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this in all glorious properties and excellencies. This oneness in na-
ture, and distinction in person, may be well shadowed out by these
expressions, "He is the brightness of his glory, and the express
image of his person." The boldness and curiosity of the schoolmen,
and some others, in expressing the way and manner of the genera-
tion of the SoU;, by similitudes of our understanding and its acts,
declaring how he is the image of the Father, in their terms, are in-
tolerable and full of oflence. Nor are the rigid impositions of those
words and terms in this matter which they or others have found out
to express it by, of any better nature. Yet I confess, that supposing


■with some that by the first expression here used, "The brightness of
glory/' the apostle intends to set forth unto us the relation of the
Son to the Father by an allusion unto the sun and its beams, or the
light of fire in iron, some relief may thence be given unto our weak
understandings in the contemplation of this mystery, if we observe
that one known rule, whose use Chrysostom urgeth in this place,
namely, tliat in the use of such allusions every thing of imperfec-
tion is to be removed, in their application unto God. A few instances
we may give unto this purpose, holding ourselves unto an allusion
to the sun and its beams.

1, As the sun in comparison of the beam is of itself, and the beam
of the sun; so is the Father of himself, and the Son of the Father.
2. As the sun, without diminution or partition of its substance, with-
out change or alteration in its nature, produceth the beam; so is the
Son begotten of the Father. 3. As the sun in order of nature is
before the beam, but in time both are co-existent; so is the Father
in order of nature before the Son, though in existence both co-eter-
nal. 4. As the beam is distinct from tiie sun, so that the sun is not
the beam, and the beam is not the sun ; so is it between the Father
and the Son. 5. As the beam is never separate from the sun, nor
can the sun be without the beam, no more can the Son be from
the Father, nor was the Father ever without the Son. 6. As the
sun cannot be seen but by the beam, no more can the Father but
in and by the Son.

I acknowledge that these things are true, and that there is no-
thing in them disagreeable unto the analogy of faith. But yet as
sundry other things may be affirmed of the sun and its beam, whereof
no tolerable application can be made to the matter in hand, so I am
not persuaded that the apostle intended any such comparison or al-
lusion, or aimed at our information or instruction by them. They
were common people of the Jews, and not philosophers, to whom
the apostle wrote this epistle; and therefore either he expresseth
the things that he intends in terms answering unto what was in use
among themselves to the same purpose, or else he asserts them plainly
in words as meet to express them properly by as any that are in
use amongst men. To say there is an allusion in the words, and
that the Son is not properly, but by a metaphor, " the brightness of
glory," is to teach the apostle how to express himself in the things of
God. For my part, I understand as much of tlie nature, glory, and
properties of the Son, in and by this expression, "He is the brightness
of glor}'," as I do by any of the most accurate expressions which
men have arbitrarily invented to signify the same thing. That he
is one distinct from God the Father, related unto him, and partaker
of his glory, is clearly asserted in these words; and more is not
intended in them.


Sixthly, These things, then, being premised, we may discern the
general importance of these expressions. The words themselves, as
was before observed, being nowhere else used in the Scripture, we
may receive a contribution of light unto tliem from those in other
places which are of their nearest alliance. Such are these and the
like: " We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the
Father," Johni. 14. " He is the image of the invisible God," Col.
i. 15. The glory of God shines forth in him, 2 Cor. iv, 6. Now,
in these and the like places, the glory of the divine nature is so inti-
mated, as that we are directed to look unto the glory of the abso-
lutely invisible and incomprehensible God in him incarnate. And
this in general is the meaning and intendment of the apostle
in these expressions: 'The Son, in whom God speaks unto us in
the revelation of the gospel, doth in his own person so every
way answer the excellencies and perfections of God the Father,
that he is in him expressly represented unto our faith and contem-

