Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

58.

Julian Pe- God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of Philippi.
riod, 4771. God, speak we in Christ.
Vulgar Æra,

§ 8. 2 Cor. iii. 1--6.
St. Paul here ironically inquires if it is necessary for him

also, as well as the false Teacher, to come to them with
Letters of Recommendation-He declares that they them-
selves are his Letters of Recommendation, not written
with Ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; and
consequently they were an Evidence of God's delegated
Authority to him in the Ministry of the New Testa-
ment.

I Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need
we, as some elhers, epistles of commendation to you, or
letters of commendation from you ?

2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men :

3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God: not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.

4 And such trust have we through Christ to Godward :

5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing, as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God,

6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit : for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life”.

16 In this passage the Mystics imagined that St. Paul was drawing a parallel between two difforent kinds of interpretation. Construing, therefore, “itera,” in the Latin Vulgate, by“ literal interpretation,” and “spiritus,” by“ spiritual in. terpretation,” they inferred that the apostle had condemned the former, and recommended the exclusive employment of the latter. Now the apostle, according to his own words, was drawing a parallel of a totally different description-a parallel, which had no concern whatever with interpretation. He was drawing a parallel between the Law of Moses and the Gospel of Christ. The former does not, the latter does afford the means of salvation. This, and this only, is what St. Paul mcaot, when he said, "that the one killeth, and that the other giveth life." It is true, that he applied the term rpájua to the former, and the term Ilveõua to the latter. But he added explanations of these terms, which remove all ambiguity; the law of Moses be called Γράμμα, as Διακόνια ένα γράμμασι, or as being Διακόνια έντετυπωμένη εν λίθοις–the Gospel of Christ be called Πνεύμα, as being Διακόνια του Πνευματος εν δόξη. Now, as these explanations are not not only Greek explanations, but Greek explanations of Greek terms, they are absolutely incapable of being transfused into any version. They can be understood only with reference to the words of the original. It is therefore impossible that any one who expounds this passage from the words of a translation, should expound it in the sense of the autbor. But as the Mystics, liko other members of the Church of Rome,

THE GOSPÈL SUPERIOR TO THE LAW-CHAP. XIII.

343

Julian Pe-
$ 9. 2 cor. iii. 7, to the end.

Pbilippi. riod 4771. Valgaræra, St. Paul declares, in opposition to the false Teacher, the

glorious Superiority of the Gospel DispensationThe
Vail which covered the transient and outward Glory of
Moses, emblematically represented the Obscurity and
figurative Nature of the Covenant of Death : the Minis-
ters of the Covenant of the Spirit, by a lasting and
greater Glory, in the abiding Gifts and Inspiration of
the Holy Spirit, were enabled to unveil, to explain, and
to preach every where the more glorious Covenant of
Righteousness.

7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven
in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel
could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the
glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done
away;

8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious ?

9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

io For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this repect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

ii For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished :

14 But their minds were blinded; for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament: which vail is done away in Christ.

15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away,

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in glass the

expounded from an authorized version, they fell into an error,
which a knowledge of the original would bave prevented. They
fell into the error of supposing that literal or grammatical ex-
position not only might be, but ought to be discarded; and
hence they acquired such a contempt for every thing spiritual
or allegorical, that the plain and literal meaning of a passage
was regarded as a sort of husk and chaff, fit only for the carnally-
minded, and not suited to the taste of the godịy (a).

(a) See Bishop Marsh's Lectures, part iji. p. 107. Camb. 1813

Julian Pe- glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from Philippi. riod, 4771, glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord . Vulgar Æra, 58.

17 The original word in this passage, ratoarpisópevou, in the opinion of Locke, Macknight, and others, should be rather translated "reflecting as a mirror," instead of “ beholding as in a mirror.” Both meanings may be united. The mirrors of the ancients were made of polished steel, and reflected therefore upon the countenances of those who looked upon them a lumi. nous effulgence, or glory. The apostle bebeld as in the mirror of the Scriptures the glory of Christ, and this glory shone upon the face of the apostle. Moses vailed the glory which had shope upon his face. The apostle, on the contrary, would not vail bis face; but by contemplating more and more the glory of Christ, endeavoured to diffuse the knowledge of that glory to the world.

The superiority of the law of Christ to that of Moses, is ad. mirably shewn by Whitby, in his notes to this chapter.

The glory appearing on mount Sinai made the people afraid of death, saying, “ Let pot God speak to us any more, lest we dic.” Exod. xx. 19. Deut. xviii. 16. and thus they received “the spirit of bondage to fear,” Rom. viii. 15. whilst we have given to us “the spirit of power and love, and of a sound mind,”_2 Tim. i. 7. and the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father! and to this difference the Epistle to the Hebrews alludes, chap. xii. 18–24.

