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day; which the Scripture often speaks of as one of the highest parts of his exaltation, which he has in reward for his obedience and sufferings : and, Dr. Watts, himself, supposes his honours, since his humiliation, to be much greater than before.
§ 59. On this scheme, it will follow, that the covenant of redemption was made with a person that was not sui juris, and not at liberty to act his own mere good pleasure, with respect to undertaking to die for sinners; but was obliged to comply, on the first intimation that it would be well-pleasing to God, and a thing that he chose.
a $ 60. According to that scheme, the man Christ Jesus was not properly the son of a virgin, and so the son of man. To be the son of a woman, is to receive being in both soul and body, in consequence of a conception in her womb. The soul is the principal part of the man; and sonship implies derivation of the soul as well as the body, by conception. Though the soul is no part of the mother, and be immediately given by God, yet that hinders not its being derived by conception; it being consequent on it, according to a law of nature. agreeable to a law of nature hat where a perfect human body is conceived in the womb a woman, and properly nourished and increased, a human soul should come into being: and conception may as properly be the cause whence it is derived, as many other natural effects are derived from natural causes, or antecedents. For it is the power of God which produces these effects, though it be according to an established law. The soul being so much the principal part of man, a derivation of the soul by conception, is the chief thing implied in a man's being the son of a woman.
According to what seems to be Dr. Watts's scheme, the Son of God is no distinct divine person from the Father. So far as He is a divine person, He is the same person with the Father. So that, in the covenant of redemption, the Father covenants with himself, and He takes satistaction of himself, &c. Unless you will say, that one nature covenanted with the other, the two natures in the same person covenanted together, and one nature in the same person, took satisfaction of the other nature in the same person.
But how does this confound our minds instead of helping our ideas, or making them more easy and intelligible!
$61. The Son of God, as a distinct person, was from eternity. It is said, Mic. v. 2. “ His goings forth were of old, from everlasting." So Prov. viii. 23. “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. he is called, Isaiah ix. 6. " The everlasting Father." I know
. of no expressions used in Scripture, more strong, to signify the eternity of the Father himself.
Dr. Watts supposes the world to be made by the pre-existent soul of Christ ; and thinks it may properly be so said, though the knowledge and power of this pre-existent soul could not extend to the most minute parts, every atom, &c.--But it is evidently the design of the Scripture to assure us, that Christ made aŭ things whatever, in the absolute universality. John i. 33. “ All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." Col. i. 16, 17. “ For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” Now, if we suppose matter to be infinitely divisible, it will follow, that, let His wisdom and power be as great as they will, if finite, but a few of those individual things that are made, were the effects of his power and wisdom: yea, that the number of the things that were made by Him, are so few, that they bear no proportion to others, that did not immediately fall under His notice; or that of the things that are made, there are ten thousand times, yea, infinitely more, not made by Him, than are made by Aim: And so, but infinitely few of their circumstances are ordered by His wisdom.
It is said, Heb. ii. 8. “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under Him; He left nothing that is not put under Him." Here, it is represented, that God, the Father, has put every individual thing under the power and government of another person, distinct from Himself. But this cannot be true of the human soul of Christ, as it must be according to Dr. Watts's scheme, let the powers of that be never so great, if they are not infinite. For things and circumstances, and dependencies and consequences of things in the world, are infinite in number; and, therefore, a finite understanding and power, cannot extend to them: yea, it can extend to but an infinitely small part of the whole number of individuals, and their circumstances and consequences. Indeed, in order to the disposal of a few things, in their motions and successive changes, to a certain precise issue, there is need of infinite exactness, and so need of infinite power and wisdom.
$ 62. The work of creation, and so the work of upholding all things in being, can, in no sense, be properly said to be the work of any created nature. If the created nature gives forth the word, as Joshua did, when he said, “Sun, stand thou still;" yet it is not that created nature that does it: That Being that depends himself on creating power, does not properly do any thing towards creation, as Joshua did nothing towards stopping the sun in his course. So that it cannot be true in Dr. Watts's scheme, that that Son of God, who is a distinct person from God the Father, did at all, in any manner of propriety, create the world, nor does he uphold it, or govern it. Nor can those things that Christ often says of himself be true: as “ The Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”—“ Whatsoever the Father doeth, these doeth the Son likewise." John v. 17, 19; it being very evident, that the works of creating and upholding and governing the world, are ascribed to the Son, as a distinct person from the Father.
