Primus homo ante lapsum natura mortalis fuit;” wherein he partly mistakes the thing in question, which respects not the constitution of man’s nature, but the event of the condition wherein he was created, and himself in another place states it better.” f203 The sum of the whole may be reduced to what follows: — Simply and absolutely immortal is God only: “He only hath immortality,” Timothy 6:16. Immortal in respect of its whole substance or essence is that which is separate from all matter, which is the principle of corruption, as angels, or is not educed from the power of it, whither of its own accord it should again resolve, as the souls of men. The bodies also of the saints in heaven, yea, and of the wicked in hell, shall be immortal, though in their own natures corruptible, being changed and preserved by the power of God. Adam was mortal as to the constitution of his body, which was apt to die; immortal in respect of his soul in its own substance; immortal in their union by God’s appointment, and from his preservation upon his continuance in obedience. By the composition of his body before his fall, he had a posse mori; by the appointment of God, a posse non mori; by his fall, a non posse non mori.

    In this estate, on his disobedience, he was threatened with death; and therefore was obedience the tenure whereby he held his grant of immortality, which on his neglect he was penally to be deprived of. In that estate he had, — (1.) The immortality mentioned, or a power of not dying, from the appointment of God; (2.) An uprightness and integrity of his person before God, with an ability to walk with him in all the obedience he required, being made in the image of God and upright; (3.) A right, upon his abode in that condition, to an eternally blessed life; which he should (4.) actually have enjoyed, for he had a pledge of it in the” tree of life” He lost it for himself and us; which if he never had it he could not do. The death wherewith he was threatened stood in opposition to all these, it being most ridiculous to suppose that any thing penal in the Scripture comes under the name of “death” that was not here threatened to Adam; — death of the body, in a deprivation of his immortality spoken of; of the soul spiritually, in sin, by the loss of his righteousness and integrity; of both, in their obnoxiousness to death eternal; actually to be undergone, without deliverance by Christ, in opposition to the right to a better, a blessed condition, which he had. That all these are penal, and called in the Scriptures by the name of “death,” is evident to all that take care to know what is contained in them.

    For a close, then, of this chapter and discourse, let us also propose a few questions as to the matter under consideration, and see what answer the Scripture will positively give in to our inquiries: — First, then, — Ques. 1 . In what state and condition was man at first created?

    Ans. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them,” Genesis 1:27. “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good,” verse 31. “In the image of God made he man,” chap. 9:6. “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man UPRIGHT,” Ecclesiastes 7:29. “Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,” Ephesians 4:24. “Put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him,” Colossians 3:10.

    Q. 2. Should our first parents have died had they not sinned, or were they obnoxious to death in the state of innocency?

    A. “And theLORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” Genesis 2:16,17. “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” Romans 5:12. “For the wages of sin is death,” chap. 6:23.

    Q. 3. Are we now, since the fall, born with the image of God so enstamped on us as at our first creation in Adam?

    A. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man uptight; but they have sought out many inventions,” Ecclesiastes 7:29. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God,” Romans 8:8. “And you who were dead in trespasses and sins,” Ephesians 2:1. “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another,” Titus 3:3. “The old man is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,” Ephesians 4:22.

    Q. 4. Are we now born approved of God and accepted with him, as when we were first created, or what is our condition now by nature? what say the Scriptures hereunto?

    A. “We were by nature the children of wrath, even as others,” Ephesians 2:3. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” John 3:3. “He that believeth not the Son, the wrath of God abideth on him,” verse 36. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh,” John 3:6.

    Q. 4. Are our understandings by nature able to discern the things of God, or are they darkened and blind?

    A. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned,” 1 Corinthians 2:14. “The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not,” John 1:5. “To preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind,” Luke 4:18. “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart,” Ephesians 4:18. “Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord,” chap. 5:8. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” Corinthians 4:6. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true,” 1 John 5:20.

    Q. 5. Are we able to do those things now, in the state of nature, which are spiritually good and acceptable to God?

    A. “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be,” Romans 8:7. “You were dead in trespasses and sins,” Ephesians 2:1. “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth,” Genesis 8:21. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil,” Jeremiah 13:23. “For without me ye can do nothing,” John 15:5. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God,” 2 Corinthians 3:5. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing,” Romans 7:18.

    Q. 6. How came we into this miserable state and condition?

    A. “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me,” Psalm 51:5. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one,” Job 14:4. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh,” John 3:6. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” Romans 5:12.

    Q. 7. Is, then, the guilt of the first sin of our first parents reckoned unto us?

    A. “But not as the offense, so also is the free gift, For through the offense of one many be dead,” Romans 5:15. “And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation,” verse 16. “For by one man’s offense death reigned,” verse 17. “Therefore by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation,” verse 18. “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,” verse 19.

    Thus, and much more fully, doth the Scripture set out and declare the condition of man both before and after the fall; concerning which, although the most evident demonstration of the latter lies in the revelation made of the exceeding efficacy of that power and grace which God in Christ puts forth for our conversion and delivery from that state and condition before described, yet so much is spoken of this dark side of it as will render vain the attempts of any who shall endeavor to plead the cause of corrupted nature, or alleviate the guilt of the first sin.

    It may not be amiss, in the winding up of the whole, to give the reader a brief account of what slight thoughts this gentleman and his companions have concerning this whole matter of the state and condition of the first man, his fall or sin, and the interest of all his posterity therein, which confessedly lie at the bottom of that whole dispensation of grace in Jesus Christ which is revealed in the gospel.

    First. [As] for Adam himself, they are so remote from assigning to him any eminency of knowledge, righteousness, or holiness, in the state, wherein he was created, that, — 1. For his knowledge, they say, “He was a mere great baby, that knew not that he was naked;” so also taking away the difference between the simple knowledge of nakedness in innocency, and the knowledge joined with shame that followed sin. “Of his wife he knew no more but what occurred to his senses;” though the expressions which he used at first view and sight of her do plainly argue another manner of apprehension, Genesis 2:23. For “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he knew not the virtue of it;” which yet I know not how it well agrees with another place of the same author, where he concludes that in the state of innocency there was in Adam a real predominancy of the natural appetite, which conquered or prevailed to the eating of the fruit of that tree. f207 Also, that being mortal, he knew not himself to be so. The sum is, he was even a very beast, that knew neither himself, his duty, nor the will of God concerning him. 2. [As] for his righteousness and holiness, which, as was said before, because he was made upright, in the image of God, we ascribe unto him, Socinus contends in one whole chapter in his Prelections, “that he was neither just nor holy, nor ought to be so esteemed nor called.” f209 And Smalcius, in his confutation of Franzius’ “Theses de Peccato Originali,” all along derides and laughs to scorn the apprehension or persuasion that Adam was created in righteousness and holiness, or that ever he lost any thing of the image of God, or that ever he had any thing of the image of God beyond or besides that dominion over the creatures which God gave him. f210 Most of the residue of the herd, describing the estate and condition of man in his creation, do wholly omit any mention of any moral uprightness in him. f211 And this is the account these gentlemen give us concerning the condition and state wherein the first man was of God created: A heavy burden of the earth it seems he was, that had neither righteousness nor holiness whereby he might be enabled to walk before God in reference to that great end whereunto he was created, nor any knowledge of God, himself, or his duty.

    Secondly. [As] for his sin, the great master of their family disputes that it was a bare transgression of that precept of “not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil,” and that his nature was not vitiated or corrupted thereby: wherein he is punctually followed by the Racovian Catechism, which also giveth this reason why his nature was not depraved by it, namely, because it was but one act; — so light are their thoughts and expressions of that great transgression! f213 Thirdly. [As] for his state and condition, they all, with open mouth, cry out that he was mortal and obnoxious to death, which should in a natural way have come upon him though he had not sinned. But of this before.

    Fourthly. Farther; that the posterity of Adam were no way concerned, as to their spiritual prejudice, in that sin of his, as though they should either partake of the guilt of it or have their nature vitiated or corrupted thereby; but that the whole doctrine of original sin is a figment of Austin and the schoolmen that followed him, is the constant clamor of them all. And indeed this is the great foundation of all or the greatest part of their religion. Hence are the necessity of the satisfaction and merit of Christ, the efficacy of grace, and the power of the Spirit in conversion, decried. On this account is salvation granted, by them, without Christ, a power of keeping all the commandments asserted, and justification upon our obedience. Of which in the process of our discourse.

    Such are the thoughts, such are the expressions, of Mr B.’s masters concerning this whole matter. Such was Adam in their esteem, such was his fall, and such our concernment therein. He had no righteousness, no holiness (yea, Socinus at length confesses that he did not believe his soul was immortal); we contracted no guilt in him, derive no pollution from him. Whether these men are in any measure acquainted with the plague of their own hearts, the severity and spirituality of the law of God, with that redemption which is in the blood of Jesus, the Lord will one day manifest; but into their secret let not my soul descend.

    Lest the weakest or meanest reader should be startled with the mention of these things, not finding himself ready furnished with arguments from Scripture to disprove the boldness and folly of these men in their assertions, I shall add some few arguments whereby the severals by them denied and opposed are confirmed from the Scriptures, the places before mentioned being in them cast into that form and method wherein they are readily subservient to the purpose in hand: — First. That man was created in the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, is evident on the ensuing considerations: — 1. He who was made “very good” and “upright,” in a moral consideration, had the original righteousness pleaded for; for moral goodness, integrity, and uprightness, is equivalent unto righteousness. So are the words used in the description of Job, <180101> chap. 1:1; and “righteous’’ and “upright” are terms equivalent, Psalm 33:1. Now, that man was made thus good and upright was manifested in the scriptures cited in answer to the question before proposed, concerning the condition wherein our first parents were created. And, indeed, this uprightness of man, this moral rectitude, was his formal aptitude and fitness for and unto that obedience which God required of him, and which was necessary for the end whereunto he was created. 2. He who was created perfect in his kind was created with the original righteousness pleaded for. This is evident from hence, because righteousness and holiness is a perfection of a rational being made for the service of God. This in angels is called “the truth,” or that original holiness and rectitude which “the devil abode not in,” John 8:44. Now, as before, man was created “very good” and “upright,” therefore perfect as to his state and condition; and whatever is in him of imperfection flows from the corruption and depravation of nature. 3. He that was created in the image of God was created in a state of righteousness, holiness, and knowledge. That Adam was created in the image of God is plainly affirmed in Scripture, and is not denied. That by the “image of God” is especially intended the qualities mentioned, is manifest from that farther description of the image of God which we have given us in the scriptures before produced in answer to our first question.

    And what is recorded of the first man in his primitive condition will not suffer us to esteem him such a baby in knowledge as the Socinians would make him. His imposing of names on all creatures, his knowing of his wife on first view, etc., exempt him from that imputation. Yea, the very heathens could conclude that he was very wise indeed who first gave names to things. f218 Secondly. For the disproving of that mortality which they ascribe to man in innocency the ensuing arguments may suffice: — 1. He that was created in the image of God, in righteousness and holiness, whilst he continued in that state and condition, was immortal. That man was so created lies under the demonstration of the foregoing arguments and testimonies. The assertion thereupon, or the inference of immortality from the image of God, appears on this double consideration: — (1.) In our renovation by Christ into the image of God, we are renewed to a blessed immortality; and our likeness to God consisted no less in that than in any other communicable property of his nature. (2.) Wherever is naturally perfect righteousness, there is naturally perfect life; that is, immortality. This is included in the very tenor of the promise of the law: “If man keep my statutes, he shall live in them,” Leviticus 18:5. 2. That which the first man contracted and drew upon himself by sin was not natural to him before he sinned: but that man contracted and drew death upon himself, or made himself liable and obnoxious unto it by sin, is proved by all the texts of Scripture that were produced above in answer to our second question; as Genesis 2:17, 3:19; Romans 5:12,15, 17-19, 6:23, etc. 3. That which is beside and contrary to nature was not natural to the first man; but death is beside and contrary to nature, as the voice of nature abundantly testifieth: therefore, to man in his primitive condition it was not natural.

    Unto these may sundry other arguments be added, from the promise of the law, the end of man’s obedience, his constitution and state, denying all proximate causes of death, etc; but these may suffice.

    Thirdly. That the sin of Adam is not to be confined to the mere eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but had its rise in infidelity, and comprised universal apostasy from God, in disobedience to the law of his creation and dependence on God, I have elsewhere demonstrated, and shall not need here again to insist upon it. That it began in infidelity is evident from the beginning of the temptation wherewith he was overcome. It was to doubt of the truth or veracity of God to which the woman was at first solicited by Satan: Genesis 3:1,” Hath God said so?” pressing that it should be otherwise than they seemed to have cause to apprehend from what God said; and their acquiescence in that reply of Satan, without revolving to the truth and faithfulness of God, was plain unbelief. Now, as faith is the root of all righteousness and obedience, so is infidelity of all disobedience. Being overtaken, conquered, deceived into infidelity, man gave up himself to act contrary to God and his will, shook off his sovereignty, rose up against his law, and manifested the frame of his heart in the pledge of his disobedience, eating the fruit that was sacramentally forbidden him.

    Fourthly. That all men sinned in Adam, and that his sin is imputed to all his posterity, is by them denied, but is easily evinced; for, — 1. By whom sin entered into the world, so that all sinned in him, and are made sinners thereby, so that also his sin is called the “sin of the world,” in him all mankind sinned, and his sin is imputed to them: but that this was the condition and state of the first sin of Adam the scriptures before mentioned, in answer to our seventh question, do abundantly manifest; and thence also is his sin called “the sin of the world,” John 1:29. 2. In whom all are dead , and in whom they have contracted the guilt of death and condemnation, in him they have all sinned, and have his sin imputed to them: but in Adam all are dead, 1 Corinthians 15:22, as also Romans 5:12,15, 17-19; and death is the wages of sin only, Romans 6:23. 3. As by the obedience of Christ we are made righteous, so by the disobedience of Adam we are made sinners: so the apostle expressly, Romans 5: but we are made righteous by the obedience of Christ, by the imputation of it to us, as if we had performed it, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Philippians 3:9; therefore we are sinners by the imputation of the sin of Adam to us, as though we had committed it, which the apostle also affirms. To what hath been spoken from the consideration of that state and condition wherein, by God’s appointment, in reference to all mankind, Adam was placed, namely, of a natural and political or federal head (of which the apostle treats, 1 Corinthians 15), and from the loss of that image wherein he was created, whereunto by Christ we are renewed, many more words like these might be added.

    To what hath been spoken there is no need that much should be added, for the removal of any thing insisted on to the same purpose with Mr B.’s intimations in the Racovian Catechism; but yet seeing that that task also is undertaken, that which may seem necessary for the discharging of what may thence be expected shall briefly be submitted to the reader. To this head they speak in the first chapter, of the way to salvation, the first question whereof is of the import ensuing: — Q. Seeing thou saidst in the beginning that this life which leadeth to immortality is divinely revealed, I would know of thee why thou saidst so?

    A. Because as man by nature hath nothing to do with immortality (or hath no interest in it), so by himself he could by no means know the way which leadeth to immortality. f220 Both question and answer being sophistical and ambiguous, the sense and intendment of them, as to their application to the matter in hand, and by them aimed at, is first to be rectified by some few distinctions, and then the whole will cost us very little farther trouble: — 1. There is, or hath been, a twofold way to a blessed immortality: — (1.) The way of perfect obedience to the law; for he that did it was to live therein. (2.) The way of faith in the blood of the Son of God; for he that believeth shall be saved. 2. Man by nature may be considered two ways: — (1.) As he was in his created condition, not tainted, corrupted, weakened, nor lost by sin; (2.) As fallen, dead, polluted, and guilty. 3. Immortality is taken either, (1.) Nakedly and purely in itself for an eternal abiding of that which is said to be immortal; or, (2.) For a blessed condition and state in that abiding and continuance. 4. That expression, “By nature,” referring to man in his created condition, not fallen by sin, may be taken two ways, either, — (1.) Strictly, for the consequences of the natural principles whereof man was constituted; or, (2.) More largely, it comprises God’s constitution and appointment concerning man in that estate.

    On these considerations it will be easy to take off this head of our catechists’ discourse, whereby also the remaining trunk will fall to the ground.

    I say, then, man by nature, in his primitive condition, was, by the appointment and constitution of God, immortal as to the continuance of his life, and knew the way of perfect legal obedience, tending to a blessed immortality, and that by himself, or by virtue of the law of his creation, which was concreated with him; but fallen man, in his natural condition, being dead spiritually, obnoxious to death temporal and eternal, doth by no means know himself, nor can know, the way of faith in Jesus Christ, leading to a blessed immortality and glory, Romans 2:7-10.

    It is not, then, our want of interest in immortality upon the account whereof we know not of ourselves the way to immortality by the blood of Christ.

    But there are two other reasons that enforce the truth of it: — 1. Because it is a way of mere grace and mercy, hidden from all eternity in the treasures of God’s infinite wisdom and sovereign will, which he neither prepared for man in his created condition nor had man any need of; nor is it in the least discovered by any of the works of God, nor by the law written in the heart, but is solely revealed from the bosom of the Father by the only-begotten Son, neither angels nor men being able to discover the least glimpse of that majesty without that revelation, John 1:18; Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 3:8-11; Colossians 5. 2, 3; 1 Timothy 3:16. 2. Because man in his.fallen condition, though there be retained in his heart some weak and faint impressions of good and evil, reward and punishment, Romans 2:14,15, yet is spiritually dead, blind, alienated from God, ignorant, dark, stubborn; so far from being able of himself to find out the way of grace unto a blessed immortality, that he is not able, upon the revelation of it, savingly, and to the great end of its proposal, to receive, apprehend, believe, and walk in it, without a new spiritual creation, resurrection from the dead, or new birth, wrought by the exceeding greatness of the power of God. And on these two doth depend our disability to discover and know the way of grace leading to life and glory.

    And by this brief removal of the covering is the weakness and nakedness of their whole ensuing discourse so discovered as that I shall speedily take it with its offense out of the way. They proceed: — Q. But why hath man nothing to do with (or no interest in) immortality?

    A. Therefore, because from the beginning he was formed of the ground, and so was created mortal; and then because he transgressed the command given him of God, and so by the decree of God, expressed in his command, was necessarily subject to eternal death. f222 1. It is true, man was created of the dust of the earth as to his bodily substance; yet it is as true that moreover God breathed into him the breath of life, whereby he became “a living soul,” and in that immediate constitution and framing from the hand of God was free from all nextly disposing causes unto dissolution. But his immortality we place on another account, as hath been declared, which is no way prejudiced by his being made of the ground. 2. The second reason belongs unto man only as having sinned, and being fallen out of that condition and covenant wherein he was created. So that I shall need only to let the reader know that the eternal death, in the judgment of our catechists, whereunto man was subjected by sin, was only an eternal dissolution or annihilation (or rather an abode under dissolution, dissolution itself being not penal), and not any abiding punishment, as will afterward be farther manifest, They go on: — Q. But how doth this agree with those places of Scripture wherein it is written that man was created in the image of God, and created unto immortality, and that death entered into the world by sin, Genesis 1:26; Proverbs 2:23; Romans 5:12?

    A. As to the testimony which declareth that man was created in the image of God, it is to be known that the image of God cloth not signify immortality (which is evident from hence, because at that time when man was subject to eternal death the Scripture acknowledgeth in him that image, Genesis 9:6, James 3:9), but it denoteth the power and dominion over all things made of God on the earth, as the same place where this image is treated of clearly showeth, Genesis 1:26. f223 The argument for that state and condition wherein we affirm man to have been created from the consideration of the image of God wherein he was made, and whereunto in part we are renewed, was formerly insisted on.

    Let the reader look back unto it, and he will quickly discern how little is here offered to enervate it in the least; for, — 1. They cannot prove that man, in the condition and state of sin, doth retain any thing of the image of God. The places mentioned, as Genesis 9:6, and James 3:9, testify only that he was made in the image of God at first, but that he doth still retain the image they intimate not; nor is the inference used in the places taken from what man is, but what he was created. 2. That the image of God did not consist in any one excellency hath been above declared; so that the argument to prove that it did not consist in immortality, because it did consist in the dominion over the creatures, is no better than that would be which should conclude that the sun did not give light because it gives heat, So that, — 3. Though the image of God, as to the main of it, in reference to the end of everlasting communion with God whereunto we were created, was utterly lost by sin (or else we could not be renewed unto it again by Jesus Christ), yet as to some footsteps of it, in reference to our fellow-creatures, so much might be and was retained as to be a reason one towards another for our preservation from wrong and violence. 4. That place of Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea,” etc., is so far from proving that the image of God wherein man was created did consist only in the dominion mentioned, that it cloth not prove that dominion to have been any part of or to belong unto that image. It is rather a grant made to them who were made in the image of God than a description of that image wherein they were made.

    It is evident, then, notwithstanding any thing here excepted to the contrary, that the immortality pleaded for belonged to the image of God, and from man’s being created therein is rightly inferred; as above was made more evident.

    Upon the testimony of the Book of Wisdom, it being confessedly apocryphal, I shall not insist. Neither do I think that in the original any new argument to that before mentioned of the image of God is added; but that is evidently pressed, and the nature of the image of God somewhat explained. The words are, Oti oJ Qeoa| kai< eijko>na th~v ijdi>av ijdio>thtov ejpoi>hsen aujto>n Fqo>nw| de< diabo>lou qa>natov eijsh~lqen eijv tosmon peria>zousi de< aujtonou meri>dov o]ntev . The opposition that is put between the creation of man in integrity and the image of God in one verse, and the entrance of sin by the envy of the devil in the next, plainly evinces that the mind of the author of that book was, that man, by reason of his being created in the image of God, was immortal in his primitive condition.

    That which follows is of another nature, concerning which they thus inquire and answer: — Q. What, moreover, wilt thou answer to the third testimony?

    A. The apostle in that place treateth not of immortality [mortality], but of death itself. But mortality differeth much from death, for a man may be mortal and yet never die. f224 But, — 1. The apostle eminently treats of man’s becoming obnoxious to death, which until he was, he was immortal; for he says that death entered the world by sin, and passed on all men, not actually, but in the guilt of it and obnoxiousness to it. By what means death entered into the world, or had a right so to do, by that means man lost the immortality which before he had. 2. It is true, a man may be mortal as to state and condition, and yet by almighty power be preserved and delivered from actual dying, as it was with Enoch and Elijah; but in an ordinary course he that is mortal must die, and is directly obnoxious to death. But that which we plead for from those words of the apostle is, that man, by God’s constitution and appointment, was so immortal as not to be liable or obnoxious to death until he sinned.

    But they will prove their assertion in their progress.

    Q. What, therefore, is the sense of these words, “that death entered into the world by sin?” A. This, that Adam for sin, by the decree and sentence of God, was subject to eternal death; and therefore all men, because (or inasmuch as) they are bern of him, are subject to the same eternal death. And that this is so, the comparison of Christ with Adam, which the apostle instituteth from verse 12 to the end of the chapter, doth declare. f225 1. Be it so that this is the meaning of those words; yet hence it inevitably follows that man was no way liable or obnoxious to death but upon the account of the commination of God annexed to the law he gave him. And this is the whole of what we affirm, — namely, that by God’s appointment man was immortal, and the tenure of his immortality was his obedience, and thereupon his right thereunto he lost by his transgression. 2. This is farther evident from the comparison between Christ and Adam, instituted by the apostle; for as we are all dead without Christ and his righteousness, and have not the least right to life or a blessed immortality, so antecedently to the consideration of Adam and his disobedience, we were not in the least obnoxious unto death, or any way liable to it in our primitive condition.

    And this is all that our catechists have to plead for themselves, or to except against our arguments and testimonies to the cause in hand; which how weak it is in itself, and how short it comes of reaching to the strength we insist on, a little comparison of it with what went before will satisfy the pious reader.

    What remains of that chapter, consisting in the depravation of two or three texts of Scripture to another purpose than that in hand, I shall not divert to the consideration of, seeing it will more orderly fall under debate in another place.

    What our catechists add elsewhere about original sin, or their attempt to disprove it, being considered, shall give a close to this discourse.

    Their 10th chapter is, “De liboro arbitrio;” where, after, in answer to the first question proposed, they have asserted that it is in our power to yield obedience unto God, as having free will in our creation so to do, and having by no way or means lost that liberty or power, their second question is, — Q. Is not this free will corrupted by original sin?

    A. There is no such thing as original sin, wherefore that cannot vitiate free will, nor can that original sin be proved out of the Scripture; and the fall of Adam, being but one act, could not have that force as to corrupt his own nature, much less that of his posterity. And that it was inflicted on him as a punishment neither doth the Scripture teach, and it is incredible that God, who is the fountain of all goodness, would so do. f226 1. This is yet plain dealing; and it is well that men who know neither God nor themselves have yet so much honesty left as to speak downright what they intend. Quickly despatched! — “ There is no such thing as original sin.” To us, the denying of it is one argument to prove it. Were not men blind and dead in sin, they could not but be sensible of it; but men swimming with the water feel not the strength of the stream. 2. But doth the Scripture teach no such thing? Doth it nowhere teach that we, who were “created upright, in the image of God, are now dead in trespasses and sins, by nature children of wrath, having the wrath of God upon us, being blind in our understandings, and alienated from the life of God, not able to receive the things that are of God, which are spiritually discerned, our carnal minds being enmity to God, not subject to his law, nor can be; that our hearts are stony, our affections sensual; that we are wholly come short of the glory of God; that every figment of our heart is evil, so that we can neither think, nor speak, nor do that which is spiritually good or acceptable to God; that being born of the flesh, we are flesh, and unless we are born again, can by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven; that all this is come upon us by the sin of one man, whence also judgment passed on all men to condemnation?” Can nothing of all this be proved from the Scripture? These gentlemen know that we contend not about words or expressions. Let them grant this hereditary corruption of our nature, alienation from God, impotency to good, deadness and obstinacy in sin, want of the Spirit, image, and grace of God, with obnoxiousness thereon to eternal condemnation, and give us a fitter expression to declare this state and condition by in respect of every one’s personal interest therein, and we will, so it may please them, call it “original sin” no more. 3. It is not impossible that one act should be so high and intense in its kind as to induce a habit into the subject, and so Adam’s nature be vitiated by it; and he begot a son in his own likeness. The devils upon one sin became obstinate in all the wickedness that their nature is capable of. (2.) This one act was a breach of covenant with God, upon the tenor and observation whereof depended the enjoyment of all that strength and rectitude with God wherewith, by the law of his creation, man was endued. (3.) All man’s covenant good, for that eternal end to which he was created, depended upon his conformity to God, his subjection to him, and dependence on him; all which, by that one sin, he wilfully cast away for himself and posterity (whose common, natural, and federal head he was), and righteously fell into that condition which we have described. (4.) The apostle is much of a different mind from our catechists, Romans 5:15,16, etc., as hath been declared. 4. What is credible concerning God and his goodness with these gentlemen I know not. To me, that is not only in itself credible which he hath revealed concerning himself, but of necessity to be believed. That he gave man a law, threatening him, and all his posterity in him and with him, with eternal death upon the breach of it; that upon that sin he cast all mankind judicially out of covenant, imputing that sin unto them all unto the guilt of condemnation, seeing it is “his judgment that they who commit sin are worthy of death;” and that “he is of purer eyes than to behold evil,” — is to us credible, yea, as was said, of necessity to be believed. But they will answer the proofs that are produced from Scripture in the asserting of this original sin.

    Q. But that there is original sin these testimonies seem to prove: Genesis 6:5, “Every cogitation of the heart of man is only evil every day;” and Genesis 8:21, “The cogitation of man’s heart is evil from his youth?” A. These testimonies deal concerning voluntary sin; from them, therefore, original sin cannot be proved. As for the first, Moses showeth it to be such a sin for whose sake God repented him that he had made man, and decreed to destroy him with a flood; which certainly can by no means be affirmed concerning a sin which should be in man by nature, such as they think original sin to be. In the other, he showeth that the sin of man shall not have that efficacy that God should punish the world for it with a flood; which by no means agreeth to original sin. f227 That this attempt of our catechists is most vain and frivolous will quickly appear; for, — 1. Suppose original sin be not asserted in those places, doth it follow there is no original sin? Do they not know that we affirm it to be revealed in the way of salvation, and proved by a hundred places besides? And do they think to overthrow it by their exception against two or three of them, when if it be taught in any one of them it suffices? 2. The words, as by them rendered, lose much of the efficacy for the confirmation of what they oppose which in the original they have. In the first place, it is not, “Every thought of man’s heart,” but, “Every imagination or figment of the thoughts of his heart.” The “motus primo primi,” the very natural frame and temper of the heart of man, as to its first motions towards good or evil, are doubtless expressed in these words.

    So also is it in the latter place.

    We say, then, that original sin is taught and proved in these places; not singly or exclusively to actual sins, not a parte ante , or from the causes of it, but from its effects. That such a frame of heart is so universally by nature in all mankind, and in every individual of them, as that it is ever, always, or continually, casting, coining, and devising evil, and that only, without the intermixture of any thing of another kind that is truly and spiritually good, is taught in these places; and this is original sin. Nor is this disproved by our catechists; for, — 1. “Because the sin spoken of is voluntary, therefore it is not original,’’ will not be granted. (1.) Original sin, as it is taken peccatum originans, was voluntary in Adam; and as it is originatum in us is in our wills habitually, and not against them, in any actings of it or them. (2.) The effects of it, in the coining of sin and in the thoughts of men’s hearts, are all voluntary; which are here mentioned to demonstrate and manifest that root from whence they spring, that prevailing principle and predominant habit from whence they so uniformly proceed. 2. Why it cloth not agree to original sin that the account [is] mentioned, verse 6, of God’s repenting that he had made man, and his resolution to destroy him, these gentlemen offer not one word of reason to manifest. We say, — (1.) That it can agree to no other but this original sin, with its infallible effects, wherein all mankind were equally concerned, and so became equally liable to the last judgment of God; though some, from the same principle, had acted much more boldly against his holy Majesty than others. (2.) Its being in men by nature doth not at all lessen its guilt. It is not in their nature as created, nor in them so by nature, but is by the fall of Adam come upon the nature of all men, dwelling in the person of every one; which lesseneth not its guilt, but manifests its advantage for provocation. 3. Why the latter testimony is not applicable to original sin they inform us not. The words joined with it are an expression of that patience and forbearance which God resolved and promised to exercise towards the world, with a non obstante for sin. Now, what sin should this be but that which is “the sin of the world”? That actual sins are excluded we say not; but that original sin is expressed and aggravated by the effects of it our catechists cannot disprove. There are many considerations of these texts, from whence the argument from them for the proof of that corruption of nature which we call original sin might be much improved; but that is not my present business, our catechists administering no occasion to such a discourse. But they take some other texts into consideration: — Q. What thinkest thou of that which David speaks, Psalm 51:7, “Behold, I shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me?” A. It is to be observed that David doth not here speak of any men but himself alone, nor that simply, but with respect to his fall, and uses that form of speaking which you have in him again, Psalm 58:3. Wherefore original sin cannot be evinced by this testimony. f228 But, — 1. Though David speaks of himself, yet he speaks of himself in respect of that which was common to himself with all mankind, being a child of wrath as well as others; nor can these gentlemen intimate any thing of sin and iniquity, in the conception and birth of David, that was not common to all others with him. Any man’s confession for himself of a particular guilt in a common sin doth not free others from it; yea, it proves all others to be partakers in it who share in that condition wherein he contracted the guilt. 2. Though David mentions this by occasion of his fall, as having his conscience made tender and awakened to search into the root of his sin and transgression thereby, yet it was no part of his fall, nor Was he the less conceived in sin and forth in brought ever more or iniquity for that fall; which were ridiculous to imagine. He here acknowledges it upon the occasion of his fall, which was a fruit of the sin wherewith he was born, James 1:14,15, but was equally guilty of it before his fall and after. 3. The expression here used, and that of Psalm 58:3, “The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies,” exceedingly differ. Here, David expresses what was his infection in the womb; there, what is wicked men’s constant practice from the womb. In himself, he mentions the root of all actual sin; in them, the constant fruit that springs from that root in unregenerate men. So that, by the favor of these catechists, I yet say that David doth here acknowledge a sin of nature, a sin wherewith he was defiled from his conception, and polluted when he was warmed, and so fomented in his mother’s womb; and therefore this place cloth prove original sin.

    One place more they call to an account, in these words: — Q. But Paul saith that in Adam all sinned,” Romans 5:12.

    A. It is not in that place, “In Adam all sinned;” but in the Greek the words are ejf w=| , which interpreters do frequently render in Latin in quo, “in whom,” which yet may be rendered by the particles quoniam or quatenus, “because,” or “inasmuch,” as in like places, Romans 8:3, Philippians 3:12, Hebrews 2:18, 2 Corinthians 5:4. It appeareth, therefore, that neither can original sin be built up out of this place. f229 1. Stop these men from this shifting hole, and you may with much ease entangle and catch them twenty times a day: “This word may be rendered otherwise, for it is so in another place,” — a course of procedure that leaves nothing certain in the book of God. 2. In two of the places cited, the words are not ejf w=| , but ejn w=| , Romans 8:3, Hebrews 2:18. 3. The places are none of them parallel to this; for here, the apostle speaks of persons or a person in an immediate precedency; in them, of things. 4. But render ejf w=| by quoniam, “because,” or “for that,” as our English translation doth, the argument is no less evident for original sin than if they were rendered by “in whom.” In the beginning of the verse the apostle tells us that death entered the world by the sin of one man, — that one man of whom he is speaking, namely, Adam, — and passed upon all men: of which dispensation, that death passed on all men, he gives you the reason in these words, “For that all have sinned;” that is, in that sin of that one man whereby death entered on the world and passed on them all. I wonder how our catechists could once imagine that this exception against the translation of those words should enervate the argument from the text for the proof of all men’s guilt of the first sin, seeing the conviction of it is no less evident from the words if rendered according to their desire.

    And this is the sum of what they have to offer for the acquitment of themselves from the guilt and stain of original sin, and for answer to the three testimonies on its behalf which themselves chose to call forth; upon the strength whereof they so confidently reject it at the entrance of their discourse, and in the following question triumph upon it, as a thing utterly discarded from the thoughts of their catechumens. What reason or ground they have for their confidence the reader will judge. In the meantime, it is sufficiently known that they have touched very little of the strength of our cause, nor once mentioned the testimonies and arguments on whose evidence and strength in this business we rely. And for themselves who write and teach these things, I should much admire their happiness, did I not so much as I do pity them in their pride and distemper, keeping them from an acquaintance with their own miserable condition.

    CHAPTER 7. Of the person of Jesus Christ, and on what account he is the Son of God.


    Ques. How many Lords of Christians are there, by way of distinction from that one God?

    Ans. Ephesians 4:5.

    Q. Who is that one Lord?

    A. 1 Corinthians 8:6.

    Q. How was Jesus Christ born?

    A. Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:90-35.

    Q. How came Jesus Christ to be Lord, according to the opinion of the apostle Paul?

    A. Romans 14:9.

    Q. What saith the apostle Peter also concerning the time and manner of his being made Lord?

    A. Acts 2:32,33,36.

    Q. Did not Jesus Christ approve himself to be God by his miracles; and did he not those miracles by a divine nature of his own, and because he was God himself? What is the determination of the apostle Peter in this behalf?

    A. Acts 2:22, 10:38.

    Q. Could not Christ do all things of himself; and was it not an eternal Son of God that took flesh upon him., and to whom the human nature of Christ was personally united, that wrought all his works? Answer me to these things in the words of the Son himself.

    A. John 5:19,20,30, 14:10.

    Q. What reason doth the Son render why the Father did not forsake him and cast him out of favor? Was it because he was of the same essence with him, so that it was impossible for the Father to forsake him or cease to love him?

    A. John 8:28,29, 15:9, 10.

    Q. Doth the Scripture account Christ to be the Son of God because he was eternally begotten out of the divine essence, or for other reasons agreeing to him only as a man? Rehearse the passages to this purpose.

    A. Luke 1:30,32,34,35; John 10:36; Acts 13:32,33; Revelation 1:5; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 1:4,5, 5:5; Romans 8:29.

    Q. What saith the Son himself concerning the prerogative of God the Father above him?

    A. John 14:28; Mark 13:32; Matthew 24:36.

    Q. What saith the apostle Paul?

    A. 1 Corinthians 15:25,28, 11:3, 3:22, 23.

    Q. Howbeit, is not Christ dignified as with the title of Lord, so also with that of God, in the Scripture?

    A. John 20:28.

    Q. Was he so the God of Thomas as that he himself in the meantime did not acknowledge another to be his God?

    A. John 20:17; Revelation 3:12.

    Q. Have you any passage of the Scripture where Christ, at the same time that he hath the appellation of God given to him, is said to have a God?

    A. Hebrews 1:8,9.


    The aim and design of our catechist in this chapter being to despoil our blessed Lord Jesus Christ of his eternal deity, and to substitute an imaginary Godhead, made and feigned in the vain hearts of himself and his masters, into the room thereof, I hope the discovery of the wickedness and vanity of his attempt will not be unacceptable to them who love him in sincerity. I must still desire the reader not to expect the handling of the doctrine of the deity of Christ at large, with the confirmation of it and vindication from the vain sophisms wherewith by others, as well as by Mr B., it hath been opposed. This is done abundantly by other hands. In the next chapter that also will have its proper place, in the vindication of many texts of Scripture from the exceptions of the Racovians. The removal of Mr B.’s sophistry, and the disentangling of weaker souls, who may in any thing be intricated by his queries, are my present intendment. To make our way dear and plain, that every one that runs may read the vanity of Mr B.’s undertaking against the Lord Jesus, and his kicking against the pricks therein, I desire to premise these few observations: — 1. Distinction of persons (it being an infinite substance) doth no way prove difference of essence between the Father and the Son. Where Christ, as mediator, is said to be another from the Father or God, spoken personally of the Father, it argues not in the least that he is not partaker of the same nature with him. That in one essence there can be but one person may be true where the substance is finite and limited, but hath no place in that which is infinite. 2. Distinction and inequality in respect of office in Christ doth not in the least take away equality and sameness with the Father in respect of nature and essence. A son of the same nature with his father, and therein equal to him, may in office be his inferior, his subject. 3. The advancement and exaltation of Christ as mediator to any dignity whatever, upon or in reference to the work of our redemption and salvation, is not at all inconsistent with that essential ajxi>a , honor, dignity, and worth, which he hath in himself as “God blessed for ever.” Though he humbled himself and was exalted, yet in nature he was one and the same, he changed not. 4. The Scripture’s asserting the humanity of Christ with the concernments thereof, as his birth, life, and death, doth no more thereby deny his deity, than, by asserting his deity, with the essential properties thereof, eternity, omniscience, and the like, it denies his humanity. 5. God’s working any thing in and by Christ, as he was mediator, denotes the Father’s sovereign appointment of the things mentioned to be done, not his immediate efficiency in the doing of the things themselves.

    The consideration of these few things, being added to what I have said before in general about the way of dealing with our adversaries in these great and weighty things of the knowledge of God, will easily deliver us from any great trouble in the examination of Mr B.’s arguments and insinuations against the deity of Christ; which is the business of the present chapter.

    His first question is, “How many Lords of Christians are there, by way of distinction from that one God?” and he answers, Ephesians 4:5, “One Lord.”

    That of these two words there is not one that looks towards the confirmation of what Mr B. chiefly aims at in the question proposed, is, I presume, sufficiently clear in the light of the thing itself inquired after.

    Christ, it is true, is the one Lord of Christians; and therefore God, equal with the Father. He is also one Lord in distinction from his Father, as his Father, in respect of his personality, in which regard them are three that bear record in heaven, of which he is one; but in respect of essence and nature “he and his Father are one.” Farther; unless he were one God with his Father, it is utterly impossible he should be the one Lord of Christians.

