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tinct person; and that this person is Jesus Christ. This construction is indeed the dictate of common sense. For the Word is represented as existing, as possessing attributes, as performing operations. The Word "was," the "Word was God;" the Word "was life;" by the Word "all things were made;" the Word "came" into the world to his own;"" was made flesh, and dwelt among us." These modes of expression, prove that the Word was a person. And if a person, none deny that by the Word is meant Jesus Christ, of whom John came to bear witness, and whom the apostle obviously applies in this chapter, all that he has said of the Word.

The Word then being a person, and this'person Jesus Christ, we deduce from this passage.

II. The pre-existence of Christ from all eternity.

For the apostle says-" In the beginning was the Word," the Word was in the beginning with God." Whatever had existence, before any thing was created, must necessarily be uncreated, and therefore must exist from eternity. The phrase, "in the beginning," is obviously used in the same meaning as in the first chapter of Genesis, where God is said, "in the beginning to have created the heavens and the earth." Jesus Christ, as "the Word," was then with God, when the heavens and the earth were cre

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ated; when all things were to be made, and of course, when there was no created existence. He was then, (as an inspired apostle elsewhere affirms)" before all things "," and must therefore have been uncreated; and necessarily existing from eternity.

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The phrase," in the beginning," sometimes denotes the commencement of the ministry of Christ; as, where it is said, "Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not"." But how unnatural and forced the Socinian construction, which considers the expression, " in the beginning the Word was," as denoting, the commencement of his ministry, or of the Gospel dispensation, Jesus Christ was." Does not the apostle, throughout the whole passage, speak of a time previously to the commencement of his ministry, when "all things were made by him," "when the world was made by him," "when he came into the world?"

The meaning which common sense would affix to this expression, is the same which it has when the inspired historian says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Then, before any thing was created, "the Word," Jesus Christ, "was." He was therefore uncreated and from all eternity. The passage sets forth

III. The title bestowed on Jesus Christ, and

a Col. i. 17.

John vi. 64.

the declarations concerning him, establishing his divinity.

The title bestowed on Jesus Christ is that of the Word-" In the beginning was the Word." And this title sets forth both his nature and his office.

"The Word" is evidently applied to Jesus Christ, and affirms of him whatever is implied in this title. It must be evident that the apostle, who was a Jew, writing for the information of his countrymen, when he used a term known to them, would employ it in the sense in which they understood it. Now it is a fact not admitting of dispute, and which has been established by reference to ancient Jewish commentators, that the title "the Word," was used by them to denote a divine person. They affirm of this Word of the Lord, the titles, attributes, and acts which they attribute to Jehovah; and consider him as the Messiah. The ancient Jews regarded the Messiah as a divine person, and denoted him by the appellation, "the Word." The evangelist St. John, therefore, employing the same title, must have used it in the same sense in which it was understood by the Jews: and therefore applying this term to Christ, he designed to establish his divinity.

We see then the fallacy of the assertion made by the opponents of Christ's Divinity, that the

evangelist borrowed this appellation, "the Word," from heathen writers. The Platonic school of philosophy, indeed, held a Trinity of persons in the Godhead, and styled the second person the Logos, or Word. But so far from the evangelist having derived this appellation from the Platonic writers, it must be traced from them to that more ancient school, where both they and the evangelists derived its application—the school of the Jewish commentators; many of whom flourished before the age of the Platonic philosophy. The mystery of the Trinity, and the divine Logos, or Word, did not arise from the mystical reveries of Platonism. It was the faith of the Old Testament, of the ancient Jewish Church; and the evangelist St. John, in applying to the Messias the term Logos, or Word, used a term well known by his countrymen, to denote a divine person, and that person the Messias.

And this term was aptly applied to Christ, inasmuch as it set forth his office. For as the term Logos, or Word, denotes reason, wisdom, or knowledge, and the expression of that knowledge to others by words; so in Christ dwelt the fulness of divine knowledge; and it was his office to proclaim this knowledge to a benighted world.

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Not only the title, but the declarations applied to Jesus Christ, in this passage, establish his Divinity.

"And the Word was with God,"-explained

by the parallel phrase in the eighteenth verse of this chapter, as being "in the bosom of the Father;" in a state of the most intimate union with him. What a feeble and forced meaning do the opposers of Christ's divinity put upon this expression. They consider it as denoting that Christ retired to private communion with God, before his entrance on his ministry! What a strong expression" the Word was with God," to set forth a circumstance comparatively so unimportant!


Further The Word was God." This, one would think, determined, beyond cavil, the divinity of the Word. But no: because in the book of Exodus it is said, that Moses was "made a God to Pharaoh," that is, was appointed as God's delegate, or ambassador, to denounce his judgments, and to proclaim his commands; so, when it is said "the Word was God," it simply means, according to the opposers of Christ's divinity, that the Word was a God-in an inferior sense, as vested with a divine commission. But

the expression "God" in this verse, means God absolutely. The same term occurs in other verses in this same chapter. In the sixth verse"there was a man sent from God:"-in the twelfth verse-" to them gave he power to become the Sons of God:"-in the thirteenth,

Exodus vii. 1.

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