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• Let the doctor's premises be allowed, says. Mr. Hopkins ; let all the verbs through the bible, when the true God is denoted by Elohim, be granted to be used in the fingular number, I absolutely deny the argument deduced from hence, to prove a plurality and unity in the divine being : or, to express it in the language of the Athanasian creed, One God in trinity, and trinity in unity.
• But to contider more particularly the nature of the argument, on which the learned doctor seems to lay so great a stress ; let it be observed, that nothing certain can be concluded from the hebrew word Elohim being plural, in favour of a plurality of persons in the godhead, because all languages have words in the plural number of a singular signification.
• With regard to Elohim, it unquestionably in many instances signifies one person, so that no argument can be drawn 'from it, as necessarily signifying more persons than
* And as the word Elohim has confessedly a plural termination, though often used in a singular sense, it is no wonder that the
sacred writers should apply a plural verb to Elohim, when used of false gods, and a singular verb when used of the one true God; which is certainly done with the strictest propriety.
: The greek translation of the bibles which was made near 300 years before our Savour's time, always uses the word God, (Theos,) which answers to Elohim in the hebrew, in the singular number, when it signifies the one true God. The same may be faid of the Syriac translation, which was made soon after the days of the apostles, from the beginning of the Old, to the end of the New Testament.
Our bletfed Saviour was so far from blaming the jews for their using the word Elohim to signifiy one person, that he has expressly confirmed that sense by his own authority, John viii. 54. xviii. 3, with many other passages to the same purpose. Accordingly, every penman of the New Testament, from the beginning to the end, constantly uses the word Theos, which answers to Elchim in the hebrew, in the singular number, or to fignify one person, when it is
used of the one true God. And who the person intended by God is, appears (not to mention several hundred passages to the same purpose) from the unanswerable words of St. Paul, 1 Cor. viii. 6. though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth—yet to us there is but one God, (Theos or Elohim) even the Father, of whom are all things, and we by him; and one Lord Jesus Chrift, by whom are all things, and we by him. · On such weak grounds of an idiom of Speech merely, and on the mistaken meaning, and construction of an hebrew word, does Dr. Horne's trinity of the Old Testament stand. And yet on this, which is a nonentity, he says, the economy of man's falvation is founded : on this, he asserts, that the human race, from the beginning, worfhiped such a trinity as he himself worships; and that, the God of Adam, (p. 13) of • Noah, and of Abraham, consisted of three • persons, the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Ghost.' When the foundation is thus of fand, the fabric must give way and fall.
In his viith discourse (p. 191 of the same vol.) upon John i. 14. The word was made flesh, &c. he immediately observes, that in the exordium of his gospel, John
« first publishes, ver. 1. the divinity, and then, • here, the incarnation of his most adora• ble and beloved master.'
But the real fact is, that he publishes neither the one, nor the other ; being, as I trust you will easily be able to see, an absolute stranger to both.
In going on to prove, that Christ is the word spoken of in the first verse of John's gospel, our author is equally unfortunate, as he has appeared above, in mistaking the language of the Old Testament. For he asserts, p. 195, “ that the word of
Jehovah, is frequently and evidently the * Itile of a person, who is said, to come, to be • be revealed or manifested, and the like. As
in Gen. xv. 1. 4. after these things, the • word of (Jehovah) the Lord came unto Abraham in a vision, saying, fear not,
• Abra. But you
Abraham! I am thy field, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abraham faid, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, &c.'
will easily perceive that the word of the LORD came to Abraham here, only in the same way, that the word of God came to John, Luke iii. 2, in the wilderness. In neither case are we to understand, that a person different from God, called the word of God, or the word of the LORD appeared to them; but by the term word, we are to understand a message, or revelation that was given to them, and the person who spoke to Abraham was Jehovah, God, the Divine Being himself; and if Luke had entered into the particulars of the divine message to John, he would have told us, that it was God who spoke to him. So that it is mere prepossession, and ignorance of the phraseology of scripture, that makes any one imagine Christ to be the word of the Lord that spoke to Abraham.
Our author's next proof of Christ being the word spoken of in the entrance of John's gospel, is, p. 196. The LORD (or Jeho