Images de page

quent confession, that there may be some distinction in God, whereto the personal distinction among men bears a just analogy or resemblance; nay, and that if a man, as the Scripture tells us, is made in the image or likeness of God, and if in each man, as may be easily demonstrated, there are a bodily and vegetative nature, enlivened by two souls, an animal and a rational, united into one person; there may be in God three distinct persons, or, which is the same thing in respect to our faith, a distinction like that between three men, without affecting in the least the unity of the one indivisible divine nature.

Now if the Scriptures any where deny the Son or the Holy Ghost to be God, let the opposers of their divinity shew the passage, and we have done; but this is impossible.

On the contrary, that the Scriptures represent the Son as God, is manifest, and the Arians do not, cannot deny it. St. Paul says, Rom. ix, 5, “he is over all, God blessed for ever.' St. John calls him, the Word,' and says, i. 1, 'the Word was God.' Christ, John viii.58, calls himself Jehovah,' and in the first of the Revelations saith, 'I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.' Now, as none but one can say this, he who says it here, must be the same with him who says, Isaiah xliv. 6, 'I am the first and the last, and beside me there is no God. To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him,' 1 Cor. viii, 6; but then this one God is the only Lord, and this one Lord the only God; for Moses, Deut. vi. 4, and Christ, Mark xii. 29, say alike to Jews and Christians, 'Hear, O Israel ; the Lord our God is one Lord.'

This text, wherein St. Paul distinguishes between the Father, who is one God, and the Son, who is one Lord, gives no true occasion to the Arian of that triumph which he makes in his application of it. If the Father is called one God, though without an article in the Greek before siç Osòs, and the Son, one Lord, without an article before cis Kúpios, we claim no advantage from it; but do believe the Father to be the one God, and the Son to be the one Lord, for there is but one God, and one Lord; nay, we go farther, and allow, that the Father is peculiarly here styled, the one God, and the Son, as peculiarly, the one Lord. But whe

[blocks in formation]

ther the Father and the Son are hereby contradistinguished from each other, so as that, negatively, the Father is not Lord, nor the Son God, in the same sense of God and Lord, is the question which must be decided by other places of Scripture; and others there are many, wherein the Father is called Lord, and the Lord, and the one Lord; and wherein the Son is called God, the God, and the one God.

Who is God, or Elohim, save the Lord or Jehovah ?' saith David, Psalm xviii. 31; the answer is, and must be, none, no being. •The Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath : there is none else, no other God. So then, the one Lord is the one God.' This is the language of both Testaments, of the law as well as of the gospel, in more than one hundred and fourteen places, where the great Being is called the Lord God, and often in direct distinction from all other beings. This blasphemous contradistinction is wholly taken away by our blessed Saviour, Mark xii. 29, quoting Deut. vi. 4, in answer to one of the scribes, who asked him this important question, which is the first commandment of all ? Christ says, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord !' and, ver. 30, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength : this is the first commandment.' And, ver. 31, · The second is like, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: there is none other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.' Matt. xxii. 40. In this great and signal passage, the summary of law and gospel, wherein the foundation-stone of all religion and morality is laid, wherein the two objects of all love, and consequently the sole object of all acceptable adoration, is fixed and precisely determined, wherein distinctions, if at all requisite, become absolutely necessary, no distinction between the Lord and the God is made, but on the contrary, the one Lord is made the same with the one God, and the Lord our God is set forth to us as the one only Lord, the one only self-existent Being, or Jehovah, the one only Lord or power, to whom all love and obedience is due. If then Christ is peculiarly styled the one Lord, as the Arian acknowledges, nay, insists he is, by St. Paul, what hinders the same Arian

from confessing, that Christ is the one God, since the law, the gospel, and Christ himself, have said it? conceit and blindness.

A cloud of other passages might be cited for the same purpose, but any one of these had been enough.

Indeed his saying, as he does at the institution of baptism, that all power in heaven and in earth is given unto him,' is sufficient to prove his divinity; for if all power is given him as an only son, and as the son of man, by the Father, and we therefore conclude him in some sense subordinate, we must thence also conclude him truly God, for otherwise he could not, in any sense, become almighty. This conclusion is greatly strengthened, by the words with which he finishes the institution, 'Lo, I am with you to the end of the world,' where he evidently sets himself forth as the Jehovah, the one necessarily and self-existent Being, as well as in the eighth of the Gospel according to St. John, where he saith,‘Before Abraham was, I am;' for no other, but the one self-existent Being, can properly and truly speak of himself in the present tense, as having heretofore been, and as hereafter to be. Well, surely may we be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, since thereby the devil or enemy is cast out,' Mark xvi. 17, ‘remission of sins' preached, Luke xxiv. 47, and salvation given, with an exclusion to all other names under heaven,' Acts iv. 12.

That the same Scriptures represent the Holy Ghost as God, is also manifest; for, although none but God is eternal, yet the third person is called, Heb. ix. 14, the eternal Spirit.' The Psalmist believed him to be omnipresent; for he says, speaking to God, Psalm cxxxix. 7, Whither shall I

go from thy spirit?' He is called the power of the Highest,' Luke i. 35. •All Scripture,' we know, is given by inspiration of God,' 2 Tim. iii. 16, who must therefore be the Holy Ghost, because the holy men of God, who penned the Scriptures, ‘spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,' 2 Pet. i. 21. And Zacharias calls him, who spake by these penmen or prophets, the Lord God of Israel,' Luke i. 68 -70. •Well spake the Holy Ghost,' says St. Paul,' by Isaias the prophet,' and then quotes a passage from Isaiah, wherein the speaker is called 'the Lord' by Isaiah, and the Lord (or Jehovah) of hosts by the Seraphim.' St. Paul calls all Christians the temples of the living God,' because the Spirit of God dwelleth in them,' 2 Cor. vi. 16, compared with 1 Cor. iii. 16, and with 1 Cor. vi. 19, where our body is called the temple of the Holy Ghost, which dwelleth in us.' ' St. Peter says, 'Ananias in having lied to the Holy Ghost, had lied to God,' Acts v. 3, 4. St. Paul, 2 Cor. iii. 15– 17, descanting on Exod. xxxiv. 34, calls the Lord, or only God, there spoken of, 'the Spirit,' whose 'ministration,” he says, 'is glorious. If the Lord is that Spirit, then the Spirit is that Lord, and the one only God, for' to us there is but one God,' and 'one Lord,' as I have already observed to you from the words of St. Paul in the former epistlc to these Corinthians.

