Of three of Mr. Hunt’s Nineteen open Disparages of Christ, in his Discourse upon a portion of Song.2:1.

I begin with my vindication of the Excellency of Christ from those grievous disparagements, under the seven following branches:

1. Of the Person of Christ.

2. Of the Love of Christ.

3. Of the Sufferings of Christ.

4. Of the Righteousness of Christ.

5. Of the Redeeming Efficacy of Christ.

6. Of the Worth of Christ.

7. Of the Possessions of Christ.

Who sees not, if all these things be made out clear, that he hath woefully disparaged the Excellency and Glory of Christ? I shall bring up the number of the individuals upon this whole article unto nineteen open disparagements.

This chapter contains a vindication of the Excellency of Christ’s Glory against the three first of seven disparagements this incogitant writer hath cast upon the Person of Christ.

First, he has disparagingly blended the Doctrine of the Person of Christ with this saying, “Christ’s most comely parts, even his Eternal Power and Godhead.” {pg.74} So as to make it clear to the reader that I do not abuse him, the entire passage is this, “and from hence you may see, that it must needs be a degrading of Christ to resemble him by pictures, as the manner of some is; for, though Christ is truly Man, and, as such, may be nearly resembled; yet, he is as truly God, and so he cannot; and look, as no wise man would draw his friends picture, and leave out his most comely parts, lest they should hereby render him contemptible rather than honorable; so one would think that no friend of the Bridegroom, who hath by an eye of faith seen this King in his Glory, should ever so undervalue Christ as to resemble him by the picture of a man; since when they have drawn the most beautiful picture, the art of man can invent, his most comely parts will be wholly concealed, even his Eternal Power and Godhead.” Thus you see the whole matter. Here’s how some good thing towards the Lord God of Israel, as was said of the Son of Jeroboam, I Kings 14:13, which this writer stands up for; ‘tis the glory of Christ above the art and invention of a picture. Christ’s Person, he shows, cannot fall under the limning stroke of an artist; his description in the Word is above the paint and device of man that pretends to lay him upon artificial colors, and circumscribe him in a narrow frame; and so far he is well; and I should do ill to blot a remnant of his paper that he hath kept clean. But ‘tis the wanton dash of his pen, “comely parts, &c.,” {the slur that he casts upon the Person he treats of, to use his own words a few lines lower in the page, these,} I must cross out, if I cleanse the period.

And what should bring this into his mind I cannot imagine, unless it be either his lack of thought upon the glance of that passage about the Leviathan, Job 41:12, “I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion,” or that in the Corinthians {our} “comely parts, &c.,” I Cor.12:24, or both, I cannot tell; for the conceit is not only monstrously wide, but despairingly abusive. For, although these phrases, “his parts, comely parts, Eternal Power and Godhead,” are all spoken in Scripture, yet they are spoken of different matters, never of the same thing. In Job ‘tis spoken of the whale, his parts, and comely proportion.

In the Corinthians it is said of our bodies, “our comely parts;” I Cor.12:24, and in the Romans, it is attributed alone unto God, “his Eternal Power and Godhead.” Rom.1:20. These attributes do set forth the very Essence of the Divine Nature, common to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. What can be more horrid and absurd than to ascribe the parts, power and comely proportion of the Leviathan or Whale, to the Divine Nature of Christ? Which {Divine Nature} is the living and true God. I Thes.1:9. “But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King.” {Jer.10:10} I will take it for granted that Mr. Hunt is beaten out of all hold from this text in Job, for that place can in no ways justify the application of his disparaging metaphor. Let us see then how he will escape the other two texts; for still in those places the phrases are used separately, and not together in the same text. It appears likewise by a distinct view of these Scriptures, that they are things of so vast a disproportion as cannot be laid together. Let us consider that text for parts, where the epithet “comely” is annexed, because the phrase “comely parts” might perhaps, be suggested to him out of the same Corinthian text, it being only “comely” proportion in the preceding instance. The Apostle uses the former phrase “comely parts” when he is speaking in a similitude only of the members of our body, which are gross and visible things; and again, he utters the latter phrase, when he is speaking of that Nature only in God which is altogether invisible. “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” {I Tim.1:17} Our comely parts, you have in that expression in the Corinthians; as the words of the Apostle are thus, “and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need; but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.” {I Cor.12:23-24}

To make some observations upon the said place. 1. It is evident in the coherence that the Apostle had his eye upon the body of Christ, shadowing out the Holy Ghost’s mending about a particular assembly, “now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” {vs.27} 2. It is plain that he sets out this relation of a Church, as a body to Christ, by a natural similitude. 3. This similitude or resemblance is taken from our own bodies. 4. These bodies are gross and material substances. 5. He speaks of a contemperature in these parts of our body, tempering the body together, vs.24, or mixing the members one with another. 6. Our comely parts are set in opposition to our uncomely parts, or the members of our shame, as the original reads it, in opposition to the other members of our visible honor and ornament; and this is the substance of that place in the Corinthians.

