Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

part is cut open), Dr. Lawrence's in the views of another, than my. Critical Reflections, &c. on the self. Nor ought I to omit to add, Unitarian Version, (on which I will that my excellent friend Mr. Verpause to observe, that they first non, while I was communicating settled my mind, as to the authen- to him the conviction that I had ticity of the introductory chapters received, and my expectation of of St. Matthew, and St. Luke) a being ridiculed for such a change, Sermon on the Atonement by Mr. observed to me, that I certainly Hull, Six Letters by Dr. Pye Smith must expect it, but he hoped that to Mr. Belsham, and Notes taken I was prepared to forgive it. I down from two Sermons preached trust that I shall be enabled to do by Mr. (I believe now Dr.) Chal- so. mers of Glasgow, upon the follow- Upon reviewing this last sening texts.--Psal. lxxxv. 10. and tence, my dear sir, I feel myself Rom. viii. 7. Yet these few helps bound to say, that, in stating this, to the better understanding of the I hope not to be understood as holy scripture, though counteract- anticipating any thing of the sort ed by the volumes above cited, by from you, or from your venerable long association, by frequent re- colleague. No! however you may ferences to other Unitarian volumes pity my delusion, I feel assured, in my collection, and by the various that you will do justice to my moarguments on that side, which me- tives. mory was constantly suggesting, My dear Sir, I have extended have ultimately led me to the con- this letter to a much greater length clusions above stated. But I than I had any expectation of should grossly belie my own heart, doing when I began it. I began and should think myself guilty of it with alluding to my regard and odious ingratitude to the Father of my respect for you. Will it be lights, from whom cometh down deemed inconsistent with either, if every good and perfect gift, if I I venture to conclude it with a did not avow my conviction, that, most affectionate wish and prayer to these means, the teaching of his —that you and yours, and all who Holy Spirit has been superadded ; are near and dear to you may re. for I can, in his presence, affirm, ceive every earthly blessing, and that during the latter part of the may be brought to the knowledge enquiry more particularly, the of the Truth? I feel it to be my scriptures of truth were never duty to conclude thus, and I shall opened by me without profound stand excused. And oh! how and fervent prayer for illumina- much is that wish enkindled when tion; and almost always with re- / I recollect the seriousness and ference to our Lord's promise in solemnity of your manner in prayer, St. Luke, ch. xi. ver. 13. Indeed and your impressiveness in preachmy dear sir, and friend, I was in ing. How do I wish that endowearnest. A change so awful,' soments of such value, were conseunexpected, I may add so impro- crated to those views which I have bable, which, four months ago received. But I feel myself getting only, I should myself have said was upon tender ground. It is difficult impossible, has deeply and so. to word such a wish without aplemnly impressed my mind. pearing arrogant, or impertinent,

That I must encounter much or presumptuous; and yet nothing ridicule, in consequence of this is farther from my heart than either change, I fully expect. I am sure of these feelings. Believe me to be that I well deserve it; for no per- with sincere regard, son would have burst out more

Yours my dear Sir, loudly against such an alteration

J. E. STOCK

Theological Review.

Paraphrase and Commentary on the of this epistle, the doctrine concern Epistle to the Hebrews. BY ARCHI- | ing the priesthood of Christ, and the BALD M‘LEAN, late Pastor of the sacrifice which he offered unto God Baptist Church, Edinburgh, 2 vols. for the sins of the guilty, is, on vari8vo. pr. 16s. boards, or 12mo. 85. ous accounts mysterious and subboards. Oliphant and Co. Edin- lime. The inspired apostle himself burgh, or W. Jones, Lovell's Court, clearly intimated something of this

