Messiah, which is to last for ever, are applicable those words: "And thou, Lord," and what follows.

The apostle, the more effectually to secure the stedfastness of the Jewish believers, observes to them the excellence, the importance, the wide extent, and long duration of the divine dispensation by the Messiah. The dispensation by Moses was limited to one nation, and to a certain period of time. But the dispensation of the Messiah was to be an universal blessing, and to subsist to the end of time. And to the kingdom of God by the Messiah are fitly applicable the texts cited in this place from the Old Testament.

In a word, hereby are shown the dignity and excellence of the evangelical dispensation, in that higher expressions are used concerning it, than can be applied to any other.

I think I have above shown from scripture, that Jesus Christ was a man like unto us, or having a human soul, as well as a human body. Nor have you any reason upon that account to suspect me of heterodoxy. I think myself therein both a catholic and a scriptural christian. It has been the general belief of the church of Christ in all ages. And the glory of the evangelical dispensation depends upon it. In Socrates, the ecclesiastical historian, there is a chapter, where it is asserted, that this was the opinion of all the ancients in general, εμψυχον τον ενανθρωπήσαντα, of Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Apollinarius of Hierapolis, Serapion Bishop of Antioch, Origen and others. Socrat. 1. 3. cap. viii. Conf. Theodoret. H. E. 1. 5. cap. ix. et x.

I can easily show it to have been the opinion of some later writers, who have always been in great repute for their right faith.

Epiphanius expresseth himself upon this subject very particularly, and very emphatically. For though our Saviour was not born in the ordinary way of human generation, απο σπερματος ανδρος ουκ ην, he says, he was perfect man, and was tempted like unto us, but without sin. Παντα γαρ τελείως εσχε, τα παντα εχων, σαρκα, και νευρα, και φλεβας, και τα αλλα παντα οσα εστι' ψυχην δε αληθινως, και 8 δοκήσει' νυν δε και τα παντα οσα εστιν εν τη ανθρωπησει, χωρις αμαρτίας, ὡς γεγραπται.—Heb. iv. 15. Hær. 69. n. xxv. p. 750.

To the like purpose Jerom in several places, more than need to be cited here.


Quod autem infert: Homo in dolore, et sciens ferre in'firmitatem,' sive virum dolorum, et scientem infirmitatem,' corpus hominis, et veram demonstrat animam. Hieron in Is. cap. liii. tom. III. P. 383.


Quod si opposuerint nobis hi, qui Christum negant hu


manam habuisse animam, sed in humano corpore Deum fuisse pro animâ, audiant in Christo substantiam animæ demonstrari. Id. in Amos. cap. vi. ib. p. 1427.


Quod autem spiritus accipiatur pro animâ, manifeste significat Salvatoris oratio: Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum.' Neque enim Jesus aut perversum spiritum, quod cogitare quoque nefas est, aut Spiritum Sanctum, qui ipse Deus est, Patri poterat commendare, et non potius animam suam, de quâ dixerat: Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem.' Matt. xxvi. 38. Id. in Abac. cap. ii. ib. p.

[ocr errors]


I shall not transcribe here any thing from Augustin, but only refer you to one place in him. Contr. sermon. Arian. cap. ix. tom. VIII.d

I shall proceed no further at this time. I need not tell you, that the Unity of God is an important article of natural religion. And after it has been so strongly asserted in the Jewish revelation, and has been as clearly taught in the New Testament, it ought not to be given up by christians.

If, Papinian, you will bestow a few thoughts upon these papers, and send me the result of them, without compliinent, and without resentment, you will oblige





[ocr errors]

PHILALETHES, when he wrote the foregoing letter, had no occasion to proceed any farther than he did. But now he thinks, that if he could rightly explain those words, the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit, and the like, he should do a real service to religion, and contribute to the understanding of the scriptures.

That passage may be seen above, p. 81, noted.