Next, let us look into the other place, Rom.1:20, “for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;” where the obvious matters of observation {again} are these. 1. They are the invisible things alone of God that are here spoken of. 2. The invisible things of God, here spoken of, are declared to be his Eternal Power and Godhead. 3. The invisible things of God, even his Eternal Power and Godhead, are things and not parts of God. 4. They are clearly seen; how, by the rational mind, “being understood by the things that are made.” 5. The Gentiles are blamed for changing “the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man.” {vs.23} 6. From the whole it appears a depraving of the holy text to make the Eternal Power and Godhead of Christ his parts, his comely parts; for comely parts we see in Scripture are called “our parts” and not Christ.

That it is a corruption of the Text, therefore, I will prove by some arguments out of the two fore-mentioned places laid together, stated and considered.

My first argument against it is this, that it makes the Eternal Power and Godhead of Christ to bear the same kind of relation to the Humanity or to our Nature in the Mediator, that one member of our bodies bears to one another. For, the members of our bodies are related to one another, as material things of the same substance. Matter with matter, member with member, one form and idea with another form and idea. But the Eternal Power and Godhead of Christ are not such things as fall under our substance, shape, form and resemblance. Consequently, in the hypostatical Union of Christ, the Eternal Power and Godhead must be far otherwise related to the Human Nature, than as “comely parts” are related in the body to one another. To relate, therefore the Eternal Power and Godhead of Christ thus to the Humanity of Christ, must be a gross corruption of that text in the Romans.

My second argument. The Eternal Power and Godhead are as indivisible as invisible; they may be distinguished, but they cannot be divided and separated, as parts can, which are the properties of matter. “His comely parts” therefore is an uncomely expression.

Argument number three. That which sets out Romans 1:20, by a contempering of the parts, as in bodily members, is a manifest depraving of the same text. But to set it out, and to explain it by that expression of “comely parts” in the Corinthian text, is to set out and explain the things, the Eternal Power and Godhead of Christ in the Romans, by a contempering these Perfections of God with the Humanity of Christ. “Our comely parts,” says the Apostle, “have no need; but God hath tempered the body together,” vs.24; the original is, “hath mixed the body together;” as there is a mixture of parts in the body of man, yet without confusion, or running one into another, they being tempered or mixed by joining one unto another, but not mixed by swallowing up one in another as liquids are, when mixed one with another. There is an admirable mixture, I say, of parts in the body of man; but is it not a heresy to say, that there is a mixture of the Two Natures in the Person of Christ? If Mr. Hunt had read his Church History, and been as able a champion to beat down the errors that have sprung up against the Person of Christ in the first ages of the New Testament, {and it becomes him who undertakes to set out the Excellency and Glory of the Person of Christ, to have done so,} as he hath at one time professed to be against Antinomian Errors, he had never fallen himself into one of the Apollinarian Errors, {as noted in John 1:14,} being a Heresy sprung up about the Year of Christ 350, which held, that the Word made Flesh, was one and the same substance with that flesh. Apollinarius, speaking of Christ, as to what he was before he was made Flesh, {since he looked upon what Christ was before, to be capable of being turned into flesh,} might perhaps, have said of his Eternal Power and Godhead, his “comely parts;” but for a man that professes himself clear in the doctrine of the Assumption or Incarnation, to affirm this, passes with me, I will not say, for a heretic, because I hope he will not stand to it, but I will say, for a heteroclite, in that article.

Argument number four. “Comely parts” are put in some opposition to the parts of our shame, or the members of our bodies that modesty conceals; but, I pray, is the Eternal Power and Godhead of Christ set in any opposition to the Humanity of Christ, as thus, that the Human Nature is the shame of Christ? God forbid, it should be thought of him, who, in his Humanity, is fairer than the children of men, Ps.45:2, and hath a most glorious name “which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” {Phil.2:9-11}

Argument number five. This is derogatory to the Excellency, Glory and Honor of the Godhead, which must not be injured by any pretense of unveiling of the Glory of the Mediator; for, if the Godhead be derogatorily used in any writing, though styled, Christ the most Excellent, that excellency can be but pretended, and is no true account of the Glory of Christ; because Christ, in the Divine Nature is one and the same in Glory and Essence with God the Father. “I and my Father are one.” {Jn.10:30} And besides too, take him as Man and Mediator, Christ is God’s. I Cor.3:23. Now, it is a derogation from the Glory of the Godhead; because it is doing that which the text directly charges upon the Gentiles, changing “the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man.” {Rom.1:23} And this is a high derogation {or disparagement} to the Infinite, Invisible Being of God.

Argument number six. This is against the Apostle’s argument that “the invisible things of God, even his Eternal Power and Godhead, might be understood by the things that are made,” {vs.20;} for to understand God by the things that are made, is a mental knowing the invisible Power and Godhead; it is a knowing God in man’s thoughts by the footsteps and visible discovery that God hath made of himself in his open works of Creation and Providence. But now, go about to conceive of these, his Eternal Power and Godhead, as his comely parts, and they will then be demonstrated by sense, as it would lay them open to an ocular view; as these parts would be beheld, even as parts are in other things, and therein demonstrably so, as to be seen by man’s eye; whereas, these invisibles, seen by means of visibles, are only understood by the soul. They are intellectually seen, by means of other things that are at first corporately beheld, or outwardly, and with the bodily eyes beheld in God’s works.

