by Thomas Brooks
Nevertheless give me leave to say something concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, who is one eternal God with the Father, and with the Holy Ghost. I might produce a cloud of witnesses in the case, but it is enough that we have the authority of the sacred Scriptures, both in the Old and New Testament, confirming of it; and therefore I shall lay down some proofs or demonstrations of the eternal godhead of Christ, which I shall draw out of the blessed Scripture. This is a point of high concernment, that Christ is God; so high as whosoever buildeth not upon this buildeth upon the sands. This is the rock of our salvation, 'The Word was God,' John 1:1. Concerning this important point, consider—
1. First, That the godhead of Christ is clearly asserted, and manifested both in the Old and New Testament. Take a taste of some of those many scriptures which maybe cited: Isa. 43:10–12, 'That ye may know and believe, and understand that I am he, I, even I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no Saviour:' and Isa. 41:21–25, 'There is no God else besides me: a just God and Saviour, there is none besides me. Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else. To me every knee shall bow.… In Jehovah have I righteousness.… In Jehovah shall the seed of Israel be justified.' Compare this with Rom. 14:10, 11. And the Socinians may as safely conclude, that there is no other God but Jesus Christ, as they may conclude that there is no God but God the Father, from the 17th of John. But they and we ought to conclude from, these scriptures, that Jesus Christ is not a different God from the Father, but is one and the same God with him. So he is called 'The mighty God, the everlasting Father,' Isa. 9:6. Take a few clear places out of the New Testament, as that in Rom. 4:5, 'Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for evermore.' Christ is here himself called God blessed for ever. So Titus 2:13, 'Looking for that hope, and the glorious appearance of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.' Who is it that shall appear at the last day in the clouds, but Christ? who is called the great God and our Saviour? 'God blessed for ever,' saith Paul to the, Romans; 'The great God,' saith Paul toTitus: 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:' Phil. 2:6, 'He was in the form of God, and thought it no robbery to be equal with God:' and Col. 2:9, 'In him dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily:' John 20:28, 'My Lord, and my God:' 1 Tim. 3:16, 'God manifested in the flesh:' 'To which of the saints or angels did God say at any time, Thou art my Son?' Heb. 1:1. 'The heir of all things, the illustrious brightness of my glory, and lively character of my person.' 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever I and ever, and all the angels of God shall worship thee.' Certainly he who is God's own proper, natural, consubstantial, co-essential, only-begotten Son, he is God; wherever this sonship is, there is the deity or the divine essence. Now Christ is thus God's Son, therefore he is God. What the Father is as to his nature, that the Son must also be; now the first person, the Father of Christ, is God; whereupon he too who is the Son must be God also. A son always participates of his father's essence, there is betwixt them evermore an identity and oneness of nature. If therefore Christ be God's Son, as is most evident throughout the Scripture he is, then he must needs have that very nature and essence which God the Father hath, insomuch that if the second person be not really a God, the first person is but equivocally a Father. These scriptures out of the Old and New Testament are so evident and pregnant to prove the godhead of Christ, that they need no illustration; yea, they speak so fully for the divinity of Christ, that all the Arians and Socinians in the world do but in vain go about to elude them. But,
2. Secondly, Let us ponder seriously upon these scriptures: 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;' ver. 31, 'He that cometh from above is above all: he that cometh from heaven is above all;' John 8:23, 'Ye are from beneath, I am from above;' John 16:28, 'I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; and again I leave the world, and go to the Father.' Now from these blessed scriptures we may thus argue: he who was in heaven before he was on the earth, and who was also in heaven whilst he was on the earth, is certainly the eternal God; but all this doth Jesus Christ strongly assert concerning himself, as is evident in the scriptures last cited; therefore he is the eternal God, blessed for ever. But,
3. Thirdly, Christ's eternal deity, co-equality, and consubstantiality with the Father, may be demonstrated from his divine names and titles. As,
(1.) First, Jehovah is one of the incommunicable names of God, which signifies his eternal essence.
The Jews observe that in God's name Jehovah, the Trinity is implied. Je signifies the present tense, ho the preterperfect tense, vah the future. The Jews also observe that in his name Jehovah all the Hebrew letters are literæ quiescentes, that denote rest, implying that in God and from God is all our rest. Every gracious soul is like Noah's dove, he can find no rest nor satisfaction but in God. God alone is the godly man's ark of rest and safety. Jehovah is the incommunicable name of God, and is never attributed to any but God: Ps. 83:18, 'Thou whose name alone is Jehovah.' Jehovah is a name so full of divine mysteries, that the Jews hold it unlawful to pronounce it. Jehovah signifies three things:—
[1.] That God is an eternal, independent being of himself.
[2.] That he gives being to all creatures, Acts 17:28.
[3.] That he doth, and will give, being to his promises. God tells Moses, Exod. 6:3, that he 'appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of El Shaddai, God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them.' The name Jehovah was known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but not mysterium nominis, the mystery of the name. This was revealed to Moses from God, and from Moses to the people. It is meant of the performances of his great promises made to Abraham. God did promise to give the land of Canaan to Abraham's seed for an inheritance, which promise was not performed to him, but to his seed after him; so that this is the meaning, God appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, El Shaddai, God Almighty, in protecting, delivering, and rewarding of them, but by his name Jehovah he was not known to them. God did not perform his promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but unto their seed and posterity after them. This name Jehovah is the proper and peculiar name of the one, only true God, a name as far significant of his nature and being as possibly we are enabled to understand; so that this is taken for granted on all hands, that he whose name is Jehovah is the only true God, Whenever that name is used properly, without a trope or figure, it is used of God only.
