Imatges de pÓgina
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because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek,” &c., Isa. Ixi, 1. Once more: * Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read-for my mouth it hath commanded, and his Spirit it hath gathered them," Isa. xxxiv, 16. “ In these words (says Mr. Jones) there is one person speaking of the spirit of another person.

Such are some of the many passages contained in the Old Testament, by which the doctrines under discussion have been gradually discovered. It is true the Socinians have much to object; and in the course of this developement we have taken but little notice of them. And it is equally true that we also have much to say in confirma. tion of our own comments on these passages.

Much useful light might have been cast on the subject of this chapter by comparing the Old Testament with the New. But such a measure, whatever good purpose it might have answered, would have been a deviation from our present design. The preceding quotations have been made by way of appeal to the candour of the unprejudiced reader, in proof that the doctrine, though not the phrase of the trinity, originated with Moses and the prophets, and that the very doctrine of the preceding chapters is nearly, if not fully maintained by a dispensation preceding the Christian. The question now to be examined is, not what will a prejudiced Socinian object to the language of the Old Testament, or how will an enlightened Christian comment upon it; but what was the light in which this part of divine revelation would strike a studious and unprejudiced Jew?

“ The Hebrew doctors supposed the first verse of Genesis to contain some latent mystery. The Rabbi Ibba indeed expressly says it does, and adds, This mystery is not to be revealed till the coming of the Messiah." (Simpson on the Deity of Jesus, p. 352.)

“ An eminent Jewish rabbi, Simeon ben Joachi, in his comment on the sixth section of Leviticus, has these remarkable words : • Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim : there are three degrees, and each degree by itself alone, and yet notwithstanding they are all one, and joined together in one, and are not divided from each other.'(Dr. A. Clarke, in loc.)

6 The Jewish rabbi, Limborch, tells us that in the word Elohim there are three degrees, each distinct by itself, yet

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all one, joined in one, and not divided from one another." (Leslie's Short Method with the Deists.)

“ R. Bechai, a celebrated author among the Jews, dis. coursing of the word Elohim, has these words: •Accord. ing to the cabalistical way, this name Elohim is two words, namely, El him, that is, they are God. But the explanation of the Jod is to be fetched from Eccles. xii, 1, Remember thy Creators. He that is prudent will understand it. (Kidder's Demonstration of the Messiah, part iii, page 81.)

6 The author of Midras Tillim, on Exodus xx, 5, says, * I am the Lord, thy God, a jealous God.' Three answering to the three by whom the world was made.” (Ibid. p. 84.)

The Chaldee paraphrase does undoubtedly represent the sense of the Jews in general, as it is their public interpretation of Scripture. What we find common and frequent in it we must suppose to be the general opinion of that people. “ Now it is certain that this paraphrast doth often use memra, the Word of God, for Jehovah, God him. self, and that especially with relation to the creation of the world. As Isa. xlv, 12, • I made the earth,' the Chaldee translateth, • I by my Word made the earth.' And Genesis i, 27, we read, Et creavit Deus hominem. And God created man; “the Jerusalem Targum, Verbum Domini creavit hominem.' The Word of God created man. • And most clearly, Gen. iii, 8: Audierunt vocem Domini Dei ;' they heard the voice of the Lord God; the Chaldee paraphrase, Et audierunt vocem Verbi Domini Dei ;' and they heard the voice of the Word of the Lord God." (Pearson on the Creed, p. 117.)

On the celebrated prophecy of Isaiah, chap. ix, 6, uni. versally applied to the Messiah, the Chaldee paraphrase says, “ His name shall be called God, a man enduring to eternity, Christ.” The Syriac says, 6 His name is called Admiration, and Counsellor, the most mighty God of ages.” The Arabic: “ His name shall be called the strong God." (Simpson on the Deity of Jesus, p. 96.) In the Vatican

copy of the Septuagint, this passage is evident. ly mutilated. There the Messiah is abridged of all his high titles, and is simply called, " Meyaans Bovins ayyeros : the angel of the great counsel.” This is a comment rather than a translation. There are, however, several

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reasons for supposing that the Seventy originally translated this verse. “ Eusebius (D. E. p. 336) gives the Greek version uncorrupted, Wonderful Counsellor, mighty God."" (Simpson on the Deity of Jesus, p. 98.)

