Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

" of all the children of meno;” and he only can change them. In the former respect he displays his infinite wisdom ; in the latter, his almighty power; in both, he appears to be God alone. Hence, when he promises a revival to his Church, by the gracious effusion of his Spirit, he declares that this should be to her an indubitable evidence of his exclusive right to the honours of deity: “ Ye Mall know that I am JEHOVAH, when I have

opened your graves, O my people, and brought

you up out of your graves, and shall put my *

Spirit in you, and ye shall live p.” Both by the answer of prayer, and by the power of divine grace on his heart, Manaffeh“ knew that Jeno“ VAH he was God 9."

So great is the natural obduracy of the heart, that no power can subdue it but that which is divine. Hence it is described as a heart of stone; and the breaking of it is claimed by God as his prerogative : “ Is not my word like as a fire, * and as a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces r?"

Such is its deceitfulness, that God only can fo know the disease as to apply an effectual remedy. He alone can discover it to the finner, because he alone is perfectly acquainted with it. Therefore he says, “ The heart is de“ceitful above all things ;-—who can know it? I

JEHOVAH search the heart, and try the reins." This work also declares, that it is he only “ who “ formed the spirit of man within him.” For as

the

C 3

q 2 Chron. xxxii. 13,

o 1 Kings viii. 39.

Jer. xiii. 29.

p Ezek. xxxvii. 13, 14.
s Çhap. xvii. 9, 10,

of mercy,

the renovation of the heart is called a creation, who can thus renew the heart, but he who created it at first? When the Pfalmift refers to the wonderful works of Jehovah in proof of his exclusive deity, he particularly specifies this work

“ Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O JEHOVAH, neither are there any “ works like unto thy works.--Thou art great, " and dost wondrous things : thou art God alone. “ -For great is thy mercy toward me; and thou “haft delivered my soul from the lowest hellt.”

Is the God whom we profess to adore, the only living and true God? Let us flee from idolatry in every form. While we detest the worship of false gods, or of faints and angels who are our fellowfervants ; let us beware of the love of the world. For covetousness is idolatry. He, who is God alone, hath a rightful claim to our whole hearts. This claim he makes on us, on the very ground of his absolute unity : “ Hear, O Israel, JEHOVAH “ our God is one JEHOVAH. And thou shalt love

JEHOVAH. thy God with all thine heart, and “ with all thy foul, and with all thy might u.” Let us say unto him in fincerity, “ Whom have “ I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon “ earth that I desire besides thee.” From him alone let us look for salvation. He only who is God, can be a Saviour. To give the name to any other, is blasphemy. Our God is equally jealous of his honour in this respect, as in that of his effential unity. “I,” faith he, “ even I am JEHOVAH, and befides me there is no Saviour.”_ “ There is no God else besides me, a juft God " and a Saviour, there is none befides me. Look “ unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the * earth : for I am God, and there is none else v."

VAH,

Pial. lxxxvi. 8. 10. 13.

su Deut. vi. 4, 5.

SECTION II.

The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity,—Proved from

the History of Creation ;-of the Fall ;- of the Confusion of Tongues ;-of Redemption.

We have seen, that the preservation of the doctrine of the divine unity, was one special end of the revelation given to the Israelites; and that even the history contained in the sacred volume was meant to be a hedge around this important doctrine.

But while the all-wise God manifested such care with respect to the unity of his effence, he would not conceal from his Church the manner of his subsistence in three diftinct persons. This doctrine, indeed, like many others of the greatest moment, was more obscurely revealed before the coming of the Messiah. To so gross and carnal a people was God pleased to reveal himself, and in a period of such general polytheism, that it appeared proper to his infinite wisdom, td unfold this mystery more fparingly.

The Isa. xliii. 11. ; xlv. 21, 22.

C4

The doctrines of essential unity and plurality of persons, are so tempered together in the language of inspiration, that while the Church could have no excuse for turning aside to polytheism, she could with as little reason conclude that her God subsisted in a single perfon. It is not merely in the doctrines, precepts or promises, that we are to search for this mystery of a plurality in unity. It so frequently beams forth, even in the historic page, that we are under a necessity of believing, that it was not one of the least designs that God had in view, in favouring the Church with the historical parts of Scripture, more fully to reveal this doctrine, as well as to preserve it uncorrupted.

The doctrine of a plurality, appears in the very first words of inspiration. God would not record the history of creation without informing the Church, that the character of Creator was by no means to be confined to one person. It has often been observed, that this is taught in the words rendered God created, where we have a noun in the plural, joined with a verb in the singular number, plainly expressing a plurality in unity. That this is the genuine sense of the passage, appears from the work ascribed, in the next verse, to the Spirit of God, who is said to have “ moved “ on the face of the waters.” By modern Jews, whom fome Christians have followed, this expression has been rendered, “ a wind of God," or “ a mighty wind.” But the firmament, or expanse, was not created till the second day. This includes the atmosphere which surrounds our earth : for the fowl is said to “fly above the earth “ in the open firmament of heaven v.” Now, it cannot reasonably be supposed, that there could be a mighty wind, or any wind at all, before the existence of an atmosphere.

includes including w Jobo i. 1.-3. x Gen. i. 26, 27.

If we turn to the gospel-history, we find a third person mentioned as engaged in the work of creation. “ All things were made by” that Word, who" in the beginning existed with God w.”

This plurality appears still more expressly, when the sacred historian gives an account of the creation of man: “ And God said, Let us make man “ in our image, after our likeness." But it is a plurality in unity : “ So God created man in his “ own image." It has been juftly observed, that to this the language of Elihu, and of the royal Preacher, agrees: “None faith, Where is “ God my Makers y;” and, “ Remember now thy " Creators ?." Nothing can be more absurd than the various attempts which have been made to shew, that this language may be otherwise understood. God could never speak in this manner to angels, or to any second causes. For to whomsoever these words were addressed, they must have been co-operators with God in this divine work. They must have assisted him in making man. Philo the Jew expressly says, that these words, Let us make, declare a pluralitya. That the Jewish writers in general view this language as

y Job xxxv. 10. 2 Ecclef, xii. 1.

a De Confus. Ling. p. 270.

v Gen, i, 20.

« PredošláPokračovať »