Now this glorious name Jehovah, that is so full of mysteries, is frequently ascribed to Christ: Isa. 6:1, he is called Jehovah, for there Isaiah is said to see 'Jehovah sitting upon a throne,' &c. And, John 12:41, this is expressly by the holy evangelist applied to Christ, of whom he saith, that 'Isaiah saw his glory, and spake of him.' Exod. 17:1, the people are said to 'tempt Jehovah;' and the apostle saith, 1 Cor. 10:9; 'Let us not tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.' It is said of Jehovah, 'Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hands; they shall perish, but thou shalt endure,' &c., Ps. 102:25, 26; and the apostle clearly testifies, Heb. 1:10, that these words are spoken of Christ, So Jehovah rained fire and brimstone from Jehovah out of heaven, Gen. 19:24; that is, Jehovah, the Son of God, that stayed with Abraham, Gen. 18, rained fire and brimstone from Jehovah the Father; and Christ is called Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord our righteousness; and in that Zech. 13:7, Christ is called the Father's fellow. The Lord Christ is that Jehovah, to whom every knee must bow, as appears by comparing Isa. 45:21–25 with Rom. 14:9–12 and Phil. 2:6, 9–11. I might further insist upon this argument, and shew that the title of Lord, so often given to Christ in the New Testament, doth answer to the title of Jehovah in the Old Testament. And, as some learned men conceive, the apostles did purposely use the title of Lord, that they might not offend the Jews with frequent pronouncing of the word Jehovah: 'Thou shalt fear Jehovah thy God.' Deut. 6:13 and 10:20 is rendered by the apostle, 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God;' and so Deut. 6:5,' Thou shalt love Jehovah thy God,' is rendered, Mat. 22:37, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.' Thus you see that in several precious scriptures Jesus Christ is called Jehovah; and therefore we may very safely and confidently conclude that Jesus Christ is very God, God blessed for ever. But,
(2.) The second name or title which denotes the essence of God is Ehieh, 'I am that I am,' or, I will be what I will be, Exod. 3:14. It hath the same root with Jehovah, and signifies that God is an eternal, unchangeable being. Some make this name to be God's extraordinary name. Damascene saith this name containeth all things in it, like a vast and infinite ocean without bounds. This glorious name of God, I AM THAT I AM, implies these six things. [1.] God's incomprehensibleness: as we use to say of anything we would not have others pry into, it is what it is, so God saith here to Moses, I AM WHAT I AM. [2.] It implies God's immensity, that his being is without any limits. Angels and men have their beings, but then they are bounded and limited within such a compass; but God is an immense being that cannot be included within any bounds. [3.] It implies that God is of himself, and hath not a being dependent upon any other. 'I am,' that is, by and from and of myself. [4.] It implies God's eternal and unchangeable being in himself. It implies God's everlastingness. 'I am before anything was, and shall for ever be.' There never was nor shall be time wherein God could not say of himself, 'I am.' [5.] It implies that there is no succession of time with God. And, [6.] It implies that he is a God that gives being to all things. In short, the reason why God nameth himself, 'I AM THAT I AM,' or will be that I will be, is because he is the Being of beings, subsisting by himself; as if he should say, I am my being, I am my essence; my existence differeth not from my essence, because I am that I am, and as I am, so will I be to all eternity,' 'the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.' 'There is no shadow of change, no variableness at all in me.'
Now this glorious name is given to Jesus Christ: Rev. 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.' This kind of speaking is taken from the Greek alphabet, in which language John wrote this book. Α, called Alpha by them, being their first letter, and Ω, which they call Omega, the last. The sense is, I was before all creatures, and shall abide for ever, though all creatures should perish; or I am he from whom all creatures had their beginning, and to whom they are referred, as their uttermost end. Christ, in calling of himself Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, and that absolutely, doth therein assume unto himself absolute perfection, power, dominion, eternity, and divinity, which is, and which was, and which is to come. Christ assumeth all those epithets here to himself by which John, ver. 4, described God; and what wonder is it if Christ, who is God, doth take to himself whatever is due to God? The Almighty: this is another epithet proper to God, which Christ also taketh to himself, shewing that he is the true, eternal, and omnipotent God, in all things equal and co-essential with the Father and the Holy Ghost. This being the seventh argument which John makes use of to prove the deity of Christ, is three times repeated. He is the first and the last, which is, was, and is to come, and the Almighty, and therefore he is. without a peradventure, God eternal; for so Jehovah saith of himself, 'I the Lord, the first and the last, I am he; I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no God; I am God Almighty. But Christ doth challenge, as due to himself, all these divine attributes; therefore he is Jehovah, that one, eternal, and omnipotent God with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Oh, the stateliness and majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ! What an excellent and stately person is he, there being not a property attributed to God but is agreeable to Christ! Every word in this Rev. 1:8, is a proper attribute of God. He is infinite in power, sovereign in dominion, and not bounded as creatures are. And that this is clearly spoken of Christ is most evident, not only from the scope, John being to set out Christ, from whom he had this revelation, but also from the 11th and 17th verses following, where he gives him the same titles over again, or rather, if you please, Christ, speaking of himself, taketh and repeateth the same titles. Heb. 13:8, 'Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.' 'Yesterday,' that is, the time past, before his coming in the flesh; 'to-day,' while in the flesh; 'and for ever,' that is, after. The same afore time, in time, and after time. 'Jesus Christ the same,' that is, unchangeable in his essence, promises, and doctrine. Jesus Christ was always the same, and is still the same, and will abide for ever the same, as being one selfsame God, and one selfsame Mediator, as well in the Old as in the New Testament. John 8:58, 'Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.' According to my divine nature, which is from everlasting, before Abraham was, I am. I who, according to my humanity, am not above fifty years old, according to my divine nature am eternal, and so before Abraham and all the creatures, Micah 5:1, 2. I have a being from all eternity, and so before Abraham was born; and therefore, as young as you take me to be in respect of my age here, I may well have seen and known Abraham, though he died above two thousand years since. But,
(3.) The third name or title which denotes the essence of God is Elohim, which signifies the persons in the essence. It is a name of the plural number, expressing the trinity of persons in the unity of essence; and, therefore, it is observed by the learned that the Holy Ghost beginneth the story of the creation with this plural name of God, joined with a verb of the singular number, as Elohim Bara, Dii creavit, the mighty Gods, or all the three persons in the godhead, created, Gen. 1:1, 2. So Gen. 3:22, 'And Jehovah Elohim said, Behold, the man is become as one of us.' It is a holy irrision of man's vain affectation of the deity. God upbraids our first parents for their vain affectation of being like unto him in that ironical expression, 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil;' meaning, that by his sin he was become most unlike him. This name Elohim, by which God expresseth his nature, denotes the power and strength of God; to shew us that God is strong and powerful, and that he can do great things for his people, and bring great desolations and destructions upon his and his people's enemies. O sirs, God is too strong for his strongest enemies, and too powerful for all the powers of hell! Though Jacob, a worm in his own eyes, and in his enemies' eyes, yet Jacob need never fear; for Elohim, the strong and powerful God, will stand by him, and help him, Isa. 41:10, 13, 14.
Now this name is also attributed unto Christ: Ps. 45:6, 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.' 'Thy throne, O God,' Hebrew אלהים gods—'Thy throne, O Gods,' Elohim. It signifies the trinity of persons in the unity of essence, as I have before noted. The prophet directs his speech, not to Solomon but to Christ, as is most evident by the clear and unquestionable testimony of the Holy Ghost: Heb. 1:8, 'But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.' Christ is called God, not by an excellency only as the angels are, nor by office and title only as magistrates are called gods, nor catachrestically and ironically as the heathen gods are called, nor a diminutive God, inferior to the Father, as Arius held, but God by nature every way, co-essential, co-eternal, and co-equal with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Hold fast all truth, but, above all, hold fast this glorious truth, that Jesus Christ is God blessed for ever.
(4.) The fourth name or title which denotes the essence of God is El Gibbor, the strong and mighty God. God is not only strong in his own essence, but he is also strong in the defence of his people, and it is he that giveth all strength and power to all other creatures, 2 Chron. 16:9. There are no men, no powers, that are a match for the strong God.
Now this title is also attributed to Christ: Isa. 9:6, 'El Gibber, the strong God, the mighty God.' The word אל, signifying God, doth also signify strong. He is so strong that he is almighty, he is one to whom nothing is impossible. Christ's name is God, for he is the same essence with God the Father. This title, 'the mighty God,' fitteth well to Christ, who hath all the names of the deity given to him in Scripture; and who, by the strength and power of his godhead, did satisfy the justice of God, and pacify the wrath of God, and make peace, and purchase pardon and eternal life for all his elect.
