And Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord

 

Now then, that we may proceed at large to open up the Covenant, we are in the next place to come to that part of the Creed which concerns the second Person in Trinity, set down in these words: And Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord. From which words to the very end of the Creed, such points only are laid down as do notably unfold the benefits and matter of the Covenant. Now the second Person is described to us by three things: First, His titles; Secondly, His incarnation; Thirdly, His two-fold estate.

 

 

His titles are in number four:

            I. Jesus.

            II. Christ.

            III. His only Son.

            IV. Our Lord.

 

I.

To come to His titles, the first is Jesus, to which, if we add the clause, I believe, on this manner, I believe in Jesus etc., the article which we now have in hand will appear to be most excellent; because it hath most notable promises annexed to it. When Peter confessed Christ to be the Son of the living God, He answered (Matt. 16:18), Upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And again (1 John 4:15), He that confesseth that Christ is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And again (Acts 10:43), To Him give all the prophets witness that through His name all that believe in Him shall receive remission of sins. Paul saith (Acts 16:31), Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, and all thy household. Thus then the confession in which we acknowledge that we believe in Jesus Christ, hath a promise of fellowship with God, and of life everlasting. But it may be objected that every spirit (as St John saith (1 John 4:2)) which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God. Now the devil and all his angels and unbelievers do thus much; therefore why may not they also have the benefit of this confession? Answer: By spirit in that place is neither meant angels nor men, nor any creature, but the doctrine which teacheth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh; and it is of God because it is holy and divine, and hath God to be the author of it. As for the devil and his angels, they can indeed confess that Christ the Son of God was made man, and a wicked man may teach the same; but unto the confession whereunto is annexed a promise of eternal life, is required true faith, whereby we do not only know and acknowledge this or that to be true in Christ, but also rest upon Him; which neither Satan nor wicked men can do. And therefore by this confession, the church of God is distinguished from all other companies of men in the world which believeth not; as pagans, heretics, atheists, Turks, Jews and all other infidels.

 

This name Jesus was given to the Son of God by the Father, and brought from heaven by an angel unto Joseph and Mary; and on the day when He was to be circumcised as the manner was, this name was given unto Him by His parents, as they were commanded from the Lord by the angel Gabriel (Matt. 1:21; Luke 1:31). And therefore the name was not given by chance, or by the alone will of the parents, but by the most wise appointment of God Himself.

 

The name in Hebrew is Jehoshua, and it is changed by the Grecians into Jesus, which signifieth a Saviour. And it may be called the proper name of Christ, signifying His office and both His natures, because He is both a perfect and absolute Saviour, as also the alone Saviour of man, because the work of salvation is wholly and only wrought by Him, and no part thereof is reserved to any creature in heaven or in earth. As Peter saith (Acts 4:12), For among men there is no other name given under heaven whereby we may be saved but by the name of Jesus. And the author to the Hebrews saith (Heb. 7:25) that He is able perfectly to save them that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.

 

If any shall object that the promises of salvation are made to them which keep the commandments; the answer is that the law of God doth exact most absolute and perfect obedience, which can be found in no man but in Christ, who never sinned; and therefore it is not given to us now that we might by ourselves fulfil it and work out our own salvation, but that being condemned by it, we might wholly depend upon Christ for eternal life.

 

If any further allege that such as walk according to the commandments of God, though their obedience be imperfect, yet they have the promises of this life and of the life to come; the answer is that they have so indeed, yet not for their works, which are the fruits of their faith, whereby they are joined to Christ, for whose merits only they stand righteous and are acceptable before God. And whereas it is said by Peter (1 Pet. 3:21) that baptism saveth us, his meaning is not to signify that there is any virtue in the water to wash away our sins and to sanctify us, but that it serves visibly to represent and confirm unto us the inward washing of our souls by the blood of Christ.

 

It may further be said (Acts 7:45; Heb. 4:8) that others have been saviours besides Christ, as Joshua the son of Nun, who for that cause is called by the same name with Christ. Answer: Joshua, after the death of Moses, was appointed by God to be a guide to the children of Israel, which might defend them from their enemies, and bring them to the land of Canaan; but this deliverance was only temporal, and that only of one people. Now the Son of God is called Jesus, not because He delivereth the people of the Jews only, or because He saveth the bodies of men only, but because He saveth both body and soul, not only of the Jews, but also of the Gentiles, from hell, death and damnation. And whereas prophets and ministers of the Word are called saviours (Obad. 21; 1 Tim. 4:16); it is because they are the instruments of God to publish the doctrine of salvation which is powerful in menÕs hearts, not by any virtue of theirs, but only by the operation of the Spirit of Christ.

 

Lastly, it may be objected that the Father and the Holy Ghost are Saviours, and therefore not only the Son. Answer: True it is that in the work of salvation all the three Persons must be joined together, and in no wise to be severed; the Father saveth, the Son saveth, the Holy Ghost saveth; yet must we distinguish them in the manner of saving. The Father saveth by the Son, the Son saving by paying the ransom and price of our salvation, the Holy Ghost saveth by a particular applying of the ransom unto men. Now therefore whereas the Son pays the price of our redemption, and not the Father or the Holy Ghost, therefore in this special respect he is called in Scripture, and entitled by the name of Jesus, and none but He.

 

By this which hath been said, the papists are faulty two ways: First, that they give too much to the name of Jesus; for they write in plain terms that the bare name itself being used hath great power, and doth drive away devils, though the parties that use it be void of good affection; whereas indeed it hath no more virtue than other titles of God or Christ. Secondly, they are faulty that they give too little to the thing signified. For Christ must either be our alone and whole Saviour, or no Saviour. Now they make Him but half a Saviour, and they join others with Him as partners in the work of salvation when they teach that with ChristÕs merits must be joined our works of grace in the matter of justification; and with ChristÕs satisfaction for the wrath of God, our satisfaction for the temporal punishment; and when they add to ChristÕs intercession, the intercession and patronage of saints, especially of the virgin Mary, whom they call the queen of heaven, the mother of mercy, withal requesting her that by the authority of a mother she would command her Son. If this doctrine of theirs may stand, Christ cannot be the only Saviour of mankind, but every man in part shall be Jesus to himself.

