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lar consent of the same alternately; 1, the Son's; 2, the Father's: though the part itself be simultaneous on either hand; each of them witnessing to other, and 3, equally to himself likewise, in the same act: as Wisdom also justifies and is justified of her children in her every act at once.
1, Of the Son's attestation and share in bringing mankind particularly to the knowledge and enjoyment of the Father it cannot be necessary to say much, the same having been proposed already as the chief object of his endeavours through life, his very meat and drink (John iv. 34), as he says: but
2, Of the Father's attestation to the Son-1, its necessity; 2, gift; with the same view, namely to impart by this means the knowledge of himself to mankind-it may be worth while to consider, together with an instance or two of the same.
-1, The necessity of this attestation is expressed in a very direct assertion by the Son himself, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him ” (John vi. 44). The reason, or foundation, of which necessity he also intimates in the next verse ; v. g. “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me” (Ib. 45). Which amounts to this, Every one who receives the Word from God the Father must receive it in the Son, and cannot otherwise. For the Word may be preached in their ears; it may be printed or written to their eyes : but except the Father by his Holy Spirit imprint a living Transcript of the same in their hearts, they cannot receive it. Hence the failure, which the apostle remarks, of so many of the emancipated Israelites, who left their carcases in the wilderness after having made what under other circumstances would have been thought a fortunate escape out of Egypt (Heb. ïïi. 17). “So we see that they could not enter in (to their promised rest) because of unbelief” (Ib. 19). But the great body of the visible church is still like an intermediate state between
the World and Paradise, answering to that which Israel found between Egypt and Canaan; where “ many be called but few chosen” (Matt. xx. 16): or drawn by the Father. “For by grace are ye saved through faith : (says the apostle, meaning the faith of Christ) and that, not of yourselves; (says he) it is the gift of God” (Eph. ii. 8): meaning of God the Father or God in that respect.
—2, For an instance of this grace or Gift of an attestation that forces belief or assent may be mentioned, 1 that which brought St. Peter to acknowledge the Son of God: as he told him, “Blessed art thou Simon, Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. xvi. 17): and 2 another intimated by David in that saying, “ The Lord is my shepherd : therefore can I lack nothing. He shall feed me in a green pasture, and lead me forth by THE WATERS OF COMFORT *. He shall convert my soul, and bring me forth in the PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS+ for his name's sake” (Ps. xxiii. 1, 2). For without any forcing of these expressions “The waters of comfort” and “The paths of righteousness,” which the Psalmist introduces, may be justly applied to Christian Modes of thinking and doing, or to the Word incarnate and revealed in Jesus Christ : whereby the Psalmist, and many besides were preserved and conducted long before his personal revelation. Lastly,
3, May be mentioned the circumstance of each, namely, of the Father and the Son bearing witness to himself, also in bearing witness to the other; as the Son observed once in reply to his opponents, the sanctimonious Pharisees, " It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that beareth witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me . . . . If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also” (John viii. 17–19). Which is accounted for in two ways; 1, by their common operation aforesaid, “ For what things sothe Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (Ib.
* Paralleled by John iv. 10, &c. + Paralleled by John x.
v.19) ; 2, by consequence, in the Son's witnessing to himself by the Witness he has made known or produced, as“ when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. iñ. 17; Pet. II. i. 17). Hence, without knowing one of these, it is impossible to know the other; as the Son also observed on the Pharisees asking him “ Where is thy Father " namely, “ Ye neither know me nor my Father: if ve had known me ye should have known my Father also.” (John vui. 19.)
But the instances are very numerous in which we find the unity in duality, and the duality in unity of the Father and Son either expressed, or implied; as for example in that saying, “Before Abraham was, I am" (John vii. 58); a saying which the Jews determined to be blasphemy, and for which they would have stoned him (Ib. 59), and more decidedly, “ I and my Father are one” (Ib. x. 30); for which they would again have served him in that manner: though neither expression was the blasphemy that it would have been, if he had said either, Abraham was first, or I and my Father are two. For when he talks of being before Abraham, he clearly alludes to the eternity in which there was but One Being: and when he talks of there now being two in this One-bearing witness of one fact as above, it must be meant of some particular or accidental respect, like the humanity assumed in one person, and not generally in the divine Fountain which is their common existence including the Holy Ghost.
To some however it may appear as little less than blasphemy, to assert, that the Father and Son are not one entirely in their issue-as well as origin-in their flowing as well as Fountain : as when it was asserted, for example, that they are not one originally in predestination and foreknowledge * ; which would seem such a wonder for two united Intelligences between whom a thorough, communion in this respect might be thought unavoidable through the facility of perception in such a case. Or admitting, that intelligences of a purer cast than human, though inferior to divinity, may not always be so consentient with each other,—being subject to infatuation, fickleness and caprice, like mixed mortals; yet it may be thought, that a perfect consent, or even identity, between two of the highest order can never be . hindered by such a defect : and in short, if it can only be said with truth, that the Son did not know what the Father intended with respect to any matter, as with respect to the last day for example, he cannot be so far one with the Highest as to be able to say generally, “ What things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” However, he did say it, as we have seen; and, no doubt, had a right to say it in reference to his divine origin, though not in reference to his human origin or person; the act of the Father and of the Son being all one in that relation, but not in this; the act of both originally, but not consequentially: as two streams of one fountain, or one fountain in two streams, may distribute its blessings Eastward and Westward, being all one originally, though consequentially as distinct as East and West. So flows the Fountain of life by the Son and Holy Ghost. And if the distinction between the Father and the Son be not so great in other respects, it will in all the particulars of the Son's humanity; in its natural weakness, ignorance, timidity and subjection; in subjection every way for a time, not only to physical causes or influences, but to moral likewise,-as the fear of death (Heb. v. 7), until he broke the charm for all; vanquishing sin and death by death-by dying, bim who hath put all things under his feet, the grisly tyrant who is made by this sacrifice an instrument of his own destruction (Cor. I. xv. 26, 27): whereby he has also proved, that the distinctions which we observe on the face of his divinity, are no more real interruption to its unity than the frail barks that we see gliding on its bosom
* P. 130.
are to the unity of the ocean. And while the Godhead of the Son must have been one with the Father for a reason before mentioned, namely that there is but One; so from another reason it will likewise appear, that to his proper person humanity was no less essential than divinity, namely from his human acts or accidents; as being born and others before mentioned to the very act of dying: the manner of which as well as his resumption of life and restoring of the same to others, contributes largely to the evidence of his divinity. For these human acts and accidents were all divinely acted and suffered: yet could they not be called the Father's; any more than the begetting of the Son, or his mission and temptations could be called the Son's: they may be called Acts of the same God, but not in the same Person,
--There would not be much difficulty in comprehending this double relation of the Son, namely to God and man,
-1, People could be particular in remembering these two very distinct and almost opposite unities--namely, God and man, in which he is related ; and which are brought together, but not blended in him, the enmity between them being abolished in his flesh (Eph. ii. 15), and the veil between them rent by his death (Matt. xxvii. 51; Heb. x, 20), but not their distinctions ; and if
-2, People would conceive, as they easily might, the distinction that there is in unity, and as plain as in any other relation, if there be none in divinity or infinity. For two may be one, as well as two, and at the same time also, though not equally distinct; as a man and his person, or a man and his spirit for example,-- either of which two will be one, and at the same time two--or so far distinct, that a man will not be his own person, por his person the man; no more will a man be his own spirit, or his spirit the man--albeit they are one. So our Saviour says truly, of course, and also very intelligibly, “I and my Father are One :” but he would not say, I am my Father,