Imágenes de páginas

Julian Pe 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his ha- Jerasal riod, 4742. bitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and, Vulgar Æra, 29.

His bishopric let another take.

21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

22 Beginning from the baptism of John unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

24 And they prayed and said, Thou, Lord', which

* The word inavles (habitation,) in this passage corresponds with the Hebrew 17e, which signifies the house appointed for the Shepherd who is commissioned to take charge of the fold. Hence it is rendered in tbe authorized translation by a secondary meaning: the original sense of the word, however, would have better expressed the idea of the office and authority which Judas had abdicated, The first part of the verse is quoted by St. Peter from Ps. Ixii. 26. and in the Alexandrine version we ind the same word, γενηθήτω η έπαυλις αυτών ήρημωμένη και εν τοϊς σκηνώμασιν αυτών μή έσω ο κατοικών. Ηesychius έπαυλιςμάνδρα βοών, ή οίκημα, ή αυλή, ή σρατοπεδια, και η ποιμενική αυλή.

The word & LOKOaTv, therefore, ought to be so interpreted, as to correspond with the former part of the verse : it implies an office in which the possessor exercises authority, and control over those subject to his charge.

5 That our blessed Redeemer was bere addressed in the words “ Thou, Lord, who searchest the heart," may be inferred from the fact, that St. Peter had used the term “ Lord,” (ver. 21, 22.) immediately before this invocation, when he assuredly spoke of the Messiah. In the election of Presbyters afterwards, in the soveral Churches, the Apostles commended them " unto the Lord, in whom they had believed.” (Acts xiv. 23.) That Lord was unquestionably Christ, In the Apocalypse, xi. 23. our Sa. viour expressly and formally assumed the title—“ All the Churches shall kpow, that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts." Upon this passage of Scripture alone we should be justified in offering up our prayers to Christ, as “ our God, and our Lord,” as our only Mediator and our only Saviour.

The divinity of Christ appears to me to rest upon this solid and unchangeable foundation ; that the inspired writers seem throughout the whole of their pages to take it for granted. They are only anxious to prove Jesus of Nazareth to be the expected Messiah, which title implies bis divinity; and this point being gained, they consider it as a truth which required no additional argument. Whenever the course of their reasoning led them to touch upon the subject of the real nature of the Mes. siah, their very inspiration seems to be insufficient to clothe in adequate language their exalted ideas of His glory. When they attempt to describe Him, it is ju the same words as they use when they speak of the Supreme Being. When they address Jesus the Christ, the Messiah of the Prophets, the same humble adoration is observed as when they worship God the Father Almighty. The truth of this mode of representing the argument will appear from the following very brief statement of the as



Jadian Pe- knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two Jerusalem.
med, 4712. thou hast chosen,

criptions of glory which are alike applied to the Father Al-
mighty, and his only Son, our Lord.

The comparison may be illustrated by the following table,
given us in a late learned and elaborate work.

To God. To Christ.
1. Ευλογια, , evloyla. Blessing, the utterance of gra.

titude from the universe of
holy and happy beings, for all

the divine bestowments.
2. Δόξα, , δόξα. . Glory; the manifestation to

intelligent beings of supreme

3. Σοφία, , σοφία. . Wisdom; the most perfect

knowledge combined with bo-
liness and efficient power in
ordaining, disposing, and actu-
ating all beings and events to
the best end; and this espe-
cially with respect to the sal-

vation of mankind.
4. Tepeni,

τιμή. . Honour, worth, value, dignity,

intrinsic excellence, supreme

perfection. 5. Δύναμις, ,

čúvajis. Power; ability to effect com

pletely and infallibly all the
purposes of rectitude and wis-

6. 'Ioxos,

ισχύς. . Might ; power brought into ac

1. Σωτηρία, owTnpia. Salvation ; deliverance from sin,

and all evil, and bestowment

of all possible good. 8. Ευχαριστία, .

Thanksgiving; the tribute from

those who have received the
highest blessings, to the Au.

thor of all their enjoyments.

aoûtocRiches; the fuloess of all good;

the possession of all the means

of making happy. 10.

kpárog: Dominion ; supreme power and

goodness triumphing over all

enmity and opposition.
The seven principal perfections are attributed to each. The
eighth thanksgiving is given to God, and not to Christ ; yet
there is evidently nothing in this aścription more peculiarly
divine than in the preceding, and the same is applied to Christ,
in other words, the most full and expressive that can be con-
ceived. Tho remaining two are attributed to Christ, and not
to God; a plain proof that the inspired writer was under no
apprehension that he might be dishonouring the Father, wbile
ascribing infinite possessions and supreme empire to the Son.

