Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

And the only safe rule of ascribing a figurative sense to any exa pression in the Scripture, is when

the nature of things will not bear that which is proper ; as where the Lord Christ calls himself a door and a vine, and says that bread is his body. But to make allegories of such discourses as this, founded in the fiction of persons, is a ready way to turn the whole Bible into an allegory, which may be done with as much ease and probability of truth. He farther objects :

Quod secundo loco contendunt, hic nihil figurate, sed omnia proprie dici, nimis absurdum est. Nam etiamsi daremus hic sapientiam esse Personam quandam, quam ipsi doyos appellant ; tamen certum esset illum tempore Solomonis in plateis non clamassé, nec cum hominibus hilariter conversatum esse, nec domum ædificassé, excidisse septem columnas, victimas obtulisse, miscuisse vinum, et cætera qute hic recitantur proprie fecisse. Alias debuerunt fateri, Christum ab æterno fuisse incarnatum, quando quidem actiones proprie non possunt nisi homini jam nato competeré. Itaque et impudentis et indocti est negare hanc orationem Solomonis esse figuratam.

He does not tell us who they are, who say that no expressions in this discourse are figurative. Neither doth this follow upon a denial, that the whole is founded in the fiction of a person. For a true and real person may speak things figuratively; and sometimes it is necessary that he should do so. These men will not deny God to be a Person, nor yet that he often speaketh of himself and of his works figuratively. The same doth Wisdom also here, in the declaration of some of his works. But that which animates this objection, is a false supposition, that the eternal Word cannot be said to do or to effect any thing, but what he doth immediately in his own Person, and that as incarnate. What God doth by the ministry of others, that He also doth himself. When He gave the law by the ministry of angels, He gave the law himself; and when He speaks by the prophets, He is

every where said to speak himself. That therefore which was done in the days of Solomon, by the command, appointment, authority and assistance of Wisdom, was done then by Wisdom itself. And so all things here ascribed unto it, some properly, some figuratively, were done by the Word in the means by him appointed. In the ministry of the priests, levites, prophets, teachers of the law, inviting all sorts of persons to the fear of the Lord, he performed the most of them. And the remainder of the things intended, he effected in his ordinancès, and by the institutions of divine worship. Besides, there is a prophetical scheme in these words. There is here declared, not only what Wisdom then did, but especially what it should do, namely, in the days of the gospel. For the manner of the prophets is, to express things future as present or past, because of the certainty of their accomplishment. And these things

they spake of the coming of Christ in the flesh. See 1 Pet. i. 11, 12. ch. ii. 15.

But utterly to remove this pretence of prosopopæias and figures, it is necessary only to observe that which none will deny, namely, that the Wisdom that speaks here, ch. viii. is the same that speaks, ch. i. from ver. 20. to the end. And if Wisdom there be not a Person, and that a divine Person, there is none in heaven. For to whom or to what else can those words be ascribed, which Wisdom speaks, ver. 23—27. “ Turn you at my reproof: behold I will pour out my Spirit upon you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man regard. ed; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I will also laugh at your calamity, I will mock when

your fear cometh. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer : they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me." If these things express not a Person, and that a divine Person, the Scripture gives us no due apprehension of any thing whatever. Who is it that pours out the Holy Spirit? Who is it that men sin against in refusing to be obedient? Who is it that in their distress they call upon,

and seek early in their trouble? The whole Scripture declares to whom, and to whom alone, these things belong, and may be ascribed.

After introducing some things nothing to the purpose, makes three objections more to this testimony, to the eternal personal existence of this Wisdom. As,

Præterea hæc Sapientia de qua agit Solomon, loquitur, docet, instituit homines. Af Jesus Christus postremis tantum diebus, teste Apostolo ad Heb. i. locutus est hominibus ; ergo non ætate Solomonis.

The apostle says not that Jesus Christ spake only in the latter days, Heb. i.' but that “God in the last days spake unto us in his Son." And the immediate speaking to us by the Son in the last days, as he was incarnate, hinders not but that he spake before by his Spirit in the prophets, as the apostle affirms him to have done, i Pet. i. 11. And by this Spirit did he speak, that is, teach and instruct men in the days of Solomon, and from the foundation of the world, 1 Pet. iii. 18-20.

Denique Prophetia illa, Isa. xlii. 2. Ecce servus meus quem elegi, non clamabit, neque audiet aliquis in plateis vocem ejus, applicatur Christo, Matt. xii. 28. At hæc Sapientia dicitur clamasse in plateis. Itaque falsum est hanc Sapientiam Solomonis fuisse Jesum Christum.

A man of gravity and learning ought to have been ashamed of such a puerile cavil

. The prophet Isaiah, setting out the meekness and peaceableness of the Lord Christ in the discharge of his office, with his tenderness and condescension towards the

he yet

poorest and meanest that come to him, expresseth it among others by these words, “ He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the streets ;" intending no more, but that he should do nothing by way of strife, contention or violence, in private or in public places. And this prophecy is applied to him by Matthew at that very season when great multitudes followed him in the streets and fields, whom he taught and healed, Matt. xi. 15-17. Hence this man would conclude, that because Wisdom is said to cry in the streets, that is, to instruct men in public places, which he did formerly by his Spirit, and in the days of his flesh in his own person, the Son of God cannot be intended. Yet he further adds :

Postremo de Sapientia ista, non dicitur quod sit ab æterno genita ; sed tantum ut in Hebræo habetur a seculo formata ; quod longe aliud significat, quam ab æterno gigni. Et potest aliquid a seculo, hoc est a mundi creatione vel etiam ante illam extitisse ; inde tamen non sequitur esse æternum.

