Imatges de pÓgina


tioned, do know well enough, that the true Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ is opposed by them.

3. Concurrent with, and in part consequent unto, this union is the communion of the distinct natures of Christ hypostatically united. And herein we may consider, (1.) What is peculiar unto the divine nature: (2.) What is common unto both.

(1.) There is a threefold communication of the divine nature unto the human, in this hypostatical union.

[1.] Immediate in the person of the Son. This is subsistence. In itself it is å vuróSTATOS, that which hath not a subsistence of its own, which should give it individuation and distinction from the same nature in any

other But it hath its subsistence in the person of the Son, which thereby is its own. The divine nature, as in that person, is its suppositum.

[2.] By the Holy Spirit he filled that nature with an allfulness of habitual grace, which I have at large explained elsewhere.

[3.] In all the acts of his office, by the divine nature, he communicated worth and dignity unto what was acted in and by the human nature.

For that which some have for a long season troubled the church withal, about such a real communication of the properties of the divine nature unto the human, which should neither be a transfusion of them into it, so as to render it the subject of them; nor yet consist in a' reciprocal denomination from their mutual in-being in the same subject, it is that which neither themselves do, nor can any other well understand.

(2.) Wherefore concerning the communion of the natures in this personal union, three things are to be observed, which the Scripture, reason, and the ancient church, do all concur in.

[1.] Each nature doth preserve its own natural, essential properties, entirely unto, and in itself; without mixture, without composition or confusion, without such a real communication of the one unto the other, so as that the one should become the subject of the properties of the other. The Deity, in the abstract, is not made the humanity, nor on the contrary. The divine nature is not made temporary, finite, limited, subject to passion or alteration by this union; nor is the human nature rendered immense, infinite, omnipotent. Unless this be granted, there will not be two natures in Christ, a divine and a human; nor indeed either of them, but somewhat else, composed of both.

[2.] Each nature operates in him according unto its essential properties. The divine nature knows all things, upholds all things, rules all things, acts by its presence every where; the human nature was born, yielded obedience, died, and rose again. But it is the same person, the same Christ, that acts all these things, the one nature being his, no less than the other. Wherefore,

[3.] The perfect complete work of Christ in every act of his mediatory office, in all that he did as the King, Priest, and Prophet of the church, in all that he did and suffered, in all that he continueth to do for us, in or by virtue of whether nature soever it be done or wrought, is not to be considered as the act of this or that nature in him alone, but it is the act and work of the whole person, of him that is both God and man in one person. And this gives occasion,

4. Unto that variety of enunciations which is used in the Scripture concerning him, which I shall name only and conclude.

(1.) Some things are spoken of the person of Christ, wherein the enunciation is verified with respect unto one nature only. As the Word was with God, and the Word was God;' John i. 1. 'Before Abraham was, I am;' John viii. 58. Upholding all things by the word of his power;' Heb. i. 3. These things are all spoken of the person of Christ; but belong unto it on account of his divine nature. So is it said of him. To us is a child born, to us a son is given;' Isa. ix. 6. *A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;' Isa. liii. 3. They are spoken of the person of Christ, but are verified in human nature only, and the person on the account thereof.

(2.) Sometimes that is spoken of the person which belongs not distinctly and originally unto either nature, but doth belong unto him on the account of their union in him, which are the most direct enunciations concerning the person of Christ. So is he said to be the head, the king, priest, and prophet of the church ; all which offices he bears, and

performs the acts of them, not on the singular account of this or that nature, but of the hypostatical union of them both.

(3.) Sometimes his person being denominated from one nature, the properties and acts of the other are assigned unto it. So they crucified the Lord of glory.' He is the Lord of glory on the account of his divine nature only; thence is his person denominated, when he is said to be crucified, which was in the human nature only. “So God purchased his church with his own blood; Acts xx. 28. The denomination of the person is from the divine nature only; he is God; but the act ascribed unto it, or what he did by his own blood, was of the human nature only. But the purchase that was made thereby, was the work of the person, as both God and man. So on the other side, *the Son of Man who is in heaven;' John iii. 13. The denomination of the person is from the human nature only;

the Son of man. That ascribed unto it was with the respect unto the divine nature only; who is in heaven.'

