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النشر الإلكتروني

and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord." Zech. x. 12. For thus saith the Lord of Hosts ; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you; for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. "For behold I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants; and ye shall know that the Lord of Hosts hath sent me." Zech. ji. 8, 9.* Here both the sender and the sent are expressly called the Lord of Hosts: and yet Unitarians assert that Jesus Christ cannot be God, because he is sent by the Father. This argument however is seen in its strongest light in those numerous passages, where Jehovah, speaking to man, is called an angel, which ineans, as every one knows, a messenger, that is, one sent by, and speaking or acting under the authority of another. A few of the most prominent of these we shall now bring before you. Our only business with them at present, is to prove a plurality of persons in the Godhead: in a future Lecture it will be shown, that this angel, who when sent on errands to man so solemnly and frequently asserted his Deity, was the Son of God, appearing in human form, anticipating as it were his incarnation,+ and fulfilling the office, which he had taken upon himself before the foundation of the world, that of Mediator between God

and man.

Turn to Gen. xvi. 7, 13. There “the angel of the Lord" appears to Hagar, and says, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly;" and Hagar “called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me.” Again, in Gen. xxii. 11, 12, The angel of the Lord called me to him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou searest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me." In Gen, xxxi. 11, 13. “The angel of God” speaks unto Jacob in a dream, and says, “ I am the God of Bethel."-And in the following chapter Jacob wrestles with “a man,” who puts his thigh out of joint with a touch, who refuses to give his name, but tells Jacob that he had had "power with God and with men.” When it is all over, his own comment on the affair is, “I have seen God face to face;" and the prophet Hosea's is “By his strength he had power with God: yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed-lie wept and made supplication unto him-he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; even the Lord God of Hosts; the Lord is his memorial.” Ch, xii. 3, 5. So that the person Jacob wrestled with was in the form of a man, an angel or messenger sent by some one, and the Lord of Hosts. Well might Jacob on his death-bed ascribe his daily preservation and sustenance to this Angel Jehovah, saying, “God, before whom my fathers, Abraham

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Read to the end of the chapter. + Incarnation means entering the flesh, taking upon him human nature.

and Isaac, did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed* me from all evil, bless the lads." Gen. xxviii. 15, 16. Again, in Ex. jii, 2, 6, “The angel of the Lord” appears to Moses in the burning bush, and says, “I am the God of thy father;" and in Judges ii. 1, “ An angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you into the land which I sware unto your fathers."

Two passages from the book of Daniel will conclude this part of the argument,

“Dan. iv. 26. “And whereas THEY commanded to leave the stump of the tree-roots,' &c. At the 13th verse of this chapter we read only of one watcher or holy one coming down from heaven, of whom it is said that HE criedleave the stump of his roots in the earth. Yet the number is here very remarkably changed from he said to they commanded. And though the words of the curse upon Nebuchadnezzar were pronounced by A watcher and An holy one in the singular; nevertheless, at the close of the speech, this matter is declared to be by the decree of the WATCHERS, and the demand by the word of the HOLY ONES. (Compare this with Prov. ix. 10.) Now it is very certain that the judgments of God are not founded upon the decree and word of Angels, or of any created beings: therefore this watcher could be no created angel, but a person in the Lord Jehovah, who condescends to watch over (Jer. xxxi. 28) his people, and is called the keeper of Israel, chat neither slumbereth nor sleepeth. The change of these verbs and nouns from the singular to the plural, can be accounted for upon no other principle: it is a case to which there is no parallel in any language, and such as can be reconcileable only to the being of God, who is one and many. We are to collect from it, that in this, as in every act of the Godhead, there was a consent and concurrence of the persons in the Trinity; and though there was one only who spake, it was the word and decree of all.

“ Dan. v. 18 20. The most high God gave to Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom and majesty and glory and honour. And they took his glory from him.' Here again the word they is a plain relative to the most high God. Nor can it otherwise be agreeable to the sense of the history, or the reason of the thing itself, considered as a matter of fact. For who was it that took away the glory of the king? It was not the work of men, but a supernatural act of the most high God; to whom Nebuchadnezzar himself hath ascribed it those that walk in pride HE is able to abase."+

• It would not be to the purpose to press the full meaning of this expression ; any meaning will equally well suit our present argument.

† Jones on the Trinity.

(To be continued.)

LECTURE VIII.

THE TRINITY.

(CONTINUED.)

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Matt. xxviii. 19.

