WE have hitherto considered the Providence of God in relation to the fall of man; we are now to consider it as operating in his restoration.

The restoration of man is the act whereby man, being delivered from sin and death by God the Father through Jesus Christ, is raised to a far more excellent state of grace and glory than that from which he had fallen. Rom. v. 15. 'but not as the offence, so also is the free gift: for if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.' v. 17. 'for if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.' See also v. 21. Eph. i. 9, 10. 'according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself..... that he might gather together in one all things in Christ.' 1 John iii. 8. 'he that committeth sin is of the devil..... for this purpose <383> the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.'

In this restoration are comprised the redemption and renovation of man.

Redemption is that act whereby Christ, being sent in the fulness of time, redeemed all believers at the price of his own blood, by his own voluntary act, conformably to the eternal counsel and grace of God the Father.

Conformably to the eternal counsel of God the Father. 1 Pet. i. 20. 'the Lamb..... preordained before the foundation of the world.' See other passages to the same effect in the fourth chapter, on Predestination.

Grace. Even before man had, properly speaking , confessed his guilt, that is, before he had avowed it ingenuously and in the spirit of repentance, God nevertheless, in pronouncing the punishment of the serpent, previously to passing sentence on man, promised that he would raise up from the seed of the woman one who should bruise the serpent's head, Gen. iii. 15. and thus anticipated the condemnation of mankind by a gratuitous redemption. John iii. 16. 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son-.' Rom. iii. 25. 'whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith.' v. 8. 'God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.' Heb. ii. 9. 'that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man.' 1 John iv. 9, 10. 'in this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son..... not that we loved God, but that he loved us.' Hence the Father <384> is often called 'our Saviour,' inasmuch as it is by his eternal counsel and grace alone that we are saved. Luke i. 47. 'my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.' v. 68, 69. 'blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.' 1 Tim. i. 1. 'by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.' ii. 3. 'for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.' iv. 10. 'we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men.' Tit. i. 3. 'according to the commandment of God our Saviour.' ii. 10. 'that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.' iii. 4-6. 'but after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared, ..... according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.' Jude 25. 'to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory;' where the Vetus Interpres and some of the Greek manuscripts add, 'through Jesus Christ our Lord.'[1]

Christ being sent in the fulness of time. Gal. iv. 4. 'but when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son.' Eph. i. 10. 'in the dispensation of the fulness of times.'

At the price of his own blood. Isai. liii. 1, &c. Acts xx. 28. 'the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.' Rom. iii. 25. 'a <385> propitiation through faith in his blood.' 1 Cor. vi. 20. 'ye are bought with a price.' See also vii. 23. Gal. iii. 13. 'being made a curse for us.' Eph. v. 2. 'he hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God.' Heb. ii. 9. 'that he should taste death for every man.' xiii. 20. 'through the blood of the everlasting covenant.' 1 Pet. i. 19. 'with the precious blood of Christ.' iii. 18. 'Christ also hath once suffered for sins.' Rev. i. 5. 'that washed us from our sins in his own blood.' v, 9. 'thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.' xiii. 8. 'the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.'

By his own voluntary act. Isai. liii. 10. 'upon condition that his soul make a trespass offering,[2] Horsley's Translation. Matt. xx. 28. 'to give his life a ransom for many.' John x. 15, 18. 'I lay down my life for the sheep: no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.' Eph. v. 2. 'he hath given himself for us.' Philipp. ii. 8. 'became obedient unto death.' 1 Tim. ii. 6. 'who gave himself a ransom for all.'

All believers. Rom. iii. 25. 'a propitiation through faith in his blood.'

There is no other Redeemer or Mediator besides Christ. Acts iv. 12. 'neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven <386> given among men, whereby we must be saved.' 1 Tim. ii. 5. 'there is one mediator..... the man Christ Jesus.' John xiv. 6. 'no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.'

There was a promise made to all mankind, and an expectation of the Redeemer, more or less distinct, even from the time of the fall. Gen. iii. 15. 'I will put enmity.' xxii. 18. 'in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.' See also xxvi. 4. xxviii. 14. xlix. 10. 'until Shiloh, or the peacemaker come.' Deut. xviii. 15. 'Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken: according to all that thou desiredst of Jehovah thy God in Horeb..... saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Jehovah my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.' Job xix. 25, 26. 'I know that my Redeemer liveth.' In the Psalms and prophetical writings the advent of the Redeemer is intimated with less obscurity. Psal. lxxxix. 35, 36. 'once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever.' Isai. xi. 1, &c. 'there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse.' Jer. xxx. 9. 'they shall serve Jehovah their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.' xxxiii. 15. 'at that time will I cause the branch of righteousness to grow up unto David.'

