Hebrews 1

Verse 15. All that are with me] He means his companions in

the ministry.

Salute thee.] Wish thee well, and desire to be affectionately

remembered to thee.

Greet them that love us in the faith,] All that love us for

Christ's sake, and all that are genuine Christians.

Grace be with you] May the Divine favour be your portion for

ever.

Some MSS. read, The grace of the Lord be with you all; others,

The grace of God be with you all; and one, Grace be with THY

spirit, as if the greeting was sent to Titus only, whereas the

others send it to the whole Church at Crete.

Amen.] This is wanting in ACD, and some others.

The subscriptions are, as usual, various. Those of the

VERSIONS are the following:-

The Epistle to Titus was written from Nicopolis; and sent by

the hands of Zena and Apollo.-SYRIAC.

To the man Titus.-AETHIOPIC.

The end of the epistle: it was written from Nicopolis.

Incessant and eternal praise be to the God of glory.

Amen.-ARABIC.

Written in Nicopolis, and sent by Artemas, his

disciple.-COPTIC.

The Epistle to Titus is ended, who was the first bishop of the

Church of the Cretans: and it was written from Nicopolis of

Macedonia.-PHILOXENIAN SYRIAC.

There is no subscription in the VULGATE.

The MANUSCRIPTS are also various.

To Titus.-C, and Clarom.

That to Titus is completed: that to Philemon begins.-DEFG.

To Titus, written from Nicopolis.-A.

To Titus, written from Nicopolis of Macedonia.-of the

Macedonians.-From Nicopolis, which is a province of Macedonia.

Paul the apostle's Epistle to Titus.

To Titus, ordained the first bishop of the Church of the

Cretans: written from Nicopolis of Macedonia.-Common Greek Text.

To Titus, archbishop of Crete.-One of the Vienna MSS., written

A. D. 1331.

THERE is not one of these subscriptions of any authority, and

some of them are plainly ridiculous. We do not know that Titus

was what we term bishop, much less that he was ordained bishop of

Crete, as appointed to a particular see; and still less that he

was the first bishop there. As to his being archbishop, that is

the fiction of a time of deep darkness. That the epistle was

written from some place near to Nicopolis, of Epirus, is very

probable. That it was not written at Nicopolis is evident; and

that this was not Nicopolis of Macedonia is also very probable.

See the preface to this epistle for farther information on this

point. And see a treatise by old Mr. Prynne entitled, The

unbishoping of Timothy and Titus, 4to. Lond. 1636 and 1660, where,

among many crooked things, there are some just observations.

THE

EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE

TO THE

HEBREWS.

Chronological Notes relative to this Epistle.

-Year of the Constantinopolitan era of the world, or that used

by the Byzantine historians, and other eastern writers, 5571.

-Year of the Alexandrian era of the world, 5565.

-Year of the Antiochian era of the world, 5555.

-Year of the world, according to Archbishop Usher, 4067.

-Year of the world, according to Eusebius, in his Chronicon,

4291.

-Year of the minor Jewish era of the world, or that in common

use, 3823.

-Year of the Greater Rabbinical era of the world, 4422

-Year from the Flood, according to Archbishop Usher, and the

English Bible, 2411.

-Year of the Cali yuga, or Indian era of the Deluge, 3165.

-Year of the era of Iphitus, or since the first commencement of

the Olympic games, 1003.

-Year of the era of Nabonassar, king of Babylon, 810.

-Year of the CCXth Olympiad, 3.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Fabius Pictor,

810.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Frontinus, 814.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to the Fasti

Capitolini, 815.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Varro, which was

that most generally used, 816.

-Year of the era of the Seleucidae, 375.

-Year of the Caesarean era of Antioch, 111.

-Year of the Julian era, 108.

-Year of the Spanish era, 101.

-Year from the birth of Jesus Christ according to Archbishop

Usher, 67.

-Year of the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 63.

-Year of Albinus, governor of the Jews, 2.

-Year of Vologesus, king of the Parthians, 14.

-Year of Domitius Corbulo, governor of Syria, 4.

-Year of Matthias, high priest of the Jews, 1.

-Year of the Dionysian period, or Easter Cycle, 64.

-Year of the Grecian Cycle of nineteen years, or Common Golden

Number, 7; or the second after the second embolismic.

-Year of the Jewish Cycle of nineteen years, 4, or the first

after the first embolismic.

-Year of the Solar Cycle, 16.

-Dominical Letter, it being the third after the Bissextile, or

Leap Year, B.

-Day of the Jewish Passover, according to the Roman computation

of time, the IIId of the calends of April, or, in our common

mode of reckoning, the thirtieth of March, which happened in

this year on the fourth day after the Jewish Sabbath.

-Easter Sunday, the IIId of the nones of April, named by the

Jews the 19th of Nisan or Abib; and by Europeans in general,

the 3d of April.

-Epact, or age of the moon on the 22d of March, (the day of the

earliest Easter Sunday possible,) 6.

-Epact, according to the present mode of computation, or the

moon's age on New Year's day, or the Calends of January, 13.

-Monthly Epacts, or age of the moon on the Calends of each month

respectively, (beginning with January,) 13,15,14,15,16,17,18,

19,20,20,22,22.

-Number of Direction, or the number of days from the twenty-

first of March to the Jewish Passover, 9.

-Year of the reign of Caius Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar, the

fifth Roman monarch, computing from Octavianus, or Augustus

Caesar, properly the first Roman emperor, 10.

-Roman Consuls, C. Memmius Regulus and L. Verginius Rufus.

CHAPTER I.

Different discoveries made of the Divine will to the ancient

Israelites by the prophets, 1.

The discovery now perfected by the revelation of Jesus Christ,

of whose excellences and glories a large description is given,

2-13.

Angels are ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation, 14.

NOTES ON CHAP. I.

Verse 1. God, who at sundry times and in divers manners] We

can scarcely conceive any thing more dignified than the opening of

this epistle; the sentiments are exceedingly elevated, and the

language, harmony itself! The infinite God is at once produced to

view, not in any of those attributes which are essential to the

Divine nature, but in the manifestations of his love to the world,

by giving a revelation of his will relative to the salvation of

mankind, and thus preparing the way, through a long train of

years, for the introduction of that most glorious Being, his own

Son. This Son, in the fulness of time, was manifested in the

flesh that he might complete all vision and prophecy, supply all

that was wanting to perfect the great scheme of revelation for the

instruction of the world, and then die to put away sin by the

sacrifice of himself. The description which he gives of this

glorious personage is elevated beyond all comparison. Even in his

humiliation, his suffering of death excepted, he is infinitely

exalted above all the angelic host, is the object of their

unceasing adoration, is permanent on his eternal throne at the

right hand of the Father, and from him they all receive their

commands to minister to those whom he has redeemed by his blood.

in short, this first chapter, which may be considered the

introduction to the whole epistle is, for importance of subject,

dignity of expression, harmony and energy of language, compression

and yet distinctness of ideas, equal, if not superior, to any

other part of the New Testament.