 

But let us go on yet further to search the special reason of the name, which is notably set down by the angel (Matt. 1:21), Thou shalt (saith he) call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins. In which words we may consider three points:  1. Whom the Son of God shall save; 2. By what? 3. From what?

 

1. For the first, He shall save His people, that is the elect of the Jews and Gentiles; and therefore He is called the Saviour of His body (Eph. 5:23). We must not here imagine that Christ is a Saviour of all and every man, for if that were true, then Christ should make satisfaction to GodÕs justice for all and every manÕs sins; and GodÕs justice being fully satisfied, He could not in justice condemn any man; nay, all men should be blessed, because satisfaction for sin and the pardon of sin depend one upon another inseparably. Again, if Christ be an effectual Saviour of all and every particular man, why is any man condemned? It will be said, because they will not believe; belike then manÕs will must overrule GodÕs will; whereas the common rule of divines is that the first cause ordereth the second.

 

2. The means of salvation by Christ are two: His merit and His efficacy:

 

(1) His merit, in that by His obedience to the law and by His passion, He made a satisfaction for our sins, freed us from death and reconciled us unto God. Some may object that the obedience and passion of Christ being long ago ended, cannot be able to save us now, because that which he did 1600 years ago may seem to be vanished and come to nothing at this day. Answer: If ChristÕs obedience be considered as an action, and His passion as a bare suffering, they are both ended long ago; yet the value and price of them before God is everlasting; as in AdamÕs fall, the action of eating the forbidden fruit is ended, but the guilt of his transgression goes all over mankind, and continues still even to this hour, and shall do to the end of the world, in those which shall be born hereafter.

 

(2) The efficacy of Christ is in that He gives His Spirit to mortify the corruption of our natures, that we may die unto sin and live unto righteousness, and have true comfort in terrors of conscience, and in the pangs of death.

 

3. The evils from which we are saved are our own sins, in that Christ freeth us from the guilt and the punishment and fault of them all, when we believe.

 

 

Thus much for the meaning of this title Jesus. Now follow the uses which arise out of it:

 

1. First of all, whereas we are taught to make confession that the Son of God is Jesus, that is, a Saviour; hence it must needs follow that we are lost in ourselves. And indeed before we can truly acknowledge that Christ is our Saviour, this confession must needs go before: that we are in truth, and therewithal do feel ourselves to be miserable sinners under the wrath of God, utterly lost in regard of ourselves; for Christ came to save that which was lost (Matt. 18:11). And when He talked with the woman of Canaan, He checked her and said, He was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 15:24). Christ Jesus came to pour oil into our wounds. Christ came to set them at liberty which are in prison; and to place them in freedom that are in bondage. Now a man cannot pour oil into a wound before there be a wound, or before it be opened, and we feel the smart of it. And how can we be set at liberty by Christ, except we feel ourselves to be in bondage, under hell, death and damnation? When the disciples of Christ were upon the sea in a great tempest, they cried, Master, save us, we perish (Matt. 8:25). So no man can heartily say, I believe Jesus Christ to be my Saviour, before he feel that in himself he is utterly lost and cast away, without His help. But after that we perceive ourselves to be in danger, and to be overwhelmed in the sea of the wrath of God, then we cry out with the disciples, Lord Jesus, save us, we perish. Many Protestants in these days hold Christ to be their Saviour, but it is only formally from the teeth outwards and no further; for they were never touched with the sense of their spiritual misery, that they might say with Daniel (Dan. 9:7), Shame and confusion belongeth unto us; and with the publican (Luke 18:13), I am a sinner, Lord be merciful to me. And therefore the conclusion is this: that if we will have Christ to be our Saviour, we must first believe that in ourselves we are utterly lost; and so must that place be understood where Christ saith, He is not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; that is, to those which in their own sense and feeling are lost in themselves.

 

2. Secondly, if Christ be a Saviour, then we must acknowledge Him to be so. But how shall we do this? I answer, Thus: A man is taken to be a skilful physician by this: that many patients come unto him and seek for help at his hands. And so should it be with Christ. But alas, the case is otherwise. Every man can talk of Christ, but few acknowledge Him to be a Saviour by seeking to Him for their salvation, because they judge themselves righteous, and feel themselves not to stand in need of the help of Christ. Nay, which is more, if a man be known that he can cure strange diseases, men will seek to him by sea and land, and sell both goods and lands to get help at his hands. Even so, if men were persuaded that Christ were a perfect Saviour, and that they were sick and utterly unable to be saved without Him, they would never rest nor be quiet, but seek unto Him for His help, and cry with David (Psa. 35:3), O Lord, say unto my soul that thou art my salvation. The woman that was diseased with an issue of blood, came behind our Saviour Christ, and when she had touched Him, she was healed (Matt. 9:20). In the same manner, if we shall seek to come to Christ, and do not touch His precious body and blood by the hands of faith, the issue and the bleeding wounds of our souls shall be dried up. When a man that had been sick eight and thirty years was come to the pool of Bethesda (John 5:7), he was fain to lie there uncured; because when the angel troubled the water, evermore some stepped before him. But if we will seek to Christ for the salvation of our souls, no man shall prevent us, or step before us. And if we find ourselves to be so laden with the burden of our sins that we cannot draw near unto Him, then let us do as the palsy man did (Mark 2:4): he got four men to carry him on their shoulders to the place where Christ was; and when they could not by reason of the press of the people enter into the house, they opened the roof, and let him down in his bed by cords to Christ, that he might be healed. And so let us use the help of such as be godly, that by their instructions and consolations, they may as it were put their shoulders, and by their prayers, as with cords, bring us to Christ that we may receive eternal salvation, being otherwise dead in sin and subject to damnation.

