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in many places, that the doctrine of the Trinity is not taught in the New Testament,
The contempt which the author of a Jewish treatise, entitled Nizzachon Velus, expresses for the Christian doctrine of God being confined in the womb of woman, is peculiarly strong. t. As to those who said that Mary was not rendered unclean by the birth of Jesus, he says the contrary is evident from the offering that she brought for her purification.
Having seen what the Christians, both Unitarians and Trinitarians, and also what the Jews, thought of the doctrine of the Old Testament concerning God, it may be some farther satisfaction to know in what manner the Heathens decided in this case. We have the opinion of the emperor Julian on this subject, and it is decisively in favour of the Jews, and the Unitarian Christians. He says, “ Moses not only once, or twice, or three times, but many times, commands to worship only one God, who, he says, is over all. He mentions no other God, but only angels, and lords, and many gods;" that is, the Heathen gods. “This great Being he made to be the first, but he made no second like him, or unlike him, as you have done. If you can produce a single expression in Moses to this purpose, do it. That saying of his, 'A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you,
of your brethren, like unto me, hear him,'S is not said of the son of Mary. But if this be granted to you, he says that he shall be like to himself, and not to God, a prophet like himself, of man, and not of God." || plurimis scriptorum Novi Testamenti repugnat. Quippe lex divina comprobat Dei unitatem, omnemque pluralitatem ab eo segregat." Munimem Fidei, p. 113. (P.) * See ibid. pp. 397, 403, 418, &c. (P.)
† “ Quomodo igitur iste Deus esse posset, qui fæninam plenum immunditiis ventrem habentem, ingressus est? Et quein toties mater illius, novem graviditatis mensibus, eo detulit, quo satura itabat? Quique tempore nativitatis editus est inquinatus, et sordens, involutus secundinis, et abominabilis sanguine partus ac profluvii.” Nizzachon Vetus, p. 7. (P.)
1 “ Quod si dicat adversarius: non inquinatus fuit intra viscera ejus. Nam, cum in Maria muliebris consuetudo defecisset, intravit eam spiritus, exivitque sine dolore, et sine sanguinis sorditie. Ad hæc respondere licet : annon vos fatemini eam obtulisse sacrificium puerperarum, cujus immundities causa erat? Idem enim sacrificium offerebant leprosus, hæmorrhousa, et puerpera, par turturum, aut duos pullos columbarum." Ibid. (P.)
& Acts üi. 22. See Vol. XIII. p. 398.
Η Ο τοίνυν Μωσης ουκ άπαξ, εδε δις, εδε τρις, αλλα πλεισακις ένα Θεον μονον αξιοι Tirar, δν δη και επι σασιν ονομαζει, Θεον δε έτερον εδαμε, αγfέλες δε ονομαζει
, και κυριες, και μενθου και θεους πλειονας εξαιρεθον και τον πρωθον, αλλον δε εχ υπειληφε δεύτερον ετε όμοιον, ελε ανομοιου, καθαπερ υμεις απεξεργασθε ει δε εςι σε παρ' υμιν υπερ τείων μια Μωσεως βησις, ταυλην εςε δικαιοι προφερειν. Το γαρ, προφητην υμιν ανατησει κυριος ο Θεος υμων, εκ των αδελφων υμων, ως εμε: αυτο ακεσεσθε μαλιςα μεν εν εκ ειρηται περι τα γεννηθεντο εκ Μαριας ει δε τις υμων ένεκα συγχωρησειεν, εαυ7ώ φησιν, αυλον όμοιον γεννης σεσθαι, και ου τω Θεω προφηίην ώσπερ έαυλον, και εξ ανθρωπων, αλλ' ουκ κ Θεου. Cyril Supra, pp. 205, 254, 261, 266. + See Vol. XIII. p. 17.
It has been seen * that Philo personified the logos as much as the Christian fathers, and that they probably learnt of him the doctrine of a divine logos being the medium of all the communications of God to the patriarchs, and of this principle occasionally assuming a visible form. But Philo had no idea that this doctrive had any connexion with that of the Messiah, as he gives no hint that this was a character to be assumed by the logos; nor does it appear that the Jews in any age had such an expectation ; though this has been pretended by some modern Christians.
It is unquestionable that, in our Saviour's time, the Jews expected no other than a man in the character of their Messiah. Mary, the mother of Jesus, evidently expected that the Messiah was to be born in the usual way, of two human parents ; for, when the angel informed her that she should " conceive and bear a son," who should be called “the son of the Highest,” and to whom God would " give the throne of his father David," she replied, Luke i. 34, “ How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”+ Our Saviour could not possibly have puzzled the Jewish doctors as he did, by asking them how David could call the Messiah his Lord, when he was his son, $ or descendant, on any other principle. For if they had themselves been fully persuaded that the Messiah, though descended from David, was the maker and God of David, a satisfactory answer to his question was very obvious. Origen reproaches Celsus for his ignorance, in not knowing that the Jews never believed that the Messiah would be God, or the Son of God. Facundus very properly says, that “ Martha and Mary would never have said to Christ, . If thou hadst been here,' [John xi. 21,] had they thought him to be God omnipresent. This writer also says, that the Jews always had expected, and that, in his time, they did expect, a mere man for their Messiah, They did not know," he says, “ that Christ, the Son of God, was God; but they thoughit that Christ would be a mere man, which any one may perceive that the Jews at this time also think.”
