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of Abraham is opposed to his not taking the seed of angels. Now the Jews are not universally opposed to angels in this thing, but human kind. 3. He“ took the seed of Abraham” is, it
he endeavoured to help the Jews. The whole discourse of the help afforded, both before and after this verse, is extended to the whole church; how comes it here to be restrained to the Jews only? 4. The discourse of the apostle is about the undertaking of Christ by death, and his being fitted thereunto by partaking of flesh and blood; which is so far from being in any place restrained or accommodated only to the Jews, as that the contrary is everywhere asserted, as is known to all.
[The next place is] 1 John iv. 2, “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” He who comes into the world, or comes into flesh or in the flesh, had a subsistence before he so came. It is very probable that the intendment of the apostle was to discover the abomination of them who denied Christ to be a true man, but assigned him a fantastical body; which yet he so doth as to express his coming in the flesh in such a manner as evidences him to have another nature (as was said) besides that which is here synecdochically called “flesh.” Our catechists to this say,
That this is not to the purpose in hand ; for that which some read, “He into the flesh,” is not in the Greek, but “He came in the flesh.” Moreover, John doth not write, “That spirit which confesseth Jesus Christ, which came in the flesh, is of God;" but that “That spirit which confesseth Jesus Christ, who is come in the flesh, is of God.” The sense of which words is, that the spirit is of God which confesseth that Jesus Christ, who performed his office in the earth without any pomp or worldly ostentation, with great humility as to outward appearance, and great contempt, and lastly underwent a contumelious death, is Christ, and King of the people of God.'
I shall not contend with them about the translation of the words. 1. 'Εν σαρκί seems to be put for εις σάρκα, but the intendment is the same; for the word “came" is naudóra, that is, "that came," or "did come.” 2. It is not sòv nohudóra,“ who did come,” that thence any colour should be taken for the exposition given by them, of confessing that Christ, or him who is the Christ, is the King of the people of God, or confessing him to be the Christ, the King of the people of God; but it is, “ that confesseth him who came in the flesh," that is, as to his whole person and office, his coming, and what he came for. 3. They cannot give us any example nor any one reason
1 “ Etiam in eo nihil prorsus de incarnatione (quam vocant) haberi ; etenim quod apud quosdam legitur, Venit in carnem, in Græco habetur, In carne venit. Propterea non scribit Johannes, quod spiritus qui confitetur Jesum Christum, qui in carne venit, ex Deo est; verum quod ille spiritus qui confitetur Jesum Christum in carne venisse ex Deo est. Quorum verborum sensus est, eum spiritum ex Deo esse qui confitetur Jesum illum, qui munus suum in terris sine ulla pompa et ostentatione mundana, summa cum humilitate (quoad exteriorem speciem) summoque cum contemptu obiverit, mortem denique ignominiosam oppetierit, esse Christum, et populi Dei Regem."
to evince that that should be the meaning of sy oupxí which here they pretend. The meaning of it hath above been abundantly declared, so that there is no need that we should insist longer on this place, nor why we should trouble, ourselves with Grotius' long discourse on this place. The whole foundation of it is, that “to come in the flesh” signifies to come in a low, abject condition,-a pretence without proof, without evidence. “Flesh” may sometimes be taken so; but that to "come in the flesh" is to come in such a condition, we have not the least plea pretended.
The last place they mention to this purpose is Heb. x. 5, “Wherefore, when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” He who had a body prepared for him when he came into the world, he sub-, sisted in another nature before that coming of his into the world. To this they say,
Neither is there here any mention made of the incarnation (as they call it), seeing that world, into which the author says Christ entered, is the world to come, as was above demonstrated; whence to come into the world doth not signify to be born into the world, but to enter into heaven. Lastly, in these words, “ A body hast thou prepared me,” that word, “a body" (as appeared from what was said where his entering this world was treated of), may be taken for an immortal body.
Q. What is the sense of this place?
A. That God fitted for Jesus such a body, after he entered heaven, as is fit and accommodate for the discharging of the duty of a high priest.?
