« הקודםהמשך »
Lord,” Pi. Ixxx. 17. and “ the man his fellow,” Zech. xiii. 7, She also makes profesion of the divinity of the Messiah, when the calls him JEHOVAH ; and signifies, that both natures should be united in one person, by joining these two, Paul calls him, « God manifest in the flesh," 1 Tim. iii. 16.
XXXIV. 'To this explication three things are principally. objected. ift, If Eve intended this, the would have faid doubling the sign of the accusative cafe : as in the following verse, Toy Aben. Dor a'urš toy A Ben, 2dly, rx often fignifies the fame as by, with ; 71.7* nx therefore signifies with Jehovah, as in @sã with God. In this sense, Jonathan is said to have wrought bbx bp, with God, 1 Sam. xiv. 45. that is, under the conduct and direction, or by the assistance and help, of God. 3dly, Filial respect prompts us to entertain right sentiments concerning the faith of our mother Eve; namely, that she knew and believed, the Meffiah was not only to be God-man, but also the feed of the woman, that is, the son of a virgin; for, without this her faith had been å mistaken; not a true faith, nor yielded her any comfort. She could not therefore think, the got in Cain the Meffiah ; as she was perfectly well assured, that Cain was not the son of a virgin. . ?
XXXV. We answer, to the first : that the repetition of that particle, is indeed frequent, but yet not universal: for we have inItances of the contrary, 1 Kings xi. 23. If. viii. 2. Ezek.iv. 1.1 Sam. xv. 4. Where the fign of the accusative case is placed between two nouns, without a repetition. To the second: we deny not, that nx is often equivalent to By but there is no instance to prove, that what the Greeks say, cúv Oxã, the Hebrews express in their language by 11.7 mx or 097 5x: as it is well known, they usually express it by :987'3 or obxs. What is adduced from 1 Sam. xiv. 45. is not to the purpose. For, there we have sy but not nx, For, tho’these particles, are sometimes equivalent, yet they ought not to be confounded. And then, with God, does not so much fignify with God’s alistance as God disapproving. Compare, Ifa. xxxvi.10. With greater shew of reason might be urged Mic. u. 8. I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, that is by the help of that spirit; and Hab. iii. 13. Thou wenteft forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thy Mefiah, that is, salvation to be procured by his means. But the former passage is very properly rendered, I am full of power with the spirit of Jehovah; full of power no less than full of the spirit. And the latter should seem to be thus pointed, that God may be said to go forth with Chrift for falvation. To the third it might be answered, that there would be no absurdity to fuppose, that Eye was not so well acquainted with every thing, regarding the condition of the Meffiah.
Who 1. 34.
Who can affert, she knew, the Messiah was to be born of a virgin, when the blessed virgin herself did not know it, when the heard it from the mouth of an angel, as appears from her words; “ how shall this be, seeing I know not a man,” Luke
We deny not; that the Messiah is eminently called the feed of the woman, because he was to be born of a virgin : which the the Holy Ghost afterwards more clearly foretold. But it is no crime to doubt, whether our mother Eve could have gathered this from those words ; fince, in the sacred language, even they are said to be born of a woman, who are conceived in matrimony; - as we shewed section XVII. One may affert this, and not tranfgrefs against that respect due to our common mother; as it is certain, God gradually brought his people to the knowldge of the Messiah : nor does it overturn the faith of Eve, which might have been genuine and saving, though it was under this imperfection, ignorance and mistake ; as Peter had a true faith concerning Christ, that is a faving, and not a hypocritical, though he imagined through mistake, that Christ could be the Saviour of his people, without sufferings, Mat. xvi. 22. But we are under no necessity to be obliged to say any of these things, for we do not assert, our mother Eve received Cain, for the very Messiah: but only we are of opinion, that, in the birth of Cain, the observed a sign or token of God's performing the promise, and something to support her faith, which ihe was willing to declare and preserve the memory of, by giving him that name: and consequently that argument does not affect us.
XXXVI. And we are not to pass over in filence, that when she afterwards brought forth another fon, she called his name “ Seth, nu because God (1998) hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain flew,” Gen. iv. 25. A sentence full of spiritual afiurance and of prophecy. She calls him feed, having a view to the promise, and foretelling, that he would not only carry on the enmity with the serpent, but also that from him, that eminent feed would come forth, by whore power the serpent's head was to be bruised. The feed the proclaimed was given by God; as a son not of nature only, but also of grace and promise, and accounted by God himself for 1 seed: nor only given, but also appointed of God, that is, established and secured by the council of God that he should not be flain, but be the foundation of the future church, tó be propagated in an uninterrupted succession in his pofterity, and preserved down to Christ. For the word to appoint, dehotes a determination and steadiness, as John xv. 16. “ I have chosen ġou, and ordained (appointed) you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit. She therefore acknowledges Seth for the chosen feed, and the parent of him, in whom all the elect are chosen.
