Imágenes de páginas

saith," And thou, Lord," -that is, upon account of the dispensation by the Messiah, which is to last for ever, are applicable those words: "And thou, Lord," and what follows.

The apostle, the more effectually to secure the steadfastness of the Jewish believers, observes to them the excellence, the importance, the wide extent and long duration of the divine dispensation by the Messiah. The dispensation by Moses was limited to one nation, and to a certain period of time. But the dispensation of the Messiah was to be an universal blessing, and to subsist to the end of time. And to the kingdom of God by the Messiah are fitly applicable the texts cited in this place from the Old Testament.

In a word, hereby are shown the dignity and excellence of the evangelical dispensation, in that higher expressions are used concerning it, than can be applied to any other.

I think I have above shown from scripture, that Jesus Christ was a man like unto us, or having a human soul, as well as a human body. Nor have you any reason upon that account to suspect me of heterodoxy. I think myself therein both a catholic, and a scriptural Christian. It has been the general belief of the church of Christ in all ages. And the glory of the evange lical dispensation depends upon it. In Socrates, the ecclesiastical historian, there is a chapter, where it is asserted, that this was the opinion of all the ancients in general, Eμuxov Tov EvRVORWAYravтa, of Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Apollinarius of Hierapolis, Serapion Bishop of Antioch, Origen and others. Socrat. 1. 3. cap. viii. Conf. Theodoret. H. E. 1. 5. cap. ix. et. x.

I can easily show it to have been the opinion of some later writers, who have always been in great repute for their right faith.

Epiphanius expresseth himself upon this subject very particularly, and very emphatically. For though our Saviour was not born in the ordinary way of human generation, anо Tεputos avdgos oun, he says, he was perfect man, and was tempted like unto us, but without sin. flavra yap τελειως εσχε, τα παντα εχων, σαρκι, και νευρα, και Φλεβας, και τα αλλα παντα οσα εξι· ψυχην δε αληθινώς, και 8 δοκήσει· νυν δε και τα παντα οσα εςιν εν τη ανθρωπήσει, χωρις αμαρτίας, ως γεγραπται————Heb. iv. 15. Hær. 69. n. xxv. p. 750.

To the like purpose Jerom in several places, more than need to be cited here. Quod autem infert: Homo in dolore, et sciens ferre infirmitatem,' sive virum dolorum, et scientem infirmitatem,' verum corpus hominis, et veram demonstrat animam. Hieron in Is. cap. liii. tom. III. p. 383.

Quod si opposuerint nobis hi, qui Christum negant humanam habuisse animam, sed in humano corpore Deum fuisse pro anima, audiant in Christo substantiam animæ demonstrari. Id. in Amos. cap. vi. ib. p. 1427.

Quod autem spiritus accipiatur pro anima, manifeste significat Salvatoris oratio: Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum.' Neque enim Jesus aut perversum spiritum, quod cogitare quoque nefas est, aut Spiritum Sanctum, qui ipse Deus est, Patri poterat commendare, et non potius animam suam, de qua dixerat: Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem.' Matt. xxvi. Ss. Id. in. Abac. cap. ii. ib. p. 1618.

[ocr errors]

I shall not transcribe here any thing from Augustin, but only refer you to one place in him. Contr. sermon. Arian. cap. ix. tom. VIII.*

I shall proceed no farther at this time. I need not tell you, that the Unity of God is an important article of natural religion. And after it has been so strongly asserted in the Jewish revelation, and has been as clearly taught in the New Testament, it ought not to be given up by Christians.

If, Papinian, you will bestow a few thoughts upon these papers, and send me the result of them, without compliment, and without resentment, you will oblige


a That passage may be scen above, p. 375. note.

See Mark xii, 29. Matt, xix. 17. Mark x. 18. John xvii. 3.

Rom. xv. 6. xvi. 27. 1 Cor. viii. 6. 2 Cor. xi. 31. Eph. iv. 6. 1 Tim. ii. 5. vi. 15, 16. and elsewhere.




PHILALETHES, when he wrote the foregoing letter, had no occasion to proceed any farther than he did. But now he thinks, that if he could rightly explain those words, the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit, and the like, he should do a real service to religion, and contribute to the understanding of the scriptures.

This Postscript will consist of three sections. In the first shall be an argument, showing the several acceptations of the words, the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit. In the second section such texts will be considered, as may be supposed to afford objections. In the third divers other texts will be explained.


