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    EXERCITATION THE CANONICAL AUTHORITY OF THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS, 1. The canonical authority of the Epistle to the Hebrews. 2. Notation of the word hn,q;, “kaneh;” a measuring reed; the beam of a balance. 3. Thence kanw>n, of the same signification. 4. Metaphorically a moral rule — “Rectum” and” canon,” how far the same — The Scripture a rule — Canonical. 5. The antiquity of that appellation. 6. The canon of the Scripture. 7. What required to render a book canonical — All books of the holy Scripture equal as to their divine original. 8. Jews’ distinction of the books of the Old Testament, as to the manner of their writing, disproved. 9. All equally canonical — No book canonical of a second sort or degree. 10. The Epistle to the Hebrews canonical. 11. Opposed by heretics of old. 12. Not received into the Latin church until the days of Jerome. 13. Proved against Baronius. 14. Not rejected by any of that church; 15. Only not publicly approved — The church of Rome not the sole proposer of books canonical. 16. Occasions of its non-admittance at Rome — Boldness of some in rejecting and corrupting the Scripture. 17. By whom this Epistle opposed of late. 18. The objection of the uncertainty of the penman answered. 19. Citations out of the Old Testament not found therein — Answer. 20. Citations not to his purpose — Answer. 21. Countenance to old heresies — Answer. 22. General heads of arguments to prove its canonical authority — Characters to discover between books of divine inspiration and others — Gnw>mh Fra>sewv carakth>r Proai>resiv. 23. The general argument of books truly canonical. 24. Subject-matter; 25. Design; 26. Style. 27. Of the style of the sacred writers. 28. Mistakes of many about it. 29. The nature of eloquence. 30. Excellency of Scripture style; 31. Energy; 32. Authority; and 33. Efficacy. 34. Tradition concerning the authority of this Epistle — Not justly liable to any exceptions — 35. From the author; 36. Circumstances; 37. Subject-matter; 38. Style. 39. Testimonies. 40. Conclusion. 1. THE canonical authority of the Epistle unto the Hebrews having been by some called into question, we must in our entrance declare both what it is which we intend thereby, as also the clear interest of this Epistle therein; for this is the foundation of all those ensuing discourses from it and of that exposition of it which we intend. 2. The Greek word kanw>n , which gives rise unto that term “canonical,” seems to be derived from the Hebrew hn,q; , “kaneh:” and this, as it sometimes denotes an aromatical cane that contained spices in it, used in the worship of God (as Isaiah 43:24, hn,q; t;yniq;Aalo , “Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with silver;” for this bwOFjæ hn,q; , “precious cane,” growing not in their own country, was brought from afar off, Jeremiah 6:20); so in general it signifies any reed whatever, 1 Kings 14:15, Isaiah 42:3: whence a multitude of fierce and wicked men, compared to the devouring crocodile, whose lurking-place is in the canes or reeds, are termed hn,q; tYæjæ , “The beasts of the reeds,” Psalm 68:30.

    Particularly, it signifies a reed made into an instrument wherewith they measured their buildings, containing six cubits in length, Ezekiel 40:7; Ezekiel 42:16; and hence indefinitely it is taken for a rule or a measure.

    Besides, it signifies the “jugum,” or “scapus,” or beam, with the tongue, of a balance, keeping the poise of the scales equal, and discovering the rectitude or declension thereof: Isaiah 46:6, Wlqov]yi hn,Q;bæ ãs,k, , “They weigh silver on the cane,” — that is, saith the Targum, aynzamb , “in the balance;” the supporter and director of the scales being put for the whole.

    The rabbins call it µynzam lç hnq , “The reed of the scales,” — that which tries, and weighs, and gives every thing its just moment. 3. And this also is the first and proper signification of the Greek word kanw>n , “canon.” So the scholiast on that of Aristophanes, Kai< kano>nav ejxoi>sousi , kai< ph>ceiv ejpw~n , f1 tells us that kanw>n is kuri>wv to< ejpa>nw th~v truta>nhv o[n kai< eijv ijso>that tau>thn a]gon , “properly that which is over the scales, bringing them” (and the things weighed in them) “to equality;” the very same with the Hebrew hn,q; , from which it is derived. So Varinus tells us that it is properly the “tongue in the balance,” and in use me>tron ajdia>yeuston .

    Thus Aristotle says, Tw~| eujqei kai< aujto< kai< ka>mpulon ginw>skomen , krithn? — “By that which is right we know itself, and that which is crooked, for the canon is judge of both;” where he useth the word for any kind of rule or measure, answering unto the other signification of “kaneh” in the Hebrew. “Rectum” and “canon,” that which is right, and the rule, are one and the same, — the one expression denoting the nature of any thing, the other its use and application. 4. From this original, proper importance of the word is its metaphorical use deduced, which is most common; and therein it signifies a moral rule, or a measure for direction, trial, and judgment, Hence the philosopher calls the law Kano>na th~v politei>av , “The rule of the administration,” or government of the commonwealth, — that whereby all the parts of it are disposed into their proper places, whereby they are regulated and all things done in it are tried and judged. And in this sense it is applied by St Paul unto divine revelation, Galatians 6:16, Osoi tw~| kano>ni tou>tw| stoich>sousin , “As many as proceed orderly,” that is, in a direct way (for so stoicei~n denotes), “according to this rule” or canon. And to the same purpose he useth again the same expression, Philippians 3:16; for as the words of the Scripture are in themselves tm,a’ yreb]Di , “words of truth,” so the writing itself is rv,y bWtk; , “a right writing ;” or, as the LXX., gegramme>non eujqu>thtov , “that which is written in uprightness, to be a rule and judge unto all. Eujqu>thtov is genitivus adjuncti , not materiae , declaring the property of the writing, not the subject-matter; that is, it is canonical: for to< eujqe>v and kanw>n , that which is right, and a rule, we have showed to be the same. And from hence it is that the Scripture, or written word of God, being in itself every way absolutely right and perfect, and appointed by him to be the rule or canon of the church’s faith and obedience, requiring, trying, regulating, judging wholly and absolutely of them, is come kat j ejxoch>n , by way of eminency, to be called “canonical” or regular; as the book wherein it is contained is called “The Bible,” though in itself that be the common name of all books. 5. And this appellation is of ancient use in the church. The synod of Laodicea, supposed to have preceded the council of Nice, makes mention of it as a thing generally admitted; for the fathers of it decree, [Oti ouj dei~ ijdiwtikougesqai ejn th~| ejkklhsi>a| , oujde< ajkano>nika bizli>a , ajlla< mo>na ta< kanonika< th~v Kainh~v kai< Palaia~v Diazh>khv , — “That no private psalms ought to be said or read in the church, nor any uncanonical books, but only the canonical books of the New and Old Testament,” whose names they subjoin in their order. And some while before, the bishops who joined with the church of Antioch in the deposition of Paulus Samosatenus charged him as oJ ajpostanov , — one that, in the introduction of his heresy, departed from the canon or rule of the Scripture. Before them, also, it was called by Irenaeus, Kanwav ajklinhwn no>mwn ajpo>fasin , “The sentence of the divine laws;” jAkrizh~ zugontwn kai< gnw>mona kai< kano>na , “The exact balance, square, or rule and canon, of all truths and duties;” wherein he hath evidently respect unto the original use and importance of the word, before explained: and thereupon calls on his hearers, that, omitting the consideration of what this or that man says or thinks, they should seek and require tau~ta a[panta para< tw~n Grafw~n , “all these things of (or from) the Scriptures,” which are the canon of our faith and obedience. And Austin: “Demonstrent ecclesiam suam, non in rumoribus Africorum, sed in praescripto Legis, in Prophetarum praedictis, in Psalmorum cantitbus; hoc est, iu omnibus canonicis sanctorum librorum auctoritatibus;” — “Let them demonstrate their church, not by the rumors of the Africans, but by the prescription of the Law, the predictions of the Prophets, the songs of the Psalms; that is, by the canonical authority of the holy books of the Scriptures.” And he pursues the metaphor of a scale and a measure in many words elsewhere. And thus Aquinas himself confesseth the Scripture is called canonical, because it is the rule of our understanding in the things of God; and such a rule it is as hath authority over the consciences of men, to bind them unto faith and obedience, because of its being given of God by inspiration for that purpose. 6. Moreover, as the Scripture, upon the accounts mentioned, is, by way of eminency, said to be canonical, so there is also a canon or rule determining what books in particular do belong unto the holy Scripture, and to be on that account canonical. So Athanasius tells us, that by the holy Scripture he intends “libros certo canone comprehensos,” — “the books contained in the assured canon of it.” And Rufinus having reckoned up those books, concludes: “Hi sunt quos patres intra canonem concluserunt;” — “These are they which the fathers have concluded to be in the canon;” f12 that is, to belong unto the canonical books of Scripture. And Austin to the same purpose: “Non sine causa tam salubri vigilantia canon ecclesiasticus constitutus est, ad quem certi prophetarum et apostolorum libri pertinerent;” — “Not without good reason is the ecclesiastical canon determined by wholesome diligence, unto which certain books of the prophets and apostles should belong.” About the assignation of this canon of the Scripture, or what books belong unto the canonical Scripture, there have been some differences in the church since the time of the synod of Carthage, confirmed by that in Trulla at Constantinople; the first church having agreed well enough about them, excepting the hesitation of some few persons in reference unto one or two of them of the New Testament. 7. From this rise and use of the word, it is evident what is intended by the “canonical authority of the Scripture,” or of any particular book thereunto belonging. Two things are included in that expression; — first, The spring and original of any book, which gives it authority; and, secondly, The design and end of it, which renders it canonical. For the first, it is required that it be zeo>pneustov , — given by immediate inspiration from God.

    Without this no book or writing can by any means, any acceptation or approbation of the church, any usefulness, any similitude of style or manner of writing unto the books that are so, any conformity in matter or doctrine to them, have an interest in that authority that should lay a foundation for its reception into the canon. It is the impress of the authority of God himself on any writing, or its proceeding immediately from him, that is sufficient for this purpose. Neither yet will this alone suffice to render any revelation or writing absolutely canonical in the sense explained. There may be an especial revelation from God, or a writing by his inspiration, like that sent by Elijah unto Jehoram the king of Judah, 2 Chronicles 21:12, which being referred only unto some particular occasion, and having thence authority for some especial end and purpose, yet being not designed for a rule of faith and obedience unto the church, may not belong unto the canon of the Scripture. But when unto the original of divine inspiration this end also is added, that it is designed by the Holy Ghost for the catholic, standing use and instruction of the church, then any writing or book becomes absolutely and completely canonical. 8. The Jews of later ages assign some difference among the books of the Old Testament as to their spring and original, or manner of revelation, though they make none as to their being all canonical. The Book of the Law they assign unto a peculiar manner of revelation, which they call hp la hp or µynp la µynp , “mouth to mouth,” or “face to face,” which they gather from Numbers 12:8; whereof afterwards. Others of them they affirm to proceed from hawbn , or the “gift of prophecy:” whereof as they make many kinds or degrees, taken from the different means used by God in the application of himself unto them, belonging to the polutropi>a of divine revelation, mentioned by the apostle, Hebrews 1:1, so they divide those books into two parts, namely, the µynçar µyaybn , or “former Prophets,” containing most of the historical books after the end of the Law; and µyaybn µynwrja , the “latter Prophets,” wherein they comprise the most of them peculiarly so called. The original of the remainder of them they ascribe unto çwdqh jwr or “inspiration by the Holy Ghost,” calling them peculiarly µybwtk , “written,” by that inspiration; as though the whole canon and system of the books were not hbwtk , the “scripture” or writing, and zeopneusti>a , or “divine inspiration,” the only means of their writing. But they do herein as in many other things.

    The distribution of the books of the Old Testament into the Law, Psalms, and Prophets, was very ancient in their church. We have mention of it Luke 24:44: Ta< gegramme>na ejn tw~| No>mw| Mwse>wv , kai< Profh>taiv , kai< Yalmoi~v? — “That are written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms;” that is, in the whole canonical Scripture.

    And evident it is that this distribution is taken from the subject-matter of those principal parts of it. This reason of that distribution, which they have by tradition, they not knowing or neglecting, have feigned the rise of it in a different manner of revelation, and east the particular books arbitrarily under what heads they pleased; as is evident from sundry of them which they reckon unto the µybwtk , “Kethubim,”or “Hagiographa,” which are with them of least esteem. But we have a more sure rule, both overthrowing that reigned distinction and perfectly equalizing all parts of divine Scripture, as to their spring and original. St Peter calls the whole, Profhtikogon , 2 Peter 1:19, “The word of prophecy;” and Profhtei>an , ver. 20, “Prophecy:” and therefore it belongs not unto any peculiar part of it to be given out by prophecy, which is an affection [that is, a property] of the whole. And St Paul also terms the whole Scripture, Grafai< profhtikai> , Romans 16:26, “Prophetical scriptures,” or writings of the prophets. And when he demanded of Agrippa whether he believed the Scriptures, he did it in the same manner: Pisteu>eiv toi~v Profh>Taiv ; Acts 26:27; — “Believest thou the Prophets?” that is, the Scriptures written by the Spirit of prophecy, or by the inspiration tou~ ejn aujtoi~v Pneu>matov Cristou~, 1 Peter 1:11, of “the Spirit of Christ which was in them.” God of old spake ejn toi~v profh>taiv , Hebrews 1:1, in his revelation of himself unto them and in them, and equally spake , dia< sto>matov tw~n aJgiw~n tw~n ajp j aijw~nov profhtw~n , Luke 1:70, unto them “by the mouth of his holy prophets from the beginning.” And thus not this or that part, but pa~sa Grafh< qeo>pneustov , 2 Timothy 3:16, “all Scripture was given by inspiration.” And herein all the parts or books of it are absolutely equal, and in the giving out of the whole, uJpo< Pneu>matov aJgi>ou ejla>lhsan oiJ a[gioi Qeou~ a]nqrwpoi , 2 Peter 1:21, “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

    So that whatever different means God at any time might make use of in the communication of his mind and will unto any of the prophets or penmen of the Scripture, it was this qeopneusti>a , and being acted by the Holy Ghost, both as to things and words, that rendered them infallible revealers of him unto the church. And thus the foundation of the canonical authority of the books of the Scripture is absolutely the same in and unto them all, without the least variety, either from any difference in kind or degree. 9. The same is their condition as to their being canonical; they are all equally so. Some of the ancients used that term ambiguously; and therefore sometimes call books canonical that absolutely are not so, as not being written by divine inspiration, nor given by the Holy Ghost to be any part of the rule of the church’s faith and obedience. Thus the Constantinopolitan council in Trulla confirms the canons both of the synod of Laodicea and the third of Carthage, which agree not in the catalogues they give us of books canonical; which, without a supposition of the ambiguity of the word, could not be done, unless they would give an assent unto a plain and open con-tradiction. And the council of Carthage makes evident its sense in their appendix annexed to the one and fortieth canon, wherein they reckon up the books of the holy Scripture. “Hoc etiam,” say they, “fratri et consacerdoti nostro Bonifacio, vel allis earum partium episcopis, pro confirmando isto canone, innotescat, quia a patribus ista accepimus legenda; liceat etiam legi passiones martyrum, cum anniversarii dies celebrantur.” They speak dubiously concerning their own determination, and intimate that they called the books they enumerated canonical only as they might be read in the church; which privilege they grant also to the stories of the sufferings of the martyrs, which yet none thought to be properly canonical. The same Epiphanius” testifies of the epistles of Clemens. But as the books which that synod added to the canon of Laodicea are rejected by Melito, Origen, Athanasius, Hilarius, Gregorius Nazianzen, Cyrillus Hierosolymitanus, Epiphanius, Rufinus, Jerome, Gregorius Magnus, and others; so their reading and citation is generally declared by them to have been only for direction of manners, and not for the confirmation of the faith: even as St Paul cited an iambic out of Menander, or rather Euripides, 1 Corinthians 15:33; an hemistichium out of Aratus, Acts 17:28; and a whole hexameter out of Epimenides, Titus 1:12. “Non sunt canonici, sed leguntur catechumenis,” saith Athanasius; — “They are not canonical, but are only read to the catechumeni.” And Jerome saith, the, church reads them “ad edificationem plebis, non ad auctoritatem ecclesiasticorum dogmatum confirmaudam,” — “for the edification of the people, but not for the confirmation of any points of faith.” But although some books truly canonical were of old amongst some ejn ajmfile>ktw| , as Epiphanius speaks, — doubted of; and some were commonly read that are certainly ajpo>krufa and rejectitious; yet neither the mistake of the former nor latter practice can give any countenance to an apprehension of a second or various sort of books properly canonical. For the interest of any book or writing in the canon of the Scripture accruing unto it, as hath been showed, merely from its divine inspiration, and being given by the Holy Ghost for a rule, measure, and standard of faith and obedience unto the church, whatever advantage or worth to commend it any writing may have, yet if it have not the properties mentioned of divine inspiration and confirmation, it differs in the whole kind, and not in degrees only, from all those that have them; so that it can be no part regulae regulantis, but regulatae at the best, not having aujtopisti>an , or a “self-credibility” on its own account, or aujqentei>an , a “self-sufficing authority,” but is truth only materially, by virtue of its analogy unto that which is absolutely, universally, and perfectly so. And this was well observed by Lindanus. “Impio,” saith he, “sacrilegio se contaminant qui in Scripturarum Christiana-rum corpore, quosdam quasi gradus conantur locare; quod unam eandemque Spiritus Sancti vocem, impio humanae stultitiae discerniculo audent in varias impares discerpere, et disturbare auctoritatis classes;” — “They defile themselves with the impiety of sacrilege who endeavor to bring in, as it were, divers degrees into the body of the Scriptures; for by the impious discretion of human folly, they would cast the one voice of the Holy Ghost into various forms of unequal authority.” As, then, whatever difference there may be as to the subject-matter, manner of writing, and present usefulness, between any of the books that, being written by divine inspiration, are given out for the church’s rule, they are all equal as to their canonical authority, being equally interested in that which is the formal reason of it; so, whatever usefulness or respect in the church any other writings may have, it can no way give them any interest in that whose formal reason they are not concerned in. 10. In the sense explained, we affirm the Epistle to the Hebrews to be canonical, that is, properly and strictly so, and of the number of them which the ancients called gnh>sia , ejndia>qhka , kaqolika> , ajnamfi>lekta , and oJmologou>mena , every way genuine and catholic: in the confirmation whereof, we shall first declare by whom it hath been opposed or questioned, and then what reasons they pretend for their so doing; which being removed out of our way, the arguments whereby the truth of our assertion is evinced shall be insisted on. 11. We need not much insist on their madness who of old, with a sacrilegious licentiousness, rejected what portion of Scripture they pleased. The Ebionites not only rejected all the epistles of Paul, but also reviled his person as a Greek and an apostate, as Irenseus and Epiphanius inform us. Their folly and blasphemy was also imitated and followed by the Helcesaitae in Eusebiua. Marcion rejected in particular this Epistle to the Hebrews, and those also to Timothy and Titus, as Epiphanius and Jerome assure us, who adds unto him Basilides. And Theodoret, as to the Epistle unto the Hebrews, joins unto them some of the Arians also. Now, though the folly of those sacrilegious persons be easy to be repelled, as it is done by Petrus Cluniensis, yet Jerome hath given us a sufficient reason why we should not spend time therein. “Si quidem,” saith he, “redderent causas cur eas apostoli non putant, tentaremus aliquid respondere, et forsitan satisfacere lectori; nuuc vero cum haeretica auctoritate pronunciant et dicunt, illa epistola Pauli est, haec non est, ea auctoritate refelli se pro veritate intelligant, qua ipsi non erubescant falsa simulare.” They did not so much as plead or pretend any cause or reason for the rejection of these epistles, but did it upon their own head and authority; so they deserve neither answer nor consideration. 12. It is of more importance that this Epistle was a long time, though not rejected by, yet not received in the church of Rome. Eusebius informs us that Caius, a presbyter of that church, whom he much commends for his learning and piety, admitted but of thirteen epistles of St Paul, rejecting that unto the Hebrews; as Photius also affirms. And the same Photius acquaints us with the same judgment of Hippolytus, another eminent member of that church: Le>gei , saith he, de< a]lla ta> tina th~v ajcrizei>av leipo>mena , kai< o[ti hJ prolou Pau>lou? — “Among other things not exactly answering the truth, he saith also that the Epistle to the Hebrews was not Paul’s.” And Eusebius adds unto his information of the judgment of Caius, that it was not generally received in the church of Rome in his time. Neither is it any way acknowledged as St Paul’s by either Tertullian, Cyprian, Lactantius, or Arnobius. Yea, the same Eusebius affirms that some excepted against it upon this account, because it was opposed as none of St Paul’s in the Roman church. Jerome grants that “Latinorum consuetudo non recepit Epistolam ad Hebraeos inter canonicas Scripturas, — “the custom of the Latins” (that is, the Roman church) “did not receive this Epistle among the canonical Scriptures.” And speaking elsewhere of it, he adds the same words, “Licet eam Latina consuetudo intei canonicas Scripturas non recipiat.” And elsewhere also he confirms the same assertion. It cannot, then, be denied but that it was four hundred years at least after the writing of this Epistle before it was publicly received and avowed as canonical by the Roman church. Nor will the quotation of it by Hilary and Ambrose prove any general admission of it as such, it being their custom not to restrain the testimonies they made use of unto books absolutely canonical. 13. Baronius; ad an. 60, labors to take off this failure of the Latin church. The testimony of Eusebius he rejects, because, as he says, he was “Arianorum gregalis,” “of the Arian faction,” and willing to call the authority of this Epistle into question, in compliance with them who, some of them, as we observed before, refused it, n. 56; the judgment of Caius he resolves into the testimony of Eusebius, which, because of his partiality, as he pleads, is not to be admitted; and lastly, he opposeth the witness of Jerome, as a person who had suffered himself to be imposed on by Eusebius, whose words, in his reports of Caius, he makes use of n. 56; concluding upon the whole matter, that it was a mere false calumny of Eusebius against the church of Rome, which Jerome, by too much facility, gave credit unto. But I must acknowledge that these answers of his, — which indeed are nothing but a rejection of as good witnesses in matters of fact as any we have upon the roll of antiquity, — are not unto me satisfactory; no more than the testimony of its acceptance which he produceth in the Epistle of Innocentius to Exsuperius, which is justly suspected supposititious, with the council at Rome against Apollinaris, under Damasus, wherein no such thing appears, — though I will not deny but that about that time it came to be publicly owned by that church, and was; reckoned unto the canon of the Scripture by Rufinus. f41 14. But wherein doth it in the, least appear that Eusebius reports the judgment of Caius or of the Roman church in compliance with the Arians?

    He himself evidently admits the Epistle to be canonical, and confirms it by the testimonies of Clemens, Origen, and others. What would it advantage him, or the cause which some pretend he favored, by reporting the opposition of others to a part of divine writ which himself accepted?

    Besides, they were not the Arians of the first rank or edition (for an inclination unto whom Eusebius is suspected), but some of their offspring, which fell out into such sacrilegious opinions and practices as the first leaders of them owned not, that are accused in this matter. Much less can he be thought to design the reproach of the Roman church. Nay, these answers are inconsistent, as any one may perceive. He could not at the same time design the rejecting of the Epistle in compliance with the Arians and the calumniating of them by whom it was rejected, and on whose authority his intention must be founded. But indeed his words plainly manifest that he gives us a naked account of matter of fact, without either prejudice or design. It is yet more incredible that Jerome in this matter should suffer himself to be imposed on by Eusebius. That he was the most eminently learned and knowing person of the Roman or Latin church in those days will, I suppose, not be greatly questioned. Now, to suppose that he knew not the customs, opinions, and practice, of that church, but Would suffer himself to be imposed on by a stranger, destitute of those advantages which he had to come unto an unquestionable certainty in it, is a very fond thing. Besides, he doth not anywhere speak as one that reported the words and judgment, of another, but in three or four places expressly affirms it as of his own knowledge; while, at the same time, in opposition thereunto, he contends that it was received by all other churches in the world, and all writers from the days of the apostles. 15. Neither yet doth it appear, from any thing delivered by Caius, Hippolytus, Eusebius, or Jerome, that the Latin church did ever reject this Epistle; yea, we shall find that many amongst them, even in those days, reckoned it unto the canon of the Scripture, and owned St Paul as the penman of it. Eusebius himself acknowledges that Clemens useth sundry testimonies out of it in his epistle ad Corinthios;” and others also there were concurring with his judgment therein. But these two things I allow, on the testimonies insisted on: — (1.) That sundry particular persons of note and esteem in the Roman church owned not the canonical authority of this Epistle, as not esteeming it written by St Paul. (2.) The church itself had not before the days of Jerome made any public judgment about the author or authority of this Epistle, nor given any testimony unto them; for it seems utterly impossible that, if any such judgment had passed or testimony been given, Jerome, living in the midst of that church, should know nothing of it, but so often affirm the contrary without hesitation. And this undeniably evinceth the injustice of some men’s pretensions, that the Roman church is the only proposer of canonical Scripture, and that upon the authority of her proposal alone it is to be received. Four hundred years were past before she herself publicly received this Epistle, or read it in her assemblies; so far was she from having proposed it unto others. And yet all this while it was admitted and received by all other churches in the world, as Jerome testifies, and that from the days of the apostles; whose judgment the Roman church itself at length submitted unto. 16. No impeachment, then, of the authority of this Epistle can be taken from this defect and inadvertency of the Roman church, it being evinced to be so by the concurrent suffrage and testimony of all ether churches in the world from the days of the apostles; as we shall afterwards more fully declare. Neither are the occasions of this hesitation of the western church obscure. The Epistle was written, it may be, in Rome; at least it was written in some part of Italy, chap. 13:24. There, no doubt, it was seen, and, it may be, copied out before its sending, by some who used to accompany the apostle, as Clemens; who, as we have showed, not long after mentioned divers things contained in it. The original was, without question, speedily sent into Judea unto the Hebrews, to whom it was written and directed; as were all others of the epistles of the same apostle unto those churches that were immediately intended and concerned in them. That copies of it were by them also communicated unto their brethren in the east, equally concerned in it with themselves, cannot be doubted; unless we will suppose them grossly negligent in their duty towards God and man, which we have no reason to do. But the churches of the Hebrews living at that time, and for some while after, if not in a separation, yet in a distinction, by reason of some peculiar observances, from the churches of the Gentiles, especially those of the west, they were not, it may be, very forward in communicating this Epistle unto them; being written, as they supposed, about an especial concernment of their own. By this means this Epistle seems to have been kept much within the compass of the churches of the Jews until after the destruction of the temple, when, by their dispersion and coalescency with other churches in the east, it came to be generally received amongst them; and “non solum ab ecclesiis orientis, sed ab omnibus retro ecclesiis et Graeci sermonis scriptoribus,” as Jerome speaks. But the Latin church, having lost that advantage of receiving it upon its first writing, — it may be, also, upon the consideration of the removal of its peculiar argument upon the final destruction of the whole Judaical church and worship, — was somewhat slow in their inquiry after it. Those that succeeded in that church, it is not unlikely, had their scruples increased, because they found it not in common use amongst their predecessors, like to the rest of St Paul’s Epistles, not considering the occasion thereof. Add hereunto that by that time it had gradually made its progress in its return into the west, where it was first written, and, attended with the suffrage of all the eastern churches, begun to evince its own authority, sundry persons, who were wrangling about peculiar opinions and practices of their own, began to seek advantages from some expressions in it. So, in particular, did the Novatians and the Donatists. This might possibly increase the scruple amongst the orthodox, and make them wary in their admission of that authority which they found pleaded against them. And well was it for them that the opinions about which they disagreed with their adversaries were according unto truth, seeing it may justly be feared that some then would have made them their rule and standard in their reception or rejection of this Epistle; for it was no new thing for the orthodox themselves to make bold sometimes with the Scripture, if they supposed it to run cross unto their conceptions. So Epiphanius informs us in Ancorat.: jAlla< kai< e]klause , ka~|ta ejn tw~| kata< Louka~n eujaggeli>w| ejn toi~v ajdiorqw>toiv ajntigra>foiv , kai< ke>crhtai th~| marturi>a| oJ a[giov Eijrhnai~ov ejn tw~| kata< aiJre>sewn , pro|sei tonai le>gontav? ojrqo>doxoi de< ajfei>lonto to< rJhtontev , kai< mh< noh>santev aujtou to< te>lov , kai< to< ijscuro>taton — “And also ‘He wept;’ for so it is read in the uncorrected copies of the Gospel according to Luke. And St Irenaeus useth this testimony in his book against heresies, for their confutation who affirmed that Christ took flesh only in appearance; but the orthodox” (or Catholics) “being afraid” (of the importance of that expression), “took away that word out of the copies, not understanding its use and sense.” So also Sixtus Senensis, after he hath informed us, out of Hilary, that many orthodox persons denied the story of our Savior’s agony and bloody sweat, adds of his own, “Suspicor a Catholicis sublatam esse, pio sed simplici zelo, qued favere videbatur Arianis;” “I suspect that the story was taken out of the copies by some Catholics, out of a godly but simple zeal, because it seemed to favor the Arians.” So great is the power of prejudice, and so little occasions have men taken, whom others have esteemed orthodox and pious, to make bold with that word whereby both we and all our opinions must be judged! But it being manifest at length that no color was given unto the unjust severities of the Novatians by any thing in this Epistle, it was generally embraced; and by the conquest of this opposition established its authority for the future. 17. Bellarmine chargeth Luther, Brentius, Chemnitius, and the Centuriators, with the rejection of this Epistle. But because I know that some of them are falsely accused by him, I am apt to suspect the same of the rest, which I have not the opportunity to consult; and so I shall not reckon them amongst the opposers of this Epistle. The matter is more certain concerning Cajetan and Erasmus; the former in his preface unto, the other in his last annotation on, this Epistle, denying it to be St Paul’s, and questioning, yea, indeed rejecting, its canonical authority. To them we may add Enjedinus, proceeding upon the same principles, and making use of their arguments to the same purpose. These are the chief, if not absolutely all, who have at any time made any scruple at the authority of this Epistle.

    The reasons they make use of to justify themselves in their conjectures are amassed together by Erasmus in his note on the 24th verse of the last chapter of it. But because he mixeth together the arguments that he insists on to prove St Paul not to have been the penman of it rind the exceptions he puts in unto its canonical authority, which are things of a diverse consideration, I shall separate them, and first take out those that seem absolutely to impeach its authority, leaving them that oppose its penman to our ensuing discourse on that question in particular. 18. The first thing generally pleaded is, the uncertainty of its author or penman. “Sola omniurn Pauli nomen non praefert,” saith Erasmus. How unjust and groundless this pretense is we shall afterwards fully manifest.

    At present I shall only show that it is, in general, of no importance in this cause. The author of a writing being certainly known, may indeed give some light into the nature and authority of it. When it is confessed that the penman of any book was qeo>pneustov , or “divinely inspired,” and that by him it was written for the use of the church, there can be no question of its authority. But this last, of his design directed by the Holy Ghost, must be no less known than the former; for a man may write one book by inspiration, and others by a fallible, human judgment, as Solomon seems to have done his philosophical discourses that are lost. Again; when the penman of any writing pretending unto divine authority is not esteemed, nor doth manifest himself in any thing to have been, uJto< Pneu>matov aJgi>ou fero>menov , “immediately acted by the Holy Ghost,” the writing itself must needs be liable unto just exception. Wherefore it is confessed, that when the author of any writing is certainly known, much light into its authority and relation unto the canon of the Scripture may be thence received; but when this is doubtful, nothing satisfactory can thence on either side be concluded. And therefore it hath pleased the Holy Ghost to keep the names of the penmen of many parts of the Scripture in everlasting obscurity; for he borrows no countenance or authority, unto any thing that proceeds by inspiration from himself, from the names of men.

    There is not, then, the least strength in this exception; for be it granted that we are altogether uncertain who was the penman of this Epistle, yet no impeachment of its authority can thence be taken, unless it can be proved that he was not divinely inspired. But yet, to show the insufficiency, every way, of this objection, we shall abundantly evince that indeed the very ground and foundation of it is feeble and false, the penman of this Epistle being as well and certainly known as those of any portions of Scripture whatever that are ajnepi>grafa , some whereof were never doubted nor called into question. And at least we shall so far evince St Paul to have been the author of it, as, although we shall not from thence take any argument to prove its canonical authority, because it hath itself been called into question, yet, to render an objection from the uncertainty of its author altogether unreasonable. 19. The remaining objections are more particular and direct to their purpose by whom they are pleaded; as, first, that the author of this Epistle cites sundry things out of the Old Testament which are not therein contained. Such are many of the stories related in the 11th chapter; and that, in particular, in chap. 12:21, where he affirms that Moses, upon the terror of the sight that appeared unto him, said, “I exceedingly fear and quake.” This place Erasmus supposeth Jerome to have intended when he says that some things are mentioned in this Epistle that are not recorded in the Old Testament. And Aquinas perplexeth himself in seeking for a solution unto this difficulty; for, first, he would refer the place to Moses’ sight of the Angel in the bush, and not to the giving of the law, contrary to the express discourse of the context. And then he adds, “Dixit saltem facto;” though he said not so, yet he did so. And lastly, worst of all, “Vel forte apostolus alia utitur litera quam nos non habemus;” — “Or, it may be, the apostle used another text, that we have not.” But there is no need of any of these evasions. The author quotes no book nor testimony of the Old Testament, but only relates a matter of fact, and one circumstance of it, which doubtless he had by divine revelation, whereof there is no express mention in the place where the whole matter is originally recorded.

    Thus in the beginning of the Chronicles, sundry particular stories (as that about the children of Ephraim, chap. 7:20-22), nowhere before written, are reported from the same infallible directions that others of the same time were written withal when they were omitted. And it is an uncouth way of proving an author not to write by divine inspiration, because he writeth truths that he could no otherwise be acquainted withal. Neither is it unmeet for him that writes by divine inspiration to mention things recorded in other stories whose truth is unquestionable; as those are related in chap. 11. 20. It seems to be of more importance that, if the objectors may be believed, the writer of this Epistle citeth testimonies out of the Old Testament that are no ways to his purpose, nor at all prove the matter that he produceth them for, discovering at least that he wrote with a fallible spirit, if not also that he dealt scarcely bond fide in handling the cause which he undertook. Cajetan insists on that of the first chapter, verse 5, “I will be unto him a Father, and he shall be unto me a Son,” taken from Samuel 7:14, or 1 Chronicles 17:13; which words, as he supposeth, no way belong unto that in whose confirmation they are produced by the author of this Epistle. Erasmus insists upon his testimony in chap. 2:6, produced out of Psalm 8:4,5; which, as he saith, is urged to the direct contrary of the intention of the psalmist and scope of the words.

    Enjedinus insists on the same places and others.

    Now, two things must be supposed, to give countenance unto this objection: — First, That those who make it do better understand the meaning and importance of the testimonies so produced out of the Old Testament than he did by whom they are here alleged. This is the foundation of this exception; which if once admitted, it may be easily imagined how able some men will quickly think themselves to question other allegations in the New Testament, and thereby render the authority of the whole dubious. They must, I say, take upon themselves to know the true meaning of them, and that in the uttermost extent of signification and intention, as given out by the Holy Ghost, before they can charge their misapplication on this author. How vain, unjust, arrogant, and presumptuous, this supposition is, needs little labor to demonstrate. The understandings of men are a very sorry measure of the truth, with the whole sense and intendment of the Holy Ghost in every place of Scripture. Nay, it may much more rationally be supposed, that though we all know enough of the mind and will of God in the whole Scripture to guide and regulate our faith and obedience, yet that we are rather ignorant of his utmost intention in any place than that we know it in all. There is a depth and breadth in every word of God, because his, which we are not able to fathom and compass to the utmost; it being enough for us that we may infallibly apprehend so much of his mind and will as is indispensably necessary for us to the obedience that he requires at our hands. An humble, reverential consideration of all, indeed almost any, of the testimonies alleged in the New Testament out of the Old, is sufficient to evince the truth of this consideration. “We know but in part, and we prophesy in part,” 1 Corinthians 8:9. “Quantum est quod nescimus!” — “How much is it that we know not!” Or, as Job speaks, rbæD; Åm,V,Ahmæ , — “How small is the word that we understand of God!” chap. 26:14. One says well, “Est sacra Scriptura veluti fons quidam, in bono terrae loco scaturiens, quem quo altius foderis, eo magis exuberantem invenies; ita quo diligentius sacram Scripturam interpretaris, eo abundantiores aquae vivae venas reperies,” Brent. Hom. 36, in 1 Samuel 11. That objection, then, must needs be very weak whose fundamental strength consists in so vain a presumption. Again, They must take it for granted that they are aforehand fully acquainted with the particular intention of the author in the assertions which he produceth these testimonies in the confirmation of; and with all the ways of arguing and pressing principles of faith, used by men writing by divine inspiration.

    Neither is this supposition less rash or presumptuous than the former.

    Men who bring their own hypotheses and preconceived senses unto the Scripture, with a desire to have them confirmed, are apt to make such conclusions. Those that come with humility and reverence of His majesty with whom they have to do, to learn from him his mind and will therein, whatever he shall thereby reveal so to be, will have other thoughts and apprehensions. Let men but suffer the testimonies and assertions, whose unsuitableness is pretended, to explain one another, and the agreement will quickly appear; and the worst that will ensue will be only the emergence of a sense from them which perhaps they understood not in either of them singly or separately considered. Thus infirm on all accounts is this objection.

    For the instances themselves, some light will be given unto them from what we shall afterwards discourse of the author’s ways and principles, that he proceeds upon in his citations of testimonies out of the Old Testament; and, in particular, in our exposition of the places themselves, we shall manifest that his application of them is every way suitable to the very letter of the text and the manifest intention of the Holy Ghost. So false and unjust, as well as rash and presumptuous, is this objection. 21. Neither is there any more real weight in that which Erasmus in the next place objects, — namely, that some things in it seem to give countenance unto some exploded opinions of ancient heretics; whereof he gives us a double instance. First, “Quod velum separans sanctum sanctorum interpretatur coelum;” — “That he interprets the veil separating the most holy place to be heaven:” which indeed he neither doth (but only affirms that the most; holy place in the tabernacle was a type or figure of heaven itself), nor, if he should have so done, had he given the least countenance unto the fondness of the Manicbees, whom I suppose he intendeth; his whole discourse perfectly exploding their abominations. His other instance is in that vexed place, chap. 6:4-8, favoring, as he pretends, the Novatians, denying recovery by repentance unto them who had fallen into sin after baptism. But the incompetency of this objection, arising merely from their ignorance of the true meaning of the Holy Ghost that made it, as to the end for which it was used, hath been demonstrated by many of old and late. And, the Lord assisting, in our exposition of that place we shall show that it is so far from giving countenance unto any error or mistake which any man may fall into contrary to the gospel, that a more plain, familiar, and wholesome commination is hardly to be found in the whole book of God.

    And this is the sum of what I can meet withal that is objected against the canonical authority of this Epistle; which how little it amounts unto, beyond an evidence of men’s willingness to lay hold on slight occasions to vent their curiosities and conceptions, the reader that is godly and wise will quickly perceive. 22. Having removed these objections out of our way, we shall now proceed to demonstrate the canonical authority of this Epistle, in the strict and proper sense at large before declared. Now, the sum of what we shall plead in this cause amounts to this, that, whereas there are many tekmh>ria , or infallible evidences, of any writings being given by divine inspiration, and sundry arguments whereby books or writings ungroundedly pretending to that original may be disproved, of the former, there is not one that is not applicable unto this Epistle, nor is it obnoxious unto any one of the latter sort. Of what nature in general that evidence is which is given unto the divine original of the Scripture by the characters thereof implanted in it, or other testimony given unto it, or what is the assurance of mind concerning it which thereupon we are furnished withal, belongs not unto our present inquiry. That which we undertake is only to manifest that the interest in them of this Epistle, and its immunity from rational exceptions, is equal unto, and no less conspicuous than, that of any other portion of holy writ whatever; so that it stands upon the same basis with the whole, which at present we suppose finn and unmovable.

    Eusebius, who, after Melito, Caius, Clemens, and Origen, made a very accurate inquiry after the books unquestionably canonical, gives us three notes of distinction between them that are so and others, namely, (1.) Fra>sewv carakth>r , the character or manner of phrase or speech; (2.) Gnw>mh , the sentence or suhject-matter treated of; and, (3.) Proai>resiv , the purpose and design of the writer: and they are all of great importance, and to be considered by us in this matter.

    But because others of like moment may be added unto them, and are used by others of the ancients to the same end, we shall insist upon them all in that order which seems most natural unto them, yet so as that they may be all referred unto those general heads by him proposed. 23. Two things there are that belong to the gnw>mh , or sentence of this Epistle, — first, its general argument; and, secondly, the particular subject-matter treated of in it. These seem to be designed thereby. Now, the general argument of this Epistle is the same with that of the whole Scripture besides; that is, a revelation of the will of God as to the faith and obedience of the church; and this holy, heavenly, and divine, — answering the wisdom, truth, and sovereignty, of him from whom it doth proceed.

    Hence they are called Lo>gia tou~ Qeou~ , “The oracles of God,” Romans 3:2, or the infallible revelation of his will; and JRh>mata th~v zwh~v aijwni>ou , John 6:68, “The words of eternal life;” for that, in the name of God, they treat about. And St Paul tells us that the argument of the gospel is “wisdom,” but “not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of it,” who are destroyed, done away, and made useless by it, — that is, the chief leaders of human wisdom and science, — 1 Corinthians 2:6: but it is sofi>a Qeou~ ejn musthri>w| , hJ ajpokekrumme>nh , etc., — “the mysterious wisdom of God, that was hidden from them,” ver. 7; things of his own mere revelation from his sovereign will and pleasure, with a stamp and impress of his goodness and wisdom upon them, quite of another nature than any thing that the choicest wisdom of the princes of this world can reach or attain unto. And such is the argument of this Epistle: it treats of things which “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have they,” by any natural means, ever “entered into the heart of man,” and that in absolute harmony with all other unquestionable revelations of the will of God.

    Now, if the immediate original hereof be not from God, — that is, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, — then it must be either the invention of some man, spinning the whole web and frame of it out of his own imagination, or from his diligence in framing and composing of it from a system of principles collected out of other writings of divine revelation.

    The first will not be pretended.

    Two things absolutely free it from suffering under any such suspicion:

    First, the nature of its argument, treating, as was said, of such things as “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have they entered into the heart of man.” The deity, offices, sacrifice, mediation, and grace, of Jesus Christ, are not things that can have any foundation in the invention and imagination of man; yea, being revealed by God, they lie in a direct contradiction unto all that naturally is esteemed wise or perfect, Corinthians 1:18-23. They exceed the sphere of natural comprehension, and are destructive of the principles which it frameth unto itself for the compassing of those ends whereunto they are designed.

    Nor is it liable to be esteemed of the other extract, or the diligence and wisdom of man in collecting it from other books of divine revelation; which alone with any color of reason can be pretended. Human diligence, regulated by what is elsewhere revealed of God, is human still; and can never free itself from those inseparable attendancies which will manifest itself so to be; for suppose a man may compose a writing wherein every proposition in itself shall be true, and the whole in its contexture materially every way answerable unto the truth (which yet must be accidental as to the principle of his wisdom, understanding, ability, and diligence, by whom it is composed, they being no way able to give that effect certainly and infallibly unto it), yet there will never be wanting that in it whereby it may be discerned from an immediate effect and product of divine wisdom and understanding. Take but the writings of any wise man, who, from his own ability and invention, hath declared any science in them, and allow his discovery of it to be the absolute, complete rule of that science, so that nothing beyond or beside what he hath written about it is true or certain, nor any thing else, but as it hath conformity to or coincidence with what he hath written, and it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for any man so to treat of that subject from his writings as not to leave sufficient characters upon his own to difference them from his original and pattern; for suppose him to have in all things attained the perfect sense of his guide, — which yet, it may be, until all words are freed from their ambiguity, will be impossible for any one to do, — yet still there will remain upon it such an impression of the genius and fancy wherein the rule was first framed as the follower cannot express. And how much more will there be so in that which, both for matter and words also, proceeds from the sovereign will and wisdom of God! Can it be supposed, that any man should collect, by his own industry and diligence, a writing out of that which is given by Him, and regulated thereby, that should absolutely express those infinite perfections of his nature which shine forth in that which is immediately from himself? For that any writing should be pretended to be undiscernible from them given by divine inspiration, it is not enough that the matter of it be universally true, and that truth no other but what is contained in other parts of Scripture, but it must also have those other tekmh>ria or characters of a divine original which we shall in our progress discover in this Epistle, as in other books of the holy Scripture; for it is not behind the very choicest of them.

    And the truth of this consideration is demonstrated in the instances of every one of those writings which may probably be concluded to have the nearest affinity and similitude unto those of divine inspiration, from the greatness and urgency of their plea to be admitted into that series and order. These are the books commonly called Apocrypha. Not one of them is there wherein human diligence doth not discover itself to be its fountain and spring. Did this Epistle proceed from the same root and principle, whence comes it to pass that it nowhere puts itself forth unto a discovery and conviction? For that it doth not so we shall afterwards fully declare.

    Besides, to close this consideration, the design of the writer of this Epistle manifests that he sought the glory of God in Christ, accord-ing unto his will. With this aim and purpose, an endeavor to impose that on the church, as an immediate revelation from God, which was the product of his own pains and diligence, is utterly inconsistent. For by no means could he more dishonor God, whose glory in sincerity he appears to have sought; nor wrong the church, whose good he desired to promote; than by this imposing on him that whereof he was not the author, so adding unto his words, and making himself subject to reproof as a liar, Proverbs 30:6, and proposing that unto the church as a firm and stable rule and object of faith which he knew not to be so, leading her thereby into error, uncertainty, and falsehood. For this whole Epistle is delivered as the will and word of God, as coming by revelation, from him, without the least intimation of the intervention of the will, wisdom, or diligence, of man, any other than is constantly ascribed unto those that declare the will of God by inspiration. And if it were not so, the evils mentioned cannot be avoided. And how groundless this imputation would be, our following discourses will manifest. And I doubt not but this whole consideration will be, and is, of weight and moment with them who have their senses exercised in the Scriptures, and are enabled, by the Spirit breathing in them, to discern between good and evil, wheat and chaff, Jeremiah 23:28. 24. Unto the general argument, we may add the particular subject-matter of this Epistle, as belonging unto the gnw>mh of it, further confirming its divine original. This, for the most part, consists in things of pure revelation, and which have no other foundation “in rerum natura.” Some books, even of the Scripture itself, are but the narrations of actions done amongst men; which, for the substance of them, might be also recorded by human diligence: but the things treated of in this Epistle are purely divine, spiritual, and no ways to be known but by revelation. And not only so, but amongst those that are so, there are four things eminent in the subjectmatter of this Epistle: (1.) That the principal things treated of in it are matters of the greatest importance in Christian religion, and such as concern the very foundation of faith. Such are the doctrines about the person, offices, and sacrifice of Christ; of the nature of gospel worship, our privilege therein, and communion with God thereby. In these things consist the very vitals of our profession; and they are all opened and declared in a most excellent and heavenly manner in this Epistle; and that, as we shall manifest, in an absolute consonancy unto what is taught concerning them in other places of Scripture. (2.) In that some things of great moment unto the faith, obedience, and consolation of the church, that are but obscurely or sparingly taught in any other places of holy writ, are here plainly, fully, and excellently taught and improved. Such, in particular, is the doctrine of the priesthood of Christ, with the nature and excellency of his sacrifice, and the execution of the remaining parts and duty of that office in heaven, and how the whole of it was typically represented under the old testament. He that under-stands aright the importance of these things, — their use in the faith and consolation of the church, their influence into our whole course of obedience, the spiritual privilege that faith by them interests a believing soul in, the strength and supportment that they afford under temptations and trials, — will be ready to conclude that the world may as well want the sun in the firmament as the church this Epistle; and this persuasion we hope, through God’s assistance, to further in our exposition of it. (3.) God’s way in teaching the church of the old testament, with the use and end of all the operose pedagogy of Moses, manifesting it to be full of wisdom, grace, and love, is here fully revealed, and the whole Aaronical priesthood, with all the duties and offices of it, translated unto the use of believers under the gospel. How dark Mosaical institutions were in themselves is evident from the whole state of the church in the days of Christ and his apostles, when they could not see unto the end of the things that were to be done away. In their nature they were carnal; in their number, many; as to their reason, hidden; in their observation, heavy and burdensome; in their outward show, pompous and glorious: by all which they so possessed the minds of the church, that very few saw clearly into the use, intention, and end of them. But in this Epistle the “veil” is taken off from Moses, the mystery of his institutions laid open, — a perfect clue given unto believers to pass safely through all the turnings and windings of them unto rest and truth in Jesus Christ. Those hidden things of the old testament appear now unto us full of light and instruction; but we are beholden for all our insight into them, and benefit which we receive thereby, unto the exposition and application of them made by the Holy Ghost in this Epistle. And how great a portion of gospel wisdom and knowledge consists herein all men know who have any spiritual acquaintance with these things. (4.) The grounds, reasons, causes, and manner, of that great alteration which God wrought and caused in his worship, by taking down the ancient glorious fabric of it, which had been set up by his own appointment, are here laid open and manifested, and the greatest controversy that ever the church of God was exercised withal is here fully determined.

    There was nothing, in the first propagation of the gospel and plan-tation of Christian churches, that did so divide and perplex the professors of the truth, and retard the work of promulgating the knowledge of Christ, and the worship of God in him, as the differ-ence that was about the continuation and observation of Mosaical rites and ceremonies. To such a height was this difference raised, so zealously were the parties at variance engaged in the pursuit of their various apprehensions of the mind of God in this matter, that the apostles themselves thought meet for a season rather to umpire and compose the controversy, by leaving the Jews free to their observation, and bringing the Gentiles unto a condescension in things of the greatest exasperation, than absolutely and precisely to determine the whole matter between them. And, indeed, this being a difference wherein the will, authority, and command of God were pleaded on the mistaken side, they being all of them clear and full as to the matter by them pleaded for, nothing but an immediate declaration of the mind of God himself, as to his removing and taking off the obligation of his own law, could put such an end unto it as that the spirits of men might acquiesce therein. Now, the will of God to this purpose before the writing of this Epistle could only be collected from the nature and state of things in the church upon the coming of the Messiah, and conclusions from thence, which the believing Jews were very slow in the admittance of. Add hereunto that many prophecies and promises of the Old Testament, setting forth the glory and beauty of gospel worship under the names and condition of the worship then in use, as of priests, Levites, sacrifices, offerings, feast of tabernacles, and the like, lay directly, in the letter, against that cessation of Mosaical rites which the Jews opposed.

    Now, who was fit, who was able, to determine upon these different and various institutions of God, but God himself? To declare positively that all obligation from his former commands was now ceased, that his institutions were no more to be observed, that the time allotted unto the church’s obedience unto him in their observance was expired, — this was no otherwise to be effected but by an immediate revelation from himself. And this is done in this Epistle, and that in this only as to the Jews; whereby it became the main instrument and means of pulling up their old churchstate, and translating it anew into the appointments of our Lord Jesus Christ. Neither is this done by a bare declaration of God’s authoritative interposition, but, in a way of excellent and singular wisdom and condescension (with a manifestation of God’s love and care unto his church, in the institutions that were now to be removed, and the progress of his wisdom in their gradual instruction, as they were able to bear), the whole nature, design, and intendment of them are evidenced to be such, as that, having received their full end and accomplishment, they did of themselves naturally expire and disappear. And hereby, in that great alteration which God then wrought in the outward worship of his church, there is discovered such a oneness and unchangeableness in his love and care; such a suitableness, harmony, and consonancy, in the effects of his will; such an evidence of infinite wisdom in disposing of them into a subserviency one to another, that they should nowhere in any thing cross or interfere, and all of them to his own glory, in the promotion and furtherance of the light, faith, and obedience of his church; as sufficiently manifest the original and fountain whence it doth proceed. For my part, I can truly say that I know not any portion of holy writ that will more effectually raise tip the heart of an understanding reader to a holy admiration of the goodness, love, and wisdom of God, than this Epistle doth. Such, I say, is the subject-matter of this Epistle, — so divine, so excellent, so singular. And in the handling hereof have we not the least occasional mixture of any matter, words, sentences, stories, arguments, or doctrines, so unsuited to the whole as to argue the interposure of a fallible spirit. Thus we know it hath fallen out in all the writings of the Christians of the first ages after the sealing of the canon of the Scriptures. Many things in them appear to proceed from a holy and heavenly spirit breathing in their authors, and most of what they contain to be consonant unto the mind of God; yet have they all of them evident footsteps that the authors were subject unto errors and mistakes, even in and about the things written by them. And the continuance of their failings in their writings, capable of an easy conviction, is no small fruit of the holy, wise providence of God, and his care over his church, that it might not in after ages be imposed upon with the great and weighty pretense of antiquity, to admit them into a competition with those which himself gave out to be its infallible, and therefore only rule. That nothing of this nature, nothing humanitus, merely after the manner of men, befell the writer of this Epistle in his work, we hope, through the assistance of its principal Author, to manifest in our exposition of the several parts of it. And the subject-matter of this Epistle, thus handled, further secures us of its original 25. The design, aim, and end of the Epistle, with the purpose and intention of its writer, which belong to the proai>resiv , which the ancients made a characterism of writings given by divine inspiration, are consonant unto the general argument and peculiar subject-matter of it.

    That the whole Scripture hath an especial end, which is peculiar unto it, and wherein no other writing hath any share, but only so far as it is taken from thence and composed in obedience thereunto, is evident unto all that do seriously consider it.

    This end, supremely and absolutely, is the glory of that God who is the author of it. This is the center where all the lines of it do meet, the scope and mark towards which all things in it are directed. It is the revelation of himself that is intended, of his mind and will, that he may be glorified; wherein, also, because he is the principal fountain and last end of all, consist the order and perfection of all other things. Particularly, the demonstration of this glory of God in and by Jesus Christ is aimed at. The works of God’s power and providence do all of them declare his glory, the glory of his eternal perfections and excellencies, absolutely and in themselves. But the end of the Scripture is the glory of God in Christ, as he hath revealed himself and gathered all things to a head in him, unto the manifestation of his glory: for “this is life eternal, that we know him, the only true God; and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent,” The means whereby God is thus glorified in Christ, is by the salvation of them that do believe; which is therefore also an intermediate end of the Scripture: “These things are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, ye might have life through his name,” John 20:31; 1 Timothy 4:16.

    Moreover, whereas this eternal life unto the glory of God cannot be obtained without faith and obedience according to his will, the Scripture is given for this purpose, also, that it may instruct us in the mind of God, and “make us wise unto salvation,” 2 Timothy 3:15,16; Romans 1:16; 2 Peter 1:3. These, in their mutual subserviency and dependence, complete the characteristical end of the Scripture. I confess Plato, in his Timaeus, makes it the end of philosophy, that we may thereby be “made like unto God.” But that philosophy of his, having its rise and spring in inbred notions of nature, and the contemplation of the works of God’s providence, could have no other end but conformity unto him as his perfections were revealed absolutely; whereunto the Scripture adds this revelation in Christ Jesus, John 1:18, which gives them, as I said, their special and peculiar end. It makes God known as all in all; and man to be nothing, as to goodness or blessedness, but what he is pleased to do for him and communicate unto him; and Jesus Christ to be the great and only way and means whereby he will communicate of himself, and bring us unto himself. The more clearly any portion of Scripture dis-covers and makes conspicuous this end, — the more parts of the series and order of things whereby the last and utmost end of the glory of God is produced, in their mutual connection, dependence, and subserviency, it manifesteth, — the more fully doth it express this general end of the whole, and thereby evince its own interest therein.

    Now, herein doth this Epistle come behind no other portion of Scripture whatever; for as the exaltation of the glory of God, as he is the first cause and last end of all things, is expressly proposed in it, so the relation of the glory of God and of our obedience and blessedness, whereby and wherein it is declared, unto the person, offices, and mediation, of Jesus Christ, is in an eminent manner insisted on and unfolded in it. And whereas some parts of Scripture do exhibit unto us most clearly some one part of this general end of the whole, and other portions or books of it some other parts, this expresseth the whole and all the parts of it distinctly, from the very foundation of calling men to the knowledge of God and obedience, unto the utmost end of his glorifying himself in their salvation by Jesus Christ.

    Neither is there herewithal the least alloy or mixture of any by, particular, or proper [personal], end of the writer, — nothing of his honor, reputation, advantage, self-pleasing, in any thing; but all runs evenly and smoothly to the general end before proposed. And this also hath deservedly a place among the tekmh>ria of writings by divine inspiration. 26. The style, also, of the sacred Scripture, or fra>sewv carakth>r , as it is termed by Eusebius in this argument, is of deserved consideration. By the style of any writing, we understand both the propriety of the words, with their grammatical construction, and that composition of the whole which renders it fit, decorous, elegant, and every way meet to be used in the matter about which it is used, and for the effecting of the end which is proposed in it. I know, some bold, atheistical spirits have despised the style of the holy writers, as simple and barbarous. Among these, Angelus Politianus is generally and deservedly censured by all learned men; who was imitated in his profane contempt of it by Domitius Calderinus. And of the like temper was Petrus Bembus, who would scarce touch the Scripture; while his own epistles are not one of them free from solecisms in grammar. Austin also confesseth that while he was yet a Manichee he had the same thoughts of it: “Visa est mihi indigna quam Tullianae dignitati compararem;” — “The Scripture seemed to me unworthy to be compared with the excellency of Cicero.” But it must be acknowledged that these spake of the common translations of it; though they used that pretense to reject the study of the books themselves.

    I do confess that though some translations may and do render the words of the original more properly, and better represent and insinuate the native genius, beauty, life, and power, of the sacred style, than some others do, yet none of them can or do express the whole excellency, elegancy, and marvelous efficacy of it, for the conveyance of its sense to the understandings and minds of men. Neither is this any reflection upon the translators, their abilities, diligence, or faithfulness, but that which the nature of the thing itself produceth. There is in the sacred Scripture, in the words wherein by the Holy Ghost it was given out, a proper, peculiar virtue and secret efficacy, inflaming the minds of the readers and hearers, which no diligence or wisdom of man can fully and absolutely transfer into and impress upon any other language. And those who have designed to do it by substituting the wordy elegancies of another tongue, to express the quickening, affecting idiotisms of them (which was the design of Castalio), have, of all others, most failed in their intention.

    Neither doth this defect in translations arise from hence, that the original tongues may be more copious and emphatical than those of the translations, — which possibly may be the condition of the Greek and Latin, as Jerome often complains, — but it is from the causes before named; and therefore it is most evident in the translations of the Old Testament, when yet no man can imagine the Hebrew to be more copious (though it be more comprehensive) than the languages whereinto it hath been translated. But it is of the originals themselves, and the style of the sacred penmen therein, concerning which we discourse. And herein the boldness of Jerome cannot be excused (though he be followed by some others of great name in later ages), who more than once chargeth St Paul with solecisms and barbarisms in expression, and often urgeth (upon a mistake, as we shall see) that he was “imperitus sermone,” — “unskilful in speech.” But as neither he nor any else are able to give any cogent instance to make good their charge, so it is certain that there is nothing expressed in the whole Scripture, but in the manner and way, and by the words wherewith, it ought to be expressed, unto the ends for which it is used and designed, as might easily be manifested both from the intent of the Holy Ghost himself in suggesting those words unto his penmen, and in the care of God over the very iotas and tittles of the words themselves. And wherever there appears unto us an irregularity from the arbitrary directions or usages of other men in those languages, it doth much more become us to suspect our own apprehensions and judgment, — yea, or to reject those directions and usages from the sovereignty of an absolute rule, — than to reflect the least failure or mistake on them who wrote nothing but by divine inspiration. The censure of Heinsius in this matter is severe but true, Prolegom. Aristarch. Sac.: “Vellicare allquid in illis, aut desiderare, non est eruditi sed blasphemi hominis, ac male feriati, qui nunquam intelligit quae humana sit conditio, aut quantn debeatur reverentia ac cultus cuncta dispensanti Deo, qui non judicem, sed supplicem deposcit.” 27. Neither hath their success been much better who have exercised their critical ability in judging of the style of the particular writers of the Scripture, preferring one before and above another; whereas the style of every one of them is best suited to the subject-matter whereof he treats, and the end aimed at, and the persons with whom he had to do. And herein Jerome hath led the way to others, and drawn many into a common mistake. The style of Isaiah, he says, is proper, urbane, high, and excellent; but that of Hosea, and especially of Amos, low, plain, improper, savoring of the country, and his profession, who was a shepherd. But those that understand their style and language will not easily give consent unto him, though the report be commonly admitted by the most. It is true, there appeareth in Isaiah art excellent ta>qov in his exhortations, expostulations, and comminations; attended with efficacious apostrophes, prosopopoeias, metaphors, and allusions; a compacted fullness in his prophecies and predictions, a sweet evangelical spiritualness in his expression of promises, with frequent paronomasias and ellipses, which have a special elegancy in that language; whence he is usually instanced in by learned men as an example of the eloquence of the divine writings, and his deino>thv preferred unto that of A Eschines, Demosthenes, or Cicero: but the reader must take heed that he look not for the peculiar excellencies of that prophet absolutely in the words used by him, but rather in the things that it pleased the Holy Ghost to use him as his instrument in the revelation of.