Sundry times] πολυμερως, from πολυς, many, and περος,

a part; giving portions of revelation at different times.

Divers manners] πολυτροπως, from πολυς, many, and

τροπος, a manner, turn, or form of speech; hence trope, a

figure in rhetoric. Lambert Bos supposes these words to refer to

that part of music which is denominated harmony, viz. that general

consent or union of musical sounds which is made up of different

parts; and, understood in this way, it may signify the agreement

or harmony of all the Old Testament writers, who with one consent

gave testimony to Jesus Christ, and the work of redemption by him.

To him gave all the prophets witness, that, through his name,

whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins;

Ac 10:43.

But it is better to consider, with Kypke, that the words are

rather intended to point out the imperfect state of Divine

revelation under the Old Testament; it was not complete, nor can

it without the New be considered a sufficiently ample discovery of

the Divine will. Under the Old Testament, revelations were made

πολυμερωςκαιπολυτροπως, at various times, by various persons,

in various laws and forms of teaching, with various degrees of

clearness, under various shadows, types, and figures, and with

various modes of revelation, such as by angels, visions, dreams,

mental impressions, &c. See Nu 12:6, 8. But under the New

Testament all is done απλως, simply, by one person, i.e. JESUS,

who has fulfilled the prophets, and completed prophecy; who is the

way, the truth, and the life; and the founder, mediator, and

governor of his own kingdom.

One great object of the apostle is, to put the simplicity of the

Christian system in opposition to the complex nature of the Mosaic

economy; and also to show that what the law could not do because

it was weak through the flesh, Jesus has accomplished by the merit

of his death, and the energy of his Spirit.

Maximus Tyrius, Diss. 1, page 7, has a passage where the very

words employed by the apostle are found, and evidently used nearly

in the same sense: τηροςανθρωπουψυχηδυοοργανωνοντωνπρος

συνεσιντουμεναπλουονκαλουμεννουντουδεποικιλουκαι

πολυμερουςκαιπολυτροπουαςαισθησειςκαλουμεν. "The soul of

man has two organs of intelligence: one simple, which we call

mind; the other diversified, and acting in various modes and

various ways, which we term sense."

A similar form of expression the same writer employs in Diss.

15, page 171: "The city which is governed by the mob, πολυφωνοντε

ειναικαιπολυμερηκαιπολυπαθη, is full of noise, and is divided

by various factions and various passions."

The excellence of the Gospel above the law is here set down in

three points: 1. God spake unto the faithful under the Old

Testament by Moses and the prophets, worthy servants, yet

servants; now the Son is much better than a servant, Heb 1:4.

2. Whereas the body of the Old Testament was long in compiling, being

about a thousand years from Moses to Malachi; and God spake unto

the fathers by piecemeal, one while raising up one prophet,

another while another, now sending them one parcel of prophecy or

history, then another; but when Christ came, all was brought to

perfection in one age; the apostles and evangelists were alive,

some of them, when every part of the New Testament was completely

finished. 3. The Old Testament was delivered by God in divers

manners, both in utterance and manifestation; but the delivery of

the Gospel was in a more simple manner; for, although there are

various penmen, yet the subject is the same, and treated with

nearly the same phraseology throughout; James, Jude, and the

Apocalypse excepted. See Leigh.

Verse 2. Last days] The Gospel dispensation, called the last

days and the last time, because not to be followed by any other

dispensation; or the conclusion of the Jewish Church and state now

at their termination.

By his Son] It is very remarkable that the pronoun αυτου,

his, is not found in the text; nor is it found in any MS. or

version. We should not therefore supply the pronoun as our

translators have done; but simply read ενυιω, BY A SON, or IN A

SON, whom he hath appointed heir of all things. God has many sons

and daughters, for he is the Father of the spirits of all flesh;

and he has many heirs, for if sons, then heirs, heirs of God, and

joint heirs with Jesus Christ; but he has no Son who is heir of

all things, none by whom he made the worlds, none in whom he

speaks, and by whom he has delivered a complete revelation to

mankind, but Jesus the Christ.

The apostle begins with the lowest state in which Christ has

appeared: 1. His being a SON, born of a woman, and made under the

law. He then ascends, 2. So his being an Heir, and an Heir of all

things. 3. He then describes him as the Creator of all worlds.

4. As the Brightness of the Divine glory. 5. As the express Image

of his person, or character of the Divine substance. 6. As

sustaining the immense fabric of the universe; and this by the

word of his power. 7. As having made an atonement for the sin of

the world, which was the most stupendous of all his works.

"'Twas great to speak a world from nought;.

Twas greater to redeem."

8. As being on the right hand of God, infinitely exalted above

all created beings; and the object of adoration to all the angelic

host. 9. As having an eternal throne, neither his person nor his

dignity ever changing or decaying. 10. As continuing to exercise

dominion, when the earth and the heavens are no more! It is only

in God manifested in the flesh that all these excellences can

possibly appear, therefore the apostle begins this astonishing

climax with the simple Sonship of Christ, or his incarnation;

for, on this, all that he is to man, and all that he has done for

man, is built.

Verse 3. The brightness of his glory] απαυγασματηςδοξης The

resplendent outbeaming of the essential glory of God. Hesychius

interprets απαυγασμα by ηλιουφεγγος, the splendour of the sun.

The same form of expression is used by an apocryphal writer,

Wisdom Wisdom 7:26, where, speaking of the uncreated wisdom of God,

he says: "For she is the splendour of eternal light, απαυγασμαγαρ

εστιφωτοςαιδιου, and the unsullied mirror of the energy of God,

and the image of his goodness." The word αυγασμα is that which

has splendour in itself απαυγασμα is the splendour emitted from

it; but the inherent splendour and the exhibited splendour are

radically and essentially the same.

The express image of his person] χαρακτηρτης υποστασεως

αυτου. The character or impression of his hypostasis or

substance. It is supposed that these words expound the former;

image expounding brightness, and person or substance, glory.

