Page images
PDF
EPUB

will amount to the interpretation they enforce on this place, but the producing of some place of the New Testament, where a testimony is cited out of the Old, speaking throughout of the same person, whereof the one part belongs to him, and the other not: although that, which they say doth not belong to him, be most proper for the confirmation of what is affirmed of him, and what the whole is brought in proof of.

2. There is not any of the places instanced in by them, wherein the whole of the words is not directly to the purpose in hand, although some of them are more immediately suited to the occasion on which the whole testimony is produced ; as it were easy to manifest by the consideration of the several places.

3. These words, thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity,' are not mentioned to prove immediately the excellency of Christ above angels, but his administration of his kingdom, on which account he is so excellent, among others; and thereunto they are most proper.

And this is the issue of their attempt against this testimony, which being thus briefly vindicated, is sufficient alone of itself to consume with its brightness all the opposition, which from the darkness of hell or men, is made against the Deity of Christ.

And yet we have one more to consider, before this text be dismissed. Grotius is nibbling at this testimony also: His words are ; 'Again, that which is spoken of God he applies to the Messiah; because it was confessed among the Hebrews, that this world was created for the Messiah's sake (whence I should think that Teledicoaç is rightly to be understood, thou wast the cause why it was founded; and the works of thy hands, that is, it was made for thee), and that a new and better world should be made by him.' So he.

This is not the first time we have met with this conceit. And I wish that it had sufficed this learned man to havo framed his Old Testament annotations, to rabbinical tradi

Rursum, quod de Deo dictum fuerat Messiæ aptat; quia constabat inter Hebræos, et mundum hunc Messiæ causa conditum (unde Jeueniwsas recte intelligi puten, causa fuisti cur fundaretur; et opus manuum tuarum, id est propter te face tum : qo by Hebræis et Chaldæis etiam propter significat), et fore, ut novus mundus meliorque condatur per ipsum.

tions, that the new might have escaped. But jacta est alea: I say then, that the apostle doth not apply that to onė person, which was spoken of another; but asserts the words in the psalm to be spoken of him, concerning whom he treats; and thence proves his excellency, which is the business he hath in hand. It is not to adorn Christ with titles, which were not due to him (which to do were robbery), but to prove by testimonies that were given of him, that he is no less than he affirmed him to be, even ‘God blessed for ever.' 2. Let any man in his right wits consider this interpretation, and try whether he can persuade himself to receive it ; &Jeueríwoas kúpue, 'for thee O Lord were the foundations of the earth laid; and the heavens are the works of thy hands;' that is, they were made for thee. Any man may thus make quidlibet ex quolibet; but whether with due reverenoe to the word of God, I question. 3. It is not about the sense of the Hebrew particles that 'we treat (and yet the learned man cannot give one clear instance of what he affirms), but of the design of the Holy Ghost in the psalm, and in this place of the Hebrews, applying these words to Christ. 4. I marvel he saw not that this interpretation doth most desperately cut its own throat, the parts of it being at an irreconcilable difference among themselves. For in the first place he says, the words are spoken of God, and applied to the Messiah, and then proves the sense of them to be such, as they cannot be spoken of God at all, but merely of the Messiah, for to that sense doth he labour to wrest both the Hebrew and Greek text. Methinks the words being spoken of God, and not of the Messiah, but only fitted to him by the apostle, there is no need to say that, “thou hast laid the foundations of the earth,' is, that it was 'laid for thy sake;' and the heavens are the works of thy hands; that is, they were made for thee;' seeing they are properly spoken of God. This one rabbinical figment, of the world's being made for the Messiah, is the engine whereby the learned man turns about, and perverts the sense of this whole chapter. In brief, if either the plain sense of the words, or the intendment of the Holy Ghost in this place, be of any account; yea, if the apostle deals honestly and sincerely, and speaks to what he doth propose, and urges that which is to his purpose, and doth not falsely apply that to Christ which was never spoken of him, this learned gloss is directly contrary to the text.

And these are the testimonies given to the creation of all things by Christ, which our catechists thought good to produce to examination.

CHAP. XII.

All-ruling and disposing Providence assigned unto Christ, and his eternal Godhead thence

farther confirmed, with other testimonies thereof. That Christ is that God who made all things, hath been proved by the undeniable testimonies, in the last chapter insisted on. That as the great and wise Creator of all things, he doth also govern, rule, and dispose of the things by him created, is another evidence of his eternal power and Godhead; some testimonies whereof, in that order of procedure, which by our catechists is allotted unto us, come now to be .considered.

The first they propose is taken from Heb. i. 3. where the words spoken of Christ are φέρων τε τα πάντα το ρήματι rñs duváuews aŭtoū, ‘upholding all things by the word of his power.'

He who upholdeth all things by the word of his power, is God. This is ascribed to God as his property; and by none, but by him who is God by nature, can it be performed. Now this is said expressly of Jesus Christ : 'who being the brightness of his Father's glory, and express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had himself purged our sins,' &c.