    But the other part of Jerome’s censure is utterly devoid of any good foundation. The style of Amos, considering the subject-matter that he treateth of and the persons with whom he had to do, in suiting of words and speech, wherein all true, solid eloquence consisteth, is every way as proper, as elegant, as that of Isaiah. Neither will the knowing reader find him wanting in any of the celebrated styles of writing, where occasion unto them is administered. Thus some affirm that St Paul used sundry expressions (and they instance in 1 Corinthians 4:3, Colossians 2:18) that were proper to the Cilicians, his countrymen, and not so proper as to the purity of that language wherein he wrote; but as the first of the expressions they instance in is a Hobraisin, and the latter purely Greek, so indeed they will discover a Tarsian defect in St Paul, together with the Patavinity in Livy that Pollio noted in him. 28. Eloquence and propriety of speech, for the proper ends of them, are the gift of God, Exodus 4:10,11; and therefore, unless pregnant instances may be given to the contrary, it may well be thought and expected that they should not be wanting in hooks written by his own inspiration. Nor indeed are they; only we are not able to give a right measure of what doth truly and absolutely belong unto them. He that shall look for a flourish of painted words, artificial, meretricious ornaments of speech, discourse suited to entice, inveigle, and work upon, weak and carnal affections; or sophistical, captious ways of reasoning, to deceive; or that “suada,” or piqanologi>a , that smooth and harmonious structure of periods, wherein the great Roman orator gloried, the “lenocinia verborum,” the u[yov and “grandiloquentia,” of some of the heathens, in the Scripture, will be mistaken in his aim. Such things become not the authority, majesty, greatness, and holiness, of Him who speaks therein. An earthly monarch that should make use of them in his edicts, laws, or proclamations, would but prostitute his authority to con-tempt, and invite his subjects to disobedience by so doing. How much more would they unbecome the declaration of His mind and will, given unto poor worms, who is the great possessor of heaven and earth!

    Besides, these things belong not indeed unto real eloquence and propriety of speech, but are arbitrarily invented crutches, for the relief of our lameness and infirmity. Men despairing to affect the minds of others with the things themselves which they had to pro-pose unto them, and acquainted with the baits that are meet to take hold of their brutish affections, with the ways of prepossessing their minds with prejudice, or casting a mist before their understandings, that they may not discern the nature, worth, and excellency, of truth, have invented such dispositions of words as might compass the ends they aimed at. And great effects by this means were produced; as by him whom men admired, — “Pleni moderantem frena theatri.” And therefore the apostle tells us, that the rejecting of this kind of oratory in his preaching and writing was of indispensable necessity; that it might appear that the effects of them were not any way influenced thereby, but were the genuine productions of the things themselves which he delivered, 1 Corinthians 2:4-7. This kind of eloquence, then, the Scripture maketh no use of, but rather condemneth its application unto the great and holy things whereof it treateth, as unbecoming their excellency and majesty. So Origen to this purpose: ]Iswv gallov kai< peribolhsewv , wJv ta< par j [Ellhsi qaumazo>mena , ei+cen hJ grafh< , uJpeno>nsen a[n tiv ouj thqeian kekrathke>nai tw~n ajnqrw>pwn , ajlla< thnhn ajkolouqi>an kai< to< th~v fra>sewv ka>llov ejyucagwghke>nai tounouv , kai< eujapath>touv aujtounai , tom. 4 in Johan.; — “If the holy Scripture had used that elegancy and choice of speech which are admired among the Greeks, one might have suspected that it was not truth itself that conquered men, but that they had been circumvented and deceived by appearing or fallacious consequences, and the splendor or elegancy of speech.” 29. That the proper excellency of speech or style consisteth in the to< pre>pon , or meet accommodation of words unto things, with consideration of the person that useth them, and the end whereunto they are applied, all men that have any acquaintance with these things will confess. Bou>letai hJ fu>siv toi~v noh>masin e[pesqai thxin , ouj th~| le>xei ta< noh>mata , saith Dionysius of Halicarnassus; — “Nature requireth that words should follow, or be made to serve, sentences or things, and not, things be subservient to words:” whence the too curious observation of words hath been censured as an argument of an infirm and abject mind. f50 However, it may be pardoned in them who placed all their excellency in piqanologi>a , and disposing persuasive, alluring words; as Isocrates spent ten years in his Panegyrics, and Plato ceased not unto the eightieth year of his age to adorn his Discourses, as Dionysius testifies of them both. 30. The style of the holy Scripture is every way answerable unto what may rationally be expected from it; for, — (1.) It becometh the majesty, authority, and holiness, of Him in whose name it speaketh. And hence it is that, by its simplicity without corruption, gravity without affectation, plainness without alluring ornaments, it doth not so much entice, move, or persuade, as constrain, press, and pierce into the mind and affections, transforming them into a likeness of the things which it delivers unto us. And therefore, though St. Paul says that he dealt not with the Corinthians kaq j uJperochgou h[ sofi>av , in an excellency or sublimity of speech or wisdom, like that of the orators before described, yet he did ejn ajpodei>xei Pneu>matov kai< duna>mewv , in such an evidence of spiritual power as was far more effectual and prevalent. The whole of the sacred style is qeoprepe>v , if truth, gravity, authority, and majesty, can render it so; nor can any instance be given to the contrary. And, — (2.) It everywhere becometh the subject-matter it treateth of, which because it is various, it is impossible that the style wherein it is expressed should be uniform; when yet, notwithstanding all its variety, it everywhere keeps its own property, — to be, in gravity and authority, still like unto itself, and unlike to or distinct from all other writings whatsoever. Whence Austin rightly of the holy penmen: “Audeo dicere omnes qui recte intelligunt quod illi loquuntur, simul intelligere non eos aliter loqui debuisse;” — “I dare say that whosoever understands what they speak, will also understand that they ought not to have spoken otherwise.” f52 And Origen of the writings of St Paul in particular: “If any one,” saith he, “give himself to the diligent reading of his epistles, eu+ oi+d j , h\ qauma>setai toxei mega>la perinoou~ntov , h\ mh< qauma>sav aujtolastov fanei~tai , I know full well that either he will admire his great conceptions and sentences under a plain and vulgar style, or he will show himself very ridiculous.” The things treated of in the Scripture are, for the most part, heavenly, spiritual, supernatural, divine; and nothing can be more fond than to look for such things to be expressed in a flourish of words, and with various ornaments of speech, fit to lead away the minds of men from that which they are designed wholly to be gathered unto the admiration and contemplation of. Bodies that have a native beauty and harmony in the composition of their parts, are advantaged more by being clothed with fit garments than by the ornaments of gay attire. And the spiritual, native beauty of heavenly truths is better conveyed unto the minds of men by words and expressions fitted unto it plainly and simply, than by any ornaments of enticing speech whatever. And therefore we say, with Austin, that there is not any thing delivered in the Scripture but just as it ought to be, and as the matter requires, (3.) The style of the holy penmen is, in a gracious condescension, suited unto them, and their capacity, whereof far the greatest part of them with whom they had to do consisted. This Origen at large insists upon in the beginning of his fifth book against Celsus. The philosophy and oratory of the heathen were suited principally, if not solely, to their capacity that were learned: this the authors and professors of it aimed at, — namely, that they might approve their skill and ability unto those who were able to judge of them. The Scripture was written for the good of mankind in general, and without the least design of any contemperation of itself to the learning and wisdom of men; and this sugkata>basiv , or condescension unto the common reason, sense, usage, and experience, of mankind in general, is very admirable in the holy penmen, and absolutely peculiar unto them. In this universal suitableness unto all the concernments of it consists that excellent simplicity of the Scripture style, whereby it plainly and openly, without fraudulent ornaments, in common and usual speech, declares things divine, spiritual, and heavenly, with a holy accommodation of them to the understanding and capacities of men, in such occasional variety as yet never diverts from those properties and characters wherein the uniformity of the whole doth consist. 31. Besides all these excellencies of the style of holy writ, with others that may be added unto them, there is in it a secret energy and efficacy, for the subjecting of the minds of men unto its intention in all things. Whether this proceed and be imparted unto it only from the matters treated of, which are holy and heavenly, or whether it be communicated unto it immediately by an impression of His authority upon it by whom it is given out, or whether it arise from both of them, all that are conversant in it with faith and reverence do find the truth of our assertion by experience. And Origen, amongst others, speaks excellently to this purpose:

    Fhsi< d j oJ qei~ov lo>gov , oujk au]tarkev ei+nai to< lego>menon (ka[n kat j aujto< ajlhqetaton ) prosqai ajnqrwpi>nhv yuch~v , ejanamiv tiqen doqh~| tw~| le>gonti , kai< ca>riv ejpanqh>sh| toi~v legome>noiv , kai< au[th oujk ajqeei< ejgginome>nh toi~v ajnusi>mwv le>gousi — “The holy Scripture teacheth us that what is spoken, though in itself it be true and fit to persuade, is not able to conquer the minds of men, unless power from God be communicated to the speaker, and grace [from him] do flourish in the things spoken themselves; and it is not without divine influence that they speak with efficacy.” Hence ariseth the spiritual, peculiar deino>thv of the divine writers, termed by St Paul ajpo>deixiv Pneu>matov kai< duna>mewv , — “the demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” And herein, as on other accounts, the “word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,” Hebrews 4:12; by which living energy and authority it evacuated and brought to nought all the wisdom in this world, — that is, all philosophical conceptions, with all the ornaments of eloquence and oratory. The excellent discourse of Austin on this subject, de Dectrina Christiana, lib. 4 cap. 6, is very well worthy consideration; whither I refer the reader, that I may not too far divert from my present particular design.

    Whatever hath been thus spoken concerning the style of the sacred Scripture in general, it is as applicable unto this Epistle unto the Hebrews as to any one portion of holy writ whatever. That simplicity, gravity, unaffectedness, suitableness to its author, matter, and end, which commend the whole unto us, are eminent in this part of it; that authority, efficacy, and energy, which are implanted on the whole by Him who supplied both sense and words unto the penmen of it, exert themselves in this Epistle also.

    No defect in any of these can be charged on it that should argue it of any other extract than the whole. Nothing so far singular as to be inconsistent with that harmony which, in all their variety, there is among the books of the holy Scripture, as to the style and kind of speech, is anywhere to be found in it. If anywhere, as in the beginning of the first chapter, the style seems to swell in its current above the ordinary banks of the writings of the New Testament, it is from the greatness and sublimity of the matter treated on, which was not capable of any other kind of expression. Doth the penman of it anywhere use words or phrases not commonly, or rarely, or perhaps nowhere else, used in the sense and way wherein they are by him applied? — it is because his matter is peculiar, and not elsewhere handled, at least not on the same principles nor to the same purpose as by him. Doth he oftentimes speak in an old testament dialect, pressing words and expressions to the service and sense they were employed in under the tabernacle and temple, after they had been manumitted, as it were, and made free from their typical importance in the service and spiritual sense of the gospel? — it is from the consideration of their state and condition with whom in an especial manner he had to do; and this in perfect harmony with the wisdom of the Holy Ghost in other portions of Scripture. So that on this account also its station in the holy canon is secured. 32. Moreover, besides the peculiar excellency which is found in the style of the holy Scripture, either evidencing its divine original, or at least manifesting that there is nothing in it unworthy of such an extract, the authority of its principal Author exerts itself in the whole of it unto the consciences of men. And herein is this Epistle an especial sharer also.

    Now, this authority, as it respects the minds of men, is in part an exsurgency of the holy matter contained in it and the heavenly manner wherein it is declared. They have in their conjunction a peculiar character, differencing this writing from all writings of a human original, and manifesting it to be of God. Neither can it otherwise be, but that things of divine revelation, expressed in words of divine suggestion and determination, will appear to be of a divine original. And partly it consists in an ineffable emanation of divine excellency, communicating unto his own word a distinguishing property, from its relation unto him. We speak not now of the work of the Holy Ghost in our hearts by his grace, enabling us to believe, but of his work in the word, rendering it credible and meet to be believed; not of the seal and testimony that he gives unto the hearts of individual persons of the truth of the Scripture, or rather of the things contained in it, but of the seal and testimony which in the Scripture he gives unto it and by it to be his own work and word. Such a character have the works of other agents, whereby they are known and discerned to be theirs. By such properties are the works of men discerned, and oftentimes of individuals amongst them. They bear the likeness of their authors, and are thereby known to be theirs. Neither is it possible that there should be any work of God proceeding so immediately from him as do writings by divine inspiration, but there will be such a communication of his Spirit and likeness unto it, such an impression of his greatness, holiness, goodness, truth, and majesty, upon it, as will manifest it to be from him. The false prophets of old pretended their dreams, visions, predictions, and revelations, to be from him. They prefixed µaun] , “He saith,” unto all the declarations of them, Jeremiah 23:31; and therefore doubtless framed them to as great a likeness unto those that were by inspiration from him as they were able: and yet the Lord declares that all their imaginations were as discernible from his word as chaff from wheat; and this by that authority and power wherewith his word is accompanied, whereof they were utterly destitute, verse 28, 29. And this authority do all they who have their senses exercised in it find and acknowledge in this Epistle, wherein their minds and consciences do acquiesce. They hear and understand the voice of God in it; and, by that Spirit which is promised unto them, discern it from the voice of a stranger . And when their minds are prepared and fortified against objections by the former considerations, this they ultimately resolve their persuasion of its divine authority into; for, — 33. From this authority they find a divine efficacy proceeding, a powerful operation upon their souls and consciences, unto all the ends of the Scripture. A reverence and awe of God, from his authority shining forth and exerting itself in it, being wrought in them, they find their minds effectually brought into captivity unto the obedience taught therein.

    This efficacy and power is in the whole word of God: “Is not my word like as a fire? saith theLORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29; that is, “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” Hebrew 4:12. As it hath an ejxousi>a , or “authority” over men, Matthew 7:29, so it hath a du>namiv , or “powerful efficacy” in and towards them, Acts 20:32, James 1:21: yea, it is the “power of God” himself for its proper end, Romans 1:16, and therefore said to be accompanied with the “demonstration of the Spirit and of power,” Corinthians 2:4; a demonstration uJpedouv thbasin e[lkousa , as Basil, — drawing the soul to consent beyond the efficacy of rational or logical arguments, or geometrical demonstrations, as he adds in the same place. And this divine power and efficacy of the word, as to all the ends of it, proceeding from the authority of God in it, with his designation of it unto those ends (which is that which giveth energy unto all things, enabling them to produce their proper effects, and setting limits and bounds to their operation), as it is testified unto in innumerable places of the Scripture itself, so it hath and doth sufficiently manifest and evidence itself, both in the fruits and effects of it on the souls of particular persons, and in that work which it hath wrought and doth yet carry on invisibly in the world, in despite of all the opposition that is made unto it by the power of hell, in conjunction with the unbelief, darkness, and lusts of the minds of men; as may elsewhere be more at large declared.

    A learned man said well, “Non monent, non persuadent sacrae literae, sed cogunt, agitant, vim inferunt; legis rudia verba et agrestia, sed viva, sed animata, flammea, aculeata, ad imum spiritum penetrantia, hominem totum potestate mirabili transformantia;” expressing the sum of what we discourse. From hence is all that supernatural light and knowledge, that conviction and restraint, that conversion, faith, consolation, and obedience, that are found amongst any of the sons of men.

    Pa~sa Grafh< , saith Basil, qeo>pneustov kai< wjfe>limov , dia< tou~to suggrafei~sa para< tou~ pneu>matov i[n j w[sper ejn koinw~| tw~n yucw~n ijatrei>w| , pa>ntev a]nqrwpoi to< i]ama tou~ oijkei>ou pa>qouv e[kastov ejklegw>meqa — “The whole Scripture is divinely inspired and profitable, being written by the Holy Ghost for this purpose, that in it, as a common healing office for souls, all men may choose the medicine suited to cure their own distempers.” Such is the nature, power, and efficacy of this Epistle, towards them that do believe. It searches their hearts, discovers their thoughts, principles their consciences, judges their acts inward and outward, supports their, spirits, comforts their souls, enlightens their minds, guides them in their hope, confidence, and love to God, directs them in all their communion with him and obedience unto him, and leads them to an enjoyment of him. And this work of the Holy Ghost in it and by it seals its divine authority unto them; so that they find rest, spiritual satisfaction, and great assurance therein. When once they have obtained this experience of its divine power, it is in vain for men or devils to oppose its canonical authority with their frivolous cavils and objections.

    Neither is this experience merely satisfactory to themselves alone, as is by some pretended. It is a thing pleadable, and that not only in their own defense, to strengthen their faith against temptations, but to others also; though not to atheistical scoffers, yet to humble inquirers, — which ought to be the frame of all men in the investigation of sacred truths. 34. Unto what hath been spoken we may add, that the canonical authority of this Epistle is confirmed unto us by catholic tradition. By this tradition I intend not the testimony only of the present church that is in the world, nor fancy a trust of a power to declare what is so in any church whatever; but a general, uninterrupted fame, conveyed and confirmed by particular instances, records, and testimonies, in all ages. In any other sense, how little weight there is to be laid upon traditions we have a pregnant instance in him who first began to magnify them. This was Papias, a contemporary of Polycarp, in the very next age after the apostles. Tradition of what was done or said by Christ or the apostles, what expositions they gave, he professed himself to set a high value upon, — equal to, if not above the Scripture. And two things are considerable in his search after them: — (1.) That he did not think that there was any church appointed to be the preserver and declarer of apostolical traditions, but made his inquiry of all the individual ancient men that he could meet withal who had conversed with any of the apostles. (2.) That, by all his pains, he gathered together a rhapsody of incredible stories, fables, errors, and useless curiosities. Such issue will the endeavors of men have who forsake the stable word of prophecy to follow rumors and reports, under the specious name of traditions! But this catholic fame whereof we speak, confirmed by particular instances and records in all ages, testifying unto a matter of fact, is of great importance.

    And how clearly this may be pleaded in our present case shall be manifested in our investigation of the penman of this Epistle.

    And thus, I hope, we have made it evident that this Epistle is not destitute of any one of those tekmh>ria , or infallible proofs and arguments whereby any particular book of the Scripture evinceth itself unto the consciences of men to be written by inspiration from God. It remaineth now to show that it is not liable unto any of those exceptions or arguments whereby any book or writing pretending a claim to a divine original, and canonical authority thereupon, may be convicted and manifested to be of another extract; whereby its just privilege will be on both sides secured. 35. The first consideration of this nature is taken from the author or penman of any such writing. The books of the Old Testament were all of them written by prophets or holy men inspired of God. Hence St Peter calls the whole of it Profhtei>a , “Prophecy,” 2 Peter 1:21, — prophecy delivered by men, acted or moved therein by the Holy Ghost.

    And though there be a distribution made of the several books of it, from the subject-matter, into the “Law, Prophets, and Psalms,” Luke 24:44, and often into the “Law and Prophets,” on the same account, as Acts 24:14, 26:22, Romans 3:21, yet their penmen being all equally prophets, the whole in general is ascribed unto them, and called “Prophecy,” Romans 1:2, 16:26; Luke 24:25; 2 Peter 1:19. So were the books of the New Testament written by apostles, or men endowed with an apostolical spirit; and in their work they were equally inspired by the Holy Ghost; whence the church is said to be “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone,” Ephesians 2:20.

    If, then, the author of any writing acknowledgeth himself, or may otherwise be convinced, to have been neither prophet nor apostle, nor endued with the same infallible Spirit with them, his work, how excellent soever otherwise it may appear, must needs be esteemed a mere fruit of his own skill, diligence, and wisdom, and not any way to belong unto the canon of the Scripture. This is the condition, for instance, of the second book of Maccabees. In the close of it, the author, being doubtful what acceptance his endeavors and manner of writing would find amongst his readers, makes his excuse, and affirms that he did his utmost to please them in his style and composition of his words. So he tells us before, chapter 2:23, that he did but epitomize the history of Jason the Cyrenean, wherein he took great pains and labor. The truth is, he who had before commended Judas Maccabaeus for offering sacrifices for the dead (which indeed he did not, but for the living), nowhere appointed in the law, and affirmed that Jeremiah hid the holy fire, ark, tabernacle, and altar of incense, in a cave; [who says] that the same person, Antiochus, was killed at Nanea in Persia chapter 1:16, and died in the mountains of torments in his bowels, as he was coming to Judea, chapter 9, whom the first book affirms to have died of sorrow at Babylon, chapter 6:16; and who affirms Judas to have written letters to Aristobulus in the one hundred and eighty-eighth year of the Seleucian empire, who was slain in the one hundred and fifty-second year of it, book 1 chapter 1:10, — that is, thirtysix years after his death! — with many other such mistakes and falsehoods; had no great need to inform us that he had no special divine assistance in his writing, but leaned unto his own understanding. But yet this he doth, and that openly, as we showed: for the Holy Ghost will not be an epitomizer of a profane writing, as he professeth himself to have been; nor make excuses for his weakness, nor declare his pains and sweat in his work, as he doth. And yet, to that pass are things brought in the world, by custom, prejudice, love of reputation, scorn to be esteemed mistaken in any thing, that many earnestly contend for this book to be written by divine inspiration, when the author of it himself openly professeth it to have been of another extract; for although this book be not only rejected out of the canon by the council of Laodicea, Jerome, f59 and others of the ancients, but by Gregory the Great, bishop of Rome, himself, yet the church of Rome would now by force thrust it thereinto.

    But were the author himself alive again, I am so well persuaded of his ingenuity and honesty, from the conclusion of his story, that [I am sure] they would never be able to make him say that he wrote by divine inspiration; and little reason, then, have we to believe it. Now, this Epistle is free from this exception. The penman of it doth nowhere intimate, directly or indirectly, that he wrote in his own strength or by his own ability; which yet if he had done, in an argument of that nature which he insisted on, [it] had been incumbent on him to have declared, that he might not lead the church into a pernicious error, in embracing that as given by inspiration from God which was but a fruit of his diligence and fallible endeavors. But, on the contrary, he speaks as in the name of God, referring unto him all that he delivers; nor can he, in any minute instance, be convicted to have wanted his assistance. 36. Circumstances of the general argument of a book may also convince it of a human or fallible original. This they do, for instance, in the book of Judith; — for such a Nabuchodonosor as should reign in Nineve, chapter 1:1, and make war with Arphaxad, king of Ecbatane, verse 13; whose captains and officers should know nothing at all of the nation of the Jews, chapter 5:3, that waged war against them in the days of Joakim (or, as other copies, Eliakim) the high priest, chapter 4:6; after whose defeat the Jews should have peace for eighty years at the least, chapter 16:23,25; is an imagination of that which never had subsistence “in rerum natura:” or [the book may be] a representation of what tydiWhy] , a Jewish woman ought, as the author of it conceived, to undertake for the good of her country. Setting aside the consideration of all other discoveries of the fallibility of the whole discourse, this alone is sufficient to impeach its reputation. Our Epistle is no way obnoxious unto any exception of this nature. Yea, the state of things in the churches of God, and among the Hebrews in particular, did at that time administer so just and full occasion unto a writing of this kind, as gives countenance unto its ascription unto the wisdom and care of the Holy Ghost. For if the eruption of the poisonous brood of heretics, questioning the deity of the Son of God, in Cerinthus, gave occasion to the writing of the Gospel by St John; and if the dissensions in the church of Corinth deserved two epistles for their composition; and if the lesser differences between believers of the Jews and Gentiles, in and about the things treated of in this Epistle, had a remedy provided for them in the epistles of St Paul unto them; is it not at least probable that the same Spirit who moved the penmen of those books to write, and directed them in their so doing, did also provide for the removal of the prejudices and healing of the distempers of the Hebrews, which were so great, and of so great importance unto all the churches of God? And that there is weight in this consideration will evidently appear, when we come to declare the time when this Epistle was written. 37. The most manifest eviction of any writing pretending unto the privilege of divine inspiration may be taken from the subject-matter of it, or the things taught and declared therein. God himself being the first and only essential Truth, nothing can proceed from him but what is absolutely so; and truth being but one, every way uniform and consonant unto itself, there can be no discrepancy in the branches of it, nor contrariety in the streams that flow from that one fountain. God is also holy, “glorious in holiness,” and nothing proceeds immediately from him but it bears a stamp of his holiness, as also of his greatness and wisdom. If, then, any thing in the subject-matter of any writing be untrue, impious, light, or any way contradictory to the ascertained writings of divine inspiration, all pleas and pretences unto that privilege must cease for ever. We need no other proof, testimony, or argument, to evince its original, than what itself tenders unto us. And by this means, also, do the books commonly called apocryphal, unto which the Romanists ascribe canonical authority, destroy their own pretensions. They have all of them, on this account, long since been cast out of the limits of any tolerable defense. Now, that no one portion of Scripture is less obnoxious to any exception of this kind, from the subjectmatter treated of and doctrines delivered in it, than this Epistle, we shall, by God’s assistance, manifest in our exposition of the whole and each particular passage of it. Neither is it needful that we should here prolong our discourse, by anticipating any thing that must necessarily afterwards, in its proper place, be insisted on. The place startled at by some, chapter 6, about the impossibility of the recovery of apostates, was touched on before, and shall afterwards be fully cleared. Nor do I know any other use to be made of observing the scruple of some of old, about the countenance given to the Novatians by that place, but only to make a discovery how partially men in all ages have been addicted unto their own apprehensions in things wherein they differed from others; for whereas, if the opinion of the Novatians had been confirmed in the place, as it is not, it had been their duty to have relinquished their own hypothesis and gone over unto them, some of them discovered a mind rather to have broken in upon the authority of God himself, declared in his word, than so to have done. And it, is greatly to be feared that the same spirit still working in others, is as effectual in them to reject the plain sense of the Scripture in sundry places, as it was ready to have been in them to reject the words of it in this. 38. The style and method of a writing may be such as to lay a just prejudice against its claim to canonical authority: for although the subject-matter of a writing may be good and honest in the main of it, and generally suited unto the analogy of faith, yet there may be, in the manner of its composure and writing, such an ostentation of wit, fancy, learning, or eloquence; such an affectation of words, phrases, and expressions; such rhetorical painting of things small and inconsiderable; as may sufficiently demonstrate human ambition, ignorance, pride, or desire of applause, to have been mixed in the forming and producing of it. Much of this Jerome observes, in particular concerning the book entitled the Wisdom of Solomon; written, as it is supposed, by Philo, an eloquent and learned man: “Redolet Graecam eloquentiam.” This consideration is of deserved moment in the judgment we are to make of the spring or fountain from whence any book doth proceed; for whereas great variety of style, and in manner of writing, may be observed in the penmen of canonical Scripture, yet in no one of them do the least footsteps of the failings and sinful infirmities of corrupted nature before mentioned appear. When, therefore, they manifest themselves, they cast out the writings wherein they are from that harmony and consent which in general appears amongst all the books of divine inspiration. Of the style of this Epistle we have spoken before. Its gravity, simplicity, majesty, and absolute suitableness unto the high, holy, and heavenly mysteries treated of in it, are, as far as I can find, not only very evident, but also by all acknowledged, who are able to judge of them. 39. Want of catholic tradition in all ages of the church, from the first giving forth of any writing testifying unto its divine original, is another impeachment of its pretense unto canonical authority. And this argument ariseth fatally against the apocryphal books before mentioned. Some of them are expressly excluded from the canon by many of the ancient churches, nor are any of them competently testified unto.

    The suffrage of this kind given unto our Epistle we have mentioned before.

    The doubts and scruples of some about it have likewise been acknowledged. That they are of no weight, to be laid in the balance against the testimony given unto it, might easily be demonstrated. But because they were levied all of them principally against its author, and but by consequence against its authority, I shall consider them in a disquisition about him; wherein we shall give a further confirmation of the divine original of the Epistle, by proving it undeniably to be written by the apostle St Paul, that eminent penman of the Holy Ghost. 40. Thus clear stands the canonical authority of this Epistle. It is destitute of no evidence needful for the manifestation of it, nor is it obnoxious unto any just exception against its claim to that privilege. And hence it is come to pass, that, whatever have been the fears, doubts, and scruples of some; the rash, temerarious objections, conjectures, and censures of others; the care and providence of God over it, as a parcel of his most holy word, working with the prevailing evidence of its original implanted in it, and its spiritual efficacy unto all the ends of holy Scripture, hath obtained an absolute conquest over the hearts and minds of all that believe, and settled it in a full possession of canonical authority in all the churches of Christ throughout the world.

    SUBSIDIARY NOTE ON EXERCITATION I. BY THE EDITOR. IT will be seen that Dr Owen, in his proof of the canonical authority of the Epistle to the Hebrews, relies chiefly upon internal evidence. After a definition of canonicity, according to which it is represented as including two elements, — the origin of the document for which canonical authority is claimed, as a divine communication to man; and the design of it, as intended to be a permanent and universal rule to the church: and after a historical summary of the different parties by whom the Epistle has been positively rejected, or not expressly owned as canonical: he refutes four objections which have been urged against its authority, — the uncertainty respecting its author; quotations alleged in the Epistle to be taken from the Old Testament Scriptures, but not found in them; quotations from the Old Testament Scriptures which are not to the purpose of the author; and passages which appear to sanction exploded heresies. He then argues from three criteria of Eusebius in proof of its canonicity, — its subject-matter, its design, and its prevailing spirit or style. He supplements his argument by an appeal to catholic tradition.

    His subsequent Exercitation, proving that Paul was the author of the Epistle, yields further evidence of its canonical authority, the canonicity of a book resting generally on the fact of its apostolic origin; and under a discussion of its Pauline authorship, the question of the right of the Epistle to a place in the canon has frequently been considered.

    Independently, however, of the question of its authorship, there are external evidences of its canonical authority, on which, in modern times, considerable stress has been justly placed: — 1. The ANTIQUITY of the document, as it appears to have been written while the rites and worship of the temple were still in existence, Hebrews 9:9,25; Hebrews 8:5; and because the argument contained in it against temptations to apostasy supposes the continued performance of those rites in the Jewish temple by which the converts might be induced to relapse into their previous Judaism. 2. The quotations from the Epistle to the Hebrews by CLEMENT of Rome, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, which was written before the close of the first century, and most probably about A.D. 96. These quotations are numerous, and are arranged by Moses Stuart into four classes, according to the degree of their correspondence with the original Epistle from which they were taken. They prove more than the existence of the Epistle antecedently to A.D. 96. Clement, in the 36th chapter of his epistle, introduces a quotation from Scripture under the common formula that bespeaks an appeal to divine authority: Ge>graptai galouv auJtou~ pneu>mata , kai< touga . Was this quotation taken by Clement from <19A404> Psalm 104:4, or from Hebrew 1:7? If from the latter, the formula with which it is introduced proves the canonical authority of the Epistle from which it is taken. Bleek and Tholuck contend that the quotation is taken directly from the psalm; Stuart and Davidson, that it is from the Epistle to the Hebrews, arguing that, from the context in the passage from Clement, his design in using the formula, Ge>graptai gaHebrews 1:3. 3. JUSTIN MARTYR, A.D. 140, has the following passage in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Ou=tov ejstin oJ kata< thxin Melcisedeniov iJereustou uJpa>rcwn. Elsewhere he calls Christ, aijw>nion tou~ Qeou~ iJere>a kai< basile>k , kai< Cristollonta gi>nesqai , and Apolog. 1 p. 95, he says of Christ, Kai< a]ggelov de< kalei~tai kai< ajpo>stolov . Nowhere but in the Epistle to the Hebrews do we find such epithets applied to Christ as a “priest after the order of Melchizedek,” the “king of Salem,” an “eternal priest,” “angel and apostle.” And, 4. The Epistle to the Hebrews is contained in thePESHITO, or old Syriac version, which is ascribed to the second century. “When we consider,” says Davidson, “that the Peshito wanted several epistles which were not generally received as authentic so soon as the other books, the fact in question forms an important part of the early evidence favorable to our Epistle’s canonical reputation.”

    It must further be borne in mind, that those who discredit the Pauline authorship of the Epistle are not necessarily to be held as impugning its canonicity. Olshausen and Tholuck are decided in maintaining the latter, although both, with Luther, suppose Apollos to have been the author of the Epistle. Olshausen maintains its canonical authority, — 1. Because we cannot, except on the supposition that Paul had an essential share in the composition of it, explain the remarkable circumstance, that the entire oriental church attributed it to Paul; 2. Because, though the style is not that of Paul, the tenor of the ideas bears a resemblance, not to be mistaken, to the writings which are acknowledged to be his; and, 3. Because, on this supposition, all the circumstances in regard to the Epistle are explained, the western church knowing that Paul was not its author, and therefore not using it much, though not rejecting it, the eastern recognising the essential influence he exerted over its composition, though the truths contained in it were presented through the medium of a faithful disciple like Apollos.


    OF THE PENMAN OF THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 1. Knowledge of the penman of any part of Scripture not necessary — Some of them utterly concealed — The word of God gives authority unto them that deliver it, not the contrary — Prophets, in things wherein they are not actually inspired, subject to mistakes. 2. St Paul the writer of this Epistle — The hesitation of Origen — Heads of evidence. 3. Uncertainty of them who assign any other author. 4. St Luke not the writer of it; 5. Nor Barnabas. The Epistle under his name counterfeit — His writing of this Epistle by sundry reasons disproved. 6. Not Apollos; 7. Nor Clemens; 8. Nor Tertullian. 9. Objections against St Paul’s being the penman — Dissimilitude of style — Admitted by the ancients. 10. Answer of Origen rejected; of Clemens, Jerome, etc., rejected likewise. 11. St Paul, in what sense ijdiw>thv tw~| lo>gw|. 12. His eloquence and skill. 13. Causes of the difference in style between this and his other epistles. 14. Coincidence of expressions in it and them. 15. The Epistle ajnepi>grafov. 16. Answer of Jerome rejected; 17. Of Theodoret; 18. Of Chrysostom — Prejudice of the Jews against St Paul not the cause of the forbearance [i.e., withholding] of his name. 19. The true reason thereof — The Hebrews’ church-state not changed — Faith evangelical educed from Old Testament principles and testimonies — These pressed on the Hebrews; not mere apostolical authority. 20. Hesitation of the Latin church about this Epistle answered — Other exceptions from the Epistle itself removed. 21. Arguments to prove St Paul to be the writer of it — Testimony of St Peter, 2 Peter 3:15,16 — Considerations upon that testimony — The second Epistle of St Peter written to the same persons with the first — The first written unto the Hebrews in their dispersion — Diaspora>, what. 22. St Paul wrote an Epistle unto the same persons to whom Peter wrote — That, this Epistle; not that to the Galatians; not one lost. 23. The “long-suffering of God,” how declared to be “salvation” in this Epistle. 24. The wisdom ascribed unto St Paul in the writing of this Epistle, wherein it appears — The dusno>hta of it — Weight of this testimony. 25. The suitableness of this Epistle unto those of the same author — Who competent judges hereof — What required thereunto. 26. Testimony of the first churches, or catholic tradition. 27. Evidences from this Epistle itself — The general argument and scope – Method — Way of arguing — All the same with St Paul’s other Epistles — Skill in Judaical learning, traditions, and customs, proper to St Paul — His bonds and sufferings — His companion Timothy — His sign and token subscribed. 1. THE divine authority of the Epistle being vindicated, it is of no great moment to inquire seriously after its penman. Writings that proceed from divine inspiration receive no addition of authority from the reputation or esteem of them by whom they were written; and this the Holy Ghost hath sufficiently manifested by shutting up the names of many of them from the knowledge of the church in all ages. The close of the Pentateuch hath an uncertain penman, unless we shall suppose, with some of the Jews, that it was written by Moses after his death! Divers of the psalms have their penmen concealed, as also have the whole books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Ruth, Esther, Job; and the Chronicles are but guessed at.

    Had any prejudice unto their authority ensued, this had not been. [As] for those whose authors are known, they were not esteemed to be given by prophecy because they were prophets, but they were known to be prophets by the word which they delivered: for if the word delivered, or written, by any of the prophets, was to be esteemed sacred or divine because delivered or written by such persons as were known to be prophets; then it must be because they were some other way known so to be, and divinely inspired, as by working of miracles, or that they were in their days received and testified unto as such by the church. But neither of these can be asserted. For as it is not known that any one penman of the Old Testament, Moses only excepted, ever wrought any miracles, so it is certain that the most and chiefest of them (as the prophets) were rejected and condemned by the church of the days wherein they lived. The only way, therefore, whereby they were proved to be prophets was by the word itself which they delivered and wrote; and thereon depended the evidence and certainty of their being divinely inspired. See Amos 7:14-17; Jeremiah 23:25-31. And, setting aside that actual inspiration by the Holy Ghost which they had for the declaration and writing of that word of God which came unto them in particular, the prophets themselves were subject to mistakes. So was Samuel, when he thought Eliab should have been the Lord’s anointed, 1 Samuel 16:6; and Nathan, when he approved the purpose of David to build the temple, 1 Chronicles 17:2; and the great Elijah when he supposed none left in Israel that worshipped God aright but himself, 1 Kings 19:14,18. It was, then, as we said, the word of prophecy that gave the writers of it the reputation and authority of prophets; and their being prophets gave not authority to the word they declared, or wrote as a word of prophecy. Hence an anxious inquiry after the penman of any part of the Scripture is not necessary.

    But whereas there want not evidences sufficient to discover who was the writer of this Epistle, whereby also the exceptions made unto its divine original may be finally obviated, they also shall be taken into consideration. A subject this is wherein many learned men, of old and of late, have exercised themselves, until this single argument is grown up into entire and large treatises; and I shall only take care that the truth, which hath been already strenuously asserted and vindicated, may not again, by this review, be rendered dubious and questionable. 2. St Paul it is by whom we affirm this Epistle to be written. It is acknowledged that this was so highly questioned of old, that Origen, after the examination of it, concludes, To< meGod only knows.” However, he acknowledgeth that oiJ ajrcai~oi , “the ancients,” owned it to be written by Paul, and that, he says, not without good reason; whereas the ascription of it unto any other he assigns unto a bare report. It may not, then, be expected that now, after so long a season, the truth of our assertion should be so manifestly evinced as to give absolute satisfaction unto all (which is a vain thing for any man to aim at in a subject wherein men suppose that they have a liberty of thinking what they please); yet I doubt not, but that it will appear not only highly probable, but so full of evidence, in comparison of any other opinion that is or hath been promoted in competition with it, as that some kind of blamable pertinaciousness may be made to appear in its refusal. Now, the whole of what I shall offer in the proof of it may be reduced unto these six heads: — (1.) The manifest failure of all them who have endeavored to assign it unto any other penman; (2.) The insufficiency of the arguments insisted on to disprove our assertion; (3.) Testimony given unto it in other scriptures; (4.) Considerations taken from the writing itself, compared with other acknowledged writings of the same author; (5.) The general suffrage of antiquity, or ecclesiastical tradition; (6.) Reasons taken from sundry circumstances relating unto the Epistle itself. Now, as all these evidences are not of the same nature, nor of equal force, so some of them will be found very cogent, and all of them together very sufficient to free our assertion from just question or exception. 3. First, The uncertainty of them who question whether Paul were the writer of this Epistle, and their want of probable grounds in assigning it unto any other, hath some inducement in it to leave it unto him whose of old it was esteemed to be; for when once men began to take to themselves a liberty of conjecture in this matter, they could neither make an end themselves, nor fix any bounds unto the imagination of others. Having once lost its true author, no other could be asserted with any such evidence, or indeed probability, but that instantly twenty more, with as good grounds and reasons, might be entitled unto it. Accordingly, sundry persons have been named, all upon the same account, — that some thought good to name them; and why should not one man’s authority, in this matter, be as good as another’s ? 4. Origen, in Eusebius, affirms that some supposed LUKE to have been the author of this Epistle; but neither doth he approve their opinion, nor mention what reasons they pretend for it. He adds also, that some esteemed it to be written by Clemens of Rome. Clemens of Alexandria allows St Paul to be the author of it; but supposeth it might be translated by Luke, because, as he saith, the style of it is not unlike that of his in the Acts of the Apostles. Grotius of late contends for Luke to be the author of it on the same account; but the instances which he gives rather argue a coincidence of some words and phrases than a similitude of style, which things are very different. Jerome also tells us that “juxta quosdam videtur esse Lucae evangelistae,” — “by some it was thought to be written by Luke the evangelist;” which he took from Clemens, Origen, and Eusebius; only he mentions nothing of the similitude of style with that of St Luke, but afterwards informs us that, in his judgment, there is a great conformity in style between this Epistle and that of Clemens Romanus.

    None of them acquaint us who were the authors or approvers of this conjecture, nor do they give any credit themselves unto it; neither is there any reason of this opinion reported by them, but only that intimated by Clemens, of the agreement of the style with that of the Acts of the Apostles (which yet is not allowed by Jerome); whereon he doth not ascribe the writing, but only the translation of it, unto Luke. Grotius alone contends for him to be the author of it, and that with this only argument, that sundry words are used in the same sense by St Luke and the writer of this Epistle; but that this observation is of no moment shall afterwards be declared.

    This opinion, then, may be well rejected as a groundless guess, of an obscure, unknown original, and not tolerably confirmed either by testimony or circumstances of things. If we will forego a persuasion established on so many important considerations, as we shall manifest this of St Paul’s being the author of this Epistle to be, and confirmed by so many testimonies, upon every arbitrary, ungrounded conjecture, we may be sure never to find rest in any thing that we are rightly persuaded of. But I shall add one consideration, that will cast this opinion of Grotius quite out of the limits of probability. By general consent, this Epistle was written whilst James was yet alive, and presided in the church of the Hebrews at Jerusalem; and I shall afterwards prove it so to have been.

    What was his authority as an apostle, what his reputation in that church, is both known in general from the nature of his office , and in particular is intimated in the Scripture, Acts 12:17, 15:13; Galatians 2:9. These were the Hebrews whose instruction in this Epistle is principally intended; and by their means that of their brethren in the eastern dispersion of them. Now, is it reason to imagine that any one who was not an apostle, but only a scholar and follower of them, should be used to write unto that church, wherein so great an apostle, a “pillar” among them, had his especial residence, and did actually preside; and that, in an argument of such huge importance, with reasons against a practice wherein they were all engaged, yea, that apostle himself, as appears, Galatians 2:12? Were any one then alive of more esteem and reputation in the church than others, certainly he was the fittest to be used in this employment; and how well all things of this nature agree unto St Paul, we shall see afterwards. 5. Some have assigned the writing of this Epistle untoBARNABAS.

    Clemens, Origen, Eusebius, make no mention of him. Tertullian was the author of this opinion, and it is reported as his by Jerome Philastrius f71 also remembers the report of it. And it is of late defended by Cameron f72 (as the former concerning Luke by Grotius); whose reasons for his conjecture are confuted with some sharpness by Spanheim, mindful, as it seems, of his father’s controversy with some of his scholars. The authority of Tertullian is the sole foundation of this opinion; but as the book wherein he mentions it was written in his paroxysm, when he uttered not that only unadvisedly, so he seems not to lay much weight on the Epistle itself, only preferring it unto the apocryphal Hermes: “Receptior,” saith he, “apud ecclesias epistola Barnabae illo apocrypho Pastore Moechorum.” And we have showed that the Latin church was, for a time, somewhat unacquainted with this Epistle, so that it is no marvel if one of them should mistake its author. Grotius would disprove this opinion from the dissimilitude of its style, and that which goes under the name of Barnabas, which is corrupt and barbarous. But there is little weight in that observation, that epistle being certainly spurious, no way savoring the wisdom or spirit of him on whom it hath been vulgarly imposed. But yet, that it was that epistle which is cited by some of the ancients under the name of Barnabas, and not this unto the Hebrews, is well proved by Baronius, from the names that Jerome mentions out of that epistle, which are nowhere to be found in this to the Hebrews. But that epistle of Barnabas is an open fruit of that vanity, which prevailed in many about the third and fourth ages of the church, of personating in their writings some apostolical persons; wherein they seldom or never kept any good decorum, as might easily be manifested in this particular instance. As to our present case, the reason before mentioned is of the same validity against this as [against] the other opinion concerning Luke; whereunto others of an equal evidence may be added. Barnabas was not an apostle, properly and strictly so called, nor had apostolical mission or authority; but rather seems to have been one of the seventy disciples, as Epiphanius affirms. And Eusebius, a person less credulous than he, acknowledging that a just and true catalogue of them could not be given, yet placeth Barnabas as the first of them concerning whom all agreed. Much weight, indeed, I shall not lay hereon, seeing it is evident that the catalogues, given us by the ancients of those disciples, are nothing but a rude collection of such names as they found in the books of the New Testament, applied without reason or testimony. But apostle he was none.

    Many circumstances also concur to the removal of this conjecture. The Epistle was written in Italy, chapter 13:24, where it doth not appear that Barnabas ever was. The fabulous author, I confess, of the rhapsody called “The Recognitions of Clemens,” tells us that Barnabas went to Rome, taking Clemens along with him; and, returning into Judea, found St Peter at Caesarea. But St Luke in the Acts gives us another account, both where Barnabas was and how he was employed, at the time intimated by him who knew nothing of those things; for whilst St Peter was at Caesarea, Acts 10:1, etc., Barnabas was at Jerusalem, Acts 9:26,27, being a little while after sent to Antioch by the apostles, chapter 11:22. Again, Timothy was the companion of the writer of this Epistle, Hebrews 13:23; a person, as far as appears, unknown unto Barnabas, being taken into St Paul’s society after their difference and separation, Acts 15:37-39, Acts 16:1-3. He had also been in bonds or imprisonment, Hebrews 10:34, whereof we cannot at that time learn any thing concerning Barnabas, those of St Paul being known unto all. And, lastly, not long before the writing of this Epistle, Barnabas was so far from that light into, and apprehension of the nature, use, and expiration of Judaical rites herein expressed, that he was easily misled into a practical miscarriage in the observation of them, Galatians 2:13; wherein although some (after Jerome’s fancy, that the difference between St Peter and St Paul was only in pretence ) have labored to free St Peter and his companions on other grounds from any sinful failing, — as it should seem in a direct opposition unto the testimony of St Paul, affirming that kategnwsme>nov h+n , in that particular “he was to be blamed” or condemned, verse 11, not unlike him who hath written a justification of Aaron in his making the golden calf, — yet that Barnabas was not come up unto any constancy in his practice about Mosaical institutions is evident from the text. And shall we suppose that he who but a little before, upon the coming of some few brethren of the church of Jerusalem from St James, durst not avouch and abide by his own personal liberty, but deserted the use of it, not without some blamable dissimulation, verse 13, should now, with so much authority, write an Epistle unto that church with St James, and all the Hebrews in the world, concurring with them in judgment and practice about that very thing wherein himself, out of respect unto them, had particularly miscarried? This certainly was rather the work of St Paul, whose light and constancy in the doctrine delivered in this Epistle, with his engagement in the defense of it above all the rest of the apostles, are known from the story of the Acts and his own other writings. 6. APOLLOS hath been thought by some to be the penman of this Epistle, and that because it answers the character given of him; for it is said that he was “an eloquent man, mighty in the Scriptures,” fervent in spirit, and one that “mightily convinced the Jews” out of the Scripture itself, Acts 18:24,28, — all which things appear throughout this whole discourse. But this conjecture hath no countenance from antiquity, no mention being made of any epistle written by Apollos, or of any thing else; so that he is not reckoned by Jerome amongst the ecclesiastical writers, nor by those who interpolated that work with some fragments out of Sophronius. Nor is he reported, by Clemens, Origen, or Eusebius, to have been by any esteemed the author of this Epistle. However, I confess somewhat of moment might have been apprehended in the observation mentioned, if the excellencies ascribed unto Apollos had been peculiar unto him; yea, had they not all of them been found in St Paul, and that in a manner and degree more eminent than in the other. But this being so, the ground of this conjecture is taken from under it. 7. Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome, in the places forecited, mention a report concerning some who ascribed this Epistle untoCLEMENS ROMANUS.

    None of them give any countenance unto it, or intimate any grounds of that supposition; only Jerome affirms that there is some similitude between the style of this Epistle and that of Clemens, which occasioned the suspicion of his translating it; whereof afterwards. Erasmus hath since taken up that report, and seems to give credit unto it; but hath not contributed any thing of reason or testimony unto its confirmation. A worthy, holy man was this Clemens, no doubt, and bishop of the church at Rome. But none of the ancients of any learning or judgment ever laid weight on this conjecture. For what had he, who was a convert from among the Gentiles, to do with the churches of the Hebrews? what authority had he to interpose himself in that which was their peculiar concernment? Whence may it appear that he had that skill in the nature, use, and end of Mosaical rites and institutions, which the writer of this Epistle discovers in himself? Neither doth that epistle of his to the church of Corinth, which is yet extant, though excellent in its kind, permit us to think that he wrote by divine inspiration. Besides, the author of this Epistle had a desire and purpose to go to the Hebrews; yea, he desires to be “restored” unto them, as one that had been with them before, chapter 13:19, 23. But as it doth not appear that this Clemens was ever in Palestine, so what reason he should have to leave his own charge now to go thither, no man can imagine. And to end this needless debate, in that epistle which was truly his own, he makes use of the words and authority of this, as Eusebius long since observed. 8. Sixtus Senensis affirms that the work whose author we inquire after was by some assigned untoTERTULLIAN. A fond and impious imagination, and such as no man of judgment or sobriety could ever fall into! This Epistle was famous in the churches before Tertullian was born; is ascribed by himself unto Barnabas; and some passages in it are said by him to be corrupted by one Theodotus long before his time. From the uncertainty of these conjectures, with the evidence of reason and circumstances whereby they are disproved, two things we seem to have obtained; — first, That no objection on their account can arise against our assertion; and, secondly, That if St Paul be not acknowledged to be the writer of this Epistle, the whole church of God is, and ever was, at a total loss whom to ascribe it unto. And it may reasonably be expected that the weakness of these conjectures should, if not add unto, yet set off the credibility of the reasons and testimonies which shall be produced in the assignment of it unto him. 9. The objections that are laid by some against our assignation of this Epistle unto St Paul, according unto the order proposed, are nextly to be considered. These I shall pass through with what briefness I can, so as not to be wanting unto the defensative designed.

    First, Dissimilitude of style, and manner of writing, from that used by St Paul in his other epistles, is pressed in the first place, and principally insisted on; and indeed it is the whole of what, with any color of reason, is made use of in this cause. This the ancients admitted. The elegance, propriety of speech, and sometimes loftiness, that occur in this Epistle, difference it, as they say, from those of St Paul’s writing. Dokei~ melou dia< carakth~ra , saith OEcumenius; — “It seems not to be St Paul’s, because of the style or character of speech.” For this cause Clemens of Alexandria supposed it to be written in Hebrew, and to be translated into Greek by St Luke the evangelist; the style of it, as he says, being like unto that which is used in the Acts of the Apostles; and yet that is acknowledged by all to be purely Greek, whereas this is accused to be full of Hebraisms! So little weight is to be laid on these critical censures, wherein learned men perpetually contradict one another.

    Origen also confesseth that it hath not in its character to< ijdiwtikogw| , the “idiotism,” or propriety of the language of St Paul, who acknowledgeth himself to be ijdiw>thv tw~| lo>gw| , 2 Corinthians 11:6, “rude in speech:” and this Epistle is, saith he, ejn sunqe>sei th~v le>xewv JEllhnikote>ra , “in the composition of its speech elegantly Greek,” in comparison of his; which, if we may believe him, any one will discern who can judge between the difference of styles. And Jerome: “Scripserat autem ad Hebraeos Hebraice, id est suo eloquio dissertissime; ut ea quae eloquenter scripta fuerant in Hebraeo eloquentius verterentur in Graecum; et hanc causam esse quod a caeteris Pauli epistolis discrepare videatur;” — “It seems to differ from the rest of St Paul’s epistles because of its translation out of Hebrew;” wherein he speaks not with his wonted confidence. And elsewhere he says that the style of this Epistle seems to be like that of Clemens. Erasmus presseth this objection. “Restat,” saith he, “jam argumentum illud quo non aliud certius, stylus ipse et orationis character, qui nihil habet affinitatis cum phrasi Paulina;” — “The style and character of speech have no affinity with the phrase of St Paul.” This consideration also drew Calvin into the same opinion; and it is insisted on by Cameron and Grotius to the same purpose. The sum of this objection is, that St Paul was “rude in speech,” which is manifest in his other epistles; but the style of this is pure, elegant, florid, such as hath no affinity with his: so that he cannot be esteemed the penman of it. 10. As this objection was taken notice of by them of old, and the matter of it admitted as true, so because they constantly adhered to the assignation of it unto St Paul, they gave sundry answers unto it. Origen gives us his judgment, that the sense and subject-matter of this Epistle were from St Paul, which are excellent, and no way inferior to those of the same apostle in any other epistles, as every one exercised in the reading of his epistles will grant; but the structure and phrase of it he supposeth to have been the work of some other, who, taking the dictates of his master, from thence composed this Epistle. But this answer can by no means be admitted of, nor accommodated unto any writing given by divine inspiration: for not only the matter but the very words of their writings were suggested unto his penmen by the Holy Ghost (that the whole might have no influence from human frailty or fallibility); which alone renders the authority of their writings sacred and divine. But this intimation would resolve the truth in this Epistle into the care and diligence of him that took the sense of St Paul, and thence composed it; wherein he was liable to mistakes, unless we shall vainly suppose that he also was inspired. Wherefore they who admitted of this objection generally gave the answer unto it before intimated, namely, that the Epistle was originally written in Hebrew by St Paul, and translated by some other into the Greek language. So OEcumenius:

    Tou~ mecqai toa? proouv th~| sfw~n diale>ktw| grafei~sa u\steron meqermhveuqh~nai le>getai — “The cause of the alteration or difference of style in this Epistle is manifest; for it is said to be written unto the Hebrews in their own language, and to be afterwards translated.” Jerome and Clemens also incline to this opinion and answer: and Theophylact, though, following Theodoret, he egregiously confutes them who deny St Paul to be the author of this Epistle, from the excellency, efficacy, and irrefragable power and authority wherewith it is accompanied, yet admits of this objection, and answers, with others, that it was translated by St Luke or Clemens Only Chrysostom, who indeed is pollw~n ajnta>xiov , without taking notice of the pretended dissimilitude of style, ascribes it directly to St Paul. But to this answer incline generally the divines of the Roman church, as Catharinus, Bellarminus, Baronius, Cornelius a Lapide, f95 Canus, Mattheus Galenus, Ludovicus Tena, and others without number; though it be rejected by Estius, and some others among themselves. What is to be thought of it, we shall afterwards consider in a dissertation designed unto that purpose. For the present, we affirm that it is no way needful as an answer unto the objection insisted on, as we shall now further particularly manifest. 11. The foundation of this objection lies in St Paul’s acknowledgment that he was ijdiw>thv tw~| lo>gw|, — “ rude in speech,” 2 Corinthians 11:6.

    This Origen presseth, and Jerome takes occasion hence to censure his skill in his mother tongue; for so was the Greek unto them that were born at Tarsus in Cilicia, and this was the place of St Paul’s nativity: though the same Jerome, from I know not what tradition, affirms that he was born at Giscalis, a town of Galilee, from whence he went afterwards with his parents to Tarsus; contrary to his own express testimony, Acts 22:3, “I verily was born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia.”

    But this seems an infirm foundation for the objection insisted on. Paul in that place is dealing with the Corinthians about the false teachers who seduced them from the simplicity of the gospel. The course which they took to ensnare them was vain, affected eloquence, and strains of rhetoric unbecoming the work they pretended to be engaged in. Puffed up with this singularity, they contemned St Paul as a rude, unskillful person, no way able to match them in their fine declamations. In answer hereunto, he first tells them that it became not him to use sofi>an lo>gou , 1 Corinthians 1:17, — that “wisdom of words,” or speech, which orators flourished withal; or dida>ktouv ajnqrwpi>nhv sofi>av lo>gouv, chapter 2:13, — “the words that man’s wisdom teacheth,” or an artificial composition of words, to entice thereby, which he calls uJperochgou , chapter <460201> 2:1.

    And many reasons he gives why it became him not to make use of those things, so as to make them his design, as the seducers and false apostles did. Again, he answers by concession in this place, Eij de< kai< ijdiw>thv tw~| lo>gw| , — “ Suppose I be (or were) hide or unskillful in speech, doth this matter depend thereon? Is it not manifest unto you that I am not so in the knowledge of the mystery of the gospel?” “He doth not confess that he is so,” saith Austin, “but grants it for their conviction.” And in this sense concur OEcumenius, Aquinas, Lyra, Catharinus, Clarius, and Cappellus, with many others on the place. If, then, by lo>gov here, that seducing, enticing rhetoric wherewith the false teachers entangled the affections of their unskillful hearers be intended, as we grant that St Paul, it may be, was unskillful in it, and are sure that he would make no use of it, so it is denied that any footsteps of it appear in this Epistle; and if any thing of solid, convincing, unpainted eloquence be intended in it, it is evident that St Paul neither did nor justly could confess himself unacquainted with it; only he made a concession of the objection made against him by the false teachers, to manifest how they could obtain no manner of advantage thereby. 12. Neither are the other epistles of St Patti written in so low and homely a style as is pretended. Chrysostom, speaking of him, tells us, Jypetou glw>tta , and that for his eloquence he was esteemed Mercury by the Gentiles. Somewhat hath been spoken hereunto before, whereunto I shall now only add the words of a person who was no incompetent judge in things of this nature. “Quum,” saith he, “orationis ipsius totam indolem et carakth~ra propius considero, nullam ego in ipso Platone similem grandiloquentiam, quoties illi libuit Dei mysteria detonare; nullam in Demosthene parem deino>thta comperisse me fateor, quoties animos vel metu divini judicii perterrefacere, vel commonefacere, vel ad contemplandam Dei bonitatem attrahere, vel ad pietatis ac misericordiae officia constituit adhortari: nullam denique vel in ipso Aristotele et Galeno, praestantissimis alioquin artificibus, magis exactam docendi methodum invenio;” — “When I well consider the genius and character of the speech and style of this apostle, I confess I never found that grandeur in Plato himself as in him, when he thundereth out the mysteries of God; nor that gravity and vehemency in Demosthenes as in him, when he intends to terrify the minds of men with a dread of the judgments of God, or would warn them or draw them to the contemplation of his goodness, or the performance of the duties of piety and mercy; nor do I find a more exact method of teaching in those great and excellent masters, Aristotle and Galen, than in him.” So it is plainly; so the Greek fathers almost with one consent do testify; so do most of the Latins also; so the best learned of the later critics; and so may it be defended against any opposition. And Jerome himself, who takes most liberty to censure his style, doth so far in other places forget his own temerity therein as to cry out against those who “dreamed,” as he speaks, that St Paul was not thoroughly acquainted with all propriety of speech. And he who was the first that ever spake a word about any defect of this kind, though as able to judge as any one whatever who hath since passed his censure unto the same purpose, was in an evident mistake in the very instance which he pitched on to confirm his observation. This was Irenaeus, one of the first and most learned of the Greek fathers: for, affirming that there are many hyperbata in the style of this apostle, which render it uneven and difficult, he confirms his assertion with an instance in 2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not;” for saith he, “The words should naturally have been thus placed, ‘In whom God hath blinded the minds of them that in this world believe not.’” So, to obviate a foolish sophism in the Valentinians, a hyperbaton must be supposed in the apostle’s style, when indeed there is not the least color of it. Upon the whole matter, then, I shall confidently assert, that there is no manner of defect in any of his writings, and that every thing (considering the matter and nature of it, the Person in whose name he spake, and those to whom he wrote) is expressed as it ought to be for the end proposed, and not otherwise. And hence it is that, because of the variety of the subject-matter treated of, and difference among the persons to whom he wrote, there is also variety in his way and manner of expressing himself in sundry of his epistles; and in many of them there is such a discovery and manifestation of solid eloquence and pure elegancy of speech, that the observation of them in any writing is far from having any weight to prove it none of his. 13. It may, then, be granted, though it be not proved, that there is some dissimilitude of style between this and the rest of the epistles of St Paul; and the reasons of it are sufficiently manifest. The argument treated of in this Epistle is diverse from that of most of the others; many circumstances in those to whom he wrote singular; the spring of his reasonings and way of his arguings peculiarly suited unto his subject-matter and the condition of those unto whom he wrote. Besides, in the writing of this Epistle there was in him an especial frame and incitation of spirit, occasioned by many occurrences relating unto it. His intense love and near relation in the flesh unto them to whom he wrote, affectionately remembered by himself, and expressed in a manner inimitable, Romans 9:1-3, did doubtless exert itself in his treating about their greatest and nearest concernment. The prejudices and enmity of some of them against him, recorded in several places of the Acts, and remembered by himself in some other of his epistles, lay also under his consideration. Much of the subject that he treated about was matter of controversy, which was to be debated from the Scripture, and wherein those with whom he dealt thought they might dissent from him without any prejudice to their faith or obedience. Their condition also must needs greatly affect him. They were now not only under present troubles, dangers, and fears, but “positi inter sacrum et saxum,” at the very door of ruin, if not delivered from the snare of obstinate adherence unto Mosaical institutions. Now, they who know not what alterations in style and manner of writing these things will produce, in those who have an ability to express the conceptions of their minds and the affections wherewith they are attended, know nothing of this matter.

