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Once more. Our Lord's argument with the Sadducees, in behalf of a resurrection, taken: from Ex. iii. 6. and recorded Matt. xxii. Mark xii. Luke xx. supposeth "the God of Abraham,' &c. to be the one true God, "who is not the God of the dead, but of the living for all live unto him."
Jesus saw, that he answered discreetly, he said unto him: Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." All which supposeth, that the Jews were not mistaken about the object of worship..
In short, if Justin Martyr be in the right, it is not sufficient to say, that the Jewish peoplewere mistaken: but we must say, that the Old and New Testament, and the sacred penmen of them, and all who speak therein by inspiration, are mistaken.
Unquestionably, God may make use of the ministry of angels, as well as of men. But it is: not the messenger who is God: but he, from whom he comes, and in whose name he speaks.
I may show this by an instance or two. Gen. xxii. 15-18. "And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said: By myself I have sworn, saith the Lord, that because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thy only son; in blessing I will bless thee." Here is mentioned an angel. But he is only God's messenger, and God speaks by him. Of this we are fully assured by an argument in the epistle to the Hebrews, Ch. vi. 13, 14. "For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swearby no greater, he sware by himself, saying: Surely, blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee."
For certain, therefore, this was the cath of God Almighty, the one living and true God, and the Creator of all things. For there was "no greater than he." And that this was the one true God, appears, as from many other texts, so particularly from Ps. cv. where the Psalmist gratefully commemorates God's wonderful works, and expressly mentions his mindfulness of` "his covenant with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac," ver. 9.
St. Stephen speaks of the Jews having received "the law by the disposition of angels," Acts vii. 54. that is, by their ministration, under God the supreme lawgiver, who at that tinre had the attendance of a numerous host of angels. Deut. xxxiii. 1. 2. Comp. Heb. ii. 2. And,, says the Psalmist very poetically, Ps. lxviii. 17. "The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands. The Lord is among them, in his holy place, as in Sinai.” see Is. xxxiii. 22.
I must take some other things from the above-mentioned learned writer.
Script. Doct. ch. ii. sect. 3. numb. 576. John iii. 13. "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven." The "meaning is explained, ch. i. 18. "No man hath seen God at any time. The only begotten: Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him." Excellently well in my opinion. That is the whole of Dr. Clarke's note upon that text.
Script. Doct. n. 580. p. 96. John v. 18. "But said also, that God was his Father, making himself equal with God." Here Dr. Clarke speaks to this purpose. Here Dr. Clarke speaks to this purpose. Assuming to himself the power, and authority of God. It is the same accusation with that other. Ch. x. 33. "We stone thee for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." And 6 Mark ii. 7. " Why does this man thus speak blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God only? The Jews, it is evident, did not by these expressions mean to charge Jesus with affirming him'self to be the supreme, self-existent, independent Deity: nay, not so much as with taking " upon himself to be a Divine Person at all but only with assuming to himself the power and authority of God.' So far is not amiss in my opinion. What follows there I leave to those who may like it.
Script. Doct. numb. 645. p. 124. Col. ii. 9. "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily." The note is this. Ch. i. 19. "It pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell." And John xiv. 10. "The Father that dwelleth in me, he does the works.""> Excellently well, according to my apprehension.
This will lead me to proceed somewhat farther, and to consider some other texts before I conclude.
Rom. i. 3, 4." Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."
Here are two things: first, that "Jesus was made of the seed of David:" secondly, that he
was "declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead." Both which illustrated by comparing other texts.
How this text is explained by those who favour the Arian hypothesis, of the Logos supplying the place of a human soul in the person of Jesus, may be seen in divers writers. I shall explain it as I am able, without attempting a particular confutation of any.
First, "who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh." That phrase, “according to the flesh," is in several other texts. Some of which may be observed. Acts ii. 30. "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throneRom. ix. 3. "For I could wish, that myself were accursed from Christ, for my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh -ver. v. "Whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came." And see 2 Cor. v. 16.
Secondly, it is added: "And declared to be the Son of God, with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."
