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The cherubim, according to received systems, being merely two angels, with one sword between them, to prevent our first parents from breaking into the sacred garden; and its after introduction into the tabernacle and temple being for no other purpose than that of decorating the holy place. Yet, as no proof has ever been attempted, in vindication of this, the current belief, any one is at liberty to behold the cherubic emblem with that
eye of faith for which so majestic a display would seem to have been designed ; and to view it with sentiments some way corresponding to the sentiments of St Paul, who hesitates not to call this interesting figure the ' cherubim of glory!!! If therefore what has been spitefully termed the Hutchinsonian account of this cherubic glory, so wonderfully exhibited to God's faithful worshippers of old, could be admitted, (and there has not one solid argument yet been adduced in contradiction of it), tben, according to the ancient maxim,“ verum quod prius, • falsum quod posterius,' it would follow that Aaron's imitative error lay chiefly in what I hope to be pardoned for calling ‘ the Unitarianism of it;' and that his golden calf' was not, as has been with much parade held forth, borrowed from the Egyptian Apis, but was really and truly the original of that idol ; since, prior to the æra of the Exodus, there is not the least authentic restige of Apis in the Egyptian mythology. Y 2
I Heb. ix. 5.
But let what has been said of the cherubim have what weight it may, there is one conclusion which, from the contents of this Letter, I may safely draw, that the visible manifestation of the Three in Jehovah, which was vouchsafed to Abraham, would continue to be held in sacred and devout remembrance by his numerous posterity ; and that, in consequence, upon it, as sufficient evidence of the fact of a Triune existence in Deity, Moses would be directed to frame the most ancient, and most authoritative creed ever promulgated in the world
Hear, () Israel, JEHOV H our ALEIM is ONE JE
HOVAH'.” Nay, I shall refer the matter to any unprejudiced enquirer into the fundamental articles of christianity, whether in the promiscuous use of the two English words • LORD' and · GOD,' and under the sense assigned to the latter, as the most significant of the two, there appears that strength of emphasis, or even that propriety of expression which one would have expected from the solemn appeal, with which the declaration is introduced ; and which is not only radically inherent in the Hebrew words · JEHOVAH' and · ALEIM,' but inseparable from them, when their meaning is duly considered.
1 Deut. vi. 4.
BY what I have advanced in the foregoing pages, on the subject of the Holy Trinity, it is not to be supposed, that the object in view is a systematic defence of this, the primary article of the christian faith. My object is simply to correct a growing error, with regard to this point, viz. That the scriptures of the Old Testament are at best but dark and obscure respecting it; although we are assured, on no less authority than that of our Saviour himself, that the Jews thought (and who dares say that they were not authorised to think ?) that, in the scriptures of the fild Testament, " they had eternal
life'.” But having eternal life implies having the revelation of a Trinity in Unity; since no christian requires to be informed, that eternal life is unattainable by fallen man, without a firm belief of that fundamental article.
I know how common it is to say, that the New Testament alone affords clear and
express evidence of a Trinity in Unity ; by reason that the New
i St John V. 39.
Testament alone asserts, that the Three which bear • record in Heaven are One'' But does not Moses speak also of a. Three who are One' having been seen and conversed with on earth? To me this
appears to be a proof equally clear and convincing as is the New Testament decision. I shall no doubt be told, that many of the Fathers, of the schoolmen, and of modern divines, do interpret the history to which I allude, in a manner subversive of the fabric which it has been my endeavour to raise upon it. My reply is, that the same liberties have been taken with the text of St John, which exhibits so clearly and expressly the New Testament evidence. Nay, it is sufficiently known, that this text has been boldly rejected altogether; and I hesitate not to say, with as much shew of plausibility on the one side, as the appearance made to Abraham has been misinterpreted on the other, that is, with no great solidity of argument on either side. I repeat it, however, that a systematic defence of the doctrine of the Trinity is not my object at present. It has merely fallen to be discussed in the course of argument, on a subject intimately connected with it-the unsubordinate Deity of Christ Jesus. Of this, I must take leave to affirm, that we are furnished with one incontestible proof, arising from this obvious circumstance, that the Messias is so eminently held forih, born witness to, and distinctly spoken of, through the whole of the Hebrew scrip
I St John v. 7.
tures, from Moses to Malachi, without
allusion whatever to generation, filiation,'! Sonship,' &c.
But besides the two words, JEHOVAH,” “ALEIM,” “ LORD,” “ God," applicable, as I have shewn, to the Trinity in general, it is proper that I direct
your attention to other two words, likewise rendered • LORD,' and · GOD;' which words are applied restrictively, I had almost said, exclusively, to him, in whom, (as the great author of the vocation wherewith they are called), christians will always rejoice and say, Thou art the King of glory,
OʻChrist.” The first of these remarkable words is • Adon,' or ' Adoni ;' which is translated • xupcu, · Dominus,'' Lord.' To the latin . dominus,' • Lord, as implying · dominion,” • lordship,'' authority,' &c. the word · Adoni,' in its true and radical sense, has a marked affinity. But this is a sense wholly foreign to the radical import of the word · JEHOVAH,' with which it is frequently joined, and with a kind of emphasis, by the prophet Ezekiel—“ ADONI, " JEHOVAH, the Lord God'.” This is a striking peculiarity in that mystical writer, which to the Jews, who always, in reading the Scriptures, substitute • Adonai’ for Jehovah, has proved a real stumbling block. For, whether to pronounce the words of
being translated ,את פני האדם יהיה אלהי ישראל .23
1 The same expression occurs in many parts of the Old Testament. But no where is the inaccuracy of the English more marked, than in
. -, “ before the face of the Lord God, the God of Israel."