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OPHION.

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THE

,\OPHION;/
011. THB

SERPE~,

THEOLOGY OF THE
AND TBB

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FALL OF' MAN.


WIT"

ON

DR. ADAM CLARKE'S


ANNOTATIONS
,
GENESIS.

OX THAT IIlJBJ.:T IN THE JJOOl[ OJ,

Ia thiI work it is Down, from theoriginal1augaage, that, in eftrJ lip


of the Jewilb and Cbriatillll churches, a Mouey was Dever 1IIIdentood to
be the agent employed to bring about the Fall of MIlII.

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PREFACE.

--.
THE following observations were originally
intended for insertion in the CLASSICAL and
Bin'LlcAL JOitRNAL: but as that work is

published quarterly, and as t~e whole could


not be inserted at once, it was thought best
to lay it before the publi~ altogether.
,

For satisfactory proof conCerning the things


advanced in these pages, I ha.v~ endeavoured'

to adhere'to the ~criptures, when: such refet~


~ce

wu"'necesS8.ry,

arid" by' the undoubted,

I'

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VI

PREFACE.

,authorities 'of the best writers

all ages

1U

handed down to us; rejecting the opinions of


men, when such have not been sanctioned
by other parts (>f the sacred volume.

":..

~,/"

~:.3'

t" (

''t

. .....

~A

I'have also endeavoured to show, that the


Scriptures

4a~e

an. .internal sanctity in them,

independent of, the letter, or history; no~


fron:tany p~onceiyed opinion,qf;:fflY! ~'rnj
but I have shown
. thattqe ~cqHtl:lres
. . . . C~~~rql
, ..
\

'.'

'

this view; that in this, co~i~~ .the~r ,s~n~t?-ty,


and frdm' which gl'Qupd _~nl'y: ~C(y. ")~~ ,~

t;al1~d, ~ke ~ord

of (lod.,

,;

f; \'i

",

, "'r. : '

was

"

I :',)[.

i 1[ ,. '

induced to make the following

remarks~' ,on read.~g. a: ,lD()d~r~,' ,c~If\me~tary

on the third chapter o( G~ne:si~. i~i'Ypi~\l}h~;


\

aut)l~r at~~pts ,to prore : ~at ~ X9n~~p~.'a~~

., no~ .a. $erpent, was th~ ageqt :eqlBl9Y~, i~ N~~:

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PRBPACB.

Vll

Fall of Man. This being .a bold deviation

trom the settled opinion of. all the an.cient


Rabbies, and fathers of the Christian church,
to the present day ; and coming from a gentleman who has acquired a name for learning,
(which has a powerful tendency to disturb
.the minds. of many professors;) the pubHc
have a' right to expect that such an opinion
should be refuted, if it be not supported by
sufficient proof. from Scripture.
It is natural for such as have not the ability
to judge for themselves, by a reference to
the original Hebrew, whether there be any
ground for such conclusions, to admit, that
if the people have been deceived

fo~ SOOO

years, by supposing that it was a Serpent


instead of a Mon!cey, which brought about this
business,

they

may also be wrong in other

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viii

P'RBPAC&

matters of,

more importance.

.. Therefore, to

prevent the serious .efFects, which might. be


consequent 'on such a supposition, I have
laid the following sheets before the public,

which I trust .will perfectly satisfy those, who .


may have been ,unsettled in their minds, by
,

a Conclusion of the above novel nature.

JOHN .BELLAMY.

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",

THE OPHION.

