Wherefore this day was no other but that fearful and tremendous day, a season for the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, city, and nation of the Jews
Dr. John Owen
1616 – 1683
The end of all this was, that this earth should be burned. An universal desolation, according to the prediction of our Saviour, by fire and sword, representing the eternal vengeance to which they were liable, and which was to come upon them. This was now approaching ; namely, the end of their church and state, in the destruction of the city, temple, and nation.
- 1647: John Owen: The Death of Death in the Death of Christ (PDF)
- 1668: John Owen, Exercitations on the Epistle to the Hebrews, Also Concerning the Messiah (PDF) When God first brought them into his land, which was to be the seat of his ordinances and solemn worship, the first town that they came unto was Jericho. This, therefore, God anathematized, or devoted to perpetual destruction, with a curse upon him that should attempt its re-edification. Josh. vi. 17. The whole land thereby was alienated from its former possessors, and devoted unto another use, and the place itself utterly destroyed. Jerusalem, and consequently the whole church, was now to be made as Jericho ; and the curse denounced was now speedily to be put in execution, wherein the land was to be alienated from their right unto it, and be devoted to desolation.
The end of all this was, that this earth should be burned. An universal desolation, according to the prediction of our Saviour, by fire and sword, representing the eternal vengeance to which they were liable, and which was to come upon them. This was now approaching ; namely, the end of their church and state, in the destruction of the city, temple, and nation.
- 1721: John Owen, Providential Changes
- 1721: John Owen, On the ‘New Heavens and Earth’ in 2 Peter 3 – He will come – He will not tarry; and then the heavens and earth that God Himself planted, – the sun, moon, and stars of the Judaical polity and church, – the whole old world of worship and worshippers
- 1772: John Owen, A Practical Exposition of CXXX Psalm (PDF) – Will it do me any good to be at Jerusalem, and not see the face of the King? to live under ordinances, and not to meet in them with the King of saints? May I not justly fear that the Lord will take his Holy Spirit from me until I be left without remedy?” With such thoughts as these are sin-entangled souls exercised, and they lie rolling in their minds in all their applications unto God.
- 1826: John Owen, Works of John Owen D.D., V9 (PDF)
- 1851-55: Goold’s Owen, The Works of John Owen, D.D., (PDF)
- 1855: Spurgeon Sermon 43, On Death and Dr. Owen “First, let me tell you what Dr. Owen said-that celebrated prince of Calvinists. While his works are to be found, I am not afraid that men shall lack arguments to defend the Gospel of Free-grace. A friend called to tell Dr. Owen that he had put to press his “Meditations on the Glory of Christ.” There was a momentary gleam in his languid eye as he answered, “I am glad to hear it. Oh!” said he, “the long-wished for time has come at last, in which I shall see that glory in another manner than I have ever done, or was capable of doing in this world.”
- 1858: David Lord: Christ’s Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem, and of His Second Coming
- 1862: John Owen, Works of Dr. John Owen, V20 (PDF)
- 2002: Mark Beach, The Doctrine of the Pactum Salutis in the Covenant Theology of Witsius (PDF)
- 2003: Mitchell Dick, Defense of the Orthodox View of the Second Coming of Christ – A Response to Full Preterism
- 2005: Review: Covenant Theology From Adam to Christ by Nehemiah Coxe and John Owen
- 2010: DeMar and Chilton, What Does Peter Mean by the Passing Away of Heaven and Earth? A Study of 2 Peter 3
AD70 is a Type, but is also the Primary Sense of Fulfillment
‘Dr. Owen’s remark is full of good sense -“If the Scripture has more than one meaning, it has no meaning at all”
(On Matthew 24)
“Our Lord now proceeds to point out some of the more immediate signs of his coming to destroy Jerusalem, and put an end to the Jewish state and dispensation. Even Olshausen, who blends in such inseparable union the proximate and remote comings of our Lord, admils that vs. 15-21 ‘contain a very minute representation of the destruction of Jerusalem, without any pause being observed, or any intimation being given, that what follows is to be separated from what has preceded.’ It is precisely for this reason, viewing the Saviour’s reply to his disciples as designed to be intelligible, that in this portion of the prediction, I can find no direct reference to the day of judgment, only as the whole event of the coming to destroy Jerusalem is symbolical of that great and final coming to take vengeance on the ungodly.” (P. 312).
“That the language is similar to that in which Christ’s final coming is described, cannot be denied. But that is not strange, when we consider, as has been remarked, that the one event is typical of the other ; that his coming to destroy Jerusalem is a representation, faint indeed but real, of his glorious and awful coming to take vengeance upon the finally impenitent, and that language therefore is used of it, which seems appropriately to belong to the final judgment.” (P. 319.)
“the one event is typical of the other; his coming to destroy Jerusalem in representation, faint, indeed, but real, of his glorious and awful coming to take vengeance upon the finally impenitent ; and that language, therefore, is used of it which seems appropriately to belong to the final judgment.” — Pp. 318, 319.” (See David N. Lord: Christ’s Prophecy (Matt. xxiv) of the Destruction of Jerusalem, and of His Second Coming (1858)”
(On the Primacy of AD70)
“It is not such a day, such a motive, as is always common to all, but only unto those who are in some measure in the same circumstances with them….Wherefore this day was no other but that fearful and tremendous day, a season for the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, city, and nation of the Jews, which our Saviour had forewarned His disciples of, and which they had in continual expectation” (Commentary on Hebrews, Hebrews 10:25)
(On the New Heavens and Earth)
‘It is evident, then, that in the prophetical idiom and manner of speech, by heavens and earth, the civil and religious state and combination of men in the world, and the men of them, were often understood. So were the heavens and earth that world which then was destroyed by the flood.
‘ 4. On this foundation I affirm that the heavens and earth here intended in this prophecy of Peter, the coming of the Lord, the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, mentioned in the destruction of that heaven and earth, do all of them relate, not to the last and final judgment of the world, but to that utter desolation and destruction that was to be made of the Judaical church and state
‘First, There is the foundation of the apostle’s inference and exhortation, seeing that all these things, however precious they seem, or what value soever any put upon them, shall be dissolved, that is, destroyed; and that in that dreadful and fearful manner before mentioned, in a day of judgment, wrath, and vengeance, by fire and sword; let others mock at the threats of Christ’s coming: He will come- He will not tarry; and then the heavens and earth that God Himself planted, -the sun, moon, and stars of the Judaical polity and church, -the whole old world of worship and worshippers, that stand out in their obstinancy against the Lord Christ, shall be sensibly dissolved and destroyed: this we know shall be the end of these things, and that shortly.” (Sermon on 2 Peter iii. 11, Works, folio, 1721.).
“It is evident, from sundry places in the New Testament, what extreme oppositions the believing Jews met withal, all the world over, from their own countrymen, with and among whom they lived. They in the meantime, no doubt, warned them of the wrath of Christ against them for their cursed unbelief and persecutions; particularly letting them know, that Christ would come in vengeance ere long, according as he had threatened, to the ruin of his enemies. And because the persecuting Jews, all the world over, upbraided the believers with the temple and the holy city, Jerusalem, their worship and service instituted of God, which they had defiled; they were given to know, that even all these things also should be destroyed, for their rejection of the Son of God. After some continuance of time, the threatening denounced being not yet accomplished,–as is the manner of profane persons and hardened sinners, Eccles. viii. 11,–they began to mock and scoff, as if they were all but the vain pretences, or loose, causeless fears of the Christians. That this was the state with them, or shortly would be, the apostle declares in this chapter, verses 3, 4. Because things continued in the old state, without alteration, and judgment was not speedily executed, they scoffed at all the threats about the coming of the Lord that had been denounced against them.” (“Providential Changes, An Argument for Universal Holiness,” in The Works of John Owen: Sermons to the Church, 23 vols. (Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth, [1850-1853], 1998), 9:132. )
(On the downfall of Rome, and the heavens and earth)
“(the empire) was shivered to pieces by many barbarous nations; who, settling themselves in the fruitful soils of Europe, began to plant their heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, growing up into a civil state,” (vol 8, p. 265)
(On Matthew 24:29)
“Not to hold you too long upon what is so plain and evident, you may take it for a rule, that, in the denunciations of the judgments of God, through all the prophets, heaven, sun, moon, stars, and the like appearing beauties and glories of the aspectable heavens, are taken for governments, governors, dominions in political states, as Isa. 14:12-15; Jer 15:9, 51:25. Isaiah 13:13; Ps. 68:6; Joel 2:10; Rev. 8:12; Matt. 24:29; Luke 21:25; Isa 60:20; Obad. 4; Rev 8:13; 11:12; 20:11.” (vol. 8, p. 255, in a sermon entitled Shaking and Translating of Heaven and Earth, preached on April 19, 1649)
(On Matthew 24:30)
“So upon or in the destruction of Jerusalem, Luke 21:27, the Son of man is said to ‘come in a cloud, with power and great glory’ – and they that escape in that desolation are said to ‘stand before the Son of man, ver. 36.” (vol. 9, p. 139)
(On Hebrews 10:25)
“It is not such a day, such a motive, as is always common to all, but only unto those who are in some measure in the same circumstances with them….Wherefore this day was no other but that fearful and tremendous day, a season for the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, city, and nation of the Jews, which our Saviour had forewarned His disciples of, and which they had in continual expectation” (Commentary on Hebrews , in loc.)
