Chapter XVIII

The Nature of the Person of Christ, and the Hypostatical Union of his Natures Declared

The nature or constitution of the person of Christ hath been commonly
spoken unto and treated of in the writings both of the ancient and
modern divines. It is not my purpose, in this discourse, to handle
anything that hath been so fully already declared by others. Howbeit,
to speak something of it in this place is necessary unto the present
work; and I shall do it in answer unto a double end or design:--First,
To help those that believe, in the regulation of their thoughts about
this divine person, so far as the Scripture goes before us. It is of
great importance unto our souls that we have right conceptions
concerning him; not only in general, and in opposition unto the
pernicious heresies of them by whom his divine person or either of his
natures is denied, but also in those especial instances wherein it is
the most ineffable effect of divine wisdom and grace. For although the
knowledge of him mentioned in the Gospel be not confined merely unto
his person in the constitution thereof, but extends itself unto the
whole work of his mediation, with the design of God's love and grace
therein, with our own duty thereon; yet is this knowledge of his
person the foundation of all the rest, wherein if we mistake or fail,
our whole building in the other parts of the knowledge of him will
fall unto the ground. And although the saving knowledge of him is not
to be obtained without especial divine revelation, Matt. 16: 17--or
saving illumination, 1 John 5: 20--nor can we know him perfectly until
we come where he is to behold his glory, John 17:. 24; yet are
instructions from the Scripture of use to lead us into those farther
degrees of the knowledge of him which are attainable in this life.

Secondly, To manifest in particular how ineffably distinct the
relation between the Son of God and the man Christ Jesus is, from all
that relation and union which may be between God and believers, or
between God and any other creature. The want of a true understanding
hereof is the fundamental error of many in our days. We shall manifest
thereupon how "it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness
dwell," so that in all things "he might have the pre-eminence," Col.
1: 18, 19. And I shall herein wholly avoid the curious inquiries, bold
conjectures, and unwarrantable determinations of the schoolmen and
some others. For many of them, designing to explicate this mystery, by
exceeding the bounds of Scripture light and sacred sobriety, have
obscured it. Endeavouring to render all things plain unto reason, they
have expressed many things unsound as unto faith, and fallen into
manifold contradictions among themselves. Hence Aquinas affirms, that
three of the ways of declaring the hypostatical union which are
proposed by the Master of the Sentences, are so far from probable
opinions, as that they are downright heresies. I shall therefore
confine myself, in the explication of this mystery, unto the
propositions of divine revelation, with the just and necessary
expositions of them.

What the Scripture represents of the wisdom of God in this great work
may be reduced unto these four heads:--I. The assumption of our nature
into personal subsistence with the Son of God. II. The union of the
two natures in that single person which is consequential thereon. III.
The mutual communication of those distinct natures, the divine and
human, by virtue of that union. IV. The enunciations or predications
concerning the person of Christ, which follow on that union and

I. The first thing in the divine constitution of the person of Christ
as God and man, is assumption. That ineffable divine act I intend
whereby the person of the Son of God assumed our nature, or took it
into a personal subsistence with himself. This the Scripture
expresseth sometimes actively, with respect unto the divine nature
acting in the person of the Son, the nature assuming; sometimes
passively, with respect unto the human nature, the nature assumed. The
first it does, Heb. 2: 14, 16, "Forasmuch as the children are
partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of
the same. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he
took on him the seed of Abraham;" Phil. 2: 6, 7, "Being in the form of
God, he took upon him the form of a servant;" and in sundry other
places. The assumption, the taking of our human nature to be his own,
by an ineffable act of his power and grace, is clearly expressed. And
to take it to be his own, his own nature, can be no otherwise but by
giving it a subsistence in his own person; otherwise his own nature it
is not, nor can be. Hence God is said to "purchase his church with his
own blood," Acts 20: 28. That relation and denomination of "his own,"
is from the single person of him whose it is. The latter is declared,
John 1: 14, "The Word was made flesh;" Rom. 8: 3, God sent "his own
Son in the likeness of sinful flesh;" Gal. 4: 4, "Made of a woman,
made under the law ;" Rom. 1: 3, "Made of the seed of David according
to the flesh." The eternal Word, the Son of God, was not made flesh,
not made of a woman, nor of the seed of David, by the conversion of
his substance or nature into flesh; which implies a contradiction,--
and, besides, is absolutely destructive of the divine nature. He could
no otherwise, therefore, be made flesh, or made of a woman, but in
that our nature was made his, by his assuming of it to be his own. The
same person--who before was not flesh, was not man--was made flesh as
man, in that he took our human nature to be his own.

