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CLASS IV.

Passages that might be considered as referring to the doctrine of the Trinity, supposing it capable of proof and proved, but which in themselves present no appearance of any proof or intimation of it.

SUCH is the case with some of those urged with the most confidence; as the form of baptism recorded in Matthew (xxviii. 19), and thus rendered in the Common Version:

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

Here, as in many other passages, the error and obscurity of the version have favored the imposition of a sense upon the passage which the original does not suggest. "To baptize in the name of another" is to baptize by authority from him, as his representative. But this every scholar knows is not the sense of our Saviour's direction. The Greek word rendered "name" is in this passage, as often in the Scriptures, redundant. It is used pleonastically, by an idiom of the Hebraistic Greek, in which

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ed him, was to make good and maintain what he had granted him, viz. a durable kingdom for ever." — Emlyn's Examination of Dr. Bennet's New Theory of the Trinity. Works, Vol. II. pp. 340, 341. London, 1746.

Beside the purpose pointed out by Emlyn, the author of the Epistle may have had another in view, which was to declare, that while the throne of Christ, being upheld by God, should endure for ever, the heavens, the local habitation, as they were considered, of angels, should, on the contrary, perish, be rolled up as a garment and changed.

the Septuagint and New Testament are written. We have not the same turn of expression in our own language. In the original, it adds nothing to the sense of the passage. When literally rendered into another language in which the same idiom does not exist, it tends only to obscure the meaning. It should not therefore appear in a translation into English.

But even if the term "name" be retained, there is no ground for the rendering, "baptizing them in the name." The Greek preposition eis should here be rendered to. The whole passage may be thus translated:

"Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all nations; baptizing them to the Father, and to the Son, and to the holy spirit."

The meaning of which is, Go and make converts of men of all nations, dedicating them by baptism, through which they are to make a solemn public profession of their faith, to the worship of the Father, the only true God, to the religion which he has taught men by his Son, and to the enjoyment of those holy influences and spiritual blessings which accompany its reception.

One may easily understand how this passage has appeared to Trinitarians to convey so clear a notice of the Trinity, since they have adopted its terms as technical in their theology, and imposed upon them new and arbitrary senses, which have become strongly associated with the words, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But he who contends that any proof of the doctrine is to be de

rived from it, must proceed altogether upon assumptions obviously false. Let us state them clearly.

In the first place, to prove the personality of the holy spirit from this passage, it must either be assumed,

That when three objects are mentioned together in a sentence, and two of them are persons, the third must be a person also; that is, the Father and Son being persons, the holy spirit must be a person also:

Or, the personality and deity of the holy spirit, and the deity of the Son, may all be rested upon the assumption,

That baptism was a rite of such a character, that to be baptized "in the name of," or "to the name of," or "to" any person or object, necessarily implies, that such person or object possesses the character of God: †

Or, it may be assumed,

That when three persons or objects are thus

[As to the tenableness of this assumption, see 1 Samuel xxv. 32, 33: "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me; and blessed be thy advice; and blessed be thou." Acts xx. 32: "I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified." Tobit xi. 13: "Blessed art thou, O God, and blessed is thy name for ever; and blessed are all thine holy angels." See also Psalm lxxii. 18, 19; cv. 4; Hosea iii. 5; Ephesians vi. 10.]

[See 1 Corinthians x. 2: The Israelites "were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." Ch. i. 13: "Were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" Romans vi. 3: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" See also Matthew iii. 11; 1 Corinthians xii. 13.]

mentioned together, they must all be of equal dignity; so that, in the present case, the Father being God, the same character must also belong to the Son and holy spirit.

These are the only grounds on which the deity of the Son and of the holy spirit can be inferred from the passage before us. But at this point of the reasoning, if we have arrived at any doctrine, it is the doctrine of the existence of three Gods. In order, therefore, to conclude the proof of the Trinity from this passage, it is necessary further to as

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That when three persons are thus mentioned together in a sentence, they must be regarded as constituting but one Being.

UNDER this head may be explained the title "SON OF GOD" as applied to Christ; on which I have before had occasion to remark. The Trinitarian supposes it to be evidence of the deity of Christ; because as the son of a man has the nature of a man, so the Son of God must have a divine nature.

[See 1 Timothy v. 21: "I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels." Revelation i. 4, 5: "Grace be unto you and peace from Him who is, and was, and will be; and from the seven spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness." 1 Chronicles xxix. 20: "And all the congregation ... bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD and the king." See also Luke ix. 26; Exod. xiv. 31; 1 Samuel xii. 18; Prov. xxiv. 21; Acts xv. 28; and the passages quoted in the first note on the preceding page.]

† See p. 68.

If the doctrine of the deity of Christ involved no absurdity, the title in question might, without doubt, be used according to the analogy supposed; but the proof of the doctrine must still be derived from other sources. No evidence of it could be drawn from this title alone; because the title is one in common use, and its significancy in every other application of it is wholly different from the meaning ascribed to it by Trinitarians when applied to Christ. For this entire difference, they must necessarily contend; and in doing so virtually acknowledge that there is no usage to justify them in understanding the title in the sense which they assign to it, and consequently that no inference can be drawn from this title alone in proof of the deity of Christ.

Nor is there any difficulty in explaining its application to our Saviour. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (i. 5) quotes the words which God in the Old Testament is represented to have used concerning Solomon, as applicable to Christ: "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son." By these words was meant, that God would distinguish Solomon with peculiar favors; would treat him as a father treats a son; and they are to be understood in a similar manner when applied to Christ. "We

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[2 Samuel vii. 14; compare 1 Chronicles xvii. 13; xxviii. 6. The same term is applied to the Israelites collectively, as the chosen people of God. See Exodus iv. 22, "Israel is my son, my firstborn"; and Hosea xi. 1, "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt."]

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