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DIVINE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, CONSIDERED AS

DISTINCT FROM THE FATHER.

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There is scarcely one text alleged to the Trinitarians which is not otherwise expounded by their own writers. - John LOCKE: Common-place Book; Lord King's Life of John Locke, vol. ii. p. 103.

There is this distinction which we may boast of, and a proud distinction it is, since the like to it belongs to no other party that I am aware of, - there is this distinction which attaches to us, that the sense which we put upon the most important passages referring to the points in discussion between us and our Trinitarian brethren, is the very sense given to them by orthodox writers of the highest reputation. Destroy, I would say, every professed Unitarian commentary on the Scriptures now in existence, and there will still remain, in the writings of learned Trinitarians themselves, those expositions and explanations of Scripture by which our leading principles are maintained and defended. - MADGE: Discourses on the Union between God and Christ, pp. 46–7.

PART II.

TEXTS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.

GENESIS.

GEN. i. 1: “ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

n'wa, In the beginning. Some explain this, in the Son of God; that is, by the Son of God, the eternal Wisdom of the eternal Father. My opinion, however, is, not that Moses meant to express this sentiment, but simply that, in the beginning of all things, God created heaven and earth. Abridged from MERCER.*

Calvin properly observes, that to explain the word n'wxna, in the beginning, of Christ, is exceedingly frivolous. — Rivet: Op. Theol. . vol. i. p. 3.

[Similarly, MUSCULUS, MELANCTION, David PAREUS, SIXTINUS AMAMA, and others. But it would be an insult to the intellect of the reader, were we to make further citations on this point; for scarcely any Trinitarian of the present day, with the slightest pretensions to Biblieal learning, would appeal, in proof of the Deity of Christ, to the Hebrew ression under consideration. ments are noticed in this work as theological curiosities, and to show that the grounds in favour of the doctrine of the Trinity have narrowed much, and are continually narrowing more, by the concessions of those who advocate the “mystery." Granting, however, for a moment, that the phrase 'waya were capable of being rendered in or by the Son, it would be the duty of the interpreter to show that the agent by whom God created the heavens and the earth was equal to or the same as the Being who employed him to execute the mighty work.]

Such argu

• Quotations from Commentaries, Espositions, or Scholia, of a consecutive nature, will noi, except in a few instances, be specially referred to; as the reader can easily refer to the original passage, by consulting, in its proper place, the text under consideration.

dirbs 873, BRA ALEIM, OG BARA ELOHIM, “God created;" lit. creavit

Dii; les Dieux créa; “ Gods created."*

EXTRACTS FROM ROMAN CATHOLIC COMMENTATORS.

The second principal authority which the Master of Sentences adduces for a plurality of persons [in the Godhead] is Gen. i. 1, “In the beginning God created,” where in the original the noun Dinks is put in the plural, and the verb in the singular; the former signifying a plurality of subsistencies; and the latter, unity of nature. But this cannot be maintained, for the plural is here used for the singular. .... It is evident, that the noun is to be taken improprie, as otherwise it would indicate many Gods, as many men. ....

Those err egregiously who would prove a plurality of divine persons from such passages; for the change of number does not arise from any mystery, but from an idiom; such changes being made from the usage of the Hebrew language. Tostat: Op. tom. xii.; De Sanctissima Trinitate, p. 5 [where the learned Bishop adduces many examples of the use of the plural for the singular].

With the exception of Peter of Lombardy and Paul of Burgos, there has not been, amongst the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew writers, one commentator worthy of imitation who has explained the word Dunks of the Trinity.— Sixtus SENENSIS: Bib. Sanct. lib. v. annot. i. [who, notwithstanding, delights in the mystical interpretation of the passage]

A certain catholic and learned writer is of opinion, that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are Gods, because in the Old Testament the name of the Almighty is always expressed in the plural number; as d'abs, which he thinks ought to be rendered Gods. The doctrine itself I do not impugn, but, convinced by other means, I acknowledge not this argument to be solid. - TURRIEN, in Clem. Constit. iii. 17; apud Sandium, p. 77.

It is not on account of the mystery of divine persons, but because the signification of pubs is singular, that Moses joins this noun with the verb created in the singular number.- CARDINAL CAJETAN.

The English verb is here supposed to be in the singular. But I presume that no barely literal translation, either in the Latin or in any modern language, can convey the exact import of the original.

-

To prove the doctrine of the Trinity, many allege, that Scripture joins the plural name of God with a singular verb; as, d'abo nga, “ In principio creavit Dii.”.... But I do not think that the argument is at all solid, since, according to the usage of Scripture, the names of illustrious persons are put in the plural number, though the verbs retain their singular form;- à usage which we Italians partly imitate, when, in addressing any eminent individual, we say, not thou, but you. Lest this, however, should be deemed to savour of Rabbinism, to which I am greatly opposed, I shall adduce for my opinion the reasons by which I have been convinced:- 1. In Scripture the same phraseology is adopted in speaking of men, or of false deities; as, Exod. xx. 3, dins d'the 73 AT'HO NS, “ Thou shalt not have strange gods,” lit. “Non erit tibi dii alii." Gen. xxiv. 9, “ He put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his lord;” in Hebrew, 1378,

" of his lords;and so Exod. xxi. 4. 2. If such words have a plural signification, it would be proper to say that there are many true Gods; for who could blame us if we followed the Scriptures in this matter? And I ask, why should it be allowable in Hebrew to call the divine persons Deos, Gods, but not in Latin? If you reply that in the Old Testament the name of God is put in the plural number, only when joined with a singular verb, I answer that his is not true; for we read in 2 Sam. vii. 23,“ What nation is there upon earth, as thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem?” in Heb. Dirby na bol, icerunt Dii. And in other passages you will find many similar examples. Why, then, is it lawful in the Hebrew to say, of the divine persons, iverunt Dii, and not also in the Latin? Certainly for no other reason than this, that the Hebrews were accustomed to employ a plural noun with a singular signification; whereas the writers in the Latin tongue have no such usage. 3. Neither JEROM nor the translators of the Septuagint version ever rendered the word dins in the plural number (when applied to the Divine Being], which proves that, in these passages, such nouns have not a plural, but a singular, signification. - 4. If this Hebrew word have a plural meaning wherever it is found in the plural number, there would be a most evident and very common contradiction in the language of the Bible; for we often read that there is only one God, and yet as frequently [according to this criticism] that there are Gods. But it is incredible that the Deity should, by these obvious contradictions, harass his people, and afford an occasion of blasphemy to their adversaries. — CARDINAL BELLARMINE: Disputatio de Controversia; De Christo, cap. vi. lib. 2.

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