Sivut kuvina

ber, is here ascribed to God. Nor needs the consultation, here represented, be supposed to be between equals. But God may be rather understood to declare his mind to the angels, as his counsellors.

But indeed we need not suppose any discourse, or consultation at all. The meaning is no more than this. All other things being made, God proceeded to the creation of man: or, he now proposed, at the conclusion, to make man.' And it may be reckoned probable, that Moses introduces God, in this peculiar manner, deliberating and consulting upon the creation of man, to intimate thereby, that he is the chief of the works of God. Or, in other words, according to Patrick, God not only reserved man for the last of his works, but does, as it were, advise,


and consult, and deliberate about his production: the better to represent the dignity of man, ' and that he was made with admirable wisdom and prudence.'

[ocr errors]

We may be confirmed in the reasonableness of this way of thinking by observing the style made use of in speaking of all the other parts of the creation, which is to this effect. "God said, Let there be light, and there was light. God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind.” There is another like instance ch. ii. 18. "And the Lord God, [Jehovah, Elohim,] said, It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him an help meet for him." The design of the other expressions, as before observed, was to intimate the great dignity and superior excellence of man above the other creatures, whose formation has been already related. In like manner, when God proceeds to the making of the woman, he is represented as consulting, and resolving what to do: that the man might be the more sensible of the goodness of the Creator in providing for him so suitable a help.

Moreover, though in Gen. i. 26. the words are: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:" the execution of that purpose, as related in ver. 27. is in these words: "So God created man in HIS own image: in the image of God created HE him: male and female created HE them." And when the formation of man is mentioned in other places of scripture, no intimation is given that more than one had a hand in his creation. See particu larly Matt. xix. 3-6. Mark x. 2-9. where our blessed Lord himself says: "From the beginning of the creation God made them male and female." And "what God has joined together, let no man put asunder." For certain therefore man, as well as the other creatures, was made by God himself.

If more than one being had been concerned in the creation of man, or any other parts of the world, we ought to have been acquainted with it, that due respect might be paid to them by us. As scripture is here silent, no man has a right to ascribe that to another which the scripture ascribes to God alone. And wherein, as in Ps. cxlviii. all beings, of every rank, in heaven and on earth, are required to praise God for the wonders of their formation. "Praise ye the Lord: praise him from the heavens: praise him all ye his angels: praise ye him all his hosts: praise ye him sun and moon: praise him all ye stars of lightLet them praise the name of the Lord. For he commanded, and they were created-Kings of the earth, and all people: princes, and all judges of the earth-Let them praise the name of the Lord; for his name alone is excellent; and his glory is above the earth and heaven."

Ecc. xii. 1. "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." In the Hebrew the word is plural, Creators. Nevertheless, not only our own, but all other versions translate, and rightly, Creator.

Και μνήσθητι τε κτίσαντος σε εν ημέραις νεότητος σε.


Memento Creatoris tui in diebus juventutis tuæ. Lat.

Is. liv. 5. "For thy maker is thy husband." In the Hebrew, literally, " for thy makers are thy husbands." Nevertheless the words are always understood as singular. And what follows, shows that one person is only intended: "the Lord of hosts is his name."


Calvin's remark upon Gen. iii. 22. is to this purpose: Whereas,' says he, " many Christians from this place draw the doctrine of a Trinity of persons in the Deity; I fear their argument is not solid.' Quod autem eliciunt ex hoc loco christiani doctrinam de tribus in Deo personis, vereor ne satis firmum sit argumentum.

But Patrick says: Those words plainly insinuate a plurality of persons. And all other 'interpretations seem forced and unnatural. And he particularly rejects what Calvin says.

For my part, so far as I am able to judge, if those words implied more Divine Persons than one, or more Creators than one; it would not be worth while to dispute, whether they are equal, or not.

But, as before intimated, I rather think, that here, and in some other like texts, there is a reference to the angelic order of beings, supposed to be more perfect, and more knowing than man. For though Moses gives no particular account of the creation of angels, their existence is supposed in divers parts of his history. And they may be considered as counsellors only, or witnesses and attendants.