    That he cannot be our Lord in the sense intended, whom we ought to invocate and worship, unless also he were our God, shall be afterward declared. And although he be our Lord in distinction from his Father, as he is also our mediator, yet he is “the same God” with him “which worketh all in all,” 1 Corinthians 12:6. His being Lord, then, distinctly in respect of his mediation hinders not his being God in respect of his participation in the same nature with his Father. And though here he be not spoken of in respect of his absolute, sovereign lordship, but of his lordship over the church, to whom the whole church is spiritually subject (as he is elsewhere also so called on the same account, as John 13:13; Acts 7:59; Revelation 22:20), yet were he not Lord in that sense also, he could not be so in this. The Lord our God only is to be worshipped. “My Lord and my God,” says Thomas. And the mention of “one God” is here, as in other places, partly to deprive all false gods of their pretended deity, partly to witness against the impossibility of polytheism, and partly to manifest the oneness of them who are worshipped as God the Father, Word, and Spirit: all which things are also severally testified unto.

    His second question is an inquiry after this Lord, who he is, in these words, “Who is that one Lord?” and the answer is from 1 Corinthians 8:6, “Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.” The close of this second answer might have caused Mr B. a little to recoil upon his insinuation in the first, concerning the distinction of this “one Lord” from that “one God,” in the sense by him insisted on. Who is he “by whom are all things” (in the same sense as they are said to be “of” the Father)? who is that but God? “He that made all things is God,” Hebrews 3:4. And it is manifest that he himself was not made by whom all things were made: for he made not himself, nor could so do, unless he were both before and aider himself; nor was he made without his own concurrence by another, for by himself are all things. Thus Mr B. hath no sooner opened his mouth to speak against the Lord Jesus Christ, but, by the just judgment of God, he stops it himself with a testimony of God against himself, which he shall never be able to rise up against unto eternity.

    And it is a manifest perverting and corrupting of the text which we have in Grotius’ gloss upon the place, who interprets the ta< pa>nta referred to the Father of all things simply, but the ta< pa>nta referred to Christ of the things only of the new creation, there being not the least color for any such variation, the frame and structure of the words requiring them to be expounded uniformly throughout: “But to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” “The last expression, ‘And we by him,’ relates to the new creation; ‘ All things,’ to the first.” But Grotius follows Enjedinus in this as well as other things. f232 His inquiry in the next place is after the birth of Jesus Christ; in answer whereunto the story is reported from Matthew and Luke: which relating to his human nature, and no otherwise to the person of the Son of God but as he was therein “made flesh,” or assumed the “holy thing” so born of the Virgin, Luke 1:35, into personal subsistence with himself, I shall let pass with annexing unto it the observation before mentioned, namely, that what is affirmed of the human nature of Christ doth not at all prejudice that nature of his in respect whereof he is said to be “in the beginning with God,” and to be “God,” and with reference whereunto himself said, “Before Abraham was I am,” John 1:1,2, 8:58; Proverbs 8:22, etc.

    God “possessed him in the beginning of his way,” being then his “onlybegotten Son, full of grace and truth.” Mr B. indeed hath small hopes of despoiling Christ of his eternal glory by his queries, if they spend themselves in such fruitless sophistry as this: — “Q. 4. How came Jesus Christ to be Lord according to the opinion of the apostle Paul?” The answer is, Romans 14:9. “Q. 5. What saith the apostle Peter also concerning the time and manner of his being made Lord? — A. Acts 2:32,33,36.”

    Ans. 1. That Jesus Christ as mediator, and in respect of the work of redemption and salvation of the church to him committed, was made Lord by the appointment, authority, and designation of his Father, we do not say was the opinion of Paul, but is such a divine truth as we have the plentiful testimony of the Holy Ghost unto. He was no less made a Lord than a Priest and Prophet, of his Father. But that the eternal lordship of Christ, as he is one with his Father, “God blessed for ever,” Romans 9:5, is any way denied by the asserting of this lordship given him of his Father as mediator, Mr B. wholly begs of men to apprehend and grant, but doth not once attempt from the Scripture to manifest or prove. The sum of what Mr B. intends to argue hence is: Christ “submitting himself to the form and work of a servant unto the Father, was exalted by him, and had ‘a name given him above every name;’ therefore he was not the Son of God and equal to him.” That his condescension unto office is inconsistent with his divine essence is yet to be proved. But may we not beg of our catechist, at his leisure, to look a little farther into the chapter from whence he takes his first testimony concerning the exaltation of Christ to be Lord? perhaps it may be worth his while. As another argument to that of the dominion and lordship of Christ, to persuade believers to a mutual forbearance as to judging of one another, he adds, verse 10, “We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.” And this, verse 11, the apostle proves from that testimony of the prophet Isaiah, chap. 45:23, as he renders the sense of the Holy Ghost, “As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So that Jesus Christ our Lord is that Jehovah, that God, to whom all subjection is due, and in particular that of standing before his judgment-seat. But this is overlooked by Grotius, and not answered to any purpose by Enjedinus, and why should Mr B. trouble himself with it? 2. For the time assigned by him of his being made Lord, specified by the apostle, it doth not denote his first investiture with that office and power, but the solemn admission into the glorious execution of that lordly power which was given him as mediator. At his incarnation and birth, God affirms by the angel that he was then “Christ the Lord,” Luke 2:11. And when “he brought his first-begotten into the world, the angels were commanded to worship him;” which if he were not a Lord, I suppose Mr B. will not say they could have done. Yea, and as he was both believed in and worshipped before his death and resurrection, John 9:38, 14:1, which is to be performed only to the Lord our God, Matthew 4:10, so he actually in some measure exercised his lordship towards and over angels, men, devils, and the residue of the creation, as is known from the very story of the Gospel, not denying himself to be a king, yea, witnessing thereunto when he was to be put to death, Luke 23:3, John 18:37, as he was from his first showing unto men, chap. 1:49. “Q. 6. Did not Jesus Christ approve himself to be God by his miracles; and did he not those miracles by a divine nature of his own, and because he was God himself? What is the determination of the apostle Peter in this behalf? — A. Acts 2:22, 10:38.”

    The intendment of Mr B. in this question, as is evident by his inserting of these words in a different character, “By a divine nature of his own, and because he was God himself,” is to disprove or insinuate an answer unto the argument taken from the miracles that Christ did to confirm his deity.

    The naked working of miracles, I confess, without the influence of such other considerations as this argument is attended withal in relation to Jesus Christ, will not alone of itself assert a divine nature in him who is the instrument of their working or production. Though they are from divine power, or they are not miracles, yet it is not necessary that he by whom they are wrought should be possessor of that divine power, as “by whom” may denote the instrumental and not the principal cause of them. But for the miracles wrought by Jesus Christ, as God is said to do them “by him,” because he appointed him to do them, as he designed him to his offices, and thereby gave testimony to the truth of the doctrine he preached from his bosom as also because he was “with him,” not in respect of power and virtue, but as the Father in the Son, John 10:38; so he working these miracles by his own power and at his own will, even as his Father doth, chap. 5:21, and himself giving power and authority to others to work miracles by his strength and in his name, Matthew 10:8, Mark 16:17,18, Luke 10:19, there is that eminent evidence of his deity in his working of miracles as Mr B. can by no means darken or obscure by pointing to that which is of a clear consistency therewithal, — as is his Father’s appointment of him to do them, whereby he is said to do them “in his name,” eta, as in the place cited, of which afterward. Acts 2:22, the intendment of Peter is, to prove that he was the Messiah of whom he spake; and therefore he calls him “Jesus of Nazareth,” as pointing out the man whom they knew by that name, and whom, seven or eight weeks before, they had crucified and rejected. That this man was “approved of God,” he convinces them from the miracles which God wrought by him; which was enough for his present purpose. Of the other place there is another reason; for though Grotius expounds these words, Oti oJ QeoGod was with him,” “God always loved him, and always heard him, according to Matthew 3:17” (where yet there is a peculiar testimony given to the divine sonship of Jesus Christ) “and John 11:42,” yet the words of our Savior himself about the same business give us another interpretation and sense of them. This, I say, he does, John 10:37,38, “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” In the doing of these works, the Father was so with him as that he was in him, and he in the Father; not only ejnerghtikw~v , but by that divine indwelling which oneness of nature gives to Father and Son.

    His seventh question is exceeding implicate and involved: a great deal is expressed that Mr B. would deny, but by what inference from the scriptures he produceth doth not at all appear. The words of it are, “Could not Christ do all things of himself; and was it not an eternal Son of God that took flesh upon him, and to whom the human nature of Christ was personally united, that wrought all these works? Answer me to these things in the words of the Son himself. — A. John 5:19,20,30, 14:10.”

    The inference which alone appears from hence is of the same nature with them that are gone before. That Christ could not do all things of himself, that he was not the eternal Son of God, that he took not flesh, is that which is asserted; but the proof of all this doth disappear. Christ being accused by the Jews, and persecuted for healing a man on the Sabbath-day, and their rage being increased by his asserting his equality with the Father (of which afterward), John 5:17,18, he lets them know that in the discharge of the office committed to him he did nothing but according to the will, commandment, and appointment, of his Father, with whom he is equal, and doth of his own will also the things that he doth; so that they had no more to plead against him for doing what he did than they had against him whom they acknowledged to be God: wherein he is so far from declining the assertion of his own deity (which that he maintained the Jews apprehended, affirming that he made himself equal with God, which none but God is or can be, for between God and that which is not God there is no proportion, much less equality) as that he farther confirms it, by affirming that he “doeth whatever the Father doeth, and that as the Father quickeneth whom he will, so he quickeneth whom he will.” That redoubled assertion, then, of Christ, that he can do nothing of himself, is to be applied to the matter under consideration. He had not done, nor could do, any work but such as his Father did also; it was impossible he should, not only because he would not (in which sense to< ajbou>lhton is one kind of those things which are impossible), but also because of the oneness in will, nature, and power, of himself and his Father, which he asserts in many particulars. Nor doth he temper his speech as one that would ascribe all the honor to the Father, and so remove the charge that he made a man equal to the Father, as Grotius vainly imagines; for although as man he acknowledges his subjection to the Father, yea, as mediator in the work he had in hand, and his subordination to him as the Son, receiving all things from him by divine and eternal communication, yet the action or work that gave occasion to that discourse being an action of his person, wherein he was God, he all along asserts his own equality therein with the Father, as shall afterward be more fully manifested.

    So that though in regard of his divine personality as the Son he hath all things from the Father, being begotten by him, and as mediator doth all things by his appointment and in his name, yet he in himself is still one with the Father as to nature and essence, “God to be blessed for evermore.” And that it was “an eternal Son of God that took flesh upon him,” eta, hath Mr. B. never read that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God,” that “the Word was made flesh;” that “God was manifested in the flesh;” and that “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law?” of which places afterward, in their vindication from the exceptions of his masters.

    His eighth question is of the very same import with that going before, attempting to exclude Jesus Christ from the unity of essence with his Father, by his obedience to him, and his Father’s acceptation of him in the work of mediation; which being a most ridiculous begging of the thing in question, as to what he pretends in the query to be argumentative, I shall not farther insist upon it.

    Q. 9. We are come to the head of this discourse, and of Mr B.’s design in this chapter, and, indeed, of the greatest design that he drives in religion, namely, the denial of the eternal deity of the Son of God; which not only in this place directly, but in sundry others covertly, he doth invade and oppose. His question is, “Doth the Scripture account Christ to be the Son of God because he was eternally begotten out of the divine essence, or for other reasons agreeing to him only as a man?

    Rehearse the passages to this purpose.” His answer is from Luke 1:31-35; John 10:36; Acts 13:32,33; Revelation 1:5; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 1:4,5, 5:5; Romans 8:29; most of which places are expressly contrary to him in his design, as the progress of our discourse will discover.

    This, I say, being the head of the difference between us in this chapter, after I have rectified one mistake in Mr B.’s question, I shall state the whole matter so as to obviate farther labor and trouble about sundry other ensuing queries. For Mr B.’s question, then, we say not that the Son is begotten eternally out of the divine essence, but in it, not by an eternal act of the Divine Being, but of the person of the Father; which being premised, I shall proceed.

    The question that lies before us is, “Doth the Scripture account Christ to be the Son of God because he was eternally begotten out of the divine essence, or for other reasons agreeing to him only as a man? Rehearse the passages to this purpose.”

    The reasons, as far as I can gather, which Mr B. lays at the bottom of this appellation, are, — 1 . His birth of the Virgin, from Luke 1:30-35. 2. His mission, or sending into the world by the Father, John 10:36. 3. His resurrection with power, Acts 13:32,33; Revelation 1:5; Colossians 1:18. 4. His exaltation, Hebrews 5:5; Romans 8:29.

    For the removal of all this from prejudicing the eternal sonship of Jesus Christ there is an abundant sufficiency, arising from the consideration of this one argument: If Jesus Christ be called the “Son of God” antecedently to his incarnation, mission, resurrection, and exaltation, then there is a reason and cause of that appellation before and above all these considerations, and it cannot be on any of these accounts that he is called the “Son of God;” but that he is so called antecedently to all these, I shall afterward abundantly manifest. Yet a little farther process in this business, as to the particulars intimated, may not be unseasonable.

    First, then, I shall propose the causes on the account whereof alone these men affirm that Jesus Christ is called the “Son of God.” Of these the first and chiefest they insist upon is his birth of the Virgin, — namely, that he was called the “Son of God” because he was conceived of the Holy Ghost.

    This our catechist in the first place proposes; and before him, his masters.

    So the Racovians, in answer to that question, “Is therefore the Lord Jesus a mere man?” answer, “By no means: for he was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin; and therefore from his birth and conception was the Son of God, as we read in Luke 1:35;” — the place insisted on by the gentleman we are dealing withal.

    Of the same mind are the residue of their companions. So do Ostorodius and Voidovius give an account of their faith in their “Compendium,” as they call it, “of the Doctrine of the Christian Church flourishing now chiefly in Poland.” “They teach,” say they, “Jesus Christ to be that man that was conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin; besides and before whom they acknowledge no only-begotten Son of. God truly existing. Moreover, they teach him to be God, and the only-begotten Son of God, by reason of his conception of the Holy Ghost,” etc. Smalcius hath written a whole book of the true divinity of Jesus Christ; wherein he hath gathered together whatever excellencies they will allow to be ascribed unto him, making his deity to be the exurgency of them all. Therefore is he God, and the Son of God, because the things he there treats of are ascribed unto him! Among these, in his third chapter, which is “Of the conception and nativity of Jesus Christ,” he gives this principal account why he is called the “Son of God,” even from his conception and nativity. “He was,” saith he, “conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary; because of which manner of conception and nativity he was by the angel called the ‘Son of God,’ and so may really be called the ‘natural Son of God,’ because he was born such. Only, Jesus Christ was brought forth to light by God his Father without the help of man.” f237 The great master of the herd himself, from whom, indeed, the rest do glean and gather almost all that they take so much pains to scatter about the world, gives continually this reason of Christ’s being called the “Son of God” and his “natural Son.” “I say,” saith he, “that Christ is deservedly called the ‘natural Son of God,’ because he was born the Son of God, although he was not begotten of the substance of God. And that he was born the Son of God another way, and not by the generation of the substance of God, the words of the angel prove, Luke 1:35. Therefore, because that man, Jesus of Nazareth, who is called Christ, was begotten not by the help of any man, but by the operation of the Holy Spirit in the womb of his mother, he is therefore, or for that cause, called the ‘ Son of God.’” So he against Weik the Jesuit. He is followed by Volkelius, lib. 5 cap. 11 p. 468; whose book, indeed, is a mere casting into a kind of a method what was written by Socinus and others, scattered in sundry particulars, and whose method is pursued and improved by Episcopius.

    Jonas Schlichtingius, amongst them all, seems to do most of himself. I shall therefore add his testimony, to show their consent in the assignation of this cause of the appellation of the “Son of God,” ascribed to our blessed Savior. “There are,” saith he, “many sayings of Scripture which show that Christ is in a peculiar manner, and on an account not common to any other, the Son of God; but yet we may not hence conclude that he is a Son on a natural account, when besides this, and that more common, another reason may be given which hath place in Christ. Is he not the Son of God on a singular account, and that which is common to no other, if of God himself, by the virtue and efficacy of the Holy Spirit, he was conceived and begotten in the womb of his mother?” f239 And this is the only buckler which they have to keep off the sword of that argument for the deity of Christ, from his being the proper Son of God, from the throat and heart of that cause which they have undertaken. And yet how faintly they hold it is evident from the expressions of this most cunning and skillful of all their champions: “There may another reason be given, which is the general evasion of them all from any express testimony of Scripture. “The words may have another sense, therefore nothing from them can be concluded;” whereby they have left nothing stable or unshaken in Christian religion; and yet they wipe their mouths, and say they have done no evil.

    But now, lest any one should say that they can see no reason why Christ should be called the” Son of God” because he was so conceived by the Holy Ghost, nor wherefore God should therefore in a peculiar manner, and more eminently than in respect of any other, be called the “Father of Christ,” to prevent any objection that on this hand might arise, Smalcius gives an account whence this is, and why God is called the “Father of Christ,” and what he did in his conception; which, for the abomination of it, I had rather you should hear in his words than in mine. In his answer to the second part of the refutation of Socinus by Smiglecius, cap. 17, 18, he contends to manifest and make good that Christ was the “Son of God according to the flesh,” in direct opposition to that of the apostle, “He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God,” etc., Romans 1:3,4. He says then, cap. 18, p. 156, “Socinus affirmat Deum in generatione Christi vices patris supplevisse.”

    But how, I pray? Why, “Satis est ad ostendendum, Deum in generatione Christi vices viri supplevisse, si ostendatur Deum id ad Christi generationem adjecisse, quod in generatione hominis ex parte viri ad hominem producendum adjici solet.” But what is that, or how is that done? “Nos Dei virtutem in Virginis uterum aliquam substantiam creatam vel immisisse, aut ibi creasse affirmamus, ex qua juncto eo, quod ex ipsius Virginis substantia accessit, verus homo generatus fuit. Alias enim homo ille, Dei Filius a conceptione et nativitate proprie non fuisset,” cap. 17 p. 150.

    Very good; unless this abominable figment may pass current, Christ was not the Son of God. Let the reader observe, by the way, that they cannot but acknowledge Christ to have been, and to have been called, the “Son of God” in a most peculiar manner. To avoid the evidence of the inference from thence, that therefore he is God, of the same substance with his Father, they have only this shift, to say he is called the “Son of God’ upon the account of that whereof there is not the least tittle nor word in the whole book of God, yea, which is expressly contrary to the testimony thereof; and unless this be granted, they affirm that Christ cannot be called the “Son of God.” But let us hear this great rabbi of Mr B.’s religion a little farther clearing up this mystery: — “Necessitas magna fuit, ut Christus ab initio vitae suae esset Deo Filius, qualis futurus non fuisset nisi Dei virtute aliquid creatum fuisset, quod ad constituendum Christi corpus, una cum Mariae sanguine concurrit. Mansit autem nihilominus sanguis Mariae Virginis purissimus, etiamsi cum alio aliquo semine commixtus fuit.

    Potuit enim tam purum, imo porius semen, a Deo creari, et proculdubio creatum fuit, quam erat sanguis Mariae. Communis denique sensus et fides Christianorum omnium, quod Christus non ex virili semine conceptus sit; primum communis error censendus est, si sacris literis repuguet: Deinde id quod omnes sentiunt, facile cum ipsa veritate conciliari potest, ut scilicet semen illud, quod a Deo creatum, et cum semine Mariae conjuncture fuit, dicatur non virile, quia non a viro profectum sit, vel ex viro in uterum Virginis translatum, ut quidam opinantur, qui semen Josephi translatum in Virginis uterum credunt,” cap. 18, p. 158.

    And thus far are men arrived: Unless this horrible figment may be admitted, Christ is not the Son of God. He who is the “true God and eternal life” will one day plead the cause of his own glory against these men.

    I insist somewhat the more on these things, that men may judge the better whether in all probability Mr B., in his “impartial search into the Scripture,” did not use the help of some of them that went before him in the discovery of the same things which he boasts himself to have found out.

    And this is the first reason which our catechist hath taken from his masters to communicate to his scholars why Jesus Christ is called the “Son of God.” This he and they insist on exclusively to his eternal sonship, or being the Son of God in respect of his eternal generation of the substance of his Father.

    The other causes which they assign why he is called the “Son of God” I shall very briefly point unto. By the way that hath been spoken of, they say he was the Son of God, the natural Son of God. But they say he was the Son of God before he was God. He grew afterward to be a God by degrees, as he had those graces and excellencies and that power given him wherein his Godhead doth consist. So that he was the Son of God, but not God (in their own sense) until a while after; and then when he was so made a God, he came thereby to be more the Son of God. But by this addition to his sonship he became the adopted Son of God; as, by being begotten, as was before revealed, he was the natural Son of God. Let us hear Smalcius a little opening these mysteries. “Neither,” saith he, “was Christ God all the while he was the Son of God. To be the Son of God is referred to his birth, and all understand how one may be called the “Son of God” for his birth or original. But God none can be (besides that one God), but for his likeness to God. So that when Christ was made like God, by the divine qualities which were in him, he was most rightly so far the Son of God as he was God, and so far God as he was the Son of God. But before he had obtained that likeness to God, properly he could not be said to be God.” f240 And these are some of those monstrous figments which, under pretense of bare adherence to the Scripture, our catechist would obtrude upon us:

    First, Christ is the Son of God; then, growing like God in divine qualities, he is made a God; and so becomes the Son of God. And this, if the man may be believed, is the pure doctrine of the Scripture! And if Christ be a God because he is like God, by the same reason we are all gods in Mr B.’s conceit, being all made in the image and likeness of God; which, says he, by sin we have not lost.

    But what kind of sonship is added to Christ by all these excellencies whereby he is made like to God? The same author tells us that it is a sonship by adoption, and that Christ on these accounts was the adopted Son of God. “If,” saith he, “what is the signification of this word adoptivus may be considered from the Scripture, we deny not but that Christ in this manner may be called the ‘adopted Son of God,’ seeing that such is the property and condition of an adopted son that he is not born such as he is afterward made by adoption. Certainly, seeing that Christ was not such by nature, or in his conception and nativity, as he was afterward in his succeeding age, he may justly on that account be called the ‘adopted Son of God.’“ Such miserable plunges doth Satan drive men into whose eyes he hath once blinded, that the glorious light of the gospel should not shine into them! And by this we may understand, whatever they add farther concerning the sonship of Christ, that all belongs to this adopted sonship; whereof there is not one tittle in the whole book of God.

    The reasons they commonly add why in this sense Christ is called the “Son of God” are the same which they give why he is called “God.” “He is the only-begotten Son of God,” say the authors of the Compendium of the religion before mentioned, “because God sanctified him, and sent him into the world, and because of his exaltation at the right hand of God, whereby he was made our Lord and God.” f242 If the reader desire to hear them speak in their own words, let him consult Smalcius, De Vera Divinit. Jes. Christ, cap. 7, etc.; Socin. Disput. cum Erasmo Johan. Rationum quatuor antecedent. Refut. Disput. de Christi Natura, pp. 14, 15; Adversus Weikum, pp. 224, 225, et passim; Volkel.

    De Vera Relig. lib. 5 cap. 10-12.; Jonas Schlicht. ad Meisner., pp. 192, 193, etc.; especially the same person fully and distinctly opening and declaring the minds of his companions, and the several accounts on which they affirm Christ to be, and to have been called, the “Son of God,” in his Comment on the Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 16-20, as also his Notes upon Vechnerus’ Sermon on John 1 p. 14, etc.; Anonym. Respon. ad Centum Argumenta Cichorii Jesuitae, pp. 8-10; Confessio Fidei Christianae, edita nomine Ecclesiarum in Polonia, pp. 24, 25.

    Their good friend Episcopius hath ordered all their causes of Christ’s filiation under four heads: — 1. The first way (saith he) whereby Christ is in the Scripture kat ejxoch, called the “Son of God,” is in that as man he was conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of a virgin. And I doubt not (saith he) but that God is on this ground called eminently the “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2. Jesus Christ by reason of that duty or office which was imposed on him by his Father, that he should be the king of Israel promised by the prophets, is called the “Son of God.” 3. Because he was raised up by the Father to an immortal life, and, as it were, born again from the womb of the earth without the help of any mother. 4. Because being so raised from death, he is made complete heir of hie Father’s house, and lord of all his heavenly goods, saints, and angels. f243 The like he had written before, in his Apology for the Remonstrants, cap. 2 sect. 2.

    Thus he, evidently and plainly from the persons before named. But yet, after all this, he asks another question, — “Whether, all this being granted, there do not yet moreover remain a more eminent and peculiar reason why Christ is called the ‘Son of God’?” He answers himself: “There is, — namely, his eternal generation of the Father, his being God of God from all eternity;” which he pursues with sundry arguments, and yet in the close disputes that the acknowledgment of this truth is not fundamental, or the denial of it exclusive of salvation! So this great reconciler of the Arminian and Socinian religions, whose composition and unity into an opposition to them whom he calls Calvinists is the great design of his Theological Institutions; and such at this day is the aim of Curcellaeus and some others. By the way, I shall desire (before I answer what he offers to confirm his assignation of this fourfold manner of filiation to Jesus Christ) to ask this learned gentleman (or those of his mind who do survive him) this one question, Seeing that Jesus Christ was from eternity the Son of God, and is called so after his incarnation, and was on that account in his whole person the Son of God, by their own confessions, what tittle can he or they find in the Scripture of a manifold filiation of Jesus Christ in respect of God his Father? or whether it be not a diminution of his glory to be called the Son of God upon any lower account, as by a new addition to him who was eternally his only-begotten Son, by virtue of his eternal generation of his own substance Having thus discovered the mind of them with whom we have to do, and from whom our catechist hath borrowed his discoveries, I shall briefly do these two [three?] things: — I. Show that the filiation of Christ consists in his generation of the substance of his Father from eternity, or that he is the Son of God upon the account of his divine nature and subsistence therein, antecedent to his incarnation.

    II. That it consists solely therein, and that he was not, nor was called, the Son of God upon any other account but that mentioned; and therein answer what by Mr B. or others is objected to the contrary.

    III. To which I shall add testimonies and arguments for the deity of Christ, — whose opposition is the main business of that new religion which Mr B. would catechise poor unstable souls into,rain the vindication of those excepted against by the Racovians.

    I. For the demonstration of the first assertion, I shall insist on some few of the testimonies and arguments that might be produced for the same purpose: — 1. He who is the true, proper, only-begotten Son of God, of the living God, he is begotten of the essence of God his Father, and is his Son by virtue of that generation; but Jesus Christ was thus the only, true, proper, only-begotten Son of God: and therefore he is the Son of God upon the account before mentioned. That Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the manner expressed, the Scripture abundantly testifieth: “Lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” Matthew 3:17; “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” chap. 16:16, John 6:69.

    Which [latter] place in Matthew is the rather remarkable, because it is the confession of the faith of the apostles, given in answer to that question, “Whom say ye that I the Son of man am?” They answer, “The Son of the living God;” and this in opposition to them who said he was “a prophet, or as one of the prophets,” as Mark expresses it, chap. 6:15, — that is, only so. And the whole confession manifests that they did in it acknowledge both his orifice of being the Mediator and his divine nature or person also. “Thou art the Christ.” These words comprise all the causes of filiation insisted on by them with whom we have to do, and the whole office of the mediation of Christ; but yet hereunto they add, “The Son of the living God,” expressing his divine nature, and sonship on that account. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life,” 1 John 5:20. “He spared not his own Son,” Romans 8:32. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father,” John 1:14. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him,” verse 18. “He said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God,” John 5:18. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,” John 3:16. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world,” 1 John 4:9. “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee,” Psalm 2:7, etc.

    All which places will be afterward vindicated at large.

    To prove the inference laid down, I shall fix on one or two of these instances: — 1. He who is i]diov uiJo>v , the “proper son” of any, is begotten of the substance of his father. Christ is the proper Son of God, and God he called often i]dion Pate>ra , his “proper Father.” He is properly a father who begets another of his substance; and he is properly a son who is so begotten.

    Grotius confesseth there is an emphasis in the word i]diov , whereby Christ is distinguished from that kind of sonship which the Jews laid claim unto. Now, the sonship they laid claim unto and enjoyed, so many of them as were truly so, was by adoption; for “to them pertained the adoption,” Romans 9:4. Wherein this emphasis, then, and specially of Christ’s sonship, should consist, but in what we assert of his natural sonship, cannot be made to appear. Grotius says it is “because the Son of God was a name of the Messiah.” True, but on what account? Not that common [one] of adoption, but this of nature, as shall afterward appear.

    Again; he who is properly a son is distinguished from him who is metaphorically so only; for any thing whatever is metaphorically said to be what it is said to be by a translation and likeness to that which is true.

    Now, if Christ be not begotten of the essence of his Father, he is only a metaphorical Son of God by way of allusion, and cannot be called the proper Son of God, being only one who hath but a similitude to a proper Son; so that it is a plain contradiction that Christ should be the proper Son of God, and yet not be begotten of his Father’s essence. Besides, in that 8th of the Romans, the apostle had before mentioned other sons of God, who became so by adoption, verses 15, 16; but when he comes to speak of Christ in opposition to them, he calls him “God’s own” or proper “Son,” — that is, his natural Son, they being so only by adoption. And in the very words themselves, the distance that is given him by way of eminence above all other things doth sufficiently evince in what sense he is called the “proper Son of God:” “He that spared not his own Son, how shall he not with him give us all things?” 2. The only-begotten Son of God is his natural Son, begotten of his essence, and there is no other reason of this appellation. And this is farther clear from the antithesis of this “only-begotten’ to “adopted.” They are adopted sons who are received to be such by grace and favor. He is onlybegotten who alone is begotten of the substance of his father; neither can any other reason be assigned why Christ should so constantly, in way of distinction from all others, be called the “only-begotten Son of God.” It were even ridiculous to say that Christ were the only-begotten Son of God and his proper Son, if he were his Son only metaphorically and improperly. That Christ is the proper, only-begotten Son of God, improperly and metaphorically, is that which is asserted to evade these testimonies of Scripture. Add hereunto the emphatical, discriminating significancy of that voice from heaven, “This is he, that well-beloved Son of mine;” and that testimony which in the same manner Peter gave to this sonship of Christ in his confession, “Thou art the Son of the living God;” and the ground of Christ’s filiation will be yet more evident. Why the Son of the living God, unless as begotten of God as the living God, as living things beget of their own substance? But of that place before. Christ, then, being the true, proper, beloved, only-begotten Son of the living God, is his natural Son, of his own substance and essence. 3. The same truth may have farther evidence given unto it from the consideration of what kind of Son of God Jesus Christ is. He who is such a son as is equal to his father in essence and properties is a son begotten of the essence of his father. Nothing can give such an equality but a communication of essence. Then, with God, equality of essence can alone give equality of dignity and honor; for between that dignity, power, and honor, which belong to God as God, and that dignity or honor that is or may be given to any other, there is no proportion, much less equality, as shall be evidenced at large afterward. And this is the sole reason why a son is equal to his father in essence and properties, because he hath from him a communication of the same essence whereof he is partaker. Now, that Christ is such a Son as hath been mentioned, the Scripture abundantly testifies. “My Father,” saith Christ, “worketh hitherto, and I work.

    Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God,” John 5:17,18. Verse 17, having called God his Father in the particular manner before mentioned, and affirmed to himself an equal nature and power for operation with his Father, the Jews thence inferred that he testified of himself that he was such a Son of God as that he was equal with God.

    The full opening of this place at large is not my present business; the learned readers know where to find that done to their hand. The intendment of those words is plain and evident. Grotius expounds Ison eJautoGod, and that he was no more bound to the Sabbath than he; which,” saith he, “was a gross calumny.” So verse 19, these words of our Savior, “The Son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the Father do” (wherein the emphasis lies evidently in the words ajf eJautou~ , for the Son can do nothing of himself but what the Father doth, seeing he hath his essence, and so, consequently, will and power, communicated to him by the Father), he renders to be an allusion to and comparison between a master and scholar; as the scholar looks diligently to what his master doth, and strives to imitate him, so was it with Christ and God; — which exposition was the very same with that which the Arians assigned to this place, as Maldonate upon the place makes appear. That it was not an equal licence with the Father to work on the Sabbath, but an equality of essence, nature, and power between Father and Son, that the Jews concluded from the saying of Christ, is evident from this consideration, that there was no strength in that plea of our Savior of working on the Sabbath-day because his Father did so, without the violation of the Sabbath, unless there had been an equality between the persons working. That the Jews did herein calumniate Christ or accuse him falsely, the Tritheists said, indeed, as Zanchius testifies; and Socinus is of the same mind, whose interest Grotius chiefly serves in his Annotations: but the whole context and carriage of the business, with the whole reply of our Savior, do abundantly manifest that the Jews, as to their conclusion, were in the right, that he made himself such a Son of God as was equal to him. For if in this conclusion they had been mistaken, and so had calumniated Christ, there be two grand causes why he should have delivered them from that mistake by expounding to them what manner of Son of God he was: — First, Because of the just scandal they might take at what he had spoken, apprehending that to be the sense of his words which they professed. f249 Secondly, Because on that account they sought to slay him; which if they had done, he should by his death have borne witness to that which was not true. They sought to kill him because he made himself such a Son of God as by that sonship he was equal to God; which if it were not so, there was a necessity incumbent on him to have cleared himself of that aspersion, which yet he is so far from, as that in the following verses he farther confirms the same thing.

    So he “thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” Philippians 2:6. It is of God the Father that this is spoken, as the Father, as appears in the winding up of that discourse: Verse 11, “That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” And to him is Christ equal; and therefore begotten of his own essence.

    Yea, he is such a Son as is one with his Father: “I and my Father are one,” John 10:30; which the Jews again instantly interpret, without the least reproof from him, that he being man did yet aver himself to be God, verse 33.

    This place also is attempted to be taken out of our hands by Grotius, though with no better success than the former. oJ Pathpower, they cannot be taken from mine, for I have my power of my Father; so that it is all one to be kept of me as of my Father:” which he intends, as I suppose, to illustrate by the example of the power that Joseph had under Pharaoh, Genesis 41, though the verse he intend be false printed. But that it is an unity of essence and nature, as well as an alike prevalency of power, that our Savior intends, [is evident,] not only from that apprehension which the Jews had concerning the sense of those words, who immediately took up stones to kill him for blasphemy (from which apprehension he doth not at all labor to free them), but also from the exposition of his mind in those words, which is given us in our Savior’s following discourse: for, verse 36, he tells us this is as much as if he had said, “I am the Son of God” (now, the unity between Father and Son is in essence and nature principally), and then that “he doeth the works of his Father,” the same works that his Father doeth, verses 37, 38, which, were he not of the same nature with him, he could not do; which he closes with this, “That the Father is in him, and he in the Father,” verse 38: of which words before and afterward.

    He, then (that we may proceed), who is so the Son of God as that he is one with God, and therefore God, is the natural and eternal Son of God; but that such a Son is Jesus Christ is thus plentifully testified unto in the Scripture. But because I shall insist on sundry other places to prove the deity of Christ, which also all confirm the truth under demonstration, I shall here pass them by. The evidences of this truth from Scripture do so abound, that I shall but only mention some other heads of arguments that may be and are commonly insisted on to this purpose. Then, — 4. He who is the Son of God, begotten of his Father by an eternal communication of his divine essence, he is the Son begotten of the essence of the Father; for these terms are the same, and of the same importance.

    But this is the description of Christ as to his sonship which the Holy Ghost gives us. Begotten he was of the Father, according to his own testimony: “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee,” Psalm 2:7.

    And he is “the only-begotten Son of God,” John 3:18. And that he is so begotten by a communication of essence we have his own testimony: “Before the hills, was I brought forth,” Proverbs 8:25. He was begotten and brought forth from eternity. And now he tells you farther, John 5:26, “The Father hath given to the Son to have life in himself.” It was by the Father’s communication of life unto him, and his living essence or substance; for the life that is in God differs not from his being. And all this from eternity: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth,” etc., Proverbs 8:22, etc., to the end of verse 31. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting,” Micah 5:2. “In the beginning was the Word,” John 1:1. “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was,” John 17:5. “And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith,” etc, Hebrews 1:6, etc. 5. The farther description which we have given us of this Son makes it yet more evident: “He is the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person,” Hebrews 1:3. “The image of the invisible God,” Colossians 1:15. That Christ is the essential image of his Father, and not an accidental image, an image so as no creature is or can be admitted into copartnership with him therein, shall be on another occasion in this treatise fully demonstrated. And thither the vindication of these texts from the gloss of Grotius is also remitted.

    And this may suffice (without insisting upon what more might be added) for the demonstration of the first assertion, That Christ’s filiation ariseth from his eternal generation, or he is the Son of God upon the account of his being begotten of the essence of his Father from eternity.

    II. That he is and is termed the Son of God solely on this account, and not upon the reasons mentioned by Mr B. and explained from his companions, is with equal clearness evinced. Nay, I see not how any thing may seem necessary for this purpose to be added to what hath been spoken; but for the farther satisfaction of them who oppose themselves, the ensuing considerations, through the grace and patience of God, may be of use: — 1. If, for the reasons and causes above insisted on from the So-cinians, Christ be the Son of God, then Christ is the Son of God “according to the flesh,” or according to his human nature. So he must needs be, if God be called his Father because he supplied the room of a father in his conception. But this is directly contrary to the scriptures calling him the Son of God in respect of his divine nature, in opposition to the flesh or his human nature: “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power,” Romans 1:3,4. “Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever,” Romans 9:5.

    The same distinction and opposition is observed, 2 Corinthians 13:4, 1 Peter 3:18. If Jesus Christ according to the flesh be the Son of David, in contradistinction to the Son of God, then doubtless he is not called the Son of God according to the flesh; but this is the plain assertion of the Scripture in the places before named. Besides, on the same reason that Christ is the Son of man, on the same he is not the Son of God; but Christ was and was called the Son of man upon the account of his conception of the substance of his mother, and particularly the Son of David, and so is not on that account the Son of God.

    Farther; that place of Romans 1:3,4, passing not without some exceptions as to the sense insisted on, may be farther cleared and vindicated. Jesus Christ is called the Son of God: Verses 1, 3, “The gospel of God concerning his Son Jesus Christ.” This Son is farther described, — (1.) By his human nature: He was “made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” (2.) In respect of his person or divine nature, wherein he was the “Son of God,” and that ejn duna>mei , “in power” or “existing in the power of God,” for so du>namiv put absolutely doth often signify: as Romans 1:20; Matthew 6:13, Matthew 26:64; Luke 4:36. He had, or was in, the omnipotency of God; and was this declared to be, not in respect of the flesh, in which he was “made of a woman,” but kata< Pneu~ma aJgiwsu>nhv (which is opposed to kata< sa>rka ), “according to,” or “in respect of, his divine holy Spirit;” as is also the intendment of that word “The Spirit,” in the places above mentioned. Neither is it new that the deity of Christ should be called Pneu~ma aJgiwsu>nhv himself is called µyvid;q; vd,qo , Daniel 9:24, Sanctitas Sanctitatum, as here Spiritus Sanctitatis. And all this, saith the apostle, was declared so to be, or Christ was declared to be thus the Son of God, in respect of his divine, holy, spiritual, being, which is opposed to the flesh, ejx ajnasta>sewv nekrw~n , “by the” (or his) “resurrection from the dead,” whereby an eminent testimony was given unto his deity. He was “declared to be the Son of God” thereby, according to the sense insisted on.

    To weaken this interpretation, Grotius moves, as they say, every stone, and heaves at every word; but in vain. (1.) Orisqe>ntov , he tells us, is as much as proorisqe>ntov, as by the Vulgar Latin it is translated praedestinatus. So, he pleads, it was interpreted by many of the ancients. The places he quotes were most of them collected by Beza in his annotations on the place, who yet rejects their judgment therein, and cites others to the contrary. Luke 22:22, Acts 10:42, Acts 17:31, are also urged by him to evince the sense of the word; in each of which places it may be rendered “declared,” or “to declare,” and in neither of them ought to be by “predestinated.” Though the word may sometimes signify so (which is not proved), yet that it here doth so will not follow. Orov , a “definition (from whence that word comes), declares what a thing is, makes it known; and oJri>zw may best be rendered “to declare,” Hebrews 4:7. So in this place. Ti> ou=n ejstin oJrisqe>ntov tou~ Qeou~ deicqe>ntov ajpofanqe>ntov , says Chrysostom on the place. And so doth the subject-matter require, the apostle treating of the way whereby Christ was manifested eminently to be the Son of God.

