Page images
PDF
EPUB

SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES

TO

SECT. XV.

Note [A] p. 247.

Mr. Belsham (citing, as his supporters, Mr. Wakefield and the Impr. Vers.) asserts, “ The connexion requires that the word äyyeloi, ' angels,' in this chapter, should be taken in its usual sense of messengers, not angels.Calm Ing. p. 205. The Impr. Vers. accordingly carries on this interpretation down to ch. ii. 4, using the word messengers. Then it is compelled suddenly to change to angels ; v. 5—18, the argument so palpably requiring it. But it becomes an impartial inquirer to consider, whether there be any solid reason to admit such a change of reference in the subject; and whether the sense of ch. i. 7. ii. 2. (compare Gal iii. 19.) do not more probably limit the term throughout to the single acceptation of celestial agents.–Our argument, however, is not affected by this question.

Note [B] p. 248. Impr. Vers. So also Mr. B. “By a bold prosopopeia, the former prophets and messengers of God are summoned to do homage to Christ, in consequence of his resurrection from the dead, and to acknowledge him as their superior.” “ The quotation is from Deut. xxxii. 43; LXX. The words are not to be found in the Hebrew. They are applied to the Hebrew nation upon its restoration from a calamitous and desolate state : and it is with a very great latitude of interpretation, which was indeed common in that age, and in which this writer frequently indulges, that they are made applicable to Christ." Calm. Ing. p. 206, 207.

Note [C] p. 248. This will appear to any who, with common attention, consult the passage. The following close translations will make the matter clear to the unlearned reader. He is desired to read, in his bible, the preceding connection.

1

Hebrew.

Lxx. Aldine. Lxx. Vatican. Lxx. Alexandrine. Rejoice, ye hea- Rejoice, ye hea- Rejoice, ye heavens with him, and vens,

with him,and

vens, with him, and let all the angels let all the angels let all the sons of

of God worship of God worship God worship him. Sing praises, him:

him. Rejoice, ye Rejoice, ye naye nations, his

nations, with his tions, with his peopeople:

people, and let all ple, and let all the

the sons of God be angels of God for he

for he strong in him: for strengthen them : will avenge the avengeth the blood he avengeth the for he avengeth blood of his ser- of his sons, and blood of his sons, the blood of his vants, will avenge; and and will avenge ; sons,

and will and he he will

and he will recomwill render ven- pense vengeance pense vengeance

will

recompense geance to his ene. to his enemies, to his enemies, and

vengeance to his mies; and he will recom- he will

enemies, and he pense those that pense those that

will recompense and hate him: and the hate him: and the those that hate : & he will be propi. Lord will purify Lord will purify the Lord will putious to his land, the land of his the land of his rify the land of his people. people. people.

his people.

recom

avenge; and he

recom

[ocr errors]

Note (D) p. 248. Προσκυνήσατε 'αυτώ, πάντες άγγελοι 'αυτού. Worship him, all his angels. LΧΧ. Προσκυνησάτωσαν 'αυτό, πάντες άγγελοι cou. Let all the angels of God worship him. Heb. i. 6.

SECT. XVI.

THE CREATOR, ETERNAL AND UNCHANGEABLE,

Psalm cii. 25-29.

1. Through all ages are thy years !

Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth;
And the work of thy hands, the heavens are.

They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure :
5. Even the whole of them, like a garment, shall wear away;

As acovering thou shalt change them, and they shall be changed:
But Thou art He; and thy years shall never be finished.
The children of thy servants shall abide,
And their seed shall be established in thy presence.

Nons deny this passage to be a description of the eternity and immutability of God. It is quoted by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in such a manner as at least appears to be a direct and unreserved application to Christ. If, however, this were admitted, and the epistle acknowledged to be of divine authority, the question, whether Christ possesses a nature properly divine, would no longer remain controverted. It is, therefore, asserted, that “ the immutability of God is here declared as a pledge of the immutability of the kingdom of Christ.”*

On this we observe:

* See Note (A) at the end of this Section.

1. This interpretation falls under the objection made to that of Ps. xlv. 6. as not comporting with the design and reason of the argument.

2. The passage being annexed by the simple co pulative to the former passage, which is undoubt edly an address to Christ, we are obliged, in fairness of construction, to understand it in the same direction.

3. The orthodox interpretation suits, without any straining or perplexity, the connection and the scope, both of the Psalm and of the citation in the Epistle.

The Psalm was written by some pious and inspired Israelite, probably during the captivity, or under the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes. The outline of it is, a plaintive description of the depressed and languishing condition of the church of God; and an encouraging contemplation of its revival and extension among the gentiles; then the writer is suddenly checked by the reflection of his own mortality, and the thought that he could not hope to see the happy state of things which the spirit of prophecy enabled him to behold afar off: but to relieve his mind from this distressing feeling, he takes refuge in the unchangeableness of the great Preserver and Deliverer of the church, and the certainty that he would fulfil the promises of his grace to the latest posterity of his faithful people. Is it incredible

or improbable, that, under these descriptions, the mourning but not despairing psalmist looked forwards to the promised Saviour, the Hope of Israel? His knowledge was, of course, obscure; but his faith was not the less certain. Who was destined to restore the desolate church, and to extend its blessings among all nations,-but “ Jesus Christ, THE SAME yesterday, to-day, and for ever?

The manifest design of the part of the Epistle in which the citation occurs, has been before stated: and it is evidently most agreeable to that design, to place in contrast with the dependence, the weakness, the nothingness, of the most exalted creatures, the characters of ETERNITY and IMMUTABLE FAITHFULNESS in the Saviour of men and Lord of angels.

« PreviousContinue »