The hypostasis of God is that which is essential to him as God;

and the character or image is that by which all the likeness of

the original becomes manifest, and is a perfect fac-simile of the

whole. It is a metaphor taken from sealing; the die or seal

leaving the full impression of its every part on the wax to which

it is applied.

From these words it is evident, 1. That the apostle states Jesus

Christ to be of the same essence with the Father, as the

απαυγασμα, or proceeding splendour, must be the same with the

αυγασμα, or inherent splendour.

2. That Christ, though proceeding from the Father, is of the

same essence; for if one αυγη, or splendour, produce another αυγη

or splendour, the produced splendour must be of the same essence

with that which produces it.

3. That although Christ is thus of the same essence with the

Father, yet he is a distinct person from the Father; as the

splendour of the sun, though of the same essence, is distinct from

the sun itself, though each is essential to the other; as the

αυγασμα, or inherent splendour, cannot subsist without its

απαυγασμα, or proceeding splendour, nor the proceeding splendour

subsist without the inherent splendour from which it proceeds.

4. That Christ is eternal with the Father, as the proceeding

splendour must necessarily be coexistent with the inherent

splendour. If the one, therefore, be uncreated, the other is

uncreated; if the one be eternal, the other is eternal.

Upholding all things by the word of his power] This is an

astonishing description of the infinitely energetic and all

pervading power of God. He spake, and all things were created; he

speaks, and all things are sustained. The Jewish writers

frequently express the perfection of the Divine nature by the

phrases, He bears all things, both above and below; He carries all

his creatures; He bears his world; He bears all worlds by his

power. The Hebrews, to whom this epistle was written, would, from

this and other circumstances, fully understand that the apostle

believed Jesus Christ to be truly and properly God.

Purged our sins] There may be here some reference to the great

transactions in the wilderness.

1. Moses, while in communion with God on the mount, was so

impressed with the Divine glories that his face shone, so that the

Israelites could not behold it. But Jesus is infinitely greater

than Moses, for he is the splendour of God's glory; and,

2. Moses found the government of the Israelites such a burden

that he altogether sank under it. His words, Nu 11:12, are very

remarkable: Have I conceived all this people? Have I begotten

them, that thou shouldest say unto me, CARRY them in thy

BOSOM-unto the land which thou swearest unto their fathers? But

Christ not only carried all the Israelites, and all mankind; but

he upholds ALL THINGS by the word of his power.

3. The Israelites murmured against Moses and against God, and

provoked the heavy displeasure of the Most High; and would have

been consumed had not Aaron made an atonement for them, by

offering victims and incense. But Jesus not only makes an

atonement for Israel, but for the whole world; not with the blood

of bulls and goats, but with his own blood: hence it is said that

he purged our sins διαυτου, by himself his own body and life

being the victim. It is very likely that the apostle had all

these things in his eye when he wrote this verse; and takes

occasion from them to show the infinite excellence of Jesus Christ

when compared with Moses; and of his Gospel when compared with the

law. And it is very likely that the Spirit of God, by whom he

spoke, kept in view those maxims of the ancient Jews, concerning

the Messiah, whom they represent as being infinitely greater than

Abraham, the patriarchs, Moses, and the ministering angels. So

Rabbi Tanchum, on Isa 52:13,

Behold my servant shall deal prudently, says, Zeh

melek hammashiach, this is the King Messiah; and shall be exalted,

and be extolled, and be very high. "He shall be exalted above

Abraham, and shall be extolled beyond Moses, and shall be more

sublime than the ministering angels-."See the preface.

The right hand of the Majesty on high] As it were associated

with the supreme Majesty, in glory everlasting, and in the

government of all things in time and in eternity; for the right

hand is the place of the greatest eminence, 1Ki 2:19. The king

himself, in eastern countries, sits on the throne; the next to him

in the kingdom, and the highest favourite, sits on his right hand;

and the third greatest personage, on his left.

Verse 4. So much better than the angels] Another argument in

favour of the Divinity of our Lord. The Jews had the highest

opinion of the transcendent excellence of angels, they even

associate them with God in the creation of the world, and suppose

them to be of the privy council of the Most High; and thus they

understand Ge 1:26:

Let us make man in our own image, in our own likeness; "And the

Lord said to the ministering angels that stood before him, and who

were created the second day, Let us make man," &c. See the Targum

of Jonathan ben Uzziel. And they even allow them to be worshipped

for the sake of their Creator, and as his representatives; though

they will not allow them to be worshipped for their own sake. As,

therefore, the Jews considered them next to God, and none entitled

to their adoration but God; on their own ground the apostle proves

Jesus Christ to be God, because God commanded all the angels of

heaven to worship him. He, therefore, who is greater than the

angels, and is the object of their adoration, is God. But Jesus

Christ is greater than the angels, and the object of their

adoration; therefore Jesus Christ must be God.

By inheritance obtained] κεκληρονομηκενονομα. The verb

κληρονομειν signifies generally to participate, possess, obtain,

or acquire; and is so used by the purest Greek writers: Kypke has

produced several examples of it from Demosthenes. It is not by

inheritance that Christ possesses a more excellent name than

angels, but as God: he has it naturally and essentially; and, as

God manifested in the flesh, he has it in consequence of his

humiliation, sufferings, and meritorious death. See Php 2:9.

Verse 5. Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee] These

words are quoted from Ps 2:7, a psalm that seems to refer only to

the Messiah; and they are quoted by St. Paul, Ac 13:33, as

referring to the resurrection of Christ. And this application of

them is confirmed by the same apostle, Ro 1:4, as by his

resurrection from the dead he was declared-manifestly proved, to

be the Son of God with power; God having put forth his miraculous

energy in raising that body from the grave which had truly died,

and died a violent death, for Christ was put to death as a

malefactor, but by his resurrection his innocence was

demonstrated, as God could not work a miracle to raise a wicked

man from the dead. As Adam was created by God, and because no

natural generation could have any operation in this case,

therefore he was called the son of God, Lu 3:38, and could never

have seen corruption if he had not sinned, so the human nature of

Jesus Christ, formed by the energy of the eternal Spirit in the

womb of the virgin, without any human intervention, was for this

very reason called the Son of God, Lu 1:35; and because it had

not sinned, therefore it could not see corruption, nor was it even

mortal, but through a miraculous display of God's infinite love,

for the purpose of making a sacrificial atonement for the sin of

the world and God, having raised this sacrificed human nature from

the dead, declared that same Jesus (who was, as above stated, the

Son of God) to be his Son, the promised Messiah; and as coming by

the Virgin Mary, the right heir to the throne of David, according

to the uniform declaration of all the prophets.