-- THE c~mm~tary on the Book of Genesis by Ad~m


Clarke, L .. L. D. is a work which has e~cited a great
degree of curiosity among all ranks of Christians. It
J;Ilust always give pleasure to the thinking part of the
community, when they see the Bible coming from the
press in so many -directions, with notes, said- to be
explanatory of those parts, which have for .ages been
i.nvo1ved in obscurity. But when, instead of 'cluci.. "
dations of difficult parts, ~e are presented with new
theories, boldly advanced, unsupportea, by the autha.
rity of Scripture, or any other authority but that of
conjecture; it !s "painful to the serious mind, aneL
hurtful. to the ca~se, which such writers are endea
vouring .to support. I give them credit, for their
well-meant intentions; but .these commentatoJTs, above
all others,
called upon by Go~ and man, to be

are

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faithful, and to advance nothing with intent to illustrate the Scriptures, but what can be supported by
their own authOlity.
\
There never was a ti!De, when there was so p~s
ing a nec~ssity. for a plain, and literal translation of
the Bible, as the present. The progress of Deism,
arising frOlD errors, inco'nsistencies, 8lld wrong translations, is af~ing'; and when we know that nothing
of this nature can possibly be sanctioned by the
original, we expect, when commentaries of such a
descriptipn are published, that some steps are taken
towards the attainment of things so desirable. But
,I am sorry to see that, hitherto, little has been done
t~' remove those errors' and inconsistencies which
have been, and still are, the cause of all those calumnies, which we have so often witnessed to ha~e been
this' description of men.
brought against the Bible

by,

.The work before us is certainly a work of considerable la~r~ I sincerely, wish that no part of it
had called for observation; but when the Scriptures
are the subject, being the common right of all men,
I hope the writer of those comments will not suppose
that the following observations arc made with any
other view, than to ascertain what is true respecting
the inost interesting subjects, which can possibly COlDe
before the public, viz. THE UNITY OF GOD, AND
THE FALL OF MAN.

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I know little of the author, but from his general


character I believe him to .be a gentleman of'liberaL
sentiments, and a sincere promoter of the truths of
the Christian religion, according to his views. But
JIlany goad men have been as zealous in their endeavours,.to promulgate their opinions on Biblical subjects,
trom tlle best of motives, and have given voluminous
.comments, which have been proved erroneous. It
has been' the custom of commentators to condemn the
opinions of their predecessors; and this is the case in
the work before us. I have learnt by experience not
to depend on the .opinion of any man; the opinion of
yesterday Qlay be contradicted to day, and tomorrow
~ay bring forth something new. Therefore,. rejecting
the opinions of men, the Script'l,lres alone'must peter..
mine the true meaning and application of every
doubtful and controverted passage: This is that rock,
which cannot be shaken by the storms' of clash~ng
opinions; when. this is not attende,d to, when the
Scripture is not at aU times, and on all' occasions,
resorted to as .coucIusive evidence of the truth of
doctrines, and for the confirmation of opinions, but' .
speculative theories are -substituted in its stead: -the
sincere searcher for truth is altoget~er unsettled
reSpecting things of the greatest importance, even
those things, which relate to his happiness in tbis life,
and in the future state. also. For being unsettled as to
his faith, in the revealed word of God, '~e may be

I,

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induced to neglect those things; which make for' lUi'


present and eternal peace.
Let the intelligent reader look aroutld~ and 'he wiil
see the thronging multitudes losing themselves ili the
perplexing labyriirths of opinion; by some we are
told that there ate a plurality of Gods i by others,
that God is o~e in essence and in person. Yesterday
we understood that a Serpent tempted Eve; to day
we are told it was a monkey,; and tomorrow perhapS'
the Leviathan, (that is, the Crocodile, because it is an
inhabitant of the eastern counnies, and is sbpposed
by naturalists to be one Of, the most crafty of the
brute creation,) may be chosen as a fit1l8Cnt to bring
about the fall of man.
" We have here;" says this writer, "one of the
mQst difficult, as \VeIl ~ one of the most important,
narratives in the whole book of God. Th~ last chap-,
-ter ended with a short' but striking account of the
pe~ection and felicity of the first human beings; and '
, this opens with their transgression, degradation, and
ruin." There is some plea!ute in perusing the work "
of my author who writes on the Scriptures, whether
wbat he says be ,true or false, if he be decided in his
opinion. The author of these comments comes fairly ,
and openly before the public, and promises 1;0 give ~
satisfactory ~xplanation of tlle original text" "of the