(5.) The fifth name or title which denotes the essence of God is El Shaddai, God omnipotent or all-sufficient, Gen. 17:1. He wanteth nothing, but is infinitely blessed with the infinite perfection of his glorious being. By this name God makes himself known to be self-sufficient, all-sufficient, absolutely perfect. Certainly that man can want nothing who hath an all-sufficient God for his God. He that loseth his all for God, shall find all in an all-sufficient God, Mat. 19:29. Esau had much, but Jacob had all, because he had the God of all, Gen. 33:9–11. Habet omnia, qui habet habentem omnia. What are riches, honours, pleasures, profits, lands, friends, yea, millions of worlds, to one Shaddai, God Almighty, God All-sufficient? [Augustine.] This glorious name Shaddai, was a noble bottom for Abraham to act his faith upon, though in things above nature or against it, &c. He that is El Shaddai is perfectly able to defend his servants from all evil, and to bless them with all spiritual and temporal blessings, and to perform all his promises which concern both this life and that which is to come.
Now this name, this title Shaddai, is attributed to Christ, as you may clearly see by comparing Gen. 35:6, 9–11, and 32:24–30, with Hosea 12:3–5. That angel that appeared to Jacob was Christ, the angel of the covenant. Mark, you shall never find either God the Father or the Holy Ghost called an angel in Scripture; nor was this a created angel, for then Jacob would never have made supplication to him; but he was an uncreated angel, even the Lord of hosts, the Almighty God, who spake with Jacob in Bethel. He that in this divine story is said to be a man, was the Son of God in human shape, as is most evident by the whole narration. The angel in the text is the same angel that conducted the Israelites in the wilderness, and fought their battles for them, Exod. 3:2; Acts 7:30; 1 Cor. 10:4, 5, 9, even Jesus Christ, who is styled once and again the Almighty, Rev. 1:8, and 4:8. In this last scripture is acknowledged Christ's holiness, power, and godhead. Ah Christians! when will you once learn to set one Almighty Christ against all the mighty ones of the world, that you may bear up bravely and stoutly against their rage and wrath, and go on cheerfully and resolutely in the way of your duty.
(6.) The sixth name or title is Adonai, my Lord. Though this name Adonai be given sometimes analogically to creatures, yet properly it belongs to God above. This name is often used in the Old Testament; and, in Mal. 1:6, it is used in the plural number to note the mystery of the holy Trinity, 'If I be Adonim, Lords, where is my fear?' Some derive the word Adonai from a word in the Hebrew [אדן] that signifies judicare, to judge, because God is the Judge of the world; others derive it from a word which signifies basis, a foundation, intimating that God is the upholder of all things, as the foundation of a house is the support of the whole building.
Now this name is given to Christ: Dan. 9:17, 'Cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for Adonai, the Lord Christ, sake.' Daniel pleads here no merits of their own, but the merits and mediation of the Messias, whom God hath made both Lord and Christ. So Ps. 110:1, 'The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.' Christ applies these words to himself, as you may see in that Mat. 22:24, 'Jehovah said,' that is, God the Father said, לאדני La-adoni, 'unto my Lord,' that is, to Christ; 'sit thou at my right hand,' sit thou with me in my throne. It notes the advancement of Christ, as he was both God and man in one person, to the supremest place of power and authority, of honour and heavenly glory, Mat. 28:18; John 3:35. God's right hand notes a place of equal power and authority with God, even that he should be advanced far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, Eph. 1:21; Heb. 1:3; Luke 22:69. Christ's reign over the whole world is sometimes called 'the right hand of the majesty,' and sometimes the 'right hand of the power of God.' 'Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.' This implies, [1.] That Jesus Christ hath ever had, and will have enemies, even to the end of the world. [2.] Victory, a perfect conquest over them. Conquerors used to make their enemies their footstool. Those proud enemies of Christ, who now set up their crests, face the heavens, and strut it out against him, even those shall be brought under his feet. [3.] It implies ignominy, the lowest subjection. Sapores, King of Persia, overcoming the Emperor Valerian in battle, used his back for a stirrup when he got upon his horse; and so Tamerlane served Bajazet. [4.] The footstool is a piece of state, and both raiseth and easeth him that sits on the throne; so Christ will both raise himself and ease himself by that vengeance that he will take on his enemies, &c.
Now from these divine names and titles which are given to Jesus Christ, we may thus argue, He to whom the incommunicable titles of the most high God are attributed, he is the most high God; but the incommunicable titles of the most high God are attributed unto Christ, ergo, he is the most high God. But,
4. Fourthly, Christ's eternal deity, co-equality, and consubstantiality with the Father may be demonstrated from his divine properties and attributes. I shall shew you for the opening of this that the glorious attributes of God are ascribed to the Lord Jesus. I shall begin,—
(1.) First, with the eternity of God. God is an eternal God. 'From everlasting to everlasting thou art God,' Ps. 90:2; 'The eternal God is thy refuge,' Deut. 33:27; 'He inhabits eternity,' Isa. 57:15. He is called 'the ancient of days,' Dan. 7:9; and he is said to be 'everlasting,' and to be 'king of old,' Ps. 74:12. This sheweth he had no beginning. In respect of his eternity, after time, he is called 'the everlasting God,' Rom. 16:26; 'An everlasting king,' 1 Tim. 1:17. That there is no succession or priority or posteri[ori]ty in God, but that he is from everlasting to everlasting the same, we may see Ps. 102:26, 27, 'The heavens shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment, and as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.' There is no succession or variation in God, but he is eternally the same. Eternity is an interminable being and duration before any time, and beyond all time; it is a fixed duration, without beginning or ending. The eternity of God is beyond all possible conception of measure or time. God ever was, ever is, and ever shall be. Though the manifestations of himself unto the creatures are in time, yet his essence or being never did nor shall be bound up by time. Look backward or forward, God from eternity to eternity, is a most self-sufficient, infinite, perfect, blessed being, the first cause of our being, and without any cause of his own being; an eternal infinite fulness, and possession to himself and of himself. What God is, he was from eternity, and what God is, he will be so to eternity. Oh, this glorious attribute drops mirth and mercy, oil and honey!
