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13. You will observe, the passage does not say, that he is the mighty God, the everlasting Father, &c., but that he shall be thus styled; he shall have these titles when the government shall be upon his shoulder.

4. If you ask how he, who is a child born and a son given, shall rise to the eminence of having the government upon his shoulder, and the high titles mentioned, the passage explains this matter, and says, The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this; i. e. will see that these things be conferred upon him.

'In fulfilment of this prediction, if it really respects Christ, the Scriptures inform us that the zeal of the Lord of Hosts has actually performed all that is here declared, "The God of our Lord Jesus Christ has put all things under his feet, and given him to be head over all things to the Church.* God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, Lord.Him hath God exalted with his own right hand to be a Prince.† And given him a name above every name."! Pray is the supreme and independent Deity of Christ to be inferred from the statement made in fulfilment of this prediction? If not, as no one will pretend, then why make this inference from the prediction itself?

'It is strange that this passage should be adduced, on every occasion, in proof of the Deity of Christ; seeing it only predicts that the child, the son should be elevated, by the power of the Lord of Hosts, to the government of his people, and have bestowed upon him high and exalted titles.'

* Eph. i. 22. + Acts ii. 36. † Acts v. 31. || Phil. ii. 9.

Ø One God in one Person only,' by Rev. John Sherman, pp. 114, 115. Worcester, 1805.

We need not be surprised to find the same titles applied to Jesus as to God. This is not uncommon in the sacred writings; indeed, it is not uncommon to apply the same appellatives to men that are applied to the Deity. Moses was a god to Pharaoh.* The design evidently is not to indicate the nature of the being to whom they are applied, but his character. Calling a person by any name does not alter his nature. Jesus is everywhere distinguished as a great and exalted being, yet never raised to an equality with the Father: for the very passage represents him as a child, a son, one that was to be born in due time. Such language certainly cannot with propriety be applied to the Supreme Being. We know what is said by Trinitarians respecting the divine and human nature, but we do not feel disposed in any part of our work to go into the depths of a subject where even the most celebrated have found difficulties which they could not solve. Ours is a plainer path, and we hope, more practical in its nature. We look to Jesus for all spiritual blessings. He is the medium through which God acts upon the moral world. Hence he gives him his own titles; but when the great work is complete, then 'God will be all in all.' 'Hallelujah : The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.'

* Exod. vii. 1. See tit. MIGHTY GOD.

XXIX. FIRST-BORN FROM THE DEAD.

And he is the head of the body, the church : who is the beginning, the

first-born from the dead ; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Col. i. 18.

The phrase 'first-born' occurs fifty-six times. Christ is called the first-born among many brethren,' the first-born of every creature,' the 'first-begotten of the dead.'

We are not, however, to understand by such phrases that Jesus was the first to arise, but the first that rose to give others a pledge and assurance of their rising after him, and of their rising like unto him. His resurrection is the cause, the pattern, the pledge, the assurance of the believer's resurrection. Five instances of resurrection of the dead are found in the Scriptures previous to that of the Lord Jesus, and one after that event: The resurrection of the widow's son at Zarephath ;* the Shunammite's son;t the daughter of Jairus;f the widow of Nain's son;$ the resurrection of Lazarus ; || and that of the saints after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. I But all these were probably raised to all the infirmities and ills of life, and were to die a second time.

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* 1 Kings xvii. 17—24.

Mark vi. 35–43. | John xi. 11–16.

+ 2 Kings iv. 18–37.
♡ Luke vii. 11–16.
T Matt. xxvii. 52, 53.

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A few remarks by way of illustration of the meaning of first-born may perhaps best set forth the beauty of this title. This word is not always to be understood strictly according to the letter. It is sometimes taken for that which is first, most excellent, most distinguished in any thing. Thus it is said of Christ, Col. i. 15, that he is the first-born of every creature. And in Rev. i. 5, he is called the first-begotten of the dead, that is, begotten of the Father before any creature was produced; and the first that rose from the dead by his own power. The first-born of the poor, Isa. xiv. 30, signifies the most miserable of all the poor; and in Job xviii. 13, The first-born of death; that is, the most terrible of all death.'

Dr. Clarke has some very excellent remarks touching the meaning of the phrase 'first-born,' in his Commentary, on the passage, 'the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.'* 'If we take the term first-born in its literal sense only, we shall be led to conclude, that in a vast number of the houses of the Egyptians there could have been no death, as it is not at all likely that every first-born child of every Egyptian family was still alive; and that all the first-born of their cattle still remained. And yet it is said, ver. 30, that there was not a house where there was not one dead. The word, therefore, must not be taken in its literal sense only. From its use in a great variety of places in the Scriptures, it is evident that it means the chief,

* Exod. xii. 29.

most excellent, best beloved, most distinguished, &c. In this sense our blessed Lord is called the FIRST-BORN of every creature, Coloss, i. 15, and the FIRST-BORN among many brethren, Rom. viii. 29; that is, he is more excellent than all creatures, and greater than all the children of men. In the same sense we may understand Rev. i. 5, where Christ is called the FIRSTBEGOTTEN from the dead, i. e. the chief of all that ever visited the empire of death, and on whom death has had any power; and the only one who, by his own might, quickened himself. In the same sense wisdom is represented as being brought forth before all the creatures, and being possessed by the Lord in the beginning of his ways, Prov. viii. 22—30, that is, the wisdom of God is peculiarly conspicuous in the production, arrangement, and government of every part of the creation. So Ephraim is called the Lord's FIRSTBORN, Jer. xxxi. 9. And the people of Israel are often called by the same name; see Exod. iv. 22. Israel is my son, my FIRST-BORN: that is, the people in whom I particularly delight and whom I shall especially support and defend. And because the first-born are, in general, peculiarly dear to their parents, and because among

the Jews they had especial and peculiar privileges, whatever was most dear, most valuable, and most prized, was thus denominated. So Micah vi. 7, Shall I give my FIRST-BORN for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul ? Shall I give up the most beloved child I have, he that is most dear and most necessary to me, in order to make an atonement for my sins? In like manner the prophet Zech. xii. 10, speaking of the conversion of the Jews to the Gospel of Christ, represents them as looking on him

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