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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 



 

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The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man

By
Herman Wits (Witsius)

1677

But none, I imagine, will deny, that even this consideration must have yielded the greatest grief, which would have been an exceeding damp to the joy they had conceived from the pardon of their sins; and that the pious would rather intercede in behalf of the perishing than lay their own sins upon them with an imprecation. Certainly, Jesus himself deplored, with bitter tears, the impending destruction of the most abandoned city. And Paul calls not only his conscience, but also Christ and the Holy Spirit to witness, that he had great grief and continual anguish of heart, when ever he reflected on the deplorable state of his brethren, according to the flesh; and was so far from wishing to make them a curse for himself, by the imposition of his sins, that he rather wished himself separated from Christ, to become a curse for them, Rom. ix

 

PDF FILES:  VOLUME ONE   |   VOLUME TWO

Jjviii. Let us now search into the. mystical meaning of all this. That solemn day represents to us Christ's death, resurrection and ascension into heaven ; and principally, our reconciliation with God, in virtue of his satisfaction and intercession. Aaron, we see, performed, those sacred rites in linen garments, of less value indeed, yet white and very pure. This was to represent Christ's humiliation, which was never lower, than when he was most engaged in making atonement for our sins: and likewise shewed his most holy purity, unstained with the spot of the least sin. In this respect, our Lord is certainly greater than Aaron, and all the other high-priests; because he stood stood in need of no offering for his own sins, for he had no sins, on account of which an offering was necessary, Heb. vii. 26, 27. When the Israelites saw Aaron first offering for his own sins, they might thence easily conclude the weakness and unprofitableness of that earthly priesthood. For what real good could that priest do the people, who by a solemn expiation, publicly declared, that he himself, together with the people, was in the number of the guilty f But our Lord Jesus, having no occasion to offer for himself, gave himself, as is evident, out of pure love for his people.

LIX. Christ, who is frequently in other places called the Lamb, is represented here by the emblem of a goat. For as on account of his meekness, patience, and holiness, he merits to be called the Lamb ; so on account os our sins, which as surety he undertook for,- and of his coming in the likeness of sinful flesh, Rom. viii. 3. he is typisied by the symbol of a vile and wanton goat. That goat was given to Aaron by the people ; Christ was. given to men by God : yet what he offered, namely, his human nature, he took from men, being raised up by God from the midst of his brethren, Deut. xviii. 15. Christ was bought with thirty pieces of silver, which were taken from the treasury, in order, it seems, to be an expiation for the whole people. Both tl;e goats were presented to the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. Christ willingly presented himself to God; saying, "Lo! I come: Ldelight to do thy, will, O my God," Psal. xl. 7, 8.: and his offering was made in the view of the whole church, and at the instigation of those who were the principal men of the tabernacle. The goat, which by lot fell to Jehovah, was slain. But as divine providence alone undoubtedly orders the disposal of the lot, Prov. xvi. 33. So Christ also was delivered to death, by the determinate counsel of God, Acts ii. 23. and iv. 28. The slain goat was burnt in the sacred sire: Christ, in like manner, was scorched and burnt, both by the sire of the divine wrath kindled against our sins, for which he undertook to suffer, and by the flames of his own love for us, and of his zeal for the glory of God. The burning of the flesh and skin of this goat was performed without the Gamp: Christ also suffered without the gate; and we are likewise to go out to him without the camp, bearing his reproach, Heb. xiii. 11—13. namely, we are courageously to bear it, if, for the fake of Christ, we are exposed to lose the advantages of this world. Thus Christ's humiliation was typisied by this goat.

LX.   imagine comes nearest the truth, without prejudice to any. And here I sind two different opinions among divines, that deserve our consideration. For, it is not worth while, to trouble ourselves, in refuting the opinion of those who, by the scapegoat, understand Barabbas or Antichrist ; though Cornelius a Lapide ridiculously says, that speak more dislinclly and pertinently, than others concerning this figurative representation. But some learned men think, that, by the scape-goat, the rebellious Jews were prefigured: others will have it to be a type of Christ.