 

3. Lastly, whereas Joseph and Mary gave this name not at their own pleasure, but at the appointment of God Himself; this ministers a good instruction to all parents touching the naming of their children when they are baptised, that they are with care and deliberation to give convenient names unto them, which may put them in mind of duties either to God or men. This is worthy of our observation, for many care not how they name their children, yea it is at this day, and ever hath been, that some give such names to them as that at the very rehearsing thereof, laughter ensueth. But this ought not to be so; for the name is given unto children at the time of their baptism in the presence of God, of His church and angels, even then when they are to be entered into the church of God, and that in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Therefore, though we do not place religion in titles or names, yet nevertheless, a wise and godly choice in this matter is to be had that the names imposed may be instead of instructions and admonitions to the parties named. And for this cause in the Old Testament, names are given by the prophetical instinct, or according to the event of things which came to pass about the time of the birth of children, or they were borrowed from the holy ancestors, to put the posterity in mind to follow their steps.

 

 

And thus much of the duties. Now follow the consolations that GodÕs church and people reap from this: that the Son of God is our Saviour. When as all mankind was included under sin and condemnation, then the Lord had mercy upon us, and gave unto man the Covenant of grace, in which He promised that His own Son should be our Redeemer. This is a great and unspeakable comfort, as may appear in that the angels so greatly rejoiced herein when Christ was born (Luke 2:10,11), Behold, say they, I bring you tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people, that is, that unto you is born in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Now if they rejoice thus exceedingly at ChristÕs birth, who was not their Saviour, because they stood not in need to be redeemed; then much more ought the church of God to rejoice herein, whom it doth principally concern; and no marvel, for if we had wanted this blessed Saviour, it had been better to have been a brute beast or any other creature than a man; for the death of a beast is the end of his woe, but the death of a man without a Saviour is the beginning of endless misery. Satan and his angels are fallen and have no Saviour, but when man was fallen, God of His mercy dealt not so with him, but gave His own Son to restore him to a better estate, whereas He might as justly have damned all men for the fall of our first parents, as He did the wicked angels for theirs; for God is not bound to any creature. Behold then a matter of unspeakable joy. Let us therefore receive and embrace Christ our Saviour, flee to Him for the pardon of all our sins, and praise His name therefore.

 

 

II.

Now we come to the second title of the Son of God, whereby He is termed Christ; which title is as it were the surname of the second Person, as some do think; yet according to the opinion of some others, it is no name at all, but only a mere appellation, as when in the like case a particular man is called a duke or a king. It is all one with Messiah in Hebrew wherewith the Redeemer was named in the Old Testament, and both signify Anointed.

 

Among the Jews before the coming of Christ, three estates or orders of men were anointed with oil: First of all, kings, as Saul, David, and the rest of the kings of Judah. Secondly, the priests that served in the tabernacle and temple before the Lord, when they were ordained, and as it were, installed into the priesthood, were anointed with oil, as first of all Aaron and his sons, but afterward the high priests alone. Thirdly, prophets were thus anointed, as Elijah.

 

Now this legal anointing was a type and figure of the anointing of Christ; which was not with bodily oil, but by the Spirit, and it was more excellent than all other anointings were. For David saith (Psa. 45:7) He was anointed with the oil of gladness above all His fellows, signifying that neither king, priest, nor prophet was ever anointed in the same manner as He was.

 

ChristÕs anointing is according to both His natures; for in what nature He is Mediator, in the same He is anointed; but according to both His natures jointly He is a Mediator; the Godhead is no Mediator without the manhood, nor the manhood without the Godhead; and therefore His anointing extends itself both to His Godhead and to His manhood.

 

 

ChristÕs anointing hath two parts, both of them figured by the anointing of the Jews:

 

1. The first is His consecration whereby He was set apart to do the office of a Mediator between God and man; and therefore to be a king, a priest, a prophet. A king, to gather and withal to govern His church and people. A priest, to make satisfaction and intercession for the sins of the elect. A prophet, to reveal and teach His people the will of God His Father. And though it be true that Christ is set apart to the work of mediation, as He is a Mediator, or as He is man, yet as He is God, He doth design and set Himself apart to the same work. For to design the Mediator is a common action of the three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and yet considering the Father is first in order, and therefore hath the beginning of the action. For this cause, He is said especially to design, as when St John saith (John 6:27), Him hath God the Father sealed.

 

2. The second part of ChristÕs anointing is the pouring out of the fulness of the Spirit or grace into the manhood of Christ (Isa. 61:1); and it was particularly figured by the holy oil. For, first, that oil had no man but God alone to be the author of it; so the most excellent and unspeakable graces of the manhood of Christ have their beginning from the Godhead of Christ. Again (Exod. 30:23,24), though the same oil was most precious, yet was it compounded of earthly substances, as myrrh, calamus and cassia, and such like; to signify that the spiritual oil of grace, whereof the manhood of Christ was as it were a vessel or storehouse, did not consist of the essential properties of the Godhead, as Eutyches and his followers in these days imagine, but in certain created gifts and qualities placed in His human nature; otherwise we should not have any participation of them. Thirdly, the sweet savour of the holy oil figured that the riches of all graces with the effect thereof in the obedience of Christ, doth take away the noisome scent of our loathsome sins from the nostrils of God, and withal doth make our persons, and all our actions, acceptable to Him as a sweet perfume, as Paul saith (2 Cor. 2:16), We are unto God the sweet savour of Christ, etc. And ChristÕs death is for this cause termed a sacrifice of sweet smelling savour.

 

And we must understand that those gifts of ChristÕs manhood are not conferred in small scantling or measure; for John saith (John 3:34), God giveth Him the Spirit not by measure; because the graces which are in Christ are far more both in number and degree than all men or angels have or shall have; though the good angels and the saints of God in heaven are very excellent creatures stored with manifold graces and gifts of God. For this cause Christ is called (1 Cor. 11:4) the Head of men; because He is every way the most principal and glorious man that ever was. Yet for all this are not the gifts of ChristÕs manhood infinite any way; because it is a creature and finite in nature, and therefore not capable of that which is infinite.

 

By ChristÕs anointing, the people of God reap great benefit and comfort because they are to be partakers thereof. For this cause the oil wherewith He was anointed is called the oil of gladness (Psa. 45:7), because the sweet savour of it gladdeth the hearts of all His members, and brings the peace of God which passeth all understanding. The holy oil poured upon AaronÕs head (Psa. 133:2) came down to his beard, and to the very skirts of his garments; and it signifieth that the spiritual oil of grace was first of all poured upon our Head Christ Jesus, and from thence consequently derived to all His members, that by this means He might not only be anointed Himself, but also our Anointer.

