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being said to him, never to them, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee*. And, secondly, he is an object of worship to angelswhen he bringeth in his first begotten into the world, he saitht, and let all the angels of God worship him.' And farther, he is celebrated in the Psalms as the King of heaven, and the Creator of the world-Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever-Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth : &c. these things are said, as the apostle witnesses, to the Son; who being also commanded to sit at the right hand of God, which was never said to any angel, his person was not of a created angelic nature, as the Hebrews might suppose, who had been used to that term in Moses and the prophets (and perhaps took it generally in such a sense) but strictly divine, and himself the Lord and God of men and angels, the coassessor of the Father in glory everlasting.
Such indeed is the character of the Son in the Hebrew scriptures, that it is the same in all respects with those titles which the apostle subjoins to his name in the second verse of this first chapter: whom (saith he) God hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds, who being the brightness of his glory,
* Chap. i. si
+ Chap: vi.
and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Great as these expressions are, they are the same in substance with what the Old Testament had declared before concerning the Son of God; who being called the Glory of God, has that relation to him which the light that comes down from heaven has to the sun, from whence it proceeds; who being truly the Son, is consequently the heir of God; who now sustains that world of which he at first laid the foundations; who purged the sins of man by himself, who was the creator of man; and when he sat down at the right hand of God, returned to that majesty which was essential to his character before the world was made.
Nothing can be more full and express than the language the apostle uses in this chapter, to convince the Hebrews, that the term Son of God, as applied to the person of Christ, is not a name of accommodation, as sometimes taken in other applications of it, but a name, the excellence of which comes to him, not by adoption, but by inheritance, that is, by a natural right, which could not be, unless the Son were of the same nature with the Father.
As the apostle proceeds to treat of the
person of Christ, he takes occasion to shew from the 8th Psalm, (and thereby teaches us how to understand that Psalm) that he, who, as God, was above all the angels of heaven, as man was made lower than the angels, that he might taste of death for every man, and so bring many sons unto glory, by receiving glory in our nature, as the reward of his sufferings. In virtue of his incarnation, we are become the sons of God and brethren of Christ; as he was in all things made like unto his brethren, his brethren will in all things be made like unto him ; that is, they will be imputed by a new relation to the same Father, with a legal right to the same inheritance, and be crowned with glory and honour after their sufferings upon earth. .
The divine and human natures of the Son of God being thus settled and distinguished, we are now to consider him with the apostle under the three characters he took upon him for the salvation of the world.
1, As Moses, he was to be a teacher, lawgiver, and prophet ; and Moses had acted as a minister of God for a testimony of these things which were to be spoken after* by a greater than Moses.
2. Like 2. Like Aaron and Melchizedec he was to be a high priest and intercessor; a minister of the true sanctuary.
* Chap. iii. 5a
3. As Joshua, whose name is called Jesus in this epistle, he was to be the captain of our salvation, to conquer our spiritual enemies, and put us into possession of the heavenly Canaan.
From all these figurative characters of the old law, it was foreshewn, that he should be the greatest of prophets, the greatest of priests, and the greatest of conquerors. And first he is to be understood as a prophet or teacher.
The apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house*: to which the apostle adds, that he was thus faithful for a testimony; his ministry was prophetical, and bore witness in all the principal circumstances of it to the greater ministry of Christ, who was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, because he was the master and builder of that house, in which Moses was no more than a servant. The fidelity of Moses, under all the various trials of his ministry, is the circumstance here selected by the apostle, and chiefly insisted on; but there was scarcely a circumstance attending his whole character which did not afford some testimony to the ministry of Christ. The general character of both is the same, in that they were prophets ; and as the one is said to be mighty in word and deed *, 60 is the other. The deeds of Moses were great beyond those of any other prophet, Christ excepted. We see him working wonders amongst a proud and obstinate people, whose hearts were hardened against him; as Christ wrought his miracles amongst the blinded Jews, who never believed on him at last: and as Egypt was at length fearfully judged by the hand of Moses, so were the Jews cast out and destroyed in a terrible manner, when the time of vengeance came upon them, which Christ had threatened. As Moses left Pharaoh in wrath, never to see his face any more, so Christ left the Jews at their own desire, never more to meet with them but in judgment, when Jerusalem should be overthrown.
nistry * Chap. iii. 1.
In their words they were so far alike, that both were lawgivers, delivering to the people the precepts which were received from heaven, All the faithful of the Israelitish church were disciples of Moses, and did as he had com. manded them; as the faithful of the latter days are followers of Christ, and observers of his laws.
But * Comp. Acts, vii. 22. with Luke xxiv. 19.