XXXVII. This doctrine of salvation flourished both in the mouths and in the hearts of blievers, who began indvXp, that is, as Aquila tranlates it, Καλίες θαι εν ονόματι Κυρίε to be called by the name of the Lord, Gen. iv. 26. and they were called the fons of God, as distinguished from the sons of man. Above all, the prophecy of Enoch is very remarkable, which the apostle Jude relates in his epiftle, not from any apocryphal book, nor from the mere authority of any unwritten tradition, nor by a sagacious conjecture from the history of Moses, but by the inspiration of that same Spirt, who prompted Enoch to prophesy, v. 14. 15. in these words : “ and Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his faints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them,” &c: That Lord, of whom Enoch speaks, is the Messiah, in unity of essence the same Jehovah with the Father and the Holy Spirit ; to whom also all power is given in heaven and in earth, and whose peculiar property the elect are on 2 special account. He foretels his coming by a verb of the preterperfect tense, to express the undoubted certainty of the thing, and the full assurance of his own faith, he prophesies, that the Messiah, at that coming, will be attended with myriads of angels. Which happened, when he came down upon mount Sinai to give the law, Deut. xxxiii. 2. and when he came in the flesh, to visit his people : for, then a multitude of the heavenly hoft, declaring his nativity, was seen and heard in the country of Bethlehem, Luke iii
. 13. but this will be the case in a most illustrious manner when“ he shall come in the clouds of heaven, and all the holy angels with him,” Mat. xxv. 31. The end of this coming will be “ to execute judgment upon all : for, the Father hath committed all judgment to the Son,” John v. 22. and to convince all that are ungedly, by inflicting the punishments due to their impiety. "These things Enoch preached to the people in his days, who, giving a loose to their lusts, impiously denied the future coming of the Lord. And seeing that prophecy contains an universal truth, it is applicable to all, who walk according to their lufts. And these are the things, which the scripture testifies, were delivered concerning the doctrine of salvation, in the first age of the world.
снА Р. ІІ.
Of the Doctrine of Grace under Noah.
S Noah was the patriarch of the new world, we are
now to explain, what was handed down to us in his time, concerning the doctrine of falvation; as soon as he was born, his father Lamech called him Noach, saying, “ this fame shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground, which the Lord hath cursed,” Gen. V. 29.
II. And here, in the first place, we are to take notice of the name given to the child, both with respect to its etymology, and the reason assigned by the pious parent for that name. The name is Noah, which if we follow the rules of
grammar, is derived from the root to reft or be quiet; to which word, both as to letters and signification, he comforted, is near of kin, which Lamech used in alligning the reason of the etymology. They who keep close to grammatical niceties, endeavour to correct the words of the text, and, instead of 2000' would have us read 137730 as the Septuagint, in order to come nearer to the etymology of the word, and to the name nahave also rendered it, 8TOS CATATE mas this same shall refresh us. But seeing the Hebrew copies, the Chaldee paraphrast, Jerome, &c. constantly read it otherwise we dare not rely only on our own judgment, or be willing to have any thing altered. In proper names, derived from a verb, commonly some letter or other is either added, taken away, or transposed, and the accuracy of grammatical etymology not constantly observed : which the celebrated Buxtorf has shewn, by several examples, in his Vindiciis veritatis Hebraica, p. 267. Whence the Hebrew doctors generally incline to derive, from by cutting away the last letter. But Mercer's opinion appears more probable," who affirms, here only is a resemblance of words, but not a reason taken from etymology ; because the verb both in sound and signification, comes near to the noun, which signifies rest and comf.rt: And as Aben Ezra learnedly says, “comfort alfo is rest from grief of heart.” And then the Hebrews usually have a greater regard to the sense than to the sounds of words. As therefore the reason of the name is thus . expressed, he ball comfort us, it is altogether the same as if he had said, he sball make us to rest ; because to the fame purpose, whoever comforts, causes test from crouble. But these are VOL. II. R
rather niceties, tho' not to be overlooked, in order to preserve the integrity of the Hebrew copies inviolable. This one thing is evident, that Lamech, in the name of his son, intended a standing monument of his own wishes and hopes.
III. Let us therefore see, what he intended by this name. « This same,” says he, “ shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.” Three things are contained in this fentence : ist, The evil, under which, with other pious people, he groaned. 2dly, The good opposed to that evil, which he had the hopeful prospect of. zdly, The author of that good.
IV. He makes the evil, he complains of, to consist in our work, in the toil of our hands, and in the ground which God hatb cursed. The carnal Jews generally restrict this to that fatigue of body, which men are forced to bear, in the culture of the earth, occafioned by the curse of God, and that these words only contain a prophecy concerning an easier method of agriculture, which Noah would discover. But his pious parents were not so delicate, and so much taken
with the conveniencies of this life, as to place the greatest part of their misery in those fatigues of the body. These things have a higher view. By won, our work, are principally to be understood those evil works, which bring grief and sorrow to the soul. For, these are our works, opposed to the work of God in us. These produce an unspeakable trouble and fatigue to the godly,
as an heavy burden, they are too heavy for them,” Pf. xxxviii. 4. These were at that time visible every where, men being arrived at the utmost pitch of wickedness. Whence Peter, 2 Pet. 11. 5. calls, the men of that generation, the world of the ungodly. But to those evil works was added the toil of their hands. To this I refer all the labour, misery and calamity of this life, which were to be undergone in the sweat of our brow. This is accompained with dwelling on the earth which is cursed; so that while. man lives there, he cannot possibly enjoy a full state of holiness and tranquillity of soul, and see the light of God's face in glory. For, “ whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord,” 2 Cor. v. 6.
V. The good opposed to this evil, which he desired, and was in expectation of, he calls confolation or comfort. This consists in the applying fome effectual remedy against, and in the very removal of those evils. The comfort against our vicious works consists in the expiation and remission of them, in the intimation of that gracious sentence, by which they are pardoned on the account of the Messiah ; and finally, in the purging them away by the Spirit of sanctification. Comfort from the miseries