Imatges de pÓgina

world in the laft day, is affigned as the reafon" that all men fhould honor the Son, e"ven as they honor the Father." John v.And it is added, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that fent me, hath everlasting life."

If this relation, as has been fuppofed, be in its nature peculiar to the Divine Being, how is it thus brought forward in connexion with our obedience, abiding in Chrift, keeping his words or commandments, and enjoy-" ing his love and bleffednefs, which is eternal life?-Taking the common hypothefis of myftery, all is inexplicable; the difcourfes of our Lord, appear without connexion, peacemeal; and his manner of speech broken, and very myfterious. In this track mystery crouds upon mystery, and the mind is enclofed with darkness. But, on the other hand, underftanding this divine principle in the voluntary fenfe, we perceive at once that it is a doctrine, a rule or precept, which lays the foundation of a blessed fociety; and that, in its nature, it is the eternal law of the gospel kingdom.

This word, or commandment, received from the Father, our Lord gave to his people, and they, receiving it, are faid to know the Father and Jefus Chrift; to be in the Father and Jefus Chrift; or, as it is fometimes expreffed, to have the Father and the Son.Whosoever tranfgreffeth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.-He that abideth in the doctrine of Chrift, he hath both the Father and the Son, 2 Epist. John.


-And this doctrine abiding or remaining in them, they are faid to continue in the Son and in the Father. 1 John ii.-This commandment was given him, to speak to us, before the world exifted; and thus eternal life was given us in Chrift Jefus before the world was; "and he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him." 1 John iii. 24. Hence it is faid, 1 John i.-Our hands have handled the word of life; for the life was manifefted, and we have feen it, and bear witness, and fhew unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifefted unto us. That which we have feen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jefus Chrift.

The fcope of this firft epiftle of John may be comprised in three particulars, viz. What this doctrine or commandment confifts in; that it was in the beginning from the Father to the Son; and that, through him, it is given to us. This matter, together with its evidence, and a variety of plain inferences from the premifes, with an exhortation to keep the commandment, or to abide in the doctrine, and the reasons of his writing, which is all but the fame thing; this, I fay, appears to be all that is intended by this divine epiftle.And this, indeed, is the fum of the gofpel; it is the faith which was once delivered to the faints; and it is declared with light and evidence fufficient to confirm our fouls, and make us perfect, ftablished, ftrengthened, and fettled in the knowledge of him, whom to


know filially, or in a way of obedience, is life eternal. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 1 John v.

So amply this matter of the divine union of Father and Son is laid down in the fcriptures of truth, as the doctrine of God our Saviour, the grand rule of the gofpel, and eternal life. 3.

I fhall conclude these confiderations of the evidence, that the union of Father and Son, fo much infifted on in the New Teftament, is of a voluntary nature, by fetting down two or three paffages of fcripture, with very little comment.

I fpeak that which I have feen with my Fa ther; and ye do that which ye have feen with your father. John viii.-It cannot be doubted that the Devil is here called the Father of Sinners, on account of the union of will; but there is such a clofe connexion between the two fentences, that it feems neceffary to understand, that God is called the Father of Chrift in the fame voluntary fenfe.-If in one verfe, framed together in the closest manner, the fame word be used in widely different fenfes, no certain idea is conveyed; we can only guess at the meaning; and, in a difpute which feemed to hinge upon the meaning of the word, is it poffible that this teacher fhould use the word Father in different fenfes in one breath, and give his enemies fuch occafion to fay, as they did, that his fpeeca was unintelligible?

Whofoever shall confefs that Jefus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.-God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. 1 John iv.-This oneness of God and believers is certainly an unity of will; but this is precifely the language which Je fus Chrift ufed to exprefs the unity, or onenefs of himself and his Father,-And not only the ftile, but the argument fhews that the union is the fame in its nature and principle. -This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; this is believing, that Jefus is the Chrift; and this is confeffing him: But, as this commandment conftituted the eternal generation, and the ineffably bleffed union of Father and Son; the following inferences are plain:-Whofoever believeth that Jefus is the Chrift is born of God; for the fame which conftituted him the Son of God, will alfo conftitute us children. Every one that loveth is born of God; for the fame which gave the filial character to the firftborn, will give the character of fons to all who poffefs it. He that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.-Whofoever shall confefs that Fefus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.And he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him; for the fame which conftituted the Father and the Son one, will alfo conflitute God and the believer one. Underftanding this divine relation in the voluntary fenfe, thefe inferences, and numberless others.

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in the New Teftament, appear to be drawn, in a direct line, from one all-commanding point, emphatically called Truth; as in 2 John-I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.But, if it be not fo understood, I am not diffident to fay, that many of these inferences, fo important to our inftruction, appear to ftand without any clear premifes, and without connexion or relation; and, therefore, greatly expofed to be misapprehended, or, at leaft, they do not poffefs their proper ftrength to make an impreffion upon the mind.

That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be I in them, one, even as we are one. and thou in me, that they may be perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hait fent me, and haft loved them, as thou haft loved me. John xvii.I have often thought that this paffage alone was more than enough to determine the fenfe of this most interesting article of divine revelation, against all the authorities of the world. It is wonderful how many proofs are here crouded together. Were they fully laid down, they would out-number the words!-There is an argument upon the face of this paffage, which is irrefragable, that the onenels of believers is of the fame nature with the oneness of the

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