Imágenes de páginas

convinced that the New Testament is “ the word “of God,” we interpret them in connexion with the doctrine and the prophecies contained in it. Especially the words of the Apostle, “The pro“mise, that he should be the heir of the world, “was not to Abraham and his seed through the “ law, but through the righteousness of faith.” We do not suppose that Israel as a nation will be excluded: but that being in the first instance brought to submit to the Messiah in penitent faith and love, they will form a préeminent part of this company: that, when God shall restore Israel to their own land, many nations will oppose them violently; as others will struggle hard against the general cause of Christianity: that in both respects terrible vengeance will come on vast multitudes: that the survivors, convinced that “God fighteth for Israel” and his church, will, at first perhaps with terror and reluctancy, submit to a power which they cannot resist: but after some farther interpositions of mercy and judgment, all nations will become willing subjects to Christ; and thus the saints as one with him shall possess the kingdom. We do not, however, expect that, so long as the Lord Jesus, and the New Testament, are rejected by the Jews, they will be satisfied with this interpretation: and, as it is not essential to the argument, concerning Jesus being the true Messiah, I shall not further insist on it. If I could conceive that the Messiah was not come ; or that when he shall come his kingdom would be an earthly kingdom; I should feel no further interest in the

[ocr errors]

died a natural death, and was evidently a humble penitent worshipper of Jehovah. It is not indeed said that Nebuchadnezzar ‘made himself a god;’ though his arrogant language seemed to imply it." The language ascribed to the king of Babylon by Isaiah was intended chiefly for Belshazzar.”—It is also meant that the crucifixion of Jesus was the punishment of his claim; but “he was declared “to be the Son of God with power, by the resur“rection from the dead.” Herod, who put James to death, and, because it pleased the Jews, purposed to kill Peter also, should have been added to the list;4 if not from the New Testament, yet from Josephus. P. 131. l. 24. ‘If he will still say, &c.—Balaam is the antecedent: but the writer means, “If any * one will say, Man is a God, tell him he is a liar." That is, if a Christian will say this of Jesus, Balaam is directed to ‘call him a liar." It is not clear how Mr. C. makes out this meaning from Balaam's words;" but the interpretation is so little plausible, that it may be safely left. P. 131. l. 25. “They that make them:"—that is, images. Mr. C. in this and the following quotations and reasonings, (p. 131, 132,) endeavours to disprove the deity of Christ, or rather to set his seal to the sentence of the Jewish Sanhedrin, that he deserved to die, “because he, being a man, “made himself God.” But certainly texts proving that images of gold and silver, wood or stone, are

' Dan. iii. 15. iv. 30. v. 19, 20. * Is. xiv. 12–14. * Rom. i. 4. * Acts xii. 1–4, 21–24. * Numb. xxiii. 19. * John x, 33.

[ocr errors]

not god, must be wholly irrelevant to the argument; as well, as all declarations, that man is not

God, or that Unity is not Trinity. (P. 134. 1.25

—30.)—After all the laboured, acute, and learned efforts of Socinians, and other nominal Christians, against the doctrine of the TRINITY; the loose and general objections against it, thrown together in this place, are not greatly to be dreaded. A large proportion of learned Trinitarians give up, as an interpolation, the text quoted from John;" yet whether authentic or not, it must be allowed to be a clear and concise statement of our doctrine. “The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and “these three are one:” (oilo oi rails or firl.) These three persons (masc.) “are one” (neuter,) essay, numen. We allow that the clearest and fullest revelation of this mystery is contained in the New Testament. There it is so full and undeniable, that Antitrinitarians have evidently no resource left them, but to pronounce very many of the passages in proof of it, either interpolations, or corrupt readings, or the erroneous conclusions of the writer, as a fallible man and a feeble reasoner. If this procedure, which reduces the word of God to a level with other ‘ancient, venerable, and ‘ authentic books,’ claiming no divine inspiration, be not needful to their tottering cause, why do they so constantly have recourse to it?—But, indeed, even the Jews may teach them that it is the doctrine of the New Testament; as one of their strongest objections to this sacred book is taken from that doctrine being so undeniably contained

* 1 John v. 7, 8.

WOL. IX. 2 H

in it. Fas est et ab hoste doceri. Let the point once be established, that Jesus is the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament; and the proof that the doctrine of the Trinity is taught by him, and his apostles, will not be a matter of great difficulty. On the question, “Was the Messiah to be a ‘mere man like other men o’ some things have been adduced from the Old Testament, as to his Deity, which, I am confident, cannot easily be answered. In addition to these, it may here be observed, on the general doctrine; that the name of God in Hebrew being plural, and yet almost always, in this sense of it, used with singular verbs and pronouns; is at least a remarkable circumstance in the phraseology of that book, which especially makes known to “mankind the one living “ and true God,” as distinguished from all false gods. The language used in the creation of Adam, “Let us make man, in our image, after our like“ness : so God created man in his own image, “in the image of God created he him.” The circumstance also, that in the Hebrew the word rendered CREATor is plural, “Remember thy “Creators ;” (Marg;”) and many other things of this kind, are such as Antitrinitarians, Jews or Christians, would not have previously expected; and which, however light they may affect to make of them, they would much rather had not been found in scripture. The following passage from the law, is worthy of notice in this argument: “On this wise ye shall

* Gen, i. 26, 27. * Ec. xii. 1.

“bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, “JEHowAH bless thee and keep thee; Jehovah “make his face to shine upon thee, and be gra“cious unto thee; JEHovah lift up his countenance “upon thee and give thee peace; and they shall “put my NAME upon the children of Israel, and I “will bless them.” This threefold repetition of the name, Jehovah, has generally been considered as implying some mystery: yet who, except the man who believes a Trinity of persons in the unity of the Godhead, can shew what that mystery is and what Christian can help recollecting the form of Christian baptism, “In the NAME (one NAME,) “ of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy “Ghost?” or the Christian benediction, “The “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of “God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be “with you all. Amen?” Some explication of those texts which speak expressly of the Messiah as God;” yea, some peculiarly satisfactory explication ought in all reason to be given; before the doctrine should be treated with decided irreverence. What shall we say to the command, “Kiss the “Son, lest he be angry;” and to the exclamation, “Blessed are all they who trust in him?”3 Do not both these ascribe divine honour and worship to him **—“Cursed is he that trusteth in man, and “maketh flesh his arm. Blessed is the man that “trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord

* Numb. vi. 23–27. Matt. Xxviii. 19. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. * Ps. xlv. 8. Jer. xvii. 5, 6. Is. vii. 14. ix. 6, 7. Mic. v. 2, Zech. xiii. 10. * Ps. ii. 12. “Ps. cxlvi. 3, 4.

« AnteriorContinuar »