Chapter 44

Of Mr. John Hunt’s Misunderstandings of above Twenty Texts of Scripture, which are briefly vindicated from his Corrupt Glosses in this Chapter.

His ill talent in the Scriptures has been oftentimes exposed in these papers already, as on Psalms 45:11; Psalms 110:7; Song 2:5; Song 5:2; Song 5:16; Isaiah 1:16; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 51:20; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 60:8; Ezekiel 36:25; Matthew 11:28; Luke 13:25; Luke 19:27; Luke 19:42; Hebrews 1:4; Hebrews 6:6; Hebrews 10:26; I John 3:9; Revelation 14:11; Revelation 22:17, &c., to all which the index of Scriptures at the end will direct you where to find my answers. I am now to produce some fresh instances, and as many perhaps in the number as before. The method I shall mostly observe in my confutation of him now in this chapter will be to go along with his book in order.

The first Scripture misunderstood is, Ezek.28:24, the words of which are these, “and there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.” Now his corrupt gloss upon these words is this. “Troubles and persecutions {says he} are called briars and thorns. Ezekiel 28:24.” {Page 18} Trouble is a thing distinct from the troubler, persecution from the persecutor; the prickling briar is the troubler, the grieving thorn is the persecutor. Ezek.2:6. II Sam.23:6-7. These God had graciously promised should cease from being the afflicters of his people. The text speaks of persons by whom the troubles and persecutions had come, whereas this corrupt text runs upon these things, without any regard unto the persons by whom they come. Thus he hears not what the Spirit saith unto the Churches. God here by Ezekiel repeals one of his own penal laws against the House of Israel. There shall be no more a prickling briar, nor any grieving thorn, &c., as much as to say, there had been such a Law enacted, but now when the Promise comes to take place, it should be taken off. That Law of the Most High, to permit persecutors and troublers of his Church, should remain of no longer force. That this is the plain meaning, how persons {troublers and persecutors,} are called briars and thorns, and not the troubles and persecutions themselves, so-called, or the things which come in by those persons, I appeal to Scripture running in the very channel of this text. We will begin at the rise when the law here repealed was first enacted. Mic.7:4. Isa.55:13. {Pricks in your eyes objectively, by seeing the vexatious Canaanites living in Vicinity close by and among you in the same Land, and “thorns in your sides,” by having their situation and abode just over against one or other of your tribes on each side. Suppose it, as one of your countries butts and borders on another.}

See Numbers 33:55, “but if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.” Look ye here! Thorns and briars there in the threatening are the Inhabitants of the land, the persons, and wicked, oppressing natives of it. They are not troubles and persecutions, or the evil things these persons bring, which are so-called. Therefore in Ezekiel when this threatening is to be taken off, thorns and briars are to be understood of the inhabitants of the land, evil and oppressing men, persecutors and troublers of God’s people that have dwelt in it. Now says God to his Church, I have a Day in mine eye when all these men shall be taken out of the way. I must not stay to confirm it from other texts, as I might in Joshua 23:13 and Judges 2:3. Nay, this publisher of his Sermons might have learnt in his coherence, if he had known his own text, that the briars and thorns in Ezekiel were men, injurious men, and not spoken of injuries themselves. For next to the words, “I am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the Valleys,” it follows, “as the Lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” Here the comparison of thorns runs upon persons, and setteth forth a race of mankind, the daughters, natural professors, who are the troublers, persecutors and oppressors of the true Spiritual Church.

Again, this is so plain in Isaiah 10:17, &c., as it cannot be denied. What can briars or thorns be made of there but persons? The injurious persecuting branches of men that grew upon the Babylonish stock, and were folded and matted together in one accursed interest and knot, like a thicket of thorns? Nah.1:10. When yet the Church of God they had injured, should be for a fire to consume them, and Christ in the midst of his people for a flame to burn and devour them, by the fury of the Divine Wrath {to revenge the quarrel of his Church} in one day? “And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day.” Isa.10:17. Could these briars and thorns now be the troubles of the king of Babylon? No, they were his huge host that had troubled the Church of God in the days of Hezekiah; “and shall consume {Christ, the flaming Angel shall consume, Josh.5:13-14,} the glory of his forest {even one hundred fourscore and five thousand of his choice forest-trees, Isa.37:36, or men in the soldiery he had sent into the field against Jerusalem under Rabshakeh} and of his fruitful field, both soul and body,” verse 18, “and the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, verse 19, that a child may write them.” Is not all this spoken of persons, persecutors and troublers? And do not all these things give a clear light into the meaning {of no more prickling briar, nor grieving thorn} there in Ezekiel, the place I am defending from that corrupt gloss, which runs it upon the troubles, whilst the Holy Ghost had his eye full upon the Troublers?

The second Scripture misunderstood is John 1:9, “that was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world;” upon which he says, “not as if Christ did equally enlighten every individual man that comes into the world, as some blind and deluded people do suppose; but to show that there is no one man that cometh into the world which doth receive any true spiritual light, but what he hath from him.” {Page 36} This text speaks not of an equal enlightening, but it speaks of a several enlightening of every man that cometh into the world, which indeed this brother in his gloss denieth. In confining here the lighting of every man unto the lighting of every spiritual man, or every man which receives any true Spiritual Light, he perfectly shuts Christ out from being the Fountain of all natural light, of which the text directly speaketh. The Holy Ghost here in this 9th verse speaks not of gracious light, not of the light of the Gospel, but of the light of nature reason, and of the intellectual difference of every man from brutes. {“The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” Prov.20:27.} For, as to the universality of the phrase {“lighteth every man that cometh into the world,”} it agrees with Christ’s Natural Capacity, as he is the Treasury of nature-fulness, and the efficient cause of all natural light; even as by him all things were created, and as it pleased the Father that in Him all fulness should dwell; all fulness of nature, distinct from all fulness of Grace; so all fulness of natural light separately and apart from all Spiritual Light. Col.1:16-19. ‘Tis a distinction therefore of Christ in the Scriptures, by which some other texts ought to be interpreted, that Christ is the “firstborn among many brethren,” Rom.8:29, {speaking of all the members of his elect body,} and he is the firstborn of every creature besides. Col.1:15. ‘Tis observable, that in the coherence of John in his first chapter, about the Person of Christ, as well as in the coherence of Paul in the Colossians, Christ is spoken of in relation to all things made, Col.1:16, and the third and fourth verse {2:3-4} doth particularly expound this light to be meant not of Grace, but of Nature, answerably to Christ’s being as God, the Author of the Creation, and as Man the Pattern and Exemplar of the intellectual reason. “In him {saith the coherence of John 1:9, at verse 4,} was life, and the life was the light of men.” This had nothing to do with the Grace and Light of the Gospel.

He speaks of a Natural and Spiritual light in their order, and both from Jesus Christ. {“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Rev.1:8.} He begins with natural light, and holds to that, unto verse 10, and so includes this 9th verse, out of which our dispute arises. He meddles not with spiritual light till verse 12, and latter part, about the Faith of receiving Christ, and then more expressly makes Christ to be the fulness of Spiritual Light in verse 16. “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” It is we “{here at verse 16} distinct from every man lightened {above at verse 9} that comes into the world. Matt.13:11. ‘Tis we have received Christ, and so spiritual light by him, and not every one of them, who yet are every one of them intellectually lightened that cometh into the world. ‘Tis light in relation to Christ, the Gift by nature, verse 9, that speaketh of light, and so it is there universal light; again, it is light in relation to Christ, the Gift by Grace, that verse 16 is to be understood of particular light. So though it be natural light and spiritual light in that chapter, yet ‘tis of both in their order. Rev.22:13. And the order ought not to be broken, since the Holy Ghost so accurately observes it. Mr. Hunt then goes very wrong upon this text for spiritual light at verse nine.

The third Scripture misunderstood is Song 2:14, “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.” His words upon this text are these, “the spouse herself {saith he} as sensible of her deformity in herself, hides herself in the clefts of the rock, as one ashamed that Christ should behold her countenance.” {Page 50} This misinterpretation he is so fond of, that he takes it up again soon after. “And even when the spouse was hiding herself {says he} as ashamed of her own blackness, Song 2:14, how kindly doth Christ call upon her to come out? Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice, &c.” {Page 52}

Weigh the place, and then tell me how it can be interpreted of the spouse’s shame and deformity, without violencing the text? ‘Tis plainly spoken of her fear and timorousness of men, and therefore interpreting her open duty, and not keeping up her practice of the public worship, the dove not daring to venture out of her holes, lest the hawk watching his prey should seize her. Upon this Christ interposes, and makes it both a safe and pleasant time for her, and then bids her go on without fear. “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock,” in the Providential and Secret Protections of Jehovah, come now in the open view of men, the danger is over, though she scarce knew how a while to think it. For, at the 10th, 11th, and 12th verses preceding Christ spake to his Church and encouraged his spouse mourning like a Dove in the clefts of the rock. {“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over-past.” Isa.26:20.} “My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth, &c.” Thus she could tell her experience of the Love of Christ a good while after the danger {she had been in} was over, and then saw plainly she had been more afraid than hurt. Phil.2:1. And that her unbelief and slavish fears, even so far as she wanted to be led more into the Peace of God and Mystery of Christ, had kept off a great deal of her Communion with Jesus Christ. For though Christ had given her arguments to take off her doubts, I have made winter storms cease, &c., {as we have seen in England under the rising of the witnesses. Rev.11:11-12.} Look, says Christ to me {thus the spouse speaks} see the tokens. My beloved showed me all the marks of a sweet and fair springtime; peace and liberty, the Gospel preached, and the Gospel preached received, and persecution out of doors, the voice of the turtle heard, the voice of Christ, my Beloved, in the Everlasting Gospel uttered and received, Rev.14:6; and now oh my Dove {the companion of the turtle} let me see thy countenance, &c. Thus Christ bespeaks the Church; but yet for all this, she does not know how to take him at first. Oh! Says she, still I am afraid to come out into the vineyards, for fear the clouds should return after the rain; I am afraid persecution will come again. For in the next words her petition is, “take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines.” Song.2:15. Oh! Says she, the subtle enemies, the crafty men and plotters that lie everywhere in wait, to catch, spoil and make an open prey of what we are and have! Let these be taken out of the way for us, and then, Lord, we can worship thee, in the open beauties of holiness, Psal.110:3, and flock together at thy call. Else, says she, I am afraid of the subtle pated adversaries that strive to do mischief both against Christ and his Church too, against thee and me together. Take them up in a snare laid for them, and then I come forth. Jer.50:24 – Job 5:13. Well, Christ hears her, takes the foxes, and sets their wits upon other work than how to spoil and destroy the vineyards, as we see many of them taken at this day. {“For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” Rev.17:17.} So that the plain connection of circumstances is an argument that the Dove’s lying in the clefts of the rock, even in fair weather, and under the peaceable revolution, and not taking the encouragement of the day to set herself forwards, was her fear and unbelief, not her shame, that Christ should behold her countenance in his open ways and service, though she had his own comeliness put upon her, Ezek.16:14, and all her Worship was the Institution of her Maker. This interpretation enters easily, the other forces it’s self in. His about her shame and deformity, is an interpretation that does not rise out of the text, but is poured and put into it. Gen.40:8. That interpretation is merely rude, even whilst the interpreter pretends to veil it over with modesty, and shamefacedness, because it will come in upon the text whether the text will or no.

