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he be righteous, what giveth he unto him? or what receiveth he of
his hand?" Job xxxv. ti, 7. Nothing but infinite condescension and
grace is the f0lintain of all God's regard unto us.

Thirdly^His infinite and ete7'nal j)ower is by the same means
manifested. This the apostle expressly affirms, Rom. i, 20. He
that made all these things of nothing, and therefore can also make
and create in like manner whatever else besides he pleaseth, must
needs be infinite in power, or, as he is called, " the Lord God omni-



848 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CHAP. 11.

potent," Rev. xix. 6. This himself sets forth in general, Isa. xl. 28.
And to convince Job hereof, he treats with him in particular in-
stances about some few of his fellow- creatures here below, in the
earth and in the waters, chap, xxxviii.-xli. And if the power of
God in making this or that creature which we see and behold be so
admirable, declaring his sovereignty, and the infinite distance of
man from him in his best condition, how glorious is it in the whole
universe, and in the creation of all things visible and invisible, and
that by a secret emanation of omnipotency in a word of command !
The art of man will go far in the framing, fashioning, and ordering
of things; but there are two things in the least of the creatures
of God that make the creating energy that is seen in them infi-
nitely to differ from all limited and finite power: — 1. That they are
brought out of nothing. Now, let all creatures combine their strength
and wisdom together, unless they have some pre-existent matter to
work upon, they can produce nothing, effect nothing. 2. To many
of his creatures, of the least of them, God hath given life and spon-
taneous motion; to all of them an especial inclination and ope-
ration, following inseparably the principles of their nature. But as
all created power can give neither life, nor spontaneous motion, nor
growth to any thing, no more can it plant in any thing a new natu-
ral principle, that should incline it unto a new kind of operation
which was not originally connatural unto it. There is a peculiar
impress of omnipotency upon all the works of God, as he declares
at large in that discourse with Job, chap, xxxviii.-xli. And this
power is no less effectual nor less evident in his sustentation and
preservation of all things than in his creation of them. Things do
no more subsist by themselves than they were made by themselves.
He " upholdeth all things by the word of his power," Heb. i. 3 ;
and "by him all things consist," Col. i. 1 7. He hath not made the
world, and then turned it off his hand, to stand on its own bottom
and shift for itself; but there is continually, every moment, an ema-
nation of power from God unto every creature, the greatest, the
least, the meanest, to preserve them in their being and order; which
if it were suspended but for one moment, they would all lose their
station and being, and by confusion be reduced into nothing. " In
him we live, and mave, and have our being," Acts xvii. 28 ; and
he " giveth to all life, and breath, and all things," verse 25. God
needs not to put forth any act of his power to destroy the creation ; the
very suspension of that constant emanation of omnipotency which is
necessary unto its subsistence would be sufficient for that end and
purpose. And who can admire as he ought this power of God, which
is greater in every particular grass of the field than we are able to
search into or comprehend ? And what is man, that he should be
mindful of him ?



TEE. 5-9.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 849

Fourthly, His wisdom also shines forth in these works of his
hands. " In wisdom hath he made them all," Ps. civ. 24. So also
Ps. cxxxvi. 5. His power was that which gave all things their being,
but his wisdom gave them their order, beauty, and use. How ad-
irdrable this is, how incomprehensible it is unto us, Zophar declares
to Job, chap. xi. 6-9, " The secrets of this wisdom are douljle unto
what may be known of it," — infinitely more than we can attain to
the knowledge of. Searching will not do it; it is absolutely incom-
prehensible. He that can take but a little, weak, faint considera-
tion of the glorious disposition of the heavenly bodies, — their order,
course, respect to each other, their usefulness and influences, their
disposition and connection of causes and effects here below, the
orderly concurrence and subserviency of every thing in its place and
operation, to the consistency, use, and ])eauty of the universe, — will
be forced to cry out with the psalmist, " O Lokd, how manifold are
thy works ! in wisdom hast thou made them all : the earth is full of
thy riches." But, alas ! what can the best and wisest of men attain
unto in the investigation of the wisdom of God? There is not the
least creature, but, considered apart by itself, hath somewhat be-
longing unto it that will bring them unto wonder and astonishment.
And what shall we say concerning the most glorious, concerning the
order of them all unto one another and the whole ? There must all
men's considerations end, and among them this of ours.

