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theism ; and certainly there was great danger of its operating in that manner. “ The multitude of the Jews,” says Eusebius, “ were in ignorance of this hidden mystery, when they were taught to believe in one God only, on account of their being frequently drawn into idolatry; they did not know that he was the Father of the only-begotten Son. This mystery was reserved for the Gentile Church, out of special favour to them.”
Gregory Nazianzen, therefore, representing the propriety of Judaism being abolished by degrees, says, “ The Father was preached in the Old Testament, and the Son obscurely; in the New, the Son clearly, and the Spirit obscurely, he revealing himself more clearly to us: for it was not safe to preach the divinity of the Son clearly, while that of the Father was not understood, nor that of the Spirit, while that of the Son was not received, lest too great a burden sho be laid upon us, or lest we should be dazzled with too much light,” &c. † And Chrysostom farther observes, that “ the precept, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord,' was not given till after the sin of the golden calf;" # as if it had not been the intention of Providence to give them any such precept, if they had not previously shewn a disposition to abuse more perfect instruction.
Job the Monk, of whose writings we have a particular account in Photius, comparing the great revolutions in the state of religion to earthquakes, says, “ As the first earthquake had cured the world of idolatry, by contrary remedies, but concealed the difference of hypostases ; so in the last times, the Jewish opinion of one person having gained strength in time, and by the law, and having destroyed idolatry; the Son then, in a manner worthy of God, and friendly to man, took flesh, and revealed the mystery of the Trinity by degrees.”
“ The Saviour very
He likewise says,
* Το δε πληθος το Ιεδαιων εθνους εν αγνοια ετυγχανε τα κεκρυμμενου του μυςηριου, όθεν Θεον μεν εδιδασκετο ένα ειδεναι, δια το τη πολυθεν σλανη συνεχως υποσυρεσθαι πατερα δε οντα τον Θεον υιου τα μονογενους ηγνοεί τελο γαρ εφυλαττετο τη εξ εθνων εκκλησια το μυςηριον, κατα την αξαιρεθον χαριν αυτη δεδωρημενον. Contra Marcel. L. 1. C. xx. p. 99. (P.)
+ Εχει γαρ έτως, εκηρυσσε φανερως η παλαια τον πατερα, τον υιον αμυδροθερον" εφανερωσεν η καινη τον υιον υπεδειξε τα πνευμαίος την θεοτηλα, εμπολιτευείαι νυν το πνευμα, σαφες εραν ημιν παρεχαν την εαυτο δηλωσιν ου γαρ ην ασφαλες, μηπω της τα πατρος θεοτηθος ομολογηθεισης, τον υιον εκδηλως κηρυττεσθαι" μηδε της το υιου παραδεχθεισης, το πνευμα το αγιον, ν' ειπω τι και τολμηροτερον επιφορτιζεσθαι" μη καθαπερ τροφη τη υπερ δυναμιν βαρηθενίες, και ηλιακό φωτι σαθροτεραν ετι προσβαλονίες της οψιν και εις το κατα Buyapı KıvUVEVO WO.. Or. xxxvii. Opera, pp. 608, 609. (P.)
Η “Ότε γουν εποιησαν τον μοσχον, και το γλυπλον προσεκύνησαν, τοίε ηκουσαν Κυριος ο 805 od kupios erg esix. Ser. xxiv. Opera, V. p. 350. (P.)
wisely spake lowly of himself, and withheld the beams of his divinity, and prepared to let it shine forth in works.” *
It was customary, as we shall see, to represent the doctrine of the Trinity as something sublime, and of difficult apprehension ; and therefore fit for persons of ripe understanding and deep reflection ; of which, on that account, even the Christians of the first ages were allowed to be ignorant, and the common people in general, till a much later period. It was natural, therefore, to allege this, also, as another reason why the Jews, living in the infant age of the world, should not have this sublime and difficult lesson taught them. “ The Jews,” says Eusebius, “ were not taught the doctrine of the Trinity, on account of their infant state.” Basil gives the same account. Cyril of Alexandria says, “ The doctrine of the Trinity was taught in types only, and not clearly. . For what reason. Because the light of divine vision is not easily accessible to those who are but lately called to the knowledge of the truth, and have not their minds exercised to those speculations."
