Page images
PDF
EPUB

Matt. i. 1820: “ Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: “ When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came “ together, she was found with child of the holy spirit,” &c. - See Luke i. 34, 35, in this work.

Ex avevpatos åylov, of the holy spirit.
Per omnipotentiam divinam.-J. G. ROSENMÜLLER.

[ocr errors]

That holy spirit here signifies divine power is very clearly indicated in Luke i. 34, 35, where this phrase is explained by that of the power of the Highest. Comp. Luke xi. 20. Matt. xii. 28. KUINOEL.

The term Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, or Spirit of Jehovah, is frequently used, both in the Old and New Testament, to indicate divine strength and power; as in Matt. xii. 28, comp. Luke xi. 20; and the spirit of Jehovah is said to come upon any one, when the divine energy operates in him. Of this mode of speaking, there are many examples in the Book of Judges and in the Acts of the Apostles. J. G. ROSENMÜLLER on ver. 20.

The doctrine of the miraculous conception has no necessary influence on the determination of the great point in the controversy concerning the person of Christ. - DR. J. P. SMITH: Script. Test. vol. ii. pp. 20, 21.

Having now overpassed six-sevenths of the ordinary period allotted to human life — resting my whole and sole hope of salvation and immortality on the Divinity of Christ, and the redemption by his cross and passion, and holding the doctrine of the Triune God as the very ground and foundation of the gospel faith, - I feel myself enforced by conscience to declare and avow, that, in my deliberate judgment, the Christopædia prefixed to the third Gospel, and concorporated with the first, but according to my belief, in its present form, the latest of the four, was unknown to, or not recognised by, the apostles Paul and John; and that -- instead of supporting the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Filial Godhead of the Incarnate Word, as set forth by John, i. 1, and by Paul — it, if not altogether irreconcilable with this faith, doth yet greatly weaken and bedim its evidence; and that, by the too palpable contradictions between the narrative in the first Gospel, and that in the third, it has been a fruitful magazine of doubts respecting the historic character of the Gospels themselves. I have read most of the criticisms on this text [Isa, vii. 14]; and my impression is, that no learned Jew can be expected to receive the common interpretation as the true primary

sense of the words. The severely literal Aquila renders the Hebrew [onso], veavis. But were it asked of me, Do you, then, believe our Lord to have been the son of Mary by Joseph ? I reply, It is a point of religion with me to have no belief one way or the other. am in this way like St. Paul, more than content not to know Christ himself κατα σαρκα. .

It is enough for me to know that the Son of God became flesh, σαρξ εγενετο γενομενος εκ γυναικος,

- and more than this, it appears to me, was unknown to the apostles, or, if known, not taught by them, as appertaining to a saving faith in Christ. — Oct. 1831.- S. T. COLERIDGE: Lit. Remains, vol. iii. pp. 101, 102. [See also pp. 105, 106; and vol. iv. pp. 13, 250, 256, 265.]

Ver. 21: “ And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.”

Ingovy, Jesus. It is, indeed, necessary to know the person who is called Jesus, and to whom God hath assigned the salvation of men; but the name itself designates a certain man, anointed by God the Father, and consecrated by him to the office of Saviour. Whether his person consists of two natures, the one divine and eternal, and the other human, does not respect the truth of this declaration, but must be inquired into from other passages of Scripture. — LIMBORCH: Theol. Christ. lib. v. cap. 9, § 8.

Ver. 22, 23: “ 22. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled “which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23. Behold, a “virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall “call his name Emmanuel; which, being interpreted, is, God with us.”

'Iva rimpwon, that it might be fulfilled. The citations from the Old Testament [in the first two chapters of Matthew] are rather of the nature of classical passages, capable of a descriptive application to the events, than direct prophecies. Such applications have been always common, not only among the Jews, but with every other nation possessing any literature. So we every day apply to observable events, striking sentences of our own poets. · DR. J. P. Smith: Script. Test. vol. ii. p. 6.

The words of Matthew, ίνα πληρωθη το ρηθεν, which our Common version translates, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken, do not necessarily and exclusively mean that the event happened for the sole and express purpose of accomplishing the prophet's language, which is evidently a sense too restricted. We may with perfect justice render these words, “ Now, the whole of this was done, that there might be a fulfilment (or a verification, or an illustration) of what was spoken;" meaning that the events which he had narrated were so analogous to the words of the prophet, that they might be taken as illustrative of them. In the second chapter of Matthew we have two instances of the use of aanpwon to onoɛv, scil. ver. 15 and 17, which must be understood in the way which I have expressed, or we shall be driven to the adoption of interpretations in which, as it appears to me, no theologian of sound and competent understanding can possibly acquiesce, as it is little short of monstrous to maintain, that the two texts from Hosea and Jeremiah, which the evangelist quotes, are to be looked upon by us as strictly prophetical of the events to which he applies them. There can be no reasonable doubt but that, in these cases, the citations are merely allusive, and meant to show a correspondence or agreement between the different events to which they are applied. It would be superfluous to cite examples of the use of such quotations, as they abound in all sorts of writings; and no sufficient reason can, I think, be assigned why the quotation from Isaiah [chap. vii. 14], which we are now considering, should not be so understood. - Congregational Magazine for July, 1840; new series, vol. ïïi.

p.

438. The prophet pointed to a certain virgin, known to all, and predicted, that, in a short time after marriage, she should bring forth a son, to be called Immanuel, as a sign of future deliverance; adding the promise, that, before the child arrived at the years of discretion, the land of those kings would be deserted.