Fifthly, His goodness is in like manner manifest in these things.
There is in the whole and every part of God's creation a fourfold
goodness: — 1. A goodness of being and subsistence. That which
is, so far forth as it is, is good. So God saw all things, as he made
them, that they were good. The very being of every thing is its first
goodness, on which all other concernments of it depend. And this
ariseth from hence, because thereby and therein it participates of
the first absolute goodness, which is being; whereunto a nothingness,
if I may so speak, is negatively opposed " ad infinitum." 2. A
goodness of order. This gives them their beauty, which is the first
principle properly of goodness, and convertible with it. Every thing
that is good is beautiful, and every thing that is beautiful is good.
Now, the pulchritude or beauty of the whole creation, and of every
part of it, consists in the order that is given unto it by the wisdom
of God, whereof we spake before. This is that to xaXhv xayaQov of
all things, which of old, by the light of nature, was so much admired,
— beautiful goodness, or goodly beauty, whereby every thing be-
comes comely and desirable, both in itself and its own parts and in
that respect which it hath unto all other things. 8. A goodness
of usefulness. Nothing is made in vain. Every thing hath its work,
service, and operation allotted unto it. If the whole creation had
been uniform, if it had been only one ihii.g, it would have wanted



S50 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CHAP II.

this goodness, and been but a dead lump, or mass of being. But in
this great variety and diversity of things which we behold, every one
hath its proper place and service, and nothing is useless. As the
apostle says that it is in the several parts and members of the lesser
world, man, that though some of them seem more worthy and
comely than others, yet all have their proper use, so that they cannot
say one unto another, "I have no need of thee;" so is it in the
universe, — though some parts of it seem to be very glorious, and
others mean and to be trampled on, yet they cannot say one
to another, " I have no need of thee," each having its proper use.
The eye is a most noble part of the body; ' but," saith the apostle,
' if the whole body were an eye, the beauty of the whole were
lost, and the very use of the eye.' How glorious is the sun in
the firmament, in comparison of a poor worm on the earth ! yet if
the whole creation were one sun, it would have neither beauty nor
use, nor indeed be a sun, as having nothing to communicate light or
lieat unto. But God hath brought forth his works in unspeakable
variety, that they might all have this goodness nf usefulness accom-
panying of them. 4. A goodness of an orderly tendency unto the
utmost and' last end; which is the glory of him by whom they were
made. This also is implanted upon the whole creation of God. And
hence the psalmist calls upon all the inanimate creatures to give
praise and glory unto God; that is, he calls upon himself and others
to consider how they do so. This is the point, the centre, where all
these lines do meet, without which there could be neither beauty
nor order nor use in them; for that which errs from its end is
crooked, perverse, and not good. On all these considerations it is
said that " God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it
was ver}^ good," Gen. i. 81. Now, what an infinite, eternal ocean
of goodness must that be, which by the word of his mouth commu-
nicated all this goodness at once unto the whole creation ! How
deep, how unfathomable is this fountain ! how unsearchable are these
springs ! This the holy men in the Scripture often express by way
of admiration. "How great is his goodness! how great is his beauty!"
Tlie first goodness, the fountain of all goodness, must needs be ab-
solutely and infinitely so; in which sense "there is none good but
one, that is, God."

In. these things consist somewhat of the glory, excellency, and
honour of God, which the j)salmist falls into an admiration of upon
the contemplation of the works of his hands, and which made him
so astonished at his condescension in the regard that he is pleased
to bear unto the nature of man. But besides this consideration, he
adds also an intimation, as we have showed, of tlie mean condition of
man, uiito whom this respect is showed, and that both in the manner
of his expression, " Wiiat is man?" and in the words or names



VEK. 5-9.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 351

whereby he expresseth him, "Enosh" and "Adam;" which we sliall
also briefly add unto our former considerations of the glory of God.

