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mentality of Jesus Christ in executing the gracious purposes of God. 2. The Apostle by the expression 'all things in heaven or on earth' obviously means all persons; for he himself uses the same expression in vs. 20, in a connexion which necessarily restricts it to persons; and what is said in vs. 20, (especially if compared with 2 Cor. v. 17-19, and Eph. ii. 10-18) renders it exceeding probable, that the creation spoken of in vs. 16, is the moral or new creation. 3. After speaking of the great moral change produced among the Gentiles by the Gospel, (Eph. ii. 10), the Apostle says, 'For we are his workmanship, created, in ε Christ Jesus, to good works,' So also (2 Cor. v. 17.) If any man be in E Christ, he is a new creature.'.


Following this plan of interpretation, and employing the Apostle's own words in other parts of his Epistles, particularly of those which were written about the same time, his meaning may probably be correctly represented as follows.

Vs. 14. In whom we have redemption, even the forgiveness of sins: 5 who is the representative of God to man, and is pre-eminent in the new creation". 16 For all who have entered into this dispensation of grace and mercy, have been anew created, both Jews and Gentiles, those who are in the usual walks of life, and those who, living in the seclusion of ecclesiastical or civil dignity and state,

"For whom he foreknew,' said the Apostle at an earlier period, and in less figurative language, he predestinated also to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born, gwrOTOXO, among many brethren.' Rom. viii. 29.

are not within the reach of common observation*, kings, and princes, rulers and magistrates; all have been anew created through him, as the agent in accomplishing the gracious purposes of God, and to him, as his subjects and peculiar people. 17-And he is the Lord of all, and in him, as the bond of union, all are united, whatever be their civil and religious distinctions. 18 And he is the head of his church, who is the beginning of all, being the first-born from the dead, that in this as in every other respect he might have the pre-eminence.

For it hath pleased God, that the fulness of Gospel-blessings should dwell in him, that he should be the mercy-scat of pardon and everlasting life, and through him, to bring into a state of re

* It appears obvious that the things immediately enume rated are the things invisible. If by these the Apostle meant earthly rulers, whether ecclesiastical or civil, (of whom many of various ranks had, without doubt, embraced the Christian faith), that interpretation of invisible must be chosen which suits that meaning. Now, since the rulers of the east were peculiarly separated from the great bulk of the people, and the sovereigns very seldom seen by their subjects at large, this circumstance appears to me to afford a sufficient explanation of the Apostle's language and it should be observed that whatever be meant by things invisible, this word cannot be taken in its strict sense, for angels have often been the objects of human sight. I wish, however, to be understood as laying no stress upon this interpretation. Mr. Lindsey (who appears to be in this case followed by most Unitarian Commentators), has given a different explanation of this part of the verse in his Sequel, p. 477, for which see the Improved Version in loc.

y Schleusner (in zugiorns) referring to Eph. i. 21, where nearly the same enumeration of authorities is given, justly remarks, that they are used to denote those who possess them.

a Comp. Eph. i. 1o. ανακεφαλαιωσασθαι τα παντα εν τῷ χρισῷ, to unite under one head all things in Christ.

conciliation and favour with Himself the whole body of Jews and Gentiles,-he, by his last great act of obedience unto death, having completed his ministry of peace and reconciliation.


Such appears to me to be the meaning of the Apostle the Gospel had been preached, he says, vs. 28, to every creature under heaven; he had seen the most glorious and blessed effects arising from the diffusion of it; and he here speaks of its power, and of the dignity of the exalted Jesus, in terms which were calculated to impress the minds of his Colossian disciples with his own just sense of them. I lay no stress, in a doctrinal point of view, upon the preceding paraphrase; but on one point the evidence appears to me perfectly satisfactory, -that whatever be the meaning of the separate parts, the whole together has no reference, and indeed can have no reference, to the original natural


23.] Hebr. i. 2. "By whom also he made the worlds." Alwy in the N. T. never signifies the material world, but age or duration of time. The clause may be translated, for whom also he constituted the ages,' meaning that the preceding ages were intended to prepare the way for the age or


a Before Dr. Clarke called the reference of this passage to the new creation "a very forced sense," he should have carefully compared the phraseology of this Epistle with that of the Epistle to the Ephesians.-From the considerations already stated, I feel no hesitation in the conviction, that the reference of it to the original creation is attended not only with difficulties, but with inconsistencies; and that that which Dr. C. reprobates, though not without difficulties, is perfectly consistent with the Scriptures in general, and accordant with the phraseology of the Apostle,


dispensation of the Messiah ;" or, by whom also he constituted the age,' that is "of the Messiah, eminently distinguished for moral and religious advantages b."



24.] Hebr. i. 10. And, thou, LORD, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands,' &c. This and the two following verses are quoted from Ps. cii. and were obviously addressed to the Supreme Being. The Writer to the Hebrews employs them as a proof that the sovereignty of Christ would be lasting, since He who declared that it would be so, is Himself almighty, unchangeable, and everlasting. I admit that the words may be referred to the Son, as far as the construction merely is concerned; but the construction in no way whatever requires it, and such a reference is totally unjustified by the language of Scripture. Most of those who suppose such a reference consider the Father himself as the speaker; with how much propriety let any one who reads the whole of vs. 10-12 determine: but if the Writer did not mean to represent the Supreme Being as using these words, the original connexion, and the general tenor of Scripture,

b The latter, which is that of Mr. Simpson, depends for its correctness on the truth of the position, that " in the Hebrew idiom, and agreeably to the prevailing style of this Epistle to the Hebrews, the true signification of vas here is the age, by way of eminence." In one respect it has a great advantage over the other; it does not require the unusual, but not unjustified, force of dia, as signifying on account of, with a genitive.

Kai, like the Hebrew, is sometimes employed with the causal force, signifying for. See Schleusner 8.

render it necessary to regard the passage as an address to him.

25.] Hebr. ii. 3. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, in as much as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.'-Oixos, house or family, is never used in the N. T. in reference to the material world. The argument of the Writer obviously is, that since God hath framed the family, and Moses was only a servant in the family, but Christ was a son,`he who bears this near relation to the Founder of the family is worthy of more honour than Moses. The Writer, so far from saying that Jesus founded the family, speaks of him, vs. 2, as being faithful to Him who appointed womear him,' and in vs. 4. says that He who framed all things, is God.'

These seven passages are all, I believe, which can be adduced in favour of the doctrine, that Jesus was the agent of God in the creation of the world. Now of these No. 19, 23, 25, cannot be interpreted as having any reference to the creation, without violence to the scriptural use of words; the true reading of No. 21 prevents that passage from affording any support to the doctrine; in No. 24, Jesus is not addressed, but He who was indeed the Creator of all things; and though No. 20 will admit "of an explanation accordant with the doctrine, it in no way whatever proves it. The doctrine therefore rests for its proof upon the passage cited in No. 22; and that this does not really refer to the original material creation is to my mind exceedingly evident. We learn from numerous passages in the Old and New Testament, that GOD, (the God of

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