Page images
PDF
EPUB

ful; Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.' When considering this passage, two things strike me. 1. It is not said respecting the person who was to be, that he would be what is afterwards mentioned, but simply that he would be called so. Now, though names may be in some sense descriptive, I

suppose no one will venture to affirm, that be. cause a person was called, or was to be called, by any name, that therefore he must be what that name literally implies; otherwise ELIHU, my God himself, ELIAH, God Jehovah, must have been very superior beings to what is usually supposed. 2. That the eastern nations were fond of magnificence and accustomed to magnificent titles, which were not understood literally, nor meant to be 80.–And when I examine the original, though I feel no astonishment at the use which has been made of it, yet I perceive nothing which opposes the general tenor of the Old Testament, respecting the absolute unity of God, nor that of the New Testament respecting the absolute unity of God and the proper humanity of Jesus. The words may be taken in several different ways; but that which seems to me the most satisfactory is as follows. "And bis name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor of God' (or, Illustrious Counsellor), Mighty, Father of the age to come, Prince of Peace 4.' That this ren

s Some eminent critics have supposed that 5x was not originally in the Hebrew, but this is chiefly upon the authority of the Septuagint. Now it appears to me probable, that the Greek translators had by though they have rendered it aygiaos, for they have done so in another instance, Job xx. 15

It may add some confirmation to this opinion, by showing a cause for it, that the names of angels commonly had so for their termination ; e. g. Gabriel, my sirong God, or, strength of God, Raphael, bealing God, Samael, God of desolation, Zedekiel, Zuriel, Michael, &c.

t Agreeably to a well-known employment of the word 38 to express eminence. Or, Counselling God, like Raphael, beal

ing God.

u The import of this prophetic declaration may, I imagine, be correctly represented as follows. His name shall be called Wonderful, for in him and by him the wonderful power and

1. The very

dering is fully justified by the original, no one I suppose will deny; and that, at any rate, the Prophet had not the meaning generally affixed to his words, is to me perfectly evident for the following reasons. terms, “a child is born,' imply that the person spoken of was not the mighty God ; (though Dr. Watts, fol. lowing the common rendering of this text, says, " This infant is the mighty God, come to be suckled and adored.") 2. The next verse shows that he was not one being with Jehovah, God of hosts; and the same thing necessarily follows from ch, liii. 6. 10. Ixi. 1, &c. 3. In ch. lii. 13, (if, as is here taken for granted, Jesus is the subject of prophecy in both the cases,) the same person is called by Jehovah the God of Israel, his servunt ; and in liii. 3, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. 4. The book of Isaiah contains several remarkable expressions, which totally exclude any other intelligent agent, except Jehovah, from being truly and properly God; for instance (in addition to the passages quoted in p. 361,) ch. xlvi. 9, 'I (that is, Jehovah,) an God, and there is NONE ELSE; I am God, and there is NONE LIKE ME,

Jer. xxiii. 6. “And this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness,' or rather, 'Jehovah our Righteousness.' Blayney thus translates the passage, ‘And this is the name by which Jehovah shall call him, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.' And this learned critic has the following remark in his Note: “I doubt not " but some persons will be offended with me for de

priving them by this translation of a favourite argu

ܪ

decrees of God will be displayed ; Counsellor of Gold, for he will be fully acquainted with the mind and will of God respecting the duty and expectations of mankind; Mighty, for by power which God will give him to exercise by himself and his Apostles, he will gradually subdue the world to himself, and by the working of that mighty power, he will be enabled to raise the dead and judge the world; Faib:r of the age 10 come, the head and introducer of a new and everlasting dispensation ; Prince of peace, the peaceful ruler, under whose laws and influence peace will be diffused on earth as far as his rule is obeyed.

- 0. T.

“ ment for proving the divinity of our Saviour from the

But I cannot help it: I have done it with no ill design, but purely because I think, and am morally

sure, that the text, as it stands, will not properly ad. mit of any other construction. The LXX. have so translated it before me, in an age when there could " not possibly be any bias of prejudice either for or

against the forementioned doctrine; a doctrine which draws its decisive proofs from the N. T. only. In the “parallel passage, ch. xxxiii. 16, the expression is a little varied, but the sense according to a just and literal "translation is precisely the same, And this is he “ whom Jehovah shall call ouR RIGHTEOUSNess.'