 

 

Now the benefits which we receive by His anointing are two:

 

1. The first is that all the elect when they are called to the profession of the gospel of Christ, are in and by Him set apart and made spiritual kings, priests and prophets, as St John saith (Rev. 1:6), He hath made us kings and priests unto His Father. And St Peter (Acts 2:17), out of Joel, I will pour (saith the Lord) my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy.

 

2. The second benefit is that all the faithful receive the same oil, that is, the same Spirit of God in some little and convenient measure, which He received above measure, as St John saith (1 John 2:17), The anointing which ye have received abideth in you, and teacheth you all things; where by anointing is meant the Holy Ghost. And hence it is that men are called Christians of the name of Christ, that is, anointed with the same oil wherewith Christ was anointed (Psa. 105:15). And the holy oil might not be given to a stranger (Exod. 30:33), to signify that to have the Spirit of Christ, and to be guided by it, is peculiar to them that are ChristÕs.

 

Now then let us all lay these things to our hearts, and extol the unspeakable goodness of God, that hath advanced us to the dignity of kings, priests, prophets before Him, and hath given His Spirit unto us, to enable us to be so indeed.

 

 

Now follow the duties which are to be learned hence:

 

1. And first, whereas all Christians receive anointing from the Holy One Christ Jesus, to become prophets in a sort (1 John 2:20; Dan. 9:24), we must do our endeavours that the Word of God may dwell plentifully in us, and for that cause we must search the Scriptures, even as hunters seeking for the game, and as men seek gold in the very mines of the earth. There is nothing more unseeming a man than gross ignorance a Christian. Therefore the author of the epistle to the Hebrews reproves them (Heb. 5:12), that whereas for the time they ought to have been teachers, they had need again to be taught the first principles of the Word of God.

 

Again, that portion of knowledge which we have received of God, is further to be applied to the benefit and good of others; that is the most precious balm that on our parts should never be wanting to the heads of men. And here every man that is set over others must remember, within the compass and calling of his charge, to instruct those that be under him, so far forth as possibly he can. Governors of families must teach their children, and servants, and their whole household, the doctrine of true religion, that they may know the true God, and walk in His ways in doing righteousness and judgment. If householders would make conscience of this their duty, and in some sort and measure prepare their families against they come to the public congregation, the ministers of the gospel with great comfort and far more ease should perform their duty; and see far more fruit of their ministry than now they do. But whereas they neglect their duty, falsely persuading themselves that it doth not belong to them at all to instruct others; it is the cause of ignorance both in town and families, in masters themselves, in servants and children, and all. Lastly, by this we are admonished to take all occasions that possibly can be offered, mutually to edify each other in knowledge, saying among ourselves (as it was foretold of these times (Isa. 2:3)), Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Israel, and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths; and withal, we should confirm each other, as Christ saith to Peter (Luke 22:32), When thou art converted, confirm thy brethren; and be ready at all times to render an account of our faith and religion even before our enemies, when we are justly called so to do.

 

2. Secondly, because we are set apart in Christ, to become spiritual priests unto God, we must therefore offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable unto Him; and they be in number seven:

 

(1) The first is an affiance whereby we rest upon God, as David saith (Psa. 4:5), Offer the sacrifice of righteousness and trust in the Lord.

 

(2) The second is wholly to subject ourselves to the ministry of the gospel that we may be changed and converted by it, as Paul saith (Rom. 15:16), that he ministereth the gospel to the Gentiles, that the offering up of them might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

 

(3) The third is all manner of prayers and supplications made unto God. Let my prayer (saith David (Psa 141:2)) be directed in thy sight as incense, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.

 

(4) The fourth is praising and thanksgiving unto God. Let us by Him offer the sacrifice of praise always to God, that is, the fruit of our lips which confess His name (Heb. 13:15). And in the Revelation (Rev. 5:8), the golden vials full of odours are the prayers of the saints.

 

(5) The fifth is the relief of our poor brethren according to our ability, as Paul saith (Phil. 4:18), I was even filled, after that I had received of Epaphroditus that which came from you, an odour that smelleth sweet, a sacrifice pleasant and acceptable to God.

 

(6) The sixth is the denial of ourselves with a contrite and broken heart (Psa. 51:17).

 

(7) The seventh is to resign ourselves, bodies and souls, wholly to the service of God. Set yourselves (saith Paul (Rom. 6:13)) to God, as they that are alive from the dead; and your members as weapons of righteousness unto God. In which words he alludes to the manner of the Old Testament; when a man offered any sacrifice for himself, he brought the beast into the temple or tabernacle, and set it before the altar, in token that he did resign it unto God. And so we for our parts must not give our bodies and souls to become the instruments of sin and Satan, but we must have them always in readiness, freely presenting them unto God, that He may have the whole disposition of them according to His good pleasure, to the honour and glory of His name. Again, in the whole burnt offering all was consumed and turned to smoke, no man having benefit of it, to signify that we must give ourselves not in part, but wholly to the service of God, even to death if needs be. If this be so, miserable is the practice of such that give up their bodies and souls to live in licentious wantonness in the pleasures of their beastly sins, in idleness. For they offer themselves a sacrifice, not to God, but to the devil.

 

3. Thirdly, considering we are anointed to be spiritual kings even in this life, we must walk worthy so great a calling. That this may be so; first of all, such as are governors set over others, must rule not according to their wills and pleasures, but in the Lord; withal, doing homage to their Head and King Christ Jesus Himself. Secondly, we must every one of us rule and bear sway even as kings over our own thoughts, wills, affections, over-mastering them as much as we possibly can by GodÕs Word and Spirit; withal, maintaining and proclaiming continual war against our corrupt natures, the devil and the world. And truly he which can bear rule over his own heart, is a right king indeed; and having received some measure of grace to reign over himself in this life, he shall reign for ever with Christ in the life to come. As for such as are carried away with the swing of their corruptions, having blindness and ignorance to reign in their minds, rebellion in their wills and affections, looseness in their whole lives, they may carry the outward form and shew of Christians as long as they will, but indeed they are no spiritual kings, but very bondmen; the strong man Satan keeps as yet the hold of their hearts, and as Lord and king holds up his sceptre there.

