Obrazy na stronie

ansaver, no. The apostle uses these expressions, 1st Cor. 1st chapter, verse 30—“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption,” &c. And in another place the apostle speaks in similar terms. It appears very evident, the apostle never intended to use these expressions, to define the whole character of our Lord.

The apostle tells us the world was made by him," here he applies to the Word a personal pronoun, evidently intended to show the personality of the Word. We may remark, that the Word is called God in a real, and not in a relative sense; for at the time of which the apostle speaks, it was anterior to created existences, and there was nothing created over which he could preside; and therefore he could not, in that relative sense, be styled God, in which kings, judges, and rulers, are sometimes, styled gods in scripture, in relation, and on account of their having power and dominion, and subjects under them. But it cannot be said that Christ was styled God in that

[ocr errors]


Another important point is proposed in this subject, not whether the Word was really God in its, or his, nature, but whether this Word at that period spoken of by John, was properly the Son of God in his pre-existent state, that is before he came in the flesh, or took on him the seed of Abraham. If we follow the reasoning of the apostle closely to the 14th and 18th verses, we may gain some evidence, that the Word spoken of by John, which was with God in the beginning, and was God, that this was the Son of God in his divine nature, as the only begotten Son of the Fa

ther. It will be found in the 14th verse « And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." This, in point of time, took place after our Lord came in the flesh. And no doubt the apostle here refers to that glory, which was revealed on the Mount, when he was transfigured before them, when, as Peter expresseth it, “ And there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son," &e.

We wish our readers to take particular notice of these words," the glory as of the only begotten of the Father." We will ask, is this the glory of the human nature of Jesus Christ, which the apostle saw revealed in our Saviour? Or was it the Divine nature of Christ, which the apostle saw beam forth in such transcendent lustre? If we should conclude, that this glory hath reference to the divine nature, it proves to a demonstration, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in his Divine nature. And if it was the human nature, which the apostle has reference to, it proves of course, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in his human nature, only; for here let it be remembered, that the apostle says,

we beheld his glory,” and this glory, appeared to them, like the glory of the only begotten Son." Not only so, but the declaration was, “ this is my beloved Son,” &c.

Again, the apostle's expressions are, we beheld;" of course the apostle could not refer to the glory which he saw revealed in, and by Christ, after his glorification, which the apostle was afterwards favored with in the Isle of Patmos; for we have no information in the book of any persons being in company with the apostle at that perioch.

But it is thought strikingly evident, that the apostle was alone; although it is quite possible There might be others on the same Isle, at the same time. Could it be shown that the manifestation which the apostle referred to, was after Jesus Christ was glorified, all must in frankness, own, it might be argued with more force and propriety, that John had reference to the manhood of our Lord. But it is thought it is impossible to make this appear; the reverse very obviously appears.

There is further evidence, showing that John referred to that period of time, in which our Lord was transfigured on the Mount. When we compare this passage in John, with the passages found in 2d Epistle of Peter, 1st chapter, and verses -16 and 17, where Peter saith, “ For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Here it should be remembered, that Peter, James, and John, were the three disciples, selected from the twelve, and favoured with this glorious manifestation, and transfiguration, of our Lord, on the Mount, when Moses and Elias talked with him there," and his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.” And they were overshadowed by a bright cloud. When we compare their language, and the drift of their subjects, together, we must be convinced they both refer to one point of timte:

[ocr errors]

We shall now turn our attention to the 1st chapter of the apostle to the Helenist Hebrews, to see what further information we may obtain from the Great Apostle. He introduces this epistle, to the then learned nation, in this very impressive manner—“God who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.”

Let it be borne in mind, that the apostle saith, that God hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds."

These declarations of the great apostle appear so clear that had we not seen a different comment on them, we should not have supposed they could have been misunderstood by a common reader, in three particular points-1st, That Jesus Christ is truly and properly the Son of God in his divine nature. 2d, That there is a clear and distinct personality between the Father and the Son. And 3d, That God the Father created the worlds, by him and for him the Son, in a peculiar manner.

We might here remark with the apostle, and a learned expositor, “as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name"_because he is the Son of God, he inherits that name, in right whereof he inherits all things. His inheriting that name is more ancient than all worlds," &c." He was in the world, and the world was made

[ocr errors]

by him, and the world knew him not: He came to his own, and his own received him not."

It is said by one noted character who preaches the doctrine of the Trinity in the new method, that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God in his divine, but in his human nature. We say he contends that the apostle speaks first of the human nature, which he calls the Son, and then rises to the divine when he speaks of the worlds being made by him. But as we have already stated, if we had not seen this comment on this passage, we could not have imagined that any common reader could misunderstand the apostle on this subject.

But should we admit for a moment, that the last mentioned comment is correct, viz. That the apostle did refer to the human nature of Jesus Christ, when he speaks of the Son ; who can he have reference to, in the third verse, where he says, “who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person?” Can the apostle possibly mean that the human nature is the brightness of the Father's glory? We think it impossible, the great apostle, should talk in this

Can we imagine the apostle intended we should understand, that he meant, “ God the Father was the brightness of his own glory, and the express image of his own person” ? We think the latter appears equally as absurd as the for



There are two expressions, or sentences, in particular in this verse, which we ought to weigh with candour and attention-1st, “The brightness of his glory” which seems to intimate, that there was nothing inferior in point of dignity and glory found in the Son, which was not found in the Father. 2d, The same idea, is strengthened, extend

« PoprzedniaDalej »