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ially and distinctly to Jesus Christ; who may indeed be considered as one of the line of true prophets, and immeasurably the greatest of them all; nay, by accommodation, the words may be applied to him with propriety, in the same way that innumerable other passages are, that originally were limited to other men. But where is the evidence that Moses consciously and intentionally spoke of, or referred to, Jesus of Nazareth? We see none except it be found in the saying of the Jews, who had seen the miracle of feeding five thousand men with five barley loaves and two small fishes: "This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world." (John vi. 14.) But the traditions of the Jews are but a poor guide in interpreting the Old Testament, and their prejudices were often altogether wide of the mark. But suppose we grant the correctness of their use of this passage from Deuteronomy, nay, grant that the language of Moses is a specific prophecy of the Messiah fifteen hundred years before his advent, what evidence would this afford that he had already, for untold ages, pre-existed?— we mean in the peculiar and exclusive sense in which his pre-existence has usually been maintained. Suppose that it should be foretold to us that in the course of the next thousand years there should arise a great dramatic poet in America who should as fully and truly interpret, and embody in as exalted and enduring forms of poetry, the life and manners and spirit of this nation as Shakspeare has done with respect to those of England; and then suppose this prediction should prove true. It would scarcely be rational to conclude from these premises that that poet preexisted a thousand years before he was born, except, indeed, in the Divine counsels,-which amounts to nothing to the present purpose.
Before we leave this subject it occurs to us to offer a few remarks on the significance and Scripture use of an appellation which is now exclusively associated with the name of Jesus of Nazareth: we refer to the title Messiah, a Hebrew term, which, with its equivalent & Xoros in Greek, signifies the anointed. It is well and familiarly known that this is not strictly a proper name, but an appellative, or title of office and honor, though now exclusively bestowed on our Saviour. In the Old Testament it is given to kings, to prophets and to priests, because under the Law of Moses
they were set apart to their respective offices by anointing their heads with the holy oil of consecration. Moses speaks habitually of the priest as the one "that is anointed," [ó Xquoids.] (Lev. iv. 5.) It is said in 1 Sam. ii. 10, "The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed,” [χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ, [xoia Toυ avrov, the Vulgate version has "christi sui,"] meaning of course, the king, as just before stated. The language is highly poetical, being a part of Hannah's hymn of praise and thanksgiving at the birth of Samuel or at the time she dedicated him to God's service, and it exemplifies the parallelism of Hebrew poetry. In the best manuscripts, says Dr. Adam Clarke, the whole of the hymn is written in hemistich or poetic lines, thus:
"And God shall give strength to his king,
that is, of his anointed, which means here his king. In 1 Sam. xii. 3-5, this title is given to Saul: "Behold here I am; witness against me before the Lord and before his anointed. [zolotov avrov, (Vul.) christo ejus.] In 2 Sam. xxiii. 1, king David is called "the anointed of the God of Jacob," [zorov gov.] In Isa. xlv. 1, this title is given to Cyrus, king of Persia. "Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, [1 Xour] to Cyrus," &c. In 1 Chron. xvi. 22, we read "Touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm." Dr. Adam Clarke remarks that the title may be applied to all the Jewish people, who were the anointed, as they were the elect and the peculiar people of God. 5 And this usage of the Old Testament in applying such language to the Hebrew people is illustrated and confirmed by the transfer of the same appellatives to describe the body of Christians in the New Testament. Not only are the believers denominated "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people," (1 Peter ii. 9;) but Paul says, "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us is God." [kul xolvas tuas.] [καί χρίσας (2 Cor. i. 29.)
Having thus attended to the general usage and import of the term Messiah, or the anointed, in the Old Testament, we are prepared to consider and explain one of the most singular inconsistencies of our common version, wherein the 5 Dr. A. Clarke on Ps. cv. 15.