Zech. ii. 6–13. In these verses, agreeably to the prophetic style, there is a rapid change of persons; and in consequence of the peculiar degree of abruptness, some learned critics have imagined that one ' Jehovah God of hosts' was sent by another • Jehovah God of hosts;' that the former must be Christ; and that therefore tie must be Jehovah. This singular argunent has lately been dwelt upon with much apparent satisfaction by a writer in the Monthly Repository (Vol. II. p. 412,) signing himself Cleric. Dunelm., and supposed to be an author who is by many thought highly of as an interpreter of the prophecies. As a counter-argument, I cite Exod. xxix. 2–6, (adduced by Gregory Blunt, p. 185,) where, if we neglect an unmarked change of person, we make Moses say to the Israelites, 'I am Jehovah your

God.' Mic. v. 2. 'Whose goings forth have leen from of old, from everlasting,' or, as Archbp. Newcome renders it, “from the days of hidden ages. As these words reter to one who was to come forth at a future time, the natural construction is,' whose goings forth have been descriled from of old,' &c. At most, the passage could only favour the pre-existence, not the proper divinity of Jesus, (if it refer to bim ;) and vs. 4. is a proof against the latter. • He shali siand and feed his flock in the strength of Jehovah, in the majesty of the name of JeHOVAH His God.'

I recollect only two other peculiarities in the 0. T. phraseology, which would generally be supposed to favour the doctrine of a plurality of persons in one God; the one is the plural form of Elohim, the other is the expression in Gen, i. 26. 'Let us make nian.'-shall conclude this number with the remarks of Geddes, (who, whatever may be thought of his theology, certainly understood the Hebrew language.) “ Do the plural forms

-denote a plurality of persons when ap אלהי and אלהים

and בוראים ,denote a plurality of Lords אדוני and אדונים a plurality of פני and פנים ,a plurality of Creators בוראי

plied to the One true God!--No: not any more than

a , a , s a faces, or sun'a plurality of lives.-It is truly strange that such a notion should ever have been entertained; and indeed it is only a modern notion, of the same age with scholastic theology. The Christian Fathers of the Church, who were eager enough to discover in the O.T. proofs of a Trinity, never dreamed of seeking one in

. _" The term Bibs is applied not only to the true God, but to false gods, and even to a single false god, whether male or female, such as Baal, Dagon, Ashtaroth, &c. It is applied to one angel in Jud. xiii. 22, and to one man, Moses, Exod. iv. 16, and vii. 1. Nay, the golden calf is called, by Aaron himself, an 377 god of gold. The plural number then is no proof of a Trinity of Gods or persons; and this is indeed allowed by the best commentators, whether Catholic or Protestant. See Drusius's Diss, on the word og in the 2d Vol. of the Sacred Critics, part 2, p. 298.” Cri. tical Remarks, p. 8.

Respecting the expression, “Let us make man,' Geddes remarks that some of the Jewish writers, “ with whom agree some of our best modern commentators, find in Let us make, no more than an emphatical and majestic mode of expression, insinuating both the power of the Creator, and the dignity of the created.” He cites Song of Sol. i. 4, 11, viii. 8, as instances among several others of this poem, in which the plural is used for the singular. “ Nor is it peculiar to the Hebrew. It is quite familiar to the Arabs. The Musselmans are certainly no Trinitarians : yet nothing is more common in the Koran than God's speaking in the plural number, We did we gave--we commanded." C. R.

p. 21.

No. III. Remarks respecting Mr. Sharp's Canon, c. I Am much concerned to learn, from Mr. Veysie's Second Letter, p. 101, that Mr. Winstanley, some time before the spring of 1809, had withdrawn from his publisher all the remaining copies of his excellent little tract. Mr. Veysie says, “ There is, therefore, some reason to

• suppose, that Mr. Winstanley was not himself perfectly satisfied with his own proofs.” Against this supposition I place Mr. W's own words, (Vindication, p. 2): " The following observations have lain by me for a considerable time, owing to causes which it is not necessary to state : I only mention this circumstance as affording some presumption that they have not been bastily prepared for the press, as I have had time enough to revolve and review them; and that I may without arrogance propose them to your candid reflection, as sufficient to convince you, &c.” I think it a supposition quite as probable as Mr. Veysie's, that as Mr. Sharp's opinion excited little attention excepc among those who considered it as proved, Mr. W. found the sale very slow, and wished to close his account with bis publisher. At any rate, I am convinced, from what we see in the tract itself, that if Mr. W. bad been converted to Mr. Sharp's opinion, he would have been ready to avow it to the public, and would have endeavoured to show the fallacy of his own arguments. That he, or any other, would be successful in such an attempt, I do not believe.

Mr. Sharp’s Canon is as follows: “ When the co

pulative xai connects two nouns of the same case (viz. nouns (eitler substantive, or adjective, or .par.

ticiples) of personal description respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connection, and attributes, pro

perties or qualities good or ill] if the article ó, or any of its cases, precedes the first of the said

nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the " second noun or participle, the latter always relates te " the same person that is expressed or described by the * first noun or participle.” It is admitted on all hands

« PreviousContinue »