But, doubtless, than this whole dream nothing can be more fond or absurd. 1. How many times is it said that Christ came into this world, where no other world but this can be understood ! “For this cause," saith he, “came I into the world, that I might bear witness unto the truth,” John xviii. 37. Was it into heaven that Christ came to bear witness to the truth? “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners," 1 Tim. i. 15. Was it into heaven? 2. These words, “A body hast thou prepared me,” are a full expression of what is synecdochically spoken of in the Psalms in these words, “ Mine ears hast thou opened,” expressing the end also why Christ had a body prepared him,-namely, that he might yield obedience to God therein ; which he did signally in this world when he was "obedient unto death, the death of the cross." 3. As I have before manifested
' the groundlessness of interpreting the word “world,” put absolutely,
“ Ne hic quidem de incarnatione (ut vocant) ullam mentionem factam, cum is mundus, in quem ingressum Jesum is autor ait, sit ille mundus futurus, ut superius demonstratum est ; unde etiam ingredi in illum mundum, non nasci in mundum, sed in coelum ingredi significat. Deinde, illis verbis, Corpus aptasti mihi, corporis vox (ut ex eo apparuit ubi de ingressu hoc in mundum actum est) pro corpore immortali accipi potest.
“ Quæ sententia ejus est ?—Deum Jesu tale corpus aptasse, postquam in cælum est ingressus, quod ad obeundum munus pontificis summi aptum et accommodatum foret."
of the "world to come," and so taken off all that here they relate unto, so in that demonstration which, God assisting, I shall give of Christ's being a priest and offering sacrifice in this world before he entered into heaven, I shall remove what farther here they pretend unto. In the meantime, such expositions as this, that have no light nor colour given them from the texts they pretend to unfold, had need of good strength of analogy given them from elsewhere; which here is not pretended. “When he cometh into the world,' that is, when
. , he enters heaven, he says, ' A body hast thou prepared me,' that is, an immortal body thou hast given me.” And that by this immortal body they intend indeed no body I shall afterward declare.
Grotius turns these words quite another way, not agreeing with our catechists, yet doing still the same work with them; which, because he gives no proof of his exposition, it shall suffice so to have intimated. In sum, verse 4, he tells us how the blood of Christ takes away sin, namely, "Because it begets faith in us, and gives right to Christ for the obtaining of all necessary helps for us,” in pursuit of his former interpretation of chapter ix., where he wholly excludes the satisfaction of Christ. His coming into the world is, he says, “ His showing himself to the world, after he had led a private life therein for a while,” contrary to the perpetual use of that expression of the New Testament. And so the whole design of the place is eluded, the exposition whereof I shall defer to the place of the satisfaction of Christ.
And these are the texts of Scripture our catechists thought good to endeavour a delivery of themselves from, as to that head or argument of our plea for his subsistence in a divine nature antecedently to his being born of the Virgin,-namely, because he is said to be incarnate or “ made flesh.”
Sundry other testimonies given to the deity of Christ vindicated.
In the next place they heap up a great many testimonies confusedly, containing scriptural attributions unto Christ of such things as manifest him to be God; which we shall consider in that order, or rather disorder, wherein they are placed of them.
Their first question here is:
Ans. John i. 1, " The Word was God;" John xx. 28, “ Thomas saith unto Christ, My Lord and my God;" Rom. ix. 5, the apostle saith that “ Christ is God over all, blessed for ever.”
Q. What can be proved by these testimonies ?
that are before produced, is hence manifest, that in the first testimony the Word is spoken of, and John saith that he was with God;" in the second, Thomas calleth him “God” in whose feet and hands he found the print of the nails, and of the
spear in his side; and Paul calleth him who according to the flesh was of the fathers, “God over all, blessed for ever;"—all which cannot be spoken of him who by nature is God, for thence it would follow that there are two Gods, of whom one was with the other; and these things, to have the prints of wounds and to be of the fathers, belong wholly to a man, which were absurd to ascribe to him who is God by nature. And if any one shall pretend that veil of the distinction of natures, we have above removed that, and have showed that this distinction cannot be maintained.'