Now this attribute of eternity is ascribed to Jesus Christ: John 1:1, 'In the beginning was the Word;' 'was' notes some former duration, and therefore we conclude that he was before the beginning, before any creation or creatures, for it is said he was God in the beginning, and his divine nature whereby he works is eternal, Heb. 9:14. He is 'the first and last,' Rev. 1:17. Hence it is that he is called 'the firstborn of every creature,' because he who created all, and upholds-all, hath power to command and dispose of all, as the firstborn had power to command the family or kingdom, Col. 1:15–17; compare Isa. 66:6, with Rev. 22:13. John 17:5, 'Father glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory I had with thee before the world was.' Such glory had the Lord Christ with his Father, viz., in the heavens, and that before the world was. This he had not only in regard of destination, being predestinated to it by God his Father, as Grotius would evade it, but in regard of actual possession. 'The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way,' saith Christ the Son of God, Prov. 8:22. And as his Father possessed him, so he was possessed of the selfsame glory with his Father before the world was, from eternity. 'His goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting,' from the days of eternity, saith the prophet Micah, speaking of the Messiah, Micah 5:2. See the eternity of Christ further confirmed by the scriptures in the margin. But,
(2.) Secondly, As the attribute of eternity is ascribed to Christ, so the attribute of omniscience is ascribed to Christ; and this speaks out the godhead of Christ. He knows all things: John 21:17, 'Lord, thou knowest all things,' τὰ παρόντα καὶ τὰ μέλλοντα, all things present and future; what I now am, and what I shall be, saith one, [Chrysostom] on the words: John 2:25, 'He needed not that any should testify of man, for he knew what was in man.' Shall artificers know the nature and properties of their works, and shall not Christ know the hearts of men, which are the work of his own hands? Rev. 2:23, 'And all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts.' Now of all a man's inwards, the heart and the reins are the most inward. Christ is nearer to us than we are to ourselves. The Greek word ἐρευνῶν, that is here rendered searcheth, signifies to search with the greatest seriousness, exactness, and diligence that can be; the word is metaphorically taken from such as use to search in mines for silver and gold. He is also frequently said to know the thoughts of men, and that before they bewrayed themselves by any outward expressions. Now this is confessedly God's peculiar, 'God which knoweth the hearts.' He is the wisdom of the Father, 1 Cor. 1:24. He knows the Father, and doth, according to his will, reveal the secrets of his Father's bosom. The bosom is the seat of love and secrecy, John 1:18. Men admit those into their bosoms, with whom they impart all their secrets; the breast is the place of counsels; that is, Christ revealeth the secret and mysterious counsels, and the tender and compassionate affections of the Father to the world. Being in the bosom implieth communication of secrets: the bosom is a place for them. It is a speech of Tully to a friend that had betrusted him with a secret, crede mihi, &c., Believe me, saith he, what thou hast committed to me, it is in my bosom still, I am not ungirt to let it slip out. But Scripture addeth this hint too, where it speaketh of the bosom as the place of secrets: Prov. 17:23, 'A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom, to pervert the ways of judgment,' speaking of a bribe: Prov. 21:14, 'A gift in secret pacifieth anger, and a reward in the bosom expiateth wrath.' Here is 'secret' and 'bosom' all one, as gift and reward are one. So Christ lieth in the Father's bosom; this intimateth his being conscious to all the Father's secrets. But,
(3.) Thirdly, As the attribute of God's omniscience is ascribed to Christ, so the attribute of God's omnipresence is ascribed to Christ; Mat. 18:20, 'Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them;' and chap. 28:20, 'I am with you alway, even to the end of the world.' He is not contained in any place, who was before there was any place, Prov. 8:22, and John 1:1, 3, and did create all places by his own power. Whilst Christ was on earth in respect of his bodily presence, he was in the bosom of his Father, which must be understood of his divine nature and person. He did come down from heaven, and yet remained in heaven. Christ is universally present, he is present at all times and all places, and among all persons; he is repletively everywhere, inclusively nowhere. Diana's temple was burnt down when she was busy at Alexander's birth, and could not be at two places together; but Christ is present both in paradise and in the wilderness at the same time, ubi non est per gratiam, adest per vindictam, where he is not by his gracious influence, there he is by his vindictive power. Empedocles could say that God is a circle, whose centre is everywhere, whose circumference is nowhere. The poor blind heathens could say that God is the soul of the world; and thus, as the soul is tota in toto, and tota in qualibet parte, so is he, that his eye is in every corner, &c. To which purpose they so portrayed their goddess Minerva, that which way soever one cast his eye, she always beheld him. But,
(4.) Fourthly, As the attribute of God's omnipresence is ascribed to Christ, so the attribute of God's omnipotency is ascribed to Christ, and this speaks out the Godhead of Christ, 'All power is given unto me, in heaven and in earth,' Mat. 28:18; John 5:19. 'What things soever the Father doth, these also doth the Son,' Phil. 3:21. He is called by a metonymy 'the power of God,' 1 Cor. 1:24. 'He is the Almighty,' Rev. 1:8, 'He made all things,' John 1:3. 'He upholds all things,' Heb. 1:3. 'He shall change our vile body,' saith the apostle, 'that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself,' Phil. 3:21. Now from what has been said we may thus argue. He to whom the incommunicable properties of the most high God are attributed, he is the most high God; but the incommunicable properties of the most high God are attributed to Christ, ergo, Christ is the most high God. But,
5. Fifthly, Christ's eternal deity, co-equality, and consubstantiality with the Father, may be demonstrated from his divine works. The same works which are peculiar to God are ascribed to Christ. Such proper and peculiar, such divine and supernatural works as none but God can perform, Christ did perform. As, [1.] Election. The elect are called his elect, Mat. 24:31; John 13:18. 'I know whom I have chosen,' John 15:16. 'I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain;' ver. 19, 'But I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.' [2.] Redemption. O sirs, none but the great God could save us from wrath to come, none but God blessed for ever could deliver us from the curse of the law, the dominion of sin, the damnatory power of sin, the rule of Satan, and the flames of hell. Ah, friends, these enemies were too potent, strong, and mighty for any mere creature, yea, for all mere creatures, to conquer and overcome. None but the most high God could everlastingly secure us against such high enemies. [3.] Remission of sins. Mat. 9:6, 'The Son of man hath power to forgive sins.' Christ here positively proves that he had power on earth to forgive sins, because miraculously, by a word of his mouth, he causes the palsy man to walk, so that he arose and departed to his house immediately. Christ he forgives sin authoritatively. Preachers forgive only declaratively, John 20:23, as Nathan to David, 'The Lord hath put away thine iniquity,' 2 Sam. 12:7. I have read of a man that could remove mountains, but none but the man Christ Jesus could ever remit sin. All the persons in the Trinity forgive sins, yet not in the same manner. The Father bestows forgiveness, the Son merits forgiveness, and the Holy Ghost seals up forgiveness, and applies forgiveness. [4.] The bestowing of eternal life. John 10:28, 'My sheep hear my voice, and I give unto them eternal life.' Christ is the prince and principle of life, and therefore all out of him are dead whilst they live, Col. 3:3, 4. Eternal life is too great a gift for any to give but a God. [5.] Creation. John 1:3, 'All things are made by him;' and ver. 10, 'The world was made by him.' Col. 1:16, 'By him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible.' Now the apostle telleth you 'he that built all things is God;' Christ built all things, ergo, Christ is God. The argument lieth fair and undeniable. The all things that were created by Christ, Paul reduceth