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SERM. that though this universal Essence or Being be but one,
yet there are several Persons, or Subsistences, or whatsoever else we may call them, so existing in it, that they are all, and every one, that one Essence or Being. And accordingly we find frequent mention made, as of God Himself, so likewise of His Son or Word, and also of His Spirit, as being all three that same one Jehovah, or Being in general; or, as we now speak, the same God, which we have therefore sufficient ground to believe from what He hath revealed of
Himself in the Old Testament. Heb. 1. 1-3. But as God thus spake in time past unto the Fathers by
the Prophets, He hath in these last days spoken unto us by His said Son, or Word, by whom He made the worlds, who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person, hath more fully explained this great truth, and set it in as clear a light as our weak eyes can bear; and the words which I have now read, as they are in the original, will serve as a key, to let us into the right understanding of whatsoever He hath said concerning it, at least in respect of the Father and Himself, and by consequence, of the Holy Spirit too; for here He saith, 'Eyw rai ó marine Evojev, I and the Father are one.'
Where we may first observe, that He plainly distinguisheth Himself from the Father, speaking of Himself and the Father, not as one and the same Person, (according to the Sabellian heresy) under several names, but as really distinct from one another: “I and the Father;" and, “I and the Father are,” in the plural number. And this is His constant way of speaking all over the Gospel. As when He speaks of Himself with relation to God, He calls Him the “Father;" so when He speaks of the Father with relation to Himself, He calls Himself the “Son," and so distinguisheth Himself from the Father. And that we may the
better understand both the distinction and relation there is John 5.37; between the Father and Him, He often tells us, that He 8. 16; 12.49,
“was sent by the Father;" that He “ came in the name of ch. 6. 27; the Father;" that He “ was sealed and sanctified by the
50. Father;" that He“ spake as the Father said to Him;" “ as ch. 8. 28. the Father taught Him ;” and “ what He had heard of the ch. 5.30. Father;" that He “sought not His own will, but the will
10. 36. ch. 12. 50.
ch. 15. 15.
of the Father;" that He “ did the works of His Father;" John 10.37. that He “ did His works in the name of the Father;" that ver. 25. He“ liveth by the Father.” And, “ as the Father," saith eh. 6. 57. He,“ hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son, to ch. have life in Himself.” By which, and such like expressions, which often occur, He gives us plainly to understand, that He received His doctrine, His works, His power, and His very life from the Father, that life which He hath in Himself, as the Father hath it in Himself; which being the Divine Nature or Essence itself (for none hath life in Himself but God), He is therefore properly God of God, and so another or distinct Person from the Father, but still the same God with Him.
And that is the other thing to be observed here, “ I and the Father are one;" which cannot be so well understood in English, as in the original Greek, where it is not sis in the masculine gender, as if they were one Person, but in the neuter iv, one Thing, one Being. And so St. John speaks of all the three Divine Persons, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, oj701 oi agrīs év siol; these three Persons 1 John 5. 7. are one thing. This is that which God Himself asserts of Himself in the Old Testament also, and so gives us the most infallible exposition of this phrase in the New, where He saith in Moses, “ Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God (our Deut. 6. 4.
that is, as I observed before, one Being, one Essence, or as the Greeks express it, kía ouvia. From whence the Council of Nice rightly declared both from the doctrine of the A postolic and Primitive Church before that time, and also from the Holy Scriptures themselves, that the Son of God is öfooúcios, of the same Essence with the Father, which is perfectly the same in Greek that 778 nin! is in Hebrew. And therefore the Arians of old, as well as the Socinians now, in this as in other things, did but betray their ignorance, when they objected against that word as invented by the said Council. For besides that it had been used in the Church all along before, it was taken out of God's own Word, and is nothing but a Greek translation of the Hebrew text. From whence we may also see by the way, what good ground the Primitive and Catholic Church had to use the
SERM. words oùdic, imóGTU015, essentia, substantia, subsistentia, and the
like, in discoursing upon the most blessed Trinity in Unity, they being all grounded upon the most proper name of God, and that which He Himself useth in speaking of Him
self, even 77777! Jehovah,' from 7777 'to be,' or exist, as He Exod. 3. 14. Himself also explains it, where He saith, “I am that I am,”
and simply, “ I am.” And after Him St. John the EvanApoc. 1.4. gelist, saying, 'ATÒ ToŨ üv, noi ó nv, xai o exóuevos, from
which is, which was, and which is to come;' that is, und soll 7777?from Jehovah,' from the Being which always is. Which is also necessarily implied, or rather expressed, as well as one word could do it, in my text, where the Father and the Son are said to be év, unum, which cannot be otherwise understood, according to the idiom of that tongue, than of unum Ens, 'one Being,''one Jehovah.'