Seventh and final argument. I might set Mr. Hunt against himself; so backwards and forwards, and inconsistent is he. He is arguing against the picturing of Christ, and the scope of his argument is good, but the nature of his argument is bad. For, if “when men have drawn the most beautiful picture the art of man can invent, as he urges, his Eternal Power and Godhead will be still wholly concealed.” It is upon this foundation of Truth that these glorious perfections of Christ are not ‘his comely parts,’ as he affirms, too inconsiderately, they are, even in laying down his reason why Christ ought not to be laid before the eye in a picture; his Power and Godhead can never be delineated, or, done this way by line and pencil, be shown us. True, and why should his invisible Essence, as God, be anymore sounded to the ear, ‘in comely parts,’ than represented to the eye in man’s devised pictures? His Eternal Power and Godhead do no more fall under the visible similitude of a comely prospect {which is what his gross phrase leads to} than they can be represented in a beautified and adorned picture. His argument is corrupted, and therefore weakened by him, as indeed all arguments are weak that are corrupt. It is both a miserable swerving and a horrid prevarication of the sacred Text. When Job 41:12, I Cor.12:23,24 & Rom.1:20, are all laid together, the Truth of the charge, that it is a disparagement of Christ, is laid open.

In short, that expression of God to Moses, Exod.33:23, “thou shalt see my back parts,” will not justify this saying, nor ground it, that Christ’s Eternal Power and Godhead are his ‘comely parts.’ ‘Back parts’ of God were not his Essence, but a fore-view of his Incarnation in the Person of Christ; ‘back parts,’ because appearing in a human shape hindermost, as a prelude of the Incarnation, when as the Majesty of that Glory, which is Divine and Spiritual, was altogether invisible, without parts and shape; and so his ‘back parts’ were not his Eternal Power and Godhead. Nevertheless, in what appeared, his Goodness, Mercy and Grace were proclaimed, as chapter 34:5,6,7, doth interpret this sight of God by Moses. “And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” {Exod.34:5-7} But now, what is that to his Eternal Goodness? Or his Essential Power? Or his Godhead? Or any substantial Perfection of the Godhead? And so much for the confutation of that anthropomorphite heresy against the essence of God, “his most comely parts, even the Eternal Power and Godhead,” in this my Vindication of the Excellency of the Person and Glory of Christ.

Next, I come to a Second Disparagement, which, in the nature of it, is somewhat akin to the former. In this passage I am obliged again to bring in something by way of connection which is very Orthodox, that the reader may be more satisfied, that I do the author {against whom I write} no wrong; and that he may be convinced that it is the heterodox and false part of the sentence I exempt and blot out of that book. The whole passage, sound and unsound, is this. “Christ’s Excellency doth not so much consist in his Human Nature, as in his Divine {this is the Orthodox;} and {says he} what dark conceptions should we have had of that, if not thus shadowed out unto us?” {pg.4} This is now the work of darkness that follows, “and what dark conceptions should we have had of that?” Of what? Why, of the Divine Nature of Christ {surely} one would think he must mean. I will allow, it carries some sort of obscurity and ambiguity, as he hath expressed it, and so may admit of evasion; whether is meant the Divine or Human Nature in this indigested passage, it is consequently necessary, if I would be sure my answer hits home to the point, to proceed upon a dilemma, and examine it both ways, that I may meet with my man, and he may not slip aside by any pretext; for it is naught, to make the best of it which way we can.

1. As concerning the Human Nature of Christ, it is plain that we should not have had dark conceptions of it, if it had not been thus shadowed out unto us, as in the Canticles; for we have a plainer demonstration given us of that, than is given in any shadow, or metaphor whatsoever. It would be strange divinity to urge, that we have plainer conceptions of Christ-Man shadowed out by the Rose of Sharon, than we have set out and expressed by the Man Christ Jesus. “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” {I Tim.2:5} Many shadows and metaphors, it is true, in the Old Testament that set forth Christ, were fitted to the more distant and imperfect revelation of him; yet withal, there is a plain, literal and human account given us sometimes of Christ by the Holy Ghost in the Old Testament. He is directly prophesied of as a Man, and a King. “Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment; and a Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest.” {Isa.32:1-2} So, as a Son born of the virgin. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” {Is.7:14} These things are no shadowing out of the Human Nature of Christ to us, but give us plainer and fuller conceptions of him than mere shadows do, as to say, “I am the Rose, &c.” And to say that shadows expresses this better, argues a man never saw the sunshine. It also undermines and enervates the whole substance of the Gospel. The Human Nature of Christ in Man, King, and Son of a virgin, even under the Old Testament, is expressly beyond a metaphor. Then, as to the account given us of his Human Nature in the New Testament, there we have the plainest and fullest conceptions of the matter, without a shadow. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” {Jn.1:14} Is this a shadow? As to say, I am the Rose of Sharon? It is the first article in the Mystery of Godliness, God manifest in the flesh. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh.” {I Tim.3:16} And is his Manifestation in the Flesh no more than to be thus shadowed out to us, by a material description there in Song 2:1, which falls short of a personal description, “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” {Gal.4:4} What’s this? A Figure? A Metaphor? So Mary “brought forth her firstborn son,” Lk.2:7, was he not so truly, without a shadow? “He took on him the seed of Abraham.” {Heb.2:16} So, “made of the seed of David, {that is, in a lineal descent of genealogy from Abraham to David, continued on from father to son, and so of the seed of David,} according to the flesh.” {Rom.1:3} Now are these shadows of the Human Nature of Christ? And do shadows better represent him? For shame! Who, but the Monophysites that denied Christ had more than the Divine Nature, even after his Incarnation, as the ancients of the Church tell us, have asserted this? Or, who but the Valentinians and Marcionites, who denied that Christ took a body consisting of man’s nature, would hold it? So that one would think he could not mean the Human Nature of Christ.

