Imatges de pÓgina
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ftead of the trine-une God to them. Wherefore it is of little fervice to the Jews to object this to us: nor ought it to be thought ftrange, when the idols of the Gentiles, in imitation of the true God, are called Elohim; whofe names, as well as worship, Satan has endeavoured to mimic. The ancient Jews not only concluded a plurality, but even a Trinity, from this word Elohim; as appears from a paffage in the book of Zobar, where the author fays: "Come, fee the mystery of the word Elohim: there are three 177 degrees, and every "degree is diftinct by himself, notwithstanding they are all one, and are "bound together in one, and one is not divided from the other." This is fo full an account of the Trinity, that one would rather have thought it came out of the mouth of a Christian, than of a Jew. Was an Athanafian to give an account of his faith in the doctrine of the Trinity, he would do it in much. the fame language, except, that instead of degree he would use the word person. And yet we find Tertullian, an ancient Christian writer, uses the word degree, when speaking of the perfons in the Trinity; and calls the Holy Ghoft particularly the third degree. I have took no notice of the word Adonim, as applied to God; which though it is fometimes used of one, for the sake of honour, in the second and third, yet never in the first person plural, as it is of God in Mal. i. 6. * I am Lords, where is my fear?" But

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Secondly, To prove a plurality in the Godhead, from fome plural expreffions which are used of the divine Being in fcripture and shall begin,

1. With Gen. i. 26. "And God faid, Let us make man in our image, after "our likeness." The pronouns us and our, do so manifeftly express a plurality, that he must wilfully shut his eyes, who does not see it; and yet, left we should from hence conclude a plurality of gods, the words image and likeness are expressed in the fingular number; a plurality in the Deity being entirely confiftent with the unity of effence. Nothing is more plain from hence, than that more than one was concerned in confultation about, and in the formation. of man. Hence we have thofe plural expreffions used of the divine Being, when he is represented as the Creator of men; as in Job xxxv. 10. "Where "is God, wy my Makers?" And Pfalm cxlix. 2. "Let Ifrael rejoice "wy "in his Makers." And Eccl. xii. 1. "Remember 7872 thy Creators in the 66 days

e. Vet. Nizzachon, p. 4. Ed. Wagenfeil.

f In Lev. fol. 27. col. 2. Ed. Sultzbach. fol. 29. Cremon.

Tres autem non ftatu, fed gradu; nec fubftantia, fed forma; nec poteftate, fed fpecie; unius autem fubftantiæ & unius ftatus & unius poteftatis ; quia unus Deus, ex quo & Gradus isti, & formæ & fpecies, in nomine patris & filii & fpiritus fan&ti deputantur. Tertullian. adv. Praxeam, c, 2. Hoc mihi & in tertium gradum dictum fit, quia fpiritum non aliunde puto; quam a patre per ·

filium, ibid. c. 4.

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"days of thy youth." And Ifa. liv. 5. thy Makers; the Lord of Hofts is his name." Now what reafon can be given for these plural expreffions, if there was not more than one concerned in man's creation?

The Jews have tried at many things to evade the force of this text. Sometimes they tell us, that God confulted with the fouls of men, and with fecond causes; with the elements, and particularly with the earth', out of which he formed man; and then breathed into him the breath of life: fo that, in respect of his body, which is of the dust of the earth, he was made after the image of the earth; and in refpect of his foul, after the image of God; and fo in respect to both, after our image. But this is fo wretchedly ftupid, that it deserves no further notice. Others of them fay, that God confulted with his angels, and speaks to them about man's creation, which is the reason of this plural expreffion. But it ought to be observed, that angels are creatures, and fo not of God's counsel: For "who hath directed the Spirit of the 'Lord; "or, being his counsellor, hath taught him? With whom took he counfel?" Not with any of his creatures; no, not with the highest angel in heaven; they are none of them equal to him, nor equal to the work mentioned in the text, under confideration: they are creatures, and therefore cannot be poffeffed of creative power; nor were they concerned in man's creation; nor was man made after their image and likeness. Others of them fay", that God here speaks regio more, after the manner of kings; who in their edicts, proclamations, &c. ufe the plural number to exprefs their dominion, honour and majefty. But it ought to be confidered, that the reason why kings and princes ufe plural expreffions in their edicts, proclamations, &c. is because they connotate other persons, kings acting by the advice of their minifters, or privy counfel. Befides, this aulic or courtly way of speaking is not fo ancient, No one instance can be produced in fcripture, where the kings of Ifrael speak after this manner; nor indeed, where those proud, haughty and arrogant monarchs Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar use the plural number, when speaking of themselves only. The inftances which are usually produced are foreign to the purpose; and as a learned Jew obferves", are pwy falfe witneffes. And as a worthy prelate obferves °, "It is a very extravagant fancy to fuppofe that Mofes alludes to a custom that was not (for what appears) in being at that time, nor a great while after." The firft inftance

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Vide Menaffeh ben Ifrael, conciliat. in Gen. quæft. 6.

i So Vet. Nizzachon, p 5. Lipman. Carmen memorial.