A SECOND CONSIDERATION ON THE ANNOTATIONS OF HUGO GROTIUS
AT THE END OF WORKS, VOLUME 12.
IN REFERENCE UNTO THE DOCTRINE OF THE DEITY AND SATISFACTION OF CHRIST; WITH A DEFENCE OF THE CHARGE FORMERLY LAID AGAINST THEM.
HENRY HAMMOND, the chaplain of Charles I., and the sub-dean of Christ Church, Oxford, from which office he was expelled by the Parliamentary visitors in 1648, was a divine of eminent learning, and, besides other works, was the author of “Annotations on Scripture,” which still deserve to be consulted, although disfigured by his habit of explaining much in the New Testament by reference to the Gnostic heresy. He was the opponent of Owen on several questions, relating to the nature of church-government, the authority of the Ignatian Epistles, and the orthodoxy of Hugo Grotius.
In 1617 Grotius published a refutation of the errors of Faustus Socinus, entitled, “A Defence of the Catholic Faith concerning the Satisfaction of Christ.” Though opposed to the Socinians, the work was not deemed in perfect harmony with orthodox sentiment. Ravensperger in consequence assailed him, in a work entitled, “Judicium de Libro Grotii,” etc. G.J.
Vessius came to his defense in the following year. On the part of the Socinians, Crellius replied to Grotius. A complimentary letter from the latter to his opponent confirmed the suspicions entertained of his own orthodoxy Crellius was answered by Essenius, Velthuysenius, and Stillingfleet.
Owen, in the preface to his treatise on the “Perseverance of the Saints,” had alluded to Dr Hammond as indebted to Grotius “for more than one rare notion” in his expositions of Scripture. An elaborate reply to the whole argument of Dr Owen against the Ignatian Epistles, contained in the same preface, appeared in 1655 from the pen of Hammond, and under the title, “An Answer to the Animadversions on the Dissertations concerning the Epistles of Ignatius.” In the course of it, a digression was introduced vindicating Grotius from charges which Owen certainly had not mooted, but in which, to a certain extent, he could not refrain from concurring.
These charges were, that towards the close of his life the learned Dutchman had veered towards Socinianism, and had become favorable to the interests of the church of Rome. In regard to the charge of Socinian leanings, it was founded partly on his letter to Crellius, partly on certain expressions which fell from him on his death-bed, and partly on his Scholia on the Bible. Two volumes of these Scholia appeared in 1641 and 1644, before the death of Grotius; and two, one including the Acts and the Epistles of Paul and James, and the other including the six Catholic Epistles and the Revelation, were published posthumously in 1646 and 1650. These Scholia contain expositions of Scripture which differ considerably from what Grotius had given in his work “De Satisfactione Christi.” Hammond argues that his letter to Crellius was but an interchange of civilities, in which he was not called to discuss the points of controversy between them; gives a different version of his death-bed utterances; and maintains that the posthumous Scholla, because contrary to the opinions which he avowed in his lifetime, were notes taken by Grotius in the course of his reading, and by no means to be regarded as expressing his own views. Owen, in his “Vindiciae Evangelicae,” proceeded to trace the perfect correspondence between Grotius and the Socinians, in their exegesis of those passages in Scripture which relate to the person of Christ. Hammond issued his “Second Defence of Grotius.” Owen answered him in the following treatise; and was answered by his indefatigable adversary in “A Continuation of the Defence of Grotius.” If the position of Owen had been that Grotius was in reality a Socinian, he would have been worsted in this collision with Hammond; but he guards himself against being supposed to assume it, making express admission that Grotius allowed one text to be proof of the Savior’s Godhead. That Grotius played into the hands of the enemy, by the surrender of almost every other scriptural fortress in defense of this cardinal doctrine, and spoke of it in terms which betokened no very cordial appreciation of its importance, is what Owen asserted, and what cannot be disproved, except by the most worthless special pleading. Hammond could only make out his ease for Grotius by denying all authority to his posthumous Annotations, “which,” says he, “I deem not competent measures to judge him by.” —ED.
A SECOND CONSIDERATION OF THE ANNOTATIONS OF HUGO GROTIUS.
HAVING, in my late defense of the doctrine of the gospel from the corruptions of the Socinians, been occasioned to vindicate the testimonies given in the Scripture to the deity of Christ from their exceptions, and finding that Hugo Grotius, in his Annotations, had (for the most part) done the same things with them as to that particular, and some other important articles of the Christian faith, that book of his being more frequent in the hands of students than those of the Socinians, I thought it incumbent on me to do the same work in reference to those Annotations which it was my design to perform towards the writings of Socinus, Smalcius, and their companions and followers. What I have been enabled to accomplish by that endeavor, with what service to the gospel hath been performed thereby, is left to the judgment of them who desire ajlhqeu>ein ejn ajga>ph . Of my dealing with Grotius I gave a brief account in my epistle to the governors of the university, and that with reference to an apology made for him not long before. This hath obtained a new apology, under the name of “A Second Defence of Hugo Grotius;” with what little advantage either to the repute of Grotius as to the thing in question or of the apologist himself, it is judged necessary to give the ensuing account, for which I took the first leisure hour I could obtain, having things of greater weight daily incumbent on me. The only thing of importance by me charged on those Annotations of Grotius was this, — that the texts of Scripture, both in the Old Testament and New, bearing witness to the deity and satisfaction of Christ, are in them wrested to other senses and significations, and the testimonies given to those grand truths thereby eluded. Of those of the first kind I excepted one, yet with some doubt, lest his expressions therein ought to be interpreted according to the analogy of what he had elsewhere delivered; of which afterward.
Because that which concerns THE SATISFACTION OF CHRIST will admit of the easiest despatch, though taking up most room, I shall in the first place insist thereon. The words of my charge on the Annotations, as to this head of the doctrine of the Scripture, are these: “The condition of these famous Annotations as to the satisfaction of Christ is the same; — not one text in the whole Scripture wherein testimony is given to that sacred truth which is not wrested to another sense, or at least the doctrine in it concealed and obscured by them.”
This being a matter of fact, and the words containing a crime charged on the Annotations, he that will make a defense of them must either disprove the assertion by instances to the contrary, or else, granting the matter of fact, evince it to be no crime. That which is objected in matter of fact “aut negandum est aut defendendum,” says Quintilian, lib. 5:cap. de Refut., and “extra haec in judiciis fere nihil est.” In other cases, “patronus neget, defendat, transferat, excuset, deprecetur, molliat, minuat, avertat, despiciat, derideat;” but in matters of fact the first two only have place. Aristotle allows more particulars for an apologist to divert unto, if the matter require it. He may say of what is objected, H wjv oujk e]stin h\ wJv ouj blaberotw| h\ wJv ouj thlikou~to h\ oujk a]dikon h\ ouj me>ga h\ oujk aijscrogeqov (Rhet. lib. 3 cap. 15); all which, in a plain matter of fact, may be reduced to the former heads. That any other apology can or ought to take place in this or any matter of the same importance will not easily be proved. The present apologist takes another course; such ordinary paths are not for him to walk in. He tells us of the excellent book that Grotius wrote, “De Satisfactione Christi,” and the exposition of sundry places of Scripture, especially of divers verses of Isaiah 53 given therein, and then adds sundry inducements to persuade us that he was of the same mind in his “Annotations;” and this is called a defense of Grotius! The apologist, I suppose, knows full well what texts of Scripture they are that are constantly pleaded for the satisfaction of Christ by them who do believe that doctrine. I shall also for once take it for granted that he might without much difficulty have obtained a sight of Grotius’ Annotations; to which I shall only add, that probably, if he could from them have disproved the assertion before mentioned by any considerable instances, he is not so tender of the prefacer’s credit as to have concealed it on any such account. But the severals of his plea for the Annotations in this particular, I am persuaded, are accounted by some worthy of consideration. A brief view of them will suffice.
The signal place of Isaiah 53, he tells us, “he hath heard taken notice of by some” (I thought it had been probable the apologist might have taken notice of it himself), as that wherein his Annotations are most suspected, therefore on that he will fasten a while. Who would not now expect that the apologist should have entered upon the consideration of those Annotations, and vindicated them from the imputations insinuated? but he knew a better way of procedure, and who shall prescribe to him what suits his purpose and proposal?
This, I say, is the instance chosen to be insisted on; and the vindication of the Annotations therein by the interpretation given in their author’s book, De Satisfactione Christi, is proposed to consideration. That others, if not the apologist himself, may take notice of the emptiness of such precipitate apologies as are ready to be tumbled out without due digestion or consideration, I shall not only compare the Annotations and that book as to the particular place proposed, and manifest the inconsistency of the one with the other, but also, to discover the extreme negligence and confidence which lie at the bottom of his following attempt to induce a persuasion that the judgment of the man of whom we speak was not altered (that is, as to the interpretation of the scriptures relating to the satisfaction of Christ), nor is other [i.e., different] in his Annotations than in that book, I shall compare the one with the other by sundry other instances, and let the world see how, in the most important places contested about, he hath utterly deserted the interpretations given of them by himself in his book De Satisfactione, and directly taken up that which he did oppose.
