Imágenes de página

ALMIGHTY to them, in the firft inftance; therefore PAUL, declined, through modefty or humility, to affume the title."-See Lardner, vol. 2. p. 211. and 6. p. 411. last edit.—And this perfectly accords with that apoftle's doctrine, ftiling JESUS CHRIST "Minister of the Circumcifion," Rom. 15, 8. And in this very epiftle" The Apoftle and High Priest of our profeffion," Heb. 3, 1. according to the tenor of the Old Testament, in which He was filed SHILOH, or "the Apoftle," Gen. 49, 10.; alluded to, Exod. 4, 13. Ifa. 8, 6. and 48, 16. John 9, 7. And "FAITHFUL HIGH PRIEST," 1 Sam. 2, 35. whose functions are fo finely explained, Pf. 110, 4.; Zechar. 6, 13.; and still more minutely and circumftantially, in this epiftle alfo; Heb. 5, 10-11. And in Chapters 7. and 8. throughout; ftating the infinite fuperiority of the Evangelical, above all former difpenfations; in the tranfcendant exaltation of the author and finisher of our faith," JESUS CHRIST, not only above Mofes, Heb. 3, 3-6. but even above the angels themfelves, in the Introduction.

In this letter, I fhall firft propose an emendation of our public translation of the Introduction, and then endeavour to illuftrate and fupport it, by fome enfuing remarks.



I. 1.

GOD, having in divers degrees and fundry ways [of Revelation] fpoken, of old, unto the patriarchs in the Prophets; did, in thefe 2. last days, speak unto Us; in a SON; whom He appointed Heir of all, through whom alfo He made the worlds:


Who, (being an effulgence of His glory and a character of his fubfiftence, and upholding the univerfe by the oracle of His power), when he had, through himself, made purification of our fins; fat 4. down at the right hand of the Majefty on high: becoming fo much better than the angels, inasmuch as He hath inherited a more diftinguished name than they.


For, unto which of the angels faid [HE] at any time; " Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee," (Pi. 2, 7.) and again : 6. "I will be to Him a Father; And He fhall be to me a Son."


2 Sam. 7, 14. Moreover, when [He] again introduceth
First-born" (Pf. 89, 27. Rev. 1, 5. Rom. 8, 29.) into the world,
He faith: "And let all the angels of God worship Him." Pf. 97, 7.
"Who maketh


And concerning the angels, faith [Scripture];

8. his angels, winds; and his minifters a flame of fire." (Pf. 104, 4.) But concerning THE SON: "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and 9. ever; a fceptre of equity is the Sceptre of thy kingdom: Thou haft loved righteoufnefs and hated iniquity; therefore, God, thy God, anointed Thee with oil of gladness above thy fellows." (Pf. 45, 6-7.)


Alfo: "Thou, Lord, at firft, didft found the earth, and the 11. heavens are works of thy hands: They shall perish, but Thou endurest ; 12. and as a garment shall they all wax old, and as a mantle fhalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but Thou art the same, and thy years fhall not fail." (Pf. 102, 25-27.)


But concerning which of the angels, faid [He] at any time: "Sit Thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies a footstool for thy feet." (Pf. 110, 1.)


Are they not all officiating fpirits, fent forth unto ministration, for the fake of them who are to inherit falvation?

II. 1.

Ç 2

II. 1. For this caufe, we ought the more earneftly to attend unto [the doctrines] which we have heard; left at any time we fwerve:

For, fince the oracle spoken through angels became firm, and every tranfgreffion and difobedience received condign retribu3. tion; how fhall we efcape if we neglect fo great falvation ?


I. 1.

Which, having at firft begun to be spoken through THE LORD, was confirmed unto us by the hearers: GoD giving further witness thereto, by figns and wonders, and by various powers and distributions of the HOLY SPIRIT, according to his own will.


In the magnificent opening of this epiftle, the laft, the nobleft and moft highly finished of all his compofitions, the apoftle reprefents O EOE, "THE SUPREME GOD," as the Original Author and giver of all Revelation; conformably to the whole tenor of Holy Writ, and of Jewish and Heathen philofophy. Hence He is ftiled “THE FATHER OF LIGHTS," Jam. 1, 17. Who "Spake through the mouth of his holy prophets, from the beginning of the world," Luke 1, 7. "For No Prophecy is of private fuggeftion: fince Prophecy was not uttered at any time by human volition; but the Holy men of God Spake, impelled by THE HOLY SPIRIT." 2 Pet.

