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3. Therefore he would have been the immediate head and ruler of angels and men, if they had all persisted in their original integrity and innocence, Col. i. 16. For the representation of God to them, as the cause and as the end of their being, the object and end of their worship and service, should have been in and by his person as the image of the Father : and by and through him they should have received all the communications of God unto them. He should have been their immediate head, Lord and King, or the divine nature in his person. For this the order of subsistence in the blessed Trinity, and the order of operation thereon depending, did require.
These things being premised, it will not be difficult to remove out of our way, the reasons by which Osiander thought to prove, that Christ would have been incarnate, although sin had never entered into our world. We would not now have considered his reasonings, after they have been so long ago put to oblivion, were it not that they have been revived ; and that the consideration of them will give occasion to the clearing of some truths not of small importance.
§ 19. First, Osiander's principal plea was taken, from 6 the image of God wherein man was created.” . For this,' he saith, • was that human nature, consisting of soul and body, in the outward shape, lineaments and proportion which it hath in our persons, which the Son of God was to take
God having ordained that his Son should take human nature, he created Adam in a conformity to the idea or image thereof.'
Answer. This doubtless is a better course for explaining creation in the image of God, than that of the old Anthropomor. phites, who in the exposition of this expression, made God in the image of man. But yet it is not therefore according to the truth. The image of God in man was in general those excellencies of his nature, which made him superior to all other creatures here below. It particularly consisted in that uprightness and rec. titude of his soul and of all its faculties, as one common principle of moral operation, by which he was enabled to live unto God as his chief good, and utmost end, Eccles. vii. 29. This by our apostle is termed righteousness and true holiness," when he treats of the renovation of this image in us by Jesus Christ, Eph. iv. 24. To which he adds, (Col. iii 10.) that which is the prin ciple of them both in the renovation of our minds. Nor doth this image of God consist, as some fancy, in moral duties, in distinction from other duties, or in opposition to any other effect of the grace
of Christ in the hearts of men, which acts itself in any other duty according to the will of God.
To pray, to hear the word, to celebrate religious worship, they say, is no part of the image of God, because God doth none of those things, and an image must always correspond to that which it represents. But Vol. II,
our likeness to God doth not consist in doing what God doeth, neither is his image in us in any thing more express than in our universal dependence on him, and resignation of ourselves to him, which is a thing of which the divine nature is incapable. And when we are commanded to " be holy as he is holy," it is not a specific similitude, but analogical only that is intended. Wherefore, as the image of God consists not in outward actions of any kind whatever, so the internal grace that is acted in prayer, hearing, and other acts of sacred worship according to the will of God, doth no less belong to the image of God, than any other grace, or duty, or virtue whatever. In like manner, faith also belongeth to the image of God, and that not only as it is an intellectual perfection, but also with respect to all its operations and effects, as the Lord Christ himself, and the promise of the gospel, are in their several considerations the objects of it. In our first creation, the image of God consisted in the concreated rectitude of our natures, by which we were disposed and enabled to live to God according to the law of our creation; and in this there was a great representation of his righteousness, or of the universal absolute rectitude of the na. ture of him by whom we were made. In like manner, whatever is communicated to us by the grace of Jesus Christ, whereby our nature is repaired, disposed, and enabled to live to God, with all acts and duties suitable thereunto, according to the present law of our obedience, belongs to the restoration of the image of God in us.
In all the parts of this restoration, however, there always is a special respect to that spiritual light, understanding or knowledge, which is the directive principle of the whole ; for the "new man is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him,” Col. iii. 10. This therefore being the image of God, it is evident that in the creation of man in the image of God, there was no respect to the human nature of Christ, which, as the Son of God, he afterwards assumed. Only it is granted, that we are both formed and reformed immediately in his image. For as he was and is, in his divine Person, the ex. press image of the Father, the divine qualifications wherein the image of God originally consisted in us, were immediately wrought in us by him, as those wherein he would represent his own perfection. And in the restoration of this image to us, as God implanted in him incarnate, all fulness of that grace wherein it doth consist, and as he therein absolutely represents the invisible God to us, so we are transformed immediately into his likeness and image, and into that of God by him, 2 Cor. iii. 18.
$ 20. It is further pleaded, " That if the Son of God should not have been incarnate, if Adam had not sinned, then Adam
was not made in the image of Christ, but Christ was made in the image of Adam.'
Answ. It has been declared, that the image of God in which Adam was made, consisted in the rectitude of the principles of Adam's nature, with respect to the condition wherein, and to the end for which he was made. In this rectitude, there was a representation of the divine righteousness and holiness. And in some sense Christ may be said to be made in the image of Adam, in as much as he was made flesh, or partaker of the same nature with him. For “ because the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same," Heb. ii. 14. He took
him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men,” Phil. ii. 7. And to this he was designed by God, even to take on him that nature in which Adam was created, and in which he sinned. He was to be made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted,” Heb. iv. 15. Thus his genealogy after the flesh is traced back by Luke to the first Adam, ch. iii. 38. As he is called not the first, or the exemplar of the creation of men, but the second Adam, 1 Cor. xv. 47. being to recover and restore what was lost by the first. Wherefore, in respect of the substance and essence of human nature, Christ was made in the image of Adam; but in respect of the endowments and holy perfections of that nature, he was made in the image of God.
$ 21. Moreover it is objected, “That the incarnation of Christ was a thing decreed for itself, and as to its futurition depended only on the immutable counsel of God. But this supposition, that it had respect to the fall of man and to his recovery, makes it to depend on an external accident, and which as to the nature of the thing itself might not have been.'
