Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

in this, and the next chapter, in a three-fold sense: First, for the name of the individual man who was first created. He was called Adam from Adama, the ground, from whence he was taken, chap. ii, 19-21; 1.Cor. xv, 47. Secondly, it is taken indefinitely for the man spoken of, chap. ii, 7. And "the Lord creat"ed (8) man;" not he, whose name was Adam, for the He Hajediah is never prefixed to any proper name; but the man indefinitely of whom he speaks. Thirdly, it denotes the species of mankind; as in this place; for the reddition is in the plural number: “And "let them have dominion;" the multitude of individuals being included in the expression of the species; hence it is added, ver. 27; "So God created man in his own "image, in the image of God created he him, male and "female created he them;" which is not spoken with respect to Eve, who was not then made, but to the kind, or race of men, including both sexes.

Concerning them, God saith, (vy) let us make in the plural number; and so are the following expressions of God in the same work (Dy) “in OUR image, “(119) according to OUR likeness." This is the first time that God so expresseth himself; as to all other parts of the creation, we hear no more but (04798 728”) "and God said;" in which word also I will not deny, but respect may be had to the plurality of persons in the Divine essence, as the Spirit is expressly mentioned, chap. i, 2. But here that mysterious truth is clearly revealed.

§11. It is an easy way, which some have taken in the exposition of this place, to solve the seeming difficulty: God, they say, speaks in it plurally (more regio) in a kingly manner. "It is the manner of the Hebrews, saith Grotius, to speak of God as of a king; and kings transact important matters with the counsel of the

[ocr errors]

chief men about them, 1 Kings xii, 6; 2 Chron. x, 9; 1 Kings xxii, 20." But the question is not about the manner of speaking among the Hebrews (of which yet no instance can be given to this purpose) but of the words of God himself, concerning himself; and of the reason of the change of the expression used constantly before. God is king of all the world, and if he had spoken more regio, would he not have done it, with respect to the whole creation, equally, and not signally with respect to man? Besides, this mos regius is a custom of much later date; and that which then was not, was not alluded to. And the reason added, why this form of speech is used, because "kings do "great things on the counsel of their principal atten"dants," requires, in its application, that God should consult with some created princes, about the creation of man, which is an anti-scriptural figment.

The ancients unanimously agree, that a plurality of persons in the Deity is here revealed and asserted; yea, the counsel of Syrmium, though dubious, though Arianizing in their confession of faith, denounced an anathema to any that shall deny these words, "Let us make man," to be the words of the Father to the Son, (Sacrat. Lib. II, Cap. xxv.) Chrysostom lays the weight of his argument for it, from the change in the manner of expression before used, as he justly and solidly might. Ambrose observes, (Apparet concilio trinitatis creatum esse hominem) "it appears that man was created by a council of the Trinity." Nor have any of those, who of late have espoused this evasion, answered the arguments of the ancients in favor of this Catholic sense, nor replied with any likelihood of reason to their exceptions against the contrary interpretation. Theodoret (in Ques. xx, in Gen.) urgeth that if God useth this manner of speech, concerning him

self, merely to declare his mind more regis, he would have done it always, at least he would have done it often. However, it would unavoidably have been the form of speech used in that kingly act of giving the law at Sinai; for that, if any thing, required the kingly style pretended. But the absolute contrary is observed. God, in that whole transaction with his peculiar people and subjects, speaks of himself constantly in the singular number.

There are two sorts of persons, who, with all their strength and artifices, oppose our opposition of this place; namely, the Jews and the Socinians, with whom we have to do perpetually, in whatever concerns the person and office of Christ the Messiah.

The Jews are at no small loss, as to the intention of the Holy Ghost, in this expression. Philo (de Opificio Mun.) knows not on what to fix, but after a pretence of some satisfactory reason, adds; "The true reason "hereof is known to God alone." The reason which he esteems most probable, is taken out of Plato, in his Timaus; for whereas, he saith, that there was to be in the nature of man a principle of evil, it was necessary that it should be from another author, and not from the most high God. Such woful mistakes may be passed over in Plato, who had no infallible rule to direct him in his disquisition after truth; but in him who had the advantage of the scriptures of the Old Testament, it cannot be excused, seeing this figment riseth up in opposition to the whole design of them. Some seek an evasion in supposing the verb (ny) to be the first person singular in Niphal; and not the first person plural in Kal; (homo factus est) man, or Adam, was made in our image and likeness; that is, of Moses and other men. Of this exposition Aben-Ezra says plainly, "It is an interpretation for a fool;" and well refutes it

from these words of God himself, Gen. ix, 6. Joseph Kimki would have it, that God speaks to himself, or the earth, or the four elements. Some of them affirm that God, in these words, consulted "with his family "above;" that is, the angels. Others say it is God and "his house of judgment." Other vain and foolish conjectures of theirs, in this matter, I shall not repeat. These instances are sufficient; for hence it is evident into what uncertainty they cast themselves, who are resolved upon an opposition to the truth. They know not what to fix upon, nor wherewith to relieve themselves. Although they all aim at the same, yet, what one embraceth another condemns, and those that are wisest reckon up all the conjectures they think of together, but fix on no one, as true, or as deserving to be preferred before others. For error is no where stable or certain, but fluctuates like the fabled isle of Delos, beyond the skill of men or devils, to give it a fixation.

§12. Georgius Eniedinus, whose writings, indeed, gave the first countenance to the Antitrinitarian cause, urges several objections (in his Explicationes locorum Veteris & Novi Testamenti) mostly borrowed from the Jews, invented by them out of hatred to the Christian faith. But these gentlemen always think it sufficient to their cause, to put in cavilling exceptions to the clearest evidence of any Divine testimony, without caring to give any sense of their own, by which they will abide as the true exposition of them.

He, therefore, first pleads: "If there is any strength in this argument, it only proves that there are many gods." Sophistical and vain cavil! Is not the unity of the Divine nature always supposed in our disquisition concerning the persons subsisting therein? Nor do we plead for three distinct persons in the Trinity, from this place. What we contend for here is, that there is

VOL. I.

39

a plurality of subsistences in the Divine nature; but that these are three, neither more nor less, we prove from other places of scripture, without number. Without a supposition of this plurality of persons, we say, no tolerable account can be given of the reason of this assertion, by any who acknowledge the unity of the Divine nature. And we design no more, but that there is implied mutual counsel, which, without a distinction of persons, cannot be imagined. This whole pretence, therefore, founded on vain and false supposition, that the testimony is used to prove a certain number of persons in the Deity, is altogether vain and friv. olous. It is granted, that one speaks these words, not more together; but he so speaks them, that he takes those to whom he speaks into the society of the same work with himself; nor is the Divine Speaker otherwise concerned in, "let us make," and "in our like"ness," than those to whom he speaks. And, indeed, it is not the speaking of these words before many concerned, that Moses expresseth, but the concurrence of many to the same work, with the same interest and concernment in it. And whoever is concerned (whether speaking, or spoken to) in the first word, "let us "make" is no less respected in the following words: "in our image and likeness." They must, therefore, be of one and the same nature, which was to be represented in the creature to be made in their image.

Again, he objects, "That writers often introduce a person deliberating and debating with himself." But the whole of this, and what he would insinuate by it, is merely petitio principii, accompanied with the neglect of the argument which he pretends to answer. For he only says, that "One may be introduced, as it were, deliberating and consulting with himself," whereof yet he gives no parallel instance, either from scrip

« AnteriorContinuar »