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still unsuitable and unbecoming. There is no warrant in the word of God for such an appellation. And when it is farther considered, how much it tends to minister to spiritual pride, it is a very plain proof it cometh not of the Lord. I shudder to think to what lengths this misapplication of the words begetting souls to Christ, and spiritual fathers, have hurried men, when I have heard it hath been said from the pulpit, or committed to the press, that such preachers, at the last day, will have to say, “Behold I, and the children which the Lord hath given me !” Words which can belong to none but the Lord Jesus Christ, and never were intended to be used, or can with truth be
used, by any other. (Isa. viii. 18. Heb. ii. 13.) BEHOLD. This word is so often used in the word of
God, that I do not think it unimportant to have a place in our Concordance. Sometimes, it is intended as a note of attention, by way of calling the notice of the reader in a more striking manner; and yet more eminently so, when the Lord himself is the speaker. : Thus for example, the Lord JEHOVAH calls upon the church to regard with all possible attention, the person and character of his dear Son. “Behold, (saith Jehovah) my servant whom I uphold,” &c. (Isa. xlii. 1. Zech. iii. 8. Mal. iii. 1.) Sometimes, the word is used as a note of admiration, as when Jesus speaks of the loveliness of his church, (Song i. 15.) or when the angels announced the birth of Christ. (Isa. vii. 14.) It is sometimes used to express joy and gladness, as when Jesus calls upon his church to behold him, “ Behold me ! behold me!” (Isa. Ixv. 1. Matt. xxi. 5. John xii. 15.) And sometimes the word is used by way of confirmation to the word spoken. Thus the Lord to Jacob at Bethel, “ Behold, I am with thee, and I will keep thee,” &c. (Gen. xxviii. 15.)
BELIAL. This is an Hebrew word, signifying some
what evil. Hence, in Scripture, it is not unfrequently applied to wicked persons. Moses, when charging Israel not to follow vain and ungodly men, calls them sons of Belial. (Deut. xiii. 13.) The same by Hannah. (1 Sam. i. 16.). So Abigail to David. (1 Sam. xxv. 25.) In the language of the New Testament, Belial is another name for Satan.“What concord (saith Paul) hath Christ
with Belial ?" (2 Cor. vi. 15.) BELIEVE or BELIEF. Perhaps, nothing is more
simple than the act of believing ; and yet, perhaps, nothing which hath created more mistakes and misapprehensions. In common life, we all perfectly understand what it is to believe one another: it is only in relation to our belief in God, that we find it difficult. If the servant of some kind and generous master was promised by him a favour, which he knew his master could perform, he would think it a base impeachment of his master's character for any one to call the promise in question. But when the same kind of reasoning is brought forward concerning God, we overlook the impeachment of the Lord's veracity, in doubting the assurance of what God hath promised. Now, to apply this to the case in point. God hath promised to the church eternal life ; and this life is in bis Son. To believe this on the simple word and authority of God, this is to give God the credit of God; and in doing this, we do in fact no more than the servant, as before stated, does to his kind master. The greatuess of the promise, and the undeservedness of our hearts; these things have nothing to do in the business. It is the greatness, and honour, and credit of the Promiser, which becomes the only consideration with faith. And to take God at his word, and to trust in his
promise as God; this is the whole'sum and substance of believing. So that the simple act of faith, after all, is the simplest thing upon earth ; for it is only believing the record which God hath given of his
Son.” (1 John v. 10.) BELOVED. We ought not to pass over this expres
sion, though the word itself is so generally understood. There is somewhat in it so truly blessed, when we consider it in relation to Christ, as the Christ of God; and also, in relation to the church, considered from her union with Christ, and interest in Christ, that the word beloved, when spoken of either, comes home to the affection peculiarly sweet and endeared. To refer to all the passages of Scripture, in which Christ is declared beloved, would be very many indeed. It will be fully sufficient to all the present purposes intended, to remark, that in all the parts of the divine word, at every place, and upon every occasion, when God the Father is represented as speaking of his dear Son, or to him, he expresseth himself with the greatest rapture and delight.' He calls him his elect, his chosen, his only beloved, his dear Son; as if he would have every individual member of his church, (and which is indeed the case) to fall in love with him. And what I would beg the reader particularly to remark. with me on this occasion is, that this love of the Father to the Son is specially spoken of in Scripture, not with reference to his divine nature, but in his mediatorial character. It would have been of no profit to us, (for the subject is above our faculties of apprehension) to have been told of the love of the Father to the Son, in the nature and essence of the GODHEAD. How the divine persons love each other in the infinity and eternity of their nature, none but themselves in their eternal nature can have any conceptions concerning. But the love of God, yea, all the persons of the Godhead to the person of Christ, as Godman Mediator; this is a subject concerning which we find somewhat for the mind to lean upon; and, under divine teaching, can make dicovery sufficient to create a joy from it, “unspeakable and full of glory." What a rapturous thought to the soul is it, that our Jesus is beloved of Jehovah, because he undertook our cause, became our Surety, lived for us as such, and died for us as such, and is now carrying on the one glorious design for which he became incarnate, in bringing“ many sons unto glory." The Lord Jesus speaks of his Father's love to him on this very account. “Therefore, (saith Jesus) doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. 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.
This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John x. 17, 18. See also Isạ. xlii. 21.)
And as Christ is thus beloved on the account of his gracious office and undertaking as Mediator, so is the church on his account, and for his sake beloved also. He it is, indeed, that gives this loveliness to his church, for there is nothing in the church, or in the acts of the church, which can be lovely, but on the Lord's account, and as beheld and accepted in him. But as considered as one with Christ, and made comely, from the comeliness which Jesus hath imparted to her, and put upon her, she is lovely in God the Father's view, and beloved by Jehovah for ever. Yea, the Lord Jesus not only calls her his beloved, and tells her that she is all fair, and that there is no spot in her, but he saith, in that sweet prayer he put up to the Father, in the night before his sufferings and
death, that “the Father loveth the church as the
Father loved him.” (See John xvii. 23.) BELSHAZZAR. King of Babylon. His history,
which is very awful, we have, (Dan. v.) His name is compounded of Baal, lord; and Otzer, treasure; intimating, no doubt, his great riches and power.
See Mene. BELTESHAZZAR. This name was given to Da
niel by the Chaldeans in the time of the captivity. (Dan. i. 7.) And no doubt, the design was evil; that he might in it lose sight both of his own name, and with it the remembrance of the Lord God of his fathers. And what a change it was! Daniel, a compound of Dan, judgment; and I, El, my God: my judgment is with God, or God is my judge. Whereas, Belteshazzar was a compound of Bel, the idol which the Babylonians worshipped ; and Shassar, from Etzar, to lay up. And as the idol's name was derived from Bulat, secret, they both together implied the laying up in secret. From Daniel's history, it should seem to convey
the idea, as though the name Belteshazzar was given to him in compliment, on account of his great wisdom; but there can be but little question, that the great object was, that he might, in time, forget the Lord God of Israel, and be incorporated with
the Chaldeans, See Abednego. BENHADAD. King of Syria; the son of Hadad.
(1 Kings xx. 1.) BENJAMIN. The youngest son of Jacob, by Ra
chel. The mother of Benjamin had expressed her dissatisfaction in having no children. me children (said she in her displeasure) or else I die.” It is said in the after pages of her history, that God “remembered Rachel, and that God hearkened unto her and opened her womb; and she bare a son, and called his name Joseph ;” that is,