Images de page
PDF
ePub

prehension, the Scriptures inculcate concerning Christ,

1. That he created heaven and earth with all things. 2. That all created things are preserved by him. 3. That he conducted the children of Israel out of Egypt, dwelt with them in the wilderness, leading them on their way, and acted as their benefactor. 4. That his glory was seen by Isaiah. 5. That he became incarnate.

State what those testimonies are whereby they conceive it to be proved that Christ created heaven and earth?

They are the following :-John i. 3, “ All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Again, ver. 10, “The world was made by him.” Coloss. i. 16, “ By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers ; all things were created by him and for him.” Heb.. i. 2, “ By whom he made the worlds.” And lastly, the words of the Psalmist, quoted Heb. i. 10, 11, 12, “ Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment, and as a vesture shalt thou fold them, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail." What answer do

you

make to the first of these testimonies, John i. 3?

In the first place, the word here used is not CREATED, but MADE:--which I notice, lest any one should

understand

1

[ocr errors]

other sense,

understand by creation the production of something out of nothing. Secondly, John writes, “ All things were made BY HIM,(per eum); a form of speech employed to denote not the person who is the first cause of any thing, but him who is the second cause, or medium. Nor, indeed, can it be said that all things were made by Christ in any

than that God had made them by him, as appears from Ephes. iii. 9, where the apostle writes, according to the Greek, that God “ created all things by Jesus Christ” (ora Ino ou XgnSTOU). From this very passage, also, it clearly appears that the writer treats not of the first creation of all things, but of a second creation : because in the account of the first creation there is no direct mention of any person by whom God effected the great work, as we find to be done in respect to the-second creation. Lastly, the words ALL THINGS are not to be here understood of all objects whatever, but are to be restricted to the subject matter of discourse, as is most commonly done in other cases in the sacred writings, and particularly in the New Testament. A remarkable instance of this kind occurs 2 Cor. v. 17, where the apostle has under his consideration the very subject of which the evangelist John is treating, and where he states “ALL THINGS are become,” or made, “ new;" though it is apparent that there existed many things which were not then new made. As then the subject matter of which John is treating is the gospel, it follows that the terms ALL THINGS are to be understood of those objects merely which pertain to the new creation effected under the gospel.

Why

Why does John add, “and without him was not any thing made ?”

This clause was subjoined, the better to illustrate the preceding declaration that “ by him all things were made.” For these words seem to affirm generally that all things were done immediately by the Word itself, although some of them, and those too of great importance, were not effected personally by himself, but by means of the apostles, such as the calling of the Gentiles, and the abolition of legal ceremonies. For though these things originated in the discourses and proceedings of the Lord Jesus, they were not effected immediately by Jesus Christ himself, but afterwards by his apostles; not, however, without him. For the apostles did all things in his name and by his authority; as he declares John xv. 7,

66 Without me ye can do nothing."

Why, again, does John superadd the words, " That was made,”—for can any thing be made which is not made?

In order to show, not that all things that exist were made by God through the instrumentality of this word, which is Christ, but that all things which were made were made through him:-anevident proof that he does not speak of the old and first creation wherein all things that are, were made by God ;-but of the new, lation to which many things exist that were not made, since they do not pertain to it."

What

in re

n[As the distinction observed in this reply between things that EXIST,

and things that ARE MADE, may not seem very intelligible to the reader, the original question and answer are subjoined.

Quo

What answer do you make to the second testimony from John i. 10, “ The world was made by him ?”

First, that the evangelist does not state here, that the world was CREATED, the word creation being understood to mean production out of nothing --but that it was MADE. Secondly, he adopts a mode of expression which denotes an intermediate cause ;“the world,” he says, “was made by (through) Him." Thirdly, the term WORLD, like others which in the Scriptures are used in precisely the same sense, denotes not only heaven and earth, but, besides its other significations, designates the human race generally; as may be seen in the very verse under consideration, where the writer states, "he was in the world, and the world knew him not :” so likewise, Johu xii. 19, Behold, the world is gone after him:" it is also used for the future world, to which Paul refers, Rom. iv. 13, where, speaking of Abraham, he observes, that “the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to him, or to his seed through the law.” It is this world that Peter also has in view, 2 Pet. iïi. 13, when he states that christians are ing for new heavens and a new earth.” So likewise the author of the epistle to the Hebrews in the

6 look

Quo vero fine addidit, quod factum est ? An enim aliquid fieri potuit quod factum non est ?

Ut doceret non omnia quæ sint per Sermonem hunc, qui Christus est, a Deo facta esse, sed omnia quæ facta sint, per eum esse facta; evidenti documento, non agere ipsum de creatione illa ves tere et prima, in qua omnia quæ sunt, a Deo facta sint, sed de nova, cujus respectu multa sunt quæ facta non sunt, quippe ad eam non pertinentia. Transl.]

following

following passage, (Heb. i. 6, “And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” That this writer intends here the future world, is confirmed by what he observes in the second chapter of this epistle and the fifth verse- “For unto the angels hath he not put into subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.” But he has no where spoken of it except in the passage just quoted, from the sixth verse of the first chapter. There is, besides, another passage (chap. X. ver. 5), where, speaking of Christ, he says, “Wherefore, when he cometh into the world he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” Here, since it is obvious that he speaks of the world, in which, after he had entered upon it, Christ exercised all the functions of a priest, as all the circumstances demonstrate, it is also apparent that he has reference not to the present, but to the future world; especially since he

says of Christ (chap. viii. 4), that “if he were on earth, he should not be a priest."

What then do you understand by this declaration, “ And the world was made by him ?”

The words admit of two interpretations :--First, that the human race were renovated, reformed, re. stored, and as it were new made, by Christ; because he had conveyed eternal life to them while they were in a lost condition, and obnoxious to eternal death; and had imparted to them the most efficient motives to return to God whom they had forsaken. In reference to this John reproves the world, because that after

1

« PrécédentContinuer »