* See Mark xii. 29, Matt. xix. 17, Mark x. 18, John xvii. 3, Rom. xv. 6, xvi. 27, 1 Cor. viii. 6, 2 Cor. xi. 31, Eph. iv. 6, 1 Tim. ii. 5, vi. 15, 16, and elsewhere.

This Postscript will consist of three sections. In the first shall be an argument, showing the several acceptations of the words, the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit. In the second section such texts will be considered, as may be supposed to afford objections. In the third divers other texts will be explained.


AN ARGUMENT. In showing the several acceptations of these words in scripture, I begin with a passage of Maimonides, generally reckoned as learned and judicious a writer of the Jewish Rabbins.

as any



The word Spirit,' says he, has several senses. 1. It signifies the air, that is, one of the four elements." And 'the spirit of the Lord moved upon the face of the waters," 'Gen. i. 2.

[ocr errors]

2. It signifies wind. "And the east-wind brought the locusts," Ex. x. 13. Afterwards, ver. 19, " And the Lord turned a mighty strong west-wind, which took away the 'locusts." And in like manner very often.

3. It is taken for the vital breath. "He remembered

[ocr errors]

Ruach vox est homonyma. Significat enim, primo, Aërem, hoc est, unum ex quatuor elementis: ut "Veruach, et Spiritus Domini incubabat super aquas," Gen. i. 2. Deinde, significat spiritum flantem, i. e. ventum. Ut "Veruach, et spiritus (ventus) orientalis attulit locustas," Ex. x. 13. Item, "Ruach, spiritus occidentalis," ib. ver. 19. Et sic sæpissime, Tertio, sumitur pro spiritu vitali. Ut "Ruach, spiritus vitæ," Gen. vi. 17. Quarto, sumitur de parte illâ hominis incorruptibili, quæ surperstes remanet post mortem. Ut Veruach, et spiritus hominis redit ad Deum, qui dedit eum," Ecc. xii. 7. Quinto, significat influentiam divinam, a Deo prophetis instillatam, cujus virtute prophetabant, quemadmodum explicaturi sumus, quando de prophetià agemus; cujus ratio quoque in hoc libro pertractanda. "Et separabo," min ruach, "de spiritu, qui est in te, et ponam in eis," Numb. xi. 17. "Et fuit, cum quievisset super eos" haruach "spiritus," ver. 26. Item, Ruach, " spiritus loquutus est in me," 2 Sam. xxiii. 2. Serto, significat quoque propositum, et voluntatem. Ut Kol rucho, "omnem spiritum suum profert stultus," Pr. xxix. 11, hoc est, omnem intentionem, voluntatem suam. Sic, Et "exhaurietur" ruach "spiritus Ægypti in medio ejus, et consilium ejus absorbebo," Is. xix. 3, i. e. dissipabitur propositum ipsius, et gubernatio ipsius abscondetur. Sic, "Quis direxit ruach Domini, et quis vir consilii ejus, ut indicare possit eum," Is. xl. 13, hoc est, Quis est, qui sciat ordinem voluntatis ejus, aut qui apprehendat et assequatur, quâ ratione hanc rerum universitatem gubernet, et qui eum indicare posset. Vides ergo, quod hæc vox, "ruach," quando Deo attribuitur, ubique sumatur partim in quintà, partim in sextâ et ultimâ significatione, quâtenus voluntatem significat. Exponatur in quoque loco pro ratione rerum et circumstantiarum. Rabbi Mosis Maimonidis liber More Nevochim. Part I. cap. xl.

Veritas et quidditas prophetiæ nihil aliud est, quam influentia a Deo Opt. Max. mediante intellectu, agens super facultatem rationalem primo, deinde super facultatem imaginariam influens. Id. More Nevochim. P. II. cap. 36.

[ocr errors][merged small]

4. It is taken for the incorruptible part of men, which 'survives after death. "And the spirit shall return to God who gave it," Ecc. xii. 7.


