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some other spirit, whom God sent to represent him in the visible appearance of the Shechinah, and by the audible voice of the oracle. The fire and the voice, were as properly angels, in the language of scripture, as any intelligent beings, or spirits." *
But whether we are to understand by the term, the angel of the Lord, the Shechinah itself, or any distinct or intellectual being representing God, there can be no argument raised from it to prove, that Jesus Christ is God, or equal with the Father. For the Trinitarians have no authority from scripture to say that Jesus Christ appeared in this manner; and although it were granted that he had so appeared, it would not
prove that he was God, but only that he represented the person and majesty of God. Some Trinitarians have affirmed, that Jesus Christ appeared in the bush to Moses, but St. Stephen tells us Acts, vii. 30. that it was an angel. It has also been asserted, that Christ delivered the law to the Jews on Mount Sinai; but the same Stephen informs us, Acts vii. 53. that the Jews received the law by the disposition of angels; and St. Paul affirms, Gal. iii. 19. "That it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator: which mediator was Moses. But the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews affords the strongest argument against the notion of Christ being concerned in the delivery of the law from Mount Sinai. Heb. ii. 2, 3. . If the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, which at first began to be spoken by the Lord.' Here there is an opposition between the word spoken by angels (by which undoubtedly the Mosaic law is meant) and the salvation spoken by the Lord; and we are led to un. derstand that the danger of neglectiog the latter, is greater than the former, because it was spoken by him. But if our Lord had been the author of both dispensations, there would have been no reason for the apostle to insinuate, that a greater punishment would be inflicted for the neglect of the one, more than that of the other; and so the force of his argument, for giving peculiar attention to the gospel dispensation, would be destroyed. But we proceed to the consideration of other objections.
* Lowman's Tracts,
Gen. xix. 24. • 'Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.' In the Hebrew it is, “Jehovah rained fire from Jehovah,' from which some would infcr, that there are two persons to whom the title of Jehovah belongs. But we are expressly told by the sacred writers that there is but one Jehovah; and many instances of a similar way of speaking, both in regard to God and man, may be produced from the scriptures : thus Gen. v. 1. "In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him ;' that is he made him in the likeness of himself, 1 Sam. iii. 21 “And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh: for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.' 1 Kings viii. 1. “Then Solomon assembled the el. ders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the Fathers of the children of Israel unto king Solomon, &c.' 1 Kings xii. 21. And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Ju. dah, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam, &c.' Nobody concludes from these two last passages, that there were two Solomons, or two Rehoboams; why then should it be supposed from a like form of expression, that there are two Jehovahs? See also 1 Sam. xv. 22. 1 Kings x. 13. 2 Chron. vii. 2. Dan. ix. 17. Zech. x, 12. John iv. 1. 2 Tim. i. 18. Sebastian Castalio has very properly ren. dered this passage; -“Jova ab se de cælo sulphur et ignem in Sodomam et Gomorram depluit.' "The Lord rained from himself out of heaven, brimstone and fire upon
Sodom and Gomorrah.'
Some have supposed, that the angels who were sent to destroy Sodom, are here called Jehovah in the first place, as representing the Supreme Being.--Others have imagined that the fire and brimstone are called fire from Jehovah ; on account of the fury and vehemence with which it descended, and the dreadful desolation it occasioned. But there is no necessity to have recourse to either of these suppositions, as the expression may be well accounted for from the known phraseology of scripture.
Gen. xx. 3. “And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my Father's house, (Heb. Gods they caused me to wander,') Gen. xxxv. 7. And he built an altar, and called the place El-beth-el, because there God appeared
unto him.' (Heb. Gods they appeared unto him.) 2 Sam. vii, 23. And what one nation in the earth is like thỹ people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem. (Heb. Gods, they went, or have gone to, redeem.) Deut. iv. 6. And what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them.” (Heb. ELO. HIM KEREBIM, Gods who are so near.) In the three first of these passages, the verb as well as the nomina ative case is plural; and in the last the adjective is so, which amounts to the same thing. But no argument can be raised from them in favour of a notion of the Trinity of persons in one divine essence. On the contrary, as the verb or adjective is plural as well as the nominative, they would rather prove a plurality of Gods or separate essen. ces. A learned Trinitarian commentator observes on Gen. XX. 13. Gods they caused me to wander, &c.' as fol. lows. " The Hebrew word which we translate wander, being the plural number, the Septuagint render the word ELOHIM, (God) the angels; who by the command of God led him (Abraham) from his Father's house, through dis verse countries. But the Chaldee translates it, “When because of the idols of Chaldea, I was called away from my own country, &c.” For so the gods, that is, the idol gods, might be said to cause him to wander, because it was by reason of them that God would not have him stay any longer in his own country. But there is no need of these devices; nothing being more usual in the Hebrew lan. guage than for the plural number to be put instead of the singular, especially when they speak of God, as Bochart observes in many places : Gen. xxxv. 7. Exod. xxxi. 4. Psal. cxlix. 2. Eccles. xii. 1. See Hierozo, p. 1. 1. 2. C. 34. Nay, Hackspan hath rightly observed, that there are nouns of the plural number in their termination, which in signification are singular, with which it is usual to join a verb of the plural number, because of the plural termina. tion of the noun: a plain example of which we have in Gen. iv. 6.
