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them the image and resemblance of his own holiness, Job 4. 18, and because, as children of the family, they familiarly converse with God in his house, which is heaven, Job 1. 6: in fine, because something of the dignity and authority of God is vouch
fafed unto them, as we have just said, that magistrates are also called the children of the most bigh. These are throncs, dominions, principalities, powers Col. 1. 16; nay they are also called me, Gods, Pf.: 97.7, com
pared with Heb. 1. 6. Adam by VII, In almost the same sense, Adam seems also creation, to be called the son of God, Luke 3. 39 ; for. eminently that name, which has the article. Te set before it, fuch.
denotes father in all the foregoing verses, as the syriac in place of re always puts 72 ; no reason can be assigned, why here, altering the phrase, we should translate with Beza, who was of God; in which he has followed the Syriac, who translated 67% 1199, who is of God. For, no doubt can be made, that Adam may be fitly called the son of God, the reasons of which Philo elegantly explains in the passage adduced by the illustrious Grotius on Luke 3. 38; in the manner' Jofephus has also written, that men were born of God himself : namely, 1 God created Adam. 2.' In his own image. 3. Eminently loved him, 4. Gave him dominion over the creatures. For these reasons he is deservedly called the fon of God, tho' God had not yet declared him heir of his peculiar blellings. Nor does he seem without reason to mention Adam, as the fon of God. : For, this tends, as Grotius has learnedly observed, to raise our mind, by this scale, to the belief of the birth of Chrift. For he, who from the earth, without a facher, could produce man, was able in like manner to make Christ to be born of a virgin without a
father. But kept
VIII. But Adam did not long maintain that not long dignity, on account of which he was called the Son that dig- of God; for neglecting holiness, and, losing that nity,
excellency, in which he was created, and suffering himself to be overcome by the devil, he became the fervant of Satan, by whom he was foiled, 2 Pet. 2. 19; and, at the fame time, a child of wrath, Eph. 2. 3, together with all his posterity. But what the Which the elect have loft in Adam, they "recover in Christ; namely, the same, nay a far more excellent degree,
Chrift. or rank among the children. For, let the disparity between Christ and believers be ever so great, yet he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Heb, 2. 11.
IX. But the Elect obtain this degree of children of 1. By a God several ways. First, they become the Sons of God new birth. by a new and spiritual generation, descending from above: John speaks of this, chap: Y: 12, 13: But as
as received him, tô their gave he power to become the Sons of God, even to them that believe on his name ; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. This illustrious paffage, which is variously explained by interpre. térs, requites fome particular consideration.
X. The Apoftlé describes this generation, or birth, John 1: whereby the Elect become the Tons of God, both 12,13,ex, negatively and positively: he denies it to be of blood, plainedo that is, natural or ordinary, like that, whereby the children "come to be partakers of Aesh and blood, Heb. 2. 14," and which is judged to be of blood: neither is it of the will of the flesh, that is, from any carnal defire of having children by any means; hence it is, that one, by giving too much indulgence to the corrupt reasoning of the flesh, makes use of means for that end, which God never prescribed : somėthing like'this we may observe in Sarah, when, from a' delire of having children, she gave Hagar to Abrabam: nor 'in' fine, is it of the will of man, who, for certain reasons of his own, loves one above others, and so appoints him to the principal part of the inheritance : just as this was the will of Isaac with respect to Efau. Nothing human can give being to this fpiritual generation, which is only of God, who
decreed it from eternity, and actually regenerate at the appointed time.
