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person be to whom these words were spoken, it cannot be denied but he was the Creator of the World. For he must be acknowledged the Maker of the earth, who laid the foundation of it; and he may justly challenge to himself the making of the heavens, who can say they are the work of his hands. But these words were spoken to the Son of God, as the apostle himself acknowledgeth, and it appeareth out of the order and series of the chapter; the design of which is to declare the supereminent excellency of our Saviour Christ. Nay, the conjunction and refers this place of the Psalmist* plainly to the former, of which he had said expressly, “but unto the Son he saith.” As sure then as “ Thy throne, O God,
is for ever and ever,” was said unto the Son; so certain it is, “Thou, Lord, hast laid the foundations of the earth,” was said unto the same. Nor is it possible to avoid the apostle's connexion by attributing the destruction of the heavens, out of the last words, to the Son, and denying the creation of them out of the first, to the same. For it is most evident that there is but one person spoken to, and that the destruction and the creation of the heavens are both attributed to the same. Whosoever therefore shall grant, that the apostle produced this Scripture to shew that the Son of God shall destroy the heavens, must withal acknowledge that he created them whosoever denieth him to be here spoken of as the Creator, must also deny him to be understood as the destroyer. Wherefore being the words of the Psalmist were undoubtedly spoken of and to our Saviour (or else the apostle hath attributed that unto him which never belonged to him, and consequently the spirit of St. Paul mistook the spirit of David); being to whomsoever any part of them belongs, the whole is applicable, because they are delivered unto one; being the literal exposition is so clear, that no man bath ever pretended to a metaphorical: it remaineth as an undeniable truth, grounded upon the profession of the Psalmist, and the interpretation of an apostle, that the Son of God created the World. Nor needed we so long to have insisted upon this testimony, because there are so many which testify as much, but only that this is of a peculiar nature and different from the rest. For they which deny this truth of the creation of the World by the Son of God, notwithstanding all those Scriptures produced to confirm it, have found two ways to avoid or decline the force of them. If they speak so plainly and literally of the work of creation, that they will not endure any figuralive interpretation, then they endeavour to shew that they are not spoken of the Son of God. If they speak so
* The answer of Socinus to this he flies to the ancientest copies, which conjunction is very weak, relying only all men know were most careless of upon the want of a comma after Kai distinctions, and urgeth that there is in the Greek, and Et in the Latin. no addition of rursum or the like And whereas it is evident that there after et, whereas in the Syriac transare distinctions, in the Latin and lation we find expressly that addition Greek copies after that conjunction, :217
expressly of our Saviour Christ, as that by no machination they can be applied to any other person, then their whole design is to make the creation attributed unto him appear to be merely metaphorical. The place before alleged is of the first kind, which speaketh so clearly of the creation or real production of the World, that they never denied it: and I have so manifestly shewed it spoken to the Son of God, that it is beyond all possibility of gainsaying.
Thus having asserted the creation acknowledged real unto Christ, we shall the easier persuade that likewise to be such, wbich is pretended to be metaphorical. In the Epistle to the Colossians we read of the Son of God,“ in whom we have redemption through his blood :" (Col. i. 14.) and we are sure those words can be spoken of none other than Jesus Christ. He therefore it must be, who was thus described by the apostle; “who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature. 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.” (Col. i. 15–17.) In which words our Saviour is expressly styled the "firstborn of every creature,”* that is, begotten by God, as the Son of his love, † antecedently to all other emanations, before any thing proceeded from him, or was framed and created by him. And that precedency is presently proved by this undeniable argument, that all other emanations or productions came from him, and whatsoever received its being by creation, was by him created. Which assertion is delivered in the most proper, full, and pregnant expressions imaginable. First, In the vulgar phrase of Moses, as most consonant to his description ; " for by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth;" signifying thereby, that he speaketh of the same creation. Secondly, By a division which Moses never used, as describing the production only of corporeal substances : lest therefore those immaterial beings might seem exempted from the Son's creation, because omitted in Moses's description, he addeth “ visible and invisible ;” and lest in that invisible World, among the many degrees of the celestial hierarchy, any order might seem exempted from an essential dependence upon him, he nameth those which are of greatest eminence," whether they be thrones, or dominions, or princi
