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which 66 were born, not of the will of man, but of God." In all these cases, the term God is used absolutely. To consider it as meaning a God, in an inferior capacity, would destroy the sense. The title in the expression," the Word was God," must have the same signification, must denote God absolutely.
The title ascribed to Christ, and the declarations concerning him, establish his Divinity. It is further confirmed by the exhibition in this passage of his Divine power in the creation of the world; and this was noted as the fourth particular.
IV. The exercise of the Divine power of Christ as the Word, in the creation of the world.
In the third verse, "all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." And again in the tenth verse, "the world was made by him." What strong expressions these!-how varied and reiterated! as if to remove all doubts of the Divine power Christ as the Creator of the world. And they accord with other passages of Scripture, and particularly with that in the Epistle for the day, where it is said, that by Christ "God made the worlds ";" not a delegated agent; for the power
d Heb. i. 2.
of creation, involving the attribute of Omnipotence, cannot be delegated; but by Christ in his capacity as one of the persons of the Godhead.
Brethren-what think you is the interpretation by which the opposers of Christ's divinity strip him of his office of Creator of the worlds? "All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made," they interpret" All things in the Christian dispensation were done by Christ, and nothing has been done without his warrant." To state this unnatural and forced interpretation is to refute it. It rests entirely on the erroneous assumption, that the word translated " made," never is used in the sense of creation. Whereas the word is used in this acceptation by the best heathen writers; and the apostle James thus uses it, where he says"Men that are made after the similitude of God"." And the declaration, "the world was made by him," can refer only to his creation of it.
The Socinian interpretation of the declaration, "the world was made by him," is that "the world was enlightened by him." This is entirely conjectural and gratuitous; and contrary to the obvious meaning of the passage.
This divine Word, the Creator of the world, assuming the office of its Redeemer, his advent,
e James iii. 9.
as might reasonably be supposed, from the exalted excellence of his nature, and the interesting object of his coming, was announced by an inspired messenger.
V. The testimony to his incarnation was the fifth particular noted in this passage.
"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." Though he came with a prophetic power and spirit, like that which distinguished Elias, one of the first of the Prophets, yet he was only the precursor of the advent of a greater than he, to whom he was to bear witness that all through him might believe; and for whose enlightening and holy instructions he was to prepare, by the preaching of repentance, a corrupt and guilty world.
VI. The incarnation of "the Word," is another of those sublime truths set forth in this passage.
It is necessarily implied indeed in those parts of the passage which represent that represent that “Divine person," one of the persons of the Godhead, whom, in the ancient language of both Jews and Gentiles, was styled "the Word," as "being in the world," as "coming unto his own"-which, divine and spiritual as was this person of the Godhead, could not be done, but by his assump
tion of the nature of man. His incarnation, however, is expressly held forth in the expression, "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."
"The Word was made flesh"-incomprehensibly united to our whole nature, soul as well as body; "flesh," signifying by a figure which puts a part for the whole, our entire nature. Truly God, and not according to the Arian doctrine, God only in an inferior and subordinate sense, he became perfectly, and not according to the Apollinarian heresy, only in appearance man. And man as well as God in intimate union; and not divided as the Nestorians maintained. And yet though both God and man in one person, the natures though united, were yet not confounded; which was the Eutychian heresy. These were the heresies which, in the centuries immediately following the third century, assailed the truth which the apostle declares concerning the incarnation of the Word; and against which the first four general councils of the Christian Church, with singular unanimity, maintained that doctrine which had been handed down from apostles and fathers; and which is embodied in the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, and drawn out with great precision in the latter.
In opposition to the interpretation of the passage, "the Word was made flesh," as denoting the incarnation of the Word, the impugners of Christ's Divinity, use for the term translated
"was made," the simple affirmation was." The Word was flesh. But if, according to these views, the Word was not a divine person, but only a man, what unmeaning tautology in this expression; it would affirm the truism-the man was a man. But if, on the contrary, as has been proved, the Word was a divine person, even their own translation of the passage, the Word was a man, means that who was God was also man. And this could not be, unless he became man, or was made man. With this interpretation of the expression, accords also the subsequent declaration "he dwelt, or tabernacled among us;" which, alluding to the residence of the divine glory in the Jewish tabernacle, evidently implies, that as the glory of God was in the Jewish tabernacle, the glory of the Word animated the person of Jesus Christ.
That the Word should be made flesh; that the divine nature should be united to the human; that, in one person Christ, as our Articles declare, "two whole and perfect natures, the Godhead and manhood were joined together, never to be divided, so that he is very God and very man,' is indeed a wonderful mystery; transcending and confounding the faculties of the human mind ! But until we can find out, can comprehend God; and until we can find out, can comprehend every thing that relates to our own nature, every thing that relates to the various animal existences and