LXII. The former speak to this purpose. Whereas the sending the goat away into the wilderness, was done after the purisication of the tabernacle, and it did not fall into the Lord by lot: so the disobedient people, and not the mediator of the testament, seems to be set forth by the banished goat. For, the wicked are called goats, Mat. xxv. 33. They controverted Christ's right of access to God. The determination between both was made by a divine lot. Christ by his blood, was introduced into the heavenly sanctuary: over the others hung that curse in Deut. xxix. 21. " and Jehovah shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel." Are not also the Jews sent away and dispersed among the nations ? They are given up to Azazel, or, according to the ancient Rabbins, they are fallen as a portion to Samael (for the Serpent may eat the dttft, Gen, iii. 14.) In a word, they are given up to the power of the devil. And how justly are the vessels of wrath, said to bear the fins of the faithful people, is evident. For, though there is no procuring cause of justisication in them, yet in them the severity of God is seen ; thus all the blood shed from the beginning of the world, and so every sin, at any time commited, is avenged. For, they who refuse to confess their own fins, in order to submit to the justice of God, make the sins of all others their Own. "What is said of the goat to be sent away, namely, its being to be presented before the Lord to make an atonement, signisies, that they also, as sanctisied in the root, are presented to God by Ghrijl the Prief, that even from them may arise a holy seed, Isa. vi. 13. and children of the promise. In a word, that the time shall come, when all Israel shall be saved, and at last be expiated by Christ the Priest, Rom. xi. 26, 27.

LXIII. It always did, and still does appear strange to me, after the closest and most solicitous meditation, that learned men could seriously give into such idle imaginations; than which I apprehend, nothing could be spoken more foreign to the mystery of this ceremeny; because it is altogether inconsistent with the end and sacred intention os this day. For, who can think it probable, that, on the solemn day of propitiation, which was set ap.irt, for making an atonement for all the sins of the whole pcoph', the rejection of the fame people should be so solemnly inculcated by an anniversary symbol? The whole people fast, afflict their souls, confess their sins, pray for the forgiveness of them: the high-priest is wholly taken up in procuring an expiation : God promises to the whole congregation of Israel; yejhall be cleansed from all your fins before Jehovah. Can we believe, that, at the fame time, aud by the very fame sacred rites, tru; h'igh--.nest and the believers among the people, should be commanded to lay their sins by direful ceremonies on the goat, representing the far greatest part of their brethren according to the flesh, in order to be punished in them, by a most severe instance of a divine curse; the like to which was never afterwards seen among men. I allow that the punishment of the rebellious Israelites was foretold in awful prophesies : nor wouid T deny, that there were some Mosaic institutions, which presigured that punishment. But at that time when the typical expiatidh of all Israel from all their sins was to be ' procured by those rites, it appears to me of all things the most improbable, that, at the fame time, and by the very fame ceremonies, the dreadful curse of God for the sins of all, which could not be separated from the imposition of sin, was represented as resting on the greatest part of Israel, and that according to the imprecation of the expiating priest, and of believers who prayed for expiation. I know, it is said, that " the godly, who were mixed with the ungodly among this people, might have the consolation of beholding, on this day, a sign, or token of their happier lot beyond the disobedient. But none, I imagine, will deny, that even this consideration must have yielded the greatest grief, which would have been an exceeding damp to the joy they had conceived from the pardon of their sins; and that the pious would rather intercede in behalf of the perishing than lay their own sins upon them with an imprecation. Certainly, Jesus himself deplored, with bitter tears, the impending destruction of the most abandoned city. And Paul calls not only his conscience, but also Christ and the Holy Spirit to witness, that he had great grief and continual anguish of heart, when ever he reflected on the deplorable state of his brethren, according to the flesh; and was so far from wishing to make them a curse for himself, by the imposition of his sins, that he rather wished himself separated from Christ, to become a curse for them, Rom. ix. I, 2, 3.

