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expresseth it in terms comprehending the wdiole creation in that
distribution whereinto it was usually cast by themselves; as John
contents not himself by affirming that he "made all things," but
adds to that assertion that "without him was not any thing made
that was made," John i. 3.

And this was of old the comm.on faith of the Judaical church.
That all things were made and all things disposed by the Word of
God, they all confessed. Evident footsteps of this faith a.bide still
in their Targrmis; for that by "the Word of God," so often mentioned
in them, they did not understand the word of his power, but an
hypostasis in the divine nature, is manifest from the personal pro-
perties which are everywhere assigned unto it : as, the Word of God
did this, said that, thought, went, and the like; as, Ps. Ixviii. 17,
they affirm that Word which gave the law on mount Sinai to dwell
in the highest heaven ; yea, and they say in Bereshith Rabba, of
these words. Gen. i. 2, " The Spirit of God moved upon the face of
the waters," ^''t^•0^ I^Q ^tJ* inn nr, — "This is the spirit of the king
Messiah;" by which they cannot deny but that all things were
formed. And the apostle in this expression lets the Hebrews know
that Jesus, the Messiah, was that Word of God by whom all things
were made. And so the influence of these words into his present
argument is manifest; for the Son, in whom the Father had now
spoken to them and declared the gospel, being his eternal Word, by
whom the world and all ages were created, there could be no question


of his authority to alter their ceremonious worship, which he him-
self had appointed for a season.

Before we pass to the next verses, we may mark out those in-
structions which the words passed through afford us in common, as
to the abiding interest of all believers.

V. The foundation of them is, That the Lord Jesus Christ, who is
the great prophet of his church under the new testament, the only
revealer of the will of the Father, as the Son and Wisdom of God,
made the worlds, and all things contained in them. And therein, —

1. We have an illustrious testimony given to the eternal Godhead
and power of the Son of God ; for "He who made all things is God/'
as the apostle elsewhere affirms. And, —

2. Unto the equity of his being made heir, lord, and judge of all.
No creature can decline the authority or waive the tribunal of him
that made them all. And, — ■

3. A stable bottom of faith, hope, contentment, and patience, is
administered unto the saints in all dispensations. He who is their
E-edeemer, that bought them, hath all tliat interest in all things
wherein they are concerned that the sovereign right of creation can
afibrd him ; besides that grant which is made unto him for tliis very
end, that they might be disposed of to his own glory, in their good
and advantage. Isa. liv. 4, 5. And, —

4. From this order of things, that Christ, as the eternal Son of
God, having made the worlds, hath them and all things in them
put under his power as mediator and head of the church, we may
see what a subserviency to the interest of the saints of the Most
High the whole creation is laid and disposed in. And, —

5. The way of obtaining a sanctified interest in and use of the
things of the old creation, — namely, not to receive them merely
on the general account, as made by the Son of God, but on the
more especial one of their being granted unto him as mediator of
the church. And, —

6. How men on both these foundations are to be accountable for
their use or abuse of the things of the first creation.

But besides these particular instances, there is that which is more
general, and which we may a little insist upon from the context and
design of the apostle in this whole discourse, whose consideration
will not again occur unto us; and it is, that God in infinite wisdom
ordered all things in the first creation, so as that the whole of that
work might be subservient to the glory of his grace in the new
creation of all by Jesus Christ.

By the Son he made the worlds in the beginning of time, that in
the lulness of time he might be the just heir and lord of all. Tiie
Jews have a saying, that "the world was made for the Messiah;"
which is thus far true, that both it and all things in it were made,


disposed of, and ordered in their creation, so as that God might be
everlastinirlv rloritied in the work which he was desicrned unto, and
which by him he had to accomphsh. I shall consider it only in the
present instance, namely, that by the Son he made the worlds,
that he might be the proper heir and lord of them; of which latter
we shall treat more particularly on the ensuing words.