    And other differences from the rest of Paul’s epistles, but what may evidently be seen to arise from these and the like causes, none have yet discovered, nor can so do. And notwithstanding the elegancy of the style pretended, that it is as full of Hebraisms as any other epistle of the same author, we shall discover in our passage through it; which certainly a person of that ability in the Greek tongue as the writer of this Epistle discovers himself to be might have avoided, if he had thought meet so to do. 14. Neither is it to be omitted that there is such a coincidence in many phrases, use of words and expressions, between this Epistle and the rest of St Paul’s, as will not allow us to grant such a discrepancy in style as some imagine. They have many of them been gathered by others, and therefore I shall only point unto the places from whence they are, taken.

    See <580101> chapter 1:1, 2, compared with 2 Corinthians 13:3. Hebrews 2:14, with Galatians 1:16; Ephesians 6:12. Hebrews 2:11, with Ephesians 5:26. Hebrews 3:1, with Philippians 3:14; 2 Timothy 1:9. Hebrews 3:6, with Romans 5:2. Hebrews 5:14, with Corinthians 2:6; Philippians 3:15; Ephesians 4:13. Hebrews 5:13, with 1 Corinthians 3:2. Hebrews 6:11, with Colossians 2:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:5. Hebrews 7:18, with Romans 8:3; Galatians 4:9. Hebrews 8:6,7, with Galatians 3:19,20; 1 Timothy 2:5. Hebrews 10:1, with Colossians 2:17. Hebrews 10:22, with <470701> Corinthians 7:1. Hebrews 10:23, a phrase peculiar to St Paul, and common with him. Hebrews 10:33, with 1 Corinthians 4:9. Hebrews 10:36, with Galatians 3:22. Hebrews 10:39, with 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Thessalonians 2:13. Hebrews 12:1, with 1 Corinthians 9:24. Hebrews 13:10, with 1 Corinthians 9:13, 1 Corinthians 10:18. Hebrews 13:15,16, with Romans 12:1; Philippians 4:18. Hebrews 13:20, with Romans 15:33, Romans 16:20; Corinthians 13:11; Philippians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Many of which places having before been observed by others, they are all of them collected in this order by Spanheim; and many more of the like nature might be added unto them, but that these are sufficient to outbalance the contrary instances of some words and expressions nowhere else used by St Paul, which perhaps may be observed of every other epistle in like manner. And upon all these considerations it appears how little force there is in this objection. 15. Secondly, It is excepted that the Epistle is ajnepi>grafov , the name of Paul being not prefixed unto it, as it is, say some, unto all the epistles written by him. And this, indeed, is the womb wherein all other objections have been conceived; for this being once taken notice of, and admitted as an objection, the rest were but fruits of men’s needless diligence to give countenance unto it. And this exception is ancient, and that which alone some of old took any notice of; for it is considered by Clemens, Origen, Eusebius, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, OEcumenius, and generally by all that have spoken any thing about the writer of this Epistle. Nor doth the strength that it hath lie merely in this, that it is without inscription, for so is the Epistle of St John, concerning which it was never doubted but that he was the author of it, but in the constant usage of Paul, prefixing his name unto all his other epistles; so that unless a just reason can be given why he should divert from that custom in the writing of this, it may be well supposed to be none of his.

    Now, by the title which is wanting, either the mere titular superscription, “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews,” is intended, or the inscription of his name, with an apostolical salutation conjoined, in the Epistle itself. For the first, it is uncertain of what antiquity the titular superscriptions of any of the epistles are, but most certain that they did not originally belong unto them, and are therefore destitute of all authority. They are things the transcribers, it may be, have at pleasure made bold withal, as with the subscription also of some of them, as to the place from whence they were sent, and the persons by whom. Though this, therefore, should be wanting unto this Epistle, as there is some variety both in ancient copies of the original and translations about it, the most owning and retaining it, yet it would be of no moment, seeing we know not whence or from whom any of them are. The objection, then, is taken from the want of the wonted apostolical salutation, which should be in and a part of the Epistle. And this is the substance of what on this account is excepted against our assertion. 16. Various answers have been given to this objection, some of them of no more validity than itself. Jerome replies, “It hath no man’s name prefixed; therefore we may by as good reason say, it was written by no man, as not by Paul;” — which instance, though it be approved by Beza, with other learned men, and not sufficiently answered by Erasmus with a contrary instance, yet indeed it is of no value; for being written, it must be written by somebody, though not perhaps by St Paul. Some have thought that it may be the inscription inquired after was at first prefixed, but by some means or other hath been lost. But as there are very many arguments and evidences to evince the weakness of this imagination, so the beginning and entrance of the Epistle is such as is incapable of any contexture with such a salutation as that used in other Epistles, as is also that of St John; so that this conjecture can here have no place. 17. Some of the ancients, and principally Theodoret, insist upon the peculiar allotment of his work unto him among the Gentiles. Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles in an especial manner; and if, in writing unto the Hebrews, he had prefixed his name unto his Epistle, he might have seemed to transgress the line of his allotment. And if it be not certain that the apostles, by common consent, cast their work into distinct portions, which they peculiarly attended unto, as the ancients generally concur that they did (and there was not reason wanting why they should do so), yet it is [certain] that there was a special convention and agreement between James, Peter, and John, on the one side, and Paul and Barnabas on the other, that they should attend the ministry of the Circumcision, and these of the Gentiles. Hence Paul, finding it necessary for him to write unto the Hebrews, would not prefix his name with an apostolical salutation unto his Epistle, that he might not seem to have invaded the province of others, or transgressed the line of his allotment. But I must acknowledge, that, notwithstanding the weight laid upon it by Theodoret and some others, this reason seems not unto me cogent unto the end for which it is produced: for, — (1.) The commission given by the Lord Christ unto his apostles was catholic, and had no bounds but that of the whole creation of God capable of instruction, Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; and that commission which was given unto them all in general was given unto every one in particular, and made him in solidum possessor of all the right and authority conveyed by it. Neither could any following arbitrary agreement, pitched on for convenience and the facilitating of their work, abridge any of them from exerting their authority and exercising their duty towards any of the sons of men, as occasion did require. And hence it is, that notwithstanding the agreement mentioned, we find St Peter teaching the Gentiles, and St Paul laboring for the conversion of the Jews. (2.) In writing this Epistle, on this supposition, St Paul did indeed that which is pretended was not meet for him to do, — namely, he entered on that which was the charge of another man; only he conceals his name, that he might not appear in doing of a thing unwarrantable and unjustifiable!

    And whether it be meet to ascribe this unto the apostle is easy to determine. As, then, it is certain that St Paul, in the writing of this Epistle, did nothing but what in duty he ought to do, and what the authority given him by Christ extended itself unto; so the concealing of his name, lest he should be thought to have done any thing irregularly, is a thing that, without much temerity, may not be imputed unto him. 18. There is another answer to this objection, which seemeth to be solid and satisfactory, which most of the ancients rest in; and it is, that St Paul had weighty reasons not to declare his name at the entrance of this Epistle to the Hebrews, taken from the prejudices that many of them had against him. This is insisted on by Clemens in Eusebiua “He did wisely,” saith he, “conceal his name, because of the prejudicate opinion that they had against him.” And this is at large insisted on by Chrysostom, who is followed therein by Theophylact, OEcumenius, and others without number. The persecuting party of the nation looked on him as an apostate, a deserter of the cause wherein he was once engaged, and one that taught apostasy from the law of Moses; yea, as they thought, that set the whole world against them and all that they gloried in, Acts 21:28; and what enmity is usually stirred up on such occasions all men know, and his example is a sufficient instance of it. And there was added thereunto (which Chrysostom, and that justly, lays great weight upon), that he was no ordinary person, but a man of great and extraordinary abilities; which mightily increased the provocation. Those among them who, with the profession of the gospel, had a mind to continue themselves in, and to impose upon others the observance of, Mosaical institutions, looked on him as the only person that had frustrated their design, Acts 15:1,2.

    And this also is usually no small cause of wrath and hatred. The spirit of these men afterwards possessing the Ebionites, they despised St Paul as a Grecian and deserter of the law, as Epiphanius testifies. And even the best among them, who, either in the use of their liberty or upon an indulgence given them, continued in the temple worship, had a jealous eye over him, lest he had not that esteem for Moses which they imagined became them to retain, Acts 21:20,21. How great a prejudice against his doctrine and reasonings these thoughts and jealousies might have created, had he, at the entrance of his dealing with them, prefixed his name and usual salutation, is not hard to conjecture. This being the state and condition of things in reference unto St Paul, and not any other known penman of the Holy Ghost, or eminent disciple of Christ in those days, this defect of inscription , as Beza well observes, proves the Epistle rather to be his than any other person’s whatever. And though I know that there may be some reply made unto this answer, both from the discovery which he makes of himself in the end of the Epistle, and from the high probability there is that the Hebrews, upon the first receipt of it, would diligently examine by whom it was written, yet I judge it very sufficient to frustrate the exception insisted on, though perhaps not containing the true, at least the whole, cause of the omission of an apostolical salutation in the entrance of it. 19. If, then, we would know the true and just cause of the omission of the author’s name and mention of his apostolical authority in the entrance of this Epistle, we must consider what were the just reasons of prefixing them unto his other epistles. Chrysostom, in his proem unto the Epistle to the Romans, gives this as the only reason of the mentioning the name of the writer of any epistle in the frontispiece of it otherwise than was done by Moses and the evangelists in their writings, namely, because they wrote unto them that were present, and so had no cause to make mention of their own names, which were well enough known without the premising of them in their writings; whereas those who wrote epistles, dealing with them that were absent, were necessitated to prefix their names unto them, that they might know from whom they came. But yet this reason is not absolutely satisfactory: for as they who prefixed not their names to their writings wrote, not only for the use and benefit of those that were present and knew them, but of all succeeding ages, who knew them not; so many of them who yet prefixed their names unto their writings, did preach and write the word of the Lord unto those that lived with them and knew them, as did the prophets of old; and some who did write epistles to them who were absent omitted so to do, as St John and the author of this Epistle. The real cause, then, of prefixing the names of any of the apostles unto their writing, was merely the introduction thereby of their titles as apostles of Jesus Christ, and therein an intimation of that authority by and with which they wrote. This, then, was the true and only reason why the apostle St Paul prefixed his name unto his epistles. Sometimes, indeed, this is omitted, when he wrote unto some churches where, he was well known, and his apostolical power was sufficiently owned, because he joined others with himself in his salutation who were not apostles; as the Epistle to the Philippians, Philippians 1, and the second of the Thessalonians. Unto all others he still prefixeth this title; declaring himself thereby to be one so authorized to reveal the mysteries of the gospel, that they to whom he wrote were to acquiesce in his authority, and to resolve their faith into the revelation of the will of God made unto him and by him, the church being to be “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.” And hence it was, that when something he had taught was called in question and opposed, writing in the vindication of it, and for their establishment in the truth whom before he had instructed, he doth in the entrance of his writing singularly and emphatically mention this his authority: Galatians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, that raised him from the dead;” so intimating the absolute obedience that was due unto the doctrine by him revealed. By this title, I say, he directs them to whom he wrote to resolve their assent into the authority of Christ speaking in him, which he tenders unto them as the proof and foundation of the mysteries wherein they were instructed.

    In his dealing with the Hebrews the case was far otherwise. They who believed, amongst them, never changed the old foundation, or church-state grounded on the Scriptures, though they bad a new addition of privileges by their faith in Christ Jesus, as the Messiah now exhibited. And therefore he deals not with them as with those whose faith was built absolutely on apostolical authority and revelation, but upon the common principles of the Old Testament, on which they still stood, and out of which evangelical faith was educed. Hence the beginning of the Epistle, wherein he appeals to the Scripture as the foundation that he intended to build upon, and the authority which he would press them withal, supplies the room of that intimation of his apostolical authority which in other places he maketh use of. And it serves to the very same purpose. For, as in those epistles he proposeth his apostolical authority as the immediate reason of their assent and obedience; so in this he doth the scriptures of the Old Testament. And this is the true and proper cause that renders the prefixing of his apostolical authority, which must necessarily accompany his name, needless, because useless, it being that which he intended not to engage in this business And for himself, he sufficiently declares in the close of his Epistle who he was; for though some may imagine that he is not so certainly known unto us, from what he there says of himself, yet none can be so fond as doubt whether he were not thereby known to them to whom he wrote. So that neither hath this objection in it anything of real weight or moment. 20. Thirdly, We have spoken before unto the hesitation of the Latin church, which by some is objected, especially by Erasmus; and given the reasons of it, manifesting that it is of no force to weaken our assertion: unto which I shall now only add, that after it was received amongst them as canonical, it was never questioned by any learned man or synod of old whether St Paul was the author of it or no, but they all with one consent ascribed it unto him, as hath been at large by others declared. The remaining exceptions which by some are insisted on are taken from some passages in the Epistle itself; that principally of chapter 2:3, where the writer of it seems to reckon himself among the number, not of the apostles, but of their auditors [and survivors]. But whereas it is certain and evident that the Epistle was written before the destruction of the temple, yea, [before] the beginning of those wars that ended therein, or the death of James, whilst sundry of the apostles were yet alive, it cannot be that the penman of it should really place himself amongst the generation that succeeded them; so that the words must of necessity admit of another interpretation, as shall be manifested in its proper place: for whereas both this and other things of the same nature must be considered and spoken unto in the places where they occur, I shall not here anticipate what of necessity must be insisted on in its due season, especially considering of how small importance the objections taken from them are.

    And this is the sum of what hath, as yet, by any been objected unto our assignation of this Epistle unto St Paul; by the consideration whereof the reader will be directed into the judgment he is to make on the arguments and testimonies that we shall produce in the confirmation of our assertion; and these we now proceed unto, under the several heads proposed in the entrance of our discourse. 21. (1.) Amongst the arguments usually insisted on to prove this Epistle to have been written by St Paul, the testimony given unto it by St Peter deserves consideration in the first place, and is indeed of itself sufficient to determine the inquiry about it. His words to this purpose, 2 Peter 3:15,16, are: “And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according unto the wisdom given unto him, hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

    To clear this testimony, some few things must be observed in it and concerning it; as, — (1.) That St Peter wrote this second epistle unto the same persons, that is, the same churches and people, to whom he wrote his first. This, to omit other evidences of it, himself testifies, <600301> chapter 3:1: “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you.” It was not only absolutely his second epistle, but the second which he wrote to the same persons, handling in both the same general argument, as himself in the next words affirms. (2.) That his first epistle was written unto the Jews or Hebrews in the Asian dispersion: J jEklektoi~v parepidh>moiv diafpora~v Po>ntou, etc.; — “To the elect strangers of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,” chapter <580101> 1:1; that is, “The dw>deka fula, ” as St James styles the same persons, chapter 1:1, — “ The twelve tribes,” or Hebrews of the twelve tribes of Israel, “in their dispersion.” These parepi>dhmoi diaspora~v or ejn th~| diafpora~|, are those whom the Jews of Jerusalem called “The diaspora< tw~n JEllh>nwn ,” John 7:35, “The dispersion,” or those of their nation that were “dispersed among the Gentiles.” Those especially they intend in the Greek empire. These they called laer;c]yiAtx;WpT] ,”The dispersion,” or “scattering of Israel,” when they were sifted amongst all nations, like the “sifting of a sieve,” Amos 9:9. <19E702> Psalm 147:2, they are called laer;c]yi yjed]ni ; which the LXX., according to the phrase in their days, render Tal , “The dispersions,” or those scattered abroad of Israel; as Isaiah calls them, rWVaæ År,a,B] µydib]aOh; and µyir;x]mi År,a,B] µyjiD;Nihæ , chapter 27:13. So that there is no question but that these were they whom St Peter calls “The daispora> of Pontus, Galatia,” etc.; as St James, extending his salutation to the same people in all places, “The diaspora> of the twelve tribes” Besides, many things insisted on by St Peter in these epistles were peculiar to the Hebrews, who also were his especial care. See 1 Epist. 1:10-12, 2:9, 21, 3:5, 6, 4:7, 17; Epist. 1:19-21, <610201> 2:1, etc., 3:10-14; and many other particular places of the same nature may be observed in them.

    To sum up our evidence in this particular: Peter, being in an especial manner the apostle of the Circumcision, or Hebrews, Galatians 2:7, having by his first sermon converted many of these strangers of Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia, Acts 2:9-11,41; ascribing that title unto them to whom he wrote which was the usual and proper appellation of them in all the world, J JH diaspora< tou~ jIsrah>l , James 1:1, John 7:35; treating with them for the most part about things peculiar to them in a special manner, and that with arguments and from principles peculiarly known unto them, as the places above quoted well manifest; there remains no ground of question but it was those Hebrews unto whom he wrote.

    Nor are the exceptions that are made to this evidence of any such importance as once to deserve a remembrance by them who design not a protracting of their discourses by insisting on things unnecessary. 22. Now, it is plainly in this testimony asserted, that St Paul wrote a peculiar epistle unto them unto whom St Peter wrote his; that is, to the Hebrews: “He hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles;” that is, in all his other epistles; — “Besides his other epistles to other churches and persons, he hath also written one unto you.” So that, if St Peter’s testimony may be received, St Paul undoubtedly wrote an epistle unto the Hebrews. “But this may be,” say some, “another epistle, and not this we treat of; particularly that to the Galatians, which treateth about Judaical customs and worship.” But this epistle mentioned by St Peter was written particularly unto the Hebrews in distinction from the Gentiles; this to the Galatians was written peculiarly to the Gentiles in opposition to the Jews: so that a more unhappy instance could not possibly have been fixed upon. Besides, he treats not in it of the things here mentioned by St Peter; which are indeed the main subject of the Epistle to the Hebrews. “But,” say others, “Paul indeed might write an epistle to the Hebrews, which may be lost, and this that we have might be written by some other.” But whence this answer should proceed, but from a resolution ze>sin diafula>ttein, against light and conviction, I know not. May we give place to such rash and presumptuous conjectures, we shall quickly have nothing left entire or stable; for why may not another as well say, “It is true Moses wrote five books; but they are lost, and those that we have under his name were written by another”? It is not, surely, one jot less intolerable for any one, without ground, proof, or testimony, to affirm that the church hath lost an epistle written to the Hebrews by St Paul, and taken up one in the room thereof, written by, no man knoweth whom.

    This is not to deal with that holy reverence in the things of God which becomes us. 23. (2.) St Peter declares that St Paul, in that epistle which he wrote unto the Hebrews, had declared the “long-suffering of God,” whereof he had minded them, to be “salvation.” We must see what was this “longsuffering of God,” how it was “salvation,” and how Paul had manifested it so to be. [1.] The long-sufferance, patience, or forbearance of God, is either absolute, toward man in general; or special, in reference unto some sort of men, or some kind of sins or provocations that are amongst them. The first of these is not that which is here intended; nor was there any reason why St Peter should direct the Jews to the epistles of St Paul in particular to learn the long-suffering of God in general, which is so plentifully revealed in the whole scripture both of the Old and New Testament, and only occasionally at any time mentioned by St Paul. There was, therefore, an especial “long-suffering of God,” which at that time he exercised towards the Jews, waiting for the conversion and the gathering of his elect unto him, before that total and final destruction which they had deserved should come upon that church and state. This he compares to the “long-suffering of God in the days of Noah,” whilst he preached repentance unto the world, 1 Epist. 3:20: for as those that were obedient unto his preaching (which was only his own family) were saved in the ark from the general destruction that came upon the world by water; so also they that became obedient upon the preaching of the gospel during this new season of God’s special long-suffering were to be saved by baptism, or separation from the unbelieving Jews by the profession of the faith, from that destruction that was to come upon them by fire. This “long-suffering of God” the unbelieving Jews not understanding to be particular, scoffed at, and at them who threatened them with such an issue or event of it, 2 Epist 3:4; which causeth the apostle to declare the nature and end of this longsuffering, which they were ignorant of, verse 9. [2.] And thus was this particular “long-suffering of God” towards the Jews, whilst the gospel was preached unto them before their final desolation, “salvation,” in that God “spared” them, and allowed them to abide for a while in the observation of their old worship and ceremonies, granting them in the meantime blessed means of light and instruction, to bring them to salvation. [3.] And this is declared by St Paul in this Epistle. Not that this is formally and in terms the main doctrine of the Epistle, but that really and effectually he acquaints them with the intention of the Lord in his longsuffering towards them; and peculiarly serves that long-suffering of Christ in his instruction of them. And therefore, after he hath taught them the true nature, use, and end of all Mosaical institutions, which they were as yet permitted to use, in the special patience of God intimated by St Peter, and convinced them of the necessity of faith in Christ and the profession of his gospel, he winds up all his reasonings in minding them of the end which shortly was to be put unto that “long-suffering of God” which was then exercised towards them, chapter 12:25-29. So that this note also is eminently characteristical of this Epistle. 24. (3.) In the writing of the epistle mentioned by Peter, he seems to ascribe unto Paul an eminency of wisdom; it was written “according to the wisdom given unto him.” As Paul in all other of his epistles did exercise the grace of wisdom, so also in that which he wrote unto the Hebrews.

    There is no doubt but he exerted and put forth his other graces of knowledge, zeal, and love also; but yet Peter here, in a way of eminency, marketh his wisdom in that epistle. It is not Paul’s spiritual wisdom in general, in the knowledge of the will of God and mysteries of the gospel, which Peter here refers unto, but that special holy prudence which he exercised in the composure of this epistle, and in maintaining the truth which he dealt with the Hebrews about. And what an eminent character this also is of this Epistle we shall endeavor, God assisting, to evince in our Exposition of it. His special understanding in all the mysteries of the Old Testament, that wrapped up the truth in great darkness and obscurity, unfolding things hidden from the foundation of the world; his application of them, with various testimonies and arguments, unto the mystery of “God manifested in the flesh;” his various intertextures of reasonings and exhortations throughout his Epistle; his condescension to the capacity, prejudices, and affections, of them to whom he wrote, urging them constantly with their own principles and concessions, — do, among many other things, manifest the singular wisdom which Peter signifies to have been used in this work. (4.) It may also be observed, that whereas Peter affirms that among the things about which Paul wrote there were tina< dusno>hta , “some things hard to be understood,” Paul in a special manner confesseth that some of the things which he was to treat of in that Epistle were dusermh>neuta, “hard to be declared,” uttered, or unfolded, and therefore certainly “hard to be understood,” chapter 5:11; which in our progress we shall manifest to be spoken not without great and urgent cause, and that in many instances, especially that directed unto by himself concerning Melchizedek. So that this also gives another characteristical note of the epistle testified unto by Peter.

    I have insisted the longer upon this testimony, because, in my judgment, it is sufficient of itself to determine this controversy; nothing of any importance being by any that I can meet withal excepted unto it. But because we want not other confirmations of our assertion, and those also every one of them singly outbalancing the conjectures that are advanced against it, we shall subjoin them also in their order. 25. The comparing of this Epistle with the others of the same apostle gives further evidence unto our assertion. I suppose it will be confessed, that they only are competent judges of this argument who are well exercised and conversant in his writings. Unto their judgment, therefore, alone in it do we appeal. Now, the similitude between this and other epistles of Paul is threefold: — (1.) In words, phrases, and manner of expression. Of this sort many instances may be given, and such a coincidence of phrase manifested in them as is not usually to be observed between the writings that have various or diverse authors. But this I shall not particularly insist upon, partly because it hath already been done by others at large, and partly because they will all of them be observed in our Exposition itself; nor doth it suit our present design to enter into a debate about particular words and expressions. Nor do I assign any more force unto this observation, but only that it is sufficient to manifest the weakness of the exceptions urged by some to prove it none of his, from the use of some few words not elsewhere used by him, or not in that sense which here they are applied unto; for their instances are not in number comparable with the other. And to evidence the vanity of that part of their objection which concerns the peculiar use of some words in this Epistle, it is enough to observe that one word, uJpo>staisiv , being three times used in this one Epistle, it hath in each place a peculiar and diverse signification. (2.) There is also a coincidence of matter or doctrines delivered in this and the other epistles of Paul. Neither shall I much press this consideration: for neither was he in any epistle restrained unto what he had elsewhere delivered, nor bound to avoid the mentioning of it if occasion did require; nor were other penmen of the Holy Ghost limited not to treat of what he had taught, no more than the evangelists were from writing the same story.

    But yet neither is this observation destitute of all efficacy to contribute strength unto our assertion, considering that there were some doctrines which Paul did in a peculiar manner insist upon; a vein whereof a diligent observer may find running through this and all his other epistles. But, (3.) That which under this head I would press, is the consideration of the spirit, genius, pa>qov, and manner of writing proceeding from them, peculiar to this apostle in all his epistles. Many things are required to enable any one to judge aright of this intimation. He must, as Bernard speaks, drink of Paul’s spirit, or be made partaker of the same Spirit with him, in his measure, who would understand his writings. Without this Spirit and his saving light, they are all obscure, intricate, sapless, unsavory; while unto them in whom he is, they are all sweet, gracious, in some measure open, plain, and powerful. A great and constant exercise unto an acquaintance with his frame of spirit in writing is also necessary hereunto. Unless a man have contracted as it were a familiarity, by a constant conversation with him, no critical skill in words or phrases will render him a competent judge in this matter. This enabled Caesar to determine aright concerning any writings of Cicero. And he that is so acquainted with this apostle will be able to discern his spirit, as Austin says his mother Monica did divine revelations, “nescio quo sapore,” — by an inexpressible spiritual savor. Experience also of the power and efficacy of his writings is hereunto required. He whose heart is cast into the mould of the doctrine by him delivered will receive quick impressions, from his spirit exerting itself, in any of his writings. He that is thus prepared will find that heavenliness and perspicuity in unfolding the deepest evangelical mysteries; that peculiar exaltation of Jesus Christ, in his person, office, and work; that spiritual persuasiveness; that transcendent manner of arguing and reasoning; that wise insinuation and pathetical pressing of well-grounded exhortations; that love, tenderness, and affection to the souls of men; that zeal for God and authority in teaching, which enliven and adorn all his other epistles, — to shine in this in an eminent manner, from the beginning to the end of it. And this consideration, whatever may be the apprehensions of others concerning it, is that which gives me satisfaction, above all that are pleaded in this cause, in ascribing this Epistle to Paul. 26. The testimony of the first churches, of whose testimony any record is yet remaining, with a successive suffrage of the most knowing persons of following ages, may also be pleaded in this cause. Setting aside that limitation of this testimony, as to some in the Latin church, which, with the grounds and occasions of it, we have already granted and declared, this witness will be acknowledged to be catholic as to all other churches in the world. A learned man of late hath reckoned up and reported the words of above thirty of the Greek fathers and fifty of the Latin reporting this primitive tradition. I shall not trouble the reader with a catalogue of their names, nor the repetition of their words; and that because the whole of what in general we assert as to the eastern church is acknowledged.

    Amongst them was this Epistle first made public , as they had far more advantages of discovering the truth in this matter of fact than any in the Roman church, or that elsewhere followed them in after ages, could have.

    Neither had they anything but the conviction and evidence of truth itself to induce them to embrace this persuasion. And he that shall consider the condition of the first churches under persecution, and what difficulties they met withal in communicating those apostolical writings which were delivered unto any of them, with that special obstruction unto the spreading of this unto the Hebrews of which we have already discoursed, cannot rationally otherwise conceive of it but as an eminent fruit of the good providence of God, that it should so soon receive so public an attestation from the first churches as it evidently appears to have done. 27. The Epistle itself several ways discovers its author. Some of them we shall briefly recount: — (1.) The general argument and scope of it declares it to be Paul’s Hereof there are two parts: — [1.] The exaltation of the person, office, and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, with the excellency of the gospel and the worship therein commanded, revealed by him. [2.] A discovery of the nature, use, and expiration of Mosaical institutions, their present unprofitableness, and ceasing of their obligation unto obedience. The former part we may grant to have been equally the design of all the apostles, though we find it in a peculiar way insisted on in the writings of Paul; the latter was his special work and business This, partly ex instituto, partly occasionally, from the opposition of the Jews, was he engaged in the promotion of, all the world over. The apostles of the Circumcision, according to the wisdom given them, and suitably to the nature of their work, did more accommodate themselves to the prejudicate opinion of the Jewish professors; and the rest of the apostles had little occasion to deal with them or others on this subject. Paul in an eminent manner in this work bare the burden of that day. Having well settled all other churches which were troubled in this controversy by some of the Jews, he at last treats with themselves directly in this Epistle, giving an account of what he had elsewhere preached and taught to this purpose, and the grounds that he proceeded upon; and this not without great success, as the burying of the Judaical controversy not long after doth manifest. (2.) The method of his procedure is the same with that of his other epistles, which also was peculiar unto him. Now, this in most of them, yea, in all of them not regulated by some particular occasions, is first to lay down the doctrinal mysteries of the gospel, vindicating them from oppositions and exceptions, and then to descend to exhortations unto obedience deduced from them, with an enumeration of such special moral duties as those unto whom he wrote stood in need to be minded of. This is the general method of his Epistles to the Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, and the most of the rest. And this also is observed in this Epistle. Only, whereas he had a special respect unto the apostasy of some of the Hebrews, occasioned by the persecution which then began to grow high against them, whatever argument or testimony in his passage gave him advantage to press an exhortation unto constancy, and to deter them from backsliding, he lays hold upon it, and diverts into practical inferences unto that purpose, before he comes to his general exhortations towards the end of the Epistle. Excepting this occasional difference, the method of this is the same with that used in the other epistles of Paul, and which was peculiarly his own. (3.) His way of argument in this and his other epistles is the same, Now this, as we shall see, is sublime and mystical, accommodated rather to the spiritual reason of believers than the artificial rules of philosophers. That he should more abound with testimonies and quotations out of the scriptures of the Old Testament in this than other epistles, as he doth, the matter whereof he treats and the persons to whom he wrote did necessarily require. (4.) Many things in this Epistle evidently manifest that he who wrote it was not only “mighty in the Scriptures,” but also exceedingly well versed and skillful in the customs, practices, opinions, traditions, expositions and applications of Scripture, then received in the Judaical church, as we shall fully manifest in our progress. Now, who in those days, among the disciples of Christ, could this be but Paul? for as he was brought up under one of the best and most famous of their masters in those days, and “profited in the knowledge” of their then present religion “above his equals,” so for want of this kind of learning, the Jews esteemed the chief of the other apostles, Peter and John, to be idiots and unlearned. (5.) Sundry particulars towards and in the close of the Epistle openly proclaim Paul to have been the writer of it; as, — [1.] The mention that he makes of his “bonds,” and the “compassion” that the Hebrews showed towards him in his sufferings and whilst he was a prisoner, chapter 10:34. Now, as the “bonds’ of Paul were afterwards famous at Rome, Philippians 1:13, so there was not any thing of greater notoriety, in reference to the church of God in those days, than those that he suffered in Judea, which he minds them of in this expression. With what earnest endeavors, what rage and tumult, the rulers and body of the people sought his destruction, how publicly and with what solemnity his cause was sundry times heard and debated, with the time of his imprisonment that ensued, are all declared in the Acts at large. Now, no man can imagine but that, whilst this great champion of their profession was so publicly pleading their cause, and exposed to so much danger and hazard thereby, all the believers of those parts were exceedingly solicitous about his condition (as they had been about Peter’s in the like case), and gave him all the assistance and encouragement that they were able. This “compassion” of theirs, and his own “bonds,” as an evidence of his faith and their mutual love in the gospel, he now minds them of. Of no other person but Paul have we any ground to conjecture that this might be spoken. And yet the suffering and compassion here mentioned seem not to have been “things done in a corner.” So that this one circumstance is able, of itself, to enervate all the exceptions that are made use of against his being esteemed the author of this Epistle. [2.] The mention of Paul’s dear and constant companion Timothy is of the same importance, chapter 13:23. That Timothy was at Rome with Paul in his bonds is expressly asserted, Philippians 1:13,14, 2:19-24. That he himself was also cast into prison with Paul is here intimated, his release being expressed. Now, surely it is scarcely credible that any other should, in Italy, where Paul then was, and newly released out of prison, write unto the churches of the Hebrews, and therein make mention of his own bonds and the bonds of Timothy, a man unknown unto them but by the means of Paul, and not once intimate any thing about his condition. The exceptions of some, as that Paul used to call Timothy his “son,” whereas the writer of this Epistle calls him “brother” (when, indeed, he never terms him “son” when he speaks of him, but only when he wrote unto him), or that there might be another Timothy (when he speaks expressly of him who was so generally known to the churches of God as one of the chiefest evangelists), deserve not to be insisted on. And surely it is altogether incredible that this Timothy, the “son” of Paul, as to his begetting of him in the faith and continued paternal affection; his known, constant associate in doing and suffering for the gospel; his minister in attending of him, and constantly employed by him in the service of Christ and the churches; known unto them by his means; honored by him with two epistles written unto him, and the association of his name with his own in the inscription of sundry others, — should now be so absent from him as to be adjoined unto another in his travail and ministry. [3.] The constant sign and token of Paul’s epistles, which himself had publicly signified to be so, 2 Thessalonians 3:17, is subjoined unto this, “Grace be with you all.” That originally this was written with Paul’s own hand there is no ground to question; and it appears to be so, because it was written, and he affirms that it was his custom to subjoin that salutation with his own hand. Now, this writing of it with his own hand was an evidence unto them unto whom the original of the Epistle first came; unto those who had only transcribed copies of it, it could not be so.

    The salutation itself was their token, being peculiar to Paul, and among the rest annexed to this Epistle. And all these circumstances will yet receive some further enforcement from the consideration of the time wherein this Epistle was written, whereof in the next place we shall treat.


    BY THE EDITOR, THE progress of discussion on the interesting question in Biblical literature with which the preceding Exercitation is occupied, would form matter of a very long historical excursion. It must suffice for our purpose to indicate its principal outlines; referring, for our authorities and sources of information, to the introductory dissertations of Hallet, Tholuck, and Stuart, together with Davidson’s “Introduction to the New Testament,” and Forster’s work on “The Apostolical Authority of the Epistle to the Hebrews.”

    There are three leading opinions entertained in regard to the authorship of the Epistle: — I. Some ascribe it to other authors than Paul; II. Some ascribe it directly and exclusively to Paul; III. Some ascribe it to Paul in concert or conjunction with another author, and this other author is held to be, — 1. according to some, Apollos; and 2. according to others, Luke.

    I. In the first class six different names are mentioned as the authors of the Epistle: — 1. CLEMENT of Rome, in the judgment of Erasmus and Patrick Young; 2. TERTULLIAN, according to Sixtus Senensis; 3. BARNABAS, according to Tertullian, Schmidt, Cameron, Twesten, Ullman, Wieseler; 4. LUKE, according to Origen, S. Crell, Grotius, and Koehler; 5. SILAS, according to Mynster and Boehme; and, 6. APOLLOS, according to Luther, Le Clerc, L. Muller, Heumann, Semler, Ziegler, Dindorf, Schott, Bleek, Feilmoser, De Wette, Credner, Roth, Reuss, Olshausen, and Tholuck.

    In regard to all these views, it may be observed in general, — first, That none of them, if we exclude the opinions of Tertullian and Origen, rests on a respectable historical basis; secondly, That even in the case of Origen, his assertion cannot be taken as directly and absolutely ascribing the authorship of the Epistle to any but Paul; thirdly, That their very contrariety and multitude imply the uncertainty of the evidence adduced in their favor; fourthly, That they are mostly dependent on internal evidence, and that, with the exception of one or two of them, this evidence is vague and slender; and fifthly, The opinion that Apollos was the author, which, of all the six, has the greatest weight and number of suffrages, is supported chiefly by the argument, that the Epistle, from its typical explanation of the Jewish ritual, has an Alexandrine hue and coloring, and that it resembles the writings of Philo. In reply, first, it has been proved that typical interpretation prevailed in Palestine as well as Alexandria; secondly, Paul, in an epistle undoubtedly his, the Epistle to the Galatians, — deals with the principle of allegory, upon which the idea of alleged resemblance to Philo is founded; and thirdly, on the same inconclusive grounds, part of the Gospel of John has been ascribed to a PhiIonian origin.

    II. The evidence that PAUL was the author is both external and internal.

    The external evidence is as follows : — 1. In the Western church, from the fourth century, this view was held by Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Rufinus, Chromatius, Innocent of Rome, Paulinus, Cassian, Prosper, Eucherius, Salvian, and Gelasius. 2. In the Alezandrine church, by Pantaenus, Origen, Dionysius, Theognostus, Peter, Alexander, Hierax, Athanasius, Theophilus, Serapion, Didymus, and Cyril of Alexandria. 3. In the Greek church, the synod at Antioch A.D. 264, Gregory Thaumaturgus, the council of Nice A.D. 315, Gregory of Nazianzum, Basil the Great, the council of Laodicea A.D. 360, Gregory of Nyssa, Titus of Bostra, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, and Theodore of Mopsuestia, assign it to the same author. 4. In the Syrian church the same opinion generally prevailed, as appears from Justin Martyr, Eusebius of Caesarea, Cyril of Jerusalem, Jacob of Nisibis, Ephraim Syrus. 5. In the African church, the council of Hippo A.D. 393, the third council of Carthage A.D. 397, and the sixth council of Carthage A.D. 419, decide in favor of the same view.

    The internal evidence has reference to,- 1. Particular facts mentioned in the Epistle: — (1.) chapter 13:23; (2.) chapter 13:18, 19; (3.) chapter 10:34 (but the true reading, toi~v desmi>oiv, not toi~v desmi>oiv mou, destroys the inference founded on this expression); (4.) chapter 13:24. These facts, the first as indicating friendly relations to Timothy, the second as accordant with Paul’s mode of giving such promises elsewhere, and the last as marking a locality where Paul was for a time under restraint, have a Pauline complexion. 2. The general plan of the Epistle, as doctrinal and practical, and concluded with requests for an interest in the prayers of those to whom it was written. 3. Doctrinal contents : — (1.) On Christ’s person. Compare chapter 1:3, with 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15; Philippians 2:6. (2.) On Christ’s work as mediator : — the office of mediator, chapter 8:6, 9:15, 12:24; 1 Timothy 2:5; — his humiliation, chapter 2:9, 12:2, 3; Philippians 2:8; — his death, chapter 9:26, 28, 10:12; Romans 6:9,10; — results of his death, chapter 2:14; Corinthians 15:54, 55; 2 Timothy 1:10; — his resurrection and exaltation, chapter 9:26, 28, 7:26, 4:14; Romans 6:9,10; Ephesians 4:10; — his intercession, chapter 7:25; Romans 8:34; — his session and reign at the right hand of God, chapter 1:3, 10:12, 2:8, 9:28; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:1,8. (3.) Blessings and privileges of believers; — access to the Father, chapter 10:19, 20; Ephesians 2:18; Romans 5:2; — Pauline triad of faith, hope, and love, chapter 10:22-24; 1 Corinthians 13:13; — importance of faith, chapter 2:1-4, 10:38, 11:39; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6-14. (4.) These truths, as entering into the essence of the gospel, may not so clearly establish the identity of the writer as certain special topics, which Moses Stuart sums up thus: — superior light under the gospel, chapter 1:1, 2, <580201> 2:1-4, 8:8-11, <581001> 10:1, 11:39, 40; Galatians 4:1-9; Corinthians 14:20; Ephesians 4:11-13; — superior motives to virtue and religion, chapter 2:9, 9:14, 12:18-24, 28, 8:6-12; Galatians 3:23, 4:1-3; Romans 8:15,17; 1 Corinthians 7:19; — superior efficacy of the gospel in promoting the happiness of mankind, chapter 12:18-24, 9:9, 10:4, 11, 9:11-14, 5:9, 6:18, 2:14, 15, 7:25, 9:24; Galatians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 3:7-9; Galatians 3:11; Romans 3:20, 4:24, 25; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 5:1,2; — the Jewish dispensation was a type of the Christian, chapter 9:9-14, 10:1; Colossians 2:16,17; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6,11; Romans 5:14; Corinthians 15:45-47; 2 Corinthians 3:13-18; Galatians 4:22-31; — while the Christian dispensation is to be perpetual, the Jewish institutes are abolished, chapter 8:6-8, 10:1-14; 2 Corinthians 3:11,13; Romans 4:14-16; Galatians 3:21-25, <480401> 4:1-7. 4. The tenor of the practical exhortations at the close of the Epistle, as harmonizing with what appears at the end of other epistles, chapter 12:3; Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13; Ephesians 3:13; — chapter 12:14; Romans 12:18; — chap. <581301> 13:1-4; Ephesians 5:2-5; — chap. 13:16; Philippians 4:18. 5. The mode of quotation from the Old Testament scriptures: — (1.) Without notice of quotation, chapter 3:2, 5, 10:37, 11:21; Romans 9:7,21, 10:6-8, 11:34. (2.) In the way of argumentum ad hominem, or ex concessis, chapter 7., <580801> 8:1-5, <580901> 9:1-9; Galatians 4:24; 1 Corinthians 9:9, 10:2; Ephesians 5:31,32. (3.) In reference to the abolition of the Jewish economy, the writer of the Epistle speaks in the same way as Paul generally does. 6. Similarity of phrase and style; such as, — (1.) Identical and synonymous expressions, chapter 1:3; Colossians 1:15; Philippians 2:6; 2Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:17, etc. (2.) Words in the Septuagint or Apocrypha occurring only in Paul’s epistles, and that to the Hebrews; such as, ajgw>n , ajdo>kimov , aiJre>omai , a]kakov , euja>restov , uJpo>stasiv , fra>ttw , etc. (3.) Word’s occurring only in Paul’s epistles, and that to the Hebrews: aijdw>v oJre>gomai , parakoh> , phli>kov , etc. (4.) Words, in the manner or frequency of their occurrence, peculiar to Paul’s epistles, and that to the Hebrews: aJgiasmo>v , belzio>w , guna>zw , me>mfomai , skia> , etc. (5.) Peculiarities of grammatical construction, chapter 7.: oJ laothto , Romans 3:2, 6:17, 1 Timothy 1:11, the nominative being made the subject, instead of nenomoze>thto law~| . (6.) An adjective used to express a genetic quality, instead of a noun, chapter 6:17, 12:13, 21; Romans 1:19, 2:4, <450301> 3:1, 7:3, 9:22. (7.) The use of paronomasia, so common with Paul, chapter 7:12, 13, 9:16, 8:13. (8.) The habit of sudden digression: chap, 3:2, going off at the word house; chapter 12:18-29, at the words voice, speaketh, shook; chapter 12:5, at the word chastening; 2 Corinthians 2:14, 3:1; Ephesians 4:8-10.

    In evidence against the Pauline origin of the Epistle. it is customary to refer to, — 1. Patristic authority: Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Caius, Marcion, Cyprian, and the fathers of the Western church, to the middle of the fourth century. 2. The ignorance of Jewish rites betrayed by the writer of the Epistle, Hebrews 9:1-5; an objection which, if true, impeaches the inspiration of the Epistle; but not to be admitted as true, and capable of satisfactory refutation. 3. The difference from the other epistolary productions of the apostle, in the want of a title and inscription. 4. The language employed in Hebrews 2:3; which is alleged to imply that the writer, along with the Hebrews to whom he wrote, had received the gospel from the apostles, and not, as Paul affirms of himself elsewhere, directly from Christ: an argument sufficiently met by the consideration, that to a certain extent the fact holds true of Paul, and that it is not uncommon for a writer to use language as if he were in the same position and circumstances with those whom he addresses, when there is substantial identity between them in privilege and responsibility. And, — 5. The sustained elevation of thought and superior purity of the Greek, for which the Epistle is remarkable. Considering, however, that it is mostly a calm exegesis of the meaning of typical institutions, designed to illustrate the transcendent dignity of the Founder of the Christian dispensation, the calmness of its tone and the elevation of the sentiments expressed in it are sufficiently explained; while, both in regard to this feature of the composition and the purity of the diction, it does not excel passages eminent for rhetorical power and skill in the acknowledged writings of the apostle: Romans 8.; 1 Corinthians 13.

    On a review of all the evidence, it seems established, — that the authorship of the Epistle, on no valid grounds, external or internal, can be traced to any but Paul; that nearly all the direct external evidence is in favor of the same conclusion; and that while there are one or two difficulties in regard to the internal evidence, the preponderance of it leads to the belief that Paul was the author, while even these difficulties are not absolutely incompatible with this belief.

    III. The only remaining theory is, that Paul wrote the Epistle in concert with some other disciple as his assistant; so that while the sentiments are Paul’s, the modification of the language may be due to the assistance of which he availed himself in the composition of it. 1. Some take this assistant to have beenAPOLLOS. “If it be considered,” says Olshausen, “that there was always a certain distance of demeanor between the apostle Paul and the Jewish Christians, even the best of them, it will be very easy to understand why Paul did not write to them himself; and still it must have been his heart’s desire to exhibit clearly and in suitable detail his views in regard to the law, and its relation to Christianity. What more obvious mode of presenting these to the Hebrews than through the medium of a disciple or faithful friend, who, like Apollos, had a correct apprehension of this relation between the old and new covenant?” 2. Others regardLUKE as the assistant whose services were employed.

    That the composition is not Paul’s Dr Davidson argues, because “the tone is elevated, rhetorical, calm, unlike the fiery force of Paul’s manner. There is polish, care, elegance. — No trace of the apostle’s characteristic manner appears. Besides, would it not be anomalous, that the apostle himself should adopt a purer Greek and higher style of writing in an Epistle addressed to the Jewish Christians in Palestine? — We are thus brought to the position that it did not receive its present form from Paul. It is better Greek than his. — The style and diction of the Epistle resemble Luke’s in the Acts more nearly than any other part of the New Testament. The likeness between the style of our Epistle and that of Luke’s writings is by no means such as to show identity of authorship . The reasons are strong for maintaining that Paul was the author, and that Luke did not translate it from one language to another. Yet this does not militate against the notion that Luke had a part in putting the thoughts and words of Paul into their present form. What was the nature of the service he rendered, it is impossible to discover.”

    This theory was proposed by Origen, on the ground, to use his own words, that “the Epistle is purer Greek in the texture of its style.” “I would say,” he adds, “that the sentiments are the apostle’s, but the language and the composition belong to some one who committed to writing what the apostle said, and as it were reduced to commentaries the things spoken by his master.”

    Serious objections impede the reception of this theory: — 1. It leaves altogether undefined the relation between Paul and his supposed assistant, the functions neither of amanuensis, nor reporter, nor translator, nor editor, serving to account for the peculiarity of diction which has led to the suggestion of the theory. 2. It proves too much; for the qualities specified as indicating the difference between this Epistle and the known writings of Paul relate to idiosyncrasies of character in thought and feeling, which foreign aid in the mere composition of the Epistle cannot explain. If Luke so little interfered with the tenor of the thinking that his services did not even involve translation, what he did for it could not account for the sustained calmness of the discussion, and the absence of that fiery vividness of conception and appeal which are conceived to be the “nodus” rendering Luke necessary as the only “vindex” capable of resolving it. If Luke did for the Epistle what is esteemed a service adequate to explain its special phenomena, he is entitled to the full honors of its literary parentage. 3. This view supposes the possibility of separating thought from language, ascribing the former to one author and the latter to another, in a way which creates a difficulty greater than that to meet which the theory is invented. 4. There is no greater anomaly in supposing that Paul himself polished his own sentences more carefully in writing to the Hebrew Christians, than in the supposition that he employed another to do it. And, lastly, is difference of style, the only real and valid ground on which adventitious help is claimed for the apostle in the preparation of this inspired document, a sufficient reason to be very anxious in pressing such a theory?

    In common literature, very remarkable differences in the style of the same author in different works might be mentioned. Paul wrote the Epistle, it is believed, at an advanced period of his course, and after he had mingled for years with multitudes who spoke the language in the utmost purity of that age; and with the advantage of leisure for the composition of the Epistle, his mind rising to a kindred and congenial elevation with the theme of which he treats, — the surpassing glories of his Lord and Savior, — and borrowing a hue of peculiar solemnity from his own anticipated doom as a martyr for the truth, he might infuse a tone of dignity into his very language enough to vindicate the Epistle as implicitly and entirely his own.


    THE TIME [AND OCCASION] OF THE WRITING OF THIS EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 1. The time of the writing of this Epistle to the Hebrews — The use of the right stating thereof. 2. After his release out of prison — Before the death of James — Before the Second [Epistle] of Peter. 3. The time of Paul’s coming to Rome. 4. The condition of the affairs of the Jews at that time. 5. The martyrdom of James. 6. By whom reported. 7. State of the churches of the Hebrews. 8. Constant in the observation of Mosaical institutions. 9. Warned to leave Jerusalem. 10. That warning what, and how given — Causes of their unwillingness so to do. 11. The occasion and success of this Epistle. 1. THAT was not amiss observed of old by Chrysostom, Praefat. in Com. ad Epist. ad Romans, that a due observation of the time and season wherein the epistles of Paul were written doth give great light into the understanding of many passages in them. This Baronius, ad an. 55, n. 42, well confirms by an instance of their mistake who suppose the shipwreck of Paul at Melita, Acts 27, to have been that mentioned by him, Corinthians 11:25, when he was “a night and a day in the deep,” that epistle being written some years before his sailing towards Rome. And we may well apply this observation to this Epistle unto the Hebrews. A discovery of the time and season wherein it was written will both free us from sundry mistakes and also give us some light into the occasion and design of it. This, therefore, we shall now inquire into. 2. Some general intimations we have, in the Epistle itself, leading us towards this discovery, and somewhat may be gathered from some other places of Scripture; for antiquity will afford us little or no help herein.

    After Paul’s being brought a prisoner to Rome, Acts 28, “two whole years” he continued in that condition, verse 30; at least so long he continued under restraint, though “in his own hired house.” This time was expired before the writing of this Epistle; for he was not only absent from Rome, in some other part of Italy, when he wrote it, Hebrews 13:24, but also so far at liberty, and sui juris, as that he had entertained a resolution of going into the east as soon as Timothy should come unto him, verse 23. And it seems likewise to be written before the martyrdom of James at Jerusalem, in that he affirms that the church of the Hebrews had “not yet resisted unto blood,” chapter 12:4; it being very probable that together with him many others were slain. Many great difficulties they had been exercised withal; but as yet the matter was not come to “blood,” which shortly after it arrived unto. That is certain, also, that it was not only written, but communicated unto, and well known by, all the believing Jews before the writing of the second Epistle of Peter; who therein makes mention of it, as we have declared. Much light, I confess, as to the precise time of its writing is not hence to be obtained, because of the uncertainty of the time wherein Peter wrote that epistle. Only it appears, from what he affirms concerning the approaching of the time of his suffering, chapter 1:13, 14, that it was not long before his death. This, as is generally agreed, happened in the thirteenth year of Nero, when a great progress was made in that war which ended in the fatal and final destruction of the city and temple. 3. From these observations it appears that the best guide we have to find out the certain time of the writing of this Epistle is Paul’s being sent prisoner unto Rome. Now, this was in the first year of the government of Festus, after he had been two years detained in prison at Caesarea by Felix, Acts 24:27, 25:26, 27. This Felix was the brother of Pallas, who ruled all things under Claudius, and fell into some disgrace in the very first year of Nero, as Tacitus informs us; but yet, by the countenance of Agrippina, the mother of Nero, he continued in some regard until the fifth or sixth year of his reign, when, together with his mother, he destroyed many of her friends and favorites. During this time of Pallas’ declension in power, it is most probable that his brother Felix was displaced from the rule of his province, and Festus sent in his room. That it was before his utter ruin, in the sixth year of Nero, is evident from hence, because he made [use of] means to keep his brother from punishment, when he was accused for extortion and oppression by the Jews. Most probably, then, Paul was sent unto Rome about the fourth or fifth year of Nero, which was the fifty-ninth year from the nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ. There he abode, as we showed, at the least two years in custody, where the story of the Acts of the Apostles ends, in the seventh year of Nero, and sixty-first of our Lord, or the beginning of the year following. That year, it is presumed, he obtained his liberty. And this was about thirteen years after the determination of the controversy about Mosaical institutions, as to their obligation on the Gentiles, made by the synod at Jerusalem, Acts 15.

    Presently upon his liberty, whilst he abode in some part of Italy expecting the coming of Timothy, before he entered upon the journey he had promised unto the Philippians, chapter 2:24, he wrote this Epistle. Here, then, we must stay a little, to consider what was the general state and condition of the Hebrews in those days, which might give occasion unto the writing thereof. 4. The time fixed on was about the death of Festus, who died in the province, and the beginning of the government of Albinus, who was sent to succeed him. What was the state of the people at that time, Josephus declares at large in his second book of their Wars, In brief, the governors themselves being great oppressors, and rather mighty robbers amongst them than rulers, the whole nation was filled with spoil and violence.

    What. through the fury and outrage of the soldiers, in the pursuit of their insatiable avarice; what through the incursions of thieves and robbers in troops and companies, wherewith the whole land abounded; and what through the tumults of seditious persons, daily incited and provoked by the cruelty of the Romans, — there was no peace or safety for any sober, honest men, either in the city of Jerusalem or anywhere else throughout the whole province. That the church had a great share of suffering in the outrage and misery of those days (as in such dissolutions of government and licence for all wickedness it commonly falls out), no man can question.

    And this is that which the apostle mentions, chapter 10:32-34, “Ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazing-stock, both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used; .... and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods.”

    This was the lot and portion of all honest and sober-minded men in those days, as their historian at large declares. For as, no doubt, the Christians had a principal share in all those sufferings, so some others of the Jews also were their companions in them; it being not a special persecution, but a general calamity that the apostle speaks of. 5. One Joseph, the son of Caebias, was in the beginning of those days high priest; put into that office by Agrippa, who not long before had put him out. On the death of Festus he thrust him out again, and placed Ananus, his son, in his stead. This man, a young rash fellow, by sect and opinion a Sadducee (who of all others were the most violent in their hatred of the Christians, being especially engaged therein by the peculiar opinion of their sect and party, which was the denial of the resurrection), first began a direct persecution of the church. Before his advancement to the priesthood, their afflictions and calamities were, for the most part, common unto them with other peaceable men. Only the rude and impious multitude, with other seditious persons, seem to have offered especial violences unto their assemblies and meetings; which some of the more unsteadfast and weak began to omit on that account, chapter 10:25. Judicial proceeding against them as to their lives, when this Epistle was written, there doth not appear to have been any; for the apostle tells them, as we before observed, that as yet they had “not resisted unto blood,” chapter 12:4. But this Ananus, the Sadducee, presently after being placed in power by Agrippa, taking advantage of the death of Festus, and the time that passed before Albinus, his successor, was settled in the province, convenes James before himself and his associates. There, to make short work, he is condemned, and immediately stoned. And it is not unlikely but that other private persons suffered together with him. 6. The story, by the way, of the martyrdom of this James is at large reported by Eusebius out of Hegesippus, Hist. Ecclesiastes lib. 2 cap. 23; in the relation whereof he is followed by Jerome and sundry others. I shall say no more of the whole story, but that the consideration of it is very sufficient to persuade any man to use the liberty of his own reason and judgment in the perusal of the writings of the ancients. For of the circumstances therein reported about this James and his death, many of them, — as his being of the line of the priests, his entering at his pleasure into the sanctum sanctorum, his being carried up and set by a great multitude of people on a pinnacle of the temple, — are so palpably false that no color of probability can be given unto them, and most of the rest seem altogether incredible. That, in general, this holy apostle of Jesus Christ, his kinsman according to the flesh, was stoned by Ananus, during the anarchy between the governments of Festus and Albinus, Josephus, who then lived, testifies, and all ecclesiastical historians agree. 7. The churches at this time in Jerusalem and Judea were very numerous.

    The oppressors, robbers, and seditious of all sorts, being wholly intent upon the pursuit of their own ends, filling the government of the nation with tumults and disorders; the disciples of Christ, who knew that the time of their preaching the gospel unto their countrymen was but short, and even now expiring, followed their work with diligence and success, — being not greatly regarded in the dust of that confusion which was raised by the nation’s rushing into its fatal ruin. 8. All these churches, and the multitudes that belonged unto them, were altogether, with the profession of the gospel, addicted zealously unto the observation of the law of Moses. The synod, indeed, at Jerusalem had determined that the yoke of the law should not be put upon the necks of the Gentile converts, Acts 15: But eight or nine years after that, when Paul came up unto Jerusalem again, chapter 21:20-22, James informs him that the many thousands of the Jews who believed did all zealously observe the law of Moses; and, moreover, judged that all those who were Jews by birth ought to do so also; and on that account were like enough to assemble in a disorderly multitude, to inquire into the practice of Paul himself, who had been ill reported of amongst them. On this account they kept their assemblies distinct from those of the Gentiles all the world over; as, amongst others, Jerome informs us, in his notes on the first chapter of the Galatians, All those Hebrews, then, to whom Paul wrote this Epistle, continued in the use and practice of Mosaical worship, as celebrated in the temple and their synagogues, with all other legal institutions whatever.

    Whether they did this out of an unacquaintedness with their liberty in Christ, or out of a pertinacious adherence unto their own prejudicate opinions, I shall not determine. 9. From this time forward the body of the people of the Jews saw not a day of peace or quietness: tumults, seditions, outrages, robberies, murders, increased all the nation over. And these things, by various degrees, made way for that fatal war, which, beginning about six or seven years after the death of James, ended in the utter desolation of the people, city, temple, and worship, foretold so long before by Daniel the prophet, and intimated by our Savior to lie at the door. This was that “day of the Lord” whose sudden approach the apostle declares unto them, chapter 10:36, 37, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Mikro”A very little while,” less than you think of, or imagine;’ the manner whereof he declares, chapter 12:26, 27. And by this means he effectually diverted them from a pertinacious adherence unto those things whose dissolution from God himself was so nigh at hand; which argument was also afterwards pressed by Peter, 2 Epist. chapter 3. 10. Our blessed Savior had long before warned his disciples of all these things, particularly of the desolation that was to come upon the whole people of the Jews, with the tumults, distresses, persecutions, and wars, which should precede; directing them to the exercise of patience in the discharge of their duty, until the approach of the final calamity; out of which he advised them to free themselves by flight, or a timely departure out of Jerusalem and all Judea, Matthew 24:15-21. This, and no other, was the oracle mentioned by Eusebius, whereby the Christians were warned to depart out of Jerusalem. It was given, as he says, toi~v doki>moiv, to “approved men” amongst them; for although the prophecy itself was written by the evangelists, yet the especial meaning of it was not known and divulged amongst all. The leaders of them kept this secret for a season, lest, an exasperation of the people being occasioned thereby, they should have been obstructed in the work which they had to do, before its accomplishment. And this was the way of the apostles also as to other future events, which, being foretold by them, might provoke either Jews or Gentiles if publicly divulged, 2 Thessalonians 2:5,6. But now, when the work of the church among the Jews for that season was come to its close, the elect being gathered out of them, and the final desolation of the city and people appearing to be at hand, by a concurrence of all the signs foretold by our Savior, those intrusted with the sense of that oracle warned their brethren to provide for that flight whereunto they were directed. That this flight and departure, probably with the loss of all their possessions, was grievous unto them, may easily be conceived. But that which seems most especially to have perplexed them, was their relinquishment of that worship of God whereunto they had been so zealously addicted. That this would prove grievous unto them, our Savior had before intimated, Matthew 24:30. Hence were they so stow in their obedience unto that heavenly oracle, although excited with the remembrance of what befell Lot’s wife in the like tergiversation.

    Nay, as is likely from this Epistle, many of them who had made profession of the gospel, rather than they would now utterly forego their old way of worship, deserted the faith, and, cleaving to their unbelieving countrymen, perished in their apostasy; whom our apostle in an especial manner forewarns of their inevitable and sore destruction, by that fire of God’s indignation which was shortly to “devour the adversaries,” to whom they associated themselves, chapter 10:25-31. 11. This was the time wherein this Epistle was written; this the condition of the Hebrews unto whom it was written, both in respect of their political and ecclesiastical estate. Paul, who had an inexpressible zeal and overflowing affection for his countrymen, being now in Italy, considering the present condition of their affairs; — how pertinaciously they adhered to Mosaical institutions; how near the approach of their utter abolition was; how backward, during that frame of spirit, they would be to save themselves, by fleeing from the midst of that perishing generation; what danger they were in to forego the profession of the gospel, when it could not be retained without a relinquishment of their former divine service and ceremonies, — writes this Epistle unto them, wherein he strikes at the very root of all their dangers and distresses. For, whereas all the danger of their abode in Jerusalem and Judea, and so of falling in the destruction of the city and people; all the fears the apostle had of their apostasy into Judaism; all their own disconsolations in reference unto their flight and departure, — arose from their adherence unto and zeal for the law of Moses; by declaring unto them the nature, use, end, and expiration of his ordinances and institutions, he utterly removes and takes away the ground and occasion of all the evils mentioned. This was the season wherein this Epistle was written, and these some of the principal occasions (though it had other reasons also, as we shall see afterwards) of its writing; and I no way doubt (though particular events of those days are buried in oblivion) but that, through His grace who moved and directed the apostle unto, and in, the writing of it, it was made signally effectual towards the professing Hebrews, — both to free them from that yoke of bondage wherein they had been detained, and to prepare them with cheerfulness unto the observation of evangelical worship, leaving their countrymen to perish in their sin and unbelief.


    IT is generally agreed that the Epistle was written before the destruction of Jerusalem. Mill, Wetstein, Tillemont, Calmet, and Lardner, hold that it was written in the year 63. Bashage, like Owen, is in favor of an earlier date, and ascribes it to A.D. 61. The most recent authority, Dr Davidson, remarks, “If the letter was written by Paul, it could only have proceeded from him during the first two years of his imprisonment noticed at the close of the Acta It preceded the Second to Timothy, A.D. 62 or 63. It Was thus composed in Italy, according to chapter 13:24, and in accordance as well with the subscription of many MSS. ajpo< jItali>av , as that of others, ajpo< JRw>mhv . But there is a difficulty in supposing that oiJ ajpo< th~v jItali>av would have been employed by the author if he were at Rome, — a difficulty which we cannot satisfactorily solve.”