Answ. The resolution of this objection, depends much on what hath been before discoursed concerning the order of the divine decrees, which we need not here repeat. Only we may remember that the foresight of the fall, and the decree of the permission of it, cannot with any reason be supposed to be consequential to the decree concerning the incarnation of the Son of God. For the reparation of man is every where in the Scripture declared to be the end of Christ's taking flesh. For in the * fulness of time God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that he might redeem them who were under the law,' Gal. iv. 4. Neither can his incarnation be properly said either to be for itself on the one side, or by accident on the other. For it was decreed and fore-ordained for the glory of God. And the way whereby God intended to glorify him. self therein, was in our redemption, which in his infinite love to mankind was the moving cause thereof, John iii. 16. To the same effect is another objection, That if the Son of God
had not been incarnate, neither angels nor men could have had their proper head and king. For as we have premised, the Son of God should have been the immediate head of the whole creation, ruling every thing in its subordination to God, suitably to the nature, state and condition of the several parts of creation. For as he was the image of the invisible God, so he was the first-born of every creature, Col. i. 16. That is, the Lord, Ruler, and Inheritor of them; as we have at large elsewhere declared.
$ 22. It is pleaded in the last place, · That had men continued in their integrity, there should have been a season when they were to be changed and translated into heaven. Now this being to be done by the Son of God, it was necessary that he should be incarnate for that purpose.' This consideration is urged so far by Osiander. But it is carried on by the Socinians, and improved on another supposition of their own. Vid. Smal . Refut. Thes
. Franzii. Disput. 12. p. 429. Man, they tell us, was created absolutely mortal, and should have actually died, although he had never sinned. That he might be raised again from the dead, God would have sent a Messiah, or one that should have been the means, example, and instrumental cause of our resurrection.
Answ. All persons of sobriety will acknowledge that there is nothing in these reasonings but groundless curiosities, and vain speculations countenanced with false suppositions. For as God alone knows what would have been the eternal condition of Adam, had he not violated the covenant of his nature; so whatever change was to be effected in his condition as the reward of his obedience, God could have effected it by his infinite wisdom and power,
such instrumental cause as these men imagine. Secret things belong to the Lord our God; nor are we to be wise above what is written. The notion of the Socinians that man would have died naturally, though not penally, is a figment of their own, that hath been elsewhere discussed, and is very unmeet to be laid as the foundation of new assertions, that cannot otherwise be proved.
From what hath been discoursed, it appears that there was no revelation of the incarnation of the Son of God in the state of innocence; neither did it belong to that state, but was designed in order to his priesthood, which could therein have no place nor use.
§ 23. Our next inquiry is concerning sacrifices, and whether they were to have had either place or use in the state of inno
This being determined, the way will be cleared for fixing on its true foundation the origin of the priesthood of Christ, after which we are now making inquiry. And this inquiry is made necessary by some of the Roman chureh, particularly
Bellarmin and Gregory de Valentia. They have not indeed fixed any special controversy in this inquiry, whether there should have been any sacrifices in the state of innocence. But in an attempt to serve a principal concern of their own, they assert and contend for that which determines the necessity of sacrifices in that state, and in the condition of things between God and men at that time. For they plead in general
, that “there neither is, nor ever was in the world, nor can be any religion without a true and real sacrifice.' Their design in this is only to prove the necessity of the sacrifice of the mass. For on this supposition it must be esteemed to be of the very essence of the Christian religion, which some on the contrary judge to be overthrown thereby. Now it is certain that there was religion, and that this religion would have continued in the state of innocence, if that state had continued. Yea therein all religion and religious worship was founded, being in-laid in our natures, and requisite to our condition in this world, with respect to the end for which we were made. In the state of in, nocence then, on this supposition, sacrifices were necessary; which Bellarmin includes in that Syllogism, as he calls it, whereby he attempts the proof of the necessity of his Missatical sacrifice in the church of Christ. De Missa, Lib. 1. cap. 20. Tanta (saith he) conjunctio est inter Legem seu Religionem, et Sucrificium externum ac proprie dictum, ut omnino necesse est aut Legein et Religionem vere et proprie in Christi Ecclesia non reperiri, aut Sacrificium quoque externum et proprie dictum in Christi Ecclesia reperiri. Nullum autem est si Missam tollas; est igitur Missa Sacrificium externum proprie dictum. - There is such a conjunction between the law or religion, and a sacrifice external and properly so 'called, that it is altogether necessary either that there is no law or religion truly and properly to be found in the church of Christ, or there is a sacrifice, external and properly so called, to be found therein. But take away the mass, and there is none. Wherefore the mass is an external sacrifice properly so called.'
§ 24. The invalidity of this argument to his particular, purpose, may easily be laid open. For setting aside all consideration of his mass, the Christian religion lrath not only in it a proper sacrifice, but it has that very one sacrifice, from respect to which, the services of men in divine worship in the Old Testament church, were called sacrifices; and by which they were animated, and rendered useful. For the sacrifices of the law, had no other end or use, but to prefigure that sacrifice which we enjoy in the Christian religion, and to exhibit the benefits thereof to the worshippers. This is the sacrifice of Christ himself, which was external, visible, proper, yea the only true, real, substantial sacrifice, and that offered once for all. And it is merely e ajustpice av. Joaxns, or an immeasurably corrupted ima