Now, the one God is the one only Lord, and the one Lord is the one only God, as you have just now heard from the words of Moses quoted by our blessed Saviour. This is exactly agreeable to the words of David, who expressly calls 'the Spirit the God of Israel,' 2 Sam. xxiii. 2, 3. The Spirit of the Lord spake by me; the God of Israel said.' Well surely may we be baptized in the name of the Holy Ghost or Spirit, since Christ himself was baptized by him, Mark i. 10; since without his baptism we cannot enter into heaven,' John iii. 5; and since ' by this one Spirit we are all baptized into one body,' 1 Cor. xii. 13, namely, the body or church of Christ, ver. 27.*

From the twelfth to the eighteenth verse inclusive, of the fortieth chapter of Isaiah, as the whole passage stands in the Hebrew and our English version, a full and clear proof, that the Holy Spirit is God, might be drawn, did not the Septuagint and St. Paul seem to oppose it. In this very remarkable part of the prophecy, immediately after expressly calling the Messiah, the Lord God, and describing his future office as the great Shepherd, God, by his prophet, saith,' Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with a span, &c. ? Who hath directed the Spirit (7775 Ruah) of the Lord, or being his counsellor, hath taught him, &c.? Behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing, &c. All nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted to him, or in his presence, less than nothing.' From these awful and emphatical questions God draws this conclusion; • To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?' that is, since the Spirit of the Lord is infinite in wisdom, power, and greatness, how can you think of representing God by images, or comparing any thing to him? From hence God proceeds to expostulate with mankind :: Have ye not known, &c.? Have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, &c. that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal ? saith the Holy One. The reasoning, we see, turus alike on the Spirit, and on God, therefore so much of it as relates to the Spirit must be inconclusive, if the Spirit is not God.

But St. Paul, quoting a small part of this passage from the Septuagint, saith, Rom. xi. 34, . Who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who bath been his coun

[ocr errors]

In these, and other the like passages of Scripture, divinity is both directly and by necessary consequence ascribed to the second and third persons in the Holy Trinity. And yet the same Scriptures sufficiently assure us, there is but one God, who is the sole object of that divine worship, to which those Scriptures allow any toleration.

• Is there, saith the Lord,' Isa. xlv. 5, 6, `a God besides me? yea, there is no God, I know not any. I am the Lord, , and there is none else; there is no God besides me: that they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is none else. I anı he; I am the first, I also am the last.' Isa. xlviii. 12. “Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts; I am the first, and I am the last, besides me there is no God. Unto thee (Israel) it was shewed,' saith Moses, Deut. iv. 35,ʻthat thou mightest know, that the Lord he is God, there is none else besides him. I,

sellor?' and 1 Cor. ii. 16, · For who bath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him,' or rather, that shall instruct him ? By this means the sense seems to be considerably different from that which is universally understood to be contained in the Hebrew. Be the sense, however, of the passages what it will, it must unquestionably be the true sense of the Hebrew; for here the Holy Ghost, citing the Septuagint version, confirms its rectitude, and is himself an infallible interpreter to us. 'Eyvw, hath known, and your mind, are the only words, which appear to break in on this argument for the divinity of the Holy Ghost. Grotius hath observed on Isaiah xl. 13, that probably the Septuagint, by šgro, meant scire fecit, made to know, adding his opinion, that St. Paul used the word in the same sense, and that what follows in this passage of Isaiahı

, and we may say too, in that of St. Paul, explains the word in, or rather restrains it to this sense, for even the apostle subjoins, or who hath been his counsellor?' On the word voīv, mind, a still farther occasion of doubting may be taken, as mind and spirit seem here to differ in signification. But I would ask, wherein do the spirit and mind of the Lord, or God, differ? Are they not one and the same? And may not this word have been used here by the Septuagint and St. Paul, instead of mūua, with an eye to the third person in the Platonic Trinity, as well as abyos is used by St. John in regard to the second ? St. Paul's introduction of these words, and the context in the Epistle to the Romans. particularly,' who hath been his counsellor?' and the words, or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? found in the Alexandrian Manuscript, but not in the common copies, seem to favour that construction. 'Ego roīv, in his application of them to the Corinthians, may bear either sense, perhaps may require both. He says so much of the Spirit of God, as knowing the things of God, as dwelling in us and teaching us those things, that nothing can be more natural, thian to translate your by spirit. Were we nevertheless to understand the apostle as saying nothing in either of these places, but what the English translation plainly and simply intimates, we must acknowledge the accommodation here is not greater than in some other texts of the Old Testament, as they are cited in the New. Neither, after all, interpret these words as you will, can that interpretation destroy the force and tenor of my argument, built on the passage of Isaiah, wherein so much is said, over and above these, of the spirit or mind of the Lord, of his power, wisdom, and greatness, and wherein the argument drawn from those attributes concludes as di. rectly for the impossibility of representing God by images, as if God had been put for mind, or spirit, in the thirteenth verse, that we cannot, without the impiety of admitting a solccism in God's own words, avoid the force of the proof.

« PrécédentContinuer »