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hence to derive his title of Word.? John i. 3, 10. “ all things were made by him : by him the world was made." 1 Cor. viii. 6. “to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things." Eph. ii. 9. “who created all things by Jesus Christ.” Col. i. 16. “ by him were all things created.” Heb. i. 2." by whom also he made the worlds ;” whence it is said, v. 10. “ thou hast laid the foundation of the earth.” The preposition per sometimes signifies the primary cause, as Matt. xii. 28. “I cast out devils (per Spiritum) by the Spirit of God.” 1 Cor. i. 9. “God is faithful, (per quem) by whom ye are called,” sometimes the instrumental, or less principal cause, as in the passages quoted above, where it cannot be taken as the primary cause, for if so, the Father himself, of whom are all things, would not be the primary cause ; nor is it the joint cause, for in such case it would have been said that the Father created all things, not by, but with the Word and Spirit; or collectively, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit created; which phrases are nowhere to be found in Scripture. Besides, the expressions to be of the Father, and to be by the Son, do not denote the same kind of efficient
If it be not the same cause, neither is it a joint cause : and if not a joint cause, certainly the Father, of whom are all things, must be the principal cause, rather than the Son by whom are all things ; for the Father is not only he of whom, but also from whom, and for whom, and through whom, and on account of whom are all things, as has been proved above, inasmuch as he comprehends within himself all lesser causes ; whereas the Son is only he by whom are all things ;8 where.' fore he is the less principal cause.
Hence it is often said that
? Thyself, though great and glorious, dost thou count
Or all angelic nature join'd in one,
Abdiel's speech to Satan, Paradise Lost, V. 833.
Compare also VII. 163–167. 8 For an answer to this assertion, and indeed with reference to the whole of this chapter, see Waterland's Second Sermon in defence of the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, where he proves that Christ is pro. perly Creator.
the Father created the world by the Son,—but never, in the same sense, that the Son created the world by the Father. It is, however, sometimes attempted to be proved from Rev. iii. 14. that the Son was the joint, or even the principal cause of the creation with the Father; the beginning of the creation of God; where the word beginning is interpreted in an active sense, on the authority of Aristotle. But in the first place, the Hebrew language, whence the expression is taken, no where admits of this sense, but rather requires a contrary usage, as Gen. xlix. 3. “Reuben, thou art.... the beginning of my strength.” Secondly, there are two passages in St. Paul referring to Christ himself, which clearly prove that the * word beginning is here used in a passive signification. Col. i. 15, 18. “ the first born of every creature .... the beginning, the first born from the dead,”—where the position of the Greek accent, and the passive verbal #PWTÓTOXOS, shew that the Son of God was the first born of every creature precisely in the same sense as the Son of man was the first born of Mary, TIPWTÓTOXOS, Matt. 1. 25. The other passage is Rom. vii. 29.“ first born among many brethren ;” that is, in a passive signification. Lastly, it should be remarked, that he is not called simply the beginning of the creation, but of the creation of God; which can mean nothing else than the first of those things which God created ; how therefore can he be himself God? Nor can we admit the reason devised by some of the Fathergå for his being called, Col. i. 15. “the first born of every creature,”-namely, because it is said v. 16. “by him
He Heaven of Heavens and all the Powers therein
Paradise Lost, III. 390. See Aristotle's Metaphys. iv. 1. Milton alludes to this philosophical sense of the word, as the principle from which another arises, in his logical work. Hinc causa proprie dicta, principium quoque nominatur a Cic. I. de Nat. Deorum, sed frequentius apud Græcos.' Artis Logicæ plenior Institutio, &c. Prose Works, VI. 225. Blackwall defends the active sense of ápx» in Rev. iii. 14. on the authority of Plato, quoting a passage from the Phædo, where the word is similarly used. Sacred Classics, vol. ii. 177, edit. 1731. Compare Suicer in voc.
? In allusion to the opinion of Isidore Pelusiota, Erasmus, and others (with whom Michaelis agrees, Annotat. ad Paraphr. ad Col. i. 15.) that it should not be read πρωτότοκος, primogenitus, but πρωτοτόκος, prima genitor.
3 Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Tertullian (contra Marcionem, lib. v.) Novatian. See also Athanasius, Orat. ii. contra Ariinos.
all things were created.” For had St. Paul intended to con. vey the meaning supposed, he would have said, who was before every creature, (which is what these Fathers contend the words signify, though not without violence to the language) not, who was the first born of every creature, an expression which clearly has a superlative, and at the same time to a certain extent a partitive sense, in so far as production may be considered as a kind of generation and creation; but by no means in so far as the title of first born among men may be here applied to Christ, seeing that he is termed first born, not only in respect of dignity, but also of time. v. 16. “for by him were all things created that are in heaven.”
Nor is the passage in Prov. viii. 22, 23. of more weight, even if it be admitted that the chapter in general is to be understood with reference to Christ : “ Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way before his works of old ; I was set up from everlasting.”4 For that which was possessed and set up, could not be the primary cause. Even a creature, however, is called the beginning of the ways of God, Job xl. 19. “ he (behemoth) is the chief (principium) of the ways of God.” As to the eighth chapter of Proverbs, it appears to me that it is not the Son of God who is there introduced as the speaker, but a poetical personification of wisdom, as in Job xxviii. 20—27. “ whence then cometh wisdom ?-then did he see it."