$ 63. Not only is the word Elohim in the plural number, but it is joined to a verb of the plural number, in Gen. xx. 13. When God caused me to wander from my Father's house. The word hightnu, caused to wander, is in the plural number. This is agreeable to the use of plural verbs, adjectives, and pronouns, in Gen. i. 26 ; iii. 22; xi. 7. See other instances in Gen. xxxv. 7; Exodus xxxii. 2, 4; compared with Neh. ix. 18; Isaiah xvi. 6.
The very frequent joining of the word Elohim, a word in the plural number, with the word Jehovah, a word in the singular number, (as may be seen in places referred to in the English concordance, under the words, Lord God, Lord his God, Lord my God, Lord our God, Lord their God, Lord thy God, Lord your God,) seems to be a significant indication of the union of several divine persons in one essence.
The word Jehovah, signifies as much as the word Essence, and is the proper name of God with regard to his self-existent, eternal, all-sufficient, perfect, and immutable Essence. Moses seems to have regard to something remarkable in thus calling Elohim, the plural, so often by the singular name, Jehovah ; especially in that remark which he makes for the special observation of God's people Israel, in Deut. vi. 4. “Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is
. one Lord.” In the original, it is Jehovah, Elohenu Jehovah Ehadh ; the more proper translation of which is, Jehovah our God is one. Jehovah. The verb is, is understood, and properly inserted between Jehovah Elohenu and Jehovah Ehadh, thus, Jehovah Elohenu is Jehovah Ehadh; which, if most literally translated, is thus, Jehovah Our Divine Persons, is one Jehovah : as though Moses, in this remark, had a particular reference to the word Elohim being in the plural number, and would guard the people against imagining from thence, that there was a plurality of Essences or Beings, among whom they were to divide their affections and respect.
A farther confirmation that the name Elohim, when used as the name of the True God, signifies some plurality, is, that this same name is commonly, all over the Hebrew Bible, used to signify the gods of the Heathens, when many gods are spoken of See those places in the Hebrew Bible, which are referred to in the English concordance, under the word Gods. In Exodus xx. 2, 3, when it is said in the third verse,
shalt have no other Gods before Me;" the word is the same as in the foregoing verse, where it is said, “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt.” It is
El him in both verses: I am the Jehovah, thy Elohim : Thou shalt have no other Elohim. Yet the latter Elohim is joined with an adjective of the plural number; which seems naturally to lead the children of Israel, to whom God spake these words, to suppose a plurality in the Elohim which brought them out of Egypt, implied in the name Jehovah. Psalm Jviii. 11. Verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth ; Elohim Shophetim :" Which literally is, Elohim, judges, (in the plural number.) See the evident distinction made between Jehovah sending, and Jehovah sent to the people, and dwelling in the midst of them, in Zech. ii. 8, 9, 10, 11. and iv. 8, 9, 11. “For thus saith the Lord of Hosts, After the glory hath He sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of His eye." "For behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of Hosts hath sent me.” “Sing and rejoice, 0 daughter of Zion : for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of ihee, saith the Lord.”
" And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know, that the Lord of Hosts hath sent me unto thee."- Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house : his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of Hosts hath sent me unto you.” “Then, answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick, and upon the left side thereof?' Joshua xxiv. 19. “ And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve Jehovah; for he is an Holy God, Elohim Kedhoshim." He is the Holy Gods. Not only is the word Elohim properly plural, the very same that is used, verse 15, the Gods which your fathers served, &c.; but the adjective Holy, is plural. A plural substantive and adjective are used here concerning the True God, just in the same manner as in 1 Sam. iv. 8. “Who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods?” And in Dan. iv. 8. “In whom is the Spirit of the Holy Gods." So verse 9, 18, and chap. v. 11. That the plural number should thus be used with the epithet Holy, agrees well with the doxology of the angels, “ Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts," &c.- Isaiah vi, and Rev. vi.
$ 64. It is an argument, that the Jews of old understood that there were several persons in the Godhead, and, particularly, that when the cherubim, in the 6th of Isaiah, cried, “ Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Hosts,” they had respect to three persons: That the seventy interpreters in several places, where the Holy
One of Israel is spoken of, use the plural number; as in Isaiah xli. 16. “Thou shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel ;” in the LXX. it is, supgavonon sv TOIS aytos Iogana. Isaiah Ix. 14. "The
" Zion of the Holy One of Israel ;" it is, dw ayıwv logana. So Jer. li. 5. “ Filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel ;" απω των αγιων Ισραηλ.