translators have departed from analogy, ignored the usage of the Old Testament, and set at naught reason itself, from no other motive, apparently, but to give countenance and support to the doctrine of Christ's pre-existence. We refer to the common reading of Heb. xi. 25, 26, where Paul speaks of Moses as "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ [тov XQiOTO, the anointed i. e. people" ] greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of reward." Dr. Adam Clarke remarks very candidly that "Many have been stumbled by the word & Xoros, Christ, here; because they could not see how Moses should have any knowledge of him. It may be said, indeed, that it was just as easy for God Almighty to reveal Christ to Moses, as it was for him to reveal him to Isaiah, or to the shepherds, or to John the Baptist, or to manifest him in the flesh. After all, there is much reason to believe that by τοῦ Χριστοῦ here, of Christ, or the anointed, the apostle means the whole body of the Israelites, or Hebrew people; for as the word signifies the anointed, and anointing was a consecration to God, to serve him in some particular office, as prophet, priest, king, or the like, all the Hebrew people were considered thus anointed or consecrated; and it is worthy of remark that xgoros is used in this very sense by the Septuagint in 1 Sam. ii. 35, Ps. cv. 15; and in Heb. íii. 13, the word is necessarily restricted to this meaning: "Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for the salvation of thine anointed." [xquo ov, (Vul.) christo tuo.] These remarks show very clearly we think that no inference can be drawn from Heb. xi. 26 favorable to the doctrine of the pre-existence of Jesus, for if our translators had translated the Greek appellation which they found here instead of retaining the original unaltered, and had supplied the evident ellipsis, they would have done simply their duty, and made the text intelligible and clear which, to the common reader, is now obscure and of doubtful interpretation.
In conclusion we have to observe that we have not pretended to an exhaustive treatment of this subject nor to 6 Referring to the Israelites.
explain every passage of Scripture that may have been pressed to the support of the doctrine of Christ's preexistence. But we have endeavored to indicate the general grounds on which the doctrine must be held to fail of support from the Scriptures and the utterly unsatisfactory nature of the arguments usually relied upon for its defence.
It was an opinion quite prevalent in ancient times, and has been put forth by some modern speculatists, that all men pre-exist in other states of being before they inhabit human bodies. It is an opinion founded neither on observation nor revelation, but a simple fancy. Let us, however, suppose it to be true. It would not contribute in any degree toward constituting the true dignity and glory of a man, whose history commences with flesh and blood, and whose consciousness and memory, whose reason and higher instincts reveal no vestiges and betray no reminiscence of any anterior existence. It is the moral character which men form while in a conscious and responsible state, it is the integrity and purity of their lives while passing through scenes of trial, temptation, and discipline, which must form the chief glory, all the true glory, of a rational being. And we see no reason for making the Saviour an exception, or for doubting that it was his spiritual gifts and moral attributes as these gifts and attributes were exercised on earth amid the trials of his ministry, which form the glory of his character and consecrate and distinguish his name. What if he had existed in the realm of spirits, in the bosom of the Father, for countless ages previous to his advent in the flesh? It would have been nothing, absolutely nothing, in comparison with the sublime and heavenly character and spirit of disinterested benevolence which he exhibited to the observation of mankind, and which has stamped its impress so deeply and ineffaceably on human society. His spotless purity as of a lamb without blemish, his integrity of soul which was proof against all the evils and temptations of Satan, his meekness of spirit under provocation, which no malice of his foes could ever disturb, his self-sacrificing devotion to a principle of duty, to the will of God and the welfare of mankind, his disinterested and inexhaustible love, carried out in living labors and breathed in his dying prayers, these are the distinguishing attributes of the Saviour's character, these are the
transcendent qualities which constitute the true ground of his pre-eminent claims to distinction and honor. For these reasons, because he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, God also hath exalted him and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, THE CHRIST, THE ANOINTED, every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
J. O. S.
The Old and the New.
WE propose in this article, first, to give some illustrations of the Old; second, to make some allusions to the advantages to be derived from the Old; and third, to offer some thoughts upon the New.
I. Much physical and mental labor has been spent in the various departments of nature and life. In the fields of discovery, improvement and classification, great works have been wrought. Almost every thing here, of which man thinks he has taken hold, is denominated science or philosophy.
But the motion of the heavenly bodies was determined ages before man had any theory of it. Copernicus and Galileo never varied that. The last time the sun rose, passed along his track, and left one side of the earth in darkness, he did it by the same law as he performed his first journey. When the stars were rolled out from chaos, they gave creation's introductory concert on the key they have sung till now. The rain that sprinkled Eden's earliest vegetation, was borne up on atmospheric wings, and it fell like every shower and storm the globe has since received. The air which Adam breathed, did not differ in its elements from that which sustains life at present. Plants and animals, of every kind, are produced by laws old as the first leaf and reptile and flying fowl.