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wards 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 because 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 magnificenttitles, which were not understood literally, nor meant to be so.-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 his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor of God,' (or, Illustrious Counsellor,)* Mighty, Father of the age to come, Prince of Peace.'t That this rendering 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. (1) The very terms, a child is born,' imply that the person spoken of was not the
Agreeably to a well-known employment of the word bx to express eminence. Or, Counselling God, like Raphael, healing God.
† 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 decrees of God will be displayed ; Counsellor of God, for be 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 bimself, and by the working of that mighty power, he will be enabled to raise the dead and judge the world; Father of the age to 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.
mighty God; though Dr. Watts, following 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. lxi. 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 servant; 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. 410,) ch. xlvi. 9, ‘I (that is, Jehovah,) am God, and there is NONE ELSE; I am God, and there is NONE LIKE
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 depriving “ them by this translation of a favourite argument for “proving the divinity of our Saviour from the Old Tes“tament. 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 “admit 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 New Testament only. In “the parallel passage, ch. xxxiii. 16, the expression is a “ little varied, but the sense according to a just and
* On this text the Author of this volume published a Discourse, delivered on Christmas day 1816; to which the reader may be referred.
“ 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 he must be Jehovah. This singular argument 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 Deut. xxix. 2—8, (adduced by Gregory Blunt, p. 185,) where, if we neglect an unmarked change of person, we make Moses
God.' Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting,' or, as Archbishop Newcome renders it, ' from the days of hidden ages. As these words refer to one who was to conie forth at a future time, the natural construction is, whose goings forth have been described from of old,' &c. At most, the
could only favour the pre-existence, not the proper deity of Jesus, (if it refer to him ;) and v. 4. is a proof against the latter. He shall stand 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 Old Testament 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 man.'-I shall conclude this number with the remarks of Geddes, (who, whatever may be thought of his theology, certainly understood the Hebrew language.) “Do the
• See, however, Mr. Yates's interpretation of this passage, in his Vindication, p. 198. It is briefly noticed in the Author's Com. paratide View
פני and פנים ,a plurality of Creators בוראי and בוראים
אלהים The term"-".אלהים dreamed of seeking one in
plural forms Dink and be denote a plurality of persons when applied to the One true God ?-No: not any more than D'1178 and '1178 denote a plurality of Lords,
a a plurality of faces, or in 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 Old Testament proofs of a Trinity, never
.”_" 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 Judges xiii. 22, and to one man, Moses, Exod. iv. 16. and vii. 1. Nay, the golden calf is called by Aaron himself, be am 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 'n be in the 2d Vol. of the Sacred Critics, Part 2, p. 298.”. Critical 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 Solomon 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.” Critical Remarks,
Remarks respecting Mr. Sharp's Canon. In 1798 Mr. Granville Sharp published his “Remarks on the Uses of the Definite Article in the Greek Testament, containing many new proofs of the Divinity of Christ, from passages which are wrongly translated in the Common English Version." In 1805, the Rev. Calvin Winstanley published his “ Vindication of certain passages in the Common English Version of the New Testament;" in which, in my judgment, he completely overturns the critical fabric raised by Mr. Sharp. For reasons which do not appear, Mr. Winstanley withdrew his tract from his publisher, before the spring of 1809; and on that account principally I was led to give, in this Appendix, a view of the leading principles on which I rest my full conviction that Mr. Sharp's renderings are not required by the Greek idiom.*
In 1802 Mr. (now Dr.) Wordsworth published his “Six Letters to Granville Sharp,” designed to show in what way these
passages were understood by the Greek fathers; but the publication seems to add nothing to the merits of the controversy. In reply to the arguments of Sharp and Wordsworth, appeared in 1803 “ Six more Letters to Granville Sharp,” by a writer of great acutcness and learning, who, under the fictitious name of Gregory Blunt, so much indulges a strain of ridicule, that he prevents his arguments from bearing as forcibly as they otherwise would. Mr. Sharp's principle is in some measure maintained in Dr. Middleton's - Doctrine of the Greek Article," 1808, which was reviewed with great talent and learning in the Monthly Review, Vol. lxii. N.S.
Mr. Sharp's Canon is as follows: “When the copulative sau connects two nouns of the same case
• I have the pleasure of stating that Mr. Winstanley's very able and decisive tract has been republished in America. (3d Ed.)