There are several texts to be observed here, Acts ii. 32. "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses"- -ver. 36. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Jesus was, and had been declared to be the Christ, the Son of God, whilst he was here on earth. But this was more fully manifested by his resurrection, and the consequent effusion of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles and others. See Acts xiii. 33. and Heb. v. 5. And our Lord himself had mentioned this to the Jews, as "the sign," the most decisive, and demonstrative evidence, that he was indeed the Messiah, as he had said. See Matt. xii. 38-40. xvi. 1—5. Luke xi. 29, 30. John ii. 18, 19. iii. 14. viii. 28. xii. 32.
Now therefore we may explain, and paraphrase this text after this manner: Cocerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who, with regard to the external circumstances of his nativity into this world, was of the family and lineage of David: from whom God had promised the • Messiah should descend: and with regard to the "spirit of holiness,' spirit of holiness," or the divine energy and influence, by which he had been contrived in the womb, and by which he was sanctified to his high office, and by which he wrought the greatest miracles, he was the Son of God, and was known to be so. But was most fully and solemnly constituted, and declared to be the Son of God, by that wonderful demonstration of the divine power, his resurrection from the dead.'
Nor is it easy to avoid recollecting here, in what terms St. Paul speaks of the power which God exerted in raising Christ from the dead, and exalting him to that dominion, which was the consequence of his resurrection. Eph. i. 19-23.
I shall transcribe below a part of Grotius's annotations upon this text, and refer to others.
Eph. iii. 9. "And to make all men see, what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ."
Here it may be observed, in the first place, that those words, "by Jesus Christ." are by some learned men suspected to be an interpolation."
But, secondly, allowing them to be genuine, it is to be observed, that many learned men are of opinion that St. Paul is here speaking of the new creation. So says Grotius. Omnia Christus fecit nova. 1 Cor. v. 17. Et divinior hæc creatio, quam prior illa. And you very well know Mr. Locke's paraphrase, which is this: Who frames and manages this whole new creation
See the Paraphrases of Mr. Locke, and Dr. Taylor. Sed sensum difficiliorem efficit curtata locutio, quam evolvere conabimur. Jesus Filius Dei multis modis dicitur; maxime populariter, ideo quod in regnum a Deo evectus est; quo sensu verba Psalmi ii. de Davide dicta, cum ad regnum pervenit, Christo aptantur. Act. xiii. 33. et ad Heb. i. 5. v. 5. Hæc autem Filii sive regia dignitas Jesu prædestinabatur, et præfigurabatur, jam tum cum mortalem agens vitam magna illa signa et prodigia ederet-Hæc signa edebat Jesus per spiritum illum sanctitatis, id est, vim divinam, per quam ab initio conceptionis sanctificatus fuerat. Luc. i. 35.--Ostenditur ergo Jesus nobilis ex maternâ parte, utpote ex rege ter
reno ortus, sed nobilio ex paternâ parte, quippe a Deo factus Rex cœlestis post resurrectionem. Heb. v. 9. Act. ii. 30. et xxvi. p. 2. 3. Grot. Annot ad Rom. i. 4.
• Vid. Limborch. Comment. in Rom. i. 3, 4. et Enjedini Explicat. V. et N. Test. p. 258-264.
Aia 78 Ino8 Xpi58.] Deest in Alexandr. Vulg. Syr.—— Et quidem, cum vix fieri possit, ut exemplaribus antiquissimis exciderint, scribarum seu fraude, sive incuriâ, verba tam insignia, præsertim ante tempora Arii; adjecta hoc loco crediderim, interpretamenti gratiâ, ex illo Apostoli. Col. i. 16. Mill. in loc. Vid. et Bez. in loc.
by Jesus Christ.' And he has endeavoured in a long note to support that paraphrase. This likewise is the sense of Calvin. Qui omnia creavit per Christum.'] Non tam de prima creatione interpretari licet, quam de instauratione spirituali. Tametsi enim verum est illud, Verbo Dei creata esse omnia, quemadmodum tot locis habetur: circumstantia tamen loci postulat, ut de renovatione intelligamus, quæ continetur in beneficio redemptionis. Beausobre likewise has a very valuable note upon this text; but being somewhat prolix, I only refer you to it.
