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rately acquainted with the grand elements of the re medial system; the eternal divinity and sonship of Messiah, his eternal unction to the mediatorial office, his eternal love to the fallen sons of men; and his execution, in time, of the duties of his sacred trust, in proclaiming salvation to them all, securing life and happiness to all who should receive his instructions, and submit to his authority; and pronouncing the sentence of death, inevitable and irremediable death, upon those obstinate sinners, who should wrong their own souls by rejecting him. It is pleasant to expatiate thus on Jewish ground, and to find in this land which the Lord has blessed, the same trees, and fruits, and flowers, and the same productions of every kind, which beautify, and which enrich the paradise of the christian church. The eye pleads to be indulged in reposing a little on the enchanting scene; imagination would wish to give scope to all her powers in quest of boundless enjoyment. But sober truth reminds us that we live here rather for labour than for enjoyment; and that our spiritual food, as well as our natural, must be earned by the sweat of our brow. Let us proceed then to cultivate the intellectual field, to weed out the briars, and thorns, and thistles, that whatever may be the issue in respect to ourselves, we may leave the intailed estate to our posterity, at least not worse than when it came into our hands.
As the liberty has been taken to make a couple of alterations in the translation, it is proper that the reasons of the change should be laid before the reader, that he may judge for himself whether they are legitimate improvements, and really necessary to convey the sense of the inspired originals. This shall be done with as little of the air of criticism as possible;
the learned reader needs only to have the subject sug gested; and even those who are unacquainted with Hebrew literature; will, from the nature of the sub ject be able to form a sound judgment.
In the 24th verse I have changed the phrase I was brought forth, into I was begotten: The Hebrew word used in the passage, designates the relation between a parent, whether father or mother, and a child; and is sometimes to be translated to beget, sometimes to bear or bring forth. But since, through. out the whole of the sacred Scriptures, the relation be tween the first and second persons in the adorable trinity is always represented by that of father and son, of son and father, the appropriate translation of the word in this place is begotten, not brought forth. This every reader of the Scriptures will assent to.
In the 23d verse, instead of I was set up from everlasting; I use the phrase I was anointed a covenant head. The original word signifies to anoint and is frequently used to denote the appointment of a public officer, because the rite of anointing with oil was common on such occasions. It is the same word which is used Psalms ii. 5. "Yet I have set (D) I have anointed) my king upon my holy hill of Zion ;" a text which serves the double purpose of establishing the criticism and the doctrine. From this rite of anointing at their inauguration, princes, or supreme officers, are denominated, or anointed ones. The translation I have given, viz. I was anointed a covenant head, is indeed paraphrastic; but the idea conveyed is indisputably correct. The Son of God was set up from everlasting, was anointed a supreme officer; so says the text; and the whole current of scripture language goes to prove that he was set up,
and anointed the covenant head of the church; nor is the slightest hint given us from the beginning of the Bible to its end, that ever he was appointed to another office. Let us now sum up the elementary doctrines of this passage.
1. It teaches us that the eternal, and eternally begotten, Son of God, was set up, and anointed the head of his church, "from everlasting," from the beginning, (from all eternity) or ever the earth was-before the foundation of our world was laid. There was, therefore, a covenant between the eternal Father and his Son from all eternity. Whether this was a covenant of redemption, or was not, the reader perhaps has already decided in his own mind.-I reserve my decision as yet.
2. The Son of God being anointed a covenant head from all eternity, was, by his Father (v. 30.) as one brought up with him; and was daily his delight; rejoicing always before him ; rejoicing in the habitable parts of the earth, and his delights were with the sons of men. Now these delights must have been placed on men viewed in innocence, or subsequent to the fall. They were not placed on men viewed in innocence; for not to mention that to call Adam and Eve the sons of men would be a very singular phraseology, there was no reason why innocent men should be more an object of the Son of God's delight than innocent angels, who at that time were more than merely innocent, they were meritorious, and had secured their eternal standing in the divine favour by their approved fidelity. Of consequence, the objects of his delight were men viewed after the fall and as there was nothing in the foul and guilty race to excite the pure delights of the infinitely holy Son of God-As they were cast
out into the open field weltering in their blood, to the loathing of their persons; it follows that they must have been viewed as objects of redemption.
This is all I shall determine for the present; that the Son of God having been, from all eternity, anointed a covenant head, a Redeemer of men, delighted in the objects of that redemption. But I do not inquire, at this stage of investigation, whether these objects comprehend all mankind, or only a part of them; nor under what formal consideration they were viewed. But it is highly probable that the reader will, as usual, have shot ahead of the writer, and concluded, that those who were the objects of the Redeemer's delight from all eternity, are the very same who shall be the objects of his ineffable delight to all eternity-and that it is not very likely, that the Son of God delighted from all eternity in those, to whom he will say in the day of judgment, Depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you.
The next passage I shall produce, is found 2d Tim. i. 8, &c. "Be not thou, therefore, ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but be thou a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel, according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose; and THE GRACE which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearance of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."
I have made a small alteration in the translation, because our present version is neither a correct translation, nor correct English; the sense, however, is not
affected, and of the propriety of the change of phraseology, the learned wilt judge.
The apostle speaks of Timothy and himself as converted persons, real living saints; and asserts, that grace was given them in Christ Jesus before the world began, and that they had been converted according to God's eternal purpose, and according to that grace which was given them in Christ Jesus before the world began. Now, what was true in respect to Paul and Ti. mothy, purely as saints, or converted persons, is true respecting all saints; and will be true respecting all saints in the judgment day, namely, that they were called with a holy calling, and made living Christians, according to the purpose of God, and the grace which was given them in Christ Jesus before the world began.
But how was grace given them in Christ Jesus before the world began? Look back to the foregoing article, and compare the Old Testament scriptures with those of the New. Jesus Christ was anointed a covenant head from everlasting; and in that very anointing, grace was given in him to all who ever shall believe in his name, and they shall be called with a holy calling, according to the purpose of him who gave them grace in his own Son before the world began.
I might go on to reason on these data, and, placing before my imagination the doleful throng on the left hand of the Redeemer, in the judgment day, and the glorious throng on his right; I might say grace was given to all these in the Son of God before the world began; and they were all called with a holy calling, according to the purpose of him who gave the gracebut was grace given in Christ Jesus before the world began, to those to whom neither he nor his Father