5. It signifies the Divine Influence, inspiring the pro

phets, by virtue of which they prophesied. "I will take of the spirit that is in thee, and will put it upon

them," Numb. xi. 17. "And the spirit rested upon them," ver. 27. The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his


'word was in my tongue," 2 Sam. xxiii. 2.


6. It also signifies design, will, purpose. "A fool utter'eth all his mind," literally, spirit, Prov. xxix. 11, " And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof, and I 'will destroy the council thereof," Is. xix. 3. "Who has 'directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor has taught him?" Is. xl. 13.



It is evident therefore,' says he, that the word spirit, ' when spoken of God, is to be always understood, either in the fifth, or the sixth and last acceptation of the word, according as the coherence and circumstances of things 'direct.'

[ocr errors]



that they were but flesh, a wind [a spirit] that passeth

away, and cometh not again," Ps. Ixxviii. 39. Aud," all

flesh, wherein is the breath of life," Gen. vi. 17.

[ocr errors]

This passage of Maimonides, which I have here transcribed at length, has been taken notice of by divers learned christian writers.b

My design leads me to observe those texts only of the Old and New Testament, where the word spirit is spoken of God, or such other, as may tend to explain those texts.

And, first of all, I think, that in many places the Spirit, or the Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost, is equivalent to God himself.

So the Spirit of 1 Cor. ii. 11,

The spirit of a man is the same as man. God must be the same as God himself. "What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man, that is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, [or no one,] but the Spirit of God."


1 Cor. xvi. 17, 18, " I am glad of the coming of Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus-For they have refreshed my spirit, and yours:" that is, me and you. Or, as Mr. Locke paraphraseth the place. For by the account, which they have given me of you, they have quieted my mind, ' and yours too.'

Gal. vi. 18," The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with

b Selden de Synedr. 1. 2. c. 4. et iii. iv. S. Basnag. Exercitationes in Baron. p. 45.

your spirit:" that is, with you. 2 Tim. iv. 22, "The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit," or with thee.

Ps. cxxxix," Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?" that is, from Thee. "Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?" In like manner it is said, with regard to Moses, Ps. cvi. 33," because they provoked his spirit," meaning him.


Is. Ixiii. 10," But they rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit." Which in other texts is expressed in this manner, Numb. xix. 11," And the Lord said unto Moses: How long will this people provoke me!" Ps lxxviii. 56, “ Yet they tempted, and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies." Ps. xcv," When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work."

Soul is a word resembling spirit, and often signifies man, or person. Lev. iv. 2, " If a soul shall sin through ignorance."-Acts ii. 41, " And the same day were added to them three thousand souls." So likewise ch. vii. 14, and in very many other places.

And my soul is the same as I or myself. Gen. xii. 13, "And my soul shall live because of thee," ch. xix. 10, "that my soul may bless thee, before I die." 2 Sam. iv. 9, "As the Lord liveth, who has redeemed my soul out of all adversity." Job x. 1," My soul is weary of my life." See also ch. vii. 15. Ps. xxxv. 9, " And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord." Is. Ixi. 10, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord: my soul shall be joyful in my God." Matt. xxvi. 38, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death."


The Divine Being himself sometimes adopts this form of speech. Is. i. 14, "Your new moons and your appointed feasts, my soul hateth. They are a trouble unto me. weary to bear them." Where, my soul' is the same as I, which is in the following clause.

I am


Is. xlii. 1," My elect, in whom my soul delighteth," or, in whom I delight. Compare Matt. xii. 18. And see Jer. v. 9, ch. vi. 8, and other places.

Secondly, By the Spirit of God, or the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, is often meant the power, or wisdom of God, or his will and command.

Ps. xxxiii. 6," By the word of the Lord were the heavens made: and all the host of them by the breath [or spirit] of his mouth." Where the word of the Lord, and the breath of his mouth, are all one. All things came into being, and were disposed by his will, at his word and command.

In like manner, Job xxvi. 13, " By his spirit he has gar


« ElőzőTovább »