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Justin Martyr, in his dialogue with the Jew Trypho, expressly ascribes to him the opinion, which he endeavours to refute, that the Messiah would be simply, as to his nature, man. The early Jewish converts, called Ebionites, thought the same: and so did those among the later Christians, who are styled by their enemies heretics, but who boldly appealed to antiquity against the confusion introduced into church theology, by identifying the Word with the Son of God. The Word, said they, is not the Son of God; he is only an attribute, a faculty, a property of the Divine nature. It is the man Jesus Christ who became the Son of God by the communication of the word. The appellation of Son of God agrees only to the man Jesus, mere man as to his nature, how great soever he was by his gifts.-Beausobre, Hist. de Manichées, Tom. I. 539.
It is owing to this confusion that modern theologists, and such of the Jews as reason themselves out of the belief that Jehovah is a God, with whom and beside whom there is no God, fancy they discover a Trinity in the writings of the old Rabbins. That Christ should be called by the name of Jehovah, or that he should be called the Word of God, is so far from affording a proof that the Jews would therefore consider him as Jehovah or the Word, in the sense of personal existence or natural identity, that it justifies the directly contrary infer
"It is well known that in the Chaldee paraphrases," says Lardner, "it is very common to put Mimra Jehovah, the Word of the Lord, for Jehovah or God:" and he observes, "that the Jewish people, more especially those of them who were most zealous for the law, and most exempt from foreign and philosophical specu
lations, used this way of speaking commonly; and by the Word, or the Word of God, understood not a spirit separate from God, but God himself,* as St. John does."-History of the Apostles and Evangelists.
What then is proved by the statement, that "when Hosea says, 'And Jehovah shall save his people by Jehovah their God; the Targum paraphrases it, 'Jehovah shall save his people by the Word of Jehovah' ?" They mean precisely the same thing.
No Jew, with his eyes open, could light on the passage of Isaiah, "Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth, I have put my spirit upon him," and conceive that it was any other spirit but that of God himself, or that the elect, who had it put upon him, or was anointed with it, was himself that spirit. But he would naturally, from the metaphorical and figurative genius of his language, and the custom of speech familiarized to him in the writings of the prophets, consider the anointed servant of Jehovah as one and the same with him, not in nature, but in operation and authority. If Moses was made God to Pharaoh, the Messiah, with far stricter propriety, as to him the spirit was given without measure, would be regarded by the Jews as God to them: his Angel, his Son, and bearing his name: but to say that because Messiah is denominated by the title Jehovah, that he is so denominated "in his pre-existing character," unless it have a reference to his pre-existence in the Divine mind or counsels, is to beg the question.
The thing proved, therefore, by the sentiments and phraseology of the old Rabbins, is simply the use of the idiom Word of God, as identical with God's power or spirit, or general attributes; and when the writer speaks of this opinion as so different from that "entertained by Unitarians," his observation can only apply to modern Unitarians, nor to them, indeed, without many exceptions. He has only to look into Lardner's Observations on
Lardner refers to Numbers xxiii. 8, rendered in the Targum, "How shall I curse the house of Israel, when the word of the Lord has blessed them?"
John, or Priestley's Notes on Scrip-ayos, In the beginning he was "The personal pronoun ture, for the evidence that this opi- the Word. nion, so far from differing, is identi- nominative," says Mathiæ, "is seldom cally the same with theirs. expressed with the verb, except for the sake of emphasis; that is, of clearly marking the person as distinguished from others." Now, if this be not an occasion for emphatical distinction, supposing the application to Christ accurate, where can such ever occur? It seems obvious, that hayos is the nominative throughout; which also accounts for the so-much-insistedupon omission of the article before os in the last clause and that the sense is the same as if the words were arranged, εν αρχῃ ὁ λόγος ην, καὶ ὁ λόγος ην προς τον Θεον και ὁ λόγος την (ὁ Θεός. The mere transposition of the words for the sake of elegancy has surely no effect in obscuring the signification. EBION.