2 Cor. iv. 4. Christ is styled " the image of God." "OS EIV EX 78 Bes. Upon which Whitby's note is to this purpose. Christ seems here to be styled the image of God, not in the sense of Theodoret, as being "God of God," but rather, as the text insinuates, with relation to the gospel, and his mediatory office: in which he has given us many glorious demonstrations of the power, the wisdom, the holiness, purity amd justice, the mercy, goodness, and philanthropy of God. Tit. iii. 4.' Beza's note upon the place is to the like purpose. Id est, in quo seipsum perspicue conspiciendum præbet Deus, ut 1 Tim. iii. 16. Neque enim Dei imaginem nunc vocat Paulus Christum alio quam officii ipsius respectu: ut, licet vera, tamen sint expordiovUCK, quæ nonnulli ex veteribus hoc loco weg 78 μ0818 deseruerunt. So that I need not here appeal to Grotius.
Col. i. 15. "Who is the image of the invisible God." Mr. Peirce's note is in these very words. • The Father alone is represented in the New Testament, as the "invisible God." See John i. • 18. v. 37. vi. 46. 1 Tim. i. 17. vi. 16. Heb. xi. 27. 1 John iv. 12, 20. Christ is never repre⚫sented as invisible. It might seem strange, if he should, since he actually took upon him flesh, • and appeared, and was seen in the world: which are things the nature of the Father cannot possibly admit. His being called "the image of God" in this place, and 2 Cor. iv. 4. implies his being visible, and that the perfections of God do most eminently shine forth in him.'
So writes Mr. Peirce. And by Christ seems to mean the Logos, or Christ in his pre-existent state, before he came into this world: which appears to me not a little strange. God, the Father, unquestionably, is invisible. So I think, are the Logos, in the Arian sense of that term, and also angels, and the souls of men, and all beings which we call spirits. None of them are visible to our bodily eyes.
Therefore Christ's being "the image of God," must be understood of his acting in this world. God is invisible in his nature and essence. But he can manifest himself, and make known to us in his mind and will, by those whom he sends as his ministers. This appears to me very plain and evident from John xiv. 8-11. " Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us." What, now, is the answer which our Lord makes to that disciple? Does he reprehend him, as asking an impossibility? No. His answer is this: "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father. And how sayest thou, show us the Father!" See what follows, and ver. 7.
I think that Irenæus says the same that I have just now done. Beati mundi corde, quoniam ipsi videbunt Deum.' Sed secundum magnitudinem quidem ejus, et mirabilem gloriam, nemo videbit Deum, et vivet.' Ex. xxxiii. 20. Incapabilis enim Pater. Secundum autem dilectionem et humanitatem, et quod omnia possit, etiam hoc concedit iis qui se diligunt, id est, videre Deum. Homo etenim a se non videt Deum. Ille autem volens videtur hominibus, quibus vult, et quando vult, et quemadmodum vult. Potens est enim in omnibus Deus: visus quidem tunc per spiritum prophetiæ, visus autem et per Filium adoptive. Videbitur autem et in regno cœlorum paternaliter. Iren. 1. 4. cap. 20. al. 37. n. 5. p. 254.*
So likewise when Christ is called "the image of God" in 2 Cor. iv. 4. the place before cited, the meaning is, that he was so in this world. This I think to be exceeding evident from the context, which will be now recited more at large :" lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them--For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face," or person, " of Jesus Christ."
