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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 unto Eve, who was not then made, but unto the kind or race, wherein both sexes were included.

$ 4. Concerning them, God saith, nuys, Let us make, in the plural number ; and so are the following expressions of God in

: , image, , likeness. This is the first time that God so expresseth himself, and the only occasion whereon he doth so in the account of the creation. As to all other things, we hear no more but 728? Obs, 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, ch. i. 2. But here the mystery of it is clearly revealed. The Jews constantly affirm, that the elders who translated the law at the request of Ptolemy, king of Egypt, changed or corrupted the text in thirteen places, whereof this was the first. For 170Y), Let us make, they rendered by nonow, I will make, and not wolnowev, in the plural number. And this they say they did, lest they should give occasion to the king or others to imagine, that their law allowed of any more Gods than one, or on any account departed from the singularity of the divine nature.

Whether this was the case or not, I know not, and have sufficient reason not to be too forward in giving credit to their testimony, if nothing else be given in evidence of what they affirm. For no traces of any such corruptions remain in any copies or memorials of the translation intended by them, which are come down unto us.

But this is sufficiently evident, that the reporter of this story apprehended an unanswerable appearance of a plurality of subsistences in the Deity, which they by whom the Trinity is denied, as we shall see immediately, know not what to make of, or how to solve.

$ 5. Some have indeed taken an easy way, in the exposition of this place, to remove the difficulty which appears in it. God, they say, in it speaks more regio, in a kingly manner,' by the plural number. Mos est, saith Grotius, Hebræorum de Deo, ut de rege loqui : reges res magnas agunt de consilio primorum, 1 Reg. xii. 6. 2 Paral. x. 9. sic et Deus, 1 Reg. xxii. 20. It is the manner of the Hebrews to speak of God as of a king. And kings transact important things by the counsel of their chiefs.? But the question is not about the manner of speaking among the Hebrews, (and yet no instance can be given of their speaking in the first person, as here,) but of the words of God himself concerning himself; and of the reason of the change of the expression constantly used before. God is king of all the world,

of the whole creation ; and if, in creating, he had spoken more regio, he would have done it with respect to the whole equally, and not signally with respect to man. Besides, this mos regius is a custom of a much later date; and that which then did not exist, could not be alluded to. And the reason added why this form of speech is used, namely, because “ kings do great things by the counsel of their principal attendants, requires in the application, that God should consult with some created princes about the creation of man, which is an anti-scriptural figment, and shall be immediately disproved. Least of all is any countenance given to this interpretation from the place alleged, 1 Kings xxii. 20. The application of this passage to this pur. pose is borrowed from Aben Ezra on this place, in his attempt to avoid the testimony here given to the Trinity. “Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead ?” For as there is nothing spoken in the plural number to parallel this expression, so if that allegorical declaration of God's providential rule be literally pressed, Satan, or a lying spirit, must be esteemed to be one of the chiefs with whom he consulted. 66. But who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being the man of his counsel hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who made him understand ?” Isa. xl. 13, 14.

The ancients unanimously agree, that a plurality of persons in the Deity is here revealed and asserted. Yea, the council of Syrmium, though dubious, yea Arianizing in their confession of faith, yet denounceth Anathema upon any that shall-deny these words, Let Us make man, to be the words of the Father to the Son, Socrat. Lib. 2. Cap. 25. Chrysostom lays the weight of his argument for it, from the change in the manner of expression before used, as he may do justly and solidly. Apparet, saith Ambrose, Concilio Trinitatis creatum esse hominem. Neither þave any of those who of late have tried to evade the evidence of this passage, in support of the doctrine of the Trinity, answered any of the arguments of the ancients for the sense we plead for; nor replied with any likelihood of reason to their objections against that interpretation, which they took notice of as invented long ago. Theodoret in his Quest. in Genes. Quest. 20. urgeth, That if God used this manner of speech concerning himself, merely to declare his mind more regio, he would have done it always, at least he would have done it often. And assuredly it would 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.

$ 6. But there are two sorts of persons who with all their strength and artifices, oppose our exposition of this place ; namely the Jews and the Socinians, with whom we have to do perpetually in whatever concerns the person and offices of Christ the Messiah, and in what any way relates thereunto. We shall therefore first consider what they offer to secure themselves from this testimony against their infidelity, and then farther shew the force of the words, to the end peculiarly designed. And although there is a great coincidence in their pretensions, yet I shall handle them distinctly, that it may the better appear wherein the one receiveth aid from the other.

The Jews are at no small loss, as to the intention of the Holy Ghost in this expression; and if we believe some of them, they have been so from of old. For as we observed before, they all affirm that these words were changed in the translation of the LXX. because they could not understand how they might be properly expressed without giving countenance unto Polytheism. * Philo, de Opificio Mun. knows not on what to fix, but after a pretence of some reason for satisfaction, adds, μεν ουν αληθεστατην αιτιαν, Θεον αναγκη μονον ειδεναι; The true reason hereof is known to God alone. The reason which he esteems most probable, is taken out of Plato in his Timæus. For whereas, he saith, there was to be in the nature of man, a principle of vice and evil, it was necessary that it should be from another author, and not from the most high God. But though such woeful mistakes may be passed over in Plato, who had no infallible rule to guide him in his disquisition after truth; 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 the word nwys, which they would have to be the first person singular in Niphal; and not the first person plural in Kal. Having therefore a passive signification, the meaning is, that Homo factus est, man or Adam was made in our image and likeness ; that is, of Moses and other men. Of this exposition of the words, Aben-Ezra says plainly, as non un7911; it is an interpretation for a fool; and well refutes it from those words of God himself, Gen. ix. 6. “ Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man:” with other considerations of the text. R. Saadias would have it that God spake these words and anony, Secun

Regum, , Aben-Ezra ; the plural number, which is the custom of kings. This we have already rejected, and must yet farther call it into examination, as it is managed by the Socinians.