That in all this answer our catechists do nothing but beg the thing in question, and flee to their own hypothesis, not against assertions but arguments, themselves so far know as to be forced to apologize for it in the close, 1, That Christ is not God because he is not the person of the Father, that he is not God because he is man, is the sum of their answer; and yet these men knew that we insisted on these testimonies to prove him God though he be man, and though he be not the same person with the Father. 2. They do all along impose upon us their own most false hypothesis, that Christ is God although he be not God by nature. Those who are not God by nature, and yet pretend to be gods, are idols, and shall be destroyed. And they only are the men who affirm there are two Gods,-one who is so by nature, and another made so; one indeed God, and no man; the other a man, and no God. The Lord our God is one God. 3. In particular, John i. 1, the Word is Christ, as hath been above abundantly demonstrated, -Christ, in respect of another nature than he had before he took flesh and dwelt with men, verse 14. Herein is he said to be with the Father, in respect of his distinct personal subsistence, who was one with the Father as to his nature and essence. And this is that which we prove from his testimony, which will not be warded with a bare denial: “The Word was with God, and the Word was God;"—God by nature, and with God in his personal distinction. 4. Thomas confesses him to be his Lord and God in whose hands and feet he saw the print of the nails, as God is said to redeem the church with his own blood. He was the Lord and God of Thomas, who in his human nature shed his
1" In quibus scripturis Christus vocatur Deus ?-Johan. i. 1, Et Verbum fuit Deus, et cap. xx. 28, Thomas ad Christum ait, Dominus meus. et Deus meus; et Rom. ix. 5, apostolus scribit Christum Deum (esse) supra omnes benedictum in secula.
“Quid his testimoniis effici potest ?—Naturam divinam in Christo ex iis demonstrari non posse, præter ea quæ superius allata sunt, hinc manifestum est, quod in primo testimonio agatur de Verbo, quod Johannes testatur apud illum Deum fuisse; in secundo, Thomas eum appellat Deum, in cujus pedibus et manibus, clavorum, in latere lanceæ vestigia deprehendit; et Paulus eum qui secundum carnem a patribus erat, Deum supra omnia benedictum vocat. Quæ omnia dici de eo qui natura Deus sit, nullo modo posse, planum est, etenim ex illo sequeretur duos esse Deos, quorum alter apud alterum fuerit. Hæc vero, vestigia vulnerum habere, eque patribus esse, hominis sunt prorsus, quæ ei, qui natura Deus sit, ascribi nimis absonum esset. Quod si illud distinctionis naturarum velum quis prætendat, jam superius illud amovimus, et docuimus hanc distinctionem nullo modo posse sustineri.” VOL XII.
blood, and had the print of the nails in his hands and feet. Of this confession of Thomas I have spoken before, and therefore I shall not now farther insist upon it. He whom Thomas, in the confession of his faith as a believer, owned for his Lord and God, he is the true God, God by nature. Of a made god, a god by office, to be confessed and believed in, the Scripture is utterly silent. 5. The same is affirmed of Rom. ix. 5. The apostle distinguishes of Christ as to his flesh and as to his deity: as to his flesh or human nature, he says he was of the fathers; but in the other regard he is “over all, God blessed for ever.” And as this is a signal expression of the true God, “God over all, blessed for ever," so there is no occasion of that expression, ad rarà oápxa, “as to the flesh,” but to assert something in Christ, which he afterward affirms to be his everlasting deity, in regard whereof he is not of the fathers. He is, then, of the fathers, το κατά σάρκα, ο ών επί πάντων Θεός ευλογητός εις τους αιώνος, αμήν. The words are most emphatically expressive of the eternal deity of Christ, in contradistinction to what he received of the fathers. 'o ūv, even then when he took flesh of the fathers, then was he, and now he is, and ever will be, “God over all,” that is, the Most High God, “ blessed for ever.” It is evident that the apostle intends to ascribe to Christ here two most solemn attributes of God, the Most High, and the Blessed One. Nor is this testimony to be parted with for their begging or with their importunity. 6. It is our adversaries who say there are two Gods, as hath been showed, not we; and the prints of wounds are proper to him who is God by nature, though not in that regard on the account whereof he is so. 7. What they have said to oppose the distinction of two natures in the one person of Christ hath already been considered, and manifested to be false and frivolous.
I could wish to these testimonies they had added one or two more, as that of Isa. liv. 5, “ Thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called." That Jesus Christ is the husband and spouse of the church will not be denied, Eph. v. 25, Rev. xxi. 9; but he who is so is "The LORD of hosts, the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth.” And Heb. iii. 4, the apostle says, “He that made all things is God,"—that is, his church, for
, of that he treats. He that created all things,—that is," the church, as well as all other things,”—he is God, none could do it but God; but Christ built this house, verse 3. But this is not my present employment.
The learned Grotius is pitifully entangled about the last two places urged by our catechists. Of his sleight in dealing with that of John xx. 28, I have spoken before, and discovered the vanity of his insinuations. Here he tells you, that after Christ's resurrection, it