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ther, and the Father in me? or elfe believe me the very work's fake.

A ftranger, vifiting at Salem, is told by his friend, that the town is almoft encircled by two rivers, or arms of the fea; one extend. ing on the north fide, the other on the fouth. He believes his friend; but he may go out and furvey the fituation of the town, and beJieve his own eyes.-A man may believe the fcriptures of divine truth, and rationally exercile his mind in their divinity; and he is criminal if he does not; but he may alfo furvey the operation of divine truth, exercise his mind in, and give credit to the divinity of the work itfelf; and if he does not do this, he is no lefs criminal.

Inferences from facts have generally been confidered as being within the province of reafon; and, doubtlefs, in many inftances, one fact may be clearly inferred from another; but, on this ground, there is more room for conjecture and doubt. I confider this tract as hazardous, and fhall attempt it with caution. The reader is already apprized that the demonstration of the Divine Theory confifts in the divine operation; and that our illuf trations will be chiefly made, by bringing into view the works of God as they are known to us by the fcriptures, and what we see and experience.

THE

DIVINE THEORY.

PART I.

THE BEGINNING:

ILLUSTRATING THE TRUTH OF CHRIST AS BEING THE HEAD OF THE CREATION.

CHAPTER I.

OF ETERNAL THINGS.

Section 1, The Pre-existence, and effential Glory of Chrift.

1. CHRIST is from everlasting.

The eternity of Chrift is included in what has been fhewn of his divinity, or of his bearing an effential part in the matter of the divine will; but the truth of his eternal exiftence is so important to the argument before us, that I wish to bring it particularly into view.

According to the Theory, the divine eternal principle exifts in a matter of voluntary action, or, in a will or purpose with its efficient action. A dormant purpose is not the purpose of God. The divine will cannot be conceived to exist, but as expanding or operating; which primary operation, as already fhewn, conftituted the Beginning, the pre

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exiftent Christ. He is, therefore, as neceffarily eternal as is the purpofe of God.

To this agree the fcriptures: (Wifdom,) was fet up from everlasting, in the beginning, Prov. viii. 23.-Chriff, the beginning, was, therefore, from everlafting. He is called, 7he everlasting Father, Ifaiah ix. 6.-And again, Thou, O Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer, thy name is from everlafling, Isaiah Ixiii. 16. But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judale, yet out of thee fhall he come forth unto me, to be ruler in Ifrael, whofe goings forth have been from of old, from everlafting, Mic. v. 2.-According to the eternal purpose, which he purpofed in Chrift, Eph, iii, 11.-As the divine purpofe was purpofed in Chrift, he muft have been as ancient and eternal as the purpofe or will of God. And he is before all things, and by him all things confift, Col. i. 17.

2. There exifts an eternal heaven.

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The view we have taken of the divine will, as of a principle expanding and operating, implies neceflarily a pre-exiftent and eternal flate of elevation and glory: And thus, the inauguration, or fetting up of Chrift, implies a throne and kingdom; and as this work is effential to the divine principle, fuch a kingdom, power and glory, muft have been coexiftent with the divine will. Moreover, this eternal truth of Chrifl implies, that the heayen of God exifls in fact, and has a real form; and that, according to the divine will, it confifts of parts, and is a frame of things, fuch as may be reprefented by a building, an houfe,

or a city; the whole of which is included in that intereft, called eternal life, which was given to us in Chrift Jefus before the world

was.

And as this glory was given to Chrift for us, and actually received by him before the world began, the Giver was elevated or glorified thereby, and the Receiver was elevated or glorified therein; and the premises and goods thus beftowed and received, fhone out like a glorious houfe opened for ufe, or like a treasure taken in inventory.-Hence, the name of the God of Glory, the Lord of Glory, and the King of Glory.

To this allo agree the fcriptures. Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations, whofe builder and maker is God, By this city being fo defcribed and diftinguifhed, as having foundations, nothing lefs than its eternal nature can be imported; and by its builder and maker being God, it is expreffed to be his work, in a higher, and altogether different fenfe, from that of his being the builder and maker of all things which are temporal, and which will be changed and pafs away.

Our Lord faid, What and if ye shall fee the Son of Man afcend up where he was before? John vi. 62. This place to which our Lord afcended, where he was before he came into the world, muft be eternal; and fo it is defcribed in the Pfalms, Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ve lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory fhall come in.-Who is the King of Glory? The Lord ftrong and mighty--the Lord mighty in battle.-Lift .

up your heads, O ye gates, even lift them up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory Shall come in.-Who. is the King of Glory? The Lord of Hofts, he is the King of Glory.

We know, faith the Apoftle, that if our earthly houfe of this tabernacle were diffolved, we have a building of God, an houfe not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. This, undoubted, was the great original of the pattern which the Lord fhewed Mofes in the mount; and it is here spoken of as the property of believ ers, for it was given to them in Chrift Jesus. -We have a building of God; an houíe not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

John faw the great city, the holy Jerufalem, defcending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Effential, eternal glory is here. evidently intended; for by its having the glory of God, this city is defcribed and diftinguished from all fuch other things as are merely declarative of the glory of God; and to exprefs the fame thing, it is faid, that the glory of God did lighten it, in diftinction from the light of the fun, and the moon, and all created light. This is called the tabernacle of God, Rev. xxi. 3, and must be the same which is called a building of Cod, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; and the high and holy place, where the Most High dwelleth.

God is faid to dwell in light, which no man, in a mortal flate can approach unto; and the faints gone to God, are diftinguished from thofe in the body, and called faints in light: We understand, however, by God's dwelling

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