This, I confess, is a mystery that is above the reach of human reason to comprehend, as all the Divine perfections are, as well as this. But it is far from being against reason, or a contradiction, as the Socinians pretend. For we do not say, that three Persons are one Person, or that the Father and Son are one Person : that indeed would look something like a contradiction. But there is not one word in all the Holy Scriptures that looks that way. All that they, and we from them, assert, is, that the three Divine Persons are one Jehovah, and that the Father and the Son are one Being; ouoouoios, of one and the same essence or nature, one God: which though our reason cannot comprehend, yet it requires us to believe it, because we have His Word for it, Who is Reason, and Wisdom, and Truth itself; for that this is His meaning in these words, appears not only from the words themselves, as I have already shewn, but from the context too, both before and after.
In the next verse but one before my text, speaking of His sheep, He saith,“ neither shall any pluck them out of My hand :” in the next verse He saith, " and none is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand;" and so makes His hand or power to be the same with the Father's, which is a thing He would have us take special notice of; and therefore takes frequent occasions to acquaint us, that He can do, and always doth whatsoever the Father doth. Some
times He tells His Disciples, that “the Father will send the John 14.26. Holy Ghost,” sometimes that “ He will send Him." In one ch. 16. 26; place He saith, “whatsoever ye ask the Father in My name, ch. 16. 23. He will give it.” In another, “ if ye shall ask any thing in My ch. 14. 14. name, I will do it.” “ As the Father," saith He,“ raiseth ch. 5. 21. up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.” And accordingly, as He Himself is sometimes said “ to be raised from the dead by God;" so Acts 2. 24. He Himself saith “ that He will raise Himself by His own John 2. 19.
* ch. 10. 18. power,” which could be no other than the power of God, one and the same power that the Father hath; and therefore He must needs be one and the same God: especially, considering, that as what the one doth, the other doth also; so what is done to the one, is done to the other too. “He ch. 15. 23. that hateth Me,” saith He,“ hateth My Father also;" “ if ch. 8. 19. ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also." “ And he that seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me." “ Have ch. 2. 45.
ch. 14.9. I been so long with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father : and how sayest thou, Shew us the Father?” How could this possibly be, if He and the Father were not one God? And with what face also could He otherwise join Himself with the Father? saying, “ as We are one.” “And We will come ch. 17. 22.
ch. 14. 23. unto him, and make Our abode with him." What creature durst be thus bold with God? Who but He Who is His fellow, and equal in all things to the Father? And yet the Son doth not only do this, but in speaking of the Father and Himself, He commonly puts Himself before the Father, ch. 8. 16. “I and the Father that sent Me;" and in my text, “ I and the Father are one.” For which, I do not see what show of reason can be given, but that He doth it on purpose to signify to us, that the Father and He are so perfectly one, that there is no priority of the one before the other; nor any difference at all between them, as to their nature: so that it is all one which is named first, they being both one and the same God.
He that reads the Gospel, especially of St. John, will meet with many such expressions uttered by our Saviour, which none could utter but God Himself; and which He therefore doubtless uttered, that we might believe Him to
SERM. be God. But I mention these here only upon the occasion
of our Saviour's saying immediately before my text, that none can pluck His sheep out of His, or out of His Father's hand, and so making His power to be the same with the Father's: which lest His hearers should wonder at, He shews them the reason why He said so, adding immediately, “I and the Father are One: one in essence, and therefore one in power;" which otherwise could not be. For if He was inferior to, or in any way different from His Father in His essence or nature, He must needs be so in His power too. And therefore the occasion of His saying these words, sufficiently demonstrates that to be His meaning in them.
The same appears also from what follows my text. “Our
Saviour had no sooner said this, but the Jews took up stones John 8. 59. again to stone Him” (as they had done before upon the like
occasion), “ upon which Jesus answered them, Many good
works have I shewed you from the Father, for which of ch. 10. 32, those works do ye stone Me? The Jews answered Him,
saying, For a good work we stone Thee not, but for blasphemy, and because that Thou being a man, makest Thyself God.” From whence it is plain, that the Jews, who were perfectly acquainted with the language our Saviour used, and what was commonly meant by the words He spake, when He said, “I and the Father are One,” understood His meaning to be, that He was God, “ one God with the Father;" and therefore accused Him of blasphemy: which they could not have done, if they had not believed that to be the meaning of the words He spake. To avoid the imputation of which horrid crime, our Saviour would certainly have denied that to be His meaning, if it had not been so.
But He is so far from denying that His meaning was, “that He is God, one with the Father;" that He proves He might truly say it without blasphemy, and that He
really is so. That He might truly say it, He proves by an ver. 34-36. argument à minori ad majus. “Is it not written,” saith He,
“in your law, I said ye are gods? If he call them gods unto whom the Word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; say ye of Him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God ?” As if He had said, “ If magis