 

4. Lastly, seeing that Christ is anointed with the most precious balm that ever was, and that for our sakes, He must be sweet and savoury unto us, and all other things must be as unsavoury dross and dung in regard of Him. We must in this case endeavour to say as the spouse of Christ doth (Song 1:3), Because of the savour of the good ointments, thy name is an ointment poured out; therefore the virgins love thee. O that we could savour in the fear of God, that we might feel how all His garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia, coming forth of His ivory palaces unto us (Psa. 45:8).

 

And because the holy ointment of Christ is poured forth upon all His members to make them savoury and sweet in the presence of God, let us make conscience of all manner of sin lest by the poison and stink thereof we infect not only ourselves, but all the creatures of God which we use, yea heaven and earth itself. It stands now with equity that after we have been embalmed and sweetened by the precious merits of Christ, we should make ourselves two-footed swine, to return to the mire of our old sins.

 

The coupling and combining of these two former titles together, contains the principal question of the whole Bible, which is, whether Jesus the Son of Mary be Christ or not. As St John saith (John 10:31), These things are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that in believing ye might have life everlasting. This conclusion was denied by the Jews, but avouched and confirmed both by Christ and His apostles; and their principal argument was framed thus: He which hath the true notes of Christ, is the Messiah or Christ indeed. But Jesus the Son of Mary hath the true notes of Christ. Therefore Jesus is Christ. The proposition is opened at large in the prophecies of the Old Testament; the assumption is confirmed in the writings of the New Testament; and the principal reasons of the confirmation are touched in the Articles which concern the second Person. The conclusion follows, and it is set down, as I have said, in the knitting together of the titles, Jesus and Christ.

 

 

III.

Thus much of the second title, now follows the third, His only Son; that is, the only Son of the first Person, the Father. In this title we must consider two things: the first, that He is the Son of God; the second, that He is the only Son of God.

 

1.

Touching the first, Christ is called the Son of God because He was begotten of the Father. Now for the opening of this eternal generation, we must consider three points: the thing begotten, the manner of begetting and the time.

 

(1) For the thing itself, it is Christ; who must be considered two ways, as He is a Son, and as he is God. As He is a Son, He is not of Himself, but the Son of the Father begotten of Him; nevertheless as He is God, He is of Himself; neither begotten, nor proceeding; for the essence or Godhead of the Father is of itself without all beginning, but the Godhead of the Son is one and the same with the Godhead of the Father; because by what Godhead the Father is God, by the same and no other the Son is God; therefore the Son, as He is God, He is God of Himself without beginning even as the Father. Whereupon it follows that the Son is begotten of the Father, as He is a Son, but not as He is God.

 

(2) The manner of this generation is this: The Son is begotten of the substance of the Father, not by any flux, as when water is derived from the head of the spring to the channel; nor by decision, as when a thing is cut in pieces; nor by propagation, as when a graft is transplanted into a new stock; but by an unspeakable communication of the whole essence or Godhead from the Father to the Son; in receiving whereof the Son doth no more diminish the majesty or Godhead of the Father than the light of one candle doth the light of the other from which it is taken. Whereupon the Council of Nice hath said well, that the Son is of the Father as light of light, not proceeding but begotten.

 

(3) The time of this generation hath neither beginning, middle nor end; and therefore it is eternal before all worlds. And it is a thing to be wondered at, that the Father begetting and the Son begotten are co-eternal, and therefore equal in time. Wisdom in the Proverbs (Prov. 8:23) (which with one consent of all divines is said to be Christ) affirmeth that she was before the world was created, that is, from eternity; for before the world was made there was nothing but eternity. But it may be alleged to the contrary, that the saying of the Father, This day have I begotten thee (Psa. 2:7; Acts 13:33), is expounded by Paul of the time of ChristÕs resurrection. Answer: We must distinguish between generation itself and the manifestation of it; and of the second must the place be understood, which was indeed accomplished at the time of ChristÕs resurrection in which He was mightily declared to be the Son of God; and though this be so, yet the generation itself may be eternal. If any man allege further that the Person which begetteth must needs go before the Person begotten, the answer is that there is a double priority; one of order, the other of time. Now in the generation of creatures there is priority both of order and time; but in the generation of the second Person in Trinity, there is priority of order alone; the Father being first, the Son second, without priority of time; because they both in that respect are equal, and neither is before or after the other; because the being or subsisting of the Persons is not measured by time.

 

Hence it followeth necessarily that Jesus Christ is true God; and the whole tenor of the Scriptures confirm it sufficiently.

 

(1) He is made equal to God the Father, who (Phil. 2:6) being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God; again (John 16:15), All things that the Father hath are mine. The children of Israel are said to have tempted Jehovah (Num. 14:22); and Paul saith (1 Cor. 10:9) that He whom they tempted was Christ. Jehovah founded the earth (Psa. 102:25), and the same is said of Christ (John 1:3).

 

(2) Christ the Son of God is by name called God (1 John 5:20), Jesus Christ is very God and life eternal.

 

(3) The properties of the Godhead are ascribed unto Him. He is eternal, because He was then when there was no creature (John 1:1), In the beginning was the Word, and (John 8:58) Before Abraham was, I am. He is omnipresent (Matt. 18:20,26), Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst amongst them. Lastly, He is omnipotent (John 5:17), Whatsoever thing the Father doth, the same doth the Son also.

 

(4) The works of creation and preservation are as well ascribed to the Son as the Father. By Him the Father made the world, and He beareth up all things by His mighty power; and miracles, which are works either above or against the order of nature peculiar to God, were done by Christ.

 

(5) Divine worship is given to Him; for He is adored, invocated and believed in, as God the Father. To Him is given a name at which every knee doth bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth (Phil. 2:10,11).

 

As for the reasons which be alleged to the contrary, they are of no moment:

 

Objection 1. The Word of God cannot be God; the Son is the Word of the Father; therefore He is not God. Answer: The Word is taken two ways: First, for a sounding Word, standing of letters and syllables uttered either by God or by the creatures. Now on this manner Christ is not the Word of God. Secondly, there is a substantial Word, which is of the substance of Him whose Word it is. And thus Christ is the Word of God the Father. And He is so termed:

 

(1) In respect of the Father; for as reason and speech hath his beginning from the mind, so hath He beginning from the Father. And as the speech is in the mind and the mind in the speech, so the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father.