Paternoster Row, London, 1916. kind concerning it, when he said to The EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWs con- the Hebrews that the discourse on stitutes a most important part of the which he was about to enter was canon of divine revelation. It is, in “ hard to be uttered,Heb. v. 11. or the chain of divine truth, that parti- rather, as the words in the original cular link which connects the two plainly import, “ hard to be underdispensations, the law and the gospel; stood when uttered.” Nor is it at all or, perhaps to speak more properly, improbable, that Peter has this very it should be termed, the full disclo-doctrine in view when he tells us sure or developement of the Levitical that there are in the writings of his dispensation : that system of types, beloved brother Paul, “ some things shadows, carnal ordinances and ritual hard to be understood.” 2 Pet. iii. 16. observances which, previous to the for he evidently refers in that text to actual accomplishment of our re- his epistle to the Hebrews, by the demption by the sufferings and death words " he hath written to you," viz. of the Son of God, divine wisdom the believing Jews, or Hebrews. And appointed for the use of the Fathers ; hence we find Paul requiring of and the immediate object of which those who would attain to any tolerawas to adumbrate or shadow forth ble comprehension of this sublime those interesting facts and blessings doctrine, that they should be advancthat are now fully elucidated by the led beyond the condition of those who glorious gospel of the blessed God. live only on milk; that is, who conIt is therefore with propriety that tent themselves with the first prinit has been said of this Epistle, that ciples of religion; it is necessary it is as useful to the Christian church that they be able to digest strong as the sun is to the natural world. meat, Heb. v. 12-14. And when he As among its numerous excellencies, is about to proceed to an explication the revelation which it contains of of this grand subject, he declares the nature, the pre-eminence and the that he is leading them on to perfecutility of the priesthood of the Lord tion, ch. vi, 1. in other words, to the Jesus Christ deserves the principal highest, and most perfect doctrines place, inasmuch as the sacrifice which in the mystery of God and of the he offered, the atonement which he Father and of Christ. made for sin, and all the inestimable Such being the manifest importbenefits that thus redound to be- ance and excellency of this portion of lievers, depend wholly and solely on the lively oracles, and such the difthe priesthood of Christ; so the un- ficulties attending an understanding speakable importance of this doctrine of the subjects which are discussed must be too manifest to require any in it; the writer who devotes his time laboured proofs. It is very true that and attention to the study of it, and the substance of it is delivered in who exerts all the powers and faculseveral other passages of the books ties of his mind, to illustrate, to exof the New Tetament, but it is done plain, and to simplify it, is thereby more sparingly than any other truth conferring a lasting benefit upon his of corresponding importance. The readers; and in proportion to the Holy Spirit seems to have reserved success which crowns his labours the full, entire, and explicit statement must the degree of our obligations to of it, to the Epistle to the Hebrews, I him arise. The subject has indeed as its proper place.

| occupied the pens of some of the It may be fairly admitted that what ablest divines that the world ever forms the grand and leading object produced ; nor are there any talents however eminent of which it is not | Notes, which constitute by much the worthy. It comprehends the whole greater part of the work, exhibit an economy of human redemption-a extraordinary fund of learning and of scene into which even the angels are critical acumen. But independent of represented as inquisitively prying this, the author has been singularly and wherein they descry the mani successful in eliciting the apostle's fold wisdom of God! There have meaning in some of the most difficult long been in our language some en parts of this epistle ; and though we tire Commentaries on this book, would not have it understood that we written with great judgment, and dis- are of Mr. Peirce's mind in all that playing extensive erudition. The he writes, we certainly feel no hesitagreat and elaborate work of Dr. Owen tion in strongly recommending his is well known. It originally appear- work to the attention of every student ed in four folio Volumes, and a new of the scriptures. edition has lately been given of it, in It would carry uş far beyond our seven volumes octavo—and it has been main design in this article, to notice truly said that the publication of it all the valuable Illustrations of the « forms the colossal pedestal to his Epistle to the Hebrews that have been immortal famé. To his Exposition hitherto published. But we may be of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the allowed to say, that after all that had studies of his life were more or less been done, the work before us is a directed, and though it may be safely striking proof how much still repronounced the most difficult of all mained to be achieved, and how much the didactic books of Scripture, no too has really been effected, by a part of the sacred writings has re- judicious and discriminating use of ceived so perfect an elucidation in the materials, partly indeed selected from English, or perhaps in any other the labours of former writers, but language." See Bogue and Bennett's chiefly the fruit of the author's own History of the Dissenters, Vol. II. p. profound investigation into the mean235. Invaluable, however, as this ing of the inspired writer. work is acknowledged to be, it is so The volumes before us are evidentlearned and so elaborate as to be in a ly the produce of many years intense great measure unfit for the use of study, and of a series of persevering ninety nine readers out of a hundred. application to the subject which they An attempt was consequently made are designed to illustrate. Few wriby the late Dr. Edward Williams to ters, it may be confidently affirmed, remedy this defect, by abridging the have appeared among us better qualiwork, which he did in four. Octavo fied for the arduous undertaking than volumes. But though the latter is their author was. Fuller said of him said to merit the praise of fidelity and truly, that he was“ an acute reasoner of general accuracy, it labours under and mighty in the Scriptures.So the imperfections inseparable from luminous were his conceptions that all abridgments.