The fourth Scripture misunderstood is Song 7:1, “how beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter,” “the feet you know {says our author} are the most contemptible part, and yet saith Christ, how beautiful are thy feet!” {Page 51} This is all he saith in his gloss upon that text. Not to spend time in remarking his unfit opposition of contemptible to beautiful, which ought rather in his note to have been feet defiled, or else barefooted, Isa.20:4, the shame of which is opposite to the feet beautiful with shoes, than as he hath put it; I shall be contented to insist upon the robbery of the text he hath committed, and observe from thence, how all the glory of the text is this way lost. For the Church being a prince’s daughter hath the privilege above all her servants and slaves to be shod. Lk.15:22. And indeed, all the great things God brings about for her either by ungodly or graceless instruments, are no better than her servants or slaves. The Lord, her Master, will not put gracious men into their servile post; these being all like drudges in hot countries barefoot, whilst ‘tis her privilege, as a prince’s daughter, to be shod. But how shod? Why, she has her feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, Eph.6:15, insomuch that her walk with her Lord and Husband is both easy and ornamental. Song.8:5. She can tread the ground in Faith of Peace with God our Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom.1:7, and not feel anything underneath hurt her, in her communion-walk with Christ. No, if she treads upon the grave, Psal.23:4, or upon wicked men that are briars and thorns, need she be afraid of pricking and galling her feet, through her shoes of Gospel Peace, prepared to tread wheresoever this Prince’s Daughter, the Church of Christ, goes. Psal.45:10,13. Alas! For poor tender flesh and blood that will throw by the Gospel, and venture upon anything by themselves, without peace from God our Father, without any thing of the preparation of the Gospel of peace under them! Col.1:2 – I Thes.1:1. Oh! How are these even pricked unto death when they walk upon snares barefoot! Provided this Royal bride walks not, but sits still, and keeps with her Lord out of common motion, yet though she walks not, these shoes are a blessed ornament on her feet, in the eye of her only Lord and Bridegroom. So that Mr. Hunt hath no ways hit the truth neither, in this oracle of the Word.

The fifth Scripture misunderstood, is on Matthew 11:12, “and from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Our author {according to the common mistake} adapts it to a holy, dutiful violence in these words. “Here must be fighting {says he} if we hope to overcome, wrestling with principalities and powers, if we will win the prize, striving if we will enter, running if we will obtain.” The reason of which he gives is this. “The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” {Page 57}

I know people think generally, the place means as he writes, but they are mistaken. I confess I was some years ago led on to take this violence for a commended violence, a holy violence, an imitable violence, &c., as other men do to this day. I did it, when I was wont to take most things of this nature upon trust. How other men take them, perhaps I know not certainly but conjecturally, but how I took them from them I tell you; howbeit afterwards, finding a great part of the King’s coin clipped, counterfeit and washed over, I began to try and prove what I took, and upon trial I found the smooth exposition of theirs upon this place {among other things} to be naught, though so long, and so generally currant money with the merchant. {As in Justification they wash it over, and don’t tell us one half of the thing. For, it was all done by the First Person or the Father, in Christ, as the Pattern of doing it all by the Third Person or the Holy Ghost through Christ.}

The scope of the place shows it to be contrarily {than as it walks in common vogue} a carnal, sinful, disorderly violence which Christ complains of; not a holy, spiritual violence which he approveth or commendeth. This violence plainly was the rude multitude’s running up and down, thronging and crowding and pressing in upon Christ, Mk.5:31, merely out of novelty and curiosity, pressing in upon the Lord, his people, doctrines and miracles, Matt.12:38-39, {for at that time there lay the Kingdom of God} not from any principle of Grace, and a change of nature, as the approach should be, when the Laws and Rules of Christ’s House, Worship and Attendance, Psal.15:1 – Acts 5:11-13, upon his doctrines were fixed and laid open to the Churches after his Resurrection from the Dead, and after his Ascension into Heaven, and the pouring out of the Holy Ghost. {“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” I Cor.4:20.} For then, the Kingdom of Heaven should act men, and not suffer from men, as now it did in the assemblies, among those who outwardly for curiosity’s sake to see miracles, attended upon Christ’s Ministry, for which cause sometimes Christ withdrew. The reasons of this Exposition follow.

The date of this violence was of a very short limitation. It was but from the days of John the Baptist until now {as the text saith} that the Kingdom of Heaven suffered this violence. Such tumultuous crowds began soon after John’s ministry. For then it was, that they all ran out of novelty after John, Jn.5:35, who was Christ’s forerunner, but they never got any good by him; inasmuch that Christ rebuked them for this vanity, their running thus disorderly after a good man, and not knowing any just grounds why they went forth unto him. “What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?” Matt.11:7. Did not many of you come home, and laugh at the preacher, and tell what strange motions the man made? Sometimes turning himself this way, and sometimes bending himself that way, sometimes his motion would be downwards, by and by up again, like a reed? Have not you riddled John thus {ye men of this generation} for his postures in his work? {They that would say worse of him would not stick to ridicule him for his postures, when in the Fulness of God’s Spirit he was at any time carried forth. “For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, he hath a devil.” Lk.7:33.} Have you not run one after another at the talk about the man? Why, says Christ, if this was all you went out to see, you had even indeed as good have gone out to see a reed shaken with the wind. For, since it was not the doctrine of the man you looked at, a reed would have waved to and fro in the air, and have made as good a sight for you as he.

Now consider it, if this violence was but from the days of John the Baptist, how could it be a holy violence? A commended violence, to commence there? What, was there no holy violence before that time? Gen.32:24-28. If the Kingdom of Heaven be understood there to suffer by a holy violence, did none strive, did none fight, wrestle and engage before that time? What do we make of all the holy patriarchs and prophets that have been since the world began? Acts 3:21. It’s plain therefore it was an unholy violence, and complained of, from every one’s pressing in without reverence to see John, and after him to see Christ in the same rude and indecent manner, without any holy regard to Doctrine or Miracles, and what they came about; pressing in with their bodies, and not believing with their heart that God was in him of a truth.

The very phrase of suffering violence, “the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence,” argues it to be a complaint, and no commendation of the thing. For understand that violence in your thoughts to be holiness, and see what an odd phrase you would make Christ to speak, even no less than this, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers holiness, or else the Kingdom of Heaven suffers by holiness. Now what odd work will ye make either of these ways? If you mean by suffering holiness {and there is no avoiding it, for if indeed it be a holy violence, ‘tis holiness spoken of; then, if you mean, I say, by suffering this holiness} a permitting of holiness, you make holiness very oddly to be upon mere sufferance, and as it were tolerated at the beck of the Church. And who can endure or abide by that sense? Again, if by suffering the holy violence, you make it in the sense of suffering, I Pet.2:19, or suffering by this holy violence {neither can there be a third sense that I know of suffering} then what an odd phrase do you make it in Christ’s mouth? As if a holy violence or holiness in the violence was one of the sufferings of the Church of God. Rom.8:18. The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence; but now reduce the phrase under its own native construction, the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth an unholy violence, and then whether you take it in the sense of toleration, Acts 13:18, or of strict and proper suffering an evil, Lk.24:26, in the sense of undergoing the hardship of it, Matt.17:17, it easily falls upon a violence complained of, and a violence to be afterwards avoided. Neither can the phrase {the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence} be consistently understood in any other way, but in a complaining sense; and so proves it to be not a holy, but an unholy violence, even as the matter in the Church of God had not been till the days of John the Baptist, but had been so since, in an afflicting sense, as the word suffering signifies. James 5:10.

That it was a violent disorder, and a crowding in to see what was done in the extraordinary way of the Ministry, is plain, in that the spirit of prophecy, Rev.19:10, now from John’s time is restored, Jn.5:33, that had not been from the days of Malachi, till tidings were brought to Zechariah, of his son John the Baptist. Mal.4:5 – Matt.11:14. So that now instead of their “bath ḳōl” the daughter of a voice1, which the Jews pretended to have had all along in their second Temple, in the room of the spirit of Prophecy, here they had the spirit of prophecy indeed restored, in the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Matt.3:3, and that was this John, who had been filled with the Holy Ghost, Lk.1:15, even from his mother’s womb. Now this alarmed all the country, Matt.3:5, but it was never designed to sanctify all the country. It made them all hardy and resolute, Matt.3:7, as they would venture out and see, and press in upon John’s Ministry, and so they did upon the Ministry of Jesus, Matt.4:25, and attended both in great crowds, but it did not make them holy. It showed what was in men, that they were rude and carnal, and like the men of Bethshemesh would press hard upon Jesus, Lk.12:1, to look into this Everlasting Ark, so far as flesh and blood could pry. {“And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men; and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter. And the men of Bethshemesh said, who is able to stand before this holy LORD God, and to whom shall he go up from us?” I Sam.6:19-20.} But here is no Foundation to lay holiness upon this violence which the Kingdom of Heaven was suffering, while the violent were taken it thus by force.

Men do not consider it, that this is all spoken to the multitudes; and therefore when Christ speaks thus of violence in the way of everyone thus taking the Kingdom of Heaven, what can be so fairly understood as Christ’s reproof of these multitudes for their violence, and continued unbelief, that whilst every one of them was crowding and coming, and getting in among the rest for a sight of things, to know how matters went, few of all these multitudes got any good? Which had been utterly inconsistent, if the violence Christ meant, had been a holy violence. See verse 7, “Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, what went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?” This evidently proves that the multitudes had neither profited under John nor Jesus. For, upon his discriminating of John and his Ministry, and yet showing that Grace in Christ Jesus, did raise a man higher than the greatest performances in the world could, verse 11, he brings in this, “from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force,” verse 12, from whence it’s plain, ‘tis an unholy, reproved violence of which he speaketh to the multitudes, whilst the righteousness of God in Christ was utterly neglected by them. Psal.40:10. And then at verse 16 which {makes it undeniable} he compares all the generation of them unto children sitting in the markets and calling unto their fellows, and saying, verse 17, “we have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.” We of John’s disciples and once of your gang, called to you, and got you forth to come and hear his Doctrine upon some of his choicer subjects especially, but you have been never the better; you have not answered it in your lives, nor in your confessions of faith. Nay, our Lord tells these overruled Violencers, Jn.7:30, 7:44, &c., of the Kingdom of Heaven, at verse 19, that he suffered from the raillery, mocks and reproaches of these crowds that came and took the Kingdom of Heaven by force. II Sam.22:3. “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.” And this is far enough from pressing into the Kingdom of Heaven with a holy violence; but it agrees with a rude violence, a profane violence, a mischievous violence, {like that of your Cambridge scholars,} a striving to get in among them though it be but to inform against Jesus, and tell the Scribes and Pharisees after what manner he goes on.

