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privilege was their new condition; the Greatest and Best of beings, their Father, their merciful and gracious Father; the living and exalted Jesus, their Lord and Saviour, their Friend and elder Brother ;* the way of duty cleared; the hopes of heaven, of pardon and everlasting life, distinctly sanctioned and firmly fixed upon a sure foundation. It seems to me almost impossible to think of these things, and hesitate to admit that this moral renovation was most justly represented by the Apostle as a new creation.t
From the preceding considerations I maintain, that the principles of interpretation stated at the beginning of this part (see Chap. IV.) require us to interpret passages which speak of the creation by Jesus Christ, as referring to this new creation. In this, Jesus was the honoured instrument of the Father's goodness ; in the natural creation, all was effected by the fiat of the Almighty.
It has, however, been thought by some, that as the mighty works which are expressly ascribed to the power of God, and among others the spiritual regeneration of mankind, were nevertheless wrought by Christ as the immediate instrumental agent, performing them by the power which God gave him, so in reference to the natural creation, Christ might have been the
• John xx. 17. Rom. viii, 17, Heb. ii, 11.
+ The reader who wishes to examine this subject more minutely, will do well to consult a very valuable sermon entitled The Nature, Origin, ond Ef ect of the Creation by Jesus Christ; by Russell Scott; as well as the authors referred to by him,
immediate though subordinate agent, creating all things by the power which Jehovah gave him ; and yet that it may be strictly said that the creation was the work of Jehovah.--This hypothesis has the advantage of keeping near to the great fundamental principle of Revelation, that there is but ONE Supreme, ONE First Cause-JEHOVAH, the FATHER; but it is inconsistent with all those passages, which, speaking of Jehovah alone, attribute to him the creation of the world, and in terms which exclude all subordinate agency.
True it is that, in the great order of providence, subordinate agency is continually employed to effect the purposes of HIM of whom and through whom and to whom are all things;' and if Revelation had declared that this world or system was created by one subordinate agent, and others by others, and so on, we should have had nothing to do but to receive the truth, and adore the wisdom which so ordained it, and the
of the BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTATE from whom all other causes derive their agency and their efficacy. But in the case we are considering, either Christ was the Maker of ALL worlds and beings, or the passages on which this doctrine rests prove nothing respecting the natural creation. And when we think of worlds and systems, extending through the immeasurable fields of space in an infinite progression, some so distant from us, that, if created at our creation, the first light from them, travelling as it does with inconceiv
able velocity, cannot yet have reached our globe, of others as far remote beyond them, and each of these countless millions of worlds peopled with innumerable tribes of living beings, (often more than can be numbered even within the little sphere of distinct vision, the understanding as well as the imagination seems involuntarily and necessarily to reject the supposition, that in the exertion of Almighty Power, by which all these worlds and beings were called into existence, any subordinate agency was employed. This surely was the work of JEHOVAH ALONE. By his word were the heavens made. He spake and it was done.
And in this conclusion we are fully borne out by express Revelation. Reason and Revelation, when fairly questioned, and their evidence justly appreciated, will not be found to oppose one another in their directions. Both have their source in the Father of Lights; and the brighter effulgence of the one, only makes us see more, and see more clearly, than the fainter rays of the other. I have already (p. 161) cited suffi. cient evidence to show that the natural creation is expressly referred by Scripture to Jehovah himself. If, after carefully weighing these testimonies, the serious inquirer still hesitate, I refer him, (as in my judgment decisive and exclusive,) to the words of Jehovah himself, by his Prophet Isaiah (ch. xliv. 24); · Thus saith JeHOVAH thy Redeemer, and he that formed thee from the 'womb, I am Jehovah that maketh all
things, that stretcheth forth the heavens ALONE, that spreadeth abroad the earth BY MYSELF.'
Here then I take my stand, with the fullest confidence, and maintain it to be the great principle of Revelation, that without any instrument or subordinate agent, by his own power, ALONE, and BY HIMSELF, JEHOVAH, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, created the heavens and the earth and all that in them is.
Revelation cannot contradict itself; and the conclusion inevitably follows, that whatever be the precise meaning of the passages adduced by the opponents of Unitarianism, they cannot mean that Jesus Christ, the Son and SERVANT of JEHOVAH, created the heavens and the earth and all that in them is.
John i. 3. “ All things were made (eyevero) by bim ; and with
out him was not any thing made which was made." Ib. v. 10. “ The world was made by him.”
Were it consistent with the uniform use of yirguar by St. John, and the almost uniform use of it in the New Testament, to translate it make in the sense of create, yet for the foregoing reasons, as well as from the connexion (which obviously refers to Jesus as the Logos, the Declarer of the purposes of God,)* I should unhesitatingly refer these words to the new creation. In the sense of create, however, I regard the common translation as not justifiable, for the following reasons. (1) St. John never uses the word yovou as in the sense of create. (2) There is no clear instance in which it is used, in this sense, in other parts of the New Testament, though the word occurs ip it about 700 times.* (3) It is scarcely, if at all, sanctioned by the usage of the Septuagint.
* See p. 60—67.
• Mr. Simpson in his valuable Explanation of John i. 1-13, says, p. 27,“ Nor can I find that it occurs in this sense,” viz. of proper original creation, “ throughout the whole New Testament, excepting in the two following instances : James iii. 9. Heb. iv. 3.” It does not appear to me that either of these cases is fully in point. In Heb. iv. 3. his works were finished (yevnDevtwv) from the foundation of the world, if we interpret the expression by 0. 4. and by the sense, must mean, his creative operations were done or ended, not, ' bis works (the effects of such operations) were created. As to James iii. 9. men, that are made (yeyovoras) after the likeness of God,' it certainly may be referred to the original creation of the human race; but it may also properly mean, men who are (or, are become) according to the likeness of God;' James always uses yivouai to signify to be or to become, and the connexion refers the expression to men then existing. Perhaps, but I lay no stress upon it, by men who are become according to the likeness of God,' tlie A postle particularly means, Christian believers; for the Jews often cursed them in their synagogues. (See Macknight.) Heb. xi. 3, has also been adduced to show that ylvojai is sometimes used in the sense of proper original creation ; but without sufficient grounds. Mr. Simpson takes a very interesting view of this passage in his Essay, Vol. II. p. 179. His paraphrase of it begins as follows. “ By the Scriptures of the Old Testament we perceive that the several divine dispensations from the beginning of the world to the coming of Christ, were knit together into one entire scheme by a principle of faith, under each of them, in a future reward of piety and righie
This was appointed to be the bond of union, that the gospel might not seem to arise from any sensible appearances which would evidently indicate such a result to those who lived under previous dispensations ;' &c. I think this eminent scripturalist wrong, however, in his interpretation of pnuari Okov the wordof God, which seems to me simply to mean by divine appointment. I was led (in 1801) to examine in detail the scriptural sense of Yivouac, by a suspicion that the common translation and interpretation of John i. 3. 10, are not justifiable; and I was gratified with finding my conclusions, above stated, so much supported by independent examination.
+ The Septuagint uses ylvojai three times only as the translation of xya to create, and of those, once only in the sense of creation, Gen. ii. 4 ; and even in this, there is room for doubt as to the meaning which the Greek translator affixed to it. The other two