Our Saviour said, [Μatt. xix. 8,] that divorces had been allowed to the Jews, " because of the hardness of their hearts.” This also is given as a reason by Eusebius, why the Jews were not taught the doctrine of the Trinity.||
SECTION III. The Sentiments of the Jews, as expressed by themselves, on
the Subject. Having seen what the Christian fathers say in general of the ignorance of the Jews concerning the doctrine of the Trinity, let us see what the Jews themselves have said on the subject, as far as we are able to collect it, either from the writings of the Christian fathers, or their own.
Και καθαπερ ο πρωτος σεισμος δια των ενανλιων ιασαίο το πολυθεον, επικυψαμενος των υποςασεων το διαφορον έτω και εν εσχατους καιρούς, της Ιεδαϊκης δοξης εις έν προσωπον νομο και χρονο κρατυνθεισης, και περιελεσης το πολυθεον, ο υιος τηνικαυλα θεοπρεπως τε και φιλανθρωπως και σαρκα λαμβανει, και το της τριαδος κατα μικρον ανακαλυπτει μυςηριον επαγει δε τείοις, ως πανσοφος και σωτηρ τοις μεν σημασιν εταπεινολογειτο, και την της θεοτηλος συνες ελλεν αυγην, τους εργως δε ταυλης παρεσκευαζεν αςραπίειν, και δι' αυτων εδoκει κηρυττεσθαι της παντοκρατορικης δυναμεως το αξιωμα. Photii Bib. Sect. ccxxii. p. 619. (Ρ.)
* Και το νηπιαζοντι των Ιεδαιων λαώ. Ec. Tlieo). L. i. C. xviii. p. 190. (Ρ.)
* Ην γαρ τι, ως εoικεν, και προ το κοσμο τελε, και τη μεν διανοια ημων εςι θεωρησον, ανισορητον δε κατελειφθη, δια το τους εισαγομενοις ετι και νηπιους κατα την γνωσιν ανεπιτηδειον. Opera, I. p. 6. (Ρ.)
$ “Ος εν τυποις ετι μονον, οχι δε και αισθηλως, εδιδασκείο δια ποιαν αιτιαν; Οτι τοις αρτι κεκλημενοις εις επιγνωσιν αληθειας και ουκ εντριβητους επ' αυτη θεωρημασι την διανοιαν εχεσιν, απροσιτoν πως ειναι δοκει και εςιν αληθως, το φως της θεοπτιας. Cont. Julianum, L. i. Juliani Opera, II. p. 19. (P.)
Η “Οτι προς την σκληροκαρδιας τε Ιεδαιων λαθ. Ec. Theol. L. ii. C. xx. p. 134. (Ρ.) • In Gen. xix. Opera, I. p. 15. (P.) + “ Aut numquid angelis loquebatur, ut Judæi interpretantur, quia nec ipsi Filium agooscunt; an quia ipsc erat Pater, Filius et Spiritus, ideo pluralem se præstans, pluraliter sibi loquebatur." Ad Praxeam, Sect. xii. p. 506. (P.)
As the Christian fathers found the doctrine of the Trinity obscurely hinted at in the Old Testament, and particularly in the account of the creation, in which God is represented as saying, “ Let us make man,” we may wish to know what the Jews replied, when they were urged with this argument; and it is remarkable, that their answer was in general the same with that of the Unitarian in the Clementines, in reply to Simon, who had urged that very circumstance, as a proof that there were more Gods than one. However, there is a variety in the answers given by the Jews to this question, but all of them sufficiently natural and not improper. Theodoret says, “ The Jews say, that when God said, “Let us make man,' he used the kingly style;"* and this seems to be the most natural interpretation. But according to Tertullian, the Jews said that God addressed himself to the angels. “ Did he speak to angels, when he said, · Let us make man,' as the Jews say, who do not acknowledge the Son; or, as if he himself was Father, Son, and Spirit, did he, say they, make himself more than one, and speak in the plural number?”+ This also is the answer which Basil reports. “ The Jews say, God spake to the angels, when he said, “Let us make man,'
,” addressing himself to an Unitarian, who he said was “a Jew pretending to be a Christian.”+ Cyril of Jerusalem says, that the Jews acknowledged only one God, the Father.