Luke renders it “every man” presseth into it, Lk.16:16, “the law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” Now surely if every man pressed thus, and yet Christ likens the men of that generation in general to such as had received no good by the Means of Grace, it’s plain it could be no holy violence these used, but like dogs {as they were} rudely snatched the children’s bread, so far as they had any opportunity to come at it. Isa.56:11. Every man presseth, every man of that generation did take the Kingdom of Heaven by violence; every carnal man did it, and therefore he did it by the carnal violence. Every unholy, rude and disorderly wretch that ran out to please his fancy, Lk.15:1; and therefore he did it with an unholy, rude and disorderly violence, such as should be rectified in the Kingdom of Heaven, in the Church of Christ, afterwards, though now Christ would bear it.

The other way of interpretation about holiness, searching, praying, striving to get into Christ or storming Heaven {as they phrase it,} which many of our Nonconformists usually go on, is upon the very bottom which not only free-willers do in this matter, but upon which the Papists do go, when they blame the old world for not striving to get into Noah’s Ark. I will give you a proof of it from the ignorant pen of a Roman Catholic in the matter of Noah’s Ark, just like the common way used by some of your good men in pressing sinners to get into Christ from this text they abuse, concerning the Kingdom of Heaven suffering violence, and the violent taking it by force. Hear the Jesuit’s opinion. “It is a matter, says he, of extreme admiration and honor, that the Old World hearing Noah and his children to preach Universal Destruction for a hundred years together, and to build their Ark for avoiding thereof, yet to believe nothing, and at the last, seeing and beholding the continual rain, and waves of water to grow upon them, yet would they not repent, nor believe, nor seek to help themselves, nor come to Noah, nor offer to enter into the Ark, nor any way seek to help themselves thereby; but to delay from Day to Day, until all the remedy was passed.” Robert Persons {1546-1610 - priest of the Society of Jesus} his Christian Directory {1582} guiding men to their Eternal Salvation; for this is the name of the book; the place is at, chapter 7, page 746. But I pass on to another text.

The sixth Scripture misunderstood is Zechariah 13:1. Mr. Hunt brings in this fountain {quite beside the Holy Ghost’s scope} for the satisfying of thirst in these words, “but now {says he} Christ hath a satisfying virtue, his blood is drink indeed, and Christ is called a Fountain, in that day there shall be a fountain opened. Yea, he is an inexhaustible fountain,” and thus his coherence stands. {Page 63} That Fountain in the prophet is not set out as a fountain to drink of, but a fountain to wash in for Sin and for Uncleanness, as I have shown in my arguments about the filth of sin in chapter 23. God the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, opens it not for thirst, but for defilement. ‘Tis not as the blood of Christ is a cordial, but as his blood is an effectual bath. The scope ought better to have been attended to. Let every text be heard to speak the truth, and not made by us to speak more than what the Holy Ghost speaketh, as the cause of arguing from thence.

The seventh Scripture misunderstood is Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to day, and forever.” “Mind that {says he} Christ is the same today that he was yesterday, or in time past, for that’s the meaning.” {Page 65} So that he makes the yesterday to be the time past in common, without any regard to the scope; and that was to obviate the Jew’s calumny that Christ was young, and that the Doctrine of Christ was the doctrine of no long standing. Jn.8:57. They did not see any text that bid them believe on Jesus of Nazareth. In answer to this I tell you, says he, that though Jesus was brought up but a little while ago at Nazareth, Lk.4:16, and men are ready to stumble at the Jesus of that place, yet he is Jesus Christ, he is the Anointed of God, and he was the Glory-Man in the secret unction, of which the Old Testament had spoken, before he openly appeared; and so though you think his original to be but the other day, because his education was so at Nazareth, yet he is Jesus Christ, all through the time of the Old Testament which is now past, and so is distinguished the yesterday from today under the Gospel-Dispensation, distinct from that Prophetic Dispensation which was before, about his coming in the Flesh. {“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.” Col.1:26. “Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my Gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.” Rom.16:25. “Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I; and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.” Isa.48:16.} So that by yesterday the Apostle must needs mean under the Day of the Law, and not time past in general to fix it upon a yesterday of any sort, when any after-ages shall come {suppose} to reckon up our time, and make it to be yesterday unto them. Job 8:9. {“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” Job 19:25.} Nor is it, as if we might say, today, under the Gospel, yesterday was last year {because it is time past} or seven years ago, or ten, suppose under Mr. Hunt’s predecessor at Northampton, or the last age, or the last reign, or the like. Such a sense of yesterday {though Mr. Hunt fairly allows for it} can be no apt meaning for the period “yesterday” in Hebrews 13:8.

The eighth Scripture misunderstood is I Peter 2:7 first words, “unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” His words are these that follow, “unto you therefore which believe he is an honor, for so it is in the original.” Again, “to you therefore which believe he is an honor, as it may be read.” {Page 173} Aye? But he had hit it best of all at first, “to you therefore which believe he is precious.” Now let him talk what he can of the original, ‘tis nevertheless an ill marginal note {for, the coherence of a place – Rom.12:6, “the Proportion of Faith,” in the original, it is the Analogy and Coherence of Faith – and not any original word abstractly ought to govern} hath unwarily misled him into a Socinian gloss, which innervates the Satisfaction of Christ. For though the word separately taken in the original may sometimes signify an honor, yet it signifies a price too, and in this coherence must do so, as appears by verse 5, where the spiritual sacrifice offered up, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, or spiritual services of faith, love, &c., Phil.2:17, must be founded on and flow properly from the One, True and Proper Sacrifice of Jesus Christ to God, offered up for us. Hence these unbloody ones come to find such acceptation with God through Christ. Rom.15:16. Besides, the coherence brings in Christ {in an especial manner} as the saving Object of Faith, which could be no otherwise that in his blood for the elect as fallen, as he is a true Sacrifice for them. Rom.3:25. And then upon this believing, ‘tis concluded of the Experimental Virtue of this Blood, “unto you therefore which believe he is precious;” or, unto you therefore which believe, he is a Price. So ‘tis in the original, and so it ought to be read and understood. Besides again, “price” {price, a nearer word, to read it precious, than honor is to translate it precious,} the abstract must be a nearer word to give our translators a warrant to read it precious, than honor, as it is read in the margin {which Mr. Hunt calls the original} could be the near word to make them translate it precious. Therefore the translation of the original is more Orthodox than the marginal note, which in this coherence, I have proved belies the original. For abstractly here, the Greek word signifies price, and can signify nothing else so properly. Now ‘tis well known how the Socinians cavil at the word price, and by beating the word down from propriety into metaphor, labor hard to enfeeble and overthrow the strict payment of our debt to God by Christ. Now though I must withal grant that the word used elsewhere for price as a solution, is another original word, yet it may easily be held too that this original word in Peter signifies the intrinsic value of Him who gave Himself a Price of Solution for us. And this best agrees with the scope of the place as hath been shown. {“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mk.10:45.}

The ninth Scripture misunderstood is Revelation 21:24, “the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” “The meaning {says he} I humbly conceive, is, that when kings get to Heaven, they shall see all their glory and honor even swallowed up in the Glory and Honor of Christ.” {Page 85} I shall not open this text here, as I have done it already. {The Nations of them that are saved shall walk in the Light of it when it is the New Jerusalem, and the kings of the Earth do bring their glory and honor into the Place of it beforehand.} My work now will be only in a few words to lay open the ignorance of his humble conception. He tells us not why he humbly conceives it, for be sure there is not a word of it from the coherence, nor from the Analogy of Faith, nor from the homogeneal acceptation of the word in any other text. ‘Tis spoken of kings of the earth in general, but will kings of the earth in general get to Heaven? This consists not with these threatenings of the word against kings. Ezek.32:10, Psal.110:5, Psal.76:12, Rev.19:18-19, Isa.24:21, Ezek.32:29-30, Isa.41:25, Psal.107:40, Isa.40:23, &c. I remember ‘tis said of George Buchanan, a Scottish scholar, Tutor to King James I, that when he lay a dying, he sent this recommendation to that king, go and tell him, says he, I am going to a place where few kings come! I bring not this as a proof that he hath mistaken the text {for I give proof enough that’s distinct} but I make use of it as a memorable passage apposite to the occasion. Go to the promises that are made for the conversion of any of the kings of the earth, and there are great incongruities in this interpretation. Isa.60:3, Psal.138:4, Isa.49:7,23. As ‘tis so strangely forced as it will never stand by itself, to make the sight of all their glory and honor, swallowed up in the Glory and Honor of Christ, to be an introduction of the same into Heaven. I say, ‘tis a forced interpretation to make the kings of the earth, their seeing of this, to be their own bringing of their glory and honor into the City of the Holy Jerusalem, Rev.21:10, {yet the text saith, that they bring their glory and honor into it, to wit locally, though not correspondingly to the New Jerusalem Glory.} For, does their glory either descend or ascend after them, into another world, as Mr. Hunt’s interpretation carries it? ‘Tis most certain, that all kings who have been carried to Heaven have sweetly discerned beforehand by faith, that all their glory and honor is swallowed up in the Glory and Honor of Christ. {“For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him.” Psal.49:17. “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither; the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21.} They have seen this in their palaces, if they have belonged to any mansions above.

The tenth Scripture misunderstood is Isaiah 52:15. “You have a parallel text {says he} Isaiah 52:15, the kings shall shut their mouths at him; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider, they shall shut their mouths at him, i.e. shall be silent, as ashamed to mention their own glory and honor in his Presence; and ‘tis added, when that which had not been told them they shall see, &c., implying, that though so long as they were ignorant of Christ, and his Honor, they might boast of their own; yet when once they come to see, and consider his Honor, his Glory, and his Titles, they should be silent and boast no more.” {Page 85} How is this a parallel text to what he makes the aforesaid Revelation 21:24 to be? He tells us of the former text that John was speaking of the Holy Jerusalem; but is this in Isaiah spoken of the Holy Jerusalem too? How can it be? He tells us in his expounding Revelation 21, that the Holy Jerusalem is Heaven; whereas it’s plain, the place of Isaiah 52 is not Heaven, but the nations locally here below. For, the words are, “so shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him.” {“And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.” Hag.2:7.} These are spoken in a connection, and the accomplishment of the same prophecy can be fairly taken no other ways than in a connection too, “the kings shall shut their mouths at him,” at that very time when, and in that very place where, “he shall sprinkle many nations.” Now is the sprinkling of many nations a thing that’s done in Heaven or upon Earth?

The accounts in Scripture that are given of the Holy Jerusalem, make it plain that there will be contrarily an opening of the mouth of all who come thither. There will be a positive Exaltation of the Glory and Honor of the Lamb. Whereas it runs upon the negative in this text, no praises, no exaltation of our Redeeming Head; but here’s a shutting of their own mouths at Christ. The Kings shall shut their mouths at him. And then Mr. Hunt’s gloss is, that they shall shut up their mouths in shame. “Ashamed to mention their own glory and honor in his presence.” If their not mentioning their own glory in the presence of Christ arises out of their shame, it arises from that which is partly a punishment of sin, and so a part of the curse. Dan.12:2. But now in the Holy Jerusalem there shall be no more curse. Why then no more shutting of the mouth in shame, but an opening it in the high praises of God and of the Lamb. Rev.22:3. How then can any man think this to be a parallel text to a text which at the same time he thinks speaks of Heaven?

To put him out of doubt, the text in Isaiah 52:15 speaks of the progress of the Gospel under some convictions and connivences of Princes in their Government of the pagan world, which is all past since the favorable times of Constantine the Emperor, who was the first ‘Christian’ Monarch. For then did kings begin to shut their mouths, and not dare to utter {Julian the apostate excepted} those proud and contemptuous speeches against the Son, or Jesus Christ, who is God over all blessed forever, as they had been wont to utter. Exod.5:2. Nor did they publish such bloody and idolatrous edicts {for these are the mouths of Princes, who speak their minds unto the people} to give supreme honor to them and to their idols, as deities and declared objects of adoration, which ought to be paid unto none but God in Jesus Christ. This is the sum of the matter, as there are passages enough in the coherence of the chapter fitted to a conjunction of other passages in history that make it out beyond all reasonable denial. But I am now absolutely tied to brevity, and so pass forwards.

The eleventh Scripture misunderstood is Hebrews 1:2, “whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” “It is he that is possessor of Heaven and Earth, &c.” {Page 88} Here he confounds the Second Person as God, and the Constituted or Appointed Heir as Mediator, as if he were bordering upon the Eutychian heresy. Now these in the same Person ought to have been distinguished, not confounded. And also he runs upon another mistake, as if no difference ought to be made between the Father, who together with the Son and the Holy Ghost, coequal in Glory, is One God, Deut.6:4, and as such is absolutely {there in Genesis called by Abraham} the possessor of Heaven and Earth, Gen.14:22, and Him whom the Father hath appointed Heir, as here in the Hebrews. For possessor, Dan.7:18, and heir, Rom.8:17, are plainly two different relations. But I take notice that Mr. Hunt is everywhere very dark in his expressing himself touching the Person of Christ, and speaks as one who knows not the Mystery of his Person. And this is the foundation of very many of his errors which have been detected.

The twelfth Scripture misunderstood is Revelation 12:3, alluding to those words, a great red dragon having seven heads. “No sooner was Christ {says he} come into the world, but this Serpent, Satan, employed all the wit in his seven heads, that if possible he might have destroyed the blessed Jesus in his Infancy.” {Page 99} Now doubtless this wit of his about Satan in his seven heads, was thought by the manufacturer of the passage, to be a wonderful piece of subtlety; but ‘tis certainly the emblem of an ignorant and crazy mind. These seven heads of the Dragon, or the Devil, were the seven sovereign forms of Governors and Governments set up successfully in the Roman Empire, where Satan so imminently, as a Dragon, Rev.12:4-17, acted those regnant scenes. These were 1. Kings. 2. Consuls. 3. Decemvirs, or ten of the Roman nobility that for some time governed that Commonwealth together. 4. Tribunes; by some called tribunes of the people, by others Tribuni Militum, or tribunes of the soldiers, as infantry commanders. 5. Perpetual Dictators. 6. Emperors or Caesars. The seventh head, or form of the Government of the Dragon was in the second beast, Rev.13:11; the anti-Christian State of the Empire, or that which is commonly called the Roman Catholic Church, which hath assumed all the power of the first Beast, Rev.13:1-2, had done in the pagan state of the Empire; and this seventh form is that False Prophet, Rev.16:13, 19:20, 20:10, the Pope in his Monarchal Succession of Roman Pontiffs. Now, how could the Dragon, or Satan, with his Seven Heads set upon Christ in his Infancy? When five of those Heads or Kings were fallen, Rev.17:10, i.e., were passed over and gone, before Christ was born, and so could have no Relation to Christ in his Infancy.

The seventh head {to wit, the Popes at the Head of the anti-Christian Empire} was not yet come, and therefore that could not affect the Infancy of Jesus neither. These seven heads in the 12th of Revelation are called seven kings; that is seven sorts, or forms of rulers, as afore, kings, consuls, &c., which may be seen in the 17th of Revelation. Only the great difficulty there is at Revelation 17:10, “and there are seven kings; five are fallen.” These five fallen hath been explained, that the Kings, Consuls, Decemvirs, Tribunes and Dictators, were all passed over before John’s time, and so must needs have been before Christ’s Infancy too. Well, it follows, “and one is,” 17:10, one of these kings, or seven forms of governors, was in being when John wrote the Revelation, and that was the Emperors or Caesars. The other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue in a short space. Here now is the difficulty that I can’t meet with satisfaction in from any Interpreter. ‘Tis about what is said of the seventh head, or the Pope’s continuing but a short space when he should come; whose period nevertheless falls not till 1260 days, Rev.12:6, or 1260 years {each day being to be understood of so many years, as is usual in the prophetic style, Dan.9:24-27, Num.14:34, Ezek.4:6,} after his rise. Surely, it is a most unsatisfactory and groundless way of interpreting, to make the one thousand, two hundred and threescore years, allotted to the Pope’s continuance in the world, to be but a short space, even a moment, compared to eternity, as Durham goes to work; which methinks is idle, and not of the same piece of labor with that Masculine Expositor in many other things. There are such absurdities likewise in the transposition of these verses, and thereby making the Christian Emperors to be the eighth head, that I can see no grounds to admit it, because Christian Emperors and Popes are not successive to one another as these heads are, but have their mutual synchronisms, contrary to all discrimination of time, and to that successive order which was plainly all along in the six first heads of the Empire. I look upon the next verse, the 11th verse, in a conjunction with the History of the Popes, to be the best and only interpretation that cuts away the difficulty. “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” I do not understand this before the 10th verse, but take up all the interpretation after the 10th verse, as the order is put by the Holy Ghost in the text. The beast that was {in the pagan form, when idols, sun, moon and stars were worshiped} and is not {in the same pagan form of idolatry, but is the anti-Christian beast} even he is the eighth. How the eighth? Why as he is of the seven, because he rises out of the Constitution of the seventh form; that is to say, the Pope of Rome, as they were esteemed good bishops and tolerable archbishops, in the first Constitution of the Papal Hierarchy. Nevertheless being a hierarchy, which is a deviation from the Holy Ghost’s pattern, Lk.22:24-27, has laid the foundation of a Universal Monarchy in that eighth form of pride, tyranny and idolatry, the intolerable Popes, who all arose out of what some will have the tolerable. And so was a form of the seven, though in a manner {by reason of the true anti-Christian Denomination of the 1260 days or years} an eighth King, Monarch or sort of Ruler, distinct from all the former in the Roman Pagan Empire. Now the seventh governing power in the Empire, when Popes first began, was in the tolerable form {that is, such bishops of Rome as the Papists will have more anciently to be their Popes} before it grew bestial, beastly, Rev.13:11, and was, as the Holy Ghost foretold by John, that which continued but a short space. For presently came on other sort of Popes, Rev.16:13, 19:20, 20:10, that {to speak of them as all history agrees in substance, and as Dr. Humphrey Prideaux particularly speaks in form, “the Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews and Neighboring Nations,” 1715–17,} were usurping nimrods, luxurious sodomites, Egyptian magicians, devouring Abaddons, and incurable Babylonians. Oh! How aptly does the sacred style set the state of the Empire forth, even by a beast? A filthy glory upon which the Popes ride! A beast as if the Dragon had been acting his part in the first pagan beast over again, in this second, or anti-Christian beast, that is, the Roman Catholic Church, of the changed Empire that goeth into perdition. The very Pope now in the chair, Clement the Eleventh, is an incurable Babylonian. Christ fights against him, and yet he is not convinced, nor to be reclaimed, nor shall cease to be the antichrist, till he comes to his end, and none shall help him. {“Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” II Thes.2:3-4.} From the whole it appears, it could be only the sixth head, which was the Emperors or Caesars, that was the only capable form, or sort of Roman Government {wherein Satan’s wit in his seven heads lay, as Mr. Hunt thought prettily to phrase it} to set upon Christ when he came into the world. Nevertheless to shut it up, it was Satan by Herod the Ascalonian, son of Antipater, an Idumaean, Matt.2:13; and not by his seven-headed Roman, that actually persecuted Jesus Christ in his infancy.

The thirteenth Scripture misunderstood is John 1:16, “and of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” His words upon this are, that “Grace and holiness is in Christ essentially, so is it not in us creatures, whether angels or men.” {Page 111} Thus instead of showing, how Grace is communicated to us, and how received by us out of Christ’s fulness, he diverts to speak of the Angels, when he had here upon this text very carelessly mentioned them. But it’s a more notorious error to adapt this text so wrongly as to make the essential Grace and Holiness in Christ to be presently the matter which flows from that text; whereas ‘tis the treasured Holiness in Christ distinctly or the communicable Holiness as Mediator, not the incommunicable, which is received {under a work of God the Spirit} by us believers. Lastly, he should have owned it to be Grace received from Christ by us, as believers {for there lies the Holy Ghost’s work by the Gospel of Christ} and not have talked of Grace {Arminian-like, according to a natural notion the Arminians, Jer.2:11, have of Grace} that is to say in us, as creatures. It should have been said by us received, and as believers too, and not in us creatures. These errors of his are very dangerous! Oh! It is pity so many poor readers as know much of leases in house and lands, and much of goods in shop and warehouse, aye, and some of them much of Friday’s and Saturday’s notes for Lord’s Day’s service to be read, should generally know so little of the Gospel, as to find out almost nothing that perverts it, and brings in another Gospel, which yet by Revelation of Christ Jesus is not another, Gal.1:6,7, but a troubling of God’s tried ones, and a perverting of the Gospel of Christ. {“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.” Heb.2:3.}

The fourteenth Scripture misunderstood is Luke 10:33, about the Good Samaritan. This he applies to fall in the Person of Christ thus, “he is the Father’s free gift to lost sinners, and they may come to him without money, and without price; and that he that cometh to him he will in no wise cast out; well, thinks the soul, this is good news indeed, this is a Good Samaritan indeed.” Again, “sure this is the good Samaritan to cure those wounds we had received by rebelling against him.” {Page 159} Not to insist upon the superlative-error of accommodating wounds received by that certain man which went down to Jericho and fell among thieves, Lk.10:30, to the wounds received by rebelling against Christ, which are no more alike, than if you compared Goodwin-Sands with Tenterden-Steeple; I shall only strike at the foundation-error, his underlying of the soul’s mistake, that Christ and the Good Samaritan are both one. A popular error! Indeed I have not a word to say against any of the sound part of what I have transcribed. I embrace every clause of it, but I can by no means admit Mr. Hunt’s fostering up this poor soul he speaks of, in his vulgar and ignorant mistake, that Christ is the Good Samaritan.