    But the most learned man’s exposition of this place is admirable. “Jesus,” saith he, “is many ways said to be the ‘ Son of God.’“ This is begged in the beginning, because it will not be proved in the end. If this be granted, it matters not much what follows. “But most commonly, or most in a popular way, because he was raised unto a kingdom by God.” Not once in the whole book of God! Let him, or any one for him, prove this by any one clear testimony from Scripture, and take his whole interpretation. The Son of God, as Mediator, was exalted to a kingdom, and made a Prince and Savior: but that by that exaltation he was made the Son of God, or was so on that account, is yet to be proved; yea, it is most false. He goes on: “In that sense the words of the second Psalm were spoken of David, because he was exalted to a kingdom, which are applied to Christ, Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5.’ But it is not proved that these words do at all belong to David, so much as in the type, nor any of the words from verse 7 to the end of the psalm. If they are so to be accommodated, they belong to the manifestation, not constitution of him; and so they are applied to our Savior, when they relate to his resurrection, as one who was thereby manifested to be the Son of God, according as God had spoken of him. But now how was Christ predestinated to this sonship? “This kingly dignity, or the dignity of a Son, of Jesus, was predestinated and prefigured, when, leading a mortal life, he wrought ‘signs and wonders;’ which is the sense of the words ejn duna>mei .” The first sense of the word oJrisqe>ntov is here insensibly slipped from. Predestinated and prefigured are ill conjoined as words of a neighboring significancy. To predestinate is constantly ascribed to God as an act of his fore-appointing things to their end; neither can this learned man give one instance from the Scripture of any other signification of the word. And how comes now oJrisqe>ntov to be “prefigured”? Is there the least color for such a sense? “Predestinated to be the Son of God with power;” that is, “The signs he wrought prefigured that he should be exalted to a kingdom.” He was by them in a good towardliness for it. It is true, duna>meiv , and sometimes du>namiv , being in construction with some transitive verb, doth signify “great” or “marvellous works;” but that ejn duna>mei , spoken of one declared to be so, hath the same signification, is not proved. He adds, “These signs Jesus did by ‘the Spirit of holiness;’ that is, that divine efficacy wherewith he was sanctified from the beginning of his conception, Luke 1:35; Mark 2:8; John 9:36.” In the two latter places there is not one word to the purpose in hand; perhaps he intended some other, and these are false printed. The first shall be afterward considered; how it belongs to what is here asserted I understand not. That Christ wrought miracles by the “efficacy of the grace of the Spirit,” with which he was sanctified, is ridiculous. If by the “Spirit” is understood his “spiritual, divine nature,” this whole interpretation falls to the ground. To make out the sense of the words, he proceeds, “Jesus therefore is showed to be noble on the mother’s side, as coming of an earthly king; but more noble on his Father’s part, being made a heavenly king of God, after his resurrection, Hebrews 5:9; Acts 2:30, Acts 26:23.” And thus is this most evident testimony of the deity of Christ eluded, or endeavored to be so. Christ on the mother’s side was the “son of David,” — that is, “according to the flesh,” — of the same nature with her and him. On the Father’s side he was the “Son of God,” of the same nature with him. That God was his Father, and he the Son of God, because “after his resurrection he was made a heavenly king,” is a hellish figment, neither is there any one word or tittle in the texts cited to prove it; so that it is a marvel to what end they are mentioned, one of them expressly affirming that he was the Son of God before his resurrection, Hebrews 5:8,9. 2. He who was actually the Son of God before his conception, nativity, endowment with power or exaltation, is not the Son of God on these accounts, but on that only which is antecedent to them. Now, by virtue of all the arguments and testimonies before cited, as also of all those that shall be produced for the proof and evincing of the eternal deity of the Son of God, the proposition is unmoveably established, and the inference evidently follows thereupon.

    But yet the proposition, as laid down, may admit of farther confirmation at present. It is, then, testified to, Proverbs 30:4, “What is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” He was, therefore, the Son of God, and he was incomprehensible, even then before his incarnation. Psalm 2:7, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Isaiah 9:6, “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.”

    He is a Son, as he is the everlasting Father. And to this head of testimonies belongs what we urged before from Proverbs 8:22, etc. “He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature,” Colossians 1:15, which surely as to his incarnation he was not. “Before Abraham was, I am,” John 8:58. But of these places, in the following chapter, I shall speak at large. 3. Christ was so the Son of God that he that was made like him was to be without father, mother, or genealogy: Hebrews 7:3, “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God.” But now Christ, in respect of his conception and nativity, had a mother (and one, they say, that supplied the room of father), had a genealogy that is upon record, and beginning of life, etc; so that upon these accounts he was not the Son of God, but on that wherein he had none of all these things, in the want whereof Melchisedec was made like to him. I shall only add, — 4. That which only manifests the filiation of Christ is not the cause of it.

    The cause of a thing is that which gives it its being. The manifestation of it is only that which declares it to be so. That all things insisted on as the causes of Christ’s filiation, by them with whom we have to do, did only declare and manifest him so to be who was the Son of God, the Scripture witnesseth: “The Holy Ghost 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 1:35.

    He shall be called so, — thereby declared to be so: “And great was the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory,” 1 Timothy 3:16.

    All the causes of Christ’s filiation assigned by our adversaries are evidently placed as manifestations of God in him, or of his being the Son of God: “Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead,” Romans 1:3,4.

    The absurdity of assigning distinct and so far different causes of the same effect of filiation, whether you make them total or partial, need not be insisted on.

    Farther (to add one consideration more), says Socinus, “Christ was the Son of God upon the account of his holiness and righteousness, and therein his likeness to God.” Now, this he had not, according to his principles, in his infancy. He proves Adam not to have been righteous in the state of innocency, because he had yielded actual obedience to no law: no more had Christ done in his infancy. Therefore, — (1.) He was not the Son of God upon the account of his nativity; nor (2.) did he become the Son of God any otherwise than we do, namely, by heating the word, learning the mind, and doing the will of God. (3.) God did not give his only. begotten Son for us, but gave the son of Mary, that he might (by all that which we supposed he had done for us) be made the Son of God. And so (4.) this sending of Christ cloth not so much commend the love of God to us as to him, that he sent him to die and rise that he might be made God and the Son of God. (5.) Neither can any eximious love of Christ to us be seen in what he did and suffered; for had he not clone and suffered what he did, he had not been the Son of God. (6.) And also, if Christ be, on the account of his excellencies, graces, and gifts, the Son of God (which is one way of his filiation,insisted on), — and to be God and the Son of God is, as they say, all one, and as it is indeed, — then all who are renewed into the image of God, and are thereby the sons of God (as are all believers), are gods also!

    And this that hath been spoken may suffice for the confirmation of the second assertion laid down at the entrance of this discourse.

    To the farther confirmation of this assertion two things are to be annexed: — First, The eversion of that fancy of Episcopius before mentioned, and the rest of the Socinianising Arminians, that Christ is called the “Son of God,” both on the account of his eternal sonship and also of those other particulars mentioned from him above. Secondly, To consider the texts of Scripture produced by Mr B. for the confirmation of his insinuation, that Christ is not called the “Son of God” because of his eternal generation of the essence of his Father. The first may easily be evinced by the ensuing arguments: — 1. The question formerly proposed to Episcopius may be renewed; for if Christ be the Son of God partly upon the account of his eternal generation, and so he is God’s proper and natural Son, and partly upon the other accounts mentioned, then, — (1.) He is partly God’s natural Son, and partly his adopted Son; partly his eternal Son, partly a temporary Son; partly a begotten Son, partly a made Son; — of which distinctions, in reference to Christ, there is not one iota in the whole book of God. (2.) He is made the Son of God by that which only manifests him to be the Son of God, as the things mentioned do. (3.) Christ is equivocally only, and not univocally, called the Son of God; for that which hath various and diverse causes of its being so is so equivocally. If the filiation of Christ hath such equivocal causes as eternal generation, actual incarnation, and exaltation, he hath an equivocal filiation; which whether it be consistent with the Scripture, which calls him the proper Son of God, needs no great pains to determine.

    The Scripture never conjoins these causes of Christ’s filiation as Causes in and of the same kind, but expressly makes the one the sole constituting, and the rest causes manifesting only, as hath been declared. And, to shut up this discourse, if Christ be the Son of man only because he was conceived of the substance of his mother, he is the Son of God only upon the account of his being begotten of the substance of his Father.

    Secondly, There remaineth only the consideration of those texts of Scripture which Mr B. produceth to insinuate the filiation of Christ to depend on other causes, and not on his eternal generation of the essence of his Father; which, on the principles laid down and proved, will receive a quick and speedy despatch. 1. The first place named by him, and universally insisted on by the whole tribe, is Luke 1:30-35. It is the last verse only that I suppose weight is laid upon. Though Mr B. names the others, his masters never do so. That of verses 31, 32 seems to deserve our notice in Mr B.’s judgment, who changes the character of the words of it, for their significancy to his purpose. The words are, “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.” What Mr B. supposes may be proved from hence, at least how he would prove what he aims at, I know not. That Jesus Christ, who was bern of the Virgin, was a son of the Highest we contend. On what account he was so the place mentioneth not; but the reason of it is plentifully manifested in other places, as hath been declared.

    The words of verse 35 are more generally managed by them: “The Holy Ghost 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.” But neither do these particles, dio< kai< , render a reason of Christ’s filiation, nor are [they] a note of the consequent, but only of an inference or consequence that ensues from what he spake before: “It being so as I have spoken, even that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” There is weight also in that expression, Agion to< gennw>menon , “That holy thing that shall be born of thee.” Agion is not spoken in the concrete, or as an adjective, but substantively, and points out the natural essence of Christ, whence he was “that holy thing.” Besides, if this be the cause of Christ’s filiation which is assigned, it must be demonstrated that Christ was on that account called the “Son of God,” for so hath it been said that he should be; but there is not any thing in the New Testament to give light that ever Christ was on this account called the “Son of God,” nor can the adversaries produce any such instance. 2. It is evident that the angel in these words acquaints the blessed Virgin that in and by her conception the prophecy of Isaiah should be accomplished, which you have, chap. 7:14, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” as the express words of Luke declare, being the same with those of the prophecy, “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call,” etc., verses 31, 32. And Matthew 1:20,21, this very thing being related, it is said expressly to be done according to what was foretold by the prophet, verses 22, 23, repeating the very words of the Holy Ghost by Isaiah, which are mentioned before. Now Isaiah foretelleth two things: — (1.) That a virgin should conceive; (2.) That he that was so conceived should be Immanuel, God with us; or the Son of God, as Luke here expresses it. And this is that which the angel here acquaints the blessed Virgin withal upon her inquiry, verse 34, even that, according to the prediction of Isaiah, she should conceive and bear a son, though a virgin, and that that son of her’s should be called the “Son of God.”

    By the way, Grotius’ dealing with this text, both in his annotations on Isaiah 7, as also in his large discourse on Matthew 1:21-23, is intolerable and full of offense to all that seriously weigh it. It is too large here to be insisted on. His main design is to prove that this is not spoken directly of Christ, but only applied to him by a certain general accommodation. God may give time and leisure farther to lay open the heap of abominations which are couched in those learned annotations throughout. Which also appears, — 3. From the emphaticalness of the expression dio< kai< , “even also.” “That holy thing which is to be born of thee, even that shall be called the Son of God, and not only that eternal Word that is to be incarnate. That a[gion to< gennw>menon , being in itself ajnupo>staton , shall be called the Son of God.” “Shall be called so,” that is, appear to be so, and be declared to be so with power. It is evident, then, that the cause of Christ’s filiation is not here insisted on, but the consequence of the Virgin’s conception declared; that which was “born of her should be called the Son of God.”

    And this Socinus is so sensible of that he dares not say that Christ was completely the Son of God upon his conception and nativity; which, if the cause of his filiation were here expressed, he must be. “It is manifest,” saith he, “that Christ before his resurrection was not fully and completely the Son of God, being not like God before in immortality and absolute rule.” f252 Mr B.’s next place, whereby the sonship of Christ is placed on another account, as he supposes, is John 10:36, “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?”

    That this scripture is called to remembrance not at all to Mr B.’s advantage will speedily appear; for, — 1. Here is not in the words the least mention whence, or for what cause it is, that Christ is the Son of God, but only that he is so, he being expressed and spoken of under that description which is used of him twenty times in that Gospel, “He who is sent of the Father.” This is all that is in this place asserted, that he whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world counted it no robbery to be equal with him, nor did blaspheme in calling himself his Son. 2. It is evident that Christ in these words asserts himself to be such a Son of God as the Jews charged him with blasphemy for affirming of himself that he was; for he justifies himself against their accusation, not denying in the least that they rightly apprehended and understood him, but maintaining what he had spoken to be most true. Now, this was that which the Jews charged him withal, verse 33, “That he, being a man, blasphemed in making himself God;” for so they understood him, that in asserting his sonship he asserted also his deity. This Christ makes good, namely, that he is such a Son of God as is God also; yea, he makes good what he had said, verse 30, which was the foundation of all the following discourse about his blasphemy, “I and my Father are one.” So that, — 3. An invincible argument for the sonship of Christ, to be placed only upon the account of his eternal generation, ariseth from this very place that was produced to oppose it! He who is the Son of God because he is “one with the Father,” and God equal to him, is the Son of God upon the account of his,eternal relation to the Father: but that such was the condition of Jesus Christ, himself here bears witness to the Jews, although they are ready to stone him for it; and of his not blaspheming in this assertion he convinces his adversaries by an argument a minori, verses 35- 36.

    A brief analysis of this place will give evidence to this interpretation of the words. Our Savior Christ having given the reason why the Jews believed not on him, namely, “because they were not of his sheep,” verse 26, describes thereupon both the nature of those sheep of his, verse 27, and their condition of safety, verse 28. This he farther confirms from the consideration of his Father’s greatness and power, which is amplified by the comparison of it with others, who are all less than he, verse 29; as also from his own power and will, which appears to be sufficient for that end and purpose from his essential unity with his Father, verse 30. The effect of this discourse of Christ by accident is the Jews taking up of stones, which is amplified by this, that it was the second time they did so, and that to this purpose, that they might stone him, verse 31. Their folly and madness herein Christ disproves with an argument ab absurdo , telling them that it must be for some good work that they stoned him, for evil had he done none, verse 32. This the Jews attempt to disprove by a new argument a disparatis, telling him that it was “not for a good work, but for blasphemy,” that he “made himself to be God,” whom they would prove to be but a man, verse 33. This pretense of blasphemy Christ disproves, as I said before, by an argument a minori, verses 34-36, and with another from the effects or the works which he did, which sufficiently proved him to be God, verses 37, 38, still maintaining what he said and what they thought to be blasphemy; so that they attempt again to kill him, verse 39.

    It is evident, then, that he still maintained what they charged him with. 4. And this answers that expression which is so frequent in the Scripture, of God’s sending his Son into the world, and that he came down from heaven, and came into the world, Galatians 4:4, John 3:13; all evincing his being the Son of God antecedently to that mission or sanctification whereby in the world he was declared so to be. Otherwise, the Son of God was not sent, but one to be his Son. Acts 13:32,33, is also insisted on: “We declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us 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.” 1. He that can see in this text a cause assigned of the filiation of Christ that should relate to the resurrection, I confess is sharper sighted than I. This I know, that if Christ were made the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead, he was not the Son of God who died, for that preceded this his making to be the Son of God. But that God gave his only-begotten Son to die, that he spared not his only Son, but gave him up to death, I think is clear in Scripture, if any thing be so. 2. Paul seems to interpret this place to me, when he informs us that “Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead,” Romans 1:4. Not that he was made so, but he was “declared” or made known to be so, when, being “crucified through weakness, he lived by the power of God,” 2 Corinthians 13:4; which power also was his own, John 10:18.

    According as was before intimated, Grotius interprets these words, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” “I have made thee a king; which,” he says, “was fulfilled in that, when all power was given him in heaven and earth, Matthew 28:18; as Justin in his colloquy with Trypho: To>te ge>nesin aujtou~ le>gwn gene>sqai ejxo>tou hJ gnw~siv aujtou~ e]melle gene>sqai .” f253 (1.) But then he was the Son of God before his resurrection, for he was the Son of God by his being begotten of him: which as it is false, so contrary to his own gloss on Luke 1:35. (2.) Christ was a king before his resurrection, and owned himself so to be, as hath been showed. (3.) Justin’s words are suited to our exposition of this place. He was said to be then begotten, because then he was made known to be so the Son of God. (4.) That these words are not applied to Christ, in their first sense, in respect of his resurrection, [is evident] from the pre-eminence assigned unto him above angels by virtue of this expression, Hebrews 1:5, which he had before his death, chap. 1:6. Nor, (5.) Are the words here used to prove the resurrection, which is done in the verses following, out of Isaiah and another psalm, “And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead,” etc., Acts 13:34,35. But then, — 3. It is not an interpretation of the meaning of that passage in the psalm which Paul, Acts 13, insists on, but the proving that Christ was the Son of God, as in that psalm he was called, by his resurrection from the dead; which was the great manifesting cause of his deity in the world.

    What Mr B. intends by the next place mentioned by him I know not. It is Revelation 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead.”

    That Christ was the first who was raised from the dead to a blessed and glorious immortality, and is thence called the first-begotten of them, or from the dead, and that all that rise to such an immortality rise after him, and by virtue of his resurrection, is most certain and granted; but that from thence he is that only-begotten Son of God, though thereby he was only “declared” so to be, there is not the least tittle in the text giving occasion to such an apprehension.

    And the same also is alarmed of the following place of Colossians 1:18, where the same words are used again: “He is the head of the church, who is the beginning, prwto>tokov ejk tw~n nekrw~n , — the first-born of the dead.” Only I shall desire our catechist to look at his leisure a little higher into the chapter, where he will find him called also prwto>tokov pa>shv kti>sewv , “the first-born of all the creation;” so that he must surely be prwto>tokov before his resurrection. Nay, he is so the firstborn of every creature as to be none of them; for by him they were all created, verse 16. He who is so before all creatures as to be none of them, but that they are all created by him, is “God Messed for ever:” which when our catechist disproves, he shall have me for one of his disciples.

    Of the same kind is that which Mr B. next urgeth from Hebrews 1:4,5, only it hath this farther disadvantage, that both the verses going immediately before and that immediately following after do inevitably evince that the constitutive cause of the sonship of Jesus Christ, a priori , is in his participation of the divine nature, and that it is only manifested by any ensuing consideration. Verses 2, 3, the Holy Ghost tells us that “by him God made the worlds, who is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person;” and this as the Son of God, antecedent to any exaltation as mediator. And verse 6, “He bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, and saith, Let all the angels of God worship him.” He is the first-begotten before his bringing into the world; and that this is proved by the latter clause of the verse shall be afterward demonstrated. Between both these, much is not like to be spoken against the eternal sonship of Christ. Nor is the apostle only declaring his pre-eminence above the angels upon the account of that name of his, the “Son of God,” which he is called upon record in the Old Testament, but the causes also of that appellation he had before declared.

    The last place urged to this purpose is of the same import. It is Hebrews 5:5, “So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee.” When Mr B. proves any thing more towards his purpose from this place, but only that Christ did not of his own accord undertake the office of a mediator, but was designed to it of God his Father, who said unto him, “Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee,” declaring him so to be with power after his resurrection, I shall acknowledge him to have better skill in disputing than as yet I am convinced he is possessed of.

    And thus have I cleared the eternal sonship of Jesus Christ, and evinced the vanity of attempting to fix his prerogative therein upon any other account, not doubting but that all who love him in sin, cerity will be zealous of his glory herein. For his growing up to be the Son of God by degrees, to be made a God in process of time, to be the adopted Son of God, to be the Son of God upon various accounts of diverse kinds, inconsistent with one another, to have had such a conception and generation as modesty forbids to think or express, not to have been the Son of God until after his death, and the like monstrous figments, I hope he will himself keep his own in an everlasting abhorring of.

    The farther confirmation of the deity of Christ, whereby Mr B.’s whole design will be obviated, and the vindication of the testimonies wherewith it is so confirmed from his masters, is the work designed for the next chapter.

    There are yet remaining of this chapter two or three questions looking the same way with those already considered, which will, upon the principles already laid down and insisted on, easily and in very few words be turned aside from prejudicing the eternal deity of the Son of God. His 10th, then, is, — “What saith the Son himself concerning the prerogative of God the Father above him?” and answer is given John 14:28; Mark 13:32; Matthew 24:36: whereunto is subjoined another of the same, “What saith the apostle Paul? — A . 1 Corinthians 15:24,28, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Corinthians 3:22,23.”

    The intendment of these questions being the application of what is spoken of Christ, either as mediator or as man, unto his person, to the exclusion of any other consideration, namely, that of a divine nature therein, the whole of Mr B.’s aim in them is sufficiently already disappointed. It is true, there is an order, yea, a subordination, in the persons of the Trinity themselves, whereby the son, as to his personality, may be said to depend on the Father, being begotten of him; but that is not the subordination here aimed at by Mr B., but that which he underwent by dispensation as mediator, or which attends him in respect of his human nature. All the diffculty that may arise from these kinds of attribution to Christ the apostle abundantly salves in the discovery of the rise and occasion of them, Philippians 2:7-9. He who was in the form of God, and equal to him, was in the form of a servant, whereunto he humbled himself, his servant, and less than he. And there is no more difficulty in the questions wherewith Mr B. amuses himself and his disciples than there was in that wherewith our Savior stopped the mouth of the Pharisees, — namely, how Christ could be the son of David, and yet his Lord, whom he worshipped.

    For the places of Scripture in particular urged by Mr B., [such as] John 14:28, says our Savior, “My Father is greater than I” (mittens misso, says Grotius himself, referring the words to office , not nature), which he was and is in respect of that work of mediation which he had undertaken; but “inaequalitas officii non tollit aequalitatem naturae.” A king’s son is of the same nature with his father, though he may be employed by him in an inferior office. He that was less than his Father as to the work of mediation, being the Father’s servant therein, is equal to him as his Son, as God to be blessed for ever. Mark 13:32, Matthew 24:36, affirm that the Father only knows the times and seasons mentioned, not the angels, nor the Son; and yet, notwithstanding, it was very truly said of Peter to Christ, “Lord, thou knowest all things,” John 21:17. He that in and of the knowledge and wisdom which as man he had, and wherein he grew from his infancy, knew not that day, yet as he knew all things knew it; it was not hidden from him, being the day by him appointed. Let Mr B. acknowledge that his knowing all things proves him to be God, and we will not deny but his not knowing the day of judgment proves him to have another capacity, and to be truly man.

    As man he took on him those affections which we call fusika< kai< ajdia>blhta pa>qh amongst which, or consequently unto which, he might be ignorant of some things. In the meantime, he who made all things, as Christ did, Hebrews 1:2, knew their end as well as their beginning. He knew the Father, and the day by him appointed; yea, all things that the Father hath were his, and “in him were hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” Colossians 2:3.

    Paul speaks to the same purpose, 1 Corinthians 15:24,28. The kingdom that Christ doth now peculiarly exercise is his economical mediatory kingdom; which shall have an end put to it when the whole of his intendment in that work shall be fulfilled and accomplished. But that he is not also sharer with his Father in that universal monarchy which, as God by nature, he hath over all, this doth not at all prove. All the argument from this place is but this: “Christ shall cease to be mediator; therefore he is not God.” And that no more is here intended is evident from the expression of it, “Then shall the Son himself be subject;” which if it intend any thing but the ceasing from the administration of the mediatory kingdom, wherein the human nature is a sharer, it would prove that, as Jesus Christ is mediator, he is not in subjection to his Father, which himself abundantly hath manifested to be otherwise. Of 1 Corinthians 11:3, and 1 Corinthians 3:22,23, there is the same reason, both speaking of Christ as mediator; whence that no testimony can be produced against his deity hath been declared.

    He adds, 12th, “ Q. Howbeit, is not Christ dignified, as with the title of Lord, so also with that of God, in the Scripture? — A. [ John 20:28,] Thomas said, “My Lord and my God.” Verily, if Thomas said that Christ was his God, and said true, Mr B. is to blame who denies him to be God at all. With this one blast of the Spirit of the Lord is his fine fabric of religion blown to the ground. And it may be supposed that Mr B. made mention of this portion of Scripture that he might have the honor of cutting his own throat and destroying his own cause; or rather, that God, in his righteous judgment, hath forced him to open his mouth to his own shame. Whatever be the cause of it, Mr B. is very far from escaping this sword of the Lord, either by his insinuation in the present query, or diversion in the following. For the present, it was not the intent of Thomas to dignify Christ with titles, but to make a plain confession of his faith, being called upon by Christ to believe. In this state he professes that he believes him to be his Lord and his God. Thomas doubtless was a Christian; and Mr B. tells us that Christians have but one God, chap. 1, question 1, Ephesians 4:6. Jesus Christ, then, being the God of Thomas, he is the Christians’ one God, if Mr B. may be believed.

    It is not, then, the dignifying of Christ with titles (which it is not for men to do), but the naked confession of a believer’s faith, that in these words is expressed. Christ is the Lord and God of a believer; ergo the only true God, as 1 John 5:20. Mr B. perhaps will tell you he was made a God; so one abomination begets another, — infidelity idolatry; — of this afterward. But yet he was not, according to his companions, made a God before his ascension, which was not yet when Thomas made his solemn confession.

    Some attempt also is made upon this place by Grotius Kai< oJ Qeo>v mou . “Here first,” saith he, “in the story of the gospel, is this word found ascribed by the apostle unto Jesus Christ” (which Maldonate before him observed for another purpose), “to wit, after he had by his resurrection proved himself to be him from whom life, and that eternal, ought to be expected. And this custom abode in the church, as appears not only in the apostolical writings, Romans 9:5, and of the ancient Christians, as may be seen in Justin Martyr against Trypho, but in the Epistle also of Pliny unto Trajan, where he says that the Christians sang verses to Christ as to God;” or, as the words are in the author, “Carmen Christo, quasi Deo, dicere secum invicem” What the intendment of this discourse is is evident to all those who are a little exercised in the writings of them whom our author all along in his Annotations takes care of. That Christ was now made a God at his resurrection, and is so called from the power wherewith he was intrusted at his ascension, is the aim of this discourse. Hence he tells us it became a “custom” to call him God among the Christians, which also abode amongst them; and to prove this “custom” he wrests that of the apostle, Romans 9:5, where the deity of Christ is spoken of, in opposition to his human nature or his flesh, that he had of the Jews, plainly asserting a divine nature in him, calling him God subjectively, and not only by way of attribution. But this is, it seems, a “custom,” taken up afar Christ’s resurrection, to call him God, and so continued; though John testifies expressly that he was God in the beginning. It is true, indeed, much is not to be urged from the expressions of the apostles before the pouring out of the Spirit upon them, as to any eminent acquaintance with spiritual things; yet they had before made this solemn confession that Christ was the “Son of the living God,” Matthew 16:16-18, which is to the full as much as what is here by Thomas expressed. That the primitive Christians worshipped Christ and invocated him not only as a god, but professing him to be “the true God and eternal life,” we have better testimonies than that of a blind Pagan who knew nothing of them nor their ways, but by the report of apostates, as himself confesseth. But learned men must have leave to make known their readings and observations, whatever become of the simplicity of the Scripture.

    To escape the dint of this sword, Mr B. nextly queries: “ Q. Was he so the God of Thomas as that he himself in the meantime did not acknowledge another to be his God? — A. John 20:17; Revelation 3:12.”

    True, he who, being partaker of the divine essence, in the form of God, was Thomas’ God, as he was mediator, the head of his church, interceding for them, acknowledged his Father to be his God; yea, God may be said to be his God upon the account of his sonship and .personality, in which regard he hath his deity of his Father, and as “God of God.” Not that he is a secondary, lesser, made god, a hero, semideus, as Mr B. fancies him, but “God blessed for ever,” in order of subsistence depending on the Father.

    Of the same nature is the last question, namely, “Have you any passage in the Scripture where Christ, at the same time that he hath the appellation of God given to him, is said to have a God? — A. Hebrews 1:8,9.”

    By Mr B.’ favor, Christ is not said to have a God, though God be said to be his God. Verse 8, Christ, by Mr B.’s confession, is expressly called God. He is, then, the one true God with the Father, or another. If the first, what doth he contend about? If the second, he is a god that is not God by nature, — that is, not the one God of Christians, — and consequently an idol; and indeed such is the Christ that Mr B. worshippeth. Whether this will be waived by the help of that expression, verse 9, “God, thy God,” where it is expressly spoken of him in respect of his undertaking the office of mediation, wherein he was “anointed of God with the oil of gladness above his fellows,” God and his saints will judge.

    Thus the close of this chapter, through the good, wise hand of the providence of God, leaving himself and his truth not without witness, hath produced instances and evidences of the truth opposed abundantly sufficient, without farther inquiry and labor, to discover the sophistry and vanity of all Mr B.’s former queries and insinuations; for which let him have the praise.

    CHAPTER 8. An entrance into the examination of the Racovian Catechism in the business of the deity of Christ — Their arguments against it answered; and testimonies of the eternity of Christ vindicated.

    III. ALTHOUGH the testimonies and arguments for the deity of Christ might be urged and handled to a better advantage, if liberty might be used to insist upon them in the method that seems most natural for the clearing and confirmation of this important truth, yet that I may do two works at once, I shall insist chiefly, if not only on those texts of Scripture which are proposed to be handled and answered by the author or authors of the Racovian Catechism; which work takes up near one-fourth part of their book, and, as it is well known, there is no part of it wherein so much diligence, pains, sophistry, and cunning are employed as in that chapter, “Of the person of Christ,” which by God’s assistance we are entering upon the consideration of.

    Those who have considered their writings know that the very substance of all they have to say for the evading of the force of our testimonies for the eternal deity of Christ is comprised in that chapter, there being not any thing material that any of them have elsewhere written there omitted. And those who are acquainted with them, their persons and abilities, do also know that their great strength and ability for disputation lies in giving plausible answers, and making exceptions against testimonies, cavilling at every word and letter; being in proof and argument for the most part weak and contemptible. And therefore, in this long chapter, of near a hundred pages, all that themselves propose by way of argument against the deity of Christ is contained in two or three at the most, the residue being wholly taken up with exceptions to so many of the texts of Scripture wherein the deity of Christ is asserted as they have been pleased to take notice of, — a course which themselves are forced to apologize for as unbecoming catechists. f258 I shall, then, the Lord assisting, consider that whole chapter of theirs in both parts of it, — as to what they have to say for themselves, or to plead against the deity of Christ, as also what they bring forth for their defense against the evidence of the light that shineth from the texts whose consideration they propose to themselves, to which many of like sort may be added.

    I shall only inform the reader that this is a business quite beyond my first intention in this treatise, to whose undertaking I have been prevailed on by the desires and entreaties of some who knew that I had this other work imposed on me.

    Their first question and answer are: — Ques. Declare now to me what I ought to know concerning Jesus Christ?

    Ans. Thou must know that of the things of which thou oughtest to know, some belong to the essence of Christ and some to his office.

    Q. What are they which relate to his person?

    A. That only that by nature he is a true man, even u the Scriptures do often witness, amongst others, 1 Timothy 2:5, 1 Corinthians 15:21; such a one as God of old promised by the prophets, and such as the creed, commonly called the Apostles’, witnesseth him to be; which, with us, all Christians embrace. f259 Ans. That Jesus Christ was a true man, in his nature like unto us, sin only excepted, we believe, and do abhor the abominations of Paracelsus, Wigelius, etc., and the Familists amongst ourselves, who destroy the verity of his human nature. But that the Socinians believe the same, that he is a man in heaven, whatever he was upon earth, I presume the reader will judge that it may be justly questioned, from what I have to offer (and shall do it in its place) on that account. But that this is all that we ought to know concerning the person of Christ is a thing of whose folly and vanity our catechists will be one day convinced. The present trial of it between us depends in part on the consideration of the scriptures which shall afterward be produced to evince the contrary, our plea from whence shall not here be anticipated. The places of Scripture they mention prove him to be a true man, — that as man he died and rose; but that he who was man was not also in one person God (the name of man there expressing the person, not the nature of man only) they prove not. The prophets foretold that Christ should be such a man as should also be the Son of God, begotten of him, Psalm 2:7; “The mighty God,” Isaiah 9:6,7; “Jehovah,” Jeremiah 23:6; “TheLORD of hosts,” Zechariah 2:8,9.

    And the Apostles’ Creed also (as it is unjustly called) confesseth him to be the only Son of God, our Lord, and requires us to believe in him as we do in God the Father; which if he were not God were an accursed thing, Jeremiah 17:5.

    Q. Is therefore the Lord Jesus a pure (or mere) man?

    A. By no means; for he was conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, and therefore from his very conception and birth was the Son of God, as we read, Luke 1:35, that I may not bring other causes, which thou wilt afterward find in the person of Christ, which most evidently declare that the Lord Jesus can by no means be esteemed a pure (or mere) man. f260 Ans. 1. But I have abundantly demonstrated that Christ neither was nor was called the Son of God upon the account here mentioned, nor any other whatever intimated in the close of the answer, but merely and solely on that of his eternal generation of the essence of his Father. 2. The inquiry is after the essence of Christ, which receives not any alteration by any kind of eminency or dignity that belongs to his person. If Christ be by essence only man, let him have what dignity or honor he can have possibly conferred upon him, let him be born by what means soever, as to his essence and nature he is a man still, but a man, and not more than a man, — that is, purus homo, a “mere man,” — and not fu>sei Qeo>v , “God by nature,” but such a god as the Gentiles worshipped, Galatians 4:8. His being made God and the Son of God afterward, which our catechists pretend, relating to office and dignity, not to his nature, exempts him not at all from being a mere man. This, then, is but a flourish to delude poor simple souls into a belief of their honorable thoughts of Christ, whom yet they think no otherwise of than the Turks do of Mohammed, nor believe he was otherwise indeed, or is to Christians, than as Moses to the Jews That which Paul speaks of the idols of the heathen, that they were not gods by nature, may, according to the apprehension of these catechists, be spoken of Christ; notwithstanding any exaltation or deification that he hath received, he is by nature no god. Yea, the apprehensions of these gentlemen concerning Christ and his deity are the same upon the matter with those of the heathen concerning their worthies and heroes, who, by an ajpoqe>wsiv , were translated into the number of their gods, as Jupiter, Hercules, and others. They called them gods, indeed; but put them close to it, they acknowledged that properly there was but one God, but that these men were honored as being, upon [account of] their great worth and noble achievements, taken up to blessedness and power. Such an hero, an Hermes or Mercury, do they make of Jesus Christ, who, for his faithful declaring the will of God, was deified; but in respect of essence and nature, which here is inquired after, if he be any thing according to their principles (of making which supposal I shall give the reader a fair account), he was, he is, and will be, a mere man to all eternity, and no more. They allow him no more, as to his essence, than that wherein he was like us in all things, sin only excepted, Hebrews 2:17.

    Q. You said a little above that the Lord Jesus is by nature man; hath he also a divine nature?

    A. No; for that is not only repugnant to sound reason, but also to the Scriptures. f261 But this is that which is now to be put to the trial, Whether the asserting of the deity of Christ be repugnant to the Scriptures or no. And as we shall see in the issue that as these catechists have not been able to answer or evade the evidence of any one testimony of Scripture, of more than an hundred that are produced for the confirmation of the truth of his eternal deity, so, notwithstanding the pretended flourish here at the entrance, that they are not able ‘to produce any one place of Scripture, so much as in appearance, rising up against it. [As] for that right reason, which in this matter of mere divine revelation they boast of, and give it the preeminence in their disputes against the person of Christ above the Scripture, unless they discover the consonancy of it to the word, to the law and testimony, whatever they propose on that account may be rejected with as much facility as it is proposed. But yet, if by “right reason” they understand reason so far captivated to the obedience of faith as to acquiesce in whatever God hath revealed, and to receive it as truth, — than which duty there is not any more eminent dictate of right reason indeed, — we for ever deny the first part of this assertion, and shall now attend to the proof of it. Nor do we here plead that reason is blind and corrupted, and that the natural man cannot discern the things of God, and so require that men do prove themselves regenerate before we admit them to judge of the truth of the propositions under debate; which though necessary for them who would know the gospel for their own good, so as to be wise unto salvation, yet it being the grammatical and literal sense of propositions as laid down in the word of the Scripture that we are to judge of in this case, we require no more of men, to the purpose in hand, but an assent to this proposition (which if they will not give, we can by undeniable demonstration compel them to), “Whatever God, who is prima veritas, hath revealed is true, whether we can comprehend the things revealed or no;” which being granted, we proceed with our catechists in their attempt.

    Q. Declare how it is contrary to right reason.

    A. 1. In this regard, that two substances having contrary properties cannot meet in one person; such as are to be mortal and immortal, to have a beginning and to want a beginning, to be changeable and unchangeable. 2. Because two natures, each of them constituting a person, cannot likewise agree or meet in one person; for instead of one there must (then) be two persons, and so also two Christs would exist, whom all without controversy acknowledge to be one, and his person one. f262 And this is all which these gentlemen offer to make good their assertion that the deity of Christ is repugnant to right reason; which, therefore, upon what small pretense they have done, will quickly appear. 1. It is true that there cannot be such a personal uniting of two substances with such diverse properties as by that union to make an exequation, or an equalling of those diverse properties; but that there may not be such a concurrence and meeting of such different substances in one person, both of them preserving entire to themselves their essential properties, which are so diverse, there is nothing pleaded nor pretended. And to suppose that there cannot be such an union is to beg the thing in question against the evidence of many express testimonies of Scripture, without tendering the least inducement for any to grant their request. 2. In calling these properties of the several natures in Christ “adverse’’ or “contrary,” they would insinuate a consideration of them as of qualities in a subject, whose mutual contrariety should prove destructive to the one, if not both, or, by a mixture, cause an exurgency of qualities of another temperature. But neither are these properties such qualities, nor are they inherent in any common subject; but [they are] inseparable adjuncts of the different natures of Christ, never mixed with one another, nor capable of any such thing to eternity, nor ever becoming properties of the other nature, which they belong not unto, though all of them do denominate the person wherein both the natures do subsist. So that instead of pleading reason, which they pretended they would, they do nothing, in this first part of their answer, but beg the thing in question; which, being of so much importance and concernment to our souls, is never like to be granted them on any such terms. Will Christ, on their entreaties, cease to be God?

    Neither is their second pretended argument of any other kind. 1. We deny that the human nature of Christ had any such subsistence of its own as to give it a proper personality, being from the time of its conception assumed into subsistence with the Son of God. This we prove by express texts of Scripture, Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; John 1:14; Romans 1:3, Romans 9:5; Hebrews 2:16; Luke 1:35; Hebrews 9:14; Acts 3:15, 20:28; Philippians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 2:8, etc.; and by arguments taken from the assigning of all the diverse properties by them mentioned before, and sundry others, to the same person of Christ, etc.

    That we would take it for granted that this cannot be, is the modest request of these gentlemen with whom we have to do. 2. If by natures constituting persons they mean those who, antecedently to their union, have actually done so, we grant they cannot meet in one person, so that upon this union they should cease to be two persons. The personality of either of them being destroyed, their different beings could not be preserved. But if by “constituting’’ they understand only that which is so in potentia, or a next possibility of constituting a person, then, as before, they only beg of us that we would not believe that the person of the Word did assume the human nature of Christ, that “holy thing that was born of the Virgin,” into subsistence with itself; which, for the reasons before mentioned, and others like to them, we cannot grant.

    And this is the substance of all that these men plead and make a noise with in the world, in an opposition to the eternal deity of the Son of God! This pretense of reason (which evidently comes short of being any thing else) is their shield and buckler in the cause they have unhappily undertaken.

