Imágenes de páginas

the particle by, but attributes unto Christ the work of creation simply, in the nominative case, speaking of the Son thus: Ev Kúpzo, (Psalm cii. 25, &c.) "Thou, Lord, in the beginning (or of old) hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy bands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure (but thou remainest) and they all shall wax old like a garment, and as a vesture thou shalt change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. Therefore is not He, who laid the foundation of the earth, and whose handy-work the heavens are, who shall change the heavens themselves, and who always remains the same; the eternal, the living, and Almighty God, with wbom is no variableness ?' (James i. 17.) Now it is evident beyond all controversy, that these things are spoken of Christ, for the Epistle to the Hebrews avers it in express words; and it is acknowledged by all, that Psalm cij. is to be understood of the Messiah. If any one shall object, that these things are spoken of the new creation, he should know, that neither the Kat' åpxås, in the beginning, nor this change or transmutation of heaven and earth, nor the things that go before, can suit with such a suggestion. But if Christ be he that laid the foundation of the earth, &c. what, I pray, can be more evident, than that Christ himself is the true, essential, and Almighty God? May we not say to him; (Isai. Ixiv. 8.) 60 Jehovah, thou art our Father: we are the clay, and thou our potter, and we all are the work of thy band?' Cannot we perceive that it is Christ, of whom it is said, (Isai. liv. 5.) “Thy Maker is thy husband, (the Lord of Hosts is his name) and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth, shall be be called ?' Behold! thus the prophetic Spirit speaks of Christ, and instructs us how we ought to celebrate and resound the glory of the Son of God, with a name and titles worthy of him. For who, I beseech you, is the husband of the Church? Is not Christ so denominated in the very institution of matrimony? Does not St. Paul say, (Eph. y. 32.) • This is a great mystery : but I speak concerning Christ and the church. And I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ?' (2 Cor. xi. 2.) It is manifest that that man does not understand the whole economy of God in the Old and New Testament, nor has he perceived the mystery of Christ in the scriptures, who denies, that Isaiah doth comfort and encourage the church, by representing Christ to her as her husband, who is likewise her Maker, and not only as her husband, but also her Redeemer, Toy 58a, which is the proper work and office of Christ, and shadowed in the law by types. Compare also here Isa. Ixii. 5 : where he calls this person, from the work of creation, the God of the whole earth ;' yea, he affirms that this their Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, should be called the God of the whole earth, whose name he had called 91779 Jehovah, the essential God, the God of Hosts. And the Holy Scriptores are full of the like expressions, wherein the Messiah is set before us as Creator; but there is not so much as one text in all the sacred writings, in which Christ himself is said to be a thing created, or that he was made by God. Jerome has most fully vindicated, by rightly translating one word of the authentic Hebrew text, that place in Prov. viii. 22, which Arius hath very much misused. For whereas Arius out of some copies of the version of the LXX Interpreters, reads it thus; Kúpos čKTIO É pe åpxinx odãy auté, i. e. Jehovah creavit me initium viarum suarum, i. e.-The Lord created me the beginning of his ways: Jerome bas to this most rightly opposed the Hebrew word 1997 (to which the translation ought to have been entirely agreeable) which Hebrew word does not at all signify creavit me-created me, sed possedit membut possessed me; by whicb interpretation he has also answered that place in Eccles. xxiv. 9. Ilpo tē aiôvos år' åpxñs ČKTIDé Me: Ante seculum à principio creavit me, i. e.--He created me from the beginning before the world; inasmuch as this was taken from the wrong version of the Hebrew word just mentioned. If a man's mind be so enlightened by the Lord, that he comes to understand the prophecies concerning the Messiah, or the scriptures which speak of him, he will then easily know, that Psalm c. is nothing else but an acclamation of the prophetic Spirit, which relates to the Messiah ; saying, “ Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands: serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God, it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves ; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.' He will then also easily understand that Moses sang not of any other person : (Psalm xc. 2, 3.) Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world;

from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. turnest man to destruction, and sayest, Return ildren of men. Is it not the voice of the blessed Son of God, which the.dead in their graves are one day to hear, and come forth? And if there be any one, to whom these especially, or any other the like places of scripture may not seem so clear and perspicuous, as to be convinced immediately from them of the omnipotence and divine glory of Jesus Christ ; he ought not from hence to conclude, that others may 'not have a greater conviction of mind from them, but he ought humbly to pray to God for a better understanding of bis word; so he will in due time open his eyes more and more, that he may be able to find everywhere in Moses and the Prophets, the clearest testimonies concerning the omnipotence and majesty of Christ; as St. John in the beginning of his gospel, already considered by us, furnishes an example of this matter from the first chapter of Genesis, where certainly another person, who by his own reason, void of divine light, should attempt this, will not be able to discover from thence the eternal divinity and omnipotence of Christ. In the mean time, it is the duty of every one to be contented with those plain and open testimonies which we have produced above, and most carefully to beware that he deny not any thing to Christ, which the Holy Spirit adjudges by clear and evident words to belong to him. Therefore although from this manifest proof of the minor proposition, the conclusion stands firm and uncontrollable, that Christ, being the maker of heaven and earth, is the true and Almighty God; yet still this scruple, which some may perhaps have, is to be more solidly removed. It is asked, but why does John use the particle Blà, by; or why does he say, ' all things were made by him,' and not rather; - he made all things? And for what reason does




1 The English translation run possessed me in the beginning of his

e English translation runs thus : (Prov. viii. 22.) The Lord

in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.'

the scripture also elsewhere in this very matter use this particle by? To which it is answered, that this was not done in any wise to derogate from the majesty of Christ, whereto corrupt reason most shamefully bends ; forasmuch as without any controversy it is written of Almighty God, (Rom. xi. 36.) Of him, and through him, (or by him, di autê, per eum) and to him, are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen.' In like manner it is written ; (Heb. ii. 10.) * It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all tbipgs, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings :' not to mention now any more places of scripture. But the Holy Scriptures do the rather use this particle, that we may thereby acknowledge the glory of Christ: as also the scope of this particle by is manifest from Col. i. 16—20. This is most evidently seen in St. John; for after he had assigned eternity to Christ, and bad declared him equal to the Father in his divinity, as being of the same essence with him, he ascribes also the same omnipotence to him, which is due to the Father, and makes not the particle per, (by,) to derogate more from his divine majesty, than the particle apud, (with,) which he uses in the first and second verses of his gospel. Nay, when he had already in express words assigned to the Son eternity, and the true and essential divinity, he knew well, that the sense of the third verse could not be understood of any other than the divine omnipotence. But by reason of the mystery of the Father and the Son, (Col. ii. 2,) who are of the same essence, but distinct in their personality, he uses in this place the particle tapos, (with,) as well as that of 8à, (by,) and makes Christ

« AnteriorContinuar »