‘Tis certain of Christ, he is no Samaritan at all, and therefore not the Good Samaritan spoken of in Luke 10:33. He of whom we cannot say in the abstract, that he is in any sense the Samaritan, of him we cannot say the concrete, that he is the Good Samaritan, without injury to the scope of the text and truth. Doubtless all those things put together there in Luke were a history, and true in fact. Lk.1:1. ‘Tis usually understood as a parable; but I make no doubt that Christ knew of such a thing in fact, and to take off the self-justification of the lawyer then in conference with Jesus, who thought to come off by raising a doubt upon the question, “who is my neighbor?” Lk.10:29. The Lord would presently convince him who was his neighbor by the instance of a neighborly Samaritan, showing that, he is thy neighbor that does neighborly. Now the Jewish people looked upon the Samaritans to be none of their neighbors {for the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans, Jn.4:9,} but thought them a kennel of dogs, and so hated them, and would never think well of anything they did, being none of Abraham’s fleshly stock. {As Christ put the Woman of Canaan in mind that the non-elect were dogs, and that her country folk were ordinarily so esteemed by the Jews, Matt.15:26, and what now, Woman, art thou got above thy stumbling at that provoking term of reproach? Can you bear it from the Jew that he treats the Syrophoenician race so harshly? Mk.7:26.} Well, but Christ would lay open matter of fact, and let them think on it. He would find out a Samaritan for them, and a man that for showing kindness was more neighborly than the very clergy, either Priest or Levite; for these both passed by the distressed man, and took the other side of the way, rather than come nigh and help him. But a certain Samaritan {one of that side they hated} came in and did the neighborly act at last.

Thus I take the matter up to be true, and in fact demonstrates a certain {not a feigned} compassionate man, who though his religion was naught, and he no topping professor {and the Jew did but spoil it too} to cry the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, &c., as the prophet says. Jer.7:4. For the Samaritans were so called from their worshipping in the mountain of Samaria, in opposition to that at Jerusalem, Jn.4:20; and the scope of the narrative is to show, that ‘tis not talking but doing, that men will always judge of our goodness by; and so Christ puts it to the Lawyer to judge, it being a matter obvious, and lying open to human judgment, and that upon the evidence of a human case. “Which now,” saith Christ, “of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” Lk.10:36.

But now to apply it to Christ, though say it was but a parable, is very indecent and anti-evangelical; and yet perhaps some worthy interpreters {besides Mr. Hunt} carry it so, as if the Good Samaritan in Luke was Christ, and Christ was the Good Samaritan. How can this be? For Christ being not of kin to the Gentiles, Jn.7:42, could never be meant by the Holy Ghost of a Samaritan. This Samaritan’s setting the wounded man on his own beast can agree to no action but a mere man’s intended by it. To call Christ therefore by that style which his very relation, Mic.5:1-2, {according to the flesh} forbids, and the circumstances and coherence of the text resists, is openly to abuse him, and most violently to wrest the Scripture. I Cor.2:13. I know when some men are at a loss in their nature-blindness to make out a text consistently, they tell you, it is a metaphor which must not be hunted down, or a similitude that must not go of all four; or, as if the Holy Ghost knew not how to speak every word significantly, {when it is only their own darkness, Job 37:19, which is at a loss about his proper signification,} they make some of his language to be a mere embellishment, or a sort of beautifying art to set off all the rest, having no strict signification of its own. A Malicious Insinuation Indeed! Having {to be sure} more of the devil, than the design of the man in suggesting it! As if God’s Word held true in some things, but holds not true in others; and so rather than yield that the Holy Ghost hath spoken all things consistently upon the One Foundation, I Cor.3:11, throughout the coherence and structure of the several parts of the Word, they’ll put in their bold nonsense. Yes, they will obtrude inconsistence upon the sacred pen, rather than yield that themselves have blurred their own paper. Job 42:3.

If others {to make the shaken interpretation stand} will boldly allegorize the two pence, and make them to be the Law and the Gospel, let them resolve it, how could these be said to be given to the host? For, how could that host be a church-officer or any other dispenser of the Word who must be supposed to have done nothing towards the distressed man fallen among thieves, but what in strict justice he was paid the two pence for; and being a stranger to the man ought to have been so paid for his care of the said wounded man brought unto him by the Samaritan in the Inn?

To allegorize consistently, they must allegorize the two pence, and as I have said some do it, into Law and Gospel. Now let these mind this, that two pence are equivalent, or both of the same value; they will go as far, one as the other, will do as much by their worth one penny as another {let it be Roman pence or English pence, one Roman penny was as much in value as another Roman penny; so one English penny will advance as far in the currency of a penny as another.} Well, but is the Law of the same Value, Power, Influence and Effect as the Gospel? If so, then the Gospel is not so much a New Law, as the unhappy Neonomian flatters himself in his own eyes, Psal.36:2, till his iniquity hath been found to be hateful, as it would be an equal Law, and Mount Sinai’s Law doubled. {“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Gal.2:16.}

How can free Grace-men themselves, if they apply the Good Samaritan to Christ, come off with the Principles of the Gospel, about repaying the host for his over-plus care and charges, Lk.17:10, beyond the former payment of the two pence, Lk.10:35, if he spent more upon this man that fell among the thieves? For ‘tis said, “whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”

If all this had been intended mystically, and not {as it is} naturally, how comes it to pass, that Christ refers the decision of the matter to a natural man? For it was a certain lawyer tempting him, verse 25, that is, he studied how to entangle our Lord in a very nice question {as he took it} in his own profession of the Law of God, as to what he should do to inherit Eternal Life? Do? Why according to thy principles, lawyer, Matt.22:35, thou must keep the Law, and love thy neighbor though he be a Samaritan, so far as he shows any good in him, as much as thou lovest one of the seed of Abraham, yea, as much as thou lovest thy own self. This is the Law, man, if thou wilt be saved by keeping of the Law. This lawyer was a Jew, and the Jews require a sign, I Cor.1:22; well, a sign they shall have, and this Jew had a notable one, in natural things, where a natural man can make the judgment. But can he make a judgment of Gospel Mysteries? No. Therefore all this speech of Christ about the Samaritan, was nothing about the Mysteries of the Gospel. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” I Cor.2:14. A natural man has not the proper capacity for them. He has capacity enough for things that fall within his own sphere, but he has not a capacity {because he has nothing spiritual of Christ in him} to understand the great things of God. {“If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” Jn.3:12. “He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” Matt.13:11.} Nevertheless this lawyer, though a natural man, had a natural capacity to take in the matter upon which Christ was speaking to him; for Christ plainly referred it to him, Lk.10:36, and he took it in, and he took in the notion of it correctly, inasmuch as there is not one word of Christ’s blaming him for his misconceptions, as when he spake with Nicodemus about the Spiritual Mystery of Regeneration, and blaming him for his misunderstanding. Jn.3:10. But here as to the lawyer, Christ commends his own decision of the question {as to who was his neighbor} as himself had first put it. On the whole, it’s evident that it is a foul misapplication, to go and take up the matter upon trust one from another, without weighing it {and as Christ says, searching the Scriptures, Jn.5:39,} and their own making Christ {in the 10th of Luke} to be the Good Samaritan indeed.

The fifteenth Scripture misunderstood is Hebrews 3:18, “and to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?” Mr. Hunt’s misunderstanding of this text is his application of it to Heaven, in these words, “yea, he has given his oath that such shall not enter into Heaven.” {Page 166} They in the wilderness to whom Christ sware should not enter into his rest were Moses and Aaron, as well as the people they led out of Egypt. These entered not into rest, by reason of their Sin and Unbelief in the wilderness. Heb.3:19. These all died in the wilderness, and never reached the Land of Promise; therefore that rest was the Land of Promise which they reached not. Heb.11:9. It could not be Heaven, inasmuch as none can suppose that Moses and Aaron were excluded from Heaven; yet these were of the excluded number which he sware should not enter into his Rest. Therefore that rest was Canaan, and a settlement there after their weary travels in the Wilderness. Josh.22:4, Deut.12:9. And the further application of that rest in the next chapter is plainly made out to be a Gospel-Rest of the soul by Faith, Heb.4:1-2, in the Spiritual Kingdom of Christ, the Church, under the Ordinances of Christ; and particularly, that great Ordinance of the Lord Christ, an Evangelical Sabbath-Day or Sacred Day of Rest, into which the Lord entered. For by his Resurrection from the dead, and ceasing from all his own proper works of Redemption, as God did from his of Creation, Heb.4:10, he entered into the Sabbath or this Sacred Day of Gospel-Rest. And as the First Day is this day of rest, so he entered into it by his rising out of the grave on the First Day of the Week, Matt.28:1, Mk.16:9, accordingly, he entered into rest by entering into the Sabbath-Day, which thereupon took its denomination rather from the Author of the Day, than from the rest of that day, Mk.2:28; and so to distinguish it from the Creation-Sabbath, Jn.9:14, Acts 16:13, is rather called the Lord’s Day, Rev.1:10, than the Sabbath-Day. {Acts 18:4, 13:14,27,42, 15:21, all which places are spoken of the Creation-Sabbath.}

