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promise arrived, God sent his Son. How was the Person, who was now sent, God's Son? The passage informs; "made of a woman; made under the law;" to redeem and save. Christ here was made the Son of God, by the miraculous producing of his humanity from the virgin Mary, that he might do the work of the Mediator; that he might exercise that filial obedience under the law, essential to his mediatorial character, and to man's salvation. This is the plain sense of the above text. And it perfectly accords with the words of Gabriel to Mary, and with the account given of this subject in "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ."
Again. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all."—This may relate to the days of Christ on earth, when he was known as the Son of God. God did not then spare him ', but "laid on him the iniquities of us all." He, who was presented as God's own Son, must suffer, and be delivered up to death. "Though he was a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things, which he suffered." And " It pleased the Father to bruise him, and to put him to grief." But should any think, that this text may relate to the divine act of sending the Saviour from heaven; (as it no doubt may;) the explanation of the foregoing texts may equally apply to this, and to all of a similar nature. This mode of speech is common. See Exod. iii. 1 ; "Moses led his. flock to the back side of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb." This mountain, when Moses here came to it, was not known as the moantain of God. But, it being known by this name, when Moses wrote the Pentateuch, he speaks of his coming to the mount of God.
Christ uses the same kind oflanguage. "What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where lie was before?" He here alludes to his own preexistent state in heaven. But did he pre.exist in heaven as the Son of man? Surely not; but as the Logos ;—one with God, and who was God. But being now known as the Son of man, he modestly applies this name, by which he was now known, and by which he most frequently denominated himself, to his pre-existent person in heaven, tho' he was never known as the Son of man, till he tabernacled on earth, and was God manifest in the flesh. We say, When king David kept his father's sheep. But he was not king, when he kept them. We say, When king Solomon was born. Yet he was not born king, nor Solomon. But afterward being known by both the office and the name, these are carried back to his birth. when his birth is spoken of. One says, My father was born in such a year. He does not mean, that he was born his father. In like manner, when we read, "God so loved the world, that he sent his only begotten Son"—" God sent forth his Son, made of a woman"—the plain meaning appears to be, God sent his beloved Logos, the darling of his bosom, infinitely dear, as one with himself, who took human nature, and was manifested as the only begotten Son of God.
But such texts do not teach that the Divinity of Christ did literally sustain the filial relation to God, as having been begotten by the Father, at some. period before creation. And we see, from numerous scriptures, that this sense cannot be admitted. The primitive texts of the Old Testament, which first point to the paternal and filial relation, we have seen applied, by the Holy Ghost, to the miraculous producing of Christ's humanity, and to
his being introduced to his mediatorial work, and to his inheritance. What right then has man to apply these texts, and others, which allude to them, contrary to the application made by the Holy Ghost? When we consider, that the Old Testament is silent concerning any paternal and filial relation, as then actually existing between the two first Persons in the Trinity, and that the Holy Ghost does apply the first predictions in the Old Testament, which speak of those relations between God and Christ, to the manifestation of the Messiah in the flesh; we may conclude that we have no divine warrant to say, that the Divinity of the second Person in the Godhead was derived from the First.
MO BENEFIT RESULTS FROM A SUPPOSED DERI. VATION OF CHRIST'S DIVINITY.
Among arguments which have been adduced, in favour of a derivation of the Divinity of Christ from God, are found such as the following, either expressed, or implied :^That such a derivation 'would be most congenial to the idea of the divine paternal affection toward his Son ; and most congenial to the idea of Christ's filial affection toward nis Father.—And that this scheme must magnify the love of God toward our fallen world; in that he would send a Son whose Divinity was derived from him, the Father, and therefore the most dear possible. That herein we may form a due estimate «f the love of God to our sinful race :—And that we can have no medium so suitable and striking, on any other plan, to lead us to form a suitable estimation of the love and grace of God, in the scheme of gospel salvation.
To creatures like men cloathed in flesh, circumscribed, and most sensibly impressed with the feelings of parental and filial affections, arguments like the above, ably expressed, may appear forcible. But in this thing we must not judge after the outward appearance; but must judge righteou« judgment. On reading, and attempting to weigh such arguments, questions like the following have occurred with force to iny miud. 1 will just ex» press them as the only refutation, which I shall attempt, of the above arguments. If they strike others as they do me, they will afford all the refutation necessary. Relative tg this, the reader will make up his own opinion.
Why should a derivation of the Divinity of Christ be deemed necessary? Must Christ be unable to feel in the best possible manner, that affection toward God the Father, which is most becoming the mediatorial character, unless he is in his divine nature actually derived and dependent? Or must the Mediator, if he be of underived Divinity, be less capable of feeling that tender affec-. tion toward mankind, which if derived and dependent he might possess? Is the Father incapable of feeling, in the best possible manner, the most suitable parental affection toward the Person of the Mediator, unless he be literally a Father to the Divinity of Christ? It is said among men, people do not know the parental affection, till they learn it from experience. Can the same thing be applicable to the Most High ?" He that formed the eye, shall he not see," unless he have material eyes? He that made the ear, shall he not hear, though he have no organ of hearing like ours? And he that implanted the parental affection, shall he not know what it is, even if he have not learned it, as have human parents, from experience? May not the Person of Jesus Christ be the dearest possible to the Father, unless Christ's Divinity be actually derived and dependent? May not the love of God to this fallen world be as real, as great, and as gloriously exhibited, in sending a Saviour who is possessed of Divinity that is underived and eternal ; as in sending a Saviour derived and dependent? Why may not the economy of grace, in such a case, be as great and wonderful? May not