But it is evident that the introduction of this style, is comparatively modern, and nothing but usage or custom has given reverence or majesty to it. Joseph Kimchi would have it, that God speaks to himself, or to the earth, or to the four elements. For as the soul of man was to be immediately created by God, so his body was to be from the earth, by an union of the principles and qualities of it. And this man falls on the rock which he principally aims to avoid ; namely, an appearance of Polytheism. For he makes the earth itself to be a God, that hath a principle of operation in itself, with a will and understanding whereby to exert it. Some of them affirm that in these words

his ; that is, the angels; which Aben-Ezra on the place principally inclines unto. This must afterwards be distinctly examined. Others say it is God and 1797 173, His house of judgment.

;witli liis fanmily above כפמליא של מעלה God consulted

ואם בתכ אעשה אדם לא למדנו שיהא מדבר עם בית דינו אלא עם

1939. Says Rashi on the place, if it had been written, Let me, or I will make man, he had not taught us that he spake unto his house of judgment, but to himself; the danger of which he shews, from the expressions in the plural number. Hence some learned men have supposed that of old by God and his house of judgment, they intended the persons of the holy Trinity, the Father, Word and Spirit. But the explication which they frequently give of their minds herein, will not allow us so to judge, at least of any of their Post-Talmudical Masters.

Other vain and foolish conjectures of their's in this matter, I shall not repeat. These instances are sufficient as to my present intention. For hence it is evident in what uncertainties they involve 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 end, yet what one embraces another condemns, and those that are wisest reckon up all the conjectures they can think of together, but fix on no one as true, or as deserving to be preferred before others. For error is nowhere stable or certain, but fluctuates like the isle of Delos, beyond the skill of men or devils, to give it a fixation. And thus much also of their opinions was necessary to be expressed, that it might appear from whom the Socinians, and those who co-operate with them in opposing the testimonies given to the Trinity, do borrow their objections. Little or nothing have they to offer for the support of their cause, but what they have borrowed from those avowed enemies of our Lord Jesus Christ.

$7. I shall not in this instance collect the sentiments of the Socinians out of several of their writers, but I shall examine him, who was one of the first that made it his professed design, to elude all the testimonies of the Scriptures, which are usually pleaded in the defence of the doctrine of the Trinity. Georgius Eniedinus; whose writings indeed gave the first coun: tenance to the Antitrinitarian cause. And

I shall the rather deal with him, because his perverse discourses, which were almost worn out of the world, are lately revived by a new edition, and are become common in the hands of many. Besides, indeed, there is little or nothing material added in this cause by his followers, to his sophistical evasions and objections; though what he had not done in the New Testament, being prevented by death, is pursued in his method by Felbinger. The title of his book is, Explicationes locorum veteris et Novi Testamenti, ex quibus Trinitatis Dogma stabiliri solet ; whereof, this under consideration is the second. To the argument from hence for a plurality of persons in the same divine essence, he brings various objections mostly borrowed from the Jews, and invented by them out of their hatred to the Christian faith. And both of these sorts of men do always think it sufficient to their cause, to make cavilling objections to the clear evidence of any divine testimony, not regarding to give any sense of their own, which they will abide by, as the true exposition of the words.

He therefore first pleads; Si ex hoc loquendi formula numerus et natura Dei venanda et colligenda est, dicimus primo, non plus esse Trinitariis in hoc dicto ad tres Deitatis personas stabiliendas præsidii, quam Gentibus et omnibus idololatris, ad sua multiplicia et numero carentia numina confirmandum. Illud enim, FACIAMUS, et Nostram, tam potest ad decem, centum, mille, quam ad tria referri, neque quidquam est futilius et ineptius quam sic argumentari. Hic dicuntur esse multi ; ergo sunt tres ; nam possunt esse viginti, trio ginta, quinquaginta, &c. Ergo siquid roboris in hoc argumento est, hoc tantum concludit Deos esso multos. Absit autem a nobis, certe abesť a Mose ista prophanitas, ut multitudinem Deorum, sacrarum literarum testimonio introducamus aut stabiliamus.

But these things are sophistical and vain. The unity of the divine nature is always supposed in our disquisitions concerning the persons subsisting therein. And this is so clearly and positively asserted in the Scripture, particularly by Moses, Deut. vi. 4. and any apprehensions to the contrary are so directly repugnant to the light of nature, that no expressions can be found to give the least countenance to any other notion, without ascribing direct contradictions to it, which if certain and evident, were a sufficient ground to reject the whole. No pretence therefore to any imagination of a plurality of Gods, can be made use of from these words. And the whole remaining sophistry of this objection, lies in a supposition that we plead for three distinct persons in the Trinity from this place, which is false. That there is a plurality of subsistencies in the divine nature, we plead from hence; that these are three, neither more nor less, we prove from other parts of Scripture, without number. Many of these I have elsewhere vindicated from the exceptions of these men. Without a supposition of this plura

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