Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

plain some scriptures that relate to the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the well-known methods of speech in all nations and ages. But we would never chuse these interpretations, where there is a more plain literal sense which is perfecily accommodated to the text. 1 As this doctrine, so far as we have gone in explaining it, has given abundant light to many scriptures, there are also other texts which if we drop this doctrine we must leave under a heavy cloud still, among the anulx and duoronle the unsolvables and the things hard to be understood ; and we must still be daily waiting upon the Father of lights, until he shall give us further discoveries of his own ineaning in those passages of his holy word, which I think are made sufficiently plain in and by this scheme : We must wait until providence and grace shall join to furnish us with a better clue than this to lead us into the mysterious glories of the person of our blessed Redeeiner, the more complete knowledge whereof is reserved to entertain saints and angels in the future ages of blessedness. There it is certain, if we shall be so bappy as lo accept of his gospel, we shall see him as he is, and behold him face to fuce; then shadows shall flee away, and darkness vanish for ever, for in his light we shall see light. Amen.

APPENDIX: OR, “ A short Abridgment of that exeellent Discourse of the late Rev. Dr.

Thomas Goodnin, on the Glories and Royalties that belong to Jesus Christ considered as God-man, in his third Book of his Knowledge of God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, page 85," in the second Volume of his Works.

HAVING found occasion in several parts of the foregoing dis. course to cite some passages out of this learned and pious writer, who soars far higher than I dare to do in describing the glories due to the human nature of Christ Jesus, I thought it might be very entertaining to many of my readers, as well as serviceable to the doctrine here proposed, to draw out an abridgment of that discourse which he wrote concerning the “ Glories of Christ as God-man,” so far as it relates to this doctrine. Hereby the pious reader will easily perceive, that the manner in which I have expounded many scriptures, is nobly patronized and sup: ported by this great author, whose name and memory are hopoured among evangelical writers, and continue in high esteem among many private christians of the present age; and whose special character it is to bave searched deep into the hidden treasures of the word of God, and drawn out thence many peculiar glories which belong to the person and offices of our blessed Saviour. Though I call this an “ abridgment" of Dr. Goodwin's discourse, yet it is necessary I should tell the world that it may rather be called a “ Collection of his Sentiments in his own Words ;" for I have never added or altered any words but where it was necessary to make the sense plain, and to connect the senter ces : So that both the sentiments and the language are all bis own.

In chapter I. page 95. He lays the foundation of his dise course on Col. i. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. and transcribes all the verses. Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-borr of every creature: for by hii were all things created ihat are in hearen, 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: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist : And he is the head of the budy the church ;' who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead : that in all things he nighi hare ihe pre-eminence : For it pleased the Father that in hiin should all fulness dwell. Then be writes thus, All this fulness, and the particulars thereof mentioned in tbis text, are attributed to Christ as God man, either as actually united or to be united in one person. To take off prejudices, saith he, it is meet the reader should know how that holy and greatest light of the reformed churches Calvin interprets the first passage, He is the image of the invisible God, viz. “ It is he alone by whom God, who is otherwise ip visible, is manifested to us : I know how the ancients are wont to expound this, because they had a controversy with the Arians, who held Christ “ to be a mere creature ;" they urge this place for Christ's being of the same essence or pature with the Father; but in the mean time they omitted what was the chief thing in the words, Hamely, how the Father hath exhibited himself in Christ to be known by us,"

Then the Doctor adds, page 101. Thaf all and every one of these particulars before rehearsed are those glories which as so many several pieces do make up this pre-eminence, and are parts of that fulness which is said to dwell in hiin : and the aposile makes all this fulness to reside in Christ by an act of God's good pleasure. Hence I infer of all these parts and pieces, that they must be understood of him as God-man; for had they been spoken of him singly as God, they are natural to Christ, and not at all subjected to God's good will, page 102. But take all these as spoken of Christ as ordained to be God-may, all this might indeed be the object of God's decree and the act of his good pleasure, and it was the highest act of grace and God's good pleasure to ordain that man to such an union.

Chapter II. pages 103, 104. Christ is the image of the intisible God, which words are resolved into this assertion, That in that man Christ Jesus, by virtue of his union with the god. bead, there is inherent a fulness of all divine perfections, which may make up an image of the attributes of the godhead, in so transcendent a way of excellency and emiacucy, as is incompa: tible and incommunicable to any were creature remaining such. The godhead of Christ is as invisible as the godbead of the Fa. ther; but Christ is such an image as makes the godhead manifest

and visible. In Christ as man united to the second person, there is a resultance, an edition of the godhead in all the perfections of it. He is the “ express image or engraven image; Heb. i. 3. The sliine, the brightness of his Father's glory ;" as the beams of the sun are to the body of the sun, so is Christ God's inage; and this similitude the apostle there useth and applies it to bring as he was man, namely, as he was appointed heir of all; which phrase as he is merely the second person might be used of lim : Tbus Beza, Cameron, and others have understood it. This image is such a system or fulness of perfections really inherent and appertaining unto the manliood; by virtue of that its union with the divine nature ; as although infinitely, coming short of the attributes that are essential to the godhead, yet is the coin. pletest image of them, and such as no mere creature is capable of. This in general may be made out of that parenthesis ; in John i. 14. And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten Son of God.

Page 105. To give two or three instances of some of these perfections peculiarly, and incommunicably dwelling in the human nature of Christ; as.wisdom, power, independency and sovereignty.

1. There is a wisdom in Christ's huinan nature which is, so high an intimation of the attribute of wisilom in God, as no crear turc, vor all creatures could reach to, nor have attained; and therefore they, though they be called wise, yet not wisdom, as Christ God-man is called ; 1 Cor. i. 21. Aud the reason why so transcendept a wisdom is in him as man is given ; Col. ii. 3. In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge : Not objectively only, but subjectively also, as whose knowledige in himself inherent contains in it all treasures of wisdom. Now the reason of all this fulness of wisdom is Christ is there given, verse 9. that in hiin diells the fulness of the godhead bodily.

Christ is not omniscient as God is, but it is a similitudinary omnicience, as Zanchy calls it, an image of God's omnisciency. God's knowledge extends itself not only to all that is, made or done, but to all that he can make or do ; which is an infinity. Christ's buman nature, now glorified, knows all that God haih done or meant to do. It had, by virtue of its union with the divine nature, a right to know both things past, present, and to come; and so it is in a sepse a kind of omnisciency, incommunicable to any other.

2. The same holds in his power. It is not equal with God's : Yet there is a similitudinary omnipotence in Christ's human nature, both in that he can do whatsoever he will, his will agreeing with God's in every thing, and in that all that God will ever pitch upon to be done he is an instrument of; Mat. xxviii. 18. All the businesses of the world run through his hands and his liead : and therefore he is called the power of God; I Cor. i. 24, and the arm of the Lord; Is. liii. 1.

John y, 19, 20. The Son can du nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; and whaterer the Father doch, the Son doth likereise. For the Father loreth the Son, and she weth him all things that himself doth. Here we have, 1. That wbatever. God doth, or means to do, the Son hath a hand io it. 2. That the Son knows all that is done by the Father. Here is both the omnisciency we speak of, and the omnipotency, in the terms wè stated it, as respecting all God's works, “ ad extra," evey all that ever was done. And this, 3. in an incommunicable way to any mere creature, for this is given him that he “ might be honoured even as the Father is honoured;" verse 23. And this, 4. in a similitudinary way, quoins, likewise, or in like manner : And 5. all this Christ speaks of himself as the Son of man; and it is one of the greatest keys to John's gospel that multitudes of such speeches are spoken of him, both as God, and a Godman. But to put it out of all doubt, he speaks of himself in this discourse as he is the Son of man united to God, he himself in the close of all expressly explains it so. Verse 27. The Fa. ther has given the Son authority to erecute judgment, because he is the Son of man.

