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excluded, because he writes these things to the Corinthians. Thus is this verse knit on to the former, rather as an illustration and amplification, than as an antithesis or opposition to the former verse. It is true, this last verse is part of an antithesis to the Jews' blindness, but not to their spiritual sight and liberty; for the plain sense of the whole may be thus paraphrased : “ The poor Jews at present are generally blind-fold ; but when they shall be converted the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit, and wherever he is in any of our hearts, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, there is liberty, &c. so that we do see Jesus Christ. And, (or furthermore,) we all with open face, beholding as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord, or, (as the Greek and the margin assert,) even as by the Lord the Spirit.”
Now as the two former verses are not yet fulfilled to the Jews, as to their conversion ; so neither is this last to Jews or Gentiles, though converted, as to that transformation here expressed : for this must be at the great restoration; to which this text hath, as I conceive, a special eye. This is evident, first, from the context. For the whole preceding discourse of the Apostle is concerning the general call of the Jews, from under the universal vailing that was upon them; mentioning the liberty they should attain to; which “ liberty” is a word so comprehensive, that it is used by the Apostle in Rom. viii, 21, to describe that great state, the restitution of all things.
Secondly, the substance of the text evinces it ; which, though it includes conversion and sanctification by way of a necessary supposition, yet transcends higher into a large prospect of the great restoration. For, 1st, there is a great emphasis in the words " we all.” For as the Apostle, in Rom. xi, 26, having said, “ Blindness in part is happened to Israel,” concludes, with “ But all Israel shall be saved ;” so here, having said " The children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished,” now he asserts, “ But we all with open face beholding the glory of the Lord are changed, &c.” For although the word to behold be in the present tense, yet it is in a participle (KATUTTPLCOMEvol)" beholding;” noting a continuance of time and action, and so in effect signifies a future : even as in common we may say, We are now miserable, but dying in the Lord we are happy.'
2dly, the Greek for“ beholding as in a glass,” KATUTTPLCouevoi, is but one word. The Apostle intends such a glass as shall afford an open clear sight; as the next words," with open face,” evince; as also the use of the word, which signifies the apprehending a thing with a full imagination. Should we pursue the metaphor under the notion of a looking glass, (which is most ancient, and according to the proper idiom of the word,) it would brighten and not obscure the state the Apostle means. For a looking-glass supposes the object reflected to be near, represents it more plainly, and causes any glorious object (such as the sun, fire, &c.) to give forth its radiation upon us with a sparkling glare; all which notably suits to set forth Christ's presence, and our extraordinary beholding him, in the time of the glory of the Church on earth. We cannot see the Deity immediately; but we shall then behold that Sun of the godhead, u in the glorious body of Christ, as in a chrystal lantern. If Moses' face so shone, by his standing forty days and nights under the beams of a vision of God ;v how much more gloriously shall the body of Christ radiate, not only by his presence with God in the utmost glory ever since his ascension, but principally by his hypostatical union with God himself; the time being then fully come for him to radiate !w If Stephen's elevated soul, through the operation of God, saw, when on earth, the Son of God in heaven, standing at God's right hand, and Stephen's face appeared like the face of an angel ;* how gloriously shall Christ shine, and we be irradiated into a glorious aspect, or transformation into glory, at the time we contend for! At present " we see darkly” through the glass of material ordinances, and the dim eyes of imperfect and mixt graces ;y though, in comparison of Moses vailed, God may be said now to shine upon our hearts in the face of Christ :3 but hereafter, God will shine forth most gloriously through the whole
person of Christ, upon our whole persons, so that we shall be like him in glory,a and we shall “ know as we are known.”b The transfiguration of Christ on the mount, was a preface, as it were, or earnest, how glorious it shall be ; so shining on Moses
u Ps. lxxxiv, 11. y 1 Cor. xiii, 12.
v Exod. xxxiv, 29. w Mal. iv, 2. z 2 Cor. iv, 6. a Phil. iii, 21.
x Acts vi, & vii. b 1 Cor. xiii, 12.
and Elijah, that they too were irradiated. But it was only a glimpse or prelude of his glory then seen ; and by three persons only, who were not then themselves changed: though it is thought that some glory still remained in the aspect of Christ when he descended from the mount ; for the people, it is said, were "greatly amazed when they beheld him,”d But all are hereafter to see him; and all are to be “ changed into the same image ;" agreeably with 1 Cor. xv, 49–52. “For as we have borne the image of the earthly Adam, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Adam,” &c. What a wonderful and efficacious beholding, which shall transform the embryo of the new creature, conceived in the womb of the soul, into the glorious image of Christ, by beholding him in his glory in this state on earth! The divine plants of God, in this new paradise on earth, shall so see the Sun of righteousness, that they shall blossom, and flower, and fructify into like colors, stripes, and rays, as are in that sun.
3dly, We must be changed into the same image “ from glory to glory;" which must signify more than a process from one degree of grace to another (as intended in Psalm lxxxiv,
from strength to strength ;” and Rom. i, 17, “ from faith to faith ;') for though that be the beginning touched upon in verses 16, 17; yet here the Apostle drives at the acme,--the exaltation of a saint to his height. There is also a difference in the cause : in the last clause it is " By the Lord the Spirit ;” but the former is by the Spirit of the Lord': whereby is plainly held forth, that, whereas our inward glory of sanctification is from the inward power of the Spirit of the Lord, our personal glory of soul and body, at the said coming of Christ, is from his personal presence, transcendently and efficaciously radiating on our persons to a change, and filling the earth with the beams of his glory.
Philippians ii, 9–11.
Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him, (Christ) and * given Him a name above every name; that at the name " of JESUS every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things " in the earth, and things under the earth ; and that every
d Mark ix, 15.
c Matt. xvii.
tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.”
We have touched this place before, when opening Isa. xlv, 14. We now only notice from it, First, that "All things on earth” do not at present submit or bow the knee to Christ; but, on the contrary, most things are openly against Him : so that, as the Apostle saith, “ We see not yet all things under him ;"e and again the Apostle saith, that he still sits in heaven, “ expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.”f Secondly, " all things under the earth,” (viz. the infernal spirits) are not universally and actually subject to him ; that is, they are yet permitted of God to act against Christ's kingdom. But they will be made universally and actually to forbear opposing Christ's kingdom, when the seventh vial is “poured out upon the air ;"g—that is, upon the prince of the air, (the devil)h and on his retinue,and Christ shall bind him for a thousand years, &c.i Thirdly, much less to this day doth “every tongue," or the generality of all tongues, “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father ;" for most either do not name him, or name him profanely, or blaspheme him. Fourthly, St. Paul tells in another place,k that this bowing to Christ is not fulfilled till Christ shall sit in judieature on his seat of judgement; and which begins not till the first resurrection.
Revelation ii, 25--28.
Hold fast till I come. And he that over-cometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of Iron ;
as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers ; even “ as I have received of my Father. And I will give him the
Though in our last Translation the former part of verse 27 (and he shall rule them with a rod of iron) is read in a parenthesis, yet it is not so in the Greek edition of Stephanus, nor in Beza's Greek or Latin, nor in our former English translation. The continued speech in the third person throughout verses 25, 26, and former part of verse 27, and the distinguishing transition to the first person at the latter part of verse 27, makes it plain, that these promises are made to the believer that " keeps Christ's works to the end ;" even as Christ goes on in verse 28 to promise him, —and I will give him the morning star.” So that it is the same believer, that shall under Christ " have power over the nations, and rule them with a rod of iron,” &c. and to whom Christ will give "the morning star.” That perhaps which made our last translators put in the said parenthesis was, the agreement of the words they included with those of Ps. ii, 9, (quoted by them in the margin) spoken of Christ. But it is a sure rule, subordinata non esse contraria ; and also, qui facit per alium, facit per se. If Christ by his saints overpowers the nations, and rules them with a rod of iron, Christ himself overpowers the nations, and rules them with a rod of iron. That which the carpenter worketh with his tools, the carpenter is accounted to work, or do. In this respect it is said in Dan, vii, 13, 14, that the kingdom which is to succeed the four monarchies is given to Christ, though at verses 22 and 27 it is said to be given to the saints.
e Heb. ii. 8, f Heb. x, 13. g Rev. xvi. 17. h Ephes. ii. 2. i Rev. xx. 1, 2, k Rom. xiv. 10, 11. 1 Compare Rev. xx. 4, with
Rey, xi. 15-18.
The sense of these words is obvious, especially if we bear in mind what hath been given by way of explication on Psalm ii, and on 2 Peter i, 19. Suitably our new Annotations confess;
that hold fast till I come' signifies, till Christ's second coming, general, or special. “Power over the nations,' signifies to join " with Christ in judging the nations, &c. And giving the morning star' signifies Christ's giving the full fruition of himself.”
It is equally obvious, that these words have never yet been fulfilled. Instead of the saints having corporal power over the nations, (which the iron sceptre signifies,) the nations break the saints and churches. And Christ's giving “ the morning star," can only mean the appearance of Christ again,-especially to the Jews, according to 2 Peter i, 19 before expounded. For as the converted Gentiles, spiritually considered, are said to be, not in the night, but in the day ;m the unconverted Jews are in the night, and in the dark in therefore this morning star (the sunrising, Mal. iv, 2,) must of necessity signify Christ's personal appearance : which Christ hath not yet fulfilled to this day.
m 1 Thess. v. 5.
n Rom. xi. 25.