The apologist binds me, in the first place, to that of Isaiah 53, which is ushered in by 1 Peter 2:24. “From 1 Peter 2:24,’ says the apologist, “Grotius informs us ‘that Christ so bare our sins that he freed us from them, so that we are healed by his stripes.’” This, thus crudely proposed, — Socinus himself would grant it, — is little more than barely repeating the words. Grotius goes farther, and contends that ajnh>egken , the word there used by the apostle, is to be interpreted “tulit sursum eundo, portavit;” and tells us that Socinus would render this word “abstulit,’ and so take away the force of the argument from this place. To disprove that insinuation, he urges sundry other places in the New Testament where some words of the same importance are used and are no way capable of such a signification. And whereas Socinus urges to the contrary Hebrews 9:28, where he says ajnenegkei~n aJmarti>av signifies nothing but “auferre peccata,” Grotius disproves that instance, and manifests that in that place also it is to be rendered by “tulit,” and so relates to the death of Christ.
That we may put this instance, given us by the apologist to vindicate the Annotations from the crime charged on them, to an issue, I shall give the reader the words of his Annotations on that place. They are as follow: — Ov taav hJmw~n aujtonegken, etc. Anh>egken hic est abstulit, quod sequentia ostendunt, quomodo idem verbum sumi notavimus, Hebrews 9:28, eodem sensu; a]irei aJmarti>an , Johan. 1:29; et ac;n; et lbæs; , Esa 52:4, ubi Graeci fe>rei . Vitia nostra ita interfecit, sicut qui cruci affiguntur interfici solent. Simile loquendi genus, Colossians 2:14; vide Romans 6:6, Galatians 2:20, 5:24. Est autem hic meta>lhyiv . Non enim proprie Christus cum crucifigeretur vitia nostra abstulit, sed causas dedit per quas auferrentur. Nam crux Christi fundamentum est praedicationis; praedicatio veto poenitentiae: poenitentia vero aufert vitia.”
How well the annotator abides here by his former interpretation of this place the apologist may easily discover. 1. There he contends that ajnh>egke , is as much as “tulit” or “sursum tulit, ” and objects out of Socinus that it must be “abstulit,” which quite alters the sense of the testimony; here he contends, with him, that it must be “abstulit.” 2. There, Hebrews 9:28 is of the same importance with this 1 Peter 2:24, as there interpreted; here, “as here,” — that is in a quite contrary sense, altogether inconsistent with the other. 3. For company, lbæs; , used Isaiah 53:4, is called into the same signification, which in the book De Satisfactione he contends is never used in that sense, and that most truly. 4. Upon this exposition of the words he gives the very sense contended for by the Socinians: “Non enim proprie Christus cum crucifigeretur vitia nostra abstulit, sed causas dedit per quas auferrentur.” What are these causes? He adds them immediately: “Nam crux Christi fundamentum est praedicationis; praedicatio vero poenitentiae: poenitentia vero aufert vitia” He that sees not the whole Socinian poison wrapped up and proposed in this interpretation is ignorant of the state of the difference as to that head between them and Christians. 5. To make it a little more evident how constant the annotator was to his first principles, which he insisted on in the management of his disputes with Socinus about the sense of this place, I shall add the words of Socinus himself, which then he did oppose: — “Verum animadvertere oportet primum in Graeco, verbum, quod interpretes verterunt pertulit, est ajnenegkei~n , quod non pertulit sed abstulit vertendum erat, non secus ac factum fuerit in epistola ad Hebraeos, cap. 9:28, ubi idem legendi modus habetur, unde constat ajnenegkei~n aJmarti>av non perferre peccata, sed peccata tollere, sive auferre, significare,” Socin. de Jes. Christ. Serv. lib. cap. 6.
What difference there is between the design of the annotator and that of Socinus, what compliance in the quotation of the parallel place of the Hebrews, what direct opposition and head is made in the Annotations against that book De Satisfactione, and how clearly the cause contended for in the one is given away in the other, need no farther to be demonstrated. But if this instance make not good the apologist’s assertion, it may be supposed that that which follows, which is ushered in by this, will do it to the purpose. Let, then, that come into consideration.
This is that of Isaiah 53. Somewhat of the sense which Grotius in his book De Satisfactione contends for in this place is given us by the apologist: — The 11th verse of the chapter, which he first considers (in my book, p. 14), he thus proposes and expounds: — “Justificabit servus meus, justus multos et iniquitates ipsorum bajulabit, in Hebrews est, Lbos]yi aWh µtnO/[\wæ . Vox autem ˆ/[; iniquitatem significat, atque etiam iniquitatis poenam, 2 Reg. 7:9; vox autem lbæs; est sustinere, bajulare, quoties autem bajulare ponitur cum nomine peccati aut iniquitatis, id in omni lingua et maxime in Hebraismo significat poenas ferre;” with much more to this purpose. The whole design of the main dispute in that place is from that discourse of the prophet to prove that Jesus Christ “properly underwent the punishment due to our sins, and thereby made satisfaction to God for them.”
To manifest his constancy to this doctrine, in his Annotations he gives such an exposition of that whole chapter of Isaiah as is manifestly and universally inconsistent with any such design in the words as that which he intends to prove from them in his book De Satisfactione. In particular (to give one instance of this assertion) he contends here that lbæs; is as much as “bajulare, portare,” and that joined with “iniquity” (in all languages, especially in the Hebrew), that phrase of “bearing iniquity” signifies to undergo the punishment due to it. In his Annotations on the place, as also in those on 1 Peter 2:24, he tells you the word signifies “auferre, ” which with all his strength he had contended against. Not to draw out this particular instance into any greater length, I make bold to tell the apologist (what I suppose he knows not) that there is no one verse of the whole chapter so interpreted in his Annotations as that the sense given by him is consistent with, nay, is not repugnant to, that which from the same verse he pleads for in his book De Satisfactione Christi. If, notwithstanding this information, the apologist be not satisfied, let him, if he please, consider what I have already animadverted on those Annotations, and undertake their vindication. These loose discourses are not at all to the purpose in hand nor to the question between us, which is solely whether Grotius, in his Annotations, have not perverted the sense of those texts of Scripture which are commonly and most righteously pleaded as testimonies given to the satisfaction of Christ. But as to this particular place of Isaiah, the apologist hath a farther plea, the sum whereof (not to trouble the reader with the repetition of a discourse so little to the purpose) comes to this head, that Grotius, in his book De Satisfactione Christi, gives the mystical sense of the chapter, under which consideration it belongs to Christ and his sufferings; in his Annotations, the literal, which had its immediate completion in Jeremiah; which was not so easily discoverable or vulgarly taken notice of. This is the sum of his first observation on this place, to acquit the annotator of the crime charged upon him. Whether he approve the application of the prophecy to Jeremiah or no, I know not. tie says, “Grotius so conceived.” The design of the discourse seems to give approbation to that conception. How the literal sense of a place should come to be less easily discovered than the mystical, well I know not. Nor shall I speak of the thing itself, concerning the literal and mystical sense supposed to be in the same place and words of Scripture, with the application of the distinction to those prophecies which have a double accomplishment, in the type and thing or person typified (which yet hath no soundness in it): but, to keep to the matter now in hand, I shall make bold, for the removal of this engine applied by the apologist, and for the preventing all possible mistake or controversy about the annotator’s after-change in this matter, to tell him that the perverting of the first, literal sense of the chapter, or giving it a completion in any person whatsoever, in a first, second, or third sense, but the Son of God himself, is no less than blasphemy; which the annotator is no otherwise freed from but by his conceiving a sense to be in the words contrary to their literal importance, and utterly exclusive of the concernment of Jesus Christ in them. If the apologist be otherwise minded, I shall not invite him again to the consideration of what I have already written in the vindication of the whole prophecy from the wretched, corrupt interpretation of the annotator (not hoping that he will be able to break through that discouragement he hath from looking into that treatise by the prospect he hath taken of the whole by the epistle), but do express my earnest desire, that, by an exposition of the severals of that chapter, and their application to any other (not by loose discourses foreign to the question in hand), he would endeavor to evince the contrary. If, on second thoughts, he find either his judgment or ability not ready or competent for such an attempt, I heartily wish he would be careful hereafter of ingenerating apprehensions of that nature in the minds of others by any such discourses as this.
I cannot but suppose that I am already absolved from a necessity of any farther procedure as to the justifying of my charge against the Annotations, having sufficiently foiled the instance produced by the apologist for the weakening of it. But yet, lest any should think that the present issue of this debate is built upon some unhappiness of the apologist in the choice of the particulars insisted on, which might have been prevented, or may yet be removed, by the production of other instances, I shall, for their farther satisfaction, present them with sundry other the most important testimonies given to the satisfaction of Christ, wherein the annotator hath openly prevaricated, and doth embrace and propose those very interpretations and that very sense which in his book De Satisfactione Christi he had strenuously opposed.
Page 8 of his book De Satisfactione, he pleads the satisfaction of Christ from Galatians 2:21, laying weight on this, that the word dwrea>n signifies the want of an antecedent cause, on the supposition there made. In his Annotations he deserts this assertion, and takes up the sense of the place given by Socinus, De Servatore, lib. 2 cap. 24. His departure into the tents of Socinus on Galatians 3:13 is much more pernicious. Pages 25- 27, urging that place and vindicating it from the exceptions of Socinus, he concludes that the apostle said Christ was made a curse: “Quasi dixerit Christum factum esse tw~| Qew~| ejpikata>raton, hoc est poenae a Deo irrogatae, et quidem ignominiosissimae obnoxium.” To make good this, in his Annotations he thus expounds the words: “Duplex hic figura; nam et kata>ra pro kata>ratov , quomodo circumcisio pro circumcisis, et subauditur wJv : nam Christus ita cruciatus est, quasi esset Deo kata>ratov.
