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resurrection and ascension, a bright resplendent human body, and being made the King and Lord of all good men in this world, and the Judge of mankind, and, if you please to add likewise being made higher than the angels, to whom, according to the same hypothesis, he was vastly superior before.
But to speak my mind freely, I now entirely dislike that scheme, and think it all amazing throughout, and irreconcilable to reason.
However, that we may not take up any prejudices from apprehensions which our own reason might afford, I shall suspend all inquiries of that sort, and will immediately enter upon the consideration of what the scriptures say of the person of our Saviour.
He is called a man in many places of the gospels. And every body took him for a man during his abode on this earth, when he conversed with all sorts of people in the most free and open manner. He frequently styles himself" the Son of man." He is also said to be" the Son of David," and the Son of Abraham." He is called a man even after his ascension. Acts xvii. 31, "He has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he has ordained." 1 Tim. ii. 5, " For there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." And St. Peter to the Jews at Jerusalem, Acts ii. 22, "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know."
Now if Jesus Christ be a man, he consists of a human soul and body for what else is a man?
This title and appellation of MAN being so often and so plainly given to our Saviour, must needs lead us to think that he was properly man, unless there are some expressions of another kind that are decisive to the contrary. But we
of all things, there has existed, from the beginning, a second divine Person, which is his Word or Son.'
Page 297, sect. xxvi. By the operation of the Son, the Father both made < and governs the world.'
Page 298, sect. xxvii. Concerning the Son, there are other things spoken in scripture; and the highest titles are ascribed to him, even such as include all divine powers, excepting absolute independency and supremacy."
A part of Mr. Peirce's paraphrase upon Col. i. 15, 16, is in these words:
- and since he was the first being that was derived from the Father. And that he must be the first derived from him, is hence evident, that all other
beings were derived from God, the primary and supreme cause of all, through his Son, by whom, as their immediate author, all things were created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,' &c.
find that he is not only called a man, but is also said to be a man as we are, or like to us. Heb. ii. 17, "Therefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren." Ch. iv. 15, "We have not an high priest, which cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." And see the second chapter of that epistle throughout.
Beside these plain expressions, describing our Lord to be a man, and like to us; this point may be argued from a great number and variety of particulars related in the New Testament: for two evangelists have recorded our Lord's nativity. St. Paul says, "God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law," Gal. iv. 4. If it were expedient that our Saviour should be born into the world, as we are, and live in infancy, and grow up to manhood, as we do, and be liable to all the bodily wants, weaknesses, and disasters to which we are exposed, must it not have been as needful, or more needful, and as conformable to the Divine Wisdom, that he should be also like unto us in the other I/ part of which we are composed, a human soul, or spirit? b
Moreover, this supposition does best, if not only, account for our blessed Saviour's temptation, and every part of it. For how was it possible that he should be under any temptation to try the love of God to him, by turning stones into bread! or by casting himself down from a pinnacle of the temple! How could all the glories of this world, and the kingdoms of it, be any temptation to him, who had made all things under the Supreme Being? Had he forgot the
And when we say, that person was conceived and born, we declare, 'he was made really and truly man, of the same human nature, which is in 'all other men.-For "the Mediator between God and men is the man Christ " Jesus," 1 Tim. ii. 5. "That since by man came death, by man also [should] come the resurrection of the dead," 1 Cor. xv. 21. As sure, then, as the first Adam, and we who are redeemed, are men; so certainly is the 'second Adam, and our Mediator, man. He is therefore frequently called "the Son of man," and in that nature he was always promised; first to Eve, as her seed, and consequently her son; then to Abraham. And that 'seed is Christ. Gal. iii. 16, and so the son of Abraham, next to David ;
and consequently of the same nature with David and Abraham. And as
he was their son, so are we his brethren, as descendants from the same father • Adam. "And therefore it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren : for he laid not hold on the angels, but on the seed of Abraham," Heb. ii. 16, 17; and so became not an angel, but a man.