This ineffable act is the foundation of the divine relation between
the Son of God and the man Christ Jesus. We can only adore the
mysterious nature of it,--"great is this mystery of godliness." Yet
may we observe sundry things to direct us in that duty.

1. As unto original efficiency, it was the act of the divine nature,
and so, consequently, of the Father, Son, and Spirit. For so are all
outward acts of God--the divine nature being the immediate principle
of all such operations. The wisdom, power, grace, and goodness exerted
therein, are essential properties of the divine nature. Wherefore the
acting of them originally belongs equally unto each person, equally
participant of that nature. (1.) As unto authoritative designation, it
was the act of the Father. Hence is he said to send "his Son in the
likeness of sinful flesh," Rom. 8: 3; Gal. 4: 4. (2.) As unto the
formation of the human nature, it was the peculiar act of the Spirit,
Luke 1: 35. (3.) As unto the term of the assumption, or the taking of
our nature unto himself, it was the peculiar act of the person of the
Son. Herein, as Damascen observes, the other persons had no
concurrence, but only "kata boulesin kai eudokian"--"by counsel and

2. This assumption was the only immediate act of the divine nature on
the human in the person of the Son. All those that follow, in
subsistence, sustentation, with all others that are communicative, do
ensue thereon.

3. This assumption and the hypostatical union are distinct and
different in the formal reason of them. (1.) Assumption is the
immediate act of the divine nature in the person of the Son on the
human; union is mediate, by virtue of that assumption. (2.) Assumption
is unto personality; it is that act whereby the Son of God and our
nature became one person. Union is an act or relation of the natures
subsisting in that one person. (3.) Assumption respects the acting of
the divine and the passion of the human nature; the one assumeth, the
other is assumed. Unions respects the mutual relation of the natures
unto each other. Hence the divine nature may be said to be united unto
the human, as well as the human unto the divine; but the divine nature
cannot be said to be assumed as the human is. Wherefore assumption
denotes the acting of the one nature and the passion of the other;
union, the mutual relation that is between them both.

These things may be safely affirmed, and ought to be firmly believed,
as the sense of the Holy Ghost in those expressions: "He took on him
the seed of Abraham"--"He took on him the form of a servant;" and the
like. And who can conceive the condescension of divine goodness, or
the acting of divine wisdom and power therein?

II. That which followeth hereon, is the union of the two natures
in the same person, or the hypostatical union. This is included and
asserted in a multitude of divine testimonies. Isa. 7: 14, "Behold, a
virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name
Emmanuel," as Matt. 1: 23. He who was conceived and born of the virgin
was Emmanuel, or God with us; that is, God manifest in the flesh, by
the union of his two natures in the same person. Isa. 9: 6, "Unto us a
child is born, unto us a son is given: and his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the
Prince of Peace." That the same person should be "the mighty God" and
a "child born," is neither conceivable nor possible, nor can be true,
but by the union of the divine and human natures in the same person.
So he said of himself, "Before Abraham was, I am," John 8: 58. That
he, the same person who then spake unto the Jews, and as a man was
little more than thirty years of age, should also be before Abraham,
undeniably confirms the union of another nature, in the same person
with that wherein he spoke those words, and without which they could
not be true. He had not only another nature which did exist before
Abraham, but the same individual person who then spoke in the human
nature did then exist. See to the same purpose, John 1: 14; Acts 20:
28; Rom. 9: 5; Col. 2: 9; 1 John 3: 16.