LXIV. Moreover, as the interpretation, we are now examining, is foreign to the end and intention of that day, so almost all the ceremonies, that were then used, strongly dissuade us from it. 1 st, Aaron was commanded to receive both goats from  the congregation of the children of Israel, and that for jin, that is, to expiate and take away sin, ver. 5. " But the goat which -was given by th:- people, shews that what was f cm them, is offered for them:" as these learned men themselves speak very justly. If that be true of the one goat, why may it not be said of the other, even that it represented its being from the people, in order to take away sin ? For, so sar both are on a level. Both being from the people; both bought at the common expence ; both of them for sin; thus sar there was no distinction m the types. What can then constrain us to imagine, there was so great difference in the signisication ? Is it consonant to reason, that what was appointed to represent their eternal curse, was bought at their expence; that is, with their consent and approbation ? And was the rebellious nation of the Jews given to the reft for sin, that in this respect, they might be joined together with the Lord Christ ? Be it sar, says the learned person, they should thus be joined along with Christ, for whose honour we are too much concerned, to speak so impertinently. We are thankful to God, that he speaks so far piously. But he denies, that one of the goats was taken for sin. He says, " that is asserted of both which is true only of one. Before the lot distinguished them that could be afsirmed collectively of both, which, after the lot, was to be the case only of one." But I think, we are by no means to depart from the plain meaning of the words ; nor to understand only of one, what is afsirmed of both. Though we are to understand, with some difference, what the following words of the law intimate : namely, both goats were for sin, which the Jaw expressly afsirms; yet with this difference ; the one was sin, because it was slain for sin, the other, because by bearing the sins of the people, it took them away. To sum up all in a word, the whole of this sacred expiation consisted of two-parts : sirst, the slaying of the one goat, whofe blood was shed to expiate the sins of the people : and then the sending away the other goat, which took away the sins which were laid upon it, by virtue of the sacrisice just offered. Both therefore concurred, in their place and order, to the solemn atonement.

LXV. Secondly, Aaron was commanded to present both before Jehovah as the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, ver. 7. By which both were declared to be equally devoted to God. Without all controversy Aaron is here a sigure of Christ as priest ; the goat to be slain, signisied Christ as the sacrisice. For, he presented himself to God, when " he went up to Jerusalem, that all things, that are written by the prophets conconcerning the Son of man, might be accomplished/' Luke Xviii. jt. But how did out high-priest, when he was about to to make an atonment, at the fame time present before God the the rebellious Jews, who were to be given up to the devil ? "Fo fay, that they were presented before God, so far as they were sanctisied in the root, and were to be the fathers of the sons of the promise, is quite from the purpose. For, the rebellious Jews, consigned to the devil, are to be wholly distinguished from the holy root, from which those degnerate branches took their rife, and from the children of the promise, who were to descend from them in their appointed time. These, certainly, the priest daily presented to God in the names of the twelve tribes, which he wore on his breast : the very fame he also now presented to God, though without that symbol. But it cannot be explained, how the high-priest, when making atonement, could present those to God, if by this goat they were represented, as the portion of the serpent.

LXVT. 3dly, After both the goats, which were purchased for God at the common expence of the whole people, were consecrated to God, by bringing them before Jehovah, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, Aaron was commanded to sind out by lot, which was for Jehovah, arid which for Azazel, because this was Unknown both to the people, and the priest, till the lot determined it. But it scarce admits of a favourable meaning, if that, which fell to Azazel, was the sigure of the rebellious Jews. For, that portion, or decision by lot, must be referred either to the sigure, or to the thing represented. That it cannot to the thing represented is plain. For the Israelites neither ought, nor could have any doubt, which Ihould fall to the devil, Christ or the rebellious Jews, so there was no need to make a trial of it by lot. What pious ears would not be offended, to hear any person assert, that the highpriest, at the command of God, cast lots between Christ and the rebellious Jews, whether he or they should be offered to the Lord ? I imagine none will contend with me on this point. Though the wicked Jews had a controversy with Christ concerning the priesthood, yet it was not proper for that to be decided by lot, but, as was really done, by a demonstration from the sacred writings. It therefore follows, that the casting of Jots here, regarded the goats themselves, since it was unknown, what each of them was to presigure. Moreover, as both were purchased at the common expenee, for the benesit of the whole people of Israel, and consecrated to the service of God ; neither the one nor the other seems adapted symbolically to represent those, who were to be given up to the devil. For, though the goat fell by lot to Azazel,. yet it ceased not to be the Lord's.

The The very learned Frismuthus speaks to the purpose, de hirco Emiffar, Differs. 2. §. 14. " We must not think, that the former goat alone was consecrated to God. For as both were usually presented before him, it is evident, that the goat, on •which the lot fell for Azazel, was also the Lord's, as even R. Nachman has granted. But that the one, on which the lot fell for the Lord, did peculiarly and by special right become the Lord's, was because it was flain upon the altar. Such a sacrifice offered in honour of God is called, in the Hebrew phraseology, the bread of God, Lev. xxi. 6. "Which appellation could not be given to the other, that was to be sent to Azazel, it being appointed to be separated;.from the flock, and carried to remote places, to be exposed, perhaps, to the teeth of wild beasts. The goat therefore, which is, and in the whole cere* mony, remains consecrated to God, seems not adapted-to be allotted for a symbol pi those, who on all accounts were to be the slaves of the devil.