This was declared of old, where he was spoken of as the Wisdom
of God, by whom he wrought in the creation and production of all
things, Prov. viii. 22-31. This Son, or Wisdom of God, declares at
large, — first, his co-existence with his Father from eternity, before all
or any of the visible or invisible creation were by his power brought
forth, verse 22, 23, and so onward ; and then sets forth the infinite,
eternal, and ineffable deliglit that was between him and his Father,
both before and also in tlie work of the creation, verse 30. Further,
he declares his presence and co-operation with him in the whole
work of making the world and the several parts of it, verses 27-30;
which in other places is expressed, as here by the apostle, that God
by him made the worlds. After which he declares the end of all
this dispensation, namely, that he might rejoice in the habitable
part ot the earth, and his dehght be with the sons of men; to
whom, therefore, he calls to hearken unto him, that they may be
blessed, 31, to the end of the chapter; — that is, that he might
be meet to accomplish the work of their redemption, and bring them
to blessedness, to the glory of the grace of God ; which work his
heart was set upon, and which he greatly delighted in, Ps. xl. 6-8.

Hence the apostle John, in the beginning of his Gospel, brings
both the creations together, — the first by the eternal Word abso-
lutely, the other by him as incarnate, — ^that the suitableness and
correspondency of all things in them might be evident. " The Word
was with God," saith he, " in the beginning," and " all things were
made by him ; and without him was not any thir«g made that was
made," verses 1-3. But what was this unto the gospel that he
undertook to declare? Yes, very much; for it ajopears from hence
that when this Word was made flesh, and came and dwelt among
us, verse 14, he came into the world that was made by him,
though it knew him not, verse 10; he came but to his own, what-
ever were the entertainment that he received, verse 11. For this
end, then, God made all things by him, that when he came to change
and renew all things, he might have good right and title so to do,
seeing he undertook to deal with or about no more but what he
had originally made.

Tlie holy and blessed Trinity could have so ordered the work of
creation as that it should not immediately, eminently, and signally
have been the work of the Son, of the eternal Word ; but there
was a fui ther design upon the world to be accomplished by him, and


therefore the work was signally to be his, — that is, as to immediate
operation, though as to authority and order it peculiarly belonofd
to the Father, and to the Spirit as to disposition and ornament
Gen, i. 1, 2; Job xxvi. 13.

This, I say, was done for the end mentioned by the apostle, Eph.
i. 10. All things at first were made by him, that when they were
lost, ruined, scattered, they might again, in the appointed season, be
gathered together into one head in him; of which place more at
large elsewhere.

And this mystery of the wisdom of God the apostle at laro-e un-
foldeth. Col. i. 15-19. Speaking of the Sou, by whom we have
redemption, he informs us that in himself and his own nature, lie
is "the image of the invisible God;" that is, of God the Father,
who until then had alone been clearly revealed unto them : and
that in respect of other things he is " the first-born of every crea-
ture;" or, as he terms himself, Rev. iii. 14, the "beginning of the
creation of God," — that is, he who is before all cx'eatures, and gave
beginning to the creation of God. For so expressly the apostle
explains himself in the next verses: " By him were all things
created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and in-
visible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or
powers: all things were created by him: and he is before all things,
and by him all things consist." But this is not the full design of
the apostle. He declares not only that "all things were maile by
him," but also that " all things were made for him," verse 1 6 ; so
made for him that he might be "the head of the body, the church,"
■ — that is, that he might be the fountain, head, spring, and original
of the new creation, as he had been of the old. So the apostle
declares in the next words, " Who is the beginning, the first-born
from the dead." As he was the " beginning" and the "first-born of
every creature" in the old creation, so he is the "beginning" and "first-
born from the dead;" that is, the original and cause of the whole
new creation. And hereunto he subjoins the end and design of
God in this whole mysterious work; which was, that the Son might
have the pre-eminence in all things. As he had in and over tlie
works of the old creation, seeing they were all made by him, and
all consist in him ; so also he hath over the new on the same account,
being the beginning and first-born of them. The apostle in these
words gives us the whole of what we intend, namely, that the
making of the worlds, and of all things in them, in the first crea-
tion by the Son, was peculiarly subservient to the glory of the
grace of God in the reparation and renovation of all things by him
as incarnate.