This union the ancient church affirmed to be made "atreptoos",
"without any change" in the person of the Son of God, which the divine
nature is not subject unto;--"adiiretoos", with a distinction of
natures, but "without any division" of them by separate subsistences;-

  • "asugchutoos", "without mixture" or confusion;--"achooristoos", "without separation" or distance; and "ousioodoos", "substantially,"
    because it was of two substances or essences in the same person, in
    opposition unto all accidental union, as the "fullness of the Godhead
    dwelt in him bodily".

    These expressions were found out and used by the ancient church to
    prevent the fraud of those who corrupted the doctrine of the person of
    Christ, and (as all of that Sort ever did, and yet continue so to do)
    obscured their pernicious sentiments under ambiguous expressions. And
    they also made use of sundry terms which they judged significant of
    this great mystery, or the incarnation of the Son of God. Such are
    "ensarkoosis", "incarnation;" "ensoomatoosis", "embodying,"
    "enanthroopesis", "inhumanation;" "he despotike epidwmia, kai
    parousia, he oikonomia", to the same purpose; "he dia sarkos homilia",
    "his conversation in or by the flesh;" "he dia anthroopotetos
    faneroosis", "his manifestation by humanity;" "he eleusis", "the
    advent;" "he kenoosis", "the exinanition", or humiliation; "he tou
    Christou epifaneia", "the appearance" or manifestation "of Christ;"
    "he sugkatabasis", "the condescension". Most of these expressions are
    taken from the Scripture, and are used therein with respect unto this
    mystery, or some concernments of it. Wherefore, as our faith is not
    confined unto any one of these words or terms, so as that we should be
    obliged to believe not only the things intended, but also the manner
    of its expression in them; so, in as far as they explain the thing
    intended according unto the mind of the Holy Ghost in the Scripture,
    and obviate the senses of men of corrupt minds, they are to be
    embraced and defended as useful helps in teaching the truth

    That whereby it is most usually declared in the writings of the
    ancients, is "charis henooseoos", "gratia unionis", the "grace of
    union;"--which form of words some manifesting themselves strangers
    unto, do declare how little conversant they are in their writings.
    Now, it is not any habitual inherent grace residing subjectively in
    the person or human nature of Christ that is intended, but things of
    another nature.

    1. The cause of this union is expressed in it. This is the free
    grace and favour of God towards the man Christ Jesus--predestinating,
    designing, and taking him into actual union with the person of the
    Son, without respect unto, or foresight of, any precedent dignity or
    merit in him, 1 Pet. 1: 20.

    Hence is that of Austin, "Ea gratia fit ab initio fidei suae homo
    quicunque Christianus, qua gratia homo ille ab initio factus est
    Christus," De Praedest. Sanct., cap. xv. For whereas all the inherent
    grace of the human nature of Christ, and all the holy obedience which
    proceeded from it, was consequent in order of nature unto this union,
    and an effect of it, they could in no sense be the meritorious or
    procuring causes of it;--it was of grace.

    2. It is used also by many and designed to express the peculiar
    dignity of the human nature of Christ. This is that wherein no
    creature is participant, nor ever shall be unto eternity. This is the
    fundamental privilege of the human nature of Christ, which all others,
    even unto his eternal glory, proceed from, and are resolved into.

    3. The glorious meekness and ability of the person of Christ, for
    and unto act the acts and duties of his mediatory office. For they are
    all resolved into the union of his natures in the same person, without
    which not one of them could be performed unto the benefit of the
    church. And this is that "grace of our Lord Jesus Christ", which
    renders him so glorious and amiable unto believers. Unto them "that
    believe he is precious."

    The common prevalent expression of it at present in the church is
    the hypostatical union; that is, the union of the divine and human
    nature in the person of the Son of God, the human nature having no
    personality nor subsistence of its own.

    With respect unto this union the name of Christ is called
    "Wonderful," as that which hath the pre-eminence in all the effects of
    divine wisdom. And it is a singular effect thereof. There is no other
    union in things divine or human, in things spiritual or natural,
    whether substantial or accidental, that is of the same kind with it,--
    it differs specifically from them all.

