« السابقةمتابعة »
pression, than the angels. 3. Ilis duration in that state and condition, a little while.
First, 2017, the word used by the Psalmist, is rendered by the apostle carlow, and that properly. They both signify a diminution of state and condition, a depression of any one from what he before enjoyed. And this, in the first place, belongs unto God's visitation. And the acting of the will of Christ in this matter, suitably unto the will of the Father, is expressed by words of the same importance : EXEvwCEV ÉGLUTON, •he emptied himself;' and stansiyasey bautor, he humbled himself;' Phil. ii. 7, 8. denoting a voluntary depression from the glory of a former state and condition. In this humiliation of Christ in our nature, how much of that care, and ethoxotns, inspection and visitation of God was contained, is known.
Secondly, The measure of this humiliation and depression is expressed in reference unto angels, with whom he is now compared by the apostle: he was made less than the angels. This the Hebrews had seen and knew; and might, from his humiliation, raise an objection against what the apostle asserted about his preference above them. Wherefore he acknowledgeth, that he was made less than they ; shews that it was foretold, that so he should be ; and, in his following discourse, gives the reasons why it was so to be. And he speaks not of the humiliation of. Christ absolutely, which was far greater than here it is expressed by him, as he afterwards declares, but only with respect unto angels, with whom he compares him; and it is therefore sufficient to his purpose, at present, to shew that he was made lower than they. 175872, rug' ayyears. Hierome renders the word in the Psalm, a Deo, than God;' and Faber Stapulensis had a long contest with Erasmus to prove, that they should be so rendered in this place, which is plainly to contradict the apostle, and to accuse him of corrupting the word of God. Besides, the sense contended for by him and others, is absurd and fool ish ; namely, that the human nature of Christ was made little less than God, and humbled that it might be so; when it was infinitely less than the divine nature, as being created. The LXX. and all old Greek translations, read angels. That Elohim is often used to denote them, we have proved before. The
Targum hath x73x73, angels, and the scope of the place neces. sarily requires that sense of the word. God then in his visitation of the nature of man, in the person of his Son, put it, and therein him that was invested in it, into a condition of wants and straits, and humbled him beneath the condition of angels, for the blessed ends afterwards declared. For although from his incarnation and birth, the angels adored his person as their Lord; yet in the outward coudition of his human nature, he
was made exceedingly beneath that state of glory and excellency, which the angels are in a constant enjoyment of.
Thirdly, There is a space of time, a duration intended for this condition. He made him lower, pyn, Beayu tu, “ for a little while," or a short season. That wyn is often used in that sense, and that that is the proper notation of Bere you th, we have shewed before. But that which renders that sense of the words here unquestionable, is the apostle's precise restraining them thereunto in ver. 9. as we shall see. It was but for a little while, that the person of Christ, in the nature of man, was brought into a condition more indigent than the state of angels is exposed unto ;, neither was he for that season made a little, but very much lower than the angels. And had this been the whole of his state, it could not have been an effect of that inexpressible love and care which the Psalmist so admires. But seeing it is but for a little continuance, and that for the blessed ends which the apostle declares, nothing can more commend them unto us.
Secondly, There is another effect of God's visitation of nan in his exaltation ; expressed, 1. In the dignity whereunto he advanced him : and, 2. In the rule and dominion that he gave unto him.
For the first, He “ crowned him with glory and honour." noy, is insigne regium, the badge and token of supreme and kingly power. Hence, when David complains of the straitening and diminution of his power or rule, he says, his “ crown was profaned unto the ground,” Psal. Ixxxix. 39. that is, made contemptible, and trampled on. To be crowned then, is to be invested with sovereign power, or with right and title thereto, as it was with Solomon, who was crowned during the life of his father. Nor is it an ordinary crown that is intended, but one accompanied with glory and honour. To be crowned with. glory and honour, is to have a glorious and honourable crown, or rule and sovereignty ; 77777 7922. The first denotes the weight of this crown; 7732, ' a weight of glory,' from 723, • to be heavy ;' Bugos došns, • a weight of glory,' as the apostle speaks in allusion to the primitive signification of this word, 2 Cor. iv. 17. The other, its beauty and glory; both authori. ty and majesty. How Christ was thus crowned, we have at large shewed on the first chapter.
Secondly, This sovereignty is attended with actual rule ; wherein, 1. The dominion itself is expressed: and, 2. The extent of it. First, Thou madest “ him have dominion over the works of thy hands; 1775 won, madest him to rule ;' XATISTICHE Avtov 876, ' appointedst him in authority over.' He had actual rule and dominion given him upon his coronation. And, secondly, The extent of this dominion, is the works of God's hands. And lest any from this indefinite expression should think Vol. III,
this rule limited, either to the things mentioned before by the Psalmist, ver. 4. called “ the work of God's fingers," that is, the heavens, the moon, and the stars, or in the following distribution of things here below, into sheep, oxen, fowls and fish, ver, 7, 8. that is, all the creatures here below; he adds an am. plification of it in an universal proposition, TuvTU Ýmitats, he hath put all things without excepiion in subjection unto him ;' and to manifest his absolute and unlimited power, with the unconditional subjection of all things unto him, he adds that they are placed, FoxcTW TWY Todwy avis, • under his very feet;' an expression setting forth a dominion every way unlimited and absolute.
Ver. 8.-The apostle having recited the testimony which he intends to make use of, proceeds in the eighth verse unto some such explications of it, as may make it appear to be proper, and suited unto the end for which it is produced by him. And they are two : the first whereof respects the sense of the words which express the extent of his dominion ; the latter an instance of some person or persons, unto whom this testimony, as thus explained, cannot be applied.