At the appointed time he was sent into the world. Gal. iv. 4. as above.

Two points are to be considered in relation to Christ's character as Redeemer: his nature and office.

His nature is twofold; divine and human. Matt. xvi. 16. 'the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Gen. <387> iii. 15. 'the seed of the woman.' John i. 1, 14. 'the Word was God..... and the Word was made flesh.' iii. 13. 'he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man that is in heaven.' v. 31. 'He that cometh from above..... he that cometh from heaven.' Acts ii. 30. 'of the fruit of the loins of David, according to the flesh.' See also Rom. i. 3. viii. 3. 'God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.' ix. 5. 'of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God.' 1 Cor. xv. 47. 'the second man is the Lord from heaven.' Gal. iv. 4. 'God sent forth his Son, made of a woman.' Philipp. ii. 7, 8. 'but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man-.' Heb. ii. 14, 16. 'he also himself took part of flesh and blood..... he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.' x. 5, &c. 'wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me..... then said I, Lo, I come.' 1 John i. 7. 'the blood of Jesus Christ his Son.' iv. 2. 'every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God.' Col. ii. 9. 'in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily;' which passage I understand, not of the divine nature of Christ, but of the entire virtue of the Father, and the full completion of his promises, (for so I would interpret the word, rather than fulness,) dwelling in, not hypostatically united with, Christ's human nature; and this bodily, that is, not in ceremonies and the rudiments of the world, but really and substantially; according to Isai. xi. 2, &c. 'the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him <388> the spirit of wisdom.' John iii. 34. 'God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.' i. 17. 'grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.' 1 Tim. iii. 16. 'God was manifest in the flesh,' that is, in the incarnate Son, his own image. With regard to Christ's divine nature, the reader is referred to what was proved in a former chapter concerning the Son of God; from whence it follows, that he by whom all things were made both in heaven and earth, even the angels themselves, he who in the beginning was the Word, and God with God, and although not supreme, yet the first born of every creature, must necessarily have existed previous to his incarnation, whatever subtleties may have been invented to evade this conclusion by those who contend for the merely human nature of Christ. This incarnation of Christ, whereby he, being God, took upon him the human nature, and was made flesh, without thereby ceasing to be numerically the same as before, is generally considered by theologians as, next to the Trinity in Unity, the greatest mystery of our religion. Of the mystery of the Trinity, however, no mention is made in Scripture; whereas the incarnation is frequently called by this name. 1 Tim. iii. 16. 'without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh-.' Col. ii. 2, 3. 'to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in which'[3] (namely, in the mystery) 'are hid all the treasures of wisdom.' Eph. i. 9, 10. 'having made known unto us the mystery of his will..... that he might gather together in one all things in Christ.' iii. 4. 'in the mystery of Christ.' See also Col. iv. 3. Eph. iii. 9. <389> 'the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.' Col. i. 26, 27. 'the riches of the glory of this mystery..... which is Christ.'

