« PreviousContinue »
V. 1.-In the beginning, ELOHIM created the Heavens and the Earth.
It must be remarked that Elohim, TRINITY or whole GODHEAD, is here represented as the Creator of the universe. Moses has used the term Elohim throughout all the early chapters of Genesis, which describe the creation of the earth and all that is therein. ELOHIM, thus employed, adds greatly to the awful grandeur of the acts recorded in the commencement of this inspired history; for hence we learn that the concentrated power of the whole GODHEAD formed this magnificent and beautiful world, the future abode of human beings, on whom this GREAT Elohim purposed to bestow the abundant riches of his loving kindness.
V. 2.-The Spirit Elohim moved upon the face of the waters.
In this verse Elohim is again mentioned; but a distinctive person in the Godhead is pointed out; for it is said, “The Spirit Elohim moved on the face of the waters.” Here the Holy SPIRIT, or Third Person of the Trinity, is distinctly named. This minute attention to the different denominations of the GREAT Godhead is not an accidental peculiarity of Moses; for it will be seen that all the inspired writers have been equally observant on this important point.
The following book originated in a wish that others might participate in the satisfaction and pleasure I had myself experienced in finding, on an attentive perusal of the sacred volume, that throughout the whole of its inspired pages it earnestly inculcated, and firmly supported, the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ and the TRINITY of the SUPREME BEING, as held by the Established Church of England.
In what this TRINITY consists, our LORD and his disciples have fully informed us, viz., in the FATHER, Son, and Holy Ghost, the TRIUNE ELOHIM of the Hebrews, the God over all, blessed for evermore, of the New Testament.
I beg it may be clearly understood that I wish the following extracts to be read with the Bible, for it will give greater interest when these selected passages are connected with the histories from which they are taken.
The inspired authors of the Old Testament make use of different terms in speaking of God.
In contemplating on these terms, through the medium of that language in which they were originally written, I felt convinced that these names, as well as those given to
the patriarchs, &c., are not mere arbitrary appellations, but words fraught with accurate discrimination and well-defined meaning that they are not mere different words expressing the same thing, but that they were intended to convey real and important distinctions, a due attention to which is indispensably necessary to a clear view of that beautiful harmony which subsists between the Old and the New Testament—"A view which cannot be obtained by the most profound and critical knowledge of the Greek language that can be acquired, and for this substantive reason, neither the Greek nor any other language possesses words that are equivalent to these distinctive Hebrew epithets *"
On tracing the primitives from which these names are derived, I was fully confirmed in my belief of the reality and the propriety of the distinction they designated, and was also convinced that it was impossible that all the inspired writers should have preserved so carefully the same view of the same terms, unless they had understood these distinctions in the same way.
1, therefore, in the course of my reading, carefully noted down the literal meaning of the terms used in the original, and the more I examined some paragraphs and particular prophecies, the more I became convinced of the reality of their distinctive nature and import.
I have no intention to enter the field of controversy, nor to excite the spirit of contention in others. In the following pages, therefore, I copy literally the
* Stackhouse, Author of Biblical Researches and Internal Evidences.
passages selected from our received translation of the Old and New Testament. I make no alteration whatever, ex cept that I substitute the original epithets instead of the defective representations there given, and by doing this I hope to confirm the doctrine of the TRINITY as stated in the Articles of our Established Church, and to enhance the beauties of some paragraphs, by showing that the repetitions of the words LORD and God, which occur so frequently, are not mere tautology, but that they are in the original a manifest and beautiful distinction of the persons of the GREAT GOD ALMIGHTY ; and by making a few quotations from every book of holy writ, I hope to prove that a plurality of persons is defined by every one of the sacred penmen, and also that each of them oceasionally concentrates the plurality of persons in the word Elohim.
Let it not be supposed that I presume to explain, or attempt to clear away, the awful mystery of the TRINITY in UNITY. I meddle not with a subject that so greatly surpasses the grasp of a finite comprehension, but I do earnestly wish to excite a reverent and submissive acquiescence to a difficulty that is clearly taught in the Bible; and I most seriously implore all candidates for everlasting happiness
'To believe, adore, and humbly rejoice.
I hope the following extracts will convince every