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Let us but reflect upon our selves. Each of us has a Body and a Soul. These constituent Parts are vastly different from each other, the one being material, the other inmaterial. Now if any Person should affirm of a Man's Soul, that 'tis marerial, or of his Body, that 'tis immaterial ; would not these Affirmations be arrant Falshoods ? And yet it may notwithstanding be truly affirm'd of the Man, that he is material, and that he is immaterial. But then these Propositions are crue concerning the Man in different Refpects. With respect to his Body, he is material : with respect to his Soul, he is immaterial. Wherefore we must carefully distinguish between what is affirn'd of him with respect to his Soul, and what is affirm'd of him with respect to his Body. Else what is really true, will appear false ; and what is really false, will appear true, by a confus’d Misapplication.
Even thus, since in the blessed Jesus two Natures are united, which are vastly different from each other: if a Man should affirm concerning his Divine Nature, that 'twas Created ; and concerning his human Nature, that it made the World ; these Affirmations would be arrant Fallhoods. And yet it may notwithstanding, be truly affirm'd of the blessed Jesus, that he made the World, and that he was created. These Propositions therefore are true of the blessed Jesus in different Respects. His human Nature was created ; and his Divine Nature made the World. Wherefore we must carefully diftinguish between what is respectively affirm'd of him upon the account of the Divine and human Natures. Elle we shall blunder into numberless Untruths, and make the holy Scriptures a mere jumble of Contradictions.
No Man, that has consider'd the Controversies concerning the Trinity, can be insensible of those Mistakes, into which Learned Men have faln by not observing this Rule. And indeed, even Zeal for the real Truth has too commonly betray'd Men into gross Errors, and plung'd even the Maintainers of a right Cause into insuperable Difficulties. For, in Opposition to those against whom they have bestow'd their Labors, they have greedily caught at every Text, that would, if understood in a particular Sense, confound their Adversaries; and by this Means they have expos'd themfelves to such Objections, as they could never get clear of upon their own Principles, and without retracting what they had themselves before advanc'd. Thus has the Doctrin of the Trinity been rendred infinitly perplex'd and intricat ; whilst succeeding Writers have been afraid to part with any one Argument, that has been urg'd in favor of Orthodoxy by their Predeceffors in Controversy.
We must therefore lay aside our Prejudices, and disentangle our felves from those Notions, which we have receiv'd, not from the holy Scriptures, but from fallible Writers. We must have recourse to our Bibles, if we desire to be resolv’d, whether the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Chrift, be the very God, or no. We are not left deftirute of sufficient Means for the Determination of this Point. The inspir'd Writings are exceedingly clear, and speak very plainly, concerning it. They have so manifestly taught us, that the WORD is the very God, that could I find any one Passage, which implies the contrary, I should own the Scriptures to be inconsistent with themselves, and not pretend to reconcile chem.
What then has created such fierce Disputes about our Lord's Divine Nature? Why, the holy Scriptures do frequently speak of Jesus Christ as inferior to the very God; and some Learned Men, having unfortunatly thought that diverse of those Passages relate to his Divine Nature, have from thence concluded (justly indeed, if that Principle be granted) that the WORD, cho' exprefly call'd God, yet is not the one very felfexistent God, but a secondary Being or inferior God. And they have accordingly labor'd to put such a Sense upon those Texts, which speak of our Savior's Divinity, as is agreeable to their Conceptions of an inferior Deity. Whereas in Reality, tho' the holy Scriptures do frequently speak of Jesus Christ as inferior to the very God; yet there is not one of those Texts, but what either fairly may, or necessarily must, be understood of his human Nature. And consequently they do not prove, that the WORD, or his Divine Nature, is inferior to the very God, Wherefore those Texts, which speak of our Savior's Divinity, must be understood in their natural Sense; which effectually demonstrats, as will soon appear, that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Savior, is very God.
I hope, I have shewn the Difference between us in such an intelligible manner, that a Person even of the meanest Capacity will fully and distinctly perceive ii. I shall therefore proceed to establish my own Affer:ion, and to confute yours, by proving,
1. That the Holy Scriptures do not teach, that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, is inferior to the very God.
2. That the Holy Scriptures do teach, that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Chrift, is the very God.
CH A P,
: CH A P. VI. * Of the Exaltation of our Lard Jesus Christ. - D IRST then, I shall shew, that the Holy Scri
I ptures do not teach, that the WORD, or Di. vine Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, is inferior to the very God. This I shall do, by examining all those Texts, which are suppos'd to teach it.
The first is a famous Paflage of the Second Chapa ter of the Epistle to the Philippians, wherein the Apostle speaks very remarkably of the Humiliation and Exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ. And to prepare the way for the true Explanation of that difficult Passage, I must offer to your Corsideration an Account of what the holy Scriptures (setting aside for the present this Text in dispute) do say concerning our Lord's Exaltation.
When he solemnly ascended from Earth in the Presence of his Disciples, we read that he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God, Mark 16. 19. Soon after this, St. Stephen the first Martyr, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jefus standing on the right hand of God, And said, behold, I see the beavens opened, and the Sin of Man ftanding on the right band of God, Acts 7.55,56. St. Paul also, Rom. 8.34. Col. 3. I. Heb. 10. 12. and St. Peter, i Epift. 3. 22. assure us of his being and fitting at God's right hand, or, as 'tis sometimes express'd, at the right hand of the throne of God, and on the right hand of the throne of the majestie in the heavens, Heb.8.1. Thus has God exalted him to be a prince, Acts 5. 31. By this he is made Lord, Acts 2. 36. even 'Lord of all, Aets jo. 36. that is; Governor of the whole Creation. For
God has put all things under bis feet, i Cor. 15. 27. He is the bead of all principality and power, Col. 2. 10. Angels, authorities, and powers being made subject unto him, i Pet. 3. 22. God has set bim at bis own right band in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come : And bas put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is bu body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all, Eph. 1. 20, 21, 22, 23. So that he might justly say, I am fet diwn with my father in his throne, Rev. 3. 21. And accordingly the same Throne is the Throne of God, and of the Lamb ; For the Lamb which is in the midst of tbe throne, Sall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters ; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, Rev.7, 17. And be lewed me a pure river of water of life clear as chrystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb. Rev. 22. 1. And there Ball be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb
hall be in it, and his servants shall serve him, v. 3. · Being in this glorious Stacion, he is our Mediator and Intercessor, pleading the Merit of his own Sacrifice in our behalf. He is the one mediator between God and men, 1 Tim. 2.5. He maketh interceffion for us, Rom. 8. 34.
In this exalted Condition he receives Religious Worship. No sooner was he carried up into Hea- . ven, but it follows immedia:ly, and they worshipped bim, Luke 24. 52. And accordingly St. Stephen at his Martyrdom pray'd to him, saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a boud voice, Lord, lay not this fin to their charge, Aěts 7, 59, 60. Sr. Jobn also says, Unto him that loved us, and washed 24s from our fins in his own bloud, And has made us kings and priests unto God and his father ; to bim