It follows in the same Col. i. 15. "Who is the first-born of every creature," or rather, as
■ I must transcribe Grotius here. Qui est imago Dei invisibilis] Dei inaspecti aspectabilis imago. Ita enim Latini loquuntur. Idem sensus 2 Cor. iv. 4. et 1 Tim. iii. 16. Heb. i. 3. Adam imago Dei fuit, sed valde tequis. In Christo perfectissime ap
paruit, quam Deus esset sapiens, potens, bonus. Sic in aquâ solem conspicimus. Aliud imago, aliud umbra, qualis in Lege. Heb. x. 1. Grot. ad Col. i. 15.,
seems to me, "of the whole creation. wewTOTONOS WRONG XTICEws: that is, he is the chief, the most excellent of the whole creation. Pelagius says, it is to be understood of Christ in regard to his humanity. He is the first, not in time, but in dignity. So it is said, "Israel is my first-born." Primogenitus secundum assumpti hominis formam, non tempore, sed honore, juxta illud: ‹ Filius meus primogenitus Israel.' Pelag. in loc. Ap. Hieron. tom. V. p. 1070.
Grotius understands it of the new creation. He refers to 2 Cor. v. 17. Rev. xxi. 5. Heb. ii. 5. to which, perhaps, might have been added Heb. xii. 23. "The church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven." He likewise says, that in the sacred scriptures "the first-born" sometimes denotes the greatest or highest, and refers to Ps. lxxxix. 27. Jer. xxxi. 9. Primus in creatione, nova scilicet, de qua 2 Cor. v. 17.--Primogenitum Hebræis dicitur et quod primum, et quod summum est in quoque genere.
For the explication of what follows: I mean Col. i. 16-20, I beg leave to refer you to
Heb. i. 1, 2. “God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the Fathers by," or in the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by," or in his Son," the promised Messiah: To go Duraisas via. Whom he has appointed heir of all things: by whom also he made the worlds." Grotius thinks that the Greek phrase may be rendered "for whom;" which is very suitable to the coherence, it having been before said, that he was " appointed heir," or lord " of all things." Videtur & hic & recte accipi posse pro dov, "propter quem." Ideo autem hæc interpretatio hoc loco maxime mihi se probat, quia ad Hebræos scribens videtur respicere ad dictum vetus Hebræorum, propter Messiam conditum esse mundum."
Ver. 3. "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person." That expresseth the glory of Jesus Christ in this world. He is the refulgence of his Father's glory, which shone upon him, and was seen in him. In him appeared the wisdom, the power, the truth, the holiness, the goodness, the mercifulness of God. It is much the same as "the form of God," Philip. ii. 6. Says Grotius, "Os wv aτavɣacμa tus doen--Repercussus divinæ majestatis, qualis est solis in nube, quæ dicitur aaphos-Majestas divina, cum per se conspici nequeat, cernitur in Christo, sicut sol, quem directe oculi nostri tueri nequeunt, cernitur in aqua, speculo, nube. Vide 2 Cor. iv. 4. Col. i. 15. Kaι xaganтup тys UTOGUσEWS AUTZ-ITses hic non ita sumitur, quonodo Platonici, et post Origenem ex Platonicis Christiani, sumpsere,Ita potentia, justitia, veritas in Deo Christi Patre sunt primario, in Christo vero secundario, sed ita ut nobis in Christo ea evidenter appareant. Joh. xiv. 9.
The same ver. 3. " and upholding all things by the word of his power." This must relate to our Saviour's transactions in this world, because it precedes the mention of his death, which follows next. I have looked into Brenius, who says the same: and I shall transcribe him, as it is likely you have him not with you. Cumque omnia potenti suo jussu in terris ferret. egen hic, ut interpretes nonnulli recte annotant, potius significat agere, sive moderari, et gubernare, quam portare aut ferre: nisi ferendi aut portandi verbum hoc sensu accipiatur, ut metaphorice designet Christum etiam in terris munus suum administrantem, omnia ad regni cœlestis in terris dispensationem pertinentia, velut humeris suis portasse. Conf. Is. ix. 6.