This place, or the testimony therein given to the divine power of Jesus Christ, they seek thus to elude.

•Thea word here all things,' doth not, no more than in many other places, signify all things universally without exception, but is referred to those things only, which belong to the kingdom of Christ; of which it may truly be said, that the Lord Jesus beareth, that is, conserveth all things,' by the word of his power. But that the word all things,' is in this place referred unto those things only, appeareth sufficiently from the subject matter itself of it. Moreover, the word which this writer useth, to bear,' doth rather signify governing and administration, than preservation, as these words annexed by the word of his power,' seem to intimate.'

a Hic verbum, omnia, non minus quam in pluribus aliis locis, non omnia in universum sine ulla exceptione designare; verum ad ea tantum, quæ ad Christi reg. num pertineant, referri; de quibus vere dici potest, Dominum Jesum omnia verbo virtutis suæ portare, id est, conservare. Quod vero vox, omnia, hoc loco ad ea dun: taxat referatur, ex ipsa materia subjecta satis apparet. Præterea, verbum, quo hic utitur scriptor, portare, magis gubernandi vel administrandi rationem quam conser. vandi significat, quemadmodum illa, quæ annexa sunt, verbo virtutis suæ, innuere gidentur.

This indeed is jejune, and almost unworthy of these men, if any things may be said so to be. For 1. why is tà trávra here, the things of the kingdom of Christ?' It is the express description of the person of Christ, as the 'brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person,' that the apostle is treating of, and not at all of his kingdom as Mediator. 2. It expressly answers the worlds that he is said to make, ver. 2. which are not the things of the kingdom of Christ; nor do our catechists plead them directly so to be. This term all things, is never put absolutely, for all the things of the kingdom of Christ. 3. The subject matter here treated of by the apostle, is the person of Jesus Christ, and the eminency thereof. The medium whereby he proves it to be so excellent, is his almighty power in creating and sustaining of all things. Nor is there any subject matter intimated, that should restrain these words to the things of the kingdom of Christ. 4. The word pépwv, neither in its native signification, nor in the use of it in the Scripture, gives any countenance to the interpretation of it, by governing or administering; nor can our catechists give any one instance of that signification there. It is properly to bear, to carry, to sustain, to uphold.' Out of nothing Christ made all things, and preserves them by his power from returning into nothing. 5. What insinuation of their sense they have from that expression, 'by the word of his power,'I know not. By the word of his power, is by his powerful word.' And that that word or command is sometimes taken for the effectual strength and efficacy of God's dominion, put forth for the accomplishing of his own purposes, I suppose needs not much proving. Grotius would have the words, dúvaus aúroő, to refer to the power of the Father; Christ upholdeth

all things by the word of his Father's power; without reason or proof; nor will the grammatical account bear that rendition of the relative mentioned.

About that which they urge out of Jude 15. I shall not contend. The testimony from thence relies on the authoz rity of the Vulgar Latin translation, which as to me, may plead for itself.

Neither of what is mentioned from 1 Cor. x. shall I insist on any thing, but only the 9th verse, the words whereof are : Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.' The design of the apostle is known. From the example of God's dealing with the children of Israel in the wilderness upon their sin and provocations, there being a parity of state and condition between them and Christians, as to their spiritual participation of Jesus Christ, ver. 2–4. he dehorts believers from the ways and sins whereby God was provoked against them. Particularly in this verse, he insists on the tempting of Christ, for which the Lord sent fiery serpents among them, by which they were destroyed; Num. xxi. 6. He whom the people tempted in the wilderness, and for which they were destroyed by serpents, was the Lord Jehovah. Now this doth the apostle apply to Christ; he therefore is the Lord Jehovah. But they say,

* From those words it cannot be proved that Christ was really tempted in the wilderness; as from the like speech if any one should so speak, may be apprehended. . Be not refractory to the magistrates, as some of our ancestors were; you would not thence conclude straightway, that the same singular magistrates were in both places intended. And if the like phrases of speech are found in Scripture, in which the like expression is referred to him, whose name was expressed a little before, without any repetition of the

6 Ex iis verbis doceri non potest, apostolum affirmare, Christum in deserta revera tentatum fuisse; ut e simili oratione, siquis ita diceret, deprehendi potest. Ne sitis refractarii magistratui, quemadmodum quidam majorum nostrorum fuerunt; non illico concluderes eundem numero magistratum utrobique designari. Quod si reperiuntur in Scripturis ejusmodi loquendi modi, in quibus similis oratio ad eum, cujus nomen paulo ante expressum est, sine ulla illius ejusdem repetitione referatur, tum hoc ibi sit, ubi ullus alius præter eum, cujus expressum est nomen, subintelligi possit : ut exemplum ejus rei habes in illo testimonio, Deut. vi. 16. Non tentabis Dominum Deum tuum, quemadmodum tentasti in loco tentationis. Verum in ea oratione apostoli, de qua agimus, potest subintelligi alius præter Christum, ut Moses, Aaron, &c. de quo vide, Num. xxi. 5.

« PreviousContinue »