« AnteriorContinuar »
brew the prefix lamed, and so may be considered as equivalent to that expression in Phil. ii. 6.“ in the form of God."
"pious, temperate, benevolent, and strictly moral. His learn“ ing was considerable, and his powers of argument well cal. o culated for making proselytes ;" “ but he was not solia citous to establish a perfect uniformity of sentiments, or to “ form a particular sect." Such is the character given of John Biddle (who has been called the Father of the English Unitarians, and who died Sept. 22, 1662, in the 47th year of his age, of a distemper brought on by close confinement and foul air), in the 2d vol. of General Biography, by Messrs. Aikin, Nicholson, and others, 4to. 1801.
This . impious sadducee,' was at one time so reduced in his cir. cumstances by the rage and malice of his adversaries, or, by their zeal to do God service, shall we say? (John xvi. 2.) that all he could afford was a morning and an evening draught of milk, to keep himself from starving! And yet both he and they called shemselves, not only christians, but teachers of christianity! Were they both such? Then might those be christian Teachers who should outdo Satan in his own way; for Satan doth not cast out Satan (Matt. xii. 26). Which then was the false, which the true teacher of christianity? which the wolf, which the sheep? Jesus himself has decided the question. “ By " their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. vii. 20.) “ By this « shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye havc love
one to another.” (John xiii. 35.)
These “ Notes," the ground-work of the present Table, are to be seen in the first volume of Unitarian Tracts, 4to. 1691, at the end of Mr. Biddle's Testimonies from the fathers, pages 31, and 32.
I have several times brought forward these Old Tracts; but there is much good stuff in them, which still remains behind unnoticed. Give me leave, Sir, to recommend the whole to your attention. And, to strengthen my recommendation, I must tell you, that “ there is good ground to believe," that
Mose's may be proved to be God; 2. From his declaring to the Israelites, in the
most solemn manner, that his miracles were wrought for forty years together for this very purpose, “ that ye might know that I am
Mr. Locke was one of the persons concerned in the writing of them. (See Bishop Law's preface, p. vi. and vii. to his edit. of Locke's Works, 1777, 4to.) It seems to have been chiefly with a view to these tracts also, that Archbishop Tillotson spoke so honourably and candidly of the Socinians, who, says he, “to “ do them right, are generally a pattern of the fair way of dis
puting, and of debating matters of religion, without heat and unseemly reflections upon their adversaries. For the most part they reason closely and clearly, with extraordinary guard
and caution, with great dexterity and decency, and yet with “ smartness and subtilty enough: ..... and with few hard “words : virtues to be praised, wherever they are found, yea, “ even in an enemy, and very worthy our imitation. .. “ Some who pretend to all the reason and subtilty in the world, " are in comparison of them but mere scolds and bunglers.” And this testimony has the greater weight, because it comes from one who was no Socinian himself; but who wrote against their tenets. In this very place he calls their cause weak, and “ ill-founded :" and adds, “ they have but this one great defect, o that they want truth on their side ; which, if they had, they “ have reason and wit, and temper enough to defend it.” See Birch's Life of Tillotson, Appendix, No. 3 ; or Jortin's Tracts, 8vo. 1790. vol. i. p. 366, &c. The passage is in the second of the four sermons which the Archbishop preached upon John i. 14, and published in 1693, in defence of the divinity of Jesus. The Unitarians published a respectful examination of these four discourses, in 1694, which is to be seen in some 66 Considera. " tions, &c." in the third volume of these Unitarian Tracts. So that every reader may judge for himself which of the two causes was the weaker, and on which side the truth lay.
w the Lord” [Heb. Jehovah)]
It is true that in Exod xxxii. 1. Numbers xii.
3. Deut. xxxiii. 1. and other places, he is said to be a man: but that is not the smallest objection to his being God; because in Moses there were two natures in one person, he being perfect god and perfect man at the
same time; a godman. Moses may be proved to be God, 3. From the divine worship ascribed to him, he
being the object of religious adoration, and invocation, and being prayed to, and that to forgive sin. Exod. xi. 8. [bow down in our version, is, in the original hebrew, and in the greek of the Septuag. worship.] Rev. xv. 3. Exod. x. 16, 17. Numb. xii. 11. See also Exod. xii. 27. xxxiii. 10. In the original text of these two last passages, there is nothing but common sense to point out any other object of the worship than Moses; and common sense always goes for nothing in all
questions relating to a godman. Moses may be proved to be God, 4. From the divine actions and attributes ascribed
to him, he being
Here the plural number shews that
tioned, the second person can be no other than the writer of the account, the author of the book of Genesis, that is, Moses. And since he created man, the chief object, there can be no doubt that he created all inferior objects of the creation. And this is clearly affirmed in Rev.,xv. 3. This appears also from the plural name (Elohim) for God, in Gen, i. 1. and elsewhere, from which it is clear that heaven and earth were created by more than one person, who certainly could be no other than God the father, and the God Moses; no others having been ever pointed out to the reader's notice, or so much as hinted at. See also for this use of the plural number,
article 8. These texts also prove the pre-existence
of Moses. 2. Omnipotent, and the giver of rain in
due season. Deut. xi. 13, 14.: he also maketh the grass to grow, Deut. xi.
15. which things are the peculiar characteristics of God. See Matt. V. 45. and Psalm civ. 14. The rod of Moses is also declared to be God's rod. Comp. Exod. iv. 2. 17. vii. 19. xiv. 16. Numb. XX. II. with Exod. iv. 20. xvii. 9.
Now the rod is the ensign of supreme power and sway.,
of Moses, therefore, is equal to, and the same as, that of
God, that is, Moses is omnipotent. 3. Omniscient, Exod. ix. 30. Deut. xxxi.
29. The omniscience of Moses, also, as well as his pre-existence and power, appears from the whole account given in Genesis of the transactions from the creation : for if he were not omniscient, how could he know all these things ? He no where makes mention of any records, nor of his receiving any supernatural communications from heaven. Some of the circumstances of the transactions, too, are of such a kind, so very minute, that they never enter into records, or form a part of history; nor is it at all probable that such things should be the objects of
any inspiration communicated to man. Moses may be proved to be God, 5. From other actions of Moses being said to be
God's actions. Comp. Exod. xiv. 21. 27. with xv. 11, 12. and also comp. Exod. xxxii. 7. xxxiii. 1. with Exod. xx. 1, 2. Deut. v. 6. and comp. also Exod. xxxiv. 27, 28. with Exod. xxxiv. i. Deut. X. 1, 2, 4.
comp Deut. xxix. 5. where Moses says to Israel, “ I have led you forty years in the wilder
ness," with Deut, xxxii. 12. where it is said, “ the Lord alone did lead him.”
The moral law, or commandments of God,