Since then this mystery is so great, we are admonished by that very consideration not to assert any thing respecting it rashly or presumptuously, on mere grounds of philosophical reasoning; not to add to it anything of our own; not even to adduce in its behalf any passage of Scripture of which the purport may be doubtful, but to be contented with the clearest texts, however few in number. If we listen to such passages, and are willing to acquiesce in the simple truth of Scripture, unincumbered by metaphysical comments, to how many prolix and preposterous arguments shall we put an end! how much occasion of heresy shall we remove! how many ponderous dabblings in theology shall we cast out, purging the temple of God from the contamination of their rubbish! Nothing would be more plain, and agreeable to reason, nothing more suitable to the understanding even of the meanest individual, than such parts of the Christian faith as are declared in Scripture to be necessary for salvation, if teachers, even of the reformed church, were as yet sufficiently impressed with the propriety of insisting on nothing but divine authority in matters relating to God, and of limiting themselves to the contents of the sacred volume. What is essential would easily appear, when freed from the perplexities of controversy; what is mysterious would be suffered to remain inviolate, and we should be fearful of overstepping the bounds of propriety in its investigation. <390> The opinion, however, which now prevails, or rather which has prevailed for many ages, is this; that whereas it was contended in a former stage of the controversy respecting Christ, that the three persons of the Trinity were united in one nature, it is now asserted, on the other hand, that two natures are so combined in the one person of Christ, that he has a real and perfect subsistence in the one nature, independently of that which properly belongs to the other; insomuch that two natures are comprehended in one person. This is what is called in the schools the hypostatic union. Such is the explanation of Zanchius, Vol. I. Part II. Book II. Chap. 7.[4] 'He took upon him not man, properly speaking, but the human nature. For the Logos being in the womb of the virgin assumed the human nature by forming a body of the substance of Mary, and creating at the same time a soul to animate it. Moreover, such was his intimate and exclusive assumption of this nature, that it never had any separate subsistence, independent of the Logos; but did then first subsist, and has ever since subsisted, in the Logos alone.' I say nothing of the silence of Scripture respecting the above arcana, though they are promulgated with as much confidence, as if he who thus ventures to deliver them on his own authority, had been a witness in the womb of Mary to the mysteries which he describes. He argues as if it were possible to assume human <391> nature, without at the same time assuming man; for human nature, that is, the form of man in a material mould, wherever it exists, constitutes at once the proper and entire man, deficient in no part of his essence, not even (if the words have any meaning) in subsistence and personality. In reality, however, subsistence is the same as substantial existence; and personality is nothing but a word perverted from its proper use to patch up the threadbare theories of theologians. It is certain that the Logos was made that which he assumed; if then he assumed the human nature, not man, he was made not man, but the human nature; these two things being inseparable.

But before I proceed to demonstrate the weakness of the received opinion, it is necessary to explain the meaning of the three terms so frequently recurring,nature, person, and hypostasis, which last word is translated in Latin, substantia or subsistentia, substance or subsistence. Nature in the present instance can signify nothing, but either the actual essence, or the properties of that essence. Since how ever these properties are inseparable from the essence, and the union of the natures is hypostatical, not accidental, we must conclude that the term nature can here mean only the essence itself. Person is a metaphorical word, transferred from the stage to the schools of theology, signifying any one individual being, as the logicians express it; any intelligent ens, numerically one, whether God, or angel, or man. The Greek word hypostasis can signify nothing in the present case but what is expressed in Latin by substantia or subsistentia, substance or subsistence; that is to say, a perfect essence existing per se; <392> whence it is generally put in opposition to merely accidents.

Hence the union of two natures in Christ must be considered as the mutual hypostatic union of two essences; for where there is a perfect substantial essence, there must also be an hypostasis or subsistence, inasmuch as they are the same thing; so that one Christ, one ens, one person, is formed of this mutual hypostatic union of two natures or essences. For it is no more to be feared that the union of two hypostases should constitute two persons, than that the same consequence should result from the union of two natures, that is to say, of two essences. If how ever the human nature of Christ never had any proper and independent subsistence, or if the Son did not take upon himself that subsistence, it would have been no more possible for him to have been made very man, or even to have assumed the real and perfect substance or essence of man, than for the body of Christ to be present in the sacrament without quantify or local extension, as the Papists assert.[5] This indeed they explain by his divine power, their usual resort in such cases. It is however of no use to allege a divine power, the existence of which can not be proved on divine authority. There is then in Christ a mutual hypostatic union of two natures, that is to say, of two essences, of two substances, and consequently of two persons; nor does this union prevent the respective properties of each from re <393> maining individually distinct. That the fact is so, is sufficiently certain; the mode of union is unknown to us; and it is best to be ignorant of what God wills should remain unknown. If indeed it were allowable to define and determine with precision in mysteries of this kind, why should not our philosophical inquisitiveness lead us to inquire respecting the external form common to the two natures? For if the divine and human nature have coalesced in one person, that is to say, as my opponents themselves admit, in a reasonable being, numerically one, it follows that these two natures must have also coalesced in one external form. The consequence would be, either that the divine form must have been annihilated or blended with the human, which would be absurd, unless they were previously the same; or, vice versa, that the human must have been annihilated or blended with the divine, unless it exactly resembled the latter; or, which is the only remaining alternative, Christ must be considered as having two forms. How much better is it for us to know merely that the Son of God, our Mediator, was made flesh, that he is called both God and Man, and is such in reality; which is expressed in Greek by the single and appropriate term Θεάνθρωπος. Since however God has not revealed the mode in which this union is effected, it behoves us to cease from devising subtle explanations, and to be contented with remaining wisely ignorant.