As then man consisteth of two different parts, body and soul, so doth 'Christ.-And certainly, if the Son of God would vouchsafe to take the frailty of our flesh, he would not omit the nobler part, our soul, without which he could not be man. For "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature;"
one in respect of his body, the other of his soul, Luke ii. 52.' Pearson upon the Creed, Art. iii. p. 159, 160, the fourth edition, 1676.
glory and power which he once had? If that could be supposed, and that this want of memory of past things still remained, it might be as well supposed, that he had no remembrance of the orders which he had received from God, and of the commission with which God the Father had sent him into the world.
The supposition of Christ being a man, does also best account for his agony in the garden, and the dark, yet glorious scene of his sufferings on the cross, and the concluding prayer there: " My God, my God, why hast thou
And the making the Logos to be the soul of Christ does really annihilate his example, and enervate all the force which it should have upon us.
But it may be said, that there are some texts, which lead us to think, that Jesus Christ had a human body, but not a human soul: particularly John i., 14. and Hebr. x. 5. John i. 14, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." But it should be observed, that " flesh" in the scriptures both of the Old and New Testament, is oftentimes equivalent to "man," Ps. lvi. 5, "I will not fear what flesh can do unto me." Ver. 11, "I will not fear what man can do unto me." And in innumerable other places. And in the New Testament, Matt. xiii. 20. Luke iii. 6. John xvii. 2. Acts ii. 17. 1 Pet. i. 24.
c Luke xxii. 44. "And being in an agony"-Kat yɛvoμevos ev aywrig.] I would put the question, whether it might not be thus translated?" And being under great concern.' I will transcribe here a passage of an ancient writer, representing the anxiety or solicitude of Julius Cæsar and others, when Octavius Cæsar, then a young man, had a dangerous sickness. Xaλeñws de διακειμενε, παντες μεν εν φοβψ ησαν, αγωνιώντες, ει τι πείσεται τοιαύτη φύσις, μαλιςα δε παντων ὁ Καισαρ· Διο πασαν ἡμέραν η αυτος παρων αυτῳ ευθυμιαν παρειχεν, η φιλες πέμπων, ιατρες τε αποςατειν ουκ έων. Και ποτε δειπνωντι ηγγειλε τις, ὡς εκλυτος ειη, και χαλεπως εχοι. Ο δε εκπηδήσας ανυποδητος ἧκεν ενθα ενοσηλευετο, και των ιατρων εδειτο εμπαθεςατα μεσος ων αγωνίας, και αυτος παρεκάθητο, κ. λ. Nic. Damascen. De Institutione Cæsaris Augusti Ap. Vales. Excerpta. p. 841.
I have observed, that some learned men seem studiously to have avoided the word AGONY in their translations. In the Latin vulgate is: et factus in agoniâ. But Beza translates: et constitutus in angore. Le Clerc's French version is: et comme il étoit dans une extrême inquiétude-And Lenfant's: et comme il étoit dans un grand combat-Which last I do not think to be right. For the original word is not aywv, but aywvia. The Syriac version, as translated into Latin by Tremellius, Trostius, and others, is: cum esset in timore, instanter orabat. I shall add a short passage from V. H. Vogleri Physiologia Historia Passionis J. C. Cap. II. p. 4. Ideoque non immerito dici potest ayovia (quam in defectu commodioris vocabuli angorem Latine vocemus) promptitudo rem quampiam aggrediundi, sed cum timore et trepidatione.
What St. John says therefore is this: "And the Word was made flesh," or took upon him the human nature.d
St. John says, 1 Ep. iv. 2, 3. “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God." See likewise 2 Ep.
It is well known, that in the early days of christianity, particularly in Asia, where St. John resided, there arose people, generally called Docetes, who denied the real humanity of Christ, and said, he was man in appearance only.
These St. John opposeth in his epistles, if not in his gospel also. Against them he here asserts, that Jesus had the innocent infirmities of the human nature, and that he really suffered and died. But when he says, that " Jesus Christ came in the flesh," he does not deny, that he had a human soul, or was man completely. Indeed, it is here implied, that he was man as we are.e
Heb. x. 5. "Wherefore, when he cometh into the world he saith: Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me."
But it is reasonable to think, that' a part is here put for
He took upon him our human nature, became himself a man, subject to the like frailties with us, and lived and conversed freely amongst men.' Dr. Clarke's Paraphrase of St. John i. 14. the fourth edition, 1722.