Another argument is brought from Isai. xlv. 12, 23. “I have made the earth .... unto me every knee shall bow.” It is contended that this is spoken of Christ, on the authority of St. Paul, Rom. xiv. 10, 11. we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ : for it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me.” But it is evident from the parallel passage Philipp. ii. 9—11. that this is said of God the Father, by whose gift the Son has received that judgment seat, and all judgment, “ that at the name of Jesus
4 See Waterland's Seventh Sermon on Christ's Divinity, &c. Works, vol. ii. 144.
5 All the Christian writers, from the earliest times, apply this text to Christ; and expressions in it are even quoted by those who deny lis divinity. Compare Bull's Catholick Doctrine concerning the Blessed Trinity, iii. 842; Whitaker's Origin of Arianism Disclosed, p. 149, note k.
6 By Calovius, Calvin, Musculus, Tirinus, &c.
every knee shall bow.... to the glory of God the Father ;” or, which means the same thing, "every tongue shall confess to God."
AND SPIRIT. Gen. i. 2. “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters ;
;" that is, his divine power, rather than any person, as has been already shewn in the sixth chapter, on the Holy Spirit. For if it were a person, why is the Spirit named, to the exclusion of the Son, by whom we so often read that the world was created ? unless, indeed, that Spirit were Christ, to whom, as has been before proved, the name of Spirit is sometimes given in the Old Testament. However this may be, and even if it should be admitted to have been a person, it seems at all events to have been only a subordinate minister: God is first described as creating the heaven and the earth ; the Spirit is only represented as moving upon the face of the waters already created. So Job xxvi. 13. "by his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens.” Psal. xxxiii. 6. “ by the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath (spiritu) of his mouth.” Now the person of the Spirit does not seem to have proceeded more from the mouth of God than from that of Christ, who “shall consume that wicked one with the spirit of his mouth,” 2 Thess. ii. 8. compared with Isai. xi. 4. “the rod of his mouth.”
BY HIS WILL. Psal. cxxxv. 6. "whatsoever Jehovah pleased, that did he in heaven and earth.” Rev. iv. 11. “for thy pleasure they are and were created.” FOR THE MANIFESTATION OF THE GLORY OF HIS POWER
Gen. i. 31. “God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” See also 1 Tim. iv. 4. Psal. xix. 1. “ the heavens declare the glory of God.”
? Spiritus Dei incubabat. The word incubabat properly signifies brooded, as a bird over her eggs; and the beauty of the original image, which is not retained in our authorized translation, has been twice pre. served with great effect in the Paradise Lost.
Thou from the first
Prov. xvi. 4. “ Jehovah hath made all things for himself." Acts xiv. 5. "that ye should turn from these vanities into the living God which made heaven and earth and the sea, and all things that are therein.” xvii. 24. “ God that made the world and all things therein.” Rom. i. 20. “for his eternal power and Godhead are clearly seen.
Thus far it has appeared that God the Father is the primary and efficient cause of all things. With regard to the original matter of the universe, however, there has been much difference of opinion. Most of the moderns contend that it was formed from nothing, a basis as unsubstantial as that of their own theory. In the first place, it is certain that neither the Hebrew verb N77, nor the Greek xrissov, nor the Latin creare, can signify to create out of nothing.' On the contrary, these words uniformly signify to create out of matter. Gen. i. 21, 27. “God created.... every living creature which the waters
* The object of the next pages is to prove that the world was not created out of nothing. An intimation of this opinion occurs incidentally in Paradise Lost.
. Fool, not to think how vain
VI. 135. where Newton rightly observes, that Milton did not favour the opinion that the creation was out of nothing. Richardson has also a remark to the same effect on Par. Lost, I. 9. See his Explanatory Notes and Remarks on Paradise Lost, p. 4. edit. 1734. London.
9 So Drusius, Paulus Fagius, Estius, &c. and nearly all the English commentators. Tillotson takes occasion to reply to the objections raised against the doctrine, in his sermon On the Power of God, from Psal. lxii.' 11. With regard to the opinion of the Fathers, Lactantius says, (De Orig. Error. lib. ii.) • Nemo quærat ex quibus ista materiis tam magna, tam mirifica opera Deus fecerit ; omnia enim fecit ex nihilo.' Tertullian, (Advers. Hermog. cap. xlv.) Igitur in quantum constitit materiam nul.
am fuisse, ex hoc etiam quod nec talem competat fuisse qualis inducitur, in tantum probatur omnia a Deo ex nihilo facta.' Justin. (Aristotel Dogm. everg.) εί ούτως εστίν η ύλη αγέννητος, ώς ο θεός, και δύναται ο θεός εκ τού αγεννήτου ποιήσαι τι, δηλον ως δύναται ο θεός και εκ του απλώς μη όντος ποιήσαι τι. The Valentinians first affirmed matter to have been co-eternal with God, and the Gnostics followed them in a still more senseless modification of this heresy. See King on the Creed, p. 81. edit. 1719. Stillingfleet's Origines Sacræ. B. III. Ch. 2.
? See this argument answered by Beveridge, Exposition of the First Article, Works, Vol. IX. p. 50.