And I cannot help being of opinion, that those Christians, who endeavour to prove, from the Old Testament, a Trinity of Divine Persons, or more Creators than one, whether co-equal or subordinate, expose themselves to the unbelieving part of the Jewish people, whom they are desirous to gain. For the Divine unity is with them a fundamental article of religion. Remarkable are the words of Lord King, in his Critical History of the Apostles' Creed, upon the first article of it, p. 55, 56. As for the persons, who were condemned by this clause, it will be readily granted, that they were not the Jews, seeing the unity of the Godhead is every where inculcated in the Mosaical law, and the body of that people have been so immoveably fixed and confirmed in the belief thereof, that now, throughout their sixteen hundred years captivity and dispersion, they have never quitted or deserted that principle, that God is one: as is evident from their thirteen articles of faith, composed by Maimonides, the second whereof is the Unity of the Blessed God. Which is there explained to be in such a peculiar and transcendent manner, as that nothing like it can be found. And in their liturgy, according to the use of the Sepharadim, or the Spaniards, which is read in those parts of the world, in their synagogues, in the very first hymn, which is an admiring declaration of the excellences of the Divine Nature, the repeated chorus is this: All creatures, both above and below, testify and witness, all of thei as one, that the Lord is one, and his name one.'

And if we would but read the New Testament with care, and then consider what we have read and seen therein; we might know, that one object of worship is there recommended by Christ and his apostles, and that he is the everlasting God, the Creator of the world, and all things therein, and the same who was worshipped by the Jewish people, and their ancestors.

Our Lord himself says, that he came in his Father's name, and acted by his authority, even his, who, the Jews said, was their God. And he styles him Lord of heaven and earth, and the only true God.' And he referred them to their scriptures, as testifying of him.


The apostles of Christ after his ascension, preaching to Jews, say: "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers has glorified his son Jesus," Acts iii. 13. "the God of our fathers raised up Jesus, chap. v. 3. And requesting special assistance from heaven in their work, and under their many difficulties, "they lift up their voice to God, and said: Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is. Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said "-chap. iv. 24, 25.

Paul, writing to the Jewish believers, says: "God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has, in these last days, spoken unto us by his Son," Heb. i. 1, 2. He and Barnabas, teaching Gentiles, say: He and Barnabas, teaching Gentiles, say: "We preach unto you, that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, who made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein." Acts xiv. 15. And at Athens, says Paul: "God that made the world, and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands." chap. xvii. 29.

I think I have now proved, both from the Old and the New Testament, that there is one God, creator of man and all things in the world.

Accordingly, the first article in the apostle's creed, which ought never to be diminished, or enervated, is this: I believe in God the Father, almighty, maker of heaven and earth.'


Lett. vii. p. 128, or 479. Now upon examination into the scriptures, it will appear, that this Messiah, or Christ, was the same person with the great archangel Michael, who was the guardian angel of Israel.'

For which the learned author alleges, 1 Cor. x. 4 and 9. and Heb. xi. 26. But as none of

[ocr errors]


• More texts to the like purpose may be seen alleged above at p. 380, note *

those texts appear to be at all to the purpose, for which they are alleged, I need not stay to explain them.

That our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ is not an angel is evident from many plain texts of scripure. Heb. i. 4-6. "Being made so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee?-And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world he saith: And let all the angels of God worship him." See also ver. 7, and ver. 13, 14. Ch. ii. 5. "But unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, of which we now speak." Ver. 16. "For verily he did not lay hold of angels; but he laid hold of the seed of Abraham." See likewise the preceding part of that chapter.

And when our blessed Saviour is mentioned with angels, he is distinguished from them. "I charge thee," says Paul, "before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels," 1 Tim. v. 21. And St. John, "Grace unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come: and from the seven spirits which are before the throne: and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness," Rev. i. 4, 5. Not now to mention any other like texts.

These must be sufficient to satisfy us that Jesus Christ is not an angel, or one of the angelical order of beings: or we can be assured of nothing.

However, I must not omit Mal. iii. 1. "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me. And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, in whom ye delight."

Here the Messiah is spoken of as the messenger, or angel of the covenant. Tertullian, referring to this text, or to Is. ix. 6. says Christ is an angel by office, but not by nature.' Dictus est quidem magni consilii angelus, id est, nuntius: officii non naturæ vocabulo. Magnum enim cogitatum Patris super hominum restitutione annunciaturus seculo erat. De Carne Christi. cap. 14. p. 370.

And St. Paul writes Heb. iii. 1. "Wherefore, holy brethren,-consider the apostle, and High Priest of our profession, Jesus Christ." Which is paraphrased by Dr. Sykes in this manner: It is your duty to consider him, as a messenger sent by God, and as the High Priest of our profession.'



Lett. vii. p. 132, or 482. And therefore, "in the fulness of time," saith the apostle, "God sent forth his beloved Son, to be made of a woman," that is, to take human nature upon him.' Gal. iv. 4.

The words of the apostle are these: "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law." It is not, "to be made," but "made of a woman, made under the law.” γενομενον εκ γυναίκες, γενομενον υπο νομον, al. vous: factum ex muliere, factum sub lege.