    When they tell us of Christ’s being hungry and dying, we say it was in the human nature, wherein he was obnoxious to such things no less than we, being therein made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted; — when of his submission and subjection to his Father, we tell them it is in respect of the office of mediator, which he willingly undertook, and that his inequality unto him as to that office doth no way prejudice his equality with him in respect of his nature and being. But when, with the Scriptures and arguments from thence, as clear and convincing as if they were written with the beams of the sun, we prove our dear Lord Jesus, in respect of a divine nature, whereof he was partaker from eternity, to be God, blessed for ever, they tell us it cannot be that two such diverse natures as those of God and man should be united in one person; and it cannot be so, because it cannot be so, — there is no such union among other things! And these things must be, that those who axe approved may be tried. But let us hear them out.

    Q. But whereas they show that Christ consisteth of a divine and human nature, as a man consisteth of soul and body, what is to be answered them A. That here is a very great difference; for they say that the two natures in Christ are so united that Christ is both God and man. But the soul and body are in that manner conjoined in man, that a man is neither soul nor body; for neither soul nor body doth singly of itself constitute a person.

    But as the divine nature by itself constitutes a person, so it is necessary that the human nature should do. f263 Ans. 1. In what sense it may be said that Christ, that is, the person of Christ, consisteth of a divine and human nature, was before declared. The person of the Son of God assumed the human nature into subsistence with itself, and both in that one person are Christ. 2. If our catechists have no more to say, to the illustration given of the union of the two natures in the person of Christ by that of the soul and body in one human person, but that there is “a great difference’’ in something between them, they do but filch away the grains that are allowed to every similitude, and show wherein the comparates differ, but answer not to that wherein they do agree. 3. All that is intended by this similitude is, to show that besides the change of things, one into another, by the loss of one, as of water into wine by Christ, and besides the union that is in physical generation by mixture, whereby and from whence some third thing ariseth, that also there is a substantial union, whereby one thing is not turned into another nor mixed with it. And the end of using this similitude (which, to please our catechists, we can forbear, acknowledging that there is not among created beings any thing that can fully represent this, which we confess “without controversy to be a great mystery”) is only to manifest the folly of that assertion of their master on John 1, “That if the ‘Word be made flesh’ in our sense, it must be turned into flesh; for,” saith he, “one thing cannot be made another but by change, conversion, and mutation into it:” the absurdity of which assertion is sufficiently evinced by the substantial union of soul and body, made one person, without that alteration and change of their natures which is pleaded for. Neither is the Word made flesh by alteration, but by union. 4. It is confessed that the soul is not said to be made the body, nor the body said to be made the soul, as the Word is said to be made flesh; for the union of soul and body is not a union of distinct substances subsisting in one common subsistence, but a union of two parts of one nature, whereof the one is the form of the other. And herein is the dissimilitude of that similitude. Hence will that predication be justified in Christ, “The Word was made flesh,” without any change or alteration, because of that subsistence whereunto the flesh or human nature of Christ was assumed, which is common to them both. And so it is in accidental predications.

    When we say a man is made white, black, or pale, we do not intend that he is as to his substance changed into whiteness, etc, but that he who is a man is also become white. 5. It is true that the soul is not a person, nor the body, but a person is the exurgency of their conjunction: and therefore we do not say that herein the similitude is [to be] urged, for the divine nature of Christ had its own personality antecedent to this union; nor is the union of his person the union of several parts of the same nature, but the concurrence of several natures in one subsistence. 6. That it is “of necessity that Christ’s human nature should of itself constitute a person,” is urged upon the old account of begging the thing in question. This is that which in the case of Christ we deny, and produce all the proofs before mentioned to make evident the reason of our denial; but our great masters here say the contrary, and our under-catechists are resolved to believe them. Christ was a true man, because he had the true essence of a man, soul and body, with all their essential properties. A peculiar personality belongeth not to the essence of a man, but to his existence in such a manner. Neither do we deny Christ to have a person as a man, but to have a human person: for the human nature of Christ subsisteth in that which, though it be in itself divine, yet as to that act of sustentation which it gives the human nature, is the subsistence of a man; on which account the subsistence of the human nature of Christ is made more noble and excellent than that of any other man whatever.

    And this is the whole plea of our catechists from reason, that whereto they so much pretend, and which they give the pre-eminence unto in their attempts against the deity of Christ, as the chief, if not the only engine they have to work by. And if they be thus weak in the main body of their forces, certainly that reserve which they pretend from Scripture, — whereof, indeed, they have the meanest pretense and show that ever any of the sons of men had who were necessitated to make a plea from it in a matter of so great concernment as that now under consideration, — will quickly disappear. Thus, then, they proceed: — Q. Declare, also, how it is repugnant to Scripture that Christ hath a divine nature.

    A. First, Because that the Scripture proposeth to us one only God by nature, whom we have above declared to be the Father of Christ. Secondly, The same Scripture testifieth that Jesus Christ was by nature a man, whereby it taketh from him any divine nature. Thirdly, Because whatever divine thing Christ hath, the Scripture plainly teacheth that he had it by a gift of the Father, Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 15:27; John 5:19, John 10:25. Lastly, Because the same Scripture most evidently showing that Jesus Christ did not vindicate and ascribe all his divine works to himself, or to any divine nature of his own, but to his Father, makes it plain that divine nature in Christ was altogether in vain, and would have been without any cause. f264 And this is that which our catechists have to pretend from Scripture against the deity of Christ, concluding that any such divine nature in him would be superfluous and needless, — themselves being judges. In the strength of what here they have urged, they set themselves to evade the evidence of near fifty express texts of Scripture, by themselves produced and insisted on, giving undeniable testimony to the truth they oppose. Let, then, what they have brought forth be briefly considered: — 1. The Scripture doth indeed propose unto us “one only God by nature,” and we confess that that only true God is the “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ;” but we say that the Son is partaker of the Father’s nature, of the same nature with him, as being his proper Son, and, by his own testimony, one with him. He is such a Son (as hath been declared) as is begotten of the essence of his Father; and is therefore God, blessed for ever. If the Father be God by nature, so is the Son; for he is of the same nature with the Father. 2. To conclude that Christ is not God because he is man, is plainly and evidently to beg the thing in question. We evidently discover in the person of Christ properties that are inseparable adjuncts of a divine nature, and such also as no less properly belong to a human nature. From the asserting of the one of these to conclude to a denial of the other, is to beg that which they are not able to dig for. 3. There is a twofold communication of the Father to the Son: — (1.) By eternal generation. So the Son receives his personality, and therein his divine nature, from him who said unto him, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” And this is so far from disproving the deity of Christ that it abundantly confirms it. And this is mentioned, John 5:19-23. This Christ hath by nature. (2.) By collation of gifts, honor and dignity, exaltation and glory, upon him as mediator, or in respect of that office which he humbled himself to undergo, and for the full execution whereof and investiture [where] with glory, honor, and power were needful; which is mentioned, Matthew 28:18, Philippians 2:9, 1 Corinthians 15:27: which is by no means derogatory to the deity of the Son; for inequality in respect of office is well consistent with equality in respect of nature. This Christ hath by grace. Matthew 28:18, Christ speaks of himself as thoroughly furnished with authority for the accomplishing of the work of mediation which he had undertaken. It is of his office, not of his nature or essence, that he speaks. Philippians 2:9, Christ is said to be exalted; which he was in respect of the real exaltation given to his human nature, and the manifestation of the glory of his divine, which he had with his Father before the world was, but had eclipsed for a season. 1 Corinthians 15:27 relates to the same exaltation of Christ as before. 4. It is false that Christ doth not ascribe the divine works which he wrought to himself and his own divine power, although that he often also makes mention of the Father, as by whose appointment he wrought those works, as mediator: John 5:17, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work;” verse 19, “For what things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son;” verse 21, “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.” Himself wrought the works that he did, though as to the end of his working them, which belonged to his office of mediation, he still relates to his Father’s designation and appointment.

    And this is the whole of our catechists’ plea from reason and Scripture against the deity of Christ. [As] for the conclusion, of the superfluousness and needlessness of such a divine nature in the Mediator, as it argues them to be ignorant of the Scriptures, and of the righteousness of God, and of the nature of sin, so it might administer occasion to insist upon the demonstration of the necessity which there was that he who was to be mediator between God and man should be both God and man, but that I aim at brevity, and the consideration of it may possibly fall in upon another account, so that here I shall not insist thereon.

    Nextly, then, they address themselves to that which is their proper work (wherein they are exceedingly delighted), — namely, in giving in exceptions against the testimonies produced for the confirmation of the truth under consideration, which they thus enter upon: — Q. But they endeavor to assert the divine nature of Christ from the Scriptures.

    A. They endeavor it, indeed, diverse ways; and that whilst they study either to evince out of certain scriptures what is not in them, or whilst they argue perversely from those things which are in the scriptures, and so evilly bring their business to pass. f265 These, it seems, are the general heads of our arguments for the deity of Christ; but before we part we shall bring our catechists to another reckoning, and manifest both that what we assert is expressly contained in the Scriptures, and what we conclude by ratiocination from them hath an evidence in it which they are not able to resist. But they say, — Q. What are those things which they labor to evince concerning Christ out of the Scriptures, which are not contained in them?

    A. Of this sort is, as they speak, his pre-eternity; which they endeavor to confirm with two sorts of scriptures: — 1. Such as wherein they suppose this pre-eternity is expressed; 2. Such as wherein, though it be not expressed, yet they think that it may be gathered from them. f266 That we do not only “suppose,” but have also as great an assurance as the plain, evident, and redoubled testimony of the Holy Ghost can give us of the eternity of Jesus Christ, shall be made evident in the ensuing testimonies, both of the one sort and the other, especially by such as are express thereunto; for in this matter we shall very little trouble the reader with collections and arguings, the matter inquired after being express and evident in the words and terms of the Holy Ghost himself. They say, then, — Q. Which are those testimonies of Scripture which seem to them to express his pre-eternity A. They are those in which the Scripture witnesseth of Christ that he was in the beginning, that he was in heaven, that he was before Abraham, John 1:1, John 6:62, John 8:58. f267 Before I come to the consideration of the particular places proposed by them to be insisted on, I shall desire to premise one or two things; as, — 1. That it is sufficient for the disproving of their hypothesis concerning Christ if we prove him to have been existent before his incarnation, whether the testimonies whereby we prove it reach expressly to the proof of his eternity or no. That which they have undertaken to maintain is, that Christ had no existence before his conception and birth of the Virgin; — which if it be disproved, they do not,, they cannot, deny but that it must be on the account of a divine nature; for as to the incarnation of any preexisting creature (which was the Arians’ madness), they disavow and oppose it. 2. That those three places mentioned are very far from being all wherein there is express confirmation of the eternity of Christ; and therefore, when I have gone through the consideration of them, I shall add some others also, which are of no less evidence and perspicuity than those whose vindication we are by them called unto.

    To the first place mentioned they thus proceed: — Q. What dost thou answer to the first? f268 A. In the place cited there is nothing about that pre-eternity, seeing here is mention of the beginning, which is opposed to eternity. But the word “beginning” is almost always in the Scripture referred to the subjectmatter, as may be seen, Daniel 8:1; John 15:27, 16:4; Acts 11:15: and therefore, seeing the subject-matter here is the gospel, whose description John undertakes, without doubt, by his word “beginning,” John understood the beginning of the gospel.

    This place being express to our purpose, and the matter of great importance, I shall first confirm the truth contended for from thence, and then remove the miserable subterfuge which our catechists have received from their great apostles, uncle and nephew. 1. That John, thus expressly insisting on the deity of Christ in the beginning of his Gospel, intended to disprove and condemn sundry that were risen up in those days denying it, or asserting the creation or making of the world to another demiurgus, we have the unquestionable testimony of the first professors of the religion of Jesus Christ, with as much evidence and clearness of truth as any thing can be tendered on uncontrolled tradition; which at least will give some insight into the intendment of the Holy Ghost in the words. f269 That by oJ Lo>gov, howsoever rendered, Verbum or Sermo, or on what account soever he be so called, either as being the eternal Word and Wisdom of the Father, or as the great Revealer of his will unto us (which yet of itself is not a sufficient cause of that appellation, for others also reveal the will of God unto us, Acts 20:27, Hebrews 1:1), Jesus Christ is intended, is on all hands confessed, and may be undeniably evinced from the context This oJ Lo>gov came into the world and was rejected by his own, verse 11; yea, expressly, he “was made flesh,” and was “the only-begotten of the Father,” verse 14. 3. That the whole of our argument from this place is very far from consisting in that expression, “In the beginning,” though that, relating to the matter whereof the apostle treats, doth evidently evince the truth pleaded for. It is part of our catechists’ trade so to divide the words of Scripture that their main import and tendence may not be perceived. In one place they answer to the first words, “In the beginning;” in another, to “He was with God, and he was God;” in a third, to that, “All things were made by him; in a fourth (all at a great distance one from another), to “The Word was made flesh:” which desperate course of proceeding argues that their cause is also desperate, and that they durst not meet this one testimony, as by the Holy Ghost placed and ordered for the confirmation of our faith, without such a bold mangling of the text as that instanced in. 4. I shall, then, insist upon the whole of this testimony as the words are placed in the contexture by the Holy Ghost, and vindicate them from what, in several places, they have excepted against several parcels of them.

    Thus, then, from these words (these divine words, whose very reading reclaimed as eminent a scholar as the world enjoyed in his days from atheism ) we proceed.

    He that was in the beginning before the creation of the world, before any thing of all things that are made was made, who was then with God, and was God, who made all things, and without whom nothing was made, in whom was life, — he is God by nature, blessed for ever; nor is there, in the whole Scripture, a more glorious and eminent description of God, by his attributes, names, and works, than here is given of him concerning whom all these things are spoken. But now all this is expressly affirmed of the “Word that was made flesh;” that is, confessedly, of Jesus Christ: therefore he is God by nature, blessed for ever. Unto the several parts of this plain and evident testimony, in several places they except several things; thinking thereby to evade that strength and light which each part yields to other as they lie, and all of them to the whole. I shall consider them in order as they come to hand.

    Against that expression, “In the beginning,” they except, in the place mentioned above, that it doth not signify pre-eternity, which hath no beginning. But, — 1. This impedes not at all the existence of Jesus Christ before the creation, although it denies that his eternity is expressly asserted. Now, to affirm that Christ did exist before the whole creation, and made all things, cloth no less prove him to be no more a creature, but the eternal God, than the most express testimony of his eternity doth or can do. 2. Though eternity has no beginning, and the sense of these words cannot be, “In the beginning of eternity,” yet eternity is before all things, and “In the beginning” may be the description of eternity, as it is plainly, Proverbs 8:23. “From everlasting,’’ and “In the beginning, before the earth was,” are of the same import. And the Scripture saying that “In the beginning the Word was,” not “was made,” doth as evidently express eternity as it doth in these other phrases of, “Before the world was,” or “Before the foundation of the world,” which more than once it insists on, John 17:5. 3. By “In the beginning” is intended before the creation of all things. What will it avail our catechists if it do not expressly denote eternity? Why, the word “beginning” is to be interpreted variously, according to the subjectmatter spoken of, as Genesis 1:1; which being here the gospel, it is the beginning of the gospel that is intended! But, — Be it agreed that the word “beginning” is to be understood according to the subject-matter whereunto it is applied, yet that the apostle doth firstly and nextly treat of the gospel, as to the season of its preaching, is most absurd. He treats evidently and professedly of the person of the author of the gospel, of the Word that was God and was made flesh. And that this cannot be wrested to the sense intended is clear; for, — 1. The apostle evidently alludes to the first words of Genesis, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth;” and the Syriac translation from the Hebrew here places tyvi riB] . So here, “In the beginning the Word made all things.” 2. The following words, “The Word was with God, and the Word was God,” manifest the intendment of the Holy Ghost to be, to declare what and where the Word was before the creation of the world, even with God. 3. The testimony that he was God in the beginning will no way agree with this gloss. Take his being God in their sense, yet they deny that he was God in the beginning of the gospel or before his suffering, as hath been showed. 4. The sense given by the Socinians to this place is indeed senseless. “In the beginning,” say they, “that is, when the gospel began to be preached by John Baptist” (which is plainly said to be before the world was made), “the Word, or the man Jesus Christ” (the Word being afterward said to be made flesh, after this whole description of him as the Word), “was with God, so hidden as that he was known only to God” (which is false, for he was known to his mother, to Joseph, to John Baptist, to Simeon, Anna, and to others), “and the Word was God; that is, God appointed that he should be so afterward, or made God” (though it be said he was God then when he was with God). “And all things were made by him; the new creature was made by him; or the world by his preaching, and teaching, and working miracles, was made, or reformed” (that is, something was mended by him). Such interpretations we may at any time be supplied withal at an easy rate. 5. To view it a little farther: “In the beginning, — that is, when John preached Jesus, and said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God,’ — was the Word, or Jesus was;” that is, he was when John preached that he was. “Egregiam vero laudem!” He was when he was! “The Word was in the beginning;” that is, Jesus was flesh and blood, and then was afterward made flesh, and dwelt among us, when he had dwelt amongst us! And this is that interpretation which Faustus Socinus, receiving from his uncle Laelius, first set up upon, in the strength whereof he went forth unto all the abominations which afterward he so studiously vented.

    Passing by these two weighty and most material passages of this testimony, “The Word was God,” and “The Word was with God,” the one evidencing his oneness of nature with, and the other his distinctness of personality from, his Father, our catechists, after an interposition of near twenty pages, fix upon verse 3, and attempt to pervert the express words and intendment of it, having cut it off from its dependence on what went before, that evidently gives light into the aim of the Holy Ghost therein.

    Their words concerning this verse are, — Q. Declare to me with what testimonies they contend to prove that Christ created the heaven and the earth?

    A. With those where it is written, that “by him all things were made, and without him was nothing made that was made,” and “the world was made by him,” John 1:3,10; as also Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2, 10- 12.

    Q. But how dost thou answer to the first testimony?

    A. 1. It is not, in the first testimony, they were created, but they were “made.” 2. John says “They were made by him;” which manner of speaking doth not express him who is the first cause of any thing, but the second or mediate cause. Lastly, The word “all things” is not taken for all things universally, but is altogether related to the subject-matter; which is most frequent in the Scriptures, especially of the New Testament, whereof there is a signal example, 2 Corinthians 5:17, wherein there is a discourse of a thing very like to this whereof John treats, where it is said “All things are made new,” whereas it is certain that there are many things which are not made new. Now, whereas the subject-matter in John is the gospel, it appeareth that this word “all things” is to be received only of all those things which belong to the gospel.

    Q. But why cloth John add, that “without him nothing was made that was made?” A. John added these words that he might the better illustrate those before spoken, “All things were made by him;” which seem to import that all those things were made by the Word or Son of God, although some of them, and those of great moment, were of such sort as were not done by him but the apostles, — as the calling of the Gentiles, the abolishing of legal ceremonies: for although these things had their original from the preaching and works of the Lord Jesus, yet they were not perfected by Christ himself, but by his apostles; but yet not without him, for the apostles administered all things in his name and authority, as the Lord himself said, “Without me ye can do nothing,” John 15:5. f271 Thus to the third verse, of which afterward. We shall quickly see how these men are put to their shifts to escape the sword of this witness, which stands in the way to cut them off in their journeying to curse the church and people of God by denying the deity of their blessed Savior.

    The connection of the words is wholly omitted, “He was God, and he was in the beginning with God, and all things were made by him.” The words are an illustration of his divine nature by divine power and works, He was God, and he made all things. “He that made all things is God,” Hebrews 3:4; “The Word made all things,” John 1:3: therefore he is God. Let us see what is answered. 1. “It is not said they were created by him, but ‘made.’“ But the word here used by John is the same that in sundry places the LXX. (whom the writers of the New Testament followed) used about the creation; as Genesis 1:3, Kai< ei+pen oJ Qeotw fw~v kai< ejge>neto fw~v , and verse 6, Ege>neto stere>wma . And if, as it is affirmed, he was in the beginning (before all things), and made them all, he made them out of nothing; that is, he created them. To create is but to produce something out of nothing, “nothing” supplying the term from whence of their production.

    But, — 2. “They are said to be made ‘by him:’ it is dij aujtou~ , which denotes not the principal, but mediate or instrumental cause.” But it is most evident that these men care not what they say, so they may say something that they think will trouble them whom they oppose. (1.) This might help the Arians, who fancied Christ to be created or made before all things, and to have been the instrumental cause whereby God created all other things; but how this concerns them to insist on who deny that Christ had any existence at all before the world was some thousands of years old is not easy to be apprehended. (2.) In their own sense this is not to the purpose, but expressly contradictory to what they offer in the last place, by way of answer to the latter part of the third verse. Here they say he is not the principal efficient cause, but the second or mediate; there, that all things were either done by him or in his name and authority, which certainly denotes the principal cause of the things done. But, — (3.) This very expression is sundry times used concerning God the Father himself whom our catechists will not therefore deny to have been the principal efficient cause of the things ascribed to him: Romans 11:36, “From him, and dij aujtou~, by him are all things;” 1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful, dij ou+ , ‘by whom ye were called;” Galatians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but dia< Ihsou~ Cristou~ kai< Qeou~ Patro>v, by Jesus Christ and God the Father;” Ephesians 1:1, Dia< qelh>matov Qeou~ , “By the will of God.” So that this also is frivolous. Thus far we have nothing to the purpose. But, — 3. “‘All things’ are to be referred to the gospel, all things of the gospel whereof John treats; so are the words to be restrained by the subjectmatter.”

    But, — (1.) This is merely begged. John speaks not one word of the gospel as such, gives no description of it, its nature or effects; but evidently, plainly, and directly speaks of the Word that was God, and that made all things, describing him in his eternity, his works, his incarnation, his employment, his coming into the world, and his business; and treats of the gospel, or the declaration of the will of God by Jesus Christ, distinctly afterward, from verse 15 and forwards, (2.) For the expression, 2 Corinthians 5:17, “All things are become new,” it is expressly restrained to the “new creature,” to them that are “in Christ Jesus;” but as to this general expression here, there is no color why it should be so restrained, the expression itself everywhere signifying the creation of all things. See Genesis 2:1,2; Psalm 33:6, <19C102> Psalm 121:2; Isaiah 37:16, Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 66:1,2; Jeremiah 32:17; Acts 14:15, Acts 17:24.

    And this is it which they plead to the first part of the verse, “All things were made by him.” 4. The other expression, they say, is added to manifest that “what was done after by the apostles was not done without him; and that is the meaning of these words, ‘And without him was not any thing made that was made.’“ But, — (1.) Their prw~ton yeu~dov , of referring the whole passage to the description of the gospel, whereof there is not the least tittle nor intimation in the text, being removed out of the way, this following figment falls of itself. (2.) This gloss is expressly contrary to the text. The “all things” here mentioned are the “all things” that were made in the beginning of the world, but this gloss refers it to the things made in the end of the world. (3.) It is contradictory to itself, for by the “beginning” they understand the beginning of the gospel, or the first preaching of it, but the things that they say here were made by Christ are things that were done after his ascension. (4.) It is true, the apostles wrought not any miracles, effected no mighty works, but by the presence of Christ with them (though the text cited to prove it, John 15:5, be quite of another importance, as speaking of gospel obedience, not works of miracles or conversions); but that those works of theirs, or his by them, are here intended, is not offered to proof by our catechists. And this is the sense of the words they give: “Christ in the beginning of the gospel made all things, or all things were made by him, even those which he made by others after his ascension into heaven;” or thus, “All things, that is, some things, were made, that is, mended, by him, that is, the apostles, in the beginning of the gospel, that is, after his ascension.” (5.) Our sense of the words is plain and obvious, Says the apostle, “He who was in the beginning, and was God, made all things;” which he first expresseth positively, and then by an universal negative confirms and explains what was before asserted in an universal affirmative, “Without him was not any thing made that was made.”

    And this is the sum of what they have to except against this part of our testimony, than which nothing can be more vain and frivolous.

    The 10th verse is also by them taken under consideration, and these words therein, “The world was made by him;” against which this is their procedure: — Q. What dost thou answer to the second?

    A. 1. That John doth not write here that the world was created, bat “made.” 2. He uses the same manner of speech which signifieth the mediate cause; for he saith “The world was made by him.” Lastly, This word mundus, the world, as others of the same import, doth not only denote heaven and earth, but, besides other significations, it either signifieth human kind, as the present place manifesteth, “He was in the world, and the world knew him not,” and John 12:19, or also future immortality, as Hebrews 1:6; which is to be understood of the world to come, as it appears from <580201> chap. 2, where he saith, “He hath not put the world to come into subjection to the angels, of which we speak,” but he had nowhere spoken of it but chap. 1:6. Furthermore, you have a place, chap. 10:5, where, speaking of Christ, he saith, “Wherefore coming into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not have, but a body,” etc.; where, seeing it is evident that he speaks of that world into which Jesus being entered was made our priest, as all the circumstances demonstrate, it appears that he speaks not of the present, but of the world to come, seeing, chap. 8:4, he had said of Christ, “If he were on earth he should not be a priest.’’ f272 The first two exceptions have been already cashiered; those which follow are of as little weight or consideration: for, — 1. It is confessed that the word “world” hath in Scripture various acceptations, and is sometimes taken for men in the world; but that it can be so taken when the world is said to be made or created, when it is equivalent to all things, when it is proposed as a place whereunto One comes, and where he is, as is the state of the expression here, there can nothing more absurd or foolish be imagined. 2. Hebrews 1:6 speaks not of the world to come, nor is there any place in the Scripture where the word “world” doth signify immortality or the world to come, nor any thing looking that way. Hebrews 2:5, mention is made not simply of the world, but of the “world to come;” nor doth that expression of the apostle relate unto that of chap. 1:6, where the word “world” is used, but to what goes before and after in the same chapter, where the thing itself is insisted on in other terms. Nor is future immortality intended there, by the “world to come,” but the present state of the Christian church, called the “world to come,” in reference to that of the Jews, which was past in that use of speech whereby it was expressed before it came; as also chap. 6:5. Nor is the “world to come” life eternal or blessed immortality; life is to be had in it, but “immortality” and the “world to come” are not the same. Nor is that world ever said to be made, nor is it anywhere described as made already, but as to come: as Matthew 12:32; Luke 18:30, Luke 20:35; Ephesians 1:21. Nor can it be said of the world to come that it knew not Christ, as it is of this that he made; nor can Christ be said to come into that world in the beginning, which he did not until after his resurrection; nor is the world to come that whereof it is said in the next verse, which expounds this, “He came ,eijv ta< i]dia ,” “to his own,” for then “his own,” oiJ i]dioi, “knew him not.” So that there is not the least color or pretense of this foppery that here they would evade the testimony of the Holy Ghost withal. 3. These words, Hebrews 10:5, “Coming into the world, he saith,” etc., do not in the least intimate any thing of the world to come, but express the present world, into which Christ came when God prepared a body for him at his incarnation and birth; which was in order to the sacrifice which he afterward offered in this world, as shall be evidently manifested when we come to the consideration of the priesthood of Christ.

    It remains only that we hear their sense of these words, which they give as followeth: — Q. But what dost thou understand by these words, “The world was made by him”?

    A. A twofold sense may be given of them: First, that human kind was reformed by Christ, and as it were made again, because he brought life, and that eternal, to human kind, which was lost, and was subject to eternal death (which also John upbraideth the world withal, which being vindicated by Christ from destruction acknowledged him not, but contemned and rejected him); for that is the manner of the Hebrew speech, that in such terms of speaking, the words to “make” and “create” are as much as to “make again” or to “create again,” because that tongue wants those words that are called compounds. The latter sense is, that that immortality which we expect is, as to us, made by Christ; as the same is called “the world to come” in respect of us, although it be present to Christ and the angels.” f273 1. That these expositions are destructive to one another is evident, and yet which of them to adhere unto our catechists know not, such good builders are they for to establish men in the faith. Pull down they will, though they have nothing to offer in the room of what they endeavor to destroy. 2. That the latter sense is not intended was before evinced. The world that was made in the beginning, into which Christ came, in which he was, which knew him not, which is said to be made, is a world, is not immortality or life eternal; nor is there any thing in the context that should in the least give countenance to such an absurd gloss. 3. Much less is the first sense of the words tolerable; for, — (1.) It is expressly contradictory to the text. “He made the world,” that is, he reformed it; and, “The world knew him not,” when the world is not reformed but by the knowledge of him! (2.) To be made doth nowhere simply signify to be renewed or reformed, unless it be joined with other expressions restraining its significancy to such renovation. (3.) The world was not renewed by Christ whilst he was in it; nor can it be said to be renewed by him only on the account of laying the foundation of its renovation in his doctrine. “‘By him the world was made;’ that is, he preached that doctrine whereby some in the world were to be reformed.”

    The world that Christ made knew him not; but the renewed world know him. 4. The Hebraism of “making” for “re-forming” is commonly pretended, without any instance for its confirmation. John wrote in Greek, which language abounds with compositions above any other in the world, and such as on all occasions he makes use of.

    There is one passage more that gives strength to the testimony insisted on, confirming the existence of Christ in his divine nature antecedently to his incarnation, and that is verse 14, “The Word was made flesh.” Who the Word is, and what, we have heard. He who was in the beginning, who was God, and was with God, who made all things, who made the world, in whom was light and life, he was made flesh, — flesh, so as that thereupon he dwelt amongst men, and conversed with them. How he was, and how he was said to be, made flesh, I have declared in the consideration of his eternal sonship, and shall not again insist thereon. This, after the interposition of sundry questions, our catechists take thus into consideration: — Q. How do they prove Christ to have been incarnate A. From those testimonies where, according to their translation, it is read, “The Word was made flesh,” John 1:14, etc.

    Q. How dost thou answer it?

    A. On this account, because in that testimony it is not said (as they speak) God was incarnate, or the divine nature assumed the human. “The Word was made flesh” is one thing, and God was incarnate, or the divine nature assumed the human, another. Besides, these words, “The Word was made flesh,” or rather, “The Speech was made flesh,” may and ought to be rendered, “The Word was flesh.” That it may be so rendered appears from the testimonies in which the word ejge>neto (which is here translated “was made”) is found rendered by the word” was,” as in this chapter, verse 6, and Luke 24:19, etc. Also, that it ought to be so rendered the order of John’s words teacheth, who should have spoken very inconveniently, “The Word was made flesh,” — that is, as our adversaries interpret it, the divine nature assumed the human, — after he had spoken those things of the Word which followed the nativity of the man Christ Jesus; such as are these, “John bare witness of him;” “he came into the world;” “he was not received of his own;” that “to them that received him, he gave power to become the sons of God “ f274 This is the last plea they use in this case. The dying groans of their perishing cause are in it, which will provide them neither with succor nor relief; for, — 1. It is not words or expressions that we contend about, Grant the thing pleaded for, and we will not contend with any living about the expressions wherein it is by any man delivered. By the “incarnation of the Son of God,” and by the “divine nature assuming the human,” we intend no more than what is here asserted, — the Word, who was God, was made flesh. 2. All they have to plead to the thing insisted on is, that the word ejge>neto may, yea ought to be, translated fuit, ”was,” and not factus est, “was made.”

    But, — (1.) Suppose it should be translated “was,” what would it avail them? He that was a man was made a man. In that sense it expresses what he was, but withal denotes how he came so to be. He who was the Word before was also a man. Let them show us any other way how he became so but only by being made so, and, upon a supposition of this new translation, they may obtain something. But, — (2.) How will they prove that it may be so much as rendered by fuit, “was.” They tell you it is so in two other places in the New Testament; but doth that prove that it may so much as be so rendered here? The proper sense and common usage of it is, “was made,” and because it is once or twice used in a peculiar sense, may it be so rendered here, where nothing requires that it be turned aside from its most usual acceptation, yea much enforcing it thereunto? (3.) That it ought to be rendered by fuit, “was,” they plead the mentioning before of things done after Christ’s incarnation (as we call it), so that it cannot be “He was made flesh.” But, — [1.] Will they say that this order is observed by the apostle, — that that which is first done is first expressed as to all particulars? What, then, becomes of their interpretation who say “The Word was made God by his exaltation, and made flesh in his humiliation?” and yet how much is that which in their sense was last expressed before that which went before it?

    Or will they say, in him was the life of man before he was made flesh, when the life of man, according to them, depends on his resurrection solely, which was after he ceased to be flesh in their sense? Or what conscience have these men, who in their disputes will object that to the interpretation of others which they must receive and embrace for the establishing of their own [2.] The order of the words is most proper. John having asserted the deity of Christ, with some general concomitants and consequences of the dispensation wherein he undertakes to be a mediator, in his 14th verse enters particularly upon a description of his entrance upon his employment, and his carrying it on, by the revelation of the will of God; so that without either difficulty or straining, the sense and intendment of the Holy Ghost falls in clearly in the words. 3. It is evident that the word neither may nor ought to be translated according to their desire; for, — (1.) It being so often said before that the Word was, the word is still h+n , and not ejge>neto. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;” — the same was. “He was in the world, he was the light;” — still the same word. So that if no more were intended but what was before expressed, the terms would not be changed without exceedingly obscuring the sense; and therefore ejge>neto must signify somewhat more than h+n . (2.) The word ejge>neto, applied to other things in this very place, denotes their making or their original; which our catechists did not question in the consideration of the places where it is so used: as verse 3, “All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made ;” and verse 10, “The world was made by him.” (3.) This phrase is expounded accordingly in other places: as Romans 1:3, Tou~ genome>nou ejk spe>rmatov Dabirka, — “Made of the seed of David according to the flesh;” and Galatians 4:4, Geno>menon ejk gunaiko>v, “Made of a woman.” But they think to salve all by the ensuing exposition of these words: — Q. How is that to be understood, “The Word was flesh?” A. That he by whom God perfectly revealed all his will, who is therefore called “Sermo” by John, was a man, subject to all miseries and afflictions, and lastly to death itself: for the Scripture useth the word “flesh” in that sense, as is clear from those places where God speaks, “My Spirit shall not always contend with man, seeing he is flesh,” Genesis 6:3; and Peter, “All flesh is grass,” 1 Peter 1:24. f275 This is the upshot of our catechists’ exposition of this first chapter of John, as to the person of Christ; which is, — 1. Absurd, upon their own suppositions; for the testimonies produced affirm every man to be flesh, so that to say he is a man is to say he is flesh, and to say that man was flesh is to say that a man was a man, inasmuch as every man is flesh. 2. False, and no way fitted to the intendment of the Holy Ghost; for he was made flesh antecedently to his dwelling amongst us; which immediately follows in the text. Nor is his being made flesh suited to any thing in this place but his conversation with men; which answers his incarnation, not his mediation; neither is this exposition confirmed by any instance from the Scriptures of the like expression used concerning Jesus Christ, as that we urge is, Romans 1:3, Galatians 4:4, and other places. The place evidently affirms the Word to be made something that he was not before, when he was the Word only, and cannot be affirmed of him as he was man, in which sense he was always obnoxious to miseries and death.

    And this is all which our catechists, in several places, have thought meet to insist on, by way of exception or opposition to our undeniable and manifest testimonies from this first chapter of John unto the great and sacred truth contended for; which I have at large insisted on, that the reader from this one instance may take a taste of their dealing in the rest, and of the desperateness of the cause which they have undertaken, driving them to such desperate shifts for the maintenance and protection of it. In the residue I shall be more brief. John 6:62 is in the next place taken into consideration. The words are, “What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?”

    What we intend from hence, and the force of the argument from this testimony insisted on, will the better appear if we add unto it those other places of Scripture wherein the same thing is more expressly and emphatically affirmed; which our catechists cast (or some of them) quite into another place, on pretence of the method wherein they proceed, but indeed to take off from the evidence of the testimony, as they deal with what we plead from John 1. The places I intend are: — John 3:13, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” Verse 31, “He that cometh from above is above all: he that cometh from heaven is above all.” Chap. 8:23, “Ye are from beneath; I am from above.” Chap. 16:28, “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the World: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.”

    Hence we thus argue: — He that was in heaven before he was on the earth, and who was also in heaven whilst he was on the earth, is the eternal God; but this doth Jesus Christ abundantly confirm concerning himself: therefore he is the eternal God, blessed for ever.

    In answer to the first place our catechists thus proceed: — Q. What answerest thou to the second testimony, John 6:62?

    A. Neither is here any mention made expressly of pre-eternity; for in this place the Scripture witnesseth that the Son of man, that is a man, was in heaven, who without all controversy was not eternally pre-existent. f276 So they. 1. It is expressly affirmed that Christ was in heaven before his coming into the world. And if we evince his pre-existence to his incarnation against the Socinians, the task will not be difficult to prove that pre-existence to be in an eternal divine nature against the Arians. It is sufficient, as to our intendment in producing this testimony, that it is affirmed that Christ h+n pro>teron in heaven before his coming forth into the world; in what nature we elsewhere prove. 2. It is said, indeed, that the Son of man was in heaven; which makes it evident that he who is the Son of man hath another nature besides that wherein he is the Son of man, wherein he is the Son of God. And by affirming that the Son of man was in heaven before, it doth no more assert that he was eternal and in heaven in that nature wherein he is the Son of man, than the affirmation that God redeemed his church with his own blood doth prove that the blood shed was the blood of the divine nature.

    Both the affirmations are concerning the person of Christ. As he who was God shed his blood as he was man, so he who was man was eternal and in heaven as he was God. So that the answer doth merely beg the thing in question, namely, that Christ is not God and man in one person. 3. The insinuation here of Christ’s being in heaven as man before his ascension mentioned in Scripture, shall be considered when we come to the proposal made of that figment by Mr. B., in his chapter of the prophetical office of Christ. In answer to the other testimonies cited, they thus proceed, towards the latter end of their chapter concerning the person of Christ: — Q. What answerest thou to John 3:13, John 10:36, John 16:28, John 17:18?

    A. That a divine nature is not here proved appeareth, because the words of the first testimony. “He came down from heaven,” may be received figuratively: as James 1:17, “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights;” and Revelation 21:2,10, “I saw the holy city Jerusalem coming down from God.” But if the words be taken properly, which we willingly admit, it appears that they are not spoken of any other than the Son of man, who, seeing he hath necessarily a human person, cannot by nature be God. Moreover, for what the Scripture witnesseth of Christ, that the Father sent him into the world, the same we read of the apostles of Christ in the same words above alleged; as John 17:18, “As thou hast sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” And these words, “Christ came forth from the Father,” are of the same impart with “He descended from heaven.” “To come into the world” is of that sort as the Scripture manifests to have been after the nativity of Christ, John 18:37, where the Lord himself says,” For this I am born, and come into the world, that I might bear witness to the truth;” and 1 John 4:1, it is written, “Many false prophets are gone forth into the world.” Wherefore from this kind of speaking a divine nature in Christ cannot be proved; but in all these speeches only what was the divine original of the office of Christ is described. f277 1. That these expressions are merely figuratively to be expounded they dare not assert; nor is there any color given that they may be so received from the instances produced from James 1:17 and Revelation 21:2,10; for there is only mention made of descending or coming down, which word we insist not on by itself, but as it is conjoined with the testimony of his being in heaven before his descending, which takes off all pretense of a parity of reason in the places compared. 2. All that follows is a perfect begging of the thing in question. Because Christ is the Son of man, it follows that he is a true man, but not that he hath the personality of a man, or a human personality. Personality belongs not to the essence but to the existence of a man. So that here they do but repeat their own hypothesis in answer to an express testimony of Scripture against it Their confession of the proper use of the word is but to give color to the figment formerly intimated; which shall be in due place (God assisting) discovered. 3. They utterly omit and take no notice of that place where Christ says he so came from heaven as that he was still in heaven; nor do they mention any thing of that which we lay greatest weight on, — of his affirming that he was in heaven before, — but merely insist on the word “descending” or “coming down;” and yet they can no other way deal with that neither but by begging the thing in question. 4. We do not argue merely from the words of Christ’s being sent into the world, but in this conjunct consideration that he was so sent into the world as that he was in heaven before, and so came forth from the Father, and was with him in heaven before his coming forth; and this our catechists thought good to oversee. 5. The difference of Christ’s being sent into the world, and the apostles by him, which they parallel as to the purpose in hand, lies in this, that Christ was so sent of the Father that he came forth from the Father, and was with him in heaven before his sending; which proves him to have another nature than that wherein he was sent, The similitude alleged consists quite in other things. Neither, — 6. Doth the scripture in John 18:37 testify that Christ’s sending into the world was after his nativity, but only that the end of them both was to “bear witness to the truth,” And, indeed, “I was born,” and “came into the world,” are but the same, the one being exegetical of the other. But his being born and his coming into the world are, in the testimonies cited, plainly asserted in reference to an existence that he had in heaven before.