Many Christians imagine, that the child called Immanuel by Isaiah, (vii. 14,) must be God, because the word signifies,
I See ibid. p. 290." και Ουκ οίδε μεντοιγε ότι ου σανυ τι Ιεδαιοι λεγεσί Θεον οντα τον Χριςον καταξησεσθαι, 7 Osov úlor. Contra Celsum, L. iv. p. 162. (P.)
11 “ Sed non propterea Christum Dei Filium, Deum seiebant; hominem autem purum arbitrati sunt Christum. Quod etiam nunc putantes Judæos quilibet video bit." L. ix. C. jii. p. 199. (P.) See Vol. XVIII. pp. 202, 214.
“God with us." But the Jews understood their scriptures, and their own ideas with respect to giving names, too well to draw any such inference from this circumstance. Eusebius says, that they asserted it was not even the Messiah that was intended by Immanuel, but only some common child. *
Basnage, who studied the history and opinions of the Jews more carefully, perhaps, than any other modern writer, and who has written largely on this very subject, though a Trinitarian himself, has exploded all the pretences of Cudworth and others, to find the doctrine of the Trinity, either among the ancient or the modern Jews." The Christians and the Jews,” he says, “ separate at the second step in religion. For after having adored together one God, absolutely perfect, they find immediately after the abyss of the Trinity, which entirely separates them. The Jew considers three persons as three Gods, and this tritheism shocks him. The Christian who believes the unity of one God, thinks that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, should all be called God, and have the same worship. It is impossible to reconcile opi. nions so contrary. There are, however, divines bold enough to attempt it.”
This writer also says, that “ the Jews consider themselves as bearing their testimony to the unity of God among all the nations of the world.” † How far the Jews of late years are from admitting the divinity of the Messiah, we may judge from what Orobio said in his controversy with Limborch, viz. that, admitting what is impossible, that the Messiah whom they expect should teach that doctrine, he ought to be stoned as a false prophet. S
It has, however, been imagined by some, that the Jews had a knowledge of the doctrine of the Trinity, that it spread from them among the Gentiles, and that traces of it may be perceived in the mysteries of Heathen religions. But, if this be the case, it is obvious to ask, why are no traces of this doctrine to be found in the Jewish scriptures, and the Jewish worship? Or, if the Jews had once been in possession of this knowledge, but had lost it in the time of our Saviour, why did not he, who rectified other abuses, rectify this, the most important of them all?
Ταυλα δε σπανία περι τα τυχονloς παιδια λεγεσθαι, ουκ οιδα πως συς ησαιεν δι εκ WEpitouns. In Es. C. ix. Montfaucon's Collectio, Il. p. 391. (P.)
"Les Chrétiens s'écartent des Juifs des le second pas qu'ils font dans la religion. Car 'après avoir adoré ensemble un Dieu, souverainement parfait, ils trouvent un moment après l' abime de la Trinité, qui les separe, et les éloigne souverainement Le Juif regarde trois personnes comme trois Dieux, et ce trithéisme lui fait horreur. Le Chrétien, qui croit l'unité d'un Dieu, veut à même tems qu'on donne ce titre au Père, au Fils, au Saint Esprit, et qu'on les adore. Il est impossible de concilier des opinions si contraires; cependant il y a des théologiens hardis, qui ont tenté de le faire." Hist, des Juifs, L. iv. Ch. iij. Sect. i. (P.) See Vol. XVIII. p. 223.
| “ Les témoins de l'unité de Dieu dans toutes les nations du monde." Hist. des Juifs, L. vii. Ch. xxxiji. Sect. xv. '(P.) See Vol. XVIII. p. 224.
$ “ Dato impossibili quod Messias, quem expectamus, eam doctrinam, (v.g. se equalem esse Deo) Israelem edoceret, jure foret, ut pseudopropheta, lapidandus." Limborch's Amica Collatio, p. 111. (P.) , See Vol. III. pp. 433, 434. ,
If an expectation of a Messiah had been prevalent among the Gentiles, we should certainly perceive some traces of it in their writings. It might have been expected, both on account of the interesting nature, and the obscurity of the subject, that there would have been different opinions about it, that it would have been a comnion topic in their philosophical schools, and that their historians would have given some account of the origin of such an expectation.