XI. To those, who are thus born of God, he gave power to become the sons of God. Etesia here de-, notes right and power, Rev.: 22. 14, that they may have strois right to the tree of life. But it may seem strange, how they, who are born of God, may have a right to become sons of God; seeing, by their very nativity from God, they are already become his. children. To remove this difficulty, three things chiefly have been observed by very learned men: ist, As yevestan, to become, is the second Aorist, it may fitly be taken for the preferperfect; to this effect, he gave them that power, that right, that dignity, that they might become the fons of God, and enjoy the privileges, which are suitable to that conditioni 2dly, Tavesicer rotēro, denotes in Scripture phrase, to be such a one, or to behave, as becomes such a one. Thus it is used, Mat. 5. 45, bnws yérnsle dros rõ helpos, üdeão, that ye may be the children of your father, that you may be. have yourselves, as becomes the children of God, fee i Thel. 2. 7, 10. 3dly, It might also be referred to that perfect filial state, which shall be con joined with the redemption of our body, and which the Apostle, Rom. 8. 23, enjoins us to wait for:: and fo the meaning may be, that God has granted thole, who are born of him, a right to the heavenly inherit: ance, and that unparallelled honour, by which, both in foul and body, they shall rejoice, as children of the family, in the palace of their father: in such a manner, that it shall not be in the
creature to frip, diminish, or cut them off from that dignity. The reader may chufe which expositions, he has a mind. We are not a little pleased with the laft; but wherein this new birth confifts, we have explained ac
large, Chap. VI, of this book. 2.By mar XII. And this is the first foundation of that glosiage with rious state. Secondly, We become the children of the Lord
God by-marriage with the Lord Jesus; for when we Jesus.
become his spouse, then we pass with him into his father's family, and the father calls us by the endearing name of daughter, PS. 45. 10: and the Lord Jefus calls her also his fifter, whom he names his Spouse, Cant. 5. 1, 2. God had provided by his law, that if a man betroth, bis maid-Serviant unto his son, be fhall deal with her after the manner of daughters, Exod. 21. 9: in the same manner, he is pleased to deal with elect fouls. By nature, they were as maid-fervants to fin and Satan; lay exposed in the open field, and were a loathing to all. However, he graciously offers them a marriage with his only begotten son: they, by faith, accept the proposal, almost in the same manner, that Abigal did, when she was invited to marry David, 1 Sam. 25. 41. And thus, by the fame act, by which they become the spouse of Christ, they also become the daughters of the living God, 2.Cor. 6. 18.
XIII. Thirdly, by Adoption, which is an oeconomical 3. By A. aft of God, whereby they, who are regenerated after his doption. image, and betrotbed by faith to his only begotten fon, arc received into his family, and obtain the right and privileges of children, and the inheritance itself, by an immutable testament. They are of the houshold of God, Eph. 2. 19°; if children, then heirs, Rom. 8. 17; for the communication of the image of God alone does not give a right to the heavenly inheritance. This appears with respect to Adam in his state of innocence, who, indeed, was in the way of acquiring a right; but had not yet obtained it. The alone foundation of that right is the perfect and constant obedience, either of man himself, or of his furety. Christ therefore, having appeared for us, fulfilled all righteousness, and was appointed heir of all things, Heb. 1:12 The Elect being regenerated receive, and claim to themselves, by faith, Christ and all his benests, even his perfect righteousness: and being thus adopted by the father, and become the bre
thren of Christ, they are beirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christs Rom. 8. 17. And in this sense principally we think; John Speaks; to them, which are born of God, he gave power to become the fons of God,
as explained above, sect. 11. Meta
XIV. For the better understanding what has been phors accumulat.
said, we are now to observe, that the Spirit of God, ed, to ex, in order to explain these mysteries, uses metaphors, press the borrowed from human things. But these metaphors abund
are to be lo adjusted, as one may not deftroy, but rạ. spiritual
ther supply the defects of the other. It would seem, grace,
in other respects absurd, that the soul, which is born of God, should be adopted for a daughter, and juined in marriage to the only begotten Son of God. Yet the Scripture has wisely, ordered matters, when it declares all these things concerning believers. In order to express the original of spiritual life, and of the image of God in man, it says, that he was born of God: to set forth our most delightful union with Christ, which is full of mutual affection, it calls it inarriage; and to shew the ground and firmness of our inheritance, it declares that we are adopted in Christ. And it is on account of each of these things, that
we may be called the children of God.. Adoption,
XV. And this adoption, is a most precious blessing the com- of the covenant of grace. But it was very different, mon bene
according to the different oeconomies, or dispensa
tions of that covenant. 'Tis, however, not to be O. and N.
doubted, that believers, at all times, were the children of God, Elihu, who was not of the people of Ifreel, called God his father, $ Job 34:36. To understand this in that dimunitive sense, in which the Heathen called Jupiter the father of Gods and men,
fit of the
$ In our version it is my desire is that yob may be tried :; but our marginal reading is, my fatber, let job be tried; for (one observe, that the same word as fignifies, both my desire and