 

(2) In respect of all creatures. The Father doth all things by the Son; by whose powerful Word the world was made, is now preserved and shall be abolished.

 

(3) In respect of the church; for the Father by Him speaks unto us both in the outward ministry of the Word, and by the inward operation of the Spirit; and again, we by Him speak to the Father.

 

Objection 2. It may be objected thus: God hath no beginning from any other. Christ hath beginning from the Father. Therefore He is not God. Answer: Christ must be considered both in regard of His Godhead, and in regard of His Person. In regard of His Godhead, He came not of any but is of Himself, as well as the Father is; yet in regard of His Person, He is from the Father, who is a beginning to the rest of the Persons, both in respect of order (for the Scripture saith not the Holy Ghost, the Son, the Father; but the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost (Matt. 28:19)) as also in respect of the communication of the Godhead. And whereas it is said that God is of Himself, if the name of God be taken from the Godhead, it is false.

 

Objection 3. None is greater than God. But the Father is greater than Christ, for so He saith (John 14:28), The Father is greater than I. Answer: Christ there speaks of Himself as he was a man abased in the form of a servant; in which respect He is less than the Father, who was never incarnate and abased in our nature. And though Christ in respect of His nature assumed, be inferior to the Father, yet doth it not hinder but that He may be equal to Him, as He is the second Person in Trinity, or as He is God by one and the same Godhead with the Father.

 

Objection 4. He that is made of God, this or that, is not God. But Christ is made of God, as Paul saith (1 Cor. 1:30), Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness etc. Answer: Christ is said to be made, not because there was any beginning of His Godhead, or any change or alteration in His Person; but because in the eternal counsel of the Father, He was set apart before all times to execute the office of a Mediator, and was withal in time called, and as it were consecrated and ordained thereunto in His baptism. He is made therefore in respect of His office, but not in respect of His Person or nature.

 

Objection 5. God hath no Head. Christ hath an Head, as Paul saith (1 Cor. 11:3). Answer: God, that is, the Father, is Head of Christ, not as He is God simply. But as He is God incarnate, or made manifest in the flesh, and in respect of the office to which He willingly abased Himself.

 

Objection 6. He which gives up His kingdom is not God. Christ gives up His kingdom. Then, saith Paul (1 Cor. 15:24), shall be the end, when He hath delivered up His kingdom to God even the Father. Answer: Christ is King two ways: as He is God, and as He is Mediator. As He is God, He reigns eternally with the Father and the Holy Ghost; but as He is Mediator, in the end of the world, when all the company of the elect are gathered, His kingdom shall cease, not simply, but in respect of the outward manner of administration; for the execution of civil and ecclesiastical functions shall cease. And whereas in the same place, it is said that Christ shall be subject unto God eternally after the end, it must be understood partly in regard of the assumed manhood, partly in respect of His mystical body the church most nearly joined unto Him in heaven.

 

Objection 7. The firstborn of every creature, and of many brethren, is a creature and not God. But Christ is the firstborn of every creature, and of many brethren (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15). Answer: He is called the firstborn in the Old Testament; for as they were principal heirs having double portions allowed them; and the chief or governors of the family; so Christ is made heir of the world; and the head of GodÕs family which is His church, elected and adopted in Him. And again, He is called the firstborn of every creature, because He was begotten of the substance of His Father before any creature was made, and therefore it is not here said that He was first created, but first begotten.

 

By the reasons which have been alleged, as also by the sufficiency of the contrary arguments, it is more than manifest against all heretics that Christ is very God. Yet to stop the mouths of all atheists and to satisfy all wavering and doubting minds, I will add one reason further. The gospel of St John was chiefly penned for this end, to prove the deity of Christ; and among other arguments alleged, this is one: that Christ gave a resolute and a constant testimony of Himself that He was the Son of God, and very God. Now if any man shall say that sundry persons since the beginning of the world have taken upon them, and that falsely, to be gods; I answer that never any creature took this title and honour upon him to be called God, but the fearful judgments of God were upon him for it. In the estate of manÕs innocency, the devil told our first parents that by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they should be as gods, knowing good and evil. Now, they believed him, and affected divine honour. But what came of it? Surely Adam with all his posterity is shut up for this very cause under eternal damnation. Herod likewise arrayed in royal apparel and sitting on the judgment seat, made an oration to the men of Tyre and Sidon, who gave a shout, saying (Acts 12:22,23), The voice of god, and not of man. Now because he took the glory of God to himself, and did not return it to Him to whom it was due, immediately the angel of the Lord smote him. And so, if Christ had been but a mere man and not very God, as He avouched, undoubtedly the hand of God would have been upon Him likewise for His confusion; but when He suffered for us, and bare the punishment due for our sins, He most triumphed. And the judgments of God were upon Herod, Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, and upon all those that were enemies to Him, and to His church afterwards, and that partly in life, partly in death. Wherefore considering God cannot abide that His glory should be given to any creature, and seeing for that cause He takes revenge on all those that exalt themselves to be gods, it remains that the testimony which Christ gave of Himself that He was God, is infallibly true, and without all question to be believed of us. And to conclude, I would have all the devils in hell, with the cursed orders of Lucians, Porphyrians and atheists whatsoever to answer this one point: how it could come to pass that Christ by publishing the doctrine of the gospel, that is as contrary to manÕs reason, will and affection, as water is to fire, should win almost the whole world to become His disciples, and to give their lives for Him, unless He were God indeed, as He professed Himself to be?

 

There be sundry special reasons wherefore it was necessary that Christ should be God:

 

(1) There is none which can be a Saviour of body and soul but God. I even I am the Lord, and besides me there is no Saviour (Isa. 45:21). And, I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no God but me; for there is no Saviour besides me (Hos. 13:4).