    And thus as our argument is not at all touched in this answer, so is their answer closed as it began, with the begging of that which is not only questioned but sufficiently disproved, — namely, that Christ was, in his human nature, taken up into heaven and instructed in the will of God before his entrance upon his prophetical office.

    And this is the whole of what they have to except against this evident testimony of the divine nature of Christ. He was in heaven with the Father before he came forth from the Father, or was sent into the world, and kata< a]llo kai< a]llo , was in heaven when he was on the earth, and at his ascension returned thither where he was before. And so much for the vindication of this second testimony. John 6:62 is the second place I can meet with, in all the annotations of Grotius, wherein he seems to assert the union of the human nature of Christ with the eternal Word, — if he do so. It is not with the man that I have any difference, nor do I impose any thing on him for his judgment; I only take liberty, having so great cause given, to discuss his Annotations.

    There remains one more of the first rank, as they are sorted by our catechists, for the proof of the eternity of Christ, which is also from John, chap. 8:58, “Before Abraham was, I am,” that they insist on: — In this place the pre-eternity of Christ is not only not expressed, seeing it is one thing to be before Abraham, and another to be eternal, but also, it is not so much as expressed that he was before the Virgin Mary. For these words may otherwise be read, namely, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was made, I am;” as it appears from those places in the same evangelist where the like Greek phrase is used, chap. 13:19, 14:29.

    Q. What then would be the sense of this reading?

    A. Very eminent. For Christ admonisheth the Jews, who would have ensnared him in his speech, that whilst they had time, they should believe in him as the light of the world, before the divine grace which Christ offered to them should be taken from them and be carried to the Gentiles.

    But that these words, “I am,” are to be supplied in that manner as if himself had added to them, “I am the light of the world,” appears, because that in the beginning of his speech, verse 12, he had twice in these words, “I am,” called himself the light of the world, verses 24, 28. And that these words, “Before Abraham be,” do signify that which we have said, may be perceived from the notation of that word “Abraham;” for it is evident that “Abraham” denotes “the father of many nations.” Seeing, then, that Abram was not made Abraham before the grace of God manifested in Christ redounded to many nations, for Abraham before was the father of one nation only, it appears that that is the very sense of the words which we have given. f278 If our adversaries can well quit themselves of this evidence, I believe they will have no small hopes of escaping in the whole trial; and if they meet with judges so partially addicted to them and their cause as to accept of such manifest juggling and perverting of the Scriptures, I know not what they may not expect or hope for, especially seeing how they exult and triumph in this invention, as may be seen in the words of Socinus himself in his answer to Erasmus Johannes, p. 67. For whereas Erasmus says, “I confess in my whole life I never met with any interpretation of Scripture more wrested, or violently perverting the sense of it;” the other replies, “I hoped rather that thou wouldst confess that in thy whole life thou hadst never heard an interpretation more acute and true than this, nor which did savor more of somewhat divine, or evidenced more clearly its revelation from God. I truly have not light conjectures that he who brought it first to light in our age (now this was he who in this age renewed the opinion of the original of Christ, which I constantly defend)” (that is, his uncle Laelius) “obtained it of Christ by many prayers. This truly I do affirm, that whereas God revealed many things to that man at that time altogether unknown to others, yet there is scarce any thing amongst them all that may seem more divine than this interpretation.’’ f279 Of this esteem is this interpretation of these words with them. They profess it to be one of the best and most divine discoveries that ever was made by them; whereto, for my part, I freely assent, though withal I believe it to be as violent a perverting of the Scripture and corrupting of the word of God as the world can bear witness to.

    Let the Christian reader, without the least prejudicial thought from the interpretation of this or that man, consult the text and context. The head of the discourse which gives occasion to these words of Christ concerning himself lies evidently and undeniably in verse 51, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.”

    Upon this the Jews rise up against him, as one that boasted of himself above measure, and preferred himself before his betters: Verse 52, “Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death;” and, verse 53, “Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?”

    Two things are here charged on him by the Jews: First, in general, That he preferred, exalted, and honored himself. Secondly, in particular, That he made himself better than Abraham their father. To both which charges Christ answers in order in the following word’s. 1. To the first or general charge of honoring himself: Verses 54, 55, “Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoreth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God. Ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.”

    His honor he had from God, whom they professed [to know,] but knew not. 2. To that of Abraham he replies, verse 56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad;” — “Though Abraham was so truly great, and the friend of God, yet his great joy was from his belief in me, whereby he saw my day.” To this the Jews reply, laboring to convince him of a falsehood, from the impossibility of the thing that he had asserted, verse 57, “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?” — “Abraham was dead so many hundred years before thou wast born, how couldst thou see him, or he thee?”

    To this, in the last place, our Savior replies, verse 58, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

    The Jews knowing that by these words he asserted his deity, and that it was impossible on any other account to make good that he, who in their esteem was not fifty years old (indeed but a little above thirty), should be before Abraham, as in a case of blasphemy, they take up stones to stone him, verse 59, as was their perpetual manner, to attempt to kill him under pretense of blasphemy, when he asserted his deity; as John 5:18, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”

    This naked and unprejudicate view of the text is sufficient to obviate all the operose and sophistical exceptions of our catechists, so that I shall not need long to insist upon them. That which we have asserted may be thus proposed: He who in respect of his human nature was many hundred years after Abraham, yet was in another respect existing before him; he had an existence before his birth, as to his divine nature. Now this doth Christ expressly affirm concerning himself; and nothing else is pretended but only his divine nature wherein he should so exist. They say, then, — 1. That these words do not signify pre-eternity, but only something before Abraham. It is enough that his existence so many hundred years before his nativity is evidently asserted; his eternity from thence will evidently be concluded; and they will not deny that he may as well be eternal as be before Abraham. But, — 2. The words may be rendered, “Priusquam Abraham fiat, ego sum,” “Before Abraham be made.” But that they may be so rendered is no proof at all that they ought to be so; and, as was before observed, if this be sufficient to evade the sense of a place, that any word in it may be otherwise rendered, because it is or may be so in some other place, nothing certain can be concluded from any testimony of the Scriptures whatever.

    But that they may not be so rendered is evident, — (1.) From the context, as before declared; (2.) From the opposition between ejgw> eijmi , “I am,” and “Abraham was,” which evidently denotes a time past, as it stands in comparison with what Christ says of himself; and, (3.) The words in such a construction as this require an interpretation as to the time past; and, (4.) Because this interpretation of the words corrupts the whole sense of the place, and wrests it contrary to the design and intendment of our Savior. But then they say, — 3. “The sense is excellent; for ‘Before Abraham be made’ is as much as before he be Abraham, or the father of many nations, which he was when the gospel was preached to the conversion of the Gentiles. ‘I am,’ that is, ‘I am the light of the world,’ which you should do well to walk in and attend unto.’“ (1.) That this interpretation in general is altogether alien and strange from the scope of the place, the Christian reader, upon the bare view of it, will be able to judge. (2.) It is false: — [1.] Because Abraham was the father of many nations, Jews and proselytes, before the preaching of the gospel, as Genesis 15:5. [2.] It is false that Abram was not Abraham until after the ascension of Christ and preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles, He was made Abraham from his first enjoyment of his name and seed in Isaac, and is constantly so called. [3.] It is frivolous; for if Christ was before Abram was made Abraham, we obtain what we plead for, for he was made so when God gave him that name. But it should be, “Before Abram be made Abraham,” or there is no sense in the words; nor then neither, unless Abraham be taken as a common appellative for “the father of many nations,” and not as a proper name, whereof in Scripture there is not any example. [4.] It is horribly wrested, — 1st . In making the words “I am” elliptical, whereas there is neither need of nor color for such a pretense. 2dly. In supplying the feigned ellipsis with a word at such a distance as from verse 12 to verse 58. 3dly. In making Christ to say he is the light of the world before the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles, when the “world” is everywhere in the gospel taken quite in another sense, for the Jews and Gentiles, and not for the Jews only, which according to this interpretation it must be. 4thly. It leaves no reason of the following attempt of the Jews to stone him, upon the particular provocation of this assertion, he having before affirmed himself to be the light of the world, which they were not moved at. There is indeed no end of the falsities, follies, and corruptions of this perverting and corrupting of the word of God.

    For the grammatical vindication of the words, and the translation of the word gene>sqai in a sense of that which is past, there is no occasion administered by our catechists; and therefore I shall not trouble the reader therewith.

    And of the first sort of testimonies which they except against, and their exceptions, thus far.

    A little animadversion upon the catechists’ good friend Grotius shuts up this discourse and chapter. In the end he agrees with them, but fixes on a new medium for the accomplishment of it, not daring to espouse an interpretation so absurd in itself, and so abhorrent from the common sense of all men that ever professed the name of Christ. He takes, then, another course, yet no less aiming than they to disappoint this evidence of the pre- existence of Christ before his nativity. “ Prisqai , antequam esset,” saith he, “before he was;” and he gives many instances to prove the propriety of so translating that expression: “‘ Egw> eijmi , praesens pro imperfecto, eram, Syrus; Egw< pe>lon , Nonnus. Sic in Graeco: Psalm 90:2, Pro< tou~ genhqh~nai su< ei= .” Very good: before Abraham was, or was born, Christ was; as in that of the psalm, “Before the mountains were made, thou art.” And, a little to help a friend at so good a work, it is no new thing for this evangelist to use the present for the preterimperfect tense; as chap. 14:9, Tosou~ton cro>non meq uJmw~n ejimi kai< oujk e]gnwka>v me — “I am so long,” for “I was,” or “I have been so long with you,” etc. And chap. 15:27, Oti ajp ajrch~v met ejmou~ ejste — “Because ye have been with me from the beginning.” Thus far, then, we are agreed. But how should this be, that Christ thus was before Abraham was? “Fuerat,” saith he, “autem ante Abrabarnum Jesus divina constitutione;” — “In God’s appointment Jesus was before Abraham was born.” Yea, and so was Grotius, and Socinus, and every man in the world; for “known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” And this is that great privilege, it seems, that our Savior vindicates to himself, without any occasion, to no purpose, insisting on that which is common to him with all the elect of God in the best sense of the words! Of that other text of Scripture, John 17:5, which together with this he labors to corrupt, I shall speak afterward. I shall only add, that our great doctors do not in this business agree. Grotius here makes no mention of Socinus’ gloss, and Socinus beforehand rejects this of Grotius as absurd and fond; and as such let it pass, as having no occasion given from the words foregoing, nor color from the matter or phrase of words, nor significancy to the business in hand.

    CHAPTER 9. The pre-eternity of Christ farther evinced — Sundry texts of Scripture vindicated. IN the consideration of the ensuing testimonies, I shall content myself with more brief observations upon and discoveries of the corruptions of our adversaries, having given a large testimony thereof in the chapter foregoing.

    Thus, then, they proceed: — Ques. What are the testimonies of Scripture wherein they think that this pre-eternity of Christ is not indeed expressed, but yet may thence be proved?

    Ans. Those which seem to attribute to the Lord Jesus some things from eternity, and some things in a certain and determinate time. f280 Let the gentlemen take their own way and method; we shall meet with them at the first stile, or rather brazen wall, which they endeavor to climb over.

    Q. What are the testimonies which seem to attribute some things to the Lord Jesus from eternity?

    A. They are those from which they endeavor to confirm that Christ was begotten from eternity of the essence of his Father. f281 These are some of the places wherein this property of the Godhead, eternity, is ascribed to our Savior, it is confessed.

    Q. But from what places do they endeavor to prove that Christ was from eternity begotten of the essence of his Father?

    A. From these chiefly, Micah 5:2; Psalm 2:7, <19B003> Psalm 110:3; Proverbs 8:23. f282 1. These are only some of the testimonies that are used to this purpose. 2. It is enough to prove Christ eternal if we prove him begotten of his Father, for no such thing can be new in God. 3. That he is the only-begotten Son of the Father, which is of the same import with that here opposed by our catechists, hath been before declared and proved, chap. 7.

    Q. But how must we answer these testimonies?

    A. Before I answer to each testimony, it is to be known that this generation of the essence of the Father is impossible; for if Christ were begotten of the essence of his Father, either he took his whole essence or but part. Part of his essence he could not take, for the divine essence is impartible; nor the whole, for it being one in number is incommunicable. f283 And this is the fruit of measuring spiritual things by carnal, infinite by finite, God by ourselves, the object of faith by corrupted rules of corrupted reason. But, — 1. That which God hath revealed to be so is not impossible to be so. f284 Let God be true, and all men liars. That this is revealed hath been undeniably evinced. 2. What is impossible in finite, limited essences, may be possible and convenient to that which is infinite and unlimited, as is that whereof we speak. 3. It is not impossible, in the sense wherein that word must here be used, if any thing be signified by it. “It is not, it cannot be so in limited things, therefore not in things infinite;” — “We cannot comprehend it, therefore it cannot be so;” — “But the nature of the thing about which it is is inconsistent with it,” This is denied, for God hath revealed the contrary. 4. For the parting of the divine essence, or receiving a part of the divine essence, our catechists might have left it out, as having none to push at with it, none standing in the way of that horn of their dilemma. 5. We say, then, that in the eternal generation of the Son, the whole essence of the Father is communicated to the Son as to a personal existence in the same essence, without multiplication or division of it, the same essence continuing still one in number; and this without the least show of impossibility in an infinite essence, all the arguments that lie against it being taken from the properties and attendancies of that which is finite.

    Come we to the particular testimonies. The first is Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting,” or “the days of eternity.”

    Q. How must this first testimony of the Scripture be answered?

    A. This testimony hath nothing at all of his generation of the essence of his Father, and a pre-eternal generation it no way proves; for here is mention of beginning and days, which in eternity have no place. And those words, which in the Vulgar are “from the days of eternity,” in the Hebrew are “from the days of seculi,” — the days of an age; and “dies seculi” are the same with “dies antiqui,” as Isaiah 63:9,11; Malachi 3:4. The sense of this place is, that Christ should have the original of his nativity from the beginning, and from the ancient years; that is, from that time wherein God established a king among his people, which was done really in David, who was a Bethlehemite, and the author of the stock and family of Christ.’

    Ans. 1. Who necessitated our catechists to urge this place to prove the generation of Christ, when it is used only to prove his generation to be eternal, the thing itself being proved by other testimonies in abundance?

    That he was begotten of the Father is confessed; that he was begotten of the essence of his Father was before proved. Yea, that which is here called wyt;aOx;/m , his “goings forth,” is his generation of his Father, or somewhat else that our adversaries can assign; that it is not the latter shall immediately be evinced. 2. Here is no mention of the µd,Q,mi , “beginning;” and those who in the latter words reject the Vulgar edition cannot honestly insist on the former from thence because it serves their turn. Yet how that word is sometimes used, and in what sense it may be so, where “eternity’’ is intended, hath been declared in the last chapter. 3. That “days” are not used with and to express “eternity” in Scripture, though strictly there be no days or time in eternity, is absurd negligence and confidence to affirm: Job 10:5, “Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man’s days?” Hence God is called “The Ancient of days,” Daniel 7:9. “Thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail,” Hebrews 1:12. 4. For the word gnolam [ µl;/[ ], translated “seculi,” it hath in the Scripture various significations. It comes from a word signifying “to hide,” and denotes an unknown, hidden duration. Principally “perpetuum, aeternum, sempiternum,” — that which is pre-eternal and eternal.

    Sometimes a very long time, Genesis 9:12, and verse 16, that is perpetual: so Genesis 17:13, and in other places, with a reference to the sovereignty of God. Genesis 21:33, it is ascribed to God as a property of his, and signifies “eternal,” Jehova gnolam [ µl;/[ hw;hy] ]: so Psalm 89:2, as also Isaiah 45:17. Let all places where the word in Scripture in this sense is used be reckoned up (which are above three hundred), and it will appear that in far the greatest number of them it signifies absolutely “eternity.” In the places of Isaiah 63:9,11, and Malachi 3:4, only a long time, indeed, is signified, but yet that which reaches to the utmost of the thing or matter treated of. And upon the same rule, where it is put absolutely it signifies “eternity.” So doth ajiw>n in the New Testament, by which the LXX. often render gnolam [ µl;/[ ]; whence pro< cro>nwn aijwni>wn may be “from eternity,” 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2; wherein, also, with a like expression to that under consideration, the “times of eternity” are mentioned, though perhaps with a peculiar respect to something at the beginning of the world. This, then, is here expressed: He that was in the fullness of time born at Bethlehem, had his goings forth from the Father from eternity. 5. The pretended sense of our adversaries is a bold corruption of the text; for, — (1.) It applies that to David and his being born at Bethlehem which the Holy Ghost expressly applies to Jesus Christ, Matthew 2:5,6, and John 7:42. (2.) The goings forth of Christ in this sense are no more from everlasting than every other man’s who is from Adam, when yet this is peculiarly spoken of him, by way of incomparable eminency. (3.) They cannot give any one instance of the like expression, — that “his goings forth are from eternity” should signify he had his original from an ancient stock. (4.) If only Christ’s original of the tribe of Judah and of the house of David were intended, why was not that expressed in plain terms, as it is in other places, and as the place of his birth, namely, Bethlehem, is in this? So that we have already met our catechists and stopped them at this wall, their attempt at it being very faint and absurd. And yet this is the sum of what is pleaded by Socinus against Weik, cap. 7 p. 424; Smalcius against Smiglecius, cap. 26; Ostorod. InsTitus cap. 7, with the rest of them. He, then, who was born at Bethlehem in the fullness of time, of the house of David as concerning the flesh, Romans 1:3, had also his “goings forth,” his birth or generation of the Father, “of old, from the days of eternity;” which is that which this testimony confirms.

    Grotius on this place, according to his wont, outgoes his companions one step at least (as he was a bold man at conjectures), and applies this prophecy to Zerubbabel: “Natus ex Bethlehemo Zorobabel recte dicitur, quod ex Davidis familia esset, quae orta Bethlehemo;” — “Zerubbabel is rightly said to be born at Bethlehem, being of the family of David, which had its original from Bethlehem.’’ That Zerubbabel is here at all intended he doth not attempt to prove, either from the text, context, circumstances of the place, design of the prophecy, or any thing else that might give light into the intendment of the Holy Ghost. That it belongs properly to Christ we have a better interpreter to assure us than Grotius or any of his rabbins, Matthew 2:4-6. I know that in his annotations on that place he allows the accommodation of the words to Christ; but we cannot allow them to be spoken of any other, the Holy Ghost expressly fitting them to him. And if Zerubbahel, who was bern at Babylon, may be said to be born at Bethlehem because David, from whom he descended, was bern there, what need all that labor and trouble that our Savior might be bern at Bethlehem? If it could not be said of Christ that he was born at Bethlehem, though he were of the lineage of David, unless he had actually been born there indeed, certainly Zerubbabel, who was born at Babylon, could not be said, on the account of his progenitor five hundred years before, to be born there.

    For the second part of this text, or the words we insist on for the proof of our intention, he useth the same shift in the same words with our catechists, “Origo ipsi ab olim, a temporibus longis; id est, originem trahit a domo illustri antiquitus, et per quingentos annos regnatrice;” “His original is from of old, from a long time; that is, he hath his original from an ancient illustrious house that had reigned five hundred years.”

    Of the sense of the words I have spoken before. I shall only add, that the use of this note is to confute the other; for if his being born at Bethlehem signify his being of the family of David, and nothing else, he being not indeed bern there, what need this addition, if these obscure words signify no more but what was spoken before? Yea, and herein the learned man forsaketh his masters, all generally concluding that it is the Messiah who is here alone intended. The Chaldee paraphrast expressly puts in the name of Messiah. His words are, “Out of thee shall the Messiah come forth before me.” And some of them do mystically interpret kedem [ µd,q, ] of the mind of God, from whence the word or wisdom of God is brought forth; because, as they say, the word denotes the first numeration of the crown, or of that name of God which signifies his essence.

    The second is Psalm 2:7, “TheLORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”

    Q. To this second what is to be answered?

    A. Neither in that is there any thing of generation of the essence of the Father. nor of a pre-eternal generation; for the word “to-day,” signifying a certain time, cannot denote pre-eternity. But that God begot him doth not evince that he was begotten of his essence; which appears from hence, 1. That the same words, “This day have I begotten thee,” are in the first sense used of David, who was begotten neither from eternity nor of the essence of the Father. 2. Because the apostle Paul brings these words to prove the resurrection of Christ, Acts 13:33. And the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews cites them for the glorifying of the Lord Jesus, Hebrews 1:5, and 5:5. And lastly, from hence, that it is manifest that God otherwise begets than by his essence, seeing the Scripture declares believers to be begotten of God, as is to be seen, John 1:13; 1 John 3:9; James 1:18. f287 1. There is mention in these words of Christ’s generation of his Father, of being “begotten” of him before his incarnation, this being spoken of him under the old testament; and to deny that there is any such thing in the text as that which, upon this consideration, we urge it to prove, is only to beg the thing in question. 2. “This day,” being spoken of God, of him who is eternal, to whom all time is so present as that nothing is properly yesterday nor today, does not denote necessarily such a proportion of time as is intimated, but is expressive of an act eternally present, nor past nor future. 3. It cannot be proved that these words are spoken at all of David so much as typically, nor any thing else in that psalm from verse? to the end: yea, the contrary is evident from every verse following, especially the 12th, where kings and rulers are called to worship him of whom he speaks, and threatened with destruction if they do not; and they are pronounced blessed who put their trust in him; which cannot be spoken of David, God declaring them to be cursed who put their trust in man, Jeremiah 17:5-8. 4. It is granted that the apostle makes use of these words when he mentions the resurrection and exaltation of Christ; not that Christ was then begotten, but that he was then declared to be the only-begotten Son of God, his resurrection and exaltation being manifestations of his sonship, not causes of his filiation, as hath been at large declared. So the sun is said to arise when it doth first to us appear. 5. True, “God hath other sons, and believers are said to be begotten of God;” but how? By regeneration, and turning from sin, as in the places quoted is evident That Christ is so begotten of God is blasphemous once to imagine. Besides, he is the only-begotten Son of the Father, so that no other is begotten with a generation of the same kind with him. It is evident, then, by this testimony, and from these words, that Christ is so the Son of God as no angels are his sons in the same kind: for that the apostle produceth these words to prove, Hebrews 1:5, “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?”

    Now, the angels are the sons of God by creation, Job 1:6, 38:7. He is also such a Son and so begotten as believers are not; for they are begotten by regeneration from sin and adoption into the family of God. Therefore Christ, who is the Son of God in another kind than angels and men, who are so by creation, regeneration, and adoption, is the natural Son of God by eternal generation; which is also proved from this place.

    In this whole psalm Grotius takes no notice of Jesus Christ: in. deed, in the entrance he tells us that a mystical and abstruse sense of it may belong to Christ, and so the rabbins acknowledge, and so the apostle took it; f288 but throughout the whole doth he not make the least application of it to Christ, but merely to David, although so many passages of it are urged in the New Testament to have had their accomplishment in Christ and the things which concerned him. These words, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” he says may be thus rendered, “O fili mi, hodie (id est, hoc tempore) ego to genui: novam vitam, scilicet regalem tibi contuli.”

    But, 1. That the words may not aptly be so translated, that they are not so rendered by the apostle, Hebrews 1:5, he knew well enough, hT;aæ yniB] is filius meus tu, not fili mi. Nor doth the rendering of it by the vocative any way answer the words going before, “‘I will declare the decree: the\parLORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son:’ that is the thing I will declare.” 2. That “hodie” should be “hoc tempore,” relating to any certain time of David’s reign, cannot be reconciled to the apostle’s application of that expression on sundry occasions, as hath been manifested. 3. “I have given thee a ‘new or a regal life,’“ is somewhat an uncouth exposition of “genui re,” without warrant, without reason or argument; and it is inconsistent with the time of the psalm’s writing, according to Grotius himself. He refers it to 2 Samuel 8, when David had been king over Israel many years.

    To serve his hypothesis, the last two verses are miserably wrested. The command of worshipping Christ, verse 12, is a command of doing homage to David! And the last verse is thus glossed, “Beati omnes qui confidunt in eo, i.e., qui fidei ejus regis (id est, meae) se permittunt.” “They are blessed,” says David, “who commit themselves to my faith and care.”

    Doubtless the thought of any such thing was as remote from the heart of the holy man as this gloss is from the sense of the place. That they are blessed who trust in the Lord, that is, “commit themselves to his care,” he everywhere declareth, yea, this he makes always the property of a blessed man; but that they are so who trust in him, not the least word to that purpose did the holy person ever utter. He knew they are cursed of God who put their trust in man. The word here is yse/j , from hs;j; , “to repair to any one for protection;’ and it is used to express our trusting in God, Psalm 18:30, as also Psalm 31:19, on which men are frequently pronounced blessed; but that it should be applied to David, and a blessing annexed thereunto, we were to learn.

    The third testimony, of <19B003> Psalm 110:3, we pass over with our adversaries, as not to the purpose in hand, being a mistake of the Vulgar Latin.

    The fourth is Proverbs 8:23, “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.”

    Q. What dost thou answer to this testimony?

    A. That thou mayst understand the matter the better, know that from this place they thus dispute: “The Wisdom of God is begotten from eternity; Christ is the Wisdom of God: therefore he is begotten from eternity, Corinthians 1:24.” That this argument is not firm appears from hence, that, — 1. Solomon treats of wisdom simply and absolutely considered, without the addition of the word “God;” Paul not simply and absolutely, but with the addition of the word “God.” 2. Solomon treats of wisdom, which neither is a person nor can be, as appears from the diverse effects ascribed to this wisdom, chapters 7, 8, 9; amongst which are these words, “By me kings rule, and princes decree righteousness;” and in the beginning of the 9th chapter, he brings in wisdom sending her maidens, and inviting all to her: but Paul treateth of that Wisdom which is a person. 3. The words which are rendered “from everlasting,” in the Hebrew are “a seculo;” but that “from everlasting” and “a seculo” are diverse, Isaiah 64:4, Jeremiah 2:20, Luke 1:70, with many like places, do declare. f289 1. Our argument hence is: “Christ, the second person of the Trinity, is spoken of, Proverbs 8:23, under the name of Wisdom; now, it is said expressly there of Wisdom that it was ‘begotten from everlasting:’ and therefore the eternal generation of Christ is hence confirmed.” Our reasons are: — (1.) Because the things here spoken of can be applied to no other. (2.) Because the very same things are affirmed of Christ, John 1:1. (3.) Because Christ is the Wisdom of God, and so called in the Scripture, not only in the expression of oJ Lo>gov , but rJhtw~v , 1 Corinthians 1:30. (4.) That by Wisdom Solomon intended the Wisdom of God, and that that word may be supplied, is most evident from what is spoken of it. Let the place be read. (5.) Christ is called not only the “Wisdom of God,” but also Wisdom absolutely and simply; and that not only Proverbs 1:20, but Matthew 11:19. (6.) The Wisdom that Solomon treats of is evidently a person, and such things are ascribed thereunto as can be proper to none but a person. Such are these, chap. 8:30, 31, “I was by him, one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth,” etc. That it is the same wisdom spoken of <200701> chap. 7 and here is not evident; yet is there not any thing in that attributed to it but what suits well unto a person, — much less in the beginning of the 9th chapter, the invitation there being such as may be made by a person only.

    It is a person who sends out messengers to invite to a banquet, as Christ doth in the gospel. “Kings rule and princes decree justice” by the authority of a person, and without him they can do nothing. 2. The word translated “from everlasting” is the same with that considered before, Micah 5:2. The words following do so evidently confirm the meaning of the word to be as expressed that it is marvellous the gentlemen durst venture upon the exception in this place: “TheLORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old;” that is, before the creation, as is at large expounded, verses 23-29.

    And this is all, the whole sum of what any of our adversaries, or rather the adversaries of Jesus Christ, have to object in their cause against these testimonies; whence we thus argue: — He who was begotten of God the Father with an eternal generation is eternal, and so, consequently, God; but so is Jesus Christ begotten of God the Father with an eternal generation: therefore he is eternal, and God blessed for ever.

    To clear what hath been spoken, I shall close my considerations of this text of Scripture with a brief parallel between what is spoken in this place of Wisdom and what is asserted of Jesus Christ in the New Testament: — 1. It is Wisdom that is spoken of: so is Christ, Matthew 11:19; Corinthians 1:24; Colossians 2:3. 2. “Wisdom was set up from everlasting,” chap. 8:23: “Grace is given in Christ, pro< cro>nwn aijwni>wn , from everlasting,” 2 Timothy 1:9; “He is the beginning,” Colossians 1:18; “The first and the last,” Revelation 1:17. 3. “TheLORD possessed me in the beginning of his way,” says Wisdom, verse 23: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,” John 1:1. 4. “Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth,” verse 25: “He is the first-born of every creature,” Colossians 1:15; “He is before all,” verse 17. 5. “I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him,” verse 30: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” Matthew 3:17; “The only-begotten Son is in the bosom of the Father,” John 1:18. 6. “By me kings reign, and princes,” etc, verses 15, 16: He is “the Prince of the kings of the earth,” Revelation 1:5; the “King of kings, and Lord of lords,” Revelation 19:16. 7. “Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men,” verse 31: “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father,” John 1:14. 8. Compare also verse 34 with John 13:17, Luke 11:28, John 10:9; and verses 35, 36 with John 6:44,47. And many the like instances might be given.

    Grotius takes no notice of Christ in this place, yea, he seems evidently to exclude him from being here intended. His first note on verse 1 is, “Haec de ea sapientia quae in Lege apparet exponunt Hebraei: et sane el, si non soli, at praecipue, haec attributa conveniunt;” — “The Hebrews expound these things of that wisdom which appears in the law; and truly these attributes agree thereunto, if not only, yet chiefly.” Of this assertion he gives no reason. The contrary is evident from what is above said and proved. The authority of the modern rabbins, in the exposition of those places of Scripture which concern the Messiah, is of no value. They do not only, as their forefathers, err, not knowing the Scriptures, but maliciously corrupt them, out of hatred to Jesus Christ. In the meantime, one no less versed in the Hebrew authors than our annotator, expounding this place, from them concludes, “Nec dubito, hinc Johannem augustum illud et magnificum Evangelii sui initium sumpsisse, ‘In principio erat Verbum;’ nam Verbum et Sapientia idem sunt, et secundam Trinitatis personam indicant;’ — “I doubt not but that John took that reverend and lofty entrance of his Gospel, ‘In the beginning was the Word’ from hence; for the Word and Wisdom are the same, and denote the second person of the Trinity.” f290 Before I proceed to those that follow, I shall add some of them which are produced and insisted on usually for the same end and purpose with those mentioned before, and which in other places are excepted against by the catechists with whom we have to do, but properly belong to this head.

    Of those is John 17:5, “And now, O Father, glorify me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” To this they put in their exceptions towards the end of the chapter under consideration, saying, — Q. What answerest thou to this?

    A. Neither is here a divine nature proved; for that one may have glory with the Father before the world was made and yet not be God appeareth from that of 2 Timothy 1:9, where the apostle says of believers that grace was given unto them before the world began. Besides, it is here written that Jesus asked this glory, which is repugnant to the divine nature. But the sense of the place is, that Christ asked God that he would really give him that glory which he had with God in his decree before the world was. f291 1. A divine glory proves a divine nature. This Christ had from eternity, for he had it before the world began; therefore he had a divine nature also. It is the manifestation of his glory, which he had eclipsed and laid aside for a season, that here he desires of God, Philippians 2:6-11. He glorified his Father by manifesting the glory of his deity, his name, to others; and he prays the Father to glorify him as he had glorified him on the earth. 2. There is not the same reason of what is here asserted of Christ and what is said of the elect, 2 Timothy 1:9. Christ here positively says he had “ei=con (glory) with his Father before the world was;” nor is this anywhere, in any one tittle in the Scripture expounded to be any otherwise but in a real having of that glory. The grace that is given to believers is not said to be before the world was, but pro< cro>nwn aijwni>wn , which may denote the first promise, Genesis 3:15, as it doth Titus 1:2; and if it be intended of the purpose of God, which was from eternity (as the words will bear), it is so expounded in twenty places, 3. Though the divine nature prayed not, yet he who was in the form of God, and humbled himself to take upon him the form and employment of a servant, might and did pray. The Godhead prayed not, but he who was God prayed. 4. For the sense assigned, let them once show us, in the whole book of God, where this expression, “I had ei+con ,” may be possibly interpreted, “I had it in purpose,” or “I was predestinated to it,” and not “I had it really and indeed,” and they say something to the purpose. In the meantime, they do but corrupt the word of God (as many do) by this pretended interpretation of it. 5. If predestination only be intended, here is nothing singular spoken of Christ, but what is common to him with all believers, when evidently Christ speaks of something that belonged to him eminently. 6. The very express tenor of the words will not admit of this gloss (let what violence can be used): Kai< nu~n do>xaso>n me su< Pa>ter para< seautw~| th~| do>xh| h=| ei+con pro< tou~ tosmon ei+nai para< soi> “The glory that I had with thee, let me have it manifested with thee, now my work is done.”

    Grotius falls in with our catechists: Th~| do>xh| h=| ei+con , Destinatione tua; ut 1 Peter 1:20, Apoc. 13:8, sic et Ephesians 1:3,4, et infra, ver. 24.

    Simile loquendi genua Sic Legem fuisse ante mundum aiunt Hebraei.”

    Again, “ Para< soi> , refer ad illud ei+con , et intellige, ut diximus, in decreto tuo.”

    But what intends the learned man by those places of 1 Peter 1:20, Revelation 13:8? Is it to expound the thing that he supposes to be expressed? or to intimate that the phrase here used is expounded by the use of it in those other places? If the first, he begs that to be the sense of this place which is the sense of them, though neither the scope of the places nor the sense of the words themselves will bear it. If the latter, it is most false. There is not one word, phrase, or expression, in any one of the places pointed unto, at all coincident with them here used. Besides, the two places mentioned are of very different senses, the one speaking of God’s purpose appointing Christ to be a mediator, the other of the promise given presently after the fall. 2. We grant that Christ, in respect of his human nature, was predestinated unto glory; but that he calls God’s put-pose his “glory,” “the glory which he had,” “which he had with God,” wherewith he desires to be “glorified with him again,” is to be proved from the text, or context, or phrase of speech, or parallel place, or analogy of faith, or somewhat, and not nakedly to be imposed on us. Let Proverbs 8:22-31, Philippians 2:6-11, be consulted, as parallel to this place. Ephesians 1:3,4, speaks indeed of our predestination in Christ, “that we should be holy,” and so come to glory, but of the glory that Christ had before the world was it speaks not; yea, verse 3, we are said to be actually “blessed,” or to have the heavenly blessings, when we do enjoy them, which we are elected to, verse 4. What the Jews say of the Law, and the like, we must allow learned men to tell us, that they may be known to be so, although the sense of the Scripture be insensibly darkened thereby.

    To the same purpose is that of Peter, 1 Peter 1:10,11, “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”

    To which add that more clear place, 1 Peter 3:18-20, “Quickened by the Spirit, by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient . . . . . in the days of Noah.” He who was in the days of the prophets of old, and in the days of Noah, so long before his being born according to the flesh, he was from everlasting, or had an existence antecedent to his incarnation; but this is expressly affirmed of our Savior. It was his Spirit that spake in the pro, phets; which if he were not, could not be, for of him who is not nothing can be affirmed. He preached by his Spirit in the days of Noah to the spirits that are in prison.

    Of this latter place our catechists take no notice; about the first they inquire, — Q. What answerest thou to this?

    A. Neither is a divine nature proved from hence: for the Spirit which was in the prophets may be said to be “the Spirit of Christ,” not that he was given of Christ, but because he fore-declared the things of Christ, as Peter there speaks; “he testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” Which manner of speaking we have, 1 John 4:6, “Hence know we the spirit; of truth, and the spirit of error;” where it is not called the spirit of truth and error because truth and error as persons do bestow the spirit, but because the spirit of truth speaks the things of truth, and the spirit of error the things of error. f292 1. It is confessed that if the Spirit that was in the prophets was the Spirit of Christ, then he hath a divine nature; for the only evasion used is, that it is not, or may not (possibly) be, so meant in this place, not denying but that if it be so, then the conclusion intended follows. 2. That this place is to be interpreted by 1 John 4:6 there is no color nor pretense. Christ is a person; he was so when Peter wrote: truth and error are not, and the spirit of them is to be interpreted according to the subjectmatter. 3. The Spirit in other places is called the Spirit of Christ in the same sense as he is called the Spirit of God, Romans 8:9, Galatians 4:6. 4. The Spirit of Christ is said directly to take of his and show it to his apostles, John 16:15; and so he did to the prophets. They may as well, on the pretense of 1 John 4:6, deny him to be the Spirit of God the Father as the Spirit of Christ, as being of him and sent by him.

    And thus far of the testimonies proving the pre-existence of Christ unto his incarnation, and so, consequently, his eternity: whence it follows that he is God over all, blessed for ever, having this evidence of his eternal power and Godhead. Sundry others of the same tendency will fall under consideration in our progress.

    CHAPTER 10. Of the names of God given unto Christ. IN the next place, as a third head, our catechists consider the scriptural attributions of the names of God unto our Savior, Jesus Christ; whence this is our argument: — “He who is Jehovah, God, the only true God, he is God properly by nature; but Jesus Christ is Jehovah, the true God, etc.: therefore he is God properly by nature.”

    The proposition is clear in itself. Of the innumerable testimonies which are or may be produced to confirm the assumption, our catechists fix upon a very few, — namely, those which are answered by Socinus against Weik the Jesuit, whence most of their exceptions to these witnesses are transcribed. To the consideration of these they thus proceed: — Ques. What are those places of Scripture which seem to attribute something to Christ in a certain and definite time Ans. They are of two sorts, whereof some respect the names, others the works, which they suppose in the Scriptures to be attributed to Christ.

    Q. Which are they that respect the names of Christ?

    A. Those where they suppose in the Scripture that Christ is called “Jehovah,” etc., Jeremiah 23:6; Zechariah 2:8; 1 John 5:20; Jude 4; Titus 2:13; Revelation 1:8, 4:8; Acts 20:28; 1 John 3:16. f293 The first testimony is Jeremiah 23:6, in these words, “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called,JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” To which add the next, Zechariah 2:8.

    Before I come to consider their exceptions to these texts in particular, some things in general may be premised, for the better understanding of what we are about, and what from these places we intend to prove and confirm: — 1. The end of citing these two places is, to prove that Jesus Christ is in the Old Testament called Jehovah; which is by them denied, the granting of it being destructive to their whole cause. 2. It is granted that Jehovah is the proper and peculiar name of the one only true God of Israel; — a name as far significant of his nature and being as possibly we are enabled to understand; yea, so far expressive of God, that as the thing signified by it is incomprehensible, so many have thought the very word itself to be ineffable, or at least not lawful to be uttered.

    This name God peculiarly appropriates to himself in an eminent manner, Exodus 6:2,3; so that this is taken for granted on all hands, that he whose name is Jehovah is the only true God, the God of Israel. Whenever that name is used properly, without a trope or figure, it is used of him only. What the adversaries of Christ except against this shall be vindicated in its proper place. 3. Our catechists have very faintly brought forth the testimonies that are usually insisted on in this cause, naming but two of them; wherefore I shall take liberty to add a few more to them out of the many that are ready at hand: Isaiah 40:3, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” That it is Christ who is here called Jehovah is clear from that farther expression in Malachi 3:1, and from the execution of the thing itself, Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:2,3, John 1:23. Isaiah 45:22-25, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in Jehovah have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” The apostle expressly affirms all this to be spoken of Christ, Romans 14:10-12, etc. Hosea 13:14 is also applied to Christ, 1 Corinthians 15:54,55. He that would at once consider all the texts of the Old Testament, chiefly ascribing this name to Christ, let him read Zanchius “De Tribus Elohim,” who hath made a large collection of them.