It is not for us to inquire much into or after the reason of this
economy and dispensation; we "cannot by searching find out God,

VOL. XIl.—


we cannot find out the Almighty unto perfection," Job xi. 7. It
may suffice us that he disposeth of all things according to "the
counsel of his own will," Eph. i. 11. This antecedently unto the
consideration of the effects of it, we cannot, we may not search into,
Deut. xxix. 29. What are the effects and consequences of his infi-
nitely holy, wise counsel, wherein his glory shines forth unto his
creatures, those we may consider and contemplate on, and rejoice in
the light that they will afford us into the treasures of these couusels

Now, herein we see, first, that it was the eternal design of God
that the whole creation should be put in subjection unto the Word
incarnate ; whereof the apostle also treats in tiie second chapter of
this epistle. " God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name
which is above evei'y 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 the glory of God the Father," Phil. ii. 9-11. God
Lath put all things in subjection unto him, not only the things pe-
culiarly redeemed by him, but all things whatever, as we shall show
in the next words of our epistle. See 1 Cor. xv. 27; Heb. ii. b;
Rom. xiv. 1 1. Hence John saw " every creature which is in hea-
ven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the
sea, and all that are in them, ascribing blessing, and honour, and
glor\', and power unto the Lamb for ever and ever," Rev. v. 13 ;
that is, owning and avowing their duty, obedience, and subjection
unto him. Tliis being designed of God in tlie eternal counsel of his
will, before the world was, 1 Pet. i. 2, Tit. i. 2, he prepared and
made way for it in the creation of all things by him; so that his
title and right to be the ruler and lord of all angels and men, the
whole creation, in and of heaven and earth, might be laid on this
great and blessed foundation, that he made them all.

Again, God designed from eternity that his great and everlasting
glory should arise from the new creation and the work thereof.
Herein hath he ordered all things " to the praise of the glory of hiy
grace," Eph. i. 6. And this praise will he inhabit for ever. It is
true, the works of the old creation did set forth the glory of God,
Ps. xix. 1 ; they manifested his " eternal power and Godhead," Rom.
i. 20. But God had not resolved ultimately to commit the manifes-
tation of his glory unto those works, though very glorious; and
therefore did he suffer sin to enter into the world, which stained the
beauty of it, and brought it wholly under the curse. But he nevei
suffered spot or stain to come upon the work of the new creation, E[)h.
V. :ifD, 27, — nothing that might defeat, eclipse, or impair the glory that
he intended to exalt himself in thereby. Yet God hath so ultimately
laid up his glory in the new creation, as that he will not lose any


thing of that which also is due unto him from the old; but yet he
will not receive it immediately from tlience neither, but as it is put
over into a subserviency unto the work of the new. Now, God
ordered all things so as that this might be effected without force,
coaction, or wresting of the creation, or putting it beside its own
order. And is there any thing more genuine, natural, and proper,
than that the world should corne into subjection unto Him by whom
it was made, although there be some alteration in its state and ccju-
dition, as to outward dispensation, in his being made man? And
this I take to be the meaning of that discourse of the apostle about
tlie bondage and liberty of the creature, which we have, Rom. viii.
19-22. The apostle tells us that the creature itself had an expecta-
tion and desire after " the manifestation of the sous of God," or the
bringing forth of the kingdom of Christ in glory and power, verse 19 ;
and gives this reason for it, because it is brought into a condition of
vanity, corruption, and bondage, wherein it did, as it were, unwill-
ingly abide, and groaned to be delivered from it. That is, by tlie
entrance of sin the creation was brought into that condition as
wherein it could not answer the end for which it was made and
erected, namely, to declare the glory of God, that he might be wor-
shipped and honoured as God; but was as it were left, especially in
the earth, and the inhabitants of it, to be a stage for men to act tlieir
enmity against God upon, and a means for the fulfilling and satis-
faction of their filthy lusts. This state being unsuitable unto its
primitive constitution, preternatural, occasion:d, and forced, it is said
to dislike it, to groan under it, to hope for deliverance, doing that
in what it is by its nature, which it would do voluntarily were it en-
dowed with a rational understanding. But, saith the apostle, there
is a better condition for this creation ; which, whilst it was afar otfj
it put out its head after and unto. What is this better state ? Why,
" the glorious liberty of the sons of God ;" that is, the new state and
condition that all things are restored unto, in order unto the glory
of God, by Jesus Christ. The creation hath, as it were, a natural
propensity, yea, a longing, to come into a subjection unto Christ, as
that which retrieves and frees it from the vanity, bondage, and cor-
ruption that it was cast into, when put out of its first order by sin.
And this ariseth from that plot and design which God first laid in
the creation of all things, that they, being made by the Sou, should
naturally and willingly, as it were, give up themselves unto obedi-
ence unto him, when he should take the rule of them upon the
new account of his mediation.

