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SER M. tion;) That which the Scripture, I fay,


declares to us, is this: That in the Beginning, before the Foundation of the World, before all Ages, That Divine Perfon, who after and by his Incarnation became our Lord and Saviour Jefus Chrift, had a Being in the Bofom of his Father, and Joh. i. 1. was Partaker of his Father's glory. In the Beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, i. e. was with the Father; and the Word was God, i. e. was Partaker of his Father's Glory, of his Divine Power and Authority, in Creating and Governing the World. The Reason why This

Divine Perfon was ftiled the Word, has been much disputed by Divines; and various Opinions have at different Times prevailed. That which is most probable and most agreeable to the Scriptures, is, that he was fo called, upon account of his being as it were the Mouth or Oracle of God, the Angel of his Prefence, the great Declarer of his Will, the Mediator between God and his Creatures; by and thro' whom, as all Creatures have Access to God, and give Glory to him: fo through him likewise are derived and conveyed all





Communications of God to his Creatures. SER M. In the Beginning was the Word: That Word, which afterwards was made Flesh, and dwelt amongst us ; to reveal to us with Authority the whole Will of God: That Word, concerning whom the fame Author St John thus fpeaks in another place; when in his Vision, seeing the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, com- Rev. xix. ing forth in righteousness to judge and to make war, and to tread the wine-press 15. of the wrath of Almighty God; he thus defcribes him ; that out of his mouth 13. goeth a sharp Sword, and bis Name is called, The Word of God; and ch. i. 16; he beheld one like unto the Son of man, out of whofe mouth went a sharp two-edged Sword. Which Descriptions afford great Light to that paffage of St Paul to the Hebrews, ch. iv. ver. 12; The Word of God is quick and powerful, and Sharper than any two-edged Sword, piercing even to the dividing afunder of Soul and Spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a difcerner of the Thoughts and Intents of the Heart. And this exactly anfwers the Defcription our Saviour gives

SERM. of Himfelf: Rev. ii. 23; I am he which V. fearcheth the Reins and Hearts. Further,


concerning the Nature of this Divine
Perfon, the Word or Son of God, the Scrip-
ture adds; that he is the only begotten of
the Father, and was in Giory with him
before the World was; that he is the
Brightness of his Father's Glory, and the
exprefs Image of his Perfon, and upholding
all things by the Word of his Power; Heb.
3: That he is the Image of the invifible
God, the firft-born of every Creature: Col.
i. 15; or, as he himself stiles himself:
Rev. iii. 14; the beginning of the Creation
of God; that is, who was before and a-
bove all things, being the firft Principle
and Head over all; Himself, deriving im-
mediately from the Father only; (and, as
to the manner of That, who shall declare
his generation?) Whereas all other things,
all Creatures, were produced mediately by
His Operation. For fo St John affirms
exprefly; All things were made by him,
and without him was not any thing made
that was made: St Joh. i. 2. And St Paul
ftill more distinctly: Col. i. 16; By him
were all things created, that are in Hea-




ven, and that are in Earth, visible and in-SER M. vifible, 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 confift. If it be here demanded, how these two manners of Expreffion are to be reconciled, that God only is the Creator of all things, and yet all things are said expreffly to be created by Jefus Chrift; St Paul gives a clear and direct Answer : Heb. i. 2; By his Son God made the Worlds; and again, Ephef. iii. 9; Who created all things by Jefus Chrift. To interpret these paffages, as fome have attempted to do, of a fecondary and figurative Creation, the new Creation or Renovation of things by the Gospel; is wrefting Texts by a forced and unnatural Senfe to ferve an Opinion, when in their plain and literal Meaning there is no real Difficulty. For to conceive that God created all things at first by his Son, is no more contrary to Reason, than his renewing or redeeming all things by his Son, which is acknowledged by All. And if it pleafed the Father, by Chrift to reconcile all things unto Himfelf 13 whether

SER M, whether they be things in Earth or Things V. in Heaven ; as St Paul expreffly affirms,

and all men understand him to affirm it in the literal Senfe; there is no more reafon to doubt, but in the literal Senfe likewife, it pleased the Father by Chrift to Create all things for Himfelf: which is as expreffly affirmed by the fame Apostle. And even in the Old Teftament itself, those paffages which are spoken of Wifdom, Prov. viii. 22, are by all antient Chriftian Writers understood of God's creating the World by Chrift: The Lord poffeffed me in the beginning of his Way, before his Works of old; I was fet up from everlasting, from the beginning, or, ever the Earth was; When there were no Depths, I was brought forth; when there were no Fountains abounding with Water; Before the Mountains were fettled, before the Hills was I brought forth; While as yet he had not made the Earth, nor the Fields, nor the highest part of the duft of the World; When be prepared the Heavens, 1 was there; when he fet a compass upon the face of the deep; When he established the clouds above; When be strengthened the fountains.


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