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Whereas the angels are ministring spirits.
13 thee in glory or in joy. Yea, as Divine, thou secr. art fixed in thine eternal throne, that the whole created world may unite in its prostrate hom
Heb. 10 And, thou, age before thee. And it is to him who presid- ieb Lord, in the begin- ed, as is well known, over the Jewish nation, 10 ning, hast laid the and received the tribute of praise which they earth; and the heav. paid to Jehovah their God, that those words ens are the works of are addressed, (Psal. cii. 26,) Thou, Lord, from thine hands.
the beginning hust founded the earth, and the 11 They shall per. heavens are the works of thy hands. They, per- 11 ish, but' thou re- manent, as they seem, shall at length perish mainest : and they all shall wax old as
and wear out; but thou endurest in undecaying doth a garment. glory; yea all of them shall grow old like a gar.
12 And as a ves. ment, And as a mantle thou shalt fold them up,9 12 ture shalt thou fold and they shall be changed: thou shalt remove them up, and they them out of their place, and introduce a new but thou art the scene of things, with as much ease as a prince same, and thy years lays aside one robe and puts on another; but shall not fail. thou art ever the same, and thy years shall not
fail through everlasting ages, nor can thy per
fections admit any possible diminution. 13 But to which But not to insist on the manner in which men 13 of the angels said he have addressed their homage and their praises at any time, Sit on my right hand, until to him, even under the inspiration of an uner. I make thine ene- ring spirit; let me refer you to another
pasmies thy footstool? sage, in which the Father himself speaks to him
under the character of his Son, exalted to his
thee to trample upon the last and the proudest 14. Are they, not of them all? The spirits of heaven expect no 14 all ministring spirits, such honour as this; the noblest of them all for them who shall esteems himself happy in an opportunity of
worshipping this triumphant Lord, and minis-
Fold them up.] For enestus Mr. Peirce heaven and earth here signifies, govern. would read and tuss change them, agree. ments, as indeed the phrase sometimes able to the Hebrews; and imagines that may; but I think not in this place.
14 Reflections on the glory of Christ as superior to angels. sect. willing to undertake the offices he shall assign be heirs of salva
them, for the safety and good of his people ? tion?
And therefore far from thinking of them in
bly adore him, for the benefits which by his
Let us learn from this wonderful and delightful portion of scripture, how we are to conceive of our blessed Reedeemer. Ad. mirable contrast of charactersd which might appear to our fee
ble reason, inconsistent, if faith did not teach us to reconcile 3 them. Strange, that the brightness of his Father's glory, and the
express image of his person by whom he made the worlds, should 5 condescend by himself to purge our sins! That he, to whom God
saith, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee ; that he, 6 whom the angels are commanded to worship; that he, whose
Divine throne is for ever and ever; that he, whom the church 10 hath for successive ages adored as having founded the earth and
formed the heavens, as in his original perfections and glories far 11 more immutable than they, changing them as a vesture at his
sovereign pleasure ; that this great, this illustrious, this Divine Person, should have laid aside these robes of celestial light to array himself in mortal flesh ; not only that he might reveal his Father's will, and speak to us in his name, but that he might re. deem us to God by his blood? What shall we say? We will receive the message he brings us with all humble thankfulness; we will seek his favour with most earnest solicitude ; we will congratulate his exultation with loyal joy. O triumphant, transporting
thought, that Jesus is enthroned above all heavens, that he 9 is anointed with an unequalled effusion of the oil of gladness : 3 with angels we will fall down and worship him as our Lord and
our God. Our Hosannahs shall proclaim it, that he is set down
at the right hand of the Majesty on high, and that God hath en13 gaged to make his enemies his footstool. Angels minister before
him with unwearied vigour, with inconceivable speed do they fly like fames of lightning from one end of the heaven to the other, from world to world, to execute his sacred commands. With delight do they minister to those whom he hath appointed heirs of salvation, nor do they neglect the youngest or meanest. Let us thankfully acknowledge the great Redeemer's goodness and care, in every kind office we receive from them. And as our obligations to him are infinitely superior to theirs, let us emulate their fidelity, vigour and zeal, in the steadiness and cheerfulness of our obedience ; till we join them
We should attend to the gospel of Christ :
15 in services like their own, in that world where they dwell, and sect. to which, if we approve ourselves his faithful servants, he will i. ere long give them a charge safely and joyfully to convey us.
S E C T. II.
From what has been before said, the apostle infers the danger of
despising Christ on account of his humiliation; which in perfect
for wise and important reasons ; par-
Hebrews II 1.
HEBREWS II. 1.
we ought to section concerning the supreme dignity of. give the more earn. est heed to the our blessed Redeemer.
And now give me
ous consequence from what I have already
of our minds, and lose the impression they
vah from mount Sinai, was steadfast, and conceived a just recom- firmed by such awful sanctions, that every inpense of reward ;
stance of wilful transgression and disobedience
received, as its reward, a correspondent and se3 How shall we vere vengeance; How shall we have any room 3 lect so great salva. to hope that we shall escape, neglecting so great tion, which at the and glorious a salvation as that which the gosfirst began to be pel sets before us ? A salvation, which having and was confirmed at its beginning been spoken by the Lord of anunto us by them gels himself, was confirmed to us by the certain that heard him; report of them that heard [him] preach it with
* We have heard.] Nothing can be more writing, as well as his own, to render the evidently weak than the argument drawn instruction the more unexceptionable and from hence, to prove that St. Paul was the more forcible. Besides, that to hear not the author of this epistle, because it any thing, signifies in general to be instructwas not by hearing only that he received ed in it. the gospel.' It is to be considered, that he Angels.] See Dr. Wbitby's admirable speaks in the name of all to whom he was note on this text.