To the same purpose likewise Limborch, whom I shall transcribe also in part. Sic videmus Domini Jesu potentiæ omnia fuisse subjecta, ejusque miracula fuisse universalia in totam naturam; nullamque fuisse creaturam, quin imperium ipsius agnoverit--Quibus omnibus præconii sui divinitatem adstruxit, seque a Deo Patre suo esse missum probavit. Quæ omnia solo jussu efficere, vere divinum est. Et qui id facit quasi imago Dei est, potentiamque divinam in se re
Hereby then, is represented the power residing in Jesus, whereby he wrought the greatest
'done. Such were the patriarchal, that of the law, that of the Messiah, that of the antediluvians--These were properly aves, ages.' Admit, then, the interpretation of Grotius, &, to be "for whom." And we have a most apt and beautiful sense, which is this, "For whom also," or "for 'whose sake also," or in respect to whom, he disposed and ordered the ages, that is, the antediluvian, the patriarchal, 'the legal ages or periods, and all the divine dispensations to'wards the sons of men,'
miracles, whenever he pleased, by an effectual all-commanding word, healing diseases, raising the dead, rebuking stormy winds and waves, and they subsided, multiplying provisions in desert places, causing a fish to bring a stater for the tribute-money to be paid to the temple, for himself and the disciple at whose house he was entertained.
It follows in the same verse," when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Which last words include our Lord's resurrection from the dead, and his ascension to heaven, and there sitting on the right hand of the Father. Upon which the apostle farther enlargeth.
Ver. 4, 5. " Being made so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee ?" See 2 Sam. vii. 14. Ps. ii. 7. lxxxix. 26, 27.
Ver. 6. "And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him."
Mr. Peirce's paraphrase of ver. 6. is thus: So far is he from speaking in such a manner of any of the angels, that on the contrary, when he brings again his first-begotten into the world,
• raising him from the dead, he says, and let all the angels of God be subject to him." See 1 Pet. iii. 21, 22" by the resurrection of Jesus Christ; who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, angels, and authorities, and powers being made subject unto him."
Ver. 7." And of the angels he saith, who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire."
Ver. 8. "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." Ver. 9. "Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
"But unto the Son he saith." I think it should be thus rendered: "but of the Son he saith, [or,] with regard to the Son, he saith." For in the original it is the same phrase, which in the seventh verse we have translated, "of the angels he saith." So, here, "With regard to the Son, he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever." The words are in Ps. xlv. 6. "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. The sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre." The writer of this epistle to the Hebrews says, And with regard to the Son, or the Messiah, God's throne is for ever and ever:' that is, the kingdom of God, erected by the Messiah, is to have no period: and this is expressed in the words of the Psalmist here quoted. Comp. Luke i. 33, 34. So likewise Dan. ii. 44. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed." And in Rev. xiv. 6. the doctrine to be preached to all nations is called "the everlasting gospel."
Here I recollect a passage in Origen's books against Celsus, who informs us he had met with a Jew, esteemed a very learned man, who said that those words, "Thy throne, O God, is for ' ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre :" are addressed to the God of the universe: but the following words, "thou lovest righteousness and hatest iniquity; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows, are addressed ‘to the Messiah.’Και μεμνημαι γε πανυ θλιψας τον ιδδαιον, νομιζόμενον σόφον, εκ λεξεως ταύτης. Ος προς αυτην απορων, είπε τα τῳ εαυτ8 ιυδαισμῳ ακολουθα· ειπε προς μεν τον των ολων θεον ειρησθαι το, ο θρονος σε ο θεος εις τον αιώνα τ8 αιώνος, ράβδος ευθυτατος η ράβδος της βασιλειας σε προς δε τον χριζον το, ηγάπησας δικαιοσυνην, και εμίσησας ανομίαν. Contr. Δια τ8το έχρισε σε ο θεος ο θεος σε, και τα εξης. Cels. 1. 1. p. 43. Cant. Tom. 1. p. 371. Bened.
Origen did not approve of that interpretation; but to me it appears both very right and very valuable. Nor is it so difficult, but that it might have been discerned by a Christian, were it not that we are strangely misled by a great variety of wrong notions which prevail amongst us.
So again, ver. 10. " And thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands." Ver. 11. "They shall perish, but thou remainest : and they all shall wax old like a garment." Ver. 12. "And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail." Which words are a quotation from Ps. cii. 25, 26, 27. Where they are addressed to God; and so they are here. In order to preserve the connection, we are to supply some such words as these at the beginning of the quotation. • And of the Son, or with regard to the Son, or the Messiah, the scripture