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stone in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from off 7. the altar; And he touched my mouth, and said : Behold this
hath touched thy lips: therefore thine iniquity is removed, 8. and thy sin is forgiven. And I heard the voice of Jehovah, 9. saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? And
I said: Here am I; send me. And he said : Go, and say to this people:
Go on hearing, but understand not;
Go on seeing, but perceive not. 10. Make the heart of this people fat,
Ver. 7. The use of fire, as the most powerful of all purifying agents, is adopted in Scripture as a symbol of the more important process of moral purification. Mal. iii. 2,3; Matt. iii. 11. The , in D at once connects the words, and marks the instantuneousness of the effect produced by the application of the symbol to the mouth of the prophet. hep signifies not only to expiate or atone for sin, by covering it with the matter of the atonement from the view of Him whose prerogative it is to punish it, but also to grant pardon for the sake of, and as the result of such atonement.
Ver. 8. 29 The ancient versions of this word, with the exception of the Vulg., evince that their translators were perplexed by it. The Syriac omits it altogether; the LXX. bas apòg TÒV Xáov tovrov; and the Targ. op to teach ; though no Heb, MS. exhibits any various reading. The remark of Gesenius, that Jerome is quite consistent in interpreting this plural form, as he does Gen. i. 26; xi. 7. of the Trinity, rather redounds to the honour, than reflects discredit on that Father. In no other way has it ever been consistently interpreted. The hypothesis of a plural of majesty or excellence has never been satisfactorily established. It is neither in accordance with Scripture, nor with general oriental usage. No passage can be adduced from the Hebrew Scriptures, from which it can be proved, that it was the practice of kings to speak of themselves individually in the plural number. See Ewald's Heb. Gramm. Eng. Trans. p. 231, where that profound scholar gives it, as his deliberate opinion, that it is a great error to suppose, that the Heb. language, as we find it, has any feeling for a so called plur. majestaticus. The idea of a consultation with other beings, Gen. i. 26; ii. 22 ; xi. 7, and in this verse, which Kimchi, Le Clerc, and others advance in explanation, is rejected by Gesenius, Lehrgeb, p. 800, and both theories are decidedly repudiated by Hitzig, who, unwilling, however, to admit the doctrine of the Trinity, asserts, without any attempt at proof, that it is a mode of speech borrowed from common life. For an able discussion of the whole subject of plural attributions to the Deity, I refer the reader to the Rev. Dr. J. Pye Smith's Script. Testimony to the Messiah. Vol. I. pp. 464 -495. Third Edit.
Ver. 9. viyo yot &c. The construction of a finite verb with its infinitive following, denotes continuity of action. The LXX. resolve the Imperatives into Futures, and their version is adopted Matt. xiii. 14, 15; Acts xxviii. 27. The use of 5w, however, and not *h, shows, that the following verbs, win and vin, are not simply future, but are subject to the influence of the imperative mood of those which precede; yet so that the commands involve no external, objective necessity. The language is not strictly and properly jussive, but proverbial in its character, and savours strongly of sacred irony, of which we have a decided instance, Matt. xxiii. 32. Similar proverbial forms, and some of them almost identical, are adduced in abundance by Wetstein ad Matt, xiii, 13. in here, and Gen. xxvi. 28, for iing, which is found in thirteen MSS.
Ver. 10. The Imperatives youn, 2017 , young are declaratory in their import, agreeably to the language of the Hebrew prophets, in which a person is often
Make heavy their ears, and close up their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears,
And perceive with their heart, and turn, and be healed.
Till the cities be made desolate, without an inhabitant,
And the land become utterly desolate,
And the forsaking be great in the midst of the land.
said to do, or effect what he merely announces would take place. Comp. Gen. xxvii. 38; Jer. i. 10; Ezek. xliii. 3; Hos. vi. 5. The passage, in effect, contains nothing more than a prediction of the obduracy of the Jews, and the consequences by which it would be followed : only it is expressed in a form which indicates strong feeling on the part of the speaker, and a persuasion that such would infallibly be their condition. This mode of speech is not uncommon even in modern languages, when a person in a state of excitement, wishing to intimate his conviction of the certainty of any action of which he disapproves, gives a peremptory order that it should be performed. There can be no doubt that the words were designed to apply to the Jews in the days of the prophet; yet the description being equally appropriate in its application to their character, as a people, from that time forward, we find the prophecy quoted or referred to five times by our Lord and by Paul, as receiving its accomplishment in their days. Comp. Matt. xiii. 14, 15; Mark iv. 12; Luke viii. 10; John xii. 40; Acts xxviii. 25-27.- prin to make fat; so to surround with fat, as to render insensible to external influence: metaphor. to make stupid, unfeeling, and stubborn. See for the use of the verb in Kal. Deut. xxxii. 15. Jer. v. 28.7290 likewise metaphor. applied, denotes heaviness or dulness of perception, a want of susceptibility and attention to instruction. you go to smear over with viscous matter, close up; Root von Aram. Byw to smear, blind, LXX. érájuvoav, Vulg. Claude-indicates the most obstinate determination to shut out the light of truth from the mind. Before 2a subaud. ? which is supplied in upwards of twenty MSS. and two of the earliest printed editions. Its being expressed, however, in the LXX. Syr. Chald. and Vulg. is no proof of its having been in the text from which they were made, as the translators might, in common with others, have found it necessary to supply it in their versions. In like manper is understood after 29.-- Apn is to be taken impersonally: and there should be healing to them; just as we find the Niphal with the Dative following: 25 en there is healing to us, ch. liii.5. The healing referred to is the entire moral recovery which sinners experience on their conversion to God; and, as pardon is essential to such recovery, healing and forgiveness of sins came to be regarded by the Hebrews as synonymous. Hence after the Targum, part the words are thus paraphrased, Mark iv. 12. kai ágens åvroic tà ápaprhuara, though in the parallel passages, iáownal of the LXX. is retained.