It remaineth, then, in the second place, that we consider the ex-
pressions severally, with the reasons why the apostle thus expresseth
the divine glory of Jesus Christ: "O5 uiv uTavyaff/Ma r^g do^Tjg' — "Who
being the brightness" ("light, lustre, majesty") "of glory." Tlie apostle,
in my judgment (which is humbly submitted unto consideration),
alludes unto and intends something that the people were instructed
by typically under the old testament, in this great mystery of the
manilestation of the glory of God unto them in and by the Son, the
second person in the Trinity. The arA;, which was the most signal
representation of the presence of God amongst them, was called
*' his glory." So the wife of Phinehas, upon the taking of the ark,
affirmed that the glory was departed: 1 Sam. iv. 22, "The glory
is departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken." And the
psalmist, mentioning the same thing, calls it " his glory" absolutely:
Ps. Ixxviii. 61, "He delivered his glory into the enemy's hand;"
that is, the ark. Now, on the filling of the tabernacle with the
signs of God's presence in cloud and fire, the Jews affirm that there
was a constant dTauyac/Aa, a m^$3n, or "majestic shining glory,"
resting on the ark; which was the drrauyaff/xa rrig do^rig, " the splen-
dour of the glory of God," in that typical representation of his
presence. And this was to instruct them in the way and manner
whereby God would dwell amongst them. The apostle, therefore,
calling them from the types, by which in much darkness they had
been instructed in these mysteries, unto the things themselves re-
presented obscurely by them, acquaints them with what, that typical
glory and splendour of it signified, namely, the eternal glory ot God,
with the essential beaming and brightness of it in the Son, in and
by whom the glory of the Father shineth forth unto us. So that


the words seem to relate unto that way of instruction which was of
old granted unto them.

Besides, they were wont to express their faith in this mystery
with words unto this purpose: "'^-^?, " glory," is sometimes put
for God himself: Ps. Ixxxv. 9, ^3>:-i^{<n lui Jbp^ _" That glory
may dwell in our land;" that is, the God of glory, or glorious G(jd.
This glory the Targum calls t^ip*; and the majesty of that glory,
^3''^t^'. See Hag. i. 8. Hence Ps. xliv. 24, they render these words,
TriDrn03-n?3^^ "Why hidest thou thy face?" p^Jon -jip^ nra^J' no^,
" Why takest thou away the majesty of thy glory?" as both the Vene-
tian and Basle Bibles read the place: for the Regia have only nj'':3*j',
omitting "i"ip\ And in the vision of Isaiah, chap. vi. 1, they say it
was IDsn, so Kimchi; r\yy\^, so Rashi; ^n NipS so the Targum.
And they affirm that it was the same which came down and ap-
peared on mount Sinai, Exod. xix. 20 ; where these words, <^}'^] "T^. -
"iro ~in-py, "And the Lord descended on mount Sinai," are rendered
by Oukelos, '•n Sip'' ''!?Jn5<l, "The majesty of God was revealed;"
Avhich words, from Ps. Ixviii. 18, are applied by our apostle unto the
Son, Eph. iv. 8. 'Acrauyaff/xa rjjg ho^ni, then, is nothing else but T\T2V
^^1p'', or nunn nyati', "the essential presence or majesty of the glorious
God." This, saith he, is Christ the Son. And thus of old they ex^
pressed their faith concerning him.

The words, as was showed before, denote the divine nature of
Christ, yet not absolutely, but as God the Father in him doth mani-
fest himself unto us. Hence he is called T\^^'2U, or t<n3''3t^, or ^^^"2^1^.
The word is from P^, " he dwelt." EHas in Tishbi gives us some-
what another account of the application of that name, in the root:
D^b532n hv p^ «"inc^ nv^ hv m''3t>' U'^\>r\ nrb h"r\ l«ip, — " The rabbins of
blessed memory called the Holy Ghost Shechinah, because he dwelt
upon the prophets." But that this is not so may be observed
throughout the Targum, wherein the Holy Ghost is always expressly
called tyipn nn ; and the Shechinah is spoken of in such places as
cannot be applied unto him. But as the fulness of the Godhead is
said to dwell in the Lord Christ cuiLanzojg, Col. ii. 9, and he, as
the only-begotten Son of God, to dwell amongst us, John i. 1-t;
so is he said in the same sense to be 1U3n n^^^C, or ccca-jyacr^tia rrig
^o'gTjs, " the majesty, presence, splendour of the glory," or " the glo-
rious God."

This, then, is that whereof the apostle minds the Jews: God
having promised to dwell amongst them by his glorious presence, —
from whence the very name of Jerusalem was called, " The Lord is
there," Ezek. xlviii. 85, — he who in and untler that name was with
them, as sent by Jehovah, Zech, ii. 8, was the Son, in whom he had
now spoken unto them in these latter days. And this must needs
be of weight with them, being instructed that he who had revealed


tlie will of God unto them was none other but he who had dwelt
among them from the beginning, representing in all tilings the
person of the Father, being typically revealed unto them as the
" brightness of his glory."

