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not himself, but our lord Jesus Christ, and that he himself was only the servant of Jesus for the propagation of his gospel. At the same time, he declares that that same God, (the God of Chrift, of Paul, and of all mankind,) who had commanded light to shine out of darkness in the natural world, had enlightened him with the knowledge of the glory of God which was on the face of Jesus Christ' or in the

person' of Jesus Christ, as the same expression is rendered in another part of this epistle *.

Paul most scrupulously states the christian revelation to have derived its authority and pretensions from God, in contradistinction to Christ and his apostles, the instruments employed in its promulgation to the world. He stiles Christ the image of God, that is, in his purity and excellence of character; in like manner Moses says, ' in the image of God, 'made he man.' We might indeed consider this description of Christ as referring to the gospel itself, as the image, or mirror, of the mind and will of God. Agreeably to this representation we also may understand the same apostle, when he says in our context, that God thined in their

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* See chap. ii. 10. and Pyle on 2 Cor. iv, 6.

• hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the *glory of God, on the face of Jesus Chrift,'— to mean, that that more perfect acquaintance with the will of God which was possessed by him, was communicated for the sole purpose of difplaying the better knowledge of God, by means of the dispensation of Jesus Christ. For, what visual light is to the bodily eye, the fame is the light of the christian revelation to the understanding mind of man.

Our apostle, as though he apprehended he might be misunderstood, and, from a miltake of his meaning, be supposed to arrogate to himself more extraordinary powers than were given him; or, left future preachers of the gospel who might have no extraordinary powers at all committed to them, should make any claim to such pretensions, most seasonably observes, with great truth and justness of remark, that this treasure of heavenly knowledge was committed to earthen vessels ; in other words, that it was intrusted to men, and was intended to be left to make its way in the world without any further supernatural illumination from the father of lights.

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It is apparent that the design of this observation was to lead the immediate followers, and

future

and future disciples of Christ to consider the gospel as the work of God, and the whole scheme of christianity to be, what we are persuaded it really is, a revelation of his mind and will. It was also a no less feasonable and proper protest against the pretended powers and assumed privileges of the priesthood which had been greatly abused, and were, therefore, likely to be continued so long as the weakness and credulity of mankind should leave them their hopes and fears to work upon.

Paul having thus stated and insisted that the gospel of Christ was from God, and that he had employed human agents to preach and propagate it to the world, proceeds, with all the simplicity of an apostle of this benevolent religion, but with all the dignity of a learned and eloquent scholar, to prove his declaration respecting himself, by a general relation of the difficulties which attended his ministry. His own words will better explain his meaning than any paraphrase we can give of them.

are pressed,' writes he, ' but not straitened ; ' perplexed, but not wholly at a loss; driven ' away, but not utterly forsaken; thrown down,

but not killed ; bearing about every-where the deadly marks of the lord Jesus on our

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(4) • hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the

glory of God, on the face of Jesus Christ,'-to mean, that that more perfect acquaintance with the will of God which was possessed by him, was communicated for the sole purpose of difplaying the better knowledge of God, by means of the dispensation of Jesus Christ. For, what visual light is to the bodily eye, the same is the light of the christian revelation to the understanding mind of man.

Our apostle, as though he apprehended he might be misunderstood, and, from a mistake of his meaning, be supposed to arrogate to himself more extraordinary powers than were given him; or, left future preachers of the gospel who might have no extraordinary powers at all committed to them, should make any claim to such pretensions, most seasonably observes, with great truth and justness of remark, that this treasure of heavenly knowledge was comınitted to earthen vessels ; in other words, that it was intrusted to men, and was intended to be left to make its way in the world without any further fupernatural illumination from the father of lights.

It is apparent that the design of this observation was to lead the immediate followers, and

future

and future disciples of Christ to consider the gospel as the work of God, and the whole scheme of christianity to be, what we are persuaded it really is, a revelation of his mind and will. It was also a no less seasonable and proper protest against the pretended powers and assumed privileges of the priesthood which had been greatly abused, and were, therefore, likely to be continued so long as the weakness and credulity of mankind should leave them their hopes and fears to work upon.

Paul having thus stated and insisted that the gospel of Christ was from God, and that he had employed human agents to preach and propagate it to the world, proceeds, with all the simplicity of an apostle of this benevolent religion, but with all the dignity of a learned and eloquent scholar, to prove his declaration respecting himself, by a general relation of the difficulties which attended his ministry. His own words will better explain his meaning than any paraphrase we can give of them.

« We are pressed,' writes he, · but not straitened ; ' perplexed, but not wholly at a loss ; driven

away, but not utterly forsaken; thrown down, but not killed ; bearing about every-where the deadly marks of the lord Jesus on our

B

· body,

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