to two heads, visible and invisible; but Zanchius addeth a third branch to this distinction, and maketh it more plain by saying that all things that were made are either visible or invisible, or mixed—visible, as the stars and fowls and clouds of heaven, the fish in the sea, and beasts upon the earth; invisible things, as the angels, they also were made; then there is a third sort of creatures which are of a mixed nature, partly visible in regard of their bodies, and partly invisible in regard of their souls, and those are men: Eph. 2:9, 'Who created all things by Jesus Christ;' Heb. 1:2, 'He hath, in these last days, spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things; by whom also he made the worlds.' This may seem somewhat difficult, because he speaketh of worlds, whereas we acknowledge but one; but this seeming difficulty you may easily get over if you please but to consider the persons to whom he writes, which were Hebrews, whose custom it was to style God Rabboni, dominus mundorum, the Lord of the worlds. They were wont to speak of three worlds—the lower world, the higher world, and the middle world; the lower world containeth the elements, earth and water and air and fire; the higher world that containeth the heaven of the blessed; and the middle world that containeth the starry heaven. They now being acquainted with this language, and the apostle writing to them, he saith that God by Christ made the worlds—those worlds which they were wont to speak so frequently of. And whereas one scruple might arise from that expression in the Ephesians, 'God created all things "by" Jesus Christ,' and this to the Hebrews, 'by whom he made the worlds,' as if Christ were only an instrument in the creation and not the principal efficient; therefore another place in this chapter will clear it, which speaketh of Christ as the principal efficient of all things: Heb. 1, compare the 8th and 10th verses together, 'To the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever;' then Christ is God. Then, 'And, Thou, Lord,' ver. 10, 'hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thy bands.' Namely 'thine,' that is, the Son, which he spake of before. Christ is the principal efficient of the creation; and in this sense it is said, 'By him were all things made,' not as by an instrument, but as by the chief efficient. [6.] The preservation and sustentation of all things: Col. 1:17, 'By him all things consist.' They would soon fall asunder had not Christ undertaken to uphold the shattered condition thereof by the word of his power. All creatures that are made are preserved by him in being, life, and motion: Heb. 1:3, 'He upholdeth all things by the word of his power.' Both in respect of being, excellencies, and operations, sin had hurled confusion over the world, which would have fallen about Adam's ears had not Christ undertaken the shattered condition thereof, to uphold it. He keeps the world together, saith one, as the hoops do the barrel. Christ bears up all things, continuing to the several creatures their being, ordering and governing them, and this he doth by the word of his power. By this word he made the world. 'He spake, and it was done.' And by this word he governeth the world, by his own mighty word, the word of his power. Both these are divine actions, and being ascribed unto Christ, evidence him to be no less than God. Now from what has been said we may thus argue, he to whom those actions are ascribed, which are proper to the most high God, he is the most high God; but such actions or works are ascribed to Christ, ergo, he is the most high God. But,
6. Sixthly, Christ's eternal deity may be demonstrated from that divine honour and worship that is due to him, and by angels and saints given unto him. The apostle sheweth, Gal. 4:8, that religious worship ought to be performed to none but to him that is God by nature; and that they are ignorant of the true God who religiously worship them that are no gods by nature; and therefore, if Christ were not God by nature, and consubstantial with the Father, we ought not to perform religious worship to him. Divine worship is due to the second person of this co essential Trinity, to Jesus Christ our Lord and God. There is but one immediate, formal, proper, adequate, and fundamental reason of divine worship or adorability, as the schools speak, and that is the sovereign, supreme, singular majesty, independent and infinite excellency of the eternal Godhead; for by divine worship we do acknowledge and declare the infinite majesty, truth, wisdom, goodness, and glory of our blessed God. We do not esteem anything worthy of divine honour and worship which hath but a finite and created glory, because divine honour is proper and peculiar to the only true God, who will not give his glory to any other who is not God. God alone is the adequate object of divine faith, hope, love, and worship, because these graces are all exercised, and this worship performed, in acknowledgment of his infinite perfection and independent excellency; and therefore no such worship can be due to any creature or thing below God. There is not one kind of divine honour due to the Father and another to the Son, nor one degree of honour due to the Father and another to the Son; for there can be no degrees imaginable in one and the same excellency, which is single because infinite; and what is infinite doth excel and transcend all degrees and bounds. And if there be no degrees in the ground and adequate reason of divine worship, there can be no reason or ground of a difference of degrees in the worship itself. The Father and the Son are one, John 10:30,—one in power, excellency, nature,—one God, and therefore to be honoured with the same worship, 'that all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father,' John 5:23. Every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ, who is man, is God also, and therefore equal to his Father, Phil. 2:6, 11, 12; and it can be no robbery, no derogation to the Father's honour, for us to give equal honour to him and his co-equal Son, who subsists in the form of God, in the nature of God. Thus you see the divine nature, the infinite excellency of Jesus Christ, is an undeniable ground of this co-equal honour; and therefore the worship due to Christ as God, the same God with his Father, is the very same worship, both for kind and degree, which is due to the Father. But, for the further and clearer opening of this, consider,
(1.) First, that all inward worship is due to Christ. As,
[1.] Believing on him. Faith is a worship which belongs only to God, enjoined in the first commandment, and against trusting in man there is a curse denounced, Jer. 17:5, 6. But Christ commands us to believe in him, John 1:12. John 14:1, 'Ye believe in God, believe also in me.' John 3:16, 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' Ver. 36, 'He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.' John 6:47, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.' The same respect that Christians give unto God the Father, they must also give unto the Son, believing on him; which is an honour due only to God. Other creatures, men and angels, may be believed, but not believed on, rested on. This were to make them gods; this were no less than idolatry.
[2.] Secondly, Loving of Jesus Christ with all the heart, commanded above the love, nay, even to the hatred, of father, mother, wife, children, yea, and our own lives, Luke 14:26. He who is not disposed, where these loves are incompatible, to hate father and all other relations, for the love of Christ, can be none of his. I ought dearly and tenderly to love father and mother—the law of God and nature requiring it of me,—but to prefer dear Jesus, who is God blessed for ever, before all, and above all, as Paul and the primitive Christians and martyrs have done before me. Your house, home, and goods, your life, and all that ever you have, saith that martyr, God hath given you as love-tokens, to admonish you of his love, to win your love to him again. Now will he try your love, whether you set more by him or by his tokens, &c. When relations or life stand in competition with Christ and his gospel, they are to be abandoned, hated, &c. But,
(2.) Secondly, All outward worship is due to Christ. As,
[1.] First, Dedication in baptism is in his name. Mat. 28:19, 'Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:' εἰς τὸ ὄνομα, into the name, by that rite initiating them, and receiving of them into the profession of the service of one God in three persons, and of depending on Christ alone for salvation. Baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is the consecrating of them unto the sincere service of the sacred Trinity.