1, 21.

And Philo the Jew declares :

Προφήτης γαρ ιδίου μεν δεν αποφθέγγεται, αλλότρια δε παντα, ὑπηχέντος ετερε. φαυλώ δ ̓ 8 θεμις ἑρμενει γενεσθαι Θέση ως κυρίως, μοχθηρθε εδείς ενθυσία, μόνω δε σοφω ταυτ' εφαρμοτίει, επει και μονα οργανον Θε8 εσιν ηχεν, κρεομενον και πλητόμενον αορατως ὑπ ̓ Αυτ8. Quis Rerum Divin. Hæref. p. 404.

"For a prophet uttereth nothing of his own, but things altogether foreign, by the fuggeftion of another Being. It is not fit for a bad man to become an interpreter of GoD: fo that, abfolutely, no vile perfon is infpired; fince this privilege is adapted to the wife alone, who is only an organ of GoD, founding, beat and ftruck by HIM."

And the language of Heathen philofophy is fimilar:


‹ Eft Deus in nobis, agitante calefcimus Illo.” OVID.

And Virgil thus finely defcribes the Cumaan Sybil in the act of inspiration:

"At PHŒBI nondum patiens, immanis in antro

Bacchatur vates, magnum fi pectore poffit

Excuffiffe Deum: tanto magis Tile fatigat

Os rabidum, fera corda domans, fingitque premendo."

See the account of the Heathen prophet Balaam's infpiration;
Numb. 24, 16, 17. And Pearfon, de Oraculis Sibyllinis*.

Hence, with the Bishops Bible, (1577) I have rendered a TOIS @popntais, "in the prophets," rather than "by";-which is a προφήταις,


See alfo IRISH PURSUITS OF LITERATURE. Art. MONSTROUS REPUBLIC, p. 41-48. A Selection of Virgil's quotations from the Sibyllian Oracles refpecting CHRIST.

more appropriate rendering of ύπο; as in the phrafe, το ρηθεν ΥΠΟ το Κύριε ΔΙΑ το τροφητε, "fpoken by THE LORD, through the

prophet." Matt. 1, 22.

GoD indeed "fpake in or through his holy prophets, of old," hvμepws, “in divers degrees" of clearnets and compafs; and απολυτρόπως, "in fundry ways" or modes of communication, throughout the patriarchal and Jewish difpenfations, from Enoch, the first of the prophets on record, to Malachi, the laft of the Jewish canon; until that cleareft and fulleft "Revelation of JESUS CHRIST which GOD gave Him." Rev. 1, 1. during "the laft" or evangelical difpenfation; which "fealed up" or clofed "cifion and prophefy,” Dan. 9, 24. Altogether compofing that various and complicated fcheme of Revelation, which the apoftle elsewhere ftiles, wouTOINING JOIN TO "the manifold wifdom of God," Ephef. 3, 10. thus elegantly combining in the epithet woon, the import of the preceding, πολυμερως and πολυτρόπως. And perhaps the apofile, fo profoundly verfed in Heathen philofophy*, might have borrowed ail thefe noble Greek compound terms from the following curious paffage of Maximus Tyrius, Diff. 1. p. 7.*"

Τη τε άνθρωπο ψυχῇ δυο οργανων οίων προς συνεσιν, τε μεν ΑΠΛΟΥ 6, καλεμεν ΝΟΥΝ, το δε ΠΟΙΚΙΛΟΥ και ΠΟΛΥΜΕΡΟΥΣ και ΠΟΛΥΤ ̔ΡΟΠΟΥ, ἃς ΑΙΣΘΗΣΕΙΣ καλεμεν,

"The foul of man having two organs conducive to understanding, the one fimple, which we call MIND; the other manifold, diverfified and various, which we call SENSES."