First, "What is man" as to his extract? A little dust, made of tlie
dust of the ground; — one that may say " to corruption, Thou art my
father; and to the worm. Thou art my mother, and my sister," Job
xvii. 14. His fabric was not one jot of any better materials than
theirs. That God put this honour upon him, to breathe into the
dust whereof he was made, that he should become " a living soul,"
is part of that goodness wherein he is to be admired. Otherwise we
are what God said to Adam: " Dust thou art." Poor creature, that
wouldst be like unto God, thou art dust, and no more! And in tiie
sense of this extraction did holy men of old abase themselves in the
presence of God, as Abraham, Gen. xviii. 27, " Behold now, I have
taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and
ashes?" Poor, proud man ! which scornest to touch that which thou
art made of, and thinkest thyself I know not what, whilst the re-
mainder of thee, that which was left in the making of thee^ lies
under the feet of all the creatures which thou despisest, — -what is
tiiis handful of dust that God should regard it? But yet, —

Secondly, This fabric, being erected, is perhaps durable, strong,
and abiding, and so may be considerable on that account. But,
alas! his Jrailt'i/ is inexpressible. It is true, that before the flood the
life of man was prolonged unto a great continuance; but as that
was not in the least any advantage unto the most of them, giving
them only an opportunity to increase their sin and misery, nor to the
whole society of mankind, seeing by that means " the earth was filled
with violence," and became a woful habitation of distress, so they
also came to their end, and long since nothing remaineth of their
memory but that they lived so many years and then they died,
which is the common end of maa But since that, in which our
concernment lies, how do the holy men of God set forth, and as it
were complain of, the woful frailty of our condition! So doth
Moses, Ps. xc. 5, 6, "Thou carriest them away as with a flood;"
which he spake in contemplation of those thousands which he saw
die before his eyes in the wilderness. "In the morning they are
like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and
groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth." The
like also pleadeth Job, chap. xiv. 1,2; and then turning unto God he
saith, "And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one?" — 're-
gard such a poor, frail, perishing creature?' And David doth the
like, Ps. cii. 24. And indeed no tongue can express the miserable,
frail condition of this poor creature. From within, from without,
from himself, from all other creatures, and principally from the
rage and cruelty of those of the same nature with himself, his
misery is great, and his life of short continuance. And God abun-
VOL. XII.— 23



852 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CHAP. IL

clantly shows that little weight also is to be laid on that duration
which he hath here in this world, in that he takes many from the
very womb, who scarce ever beheld the light, into the participation
of his own eternal glory.

Thirdly, This earthy, frail man hath made himself yet more un-
speakably vile by sin. This sets him at the utmost distance from
the glory of God, and utterly soils every thing that is in him which
of itself is worthy of consideration.

All these things being put together, they make the condescension
of God in remembering man, and setting his heart upon him, ex-
ceedingly to be admired and adored. And this also will further
appear if we might consider what are the blessed effects of this
mindfulness of him; but these the apostle insists upon in the next
verses, whither we may refer our meditations on them. Only the
(Uity itself arising from hence may be here pressed upon us; and
this is, that upon the accounts mentioned we should live constantly
in a holy admiration of this infinite condescension and grace of God.
To this end, —

First, Let us exercise ourselves unto hohj thoughts of God's infinite
excellencies. Meditation, accompanied with holy admiration is the
fountain of this duty. Some men have over busily and curiously
inquired into the nature and properties of God, and have foolishly
entleavoured to measure infinite things by the miserable short line
of their own reason, and to suit the deep things of God unto their
own narrow apprehensions. Such are many of the disputations of
the schoohuen on this subject, wherein though they have seemed
wise to themselves and others, yet indeed for the most part they have
" waxed vain in their imaginations." Our duty lies in studying what
God hath revealed of himself in his word, and what is evidently
suitable thereunto, and that not with curious searchings and specu-
lations, but with holy admiration, reverence, and fear. This the
apostle adviseth us unto, Heb. xii. 28, 29. In this way serious
thoughts of God's excellencies and properties, his greatness, immen-
sity, self-sufficiency, power, and wisdom, are exceeding useful unto our
souls. When these have filled us with wonder, when they have pros-
trated our spirits before him, and laid our mouths in the dust and our
persons on the ground, when the glory of them shines round about us,
and our whole souls are filled with a holy astonishment, then, —

