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care of it to whom it properly belongs; we are only guests and strangers.
John vii. 52.
It should be, ariseth not the prophet; and not, ariseth no prophet, as our translation expresses it: for the prophet Jonah was of Gath Hepher in this very country, 2 Kings xiv. 25. Nahum also was of Galilee. But that the Messiah was not to come out of Galilee, the Jews all knew very well.
John xiy. 28. A man must be wilfully blind not to see the two natures of God and man in the person of Jesus Christ. In respect of his human nature only, it is that he says, my Father is greater than I. His divine nature, wherein he is equal with God the Father, is asserted in these words of St. John, chap. i. 1. In the beginning was the Word, (or Christ,) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. These two texts, put together, plainly prove that Jesus Christ is perfect God, and per. fect man.
Acts vi. 9.
By libertines are not meant wicked and disorderly persons; such as take the liberty of living as they please, but only the sons of such slaves as had obtained the freedom of the city of Rome.
Gal. iv. 12.
I am as ye are. This certainly ought to be, I was as ye are; that is, I was once as zealous for the law of Moses, as ye are now.
Philip. ii. 6, 7.
From those Scriptures which speak of Christ as a man, some are so unreasonable as to conclude that he was nothing more than a mere man; and so deny his divinity. Others, on the contrary, from those texts which speak of him as God, do as foolishly deny his humanity. These verses prove that Christ was God in human nature: for, as his being in the form of a servant signified. that he was such in reality; so, his being in the form of God must signify, that he is really and truly God.
Coloss. i. 15.
Our Savior is here called the first born of every creature. The word signifies the first producer, as well as the first produced. This seems to be the real meaning from the words immediately following: for by him were all things created.
1 Thess. V. 21.
Prove all things, hold fast that which is good, has been misunderstood to encourage running after various teachers, and ways of religious worship, under pretence of trying all religions first, before they settle: whereas this relates to inquiries into spiritual gifts giv-en in those times, as prophesying, &c. &c.
2 Tim. iv. 14. St. Paul, speaking of the evil done by Alexander, adds; the Lord reward him according to his works. This seems to imply an evil wish toward him: but seyeral versions, and many of the fathers, read, will reward him. This affords a sufficient answer to the difficulty.
All the ancients note that this is only a prophecy; and one very well becoming an Apostle.
Hebrews vii. 3.
Such an account as this, of Melchisedec being without father, or mother, cannot naturally be given of any
It may mean that he was without father or mother of any priestly order. The next words likewise, which in English might have explained the former, require some explanation; namely, without descent; that is, without a register or catalogue of his descent: or, as it is in the Greek, without any genealogy or pedigree. The Jews, and other ancient nations, commonly called all persons, whose pedigrees were obscure or lost, fatherless and motherless. The same interpretation may also be given of the following expressions, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life, that is, not recorded in Scripture: for nothing is there said of the beginning or end of his life.
CONJECTURE ON 2 TIMOTHY iv. 13.
There is no particular conjecture as to the peculiar meaning or force of the following passage of St. Paul in the Second Epistle to Timothy iv. 13, “The cloak that I left at Troas, bring with thee, and the books; but especially the parchments." I would hint, that this epistle was written from Rome, when Paul brought before Nero the second time. In the 22d chapter of the Acts, Paul was tenacious of the privilege of Roman citizenship; and it proved of much advantage to him before the centurion. It may be, and it is, a matter
of mere conjecture, whether he might be required to prove himself a citizen of Rome when he was to make his defence. These parchments (ueu
pavei) might contain some documents, or be a deed, or diploma of some consequence to the matter in question. But as to the cloak, there is something more particular. The cloak in the original is, DELOVMS, or, Quicvms; which is, undoubtedly, a corruption for Quivodes, and it is so read in the Codex, M. S. Bibliothecæ Cæsaree Viennensis. Daivodes was Grecised from the Roman word Panula.
This is no more than was done frequently in other languages, and in other countries, particularly when the seat of empire was transferred from Rome to Byzantium, the lawyers of the imperial courts were obliged to Grecise many terms of law.
As the Penula was so specifically a Roman garment, and worn only by Romans, St. Paul might wish, as a light confirmation of his point, to shew what was his customary dress. It may be remarked that the Penula was a vestment which the Romans generally wore upon a journey. Juvenal observes in Sat. 5, Multo Stillaret Pænula nimbo; and St. Paul says, that "he left it behind him at Troas."
This is only written as a mere literary remark, to hint that, in the minutest passages of the Scriptures there may be some meaning; and that nothing can be so contemptible as a foolish and profane ridicule on any passage in the sacred writings, founded on ignorance. The present remarks are intended as a matter of some little curiosity: and I look upon them in no other view. But I think there is no passage in the Hebrew or Greek
Scriptures which will not at least admit of such an illus. tration or explanation (I mean philologically or critically) as may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF SCRIPTURES.
Psalm lviii. 4, 5.
Jeremiah viii. 17.
In the neighborhood of Madras there are serpent charmers: a set of strollers, who carry about with them a basket with these reptiles. After a kind of overture, the basket is opened, and the serpents slide out. As the artist plays upon a tambourin, a kind of tympanum, and accompanies it with his voice, the serpents raise themselves on their tails, and wave their heads to the tune; but upon the music ceasing, they return almost immediately to their native sullenness and malignity, when they are fenced into their prison, to prevent their darting at the company, as they leave them in full possession of their poison, which they sometimes prove, by suffering them to bite domestic animals. The species generally employed by these itinerant artists, is that called Hooded Serpents, the most venomous of the kind; and
many of them are so gloomy, that it is a long time before the artist can prevail upon them to lift up their hoods to admit the sound of his music, or “hear the voice of the charmer.” They, therefore, often cut the ligature of their hoods, which makes it fall below their
This effect of the sounds of music upon animals, is confirmed by what we see of the effects of drums and trumpets upon horses.