Nihil homini pessimo in hac vita pejus evenire poterat;” which is the very interpretation of the words given by Socinus which he opposed, and the same that Crellius insists upon in his vindication of Socinus against him.
So uniform was the judgment of the annotator with that of the author of the book De Satisfactione Christi!
Pages 32, 33, etc., are spent in the exposition and vindication of Romans 3:25,26. That expression, eijv e]ndeixin th~v dikaiosu>nhv aujtou~ , manifesting the end of the suffering of Christ, is by him chiefly insisted on.
That by dikaiosu>nh is there intended that justice of God whereby he punisheth sin, he contends and proves from the nature of the thing itself, and by comparing the expression with other parallel texts of Scripture.
Socinus had interpreted this of the righteousness of Christ’s fidelity and veracity, De Servatore, lib. 2 cap. 2 (“Ut ostenderet se veracem et fidelem esse”); but Crellius, in his vindication of him, places it rather on the goodness and liberality of God, “which is,” saith he, “the righteousness there intended.” To make good his ground, the annotator thus expounds the meaning of the words: “Vocem dikaiosu>nhv malim hic de bonitate interpretari, quam de fide in promissis proestandis, quia quae sequuntur non ad Judaeos solos pertinent, sed etiam ad genres, quibus promissio nulla facta erat.” He rather, he tells you, embraces the interpretation of Crellius than of Socinus; but for that which himself had contended for, it is quite shut out of doors, as I have elsewhere manifested at large.
The same course he takes with Romans 5:10, which he insists on p. 26, and 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; concerning which he openly deserts his own former interpretation, and closes expressly with that which he had opposed, as he doth in reference to all other places where any mention is made of reconciliation, the substance of his annotations on those places seeming to be taken out of Socinus, Crellius, and some others of that party.
That signal place of Hebrews 2:17 in this kind deserves particularly to be taken notice of. Cap. 7 p. 141, of his book De Satisfactione, he pleads the sense of that expression, Eijv to< iJla>skesqai taav tou~ laou~ , to be Ila>skesqai Qeo< tw~n aJmartiw~n , and adds, “Significat ergo ibi expiationem quae fit placando.” But Crellius; defense of Socinus had so possessed the man’s mind before he came to write his Annotations, that on that place he gives us directly his sense, and almost his words, in a full opposition to what he had before asserted: “‘ Ila>skesqai aJmarti>av . Hoc quidem loco, ut ex sequentibus apparet, est auferre peccata, sive purgare a peccato, id est, efficere ne peccetur, vires suppeditando pro modo tentationum.” So the annotator on that place, endeavoring farther to prove his interpretation! From Romans 4:25, cap. 1:p. 47 of his book De Satisfactione, he clearly proves the satisfaction of Christ, and evinces that to be the sense of that expression, “Traditus propter peccata nostra;” which he thus comments on in his Annotations: “Poterat dicere quiet mortuus est et resurrexit ut nos a peccatis justificaret, id est, liberaret. Sed amahs ajnti>qeta morti conjunxit peccata, quae sunt mors animi, resurrectioni autem adeptionem justitiae, quae est animi resuscitatio. Mire nos et a peccatis retrahit et ad justitiam ducit, quod videmus Christum mortem non formidasse pro doctrinae suae peccatis contrariae et ad justitiam nos vocantis testimonio; et a Deo suscitatum, ut eidem doctrinae summa conciliaretur auctoritas.” He that sees not, not only that he directly closes in with what before he had opposed, but also that he hath here couched the whole doctrine of the Socinians about the mediation of Christ and our justification thereby, is utterly ignorant of the state of the controversy between them and Christians.
I suppose it will not be thought necessary for me to proceed with the comparison instituted. The several books are in the hands of most students, and that the case is generally the same in the other places pleaded for the satisfaction of Christ, they may easily satisfy themselves. Only, because the apologist seems to put some difference between his Annotations on the Revelation, as having “received their lineaments and colors from his own pencil,” and those on the Epistles, which he had not so completed; as I have already manifested that in his annotations on that book he hath treacherously tampered with and corrupted the testimonies given to the deity of our blessed Savior, so shall I give one instance from them also of his dealing no less unworthily with those that concern his satisfaction.
Socinus, in his second book against Covet, second part, and chap. 17, gives us this account of these words of the Holy Ghost, Revelation 1:5, “Who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood:” “Johannes in Apocalyp. cap. 1:5, alia metaphora seu translatione (quae nihil aliud est quam compendiosa quaedam comparatio) utens, dixit de Christo et ejus morte, ‘Qui dilexit nos et lavit nos a peccatis in sanguine suo,’ nam quemadmodum aqua abluuntur sordes corporis, sic sanguine Christi peccata, quae sordes animi sunt, absterguntur. Absterguntur, inquam, quia animus noster ab ipsis mundatur,’ etc. This interpretation is opposed and exploded by Grotius, De Satisfactione, cap. 10 p. 208, 209; the substance of it being that Christ washed us from our sins by his death, in that he confirmed his doctrine of repentance and newness of life thereby, by which we are turned from our sins, as he manifests in the close of his discourse. “Hoc saepius urgendum est,” saith Socinus, “Jesum Christum ea ratione peccata nostra abstulisse, quod effecerit, ut a peccando desistamus.” This interpretation of Socinus being re-enforced by Crellius, the place falls again under the consideration of Grotius in those Annotations on the Revelation; which, as the apologist tells us, “received their very lineaments and colors from his own pencil.” There, then, he gives us this account thereof: “ Kai< lou>santi hJma~v ajpo< tw~n aJmartiw~n hJmw~n ejn tw~| ai[mati auJtou~. Sanguine suo, id est, morte tolerata, certos nos reddidit veriatis eorum quae docuerat, quae talia sunt, ut nihil sit aptius ad purgandos a vitiis animos. Humidae naturae, sub qua est et sanguis, proprium est lavare. Id vero per egregiam ajllhgori>an ad animam transfertur. Dicitur autem Christus suo sanguine nos lavasse, quia et ipse omnia praestitit quae ad id requirebantur et apparet secutum in plurimis effectum.” I desire the apologist to tell me what he thinks of this piece, thus perfected, with all its lineaments and colors, by the pencil of that skillful man, and what beautiful aspect he supposeth it to have. Let the reader, to prevent farther trouble in perusing transcriptions of this kind, consider Revelation 13:8, p. 114; Hebrews 9:25to the end, which he calls “an illustrious place,” in the same page and forward; 1 John 2:2, p. 140; Romans 5:10,11, p. 142, 143; Ephesians 2:16, p. 148, 149; Colossians 1:20-22, Titus 2:14, p. 156; Hebrews 9:14,15, p. 157, 158; Acts 20:28, and many others, and compare them with the annotations on those places, and he will be farther enabled to judge of the defense made of the one by the instance of the other. I shall only desire that he who undertakes to give his judgment of this whole matter be somewhat acquainted with the state of the difference about this point of the doctrine of the gospel between the Socinians and us; that he do not take “auferre peccata” to be “ferre peccata;” “nostri causa” to be “nostra vice” and “nostro loco;” causa prohgoume>nh to be prokatarktikh>; “liberatio a jugo peccati” to be “redemptio a reatu peccati;” “subire poenas simpliciter” to be “subire poenas nobis debitas;” to be lu>tron ,” and µv;a; , in respect of the event, to be so as to the proper nature of the thing; “offerre seipsum in coelo,” to be as much as “offerre seipsum in cruce, ” as to the work itself; that so he be not mistaken to think that when the first are granted the latter are so also. For a close of the discourse relating to this head, a brief account may be added why I said not positively that he had wrested all the places of Scripture giving testimony to the satisfaction of Christ to another sense, but that he had either done so or else concealed or obscured that sense in them.