Thirdly, God would hereby instruct us both in the tise that wc
are to make of his creatures, and the improvement that \\e are to
make of the work of the creation unto his glory. For the fit st, it is
his will that we should not use any thing as merely made and ere-


ated by him, thougli originally for that purpose, seeing as they are
so left they are under the curse, and so impure and unclean unto
them that use them, Tit. i. 15; hut he would have us to look upon
them and receive them as they are given over unto Christ. For the
apostle, in his application of the 8th Psalm unto the Lord Christ,
Heb. ii. 6-8, manifests that even the beasts of the field, on which
we live, are passed over in a peculiar manner unto his dominion,
i^nd he lays our interest in their use, as to a clear, profitable, and
sanctified way of it, in the new state of things brought in by Christ:
1 Tim. iv. 4, 5, " Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be
refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by
the word of God and prayer." The word of promise confirmed in
Christ, called on by the Spirit, given by Christ in prayer, gives a
sanctified use of the creatures. This God instructs us in, namely,
to look for a profitable, sanctified use of the creatures in Christ, in
that himself ordered them in the very first creation to fall at length
naturally under his rule and dominion, making them all by him.
And hereby also we are instructed how to learn the glory of God
from them. The whole mystery of laying the works of the old crea-
tion in a subserviency unto the new being hidden from many ages
and generations, from the foundation of the v/orld men did, b}^ the
effects and works which they saw, conclude that thero was an eter-
nal power and infinite wisdom whereby they were produced : but
whereas there is but a twofold holy use of the works of the creation,
• — the one suited unto the state of innocency, and the moral- natural
worship of God therein, which they had lost ; the other to the state
of grace, and the worship of God in that, which they had not at-
tained, — the world and the inhabitants thereof, being otherwise in-
volved in the curse and darkness wherewith it was attended, exer-
cised themselves in fruitless speculations about them ("foolish
imaginations," as the apostle calls them), and glorified not God in
any due manner, Rom. i. 2J. Neither do nor can men unto this day
make any better improvement of their contemplation on the works
of creation, who are unacquainted with the recapitulation of all
things in Christ, and the beauty of it, in that all things at first were
made by him. But when men shall by faith perceive and consider
that the production of all things owes itself in its first original unto
the Son of God, in that by him the world was made, and that unto
this end and purpose, that he being afterwards incarnate for uur re-
demption, they might all be put into subjection unto him, they can-
not but be ravished with the admiration of the power, wisdom, good-
ness, and love of God, in this holy, wise, beautiful disposition of
all his works and ways. And this is the very subject of the 8th
Psalm. The psalmist considers the excellency and glory of God in
the creation of all things, instancing in the most glorious and enii-


nent parts of it. But doth he do this absolutely as they are such?
dotli he rest there? No; but proceeds to manifest the -ause of his
admiration, in that God did of old design, and would at leno'th
actually put, all these things into subjection unto " the man Christ
Jesus," as the apostle expounds his meaning, Heb. ii. : which causeth
him to renew his admiration and praise, Ps. viii. 9, — that is, to glorify
God as God, and to be thankful ; which yet Paul declared that they
wei'e not who considered the works of God only absolutely, with re-
ference to their first original from infinite power and wisdom.

