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Church, which he merited as her Redeemer, and which was necessary, in order to her salvation. Now, his character, as essentially the Son of God, and at the same time a divine Messenger, could not be properly unfolded, without a declaration both of the paternity of the First Person, and of that wonderful dispensation according to which the Second, although equal in power and glory, voluntarily emptied himself.” Nor could the unity of the work of redemption, as pervading all the dispensations given to the Church, and the beautiful harmony of the law and the gospel, be otherwise displayed. Without a full revelationi of this mystery, how could it have been known that he who appear in the end of ages as sent of God, was the rery same person who had formerly led the Church, as the Angel of his face ; that He who now brought spiritual redemption to his folk, was no other than that Angel-Redeemer who had already so frequently delivered them from temporal calamities?
If this mystery be unknown or disbelieved, there can be no faith in Christ as the Mediator between God and men. For he who believes not that the Son is in the Father, and the Father in the Son, as to identity of essence, while at the same time there is a distinction of persons, denies the voluntary subjection of the Son to the Father in the eternal covenant, and thus the whole foun-dation of his merit and of our falvation. In relation to the work of our redemption, and in the history given of it, are revealed various internal
actings actings of the divine persons towards each other, as well as those of an external nature. The Father appoints, gives, sends, prepares a human nature for his Son: the Son undertakes, gives himself, comes, assumes this nature.
From the history given of the conception of Christ, we find that three divine persons were engaged in the creation of this “ new thing in the “ earth.” The Father appears in the character of “ the Highest;" the Third Person, as “ the “Holy Ghost," and “ the Power of the Highest ;" and the Second, as “the Son of God m.” When this wonderful Person, the incarnate Word, was to be manifested to Israel at his baptism, each divine Person concurred in the work. The Father teftified his presence and approbation by a voice from the excellent glory, announcing Jesus as his beloved Son; and the Holy Ghost descended like a dove, and rested on him. The history of his death, viewed in its connexion, affords a proof of a similar kind. As “ it pleased JEHOVAH,” in the person of the Father, sustaining the character of Judge, to bruise the Son as our Surety ; and as he, having power over his own life, commended his fpirit into the hands of his Father, thus presenting unto him a facrifice of a sweet-smelling savour; he did so “ through the Eternal Spirit.” The same thing appears from the resurrection of Jesus. He was “ powerfully declared to be the “ Son of God in his resurrection from the dead o for he had “ power to take again” that life which
m Luke i. 35.
a Mat. iii. 16, 17.
o Rom. i. 4.
no one could take from him. This work is frequently ascribed to God, where the term evidently denotes the First Person. “ God hath raised
up Jesus again; as it is also written in the se"cond psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I
begotten thee P.” As he was “ put to death in “the flesh, he was quickened by the Spirit,” by that Spirit of holiness, “ by which also he went “ and preached unto the spirits in prison 9.” Nor is this less evident from the account given of the effufion of the Spirit. This is undoubtedly a divine work; and it is described as belonging to each adorable Person. Jesus had foretold that the Comforter should come, that himself should send him ', and that he should at the same time be fent by the Fathers. Accordingly, from the account given of this wonderful event by the apostle Peter, which is left on record for the instruction of the Church, we find that each divine Person was engaged in accomplishing it: Jesus having re“ceived of the Father the promise of the Holy
Ghost, hath shed forth this which ye now see " and heart."
It is undeniable, that one special end, which Christ had in view in his miraculous works, was to confirm his doctrine with respect to his equality with the Father. When he gave thanks at the tomb of Lazarus, before raising him from the dead, it was because of the people who stood by, that they might believe that the Father had VOL. II. D
r John xvi. 7
p Acts xiii. 33.
q 1 Pet. iii. 18, 19.
sent him; and sent him as a Messenger invested with divine power, because essentially possessing divine perfection. For he had previously said to his disciples : “ This sickness is not unto death, “ but for the glory of God, that the Son of God
might be glorified thereby ;” and taught Martha, that if she “ would believe, fhe would fee the “ glory of God," in seeing the manifestation of that power which essentially belonged to himself, as “the Resurrection and the Life." When he cured the man fick of the pally, it was in order to prove that he had “ power on earth to forgive “ fin;" while he admitted the principle held by the scribes, that no one could forgive fins but God only v. On different occasions he refers to his miraculous works, as irrefragable evidences of his having the same essence with the Father; and of the mutual inexistence, as some have expressed it, of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Father, in respect of this essential unity, while there is at the same time a real distinction of perfons. When his enemies accused him of blafphemy, because he said, “ I am the Son of God,"
making himself God;" he replied, “ 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 w." To Philip, when defiring to see the Father, he said, “ Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the
“ Father u John xi. 4. 25. 40. 42. comp.
v Mark ii. 7. 10. w John X. 33.836.---38.
« Father in me ; or else believe me for the very “ work's fake x." The Evangelist John, when referring to the signs recorded in the preceding history, fubjoins this declaration ; “ These are writ
ten, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Son “ of God y.” That he appropriates this character to Jesus, as expressive of supreme deity, is evident from the uniform tenor of the gospel which bears his name?
The doctrine of the Trinity is peculiarly elucidated by the history of redemption; as it does not merely exhibit all the adorable Persons as en. gaged in this work, but ascribes a peculiar operation to cach Perfon. The contrivance of our redemption is ascribed to the Father ; the purchase of it to the Son; and the effectual application of this purchased redemption to the Holy Spirit. The Father sends his Son as our Surety; the Son cheerfully comes in this character ; and the Holy Spirit is sent by both. The purpose of election is more immediately ascribed to the Father; the objects of his love are all chosen in Chrift; and they, who were thus chosen froin eternity, are in time chosen out of the world, and separated for himself, by the renewing and sanctifying work of the Spirit.
Nor is this all. The peculiar operation of each Person, in the work of our salvation, is perfectly analogous to the order of subsistence in the Holy Trinity; and thus beautifully illustrates the
mutual * John xiv. 11. y John xx. 31. 2 See, for a farther illustration of this subject, Vindication of ihe Doctrine of Scripture, &c. Book ii. chap. 6. Of the Evidence of our Saviour's Divinity, from his Miracles,