« PreviousContinue »
Another of those leading passages which speaks unanswerably for the preexistence and divinity of our blessed Saviour, appears in the Epistle of St. Paul, Col. i. 16. where the apostle calls Christ the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature, and says " by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, principalities or powers, all things were created by Him, and for Him, and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” In Hebrews i. 12. the declaration of the same apostle is equally unquestionable, “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." These texts speak for themselves, no less than the attributes of Deity can be
Jacob says in the Chaldee of Onkelos Gen. xxviii. 21. The Word of Jehovah shall be my God; again in Lev. xxvi. 12. My Word shall be to you for God the Redeemer.
adequate to the creation of the worlds ; and as bishop Bull observes, “ if these words of St. Paul are not to be understood of a creation, (according to the usual meaning of the term) I must think the scriptures inexplicable, and that nothing certain can be concluded from the most express passages of them.” Vid. Defensio Fidei Nicenæ Cap. i. Sec. 15.
Let us next consider the wonderful events which attended the divine mission of Moses, to whom the Lord appeared at the bush, as the incommunicable I'am, and by whose benevolent interposition and out.stretched arm, the posterity of Abraham were delivered from Egyptian bondage. That the Jewish nation were the chosen people of God, appears from the whole tenor of scripture. St. John speaking of Christ says, “ he came unto his own but his own received him not.” It is reasonable to suppose that the words “his own” relate to the Jews entirely, and that the evangelist here considers Christ as the King of Israel, and the Jews as his peculiar people. The truth of this
position will be illustrated by the following quotations :—Ps. lxxviii. 56, “ They tempted and provoked the most high God.” 1 Cor. x. 9, “ Neither let us tempt Christ as some of them also tempted.”
These texts both relate to the same rebellious acts of the Israelites, in the wilderness. The person, whom they tempted, is called by the Psalmist, the most high God, by St. Paul, he is called Christ, therefore Christ is the most high God, the Jehovah of the old testament. “ In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw” says the prophet Isaiah, " the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims : each one had six wings ; with twain he covered his face, with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts. Isaiah vi. 1. “ These things said Esaias when he saw his (Christ's) glory, and spake of him.” John xii. 41. As Christ is here declared by the Evangelist to be the person, whose glory Esaias saw, therefore Christ is the Lord of Hosts.
In a later period of the world, the prophet Daniel records a most extraordinary manifestation, both of the Father and the Son. Few descriptions are so sublime and magnificent. The first Person in the Holy Trinity is distinguished, in the following manner :-" I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool, his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” After this, the second Person in the Trinity is introduced, “ I saw in the night visions and behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him, and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him, his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. Dan. vii. 9. and 13 14.
I will now select two passages from the new testament, in which our Saviour speaks of his own dignity—“no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” John iii. 13. “I am the living bread which came down from heaven, if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever ; and the bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world.” John vi. 51.
Upon these texts Dr. Price observes :5 The Jews understood our Lord's expression to be an intimation, that he had existed in heaven before he came into this world, and therefore murmured at him and said, “ is not this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know ? how is it then that he saith I came down from heaven? There is in this case, continues the Doctor, a presumption that the sense in which the Jews understood our Lord, was the most obvious and natural sense. Jf, however, it was not, and the Jews perversely misinterpreted his words, it was reasonable to expect that Christ should have said something to correct their mistake. But instead of this, we find, that in his reply, he repeated the same declaration, in stronger language, and intima