But against what we have been discoursing it may be objected,
that God, in the creation of all things, suited them perfectly and ab-
solutely unto a state of innocency and holiness, without any respect
unto the entrance of sin and the curse that ensued, which gave occa-
sion to that infinitely wise and holy work of the mediation of Christ,
and the restoration of all things by him; so that they could not be
laid in such a subserviency and order, one to the other, as is pre-
tended, though the former might be afterwards traduced and trans-
lated into the use of the other. But, —

1. What is clearly testified unto in the Scripture, as that truth is
which we have insisted on, is not to be called into question because
we cannot understand the order and method of things in the hidden
counsels of God. " Such knowledge is too wonderful for us."
Neither do we benefit ourselves much by inquiring into that which
we cannot comprehend. It is enough for us that we hold fast re-
vealed things, that we may know and do the will of God; but secret
things belong to him, and to him are they to be left.

2. The Scripture testifieth that "known unto God are all his
works from the beginning of the world," Acts xv, 18; not only all
those which at first he wrought, but also all that ever he would so
do. The idea and system of them was all in his holy mind from
eternity. Now, though in their creation and production they are
all singly suited and fitted to the time and season wherein they are
brought forth and made ; yet as they lie all together in the mind,
will, and purpose of God, they have a relation, one to another, from
the first to the last. There is a harmony and correspondency be-
tween them all; they lie all in a blessed subserviency in themselves,
and in their respect unto one another, unto the promotion of the-
glory of God. And therefore, though in the creation of all things
that work was suited unto the state and condition wherein they were
created, — that is, of innocency and holiness, — yet this hinders not
but that God might and did so order them, that they might have a
respect unto that future work of his in their restoration by Christ,
which was then no less known unto him than that which was per-
fectly wrought.

S. The most reasonable and best intelligible way of declaring tiie


order of God's decrees, is that which casts them under the two gene-
ral heads which all rational agents respect in their purposes and
operations, — namely, of the last end, and the means conducing
thereunto. Now, the utmost end of God, in all his waj's towards the
sons of men, being the manifestation of his own glory by the way of
justice and mercy, whatever tendeth thereunto is all jointly to he
looked on as one entire means tending unto that end and purpose.
The works, therefore, of the old and new creation being of this sort
and nature, one joint and general means for the compassing of the
forementioned end, nothing can hinder but that they may have that
respect to each other which before we have declared.

Verse 3.

The apostle, in the pursuit of his argument, proceeds in the de-
scription of the person of Christ; partly to give a further account
of what he had before affirmed concerning his divine power in mak-
ing the worlds ; and partly to instruct the Hebrews, from their own
typical institutions, that it was the Messiah who was figured and re-
presented formerly unto them, in those signs and pledges of God's
glorious presence which they enjoyed. And so by the whole he
confirmeth the proposition he had in hand concerning the excellency
and eminency of Him by whom the gospel was revealed, that their
faith in him and obedience unto him might not be shaken or hin-

Ver. 8. — -"Os uv ii.'na.vya.isiia r^c do^rig xal ^apay.Trip r^? L/Tocraffswc
avrov, (p'ifuv rt ra itavra rui p^/xari tJj; duvd/Jjiug avrov, di' eaurov xa6a-
piGfLov 'nor^6d[iivog tmv d[iapriuv ri^iuv, sxdiiasv h hz^ia rjjg fi^iy akoiauvra
iv {j-^TiXolg,

Ai sxvrov is wanting in MS. T. ; but the sense requires the words, and all
other ancient copies retain them. 'H^uZv is wanting in some copies; and one or
two for iy,ti.6i(TS have JcxOi'^si, which hath nothing whereunto it should relate.
Some also read, h r^ ^povu t^j [^iyuKuavuvig, taken from chap. xii. 2, where the
word is used.

*0f uv, " qui est," " qui cum sit," " qui existens:" — " who is," " who when he
is," or "was;" "who existing:" as Phil. ii. 6, *0f h y-opcpfi Qiov vi:;^uv, —
" Who being in the form of God."

" Who being dTravycta^ot, T'?jg ^o^ns," — " splendor," " radius," " jubar," " efful-

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