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who mock at, and trample upon it. But the triumph of the wicked is short. The time soon came, when the king sent forth his armies,and destroyed those murderers, the Jews, and burnt up their city, Jerusalem. So shall they all perish, and their habitation shall be laid waste, and the earth they live upon shall be burnt up, who now indulge themselves in the contempt of Christianity.
The departure of Christ from this world was in such a form as gave us a sign of his future appearance in judgment, and how it shall be. A cloud took him from us into heaven ; and a cloud shall bring him to us again : he shall so come as he was seen to go: whence we have that warning in the Revelation, behold he cometh with clouds! In that awful day, they will be best pleased to meet him, who now in this life, while, through those clouds, we behold him with the eye of Faith, adore his character, and love his church, and study his wisdom, and delight in his truth, and keep his commandments.
EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL
SHEWING THE HARMONY BETWEEN THE
MYSTERIES, DOCTRINES, AND MORALITY
OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT.
ON THE CHARACTER AND OFFICES OF THE SON OF
GOD, AS THEY ARE SET FORTH IN THE EPISTLE
TO THE HEBREWS.
We read, in the 24th chapter of St. Luke's gospel, that as two of the disciples were walking to Emmaus, on the day of Christ's resurrection, an unknown person joined them on the way, and entered into discourse with them. After some questions had passed between them, this unknown person (who was no other than Jesus himself) began to shew them, how all the circumstances, so lately fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, had been foreshewn in the scripture : and, beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Who can read this without wishing to have overheard that expository discourse, which, as the disciples said of it afterwards, made their hearts burn within them? Such a discourse is the Epistle to the Hebrews, to those whose hearts are open to understand it; not conceived in the same words, perhaps, nor laid down exactly in the same method; but consisting of the same matter, and all tending to produce the same effect.
All the doctrine contained in this epistle relates to one or other of these three heads;
First, to the Person of the Son of God, as it had been described in the Old Testament.
Secondly, to the Religion of the Gospel, as being the same under both Testaments.
Thirdly, to the Church of Israel, as a figure of the Church of Christ.
Under the first of these heads, I shall extract and arrange the doctrine of the Old Testament relating to the person of the Son of God; taking the Epistle to the Hebrews as my authority; wherein the apostle begins with shewing the divine character of the Son of God, as distinct from, and superior to, the nature of Angels; those invisible and exalted beings, who are between the nature of men and the nature of God.
For, first, his name is greater than theirs; it being said to him, never to them, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee *. And, secondly, he is an object of worship to angels—when he bringeth in his first begotten into the world, he saith t, and let all the angels of God worship him. And farther, he is celebrated in the Psalms as the King of heaven, and the Creator of the world—Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever-Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth: &c. these things are said, as the apostle witnesses, to the Son; who being also commanded to sit at the right hand of God, which was never said to any angel, his person was not of a created angelic nature, as the Hebrews might suppose, who had been used to that term in Moses and the prophets (and perhaps took it generally in such a sense) but strictly divine, and himself the Lord and God of men and angels, the coassessor of the Father in glory everlasting.
Such indeed is the character of the Son in the He
Chap. i. 5.
t Chap. vi.