** Bereshit Rabba, Parash. 8. Jarchi & Aben Ezra in loc.

m R. Saadiah Gaon in Aben Ezra in loc. R. Bechai in loc.

Ifa. xl. 13, 14

of

" Aben Ezra in Gen. i. 26.

Bp Kidder's demonstration of the Meffiah, part 3. p. 90. Ed. Fol.

of this royal way of speaking, is in the letters of Artaxerxes, king of Perfia, mentioned in Ezra iv. 18. and vii. 23. which, as it is the most early intimation of this mode of expreffion, so it ought to be observed, that it first appears in the latest account of things which the scriptures of the Old Testament give; and further, that it is only a proof of this way of speaking in the Chaldee, and not in the Hebrew language, and probably might take its rife in the court of Perfia, from the conjunction of Darius the Mede, and Cyrus the Perfian, in the government of the empire; in both whose names edicts and decrees might run, and letters be fent. This might occasion the first use of such plural expreffions, and their fucceffors might continue them to express their power and glory. After all, the Jews are confcious to themselves, that these words do furnish out an argument for a plurality in the Deity. Hence in one of their ancient commentaries upon this place, they say, That when Mofes was writing the fix days works, and came to this verse, he made a stop, and faid, Lord of the world, why wilt thou give an occasion to heretics to open their mouths against the truth? And add, that God should say to him, Write on; he that will err, let him err. Now this fabulous story is hatched on purpose to defend themselves against the argument of the Chriftians for a plurality in the Godhead, founded on this text; and sufficiently discovers the sense they had of the force of it and the self-convictions they laboured under from this paffage. They also tell us, That the seventy two interpreters who were employed by Ptolemy, king of Egypt, to tranflate the law, when they came to this text, read it not nу, let us make; but as if it was mys, I will make: and this change was made by them, left Ptolemy should think that they held a plurality of gods, as well as he. And for the fame reason they made the like. change in other places', where there is an intimation of a plurality, as in Gen. xi. 7. And Philo, the Jew', affirms, That these words declare dos, a plurality; and are expreffive of others, as co-workers with God in the creation'.

A late writer tells us ", That he "can conceive how God is faid to do "this, that is, to make man in our image, and after our likeness, by his Word "and Spirit; for that he acted, in those respective characters, in his Christ, VOL. III.

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Bereshit Rabba, Parash. 8.
• Talmud, Megilla, fol. 9. 1.
Talmud, ibid. Bereshit Rabba, Parash. 38.

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• Ειπε γὰρ, φησὶ, κύριος ὁ θεὸς ποιήσομεν ἄνθρωπον κατ' εικόνα ἡμετέραν καὶ καθ ̓ ὁμοίωσιν, τῷ ποιήσομεν mañdos iμpaívorles. Philo de confusione ling. p. 344. Ed Par. He afferts the same in his book De Profugis, p. 460.

* Οτι ἔιπεν ὁ θεὸς, ποιήσομεν ἄνδρωπον, ὅπερ ἐμφαίνει συμπαράληψιν ἑτέρων, ὡς ἄν συνεργῶν. Idem de opificio, p. 16.

The great concern of Jew and Gentile, p. 2o.

