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tuted would not be a man, which the scriptures represent the person of Christ to be, a man being constituted of only one individual intelligentrational spirit, united to only one individual human body; these two, and they only, in their united irate, being that which constitutes a man, properly so called: whereas if there are two rational spirits, united to one human body, in the person of Christ i this excess of parts would essentially difference him in that which is made the standard of the species of mankind, and consequently, he would not be a man upon this principle. Second'y, we have no mention of two rational spirits in the person of Christ, nor any intimation of it in all the Bible. And tho' this doctrine is urged as necessary to reconcile some texts of scripture which clash with each other, according to some mens interpretation of them; yet this is altogether needless because those texts can be easily reconciled, or rather they do not clash, when they are understood in the most likely and rational sense. The true ground or reason of mens advancing this unscriptural doctrine, I take to be this. Some men have unjustly inserred from some texts of scripture, that Jesus Christ, or the Son of God, is himself the supreme God, whereas 'the Son himself hath expressly declared the contrary; therefore to remove the disficulty which they themselves have made, they imagine two rational natures in the Person of Christ; and then they put it off with this pretence, when Christ faith [my Father is greater than 1] he did not mean his own person, but only a part of it, viz. his human nature, as they call it. I call this, a pretence, because there is no mention of Christ's having two rational natures in his person, nor anyintimation of it in all thcBible^ as I faid before. My third reason is, because one rational spirits in the Person of Christ, was : sufficient
sufficient for all the offices, performances, and works which he was called to, or did perf orm: and therefore it is very irrational, in my opinion, to suppose that he had a superfluity, which two rational spirits in his person must be, especially if we add to this, what some maintain, viz. that one of these rational natures was quiescent, was put by as useless, was laid a-fleep in non-activity, if I may so speak. My fourth, and last reason is, because our Saviour's words and actions are represented by St. John (in the words after the text) as proceeding from one and the fame fountain of action: the word, the only begotten of the Father\ and Jesus Christ, being used as synonymous terms to express one and the fame thing. The wordwas madeficfh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Verse 17. The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Here we see, that the word, the only begotten of the Father, and Jesus Christ, are convertible terms, used by the Evangelist to express one and the fame thing; They beheld the glory of the word (which they could not have done if he was quiescent and acted not.) They had seen the wonderful works which he had done, and had heard the gracious words jvhich came out of his-mouth, words full of grace and truth: and so had beheld that glory which God had reserved to, and honoured his only begotten Son with: for tho' the Jaw was given by Moses, yet that fulness of grace and truth, which was to be dispensed under the gospel, was peculiarly reserved to be dispensed by the word, or Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. For these reasons, it seems very unlikeiy to me* that the true senses of the forernention'd text should be, that the word was made or united to- a whole man, soul and body.
As to the third and fourth senses which may be put upon the foremention'd text, viz. thirdly, the -word was made or united to a human body, -or fleshy part, and so became a human foul to that body it was united to: or, fourthly, the word was fl^h, or a man; the term flesh being put for the term man, as in the second case already consider'd. I fay, whichever of these be the tr&e sense, it makes no alteration with respect to me-; because in either of these, the word, and file only begotten Son of God, expresses, or implies nO more than the man Christ Jesus, which I caU, the whole Christ. And so I shall pass them over without any other remark, but this, viz. that the third case supposes the existence ot our Saviours rational spirit, antecedent to his conception in the womb of the Virgin: and the fourth case does not deny, nor contradict it. Upon the whole, I fay, as the man Christ Jesus is called the only begotten Son cf God; so it is he alonewhich constitutes that whole person who is so called. And as his Being or person, is the Son of God; so he is a distract individual Being or Person from that God whose Son he is. So that tho' Mr. Claggett hath undertaken the confutation of my arguments, yet he has fallen vastly short of it; and consequently they remain in their full strength, proving what they Were produced for, notwithstanding what he hath urged against them, and this will appear from an examination of the particulars.
My first argument stands thus, the Son received his Being and existence from the Father, as the first supreme free cause of that Being and existence consequently he is inseriour, &c. This argument hath three branches; first, that the Father is the cause; secondly, that he is the first and supreme -cause; and, thirdly, that he is the free cause of the Son's being and existence. The first of these Mr.
Chggett Gaggett allows, by asserting, that the Father begets the Son by a .necessity o-f nature, and consequently he mast be the cause of the Son. As to the second, I suppose he allows it; because he hath not, as I can perceive, objected any thing against it. And as to the third branch* he denies it in express words, but allows it in consequence. He denies it, by asserting, that the Father begets the Son, not from the freedom of his will, but from a necessity of nature. He allows it in consequence, by allowing, first, that God is the most free agent in all things without himself, as in sage 14 and secondly, by maintaining, that the man Christ Jesus, which he calls the human nature (and which is the true and only begotten Son of God) is in his nature both body and foul of the fame species With all other men; the proving (or rather the endeavouring to prove) which point is the burden of his book. Now if the man Christ Jesus, or the human nature (as Mr. Claggett is pleas'dto call him) is of the fame species with all other men; and if all men are without God, and if God is entirely free, with .respect to the produce of every thing without <himself, which I think he hath allowed, then it will follow, by unavoidable consequence, that the man Christ Jesus, or the whole and only begotten Son of God, was begotten, not from a necessity of nature, but by a freedom of will; and so the strength of my argument is still remaining. As to the imaginary Son of God, niz. the sub.ftantial power and wisdom of God, or the Father, as this is not the real Son, but, on the contrary, is the Father of the Son of God , so my argument is. wholly unconcerned with it. I have asserted nothing concerning God, or the Father, and his essential properties, which are himself, 'and not his Son, but only. concerning God and H 2 . his his only begotten Son; and therefore in what he hath to fay, with respect to this imaginary son, he fights without an adverfary, with respect to me.
My second argument stands thus, the Son receiveth gifts and blessings from the Father; and consequently is inseriour and subordinate to the Father, according to St. Paul's way of arguing in Abraham and Melchifedech's case, as in Heb. vii. 7. Without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. In answer to this, Mr. Claggett "desires it may "be obferv'd, that our controversy is not about -" a superiority of order, or office, but of essencft "and nature; whether the Son is of the fame "substance and essence with the Father or not: "we affirm, he denies." *
In reply to which, I desire it may be observ'd, that what he faith, is his mistake \ for I have asserted nothing, with respect to a superiority of nature, but only with respect to the relation which the Father and Son stand in one to another. The terms superiour and inferiour, supreme and subordinate, are relative terms, which, in their most proper sense, are expressive, not of the nature, but only of the relation which one intelligent rational being stands in to others. Thus, the Mayor of Salisbury is inseriour and subordinate to King George, tho' they are both of one species or kind of essence, considered as men'. The Mayor of Salisbury is inseriour to King George, as he is King George's subject; and he is subordinate to King George, as he hath received authority from him, and exefcises it under him. So in like manner, upon a supposition that the Son of God and his Father are both of one species or kind of essence, yet notwithstanding this, the Son is inseriour to his Father. FIc is inseriour to him, as he is his Father's subject (his Father is his God) and lie is subordinate to him, as he hath received autho-* rity