On comparison with another passage, we find the very same
notation of worthiness, or dignity attached to the Father and
to the Saviour ; in the one case it is, Worthy art thou, O Lord,
to receive the glory and the honour and the power ; and the
other, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive the power
and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and
blessings. See Smith's Messiah, vol, ii. part ii. p. 565.

Julian Pe- 25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostle- Jerusalem. riod, 4742. Vulgar Æra,

ship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he 29. might go to his own place

26 And they gave forth their lots : and the lot fell upon Matthias ; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecosť.

ACTs ü. 1414.
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come,
they were all with one accord in one place'.

6 Εις τον τόπον τον ίδιον. If we are right in interpreting the language of the New Testament in the same sepse as it was understood by thoso to whom it was addressed, and no canon of criticism seems more certain, we must adopt the common rendering of this passage—“ That he might go to his own place." It was a common sentiment among the Jews, that “ He that betrayeth an Israelite shall have no part in the world to come." And Lightfoot quotes also another similar expression from Baal Turim, in Num. 24, 25. “ Balaam went to his own place, that is, into hell ;” and from Midrash Cobeleth, fol. 100. 4. It is not said of the friends of Job, that they, each of them, came from his own house, or his own city, or his own country, but from his own place, Ostaa y nyanıv Dupon that is, “ from the place provided for them in hell.” The gloss is, “ from his own place,” that is, “ from hell, appointed for idolaters."

The Alcx. MS. reads duralov, instead of idlov, which would strengthon this interpretation.

Many passages from the Apostolic Fathers are quoted by Whitby, Benson, and Kuinoel, to prove that this expression was used by them also in this sense. 'Επεί ουν τέλος τα πράγματα έχει, επίκειται τα δύο, όμα και το θάνατος, και η ζωή, και έκασος εις τον ίδιον τόπον μέλλει χωρείν, φuia igitur res finem habent, incumbunt duo simul, mors, et vita, et unusquisque in proprium locum iturus est. Ignatius in ep. ad Magnes. c. 6. and Clemens Rom. ep. 1. ad Corinth. p. 24. ed Wottoni.-Polycarp in ep. ad Philip. c. 9.-Epist. Barnab. sect. 19. After such evidence we may agree with Dr. Doddridge, that the interpretation of Hammond, Le Clerc, and Ecumenius, is very upnatural, when they explain it of a successor going into the place of Judas.

? The sins of man and their evil designs occasioned the confusion of tongues; the redemption of man brought with it the revocation of that judgment, in the wonderful gilts of the Holy Ghost, which are recorded in this section. In the former instance men were leagued together for the purpose of propagating a false religion, but were miraculously frustrated in their plans by the interposition of Almighty God, who rendered tbem suddenly unintelligible to each other: in the latter case, when the true religion was to be delivered to the world, and its appointed ministers were assembled, in obedience to a divine command, at Jerusalem, the sentence of condemnation was revoked: the Holy Spirit descended in testimony of the divine truth; and by a miraculous diffusion of tongues, empowered the meek and lowly of the earth to communicate the glad tidings of salvation 8 See note, p. 19,

9 See note, p. 20.



Julian Pe- 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of Jerasalem.
ried, 4742.

“ to every nation under heaven.” The same miracle that first
separated mankind, was now made the means of their re-union.
All were invited to acknowledge the same God, and again to
become members of the one true religion. A sensible demon.
stration was given of the manifestation of the presence of the
Holy Spirit. It took place before a mixed multitude, assem-
bled from every part of the civilized globe, who by this provi-
dential arrangement became witnesses of the fact, and specta-
tors of the divine commission given to the Apostles. Fire
had always been considered by the Jews as an emblem of
the visible presence of the Deity; the people of Israel now
saw it descend in the form of cloven tongues, upon the de-
spised followers of the crucified Jesus. They saw it descend
upon them on the anniversary of the same day, when the
law which was to bring them to Christ was first delivered to
them : nor could any outward form be more appropriate or
figurative to represent the gift and powers it was intended to
convey. It likewise intimated to the Jews that God bad now
appointed the day of Pentecost to be commemorated for the in
troduction of a new law, and a new dispensation, which was
solemnly ratified by the effusion of the Spirit of God. The
glorious covenant of redeeming grace was fully and finally dis-
closed the Holy Ghost testifying the exaltation and divinity of
Christ, by the accomplisbment of the promise which our Lord
had given, “ This is He that shall testify of me.” In his God-
head Christ could only be known by the evidence of the Holy
Spirit-in his manhood the knowledge of Him was imparted by
the testimony of the Apostles. " When we consider (to use the
language of an eminent modern divine,) the magnitude of the
commission intrusted to the Apostles, to teach all nations, and
their acknowledged incompetency to carry it into effect, we can
thus only be struck with the immense disparity between the end
to be attained, and the means by which it was to be accom-

