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substance of all intelligence, which all speech doth communicate. Letters are the symbols of speech, and speech is the form of the intelligent mind; wherefore Christ doth here appropriate to himself the bounds of all reason, claiming to be the Lord of the invisible creation, its sustenance, and its life; just as, in the next title, “ The Beginning and the Ending,” he claimeth to be Lord and life of the visible, material creation. Word is to reason, what form and succession is to matter. The pure reason subsisteth not under the condition of space and time. It hath its form, and its only form, in speech; which, again, is an intelligible form only to the reason of another reasonable creature. Therefore it is, that Christ is called the Logos, or the Word of God; because, Word is the only full expression of a spiritual being, and the only way of communicating with other spiritual beings. O what a dig. nity there is in the faculty of speech! It is the indubitable stamp of God, that the creature who hath it, is formed in his own image. And what a Godlike power it is, to communicate our thoughts by speech! It is the continual evidence, both of the necessity and the manner of revelation. The beings who communicate with one another by speech or word, must themselves be communicated with likewise by speech or word from God their Creator. Their noble faculty of understanding speech or word were otherwise unoccupied by God. If he hath made a world for sight of infinite forms and hues ; if he hath made a world for the ear of various sounds and melodies, capable of sweet harmony; and if he hath made a world for taste, and smell,

a and feeling; should he not make a world of words for that nobler faculty of man, which distinguisheth him from the other animals, the faculty of understanding speech? Yea, verily: and therefore it is that perhaps the highest and noblest title of the Second Person in the Godhead, is the Word;

that is, the communication between the Father of spirits, and the spirits which he hath made,—the Word not for the sense, but for the reason, in which God may be beheld. Such is the dignity, as I conceive, of the title or name of Christ now before us; and whoever reflecteth upon it thus, will see in it a glorious dignity, and a large comprehensiveness, which is not in that which follows. Word is wider than the world. Word is not the record


of the events in their order, not of things in their various appearances. Our Scottish sceptic, Hume, had a poor, beggarly idea of books—as indeed he had of every thing else—when he said, that, saving those which treated of histories and recorded facts of nature, a wise man would do well to burn the rest. Poor matter-of-fact materialist that thou wast! books are for the record, not of outward things, but of man's inward thoughts both upon what is visible and what is invisible. Even thy histories of facts are not stamps of the material thing, but judgments of the reason concerning it. All science truly so called, is the chaos of facts ordered and informed with relations by the lumen siccum, the pure light of reason ; and of poetry, and of law, and of religion, and in one word, of reason itself, what store of books most precious have been written, and are ever writing, by the generous pens of worthy men! With what a numerous progeny bath reason replenished the world, which have their subsistence only in the words of written books ! In so far forth as truth is expressed therein, Christ is the author, Christ is the substance of them all. Wherefore he is called the Truth, in one place; and in another place, the Word ; and in the place before us, the Alpha and the Omega.

The second title which the Lord taketh to himself, is expressed in these sublime words, “I am the Beginning and the Ending.” This title contemplates things visible and material ; creation, as distinguished from reason, which

, is not a creature of God's hand, but the inspiration of his mouth. God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul. Of the things created by God in the space of six days, Christ saith, “ I am the Beginning and the Ending.” This doctrine, that Christ is the beginning and the ending of creation, implies much more in it than that he created all things, and that they were created for him ; as it is written, “ All things were created by him, and for him, and he is before all things” (Col. i. 16). The doctrine taught by this passage in the Colossians is a very important doctrine, though little understood in these barren times; bearing that Christ—not as eternal Son, or bare Word, and yet at the same time not in the human nature, which had no existence until it was generated of the virgin, but still as Christ-created all

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things. Now what meaneth this? It meaneth, that creation was an act done by the Godhead, in the fore-view or purpose of bringing into the world the Word in a creature form. The Word subsisting in hypostatical union with the creature, is the Christ: and when it is said that all things were made by the Christ, it must either be meant that anterior to creation, the Word was hypostatically united to human nature ; which opinion many heretics, and many who have the reputation of orthodox (for example, Watts) maintained; or it must mean, that Godhead, in creation, did constitute all things with a view to the Christ, who in the fulness of time was to become the head, the supporter, and the eternal life of all things. Or, in other words, that Godhead in the person of the Son assumed to itself a form; not a created form, but a form of purpose in the fulness of time to be created; out of which form, as the conforming womb, the creatures took their mould and consistency. Creation was not a work constructed for appearances, but for realities, and all realities lie bosomed in God. In that primordial form, in the unity of that Firstbegotten of the creatures, in the pleroma or fulness of that Wisdom which was his delight before he set his compass on the face of the deep, God beheld the certainty, the variety, the diversity, and the final stability of all the creatures which he was about to make. In the idea of the Christ which the Godhead purposed within himself before the world was, all things were seen and are seen by God, and shall be at length accomplished, and for ever set up, when the kingdom shall be given up to the Father, who thenceforward shall behold the glorious and divine idea realized by the laborious work of the Son effecting all the Father's will through the operation of the Holy Ghost. This, now, is the idea taught in the first chapter of the Colossians concerning the creation in Christ, and in the first chapter of the Ephesians concerning the election in Christ; and it is the only true doctrine concerning Christ; and it is the only doctrine which representeth a purpose or design in God: which design nothing hath marred, neither fall, nor wicked spirits, nor wicked men ; and which design nothing shall ever mar; but against the dispensation of the fulness of the time all things shall be headed up in Christ, “things in heaven, and things on

