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antecedent, as will be evident to our reader upon the first view.
Give them their great associate, and we have done. "'Ekõlvos hic est Christus ut supra ver. 5. subintelligendum hic autem est, hoc Christum fecisse Deo sic decernente nostri causa quod expressum est, Rom. iv. 8.' That #kĒLVOS is Christ is confessed; but the word being a relative, and expressive of some person before mentioned, we say it relates unto Jeoī, the word going immediately before it. No, says Grotius, but the sense is, Herein appeared the love of God, that by his appointment Christ died for us. That Christ laid down his life for us by the appointment of the Father, is most true ; but that that is the intendment of this place, or that the grammatical construction of the words will bear any such sense, we deny.
And this is what they have to except to the testimonies, which themselves choose to insist on, to give in their exceptions to, as to the names of Jehovah, and God, being ascribed unto Jesus Christ: which having vindicated from all their sophistry, I shall shut up the discourse of them with this argument, which they afford us for the confirmation of the sacred truth contended for. He who is Jehovah, God, the only true God, &c. He is God by nature: but thus is Jesus Christ God; and these are the names the Scripture calls and knows him by: therefore he is so, God by nature, blessed for ever. That many more testimonies to this purpose may be
produced, and have been so, by those who have pleaded the Deity of Christ, against its opposers, both of old and of late, is known to all that enquire after such things. I content myself, to vindicate what they have put in exceptions unto.
Of the work of creation assigned to Jesus Christ, 8c. The confirmation
of his eternal Deity from thence, The Scriptures which assign the creating of all things to Jesus Christ, they propose as the next testimony of his Deity, whereunto they desire to give in their exceptions. To these they annex them, wherein it is affirmed, that he
brought the people of Israel out of Egypt,' and that he was ‘with them in the wilderness,'with one particular out of Isaiah, compared with the account given of it in the gospel, about the prophets seeing the glory of Christ. Of those which are of the first sort, they instance in John i. 3. 10. Col. i. 16. Heb. i. 2. 10–12. verses.
The first and second of these, I have already vindicated in the consideration of them, as they lay in their conjuncture with them going before in ver. 1. proceed we there fore to the third, which is Col. i. 16. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible, and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.'
1. That these words are spoken of Jesus Christ, is acknowledged. The verses foregoing prevent all question thereof.
He hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son, in whom we have redemption though his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things;' &c.
2. In what sense Christ is the image of the invisible God,' even the express image of his Father's person, shall be afterward declared. The other part of the description of him belongs to that which we have in hand. He is a wróTOKOS Traons kríows, the firstborn of every creature :' that is, before them all ; above them all; heir of them all ; and so none of them. It is not said, he is TOUTOKTIOtos, first created, but Twrótokoç, the firstborn; now the term ‘first,'in the Scripture, represents either what follows, and so denotes an order in the things spoken of, he that is the first being one of them, as Adam was the first man: or it respects things going before, in which sense it denies all order or series of things in the same kind. So God is said to be the first, Isa. xli. 4. because before him there is none, Isa. xlii. 11. And in this sense is Christ the firstborn; so the firstborn, as to be the only begotten Son of God,' John i. 14. This the apostle proves, and gives an account of, in the following verses; for the clearing of his intendment wherein, a few things may be premised.
1. Though he speaks of him who is Mediator, and describes him, yet he speaks not of him as Mediator; for that he enters upon ver. 18. ' And he is the head of the body the church;' &c.
2. That the things, whose creation are here assigned unto Jesus Christ, are evidently contradistinguished to the things of the church, or new creation, which are mentioned ver. 18. Here he is said to be the firstborn of every creature;' there the firstborn from the dead.' Here to make all things; there there to be the head of the body the church.'
3. The creation of all things, simply, and absolutely, is most emphatically expressed. 1. In general; by him all things were created. 2. A distribution is made of those all things, into all things that are in heaven, and that are in, earth; which is the common expression of all things that were made at the beginning; Exod. xx. 11. Acts iv. 24. 3. A description is given of the things so created, according to two adjuncts, which divide all creatures whatever, whether they are visible, or invisible. 4. An enumeration is in particular made of one sort, of things invisible, which being of greatest eminency and dignity, might seem, if any, to be exempted from the state and condition of being created by Jesus Christ; 'whether they be thrones,' &c. 5. This distribution and enumeration being closed, the general assumption is again repeated, as having received confirmation from what was said before: 'all things were created by him :' of what sort soever, whether expressed in the enumeration foregoing or no; all things were created by him : they were created for him, els avrov: as it is said of the Father, Rom. xi. 36. which Rev. iv. 11. is said to be, for his will and pleasure. 6. For a farther description of him, v. 17. his preexistence before all things, and his providence in supporting: them, and continuing that being to them, which he gave them by creation, is asserted. And he is before all things, and by him all things exist.'
Let us consider then what is excepted hereunto, by them with whom we have to do. Thus they,
•Q. What dost thou answer to this place?
a Quid ad tertium ?-Præter id, quod et hoc testimonium loquatur de Christo, tanquam media et secunda causa, verbum creata sunt, non solum de vetere, verum -etiam de nova creatione in Scriptura usurpari constat : cujus rei exempla habes Ephes. ji. 10. 15. Jacob. i. 18. Præterea, ea verba, omnia in cælis, et in terra, non usurpari pro omnibus prorsus, apparet non solum ex verbis paulo inferius subjectis, v. 20. ubi Apostolus ait, quod per eum reconciliata sint omnia in cælis et in terra, verum etiam ex iis ipsis verbis, in quibus Apostolus non ait, cælum et terram creata esse, verum ea omnia quæ in cælis et in terra sunt.--Qui vero istud testimonium intelligis ?-Ad eum modum, quo per Christum omnia, quæ sunt in cælis et in terra, postquam eum Deus a murtuis excitavit, reformata sunt, et in alium statum et conditionem translata ; id vero cum Deus et angelis et hominibus Christum caput de. derit, qui antea tantum Deum solum pro domino agnoverunt,
*A. Besides this, that this testimony speaks of Christ, as of the mediate and second cause, it is manifest, the words were created' are used in Scripture, not only concerning the old, but also the new creation; of which you have example, Eph. ii. 10.15. James i. 18. Moreover, that these words, All things in heaven and in earth, are not used for all things altogether, appeareth not only from the words subjoined a little after, ver, 20. where the apostle saith, that by him are all things reconciled in heaven and in earth, but also from those words themselves, wherein the apostle said not, that the heavens and earth were created, but all things that were in heaven and in earth.'
• Q. But how dost thou understand that testimony?
* A. On that manner, wherein all things that are in heaven and in earth were reformed by Christ, after God raised him from the dead; and by him translated into another state and condition, and this whereas God gave Christ to be head to angels and men, who before acknowledged God only for their Lord.'
What there is either in their exceptions, or exposition, of weight to take off this evident testimony, shall briefly be considered.
The first exception of the kind of causality, which is here ascribed to Christ, hath already been considered and removed, by manifesting the very same kind of expression, about the same things, to be used concerning God the Father. 2. Though the word creation, be used concerning the new creation, yet it is in places where it is evidently and distinctly spoken of, in opposition to the former state, wherein they were, who were so created. But here, as was above demonstrated, the old creation is spoken of, in direct distinction from the new, which the apostle describes and expresses in other terms, ver. 20. If that may be called the new creation, which lays a foundation of it, as the death of Christ doth of regeneration. And unless it be in that cause
the work of the new creation is not spoken of at all in this place. 3. Where Christ is said to reconcile all things to himself that are in heaven and earth,' he speaks plainly and evidently of another work, distinct from that which he had described in these verses; and whereas reconciliation supposes a past enmity, the all things mentioned in the 20th verse, can be none, but those which were sometime at enmity with God. Now none but men, that ever had any enmity against God, or were at enmity with him, were ever reconciled to God. It is then men in heaven and earth, to whose reconciliation in their several generations, the efficacy of the blood of Christ-did extend, that is there intended. 4. Not heaven and earth are named, but all things in them, as being most immediately expressive of the apostle's purpose, who naming all things in general, chose to instance in angels and men: as also insisting on the expression, which is used concerning the creation of all things in sundry places, as hath been shewed'; though he mentions not all the words in them used.
For the exposition they give of these words, it is most ridiculous; for 1. The apostle doth not speak of Christ, as he is exalted after his resurrection, but describes him in his divine nature and being. 2. To translate out of one condition into another, is not to create the thing so translated, though another new thing it may. When a man is made a magistrate, we do not say he is made a man, but he is made a magistrate. 3. The new creation which they here affirm to be spoken of, is by no means to be accommodated unto angels. In both the places mentioned by themselves, and in all places where it is spoken of, it is expressive of a change from bad to good, from evil actions to grace, and is the same with regeneration or conversion, which cannot be ascribed to angels, who never sinned, nor lost their first habitation. 4. Theb dominion of Christ over angels and men is no where called a new creation; nor is there any colour or pretence why it should be so expressed. 5. The new creation is in Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. v. 17. but to be in Christ, is to be implanted into him by the Holy Spirit by believing, which by no means can be accommodated to angels. 6. If only the dominion
a quæ in cælis sant personæ (quæ subjectæ sunt Christo), sunt angeli, iique tam boni quam mali: quæ in cælis sunt, et personæ non sunt, omnia illa continent quæcunque extra angelos vel sunt, vel etiam esse possunt. Smal, de Divin. Christi cap. 16. de Regno Christi super Angelos.