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was, being overflowed of water, perished. But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto, fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look
for new heavens and a new earth, where. in dwelleth righteousness.
It is most evident that the Apostle fpeaks here of some one principle, called the word of God and promise, which must be known to, men not willingly ignorant; which both constituted and destroyed the old world; which same principle constitutes this world, and keeps it, in flore, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungod. ly men; and, according to which also, we look with certainty for a new world- new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
This divine theory is contemplated in the scripture expressions of the heaven of heavens, and the third heavens; implying three states of the creation, as the first or natural heavens --the middle or angelic heavens—and the glorified ftate, or heaven of Christ.--The word heaven thus used, whether fingular or plural, means the same thing, and evidently intends a whole world. The holy temple of the Lord being made according to the patteril. shewed Mofes in the mount, exhibited the same divine scheme: First, the porch, or court of the people; fecondly, the sanctuary, or court of the priests; and, thirdly, the oracle, or holy of holies.--To these three states of Christ
and the creation, distinctly marked out in the xixth Pfalm, we have already alluded; and there can be no doubt of this being the true explanation of the three covenants, or covenant states of man; and that the whole respects one eternal truth, pattern, or principle of divine knowledge,
Moreover, according to the principle of the divine theory, we shall behold Christ exhibited in three personal forms, answerable to the nature of the whole exhibition, viz. the di. vine form, or form of God, the angelic form, or form of a servant, and the human form, or fashior of a man, in which form he is glorified.—And thus in the day of judgment, when all his glory will be exhibited in one view, he will appear in the glory of the Fa. ther, and in the glory of the holy angels, and in his own glory.
And, in like manner, in this exhibition, Christ bears three most distinguishing names, viz. The Beginning--The Archangel, and The Son of God; which names properly distinguish the three heads of the Divine Theory; and for this purpose we shall use them.
THE DIVISIONS OF THE THEORY. THE division of this all-comprehensive Subject into three heads, distinguilhed by the three names, as mentioned above, and the characters belonging to them, arises clearly from the nature of the divine will; and this is the ground of those three different exhibi. tions of Christ, each forming a world, which, distinctly, it will be the object of the three parts
of this work to illustrate,-But, before we proceed to the more full and conclusive illuftrations in the exhibitions themselves, some particular examination of these names, in order to familiarize to the mind the characters belonging to the several glorious dif. plays under them, together with some gene: ral illustrations of the theory, may be found 10 be of advantage.
THE BEGINNING. THE word Beginning is a name of Christ, and one of the most remarkable of all the names given to him by the Holy Spirit. It begins and, excepting the attestation and benediction, it ends the inspired volume. This word, used in the scriptures as a name of Christ, signifies at least, a head, chief, prince, or principal one.
With this word, Moses introduced his account of the creation of God, and thereby fignified as inspired writers after him understood, that Christ was the beginning, the principal one, and glorious head of the creation. Solomon, in a view which evidently includes the work both of creation and redemption, ufes the word, and repeats it, so as therein to place Chritt in one view, at the head of both words.* It is placed in the
. Prov, viji. 22, 23,
Introduction of three of the Evangelists, and first epistle of John. In this word, Christ is also revealed to us as the head of the holy angels,* and the prince of the kings of the earth.t
Hence, writes the apostle, Col. i. 15–18. Who is the image of the invifble God, the first born of every creature : For, by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are în earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, : All things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things confift. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.
From the truth, or doctrine contained in this name, which is above every name, let us then take our departure, in launching out into the boundless mysteries of God, that we may shape a true course for the haven of light and blessedness, and not concerning faith make shipwreck.
The word Angel, compounded of the words messenger and God, and which fignifies a messenger-Servant-or one fent of God, is another most remarkable name given to
* Jude 6. Την εαυτν αρχην. + Rev. i.
O αρχη των βασιλέας της γης.
Christ. This name, and the name beginning; have a peculiar relation to each other ;the one signifying the same thing in relation to the work of redemption, or the world of grace, that the other does in relation to the work of creation, or the natural world. That the name beginning, given to Christ
, has a special relation to the natural world, and signifies that the whole creation is constituted and consists in him ;-and the name angel, given to Christ, has a special relation to the work of redemption, and signifies that the world of grace, particularly, is constituted and consilts in him, will appear by examining how they stand connected in the scriptures, which will be found generally the fame as in the following passages :
In the beginning God created the heavert and the earth. Gen, i, 1.—The Lord poslessed me, the beginning, his way, before his works of old. Prob, viii, 22.- In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God; the same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him. John i. 1—3~And thou, Lord, in the beginning, hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thine hands. Heb. i. 10.
And the angel of the Lord called to him out of heaven, and said Abraham, Abraham. Gen. xxii, 11.-The angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads. Gen. xlviii. 16.-Behold I send an angel before thee. Exod. xxiii. 20. And the angel of his presence saved them. Ifai. Ixii. 9.-- It may be observed, that the