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Isaiah xlv. 23. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear,' &c. Rom. xiv. 10, 11. We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.' The advocates for the supreme divinity of Christ infer, from a comparison of these passages, that Christ is the Lord or Jehovah, that swears by himself in Isaiah, that every knee shall bow unto him,' &c. This inference however, will appear to be fal. lacious and ill grounded, if we consider what is so often affirmed in the New Testament, that Christ is only the Instrument.or Vicegerent by whom God will judge the world; and that therefore he cannot be that God by whose authority he acts, and whose person he represents. · John v. 22. ^ For the Father judgeth oo man; but hath com. mitted all judgment unto the Son.' Acts xvii. 31. He (God) hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Rom. ii. 16. God. shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel.' These citations make it abundantly evi. dent, that Christ will judge the world only by a delegated power from the Father: whereas if he had been God, he would have been the natural and sovereign judge of all the earth : and could not have received power from another for that purpose. Christ tells us, Luke-ix. 26, that he will come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.' To bow and confess to Christ therefore at the general judgment is represented by the Apostle Paulas bowing and confessing to God; in whose glory and majesty Christ will appear, and by whose authority he will pass sentence upon all mankind, according to their works. In like manner, men are said to appear before the King, when they attend those courts of judicature where judges preside that act by his commission and appointment.
Isaiah'lii. 8. He (Christ) was taken from prison and from judgment : and who shall declare his generation?' These last words have been considered by the Trinitarians,
at pointing at the supposed eternal generation of Christ from the Father's essence or substance; and have been sometimes triumphantly quoted as a proof, that this gene. ration was an inestable mystery that could not be unfolded in words; since the prophet' challenges any person to de. clare it. An eminent commentator on Isaiah however has shewn, that the meaning of this passage has been quite mistaken by our translators; and that it ought to be rendered from the original Hebrew thus : And his manner of life who shall declare;' His reasons for this emendation are extremely ingenious; and I shall giye them at full length
My learned friend, Dr. Kennicott, has communicated to me the following passages from the Mishpa and Gemara of Babylon, as leading to a satisfactory explication of this difficult place. It is said in the former, that before any one was punished for a capital crime, proclamation was made before the prisoner by the public cryer in these words :-_Quicunque noverit aliquid de ejus innocentia, veniat et duceat de co, i. e. Whoever knows any thing of his innocence, let him come and declare it.' Tract. San. hedrim Surenhus, par. iv po 233. On which passage the Gemara of Babylon adds, that “ before the death of Jesus, this proclamation was made for forty days, bat no defence could be found.' On which words Lardner observes, is truly surprising to see such falsities contrary to well knownfacts.' Testimonies, Vol. 1. p. 198. The report is certainly false :. but this false report is founded on the supposition, that there was such a custom,, and so far con. firms the account above given from the Mishna. The Mishna was.composed in the middle of the stcond century, according to Prideaux;, Lardner ascribes it to the year of Christ 180. Causabon has a quotation from Maimonides, which farther confirms this account, Exercitat. in Baronii Annalis, Art. Ixxxvi. Aon. 34. Num. 119 + It was, the custom when a criminal suffered sentence of death, to remove him from the place of judgment to the place of pun. ishment, and there went before him a cryer pronouncing these words: This persoa goes to be extcuted in such a manner; because he was guilty of such a crime, at such as place, and at such a tirni', and these are the witnesses of the fact. If any one can prove him innocent, let him come
and speak for him." * Now it is plain from the history of the four Evangelists, that in the trial and condemnation of Jesus no such rule was observed ; (though according to the account of the Mishna, it must have been in practice at that time;) no proclamation was made for any person to bear witness to the innocence and character of Jesus ; nor did any one voluntarily step forth to give his attesta. tion to it. And our Saviour seems to refer to such a cus. tom, and to claim the benefit of it by his answer to the High Priest, when he asked him of his disciples and of his doctrine. 'I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the Synagogue and in the Temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why ask thou me ? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them, behold, they know what I said.' John xviii. 20, 21, This therefore was one remarkable instance of hardship and injustice, among others, predicted by the prophet, which our Saviour underwent in his trial and sufferings. St. Paul likewise, in similar circumstances, standing before the judgment seat of Festus, se: ms to complain of the same unjust treatment; that no one was called, or would appear tu vindicate his character. My manner of life (Tuy Biwciv po Heb. Doro,) from my youth, which was at the first among my own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews: which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify; that after the straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.' Acts xxvi. 4, 5. Dor (in Hebrew) signifies age, duration, the time, which one man or many together pass in this world; in this place, the course, tenor, or manner of life. The verb Dur signifies according to Castell,
ordinatem vitam sive ætatem egit, ordinavit, ordine con. stituit.' In Arabic, curavit, administravit."