For the explication of the objective extent of the rule and dominion mentioned, he adds, “ For in that he hath made all subject unto him, he hath lest nothing that is not put under him.” For whereas it might be objected, that there is no mention in the Psalm of the world to come, whereof he treats, he lets them know, that that cannot be excepted; seeing the assertion is universal and unlimited, that all things whatsoever are put under him. It is true, our apostle making use of this very testimony in another place, 1 Cor. xv. 27. adds there, that there is a manifest exception in reference to him who so put all things under him; and it is evident that it is so indeed, for the Psalmist treats not of God himself, but of the works of God; and among them, saith the apostle here, there lies no exception : they are all brought into order under this rule. And so by this testimony, thus explained, as necessity requires it should be, he hath fully confirmed that the world to come, being one of the special works of God, and not put in subjection unto angels, is made subject unto man; which was that he undertook to demonstrate.
Secondly, To direct this testimony unto its proper end, and to make way for its application unto him, who is especially intended therein, he declares negatively unto whom it is not applicable : “ but now we see not yet all things put under him." Man it was, concerning whom the words are spoken, “ What is man ?” This must denote the nature of man ; and that ei. ther as it is in all mankind in general, and every individual, or in some special and peculiar instance, in one partaker of that nature. For the first, he denies that this can belong unto man in general, all, or any of them, on that general account of being men. And in this negation, there are two circumstances considerable : First, The manner of his asserting it by an appeal to common experience " we see ;” this is a matter whereof every one may judge; we all of us know by experience, that it is otherwise; we need neither testimony nor argument to instruct us herein. Our own condition, and that in which we behold other men, is sufficient to inform us. And this is a way whereby an appeal is made as it were to common sense and experience, as we do in things that are most plain and unquestionable. Secondly, There is a limitation of this experience, in the word yet ; “ we see not as yet.” And this doth not intimate a contrary state of things for the future, but denies, as to all the time that is past. A long space of time there hath been since the giving out of this testimony, much longer since the creation of man, and all other things, and yet all this while, we see that all things are far enough from being put under the feet of man; or if there be in the word a reserve for some season, wherein this word shall in some sense be fulfilled in mere man also, it is for that time wherein they shall be perfectly glorified with him, who is principally intended, and so be admitted as it were to be sharers with him in his dominion, Rev. üi. 21. These things make plain what is here denied, and in what sense. All mankind, in conjunction, are very remote from being invested with the dominion here described, from having the whole creation of God cast in subjection under their feet. It is true, there was given unto man at first, in his original condition, a rule over those creatures here below, that were made for the use and sustentation of his natural life, and no other. And this also is in some measure continued unto his posterity, though against the present bent and inclination of the creatures, who groan because of the bondage that they are put unto, in serving of their use and necessity. But all this at first was but an obscure type and shadow of the dominion here intended, wbich is absolute, universal, and such as the creatures have no reason to complain of, their proper condition being allotted unto them therein. Hence we ourselves, by our own observation, may easily discern that this word respects not principally, either the first man or his posterity; for we see not as yet, after this long space of time since the creation, that all things are pot into subjection unto him.
Having thus unfolded the testimony insisted on, before we proceed unto the apostolical application of it unto the person to whom it doth belong, we may stay here a little, and gather something from it for our instruction. And it is in general, that,
The consideration of the infinitely glorious excellencies of the nature of God manifesting themselves in his works, doth greatly set out his condescension and grace, in his regard and respect unto mankind. This, the occasion of the words, and the words themselves, do teach us.
1. This the method of the Psalmist, I say, leads us unto. He begins and ends his consideration of the works of God, with an admiration of his glorious excellency by whom they were made, ver. 1. 9. “ O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name !" how glorious art thou, and thou manifestest thyself so to be; and from thence doth he proceed to the consideration of his condescension in his regard and love to man, ver. 4. And to direct us in this duty with the Psalmist, we may observe,
First, That the works of God, those especially which were the peculiar subject of his meditation, the heavenly bodies which we behold, are indeed in themselves exceedingly glorious. Their frame, greatness, beauty, order, course, usetulness, all speak them admirable and glorious. The naked view of them is enough to fill the mind of man with admiration and astonishment. And the more we contemplate them, the more skilful we are in the consideration of their nature, order and use, the more excellent do they appear unto us; and yet it is the least part of their greatness, and beautiful disposition that we can attain a certain knowledge of; so that still they remain more the objects of our admiration and wonder, than of our science. Hence the wisest among the heathen, who were destitute of the teachings of the word and Spirit of God, did with one consent ascribe of old a deity unto them, and worshipped them as gods ; yea, the very name of God in the Greek language, Osos, is taken from Osrv, to run,' which they derived from the constant course of the heavenly bodies. They saw with their eyes how glorious they were : they found out by reason their greatness and dreadful motion. Experience taught them their use, as the immediate fountains of light, warmth, heat, moisture, and so consequently of life, growth, and of all useful things. It may be, they had some tradition of that rule and dominion, which was at first allotted unto the sun and moon over day and night, Gen. i. 16. On these, and the like accounts, having lost the knowledge of the true and only God, they knew not so well wbither to turn themselves for a Deity, as to those things which they saw so full of glory, and which they found to be of so universal a communicative goodness and usefulness. And in them did all idolatry in the world begin. And it was be times in the world, as we see in Job, where it is mentioned and condemned, ch. xxxi. 26, 27. “ If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the