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'world knew him not. It is from the likeness of the bow in the cloud, as appearing about the throne, &c. that the prophet Daniel' had the vision of one like the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven, &c.; and that our Lord's ascension is described by a cloud receiving him out of the disciples' sight. So his coming again to judgement is said to be coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory». I shall only adduce one passage more as applicable to this purpose, and it is this *, • For God; who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the GLORY OF GOD, in the FACE of JESUS CHRIST.' That the apostle's meaning may in some measure be comprehended, let us look back to the whole of the preceding chapter, particularly to the seventh verse, where, speaking of the delivery of the law, he observes, that the children of Israel at that time could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses, because of the glory of his face. Hence the apostle's design is, upon comparing the law of Moses with the gospel of Christ, to give the gospel the preference, from this particular consideration, among many others, that the glory of Christ was greater than the glory of Moses'; and having taken no tice how the face of Moses did shine with glory, in prosecution of the same argument he observes, that our religion is not defective in this point either; for we have got the knowledge of the glory of God in the face (TT powToy, the same word in both places) of Jesus Christ. May not the relation of this circumstance, concerning Moses “, be made use of to illustrate the manner of the glory of God being in the face of Jesus Christ and if so, will not this help to explain what is said of him by the evangelist St Luke, that he increased in wisdom • and stature, and in favour,' or gracefulness, “ before • God and man;' and by the psalmist before, concerning him, thou art fairer than the children of • men? Which character, were it necessary, might be easily reconciled with what seems to be said to to the contrary 5, he hath no form, nor comeliness, • and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that
.2 Acts i. 9.
i Dan. vü. 13. 3 See St Mat. xxiv. 30. where there is express mention made of seeing the clouds as the symbol of the Son of man, Acts i. 11. Rev. i. 7. which in other places is called, as by a parallel description, coming in • his glory,' St Mark xxv. 31.' with his mighty angels in Haming fire,' 2 Tlies. i. 7. &c. brightness of his coming, 2 Thes. ii. 8, &c. 4 2 Cor. iv. 6.
5 Exod. xxxiv. 29–35.
should desire him;' for this description, given by the prophet, is rather by way of expostulation, or complaint of the blindness and unreasonableness of the people in rejecting the Messiah, than to be considered as a correct and formal description of his person. That the blessed Jesus, when upon earth, was looked upon to be a comely and amiN2
I 2 Cor, iii. 8, 9, 10, II. 3 St Luke ii. 52.
5 Isa. liii. 2.
2 Exod. xxxiv.
29-35. 4 Psalm xlv, 2.
able man, even by his enemies; and that the description of the psalmist rather than that of the prophet may be said to have belonged to him, we learn from the account given of him to the senate of Rome, by Publius Lentulus, the Roman governor of Judea; which account has been received as authentic by good judges and where, among many other particulars, he tells them, he was the fairest
of the sons of men.'
These several passages I have collected into one view, not so much to affirm any thing positively on this head, (which I am aware would be liable to much objection, and might even give offence), as to shew that the scriptures have not left us altogether in the dark as to the knowledge of the GLORY of Christ, although they have not expressly determined in what particular manner the exhibition of his glory was made. And I shall be extremely glad if my application of these to this purpose shall be well received, or be of any use to such devout christians as delight to meditate on so very interesting and agreeeable a subject,
With this hope I shall proceed to the third point proposed for discussion, which was to enquire, · Whether any symbols of this SHECHINAH be continued in the christian church now, and what these symbols are? In this enquiry, I shall adhere to the method, which I have all along followed, of advancing nothing but upon the authority of scrip
ture, without taking in the assistance of ancient fathers, or modern commentators, which would carry me beyond the limits of my present design. Let it be observed, then, that the excellency of the gospel, and of the economy of the christian church, as founded by Jesus Christ, is derived from the following promise, made and confirmed with an oath, to him', · The Lord hath sworn, and will . not repent, thou art a priest for ever after the order
of Melchisedec :' which promise is nobly enlarged upon and explained by St Paul, That Melchisedec was the very Christ, the second person in Jehovah, is a truth which, as we have already seen, is clearly and undeniably proved by St Paul, in the seventh chapter of his epistle to the Hebrews. So that the expression, “the ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC,' (--, and St Paul κατα την ταξιν Μελχισεδεκ), will signify an order instituted, appointed, or set up by Melchisedec, that is, by Christ, a certain order, form, or regulation, to be the rule or model of the christian priesthood for ever. Agreeably to this rule it is, that St Paul appoints' all things to be done with a view to a good scheme, (as evo x muovws signifies), and (Hata ta&iv) according to some certain ordination, regulation and institution, which is the true and full meaning of the word ταξις. .
in Hebrew , by the Septuagint על-רברתי מלכי-צדק)
Now, that we may
i Psalm cx. 4. 2 Heb. v. 6. and ch. vii. throughout.
3 1 Cor. xiv. 40.
know what this order or institution of Melchisedec was, we must go back to his first
appearance under that name '— And Melchisedec, king of Salem, • brought forth bread and wine, and He was the
priest of the most high God. That this bringing forth of bread and wine' constituted a sacrificial act, was the universal doctrine of the primitive fathers Cyprian, Augustine, Chrysostom, &c. and has has been fully shewn by many learned modern writers on the subject; as by other irrefragable arguments, so particularly from the connexion of what follows, that he was priest of the Most High, and that in that character he blessed Abram. Why he made choice of bread and wine, we are not to enquire. In matters of divine dispensation, it becomes us, with all humility, to acquiesce in the divine wisdom, without seeking to penetrate into the reasons thereof. The account is not given in the way of insinuation or inference; it is an open direct affirmation, that Melchisedec, or Christ, at this time EXHIBITED himself to Abrum with BREAD AND WINE. Of this exhibition we have no further revival expressly on record, till the time of Christ's appearing in our flesh, when, as the evangelists 'record it`, `he * took bread, and having blessed and broken it, he said, this is my body; and so likewise of the
сир, this is my blood of the New Testament,' or the new covenant in my blood. The bread and wine
1 Gen. xiv. 18.
Cor, si. 23.