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The Jews uniformly asserted and acted upon a just and consistent doctrine concerning the Divine Unity, while the heathen world, however its philosophers occasionally asserted the principle, totally lost sight of it in practice.


On the Intimations which appear in the Old Testament and among Jewish and Pagan Writers concerning the Doctrine of the Trinity.

INTIMATIONS with respect to the Trinity appear in the writings of sacred, and of profane antiquity. They are to be found not only in the eastern theologies, but in the religious opinions of the Jews, and in the works of the Greeks, as may be particularly instanced in the productions of the Rabbins, and of Plato and Philo.

These notions, however they may differ from the convictions entertained by Christians upon the subject of the mysterious union of three persons in the godhead, and however they may have been corrupted in popular superstition, seem to have originated in divine communications, imparted from above; with less distinction indeed under the old, than under the new dispensation, precise declarations

on the subject being reserved till the publication of the Gospel, when the distinct offices of the Son and of the Holy Spirit were fully disclosed.

That divine attributes are ascribed in the Old Testament to the second and third persons of the Trinity, is certain; and that the intimations thus imparted were productive. of persuasions which manifested themselves among the Jews and Heathens, (whatever other circumstances there might be which gave birth or countenance to similar convictions), may be collected from many considerations. God is represented at the creation, in conjunction with other divine persons consulting in secret counsel*, to have concerted the formation of man.

It is generally admitted also, that the manifestations of the divine nature which were made to the Patriarchs, to Moses, to Joshua, and others, were made in the Christ," the Angel," or "the Covenant."

* Gen. i. 26. iii. 22. xi. 7. xix. 24.


person of Messenger of

See also Job i. 6.

xv. 8. Psal. xxxiii. 6. Jer. xxiii. 18. 1 Kings xxii. 19. Dan. vii. 9, 10. Theophil. ad Autolic, lib. ii. p. 115. Edit. Ox. 1684.

+ Mal. iii. 1. Tertul. adv. Marcion, lib. 2. Taylor's Ductor Dubit, book ii. c. I.


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When the angel appeared to Hagar in the wilderness, she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, "Thou God seest me When the Lord appeared to Abraham, in the plains of Mamre, it is said, that three men stood by him, yet the Patriarch addressed them as he would have accosted one being, or directed himself to one as superior, Nay my Lord pass not away +."


When Jacob wrestled with the man who appeared to him, he called the name of the place Peniel, for, said he, "I have seen God "face to face, and my life is preserved;" and when he blessed the sons of Joseph, he expressed the hope that the angel which redeemed him from all evil would bless the lads §.

The angel which appeared to Moses in the bush, said, "I am the God of thy father, "the God of Isaac, and the God of Ja"cob." When Joshua was encamped in Gilgal, and he beheld the captain of the host of the Lord, and worshipped him, Joshua was commanded as Moses had been

* Gen. xvi. 13. § Ibid. xlviii. 16. viii. 58.

+ Ibid. xviii. 1. 33. Ibid. xxxii. 30. || Exod. iii, 6, and 14. com, with John

before to loose his shoes from off his feet, for the place whereon he trod was holy *.



When Manoah enquired the name of the angel who appeared unto him, the angel answered, “why askest thou after my name, seeing it is secret †," using the same Hebrew word which is applied to Christ by Isaiah, when, he stiles him "Wonderful," and we are told that Manoah, when he knew that he was an angel of the Lord, said unto his wife, "we shall surely die because we have seen God §."


It was the object of the Jewish dispensation to preserve men from idolatrous propensities, and from following after strange gods: Moses and the prophets, therefore, insist principally on the unity of God, though when led to refer to the offices of the other persons of the Trinity, they could not but impart some notices of a doctrine which was afterwards distinctly to be revealed. It appears from various passages in the prophetic writings, that a conjunction of persons was implied in the contemplation of the unity of

* Exod. iii. 5. Josh. v. 15.

† »b» Judg. xiii. 18.

§ Judg. xiii. 22. See also Dan. iii. 25.

Chap. ix. 6.

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