    THE LANGUAGE WHEREIN THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN. 1. Of the language wherein this Epistle was originally written — Supposed to be the Hebrew. 2. Grounds of that supposition disproved. 3. Not translated by Clemens. 4. Written in Greek — Arguments for the proof thereof. 5. Of citations out of the LXX. 1. BECAUSE this Epistle was written to the Hebrews, most of the ancients granted that it was written in Hebrew. Clemens Alexandrinus was the first who asserted it; after whom, Origen gave it countenance; from whom Eusebius received it; and from him Jerome: which is the most ordinary progression of old reports. The main reason which induced them to embrace this persuasion, was a desire to free the Epistle from an exception against its being written by Paul, taken from the dissimilitude of the style used in it unto that of his other epistles. This being once admitted, though causelessly, they could think of no better answer, than that this supposed difference of style arose from the translation of this Epistle, which by the apostle himself was first written in Hebrew. Clemens Romanus is the person generally fixed on as the author of this translation; though some do faintly intimate that Luke the evangelist might possibly be the man that did it. But this objection from the diversity of style, which alone begat this persuasion, hath been already removed out of the way, so that it cannot be allowed to be a foundation unto any other supposition. 2. That which alone is added, to give countenance unto this opinion, is that which we mentioned at the entrance of this discourse,-namely, that the apostle writing unto the Hebrews, he did it in their own native language; which being also his own, it is no wonder if he were more copious and elegant in it than he was in the Greek, whereunto originally he was a stranger, learning it, as Jerome supposeth, upon his conversion. But a man may modestly say unto all this, Oujdev . Every thing in this pretended reason of that which indeed never was, is so far from certainty that indeed it is beneath all probability.

    For, — (1.) If this Epistle was written originally in Hebrew, whence comes it to pass that no copy of it in that language was ever read, seen, or heard of, by the most diligent collectors of all fragments of antiquity in the primitive times? Had ever any such thing been extant, whence came it, in particular, that Origen, — that prodigy of industry and learning, — should be able to attain no knowledge or report of it? (2.) If it were incumbent on Paul, writing unto the Hebrews, to write in their own language, why did he not also write in Latin unto the Romans?

    That he did so, indeed, Gratian affirms; but without pretense of proof or witness, contrary to the testimony of all antiquity, the evidence of the thing itself, and constant confession of the Roman church. And Erasmus says well on Romans 1:7, “Coarguendus vel ridendus magis error eorum, qui putant Paulurn Romanis lingua Romana scripsisse;” — The error of them is to be reproved (or rather, laughed at), who suppose Paul to have written unto the Romans in the Latin tongue.” (3.) It is most unduly supposed that the Hebrew tongue was then the vulgar, common language of the Jews, when it was known only to the learned amongst them, and a corrupt Syriac was the common dialect of the people even at Jerusalem. (4.) It is as unduly averred that the Hebrew was the mother tongue of Paul himself, or that he was ignorant of the Greek; seeing he was born at Tarsus, in Cilicia, where that was the language that he was brought up in, and unto. (5.) The Epistle was written for the use of all the Hebrews in their several dispersions, especially that in the east, as Peter witnesseth, they being all alike concerned in the matter of it, though not so immediately as those in Judea and Jerusalem. Now, unto those the Greek language, from the days of the Macedonian empire, had been in vulgar use, and continued so to be. (6.) The Greek tongue was so well known and so much used in Judea itself, that, as a learned man hath proved by sundry testimonies out of their most ancient writings, it was called the vulgar amongst them.

    I know, among the rabbins there is mention of a prohibition of learning the Greek tongue; and in the Jerusalem Talmud itself, Tit. Peah. cap. 1, they add a reason of it, twrwsmh ynpm ; it was because of traitors, lest they should betray their brethren, and none understand them. But as this is contrary unto what themselves teach about the knowledge of tongues required in those who were to be chosen into the sanhedrim, so it is sufficiently disproved by the instances of the translators of the Bible, Jesus Syrachides, Philo, Josephus, and others among themselves. And though Josephus affirms, Antiq., lib. 20:cap. 11, that the study ofthe elegance of tongues was of no great reckoning amongst them, yet he grants that they were studied by all sorts of men. Nor doth this pretended decree of prohibition concern our times, it being made, as they say, Mishn. Tit.

    Sota., in the last wars of Titus: µda dmly alç wdzg µwfyf lç zyswmlwpb tynwy wnb ta ; — ”In the wars of Titus, they decreed that no man should teach his son the Greek language:” for it must be distinguished from the decree of the Asmoneans long before, prohibiting the study of the Grecian philosophy. So that this pretense is destitute of all color, being made up of many vain, and evidently false, suppositions. 3. Again, the Epistle is said to be translated by Clemens, but where, or when, we are not informed. Was this done in Italy, before it was sent unto the Hebrews? To what end, then, was it written in Hebrew, when it was not to be used but in Greek? Was it sent in Hebrew before the supposed translation? In what language was it communicated unto others by them who first received it? Clemens was never in the east to translate it. And if all the first copies of it were dispersed in Hebrew, how came they to be so utterly lost as that no report or tradition of them, or any one of them, did ever remain? Besides, if it were translated by Clemens in the west, and that translation alone preserved, how came it to pass that it was so well known and generally received in the east before the western churches admitted of it? This tradition, therefore, is also every way groundless and improbable. 4. Besides, there want not evidences in the Epistle itself, proving it to be originally written in the language wherein it is yet extant. I shall only point at the heads of them, for this matter deserves no long discourse: — (1.) The style of it throughout manifests it to be no translation; at least, it is impossible it should be one exact and proper, as its own copiousness, propriety of phrase and expression, with freedom from savoring of the Hebraisms of an original in that language, do manifest. (2.) It abounds with Greek elegancies and paronomasias, that have no countenance given unto them by any thing in the Hebrew tongue; such as that, for instance, chapter 5:8, ]Emaqen ajf j w=n e]paqen , — from the like expressions whereunto in the story of Susanna, ver. 55, 56, JYpo< sci~non , sxi>sei se me>son, and ver. 59, Jypo pri>non , pri>sai se me>son, it is well proved that it was written originally in the Greek language. (3.) The rendering of tyriB] constantly by diaqh>kh (of which more afterwards) is of the same importance. (4.) The words concerning Melchisedec, king of Salem, chapter 7:2, prove the same: Prw~ton memenov basileunhv , e]peita de< kai< basileunhv . Had the Epistle been written in Hebrew, what need this ejrmhnei>a ? That qd,x,Akil]mæ is, being interpreted, jq;d;x] Ël]m, , is a strange kind of interpretation; and so also is it that µlevæ Ël,m, is µwOlç; Ël,m, . When John reports the words of Mary, JRabbouni> , and adds of his own, o[ le>getai , dida>skale, “that is to say, Master,” John 20:16, doth any man doubt but that he wrote in Greek, and therefore so rendered her Syriac expression? And is not the same evident concerning our apostle, from the interpretation that he gives of those Hebrew words? And it is in vain to reply, that these words were added by the translator, seeing the very argument of the author is founded on the interpretation of those words which he gives us. It appears, then, that as the assertion that this Epistle was written in Hebrew is altogether groundless, — and it arose from many false suppositions, which render it more incredible than if it made use of no pretense at all, — so there want not evidences from the Epistle itself of its being originally written in the language wherein it is still extant, and those such as few other books of the New Testament can afford concerning themselves, should the same question be made about them. 5. Moreover, in the confirmation of our persuasion, it is by some added that the testimonies made use of in this Epistle out of the Old Testament are taken out of the translation of the LXX., and that sometimes the stress of the argument taken from them relies on somewhat peculiar to that version; which was not possible to have been done had it been written originally in Hebrew. But because this assertion contains other difficulties in it, and is built on a supposition which deserves a further examination, we shall refer it unto its own place and season, which ensues.


    On the point discussed in the previous Exercitation, a difference of an early date exists among critics. Clement of Alexandria held that “Paul wrote to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language, and that Luke carefully translated it into Greek,” Euseb. Hist. Ecclesiastes 6:14. Eusobius says, “Paul wrote to the Hebrews in his vernacular language, and, according to report, either Luke or Clement” (i.e., of Rome) “translated it,” Euseb. 3. 38. Jerome remarks, “He had written as a Hebrew to Hebrews, in the Hebrew tongue,” and “this Epistle was translated into Greek; so that the colouring of the style was made different in this way from that of Paul’s.”

    The following fathers may be named as holding the same opinion, — Theodoret, Euthalius, Primasius, Johannes Damascenus, OEcumenius, and Theophylact.

    The principal reasons for believing that the Epistle extant is merely the Greek translation of an Aramaean original are, first, the difference of style in it from the rest of Paul’s epistles, but this point has been considered already in the subsidiary note to the second Exercitation; and, secondly, that Hebrews are addressed, to whom their native tongue would be more acceptable. But the Greek tongue, by the time this Epistle was written, had obtained great currency in Palestine. Jerusalem was soon to be destroyed, the system of Judaism was verging on abolition, and the Jewish Christians were to be blended with their Gentile brethren of the faith. The employ-meat of the Greek tongue in the inspired writings tended to facilitate the happy amalgamation.

    Some considerations, in addition to what are noticed by Owen, have been deemed of force in support of a Greek original.

    Greek words occur which in Hebrew could be expressed only by a periphrasis: — Polumerw~v kai< polutro>pwv , ch. <580501> 5:1; ajpau>gasma , ch 1:3; eujperi>statov , ch. <581201> 12:1; metriopaqei~n , ch. 5:2; pa>nta uJpe>taxav uJpo< tw~n podw~n aujtou~ , ch. 2:8. “The verb in this clause,” to use the argument of Hug, which is thus well put by Dr Davidson, “is repeated in the context, Ouj galoiv uJpe>taze thnhn , ch. 2:5; ejn gaxai aujtw~| ta< pa>nta , oujden ajfh~ken aujtw~| ajnupo>takton , . . . oJrw~men aujtw~| ta< pa>nta uJpotetagme>na , ch. 2:8.

    But in Hebrew, the verb uJpota>ssw is expressed by a periphrasis, µyilæg]ræ tjæTæ tyvi , to place under the feet, and if the Epistle was written in Hebrew, the expressions derived from uJpota>ssw could not have been employed in that language, in consequence of the often repeated circumlocution.”

    Moreover, since the time of Owen, there is greater evidence of the probability that an apostle writing to the Christians in Palestine would write in Greek. The opinion of De Rossi that Syro-Chaldaic was almost exclusively used in that country has yielded before subsequent inquiries.

    Hug shows that our Lord must have spoken Greek in various districts, Mark 7:24, and with the Hellenists mentioned John 7:35, 12:20; that the language of the Roman magistracy was probably Greek; that considerable cities in Palestine were inhabited by Greeks; that the Roman garrisons spoke Greek; that the foreign Jews at the feast of the passover, amounting to hundreds of thousands, used the same language; that the Jews who spoke Greek had their own synagogue in Jerusalem, Acts 6:9, 9:29; and that a great number of the Christian Jews spoke it freely, Acts 6:1,2. Tholuck adds that James, who had never left Palestine, to judge from his Epistle, wrote Greek with elegance; and that the Septuagint must have been in common use among the Jews of Palestine, when Matthew and John generally follow it. The best evidence on this point is a passage sometimes appealed to in order to obtain an opposite inference, Acts 21:40. Though Paul spoke in the Hebrew tongue, the multitude expected him to address them in Greek. Order and attention were secured when the sounds of their native language fell upon their ear. The fact shows, however, that they were able and prepared to understand him in Greek. In the Epistle to the Hebrews Paul was writing to Christians, and under no necessity to conciliate attention by such an expedient. It was natural, therefore, that he should write in the language in which he had been educated at Tarsus, and in which he wrote all his other epistles.


    TESTIMONIES CITED BY THE APOSTLE OUT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. 1. Testimonies cited by the apostle out of the Old Testament. 2-12. Compared with the original and translations. 13-23. Whence the agreement of some of them with that of the LXX. 1. THERE is not any thing in this Epistle that is attended with more difficulty than the citation of the testimonies out of the Old Testament that are made use of in it. Hence some, from their unsuitableness, as they have supposed, unto the author’s purpose, have made bold to call in question, if not to reject, the authority of the whole. But for what concerns the matter of them, and the wisdom of the apostle in their application, it must be treated of in the respective places where they occur; when we shall manifest how vain and causeless are the exceptions which have been laid against them, and how singularly they are suited to the proof of those doctrines and assertions in the confirmation whereof they are produced.

    But the words also wherein they are expressed, varying frequently from the original, yield some difficulty in their consideration. And this concernment of the apostle’s citations, to prevent a further trouble in the exposition itself of the several places, may be previously considered. Not that we shall here explain and vindicate them from the exceptions mentioned, which must of necessity be done afterwards, as occasion offers itself; but we shall only discover in general what respect the apostle’s expressions have unto the original and the old translations thereof, and remove some false inferences that have been made on the consideration of them. To this end I shall briefly pass through them all, and compare them with the places whence they are taken. 2. Chap. 1 ver. 5. UiJo>v mou ei+ su< , ejgw< sh>meoron gege>nnhka> se? — ” Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” From Psalm 2:7. The words exactly answer the original, with the supply of only the verb substantive, whereof in the Hebrew there is almost a perpetual ellipsis, aT;aæ yniB] . And the same are the words in the translation of the LXX. In the same verse, jEgw< e]ssmai aujtw~| eijv pate>ra , kai< aujton? — ”I will be unto him a father, and he shall be unto me a son.” From 1 Chronicles 22:10. The LXX. otherwise, as to the order of the words, Ou=tov e]stai moi eijv uiJo>n , kaJ|gw< aujtw~| eijv pate>ra , which also is the order of the sentences in the original, the apostle using his own liberty, and varying from them both; so that this quotation is not directly from that translation.

    Ver. 6. Kai< proskunhsa>twsan aujtw~| pa>ntev a]ggeloi Qeou~? — ”And let all the angels of God worship him.” From Psalm 97:7, without change. Only µyhiloa’ , gods,” is rendered by the apostle a]ggeloi Qeou~, “the angels of God;” of the reason whereof afterwards. The LXX., Proskunh>sate aujtw~| pa>ntev a]ggeloi aujtou~, — ”Worship him all ye his angels ;” differing from the apostle both in form of speech and words.

    Hence some, not understanding whence this testimony was cited by the apostle, have inserted his words into the Greek Bible, Deuteronomy 32:43, where there is no color for their introduction, nor any thing in the original to answer unto them, whereas the psalmist expressly treateth of the same subject with the apostle; to the reason of which insertion into the Greek version we shall speak afterwards.

    Ver. 7. JO poiw~n toulouv aujtou~ pneu>mata , kai < touv flo>ga? — ” Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” From Psalm civ. 4. The LXX., pu~r fle>gon , “a flaming fire ;” Heb., fhelo vae , “fire of flame ;” Aquila, pu~r la>zron , “a vehement fire;” Symmachus, puri>nhn flo>ga, “a fiery flame.” Much variety, with little or no difference, as often falls out amongst good translators rendering peculiar Hebraisms, such as this is. The apostle’s expression is his own, not borrowed from the LXX.

    Ver. 8, 9 . JO qro>nov sou , oJ Qeothtov hJ rJa>bdov th~v basilei>av sou? hJga>phsav dikaiosu>nhn , kai< ejmi>shsav ajnomi>an? dia< tou~to e]crise> se , oJ Qeov sou , e]laion ajgallia>sewv para< toucouv sou? — ” Thy throne, O God, for ever and ever.” (The verb substantive is left out by the apostle, in answer unto the original, d[,w; µl;wO[ µyhiloa’ Úa\s]Ki , and µyhloa’ rendered oJ Qeo“A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and thou hast hated iniquity; wherefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” The words exactly answer the original, and they are the same in the translation of the LXX.; and whence that coincidence was we shall afterwards inquire.

    Aquila somewhat otherwise, J JO qronov sou Qee< eijv aijw~nai kai< e]ti.

    Symmachus, Aijw>noiv kai< e]ti. ( d[æ came to be translated e]ti , from likeness of sound.) In Qee<, “O God,” he expresseth the apostrophe, which is evident in the context. Skh~ptron eujqu>thtov , skh~ptron basilei>av sou. fb,çe he renders by skh~ptron, “sceptrum,” a scepter, properly, as we shall see afterwards on Genesis 49:10. jEmi>shsav ajse>qhma , “Thou hast hated ungodliness,” impiety, [vær,. jElai>w| cara~v , “With the oil of joy,” ˆwOcc; ˆm,ç, . Symmachus, jElai>w| ajglai`smou~, another word of the same signification with that used by the apostle. From Psalm 45:6,7.

    Ver. 10-12. Su< kat j ajrcarie , thswav , kai< e]rga tw~n ceirw~n sou eijsi? aujtoi< ajpolou~ntai , su< de< diame>neiv? kai< pa>ntev wJv iJma>tion palaiwqhsontai? kai< wJsei< peribo>laion eJli>xeiv aujtousontai? su< de< oJ aujtoyousi — And, Thou; O Lord, in the beginning hast founded the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they shall wax old as doth a garment; 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.” From <19A225> Psalm 102:25-27. And these words of the apostle are now exactly in the Greek Bible. Some little difference there is in them from the Hebrew, the reason whereof we shall afterwards give an account of. Symmachus for ejli>xeiv reads ajlla>xeiv , and so did the copies of the LXX. of old, the word being yet retained in some of them, and reckoned by all amongst the various readings of that translation. The word Ku>rie , “O Lord,” inserted by the apostle, is also undoubtedly taken from hence into the Greek Bible; for as the inserting of it was necessary unto the apostle to denote the person treated of, so it is not in the original, nor will the context of the psalm admit of it; so that it could no otherwise come into that place but from this of the apostle. Nor is it probable that the LXX. would translate ãylij\Tæ , JEli>xeiv ; “Thou shalt roll up,” and immediately render Wploj\yæ , jAllagh>sontai, “They shall be changed.” But here also the words have been borrowed from the apostle, whose design was not exactly to translate, but faithfully to apply the sense of the place unto his own purpose.

    Ver. 13. Ka>qou ejk dexiw~n mou , e[wv a\n qw~ touv sou uJpopo>dion tw~n podw~n sou? — ”Sit thou at my right hand, until I place enemies the footstool of thy feet.” From <19B001> Psalm 110:1. yniymiyli . “At my right hand,” ejk dexiw~n , in the plural number; of the reason of which change and manner of expression we shall treat in its proper place. And here there remains nothing of difference in any old translation. 3. Chap. 2 ver. 6-8. Ti> ejstin a]nqrwpov , o[ti mimnh>skh| aujtou~? h[ uiJopou , o[ti ejpiske>pth| aujtottwsav aujto ti par j ajgge>louv? do>xh| kai< timh~| ejstefa>nwsav aujtosthsav aujtonta uJpe>taxav uJpoka>tw tw~n podw~n aujtou~? — ”What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou hast made him less for a little while than the angels; thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, and hast set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast subjected all things under his feet.” From Psalm 8:4-6. The words of the apostle are the same with those in the present copy of the LXX. Theodotion, Bracu> ti para< qeou~ , µyhiloa’me f[æm] , from the ambiguous signification of the word µyhloa’ , about which great stirs have been raised; whereof in their proper place. Chrysostom on this text mentions some different translations of the words of the psalm. ]Allov , saith he, Ti> oJ kat j a]ndra o[ti mnhmoneu>eiv aujtou~ ; — ”Another book reads, ‘What is he according to man, that thou rememberest him?’” vwOna’Ahm; is not Ti> oJ kat j a]ndra , but Ti> a]nqrwpov qnh>tov ; “What is mortal man?” Again, jHla>ttwsav aujto ti par j ajlle>louv? e[terov , bracu> ti para< Qeo>n a]llov , jOli>gon para< Qeo~n , — ”Another, instead of, ‘Thou visitest him,’ ‘That thou wilt visit him.’” Again, [Eterov , Do>xh| kai< timh~| ste>yeiv aujto>n , — ”Instead of ‘Less for a little while than angels;’ another, ‘A little less than God;’ and another, ‘Less than God.’” And, he adds, the Hebrew is, Oujqasrhoou~ mam , µyhiloa’me f[æm] WhreS]jæT]wæ . So different was their pronunciation of the Hebrew from that in use amongst us. Again, he adds, [Eterov , Do>xh| kai< timh~| ste>yeiv aujto>hn, — ” Thou shalt crown him with glory and honor;” and yet, a]llov , jExousia>zein ejpoi>hsav aujto>n , — ” Thou madest him to have power.” From all which variety it is most evident that there were various readings of this context in the ancient copies of the LXX., for no footsteps of them appear in the remains of Aquila, Theodotion, or Symmachus; and that therefore the common reading which is now fixed in the Greek Bible was translated thither from this place of the apostle.

    Ver 12 . jApaggelw~ to< o]noma> sou toi~v ajdelfoi~v mou , ejn me>sw| ejkklhsi>av uJmnh>sw se? — ” I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise unto thee.” From Psalm 22:22, Diagh>somai to< o]noma , hr;p]sæa\ .

    Ver. 13. jEgw< e]somai pepoiqw— ” I will put my trust in him.” From Psalm 18:2. LXX., jElpiw~ ejp j aujto>n? — ” I will hope in him.” But wOBAhs,j’a, is rightly rendered by the apostle, “I will trust in him.” The LXX. have these words of the apostle in Isaiah 8:17, where the words of the original are wOl ytiyWeqiw], — ” And I will wait for him:” so that their words seem to be taken from this place of the apostle, as apprehending his testimony to be cited from the prophet; which that it is not we shall prove evidently afterwards.

    The same verse: j jIdou< ejgw< kai< ta< paidi>a a[ moi e]dwken oJ Qeo>v? ”Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” From Isaiah 8:18. 4. Chap. 3 ver. 7-11. Sh>meron ejashte , mh< sklhru>nhte taav ujmw~n , wJv ejn tw~| parapikrasmw~| , kata< thran tou~ peirasmou~ ejn th~| ejrh>mw|? ou= ejpei>rasa>n me oiJ pate>rev uJmw~n , ejdoki>masa>n me , kai< ei=don ta< e]rga mou tessara>konta e]th? dio< prosw>cqisa th~| genea~| ejkei>nh| , kai< ei+pon , jAei< plavw~ntai th~| kardi>a| , aujtoi< de< oujk e]gnwsan tav mou? wJv w]mosa ejn th~| ojrgh~| mou? eij eijseleu>sontai eijv thpausi>n mou? — ”To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the day of provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.” From Psalm 95:7-11. The translation of the LXX. agrees with the words of the apostle, both of them answering the original.

    Only, the apostle, clearly to express the reason of God’s judgments on that people in the wilderness, distinguisheth the words somewhat otherwise than they are in the Hebrew text. For whereas that saith, “When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works: forty years long was I grieved with that generation ;” the apostle adds that season of “forty years” to the mention of their sins, and interposing dio> , “wherefore,” refers his speech unto the words foregoing, as containing the cause of the ensuing wrath and judgment. And although our present copies of the Greek Bible distinguish the words according to the Hebrew text, yet Theodoret informs us that some copies made the distinction with the apostle, and added dio> before prosw>cqisa, which also is observed by Nobilius: and this could arise from no other cause but an attempt to insert the very words of the apostle in that text; as did the ei+pon also, reckoned amongst its various lections, though ei=pa remains in the vulgar editions. 5. Chap. 4. ver. 4. Kai< kate>pausen oJ Qeora| th~| ejbdo>mh| ajpo< pa>ntwn tw~n e]rgwn aujtou~? — ”And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” From Genesis 2:2. The apostle adds oJ Qeocomplete his assertion, and leaves out hc;[; rv,a\ a[ ejpoi>hse , “which he had made,” as not to his purpose. The LXX., w=n ejpoi>hse , and otherwise also differing from the apostle. 6. Chap 5. Ver. 6. Su< iJereuxin Melxisede>k? — ”Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” From Psalm 90:4. So also the LXX., ytir;b]DiAl[æ , with jod superfluous, kata< lo>gon ; i.e., ghæg]mi , Mos. There is nothing of variety remaining in these words from any other translations. 7. Chap. 6. ver. 14 . Eujlogw~n ejlogh>sw se , kai< plhqu>nwn plhqunw~ se? — ” Blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.”

    From Genesis 22:17. The LXX., Plhqunw~ to< spe>rma sou , — ” I will multiply thy seed.” 8. Chap. 8. ver. 8-12 . jIdou< , hJme>rai e]rcontai , le>gei Ku>riov (LXX., fnhsi< Ku>riov ), kai< suntele>sw ejpi< toda diaqh>khn kainh>n (LXX., diaqh>somai tw~| oi+kw| jIsrahknh kainh>n ) ? ouj kata< thknh h[n ejpoi>has toi~v patra>sin aujtw~n (LXX., h[n dieqe>mhn ), ejn hJme>ra| ejpilazome>nou mou th~v ceiroptou? o[ti aujtoi< oujk ejne>meinan ejn th~| diaqh>kh| mou , kajgw< hjme>lhsa aujtw~n , le>gei Ku>riov? o[ti au[th hJ diaqh>kh h[n diaqh>somai tw~| oi]kw| jIsrahrav ejkei>nav , le>gei Ku>riov , didoumouv mou (LXX., didousw ) eijv thnoian aujtw~n , kai< ejpi< kardi>av aujtw~n ejpigra>yw aujtou>v? kai< e]somai aujtoi~v eijv Qeon? kai< ouj mh< dida>xwsin e[kastov toon auJtou~ , kai< e[kastov togwn , Gnw~qi torion? o[ti pa>ntev eijdh>sousi> me , ajpo< mikrou~ aujtw~n e[wv mega>lou aujtw~n? o[ti i[lewv e]somai tai~v ajdiki>aiv aujtw~n , kai< tw~n aJmartiw~n aujtw~n kai< tw~n ajnomiw~n aujtw~n ouJ mh< mnhsqw~ e]ti? — ”Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws in their minds, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” From Jeremiah 31:31-34. Instead of toon, “his neighbor, “verse 11, the LXX. read tothn , “his fellowcitizen.” But some copies of the LXX. read plhsi>on, and some of this text poli>thn; which makes it evident that there hath been tampering, to bring them to uniformity. But the greatest difficulty of this quotation ariseth from the agreement of the apostle’s words and the translation of the LXX., where both of them seem to depart from the original: for these words in the Hebrew text, ver. 32, µb; yTil][æB; ykinOa;w] ytiB]Ata, Wrpehe hM;heArç,a\ , “Which my covenant they made void, and I was an husband unto them,” or “ruled over them,” are rendered by them, Oujk ejne>meinan ejn th~| diaqh>kh| mou , kai< ejhw< hJme>lhsa aijtw~n , “And they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not.” The reason of the apostle’s translation of these words we shall manifest and vindicate in our exposition of the context. At present the coincidence of it with that of the LXX., and that in a passage wherein they both seem to differ from the original, and all translations besides the Syriac and the Arabic, which are made out of it (though the Syriac follows it not in the confused transpositions that are made of Jeremiah’s prophecies, from chapter 25 to chapter xl., as the Arabic doth), is only to be considered; which shall be done so soon as we have recounted the remaining testimonies, whereof some are attended with the same difficulty. 9. Chap. 9. ver. 20. Tou~to to< ai=ma th~v diaqh>khv h=v ejnetei>lato prov? — ” This is the blood of the covenant which God hath enjoined unto you.” From Exodus 24:8. The sense of the Hebrew text is alluded unto, not the words absolutely. The LXX., jIdou< to< ai=ma th~v diaqh>khv h=v die>qeto ku>riov prowords of the apostle. 10. Chap. 10. Ver. 5. Qusi>an kai< prosforalhsav , sw~ma de< kathrti>sw moi? — ”Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not have, a body thou hast prepared me.” From Psalm 40:6. So also the LXX., both with great difference from the original: for yLi t;yriK; µyinæz]a; , My ears hast thou digged, or bored,” is rendered, “A body thou hast prepared me.”

    Of the reason of which difference and agreement we shall treat afterwards.

    Ver. 6 . Jolokautw>mata kai< peri< aJmarti>av oujk eujdo>khsav? — ”In burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.” Heb., T;l]a;v; alo , “Thou hast not required.” The apostle expresseth exactly the sense of the Holy Ghost, but observes not the first, exact signification of the word. The LXX., h[|thsav , and in some copies ejzh>thsav , “soughtest not.”

    Ver. 7 . jIdou< h[kw (ejn kefali>di bibli>ou ge>graptai peri< ejmou~ ) tou~ poih~sai , oJ Qeolhma> sou? — ”Behold, I come (in the head, or beginning, of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God:” that is, Genesis in. 15. Heb., rp,seAtLægim]Bi ; — ”In the roll of the book.”

    Symmachus, jEn tw~| teu>cei tou~ oJrismou~? — ” In the volume of thy determination.” Aquila, j jEn tw~| eijlh>mati? — ” In the roll.” j jEn to>mw|? — In the section.” LXX., Tou~ poih~sai to< qe>lhua> sou Qeoqhn? — ” I was willing to do thy will, O my God.”

    Ver 38. JO de< di>kaiov ejk pi>stewv (LXX., mou ) zh>setai? kai< ejalhtai , oujk eujdokei~ hJ yuch> mou ejn aujtw~|? — ”But if any draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” From Hab. 2:4. The words of the prophet are transposed, and the beginning of the last clause much altered. wOB wOvp]næ hr;c]y;Aalo hl;P][u hNehi ; — ”Behold, it is lifted up, his soul is not right in him.” But the sense and intendment of the Holy Ghost is preserved, as shall be manifested. 11. Chap. 12. ver. 5, 6. UiJe> mou (mou is not in the LXX.; Heb., yniB] , “my son,”) mh< ojligw>rei paidei>av Kuri>ou , mnde< ejklu>ou , mJp j aujtou~ ejlegco>menov? o[n gariov , paideu>ei? (LXX., ejle>gcei , and in some copies paideu>ei , from this place of the apostle,) mastigoi~ de< pa>nta uiJocetai? — “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” From Proverbs 3:11,12. hx,r,yi ˆBeAta, ba;k]W; — ” And as a father the son whom he delighteth in.” The sense is retained, but the words not exactly repeated. Aquila, µa;m]TiAlaæ , Mh< ajpodoki>mason, “Reject not, ÅqoT;Alaæw] , Theodotion, Mhde< ejgkakh>sh|v , “Neither vex thyself.” 12. Chap. 13. ver. 5. Ouj mh> se ajnw~ , oujd j ouj mh> se ejgkatali>pw? — ”I will not leave thee, neither will I forsake thee.” From Joshua 1:5. The LXX., in different words, Oujk ejgkatalei>yw se , sujd j uJpero>yomai se? — ” I will not leave thee, neither will I despise thee.” The apostle’s words exactly express the original.

    Ver. 6 is from <19B806> Psalm 118:6, without any difficulty attending it. 13. And these are all the places that are cited, kata< rJhto>n, by the apostle in this Epistle out of the Old Testament. Very many others there are, which he either alludes unto or expounds, that are not of our present consideration. Neither are these here proposed to be unfolded as to the sense of them, or as to the removal of the difficulties that the application of them by him is attended withal. This is the proper work of the Exposition of the Epistle intended. All at present aimed at is, to present them in one view, with their agreement and differences from the original and translations, that we may the better judge of his manner of proceeding in the citing of them, and what rule he observed therein. And what in general may be concluded from that prospect we have taken of them, I shall offer in the ensuing observations: — 14. First, it is evident that they are exceedingly mistaken who affirm that the apostle cites all his testimonies out of the translation of the LXX., as we intimated is by some pleaded, in the close of the preceding discourse.

    The words he useth, in very few of them agree exactly with that Greek version of the Old Testament which is now extant, — though apparently, since the writing of this Epistle, it hath grown in its verbal conformity unto the allegations as reported in the New; and in most of them he varieth from it, either in the use of his own liberty, or in a more exact rendering of the original text. This the first prospect of the places and words compared will evince. Should he have had any respect unto that translation, it were impossible to give any tolerable account whence he should so much differ from it almost in every quotation, as is plain that he doth. 15. It is also undeniably manifest, from this view of his words, that the apostle did not scrupulously confine himself unto the precise words either of the original or any translation whatever, — if any other translation, or targum, were then extant besides that of the LXX. Observing and expressing the sense of the testimonies which he thought meet to produce and make use of, he used great liberty, as did other holy writers of the New Testament, according to the guidance of the Holy Ghost, by whose inspiration he wrote, in expressing them by words of his own. And who shall blame him for so doing? Who should bind him to the rules of quotations, which sometimes necessity, sometimes curiosity, sometimes the cavils of other men, impose upon us in our writings? Herein the apostle used that liberty which the Holy Ghost gave unto him, without the least prejudice unto truth or the faith of the church. 16. Whereas any one of these testimonies, or any part of any one of them, may appear at first view to be applied by him unsuitably unto their original importance and intention, we shall manifest not only the contrary to be true against those who have made such exceptions, but also that he makes use of those which were most proper, and cogent, with respect unto them with whom he had to do. For the apostle in this Epistle, as shall be fully evidenced, disputes upon the acknowledged principles and concessions of the Hebrews. It was then incumbent on him, to make use of such testimonies as were granted, in their church, to belong unto the ends and purposes for which by him they were produced. And that these are such, shall be evinced from their own ancient writings and traditions. 17. The principal difficulty about these citations, lies in those wherein the words of the apostle are the same with those now extant in the Greek Bible, both evidently departing ‘from the original. Three places of this kind are principally vexed by expositors and critics; the first is that of Psalm 40:7, where the words of the psalmist, in the Hebrew, yLi t;yriK; µyinæz]a; , “My ears hast thou bored” or “digged,” are rendered by the apostle, according to the translation of the LXX., Sw~ma de< kathrti>sw moi , “But a body hast thou prepared me.” That the apostle doth rightly interpret the meaning of the Holy Ghost in the psalm, and in his paraphrase apply the words unto that very end for which they were intended, shall be cleared afterwards. The present difficulty concerns the coincidence of his words with those of the LXX., where apparently they answer not the original. The next is that of the prophet Jeremiah, 31:32, µb; yTil][æB; ykinOa;w] , “And I was an husband unto them,” or “I was a lord unto them,” or “ruled over them,” as the Vulgar Latin renders the words; the apostle, with the LXX., Kai< ejgw< hJme>lhsa aujtw~n , “And I regarded them not,” or “despised them.” The third is that from Habakkuk 2:4, hl;P][u hNehi /B/p]næ hr;vy;Aalo , “Behold, it is lifted up, his soul is not right in him;” which words the apostle, with the LXX., render, Kai< ejalhtai , oujk eujdokei~ hJ yuch> mou ejn aujtw~|? — ”But if any draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” 18. Concerning these and some other places, many confidently affirm that the apostle waived the original, and reported the words from the translation of the LXX. Cappellus with some others proceed further, and assign the rise of this difference unto some other copies of the Hebrew text, used by the LXX., varying from those which now remain. Thus, in particular, in that place of Jeremiah before mentioned, he conjectures that for ytil][æB; they read ytil][æG; “I despised them;” as another doth that they read ytil]jæB; to the same purpose: for of such conjectures there is no end.

    But as ytil][æB; may well signify as the apostle expounds it, and in other places doth so, as we shall see afterwards, so this boldness in correcting the text, and fancying, without proof, testimony, or probability, of other ancient copies of the scripture of the Old Testament, differing in many things from them which alone remain, and which indeed were ever in the world, may quickly prove pernicious to the church of God. We must therefore look after another expedient for the removal of this difficulty. 19. I say, then, it is highly probable that the apostle, according to his wonted manner, which appears in almost all the citations used by him in this Epistle, reporting the sense and importance of the places in words of his own, the Christian transcribers of the Greek Bible inserted his expressions into the text; either as judging them a more proper version of the original, whereof they were ignorant, than that of the LXX., or out of a preposterous zeal to take away the appearance of a diversity between the text and the apostle’s citation of it. And thus, in those testimonies where there is a real variation from the Hebrew original, the apostle took not his words from the translation of the LXX., but his words were afterwards inserted into that translation. And this, as we have partly made to appear already in sundry instances, so it shall now briefly be further confirmed; for, — 20. First, Whereas the reasons of the apostle for his application of the testimonies used by him in his words and expressions are evident, as shall in particular be made to appear; so no reason can be assigned why the LXX (if any such LXX. there were) who translated the Old Testament, or any other translators of it, should so render the words of the Hebrew text.

    Neither various lections, nor ambiguity of signification in the words of the original, can in most of them be pleaded. For instance, the apostle, in applying those words of the psalmist, Psalm 40:7, yLi t;yriK; µyinæz]a; , unto the human nature and body of Christ, wherein he did the will of God, did certainly express the design and intention of the Holy Ghost in them; But who can imagine what should move the LXX. to render ˆz,ao , a word of a known signification and univocal, by sw~ma , when they had translated it a hundred and fifty times, that is constantly elsewhere, by ou=v and wjti>on , an “ear,” which alone it signifies? or what should move them to render hræK; by katarti>zw , to “prepare,” when the word signifies to “dig” or to “bore,” and is always so rendered elsewhere by themselves? Neither did any such thing come into their minds in the translation of those places whence this expression seems to be borrowed, Exodus 21:6, Deuteronomy 15:17. When any man, then, can give a tolerable conjecture why the LXX. should be inclined thus to translate these words, I shall consider it. In the meantime, I judge there is much more ground to suppose that the apostle’s expressions, which he had weighty cause to use, were by some person inserted into the Greek text of the Old Testament, than that a translation which those that made it had no cause so to do, evidently forsaking the proper meaning of very obvious words, and their sense, known to themselves, should be taken up and used by the apostle unto his purpose. 21. Secondly, It is certain that some words, used by the apostle, have been inserted into some copies of the Greek Bible, which, being single words, and of little importance, prevailed not in them all; as may be seen in sundry of the foregoing instances. And why may we not think that some whole sentences might, on the same account, be inserted in some of them, which, being of more importance, found a more general acceptance? And how by other means also that translation was variously changed and corrupted of old, and that before the days of Jerome, learned men do know and confess. 22. It is further evident that one place, at least, in this Epistle, which, it may be, some could not conjecture from whence it should be taken, yet finding it urged by the apostle as a testimony out of the Old Testament, is inserted in another place of the text than that from which the apostle took it, and that where there is not the least color for its insertion. This is the testimony out of Psalm 97:7, which the apostle cites, chapter 1:6, in words much differing from those wherewith the original is rendered by the LXX. This some of the transcribers of the Bible, not knowing well where to find, have inserted, in the very syllables of the apostle’s expression, into Deuteronomy 32:43; where it yet abides, though originally it had no place there, as we shall, in the exposition of the words, sufficiently manifest. The same and no other is the cause why hF;m] is rendered rja>zdov , Genesis 47:31. And may we not as well think, nay, is it not more likely, that they would insert his words into the places from whence they knew his testimonies were taken, with a very little alteration of the ancient reading, than that they would wholly intrude them into the places from whence they were not taken by him, which yet undeniably hath been done, and that with success? Nay, we find that many things out of the New Testament are translated into the apocryphal books themselves; as, for instance, Ecclus. 24:3, we have these words in the Latin copies, “Ex ore Altissimi prodii primogenita ante omnem creaturam;” which are cited by Bellarmine and others in the confirmation of the deity of Christ, whereas they are taken from Colossians 1:15, and are in no Greek copies of that book, [Ecclesiasticus.] 23. Upon these reasons, then, — which may yet be rendered more cogent by many other instances, but that we confine ourselves to this Epistle, — I suppose I may conclude that it is more probable, at least, that the apostle’s interpretations of the testimonies used by him, all agreeably unto the mind of the Holy Ghost, were by some of old inserted into the vulgar copies of the Greek translation of the Old Testament, and therein prevailed unto common acceptation, than that he himself followed, in the citation of them, a translation departing without reason from the original text, and diverting unto such senses as its authors knew not to be contained in them, which must needs give offense unto them with whom he had to do. It appears, then, that from hence no light can be given unto our inquiry after the language wherein this Epistle was originally written, though it be clear enough upon other considerations.

    SUBSIDIARY NOTE ON EXERCITATION 5. BY THE EDITOR. DR OWEN is anxious to make it appear that “very few” of the quotations from the Old Testament in this Epistle agree with the Septuagint, and that in those instances where an agreement obtains between them, the Greek renderings of Paul in the Epistle may have been subsequently inserted in copies of that version. In neither of these conclusions is he sustained by the voice of modern criticism. As the subject is of some importance, we submit the views of three modern writers, who have devoted special attention to it.

    Stuart classifies the quotations of the Epistle under the following divisions : — “1. There are many exact coincidences between the Septuagint and Hebrew and the quotations in our Epistle; in almost every minute word.” Of this class he gives fourteen instances : — Hebrews 1:5; 1:10, seq .; 1:12; 2:6, seq .; 2:12; 2:13; in. 7, seq.; 3:15; 4:3; 4:7; 5:5; 5:6; 7:17, 21; 13:6. “2. In a considerable number of cases there is nearly an exact coincidence with the Septuagint and Hebrew, yet with some slight verbal differences.” Of this class he gives seven instances: — Hebrews 1:6; 4:4; 8:5; 8:8; 9:20; 10:16, 17; 10:37, 38. “3. There is a number of cases in which there is a little discrepancy in diction from the Septuagint, where it agrees with the Hebrew.” Of this class he gives six instances: — Heb, 1:7; 1:8, 9; 12:26; 6:14; 12:20; 12:21. “4. There is an accordance in several cases with the Septuagint, where it differs from the Hebrew,’ — e.g., Hebrews 10:5, seq .; 11:21; 12:6; 13:5.

    Tholuck remarks of this Epistle, that “its citations are unequally close, and in the longer passages agree quite verbally with the Septuagint. The citation in Hebrews 10:30 is the only one that forms an exception. Our Epistle, also, in two important passages, Hebrews 10:5 and Hebrews 2:7, has followed the Greek version closely, although, according to our existing text, it is essentially defective; as similar errors of translation may be also adduced, Hebrews 11:21, ejpi< to< a]kron th~v rJa>zdou , and Hebrews 13:15, karpown .” We cannot admit, what Tholuck asserts, that the author of our Epistle has been led either to an erroneous translation, or to an application not corresponding to the Old Testament text. Tholuck himself acknowledges the substantial accuracy of the readings in ch. 10:5 and ch. 13:15. It is questionable if the last instance is a quotation at all. It is held by some to be taken from Hosea 14:3, by reading yrip] instead of µyrip; , “fruit” instead of “calves.” But if it be derived from any source, it is as probable that Proverbs 18:20, ypi yrip] , supplied the matrix of the expression. In regard to ch. 2:7, the clause in which it follows the Septuagint, in opposition to the Hebrew, is now omitted, on such critical authority as Griesbach, Scholz, Knapp, Lachmann, and Tischendorf. Nor is Tholuck warranted to speak of the phrase in ch. 11:21 as a mistranslation borrowed from the Septuagint. The question depends upon the vowel-pointing of the Hebrew in Genesis 47:31, whether it should be hF,Mæhæ , “staff,” or hF;Mihæ , “bed.” Stuart has no hesitation in preferring the former, in which case there would be no mistranslation; and it is more reasonable to suppose an error in punctuation, which might be a mistake of the transcriber, than an error of translation in an inspired epistle.

    Davidson thus expresses himself on the subject of these citations: — “In the Epistle to the Hebrews the Septuagint is everywhere quoted, irrespective of the fact whether the version gives the sense or not.

    Departures from the Greek are trifling .... In short, the writer never consulted the Hebrew. There is but one exception to this, namely, ch. 10:30 It must be maintained that in ch. 10:30 the writer of the present Epistle goes to the Hebrew, departing from the Septuagint.”

    The citation in ch. 10:30 really suggests the most decisive results. The passage is in harmony with the Hebrew; it varies completely from the Septuagint. Moreover, on comparison with Romans 12:19, where the same quotation from Deuteronomy 32:35,36, occurs, the same translation which is given in ch. 10:30 is found, with the important addition in both instances of le>gei Ku>riov . The epistles in which a translation so curiously identical occurs must have emanated from the same author. Moreover, he must have availed himself of the Greek version already in existence as freely as he could, since the Hebrew original was comparatively of limited circulation in his day, and only departed from it under the pressure of an absolute necessity. The inspiration that guided him to this course ratified the propriety of translating the Scriptures into all the vernacular tongues of the world.


    No better place than the present occurs for reference to this point, on which there has been considerable discussion since the days of Owen. The various opinions respecting it may be reduced to four: — 1. That it was written to Gentile Christians; 2. To Jewish believers out of Palestine; 3. To Jewish believers in Palestine; and, 4. To Jewish believers in Palestine, but more especially in Jerusalem or Caesarea. 1. Roeth believes it to have been sent to the church at Ephesus; Baumgarten Crusius, to the joint church of the Ephesians and Colossians. 2. Under the second class, Jewish believers generally, or in Asia Minor, or Spain, or Rome, or Alexandria, or elsewhere, have been named as the parties to whom it was addressed. 3. The authorities in favor of the third view are numerous, consisting of the great majority both of the ancient fathers and modern critics. The reasons for this opinion are, — (1.) The weight of ancient authority ; for it is supported by the testimony of Jerome, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, and the great body of the fathers. (2.) The inscription which the Epistle bears, — Proouv . Credner and Bleek regard this title or inscription as proceeding from the author of the Epistle; and though this view should be rejected, the antiquity of the inscription is beyond doubt, as it was known to the fathers of the second century, and appears in such ancient versions as the Vetus Itala, and the Peshito. The word Jezrai>ouv is, however, of uncertain application, denoting, according to New Testament usage, either Hebrews by religion and nation, as in Philippians 3:5, 2 Corinthians 11:22, or the Jews of Palestine who used the Aramaean language, in opposition to the Hellenists, — Jews born out of Palestine, and using chiefly the Greek language, as in Acts 6:1. The analogy of the title of an early Gospel, whether a separate Gospel or an Aramaean original of Matthew’s Gospel, Eujagge>lion kaq j JEzrai>ouv, is conceived to fix the meaning of the term in the latter sense, as it is used in the inscription to the Epistle. (3.) The general tenor of the Epistle, as it contains no allusions to any previous heathenism on the part of those to whom it was addressed, and no discussion of the points on which controversy at one time prevailed between the Gentile and Jewish Christians; it presupposes familiar knowledge of the rites and services of the temple on the part of its readers, and warns them against the temptation to which they were specially exposed, — apostasy to Judaism, in consequence of the powerful hold which the Levitical worship, in daily observance before them, had upon their earliest associations. (4.) Particular references which occur in the Epistle. In ch. 13:12, “Without the gate” is a phrase which a Jew resident in Palestine could alone fully understand; in ch. 10:32-34, the persecution alluded to accords with what we know of the sufferings of the primitive Christians in Jerusalem; in ch. 9:5, “It is not necessary” seems imply a local and personal acquaintance which the readers were presumed to possess of the objects to which reference is made.

    The main objection to this view rests on an alleged discrepancy between ch. 12:4, and Acts 8:1-3, and 12:1. It is said that those to whom the Epistle was sent had “not yet resisted unto blood,” while both Stephen and James had suffered martyrdom. The persecution in which these saints fell happened in A.D. 38, and A.D. 44. Before the Epistle was written, there was time for another generation to arise, to whom the language might apply with sufficient accuracy, “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood.” 4. Moses Stuart assigns reasons for supposing Caesarea to have been the place where the church of Jewish converts existed to whom the Epistle was sent. Paul was not its first teacher, and no such claim is urged in the Epistle. He had many opportunities for becoming acquainted with the Christians there, Acts 9:30, 18:22, 21:8-13, 24:23, 27. The city was inhabited by rich Jews, who, if converted, might have become liable to spoliation, Hebrews 10:34. Grecian games were celebrated in this city, and hence such allusions as occur in ch. 10:32, <581201> 12:1. Timothy is mentioned in the Epistle, and Timothy was with Paul at Caesarea.

    Caesarea was but two days’ journey from Jerusalem, and the Jews residing in it could understand the temple-service as clearly as the inhabitants of Jerusalem themselves.

    Dr Davidson argues that the church in Caesarea would in all probability have a large proportion of Gentile converts, and it is certain that the first convert in Caesarea was Cornelius, a Gentile proselyte, Acts 10:He inclines to the opinion that Jerusalem was the church which first received the Epistle.


    ONENESS OF THE CHURCH. 1. Oneness of the church — Mistake of the Jews about the nature of the promises. 2. Promise of the Messiah the foundation of the church; but as including the covenant. 3. The church confined unto the person and posterity of Abraham — His call and separation for a double end. 4. Who properly the seed of Abraham. 5. Mistake of the Jews about the covenant. 6. Abraham the father of the faithful and heir of the world, on what account. 7. The church still the same. 1. THE Jews at the time of writing this Epistle (and their posterity in all succeeding generations follow their example and tradition) were not a little confirmed in their obstinacy and unbelief by a misapprehension of the true sense and nature of the promises of the Old Testament; for whereas they found many glorious promises made unto the church in the days of the Messiah, especially concerning the great access of the Gentiles unto it, they looked upon themselves, the posterity of Abraham, on the account of their being his children according to the flesh, as the first, proper, and indeed only subject of them; unto whom, in their accomplishment, others were to be proselyted and joined, the substance and foundation of the church remaining still with them. But the event answered not their expectation. Instead of inheriting all the promises merely upon their carnal interest and privilege, — which they looked for, and continue so to do unto this day, — they found that themselves must come in on a new account, to be sharers in them in common with others, or be rejected whilst those others were admitted unto the inheritance. This filled them with wrath and envy; which greatly to the strengthening of their unbelief.

    They could not bear with patience an intimation of letting out the vineyard to other husbandmen. With this principle and prejudice of theirs the apostle dealt directly in his Epistle to the Romans, chap. 9-11.

    On the same grounds he proceedeth with them in this Epistle; and because his answer to their objection from the promises lies at the foundation of many of his reasonings with them, the nature of it must be here previously explained. Not that I shall here enter into a consideration of the Jews argument to prove the Messiah not yet to be come, because the promises in their sense of them are not yet accomplished, which shall be fully removed in the close of these discourses; but only, as I said, open the nature in general of that answer which our apostle returns unto them, and builds his reasonings with them upon. 2. We shall have occasion afterwards at large to show how, after the entrance of sin, God founded his church in the promise of the Messiah given unto Adam. Now, though that promise was the supportment and encouragement of mankind to seek the Lord, — a promise, absolutely considered, proceeding from mere grace and mercy, — yet, as it was the foundation of the church, it included in it the nature of a covenant, virtually requiring a restipulation unto obedience in them who by faith come to have an interest therein. And this the nature of the thing itself required; for the promise was given unto this end and purpose, that men might have a new bottom and foundation of obedience, that of the first covenant being disannulled. Hence, in the following explications of the promise, this condition of obedience is expressly added. So upon its renewal unto Abraham, God required that he should “walk before him, and be upright.” This promise, then, as it hath the nature of a covenant, including the grace that God would show unto sinners in the Messiah, and the obedience that he required from them, was, from the first giving of it, the foundation of the church, and the whole worship of God therein.

    Unto this church, so founded and built on this covenant, and by the means thereof on the redeeming mediatory Seed promised therein, were all the following promises and the privileges exhibited in them given and annexed.

    Neither hath, or ever had, any individual person any spiritual right unto, or interest in, any of those promises or privileges, whatever his outward condition were, but only by virtue of his membership in the church built on the covenant, whereunto, as we said, they do all appertain. On this account the church before the days of Abraham, though scattered up and down in the world, and subject unto many changes in its worship by the addition of new revelations, was still but one and the same, because founded in the same covenant, and interested thereby in all the benefits or privileges that God had given or granted, or would do so at any time, unto his church. 3. In process of time, God was pleased to confine this church, as unto the ordinary visible dispensation of his grace, unto the person and posterity of Abraham. Upon this restriction of the church covenant and promise, the Jews of old managed a plea in their own justification against the doctrine of the Lord Christ and his apostles. “We are the children, the seed of Abraham,” was their continual cry; on the account whereof they presumed that all the promises belonged unto them, and upon the matter unto them alone. And this their persuasion hath cast them, as we shall see, upon a woful and fatal mistake. Two privileges did God grant unto Abraham, upon his separation to a special interest in the old promise and covenant: — First, That according to the flesh he should be the father of the Messiah, the promised seed; who was the very life of the covenant, the fountain and cause of all the blessings contained in it. That this privilege was temporary, having a limited season, time, and end, appointed unto it, the very nature of the thing itself doth demonstrate; for upon this actual exhibition in the flesh, it was to cease. In pursuit hereof were his posterity separated from the rest of the world, and preserved a peculiar people, that through them the promised Seed might be brought forth in the fullness of time, and be of them according unto the flesh, Romans 9:5.

    Secondly, Together with this, he had also another privilege granted unto him, namely, that his faith, whereby he was personally interested in the covenant, should be the pattern of the faith of the church in all generations; and that none should ever come to be a member of it, or a sharer in its blessings, but by the same faith that he had fixed on the Seed that was in the promise, to be brought forth from him into the world. On the account of this privilege, he became the father of all them that do believe: for “they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham,” Galatians 3:7, Romans 4:11: as also “heir of the world,” Romans 4:13, in that all that should believe throughout the world, being thereby implanted into the covenant made with him, should become his “spiritual children.” 4. Answerably unto this twofold end of the separation of Abraham, there was a double seed allotted unto him; — a seed according to the flesh, separated to the bringing forth of the Messiah according unto the flesh; and a seed according to the promise, that is, such as by faith should have interest in the promise, or all the elect of God. Not that these two seeds were always subjectively diverse, so that the seed separated to the bringing forth of the Messiah in the flesh should neither in whole nor in part be also the seed according to the promise; or, on the contrary, that the seed according to the promise should none of it be his seed after the flesh. Our apostle the contrary in the instances of Isaac and Jacob, with the “remnant” of Israel that shall be saved, Romans 9,10,11. But sometimes the same seed came under diverse considerations, being the seed of Abraham both according to the flesh and according to the promise; and sometimes the seed itself was diverse, those according to the flesh being not of the promise, and so on the contrary. Thus Isaac and Jacob were the seed of Abraham according unto the flesh, separated unto the brining forth of the Messiah after the flesh, because they were his carnal posterity; and they were also of the seed of the promise, because, by their own personal faith, they were interested in the covenant of Abraham their father.

    Multitudes afterwards were of the carnal seed of Abraham, and of the number of the people separated to bring forth the Messiah in the flesh, and yet were not of the seed according to the promise, nor interested in the spiritual blessings of the covenant; because they did not personally believe, as our apostle declares, chap. 4 of this epistle. And many, afterwards, who were not of the carnal seed of Abraham, nor interested in the privilege of bringing forth the Messiah in the flesh, were yet designed to be made his spiritual seed by faith; that in them he might become “heir of the world,” and all nations of the earth be blessed in him. Now, it is evident that it is the second privilege, or spiritual seed, wherein the church, to whom the promises are made, is founded, and whereof it doth consist, — namely, in them who by faith are interested in the covenant of Abraham, whether they be of the carnal seed or no. 5. And herein lay the great mistake of the Jews of old, wherein they are followed by their posterity unto this day. They thought no more was needful to interest them in the covenant of Abraham but that they were his seed according to the flesh; and they constantly pleaded the latter privilege as the ground and reason of the former. It is true, they were the children of Abraham according to the flesh: but on that account they can have no other privilege than Abraham had in the flesh himself; and this was, as we have showed, that he should he set apart as a special channel, through whose loins God would derive the promised Seed into the world. In like manner were they separated to be a peculiar people, as his posterity, from amongst whom He should be so brought forth.

    That this separation and privilege was to cease when the end of it was accomplished and the Messiah exhibited, the very nature of the thing declares; for to what purpose should it be continued when that was fully effected whereunto it was designed? But they would extend this privilege, and mix it with the other, contending that, because they were the children of Abraham according to the flesh, the whole blessing and covenant of Abraham belonged unto them. But as our Savior proved that in the latter sense they were the children of Abraham, because they did not the works of Abraham; so our apostle plainly demonstrates, Romans 4:9. 10. 11. Galatians 3:4., that those of them who had not the faith of Abraham had no interest in his blessing and covenant. Seeing, therefore, that their other privilege was come to an end, with all the carnal ordinances that attended it, by the actual coming of the Messiah, whereunto they were subservient, if they did not, by faith in the promised seed, attain an interest in this of the spiritual blessing, it is evident that they could on no account be considered as actual sharers in the covenant of God. 6. We have seen that Abraham, on the account of his faith, and not of his separation according to the flesh, was the father of all that believe, and heir of the world. And in the covenant made with him, as to that which concerns, not the bringing forth of the promised Seed according to the flesh, but as unto faith therein, and in the work of redemption to be performed thereby, lies the foundation of the church in all ages.

    Wheresoever this covenant is, and with whomsoever it is established, with them is the church; unto whom all the promises and privileges of the church do belong. Hence it was, that at the coming of the Messiah there was not one church taken away, and another set up in the room thereof; but the church continued the same, in those that were the children of Abraham according to the faith. The Christian church is not another church, but the very same that was before the coming of Christ, having the same faith with it, and interested in the same covenant.

    It is true, the former carnal privilege of Abraham and his posterity expiring, on the grounds before mentioned, the ordinances of worship which were suited thereunto did necessarily cease also. And this cast the Jews into great perplexities, and proved the last trial that God made of them; for whereas both these, — namely, the carnal and spiritual privileges of Abraham’s covenant, — had been carried on together in a mixed way for many generations, coming now to be separated, and a trial to be made (Malachi 3) who of the Jews had interest in both, who in one only, those who had only the carnal privilege, of being children of Abraham according to the flesh, contended for a share on that single account in the other also, — that is, in all the promises annexed unto the covenant. But the foundation of their plea was taken away, and the church, unto which the promises belong, remained with them that were heirs of Abraham’s faith only. 7. It remains, then, that the church founded in the covenant, and unto which all the promises did and do belong, abode at the coming of Christ, and doth abide ever since, in and among those who are the children of Abraham by faith. The old church was not taken away, and a new one set up, but the same church was continued, only in those who by faith inherited the promises. Great alterations, indeed, were then made in the outward state and condition of the church; as, — (1.) The carnal privilege of the Jews, in their separation to bring forth the Messiah, then failed; and therewith their claim on that account to be the children of Abraham. (2.) The ordinances of worship suited unto that privilege expired and came to an end. (3.) New ordinances of worship were appointed, suited unto the new light and grace then granted unto the church. (4.) The Gentiles came in to the faith of Abraham together with the Jews, to be fellow-heirs with them in his blessing. But none of these, nor all of them together, made any such alteration in the church but that it was still one and the same. The olive-tree was the same, only some branches were broken off, and others planted in; the Jews fell, and the Gentiles came in their room.

    And this doth and must determine the difference between the Jews and Christians about the promises of the Old Testament. They are all made unto the church. No individual person hath any interest in them but by virtue of his membership therewith. This church is, and always was, one and the same. With whomsoever it remains, the promises are theirs; and that not by implication or analogy, but directly and properly. They belong as immediately, at this day, either to the Jews or Christians, as they did of old to any. The question is, With whom is this church, founded on the promised Seed in the covenant? This is Zion, Jerusalem, Israel, Jacob, the temple of God. The Jews plead that it is with them, because they are the children of Abraham according to the flesh. Christians tell them that their privilege on this account was of another nature, and ended with the coming of the Messiah; that the church unto whom all the promises belong are only those who are heirs of Abraham’s faith, believing as he did, and thereby interested in his covenant. Not as though the promise made to Abraham were of none effect; for as it was made good unto his carnal seed in the exhibition of the Messiah, so the spiritual privileges of it belonged only unto those of the Jews and Gentiles in whom God had graciously purposed to effect the faith of Abraham. Thus was and is the church, whereunto all the promises belong, still one and the same, namely, Abraham’s children according to the faith: and among those promises this is one, that God will be a God unto them and their seed for ever.


    OF THE JUDAICAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. 1-4. Of the Judaical distribution of the Old Testament. 5-11. The original and nature of their oral law and traditions. 12-14. The whole disproved. 15-20. Agreement of the Jews and Papists about traditions, instanced in sundry particulars. 1. THE apostle, dealing with the Hebrews about the revelation of the will of God made unto their fathers, assigns it in general unto his speaking unto them “in the prophets,” chap. <580101> 1:1. This speaking unto them, the present Jews affirm to consist of two parts: — (1.) That which Moses and the following prophets were commanded to write for the public use of the church; (2.) What, being delivered only by word of mouth unto Moses, and continued by oral tradition until after the last destruction of the temple, was afterwards committed unto writing. And because those who would read our Exposition of this Epistle, or the Epistle itself, with profit, had need of some insight into the opinions and traditions of the Jews about these things, I shall, for the sake of them that want either skill or leisure to search after them elsewhere, give a brief account of their faith concerning the two heads of revelation mentioned, and therein discover both the principal means and nature of their present apostasy and infidelity. 2. The Scripture of the Old Testament they call ar;q]m , and divide it into three parts: — (1.) hr;wOThæ , The Law;” (2.) µyaibin] , “The Prophets;” (3.) µybiWtK] , The Writings by divine Inspiration,” which are usually called the “Hagiographa,” or holy writings. And this distribution of the books of the Old Testament is in general intimated by our Savior, Luke 24:44, Pa>nta ta< gegramme>na ejn tw~| No>mw| Mwse>wv , kai< Profh>taiv , kai< Yalmoi~v? — “All things written in the Law, and the Prophets, and the Psalms;” under which last head all the poetical books of the Scripture are contained. Thus Rabbi Bechai, in Cad Hakkemach: µybwtk µyaybn hrwt µyqlj hçlç hrwth ; — “The Law” (so sometimes they call the whole volume) “is divided into three parts, the Law, the Prophets, and the Holy Writings.” All are comprised generally under the name of the Law; for so they say in Midrash Tehillim, Psalm 73:1, hrwt µyaybnhw hrwt µyrwmzm ; — “The Psalms are the Law, and the Prophets are the Law;” that is, the whole Scripture.