2. To mark the fuperiority of the great "Author and Finisher of our faith," Heb. 12, 2. above all foregoing prophets, the apoftle reprefents him: 1. Not as a fercant, but above a fervant, A SON beloved; and by a noble climax, rifes to his high prerogatives; 2. not only after, but 3. before his incarnation;-Whom " HE APPOINTED HEIR OF ALL"; as foretold of him in Holy Writ: "Arife, O God, and judge the carth; for Thou shalt inherit all the nations," Pf. 82, 8. And our Lord himfelf declares : "The Father judgeth no one, Himfelf; but hath given the whole judgment unto the Son; to the end that all should honour the Son, according as they honour the Father: He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father who fent Him," John 5, 22. this was before his refurrection; and he repeats again after his refurrection : " All authority was given to Me in heaven and upon earth," Matt. 28, 18. "Through whom alfo He made the worlds."—"The worlds" (T8s alvas) here denote "the heavens and the earth,” Gen. 1, 1. as in the parallel paffage; "By Faith, we understand that the worlds (Tegalwas) were framed by the oracle of God: to intimate, that the visible [creation] was not made of [material] phænomena" --i. e. was not fortuitously compofed of eternally pre-existing atoms, or folid particles of matter, according to the Atheistical, Epicurean philofophy of latter ages, Heb. 11, 3. See Pyle, and Rofen Muller.-An interpretation of this difficult paffage, which is fupported by, 2 Mac. 7, 28. Αξίω σε, τέκνον, αναβλεψανία εις τον ερανού και την γην, και τα εν αυτοίς ιδονία, γνωναι, ότι εξ εκ ονίων εποίησεν αυτα ὁ Θεσι, και το των ανθρωπων γενῶ' έτω γεγενηται.

I en



[ocr errors]

treat thee, my Son, when thou lookest upon the heaven and the earth, to know, that Gop made them out of non-existing [materials]; and fo, was the human race made likewife." And accordingly, Philo fpeaking of the framing of the visible heaven and earth; obferves: τῳ γαρ περιφανεσάτῳ και τηλαυγεςατω εαυτε Λογο, ρηματι, ὁ Θεός αμφότερα αποιεί. For, by his moft illuftrious and most glorious LoGOS, THE ORACLE, God made them both."-Legis Allegor. Lib. 1. p. 33. In this remarkable paffage, the Jewish philofopher has combined together, the fynonymous phrafes of oyre 8, 2 Pet. 8, 5. John 1, 1-2. and nua O, Heb. 11, 3. Luke 3, 2. whom Philo perfonifies, like these apoftles, throughout his works. In the Rabbinical writings, God is alfo ftiled, onby "Creator of the worlds" Be midbar R. 13.-meaning thereby, na ob"This world," or own by "the lower world;" i. e. the earth; and

hon phy" the upper world;" i, e. the heavens, or atmosphere. And as the terms, aw and awves are frequently rendered by oby and its plural, in the Septuagint verfion. (See Trommius Concord.) Thefe obfervations will, I truft, fufficiently establish the orthodox tranflation, and refute the Socinian and Unitarian renderings in this place, as alwvas, "the ages" or difpenfations. In the parenthetical claufe of this verfe, the apoftle proceeds more fully to unfold the divine character of JESUS CHRIST: ftiling him 1. απαύγασμα της δόξης, και χαρακτηρ της υποτασεως αυτ8. "An effulgence (or ray) of His (the Father's) glory, and a character (or imprefs) of His fubfiftence."-And this magnificent imagery is familiar to the facred penman, and alfo the early Jewish writers :"We beheld His (Chrift's) glory, a glory fuitable to the only genuine fon, [proceeding] from the Father." John 1, 14. "Having been made eye witneffes of his majesty," 2 Pet. 1, 16.-i. e. at his tranffiguration, Matt. 17, 2.; and when he appeared after his ascenfion, to Paul, Acts 9, 3-5.; and to John, Rey. 1, 12—17.The writer of the Wifilom of Solomon, alfo, in terms nearly fimilar to the prefent, defcribes WISDOM personified, 7, 25. An oppora THE το Παυλοκράτορος δόξης ειλικρινης- Απαύγασμα φωτος αιδία. "A pure emanation of the Almighty's glory"-" an effulgence of eternal light."-And the following fublime paffage of Phila, is worthy of the evangelical writers :-Πρωτον μεν ὁ Θεῷ φως-και 8 μανον φως, αλλα και παύλος έτερα φωτός αρχετυπον το μεν γαρ παράδειγμα ὁ πληρες ατα· ην αυτε λόγω φως, αυτώ δε υδενι των γεγονότῶν ὁμοιθ'. De Somniis, p. 448.

