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expectation of new discoveries of his will? Did he ever declare that he would add no more to what he had commanded, or make no alteration in what he had instituted? Therefore Moses, when he had finished al} his work in the Lord's house, tells the church, God would raise up another prophet like unto him; that is, who should reveal new laws and institutions as he had done, whom they were to hear and obey, on the penalty of utter extermination, Deut. xviii, 13. In opposition to this gradual revelation, the apostle intimates that now, by Jesus the Messiah, the Lord hath, at once begun and finished the whole revelation of his will, according to their own hopes and expectations. So Jude 3, the faith was "once delivered to the saints;” not in one day, or by one person, but at one season, or under one dispensation, comprising all the time from the entrance of the Lord Jesus Christ
his ministry, to the closing of the canon of scripture, which period was now at hand. This season being once past and finished, no new revelation is to be expected to the end of the world, nor any alteration in the worship of God.
$9. (2.) God spake in the prophets (FORUTPOFWs) af ter divers sorts and manners. Now this respects either the various ways of God revealing himself to the prophets by dreams, visions, inspirations, voices, and angels; or, the ways of his dealing with the fathers, through the ministry of the prophets, by promises, threats, special messages, prophecies, public sermons, and the like. The latter is principally intended, though the former be not excluded, it being that from whence this latter variety principally arose. In opposition to this, the apostle intimates that the revelation by Christ was accomplished (movedws) in one
only way and manner_by his preaching the everlasting gospel.
$10. (3.) The last difference in the comparison is, that of old, God spake (Ev TORS T po Qy?) in the prophets, but now (EV TW Úlm) in the Son.*
Now the prophets, in whom God spake of old, were all those who were divinely inspired, and sent to reveal the mind and will of God, whether by word of mouth or by writing. That which made any revelation to be prophecy, in that sense so as to be an infallible rule for the church, was not the means of its communication to the prophets, but that inspiration of the Holy Ghost which implanted in their minds, what God would have them utter. 2 Pet. i, 24, 28.
$11. Answerable to this speaking of God in the prophets, it is asserted, that in the gospel revelation God spake by or in his Son. This is the main hinge on which all the apostle's after arguments throughout the epistle turn; and this bears the stress of all his inferences. And, therefore, having mentioned it, he proceeds immediately to that description of him, which gives evidence to all he deduces from this consideration. That the Son of God did mostly appear to the father's under the Old Testament, is acknowledged by the ancients, and evident in scripture: See Zech. ii, 8–11. The Divine mediator having, from the foundation of the world, undertaken the care and salvation of the church, he it was who immediately dealt with it in what concerned its instruction and edification. This, however, doth not hinder but that God the Father is the fountain of all Divine revelation. There is
*Ev here answers the Hebrew >, Numb. xii. God spake 1993 in Moses. The expression intimates the certainty of the revelation, and the presence of God with his word.
a considerable difference between the Son of God revealing the Father's will in his Divine person to the prophets, and the same Divine personage as incarnate, revealing it immediately to the church. Under the Old Testament he instructed the prophets, and gave them that Spirit on whose inspiration their infallibility depended, 1 Pet. i, 11; but now under the gospel, taking our nature as hypostatically united to himself, he becomes the immediate teacher, in the room of all the internuncii, or prophetical messengers, he had before employed, whether human or angelic, from the foundation of the world. We come now,
$12. (III.) To obviate the great Jewish prejudice against the gospel, to which end observe, that though the apostle mentions the prophets in general, yet it is Moses whom he principally intends. This is evident from the application of this argument which he urges, chap. iii, 3, where he expressly prefers the Lord Jesus before Moses by name, in this matter of ministring to the church. For, whereas the apostle manages this point with excellent wisdom, and considering the inveterate prejudices of the Hebrews in favor of Moses, he could not mention him in particular, until he had proved Jesus, whom he had preferred above him, to be so excellent and glorious, so far exalted above men and angels, that it was no disparagement to Moses to be esteemed inferior to him. Again, the great reason why the Jews adhered so pertinaciously to Mosaical institutions, was their persuasion of the unparalleled excellency of the revelation made to Moses. This they retreated to, and boasted of, when pressed with the doctrine and miracles of Christ, John ix, 28, 29. And this was the main foundation of all their contests with the apostles, Acts xvi, xxi, 21, 28. Thé law and all legal observances, according to them, were to be continued for ever, on account of the incomparable excellency of the revelation made to Moses. Not to follow them in their imaginations, the just privileges of Moses above all other prophets lay in these three things: (1.) That he was a lawgiver, or mediator, by whom God gave that law, and revealed that worship, in the observance of which the very beginning of the Jewish church consisted. (2.) That God, in revealing his will to him, dealt in a more familiar and clear manner, than with any other prophet. (3.) In that the revelation made to him, concerned the ordering of the whole house of God, when the other prophets were employed only about some particulars built upon this foundation. Herein consisted the just and free preeminence of Moses; but of no force, when urged against our Divine prophet and his gospel, if we consider the just statement of the gospel revelation by the Şon, and particularly his qualifications as a prophet, the incomparable circumstances attending the revelation itself, the concessions of the Jews, and especially the glory and excellency of the revelation of the gospel.
$13. (1.) Let us attend to the just statement of the mind and will of God, revealed to us by the Son. To this end observe, (1.) That the Lord Jesus Christ, by virtue of the personal union, was furnished with all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge which the þuman nature was capable of, both as to principle and exercise. He possessed it by his union, and therefore immediately from the person of the Son, sanctifying by the Holy Ghost that nature which he took into subsistence with himself. But the revelation, by which God spake in him unto us, was ultimately from the Father, Rev. i, 1. So that,
(2.) The mission and furniture of the Son, as the incarnate mediator, for declaring the holy pleasure of God to the church, were peculiarly from the Father. He received command of the Father concerning the whole work of his mediation, John x, 18; and what he should speak, John xii, 4, according to that commandment he wrought and taught, John xiv, 31. Whence that is the common periphrasis whereby he expressed the person of the Father, he that sent him, as also he that sealed and anointed him. And his doctrine on that account, he testified, was not his originally as mediator, but his that sent him, John vii, 16. That blessed tongue of the learned whereby he spake the refreshing word of the gospel to poor weary sinners, was the gift of the Father.
(3.) As to the manner of his receiving the gospel revelation, a popular mistake must be discarded.
The Socinians, to avoid the force of these testimonies which are urged to confirm the deity of Christ, from the assertions in the gospel that he who spake to the disciples on earth was then also in heaven, have broached a Mahometan fancy, that the Lord Christ, before his entrance on his public ministry, was locally taken up into heaven, and there instructed in the ministry of the gospel which he was to reveal.
But this imaginary rapture is grounded solely on their (rpurov Leudos) fundamental error, that the Lord Christ, in his whole person, was no more than a mere man. Thereisno mention of any such thing in the scripture
; where the Father's revealing his will to the Son is treated of, and the fanciful hypothesis is expressly contrary to the scripture: for the Holy Ghost affirms, that Christ entered once into the holy place, and that after he had obtained eternal redemption for us, Heb. ix, 12. But that should have been his second en