    This distribution, so far as it is intimated in the words of our Savior, doth evidently arise from the nature and subject-matter of the books themselves. And this was the received division of the books of the Old Testament whilst the Judaical church stood and continued; but the post- Talmudical doctors, overlooking or neglecting true reason of this distribution, have fancied others, taken from the different manners and degrees of revelation by which they were given out unto the church.

    Amongst these they make the revelation to Moses the most excellent, and are very vain in counting the privileges and pre-eminences it had above all others; which are elsewhere examined. In the next degree they place those which proceeded from the spirit of prophecy, which they distinguish from the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; yea, in the eleven degrees of divine revelation assigned by Maimonides, More Nebuch., par. ii., that by inspiration is cast into the last and lowest place! But this distinction is groundless, and merely fancied out of the various ways that God was pleased to use in representing things to the minds of the prophets, when it was, in them all, the inspiration of the Holy Ghost alone that enabled them infallibly to declare the mind of God unto the church, 2 Peter 1:21.

    Now, the books thus given by the spirit of prophecy, [in the second degree,] they make of two sorts: — (1.) µynivoari µyaiybin] , “The former Prophets,” which are all the historical books of the Old Testament written before the captivity, as Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Ruth only excepted. (2.) µyni/rj\aæ µyaiybin] , [“The latter Prophets,”] which are all the prophetical books, peculiarly so called, Daniel only excepted, — that is, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets. Of the last sort, or µybiWtk] , “Kethubim,” books written by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, are the poetical books of the Scripture, — Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Canticles, Lamentations, with Ecclesiastes; whereunto they add Ruth, Daniel, and the historical books written after the captivity, as the Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah; which make up the canon of the Old Testament. Why sundry of these books should be cast into the last sort, as the story of Ruth and the prophecy of Daniel, they can give no tolerable account. The other books also written after the captivity are plainly of the same nature with those which they call “The former Prophets;” and as for that of Daniel, it contains in it almost all the eminent kinds of revelation whereby themselves would distinguish the spirit of prophecy from the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Neither have they any reason for this distribution; but, finding the general division before mentioned to have been received in the church of old, they have disposed of the particular books into their orders at their pleasure; casting Daniel, as is probable, into their last order, because so many of his visions and prophecies relate unto other nations besides their own.

    The Law, or the books of Moses, they call vm,/j , or the Pentateuch, from the number of the books; or hr;/T yvem]Wj hV;mij\ , “The fives,” or “The five parts of the Law;” whereunto Jerome, in his epistle to Paulinus, wrests those words of the apostle, 1 Corinthians 14:19, “I had rather speak pe>nte lo>gouv , five words, in the church,” as if he had respect to the Law of Moses.

    These five books they divide into paraschae, or sections, whereof they read one each Sabbath-day in their synagogues; — Genesis into 12, Exodus into 11, Leviticus into 10, Numbers into 10, Deuteronomy into 10, — which all make 53; whereby, reading one each day, and two in one day, they read through the whole in the course of a year, beginning at the feast of tabernacles. And this they did of old, as James testifies, Acts 15:21, “Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day.”

    Some of them make 54 of these sections, dividing the last section of Genesis into two, beginning the latter at chap. 47:28, constituting the following chapters a distinct section, though it have not the usual note of them prefixed unto it, but only one single samech; to note, as they say, its being absolutely closed or shut up, on the account of the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah, chap. 49, whose season is unknown to them. 3. They also divide it into lesser sections, and those of two sorts, open and close, which have their distinct marks in their Bibles; and many superstitious observations they have about the beginning and ending of them. Of the first sort there are in Genesis 43, of the latter 48; in Exodus, of the first sort 69, of the latter 95; in Leviticus, of the first sort 52, of the latter 46; in Numbers, of the first 92, of the latter 66; in Deuteronomy, of the first sort 34, of the latter 379; — in all 634. Besides, they observe the number of the verses at the end of every book; as also that w in ˆ/jG; , Leviticus 11:42, is the middle letter of the Law; vræD; , Leviticus 10:16, the middle word; Leviticus 13:33 the middle verse; the number of all which through the Law is 23,206.

    Moreover, they divide the Law, or five books of Moses, into 53 µyrid;s] , “sedarim,” or distinctions, whereof Genesis contains 42, Exodus 29, Leviticus 23, Numbers 32, Deuteronomy 27; which kind of distinctions they also observe throughout the Scripture, assigning unto Joshua 14, Judges 14, Samuel 34, Kings 35, Isaiah 26, Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 29, the lesser Prophets 21, Psalms 19, Job 8, Proverbs 8, Ecclesiastes 4, Canticles and Lamentations are not divided, Daniel 7, Esther 7, Ezra and Nehemiah 10, Chronicles 25.

    Besides, they distribute the Prophets into sections called t/rf\pjæ “haphters,” that answer the sections which are read every Sabbath-day in their synagogues; and this division of the Prophets they affirm to have been made in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, whom they call [çær,h;, “that wicked one,” when the reading of the Law was prohibited unto them.

    All which things are handled at large by others. 4. Having for a long season lost the promise of the Spirit, and therewith all saving spiritual knowledge of the mind and will of God in the Scripture, the best of their employment about it hath been in reference to the words and letters of it; wherein their diligence hath been of use in the preservation of the copies of it entire and free from corruption: for after that the canon of the Old Testament was completed in the days of Ezra, and points or vowels added to the letters, to preserve the knowledge of the tongue and facilitate the right reading and learning of it, it is incredible what industry, diligence, and curiosity, they have used in and about the letter of the whole Scripture. The collection of their pains and observations to this purpose is called the Masora or Masoreth; consisting in critical observations upon the words and letters of the Scripture, begun to be collected of old, even it may be from the days of Ezra, and continued until the time of composing the Talmud, with some additional observations since annexed unto it.

    The writers, composers, and gatherers of this work, they call hrwsmh yl[b ; whose principal observations were gathered and published by Rabbi Jacob Chaiim, and annexed to the Venetian Bibles; whereas, before, the Masora was written in other books innumerable. In this, their critical doctrine, they give us the number of the verses of the Scripture, as also how often every word is used in the whole, and with what variety as to letters and vowels; what is the whole number of all the letters in the Bible, and how often each letter is severally used; with innumerable other useful observations: the sum whereof is gathered by Buxtorf in his excellent treatise on that subject. And hereby is the knowledge of their masters bounded; they go not beyond the letter, but are more blind than moles in the spiritual sense of it. And thus they continue an example of the righteous judgment of God, in giving them up to the counsels of their own hearts; and an evident instance how unable the letter of the Scripture is to furnish men with the saving knowledge of the will of God, who enjoy not the Spirit promised in the same covenant to the church of the elect, Isaiah 59:21. 5. Unto that ignorance of the mind of God in the Scripture which is spread over them, they have added another prejudice against the truth, in a strange figment of an oral law, which they make equal unto, yea in many things prefer before, that which is written. The Scripture becoming a lifeless letter unto them, the true understanding of the mind of God being utterly departed and hid from them, it was impossible that they should rest therein, or content themselves with what is revealed by it. For as the word, whilst it is enjoyed and used according to the mind of God, and is accompanied with that Spirit which is promised to lead them that believe into all truth, is full of sweetness and life to the souls of men, a perfect rule of walking before God, and that which satiates them with wisdom and knowledge; so when it is enjoyed merely on an outward account as such a writing, without any dispensation of suitable light and grace, it will yield men no satisfaction; which makes them constantly turn aside to other means and ways of knowing and serving God. This being so eminent in the Jews, and the medium they have fixed on to supply that want which they suppose to be in the Scripture, but is indeed in themselves, proving to be the great engine of their hardening and obstinacy in their infidelity, I shall first declare what it is that they intend by the oral law, and then show the absurdity and falseness of their pretensions about it; though it must not be denied that it is one of the most ancient fables that is credited amongst any of the sons of men at this day in the world. 6. This oral law they affirm to be an unwritten tradition and exposition of the written law of Moses, given unto him in Mount Sinai, and committed by him to Joshua and the sanhedrim, to be by them delivered over by oral tradition unto those who should succeed them in the government of that church. It doth not appear that, in the days of Christ or his apostles, whilst the temple was standing, there was any stated opinion amongst them about this oral law; though it is evident that, not long after, it began to be received by the body of the people. Nay, it is evident that there was no such law then acknowledged; for the Sadducees, who utterly reject all the main principles of it, were then not only tolerated, but also in chief rule, one of them being high priest.

    That they had multiplied many superstitious observances amongst them, under the name of “traditions,” is most clear in the Gospel; and it doth not appear that then they knew whom to assign their original unto, and therefore indefinitely called them “The traditions of the elders,” or those that lived of old before them. After the destruction of their temple, when they had lost the life and spirit of that worship which the Scripture revealed, betaking themselves wholly unto their traditional figments, they began to bethink themselves how they might give countenance to their apostasy from the perfection and doctrine of the written law. For this end they began to fancy that these traditions were no less from God than the written law itself. For when Moses was forty days and forty nights in the mountain, they say that, in the day time, he wrote the law from the mouth of God; and in the night, God instructed him in the oral law, or unwritten exposition of it, which they have received by tradition from him. For when he came down from the mount, after he had read unto them the written law, as they say, he repeated to Aaron, and Eleazar, and the sanhedrim, all that secret instruction which he had received in the night from God, which it was not lawful for him to write: but in especial he committed the whole to Joshua; Joshua did the same to Eleazar, as he did to his son Phinehas; after whom they give us a catalogue of several prophets that lived in the ensuing generations, all whom they employ in this service of conveying down the oral law to their successors. Unto the high priests also they give a place in this work; of whom there were eighty-three from the first institution of that office to the destruction of the temple, Joseph. lib.xx, cap. x, From Aaron to the building of Solomon’s temple thirteen; from thence to the captivity eighteen; all the rest take up the troublesome time of the apostasy of their church, unto the final ruin of it, their “rulers being many because of their wickedness,” as themselves observe.

    The last person whom they would have to preserve the oral law absolutely pure was that Simeon whom they call °ydxh , “The just,” mentioned by Jesus the son of Sirach, chap. 1. And it is very observable that the later Jews have left out Simeon the son of Hillel, whom their ancient masters placed upon the roll of the preservers of this treasure, supposing he might be that Simeon who in his old age received our Savior in his arms when he was presented in the temple, Luke 2:25, — a crime sufficient, among the Jews, to brand him with a perpetual ignominy; neither are they alone in turning men’s glory into reproach and shame. 7. After the destruction of the temple and city, when the evil husbandmen were slain, and the vineyard of the Lord let out to others, the kingdom given to another nation, and therewith the covenant-sanctified use of the Scripture, the remaining Jews, having lost wholly the mind of God therein, betook themselves to their traditions, and, as I said before, began to fancy and contend that they came from God himself; whereas their predecessors durst not plead any thing for them but that they came unto them from “them of old,” — that is, some of the masters of preceding generations.

    Hereupon a while after, [A.D. 190,] (as I have elsewhere showed at large,) one of them, whom they call Rabbi Judah Hannasi, and Hakkadosh, the “prince,” and the “holy,” took upon him to gather their scattered traditions, and to cast them into form, order, and method in writing, that they might be unto the Jews a rule of life and worship for ever. The story of his work and undertaking is given us by Maimonides in Jad Chazachah, the authors of Seder Olam, Halicoth Olam, Tzemach David, and many others; and they all agree that this their great. master lived about the times of Marcus Antoninus, two hundred years or thereabouts after the destruction of city and temple. 8. This collection of his they call hn;v]mi or t/ynæv]mi , Mishnah” or “Mishnaioth,” being, as is pretended, a repetition of the law in an exposition of it; indeed, a farrago of all sorts of traditions, true and false, with a monstrous mixture of lies, useless, foolish, and wicked. The things contained in it are, by themselves, referred to five heads: — (1.) The oral law, received by Moses on Mount Sinai, and preserved by the means before declared; (2.) Oral constitutions of Moses himself, after he came down from the mount; (3.) Constitutions and orders, drawn, by various ways of arguing (thirteen, as Rambam tells us), out of the written law; (4.) The answers and decrees of the sanhedrim and other wise men in former ages; (5.) Immemorial customs, whose original being unknown are supposed to be divine. 9. The whole is divided into six parts, noted with the initial letter of the word which signifies the chief things treated on in it. As the first by z , z; that is, µy[rz , “zeraim,” “seeds;” which is divided into eleven “massicktot” or treatises, containing all of them seventy-five chapters.

    The second by m , m; that is, d[wm , “moad,” or “appointed feasts;” which is distributed into twelve “massicktot,” containing in them eighty-eight chapters. The third by g , that is, µyçn , “of women;” and is distributed into seven treatises, containing seventy-one chapters. The fourth by n , that is, µyqyzn , “nezikim,” about “loss and damage ;” and is divided into eight “massicktot,” whereof the first is divided into three parts, called a[yxm abb amq abb artb abb , “the first, middle, and last port,” or entrance; containing in them thirty chapters, whereunto forty-four are added in the following parts. The fifth by q , that is, µyçdq , “kodoshim,” of “sanctifications;’’ and is divided into eleven books, containing ninety chapters. The sixth with f , that is, twrhf , “teharoth,” of “purifications,’’ in twelve books, and one hundred and twenty-six chapters. 10. Unto the Mishnah of Rabbi Judah they annex the twpyswt , the “Tosiphot,” or additions of Rabbi Chaiah his scholar, expounding many passages in his master’s works. To them a more full explanation of the same doctrine of the Mishnah, which they call Baracetot, is subjoined, being the collection of some ante-Talmudical masters. About three hundred years after the destruction of the temple, [A.D. 270,] R. Johanan composed the Jerusalem Talmud, consisting of expositions, comments, and disputes, upon the whole Mishnah, excepting the last part, about purifications. A hundred years or thereabouts after that, [A.D. 420,] Rabbi Ashe composed the Babylonian Talmud, or Gemara. Thirty-two years, they say, he spent in this work, yet leaving it unfinished; seventy-one years after, it was completed by his disciples. And the whole work of both these Talmuds may be referred unto five heads; for, — (1.) They expound the text of the Mishnah; (2.) Decide questions of right and fact; (3.) Report the disputations, traditions, and constitutions of the doctors that lived between them and the writing of the Mishnah; (4.) Give allegorical, monstrous, expositions of the Scripture, which they call Midrashoth; and, (5.) Report stories of the like nature. 11. This at length is their oral law grown into; and in the learning and practising of these things consist the whole religion and worship of the Jews, there being not the most absurd saying of any of their doctors in those huge heaps of folly and vanity that they do not equal unto, nay, that they are not ready to prefer before, the written word, that perfect and only guide of their church, whilst God was pleased with it.

    In the dust of this confusion, here they dwell, loving this darkness more than light, because their deeds are evil. Having for many generations entertained a prejudicate imagination, that these traditional figments, amongst which their crafty masters have inserted many filthy and blasphemous fables against our Lord Christ and his Gospel, are of divine authority, and having utterly lost the spiritual sense of the written word, they are by it sealed up in blindness and obdurateness; and shall be so until the veil be taken away, when the appointed time of their deliverance shall come. A brief discovery of the falseness of this fancy of their oral law, which is the foundation of all that huge building of lies and vanities that their Talmuds are composed of, shall put an end to this discourse. 12. (1.) The very story of the giving of the law at Mount Sinai sufficiently discovers the folly of this imagination. This oral law the Jews are ready, on all occasions, to prefer before-that which is written; and do openly profess that without it the other is of no use unto them! I desire, then, to know whence it is that all the circumstances of the giving and teaching of the less necessary are so exactly recorded, but not one word is spoken of this oral law, either of God’s revealing of it to Moses, or of Moses’ teaching of it to Joshua or any others. Strange! that so much should be recorded of every circumstance of the less principal, lifeless law, and not one word of either substance or circumstance of that which is, if these men may be believed, the very life and soul of the other. Maimonides, in Jad Chazachah, tells us there is mention made of it in Exodus 24:12: “I will give thee,” saith the Lord, “ hw;x]Mihæw] hr;/Thæ , — a law and commandment,” hr;/T, saith he, is the “written law;” hw;x]m the “oral:” when the next words are, µt;ro/hl] yTib]tæK; rv,a\ , — “Which I have written, that thou mayest teach them ;” the written law being on several accounts expressed by both those terms, and no other. How know they that any such law was given to Moses as they pretend, what testimony, witness, or record of it was had or made at the time of its giving, or in many generations, for two thousand years afterwards? 13. (2.) Did their forefathers at any time before the captivity transgress this oral law, or did they not? If they say they did not, but kept it, and observed it diligently, we may easily see of what importance it is, that the most strict observation of it could not preserve them from all manner of wickedness; and what a hedge it is to the written law, when, notwithstanding the obedience yielded unto it, that was utterly despised and neglected. If they shall say, that law also was broken by them, I desire to know whence it comes to pass, that whereas God by his prophets doth reprove them for all their other sins, and in particular for contempt of his written law, the statutes, ordinances, and institutions of it, he nowhere once mentioneth this their greater guilt of despising the oral law, but there is as universal a silence concerning its transgression as there is of its giving and institution. Can we have any greater evidence of its being fictitious than this, that whereas it is pretended that it is the main rule of their obedience to God, God did never reprove them for the transgression of it, though, whilst he owned them as his church and people, he suffered none of their sins to pass by unreproved, especially not any of that importance which this is by them pretended to be of? (3.) Moses was commanded to write the whole law that he received from God, and did so accordingly, Exodus 24:3,4, 34:28; Deuteronomy 31:9,24. Where was this oral law, which they say was not to be written, when Moses was commanded to write the whole law that he had received of God, and did accordingly? This new law was not then coined, being indeed nothing but the product of their apostasy from the law which was written. (4.) The sole ground and foundation of this oral law ties in the imperfection of the written law. This is that which they plead for the necessity of it: “The written law extends not to all necessary cases that occur in religion; many things are redundant, many wanting in it ;” and hereof they gather great heaps of instances: so that they will grant that if the written law had been perfect, there had been no need of this traditional one. But whom in this matter shall we believe ? — a few ignorant Jews, or God himself, bearing witness that his law is perfect, and requiring no more in his worship but what is in that law prescribed? See Psalm 19:7,8; Proverbs 30:5,6; Deuteronomy 4:1,2. And this perfection of the written law, though it be perfectly destructive to their traditions, not only the Karaites among themselves do earnestly contend for, but also sundry of their Gemarists do acknowledge, especially when they forget their own concernments out of a desire to oppose the gospel. And to this head belong all the arguments that divines make use of to prove the perfection of the Scripture against the new Talmudists in Christianity. (5.) God everywhere sends his people to the written law of Moses for the rule of their obedience, nowhere unto any Cabala, Deuteronomy 10:12,13, 11:32, <052801> 28:1; Joshua 1:7,8, 23:6; 2 Chronicles 30:16; Isaiah 8:20. If there be such an oral law, it is one that God would not have any man to observe, which he calls none to the obedience of, nor did ever reprove any man for its transgression. 14. And many more arguments of the like nature may be added, to prove the vanity of this pretense. And yet this figment is the bottom of the present Judaical religion and obstinacy. When the apostle wrote this Epistle, their apostasy was not yet arrived at this “rock of offense ;” since their falling on it, they have increased their blindness, misery, and ruin. Then they were contented to try their cause by what God spake to their fathers “in the prophets ;” which kept open a door of hope, and gave some advantages for their conversion, which are now shut up and removed, until God shall take this veil away from their faces, that they may see to the end of the things that were to be done away. 15. By this means principally have they, for many generations, both shut out the truth and secured themselves from conviction. For whatever is taught and revealed in the Scripture concerning the person, office, and work of the Messiah, — seeing they have that which they esteem a revelation of equal authority here withal, teaching them a doctrine quite of another nature, and more suited unto their carnal principles and expectations, — they will rest rather in any evasion than give way to the testimony thereof. And whilst they have a firm persuasion, as they have, received by the tradition of many generations, that the written word is imperfect, but a half revelation of the mind of God, in itself unintelligible, and not to be received or understood but according to the sense of their oral law, now recorded in their Talmuds, what can the most plain and cogent testimonies of it avail unto their conviction? And this hath been the fatal way and means of the grand apostasy of both churches, Judaical and Christian. How far that of the Jews was overtaken with it in the days of our Lord’s conversation on the earth, the Gospel doth abundantly declare; and how they have brought it unto its height, we have given now some brief account. That of the Roman church hath been the very same; and hath at length arrived unto almost the same issue, by the same degrees.

    This some of them perceiving, do not only defend the pharisaical opinion among the Jews about the oral law and succession of their traditions, as consonant to the pretensions of their own church, but also openly avow that a very great number of their several respective traditions are either the same, or that they nearly resemble one another; as doth expressly Josephus de Voysin in his Prooemium to the Pugio Fidei of Raymundus Martini. And because it is evident that the same have been the way and means whereby both the Judaical and Roman church have apostatized and departed from the truth, and that they are the same also whereby they maintain and defend themselves in their apostasy and refusal to return unto the truth, I shall, wjv ejn paro>dw| , manifest their consent and agreement in this principle about their traditions and authority of them, which have been the ruin of them both. 16. (1.) The Jews expressly contend that their oral law, their mass of traditions, was from God himself. They say, it was partly delivered unto Moses on Mount Sinai, and partly added by him from divine revelations which he afterwards received. Hence the authority of it with them is no less than that of the written word (which hath all its authority from its divine original), and the usefulness of it is much more. For although they cannot deny but that this and that particular tradition, — that is, practice, custom, or exposition of any place of Scripture, — were first introduced, expressed, and declared, at such or such seasons, by such masters or schools amongst them, yet they will not grant that they were then first invented or found out, but only that they were then first declared, out of the cabalistical abyss wherein they were preserved from their first revelation; as all of them agree who have written any thing about the nature, propagation, and continuance of their oral law.

    And this is the persuasion of the Romanists about their Cabala of traditions. They plead them to be all of a divine original, partly from Christ, and partly from his apostles. Whatever they have added unto the written word, yea, though it be never so contrary thereunto, still they pretend that it is part of the oral law which they have received from them by living tradition! Let one convention of their doctors determine that images are to be adored; another, that transubstantiation is to be believed; a third, add a new creed with an equal number of articles unto the old ; — let one doctor advance the opinion of purgatory; another, of justification by works: all is one, — these things are not then first invented, but only declared out of that unsearchable treasure of traditions which they have in their custody. Had they not inlaid this persuasion in the minds of men, they know that their whole fabric would, of its own accord, have long since sunk into confusion. But they highly contend, at this day, that they need no other argument to prove any thing to be of a heavenly extract and divine original, but that themselves think so, and practice accordingly. 17. (2.) This oral law being thus given, the preservation of it, seeing Moses is dead long ago, must be inquired after. Now, the Jews assign a threefold depository of it ; — first, the whole congregation; secondly, the sanhedrim; and thirdly, the high priest. To this end they affirm that it was three times repeated, upon the descent of Moses from Mount Sinai, as to what of it he had then received, and his after additions had the same promulgation. First, it was repeated by himself unto Aaron; secondly, by them both unto the elders; and thirdly, by the elders unto the whole congregation: or, as Maimonides in Jad Chazachah, Moses delivered it unto Eleazar, Phinehas, and Joshua, after the death of Aaron; by whom the consistory was instructed therein, who taught the people as occasion did require. What the people knew of it is uncertain, but what they did know was quickly lost. The consistory, or great sanhedrim, djaw µy[bç lç ãyd tyb , as they call it, “the house of judgment of seventy and one,” was more faithful in its charge. Hence Rab. Moses in the same book, Tractat. µyrmm , “of rebels” or “transgressors,” teacheth us, ydwm[ µhw hp l[bç hrwt rqy[ µh µlçwrybç lwdgh ˆyd tyb larçy lkl axwy fpçmw qj µhmw harwhh ; — “The great consistory” (or house of judgment) “at Jerusalem was the foundation of the oral law: these are the pillars of doctrine, from whom statutes and judgments went forth unto all Israel.” And he afterwards affirms, with what truth may be easily judged, hqwljm htyh al µyq lwdgh ˆyd tybhyhçm larçyb; — “ Whilst this great consistory continued, there was no dissension in Israel:” for not only the famous differences between Hillel and Shammai, with their disciples, which involved all the schools, scribes, and lawyers, among them, arose and were propagated whilst that consistory continued, but also the atheistical sect of the Sadducees rose unto that height and interest as to obtain the presidentship in the sanhedrim itself! But the high priests are those whom they fix upon as the principal conservators of this oral law. To this end they give us catalogues of them from first to last; that, by their uninterrupted succession, we may be secured of the incorrupt preservation of their original traditions. Only it may here be added, by the way, that they bind not themselves precisely, in all their religious observances, unto this oral law, whereunto they assign a divine original; but ascribe an authority unto the sanhedrim and the high priest to constitute things of themselves in the worship of God, beside and beyond the word. For whatever they pretend of their oral law, when they come unto particular instances, they would fain educe the constitutions of it from some word, or letter, or manner of interpretation of the Scripture itself; but those constitutions of the consistory and wise men they ascribe unto their own authority. Some of these are recounted by Maimonides, in his Preface unto Jad Chazachah; as the reading of the book or roll of Esther with fasting; lights on the feast of dedication; the fast on the seventh of Ab, or July; various mixtures and washings of hands; — things plainly of that nature which our Lord Jesus condemned amongst them. And it is observable how he frees them from transgressing that precept, Deuteronomy 12:32, “Thou shalt not add unto this word,” by this constitution, wrma wlyw htnw[b hlgm twrql wa bwr[ twç[l hwx hbqh yrma al tw rmwa wna °k ala hrwth l[ ˆypyswm wyh ˆk ; — “For,” saith he, “they say not that the holy, blessed God hath commanded these things, that there should be such mixtures, that the book of Esther should be read with fasting; for if they should say so, they should add to the law: but thus we speak, ‘ Such and such a prophet, or the consistory, commanded and appointed that the book of Esther should be read with fasting, to celebrate the glory of the holy, blessed God in our deliverance.’” And so of the rest. It seems, then, they may add what they will of their own, so they entitle [prefix] not the name of God to their inventions: by which means they have set themselves at liberty to multiply superstitious observations at their pleasure; which they had actually done in the days of our Savior, and thereby “made the law of God of none effect.”

    In all these things they are followed and imitated by the Romanists. In the same manner do they lay up the stock of their traditions. In general, they make the church the repository of them; although they do not so distinctly explain the way and means whereby they were committed thereunto as the Jews do. Unto the sanhedrim, councils are succeeded in the same office.

    But their nature, work, authority, assistance, and use, are so variously disputed amongst them, that nothing of certainty from them or by them, singly considered, is to be obtained. It is the high priest, or pope, that is the principal conservator of this sacred treasury of traditions; upon their succession doth the certainty of them depend. And whilst there is a pope at Rome, the knowledge of the new oral law will not fail, as the old one did not whilst the Jews had a high priest; though, in the pursuit of it, they crucified the Messiah, and continue to reject him unto this day. Besides, like the Jews, they content not themselves with what they pretend to be of ancient tradition, but assume a power of making new constitutions in the things of God; whereby they would have us to think they do not violate the prohibition of adding, because they ascribe them not unto the word of God, but to the authority of the present church. Thus far, therefore, they are fully agreed. 18. (3.) The Jews, in favor and unto the honor of these traditions, affirm that the written word without them is imperfect, and not to be understood but as it is interpreted by them. This they are constant unto, and earnestly contend for. Aben Ezra, in his Preface to the Law, discourseth at large of five several ways of the interpretation of it, but concludes at last that the whole written law of Moses is founded on the oral. hzw , saith he, hçm °msç twal wnl bbl hjmç awhç hp l[bç hrwt l[ ; — “And this is a sign unto us that the law of Moses is founded on the oral law, which is the joy of our hearts.” So apt are they to rejoice in a thing of nought! To the same purpose are the words of another famous master amongst them, Rabbi Bechai in Cad Hakkemach: l[bç hrwt ayh hrwth rqy[ ã[bç hrwt[ µa yk rabjhl hlwky btkbç hrwt ˆyaç hp “The oral law is the foundation of the written; nor can the written law be expounded but by the oral.”

    By this being the foundation of the written law, they intend that the sense of it is so inwrapped and contained therein, that without the explications thereof it cannot be understood. And to this end Manasseh, one of their late masters, expressly disputes that in many things it is defective and in some things redundant; so that it is not able to give us a full and clear direction in the things of God without their traditional explications. And, in the confirmation of his opinion, he instanceth in sundry precepts and prohibitions that he would prove so obscure as that no obedience can be yielded unto them in a due manner without the help of the Cabala; which, because for the most part his exceptions from them are childish cavils, and have been answered by others, shall be here passed over. This they are arrived unto; this is the common persuasion of them all; and we shall yet hear what farther progress they have made. And herein are they imitated by their successors. Their oral law also is made by them the foundation of the written.

    As those heretics of old, who, having got some sophistical cavils about evil, wherever they met with any one not of their mind, presently fell upon him with their unde malum? whence had evil its original? so thinking to bring him to the acknowledgment of two supreme principles of things, a good one and a bad one: thus, for the most part, the first question of a Romanist is, “How do you know the Scriptures to be the word of God?” and then the next word is, “The Cabala, the hp l[bç hrwt , oral law, tradition, these are the foundation of it.” And in their progress they fail not to assert two principles, both borrowed from the Jews ; — first, That the Scripture is imperfect, and doth not give us a full and complete account of all things that are to be believed and practiced, that God may he glorified and our own souls saved; secondly, That what is delivered therein can no way be rightly and truly understood but by the help of those traditions which they have in their custody. But although these are good, useful inventions, and they are men that want not ability to find out what is conducing unto their own advantage, yet they cannot be allowed the credit of being their first authors, seeing they are expressly borrowed of the Jews. 19. (4.) When these two laws, the law of God and their own, do come in competition, the Jews, many of them, do expressly prefer that of their own invention before the other, and that both as to certainty and use.

    Hence they make it the foundation of their church, and the only safe means to preserve the truth. So are we informed by Isaac Corbulensis in hlwg ydwm[ . “Do not think,” saith he, that the written law is the foundation; for the foundation is the oral law: for by that law was the covenant made, as it is written, ‘According to these words do I make a covenant with thee,’ Exodus 34:27,” (where he takes his argument from that expression, hL,aeh; µyrib;D]hæ yPiAl[æ , wresting foolishly, as they do all, his oral law from these words, yP]Al[æ , which signify nothing but “according to,” nor are any other words intended but those delivered to Moses and written by him.) “And these,” he adds, “are the treasures of the holy, blessed God; for he knew that Israel should be carried captive among other people, and that the nations would transcribe their books, and therefore would not commit their secret law to writing.”

    It seems these things were left them in secret tradition, because God was not willing that any besides themselves should know his mind and will.

    But they have at last showed themselves more full of benignity towards mankind than they would allow God to be, inasmuch as they have committed this secret law to writing. And to this purpose is their confession in bhzh jbzm , “The Golden Altar:” hrwt y[ µa yk btkbç hrwt ayhç hçwdqh wntrwt rqy[ l[ dwm[l rçpa ya hçwryp awhç ã[bç ; — “ It is impossible for us to stand or abide upon the foundation of our holy law, which is the written law, unless it be by the oral law, which is the exposition thereof:” wherein they not only declare their judgment concerning their traditions, but also express the reason of their obstinate adherence unto them; which is, that without it they cannot maintain themselves in their present Judaism. And so, indeed, is the case with them. Innumerable testimonies of the Scriptures rising up directly against their infidelity, they were not able to keep their station, but by a horrible corrupting of them through their traditions. On this account it is a common thing with them, in the advice they give unto their disciples, to prefer the study of the Talmud before the study of the Scripture, and the sayings of their wise men before the sayings of the prophets; and they plainly express an utter disregard of the written word, any further than as they suppose the sense of it explained in their oral law. Neither are they here forsaken by their associates. The principal design of all the books which have been lately published by the Romanists, and they have not been a few, hath been to prove the certainty and sufficiency of their traditions in matters of their faith and worship above that of the written word. 20. (5.) There are some few remaining, among the eastern Jews, who reject all this story concerning the oral law, and professedly adhere unto the written word only. These the masters of their present religion and persuasion do, by common consent, brand as heretics, calling them Scripturists, or Scripturarians, or Biblists, — the very name of reproach wherewith the Romanists stigmatize all those who reject their traditions.

    These are their µãyarq , that is, “Biblists” or “Scripturarians;” and everywhere they term them µyanym , “Heretics,” and endeavor to prove them guilty twnym , of “heresy” in the highest degree. Some of them would have them to be the offspring of the old Sadducees, to deny the resurrection and the world to come; as men care not much, usually, what they impute unto those whom they esteem heretics. But the falsity hereof is notorious, and so acknowledged by others, and confuted by the writings of the Karaites themselves: yea, the author of Cosri affirms that they are more studious in the law than the rabbins; and that their reasons are more weighty than theirs, and lead more towards the naked sense of the Scripture. But this is that which they charge upon them, namely, that, rejecting the sure rule of their traditions, they ran into singular expositions of the law, and so divided it, and made many laws of it, having no certain means of agreement among themselves. So saith Rabbi Jehuda Levita, the author of the fore-mentioned Cosri: twrwtj wbry µtdbs ypk µyarqh , — “The Karaites multiply laws according to their own opinion ;” which he inveighs against them for, after he had commended them. And the same is objected against them by Maimonides in Pirke Aboth: as though it were not known that the greatest part of their Talmud, the sacred treasury of their oral law, is taken up with differences and disputes of their masters among themselves, with a multitude of various opinions and contradictory conceptions about their traditions. Thus deal the Romanists also with their adversaries, this they charge them withal. They are heretics, Biblists; and, by adhering to the Scripture alone, have no certainty among themselves, but run into diversities of opinion, having deserted the unerring rule of their Cabala; — when the world is filled with the noise of their own conflicts, notwithstanding the pretended relief which they have thereby.

    It remains that we consider how these traditions come to be communicated unto others, out of the secret storehouse wherein originally they were deposited. This, as I have elsewhere and partly before declared, was by their being committed unto writing by Rabbi Judah Hakkadosh; whose collections, with their expositions in their Talmud, do give us a perfect account, if we may believe them, of that secret law which came down unto them by oral tradition from Moses. And something like hereunto is by the Romanists pretended. Many of their traditions, they say, are recorded in the rescripts of popes, decrees of councils, and constitutions of the canon law, and the like sacred means of the declaration of the oral instructions of our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles.

    But herein the Jews deal with us far more ingenuously than they. They tell us plainly that now their whole oral law is written, and that they have no reserve of authentic traditions not yet declared. So that where Austin says of his adversaries, “Nescit habere, praeter scripturas legitimas et propheticas, Judaeos quasdam traditiones suas quas non scriptas habent, sed memoriter tenent, et alter in alterum loquendo transfundit, quam deuterosin vocant,’’ either he knew not, of the Mishnah that was then written, or this opinion of secret traditions was continued until the finishing and promulgation of the Babylonian Talmud, which was sundry years after his death. But here the Romanists fail us; for although they have given us “heaps upon heaps” of their traditions, by the means afore mentioned, yet they plead that they have still an inexhaustible treasure of them, laid up in their church stores and breast of their holy father, to be drawn forth at all times, as occasion shall require.

    And thus have we taken a brief prospect of the consent of both the apostatical churches in that principle which hath been the means of their apostasy, and is the great engine whereby they are rendered incurable therein.


    THE FIRST DISSERTATION CONCERNING THE MESSIAH, PROVING HIM TO BE PROMISED OF OLD. 1. Principles presupposed in the apostle’s discourse in his Epistle to the Hebrews — First, a Messiah promised from the foundation of the world. 2, 3. Of the evil that is in the world. 4. Of sin and punishment — Original and entrance of them. 5. Ignorance of mankind about them. 6. The sin and fall of Adam — Their consequents. 7. Jews’ opinion about the sin of Adam; also of the curse and corruption of nature. 8-12. Their sense of both at large evinced. 13. God not unjust if all mankind had perished in this condition. 14. Instance of the sin and punishment of angels — Difference between the sin of angels and man — Angels lost, mankind relieved. 15. Evidences of that deliverance. 16. How attainable — Not by men themselves; 17. Not by angels; 18. Nor by the law — That proved against the Jews. 19. Their fable of the law made before the world, with the occasion of it — The patriarchs saved before the giving of the law. 20. Observation of the moral precepts of the law no means of relief; 21. Nor the sacrifices of it. 22. The new covenantGod the author of it — How to be accomplished. 23, 24. The first promise of it, Genesis 3:15, discussed. 25. Sense of the Jews upon it manifested; 26, 27. Examined. 28. Promise of a deliverer, the foundation of all religion in the world. 29. The promise renewed unto Abraham, <011201>Genesis 12:1-3Nature of it as given unto him. 30-33. Testified unto and confirmed — Genesis 49:10; Numbers 24:17,19; Job 19:25, opened; with sundry other places — End of the separation of the posterity of Abraham unto a peculiar people and church. 34. This deliverer, the Messiah — Denotation of the word — The person who. 1. WE proceed now unto our principal intendment in all these discourses, which is, the consideration and discussion of those great principles, as of all religion in general, so of the Christian in particular, which the apostle supposeth as a foundation of his whole treaty [reasoning] with the Hebrews, and which are the basis that he stands upon in the management of his whole design. For in all discourses that are parenetical, as this Epistle for the most part is, there are always some principles taken for granted, which give life and efficacy unto the exhortations in them, and whereinto they are resolved. For, as to persuade men unto particulars in faith, opinion, or practice, without a previous conviction of such general principles of truth as from which the persuasions used do naturally flow and arise, is a thing weak and inefficacious; so to be exercised in the demonstration of the principles themselves, when the especial end aimed at is to persuade, would bring confusion into all discourse.

    Wherefore, although our apostle do assert and confirm those dogmata and articles of truth which he dealt with the Hebrews in a way of persuasion to embrace, yet he supposeth and takes for granted those more general kuri>av do>xav , or first maxims, which are the foundation both of the doctrines and exhortations insisted on, as all skill in teaching doth require.

    And these are those which now we aim to draw forth and consider, being these that follow:- First , That there was a Messiah, or Savior of mankind from sin and punishment, promised upon, and from, the first entrance of sin into the world, in whom all acceptable worship of God was to be founded, and in whom all the religion of the sons of men was to center.

    Secondly , That this Messiah, long before promised, was now actually exhibited in the world, and had finished the work committed unto him, when the apostle wrote this Epistle.

    Thirdly , That Jesus of Nazareth was this Messiah, and that what he had done and suffered was the work and duty promised of old concerning him.

    There is not a line in the Epistle to the Hebrews that doth not virtually begin and end in these principles, — not an assertion, not a doctrine, not an exhortation, that is not built on this triple foundation. They are also the great verities th~v ojmologi>av Cristianh~v, of the Christian profession or religion. A sincere endeavor, therefore, in their explanation and vindication, — especially in these days, wherein as on the one hand there are various thoughts of heart about the Jews, their present condition and expectation, so on the other there are many who are ready with a presumptuous boldness ajki>nhta kinei~n , and to call in question the fundamentals of all religion, — may not be unacceptable. Now, the first of these principles is, at this day, by several vain imaginations, obscured by the Jews, to their utter loss of all benefit by it, and hath been so for many generations; although it was the life and soul of the religion of their forefathers, as shall be demonstrated; and the two latter are by them expressly denied, and maliciously contended against. Here, then, we shall fix and confirm these principles, in the order wherein we have laid them down, declaring on every one of them the conceptions and persuasions of the Jews concerning the promised Messiah; removing, in the close, their objections against the faith of Christians in this matter, in a peculiar Exercitation to that purpose.

    And the confirmation and vindication of the first of these principles is that which our present discourse is designed unto. 2. Besides the testimony of God himself in his word, we have a concurrent suffrage from the whole creation, that man in the beginning was formed, as in the image, so in the favor of God, and unto his glory. And as he was not liable unto any evil which is the effect of God’s displeasure, nor defective in any good necessary to preserve him in the condition wherein he was made, so he was destitute of nothing that was any way requisite to carry him on unto that further enjoyment of God whereunto he was designed, Genesis 1:26,31, Ecclesiastes 7:29. For God, being infinitely good, wise, righteous, and powerful, creating man to know, love, honor, and enjoy him, and thereby to glorify those holy properties of his nature which exerted themselves in his creation (which that he did, the nature of those intellectual perfections wherewith he endowed him doth undeniably evince), it was utterly impossible that either he should not delight in the work of his own hands, the effect of his own wisdom and power, or not furnish him with those faculties and abilities by which he might answer the ends of his creation. To suppose a failure in any of these, is contrary to the prime dictates of reason; for infinite wisdom can do nothing in vain, nothing not perfectly suited unto the end whereunto it is designed. Neither can infinite goodness allow of any defect in aught that proceedeth from it: Genesis 1:31, God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Hence many philosophers saw, and granted, that the first cause in the production of all things did oJdw~| badi>zein, proceed by such a certain reason and way as that every thing might, both in itself and with reference unto its own especial end, and also in relation unto the universe, have its proper rectitude and goodness, sufficient unto its station and condition. This oJdomatov tou~ Qeou~, Ephesians 1:11, — “The counsel of the will of God;” expressing a contemperation of absolute sovereignty and infinite wisdom. And these uncontrollable notions of nature, or reason, cast men of old into their entanglements about the original of evil: for this they plainly saw, that it must be accidental and occasional; but where to fix that occasion they knew not. Those who, to extricate themselves out of this difficulty, fancied two supreme principles or causes, the one author of all good, the other of all evil, were ever exploded, as persons bidding defiance unto all principles of reason, whereby we are distinguished from the beasts that perish. This, I say, men generally discerned, that evil, wherein it now lies, could not have entered into the world without a disturbance of that harmony wherein all things at the beginning were constituted by infinite wisdom and goodness, and some interruption of that dependence on God from whence it did proceed.

    The very first apprehensions of the nature of God and the condition of the universe declare that man was formed free from sin, which is his voluntary subduction of himself from under the government of his Maker; and free from trouble, which is the effect of his displeasure on that subduction or deviation; — in which two the whole nature of evil consisteth: so that it must have some other original. 3. Furthermore; in this first effort of immense power did God glorify himself, as in the wisdom and goodness wherewith it was accompanied, so also in that righteousness whereby, as the supreme rector and governor of all, he allotted unto his rational creatures the law of their obedience, annexing a reward thereunto in a mixture of justice and bounty; for, that obedience should be rewarded is of justice, but that such a reward should be proposed unto the temporary obedience of a creature as is the eternal enjoyment of God, was of mere grace and bounty. And that things should have continued in the state and condition wherein they were created, I mean as unto mankind, supposing an accomplishment of the obedience prescribed unto them, is manifest from the very first notions we have of the nature of God: for we do no sooner conceive that he is, but withal we assent that “he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” Hebrews 11:6; which is essential unto him, and inseparable from his nature as the sovereign ruler of the works of his hands. And thus was the continuance of this blessed state of the creation of all things provided for, and laid in a tendency unto further glory, being absolutely exclusive of any distance between God and man, besides that which is natural, necessary, and infinite, from their beings. There was no sin on the one side, nor disfavour on the other. And this secured the order of the universe; for what should cause any confusion there whilst the law of its creation was observed, which could not be transgressed by brute and inanimate creatures? 4. That this estate of things hath been altered from time immemorial; that there is a corrupt spring of sin and disorder in the nature of man; that the whole world lieth in ignorance, darkness, evil, and confusion; that there is an alienation and displeasure between God and mankind, God revealing his wrath and judgments from heaven, whence at first nothing might be expected but fruits of goodness and pledges of love, and man naturally dreading the presence of God and trembling at the effects of it, which at first was his life, joy, and refreshment, — reason itself, with prudent observation, will discover; it hath done so unto many contemplative men of old. “The whole creation groaneth” out this complaint, as the apostle witnesseth, Romans 8:20,22; and God makes it manifest in his judgments every day, chap. 1:18. That things were not made at first in that state and condition wherein now they are, that they came not thus immediately from the hand of infinite wisdom and goodness, is easily discernible. God made not man to be at a perpetual quarrel with him, nor to fill the world with tokens of his displeasure because of sin. This men saw of old by the light of nature; but what it should be that opened the floodgates unto all that evil and sin which they saw and observed in the world, they could not tell. The springs of it, indeed, they searched after; but with more vanity and disappointment than those who sought for the heads of the Nile. The evils they saw were catholic and unlimited, and therefore not to be assigned unto particular causes; and of any general one proportioned unto their production they were utterly ignorant. And this ignorance filled all their wisdom and science with fatal mistakes, and rendered the best of their discoveries but mere, uncertain, conjectures. Yea, the poets, who followed the comprised rumors of old traditions about things whose original was occasional and accidental, give us a better shadow of truth than the philosophers, who would reduce them unto general rules of reason, which they would no way answer. “Post ignem aetheria domo Subductum, Macies et nova Febrium Terris incubuit cohors; Semotique prius tarda necessitas Leti corripuit gradum,” Hor. Car. lib. I. Od. iii. 29, — is a better allusion to the original of sin and punishment than all the disputations of the philosophers will afford us. 5. But that which they could not attain unto, and which because they could not attain unto, they wandered in all their apprehensions about God and themselves, without certainty or consistency, we are clearly acquainted withal by divine revelation. The sum of it is briefly proposed by the apostle: Romans 5:12, “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin.” Sin and death are comprehensive of all that is evil in any kind in the world. All that is morally so is sin; all that is penally so is death. The entrance of both into the world was by the sin of one man, that is, Adam, the common father of us all. This the philosophers knew not, and therefore knew nothing clearly of the condition of mankind in relation unto God. But two things doth the Scripture teach us concerning this entrance of evil into the world: — First, The punishment that was threatened unto and inflicted on the disobedience of Adam. Whatever there is of disorder, darkness, or confusion, in the nature of things here below; whatever is uncertain, irregular, horrid, unequal, destructive, in the universe; whatever is penal unto man, or may be so, in this life or unto eternity; whatever the wrath of the holy, righteous God, revealing itself from heaven, hath brought, or shall ever bring, on the works of his hands, — are to be referred unto this head. Other original of them can no man assign.

    Secondly, The moral corruption of the nature of man, the spring of all sin, the other head of evil, proceeded hence also; for by this means, that which before was good and upright is become an inexhaustible treasure of sin.

    And this was the state of things in the world immediately upon the sin and fall of Adam.

    Now, the work which we assign unto the Messiah is the deliverance of mankind from this state and condition. Upon the supposition, and revelation, of this entrance of sin, and the evil that ensued thereon, is the whole doctrine of his office founded, as shall afterwards more largely be declared. And because we contend against the Jews that he was promised and exhibited for a relief, in the wisdom, grace, and righteousness of God, against this sin and misery of mankind, as our apostle also expressly proveth, chap. 2, of his Epistle unto them; this being denied by them, as that which would overthrow all their fond imaginations about his person and office, we must consider what is their sense and apprehension about these things, with what may be thence educed for their own conviction; and then confirm the truth of our assertion from those testimonies of Scripture which themselves own and receive. 6. TheFIRST effect and consequent of the sin of Adam, was the punishment wherewith it was attended. What is written hereof rJhtw~v in the Scripture, the Jews neither do nor can deny. Death was in the commination given to deter him from his transgression: tWmt; twOm , Genesis 2:17 ; — “ Dying, thou shalt die.” Neither can it be reasonably pretended to be singly death unto his own person which is intended in that expression; the event sufficiently evinceth the contrary. Whatever is or might be evil unto himself and his whole posterity, with the residue of the creation, so far as he or they might be any way concerned therein, hath grown out of this commination. And this is sufficiently manifested in the first execution of it, Genesis 3:16-19. The malediction was but the execution of the commination. It was not consistent with the justice of God to increase the penalty after the sin was committed. The threaten ing, therefore, was the rule and measure of the curse. But this is here extended by God himself, not only to all the miseries of man (Adam and his whole posterity) in this life, in labor, disappointment, sweat, and sorrow, with death under, and by virtue of, the curse, but to the whole earth also, and consequently unto those superior regions and orbs of heaven by whose influence the earth is as it were governed and disposed unto the use of man, Hosea 2:21,22.

    It may be yet further inquired, what was to be the duration and continuance of the punishment to be inflicted in the pursuit of this commination and malediction. Now, there is not any thing in the least to intimate that it should have a term prefixed unto it wherein it should expire, or that it should not be commensurate unto the existence or being of the sinner. God lays the curse on man, and there he leaves him, and that for ever. A miserable life he was to spend, and then to die under the curse of God, without hope of emerging into a better condition. About his subsistence after this life we have no controversy with the Jews. They all acknowledge the immortality of the soul; for the sect of the Sadducees is long since extinct, neither are they followed by the Karaites in their atheistical opinions, as hath been declared. Some of them, indeed, incline unto the Pythagorean metempsychosis, but all acknowledge the soul’s perpetuity.

    Supposing, then, Adam to die penally under the curse of God, — as without extraordinary relief he must have done, the righteousness and truth of God being engaged for the execution of the threatening against him, — I desire to know what should have been the state and condition of his soul? Doth either revelation or reason intimate that he should not have continued for ever under the same penalty and curse, in a state of death or separation from God? And if he should have done so, then was death eternal in the commination. This is that which, with respect unto the present effects in this life, and the punishment due to sin, is termed by our apostle hJ ojrgh< , 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “the wrath to come,” from whence the Messiah is the deliverer.

    Nor will the Jews themselves contend that the guilt of any sin respects only temporal punishment. The event of sin unto themselves they take to be that only; imagining their observation of the law of Moses, such as it is, to be a sufficient expiation of punishment eternal: but unto all strangers from the law, all that have not a relief provided, they make every sin mortal; and Adam, as I suppose, had not the privilege of the present Jews, to observe Moses’ law. Wherefore they all agree that by his repentance he delivered himself from death eternal: which if it were not due unto his sin, he could not do; for no man can by any means escape that whereof he is in no danger. And this repentance of his they affirm to have been attended with severe discipline and self-maceration; intimating the greatness of his sin and the difficulty of his escape from the punishment due thereunto. So Rabbi Eliezer, in Pirke Aboth, cap. xx.: ˆwyl[h ˆwjyg ymb µda snkn tbçb djab ; — “On the first day of the week Adam entered into the waters of the upper Gihon, until the waters came unto his neck; and he afflicted himself seven weeks, until his body became like a sieve. And Adam said before the holy, blessed God, ‘Lord of the whole world, let my sins, I pray thee, be done away from me, and accept of my repentance; that all ages may know that there is repentance, and that thou wilt receive them that repent and turn unto thee.’” Hence, also, they tell us, that upon the pardon of his sin he sang a song of praise unto the Lord on the Sabbath-day; which is mentioned in the Targum on the Song of Solomon, chap. <220101> 1:1, as one of the songs in reference whereunto that of Solomon is called, µyriyVjæ ryçi , “The Song of Songs,” or the most excellent of them.

    And although, indeed, that expression, tWmt; twOm , “Dying, thou shalt die,” according to the propriety of the Hebrew tongue, denotes only the certainty and vehemency of the death threatened, in which case it useth reduplications, yet some of them have not been averse to apprehend a twofold death, of the body and of the soul, to be intimated in that expression, as Fagius on the place well observes. Body and soul, they say, both sinned; and therefore both were to be punished: hzw ykw tçn[n çpnh [wdm hwr alb afwj rçbh wlya djab µyafwj µhynç rbdh °k ala çn[n hzw afwj; — “ If the flesh sin without the spirit, why is the soul punished? Is it one thing that sins, and another that is punished? or rather is it not thus, that both sin together?” and so both are justly punished together. 7. Thus is the condition of the sin and punishment of our first parents themselves acknowledged by them; and the same is that of their posterity.

    What was threatened unto, what was inflicted upon, those who first sinned, they are all liable and obnoxious unto. Are they not all as subject unto death as was Adam himself? are the miseries of man in his labor, or the sorrows of women in childbearing, taken away? is the earth itself freed from the effects of the curse? do they not die who never “sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression?” The Jews themselves grant that all death is penal: ˆyw[ alb ˆydwsyy ˆyaw afj alb twm ˆya ; — “There is no death without sin, no punishment or correction without iniquity.” It is the saying of R. Ame in the Talmud, Tractat. Sabbat., cited in Sepher Ikharim, lib. iv. cap. xiii. And this principle Maimonides carries so high as to deny all hbja lç ˆyrwsy , “correction of love,” affirming none to be of that mind but some Gaeonims, deceived by the sect of Muatzali, More Nebuch. pag. 3, cap. xvii. And they who die penally under the curse abide in no other estate than that mentioned. They acknowledge, also, the remainder of the curse on the earth itself on the same account: afj µdaç rjaw µdah lybçb ala arbn al wlk µlw[h htwmlç hrsj hmdah ; — “The whole world,” says one of their masters, “was not created but for man; and therefore after man sinned, it came short of its first perfection.” But these things being of some use for their conviction, as also to discover the perverse obstinacy of some of their later masters, we may a little more particularly take them along with us. 8. First, They acknowledge that Adam was a common head unto all mankind. So saith Manasseh Ben Israel, from their principles: “Cum itaque esset Adam futurus caput et principium humanae naturae, necesse erat illi a Deo conferri omnem perfectionem et scientiam,” De Fragilitate, pag. 34; — “Whereas Adam was to be the head and principle of human nature, it was necessary that God should endow him with all perfection of knowledge.” And this perfection of his knowledge Aben Ezra, on Genesis 2, proves from God’s bringing all creatures unto him, to give them names according to their nature. And the same author again, in his discourse, De Termino Vitae: “Aben Ezra inquit, nominibus propriis in sacra Scriptura non praefigi h[ydyh ah , He demonstrativum, quod tamen in voce Adam sit, Genesis 3:22; ratio est quia in Adamo notantur omnes ejus posteri, et universa species humana designatur;” — “Aben Ezra says that ‘He Hajedia’ is not prefixed unto proper names in the Scripture, only it is so unto the word ‘Adam,’ Genesis 3:22; and the reason is, because in Adam all his posterity, the whole race of mankind, is denoted and signified.” Now, this could not be but by virtue of some divine constitution; for naturally Adam could have no other relation to his posterity than every other man hath unto his own: and this was no other but that covenant which God made with all mankind in him; whose promises and threatenings, rewards and punishments, must therefore equally respect them with him.

    Wherefore, secondly, they grant that on this account “his sin was imputed unto all his posterity;” that is, some of them do so, and those the most sober of them. So Rabbi Menahem Rakanatensis, in Sec. Bereshith, etc.: hwjw µda afj l[ hwmtl ˆya ; — “It is no wonder why the sin of Adam and Eve was engraven, and sealed with the signet of the King, to be propagated unto all following generations; for in the day that Adam was created, all things were finished, so that he was the perfection and complement of the whole workmanship of this world. Therefore when he sinned, the whole world sinned; whose sin we bear and suffer, which is not so in the sin of his posterity.” To be “sealed with the signet of the King,” is their expression of God’s constitution.

    And these words are very consonant to those of our apostle, Romans 5:12, “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for that” (or “because in him”) “all have sinned.” To the same purpose speaks the Targum on Ecclesiastes 7: 29, in the copies followed by the Jayan [Paris Polyglot] and London Bibles (for so the words are not in those of Buxtorf, nor the Biblia Regia): “God made the first man upright and innocent before him; but the serpent and Eve seduced him, lklw atwm µwy whwl[ apqtsal wmrgw a[ra ˆyryd — and gave cause why the day of death should come on him and all the inhabitants of the earth.” And we can have no more authentic testimony of the apprehensions of their ancient doctors than what their Targums afford us. And therefore Joseph Albo, in Seher Itharim, expressly concludes, lib. i. cap. xi., that “all the punishments relating unto Adam and Eve for their first sin belong unto all mankind.” And whereas they fancy that some persons spent their days without actual sin, at least any such as should deserve death, they charge their death on the guilt of the sin of Adam. So the Targum on the last chapter of Ruth: “And Hobed begat Jesse, who was called Nachash; and there was no iniquity or corruption in him, for which he should be delivered into the hand of the angel of death to take his soul from him: and he lived many days, until the counsel that the serpent gave to Eve abode before the Lord; and upon that counsel were all the inhabitants of the earth made guilty of death; and upon the account of that sin died Jesse the righteous.” Lud. Cappellus, in his annotations on John 3, hath an observation on this passage in the Targum not unworthy consideration. The Jews call Jesus wçy , without [ , which differs little from yçw , and so he may be here intended; for he may be called çjn , both because he was prefigured by the brazen serpent, and because the names of çhn and jyçm are the same by gematry, or in their numeral letters, — a great occasion amongst them to change the names of persons and things.

    And this they might have from some tradition, which they understood not.

    The like testimony we have in Siphre: yswy yra dmlw ax ylygh ; — “Rabbi Jose the Galilean said, ‘Go forth and learn the merit of Messiah the king, and the reward of that righteous one above the first Adam, who had only negative precepts given unto him, which he transgressed. Behold how many deaths befell him and his generations, and the generations of his generations, unto the end of all generations!’” Answerable unto that of the apostle, Romans 5:18, “Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men unto condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

    And this punishment of the sin of Adam and Eve they grant to have been so terrible, that they say that in the day they were cast out of paradise God lamented over them: wkdataw hwjw µda wndtad hmk ˆwhywl[ yrm dypsaw ˆd[d atngm ; — “Even as Adam and Eve, when they were judged and cast out of the garden of Eden, and the Lord of the world lamented over them,” Targum on Lamenta, chap. 1:1. And to show also that the whole creation was made subject unto vanity upon the sin of our first parents, Moses Haddarshan in Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis 3:6, informs us that Eve gave of the fruit of the tree which she took unto all the beasts of the field and birds of the air, lwj only (which they interpret “the phoenix”) excepted. The truth, indeed, in these expressions is clouded with fables and trifles; but they who are offended at them may do well to direct us unto Judaical writers that are free from such follies. And yet on these things do innumerable poor souls venture their eternal condition, in an opposition to the blessed gospel of the glorious God. 9. The later masters, I acknowledge, are in this whole matter lubricous and uncertain; and they have been so in an especial manner ever since they began to understand the plea of Christians, for the necessity of satisfaction to be made by the sufferings of the Messiah, from the doctrine of the sin and fall of man. Hence Abarbanel, in his commentary on Isaiah 53, expressly argues against those sufferings of the Messiah, from the nonnecessity of them with reference unto the sin of Adam. They contend also, some of them, that it was not so sorely revenged as we plead it to have been. “Ask a heretic” (a Christian), saith Lipman in his Nizzachon, “how it can enter into their hearts to think that God should use so great severity against the sin of Adam, that he should hold him bound for so small a matter, namely, for the eating of an apple, that he should destroy him in this world and that to come; and that not him only, but all his posterity.”

    But the blind Pharisee disputes not so much against us as against God himself. Who was it that denounced death in case he so transgressed? who was it that pronounced him miserable, and the world accursed, on the account thereof? Are we to blame, if the Jews are not pleased with the ways of God? Besides, although to eat an apple be in itself but a small thing, yet to disobey the command of the great God is no such small matter as the Jew supposeth; especially that command which set boundaries unto that excellent condition wherein Adam, in the right of all his posterity, was placed. But these exceptions owe their original unto a discovery of the tendency of that truth, which otherwise, as we have showed, they are convinced of, and which we have sufficiently cleared from the Scripture. 10. TheSECOND consequent of the first sin of man is the moral corruption of nature, the spring of all that evil of actual sin that is in the world. And herein we have a full consent from the Jews, delivered after their manner, both in the Targums, Talmuds, and private writings of their principal masters; for an evil concupiscence in the heart of man, from his very conception, they generally acknowledge.

    The name they give unto it is [rh rxy , — “figmentum malum,” the evil figment of the heart; properly enough, from Genesis 6:5: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth; µwOYhæAlK; [ræ qræ wOBli tbov]j]mæ rx,yeAlk;w] , — and that the whole figment of the thoughts (or computation) of his heart was only evil every day.”