The words, This day have I begotten thee, must refer either to

his incarnation, when he was miraculously conceived in the womb of

the virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit; or to his resurrection

from the dead, when God, by this sovereign display of his almighty

energy, declared him to be his Son, vindicated his innocence, and

also the purity and innocence of the blessed virgin, who was the

mother of this son, and who declared him to be produced in her

womb by the power of God. The resurrection of Christ, therefore,

to which the words most properly refer, not only gave the fullest

proof that he was an innocent and righteous man, but also that he

had accomplished the purpose for which he died, and that his

conception was miraculous, and his mother a pure and unspotted

virgin.

This is a subject of infinite importance to the Christian

system, and of the last consequence in reference to the conviction

and conversion of the Jews, for whose use this epistle was sent by

God. Here is the rock on which they split; they deny this Divine

Sonship of Jesus Christ, and their blasphemies against him and his

virgin mother are too shocking to be transcribed. The certainty

of the resurrection of Jesus refutes their every calumny; proves

his miraculous conception; vindicates the blessed virgin; and, in

a word, declares him to be the Son of God with power.

This most important use of this saying has passed unnoticed by

almost every Christian writer which I have seen; and yet it lies

here at the foundation of all the apostle's proofs. If Jesus was

not thus the Son of God, the whole Christian system is vain and

baseless: but his resurrection demonstrates him to have been the

Son of God; therefore every thing built on this foundation is more

durable than the foundations of heaven, and as inexpungable as the

throne of the eternal King.

He shall be to me a Son?] As the Jews have ever blasphemed

against the Sonship of Christ, it was necessary that the apostle

should adduce and make strong all his proofs, and show that this

was not a new revelation; that it was that which was chiefly

intended in several scriptures of the Old Testament, which,

without farther mentioning the places where found, he immediately

produces. This place, which is quoted from 2Sa 7:14, shows us

that the seed which God promised to David, and who was to sit upon

his throne, and whose throne should be established for ever, was

not Solomon, but Jesus Christ; and indeed he quotes the words so

as to intimate that they were so understood by the Jews. See

among the observations at the end of the chapter.

Verse 6. And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten]

This is not a correct translation of the Greek, οτανδεπαλιν

εισαγαγητονπρωτοτοκονειςτηνοικουμενην. But when he bringeth

again, or the second time, the first-born into the habitable

world. This most manifestly refers to his resurrection, which

might be properly considered a second incarnation; for as the

human soul, as well as the fulness of the Godhead bodily, dwelt in

the man, Christ Jesus on and during his incarnation, so when he

expired upon the cross, both the Godhead and the human spirit left

his dead body; and as on his resurrection these were reunited to

his revivified manhood, therefore, with the strictest propriety,

does the apostle say that the resurrection was a second bringing

of him into the world.

I have translated οικουμενη the habitable world, and this is its

proper meaning; and thus it is distinguished from κοσμος, which

signifies the terraqueous globe, independently of its inhabitants;

though it often expresses both the inhabited and uninhabited

parts. Our Lord's first coming into the world is expressed by

this latter word, Heb 10:5:

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, διοεισερχομενοςειςτον

κοσμος, and this simply refers to his being incarnated, that he

might be capable of suffering and dying for man. But the word is

changed on this second coming, I mean his resurrection, and then

οικουμενη is used; and why? (fancy apart) because he was now to

dwell with man; to send his gospel everywhere to all the

inhabitants of the earth, and to accompany that Gospel wherever he

sent it, and to be wherever two or three should be gathered

together in his name. Wherever the messengers of Jesus Christ go,

preaching the kingdom of God, even to the farthest and most

desolate parts of the earth where human beings exist, there they

ever find Christ; he is not only in them, and with them, but he is

in and among all who believe on him through their word.

Let all the angels of God worship him.] The apostle recurs here

to his former assertion, that Jesus is higher than the angels,

Heb 1:4, that he is none of those who can be called ordinary

angels or messengers, but one of the most extraordinary kind, and

the object of worship to all the angels of God. To worship any

creature is idolatry, and God resents idolatry more than any other

evil. Jesus Christ can be no creature, else the angels who

worship him must be guilty of idolatry, and God the author of that

idolatry, who commanded those angels to worship Christ.

There has been some difficulty in ascertaining the place from

which the apostle quotes these words; some suppose Ps 97:7:

Worship him, all ye gods; which the Septuagint translate thus:

προσκυνησατεαυτωπαντεςαγγελοιαυτου. Worship him, all ye his

angels; but it is not clear that the Messiah is intended in this

psalm, nor are the words precisely those used here by the apostle.

Our marginal references send us with great propriety to the

Septuagint version of De 32:43, where the passage is found

verbatim et literatim; but there is nothing answering to the words

in the present Hebrew text. The apostle undoubtedly quoted the

Septuagint, which had then been for more than 300 years a version

of the highest repute among the Jews; and it is very probable that

the copy from which the Seventy translated had the corresponding

words. However this may be, they are now sanctioned by Divine

authority; and as the verse contains some singular additions, I

will set it down in a parallel column with that of our own

version, which was taken immediately from the Hebrew text,

premising simply this, that it is the last verse of the famous

prophetic song of Moses, which seems to point out the advent of

the Messiah to discomfit his enemies, purify the land, and redeem

Israel from all his iniquities.

De 32:43, from the Hebrew. | De 32:43, from the Septuagint.

|

. . . . . . . . . . . . | Rejoice, ye heaven, together with

. . . . . . . . . . . . | him; and let all the angels of God

. . .Rejoice, O ye nations, with | worship him. Rejoice, ye

his people; . . . . . . . . | Gentiles, with his people; and let

. . . . . . . . . . . . | the children of God be strengthened

. . . . .for he will avenge . | in him; for he will avenge the

the blood of his servants; . . . | blood of his children; he will avenge,

. . . and will render vengeance | and will repay judgment to his

vengeance to his adversaries: . . | adversaries; and those who hate him

. and . .will be merciful to his | will he recompense: and the Lord

. . . . land and to his people. | will purge the land of his people.

This is a very important verse; and to it, as it stands in the

Septuagint, St. Paul has referred once before; see Ro 15:10.