Ver. 11, ON TUNTY This accumulation is designed to give intensity to the statement, and thereby to intimate, in such connexion, the great length of time which the predicted desolation would occupy. Comp. Gen. xxviii. 15; Num. xxxii. 17.-_PAN NA lit. be laid waste, a desolation, for “ be utterly wasted."
Ver. 12. The Babylonish captivity is evidently predicted in this verse. — nany that which is forsaken ; i.e. the portion of the land with whatever pertained to it, which the inhabitants were compelled to leave on their transportation. That the LXX. & Vulg. which have been followed by Lowth, have quite mistaken the meaning of the term, will be seen on comparing chap. xvii. 2; Jer. iv. 29; Zeph. ii. 4. where it is employed precisely as it is in this place.
13. And though there should still be in it a tenth part,
Even it shall again be burnt up;
Ver. 13. 700 mann, in such connexion, is used adverbially, to indicate a repetition of the action expressed by the following verb. Thus the LXX. kai #aliv zorai les 7 povoury: and Symm. kai páliv čorai eis katasookhoiv. - a n lit. to be for burning, shall be burnt, or laid waste by burning. See, for the phrase, Num. xxiv. 22; Is. xliv, 15.- nak a felling or throwing down, from sto cast, cast down, overthrow. naxa and many from 197 to set, place, plant, remain stationary in a place: hence the signification of stock or trunk attaching to the noun, from its continuing in the ground. The fem. pron. affix in Anaya refers to 770 the tenth part; and D (for which upwards of a hundred MSS. read, or have read ma) belongs to yin? . The meaning of the whole verse seems to be this : So severe shall be the punishment inflicted upon the nation, that should only a small part recover itself, that part shall likewise in its turn be punished. Nevertheless it shall not be entirely annihilated; but like the trunk of the most durable of trees, which sends forth a fresh shoot, it shall produce a holy race to adorn the church of God. On account of their obstinacy, the Jews were first carried away to Babylon; after the short respite which followed the restoration, during which they might be said never to have regained more than a tenth part of their former strength and influence, they were finally and completely overthrown by the Romans; but, though nearly eighteen centuries have elapsed since that event, they still radically exist, and we anticipate the period, when, as a people, their motto shall be “ Holiness unto the Lord.” The best commentary upon the latter half of this verse is furnished by Paul, Rom. xi, in which he treats of the fall and present rejection of the Jews, and their future restoration. The metaphor of the root and its branches somewhat differs from that here employed; but the subject is the same, and is introduced in a similar way, by a recognition of the blindness and obstinacy of the Jewish people, verses 7–10.
THE REV. PHILIP IIENRY'S OBJECTIONS TO TUE CATHOLIC
(Continued from page 609.) Query 3. What arguments to prove that there is no such worth or merit in good works as that we are thereby justified in the sight of God?
By good works is meant, not only such works as are for the matter of them good ; but, also, such as are never so well done for the manner of doing them. And though the person that doth them be regenerate, yet they are not, nor can be, the matter of our justification, or that righteousness in which we strictly merit to be accepted and saved.
1. Because justification is of grace; and if of grace, then not of works; for in this business grace and works are set in opposition to each other. Rom. i. 6; Tit. iii. 5, 7.
2. Because justification is by faith in Christ, i. e. by Christ's
righteousness received by faith, Gal. ii. 16, Rom. v.1; and if so, then not by works ; for the law of works and the law of faith are set in opposition to each other. Rom. iii. 27.
3. Election is not of works, but of grace, Rom. ii. 5, 6; ii. 11, 12: for works are the fruit, not the cause, of election, Eph i. 4; ii. 10. And if not election, then not salvation.
4. Adam in innocency did not, nor could not, merit at the hands of God; then much less can we.
5. That which merits must be something more than is due ; M man merits by paying his debt: but all our obedience is our debt, and when we have done all, we are at best but unprofitable servants. Luke xvii, 10.
6. That which merits must, some way or other, profit him of whom we seek to merit. But our good works do not profit God. Psalm xvi. 2; Job xxii. 2, 35, 37.
