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their councils in the plan of redemption, and their being one as to their substance and nature, as well as to their wills and affections. But not in one person; for Christ prayed at the same time to his Father, to make his disciples one as they were one. We think none would contend that he prayed to his own person; or, that he prayed his eleven disciples might be amalgamated and cemented together so as to make but one person.
Inquiry as to the pre-existence, divinity, and proper Sonship
of Christ, continued. In the further discussion of this subject, in regard to the pre-existence of Christ, the divinity of his nature, and proper Sonship, we will look to the scriptures as the man of our counsel. The first passage we notice we shall find recorded in St. John, chap. 1st, verses 1,2,3,4: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. Allthings were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." And that the word, here spoken of, is the Son of God, is evident from the 14th verse of the same chapter—“And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Let us take particular notice of the word his, a personal pronoun, undoubtedly referring to the person or character, spoken of in the four first verses.
In the beginning, viz. when creation began, he existed with God, that is in the bosom of the Father. The same point is confirmed by Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians, chapter 1, verse 17, “And he is before all things, and by him all things eonsist.” And if the Son exists with, consequently in some sense, distinct from the Father in personality. “And the Word was God,” in his
nature, that is, God of God, Light of Light, Life of Life, the Eternal of the Eternal, and the Invisible of him that is Invisible. It is objected by the Socinians and Arians, that “the Word,” here quoted as applying to Christ, and as to his person, refers to the attributes of God as they were given to Christ, viz. power and wisdom. Here let it be remarked, that the attributes of God are not begotten, but the Word” is said to be begotten, and we behold his glory, as Paul expresseth it, Colossians, chapter 1, verse 15," the first born of every ereature.' From this passage last cited, it clearly appears that they cannot have reference to the Father, as he is no where said to be begotten or horn. Secondly, they cannot have reference to the human nature of Jesus Christ, for we are assured that, that was not the “ first born of every creature."
We may gain a further knowledge on this important point, by considering the apostle Paul's declaration on this subject, recorded in the 1st chapter of his epistle to the Hebrews, and to the Colossians. We shall first remark on his epistle to the Hebrews, chapter first—“God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the Fathers by the prophets, bath 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.” Here we may remark, that it appears the apostle determined to make an obvious and peculiar difference, between the two characters speaking to the human family, notwithstanding he observes God spake to us by each of them. The last character is called a Son; we may safely conclude that he is a son by nature, and not by creation, or adoption, for the following Jeasons,
Saith the apostle, “God hath appointed him heir of all things.” This appointment, it is thought cannot refer to the human nature of Jesus Christ; that, abstractly considered, cannot fill and occupy an appointment of that nature, extent and description, as it is evident, that something like Omnipotence and Omnipresence would be necessary in order to sway, occupy and enjoy an inheritance so vast, so amazing and boundless. We have also, further evidence that this heir, is the proper Son of God, sharing with him all his glorious attributes in thc fullest sense we can imagine—that is, we consider the union of the Father and Son as inseparable ; not, that the Son receives these attributes as delegated to him, but that in the Son they are inherent in himself. That these attributes dwell inherently in the Son appears evident. The apostle saith, aby whom also he made the worlds." The creating power, as really and absolutely belongs to God,
and to God alone, as any other attribute we can ascribe to 4 him.
We find the same ideas abundantly supported and confirmed by the same apostle in his Epistle to the Colossians, chapter 1, verses 14 and 15“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature.” That Christ is the Son of God, is evident. The great apostle mentions the name of Son very particularly in the verse preceding. He says he“ is the image of the invisible God;" and the apostle could not be so inconsistent as to say or mean, that the Father was the image of himself. The apostle affirms he is the first born of every creature;" this expression cannot apply to the Father
nor to the human nature of the Son, but must refer to the Divine nature of the Son only. To this character, viz. the Son, the apostle ascribes the whole work of creation, which we may find in the 16th verse : “For by him were all things 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.” The apostle confirms the above statement, by saying in the following verses—“And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” And that this is the Son of God, our Redeemer, is further evident, verses 18 and 19; “ 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 fullness dwell." St. Stephen, bears testimony that the person last described is he that was with the Israelites in the wilderness.