We may form a very good judgment of the sentiments of the Jews on this subject, from the account of a solemn conference between regentius, a Christian bishop, and Herbanus, a learned Jew, in the presence of an Arabian prince in the fifth century. As it is the only work of the kind that remains of so early an age, I shall quote several extracts from it, to shew how the Jews of that age felt and reasoned.
The Jew expresses his dread of idolatry in very strong terms. “ The prophet Moses," he says, " if you read the Pentateuch, pronounces a dreadful curse upon the children of Israel, from God, the angels, and saints, calling in all the elements under heaven, if we should ever receive any other God besides the God of our fathers. Why then should you make any words on the subject? For God himself by the prophets strictly orders us, saying, There shall be no other God in thee, nor shalt thou worship a strange God; I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt. What think you of this?”
1 Ακοε και συ ο εκ της νέας καταιομης, και τον Ιεδαισμων πρεσβευων εν Χριστιανισμο προσ. ποιησει τινι λεγει κατ' εικονα ημετεραν. Ηom. viii. Opera, I. p. 105. (Ρ.)
και “Οι το μεν είναι ένα θεον πατερα καταδεχονται τους δογμασι. Cat. vii. p. 102. (Ρ.)
“ It is grievous to me to desert the God of the law, whom you acknowledge to be a true God, and to worship a younger God, not knowing whence he sprung." +
“ Whence do you derive your faith in the Father, Son, and Spirit, and introduce three strange gods ?” ! " Where did any prophet foretell that Christ was to be God-man, as you say?"
?”8 « Why did not God order Moses and the prophets to believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but yourselves only, who have lately discovered it, as you pretend?”
?Η “ How do you call your Christ God, if my God has chosen him, &c.? He cannot be a God, of whom you acknowledge it is said in the prophet, I have made ihee strong. How can you call him your God and Saviour, who, as the prophet witnesses, can do nothing without my God?”
Lastly, having quoted the words of the prophet, (Isaiah xlix. 8,] “ I have heard thee in an acceptable time, I have formed thee,” he says, “ How dare you, then, make him equal to him that formed him?" **
The Rabbi Nachmanides, in his public disputation before
Μωύσης και προφητης, ει την πενταευχον ανεγνως, μεγεθη καταρων τεθεικεν ημιν τους υιοις Ισραηλ, απο Θεου και των αγελων, και των αγιων, θεις και παντα τα στοιχεια τα υπ' ερανον υπο καταραν, ει ποτε έτερον Θεον υποδεξαμεθα παρεξ τε Θεου των πατερων. Τι 8ν λοιπον πολυπραγμονεις; Και γαρ και αυτος ο Θεος δια το προφητου σαρεγfυα ημιν λεγων 8κ εςαι εν σοι Θεος προσφατος, εδε προσκυνησεις θεω αλλοτριω εγω γαρ ειμι κυριος ο Θεος σε, ο αναγαγων σε εκ της γης Αιγυπτε τι αν δοκει σοι προς ταυλα; Ρ. 36. (Ρ.)
* Ουκεν βαρυ μου εςι καταλιπειν τον Θεον το νομο, αν και συ μαρτυρεις, ότι ει Θεος αληθειας, και προσκυνήσαι Θεω νεωτερω, τσοθεν επεισαχθεντι ουκ ειδως. Ιbid. p. 115. (Ρ.)
1 Ποθεν ουν εξελαβεσθε πατερα και υιον και πνευμα τις ευειν, και εισφερετε εις το μεσον τρεις θεους αλλοκοτες; Ιbid. p. 6. (Ρ.)