The triumph is not over the Unitarian doctrine itself, but over the critical refinements of individual Unitarian expositors; as Simpson, Cappe, Kenrick and Mr. Belsham, who have treated the first chapter of John's Gospel as if it had been newly dug up in the isle of Patmos, and had never exercised the sagacity of Christian antiquity. There must be a sort of basilisk fascination in the spell of verbal criticism, or writers of such general acuteness and knowledge, and such undoubted singleness of intention and zeal for the promotion of the truth, could never, one might suppose, have shut their eyes on the whole body of Jewish philology and antiquities, in order to bring down the spiritual and lofty language of the fourth evangelist to the level of the dry, matter-of-fact, penurious apprehension of modern readers, by explaining away the Word into the Preacher!
But it seems Mr. Lindsey has rendered hoyos wisdom, and that is not the term by which wisdom is expressed in the Old Testament. So because the term cannot here mean wisdom, it can mean nothing connected with the Divine attributes at all! Against the reference to the original creation in this proem, it is urged that EYEVETO is no where used in the sense of created. But if we say all things were, or all things became by the word, the will, or the power, or the wisdom, or all united of Jehovah, where is the difference? However, the allusion, whether to the material or the new creation, is unimportant, and cannot affect the sense of the term the Word; the power of Jehovah, or Jehovah himself, which, in the strong metaphor of the Jewish Evangelist, became flesh, and tabernacled among us, when manifested in Jesus of Nazareth.
I regret that the learned and excellent Dr. Carpenter, a "teacher in Israel," should persist in this properly Socinian interpretation, which I cannot but think impairs the value of his improved edition of "Unitarianism the Doctrine of the Gospel." He has also carried verbal refinement still farther, by the rendering of ev apx?
Account of the Establishment of Presbyterianism in Manchester.
"The 42d Meeteinge at Manchester, March the 12th, 1649,
"4. Mr. Leake, preacher at Prestwich, appeared, according to his summons, and upon his request, hath tyme given him untill the next Classe to give in his answeare to the sum
6. Another summons drawn up to require Mr. Rob'. Symonds, preach er at Shawe Chappell, to attend the Classis at their next Meeteinge, which will bee the second Tuesday in Aprill next."
I judge no extract necessary from the 43d Meeting.
"The 44th Meeteinge at Manchester, May 14th, anno 1650.
"5. Mr. John Leake promised to bring a testimoniall of the soundness
*For No. V. see p. 275 of the present volume.
fession-or both-before the Eldershippe of this congregation, to stand guilty of-adultery-fornication-or the like, they havinge seriously considered the haynousnes and scandalousnesse of the sinne in itself: (here let some fewe pertinent Scriptures bee produced to prove the greatnesse of the said sinne,) and the severall aggravateinge circumstances thereof in A. B. (here let the aggravations bee mentioned). And haveinge used all Christian and loveinge means to bringe him to the sight of, and godly sorrowe for his greevouse sinne, (here the means used by the Eldershippe may bee speatified in case of his appearance or non-appearance,) by which God is greatly dishonoured, his soule endangered, the rest of the church grieved and offended, and occasion given to others to speake evill of the wayes of God; yet not perceiveinge that godly sorrowe which worketh repentance to life, and a readinesse and willingenesse the name and power of the Lord Jesus to give suitable satisfaction, have in Christ, accordinge to theire duty, and y merrit of his sine and carriage, ordinance of the Lord's Supper, wayJuditiallie suspended him from y* holy teinge and prayinge, that God would open his eyes, touche his heart, mightily convince and humble him, and renew repentance in him, and earnestly desire you, in the bowells of the Lord Jesus Christ, to help forward the worke of God, to pitie him, and pray for him, that (if it bee possible) there may be no necessitie of proceedinge to a further and heavier censure against him.
"The 50th Meeteinge at Manchester, November the 12th, 1650.
"4. Mr. Warden did give an account of the Provinciall Assemblie at Preston.
"5. A note to bee sent to the severall Ministers and Elders within this Classe, to the end it may appeare, wherefore they do not acte so freely in the government as formerly. "The 51st Meeteinge at Manchester, December 10th, 1650.
"5. It is ordered that a day of humiliation shall be upon Thursday, the 26th of December instant, in severall congregations within this Classe, in
of six Ministers and seven Elders subjoined, omitted.]
reference to the cryeinge sines of the tymes, and people's generall unaffectednes therewith, notwithstandinge the judgements of God hangeing over our heade and upon us, and particularly the fever that is rife and mortall in severall places, and the unseasonablenesse of the weather.
