« AnteriorContinuar »
still more explicit.—u Mor shall any thing made, and in subjection, be compared with the Word qf God, by whom all things were made, who is our Lord Jesus Christ. Because, whether they are angels or archangels, or thrones or dominions, they are made by him who is God over all, by his Word. So St. John hath told us. For when he had said of the Word of God, that he was in the Father, he added.—" All things were made by him, and without him was nothing made." David, also, when he had particularly enumerated his praises, added,—"for he commanded, and they were created; and spoke and they were made." Whom did he command? The Word, by whom the heavens were made, and the host of them by the breath of his mouth.—Now the things that are made, are different from Him that made them; and those appointed, from Him that appointed them. He is unmade, without beginning, without end; he wants nothing, is self-sufficient, and gives to all other things their being. The things made by him had a beginning, and, as such, may have an end,—are subject—indigent. It is altogether necessary they should have a different name, especially among men of any discernment of such Ihings. So that He who made all things, with his Word, be justly and alone called God and Lord; but not that those who are made-, should participate, or justly take to themselves, the name of their Creator."
5. In the two following pages the bishop quotes two more passages from Irenajus to the same purpose.—" The Son, who is the Word of God, laid out these things from the beginning, the Father not standing in need of angels for the ereatlon of the world, and the making of man, for whom the world was created, nor again wanting a ministerial power for making these things that are made, and the disposing the affairs of the world, after the formation of man, but having a sufficient and ineffable one. For his own offspring, and impress ministers to him in all things, i. e. the Son and holy Spirit, the Word and Wisdom, to whom angels are subject, and minister." Again—" All things were made by him, and without him was nothing made." Here is no exception, but the Father made all things by him, whether visible or invisible, sensible or intellectual, temporal, for a certain purpose, or eternal. He made all things, not by angels, or powers, different from, his mind; for the God of all things wants nothing, but his Word and Spirit making, disposing, and governing all things, and giving being to them.
6. The same doctrine Irenaeus delivers in another place, p. 214.—"There is only one God. the creator, who is above all principality and power, and dominion and dignity. He is the Father, the God, the creator, the builder, the maker, that made those things by himself, i. e. who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all that in them is, by his Son and Holy Spirit."— Again, p. 369 of Iranaeus' works, "The angels then did not make, did not form us: They couh) not make the image of God, nor any but the WordofGod; no power distinct (separate) from the father. Nor did the Father stand in need of them to make what he had before designed, as if he had not hands of his own. He has always with him his Word and Wisdom, the Son and Spirit, by whom, and in whom, he freely made all tilings, and to whom he spake, saying,—Let us make man after our image and similitude,"
7. To testimonies of Justin, Mhenagoras, and Jrenasus, disciples of the apostolical fathers, I shall add from the bishop, a passage of Origen, which the bishop defends as perfectly orthodox: —« The Word, the Son of God, is the immediate, and, as it were, the very framer of the world: The Father of the Word, in that he ordered the Word, his Son, to make the world, its primary creator."—Origen, p. 317.
8. The fathers, therefore, at least in these passages, (which it will not be doubted bishop Bull has fairly represented,) approve this doctrine,— that though the Father is primary creator, yet that the Son, his Word is the impiediate creator and framer of the world. But that he did not do this as a being separate from the Father, but in such a sense, one with him, that the Father, creating the world by him, might be said to create it by his own hands, as Irenseus' phrase is, or by himself; according to the words of Isaiah, ch. xliv. 24, "I am Jehovah that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens Alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth by Mtself." For as the Holy Spirit, who is undoubtedly of a nature properly divine, is the Spirit of the Father, andproceedeth from the Father, but though sent forth, is never separated from him: 60, in like manner, the Word is the Word of the Father; and though he says, he "proceeded forth, and came from God, and that he came not of himself, but the Father sent him," John viii. 42, yet he is still united to him, and one with him, —" is still in the Father, and the Father in him.''
We now proceed to lay before the reader two letters, from the celebrated letters of the Rev. Mr. Fletcher, to Doct Priestly. We shall then make some practical remarks on them and the preceding chapter.
Doctor Priestly is mistaken, when he asserts that the prophets always spoke of the Messiah as of a mere man like themselves, and that the Jews never expected that the Mes. siah could be more than a man. In opposition to this error, this letter proves that our first parents expected a divine Messiah, and that the divine person, who appeared to the Patriarchs and to Moses, was Jehovah the Son, or Christ in his pre-existent state.
You might have given us, at least, twenty lines of plain uncontroverted truth in the beginning of your history, but regardless of so decent a caution, you stun us at once by a glaring, antichristian paradox. In the sixteenth line of your huge work, (for we need not go by pages to reckon up your errors) speaking of the thoughts which the Jews entertained of the Messiah, you say, " none of their prophets gave them an idea of any other than a man like themselves in that illustrious character, and no other did they eveij
Now, sir, in opposition to this strange assertion, I shall shew you, not only that the prophets gave the Jews an idea of a divine person to appear in the character of the Messiah, and that accordingly they expected such an one, but that even our first parents must have formed a much higher notion of that "seed of the woman which was to bruise the serpent's head," than that of a mere man, " like themselves." In proof of this, I shall not produce the expression of Eve upon the birth of Cain, whom it is highly probable she thought to be that seed, though according to the Hebrew it is J have gotten the man, the Jehovah. But I shall go upon surer grounds than any particular expression can afford. I shall argue from facts and from the reason of the case. However unwilling you may be to allow it, it is nevertheless, as we have already seen in the former part of this work, an unquestionable truth that the Logos, the Word, who "was in the beginning with God and was God;" was the immediate maker of our first parents, of that beautiful world in which he placed them, and of all the creatures over which he set them, nay, and of all things visible and invisible. Now can we suppose that Jldam, who, as he came out of the hands of his maker, had such knowledge, that at first sight he gave names to all the creatures, as they passed in review before him, and names perfectly descriptive of their natures; can we suppose, I say, that he did not know who was his creator, and the creator of all these creatures he had named? Certainly we cannot. But if he knew who was his creator, he could hardly be ignorant who would be his redeemer. For considering the holy and happy state he and his partner had been in before