The Jews attribute also the name Jehovah to the Mes. siah. “ In the Sepher Ikkarim, l. ii, c. 8: • The Scripture calleth the name of the Messias, Jehovah our right. eousness.' And Midras Tillim, on Psalm xxi : God calleth the Messias by his own name, and his name is Je. hovah ;' as is said Exod. xv, 3, « The Lord is a man of war, Jehovah is his name. And it is written of the Mes. sias, Jer. xxiii, 6, “And this is the name which they shah call him, Jehovah our righteousness.” Thus Echa Rabati, Lam. i, 6, . What is the name of the Messias ? R. Abba said, Jehovah is his name, as it is said, Jer. xxiii, 6: And this is the name which they shall call him, Jehovah our righteousness.' The same he reports of Rabbi Levi.” (Pearson on the Creed, p. 149.) Such were the opinions of the Jews.

Whether they were founded in truth is not the present question. It is enough that they held such opinions, and that they de. rived them from Moses and the prophets. We proceed to the New Testament.

When Jesus had been baptized by John, in Jordan, he “ went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the hea. vens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” Matt. iii, 16, 17. Having witnessed this introductory revelation of the Son of God, the Baptist “ bare witness of him and proclaimed, saying, This is he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we (already) received, and grace

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grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came (always) by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bo som of the Father, he hath (always hitherto) declared him. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode And I knew him not: but that he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt

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See the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God,” John i, 1518, 32–34.

The meaning of this phrase, “the Son of God,” we must now examine. Under the Christian dispensation mere men, because they are “the offspring of God," and are • made in the likeness of God," and because they are restored to the paternal favour, and holy image of God, in Christ Jesus, are denominated - the sons of God.” In the appellation given to Jesus Christ there is, however, something by which he is distinguished from all others.

1. The sons of men are constituted the sons of God through him. “ As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name," John i, 12. * For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus," Gal. iii, 26.

2. They are made the sons of God by adoption : “predestinated to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ,” Eph. i, 5. He is begotten of the Father : “ Jehovah hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee," Psa. ii, 7. He is therefore called God's own or proper Son: “ He that spared not, tov IdLov vlov, his own, or proper

Son." 3. To distinguish him still farther from all others, he is repeatedly styled the only begotten Son. 6 God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son." In Mr. G.'s opinion this expression only means “well or best beloved :" in proof of which he observes that “ Isaac is called the only begotten son of Abraham, who had an older son living at the time.” (Vol. i, p. 339.) This answer is plausible, but not solid. « The promises” whick Abraham & had received” related to a son whom Sarah should bear to him: “And God said, (to Abraham,) Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him," Gen. xvii, 15–19. In the apostle's sense, therefore, Isaac was Abraham's only begotten son; the only one in whom the promises could be fulfilled; the only son of his mother. And just so the “ only begotten Son of God” is a Son sui generis ; the only one of that kind

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4. This truth our Lord has illustrated, and this interpretation he has confirmed, when in allusion to himself he says, Having yet therefore one Son, his well beloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my Son,” Mark xii, 6.

5. He is therefore distinguished from Moses and the prophets as the Son of God. “ God, who spake unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son,” Heb. i, 1, 2. “ Moses, verily, was faithful in all his house as a servant; but Christ as a Son over his own house," Heb. iii, 5, 6.

6. God's giving his Son is made the measure of the divine benevolence and beneficence. 6 God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,” John iii, 16. “ He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things," Rom. viii, 32. But if Jesus Christ be the Son of God only in a sense in which mankind in general may be. come the sons of God, what illustration or proof does such a gift afford of the infinite benevolence or beneficence of the Father?

7. The greatest possible blessings depend on our believing that he is the Son of God. 66 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God," i John v, 8. 6 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God,” i John iv, 15. Is it probable that such privileges should be attached to an acknowledgment that Jesus Christ was, in the common sense of the word, a child of the Most High?

8. Something extraordinary must be intended by the phrase, because he himself says, “No one knoweth the Son, but the Father,” Matt. xi, 27. And when Simon Peter confessed, “ Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus answered and said, Blessed art thou Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but

my Father which is in heaven,” Matt. xvi, 17. These observations may at least authorize us to insti. tute an inquiry into the particular meaning of this phrase.

The Socinians uniformly take advantage of this apellation, and of many things which are affirmed concerning Jesus Christ as “the Son of God," to point out and prove

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