AN ARGUMENT. In showing the several acceptations of these words in scripture, I begin with a passage of Maimonides, generally reckoned as learned and judicious a writer as any of the Jewish Rabbins.

The word Spirit,' says he, has several senses. 1. It signifies the air, that is, one of the ⚫ four elements. "And the spirit of the Lord moved upon the face of the waters," Gen. i. 2. 2. It signifies wind. "And the east-wind brought the locusts," Ex. x. 13. Afterwards,


• ver. 19. "And the Lord turned a mighty strong west-wind, which took away the locusts." • And in like manner very often.

3. It is taken for the vital breath.



"He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind,

[a spirit,] that passeth away, and cometh not again,” Ps. lxxviii. 39. And, "all flesh, wherein is the breath of life," Gen. vi. 17.


"And the

4. It is taken for the incorruptible part of men, which survives after death. spirit shall return to God who gave it," Ecc. xii. 7.

5. It signifies the Divine Influence, inspiring the prophets, by virtue of which they pro⚫ phesied. "I will take care of the spirit that is in thee, and will put it upon them," Numb. xi. • 17. "And the spirit rested upon them," ver. 26. "The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and ⚫ his word was in my tongue," 2 Sam. xxxiii. 2.

[ocr errors]

• Ruach vox est homonyma. Significat enim, primo, Aërem, hoc est, unum ex quatuor elementis: ut Veruach,' et Spiritus Domini incubabat super aquas.' Gen. i. 2. Deinde,' significat spiritum flantem, ^h. e. ventum. Ut Veruach, et spiritus (ventus) orientalis attulit locustas. Ex. x. 13. Item, Ruach, spiritus occidentalis.' ib. ver. 19. Et sic sæpissime. Tertio,' sumitur pro spiritu vitali. Ut Ruach, spiritus vitæ.' Gen. vi. 17. 'Quarto,' sumitur de parte illâ hominis incorruptibili, quæ superstes remanet post mortem. UtVeruach, et spiritus hominis redit ad Deum, qui dedit eum.' Ecc. xii. 7. Quinto,' significat influentiam divinam, a Deo prophetis instillatam, cujus virtute prophetabant, quemadmodum explicaturi sumus, quando de prophetiâ agemus; cujus ratio quoque in hoc libro pertractanda. Et separabo,' min ruach, 'de spiritu, qui est in te, et ponam in eis.' Numb. xi. 17. Et fuit, cum quievisset super eos' haruach 'spiritus.' ver. 26. Item, Ruach, spiritus loquutus est in me.' 2 Sam. xxiii. 2. 'Sexto,' significat quoque propositum, et volunta




tem. Ut Kol rucho, omnem spiritum suum profert stultus.' Pr. xxix. 11. hoc est, omnem intentionem, voluntatem suam. Sic, Et exhaurietur' ruach spiritus Ægypti in medio ejus, et consilium ejus absorbebo. Is. xix. 3. i. e. dissipabitur propositum ipsius, et gubernatio ipsius abscondetur. Sic, Quis direxit ruach Domini, et quis vir consilii ejus, ut indicare possit eum.' Is. xl. hoc est, Quis est, qui sciat ordinem voluntatis ejus, aut qui apprehendat et assequatur, quâ ratione hanc rerum universitatem gubernet, et qui eum indicare possit. Vides ergo, quod hæc vox, ruach,' quando Deo attribuitur, ubique sumatur partim in quintâ, partim in sextâ et ultimâ significatione, quâtenus voluntatem significat. Exponatur in quoque loco pro ratione rerum et circumstantiarum. Rabbi Mosis Maimonidis liber More Nevochim. Part I. cap. xl.

[ocr errors]

Veritas et quidditas prophetiæ nihil aliud est, quam influentia a Deo Opt. Max. mediante intellectu, agens super facultatem rationalem primo, deinde super facultatem imagina. riam influens. Id More Nevochim. P. II. cap. 36.

6. It also signifies design, will, purpose. "A fool uttereth all his mind," literally, spirit, • Prov. xxix. 11. "And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof, and I will destroy ⚫ the counsel thereof," Is. xix. 3. "Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor has taught him ?" Is. xl. 13.


• It is evident therefore,' says he, that the word spirit, when spoken of God, is to be always ⚫ understood, either in the fifth, or the sixth and last acceptation of the word, according as the ⚫ coherence and circumstances of things direct.'

This passage of Maimonides, which I have here transcribed at length, has been taken notice of by divers learned Christian writers."