Which was proclaimed not by angels, but by the Lord: sect. his own lips; The blessed God himself joining 4 God also bearing ü. his own divine and sacred testimony with theirs, them witness, both both by enabling them to perform the most de
with signs and won. Heb.
to periorm the most ders, and with divers ii. 4 e amazing signs and wonders, and various incon- miracles, and gifts of
testible miracles, and endowing them in a rich the Holy Ghost, ac-
ing to his own sovereign will and pleasure.
riority of Christ to angels is farther illustrat- gels hath he not put ed; for to angels, even the most exalted of in subjection the them, he, that is, God, hath not subjected the whereof we speak.
world to come, world to come,d nor ever intended that they should preside in the latest and best dispensation, the kingdom of the Messiah, which extends not only to earth, but to heav. en, concerning which we now speak, as it is
the great business of the Author's life to pro. 6 mote its interests. But a certain (writer,' } 6 But one in a cer.
c Signs and wonders.] I think it is very which preceded the display of the gospel. needless to inquire curiously into the dif. But it seems to me, that the simplest, ference of each of these words, when it is plainest, and most unexceptionable sense usual by a Hebraism to expressa great de. is this, “ That God had appointed his Son gree and variety of things of any kind, by to preside in the last great dispensation ; heaping together a great many synonymous which he elsewhere expresses, by saying, words.
He has urited all things under him, as their To argels he hath not subjected, &c.] common Head, Eph. i. 10," and this cerArchbishop Tillotson. thinks the meaning tainly is an honour to which no angel can of this scripture is, that God did not em- pretend. Dr. Burnet's explication of this power the Angels who delivered the law, as referring to the new heavens and earth, to enforce it with clear and express prom. which he supposes shall succeed the conises of a future state, as Christ had enforced flagration in which Christ is to reign, the gospel. See his Works, Vol. III. p. 136. (which he also thinks referred to Isa. ix 6, Dr. Barrow explains it of the Messiab mak. is so very precarious and improbable an ing so great an alteration in the constitu. interpretation, that I think it is hardly tion of things, that it is represented by a worth mentioning Burnet's Theory of the new heaven and a new earth, (Isa. Ixv. 17, G Earth, Vol. II. p. 392 sim.) on which account it was called by A certain [writer ] bears his testimony] the Jews, the world to come ; a phrase, It has been matter of much debate among which it is observable St. Paul only uses critics, whether these words are to be con. in this epistle to the Hebrews, as being sidered as in their original intent, a proph. familiar to them. Barrow's Works, Vol. II. ecy of the Messiah, or a description of the p. 202. Others have argued from this text, dignity and glory of human nature, to which that angels were possessed of certain au- the apostle alludes ; making use of David's thority and power in the world before language to clothe his own ideas, though Christ came, of which they were divested by an application very different from his upon his appearance ; and of those who design. It seems evident to me, that have agreed in this general explication, there is nothing in the vijith psalm by some, (as Mr. Peirce,) have referred to which, independent upon the apostle's authe presidence of angels to their having thority, it could be known to belong to the the guardianship of particular countries, and Messiah. On the whole therefore I preothers, to some particular influences of fer the latter opinion, though I readily their counsels in projecting the schemes confess, that if the former could be proved,
And to him all things are put in subjection.
17 tain place testified, well known I am persuaded to you Hebrews, sect, saying, What is man, somewhere bears his testimony, saying, (Psal.
ii. that thou art mind. fol of him? or the vii. 4,) O Lord, what is man that thou remem
Heb. son of man that thou berest him, or the son of man that thou regardest ü. 6 nisitest him? him ! After which he goes on in words that 7
7 Thou madest have a most remarkable correspondence to the him a little lower than the angels ; character and circumstances of the Lord Jesus thou crownedst him Christ, both in his humbled and in his exalted with glory and hon- state ; for he adds, speaking of the Son of man, cur, and didst set Thou hast made him but a little lower than the him over the works of thy hands. angels ; with glory and honour hast thou crown
ed him, and hast constituted him [lord) over all 8 Thou hast put the visible works of thine hands. Thou hast 8 all things in subjec- put all things under his feet. This may be in. For in that he put terpreted in the widest extent ; for in putting all in subjection un- all things under him, nothing was left out, (which der him, he left no- was not represented as reduced to subjection to thing that is not put him. under him.
But now we do not as yet see, that all now we see not yet things are put under him, to whom we refer all things put under these words ; but on the contrary, a great part
of the world is as yet unacquainted with him 9 But we see Je. and his authority. Nevertheless, we see what 9 sus, who was made a little lower than
we may well look upon as an earnest and secuthe angels, for the rity of it; for we see Jesus, who, for the few suffering of death, years he dwelt upon earth, was made in human crowned with glory form and state a little lower than the angels of by the grace of God God, over whom he had an original right, as should taste death their Maker, to preside, exalted to the most for every man. conspicuous dignity in the celestial world: we see him, who was thus humbled
for the suffering of death, that he might be capable of it, and that by the grace of God to sinful creatures, he might taste the bitterness of death for every man, who would obediently accept of life through him, now crowned with a glory and honour far superior to what Adam had in the day in which he was created.
it would establish a direct argument in f For the suffering of death.] These words, which must otherwise be only un. words may seem ambiguous, and capable derstood as an allusion ; but the grand of being referred either to the preceding truth to which they refer, the exaltation or following clause. It is indeed true, of Christ to supreme dignity, was so ex- that Christ was crowned as a reward for pressly asserted by himself, Mat. xxviii. suffering death, as the apostle expressly 18, and was so fundamental a doctrine, teaches, Phil. ii. 8, 9. But the concluding and so universally received in the Chris- words of the verse, which have plainly a tian church, that it did not seem to stand connection with these, determine them in need of such an additional proof. to the former sense.