Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

totally inapplicable to man. The error was propagated from age to age through a long succession of despots, and at length Judaic apostacy arrived at such a pitch of profane absurdity, as to affirm that very phraseology to be borrowed from man (r), which was the original and peculiar language of the Divinity. It was, indeed, remarkably pertinent when applied to Deity, for, in à succeeding chapter, we have more decisive authority for what is thus asserted, where the Lord God himself says, 'Behold the man is become a's one of us;' a very singular expression, which some Jewish commentators, with equal effrontery, contend was spoken by the Deity to the council of angels, that, according to their assertions, attended him at the creation. From the name of the Lord God being used in so emphatical a manner, it evidently appears to be addressed to those sacred persons to whom it was before said,

Let us make man;' for would indeed the omnipotent Jehovah, presiding in a less dignified council, use words that have such an evident tendency

(r) It may be observed, that the language of Pharaoh king of Egypt, as recorded by Moses in the book of Genesis, is always in the singular number, "I am Pharaoh;" and, "See, I have set thee over the land of Egypt." Gen. c. 41. v. 41 and 44; and Ezra records, that the king of Persia wrote in the same style long afterwards, "I Darius make a decree." Ezra, c. 6. v. 8.

tendency to place the Deity on a level with created beings?"

Mr. Maurice also proves that the word Elohim was understood exactly in the above sense by Moses himself and the antient Hebrews, however their modern descendants may deny the allusion; that their own paraphrasts apply the term Logos, in the very same manner we do, to the second, as well as that of Holy Spirit to the third, person in the blessed Trinity; and that, in fact, they had the fullest belief in that Trinity (s), expressed in the most emphatical language, and explained by the most significant symbols. It is impossible, upon the present occasion, to follow this ingenious and eloquent writer through these profound disquisitions; but I desire to take this opportunity, as I shall not, perhaps, have occasion to mention him again in this

(s) Galatine has produced two expositions of the following passage in Isaiah, c. 6. v. 3. " And one cried untoanother, and said, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts," which are remarkable proofs of the truths of this assertion; the one is taken from the illustrious Rabbi Simeon, who thus comments upon the word Holy being repeated three times, "Holy, this is the Father; Holy, this is the Son; Holy, this is the Holy Spirit," the other is from the Chaldee paraphrase of Jonathan the son of Uzziel, "Holy, Father; Holy, Son; Holy, Holy Ghost."

this work, of recommending, in the most earnest manner, both his Dissertations and his History to the attention of all those who are desirous of seeing strong additional light thrown upon some of the most important doctrines of the Holy Scriptures. Every friend to revealed religion will consider himself as indebted to the laborious researches of Mr. Maurice, while every admirer of an animated and elegant style will read his works with peculiar satisfaction.

The first passage I shall adduce from the New Testament in proof of this important doctrine of the Trinity, is, the charge and commission which our Saviour gave to his apostles, to " go and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (t)." The Gospel is every where in Scripture represented as a Covenant or conditional offer of eternal salvation from God to man, and Baptism was the appointed ordinance by which men were to be admitted into that Covenant, by which that offer was made and accepted. This Covenant being to be made with God himself, the ordinance must of course be performed in his name; but Christ directed that it should be performed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and therefore we

conclude

(t) Matt. c. 28. v. 19.

conclude that God is the same as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Since Baptism is to be performed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, they must be all three persons; and since no superiority or difference whatever is mentioned in this solemn form of Baptism, we conclude that these three persons are all of one substance, power, and eternity (u). Are we to be baptised in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and is it possible that the Father should be selfexistent, eternal, the Lord God omnipotent; and that the Son, in whose name we are equally baptised, should be a mere man, born of a woman, and subject to all the frailties and imperfections of human nature? or, is it possible that the Holy Ghost, in whose name also we are equally baptised, should be a bare energy or operation, a quality or power, without even personal existence? Our feelings, as well as our reason, revolt from the idea of such disparity.

This argument will derive great strength from the practice of the early ages, and from the ob

servations

(u) Ει δε κτιζην οὐκ εἶχε φυσιν ὁ υἱος ἤ το πανάγιον πνεύμα, οὐκ αν συνηρίθμησαν τω κεκτικοτι Θεῷ. Theod. 5, contr. Hær. Ποια γαρ κοινωνια τῳ κτισματι προς κτιςην; δια τι το πεποιημένος συναριθμείται τῳ πόιησαντι εις την τῶν παντῶν τελείωσιν; Athan. Or. 3. contr. Ar.

servations which we meet with in several of the antient fathers relative to it. We learn from Ambrose, that persons at the time of their Baptism, declared their belief in the three persons of the Holy Trinity, and that they were dipped in the water three times in his Treatise upon the Sacraments he says, "Thou wast asked at thy Baptism, Dost thou believe in God the Father Almighty? and thou didst reply, I believe, and thou wast dipped; a second time thou wast asked, Dost thou believe in Jesus Christ the Lord? thou didst answer again, I believe, and thou wast dipped; a third time the question was repeated, Dost thou believe in the Holy Ghost? and the answer was, I believe, then thou wast dipped a third time (a)." It is to be noticed, that the belief, here expressed separately in the three persons of the Trinity, is precisely the same in all. Tertullian, Basil, and Jerome, all mention this practice of trine immersion, as being derived from apostolical tradition; and Jerome expressly says, "We are thrice dipped in the water, that the mystery of the Trinity may appear to be but one. We are not baptised in the names of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but in one name, which is God's; and therefore, though we be thrice put under water to repre

sent

(x) De Sac. lib. 2. cap. 7,

« AnteriorContinuar »