Page images
PDF
EPUB

from the nature of the thing itself, it is evident to me that there is no foundation for supposing that any distinct agent is meant by the words spirit and holy spirit in the Old Testament, different from Jehovah, the God of Israel, styled in the New Testament, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The words RUACII, in Hebrew, Tivedua in Greek, and spiritus in Latin, in their original acceptation denote all the very same thing; and when applied to the Divine Being, as operating upon his creatures, sig. nify some kind of influence or communication from him, some exertion of his power and agency. It was by this breath, or operation, and influence of the Almighty, that the whole system of nature was produced, and by this it is continually preserved. It was this principle that dwelt in the prophets and apostles, and was imparted, in the largest degree, to our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a prodigious error in the Trinitarians, to make an intelligent agent equal with God the Father out of an attribute or property of the divine nature. It is true that there is more to be said for the personality of the Holy Ghost, from the New Testament than from the Old. But then those passages which most favour this notion will be found equally strong to prove, that if there is such a distinct agent or being as the Holy Spirit, that he is inferior to, and altogether de. pendent upon God the Father. So that our system will not be invalidated, nor that of our opponents promoted by this opinion, even though it should appear to be founded in truth. We will have occasion to resume this subject again, and to treat it more fully when we come to consider the objections from the New Testament. In our next discourse, the remaining objections that are supposed to occur in the books of the Old Testament, and to favour the system of our opponents, will be examined and removed. So God only wise, be glory by Christ Jesus, for

ever, Amen.

DISCOURSE VIII.

JOHN xvii. 3.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the

only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

IN

our seventh discourse, we entered upon the third and last part of our subject, which was to consider and an. swer the objections, that the Trinitarians make to our hypothesis, and urge in support of their own, founded on various places both of the Old and New Testament.

We proposed first, to consider the objections which are supposed to occur in the Old Testament; next those in the Evangelists ; and lastly those which are found in the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of St. Paul, and others, and in the Apocalypse or Revelation of St. John. We examined, and replied to several objections from the Old Testament; and in our present discourse we continue the same subject. The first passage that occurs to us is the following.

Job xix. 25. •For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin, worins destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for my.

self, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though - my reins be consumed within me.'

Several word's have been inserted in this passage by our translators, to make out what they supposed to be the sense of it. Neither, day, worms, nor body, occur in the original Hebrew and several learned commentators consider it, not

as referring to the general resurrection of the dead, but as expressive of the hopes of Job to be delivered even in this life, from the loathsome disease and grievous calamities with which he was afflicted : which consumed and wasted his body; and that Almighty God would appear at last as his Redeemer, or the vindicator of his inno. cence, and restore him again to a state of health and vigour; which in the conclusion of his history we find he actually did. An ingenious writer on the book of Job translates this passage as follows.

For I know that my avenger liveth, and that he will at last stand on the earth, and al. though my skin be torn in this manner, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see on my side as mine eyes have beheld him, for he is no stranger : my reins within me are ready to faint with longing for him." But although we should suppose Job to allude here to the future resurrection; yet, as he had no explicit knowledge of the doctrines of the gospel, nothing farther could be drawn from this passage, but only his belief that God would at some future distant period, raise him from the dead, make his innocence appear, and abundantly reward him for his sufferings, To apply this passage to Jesus Christ, from the mere sound of the word Redeemer in our English version, is quite extravagant. For Jehovah or God the Father, is in various places of the Old Testament, styled the Re deemer or Deliveres of his people. See Psal. cxxxvi. 24. &c.

Psal. ii. 7.-I will declare the decree the Lord hath said unto me: thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.' This place has been alleged to prove the supposed eternal generation which the Trinitarians ascribe to Jesus Christ: but it has not the smallest relation to that subject. The generation here spoken of, is a generation performed at some particular time, this day have I begotten thee;' but an eternal generation can never be fixed to any period; but must always be performing and yet never performed. We find this passage applied in the New Testament, to the resurrection, the exaltation, and priesthood of Christ. Acts xiii. 32, 33. • And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the Fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again, as it is also written in the

Second Psalm, thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.' Heb. i. 3, 4, 5. When he (the son) had by himself purged our sins, he sat down on the right vg!' of the majesty on high : being made so much better ipsist the angels, as he hath, by inheritance, obtained a more exelent name than they. For unto which of the angels siid ne at any time, thou art my Son, this day har. I bigaste i theo,? Heb. v. 5. “So also Christ glorified not himself', to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him thou art my Sun, to-day have I begotten thee.'

Psal. xxiv. 7. 10. • Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ve lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the king of glory shall come in. Who is this king of glory? The Lori of hosts, he is the king of glory.' Because in 1 Cor. ii. 8. Christ is styled the Lord of glory;' therefore, some of our opponents have concluded, that he is the King of Glory, and Lord of Hosts mentioned here: and that this passage relates to bis ascension into heaven after his resur. rection. But there is no connection betwixt these two places of scripture. The King of Glory' mentioned in Psalms, is Jehovah, the God of Israel, the Father of Christ, and the Lord of glory mentioned by St. Palil, is his Son, who was crucified. Nor does this place of scripture refer to the ascension and exaltation of Christ : but to the removal of the ark from the house of Obed-edom, and its being placed with great triumph by David in the taber: nacle, in his own city. See 2 Sam. vi. 12. &c.

Psal. xlv. 6, 7. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou Jovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of glad. ness above thy fellows. This place is applied to Christ in Heb. i. 8. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,' &c. The expression, (KISA KA Elohim,) in the Heb. original, and (o sporos so 0805) in the Greck, may be rendered, God is thy throne for ever and ever, that is, he is the establisher and support of thy throne. And this sense agrees extremely well with several places of scripture, where the kingdom of Christ is spoken of, or alluded to, as, 2 Sam. vii. 13, 16. "I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.- And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever

before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.' Psal. lxxxix. 3, 4. "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.' See also i Chron. xvii. 12-14, There is nothing harsh in this translation, and the original will very well bear it; as both the Hebrew and the Greek are am. biguous. But admitting the propriety of the common trans. lation, our cause will not be affected by it in the least : for Christ is only called God here in the inferior sense, because he is expressly said to have a God, who, on account of his having loved righteousness, and hated iniquity, has anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows, fuero%01 fellows or partners,) that is above all those, whether angels or men, who have filled offices of dignity, authority, and trust; and may be called Gods in the n. ferior acceptation of the word. This passage then, (supposing the common translation to be just,) is so far from invalidating our system, that it strengtheos and confirms it in the strongest terms. It shews, that the word God, when applied to Christ in the most precise and solemn manner, is only to be understood in a qualified and limited sense ; and that there is a God over him and superior to him, who for his distinguished fidelity, and eminent attach. ment to the cause of righteousness, has been pleased to ad. vance him to a more exalted and illustrious station, than he has thought fit to confer upon any other being. What a mean unworthy artifice is it in the Trinitarians to say, that • Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,' &c. Is to be understood of the supposed divine nature of Christ; and that, thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity, &c. respects his human nature. This is shifting the person of Christ just as it suits their own principles, and grossly perverting the words of scripture. Neither the Psalmist nor the author of this Epistle, furnish any handle for an interpretation of this kind. They speak of the Son as one single agent or being, who at the same time that his throne is established for ever and ever, is also anointed by his God with the oil of gladness above his fellows.

Psal. Jxviii. 18. “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts from men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LOM God might dwell

« PreviousContinue »