III. That the Son is equal with the Father and the Holy Ghost

That the Son is true God, equal with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, that he was not made or created before all creature, that he is not God on account of divine qualities and operations, and that he is not inferior to the other persons of the Godhead, as Arius, Eunomius, Samosatenus, Servetus, and other heretics of a similar character imagine; but that he is by nature God, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, is proven,

1. By explicit testimonies from the Scriptures. “This is the will of the Father, that all men should honour the Son as they honour the Father;” but the Father ought to be honoured as the true God, and not as an imaginary Deity; so therefore the Son is to be honored. “Whatsoever the Father doeth, the Son does likewise.” “As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” “Christ is over all God blessed for ever.” “This is the true God arid eternal life.” “The second man is the Lord from heaven.” “All things that he hath are mine.” “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” (John 5:23, 5:19, 5:26, Rom. 9:5, 1 John 5:20, 1 Cor. 15:47, Col. 2:9, Phil. 2:6)

2. He is the true, proper, and natural Son of God, begotten from the essence of the Father. And if he is begotten from the essence of God, the same is, therefore, communicated to him whole and entire, since the divine essence is infinite, indivisible, and not communicated in part. Therefore, inasmuch as the Son has the whole essence communicated to him, he is, for this reason, equal with the Father, and, consequently, true God.

3. The Scriptures attribute all the essential properties of Deity to the Son, not less than to the Father, as that he is eternal. “Before the hills, was I brought forth.” “In the beginning was the Word.” (Prov. 8:25, John 1:1) He is immense: "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven.” “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” (John 3:13, Eph. 3:17) He is omnipotent: “What things the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” “according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.” “Upholding all things by the word by his power.” (John 5:19, Phil. 3:21, Heb. 1:3) His wisdom is immense: “His name shall be called Counsellor.” "No man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son,” &c. "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, and needed not that any should testify of man, for he knew what was in man.” “Now are we sure that thou knowest all things.” (Is. 9:6, John 2:54, 16:30) He is the sanctifier of the church: “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” (Eph. 5:25, 26) He is unchangeable: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matt. 24:35) He is the truth itself, yea the fountain of truth: “Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true.” “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 8:14, 14:6) His mercy is unspeakable: “As Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God.” (Ep. 5:2.) He is angry with sin, and punishes even those sins that are committed in secret: “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” “And said to the rocks and mountains, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. (John 3:36, Rev. 6:16) Therefore, the Son is by nature God, and equal with the Father.

4. The Scriptures, in like manner, attribute all divine works equally to the Father and the Son.

He is the creator of all things, for it is said in the gospel of John: “All things were made by him.”

He is the preserver and governor of all things: “Upholding all things by the word of his power.”
(Heb. 1:3)

Then there is attributed to Christ those things which appertain specially to the salvation of the church. He sends prophets, apostles, and other ministers of the church: “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” “And he gave some prophets, and some apostles, and some evangelists,” &c. (John 20:21, Eph. 4:11)

He furnishes his ministers with necessary gifts and graces: “I will give you a mouth, and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” (Luke 21:15) He reveals unto us the doctrine of salvation: “The only begotten which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:18)

He confirms this doctrine by miracles: [i]“And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.”
(Mark 16:20)

He instituted the sacraments: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you.” "Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”[/i] (1 Cor. 11:23, Matt. 28:19)

He reveals the future: “I, Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.” “He shall receive of mine, and show it unto you.” (Rev. 22:16, John 16:14)

He collects the church: “l am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” “Other sheep also I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” (John 10:14, 16)

He illuminates the understandings of men: “No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom he will reveal him.” “Then opened he their understandings that they might understand the Scriptures.” (Matt. 11:27, Luke 24:45) He regenerates and sanctifies: “This is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.” (John 1:33. Tit. 2:14.)

He governs the lives and actions of the godly: [i]“Without me ye can do nothing.” “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”
(John 15:5, Gal. 2:20)

He comforts the godly in temptations: “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” (Matt. 11:28, John 14:27)

He confirms and defends those that are converted against the temptations of the devil, and preserves them by a true faith unto the end: “Be of good comfort, I have overcome the world.” “My sheep shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.” (John 16:33, 10:28)

He hears those that call upon him: “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” “For this I besought the Lord thrice, and he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee.” (John 14:14, 2 Cor. 12:8)

He forgives sins, justifies, and adopts us as the children of God: “The knowledge of my righteous servant shall justify many.” “That ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins.” “But as many as received him to them gave he power to be the sons of God.” (Is. 53:11. Matt. 9:6. John 1:12.)

He gives eternal life and salvation: “I give unto them eternal life.” “This is the true God and eternal life.” (John 10:28, 1 John 5:20)

He will judge the world: “He was ordained of God, to be the Judge of quick and dead.” “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.” (Acts 10:42, 17:32)

These divine works attributed to the Son, differ from the divine properties which are also ascribed to him, as effects differ from their causes.

5. In the Scriptures, equal and common honor, and worship, are also attributed to the Father and the Son; which equality follows from an equality of essence and operations. Christ is worshipped by the angels and the church: “Let all the angels of God worship him.” He himself said: “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” (Heb. 1:6, John 5:23) Faith and trust are to be reposed in him: “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1) He is called God absolutely, as the Father: “This is the true God, and eternal life. ”He himself instituted the sacraments in which he is worshipped. He is seated at the right of God, upon the throne of his Father, and rules with equal power with the Father. He is adored with equal honor with the Father by the church triumphant. “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” (Rev. 5:13) Finally, he is the bridegroom, the husband, the head and king of the church, which is his house, and temple, &c.

Obj. He who has all things from another, is inferior to him from whom he has them. The Son has all things from the Father. Therefore, he is inferior to the Father.

Ans. The major is true only of him who has any thing by the grace of the giver; for he may not have it, and is, therefore, by nature inferior; but it is not true of him who has all things by generation, or by nature, as the Son of God, the Word has all things from the Father. “The Father hath given to the Son to have life in himself as he hath life in himself.” "All mine are thine, and thine are mine.” (John 5:26, 17:10)

Obj. 2. He who does whatever he does by the will of another going before, is inferior to him by whose will he is controlled. The Son acts by the will of the Father going before, and preventing. Therefore, he is inferior to the Father.

Ans. The order of operating on the part of the persons of the Godhead, does not take away their equality; for it is thus that God reveals himself in his word; because the Father does all things through the Son and Holy Ghost; the Son by the Father, through the Spirit, &c. Neither is this an order of time, or dignity, or nature, but only of persons; so that the Son wills and does only such things as the Father wills and does, and that with the same power and authority, which instead of doing away with their equality, only establishes it the more fully.