7. That which merits must be our own. But all the good that we either have, or do, is of God. 1 Cor. iv. 7; Isa. xxvi, 11, 12; Phil. ii. 13.
8. There must be some proportion between that which merits and the reward merited : but there is no proportion between our finite service or sufferings, and infinite glory. Rom. viii. 18.
9. The God with whom we have to do is pure and holy, Heb. i. 13 : but all our services are imperfect and impure; and, therefore, can merit nothing. James iïi. 2; Isa. Ixiv. 6.
10. From Rom. vi. 23, where, instead of saying the wages of duty is eternal life, as it should be by the antithesis, it is said, the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ.
11. If justification were by works, we should have whereof to boast : but God will have no man to boast. Eph. ii. 9; Rom. iii. 21; iv. 2; 1 Cor. i. 29–31.
12. It reflects high disparagement on the sufficiency of Christ's satisfaction, as if it needed our righteousness to eke it out: whereas Heb. vii. 25.
13. God's people have renounced all merit of their own, and betaken themselves to free grace for justification and salvation, Jacob, Gen. xxxii. 10; Nehemiah, chap. xiii. 22; Paul, Phil. ill. 8.
14. From the testimony even of our adversaries, in a dying hour, when we may believe they would, if ever, speak their hearts : as particularly Charles the Fifth and Cardinal Bellarmine, both whom, at death, relinquished merit, and pleaded mercy.
15. Justification by works overthrows the comfort of believers; because, trusting to it, it deceives them, being a sandy foundation: whereas Christ is the rock.
Inference 1. If we cannot merit for ourselves, much less can we for others : then there are no works of supererogation.
2. Notwithstanding, we are to abound in good works, that God may be glorified, John xv. 8; our profession beautified, Matt. . 20; our faith justified, James ii. 18, 26; our sincerity testified, 2 Cor. viii. 8.
3. But take heed of resting in them, Hos. xvi. 12: make not a duty a Christ.
Query 4. What arguments against worshipping of images, and praying to saints and angels ?
Both these are practised and pleaded for by the Church of Rome; and in both, we conceive them guilty of abominable idolatry.
1. For images ; to make an image of the blessed Trinity is,
(1.) Unlawful: because the breach of an express commandment. Lev. xxvi. 1; Deut. xvi. 22.
(2.) Impossible : because God is a spirit, of which no likeness can be made. Deut. iv. 15, &c.; Acts xvii. 29; Rom. i. 23; Isa. xl. 18; John iv. 24. It argues some sense of guilt, that, in their ordinary books of devotion, which the common people are permitted to use, they leave out the second commandment; and to supply the number, divide the tenth into two.
2. For praying to saints and angels, as mediators of intercession -which they use daily, especially to the Virgin Mary, whether by or without an image-we have these arguments against it.
(1.) Because prayer is divine worship, Ps. Ixv. 2: therefore, ought not to be given to any creature. Isa. xlii. 8; Matt. iv. 10. (2.) Because praying to saints or angels hath neither precept, precedent, nor promise; and, therefore, cannot be done in faith : and whatsoever is not of faith is sin. If it have either, let them produce it. (3.) Saints and angels are ignorant of us, being neither omnipresent nor omniscient; therefore, not fit to be prayed to, Isa. lxiii. 16; Eccl. ix. 5, 6; Job xiv. 21 ; 2 Kings xxii. 20 : they know not the heart. Jer. xvii. 9, 10; Rom. viii. 27.
Objection. They see all in God, as in a glass. Answer 1. The Scripture no where saith so: or, 2, that they know all things, which is God's incommunicable attribute. 3. The angels saw God, yet saw not the mystery of the incarnation, till it was revealed in the gospel. Eph. iii. 10. 4. Why then do they not see and know the day of judgment ? Matt. xxiv. 36.
4. We are not to believe in them; therefore, not to pray to them. Rom. x. 14.
5. They have no leisure to do our errands in prayer, having enough to do for themselves, to offer up unto God that duty and service which they owe to him. Rev. vii. 15.
6. They have need of a mediator themselves, therefore are no competent mediators for us, Job iv. 18: folly, i. e. weakness and imperfections as creatures, reconciled by Christ. Col. i. 22.
7. They have no merits to plead for us, having made no atonement by blood, nor offered any sacrifice of propitiation. 1 John ii. 2.
8. From those Scriptures, which say that Jesus Christ alone is our Mediator, 1 Tim. ii. 5; Acts iv. 12. See John xiv. 13. The Father will be glorified in the Son.
9. It reflects disparagement on Christ's intercession, as insufficient: whereas Heb. vii. 25; John xvi. 23.
10. Angel worship is expressly forbidden. Col. ii. 18
11. Worship but looking like that which is divine, hath been rejected with indignation, both by angels, Rev. xix. 10; xxii. 9 : and by holy men, as Peter, Acts x. 25, 26: Paul and Barnabas Acts xiv. 13, VOL. I. N. s.