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most impertant narrative in the whole book of God," .
and to fix the meaniJlg, and show the propriety and
consistency agreeably to the original, of the Mosaic
account of the fall of man. He says, "but how,and by what agency tills was brought about, here is
a great mystery;" be app~als to all persons, ,who have
read the comments th~t have been written
the
Mosaic .account, whether they have ever yet been
satis6.ed on this part of the subject; who was the
serpent? "these are questions which remain yet to be
answered." . From which inquiries we are under the
necessity of concluding, that none of ~~ comments,
which have hitherto been given for the l8$t ,000 years,
be
bave developed this mystery; but that we are
satisfied as to this and other important matters, and
that it is to be made known in this enlightened age,
by Dr. Ad~ ~Jark~.

on

to

~ one of- thQse among the great, body of pro.. .


fesl!ljng ChristianlJ, who remain altogether dissatisfied .
with this writer's conc1usion, that Eve walJ tempted
by a monkey; 8lld I ~hall sh9.w, to use his own words,
that thQugll" ~e monkey goes " on all fours," yet that
his statement of. this matter is very far from going ~
fC on all fours;"
that in this very e~tIllordinary
commeQ~ "(he legs Q/ the _
are not efjUtil." I am
exceedingly sorry tlIat this ~Qthor has chosen so ludicrous au aniq1al for one of the persons of his drama;
the ~te-a-te~ of Eve, arid this s,portive creature, if

an4

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credited, would furnish abundant matter for ~it and


ridicule among Deists; it would be impossible
graveiy to re,commend the Scriptures to their serious'
attention. I may perhaps be told, that the same
reaSoning will apply to the serpent with those, who
'are disposed to cavil. If it be tr~e ~at a serpent
literally tempted our mother Eve~ some part of such
;reasoning' might be so applied, but of the two, it
certainly wo~ld be better to choose the serpent, as the
less objectionable. . It would also .be difficult for
Christians to ~efend this part of Scripture with a
serious countenance, when they recollected the unin..
te1ligible chatter, and disgusting grimace, which that
animal must necessarily manifest in such a con~er
sation.
I

Whoever has seen a monkey m~st be sensible that,


among all creatures, it is the least calculated, on
. ac~ount ~f. its ugly face, to succeed in prevailing on
the woman to disobey the divine command; so tlJat
'I think the .authorhas been rather unfortunate in his
choice of a tempter to captivate
" The fairest"oCher daughters, Eve:'

There are two things in this narrative, which this


author has forgotten to notice, and which decidedly
make against his opinion. 'It is expr~ssly said, that
the serpent should go on its belly, "on thy beltv tluiu
',halt 8,0 Jl'OW these words are more evident!y against-

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the monkey than the serpent, as an agent in this
business. 'The Dr. informs us that if it,had been a
serpent, it must, before the fall, have walked on its
tail,-'and I contend, that if it had been a mQnkey,
the divine command was not obeyed, for that animal
does not go on its belly, any more thaIi the whole
race of quadrupeds: And as to the tale of its w~k
ing erect before the fall, jt walked no mQre' erect
then, than it does now; for the ouran outang monkey
always goes erect, when it has occasion; he will frequently attack men, and has the power of rendering
himself more formidable, by fighting with offensive
weapons.
The second, which this writer has forgotten to
notice with due effect, is concerning its lWeech. We.
are told that it conversed with Eve, and though it
had not the power of 'Walking, or going erect, which
we are necessarily led to believe was the case if it
were a literal serpent, or a monkey, the Scripture
does not say that it ihould lose the gift of speech;
though we might reasonably suppose, that if by this
organ the fall of man had -been brought about, G,od
would have. pronounced a curse on it, and would
.have taken away the gift of speech by. a solemn
denunciation to that effect; instead of condemning it
to go on its beliy. Therefore whether it were the
serpent,' or the' monkey, the gift of speech 'fuust
.necessarily have remained, as that power, was Dot