Matthew cites the passage in Isaiah, not as a prophecy, strictly so called, nor as a poetical embellishment, and by way of accommodation, but on account of the true and great resemblance subsisting between the times of Ahaz, and those which he himself narrates. -J. G. ROSENMÜLLER.

[The phrase, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken, is explained on the principle of illustration or verification, - namely, that “ that is true in one sense which occurs elsewhere in another sense,” — by LE CLERC, CAMPBELL, and KUINOEL, in loc.; Dr. G. C. KNAPPE, apud Smith's Script. Test. vol. ii. p. 26; and Dr. Hey, Lectures in Divinity, vol. i. pp. 260, 261, who instances Matt. ii. 15, 23.]

Εμμανουηλ, ,

pel' huwy o Ococ, Emmanuel, ... God with us.

Here Christ is not manifestly called God; but the name Emmanuel is attributed to that son, to intimate that God would be merciful to the human race. For God is said to be with those whom he favours. — ERASMUS: Apologia ad J. Stunicam; Op. tom. ix. p. 310. [See also pp. 401–403.]

It is usual, indeed, for Scripture to say, that God is with us, when he is present by his assistance and grace, and exerts his power to protect us. But here is expressed the mode in which he holds intercourse with men; for without Christ we are alienated from God, but by Christ not only received into his favour, but become one with him, — CALVIN. [So far is the interpretation Unitarian; but the remaining portion of this great man's comment is more favourable to “ orthodoxy."]

Christ is extolled by the name of Immanuel, because by him God shows himself to be with us,-propitious, benevolent, benignant towards us; by Christ leading the world to himself, and making us partakers of the divine nature, 2 Cor. v. 19. Rom. v. 2. 2 Pet: i. 4. Abridged from LUCAS BRUGENSIS (who, notwithstanding this admission, and suitable as it is to the import of the word, and to the character and teachings of our Lord, explains Immanuel so as to accord with the doctrine of the hypostatical union].

These words in Isaiah had there a literal sense (whether really to be then performed, or only in vision, it is not certain), which is thus to be interpreted, that the child given for a sign to Ahaz was to have this name imposed upon him, Emmanuel, which signifies God with us; not that that child then born in Isaiah's time should be God, but (as Gen. xxii. 14, the place where God provided the ram, instead of Isaac, is called Jehovah-jireh, God will see or provide, which concludes not the place was God, or that the place should see, but only that was to be a memorative of God's seeing and providing ;* so here)

that the imposition of this name upon the child should signify, as a sign given to Ahaz to that purpose, that God would afford him his peculiar presence and assistance against his enemies.- HAMMOND.

Thus it pleased God to fulfil a most remarkable prophecy, that a pure virgin should bring a son, so remarkable a blessing, so divine a person, that all men should perceive the extraordinary favour and presence of God in him. DR. STANHOPE: Comm. on the Epist. and Gospels, vol. i. pp. 334–5. [This is the dean's paraphrase; but, in his comment, he interprets the passage on Trinitarian principles.]

Immanuel; a name given to the son of a young woman, who, being a virgin when the prophet Isaiah spoke to Ahaz, was after marriage to have a child, who would still be in his infancy when Syria and Samaria were ruined. This name, however, was only a symbolical expression of God's favour towards the country of Judah, of which the child was a sign; whereas, in Christ, God was truly with us. LE CLERC.

ALTING observes, that Christ is called Emmanuel, not so much as
God-man, in respect to the union of the divine and human nature,
as in respect to his office of uniting the church to God. But, &c.
J. C. WOLF.

The word Emmanuel truly belongs to Christ, but doth not pecessarily prove his Divinity.—Whitby: Table of Matters in Com. vol. i.

The term Emmanuel is the same as Jesus; that is, the author of felicity, the Saviour, by whom God blesses men, and restores them to happiness.-- SCHLEUSNER: Lex. in Nov. Test. v. Eppavovni.

As to be called, in Scripture phrase, is the same thing as to be, the only inquiry at present necessary is, whether this name [Immanuel] given to Christ, be any certain argument of his divine nature. This, it should seem, cannot be inferred from the name itself, abstractedly considered; for several names occur compounded with #, el, God, from which it would be absurd to infer Divinity in those to whom they are applied; as, Eli, my God; Elihu, my God himself; Uriel, the light of God; Gabriel, man of God, or rather my strong God; Daniel, judicavit Deus, or God is my judge; Tabeal, good God, bonum se exhibuit Deus. Nevertheless, &c. — GEORGE HOLDEN : Script. Test. p. 171. What

you say respecting the argument in favour of Christ's divine nature from the name given him in Matt. i. 23, accords in the main with my own views. To maintain that the name Immanuel proves the doctrine in question is a fallacious argument, although many Trinitarians have urged it. Jerusalem is called “ Jehovah our righteousness :" is Jerusalem, therefore, divine? PROFESSOR STUART : Answer to Channing, Appendix, Postscript to Let. 3.

[See observations on Isa. vii. 14, pp. 187—190 in this work. See also Dr. WARDLAW's Unitarianism Incap. of Vindication, p. 150; and Dr. J. P. Smith's Script. Test. vol. i. pp. 21, 22, third edition, in which these learned theologians candidly admit the difficulty of proving the doctrine of Christ's divine nature from the term Immanuel. These remarks are quoted in “Script. Illustrations of Unitarianism," p. 266, second edition.]

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »