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Julian Pe 45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in Jerusa riod, 4746, with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God VulgarÆra,
drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of 33 or 34. David;
46 Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.
47 But Solomon built him an house.
48 Howbeit, the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool : what house will ye build me? saith the Lord : or what is the place of my rest?
50 Hath not my hand made all these things ?
ACTS vii. 51-54.
Selden and Beger, either to be the same as Saturn, or to be
I have already, in another place (k) remarked the apparent
(a) Vitringa Observationes Sacræ. (6) Dnbia vexata, p. 948. (c) Hale's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. p. 150. (d) On the Minor Prophets; on Amos v. 26. (e) De legibus Hebræorum, p. 666. (3) Selden ii. 34. (9) Lightfoot's Works, vol. viii. p. 434. Sk) Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol. ii. p. 491. (i) Faber at sup. vol. ii. p. 86. (k) Arrangement of the Old Testament, note on the Idolatry of Jeroboam, vol. ii. p. 117.
lalian Pe- cuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of Jerusalem. nod, 1746, the coming of the Just One, of whom ye have been now
47 . Tulgar&ra,
the betrayers and murderers : 33 or 34. 53 Who have received the law by the disposition of
angels, and have not kept it.
37 Schoetgen (a), Whitby (6), Grotius (c), and others, would consider this passage as referring to the attendance of the angels at the promulgation of the law on Mount Sinai. The Jews founded this opinion ou the use of the word ordbx, in the Pentateuch, instead of 17' ; which word, though it is a common Dame for God, is applied to the angels. Compare Ps. xcvii. 7. with Heb. i. 6. and Ps. viii. 6. witb Heb. ii. 8. "The Jews were also accustomed to say of Moses, D'Ox520 byx aby~He ascended to the angels, who neither eat nor drink, and with whom therefore he neither ate nor drank (d.)
Parkhurst would interpret the passage with reference to the fire and lightning and thunder, which attended the giving of tbe law. The learned Lightfoot, however, would interpret the phrase with reference to the succession of angels, i. e. messengers, or prophets, who successively appealed to the Jewish Church. I would not, he observes (e), reuder this 'Ayyed wv, by the Hebrew word 'Ixba, angels,' as the Syriac and Arabic interpreters have done; but by O'nibv, messengers;' so Tiar irbu is 'Ayyelog Exkinoias, 'the angel,' or messenger of the Church. The Jews have a trifling fiction, that those Israelites that were present at Mount Sinai, and heard the law pronounced there by God himself, should bave been like angels; that they should never have begot children, nor died; but, for the time to come, should have been like to angels, had it not been for that fatal and unfortunate crime of theirs in the matter of the golden calf. If εις διαταγας Αγγελων might admit of this passive construction, “ that men might be disposed in the same predicament or state with the angels ;" then I should think our blessed martyr might, in this passage, remind them of their own opinion, and the more smarily convince them of their avopa, “transgression of the law,” even from what they themselves granted. As though be had said, “ Ye have received a law, which you yourselves confess, would have put men into an angelical state, and yet you have not observed it.”
But if this clause will not bear that interpretation, it is doubtful in what sense the word 'Ayysiwy must be taken ; and whether els diarayas, unto the dispositions,' be the same with èra olaraywy, or dia olarayns, by the dispositions, or disposition.' That expression in Gal. iii. 19. agrees with this olaTayas de ayyedwv, ordained by angels;' and in both these places it would be something harsh to understand, by angel, those heavenly spirits strictly and properly so taken: for what had they to do in the disposition of the law? They were present indeed at Mount Sinai, when the law was given, as many places of the Holy Scriptures do witness; but then they were but present there ; for we do not find that any thing farther was done or performed by them. So that the thing itself makes it necessary, that in both places we should understand by angels the messengers' of God's word; his prophets and ministers. And the particle els may retain its own proper force and virtue, that the sense may come to thus much; viz. “ ye have received the law unto the dispositions of messengers," i.e. that it should be propounded and published by ministers, prophets, and others : and that according to your own desire and wish, Exod. xx. 19. Deut. v. 25. and xviii. 15, 16. and yet ye have
Jerusale riod, 4747. Valgar/Era, Stephen praying for his Murderers, is stoned to Death.
Acts vii. 54 to the end. viii. part of ver. 1 and 2.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up
56 And said, Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God “.
not kept the law. Ye desired prophets, and ye had them, yet
If the severe language of the martyred Stephen was justly
(a) Horæ Hebraicæ, vol. i. p. 738. (6) Whitby in loc. (c) AP Critici Sacri, vol, viii. in loc. (d) Midrasch in Jalkut Simeoni, Part II. fol. 118.--2 ap Schoetgen. (e) Works, vol. viii. p. 436.