5 Και σου ηνιξατο τις των προφητων, ότι Θεος ανθρωπος εςαι ο Χριςος, όν τροπον λελαληκας; 1bid. p. 112. (Ρ.)
| Το Μωση και τους προφηταις πως ουκ εξεθετο ο Θεος τις ευειν εις σαθερα και υιον και αγιον πνευμα, αλλ' η μονοις υμιν νεωςι τελο εξευρηκοσιν, ως υμεις φατε ; Gregent. p. 7. (Ρ.)
Η Και ει έτως εχει, σοι δε τροπο τον Χριςον συ Θεον προσαγορευεις, εφ' ο Θεος ο εμος εξελέξατο, και ηγαπησε, και τα εξης; ουκεν ουκ εςι Θεος ως λεγεις, ότι φασκει περι αυτα δια τα προφητε, ότι εγω γαρ ειμι ο ενισχυσας σε πως δε και αποκαλεις αυτον Θεον και σωτηρα σε, ός τις καθως η προφητεια μαρτυρει, ανευ τε εμε Θεου σρατίειν τι ου δυναται; Ibid. p. 111. (Ρ.)
** Πως εν συ τολμας ισον το σλας η αυτε Θεoν ονομαζων; Ιbid. p. 151. (Ρ.)
the king of Arragon, in 1963, lays the greatest stress imaginable on the doctrine of the Messiah being a mere man; and his address to the young king on the subject is pertinent and affecting. “The greatest subject of controversy between us and the Christians," says he, “ lies in this, that you make the Messiah to be a God, which is not to be borne" (literally, it is a very bilter thing, Dn). “ You, my king, are a young man, born of Christian parents, and have all your life heard monks and preachers discoursing about the nativity of Jesus, and they have filled your bones with this doctrine as with marrow; and from use it is grateful to you. But what you believe on this subject is contrary to sound reason. It is not agreeable to common sense, to the nature of things, or to the writings of the prophets. The enormous prodigy is utterly inexplicable.For, could the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things that are in them, go into the womb of a Jewish woman, be there nourished nine months, be afterwards born a boy, then grow to a man, be delivered into the hands of his enemies, who should pass sentence of death upon him, and execute it, then come to life again, &c. ? These are things that neither the reason of a Jew, nor that of any other man, can bear. It is in vain, therefore, and to no purpose to dispute about other things; it is on this that the hinge of our controversy turns.'
“ The doctrine of the Tripity,” says the Rabbi Isaac, “ as held by learned Christians, rests on the slightest evidence, and is contrary to the doctrine of the prophets, the law, and right reason, and even the writings of the New Testament. For the divine law gives its sanction to the unity of God, and removes all plurality from him.”+ This writer shews,
* “ Cæterum, principalis causa quæ inter Judæos ac Præputiatos dubia ac controversa est, in eo latet, quod vos Messiam inter divinitatis septa admittitis, quæ res est durissima. Tu vero, mi rex domineque, juvenis es, patre Christiano; et matre Christiana progenitus, totaque vita tua audivisti monachos, homunciones et • concionatores de nativitate Jesu verba facientes, ii hâc quasi medullâ repleverunt ossa tua, et ex hac consuetudine suavis est ingenio tuo. Sed vero res quam creditis, sanæ rationi adversatur, nec enim vel iutellectus, vel rerum natura tale quid concedunt, neque prophetæ hoc enunciarunt. Amplius, nec explicari potest prodigii enormitas, prout demonstrabo rationibus evidentibus suo loco et tempore.--Nunquid enim Creator cæli et terræ, rerumque quæ his continentur omnium, reciperit sese in uterum Judaicæ mulieris, ibique aleretur, per menses novem, et puer postea nasceretur, educaretur deiode, traderetur in manus inimicorum suorum, qui capitalem sententiam adversus illum pronunciarent, et neci traderent, dicatur autem postea revixisse, et reversus esse in locum suum, quæque alia sunt ejus generis ? Ista nec. Judæi hominis nec cujusquam mortalium sana ratio suffert. In vanum igitur, et in nihilum, de aliis verba facitis; nam in his vertitur cardo nostræ controversiæ." P. 40. (P.).
† “ Accedit his, quod dogma de Trinitate falsum est, et à quibusdam eruditis Nazarenorum, rebus levissimis, sine ullo vero prophetico fundamento recens super