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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. Next the apostle proceeds to confider Chrift in his office-relation, and mediatorial capacity; and he is the head of the body the church, even of the general affembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven; all the elect of God, over whom he is an head of dominion and power, and to whom he is an head of influence and supply; he adds, who is the beginning, both of the old and new creation, the first-born from the dead, who first rose from the dead by his own power to an immortal life, is fet down at the right hand of God, has all judgment committed to him, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence; for which he is abundantly qualified, fince it pleafed the Father that in him fhould all fulness dwell. The method I fhall take in confidering this paffage of fcripture will be this:
I. To inquire what fulness of Chrift is here intended.
II. To give some account of the nature and properties of it.
III. To fhew in what fenfe it may be faid to dwell in Chrift.
IV. To make it appear, that its dwelling in Chrift is owing to the good-will and pleasure of the Father.
I. I fhall inquire what fulness of Chrift is here intended; fince the fcriptures fpeak of more than one: And,
First, There is the perfonal fulness of Chrift, or the fulness of the deity, which is faid by our apostle, in this same epiftle, to dwell in him; for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. There is no perfection effential to deity, but is in him; nor is there any the Father has, but he has likewise. Eternity is peculiar to the Godhead Chrift was not only before Abraham, but before Adam; yea, before any creature existed; he is the alpha and omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the ending; which is, and which was, and which is to come; he is from everlasting to everlasting. Omnipotence, or a power of doing all things, can only be predicated of God. The works of creation, providence, redemption, the refurrection of the dead, with other things, in which Chrift has been concerned, loudly proclaim him to be the Almighty. Omniscience, another perfection of deity, may easily be observed in Jefus Chrift; he needed not that any should teftify of man, for be knew what was in man; he is that living word of God, who is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; neither is there any creature that is not manifeft in his fight; but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do, or to whom we must give an account; who in a fhort time will make all the churches, yea, all the world know, that he it is which fearcheth the
Heb. iv 12, 13. Rev. ii 23..
• Col. ii. 9.
• John ii.25.