God the Father, did at all, in any manner of propriety, create the world, nor does he uphold it, or govern it. Nor can those things that Christ often says of himself be true: as “ The Fa· ther worketh hitherto, and I work.”—“Whatsoever the Father doeth, these doeth the Son likewise.” John v. 17, 19; it being very evident, that the works of creating and upholding and governing the world, are ascribed to the Son, as a distinct person from the Father.

63. Not only is the word Elohim in the plural number, but it is joined to a verb of the plural number, in Gen. xx. 13. When God caused me to wunder from my Father's house. The word hightnu, caused to wan:ler, is in the plural number, This is agreeable to the use of plural verbs, adjectives, and pronouns, in Gen. i. 26 ; iii. 22; xi. 7. See other instances in Gen. xxxv. 7; Exodus xxxii. 2, 4; compared with Nch. ix. 18; Isaiah xvi. 6.

The very frequent joining of the word Elohim, a word in the plural number, with the word Jehovah, a word in the singular number, (as may be seen in places referred to in the English concordance, under the words, Lord God, Lord his God, Lord my God, Lord our God, Lord their God, Lord thy God, Lord your God) seems to be a significant indication of the union of several divine persons in one essence.

The word Jehovah. signifies as much as the word Essence, and is the proper name of God with regard to his self-existent, eternal, all-sufficient, perfect, and immutable Essence. Moses seems to have regard to something remarkable in thus calling Elohim, the plural, so often by the singular name, Jehovah ; especially in that remark which he makes for the special observation of God's people Israel, in Deut. vi. 4. "Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord.” In the original, it is Jehovah, Elohenu Jehovah Ehadh; the more proper translation of which is, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. The verb is, is understood, and properly inserted between Jehovah Elohenu and Jehovah Ehadh, thus, Jehovah Elohenu is Jehovah Ehadh ; which, if most literally translated, is thus, Jehovah Our Divine Persons, is one Jehovah: as though Moses, in this remark, had a particular reference to the word Elohim being in the plural number, and would guard the people against imagining from thence, that there was a plurality of Essences or Beings, among whom they were to divide their affections and respect.

A farther confirmation that the name Elohim, when used as the name of the True God, signifies some plurality, is, that this same name is commonly, all over the Hebrew Bible, used to signify the gods of the Heathens, when many gods are spoken of. See those places in the Hebrew Bible, which are referred to in the English concordance, under the word Gods. In Exodus xx, 2, 3, when it is said in the third verse: • Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me;" the word is the same as in the foregoing verse, where it is said, “ I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt." It is Elohim in both verses: I am the Jehovah, thy Elohim : Thou shalt have no other Elohim. Yet the latter Elohim is joined with an adjective of the plural number ; which seems naturally to lead the children of Israel, to whom God spake these words, to suppose a plurality in the Elohim which brought them out of Egypt, implied in the name Jehovah. Psalm lviii. 11. “ Verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth; Elohim Shophetim :" Which literally is, Elohim, judges, (in the plural number.) See the evident distinction made between Jehovah sending, and Jehovah sent to the people, and dwelling in the midst of them, in Zech. ii. 8, 9, 10, 11. and iv. 8, 9, 11. “For thus saith the Lord of Hosts, After the glory hath He sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of His eye." "For behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants : and ye shall know that the Lord of Hosts hath sent me.

· Sing and rejoice, 0 daughter of Zion : for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.” “ And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know, that the Lord of Hosts hath sent me unto thee." - Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of Hosts hath sent me unto you."

“Then, answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick, and upon the left side thereof?'' Joshua xxiv. 19. “ And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve Jehovah; for he is an Holy God, Elohim Kedhoshim." He is the Holy Gods. Not only is the word Elohim properly plural, the very same that is used, verse 15, the Gods which your fathers served, &c.; but the adjective Holy, is plural. A plural substantive and adjective are used here concerning the True God, just in the same manner as in 1 Sam. iv. 8. 6 Who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods ?" And in Dan. iv. 8. “In whom is the Spirit of the Holy Gods." So verse 9, 18, and chap. v. 11. "That the plural number should thus be used with the epithet Holy, agrees well with the doxology of the angels, “ Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts," &c.--Isaiah vi. and Rev. vi.