Though I might give instances from one or two places in his Annotations on the Gospels giving occasion to this assertion, yet I shall insist only on some taken from the Epistle to the Hebrews, where is the great and eminent seat of the doctrine of Christ’s satisfaction. Although in his annotations on that epistle he doth openly corrupt the most clear testimonies given to this truth, yet there are some passages in them wherein he seems to dissent from the Socinians. In his annotations on chap. 5:5 he hath these words: “Jesus sacerdotale quidem munus suum aliquo modo erat auspicatus; cum semet patri victimam offerret.” That Christ was a priest when he was on the earth was wholly denied by Socinus, both in his book De Servatore, and in his epistle to Niemojevius, as I have showed elsewhere. Smalcius seems to be of the same judgment in the Racovian Catechism. Grotius says, “Sacerdotale munus erat aliquo modo auspicatus;” yet herein he goes not beyond Crel-lius, who tells us, “Mortem Christus subiit duplici ratione, partim quidem ut foederis mediator seu sponsor, partim quidem ut sacerdos Deo ipsum oblaturus,” De Caua Mort. Christi, p. 6. And so Volkelius fully to the same purpose. “Partes, ” saith he, “muneris sacerdotis, haec sunt potissimum; mactatio victimae, in tabernaculum ad oblationem peragendam ingressio, et ex eodem egressio: ac mactatio quidem mortem Christi, violentam sanguinis profusionem con-tinct,” De Relig. lib. 3 cap. 47, p. 145. And again: “Hinc colligitur solam Christi mortem nequaquam illam perfectam absolutamque ipsius oblationem (de qua in Epistola ad Hebraeos agitur) fuisse, sed principium et praeparationem quandam ipsius sacerdotii in coelo demum administrandi extitisse,” ibid. So that nothing is obtained by Grotius’ “Munus sacerdotale aliquo modo erat auspicatus,” but what is granted by Crellius and Volkeliua But in the next words, “Cum semet offerret patri victimam,” he seems to leave them: but he seems only so to do; for Volkelius acknowledgeth that he did slay the sacrifice in his death, though that was not his complete and perfect oblation, which is also afterward affirmed by Grotius, and Crellius expressly affirms the same. Nor doth he seem to intend a proper expiatory and satisfactory sacrifice in that expression; for if he had, he would not have been guilty of such an ajkurologi>a as to say, “Semet obtulit patri.” Besides, though he doth acknowledge elsewhere that this “victima” was µv;a; , and uJpesacrifice for sin. And, which is yet worse, on chap. 9:14 he gives us such an account why expiation is ascribed to the blood of Christ, as is a key to his whole interpretation of that epistle. “Sanguini ,” saith he, “pur-gatio ista tribuitur, quia per sanguinem, id est, mortem Christi, secuta ejus excitatione et evectione, giguitur in nobis fides, quae deinde fides corda purgat. ” And, therefore, where Christ is said to offer himself by the eternal Spirit, he tells us, “Oblatio Christi hic intelligitur illa, quae oblationi legali in adyto factae respondet, ea autem est, non oblatio in altari crucis facta, sed facta in adyto coelesti.” So that the purgation of sin is an effect of Christ’s presenting himself in heaven only; which how well it agrees with what the apostle says, chap. 1:3, the reader will easily judge. And to manifest that this was his constant sense, on these words, verse 26, Eijv ajqe>thsin aJmarti>av dia< th~v qusi>av auJtou~, he thus comments: “ Eijv ajqe>thsin aJmarti>av.
Ut peccatum in nobis extingueretur; fit autem hoc per passionem Christi, quae fidem nobis ingenerat, quae corda purificat.” Christ confirming his doctrine by his death, begets faith in us, which doth the work. Of the 28th verse of the same chapter I have spoken before. The same he affirms again more expressly on chap. 10:3; and verses 9, 12, he interprets the oblation of Christ, whereby he took away sin, to be the oblation or offering of himself in heaven, whereby sin is taken away by sanctification, as also in sundry other places where the expiatory sacrifice of Christ on earth, and the taking away of the guilt of sin by satisfaction, are evidently intended.
So that notwithstanding the concession mentioned, I cannot see the least reason to alter my thoughts of the Annotations as to this business on hand.
Not farther to abound in causa facili, in all the differences we have with the Socinians about Christ’s dying for us, concerning the nature of redemption, reconciliation, mediation, sacrifice, the meaning of all the phrases and expressions in which these things are delivered to us, the annotator is generally on the apostate side throughout his Annotations; and the truth is, I know no reason why our students should with so much diligence and charge labor to get into their hands the books of Socinus, Crellius, Smalcius, and the rest of that crew, seeing these Annotations, as to the most important heads of Christian religion, about the deity, sacrifice, priesthood, and satisfaction of Christ, original sin, free will, justification, etc, afford them the substance and marrow of what is spoken by them; so that as to these heads, upon the matter, there is nothing peculiar to the annotator but the secular learning which in his interpretations he hath curiously and gallantly interweaved. Plautus makes sport, in his Amphitryo, with several persons, some real, some assumed, of such likeness one to another that they could not discern themselves by any outward appearance; which caused various contests and mistakes between them. The poet’s fancy raised not a greater similitude between Mercury and Sosia, being supposed to be different persons, than there is a dissimilitude between the author of the book De Satisfactione Christi and of the Annotations concerning which we have been discoursing, being one and the same. Nor was the contest of those different persons, so like one another, so irreconcilable as are these of this single person, so unlike himself in the several treatises mentioned. And I cannot but think it strange that the apologist could imagine no surer measure to be taken of Grotius’ meaning in his Annotations than his treatise of the Satisfaction of Christ doth afford, there being no two treatises that I know, of any different persons whatever, about one and the same subject, that are more at variance. Whether now any will be persuaded by the apologist to believe that Grotius was constant in his Annotations to the doctrine delivered in that other treatise I am not solicitous.
For the re-enforced plea of the apologist, that these Annotations were not finished by him, but only collections, that he might after dispose of, I am not concerned in it, having to deal with that book of Annotations that goes under his name. If they are none of his, it is neither on the one hand nor other of any concernment unto me. I say not this as though the apologist had in the least made good his former plea by his new exceptions to my evidence against it, from the printer’s preface to the volume of Annotations on the Epistles. He says, “What was the opus integrum that was commended to the care of oJ dei~na ?” and answers himself, “Not that last pats or volume of Annotations, but opus integrum, the whole volume or volumes that contained his ajne>kdota adversaria on the New Testament.” For how ill this agrees with the intention and words of the prefacer, a slight inspection will suffice to manifest. He tells us that Grotius had himself published his Annotations on the Gospels five years before; that at his departure from Paris, he left a great part of thin volume (that is this on the Acts and Epistles) with a friend; that the reason why he left not opus integrum, that is, the whole volume, with him was because the residue of it was not so written as that an amanuensis could well understand it; that, therefore, in his going towards Sweden, he wrote that part again with his own hand, and sent it back to the same person (that had the former part of the volume committed to him) from Hamburg. If the apologist read this preface, he ought, as I suppose, to have desisted from the plea insisted on. If he did not, he thought assuredly he had much reason to despise them with whom he had to do. But, as I said, herein am I not concerned.
The consideration of the charge on the Annotations relating to their tampering with the testimonies given in the Scripture to THE DEITY OF CHRIST, being another head of the whole, may now have place.
The sum of what is to this purpose by me affirmed is, that in the Annotations on the Old and New Testament, Grotius hath left but one place giving testimony clearly to the deity of Christ, To this assertion I added both a limitation and also an enlargement in several respects; — a limitation, that I could not perceive he had spoken of himself clearly on that one place. On supposition that he did so, I granted that perhaps one or two places more might accordingly be interpreted. That this one place is John 1:1, I expressly affirmed; that is the one place wherein, as I say, he spake not home to the business. The defense of the apologist in the behalf of Grotius consists of sundry discourses: — First, To disprove that he hath [not] left more than that one of John free from the corruption charged, he instances in that one of John 1:1, wherein, as he saith, he expressly asserts the deity of Christ; but yet wisely foreseeing that this instance would not evade the charge, having been expressly excepted (as to the present inquiry) and reserved to farther debate, he adds the places quoted by Grotius in the exposition of that place, as Proverbs 8:21-27, Isaiah, 45:12, 48:13, 2 Peter 3:5, Colossians 1:16: from all which he concludes that the Annotations have left more testimonies to the deity of Christ untampered withal and unperverted than my assertion will allow, reckoning them all up again, section the 10th, and concluding himself a successful advocate in this case, or at least under a despair of ever being so in any if he acquit not himself clearly in this. If his failure herein be evinced by the course of his late writings, himself will appear to be most concerned. I suppose, then, that on the view of this defense, men must needs suppose that in the annotations on the places repeated, and mustered a second time by the apologist, Grotius does give their sense as bearing witness to the deity of Christ. Others may be pleased to take it for granted without farther consideration; for my part, being a little concerned to inquire, I shall take the pains to turn to the places, and give the reader a brief account of them.
For Proverbs 8, his first note on the wisdom there spoken of is, “Haec de ea sapientia quae in Lege apparet exponunt Hebraei: et sane el, si non soli, at praecipue haec attributa conveniunt.” Now, if the attributes here mentioned agree either solely or principally to the wisdom that shines in the law, how they can be the attributes of the person of the eternal Son of God I see not. He adds no more to that purpose until he comes to the 22d verse, the verse of old contested about with the Arians. His words on that are, “Graecum Aquilae est, ejkth>sato> me , ut et Symmachi et Theodotionis, respondetque bene Hebraeo ynin;q; . At Chaldaeus habet ar;B] , et LXX. e]ktise , sensu non malo, si creare sumas pro facere ut apparent.
Viae Dei sunt operationes ipsius. Sensum hujus loci et sequentium non male exprimas cum Philone de Coloniis: O lo>gov oJ presbu>terov tw~n ge>nesin eijlhfo>twn ou+ kaqa>per oi]akov ejneilhme>nov oJ tw~n o[lwn kubernh>thv phdalioucei~ ta< su>mpanta kai< o[te ejkosmopla>stei crhsa>menov ojrga>nw| tou>tw| protion tw~n ajpoteloume>nwn su>stasin. ” On verse 27 he adds, “Aderam, id est, h=n pron , ut infra Johan. Evang. 1:1.’