Moreover, Christ in rising from the dead so entered into his rest, or into his Lord’s Day-Sabbath, on the First Day of the Week, that he presently kept that Sabbath, or Rest with his disciples, by coming and standing in the midst of them, and saying “peace be unto you,” when they were assembled, or met together, on the First Day of the Week. Lk.24:36, Jn.20:19. And we see that the Jews who believed not, were excluded, Rom.11:8-10, and are excluded in their unbelieving posterity from entering into this Lord’s Day-Sabbath or First Day Rest, to meet with Christ in Ordinances, and so to find a spiritual rest in their souls, to this day. Heb.4:3. This Sabbath-Rest now, or Lord’s Day-Rest on the First Day of the Week, which none but they that believe do, or can, enter into {let men otherwise have what notions they will of the Sabbath} is the seal and earnest of a full and local rest, at last, when the Jews are called, in that glorious Sabbath to come, Acts 3:21, in the same original Land of Promise, Gen.17:8, where the first Canaan rest began, and that at “the times of refreshing” which shall come from the Presence of the Lord in his Glorious Kingdom, Acts 3:19, after that Rest which now remaineth to the people of God is over, Heb.4:9; or after this First-Day-Sabbath, which is now kept and spiritually enjoyed through Faith, in Communion with God, shall be completely ended among the Glorious Church; and another Glorious Sabbath-Rest, II Pet.3:8, commence in the Land of Promise, and remain a thousand years, a Heavenly Country-Rest. Heb.11:14. And then after it all the residue of the dead being judged out of the books, Rev.20:5,12, and the whole scene of Wonders in the New Heavens and New Earth finished, II Pet.3:13, with the Second Resurrection and the Second Judgment, Rev.20:12, the Kingdom shall be delivered up to God even the Father, I Cor.15:24, and the whole body of the righteous shall enter into Everlasting Life, Matt.25:46, and so remain in the Highest Heaven, I Thes.4:17, where Christ now is, at the right hand of God, to all Eternity, swallowed up in the Glorious Persons of God, with whom the Saints have had their sweet communion, even with Father, Son and Spirit. Amen and Amen. {“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” I Jn.1:3.}

The sixteenth Scripture misunderstood is Matthew 24:30, “and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Now see the ignorant and wild gloss upon this passage. “No sooner {says he} do they see him coming in his Glory to judge them, but they begin to mourn. Oh! What a heart-breaking sentence will that be, depart from me? How will they in anguish of spirit reply, what from thee Lord! This is a hard saying who can bear it? If our sentence may not be reversed, let these words from me be left out and we are satisfied.” {Page 190}

Sure there never was a more ignorant conception of the Proceedings of that Day! As if the goats that shall be set on the left-hand would act in the Day of Judgment {for here I argue but from the matters as he lays them} according to this incoherent scheme. As if those words “from me” were not some essential part of their sentence, as it is described in Matthew 25:41. As if the said goats would sue for a reverse of that part of their sentence “from me,” otherwise than it is his Terrible Presence and Destroying Glory-Power against them, II Thes.1:9, sooner than a reverse of the remainder of it, to alter that which is most terrible to the wicked, “depart ye cursed into everlasting fire.” However, as to the unreasonableness of this conjecture about the behavior of the non-elect at judgment, Matt.22:12, filled with anguish from other causes than any consideration at all of the loss of parting with Christ {for they’ll be never found in Christ; also in judgment Christ can be clothed only before them with terror, and so be no way desirable to them} I have considered it in the due place before.

I do now present it as a corrupt gloss upon that text in Matthew 24, which hath nothing to do with the Last Judgment in the latter part of Matthew 25. This appearing of the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven is set forth as the glorious means of Conversion to the elect Jews at the latter day, in the morning-judgment of the Kingdom, not in the evening-part of the same Day of Judgment. Some are to get up in their bodies early, Rev.2:28, “and I will give him the morning Star,” i.e., he shall have part in the First Resurrection, Rev.20:6, when many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, and shine as the stars for ever and ever. Dan.12:2. How? By a bright conformity of their bodies to the Glorious Body of Christ in that Kingdom-Glory. Phil.3:21. Now at opening of this scene at the Latter Day, all the Jews through the whole earth shall see the Lord Christ coming in the Clouds of Heaven. Matt.26:64. {“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” Rev.1:7.} These shall first mourn to see the sign of a Crucified Jesus, and yet shall find Mercy of the Lord in that day, II Tim.1:18, and shall look upon him whom they have pierced, though they shall be in great bitterness, till he {after some time} heal the stroke of their wound. Isa.30:26. Therefore the Prophet Zechariah speaks of this in his 12th chapter, and sets it forth by a very great mourning in the close of that chapter. {“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zech.12:10.} And at that time, {it follows,} Zech.13:1, “there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Rev.1:5. It had been better if Mr. Hunt had took notice of this in his note upon Zechariah 13:1, to have expounded Matthew 24:30 by it, than have wandered so impertinently from both the texts. For he hath done so in the other text of Zechariah, which I produced in the sixth instance of this chapter, and he hath wandered so by corrupting this text of Matthew, as I show here in the sixteenth instance.

The seventeenth Scripture misunderstood is John 15:5, “for without me ye can do nothing,” or “separate from me, as it may be read.” {Page 196} It may be read! It must be so read. The Greek bears no other construction of the phrase “without me.” He is speaking of their union in him as branches in the Vine, which if intercepted from the stock, broken off, or cut off, do wither, and cannot bud, flourish, or bear one grape. Jn.15:4. “Without me” therefore must be “separate from me” ye can do nothing.

The eighteenth Scripture misunderstood is Psalm 16:6, “the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” This he sacrilegiously takes away from Christ, and applies unto the saints. “They may say in their lowest condition, the lines are fallen unto me, &c.” {Page 213} If the Holy Ghost in David spake it with an eye to Christ, “the lines are fallen to me,” as the Holy Ghost in the Apostle, Acts 13:35, plainly makes out the scope of the 16th Psalm to be, then why should the “me” be turned into another sense that ought grammatically to be rendered by an us? If it was the saints, it would rather have been the lines are fallen unto us; but ‘tis meant of Christ, and therefore is expressed the lines are fallen unto me. In a word, it could not be said of David in the singular number, as Saint, but as Type, the lines are fallen unto me. {I Sam.13:14, “the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart,” i.e., a man that is in God’s eye a type of Christ-Man.}

There are divers other texts of Scripture he corrupts and damages, touching a description of the Person of Christ, as the Priest, King and Prophet risen from the dead, and having Communion with his Church. {Col.2:19, Christ the Head of Influence fills all the members of his Body with life, motion, strength and holiness, as in Eph.1:23.} For these in the Canticles he perverts to a description of Christ in his dying condition. Song 5:11-15. I have reserved these material places about the Person of Christ in the Canticles or Song of Solomon to close the chapter with. For in this one cluster of texts I have chosen no regard to the order of pages in his book, as in all the other texts I have, and therefore had proposed mostly to observe that order. How woefully here doth he mangle things! Let me go over the several parts of the description.

The nineteenth Scripture misunderstood is Canticles 5:11, former part, “his head is as the most fine gold.” “O! See his head {says he} which was as the most fine gold, now wearing a crown of thorns, and the blood gushing out.” {Page 103} As if “head” there signified the natural head abstractly belonging to his Human Nature. This cannot be; for, the sufferings of his entire Human Nature having been set forth before, verse 10, as a very amiable object in the eye of faith, {which yet Mr. Hunt seems to depreciate and subvert, by introducing the Offense of the Cross, I Cor.1:23, which flesh and blood hath stumbled at, Matt.16:21,22, as a rueful object, for so hath Mr. Hunt managed it to an eye of sense and spoiled it, though the Song represents it,} according to the Pure Glory of the Man in the Second Person of God, and according to the amiable ruddiness of his Precious Blood, as he suffered upon the tree, I Pet.2:24. His head therefore in the 11th verse must be his Kingdom, since his Kingdom is founded in his Covenanted Blood, and the Priestly Office having been subservient to the Kingly, and he being entered into Heaven with his blood to plead, Heb.9:12, and there to ask of the Father, Psal.2:8, who is to grant him in the merit of his blood. This “white and ruddy” Beloved therefore is immediately represented according to his Worth, Beauty and Merit in the 10th verse, as a crowned Head and Government of the most absolute, intrinsic value in the 11th verse, and this Government of his is set in opposition to all those heads of beasts, Dan.2:32,38, the pagan and impure governments, or monarchial constitutions in Daniel; to wit, the four monarchies, the Babylonian, the Persian, the Grecian and the Roman, all which the prophet had opened in the interpreting of Nebuchadnezzar's Dream.

On verse 11, latter part, he carries on, but oh; how ignorantly upon this glorious article does he darken counsel, as the Holy Ghost says in Job? Job 38:2. “His locks {says he} which were as ravens, now wet with the drops of the night.” {Page 103} But now instead of opening the true words of the text {“his locks are bushy, and black as a raven,”} or rightly adapting them in a proper hint {which may be often done without full explication} he confounds them with another text, Song 5:2, “my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night,” and when he is got beside the point into this other text too, he misinterprets it, and never comes near the meaning there; for the words in Song 5:2 are spoken of other Sufferings of Christ, Lk.6:12, {Christ suffered in the weather, as to the drops of the night, being abroad so early at his work before Day, as in Mark 1:35,} and not of those on the Cross, and therefore here he bewilders and loses his reader by running of two texts, whose signification lies far asunder, into one.

But, to the words in Song 5:11, “his locks are bushy, and black as a raven,” for these stand next to his “head of fine gold.” These locks do signify the thoughts and care of God in Christ towards his spouse, as a provident and indulgent Governor in the constant and beautiful workings, Eccles.3:11, {the LORD “hath made everything beautiful in his time,”} of his Providence, which arises out of the Constitution of his Kingdom in the Church. {“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.” Eph.1:22.} And as the hairs of the head are many and innumerable, so are the thoughts of God in the Man Jesus towards his people. “Many O Lord my God {says the Psalmist typically, and Christ Himself there said it mystically of Head and members, of Bridegroom and spouse joined together,} are thy wonderful works, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward, &c.” Psal.40:5. So Psalm 139:17-18, “how precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand.” He hath as many hairs in Providence, as we have hairs that need protection. And his hair is called his locks, not only for the beauty of his Providences, he having made everything beautiful in his time; but for the Mystery of his Providences, in thick hair, bushy and secret curlings of his wise and thoughtful Dispensations. And yet “black as a Raven” to denote his native, inexausted vigor, who was once too of 33 years and 1/2 of age in this world; it was no counterfeit or artificial hair, nor is his Providence what he borrows from the policy of Prince’s courts, nor the wisdom and learning of the times in all his interwoven thoughts. Thoughts do not spend him, nor care make him, as it does us men that are troubled, thoughtful and striking into years, and worn out with days of our vanity, gray-headed. And yet being truly the Ancient of Days, as the Glory-Man, hath his hairs white as snow too. Rev.1:14.

The twentieth Scripture misunderstood is Song 5:12, “his eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.” On which place, Mr. Hunt’s words are these, and only these. “His eyes {says he} which had been as doves, and which had been so often lift up to God in prayer for thee and me, now set, and the eye strings breaking.” {Page 103} Thus it is plain that he insists upon the bodily eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ, and as those bodily eyes are fancied to himself to have been, when our Lord was dying upon the cross, or as he hung upon the cross, as he says, in his dying condition. As if the “fitly set” here was set, as eyes are said to be set at one’s death. Pitiful ignorance and abuse of the Sacred Mystery! What a woeful misunderstanding is here all along of this precious Representation of the Person of Christ in the Canticles!