It may however be observed, that the opinion here given respecting the hypostatic union agrees with what was advanced relative to the Son of God in the fifth chapter, namely, that his essence is not the same <394> with that of the Father; for if it were the same, it could not have coalesced in one person with man, unless the Father were also included in the same union, nay, unless man became one person with the Father as well as with the Son; which is impossible.

The reasons, therefore, which are given to prove that he who was made flesh must necessarily be the supreme God may safely be dismissed. It is urged, first, from Heb. vii. 26, 27. that 'such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.' These words, however, do not even prove that he is God, much less that it was necessary that he should be so; not to mention, that he is 'holy,' not only as God, but as man conceived of the Holy Spirit by the power of the Most High; nor is he said to be higher than the heavens, but to be 'made higher than the heavens.' Again, what is said of him v. 24. 'he continueth ever,' is a property which he has in common both with men and angels; nor does it follow that he is God because 'he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him,' v. 25. Lastly, 'the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for ever more,' v. 28. so that he is not on this account necessarily God. Besides, Scripture nowhere teaches, that none but God is able to approach God, to take away sin, to fulfil the law, to endure and vanquish the anger of God, the power of Satan, temporal as well as eternal death, in a word, to restore to us the blessings which we had lost; but it teaches that he has power to effect this; 'to whom the Father has given it;' that is to say, the beloved Son of God, <395> in whom he has himself testified that he is well pleased.

That Christ, therefore, since his assumption of human flesh, remains one Christ, is a matter of faith; whether he retains his two-fold will and understanding, is a point respecting which, as Scripture is silent, we are not concerned to inquire. For having emptied himself,[6] he might 'increase in wisdom,' Luke ii. 52. by means of the understanding which he previously possessed, and might 'know all things,' John xxi. 17. namely, through the teaching of the Father, as he himself acknowledged.[7] Nor is his twofold will implied in the single passage Matt. xxvi. 39. 'not as I will, but as thou wilt,' unless he be the same with the Father, which, as has been already shown, cannot be admitted.

That Christ was very man, is evident from his having a body, Luke xxiv. 39. 'a spirit hath not <396> flesh and bones, as ye see me have;' a soul, Mark x. 45. 'that he might give his life (animam, his soul) a ransom for many;' xiv 34. 'my soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death;' and a spirit, Luke xxiii. 46. 'into thy hands I commend my spirit.' It is true that God attributes to himself also a soul and spirit; but there are reasons most distinctly assigned in Scripture, why Christ should be very man. 1 Cor. xv. 21.; 'for since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.' Heb. ii. 14. 'forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.' v. 17. 'wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest.' v. 18. 'for in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.' iv. 15. 'we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.' v. 2. 'who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.' Finally, God would not accept any other sacrifice, inasmuch as any other would have been less worthy. Heb. x. 5. 'sacrifice thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.' viii. 3. 'it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.' ix. 22. 'without shedding of blood is no remission.'

Inasmuch, however, as the two natures constitute one Christ, certain particulars appear to be predicated of him absolutely, which properly apply to one of his natures. This is what is called communicatio <397> idiomatum or proprietatum, where by the customary forms of language what is peculiar to one of two natures is attributed to both jointly. John iii. 13. 'he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven.' viii. 58. 'before Abraham was, I am.' Accordingly, these and similar passages, wherever they occur, are to be understood κατ᾽ ἄλλο καὶ ἄλλο, as theologians express it; (for in speaking of Christ the proper expression is not ἄλλος καὶ ἄλλος, but ἄλλο καὶ ἄλλο, inasmuch as it refers, not to himself, but to his person, or, in other words, his office of mediator: for as to the subject of his two natures, it is too profound a mystery, in my judgement at least, to warrant any positive assertion respecting it.)

It sometimes happens, on the other hand, that what properly belongs to the compound nature of Christ, is attributed to one of his natures only, 1 Tim. ii. 5. 'one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.' Now he is not mediator inasmuch as he is man, but inasmuch as he is Θεάνθρωπος.

Scripture, however, more frequently distinguishes what is peculiar to his human nature. Acts ii. 'of the fruit of the loins of David, according to the flesh.' See also Rom. ix. 5. 1 Pet. iii. 18. 'being put to death in the flesh,' that is to say, being affected chiefly and most visibly in his human nature. This text will be adverted to again in the sixteenth chapter.