"and through his holy child Jefus." That the Word and Spirit were concerned with God in the creation of man, is a truth, and is the true reafon of this plural expreffion; but then, these are not to be confidered as mere characters, under which God acted; for mere names and characters cannot be confulted with; nor can creative powers be ascribed to them; nor have they any image and likeness after which man could be made. The words are a manifeft proof of a plurality of divine perfons, who were equal to one another, and to the work of man's creation, in which they were jointly concerned. 2. Another scripture, which bears a teftimony to a plurality in the Deity, is Gen. iii. 22. "And the Lord God faid, the man is become as one of us." Which words are not spoken to angels, as say the Jewish writers"; for they are not God's focials or equals, nor any of the Deity, as these here are said to be. Had the words any reference to angels, they would have been read, The man is become as one of you. The words of the ferpent to Eve determine the fense of these, when he fays to her: "Ye fhall be as Gods, knowing good" "and evil." Now whatever equivocal, ambiguous, fallacious, or deceitful meaning, the Devil had in these words; yet it is certain, that he intended she should understand him of the divine Being; and fo fhe did. The bait which he laid for her, and which took with her, was not an equality to angels, but to God: this our first parents affected, and this was their ruin. The words' may be confidered either as an irony, or farcafm on man's folly and vanity, in affecting Deity; and then it is as if he had faid: Behold the man whom Satan promised, and who himself expected to be as one of us. See how much like a God he looks; who, but juft now, was covered with fig-leaves, and now stands cloathed with the skins of flain beafts; and who, by his fin, has brought ruin and misery on himself, and all his pofterity: or else, they may be confidered as a comparison of his past and present ftate," Behold the "the man, was as one of us, that is, he was made in our image, and after "our likeness; but he has finned, and come short of his former glory: he has "defaced this image; he is not like the man he was; and fince he has done "this, What will he not do? And now therefore, left he put forth his hand, "&c." Confider the words either way, they prove a plurality in the Deity. Philo, the Jew', acknowledges that these words are to be understood of more than one.

3. Another paffage of fcripture, which expreffes the fame thing, is Gen. xi. 7. "Go to; let us go down, and there confound their language." Which

Bereshit Rabba, Parash. 21. Aben Ezra in loc,

cannot

* Vide R. Abendana in loc.

γ Καὶ πάλιν ἔιτσεν ὁ θεός, ιδε γέγονεν Αδάμ ὡς εἰς ἡμῶν, τῷ γινώσκειν καλὸν, καί πονηρόν. Τὸ γὰρ ὡς εἷς ήμων, ἔκ ἐφ ̓ ἑνὸς, ἀλλ ̓ ἐπὶ πλειόνων τίθεται. Philo de confuf. ling. p. 344 345·

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cannot be meant of Angels, in which fenfe the Jewish writers understand it; for God never speaks in fuch language to them: had he spoke to them, it would have been in fuch a form as this: Go ye down, and do ye confound their language. But he does not thus fpeak; but let us go down, &c. Befides, the work to be done, was fuch as angels could not do, nor any meer creature. The fame God that gave man the faculty of speech, and use of language, could only confound it. There was as great a display of divine power in the confusion of language, as there was in beftowing the gift of tougues on the apostles, at the day of Pentecoft. No, this was not the work of angels, but of thofe divine perfons, who are the one Jehovab; who, in ver. 8. is faid to scatter the people abroad from thence, upon the face of all the earth. Philo, the Jew, fays, That it is plain that God fpeaks to fome here as co-workers

with him.

4. Another text, which might be produced as a proof of a plurality in the Deity, is Ifa. vi. 8. "Alfo I heard the voice of the Lord, faying, Whom shall I "fend, and who will go for us? Then faid I, here am I, fend me." These are not the Seraphim, in ver. 2, 3. who are here fpeaking, but the Lord, who fays, whom shall I, Jehovah, fend, and who will go for us? Neither the name, nor the work agree to angels. Not the name Jehovah; for that is incommunicable to creatures: nor the work, which is the fending forth ministers to preach the gospel. For Angels themselves" are ministring spirits; fent "forth to minifter for them who fhall be heirs of falvation." These are divine perfons, and are no other than the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Of the Father, there is no question; nor need there be any of the Son, fince he expressly refers the words to himself, John xii. 39-41. as the Targum on the place does, to the Word of the Lord: nor ought there to be any with respect to the Holy Ghost, seeing they are manifeftly applied to him in Acts xxviii. 25, 26.

5. There is one paffage more in this prophecy of Ifaiah, chap. xli. 21-23. which I will just mention "Produce your cause, faith the Lord; bring forth "your strong reasons, faith the king of Jacob: let them bring them forth, " and fhew us what shall happen: let them fhew the former things, what they "be, that we may confider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare "unto us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that "we may know that ye are gods: Yea, do good or do evil, that we may be difmayed

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z Targum Jon. & Aben Ezra in loc. Jarchi on the place, fays, That God confulted with his houfe of Judgment.

2 Δεῦτε καί καλαβάνες συγχέωμεν αυτῶν τὴν γλῶτίαν, φαίνεται γὰρ διαλεγόμενός τισιν, ὡς ἂν συνεργοῖς avre. Philo de confuf. ling. p. 344. b So Kimchi & Aben Ezra in loc.

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