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entitled The Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity," he has taken little, or no notice of the Hebrew Scriptures. This, whatever his admirers may think of the Doctor's performance, betrays it to be glaringly deficient, and its author to have palpably departed from the extensive field of research into which the specious title, given to the work, does confessedly furnish the reader with an expectation of being introduced. Nor is such conduct attributable only to Dr Clarke : it is too common with most writers on the subject of the · Holy Trinity;' either wholly to neglect, or to lay but small stress upon, the evidence of the Old Testament. This they do from a sadly erroneous supposition, that the Old Testament affords but few authorities for the belief of such a doctrine. Yet, by means of this supposition those writers are frequently led into visible inconsistencies, not to say, self-contradiction. Of this we have a striking instance in the case of a Sermon writer, named Bedford, who very gravely presents us with this perplexed account of things—“ The doctrine of the Trinity was clearly

intimated in many places of the Old Testament-it

was recorded in the two great libraries erected “ in Noah's time'. It was but obscurely mentioned

by Moses and the prophets-yet it was the belief of “ the Jews for some centuries before Christ,” &c.


See. Sermons of Mr Bedford,' p. 100.-In page 94. be had informed his reader, “ that this was done by Thoth, the grandson of “ Ham, the one at Berytus in Asia, the other at Alexandria in Egypt.

Was this indeed a subject within the province of man's finite reason, it might then be reasonably presumed, that the Almighty Being, who delights so much in denominating himself “ JEHOVAH, the “ Aleim of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob," would explain to them, and that to the full extent of their mental powers, what the term ' Jehovah' meant, and what it was to be · Aleim'to them " their Aleim.We learn, from undoubted authority, that one of these three eminent patriarchs

rejoiced to see the day of the Messiah-and he “ saw it and was glad'.” He who declared this to the boastful children of righteous Abraham, is acknowledged by all, who admit of a Trinity in the Godhead, to belong to that Trinity. While it would be, to be wise above what is written,' in

any man, to limit the sight' vouchsafed the highly favoured patriarch, to what is called the "

eye of faith .' On the contrary, we are sure that Abraham saw the object, represented to have been seen by him, with his bodily eyes; whether in the single person of Melchisedec,' as St Paul seems to indicate, or in the conjunct appearance of the three DVN-men, persons standing by :_but by whom? Not, as is commonly and hastily thought, by Abraham' himself; • for he ran from the tent-door to meet them' -but “standing by the appearance of Jehovah.' This is certainly the import of the narrative, were it left


. Heb. vii,

1 St John viii. 56.

3 Gen, xviii,

to its own grammatical construction for a meaning;

- Jehovab appeared, and three persons stood 75, * Oliumby, on, or above the appearance.'

The highly distinguished son of Terah had been blest with appearances or exhibitions of Jehovah before this period'. He would therefore immediately recognize, upon every renewal, such as were habitual to him. But here it is a new exhibition with which he is favoured. The appearance consists of three ; and these three, Abraham sometimes addresses in the plural number, as three ; sometimes, in the singular number, as one : which circumstance may have given rise to the trite, but most expressive sentiment of St Augustine, (if my memory serves me), · Tres vidit, et unum adoravit,' He saw the Trinity, and worshipped the Unity.'

Were it not, that I am afraid of expressing myself improperly on so awful a theme, I might hazard a conjecture, (for I shall call it no more), regarding the One in JEHOVAH, before whom Abraham stood, ' when the men turned their faces • from thence, and went towards Sodom :'-and whom, in the very introduction to his earnest expostulation, the patriarch calls • The Judge of all * the earth }, explained by what is said in St. John's Gospel, that “the Father judgeth no man, • but committeth all judgement unto the Son.'



? Gen. xii. 7. and xvii. 1. 2 Gen. xvii.

3 verse 25, and John v. 22.

Yet, although this conjecture, if admissible, might perhaps lead to a new interpretation of the mysterious transactions recorded in the following chapter', I am restrained from launching too far, for fear of going beyond my depth ; but one observation I am warranted to make, by what is actually

written for our learning,' that, at this particular time, Abraham saw, and held a conference with, Je. hovah in Trinity. By this same Jehovah no intimation is given, and by the patriarch, no sentiment is expressed, which has the most distant tendency to convey an idea of any subordination or inferi rity in the DWIN, or persons, who thus exhibited themselves. We read of no . generation, of no 'pro* cession,' of nofountainship,' &c. so much insisted on now-a-days; but all the three, we learn from Abraham's indiscriminate reception of them, appeared to be co-equal, co-ordinute, consubstantial, and thus constituent of ONE JEHOVAH.

No wonder that the venerable Abraham, the • father of the faithful, should rejoice in such a gracious and familiar manifestation of the true God, which did so far surpass any revelation, in the coinmon acceptation of the word, and which would not fail to stamp an impression on the good man's mind, of which no other individual can form an adequate idea. Indeed, from the character which Jehovah himself gives of the venerable patriarch

• For


1 Gen. xix, particularly v. 13. 24.

For I know him, that he will command his chil• dren, and his household after him, and they. shall keep',' &c. we cannot do otherwise than conclude, that the wonderfully descriptive exhibition, with which he was honoured, would form a prominent part in the instructions and commandments, which he would impart to his children, particularly to his son Isaac, whose unexpected, and well nigh incredible birth, the same Jehovah, whose appearance consisted in three s'vsx, did, at this very period, announce.

What notifications of this sort may have preceded the above appearance, and have been vouchsafed to Seth, to Enoch, to Nouh, to Shem, &c. as they are not particularly recorded, so they cannot be brought into argument. And, after the treatment which a Bate, a Parkhurst, and a Jones, have received from the self-designed arbiters of theological truth, I may be thought more than bold enough to meddle with the cherubic figure, originally displayed ‘at the east of the garden of Eden ;' afterwards set up, by express command, in the tabernacle and temple; then minutely described by the prophet Ezekiel; and finally alluded to by the author of the Apocalypse. Notwithstanding all which, this mysterious figure is, without any ceremony, debased, by men of sound judgment, into something even below the hieroglyphics of the heathen


I Gen. xviii. 19.

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