My design leads me to observe those texts only of the Old and New Testament, where the word spirit is spoken of God, or such other, as may tend to explain those texts.

And, first of all, I think, that in many places the Spirit, or the Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost, is equivalent to God himself.

The spirit of a man is the same as man. So the Spirit of God must be the same as God himself. 1 Cor. ii. 11. "What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man, that is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, [or no one] but the Spirit of God."

1 Cor. xvi. 17, 18. "I am glad of the coming of Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and AchaicusFor they have refreshed my spirit, and yours:" that is, me and you. Or, as Mr. Locke phraseth the place. For by the account, which they have given me of you, they have quieted my mind, and yours too.'


Gal. vi. 18.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit :" that is, with you. 2 Tim. iv. 22. "The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit," or with thee.. Ps. cxxxix. "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit ?" that is, from Thee. "Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?" In like manner it is said, with regard to Moses. Ps. cvi. 33. "because they provoked his spirit," meaning him.

Is. lxiii. 10. "But they rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit." Which in other texts is expressed in this manner. Numb. xix. 11. "And the Lord said unto Moses: How long will this people provoke me!" Ps. lxxviü.. 56. "Yet they tempted, and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies." Ps. xcv.. When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work."

Soul is a word resembling spirit, and often signifies man, or person. Lev. iv. 2. "If a soul shall sin through ignorance"-Acts ii. 41. " And the same day were added to them three thousand souls." So likewise ch. vii. 14. and in very many other places.

And my soul is the same as I, or myself. Gen. xii. 13. « And my soul shall live because of thee." ch. xix. 10. " that my soul may bless thee, before I die." 2 Sam. iv. 9. "As the Lord liveth, who has redeemned my soul out of all adversity." Job x. 1. « My soul is weary of my life." See also eh. vii. 15. Ps. xxxv. 9. "And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord." Is. Ixi. 10. "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord: my soul shall be joyful in my God." Matt. xxvi. 38. " My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death."

"Your new

The Divine Being himself sometimes adopts this form of speech. Is. i. 14. moons, and your appointed feasts, my soul hateth. They are a trouble unto me. I am weary to bear them." Where, my soul' is the same as I, which is in the following clause. Is. xlii. 1. 66 My elect, in whom my soul delighteth," or, in whom I delight. Matt. xii. 18. And see Jer. v. 9. ch. vi. 8. and other places.


Secondly, By the Spirit of God, or the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, is often meant the power, or wisdom of God, or his will and command..

Ps. xxxiii. 6. "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made: and all the host of them by the breath [or spirit] of his mouth." Where the word of the Lord, and the breath of his mouth, are all one. All things came into being, and were disposed by his will, at his word and


In like manner Job xxvi. 13. "By his spirit he has garnished the heavens; his hand has. formed the crooked serpent:" that is, the winding constellation in the heavens, which we call the milky-way, or the galaxy. The spirit, or the hand of God, which are both one, has formed all those things.

Micah ii. 7.

"O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the Lord Selden de Synedr. I. 2. c. 4. & iii. iv. S. Basnag. Exercitationes in Baron. p. 45.

straitened?" A part of Mr. Lowth's note upon which words is thus: Is God's hand or power shortened?' Comp. Is. lix. 1. "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save."

Zach. iv. 6. Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." Here Mr. Lowth's note is to this purpose. Zerubabel and Joshua, with the Jews under their ⚫ conduct, shall finish the temple, and re-establish the Jewish state, not by force of arms, or of human power, but by the secret assistance of my providence.'


Luke i. 35. "And the angel answered, and said unto her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." The latter words explain the former. And the Holy Ghost is said to be the same as the power of God. Where likewise it follows: "Therefore also that holy thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God."

Matt. xii. 28. "But if I cast out dæmons by the spirit of God, then is the kingdom of God come unto you." Luke xi. 20. "But if I with the finger of God cast out dæmons, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.'


So that the finger of God, or the Spirit of God, is the same as the power of God, or God himself. As St. Peter says, Acts ii. 22. "Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders, and signs, which God did by him, in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know."

To which two texts of St. Matthew and St. Luke, just alleged, may be added, as very similar, if not exactly parallel, some others. 2 Cor. iii. 3. "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God: not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart." Undoubtedly alluding to what is said of the two tables containing the ten commandments. Ex. xxxi. 18. and Deut. ix. 10. that they were written by the finger of God, or miraculously by God himself. So also Ps. viii. 3. "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained." See Patrick upon Ex. xxxi. 18.