Secoiidly, Let us take a view o/ ourselves, our extract, our frailty,
our vileness on every account. How poor, how undeserving are
we! What is a little sinful dust and ashes, before or in the sight
of this God of glory? What is there in us, what is there belong-
ing unto us, that is not suited to abase us; — alive one day, dead
another; quiet one moment, troubled another; fearing caring, re-
juicing causelessly, sinning always; in our best condition ''altogether



VER. 5-9.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. SC3

vanity?" Though much may be said unto this purpose, yet it must
he said after all that in ourselves we are inexpressibly miserable, ami,
as the prophet speaks, "less than vanity, and nothing." Would we be
■wise? — we are "like the wild ass's colt;" would we be honourable? —
we have "no understanding, but are like the beasts that perish ;" would
we be strong? — we are " as a reed shaken with the wind." And, —

Thirdl}^, Let the result of these thoughts be a holy admiration
of God's infinite love, care, grace, and condescension, in having any
regard unto us. So doth the psalmist teach us to do. Hence will
praise, hence will thankfulness, hence will self-abasement ensue.
And this will be a good foundation, as of obedience, so of comfort
and supportment in every condition.

Ver. 9. — 3. These things being spoken indefinitely of man by the
psalmist, the apostle, in the application of them unto his present
purpose, proceeds to show who it is that was especially intended,
and in whom the words had their full accomplishment. " But,"
saith he, '^ we see Jesus," etc. Many dijfficulties the words of this
vt-rse are attended withal, all which we shall endeavour to clear, —
first, by showing in general how in them the apostle applies the
tesdmpny produced by him unto Jesus; secondly, by freeing them
fiom the obscurity that ariseth from a avyx^'^"^^ ^^ transposition of
expression in them; thirdly, by opening the several things taught
and asserted in them ; and, fourthly, by a vindication of the whole
interpretation from exceptions and objections.

(1.) The apostle positively applies this testimony unto Jesus,
as him who was principally intended therein, or as him in whom the
things that God did when he minded man were accomplished. And
this the Syriac translation directly expresseth: ^?>5^P Ji? ''Vi?'=191 H "i^
pe^i ViriT )yrn; " But him whom he made lower a little while than
the angels, we see that it is Jesus." That is, it is Jesus concerning
whom the psalmist spake, and in whom alone this testimony is
verified. Two things are expressed concerning man in the words:
— [1.] That he was made lower than the angels; [2.] That he had
all things put in subjection unto him. 'Both these,' saith the apostle,
' we see accomplished in Jesus;' for that is the meaning of that ex-
pression, " We see Jesus," — that is, these things fulfilled in him.
And as he had before appealed unto their belief and experience in
his negative, that all things are not made subject to man in general,
so doth he here in his affirmative, " We see Jesus." Now, they saw
it, partly by what he had before proved concerning him ; partly by the
signs and wonders he had newly spoken of, whereby his tloctrino w.is
confirmed and his power over all things manifested; partly by his
calling and gathering of his church, giving laws, rules, and worship
unto it, by virtue of his authority in and over this new world. And
as unto the former part of the testimony, it was evident by what



354 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [cHAP. IL

they had seen with their eyes, or had been otherwise taught concern-
ing his low estate and humiliation: ' These things/ saith he, ' we see,
— they are evident unto us, nor can be denied whilst the gospel is
acknowledged/ Now this confession, on the evidences mentioned,
he applies to both parts of the testimony.

[1.] Saith he, " We see that for a little while he was made lower
than the angels,'' or brought into a state and condition of more 'exi-
gency and want than they are or can be exposed unto. And hereby
he evidently declares that those words in the psalm do not belong
unto the dignity of man spoken of, as if he had said, ' He is so ex-
cellent that he is but little beneath angels;' for as he ascribes unto
him a dignity far above all angels, inasmuch as all things without
exception are put under his feet, so he plainly declares that these
words belong to the depression and rainoration of Jesus, in that he
was so humbled that he might die. And therefore he proceeds to
show how that part of the testimony concerned his present purpose,
not as directly proving what he had proposed to confirmation con-
cerning his dignity, but as evidently designing the person that the
whole belonged unto. As also, he takes occasion from hence to enter
upon the exposition of another part of Christ's mediation, as pro-
phesied of in this place; for though he was so lessened, yet it was
not on his own account, but that "by the grace of God he might taste
death for every man."

