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Christ above angels, but his administration of his kingdom, on which account, among others, he is so excellent; 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 édsushiwoas is rightly to be understood, 'Thou wast the cause why it was founded; -and, 'The heavens are the works of thy hands;' that is, 'They were 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 have framed his Old Testament annotations to rabbinical traditions, that the New might have escaped. But jacta est alea. 1. I say, then, that the apostle doth not apply that to one 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: 'Edijskiwous où Kúpie—“For thee, O Lord, were the foundations of the earth laid, and the heavens are the works of thy bands;" that is, “They were made for thee.” Any man may thus make quidlibet ex quolibet ; but whether with due reverence 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,
“Rursum, quod de Deo dictum fuerat Messiæ aptat; quia constabat inter Hebræos, et Mundum hunc Messiæ causâ conditum (unde iesusaíwous rectè intelligi putem, Causa fuisti cur fundaretur, et opus manuum tuarum; id est, propter te factum: 758 Hebræis et Chaldæis etiam propter significat), et fore, ut novus meliorque Mundus condatur per ipsum."
and applied to the Messiah, and then proves the sense of them to be such that 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 texts. 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 foundation of the earth,” is, " 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,
CHAPTER 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 τα βήματα της δυνάμεως αυτού,
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 the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins,” etc.
This place, or the testimony therein given to the divine power of Jesus Christ, they seek thus to elude :
The word here, “ all things," doth not, no more than in many other places, sig. nify 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 or administration than preservation, as these words annexed, “ By the word of his power," seem to intimate.
This indeed is jejune, and almost unworthy of these men, if any thing may be said so to be; for,-1. Why is rá úvra 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, verse 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 bis power," I know not. " By the word of his power" is “By his power
” ful 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 auroŰ 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 reddition of the relative mentioned.
About that which they urge out of Jude 5 I shall not contend. The testimony from thence relies on the authority of the Vulgar Latin translation; which, as to me, may plead for itself.
1. Hic verbum, omnia, non minus quam in pluribus aliis locis, non omnia in universum sine ullâ exceptione designare, verum ad ea tantum quæ ad Christi regnum 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 duntaxat referatur, ex ipsa materia subjecta satis apparet. Præterea, verbum quo hic utitur scriptor, portare, magis gubernandi vel administrandi rationem quam conservandi signi. ficat, quemadmodum illa quæ annexa sunt, verbo virtutis suæ, innuere videntur.”
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 sins and provocations, there being a parity of state and condition between them and Christians as to their spiritual participation of Jesus Christ, verses 1-4, 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. 6 “ 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 same name, it is there done where another besides him who is expressed cannot be understood; as you have an example of here, Deut. vi. 16, “ You shall not tempt the LORD your God, as you tempted him in Massah.” But in this speech of the apostle of which we treat, another besides Christ
be understood, as Moses or Aaron; of which see Num. xxi. 5. 1. Is there the same reason of these two expressions, “Do not tempt Christ, as some of them tempted,” and, “ Be not refractory against the magistrates, as some of them were”? “Christ” is the name of one singular individual person, wherein none shareth at any time, it being proper only to him. “Magistrate" is a term of office, as it was to him that went before him, and will be to him that shall follow after him.
2. They need not to have puzzled their catechumens with their long rule, which I shall as little need to examine, for none can be understood here but Christ. That the word “God” should be here understood they do not plead, nor if they had had a mind thereunto is there any place for that plea; for if the apostle had intended God in distinction from Christ, it was of absolute necessity that he should
1“ Ex iis verbis doceri non potest, apostolum affirmare, Christum in deserto 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 ex. emplum 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, etc.; de quo vide Num, xxi. 5."
have expressed it; nor, if it had been expressed, would the apostle's argument have been of any force unless Christ had been God, equal to him who was so tempted.
3. It is false that the Israelites tempted Moses or Aaron, or that it can be said they tempted them. It is God they are everywhere said to tempt, Ps. lxxviii. 18, 56, cvi. 14; Heb. iii. 9. It is said, indeed," that they murmured against Moses, that they provoked him, that they chode with him;" but to tempt bim, —which is to require a sign and manifestation of his divine power,—that they did not, nor could be said to do, Num, xxi. 5.
Grotius tries his last shift in this place, and tells us, from I know not what ancient manuscript, that it is not, “Let us not tempt Christ," but, “Let us not tempt God:” “Error commissus ex notis Öv. et Xv.' That neither the Syriac, nor the Vulgar Latin translation, nor any copy that either Stephanus in his edition of the New Testament or in his various lections had seen, nor any of Beza's, nor Erasmus' (who would have been ready enough to have laid hold of the advantage), should in the least give occasion of any such conjecture
) of an alteration, doth wholly take off, with me, all the authority either of the manuscript or of him that affirms it from thence."
As they please to proceed, the next place to be considered is Johu xii. 41, “ These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.”
The words in the foregoing verses, repeated by the apostle, manifest that it is the vision mentioned Isa. vi. that the apostle relates unto. Whence we thus argue: He whose glory Isaiah saw, chap. vi., was “the Holy, holy, holy, LORD of hosts,” verse 3, “ the King, the LORD of hosts,” verse 5; but this was Jesus Christ whose glory Isaiah then saw, as the Holy Ghost witnesses in these words of John xii. 41. What say our catechists?
First, it appears that these words are not necessarily referred to Christ, because they may be understood of God the Father; for the words a little before are spoken of him, “ He hath blinded, hardened, healed.” Then, the glory that Isaiah saw might be, nay was, not present, but future; for it is proper to prophets to see things future, whence they are called "seers,” i Sam. ix. 9. Lastly, although these words should be understood of that glory which was then present and seen to Isaiah, yet to see the glory of one and to see himself are far different things. And in the glory of that one God Isaiah saw also the glory of the Lord Christ; for the prophet says there, “ The whole earth is full of the glory of God,” verse 3. But then this was accomplished in reality when Jesus appeared to that people, and was afterward preached to the whole world.” i It is now well known that there are manus
nuscripts which give Kúpor instead of Χριστόν, and one or two which sanction Θεόν as the reading. Χριστόν is retained by Tischendorf, as having a great preponderance of evidence in its favour.-Ed.
3 “ Primum, ea verba ad Christum non necessario referri hinc apparet, quod de Deo Patre accipi possint ; etenim verba paulo_superiora de eodem dicuntur, excæcavit, induravit, sanavit. Deinde, gloriam quam Esaias vidit poterat esse, imo erat, non præsens, sed futura ; etenim proprium est vatibus futura videre, unde etiam videntes