"

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by the di\;ne command- taken away. Dr. Clarke'
says, "God did not qualify the serpent with speech
, for the occasion, "-true; neither has he proved that
God fluali1ied' the monkey "with speech for the
occasion/' but 'by supposing that this was the case;
and supposition proves nothing. ' .
~

I shall pass over the lamentable de6ni~ion of the


tree QJ'lmnwledge-eating tke forbidden .frui~the
system of astrO'fKJlflY, which this writer has crammed
into the pages of his Bible; and many other subjects,
which would swell these remarks to a large volume.
They are all as irrelevant to the grand business of
the regeneration of man, which is historically treated
of, and which constitutes the ~anctity of this part of
SClipture; as for him to.inform us in his comment ~D
the second verse of the second chapter, what we are
already told was the fact, viz. that the deep sleep,
'which God caused to fall upon Adam, H was neither
8woon, nor extasy," -~~ come to that part, which is
more immediately the subject of this' investigation, .
viz. the agent employed in the fall of man, which Dr.
Clarke says ~as the ouran-outang monkey, and nOt
, the serpent, as has been the belief of all the.churches,
to the time of the dispersion of the Jews, and of aU
the Christian churches to the present day.

it seems necessary, in

the first place, in order to


pave th~ way for the receptiQl!,9f the mOllkey

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instead of the serpent,. for ~is writer to lessen the
authority of all ,the ancient versions, which, he says,
are wrong ~ to the translation of the word rz.tr~ ,
Nlrash, bi serpent. Even tJte. Septuagint . is
included, who, he says, "translated wcra N ackask,
by o~.s . aphis, the Greek word for serpent, not
because this was its fixed determinate meaning, but.
because it was the best that occulTed to the' trans, l.!1tors; and they do not seem to have giv~il themselves
much trouble ~ understand the meaning of the
origimil. And the New Testament writers, who
scarcely ever quote the Old Testament, butfrmn the
Septuagint translation, and scarcely ever :change a'
word in their quotations, copy this version in the. use
of this word." But thii gentleman certainly has no
authority for asserting, that these ancient translators .
rendered the original word rz.tr~ N hash, by oq).s
ophis, not as its " determinate meaning" in the sacred
writings. Are we'to suppose that the Septuagint, who lived 350 years before the Christian era, .during the
time of the Grecian mona.rchy, which -,vas 8,U universal
monarchy, and the Greek an universal language,
well understood by t;};lem; and who tbemselves were
tI;le most IelU'fted among the Jewish 'doctors; dirl not
understand the meani~g of the word. rz.tr~ N hask
in Greek? wh.ich must have been the case, if Oq)IS
oplJis, is not literally the meaning. Surely it lllust be
aduiitted, that' at this time of the wodd both these
laoguages were well undentood by them, arid if

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aphis

was the best word that occurred" to


them, by which to rendel; fLICT~ N ocll48k, it must necessarily be admitted, agreeably to this reasoning, that
ttJtr~ N ochasla was und~rstood bV the sacred writers,
. and by the~e ancient trans1ators, to mean a serpent.
oq).s

Cl

, I shall first pursue the subject on the ground this


writer has taken, viz. ,u a simple relation of facts,
,capable of a satisfactory explanation." It ~s said by
the inspired penman, that the serpent. 'Ct'aS more 'Wise
and intelligent tIum all tIre beasts llf the field. He
attributes five properties to the animal, in its original
state, which tempted Eve.
1st. That "whatever this tLty~ Nochasla was, he
stood at the head of all inferior animals. for wisdom
and understanding;" but he says, "I cannot find
that the serpent genus are rem~rkable for intell~
gence; it is true, the w.isdoni of the serpent has.
passed into a proverb, but I cannot see on what it is
founded." It is probable, that this may be the case
with Dr. Clarke, that he "cannot see on ,what ,the
wisdom and intelligence of the serpent is founded."
In order, theretore, to show .that this animal was
,
selected with great wisdom by the primreval peOple,
agreeably to its ,predominant passions, to signify the
.sensual qualities and propensities in man: I shall;aft.er
I have said a.few words on the WQrl?hip' of this animal,
give the reader a short account of the wisdom,