    (1.) The most glorious union is that of the Divine Persons in the
    same being or nature; the Father in the Son, the Son in the Father,
    the Holy Spirit in them both, and both in him. But this is a union of
    distinct persons in the unity of the same single nature. And this, I
    confess, is more glorious than that whereof we treat; for it is in God
    absolutely, it is eternal, of his nature and being. But this union we
    speak of is not God;--it is a creature,--an effect of divine wisdom
    and power. And it is different from it herein, inasmuch as that is of
    many distinct persons in the same nature;--this is of distinct natures
    in the same person. That union is natural, substantial, essential, in
    the same nature;--this, as it is not accidental, as we shall show, so
    it is not properly substantial, because it is not of the same nature,
    but of diverse in the game person, remaining distinct in their essence
    and substance, and is therefore peculiarly hypostatical or personal.
    Hence Austin feared not to say, that "Homo potius est in filio Dei,
    quam filius in Patre;" De Trin., lib. 1 cap 10. But that is true only
    in this one respect, that the Son is not so in the Father as to become
    one person with him. In all other respects it must be granted that the
    in-being of the Son in the Father--the union between them, which is
    natural, essential, and eternal--doth exceed this in glory, which was
    a temporary, external act of divine wisdom and grace.

    (2.) The most eminent substantial union in things naturals is that
    of the soul and body constituting an individual person. There is, I
    confess, some kind of similitude between this union and that of the
    different natures in the person of Christ; but it is not of the same
    kind or nature. And the dissimilitudes that are between them are more,
    and of greater importance, than those things are wherein there seems
    to be an agreement between them. For,--1st, The soul and body are so
    united as to constitute one entire nature. The soul is not human
    nature, nor is the body, but it is the consequent of their union. Soul
    and body are essential parts of human nature; but complete human
    nature they are not but by virtue of their union. But the union of the
    natures in the person of Christ doth not constitute a new nature, that
    either was not or was not complete before. Each nature remains the
    same perfect, complete nature after this union. 2dly, The union of the
    soul and body doth constitute that nature which is made essentially
    complete thereby,--a new individual person, with a subsistence of its
    own, which neither of them was nor had before that union. But although
    the person of Christ, as God and man, be constituted by this union,
    yet his person absolutely, and his individual subsistence, was perfect
    absolutely antecedent unto that union. He did not become a new person,
    another person than he was before, by virtue of that union; only that
    person assumed human nature to itself to be its own, into personal
    subsistence. 3dly, Soul and body are united by an external efficient
    cause, or the power of God, and not by the act of one of them upon
    another. But this union is effected by that act of the divine nature
    towards the human which we have before described. 4thly, Neither soul
    nor body have any personal subsistence before their union; but the
    sole foundation of this union was in this, that the Son of God was a
    selfsubsisting person from eternity.

    (3.) There are other unions in things natural, which are by mixture
    of composition. Hereon something is produced composed of various
    parts, which is not what any of them are. And there is a conversion of
    things, when one thing is substantially changed into another,--as the
    water in the miracle that Christ wrought was turned into wine; but
    this union hath no resemblance unto any of them. There is not a
    "krasis", "a mixture," a contemperation of the divine and human
    natures into one third nature, or the conversion of one into another.
    Such notions of these things some fancied of old. Eutyches' supposed
    such a composition and mixture of the two natures in the person of
    Christ, as that the human nature at least should lose all its
    essential properties, and have neither understanding nor will of its
    own. And some of the Asians fancied a substantial change of that
    created divine nature which they acknowledged, into the human. But
    these imaginations, instead of professing Christ to be God and man,
    would leave him indeed neither God nor man; and have been sufficiently
    confuted. Wherefore the union we treat of hath no similitude unto any
    such natural union as is the effect of composition or mutation.

    (4.) There is an artificial union wherewith some have illustrated
    this mystery; as that of fire and iron in the same sword. The sword is
    one; the nature of fire and that of iron different;--and the acts of
    them distinct; the iron cuts, the fire burns;--and the effects
    distinct; cutting and burning; yet is the agent or instrument but one
    sword. Something of this nature may be allowed to be spoken in way of
    allusion; but it is a weak and imperfect representation of this
    mystery, on many accounts. For the heat in iron is rather an accident
    than a substance, is separable from it, and in sundry other things
    diverts the mind from due apprehensions of this mystery.