    Hence have they taken their [rh rxy ; a more proper name than that used by Christian divines, of “originale peccatum.” And it is a ludicrous ignorance in some of the late rabbins, who profess themselves to deny original sin, — as doth the author of the Questions and Objections published by Brenius, and others of them, — and yet in the meantime grant this evil figment in all mankind, which was not in Adam in his innocency. And hereunto they oppose that bwfh rxy , that “good concupiscence,” which they fancy to come on every one at the age of thirteen years, when he becomes “filius praecepti,” or liable unto the commands of God. The Targumists term it in the Chaldee tongue, açyb aRXY, to the same purpose. And it is mentioned by them, Psalm 13:5, “that açyb arxy , the evil figment, say not I have ruled over him;” instead of “the enemy,” for it is the chief enemy of men. Twice also it is mentioned in the Targum of Psalm 50:14: açyb arxy çwkn ; — “Restrain the evil figment, and it shall be accounted before God as a sacrifice.” Doubtless none more acceptable. And to the same purpose the words are also verse 23. And in Psalm 90:12, “That thy foot stumble not at the evil figment, which is like a stone;” that is, “That it seduce thee not, that it cause thee not to offend, to stumble and fall into sin.” See James 1:14. And <19B970> Psalm 119:70, they call it absolutely bld arxy , “the figment,” or evil fomes of the heart: ˆwhbld arxy brt °yh çpfa ; — “The figment of their heart is made thick (or hard) as with fatness;” an expression not unusual in the Scripture to set out impenitency and security in sinning, Isaiah 6:10. And in Isaiah 62:10 they mention arxy rwhryh , “the thought of lust,” or of “the figment ;” which is that “conceiving’’ of it mentioned by James, chap. 1:14. For rwhryh is the inward evil thought of the heart, or the first motion of sin. Moreover, they do not unfitly describe it by another property; as Ecclesiastes 9:14, br °lml lytmd açyb arxy ; — “The evil figment (or concupiscence), which is like unto a great king,” — namely, because of its power. On which account in the New Testament it is said basileu>ein, to “reign” as a king, because of the subjection unto it ejn tai~v ejpiqumi>aiv , “in the lusts” or concupiscence of the heart, Romans 6:12; and kurieu>ein , or to have “dominion,” verse 14, which is to the same purpose with that of the Targumist: “Evil concupiscence is like unto a great king.” And this testimony we have given unto this moral corruption of nature in the Targums, the most ancient records of the Judaical apprehensions about these things that are now extant, or have been so for many ages. 11. The Talmudists have expressed the same thoughts about this inbred and indwelling sin; and, to set forth their conceptions about it, they have given it several names not unsuited unto those descriptions of it which are given us by the Holy Ghost in the New Testament; as, — First, They call it [r , that is, “malum,” evil; a name, as they say, given by God himself, Genesis 8:21. Hence is that observation of R. Moses Haddarshan, from R. Jose in Bereshith Rabba: dwam bwl[ ; — “ Sad,” or dark, “is that mass against which He that made it gives testimony that it is ‘evil;’ and our masters affirm that naught is that plant, which He that planted it witnesseth to be evil.” And in answer hereunto it is termed in the New Testament, hJ aJmarti>a , “that sin,” that evil thing that dwelleth in us, Romans 7:17.

    Secondly, They say that Moses calleth it hl;re[\ , “praeputium,” or “uncircumcision,” Deuteronomy 10:16. And therefore in Tract. Sanhed. cap. xi., to the question, When may an infant be made partaker of the world to come? R. Nachman, the son of Isaac, answereth, lmykç h[çm , presently after he is circumcised; circumcision being admitted of old as the sign of the taking away by grace of the natural evil figment of the heart.

    And in answer hereunto, it is called by our apostle ajkrozusti>a, or “uncircumcision,” Colossians 2:13.

    Thirdly, They say David calls it amf , an “unclean thing.” This they draw from Psalm 51:10, by the rule of contraries, a great guide in their expositions: “Create in me a clean heart, O God;” whence it appears that the heart of itself is unclean. And the apostle gives it us under the same name and notion, 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 7:14.

    Fourthly, Solomon, as they suppose, calls it anwç , an “enemy” or “hater,” Proverbs 25:21. How properly they gather this name from that place “ipsi viderint.” This I know, that to the same purpose it is called in the New Testament e]cqra , “enmity,” or hatred, Romans 8:7; and all the effects of enmity, or actings of an enemy, anwç , are ascribed unto it, 1 Peter 2:11.

    Fifthly, Isaiah calls it lwçkm , “the offense” or “stumbling-block,” Isaiah 57:14; para>ptwma , Romans 5:18. See James 1:14, 15, the cause of our stumbling and falling.

    Sixthly, Ezekiel calls it ˆba , “a stone,” chap. 36:26. The reason of this appellation is commonly known, neither doth any allusion better set out the nature of it from its effects. Kardi>a sklhra< kai< ajmetano>htov , a “hard and impenitent heart,” Romans 2:5.

    Seventhly, Joel calls it, as they say, ynwpx , that “hidden thing,” chap. 2:20; for so they interpret yniwOpX]hæ in that place: whereby they seem to intend that darkness and deceitfulness which are often ascribed unto it in the New Testament. And these names they largely comment upon. Now, though I shall not justify their deduction of them from the places mentioned, — which yet, some of them, are proper enough unto their purpose, — yet, as was said, the names themselves seem not unsuitable unto that description of it which we have in the New Testament. Besides, they speak elsewhere to the same purpose. In Neve Shalom, lib. x. cap. ix., they term it çjn tamwf , the “defilement of the serpent,” see Corinthians 11:3; and lyskw ˆqz °lm , from Ecclesiastes 4:13, “An old and foolish king.” So is that place interpreted in Midrash Coheleth.

    And this, as we observed before, answers what we are taught in the New Testament concerning the “reign” and “dominion” of sin, as also the name given it by the apostle of Palaio, “The old man ;” both being comprised in that expression, “An old and foolish king,” though the text be wrested by them in their usual manner. And they give a tolerable reason in the same place of this appellation of “The old man;” because, say they, it is joined unto a man in his infancy, continuing with him unto his old age; but the bwfh rxy , that is “the new man, or good concupiscence, comes not on our nature until the age of thirteen years.” So the Midrash, feeling in the dark after that supply of grace which is so clearly revealed in the gospel. And in Tractat. Sanhedrim, fol. 91, they ask this question, µdab flwç ytm ya [rh rxy ; — “From what time doth the evil concupiscence bear rule in a man? from the time of his birth, or from the time of his forming in the womb?” Rabbi answers, “From the time of his conception and forming in the womb.” And this Kimchi, on Psalm 51, illustrates by a similitude not altogether impertinent; as saith he, “He that sows a bitter berry, that bitterness becomes natural unto the tree and fruit that grows thereon.” And this concupiscence, which is in the heart of man from his conception, they acknowledge to have proceeded originally from the sin of our first parents; for if it were implanted in him at his creation, it cannot be avoided but that God himself must be assigned as the principal efficient cause of all moral evil.

    Unto this purpose speaks their late master in the preface to his book De Fragilitate. “Haec vitiositas,” saith he, “ex primorum parentum profecta crimine, contagioque, invasit utramque animae rationalis facultatem, mentem qua apprehendimus, et voluntatem qua appetimus;” — “This vitiosity and contagion, proceeding from the sin of our first parents, hath invaded both the faculties of our rational souls, both the understanding and the will.” And as for the continuance of this evil, or its abode in us, they express it in Bereshith Rabba: ˆrxy µymjlg µh µyyj µyqydxhç ˆmz lk ; — “So long as the righteous live, they wage war with their concupiscence.” And they variously set forth the growth of it, where it is not corrected by grace. At first they say it is like a “spider’s thread,” but at last like a “cart rope :” from Isaiah 59:5, v.18. And again, in the beginning it is like a stranger, then as a guest, but lastly as the master of the house: see James 1:14,15. And according to their wonted manner, on Genesis 4:7, where Åbero , of the masculine gender, is joined with taF;jæ , of the feminine, they observe, in Bereshith Rabba, sect. 22, ayh hljtb rkzk rbntm ayh °k rjaw hbqnk çy ; — “At first it is like a woman, but afterwards it waxeth strong like a man.” 12. More testimonies of this nature, from the writings that are of authority amongst them, might be produced, but that these are sufficient unto our purpose. What we aim at is, to evidence their conviction of that manifold misery which came upon mankind on the entrance of sin into the world; and two things we have produced their suffrage and consent unto: — First, The change of the primitive condition of man, by his defection from the law of his creation. This made him obnoxious, in his whole person and all his concernments, to the displeasure and curse of God; to all the evil which in this world he feels, or fears in another; to death temporal and eternal. And hence did all the disorder which is in the universe arise. All this we have found them freely testifying unto. And this must be acknowledged by all men who will not brutishly deny what their own consciences dictate unto them, and what the condition of the whole lower world proclaims, or irrationally ascribe such things unto God as are utterly inconsistent with his wisdom, goodness, righteousness, and holiness.

    And,- Secondly, We have manifested their acknowledgment that a principle of sin or moral evil hath invaded the nature of man, or that from the sin of our first parents there is an “evil concupiscence” in the heart of every man, continually and incessantly inclining the soul unto operations suitable unto it; that is, unto all moral evil whatever.

    From both these it unavoidably follows, on the first notions of the righteousness, holiness, veracity, and faithfulness of God, that mankind in this estate and condition can justly expect nothing but a confluence of evil in this world, and at the close of their pilgrimage to perish with a ruin commensurate unto their existence. For God having, in wisdom and righteousness, as the sovereign Lord of his creatures, given them a law, good, just, and equal; and having appointed the penalty of death, and his everlasting displeasure therein, unto the transgression thereof; and withal having sufficiently promulgated both law and penalty (all which things we have before demonstrated); the transgression prohibited actually ensuing, God himself being judge, it remains that all this constitution of a law and threatening of a penalty was vain and ludicrous, as Satan in the serpent pretended, or that mankind is rendered absolutely miserable and cursed, and that for ever. Now, which of these is to be concluded, divine revelation in the Scripture, reason, and the event of things, will readily determine. 13. That God, without the least impeachment of his righteousness or goodness, might have left all mankind remediless in this condition, is manifest, both from what hath been discoursed concerning the means whereby they were brought into it, and his dealing with angels on the like occasion. The condition wherein man was created was morally good and upright; the state wherein he was placed, outwardly happy and blessed; the law given unto him, just and equal; the reward proposed unto him, glorious and sure; and his defection from this condition, voluntary. “What shall we say, then? is God unjust who inflicteth vengeance? God forbid.”

    The execution of a righteous sentence, upon the voluntary transgression of a law just and equal, hath no unrighteousness in it. And this was the sum of what God did in this matter, as to the misery that came on mankind.

    And who should judge him if he had left him for ever to “eat of the fruit of his own ways, and to be filled with his own devices?” He had before, as expressed his power and wisdom, so satisfied his goodness and bounty, in his creation, with his endowments and enjoyments according unto the law thereof; and what could man look for further at his hands?

    Hence Adam, when his eyes were opened to see the nature of evil, in that actual sense which he had in his conscience of the guilt that he had contracted, had not the least expectation of relief or mercy; and the folly of the course which he took, in hiding himself, argues sufficiently both his present amazement and that he knew of nothing better to betake himself unto. Therefore doth he give that account of the result of his thoughts, as unto the relation that was between God and him, and what only he now looked for from him, “I heard thy voice, and I was afraid.” Neither would any revelation that God had then made of himself, either by the works of his power and wisdom, or by any inbred impressions on the souls of men concreated with them, give encouragement unto them that had sinned against him to expect relief. Besides, he had dealt thus with angels. Upon their first sin, “he spared them not,” but at once, without hope of recovery, cast them under the “chains of darkness,” to be kept unto the final “judgment of the great day.” On this our apostle discourseth unto the Hebrews, chap. 2. Now, God dealt not unsuitably unto any of the excellencies of his nature, when he left the apostatizing angels to perish without remedy unto eternity. Had he dealt so also with apostatizing mankind, who were drawn into a conspiracy against him by the head of the defection, his ways had still been holy and righteous. 14. Yet doth not this great instance of God’s dealing with angels absolutely conclude his leaving of mankind remediless in their misery also.

    He might justly do so, but thence it doth not follow that necessarily he must do so. And although the chief, and indeed only reason of his extending grace and mercy unto men, and not unto angels, was his own sovereign will and pleasure, concerning which who can say unto him, “What doest thou?” yet there was such a difference between these two sorts of original transgressors as may manifest a condecency or suitableness unto his righteousness and goodness in his various proceeding with them; for there are sundry things that put an aggravation on the rebellion of angels above that of man, and some that render their ruin less destructive unto the glory of the universe than that of mankind would have been: for, — First, The angels were created in an estate and condition much superior unto and more excellent than that of man; and so likewise were their present or actual enjoyments far above his, though these also were admirable and blessed. The place of their first habitation, which they left, Jude 6, was the highest heaven, the most glorious receptacle of created beings; in opposition whereunto they are said to be cast into the lowest hell, 2 Peter 2:4: whereas man was placed in the earth; which, although then beautiful and excellently suited to his condition, yet was every way inferior unto the glory and lustre of the other, which God so had “garnished by his Spirit,” Job 26:13, and which, for its curious excellency, is called “the work of his fingers,” Psalm 8:3. And in these different places of their habitation, — Secondly, Their several employments also did greatly differ. The work of angels was immediately to attend the throne of God, to minister before him, and to give glory unto him, and to execute the commands of his providence in the government of the works of his hands, Psalm 68:17; Daniel 7:10; Ezekiel 1:5-14; Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 5:11; — the highest pitch of honor that a mere creature can be exalted unto. Man, during his natural life, was to be employed in tilling and dressing of the ground, Genesis 2:15; a labor that would have been easy, useful, and suitable unto his condition, but yet, in honor, advantage, and satisfaction, unspeakably beneath the duty of the others.

    Thirdly, Their enjoyments also greatly differed. For the angels enjoyed the immediate glorious presence of God, without any external created resemblances of it; when man was kept at a greater distance, and not admitted unto such immediate communion with God, or enjoyment of his glorious presence.

    Now, all these, and the like considerations, although on the one side they do not in the least extenuate or excuse the sin and crime of man in his apostasy, yet they greatly aggravate the wickedness, ingratitude, and pride of the angels., Moreover, they differed in their intellectual perfections, whereby they were enabled to discern the excellencies and to know the mind of God: for although man had all that light, knowledge, and wisdom concreated with him, and so natural unto him, which were any way needful to enable him unto a right and due performance of the obedience required of him, in the observance whereof he should have been brought unto the enjoyment of God; yet it came far short of that excellency of understanding and that piercing wisdom which was in those spiritual beings, which they were endowed withal to fit them for that near contemplation of the glory of God whereunto they were admitted, and that ready apprehension of his mind which they were to observe. And as these were in themselves, and ought to have been improved by themselves, as blessed means of preserving them in their obedience, so, being despised and neglected, they were a great aggravation of the wickedness of their apostasy. There was likewise, — Fifthly, A difference in the manner of their defection. Man was circumvented by the craft and policy of the angels, who were made before him and sinned before him: and this, although he was furnished with an ability and power to have rejected and overcome, yet it had that influence into his sin and fall that the Holy Ghost affirms that our first parents were\parSEDUCED or “deceived,” 1 Timothy 2:14, 2 Corinthians 11:3; and therefore Satan is called their “murderer,” John 8:44. But the angels had nothing without them to excite, provoke, or lay snares for them; but of their own voluntary choice, and mere motion of their own mind, in the exercise of that freedom of their will which was bestowed on them for their own honor and advantage in their obedience, left their stations, and set up themselves in a way of opposition unto their Creator, who had exalted them above their companions, newly brought out of the same nothing with themselves, into a condition of the highest created glory imaginable. Again, — Sixthly, Although the condition of mankind, being to be propagated by natural generation from one common stock, made it necessary that our first parents should have a greater trust reposed in them, by reason of their representation of their whole posterity in that covenant wherein they stood before God, than any angel could have, seeing they stood every one only in his own name and for himself, yet they were but two persons that actually sinned at first, and those one after another, one seduced by another; whereas the angels in multitudes inconceivable, by a joint conspiracy, at the same instant combined together against the authority and law of their Creator, and, as it should seem, appointed one among themselves for the head of their apostasy. Now, although, as was said, none of these things do, or can, in the least extenuate the sin of man, which was the product of inconceivable infidelity and ingratitude, yet they contain such aggravations of the sin of angels as may evidence a condecency unto divine wisdom and goodness in passing them by in their sin and misery unto eternity, and yet giving relief unto mankind.

    Lastly, We may add unto what hath been spoken, the concernment of the glory of God in the universe; for if man had been left for ever without relief, the whole race or kind of creatures, partakers of human nature, had been utterly lost. Nothing of that kind could ever have come unto the enjoyment of God, nor could God have ever been glorified by them in a way of thankfulness and praise, which yet was the end why he made that sort of creatures; for the whole race of them as to the event would have been mere objects of wrath and displeasure. But in the fall of angels, they were only a certain number of individuals that sinned; the whole kind was not lost as to the first end of their creation. Angelical nature was preserved, in its orderly dependence on God, in those millions that kept their obedience, and primitive condition thereon; which is continued unto them with a superaddition of glory and honor, as shall be elsewhere declared. God, then, having made himself two families unto his praise, amongst whom he would dwell, that above of angels, and this below of mankind, had sinning man, — which was the whole creation participating in human nature, — been utterly cast off, one family had been lost for ever, though so great a remnant of the other was preserved. Wherefore, as we shall afterwards see, it seemed good unto his infinite wisdom, as to preserve that portion of his superior family which sinned not, so to recover a portion of that below; and to make them up into one family, in one new head, his Son Jesus Christ; in whom he hath now actually gathered into one all things that are in heaven and earth, unto his praise and glory, Ephesians 1:10.

    It appears, then, that no certain conclusion can hence be drawn that man is left remediless in his sin and misery, because angels are so; seeing that although the whole cause of the difference made is to be referred unto the sovereign will, wisdom, and pleasure of God, yet there is that, appearing unto reason, which manifests a suitableness unto his excellencies in the distinction to be put between them. 15. There is, then, no necessary reason inducing us to believe that God hath left all mankind to perish in their sin and misery, under the curse, without any provision of a remedy; yea, there are on the other side evidences many and certain that there is a way provided for their recovery: for, — First, The glorious properties of the nature of God, whose manifestation and exaltation in all the works that outwardly are of him he designeth, do require that there should be salvation for sinners. Even this matter of the salvation of sinners conduceth, yea, is necessary, unto the manifestation of some of those divine excellencies wherein no small part of the glory of God doth consist. God had,’ in the creation of all things, glorified his greatness, power, wisdom, and goodness. His sovereignty, righteousness, and holiness, he had in like manner revealed in that holy law which he had prescribed unto angels and men for the rule of their obedience, and in the assignation of their reward. Upon the sin of angels and men, he had made known his severity and vindictive justice, in the curse and punishment inflicted on them. But there were yet remaining undiscovered, in the abyss of his eternal essence, grace and pardoning mercy; which in none of his works had as yet exerted themselves or manifested their glory. And in case no remedy be provided for mankind under the evils mentioned, and their utter ruin, as they must have perished accordingly, so those glorious properties of the nature of God, — all ways of exerting their proper and peculiar acts being secluded, all objects of them removed, — could not have been equally glorified with his other holy attributes. The creatures know nothing in God but as it is manifested in its effects. His essence in itself dwells in “light inaccessible.” Had never any stood in need of grace and mercy, or, doing so, had never been made partakers of them, it could not have been known that there was that kind of goodness in his nature, which yet it is his design principally to glorify himself in. The necessity, therefore, of the manifestation of these properties of God, his goodness, grace, mercy, and readiness to forgive, which can only be exercised about sinners, and that in their relief and salvation from sin and misery, do require that the deliverance inquired after be admitted, and justly expected.

    And this expectation is so much the more just, and firmly grounded, in that there is nothing in himself which the Lord more requireth our conformity unto himself in, than in this condescension, goodness, grace, and readiness to forgive; which manifests how dear the glory of them is unto him.

    Secondly, To what end shall we conceive the providence and patience of God to be exercised towards the race of mankind for so long a season in the earth? We see what is the general issue and event of the continuance of mankind in the world; God saw it and complained of it long ago, Genesis 6:5,6. Shall we now think that God hath no other design, in his patience towards mankind for so many generations, but merely to suffer them all and every one without exception to sin against him, dishonor him, provoke him, that so he may at length everlastingly destroy them? That this, indeed, is the event with many, with the most, through their own perverse wickedness, blindness, and love of the “pleasures of sin,” cannot be denied; but to suppose that God hath no other design at all but merely by his patience to forbear them a while in their folly, and then to avenge himself upon them, is unsuitable unto his wisdom and goodness. It cannot be, then, but that he would long since have cut off the whole race, if there were no way for them to be delivered out of this perishing condition. And although this way, whatever it be, is not effectual towards all, yet for their sakes towards whom, through the grace of God, it is and shall be so, is the patience of God exercised towards the whole race of mankind, and their being is continued in this world. Other reason of this dispensation of divine wisdom and goodness can none be assigned.

    Thirdly, That there is a way of deliverance for mankind, the event hath manifested in two remarkable and undeniable instances : — First, In that sundry persons who were, as others, “by nature children of wrath,” and under the curse, have obtained an undoubted and infallible interest in the love and favor of God, and this testimony, that “they pleased him.” What were the assurances they had hereof, I shall not now debate. But I take it now for granted, — which may be further confirmed as occasion shall require, — that some persons in all generations have enjoyed the friendship, love, and favor of God: which they could never have done unless there had been some way for their deliverance out of the state of sin and misery before described; for therein every man, upon a just account, will find himself in the state of Adam, who, when he heard the voice of God, was afraid. Secondly, God hath been pleased to require from men a revenue of glory, by a way of worship prescribed unto them after the entrance of sin. This he hath not done unto the angels that sinned; nor could it have been done, in a consistency with righteousness, unto men, without a supposition of a possibility of deliverance from under his wrath: for in every prescription of duty God proposeth himself as a rewarder; which he is only unto them that please him, and to please God without the deliverance inquired after is impossible. Besides, that God is actually glorified in the world by the way of worship required on this supposition, shall be elsewhere declared, and arguments added in full measure to confirm our assertion.

    Deliverance, then, from this condition may on just grounds be expected; and how it might be effected is our next inquiry. 16. The great relief inquired after must be brought about by men themselves, or by some other for them. What they can do themselves herein we may be quickly satisfied about. The nature of the evils under which they suffer, and the event of things in the world, sufficiently discover the disability of men to be their own deliverers. Besides, who should contrive the way of it for them? One single person? more? or all?

    How easily the impossibility of it might be demonstrated, on any of these suppositions, is too manifest to be insisted on. The evils suffered under are of two sorts, both universal and eternal. The first is that of punishment, inflicted from the righteousness of God.

    There are but two ways possible (setting aside the consideration of what shall be afterwards fixed on) whereby mankind, or any individual person amongst them, may obtain deliverance from this evil; and the first is, that God, without any further consideration, should remit it, and exempt the creation from under it. But although this way may seem possible unto some, it is indeed utterly otherwise. Did not the sentence of it proceed from his righteousness and the essential rectitude of his nature? did he not engage his truth and faithfulness that it should be inflicted? and doth not his holiness and justice require that so it should be? What should become of his glory, what would he do unto his great name, if now, without any cause or reason, he should, contrary unto all these engagements of his holy perfections, wholly remit and take it off? Nay, this would plainly justify the serpent in his calumny, that whatever he pretended, yet indeed no execution of his threatening would ever ensue. How, also, can it be supposed that any of his future comminations should have a just weight upon the souls of men, if that first great and fundamental one should be frustrated and evacuated? or what authority would be left unto his law when he himself should dissolve the sanction of it? Besides, if God should do thus, — which reason, revelation, and the event of things, do manifest that he neither would nor could (for he cannot deny himself), — this would have been his work, and not an acquisition of men themselves, which we are now inquiring after. So that this way of deliverance, as it is but imaginary, so it is here of no consideration.

    There is no other way, then, for man, if he will not perish eternally under the punishment due unto his apostasy and rebellion, but, secondly, to find out some way of commutation, or making a recompense for the evil of sin unto the law and righteousness of God. But herein his utter insufficiency quickly manifests itself. Whatever he is, or hath, or can pretend any interest in, lies no less under the curse than he doth himself; and that which is under the curse can contribute nothing unto its removal. That which is, in its whole being, obnoxious unto the greatest punishment, can have nothing wherewithal to make commutation for it; for that must first be accepted, in and for itself, which can either make atonement, or be received for any other in exchange. And this is the condition of man, and of every individual of mankind, and will be so to eternity, unless relief arise from another place. It is further also evident, that all the endeavors of men must needs be unspeakably disproportionate unto the effect and end aimed at, from the concernment of the other parts of the creation in the curse against sin. What can they do to restore the universe unto its first glory and beauty? How can they reduce the creation unto its original harmony?

    Wherewith shall they recompense the great God for the defacing of so great a portion of that impress of his glory and goodness that he had enstamped on it? In a word, they who, from their first date unto their utmost period, are always under the punishment, can do nothing for the total removal of it. The experience also of five thousand years hath sufficiently evinced how insufficient man is to be a savior unto himself.

    All the various and uncertain notions of Adam’s posterity in religion, from the extremity of atheism unto that of sacrificing themselves and one another, have been destined in vain towards this end; neither can any of them, to this day, find out a better or more likely way for them to thrive in, than those wherewith their progenitors deluded themselves And in the issue of all, we see, that as to what man hath been able of himself to do towards his own deliverance, both himself and the whole world are continued in the same state wherein they were upon the first entrance of sin, cumulated, as it were, with another world of confusion, disorder, mischief, and misery.

    There is also another head of the misery of man; and that is, the corrupt spring of moral evil that is in his nature. This also is universal and endless.

    It mixeth itself with all and every firing that man doth or can do as a moral agent, and that all ways and for ever, Genesis 6:5. It is, then, impossible that it should have an end, unless it do either destroy or spend itself. But seeing it will do neither of these, ever sinning, which man cannot but be, is not the way to disentangle himself from sin. 17. If, then, any deliverance be ever obtained for mankind, it must be by some other [being ], not involved in the same misery with themselves. This must either be God himself, or good angels. Other rational agents there are none. If we look to the latter, we must suppose them to undertake this work either by the appointment of God, or upon their own accord, without his previous command or direction. The latter cannot be supposed. They knew too much of the majesty, holiness, and terror of the great God, to venture on an interposition of themselves upon his counsels and ways uncommanded. To do so would have been a sinful dissolution of the law of their creation. So much, also, they might discern of the work itself as to stifle unto eternity every thought of engaging themselves into it. Besides, they knew the will of God, by what they saw come to pass.

    They saw his justice and holiness glorified, in the evils which he had brought upon the world. That he would not for ever satisfy himself in that glory, they knew not. And what was man unto them, that they should busy themselves to retrieve him from that condition whereinto he had cast himself by sin, finding Him glorified therein, in conformity unto whose will their happiness and perfection do consist? As remote as men are from thoughts of recovering fallen angels, so far were they from contriving the recovery of man.

    But it may be said, that God himself might design them to work out the salvation and deliverance inquired after, as was before supposed. But this makes God, and not them, to be the Savior, and them only the instruments in the accomplishment of his work. Neither yet hath he done so, nor were they meet so to be employed. Whatever is purely penal in the misery of man, is an effect of the righteous judgment of God. This, as we have manifested, could be no otherwise diverted from him but by the undergoing of it by some other in his stead. And two things are required in him or them that should so undergo it: — First, That they were not themselves obnoxious unto it, either personally or upon the first common account. Should they be so, they ought to look to their own concernment in the first place. Secondly, That they were such as that the benefit of their undergoing that penalty might, according to the rules of justice, redound unto them for whom and in whose stead they underwent it; otherwise they would suffer in vain. Now, although the angels might answer the first of these, in their personal immunity from obnoxiousness unto the curse, yet the latter they were unsuited for. They had no relation unto mankind, but only that they were the workmanship of the same Creator. But this is not sufficient to warrant such a substitution. Had angels been to be delivered, their redemption must have been wrought in the angelical nature, as the apostle declares, Hebrews 2:16. But what justice is it, that man should sin and angels suffer? or from whence should it arise that, from their suffering, it should be righteous that he should go free? By what notions of God could we have been instructed in the wisdom and righteousness of such a proceeding? Add hereunto that this God hath not done, and we may safely conclude that it became him not so to do. 18. But what need all this inquiry? The Jews, with whom we principally have to do in this matter, plead constantly that God hath appointed unto men, at least unto themselves, a way and means of delivery out of this condition; and this is by the observation of Moses’ law. By this they say they are justified in the sight of God, and have deliverance from all wrath due unto sin. This they trusted in of old, Romans 9:32; this they continue to make their refuge at this day. “Spiritualis liberatio solummodo dependet ab observatione legis quam Deus in Monte Sinai promulgavit;” — “Spiritual deliverance dependeth solely on the observation of the law which God promulgated on Mount Sinai,” saith the author of the Answers unto certain Questions proposed to the Jews, quest. 5, published by Brenius; who in his reply hath betrayed unto them the most important doctrines of the Christian religion. But this is their persuasion. The giving of this law unto them they suppose to have freed them utterly from every thing in the condition before described, so far as they will acknowledge it to concern any of the posterity of Adam. And whereas they cannot deny but that they sometimes sin against the moral precepts of this law, and so stand in need of help against their helper, they fix in this case upon a double relief. The first is that of their own personal repentance; and the other, the sacrifices that are appointed in the law.

    But whereas they now are, and have been for many generations, deprived of the privilege, as they esteem it, of offering sacrifices according to the law, they hope that their own repentance, with their death, which they pray may be expiatory, will be sufficient to obtain for them the forgiveness of sin. Only, they say this might better and more easily be effected if they might enjoy the benefit of sacrifices. So saith the forementioned Jew, whose discourse is published by Brenius: “Quamvis jam nulla sint sacrificia, quae media erant ad tanto facilius impetrandam remissionem peccatorum, eadem tamen per poenitentiam et resipiscentiam impetratur.” And again: “Hodie victimas offerre non possumus destituti mediis ad hoc necessariis, quae quando obtinebimus, tum remissio illa tanto facilior reddetur,” Respon. ad Quaest. Septim.

    If they cannot obtain the use of sacrifices, yet the matter may be effected by their repentance; only it were much easier to do it by sacrifices. And they seem to long for them principally on this account, that by them they may free themselves from somewhat of discipline and penance, which now their consciences enforce them unto. But this, as all other articles of their creed which are properly Judaical, is feigned by them, to suit their present condition and interest: for where do they find that their sacrifices, — especially that which they most trust in, namely, that on the feast of expiation, Leviticus 16, — was ever designed for this end, to enable them the more easily to obtain the remission of sins by another means which they use? For it is said directly that the sacrifice on that day did expiate their sin, and make atonement for it, that they might not die; and not that it did help them in procuring pardon another way. But this is now taken from them, and what shall they do? Why, rather than they will look or come to Him who was represented in that sacrifice, and on whose account alone it had all its efficacy, they will find out a new way of doing that which their sacrifices were appointed unto; and this they must do, or openly acknowledge that they all perish eternally. I shall not insist long on the casting down of this imagination, all the foundations of it being long ago demolished by our apostle in his epistles, especially those to the Romans, Galatians, and the Hebrews themselves. And this he hath not done merely by a new revelation of the mind and will of God, but upon the principles and by the testimonies of the Old Testament itself, as will afterwards more fully appear. Only, because it is here set up in competition with that blessed and all-sufficient remedy against sin and the curse which God indeed hath provided, I shall briefly remove it out of our way, and that by manifesting that it is neither in itself suited unto that end, nor was ever of God designed thereunto. 19. That all mankind were cast into the condition we have described, by and upon the sin of Adam, we have before sufficiently confirmed. Other just reason or occasion of it no man can assign. It hath been also evinced that God would, and consequently did, prepare a remedy for them, or a way of deliverance to be proposed unto them. If this were only the law of Moses, and the observance thereof, as the Jews pretend, I desire to know what became of them, what was their estate and condition, who lived and died before the giving of the law? Not only the patriarchs before the flood, who some of them had this testimony, that they pleased God, and one of whom was taken alive into heaven, but Abraham also himself, who received the promises, must, on this supposition, be excluded from a participation in the deliverance inquired after; for they observed not the law of Moses. What they dream about the making of their law before the foundation of the world, and the study of God therein, and that night and day, by day in the written law, and by night in the oral Cabala, is not to be mentioned when matters of importance unto the souls of men are under consideration.

    But yet I may add, by the way, that neither this nor the like monstrous figments are invented or broached by them without some especial design.

    In the eighth chapter of the Proverbs there is mention of the Wisdom of God, and such a description given of it as allows not an essential property of his nature to be thereby intended. This is there said to be with God before the foundation of the world, his delight and companion; whence it appears that nothing but the eternal Word, Wisdom, and Son of God, can possibly be intended thereby. To avoid this testimony given unto his eternal subsistence, the Jews first invented this fable, that the law was “created before the world,” and that the wisdom of it was that which God conversed with and delighted in. And I have often wondered at the censure of a learned Christian annotator upon the place. “Haec,” saith he, “de ea sapientia quae in lege apparet exponunt Hebraei; et sane ei, si non soli, at praecipue haec attributa conveniunt;” contrary to the faith of the church in all ages. It is true, on verse 22, and those that follow, he affirms they may be expounded by that of Philo de Coloniis:

    J JO lo>gov oJ preszu>terov tw~n ge>nesin eijlhfo>twn , ou= kaqa>per oi]akov ejneilhmme>nov oJ tw~n o[lwn kuzernh>thv pndalioucei~ ta< su>mpanta , kai< o[te ejkosmopla>stei crhsa>menov ojrha>nw| tou>tw| pro>v thtion tw~n ajpoteloume>nwn su>stasin .

    But whether this Platonical declaration of the nature and work of the Word of God, employed by him as an instrument in the making and government of the world, would have been accepted in the primitive church, when this place was vexed by the Arians, and studiously vindicated by the orthodox fathers, I much question. But to return: if the law, and the observance of it, be the only remedy provided of God against the sin and misery of man, the only means of reconciliation with him, all that died before the giving of it must perish, and that eternally. But the contrary appears from this very consideration, and is undeniably proved by our apostle in the instance of Abraham, Galatians 3:17: for he received the promise and was taken into covenant with God four hundred and thirty years before the giving of the law; and that covenant conveyed unto him the love and favor of God, with deliverance from sin and the curse; as themselves will not deny.

    There was therefore a remedy in this case provided long before the giving of the law on Mount Sinai; and therefore the law was not given unto that purpose, but for other ends, at large declared by our apostle. Either, then, they must grant that all the patriarchs, and he in especial of whom they boast, perished eternally, or else that there was a means of deliverance provided before the giving of the law; and, consequently, that the law was not given for that end. The first they will not do, nor can, without an absolute renunciation of their own sacred writings, wherein none have obtained a larger testimony that they pleased God than they. The latter, therefore, followeth undeniably. If they shall say they had a way of deliverance, but God provided another afterwards, as this would be spoken without warrant or authority from the Scripture, so I desire to know both what that way was, and why it was rejected. Of God’s appointment it was, and effectual it was unto them that embraced it, and why it should be laid aside who can declare? 20. Again, as was before observed, there are two parts of the law, — the moral precepts of it, and the instituted worship appointed in it. Unto this latter part do the sacrifices of it belong. But neither of these are sufficient unto the end proposed, nor jointly can they attain it. Two things are evidently necessary, from what hath been discoursed, unto the deliverance inquired after, — first, That man be reconciled unto God, by the removal of the curse and the wrath due unto him for his apostasy; secondly, That his nature be freed from that principle of sin and enmity against God (the evil figment) that it is tainted, yea, possessed withal. And neither of these can be effected by the law, or either part of it; for, — First, The moral precepts of it are the same with those that were written in the heart of man by nature, or the law of his creation, which he transgressed in his first rebellion. And he must be delivered from that guilt before any new obedience can be accepted of him. His old debt must be satisfied for before he can treat for a new reward, which inseparably follows all acceptable obedience. But this the precepts of the law take no notice of, nor direct unto any way for its removal; only, supposing the doing of it by some other means, it requires exact obedience in them that come to God thereby. Hence our apostle concludes that it could not give life, but was weak and insufficient in itself unto any such purpose.

    Besides, — Secondly, It could not absolutely preserve men in its own observation; for it required that obedience which never any sinner did or could in all things perform, as the scriptures of the Old Testament abundantly manifest. For they tell us, “there is no man that sinneth not,” 1 Kings 8:46, Chronicles 6:36; that “if the LORD should mark iniquity, no man could stand,” <19D003> Psalm 130:3; and that “if he enter into judgment” (according to the law), “no man living can be justified in his sight,” <19E302> Psalm 143:2. To this purpose see the excellent discourse and invincible reasonings of our apostle, Romans 3,4. This the holy men of old confessed; this the Scripture bears testimony unto; and this experience confirms, seeing every sin and transgression of that law was put under a curse, Deuteronomy 27:26. Where, then, “there is no man that sinneth not,” and every sin is put under the curse, the law, in the preceptive part of it, can be no means of delivery from the one or other, but is rather a certain means of increasing and aggravating of them both. Neither is there any testimony given, concerning any one under the old testament, that he was any other way justified before God but by faith and the pardon of sins, which are not of the works of the law. See Genesis 15:6; Psalm 32:1,2. Of Noah, indeed, it is said that he was “upright” and “perfect in his generations;” that is, sincere in his obedience, and free from the open wickedness of the age wherein he lived: but as this was before the giving of the law by Moses, so the ground of his freedom and deliverance is added to be the gracious love and favor of God. This the Jews themselves confess in the Bereshith Rabba, sect. 29: jn wlypa yy yny[b ˆj axmç ala yadk hyh al ˆhm rytçnç ; — “Even Noah himself, who was left of them, was not every way as he should be, but that he found grace or favor in the eyes of the Lord.” And to the same purpose they speak concerning Abraham himself elsewhere: hnwmah twkzb ala abh µlw[w hzj µlw[h wnyba µhrba çryy alç axwm hta yyb ˆymah anç ; — “Thou findest that Abraham our father inherited not this world and the world to come any otherwise than by faith: as it is said, ‘He believed God.’” This part, therefore, of the law is plainly convinced to be insufficient to deliver sinners from an antecedent guilt, and curse due thereunto. 21. It remains, then, that the sacrifices of the law must yield the relief inquired after, or we are still at a loss in this matter. And these the Jews would willingly place their chief confidence in; they did so of old. Since, indeed, they have been driven from their observation, they have betaken themselves unto other helps, that they might not appear to be utterly hopeless. But they sufficiently manifest their great reserve against the accusation of their consciences to be in them, by the ludicrous ways of representing or rather counterfeiting of them that they have invented. rb,N, signifies a “man;” and among the rabbins a “cock” also. Hence Ben Uzziel renders rb,G; , “Ezion-geber,” the name of a city, Deuteronomy 2:8, alwgnrt °rk , “The city of a cock;” and Isaiah 22:17, rb,G; is rendered by Jerome, “Gallus gallinaceus.” Granting, therefore, that the punishment of Geber is required unto atonement and reconciliation, and that some such thing was signified in their sacrifices, they do, each one for himself, torture, slay, and offer a cock on the day of expiation, to make atonement for their sins, and that unto the devil. The rites of that diabolical solemnity are declared at large by Buxtorf, in his Synagog. Judaic. cap. 25. But yet, as this folly manifests that they can find no rest in their consciences without their sacrifices, so it gives them not at all what they seek after.

    And therefore, being driven from all other hopes, they trust at length unto their own death, for in life they have no hope; making this one of their constant prayers, “Let my death be the expiation of all sins.” But this is the curse, and so no means to avoid it. Omitting, therefore, these horrid follies of men under despair, — an effect of that wrath which is come upon them unto the uttermost, — the thing itself may be considered.

    That the sacrifices of Moses’ law, in and by themselves, should be a means to deliver men from the guilt of sin, and to reconcile them unto God, is contrary to the light of nature, their own proper use, and express testimonies of the Old Testament; for, — First, Can any man think it reasonable that the blood of bulls and goats should, of itself, make an expiation for the sin of the souls of men, reconcile them to God the judge of all, and impart unto them an everlasting righteousness? Our apostle declares the manifest impossibility hereof, Hebrews 10:4. They must have very mean and low thoughts of God, his holiness, justice, truth, of the demerit of sin, of heaven and hell, who think them all to depend on the blood of a calf or a goat. The sacrifices of them, indeed, might, by God’s appointment, represent that to the minds of men which is effectual unto the whole end of appeasing God’s justice, and of obtaining his favor; but that they should themselves effect it, is unsuitable unto all the apprehensions which are inbred in the heart of man either concerning the nature of God or the guilt of sin. Secondly, Their primitive and proper use doth manifest the same; for they were to be frequently repeated, and in all the repetitions of them there was still new mention made of sin. They could not, therefore, by themselves, take it away; for if they could, they would not have been reiterated. It is apparent, therefore, that their use was to represent and bring to remembrance that which did perfectly take away sin. For a perfect work may be often remembered, but it need not, it cannot be often done; for being done for such an end, and that end being obtained, it cannot be done again. The sacrifices, therefore, were never appointed, never used to take away sin, which they did not; but to represent that which did so effectually. Besides, there were some sins that men may be guilty of, whom God will not utterly reject, for which there was no sacrifice appointed in the law of Moses; as was the case with David, Psalm 51:16: which makes it undeniable that there was some other way of atonement besides them and beyond them, as our apostle declares, Acts 13:38,39. Thirdly, The Scripture expressly rejects all the sacrifices of the law, when they are trusted in for any such end and purpose; which sufficiently demonstrates that they were never appointed thereunto. See Psalm 40:6-8, 50:8-13; Isaiah 1:11-13, 66:3; Amos 5:21,22; Micah 6:6-8; and other places innumerable. 22. Add unto what hath been spoken, that during the observation of the whole law of Moses, whilst it was in force by the appointment of God himself, he still directed those who sought for acceptance with him unto a new covenant of grace, whose benefits by faith they were then made partakers of, and whose nature was afterwards more fully to be declared.

    See Jeremiah 31:31-34, with the inferences of our apostle thereon, Hebrews 8:13. And this plainly everts the whole foundation of the Jews’ expectation of justification before God on the account of the law of Moses given on Mount Sinai; for to what purpose should God call them from resting on the covenant thereof, to look for mercy and grace in and by another, if that had been able to give them the help desired?

    In brief, then, the Jews fixing on the law of Moses as the only means of delivery from sin and death, as they do thereby exclude all mankind besides themselves from any interest in the love, favor, or grace of God, — which they greatly design and desire, — so they cast themselves also into a miserable, restless, self-condemned condition in this world, by trusting to that which will not relieve them; and into endless misery hereafter, by refusing that which effectually would make them heirs of salvation: for whilst they perish in their sin, another, better, more glorious, and sure remedy against all the evils that are come upon mankind, or are justly feared to be coming by any of them, is provided, in the grace, wisdom, and love of God, as shall now further be demonstrated. 23. The first intimation that God gave of this work of his grace in redeeming mankind from sin and misery, is contained in the promise subjoined unto the curse denounced against our first parents, and their posterity in them: Genesis 3:15 “The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent, and the serpent shall bruise his heel.”

    Two things there are contained in these words; — a promise of relief from the misery brought on mankind by the temptation of Satan; and an intimation of the means or way whereby it should be brought about. That the first is included in these words is evident; for, — First, If there be not a promise of deliverance expressed in these words, whence is it that the execution of the sentence of death against sin is suspended? Unless we will allow an intervention satisfactory to the righteousness and truth of God to be expressed in these words, there would have been a truth in the suggestion of the serpent, namely, that whatever God had said, yet indeed they were not to die. The Jews, in the Midrash Tehillim, — as Kimchi informs us on Psalm 92, whose title is, “A Psalm for the Sabbath-day,” which they generally assign unto Adam, — say that Adam was cast out of the garden of Eden on the evening of the sixth day, after which God came to execute the sentence of death upon him; but the Sabbath being come on, the punishment was deferred, whereon Adam made that psalm for the Sabbath-day. Without an interposition of some external cause and reason, they acknowledge that death ought immediately to have been inflicted; and other besides what is mentioned in these words there was none.

    Secondly, The whole evil of sin, and curse, that mankind then did, or was to, suffer under, proceeded from the friendship contracted between the woman and the serpent, and her fixing faith in him. God here declares that he will break that league, and put enmity between them. Being now both of them under the same condition of sin and curse, this could not be without a change of condition in one of them. Satan is not divided from himself, nor is at enmity with them that are left wholly in his estate. A change of condition, therefore, on the part of the woman and her seed is plainly promised; that is, by a deliverance from the state of sin and misery wherein they were. Without this the enmity mentioned could not have ensued.

    Thirdly, In pursuit of this enmity, the Seed of the woman was to bruise the head of the serpent. The head is the seat of his power and craft.

    Without the destruction of the evil and pernicious effects which by his counsel he had brought about, his head cannot be bruised. By his head he had contrived the ruin of mankind; and without the destruction of his works and a recovery from that ruin, he is not conquered nor his head bruised. And as these things, though they may now seem somewhat obscurely expressed in these words, are yet made plain unto us in the gospel, so the importance of them was evident unto our first parents of old, being expounded by all the circumstances wherewith the matter of fact was attended.

    Again, there is an intimation of the manner how this work shall be performed. This, first, God takes upon himself: ‘I will do it; “I will put enmity.”‘ It is an issue of his sovereign wisdom and grace. But, secondly, he will do it in and by the nature of man, “the Seed of the woman.” And two things must concur to the effecting of it; — first, That this Seed of the woman must conquer Satan, bruise his head, destroy his works, and procure deliverance for mankind thereby; secondly, That he must suffer from, and by the means of, Satan in his so doing, — the serpent must “bruise his heel.” This is the remedy and relief that God hath provided for mankind. And this is theMESSIAH, or God joining with the nature of man to deliver mankind from sin and eternal misery. 24. This promise of relief by the Seed of the woman is, as the first, so the only intimation that God gave unto our first parents of a way of deliverance from that condition whereinto they, and the whole creation, were brought by the entrance of evil or sin. It was likewise the first discovery that there was in him ˆwOxr; µyimj\ræ hj;ylis] ds,j, ˆje , — benignity, grace, kindness, or mercy, compassion, pardon. Hereby he declared himself to be µWjræw] ˆWGjæ twOjylis] HæwOla’ , Nehemiah 9:17, — “a God of pardons, gracious, and tenderly merciful;” as also, Psalm 86:5, ds,j,Abræw] jL;sæw] bwOf , — “good and pardoning, and much in mercy.” And if this be not acknowledged, it must be confessed that all the world, at least unto the flood, if not unto the days of Abraham, — in which space of time we have testimony concerning some that they walked with God, and pleased him, — were left without any certain ground of faith, or hope of acceptance with him; for without some knowledge of this mercy, and the provision of a way for its exercise, they could have no such persuasion. This, then, we have obtained, that God, presently upon the entrance of sin into the world, and the breach of its public peace thereby, promised a reparation of that evil, in the whole extent of it, to be wrought in and by the Seed of the woman, — that is, the Messiah. 25. According unto our design, we may take along with us the thoughts of the Jews in this matter, expressed after their manner. [As] for the serpent that tempted Eve, who is here threatened as the head of all the evil that ensued thereon, they confess that Satan accompanied him, and was principally intended in the curse denounced against him. So the Targum of Ben Uzziel: “When the serpent came to tempt Eve, she saw atwm °alm lams , — Samael the angel of death upon him.” And Maimonides gives a large account of the doctrine of their wise men in this matter, More Nebuch. pag. 2, cap. xx.: “At neque hoc praetereundum quod in Midrash adducunt sapientes nostri, serpentem equitatum fuisse, quantitatem ejus instar cameli, et sessorem ejus fuisse illum qui decepit Evam, huncque sessorem fuisse Samaelem, quod nomen absolute usurpant de Satana.

    Invenies enim quod in multis locis dicunt Satanam voluisse impedire Abrahamum ne ligaret Isaacum, sic voluisse impedire Isaacum ne obsequeretur voluntati patris sui; alibi vero in hoc eodem negotio dicunt, venit Samael ad Abrahamum. Sic itaque apparet quod Samael sit ipse Satan.”

    To omit their fables, this is evident, that they acknowledge it was Satan who deceived Eve. And in Bereshith Rabba, sect. 10, they give an account why God expostulated with Adam and Eve before he pronounced sentence against them, but without any word or question proceeded immediately unto the doom of the serpent; for say they, “The holy, blessed God said, yl rmwa awh wyçk[ wl rmwa yna µaw twbwçt l[b [çr hz çjn ala ywwx wrja µhl wklh °ywwx wjygh hm ynpm µtwa ytyywx ynaw µtwa tywx ta ˆyd ta wl qspw wyl[ Åpq ; — “This serpent is wicked, and a cunning disputer, and if I speak unto him, he will straightway say, ‘Thou gavest them a commandment, and I gave them a commandment; why did they leave thy commandment and follow my commandment?’ and therefore he presently pronounced sentence against him.” And the same words are repeated in Midrash Vaiikra, ad cap. 13:2; which things can be understood of Satan only. I know some of the later masters have other thoughts of these things, because they discover what use may be made of the truth and the faith of their forefathers in this matter.

    Aben Ezra, in his commentary on this place, disputes the opinions of their doctors; and although he acknowledges that Rabbi Saadias Haggaon, and Rabbi Samuel Ben Hophni, with others (that is, indeed, their Targums, and Talmuds, and all their ancient writings), affirm Saran to be intended, yet he contends for the serpent only; on the weak pretences, that Satan goeth not on his belly, nor eateth dust, which things in the letter are confessed to belong unto the instrument that he used. And hereon they would have it that the serpent was deprived of voice and understanding, which before he had; so making him a rational subsistence who is expressly reckoned amongst the beasts of the field.

    The root of all evil, also, they would have to lie in the matter whereof we were originally made; an impossible figment, invented to reflect the guilt of all sin on Him that made us. Thus every thing seems right to them that will serve the present turn, whilst they shut their eyes against the truth.

    But we have the consent of the ancientest, best, and wisest of them in this matter, as also unto the deliverance here promised. The two Targums, [that] of Ben Uzziel, and that called Jerusalem, both agree that these words contain a remedy of the effects of Satan’s temptation, and that to be wrought by the Messiah, or, as they speak, “in his days.” And hence they have a common saying, that “in the last days” (which is the Old Testament periphrasis for the days of the Messiah), “all things shall be healed but the serpent and the Gibeonites;” by whom they understand all hypocrites and unbelievers. Satan, therefore, is to be conquered by the “bruising of his head;” and conquered he is not, nor can be, unless his work be destroyed. In the destruction of his work consists the delivery of mankind from the twofold evil mentioned; and this is to be effected by “the Seed of the woman,” to be brought forth into the world unto that end and purpose: for when the production of this Seed is restrained unto the family and posterity of Abraham, it is said expressly that in, or by it, all the kindreds of the earth should be blessed; which they could not be without a removal and taking away of the curse. 26. We may now, therefore, take the sum of this discourse, and of the whole matter that we have insisted on, about the entrance of sin into the world, and the remedy provided in the grace and wisdom of God against it.

    It appears, upon our inquiry, First, That the sin of our first parents was the occasion and cause of all that evil which is in the world, — of all that is felt or justly feared by mankind; for as those who knew not, or received not, the revelation of the truth in these things made unto us in the Scripture, could never assign any other cause of it that might be satisfactory unto an ordinary rational inquirer, so the testimonies of the Scripture make it most evident, and especially that insisted on. Secondly, It hath been evinced that mankind could not recover or deliver themselves from under the power of their own innate corruption and disorder, nor from the effects of the curse and wrath of God that came upon them; neither is there any ground of expectation of relief from any other part of God’s creation: but yet, that God, for the praise of the glory of his grace, mercy, and goodness, would effect it and bring it about. Thirdly, That this relief and deliverance is first intimated and declared in these words of God unto the serpent, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel;” which appears, — First, Because, in and with the serpent, Satan, who was the head of all apostasy from God, and by whom our first parents were beguiled, is intended in these words. This we have made evident from the confession of the Jews, with whom principally, in this matter, we have to do. And to what hath been already observed unto that purpose, we may add the testimonies of some other of them to the same purpose. Rabbi Bechai, he whom they call ˆqz yyjb , “Bechai the elder,” in his comment on the law, upon these words, Genesis 3:15, speaks to this purpose: “We have no more enmity with the serpent than with other creeping things. Wherefore the Scripture mystically signifies him who was hid in the serpent; for the body of the crafty serpent was a fit instrument for that force or virtue that joined itself therewithal. That was it which made Eve to sin; whence death came on all her posterity. And this is the enmity between the serpent and the seed of the woman; and this is the mystery of the holy tongue, that the serpent is sometimes called Saraph, according to the name of an angel who is also called Saraph. And now thou knowest that the serpent is Satan, and the evil figment, and the angel of death.” And Rabbi Judah, in rqy ylk : “Many interpreters say that the evil figment hath all its force from the old serpent, or Satan.” To the same purpose, the author of jrpw rwtpk , “Caphtor Vapaerach:” “The devil and the serpent are called by one name.”

    And many other testimonies of the like importance might be collected out of them.

    We have also a surer word for our own satisfaction, in the application of this place unto Satan in the divine writings of the New Testament: as Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14; Romans 5:11-13,15; Hebrews 2:14,15; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 12:9, 20:2, 3; but we forbear to press them on the Jews.

    Besides, it is most evident from the thing itself; for, — first, Who can be so sottish as to imagine that this great alteration which ensued on the works of God, that which caused him to pronounce them accursed, and to inflict so sore a punishment on Adam and all his posterity, should arise from the actings of a brute creature? Where is the glory of this dispensation? How can we attribute it unto the wisdom and greatness of God? What is there in it suitable unto his righteousness and holiness?

    Whereas supposing this to be the work of him who was in himself the beginning of all apostasy, and who first brake the law of his creation, all things answer the excellency of the divine perfections. Moreover, is it imaginable that the nature of man, then flourishing in the vigor of all its intellectual abilities, reason, wisdom, knowledge, in that order and rectitude of them which was his grace, should be surprised, seduced, and brought into subjection unto the craft and machinations of an inferior creature, a beast of the field, and that unto its own ruin, temporal and eternal? The whole nature of the inferior creatures, James tells us, “is tamed by the nature of man,” chap. 3:7, and that now, in his lessened and depraved condition; and shall we think that this excellent nature, in the blossom of its strength and right unto rule over all, should be tamed, corrupted, subdued, by the nature of a beast or a serpent? And yet again, whereas in the whole action of the serpent, there is an open design against the glory and honor of God, with the welfare and happiness of mankind, and that managed with craft, subtlety, and forecast, how can we imagine that such a contrivance should befall a brute worm, incapable of moral evil, and newly framed out of the dust by the power of its Creator? Hitherto it had continued under the law, and order, of its creation; and shall we now think that suddenly, in an instant, it should engage thus desperately against God and man? And further, the actings of the serpent were by reason and with speech; and doth not a supposal that he was endowed with them plainly exempt him from that order and kind of creatures whereof he was, and place him among the number of the intellectual and rational parts of the creation? And is not this contrary to the analogy of the Scripture and the open truth of the thing itself, he being cursed among “the beasts of the field?” To say, as Aben Ezra seems to do, that God gave him reason and speech for that occasion, is blasphemously to make God the sole author of that temptation which he so much abhorred. Lastly, considering the punishment denounced against mankind, of death temporal and eternal, that which is threatened unto the serpent bears no proportion unto it, if it concern only the serpent itself; and what nile of justice will admit that the accessary should be punished with greater sufferings than the principal? Neither doth this punishment, as to the principal part of it, the bruising of the head, befall all serpents, yea, but few of them in comparison, — doubtless not one in a million; whereas all mankind, none excepted, were liable unto the penalty denounced against them. Were no more men intended herein than are bitten on the heel by serpents, the matter were otherwise; but “death is passed upon all men, for all have sinned.” Satan, then, it was who was the principal in this seduction, the author of all apostasy from God, who, using the serpent as his instrument, involved that also so far in the curse, as to render it of all creatures the most abhorred of mankind. 27. Against this seducer it is denounced that “his head should be bruised.”

    The head of Satan is his craft and power. From these issued all that evil whereinto mankind was fallen. In the bruising, therefore, of his head, the defeat of his counsel, the destruction of his work, and the deliverance of mankind, are contained, as our apostle most excellently declares, Hebrews 2. Death must be removed, and righteousness brought in, and acceptance with God procured, or the head of Satan is not bruised. This, therefore, is openly and plainly a promise of the deliverance inquired after.

    Moreover, there is a declaration made how this victory shall be obtained and this deliverance wrought; and that is by the “seed of the woman.” This seed is twice repeated in the words: once expressly, “and her seed;” and, secondly, it is included in the pronoun aWh , “it.” And as by “seed,” in the first place, the posterity of the woman, some to be born of her race, partakers of human nature, may be intended, as the subjects of the enmity mentioned; so in the latter some single person, some one of her posterity or seed, that should obtain the victory, is expressly denoted: for as all her seed in common do never go about this work, the greatest part of them continuing in a willing subjection unto Satan, so if all of them should combine to attempt it, they would never be able to accomplish it, as we have before proved at large. Some one, therefore, to come of her, with whom God would be present in an especial and extraordinary manner, is here expressly promised; and this is the Messiah. 28. God having, in infinite wisdom and grace, provided this way of relief, and given this intimation of it, that revelation became the foundation and center of all the religion that ensued in the world: for as those who received it by faith, and adhered unto it, continued in the worship of the true God, expressing their faith in the sacrifices that he had appointed typically to represent and exemplify before their eyes the work itself, which by the promised Seed was to be accomplished; so also all that false worship which the generality of mankind apostatized unto was laid in a general persuasion that there was a way for the recovery of the favor of God, but what that was they knew not, and therefore wandered in woful uncertainties.

    Some suppose that our great mother Eve, in these words, Genesis 4:1, hwO;hy]Ata, vyai ytiyniq; , expressed an apprehension that she had born him who was Man-God, “the Man the LORD,” the promised Seed. And they do not only contend for this meaning of the words, but also reproach them who are otherwise minded; as may be seen in the writings of Hunnius and Helvicus against Calvin, Junius, Paraeus, and Piscator. That she, together with Adam, believed the promise, had the consolation, and served God in the faith of it, I no way doubt; but that she had an apprehension that the promised Seed should be so soon exhibited, and knew that he should be the LORD, or Jehovah, and yet knew not that he was to be born of a virgin, and not after the ordinary way of mankind, I see no cogent reason to evince. Nor do the words mentioned necessarily prove any such apprehension in her. The whole weight of that supposition lies on the construction of the words, from the interposition of the particle ta, , denoting, as they say, after verbs active always an accusative case. But instances may be given to the contrary; whence our translation reads the words, “I have gotten a man from the LORD,” without the least intimation of any other sense in the original. And Drusius is bold to affirm that it is want of solid skill in the sacred tongue that was the cause of that conception. Besides, if she had such thoughts, she was manifoldly mistaken; and to what end that mistake of hers should be here expressed I know not. And yet, notwithstanding all this, I will not deny but that the expression is unusual and extraordinary, if the sense of our translation be intended, and not that by some contended for, “I have gotten,” or obtained, “the Man the LORD.” And this, it is possible, caused Jonathan Ben Uzziel to give us that gloss on the words in his Targum: trmaw ˆyq ty tdylyw tayd[aw akalml tdymj awhd hytta hwh ta [dy µdaw yyd akalm ty arbgl ytynq ; — “And Adam knew his wife Eve, who desired the Angel; and she conceived and bare Cain, and said, ‘I have obtained the man’ (or ‘a man’) ‘the Angel of the LORD;’” — that is, him who was promised afterwards under the name of “The Angel of the LORD,” or “The Angel of the covenant;” which the Jews may do well to consider. 29. But we have further expositions of this first promise and further confirmations of this grace in the Scripture itself: for in process of time it was renewed unto Abraham, and the accomplishment of it confined unto his family; for his gratuitous call from superstition and idolatry, with the separation of him and his posterity from all the families of the earth, was subservient only unto the fulfilling of the promise before treated of. The first mention of it we have Genesis 12:1-3, “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

    And this is again expressed, chap. 18:18, “All the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him;” and chap. 22:18, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” And when he doubted of the accomplishment of this promise because he was childless, and said, “Behold, to me thou hast given no seed,” as knowing that therein lay the promise, chap. 15:3, God tells him that “he who should come forth of his own bowels should be his heir,” verse 4; which was afterwards restrained unto Isaac, chap. 17:21. Thus he is called and separated, as from his own family and kindred, so from all other nations, and a peculiar portion of the earth assigned unto him and his for their habitation. Now, the especial end of this divine dispensation, of this call and separation of Abraham, was to be a means of accomplishing the former promise, or the bringing forth of Him who was to be the deliverer of mankind from the curse that was come upon them for their sin; for, — First, It is said that Abraham hereupon should be “a blessing:” hk;r;B] hyeh]w, , “And thou shalt be a blessing;” — ‘Not only blessed thyself (which is expressed in the former words, “I will bless thee”), ‘but the means of conveying blessings, the great blessing, unto others.’ And how was this done in and by Abraham? In his own person he conversed with but few of them, unto some whereof, through their own sins, he was an occasion of punishment; as to the Egyptians, chap. 12:17, and to the Philistines, chap. 20:4, 7. Some he destroyed with the sword, chap. 14:15; and he was not in any thing signally a blessing unto any of them. So his posterity extirpated sundry nations from the face of the earth, were a scourge unto others, and occasioned the ruin of many more. He must needs, then, be made a blessing unto the world on some other account; and this can be nothing but that he was separated to be the peculiar channel by which the promised blessing, the Seed, should be brought forth into the world.