Thirdly, by the Spirit, or the Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost, is oftentimes meant an extraordinary gift from God of power, wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Sometimes hereby is intended courage, or wisdom, or some one particular advantage only. At other times hereby is intended a plentiful effusion of a variety of spiritual gifts.

For which reason it will be needful to allege, under this article, many texts both from the Old and the New Testament.

Ex. xxxi. 1-7. "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, See I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning work in gold, and in silver, and in brass And behold, I have given with him Aholiab, and in the hearts of all that are wise-hearted, I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I bave commanded thee." See also ch. xxxv. 30-35, and xxxiv. 1, 2.

Numb. xi. 16, 17. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather to me seventy men of the elders of the people :-and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them." No one understands hereby that God intended to take from Moses a spiritual being, or part of a spiritual being: but that he determined to bestow upon those elders qualifications of wisdom and understanding, resembling those in Moses, by which he was so eminent and distinguished.

Afterwards it is said, ver. 25, 26. "And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders. And it came to pass, that when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease:" meaning for some while. "But there remained two of the men in the camp: and the spirit rested upon them—and they prophesied in the camp."

Again, Matt. xii. 28. "If I cast out devils by the spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you." Here the spirit of God does not signify the Holy Ghost, or the third person of the Holy Trinity, but the power of God; as appears from the parallel passage in St. Luke xi. 20, where instead of the spirit of God, we read the finger of God. By

this power the man Christ was enabled to cast out devils. For he speaks of himself here in his human, not in his divine nature, according to the notion, which the pharisees had of him; as is plain from his styling himself the Son of man, in the sequel of his discourse to them. Abraham Le Moine's Treatise on Miracles. p. 50.

Deut. xxxiv. 9. "And Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom: for Moses had laid his hands upon him."

Judges iii. 10." And the spirit of the Lord came upon him, [Othniel] and he judged Israel, and went out to war-And his hand prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim.

Judges vi. 34. "But the spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon." Ch. xi. 29. "Then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah."

Ch. xiv. 5, 6. `" Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath: and behold a young lion roared against him: and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him and he rent him as he would have rent a kid: and he had nothing in his hand." likewise ch. xv. 14.


[ocr errors]

2 Sam. xxiii. 1—3. "Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man, who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet Psalmist of Israel, said, The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me: he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God."

2 Chron. xx. 14, 15. "Then upon Jahaziel, the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah,—a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the spirit of the Lord, in the midst of the congregation. And he said: Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem"- Another instance of what Maimonides calls divine influence, whereby a man is enabled to prophesy, or give counsel from God in a difficult circumstance, as that was with the people of Judah.


So Ezek. xi. 4, 5. "Therefore prophesy against them, [prophesy,] O son of man. And the spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said unto me: Speak, thus saith the Lord"— And St. Peter says, 2 Ep. i. 20, 21. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation, [impulse or suggestion.] For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," or by the divine influence. As St. Paul also says, 2 Tim. iii. 16. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God."

1 Chron. xii. 18. "Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said: Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse. Peace be unto thee, and peace be to thy helpers. For thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them." Patrick's comment is to this purpose: The spirit of power, saith the Targum: that is, God powerfully • moved him with an heroical boldness and resolution, in the name of them all to protest fidelity 'to David, in such pathetical words, as convinced him they were friends.'

2 Kings ii. 9. And it came to pass, when they were gone over [Jordan] that Elijah said unto Elisha: Ask, what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said: I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me."

By which some have supposed, that Elisha begged to have as much more of the spirit as Elijah had. But as that would be arrogance, the best commentators rather think, he only desired, that he might be as the eldest, or first-born among his fellow-disciples: even as the firstborn in a family had a double portion to that of other children. See thereafter, ver. 15. and Deut. xxi. 17, and Grotius and Patrick upon this text. All must be sensible, that a gift, not a person is here intended.


Prov. i. 23. "Turn you at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you. will make known my words unto you.' That is, I will teach you, and enable you to under⚫stand the rules of virtue and holiness; which if you follow, you will be happy.'

Zech. xii. 10. "And I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications." Which cannot imply a promise of pouring out upon them a transcendent being or spirit: but of giving them the temper, the qualification, the disposition of grace and supplication.

There are also in the Old Testament promises of the spirit relating to the Messiah.

Is. xi. 1-3. "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse-And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord."

Is. lxii. 2. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my elect, in whom my soul delighteth. I have put my spirit upon him. He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles."

« AnteriorContinuar »