Page images

be more plainly marked than this doctrine in the

antient Scriptures."

"Though the august name of Jehovah in a more peculiar manner belongs to God the Father, yet is that name, in various parts of Scripture, applied to each person in the Holy Trinity. The Hebrews considered that name in such a sacred light, that they never pronounced it, and used the word Adonai instead of it. It was indeed a name that ranked first among their profoundest Cabala; a mystery, sublime, ineffable, incommunicable. It was called Tetragrammaton, or the name of four letters, and these letters are Jod, He, Vau, He, the proper pronunciation of which, from long disuse, is said to be no longer known to the Jews themselves. This awful name was first revealed by God to Moses from the centre of the burning bush; and Josephus, who, as well as Scripture, relates this circumstance, evinces his veneration for it, by calling it the name which his religion did not permit him to mention (n). From this word the pagan title of Iao and Jove is, with the greatest probability, supposed to have been originally formed; and in the Golden Verses of Pythagoras, there is an oath still extant to this purpose, by him who has the four letters.' As the name Jehovah, how

(n) Ant. Jud. lib. 2. cap. 5.


ever, in some instances applied to the Son and the Holy Spirit, was the proper name of God the Father, so is Logos in as peculiar a manner the appropriated name of God the Son. The Chaldee Paraphrasts translate the original Hebrew text by Mimra da Jehovah, literally, the Word of Jehovah, a term totally different, as bishop Kidder has incontestably proved, in its signification, and in its general application among the Jews, from the Hebrew Dabar, which simply means a discourse or decree, and is properly rendered by Pithgam (o). In the Septuagint translation of the Bible, a work supposed by the Jews to have been undertaken by men immediately inspired from above, the former term is universally rendered Aoyos, and it is so rendered and so understood by Philo and all the more antient Rabbins. The name of the third person in the ever-blessed Trinity has descended unaltered from the days of Moses to our own time; for, as well in the sacred writings as by the Targumists, and by the modern doctors of the Jewish church, he is styled Ruach Hakhodesh, the Holy Spirit. He is sometimes, however, in the Rabbinical books, donominated by Shechinah, or Glory of Jehovah; in some places he is called Sephirah,


(0) Demonstration of the Messiah, part 3d, pp. 108, 109.

or Wisdom; and in others the Binah, or Understanding (p). From the enumeration of these circumstances, it must be sufficiently evident to the mind which unites piety and reflection, that so far from being silent upon the subject, the antient Scriptures commence with an avowal of this doctrine, and that, in fact, the creation was the result of the joint operations of the Trinity."

"If the argument above offered should still appear inconclusive, the 26th verse of this chapter (Gen. 1.) contains so pointed an attestation to the truth of it, that in my opinion, when duly considered, it must stagger the most hardened sceptic; for in that text not only the plurality is unequivocally expressed, but the act which I have before observed is the peculiar prerogative of Deity, is mentioned together with that plurality, the one circumstance illustrating the other, and both being highly elucidatory of this doctrine: 'And God (Elohim) said, Let us (q) make man in

(p) Dr. Allix's Judgment, p. 168.

(q) The antient Christians looked upon this as a plain intimation of a plurality of persons in the Godhead: Epiphanius says, "This is the language of God to his Word and only begotten, as all the faithful believe." Hæres. 23. n. 2. and vide Hæres. 44. n. 4. and Hær. 46. n. 3. where he says, « Adam was πεπλασμένος ἐν χειρι Πατρος και εις και αγια πνευματος, formed by the hand of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Vide Patrick in loc.

in our image, after our likeness.' Why the Deity should speak of himself in the plural number, unless that Deity consisted of more than one person, it is difficult to conceive; for the answer given by the modern Jews, that this is only a figurative mode of expression, implying the high dignity of the speaker; and that it is usual for earthly sovereigns to use this language by way of distinction, is futile, for two reasons. In the first place, it is highly degrading to the Supreme Majesty to suppose he would take his model of speaking and thinking from man, though it is highly consistent with the vanity of man, to arrogate to himself (as doubtless was the case in the licentiousness of succeeding ages) the style and imagined conceptions of Deity; and it will be remembered, that these solemn words were spoken before the creation of that being, whose false notions of greatness and sublimity the Almighty is thus impiously supposed to adopt. In truth, there does not seem to be any real dignity in an expression, which, when used by a human sovereign in relation to himself, approaches very near to absurdity. The genuine fact, however, appears to be this. When the tyrants of the East first began to assume divine honours, they assumed likewise the majestic language, appropriated to, and highly becoming, the Deity, but totally



totally inapplicable to man. The error was propagated from age to age through a long succession of despots, and at length Judaic apostacy arrived at such a pitch of profane absurdity, as to affirm that very phraseology to be borrowed from man (r), which was the original and peculiar language of the Divinity. It was, indeed, remarkably pertinent when applied to Deity, for, in a succeeding chapter, we have more decisive authority for what is thus asserted, where the Lord God himself says, Behold the man is become as one of us; a very singular expression, which some Jewish commentators, with equal effrontery, contend was spoken by the Deity to the council of angels, that, according to their assertions, attended him at the creation. From the name of the Lord God being used in so emphatical a manner, it evidently appears to be addressed to those sacred persons to whom it was before said,

[ocr errors]

Let us make man;' for would indeed the omnipotent Jehovah, presiding in a less dignified council, use words that have such an evident tendency

(r) It may be observed, that the language of Pharaoh king of Egypt, as recorded by Moses in the book of Genesis, is always in the singular number, "I am Pharaoh;" and, "See, I have set thee over the land of Egypt." Gen. c. 41. v. 41 and 44; and Ezra records, that the king of Persia wrote in the same style long afterwards, "I Darius make a decree." Ezra, c. 6. v. 8.

« PreviousContinue »