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  • Chapter VI.—The sufferings of Christ, and the new covenant, were announced by the prophets.

    Chapter VI.—The sufferings of Christ, and the new covenant, were announced by the prophets.

    When, therefore, He has fulfilled the commandment, what saith He? “Who is he that will contend with Me? let him oppose Me: or who is he that will enter into judgment with Me? let him draw near to the servant of the Lord.”1493

    1493 Isa. l. 8.

    “Woe unto you, for ye shall all wax old, like a garment, and the moth shall eat you up.”1494

    1494 Isa. l. 9.

    And again the prophet says, “Since1495

    1495 The Latin omits “since,” but it is found in all the Greek mss.

    as a mighty stone He is laid for crushing, behold I cast down for the foundations of Zion a stone, precious, elect, a corner-stone, honourable.” Next, what says He? “And he who shall trust1496

    1496 Cod. Sin. has “believe.” Isa. viii. 14, Isa. xxviii. 16.

    in it shall live for ever.” Is our hope, then, upon a stone? Far from it. But [the language is used] inasmuch as He laid his flesh [as a foundation] with power; for He says, “And He placed me as a firm rock.”1497

    1497 Isa. l. 7.

    And the prophet says again, “The stone which the builders rejected, the same has become the head of the corner.”1498

    1498 Ps. cxviii. 22.

    And again he says, “This is the great and wonderful day which the Lord hath made.”1499

    1499 Ps. cxviii. 24.

    I write the more simply unto you, that ye may understand. I am the off-scouring of your love.1500

    1500 Comp. 1 Cor. iv. 13. The meaning is, “My love to you is so great, that I am ready to be or to do all things for you.”

    What, then, again says the prophet? “The assembly of the wicked surrounded me; they encompassed me as bees do a honeycomb,”1501

    1501 Ps. xxii. 17, Ps. cxviii. 12.

    and “upon my garment they cast lots.”1502

    1502 Ps. xxii. 19.

    Since, therefore, He was about to be manifested and to suffer in the flesh, His suffering was foreshown. For the prophet speaks against Israel, “Woe to their soul, because they have counselled an evil counsel against themselves,1503

    1503 Isa. iii. 9.

    saying, Let us bind the just one, because he is displeasing to us.”1504

    1504 Wisdom ii. 12. This apocryphal book is thus quoted as Scripture, and intertwined with it.

    And Moses also says to them,1505

    1505 Cod. Sin. reads, “What says the other prophet Moses unto them?”

    “Behold these things, saith the Lord God: Enter into the good land which the Lord swore [to give] to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and inherit ye it, a land flowing with milk and honey.”1506

    1506 Ex. xxxiii. 1; Lev. xx. 24.

    What, then, says Knowledge?1507

    1507 The original word is “Gnosis,” the knowledge peculiar to advanced Christians, by which they understand the mysteries of Scripture.

    Learn: “Trust,” she says, “in Him who is to be manifested to you in the flesh—that is, Jesus.” For man is earth in a suffering state, for the formation of Adam was from the face of the earth. What, then, meaneth this: “into the good land, a land flowing with milk and honey?” Blessed be our Lord, who has placed in us wisdom and understanding of secret things. For the prophet says, “Who shall understand the parable of the Lord, except him who is wise and prudent, and who loves his Lord?”1508

    1508 Not found in Scripture. Comp. Isa. xl. 13; Prov. i. 6. Hilgenfeld, however, changes the usual punctuation, which places a colon after prophet, and reads, “For the prophet speaketh the parable of the Lord. Who shall understand,” etc.

    Since, therefore, having renewed us by the remission of our sins, He hath made us after another pattern, [it is His purpose] that we should possess the soul of children, inasmuch as He has created us anew by His Spirit.1509

    1509 The Greek is here very elliptical and obscure: “His Spirit” is inserted above, from the Latin.

    For the Scripture says concerning us, while He speaks to the Son, “Let Us make man after Our image, and after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the beasts of the earth, and the fowls of heaven, and the fishes of the sea.”1510

    1510 Gen. i. 26.

    And the Lord said, on beholding the fair creature1511

    1511 Cod. Sin. has “our fair formation.”

    man, “Increase, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”1512

    1512 Gen. i. 28.

    These things [were spoken] to the Son. Again, I will show thee how, in respect to us,1513

    1513 Cod. Sin. inserts, “the Lord says.”

    He has accomplished a second fashioning in these last days. The Lord says, “Behold, I will make1514

    1514 Cod. Sin. has “I make.”

    the last like the first.”1515

    1515 Not in Scripture, but comp. Matt. xx. 16, and 2 Cor. v. 17.

    In reference to this, then, the prophet proclaimed, “Enter ye into the land flowing with milk and honey, and have dominion over it.”1516

    1516 Ex. xxxiii. 3.

    Behold, therefore, we have been refashioned, as again He says in another prophet, “Behold, saith the Lord, I will take away from these, that is, from those whom the Spirit of the Lord foresaw, their stony hearts, and I will put hearts of flesh within them,”1517

    1517 Ezek. xi. 19, Ezek. xxxvi. 26.

    because He1518

    1518 Cod. Sin. inserts “Himself;” comp. John i. 14.

    was to be manifested in flesh, and to sojourn among us. For, my brethren, the habitation of our heart is a holy temple to the Lord.1519

    1519 Comp. Eph. ii. 21.

    For again saith the Lord, “And wherewith shall I appear before the Lord my God, and be glorified?”1520

    1520 Comp. Ps. xlii. 2.

    He says,1521

    1521 Cod. Sin. omits “He says.”

    “I will confess to thee in the Church in the midst1522

    1522 Cod. Sin. omits “in the midst.”

    of my brethren; and I will praise thee in the midst of the assembly of the saints.”1523

    1523 Ps. xxii. 23; Heb. ii. 12.

    We, then, are they whom He has led into the good land. What, then, mean milk and honey? This, that as the infant is kept alive first by honey, and then by milk, so also we, being quickened and kept alive by the faith of the promise and by the word, shall live ruling over the earth. But He said above,1524

    1524 Cod. Sin. has “But we said above.”

    “Let them increase, and rule over the fishes.”1525

    1525 Gen. i. 28.

    Who then is able to govern the beasts, or the fishes, or the fowls of heaven? For we ought to perceive that to govern implies authority, so that one should command and rule. If, therefore, this does not exist at present, yet still He has promised it to us. When? When we ourselves also have been made perfect [so as] to become heirs of the covenant of the Lord.1526

    1526 These are specimens of the “Gnosis,” or faculty of bringing out the hidden spiritual meaning of Scripture referred to before. Many more such interpretations follow.


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