    (5.) There is a spiritual union,--namely, of Christ and believers;
    or of God in Christ and believers, which is excellent and mysterious,
    such as all other unions in nature are made use of in the Scripture to
    illustrate and represent. This some among us do judge to be of the
    same kind with that of the Son of God and the man Christ Jesus. Only
    they say they differ in degrees. The eternal Word was so united unto
    the man Christ Jesus, as that thereby he was exalted inconceivably
    above all other men, though ever so holy, and had greater
    communications from God than any of them. Wherefore he was on many
    accounts the Son of God in a peculiar manner; and, by a communication
    of names, is called God also. This being the opinion of Nestorius,
    revived again in the days wherein we live, I shall declare wherein he
    placed the conjunction or union of the two natures of Christ,--whereby
    he constituted two distinct persons of the Son of God and the Son of
    man, as these now do, and briefly detect the vanity of it. For the
    whole of it consisted in the concession of sundry things that were
    true in particular, making use of the pretence of them unto the denial
    of that wherein alone the true union of the person of Christ did

    Nestorius allowed the presence of the Son of God with the man Christ
    Jesus to consist in five things.

    [1.] He said he was so present with him "kata parastasin", or by
    inhabitation, as a man dwells in a house or a ship to rule it. He
    dwelt in him as his temple. So he dwells in all that believe, but in
    him in a more especial manner. And this is true with respect unto that
    fullness of the Spirit whereby God was with him and in him; as he is
    with and in all believers, according unto the measures wherein they
    are made partakers of him. But this answers not that divine testimony,
    that in him dwelt "all the fullness of the Godhead bodily," Col. 2: 9.
    The fullness of the Godhead is the entire divine nature. This nature is
    considered in the person of the Son, or eternal Word; for it was the
    Word that was made flesh. And this could no otherwise dwell in him
    bodily, really, substantially, but in the assumption of that nature to
    be his own. And no sense can be given unto this assertion to preserve
    it from blasphemy,--that the fullness of the Godhead dwelleth in any of
    the saints bodily.

    [2.] He allowed an especial presence, "kata schesin", as some call
    it; that is, by such a union of affections as is between intimate
    friends. The soul of God rested always in that man [Christ];--in him
    was he well pleased: and he was wholly given up in his affections unto
    Gods. This also is true; but there is that which is no less true, that
    renders it useless unto the pretensions of Nestorius. For he allowed
    the divine person of the Son of God. But whatever is spoken of this
    nature concerning the love of God unto the man Christ Jesus, and of
    his love to God, it is the person of the Father that is intended
    therein; nor can any one instance be given where it is capable of
    another interpretation. For it is still spoken of with reference unto
    the work that he was sent of the Father to accomplish, and his own
    delight therein.

    [3.] He allowed it to be "kata axian", by way of dignity and honour.
    For this conjunction is such, as that whatever honour is given unto
    the Son of God is also to be given unto that Son of man. But herein,
    to recompense big sacrilege in taking away the hypostatical union from
    the church, he would introduce idolatry into it. For the honour that
    is due unto the Son of God is divine, religious, or the owning of all
    essential divine properties in him, with a due subjection of soul unto
    him thereon. But to give this honour unto the man Christ Jesus,
    without a supposition of the subsistence of his human nature in the
    person of the Son of God, and solely on that account, is highly

    [4.] He asserted it to be "kata tautoboulian", or on the account of
    the consent and agreement that was between the will of God and the
    will of the man Christ Jesus. But no other union will thence ensue,
    but what is between God and the angels in heaven; in whom there is a
    perfect compliance with the will of God in all things. Wherefore, if
    this be the foundation of this union, he might be said to take on him
    the nature of angels as well as the seed of Abraham; which is
    expressly denied by the apostle, Heb. 2: 16, 17.