:- Why is thy countenance (Hebrew FACES) fallen?' The like he observes in the Syriac language, John i. 4. “The life in the Syriac Lives) was the light of men.'*
2 Sam. xxiii. 2. 3. “The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel
# Bp. Patrick's Com.
said, &c.' Job xxvi. 13. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens, his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.' Job xxxiii. 4. “The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.' Psal. xxxiii. 6. • By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath, or spirit of his mouth.' Psal. cxxxix. 7. "Whither shall I go from thy spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence.' Isaiah xxxiv. Seek ye out the book of the Lord and read, for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.' Isaiah xlviii. 16. And now the Lord God and his spirit hath sent me. Micah ji. 7. “O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the Lord straits ened?' Zech. iv. 6. Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord
of Hosts.' These and similar
passages from the Old Testament, have been some. times urged to prove the existence and distinct personality of a third person in the godhead, whom the Trinitarians call God the Holy Ghost. But they are quite foreign to the purpose, and prove on the contrary, that the spirit of God signifies nothing else but the divine influence, energy, power, or operation. The Jews, by the words Spirit, and Holy Spirit, never understood any distinct agent, or separate person in the Deity, as will appear from the fol. lowing quotation from Maimonides.
*" Ruach vox est homonyma. Significat enim, primo, aerem, hoc est, unum ex quatuor clementis : ut VERUACH, et Spiritus Domini
aquas. Gen. i. 2. Deinde significat spiritum fantem, h. e, ventum. Ut VERUACH et spiritus (ventus) orientalis attulit locustas. Exod. x. 13. Item. Ruach spiritus occidentalis. Ib. yer. 19. Et sic sæpissime. Tertio, sumitur pro spiritu vitali. Ut Ruach spiritus vitæ. Gen. vi. 17.-Quarto, sumitur de parte illa hominis incorruptibili
, quæ superstes remanet post mortem. Ut VERUACH, et spiritus hominis redit ad Deum, qui dedit cum. Eccles. xii. 7. Quinto, significat Influentiam Divinam, a Deo prophetis instillatam, cujus virtute prophetabant
-Et seperabo Mix Roach, de spiritu, qui est in te, et ponam in eis. Num. xi. 17. Et fuit, cum quievis et super eos Haruach spiritus. Ver. 26-Item. Ruach spiritus locutus est in me. 2 Sam. xxiii, 2. Sexto significat quoque propositum et voluntatem. Ut Kol Rucho omnem spiritum suum profert stultus. Prov. xxix. II. Hoc est, omnem intentionem, voluptatem suam. Sic, et exhaurietur Ruach spiritus Ægypti in medio ejus, et consilium ejus absorbeo.--Isa. xix. 3. i. e. dissipabitur propositum ipsius, et gubernatio ipsius abscondetur. Sic, Quis direxit Ruach Domini, et quis vir consilii ejus, ut indicare possit eum. Isa, xl. 13.
RUÁCH or spirit has various significations. 1. It signifies the air, that is, one of the four elements. Gen. i. 2. Arid the spirit of the Lord moved upon the face of the waters.' 2. It signifies wind. Exod. x. 13. And the east wind brought the locusts.' Ver. 19. And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind which took away the locusts.' And it has this sense very often. 3. It is taken for the vital breath. Gen. vi. 17. All flesh wherein is the breath of life, (to which may be added that passage of the Psalmist. Psal. Ixxviii. 39. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind, å spirit, that passeth away, and cometh not again.). 4. It is taken for the incorruptible part of man which survives after death. Eccles. xii. 7. 'And the spirit shall return to God who gave it.' 5. It signifies the divine influence inspiring the prophets, by virtue of which they prophesied. Num. xi. 17. I will take of the spirit that is in thee, and will put it upon thein.' Ver. 26. . And the spirit rested upon them.' '2 Sam. xxiii. 2.
The spirit of the Lord spake by me,' 6. It signifies design, purpose, or intention. Prov. xxix. 11. (A foot uttereth all his mind, or spirit;' that is, all his intention, or purpose. Isaiah xix. 3. And the spirit of Egypt shalí fail in the midst thereof, and I will destroy the counsel thereof :' that is, I will confound her purposes, and disarrange her government. Isaiah xl. 13. 7 Who hath di. rected the spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor, hath taught him?' which means, that none knows the pur. poses of his will, or can investigate or point out to him the plan upon which he governs the system of the universe. It is evident then that the word RUACH, or spirit, when spoken of God, is to be understood partly in the fifth, and partly in the sixth and last acceptation of the word, as signifying the divine will; and it must be explained as the reason and circumstances of things direct.”
From what this intelligent Jew has advanced, as well as
hoc est, Quis est, qui sciat ordinem voluntatis ejus, aut qui apprehendat et assequatur, qua ratione hanc rerum universitatem gubernet, et qui eum indicare posset. Vides ergo, quod hæc vox, Ruach, quando Deo attribuitur, ubique sumatur partim in quinta, partim in sexta et ultima significatione, quatenus voluntatem significat. Exponatur in
pro ratione rerum et circumstantiarum. MeiMore Navocbim.