“ The first-born of every crea- Jela, kai Swi), kai ai ToútoLg #aparlytore” is taken by Origen for an ex σιαι αι δε του κατ' αυτόν νοουμένου ανpression declaring the Divinity of θρώπου, ως ή, Νύν δε με ζητείτε αποChrist, and used by him as a phrase κτεϊναι, άνθρωπον δς την αλήθειαν υμίν - in opposition to his humanity to ex- dehálnka. lib. ii, adv. Celsum, §. 25. press the same: Ελέγομεν δή και εν + In relation to the precedent τοϊς ανωτέρω, ότι αί μέν τινές εισι φωναι words, ver. 13. του υιού της αγάπης αυτου εν τώ Ιησού πρωτοτόκου πάσης κτί- τού, for that υιός αγαπητός was the υιός σεως, ως η, 'Εγώ είμι η οδός, και η αλή- πρωτότοκος,
palities, or powers," and under them comprehendeth all the rest. Nor doth it yet suffice, thus to extend the object of bis power by asserting all things to be made by him, except it be so understood as to acknowledge the sovereignty of his person, and the authority of his action. For lest we should conceive the Son of God framing the World as a mere instrumental cause which worketh by and for another, he sheweth him as well the final as the efficient cause; for “ all things were created by him and for him.” Lastly, Whereas all things first received their being by creation, and when they have received it, continue in the same by virtue of God's conservation, “ in whom we live, and move, and have our being ;" lest in any thing we should be thought not to depend immediately upon the Son of God, he is described as the Conserver, as well as the Creator; for “he is before all things, and by him all things consist." If then we consider the two lastcited verses by themselves, we cannot deny but that they are a most complete description of the Creator of the World; and if they were spoken of God the Father, could be no way injurious to his majesty, who is no where more plainly or fully set forth unto us as the Maker of the World,
Now although this were sufficient to persuade us to interpret this place of the making of the World, yet it will not be unfit to make use of another reason, which will compel us so to understand it. For undoubtedly there are but two kinds of creation in the language of the Scriptures, the one literal, the other metaphorical; one old, the other new; one by way of formation, the other by way of reformation. “ If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature,” saith St. Paul (2 Cor. v. 17.): and again, “in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Gal. vi. 15.) Instead of which words he had before, “faith working by love." (Gal. v. 6.) "For we are the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph. ö. 10.) From whence it is evident, that a new creature is such a person as truly believeth in Christ, and manifesteth that faith, by the exercise of good works; and the new creation is the reforming or bringing man into this new condition, which, by nature and his first creation, he was not in. And therefore he who is so created, is called a new man, in opposition to “the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts :" (Eph. iv. 22.) From whence the apostle chargeth us to be “ renewed in the spirit of our mind, and to put on that new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness;" (Eph. iv. 23, 24.) and “which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him.” (Col. iii. 10.) The new creation then is described to us as consisting wholly in renovation,* or a translation from a worse unto a better
"Ανανέωσις Or ανακοίνωσις as the new man, νέος άνθρωπος, or καινος άν
condition by way of reformation; by which those who have lost the image of God, in which the first man was created, are restored to the image of the same God again, by a real change, though not substantial, wrought within them. Now this being the notion of the new creation, in all those places which undoubtedly and confessedly speak of it, it will be necessary to apply it unto such Scriptures, as are pretended to require the same interpretation. Thus therefore I proceed. If the second or new creation cannot be meant by the apostle in the place produced out of the Epistle to the Colossians, then it must be interpreted of the first. For there are but two kinds of creation mentioned in the Scriptures, and one of them is there expressly named. But the place of the apostle can no way admit an interpretation by the new creation, as will thus appear : the object of the creation, mentioned in this place, is of as great latitude and universality as the object of the first creation, not only expressed, but implied, by Moses. But the object of the new creation is not of the same latitude with that of the old. Therefore that which is mentioned here, cannot