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prudence, intelligence, and sagacity, of the serpent,
which naturalists from long observation infor~ us,
are 'far superior to that of any other animal. '
It has been the custom of the most ancient nations,
as we learn from the Pagan writers, to consider the
s'etpent as the svrnbol'ofwisdom, circumspection,, and
intelligence, . of the sensual principle in man. In the
description of Osiris and Isis, the idols of Egypt, a'
serpent is. alway_s depicted with them. Osiris and Isis
'were the king a~d queen, who, we are infonlled,
governed with such wisdom and gentleness, ,that ..the .
Egyptians deified them, and caused them to be
attended by a serpent.
~

The Egyptians also gave honors to the Niolic


serpent,.' i. e. the crocodile; but we are not to suppose
that this was done without some degree of reason;
for as the ant and the bee are used with us as emblems
of 'industry, so was the serpent referred 'to by them
as the symbol .of intelligence and circumspection.
The same was done by the Phrenicians; according
to Sanchoniathon, a serpent was always introduced
in their religious rites.
But perhaps there was nothing more significant
than the custom of this ancient people, who prefigured
, JEliQJl; de Animalibus, lib ..10. Euseb. pralp. Evangel.

1.

1, c. 10,

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the world by: a circle, in the centre of which was a


serpent; by which the whole. was represented as
animated; a symbol of infinite wisdom, by which the
worl~ was created. Herodotus also informs us, that
in his time there were tame serpents in the principal
cities of Egypt, which were sacred to Jupiter, adorned
with the most costly jewels, and that .they were so
,!Sensible of kindness shpwn them, that they never
injured anyone; and when they died, they were buded
in thertemple of Jupiter with divine honors.'

lElian fiays, that the Egyptians kept serpents as;


household gods. The Phrenicians ~d Babylonians
worshipped a dragon. The ~rabians were famous
for worshipping serpents, and 'according to some,
whose testimony is not to be rejected, in some .p~rts
of Arabia, at this day, serpents are held as sacred,
Melanththon says, ,that the priests in Asia expose to
public view a serpent, attended' with music; the
serpent is made to open its mouth, and t4ere appears
tbe face of a beautiful womal1.And in Germ~
Bibles, before the time of'Luther, may be seen tQ.e
1igure of a serpent with the face of a woman.

" Oph," says' Bryant, "signifies a lerpent;. it


,was \\'oI'shipped as a Deity. A serpent was also in
'tile Egyptial1 hlDg~ge styled. ob, or-~6. We ate
EutL>rpe, lib. it. p. 186.

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told by Aurus Apollo, that the Basilisk ",,'88' named
Oubaios ; I Ou~.os, 0 IfrT"" EAA7JII'fr'
Ba.frJA&trxos.
.
The Deity, so denominated, was esteemed prophetic,
and his tell)ple.s were applied to as oracular. TI.lis
idolatry is alluded to by Moses: a man also, ,or .
woman, ikat lzatk a:l~ aoub, familiar spirit, or thol
is a wizard; ~e forbids the Israelites eyer to inql1ire
of those dmmons, Oub and Ideone. The symbolical
worshi p of the serpent was in the first ages very
extensive, and was introduced into all mysteries
, wherever celebrated; wherever the Amonians founded
any places .of worship, and introduced their rites.
there was generally some story of a serpent. There
was a legend about a serpent at Col chis, ,at Thebes,
and at Delphi; likewise at other places. The Greeks
called Apollo himself, Python, whieh is the SatIlfll
as opis, oupis, and oub. The woman at Endor, who .
had II. familiar spirit, is ',called ~N ouh, and it is
interpreted Pytlwnissa. The place where she residt:d
seems to have been named from the worship there
instituted; for ,i"T r.v.f En dour, is compt)unded of
En-.A.dour, aJld signifies Funs Pytlumis, "the fOuDtai~ , \
\ of light, the oracle of the God Adour." Kircher,
continues Bryant, say~, that obion is still, among
the people of Egypt, the name of a serpent, :liN DUb,
. "Mon _Python, vox ab Egyptiis sumta, qyibus obion
hodieque serpentc;;m sonat."'" The iun was wor~hip~efj
~

'0

Aurus App. c. i. p.2.