    [6.] "Kath homoovumian", by an equivocal denomination, the name of
    the one person, namely, of the Son of God, being accommodated unto the
    other, namely, the Son of man. So they were called gods unto whom the
    word of God came. But this no way answers any one divine testimony
    wherein the name of God is assigned unto the Lord Christ,--as those
    wherein God is said "to lay down his life for us," and to "purchase
    his church with his own blood," to come and be "manifest in the
    flesh," wherein no homonyms or equivocation can take place. By all
    these ways he constituted a separable accidental union, wherein
    nothing in kind, but in degree only, was peculiar unto the man Christ

    But all these things, so far as they are true, belong unto the third
    thing to be considered in his person,--namely, the communion or mutual
    communication of the distinct natures therein. But his personal union
    consists not in any of them, nor in all of them together; nor do they
    answer any of the multiplied testimonies given by the Holy Ghost unto
    this glorious mystery. Some few of them may be mentioned.

    "The Word was made flesh," John 1:14. There can be but two senses of
    these words (1st,) That the Word ceased to be what it was, and was
    substantially turned into flesh (2dly,) That continuing to be what it
    was, it was made to be also what before it was not. The first sense is
    destructive of the Divine Being and all its essential properties. The
    other can be verified only herein, that the Word took that flesh--that
    is, our human nature--to be his own, his own nature wherein he was
    made flesh; which is that we plead for. For this assertion, that the
    person of the Son took our nature to be his own, is the same with that
    of the assumption of the human nature into personal subsistence with
    himself. And the ways of the presence of the Son of God with the man
    Christ Jesus, before mentioned, do express nothing in answer unto this
    divine testimony, that "The Word was made flesh".

    "Being in the form of God, he took upon him the form of a servant,
    and became obedient," Phil. 2: 6-8. That by his being "in the form of
    God," his participation in and of the same divine nature with the
    Father is intended, these men grant; and that herein he was a person
    distinct from him Nestorius of old acknowledged, though it be by ours
    denied. But they can fancy no distinction that shall bear the
    denomination and relation of Father and Son; but all is inevitably
    included in it which we plead for under that name. This person "took
    on him the form of a servant,"--that is, the nature of man in the
    condition of a servant. For it is the same with his being made of a
    woman, made under the law; or taking on him the seed of Abraham. And
    this person became obedient. It was in the human nature, in the form
    of a servant, wherein he was obedient. Wherefore that human nature was
    the nature of that person,--a nature which he took on him and made his
    own, wherein he would be obedient. And that the human nature is the
    nature of the person of him who was in the form of God, is that
    hypostatical union which we believe and plead for.

    "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and his name shall
    be called The mighty God," Isa. 9: 6. The child and the mighty God are
    the same person, or he that is "born a child" cannot be rightly called
    "The mighty God." And the truth of many other expressions in the
    Scripture hath its sole foundation in this hypostatical union. So the
    Son of God took on him "the seed of Abraham," was "made of a woman,"
    did "partake of flesh and blood," was "manifest in the flesh." That he
    who was born of the blessed Virgin was "before Abraham,"--that he was
    made of the "seed of David according to the flesh,"--whereby God
    "purchased the church with his own blood,"--are all spoken of one and
    the same person, and are not true but on the account of the union of
    the two natures therein. And all those who plead for the accidental
    metaphorical union, consisting in the instances before mentioned, do
    know well enough that the true Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ is
    opposed by them.

    III. Concurrent with, and in part consequent unto, this union, is
    the communion of the distinct natures of Christ hypostatically united.
    And herein we may consider,--1. What is peculiar unto the Divine
    nature; 2. What is common unto both.

    1. There is a threefold communication of the divine nature unto the
    human in this hypostatical union. (1.) Immediate in the person of the
    Son. This is subsistence. In itself it is "anupostatos",--that which
    hath not a subsistence of its own, which should give it individuation
    and distinction from the same nature in any other person. But it hath
    its subsistence in the person of the Son, which thereby is its own.
    The divine nature, as in that person, is its suppositum. (2.) By the
    Holy Spirit he filled that nature with an all-fullness of habitual
    grace; which I have at large explained elsewhere. (3.) In all the acts
    of his office, by the divine nature, he communicated worth and dignity
    unto what was acted in and by the human nature.

