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speak of him as a divine messenger, and not as a human being. This extension of it to our Lord, as being no more than calling a person by his office or occupation, is very natural, and what often occurs in common life. But in the case of Jesus, it was the more so, in consequence of his office being habitually described under the figure of a person. For when the apostles had once personified his commission, it was scarcely possible for them to preserve it, in their imagination, distinct from the commissioner himself. The imaginary and the real being they insensibly blended together; and attached by the mere association of ideas to the latter, the appellation by which they were in the habit of denominating the former. But whenever they call our Lord by the title of Logos, their object was not to assert any thing concerning his personal nature, but merely to exalt him as the messenger of heaven.
The truth of this assertion I shall confirm by a few examples. Luke, in his Introduction, uses these words, "It seemed good to me also to write, following all things in order, from above, as they have delivered them unto me, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and attendants of the Logos." Here the Logos is made the object of sight, and surrounded by ministering servants. The Evangelist, therefore, transferred the term, which, taken in its customary accep
tation, denoted the christian doctrine, to Christ himself, of whom he is here evidently speaking. The apostle Paul, on one occasion, thus addresses the Jews, Acts xiii. 26.-" Men,
Men, my brethren, descendants of the race of Abraham, and those among you (of any other race) who fear God, to you the Logos of this salvation is sent. For this same LOGOS the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and their rulers, have through ignorance condemned; having by that means fulfilled the warnings of the prophets, which every Sabbath are read among you." In this admirable speech we see first, that St. Paul calls by the name of Logos that life and immortality which is brought to light in the gospel; and, secondly, that he immediately applies the very same title to Christ himself, who fell a victim to the ignorance and cruelty of his countrymen. The address of our author on this occasion, indeed, is greatly to be admired. In order to exhibit, in the strongest light, the guilt of those who had crucified their Messiah, he keeps out of sight the personal name of Jesus, with which prejudice had connected the bitterest odium, and held him forth under the high appellation of his office. By this means, he fixed the attention of his hearers, not on the person of Jesus as coming from Nazareth, but on his character as coming from God; having judiciously concealed the man under the splendour of his
heavenly mission, and magnified the barbarity, committed on an innocent sufferer, into a crime committed against Jehovah himself.
In the epistle to Titus i. 3. the apostle applies the same word to our Lord. "But God in due time hath manifested his Logos through preaching, which is committed unto me, according to the commandment of God, our Saviour." The apostle John evidently uses the term in reference to Christ himself in the beginning of his epistle: "That which was from the beginning, which we heard; which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled OF THE LOGOS OF LIFE-declare we unto you.". Here the writer refers to the Saviour as seen, and heard, and felt by them on his being announced as the Son of God, and more particularly after his resurrection from the dead. I add only the following instance. " And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and his name is called THE LOGOS OF GOD."
Now, since the term Logos, which in its origi nal import means the perfections of God, is sonified and represented by that personification, as a person independent of God; since, moreover, it is thus figuratively applied, first to the christian doctrine, and then to Christ himself; we may hence explain those passages in the New Testa ment, where our Lord is spoken in such lofty
terms as seem to imply that he was a supernatural being. Thus, when John says that the Logos was in the beginning with God, and was God; and that the same Logos who made all things became flesh; or when Jesus says of himself, that he is the way, the truth, and the life; that he is the bread, which cometh down from heaven; that he was glorified with the Father, before the world was; that he was to return where he was before, John xvii. 4.: or when Paul says of him, that the rock which Moses struck was Christ, and that in him dwelt the fulness of the divinity bodily. 1 Cor. x. 4. Col. ii. 9. All these, and similar expressions, are to be taken as synonymous with the idea of him, which is conveyed by the term Logos, and which denotes the Saviour in his official capacity, in contradistinction to his personal nature. I now proceed to shew that Philo uses the word Logos precisely in the same sense with the apostolical writers, as denoting Jesus Christ in his official character, without any regard to his person or nature. "Earth," says he, "water, air, and all things contained in them, whether animate or inanimate, mortal or immortal -these, together with the sun, moon, and other stars, which revolve in harmonious courses, in their celestial orbits, are led by their sovereign God, as a flock by their shepherd, according to an invariable law; he having placed over them,
HIS LOGOS, his first born son, who, like the viceroy of a great king, will superintend the care of this sacred flock *." Here it is asserted, that the Logos is invested by God with universal power; and that he superintends all things, as a shepherd does his flock. Now, this same assertion is made by Christ himself." And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." To the same effect writes St. Paul, “ Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, which is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father;” meaning, that in the name of Jesus every tongue should bow to the glory of God the Father.
It is here moreover observable, that our author
* Καθαπερ τινα ποίμνην, γην και ύδωρ και αερα και πυρ, και όσα εν τουτοις φυτα τε αυ και ζωα, τα μεν θνητά τα δε θεια, ετι δε ουρανου φυσιν, και ήλιου και σεληνης πε ριοδους, και των αλλων αςερων τροπας τε αν και χορείας εναρ μονιους, ὡς ποιμην και βασιλευς ὁ θεος αγει κατα δίκην και νομον, προςησάμενος τον ορθον αυτου λογον, πρωτογονον υιον, ὃς την επιμέλειαν της ίερας ταυτης αγελης, δια τις μεγαλου βασιλέως, ύπαρχος διαδέξεται. Vol. I. 308.