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in our image, after our likeness. Why the Deity should speak of himself in the plural number, unless that Deity consisted of more than one person, it is difficult to conceive; for the answer given by the modern Jews, that this is only a figurative mode of expression, implying the high dignity of the speaker; and that it is usual for earthly sovereigns to use this language by way of distinction, is futile, for two reasons. In the first place, it is highly degrading to the Supreme Majesty to suppose he would take his model of speaking and thinking from man, though it is highly consistent with the vanity of man, to arrogate to himself (as doubtless was the case in the licentiousness of succeeding ages) the style and imagined conceptions of Deity; and it will be remembered, that these solemn words were spoken before the creation of that being, whose false notions of greatness and sublimity the Almighty is thus impiously supposed to adopt. In truth, there does not seem to be any real dignity in an expression, which, when used by a human sovereign in relation to himself, approaches very near to absurdity. The genuine fact, however, appears to be this. When the tyrants of the East first began to assume divine honours, they assumed likewise the majestic language, appropriated to, and highly becoming, the Deity, but
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 a succeeding chapter, we have more decisive authority for what is thus asserted, where the Lord God himself says, “Behold the man is become as 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 person's 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 Pr) Itmay 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 unto another,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
(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 whatéver 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
(u) Ει δε κτιρην ουκ είχε φυσιν ο υίος και το παναγιον πνευμα, o'r av ovmgo@umour TW #EXTIXOTI Rew. Theod. 5. contr. Hær. Ποια
yog nowwria των κτισματι προς κτισης; δια τι το πεποιημενω συναριθμείται το πόιησαντι εις την των παντων τελειωσι» ; Athan. Or. 3. contr. Ar.