To open it in a few words {if the Lord please,} his eyes are the eyes of God the Lord; or the eyes both of the Omniscience and Humanity together in the same Person of Christ. They are clear and piercing, innocent and tender, lovely and very much in motion. They are eyes running to and fro throughout the earth, II Chron.16:9, as the Operations of the Divine Nature are every way qualified in the Mediator, by reason of the Humanity, in eyes of flesh, to look upon the condition of sinful men with a perfect and thorough discerning of them, and yet not destroy them, though God be in Himself a Consuming Fire. Heb.12:29. These eyes are as the eyes of doves made known to be tender of our welfare {in the proper flesh of Christ} in all things. Eyes of flesh absolutely without sin, though in the Humanity made like his own dove in the clefts of the rock. Song.2:14. He hath eyes of flesh in the same nature with his own people. Heb.2:14. Thus, his eyes are condescendingly as doves, such doves as he makes to be like Himself transformingly. II Cor.3:18. Likewise, under the Power of Christ, his Church, that scared dove of His, comes out of the clefts and the secret hidings of his hand, Habak.3:4, to his own Word and Ordinances, so meets in his Public Worship by the rivers of waters, or the flowings of Gospel Grace and Spiritual Refreshments brought down from the Fountain Head of life by the Holy Ghost, Psal.36:9, to be waters of the sanctuary, where Christ is sweetly present with them; present in consolation and tears of joy, present in heavenly soul-meltings and self-abasement, when he comes down into the valleys of our low lands and humble condition, by the descending of the Holy Ghost. Acts 10:44. These eyes of doves still are looking, and looking that in the main all things be kept right, as one that will not bear to be disturbed at these milky streams of the pure Doctrine of Grace, but will be suddenly on the wing, soon flee off and withdraw, when he finds occasion from disorders, and sees his own time, even as doves naturally will, when they have been hovering and falling about the water-brinks. Well, the Omniscience of Christ is so sweetened with Grace in becoming Man, as takes off its awful terror from the spouse. Nahum 1:6,7.

“Washed with milk and fitly set.” There is so much of the Doctrine of Grace, so much of the Promises, even the Pure Milk of the Word, the Word of Prophecy, the Mystery of Grace made manifest, that has revealed the true Flesh of Christ, Eph.3:4-5, together with all the proper ends of the open Incarnation, that the more his Person {the Person of Christ} is considered and viewed by Faith according to the Word, II Cor.5:7, the more pleasant and delightful are these Dove-like eyes of the Lord, being not all Omniscience without eyes of flesh, nor all eyes of flesh without Omniscience, I Tim.3:16; but yet taken both ways in his Mediatorial Person, God-Man, they are eyes that are fitly set, even to an extraordinary beauty to be by Faith beheld. {“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” I Pet.3:12. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Gen.6:8.} They stand not too far in to God, to be taken up with nothing else but his own Glory and Perfections abstractly, Psal.11:4; then every look of them towards the sinful creature must destroy it, Psal.104:32; they are not eyes sunk so deep in the Humanity, as that the Divine Omniscience, by reason of God’s own Spirituality, is not seen, nor believed to be in the Man Christ Jesus, Jn.2:24-25, nor are they eyes standing out too far, or near the Object, as if the Lord Jesus Christ had only the Humanity in him, Jn.9:32-38, and so was only in Honor and Power raised {as another man might be} and not in his own Necessary Being above us. Jn.10:30. No. It is not thus; but as He is represented in the Word, all his Knowledge he has every way of us, as God, is most condescendingly tempered with the Man, Heb.4:15-16, so as thereby all his knowledge and sight of our sins, wants, burdens, sorrows, temptations, is a knowledge of them for us and not against us. Oh! It is so admirably provisioned, that that terrible Attribute of God, his Omniscience, is brought down into a Blessing and Doctrine fitted to our Communion with the Most High. In one word, his Mediatorial discoveries do render him beautiful, illustrious and glorious in communion. {“And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, thou God seest me; for she said, have I also here looked after him that seeth me.” Gen.16:13.}

The one and twentieth Scripture misunderstood is Song 5:13, “his cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers; his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.” This is the whole verse, but Mr. Hunt grievously tortures and distracts a versicle {or one part} of it from another, that is, makes use only of the former part, and that too altogether from the meaning into a foreign gloss. Eccles.7:24. And who could ever have thought upon it so widely as he, from hence to set forth Christ in his dying condition, from the very description of him in his risen State of Glory? However, what he ventures to say is this. “His cheeks which were as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers, now growing pale and wan.” {Page 103}

And why pale and wan to faith? Were his cheeks ever {doth Mr. Hunt think} as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers, to sense, even before his Crucifixion? This was oddly thought on, for contraries mutually illustrate one the other. Pale and wan? Why not rather his cheeks {if you fell in with his way of accommodating, or fitting it to Christ} even in his dying condition, as a bed of spices still, far beyond all the sweet odors unto sense, Eph.5:2, though you threw in that composition-perfume of Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and {yet at last} “brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight,” whilst they “took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.” Jn.19:39-40. Is he not unto Faith {provided faith be in exercise} the same Precious Person still? Are not his cheeks to Faith as sweet a bed of spice, though it views him on the Cross, as ever? Was it not his precious body that made the grave and the tomb ever since, unto his own, a balmy place of rest?

Nevertheless, the Holy Ghost in these verses hath set forth his Bodily Glory, not his bodily shame, as Mr. Hunt hath woefully misapplied them. In this glorious context of our Risen Lord we have his description on the Throne, not upon the Cross, or in the Grave. Mr. Hunt is so often out, that I scare know where he is in, in these Canticles. The cheeks of Christ are a part of his face, when he is but seen of one side under any one fresh change of his Dispensations. Suppose I see him but on one side in his Beauty and Faithfulness in the Everlasting Covenant, II Sam.23:5; why though I can’t presently fathom all he is therein, and see all his Beauty upon the spot to know him thereby to be my own, for sometimes he appears but half-face to me, Isa.8:17; yet when ‘tis so, still I see by Faith that this is best for me. Besides, so much as I do see of him; oh, Christ is a sweet and overcoming beauty in mine eye, Zech.9:17; and I may be sure there is something correspondent, though yet I see it not on the other side! Oh! Still by Faith I can discern it, Isa.65:1, that his favor in a glance {though comparatively to what it is at other times is but a little discovery thereof, yet still I say} is better to my soul than life? Psal.63:3. Oh! These precious cheeks of Christ do imminently display themselves to the faithful soul or bride; as they are seen to rise far above any mere Ordinance in the Church, as a bed of spice may be raised higher than other plats in the same garden of fruits. Oh! These cheeks display themselves in sweet and transient glances to my soul through the lattice, Song.2:9, although many a grate, or an un-expounded Mystery, nay, though my sins {self-darkness, and ill deservings} may for a time hide away the rest of that beauteous Face in Heaven. Isa.59:2. His inviting comeliness, his cheering prospects, are not always seen alike. There be ups and downs in a Christian’s state, and often times but a few of Christ’s delightful features beheld in his Face at once. Psal.30:5-7. The glass is sometimes sullied, and the lookers out at the Windows are darkened; and therefore the glances of his cheeks are a welcome sight to faith. Psal.130:5-8. The Bridegroom’s entire face may not be seen, when yet his cheeks successively, sometimes glanced of one side, and sometimes sweetly cast another side, are. II Sam.12:13-14. Though his whole face I say, is not seen at all times, or through every cloud, no, nor yet in every glass is observable, yet some eminences of his love appear, while other parts are hid. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, where the bed or bank of earth is above the walk, and in these remarkable elevations there are the sweet and fragrant spices, and manifestations of the love of God that comfort and refresh the spouse, Jn.14:22, though it be but sometimes seen on the half-face of Jesus; or whilst he seems to look aside more to another saint than me. {“Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.” Psal.119:132.}

On the remainder of verse 13, {his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh,} this brother passes over the words without naming them, to prepare his way and make room for that affront of Christ Crucified at the bottom of his page, “his mouth {says he} is now speechless, and only utters some dying sobs and groans,” which has been more largely confuted in Chapter 14. I shall only now observe that if in the body of Christ’s humbled flesh his lips were still dropping sweet smelling myrrh, in the doctrine of his mouth, Song.5:16, Lk.4:22; how much more in the days of his Glory, since his Doctrine of the Spirit going along with his Everlasting Gospel is dropping down as the rain, and his speech distilling as the dew, Deut.32:2, in the Free Grace of God, with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven, which things the Angels desire to look into? I Pet.1:22.

The two and twentieth Scripture misunderstood is Song 5:14, “his hands are as gold rings set with the beryl; his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.” These words {in the former part of the verse} are still perverted in these sermons in regards to the Doctrine of the Cross. Gal.1:7. “His hands {says that author} which were as gold rings, set with the beryl, now bored through and nailed unto the cross.” {Page 103} By hands are meant his Operations of Grace performed by his Great Power and Abilities of Mediation for his spouse, since he is gone openly into Heaven {for, I remember that saying, “he is not here, he is risen,” Matt.28:6; he is not in all this glorious text and coherence, where Mr. Hunt hath laid him on the Cross; but the text shows him me to be a Glorious Christ upon the Throne. I Pet.3:22.} Then his hands are as gold rings, that whilst he embraces us, who are his spouse, by the Operation of his hands, sending down more and more of his love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us, Rom.5:5, yet by this bestowment in embracing us, he still retains the Glory due unto his Name, Psal.29:2, and gives away none of his personal Honors and Endowments proper to Himself; and because through our darkness it may sometimes seem thus, as if he did; as in a hand that embraces another with a gold ring, though the gold ring be fixed on the finger of the Embracer, yet some parts of the ring are then on the inside, and stand next to the embraced; therefore it is thus expressed.

“His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl,” for the beryl always filling up the cavity or hole, in the fold of a gold ring, stands outmost from the other part which touches the embraced; to show that in our highest and most exalted Communion with God in Christ, he never gives anything away that empties him, Jn.17:24, but all his Personal and full Glories are duly pointed off from us, and stand fixed and embossed towards Himself alone, who is above us, and on our outside in the Heavenly Glory, within the veil, Heb.6:19-20, as he sits upon the Throne, whilst he embraces us by his Spirit here below; and all by the celestial Appointment of his Father. Again, his hands are as gold rings set with the beryl. How? The Lord finds us often up to the ears in muck, and yet such is his Infinite Perfection in acting towards us, that when he cleanses us afresh by renewed Applications of his Blood, I Jn.1:7, he never fouls his gold-ring-hands in doing it!

