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brought in a manner as extraordinary as the event and occasion were by a mighty ANGEL from heaven, Mat. i. 21. Because as the Jews must confess such account to be but becoming the dignity of the Messiah, the great bleffer of the nations, and agreeable to the prefigurative dealings of God with some of the types, with (Isaac,] “ the joy,” the figure of this joy to all people, Luk. ii. 10. whose birth and name were predicted, by the LORD appearing to ABRAHAM, Gen. xvii. 11; with (SAMSON] the MINISTERING LIGHT, the NAZARITE in Judg. xiii. 3, whose birth the ANGEL Jehovah, v. 16, 22, foretold to the wife of [MANOAH,] " the COMFORTER”; - with Josiah, in 1 K. xiii. 2, and Cyrus, If. xliv. 28. c. xlv. 34. whose names were predicted, and that of MaHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ, c. viii. 3, given by the LORD; - so it cannot be aught but greas impiety, but a shocking arraignment of the infinite wisdom of the ALMIGHTY to think the celestial Agent, or MESSENGER brought an unmeaning or insignificant title from heaven, and was commissioned to convey to Joseph an unintelligible found, at a time when the very occasion required it should have a meaning, and such a one also, as was calculated to satisfy him, to hush every suggested doubt, and calm all the ruffling disquietude of his mind; such a one as not only might bear up his believing soul against the re
proach of the world for taking the blessed vir. gin to his wife; but might also be urged by him to them as a testimony both of her innocence, and of the accomplishment of the divine promije to the expectant people ; wakened already by many previous circumstances to look out for the kingdom of the MESSIAH, of the son OF MAN, the [128 ABEN] ONE BUILT UP as a STONE, (Dan. ii. 34, Zec. xii. 3, c. vii. 13, compared with Rev. l. 13,) of which there should be no end, Dan. xxiv. 34. and for which they prayed, and, not seeing it come (because it cometh not by observation, Luk. xvii. 20. but is spiritual and WITHIN YOU) do, after reading in their fynagogues, yet intreat “ ELIAS to come, and the “ kingdom of David in CHRIST." However the wisdom of God, who, to keep up a due sense of the design of the names in the ages before CHRIST, had graciously provided that reasons for the imposition of them thould frequently be subjoined, has moft mercifully guarded men against the consequence of an inattention to the force of these arguments, and those examples of the propriety and hgnificancy of the names. He, who had annexed the caufes of the names of many typic persons, has not left us at any uncertainty, whether we ought to apply the rule in the case before us or not concerning the name of the great anti-type or original; but has also plainly acquainted us that this NAME
has a meaning, and this a prophetic one ; diftin. guishing it by the like exprefs declaration of this meaning, or of what amounts to the fame, of the reason of its being assigned to CHRIST from the mouth of the ANOEL in thefe memorable and most important words, Thou shalt CALL His NAME Jesus ; for HE SHALL SAVE His people from their fins, Mat.i. 21. Words, which fully evince that the Name Jesus was conferred on Him as those of the types, with this defigna that it thould be not only to Joseph, but unto all who should hear it, believe or pray in, and praise this Name, a loud memorial or sign of fome interesting and encouraging character to the peor ple, and such as corresponds with the prophetic account and reason here given; for He fall save His people from their fins. And, what momentous tidings of exceeding great joy to all people, these words import, the whole reason asigned in them for the impofition of the name, the agreement there is between the signification of it, and this reason allotted for it, and of course what is the most excellent character designed to be denoted by it are all to be collected from this paffage in the evangelift.
Seeing then from the general design of names and from the account of this, in particular, that the name Jesus has a meaning, and that the ANGEL subjoins to it the reason in those words by way of explaining and justifying this meaning,
it must be so far from presumption or unprofit able curiosity to enquire into it, (however to some it may at first seem preferable to have left every man to his own sentiments about it,) that it is our duty with due reverence to search for it, as thus reported and explained by the ANGEL, after our earnest address to God to free us from every thing that may hinder our reception of the truth concerning it. Because so much of the Bible as is not understood ceases to be a revelation to the soul of man, and becomes a sealed book: and, as Epiphanius says, (vol. II. p. 168, Cologn Edit.) “ of what use is either an hidden “ treasure or a sealed fountain to any one ?"
CHA P. II.
What language the name is that the Greek
JESUS stands for, and is the fame with the HEBREW name' (9017] Joshua, proved from firipture, from the Jews themselves, from the fathers, and others.
S the evident design of the LORD, in the
allotment of the name Jesus to the MESSIAH, on an occasion of such extraordinary importance to the whole world as well as to JoSEPH and the expectant Jews, makes it our duty to enquire into its meaning, not only as His disciples, but as rational persons, concerned to know what is proposed to our faith; so we cannot possibly understand either the import of the ANGEL's signal declaration concerning HIM, which contains more than it is commonly thought to do, or have a full view of it's force and propriety, unless the sense of this name be ascertained.
Now the firft step to be taken in order to it is to settle what language it originally is. About this there have been two opinions. The one is, that it is GREEK ; the other, that it is originally Hebrew. Of the former opinion some of the primitive CHRISTIANS it seems were; for Juftin Martyr, cited below, opposed this: which he