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condescended to suffer Death upon the Cross; and God did therefore so highly exalt him, because he so greatly submitted, even tho' he was in the Form of God. Now I need not observe to you, that we who believe the WORD, or Divine Nature of Christ, to be the very God, dare not assert, that the WORD, or Christ's Divine Nature, was thus exalted for leaving its former Glory. For did the very God cease to be in his own glorious State ? Was he afterwards exalted by himself, as by some other distinct Being, to that his former glorious State, as the Reward of his Humiliation ? And was this an exceeding Exaltation to the very God? We cannot therefore assert such an impious Doetrin.
Again, What was this exceeding Exaltation? Why his having a name which is above every name : That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth :
And that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to (or if you please in) the glory of God the fa. ther. Could this be laid of the very God ? Had not he before, had nor he always, could he poffibly cease to have, a Name above every Name? Had he not necessarily, is it possible for him not to have, the supreme Dominion over the whole Creation ? Was a State of supreme Dominion therefore a State of exceeding Exaltation to the Divine Nature of Christ, upon supposition that his Divine Nature is the very God? Such are the wretched Effects of using bad Arguments in a good Cause.
Buc this, you'll say, does not affe& Men of your Principles. True. But then, even upon your own Principles, if the same Nature that was exalted, was formerly in recepta ef and to grã, 'tis manifeft,
that the human Nature alone was e vason Jeð and ioa Is@. And consequently 'twas the human Nature alone, which pra&tis’d that Humility and Condefcenfion, of which the Apostle is to be understood in this place now under Consideration. For I have demonstrated, that the human Nature alone was rewarded. And that the human Nature could not practise that Humility and Condescension which the Apostle infifts on, and which was manifestly prior to the Incarnation, unless the human Soul did preexift; I presume, you will not desire me to prove.
Nothing now remains, but that I observe one thing, viz. that the human soul of Christ preexist, ed before the Foundation of the World. For our Savior says in his Prayer to God, And now, O Fan ther, glorifie thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I bad with thee before the world was (wes to top xóoMov , before this world was) John 17.5. Again he says, Father, I will that they also whom thou haft given me, be with me where I am ; that they may bebold my glory which thou hast given me : for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world, v. 24. 'Tis evident from hence, that our Savior did exist before the foundation of the world, or before this world was. And I freely acknowledge, and you will readily grant, that we who believe the WORD, or Divine Nature of Christ, to be very God, can't possibly interpret these Passages of the WORD, or Divine Nature. For 'tis manifest, that when our Lord offer'd up this Prayer, he did not actually enjoy some Glory or Happiness, of which he had formerly been polfefs'd; and that he begg'd of God to be restord to it. Wherefore he could not mean that Glory or Happiness, which he had as very God. For the Glory or Happiness of the very God is essential to
him, and inseparable from him. - Wherefore we who believe the WORD to be very God, must necessarily understand the former of these Texts of our Savior's human Soul, which existed with God (that is, in God's Presence, and beholding his Face, as Angels now do) before this world was. And if his human Soul did thus exist before the World was; certainly God's loving Christ before the Foundation of the World, which is asserted in the later of these Texts, ought to be understood of his loving the Man Christ Jesus, viz. his preexisting human soul.
And as for your self, who do not believe the WORD, or Divine Nature of Christ, to be very God, I will not dispute with you, whether it be conceivable, that the WORD or Divine Nature of Christ could, upon your own Principles, cease to enjoy that Glory or Happiness which he had before the Worid was : but what I insist upon with you, is this. I have by other Considerations proved to you, that our Lord's human Soul did preexist. And if this be granted ; I may safely appeal to your self, whether both these Texts do not naturally admit and require that Interpretation which I have given chem.
However, I can't forbear adding, that Christ is expresly cailed the Lamb without blemish and without Spot, who verily was-foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times, 1 Pet. I. 19, 20. This certainly respects his human Nature. Now St. Paul says, that God hath called us according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Chrift Feļus, before the world began; but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, 2 Tim. 1.9, 10. He says also, that God hath cholen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1. 4. and that
he promised eternal Life before the world began, Tit. 1.
The same Apostle cals the Wisdom of the Gospel the bidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory, 1 Cor. 2.7. I conclude there. fore, that our Lord's human Soul was then made, when the very God was preparing the Habitation of Mankind, whom he then purposed to redeem by Christ, and for whose fake Christ was already decreed to be slain. And accordingly St. Paul assures us, that Chrift is πρωτότοκG πάσης κλίσεως. For tho' I readily grant, that areazótox@ may fignify him that has the jus primogeniti, when it appears by other Considerations, that he who is styrd apartótoxo, was not the firit in order of Birth: yet in the present Case we ought not to recede from the natural and obvious Sense of the Word; because the Tenor of Scripture is so far from obliging us to it, that it manifestly forbids it. And indeed, when our Sayior says of himself, that he is segment of uliows for me, Rev. 3. 14. I can't but understand him in the same Sense, vize as affirming himself, that is, his human Soul, to have been produced before any other created Being whatsoever.
Upon the whole, St. Paul is so far from teaching (in this remarkable Passage of his Epistle to the Philippians, which we have largely examin'd) that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, is inferior to the very God; that he does not therein speak one Syllable of the WORD, or his Divine Nature, but only treats of the Humiliation and Exaltation of his Human Nature, from whence he draws an Argument for our Practice of Humility and Condescension.
C H A P.
CH A P. VIII.
That during the Time of our Savior's Ministry, the
Disciples did not believe, that he was any thing more than a mere Man, conducted and aflisted by the Spirit of God.
the second Text of Scripture, which is suppos’d to teach, that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, is inferior to the very God; 'tis necessary for me to prove, 1. That during the Time of our Savior's Ministry, the Difciples did not believe, that he was any thing more than a mere Man, conducted and affifted by the Spirit of God; 2. That during the Time of our Savior's Ministry, the WORD, or Divine Nature; was quiescent in the Man Christ Jesus.
FIRST then, during the Time of our Savior's Ministry, the Disciples did not believe, that he was any thing more than a mere Man, conducted and aflífted by the Spirit of God.
Whecher you will grant me this Proposition, I know not. You exprefly (a) declare, that Christ's Disciples bail not any the least Thought of his claiming to be God in any Sense, when he utter'd what we read in John F. 18. Nor do I remember, that you have any where faid or fupposed, that they had afterwards; during the Time of his Ministry, different Sentiments. If I guess aright, you will rather allow, that they continued of the same Opinion till
() Reply to Mr. Nelson's Friend, p. 1362