 

(2) There must be a proportion between the sin of man and the punishment of sin. Now the sin of man in respect of the offence of the majesty of God is infinite, in that He is infinitely displeased with man for the breach of His law; therefore the punishment of sin must be infinite. And hence it followeth that He which suffereth the punishment being man, must withal be God, that the manhood by the power of the Godhead may be supported, that in suffering it may vanquish death and make sufficient satisfaction.

 

(3) He that must be a Saviour, must be able first to deliver men from the bondage of their spiritual enemies, namely, sin and Satan. Secondly, to restore the image of God lost by the fall of Adam, and to confer righteousness and life everlasting. Thirdly, to defend them from hell, death, damnation, the flesh, the devil, the world. Fourthly, to give them full redemption from all their miseries both in body and soul, and to place them in eternal happiness; all which none can do but He which is very God.

 

(4) It was the pleasure of God to shew His incomprehensible goodness in this: that His grace should not only be equal to our sin, but also by many degrees go beyond it. And therefore the first Adam being but a mere man, the second Adam must be both God and man; that as the second was more excellent than the first, so our comfort might be greater in our redemption by the second than our misery and discomfort was by the fall of the first.

 

 

2.

Hitherto, we have shewed that Christ is the Son of God; now let us come to the second point, namely, that He is the only Son of God. And He is so termed because He is the Son of the Father, in a special manner, so as nothing can be the Son of God as He is. Angels indeed are termed the sons of God (Job 1:6), but that is only in respect of their creation; and all that believe in Christ are sons of God by adoption, being received into the family of God, which is His church, by the merit of Christ, whereas by nature they were the children of wrath. Christ also as He is man (I say not His manhood which is a nature and no person) is the Son of God by the grace of personal union, and not by nature or adoption. Lastly, Christ as He is the second Person in Trinity, the eternal Word of the Father coeternal and consubstantial with Him, is also the Son of God. But how? Neither by creation, nor adoption, nor by the virtue of personal union, but by nature; as He was begotten of the very substance of the Father before all worlds; and therefore He is called the proper and only begotten Son of God. It may be objected on this manner: If the Father beget the Son, He doth it either willingly, or against His will. If willingly, then the Son is begotten by the free will of the Father, and no Son by nature. Answer: The Father did communicate to the Son His whole Godhead willingly without constraint, yet not by His will, and therefore He is the Son of the Father by nature, not by will. It may be further said that if Christ be the Son of God by nature, as He is the essential Word of the Father, and by personal union as He is man, then He is not one but two Sons. Answer: As He is but one Person, so He is but one Son; yet not in one, but in two respects. Two respects make not two things, whereas one and the same thing not altered, but still remaining one, may admit sundry respects.

 

Thus much of the meaning of the third title; now follow the comforts which may be gathered hence. Whereas Christ Jesus is the Son of God, it serves as a means to make miserable and wretched sinners, that are by nature the children of wrath and damnation, to be the sons of God by adoption; as St John saith (John 1:12). Now what a benefit this is to be the child of God, no tongue can express. Christ saith (Matt. 5:9), Blessed are the peacemakers; but why are they blessed? For (saith He) they shall be called the sons of God. Whereby He testifieth that the right of adoption is a most excellent privilege; and not without cause. For he which is the child of God, is spiritually allied to Christ and to all the saints and servants of God, both in heaven and earth, having his own Redeemer for his elder brother, and all his members as his brethren and sisters. Yea, if we be GodÕs adopted children, we are also heirs, even heirs of God, and heirs annexed with Christ. Well, how great soever this prerogative is, yet few there be that rightly weigh it and consider of it. Children of noblemen and princeÕs heirs are had in account and reputation of all men, they are the very speech and wonder of the world. But it is a matter of no account to be the son of God, and fellow heir with Christ. The dearest servants of God have been esteemed but as the off-scouring of the world. And no marvel, for they which are after the flesh, savour the things of the flesh. Few men have their understandings enlightened to discern of such spiritual things as these are, and therefore they are little or nothing regarded. A blind man never seeing the sun, is not brought to wonder at it; and earthly minded men neither seeing nor feeling what an excellent thing it is to be the child of God, cannot be brought to seek after it. But let all such as fear God, enter into a serious consideration of the unspeakable goodness of God, comforting themselves in this: that God the Father hath vouchsafed by His own Son to make them of the vassals of Satan, to be His own dear children.

 

Now follow the duties which are two:

 

(1) First, we believe that Jesus Christ who was to be the Saviour of mankind, must needs be God. What is the reason hereof? Surely because no creature, no not all the creatures in heaven and earth, were able to save one man; so vile, wretched and miserable is our estate by AdamÕs fall. And therefore the Son of God Himself pitied our estate, and being King of heaven and earth, was fain to come from heaven, and lay down His crown and become a servant, and taking upon Him our nature, was also fain to take upon Him our case and condition, and suffer death for our sins, which otherwise every one of us should have suffered both in body and soul world without end. To make this more plain, let us suppose that someone that hath committed an offence against a prince; and the trespass to be so grievous that no man can appease the kingÕs wrath save only the kingÕs son; and which is more, the kingÕs son himself cannot release him, unless he suffer the punishment for him in his own person, which is due unto the malefactor. Now what is to be thought of this manÕs estate? Surely all men will say that he is in a most miserable taking, and that his trespass is notorious, and so it is with every one of us by nature, whatsoever we are. No man could save our souls, no not all the angels of heaven, unless the king of heaven and earth, the only Son of God, had come down from heaven and suffered for us, bearing our punishment. Now the consideration of this must humble us and make us to cast down ourselves under the hand of God for our sins, and pray continually that the Lord would send some Moses or other which might smite the rocks of our hearts, that some tears of sorrow and repentance might gush out for this our woeful misery.