And the note of Grotius upon the text should be observed. Ezzeseλe-misit Deus Filium sun, primogenitum, ad quem, absente patre, cura pertinebat. Misit, id est, potestatem ei dedit eximiam-factum ex muliere: non creatum eo modo, quo Adamus creatus erat, sed natum partu muliebri, quo nobis esset similior: factum sub lege, id est, subditum Legi, quia scilicet natus erat Judæus.

Lett. v. p. 78, or 441. And therefore it manifestly appears from hence, that there is no 'contradiction, either to reason or revelation, in supposing that three persons of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, to be three Gods, provided it be not at the same sime asserted, that these three Gods are one God, or that the Son and Holy Spirit are self-existent, or co-eternal or coequal with God the Father."


But is not that an express contradiction to St. Paul, who says, "We know that there is no other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are gods many and lords many.) But to us (Christians) there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus, by whom are all things, and we by him," 1 Cor. viii. 4-6.

And Eph. iv. 5, 6. "One Lord,-one God and Father of all." And Philip. ii. 11.~ "that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Many other texts might be mentioned, but I forbear.

Lett. v. p. 83, 84, or 445. To which being "anointed," Acts iv. 27, 28, ar appointed of God, he is therefore called the "Messiah, [or] Christ," which literally signify "the anointed." And accordingly, at the same time that we are informed of the transgression of our first pa⚫rents, we are told for our comfort that the seed of the woman shall bruise that serpent's head ⚫ which had occasioned their fall. Which was accordingly done, when the Messiah, whose spirit ⚫ was of a superior order to mankind, condescended to take human nature upon himself, by being born of the virgin Mary, and went through that scene of trials and afflictions, to which he was anointed.'


It is not unlikely that some others may speak after the same manner; but to me it seems very improper; for, as a judicious writer says, That name can denote only a person who has received gifts, graces, perfections and a dignity which he did not possess of himself.'


Chrysostom, accordingly says, That Jesus was called Christ from the anointing of the Spirit, which was poured out upon him, as man.’Και χριςος δε απο το χρισθήναι λέγεται, ο και αυτο τε σαρκός ην και ποις, Φησιν, ελαιῳ εχρίσθη; Ελαιῳ μεν εκ εχρίσθη, πνευματι δε. Chr. in ep. ad Rom. hom. i. T. IX. p. 430.

To the like purpose Augustin. And, certainly very agreeably to the scriptures. Therefore it is said: "You know-how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed with the devil. For God was with him." Acts x. 38.

And says Mr. Abraham Le Moine, in his Treatise on Miracles, p. 51. As to those other passages, wherein it is said, that "he was full of the Holy Ghost." Luke iv. 1. that "God gave him not the spirit by measure," John iii. 34. that "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and with power," Acts x. 38. they visibly relate to our Saviour's human

' nature.'

Lett. v. p. 85. or 446. For if the divine essence, or Godhead, did not enter into the womb of the virgin; when was it, that that "fulness of the Godhead which dwelt in him bodily," Col. ii. 9. did enter into him?'

Here I must take the liberty to say, that I do not approve of curious inquiries in things of religion and that I am afraid to attempt to answer such inquiries particularly, lest I should advance what cannot be clearly made out by the authority of scripture.

However, in general I answer, in the first place, that the text in Col. ii. 9. does not speak of "a superior order to mankind," as the author said just now, or, as he expresscth it elsewhere, p. 66, or 430," a separate spirit from the Father, and inferior to him." St. Paul's expression is,

the fulness of the Deity." And there is but one Deity, or God, even the Father. Thereby therefore must be meant the Father's fulness. So it is said in Eusebius's Commentary upon Psal. xliv. otherwise xlv. All the Father's grace was poured out upon the beloved; for it was the Father that spake in him.'


And upon Ps. Ixxi, or lxxii. ver. 1. he says: This righteousness of the Father was given to the king's son, of the seed of David, according to the flesh in whom, as in a temple, ⚫ dwelt the word, and wisdom, and righteousness of God.'

And upon Ps. xcv. or xcvi. referring to Is. lxi. 1. and Luke iv. 18. Showing,' says he, that his was not a bodily anointing, like that of others: but that he was anointed with the spirit of the Father's deity, and therefore called Christ.'


Theodoret, who deserves to be consulted also upon Col. i. 9, 10. in his commentary upon Is. xi. 2, expresseth himself after this manner. “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him." Every one of the prophets had a particular gift. But in him "dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." And as man he had all the gifts of the spirit. And out of his fulness, as the blessed John says, we have all received.'

a C'est s'exprimer d'une manière fort suspecte, d'appeler la Nature Divine de notre seigneur du nom de Christ. Ce nom ne peut désigner qu'une personne, qui a reçu des grâces, des dons, des perfections, une dignité, qu'elle ne possédoit pas d'elle même. Beaus. Hist. Man. T. I. p. 115.

