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Chrift, was not ugg des and loa de before the Incarnation, even upon your own Principles, who fuppofe that his Divine Nature is inferior to the very God. And therefore, fince the Apoftle does exprefly affirm, that Jefus Chrift was op deữ and lone before his Incarnation; 'tis evident even to Demonftration, that he was er oge and i
with refpect to his human Nature. And confequently his human Soul (for his Body was not as yet in Being) preexifted before the Incarnation.
And indeed, the Admiffion of this (which I now take the liberty of calling an evident) Truth, makes the Apostle argue like himself in this controverted Place; and alfo throughly clears, what we read in the fecond Chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. For,
1. The Apoftle infers Humility and Condefcenfion from the Example of the Bleffed Jefus; and he fets before them, that Chrift, viz. his preexifting human Soul, perfonated the very God; and urgės his voluntary Debafement of himself by Incarnation, when that State of Glory was freely exchanged for a mean Condition upon Earth, in which he fometimes discharged fervile Offices, and at laft fuffered Death upon the Crofs. So that the Apoftle exprefly mentions the utmoft Pitch of Glory which Chrift's human Soul left, and the lowest Pitch of Humiliation which it fubmitted to. And confequently the Example could not be press'd more home to the Confciences of his Disciples, nor could any more prevalent Pattern be offer'd to them.
2. This makes the Apoftle's Argument truly conclufive, and exactly pertinent. For 'tis drawn from what Chrift's human Nature did, and 'tis fupported by what his human Nature receiv'd as the Reward
of it. So that every Man was thereby encourag'd and provok'd to imitate fo bright a Pattern; fince he was fure to receive the Recompence of his own Action, and must not otherwise expect it. 'Tis as if the Apostle had faid thus, Do you imitate the Example of the Man Chrift Jefus, whofe Soul, tho' it preexifted before his Appearance in the Flesh, and had the honor of perfonating God; yet when he confider'd the fad Condition of poor Mortals, and the Neceffity of an unfpotted Sacrifice in order to their Redemption; of his own Choice he devested himself of that great Glory, and became in all things like unto us, being cloath'd with Flesh and Bloud; and even when he was upon Earth, he did not affect State and Pomp, but fubmitted, when Occafion offer'd, even to fervile Employments, and at laft was content to be murder'd upon the Cross for us. Wherefore God has highly exalted this incarnat human Soul, viz. the Man Chrift Jefus, &c. Do ye therefore act, as much as your Circumftances will permit, in like manner; do ye voluntarily fubmit your felves for the fake of others; and God will accordingly beftow a bleffed Recompenfe upon you.
3. The Author to the Hebrews might, upon these Principles juftly argue, that the Gofpel was deliver'd by a greater Perfon than he that deliver'd the Law. For the bare human Soul of Chrift, tho' it had indeed the Honor of perfonating God, deliver'd the Law: but when that fame Soul voluntarily be came incarnat, 'twas united to the WORD it felf, the Creator of the Univerfe; and even the Man Chrift Jefus became God's own Son, and was appointed Heir of all things, and the fupreme Governor of all created Beings, even of the higheft
Angels, fuch as were before in Nature and Degree vaftly fuperior to it self.
And indeed, 'tis exceedingly obfervable, that the Apostle had no fooner argued from the fuperior Dignity of him that promulged Chriftianity, but he fupports what he had faid, by adding as follows, For unto the Angels bath he not put in fubjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place teftified Saying, What is man that thou art mindful of bim, or the Son of man, that thou vifiteft him? Thou madeft him a little lower than the Angels, &c. Heb. 2. 5, 6, 7. And then he goes on to prove from the Pfalmift, that Chrift's human Nature was to be exalted, and that it was at that time accordingly placed at God's Right Hand. Now the Apostle could not have done thus, if he had spoken before of fuch a Nature, as was always at leaft equal to what the human Nature of Christ was made by its utmoft Advancement. Whereas, if he spake before (as he certainly did) of the human Nature of Chrift, and fhewed the Difference between the fame Meffenger, when delivering the Law, and when delivering the Gofpel; what he fubjoins, is the most proper Confideration imaginable to ftrengthen what he had faid immediatly before. For thereby he proves, that the Scriptures foretold that very Advancement of the human Nature, from Chrift's actual Enjoyment of which he had juftly argued, that a Perfon fuperior to a bare Angel had promulged the Gospel.
In fhort, let any Man attentively read St. Paul's Words, and he can't but perceive, that the very fame intelligent Being which was rewarded, did alfo practise that Humility and Condefcenfion, for which he was rewarded. For 'tis faid, that God bath bighly exalted him, who being in the form of God, &c. G 3
condefcended to fuffer Death upon the Crofs; and God did therefore fo highly exalt him, because he fo greatly fubmitted, even tho' he was in the Form of God. Now I need not observe to you, that we who believe the WORD, or Divine Nature of Christ, to be the very God, dare not affert, that the WORD, or Chrift's Divine Nature, was thus exalted for leaving its former Glory. For did the very God cease to be in his own glorious State? Was he afterwards exalted by himself, as by fome other diftinct Being, to that his former glorious State, as the Reward of his Humiliation? And was this an exceeding Exaltation to the very God? We cannot therefore affert fuch an impious Do&rin.
Again, What was this exceeding Exaltation? Why his having a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jefus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: And that every tongue should confefs, that Jefus Chrift is Lord, to (or if you please in) the glory of God the father. Could this be faid of the very God? Had not he before, had not he always, could he poffibly cease to have, a Name above every Name? Had he not neceffarily, is it poffible for him not to have, the fupreme Dominion over the whole Creation? Was a Stare of fupreme Dominion therefore a State of exceeding Exaltation to the Divine Nature of Chrift, upon fuppofition that his Divine Nature is the very God? Such are the wretched Effects of ufing bad Arguments in a good Caufe.
But this, you'll fay, does not affect Men of your Principles. True. But then, even upon your own Principles, if the fame Nature that was exalted, was formerly a des and is, 'tis manifeft,
that the human Nature alone was son de and Tou. And confequently 'twas the human Nature alone, which practis'd that Humility and Condefcenfion, of which the Apostle is to be understood. in this Place now under Confideration. For I have demonftrated, that the human Nature alone was rewarded. And that the human Nature could not practife that Humility and Condefcenfion which the Apoftle infifts on, and which was manifeftly prior to the Incarnation, unless the human Sout did preexift; I prefume, you will not defire me to prove.
Nothing now remains, but that I obferve one thing, viz. that the human Soul of Chrift preexift, ed before the Foundation of the World. For our Savior fays in his Prayer to God, And now, O Father, glorifie thou me with thine own felf, with the glory which I bad with thee before the world was (we) tv NÓG Mov, before this world was) John 17. 5. Again he fays, Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may bebold my glory which thou hast given me: for thou lovedft me before the foundation of the world, v. 24. 'Tis evident from hence, that our Savior did exift before the foundation of the world, or before this world was. And I freely acknowledge, and you will readily grant, that we who believe the WORD, or Divine Nature of Chrift, to be very God, can't poffibly interpret thefe Paffages of the WORD, or Divine Nature. For 'tis manifeft, that when our Lord offer'd up this Prayer, he did not actually enjoy fome Glory or Happiness, of which he had formerly been poffefs'd; and that he begg'd of God to be restor❜d to it. Wherefore he could not mean that Glory or Happiness, which he had as very God. For the Glory or Happiness of the very God is effential to