This very verse, as it stands now in the Septuagint, thus referred

to by an inspired writer, shows the great importance of this

ancient version; and proves the necessity of its being studied and

well understood by every minister of Christ. In Rom. 3: there is

a large quotation-from Psalm 14:, where there are six whole verses

in the apostle's quotation which are not found in the present

Hebrew text, but are preserved in the Septuagint! How strange it

is that this venerable and important version, so often quoted by

our Lord and all his apostles, should be so generally neglected,

and so little known! That the common people should be ignorant of

it, is not to be wondered at, as it has never been put in an

English dress; but that the ministers of the Gospel should be

unacquainted with it may be spoken to their shame.

Verse 7. Who maketh his angels spirits] They are so far from

being superior to Christ, that they are not called God's sons in

any peculiar sense, but his servants, as tempests and

lightnings are. In many respects they may have been made inferior

even to man as he came out of the hands of his Maker, for he was

made in the image and likeness of God; but of the angels, even

the highest order of them, this is never spoken. It is very

likely that the apostle refers here to the opinions of the Jews

relative to the angels. In Pirkey R. Elieser, c. 4, it is said:

"The angels which were created the second day, when they minister

before God, become fire." In Shemoth Rabba,

s. 25, fol. 123, it is said: "God is named the Lord of hosts,

because with his angels he doth whatsoever he wills: when he

pleases, he makes them sit down; Jud 6:11:

And the angel of the Lord came, and sat under a tree. When he

pleases, he causes them to stand; Isa 6:2:

The seraphim stood. Sometimes he makes them like women; Zec 5:9:

Behold there came two women, and the wind was in their wings.

Sometimes he makes them like men; Ge 18:2:

And, lo, three men stood by him. Sometimes he makes them spirits;

Ps 104:4:

Who maketh his angels spirits. Sometimes he makes them fire;

ibid. His ministers a flame of fire."

In Yalcut Simeoni, par. 2, fol. 11, it is said: "The angel

answered Manoah, I know not in whose image I am made, for God

changeth us every hour: sometimes he makes us fire, sometimes

spirit, sometimes men, and at other times angels." It is very

probable that those who are termed angels are not confined to any

specific form or shape, but assume various forms and appearances

according to the nature of the work on which they are employed and

the will of their sovereign employer. This seems to have been the

ancient Jewish doctrine on this subject.

Verse 8. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever] If this be

said of the Son of God, i.e. Jesus Christ, then Jesus Christ must

be God; and indeed the design of the apostle is to prove this.

The words here quoted are taken from Ps 45:6, 7, which the

ancient Chaldee paraphrast, and the most intelligent rabbins,

refer to the Messiah. On the third verse of this Psalm, Thou art

fairer than the children of men, the Targum says: "Thy beauty,

malca Meshicha, O King Messiah, is greater than the

children of men." Aben Ezra says: "This Psalm speaks of David, or

rather of his son, the Messiah, for this is his name," Eze 34:24:

And David my servant shall be a Prince over them for ever. Other

rabbins confirm this opinion.

This verse is very properly considered a proof, and indeed a

strong one, of the Divinity of Christ; but some late versions of

the New Testament have endeavoured to avoid the evidence of this

proof by translating the words thus: God is thy throne for ever

and ever; and if this version be correct, it is certain the text

can be no proof of the doctrine. Mr. Wakefield vindicates this

translation at large in his History of Opinions; and οθεος, being

the nominative case, is supposed to be a sufficient justification

of this version. In answer to this it may be stated that the

nominative case is often used for the vocative, particularly by

the Attics; and the whole scope of the place requires it should be

so used here; and, with due deference to all of a contrary

opinion, the original Hebrew cannot be consistently translated any

other way, kisaca Elohim olam vaed, Thy

throne, O God, is for ever, and to eternity. It is in both

worlds; and extends over all time; and will exist through all

endless duration. To this our Lord seems to refer, Mt 28:18:

All power is given unto me, both in HEAVEN and EARTH. My throne,

i.e. my dominion, extends from the creation to the consummation

of all things. These I have made, and these I uphold; and from

the end of the world, throughout eternity, I shall have the same

glory-sovereign, unlimited power and authority, which I had with

the Father before the world began; Joh 17:5. I may add that none

of the ancient versions has understood it in the way contended for

by those who deny the Godhead of Christ, either in the Psalm from

which it is taken, or in this place where it is quoted. Aquila

translates Elohim, by θεε, O God, in the vocative case;

and the Arabic adds the sign of the vocative [Arabic] ya, reading

the place thus: [Arabic] korsee yallaho ila abadilabada, the same

as in our version. And even allowing that οθεος here is to be

used as the nominative case, it will not make the sense contended

for, without adding εστι to it, a reading which is not

countenanced by any version, nor by any MS. yet discovered.

Wiclif, Coverdale, and others, understood it as the nominative,

and translated it so; and yet it is evident that this nominative

has the power of the vocative: forsothe to the sone God thi

troone into the world of world: a gerde of equite the gerde of thi

reume. I give this, pointing and all, as it stands in my old MS.

Bible. Wiclif is nearly the same, but is evidently of a more

modern cast: but to the sone he seith, God thy trone is into the

world of world, a gherd of equyte is the gherd of thi rewme.

Coverdale translates it thus: But unto the sonne he sayeth, God,

thi seate endureth for ever and ever: the cepter of thi kyngdome

is a right cepter. Tindal and others follow in the same way, all

reading it in the nominative case, with the force of the vocative;

for none of them has inserted the word εστι, is, because not

authorized by the original: a word which the opposers of the

Divinity of our Lord are obliged to beg, in order to support their

interpretation. See some farther criticisms on this at the end of

this chapter.

A sceptre of righteousness] The sceptre, which was a sort of

staff or instrument of various forms, was the ensign of

government, and is here used for government itself. This the

ancient Jewish writers understand also of the Messiah.

Verse 9. Thou hast loved righteousness] This is the

characteristic of a just governor: he abhors and suppresses

iniquity; he countenances and supports righteousness and truth.

Therefore God, even thy God] The original, διατουτοεχρισεσε

οθεοςοθεοςσου, may be thus translated: Therefore, O God, thy

God hath anointed thee. The form of speech is nearly the same

with that in the preceding verse; but the sense is sufficiently

clear if we read, Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee, &c.

With the oil of gladness] We have often had occasion to remark

that, anciently, kings, priests, and prophets were consecrated to

their several offices by anointing; and that this signified the

gifts and influences of the Divine Spirit. Christ, οχριστος,

signifies The Anointed One, the same as the Hebrew Messias; and he

is here said to be anointed with the oil of gladness above his

fellows. None was ever constituted prophet, priest, and king,

but himself; some were kings only, prophets only, and priests

only; others were kings and priests, or priests and prophets, or

kings and prophets; but none had ever the three offices in his own

person but Jesus Christ, and none but himself can be a King over

the universe, a Prophet to all intelligent beings, and a Priest to

the whole human race. Thus he is infinitely exalted beyond his

fellows-all that had ever borne the regal, prophetic, or

sacerdotal offices.

