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· 3. God is frequently reported, in the Old Testament, to have appeared to the patriarchs and prophets; but “no man hath seen God (the Father) at any time;" (John, i. 18; 1 Tim. vi. 16; Heb. xi. 27 ;) the God who appeared, therefore, must have been God the Son. That Christ was the Angel of the Lord, or rather the Angel-Jehovah, who sofrequently appeared in a corporeal form under the patriarchal and Levitical dispensations, and who was the Jehovah of the Hebrew church, is an opinion espoused by the most learned and able writers, both of ancient and modern times, and, as appears to me, capable of being amply vindicated by the testimony of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.*
4. Besides these arguments, a number of passages contain, as it has been thought, intimations of a Plurality: but I must content myself with merely referring to some of the principal texts : namely, Gen. i. 1, et seq. iii. 22, vi. 3, xi. 6, xvi. 7, et seq. xviii. 1, et seq. xix. 24, xxii. 12; Exod. iii. 2, et seq.; Numb. vi. 24; Psalm ii. 2, xxxiii. 6, xlv. 1, et seq. I. 1, lxviii. 18, (compare Ephes. iv. 7, et seq.) lxxviii. 18, (compare 1 Cor. x. 9,) xcvii. 7, (compare Heb. i. 6,) cvii. 20, cx. 1, et seq. cxxxix. 7; Prov. viii. 12, et seq. ix. 1, xxx. 4; Isaiah, vi. 3, (compare John, xii. 41,) vii. 14, (compare Matt. i. 23,) ix. 6, xxxiv. 16, xl. 3, (compare Matt. iii. 3) xlv. 23, (compare Rom. xiv. 10, 11,) xlviii. 16; Jer. xxiii. 6, xxxiii. 16; Ezek. i. 26, viii. 3; Dan. iv. 17, et seq. ix. 19, x. 5; Zech. iji. 8, xi. 12, 13, xii. 4, 10, xiii. 7; Hab. iii. 3; Mal. iii. 1. Not all of these have equal force, and some of them may, perhaps, be deemed irrelevant; but they reflect mutual light upon each other by comparison, for some of them are very strong; and, when taken in conjunction with the three preceding arguments, they afford a testimony to a Plurality so clear and convincing, that it is strange how any candid mind can resist it; particularly since it is corroborated by the circumstance of the ancient Jewish belief in a Trinity, which belief was deduced from their own Scriptures; and since this mode of argumentation is sanctioned by our Saviour and his Apostles.
** See Heidegger, Hist. Patriarch. Exercit. 3, $ 12, et seq. Allix's Judgment of the Jewish Church, cap. 13, et seq. Bishop Bull, Defens. Fid. Nic. sect. 1, cap. 1. Dr. Waterland's Defence, Qu. 2. Dr, Ran. dolpli's Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity, part 1. Faber's Horæ Mosaicæ, lib. ii. $ 1, cap. 2. Doddridge's Lectures, Lect. 157. In H. Taylor's Apology of Ben Mordecai, Letters 2 and 3, much valuable matter relative to this subject may be found; though it is to be lamented, that it is mingled with his Arian prejudices.
Among the intimations of a Plurality contained in the Old Testament, the eighth chapter of Proverbs is eminently distinguished for a bold and aạimated delineation of the Second Person in the ever-blessed Trinity. In the annexed Notes and Illustrations, it is shown at large, that this portion of the book, critically explained, can refer to no other than the divine and hypostatic Word; that the same characters, and often in the same words, are ascribed to him in other parts of Scripture; and that the ancient Jewish and Christian churches unanimously concurred in applying it to this celestial Personage. An interpretation supported by such an accumulation of evidence as is there produced, even the most prejudiced must consider as entitled to some respect: in my judgment it is irresistible; nor do I hesitate to pronounce the eighth chapter of Proverbs an indubitable attestation to the Divinity and Eternal Filiation of the Son of God.
Many orthodox divines, it must be confessed, though they do not deny that some intimations of a Trinity are contained in the Old Testament, are inclined to attribute but little importance to them, in establishing that grand and momentous doctrine. Let it be granted, that the proofs derived from the
New Testament are more decisive, and that the faith of Christians must be founded upon the Christian Scriptures; yet why should we relinquish the evidence of the Old Testament? It cannot be consistent with a pious and devout spirit to sleight the authority of any part of the sacred Oracles: it cannot be safe, certainly is not prudent, to shut our eyes to the rays, however faint, of subsidiary light. If the Hebrew Writings bear testimony to the orthodox doctrines, their voice should be heard with respectful attention, and their evidence should be received with submissive thankfulness. To adopt the language and sentiments of a learned Prelate; “ I am fully persuaded, that we ought to rest our faith chiefly on the New Testament. But I am equally convinced, that every passage of the Old Testament, that can, with any colour of reason, be made appear to relate to Christ, ought to be tenaciously maintained by us. Why should we relinquish any evidence of Christian truth, which is not proved, upon strictly critical principles, to be untenable? If we withdraw testimonies as questionable, because they are questioned by unbelievers, we add nothing to their faith, and we lessen, in vain, our own means of giving an answer to every man, that asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us. If the testimonies of the Old
Testament had not been of great importance in every thing relative to Christ, our Saviour would not have said, “Search the Scriptures, for they are they which testify of me. For this was said before the New Testament Scriptures were written, and could apply only to the Old."*
The Levitical Law, considered in itself, is not'a matter of much importance to the professors of Christianity; since, setting aside its relation to the new Covenant, it can only be considered as the record of a polity which has long ceased to exist. But, taken in connexion with the religion of Christ, it becomes highly useful and important. The great value, indeed, of all the Old Testament Scriptures arises from their intimate relation with the New; in consequence of which circumstance, they bear a full and striking evidence to the doctrines of the Gospel.
In the communication of religious knowledge to man, the Deity has proceeded by a gradual progress, from the first dawn of hope through the promised Seed, vouchsafed to our fallen progenitors; developing
• The Bible and Nothing but the Bible, by the Bishop of St. David's, p. 102