2. Well then, it must Fall upon the Divine Nature of Christ. And if so, what a gross disparagement is this? What a dark conception {as the author phrases it} to apprehend the Divine Nature of Christ after this manner? The Divinity of our Saviour is One with the Divine Nature of the Father, and of the Holy Ghost; so not Three Divine Natures, but One in Three. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.” {I Jn.5:7} But how gross, I say, to apprehend the Divine Nature of Christ thus shadowed out? As if the Rose of Sharon signified the Divinity of Jesus Christ, when it is no such thing. Matter cannot represent the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A. The Divine Nature of Christ is God, a Substantial Person in the Godhead; and can God, who is immaterial Substance, Jn.4:24, be shadowed out by a Rose, or any other material resemblance? “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire; lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, &c.” {Deut.4:15-16} It is a dark conception of the Divine Nature to shadow out God who is an Infinite Being, and to be believed that he is in his own Nature abstractly, such a Perfect One as no creature is, nor can represent. “Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.” {Job 11:7-9} “Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out.” {Job 37:23} “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal; saith the Holy One.” {Is.40:25}

B. It is only as God is known, and conveyed to us in Christ, that he shadows out himself unto us, and in no otherwise. “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” {Mt.11:27} It is in Christ, by reason of Christ’s being in our Nature, and by reason of God’s Promise of Old to send Christ into the world in Flesh or Man’s Nature, that God is said to have face, eyes, hands, feet, &c. Not that, when God speaks of himself by these and other human qualities, they are really the Divine Nature, as the Anthropomorphites fancied, but they are Christ’s nature in God as Man; and therefore mouth, arm, soul, &c., are not ascribed to God, Job 26:14, for the reason some Preachers and Writers tell us, merely because God was pleased so to condescend and express himself to our understanding and capabilities; {Ah; what ways have men invented to hide this Precious Redeemer from us! “And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” Jn.20:13;} concealing, in such expositions upon texts that speak of God by human parts and shape the main ground of that condescension, which is only as he is God in Christ! “To wit, that God was in Christ.” {II Cor.5:19} It is certainly for this cause alone, that his Covenant and Truth have declared how his will and pleasure stand to express Himself. Nor doth God do it {least of all, as this author fancies} to shadow out the Divine Nature unto us, that being above all shadows; Isa.40:18, but I say, upon this ground, and to this end, that even under the Old Testament, God would present us with frequent earnests of the Mediator. An earnest is a penny of the same coin, a stamp with a pound, or pence multiplied into the full sum. Accordingly, Christ was spoken of before-hand in the same shape he was to be, when found in “fashion as a Man.” Phil.2:8. Thus there were earnests of God’s making good the promises of sending his Son into the world to assume {once for all} all these human characteristics belonging to our nature, as face, eyes, arms, hands, feet, &c., not as God is a Spirit, Jn.4:24, but as Christ is God’s, I Cor.3:23, as the Apostle speaks, God’s Messenger, the Father’s Servant, as likewise the prophets, Malachi and Isaiah set forth. And take it all up thus now about Christ, and so it was the naked truth for God to say these things of himself in Christ; and all this still falls far short of being any shadow of the Divine Nature.

C. The metaphor, “I am of the Rose of Sharon,” can be spoken of no Person in God, abstractly considered, neither of the Father, nor Son, as the Son of God, nor of the Holy Ghost; but Evangelically is spoken of Christ, as Son of Man, Mt.8:20, or, of the Son of God, as the Christ of God, Lk.9:20, the Anointed of the Holy Ghost, as the word Christ doth signify. This unction of the Holy Ghost, Acts 10:38, when Christ received not the Spirit by measure, Jn.3:34, fell upon Jesus of Nazareth, the Human Nature alone being the proper subject of receiving the Holy Ghost. Consequently, when Christ is shadowed out unto us, as there in the Canticles, and other places, he must be conceived of in the Human Nature alone as the proper Subject of that shadow, “I am the Rose of Sharon,” or any other resembling metaphor.