[2.] For the other part of the testimony, 'We see,' saith he,
upon the evidences mentioned, ' that he is " crowned with glory
and honour," and consequently that "all things are put under his
feet."' So that the whole testimony, in both parts of it, is verified in
him, and in him alone. And hereby he fully evinceth what he had
before proposed unto confirmation, namely, the pre-eminence of
Jesus, the Messiah, above the angels, or principal administrators of
the law, in this especial instance, that " the world to come" was put
into subjection unto him, and not unto them. And therefore in
the state of the church intended in that expression are his teach-
ings, his doctrines, his worship, diligently to be attended unto, by all
those who desire to be partakers of the promises and good things
thereof.

(2.) There seems to be a cvyy^usig in the words, by a trans-
position of some expressions from their proper place and coherence,
.which must be removed: Thv ds ^pa^v ri rrap dyyiXovg TjXarrufisi/ov
/SXsTO/igv 'ijjffoCi', 6/« TO vd&riiJ,a rou Savaroy, ho^rj xai ri/Mrj s6Tt<pa.\ij}ij.vjoy
oirug yapiri ©goD b-Tsp 'Trdvrog yiiiorirai Savarou. Some would have tiiese
words, rhv ^payjj ri rjXarru/ihov, to belong to the subject of the pro-
position, whose predicate alone is, "crowned with glory and honour,"
whereof the suffering of death is inserted as the meritorious cause:
BO reading the words to this purpose, " We see that Jesus, who was



VER. 5-9.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBRE-WS. S55

for a little while made lower than the angels, for his suffering of
death is crowned with glory and honour/' Others would have
Jesus alone to be the subject of the proposition; of whose predicate
there are two parts, or two things are affirmed concerning him, —
first, that he was " made lower than the angels," the reason whereof
is added, namely, " that he might suffer death," which is furtiier
explained in the close of the verse by the addition of the cause and
end of that his suffering, "that by the grace of God he might taste
death for every man:'' so reading the words to this purpose, " We
see Jesus, made lower than the angels for the suffering of death,
crowned" (or, "and crowned") "with glory and honour." The dif-
ficulty principally consists in this only, namely, whether the apostle
by Bia. TO Tct^/j/ia Toi^ ^uvdrou, " for the suffering of death," intend the
final end of the humiliation of Christ, — ' he was made low that he
might suffer death;' or the meritorious cause of his exaltation, —
* for,' or ' because he suffered death, he was crowned with glory and
honour.' And the former seems evidently the intention of the words,
according to the latter resolution of them, and our application of
the testimony foregoing. For, — [1.] If the cause and means of the
exaltation of Christ had been intended, it would have been ex-
pressed by A/a TQv vaOrifiarog tov ^avdrov, did requiring a genitive
case, where the cause or means of any tiling is intended; but Aid rh
'TrdSri/j.a expresseth the end of what was before affirmed. [2.] These
words, " For the suffering of death," must express either the minora-
tion and humiliation of Christ, or the end of it. If they express
the end of it, then we obtain that which is pleaded for, — he was
made less that he might suffer. If they express his minoration it-
self, then the end of it is contained only in the close of the verse,
"That he might taste death for every man;" in which exposition
of the words the sense would be, that ' he suffered death, that by
the grace of God he might taste death,' — which is no sense at all.
[3.] If these words denote only the means or meritorious cause of
the exaltation of Christ, I inquire what is the medium intended of
that end in the close, "O-w; %ap/r/, " That he by the grace of God
might taste death ?" The word oVws, " that so," plainly refers unto
some preparatory means preceding, which in this way can be no-
thing but the crowning him with glory and honour, which we know
was not the means, but the effect of it. He was humbled, not
exalted, that he might taste of death. [4] The apostle doth not
merely take it for granted that Jesus was for a little while made
lower than the angels, but asserts it as proved in the testimony in-
sisted on; whereunto he subjoins the end of that his comparative
minoration, because he intended it as the especial subject of his
ensuing discourse. This, therefore, is the importance and natural
order of the words, " But we see Jesus crowned with glory and



356 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CHAP. IL



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