Imatges de pàgina
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history. Philp. ii. Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.-- Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knce should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things uniler the earth.-

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Face ther.

A view, therefore, of the whole doctrine of Christ may be given in three words, high, humbled, and exalted. This threefold glory of our Lord Jesus Christ forms the all-comprising circuit of the Sun of Righteousness; and it manifestly unfolds from the divine will; for, his filial character was the delight of the Father, and he was blessed as a Son from everlasting; but, the manifestation of this filial character, which necessarily implies the manifestation of the Father's authority, required that he should stoopin obedience and to make such a stoop, as would answer to, and express the infinite authority of the Ma. jesty of Heaven, required that he should descend to the lowest poflible state of humiliation; and a reward, such as the infinite me. rit of a work giving birth to a manifestation of the glory of God requires, could be nothing

than his exaltation above all heavens.

As we have stated, the stipulations of the covenant which Christ was brought into by the Father, were for substance these, that he should come into the world and perform a work of filial duty, which should give a full display of the authority and glory of the Father; and, as a reward, he should be exalted and exhibited in all the splendour of that display.

Also, in the full exhibition of the divine principle, we shall behold three states of the creation, in perfect conformity to these three ftates of Christ as the Head and Lord of all. One all dressed out in the habiliments of innocence and primitive glory-bright and joyful as the morning: another, shrouded in a cloud and baptismal waters, groaning and travelling in pain; and the other shining, glowing and fructifying under the beams of the Sun of Righteousness, or by the light, heat, and bleiledness of the Desire of all Nations.

This theory, arising necessarily from the divine principle, is the argument exhibited by the apostle Peter, in his second Epistle, chap. ter third, against them who deny a future flate, saying, Where is the promise of his coming? or, where is the evidence of a world to come? for all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.-But the Apostle replied, i his, this fundamental principle they willingly are ignorant of, that the keavens, such as were at first, and the earth being constructed of water and by water, by the word of God; whereby the world that tien

was, being overflowed of water, perished. But, the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

It is most evident that the Apostle speaks here of some one principle, called the word of God and promise, which must be known to men not willingly ignorant; which both conftituted and destroyed the old world; which same principle constitutes this world, and keeps it, in flore, reserved unto fire again't the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men; and, according to which also, we look with certainty for a new world-new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

This divine theory is contemplated in the scripture expressions of the heaven of heavens, and the third heavens; implying three states of the creation, as the first or natural heavens -the middle or angelic heavens-and the glorified state, or heaven of Christ.-The word heaven thus used, whether singular or plural, means the same thing; and evidently intends a whole world. The holy temple of the Lord being made according to the pattern Shewed Mofis in the mount, exhibited the fame divine scheme: First, the porch, or court of the people; secondly, the sanctuary, or court of the priells; and, thirdly, the oracle, or holy.cf holies.--To these three Aates of Christ

and the creation, distinctly marked out in the xixth Pralın, we have already alluded; and there can be no doubt of this being the true explanation of the three covenants, or covenant ftates of man; and that the whole respects one eternal truth, pattern, or principle of divine knowledge,

Moreover, according to the principle of the divine theory, we lhall behold Chrilt exhibited in three personal forms, answerable to the nature of the whole exhibition, viz, the di. vine form, or form of God, the angelic form, or form of a servant, and the human form, or fashior. of a man, in which form he is glorified.–And thus in the day of judgment, when all his glory will be exhibited in one view, he will appear in the glory of the Father, and in the glory of the holy angels, and in his own glory.

And, in like manner, in this exhibition, Chrilt bears three most distinguishing names, viz. The Beginning The Archangel, and The Son of God; which names properly dislinguish the three heads of the Divine Theory; and for this purpose we shall use them.

THE DIVISIONS OF THE THEORY. THE division of this all.comprehensive subject into three heads, diftinguithed by the three names, as mentioned above, and the characters belonging to them, arises clearly from the nature of the divine will; and this

is the ground of those three different exhibitions of Christ, each forming a world, which, distinctly, it will be the object of the three parts of this work to illustrate--But, before we proceed to the more full and conclusive illuitrations in the exhibitions themselves, some particular examination of these names, in order to familiarize to the mind the characters belonging to the several glorious displays under them, together with some general illustrations of the theory, may be found to be of advantage.

THE BEGINNING. THE word Beginning is a name of Christ, and one of the most remarkable of all the names given to him by the Holy Spirit. It begins and, excepting the attestation and benediction, it ends the inspired volume. This word, used in the scriptures as a name of Christ

, signifies at least, a head, chief, prince, or principal one.

With this word, Moses introduced his ac. count of the creation of God, and thereby fignified, as inspired writers after hin underftood, that Christ was the beginning, the principal one, and glorious head of the creation. Solomon, in a view which evidently includes the work both of creation and rede:nprion, uses he word, and repeats it, so as therein to place Christ in one view, at the kead of both' words.* It is placed in the

* Prov, viii, 22, 23.

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