Page images

from the Levitical ceremonies,) represent “the prayers of the saints,” the habitual devotions of all holy persons ; it is reasonable to consider the hymns of praise which accompany this presentation of incense, as directed to the same object.

2. That the ascription of the qualities or possessions enumerated, is not to be understood as the giving of those attributes to their subject : but as the declaration that they already inhere in the subject, and are therefore to be acknowledged and celebrated by the appropriate expressions of admiration, gratitude, and love.

3. That the whole style, and the particulars of the enumeration, are in conformity with the practice of the ancient Jews to rehearse, in their solemn acts of devotion, the PERFECTIONS (the sephiroth) of God and their most illustrious displays. Especially they regarded, as having some peculiar propriety or excellence, the reciting of seven or of ten particulars.*

4. That in these ascriptions of glory and honour to the Saviour, there is an observable affinity to the forms of praise to Jehovah, occurring in various parts of the Old Testament. We may instance in that adopted by David, on a

[ocr errors]

* See Vitringa Obs. Sacr. Par. i. p. 129. Schüttgen. Hor. Hebr. tom. i. p. 64, 1111. I select two specimens :

“ Thee become glory, greatness, and strength, and the kingdom, honour, and victory, and praise."

“ Kingdom, stability, glory, victory, beauty, might, mercy, understanding, wisdom, the crown."

great public occasion : “ Blessed be thou, O Jehovah, God of Israel our father, from everlasting to everlasting! To thee, O Jehovah, be the greatness and the might, and the splendour and the victory, and the honour! For all in the heavens and in the earth [is to thee.] To thee, O Jehovah, be the kingdom: and thou art the Exalted One, over all, to supremacy.

Both riches and honour are from thy presence : and thou art the Ruler over all: and in thy hand is strength and might, and in thy hand it is to make great and to strengthen all. And now, O our God, we acknowledge thee, and we praise thy glorious name."* Similar is the style of praise in various parts of the Book of Psalms : for example; “Sing to Jehovah, bless his name, proclaim from day to day his salvation. Declare among the nations his glory, among all the peoples his wondrous deeds.--Present to Jehovah, ye families of the peoples, present to Jehovah glory and strength. Present to Jehovah the glory of his name.-Do homage to Jehovah in the beauty of holiness. Tremble at his presence, all the earth. Say among the nations, Jehovah reigneth!”+ If the reader will compare these and similar passages, especially through the medium of the Septuagint, with the doxologies to the Lord Jesus, he will perceive a most striking coincidence, both in the particulars enumerated as the matter of celebration, and in

† Ps. xcvi. 2, 3, 7-10.

I Chron. xxix. 10-13.

[ocr errors]

the manner of performing the homage. Among the former are power, might, riches, glory, salvation and honour ; which are literally the same with the ascriptions to Christ : and the remaining attributives, majesty, glorying, victory and dominion, differ only in the use of words nearly or perfectly synonymous. The manner, also, of performing the acts of praise is the same. In each case, it is not throughout by direct address; but, through a considerable proportion of the expressions it is in the form of declaration, or the public annunciation of a fact.

Attention to these circumstances shews us how nugatory is Mr. Lindsey's principle, for evading the conclusion from these scripture testimonies : that “ascribing glory and honour to Christ—is no more than a declaration of reverence and high esteem of his most perfect moral character and goodness."* Dr. Carpenter looks to the same resource, in-stating (as a ground of his affirmation that the homage paid to Christ is not worship,) that “ it merely is a plain statement of a fact.+ We see that the same character of expression prevails in some of the most exalted examples of inspired devotion to Jehovah: but we find nothing resembling it, in any scriptural encomium on the greatest and best of mere men. Who could tolerate the ascription of salvation and glory and honour to Abraham, Moses, or Paul ?

* Cited in Calm Inq. p. 372.
+ On the Proper Object of Worship. p. 66.

5. That comparing the ascriptions to Christ with those which, in another doxological passage of the same book, are adduced as a worshipping of God, it is manifest that there is a full and perfect parity in the two cases.* The seven principal perfections are attributed in each. The

[ocr errors]


* Chap. vii. 11, 12. The comparison may be illustrated by a tabular disposition of the particulars. ASCRIPTIONS

TO CHRIST. 1 Ευλογία,


Blessing; the utterance of gratitude

from the universe of holy and happy beings, for all the divine bestow

ments. 2 δόξα, dika Glory; the manifestation to intelligent

beings of supreme excellence in all

moral beauty and grandeur. 3 σοφία,

σοφία Wisdom ;, the most perfect knowledge

combined with holiness and efficient power, in ordaining, disposing, and actuating all beings and events to the best end: and this especially with respect to the salvation of

mankind. 4 τιμή,

Honour ; worth, value, dignity, in

trinsic excellence, supreme perfec

tion. 5 δύναμις, , δύναμις Power; ability to effect completely

and infallibly all the purposes of

rectitude and wisdom. 6 loxüse ισχύς Might; power brought into action. 7 σωτηρία, σωτηρία Salvation ; deliverance from sin and all evil, and bestowment of all

possible good. 8 ευχαριστία.

Thanksgiving ; the tribute from those

who have received the highest blesness triumphing over all enmity

eighth, Thanksgiving, is given to God, and not to Christ : yet there is evidently nothing in this ascription more peculiarly divine than in the preceding, and the same is applied to Christ in other words, the most full and expressive that can be conceived.* The remaining two are attributed to Christ and not to God; a plain proof that the inspired writer was under no apprehension that he might be dishonouring the Father, while ascribing infinite possessions and supreme empire to the Son. 6. On comparison with another


which Dr. Carpenter expressly adduces as a contrast to the homage paid to Christ,t we find the very same notation of worthiness or dignity attached to the Father and to the Saviour. In the one case it is, “WORTHY art thou, O Lord, to receive the glory and the honour and the power;" and in the other, “WORTHY is the Lamb that was slain, to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing."

7. That, if any rational doubt could be entertained whether the ascriptions to Christ imply a

sings, to the Author of all their

enjoyments. πλούτος Riches; the fulness of all good; the

possession of all the means of

making happy. κράτος Dominion ; supreme power and good

and opposition. * Chap. iv. 11.

+ Dr. Carpenter, page 65.


« PreviousContinue »