Vid. Contr. Maximin. Arian. 1. 2. cap. xvi. tom. VIII. • Επει δε το αγαπητε πασα ἡ πατρίκη εις αυτον εκενωθη χαρις ην γαρ ό πατηρ λαλων εν υίῳ. In Ps. p. 188. D.

* Εν ᾧ κατῴκησε, ώσπερ εν ναῷ ό τε Θεό λόγος, και ή σόμα και δικαιοσυνή. in Ps. lxxi. p. 404. Β.


Tw δε πνεύματι της πατρικης θεότητος κεχρισμένον, και

a rтetо Xpisov avтyoPEUμLEVOV. In Ps. xcv. p. 634. E.

Των μεν γαρ προφήτων έκαςος μερικήν τινα εδέξατο χαριν εν αυτῷ δε κατῴκησε παν το πλήρωμα της θεότητος σωματικως· και κατα το ανθρωπινον δε παντα είχε το χάρισ μara. x. λ. In Es, cap. xi. tom. II. p. 52.

And, says Pelagius upon Col. i. 19. In others, that is, apostles, patriarchs and prophets, there was some particular gift. But in Christ the whole divinity dwelt bodily or summarily.' Secondly, I suppose, that this fulness of the Deity is the same with what is said of our Saviour in other expressions, in many texts of scripture.

As St. John says at the beginning of his gospel, the word, the wisdom, the power of God dwelt in him, and he was "full of grace and truth." And, as John the Baptist said: “God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." And, as St. Peter said just now, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the. Holy Ghost, and with power." All speaking agreeably to what is foretold. Is. xi. 2, 3. " And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord," and what follows.

And this method of interpretation is much confirmed by the excellent passages of divers ancient writers just quoted.

Thirdly, I presume not to say when, or how our blessed Saviour was "filled with all the fulness of the Godhead." I observe a few things only.

It was foretold of John the Baptist, that "he should be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb," Luke i. 15. Which may have been true of our Lord likewise. However St. Luke observes in his history, after Joseph had returned to Nazareth in Galilee, ch. ii. 40. "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom. And the grace of God was upon him." Afterwards, giving an account of the journey of Joseph and Mary to Jerusalem at a passover, when Jesus was twelve years of age, he says, "the child Jesus tarried behind them in Jerusalem," and seeking him, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him, were astonished at his understanding and answers," ver. 41-47. It is added afterwards at ver. 52; "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.".


Moreover all the first three evangelists, in their history of our Lord's baptism, say, that "the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him," Matt. iii. 16. " And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water. And lo the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending from heaven, and lighting upon him. See likewise Mark i. 10, 11. Luke ni. 21, 22. And Luke iv. 1. presently after his baptism. "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, was led by the Spirit into the wilderness." And again, when the temptation was over, the evangelist says, ver. 14. "And Jesus returned in the power of the spirit into Galilee." And in St. John's gospel, ch. i. ver. 32, 33. "And John bare record, saying I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove. And it abode upon him.” what follows.


[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

I close up these observations in the words of bishop Pearson upon the second article of the creed, p. 99. So our Jesus, the son of David was first sanctified, and anointed with the Holy Ghost at his conception, and thereby received a right unto, and was prepared for all those offices which belonged to the Redeemer of the world. But when he was to enter upon the actual and full performance of all those functions which belonged to him; then does the same spirit, which had sanctified him at his conception, visibly descend upon him at his inauguration.'


And afterwards, at p. 104, summing up what had been before largely said: "I believe in 'Jesus Christ." That is, I do assent to this, as a certain truth, that there was a man promised by God, and foretold by the prophets, to be the Messiah, the Redeemer of Israel, and the ex'pectation of the nations. I am fully assured by all those predictions, that the Messiah so promised is already come. I am as certainly persuaded, that the man born in the days of Herod of the virgin Mary, by an angel from heaven called Jesus, is the true Messiah, so long, and so often promised: that, as the Messiah, he was anointed to three special offices belonging to him, as the mediator between God and man: prophet-priest and king. I believe this unction, by which he became the true Messiah, was not performed by any material oil, but by the spirit of God, which he received as the head, and conveys to his members.?

*In aliis, hoc est, apostolis, patriarchis, vel prophetis, gratia poraliter, quasi dicas, summaliter. Pelag. ap. Hieron. T. V. fuit ex parte. In Christo autem tota Divinitas habitabat cor

p. 1070.

[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »