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including a mystery, not to be made known to the vulgar, and indeed studiously concealed by them from their abhorrence of Christianity, has been elsewhere demonstrated b. It is therefore unnecessary to enlarge here. I shall only add, that the modern Jews are fo fully convinced that the doctrine of a plurality is contained in these words, as to wish to alter the reading. Instead of Let us make man, they incline to read, Let man be made ; although the Samaritan text, the Septuagint, the Talmudists, and all their translations, whether ancient or modern, express the language in the fame manner with our version.
The fame important doctrine is introduced in the history of the Fall. That three-one God, who said, “ Let us make man after our image,” in the fame character laments the loss of this image. “ JEHovan God said, Behold, the man is become
as one of us ;” or, as some read the passage, “ Behold the man, who was as one of us !! Here Philo observes; “ These words, as one of us,
are not put for one, but for more than one d.” The learned Allix has remarked, that the ancient Jewish writers maintain, that God “ speaks not “ this to the angels, who had no common likeness
to the unity or essence of God, but to Him who “ was the celestial Adam, who is one with Gode." To whom this character applies, we learn fronı the Targum of Jonathan on the place, who here 1peaks of the only begotten in heaven.”
This b See Vindication of the Doctrine of Scripture, &c. vol. i. 5.--. ç Gen, iii. 22.
d De Confas, ubi fup. e Judgment of the Jewil Church, f. 42.
This doctrine is also taught in the histcry of the Confusion of Tongues. “ JLHOVAH said, -Go “ to, let us go down, and there contound their
language f.” Here the Jews repeat their contemptible subterfuge, that God addresses his " house of judgment,” that is, created angels. For it is an established doctrine with them, that “God does nothing without previously consulting, “ with his family above &." But it has juftly been observed, that these words, if spoken to angels, would imply that God were one of them, or. that he descended in the same manner with them, by a real change of place. Besides, in a moment to change one language into many, and to infuse these into the minds of men, who were utter strangers to them before, so that they should entirely forget their former modes of speech, is a work that far surpasses the power of angels, and can be accomplished by no being but that God, with whom to will and to do is the same h.
It must be evident to every one, who reads the history of the Old Testament with any degree of attention, that an Argel is often introduced as speaking the language, performing the works, and accepting the worship, which exclusively belong to the Supreme Being. In other words, one, who is undoubtedly a divine person, often appears in a delegated character. Now, while it was the will of God in this manner conftantly to remind his Church of the economy of redemption, he at the same time taught her a distinction of persons in the divine effence. It was this Angel who appeared to Abraham on different occasions, to Hagar, to Jacob, to Moses, to Joshua, to the Israelites at Bochim, to Gideon, to Manoah and his wife. But I enter not into a particular consideration of these appearances, having endeavoured to illustrate the character of this divine Meflenger in another place i There it has also been proved, that the law was given to the Israelites at Mount Sinai, by the second person of the adorable Trinity in the character of the Angel of JEHOVAH". It deserves particular attention, that at the very time that the God of Israel gave his people a law, by which they were to be distinguished from all the idolatrous nations around, one special defign of which was to preserve the doctrine of the divine unity ;-at the very time that he pronounced that leading precept,
f Gen. xi. 7. g Maimonides, More Nevochin, P. ii c, hp, h Vid, Bocharti Phaleg. lib. i. c. 15.
“ Thou shalt have no “other gods before me;" he, according to the Sacred History viewed in its connexion, sustained the character of an Angel, and was pleased to communicate the knowledge of this fact to his people. How can these apparent contradictions be reconciled, but by admitting that it was the will of God to reveal himself to his Church, as at the same time possessing essential unity and personal plurality ?
The more ancient Jewish writers declare, that two persons were engaged in promulgating the
i Vindication of the Doctrine of Scripture, vol. i. p. 99.--117. k Ibid. p. 268.-274.280283.525.
law. They say ; “ The two first precepts were
spoken by the Supreme Spirit, but he spoke all “ the rest by his Glory, who is called El Shaddai, “ known to the fathers ; by whom the prophets “ foretold future events; who is called fab; in “ whom the Name of God is; the Beloved of “ God who dwelt in the temple ; and the Mouth “ of the LORD; and the Face of the Lord; and “the Rock; and that Goodness which Moses saw, “ when he could not see God.” Elsewhere they call him “ the Schechinah, by whom we draw “ near to God, and present our supplications to “ him ; who is that Angel in whom the name of “ God is, who is himself called God and JEHO“ vah.” The change of person, in the promulgation of the law, asserted by these writers, is evidently a mere fancy. But their language deserves attention; as it shews how fully they were convinced of the doctrine of a plurality in unity, when they introduced it in this manner.
It has been universally admitted by the friends of revelation, that the great end which God hath in view in the work of Redemption, is the display of his own adorable perfections. But there is doubtless another, although less attended to, nowile incompatible with this, nay, itself an eminent branch of the supreme end. This is the ma. nifestation of the mystery of the Trinity, and of the mude of subsultence peculiar to each person in the divine effence. This must undoubtedly be viewed as included in the one great design of the
all-wise | Bechai, fol. 88. col. 3. 4. ap. Wils, Oecon. Fæd. lib. iv. e. 4.
all-wise God, in our redemption; and it is evi. dent that he hath still kept it in eye, in the revelation given to the Church, and especially in the history of that work, as it is recorded in the gofpels. We may trace the doctrine of a Trinity in the accounts given of the old creation ; but it apfears with far superior evidence in the history of the new. This corresponds to the superior greatness of the work, and to the brighter and more extensive display of divine perfection.
Such was the state of the Church, as to admit of a more full manifestation of this mystery. It was more obfcurely revealed to the patriarchs, and under the Mofaic economy. This was analogous to the general character of the revelation then made; as well as to the state of the Church, yet in her infancy, and exposed to constant temptations to polytheism, from the fituation of all the furrounding nations. But " when the fullness of “ the time was come,” that the gospel should be preached to every creature, and the kingdom of Satan fall as lightning from heaven, in the overthrow of heathen darkness; there were no such impediments to the more char revelation of this mysterious doctrine. The rest of the divine conduct indeed rendered this neceffary. God had now “ fent forth his Son, made of a woman, made “ under the law, to redeem them that were under “ the law." The ends of this million could not be accomplished, without a full revelation of the character of this illustrious Meffenger. He could not otherwise receive that homage from the