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by the will and pleasure of another. Thus gitar. dians and masters have authority over those chili dren who are committed to their care; but then this authority is not natural but derived, it is lodge ed in them as a trust, by those who are naturally invested with authority, as aforesaid. And, · As authority is thus distinguished into natural and derived; to the agents or governours who evercise it; are distinguished by different characters npon that account, viz. fupreme and subordinate. Supreme governours are such as are naturally invested with authority, and who have con. ftituted others to exercise that authority, either in whole or in part under them, and in their place and stead: and these are called supreme in diftinction from, and in opposition to all those who excrcise à delegated authority, under them. Subordinate governours are all such as exercise a delegated authority, as aforesaid; and they are called subordinate in distinction from, and in opposition to those who are the fountains of authority to them. So that when I say, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, is a Being inferiour, and [subordinate. ] I intend to express, that the authority which he is invested with, is not natural but derived. That is, he is not invested with it from any n2tural relation he stands in to us; but it is commited to him as a trust, by him, who is the common parent of us all: and therefore he, viz. the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, is, in point of authority, subordinatc to that fountain of authority viz. his God and Father from whom he derived it. Again,
By the Father] I intend to express that moral agent, or that necessarily existing Being, whom in common language we characterize by the term God; the same with him who derived his being from noñe, and who gave being to all things.
And he is called the Father, in contradistinction to our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom he has declared that he is his beloved Son. Again
When I say that the Father is the supreme God, by the term God, I intend to express both existence, agency, and authority; which is the same as if I fhould say, that the Father is the first and chief Being, and agent; and that he is the first and chief governour, he is the fountain both of being, agency, and authority. Lastly,
By the term [alone] I intend to exclude the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and every other moral agent, out of the idea of the supreme God, as explained above; excepring only, that neceffarily existing Being, who is the Father of God's Son. To him, and to him alone, I do apply the character of supreme God.
So that the whole proposition may be delineated thus; the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, is not a mode, property, or the manner of existing of a being, neither a coilition or society of agents, but a Being, that is, one individual moral agent. And this agent is in point of existence, agency, and all natural perfections below or inferior , and in point of authority fubordinate to that necessaria Jy existing Being who is his Father. And that the Father alone, exclusive of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and of every other moral agent, is the first and chief Being and agent, and the first and chief governour; he alone is the fountain both of being, agency, and authority.
TO PROVE, That the Son is a Being inferiour and fubordinate to the Father, and that the Father alone is the supreme God.
First, The Son received his being and existence from
the Father, as the first fupreme free cause of that being and existence : consequently, he is inferiour and fubordinate to the Father, as every effect is inferiour to its first supreme free cause.
HAT the Fatheris the cause of the Son's being, see John iii. 16. For God so loved the World, that he gave bis only begotten Son,
&c.If the relation of a father to a son, dorh not imply the son's receiving his being from that fạther ; yet certainly the father's begetting of the son, can imply no less. For whatever difference there may be betwixt begetting, creating, and making of a thing; yet they are all the same in this, viz. that the thing which is begotten, creat d, or made, is by that operation really produc u: and if so, then it follows, that the Son received his being and existence from the Father. That the Father is the first supreme cause of the Son's being, is here taken for granted; for if there be a first fupreme cause, antecedent to the
Father, then that first cause would just thecharacter of supreme God.' And,
As the Father is the first supreme cause of the Son's being, so he is likewise the free cause of thathis being and existence. That is, the Father did not bes get the Son by a necessity of nature, but from the freedom of his will. And this is evident from the nature of the thing. Forevery thing that acts from a necessity of nature, mustsurely always actthesame; because always under the fame necessity; or rather it would be one continued act through all eternity, when the being that acts is an eternal being, as the being here referred to is supposed to be. But it is manifest, that this is not the present case. Because when the scriptures make mention of the begetting or generation of the Son, it is an action which is past; consequently, it was an act of the Father's will. For if the father begets the Son by-ą necessity of nature, then the Son is always begetting, but never is nor will be begotten. The word beget implies the act or operation of of the Father : the word begotten, implies the per: fecting and finishing of that act, or of the thing which that act or operation produced, and confc quently the ceasing or discontinuance of that act. Seeing then the scripture speaks of the Son, as å Being, which is already begotten, it will follow, that the Father's act in generating the Son, is past, and that the Son was begotten, not by ne. cessity of nature, but from the freedom of the Father's will. So that, if there was such a thing as time, either before or after the generation or the Son, then his existence sprang not from a ne cessity of nature, but from a freedom of wiil. But time has taken place since the Son's generation, he having had a real personal existence long since, aad consequently, he owes his being to the Father's will and pleasure. Again,
the Son Cither befonat; if the
soln v. 26, As the Father bath life. in himself, fo baih be given to the Son, to have life in himself. In this text there are three things asserted, viz. first, that the Father hath life in himself; fecondly, that the life of the Son is from the Father; third ly, that the life of the Son is the Father's gift. Now every gift is free and voluntary, and procedes not from a necessity of nature, but from the will of the donor. And, whether we confider the term life, as expressive of that intelligence and activity which constitutes life in, and to every moral agent, or as a power to convey that life to Others, it alters not the case, because either of them excludes nécessary existence from the Son; it be ing equally absurd, and an impossibility in nature, for the necessarily existing Being, either to receive life and being from another, or a power to give life and being to others; such life and such power being necessarily inberent in the necessarily existing Being. Again, . · Col. i. 19, It pleased the Father, that in him (viz. the Son) should all fulness dwell. By all fulness I think the Apostle must be understood to mean, a fulness of natural perfections, such as power, know ledge, C. and a fulness of authority or domini. on to be exercised in, and for the good of the Church. This I think, is evident from the Apoftle's discourse, and this fulness in the Son, he declares to arise from the good pleasure of the Father. So that tho the Son is poflefied of a fulness of natural perfections, and in him are lodged all the treasures of power, wisdom, and knowledge, yet it is manifest froin the Scriptures, that these are not in the Son, independent of the Father, but are owing to his good pleasure. And, : Tho there is a fulness of authority in the Son ; yet it is manifeft, that it is not natural, but dericed. For as the God and Father of our Lord Je