subjects which to others appeared Next in point of merit to Dr. recondite and abstruse became fami. Owen's great work, the palm is cer- | liar in his hands; and while he could tainly due to Mr. Peirce, of Exeter's unfold with clearness and perspicuity " Paraphrase and Notes on the Epis- that which was involved in intricacy tle to the Hebrews"-which appeared and darkness, he excelled almost in a quarto volume, in 1727, but as the every other writer with whom we are author died when he had reached the acquainted in the happy talent of end of the tenth chapter, a continu- saying multum in pardo, in compressation of it to the close of the epistle ing and condensing his thoughts was published by Mr. Hallett, Jun. in upon whatever subject he undertook 1783. with a learned Preface intended to discuss. to settle the question, “ by whom, l The nature of the work is such as and in what language, the epistle was scarcely to admit of our producing originally written.” This is unques- extracts from it, to justify the chationably a work of great value, and it racter now given. But the reader is deeply to be regretted that its ex- will naturally expect from us some cellency has been so little appreciated account of the plan and execution of by biblical students, that in the course it. Before each chapter, the author of nearly a century, a second edition has placed copious Contents, giving of it has not been published: The also à view of the apostle's scope of

leading design throughout that parti- | sins in his own body on the tree. God's cular chapter. This is followed by a holy law, as delivered to Israel, also Paruphrase, comprising a literal tran- manifested his holiness and justice, both slation, distinguished by the Roman

in the manner of its delivery, the purity letter, and interspersed with connect-|

of its precepts, and in its awful sanction ing and explanatory supplements in

denouncing death upon the transgressors, Italics. Last of all comes the Com

But never was the purity and extent of

the law, its eternal and indispensable mentary, the text of which is the obligation, or the awful nature of its common English translation, which, curse, so fully and clearly manifested, as though divided into clauses to suit ia the obedience and death of the Son of the commentary, is nevertheless God, whereby the law was magnified and inserted entire. At the end of the made honourable, and the holiness and work, the author has given an Ap

justice of the Lawgiver displayed to the pendix, consisting of five Essays or

highest advantage. This, however, can Dissertations, the object of which is

only be seen by that faith whereby we to illustrate more fully than could

hold fast grace. An unbeliever can see

| no more of divine holiness and justice in with propriety be done in the Com- the obedience and death of Christ, than in mentary, some important subjects

that of any other good man; but when we which had occurred.'. The following perceive the dignity of the person who are their titles. No. l. On the dou- suffered-his relation and dearness to the ble sense of Prophecy. No. 2. On Father, being the supreme object of his the administration of Angels anterior love with the nature and design of his to Christ's resurrection and exalta. | sufferings, they being the punishment or tion. No. 3. On the commencement

curse due to our sins, and necessary to of the exercise of Christ's Office as

make an atonement unto divine justice

for them; can any thing give us a deeper High Priest. No. 4. Illustration of imp

ation of impression of the holiness and justice of Heb. xii. 6-11. and No. 5. Illus- God, and of his infinite opposition to sin ? tration of ch. xii. 28, 29.

| Could a meaner sacrifice have answered As the excellent author of this the end, we have no reason to think that treatise terminated his labours in the he who made the worlds should by him- ) church militant with the writing of self have purged our sins. If the sufferit, and died almost immediately on lings of any of his creatures could have having vut the finishing hand to the made an atonement, and given a full disManuscript, we shall lay before our

play of his holiness and justice in for readers, a few of the last pages of the

giving it, we may well think that he would

have spared his own only and well-bework--they become additionally in

additionally in- loved Son; but though the darling of his teresting from the consideration that soul prays repeatedly with strong crying they were in all probability they very and tears that if it was possible the cup last efforts of his pen to subserve the might pass from him, yet so inflexible is cause of Christ in the world, and we his justice, so untainted his holiness, and beg their marked attention to them. so infinite his hatred of sin, that he struck The reader must bear in mind, that he i at it as it were through his own bowels, is illustrating that remarkable text,

and made him in whom his soul delighted, “ Let us have (or hold fast) the

(3 | drink out the very last dreg of the cup of

sufferings due to it. When Israel saw Grace, whereby we may serve God

the Lord's great work in redeeming them acceptably with reverence and Godly from Egypt, and destroying the Egypfear, for our God is a consuming fire." tians, it is said they “feared the Lord, Having explained the meaning of the and believed the Lord and his servant word Grace, he thus proceeds. Moses' Exod. xiv. 31.; and upon that

occasion they sang the song of Moses, “1. In the grace of the gospel, or plan saying,' Who is like unto thee, O Jehoof salvation by Jesus Christ, we have the vah, among the gods? who is like unto clearest and most striking display of the thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in character of God, particularly his infinite praises, doing wonders ?'ch. xv. 11. That justice, holiness, and opposition to sin. divine work of mercy and judgment was The wrath of God was formerly revealed so far from filling them with presumption from heaven against all unrighteousness and self-confidence, that it struck them and ungodliness of men in the awful judge with a solemn awe of God's matchless ments inflicted upon both nations and I greatness, power, and holiness: and they Individuals; but none of these, nor all of acknowledged that he ought to be worthem put together, give such an awful shipped and praised with fear and revedisplay of his infinite opposition to sin, rence. But what was that typical reas the judgment inflicted upon his own demption, and the display of divine Son when he stood in the room of the power, justice, and holiness on Pharaoh anjust, and bore the pupishment of their and his host, to the redemption by Jesus

