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know filially, or in a way of obedience, is life eternal.—These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 1 John v.
So amply this matter of the divine union of Father and Son is laid down in the scrip. tures of truth, as the doctrine of God our Saviour, the grand rule of the gospel, and eternal life. 3.
I shall conclude these confiderations of the evidence, that the union of Father and Son, so much infisted on in the New Teila. ment, is of a voluntary nature, by setting down two or three passages of scripture, with very
Fa. ther; and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. John viii.-It cannot be doubted that the Devil is here called the Father of Sinners, on account of the union of will; but there is such a close connexion between the two sentences, that it seems necessary to an. derstand, that God is called the Father of Christ in the same voluntary sense. Ifin one verse, framed together in the closest manner, the fame word be used in widely different senfes, no certain idea is conveyed; we can only guess at the meaning; and, in a diípuie which seemed to hinge upon the meaning of the word, is it pollible that this ieacher should use the word Father in different senfes in one breath, and give his enemies suca occasion to say, as they did, that his speec i was uninteligible?
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.-God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him, 1 John iv.-This oneness of God and believers is certainly an unity of will; but this is precisely the language which je. sus Christ used to express the unity, or oneness of himself and his Father.-And not only the stile, but the argument shews that the union is the same in its nature and principle.
-This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; this is believing, that Jesus is the Christ; and this is contesng him: But, as this commandment constituted the eternal generation, and the ineffably blefled union of Father and Son; the following inferences are plain :-Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; for the fame which constituted him the Son of God, will also constitute us children.--Every one that loveth is born of God; for the same which gave the filial character to the firstborn, will give the character of sons to all who possess it.--He that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.--Who. foever fall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him; for the same which constituted the Father and the Son one, will also constitute God and the believer one. Understanding this divine relation in the voluntary fense, these inferences, and numberless others
in the New Testament, appear to be drawn, in a direct line, from one all-commanding point, emphatically called Truth; as in 2 John-I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.But, if it be not so understood, I am not diffident to say, that many of these inferences, so important to our instruction, appear to stand without any clear premises, and without connexion or relation; and, therefore, greatly exposed to be misapprehended, or, at least, they do not posless their proper strength to make an impression upon the mind. That they all may
one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world
believe that thou hast fent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. Iin them, and thou in me, that they may be perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hait sent me, and hast loved them, as thou haft loved me. John xvii.--I have often thought that this passage alone was more than enough to determine the sense of this most interesting article of divine revelation, against all the authorities of the world. It is wonderful how many proofs are here croud. ed together. Were they fully laid down, they would out-number the words!--There is an argument upon the face of this passage, which is irrefragable, that the oneness of believers is of the lame nature with the oneness of the Father and Son.-But, the strength of the evidence lies in the matter of fact; for as Je sus Christ was made a Son, and one with the Father, by that commandment which sent him into the world, and by that love and glory which was given to him ; fo Christ here speaks of his people, as being in like manner fent into the world, verse 18. and prays that they may be glorified with him; which, of course, makes them fons of God, one with each other, and one with him and the Father, even as the Father and Son are
OBJECTIONS TO THE STATEMENT AND
DEFINITION CONSIDERED, It is necessary, in this place, to attend to some objections which may arise to the foregoing Statement and Definition.
1. It may be objected, that, although in the passages quoted, an union of will, such as subsists between Christ and believers, be clearly intended; yet an union of another nature, as subsisting between Christ and God, is also taught in the scriptures. To which I reply-If these, and such like passages be given up, where are the texts upon which the sentiment of a mysterious union is to be founded? These are the texts which have gener; ally been used to support the sentiment; and if they be found to mean no more than a relation of will, the mysterious sense of the di
vine union of Father and Son must be relinquilhed, as having no support from the scriptures.
2. If the divine relation of Father and Son be the same in its nature with that which subfifts between God and believers, why is Jefus Christ called the only begotten of the Father? The scriptures furnish us with a clear answer to this question; for though the relations be the fame in their nature, they differ essentially in respect of their being mediate or immediate.-Believers come to God me. diately through Christ; and, therefore, are children and united to the Father secondari. ly, and only as they are united to Christ; but the Lord Jesus Christ is the immediate fubject of the divine will; and, therefore, alone the Son of the Father, in a first and immediate union; this may be seen in the following passages,
No man hath feen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him, John i.—He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that fent me. John xii.—I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me. John xiv.-If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. John xvii. --Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father; but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also,---If that which ye have heard from the beginning Mall remain in you ye also shall continue in the Son, and in