« ForrigeFortsæt »
corrupt, or perverted.* Chap. xxx, 21; Targ. "Their ❝king shall be anointed from amongst them; and their "Messiah shall be revealed unto them." Chap. xxiii, 13-15; Targ. "And the people shall be yet gather"ed 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 to David. Hos. iii, 5; Targ. "And shall obey the Messiah, "the son of David, their king." Chap. xiv, 8; Targ. "They shall sit under the shadow of the Messiah." Micah iv, 8; Targ. "And 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. Chap. v, 2; Targ. "Out of thee shall the Messiah come forth be"fore me to exercise rule over Israel." Zech. iii, 8; Targ. "Behold I bring forth my servant the Messiah, "who shall be revealed."
$23. I have not insisted on these places, as if they were all the testimonies to the same purpose that 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 eminent in that kind; but because that they are such as wherein we have either the con
*The Jews endeavor to evade the testimony, by producing instances of the application of this name to other things; as the altar built by Moses, the arch, 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 to remembrance, but another to say, that this is the name of such a person, "Jehovah our right"eousness."
sent of all the Jews with us in their application, or we have the suffrage of the more ancient and authentic masters to reprove the perverseness of the modern rabbins.
And this is he whom we inquire after. One who was promised from the foundation of the world to relieve mankind from under the state of sin and misery whereunto 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 bringing 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 from the days of Adam, that of the Jews especially, celebrated its mystical worship, endured persecution and martyrdom, waiting and praying continually for his appearance. He whom all the prophets preached and promised; describing before-hand 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 subtilty, was never able to obliterate.
APPEARANCES OF THE SON OF GOD UNDER THE OLD TESTA MENT.
§1. Ends of the promises and prophecies concerning the Messiah. Other ways of revealing him. §2. What meant in the Targums by the word of God. §3-8. Various appearances of the Son of God to the patriarchs. §9. Apprehensions of the Jewish masters on this subject.
§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; which he did, partly, that nothing might be wanting to the faith and consolation of believers, and partly that his righteous judgments in the rejection and ruin of those who obstinately refused him, might be justified and rendered glorious. Nor were these promises and predictions alone the means whereby God would manifest him to their faith. For,
There are two things concerning the Messiah, which are the pillars and foundation of the church; his Divine nature; and his work of mediation in the atonement for sin which he was to make by the sacrifice of himself. For the declaration of these, to them who according to the promise looked for his coming, there were two special means graciously designed of God. The one, which referred to his atonement, was his instituted worship, 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 other way, which concerns his Divine person, was by these visions and appearances of the Son of God as the head of the church, granted to the fathers. In our inquiry after the prognostics of the Messiah's advent, we shall manifest, that a revelation was made of a distinct person in the Deity, who in a peculiar manner managed all the concernments of the church after the entrance of sin.
§2. There is frequent mention in the Targumists of (17 x700) “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 man, Gen. iii, 8. The text is; “And they heard the voice ( the word) of the Lord "God, (D) walking in the garden." The participle "walking," may be as well referred to the "voice," as to the Lord God; (vocem domini Dei ambulantem.) And although the word (p) which we render “voice,” most commonly signifies (λoyov πроPоpinov, verbum prolatum,) the outward voice, and sound thereof, yet, when applied to God, it frequently denotes his (λoyov Evdiablov) internal word, his almighty power, whereby he effecteth whatever he pleaseth. This expression therefore may also denote (τον λογον τε Θες, κατ' εξοχήν) "the word of God," i. e. God himself, his essential word, the person of the Son; for our first parents heard this "Word walking in the garden," before they heard the outward sound of any voice whatever, Gen. iii, 9. The Chaldee paraphrast observing that some special presence of God is expressed in the words, renders them, “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: "And (D) the word of the Lord God "called to Adam." And the expression they afterwards make use of in places innumerable, and in such
a way as plainly to denote a distinct person in the Deity.*
The Jews discern that "walking" in this place relates immediately to the voice, and not to the Lord God, and therefore endeavor to evade the force of it, but to no tolerable purpose.
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, that he, "by whom all things were made;" and by whom all to be brought again to God were to be renewed, did, in an especial and glorious manner, appear to our first parents, as he in whom this whole dispensation centered, and to whom it was committed. And as after the promise given he appeared (εν μορφη ανθρωπινη) in an 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.
Vid. Philon. De Confusione Linguarum. That place Hos. i, 7; among others, is express to this purpose, where the words of the prophet are thus rendered by the Targumist; "I will save "(or redeem) them (D) by the word of the Lord their "God." And it is not unworthy consideration, that the wisest and most contemplative of the philosophers of old had many notions about (o hoyos aidios) the eternal word, which was with them, (δύναμις της όλης κλίσεως ποιητικη) the creative flower of the universe; to which purpose many sayings might be observed out of Plato, Chalcidius, Proclus, Plotinus, and others, whose expressions are imitated by our own writers, Justin Martyr, Clemens, Anthanagoras, Tatianus, and many more. And indeed the same may be
observed of the Mahometans themselves; for this is the name they give to Jesus in their Alcoran (b) the Word of God. So prevalent hath this notion of the Son of God been in the world.