On the rest of verse 14, Mr. Hunt has omitted the continuation of his paraphrase, not knowing perhaps in his deepest meditations what to say thereon, in his applying the matter to Christ in his dying condition, after the odd fashion he had undertaken, “his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.” His belly, or his bowels, as the same Hebrew word, verse 4, is rendered, when there speaking of the spouse, must here signify Christ’s intense and ardent affections to the Church. His love and his pity to them is that which he hath borne all the days of old. Isa.63:9. And as a Father pitieth his children with the most compassionate bowels, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. Psal.103:13. His bowels, the ardent affections of our Lord, are as bright ivory polished and prepared by becoming Man, that now in Christ standing in God there’s a new and living way found out, Heb.10:20, and ready at hand, without any blot upon Holiness, or stain to Justice; but is as bright ivory in showing mercy to the fallen spouse, under the once Imputation and Bearing of her faults, rather than bowels of love would suffer his spouse to perish for them! I Pet.2:24. Oh! Now it is we may behold how this Love shines! Oh! Taste and see, behold how it glisters and transcends in God to men through the Man Jesus! Psal.34:8. Oh! It can’t now in a Gospel-Day be hid from poor sinners, but breaks out in polished views, and discovers the Mercy of God upon the Mercy-Seat, white and pure abundantly! Oh! The bowels, the bowels of Christ as bright ivory, do show, that however some of God’s Dispensations to thee may be black, and dark at first beholding, and thou mayest see them now and then afflicting, saddening, casting down thy soul, Psal.42:11, yet the love of God in Christ, his tender bowels of Mercy, Lk.1:78, do never admit of the least spot to stain them. Not a black speck to sully or defile them. Yea, so brightly is his Love displayed in Christ as not to give thee grounds of jealousy, as if there was any abatement of his love in Christ, or could be a lessening of these ivory-bowels towards thee.

The next is, “overlaid with sapphires.” It’s no matter what the Lapidarys, or the writers upon precious stones {such as Theophrastus, Joannes de Laet, Boetius de Boot, Rueus, and others} say of the hidden qualities of the Sapphire. Let me only attend to the curious color the Holy Ghost, Isa.54:11, intimates to be in that precious and pleasant stone unto the eye, in the Word overlaid, to suit with the discovery of ivory-bowels in the preceding versicle. These bowels of mercies overlaid with sapphires do show from their Heavenly Original, that they are in Christ Evermore Unchangeable. Mal.3:6. The blue sapphire, of the azure color of the Heavens, hath the Unchangeableness of a Covenant-Mercy build up forever, and established in the very Heavens, by him that hath his Throne there. Psal.89:2. It’s plain to our naked eye, that albeit clouds, which so often cover the face of the Heavens from us, are of a different color as they are seen in the aerial regions, to wit, sometimes black, I Kings 18:45, sometimes bright, Job 37:21, now watery, at another season speckled, &c., yet the sky when purged of clouds and of the grosser vapors in the atmosphere, is always the one and the same Cerulean blue. The color of the Sapphire is said by writers to be much of the same nature. Well, these bowels are overlaid with precious heaps of sapphires; even abundant demonstrations of good will toward men, Lk.2:14, from him that sits in Heaven; multiplied assurances of tender Grace overlaid with clusters of the Promise from a God that cannot lie, Tit.1:2; reiterated signs and proofs of standing firm to his Mercy, in all the sweet and open and long engagements of it. An Unchangeable Mercy to his Church! Ivory-bowels overlaid with sapphires, unchangeable upon unchangeable! “That by two immutable things, {council and oath,} in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” Heb.6:17-18. Oh! The curious overlayings of these ivory-bowels with the Unchangeableness of him that loves us in the Heavens! Oh! Unchangeable Grace in the Personal Union wherewith his ivory-love is overlaid! Unchangeable Grace and Truth that came by Jesus Christ! Jn.1:17. Unchangeable ties of love in the Marriage-Covenant! Unchangeable Signs and Seals of love conveyed! For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Rom.11:29. These are the wondrous sapphires wherewith he hath curiously overlaid his ivory-mercy-bowels!

The three and twentieth and last Scripture {I shall take notice of} he has misunderstood in his book of Sermons, is Song 5:15, “his legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.” {Pillars and sockets are reckoned up together Structure-wise, as parts of a building, in the frame of the Jewish Tabernacle. Exod.38:10-19. Num.4:31-32.} On the former part of the words Mr. Hunt’s paraphrase is this, misapplying it to Christ as crucified. “His legs {says he} which were as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold, now having all the bones, as it were out of joint.” {Page 103} ‘Tis obvious, the Holy Ghost hath designed no such accommodation of the words to the Doctrine of the Cross of Jesus, as this ignorant gloss lays it.

His legs {here} are not set forth as the instruments of walking, to be as bones out of joint, but as pillars, which are the legs of a Building. These are legs which do not walk or move, but rest {in a structure} and stand still. Also, Christ’s walking as in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, Rev.2:1, are not described here; for these legs are set upon sockets, and so are plainly described for support, {hence they were not to be broken upon the Cross, Jn.19:33,} to bear up the weight and bulk of the whole fabric of the Church, and not for motion to convey the body to and fro while walking. ‘Tis legs for station, not for motion. Rev.1:15. And yet human legs too, such as befit the Person of the Mediator, and not absolutely architectonical, nor so accommodated to the Building of the Church as not to belong to the Man Christ Jesus in God, but are resemblingly compared to pillars in the legs of a building, as to their use in the Mediator. I Tim.2:5.

These legs of Christ are his Power and Patience to bear up all the burdens and weighty interests of his Kingdom. His strength is the Might of Jehovah, and his patience the Forbearance of God. Rom.2:4. He bears up the promises in whom they are all yea and Amen, II Cor.1:20, and without whom the promises are no legs to bear thee. The promise must rest upon Christ, or like a staff that does not rest upon the ground, there will be no leaning upon that. He bears the persons of his elect in the Union, together with their wants, heaviness, supplies, down-castings, and every burden they cast on him by Faith. Psal.55:22. Yea, ‘tis Christ in God and God in Christ that bears and forebears them in all their sinning, their doubts and fears, despondencies and misgivings, sicknesses and pains throughout the whole Church of God who yet one day will tread down the wicked. Isa.63:6. Burdens can never sink him, nor faith which casteth all upon him do him any wrong. Yea, he bears all the Glory that is put upon him in Heaven. Isa.22:24. He bears up all the glory of his Father’s House, and yet his legs, power and patience, never buckle under him. They never break or bow themselves.

His legs are as pillars of marble, that is to say, are firm and strong, for “surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength.” Isa.45:24. They are substantial upholders of all things; magnificent and durable pillars, as the Man stood in God. Heb.1:3. Not as pillars of ostentation, but as pillars of marble for their praise-worthy sustentation. Psal.145:14. Not for wicked men that they might have wherewithal in their gifts to set forth his Creation-praises, and there rest, Psal.64:9; but for the saints are these marble Free-Grace supporters, to set forth the Redemption-Praises of the Lamb! {“And they sung a new song, saying, thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Rev.5:9.}

“Set upon sockets of fine gold.” A socket in the basis of a pillar is made wider than the diameter of that pillar, and that both for strength and ornament, being exactly fitted to the receptive capacity of the socket, and by the skillfulness of the architect is surely fastened to it in the joint below. This as to the letter of the metaphor. Now to apply it.

All Christ’s upholdings of things and persons as Mediator, is as his Power and Patience are set and ordered of the Father how they shall act in the Covenant towards all the elect Church below, {to speak of the Church as she passes through all the Operations of Father, Son and Spirit;} for he who built all things is God. Heb.3:4. He is the Cornerstone in Zion, I Pet.2:6, because he is set in Zion of the Father; and he stands in Zion upon the Everlasting Settlements; his Foundation is in the holy mountains, Psal.87:1, as that Temple that shadowed him was in Zion, Moriah, and Acra, so his Foundation, as the Man, is in God’s Counsel-Settlements, the Purpose and Covenant of the Three-One, Father, Son and Spirit, in sheer Grace to the Man; this was one of the sockets of fine gold, and set likewise upon that other golden socket of his Merit in the Personal Union, {a way for Grace to the Woman too, his Church fallen. Rev.12:1, 19:7.} Thus on these two sockets of fine Gold, Grace and Merit, his Feet, Power and Patience, are set of God to stand thereon, that Christ in both acquiesces to be constantly employed towards the Church, without any weariness or interruption.

On the rest of verse 15, “his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars,” Mr. Hunt says only this of him as on the cross. “His countenance which was as Lebanon, excellent as the Cedars, now more marred than any of the sons of men.” {Page 103}

Thus he still misapplies the whole description of his Person in Glory, as described in this part of the Song, to his sufferings and death. His countenance here is not as marred, but as in his Open Glory Manifested. Psal.89:14. The word takes in the whole presentation and discovery of his Beauty together, or as the Character of his Person is made up to the Church and believing soul at once. For Person, Face and Countenance are all one, and the same word in the Greek tongue {I remember} serves for face and person too, though I must confess the Septuagintal Version does not render it by the Greek word which I mean. However, it is agreeable enough to the scope, to take up this part of the Description of Christ, his Countenance, according to that increasing Communion which Jesus Christ hath, Prov.4:18, and shall have more and more with the Church, until at last he comes openly to speak unto her, when she sees him face to face, I Cor.13:12; as in verse 16. There are to be growing Discoveries of Jesus Christ to the saints in and by his Gospel. II Pet.3:18. These will be ripened in his Glory-Kingdom, when we come to see that “goodly mountain and Lebanon,” Deut.3:25, the whole Church triumphant swallowed up in his own Glory, and there beholding how he bears and fills up all the Church Himself. Oh! Then it will be that we shall know even as also we are known, and shall see all that is to be seen in Christ together, I Cor.13:12; and his visits and face shall be known to excel all that he ever showed us yet. {“It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it; and, behold, the half was not told me; thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.” I Kings 10:6-7. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” I Cor.2:9.}

“Excellent as the Cedars.” Christ will overtop all glories visibly. He will overlook and surmount all that was ever wont to hide his Face. Nothing shall keep him off from you. No sin, weakness or temptation. No lust or devils, no clouds, no wall forever! Rom.8:35-39. He will excel in delight and pleasure all that ever took the eye or heart. All the proud green bay-trees of the world shall be scorched up before him, Psal.37:35, and not a green tree of the number left; not one haughty sinner or self-righteous person remaining; but Himself excellent as the Cedars, and the gracious Church forever under this glorious shadow of her own Beloved! {“And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish; I the LORD have spoken and have done it.” Ezek.17:24} And so much for this chapter to rectify misunderstandings, and so much for these Royal texts belonging to the King whose Name is the Lord of Hosts, and the Church’s Beloved in the Canticles. “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” II Tim.2:7.

1 The term bath ḳōl was in very frequent use and was understood to signify not the direct voice of God, which was held to be above or beyond perception by the senses, but the echo of the voice, the ‘bath’ being somewhat arbitrarily taken to express the distinction. The rabbis held that bath ḳōl had been an occasional means of Divine Communication throughout the whole history of Israel and that since the termination of the prophetic gift it was the singular means of Divine Revelation.