He tells us not where in the Hebrew text Wisdom is said to be formata seculo. Nor is there any such passage in the context. It says indeed, ver. 23. 'nds Swyn, which words of themselves do not absolutely and necessarily declare eternity, though no other expression or antecedent eternity be commonly made use of. But as this son is particularly explained in the whole ensuing discourse, especially in verses 25, 26. to denote the existence of Wisdom, before the whole creation or any part of it, it doth necessarily denote eternity, nor can it be otherwise expressed. And although we do not particularly prove the relation of the Son to the Father by eternal generation from this place, yet as Wisdom is not said here to be formed or created, so the word used, ver. 25. 035017, which we have rendered, “I was brought forth,' doth more than intimate that generation. This being the whole of what the enemies of the sacred TriNITY have to object to our application of this discourse to the Eternal Word or Son of God, we may upon its removal proceed to the application of this testimony to our present design.

13. A personal transaction before the creation of the world, between the Father and the Son, acting mutually by their One Spirit, concerning the state and condition of mankind, with respect to divine love and favour,' is that which we inquire after, and which is here fully expressed. For the Wisdom or Word of God, having declared his eternal existence with the Father, and his personal distinction from him, manifests withal his joint creation of all things; especially his presence with God, when he made, ban naby wyn, ver. 26. The highest part of the dusts of the habitable world,' that is, 71019777 DTX, - the first Adam,' as Jarchi interprets it, and that not improbaVol. II.

F

bly. Then He declares that He was 199x, by Him, with Him, before Him, ver. 30. that is, agos toy. Osov, John i. 1, 2. And He was with Him, 7px, Nutritus, 'One brought up with Him.' The word seems to be of a passive signification, or the partici. ple Pahul, and is of the masculine gender, though referring to hoan, Wisdom, which speaks of itself, and is of the feminine; and that because it is a Person which is intended : such constructions being not infrequent in the Hebrew, where the adjunct agrees with and respects the nature of the subject, rather than the name or some other name of the same thing; see Gen. iv, 7. The word may have various significations, and is accordingly variously rendered by interpreters. The Chaldee render it, janin, that is Faithful: “I was faithful with him ;' and the LXX. águasovod, framing, forming,' that is, all things with him. So also Ralbag on the place expounds it actively, One nourishing all things, as Jarchi doth passively, in Sya, * brought up with him,' which sense of the words our translation follows. And it is used unto that purpose, Lam. iv. 5. yhin sy , brought up in scarlet.' 'And although it may not improperly be taken in an active sense, yet I rather judge it to be used passively: Nutritus, Alumnus, one that is in the care and love of another, and to be disposed by him.

And we may inquire in what sense this is spoken of the Son with respect to the Father. The foundation of the allusion lies in the eternal mutual love that is between the Father and the Son. Thereunto is added, the consideration of the natural dependence of the Son on the Father, compared to the love of a father to a son, and the dependence of a son on his father. Therefore most translations, with respect to this allusion, supply as to the words, “As one brought up. Again, 1998, Alumnus, 'one brought up,' always implies brought up for some special end or purpose, or to some work and service." And this is principally here intended. It is with respect to the work that he had to accomplish, that he is called Alumnus Patris, one brought up of the Father.' And this was no other but the work of the redemption and salvation of mankind, the counsel whereof was then between the Father and the Son. In the carrying on of that work, the Lord Christ every where commits himself and his undertaking to the care, love, assistance and faithfulness of the Father, whose special grace was the origin thereof, Psal. xxii. 9, 10, 11. 19, 20. Isa. 1. 7-9. And in answer hereunto, the Father promiseth him, as we shall see afterwards, to stand by him, and to carry him through the whole of it; and that because it was to be accomplished in such a nature as stood in need of help and assistance. "Wherefore, with respect to this work, he is said to be pax 933x, before him, as one whom he would stand by with love and faithfulness, and whom he would take eare of, when in the prosecution of the work which proceeded from their mutual counsel, he should be clothed with that nature which stood in need of divine care.

$ 14. With respect hereunto, he adds, I DVVV 771781 01',' And was delights every day. There are ineffable mutual delights and joys in and between the persons of the sacred Trinity, arising from that infinite satisfaction and complacency which they have in each other from their respective in-being, by the participation of the same nature, wherein no small part of the blessedness of God doth consist. And by this word, that peculiar delight which a father hath in a son is expressed, Jer. xxxi. 20. DVIVYW 7b", • A pleasant child, a child of delights.' But the delights here intended, have respect to the works of God ad extra, as a fruit of that eternal satisfaction, which ari. seth from the counsels of God concerning the sons of men, This the next verse makes manifest : “ Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights with the sons of men.” For after he had declared the presence of Wisdom with God be. fore the first creation, which is a notation of eternity, and its co-operation with him therein, he descends to manifest the special design of God and Wisdom, with respect to the children of men. And here such an undertaking on the part of the Son is intimated, as that the Father undertakes the care of him, and his protection, when he was to be humbled in the form of a servant, in the prospect whereof he delighted in him continually.

So he expresseth it, Isa. xlii. 1-7. " Behold, my servant whom I uphold, my elect in whom my soul delighteth," (1947 *WD), the same with Dr Nos b'vryw, see Matt. xii. 18. ch. xvii. 5. Eph. i. 6.) “ I have put my Spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment unto the Gentiles. He shall not cry,

up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench. He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth, and the isles shall wait for his law. Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens and stretched them out, he that spreadeth forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it, he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles: to open the blind eyes, and to bring out the prisoners out of the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." This is the delight of the Father, and such is his presence with the Son in his work, whereof an eternal prospect is here repre, sented. In answer whereynto the Son delights in him, whose

[ocr errors]

nor lift

« ForrigeFortsæt »