    For that which some have for a long season troubled the church
    withal, about such a real communication of the properties of the
    divine nature unto the human, which should neither be a transfusion of
    them into it, so as to render it the subject of them, nor yet consist
    in a reciprocal denomination from their mutual in-being in the same
    subject,--it is that which neither themselves do, nor can any other
    well understand.

    2. Wherefore, concerning the communion of the natures in this
    personal union, three things are to be observed, which the Scripture,
    reason, and the ancient church, do all concur in.

    (1.) Each nature doth preserve its own natural, essential
    properties, entirely unto and in itself; without mixture, without
    composition or confusion, without such a real communication of the one
    unto the other, as that the one should become the subject of the
    properties of the other. The Deity, in the abstract, is not made the
    humanity, nor on the contrary. The divine nature is not made
    temporary, finite, united, subject to passion or alteration by this
    union; nor is the human nature rendered immense, infinite, omnipotent.
    Unless this be granted, there will not be two natures in Christ, a
    divine and a human; nor indeed either of them, but somewhat else,
    composed of both.

    (2.) Each nature operates in him according unto its essential
    properties. The divine nature knows all things, upholds all things,
    rules all things, acts by its presence everywhere; the human nature
    was born, yielded obedience, died, and rose again. But it is the same
    person, the same Christ, that acts all these things,--the one nature
    being his no less than the other. Wherefore,--

    (3.) The perfect, complete work of Christ, in every act of his
    mediatory office,--in all that he did as the King, Priest, and Prophet
    of the church,--in all that he did and suffered,--in all that he
    continueth to do for us, in or by virtue of whether nature soever it
    be done or wrought,--is not to be considered as the act of this or
    that nature in him alone, but it is the act and work of the whole
    person,--of him that is both God and man in one person. And this gives

    IV. Unto that variety of enunciations which is used in the Scripture
    concerning him; which I shall name only, and conclude.

    1. Some things are spoken of the person of Christ, wherein the
    enunciation is verified with respect unto one nature only; as--"The
    Word was with God, and the Word was God," John 1: l;--"Before Abraham
    was, I am," John 8: 68,--"Upholding all things by the word of his
    power," Heb. 1": 3. These things are all spoken of the person of
    Christ, but belong unto it on account of his divine nature. So is it
    said of him, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given," Isa.
    9: 6;--"A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief," Isa. 53: 3. They
    are spoken of the person of Christ, but are verified in human nature
    only, and the person on the account thereof.

    2. Sometimes that is spoken of the person which belongs not
    distinctly and originally unto either nature, but doth belong unto him
    on the account of their union in him,--which are the most direct
    enunciations concerning the person of Christ. So is he said to be the
    Head, the King, Priest, and Prophet of the church; all which offices
    he bears, and performs the acts of them, not on the singular account
    of this or that nature, but of the hypostatical union of them both.

    3. Sometimes his person being denominated from one nature, the
    properties and acts of the other are assigned unto it. So they
    "crucified the Lord of glory." He is the Lord of glory on the account
    of his divine nature only; thence is his person denominated when he is
    said to be crucified, which was in the human nature only. So God
    purchased his church "with his own blood," Acts 20: 28. The
    denomination of the person is from the divine nature only--he is God;
    but the act ascribed unto it, or what he did by his own blood, was of
    the human nature only. But the purchase that was made thereby was the
    work of the person as both God and man. So, on the other side, "The
    Son of man who is in heaven," John 3: 13. The denomination of the
    person is from the human nature only,--"The Son of man." That ascribed
    unto it was with respect unto the divine nature only,--"who is in

    4. Sometimes the person being denominated from one nature, that is
    ascribed unto it which is common unto both; or else being denominated
    from both, that which is proper unto one only is ascribed unto him.
    See Rom. 9: 5; Matt. 22: 42.

    These kinds of enunciations the ancients expressed by "enallage",
    "alteration;" "alloioosis", "permutation," "koinotes", "communion;"
    "tropos antidoseoos", "the manner of mutual position;" "koinoonia
    idioomatoon", "the communication of properties," and other the like

    These things I have only mentioned, because they are commonly
    handled by others in their didactical and polemical discourses
    concerning the person of Christ, and could not well be here utterly

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