LXVII. 4thly, A strong argument may be taken likewise from the imposition of the hands of the priest, of the sins of Israel, with those prayers of the high-priest and applause of the • people, we mentioned,seel. 48. which are very easily applied to Christ, when he bore, according to his own and his Father's will, and the wishes of all the godly, the sins of the whole mystical Israel. And is any thing was to be represented to the Jews, on the day of expiation, certainly this was the thing, which is the alone foundation of a true expiation. But very, difsicultly, nay indeed in my judgment, on no account, can that which is signisied, in the sacred ceremonies, by the imposition of hands and of sins, be referred to the rebellious Jews, whom the faithful Israelites never constituted to stand in their room and stead. Do they, the most abandoned of mankind, " who please not God, and are contrary to all men," 1 Thess. ii. 15. bear the iniquities of all Israel, laid upon them by the priest, into an uninhabited land, carrying them far away from Israel ? Why do we yield so much to that most pestilent sect the Soci* nians, as to go to overturn an argument for the satisfaction of Christ, hitherto happily defended from this rite, by this extravagant siction.

LXVIII. In sine, who can digest so hard a saying ? It appears; how jujlly the veffels of wrath may be said to bear the sins of the faithful. Which of the prophets or apostles, ever said so ? Is this to speak with the Scriptures ? Who has to this day ever heard, that those make all the sins of all men their own, who refuse to confess their own ? or, that all the fms ever committed, are avenged on the rebellious Jews ? This is an imputation of sin, al together new and unknown in-the schools of divines. Certainly, our modesty forbids us to dispute against that right of God, whereby he punishes the sins of parents in their children, and posterity, which he himself, such is his clemency, usually consines to the third and fourth generation of those that hate him. Nor is it lawful for us to deny, that the severity of God's anger may at times burn to a farther degree, if the sins are above measure atrocious; and posterity shall, for a long series, not only equal, but even exceed their ancestors in wickedness. God was pleased to give us an example of this in the wicked Jews, according to that threatening prophesy of Christ, Mat. xxiii. 35. Luke xi. 50. " So that from this instance his wrath might be seen, burning from the beginning of the world against hypocrites, enemies of righteousness, and murderers;" as the learned person very well speaks elsewhere. But, that " all the sins of all men are punished in some one person or people," I do not remember, that I ever read or heard till now: neither that " the wicked bear the sins of the faithful." I know that, when God, in pathetic language, Isa. xliii. 3, 4. commends his love towards Israel, he declares, that he gave the Egyptians, Ethiopians, and Sabeans for their ransom, and otter men and people for their life. But, as our Calvin judiciously observes, the prophet borrowed that way of speaking from the common method of men, as if he had said, " the Egyptians, Ethiopians and Sabeans, have been substituted for thee, and, as it were, by way of exchange, forced to undergo that destruction, which was hanging over thee : for that I might save thee, I have destroyed them; and turned against them the power of the enemy, that was ready to fall upon thee." Or, to return to the learned person's own words: " the meaning of that passage is; such is my esteem for thee, that I am to bring to nought the greatest and most flourishing empires of the world, in order te relieve and comfort thee." This certainly, is quite different from bearing the sins of the faithful, as was typically done by the goat.

LXIX. It is with joy we learn from Paul, that the time will come, whert all Israel shall be saved, after the fulness of the Gentiles is come in. But we think, this cannot be inferred from these words, " the scape-goat shall be presented alive before Jehovah, to make an atonement with it. The learned persons themselves teach us that "jj> sometimes signisies an instrument, as Gen. xxvii. 40. Deut. xiii. 3. And why not here ? That the meaning should be, to mule an atonement with or by it. We shall presently shew hi1w this is done by the live-goat.

LXX. Others therefore, and, if I can form any judgment, to better purpose, afsirm, that this scape-goat, no less than that which was killed, was a type of Christ. But these again run into disferent sentiments. Some maintain, that here are represented the two natures of Christ, the human, to be expofed to misery and torment; the other the divine, as being impassible, to remain free and to live for ever; which Cornelius a Lapide relates, was the opinion of Theodoret, Isychius and Cyril. Others say, that the twofold state of Christ, before and after his resurrection, was here set forth. Thus the slain goat was the type of Christ, lifted upon the crofs, but that sent away alive, of the same Christ, raised from the dead, and living for evermore. Of this opinion, after Augustin and Procopius, were Bochart and other celebrated divines. Yet two things seem very much to oppofe this sentiment: ist, That the sins of IrVael were laid upo.i the live-goat: but Christ rofe from the dead, and entered into glory without sin, Heb. ix. 28. 2dly, That the same goat, as loaded with sin, was accounted unclean, so that the person who conveyed it into the wilderness, stood in need of cleansing. ver. 26. But no uncleanness can so much as be conceived to be in Christ after his resurrection.