(4.) Sometimes the person being denominated from one nature, that is ascribed unto it which is common unto both; or else being denominated from both, that which is proper unto one only is ascribed unto him. See Rom. ix. 4. Matt. xxii. 42.

These kinds of enunciations the ancients expressed by εναλλαγή, “ alteration ;' άλλαίωσις, “permutation ;' κοινότης, *communion ;' Tpónoç åvridógewç, “the manner of mutual position;' κοινωνία ιδιωμάτων, “ the communication of properties;' and other the like expressions.

These things I have only mentioned, because they are commonly handled by others in their didactical and polemical discourses concerning the person of Christ; and could not well be here utterly omitted.

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The exaltation of Christ; with his present state and condition in glory

during the continuance of his mediatory office. The apostle describing the great mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh;' by several degrees of ascent, he carrieth it within the vail, and leaves it there in glory, åvednoen év dúky, 1 Tim. iii. 16. God was manifest in the flesh, and received up into glory. This assumption of our Lord Jesus Christ into glory, or his glorious reception in heaven, with his state and condition therein, is a principal article of the faith of the church, the great foundation of its hope and consolation in this world. This also we must therefore consider in our meditations on the person of Christ, and the use of it in our religion.

That which I especially intend herein, is his present state in heaven in the discharge of his mediatory office before the consummation of all things. Hereon doth the glory of God, and the especial concernment of the church, at present depend. For at the end of this dispensation he shall give up the kingdom unto God, even the Father, or cease from the administration of his mediatory office and power, as the apostle declares, 1 Cor. xv. 24—28. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom unto God, even the Father ; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For lie must reign, until he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he bath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, who did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.'

All things fell by sin into an enmity unto the glory of God, and the salvation of the church. The removal of this enmity, and the destruction of all enemies, is the work that God committed unto his Son, in his incarnation and mediation; Eph. i. 10. This he was variously to accomplish in the administration of all his offices. The enmity between God and us immediately, he removed by the blood of his cross, whereby he made peace; Eph. ii. 14–16. Which peace he continues and preserves by his intercession; Heb. vii. 26. 1 John ii. 2. The enemies themselves of the church's eternal welfare, namely, sin, death, the world, Satan, and hell, he subdues by his power. In the gradual acconiplishment of this work; according as the church of the elect is brought forth in successive generations (in every one whereof the same work is to be performed), he is to continue unto the end and consummation of all things. Until then, the whole church will not be saved, and therefore his work not be finished. He will not cease his work whilst there is one of his elect to be saved, or one enemy to be subdued. He shall not faint, nor give over, until he hath sent forth judgment unto victory.

For the discharge of this work, he hath a sovereign power over all things in heaven and earth committed unto him. Herein he doth and must reign. And so absolutely is it vested in him, that upon the ceasing of the exercise of it, he himself is said to be made subject unto God. It is true, that the Lord Christ, in his human nature, is always less than, or inferior unto, God, even the Father. In that sense, he is in subjection unto him now in heaven. But yet he hath an actual exercise of divine power, wherein he is absolute and supreme. When this ceaseth, he shall be subject unto the Father in that nature, and only so. Where. fore when this work is perfectly fulfilled and ended, then shall all the mediatory actings of Christ cease for evermore. For God will then have completely finished the whole design of his wisdom and grace, in the constitution of his person and offices, and have raised up, and finished, the whole fabric of eternal glory. Then will God ' be all in all.' In his own immense nature and blessedness he shall not only be 'all' essentially and causally, but in all’ also; he shall immediately be all in and unto us.

This state of things, when God shall all in all,' we can have no just comprehension of in this life. Some refreshing notions of it may be framed in our minds, from those apprehensions of the divine perfections which reason can attain unto ; and their suitableness to yield eter

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