    Secondly, It is said that “all the families of the earth should be blessed in him,” chap. 12:3; that is, not in his person, but in his seed, as it is expounded chap. 22:18, — that is, in the promised Seed that should come of him; chap. 12:3, Wkr]b]ni , “shall be blessed,” in the passive conjugation of Niphal, referring solely unto the grace and favor of God in giving the Seed; chap. 22:18, Wkr\B;t]hi , in Hithpael, so blessed in the Seed, when exhibited, as that they shall come for the blessing by faith; and, so in him obtaining it, bless themselves. And this is spoken of “all families, all nations,” the posterity of Adam in general. They were all cursed in Adam, as hath been declared; and God here promiseth that they shall be blessed in the seed of Abraham, and by him the Seed of the woman. And this blessing must inwrap in it all the good things whereof by the curse they were deprived, or it will be of no use or benefit unto them; a blessing, indeed, it will not be. For a while he intended to leave mankind to walk in their own ways; partly that he might show his severity against sin; partly that he might evidence the sovereignty and undeserved freedom of that grace wherein he had provided a Deliverer; and partly that they might try and experiment their own wisdom and strength in searching after a way of deliverance. But in this promise was the ore laid up, which, after many generations, was brought forth and stamped with the image of God.

    Thirdly, The curse unto Satan is here again renewed: “I will bless them that bless thee, and I will curse HIM that curseth thee.” The blessing is to many; but the curse respecteth one principally, that is, Satan, as the Scripture generally expresseth the opposite apostate power under that name. Neither is there any just cause of the variation of the number, unless we look on the words as a pursuit of the first promise, which was accompanied with an especial malediction on Satan, who acts his enmity in all obloquy and cursing against the blessed Seed and those that are blessed therein. And this change of the number in these words is observed by Aben Ezra: dyjy °llqmw µybr °ykrbm , — “‘They that bless thee,’ many; ‘He that curseth,’ one;” as though many should bless, and few curse, the contrary whereof is true. And Baal Hatturim: µybr ˆwçl °ykrbm dyjy ˆwçl °llqm , — “‘They that bless thee,’ in the plural number; ‘He that curseth thee,’ in the singular.” And an interpretation is given of the last words becoming those annotations, which are immeasurably Judaical, that is, sottish and superstitious: µ[lb ayrmmygb raa °llqm °ynb llql abh , — “‘He that curseth thee, I will curse;’ — that is, by gematry, ‘Balaam, that cometh to curse thy sons;’” the numeral letters of each making up 422: of which fantastical work amongst some of them there is no end. But one single person (in which way Satan is usually spoken of) they saw to be intended; which is passed over, as far as I have observed, by Christian expositors. 30. After the giving of this promise, the whole Old Testament beareth witness that a person was to be born, of the posterity of Abraham, in and by whom the nations of the earth should be saved; that is, delivered from sin and curse, and made eternally happy. Abraham himself died without one foot of an inheritance in this world, nor did he concern himself personally in the nations of the earth beyond his own family; another, therefore, is to be looked for in whom they may be blessed. And this we must further demonstrate, to evince the perverseness of the Jews, who exclude all others besides themselves from an interest in these promises made to Abraham, at least unless they will come into subjection unto them and dependence upon them; so high conceits have they yet of themselves in their low and miserable condition! The next time, therefore, that he is mentioned in the Scripture, it is said, µyMi[æ thæQ]yi wOl , “To him shall be the gathering of the peoples,” Genesis 49:10; concerning which place we must treat afterwards at large. The people of the world, distinct from Judah, shall gather themselves unto him; that is, for safety and deliverance, or to be made partakers of the promised blessing.

    Hence Balaam among the Gentiles prophesied of him, Numbers 24:17,19; and Job, among the children of the east that were not of the posterity of Isaac, professed his faith in him, chap. 19:25, µWqy; dp;[;Al[æ ˆwOrj\aæw] yjæ yla\OG yTi[]dæy; ynia\wæ ; — And I know that my Redeemer liveth” or “is living;” “and afterwards he shall stand on the earth,” or “rise on the dust.” He believed that there was a laeGO, a Redeemer, promised, one that should free him from sin and misery. Aben Ezra, by “My Redeemer,” understandeth a man that would assist him, or judge more favorably of his cause than his friends at that time did: abwf alykçb rbdç . And his comment on yjæ and ˆwOrj\aæ is very fond: dlwyç ˆwrja hyhy wa µyyjb µwyh awh ; — “He is at present living, or he shall be born hereafter.” But is this yjæ laeGO, a living Redeemer? yjæ , oJ zw~n , “The living one,” is a property of God: he is Qeoliving God,” 1 Timothy 4:10; oJ mo>nov e]cwn ajqanasi>an , chap. 6:16, “who alone hath immortality.” A mortal man is not rightly called a living redeemer, one that hath life in his power. Besides, Job met with no such redeemer out of his troubles; and therefore R. Levi Ben Gershom confesseth that it is God who is intended: µxnl µyyqw yj awh rça , — “Who is the living One, and liveth to eternity.” Of this Redeemer Job saith,” He shall stand on the earth,” or “rise on the dust.” If the words be taken in the former sense (as they will bear either), his incarnation and coming into the world, if in the latter, his resurrection out of the dust, is intended. The former seems more probable, and the earth is expressed by dp;[; , “the dust,” to denote the infinite condescension of this Redeemer, in coming to converse on this dust that we live in and upon. And this he shall do ˆwOrj\aæ . The word is used to express the eternity of God: ˆwOrj\aæ ynia\wæ ˆwOvari yna\ , Isaiah 44:6; — “I am the first, and I am the last:” so chap. 48:12. Whence Ralbag, [R.

    Levi Ben Gershom,] before mentioned, interprets this expression with respect to the works that God shall do in the earth in the latter days. And in this respect our Goel is said to be “Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the ending;” he that abides thus the same “after all” shall “stand on the earth.” But the word also is often joined with dwOd , a “generation,” a time, a season, Psalm 48:14, 102:19, and denotes the futurition of it, that it is to come, and shall come. So also with µwOy , “a day,” as Isaiah 30:8, pointing out some signal latter day. And here it is used absolutely for µymiY;hæ tyrij\aæB] , “in the latter days;” which is the ordinary description and designation of the days of the Messiah in the Old Testament. This is that which Job expected, which he believed. Though he was among the Gentiles, yet he believed the promise, and expected his own personal redemption by the blessed Seed. And thus, although God confined the posterity of Abraham after the flesh unto the land of Canaan, yet, because in the promised Seed he was to be “heir of the world,” he gives unto the Messiah “the heathen to be his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession,” Psalm 2:8.

    And upon the accomplishment of the work assigned unto him, he promiseth that “all the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him,” Psalm 22:27, — a plain declaration of the Gentiles coming in for their share and interest in the redemption wrought by him. See Psalm 45:16. For these “rebellious ones” was he to “receive gifts,” “that the LORD God might dwell among them,” Psalm 68:18; so that by him Egypt and Ethiopia were to stretch forth their hands unto God, verse 31; yea, “all kings were to fall down before him, and all nations to serve him,” Psalm 72:11-17. 31. These poor Gentiles were the “little sister” of the Judaical church, which was to be provided for in the love of her spouse, the Messiah, Cant. 8:8, 9. For “in the last days,” the days of the Messiah, “many people,” yea, “all nations,” are to be “brought unto the house of the LORD,” and are to worship him acceptably, Isaiah 2:2-4. And expressly, chap. 11:10, the “Root of Jesse,” which the Jews grant to be the Messiah, is to “stand for an ensign unto the people,” and “to it shall the Gentiles seek,” even for that salvation and deliverance which he had wrought; and they are preferred therein before Israel and Judah, verse 12. “Egypt and Assyria,” that is, the other nations of the world, are to be brought into the same covenant of the Messiah with Israel, chap. 19:25: for “all flesh is to see the glory of God,” and not the Jews only, chap. 40:5; and the “isles,” or utmost parts of the earth, are to “wait for the law” of the promised Messiah, chap. 42:4. And the whole of what we assert is summed up, chap. 49:6, where God speaks unto the promised Seed, and says, “It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou rnayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth;” where he is as fully promised unto the Gentiles, to be their “salvation,” as ever he was unto Abraham or his posterity. See chap. 51:5, 53:12. And on this account doth God call unto men in general to come into his covenant, promising unto them an interest in the “mercies of David,” and that because he hath given this Seed as a “witness” unto them, as a “leader and commander,” or the “captain of their salvation,” chap. <235501> 55:1-4; the effect of which call, in the faith of the Gentiles, and their gathering unto the promised Seed, is expressed, verse 5.

    The like prophecies and predictions, of the Gentiles partaking in the redemption to be wrought, occur in all the prophets, especially Ezekiel, Micah, Zechariah, and Malachi; but the instances already produced are sufficient unto our purpose. 32. There seems yet to be somewhat inconsistent with what, we have declared in the words of the apostle, Ephesians 3:3,5,6, “God by revelation made known unto me the mystery, which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.” The apostle seems to deny that this mystery, of the participation of the Gentiles in the blessing by the promised Seed, was revealed, or made known, before the time of its discovery in and by the gospel; and therefore could not be so declared by the prophets under the old testament as we have evinced. But indeed he doth not absolutely deny what is asserted; only he prefers the excellency of the revelation then made above all the discoveries that were before made of the same thing. The mystery of it was intimated in many prophecies and predictions, though, before their accomplishment, they were attended with great obscurity; which now is wholly taken away. “In former ages,” oujk ejgnwri>sqh , “it was not,” saith he, “fully, clearly, manifestly known,” toi~v uiJoi~v tw~n ajnqrw>pwn , µd;a; yneb]li , “to the sons of men,” in common and promiscuously, though it was intimated unto the prophets, and by them obscurely represented unto the church; but it was not made known wJv nu~n , with that clearness, evidence, and perspicuity, as it is now by the apostles, and preached unto all. It is only, then, the degrees of the manifestation of this mystery, as to openness, plainness, and evidence, that are asserted by the apostle above all of the same kind which went before; but the discovery of it absolutely is not denied. And thus much was necessary in our passage, to secure our own interest in the mercy treated about. 33. We may now return a little again unto the promise given unto Abraham. In the pursuit hereof his posterity was separated to be a peculiar people unto God. Their church-state, the whole constitution of their worship, their temple and sacrifices, were all of them assigned and appointed unto the confirmation of the promise, and to the explanation of the way whereby the blessed Seed should be brought forth, and of the work that he should perform for the removal of sin and the curse, and the bringing in of everlasting righteousness, as shall elsewhere be manifested.

    Moreover, unto this Deliverer, and the deliverance to be wrought by him, with the nature of it and the means of its accomplishment, by what he was to do and suffer, do all the prophets bear witness. The full manifestation hereof, seeing it requires an explication of the whole doctrine of the Messiah, concerning his person, grace, and mediation, his offices, life, death, and intercession, the justification of sinners through his blood, and their sanctification by his Spirit, with all other articles of our Christian faith, — all which are taught and revealed, though obscurely, in the Old Testament, — would take up an entire volume, and be unsuitable unto our present design.

    But three things in general the prophets give testimony unto him by: — First, By preferring the promised relief and remedy above all the present glory and worship of the church, directing it to look above all its enjoyments unto that which in all things was to have the pre-eminence.

    See Isaiah 2:2, 4:2-6, 7:13-15, 9:6, 7, <231101> 11:1-10, etc., <233201> 32:1-4, <233501> 35:1-10, <234001> 40:1-5, 9-11, <234201> 42:1-4, 49:18, 19, <235101> 51:4-7, 59:20, 21, 60, <236101> 61:1-3, etc., 65:17, 18; Jeremiah 23:5,6, 30:9, 31:31-34, 32:40-42; Ezekiel 60, etc.; Daniel 7:27, 9:24, <271201> 12:1, 2; Hosea 3:5; Joel 3:18; Amos 9:11-15; Obadiah 21; Micah 4:1-4, 5:1-4; Habakkuk 2:14; Haggai 2:6-9; Zechariah 2:8-12, 3:8-10, 6:12, 13, 9:9-11, 14:3, 4, 20; Malachi 1:11, 3:1-3, 4:2; — which places, although but a few of those that occur in the prophets, are yet too many to be particularly insisted on. But this they all teach, with one consent, that there was in the promise which they assert and confirm an excellency of blessings far exceeding in glory and worth, and in advantage unto believers, all that which they outwardly enjoyed, in their peace, prosperity, kingdom, and temple-worship. Now, this can be nothing but the spiritual and eternal deliverance of their persons from sin, curse, and misery, with the enjoyment of the favor of God in this life, and blessedness hereafter in his presence for evermore. And this, in particular, is expressed and declared in many of the promises directed unto, especially those which concern the making and establishing of the new covenant, which is that we are in the demonstration of.

    Secondly, They do the same in the description they give of the person that was to be this remedy or relief, and of the work that he had to accomplish for that end and purpose. For the former, they declare that he was to be the “Son of God,” God and man in one person, Psalm 2:7, 110:1; Isaiah 9:6,7; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Zechariah 2:8-10; and in sundry other places is the same mystery intimated, whereby the church was further instructed how God would join with the nature of man in the seed of the woman, for the conquest of the old serpent and the destruction of his works. And for the latter, as they declare his sufferings in an especial manner, even what and how he was to suffer, in the bruising of his heel, or bearing the effect of and punishment due to sin, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Daniel 9:24,25; so his teaching, ruling, and governing of his people, in their obedience unto God by him, until they are saved unto the uttermost, as the great prophet and king of his church, are by them fully manifested, Psalm 2, 22:28, 45:2-17, 68:17, 18, 72:2-17, 89:19-29, 96, 97, 98, 99, 110; Isaiah 9:6,7, 11:1-5, <233201> 32:1, 2, 35, 40:10, 11, <234201> 42:1-4, 45:22-25, <234901> 49:1-12, 50:4, 59:16, 17, <236101> 61:1-3, <236301> 63:1-6; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Micah 4:2,3, <330501> 5:1-4; Zechariah 2:8; Malachi 3:1-4, as in sundry other places. Yea, herein all the prophets greatly abound, it being the principal work that God raised them up for, and inspired them by his Holy Spirit in their several generations, as Peter declares, 1 Peter 1:10-12.

    Thirdly, They did so also by taking off the expectations of men from looking after relief and deliverance by any other way or means whatsoever, Psalm 40:6,7. Add hereunto, that the whole fabric of the tabernacle and temple worship was contrived, appointed, and designed, in infinite wisdom, unto no other end but to instruct and direct the church unto this promised Deliverer and the salvation to be wrought by him; as shall, God assisting, abundantly be manifested in our Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews. 34. Thus do both the Law and the Prophets bear witness unto this promised Deliverer, and the deliverance to be wrought by him. And this is he whom the Jews and Christians call the Messiah. jæyvim; is from jvæm; , to “anoint” with oil. Those who were of old peculiarly consecrated unto God, in the great offices of kings, priests, and prophets, were, by his appointment, so to be anointed; at least some of them, on especial occasions, were so. Thence were they called µytiyvim] , “Anointed ones.”

    And because this anointing with oil was not appointed for its own sake, but for somewhat signified thereby, those who received the thing so signified, although not actually anointed with corporeal oil, are called anointed ones also, <19A515> Psalm 105:15. Now, this promised Seed, this Savior or Deliverer, being appointed of God to perform his work in the discharge of a triple office, of king, priest, and prophet, unto his sacred people, and being furnished with those gifts and endowments which were signified by the anointing oil, is, by an antonomasia, called “The Messiah;” or jæyviM;hæ Ël,m, , “Messiah the King,” [ Psalm 2:2, 6?]; dygin; jæyvim; , “Messiah the Prince,” Ruler, or Leader, Daniel 9:25; and verse 26, jæyvim; , “Messiah” absolutely. The Greeks render this name Messi>av , which twice occurs in the New Testament, where persons of the Jewish faith and church are introduced expressing the Savior they looked for, John 1:42, 4:25.

    Otherwise the holy penmen constantly call the same person by another name, of the same signification in the language wherein they wrote with jæyvim; in the Hebrew, — Cristo>v , “The anointed one,” “Christ.” The Greek Messi>av and the Latin “Messiah” seem rather to be taken immediately from the Chaldee aj;yvim] , “Meshicha,” than from the Hebrew jæivim; , “Mashiach,” and to come nearer unto it in sound and pronunciation. It is true, that the name is sometimes applied unto profane and wicked men, with respect unto the office or work whereunto they were of God designed; as to Saul, 1 Samuel 24:6; and to Cyrus, Isaiah 45:1; and the Jews call the priest who was to sound the trumpet when the people went forth to battle, Deuteronomy 20:8, hmjlm jyçm , “The anointed unto the war.” But, as was said, it is applied by the way of eminency unto the promised Seed, unto others by way of allusion and with respect unto their office and present work.


    PROMISES OF THE MESSIAH VINDICATED. 1. The first promise explained in the subsequent. 2. The name” Messiah” seldom used in the original, frequently in the Targums. 3. Places applied unto him therein, Genesis 3:15 — Use of their testimony against the present Jews. 4. Genesis 35:21 — Occasion of the mention of the Messiah in that place, from Micah 4:8. 5. <014901>Genesis 49:1, µymiY;jæ tyrij\aæ first mentioned. 6. Ver. 10, “Until Shiloh come” — Agreement of the Targums.. 7. Exodus 12:42 — Christ typified by the paschal lamb. 8. Exodus 40:10, µyvid;q; vd,qo, who — Daniel 9:24. 9. Numbers 11:26 — Tradition about the prophesying of Eldad and Medad. 10. Numbers 23:21, 24:7, 17, 20, 24 — Consent of Targums, Talmudists, Cabalists. 11-13. Deuteronomy 18:15-19 — The prophet promised, who. 14. 1 Samuel 2:10 — Hannah’s prophesy of Christ. 15. 2 Samuel 23:3 — David’s, in his last words. µd;a;B; lve/m 16-18. 1 Kings 4:33 — Solomon’s prophecy — Light of the church increased by David. 19. Psalm 2:vindicated. 20. Psalm 18:32. 21. <192101>Psalm 21:1,3,7. 22. Psalm 23. Psalm 68, 24. Psalm 72. — Targum, Midrash, Commentators — Vulgar Latin corrupted, and the LXX. — hS;Pi and ˆ/Nyi, what. 25. Psalm 80:16,18, how to be rendered- µd;a;AˆB,, who. 26. Psalm ex. — Prophecy of the Messiah — Confession of the Jews. 27. Of the Targum on Solomon’s Song. 28. Isaiah 2:2-4. 29. Isaiah 4:2 vindicated. 30, 31. Isaiah 9:6 — Sense of the Targum on the place — Vulgar Latin noted. 32. Entanglements of the Jews from this testimony. 33, 34. Four things promised, not agreeing to Hezekiah — Answer of Jarchi, Kimchi, Aben Ezra. 35. The name mentioned, whose — µ/lv;Arcæ, who. 36. Answer of Abarbanel. 37. Of the increase of his government. 38. Isaiah 10:27. 39. <231101>Isaiah 11:1,6 — Abarbanel’s prediction of the ruin of the Christians. 40. <231601>Isaiah 16:1. 41. Isaiah 28:5. 42. <234201>Isaiah 42:1. 43. Isaiah 3:13. 44. Jeremiah 23:5 — Corruption of old translations — Purity of the original — Messiah, Jehovah our righteousness — Ezekiel 37:24. 45. Jeremiah 30:21, 33:13, 15. 46. Hosea 3:5, 14:8. 47. Micah 4:8. 48. Micah 5:2 vindicated — Kimchi’s blasphemy. 49. Zechariah 3:8, 4:7, 6:12, 10:4, 9:9, 11:12,13, 12:10. 50. Conclusion. 1. HAVING considered the first great promise concerning the Messiah, and evinced from thence the nature of his work and office, as also showed in general how testimony is given unto him throughout the Old Testament, and whence his name is derived, we shall now, moreover, inquire in particular into those places where he is expressly foretold, promised, or prophesied of; that we may thence gather what further light concerning his person and natures, with his employment, was granted unto the church of old, which the present Jews willfully reject. And herein, as I am not to collect all the prophecies and promises which God gave concerning him by the mouth of his holy prophets from the foundation of the world, but only to single out some of the most eminent, that give us a direct description of his person or his grace, in answer unto or in confirmation of what hath been already discoursed about them; so I shall have an especial respect unto them which the Jews themselves do acknowledge to belong unto him.

    There is a book written by Abar-banel, which he calls h[wçy [ymçm , wherein he undertakes to explain all those texts of Scripture or prophecies which cannot be understood either spiritually, or of the second temple, but of their redemption by the Messiah. This at present, among others, I am forbidden the use of, which might have been of advantage in the present design. I shall therefore principally insist on those places which are applied unto him in the Targums, the most authentic writings amongst them; whereunto some others shall be added, which I have observed to be interpreted unto the same purpose in the best of their commentators. 2. The name “Messiah” is but twice or thrice at most used in the Old Testament directly and immediately to denote the promised Seed, namely, Daniel 9:25,26; whereunto Psalm 2:2 may be added. But this name, on the reasons before given, prevailing in the Judaical church, it is frequently made use of and inserted in the Targums where he is treated of, although he be not expressly named in the original. Elias, in his Methurgamim, reckons up fifty of those places; whereunto one and twenty more are added by Buxtorf. The principal of these deserve our consideration, considering that some of the most eminent of them are denied by the later Jews to belong unto him, those especially which give testimony unto that part of the faith of Christians concerning him, his person and office, which by them is opposed or denied. And this consent of the Targums is of great weight against them, as containing an evidence of what persuasion prevailed amongst them before such time as they suited all their expositions of Scripture unto their own infidelity, in opposition to the gospel and doctrine thereof. And unto these, as was said, such others shall be added as their chiefest masters do yet acknowledge directly to intend him. 3. The first of this sort that occurs is the first promise, before insisted on and vindicated: Genesis 3:15, “It,” the Seed of the woman, “shall bruise thy head,” — the head of the serpent. Mention is made here expressly of the Messiah in the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem; and this promise is applied unto him after their manner. The Seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent, and they shall obtain ajyçm aklm ymwyb abq[b atywpç , “healing,” or a plaster for the heel (the hurt received from the serpent), “in the days of Messiah the King.” So Jonathan; and the Targum of Jerusalem useth words to the same purpose. Both of them expressly refer the promise to the days of the Messiah; — that is, to himself, or the work that he was to do; whence they insert his name into the text. And this is perfectly destructive unto the present pretensions of the Jews. The work here assigned unto him, of recovering from the evil of sin and misery, brought on the world through the temptation of the serpent, is that wherewith they would have him to have nothing to do.

    Besides, his suffering is intimated in the foregoing expression, that the serpent should “bruise his heel;” which they much desire to free their Messiah fRomans But that which principally lies against them in this testimony is, that whereas they appropriate the promise of the Messiah unto themselves, and make the doctrine concerning him to belong unto the law of Moses, — whereof, say some (those that follow Maimonides), it is one of the fundamentals, others (as Josephus Albo), that it is a branch of the fundamentals concerning rewards and punishments, — it is here given out, by the testimony of their Targums, unto the posterity of Adam indefinitely, two thousand years before the call and separation of Abraham, from whom they pretend to derive their privilege, and much longer before the giving of their law, whereof they would have it to be a part; which is diligently to be heeded against them. 4. Concerning the promises made unto Abraham we have spoken before.

    The next mention of the Messiah in the Targum is on Genesis 35:21, where occasion is taken to bring him into the text: for unto these words,” And Israel journeyed and spread histent rd,[eAlDæg]mil] ,” — “unto” (or “beyond”) “the tower of Edar,” Jonathan adds, aymwy ãwsb ajyçm aklm ylgtad dyt[ ˆmtmd ; — ‘Which is the place from whence the King Messiah shall be revealed in the end of the days.” And this tradition is taken from Micah 4:8, rd,[eAlDæg]mi hT;aæw] ; “And thou, tower of Edar,” (or “of the flock”), “unto thee shall it come, the first dominion.”

    Now, this tower of Edar was a place in or near to Bethlehem, as is manifest from the place in Genesis; for whereas Jacob is said to stay at Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem, where he set up a pillar on the grave of Rachel, verses 19,20, upon his next removal he spread his tent “beyond the tower of Edar,” which must therefore needs be a place near unto Bethlehem. And the prophet assigning the rise of the kingdom of the Messiah unto that place, because he was to be born at Bethlehem, the paraphrast took occasion to make mention of him here, where that place is first spoken of, declaring their expectation of his being born there; which accordingly was long before come to pass. 5. Genesis 49:1, “And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall befall you tyrij\aæB] µymiY;jæ ,” “in the latter days,” or “the last days,” or” end of the days.”

    Jonathan paraphraseth on these words: “After that” (or “although”) “the glory of the divine Majesty was revealed unto him,” dyj[d axq hynym yskta ytyml ajyçm aklm , “the time,’ that is, the express time, “wherein the King Messiah was to come was hid from him; and therefore he said, Come, and I will declare unto you what shall befall you in the end of the days.” This expression of tyrij\aæ µymiY;jæ , “the end” or “last of the days,” is a usual periphrasis for the days of the Messiah in the Old Testament. To that purpose it is used, Numbers 24:14; Deuteronomy 4:30; Isaiah 2:2; Hosea 3:5; Micah 4:1; and our apostle expressly refers unto it, Hebrews 1:2. Now, whereas this expression denotes no certain season of time, but only indefinitely directs to the last days of the posterity of Jacob continuing a distinct church and people, for those ends for which they were originally separated from all others, and this being the first place wherein it is used, and which all the rest refer unto, the paraphrast here took occasion both to mention the Messiah, of whose time of coming this was to be the constant description, as also to intimate the reason of the frequent use of this expression; which was, because the precise time of his coming was hidden even from the best of the prophets, unto whom “the glory of the divine Majesty” was in other things revealed.

    Besides, the ensuing predictions in the chapter do sufficiently secure his application of the days mentioned unto the time of the Messiah. 6. Genesis 49:10, hloyvi aOby;Ay;Ki d[æ ; — “Until Shiloh come.” All the three Targums agree in the application of these words unto the Messiah.

    Onkelos: ajyçm ytyyd d[ ; — “Until Messiah come.” Jonathan and Jerusalem use the same words: aklm ytyyd ˆmz d[ ajyçm ; — “Unto the time wherein the King Messiah shall come.” An illustrious prophecy this is concerning him, — the first that limits the time of his coming with an express circumstance; and which must therefore afterwards be at large insisted on. At present it may suffice to remark the suffrage of these Targums against the perverseness of their later masters, who contend, by all artifices imaginable, to pervert this text unto other purposes; who are therefore to be pressed with the authority of the Targumists, which with none of their cavilling exceptions they can evade. The following words also, verses 11, 12, are applied by Jonathan unto the Messiah, in the pursuit of the former prediction, and that not unfitly, as hath been showed by others already. See Ainsworth on the place. 7. Exodus 12:42, “It is a night to be much observed.” Jerusalem Targ., “This is the fourth night” (it had mentioned three before), “when the end of this present world shall be accomplished to be dissolved, and the cords of impiety shall be wasted, and the iron yoke shall be broken;” that is, the people of God shall be delivered. Whereunto is added: amwr wg ˆm ajyçm aklmw arbdm wg ˆm qwpy hçm ; — “Moses shall come forth from the midst of the wilderness, and the King Messiah from the midst of Rome.” That of the Messiah coming out of Rome is Talmudical, depending on a fable which we shall afterwards give an account of. And we may here, once for all, observe, that although they believe that their Messiah is to be a mere man, born after the manner of all other men, yet they never speak of his birth or nativity as a thing that they look for; only they speak of his coming, but most commonly of his being revealed; and their great expectation is, when he shall be discovered and revealed. And this proceedeth out of a secret self conviction that he was born long since, even at the time promised and appointed, only that he is hidden from them; as indeed he is, though not in the sense by them imagined. But what makes for the application of the night of the passover to the coming of the Messiah? They cannot imagine that he shall come unto them whilst they axe celebrating that ordinance; for that is not lawful for them unless they were at Jerusalem, whither they believe they shall never return until he come and go before them. It is, then, from some tradition amongst them, that their deliverance out of Egypt was a type of the deliverance by the Messiah, whose sacrifice and suffering were represented in the paschal lamb, which gave occasion unto this gloss. 8. Exodus 40:10. Taxgum of Jonathan, “Thou shalt sanctify it for the crown of the kingdom of the house of Judah, dyt[d ajyçm aklmw aymwy ãwsb larçy ty qrpml ,” — “and the King Messiah, who shall deliver Israel in the end of the days.” The end of the unction there mentioned in the text is, that the things anointed might be vd,qo µyvid;q; , “holiness of holinesses,” unto the Lord. Now, it was the Messiah alone who truly and really was this “most holy One,” Daniel 9:24, µyvid;q; vd,qo j;vom]li , “To anoint,” or to make Messiah of, “the Holiness of holinesses,” the most holy One; as he is called in the New Testament oJ a[liov , “the Holy One,” kat j ejxoch>n , Acts 3:14, 4:30; 1 John 2:20; Revelation 3:7. And hence, as it should seem, is this place applied unto him by the Targumist, and an intimation given that in all their holy things, their tabernacle, sanctuary, and altar, he was represented; for as he was the Most Holy, and his body the temple wherein “all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt,” Colossians 2:9, so ejskh>nwsen ejn hJmi~n , he “tabernacled amongst us,” John 1:14, and is our “altar,” Hebrews 13:10. 9. Numbers 11:26, “But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other was Medad: and the Spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.” Here seemeth not to be any thing immediately relating unto the Messiah, yet two of the Targums have brought him into this place, but attended with such a story as I should not mention, were it not to give a signal instance in it how they raise their traditions. Eldad and Medad “prophesied in the camp,” as the text assures us. What or whereabout they prophesied is not declared. This the Targumists pretend to acquaint us withal. Eldad, they say, prophesied of the death of Moses, the succession of Joshua, and their entrance into Canaan under his conduct. This caused one to run and inform Moses; which gave occasion to those words of his, verse 29,” Enviest thou for my sake?” —”For what if he do prophesy that I shall die?” and thereon he would not rebuke them. Medad prophesied of the coming of the quails to feed them. But both of them prophesied and said, ywdybw µlçwryl ˆyqls hytwlyjw gwgmw gwg aymwy ãwsb ˆylpn ˆwna ajyçm aklmd ; — “ In the latter days Gog and Magog shall ascend with their host against Jerusalem, and they shall fall by the hand of the Messiah;” whereon in Jonathan there followeth a story of the delicious fare and dainties which they fancy unto themselves in those days! But what is the reason that Eldad and Medad must be thought to prophesy thus concerning Gog? Ezekiel 38:17, we have these words, “Thus saith the LORD God” (unto Gog); “Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days and years that I would bring thee against them?” Not finding any express prophecy in the Scripture, as they suppose, concerning Gog, because that name is not elsewhere used, they could not fasten these words anywhere better than on Eldad and Medad, concerning whom it is said that they prophesied, but nothing is recorded of what was spoken by them; whereon they think they may assign unto them what they please, although there is not the least reason to suppose that their prophesying consisted in predictions of things to come. Speaking of the things of God, and praising him in an extraordinary manner, is called “prophesying” in the Scripture. So these words of the children of the prophets, who came down from the high place with psalteries and harps, µyaiB]næt]mi hM;hew] , Samuel 10:5, “And they are prophesying,” is rendered in the Targum, ˆyjbçm ˆwkyaw , “And they are praising,” or singing praises unto God; which both their company and their instruments declare to have been their employment. But such occasions as these do they lay hold of for the raising of their figments, which in process of time grow to be traditions. 10. Numbers 23:21, 24:7,17,20,24. All the Targums agree that the Messiah is intended in these prophecies of Balaam, especially on these words, chap. 24:17, “There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre out of Israel . . . A King,” say they jointly, “shall arise out of Jacob, ajyçm abrtyw ,” — “and the Messiah shall be anointed.” And an illustrious prophecy it is, no doubt, concerning his coming and dominion, who is “the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning Star.”

    Rashi interprets the place of David, who smote the corners of Moab, as he was in many things a type of Christ. Aben Ezra confesseth that many interpret the words concerning the Messiah; and Maimonides distributes the prophecy between David and the Messiah, assigning some things unto one, some to another: Tractat. de Regib. in µyrwfh l[b , also, they grant it to be a prophecy of the Messiah. And there is no doubt of the sense of their ancient masters, from the story of Bar-Cosba, whom, after they had accepted of for their Messiah, from this place they called Bar-Cochba, Akiba applying this prediction of bk;/K, or the Star, unto him. And Fagius on the Targum in this place observes, that in the name bk;/K, “Cochab,” applied unto the Messiah, the Cabalists observe two things; — first, that the two first letters signify the same number with the letters of h/;hy] , the name of God, that is, 26; and the two latter 22, the number of the letters of the law. The observation is sufficiently Talmudical; but the intendment of it, that the Messiah hath in him the name of God, and shall fulfill the whole law, is a blessed truth. This Fagius, and Munster before him, observed out of r/rx] rMohæ , “A Bundle of Myrrh ;” a kabalistical comment on the Pentateuch, by R. Abraham. But they all contend against the application of this prediction unto our Lord Jesus Christ; “For when,” say they, “did he ‘ smite the corners of Moab?’ when did he ‘destroy all the children of Seth?’ and how were these words, verse 18, hc,[o laer]c]yiw] lyij; ,” (which they interpret, “And Israel shall gather wealth,” or “substance”) “fulfilled?” But we have sufficiently proved the Messiah to be a spiritual Redeemer; and therefore, however his kingdom may be expressed in words signifying literally outward and temporal things, yet things spiritual and eternal are to be understood as figuratively set out by the other. Neither can these words be absolutely understood according to the letter; for whereas Seth was the son given unto Adam in the room of Abel, and all the posterity of Cain was cut off at the flood, if the Messiah literally “destroy all the children of Seth,” he must not leave any one man alive in the world; which certainly is not the work he was promised for.

    Besides, the Lord Christ hath partly already destroyed, and in due time will utterly destroy, all the stubborn enemies of his kingdom. Neither can the Jews press the instance of “Moab” literally, seeing themselves by “Edom” do constantly understand Rome, or the Roman empire. 11. Deuteronomy 18:15-19. This place is an eminent prophecy concerning the Messiah, and of his prophetical office, not before anywhere mentioned. But the law being now given, which was to continue inviolably unto his coming, Malachi 4:4, when it was to be changed, removed, and taken away, this part of his work, that he was to make the last, full, perfect declaration of the will of God, is now declared.

    The Targums are here silent of him; for they principally attend unto those places which make mention of his kingdom. Rasbi refers the words unto the series of prophets which were afterwards raised up; Aben Ezra, to Joshua; others, to Jeremiah, upon the rejection of whose warnings the people were carried into captivity, which they collect from verse 19.

    Whatever now they pretend, of old they looked for some one signal prophet from this place, which should immediately come before the Messiah himself. Thence was that question in their examination of John Baptist, “Art thou that prophet?” John 1:21, — namely, whom they looked for from this prediction of Moses. But it is the Messiah himself, and none other, that is intended; for, — First, None other ever arose like unto Moses. This is twice repeated ; — in the words of Moses unto the people, verse 15,” God will raise thee up a prophet yn/mK; ,” — “like unto me;” and in the words of God to Moses, verse 18, “I will raise them up a prophet, Ú/mK; “ — “like unto thee,” “as thou art.” Lipman, a blasphemous Jew, in his Nizzachon, contends that Jesus cannot be intended, because he was not like Moses: for Moses was a man only, Jesus declared himself to be God; Moses had father and mother, Jesus had not, as we say; — but the comparison intended doth not at all respect their persons or their natures, but their offices. It was in the prophetical office that the prophet foretold was to be like unto Moses: it is a lawgiver, one that should institute new ordinances of worship, by the authority of God, for the use and observance of the whole church, as Moses did; one that should reveal the whole will of God, as Moses did, as to that season wherein God employed him. That this could not be Joshua, nor any of the prophets that ensued, is evident from that testimony of the Holy Ghost, Deuteronomy 34:10, “There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses.” This must, therefore, be referred unto some singular prophet who was then to come, or there is an express contradiction in the text; and this is none other but the Messiah, concerning whom they acknowledge that he shall be a prophet above Moses. Secondly, The extermination threatened unto the people upon their disobedience unto this prophet here promised, chap. 18:19, never befell them until they had rejected the Lord Jesus, the true and only Messiah. Wherefore this place is rightly applied unto him in the New Testament, Acts 3:22,23,7:37. And we have hence a further discovery of the nature of the Deliverer, and deliverance promised of old, and therein of the faith of the ancient church, He was to be a blessed prophet, to reveal the mind and will of God; which also he hath done unto the utmost. And from this place it is that the Jews themselves, in Midrash Coheleth, cap. i., say, ˆwar lawg ˆwrja lawgˆk ; — “The latter Redeemer is to be like the former.” 12. Deuteronomy 25:19, “Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it,” Jonathan Targum, yçnjt al ajyçm aklm ymwyl wlypaw ; — “And also in the days of the Messiah, the King, thou shalt not forget it.” But as this savors too much of those revengeful thoughts which they frequently discover themselves to be filled withal, so all these apprehensions proceed from the old tradition, that by the Messiah we should be delivered from the hands of “all our enemies;” which they, being carnal and earthly, do wrest to give countenance unto their own desires and imaginations. 13. Deuteronomy 30:4, “If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee.” Jonathan Targum, brqy ˆmtmw abr anhk whylad ywdy l[ ˆwkhla yyd armym ˆwkty çwnky ˆmtm ajyçm aklmd ywdy l[ ˆwkty ; — “From thence will the Word of the Lord [your God] gather thee by the hand of Elijah, the great priest; and from thence will he bring thee by the hand of Messiah the King.” The place is not amiss applied unto the deliverance which they shall one day have by the Messiah; for it is to happen after the whole curse of the law is come upon them for their disobedience, and after they shall turn again unto the Lord by repentance, verses 1,2. And whereas the words are doubled, they suppose them to intimate a double work of deliverance; one whereof they have committed to Elias, from Malachi 4:5, who was to be, and was, the forerunner of the Messiah. And these are the places in the books of Moses wherein they acknowledge that mention is made of the Messiah. [As] for that way whereby the church of old was principally instructed in his work and office, — namely, in the sacrifices and ceremonies of the law, — they know nothing of it; nor shall it here be insisted on, seeing it must have so large a place in the Exposition of the Epistle itself. 14. 1 Samuel 2:10, “He shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.” Targum, hyjyçm twklm ybryw ; — “And he shall exalt the kingdom of his Messiah.” In Midrash Tehil-lira also on Psalm 75, they ascribe this place unto the Messiah, and reckon his horn as the tenth horn of strength granted unto Israel. R. Levi Ben Gershom understands by the “king” in the first place, “He shall give strength unto his king,” Saul; and by “Messiah,” in the close of the words, David, who was to be anointed by Samuel, the son of Hannah, whose words these are. Kimchi applies the words to the Messiah; whom, as he says, she intended by the Spirit of prophecy, or spoke of from tradition. And, indeed, the words seem directly to intend him; for by him alone doth the Lord judge the ends of the earth, and he was the Anointed whose power he would signally exalt. And I mention this place only as an instance of the faith of the church of old, which, in all her mercies, still had a regard unto the great promise of the Messiah, which was the fountain of them all; and therefore Hannah here closeth her prophetical eulogy with her acknowledgment thereof, and faith therein. 15. 2 Samuel 23:3, µyhiloa’ taær]yi lve/m qyDixæ µd;a;B; lve/m ; — “He that ruleth in man, just, ruler in” (or “of”) “the fear of the LORD.”

    Targum: yyd atljdb fwlçyw µyqyd dyt[d dyt[d ajyçm awhd aklm yl hanml rma — “He said he would appoint unto me a King, which is the Messiah, who shall arise and rule in the fear of the Lord.”

    And it refers this whole last prophecy of David, or his last words that he spake by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, unto the days of the Messiah; whence it gives this preface unto them, “These are the words of the prophecy of David, which he prophesied concerning the end of the world,” or “for the end of the world,” ãwsl aml[ , “and the days of consolation that were to come.” Rab. Isaiah and Rashi interpret the words of David himself; and Kimchi also, but he mentions the application of it unto the Messiah, who was to come of David, whom God would raise up unto him, which he approveth of. Christian expositors who follow the Jews interpret these words, rB,D yli , “The Rock of Israel spake to me,” by yl[ , or yrwb[b rbd , “spake concerning me;’ that is, “by Samuel, who anointed me to be king:” some, “He spake unto me by Nathan.” Our translators keep to the letter, “He spake unto me;” and that alone answers unto the words of the verse foregoing, “The Spirit of the LORD yBiArB,Di ,” — “ spake in me,” or “to me:” so are the revelations of God expressed, see Zechariah 4:1,4; and it expresseth the communication of the mind of God unto the prophet qeopneusti>a| , and not his speaking by him unto others. And from these very words, yBiArB,Di h/;hy] jæWr , “The Spirit of the LORD spake in me,” do the Jews take occasion to cast the writings of David amongst those which they assign unto that kind of revelation which they call çwdqh jwr or µybwtk , “Books written .by inspiration of the Holy Ghost The other words also, yni/vl]Al[æ /tL;miW “His word was in my tongue,” manifest that it is David himself that is spoken unto, and not of, in the third verse; and therefore it is some other who is prophesied of by him, namely, the Messiah. And this the words whereby he is described do also manifest: µd;a;B; lçe/m , — “Ruling in man;” that is, saith Jarchi, warqnç larçyb µta µda rmagç µda , — “Over Israel, who is called ‘man;’ as it is said, ‘And ye the flock of my pasture are men.’” µT,aæ µd;a; , — “Ye are man,” Ezekiel 34:31. But where the word “Adam” is used with this prefix b] , as here, it nowhere signifies “Israel,” but is expressly used in a contradistinction from them: as Jeremiah 32:20, Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, µd;a;b;W laer;cyib]W,” — “and in Israel, and in Adam;” that is, as we render it, “amongst other men” that are not Israel. So that if any especial sort of men are intended in this expression, it is not “Israel,” but “other men.” And indeed this word is commonly used to denote mankind in general, as Genesis 6:3,9:6, Exodus 8:17,9:10,13:2; and universally, wherever it is used, it signifies either all mankind or human nature So that µd;a;B; lve/m is, he who is the “ruler over all mankind ;” which is the Messiah alone: unless we shall interpret this expression by that of Psalm 68:19, “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: µd;a;B; t/nT;mæ T;j]qæl; “ — “accepisti dona in homine,” “and thou hast received gifts in man;” that is, in the human nature exalted, whereof the psalmist treats in that place. For whereas the apostle, Ephesians 4:8, renders these words, ]Edwke do>mata toi~v ajnqrw>poiv , “He gave gifts unto men,” it is manifest that he expresseth the end and effect of that which is spoken in the psalm; for the Lord Christ received gifts in his own human nature, that he might give and bestow them on others, as Peter declareth, Acts 2:33. The remainder also of the words contain a description of the Messiah: he is qyDixæ , oJ dikaiov , “the just” (or “righteous “) “one,” Acts 3:14; and he alone is µyhiola’ taær]yi lve/m , “he that rules in the things that concern the fear and worship of God,” Isaiah 11:2,3. So that this place doth indeed belong unto the faith of the ancient church concerning the Messiah. 16. 1 Kings 4:33, instead of these words concerning Solomon, “He spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall, the Targum reads, l[ ybntaw ajyçmd ytad aml[bw ˆydh aml[b flçml ˆyd yt[d dwd tyb yklm , — “And he prophesied of the kings of the house of David in this world” (the duration of time and state of things under the old testament), “and of the Messiah in the world to come ;” so they call the days of the Messiah. I know of none who have considered what occasion the Targumists could take from the words of the text to mention this matter in this place. I will not say that he doth not intend the Book of Canticles, wherein, under an allegory of trees, herbs, and spices, Solomon prophesieth of and sets forth the grace and love of Christ towards his church; and wherein many things are by the latter Targumist applied unto the Messiah also, as we shall see. 17. There is mention likewise made of the Messiah in the Targum by an addition unto the text, Ruth 3:15, “It was said in the prophecy that six righteous persons should come of Ruth, David, and Daniel with his companions, and the King Messiah.” The general end of the writing of this Book of Ruth, was to declare the providence of God about the genealogy of the Messiah; and this seems to have been kept in tradition amongst them. And for this cause doth Matthew expressly mention her name in his rehearsal of the genealogy of Christ, Matthew 1:5; for it being a tradition amongst the Jews that this was the end of the writing of her story, — whereon they add that consideration unto the text in their Targum, — it was remembered by the evangelist in a compliance therewithal. 18. The place of Job wherein he expresseth his faith in him, and expectation of redemption by him, hath been already explicated and vindicated, so that we shall not need here to insist upon it again. The Psalms next occur. In David the light and faith of the church began to be greatly enlarged. The renovation of the promise unto him, the confirmation of it by an oath, the confinement of the promised Seed unto his posterity, the establishment of his throne and kingdom as a type of the dominion and rule of the Messiah, with the especial revelations made unto him, as one that signally longed for his coming and rejoiced in the prospect which he had of it in the Spirit of prophecy, did greatly further the faith and knowledge of the whole church. Henceforward, therefore, the mention of him is multiplied, so that it would be impossible to insist on all the particular instances of it; I shall therefore only call over some of the most eminent, with an especial respect unto the concurrence of the persuasion and expectation of the Jews. 19. Psalm 2:2, “The rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his Anointed,” — “ his Messiah,” as the word should be left uninterpreted. Targum, hyjyçm l[, — “ Against his Messiah.” The Talmudists in several places acknowledge this psalm to be a prophecy of the Messiah, and apply sundry passages thereof unto him. And these words, “Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee,” are not amiss expounded by them, in Tract. Succah. cap. 5, ynb htaç twyrbl hlga µwyh , — “I will this day reveal unto men that thou art my son;” for so are they applied by our apostle dealing with the Jews, Acts 13:33, Hebrews 1:5, namely, unto his resurrection from the dead, whereby he was “declared to be the son of God with power,” Romans 1:4. All the principal expositors amongst them, as Rashi, Kimchi, Aben Ezra, Bartenora, or Rab. Obodiah, acknowledge that their ancient doctors and masters expounded this psalm concerning the Messiah. Themselves, some of them, apply it unto David, and say it was composed by some of the singers concerning him when he was anointed king, which the Philistines hearing of, prepared to war against him, 2 Samuel 5:17. This is the conceit of Rashi, who herein is followed by sundry Christian expositors, with no advantage to the faith; and I presume they observed not the reason he gives for his exposition. “Our masters,” saith he, “of blessed memory, interpret this psalm of the King Messiah, ˆwkn ˆynymh tbwçtlw w[mçm yplw dwd l[ wçyrpl ,” — “but as the words sound, and to answer the heretics, it is meet (or right) to expound it of David.” These words, ˆynymh tbwçt lw , “and that we may answer the heretics,” or Christians, are left out in the Venice and Basil editions of his comments, but were in the old copies of them. And this is the plain reason why they would apply this psalm to David, of whom not one verse of it can be truly and rightly expounded, as shall be manifested elsewhere. And it is a wise answer which they give in Midrash Tehillim unto that testimony of verse 7, where God calls the Messiah his son, to prove him to be the natural son of God: bytwm htaw hyybhl ˆb çy ˆwrmwa ˆhç ˆynyml hbwçt ˆabm hta ynb ala rmwa wnya hta yl ˆb hyl ; — “And hence we may have an answer for the heretics, who ,say that the holy, blessed God hath a son. But do thou answer, He says not, ‘ Thou art a son to me,’ but, ‘Thou art my son’”! As though ynb hta , “Thou art my son,” did not more directly express the filiation of the person spoken of than hta yl ˆb would do. ynb is more emphatically expressive of the natural relation than yl ˆb , — “ My son,” than “A son to me.” See Genesis 27:21.

    And in this psalm we have a good part of the creed of the ancient church concerning the Messiah, as may be learned from the exposition of it. 20. Psalm 18:32. Targum, °jyçml dyb[td anqdwpz asn l[ ãwra ; — “Because of the miracles and redemption which thou shalt work for thy Messiah.” I mention this place only that it may appear that the Jews had a tradition amongst them that David in this psalm bare the person of the Messiah, and was considered as his type. And hence our apostle applies these words, verse 3, /Bahs,j’a, , “I will put my trust in him,” unto the Lord Jesus Christ, Hebrews 2:13. See also Psalm 20:7. 21. Psalm 21:1, “The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord.” Targum, ajyçm °lm , — “The King Messiah shall rejoice.” Verse 7, “For the king trusteth in the LORD.” Targum, “Messiah the King.” And in Midrash Tehillim these words of verse 3, “Thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head,” are also applied unto him. There is no mention of kim in the Targum on Psalm xxii., nor in the Midrash; but we shall afterwards prove at large that whole psalm to belong unto him, and to have been so acknowledged by some of their ancient masters, against the oppositions and cavils of their later seducers. 22. Psalm 45: The Targum hath given an especial title unto this psalm: hçmd ˆyrdhns ybjy l[ ajbçl ; — “A psalm of praise for the elders” (assessors) “of the sanhedrim of Moses;” intimating that something eminent is contained in it. And these words, verse 2, “Thou art fairer than the children of men,” are rendered in it, açn ynbm ãyd[ ajyçm aklm °rpwç , — “Thy beauty, O King Messiah, is more excellent than that of the sons of men.” And “grace,” in the next words, is interpreted by hawbn jwr , “the Spirit of prophecy,” not amiss. And these words, verse 6, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,” are retained with little alteration: yml[l µyq yy °rqy ysrwk ˆyml[ , — “The seat of thy glory, O God, remaineth for ever and ever,” applying it unto the Messiah; which illustrious testimony given unto his deity shall be vindicated in our exposition of the words, as cited by our apostle, Hebrews 1:8. Kimchi expounds this psalm of the Messiah. Aben Ezra says, “It is spoken of David, ˆkç wnb jyçm l[ wa µlw[l µhl ayçn ydb[ dwd wmç ,” — “or concerning Messiah his son, who is likewise called David; as, ‘ My servant David shall be their prince for ever,’” Ezekiel 37:25. 23. Psalm 68 and 69 are illustrious prophecies of the Messiah, though the Jews take little notice of them; and that because they treat of two things which they will not acknowledge concerning him. The former expresseth him to be God, verses 17,18; and the other his sufferings from God and men, verse 26; both which they deny and oppose. But in Shemoth Rabba, sect. 35, they say of the µyNimævjæ , Psalm 68:32, “The princes that shall come out of Egypt,” jyçmh °lml ãwrwd aybhl ˆydyt[ twmwah lk , — “All nations shall bring gifts to the King Messiah,” referring the psalm to his days and work. The same exposition is given of the place in Midrash, Esther 1:1, and by R. Obodiah Haggaon on the place. 24. Psalm 72:1, “Give the king thy judgments, O God.” Targum, bh ajyçm aklml °nyd tklh , — “Give the sentence of thy judgment unto the King Messiah.” And herein they generally agree. Midrash on the title: yçy [wgm rfwj axyw rmanç jyçmh °lm hz ; — “This is the King Messiah; as it is said, ‘A rod shall come forth from the stem of Jesse,’” Isaiah 11:1. And Aben Ezra on the same title: jyçm l[ wa hmlç l[ µyrrwçmh dja ya dwd tawbn ; — “A prophecy of David, or of one of the singers, concerning Solomon, or concerning the Messiah.”

    And Kimchi acknowledgeth that this psalm is expounded by many of them concerning the Messiah. Rashi applies it unto Solomon, as a prayer of David for him, whereof he gives this as the occasion: ˆybhl bl hbh tam lwaçl dyt[ awhç dwqh jwrb hpxç fpçm rwmçl ; — “He prayed this prayer for his son Solomon, because, he saw by the Holy Ghost that he would ask of God a heart to understand and keep” (or “do”) “judgment.” And although he endeavors vainly to apply verse 5 unto his days, “They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure;” and verse 7, “In his days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace, jærey; yliB]Ad[æ ,” — “till there be no moon;” yet when he cometh unto these words, verse 16, År,a;B; rBæAtSæpi yhiy] , “There shall be an handful of corn, in the earth,” he adds, “Our masters interpret this of the cates, or dainties, in the days of the Messiah, and expound the whole psalm concerning Messiah the King.” And this he was enforced unto, lest he should appear too openly to contradict the Talmudists, who frequently apply this psalm unto him, and have long discourses about some passages in it, especially this, rBæAtSæpi , verse 16, and çn,v,Aynep]lie /mv] ˆwNOyi , verse 17, which are much insisted on by Martinus Raymundus, Petrus Galatinus, and others.

    The Vulgar Latin, for rbæAtSipæ , reads, “Erit firmamentum in terra ;” which I should suppose to be corrupted from “frumentum,” but that the LXX, who are followed also by other translations, as the Arabic and Ethiopic, read sth>rigm a, “firmamentum.” And this some think to be corrupted from si>tou dra>gma , “an handful of corn;” which is very probable. Neither is the word tSæpi anywhere else used in the Scripture, and may as well have something foreign in it as come from spy µysp . So also verse 17, ˆwNOyi is nowhere else used for “sobolescet” or “filiahit,” as it is here rendered, from ˆyni , “a son:” which is but thrice used in that signification; — Genesis 21:23, by a Philistine; and Job 18:19, by an Arabian; and Isaiah 14:22, concerning a son among the Chaldeans: which argue it to be a foreign word, being properly used in a prophecy of the calling of the Gentiles, as this is so in the same subject it is said µyNimævjæ , “Chasmannim shall come to the Messiah,” Psalm 68:32: which we render “princes,” and it may be such were intended; but the word seems to be Egyptian, for Hebrew it is not, though afterwards used among the Jews; whence the family of Mattathias were called Asmoneans, But to return: it is evident that in this psalm much light was communicated unto the church of old into the office, work, grace, compassion, and rule, of the Messiah, with the calling and glorious access of the Gentiles unto him. 25. There is mention likewise made of him in the Targum on Psalm 80:16, “The vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, ËL; hT;x]Mæai ˆBeAl[æw] ,” — “and on the branch thou hast made strong for thyself:’’ so our translation. But all old translations, as the LXX., Vulgar Latin, and Syriac, interpret zBe not in analogy unto the preceding allegory of the vine, but from µd;a;AˆB, , verse 18, and render it, jEpi< uiJopou , — “Super filium hominis,” — “And upon the Son of man, whom thou madest strong for thyself.” Targum, ajyçm aklm l[w °l atlyjd , — “And for the King Messiah, whom thou hast strengthened’’ (or “fortified”) “for thyself.” And we know how signally in the gospel he calls himself “The Son of man ;” and among other names ascribed unto him, the Talmudists say he is called “Jinnon,” from ˆwn , “a son” And verse 18 he is expressly called µd;a;AˆB, , “The Son of man, whom thou madest strong for thyself.” And hereunto doth Aben Ezra refer the ˆBe in the foregoing verse.

    And for that expression, Úd]y;AYhiT] Ún,ymiy] vyaiAl[æ , “Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand,” he observes, yangl tyb wyrjaw dylk , — “ Whenever Jad, the hand,” —that is, the hand of God, — “ hath Beth following it, it is for reproach or punishment unto them whom it respects;” as Exodus 9:3, Ún]q]miB] hy;/h h/;hy]Adyæ hNehi , — “Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle,” that is, for their destruction. And, jbçl ayh tybb hnnya µaw , — “If Beth follow not, it is for praise, or help;” as <19B9173> Psalm 119:173, ynirez][;l] Úd]y; yhiT] , — “Let thine hand help me,” or “be for my help.” So that the words are a prayer for the Son of man; and as our Lord Christ was the Son of man, so he was the true vine, whereof the Father is the husbandman, and his disciples the branches, John 15:1-5. And he himself also was “called out of Egypt,” Matthew 2:15, as was the vine spoken of in this psalm; so that he who is afflicted in all the afflictions of his people is principally intended in this prophetical psalm. Aben Ezra would have the “Son of man” to be Israel; but not seeing well how it can be accommodated unto them, he adds, “The words may respect Messiah Ben Ephralm,” — an idol of their own setting up. But the Targum acknowledgeth the true Messiah here, for whose sake the church is blessed, and by whom it is delivered. 26. Psalm 110 is a signal prophecy of him, describing his person, kingdom, priesthood, and the work of redemption wrought by him. But whereas sundry things in this psalm are interpreted and applied unto the Lord Christ by our apostle in his Epistle unto the Hebrews, where they fall directly under our consideration, I shall here only briefly reflect on some of their own confessions, although it be a signal declaration of the faith of the church of old, scarcely to be paralleled in any other place. The later masters, indeed, observing how directly and openly this psalm is applied unto the Lord Christ in the New Testament, and how plainly all the passages of it are accommodated unto the faith of Christians concerning the Messiah, his office and work, do endeavor their utmost to wrest it unto any other, as shall elsewhere be manifested; yea, the Targum itself is here silent of the Messiah, for the very same reason, and perverts the whole psalm to apply it unto David; and yet is forced on verse to refer the things spoken of unto the “world to come,” or days of the Messiah. And the most of their masters, when they mention this psalm occasionally, and mind not the controversy they have about it with Christians, do apply it unto him. So doth the Midrash Tehillim on Psalm 2:7, and also on this psalm, verse 1, though there be an endeavor therein foolishly to wrest it unto Abraham; Rab. Saadias Gaon on Daniel 7:13, whose words are reported by Solomon Jarchi on Genesis 35:8; Rab. Arama on Genesis 15, as he is at large cited by Munster on this psalm; Moses Haddarshan on Genesis 18:1; Rab. Obodiah on the place; all whose words it would be tedious here to report. It is sufficiently manifest that they have an open conviction that this psalm contains a prophecy concerning the Messiah; and what excellent things are revealed therein touching his person and offices, we shall have occasion to declare in the exposition of the Epistle itself, wherein the most material passages of it are applied unto our Lord Jesus Christ. 27. In the Targum on the Canticles there is frequent mention also of the Messiah; as chapter 1:8, 4:5, 7:14, 8:1-4. But because the Jews are utterly ignorant of the true spiritual sense of that divine song, and the Targum of it is a confused miscellany of things sufficiently heterogeneous, being a much later endeavor than the most of those on the other books, I shall not particularly insist on the places cited, but content myself with directing the reader unto them. The like also may be said of Ecclesiastes 1:11,7:25; where, without any occasion from the text, the mention of him is importunately inculcated by the Targumists. 28. We are now entering on the Prophets, the principal work of some whereof was to “testify beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that was to follow,” 1 Peter 1:11; and therefore I do not at all design to gather up in our passage all that is foretold, promised, declared, and taught, concerning him in them (a work right worthy of more peace, leisure, and ability, than what in any kind I am intrusted withal), but only to report some of the most eminent places, concerning which we have the common suffrage of the Jews, in their general application unto the Messiah. Among these, that of Isaiah 2:2-4 occurreth in the first place: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,” etc.

    The same prophecy is given out by Micah, in the same words, chapter 4:1-3; and, by the common consent of the Jews, the Messiah is here intended, although he be not mentioned in the Targum. The Talmudical fable, also, of the lifting up of Jerusalem three leagues high, and the setting of Mount Moriah on the top of Sinai, Carmel, and Tabor, which shall be brought together unto that purpose, mentioned in Midrash TehiUim, and in Bava Bathra, Distinc. Hammo-cher, is wrested from these words. But those also of them who lore-tend to more sobriety do generally apply them to the promised Messiah. Kimchi gives it for a rule, that that expression, µymiY;hæ tyrij\aæB] , “In the latter days,” doth still denote the times of the Messiah; which, I suppose, is not liable unto any exception.

    And as he giveth a tolerable exposition of the establishing of “the mountain of the Lord in the top of the mountains,” assigning it to the glory of the worship of God above all the false and idolatrous worship of the Gentiles, which they observed on mountains and high places; so concerning these words, [Isaiah 2.] 4, µY/Ghæ ˆyBe fpæç;w] , — “He shall judge among the nations,” he saith, jyçmh °lm awh fpwçh , — “This judge” (or “He that judgeth”) “is the King Messiah.” The like also saith Aben Ezra on the same place, and Jarchi on the same words in the prophecy of Micah. And as this is true, so whereas Jehovah alone is mentioned in the foregoing verses, unto whom, and no other, this expression can relate, how is it possible for them to deny that the Messiah is “the LORD, the God of Jacob” also for undeniably it is he concerning whom it is said that “he shall judge among the nations;” and by their confession that it is the Messiah who is the “prophet,” the judge here intended, they are plainly convinced out of their own mouths, and their infidelity condemned by themselves. Abarbanel seems to have been aware of this entanglement, and therefore, as he wrests the prophecy (by his own confession contrary to the sense of all other expositors) unto the times of the building of the second temple, so, because he could not avoid the conviction of one that should judge among the nations, he makes it to be the house itself, wherein, as he says, “thrones for judgment were to be erected;” the vanity of which figment secures it from any further confutation. We have, then, evidently in these words three articles of the faith of the ancient church concerning the Messiah: as, — First, That as to his person, he should be God and man, the “God of Jacob,” who should in a bodily presence judge the people, and send forth the law among the nations, verse 4. Secondly, That the Gentiles should be called unto faith in him and the obedience of his law, verse 3. Thirdly, That the worship of the Lord in the days of the Messiah should be far more glorious than at any time whilst the first temple was standing; for so it is foretold, verse 2, and so our apostle proves it to be in his Epistle to the Hebrews. And this whole prophecy not a little perverted by them who apply it to the defeat of Rezin and Pekah when they came against Jerusalem, and who, in their annotations on the Scripture, whereby they have wen to themselves a great reputation in the world, seldom depart from the sense of the Jews, unless it be where they are in the right. 29. Isaiah 4:2 “In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beauty and glory.” Targ. rqylw hwdjl hwhyd ajyçm yhy ayhh and[b ;— “At that time shall the Messiah of the Lord be for joy and honor.” And this prophecy also is, by the most learned of the rabbins, applied unto the Messiah. Kimchi interprets jmæx, , “The Branch,” by that of Jeremiah 23:5, “I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper.” Aben Ezra inclines unto them who would have Hezekiah to be intended. A Christian expositor refers the words to Ezra and Nehemiah upon the return from the captivity, on what grounds he doth not declare.