LXXI. Others therefore, to whom I readily yield, imagine that a twofold relation of Christ the mediator is signisied ; the one to God the judge, to whom satissaction was to be made by the merit of his death ; the other, to the devil his enemy, with whom he was to encounter by the essicacy of his life. With respect to the former, the goat to be slain, fell to God : in the latter respect, the live-goat fell to Azazel. Let us add, that, in the slain goat, a true expiation of sin was represented, which is performed by shedding of blood and undergoing punishment: but in the other, the effect of this expiation; namely, the removing and taking away of sin, by the bearing it away so sar as never to come into the sight of God against us. And this seems to be the-reason of the order, why, after slaying the former goat, sins v ere laid on the other, to be carried a great way off. Because there could be no taking away of sin tjithout jhedding tf blood. Both indeed was done in the ordinary sacrisices : but, because the latter was not so evident in the other sacrisices, God was pleased to set it forth by a peculiar symbol in this solemn festival, for the greater consolation of his people. And thus the riches of the divine goodness and wisdom manifestly appear, when he laid before the eyes of his people, by different types, all the relations of Christ the Redeemer, which could not he distinctly exhibited in one single piece or picture.

LXXII. But let us more particularly- Hlustr3te the analogy. ist, The sins of Israel were laid on this goat that he might bear them. Christ trulv bears, and by bearing take* away the sins

F f a " of of the whole world. And as Aaron laid both his hands on the head of the goat, so the hand of God lay very heavy and grievous on our surety. 2dly, This goat was appointed by lot for Azazel: not that this brute creature, which was consecrated to God, might be offered to the evil spirit, but exposed to be tormented by the devil, who very much resides in solitary places, Mat. xii. 43. Now the sirst promise shews, that Christ also, by the divine will, was to be given up to the Serpent who deceived Eve, Gen. iii. 15. " Thou shalt bruise his heel." And Christ himself says, John xiv. 30, 31. " the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me, but that the world may know, that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do." That is, " the devil indeed has no right " in me, who am, and as I am, perfectly holy, nor can he ever « prevail against me : yet he is come out to combat with me, " to vex and even to flay me, because I have interposed in the " room of those who .deserve death. But I go cheerfully to " meet him; to the end, my obedience and love to my Father, " may appear to all the world." 3dly, The goat was to be sent to a wilderness, and a land not inhabited: and such was the whole world, such, above all, was Judea, when Christ came to suffer there. Scarce any harvest of faith, truth, and piety, was to be found there ; nothing but unfruitfulness, every where the thistle and prickly thorn arose. And why may we not apply to this, what Matthew relates concerning Christ, when he was carried by the Spirit into, the wilderness, there to be tempted by the devil? Mat. iv. 1. For the wilderness, into which the goat was driven, could not less typify the wilderness in which Christ was tempted, than the wood on which the serpent was raised, typisied the wood on which Christ was lifted up. 4thly, The hand of a sit man, by which the goat was sent away (which, by a constant tradition of the Jews, might be done as well by a stranger as by an Israelite) seems to denote

.the power of those, who rose up against Christ, namely, the Gentiles atii people of Israel, Acts iv. 27. and above all, Pilate, who had caused Christ to be carried without the gate, loaded with the crofs, the symbol of a curse, when he was to encounter with the devil for the last time.