What clear and evident testimony, by this exposition, is left in this place to the deity of Christ, I profess myself as ignorant as I was before I received this direction by the apologist. He tells us that ynin;q; is rendered not amiss by the Chaldee ar;B] , and the LXX. e]ktise , though he knew that sense was pleaded by the Arians, and exploded by the ancient doctors of the church. To relieve this concession, he tells us that “creare” may be taken for “facere ut appareat,” though there be no evidence of such a use of the word in Scripture, nor can he give any instance thereof. The whole interpretation runs on that wisdom that is a property of God, which he manifested in the works of creation. Of the Son of God, the essential Wisdom of God, subsisting with the Father, we have not one word. Nor doth that quotation out of Philo relieve us in this business at all; we know in what sense he used the word oJ lo>gov . How far he and the Platonics, with whom in this expression he consented, were from understanding the only-begotten Son of God, is known. If this of Philo has any aspect towards the opinion of any professing themselves Christians, it is towards that of the Arians, which seems to be expressed therein And this is the place chosen by the apologist to disprove the assertion of none being left, under the sense given them by the Annotations, beating clear testimony to the deity of Christ! His comparing ynia; µv; , “ibi ego,” which the Vulgar renders “aderam, ” with h=n pron , seems rather to cast a suspicion on his intention in the expression of that place of the evangelist than in the least to give testimony to the deity of Christ in thin If any one be farther desirous to be satisfied how many clear, unquestionable evidences of the deity of Christ are slighted by these annotations on this chapter, let him consult my vindication of the place in my late “Vindiciae Evangelicae,” where he will find something tendered to him to that purpose. What the apologist intended by adding these two places of Isaiah, chap. 45:12 and chap. 48:13 (when in his annotations on these places Grotius not once mentions the deity of Christ, nor any thing of him, nor hath occasion so to do, nor doth produce them in this place to any such end or purpose, but only to show that the Chaldee paraphrase doth sundry times, when things are said to be done by God, render it that they were done by the word of God), as instances to the prejudice of my assertion, I cannot imagine.
On that of Peter, 2 Epist. 3:5, Tw~| tou~ Qeou~ lo>gw| , he adds, indeed, “Vide quae diximus ad initium Evangelii Johannis;” but neither doth that place intend the natural Son of God, nor is it so interpreted by Grotius.
To these he adds, in the close, Colossians 1:16, in the exposition whereof in his Annotations he expressly prevaricates, and goes off to the interpretation insisted on by Socinus and his companions; which the apologist well knew.
Without farther search upon what hath been spoken, the apologist gives in his verdict concerning the falseness of my assertion before mentioned, of the annotator’s speaking clear and home to the deity of Christ but in one, if in one, place of his Annotations. But, — 1. What one other place hath he produced whereby the contrary to what I assert is evinced? Any man may make apologies at this rate as fast as he pleases. 2. As to his not speaking clearly in that one, notwithstanding the improvement made of his expressions by the apologist, I am still of the same mind as formerly; for although he ascribes an eternity tw~| lo>gw| , and affirms all things to be made thereby, yet, considering how careful he is of ascribing an uJpo>stasiv tw~| lo>gw|, how many Platonic interpretations of that expression he interweaves in his expositions, how he hath darkened the whole counsel of God in that place about the subsistence of the Word, his omnipotency and incarnation, so clearly asserted by the Holy Ghost therein, I see no tea-son to retract the assertion opposed. But yet as to the thing itself, about this place I will not contend: only, it may not be amiss to observe, that not only the Arians, but even Photinus himself, acknowledged that the world was made tw~| Qeou~ lo>gw| , [so] that how little is obtained towards the confirmation of the deity of Christ by that concession may be discerned.
I shall offer also only at present, that; oJ lo>gov tou~ Qeou~ is threefold, — lo>gov uJpostatiko>v ejndia>qetov, and proforiko>v . The lo>gov uJpostatiko>v or oujsiw>dhv is Christ, mentioned John 1:1, his personal and eternal subsistence, with his omnipotency, being there asserted.
Whether Christ be so called anywhere else in the New Testament may be disputed; Luke 1:2 compared with 1 John 1:1, 2 Peter 1:19, Acts 20:32, Hebrews 4:12, are the most likely to give us that use of the word.
Why Christ is so termed I have showed elsewhere. That he is called rb;D; , Psalm 33:6, is to me also evident, hL;mi is better rendered rJh~ma or le>xiv than lo>gov . Where that word is used, it denotes not Christ, though Samuel 23:2, where that word is, is urged by some to that purpose. He is also called rb;D; , Haggai 2:5; so perhaps in other places. Our present Quakers would have that expression of the “word of God,” used nowhere in any other sense; so that destroying that, as they do, in the issue they may freely despise the Scripture, as that which they say is not the word of God, nor anywhere so called. Lo>gov ejndia>qetov amongst men is that which Aristotle calls togon. Lo>gov ejn nw~| lambano>menov , says Hesychiua Lo>gov ejndia>qetov is that which we speak in our hearts, says Damascen. De Orthod. Fid. lib. 1 cap 18: so Psalm 14:1, /BliB] lb;n; rmæa; . This, as spoken in respect of God, is that egress of his power whereby, according to the eternal conception of his mind, he worketh any thing: so Genesis 1:2, “God said, Let there be light; and there was light.”
Of this word of God the psalmist treats, <19D701> Psalm 137:18, “He sendeth out /rb;D] , and melteth the ice;” and <19E808> Psalm 148:8the same word is used; — in both which places the LXX. render it by oJ lo>gov . This is that which is called rJh~ma th~v duna>mewv , Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 11:3, where the apostle says, “The heavens were made rJh>mati Qeou~ :” which is directly parallel to that place of 2 Peter 3:5, where it is expressed tw~| tou~ Qeou~ lo>gw| ; for though rJh~ma more properly denotes lo>gon proforiko>n, yet in these places it signifies plainly that egress of God’s power for the production and preservation of things, being a pursuit of the eternal conception of his mind, which is lo>gov ejndia>qetov. Now, this infinitely wise and eternal conception of the mind of God exerting itself in power, wherein God is said to speak (“He said, Let there be light”), is that which the Platonics, and Philo with them, harped on, never once dreaming of a co-essential and hypostatical Word of God, though the word uJpo>stasiv occurs amongst them. This they thought was unto God, as in us, lo>gov ejndia>qetov or oJ e]sw pro< th~v dianoi>av eujrunome>nh , De Agric. That this was his oJ lo>gov is most evident. Hence he tells us, Oujdesmon h\ oJ tou~ ajrcite>ktonov logismolin kti>zein dianoume>nou. Mwse>wv ga< do>gma tou~to oujk ejmo>n , De Mund. Opific. And a little after, To< ajo>raton kai< nohtogon eijko>na le>gei Qeou~ kai< tau>yhv eijko>na togou~ ge>gonen eijkwsantov thnesin aujtou~ kai< e]stin uJperoura>niov ajsth>r The whole tendency of his discourse is, that the word of God, in his mind, in the erection of the world, was the image of himself, and that the idea or image of the things to be made, but especially of light. And whereas (if I remember aright, for I cannot now find the place) I have said somewhere that Christ was lo>gov ejndia>qetov , though therein I have the consent of very many learned divines, and used it merely in opposition tw~| proforikw~, yet I desire to recall it; nor do I think there is any propriety in that expression of e]mfutov used of Christ, but only in those of uJpostatiko>v and oujsiw>dhv, which the Scripture (though not in the very terms) will make good. In this second acceptation, tou~ lo>gou , Photinus himself granted that the world was made by the word of God. Now, if it be thought necessary that I should give an account of my fear that nothing but oJ lo>gov in this sense, decked with many Platonical encomiums, was intended in the Annotations on John 1 (though I confess much, from some quotations there used, may be said against it), I shall readily undertake the task; but at present, in this running course, I shall add no more.
But now, as if all the matter in hand were fully despatched, we have this triumphant close attending the former discourse and observations: — “If one text acknowledged to assert Christ’s eternal divinity” (which one was granted to do it, though not clearly) “will not suffice to conclude him no Socinian” (which I said not he was, yea, expressly waived the management of any such charge); “if six verses in the Proverbs, two in Isaiah, one in St Peter, one in St Paul, added to many in the beginning of St John” (in his annotations on all which he speaks not one word to the purpose), “will not yet amount to above one text; or, lastly, if that one may be doubted of also which is by him interpreted to affirm Christ’s eternal subsistence with God before the creation of the world” (which he doth not so interpret as to a personal subsistence), “and that the whole world was created by him, — I shall despair of ever being a successful advocate for any man:” from which condition I hope some little time will recover the apologist.
This is the sum of what is pleaded in chief for the defense of the Annotations; wherein what small cause he hath to acquiesce who hath been put to the labor and trouble of vindicating near forty texts of Scripture, in the Old Testament and New, giving express testimony to the deity of Christ, from the annotator’s perverse interpretations, let the reader judge.
In the 13th section of the apologist’s discourse, he adds some other considerations to confirm his former vindication of the Annotations.
He tells us that he “professeth not to divine what places of the Old Testament, wherein the deity of Christ is evidently testified unto, are corrupted by the learned man; nor will he, upon the discouragement already received, make any inquiry into my treatise.” But what need of divination? The apologist cannot but remember at all times some of the texts of the Old Testament that are pleaded to that purpose; and he hath at least as many encouragements to look into the Annotations as discouragements from casting an eye upon that volume, as he calls it, wherein they are called to an account. And if he suppose he can make a just defense for the several places so wrested and Perverted without once consulting them, I know not how by me he might possibly be engaged into such an inquiry; and therefore I shall not name them again, having done somewhat more than name them already.
But he hath two suppletory considerations that will render any such inquiry or inspection needless. Of these the first is, — “That the word of God being all and every part of it of equal truth, that doctrine which is founded on five places of divine writ must by all Christians be acknowledged to be as irrefragably confirmed as a hundred express places would be conceived to confirm it.”
