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reader, that the doctrine of the DIVINITY of CHRIST.is clearly interwoven into the contents of the whole Bible, and that the Arian and Socinian will gain nothing by expunging or explaining the comparatively few chapters; and verses they object to, for they must strike out the greater part of every book of holy writ, before they can prove their views of religion to be scriptural; and I hope I may be allowed to add, that this conviction will be much strengthened by preserving to each name its appropriate signification.
The late Rev. William Jones of Nayland said, “ The Bible was given us for the preservation of the kingdom of Christ upon earth. It treats of little else than of creation, redemption, resurrection, and glorification, by the power of JESUS CHRIST and the Holy SPIRIT; and there is no act nor attribute that is not there proved to be shared by all the persons of the Trinity.”
In the Bible, therefore, we shall learn that Christianity was planned and promulgated by Omniscience. Omniscience, then, alone can comprehend it in all its perfection; but if we will duly study these Scriptures, in which his HOLY SPIRIT has vouchsafed to detail the mercies of his providence, we shall learn all that is necessary to excite and confirm a well-founded faith.s
But then we must include its whole contents, and give due weight to all the prophecies, commands, and histories; and happy, thrice happy, is that individual whose mind embraces the truth with that devout thankfulness which leads to a holy and religious life, and who
sees and avoids the cavils of ignorance and vain disputation, which will conduct to the awful crimes of infidelity and presumption, but never to the pure and heartfelt religion of the Gospel.
A man ignorant of the laws of mechanism cannot explain or comprehend the structure of a watch, but he will be able to derive every possible advantage from the full and constant use of it, so long as he is content to let the springs and wheels act as the maker intended they should; and it is precisely the same with the Bible.
It was intended for the use and benefit of the whole world, for the learned and the unlearned, and it is mi. raculously adapted to its purpose, if men will only let its contents have a free and unrestrained influence on their mind and on their conduct.
To the unlearned it is full of beautiful and moral instructions, interesting facts, and plain unsophisticated assertions, that God created the world and all things therein; that CHRIST came into the world to save sinners; and that the Holy Ghost helps and sanctifies us, if we will pray with purity and sincerity of heart.
To the learned it contains and unfolds great mysteries; and its histories, prophecies, and languages open a wide field of deep research, with the certainty of a rich harvest to reward the toil of deep investigation.
Let, then, the learned and the unlearned severally enjoy the unmixed pleasure and benefits which the Bible is intended to impart, but let not the unlearned, by their own fault, convert the fountain of living waters into a deadly poison by indulging in disputation and endless, unprofitable cavils, instead of yielding obedience to the inspired oracles of God.
I have often lamented over the flippancy of ignorant scoffers, and in the hopes of assisting the well-intentioned disbeliever, I have tried to arrange the following quotations in a manner which will, I hope, help to confirm the truth of the weighty and important doctrine of the Divinity of CHRIST ; and I trust that this brief concentration of the Bible will show clearly that the writers of the New Testament addressed Christ as JEHOVAH and God, and that their ample quotations from, and references to the Old Testament, strongly confirm this momentous doctrine. The
passages selected are generally those directed in the margin of the Oxford Bible, and they will, I hope, serve as corroborative explanations of the intimate connexion of the two portions of holy writ; and I think it will be evident that the preservation of the distinctive names of the Deity will present a solution to many difficulties, and expose to our view these beauties over which the defectiveness of the translating medium has hitherto drawn an impervious veil. I sincerely wish I may help to counteract the opinion of some of the various infidels of these awful times, by proving from the Bible itself that Christianity, as professed in our Church, is the religion of the whole Bible, exemplified by every writer, from Genesis to the Revelations; that the subject deserves our most serious attention, and moreover de
mands a submissive acquiescence to points that surpass the powers of human intellects
For who by searching can find out God ?
The Bible was written by men inspired by God, and therefore it is not to be supposed that it can be thoroughly fathomed by finite and mortal man; but if its wisdom is inscrutable and its subjects divine, yet as it was written for our instruction, the blessing of Almighty God will help the endeavours of the humble Christian, and a pious study of the Bible will assuredly make him wise unto salvation.
Before I attempt any explanation of the original Hebrew names used in speaking of the Deity, I will make a few extracts from the late Bishop Horsley's Biblical Criticisms on the subject.
“ What may be the etymology of these words, and what the notion radically involved in them, are questions which have never yet been satisfactorily resolved, and we pretend not to clear them entirely of difficulties, The explanations hitherto given are in the number of those in which it is much easier to detect error than to discover the truth, and if the truth be discovered at all, it can only be by the slow process of this method of exclusion.
“ Whatever may be the etymology of the words, and whatever the true interpretation, it cannot be without some reason, it cannot be, as some pretend, the mere caprice of language, that the plural word is much oftener used in Scripture as a name of God than the singular.
“ That the plural word is used with the design of intimating a plurality in the GODHEAD in some respect or other, it is strange that any one should doubt, who has observed that it is used in places in which, if there be in truth no plurality in the GODHEAD, the inspired writers must have been determined by the principle of their religion studiously to avoid the use of a plural, especially as they had singulars at their command.
“ The plural is used in that very precept which prohibits the worship of any God but one: 'I Jehovah am thy Gods, that brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage;' and the term Gods is used in the Second, Third, and Fifth Commandments. Whoever will suppose that this appellation of God, thus constantly used in the language of the law, which of all language should be most precise and accurate, and used also in laws asserting and upholding the single Deity of the God of the Israelites; whoever, I say, will maintain that this plural appellation has no reference to the plurality of persons in the GODHEAD, should be able to demonstrate some other plurality in the GODHEAD to which the expression may
refer. “ We have the authority of the great Jewish grammarian, that a deep mystery is involved in the plural form of the divine name ELOHIM. What that mystery can be, unless it be some plurality in the GODHEAD; it is not easy to divine.