LXI1I. I acknowledge I have learned these things, partly from Turretin *, partly from Cocceius himself; the former explains this opinion in a large discourse, and with cogency and success defends the argument deduced from it, for the satissaction of Christ against the Socinians, de Verit. satissact. Christi,. p- 3. § 22, 23. But the words of the latter in Comment, ad Heb. c. 9. § 2^,seq. as sar at least as they are to our purpose, very well deserve to be inserted here. He says, " it is evident " from Ezek. xx. 351 That Christ was to come to Israel, when " Israel was, as it were, in the wilderness, but that was, when " Judea was a Roman province, and had a Roman governor: " for then it was a part of the wilderness of the people. And it is " plain enough, that by the dragon, Rev. xii. is represented the " Roman people. He made himself ready to devour Christ, " as soon as he was born. Moreover, the first promise declares, u Gen. iii. 17. That Christ was to be given up into the hands of " the devil, who deceived Eve, under the appearance of a ser*' pent. The Jews ascribe this to Sammael. As therefore the " slaying of the one goat represents the death of Christ, and " the shedingof his blood : so the sending away of the other goat " into a place uncultivated and desart, denotes, the delivering of " Christ into the hands of the devil, who has the power of death; " in order to vex and disquiet him; and that by the hands of sin" ners, and of such men, to whom the land was subject, like " the rest of the wilderness of the people, and a part thereof. " That this was done by the appointment and will of God, " Christ himself declares, John xiv. 30, 31. As if he should say, " the prince of this world, who has nothing in me, is come to " exercise his cruelty upon me; which will happen, to the end, " my obedience may appear to the world. We have therefore " a sigure of a twofold delivering up of Christ. First, Of that " by which he delivered up himself as priest. Secondly, Of " that, by which he was given up into the hands of sinners, or " the Gentiles." Thus sar Cocceius. To the like purpofe, the very learned Momma Oeconom. Temp. t. 1. lib. 2. c. 11.' § Tfi.seq. Where, after explaining the same opinion with neatness and elegance, and proving it from Scripture, he then subjoins': we might rest contented with these things, and proceed to others. Let therefore none be osfended, that being satissied with these things, which exhibit a doctrine found and certain, I pass over other things, in which I sind neither that soundness, nor that certainty.   concludes § 5. with these words. But, as I formerly said, it seems (o be more simple, that the two goats signify nothing, but the persect ekpiadon, which Christ made, who not only bore our fins in his death, but took them away by his refurreaion ; not only satissied by the ofsering of himself, but demonstrated the persection and truth os his satisfaction by his discharge. whereby we are assured, that our sins, being translated from us and laid upon him, are carried away, so that there is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, Rom. viii. 1. and that of Paul is fulsilled ; that he was delivered for our offences and raised again sor *ur justifiiation. Rom. iv. 25.

LXXIV.

 

LXXIV. Very lately were published the Varia Sacra of the very samous John Vander Waeyen, in which are two dissertations concerning the goat Azazel; the former of which is principally levelled at me. But I would neither have my reader, nor the illustrious author ignorant, how much I have prosited by the perusal of that dissertation. By it I was really brought under a kind of necessity, to consider more accurately the whole of this subject. Which I have also endeavoured to do with a mind so free from, and divested of all prejudices, as if I had never written any thing on the point before. Nor do I conceal, that from thence I had an opportunity to explain some things more clearly, others also more distinctly, and to set a keener edge en my arguments, than I had done in the former editions of this book. On that account therefore, if he will accept of it, I return him my thanks. But then he must suffer me to say, that I have not found reasons cogent enough in his dissertation to render his opinion more probable, or mine less so. While he opposes my sentiment, and seems to charge it with many inconveniencies, he oppofes what Dr Cocceius himself has dexterously explained and consirmed by Scripture testimonies, and as sar as I know, never condemned or disapproved ; though he superadded another opinion. But I could never yet think it probable, that one and the same ceremony should signify things so very remote from one another. As for my particular, I leave the entire decision of this controversy with the equitable reader; who, if he is not wiser than us both, may profit by our writings. But as to the manner in which, the illustrious person manages the dispute, I imagine, I have very weighty grounds of complaint. Whoever happens to enter the lists with him, contend indeed on unequal terms. While he thinks, he may say what he will against others, he gives no quarter to any expression of his opponent, if it has but the least appearance of harshness in it; and assuming to himself, what is the prerogative of God alone, canvasses not only the heart and inmost principles of the thoughts, but also boldly pronounces what sentence upon them he thinks proper. Indeed, I should appear ridiculous, was I seriously to ward off from myself the grudge conceived against Cocceius, as the origin and the cause of this dissention. Every page in my book shews my esteem for that celebrated person. And though I cannot assent to him in every particular with an implicit saith, yet I never once dreamed of charging him with heresy: much less in this controversy, where the dispute is not so much about a doctrinal point, as about the mystical signisication of some Mofaic institutions, without any detriment to our common saith. In which kind of subjects, if,

 

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