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ther. What a ravishing Thought then must it be, that God is our Father, and loves us with the natural Affection of a Father? But this Satisfaction we cannot have, if God be not our Father, though he bestows other great Favours and Blessings on us.

For, 3. To deny Christ to be the eternal Son of God, and that God is our Father by our Adoption in his eternal Son, makes an essential Difference in the Nature of God's fatherly Love and Affection to us. If God have no eternal Son by Nature, he is not, in a strict and proper Sense, a Father, as having no Son of his own Substance; and therefore cannot have in a strict and proper Sense, what we call the Natural Affection of a Father. He is the Maker of all Things but not a Father; which differs as much as to create, and to beget; and the natural Love and Affection of a Creator and a Father, differ as essentially as the Relations do, just as our Affection to our Workmanship, and to our Son differ; so that if God have a Son of his own Substance, his fatherly Affection to his Son must as much exceed his Love to Creatures, though the most excellent Creatures, as his Son is abové all Creatures.

This I suppose will be allowed; but what is this to us, who are not the Sons of God by Nature, but mere Creatures; and the lowest Order of reasonable Creatures, and therefore were we perfectly innocent and upright, which God knows we are not, we could at most expect no other kind of Love from God, but what is due to Creatures ? And therefore God's being our Father, and loving us as a Father, must be expounded to such a. Sense as fits the Object, that he is so our Father as he can be the



Father of Creatures, of Men, of Sinners; and loves us with such a fatherly Affection, as such Creatures are the Objects of. This were certainly true, were we not the Sons of God by our Adoption in Jesus Christ his eternal Son ; but now by our Union to Christ, as his mystical Body, we become one with him, and one Object of the Father's Love: It is not merely our Maker, but the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Father, and we are loved in Christ, and therefore with the same kind of Love which he has for Christ, which is a true fatherly Affection. For if we are beloved in Cnrift, that Love which the Father has for Chrift, his eternal Son, descends on us, and is the faine kind of Love, which he hath for his Son; this is that Love wherewith God loves us in Christ, which as St. Paul tells us, bath its Heights, and Depths, and Lengths, and Breadths, and is a Love past Undersi anding; we know it is the Love of God, which he hath for his own eternal Son, wherewith he loves us, and we know this is beyond the mere Love of Creatures; but what it is, we cannot comprehend now, we shall know more of it, though not comprehend it, when we come to Heaven; but from what I have now faid, you may perceive, what a vast difference the owning or denying the eternal Godhead and Sonship of Christ make in the Notion of our Sonship and Adoption, and of God's fatherly Love and Affection for us, and on which Side the Advantage lies.

4. The Privilege of our Adoption and Sonship is a Right and Title to the Inheritance, as St Paul tells us, if Children then Heirs, Heirs of God, and joint Heirs with Christ, Rom. viii. 17, This Inheritance indeed is represented in Scripture in as glorious and magnificent Terms, as Words can express; but yet all this must be expounded to a higher or lower Sense, according to our Belief concerning Christ's Person and Sonship. Our Sonship and Inheritance is founded in the Sonship and Inheritance of Christ, and such a Son and Heir, as he is, such proportionably we shall be ; for in him we are the Heirs of God, as joint Heirs with Christ

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. Now though it is very unaccountable, that God should make Christ the Heir of all things, if he were not his eternal and only begotten Son, of which more hereafter ; it may suffice for the present to observe, that all Men of common Sense must grant, that there is an infinite Difference between the Inheritance, Kingdom, Majesty, and Glory of the eternal Son of God, and between any created Glory, any Inheritance and Kingdom, that the most exalted Creature is capable of. If God begets a Son of his own Nature and Substance, God of God, Light of Lighi, very God of very God, he must as mucli excel all created Glories, as God is above Creatures; and therefore his Kingdom and Inheritance is as much above them too. God can no more confer the Majesty and Kingdom of an eternal Son upon a mere Creature, than he can make such a Creature his eternal Son; so that those who believe Christ to be a mere Creature, a mere Man, though exalted to the highest Degree of created Glory, fall infinitely short of that Glory, and Happiness, which we expect in the Kingdom of the Son of God, which we shall inherit with him. Those who deny Christ to be the eternal Son of God, may, and do believe those Promises he has made of a glorious Immortality; but they can never form such mag

nificent Ideas of that Kingdom and Glory, as those who believe Christ to be the eternal Son of God, and that they shall for ever dwell in his Presence, and inherit his Kingdom, be where he is, and behold his Glory, the Glory, not of a Creature, but of the Son of God incarnate, who loved us, and gave himself for us, who became Man, and suffered and died upon the Cross, and being risen from the Dead, ascended into Heaven, and now sits at the Right Hand of God; a Sight, which is the Glory of Heaven, and the Happiness of those blessed Saints who are admitted to dwell in his presence, and see his Glory. And whatever other Happiness there may be in Heaven, this, which is the greatest we can conceive, cannot be in Heaven, if the eternal Son of God incarnate be not there. This is the peculiar Glory of the Kingdom of the Son, and this is the Heaven I hope for, not to dwell in the Presence, and see the Glory of an exalted Creature, but the visible Glory and Majesty of the eternal Son of God incarnate.

Thus you see in this one Particular, what a vast Difference it makes in the Christian Faith and Hope, to deny Christ to be the eternal Son of God, for then we have not God for our Father ; our Sonship and Adoption in Christ is a mere Name and Title without any natural Reason for it ; we lose the Dignity and Glory of our Relation in being the Sons of God, and the greatest Assurance of God's fatherly Love and Affection to us, and as much lessen the Inheritance of Sons, and our own Hopes of Glory, as we lessen the eternal Glory of our Lord and Saviour. These are the greatest and most valuable Things in the Christian Religion, and not


casily to be parted with, how mysterious soever the eternal Generation, the Incarnation, the Death and Sufferings of the Son of God be. God grant that we may always adore such Mysteries, as are full of a mysterious Love and Goodness, and big with a mysterious Happiness.

2. It is a very good Proof of the eternal Godhead of Christ, that the Scripture does every where so much magnify the Love of God in giving his own Son to save us.

The Redemption of Mankind, both in its own Nature, and by the Purpose and Design of God, is a Difpensation of Grace, a glorious Manifestation of his Love to Mankind, even to sinful and

apostate Man ; there could not be a higher Expression of it, than to fend his own Eternal and only begotten Son to be the Saviour of Sinners. In making the World God display'd the Glories and Perfections of a wife and bountiful Creator; we see his Power in giving Being to all Things, which had no Being, till he made them; his Wisdom in the infinite Variety, apt Contrivance, beautiful Order, and universal Harmony of all Things ; and his creating Goodness in making every Creature, that hath Life and Sense, capable of such a Happiness, as is proportion'd to its Nature: Thus God made all Things for himself, to declare his Majesty and Glory to his Creatures.

But the Fall of Man gave occasion for opening a new Scene of Glory, of pardoning and redeeming Love; and here God intended to give us a more surprizing and astonishing View of his Love and Goodness, than the whole Creation affords us ; and both our Saviour and his Apostles lay the great Stress of it upon this,


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