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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 the 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 amavraoua tms 80€75.-Repercussus divinæ majestatis, qualis est solis in nube, quæ dicitur tapyklos--Majestas divina, cum per se conspici nequeat, cernitur in Christo, sicut sol, quem directe oculi nostri tueri nequeunt, cernitur in aquâ, speculo, nube. Vide 2 Cor. iv. 4. Col. i. 15, Kau χαρακτηρ της υποστασεως αυτο-Υποστασις hic non ita sumitur, quomodo 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. Depeiv 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 cælestis in terris dispensationem pertinentia, velut humeris suis portâsse, 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. • all things that are in them :" but it means, he says, properly, “ ages," or ““ certain periods of time,” in which such or such things were done. Such
were the patriarchal, that of the law, that of the Messiah, that of the ante• diluvians—These were properly alwves, ages.' Admit, then, the interpretation of Grotius, di' 8, 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 dispensa• tions towards the sons of men.'
Et qui id facit quasi imago Dei est, potentiamque divinam in se residere ostendit.
Hereby then, is represented the power residing in Jesus, whereby he wrought the greatest 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.
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,
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. Kai peuvnuai ye mavu θλιψας τον Ιεδαιον, νομιζομενον σoφoν, εκ λεξεως ταυτης. προς αυτην απορων, ειπε τα τω εαυτ8 ιεδαισμα ακολουθα: ειπε προς μεν τον των ολων θεον ειρησθαι το, ο θρονος σε, ο θεος, εις τον αιωνα τα αιωνος, ραβδος ευθυτατος η ραβδος της βασιλειας σε προς δε τον Χριστον το, ηγαπησας δικαιοσυνην, και εμισησας ανομίαν. Δια τέτο έχρισε σε ο θεος ο θεος σε, και τα εξης. Contra 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 saith,' “ And thou, Lord,"—that is, upon account of the dispensation by the
Messiah, which is to last for ever, are applicable those
The apostle, the more effectually to secure the stedfast-
In a word, hereby are shown the dignity and excellence of the evangelical dispensation, in that bigher expressions are used concerning it, than can be applied to any other.
I think I have above shown from scripture, that Jesus Christ was a man like unto us, or having a human soul, as well as a human body. Nor have you any reason upon
that account to suspect me of heterodoxy. I think myself therein both a catholic and a scriptural christian. It has been the general belief of the church of Christ in all ages. And the glory of the evangelical dispensation depends upon it. In Socrates, the ecclesiastical historian, there is a chapter, where it is asserted, that this was the opinion of all the ancients in general, euz uxov tov evav@pwmoavra, of Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Apollinarius of Hierapolis, Serapion Bishop of Antioch, Origen and others. Socrat. I. 3. cap. viïi. Conf, Theodoret. H. E. 1. 5. cap. ix. et x.
I can easily show it to have been the opinion of some later writers, who have always been in great repute for their right faith.
Epiphanius expresseth himself upon this subject very
Hår. 69. n. xxv. p. 750.
Quod autem infert : Homo in dolore, et sciens ferre in-
manam habuisse animam, sed in humano corpore Deum fuisse pro animâ, audiant in Christo substantiam animée demonstrari. Id. in Amos, cap. vi. ib. :
Quod autem spiritus accipiatur pro animâ, manifeste significat Salvatoris oratio : • Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum.' Neque enim Jesus aut perversum spiritum, quod cogitare quoque nefas est, aut Spiritum Sanctum, qui ipse Deus est, Patri poterat commendare, et non potius animam suam, de quâ dixerat: Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem.' Matt. xxvi. 38. Id. in Abac. cap. ii. ib. p. 1618.
I shall not transcribe here any thing from Augustin, but only refer you to one place in him. Contr. sermon. Arian. cap. ix. tom. VIII.
I shall proceed no further at this time. I need not tell you, that the Unity of God is an important article of natural religion. And after it has been so strongly asserted in the Jewish revelation, and has been as clearly taught in the New Testament, it ought not to be given up by christians.
If, Papinian, you will bestow a few thoughts upon these papers, and send me the result of them, without compliment, and without resentment, you will oblige
CONTAINING AN EXPLICATION OF THOSE WORDS, “THE
GOD,' AS USED IN THE SCRIPTURES.
PhilALETHES, when he wrote the foregoing letter, had no occasion to proceed any farther than he did. But now he thinks, that if he could rightly explain those words, the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit, and the like, he should do a real service to religion, and contribute to the understanding of the scriptures.
d That passage may be seen above, p. 81, note d.
• See Mark xii. 29, Matt. xix. 17, Mark x. 18, John xvii. 3, Rom. xv. 6, xvi. 27, 1 Cor. viii. 6, 2 Cor. xi. 31, Eph. iv. 6, 1 Tim. ii. 5, vi. 15, 16, and elsewhere.