"5. Mr. Clayton, Minister at Didsbury, did withdraw from the Classis, and departed out of the Classis, without any order from the Classis.
"6. Mr. Hollinworth and Mr. Johnson are desired to goe to Flixton to there, to demand theire reason of withspeak to Mr. Woolmer and the Elders drawing from theire offices, and absenting themselves from the Classis. "The 55th Meeteinge at Manchester, Aprill 8th, 1651.
"4. It is ordered that whosoever from henceforth absente himself from the Classis, that is deputed thereunto, without giveinge a sufficient excuse, shall be admonished.
5. Mr. Hollinworth and Thomas
Edge are further desired to goc to Flixton to speake to Master Woolmer and the Elders there, to demand the theire offices, and absentinge themreason of their withdrawinge from
selves from the Classe.
"6. A letter sent to Mr. John
Lake, in reference to his forbeareinge
"7. A COPPIE of the LETTER sent unto Mr. John Lake.
"It being evident to us that you doe officiate within this Classis without approbation obtained or sought, and you having declared that your resolution is to administer the Supper of the Lord with the professed neglect of the Eldershipe chosen and constituted in that congregation, and by your solitarie power, will admitt to, and suspend from the Supper; wee beinge very sensible of your irregular waikeinge herein, to the rule of the word, and expresse command of the civill authoritie, do (in tender respect to the glory of God, the purity of the ordinance, and good of the people), intreate and require you to forbeare such administration of the Supper, and to entertaine a brotherly conference with us, accordinge to the motion we made you,) that we may, through the blesto you, (though at present refused by singe of God, satisfie the scruples that hinder your orderly and regular acting with us, both in the congrega
3. The Minister and Elders at Flixton returned theiré answears in writing, but it was judged by the Ministers and Elders in this Classe not satisfactory, and therefore a conference is appointed to bee had with them ye 10th of June. [Here follows the appointment of two ministers and two elders.]
"10. The Classe beinge informed that Mr. John Lake had administered the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, notwithstandinge theire admonition to him to the contrary, they therefore desired the Elders of Ouldham to bringe in what witnesses they could, against there next meeteinge, to prove that; that they might proceed against him by censure.
"11. Evan Clarke is appointed to goe to Mr. Odcroft, and to tell him that the Classe expect his attendance the second Tuesday in June next: as also, to speake to Mr. Benson, to see what he can say concerninge the course Mr. Odcroft houlds in makeinge clandestine wedings, baptizeinge 4 T
"3. Ouldham, no Minister; Samuel Crofield, John Worrall, Elders. 5. Witnesses appeared concerne inge Mr. John Lake administeringe ye Lord's Supper.
"6. Caleb Broadhead, aged about 34 oath sayth; yeares, examined upon That tove severall Saboath dayes, about y second and third Saboath after Easter, which were the 13th and 20th of Aprill, 1651-beinge at Ouldham Church those twoe Saboath dayes, hee sawe the Communion Table spread, and flagons on the table, in preparation for the Lord's Supper, as hee conceives; and that he heard Mr. Lake speake these words, or words to the like effect, the afternoon of the first day; that forasmuch as he had given warneinge for persons to bee examined before they were admitted to the sacrament, bis intent was onely of strangers which was not of his such as kept away upon that ground owne congregation, and hee desired
would come the next Saboath and communicate with him, for he stood not upon that formalitie of examination.
7. John Worrall, of Ouldham, in the Countie of Lancaster, aged about 66, deposed and saith, that to the best of his now remembrance, the first Saboath day after Mr. Lake, Minister at Ouldham, had been before the Classis at Manchester, hee beinge at Ouldham in the afternoone of the said day, hee there saw the Communion Table covered, and vessels thereon, as hee conceived in preparation to the Lord's Supper; and as hee, this deponent, heard the number of the coinmunicants were but few, and hee beinge there in the afternoone, he heard the said Mr. Lake publickly say to the congregation, that he did conceive that the people were mistaken, touching the warneinge given by him for examination, for his intent and meaneinge was that yonge folks, that had not formerly received the sacrament, and strangers, should have come to have been examined, and not others.
"8. Evan Clarke brought Mr. Od