Some think that the word μετοχους, fellows, refers to believers

who are made partakers of the same Spirit, but cannot have its

infinite plenitude. The first sense seems the best. Gladness is

used to express the festivities which took place on the

inauguration of kings, &c.

Verse 10. And, Thou, Lord] This is an address to the Son as

the Creator, see Heb 1:2;

for this is implied in laying the foundation of the earth. The

heavens, which are the work of his hands, point out his infinite

wisdom and skill.

Verse 11. They shall perish] Permanently fixed as they seem to

be, a time shall come when they shall be dissolved, and afterward

new heavens and a new earth be formed, in which righteousness

alone shall dwell. See 2Pe 3:10-13.

Shall wax old as doth a garment] As a garment by long using

becomes unfit to be longer used, so shall all visible things; they

shall wear old, and wear out; and hence the necessity of their

being renewed. It is remarkable that our word world is a

contraction of wear old; a term by which our ancestors expressed

the sentiment contained in this verse. That the word was thus

compounded, and that it had this sense in our language, may be

proved from the most competent and indisputable witnesses. It was

formerly written [Anglo-Saxon] weorold, and [Anglo-Saxon] wereld.

This etymology is finely alluded to by our excellent poet,

Spencer, when describing the primitive age of innocence, succeeded

by the age of depravity:-

"The lion there did with the lambe consort,

And eke the dove sat by the faulcon's side;

Ne each of other feared fraude or tort,

But did in safe security abide,

Withouten perill of the stronger pride:

But when the WORLD woxe old, it woxe warre old,

Whereof it hight, and having shortly tride

The trains of wit, in wickednesse woxe bold,

And dared of all sinnes, the secrets to unfold."

Even the heathen poets are full of such allusions. See Horace,

Carm. lib. iii., od. 6; Virgil, AEn. viii., ver. 324.

Thou remainest] Instead of διαμενεις, some good MSS. read

διαμενεις, the first, without the circumflex, being the present

tense of the indicative mood; the latter, with the circumflex,

being the future-thou shalt remain. The difference between these

two readings is of little importance.

Verse 12. And they shall be changed] Not destroyed ultimately,

or annihilated. They shall be changed and renewed.

But thou art the same] These words can be said of no being but

God; all others are changeable or perishable, because temporal;

only that which is eternal can continue essentially, and, speaking

after the manner of men, formally the same.

Thy years shall not fail.] There is in the Divine duration no

circle to be run, no space to be measured, no time to be reckoned.

All is eternity-infinite and onward.

Verse 13. But to which of the angels] We have already seen,

from the opinions and concessions of the Jews, that, if Jesus

Christ could be proved to be greater than the angels, it would

necessarily follow that he was God: and this the apostle does most

amply prove by these various quotations from their own Scriptures;

for he shows that while he is the supreme and absolute Sovereign,

they are no more than his messengers and servants, and servants

even to his servants, i.e. to mankind.

Verse 14. Are they not all ministering spirits] That is, They

are all ministering spirits; for the Hebrews often express the

strongest affirmative by an interrogation.

All the angels, even those of the highest order, are employed by

their Creator to serve those who believe in Christ Jesus. What

these services are, and how performed, it would be impossible to

state. Much has been written on the subject, partly founded on

Scripture, and partly on conjecture. They are, no doubt,

constantly employed in averting evil and procuring good. If God

help man by man, we need not wonder that he helps man by angels.

We know that he needs none of those helps, for he can do all

things himself; yet it seems agreeable to his infinite wisdom and

goodness to use them. This is part of the economy of God in the

government of the world and of the Church; and a part, no doubt,

essential to the harmony and perfection of the whole. The reader

may see a very sensible discourse on this text in vol. ii., page

133, of the Rev. John Wesley's works, American edition. Dr. Owen

treats the subject at large in his comment on this verse, vol.

iii., page 141, edit. 8vo., which is just now brought to my hand,

and which appears to be a very learned, judicious, and important

work, but by far too diffuse. In it the words of God are drowned

in the sayings of man.

THE Godhead of Christ is a subject of such great importance,

both to the faith and hope of a Christian, that I feel it

necessary to bring it full into view, wherever it is referred to

in the sacred writings. It is a prominent article in the

apostle's creed, and should be so in ours. That this doctrine

cannot be established on Heb 1:8 has been the assertion of many.

To what I have already said on this verse, I beg leave to subjoin

the following criticisms of a learned friend, who has made this

subject his particular study.

BRIEF REMARKS ON HEBREWS, chap. 1, ver. 8.

οθρονοςσουοθεοςειςτουςεαιωνας.

It hath ever been the opinion of the most sound divines, that

these words, which are extracted from the 45th Psalm, are

addressed by God the Father unto God the Son. Our translators

have accordingly rendered the passage thus: "Thy throne, O God, is

for ever." Those who deny the Divinity of Christ, being eager to

get rid of such a testimony against themselves, contend that ο

θεος is here the nominative, and that the meaning is: "God is thy

throne for ever." Now it is somewhat strange, that none of them

have had critical acumen enough to discover that the words cannot

possibly admit of this signification. It is a rule in the Greek

language, that when a substantive noun is the subject of a

sentence, and something is predicated of it, the article, if used

at all, is prefixed to the subject, but omitted before the

predicate. The Greek translators of the Old, and the authors of

the New Testament, write agreeably to this rule. I shall first

give some examples from the latter:-

θεοςηνολογος.-"The Word was God." Joh 1:1.

ολογοςσαρξεγενετο.-"The Word became flesh." Joh 1:14.

πνευμαοθεος.-"God is a Spirit." Joh 4:24.

οθεοςαγαπηεστι.-"God is love." 1Jo 4:8.

οθεοςφωςεστι.-"God is light." 1Jo 1:5.

If we examine the Septuagint version of the Psalms, we shall

find, that in such instances the author sometimes places the

article before the subject, but that his usual mode is to omit it

altogether. A few examples will suffice:-

οθεοςκριτηςδικαιος.-"God is a righteous judge." Ps 7:11.

οθεοςημωνκαταφυγηκαιδυναμις,-"God is our refuge and

strength." Ps 46:1.

κυριοςβοηθοςμου.-"The Lord is my helper." Ps 28:7.

