Imágenes de páginas

Father and the Holy Ghost. The second is founded on the former, and belongs to his person, as constituted Godman, and which was to break forth in and upon the human nature united into personal union with him, which glory is thus exprefsed by one, who was an eyewitnefs of his majesty, who for himself and others says, "We saw, or beheld, his "glory, the glory as of the only begotten "of the Father"." A glimpse of Christ's personal glory shone forth and was seen by the prophet Isaiah. The vision recorded in the sixth chapter of his prophecy belongs to Christ as God-man, as God personally dwelling in our nature, as is evident from the application of it by the apostle John". "These things "said Esaias, when he saw his (i. e. "Christ's) glory, and spake of him.' Christ's personal glory broke forth on the holy mount. Peter says of himself, James, and John, "We were eye"witnesses of his majesty. For he re"ceived from God the Father honour "and glory, when there came such a "voice to him from the excellent glory, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I "am well pleased. And this voice which "came from heaven we heard"."

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The apostle Paul gives us a portrait of w Ch. xii. 41.

v John i. 14.

* 2 Pet. i. 16, 17, 18.

Christ, God-man, and sets him before us in all his efsential, personal, and incommunicable glories, perfections, royalties, and fulness, in his first chapter to the Colofsians. "Who is the image of the "invisible God, the first-born of every 66 creature. For, by him were all things "6 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. "And he is before all things, and by "him all things consist; and he is the "head of the body, the church: who is "the beginning, the first-born from the "dead; that in all things, he might "have the pre-eminence. For it pleased "the Father that in him should all ful"nefs dwell." In which scripture we have the personal excellencies of Jesus Christ, which are inherent in him as God-man. He is the image of the invisible God. Christ is the complete image of those perfections in the Godhead which are incomprehensible. And they are so in him as to be incommunicable to any mere creature. 2dly. His royalties also are incommunicable, and infinitely transcend all the privileges of any mere creature. He is the firstborn of every creature, which is not spoken of him as second person in the

Godhead, but as God-man. Christ, as God-man, and all creatures lay enclosed in the eternal decrees and purposes of God. And Christ was brought forth first. Hence he is styled, "The first"born among many brethren." That Christ was God-man by predestination appears clearly from the testimony of the apostle Peter, "Who verily was "fore-ordained before the foundation of "the world"."

When Christ is styled, "The first"born of every creature," it is spoken "it of him, says the incomparable Doctor Goodwin, in consideration of a dignity or birth-right, which the man Jesus Christ united with the second person in the Trinity has above all other creatures. Christ, God-man, is the beginning of the creation of God, and the upholder of the whole creation in his Father's purposes: he was virtually the maker thereof, as so considered; he is the upholder and governor of them, when thus created and all things in heaven and on earth are committed to him. "The Lord pof"sefsed him, in the beginning of his

way, before his works of old." In the beginning of his ways and works, wherein he purposed to go forth and manifest himself towards creatures in his first thoughts of them, did God pofsefs * Rom. viii. 29. 1 Pet. i. 20. a Prov. viii. 22.

Christ, as God-man, in his fore-knowledge, as the richest treasure of all his glory to be manifested in the creation; without which he would not have proceeded to any other work, or gone forth into creature-acts. And it is also added; "He pofsefsed me before his works of "old" The sentiment here expressed is precisely the same with that of Paul in the text before us. "He is before all "things.-The first-born of every crea


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"" ture. He is the final cause of the whole creation of God. "All things "were created by him and for him. He "is the head of his body, the church. "He is in all things to have the pre-emi66 nence. For it pleased the Father, "that in him should all fulnefs dwell." Christ's human nature, afsumed into union with the Son of God, is by that union invested with the royal preroga tives of the person with whom it is one. Hence Christ saith, "As the Father "hath life in himself, so hath he given "to the Son to have life in himself"." "In him dwelleth all the fulness of the "Godhead personally, or bodily. So that Christ is the prince of life-the glory of the Lord-the Lord of glory. He was the delight of all the persons in the Trinity-the object and subject of their ineffable love-was admitted into Prov. viii. 22.. b John v. 26. c Col. ii. 9.

C 99

all their secrets-pofsefsed by the Father -filled with the fulness of the Godhead by the personal indwelling of the Son, and delighted in by the Holy Ghost, as "The man of God's right hand, that "Son of man, whom he had made so

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strong for himself." The life which the God-man, elect, lived, and the glory and blefsednefs which he enjoyed with the Father before the world was, are entirely beyond all conception even in Heaven. The Son of God, the person predestinated to wear our nature by personal union, had the glory due to the hypostatical union bestowed on him before the

world was. Hence Christ says in the seventeenth of John, "And now, O Fa"ther, glorify thou me with thine own "self, with the glory which I had with "thee before the world was." This was his personal glory, in which he now shines at the right hand of the majesty on high. A sight of him in which will be the efsence of heavenly glory. Hence he saith in the same chapter, 66 Father, "I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which "thou hast given me: for thou lovedst "me before the foundation of the "world." The Father saith of him, "Behold mine elect in whom my soul d Psalm lxxx. 17.

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e verse 5.

verse 24

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