The ajDOstle adds, that he is -x^apazTrip I'xogrdgiug aurov, "the ex-
press figure" (or "image") "of his person;" that is, of the person of
God the Father. I shall not enter into any dispute about the mean-
ing of the word h-zosraeig, or the difference between it and ohoia.
Many controversies about these words there were of old. And
Jerome was very cautious about acknowledging three hypostases in
the Deity, and that because he thought the word in this place to
denote " substantia;" and of that mind are many still, it being so
rendered by the Vulgar translation. But the consideration of these
vexed questions tending not to the opening of the design of the
apostle and meaning of the Holy Ghost in this place, I shall not
insist upon them.

1. The hypostasis of the Father is the Father himself. Hereof, or
of him, is the Son said to be the "express image." As is the Father, so
is the Son. And this agreement, hkeness, and conveniency between
the Father and Son, is essential; not accidental, as those things are
between relations finite and corporeal. What the Father is, doth,
hath, that the Son is, doth, hath ; or else the Father, as the Father,
could not be fully satisfied in him, nor represented by him.

2. By "character" two things seem to be intended: — (1.) That the
Son in himself is h /xoptpfi Qsou, " in the likeness of God," Phil. ii. 6.
(2.) That unto us he is sizojv Qsou, " the image of God," representing
him unto us. Col. i. 15. For these three words are used of the
Lord Christ in respect unto God the Father, [J^opcpT], »i%uiv, yapanrrif.
And their use seems thus to difference them : — (1.) It is said of him,
'Ev iMoptfTi Qiw uTap^uv, Phil. ii. 6, — "Being" ("existing, subsisting")
"in the form of God:" that is, being so, essentially so; for there is no
[lop^pn, or " form," in the Deity but what is essential unto it. This he
was absolutely, antecedently unto his incarnation, the wdiole nature
of God being in him, and consequently he being in the form of God.
(2.) In the manifestation of God unto us, he is said to be E/'xwi/ roD
0£oD roD aopdrox), Col, i. 15, — "The image of the invisible God;" be-
cause in him, so partaker of the nature of the Fathtn-, do the power,
goodness, holiness, grace, and all other glorious properties of God,
shine forth, being in him represented unto us, 2 Cor. iv. 6. And
both tliese seem to be comprised in this word, y^apaxTT^p; both that
the whole nature of God is in him, as also that by him God is
declared and expressed unto us.

Neither were the Jews of old ignorant of this notion of the Son
of God. So Philo expresseth their sense, de Confusione Linguarum:
Kav /jbT^di-jrco /xevroi rvy^dvr] rig d^ioypsug u)v v'log &£ov vpocayopiUieSui,
VOL. xu. — 7


ffTouSa^i /.offfis/gdai xara rov 'rrpooroyovov auTOv Aoyov, rhv dyysXov TpzffZv-
rarov ug ap^dyyiXov To'kvuvofj.ov v-Trdp^ovTa, xal yap u.pyr\, Kai ovofjba &sou,
xai "Koyog, Kai 6 xar eiKova, dvdpwxog, Tcai opoov 'lopariX vposayopsuirar — •
" If any one be not yet worthy to be called the son of God, yet
endeavour thou to be conformed unto his first-begotten Word, the
most ancient angel, the archangel with many names; for he is
called ' The beginning,"" ' The name of God,' ' The man according to
the image of God,' 'The seer of Israel.'" And again, Ka! yap si
fiTlTct) ixavoi Qsov "TraTdig vofJj'iZ^isSai yiyovaiJjiv, aXXd rot r^g a/diov iixovog
uItov, Aoyov to\j 'npuTaTov' 0sov yap six.uv Aoyog o 'jrpiffZvraTog' — " Ft)r
if we an-! not meet to be called the sons of God, let us be so of Jiis
eternal image, the most sacred Word ; for that most ancient Word
is the image of God." Thus he, expressing some of their concep-
tions concerning this eternal "character" of the person of the Father.
We have seen what it is that is intended in this expression, and
shall only add thereunto a consideration of that from whence the
exjiressiou is taken. The ordinary engraving of rings, or seals, or
stones, is generally thought to be alluded unto. It may be also
that the apostle had respect unto some representation of the glory
of God by engraving amongst the institutions of Moses. Now, there
was scarcely any thing of old that more gloriously represented God
than that of the engraving of his name on a plate of gold, to be
worn on the front of the mitre of the high priest; at the sight
whereof the great conqueror of the east fell down before him. Men-
tion of it we have Exod. xxviii. 36, " Thou shalt make a plate of
pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, ^"j?
nin7^"_" HolineKs of Jehovah," or " to Jehovah." Here was that
name of God which denotes his essence and being characterized
and engraven, to represent his holiness and glory to his people.
And Aaron was to wear this engraven name of God on his forehead,
that he might bear the iniquity of the holy things and gifts of the
cliildren of Israel ; which could really be done only by him who was
Jehovah himself. And thus, also, when God promiseth to bring
forth the Son as the corner-stone of the church, he promiseth to
engrave upon him the seven eyes of the Lord, Zech. iii. 9, or the
perfection of his wisdom and power, to be expressed unto the
church in him. There having been, then, this representation of the
presence of God, by the character or engraving of his glorious name
upon the plate of gold, which the high priest was to wear that he
might bear iniquities ; the apostle lets the Hebrews know, that in
Christ the Son is the real accomplishment of what was typified there-
by, the Father having actually communicated unto him his nature,
denoted by that name, whereby he was able really to bear our ini-
quities, and most gloriously represent the person of his Father
unto us.