$ 64. It is an argument, that the Jews of old understood that there were several persons in the Godhead, and, particularly, that when the cherubim, in the 6th of Isaiah, cried, “ Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Hosts,” they had respect to three persons: That the seventy interpreters in several places, where the Holy

[ocr errors]

One of Israel is spoken of, use the plural number; as in Isaiah xli. 16. “ Thou shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel ;" in the LXX. it is, supgavenon sv Tois aynois Iogana. Isaiah 1x. 14. " The Zion of the Holy One of Israel ;" it is, diw ayıwv logana. So Jer. li. 5. “Filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel ;"

. απω των αγιων Ισραηλ.








The Creator of the world, is doubtless also the Governor of it. He that had power to give being to the world, and set all the parts of it in order, has doubtless power to dispose of the world, to continue the order he has constituted, or to alter it. He that first gave the laws of nature, must have all nature in his hands : So that it is evident God has the world in his hands, to dispose of as he pleases. And, as God is able, so he is inclined, to govern the world. For, as he is an intelligent being, he had some end in what he did, otherwise he did not act as a voluntary agent in making the world. That being never acts voluntarily, that has no end in what he does, and aims at nothing at all in it. Neither God nor man is properly said to make any thing that necessarily or accidentally proceeds from them, but that only which is voluntarily produced. Besides, we see in the particular parts of the world, that God had a particular end in their formation. They are fitted for such an end. By which it appears, that the Creator did act as a voluntary agent, proposing final causes in the work of creation: And he that made the particular parts for certain ends, doubtless made

* The greatest part of these REMARKS are original, and may be considered as a second volume of PRESIDENT Edwards's Miscellaneous Observations; but. as they relate to Subjects entirely different, make by themselves a Book.

the whole for a certain end. And if God made the world for some end, doubtless he will choose to have this world disposed of to answer that end. For bis proposing the end, supposes, that he chooses it should be obtained. Therefore, it follows, that God will choose to take care that the world be disposed of to the obtaining of his own ends, which is the same thing as his choosing to have the government of the world. And it is manifest, in fact, that God is not careless how the affairs and concerns of the world he has made proceed, because he was not careless of this matter in the creation itself; as it is apparent, by the manner and order in which things were crea. ted, that God in creating, took care of the future progress and state of things in the world. This being established, I now proceed to show, that it must be, that God maintains a moral government over the world of mankind.

§ 2. If it be certain that God is concerned and does take care how things proceed in the state of the world he has made, then he will be especially concerned how things proceed in the state of the world of mankind. Mankind are the principal part of the visible creation. They have understanding, are voluntary agents, and can produce works of their own will, design, and contrivance, as God does. And the Creator looks upon them as the principal part of his visible creation, as is manifest, because he hath set them at the head of his creation. The world is evidently made to be an habitation for man, and all things about him are subordinated to his use. Now, if God be careful how the world that he has made be regulated, that his end may be answered, and that it may not be in vain, he will be especially careful of this concerning the principal part of it, and in the same proportion that it is principal or superior in his own account to the rest. The more God has respect to any part of the world he has made, the more concerned he will be about the state of that part. But, it is manifest by the creation itself, that God has more respect or regard to man, than to any other part of the visible creation; because he has evidently made and fitted other parts to man's use. And therefore God will not leave the world of mankind to themselves, without taking any care to govern and order their state. It is evident, by the man. ner in which God has formed and constituted other things, that he has respect to beauty, good order and regulation, proportion and harmony ; so, in the system of the world, in the seasons of the year, in the formation of plants, and of the various parts of the human body. Surely, therefore, he will not leave the principal part of the creation, about the state of which he is evidently, in fact, chiefly concerned, without making any proper provision for its being in any other than a state of de formity, discord, and the most hateful and dreadful confusion VOL. VII.


« VorigeDoorgaan »