    Let us now see what our catechists except against the first testimony: — Q. What dost thou answer to the first testimony A. First, that hence it cannot be necessarily evinced that the name of Jehovah is attributed to Christ. For these words, “And this is his name whereby they shall call him, TheLORD our righteousness,” may be referred to Israel, of whom he spake a little before, “In his days shall Judah be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely,” etc., as from a like place may be seen in the same prophet, chap. 33:15, 16, where he saith, “In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, TheLORD our righteousness.”

    For in the Hebrew it is expressly read, “They shall call her;” which last words are referred of necessity to Jerusalem, and in this place answereth to Israel, which is put in the first place. It seems, therefore, likely that also, in the first place, these words, “They shall call him,” are referred to Israel.

    But although we should grant that the name of Jehovah may be referred unto Christ, yet from the other testimonies it appears that it cannot be asserted that Christ is called Jehovah simply, neither doth it thence follow that Christ is really Jehovah. Whether, therefore, these last words in this testimony of Jeremiah be understood of Christ or of Israel, their sense is, “Thou Jehovah, our one God, wilt justify us;” for at that time when Christ was to appear God would do that in Israel. f294 The sum of this answer is: — 1. It may be these words are not spoken of Christ, but of Israel; 2. The same words are used of that which is not God; 3. If they be referred to Christ, they prove him not to be God; 4. Their sense is, that God will justify us in the days of Christ. Of each briefly: — 1. The subject spoken of all along is Christ: — (1.) He is the subject-matter of whatever here is affirmed: “I will raise up a righteous Branch to David; he shall be a king, and he shall reign, and his name shall be called TheLORD our righteousness.” (2.) Why are these words to be referred to Israel only, and not also to Judah (if to any but Christ), they being both named together, and upon the same account (yea, and Judah hath the pre-eminence, being named in the first place)? And if they belong to both, the words should be, “This is their name whereby they shall be called.” (3.) Israel was never called “our righteousness,” but Christ is called so upon the matter in the New Testament sundry times, and is so, Corinthians 1:30; so that, without departing from the propriety of the words, intendment, and scope of the place, with the truth of the thing itself, these words cannot be so perverted. The violence used to them is notoriously manifest. 2. The expression is not the same in both places, neither is Jerusalem there called “TheLORD our righteousness,” but He who calls her is “TheLORD our righteousness;” and so are the words rendered by Arias Montanus and others. And if what Jerusalem shall be called be intimated, and not what His name is that calls her, it is merely by a metonymy, upon the account of the presence of Christ in her; as the church is called “Christ” improperly, 1 Corinthians 12:12: Christ properly is Jesus only. But the words are not to be rendered, “This is the name whereby she shall be called,” but, “This is the name whereby he shall call her, TheLORD our righteousness;” that is, he who is theLORD our righteousness shall call her to peace and safety, which are there treated on. Christ is our righteousness; Jerusalem is not. 3. It is evident that Christ is absolutely called Jehovah in this as well as in the other places before mentioned, and many more; and it hence evidently follows that he is Jehovah, as he who properly is called so, and understood by that name. Where God simply says his name is Jehovah, we believe him; and where he says the name of the Branch of the house of David is Jehovah, we believe him also. And we say hence that Christ is Jehovah, or the words have not a tolerable sense. Of this again afterward. 4. The interpretation given of the words is most perverse and opposite to the meaning of them. The prophet says not that “Jehovah the one God shall be our righteousness,” but, “The Branch of David shall be theLORD our righteousness.” The subject is the Branch of David, not Jehovah. “The Branch of David shall be called TheLORD our righteousness;” that is, say they, “TheLORD shall justify us when the Branch of David shall be brought forth.” Who could have discovered this sense but our catechists and their masters, whose words these are! It remaineth, then, that the Branch of David, who ruleth in righteousness, is Jehovah our righteousness; — our righteousness, as being made so to us; Jehovah, as being so in himself.

    Grotius expounds this place, as that of Micah 5:2, of Zerubbabel, helping on his friends with a new diversion which they knew not of; Socinus, as he professes, being not acquainted with the Jewish doctors, — though some believe him not. And yet the learned annotator cannot hold out as he begins, but is forced to put out the name Zerubbabel, and to put in that of the people, when he comes to the name insisted on; so leaving no certain design in the whole words from the beginning to the ending.

    Two things doth he here oppose himself in to the received interpretation of Christians: — 1. That it is Zerubbabel who is here intended. 2. That it is the people who are called “TheLORD our righteousness.”

    For the first, thus he on verse 15, “Germen justum, — a righteous Branch:” — “Zorobabelem, qui jmæx, ut hic appellatur, ita et Zechariae 6:12, nimirum quod velut surculus renatus esset ex arbore Davidis, quasi praecisa Justitiae nomine commendatur Zorobabel etiam apud Zechariam 9:9;” — “Zerubbabel, who is here called the Branch, as also Zechariah 6:12, because as a branch he arose from the tree of David, which was as cut off. Also, Zerubbabel is commended for justice (or righteousness), Zechariah 9:9.”

    That this is a prophecy of Christ the circumstances of the place evince.

    The rabbins were also of the same mind, as plentiful collections from them are made to demonstrate it, by Joseph de Voysin, Pug. Fid. par. 3, dist. 1, cap. 4. And the matter spoken of can be accommodated to no other, as hath been declared. Grotius’ proofs that Zerubbabel is intended are worse than the opinion itself. That he is called the Branch, Zechariah 6:12, is most false. He who is called the Branch there is a king and a priest, “He shall rule upon his throne, and he shall be a priest;” which Zerubbabel was not, nor had any thing to do with the priestly office, which in his days was administered by Joshua More evidently false is it that he is spoken of Zechariah 9:9; which place is precisely interpreted of Christ, and the accomplishment, in the very letter of the thing foretold, recorded, Matthew 21:5. The words are: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”

    That a man professing Christian religion should affirm any one but Jesus Christ to be here intended is somewhat strange.

    Upon the accommodation of the next words to Zerubbabel, “A King shall reign and prosper,” etc., I shall not insist. They contain not the matter of our present contest, though they are pitifully wrested by the annotator, and do no ways serve his design.

    For the particular words about which our contest is, this is his comment: “‘And this is the name whereby they shall call him, ‘nempe populum;” — namely, the people. “They shall call the people.” How this change comes, “In his days Judah shall be saved, and this is the name whereby he shall be called,” — that is, the people shall be called, — he shows not. That there is no color of reason for it hath been showed; what hath been said need not to be repeated. He proceeds, “Dominus justitia nostra,” that is, “Deus nobis bene fecit ,” — “God hath done well for us, or dealt kindly with us.”

    But it is not about the intimation of goodness that is in the words, but of the signification of the name given to Jesus Christ, that here we plead. In what sense Christ is “TheLORD our righteousness” appears, Isaiah 45:22-25, 1 Corinthians 1:30.

    The second testimony is Zechariah 2:8, in these words, “For thus saith theLORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them,” etc., verses 9-12.

    Briefly to declare what this witness speaks to, before we permit him to the examination of our adversaries: The person speaking is theLORD of hosts: “Thus saith theLORD of hosts.” And he is the person spoken of. “After the glory,” saith he (or, “After this glorious deliverance of you, my people, from the captivity wherein ye were among the nations”), “hath he sent me;” — “ Even me, theLORD of hosts, hath he sent.” “Thus saith the\parLORD of hosts, He hath, sent me.” And it was to the nations, as in the words following. And who sent him? “Ye shall know that theLORD of hosts hath sent me;” — “The people of Israel shall know that theLORD of hosts hath sent me, theLORD of hosts, to the nations.” But how shall they know that he is so sent? He tells them, verse 11, it shall be known by the conversion of the nations: “Many nations shall be joined to theLORD in that day.” And what then? “They shall be my people;” — “mine who am sent; my people; the people of theLORD of hosts that was sent;” that is, of Jesus Christ. “And I,” saith he whose people they are, “will dwell in the midst of them” (as God promised to do), “and nthou shalt know that theLORD of hosts hath sent me.” I omit the circumstances of the place. Let us now see what is excepted by our catechists: — Q. What dost thou answer to this second testimony A. The place of Zechariah they thus cite: “This saith theLORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me to the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of mine eye;” which they wrest unto Christ, because here, as they suppose, it is said that the Lord of hosts is sent from the Lord of hosts. But these things are not so; for it is evident that these words, “After the glory hath he sent me,” are spoken of another, namely, of the angel who spake with Zechariah and the other angel. The same is evident in the same chapter a little before, beginning at the fourth verse, where the angel is brought in speaking; which also is to be seen from hence, that those words which they cite, “This saith theLORD of hosts,” in the Hebrew may be read, “Thus saith theLORD of hosts;” and those, “Toucheth the apple of mine eye,” may be read, “The apple of his eye;” which of necessity are referred to his messenger, and not to the Lord of hosts.” f296 These gentlemen being excellent at cavils and exceptions, and thereunto undertaking to answer any thing in the world, do not lightly acquit themselves more weakly and jejunely in any place than in this; for, — 1. We contend not with them about the translation of the words, their exceptions being to the Vulgar Latin only; we take them as they have rendered them. To omit that, therefore, — 2. That these words are spoken by him who is called the angel we grant; but the only question is, Who is this angel that speaks them? It is evident, from the former chapter and this, that it is the man who was upon the red horse, chap. 1:8, who is called “Angelus Jehovah,” verse 11, and makes intercession for the church, verse 12; which is the proper office of Jesus Christ. And that he is no created angel, but Jehovah himself, the second person of the Trinity, we prove, because he calls himself “TheLORD of hosts;” says he will destroy his enemies with the shaking of his hand; that he will convert a people, and make them his people; and that he will dwell in his church. And yet unto all this he adds three times that he is sent of the Lord of hosts. We confess, then, all these things to be spoken of him who was sent; but upon all these testimonies conclude that he who was sent was the Lord of hosts.

    Grotius interprets all this place of an angel, and names him to boot!

    Michael it is; but who that Michael is, and whether he be no more than an angel (that is, a messenger), he inquires not. That the ancient Jewish doctors interpreted this place of the Messiah is evident. f296a Of that no notice here is taken; it is not to the purpose in hand. To the reasons already offered to prove that it is no mere creature that is here intended, but the Lord of hosts who is sent by the Lord of hosts, I shall only add my desire that the friends and apologizers for this learned annotator would reconcile this exposition of this place to itself, in those things which at first view present themselves to every ordinary observer. Take one instance: “Ye shall know that theLORD of hosts hath sent me,” — that is, Michael; “and I will dwell in the midst of thee.” “Templum meum ibi habebo,” — “I will have my temple there.” If he who speaks be Michael, a created angel, how comes the temple of Jehovah to be his? And such let the attempts of all appear to be who manage any design against the eternal glory of the Son of God.

    The third testimony is 1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”

    Q. What dost thou answer to this?

    A. These words, “This is the true God,” I deny to be referred to the Son of God. Not that I deny Christ to be true God, but that place will not admit those words to be understood of Christ; for here he treats not only of the true God, but of the only true God, as the article added in the Greek doth declare. But Christ, although he be true God, he is not yet of himself that one God, who by himself, and upon the most excellent account, is God, seeing that is only God the Father. Nor doth it avail the adversaries, who would have those words referred to Christ, because the mention of Christ doth immediately go before those words, “This is the true God:” for pronoun relatives, as “this” and the like, are not always referred to the next antecedent, but often to that which is chiefly spoken of, as Acts 7:19,20, Acts 10:6, John 2:7; from which places it appears that the pronoun relative “this” is referred not to the next, but to the most remote person. f297 1. It is well it is acknowledged that the only true God is here intended, and that this is proved by the prefixed article. This may be of use afterward. 2. In what sense these men grant Christ to be a true God we know; — a made God, a God by office, not nature; a man deified with authority: so making two true Gods, contrary to innumerable express texts of Scripture and the nature of the Deity. 3. That these words are not meant of Christ they prove, because “he is not the only true God, but only the Father.” But, friends, these words are produced to prove the contrary, as expressly affirming it; and is it a sufficient reason to deny it by saying, “He is not the only true God, therefore these words are not spoken of him,” when the argument is, “These words are spoken of him, therefore he is the only true God?” 4. Their instances prove that in some cases a relative may relate to the more remote antecedent, but that in this place that mentioned ought to do so they pretend not once to urge; yea, the reason they give is against themselves, namely, that “it refers to him chiefly spoken of,” which here is eminently and indisputably Jesus Christ. In the places by them produced it is impossible, from the subject-matter in hand, that the relative should be referred to any but the remoter antecedent; but that therefore here we must offer violence to the words, and strain them into an incoherence, and transgress all rules of construction (nothing enforcing to such a procedure), is not proved. 5. In the beginning of the 20th verse it is said, “The Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding;” and we are said to be “in him,” even “in Jesus Christ;” on which it immediately follows, Ou=tov , “This,” this Jesus Christ, “is the true God, and eternal life.” 6. That Jesus Christ is by John peculiarly called “life,” and “eternal life,” is evident both from his Gospel and this Epistle; and without doubt, by the same term, in his usual manner, he expresses here the same person. Chap. 1:2, 5:12, 20, “The Son of God is life, eternal life: he that hath the Son hath life: we are in him, in his Son Jesus Christ: this is the true God, and eternal life.” So he began, and so he ends his Epistle.

    And this is all our adversaries have to say against this most express testimony of the divine nature of Jesus Christ; in their entrance whereunto they cry, “Hail, master!” as one before them did (“He is a true God”), but in the close betray him, as far as lies in them, by denying his divine nature.

    Even at the light of this most evident testimony, the eyes of Grotius dazzled that he could not see the truth. His note is, Ou=to>v ejstin oJ ajlhqinov , Is nempe quem Iesus monstravit colendumque docuit, non alius, Ou=tov saepe refertur ad aliquid praecedens non ajme>swv , Acts 8:19, 10:6.” The very same plea with the former; only Acts 8:19 is mistaken for Acts 7:19, the place urged by our catechists, and before them by Socinus against Weik, to whom not only they, but Grotius is beholden. That citation of Acts 10:6 helps not the business at all. Ou=tov is twice used, once immediately at the beginning of the verse, secondly being guided by the first; the latter is referred to the same person, nor can possibly signify any other. Here is no such thing, not any one circumstance to cause us to put any force upon the constructure of the words, the discourse being still of the same person, without any alteration; which in the other places is not.

    Of the next testimony, which is from these words of Jude, “Denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ,” verse 4 (not to increase words), this is the sum: There being but one article prefixed to all the words, it seems to carry the sense that it is wholly spoken of Christ. The catechists reckon some places where one article serves to sundry things, as Matthew 21:12; but it is evident that they are utterly things of another kind and another manner of speaking than what is here: but the judgment hereof is left to the reader, it being not indeed clear to me whether Christ be called Despo>thv anywhere in the New Testament, though he be [called] Lord, and God, and the true God, full often.

    The second [chapter] of Titus, verse 13, must be more fully insisted on: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearance of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”

    Q. What dost thou answer to this?

    A. In this place they strive to evince by two reasons that the epithet of the “great God” is referred to Christ. The first is the rule forementioned, of one article prefixed to all the words; the other, that we do not expect that coming of the Father, but of the Son. To the first you have an answer already in the answer to the fourth testimony; to the other I answer, Paul cloth not say, “Expecting the coming of the great God,” but, “Expecting the appearance of the glory of the great God.” But now the words of Christ show that the glory of God the Father may be said to be illustrated when Christ comes to judgment, when he saith that he shall come in glory, that is, with the glory of God his Father, Matthew 16:27; Mark 8:38.

    Besides, what inconvenience is it if it shall be said that God the Father shall come (as they cite the words out of the Vulgar), when the Son comes to judge the world? Shall not Christ sustain the person of the Father, as of him from whom he hath received this office of judging? f298 About the reading of the words we shall not contend with them. It is the original we are to be tried by, and there is in that no ambiguity. That Epifa>neia th~v do>xhv , “The appearance of the glory,” is a Hebraism for “The glorious appearance” cannot be questioned. A hundred expressions of that nature in the New Testament may be produced to give countenance to this. That the blessed hope looked for is the thing hoped for, the resurrection to life and immortality, is not denied. Neither is it disputed whether the subject spoken of be Jesus Christ and his coming to judgment.

    The subject is one; his epithets here two: — 1. That belonging to his essence in himself, he is “the great God;” 2. That of office unto us, he is “our Savior.” That it is Christ which is spoken of appears, — 1. From the single article that is assigned to all the words, Tou~ mega>lou Qeou~ kai< Swth~rov hJmw~n Ihsou~ Cristou~ which no less signifies one person than that other expression, O QeoGod and Father of Jesus Christ.” Should I say that one person is here intended, and not two (God and the Father of Jesus Christ being the same), our catechists may say, “No; for it is found in another place that there is but one article prefixed where sundry persons are after spoken of.”

    But is it not evident in those places, from the subject-matter, that they are sundry persons, as also from the several conditions of them mentioned, as in that of Matthew 21:12, “He cast out the sellers and buyers,” The proper force, then, of the expression enforces this attribution to Jesus Christ. 2. Mention is made th~v ejpifanei>av , — of the glorious appearance of him of whom the apostle speaks. That Christ is the person spoken of, and his employment of coming to judgment, primarily and directly, is confessed.

    This word is never used of God the Father, but frequently of Christ, and that, in particular, in respect of the things here spoken of; yea, it is properly expressive of his second coming, in opposition to his first coming, under contempt, scorn, and reproach: 1 Timothy 6:14, “Keep this commandment, me>cri th~v ejpifanei>av tou~ Cristou~ .” 2 Timothy 4:8, “Which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that love thneian aujtou~ .”

    Neither, as was said, is it ever used of the Father, but is the word continually used to express the second coming of Jesus Christ. Sometimes parousi>a hath the same signification; and is therefore never ascribed to the Father. 3. It is not what may be said to be done, whether the glory of the Father may be said to be illustrated by the coming of Christ, but what is said. “The glorious appearance of the great God” is not the manifestation of his glory, but his glory is manifested in his appearance. 4. It is true, it is said that Christ shall “come in the glory of his Father,” Matthew 16:27, Mark 8:38; but it is nowhere said that the glory of the Father shall come or appear. 5. Their whole interpretation of the words will scarce admit of any good sense; nor can it be properly said that two persons come when only one comes, though that one have glory and authority from the other. 6. Christ shall also judge in his own name, and by the laws which, as Lord, he hath given. 7. There is but the same way of coming and appearance of the great God and our Savior: which if our Savior come really and indeed, and the great God only because he sends him, the one comes and the other comes not; which is not, doubtless, they both come.

    Grotius agrees with our catechists, but says not one word more for the proof of his interpretation, nor in way of exception to ours, than they say, as they say no more than Socinus against Bellarmine, nor he much more than Erasmus before him, from whom Grotius also borrowed his comment of Ambrose, which he urges in the exposition of this place; which, were it not for my peculiar respect to Erasmus, I would say were not honestly done, himself having proved that comment under the name of Ambrose to be a paltry, corrupted, depraved, foisted piece: but Grotius hath not a word but what hath been spoken to.

    The next testimony mentioned is Revelation 1:8, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty; to which is added that of chap. 4:8, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”

    Q. What sayest thou to this?

    A. This place they say refers to Christ, because they suppose none is said to come but only Christ, for he is to come to judge the quick and dead. But it is to be noted, that that word which they have rendered “to come,” may equally be rendered “is to be,” as John 16:13, where the Lord says of the Spirit, which he promised to the apostles, that he should “show them things to come;” and Acts 18:21, we read that the feast day was “to be,” in which place the Greek word is ejrco>menov . Lastly, Who is there that knows not that seeing it is said before, “which was, and is,” this last which is added may be rendered “to be,” that the words in every part may be taken of existence, and not in the two former of existence, in the latter of coming? Neither is there any one who doth not observe that the eternity of God is here described, which comprehendeth time past, present, and to come. But that which discovers this gross error is that which we read in Revelation 1:4,5, “Grace be to you, and peace, from him which is, which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness;” — from which testimony it appears that Jesus Christ is quite another from him which is, and was, and is to be, or, as they think, is to come. f299 1. There is not one place which they have mentioned wherein the word here used, ejrcodisciples merry by persuading them that we have no other argument to prove these words to be spoken of Christ but only because he is said to be oJ ejrco>menov : which yet, in conjunction with other things, is not without its weight, being as it were a name of the Messiah, Matthew 11:3, from Genesis 49:10, f300 though it may be otherwise applied. 3. They are no less triumphant, doubtless, in their following answer, that these words describe the eternity of God, and therefore belong not to Christ; when the argument is, that Christ is God, because, amongst other things, these words ascribe eternity to him. Is this an answer to us, who not only believe him, but prove him eternal? 4. And they are upon the same pin still in their last expression, that these words are ascribed to the Father, verse 4, when they know that the argument which they have undertaken to answer is, that the same names are ascribed to the Son as to the Father, and therefore he is God equal with him. Their answer is, “This name is not ascribed to Christ, because it is ascribed to the Father.” Men must beg when they can make no earnings at work. 5. We confess Christ to be “alius,” “another,” another person from the Father; not another God, as our catechists pretend.

    Having stopped the mouths of our catechists, we may briefly consider the text itself. 1. That by this expression, “Who is, and who was, and who is to come,” the apostle expresses that name of God, Ehejeh [ hy,h]a, ], Exodus 3:14, which, as the rabbins say, is of all seasons, and expressive of all times, is evident. To which add that other name of God, “Almighty,” and it cannot at all be questioned but that he who is intended in these words is “the only true God.” 2. That the words are here used of Jesus Christ is so undeniable from the context that his adversaries thought good not once to mention it. Verse 7, his coming is described to be in glory: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him;” whereupon himself immediately adds the words of this testimony, “I am Alpha and Omega” For, (1.) They are words spoken to John by him who gave him the Revelation, which was Jesus Christ, verse 1. (2.) They are the words of him that speaks on to John, which was Jesus Christ, verse 18. (3.) Jesus Christ twice in this chapter afterward gives himself the same title, verse 11, “I am Alpha and Omega;” and verse 17, “I am the first and the last.” But who is he? “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I live for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death,” verse 18.

    He gave the Revelation, he is described, he speaks all always, he gives himself the same title twice again in this chapter.

    But our catechists think they have taken a course to prevent all this, and therefore have avoided the consideration of the words as they are placed, <661801> chap. 18, considering the same words in chap. 4:8, where they want some of the circumstances which in this place give light to their application. They are not there spoken by any one that ascribes them to himself, but by others are ascribed “to him that sitteth upon the throne;” who cry (as the seraphims, Isaiah 6:3), “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” But yet there wants not evidence to evince that these words belong immediately in this place also to Jesus Christ; for, — 1. They are the name, as we have seen, whereby not long before he revealed himself. 2. They are spoken of “him who sitteth upon the throne” in the midst of the Christian churches here represented. And if Christ be not intended in these words, there is no mention of his presence in his church, in that solemn representation of its assembly, although he promised to be in the “midst” of his “to the end of the world.” 3. The honor that is here ascribed to him that is spoken of is because he is a]xiov , “worthy,” as the same is assigned to the Lamb by the same persons in the same words, chap. 5:12. So that in both these places it is Jesus Christ who is described: “He is, he was, he is to come” (or, as another place expresses it, “The same yesterday, to-day, and for ever”), “the Lord God Almighty.”

    I shall not need to add any thing to what Grotius hath observed on these places. He holds with our catechists, and ascribes these titles and expressions to God in contradistinction to Jesus Christ, and gives in some observations to explain them: but for the reason of his exposition, wherein he knew that he dissented from the most of Christians, we have oujde< gru> , so that I have nothing to do but to reject his authority; which, upon the experience I have of his design, I can most freely do.

    Proceed we to the next testimony, which is Acts 20:28, “Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” He who purchased the church with his blood is God; but it was Jesus Christ who purchased his church with Ms blood, Ephesians 5:25-27, Titus 2:14, Hebrews 9:14: therefore he is God.

    Q. What dost thou answer to this?

    A. I answer, the name of “God” is not necessarily in this place referred to Christ, but it may be referred to God the Father, whose blood the apostles call that which Christ shed, in that kind of speaking, and for that cause, with which God, and for which cause the prophet says, “He who toucheth you toucheth the apple of the eye of God himself.” For the great conjunction that is between Father and Son, although in essence they are altogether diverse, is the reason why the blood of Christ is called the blood of God the Father himself, especially if it be considered as shed for us; for Christ is the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, whence the blood shed to that purpose may be called the blood of God himself.

    Nor is it to be passed by in silence, that in the Syriac edition, in the place of God, Christ is read. f301 There is scarce any place in returning an answer whereunto the adversaries of the deity of Christ do less agree among themselves than about this. 1. Some say the name of God is not here taken absolutely, but with relation to office, and so Christ is spoken of, and called “God by office:” so Socin. ad Bellar. et Weik. p. 200, etc. Some say that the words are thus to be read, “Feed the church of God, which Christ hath purchased by his own blood:” so Ochinus and Laelius Socinus, whom Zanchius answers, “De Tribus Elohim,” lib. 3 cap. 6 p. 456. Some flee to the Syriac translation, contrary to the constant consenting testimony of all famous copies of the original, all agreeing in the word Qeou~ , some adding tou~ Kuri>ou . So Grotius would have it, affirming that the manuscript he used had tou~ Kuri>ou , not telling them that it added Qeou~ , which is the same with what we affirm; and therefore he ventures at asserting the text to be corrupted, and, in short writing, qou~ to be crept in for cou~ [manuscript contractions for Qeou~ and Cristou~ ], contrary to the faith and consent of all ancient copies: which is all he hath to plead. 2. Our catechists know not what to say: “Necessarily this word ‘God’ is not to be referred to Christ; it may be referred to God the Father.” Give an instance of the like phrase of speech, and take the interpretation. Can it be said that one’s blood was shed when it was not shed, but another’s? and there is no mention that that other’s blood was shed. 3. If the Father’s blood was shed, or said truly to be shed, because Christ’s blood was shed, then you may say that God the Father died, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and that God the Father rose from the dead; that he was dead, and is alive; that that blood that was shed was not Christ’s, but somebody’s else that he loved, and was near unto him. 4. There is no analogy between that of the prophet, of the “apple of God’s eye,” and this here spoken of. Uncontrollably a metaphor must there be allowed; — here is no metaphor insisted on; but that which is the blood of Christ is called the blood of God, and Christ not to be that God is their interpretation. There, divers persons are spoken of, God and believers; here, one only, that did that which is expressed. And all the force of this exposition lies in this, “There is a figurative expression in one place, the matter spoken of requiring it, therefore here must be a figure admitted also,” where there is not the same reason. What is this but to “make the Scripture a nose of wax?” The work of “redeeming the church with his blood’ is ever ascribed to Christ as peculiar to him, constantly, without exception, and never to God the Father; neither would our adversaries allow it to be so here, but that they know not how to stand before the testimony wherewith they are pressed. 5. If, because of the conjunction that is between God the Father and Christ, the blood of Christ may be called the blood of God the Father, then the hunger and thirst of Christ, his dying and being buried, his rising again, may be called the hunger and thirst of God the Father, his sweating, dying, and rising. And he is a strange natural and proper Son who hath a quite different nature and essence from his own proper Father, as is here affirmed. 6. Christ is called “The Lamb of God,” as answering and fulfilling all the sacrifices that were made to God of old; and if the blood of Christ may be called the blood of God the Father because he appointed it to be shed for us, then the blood of any sacrifice was also the blood of the man that appointed it to be shed, yea, of God, who ordained it. The words are, Ekklhsi>an tou~ Qeou~ h\n periepoih>sato dia< tou~ ijdi>ou a[imatov. If any words in the world can properly express that it is one and the same person who is intended, that it is his own blood properly that bought the church with it, surely these words do it to the full. Christ, then, is God.

    The next place they are pleased to take notice of, as to this head of testimonies about the names of God, is 1 John 3:16, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us.” He who laid down his life for us was God; that is, he was so when he laid down his life for us, and not made a God since.

    Q. To the eighth what sayest thou?

    A. First take this account, that neither in any Greek edition (but only the Com-plutensis) nor in the Syriac the word” God” is found But suppose that this word were found in all copies, were therefore this word” he” to be referred to” God”? No, doubtless; not only for that reason which we gave a little before, in answer to the third testimony, that such words are not always referred to the next person, but, moreover, because John doth often in this epistle refer the Greek word ejkei~nov to him who was named long before, as in the 3d, 5th, and 7th verses of this chapter. f303 1. Our catechists do very faintly adhere to the first exception, about the word Qeou~ in the original, granting that it is in some copies, and knowing that the like phrase is used elsewhere, and that the sense in this place necessarily requires the presence of that word. 2. Supposing it as they do, we deny that this is a very just exception which they insist upon, that as a relative may sometimes, and in some cases, where the sense is evident, be referred to the remote antecedent, therefore it may or ought to be so in any place, contrary to the propriety of grammar, where there are no circumstances enforcing such a construction, but all things requiring the proper sense of it. 3. It is allowed of only where several persons are spoken of immediately before, which here are not, one only being intimated or expressed. 4. They can give no example of the word “God” going before, and ejkei~nov following after, where ejkei~nov is referred to any thing or person more remote; much less here, where the apostle, having treated of God and the love of God, draws an argument from the love of God to enforce our love of one another. 5. In the places they point unto, ejkei~nov in every one of them is referred to the next and immediate antecedent, as will be evident to our reader upon the first view.

    Give them their great associate and we have done: “ Ekei~nov hic est Christus, ut supra ver. 5, subintelligendum hic autem est, hoc Christum fecisse Dec sic decernente nostri causa quod expressum est, Romans 5:8.” That ejkei~nov is Christ is confessed; but the word being a relative, and expressive of some person before mentioned, we say it relates unto Qeou~ , the word going immediately before it. No, says Grotius, but “the sense is, ‘Herein appeared the love of God, that by his appointment Christ died for us.’“ That Christ laid down his life for us by the appointment of the Father is most true, but that that is the intendment of this place, or that the grammatical construction of the words will bear any such sense, we deny.

    And this is what they have to except to the testimonies which themselves choose to insist on to give in their exceptions to, as to the names of Jehovah and God being ascribed unto Jesus Christ; which having vindicated from all their sophistry, I shall shut up the discourse of them with this argument, which they afford us for the confirmation of the sacred truth contended for: He who is Jehovah, God, the only true God, etc., he is God by nature; but thus is Jesus Christ God, and these are the names the Scripture calls and knows him by: therefore he is so, God by nature, blessed for ever.

    That many more testimonies to this purpose may be produced, and have been so by those who have pleaded the deity of Christ against its opposers, both of old and of late, is known to all that inquire after such things. I content myself to vindicate what they have put in exceptions unto.

    CHAPTER 11. Of the work of creation assigned to Jesus Christ, etc. — The confirmation of his eternal deity from thence. THE scriptures which assign the creating of all thirds to Jesus Christ they propose as the next testimony of his deity whereunto they desire to give in their exceptions. To these they annex them wherein it is affirmed that he brought the people of Israel out of Egypt, and that he was with them in the wilderness; with one particular out of Isaiah, compared with the account given of it in the gospel, about the prophet’s seeing the glory of Christ. Of those which are of the first sort they instance in John 1:3,10; Colossians 1:16,17; Hebrews 1:2, 10-12.

    The first and second of these I have already vindicated, in the consideration of them as they lay in their conjuncture with them going before in verse 1; proceed we therefore to the third, which is Colossians 1:16,17, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” 1. That these words are spoken of Jesus Christ is acknowledged. The verses foregoing prevent all question thereof: “He hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature: for by him were all things,” etc. 2. In what sense Christ is the “image of the invisible God,” even the “express image of his Father’s person,” shall be afterward declared. The other part of the description of him belongs to that which we have in hand.

    He is prwto>tokov pa>shv kti>sewv , — “the first-born of every creature;” that is, before them all, above them all, heir of them all, and so none of them. It is not said he is prwto>ktistov , first created, but prwto>tokov , the first-born. Now, the term “first” in the Scripture represents either what follows, and so denotes an order in the things spoken of, he that is the first being one of them, as Adam was the first man; or it respects things going before, in which sense it denies all order or series of things in the same kind. So God is said to be the “first,” Isaiah 41:4, because before him there was none, Isaiah 43:10. And in this sense is Christ the “first-born,” — so the first-born as to be the “only-begotten Son of God,” John 3:18. This the apostle proves and gives an account of in the following verses; for the clearing of his intendment wherein a few things may be premised: — 1. Though he speaks of him who is Mediator, and describes him, yet he speaks not of him as Mediator; for that he enters upon verse 18, “And he is the head of the body, the church,” etc. 2. That the things whose creation is here assigned unto Jesus Christ are evidently contradistinguished to the things of the church, or new creation, which are mentioned verse 18. Here he is said to be the “first-born of every creature;” there, the “first-born from the dead;” — here, to make all things; there, to be “the head of the body, the church.” 3. The creation of all things simply and absolutely is most emphatically expressed: — (1.) In general: “By him all things were created.” (2.) A distribution is made of those “all things” into “all things that are in heaven and that are in earth;” which is the common expression of all things that were made at the beginning, Exodus 20:11, Acts 4:24. (3.) A description is given of the things so created according to two adjuncts which divide all creatures whatever, — whether they are “visible or invisible.” (4.) An enumeration is in particular made of one sort, of things invisible; which being of greatest eminency and dignity, might seem, if any, to be exempted from the state and condition of being created by Jesus Christ: “Whether they be thrones,” etc. (5.) This distribution and enumeration being closed, the general assumption is again repeated, as having received confirmation from what was said before: “All things were created by him,” of what sort soever, whether expressed in the enumeration foregoing or no; all things were created by him. They were created for him eijv aujto>n , as it is said of the Father, Romans 11:36; which, Revelation 4:11, is said to be for his will and “pleasure.” (6.) For a farther description of him, verse 17, his pre-existence before all things, and his providence in supporting them and continuing that being to them which he gave them by creation, are asserted: “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” Let us consider, then, what is excepted hereunto by them with whom we have to do. Thus they, — Q. What dost thou answer to this place?

    A. Besides this, that this testimony speaks of Christ as of the mediate and second cause, it is manifest the words “were created” are used in Scripture, not only concerning the old, but also the new creation; of which you have an example, Ephesians 2:10,15, James 1:18. Moreover, that these words, “All things in heaven and in earth,” are not used for all things altogether, appeareth, not only from the words subjoined a little after, verse 20, where the apostle saith, that “by him are all things reconciled in heaven and in earth,” but also from those words themselves, wherein the apostle said not that the heavens and earth were created, but “all things that are in heaven and in earth.”

    Q. But how dost thou understand that testimony?

    A. On that manner wherein all things that. are in heaven and in earth were reformed by Christ, after God raised him from the dead, and by him translated into another state and condition; and this whereas God gave Christ to be head to angels and men, who before acknowledged God only for their lord. f305 What there is either in their exceptions or exposition of weight to take off this evident testimony shall briefly be considered. 1. The first exception, of the kind of causality which is here ascribed to Christ, hath already been considered and removed, by manifesting the very same kind of expression, about the same things, to be used concerning God the Father. 2. Though the word creation be used concerning the new creation, yet it is in places where it is evidently and distinctly spoken of in opposition to the former state wherein they were who were so created. But here, as was above demonstrated, the old creation is spoken of in direct distinction from the new, which the apostle describes and expresses in other terms, verse 20; if that may be called the new creation which lays a foundation of it, as the death of Christ doth of regeneration; and unless it be in that cause, the work of the new creation is not spoken of at all in this place. 3. Where Christ is said “to reconcile all things unto himself, whether things in earth, or things in heaven,” he speaks plainly and evidently of another work, distinct from that which he had described in these verses; and whereas reconciliation supposes a past enmity, the “all things” mentioned in the 20th verse can be none but those which were sometime at enmity with God. Now, none but men that ever had any enmity against God, or were at enmity with him, were ever reconciled to God. It is, then, men in heaven and earth, to whose reconciliation, in their several generations, the efficacy of the blood of Christ did extend, that are there intended. 4. Not [only] heaven and earth are named, but “all things in them,” as being most immediately expressive of the apostle’s purpose, who, naming all things in general, chose to instance in angels and men, as also insisting on the expression which is used concerning the creation of all things in sundry places, as hath been showed, though he mentions not all the words in them used. [As] for the exposition they give of these words, it is most ridiculous; for, — 1. The apostle doth not speak of Christ as he is exalted after his resurrection, but describes him in his divine nature and being. 2 . To translate out of one condition into another is not to create the thing so translated, though another new thing it may be. When a man is made a magistrate, we do not say he is made a man but he is made a magistrate. 3. The new creation, which they here affirm to be spoken of, is by no means to be accommodated unto angels. In both the places mentioned by themselves, and in all places where it is spoken of, it is expressive of a change from bad to good, from evil actions to grace, and is the same with regeneration or conversion, which cannot be ascribed to angels, who never sinned nor lost their first habitation. 4. The dominion of Christ over angels and men is nowhere called a new creation, nor is there any color or pretense why it should be so expressed. f306 5. The new creation is “in Christ,” 2 Corinthians 5:17; but to be “in Christ” is to be implanted into him by the Holy Spirit by believing, which by no means can be accommodated to angels. 6. If only the dominion of Christ be intended, then, whereas Christ’s dominion is, according to our adversaries (Smalc. de Divin. Christi, cap. 16), extended over all creatures, men, angels, devils, and all other things in the world, men, angels, devils, and all things, are new creatures! 7. Socinus says that by “principalities and powers” devils are intended.

    And what advancement may they be supposed to have obtained by the new creation? The devils were created, that is, delivered! There is no end of the folly and absurdities of this interpretation: I shall spend no more words about it. Our argument from this place stands firm and unshaken.

    Grotius abides by his friends in the interpretation of this place, wresting it to the new creature and the dominion of Christ over all, against all the reasons formerly insisted on, and with no other argument than what he was from the Socinians supplied withal. His words on the place are: — “It is certain that all things were created by the Word; but those things that go before show that Christ is here treated of, which is the name of a man, as Chrysostom also understood this place. But he would have it that the world was made for Christ, in a sense not corrupt; but on the account of that which went before, ejkti>sqh is better interpreted ‘were ordained,’ or ‘obtained a certain new state.’“ So he, in almost the very words of Socinus. But, — 1. In what sense “all things were created by the Word,” and what Grotius intends by the “Word,” I shall speak elsewhere. 2. Is Christ the name of a man only? or of him who is only a man? Or is he a man only as he is Christ? If he would have spoken out to this, we might have had some light into his meaning in many other places of his Annotations. The apostle tells us that Christ is “over all, God blessed for ever,” Romans 9:5; and that Jesus Christ was “declared to be the Son of God, by the resurrection from the dead,” chap. 1:4. If “Christ” denote the person of our mediator, Christ is God, and what is spoken of Christ is spoken of him who is God. But this is that which is aimed at: The Word, or Wisdom of God, bears eminent favor towards that man Jesus Christ; but that he was any more than a man, that is, the union of the natures of God and man in one person, is denied. 3. The words before are so spoken of Christ as that they call him the Son of God, and the image of the invisible God, and the first-born of the creation; which though he was who was a man, yet he was not as he was a man. 4. All the arguments we have insisted on, and farther shall insist on (by God’s assistance), to prove the deity of Christ, with all the texts of Scripture wherein it is plainly affirmed, do evince the vanity of this exception, “Christ is the name of a man; therefore the things spoken of him are not proper and peculiar to God.” 5. Into Chrysostom’s exposition of this place I shall not at present inquire, though I am not without reason to think he is wronged; but that the word here translated “created” may not, cannot be rendered ordained, or placed in a new state and condition, I have before sufficiently evinced, neither doth Grotius add any thing to evince his interpretation of the place, or to remove what is objected against it. 1. He tells us that of that sense of the word kti>zein , he hath spoken in his Prolegomena to the Gospels; and urges Ephesians 11:10, 13, 3:9, 4:24, to prove the sense proposed. (1.) It is confessed that God doth sometimes express the exceeding greatness of his power and efficacy of his grace in the regeneration of a sinner, and enabling him to live to God, by the word “create,” — whence such a person is sometimes called the “new creature,” — according to the many promises of the Old Testament, of creating a new heart in the elect, whom he would take into covenant with himself, — a truth which wraps that in its bowels whereunto Grotius was no friend; but that this new creation can be accommodated to the things here spoken of is such a figment as so learned a man might have been ashamed of. The constant use of the word in the New Testament is that which is proper, and that which in this place we insist on: as Romans 1:25; 1 Timothy 4:3; Revelation 4:11. (2.) Ephesians 2:10 speaks of the “new creature” in the sense declared; which is not illustrated by verse 13, which is quite of another import. Chap. 4:24 is to the same purpose. Chap. 3:9, the creation of all things, simply and absolutely, is ascribed to God; which to wrest to a new creation there is no reason, but what arises from opposition to Jesus Christ, because it is ascribed also to him. 2. The latter part of the verse he thus illustrates, or rather obscures: Ta< pa>nta dij aujtou~ , intellige omnia quae ad novam creationem pertinent.” How causelessly, how without ground, how contrary to the words and scope of the place, hath been showed. “ Kai< eijv aujtopropter ipsum, ut ipse omnibus illis praeesset, Revelation 5:13, Hebrews 2:8.”