HAVING proved our first point, namely, the plurality of persons in the Godhead, the next question is, How can it be shewn that the number of persons is three, and no more; in other words, that God is a Trinity? We reply, that one person is spoken of under the name of the Father, a second under the name of the Son, a third under the name of the Spirit; and that no mention is made of any others. On the Godhead of the Father we need say nothing. The proof of the Son's Godhead will be given at large in the lecture on the Deity of Christ. Not to pass it over entirely, however, we will just refer to one passage in the Old Testament, which speaks of the Son without reference to his future incarnation : * Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him." Psalm ii. 11, 12. Now, without pressing the connection between “ serve the Lord” and “kiss the Son," compare the words " blessed are all they that put their trust in

with the solemn warning in Jer. xvii. 5, “ Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord," and you will have what the Unitarian may, if he likes, call an inference about the person of the Son-but such a one as cannot well be mis. taken. *

Before passing on, a word or two may be useful on the eternal sonship of Christ. It is argued that a son must come into existence after the father who begat him; therefore, that the Son of God cannot be co-eternal with the Father. Now

him"

* The following passage, though not a direct proof of the Son's Deity is too remarkable to be omitted : “Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment ?

Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his Son's name, if thou canst tell ?" Prov. xxx. 4.

observe that, even if this were granted, it would not touchi the question of the Son's Deity ; for some have believed his Deity, and denied his eternal sonship. They huld, that Christ is called the Son of God, either in virtue of his miraculous conception, or of his resurrection from the dead, or of the office he has undertaken in the plan of Salvation; and therefore, that although co-equal and co-eternal with the Father as one person in the ever-blessed Trinity, yet he was not eternally the Son of God, except in purpose, but became so afterwards. Most Christians however hold, that in addition to those reasons the second person of the Trinity is in scripture called the Son, and the first the Father,* as giving the nearest idea, which our minds are capable of receiving, of the relationship they have borne to one another from eternity. This what Unitarians consider absurd and impossible. Now however difficult it may be for our minds to conceive the idea of an eternal Son, it cannot be more difficult than to conceive the idea of an eternal Father; for no one can conceive it: the very idea of eternity is beyond the power of any created intellect to grasp. What folly then to argue against possibilities in the nature of the Infinite Jehovah, from the weakness of our own finite minds! Waiving however for a time the unfathomable mystery of God's eternity, which I believe no Unitarian denies, a simple illustration will shew that there is no such difficulty as is supposed in the begetter and the begotten being of the same age. Flame begets light; flame is the father, light is the son: yet they come into existence exactly at the same time. Light is be. gotten simultaneously with the flame that bege:s it, you cannot produce one an instant before the other.-All earthly illustrations of Divine things must be imperfect; but this may perhaps give some little help in removing a stumbling-black out of the way of weak faith, though it is far from doing away with the necessity of faith. At the best we can only through a glass darkly:" but we make the darkness thicker than it really is, if we forget how very imperfect any human words must be when applied to the nature of God. We must not suppose that the first and second persons of the Trinity are Father and Son in the same way that we are ; but only that the words are used, as I said before, to give the nearest idea, which our minds are capable of receiving, of the relationship between them. To say that that idea must necessarily be indistinct, is only to say that he is God, and we are men. To reject revealed truth on this account is no less impious than irrational.

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* Observe, that the entire Godhead is called the Father, as being the Creator of all things; and the first person in the Godhead is called the Father in reference to his relationship to the second person.

Leaving then the main proof of the Deity of the Son to a future lecture, we proceed to that of the third person in the Trinity—the Holy Spirit. Here we are under some disadvantage, as it is so very difficult to find out what Unitarians do suppose the Spirit to be. If however we prove from Scripture, Ist, That the Spirit is God; and 2ndly, That it is not merely another name given to God, but is a distinct person from either The Father or the Son—it will be all that is required. First, therefore, in proof of his Godhead take the following passages: “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” Job xxxiii. 4. “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highesť shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke i. 35. In the next chapter we read, that it was revealed “to Simeon” by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ "; and when Simeon does see him, he says Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word.Again, in Matt. ix. 38, our Lord bids his disciples, “ Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth labourers into his harvest"; and in Acts xiii. 2, we read that “as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them”: therefore “the Holy Ghost" is “the Lord of the harvest.” In the 5th ch. of the Acts, Peter rebukes the sin of Ananias, saying, “ Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost ? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God' Lastly, in Acts xxviii. 25, St Paul declares th the Holy Ghost spake by the mouth of Esaias the prophet,” and in Acts i. 16, St. Peter declares that the Holy Ghosi “spake by the mouth of David;" while in Heb, i. I, we read that “ God at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto our fathers by the prophets," and in 2 Tim. iii. 16, that All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." Now Mr. Barker writes, “ We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and the Spirit is the gift of God." No doubt he is ; but if the writer means to say that because the Spirit is a gift he cannot be a person, I would, rensind him that the Son is also a gift; (God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son to be the propitiation for their sins); and I would ask, what sort of a gift it is, which made Job, which is the Lord of the harvest, which spake by the Prophets, and to which Ananias lied!

Against ihe second Unitarian theory, which admits the Deity, but denies the distinct Personality of the Spirit, and considers it

• The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are called the first, second, and third persons, not to denote any inferiority of rank, but merely for the convenience of distinction,

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