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“ And being found in fashion as a man *, he humbled himself, &c. i. e being in the circumstances and condition of a mortal man, XuXTI Ws av@gwaos, taking nothing upon him beyond the rate of weak, common mortals; although he had power to have resisted and overcome his enemies, he submitted to the most barbarous usage, and a most cruel and infamous death, in obedience to God. John X. 18."
" Wherefore God hath highly exalted him.) His exaltation was not the reward of his humility in stripping himself of any supposed dignity or happiness enjoyed in a former state of being; for the apostle gives not the least intimation of any thing of that kind, and speaks only of his present conduct and behaviour. But it was the reward of his labours, and innocent and virtuous sufferings unto death in the cause of truth and righteousness.” (y)
The following translation then is most probably che true one. Let the same mind be in you
* Και σχηματι ευρεθεις ως ανθρωπος-(and being found in fashion as a man.--) suçelers is often no more than the latin exiftens, or being; and so it answers to yevousvos in the verse before, as does
in fashion here, to av Quowati, in the likeness there; and so these two phrases appear to me exactly of the same import. Peirce in loc.
(y) Lindsey's Sequel, p. 272-277.
was also in Christ Jesus. Who being in the form of God, did not look on it as a prize to be eagerly catched at to be like God: But emptied himself, taking upon him the form of a servant, being in the likeness of a mortal man. And being in the circumstances and condition of a mortal man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God, &c.
Mr. Hawker intimates, that much more may
be made of this passage than he has made of it; (2) but that the other points respe&ting which it gives information, will more properly meet him under another part of the subject. The passage however is not afterwards quoted.
CH A P T E R V.
Of Mr. Hawker's Proofs from the New Testament that Jesus Christ is the Maker and Preserver of the World.
F the passages, which are commonly supposed to ascribe the creation and support of the G
(2) P. 59.
world to Jesus Christ, Mr. Hawker has produced but four. John i. 1.-3. Heb. i. 1–10. Heb. iii. 3. 4. Col. i. 15–17. To these may be added Eph. iii. 9; and then we shall have all the passages in the New Testament which can be supposed to prove the doctrine. I will proceed to examine them in their proper order.
John i. 1-3. In the beginning was the word, &c. I have already attempted to prove, that this pafsage has no relation to Jesus Christ, but to the logos the word, or wisdom of God, which, as it were, resided in Jesus Christ.
Hebrews i. 1. 2. God who at sundry times and in divers manners, spake in times past unto the
fathers, by the prophets, hath in these last days Spoken unto us by his son, whom he hath appointed heir of all (a) things,
(a) Mr. Lindsey, in the Sequel to his Apology, makes an observation which clearly evinces, that the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, did not mean in this, or in any other passage, to ascribe the proper creation of the world to
- For it being, manifestly,” says he, “ the design of the writer, to preserve his countrymen from apostatizing from christianity, and falling back into judaism, a great part of his epistle is spent in proving the superiority of Christ to Moses, and to angels whom they supposed to exercise great powers in their fystem.” Now assuredly no argument would have been more direct and forcible to his
by whom also he made the worlds, &c. The word alwves might with much greater propriety be rendered ages than worlds. It is so rendered by our translators, Col. i. 26. “ Nor is there," says Dr. Sykes, “any one instance in the New Testament, where more than this is meant by it." (b) The passage therefore should be rendered thus, By whom also he (God) made the ages ; by which we are to understand the ages of the gospel, or the christian dispensation, which Jesus Christ was the means of introducing and establishing. It may also be observed, that the preposition dice is not always used to signify the instrument, but sometimes the object. Grotius was of opinion that it was used in this sense here ; “Allowing his interpretation to be just,” says Dr. Lardner, “and we have a most apt and beautiful sense which is this: For whom also, or for whose Jake also; or in respect to whom, he disposed and ordered the ages : that is, the antediluvian, the patriarchal, the legal ages, or periods, and all the divine dispensations towards the fons of men." (c)
point, than that of Christ having been the creator of the world. It must have ended the controversy at once, and given the fullest satisfaction. How strange is it then that the apostle should m.ention it only incidentally, never lay any particular stress upon it, nor recur to it again? It may allure us, that he believed no such thing himself, and that it is not the true interpretation of his words." Lindsey's Se. quel, p. 483. 484.
(6) Dr. Sykes in loc.
The clause, v. 3, and upholding all things by the word of his power, may refer to the many
miracles our saviour wrought in support of the gospel, and every thing relating to it. Or the whole verse may be read thus, Who being the brightness of his (God's) glory, and the express image of his (God's) perfon, and upholding all things by the word of his (God's) power, relating either to the power of working miracles which Jesus Christ received from his Father, or to the powers communicated to him, by which he is able to govern his church and people.
The sense of v. 6. is, that when God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, all the angels, i. e. messengers (d) of God, were to pay him respect or homage, i. e. acknowledge his superior authority.
Concerning v. 8, Dr. Clarke observes, “that it
ought (c) Dr. Lardner on the Logos. p. 56. (d) Agyeãos, nuncius, a messenger. This is the proper meaning of the word; and by adopting it in the present instance, a more beautiful sense is given to the passage. It seems evident also from the first verse, that the design of the writer, in this part of the epiftle, is not to point out the superiority of Christ to angels, (though I firmly believe he is now most deservedly exalted by God above them,) but to all other inessengers or prophets.