[2.] Secondly, Divine invocation is given to Jesus Christ. Acts 7:59, 'Stephen calls upon the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit.' 1 Cor. 1:2, 'All that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.' 1 Thes. 3:11, 'God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.' Eph. 1:2, 'Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.' It is the saints' character that they are such as call on the Lord Jesus, Acts 2:21; Acts 9:14. But,
[3.] Thirdly, Praises are offered to our Lord Jesus Christ: Rev. 5:9, 'And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.' Ver. 11, 'And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.' Ver. 12, 'Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.' Ver. 13, 'And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.' Here you have a catholic confession of Christ's divine nature and power. All the creatures, both reasonable and unreasonable, do in some sort set forth the praises of Christ, because in some sort they serve to illustrate and set forth his glory. Here you see that Christ is adored with religious worship by all creatures, which doth evidently prove that he is God. Since all the creatures worship him with religious worship, we may safely and boldly conclude upon his deity. Here are three parties that bear a part in this new song: 1. The redeemed of the Lord; and they sing in the last part of the 8th verse, and in the 9th and 10th verses. Then, 2, the angels follow, verses 11th and 12th. In the third place, all creatures are brought in, joining in this new song, ver. 13. That noble company of the church triumphant and church militant, sounding out the praises of the Lamb, may sufficiently satisfy us concerning the divinity of the Lamb. But,
[4.] Fourthly, Divine adoration is also given to him: Mat. 8:2, 'A leper worshipped him.' Mark saith he kneeled down, and Luke saith he fell upon his face, Mark 1:40; Luke 5:12. He shewed reverence in his gesture. 'Lord, if thou wilt thou canst make me clean.' He acknowledged a divine power in Christ, in that he saith he could make him clean if he would. This poor leper lay at Christ's feet, imploring and beseeching him, as a dog at his master's feet, as Zanchy [de Red.] renders the word, which shews that this leper looked upon Christ as more than a prophet or a holy man; and that believing he was God, and so able to heal him if he would, he gave him religious worship. He doth not say to Christ, Lord, if thou wilt pray to God, or to thy Father for me, I shall be whole; but 'Lord, if thou wilt I shall be whole.' He acknowledges the leprosy curable by Christ, which he and all men knew was incurable by others, which was a plain argument of his faith; for though the psora or scabbedness may be cured, yet that which is called lepra physicians acknowledge incurable; for if a particular cancer cannot be cured, much less can a universal cancer. As Avicenna observes: Mat. 2:11, 'Though the wise men of the east, who saw Herod in all his royalty and glory, worshipped him not, yet they fell down before Christ.' No doubt but that by divine instinct they knew the divinity of Christ, hence they worshipped him, not only with civil worship, as one born king of the Jews, but with divine worship; which was, it is like, the outward gesture of reverence, and kneeling, and falling down, for so the Greek words signify. Is it probable that they would worship a young babe, that by reason of his infancy understands nothing, except they did believe some divine thing to be in him? and therefore not the childhood, but the divinity in the child, was worshipped by them, [Chrysostom.] Certainly if Christ had been no more than a natural child, they would never have undertaken so long, so tedious, and so perilous a journey to have found him out; principally, considering, as some conceive, they themselves were little inferior to the kings of the Jews. It is uncertain what these wise men, who were Gentiles, knew particularly concerning the mystery of the Messiah; but certainly they knew that he was something more than a man, by the internal revelation of the Spirit of God, who by faith taught them to believe that he was a king though in a cottage, and a God though in a cradle; and therefore as unto a God they fell down and worshipped him, &c. But,
[5.] Fifthly, When Jesus Christ was declared to the world, God did command even the most glorious angels to worship him, as his natural and co-essential Son, who was begotten from the days of eternity, in the unity of the Godhead; for, when he brought in his first-begotten and only-begotten Son into the world, he said, 'And let all the angels of God worship him,' Heb. 1:6,—the glorious angels who refuse divine honour to be given to themselves: 'See thou do it not,' saith the angel to John, when John fell at his feet to worship him, 'I am thy fellow-servant,' &c., Rev. 19:10, and 22:9; yet they give, and must give, divine honour unto Christ, Phil. 2:9. The manhood of itself could not be thus adored, because it is a creature, but as it is received into unity of person with the Deity, and hath a partner agency therewith, according to its measure in the work of redemption and mediation. All the honour due to Christ, according to his divine nature, was due from all eternity; and there is no divine honour due to him from and by reason of his human nature, or any perfection which doth truly and properly belong to Christ as man. He who was born of Mary is to be adored with divine worship; but not for that reason, because he was born of Mary, but because he is God, the co-essential and eternal Son of God. From what has been said we may thus argue, He to whom religious worship is truly exhibited, is the most high God. But religious worship is truly exhibited unto Christ, ergo, Christ is the most high God. But,
7. Seventhly, Christ's eternal deity may be demonstrated from Christ's oneness with the Father, and from that claim that Jesus Christ doth lay to all that belongs to the Father, as God. Now, certainly, if Jesus Christ were not very God, he would never have laid claim to all that is the Father's, as God. The ancients insist much upon that: John 16:15, 'All things that the Father hath,' as God, 'are mine.' The Father hath an eternal godhead, and that is mine; the Father hath infinite power and wisdom, and that is mine; the Father hath infinite majesty and glory, and that is mine; the Father hath infinite happiness and blessedness in himself, and that is mine, saith Christ. The words are very emphatical, having in them a double universality. [1.] 'All things:' there is one note of universality; [2.] 'Whatsoever:' there is another note of universality. Well, saith Christ, there is nothing in the Father, as God, but is mine, 'All that the Father hath is mine;' the Father is God, and I am God; the Father is life, and I am life; for whatsoever the Father hath is mine: John 10:30, 'I and my Father are one;' we are one eternal God, we are one in consent, will, essence, nature, power, dominion, glory, &c., 'I and my Father are one;' two persons, but one God. He speaketh this as he is God, one in substance, being, and deity, &c. As God, he saith, 'I and my Father are one;' but, secundum formam servi, in respect of the form of a servant, his assumed humanity, he saith, John 14:28, 'My Father is greater than I:' John 10:37, 'If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not:' ver. 38, 'But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works,' &c. The argument of itself is plain. No man can of himself, and by his own power, do divine works, unless he be truly God; I do divine works by my own power, yea, 'I do the works of my Father;' not only the like and equal, but the same with the Father. Therefore I am truly God; neither deserve I to be called a blasphemer, because I said I was one with the Father; 1 John 5:7, 'And these three are one,' one in nature and essence, one in power and will, and one in the act of producing all such actions, as without themselves any of them is said to perform. Look, as three lamps are lighted in one chamber, albeit the lamps be divers, yet the lights cannot be severed; so in the godhead, as there is a distinction of persons, so a simplicity of nature. From the scriptures last cited we may safely and confidently conclude that Christ hath the same divine nature and godhead with the Father, that they both have the same divine and essential titles and attributes, and perform the same inward operations in reference to all creatures whatsoever. To make it yet more plain, compare John 17:10 with John 16:15. 'All things that the Father hath are mine,' John 16:15; 'Father, all mine are thine, and thine are mine,' John 17:10. That is, whatsoever doth belong to the Father, as God, doth belong to Christ; for we speak not of personal but essential properties. Christ doth lay claim to all that is natural, to all that belongs to the Father, as God, not to anything which belongs to him as the Father, as the first person of the blessed Trinity. 'All things that the Father hath are mine.' This he speaketh in the person of the mediator, 'Because of his fulness we all receive grace for grace,' John 1:16; and herein sheweth the unity of essence in the holy Trinity, and community of power, wisdom, sanctity, truth, eternity, glory, majesty. Such is the strict union of the persons of the blessed Trinity, that there is among them a perfect communion in all things, for 'all things that the Father hath are mine.' And let thus much suffice for the proof of the godhead of Christ.