    Abarbanel having, as is his manner always, repeated the various expositions and opinions of others, adds at last, hlgy hrhmb wnqdx jyçm l[ µtwa wçryp µydjaw ; — “Others expound the words of the Messiah our righteousness: Let him be speedily revealed! But they may also do well to consider, that the person here promised to be the beauty and glory of the church, by whom the remnant of Israel, which are “written in the book of life,” shall be saved, is the “Branch of the Lord” and the “fruit of the earth:” which better expresseth his two natures in one person than that he should be for a while a barren branch, and afterwards bear fruit in the destruction of Gog and Magog; which is their gloss on the words.

    The illustrious prophecies concerning the name of the Messiah, Immanuel, and his being born of a virgin, chapter 7-8, must be handled apart afterwards and vindicated from the exceptions of the Jews, and are therefore here omitted. 30. Isaiah 9:6, “And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Targ., ahla hx[ aylpm µdq ˆm hymç yrqtaw ; — “And his name is called of old.” µdq ˆm is the same with µd,Q,mi , Micah 5:1. Targ., ˆymdqlm ; that is, as in the next words, “from everlasting,” “from the days of eternity:” for although µdq ˆm be frequently used for ynplm , “from before the face,” or “sight,” as the words of the Targumist are here vulgarly translated, (as in the translation in the Polyglott Bibles, “A facie admirabilis consilii Deus,” — which is blamed by Cartwright in his Mellificium for not putting “Deus” in the genitive case as well as “admirabilis,” which indeed were rational if µdq ˆm were necessarily “a facie,”) — yet it is also used absolutely with reference unto time, and so there is no need that the following words should be regulated thereby. So is it twice used: as Proverbs 8:22, ywdbw[ µdq ˆmw , — “And before his works” that were wrought, that is, from eternity; and verse 23, aml[ µdq ˆmw , — “And before the world.” And in that sense is ˆymdqlm always used; as Isaiah 23:7; Psalm 78:2; Isaiah 46:10. And thus the words will yield a better sense than “A facie admirabilis consilii Deus,” or that which they are cast into by Seb. Munster, “Mirificantis consilium Deo fortissimo qui manet in secula;” for there is no need, as we have seen, that the words should be cast into the genitive case by µdq ˆm . And although the Targumist rendereth Å[e/y , the participle, “counselor,” by the substantive hx[ , “counsel,” yet this hinders not but that it may express one of his names: “Wonderful, Counsel, God;” or, “Mirificans consilium Deus;” or, “The God of wonderful counsel.” One, from some of the Jews, takes another way to pervert these words. “Consiliarius, Deus fortis, imo,” saith he, “Consular Dei fortis; i.e., Qui in omnibus negotiis consilia a Deo poseet, per prophetas scilicet:’’ whereby this clear and honorable testimony given unto the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ is weakened and impaired.

    Again, the Targumist renders ar;q]yiwæ , “be called,” by yrqtaw , in a passive sense; which obviates the principal exception of the modern Jews, who interpret it actively, that it may be referred to God, the wonderful Counselor, who shall call him “The Prince of Peace.” But as this is contrary to the Targum, so also to the use of the word in like cases: for this declaration of the name of the child promised answers the proclamation made of the name of God, Exodus 34:6, where ar;q]yiwæ is well rendered by ours, “and proclaimed,” or, “and there was proclaimed;” the name following sounded in his ears: where the Vulgar Latin, translating the word actively, and applying it unto Moses, (“Stetit Moses cure eo invocans nomen Domini, quo transcunte coram eo ait, Dominator Domine Deus,” — “Moses stood with him, calling on the name of the Lord, who passing by, he said, O mighty Ruler, Lord God,”) both corrupts the proper sense of the words and gives us that which is directly untrue; for not Moses, but God himself, gave out and proclaimed that name, as it is said expressly that he would do, chapter 33:19, and as Moses himself afterwards pleaded that he had done, Numbers 14:17,18. But this by the way, to obviate the Judaical sophism mentioned, that would make all the names in the text, unless it be “The Prince of Peace,” to precede the verb, and that to be actively understood. 31. It follows in the Targum, ygsy amlçd ajyçm ayml[l µyq arbg yhwmwyb anl[ . The words are variously rendered. Some refer arbg to ahla that goes before; so expressing them by “Deus fortis,” or “fortissimus,” — “The mighty God.” Others, as the translation in the Biblia Regia and Londini, refer to the words following, ayml[l µys , and render it by “vir,’” “the man:” “Vir permanens in aeternum;” — “The man abiding for ever.” But it doth not seem that this sense will hold; for although arbg do signify “a man,” the same with the Hebrew rB,G, , yet arbg is not so used, but only for “fortis” or “fortissimus.” r/BGi , the word used in the original, is applied to God and men, but here it seems to be joined with lae , and to signify, as by us translated, “The mighty God,” which the Targumist endeavored also to express; and so by ayml[l µyq , “permanens in secula,” “abiding for ever,” he rendereth d[æAybia\ , “The Father of eternity,” significantly enough. Also, ajyçm is joined by some with amlçd , and rendered “Messia Pacis,” for µ/lv;Arcæ , “The Prince of Peace;” but this connection of the words those that follow will not well bear, wherefore they place the name Messiah absolutely, and render the following words, “Whose peace shall be multiplied unto us in his days.” 32. And this testimony of their Targum the present Jews are much to be pressed withal; and there are not many from which they feel their entanglements more urgent upon them. And it would at the same time move compassion at their blindness, and indignation against their obstinacy, for any one seriously to consider how woefully they wrest the words up and down to make a tolerable application of them unto Hezekiah, whom they would fix this prophecy upon; and, on the occasion given us by the Targum, I shall take a little view of their sentiments on this place of the prophet. That of old they esteemed it a prophecy of the Messiah, not only the Targum, as we have seen, but the Talmud also, doth acknowledge. Besides, also, they manifest the same conviction in their futilous traditions. In Tractat. Sanhed. Distinc. Chelek, they have a tradition that God thought to have made Hezekiah to be the Messiah, and Sennacherib to have been Gog and Magog; but ˆydh tdm , “the property of judgment,” interposed, and asked why David rather was not made the Messiah, who had made so many songs to the praise of God. And Rabbi Hillel, as we shall see afterwards, contended that Israel was not any more to look for a Messiah, seeing they enjoyed him in Hezekiah. Now, these vain traditions arose merely from the concessions of their old masters, granting the Messiah to be here spoken of, and the craft of their later ones, wresting the words unto Hezekiah; so casting them into confusion, that they knew not what to say nor believe. But let us see how they acquit themselves at last in this matter. 33. Four things are here promised concerning this “child,” or “son,” that should be given unto the church: — (1.) That “the government should be on his shoulder;” (2.) That “his name should be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace;” (3.) That “of the increase of his government there should be no end;” (4.) That he should sit “on the throne of David, to order it for ever.” And we may see how well they accommodate these things unto Hezekiah, their endeavors being evidently against the faith of the ancient church, the traditions of their fathers, and, it may be doubted, their own light and conviction. First, “The government shall be on his shoulder,” saith Sol.

    Jarehi, “because the rule and yoke of God shall be upon him in the study of the law.” This pleaseth not Kimchi (as it is indeed ridiculous), and therefore he observeth that mention is not made of the shoulder but with reference unto burden and weight; whence he gives this interpretation of the words: ylbws yhw rwça °lml dbw[ hyh zjaç ypl hrçm ala wmkç l[ dwb[ yht al dlyh hz yk ma wmkç l[ ; — “Because Ahaz served the king of Assyria, and his burden was on his shoulder, he says of this child, he shall not be a servant with his shoulder, but the government shall be on him.” And this, it seems, is all that is here promised, and this is all the concernment of the church in this promise:

    Hezekiah shall not serve the king of Assyria! Neither is it true that Ahaz served the king of Assyria under tribute; and it may seem rather that Hezekiah did so for a season, seeing it is expressly said that “he rebelled against him, and served him not,” 2 Kings 18:7; yea, plainly he did so, and paid him, by way of tribute, “three hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold,” verse 14. So he Aben Ezra passeth over this expression without taking notice of it. 34. Secondly, As to the name ascribed unto him, they are for the most part agreed; and unless that one evasion which they have fixed on will relieve them, they are utterly silent. Now this is, as was before declared, that the words are to be read, “The Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, shall call his name The Prince of Peace;” so that “The Prince of Peace” only is the name of the promised child, all the rest are the names of God. But, — (1.) If words may be so transposed and shuffled together as these are to produce this sense, there will nothing be left certain in the Scripture; nor can they give any one instance of such a disposal of words as they fancy in this place. (2.) The very reading of the words rejects this gloss, “He shall call his name Wonderful.” (3.) It is the name of the child, and not of God that gives him, which is expressed for the comfort of the church. (4.) What tolerable reason can be given for such an accumulation of names unto God in this place? (5.) There is nothing in the least, not any distinctive accent, to separate between “The Prince of Peace” and the expressions foregoing, but the same person is intended by them all; so that it was not Hezekiah, but the mighty God himself, who in the person of the Son was to be incarnate, that is here spoken of. 35. Besides, on what account should Hezekiah so eminently be called “The Prince of Peace,” — µ/lvæArçæ ? Prince is never used in the Scripture with reference unto any thing, but he that is so called hath chief power and authority over that whereof he is the rcæ , “prince,” chief, or captain; as ab;x;Arcæ is the “general,” or chief commander of the army, under whose command and at whose disposal it is. By the Greeks it is rendered a]rcwn , and ajrchgo>v : as the apostle calls our Lord Jesus Christ jArchgoActs 3:15, “The Prince of Life;” and jArchgoav , Hebrews 2:10, “The Prince” (or” Captain”) “of Salvation.” Nor is the word once in the Old Testament applied unto any one but him that had power and authority over that of which he was the rcæ or “prince,” to give, grant, or dispose of it as he thought meet. And in what sense, then, can Hezekiah be called “The Prince of Peace?” Had he the power of peace of any sort in his hand? was he the lord of it? was it at his disposal? The most of his reign he spent in war, first with his neighbors the Philistines, 2 Kings 18:8, and afterwards with the king of Assyria, who took all the cities of Judah, one or two only excepted, verse 13. And in what sense shall he be called “The Prince of Peace?” The rabbins, after their wonted manner to fetch any thing out of a word, whether it be aught to their purpose or no, answer, that it was because of that saying, Isaiah 39:8, “For there shall be peace and truth in my days.” But this being spoken with respect unto the very latter part of his reign, and that only with reference unto the Babylonian captivity, which was afterwards to ensue, is a sorry foundation to entitle him unto this illustrious name, “The Captain, Prince, or Lord of Peace;” which bespeaks one that had all peace (and that in the Scripture language is all that is good or prosperous, both temporal and spiritual, in reference unto God and man) in his power and disposal.

    And yet this is the utmost that any of them pretend to give countenance unto this appellation. 36. Abarbanel, who heaps together the interpretations, conjectures, and traditions, of most that went before him, seems to agree with Kimchi in that of “the government being upon his shoulder,” because his father Ahaz sent hj;n]mi , “a present” unto the king of Assyria, but he did not; whereas it is expressly said that he paid him tribute of “three hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold;” for the raising whereof he emptied his own treasures, and the treasures of the house of God, yea, and cut off the gold from the doors and pillars of the temple, 2 Kings 18:14 — 16: yet he mentions that other fancy of Rashi about the study of the law, and so leaves it. But in this of the name ascribed unto him he would take another course: for finding Hezekiah, in their Talmud. Tract. Sanhed. Perek Chelek, called by his masters, twmç hnmç l[b , “He who had eight names,” — as Sennacherib is also childishly there said to have had, — he would in the first place ascribe all these names unto Hezekiah, giving withal such reasons of them as I dare not be so importune on the reader’s patience as to transcribe; and himself, after he had ascribed this opinion to Jonathan the Targu-mist and Rashi, embraceth the other of Kimchi, before confuted, and yet knows not how to abide by that either. 37. Thirdly, How can it be said of Hezekiah, that “of the increase of his government there should be no end,” seeing he lived but four and fifty years, and reigned but twenty-nine, and his own son Manasseh, who succeeded him, was carried captive into Babylon? But as unto this question, and that which follows, about his “sitting upon the throne of David for ever,” after they have puzzled themselves with the great mystery of “Mem clausum” in hb,r] µæl] , they would have us to suppose that these words concerned only the life of Hezekiah, though it be not possible that any other word should be used more significantly expressing perpetuity. “Of the increase of his government” ÅqeAˆyae , “no end,” — it shall be endless; and he shall rule µlw[Ad[w ht[m , “from hence,” or “now, and unto for ever,” for evermore. And thus, by the vindication of this place from the rabbinical exceptions, we have not only obtained our principal intention about the promise of a Deliverer, but also showed who and what manner of person he was to be, — even a child that was to be born, who should also be the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, whose rule and dominion was to endure for ever. 38. Isaiah 10:27, “The yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” Targum: ajyçm µdq ˆm aymm[ ˆwrbyw ; — “And the people shall be broken before the Messiah.” And, it may be, some respect may be had in these words unto the promised Seed, upon whose account the yoke of the oppressors of the church shall be broken; but the words are variously interpreted, and I shall not contend. 39. Isaiah 11:1, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” Targum: ybrty yhwnb ynbm ajyçmw yçyd yhwnbm aklm qwpyw ; — “And a King shall come forth from the sons of Jesse, and Messiah shall be anointed from the sons of his sons,” — his posterity. Verse 6, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb.” Targum: yhwmwyb a[rab amlç ygsy larçyd ajyçmd ; — “In the days of the Messiah of Israel peace shall be multiplied in the earth, and the wolf shall dwell with the lamb.” That this chapter contains a prophecy of the Messiah and his kingdom, and that immediately and directly, all the Jews confess. Hence is that part of their usual song in the evening of the Sabbath: — ymwq rp[m yr[gtj ym[ °trapt ydgb wçbl ymhljtyb yçy ˆb dy l[ hlag yçpn la hbrq “Shake thyself from dust, arise, My people, clothed in glorious guise; For from Bethlehem Jesse’s Son Brings to my soul redemption.” They call him the “Son of Jesse” from this place; which makes it somewhat observable that some Christians, as Grotius, should apply it unto Hezekiah, Judaizing in their interpretations beyond the Jews. Only the Jews are not well agreed in what sense these words, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,” etc., are to be understood. Some would have it that the nature of the brute beasts shall be changed in the days of the Messiah: but this is rejected by the wisest of them, as Maimonides, Kimchi, Aben Ezra, and others; and these interpret the words °dd lçm allegorically, applying them unto that universal peace which shall be in the world in the days of the Messiah.

    But the peace they fancy is far from answering the words of the prophecy, which express a change in the nature of the worst of men by virtue of the rule and grace of the Messiah. I cannot but add, that Abarbanel, writing his commentaries about the time that the European Christian nations were fighting with the Saxacens for the land of Palestine, or the Holy Land, he interprets the latter end of the tenth chapter to the destruction of them on both sides by God, whereon their Messiah should be revealed, as is promised in this, which he expresseth in the close of his exposition of the first verse of chapter 11: hmjlm qzjt brj µymwx[ µywg hb wlpyw çdqh tmda l[ wla µ[ wla µlw[h twmwa ˆyb hmwx[ ˆydah hgh rma hz l[w wyjab çya ; — “And there shall prevail great war between the nations of the world, one against another, on” (or “for”) “the Holy Land, and strong nations shall fall in it by the sword of one another; and therefore it is said, ‘Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop,’” chapter 10:33. And a little after he adds, jyçmh °lm hlghy hmjlmh htwa °wtm ; — “In the midst of that war shall Messiah the King be revealed.” For those nations he would have had to be Gog and Magog: and in many places doth he express his hopes of the ruin of the Christians by that war; but the issue hath disappointed his hopes and desires. 40. Isaiah 16:1, “Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land.” Targum, larçyd ajyçml ˆysm yqsm ˆwhw ; — “They shall bring their tribute unto the Messiah of Israel.” Observing, as it should seem, that the Moabites, unto whom these words are spoken, were never after this time tributary to Judah, and withal considering the prophecy of verse 5, which he applies also (and that properly) unto the Messiah, the Targumist conceived him to be the lv,/m , or “ruler, here mentioned, unto whom the Moabites axe invited to yield obedience; and I conceive it will not be very easy to fix upon a more genuine sense of the words. So also, verse 5, “Then shall the throne of the Messiah of Israel be prepared in goodness.”

    Doubtless with more truth than those Christians make use of who wrest these words also to Hezekiah! 41. Isaiah 28:5, “In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory.” Targum, twabx yyd ajyçm ; — “The Messiah of the Lord of hosts;” the Lord of hosts in and with the Messiah, who is the crown of glory and diadem of beauty in his kingly office and rule unto the remnant of his people that shall be saved by him. 42. Isaiah 42:1, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect.”

    Targum, ajyçm ydb[ ah ; — “Behold my servant the Messiah.” How much better than the translation of the LXX., jIakwb oJ pai~v mou ¸ ajntilh>yomai aujtou~ , jIsrahv mou , applying the words to the whole people of Israel, whereas they are expressly referred to the Lord Christ, Matthew 12:17,18. And Kimchi on this place, whw ydb[ ˆh jyçm °lm ; — “‘Behold my servant;’ that is, Messiah the King.” And Abarbanel confutes both R. Saadias and Aben Ezra with sharpness, who were otherwise minded. How much better than he of late who interprets these words of Isaiah himself, unto whom not one letter of the prophecy can receive any tolerable accommodation! It is the Messiah, then, by their own confession, who is intended in this prophecy; who is described not on horseback in his harness, as a great warrior, such as they expect him, but as one filled with the Spirit of the Lord, endowed with meekness, suffering opposition and persecution, bringing forth righteousness and truth unto the Gentiles, who shall wait for his law, and receive it, when it is rejected by the Jews, as the event hath manifested. Isaiah 43:10, “My servant whom I have chosen.” Targum, “My servant Messiah, in whom I rest.” 43. Isaiah 52:13, “Behold, my servant shall prosper.” Targum, ajyçm ydb[ jlxy ah ; — “ Behold, my servant the Messiah shall prosper.” In these words begins that prophecy which takes up the remainder of this chapter, and that whole chapter that follows, in the tenth verse whereof there is mention made again of the Messiah. And this is an evidence to me that the Jews, however bold and desperate in corrupting the sense of the Scripture to countenance their infidelity, yet have not dared to intermeddle with the letter itself, no, not in the Targums, which are not so sacred with them as the text; for whereas the application of this prophecy unto the Messiah is perfectly destructive to their whole present persuasion and religion, with all the hopes they have in this world or for another, yet they never durst attempt the corrupting of the Targum, where it is done so plainly, which yet for many generations they had in their own power, scarce any notice being taken of it by any Christians in the world. But concerning this place we must deal with them afterwards at large. 44. Jeremiah 23:5, “I will raise unto David a righteous Branch.” Targum, aqydxd ajyçm dwdl µyqaw ; — “And I will raise up unto David Messiah the righteous’ This is he who in the next verse is called Wnqed]xi h/;hy] , — “Jehovah our righteousness.” The Jews generally agree that it is the Messiah who is here intended; and whereas a late Christian expositor would have Zerubbabel to be designed in these words, Abarbanel himself gives many reasons why it cannot be applied unto any one under the second temple: “For,” saith he, “during that space no one reigned as king of the house of David; nor did Judah and Israel dwell then in safety and security, they being continually oppressed, first by the Persians, then by the Grecians, and lastly by the Romans;” So he, and truly. And I see no reason why one should pervert the promises concerning the Messiah, when they cannot tolerably accommodate them unto any other.

    For the preservation of the name of this “righteous Branch,” Wnqed]xi h/;hy] , “Jehovah our righteousness,” we may bless God for the original; for the old translations are either mistaken, or corrupt, or perverted in this place.

    The Vulgar Latin is the best of them, which reads, “Dominus justus noster,” — “ Our righteous Lord ;” which yet corrupts the sense, and gives us an expression that may be assigned unto any righteous king. The LXX., far worse, Kai< tou~to to< o]noma aujtou~ ¸ o[ kale>sei aujtoriov , jIwsede>k? — “And this is the name that the Lord shall call him, Josedec:” — a corrupt word formed out of the two Hebrew words in the original, signifying nothing, but perverted as it were on purpose to despoil the Messiah of his glorious name, the evidence of his eternal deity.

    Symmachus, Ku>rie , dikai>wson hJma~v , — “ Lord, justify us.” He seems, as one observes, to have read WnqDexi in Pihel; but yet this also obscures the text. The Chaldee, according unto its usual manner when any thing occurs which its author understood not, gives us a gloss of its own sufficiently perverting the sense of the place, µdq ˆm ˆwkz anl ˆrba[ty yhwmwyb yy ; — “Let righteousness come forth to us from before the Lord in his days,” Let them consider this instance, — which is but one of many that may be given, — who are ready to despise the original text, to prefer translations before it, and to cherish suspicions of its being corrupted by the Jews, or of their arbitrary invention of its points or vowels, whereby the sense of the words is fixed and limited. Can there be any clearer acquitment of them in this matter than this certain observation, that every place almost which bears testimony unto any thing concerning the Messiah which is denied by them, is far more clear in the original than in any old translation whatever? And hereof we have an eminent instance in this place, where this name, denoting undeniably the divine nature of the Messiah, is preserved entire only in the original, and that as it is pointed, as some fancy, by some Jewish Masoretes, who lived they know not where nor when. And those amongst ourselves who are ready to give countenance unto such opinions, or to admire the promoters of them, may do well to consider what reflection they cast thereby on that translation which is in use among us by the command of authority; than which there is no one extant in the world that is more religiously observant of the Hebrew text, and that as pointed in their Bibles; nor hath it any regard unto any or all translations, where they differ from the original, as may be seen with especial respect unto that of the LXX., the stream that feeds most of the rest, in above a thousand places. But this by the way.

    One of late hath applied this name unto the people of Israel, and interprets the words, “Deus nobis bene fecit;” — “God hath done well unto us,” But we have had too much of such bold and groundless conjectures about the fundamentals of our faith and worship. The Jews seek to evade this testimony by instances of the application of this name to other things, as the altar built by Moses, the ark, and the city of Jerusalem. But it is one thing to have the name of God called on a place or thing, to bring the occasion of it unto remembrance; another, to say that this is the name of such a person, “Jehovah our righteousness.” And whereas the Holy Ghost says expressly that this is his name, the Jews must give us leave to call him so and to believe him so; which is all we contend for. Of the same importance with this prophecy is that of Ezekiel 37:24. 45. Jeremiah 30:21, “Their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them.” Targum, [ ylgty ˆwhynbm ˆwhyjyçmw ]; — “Their king shall be anointed from amongst them, and their Messiah shall be revealed unto them.” And upon his account it is that God enters into a new covenant with his people, verse 22. Jeremiah 33:13,15, For these words, “Flocks shall pass again under the hands of him that telleth them,” the Targum reads, dw[ ajyçm ydy l[ am[ ˆwhnty hnty ; — “And the people shal1 be yet gathered by the Messiah.”

    And a prophecy of him it is, no doubt, as the 15th verse makes it evident, where all the Jews acknowledge him to be intended by the “Branch of righteousness” which shall spring up unto David; who also is promised in the 6th verse as the “abundance’’ (or “crown”) “of peace and truth.” Yet one of late hath wrested this place also to Zerubbabel. 46. Hosea 3:5, “Seek the LORD their God, and David their king.”

    Targum, ˆwhklm dwd rb ajyçml ˆw[mtçyw ; — “And shall obey the Messiah, the son of David, their King.” The rabbins are divided about this place, some of them acknowledging the Messiah to be intended, others referring the prophecy unto the temple, or house of the sanctuary, built by the son of David; but the words themselves, with the denotation of the time for the accomplishment of this prophecy in the end of the verse, will allow of no application unto any other, and plainly discovers his mistake who would wrest this text also to Zerubbabel. Hosea 14:8. Targum, [ ˆwhjyçm llfb ˆwbty ]; — “They shall sit under the shadow of their Messiah.” See Cant. 2:3. 47. Micah 4:8, “And thou, O tower of the flock,” etc. Targum, atwklm adyt[ °l ˆwyxd atsnk ybwj µdq ˆm rymfd larçyd ajyçm htaw thou, Messiah of Israel, who art hid because of the sins of the congregation of Zion, to thee the kingdom shall come.” This gloss, I confess, draws upon the lees of Talmudical rabbinism; for they fancy that their Messiah was long since born even at the appointed time, but is kept hid, they know not where, because of the sins of Israel. 48. Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Targum, dyb[ ywhml ajyçm qwpy qwpy ymdq °nm larçy l[ ˆflwç ; — “Out of thee shall the Messiah come forth before me, to exercise rule over Israel.” This prophecy was famous among the Jews of old, as designing the place where the Messiah was to be born, which alone is done here; and its signal accomplishment is recorded, Matthew 2:1,5,6; Luke 2:4,6,7. And unto this day they generally acknowledge that it is the Messiah alone who is intended. And yet this consent of all the Jews, ancient and modern, with the application of it unto the true Messiah in the Gospel, manifesting the catholic consent of both churches, Judaical and Christian, about the sense of this place, hinders not one from interpreting this place of Zerubbabel, whose goings forth, as he supposeth, are said to be “of old, from everlasting,” because he came of the ancient kingly house of David: whereas not one word of the prophecy ever had any tolerable appearance of accomplishment in him; for neither was he born at Bethlehem, nor was he the ruler over the Israel of God, — much less had he the least share or interest in those eternal goings forth which are expressed in the close of the verse. The words are an express description of the person of the Messiah; who, though he was to be born in the fullness of time at Bethlehem, yet the existence of his divine nature was “from of old, from everlasting.” And the Jews know not how to evade this testimony. Rashi adds, in the interpretation of the words, only that of Psalm 72:17, çm,ç,Aynep]lie /mç] ˆ/Nyi ; which we have rendered, “His name shall be continued as long as the sun,” — not reaching the sense of the place. çm,ç,Aynep]li is rendered by the Targum, açmç ywhm µdqw , — “And before the sun was;” — an expression of eternity; as Proverbs 8:23. Kimchi and Aben Ezra would have the words respect that long season that was to be between David and the Messiah. “Bethlehem,” saith Kimchi, “that is, David, who was born there.” And, dwd ˆyb dr ˆmz çy jyçmh °lm ˆybw , — “There is a long time between David and the Messiah.” But this gloss is forced, and hath nothing in the words to give countenance unto it. It is the Messiah that is said to be born at Bethlehem, and not David, as shall afterwards be evinced; and wyt;aOx;/m denotes some acts or actings of him that is spoken of, and not his relation unto another not spoken of at all. Neither do these words, µl;/[ ymeymi µd,Q,mi , denote “a long time,” but directly that which is before all times, See Proverbs 8:22. He yet proceeds to answer them who say the Messiah is God from this place, because of this description of him: and he first rejects the Lord Christ from being here intended, as supposing an objection to be made with reference unto him, though he expresses it not; for saith he, µhyl[ çy jbwçt “This is an answer unto them, lba larçyb lç,m al awh yk wb wlçm µh ;” — “ He ruled not over Israel, but they ruled over him;” where it is evident that some sentence written by him is left out of the copies printed among Christians. But, poor, blind, blasphemous wretch! this boast hath cost him and his associates in infidelity full dear. It is true, their progenitors did unto him whatever the counsel of God had determined; but notwithstanding all their rage, he was exalted to the right hand of God, and made a Prince and a Savior, having ruled ever since over the whole Israel of God by his word and Spirit, and over them, his stubborn enemies, with a rod of iron. He adds, that it is false that these words are applicable unto the eternity of God: for saith he, hyh µlw[ ymy µdwq lah , — “God was before the days of everlasting;” as though in the same sense God were not expressly said to be µd,Q,mi , as here, see Habakkuk 1:12, and to be “from everlasting.” And this place is well expounded by Proverbs 8:22,23, as some of the rabbins acknowledge; so that we have in it an eminent testimony given unto the person of the Messiah, as well as unto the place of his nativity, of which we shall treat afterwards. 49. Zechariah 3:8, “For, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch.” Targum, ylgtyw ajyçm ydb[ ty ytym ana ah ; — “Behold, I bring forth my servant the Messiah, who shall be revealed.” This revelation of the Messiah relates unto their apprehension of his being born long since, but to lie hid because of their sins, as was before intimated.

    And in like manner is he three times more mentioned by the Targumist in this prophecy, chapter 4:7, 6:12, 10:4; in all which places he is certainly designed by the Holy Ghost, There are also many of them who acknowledge him to be intended, chapter 9:9, 11:12,13, 12:10, where he is not mentioned in the Targum. I have not insisted on these places, as though they were all the testimonies that to the same purpose might be taken out of the Prophets, seeing they are a very small portion of the predictions concerning the person, grace, and kingdom of the Messiah, and not all those which are most eminent in that kind; hut because they are such as wherein we have either the consent of all the Jews with us in their application, — from whence some advantage may be taken for their conviction, — or we have the suffrage of the more ancient and authentic masters to reprove the perverseness of the modern rabbins withal. 50. And this is He whom we inquire after, — one who was promised from the foundation of the world to relieve mankind from under that state of sin and misery whereinto they were cast by their apostasy from God. This is he who, from the first promise of him, or intimation of relief by him, was the hope, desire, comfort, and expectation of all that aimed at reconciliation and peace with God, — upon whom all their religion, faith, and worship was founded, and in whom it centered; he for whose sake, or for the of whom into the world, Abraham and the Hebrews his posterity were separated to be a peculiar people, distinct from all the nations of the earth; in the faith of whom the whole church in and from the days of Adam, that of the Jews in especial, celebrated its mystical worship, endured persecution and martyrdom, waiting and praying continually for his appearance; he whom all the prophets taught, preached, promised, and raised up the hearts of believers unto a desire and expectation of, describing beforehand his sufferings, with the glory that was to ensue; he of whose coming a catholic tradition was spread over the world, which the old serpent, with all his subtlety, was never able to obliterate.


    APPEARANCES OF THE SON OF GOD UNDER THE OLD TESTAMENT. 1. Ends of the promises and prophecies concerning the Messiah — Other ways of his revelation; of his oblation, by sacrifices; of his divine person, by visions. 2. What meant in the Targums by yyd armym, the Word of God — The expression first used, Genesis 3:8 h/;hy] l/q, what or who — JO Lo>gov Lo>gov ejnupo>statov — Apprehensions of the ancient Jews about the Word of God; of the philosophers — Application of the expression, JO Lo>gov tou~ Qeou~, to the Son, by John — Expressions of Philo — Among the Mohammedans Christ called the Word of God — Intention of the Targumists vindicated. 3. How the Voice walked — Aben Ezra refuted, and R. Jona — The appearance of the second Person unto our first parents. 4. <011801>Genesis 18:1-3 — God’s appearance, µ/Yjæ µjoK] — Suddenness of it. 5. Who appeared. 6. The occasion of it. 7. Reflection of Aben Ezra on some Christian expositors retorted — A trinity of persons not proved from this place — Distinct persons proved — No created angel representing the person of God called JehovahGenesis 19:24, “From the LORD” — Exceptions of Aben Ezra and Jarchi removed — Appearance of the second Person. 8. Genesis 32:24, 26-30. 9. Occasion of this vision. 10. The Person; in appearance a man; 11. In office, an angel, Genesis 48:16; 12, 13. In nature, God, Genesis 32:26,30, Hosea 12:5 qbea;ye, what — Who it was that appeared. 14. <020301>Exodus 3:1-6,14God appeared. 15. Exodus 19:18-20 — -Who gave the law — Not a created angel — The ministry of angels, how used therein. 16, 17. Exodus 23:20-23 — Different angels promised — The Angel of God’s presence, who. 18, 19. Joshua 5:13-15 — Captain of the Lord’s host described. 20. Sense of the ancient church concerning these appearances; 21. Of the Jews. 22. Opinion of Nachmanides. 23. Tanchuma — Talmud — Fiction of the angel rejected by Moses, accepted by Joshua — Sense of it. 24. Metatron, who — Derivation of the name. 1. WE have seen how plentifully God instructed the church of old by his prophets in the knowledge of the person, office, and work of the Messiah.

    And this he did, partly that nothing might be wanting unto the faith and consolation of believers, in a suitableness and proportion unto that condition of light and grace wherein it was his good pleasure to keep them before his actual coming; and partly that his righteous judgments, in the rejection and ruin of those who obstinately refused him, might, from the means of their conviction, be justified and rendered glorious. Neither were these promises and predictions alone the means whereby God would manifest and reveal him into their faith.

    There are two things concerning the Messiah which are the pillars and foundation of the church. The one is his divine nature; and the other , his work of mediation in the atonement for sin, which he was to make by his suffering, or the sacrifice of himself. For the declaration of these unto them who, according unto the promise, looked for his coming, there were two especial ways or means graciously designed of God. The latter of these ways was that worship which he instituted, and the various sacrifices which he appointed to be observed in the church, as types and representations of that one perfect oblation which he was to offer in the fulness of time. The unfolding and particular application of this way of instruction is the principal design and scope of the apostle Paul in his Epistle unto the Hebrew. Whereas, therefore, that must be at large insisted on in our Exposition of that Epistle, I shall not anticipate what is to be spoken concerning it in these previous discourses, which are all intended to be in a subserviency thereunto. The other way, which concerns his divine person, was by those visions and appearances of the Son of God, as the head of the church, which were granted unto the fathers under the old testament. And these, as they are directly suited unto our purpose, in our inquiry after the prognostics of the advent of the Messiah, so are they eminently useful for the conviction of the Jews; for in them we shall manifest that a revelation was made of a distinct person in the Deity, who in a peculiar manner did mange all the concernments of the church after the entrance of sin. And herein, also, according unto our proposed method, we shall inquire what light concerning this truth hath been received by any of the Jewish masters; as also manifest what confusion they are driven unto, when they seek to evade the evidence that is in the testimonies to this purpose. 2. There is frequent mention on the Targumists of yyd armym , “The Word of the Lord;” and it first occurs in them on the first appearance of a divine person after the sin and fall of Adam, Genesis 3:8 The words of the original text are, ˆG;Bæ Ëlehæt]mi µyhiloa’ h/;hy] l/qAta, W[m]v]Ywæ ; — “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden.” The participle Ëlehæt]mi , “walking,” may be as well referred unto l/q , “the voice,” as unto µyhiloa’ h/;hy] , “the LORD God:” “Vocem Domini Dei ambulantem.” And although l/q most commonly signifies lo>gon proforiko>n , or “verbum prolatum,” the outward voice and sound thereof, yet when applied unto God, it frequently denotes lo>gon ejndia>qeton , “his almighty power,” whereby he effecteth whatever he pleaseth. So Psalm 29:3-9, those things are ascribed h/;hy] l/q , to this “voice of the LORD,” which elsewhere are assigned tw~| rJh>mati th~v duna>mewv aujtou~ , Hebrews 1:3, to “the word of his power;” which the Syriac renders by “the power of his word,” intending the same thing.

    Now, all these mighty works of creation or providence, which are assigned h/;hy] l/ql] , to this “voice of the LORD,” or tw~| rJh>mati th~v duna>mewv , to “the word of his power,” or “his powerful word,” are immediately wrought per Lo>gon oujsiw>dh or ejnupo>staton , — by the essential Word of God, John 1:3, Colossians 1:16; which was with God “in the beginning,” or at the creation of all things, John 1:1,2, as his eternal wisdom, Proverbs 8:22-26, and power. This expression, therefore, of h/;hy] l/q may also denote tomon tou~ Qeou~ , kat j ejxoch>n , the Word of God that is God, the essential Word of God, the person of the Son: for here our first parents heard this “Word walking in the garden” before they heard the outward sound of any voice or words whatever; for God spake not unto them until after this: Genesis 3:9, “The LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him.”

    And this change of the appearance of God some of the Jews take notice of.

    So the author of Tseror Hammor, Sect. Bereshith: w[mç ala whwar al wafjç wyçk[w µm[ rbdm h dwbk µyawr wyh afjh µrwq ˆnb °lhtm wlwq ; — “Before they sinned they saw the glory of the blessed God speaking with them; but after their sin they only heard his voice walking.” God dealt now otherwise with them than he did before. And the Chaldee paraphrast, observing that some especial presence of God is expressed in the words, renders them, lqAty w[mçw atngb °lhtm µyhla yyd armym ; — “And they heard the voice of the Word of the Lord God walking in the garden.” So all the Targums; and that of Jerusalem begins the next verse accordingly, µdangb °lhtm µyhla yyd armym ; — “And the Word of the Lord God called unto Adam.” And this expression they afterwards make use of in places innumerable, and that in such a way as plainly to denote a distinct person in the Deity. That this also was their intendment in it is hence manifest, because about the time of the writing of the first of those Targums, which gave “normam loquendi,” the rule of speaking unto them that followed, it was usual amongst them to express their conceptions of the Son of God by the name of oJ Lo>mog tou~ Qeou~ , or “the Word of God,” the same with yyd armym .

    So doth Philo express their sense, De Confusione Linguarum:

    Ka\n mhde>pw me>ntoi tugca>nh ticrewv w\n uiJoesqai , spou>daze kosmei~sqai kata< togonon aujtou~ lo>gon , totaton wJv ajrca>ggelon poluw>numon uJpa>rconta? kai< gagov , kai< oJ kat j eijko>na a]nqrwpov , kai< oJrw~n jIsrahetai? — “If any be not yet worthy to be called the son of God, yet endeavor thou to be conformed unto his first-begotten Word, the most ancient angel, the archangel with many names; for he is called the Beginning, the Name of God, the Man according to the image of God, the Seer of Israel.” How suitably these things are spoken unto the mysteries revealed in the Gospel shall elsewhere be declared. Here I only observe how he calls that Angel which appeared unto the fathers, and that sometimes in human shape, the Word, “The first-begotten Word.” And he expressed himself again to the same purpose:

    Kai< gapw iJkanoi< Qeou~ pai~dev nomi>zesqai gego>namen , ajlla> toi th~v aji`di>ou eijko>nov aujtou~ , Lo>gou tou~ iJerwta>tou , Qeou~ gagov oJ presbu>tatov —”For if we are not yet meet to be called the sons of God, let us be so of his eternal image, the most sacred Word; for that most ancient Word is the image of God.” How these things answer the discourses of our apostle about Jesus Christ, Colossians 1:15-18, Hebrews 1:3, is easily discerned. And this conception of theirs was so far approved by the Holy Ghost, as suitable unto the mind of God, that John in the beginning of his Gospel, declaring the eternal deity of Christ, doth it under this name of oJ Lo>gov , “the Word,” that is, yyd rmym , “the Word of God:” “The Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John 1:1. For as he alludeth therein to the story of the first creation, wherein God is described as making all things by his word; for he said of every thing, “Let it be,” and it was made; (as the psalmist expressed it, “He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast,” Psalm 33:9: which he fully declares, verse 6, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth:” in answer whereunto John teacheth that all things were made by this Word of God whereof he speaks, chap. 1:3: which in the Chaldee is elsewhere also assigned unto this Word, where mention is not made of it in the original, as Isaiah 45:12, and chap. 48:13; whence it is in like manner expressed by Peter, 2 Peter 3:5;) — so he might have respect unto that ascription of the work of the redemption of the church to this Word of the Lord which was admitted in the church of the Jews. That place, amongst others, is express to this purpose, Hosea 1:7, where the words of the prophet, “I will save them by the LORD their God,” are rendered by the Targumist, ˆwhhla yyd armymb ˆwnqrpaw ; — “ I will save” (or “redeem”) “them by the Word of the Lord their God ;” the Word, the Redeemer. And it is not unworthy of consideration, that as the wisest and most contemplative of the philosophers of old had many notions about oJ Lo>gov aji`diov , “the eternal Word,” which was unto them du>namis th~v o[lhv kti>sewv poihtikh> , “the formative or creative power of the universe,” — to which purpose many sayings have been observed, and might be reported, out of Plato, with his followers, Amelius, Chalcidius, Proclus, Plotinus, and others; whose expressions are imitated by our own writers, as Justin Martyr, Clemens, Athenagoras, Tatian, and many more; — so among the Mohammedans themselves this is the name that in their Koran they give unto Jesus, hmlk hlla , — “The Word of God.” So prevalent hath this notion of the Son of God been in the world. And as these words, Ezekiel 1:24, “I heard the voice of their wings, yDævæAl/qK] ,” “as the voice of the Almighty,” are rendered by the Targumist, ydç µdq ˆym alqk , “as the voice from the face of the Almighty,” — which what it is shall be afterwards shown, — so some copies of the LXX. render them by fwnhgou , “the voice of the Word,” that is, of God, who was represented in that vision, as shall be manifested.

    Some would put another sense on that expression of the Targumists, as though it intended nothing but God himself. And instances of the use of it in that sense have been observed: as, Ecclesiastes 8:17, “If a wise man say hlm ymb ,” “in his word,” — that is, say in himself; Genesis 6:6, “It repented the Lord hlm ymb ,” “in his word.” Also, Ruth 3:8 is urged to give countenance unto this suspicion: “As did Phaltiel the son of Laish, who placed his sword lwaç tb lkym ˆybw yrmym ˆyb ,” “between his word and Michal the daughter of Saul, the wife of David.”

    But, — (1.) The former places use not the word rmym , which is peculiar unto the sense contended for; (2.) The Targums on the Hagiographa are a late post-Talmudical endeavor, made in imitation of those of Onkelos and Ben Uzziel, when the Jews had lost both all sense of their old traditions and use of the Chaldee language, any other than what they learned from those former paraphrases. Nothing, therefore, can hence be concluded as to the intention of the Targumists in these words. And they can have no other sense in that of <19B001> Psalm 110:1, yy rma hyrmymb ; — “The LORD said in” (or “to”) “his Word ;” for, “to my Lord,” as in the original. 3. The Jews discern that Ëlehæt]mi , “walking,” relates in this place immediately to l/q , “the voice,” and not unto µyhiOla’ h/;hy] , “the LORD God ;” and therefore endeavor to render a reason for that kind of expression. So Aben Ezra on the place giveth instances where a voice or sound in its progress is said to walk: as Exodus 19:19, qzeh;w] Ë/h rp;Vohæ l/q ; — “The voice of the trumpet went and waxed strong;” and Jeremiah 46:22, Ëleye vj;N;Kæ hl;/q ; — “The voice thereof shall go like a serpent.” But these examples reach not that under consideration; for although Ëlæh; may sometimes express the progression or increase of a voice, yet it doth not so but where it is intimated to be begun before. But here was nothing spoken by God until after that Adam had heard this Word of God walking. And therefore R. Jona, cited by Aben Ezra, would apply Ëlehæt]mi , “walking,” unto Adam, — he heard the voice of God as he was himself walking in the garden; the absurdity of which fiction the words of the text and context sufficiently evince, for not Ëlehæt]mi , but µykiL]hæt]mi , would answer unto W[m]v]yi in the beginning of the verse. It is therefore most probable, that, in the great alteration which was now coming upon the whole creation of God, — mankind being to be cast out of covenant, the serpent and the earth being to be cursed, and a way of recovery for the elect of God to be revealed, — He by whom all things were made, and by whom all were to be renewed that were to be brought again unto God, did in an especial and glorious manner appear unto our first parents, as he in whom this whole dispensation centred, and unto whom it was committed. And as, after the promise given, he appeared ejn morfh~~| ajnqrwpi>nh| , “in a human shape,” to instruct the church in the mystery of his future incarnation, and under the name of Angel, to shadow out his office as sent unto it and employed in it by the Father; so here, before the promise, he discovered his distinct glorious person, as the eternal Voice or Word of the Father. 4. Genesis 18:1-3, “And the LORD appeared unto him” (Abraham) “in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, and said, My Lord, if now I have now found favor in thy sight,” etc. The Jews, in Bereshith Ketanna, say that this appearance of God unto Abraham was three days after his circumcision; from the sore whereof, being not recovered, he sat in the door of his tent; and that God came to visit him in his sickness But the reason of his sitting in the door of the tent is given in the text, namely, because it was µ/Yhæ µjoK] , — “as in” (or “about”) “the heat of the day,” as the day grew hot; in an opposition unto the time of God’s appearance unto Adam, which was µ/yhæ jæWrl] , — “in the cool air of the day.” For as, when God comes to curse, nothing shall refresh the creature, though in its own nature suited thereunto, — it shall wither in the cool of the day; so when he comes to bless, nothing shall hinder the influence of it upon his creatures, however any thing in itself may, like the heat of the day, be troublesome or perplexing. 5. “He lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him” The title is, h/;hy] wyl;ae ar;yæwæ , — “The LORD appeared unto him;” and the narrative is, “Lo, three men stood by him;” the LORD, therefore, was amongst them. And it seems to be a sudden appearance that was made to him; he saw them on a sudden standing by him; he looked up and saw them: and this satisfied him that it was a heavenly apparition. 6. The business of God with Abraham at this time, was to renew unto him the promise of the blessing Seed, and to confine it unto his posterity by Sarah, now when he was utterly hopeless thereof, and began to desire that Ishmael might be the heir thereof. Unto this signal work of mercy was adjoined the intimation of an eminent effect of vindictive justice, wherein God would set forth an example of it unto all ensuing generations, in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And both these were the proper works of him on whom the care of the church was in an especial manner incumbent, — all whose blessedness depended on that promise, — and to whom the rule of the world, the present and future judgment thereof, is committed; that is, the person of the Son. And hence, in the overthrow of those cities, he who is to be their judge is said to set forth an ensample of his future dealing with ungodly men, 2 Peter 2:6. 7. Aben Ezra reflects with scorn on the Christians who from this place, because three men are said to appear unto Abraham, and he calls them, “My Lord,” would prove the tri-personality of the Deity: wdrpty alw n awhw dja awh µyçna g µçh yk wrma txq hnh ; — “Because of the appearance of three men, God is three, and he is one, and they are not separated or divided.” How then doth he answer what they say? hmwds µykalmh ynç wabyw wjkç jnjw ; — “Behold, they forget that there came two angels unto Sodom;” that is, that two of those who appeared were angels, and no more. But if any Christians have taken these three persons to have been the three persons of the Trinity, it were an easy thing to outbalance their mistake with instances of his own and companions pernicious curiosities and errors. It is true, a trinity of persons in the Deity cannot be proved from this place, seeing one of them is expressly called Jehovah, and the other two, in distinction from him, are said to be angels; so, and no more, Genesis 19:1. But yet a distinction of persons in the Deity, although not the precise number of them, is hence demonstrable, for it is evident that he of the three that spake unto Abraham, and to whom he made his supplication for the sparing of Sodom, was Jehovah, “the Judge of all the earth,” chap. 18:22-33; and yet all the three were sent upon the work, that one being the Prince and Head of the embassy; as he who is Jehovah is said to be sent by Jehovah, Zechariah 2:8,9. Neither is there any ground for the late exposition of this and the like places, namely, that a created angel representing the person of God doth both speak and act in his name, and is called Jehovah; an invention to evade the appearances of the Son of God under the old testament, contrary to the sense of all antiquity, nor is any reason or instance produced to make it good. The Jews, indeed, say that they were three angels, because of the threefold work they were employed in; for they say, “No more than one angel is at any time sent about the same work.” So one of these was to renew the promise unto Abraham; another, to deliver Lot; and the third, to destroy Sodom. But besides that this is a rule of their own making, and evidently false, as maybe seen, Genesis 32:1,2; 2 Kings 6:17; so in the story itself it is manifest that they were all employed in the same work, — one as Lord and Prince, the other two as his ministering servants.

    And this is further cleared in that expression of Moses, Genesis 19:24, “The LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven.” Targum, yyd µdqm , “from before the Lord,” or “the face of the Lord.” Aben Ezra answers, twjx ˆwçl wtam µ[fhw , — that this is the elegancy of the tongue, and the sense of it is, “from himself;” and this gloss some of our late critics embrace. And there are instances collected by Solomon Jarchi to confirm this sense, — namely, the words of Lamech, Genesis 4:23, “Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech,” not “my wives;” and of David, 1 Kings 1:33, “Take with you the servants of your lord,” not “my servants;” and of Ahasuerus unto Mordecai, Esther 8:8, “Write ye for the Jews in the king’s name,” not “in my name.” But the difference of these from the words under consideration is wide and evident. In all these places the persons are introduced speaking of themselves, and describe themselves either by their names or offices, suitably unto the occasion and subject spoken of: but in this place it is Moses that speaketh of the Lord, and he had no occasion to repeat h/;hy] taeme , were it not to intimate the distinct persons unto whom that name, denoting the nature and Self-existence of God, was proper; one whereof then appeared on the earth, the other manifesting his glorious presence in heaven. Wherefore Rashi, observing somewhat more in this expression, contents not himself with his supposed parallel places; but adds, that the ˆyd tyb is to be understood, and gives this as a rule, wnyd tybw awh yyw kç µwqm lk , — “Every place where it is said, h/;hywæ , ‘And the LORD,’ he and his house of judgment are intended”! as if God had a sanhedrim in heaven, — a fancy which they have invented to avoid the expressions which testify unto a plurality of persons in the Deity.

    There is therefore in this place an appearance of God in a human shape, and that of one distinct person in the Godhead, who now represented himself unto Abraham in the form and shape wherein he would dwell amongst men, when of his seed he would be “made flesh.” This was one signal means whereby Abraham saw his day and rejoiced; which himself lays upon his pre-existence unto his incarnation, and not upon the promise of his coming, John 8:56,58. A solemn preludium it was unto his taking of flesh, a revelation of his divine nature and person, and a pledge of his coming in human nature to converse with men. 8. Genesis 32:24, 26-30, “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the ascending of the morning. And he said, Let me go, for the day ascendeth. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore dost thou ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” This story is twice reflected upon in the Scripture afterwards: once by Jacob himself, Genesis 48:15,16, “And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads;” and once by the prophet Hosea, chap. 12:3-5, “By his strength he had power with God: yea, he had power over the Angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Beth-el, and there he spake with us; even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is his memorial.

    In the first place he is called a “man:” “There wrestled a man,” Genesis 32:24. In the second, Jacob calls him an “Angel:” “The Angel which redeemed me,” chap. 48:16. And in the third, he is expressly said to be “God, the LORD God of hosts,” Hosea 12:3,5. 9. Jacob was now passing with his whole family into the land of Canaan, to take seizure of it, by virtue of the promise, on the behalf of his posterity. At the very entrance of it he is met by his greatest adversary, with whom he had a severe contest about the promise and the inheritance itself. This was his brother Esau, who coming against him with a power which he was no way able to withstand, he feared that he would utterly destroy both his person and his posterity, Genesis 32:11. In the promise about which their contest was, the blessed Seed, with the whole church-state and worship of the old testament, was included; so that it was the greatest controversy, and had the greatest weight depending on it, of any that ever was amongst the sons of men. Wherefore, to settle Jacob’s right, to preserve him with his title and interest, he who was principally concerned in the whole matter doth here appear unto him; some especial particulars of which manifestation of himself may be remarked. 10. First, He appeared in the form of “a man:” /F[i vyai qbea;ye ; — “A man wrestled with him.” A man he is called from his shape and his actions.

    He “wrestled,” qbea;ye ; that is, saith R. Menachem in Rashi, rp[ty , “he dusted.” This, saith he, is the sense of qb;a; ; for µylnrb rp[ µyl[m wyhç , — “they stirred up the dust with their feet,” as men do in earnest wrestling; or, as himself would have it, in allusion to another word, to signify “the closing with their arms,” to cast one another down, as is the manner of wrestlers. A great contention is denoted, and an appearance in the form of a man, further manifested by his “touching the hollow of Jacob’s thigh.” 11. Secondly, He is called an “Angel” by Jacob himself: Genesis 48:16, “The Angel that redeemed me.” This was the greatest danger that ever Jacob was in, and this he remembers in his blessing of Joseph’s children, praying that they may have the presence of this Angel with them, who preserved him all his life, and delivered him from that imminent danger from his brother Esau. And he calls him, laeGohæ Ëa;l]Mæhæ , — “The Angel the Redeemer ;” which is the name of the promised Messiah, as the Jews grant, Isaiah 59:20, lae/G ˆ/yxil] ab;W, — “And the Goel” (the “Redeemer”) “shall come to Zion.” And he is expressly called “The Angel,” Hosea 12:4. 12. Thirdly, This man in appearance, this angel in office, was in name and nature God over all, blessed for ever: for, in the first place, Jacob prays solemnly unto him for his blessing, Genesis 32:26, and refuses to let him go, or to cease his supplications, until he had blessed him. He doth so, he blesseth him, and giveth him a double pledge or token of it, in the touch of his thigh and change of his name; giving him a name to denote his prevalency with God, — that is, with himself. And from hence Jacob concludes that he had “seen God,” and calls the name of the place, “The face of God.” In the second place, Genesis 48:16, besides that he invocates this Angel, for his presence with and blessing on the children of Joseph, — which cannot regard any but God himself without gross idolatry, — it is evident that “the Angel which redeemed him,” verse 16, is the same with “the God which fed him,” that is, the God of his fathers.

    And this is yet more evident in the prophet: for with regard unto this story of his power over the Angel, he says, “He had power with God ;” and proves it, because “he had power over the Angel, and prevailed.” And he shows whereby he thus prevailed: it was by “weeping and making supplication unto him;” which he neither did nor lawfully might do unto a created angel. And therefore some of the Jews apply these words, “He wept and made supplication,” unto the Angel’s desire to Jacob to let him go! — foolishly enough; and yet are they therein followed by some late critics, who too often please themselves in their curiosities. Again, this Angel was he whom he found, or “who found him, in Bethel;” an account whereof we have, Genesis 28:10-22, and <013501> 35:1. Now, this was no other but he unto whom Jacob made his vow, and entered into solemn covenant withal that he should be his God. And therefore the prophet adds expressly in the last place, Hosea 12:5, that it was “the LORD God of hosts” whom he intended. 13. From what hath been spoken, it is evident that he who appeared unto Jacob, with whom he earnestly wrestled, by tears and supplications, was God; and because he was sent as the angel of God, it must be some distinct person in the Deity condescending unto that office; and appearing in the form of a man, he represented his future assumption of our human nature.

    And by all this did God instruct the church in the mystery of the person of the Messiah, and who it was that they were to look for in the blessing of the promised Seed. 14. Exodus 3:1-6, “And Moses came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. And the Angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.”

    And herein also have we expressed another glorious appearance of the Son of God. He who is here revealed is called “Jehovah,” verse 4; and he affirms of himself that he is “the God of Abraham,” verse 6; who also describes himself by the glorious name of “I AM THAT I AM,” verse 14; in whose name and authority Moses dealt with Pharaoh in the deliverance of the people, and whom they were to serve on that mountain upon their coming out of Egypt; he whose ˆ/xr; , or “merciful good-will,” Moses prays for, Deuteronomy 33:16. And yet he is expressly called an “Angel,” Exodus 3:2, — namely, the Angel of the covenant, the great Angel of the presence of God, in whom was the name and nature of God.

    And he thus appeared that the church might know and consider who it was that was to work out their spiritual and eternal salvation, whereof that deliverance which then he would effect was a type and pledge. Aben Ezra would have the Angel mentioned verse 2, to be another from him who is called “God,” verse 6: but the text will not give countenance unto any such distinction, but speaks of one and the same person throughout, without any alteration; and this was no other but the Son of God. 15. Exodus 19:18-20, “And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount.”

    The Jews well interpret these words concerning the descent of God, to be by way of the manifestation of his glory, not change of place. And hence Aben Ezra interprets that expression, chap. 20:22, “Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.” God was still in heaven when his glory was on the mount. Yet these words, µyimæV;hæAˆmi , do rather refer to his descent, before described, than denote the place where he spake; for in giving the law, God “spake on earth,” Hebrews 12:25. That God, in this glorious manifestation of his presence on mount Sinai, made use of the ministry of angels, both the nature of the thing declares, and the Scripture testifies, Psalm 68:17. The voices, fire, trembling of the mountain, smoke, and noise of the trumpet, were all effected by them; and so also was the forming of the words of the law conveyed unto the ears of Moses and the people. Hence the law is not only said to be received by them eijv diatagalwn , Acts 7:53, — “by the disposition” or orderly ministries “of angels;” and to be disposed by them into the hand of Moses, Galatians 3:19; but is also called oJ di j ajgge>lwn lalhqeigov, Hebrews 2:2, — “the word spoken” (or “pronounced”) “by angels,” that is, outwardly and audibly. As to him that presided and ruled the whole action, some Christians think it was a created angel , representing God, and speaking in his name. But if this be so, we have no certainty of any thing that is affirmed in the Scripture, that it may be referred directly and immediately unto God, but we may, when we please, substitute a delegated angel in his room; for in no place, not [even] in that concerning the creation of the world, is God himself more expressly spoken of. Besides, the psalmist in the place mentioned affirms, that when those chariots of God were on mount Sinai, Jehovah himself was in the midst of them. And this presence of God the Hebrews call dwbkh , and hnykç , and rqy ; whereby they now understand a majestatical and sanctifying presence; indeed, it intends him who is the “brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his person,” who was delegated unto this work as the great Angel of the covenant, giving the law “in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.” 16. Exodus 23:20-22, “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.”

    The Angel here promised is he that went in the midst of the people in the wilderness, whose glory appeared and was manifested among them. And, moreover, another angel is promised unto them, verse 23, “For mine angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites,” etc., “and I will cut them off.” It is a ministering angel, to execute the judgments and vengeance of God upon the enemies of his people. And that this angel of verse 23 is another from that of verse 20 appears from chap. 33:2, 3, compared with verses 13-16 of the same chapter. Verse 2, “I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite,” etc.; which is the promise and the angel of chap. 23:23. But saith he, chap. 33:3, “I will not go up in the midst of thee;” which he had promised to do in and by the Angel of chap. 23:20, 21, in whom his name was. This the people esteemed evil tidings, and mourned because of it, chap. 33:4.

    Now, God had not promised to go in the midst of them any otherwise than by the Angel mentioned; which both Moses and the people were abundantly satisfied withal. But whereas he here renews his promise of the ministry and assistance of the angel of chap. 23:23, yet he denies them his own presence in the Angel of verse 20, for which Moses reneweth his request, chap. 33:13; whereunto God replies, “My presence shall go with thee,” verse 14: concerning which presence or face of God, or which Angel of his presence, we must a little more particularly inquire. 17. (1.) It is said to the people concerning him, wyn;P;mi rm,V;hi , “Beware of him,” or rather, “Take heed to thyself before him,” — before his face, in his presence, chap. 23:21. rmæç; in Niphal is, “Sibi cavit,” “Cave tibi.”

    And this is the caution that is usually given the people, requiring that reverence and awe which is due unto the holiness of the presence of God. (2.) /l/qB] [mæv]W; — “And obey his voice.” This is the great precept which is solemnly given and so often reiterated in the law with reference unto God himself. (3.) wB rMeTæAlaæ ; — “Provoke him not;” or, “Rebel not against him.” This is the usual word whereby God expresseth the transgression of his covenant, — a rebellion that can be committed against God alone. (4.) Of these precepts a twofold reason is given; whereof the first is taken from the sovereign authority of this Angel: “For he will not pardon your transgressions;” that is, as Joshua afterwards tells the same people, “He is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins,” Joshua 24:19, — namely, sins of rebellion, that break and disannul his covenant. And “who can forgive sins but God?” To suppose here a created angel, is to open a door unto idolatry; for he in whose power it is absolutely to pardon and punish sin, may certainly be worshipped with religious adoration. The second reason is taken from his name: “For my name is in him,” — “a more excellent name” than any of the angels do enjoy, Hebrews 1:4. He is God, Jehovah, that is his name; and his nature answereth thereunto. Hence, Exodus 23:22, it is added, “If thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak.” His voice is the voice of God, — in his speaking doth God speak; and upon the people’s obedience thereunto depends the accomplishment of the promise. Moreover, chap. 33:14, God says concerning this Angel, ynæP; , “My presence (my face) shall go with thee:” which presence Moses calls his “glory,” verse 18, his essential glory; which was manifested unto him, chap. 34:6, though but obscurely in comparison of what it was unto them who, in his human nature, wherein “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” Colossians 2:9, “beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father,” John 1:14. For this face of God is he whom whoso seeth he seeth the Father, John 14:9; because he is “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,” Hebrews 1:3; who accompanied the people in the wilderness, 1 Corinthians 10:4; and whose merciful good pleasure towards them Moses prayed for, Deuteronomy 33:16; — that is, “the Father of lights, from whom cometh down every good and every perfect gift,” J