And this, with submission to better judgments, do I conceive to
be the design of the apostle in this his description of the person of
Jesus Christ. It pleased the Holy Ghost herein to use these tei-ms
and expressions, to mind the Hebrews how they were of old in-
structed, though obsciu-ely, in the things now actually exhibited
unto them, and that nothing was now preached or declared but what
in their typical institutions they had before given their assent unto.

We have been somewhat long in our explication of this descri[i-
tion of the person of the Son of God; yet, as we suppose, not any
longer than the nature of the things treated of and tlie manner of
their expression necessarily required us to be. We shall therefore
here stay a while, before we proceed to the ensuing words of this
verse, and take some observations, from what hath been spoken for
our direction and refreshment in our passage.

I. All the glorious perfections of the nature of God do be-
long unto and dwell in the person of the Son. Were it not so, he
could not gloriously represent unto us the person of the Father ;
nor by the contemplation of him could we be led to an acquaintance
with the person of the Father. This the apostle here teacheth us,
as in the explication of the words we have manifested. Now, because
the confirmation of this allusion depends on the proofs and testi-
monies given of and unto the divine nature of Christ, which I have
elsewhere largely insisted on and vindicated from exceptions, I shall
not here resume that task, especially considering that the same truth
will again occur unto us.

II. The whole manifestation of the nature of God unto us, and
all communications of grace, are immediately by and through the
person of the Son. He represents him unto us; and through him
is every thing that is communicated unto us from the fulness of the
Deity conveyed.

There are sundry signal instances wherein God reveals himself,
and communicates from his own infinite fulness unto his creatures,
and in all of them he doth it immediately by the Son: — 1. In the
creation of all things; 2. In their providential rule and disposal;
3. In the revelation of his will and institution of ordinances ; 4. In
the communication of his Spirit and grace: in none of which is the
person of the Father any otherwise immediately rejaresented unto
us than in and by the person of the Son.

1. In the creation of all things, God both gave them their being
and imparted unto them of his goodness, and manifested his nature
unto those that were capable of a holy apprehension of it. Now,
all this God did immediately by the Son; not as a subordinate in-
strument, but as the principal efficient, being his own power and
wisdom. This we have manifested in our explication of the Inst
words of the verse foregoing. In express testimony hereunto, see


John 1. 3; Col. I 16; 1 Cor. viii, 6. The Son, as the power and
wisdom of the Father, made all things; so that in that work the
glory of the Father shines forth in him, and no otherwise. By him
was there a communication of being, goodness, and existence unto
the creation.

2. In the providential rule and disposal of all things created, God
further manifests himself unto his creatures, and further communi-
cates of his goodness unto them. That this also is done in and by
the- Son, we shall further evidence in the explication of the next
words of this verse.