" BQcbart Hie~.


- 1. ~. c. 3. p.. 2~.

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under the figure of a serpent: Hence there was given
to the Spartan Menelaus a serpent, for a device upon
his. shield. l. The same was also depicted upon the
shield and' cuirass of Agamemnon. a There was also
a serpent engraved upon the tomb of Epaminondas, J
arid inclosed in the figu~ of a shield.
Olympias, says this learned writer, the mother of
Alexander, was very fond of these orgies, in which
the serpent was introduced. Plutarch mentions, that
rites of this sort .were practised by' the Edonian
women, near Mount Hremus, in Thracet and carried
on to a degree of madness. Olympias copied them
closely in all their frantic manoouvres; she used to
be followed by many attendantS,' who bad each a
tbyrsus, with serpents twisted round it. They had
also snakes in their hair, and iil the chaplets which
they wore; the whole was attended with, a continual
repetition of the word E'Ooe, which is the same
as m'1

"'-

E'Oe.

In the ritual of Zoroaster, it is said, the great


expanse of the heavens, and 'even' nature itself, was
described 'under the symbol of a Serpent.4 The like
was mentioned in the Octateuch of Ostanes; and,
moreover, that in Persis, and in other parts .of the
Ea&t, they erected' temples to the serpent tribe, and

Pausan. 1. x. p. 863.

a Homer. Iliad.

Pausan.L viii. p. 622.

Euseb.P. E.I. i. p.41,42.

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held festivals to their honor,'. esteeming them, 91!ous
1'ouS P.1!'Y'trTOUS, X~I ~Px.'1j'Y0US TCUII GAW", 1

the supreme
l!f all Gods, and the sUperinteridants Q[ the w/to/8
'IIJOrld. ThIs worship began among the Chaldeans,
who built the city Opis, upon the Tigris,s and were
greatly addicted to divination, and to the worship of
the serpent. J
The chief Deity of Egypt is said to have heen
Vulcan, often called .:liN 4oub-El, the serpent Ged ;
there were pillars sacred to him, with curious hieroglyphical inscriptions, which had the same name;
they were very lofty and narrow in comparison to
their length. Hence among the Greeks, who copied
from the Egyptians, every thing gradually tapering
to a point, (after the manne~ of the serpent,) was
styled Obelos and Obel~cus, i. e. the serpent pillar. '

'tt

Sanchoniathon 4 roms mention of a history, which


he once wrote UpOll tlle worship of the serpent
Another treatise upon the same subject was written
by Pherecydes Syrus. The title of this book was
Opkioneus, the Theology td' Opkion, or the Serpent;
and of his worshippers called Oph!0nidm. The
Euseb. ibidem.

Herod. I. ii. c. 189.

Maimonidea, ~n More Nevochim~- Selden. de Diis Syris.


Synt. i. c. 3. p. 49.
3

Euseb.pnep. Evang. I. i. p. 41.