Concerning the manhood of Christ, let me say, that as he is very God, so he is very man: 1 Tim. 2:5, 'the man Christ Jesus.' Christ is true man, but not mere man; verus, sed non merus. The word is not to be taken exclusively, as denying the divine nature. Christ is Θεάνθρωπος, both God and man; sometimes denominated from the one nature, and sometimes from the other; sometimes called God, and sometimes man; yet so as he is truly both, and in that respect fitly said to be a mediator betwixt God and men, having an interest in and participating of both natures. This title, 'the Son of man,' is given to Christ in the New Testament four score and eight times, the design being not only to express a man, according to the Syrian dialect then used, בר נשא, bar nosho; nor only to express Christ's humanity, who was truly man, in all things like unto us, sin only excepted; nor only to intimate his humility, by calling himself so often by this humble name; but also to tell us to what a high honour God hath raised our nature in him, and to confute their imaginations who denied him to be very man, flesh, blood, and bones, as we truly are; and who held, that whatever he was, and whatever he did, and whatever he suffered, was only seeming and in appearance, and not real; and to lead us to that original promise, the first that was made to mankind, 'The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head,' Gen. 3:15, that so he might intimate, saith Epiphanius, that himself was the party meant, intended, and foretold of by all the prophets, who was to come into the world, to all nations in the world. Jews and Gentiles originally alike descended of the woman, who both had a like interest in the woman and her seed, though the Jews did and might challenge greater propriety in the seed of Abraham than the Gentiles could, Rom. 3:1, 2; but they having been a long time, as it were, God's favourites, a selected people, a chosen nation, did wholly appropriate the Messias to themselves, and would endure no co-partners, Exod. 19:6; 1 Pet. 2:9; nor that any should have any right, title, or interest in him but themselves; and therefore they would never talk otherwise than of the Messias, the King of Israel, the son of David, never naming him once the light of the Gentiles, the expectation of the Gentiles, the hope and desire of the eternal hills, the hope of all the ends of the earth, the seed of the woman, the Son of man, as descending from Eve, extracted from Adam, and allied unto all mankind. And it is observable that the evangelist Luke, at the story of Christ's baptism, when he was to be installed into his ministry, and had that glorious testimony from heaven, deriveth his pedigree up to the first Adam, the better to draw all men's eyes to that first promise concerning the seed of the woman, and to cause them to own him for that seed there promised, and for that effect that is there mentioned of dissolving the works of Satan. And as that evangelist giveth that hint when he is now entering this quarrel with Satan, even in the entrance of his ministry, so doth he very frequently and commonly by this very phrase give the same intimation for the same purpose. No sooner had Nathanael proclaimed him the Son of God: John 1:49, 'Nathanael answered, and said unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel:' but he instantly titles himself the Son of man, ver. 51; not only to shew his humanity, for that Nathanael was assured of by the words of Philip, who calls him Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph, ver. 45; but also to draw the thoughts of the hearers to the first promise, and to work them to look for a full recovery of all that by the second Adam which was lost in the first. Though the gates of heaven were shut against the first Adam by reason of his fall, yet were they open to the second Adam: ver. 51, 'And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you'—this double asseveration, 'Verily, verily,' puts the matter beyond all doubt and controversy—'hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man,'—the Jacob's ladder, the bridge that joineth heaven and earth together, as Gregory hath it. This 51st verse doth greatly illustrate Christ's glory, and further confirm believers' faith, that Christ is Lord of angels even in his state of humiliation, and hath them ready at his call, as he or his people shall need their service, to move from earth to heaven, and from heaven to earth. This title, 'the Son of man,' shews that the Son of God was also the Son of man; and that he delighted to be so, and therefore doth so often take this title to himself, 'the Son of man.'
Now concerning the manhood of Christ, the prophet plainly speaks: Isa. 9:6, 'Unto us a child is born, and unto us a son was given.' Parvulus, a child, that noteth his humanity; Filius, a Son, that noteth his deity. Parvulus, a child, even man of the substance of his mother, born in the world, Mat. 1:25; Filius, a Son, even God of the substance of his Father, begotten before the world, Prov. 8:22 to the end. Parvulus, a child: behold his humility, 'she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger,' Luke 2:7; Filius, a Son: behold his dignity; 'when he bringeth his first begotten Son into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him,' Heb. 1:6; to prove that he was man, it is enough to say, that he was born, he lived, he died. God became man by a wonderful, unspeakable, and inconceivable union. Behold God is offended by man's affecting and coveting his wisdom and his glory—for that was the devil's temptation to our first parents, 'Ye shall be as gods,' Gen. 3:5; and man is redeemed by God's assuming and taking his frailty and his infirmity. Man would be as God, and so offended him; and therefore God becomes man, and so redeemeth him. Christ, as man, came of the race of kings; as man he shall judge the world, Acts 17:31; as man, he was wonderfully born of a virgin, Mat. 1:23; Isa. 7:14; called therefore by a peculiar name, Shiloh, which signifies a secundine or after-birth, Gen. 49:19. The word comes of שלה, which signifies tranquillum esse, intimating that Christ is he who has brought us peace and tranquillity; and that he might be our peacemaker, it was necessary that he should be Shiloh, born of the sanctified seed of a woman without the seed of man. The apostle expounds the name where he saith of Christ that ho was 'made of a woman,' not of a man and woman both, but of a woman alone without a man, Gal. 4:4. Christ as man was foretold of by the prophets, and by sundry types. Christ as man was attended upon at his birth by holy angels, and a peculiar star was created for him, Luke 2:13, 14; Mat. 2:1, 2. Christ as man was our sacrifice and expiation; he was our ἀντίλυτρον, a counterprice, such as we could never have paid, but must have remained, and even rotted in the prison of hell for ever. Christ as man was conceived of the Holy Ghost, Mat. 1:18. Christ as man is ascended into heaven, Acts 1:9, 10. Christ as man sits at the right hand of God, Col. 3:1. Now what do all these things import, but that Jesus Christ is a very precious and most excellent person, and that even according to his manhood? Christ had the true properties, affections, and actions of man. He was conceived, born, circumcised; he did hunger, thirst; he was clothed; he did eat, drink, sleep, hear, see, touch, speak, sigh, groan, weep, and grow in wisdom and stature, &c., as all the four evangelists do abundantly testify. But because this is a point of grand importance, especially in these days, wherein there are risen up so many deceivers in the midst of us, it may not be amiss to consider of these following particulars,—
