Abbildungen der Seite

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 priina 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 Eşiv EIHWV 78 deg. 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 et POCSIOVUOK, quæ nonnulli ex veteribus hoc loco mega 78 Ojl08018 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 cælorum paternaliter. Iren. I. 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 invisi- paruit, quam Deus esset sapiens, potens, bonus. Sic in aquâ bilis] Dei inaspecti aspectabilis imago. Ita enim Latini loquun- solem conspicimus. Aliud imago, aliud umbra, qualis in Lege. tur. Idem sensus 2 Cor. iv. 4. et i Tim. iii. 16. Heb.i. 3. Adam Heb. x, 1. Grot. ad Col. i. 15., imago Dei fuit, sed valde tequis. In Christo perfectissime ap

keems to me, “ of the whole creation. wfWTOTO%09 warns XTIGEWS: 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. i. 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. Ixxxix. 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 Grotius.

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 :-- Tous w2004T215--S; . 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 do y hic recte accipi posse pro do ov, “ 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 l'ather'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 ww utaUYUoue ous dons---Repercussus divinæ majestatis, qualis est solis in nube, quæ dicitur wapyalos-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. Kus gegezutup TUS UTOSUGEWÇ AUT2—Troquois 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. Þeper 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 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 residere ostendit.

Hereby then, is represented the power residing in Jesus, whereby he wrought the greatest

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


By Christ we are all called to be the first-born, that is, • to be all hallowed, and to be called God's peculiar, as were • the first-born, before the Levites were taken in their stead.' Dr. Sykes upon Heb. xii. 23.

• Moreover it might be observed, “That Dr. Sykes says, • the word awuras, which we render worlds, does not siguify ""the heavens, and the earth, and all things that are in • them :" but it means, he says, properly,

ages," or • Lain 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 antediluviaris-_These were pro

perly amures, ages.' Admit, then, the interpretation of Gro. tius, di' ở, to be “ for whom." And we have a most apt and beautiful sense, which is this, " " For whoin also,” or “ for * whose sake also," or in respect to whom, he disposed and • ordered the ages, that is, ihe anlediluvian, 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. žti, 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 Alame of fire.”

Ver. 8. “ But unto the Son he saith, Tby 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.”

is 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 μεμνωμαι γε πανυ θλιψας τον ιεδειον, νομιζομενον σoφoν, εκ λεξεως ταύτης. Os προς αυτην απορριν, ειπε τα τω εαυτ8 ιεδαισμα ακολουθα: ειπε προς μεν τον των ολων θεον ειρησθαι το, ο θρονος σε ο θεος εις τον αιωνα τ8 αιωνος, ραβδος ευθυτατος και ραβδος της βασιλειας σε προς δε τον Χριςον το, ηγαπησας δικαιοσυνην, και εμισήσας ανομίαν. Δια τέτο έχρισε σε ο θεος ο θεος σε, και τα εξης. Contr. Cels. l. 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 che Messiah, the scripture

VOL. y.

[ocr errors]

saith,' “ And thou, Lord,” -that is, upon account of the dispensation by the Messiah, which is to last for ever, are applicable those words : “ And thou, Lord,” and what follows.

The apostle, the more effectually to secure the steadfastness of the Jewish believers, observes to them the excellence, the importance, the wide extent and long duration of the divine dispen. sation by the Messiah. The dispensation by Moses was limited to one nation, and to a certain period of time. But the dispensation of the Messiah was to be an universal blessing, and to subsist to the end of time. And to the kingdom of God by the Messiah are fitly applicable the texts cited in this place from the Old Testament.

In a word, hereby are shown the dignity and excellence of the evangelical dispensation, in that higher 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, ert UGOV TOV Evev@gwayCRUTU, of Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Apollinarius of Hierapolis, Serapion Bishop of An. tioch, Origen and others. Socrat. 1. 3. cap. viii. Conf. Theodoret. H. E. l. 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 particularly, and very emphatically. For though our Saviour was not born in the ordinary way of human generation, ato CREDULTOS avdgos oun yu, he says, he was perfect man, and was tempted like unto us, but without sin.Ilavra yap τελειως εσχε, τα παντα εχων, σαρκες, και νευρα, και Φλεβας, και τα αλλα παντα οσα εςι· ψυχην δε αληθινως, και 8 δοκησει· νυν δε και τα παντα οσα εςιν εν τη ανθρωπήσει, χωρις αμαρτιας, ως γεγραπται

Heb. iv. 15. Hær. 69. n. xxv. p. 750.

To the like purpose Jerom in several places, more than need to be cited here.

Quod autem infert: “Homo in dolore, et sciens ferre infirmitatem,' sive virum dolorum, et scientem infirmitatem,' verum corpus hominis, et veram demonstrat animam. Hieron in Is. cap. liii. tom. III. p. 383.

