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God, can't posibly interpret several of those Texts of the Descent of Christ's Divine Nature, without the Allistance of such forcible Strains, as (I hope) I shall never dare allow, my self the che Use of. But since I have shewn, that Christ's Human Soul préexisted, they are all of them very plain and easy. For ler us examin Particulars.
Our Lord says, No man bath ascended up to beaven, but be that came down from beaven, even the Son of man i wr en Ted gegevą (that is, not as we translate it, which is in heaven, but) wbich was in heaven, John 3. 13. For tis notorious, that the Participle must fométimes be construed in the Preter Tense. For the Proof of this I need go no farther than the 31st Verse of this Chapter, where the Baptist says, 'O drogerie ogé refuo ftayas ad y Two Dziv. 'O av én of gñs, en fans ost, y en syñs xana å in ñ degus & OuG &rlys
é prwv 1. Now 'cis certain, that a béreluc ought in this place to be rendred, be that came ; and consequently, o ano in os gris, which Phrase is manifestly opposed to in omni Eger éggé ulo, must be rendred, be that was from the earth. Thus also the Participle ar is 'us'd elsewhere. For Instance, Tupads as agte Balmai, whereas I was blind, I now see, John 9. 25. Και όντας ημάς νεκρές τούς «αλώμασι συνεξωοπότηση Χρισώ, which ought to be rendred 'thus, And us, who were dead in fins, bath he quickened together with Christ, Eph. 2. 5. And accordingly the Baptist's Meaning is plainly this; He that was from the earth, is (or continues still to be) from the earth, that is, a common Man, doc. So that our Savior's Words are very clear and intelligible. For his Meaning is, that the Son of Man, which was in Heaven, because his Human Soul preexifted there, came down from Heaven, when his preexistent Soul was cloath'd with a Body,and convers'd amongst us as a Man.
Again, Christ fays, the bread of God is be which cometh down from heaven, and givetb life unto the world, John 6. 33. and again, I came down from beaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me, v.38. These Texts mean, that the Man Christ Jesus became incarnat, that he might perform God's Will; and that the fame Man Christ Jesus gives Life to the World, by Virtue of that Authority and Power, which God has given for that Purpose.
Thus also, when he says, Wbat and if ye shall see the Son of man afcend up where he was before ? v. 62. he means, that his human Soul was in Heaven before his Incarnation.
But there is one Verse, which (I think) requires another Sense. Our Lord says, I am tbe living bread, which came down from heaven : if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever : and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world, v. 51. In this passage our Savior afferts, that his Flesh came down from Heaven. But did his Body then exist before the Incarnation? And did his preexisting Body descend thro' the Blessed Virgin's Womb ? No; but as I have (e) elsewhere ob- . served, by coming down from heaven in this place is meant, being begotten by the immediat Power of God. For our Savior's Flesh, tho' born of the Vir. gin Mary, was conceiv'd in her by the Oversham dowing of the Holy Ghost. And thus the Fews understood our Savior. For they knew, that by his pretending, that his Flesh came from Heaven, he meant that he was not born of the Will of Man; and therefore they objected his having Earthly Parents, and could not understand, how he could be
faid to come down from Heaven with respect to his outward Man. This is plain from the Text, which says, The Fews then murmured against him, because be said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, is not this Jefus the Son of Joseph, whose father, and mother we know? How is it then that be saith, I came down from Heaven? v.41, 42. So that our Blersed Savior came down from Heaven with respect to his Body as well as his Soul. His Soul preexisted there, and his Body came therefore down from Heaven, because it was begotten by the Will and Operation of God. Thus St. John's Baptism was said to be from beaven, Matt. 21.25. that is, to proceed from God, and to be of Divine Original; in Opposition to its being of Men, that is, instituted by human Authority.
2. He speaks of the Glory, which he had with the Father before the World was, John 17.5i and of his Father's Loving him before the foundation of the world, Y..24. These Passages have been already explain': of the Preexistence of his Human Soul in the Seventh Chapter. And as for his saying, Before Abrabam was, I am (or as it ought to be rendred, I was, by a known Scriptural Figure) it most evidently relates to the same Preexistence of his Human Soul.
Secondly, Other Declarations of the Blessed Jesus relate to the then present Time. ;" I. Our Lord cals himself the only begotten Son of God, John 3, 16, 18. and this he truly was with refpe&t to his Human Nature. For tho' Adam is call'd the Son of God,,Luke 3. 39. yet that was upon the Account of his Formation our of the Duft, and not because he was really begorten of a Woman by the Holy Ghost. Adam could not be said to have been begotten by God: but our Lord Jesus Christ was as truly begotten by God, as we are by our re
that ye may know and believe, that the Father is in me,
fpe&ive natural Fathers, Nor was any other Man ever so begotten by God; and therefore Christ is God's only begotten Son as to his Human Nature.
Whether he is not also the only begotten Son of God as to his Divine Nature, I do not now inquire. What I at present assert, is, that his declaring himself to be the only begotten Son of God, did not discover to his Disciples or others, that he was more than a Man, or had any Divine Nature at - all.
3,813 ?> 2. He speaks of the intimat Union between God and himself, and declares, that God was in him,
and he in God, saying, I and my Father are one, John - 10. 30. Though ye believe not me, believe the works:
and I in bim, v.33. At that day ye Shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you, John 14. 20. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, 'keep thro' ibine own name, those whom thou haft given me, that they may be one, as we are, John 17. 11. That they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou haft fent me. And the glory which thou gaveft nie, I have given them : that they may be one, even' as we are Cone. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfe&t in one, and that the world may know, that thou haft sext me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me, V. 21, 22, 23. Now it must be observ'd, that the very same Phrafes, which express the Union be-tween God and Christ, do also express the Union between Christ and his Disciples, and between the Disciples themselves. As God is said to be in Cbrift, and Christ in God, John 10. 38. fo Chrift is said to be in his Disciples, and his Disciples in him, even as God is in Cbrift, John 14. 20. And as
Christ declares, that God and he are one, John 10. 30. so he prays, that his Disciples may be one, even As his Father and himself are one, John 17. 11, 22. And their being one is manifestly the same as, or neceffarily supposes, their dwelling in each other, whether the Phrases be applied to God and Chrift, or to Christ and his Disciples. For indwelling implies the (f) Favor and Prote&tion of a Superior, and the Obedience of an Inferior. And being one denotes a perfe& Union of Affections and Goodwill. And accordiogly Christ prays, that they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us, John 17. 21. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, v. 23. Now there most certainly was this admirable Agreement and Union between God and the Man Chrift. God really favor'd and protected the Man Christ, and the Man Christ was absolutly obedient unto God. And there was undoubtedly between them a most ardent reciprocal Love. But none of the Exprefsions before mencion'd did any way discover, that the WORD or Divine Nature was united to the Man Christ.
3. Our Lord says, Tudore te fuc's rý zvárouide υ εμυ Καθως κνώσκει με ο πατήρ, κάγο κνώσκω ή πατέρα, John 10. 14, 15. These Words, as you rightly (g) observe, ought to be translated thus, 1 know my Sheep, and am known of mine. Even as the Father known eth' me, I know the Father. This Knowledge therefore, which is attributed to the Sheep, as well as to God and Christ, can't imply, that Christ appear'd more than Man. The Phrafe plainly fignifies, that as God and Christ did entirely love each
(f) See the Confutation of Quakerism, Chap. 3. p. 25. () Script. Do&t. Pag. 99.