Moses, with all his glory, was only the minister of the law, written on tables of stone: the apostles are ministers of the Gospel, written on the hearts of believers. Moses gave the Jews only the letter that killeth: the apostles gave the Gospel, which is accompanied with the Spirit that gives life.

The glory which Moses received at the giving of the law, did more and more diminish, because his law was to vanish away ; but the glory which is received from Christ is an increasing glory; the doctrine and the Divine influence remaining for ever; and as the law was vailed under types and shadows, the Gospel was delivered with great plainness and perspicuity.

Again, the Jews only saw the shining of the face of Moses
through a veil ; but we behold the glory of the Gospel of Christ
in the person of Christ, our law-giver, with open face.

They saw through a vail, which prevented the reflection, or
shining of it, upon then ; and so this glory shone only on the
face of Moses, but not at all upon the people. Whereas the
glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ, shines as in a mirror,
which reflects the image upon Christian believers, so that they
are transformed into the same image, deriving the glorious gifts
and graces of the Spirit with the Gospel from Christ the Lord
and distributor of them, 1 Cor. xii. 5. and so the glory wbich
He had from the Father, He has given to his genuine followers,
Joho xvij. 22. It is, therefore, rather with true Christians, as
it was with Moses bimself, concerning whom God speaks thus :
“With him will I speak' mouth to mouth," even apparently,
and not in dark speeches; and the similitude, riv dótav kvpis,
the glory of the Lord, shall he bebold. Numb. xii. 8. For as
he saw the glory of God apparently, so we with open face behold
the glory of the Lord; as he, by seeing of this glory, was
changed into the same likeness, and his face shone, or was deờo-
Faouévn, made glorious; so we beholding the glory of the Lord
in the face of esus Christ, chap. vi. are changed into the
same glory. But though this may in some measure be enlarged
to the Church in general, in which these gifts were exercised,
I think it chiefly, and more eminently, refers to the apostles,
meutioned ver. 12.

58.

The GOSPEL PROCEEDS FROM GOD ALONE.- CHAP. XIII. 345 Julian Pe. § 10. 2 Cor. iv. 1-6.

Philippi. riod, 4771. VulgarÆra, St. Paul shews that the glorious Ministry entrusted to him,

fills him with Hope and Diligence-He desires to com-
mend himself by a full Manifestation of the Truths of
the Gospel, which can only be hid from the Worldly,
minded, who are blinded by their Lusts and Passions
St. Paul declares that he seeks not his own Glory-God
having enlightened his Heart, that he might communicate
the Knowledge and Glory of God, which had been made
manifest in Jesus Christ.

1 Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have
received mercy, we faint not ;
- 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,
not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God
deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commend-
ing ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of
God.

3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are
lost :

4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should sbine unto them.

5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of
darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of
the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus
Christ.

§ 11. 2 cor. iv. 7-12
St. Paul declares, by comparing the Ministers of the Gos-

pel to Earthen Vessels, that God chose illiterate and
insignificant Men for his Apostles, to shew that the Ex-
cellency of the Power by which his Religion was propa-
gated proceeded from God, and not from Men-He
enumerates the Difficulties to which they were exposed,
as a proof that their Deliverance from them did not pro-
ceed from themselves, but from God.

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the
excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair ;

9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

Julian Pe- 11 For we which live are always delivered unto death Philippi. riod, 4771. for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made VulgarÆra,

manifest in our mortal flesh.

12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

58.

§ 12. 2 Cor. iv. 13, to the end.
St. Paul shews that through Faith in Christ, and the Hope

of a glorious Immortality, he is enabled to overcome all the
Difficulties and Dangers of his Christian Ministry-He
tells them that for their Sakes he endured these Sufferings,
that they being convinced of his Sincerity, might give
Thanks to God-He declares his Conviction that his
Sufferings for the Sake of the Gospel, will procure for
him a proportionate Reward in Heaven; for which cause
he looks not for the temporal Advantages of this World,
but for the eternal Glories of the invisible State.

13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it
is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we
also believe, and therefore speak ;

14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might, through the thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not ; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but
at the things which are not seen : for the things which are
seen are temporal ; but the things which are not seen are
eternal.

§ 13. 2 cor. v. 1-10.
St. Paul continues his Argument by showing how greatly

superior our heavenly Habitation will be to that which we
at present dwell inHe asserts that God prepares us for
this immortal State, and gives us his Spirit as a Pledge
of itThis Consideration gives him boldness in his
Preaching, and makes him willing to leave this Body,
that he

may

be present with the Lord; but whether living or dying, his aim is to be accepted of God, to whom all are accountable.

1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

« ElőzőTovább »