Quod si opposuerint nobis hi, qui Christum negant humanam habuisse animam, sed in humano corpore Deum fuisse pro anima, audiant in Christo substantiam animæ demonstrari. Id. in Amos. cap. vi. ib. p. 1427.

Quod autem spiritus accipiatur pro anima, 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 qua dixerat: Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem.' Matt. xxvi. 38. İd. 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 farther 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


a That passage may be scen above, p. 375. note,
} See Mark xii. 29. Matt, xix, 17. Mark X. 18. Jobo xyii. 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.





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.

This Postscript will consist of three sections. In the first shall be an argument, showing the several acceptations of the words, the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit. In the second section such texts will be considered, as may be supposed to afford objections. In the third divers other texts will be explained.


AN ARGUMENT. In showing the several acceptations of these words in scripture, I begin with a passage of Maimonides, generally reckoned as learned and judicious a writer as any of the Jewish Rabbins.

• The word Spirit,' says he, has several senses. 1. It signifies the air, that is, one of the four elements. " And the spirit of the Lord moved upon the face of the waters,

" Gen. i. 2. 2. • It signifies wind. “ And the east-wind brought the locusts,” Ex. x. 13. Afterwards, « ver. 19. “And the Lord turned a mighty strong west-wind, which took away the locusts." * And in like manner very

often. 3.-. It is taken for the vital breath. “ He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind, [a spirit,] that passeth away, and cometh not again,” Ps. lxxviii. 39. And, “all flesh, wherein * is the breath of life," Gen. vi. 17.

4. • It is taken for the incorruptible part of men, which survives after death. « And the spirit shall return to God who gave it,” Ecc. xii. 7.

5. • It signifies the Divine Influence, inspiring the prophets, by virtue of which they pro• phesied. “I will take care of the spirit that is in thee, and will put it upon them,” Numb. xi.

17. “ And the spirit rested upon them,” ver. 26. “ The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and • his word was in my tongue,” 2 Sam. xxxiii. 2.

Ruach vox est homonyma. Significat enim, primo, Aërem, tem. Ut Kol rucho, 'omnem spiritum suum profert stultus.' hoc est, unum ex quatuor elementis : ut · Veruach,' et Spi- Pr. xxix. 11. hoc est, omnem intentionem, voluntatem suam. ritus Domini incubabat super aquas.' Gen. i. 2. Deinde,' Sic, Et 'exhaurietur' ruach 'spiritus Ægypti in medio ejus, significat spiritum flantem, 'h. e. ventum. Ut Veruach, et et consilium ejus absorbebo. Is. xix. 3. i. e. dissipabitur prospiritus (ventus) orientalis attulit locustas.' Ex. X. 13. Item, positum ipsius, et gubernatio ipsius abscondetur. Sic, 'Quis • Ruach, spiritus occidentalis. ib. ver. 19. Et sic sæpissime. direxit ruach Donini, et quis vir consilii ejus, ut indicare 'Tertio,' sumitur pro spiritu vitali. Ut Ruach; spiritus vitæ.' possit eum. Is. xl. 13. hoc est, Quis est, qui sciat ordinem Gen. vi. 17. · Quarto,' sumitur de parte illâ hominis in- voluntatis ejus, aut qui apprehendat et assequatur, quâ ratione corruptibili, quæ superstes remanet post mortem. Ut Ve- hanc rerum universitatem gubernet, et qui eum indicare posruach, et spiritus hominis redit ad Deum, qui dedit eum.' Ecc. sit. Vides ergo, quod hæc vox, ruach,' quando Deo attrixii. 7... Quinto,' significat influentiam divinam, a Deo buitur, ubique sumatur partim in quintâ, partim in sextà et prophetis instillatam, cujus virtute prophetabant, quemadmo- ultimâ significatione, quatenus voluntatem significat. Exdum explicaturi sumus, quando de prophetiâ agemus ; cujus ponatur in quoque loco pro ratione rerum et circumstantiarum. ratio quoque in hoc libro pertractanda. • Et separabo,' min Rabbi Mosis Maimonidis liber More Nevochim. Part I. cap. xl. ruach, de spiritu, qui est in te, et ponam in eis.' Numb. xi. Veritas et quidditas prophetiæ nihil aliud est, quam influ17. 'Et fuit, cum quievisset super eos' haruach ‘spiritus.' entia a Deo Opt. Max. mediante intellectu, agens super fa• ver. 26. Item, Ruach, 'spiritus loquutus est in me.' 2 Sam. cultatem rationalem primo, deinde super facultatem imagina. xxiii, 2. 'Sexto,' significat quoque propositum, et volunta- riam influens. Id More Neyochim. P. II. cap. 36.

« ZurückWeiter »