Ans. It is confessed that not only five, but any one express text of Scripture, is sufficient for the confirmation of any divine truth; but that five places have been produced out of the Annotations by the apologist, for the confirmation of the great truth pleaded about, is but pretended, — indeed there is no such thing. The charge on Grotius was, that he had depraved all but one. If that be no crime, the defense was at hand; if it be, though that one should be acknowledged to be clear to that purpose, here is no defense against that which was charged, but a strife about that which was not. Let the places be consulted: if the assertion prove true by an induction of instances, the crime is to be confessed, or else the charge denied to contain a crime. But, secondly, he says, — “That this charge, upon inquiry, will be found in some degree, if not equally, chargeable on the learnedest and most valuable of the first reformers, particularly upon Mr Calvin himself, who hath been as bitterly and unjustly accused and reviled upon this account (witness the book intitled ‘Calvino Turcismus’) as ever Erasmus was by Bellarmine and Beza, or as probably Grotius may be.”
Though this, at the best, be but a diversion of the charge, and no defense, yet, not containing that truth which is needful to countenance it for the end for which it is proposed, I could not pass it by. It is denied (which in this case, until farther proof, must suffice) that any of the learnedst of the first reformers, and particularly Mr Calvin, are equally chargeable, or in any degree of proportion, with Grotius, as to the crime insisted on. Calvin being the man instanced in, I desire the apologist to prove that he hath, in all his commentaries on the Scripture, corrupted the sense of any text of the Old Testament or New giving express testimony to the deity of Christ, and commonly pleaded to that end and purpose; although I deny not but that he differs from the common judgment of most in the interpretation of some few prophetical passages judged by them to relate to Christ. I know what Genebrard and some others of that faction raved against him; but it was chiefly from some expressions in his Institutes about the Trinity (wherein yet he is acquitted by the most learned of themselves), and not from his expositions of Scripture, from which they raised their clamors.
For the book called “Calvino Turcismus,” written by Reynolds and Giffard, the apologist has forgotten the design of it. Calvin is no more concerned in it than others of the first reformers; nor is it from any doctrine about the deity of Christ in particular, but from the whole of the reformed religion, with the apostasies of some of that profession, that they compare it with Turcism. Something, indeed, in a chapter or two, they speak about the Trinity, from some expressions of Luther, Me-lancthon, Calvin, and others; but as to Calvin’s expositions of Scripture, they insist not on them. Possibly the apologist may have seen Paraeus’ “Calvinus Orthodoxus,” in answer to Hunnius’ “Calvinus Judaizans;” if not, he may at any time have there an account of this calumny.
Having passed through the consideration of the two considerable heads of this discourse, in the method called for by the apologist (having only taken liberty to transpose them as to first and last), I must profess myself as yet unsatisfied as to the necessity or suitableness of this kind of defense. The sum of that which I affirmed (which alone gives occasion to the defensative now under consideration) is, that, to my observation, Grotius in his Annotations had not left above one text of Scripture, if one, giving clear evidence to the deity of Christ. Of his satisfaction I said in sum the same thing. Had the apologist been pleased to have produced instances of any evidence for the disprovement of my assertion, I should very gladly and readily have acknowledged my mistake and oversight. I am still, also, in the same resolution as to the latitude of the expression, though I have already, by an induction of particulars, manifested his corrupting and perverting of so many, both in respect of the one head and of the other, with his express compliance with the Socinians in his so doing, as that I cannot have the least thought of letting fall my charge, which, with the limitation expressed (of my own observation), contains the truth in this matter, and nothing but that which is so.
It was, indeed, in my thoughts to have done somewhat more in reference to those Annotations than thus occasionally to have animadverted on their corruption in general, — namely, to have proceeded in the vindication of the truths of the gospel from their captivity under the false glosses put upon them by the interpretations of places of Scripture wherein they are delivered. But this work being fallen on an abler hand, namely, that of our learned professor of divinity, my desire is satisfied, and the necessity of my endeavor for that end removed.
There are sundry other particulars insisted on by the apologist, and a great deal of rhetoric is laid out about them; which certainly deserve not the reader’s trouble in the perusal of any other debate about them. If they did, it were an easy matter to discover his mistakes in them all along. The foundation of most of them lies in that which he affirms, sect. 4, where he says that “I thus state the jealousies about H. G. as far as it is owned by me, namely, that being in doctrine a Socinian, he yet closed in many things with the Roman interest:” to which he replies, that “this does not so much as pretend that he was a Papist;” as though I undertake to prove Grotius to be a Papist, or did not expressly disown the management of the jealousy stated as above, or that I did at all own it, all which are otherwise.
Yet I shall now say, whether he was in doctrine a Socinian or no let his Annotations before insisted on determine; and whether he closed with the Roman interest or no, besides what hath been observed by others, I desire the apologist to consider his observation on Revelation 12:5, that book (himself being judge) having received his last hand. But my business is not to accuse Grotius, or to charge his memory with any thing but his prevarication in his Annotations on the Scripture. f499 And as I shall not cease to press the general aphorism, as it is called, That no drunkard, etc., nor any person whatever not born of God, or united to Christ, the head, by the same Spirit that is in him, and in the sense thereof perfecting holiness in the fear of God, shall ever see his face in glory, so I fear not what conclusion can regularly, in reference to any person living or dead, be thence deduced.
It is the Annotations whereof I have spoken, which I have my liberty to do, and I presume shall still continue, whilst I live in the same thoughts of them, though I should see, — a third defense of the learned Hugo Grotius! ——————————————— The Epistles of Grotius to Crellius mentioned by the apologist in his first defense of him, giving some light to what hath been insisted on, I thought it not unfit to communicate them to the reader as they came to my hand, having not as yet been printed, that I know of: — Reverendo summaeque eruditionis ac pietatis viro, Domino Johanni Crellio, pastori Racov. H. G. S.
Libro tuo quo ad eum quem ego quondam scripseram (eruditissime Crelli) respondisti, adeo offensus non fui, ut etiam gratias tunc intra animum meum egerim, nunc et hisce agam literis. Primo, quod non tantum humane, sed et valde officiose mecum egeris, ita ut queri nihil possim, nisi quod in me praediando, modum interdum excedis, deinde vero, quod multa me docueris, partita utilia, partim jucunda scitu, meque exemplo tuo incitaveris ad penitius expenden. dum sensus sacrorum librorum. Bene autem in epistola tua quae mihi longe gratissima advenit, de me judicas, non esse me eorum in numero qui ob sententias saiva pietate dissidentes alieno a quoquam sim animo, aut boni alicuius amicitiam repudiem. Equidem in libro “De Vera Religione,” quem jam percurri, relecturus et posthac, multa invenio summo cum judicio observats. Illud vero saeculo gratulor, repertos homines qui neutiquam in controversiis subtilibus tantum ponunt quantum in vera vitae emendatione, et quotidiano ad sanctitatem profectu.
Utinam et mea scripta aliquid ad hoc studium in animis hominum excitandum in-flammandumque conferre possint: tunc enim non frustra me vixisse hactenus existimem. Liber “De Veritate Religionis Christianae” magis ut nobis esset solatio, quam ut aliis documento scriptus, non video quid post tot aliorum labores utilitatis afferre possit, nisi ipsa forte brevitate. Siquid tamen in eo est, quod tibi tuique similibus placeat, mihi supra evenit. Libris “De Jure Belli et Pacis” mihi praecipue propositum habui, ut feritatem illam, non Christianis tantum, seal et hominibus indignam, ad bella pro libitu suscipienda, pro libitu gerenda, quam gliscere tot populorum malo quotidie video, quantum in me est, sedarem. Gaudeo ad principum quorundam manus eos libros venisse, qui utinam partem eorum meliorem in suum animum admitterent. Nullus enim mihi ex eo labore suavior fructus eontingere possit. Te vero quod attinet, credas, rogo, si quid unquam facere possim tui, aut eorum quos singulariter arnas, causa, experturum to, quantum to tuo merito faeiam. Nunc quum aliud possim nihil, Dominum Jesum sup-plice animo veneror, ut tibl aliisque, pietatem promoventibus propitius adsit.
Tui nominis studiosissimus, 10 Maii. M.DC.XXVI. H.G. —— Tam pro epistola (vir clarissime) quam pro transmisso libro, gratias ago maximas. Constitui et legere et relegere diligenter quaecunque a to proficiscuntur, expertus quo cum fructu id antehae fecerim. Eo ipso tempore quo literas tuas accepi, versabar in lectione tuae interpretationis in Epistolam ad Galatas. Quantum judicare possum et scripti occasionem et propositum, et totam seriem dictionis, ut magna cum cura indagasti, ita feliciter admodum es assequutus. Quare Deum precor, ut et tibi et tui similibus vitam det, et quae alia ad istiusmodi labores necessaria. Mihi ad juvandam communem Christianismi causam, utinam tam adessent vires, quam promptus est animus: quippe me, a prima aerate, per varia disciplinarum genera jactatum, nulla res magis delectavit quam rerum sacrarum meditatio. Id in rebus prosperis moderamen, id in adversis solamen sensi. Pacis consilia et amavi semper et amo nunc quoque; eoque doleo, quum video, tam pertinacibus iris committi inter se eos, qui Christi se esse dicunt. Si recte rem putamus, quantillis de causis —— !
Januarii. M.DC.XXXII. Amstelodam i.