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earth."-But the doctrine taught in the title of Christ now under consideration, “I am the Beginning and the Ending," is, it seems to me, something different from the doctrine exhibited above, of his being the first-born of every creature, and answers more nearly to that contained in these words of the same chapter of the Colossians; “ And by him all things consist ;" signifying not merely that he is the beginning of creation, as the architect and archetype thereof, and that be is the end or object for which all was created, and in which all shall be realized infallible and unchangeable; but signifying, moreover, that all included between these two, the archetypal idea, and the perfect accomplishment, to wit, the continual subsistence, the various laws, the revolutions of ages, and the changes and vicissitudes of daily occurrence; every thing which lives and moves, and hath its being, from the grain of sand through all the forms of animate and inanimate substance, up to the master piece of God's handiwork, the body of man; all things without exception have their form of being and their mode of operating, not from accident, and still less from any playfulness of creation, but from a fixed and well ordered intention of shewing forth the knowledge of the mystery of Christ. “ The heavens declare his glory, and the firmament sheweth his handy work, day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night teacheth knowledge concerning him." Concerning whom? Concerning Christ. Our popular theology saith, Concerning God; but I say, God is not otherwise known than in Christ. Christ is that deep device of Godhead's wisdom, wherein Godhead shall make itself intelligible to creation, shall shew itself reconciled to creation, shall bring holiness out of creation, shall uphold creation; and yet shall not be mingled with creation, shall be, by chasm impassable, separated from creation, and so be ever worshipped by creation, as without, besides, and beyond itself. The theology which re

. presents an intelligible God elsewhere than in Christ, is not a Christian theology, and will invariably produce the one or the other of these effects : unitarianism in faith, or destruction of worship. But this is a point of such vast importance, and so little understood by ministers of the Gospel, and by the members of the church, that I feel well pleased in an opportunity of opening it yet more fully, --Names of Christ. 173 which presents itself in the very next title which our Lord appropriates unto himself.

« Saith the Lord, which is and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”-I find this general character, and, I think, failing, to prevail amongst orthodox commentators and divines; that they are more desirous to make good the point of Christ's Divinity out of these titles, than to expound the matter which these titles reveal to the knowledge and consolation of the church. This indicates, as it seems to me, a timorous sensitiveness upon that first principle of the faith which it is neither good to encourage in oneself, nor in the church. To me, it is as essential that Christ be God, as that God be God, both one substance, equal in power and glory: the one, Godhead existing in union with and for the benefit of the creature; the other, Gödhead existing in and for itself, far beyond and above the faculties of any creature. If Christ be not God, God is to me as dark as “ Erebus and old night.” If Christ be not God, I a Christian am as ignorant of, as far from God, as the South Sea savage, or the North-American Indian. To me, therefore, thus at rest and embosomed in the Divinity of Christ, it is the continual desire in meditating the Scriptures and unfolding them to others, not to catch here and there a text in proof of his Divinity, but here and there and every where to see the Divinity, the one Godhead, of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, coming into intelligence, into feeling, into action of mine ; in one word, coming into sphere of human being. My desire and prayer is, that i, a being of flesh, should understand God, who was manifest in flesh; for it is my eternal life to know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. A feverish disputatious man hath turned the eye picion towards me, as if underneath subtle and deep discourse, I savoured of Socinian predilection. The man is either crazed or malicious, or of that class whom Paul designates unlearned and unstable. I am pursuing the only course to overthrow Socinianism, Deism, and Atheism, by exhibiting in Christ Jesus the infinite and absolute perfections of Godhead, embracing with the arms of love, and sustaining with the right arm of strength, and perfecting with glorious beauty, not only reason, the palace of creation, but likewise all creation's

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