« ZurückWeiter »
comprehensive, and comprises in itself most of the particulars that might be annumerated ; quickening, preserving, &c.
This, then, farther drives on the truth that lies under demonstration; there being such a distinct communion of grace from the several persons of the Deity, the saints must needs have distinct communion with them.
It remaineth only to intimate in a word, wherein this distinction lies, and what is the ground thereof. Now this is that the Father doth it by the way of original authority; the Son by the way of communicating from a purchased treasury; the Holy Spirit by the way of immediate efficacy.
1st. The Father communicates all grace by the way of original authority. 'He quickeneth whom he will;' John v. 21. ‘Of his own will, begat he us;' James i. 18. Life-giving power is in respect of original authority invested in the Father by the way of eminency; and therefore, in sending of the quickening Spirit, Christ is said to do it from the Father, or the Father himself to do it. But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send ;' John xiv. 26. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send from the Father;' John xv. 26. Though he be also said to send him himself, on another account; John xvi. 7.
2dly. The Son, by the way of making out a purchased treasury. Of his fulness do we all receive and grace for grace;' John i. 16. And whence is this fulness? It pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell;' Col. i. 19. And upon what account he hath the dispensation of that fulness to him committed, you may see Phil. ii. 8–11. • When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied : by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities; Isa. liii. 10,11. And with this fulness he hath also authority for the communication of it; John v. 25, 26. Matt. xxviii. 18.
3dly. The Spirit doth it by the way of immediate efficacy; Rom. viii. 11. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Here are all three comprised, with their distinct concurrence unto our quickeningHere is the Father's authoritative quickening, he raised Christ from the dead and he shall quicken you : and the Son's mediatory quickening, for it is done in the death of Christ: and the Spirit's immediate efficacy, he shall do it by the Spirit that dwelleth in you. He that desires to see this whole matter farther explained, may consult what I have elsewhere written on this subject. And thus is the distinct communion whereof we treat, both proved and demonstrated.
Having proved that there is such a distinct communion in respect of Father, Son, and Spirit, as whereof we speak; it remains that it be farther cleared up by an induction of instances, to manifest what and wherein the saints peculiarly hold this communion with the several persons respectively: which also I shall do after the premising some observations, necessary to be previously considered, as was promised, for the clearing of what hath been spoken. And they are these that follow.
1. When I assign any thing as peculiar," wherein we distinctly hold communion with any person, I do not exclude the other persons from communion with the soul in the very same thing. Only this, I say, principally, immediately and by the way of eminency, we have in such a thing, or in such a way, communion with some one person; and therein with the others, secondarily and by the way of consequence on that foundation : for the person, as the person of any one of them, is not the prime object of divine worship, but as it is identified with the nature or essence of God. Now the works that outwardly are of God (called . Trinitatis ad extra),' which are commonly said to be common and undivided, are either wholly so, and in all respects; as all works of common providence, or else being common in respect of their acts, they are distinguished in respect of that principle, or next and immediate rise in the manner of operation; so creation is appropriated to the Father, redemption to the Son; in which sense we speak of these things.
2. There is a concurrence of the actings and operations of the whole Deity, in that dispensation, wherein each person concurs to the work of our salvation, unto every act of our communion with each singular person. Look by what act soever, we hold communion with any person, there is an influence from every person to the putting forth of that act. As suppose it to be the act of faith. It is bestowed on us by the Father; ' It is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God;' Eph. ii. 8. It is the Father that revealeth the gospel, and Christ therein; Matt. xi. 25. And it is purchased for us by the Son: 'It is given unto you for Christ's sake to believe on him ;' Phil. i. 29. In him are we blessed with spiritual blessings;' Eph. i. 3. He bestows on us, and increaseth faith in us;' Luke xyii. 5. And it is wrought in us by the Spirit; he administers that exceeding greatness of his power which he exerciseth towards them who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in God when he raised him up from the dead;' Eph. i. 19, 20. Rom. viii. 11.
3. When I assign any particular thing wherein we hold communion with any person, I do not do it exclusively unto other mediums of communion ; but only by the way of inducing a special and eminent instance, for the proof and manifestation of the former generation : otherwise there is no grace or duty wherein we have not communion with God in the way described. In every thing wherein we are made partakers of the divine nature, there is a communica
• Πατήρ συν υιώ και παντα γνώ πνεύματι
Tgàs maporomoss einpins, movàs púoel.
Mia triàs gàs, els Deos hartoupátwp-Greg. Nazian. Iamb. Car. 3. c II porxuvā pay thu ulay žy Toło trici Deótnta.--Idem. orat. 24. See Thom. 22. q. 81. A. 3. q. 84. a. i. Alexan. Ales. Sum Theol. p. 3.q. 30. m. 1. a. 3.
tion and receiving between God and us. So near are we unto him in Christ.