κυριοςστερεωμαμουκαικαταφυγημον.-"The Lord is my firm

support and my refuge." Ps 18:2.

θεοςμεγαςκυριος.-"The Lord is a great God." Ps 95:3.

We see what is the established phraseology of the Septuagint,

when a substantive noun has something predicated of it in the same

sentence. Surely, then, we may be convinced that if in Ps 45:6,

the meaning which they who deny our Lord's Divinity affix, had

been intended, it would rather have been written θρονοςσουο

θεος, or θρονοςσουθεος. This our conviction will, if possible,

be increased, when we examine the very next clause of this

sentence, where we shall find that the article is prefixed to the

subject, but omitted before the predicate.

ραβδοςευθυτηροςηραβδοςτηςβασιλειαςσου.-"The sceptre of

thy kingdom is a sceptre of rectitude."

"But it may be doubted whether θεος with the article affixed be

ever used in the vocative case." Your doubt will be solved by

reading the following examples, which are taken not promiscuously

from the Septuagint, but all of them from the Psalms.

κρινοναυτουςοθεος.-"Judge them, O God." Ps 5:10.

οθεοςοθεοςμου.-"O God, my God." Ps 22:1.

σοιψαλωοθεοςμον.-"Unto thee will I sing, O my God."

Ps 59:17.

υψωσωσεοθεοςμον.-"I will exalt thee, O my God." Ps 145:1.

κυριεοθεοςμου.-"O Lord my God." Ps 104:1.

I have now removed the only objection which can, I think, be

started. It remains, that the son of Mary is here addressed as

the God whose throne endures for ever.

I know that a pronoun sometimes occurs with the article prefixed

to its predicate; but I speak only of nouns substantive.

I must not fail to observe, that the rule about the subject and

predicate, like that of the Greek prepositive article, pervades

all classes of writers. It will be sufficient, if I give three or

four examples. The learned reader may easily collect more.

προσκηνιονμενοουρανοςαπαςθεατρονδηοικουμενη. "The

whole heaven is his stage, and the world his theatre." Chrysostom.

We have here two instances in one sentence. The same is the case

in the following examples:-

βραχυςμενοξυλλογοςμεγαςδοποθος.-"Small indeed is the

assembly, but great is the desire." Chrysostom.

καλονγαρτοαθλονκαιηελπιςμεγαλη.-"For the prize is noble,

and the hope is great." Plato.

τοταισχρονεχθρονκαιτοχρηστονευκλεες.-"That which is

base is hateful; and that which is honest, glorious." Sophocles.

Having spoken of nouns substantive only, I ought to state that

the rule applies equally to adjectives and to participles. Near

the opening of the fifth of Matthew, we find eight consecutive

examples of the rule. In five of these the subject is an

adjective, and in the other three, a participle. Indeed one of

them has two participles, affording an instance of the rule

respecting the prepositive article, as well as of that which we

are now considering. μακαριοιοιπεινωντεςκαιδιψωντες.

"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst." In the Apocalypse there

are four examples of the rule with participles, and in all these

twelve cases the predicate is placed first. See the supplement to

my Essay on the Greek Article, at the end of Dr. A. Clarke's

commentary on Ephesians.

I am aware that an exception now and then occurs in the sacred

writings; but I think I may assert that there are no exceptions in

the Septuagint version of the book of Psalms. As the words

οθρονοςσουοθεος, occur in the book of Psalms, the most

important question is this: Does that book always support the

orthodox interpretation? With regard to the deviations which are

elsewhere occasionally found, I think there can be little doubt

that they are owing to the ignorance or carelessness of

transcribers, for the rule is unquestionably genuine.-H. S. BOYD.

The preceding remarks are original, and will be duly respected

by every scholar.

I have shown my reasons in the note on "Lu 1:35", why I cannot

close in with the common view of what is called the eternal

Sonship of Christ. I am inclined to think that from this tenet

Arianism had its origin. I shall here produce my authority for

this opinion. Arius, the father of what is called Arianism, and

who flourished in A. D. 300, was a presbyter of the Church of

Alexandria, a man of great learning and eloquence, and of deeply

mortified manners; and he continued to edify the Church by his

teaching and example till the circumstance took place which

produced that unhappy change in his religious sentiments, which

afterwards gave rise to so much distraction and division in the

Christian Church. The circumstance to which I refer is related by

Socrates Scholasticus, in his supplement to the History of

Eusebius, lib. i., c. 5; and is in substance as follows:

Alexander, having succeeded Achillas in the bishopric of

Alexandria, self-confidently philosophizing one day in the

presence of his presbyters and the rest of his clergy concerning

the holy Trinity, among other things asserted that there was a

Monad in the Triad, φιλοτιμοτερονπεριτηςαγιαςτριαδοςες

τριαδιΜοναδαειναιφιλοσοφωνεθεολογει. What he said on the

derived nature or eternal Sonship of Christ is not related.

Arius, one of his presbyters, a man of considerable skill in the

science of logic, ανηρουκαμοιροςτηςδιαλεκτικηςλεσχης,

supposing that the bishop designed to introduce the dogmas of

Sabellius, the Libyan, who denied the personality of the Godhead,

and consequently the Trinity, sharply opposed the bishop, arguing

thus: "If the Father begot the Son, he who was thus begotten had a

beginning of his existence; and from this it is manifest, that

there was a time in which the Son was not. Whence it necessarily

follows, that he has his subsistence from what exists not." The

words which Socrates quotes are the following, of which the above

is as close a translation as the different idioms will allow: ει

οπατηρεγεννηοετονυιοναρχηνυπαρξεωςεχειογεννηθεις. καιεκ

τουτουδηλονοτιηνοτεουκηνουιος. ακολουθειτεεξαναγκης,

εξουκοντωνεχειναυτοντηνυποστασιν. Now, it does not appear

that this had been previously the doctrine of Arius, but that it

was the consequence which he logically drew from the doctrine laid

down by the bishop; and, although Socrates does not tell us what

the bishop stated, yet, from the conclusions drawn, we may at once

see what the premises were; and these must have been some

incautious assertions concerning the Sonship of the Divine nature

of Christ: and I have shown elsewhere that these are fair

deductions from such premises. "But is not God called Father; and

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? "Most certainly. That God

graciously assumes the name of Father, and acts in that character

towards mankind, the whole Scripture proves; and that the title is

given to him as signifying Author, Cause, Fountain, and Creator,

is also sufficiently manifest from the same Scriptures. In this

sense he is said to be the Father of the rain, Job 38:28; and

hence also it is said, He is the Father of spirits, Heb 12:9; and

he is the Father of men because he created them; and Adam, the

first man, is particularly called his son, Lu 3:38. But he is

the Father of the human nature of our blessed Lord in a peculiar

sense, because by his energy this was produced in the womb of the

virgin. Lu 1:35,

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest

shall overshadow thee; THEREFORE also that HOLY THING WHICH SHALL

BE BORN OF THEE shall be called THE SON OF GOD. It is in

consequence of this that our blessed Lord is so frequently termed

the Son of God, and that God is called his Father. But I know

not any scripture, fairly interpreted, that states the Divine

nature of our Lord to be begotten of God, or to be the Son of God.

