Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ing never so much as suspected of heresy, or of unsound doctrine, in this important article. The case is simply this : If I believe, as I do inost firmly believe, that, in the radical sense, the Hebrew title of Deity, Dubx, implies - relation, agency, cove• nanting, &c. I am not only justified in saying, but I am compelled to say, that the • THREE IN JE* HOVAH ARE ALEIM;' whereas, from the defectiveness of the English language, fixed beyond all possible remedy, I neither can, nor do venture to say, 'THAT THE THREE IN THE LORD ARE Gods; and it will

prove, in any critic, both unfriendly and unjust, to attempt to blacken the character of these Letters by any such unmerited imputation. To be called Tritheist, if ©:os be permitted to stand, in all respects, for Aleim, I am so far from being ashamed, that in common with those, who have embraced the same sentiments on this important subject, I accept of the designation as a mark of distinction from those who differ in sentiment from us. These men, to be consistent, must and do value themselves on being denominated Theists, a term which, according to their own confession, is only applicable to Jews, to CHRISTIANS, and Mahometans ; (a goodly conjunction)-but which, notwithstanding their philosophical declamation, is a term, in my estimation, no less degrading to the true Christian, than the term TRITHEIST can be in their estimation. On the other hand, where . Ozos' is used for • JEHOVAH,' as it frequently is, with all my suspected inclination to heDd 2

resy,

resy, I am restrained by the idiom of the Hebrew tongue, as the original channel of divine revelation, from falling into the ungrammatical blunder of affixing the number · THREE' to a word which has no plural.

LETTER XX.

IT is upon the acknowledged importance of the august title •JEHOVAH,' the

proper,

the peculiar, the incommunicable name of the TRUE, the ONLY SUPREME BEING, assumed by himself, and revealed to man · for his learning,' that not only my train of reasoning, in the foregoing pages, is founded, but that any distinct conception depends, which the weak intellect of man can form, on the interesting subject of the DIVINE NATURE. Neither the Greek, the Latin, nor the English language, possesses a term of synonimous import to the Hebrew term JEHOVAH, or expressive of that import. For these languages possess no term, applied to Deity, but what is equally applicable, and is constantly applied, to false objects of worship, in com

mon

[ocr errors]

mon with the true object. So far from this being the case with the title • JEHOVAH,' it is this

yery

title which distinguishes and marks the superiority of the true God, in every instance where an idol is contrasted with him ; while to none of the three languages, in which the translation of Scripture is familiar to us,

is

any such power of distinction given. Thus, in that awful transaction between Moses and Pharaoh king of Egypt, both the force of Moses' first address, and the pertinency of Pharaoh's answer, are, in our translation, much obscured, not to say wholly kept out of sight. • Thus • saith the Lord God, of Israel, Let my people go. • And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord ? I know • not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go! Because of this language, Pharaoh has been branded with the name of Atheist ; but that he deserved this title, does not at all appear from the original history

Pharaoh had · Aleim' of his own, although he knew not the · Aleim' of Israel, particularly under the designation of JEHOVAH, whereon the Jewish lawgiver lays the stress of his commission : • thus saith JEHOVAH, the ALEIM of Israel. Nay Pharaoh himselt, after repeated humiliations, in the course of that great contest, is brought to acknowledge that he had sinned against JEHOVAH, • YOUR Aleim.' Wherefore · he adds, · Entreat Jehovah, YOUR, Aleim, for me *'

Many Many are the places in the Old Testament, in which, if we carry with us this distinctive sense of the title • JEHOVAH,' we shall discover an irresistible strength of emphasis; concealed, if not altogether buried, under the common acceptation of the title • LORD,' as synonimous with · God. Thus, in that exclamation of the people, on occasion of Elijah's victory over the priests of Baal, “ JEHOVAH, He is the ALEIM; JEHOVAH, He is the ALEIM':

1 Exod. v. I. 2.

Exod. x, 16, 179

The question which, on weighing all these circumstances, naturally suggests itself, is this ; · What, • under the patriarchal and legal dispensations,

was the design of the name • JEHOVAH 'being the • incommunicable title of the true God, (to speak in common language), of him,

- whose name A“ LONE IS JEHOVAH?" Was it not to denote his ESSENCE, in contradistinction to the essence of the sun, moon, and stars, or the essence of an idol? If then the Scriptures, in which this august name was originally revealed, are so far from being * contrary' to the revelation of the gospel, that they are its very basis, it follows, that the title • JEHO*VAH,'must be, and is of equal importance to christians, that it was to the people of God, in old time; and therefore whatever the designation • JE

HOVAH ALEIM’ signified or exhibited to them, it certainly signifies and exhibits the same to But in every exhibition, declaration, or manifestation,

with

US.

1 Kings xviii. 39.

with which this compound designation of the true God is connected, we discover not even a hint or implication of those peculiarities, which christian language has latterly ascribed to him; such as, ' eternal generation,' ' procession, subordination,' &c. And even where, in the sacred pages at large, we meet with any expressions which seem to import any such peculiarities, we wrest the Scriptures, if we do not account for them, and proceed to reconcile them to the ancient standard of truth, viz. Moses and the Prophets,' by means of tható EcoNOMY;' already treated of. Yet, even of that

æconomy,' so necessary to this salutary purpose, the main foundation rests upon the signification of Jehovah,' and of its adjunct · Aleim ;' and, upon the distinction which, at the same time, subsists between them : the one denoting essence, the other expressing relation ; and that not relation in the abstract, but of a particular quality, as ' agreeing,' en

gaging, and covenanting' by oath, to the performance of some undertaking, which had man for its object.

[ocr errors]

However strange such a quality as this may appear to some calling themselves christians, the more polite heathens seein to have entertained a kind of notion of some such thing in Deity. This appears very distinctly from the Greeks having their “Z:us

opuc,' and the Latins having their Jupiter Fæderator,' their sworn,' or covenanting God. Nay, more appositely still to this sense of · Aleim,' we find the

eccle

« AnteriorContinuar »