D. I know of no metaphor, or shadow, that God is set out unto us by in Scripture to shadow out the Divine Nature, but to shadow out his Grace in the Flesh of Jesus Christ. And so not to shadow out the Substance of his Son, not his Godhead, not his Infinite Perfections; {for apart from the veil of his Flesh, Heb.10:20, he is a consuming fire unto us, and we could have no more to do with God in his Essence, Exod.3:14, than we are able to endure a devouring fire;} but a metaphor, or shadow of Christ in Scripture, as distinguished from the Godhead, is always to represent either his bestowment, and that must be God’s giving him in our nature; Isa.9:6, or his Office, Isa.55:4; 33:22, and that cannot be executed neither out of our nature, if executed towards us; or lastly, some sweet Relation of the Mediator, Acts 2:36, considered either in his humbled or exalted State. God hath not shadowed out the Divine Nature of Christ in any of his types or other revelations of his Person; but the Mediator, or his Son, as given, to secure all other blessings with him. It is upon the account of the Flesh of Jesus Christ, that the Infinite Person of the Son of God is ever shadowed out unto us. The Holy Ghost leads us to him as Mediator, and speaks things which point him out unto us, as Man, in all the shadows of him. Though still in one shadow, or glass, he may be seen more excellent than in another; as there is more in him to us, as he is a Bridegroom, Jn.3:29, or Husband, Isa.54:5, than as he is a Shepherd, Psa.23:1, or a Shield, Psa.84:11; but I say withal, that the Divine Nature of Christ, personally abstracted from his Humanity, is never shadowed out unto us; that is, never is represented in the glass of creatures.

The metaphor of Fire to express God’s Nature, “our God is a consuming fire,” Heb.12:29, is of another consideration, than what shadows out Christ, for it is spoken of the Essence of God, as common to all, the Glorious Three, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, I Jn.5:7, and not of the Divine Nature of Christ apart.

This other shadow or metaphor, this Consideration of the WORD, and the WORD of God, Jn.1:1; Rev.19:13, which is the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Apostle John’s Writings, doth manifestly speak of Him as Mediator, though of him as One that was God before he was Mediator. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” {Jn.1:1} “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God.” {Rev.19:3} It is a Name that sets out the Son of God, as he was designed to be our Teacher and Prophet from the written Word, to instruct us in that Mysterious Way of Salvation by Himself that lay {up and down} hidden in the Old Testament, which men might otherwise read so often, and not see to be the Way of Christ. “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.” {Isa.48:17} “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” {Isa.54:13} “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye.” {Psa.32:8} {See likewise, Psa.71:17; Isa.2:3; Psa.119:102; Psalm 25:8-12, and many other places &c.} It is for this reason that he is styled the WORD; as much as to say, the whole WORD of God is fulfilled in and by Him; and therefore, says the Holy Ghost, he shall go by that Name from his making out the Old Testament so clearly to us in all God’s Mind about the Gospel. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” {Heb.1:1-2} “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” {Lk.24:27} Likewise, as it was said of him, he was called the WORD. {So ‘logos’ is from ‘lego’ in the Greek; that is, to tell, to say, to speak.} “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” {Acts 3:22} Again his Name, the WORD, suits with him as Mediator; because, it is written of him, as the Psalmist saith, “in the volume of the book it is written of me, &c.” {Psa.40:7} The Word was God, Jn.1:1, there is all his Mediatorial Person, Rom.9:5; namely, God and Man too, or God-Man; for he was God before he was the WORD. He was the WORD, because the Word hath made Him appear to have been setup from everlasting, Prov.8:23, and therein covenanted with from the beginning, to be Mediator. And so it was He, the WORD, according to this Covenant from everlasting, that in Time was made flesh. “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” {Psa.33:6} “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” {Jn.1:14} Now, says John, “the WORD was God.” What is that, but plainly to reveal to us, that he was God before he was the WORD, or before he was set up to be Incarnate Mediator, though setup thus from everlasting; or, as the Holy Ghost further explains it, “in the beginning, before his Works of old;” or, “in the beginning of his way, or ever the earth was.” Prov.8:22-23. Compare these verses from the Proverbs, with those in John 1:1,2, and you will find that same phrase, “from everlasting,” to be brought only up to this, which he calls a beginning; {“in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God;”} namely, a beginning with Christ-Mediator, before his works of old; all his works being designed in an absolute subserviency to His Glory, {“the LORD hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil,” Prov.16:4;} under this Settlement of His about the Mediator; He first ordained his Son in the Settlement to be a Man, Col.1:15, then ordained us Men, and presented a number of them to his Son; {set up the Man-Wisdom;} then ordained their creation under {Deut.32:8, Eph.1:11} one Common Head of a promised multitude, children and strangers, yet both without sin; then ordained the Fall of every One in that Common Head of Nature; then ordained the Restoration of the Children by this Elder Brother, and passed over all the strangers, or such whom he never appointed to acquaintance with these things. Thus one thing fell in upon another in this same from everlasting, which though we cannot take in without a succession in our thoughts, yet they all lay together, though in the most perfect Order, in the Divine Mind. We behold successively, but God saw them all at once. “When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” {Deut.32:8-9} “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself; that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him; in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will; that we should be to the praise of his glory.” {Eph.1:9-12}