4. By asserting this distinct communion, which merely respects that order in the dispensation of grace, which God is pleased to hold out in the gospel, I intend not in the least, to shut up all communion with God under these precincts (his ways being exceeding broad, containing a perfection whereof there is no end), nor to prejudice that holy fellowship we have with the whole Deity, in our walking before him in covenant obedience, which also (God assisting), I shall handle hereafter.
These few observations being premised, I come now to declare what it is, wherein peculiarly and eminently the saints have communion with the Father: and this is love. Free, undeserved, and eternal love. This the Father peculiarly fixes upon the saints : this they are immediately to eye in him, to receive of him, and to make such returns thereof, as he is delighted withal. This is the great discovery of the gospel; for whereas, the Father as the fountain of the Deity, is not known any other way but as full of wrath, anger, and indignation against sin, nor can the sons of men have any other thoughts of him; Rom. i. 18. Isa. xxxiii. 15, 16. Hab. i. 13. Psal. y.4–6. Eph. ii. 3. here he is now revealed peculiarly as love, as full of it unto us; the manifestation whereof is the peculiar work of the gospel ; Tit. iii. 4.
(1.) 1 John iv. 8. •God is love.' That the name of God is here taken personally, and for the person of the Father, not. essentially, is evident from ver. 9. where he is distinguished from his only-begotten Son whom he sends into the world. Now, saith he, the Father is love, that is, not only of an infinitely gracious, tender, compassionate, and loving nature, according as he hath proclaimed himself; Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. but also, one that eminently and peculiarly dispenseth himself unto us in free love. So the apostle sets it forth in the following verses ; this is love,' ver. 9. this is that which I would have you take notice of inhim, that he makes out love unto you, in sending his only
d Deut. xxxiii. 3. Jer. xxxi. 3. John iii. 16. v. 42. xiv. 21. Rom. v. 5. viii. 39. Eph. ii. 4. 1 John ii. 15. iv. 10, 11. Heb. xii. 6. Multo fupatiráregov loquitur quem si Deum diceret summopere atque adeo infinite nos amare, cum Deum dicit erga nos ipsam charitatem esse, cujus latissimum rnxpngcov profert. Beza in loc.
and for the personhe name of God
entially, is evil
begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.' So also, ver. 10. He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. And that this is peculiarly to be eyed in him, the Holy Ghost plainly declares, in making it antecedent to the sending of Christ, and all mercies and benefits whatever by him received. This love, I say, in itself, is antecedent to the purchase of Christ, although the whole fruit thereof be made out alone thereby ; Eph. i. 4–6..
(2.) So in that distribution made by the apostle in his solemn parting benediction, 2 Cor. xiii. 13. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost be with you. Ascribing sundry things unto the distinct persons, it is love that he peculiarly assigns to the Father. And the fellowship of the Spirit is mentioned, with the grace of Christ, and the love of God, because it is by the Spirit alone that we have fellowship with Christ ingrace, and with the Father in love; although we have also peculiar fellowship with him, as shall be declared.
(3.) John xvi. 26, 27. saith our Saviour, 'I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father himself loveth you.But how is this, that our Saviour saith, 'I say not that I will pray the Father for you,' when he saith plainly, chap. xiv. 16. I will pray the Father for you? The disciples, with all the gracious words, comfortable and faithful promises of their Master, with most heavenly discoveries of his heart unto them, were even fully convinced of his dear and tender affections towards them; as also of his continued care and kindness, that he would not forget them, when bodily he was gone from them, as he was now' upon his departure ; but now all their thoughts are concerning the Father, how they should be accepted with him, what respect he had towards them. Saith our Saviour, Take no care of that, nay, impose not that upon me, of procuring the Father's love for you; but know, that this is his peculiar respect towards you, and which you are in him; • he himself
e Quomodo igitur negat? negat secundum quid ; hoc est, negat se ideo rogaturum patrem, ut patrem illis conciliet, et ad illos amandos flectat; quasi non sit suapte sponte erga illos propensus. . Voluit ergo Christus his verbis persuadere apostolis, non solum se, sed etiam ipsum patrem illos complecti amore maximo. Et ita patrem eos amare, ac promptum habere animum illis gratificandi, et benefaciendi, ut nullius, neque ipsius filii opus habet tali intercessione, qua solent placari, et fecti homines non admodum erga aliquem bene affecti, &c. Zanc. de trib. Elo. lib. 4. cap. 9. Vid. Hilar. de Trinit, lib. 6. p. 97. ed. Eras.