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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

Generation

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This word derived from the same root is much the same as the preceding word genealogy. As it relates to the common act of man in the circumstances of descent from father to son, I should not have though it needful to have detained the reader with a single observation; but in relation to the Son of God, as God, it becomes of infinite importance as an article of faith, that we should have the clearest apprehension which the subject will admit. Here, therefore, I beg the reader's close attention to it.

The Scriptures in many places have said so much in defining the person of the Father and of the Son, as distinctions in the GODHEAD, that there can be nothing rendered more certain and as an article of faith to the believer, and none is more important. But while this is held forth to us in this view as a point most fully to be believed, God the Holy Ghost hath in no one passage, as far as I can recollect, pointed out to the church the mode of existence, or explained how the Son of God is the Son, and the Father is the Father, in the eternity of their essence and nature. Perhaps it is impossible to explain the vast subject to creatures of our capacities. Perhaps nothing finite can comprehend what is infinite. The doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son of God is therefore proposed as an article demanding our implicit faith and obedience; and here the subject rests.

But while this doctrine of the eternity of the Son of God in common with the Father, is held faith to us in the Scripture as a most certain truth, though unexplained, because our faculties are not competent to the explanation of it, the Holy Ghost hath been very explicit in teaching the church how to understand the phrases in his sacred word, where the Son of God, when standing up as the Mediator and Head of his church before all worlds, is called the "first begotten Son, and the only begotten of the Father," full of grace and truth. All these and the like phrases wholly refer to the Son of God, in his humbling himself as our Redeemer and Mediator, the God-man in one person, Christ Jesus; then begotten to this great design; the first in all JEHOVAH'S purposes for salvation. Here we cannot be at a loss to have the clearest apprehension; because they refer to his office-character. Hence all those titles are very plain. "He is the head of his body the church." (Ephesians 1:22) The Head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3) He is JEHOVAH'S servant. (Isaiah 42:1) and his Father is greater than he. (John 14:28) And God is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:17) All these and numberless expressions of the like nature, wholly refer to the Son of God as Christ; and have no respect to his eternal nature and GODHEAD abstracted from his office-character as Mediator.

See Begotten.

And I cannot in this place help expressing my wish that the writers of commentaries on the word of God had kept this proper distinction, when speaking of the Lord Jesus, between his eternal nature and essence, as Son of God, which is every where asserted, but no where explained, and his office-character as God-man Mediator, the Christ of God, which is fully revealed. The Scriptures have done it. And it would have been a proof of divine teaching, if all writers upon the Scriptures had done the same. Our almighty Saviour, in a single verse, hath shewn it, when he saith, (Matthew 11:27) "No man knoweth the Son but the Father;" that is, knoweth him as Son of God, knoweth him in his Sonship as God, one with the Father, and impossible to be so known but by God himself. And it is in this sense also, that it is said, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which lay in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him;" (John 1:18) that is, no man hath seen God, as God, in his threefold character of person, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But when he who lay in the bosom of the Father came forth in our nature, and revealed him as the Father and himself as the Son, equal in the eternity of their nature as God; then the glorious truth was explained. Then was it understood, that the Father, as Father, and the Son, as Son, were from all eternity the same; their existence the same, their nature the same; the Father not being Father but in the same instant as the Son the Son; for the very name of the one in the relationship implies the other, and the eternity of the one including the eternity of the other also. So that both, in union with the Holy Ghost, form the one eternal undivided JEHOVAH, which was, and is, and is to come.


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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Generation'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/pmd/g/generation.html. London. 1828.

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Sunday, March 29th, 2020
the Fifth Sunday of Lent
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