Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

proofs of our Lord's real humanity, but of his being the Son of God, the Meffiah.

To me it seems, that the water, an emblem of purity, [Ezek. xxxvi. 25.] denotes the innocence of our Lord's life, which was without spot, and exemplary; and the reasonableness, excellence, and perfection of his doctrine, which, after the strictest examination, and nicest scrutiny, cannot be charged with any error or falsehood. The blood denotes our Lord's willing and patient, though painful and ignominious death, the utmost testimony that can be given of integrity. The spirit intends our Lord's many miraculous works, wrought by the spirit, the finger, the power of God, or God himself. This testimony is truth, that is, exrceding true, so that it may be relied upon. For it is unquestionable, and cannot be gainsayed. See John v. 32 ... 37. X. 25. Acts ii. 22.

Here are three witnesses [35]. And they agree in one. They are harmonious, all saying the fame thing, and concurring in the same testimony.

The Apostle adds, ver. 9. If we receive the witness of meil, the witness of God is greater : referring

[ocr errors]

to

[35] Οι τρεις εισιν οι μαυρενίες, κ. λ.

I shall here put down a similar expression of the fophift Ælius Aristides, in the second century. Oration. T. i. p. 146. celit. foot. al. p. 272. Τρεις γαρ εισιν οι μαρτυρησαίες παραχρημα Αθηναιων ειναι νικην, Αθηναιοι, Λακεδαιμονίοι, Boulon

Р

to the appointment in the law of Moses, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses, any matter might be tablished. Deut xvii. 6. xix. 15. Whatsoever was attested by two or three men, was deemed true and certain. In the point before us there are three most credible witnesses, one of whom is God himself. Refusing this testimony therefore, would be the same as making God a liar, or charging him with giving false evidence, and with a design to deceive and inpose upon his creatures. He that believeth not God, hath made Him a liar, because he believeth not the testimony which God giveth of his Son.

This interpretation is the same as that in Grotius [36], or not very different.

25. Rev. xxii. 17. And the spirit and the bride lay: Come.

" That is, says [37] Grotius, men, who are endowed with spiritual gifts.”

Mr. Pyle's paraphrase is this : « The whole body of truly good Chriftians, who are the true church and spouse of Christ.” And in his notes he says, The spirit and the bride, or, the spiritual bride, that

[ocr errors]

is,

[36] Et in epiftola 1 Joh. v. 8. Aqua eft puritas vitæ Christianæ, quæ fimul cum martyrio, et miraculis, teftimonium reddit veritati dogmatis. Grot. Ann. in Job. iii. 5.

[37] Id est, viri propheticis donis clari. Vide supra, ver. 6. Eft abftractum pro concreto : Spiritus pro habentibus fpiritum. Dicunt : Vini, &c. Grot. in loc.

is, the true church of Christ. Thus grace and
truth is a truth conveying the greatest favour. John
i. 17. Glory and virtue is glorious virtue or power,
1. Pet. i. 3. kingdom and glory, a glorious kingdom.
1 Theff. ii. 12. Had the generality of commentators
observed this, they would not have had occasion to
interpret this of the holy spirit of God, wi/ning, and
praying for the coming of Christ's kingdom, in the
same manner, and with the same ardency, as St. John
and the Christian Church here does. Which to me
seems very incongruous.” So Mr. Pyle, whose in-
terpretation is approved by Mr. Lowman.

Brenius [38] is not very different. Or, as some [39] other interpreters express it : “ The spirit and the bride : that is, the church animated by the spirit, and ardently longing for the coming of Chrift."

[ocr errors]

Every one may perceive, that we have been discoursing of miraculous gifts and powers: which now are, and for a long time have been, commonly called extraordinary gifts of the spirit. These are not

saving. [38] Spiritus qui est in sponsâ, vel fponfa per fpiritum, qui in ipsâ refidet, dicit: id eft, credentium omnium vota, tum feparatim tum conjunctim, hoc idem contendunt, Bren. in loc.

[39] C'est à dire, l'Epouse, qui est l'Eglise animée du S. Esprit, et foupirant ardemment après l'apparition de J. C. L'Enf. et Beauf.

[merged small][ocr errors]

saving. They who received such gifts after baptifm,
and profession of faith in Jesus Christ, were thereby
satisfied, that the doctrine of Christ was true, and
from heaven. And they were assured, that if they
acted according to that faith, they might be saved,
without observing the peculiarities of the law of
Mofes. But such gifts alone were not faving,
without sincere virtue, and the practice of a good
life.
So fays St. Paul 1 Cor. xiii. 1. 2.

But covet e.arnestly the best gifts. Ice yaptopala ta xpertlova. And yet 1 shew unto you a more excellent way: Though 1-speak wih the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity, I am become as founding brofs, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowlege: and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and bave not charity, I am nothing. This fame might be faid of the necessity of fobriety, and humility, and meckness, or any other virtue, that is there faid of charity, or love, and perhaps all social virtue is comprehended by the Apostle in the one virtue here mentioned by him. For in another place he says : Love is the fulfilling of the law. Rom. xiii. 8...10.

And that all virtues ought to be joined together, and carefully cultivated by those who make a profession of the Christian religion, is shewn by St. Peter. And befidis tiris, says he, giving all diligence, edd to your faith viriui, or fortitude, and to virtue

knowlege,

knowlege, and to knowlege temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness. . . For fo an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Pet. i. 56. 10.

I have now finished what I proposed

Conclufior. at the beginning of this Postscript, having explained, according to my ability, those words, the spirit, the holy spirit, and the spirit of God, as used in the scriptures.

Many of the interpretations, which have been given by me, will be readily assented to by all. If any others should not be approved of at first, I hope no offence needs to be taken. I do not dictate; but with humility and deference recommend these thoughts to the consideration of my brethren in Christ Jesus.

It becomes us all to examine the doctrines which are proposed to us. We should not he christians and protestants upon the same grounds that others are mahometans and papists, barely because. such or such opinions are generally received and established in the country where we live.

Our blessed Lord and his Apostles have forewarned us, that men would arise, teaching perverse things, that tares would be mingled with the good grain, and error with truth. The event has been accordingly, If there are any notions concerning

a trinity

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »