« ZurückWeiter »
not able to perform it without bim, as much demonstrates the existence of the principal cause, as if he did it of himself witliout any intervening instrument.
The second part of the argument, that Christ made this World, and consequently had a real being at the beginning of it, the Scriptures manifestly and plentifully assure us. For the same Son," by wbom in these last days God spake unto us, is he. by whom also he made the worlds.” (Heb. i. 2.) So that as “ through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God," (Heb. xi. 3.) so must we also believe that they were made by the Son of God.* Which the apostle doth not only in the entrance of his epistle deliver, but in the sequel prove. For shewing greater things have been spoken of him than ever were attributed to any of the angels, the most glorious of all the creatures of God; amongst the rest he saith, the Scripture spake," Unto the Son, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.' And not only so, but also, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou remainest: and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” (Heb. i. 8. 10–12.) Now whatsoever the person be to whom these words weré 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 Psalmistt plainly to the former, of which he had said ber that man was one. After this manner and destroyed many. From whence it speak the Attic writers, especially Thucy seems Enos was a preacher or prophet, dides. And so we may understand St. and so the rest that followed him; and Peter, that God preserved Noah (a then Noah is the eighth. preacher of righteousness) with seven * It being in both places expressed in more, of which he deserveth to be named the same phrase by the same author, the first, rather than the last or eighth. δι' ου και τους αιώνας εποίησεν, Ηeb. i. 2. But, secondly, the original oydooy may pos πίστει νοούμεν κατηρτίσθαι τους αιώνας ρήsibly not belong to the name or person of
ματι Θεού. Noah, but to bis title or office; and then + The answer of Socinus to this conwe must translate ösoov Nõe dixadosúvns junction is very weak, relying only upon anguna, Noah the eighth preacher of righteous the want of a comma after Kal in the
For we read at the birth of Enos, Greek, and Et in the Latin. And wbereas that "men began to call upon the name it is evident that there are distinctions, of the Lord,” Gen. iv. 26. which the an in the Latin and Greek copies after that cients understood peculiarly of his person: conjunction, he flies to the ancientest as the LΧΧ. ούτος ήλπισεν έσικαλείσθαι το copies, which all men know were most ovokec Kugiou Tū osoő, and the vulgar Latin, careless of distinctions, and urgeth that Iste cæpit invocare nomen Domini. The there is no addition of rursum or the like Jews have a tradition, that God sent in after et, whereas in the Syriac translation the sea upon mankind in the days of Enos, we find expressly that addition :
expressly, "bnt 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 wbich 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 hath 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 figurative interpretation, then they endeavour to shew that they are not spoken of the Son of God. If they speak so 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, which 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 hin, 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 "first-boru 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 argutent, 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 principalities, or powers, and under them comprehendeth all the rest. Nor doth it yet suffice, thus to extend the object of his 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 last-cited verses by themselves, we cannot
“ The first-born of every creature" και η ζωή, και αν τούτοις παραπλήσια: αι δε is taken by Origen for an expression de του κατ' αυτόν νουμένου ανθρώπου, ως ή, Νύν claring the Divinity of Christ, and used δε μι ζητείτε αποκτείναι, άνθρωπον ός την by him as a phrase in opposition to his aan Itu úpiv agaáanxa. lib.i. adv. Celsum, humanity to express the same: 'Eaiyousy 9. 25. δη και εν τοις ανωτέρα, ότι αι μέν τινές εισι + In relation to the precedent words, φωναι του εν τω Ιησού πρωτοτόκου πάσης Ver. 13. του υιού της αγάπης αυτού, for that Sritius, as n, 'Eyć sipun idos, xain aandum, υιός αγαπητός was the υιός πρωτόσεις. .
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. ii. 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 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
'Ανανέωσις υπ ανακαίνωσις» as the new which is, ανάκτισις· εν ή γίνεται πάντων των man, νέος άνθρωπος, or καινος άνθρωπος. The εν ανθρώπους κατά την ψυχήν και κατά το σώ irst ανανεούμενος. the last, ο ανακαινούμενος, ya xaxãy áraigo 16. Just. Qu. et Resp. ad both the same. Suidas, 'Avanainsis, n åva Græcos, p. 167. This new creation doth νέωσις· λέγεται δε και ανακαίνισις: which is so necessarily infer an alteration, that it the language of the New Testament. This is called by St. Paul a metamorphosis, renovation being thus called καινή κτίσις, μεταμορφούσθε το ανακαινώσει του κιός υμών the ancients framed a proper word for it, Rom. xii. 4.
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 hiin the nature of angels.” (Heb. ii. 16.) We acknowledge in man kind a new creation, because an old man becomes a new; but there is no such notion in the celestial hierarchy, because no old 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,” (Eph. 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
Ad hoc Dominus sustinuit pati pro Epist. c.iv. And again : Aéyu yàę i nezanima nostra, cum sit orbis Terrarum φη περί ημών ώς λέγει τα υιο, Ποιήσωμεν κατ' Dominus, cui dixit die ante constitutio εικόνα, &c. c. ν. 'Εγκαλούμενους Ιουδαίοις τουnem seculi, Faciamus hominem, ad imagi τον μη νομίσασι Θεόν υπό των προφητών σελ. nem et similitudinem nostram.' Burnabæ λαχού μιμαρτυρημένον ως μεγάλην όντα δύνα