END OF VOL 12.
To Henry Hammond (1605-1660): “there are many complaine of your secret vain-glory, in seeking to disclaime the direction from H. Grotius in reference to your comment on the Revelation.” (Packer, The Transformation of Anglicanism, p. 96)
“The only verses in Revelation that he had going beyond ad70 was the “thousand years”. One of the biggest shockers in that book was his reprint of a lecture by John Owen who taught that 2 Peter 3 was fulfilled in ad70.
I started asking the elders what they made of all this. I was honestly struggling with the question of where to *stop*. I mean, if one is going to interpret 99% of the Bible as fulfilled, including a passage that is almost always understood to be future (2 Peter 3), then why hang on to the 1%? Why not go that route, rather than hang on to a few verses in Revelation that were problematic to start with…so was my thinking. But rather than sit me down and work through various texts, they pretty much had the attitude that i needed to shut up and sit down. When i told one elder, who was a big fan of Owen, about Owen’s treatment of 2 Peter 3, he accused me of lying. When i showed him the lecture a week later, he scanned over it, handed it back to me, then turned around and walked off. No apology. No, “hey Jason, sorry for accusing you of lying, but i still disagree with that interpretation and here’s why….” None of that.” (Why I Left Full Preterism)
Though presently enjoying strong growth, preterism is a decidedly minority viewpoint among evangelicals. Nevertheless, the view of a first-century Great Tribulation is not a newcomer to the prophetic debate. In fact, it has enjoyed a powerful influence in the last few centuries, as we may discover from the writings of such influential Christian scholars as John Calvin (1509-1564), John Lightfoot (1601-1675), John Owen (1616-1683), Matthew Henry (1662-1714), John Gill (1697-1771), Thomas Scott (1747-1821), Adam Clarke (1762-1832), Moses Stuart (1780-1852), J. A. Alexander (1809-1860), Albert Barnes (1798-1870), Philip Schaff (1819-1893), David Brown (1803-1897), F. W. Farrar (1831-1903), Milton Terry (1840-1914), Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921), J. Marcellus Kik (1903-1965), and Loraine Boettner (1903-1989), to name but a few.
Nor does the preterist principle arise in these relatively recent centuries. In fact, a preteristic understanding of the Great Tribulation appears among early church writers. For instance, Origen (a.d. 185-254) and Eusebius (a.d. 260-340) clearly hold this position.8 When speaking about the Great Tribulation passage in Matthew 24, Eusebius points to “the infallible forecast of our Savior in which He prophetically ex- pounded these very things” (Eccl Hist. 3:7:1)—after citing many para-graphs “from the history written by Josephus” (Eccl. Hist. 3:5:4) to document the a.d. 70 fulfillment of this discourse. ” (The Great Tribulation–Past Or Future?: Two Evangelicals Debate the Question)
C. Jonathan Seraiah
“It is true that the “eschatology” of the New Testament is predominantly preterist. For those unfamiliar with the preterist perspective, it is the ancient view that many of the eschatological passages of the New Testament were fulfilled (completely) in the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. This view may sound novel, but in reality there have been orthodox adherents to it throughout church history (e.g., Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius, John Lightfoot, John Owen, Milton Terry, Jay Adams). This interpretation does not deny the Final Coming of Christ; it merely finds that not all “coming” passages refer to that event. The preterist interpretation is actually the most faithful to the biblical text because it recognizes that Old Testament prophetic terminology was used by the New Testament authors. This recognition is helpful in distinguishing the prophecies of Christ’s coming that were near, in the first century (Matt. 10:23; 16:28; 24:30; 26:64; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Thess. 1:7; James 5:7-9; 1 Pet. 4:7; Rev. 1:3, 7; etc.) and thus fulfilled in a.d. 70, from those that were far (John 5:28-29; Acts 1:11; 17:31; 1 Cor. 15:23-24; 1 Thess. 4:16; 1 Jn. 3:2; etc.) and thus not yet fulfilled even in our day. It also helps to distinguish between a spiritual “coming” (invisible for temporal judgment, as in a.d. 70) and a physical coming (visible for eternal judgment).” (End of All Things)
“It certainly cannot be denied, that the manner of speaking, used by the holy prophets and apostles, countenances the opinion of those who call the Messiah’s kingdom the beginning of the new world, or age. Thus, according to the prophet Haggai ii. 6, God says, when he shall send him who is the desire of all nations, mil he shake the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the dry land. Likewise, according to Isaiah Ixv. 17, God says, Behold, I will create new heavens, and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Again he says, Ixvi. 22, The new heavens and the new earth which I will make, shall remain before me. This agrees with Rev. xxi. 1, where we read — And I saw a new heaven, and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away: and there was no more sea. Nor does St. Peter differ from this, when he says, in his second epistle, iii. 13, Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth. All these passages mean that a new scene of affairs was to be introduced into the world, by the Messiah, so that it might be considered the beginning of a new world or age.
I cannot persuade myself to withhold from the readers of this dissertation a learned comment, which that most eminent man, John Owen, offers upon this last named passage in St. Peter. He observes that the apostle, in vs. 5, 6, 7, mentions two worlds:
(1) the old one, which had perished by water, and, (2,) that of the then present time, which was to be consumed by fire. Then, in the 13th verse, he announces a third world, to succeed the destruction of the last; according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. It is not the visible heavens, and the material earth, of which the apostle treats in either passage ; because that old world of which he speaks had been already destroyed by water, and yet the material heavens, together with the material earth, still remained. By that world, therefore, must be understood, mankind living in the world. They having been destroyed by the deluge, there was founded another world, for the proper observance of the worship of God. The foundation of this world God placed in the family of Noah ; but the ‘whole fabric was completed by the organization of the Jewish church. And this was the world which St. Peter, in that passage, predicted, according to the prophetic style, should be destroyed by fire. To this purport, we read in Isaiah li. 15, 16, lam the Lord thy God, that divideth the sea, whose waves roared; the Lord of hosts is his name. And I have put my words in thy mouth, and have covered thee in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, thou art my people.
At the time, therefore, when God, dividing the sea, and leading forth his people out of Egypt, entrusting to them his word, or his law, with the solemn appointment of his worship, thus forming them into a church for himself, then it was that he instituted and finished this new world, the heavens and (he earth spoken of. And, at the time when Peter wrote, this world, i. e., the Jewish church, now apostatized, was about to be destroyed by fire, after the same manner in which that old world had perished in the deluge. It was by the conflagration of the temple and of the city, that the system of that world was dissolved. And the apostle commands the believers to look for another world, for new heavens and a new earth, according to the promise of God. That promise is found in Isaiah Ixv. 17, and likewise, in the same words, in chapter Ixvi. 22 : Behold., says he, I will create new heavens, and a new earth, neither shall the former be remembered, nor come into mind. In these passages, the prophet describes the state of the church after the advent of Christ, when, as it is expressed in the 21st verse of the last chapter, God should take of the Gentiles for priests and Levites, or, in other words, when he should institute the gospel ministry. This state of the church, therefore, was wont to be designated, before the conflagration of that second world, as the age to come, or the future world; even as St. Paul teaches us, in the epistle to the Hebrews, ii. 5, saying, for unto the angels hath he not put into subjection the world to come, of which we speak; and likewise in chap. vi. 5, where he says, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come. Therefore that first or old world perished by a deluge of water ; the second, or that existing in the apostle’s time, he declares should perish by fire; but the future, he intimates, was to endure even to the consummation of time. Thus far Owen in Theologuminis, Lib. iii. cap. 1.
“Whatever be thought of this exposition, which we give to be considered by the learned, it is certain that all these prophecies describe to us the kingdom of the Messiah ; but there are various grades and periods in their progress to completion. The time when God began to shake the heavens and earth, was when he abolished the profane idolatry of the Gentiles, producing a universal commotion in the world, by the preaching of the gospel, and rousing mankind to a new hope — when he overthrew Jerusalem and the temple, where had been the THRONE OF HIS GLORY — when he shook the laud of beauty by his anathema, and dissolved the weak and beggarly elements of the former world — when he introduced that state, in which neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature, and all nations, without distinction, enjoy the privileges of the spiritual kingdom ; in one word, when old things are passed away, and all things become new, 2 Cor. v. 17.” (Hermanni Witsii Dissertat. de Seculo hoc etfuturo, Sect. 25, 26, 27 ; inter J. G. Meuschenii Novum Testamentum ex Talmude illustratum, pp. 1179, 1180.)
Date: 28 Aug 2007
So we are to believe that the kings of East with their army of 200 million hyave already moved down to Megiddo, and that the mark of the beast has been imposed by the new world order, and that the Islamic nations along with the king of north (Ez.38-39), and that the Messiah (Prince) has already burst through the sealed gate ajacent to the mount of Olive, etc.,etc., has already occurred. When! How! Which! Who! Whatever! – B.G.Drake
Date: 28 Jul 2013
John Owen is actually a Historicist.
Also, it is the Historicist who can connect the Preterist and the Futurist interpretations of the Olivet Discourse in a scheme of Multiple Fulfilments.
– Bible Protector.
Date: 04 Aug 2013
Apparently Mr. Seraiah places both John Lightfoot and John Owen in the heretic category. Both men taught that 2 Pet. 3 referred to AD 70. Lightfoot taught that Acts 1:11had nothing to do with a physical appearing of Jesus but to Him coming in judgment in AD 70.