• Ecce in quibus verbis suis omnino manifestant negare se, quod ad unitatem personæ Christi etiam humana anima pertineat; sed in Christo carnem et divinitatem tantummodo confiteri. Quandoquidem cum penderet in ligno, illud, ubi ait, Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum,' divinitatem ipsam volunt eum intelligi commendâsse Patri, non humanum spiritum, quod est anima-Et his atque hujusmodi sanctarum scripturarum testimoniis non resistant, fateanturque Christum, non tantum carnem, sed animam quoque humanam Verbo unigenito coaptâsse-Aut si eo moventur quod scriptum est, Verbum caro factum est,' nec illic anima nominata est: intelligant, carnem pro homine positam, a parte totum significante locutionis modo, sicuti est, 'Ad te omnis caro veniet.' Item, Ex operibus legis non justificabitur omnis caro.' Quod apertius alio loco dixit: Ex lege nemo justificabitur.' Itemque alio: Non justificatur homo ex operibus.' Sic itaque dictum est, verbum caro 'factum est;' ac si diceretur, Verbum homo factum est. Veruntamen isti, cum ejus solam humanam carnem velint intelligi hominem Christum, non enim negabunt hominem, de quo apertissime dicitur, unus mediator Dei et hominum homo Christus Jesus-&c. Aug. Contr. sermon. Arian. cap. ix. tom. VIII.
A body here is a synecdochical expression of the human nature of Christ. So is flesh taken, when he is said to be made flesh. For the gene'ral end of his having this body was, that he might therein and thereby yield obedience, or do the will of God. And the especial end of it was, that he 'might have what to offer in sacrifice to God. But neither of these can be ⚫ confined unto his body alone. For it is the soul, the other essential part of the human nature, that is the principle of obedience,' Dr. J. Owen upon Heb. x. 5. p. 29.
the whole, and that the word, " body," is not to be understood exclusively of the soul. St. Paul writes to the Romans: "I beseech you therefore, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice to God," ch. xii. I. But no one ought hence to conclude, that the Romans had not souls as well as bodies, or that their souls might be neglected. No. The faculties of the mind, as well as the members of the body, were to be consecrated to God, and employed in his service. At the beginning of the next chapter, St. Paul says: "Let every soul be subject to the higher powers." Where the other part of the human nature is put for the whole.
And it is manifest from ch. ii. 17, 18, and other places, that the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews believed Christ to be man, or to have the human nature complete like unto us. It would therefore be very unreasonable to understand body in this place exclusively of the soul.
The words of the apostle are a quotation from Ps. xl. prophetically representing the readiness of Christ to do the will of God in this world.
"Wherefore when he cometh into the world he saith." Which words are capable of two interpretations. They 'may relate to our Lord's nativity, when he literally entered ' into the world. Or they may relate to the entrance upon his ministry. Then it was, that "the Father sanctified him and sent him into the world," John x. 36, and xvii. 18. ' And then it was that he devoted himself to God entirely, Nor can it be well doubted, that the prayer, which Jesus 'made, when he was baptized, and received the Spirit, 'which is mentioned Luke iii. 31, contained a declaration, 'equivalent to that in this place: "Lo I come to do thy will, 'O God." Compare John v. 30, and vi. 38.'
I will now consider some texts, which have been thought by some to represent to us the pre-existence of the soul of our Saviour, before his conception in the womb of the virgin Mary.
"The form of God," Philip. ii. 6, seems to me to have been enjoyed by our Lord in this world. Ith denotes his knowledge of the hearts of men, his power of healing diseases, and raising the dead, and working other miracles, at all times, whenever he pleased, and all the other evidences
• See Beausobre upon Heb. x. 5.
h Mooon, forma,' in nostris libris non significat æternum et occultum aliquid, sed id quod in oculos incurrit, qualis erat eximia in Christo potestas sanandi morbos omnes, ejiciendi dæmonas, excitandi mortuos, mutandi rerum naturas; quæ vere divina sunt, ita ut Moses, qui tam magna non fecit, dictus ob id fuerit Deus Pharaonis. Grot. in Philip. ii. 6.