be the new creation. For certainly if we reflect upon the true notion of the new creation, it necessarily and essentially includes an opposition to a former worse condition, as the new man is always opposed to the old; and if Adam had continued still in innocency, there could have been no such distinction between the old man and the new, or the old and the new creation. Being then all men become not new, being there is no new creature but such whose “ faith worketh by love,” being so many millions of men have neither faith nor love, it cannot be said that by Christ “all things were created ANEW that are in heaven and that are in earth,” when the greatest part of mankind have no share in the new creation. Again, we cannot imagine that the apostle should speak of the creation in a general word, intending thereby only the new, and while he doth so, express particularly and especially those parts of the old creation which are incapable of the new, or at least have no relation to it. The angels are all either good or bad: but whether they be bad, they can never be good again, nor did Christ come to redeem the devils; or whether they be good, they were always such, nor were they so by the virtue of Christ's incarnation, for “he took not on him the nature of angels.” (Heb. ii. 16.) We acknowledge in mankind a new creation, because an old man becomes a new; but there is no such notion in the celestial hierarchy, because no old θρωπος. The first ο ανανεούμενος, the γίνεται πάντων των εν ανθρώποις κατά last, ο ανακαινούμενος, both the same. την ψυχήν και κατά το σώμα κακών Suidas, 'Avanaiviois, v ảvavéwois dé åvaipois. Just. Qu. et Resp.ad Græcos, yeral dè xai ávaraivwoic' which is the p. 167. This new creation doth so language of the New Testament. This necessarily infer an alteration, that it renovation being thus called kaivn is called by St. Paula metamorphosis, κτίσις, the ancients framed a proper μεταμορφούσθε τη ανακαινώσει του νους word for it, which is, ávaktioig Év š suõv. Rom. xii. 2.
and new angels: they which fell, are fallen for eternity; they which stand, always stood, and shall stand for ever. Where then are the regenerated “thrones and dominions ?” Where are the recreated "principalities and powers?" All those angels of whatsoever degrees were created by the Son of God, as the apostle expressly affirms. But they were never “ created” by a new creation unto“ true holiness and righteousness,” (Epb. iv. 22.) because they always were truly righteous and holy ever since their first creation. Therefore except we could yet invent another creation, which were neither the old nor the new, we must conclude, that all the angels were at first created by the Son of God; and as they, so all things else, especially man, whose creation * all the first writers of the Church of God expressly attribute unto the Son, asserting that those words, “Let us make man,” (Gen. i. 26.) were spoken as by the Father unto him.
Nor need we doubt of this interpretation, or the doctrine arising from it, seeing it is so clearly delivered by St. John:“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (i. 1-3.) Whereas we have proved Christ had a being before he was conceived by the Virgin Mary, because he was at the beginning of the World ; and have also proved that he was at the beginning of the World, because be made it; this place of St. John gives a sufficient testimony to the truth of both the last together. “In the beginning was the Word ;" and that Word made flesh is Christ : therefore Christ was in the beginning. “All things were made by him :" therefore he created the World. Indeed nothing can be more clearly penned, to give full satisfaction in this point, than these words of St. John, which seem with a strange brevity designed to take off all objections, and remove all prejudice, before they teach so strange a truth. Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, and his age was known to them for whom this Gospel was penned. St. John would teach that this Christ did make the World, which was created at least four thousand years before his birth. The name of Jesus was given him since, at his circumcision: the title of Christ belonged unto his office, which he exercised not till thirty years after. Neither of these with any show of probability will reach to the creation of
* * Ad hoc Dominus sustinuit pati λαχού μεμαρτυρημένον ως μεγάλην όντα pro anima nostra, cum sit orbisTerra- δύναμιν και θεόν, κατά τον τών όλων rum Dominus, cui dixit die ante con. θεόν και Πατέρα. τούτον γάρ φαμεν εν stitutionem seculi, Faciamus hominem τη κατά Μωσέα κοσμοποιΐα προστάτad imaginem et similitudinem nostram.' τοντα τον Πατέρα ειρηκέναι το, ΓενηBarnabæ Epist. c. iv. And again : Shtw dos, kai, l'ɛvno^tw otepéwua, kai Λέγει γάρ ή γραφή περί ημών ώς λέγει τα λοιπά, όσα προσέταξεν ο θεός γενέτώ υιώ, Ποιήσωμεν κατ' εικόνα, &c. c. v. σθαι και τούτο ειρηκέναι το, Ποιήσωμεν 'Eγκαλούμεν ούν Ιουδαίοις τούτον μή άνθρωπον κατ' εικόνα και ομοίωσιν ημεvoulonoi Okòv ünÒ Tūv mpoontūv hol- répav. Orig. adv. Celsum, I. ii. &. 9.