    This is to go forward in an ill way. (1.) What one instance can he give of this sense of the expression opened?

    The words, as hath been showed, are used of God the Father, Romans 11:36, and are expressive of absolute sovereignty, as Revelation 4:11. (2.) The texts cited by him to exemplify the sense of this place (for they are not instanced in to explain the phrase, which is not used in them) do quite evert his whole gloss. In both places the dominion of Christ is asserted over the whole creation; and particularly, in Revelation 5:13, things in heaven, earth, under the earth, and in the sea, are recounted. I desire to know whether all these are made new creatures or no. If not, it is not the dominion of Christ over them that is here spoken of; for he speaks only of them that he created.

    Of the 17th verse he gives the same exposition: Kai< aujto>v ejsti pro< pa>ntwn , id est, A et W, ut ait Apoc. 1:8, pro< pa>ntwn , intellige ut jam diximus.” Not contented to pervert this place, he draws another into society with it, wherein he is more highly engaged than our catechists, who confess that place robe spoken of the eternity of God: Kai< ta< pa>nta ejn aujtw|~ sune>sthke Et haec vox de veteri creatione ad novam traducitur.

    Vid. 2 Peter 3:5.” Prove it by any one instance; or, if that may not be done, beg no more in a matter of this importance. In Peter it is used of the existence of all things by the power of God, in and upon their creation; and so also here, but spoken with reference to Jesus Christ, who is “God over all, blessed for ever.” And so much for the vindication of this testimony. Hebrews 1:2 is nextly mentioned, “By whom also he made the worlds” That these words are spoken of Christ is not denied. They are too express to bear any exception on that account. That God is said to make the world by Christ doth not at all prejudice what we intend from this place. God could no way make the world by Christ but as he was his own eternal Wisdom; which exempts him from the condition of a creature. Besides, as it is said that God made the world by him, denoting the subordination of the Son to the Father and his being his Wisdom, as he is described Proverbs 8; so also the Word is said to make the world, as a principal efficient cause himself, John 1:3 and Hebrews 1:10. The word here used is aijw~nav . That aijw>n is of various acceptations in the New Testament is known. A duration of time, an age, eternity, are sometimes expressed thereby; the world, the beginning of it, or its creation, as John 9:32. In this place it signifies not “time” simply and solely, but the things created in the “beginning of time” and “in all times;” and so expressly the word is used, Hebrews 11:3. The framing aijw>nwn , is the creation of the world; which by faith we come to know. “The worlds,” that is, the world and all in it, were made by Christ.

    Let us now hear our catechists: — Q. How dost thou answer to this testimony?

    A. On this manner, that it is here openly written, not that Christ made, but that God by Christ made the worlds. It is also confessed that the word “secula” may signify not only the ages past and present, but also to come.

    But that here it signifies things future is demonstrated from hence, that the same author affirmeth that by him whom God appointed heir of all things he made the worlds: for Jesus of Nazareth was not made heir of all things before he raised him from the dead; which appears from hence, because then all power in heaven and in earth was given him of God the Father; in which grant of power, and not in any other thing, that inheritance of all things is contained. f308 1. For the first exception, it hath been sufficiently spoken to already; and if nothing else but the pre-existence of Christ unto the whole creation be hence proved, yet the cause of our adversaries is by it destroyed for ever.

    This exception might do some service to the Arians; to Socinians it will do none at all. 2. The word “secula” signifies not things future anywhere. This is gratis dictum, and cannot be proved by any instance. “The world to come” may do so, but “the world” simply doth not. That it doth not so signify in this place is evident from these considerations: — (1.) These words, “By whom he made the worlds,” are given as a reason why God made him “heir of all things,” — even because by him he made all things; which is no reason at all, if you understand only heavenly things by “the worlds” here: which also removes the last exception of our catechists, that Christ was appointed heir of all things antecedently to his making of the world; which is most false, this being given as a reason of that, — his making of the world of his being made heir of all things.

    Besides, this answer, that Christ made not the world until his resurrection, is directly opposite to that formerly given by them to Colossians 1:16, where they would have him to be said to make all things because of the reconciliation he made by his death, verse 20. (2.) The same word or expression in the same epistle is used for the world in its creation, as was before observed, chap. 11:3; which makes it evident that the apostle in both places intends the same. (3.) Aijw>n is nowhere used absolutely for “the world to come;” which being spoken of in this epistle, is once called oijkoume>nhn thllousan , chap. 2:5, and ajiw~na me>llonta , chap. 6:5, but nowhere absolutely ajiw~na or ajiw~nav. (4.) “The world to come” is nowhere said to be made, nor is this expression used of it. It is said, chap. 2:5, to be put into subjection to Christ, not to be made by him; and chap. 6:5, the “powers” of it are mentioned, not its creation. (5.) That is said to be made by Christ which he upholds with the word of his power; but this is said simply to be all things: “He upholdeth all things by the word of his power,” chap. 1:3. (6.) This plainly answers the former expressions insisted on, “He made the world,” “He made all things,” etc. So that this text also lies as a two-edged sword at the very heart of the Socinian cause.

    Grotius seeing that this interpretation could not be made good, yet being no way willing to grant that making of the world is ascribed to Christ, relieves his friends with one evasion more than they were aware of. It is, that di ou= , “by whom,” is put for dij o\n , “for whom,” or for whose sake; and ejpoi>hse is to be rendered by the preterpluperfect tense, “he had made.” And so the sense is, “God made the world for Christ;” which answereth an old saying of the Hebrews, “That the world was made for the Messiah.”

    But what will not great wits give a color to! 1. Grotius is not able to give me one instance in the whole New Testament where dij ou= is taken for dij o\n : and if it should be so anywhere, himself would confess that it must have some cogent circumstance to enforce that construction, as all places must have where we go off from the propriety of the word. 2. If dij ou= be put for dij o\n dia< must be put for eijv , as, in the opinion of Beza, it is once in the place quoted by Grotius, and so signify the final cause, as he makes dij o[n , to do. Now, the Holy Ghost doth expressly distinguish between these two in this business of making the world, Romans 11:36, Dij aujtou~ kai< eijv aujtonta : so that, doubtless, in the same matter, one of these is not put for the other. 3. Why must ejpoi>hse be “condiderat?” and what example can be given of so rendering that aoristus? If men may say what they please, without taking care to give the least probability to what they say, these things may pass, 4. If the apostle must be supposed to allude to any opinion or saying of the Jews, it is much more probable that he alluded, in the word aijw~nav , which he uses, to the threefold world they mention in their liturgy, — the lower, middle, and higher world, or [residence of the] souls of the blessed, — or the fourfold, mentioned by Rab. Alschech: “Messias prosperabitur, vocabulum est quod quatuor mundos complectitur; qui sunt mundus inferior, mundus angelorum, mundus sphaerarum, et mundus supremus,” etc. But of this enough.

    Though this last testimony be sufficient to confound all gainsayers, and to stop the mouths of men of common ingenuity, yet it is evident that our catechists are more perplexed with that which follows in the same chapter; which, therefore, they insist longer upon than on any one single testimony besides, — with what success comes now to be considered.

    The words are, Hebrews 1:10-12, “Thou,LORD, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish, but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”

    That these words of the psalmist are spoken concerning Christ we have the testimony of the apostle applying them to him; wherein we are to acquiesce. The thing also is clear in itself, for they are added in his discourse of the deliverance of the church; which work is peculiar to the Son of God, and where that is mentioned, it is he who eminently is intended. Now, very many of the arguments wherewith the deity of Christ is confirmed are wrapped up in these words: — 1 . His name, Jehovah, is asserted: “Thou,LORD;” for of him the psalmist speaks, though he repeats not that word. 2. His eternity and pre-existence to his incarnation: “Thou,LORD, in the beginning,” — that is, before the world was made. 3. His omnipotence and divine power in the creation of all things: “Thou hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.” 4. His immutability: “Thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail;” as Malachi 3:6. 5. His sovereignty and dominion over all: “As a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed.” Let us now see what darkness they are able to pour forth upon this sun shining in its strength.

    Q. What dost thou answer to this testimony A. To this testimony I answer, that it is not to be understood of Christ, but of God. But because this writer refers it to the Son of God, it is to be considered that the discourse in this testimony is expressly about not one, but two things chiefly. The one is the creation of heaven and earth; the other, the abolishing of created things. Now, that that author doth not refer the first unto Christ is hence evident, because in that chapter he proposeth to himself to demonstrate the excellency of Christ above the angels; not that which he hath of himself, but that which he had by inheritance, and whereby he is made better than the angels, as is plain to any one, verse 4; of which kind of excellence seeing that the creation of heaven and earth is not, nor can be, it appeareth manifestly that this testimony is not urged by this writer to prove that Christ created heaven and earth. Seeing, therefore, the first part cannot be referred to Christ, it appeareth that the latter only is to be referred to him, and that because by him God will abolish heaven and earth, when by him he shall execute the last judgment, whereby the excellency of Christ above angels shall be so conspicuous that the angels themselves shall in that very thing serve him. And seeing this last speech could not be understood without those former words, wherein mention is made of heaven and earth, being joined to them by this word “they,” therefore the author had a necessity to make mention of them also; for if other holy writers do after that manner cite the testimonies of Scripture, compelled by no necessity, much more was this man to do it, being compelled thereunto.

    Q. But where have the divine writers done this?

    A. Amongst many other testimonies take Matthew 12:18-21, where it is most manifest that only verse 19 belongeth to the purpose of the evangelist, when he would prove why Christ forbade that he should be made known. So Acts 2:17-21, where also verses 17, 18, only do make to the apostle’s purpose, which is to prove that the Holy Ghost was poured forth on the disciples; and there also, Acts 25-28, where verse only is to the purpose, the apostle proving only that it was impossible that Christ should be detained of death. Lastly, in this very chapter, verse 9, where these words, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity,” are used, it is evident that they belong not to the thing which the apostle proveth, which is that Christ was made more excellent than the angels. f309 That in all this discourse there is not any thing considerable but the horrible boldness of these men, in corrupting and perverting the word of God, will easily to the plainest capacity be demonstrated; for which end I offer the ensuing animadversions: — 1. To say these things are not spoken of Christ, because they are spoken of God, is a shameless begging of the thing in question. We prove Christ to be God because those things are spoken of him that are proper to God only. 2. It is one thing in general that is spoken of, namely, the deity of Christ; which is proved by one testimony, from Psalm 102, concerning one property of Christ, namely, his almighty power, manifested in the making of all thins, and disposing them in his sovereign will, himself abiding unchangeable. 3. It is shameless impudence in these gentlemen, to take upon them to say that this part of the apostle’s testimony which he produceth is to his purpose, that not; as if they were wiser than the Holy Ghost, and knew Paul’s design better than himself. 4. The foundation of their whole evasion is most false, — namely, that all the proofs of the excellency of Christ above angels, insisted on by the apostle, belong peculiarly to what he is said to receive by inheritance. The design of the apostle is to prove the excellency of Christ in himself, and then in comparison of angels: and therefore, before the mention of what he received by inheritance, he affirms directly that by him “God made the worlds;” and to this end it is most evident that this testimony, that he created heaven and earth, is most directly subservient. 5. Christ also hath his divine nature by inheritance, — that is, he was eternally begotten of the essence of his Father, and is thence by right of inheritance his Son, as the apostle proves from Psalm 2:7. 6. Our catechists speak not according to their own principles when they make a difference between what Christ had from himself and what he had from inheritance, for they suppose he had nothing but by divine grant and voluntary concession, which they make the inheritance here spoken of; nor according to ours, who say not that the Son, as the Son, is a seipso, or hath any thing a seipso; and so know not what they say. 7. There is not, then, the least color or pretense of denying this first part of the testimony to belong to Christ. The whole is spoken of to the same purpose, to the same person, and belongs to the same matter in general; and that first expression is, if not only, yet mainly and chiefly, effectual to confirm the intendment of the apostle, proving directly that Christ is better and more excellent than the angels, in that he is Jehovah, that made heaven and earth, they are but his creatures, — as God often compares himself with others. In the psalm, the words respect chiefly the making of heaven and earth; and these words are applied to our Savior. That the two works of making and abolishing the world should be assigned distinctly unto two persons there is no pretense to affirm. This boldness, indeed, is intolerable. 8. To abolish the world is no less a work of almighty power than to make it, nor can it be done by any but him that made it, and this confessedly is ascribed to Christ; and both alike belong to the asserting of the excellency of God above all creatures, which is here aimed to be done. 9. The reason given why the first words, which are nothing to the purpose, are cited with the latter, is a miserable begging of the thing in question; yea, the first words are chiefly and eminently to the apostle’s purpose, as hath been showed. We dare not say only; for the Holy Ghost knew better than we what was to his purpose, though our catechists be wiser in their own conceits than he. Neither is there any reason imaginable why the apostle should rehearse more words here out of the psalm than were directly to the business he had in hand, seeing how many testimonies he cites, and some of them very briefly, leaving them to be supplied from the places whence they are taken. 10. That others of the holy writers do urge testimonies not to their purpose, or beyond what they need, is false in itself, and a bold imputation of weakness to the penmen of the Holy Ghost. The instances hereof given by our adversaries are not at all to the purpose which they are pursuing; for, — (1.) In no one of them is there a testimony cited whereof one part should concern one person, and another another, as is here pretended;wand without farther process this is sufficient to evince this evasion of impertinency; for nothing will amount to the interpretation they enforce on this place but the producing of some place of the New Testament where a testimony is cited out of the Old, speaking throughout of the same person, whereof the one part belongs to him and the other not, although that which they say doth not belong to him be most proper for the confirmation of what is affirmed of him, and what the whole is brought in proof of. (2.) There is not any of the places instanced in by them wherein the whole of the words is not directly to the purpose in hand, although some of them are more immediately suited to the occasion on which the whole testimony is produced, as it were easy to manifest by the consideration of the several places. (3.) These words, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity,’’ are not mentioned to prove immediately the excellency of Christ above angels, but his administration of his kingdom, on which account, among others, he is so excellent; and thereunto they are most proper.

    And this is the issue of their attempt against this testimony; which, being thus briefly vindicated, is sufficient alone of itself to consume with its brightness all the opposition which, from the darkness of hell or men, is made against the deity of Christ.

    And yet we have one more to consider before this text be dismissed.

    Grotius is nibbling at this testimony also. His words are: “Again, that which is spoken of God he applies to the Messiah; because it was confessed among the Hebrews that this world was created for the Messiah’s sake (whence I should think that ejqemeli>wsav is rightly to be understood, ‘Thou wast the cause why it was founded;’ — and, ‘The heavens are the works of thy hands;’ that is, ‘They were made for thee’), and that a new and better world should be made by him.’’ So he.

    This is not the first time we have met with this conceit, and I wish that it had sufficed this learned man to have framed his Old Testament annotations to rabbinical traditions, that the New might have escaped. But jacta est alea. 1. I say, then, that the apostle doth not apply that to one person which was spoken of another, but asserts the words in the psalm to be spoken of him concerning whom he treats, and thence proves his excellency, which is the business he hath in hand. It is not to adorn Christ with titles which were not due to him (which to do were robbery), but to prove by testimonies that were given of him that he is no less than he affirmed him to be, even “God, blessed for ever.” 2. Let any man in his right wits consider this interpretation, and try whether he can persuade himself to receive it: Eqemeli>wsav su< Ku>rie , — “For thee, O Lord, were the foundations of the earth laid, and the heavens are the works of thy hands;” that is, “They were made for thee.”

    Any man may thus make quidlibet ex quolibet; but whether with due reverence to the word of God I question. 3. It is not about the sense of the Hebrew particles that we treat (and yet the learned man cannot give one clear instance of what he affirms), but of the design of the Holy Ghost in the psalm and in this place of the Hebrews, applying these words to Christ. 4. I marvel he saw not that this interpretation doth most desperately cut its own throat, the parts of it being at an irreconcilable difference among themselves: for, in the first place, he says the words are spoken of God, and applied to the Messiah, and then proves the sense of them to be such that they cannot be spoken of God at all, but merely of the Messiah; for to that sense doth he labor to wrest both the Hebrew and Greek texts.

    Methinks the words being spoken of God, and not of the Messiah, but only fitted to him by the apostle, there is no need to say that “Thou hast laid the foundation of the earth,” is, “It was laid for thy sake;” and, “The heavens are the works of thy hands,” that is, “They were made for thee,” seeing they are properly spoken of God. This one rabbinical figment of the world’s being made for the Messiah is the engine whereby the learned man turns about and perverts the sense of this whole chapter. In brief, if either the plain sense of the words or the intendment of the Holy Ghost in this place be of any account, yea, if the apostle deals honestly and sincerely, and speaks to what he doth propose, and urges that which is to his purpose, and doth not falsely apply that to Christ which was never spoken of him, this learned gloss is directly contrary to the text.

    And these are the testimonies given to the creation of all things by Christ, which our catechists thought good to produce to examination.

    CHAPTER 12. All-ruling and disposing providence assigned unto Christ, and his eternal Godhead thence farther confirmed, with other testimonies thereof. THAT Christ is that God who made all things hath been proved by the undeniable testimonies in the last chapter insisted on. That, as the great and wise Creator of all things, he doth also govern, rule, and dispose of the things by him created, is another evidence of his eternal power and Godhead, some testimonies whereof, in that order of procedure which by our catechists is allotted unto us, come now to be considered.

    The first they propose is taken from Hebrews 1:3, where the words spoken of Christ are, Fe>rwn te ta< pa>nta tw~| rJh>mati th~v duna>mewv auJtou~ , — “Upholding all things by the word of his power.”

    He who “upholdeth all things by the word of his power” is God. This is ascribed to God as his property; and by none but by him who is God by nature can it be performed. Now, this is said expressly of Jesus Christ: “Who being the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins,” etc.

    This place, or the testimony therein given to the divine power of Jesus Christ, they seek thus to elude: — The word here,” all things,” doth not, no more than in many other places, signify all things universally without exception, but is referred to those things only which belong to the kingdom of Christ; of which it may truly be said that the Lord Jesus “beareth,” that is, conserveth,” all things by the word of his power.” But that the word” all things” is in this place referred unto those things only appeareth sufficiently from the subject-matter itself of it.

    Moreover, the word which this writer useth, “to bear,” doth rather signify governing or administration than preservation, as these words annexed, “By the word of his power,” seem to intimate. f311 This indeed is jejune, and almost unworthy of these men, if any thing may be said so to be; for, — 1. Why is ta< pa>nta here “the things of the kingdom of Christ”? It is the express description of the person of Christ, as” the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person,” that the apostle is treating of, and not at all of his kingdom as mediator. 2. It expressly answers the “worlds” that he is said to make, verse 2; which are not “the things of the kingdom of Christ,” nor do our catechists plead them directly so to be. This term, “all things,” is never put absolutely for all the things of the kingdom of Christ. 3. The subject-matter here treated of by the apostle is the person of Jesus Christ and the eminency thereof. The medium whereby he proves it to be so excellent is his almighty power in creating and sustaining of all things.

    Nor is there any subject-matter intimated that should restrain these words to the things of the kingdom of Christ. 4. The word fe>rwn , neither in its native signification nor in the use of it in the Scripture, gives any countenance to the interpretation of it by “governing or administering,’’ nor can our catechists give any one instance of that signification there. It is properly “to bear, to carry, to sustain, to uphold.” Out of nothing Christ made all things, and preserves them by his power from returning into nothing. 5. What insinuation of their sense they have from that expression,” By the word of his power,” I know not. “By the word of his power” is “By his powerful word.” And that that word or command is sometimes taken for the effectual strength and efficacy of God’s dominion, put forth for the accomplishing of his own purposes, I suppose needs not much proving.

    Grotius would have the words du>namiv auJtou~ to refer to the power of the Father, “Christ upholdeth all things by the word of his Father’s power,” without reason or proof, nor will the grammatical account bear that reddition of the relative mentioned.

    About that which they urge out of Jude 5 I shall not contend. The testimony from thence relies on the authority of the Vulgar Latin translation; which, as to me, may plead for itself.

    Neither of what is mentioned from 1 Corinthians 10 shall I insist on any thing, but only the 9th verse, the words whereof are, “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.”

    The design of the apostle is known. From the example of God’s dealing with the children of Israel in the wilderness upon their sins and provocations, there being a parity of state and condition between them and Christians as to their spiritual participation of Jesus Christ, verses 1-4, he dehorts believers from the ways and sins whereby God was provoked against them. Particularly in this verse he insists on the tempting of Christ; for which the Lord sent fiery serpents among them, by which they were destroyed, Numbers 21:6. He whom the people tempted in the wilderness, and for which they were destroyed by serpents, was the Lord Jehovah; now, this doth the apostle apply to Christ: he therefore is the Lord Jehovah. But they say, — From those words it cannot be proved that Christ was really tempted in the wilderness, as from the like speech, if any one should so speak, may be apprehended. “Be not refractory to the magistrates, as some of our ancestors were.” You would not thence conclude straightway that the same singular magistrates were in both places intended. And if the like phrases of speech are found in Scripture, in which the like expression is referred to him whose name was expressed a little before, without any repetition of the same name, it is there done where another besides him who is expressed cannot be understood; as you have an example of here, Deuteronomy 6:16, “You shall not tempt theLORD your God, as you tempted him in Massah.” But in this speech of the apostle of which we treat, another besides Christ may be understood, as Moses or Aaron; of which see Numbers 21:5. f312 1. Is there the same reason of these two expressions, “Do not tempt Christ, as some of them tempted,” and, “Be not refractory against the magistrates, as some of them were”? “Christ” is the name of one singular individual person, wherein none shareth at any time, it being proper only to him. “Magistrate” is a term of office, as it was to him that went before him, and will be to him that shall follow after him. 2. They need not to have puzzled their catechumens with their long rule, which I shall as little need to examine, for none can be understood here but Christ. That the word “God” should be here understood they do not plead, nor if they had had a mind thereunto is there any place for that plea; for if the apostle had intended God in distinction from Christ, it was of absolute necessity that he should have expressed it; nor, if it hail been expressed, would the apostle’s argument have been of any force unless Christ had been God, equal to him who was so tempted. 3. It is false that the Israelites tempted Moses or Aaron, or that it can be said they tempted them. It is God they are everywhere said to tempt, Psalm 78:18,56; <19A614> Psalm 106:14; Hebrews 3:9. It is said, indeed, “that they murmured against Moses, that they provoked him, that they chode with him;” but to tempt him, — which is to require a sign and manifestation of his divine power, — that they did not, nor could be said to do, Numbers 21:5.

    Grotius tries his last shift in this place, and tells us, from I know not what ancient manuscript, that it is not, “Let us not tempt Christ,” but, “Let us not tempt God:” “Error commissus ex notis Qn et Cn .” That neither the Syriac, nor the Vulgar Latin translation, nor any copy that either Stephanus in his edition of the New Testament or in his various lections had seen, nor any of Beza’s, nor Erasmus’ (who would have been ready enough to have laid hold of the advantage), should in the least give occasion of any such conjecture of an alteration, doth wholly take off, with me, all the authority either of the manuscript or of him that affirms it from thence. f313 As they please to proceed, the next place to be considered is John 12:41, “These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.”

    The words in the foregoing verses, repeated by the apostle, manifest that it is the vision mentioned Isaiah 6 that the apostle relates unto. Whence we thus argue: He whose glory Isaiah saw, <230601> chap. 6, was “the Holy, holy, holy,LORD of hosts,” verse 3, “the King, theLORD of hosts,” verse 5; but this was Jesus Christ whose glory Isaiah then saw, as the Holy Ghost witnesses in these words of John 12:41. What say our catechists?

    First, it appears that these words are not necessarily referred to Christ, because they may be understood of God the Father; for the words a little before are spoken of him, “He hath blinded, hardened, healed.” Then, the glory that Isaiah saw might be, nay was, not present, but future; for it is proper to prophets to see things future, whence they are called “seers,” 1 Samuel 9:9.

    Lastly, although these words should be understood of that glory which was then present and seen to Isaiah, yet to see the glory of one and to see himself are far different things. And in the glory of that one God Isaiah saw also the glory of the Lord Christ; for the prophet says there, “The whole earth is full of the glory of God,” verse 3. But then this was accomplished in reality when Jesus appeared to that people, and was afterward preached to the whole world. f314 It is most evident that these men know not what to say nor what to stick to in their interpretation of this place. This makes them heap up so many several suggestions, contradictory one to another, crying that “It may be thus,” or “It may be thus.” But, — 1. That these words cannot be referred to God the Father, but must of necessity be referred to Christ, is evident, because there is no occasion of mentioning him in this place, but an account is given of what was spoken verse 37, “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him;” to which answers this verse, “When he saw his glory, and spake of him.” The other words of “blinding” and “hardening” are evidently alleged to give an account of the reason of the Jews’ obstinacy in their unbelief, not relating immediately to the person spoken of. The subject-matter treated of is Christ. The occasion of mentioning this testimony is Christ. Of him here are the words spoken. 2. The glory Isaiah saw was present; all the circumstances of the vision evince no less. He tells you the time, place, and circumstances of it; — when he saw the seraphims; when he heard their voice; when the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried; when the house was filled with glory; and when he himself was so terrified that he cried out, “Woe is me, for I am undone!” If any thing in the world be certain, it is certain that he saw that glory present. 3. He did not only see his glory, but he saw him; or he so saw his glory as that he saw him, so as he may be seen. So the prophet says expressly, “I have seen the King, theLORD of hosts.” And what the prophet says of seeing the Lord of hosts, the apostle expresses by seeing “his glory;” because he saw him in that glorious vision, or saw that glorious representation of his presence. 4. He did, indeed, see the glory of the Lord Christ in seeing the glory of the one God, he being the true God of Israel; and on no other account is his glory seen than by seeing the glory of the one true God. 5. The prophet doth not say that “the earth was full of the glory of God,” but it is the proclamation that the seraphims made one to another concerning that God whose presence was then there manifested. 6. When Christ first appeared to the people of the Jews, there was no great manifestation of glory. The earth was always full of the glory of God. And if those words have any peculiar relation to the glory of the gospel, yet withal they prove that he was then present whose glory in the gospel was afterward to fill the earth.

    Grotius hath not aught to add to what was before insisted on by his friends. A representation he would have this to be of God’s dealing in the gospel, when it is plainly his proceeding in the rejection of the Jews for their incredulity, and tells you, “Dicitur Esaias vidisse gloriam Christi, sicut Abrahamus diem ejus ;” “Isaiah saw his glory, as Abraham saw his day.” Well aimed, however! Abraham saw his day by faith; Isaiah saw his glory in a vision. Abraham saw his day as future, and rejoiced; Isaiah so saw his glory as God present that he trembled. Abraham saw the day of Christ all the days of his believing; Isaiah saw his glory only in the year that king Uzziah died. Abraham saw the day of Christ in the promise of his coming; Isaiah saw his glory with the circumstances before mentioned.

    Even such let all undertakings appear to be that are against the eternal deity of Jesus Christ!

    In his annotations on the 6th of Isaiah, where the vision insisted on is expressed, he takes no notice at all of Jesus Christ or the second person of the Trinity; nor (which is very strange) doth he so much as once intimate that what is here spoken is applied by the Holy Ghost unto Christ in the gospel, nor once name the chapter where it is done! With what mind and intention the business is thus carried on God knows; I know not.

    CHAPTER 13. Of the incarnation of Christ, and his pre-existence thereunto. THE testimonies of Scripture which affirm Christ to have been incarnate, or to have taken flesh, which inevitably proves his pre-existence in another nature to his so doing, they labor, in their next attempt, to corrupt, and so to evade the force and efficacy which from them appeareth so destructive to their cause; and herein they thus proceed: — Ques. From what testimonies of Scripture do they endeavor to demonstrate that Christ was, as they speak, incarnate?

    Ans. From these, John 1:14; Philippians 2:6,7; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:16; 1 John 4:2,3; Hebrews 10:5. f315 Of the first of these we have dealt already, in the handling of the beginning of that chapter, and sufficiently vindicated it from all their exceptions; so that we may proceed immediately to the second.

    Q. What dost thou answer to the second?

    A. Neither is that here contained which the adverse party would prove: for it is one thing which the apostle saith, “Being in the form of God, he took the form of a servant;” another, that the divine nature assumed the human; for the “form of God” cannot here denote the divine nature, seeing the apostle writes that Christ exinanivit, — made that form of no reputation, but God can no way make his nature of no reputation; neither doth the “form of a servant” denote human nature, seeing to be a servant is referred to the fortune and condition of a man. Neither is that also to be forgotten, that the writings of the New Testament do once only, it may be, use that word “form” elsewhere, namely, Mark 16:12, and that in that sense wherein it signifies not nature, but the outward appearance, saying, “Jesus appeared in another form unto two of his disciples.”

    Q. But from those words which the apostle afterward adds, “He was found in fashion as a man,” doth it not appear that he was, as they say , incarnate?

    A. By no means; for that expression contains nothing of Christ’s nature: for of Samson we read that he should be “as a man,” Judges 16:7,11; and, Psalm 82, Asaph denounced to those whom he called “sons of the Most High,” that they “should die like men;” — of whom it is certain that it cannot be said of them that they were, as they speak, incarnate.

    Q. How dost thou understand this place?

    A. On this manner, that Christ, who in the world did the works of God, to whom all yielded obedience as to God, and to whom divine adoration was given, — God so willing, and the salvation of men requiring it, — was made as a servant and a vassal, and as one of the vulgar, when he had of his own accord permitted himself to be taken, bound, beaten, and slain. f316 Thus they. Now, because it is most certain and evident to every one that ever considered this text, that, according to their old trade and craft, they have mangled it and taken it in pieces, at least cut off the head and legs of this witness, we must seek out the other parts of it and lay them together before we may proceed to remove this heap out of our way. Our argument from this place is not solely from hence, that he is said to be “in the form of God,” but also that he was so in the form of God as to be “equal with him,” as is here expressed; nor merely that “he took upon him the form of a servant,” but that he took it upon him when he was “made in the likeness of men,” or “in the likeness of sinful flesh,” as the apostle expresses it, Romans 8:3. Now, these things our catechists thought good to take no notice of in this place, nor of one of them any more in any other. But seeing the very head of our argument lies in this, that “in the form of God” he is said to be “equal with God,” and that expression is in another place taken notice of by them, I must needs gather it into its own contexture before I do proceed. Thus, then, they: — Q. How dost thou answer to those places where Christ is said to be equal to God, John 5:18, Philippians 2:6?

    A. That Christ is equal to God doth no way prove that there is in him a divine nature. Yea, the contrary is gathered from hence; for if Christ be equal to God, who is God by nature, it follows that he cannot be the same God. But the equality of Christ with God lies herein, that, by that virtue that God bestowed on him, he did and doth all those things which are God’s, as God himself. f317 This being the whole of what they tender to extricate themselves from the chains which this witness casts upon them, now lying before us, I shall propose our argument from the words, and proceed to the vindication of it in order.

    The intendment and design of the apostle in this place being evidently to exhort believers to self-denial, mutual love, and condescension one to another, he proposes to them the example of Jesus Christ; and lets them know that he, being in the form of God, and equal with God” therein (uJpa>rcwn , existing in that form, having both the nature and glory of God), did yet, in his love to us, “make himself of no reputation,” or lay aside and eclipse his glory, in this, that “he took upon him the form of a servant,” being made man, that in that form and nature he might be “obedient unto death” for us and in our behalf. Hence we thus plead: — He that was “in the form of God,” and “equal with God,” existing therein, and “took on him the” nature and “form of a servant,” he is God by nature, and was incarnate or made flesh in the sense before spoken of; now all this is affirmed of Jesus Christ: ergo. 1. To this they say (that we may consider that first which is first in the text), “That his being equal to God doth not prove him to be God by nature, but the contrary,” etc., as above. But, — (1.) If none is, nor can be, by the testimony of God himself, like God, or equal to him, who is not God by nature, then he that is equal to him is so.

    But, “To whom will ye liken me? or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things,” Isaiah 40:25,26.

    None that hath not created all things of nothing can be equal to him. And, “To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?” chap. 46:5. (2.) Between that which is finite and that which is infinite, that which is eternal and that which is temporal, the creature and the Creator, God by nature and him who by nature is not God, it is utterly impossible there should be any equality. (3.) God having so often avouched his infinite distance from all creatures, his refusal to give his glory to any of them, his inequality with them all, it must have been the highest robbery that ever any could be guilty of, for Christ to make himself equal to God if he were not God. (4.) The apostle’s argument arises from hence, that he was equal to God before he took on him the form of a servant; which was before his working of those mighty works wherein these gentlemen assert him to be equal to God. 2. Themselves cannot but know the ridiculousness of their begging the thing in question, when they would argue that because he was equal to God he was not God. He was the same God in nature and essence, and therein equal to him to whom he was in subordination as the Son, and in office a servant, as undertaking the work of mediation. 3. The case being as by them stated, there was no equality between Christ and God in the works he wrought; for, — (1.) God doth the works in his own name and authority, Christ in God’s. (2.) God doth them by his own power, Christ by God’s. (3.) God doth them himself, Christ not, but God in him, as another from him. (4.) He doth not do them as God, however that expression be taken; for, according to these men, he wrought them neither in his own name, nor by his own power, nor for his own glory; all which he must do who doth things as God.

    He is said to be “equal with God,” not as he did such and such works, but as ejn morfh~| Qeou~ uJa>rcwn , — being in the form of God antecedently to the taking in hand of that form wherein he wrought the works intimated.

    To work great works by the power of God argues no equality with him, or else all the prophets and apostles that wrought miracles were also equal to God. The infinite inequality of nature between the Creator and the most glorious creature will not allow that it be said, on any account, to be equal to him. Nor is it said that Christ was equal to God in respect of the works he did, but, absolutely, “He thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”

    And so is their last plea to the first part of our argument accounted for: come we to what they begin withal. 1. We contend not, as hath been often said, about words and expressions. (1.) That the divine nature assumed the human we thus far abide by, that the Word, the Son of God, took to himself, into personal subsistence with him, a human nature; whence they are both one person, one Christ. And this is here punctually affirmed, namely, he that was and is God took upon him the form of a man. (2.) The apostle doth not say that Christ made that form of no reputation, or Christ ejke>nwse that form; but Christ, being in that form, eJautonwse “made himself of no reputation,” not by any real change of his divine nature, but by taking to himself the human, wherein he was of no reputation, it being he that was so, in the nature and by the dispensation wherein he was so. And it being not possible that the divine nature of itself, in itself, should be humbled, yet he was humbled who was in the form of God, though the form of God was not. 2. It is from his being “equal with God,” “in the form of God,” whereby we prove that his being in the form of God doth denote his divine nature; but of this our catechists had no mind to take notice. 3. The “form of a servant” is that which he took when he was made ejn oJmoiw>mati ajnqrw>pwn , as Adam begat a son in his own likeness. (1.) Now, this was not only in condition a servant, but in reality a man . (2.) The form of a servant was that wherein he underwent death, the death of the cross; but he died as a man, and not only in the appearance of a servant. (3.) The very phrase of expression manifests the human nature of Christ to be denoted hereby: only, as the apostle had not before said directly that he was God, but “in the form of God,” expressing both his nature and his glory, so here he doth not say he was a man, but in the “form of a servant,” expressing both his nature and his condition, wherein he was the servant of the Father. Of him it is said ejn morfh~| Qeou~ uJpa>rcwn , but morfhlou labw>n , — he was in the other, but this he took. (4.) To be a servant denotes the state or condition of a man; but for one who was “in the form of God,” and “equal with him,” to be made in the “form of a servant,” and to be “found as a man,” and to be in that form put to death, denotes, in the first place, a taking of that nature wherein alone he could be a servant. And this answers also to other expressions, of the “Word being made flesh,” and “God sending forth his Son, made of a woman.” (5.) This is manifest from the expression, Sch>mati euJreqei, — “He was found in fashion as a man;” that is, he was truly so: which is exegetical of what was spoken before, “He took on him the form of a servant” But they say, “This is of no importance, for the same is said of Samson, Judges 16:7,11, and of others, Psalm 82, who yet we do not say were incarnate.”

    These gentlemen are still like themselves. Of Christ it is said that he humbled himself, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was found in likeness as a man; of Samson, that being stronger than a hundred men, if he were dealt so and so withal, he would “become as other men,” for so the words expressly are, — no stronger than another man. And these places are parallel! Much good may these parallels do your catechumens! And so of those in the psalm, that though in this world they are high in power for a season, yet they should die as other men do. Hence, in a way of triumph and merriment, they ask if these were incarnate, and answer themselves that surely we will not say so. True, he who being as strong as many becomes by any means to be as one, and they who live in power but die in weakness as other men do, are not said to be incarnate; but he who, “being God, took on him the form of a servant, and was in this world a very man,” may (by our new masters’ leave) be said to be so. [As] for the sense which they give us of this place (for they are bold to venture at it), it hath been in part spoken to already. 1. Christ was in the world, as to outward appearance, no way instar Dei , but rather, as he says of himself, instar vermis. That he did the works of God, and was worshipped as God, was because he was God; nor could any but God either do the one, as he did them, or admit of the other. 2. This is the exposition given us: “‘Christ was in the form of God, counting it no robbery to be equal to him;’ that is, whilst he was here in the world, in the form of a servant, he did the works of God, and was worshipped.” 3. Christ was in the form of a servant from his first coming into the world, and as one of the people; therefore he was not made so by any thing afterward. His being bound, and beat, and killed, is not his being made a servant; for that by the apostle is afterward expressed, when he tells us why, or for what end (not how or wherein), he was made a servant, namely, “He became obedient to death, the death of the cross.”

    And this may suffice for the taking out of our way all that is excepted against this testimony by our catechists; but because the text is of great importance, and of itself sufficient to evince the sacred truth we plead for, some farther observations for the illustration of it may be added.

    The sense they intend to give us of these words is plainly this, “That Christ, by doing miracles in the world, appeared to be as God, or as a God; but he laid aside this form of God, and took upon him the form of a servant, when he suffered himself to be taken, bound, and crucified. He began to be,” they say, “in the form of God, when, after his baptism, he undertook the work of his public ministry, and wrought mighty works in the world; which form he ceased to be in when he was taken in the garden, and exposed as a servant to all manner of reproach.”

    That there is not any thing in this whole exposition answering the mind of the Holy Ghost is evident, as from what was said before, so also, 1. Because it is said of Christ, that ejn morfh~| Qeou~ uJpa>rcwn , he was “in the form of God,” before he “took the form of a servant.” And yet the taking of the form of a servant in this place doth evidently answer his being “made flesh,” John 1:14; his being made “in the likeness of sinful flesh,” Romans 8:3; his coming or being sent into the world, Matthew 10:40, 20:28; John 3:16,17, etc. 2. Christ was still in the form of God, as taken essentially, even then when he was a servant; though, as to the dispensation he had submitted to, he emptied himself of the glory of it, and was not known to be the “Lord of glory,” 2 Corinthians 8:9. 3. Even all the while that they say he was in the form of God, he was in the form of a servant; that is, he was really the servant of the Father, and was dealt withal in the world as a servant, under all manner of reproach, revilings, and persecutions. He was not more in the form of a servant when he was bound than when he had not where to lay his head. 4. The state and condition of a servant consists in this, that he is not sui juris. No more was Christ, in the whole course of his obedience; he did not any private will of his own, but the will of him that sent him. Those who desire to see the vindication of this place to the utmost, in all the particulars of it, may consult the confutation of the interpretation of Erasmus, by Beza, annot., in Philippians 2:6,7; of Ochinus and Laelius Socinus, by Zanchius in locum, et de Tribus Elohim, p. 227, eta; of Faustus Socinus, by Beckman, Exercitat. p. 168, et Johan. Jun. Examen Respon. Socin. pp. 201, 202; of Enjedinus, by Gomarus, Anal. Epist. Paul. ad Phil cap. 2; of Ostorodius, by Jacobus a Porta, Fidei Orthodox. Defens. pp. 89, 150, etc. That which I shall farther add is in reference to Grotius, whose Annotations may be one day considered by some of more time and leisure for so necessary a work.

    Thus then he: Ov ejn morfh~| Qeou~ uJpa>rcwn . “ Morfh> in nostris libris non significat internum et occultum aliquid, sed id quod in oculos incurrit, qualis erat eximia in Christo potestas sanandi morbos omnes, ejiciendi daemonas, excitandi mortuos, mutandi rerum naturas, quae vere divina sunt; ita ut Moses, qui tam magna non fecit, dictus ob id fuerit dens Pharaonis. Vocem morfh~v quo dixi sensu habes, Matthew 16:12, Isaiah 44:13, ubi in Hebraeo tynib]Tæ ; Daniel 4:33, Daniel 5:6,10; Daniel 7:28, ubi in Chaldaeo wyzi ; Job 4:16, ubi in Hebraeo hn;WmT] ;” — “ Morfh> in our books doth not signify an internal or hidden thing, but that which is visibly discerned, such as was that eminent power in Christ of healing all diseases, casting out of devils, raising the dead, changing the nature of things, which are truly divine; so that Moses, who did not so great things, was therefore called the god of Pharaoh. The word morfh> , in the sense spoken of, you have Mark 16:12, Isaiah 44:13, where in the Hebrew it is tynib]Tæ ; Daniel 4:33, etc., where in the Chaldee it is wyzi ; Job 4:16, where in the Hebrew it is hn;WmT] .”

    Ans. 1. A form is either substantial or accidental, — that which is indeed, or that which appears. That it is the substantial form of God which is here intended, yet with respect to the glorious manifestation of it (which may be also as the accidental form), hath been formerly declared and proved. So far it signifies that which is internal and hidden, or not visibly discerned, inasmuch as the essence of God is invisible. The proofs of this I shall not now repeat. 2. Christ’s power of working miracles was not visble, though the miracles he wrought were visible , insomuch that it was the great question between him and the Jews by what power he wrought his miracles; for they still pleaded that he cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. So that if the power of doing the things mentioned were morfh< Qeou~ , that form was not visible and exposed to the sight of men; for it was “aliquid internum et occultum,” — a thing internal and hidden. 3. If to be “in the form of God,” and thereupon to be “equal with him,” be to have power or authority of healing diseases, casting out devils, raising the dead, and the like, then the apostles were in the form of God, and equal to God, having Power and authority given them for all these things, which they wrought accordingly, casting out devils, healing the diseased, raising the dead, etc.; which whether it be not blasphemy to affirm the reader may judge. 4. It is true, God says of Moses, Exodus 7:1, “I have made thee a god to Pharaoh;” which is expounded chap. 4:16, where God tells him that “Aaron should be to him instead of a mouth, and he should be to him instead of God;” that is, Aaron should speak and deliver to Pharaoh and the people what God revealed to Moses, Moses revealing it to Aaron, — Aaron receiving his message from Moses as other prophets did from God; whence he is said to be to him “instead of God.” And this is given as the reason of that expression, <020701> chap. 7:1, of his being ‘“a god to Pharaoh,” even as our Savior speaks, because the word of God came by him, because he should reveal the will of God to him: “Thou shalt be a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh.” He is not upon the account of his working miracles called God, or said to be in the form of God, or to be made equal to God; hut revealing the will of God to Aaron, who spake it to Pharaoh, he is said to be “a god to Pharaoh,” or “instead of God,” as to that business. 5. It is truth, the word morph> , or “form,” is used, Mark 16:12, for the outward appearance; and it is as true the verb of the same signification is used for the internal and invisible form of a thing, Galatians 4:19, Acriv ou= morfwqh~| Ceistoauthors it is acknowledged that this word signifies the internal form of a thing) “this word morfh> signifies not any thing internal or hidden,” is true only of that one place, Mark 16:12. In this it is otherwise, and the verb of the same signification is evidently otherwise used. And, which may be added, other words that bear the same ambiguity of signification, as to things substantial or accidental, being applied to Christ, do still signify the former, not the latter, yea, where they expressly answer what is here spoken, as eijkw>n , Colossians 1:15, and uJpo>stasiv , Hebrews 1:3; both of the same import with morfh> here, save that the latter adds personality. 6. As for the words mentioned out of the Old Testament, they are used in businesses quite of another nature, and are restrained in their signification by the matter they speak of. tynib]Tæ is not morfh> properly, but eijkw>n , and is translated “imago” by Arias Montanus. raæTo is rather morfh> , Genesis 29:17, 1 Samuel 28:14. hn;WmT] is used ten times in the Bible, and hath various significations, and is variously rendered: oJmoi>wma , Deuteronomy 4:15; gluptoiwma , verse 16; so most commonly. wyzi in Daniel is “splendor,” do>xa , not morfh> . And what all this is to the purpose in hand I know not. The “form of God,” wherein Christ was, is that wherein he was “equal with God,’ — that which, as to the divine nature, is the same as his being in the “form of a servant,” wherein he was obedient to death, was to the human. And, which is sufficiently destructive of this whole exposition, Christ was then in the “form of a servant,” when this learned man would have him to be “in the form of God;” which two are opposed in this place, for he was the servant of the Father in the whole course of the work which he wrought here below, Isaiah 42:1.

    He proceeds on this foundation: Oujk aJrpagmosato to< ei=nai i+na Qew~| Aarpagmonon assumam rapinam.’ Solent qui aliquid bellica virtute peperere, id omnibus ostentare, ut Romani in triumpho facere solebant. Non multo aliter Plutarchus in Timoleonte: Oujc aJrpaghsato . Sensus est: Non venditavit Christus, non jactavit istam potestatem; quin saepe etiam imperavit ne quod fecerat vulgaretur. Isa hic est adverbium; sic Odyss. o:

    Toqea fronei~n , dixit scriptor, 2 Maccabes 9:12.

    Ei+nai i+na Qew~| est spectari tanquam Deum.” The sum of all is, “He thought it no robbery,” that is, he boasted not of his power, “to be equal to God, so to be looked on as a God.”

    The words, I confess, are not without their difficulty. Many interpretations are given of them; and I may say, that of the very many which I have considered, this of all others, as being wrested to countenance a false hypothesis, is the worst To insist particularly on the opening of the words is not my present task. That Grotius is beside the sense of them may be easily manifested; for, — 1. He brings nothing to enforce this interpretation. That the expression is Syriac in the idiom of it he abides not by, giving us an instance of the same phrase or expression out of Plutarch, who knew the propriety of the Greek tongue very well, but of the Syriac not at all. Others also give a parallel expression out of Thucydides, lib. 8, Skeu>h aJrpaghmenov . 2. I grant i+sa may be used adverbially, and be rendered “aequaliter;” but now the words are to be interpreted “pro subjecta materia.” He who was in the form of God, and counted it no robbery (that is, did not esteem it to be any wrong, on that account of his being in the form of God) to be equal to his Father, did yet so submit himself as is described. This being “equal with God” is spoken of Christ accidentally to his “taking on him the form of a servant,” which he did in his incarnation, and must relate to his being “in the form of God;” and if thereunto it be added that the intendment reaches to the declaration he made of himself, when he declared himself to be equal to God the Father, and one with him as to nature and essence, it may complete the sense of this place.

    All eJautonwse he renders “libenter duxit vitam inopem,” referring it to the poverty of Christ whilst he conversed here in the world. But whatever be intended by this expression, 1. It is not the same with morfhlou labw>n , which Grotius afterward interprets to the same purpose with what he says here of these words. 2. It must be something antecedent to his “taking the form of a servant;” or rather, something that he did, or became exceptively to what he was before, in becoming a servant. He was “in the form of God,” ajll eJautonwse , but “he humbled,” or “bowed down himself,” in “taking the form of a servant;” that is, he condescended thereunto, in his great love that he bare to us, the demonstration whereof the apostle insists expressly upon. And what greater demonstration of love, or condescension upon the account of love, could possibly be given, than for him who was God, equal to his Father, in the same Deity, to lay aside the manifestation of his glory, and to take upon him our nature, therein to be a servant unto death?

    He proceeds: Morfhlou labw>n . “Similis factus servis, qui nihil proprium possident;” — “He was made like unto servants, who possess nothing of their own.” Our catechists, with their great master, refer this, his being like servants, to the usage he submitted to at his death; this man, to his poverty in his life. And to this sense of these words is that place of Matthew 8:20 better accommodated than to the clause foregoing, for whose exposition it is produced by our annotator.

    But, — 1. It is most certain that the exposition of Grotius will not, being laid together, be at any tolerable agreement with itself, if we allow any order of process to be in these words of the apostle. His aim is acknowledged to be an exhortation to brotherly love, and mutual condescension in the same, from the example of Jesus Christ; for he tells you that “he, being in the form of God, made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant.” Now, if this be not the gradation of the apostle, that being “in the form of God,” free from any thing of that which follows, he then debased and humbled himself, and “took upon him the form of a servant,” there is not any form of plea left from this example here proposed to the end aimed at. But now, says Grotius, “his being in the form of God was his working of miracles; his debasing himself, his being poor, his taking the form of a servant, possessing nothing of his own.” But it is evident that there was a coincidence of time as to these things, and so no gradation in the words at all; for then when Christ wrought miracles, he was so poor and possessed nothing of his own, that there was no condescension nor relinquishment of one condition for another discernible therein. 2. The “form of a servant” that Christ took was that wherein he was like man, as it is expounded in the words next following: he was “made in the likeness of men.” And what that is the same apostle informs us, Hebrews 2:17, Oqen w]feile kata< pa>nta toi~v ajdelfoi~v oJmoiwqh~nai , — “Wherefore he ought in all things to be made like his brethren:” that is, ejn oJmoiw>mati ajnqrw>pwn geno>menov , he was “made in the likeness of men;” or, as it is expressed Romans 8:3, ejn oJmoiw>mati sarko>v , “in the likeness of flesh;” which also is expounded, Galatians 4:4 geno>menov ejk gunaiko>v , “made of a woman;” — which gives us the manner of the accomplishment of that, John 1:14, O Lo>gov saneto , “The Word was made flesh.” 3. The employment of Christ in that likeness of man is confessedly expressed in these words; not his condition, that he had nothing, but his employment, that he was the servant of the Father, according as it was foretold that he should be, Isaiah 42:1,19, and which he everywhere professed himself to be. He goes on, — En oJmoiw>mati ajnqrw>pwn geno>menov . “Cum similis esset hominibus, illis nempe primis, id est, peccati expers,” 2 Corinthians 5:21; — “Whereas he was like men, namely, those first; that is, without sin.”

    That Christ was without sin, that in his being made like to us there is an exception as to sin, is readily granted. He was o[siov a]kakov ajmi>antov kecwrisme>nov ajpo< tw~n aJmartwlw~n , Hebrews 7:26. But, — 1. That Christ is ever said to be made like Adam on that account, or is compared with him therein, cannot be proved. He was deu>eterov a]nqrwpov and e]scatov Ada>m , but that he was made ejn oJmoiw>mati tou~ Ada>m is not said. 2. This expression was sufficiently cleared by the particular places formerly urged. It is not of his sinlessness in that condition, of which the apostle hath no occasion here to speak, but of his love in taking on him that condition, in being sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, yet without sin, that these words are used. It is a likeness of nature to all men, and not a likeness of innocency to the first, that the apostle speaks of; a likeness, wherein there is a tauto>thv , as to the kind , a distinction in number, as, “Adam begat a son in his own likeness,” Genesis 5:3.

    All that follows in the learned annotator is only an endeavor to make the following words speak in some harmony and conformity to what he had before delivered; which being discerned not to be suited to the mind of the Holy Ghost in the place, I have no such delight to contend about words, phrases, and expressions, as to insist any farther upon them. Return we to our catechists.

    The place they next propose to themselves to deal withal is 1 Timothy 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, revealed unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

    If it be here evinced that by “God” is meant Christ, it being spoken absolutely, and in the place of the subject in the proposition, this business is at a present close, and our adversaries’ following attempt to ward themselves from the following blows of the sword of the word, which cut them in pieces, is to no purpose, seeing their death’s wound lies evident in the efficacy of this place. Now, here not only the common apprehension of all professors of the name of Christ in general, but also the common sense of mankind, to be tried in all that will but read the books of the New Testament, might righteously be appealed unto; but because these are things of no importance with them with whom we have to do, we must insist on other considerations: — First, then, That by the word Qeo>v , “God,” some person is intended, is evident from hence, that the word is never used but to express some person, nor can in any place of the Scriptures be possibly wrested to denote any thing but some person to whom that name doth belong or is ascribed, truly or falsely. And if this be not certain and to be granted, there is nothing so, nor do we know any thing in the world or the intendment of any one word in the book of God. Nor is there any reason pretended why it should have any other acceptation, but only an impotent begging of the thing in question “It is not so here, though it be so everywhere else; because it agrees not with our hypothesis.” Lh~rov ! Secondly, That Christ, who is the second person [of the Trinity], the Son of God, is here intended, and none else, is evident from hence, that whatever is here spoken of Qeo>v , of this “God,” was true and fulfilled in him as to the matter; and the same expressions, for the most of the particulars, as to their substance, are used concerning him and no other; neither are they possible to be accommodated to any person but him. Let us a little accommodate the words to him: 1. He who as “God” was “in the beginning with God,” in his own nature invisible, ejfanerw>qh ejn sarki> , “was manifested in the flesh,” when saneto, when he was “made flesh,” John 1:14, and made ejn oJmoiw>mati sarko>v , Romans 8:3, “in the likeness of flesh,” geno>menov ejk spe>rmatov Dabirka , chap. 1:3; so made “visible and conspicuous,” or ejfanerw>qh , when ejskh>nwsen ejn hJmi~n , “dwelling among men; who also saw his glory, as the glory of the only-begotten of the Father,” John 1:14. Being thus “manifest in the flesh,” having taken our nature on him, he was reviled, persecuted, condemned, slain, by the Jews, as a malefactor, a seditious person, — an impostor. But, 2. Edikaiw>qh ejn Pveu>mati , he was “justified in the Spirit” from all their false accusations and imputations. He was justified by the eternal Spirit, when he was raised from the dead, and “declared to be the Son of God with power” thereby, Romans 1:4; for though he was “crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God,” 2 Corinthians 13:4. So he also sent out his Spirit to “convince the world of sin, because they believed not on him, and of righteousness, because he went to his Father,” John 16:8-10; which he also did, justifying himself thereby to the conviction and conversion of many thousands who before condemned him or consented to his condemnation, upon the account formerly mentioned, Acts 2:47. And this is he who, 3. w]fqh ajgge>loiv , was “seen of angels,” and so hath his witnesses in heaven and earth; for when he came first into the world, all the angels receiving charge to worship him, by Him who said, Proskunhsa>twsan aujtw~| pa>ntev a]ggeloi aujtou~ , Hebrews 1:6, one came down at his nativity to declare it, to whom he was seen, and instantly a multitude of the heavenly host saw him, Luke 2:9-14, and afterward went away into heaven, verse 15. In the beginning also of his ministry, angels were sent to him in the wilderness, to minister to him, Matthew 4:11; and when he was going to his agony in the garden, an angel was sent to comfort him, Luke 22:43, and he then knew that he could at a word’s speaking have more than twelve legions of angels to his assistance, Matthew 26:53; and when he rose again the angels saw him again, and served him therein, chap. 28:2. And as he shall come again with his holy angels to judgment, Matthew 25:31, 2 Thessalonians 1:7, so no doubt but in his ascension the angels accompanied him; yea, that they did so is evident from Psalm 68:17,18. So that there was no eminent concernment of him wherein it is not expressly affirmed that w]fqh ajgge>loiv . At his birth, entrance on his ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, w]fqh ajgge>loiv . 4. Ekhru>cqh ejn e]qnesin , He was “preached unto the Gentiles,” or among the people or Gentiles; which, besides the following accomplishment of it to the full in the preaching of the gospel concerning him throughout the world, had a signal entrance in that declaration of him to “devout men dwelling at Jerusalem, out of every nation under heaven,” Acts 2:5. And hereupon, 5. Episteu>qh ejn ko>smw| , He was “believed on in the world.” He that had been rejected as a vile person, condemned and slain, being thus justified in the Spirit and preached, was believed on, many thousands being daily converted to the faith of him, — to believe that he was the Messiah, the Son of God, — whom before they received not, John 1:10,11. And, for his own part, 6. ajnelh>fqh ejn do>xh| , he was “received up into glory;” the story whereof we have, Acts 1:9-11, “When he had spoken to his disciples, he was taken up, and a cloud received him:” of which Luke says briefly, as Paul here, ajnelh>fqh , Acts 1:2; as Mark also doth, chap. 16:19, ajnelh>fqh , — that is, ajnelh>fqh ejn do>xh| , “he was taken up into heaven,” or “to glory.” Anelh>fqh is as much as a]nw ejlh>fqh , “he was taken up” (ejn for eijv ) “into glory.”

    This harmony of the description of Christ here, both as to his person and office, with what is elsewhere spoken of him (this being evidently a summary collection of what is more largely in the gospel spoken of), makes it evident that he is “God” here intended; which is all that is needful to be evinced from this place.

    Let us now hear our catechists pleading for themselves: — Q. What dost thou answer to 1 Timothy 3:16?

    A. 1. That in many ancient copies, and in the Vulgar Latin itself, the word “God” is not read; wherefore from that place nothing certain can be concluded. 2. Although that word should be read, yet there is no cause why it should not be referred to the Father, seeing these things may be affirmed of the Father, that he appeared in Christ and the apostles, who were flesh. And for what is afterward read, according to the usual translation, “He was received into glory,” in the Greek it is,” He was received in glory,” — that is, “with glory,” or “gloriously.”

    Q. What, then, is the sense of this testimony?

    A. That the religion of Christ is full of mysteries: for God, — that is, his will for the saving of men, — was perfectly made known by infirm and mortal men; and yet, because of the miracles and various powerful works which were performed by such weak and mortal men, it was acknowledged for true; and it was at length perceived by the angels themselves; and was preached not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles: all believed thereon, and it was received with great glory, after an eminent manner. f318 Thus they, merely rather than say nothing, or yield to the truth. Briefly to remove what they offer in way of exception or assertion, — 1. Though the word “God,” be not in the Vulgar Latin, yet the unanimous, constant consent of all the original copies, confessed to be so both by Beza and Erasmus, is sufficient to evince that the loss of that translation is not of any import to weaken the sense of the place. Of other ancient copies, whereof they boast, they cannot instance one. In the Vulgar also it is evident that by the “mystery” Christ is understood. 2. That what is here spoken may be referred to the Father, is a very sorry shift against the evidence of all those considerations which show that it ought to be referred to the Son. 3. It may not, it cannot with any tolerable sense be, referred to the Father.

    It is not said that “in Christ and the apostles he appeared,” and was “seen of angels,” etc.; but that “God was manifested in the flesh,” etc.: nor is any thing that is here spoken of God anywhere ascribed, no not once in the Scripture, to the Father. How was he “manifested in the flesh”? how was he “justified in the Spirit”? how was he “taken up into glory”? 4. Though ejn do>xh| may be rendered “gloriously,” or “with glory,” yet ajnelh>fqh may not, “receptus est,” but rather “assumptus est,” and is applied to the ascension of Christ in other places, as hath been showed. [As] for the sense they tender of these words, let them, — 1. Give any one instance where “God” is put for the “will of God,” and that exclusively to any person of the Deity, or, to speak to their own hypothesis, exclusively to the person of God. This is intolerable boldness, and argues something of searedness. 2. The “will of God for the salvation of men” is the gospel How are these things applicable to that? — how was the gospel “justified in the Spirit”? how was it “received up into glory”? how was it “seen of angels, w]fqh ajgge>loiv ”? In what place is any thing of all this spoken of the gospel? Of Christ all this is spoken, as hath been said. In sum, “the will of God” is nowhere said to be “manifested in the flesh;” Christ was so. That “the will of God” should be “preached by weak and mortal men” was no “great mystery;” that God should assume human nature is so. The “will of God” cannot be said to “appear to the angels;” Christ did so. Of the last expression there can be no doubt raised.

    Grotius insists upon the same interpretation with our catechists, in the whole and in every part of it; nor doth he add any thing to what they plead but only some quotations of Scripture not at all to the purpose, or at best suited to his own apprehensions of the sense of the place, not opening it in the least, nor evincing what he embraces to be the mind of the Holy Ghost, to any one that is otherwise minded. What he says, because he says it, deserves to be considered.

    Qeoqh ejn sarki> . “Suspectam nobis hanc lectionem faciunt interpretes veteres, Latinus, Syrus, Arabs, et Ambrosius, qui omnes legunt, o\ ejfanerw>qh .” Addit Hincmarus Opusculo 55. illud Qeo>v , “hic positum a Nestorianis.” 1. But this suspicion might well have been removed from this learned man by the universal consent of all original copies, wherein, as it seems, his own manuscript, that sometimes helps him at a need, doth not differ. 2. One corruption in one translation makes many. 3. The Syriac reads the word “God,” and so Tremellius hath rendered it; Ambrose and Hincmarus followed the Latin translation; and there is a thousand times more probability that the word Qeo>v was filched out by the Arians than that it was foisted in by the Nestorians. But if the agreement of all original copies may be thus contemned, we shall have nothing certain left us. But, saith he, “Sensum bonum facit illud, o\ ejfanerw>qh. Evangelium illud coeleste innotuit primum non per angelos, sod per homines mortales, et quantum extera species ferebat infirmos, Christum, et apostolos ejua Efanerw>qh , bene convenit mysterio, id est, rei latenti. Sic et Colossians 1:26; sa>rx hominem significat mortalem, 2 Corinthians 5:16. Vide 1 John 4:2, et quae ad eum locum dicentur.” 1. Our annotator, having only a suspicion that the word Qeo>v was not in the text, ought, on all accounts, to have interpreted the words according to the reading whereof he had the better persuasion, and not according unto that whereof he had only a suspicion. But then it was by no means easy to accommodate them according to his intention, nor to exclude the person of Christ from being mentioned in them; which, by joining in with his suspicion, he thought himself able to do. 2. He is not able to give us any one instance in the Scripture of the like expression to this, of “manifest in the flesh,” being referred to the gospel.

    When referred to Christ, nothing is more frequent, John 1:14, 6:53; Acts 2:31; Romans 1:3, Romans 8:3, Romans 9:5; Ephesians 2:14,15; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 5:7, Hebrews 10:19,20; 1 Peter 3:18, 1 Peter 4:1; 1 John 4:2, etc. Of the “flesh of the gospel,” not one word. 3. There is not the least opposition intimated between men and angels as to the means of preaching the gospel; nor is this any mystery, that the gospel was preached by men. Efanerw>qh is well applied to a “mystery” or “hidden thing;” but the question is, what the “mystery” or “hidden thing” is. We say it was the great matter of the Word’s being made flesh, as it is elsewhere expressed. In the place urged out of the Corinthians, whether it be the 5th or 11th chapter that is intended, there is nothing to prove that sa>rx signifies a mortal man. And this is the entrance of this exposition. Let us proceed.

    Edikaiw>qh ejn Peu>mati . “Per plurima miracula approbata est ea veritas.

    Pneu~ma sunt miracula divina, per metwnumi>an quae est, 1 Corinthians 2:4, et alibi.” “‘Justified in the Spirit;” that is, approved by many miracles, for Pneu~ma is miracles by a metonymy.” Then let every thing be as the learned man will have it. It is in vain to contend; for surely never was expression so wrested. That Pneu~ma simply is “miracles” is false; that to have a thing done ejn Pne>umati signifies “miracles” is more evidently so, 1 Corinthians 2:4. The apostle speaks not at all of miracles, but of the efficacy of the Spirit with him in his preaching the word, to “convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment,” according to the promise of Christ. For the application of this expression to Jesus Christ see above. He adds, dikaiou~sqai is here “approbare,’ ut Matthew 11:19. It is here to “approve;” and that because it was necessary that the learned annotator should douleu>ein uJpoqe>sei . In what sense the word is taken, and how applied to Christ, with the genuine meaning of the place, see above. See also John 1:33,34. Nor is the gospel anywhere said to be “justified in the Spirit;” nor is this a tolerable exposition, “‘Justified in the Spirit,’ — that is, it was approved by miracles.”

    Wfqh ajgge>loiv . “Nempe cum admiratione maxima. Angeli hoc arcanum per homines mortales didicere, Ephesians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:12.” How eminently this suits what is spoken of Jesus Christ was showed before. It is true, the angels, as with admiration, look into the things of the gospel; but that it is said the gospel w]fqh ajgge>loiv is not proved.

    It is true, the gospel was preached to the Gentiles; but yet this word is most frequently applied to Christ. Acts 3:20, Acts 8:5,25; Acts 9:20, Acts 19:13; 1 Corinthians 1:23, 1 Corinthians 15:12; Corinthians 1:19, 2 Corinthians 4:5, 2 Corinthians 11:4; Philippians 1:15, are testimonies hereof.

    Episteu>qh ejn ko>smw| . “Id est, in magna mundi parte, Romans 1:8, Colossians 1:6.” But then, I pray, what difference is between ejdikaiw>qh ejn Pneu>mati and ejpisteu>qh ejn ko>smw| ? The first is, “It was approved by miracles;’ the other, “It was believed.” Now, to approve the truth of the gospel, taken actively, is to believe it. How much more naturally this is accommodated to Christ, see John 3:17,18, and John 3:35,36, John 6:40; Acts 10:43, Acts 16:31; Romans 3:22, Romans 10:8,9; Galatians 2:16; 1 John 5:5, etc.

    The last clause is, ajnelh>fqh ejn do>xh|. “Gloriose admodum exaltatum est , nempe quia multo majorem attulit sanctitatem, quam ulla antehac dogmata” And this must be the sense of the word ajnalamba>nomai in this business: see Luke 9:51; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:2,11,22. And in this sense we are indifferent whether ejn do>xh| be eijv do>xan , “unto glory,” which seems to be most properly intended; or suxh| , “with glory,” as our adversaries would have it; or “gloriously,’’ as Grotius: for it was gloriously, with great glory, and into that glory which he had with his Father before the world was. That the gospel is glorious in its doctrine of holiness is true, but not at all spoken of in this place. Hebrews 2:16 is another testimony insisted on to prove the incarnation of Christ; and so, consequently, his subsistence in a divine nature antecedently thereunto. The words are, “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.’’ To this they answer, that — Herein not so much as any likeness of the incarnation, as they call it, doth appear; for this writer doth not say that “Christ took” (as some read it, and commonly they take it in that sense), but “he takes.” Nor doth he say” human nature,” but the “seed of Abraham;” which in the holy Scriptures denotes them who believe in Christ, as Galatians 3:29.

    Q. What then is the sense of this place?

    A. This is that which this writer intends, that Christ is not the Savior of angels, but of men believing; who, because they are subject to afflictions and death (which he before expressed by the participation of flesh and blood), therefore did Christ willingly submit himself unto them, that he might deliver his faithful ones from the fear of death, and might help them in all their afflictions. f321 The sense of this place is evident, the objections against it weak. 1. That the word is ejpilamba>netai , not ejpela>beto , “assumit,” not “assumpsit,” is an enallage of tense so usual as that it can have no force as an objection; and, verse 14, it is twice used in a contrary sense, the time past being put for the present, as here the present for that which is past, kekoinw>nhke for koinwnei~ , and mete>sce for mete>cei . See John 3:31, John 21:13. 2. That by the “seed of Abraham” is here intended the human nature of the seed of Abraham, appears, — (1.) From the expression going before, of the same import with this, “He took part of flesh and blood,” verse 14. (2.) From the opposition here made to angels or the angelical nature; the Holy Ghost showing that the business of Christ being to save his church by dying for them, he was not therefore to take upon him an angelical, spiritual substance or nature, but the nature of man. 3. The same thing is elsewhere in like manner expressed, as where he is said to be “made of the seed of David according to the flesh,” Romans 1:3, and to “come of the fathers as concerning the flesh,” chap. 9:5. 4.

    Believers are called Abraham’s seed sometimes spiritually, in relation to the faith of Abraham, as Galatians 3:29, where he is expressly spoken of as father of the faithful by inheriting the promises; but take it absolutely, to be of the “seed of Abraham” is no more but to be a man of his posterity: John 8:37, “I know that ye are Abraham’s seed.” Romans 9:7, “Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children.”

    Verse 8, “That is, They are the children of the flesh.” So Romans 11:1. “Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I,” 2 Corinthians 11:22. [As] for the sense assigned, — 1. It is evident that in these words the apostle treats not of the help given, but of the way whereby Christ came to help his church, and the means thereof; his actual helping and relieving of them is mentioned in the next versa 2. Here is no mention in this verse of believers being obnoxious to afflictions and death; so that these words of theirs may serve for an exposition of some other place of Scripture (as they say of Gregory’s comment on Job), but not of this. 3. By “partaking of flesh and blood” is not meant, primarily, being obnoxious to afflictions and death, nor doth that expression in any place signify any such thing, though such a nature as is so obnoxious be intended.

    The argument, then, from hence stands still in its force, that Christ, subsisting in his divine nature, did assume a human nature of the seed of Abraham into personal union with himself.

    Grotius is still at a perfect agreement with our catechists. Saith he, “‘ Epilamba>nesqai apud Platenem et alios est solenniter vindicare; hic autem ex superioribus intelligendum est, vindicare, seu asserere in libertatem manu injecta;” — “This word in Plato and others is to vindicate into liberty; here, as is to be understood from what went before, it is to assert into liberty by laying hold with the hand.” Of the first, because he gives no instances, we shall need take no farther notice. The second is denied. Both the help afforded and the means of it by Christ are mentioned before. The help is liberty; the means, partaking of flesh and blood, to din These words are not expressive of nor do answer the latter, or the help afforded, but the means of the obtaining of it, as hath been declared. But he adds, “The word signifies to lay hold of with the hand, as Mark 8:23,” etc. Be it granted that it doth so. “To lay hold with the hand, and to take to one’s self,” this is not to assert into liberty, but by the help of a metaphor; and when the word is used metaphorically, it is to be interpreted “pro subjecta materia,” according to the subject-matter, which here is Christ’s taking a nature upon him that was of Abraham, that was not angelical. The other expression he is singular in the interpretation of. “He took the seed of Abraham.” “Id est, Id agit ut vos Hebroaeos liberet a peccatis et metu mortis. Eventus enim nomen saepe datur operae in id impensae;” — “That is, He doth that that he may deliver you Hebrews from sin and fear of death.’ The name of the event is often given to the work employed to that purpose.” But, — 1. Here, I confess, he takes another way from our catechists. The “seed of Abraham” is with them believers; with him only Jews. But the tails of their discourse are tied together with a firebrand between them, to devour the harvest of the church. 2. This taking the seed of Abraham is opposed to his not taking the seed of angels. Now the Jews are not universally opposed to angels in this thing, but human kind. 3. He “took the seed of Abraham” is, it seems, he endeavored to help the Jews. The whole discourse of the help afforded, both before and after this verse, is extended to the whole church; how comes it here to be restrained to the Jews only? 4. The discourse of the apostle is about the undertaking of Christ by death , and his being fitted thereunto by partaking of flesh and blood; which is so far from being in any place restrained or accommodated only to the Jews, as that the contrary is everywhere asserted, is known to all. [The next place is] 1 John 4:2, “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” He who comes into the world, or comes into flesh or in the flesh, had a subsistence before he so came. It is very probable that the intendment of the apostle was to discover the abomination of them who denied Christ to be a true man, but assigned him a fantastical body; which yet he so doth as to express his coming in the flesh in such a manner as evidences him to have another nature (as was said) besides that which is here synecdochically called “flesh.” Our catechists to this say, — That this is not to the purpose in hand; for that which some read, “He came into the flesh,” is not in the Greek, but “He came in the flesh.” Moreover, John doth not write, “That spirit which confesseth Jesus Christ, which came in the flesh, is of God;” but that “That spirit which confesseth Jesus Christ, who is come in the flesh, is of God.” The sense of which words is, that the spirit is of God which confesseth that Jesus Christ, who performed his office in the earth without any pomp or worldly ostentation, with great humility as to outward appearance. and great contempt, and lastly underwent a contumelious death, is Christ, and King of the people of God. f322 I shall not contend with them about the translation of the words. 1. En sarki> seems to be put for eijv sa>rka , but the intendment is the same; for the word “came” is ejlhluqo>ta , that is, “that came,” or “did come.” 2. It is not tota , “who did come,” that thence any color should be taken for the exposition given by them, of confessing that Christ, or him who is the Christ, is the King of the people of God, or confessing him to be the Christ, the King of the people of God; but it is, “that confesseth him who came in the flesh,” that is, as to his whole person and office, his coming, and what he came for. 3. They cannot give us any example nor any one reason to evince that that should be the meaning of ejn sarki> which here they pretend. The meaning of it hath above been abundantly declared, so that there is no need that we should insist longer on this place, nor why we should trouble ourselves with Grotius’ long discourse on this place. The whole foundation of it is, that “to come in the flesh” signifies to come in a low, abject condition, — a pretense without proof, without evidence. “Flesh” may sometimes be taken so; but that to “come in the flesh” is to come in such a condition, we have not the least plea pretended.

    The last place they mention to this purpose is Hebrews 10:5, “Wherefore, when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.”

    He who had a body prepared for him when he came into the world, he subsisted in another nature before that coming of his into the world. To this they say, — Neither is there here any mention made of the incarnation (as they call it), seeing that world, into which the author says Christ entered, is the world to come, as was above demonstrated; whence to come into the world doth not signify to be born into the world, but to enter into heaven. Lastly, in these words, “A body hast thou prepared me,” that word, “a body” (as appeared from what was said where his entering this world was treated of), may be taken for an immortal body.

    Q. What is the sense of this place?

    A. That God fitted for Jesus such a body, after he entered heaven, as is fit and accommodate for the discharging of the duty of a high priest. f323 But, doubtless, than this whole dream nothing can be more fond or absurd. 1. How many times is it said that Christ came into this world, where no other world but this can be understood! “For this cause,” saith he, “came I into the world, that I might bear witness unto the truth,” John 18:37.

    Was it into heaven that Christ came to bear witness to the truth? “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners,” 1 Timothy 1:15. Was it into heaven? 2. These words, “A body hast thou prepared me,” are a full expression of what is synecdochically spoken of in the Psalms in these words, “Mine ears hast thou opened,” expressing the end also why Christ had a body prepared him, — namely, that he might yield obedience to God therein; which he did signally in this world when he was “obedient unto death, the death of the cross.” 3. As I have before manifested the groundlessness of interpreting the word “world,” put absolutely, of the “world to come,” and so taken off all that here they relate unto, so in that demonstration which, God assisting, I shall give of Christ’s being a priest and offering sacrifice in this world before he entered into heaven, I shall remove what farther here they pretend unto. In the meantime, such expositions as this, that have no light nor color given them from the texts they pretend to unfold, had need of good strength of analogy given them from elsewhere; which here is not pretended. “‘When he cometh into the world,’ that is, when he enters heaven, he says, ‘A body hast thou prepared me,’ that is, an immortal body thou hast given me.” And that by this immortal body they intend indeed no body I shall afterward declare.

    Grotius turns these words quite another way, not agreeing with our catechists, yet doing still the same work with them; which, because he gives no proof of his exposition, it shall suffice so to have intimated. In sum, verse 4, he tells us how the blood of Christ takes away sin, namely, “Because it begets faith in us, and gives right to Christ for the obtaining of all necessary helps for us,” in pursuit of his former interpretation of chapter 9, where he wholly excludes the satisfaction of Christ. His coming into the world is, he says, “His showing himself to the world, after he had led a private life therein for a while,” contrary to the perpetual use of that expression of the New Testament. And so the whole design of the place is eluded, the exposition whereof I shall defer to the place of the satisfaction of Christ.

    And these are the texts of Scripture our catechists thought good to endeavor a delivery of themselves from, as to that head or argument of our plea for his subsistence in a divine nature antecedently to his being born of the Virgin, — namely, because he is said to be incarnate or “made flesh.”

    CHAPTER 14. Sundry other testimonies given to the deity of Christ vindicated. IN the next place they heap up a great many testimonies confusedly, containing scriptural attributions unto Christ of such things as manifest him to be God; which we shall consider in that order, or rather disorder, wherein they are placed of them.

    Their first question here is: — Ques. In what scriptures is Christ called God?

    Ans. John 1:1, “The Word was God;” John 20:28, “Thomas saith unto Christ, My Lord and my God;” Romans 9:5, the apostle saith that “Christ is God over all, blessed for ever.”

    Q. What can be proved by these testimonies?

    A. That a divine nature cannot be demonstrated from them, besides the things that are before produced, is hence manifest, that in the first testimony the Word is spoken of, and John saith that he was” with God;” in the second, Thomas calleth him “God” in whose feet and hands he found the print of the nails, and of the spear in his side; and Paul calleth him who according to the flesh was of the fathers, “God over all, blessed for ever;” — all which cannot be spoken of him who by nature is God, for thence it would follow that there are two Gods, of whom one was with the other; and these things, to have the prints of wounds and to be of the fathers, belong wholly to a man, which were absurd to ascribe to him who is God by nature. And if any one shall pretend that veil of the distinction of natures, we have above removed that, and have showed that this distinction cannot be maintained. f324 That in all this answer our catechists do nothing but beg the thing in question, and flee to their own hypothesis, not against assertions but arguments, themselves so far know as to be forced to apologize for it in the close. 1. That Christ is not God because he is not the person of the Father, that he is not God because he is man, is the sum of their answer; and yet these men knew that we insisted on these testimonies to prove him God though he be man, and though he be not the same person with the Father. 2. They do all along impose upon us their own most false hypothesis, that Christ is God although he be not God by nature. Those who are not God by nature, and yet pretend to be gods, are idols, and shall be destroyed.

    And they only are the men who affirm there are two Gods, — one who is so by nature, and another made so; one indeed God, and no man; the other a man, and no God. The Lord our God is one God. 3. In particular, John 1:1, the Word is Christ, as hath been above abundantly demonstrated, — Christ, in respect of another nature than he had before he took flesh and dwelt with men, verse 14. Herein is he said to be with the Father, in respect of his distinct personal subsistence, who was one with the Father as to his nature and essence. And this is that which we prove from his testimony, which will not be warded with a bare denial: “The Word was with God, and the Word was God;” — God by nature, and with God in his personal distinction. 4. Thomas confesses him to be his Lord and God in whose hands and feet he saw the print of the nails, as God is said to redeem the church with his own blood. He was the Lord and God of Thomas, who in his human nature shed his blood, and had the print of the nails in his hands and feet. Of this confession of Thomas I have spoken before, and therefore I shall not now farther insist upon it. He whom Thomas, in the confession of his faith as a believer, owned for his Lord and God, he is the true God, God by nature.

    Of a made god, a god by office , to be confessed and believed in, the Scripture is utterly silent. 5. The same is affirmed of Romans 9:5. The apostle distinguishes of Christ as to his flesh and as to his