(1.) First, Of these special scriptures that speak out the certainty and verity of Christ's body: John 1:14, 'And the Word was made flesh;' 1 Tim. 3:16, 'Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh.' Christ is one and the same, begotten of the Father without time, the Son of God without mother; and born of the Virgin in time, the Son of man without father; the natural and consubstantial son of both; and, oh! what a great mystery is this! Heb. 2:14, 16, 'Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil: for verily he took not on him the nature of angels: but he took on him the seed of Abraham:' according to the Greek ἐπίλαμβάνεται, He assumed, caught, laid hold on, as the angels did on Lot, Gen. 19:16; or as Christ did on Peter, Mat. 14:31; or as men use to do upon a thing they are glad they have got, and are loath to let go again. O sirs! this is a main pillar of our comfort, that Christ took our flesh, for if he had not taken our flesh, we could never have been saved by him: Rom. 1:3, 'Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh:' Rom, 9:5, 'Whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.' This is a greater honour to all mankind, than if the greatest king in the world should marry into some poor family of his subjects. Christ saith, 'My flesh is meat indeed,' and I say his flesh was flesh indeed; as true, real, proper, very flesh as that which any of us carry about with us: Col. 1:22, 'In the body of his flesh through death;' Heb. 10:5, 'Wherefore when he cometh into the world he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared me.' Κατηρτίσω: It is a metaphor taken from mechanics, who do artificially, fit one part of their work to another, and so finish the whole; God fitted his Son's body to be joined with the deity, and to be an expiatory sacrifice for sin: 1 Pet. 2:24, 'Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,' &c. The word αὐτὸς, himself, hath a great emphasis, and therefore that evangelical prophet Isaiah mentions it no less than five times in that Isa. 53:4, 5, 7, 11, 12. Christ had none to help or uphold him under the heavy burden of our sins and his Father's wrath, Isa. 63:3. It is most certain, that in the work of man's redemption Christ had no coadjutor. He who did bear our sins, that is, the punishments that were due to our sins, in his own body on the tree; he did assume flesh, cast into the very mould and form of our bodies, having the same several parts, members, lineaments, the same proportion which they have. Christ's body was no spectrum or phantasm, no putative body, as if it had no being but what was in appearance and from imagination—as the Marcionites, Manichees, and other heretics of old affirmed, and as some men of corrupt minds do assert in our days—but as real, as solid a body as ever any was. And therefore the apostle calls it a body of flesh, Col. 1:22—a body, to shew the organisation of it, and a body of flesh, to shew the reality of it, in opposition to all aerial and imaginary bodies. Christ's body had all the essential properties of a true body; such as are organicalness, extension, local presence, confinement, circumscription, penetrability, visibility, palpability, &c., as all the evangelists do abundantly witness. Take a few instances for all: Luke 24:39, 'Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself, handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.' Christ here admits of the testimony of their own senses to assure them that it was no vision or spirit, but a true and real body risen from the dead, which they now saw. Certainly whatever is essential to a true glorified body, that is yet in Christ's body. Those stamps of dishonour that the Jews had set upon Christ by wicked hands, those he retained after his resurrection, partly for the confirmation of his apostles, and partly to work us to a willingness and resoluteness to suffer for him when we are called to it: 1 John 1:1, 'That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life.' He alludes to the sermons which he and the other apostles heard from Christ's own mouth, and also to the glorious testimony which the Father gave once and again from heaven to Christ. He alludes also to the miracles that were wrought by Christ, and to that sight that they had of his glory in the mount, and to his resurrection and visible ascension into the highest heaven, Mat. 17, Acts 1. He alludes to the familiar conversation which the apostles had with Christ for about three years, and also to that touching, when after the resurrection Christ offered himself to the apostles that believed not in him to touch him, Luke 24. The truth of these things were confirmed to them by three senses—hearing, seeing, handling, the latter still surer than the former; and this proves Christ to be a true man, as his being from the beginning sets out his deity. Christ had also those natural affections, passions, infirmities, which are proper to a body, as hunger: Mat. 4:2, 'When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungered.' All Christ's actions are for our instruction, not all for our imitation. Matthew expressly makes mention of nights, lest it should be thought to be such a fast as that of the Jews, who fasted in the day, and did eat at the evening and in the night, [Chemnitius.] He would not extend his fast above the term of Moses and Elias, lest he should have seemed to have appeared only, and not to have been, a true man. He was hungry, not because his fasting wrought upon him, but because God left man to his own nature, [Hilary.] It seems Christ felt no hunger till the forty days and forty nights were expired, but was kept by the power of the Deity, as the three children, or rather champions, from feeling the heat of the fire, Dan. 3:27. Christ fasted forty days and forty nights, and not longer, lest he might be thought not to have a true human body; for Moses and Elias had fasted thus long before, but never did any man fast longer. When Christ began to be hungry the tempter came to him, not when he was fasting. The devil is cunning, and will take all the advantage he can upon us. During the forty days and forty nights the devil stood doubtful, and durst not assault the Lord Jesus, partly because of that voice he heard from heaven, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,' Mat. 3:17, and partly because his forty days and forty nights' fast did portend some great thing; but now, seeing Christ to be hungry, he impudently assaults him. Christ was not hungry all the forty days; but after, he was hungry, to shew he was man. Some think that Christ by his hunger did objectively allure Satan to tempt him, that so he might overcome him, as soldiers sometimes feign a running away, that they may the better allure their enemies closely to pursue them, that so they may cut them off, either by an ambush or by an orderly facing about: so the devil tempted Christ as man, not knowing him to be God; or if he did know him to be God, Christ did as it were encourage his cowardly enemy, that durst not set upon him as God, shewing himself to be man. And as Christ was hungry, so Christ was thirsty: John 4:7, 'There came a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me drink.' Here you see that he that is rich and Lord of all became poor for us, that he might make us rich, 2 Cor. 8:9; and he that gives to all the creatures their meat in due season, Ps. 104:27, he begs water of a poor tankard-bearer to refresh himself in his weariness and thirst: John 19:28, 'Jesus saith, I thirst.' Bleeding breeds thirsting. Sleeping: Mat. 8:24, he was asleep, to shew the truth of the human nature, and the weakness of his disciples' faith. Christ was in a fast and dead sleep, for so much the Greek word, ἐκάθευδε, signifies: his senses were well and fast bound, as if he had no operation of life, and therefore the disciples are said to raise him, as it were from the dead. The same Greek word is used in many places where mention is made of the resurrection, as you may see by comparing the scriptures in the margin together. He was asleep, [1.] By reason of his labour in preaching, and journey he slept; [2.] To shew forth the truth of his human nature. Some think the devil stirred up the storm, hoping thereby to drown Christ and his disciples, as he had destroyed Job's children in a tempest before, Job 1:18, 19; but though Satan had malice and will enough to do it, yet he had not power; yea, though Christ slept in his human nature, yet was he awake in his deity, that the disciples being in danger might cry unto him more fervently, and be saved more remarkably. And as Jesus slept, so he was also weary: John 4:6, 'Now Jacob's well was there; Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour,' about noon. In the heat of the day Christ was weary. Christ took on him not only our nature, but the common infirmities thereof, and he is to be as seriously eyed in his humanity as in the glory of his godhead. Therefore it is recorded that he was weary with his journey ere half the day was spent; and that through weariness 'he sat thus on the well;' that is, even as the seat offered, or as weary men use to sit, &c. But, in a word, he was conceived, retained so long in the virgin's womb, born, circumcised, lived about thirty years on earth, conversed all that time with men, suffered, died, and was crucified, buried, rose again, ascended, and sat down with his body at the right hand of God, and with it will come again to judge the world. Now what do all these things speak out, but that Christ hath a true body? and who in their wits will assert that all this could be done in, and upon, and by, an imaginary body?