The incarnation of Christ consists of two parts; his conception and his nativity. Of his conception the efficient cause was the Holy Spirit. Matt. i. 20. 'that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy <398> Ghost.' Luke i. 35. 'the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall over shadow thee; by which words I am inclined to understand the power and spirit of the Father himself, as has been shown above; according to Psal. xl. 6, 7. compared with Heb. x. 5, 6. 'a body hast thou prepared me.'

The object of this miraculous conception was to obviate the contamination consequent upon the sin of Adam. Heb. vii. 26. 'such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.'

The nativity of Christ is predicted by all the prophets, and more particularly in the following passages. Mic. v. 2. 'thou Bethlehem Ephratah..... out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel.' Isai. vii. 14. 'behold, a virgin shall conceive.' xi. 1. 'there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse.' The history of the nativity is given Matt. i. 18-25. Luke i. 42. 'blessed is the fruit of thy womb.' ii. 6, 7. 'the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.' v. 22. 'when the days of her purification were accomplished.'

That the Messiah is already come is proved, in contradiction to the belief of the Jews, by the following arguments. First, the cities of Bethlehem and Nazareth, (where according to prophecy Christ was to be born and educated, Mic. v. 2. Zech. vi. 12. 'behold the man whose name is (Nezer, or) the Branch,' are no longer in existence. Secondly, it was predicted that his advent should take place while the second temple and the Jewish government were yet in being. Hag. ii. 7, 9. 'I will fill this house <399> with glory: the glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former.' Dan. ix. 24. 'seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression.... and to anoint the most Holy.' v. 26. 'after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off..... and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city.' v. 27. 'he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.' Zech. ix. 9. 'rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold thy king cometh unto thee.' Gen. xlix. 10. 'the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come,' by which name the three most ancient Jewish commentators, Onkelos, Jonathan, and Hierosolymitanus, understood the Messiah.[8] Dan. ii. 44. 'in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom.' Lastly, because the Gentiles have long since put away the worship of other gods, and embraced the faith of Christ, which event, according to the prophecies, was not to take place till after his coming, Gen. xlix. 10. 'unto him shall the gathering of the people be.' Isai. ii. 2. 'it shall come to pass in the last days..... that all nations shall flow unto it.' See also Mic. iv. 1. Hag. ii. 6. 'yet once, it is a little while..... and I will shake all nations.' Mal. iii. 1. 'the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple.'


These words are found in fifteen manuscripts, according to Wetstein, and in the Vulgate, two Syriac, Coptic, and Arabic versions. See also Mill on this verse.


'That his soul should make the trespass offering, expresses that it was with the full consent of his own mind that he made the painful atonement. See Vitringa upon the place.' Horsley's Bibl. Crit. in loc. Quandoquidem semetipsum exposuit, Tremellius. If his soul shall make a propitiatory sacrifice. Lowth's Translation. A different sense is given to the passage in our authorized version: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.


In whom. Authorized Translation.


'Assumpsit humanam naturam, non hominem proprie loquendo. Nam λόγος in utero virginis existens, humanam naturam sibi ipse, in seipso, tum corpus ex substantia Mariæ formando, tum animam simul creando, assumpsit; atque ita iliam in seipso, et sibi assumpsit, ut illa natura nunquam per se substiterit, extra λόγον; sed et tum primum, et deinceps semper in λόγῳ tantum substiterit.'


'Those words ..... are as much against plain equity and the mercy of religion, as those words of "take, eat, this is my body," elementally understood, are against nature and sense.' Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. Prose Works, II. 37.


..... he that dwelt above

High thron'd in secret bliss, for us frail dust

Emptied his glory, ev'n to nakedness.

Ode on the Circumcision, 18.

Newton remarks that the expression is taken from Philipp. ii. 7. though not as in our translation, he made himself of no reputation, but as it is in the original, ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσε.


.... now by some strong motion I am led

Into the wilderness, to what intent

I know not yet, perhaps I need not know;

For what concerns my knowledge God reveals.

Paradise Regained, I. 290.

Several of the expressions in the soliloquy from which these lines are extracted are founded on the supposition, that Christ was not possessed of all the knowledge which his human nature was capable of receiving by virtue of the union of the two natures, and from the first moment of that union. See the authorities by which this opinion is supported, in the note on the above passage in Mr. Hawkins's recent edition of Milton's poetical works.


See Poole's Synopsis in loc. where, besides the authorities mentioned by Milton, other Jewish commentators are cited as admitting the same interpretation of the passage.

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