The previous conduct of the Apostles during the last trying
scenes of our Saviour's life, shews that they were by nature
eminently unfit to fulfil the important duties to which they were
now called; the selection therefore of these ignorant and timid
men was the best evidence that all human aid was laid aside,
and that the Gospel was to be established, not by the “ wisdom
of men, but of God.” Natural means were rejected that spiri-
tual things might be made manifest by the Spirit. Ho, the most
energetic of our Saviour's apostles, who on the first appearance
of danger shrank from the scrutinizing glance of a servant girl,
and three times, even with oaths and ourses, denied the Holy
One of Israel, now armed with the Spirit of truth and of power,
speaks before the astonished multitude as the ambassador of
God, and in one day added to the newly formed Church three
thousand souls. © Is this," says Dr. Heylin, “ the illiterate
fisherman ? Is this the carnal disciple, wbo presumed

to rebuke his Lord, when he first mentioned the cross to him ? Is this the fugitive, apostate, abjuring Peter ?

Nor were the other disciples in any way more distinguished for their courage and firmness. By one Christ was betrayed, and by all deserted and abandoned ; yet these were the men ordained of God to “go into all the world, and to preach the Gospel to every creature." But God's strength was to be made perfect in weakness, and the ordinary and extraordinary influences of the Holy Ghost descended to supply all the natural

Julian Pe a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where Jerusalem. riod, 4742. VulgarÆra,

they were sitting, 29.

deficiencies of the chosen followers of Christ. As men they were
commissioned to bear their human testimony to the truth of
those facts, of which they themselves bad been the eye-wit-
nesses ; but of spiritual things, the Holy Ghost was to iestify,
co-operating with them in their labours, and supplying them
with those graces which were only necessary, and therefore
limited to the apostolic age.

Under the different titles ascribed to the Holy Ghost, they
were qualified and prepared to undertake the great work to
which they were devoted. “ The Comforter" administered to
their fearful and pusillanimous nature supernatural strength,
fortitude, persoverance, and consolation" As the Spirit of
truth,” he illuminated their dark and uncultivated minds, and
gave repaired energy to their slow comprehensions, “ teaching
them all things, and bringing all things to their remembrance."
As “the witness" he was continually with them, renewing their
corrupt heart and affections, aud disposing them to boliness and
purity of life. He endowed them with spiritual gifts, with the
word of wisdom, of knowledge, and of faith, and worked with
them, to confirm their word with signs following." (Mark xvi.
20.) These signs may be considered as the more visible extra-
ordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit, and were, if we may be allowed
to say so, necessary to distinguish the divine wisdom and know-
ledge of the apostles, from human acquirements, and from
human superiority. In Judea only, their low origin and neg-
lected education would either be known or believed ; in other
countries some further testimony was requisite to confirm their
important declarations, than that which had wrought such a
miraculous change on them at the day of Pentecost. For this
purpose, therefore, the gifts of healing and working of mira-
cles were added to the word of wisdom and knowledge.
They possessed the power of restoring the dead to life, and by
a word consigned the living to the grave (Acts iii. 9, 10, &c.)
their very shadows had virtue in them, and the sick were reco-
vered from handkerchiefs that had only touched their persons,
Thus was the Gospel established as far as relatod to the human
nature and actions of Christ, by the testimony of man : but
to his Godhead by the “ testimony of God," (1 Cor. ii. 1.)
and by " the demonstration of the Spirit and power.” The
former was demonstrated by holiness of life, by unrepining
martyrdom and patient suffering ; the other by miracle and

These were the great credentials of our faith, and the hallowed evidences on which our holy religiou rests. When, however, the Church through these means was established, and the canon of Scripture, through divine knowledge and prophecy, was completed, the necessity for inspiration and miracle gradually ceased. « But," observes Mr. Nolan, “ from these lively oracles, the Spirit still speaks the same language which it dictated to the prophets, or the evangelists, while the sacred text still perpetuates the remembrance of those miracles which were, openly wrought by the apostle and saint, to evince the divinity of our religion. To those who still require inspiration and miracles as evidences of its truth, the word of revelation lies open; and the religion which it details affords the most convincing proofs of supernatural intervention; prophecy, of itself, suffciently proclaims the source from whence it sprang ; and Christianity exhibits in its establishment a standing miracle.” In

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