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Ethiopians' also brought these rites into Greece, and


called the island, where they.first established the~, EI,
opia, "solis setpenbs insula, lor, the Serpent Island.'"
Hercules was esteemed a chief God, the same as
Chronus, and was said to have produced the mundane
egg. He was rel>resented, in the Orphic .theology,
" under the mixed symbol of a lion and a serpent;
and sometimes of a serpent only.1 The Cu~tesi who.
were Hivites, or Ophites, i. e. serpent worshippers,
settled at Rhodes, so named from Rhod,4 a Syriac .
,,'ord for a serpent. In ?hrygia, and upon the
Hellespont, whither they sent out colonies very early,
. was a people styled Oq)'O')"!I"S~ or the serpent-breed;'
. who were said to retain an affinity and correspondence
with serpents. 5 Thucydides mentions a people of
~tolia, called Ophionians. 6 Atiout Paphos, famous
for the residence of Venus, there was 'said to have
been a kind of serpent,7 with two legs; by this is
meant the Ophite race, i. e. serpent 'W()f'shipper.s,
w~o came from Egypt. . The island Seriphus was ~ne
vast rock, by the Romans called" Saxum Seriphium,
and. made use of as a kind of prison for banished
perso~. It. is represented allegorically as abounding
Strabo,I.::i. p.6sa.

Athenmg. Legatio, p. 239.


/

Bochart, G. ~. p. 369.

Ibid. p. 295."

Strabo,1. xiii. p. 880.

L. iii. c. 96-Strabo, Lx. p. ~9f

"., Appolloll. Dyaeolus. MitabU. c. 39..." ..,),., 'P' ~

'",

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with serpents, I i. e. these serpent people, and is styled
by Virgil serpentifera. I t had this epithet not on
account, of any real serpents, but according to the
Greeks, from Medusa'sa head, which was brought
hither by Perseus. By this is meant the' serpent
Deity, whose worship was here introduced by people
called Peresians. . Medusa's head, whIch was a
human face, encircled with a number of serpents,
denoted divine wisdom: and the, Island was sacred
to the serpent. The Athenians were esteemed
Serpentigenre, and believed that the ~hief guardian of
their Acropolis was a serpent.) It is said, that the
Goddess placed a dragon for a guardian to her temple "
at Eleusis, and appointed another to attend on
Erectheus. The Cuthites, under the title of Heliadre~
settled at Rhodes, and as - they were Hivites, or
Ophites, i. 'e. serpent 'W(JT"skipper$~ the Island in
consequence of it was of old named Ophiusa. These
Cuihit~ priests were very learned, and as they were
Ophites, whoever had the advantage of their, information, was said to be instructed by serpents. Hence
it was said, that lVIelampus was rendered prophetic
from a communication with these animals. 4 The
Cyclops were originally Ophitre, who worshipped the
Tacitus, Annal. I. iv. c. 21.

Strabo,1. x. p. 746.

Herod. l. viii. c. 41.

Apollodorus. 1. xii. c. 7. Plin. 1. x. c. 44.


B

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symbolical 'erpent. They were a colony of the
Egyptians and Babylonians, and were 80 named from
Kux:Acmfi. "They were an ingenious people, and
became famous among the Grecian poets, who, in
their fables, have represented them to have beeil
m~nster's of gigantic stature, with one eye in the
mid~lle of their forehe,ads." But this is as far .fro~'
the truth as that a monkey tempted Eve. They were
an ingenious people, who came into that part of the
world, and introduced the refinements' of the learned
Egyptians and Babylonians, and thus obtained great
fame. The Greek poets magnified their superiority
of talent into magnitude of stature, and allowed
them but one eye in tQ.e middle of their foreheads;
and thus have represented them as monsters, because
they worshipped a solitary serpent, instead of a
plurality of Gods. Such has been the nature of
religious bigotry in all ages: mistakes of this kind
are numerous in the Greek Mythology; Xa.p(IJIHJ~,
Charon is a compound word from the Hebrew "~.cllar,
a pleasant past~e, and ll't On, the Temple of the
Sun, literally, "tI,e pasture qf tke Temple qf the
Sun /' or the land which was appropriated to the
usc of the priests, attached to the temples under the
Mosaic dispensation, which ,custo~ has been justly
retained in Christian churches" as . a living for the
cle~gy, who were not pel'mitted to follow any other
profession.