 

(2) Secondly, whereas God the Father of Christ gives His only Son to be our Saviour, as we must be thankful to God for all things, so especially for His great and unspeakable benefit. Common blessings of God, as meat, drink, health, wealth and liberty, must at all times move us to be thankful, but this, that Christ Jesus the only Son of God, redeemed us being utterly lost, this I say, must be the main point of our thankfulness. But alas, menÕs hearts are so frozen in the dregs of their sins, that this duty comes little in practice nowadays. When our Saviour Christ cleansed ten lepers, there was but one of them that returned to give Him thanks (Luke 17:12-19). And this is as true in the leprosy of the soul, for though salvation by Christ be offered unto us daily by GodÕs ministers, yet not one of ten, nay scarce one of a thousand gives praise and thanks to God for it, because men take no delight in things which concern the kingdom of heaven, they think not that they have need of salvation, neither do they feel any want of a Saviour. But we for our parts must learn to say with David (Psa. 116:12), What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits? Yea, we are to practise that which Solomon saith (Prov. 23:26), My son, give me thine heart; for we should give unto God both body and soul in token of our thankfulness for this wonderful blessing, that He hath given His only Son to be our Saviour; and we are to hold this for truth, that they which are not thankful for it, let them say what they will, they have no soundness of grace or power of religion at the heart.

 

 

IV.

And thus much of the third title. The fourth and last title is in these words, Our Lord. Christ Jesus the only Son of God is our Lord three ways:

 

1. First, by creation, in that He made us of nothing when we were not.

 

2. Secondly, He is our Lord in the right of redemption. In former times the custom hath been, when one is taken prisoner in the field, he that pays his ransom shall become always afterwards his lord. So Christ, when we were bond slaves under hell, death and condemnation, payeth the ransom of our redemption, and freed us from the bondage of sin and Satan, and therefore in that respect He is our Lord.

 

3. Thirdly, He is the Head of the church (as the husband is the wifeÕs head) to rule and govern the same by His Word and Spirit. And therefore in that respect also, Christ is our Lord.

 

 

And thus much for the meaning. Now follow the duties, and:

 

1. First of all, if Christ be our sovereign Lord, we must perform absolute obedience unto Him, that is, whatsoever He commands us, that must we do. And I say, absolute obedience, because magistrates, masters, rulers and fathers may command, and must be obeyed, yet not simply, but so far forth as that which they command doth agree with the Word and commandment of God. But ChristÕs will and Word is righteousness itself, and therefore it is a rule and direction of all our actions whatsoever. And for this cause He must be absolutely obeyed. Thus He requires the obedience of the moral law. But why? Because He is the Lord our God (Exod. 20:2). And in Malachi (Mal. 1:6) He saith, If I be a Lord, where is my fear? And again, we must resign both body and soul, heart, mind, will, affections and the course of our whole lives to be ruled by the will of Christ. He is Lord not only of the body, but of the spirit and soul of man. He must therefore have homage of both. As we adore Him by the knee of the body, so must the thoughts and the affections of our hearts have their knees also to worship Him, and to shew their subjection to His commandments. As for such as do hold Him for their Lord in word, but in the mean season will not endeavour to shew their loyalty in all manner of obedience, they are indeed no better than stark rebels.

 

2. Secondly, when by the hand of Christ strange judgments shall come to pass, as it is usual in all places continually; we must stay ourselves without murmuring or finding fault, because He is an absolute Lord over all His creatures; all things are in His hands, and He may do with His own whatsoever He will; and therefore we must rather fear and tremble whensoever we see or hear of them. So David saith (Psa. 39:9), I was dumb and opened not my mouth, because thou didst it. And again (Psa. 119:120), My flesh trembleth for fear of thee, and I am afraid of thy judgments.

 

3. Thirdly, before we use any of GodÕs creatures or ordinances, we must sanctify them by the direction of His Word and by prayer. The reason is this: because He is our Lord over all, and therefore from His Word we must fetch direction to teach us whether we may use them or not, and when and how they are to be used; and secondly, we must pray to Him that He would give us liberty and grace to use them aright in holy manner. Also we are so to use the creatures and ordinances of God, as being always ready to give an account of our doings at the day of judgment; for we use that which is the LordÕs, not our own; we are but stewards over them, and we must come to a reckoning for the stewardship. Hast thou learning? Then employ it to the glory of God and the good of the church; boast not of it as though it were thine own. Hast thou any other gift or blessing of God, be it wisdom, strength, riches, honour, favour, or whatsoever? Then look thou use it so, as thou mayest be always ready to make a good account thereof unto Christ.

 

4. Lastly, everyone must in such manner lead his life in this world that at the day of death, he may with cheerfulness surrender and give up his soul into the hands of his Lord, and say with Stephen (Acts 7:59) Lord Jesus, receive my soul. For consider this with thyself: that thy soul is none of thine own, but His who hath bought it with a price, and therefore thou must so order and keep it as that thou mayest in good manner restore in into the hands of God at the end of thy life. If a man should borrow a thing of his neighbour, and afterward hurt it, and make a spoil of it, he would be ashamed to bring it again to the owner in that manner, and if he do, the owner will not receive it. Ungodly men in this life do so stain their souls with sin, that they can never be able willingly to give them up into the hands of God at the day of death; and if they would, yet God accepts them not, but casts them quite away. We must therefore labour so to live in the world that with a joyful heart at the day of death, we may commend our souls into the hands of our Lord Christ Jesus, who gave them unto us. This is a hard thing to be done, and he that will do it truly, must first be assured of the pardon of his own sins, which a man can never have without true and unfeigned faith and repentance. Wherefore while we have time, let us purge and cleanse our souls and bodies that they may come home again to God in good plight.

 

And here all governors must be put in mind that they have an higher Lord, that they may not oppress or deal hardly with their inferiors. This is PaulÕs reason (Eph. 6:9), Ye masters, saith he, do the same things unto your servants, putting away threatening; and know that even your master is also in heaven, neither is there respect of persons with Him. Inferiors again must remember to submit themselves to the authority of their governors, especially of magistrates. For they are set over us by our sovereign Lord and King Christ Jesus; as Paul saith (Rom. 13:1), Let every soul be subject to the higher powers; for there is no power but of God and the powers that be ordained of God. And again (Eph. 6:5), Servants be obedient to your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your hearts, as unto Christ.

 

The comfort which GodÕs church may reap hence, is very great; for if Christ be the Lord of lords, and our Lord especially whom He hath created and redeemed; we need not to fear what the devil or wicked men can do unto us. If Christ be on our side, who can be against us? We need not fear them that can destroy the body and do no more; but we must cast our fear on Him that is Lord of body and soul, and can cast both to hell (Matt. 10:28).

 

Thus much of the fourth title.