From the light this learned writer has thrown upon this passage, and the happy illustration he has given of it, it
* The original Latin which I have somewhat curtailed, is in the quotation as follows: '« Auctor est Maimonides in Perek xiii. ejus libri ex opere jad, solitum fieri, ut cum Reus, sententiam mortis passus, a . loco judicii exibat ducendus ad supplicium præcederet psum. xmpuž, ræco, et hæc verba diceret. Ille exit occidendus morte illa, quia transgressus est transgressione illa, in loco illo, tempore illo, et sunt ejus rei te te ille et ille. Qui noverit aliquid ad ejus innocentiam probandam, veniat, et loquatur pro eo.".
+ Bp. Lowth's Notes on Isaiah, P, 240, 241.
appears that Isaiah intended nothing more, but a mournful complaint of the injustice done to Jesus in his condemnation and crucifixion, without allowing him the privileges of his country. He was taken,' says the prophet, 'from prison and from judgment: and his manner of life who shall declare? The innocent Jesus was hurried from the place of judgment to the place of punishment, without any public cryer attending him : and without any opportunity of vindicating his character or making his innocence appear. The common forms of the Jewish law, which even the most notorious criminals enjoyed the benefit of, were violated on this occasion : and do person either appeared or was desired to appear, to speak in behalf of our Lord. From this ex. plication of the passage, which is so just and natural, and agreeable to the proper signification of the word Dor in Hebrew; all the inferences that used to be drawn from it in favour of an ineffable and consubstantial generation of the Son of God, fall at once to the ground like the base. less fabric of a vision.'
Jerem. xxiii. 6, 7. Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute justice and judgment in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our righteousness, (Heb. Jeho. VAH TSIDKENU, i. e. Jehovah our righteousness.) This place has been often pompously brought forward by our opponents, as a proof that Jesus Christ is expressly called Jehovah, and that therefore as Jehovah is the incommuni. cable name of God, he must be considered as God equal with the Father. The learned Grotius however was so far from laying any peculiar stress upon this title, in the manner in which it here occurs, that he explains this place of Zorobabel and the restoration of the Jews after the captivity. There are some also who think this place ought to be translated, thus, this is the name that the Lord (Jeho. vah) shall call him, our righteousness. But admitting the propriety of the common translation of this place, and also that it is rightly applied to the Messiah ; the conclusion that our opponents form from it, will be found to be groundless and erroneous. For we find (in verse 5,) that t is the Lord or Jehovah, that is to raise up unto David a
"righteous branch; anda king that shall reign and prosper,' &c. This branch and this king therefore, must be a different being from the Jehovah that is to raise him up; and must also be inferior to him and dependent upon
be. cause he is to be indebted to him for his kingdom and prosperity. Prophetic names are given in scripture to parti. cular persons, not as denoting what these persons are in themselves ; but as signs and evidences of what God will perform by them or bring to pass in their time: thns Shearjashub, signifies, a remnant shall return; and Maher-shal,alhash-baz, means, 'in making speed to the spoil he hastened the prey.' Now neither of these names have any relation to the characters of the persons who were so called : but are applicable to events that happened at the time they lived. See Isaiah vii. and viii. chapters. In like manner, our Lord Jesus Christ being styled Jehovah our righteous. ness, does not denote that he was Jehovah: but only that Jehovah should make him the means of righteousness to his people; or should by him display his mercy and goodness to mankind ; agreeably to what St. Paul says, 2 Cor. v. 19.
God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.' And that this is the true interpretation of the place will fully appear if consider, that the very same language is held in regard to Jerusalem, where the prophecy is repeated, Jer. xxvii. 16. "And this is the name wherewith Sie shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness.' There is therefore no more reason, for inferring the divinity of Christ from this way of speaking : than there is from inferring the divinity of the city of Jerusalem ; and the same argument will be equally conclusive in both cases.
* Grotius observes on Jerem, xxiii. 6. as follows, “ Dominus Justitia nostra ; id est, Deus nobis benefacit ; nam Tsedek Hebræis sæpe est beneficentia ; neque aliter hic sumsit Chaldæus. Quod hic de populo Israelis, idem de civitate Hierosolymorum infra dicitur xxxiii. 16,The Lord our righteousness signifies, that God will do good to us; for righteousness in Hebrew often means beneficence; and it is taken in this sense by the Chaldee interpreter. What is here affirmed of the people of Israel, is afterwards affirmed of the city of Jerusalem, Jer. xxxiii. 16,
Dr. Clark has also the following remark on this place.“ The name EMMANUEL God with us, Jehovau TSIDkenu the Lord our rightsousness, and the like, prove nothing more in point