40 The great High Priest, wbo bad passed into the holy of holies to intercede for man, looked dowu from heaven, and opened the veil of the firmament, that bis first martyr might gaze on his exaltation and glory. The bystanders were too much engaged with the work of destruction upon earth to look up to heaven ; and even if they had so done, it is by no means certain that the appearance of the Shechinah would have been manifested to them also. It is related by St. Luke as a fact, and not as a vision ; neither is it unphilosophical to believe that He who bad visibly ascended into heaven, and had promised to prepare a place there for those who love him, should impart to his holy and suffering servant, in his hour of martyrdom, a prospect of those celestial scenes to which bis spirit would soon be admitted-the exceeding great reward of the righteous.
We do not yet understand the nature of the universe of God. The blue expanse that encircles our planet on all sides, prevents us from seeing much of space in the day time. Our view is then limited to the sun, whose distance is comparatively small. In the night our view is bounded by the magnificent fret-work, with which the God of Christianity and of creation has spangled the beautiful arch above us. The distance of the visible stars is so great, that the intelleet of man is bewildered in the attempt to comprehend it. If we call in the assistance of
Julian Pe- 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped Jerusalem. riod, 4747. their ears, and ran upon him with one accord. Valgarðra,
58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him : and
the telescope, we add to our wonder and embarrassment, and
The Christian, however, must propose the question to himself:
Witsius, who has permitted few points of theology entirely to
(a) Psalm lxxvii. 13.
On a poor breathing particle of dust-
Young's NIGHT THOUGHTS.
Julian Pe- the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's " Jerusalem. riod, 4747. feet, whose name was Saul. Vulgar Æra, 34.
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit“.
41 Many commentators have attempted, from a comparison of this expression with that in St. Paul's Epistle to Philemon, in which he styles himself Paul the aged, to discover the probable age of that apostle at this time. Others again think, that the latter passage ought to be rendered Paul the ambassador. No argument for the former supposition can be safely deduced from the expression here referred to, as the original word is used with great latitude. In the Septuagint, which is the best lexicon for the signification of words in the New Testament, the Greek word veaviokog is used for soldiers, 2 Macc. xii. 27. or men of mature age. It corresponds also with Divx, men, Josh. ii. 1. and 23; and, among the classical writers, it is used in the same manner. Kuinoel quotes Phavorinus, to prove that it described any age between twenty-three and forty; and his authority is confirmed by Diogenes Laertius, 8–10. and Xenopbon Cyr. viii. 3, &c. where the word veaviokog occurs, and avne, $11. is immediately after used as an exquivalent expression.
42 That the exclamation of Stepben is sufficient to prove his belief, and the belief therefore of the early Churcb in the divinity of Christ, appears further from the manner in which the Jews were accustomed to speak of death. Their common saying was, That was the most easy death, when the Shechinah received the spirit of the just man. Schoetgen quotes Jalkut Rubeni, fol. 86. 2. Justi perfecti non moriuntur ab angelo
ipsa Shechinah animas eorum suscipit (a.).
I shall always insist, says Bishop Horsley, in bis answer to Priestley, that the blessed Stephen died a martyr to the Deity of Christ. The accusation against him was “his speaking blasphemous things against the temple and the law." You have forgotten to add the charge of blasphemy “ against Moses and against God." The blasphemy against the temple and the law, probably, consisted in a prediction, that the temple was to bé destroyed, and the ritual law of course abolished. The blasphemy against Moses was, probably, his assertion that the authority of Moses was inferior to that of Christ. But what could be the blaspbemy against God? what was there in the doctrine of the apostles which could be interpreted as blasphemy against God, except it was this, that they ascribed divi. nity to one who had suffered publicly as a malefactor. That this was the blessed Stephen's crime none can doubt, who attends to the conclusion of the story: “He looked up stedfastly into heaven," says the inspired historian, “and saw the glory of God,” (that is, he saw the splendour of the Shechinah; for that is what is meant when the glory of God is mentioned, as some. thing to be seen,) “and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” He saw the man Jesus in the midst of bis divine light. His declaring what he saw, the Jewish rabble understood as an assertion of the divinity of Jesus. They stopped their ears ; they overpowered his voice with their own clamours; and they hurried him out of the city, to inflict upon him the death which the law appointed for blasphomers. He died as he had lived, attesting the Deity of our crucified Master. His last breath