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Whereas the angels are ministring spirits.

thee in glory or in joy. Yea, as Divine, thou secr. art fixed in thine eternal throne, that the whole i. created world may unite in its prostrate hom

Heb. 10 And, thou, age before thee. And it is to him who presid- ; 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 foundation of the

d the heave 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 hast 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 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 shall be changed : crane of things with as but thou art the

he 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

1 to him, even under the inspiration of an uner. I make thine ene- ring spirit ; let me refer you to another pas. mies thy footstool? sage, in which the Father himself speaks to him

under the character of his Son, exalted to his
mediatorial kingdom ; that you may take an
idea of his grandeur from thence. For to
which of the angels hath he ever said, Sit thou
enthroned in glory at my right hand, till I make
thine enemies the footstool of thy feet, and give

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 sent forth to minister Sucn nonour as ini5 ; the noblest of them all for them who shall esteems himself happy in an opportunity of

worshipping this triumphant Lord, and minis.
tring even to the least of his servants. Is it not
a known and delightful truth? are they not in-
deed all ministring spirits, who officiate before
the throne of God, and are sent out to attend on
those who shall inherit salvation ? and always

* Fold them up.] For enests Mr. Peirce heaven and earth here signifies, govern. would read annatus, 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.

i them, for the safety and good of his people ? tion ? Heb.

any view of comparison with him, let us hum-
bly adore him, for the benefits which by his
authority and favour we daily receive from
these benevolent creatures.

i. 14

IMPROVEMENT.

verse Let us learn from this wonderful and delightful portion of

scripture, how we are to conceive of our blessed Reedeemer. Ad. mirable contrast of characters 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 8 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 u 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 > flv like Aames 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 then. 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

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We should attend to the gospel of Christ : in services like their own, in that world where they dwell, and secr. to which, if we approve ourselves his faithful servants, he will i. ere long give them a charge safely and joyfully to convey us.

SECT. II.
From what has been before said, the apostle infers the danger of

despising Christ on account of his humiliation; which in perfect
consistence with his dominion over the world to come, was volun-
tarily submitted to by him, for wise and important reasons ; par-
ticularly to deliver us from the fear of death, and encourage the
freedom of our access to God. Heb. II. 1, to the end.

HEBREWS II. 1.

Hebrews II. 1. THEREFORE COMETHING we have said in the former sect.

we ought to N section concerning the supreme dignity of give the more earn- our blessed Redeemer. And now give me Heb. things which we leave, before I proceed to other arguments ü. 1 have beard, least at which will naturally occur, to draw this obvi. any time we should let them slip.

ous consequence from what I have already
said : If he be so far superior to angels, we
ought therefore to yield extraordinary attention
to the things which we have hearda by his au-
thority ; lest by any means we let (them] How out

of our minds, and lose the impression they
2 For if the word once made upon us. For if the Mosaic law, 2
spoken by angels which was the word spoken by angels, pro-
was steadfast, and claiming it in the name and presence of Jeho-
every transgression
and disobedience re. vah from mount Sinai, was steadfast, and con-
ceived a just recom- firmed by such awful sanctions, that every in.
pense 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 escape if we neg.. lect so great salva. to hope that we shall escape, neglecting sogreat tion, which at the and glorious a salvation as that which the gosfirst began to be pel sets before us? A salvation, which having spoken by the Lord,

med at its beginning been spoken by the Lord of an. unto 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 b Angels.] See Dr. Wbitby's admirable speaks in the name of all to whom he was note on this text.

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will ?

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-
abundance, with distributions of the Holy Spir-
it in its extraordinary operations, imparted in
different degrees to different persons, accord.

ing to his own sovereign will and pleasure.
5 And by these wonderful operations the supe. 5 For onto the an.

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,

him

And to him all things are put in subjection. tain place testified, well known I am persuaded to you Hebrews, sect. saying, What is man, somewhere bears his testimony, saying, (Psal. 11. that thou art mind. ful of him? or the

viji. 4,) O Lord, what is man that thou remem.

3, son of man that thou berest him, or the son of man that thou regardest ü. 6 visitest 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, our, and didst set

Thou hast made him but a little lower than the 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. tion under his feet. For in that he put "erpreted

i 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.

put him.

But now we do
But

But now we do not as yet see, that all now ge see not vet things are put under him, to whom we refer all things put under these words ; but on the contrary, a great part him.

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 we may well look upon as an earnest and secu. a little lower than the 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 and honour; that he

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 supe.
rior 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.

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