Tis not then from everlasting, just in the same sense that the filiation of the Son of God, of his being God’s only Son is from everlasting, but from {that} everlasting, where God’s Ways and Works within Himself began. “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” {Psa.90:1-2} Christ was in this same beginning of God’s ways, before his open Works, the WORD by Appointment, and therefore called the WORD by Revelation, according to that Appointment; because so he was the Mediatorial WORD, Rev.3:14, before the Word written was written, and before he had said, his Son should be Shiloh, the sent One, {“the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be,” Gen.49:10,} before he was foretold to be Immanuel, God with us, Isa.7:14, {expounded by Matt.1:23,} and before he was declared to be Messiah, or Christ, the Anointed One, as his Name there in Dan.9:25, is discovered; and fulfilled in the Unction, when the Holy Ghost came upon him, as in the Evangelists, and anointed him, as we read in Acts 10:38, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.” “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself.” {Dan.9:24-26} Consequently, the Apostle tells us, because he should lose nothing of the Glory of his Essence, by this Name of his Office, the WORD, he had the same creating Power with God; God and he being ONE, Jn.10:30, in making all things out of nothing. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” {Jn.1:1-2} The meaning is, that in the Beginning of all God’s Works he was with God, as the Con-Cause, to co-create them, and was God the SON, the co-worker of them with his Father. So it follows, “all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” {Jn.1:3} Insomuch, that although these texts substantially prove the Godhead of Christ, both as he is the True God, and as he created all things; yet they prove, very cogently too, that this Excellent Person, as the WORD, is shadowed out in that Name, as Mediator, while it goes along with other proof, how antecedently he had a relation to God, above it all, and that is to be God in One Person, with God in another Person. It is evident then that the Name WORD, points us to Christ, as God-Man. He had never been called the WORD, if he had never been appointed to reveal the Word, and execute the Office of Mediator between God and us; so that this shadow or metaphor of Christ, the WORD, {which, perhaps, is as fair an instance as can be brought, in favor of Mr. Hunt’s notion, though he never pretends to insist upon.} Instances of shadowing out the Divine Nature separately goes no farther into the Person of Christ, than as the Son of God was considered to come into the Human Nature in time, by an Incarnation in the Conception and Nativity, according to the Covenant-Settlements of that Incarnation from Everlasting, or before Time began.

And then be sure, ‘tis Christ only as in the Flesh, even whilst now in Glory, he being entered with our Nature into Heaven, “who of God is made unto us wisdom,” I Cor.1:30, in the beautiful Rose of Sharon. This Christ-Mediator is the Tree of Life to eat of, and to live forever, Gen.3:22, in the new approaching Eden; I mean, the glorious New Jerusalem, not to be enjoyed in heaven, but coming down from God out of Heaven, Rev.21:2; and this same Tree of Life in the midst of the street of it, Rev.22:2; the fruit of which is to be Glory and Life, grace reigning “through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord,” Rom.5:21, as now this Grace and Life by the Second Adam, as Saviour; and this in opposition to the fruit of that Tree in the midst of the garden of the other Paradise, belonging to the First Adam, or the first man of open propagation, which fruit was sin, shame and death. {Adam was the first man openly, not the first man secretly.} The shadows belong to Christ, or all metaphors whereby he is shadowed out unto us, as he is the WORD made flesh. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” {Jn.1:14} And it is as such, that still he is as the “Apple Tree among the trees of the wood.” Song 2:3. This alone as he is in Flesh, that alone he can be our shadow. And thus experimentally, before the time of the promise drew nigh, Acts 7:17, the Old Testament Church had not then received him in the Flesh, nor otherwise seen him, than as by Faith she had beheld him to come in the Flesh; and yet she could testify of this Tree and Righteous Branch to be raised to David, and under whose shadow she sat with great delight, as his fruit was sweet to her taste, Song 2:3, as if she had said, I found all good coming into my soul by his free Gift, Rom.5:15, the Gift of God unto me, Jn.4:10, as given me in his Flesh. “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” {Jer.23:5} So every metaphor or shadow of Christ ends in this substantial Shadow, our true nature in him. For thus by him the Sun of Righteousness, Mal.4:2, and the Shadow too of a “great Rock in a weary land,” Isa.32:2, we know, possess and enjoy God, and are not scorched, nor can in him be burned or destroyed. That’s the second point of this chapter; and I shall now proceed to the last.

Let us follow him farther into his metaphors, and see with what a disparaging vileness he still shadows out the most Glorious Lord. The third disparagement of the Person of Christ is this.

“The hook of the Divine Nature,” pg.100, the whole sense is this, when he is speaking of the full Victory our Lord Christ obtained over the devil, on pg.99, he doth afterwards set it forth in these words, “behold how this deceiver is deceived! How this subtle Serpent is outwitted, while he eagerly catches hold at the bait of Christ’s Flesh, he is held by the hook of the Divine Nature.” As if he had not wrought disparagement enough against the Excellency of Christ, in the injurious treatment of the Divine Nature of the Person otherwise, Deut.28:58, but he must go on to work more disparagement, and be farther derogatory to the Excellent Glory of Him, whose Glory he hath undertaken to unveil. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” {Exod.20:7} I must vindicate Christ the most Excellent {if he will be pleased to carry me forth into this vindication, Jn.15:5,} and labor to wipe off this intolerable rudeness and contempt from the paper it hath stained. Oh wretched comparison! How doth he serve the Lord Christ! How odiously doth he represent the Lord Jesus, indeed in his whole Person, whom the Father spared not, but gave him up for us all, Rom.8:32, and how does he treat him who gave Himself, Eph.5:2, for us! Christ who gave his flesh to be meat indeed; and his blood drink indeed, Jn.6:55, unto us! How odiously doth he vilify the Master by setting it forth as a bait upon a hook for Satan! And, what hook does he mean? Ah; dreadful to be spoken, the Godhead of Christ! Thus with such impious disparagement doth he odiously express it of the Divine Nature. I am afraid that the wit and corrupt fancy of the creature was a temptation to him, in speaking so very unbecomingly of the Divine Nature of Christ; there being no solid judgment in the matter, on which to ground this saucy expression. “God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” {Jn.4:24} “To whom then will ye liken God; or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” {Isa.40:18}

1. Where do we find in the Scriptures, that the Wisdom of God, which in all these things ought to be our Revealed Standard, Lk.10:26, sets out the Divine Nature of Christ, which gave the prevalency to his Crucifixion into a victory over Satan, by a hook? “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” {Isa.8:20} The Scripture saith not in vain, when it restrains the thoughts of men within bounds, that they should learn not to think above that which is written, I Cor.4:6, and if not to think of men above that which is written, {as the place there speaks,} then why not so think of the Mysteries of Christ, which surely we can make nothing of, above that which is Written? Where is this gross metaphor ever written, or any metaphor like unto it, out of which it can be fairly argued, in all the Word of God, to set out the power of the Cross over Satan, by the Divine Nature of Christ?

2. The Scripture saith, every man ought to think soberly; he ought to think so of himself, and not more highly than he ought to think. Rom.12:3. Now, if a man pretends to invent a foreign metaphor, although a stranger to God’s Word, nowhere revealed with in the compass of it, and this too in no less a Mystery than the Divine Nature of Christ; how can that man think of himself soberly, and not more highly of himself than he ought to think? This comparison, ‘the hook of the Divine nature,’ is more like mad wit, than a sober and sanctified judgment in the things of Christ.

3. A hook is more suited to the Flesh of Christ than to the Godhead of Christ. I do not mean {as he resembles it} a fishhook; but, as the Holy Ghost hath intimated to us of the material cross, a flesh-hook for the Body of our dying Lord, Psa.22:21, and on which the Body hung, as soon as it was dead, this must have been well enough; because the Scripture will warrant it, to have said that, Christ enduring the cross, and despising the shame, Heb.12:2, destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Heb.2:14, as his holy and sacred body was rent and mangled on the material hook of his bloody Cross. It was upon the Cross that the Flesh of Jesus Christ hung; and under the economy of types, there was an institution of “pure gold for the flesh-hooks,” I Chron.28:17, which the Lord made David to understand in writing by his hand upon him, verse 19. Also, the Altar of Burnt Offerings under the Law of Sacrifices made provision for all its various utensils, and, among the rest, for the flesh-hooks of the Sacrifice. Exod.27:3. This had a direct eye upon Christ, and may, without a wanton invention, be suitably applied to him on the cross. Censors and flesh-hooks in the shadows were coupled, Num.4:14, even as Sacrifice and Intercession are in the substance, by the Cross and Throne of Jesus Christ. Let me be contented then to say with the Scriptures, this and that was done by the Cross. Christ made peace through the blood of his cross, Col.1:20, he hath reconciled both, Jew and Gentile unto God in One Body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. Eph.2:16. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” {Eph.2:13-14}

Though the Papists magnify the wood of the cross; what is that to me, to hinder me from glorying in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ? “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” {Gal.6:14} I am for burning with fire what remains of the Passover sacrifice until the morning. Exod.12:10. The true Sacrifice, Christ, being offered up to God in the preceding evening; or the Body taken down, and decently buried overnight in Joseph of Arimathaea’s tomb, Mt.27:57, &c., there was nothing to be found the next morning, but the weak image of the cross at Golgotha; as much as to say, the wood of it, which the Roman Synagogue {having so much of the Jew, and so little of the Christian among them} do so wickedly adore, by their articles of the Pontificia Canon. Now, according to the canon of the Law, I am for burning it with fire, because it remained till the morning. “And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.” {Exod.12:10} I am for applying the Efficacy of the Holy Ghost’s arguments in Scripture, who is compared in his Operations unto fire, against all superstition and relics, as the wood of the cross, the sign of that wood, {more foppish than the wood itself,}, &c. “Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works; but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.” {Exod.23:24} Let them be all burnt up together by Him who hath his fire in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem. Isa.31:9. Moreover, their building this large pile of wood, which they show in Popish countries, upon the foundation, I Cor.3:12, is a work which, have we but patience to stay till Christ comes, shall be revealed by fire, I Cor.3:13, and the fire shall try every man’s {and therefore every papist} work, of what sort it is. If any should ask when, as to the judicial execution, which must follow after the present discriminating execution with the Holy Ghost and with fire; Mt.3:11, my answer is out of the Thessalonians, which states that, “the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” {II Thes.1:7-8} Now, though a Papist {I say} magnifies his wood of the cross; don’t I see what orders will be taken against it and him? “And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image; he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. They have not known nor understood; for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.” {Isa.44:17-18} {In the original of Rev.18:12, referring to the “thyine wood,” which name is derived from the Greek word thuein, “to sacrifice;” or ‘sacrifice wood;’ by which undoubtedly, the Holy Ghost hath fore-shown Babylon’s idolizing the wood of the cross; and this is foretold, vs.14, as departed from her, in the days of her utter ruin.} Shall I for the abuse of the Cross depart from the Holy Ghost’s own wisdom in expressing how this and that and the other blessing, even all blessings, as to the Ground and Reason of their conveyance, was, and were ordained by the Cross? Shall I not say that the Human Nature was fastened upon the cross, and this was as a flesh-hook unto the Body of our Lord; and yet the Divine Nature of Christ was not shadowed out unto us by any comparison whatsoever; much less so vile a one as this author of the disparagement hath invented.

The Divine Nature of Christ gave Efficacy to his Sufferings, and among other effects of his Cross, rescued all the Elect from the final power of Satan. Thus the Sacred Oracle of Truth setting forth the Victory of Christ over this subtle serpent, sets it forth by his crucifixion, as the ground of our returning unto the Lord, for he hath torn, and he will heal us, as the prophet had foretold, Hos.6:1, while in his Flesh he hung upon the tree, as Peter calls it. I Pet.2:24. It was by this means in the Wisdom of God, I Cor.2:7, that he spoiled principalities and powers, taking all argument and show of plea against us out of the way, nailing it to his Cross. Col.2:14. As the author {too} hath well now observed out of Col.2:14, {on page 101, of his book,} this text, in his own way of application from the common opinion of divines, ought to have been remembered here; to have given the similitude of a hook rather to the cross, and to the Efficacy of the Atonement, being thereby rendered unto the Divine Nature in Union with Flesh and Blood in the Wonderful Person, Isa.9:6, than the Godhead of Christ should have been so pertinaciously likened to a ‘hook which held fast this subtle serpent.’

4. It idolatrously debases the Divine Nature of Christ {in this scandalous similitude} against the Word. A hook? Why, the Apostle tells us, in his confutation of the men of Athens, Acts 17:29, that “we ought not to think that the Godhead {which is common to the Three in one God} is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.” And dare any then compare it to an instrument formed and shaped out by an artificer? A fish-hook made and wont to be baited, in the exercise of all those that cast angle into the brooks, Isa.19:8, which may by craft be prepared out of the substance of iron. Now if we are not to think the Godhead is like unto gold or silver; ought we not to be as modest, and not despairingly compare it, in the Person of Christ, to a hook of iron? In this vile metaphor he likens it to what may be fashioned by “the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire.” {Isa.54:16} An abominable disparagement to fetch in anything of this nature to pretend therein to shadow out the invisible God! Christ who “is the image of the invisible God.” Col.1:15. The prophet makes use of it to demonstrate the vanity of idols, Isa.41:29, that they are hammered and beaten into form by artificers. “The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms.” {Isa.44:12} If an Idol beaten out with so much corporal labor was abominable when the Gentiles thought to represent the Godhead by it, what an abomination must it be too, in the rank of idols set up in a man’s brain, to boast how he has shadowed out unto us the Divine Nature of Christ by a hook? “To whom then will ye liken God; or what likeness will ye compare unto him? The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.” {Isa.40:18,19}

5. A hook is a weak comparison to be invented, ‘tis wit of the lowest size, ‘tis not strong, piercing wit, and {because not so much as coming towards the thing} was a more wicked comparison to be uttered of the Godhead. In the very Leviathan, a strong creature, but weaker than our adversary the devil, I Pet.5:8, ‘tis the whale, described in the Scripture according to his vastness in the waters, without a figure; in him see the questions that God puts to his servant Job, and the language he propounds properly, without a trope or shadow; and then judge, if a hook be not a proper instrument at the taking of a Leviathan, and cutting up the monstrous whale. Also, whether it be a fit metaphor to represent that in Christ by which he overcame a stronger creature, that is, the devil? “Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook; or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? Canst thou put an hook into his nose; or bore his jaw through with a thorn?” {Job 41:1-2} And if a whale in the ocean cannot be taken out, as a smaller fish may, with a hook, nor so much as pierced, or caught hold of with a hook, because of the weakness and slightness of a hook, is a hook then {fitted to an angle; or hammered out into a solid instrument of iron, such as is cast into a River, or Pond, viz., a grappling-iron, to fetch out anything that sticks in the bottom of the waters, in this,} a meet comparison to set forth the glorious Nature of God, though in the Man Jesus, I Tim.2:5, humbled on the cross? I am ashamed to call it over or to insist longer on it. And thus I have discharged the points that were proposed for this first chapter.