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REWARD, having need of patience, that, after doing the will of God, they “ might receive the “PROMISE." That the promise refers to the inheritance, promised by Christ, in the Apocalypse, is plain, from what he adds in v. 37. . “For in a very little while & épzóuevos THE “COMING ONE will come; yea he will not pro“ crastinate.”—“ The coming one” was a name applied to the Messiah before he appeared on the earth, and is the term employed in Mat. xi. 3. “ Art thou The coming one?” (Common version, he that should come.) But the Jews had lost all knowledge of the fact that he was to come twice: nor did even his disciples understand this, till after his ascension. That is, according to their belief, this appellation must have ceased to be any longer applicable to him, after he had once appeared on the earth. But it is again appropriated to him in the Apocalypse, in reference to his second coming. He is there called, και ών, και ο ήν, ΚΑΙ Ο ΕΡΧΟΜΕΝΟΣ, and THE COMING ONE, (common version, " him which is to
come") Rev. i. 4. iv. 8; and it is from this second appropriation of this name that Paul employs it, in reference to the promise which will be performed when the MESSIAH comes again, to receive his people to himself. In one word, “ The “coming one" is the Alpha and the Omega of the Revelation, who says, “ Behold I come QUICKLY,
“and my REWARD is with me ;” (Rev. xxii. 12.) «I AM........ο ερχόμενος, THE COMING « ONE.” Rev. i. 8.
In Heb. xi, 10. it is said that Abraham “looked "for a city which hath foundations ;” but the Greek runs thus : « For he expected την τους « ΘΕΜΕΛΙΟΥΣ έχουσαν πόλιν, THE city having
THE FOUNDATIONS,”-exhibiting the article both before “ city," and "
city,” and “ foundations, which the writer could not possibly have done had “the city, having the foundations," not been a subject familiar to those to whom he was writing
I cannot find that the mode of speech employed in this passage, which is deserving of particular attention, has been critically considered by any of the commentators. They generally confine themselves to an exposition of the sense, which, according to some, has reference only to the superior privileges which the church was to enjoy under the Messiah, when contrasted with those it possessed before his appearance on the earth ;-a view of the passage which can hardly be conceived to apply fully to the case of Abraham or any of the Patriarchs. In anticipating the blessings secured to mankind by the coming of Christ, Abraham's hopes certainly extended to things beyond the grave. Accordingly other expositors remark, that Abraham's views and hopes embraced that future state of peace and bliss which was comprehended in the fulness of the promise. “In thy seed shall all the nations of the “ earth be blessed;" and which, in the New Testament, is described under the notion of being admitted to participate in the privileges of the
Heavenly Jerusalem," “ the Jerusalem that is
above," -and “The city having the founda“ tions :" nor can this view of the passage be objected to. But whence did Paul derive the latter expression ?
Bisliop Middleton, in his learned work on the Greek article, has taken no notice of this passage. Dr. Macknight, one of our more recent commentators, though he introduces the first article in his version--"the city”-offers no
“ remark on its appearance in the passage, but contents himself with stating that “the city “ which Abraham expected was that promised “ Gen. xxii. 17., Thy seed shall possess the gate
(the city) of his enemies. Now as the promises “ had all a figurative, as well as a literal, mean
ing, the enemies of Abraham's seed were not “ the Canaanites alone, the enemies of his natu“ral seed, whose cities were given them by this
promise; but the enemies of his spiritual seed, .“ the evil angels, by whose temptations sin and “ death have been introduced and continued
among mankind. If so, the gate or city of “ their enemies, which Abraham's spiritual seed “is to possess, stript of the metaphor, is the “state and felicity from which the evil angels “ fell. This city is mentioned, Heb. xii. 22., “under the name of the heavenly Jerusalem: and
by the description there given of it, we learn “ that believers, after the judgment, shall all be
joined in one society or community with “ the angels, called a city which hath foundations “ because it is a community which is never to " be dissolved.” The passage alluded to by Macknight in Ch. xii. 22., we shall have to notice hereafter. But here it may be asked, Why hath he, in the words just quoted, for “ the city,” which he rightly exhibits in his translation, substituted. “ a city ?"--for our present inquiry is
6 not, Why the community of “believers, after the “judgment," is called a city which hath foundations, but Why, in the Epistle to the Hebrew's, it is called “the city having the foundations ?”
Every one who has paid even the smallest degree of attention to the prophetic style, must be aware that with the prophets it was common to predict the stability and glory of the kingdom of the Messiah under the figure of a great and glorious city in which happiness and eternal
peace were to be secured for the inhabitants; and all are agreed that the numerous blessings
promised to Jerusalem in the future age of which the prophets spoke, had reference to the good things which God hath provided for the family of which Christ is the elder brother. There is therefore nothing singular in the circumstance of the Christian church being described in the New Testament under the same figure; and but for the peculiar structure of Heb. xi, 10., the mere mention of a city in that passage would not call for any particular attention. But in the Prophets there is no passage to be found from which the mode of expression there employed could have been derived ;- and that it had a prototype will be admitted by all who are acquainted with the laws which regulate the use of the Greek article. The only passage in the prophets that exhibits terms at all similar to the one under consideration is in Isaiah liv. 11, 12. “ I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy
foundations with sapphires: and I will make thy “ windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, “ and all thy borders of pleasant stones ;"_but the whole structure of these verses excludes the idea of the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews having hence borrowed the terms he employs.
As has been already remarked, the expression in Heb. fxj.10. is very singular-qoy Tous θεμελίους έχουσαν πόλιν-« THE city having THE