Nor can I see it possible that he could be begotten of the Father,

in this sense, and be eternal; and if not eternal, he is not God.

But numberless scriptures give him every attribute of Godhead; his

own works demonstrate it; and the whole scheme of salvation

requires this. I hope I may say that I have demonstrated his

supreme, absolute, and unoriginated Godhead, both in my note on

Col 1:16, 17,

and in my Discourse on Salvation by Faith. And having seen that

the doctrine of the eternal Sonship produced Arianism, and

Arianism produced Socinianism, and Socinianism produces a kind of

general infidelity, or disrespect to the sacred writings, so that

several parts of them are rejected as being uncanonical, and the

inspirations of a major part of the New Testament strongly

suspected; I find it necessary to be doubly on my watch to avoid

every thing that may, even in the remotest way, tend to so

deplorable a catastrophe.

It may be said: "Is not God called the eternal Father? And if

so, there can be no eternal Father if there be no eternal Son." I

answer: God is not called in any part of Scripture, as far as I

can recollect, either the eternal or everlasting Father in

reference to our blessed Lord, nor indeed in reference to any

thing else; but this very title, strange to tell, is given to

Jesus Christ himself: His name shall be called the EVERLASTING

FATHER, Isa 9:6; and we may on this account, with more propriety,

look for an eternal filiation proceeding from him, than from any

other person of the most holy Trinity.

Should it be asked: "Was there no trinity of persons in the

Godhead before the incarnation!" I answer: That a trinity of

persons appears to me to belong essentially to the eternal

Godhead, neither of which was before, after, or produced from

another; and of this the Old Testament is full: but the

distinction was not fully evident till the incarnation; and

particularly till the baptism in Jordan, when on him, in whom

dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost descended in

a bodily shape, like a dove; and a voice from heaven proclaimed

that baptized person God's beloved Son: in which transaction there

were three persons occupying distinct places; as the person of

Christ in the water, the Holy Spirit in a bodily shape, and

the voice from heaven, sufficiently prove; and to each of these

persons various scriptures give all the essential attributes of

God.

On the doctrine of the eternal Sonship of the Divine nature of

Christ I once had the privilege of conversing with the late

reverend John Wesley, about three years before his death; he read

from a book in which I had written it, the argument against this

doctrine, which now stands in the note on "Lu 1:35". He did not

attempt to reply to it; but allowed that, on the ground on which I

had taken it, the argument was conclusive. I observed, that the

proper, essential Divinity of Jesus Christ appeared to me to be so

absolutely necessary to the whole Christian scheme, and to the

faith both of penitent sinners and saints, that it was of the

utmost importance to set it in the clearest and strongest point of

view; and that, with my present light, I could not credit it, if I

must receive the common doctrine of the Sonship of the Divine

nature of our Lord. He mentioned two eminent divines who were of

the same opinion; and added, that the eternal Sonship of Christ

bad been a doctrine very generally received in the Christian

Church; and he believed no one had ever expressed it better than

his brother Samuel had done in the following lines:-

"From whom, in one eternal now,

The SON, thy offspring, flow'd;

An everlasting Father thou,

An everlasting God."

He added not one word more on the subject, nor ever after

mentioned it to me, though after that we had many interviews. But

it is necessary to mention his own note on the text, that has

given rise to these observations; which shows that he held the

doctrine as commonly received, when he wrote that note; it is as

follows:-

"Thou art my Son] God of God, Light of Light. This day have I

begotten Thee-I have begotten Thee from eternity, which, by its

unalterable permanency of duration, is one continued unsuccessive

day." Leaving the point in dispute out of the question, this is

most beautifully expressed; and I know not that this great man

ever altered his views on this subject, though I am certain that

he never professed the opinion as many who quote his authority do;

nor would he at any time have defended what he did hold in their

way. I beg leave to quote a fact. In 1781, he published in the

fourth volume of the Arminian Magazine, p. 384, an article,

entitled "An Arian Antidote;" in this are the following words:

"Greater or lesser in infinity, is not; inferior Godhead shocks

our sense; Jesus was inferior to the Father as touching his

manhood, Joh 14:28; he was a son given, and slain intentionally

from the foundation of the world, Re 13:8, and the first-born

from the dead of every creature, Col 1:15, 18. But, our

Redeemer, from everlasting (Isa 63:16)

had not the inferior name of Son; in the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God from eternity, and the Word, made flesh,

was God," &c. This is pointedly against the eternal Sonship of

the Divine nature. But why did Mr. W. insert this? and if by

haste, &c., why did he not correct this when he published in 1790,

in the 13th vol. of the Magazine, eight tables of errata to the

eight first volumes of that work? Now, although he had carefully

noticed the slightest errors that might affect the sense in those

preceding volumes, yet no fault is found with the reasoning in the

Arian Antidote, and the sentence, "But, our Redeemer, from

everlasting, had not the inferior name of Son," &c., is passed by

without the slightest notice! However necessary this view of the

subject may appear to me, I do not presume to say that others, in

order to be saved, must view it in the same light: I leave both

opinions to the judgment of the reader; for on such a point it is

necessary that every man should be clear in his own mind, and

satisfied in his own conscience. Any opinion of mine my readers

are at perfect liberty to receive or reject. I never claimed

infallibility; I say, with St. Augustine, Errare possum;

haereticus esse nolo. Refined Arians, with some of whom I am

personally acquainted, are quite willing to receive all that can

be said of the dignity and glory of Christ's nature, provided we

admit the doctrine of the eternal Sonship, and omit the word

unoriginated, which I have used in my demonstration of the Godhead

of the Saviour of men; but, as far as it respects myself, I can

neither admit the one, nor omit the other. The proper essential

Godhead of Christ lies deep at the foundation of my Christian

creed; and I must sacrifice ten thousand forms of speech rather

than sacrifice the thing. My opinion has not been formed on

slight examination.

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