"Primarily, God is light-and not only light but also the archetype of every other light-For his resemblance is that fulleft light, the oracle: But He himself is like nothing that has been made." And perhaps the apoftle might have borrowed his idea of a character or mprefs, and the term itself, from the following beautiful paffage of Philo, happily preferved by Eufebius, Præpar. Evangel. Lib. 7. § 18.

Αλλ' οἱ μεν αλλοι, της αιθερια φυσεως την ημετεραν νυν μοιραν ειπονίες είναι, συγγένειαν τε άνθρωπε προς αιθέρα συνήψαν· ὁ δὲ μέγας Μωσης εδενι των γεγονότων της λογικής ψυχής το ειδώ. ώμοίωσεν, ἀλλ ̓ εἶπεν αυτήν το θειο και αορατο Πνευματος εκεινε δοκιμον είναι νομισμα, ση μειωθον και τυπωθεν ΣΦΡΑΓΙΔΙ ΘΕΟΥ· ἯΣ Ο ΧΑΡΑΚΤΗΡ ΕΣΤΙΝ Ὁ ΑΙΔΙΟΣ ΛΟΓΟΣ.

"r Other

Other [philofophers] indeed, when they fay, that our mind is a particle of the ætherial nature, affumed an affinity between man and ether: But the great Mofes, likened the form of the human foul to nothing that has been made, but said, that it was an ap❤ proved coin of that divine and invifible Spirit, ftamped and impressed with God's feal: of which the eternal oracle is the character."

The third and laft member of the parenthefis, φέρων τε τα πανία τω ρήματι της δυναμεως Αυτ8. "And upholding the universe by the oracle of His power," affords the livelieft reprefentation of the ftability of the Son's delegated fovereignty, according to Pf. 75, S. "The earth is weak and all its inhabitants; I bear up the pillars thereof."-And Philo applies the fame imagery to the fame perfonage: De plantat. Noe. Aoy de aidiC DES TO AINHIS TO OXUPWTATOY και βεβαιωτατον των όλων ερεισμα επι

"The eternal oracle of the everlasting God is the fureft and firmest bulwark of the universe."

How different was this from the wailing of Mofes (the oracle of the Judaizing Chriftians, whofe inftitutions they prized above the Gofpel, Acts 15, 1--29.) when he thus lamented his inability to fuftain the load of government. "And Mofes faid unto THE LORD, wherefore haft Thou afflicted thy fervant!—I am not able to bear all this people alone, for it is too heavy for me." Numb. 11, 12-14. But" in CHRIST all things confift." Coloff. 1, 17. 5. To mark the fuperiority of JESUS CHRIST, above the angels, in perfon and offices, the apoftle adduces feveral citations from the prophetic pfalms, declaratory thereof. 1. From the second pfalm; in which the infpired David, records the triumph of CHRIST on his refurrection over all his foes, "when He was ordained SON OF GoD in power, according to the Spirit of holiness, on his refurrection from the dead." Rom. 1, 4. when, to reward his unparalleled humiliation in exhaufting himself of his divine form, (or "the glory which He had with THE FATHER, before the foundation of the world") and affuming a fervile form, and being born in the likeness of men; and his confummate obedience, unto death, even death by crucifixion; therefore GOD alfo tranfcendantly exalted him (iwegu




wos) and bestowed on Him the name above every name; that at the name of JESUS, every knee should bow of celeftial, terrestrial and infernal beings, and every tongue profefs, that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to GOD, THE FATHER's glory."-That new name" or authority, which no one knoweth the extent and compass of but himself" written,' or recorded in heaven, " KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS," conferred on him, by "THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT"-THE KING OF THE REIGNING [KINGS] AND LORD OF THE RULING [LORDS]-"THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST"- -THE ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL; who is above all and in us all." Compare in the original, Phil. 2, 6-11. Rev. 19, 16. and 1 Tim. 6, 15. and Ephef. 1, 20-23. Col. 1, 13-18. Hence GOD is "to CHRIST or FATHER" 2 Sam. 7, 14. in a "peculiar" and more excellent fenfe, (ior watega) as explained, John 5, 18. and 8, 54. and 10, 33-36. and 20, 17. And "CHRIST his only genuine" SON-(8 μovoyens) as Ifaac was ftiled, in oppofition to his fpurious brother, Ihmael. Heb. 11, 17. as appears Gen. 21, 10. Galat. 4, 30. fo well explained in Arifti


« AnteriorContinuar »