0. The matter is yet more plain as to the revelation of his will,
and the institution of ordinances from first to last. It is granted
that after the entrance of sin, God did not graciously reveal nor
communicate himself unto any of his creatures but by his Son. This
might fully be manifested by a consideration of the first promise, the
foundation of all future revelations and institutions, with an induction
of all ensuing instances. But whereas all revelations and institutions
springing from the first promise are completed and finished in the
gospel, it may suffice to show that what we assert is true with pecu-
liar reference thereunto. The testimonies given unto it are innu-
merable. This is the substance and end of the gospel : — to reveal
the Father by and in the Son unto us; to declare that through him
alone we can be made partakers of his grace and goodness, and that
no other way we can have either acquaintance or communion with
him. See John i. 18. The whole end of the gospel is to give us
" the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,"
2 Cor. iv. 6 ; that is, the glory of the invisible God, whom none
hath seen at any time, 1 Tim. vi. 16; 1 John iv. 12. That is to be
communicated unto us. But how is this to be done? absolutely and
immediately, as it is the glory of the Father? No, but as it " shines
forth in the face of Jesus Christ," or as it is in his person manifested
and represented unto us; for he is, as the same apostle says in the
same place, 2 Cor. iv. 4, " the image of God." And herein also, as to
the communication of grace and the Spirit, the Scripture is express,
and believers are daily instructed in it. See Col. i. 19; John i. 16;
especially 1 John v. 11, 14. Now, the grounds of this order of
things lie, —

1. In the essential inheing of the Father and Son. This our
. Saviour expresseth, John x. 38, " The Father is in me, and I m

him." The same essential properties and nature baing in each of
the persons, by virtue thereof their persons also are said to be in
each other. The person of the Son is in the person of the Father,
not as such, not in or by its own personality, but by union of its
nature and essential properties, which are not alike, as the persons
are, but the same in the one and the other. And this inbeing of


the Father in the Son, and of the Son in him, our Saviour affirnis
to be manifested by the works that he wrought, being wrought by
the power of the Father, yet as in him, and not as in the Father
immediately. See to the same purpose chap. xiv. 10, 11, and chap,
xvii. 21.

2. The Father being thus in the Son, and the Son in the Father,
whereby all tlie glorious properties of the one do shine forth in the
other, the order and economy of the blessed Trinity in subsistence
and operation require that the manifestation and communication of
the Father unto us be through and by the Son; for as the Father is
the original and fountain of the whole Trinity as to subsistence, so
as to operation he works not but by the Son, who, having the divine
nature communicated unto him by eternal generation, is to commu-
nicate the effects of the divine power, wisdom, and goodness, l)y tem-
porary operation. And thus he becomes "the brightness of his
Father's glory, and the express image of his person," namely, by the
receiving his glorious nature from him, the whole and all of it, and
expressing him in his works of nature and grace unto his creatures.

3. Because in the dispensation and counsel of grace God hatli de-
termined that all communication of himself unto us shall be by the
Son as incarnate. This the whole gospel is given to testify. So
that this truth hath its foundation in the very subsistence of the
persons of the Deity, is confirmed by the order, and operation, and
voluntary disposition in the covenant of grace.

And this discovers unto us, first, the necessity of coming unto God
hy Christ. God in himself is said to be " in thick darkness," as also to
dwell " in light," whereunto no creature can approach ; which expres-
sions, though seeming contrary, yet teach us the same thing, —
namely, the infinite distance of the divine nature from our apprehen-
sions and conceptions, "no man having seen God at any time." But
this God, invisible,, eternal, incomprehensibly glorious, hath implanted
sundry characters of his excellencies and left footsteps of his blessed
properties on the things that he hath made ; that, by the considera-
tion and contemplation of them, we might come to some such ac-
quaintance with him as might encourage us to fear and serve him
and to make him our utmost end. But these expressions of God in
all other things, besides his Son Christ Jesus, are all of them par-
tial, revealing only something of him, not all that is necessary to be
known that we may live unto him here and enjoy him hereafter;
and obscure, not leading us unto any perfect stable knowledge of
him. And hence it is that those who have attempted to come unto
God by the Hght of that manitestation which he hath made of him-
self any other way than in and by Christ Jesus, have all failed and
come short of his glory. But now, the Lord Christ being " the
brightness of his glory," in whom his glory shines out of the


thick darkness that his nature is enwrapped in unto us, and
beams out of that inaccessible light which he inhabits ; and " the
express image of his person/' representing all the perfections of his
person fully and clearly unto us, — in him alone can we attain a saving

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