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Page 12: “They (the ancient Chaldee Jews and Cabalists) expressed their idea of the Trinity by this particular
type, © where the three jods denote Jah, Jah, Jah, or
that each of three persons (according to our Athanasian Creed) is by himself Jah or Lord —the point (kametz) as common to each, implies the divine nature in which the three persons equally existed; and the circle, inclosing all, was intended to exhibit the perfect unity, eternity, and conjunction, of the whole Trinity.” This type, if it existed at any time, can bear various interpretations, Theistical, Polytheistical, or Atheistical ; but in Hebrew and Chaldee, the sign which is generally used to denote the Deity has two jods only; a reference to the Targums of Jonathan and Onkelos, written in the Chaldee language, and to other Targums in Hebrew and Chaldee, will establish the fact beyond doubt. This practice, which, according to Mr. Serle's mode of arguing, establishes the duality of God, is entirely overlooked by him.
In the same page again he says, that “in a very ancient book of the Jews, the first person, or Hypostasis, is described as nno Kather, the crown, or admirable and profound intelligence; the second person mp3ri Chochma, wisdom, or the intelligence illuminating the creation, and the second glory; and the third person Hyn Binah, or the sanctifying intelligence, the worker of faith and the father of it.” He immediately after this assertion notices in page 13, “they believed, taught, and adored three primordial existences in the Godhead, which they called sometimes nitry middoth, or properties, and sometimes n-ypt, sephiroth, or numerations.” The force of truth here impels the author to contradict himself directly; since he at one time asserts that the Jews believed them to be the three persons of God, and again forgetting what he said, he affirms that the Jews called them properties, or numeration of properties. The fact is, that when the intercourse between the Jews and Greeks was great, the former, in imitation of some of the latter, entertained the idea that the Supreme Deity used ten superior intelligences or qualities in the creation of the world; namely, -in- Crown—mport Wisdom—my: Understanding—Holl Greatness—nnini Mightiness—n-Ren Beauty—nx. Everlasting—on Glory—‘mp, Foundation—noop Kingdom.” But a Godhead consisting of ten persons not suiting Mr. Serle's hypothesis, he omits the last seven, and mentions only the first three, which he denominates a proof of the Trinity. In page 14, Mr. Serle represents “R. Simeon and the famous Jonathan treating upon the Trisagion, or thrice holy, in the 6th chapter of Isaiah,” as saying, “that the first Holy implies the Father, the second Holy the Son, and the third Holy the Holy Ghost.” I therefore give the commentary of Jonathan,” which I have been, so fortunate as to procure, in order to shew how zeal in behalf of the Trinity has sometimes led men to forget the claims of care and prudence. Jonathan's Targum on the term “Holy,” thrice repeated in Isaiah vi. 3, is as follows: Tay synx by wrip nonlow no risby spinn pion wip wnby phy” boy', wrip non-mal “Holy in the most high heavens, the place of his glory—Holy upon the earth, the work of his power—Holy for ever and ever and ever.” Again, in page 14, he says, that “The Jews before Christ had a title for the Godhead consisting of twelve letters, which Maimonides, the most learned of all their writers, owns to have been a compounded name, or name (as was common among the Rabbins) composed of the
* This opinion is still to be found in the conversation as well as writings of the learned among Eastern theologians.
t The copy which is now in my hands was printed in London, by Thomas Roycroft, in the year 1656. It contains, besides the Targum of Jonathan, the original Hebrew text, together with the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic translations, each accompanied with a Latin interpretation.
initial letters of the names. Galatinus from R. Hakkadosh, (who lived about A. D. 150, or rather from Porchetus Salvaticus, or Raymundus Martini,) believes that these twelve letters were wipm nin) - 5x i. e. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is no impossibility in the existence of a name of God consisting of twelve letters, as is stated to have been the case on the authority of Maimonides, because we find different names of God, consisting of various numbers of letters. But Mr. Serle, on the authority of Galatinus, a Christian writer, represents these twelve letters as expressing the names of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I therefore make a few remarks on this head. 1st, Mr. Serle himself expresses his doubts respecting the source from which Galatinus had obtained his information, whether from R. Hakkadosh, from Porchetus Salvaticus, or from Raymundus Martini.” 2ndly, The construction of this sentence of twelve letters is conformable to the European style of writing, but is quite foreign to Hebrew idiom, which requires a conjunction before in or Son; but the omission of this shews that it must have been invented by one more accustomed to the idiom of European languages than to that of the Hebrew. 3rdly, Maimonides, the original authority of Mr. Serle, owns that these twelve letters were the initials of other names; whereas Mr. Serle in the explanation of them represents them as composing in themselves three complete names, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, instead of giving a name for each of the twelve letters. . I am not aware how many arguments and illustrations of similar weight and importance to those already discussed may still remain, that have not been brought to my notice; but I trust the inquiry has proceeded sufficiently far to justify me in still adhering to the unity of God as the doctrine taught alike in the Old and in the New Testaments. I now conclude this Appendix with repeating my
prayer, that a day may soon arrive, when religion shall not be a cause of difference between man and man, and
when every one will regard the Precepts of Jesus as the sole Guide to Peace and Happiness.
DR. PRIDEAUx, in the fourth volume of his “Conmexion,” (which has very lately come into my hands,) takes a different view of Isaiah, ch. ix. vers. 6, 7, from that which has been offered in the preceding pages. After quoting the words of the prophet according to the English Version, he says, “ Christians all hold that this is spoken of the Messiah; and Jonathan, in the Targum which is truly his, doth on that place say the same.” Hereby he gives out that this prophecy, including the epithets “Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace,” is applied by Jonathan, as by Christians, to the Messiah:—I therefore give here the explanation given by Jonathan to verses 6 and 7, which will sufficiently shew the error Dr. Prideaux has committed.
“The prophet says, to the house of David a child is born, to us a son is given, and he will take upon himself the preservation of the law; from the presence of the causer of wonderful counsels, the great God enduring for ever, his name will be called the anointed, (in Heb. Messiah) in whose days peace shall be multiplied upon us.” “Greatness shall be multiplied to those who obey the law,