Christ, and the display of divine power, to punish them. Such views of grace; it justice, and holiness, given in his death followed out their full length, and held Io the former he punished his rebellious consistently, will in a great measure expel and audacious enemies; in the latter his that reverence and godly fear enjoined in own immaculate and well-beloved Son! the text; but the scripture view of the How much more then ought this to impress grace of God will have a very opposite our minds with reference and godly fear: effect: for the apostle represents it as the Accordingly the redeemed company apply great motive to reverence and godly fear. the song of Moses to the great salvation, Does the gospel hold forth the grace of and the awful display of the divine charac God's condescension in having spoken to ter manifested therein, both in the way us by his Son, by whom he made the of mercy and judgment, Rev. xv. 3, 4, worlds, and whom he bath appointed heir « Great and marvellous are thy works, of all things ? Heb. i. 2, 3; then he exLord God Almighty; just and true are pects we should reverence bis Son, and thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall give the most earnest heed to the things not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy | which we have heard, lest at any time we name for thou only art holy.” When should let them slip, and so incur a more Isaiah got a view of the glory of the Lord, dreadful punishment than the despisers of he was unable to abide bis immediate pre- the word spoken by angels, chap.i. 1-4. sence on account of his unworthiness ; Did he deliver him up to the death for us, even the seraphin covered their faces with that he might in a consistency with his their wings with the profoundest reve- holiness forgive us our sins, and be just in rence, as unworthy to behold him, and justifying the ungodly? and does not the cried one to another, “ Holy, holy, holy Psalmist tell us, that there is forgiveness is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is with him for this very end, that he may full of his glory," Isa. vi. 1-8. This was be feared ? Psal. cxxx. 4. The same is only a prophetic vision of the glory of the affirmed by Solomon, 1 Kings viii. 39, 40, Lord which was afterwards to be clearly The redeemed know that their sius are manifested in the face of Christ, who is forgiven them, but at the same time they the brightness of his glory, and the express | also well know, that this forgiveness flows image of his person. If this visible to them in the channel of the blood and embleinatical glory of the Lord struck wounds of the Son of God's love ! This the holy man of God with such profound must necessarily give them the deepest awe, reverence, and godly fear, how much impressions of the evil nature of sin, more ought not the truth and spirit of it to and of the divine indignation against it; have this effect, which now shines clearly and must lead them to think that if these in the gospel, and is the glory that ex. things were done in the green tree, what celleth:

shall be done in the dry! The gospel . True, indeed, the gospel also holds forth display of God's mercy and grace is guard. in the strongest light the glory of the divine ed with the most awful manifestation of mercy and grace towards the guilty chil. bis justice, holiness, and infinite opposition dren of men; and this, as has been already to sin ; so that we cannot be relieved by shown, delivers all who believe it from the one without being struck with the that spirit of bondage and slavish fear other, . We cannot receive the sense of which so much prevailed under the former divine forgiveness into a fearless, irrevedispensation, and gives them a holy filial rent, stout and unbroken heart. Indeed confidence before him. But this is so far such can have no proper relish for the from expelling reverence and godly fear, blessedness of so divine a benefit, however that it affords the strongest motives to it, they may speculate about and boast of Many, indeed, have handled the doctrines their being justified. And though the of grace in such an unbappy manner as to Lord justifies no man on account of his exclude, in a great measure, this reverence humility and contrition ; yet it is only and godly fear. They have taken such a such that he promises to comfort, Isa. partial view of the divine character, as Ivii. 15. “ Thus saith the high and lofty being all love, tenderness, and indulgence,

et inhabitethet

anic as in a great measure to have lost sight of is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy the awful majesty, holiness, and justice of place; with him also that is of a humble his grace; and so represent the Divine and contrite spirit, to revive the spirit of Majesty father as a weak, indulgent, fond, the humble, and to revive the beart of and doating parent, than as the just God the contrite ones.” Agreeably to this it and the Saviour. Self-love and self-indul- is said, Psal. xxxiv. 18. “The Lord 19 gence are ever apt to make men form nigh unto them that are of a broken such ideas of God as are most suited to heart; and saveth such as be of a cou. their own inclinations; and though they | trite spirit.” And Ps. cxxxyiii. “Tho' may not come the length to imagine he is the Lord be bigh, yet hath he respect altogether such an one as themselves; yet unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth they cannot help thinking that he respects | afar off." See also James iv. 6. The their persons that their sins are not so dis. I gospel gives us the fullest display of the pleasing to bim as the sins of the wicked divine goodness, and it is promised that

and that at any rate he is engaged never / when this goodness should be mapifesten

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »