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ed, and confirmed, viz.“ the express image of his person”- from this we understand, that whatever dignity, glory, substance, virtue, essence and attributes, which, inherently dwell in the Father, the same was seen and found in the person of the Son, in the most full, perfect and absolute manner. So that he who hath ever seen the Son, hath seen the Father. For his image is express; his substance is not created, but is of the Father's substance, essence, and nature in the most perfect and absolute sense. And let it be further obseryed, this same character is said to have “purged our sins," and as the apostles elsewhere express it, with his own blood. He “ sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.”
In connection with these ideas, we will now consider the 8th verse of the same chapter. “But unto the Son, he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness, is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” The apostle in this and the preceding texts, exhibits to us in the clearest terms, a complete and perfect distinction in point of personality, between the Father and Son. Although, our Lord informs his disciples, that after the coming of the Comforter, they should know, that he was in the Father, and the Father in him, and in the same discourse our Lord told them, he that had seen him, had seen the Father, and that he and his father were one. Yet it is equally true our Lord expresses himself throughout his whole discourse, in such a manner as not at all to contradict the assertion of the apostle, in this question. Our Lord tells his disciples, that he " came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. And various ex
pressions of the same kind and nature occur in that feeling and important discourse, which plainly shows to us, that our Lord never intended to destroy the idea of a clear distinction between the Father and the Son in point of personality.
Trinitarians, who have indulged too much fear, in keeping up a clear distinction of persons, between the person of the Father, and the person of the Son, have relied much for their support in our Lord's words, which we find in his prayer, at the conclusion of this discourse, recorded in John, in the 17th chapter, “ keep through thine own name, those which thou hast given me, that
one, as we are ;” and again, “ that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee;" In each of these expressions of our Lord, we can clearly discover a distinction of persons, and union of nature. For it is evident,
the first expressions, we find a petition put up by our Lord to his Father, to keep his disciples, in a peculiar manner from the temptations, that were about to await them, through the scenes they were about to pass through; and the petition recognises two persons or more. Should it be contended it was the human nature which
prayed to the divine, we would ask, have we nothing but a human petition to rely upon, for the accomplishment of so important an event, as keeping our souls, in the hour of temptation ? Not only so, but another expression of our Lord, in his last discourse to his disciples, is worthy of our notice, in this question, which is, “ for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you, but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Here let it be asked, did the humanity of Jesus Christ, presume to say, that it would send the Holy Ghost, or
Comforter? it appears very forcibly that this would be assuming that station and dignity for the Manhood, we should feel hardly authorized in presuming. Let us further enquire into the meaning of our Lord, in this petition put up by him to his Father for his disciples-“make them one as we are ;" we think it cannot be possibly imagined, that our Lord would have us understand, that he prayed to his father to destroy the personality that existed between his disciples, and thereby cement them together, so as to make them but one person. And yet if the doctrine is correct, which is so frequently taught of late, that Jesus Christ in his divine nature is the Eternal Father, we know of no other eonstruction which we can put upon our Lord's prayer. It will not be forgotten, that he prayed that they all might be one, as they were, consequently if the oneness he referred to in this prayer, had reference to personality, we cannot imagine what explanation of this petition can be found but the one already advanced; but should the real meaning of our Lord, be wished for in this prayer, we are nothing loth, to give the opinion we have imbibed and cherished on this subject, namely, that his disciples might be sanctified by the Holy Ghost, and purified in their natures, that in this sense, their natures might be one, as the nature of the Father and Son were one; and consequently, that their wills, affections, counsels, and deliberations, might be one, in perfect union and harmony, even as he and his Father were one, in all these respects, that the world might know that the Father had sent him. And that they might be a perfect specimen of genuine
christianity And, that the rising generations, might behold the wonders of redeeming love, and the rich displays of divine grace, which the Father had made to a fallen world, in the gift of his Son, and the abundant out-porings of his Divine Spirit, upon his infant church. And, which would exhibit to the nations yet unborn, a true sample of christianity in its purity. We think we find these ideas, supported by the Apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, 2d chapter, and verses from the 6th to the 10th inclusive, which are—“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus ; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus.For by grace are ye saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
If the foregoing statements, are just, we may consider we have brought to view, by our Lord, in this last discourse to his disciples, weighty and important considerations, to all christians in every age of the world. 1st. An irreproachable criterion, by which we may truly and properly understand, the dignity of his character, and glory
of his nature. 2dly. Whereby there is a clear distinction between the Father and the Son, in point of personality. 3dly. Whereby we may have right views of the Union that exists with the Father and the Son.
We are persuaded our Lord has given us as clear and distinct views and understanding of these inestimable points of this doctrine, as can be communicated to man, in our present state of darkness, and ignorance. And we ought to be therewith content, until we see the dignity of his character, and glory of his nature displayed, when we shall behold and see him as he is, without a veil. Yet so far as our Lord hath been pleased to condescend, to reveal this most sublime part of the gospel to us, it ought not to be passed over, unnoticed; and it is our lawful right and glorious privilege, as well as our indispensible duty to gain as correct and clear views of these points as possible, in our present state of existence,