3. Another attribute in Christ, which is such an image of what is in God, as is incoinmunicable to any mere creatures, is independency and sovereignty. This is one of the chiefest flowers in that crown of his glory. God might annibilate creatures at pleasurc, and yet in so doing rob them of nothing, which they can lay a just claim to as their own : but it is not thus with Cbrist's human nature ; now it is assumed into union with the second person, for it is invested with the royal prerogatives of the persons with whom it is one; it hath an independency like unto God's ; such as is communicable to no creature: therefore, says, Christ, verse 26. As the Father hath life in himself, so he hath given to the Son to have life in himself. It is said to be given him, but by this union he is invested with this iodisposable prerogative to have life in himself, and not to hold it by gift, though at first it were obtained so. Indeed it was a free act of grace in God at first, but in doing of it God did a wonder in the world, of all the greatest : For be sets up an independent creature, a creature backed with such a right to his being, that now himself cannot pull hin down, nor dissolve that union again. And what a glorious image of God's independency is this? I might shew the like also in holiness and all other attributes ; and it is a noble subject to spend pains upon, to set forth and cut out every limb of this vast image of all God's attributes that are in Christ merely upon his personal union. I have limbed out only these two or three parts of it, that by the like proportion we might infer the vastness of all the rest.

Chapter III. page 109. Christ is the first-born of every creature : This is not spoken of him simply as second person only, so as that his eternal generation as Son of God should be only intended; yet it does establishi his godhead, for these things

mong the rest of mature, and take him at the creaturam a

could not have been said of him had he not been God. The first-born or tirst-begotten of every creature is spoken of him as he is admitted into the catalogue or society of the creatures, or as he is become one of them. Or take him as he is the Son of God ordained to human vature, and then to have his name stand highest among the rest of the creatures. It is spoken of him in respect of a digoity and birth-right that this God-man hath at that instant be is admitted amongst the creatures ; Ps. Ixxxix. 27. I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth ; Prov. viii. 23. I was set up from everlasting. The phrase, I was set up, will less permit us to understand it of his eternal generation, for that was an act of God's will.

Page 113. For whom all things were created, Col. i. 16. Christ as God-man is set up as an universal end of the whole creation of God. His person decreed to subsist in man's nature was considered by God to be of that worth and distance above the creatures that their very being and existing was to become absolutely apd simply his propriety, of which prerogative no mere creature is capable. Page 114. Suppose God would decree him to be God-man and to subsist in a human nature, and likewise withal would ordain multitudes of other things, viz. angels and men, &c. then it becomes the necessary due of this Christ, and that as God-man, to be set up by God in bis decrees as the end of all those things. This did become that man's due and the necessary consequent of that union with God's Son; and accordingly that God sliould cast his decrees for Christ's glory as well as for his own. Hence we read Heb. i. 2. He is appointed heir of all things.

And if it be affirmed, that then Christ needed not to bave merited any glory to himself, this surely is a truth, though it may not be inade use of to exclude another title unto this bis own glory, namely that of purchase ; for it is no dishonour to him to have two claims. Page 116. It is certain that all God's works “ ad extra,” whereof the union of the divine and human nature of Christ is one, are the objects of God's decrees, Col. i. 19. It pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell in him. And again, Psalmii. 6, 7. I will publish the decree, I have set my king on my holy hill of Zion : And upon this decrec his kingdom over all is his due and inheritance.

Chapter IV. page 120. This human nature is made God's fellow, as Zechariah calls him, Zech. xiii. 7. “ The man, God's fellow,” is advanced to a fellowship in this society of the Trinity, and therefore to him God communicates proportionably without measure, as Jolin iii. 34. page 121. By means of taking up one reasonable creature, a inan, into this highest union, he cominuni. cates the richies of his knowledge an:l wisdom, to the utmost that they are communicable to that creature so united; for it is bis due to know more at the first instant of that his union than all the angels : For by virtue of that union be is presently in his

« AnteriorContinuar »