The fourth Eclogue of Virgil may be alleged as a proof of such an expectation. But I do not imagine that any person now thinks that Virgil himself ever expected such a personage as he describes. The use that a poet might make of a vague report of a prophecy, (brought probably from the east, and ultimately from the Jewish scriptures,) but seriously believed by no person that we know of, merely to embellish a poem, * is one thing; but the actual and universal expectation of such a person, is another,
SECTION IV. t of the Jewish Angel METATRON, &c. In the third of Ben Mordecai's Letters, written by the late Rev. Mr. Taylor of Portsmouth, I find the following extraordinary paragraph: “ Among the notions of the more modern Jews, we must also observe, that the Cabbalists believed El Shaddai to be the same person as the angel Metatron, whom they supposed to be the instructor of Moses, and the Messiah ; that is, as Dr. Allix (456) expresses it,
• Dr. Trapp, in his “ Introductory Remarks" on the Pollio, goes much further, asserting that“ it contains a manifest and illustrious prophecy of our blessed Saviour uttered, in ignorance, by a Pagan writer," while complimenting Pollio on the birth of his son, Saloninus." Virgil, 1735, ed. S, I. p. 37. See, to the same purpose, Prideaux; (Pt. ii. B. vii. ix.,) 1749, pp. 728, 729, 883, 893; A. U. Hist. 1747, X. p. 400, Note. Catrou, whom Mr. J. Warton calls “ the first commentator that has given any thing like a rational interpretation of this famous Eclogue,” considers it as occasioned by the birth of Marcellus, “ whose death is lamented by Virgil in the 6th Æneid.” See Pitt and Warton's Virgil, 1763, I. p. 76.
+ Copied, with enlargements, from Theol. Repos. Iv. pp. 477–483.
He was, according to the Christian phrase, the Logos before his incarnation, or, according to the Jewish phrase, the soul of the Messias; which they look upon as something between God and the angels, whom nothing separates from God.” *
“ Bishop Pearson, in proving, by several arguments, that Christ is called Jehovah, says, 'The Jews themselves acknowledge that Jehovah shall be clearly known in the days of the Messias; and not only so, but that it is the name which doth properly belong to him,' for the proof of which he quotes the book Sepher Ikkarim, (ii. 8,) The scripture calleth the name of the Messias, Jehovah our righteousness; and Midrash Tillim, (on Ps. xxi.,) God calleth the Messias by his own name, and his name is Jehovah, as it is, Exod. xy.
: The Lord is a man of war, Jehovah is his name. And it is written of the Messias, (Jer. xxiii. 6) And this is the name which they shall call him, Jehovah our righteousness. Thus Echa Rabbiti, (Lam, i. 6,) What is the name of the Messias ? R. Abba said, Jehovah is his name, as it is said, Jer. xxiii. 6.-The same he reports of Rabbi Levi; and the Bishop concludes, · The Rabbins then did acknowledge, that the name Jehovah did belong to the Messias.”” +
Consulting Dr. Allix's own work on the subject, I find the following reference to authorities for what he advances : “See Reuchlin, L. i. De Cabala, (p. 651,) where he proves Metatron to be the Messiah, from their writings; or, in short, take the confession of Manasseh Ben Israel, Q. vi. in Gen. Sect. ij.” The former of these authors I have not, and in latter I find no such passage as Dr. Allix quotes. But as there is abundant evidence that the Jews in general, and in all ages, from the time of our Saviour to the present, con
* Here Mr. Taylor inserts the following note in French, but I shall give it in English: “ Calmet, on the word Metatron, says, “The Hebrews give this name to the first of the angels, him who conducted them in the Wilderness, and of whom it is said, in Moses, I shall
send my angel to go before you.'—He acted towards the Israelites the part of the officer whom the Romans called Metator. He marked out the encampments, traced the form of them, the dimensions, extent.--He is thought to be the archangel Michael, who was at the head of the people in the Wilderness, that it was he who wrestled with Jacob, who is called the face of God, in Exod. xxxiv. 14, and who is the Mediator between God and man; that he writes down good actions, and keeps a register of them.'” Letter iii. p. 72. (P.)
“ Les Hebreux donnent ce nom au premier des anges ; à celui qui les conduisoit dans le Désert, et dont il est dit dans Moyse, .Je vais envoyer mon ange, qui marchera devant vous.'-1faisoit à l'égard des Israelites, ce que l'officier nommé Mctator faisoit chez les Romains. Il marquoit les campemens, en traçoit la forme, les dimensions, l'étendue.-On croit que c'est l'archange St. Michael; qui étoit à la tête du peuple, dans le Désert: que c'est lui qui lutta contre Jacob, qui est appellé la face de Dieu, dans Exod. xxxiv. 14, et qui est le Médiateur entre Dieu et les hommes : qu'il écrit les bonnes acions, et en tient un registre." Apology, 1784, ed. 2,
+ Pearson on the Creed, (p. 148,) in “ B. Mordecai's Apology."