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19

lEgeus,' of Athens, ac~ordrng to Androtion, waf


of the serpent breed j a and the first king of tbe country
is said to have been~paxtiJlI, a Dragon. Cecrops
is said to have been a.qlU'r)s/ Q{ a. two-fold nature,
6emg .formed 'llJitk tke body Q{ a man, blended 'With
IhSI l!f a serpent. Diodorus says, that this was a
circumstance deemed by the Athenians inexplicable;
some had mentioned of Cecrops, that he underwent
a metamorpho&is~ 41r'O Gqsl!tI)~ e.s 411~ptl)1f'OIl e'A9m,
tktzt Ire tvas elumged.frqm a serpent to a man. With
res pert to the mixed character of this personage,
eontinues this writer, we may, I think, easily account
for it; Cecrops was certainly a title of the Deity,
who was worshipped under this emblem. The natives
of Thebes, in B(eotia, like the Athenians, esteemed
themselves 'of the serpent raee. The Lacedremonians, . likewise, referred themselves to the same
original; their city is said to have swarmed with:
It!rpImts. S The same "is said of the city Amyclre, in
Italy, which was of Spartan original. Of Argos the
same, when Apiscame from Egypt, and settled in ,
that city. He was esteemed as a prophet, the reputed
son of Apollo, and a person of great skill and sagacity. But the serpent brood came" from the very
Herodotus, I. viii. c. 41.

s I.ycophron. Scholia. v.

, Mcursius. de reg. Athen.I.i. ;. 6~


S

496.

Eustat. on Dionys. p. 56.

Aristot. de Mirabilibus, vol. II. p. 717.

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quarter from whenCe Apis came. They were certainly
Hivites, or Ophites, i. e. serpent tAJ0T'8hippers from
Egypt. They were serpents of another nature, with
which those cities were infested; and the history
relates to the Cuthites, the original Ophitre, who for
a long time possessed that country. The chief Deity
of the Gentile world was almost universally worshipped under this symbolical representation. The story
of Cadmus, and the serpent which he engaged upon
hiS arrival in Breotia, relates to the serpent 'llXll'ship
which was then instituted by the C~dmians. So
Jason in' Colchis, Apollo in Phocis, Hercules at
Lerna, engaged with serpents, are histories of the
same purport.
Cadmus, and his wife Harmonia, .were said at the
close of their lives, to have been transformed to a
serpent of stone. The serpent was understood at
that day, to represent wisdom, and therefore honored
his memory with this ensign, because he first introduced civilization, and the worship of Divine wisdom
into Greece. But in after-ages, the Greeks, who
. became idolators, worshipped hilllunder this symbol.
This worship prevailed in Babylonia, Egypt, and
Syria; from which countries it was brought by the
Cadmians into Greece: Serpentis eam venerationem
Cadmo. Thus were the
acceperunt Grreci

~c

Vossius de Idol. vol. 111. Comment in Rabbi M. Maimonic1em


slJcrificiis, p. '/6.

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companions of Cadmus, who first brought ,letters
into Greece, and the Giant" in Homer, called serpents.
So Alex-ander 'the Great, and Scipio Africanus, were
said to be born' ,of serpents, f i. e. wisdom, which
they tQought to be the most honorable insigqia; every
thing was loo~ed upon as divine and magnificent, that
was attended ,by tb.e figure of a S81'pent J many thiJlgs
in creation were dignified by this name, as trees,
plants, herbs, rivers, stones, islands, t:ltp,rs. Plen, lind
women."

In the Heatheq Mythology, which was founded on


the scriptures, we have a description of the garden
of Jupiter, i, e. J oa.pater; and the golden apples
of the Hesperides~ kept by a sleepless dragon, which
was evidently taken from the serpent, aud the forbidden
fruit in Paradise. Hercules killing the serpent is
also taken from th,e scripture account, where it is said,
" the seed of the woman' shall bruise the head of tho
serpent." A serpent was consecrated to ApolIo, in
his temple where h~ was worshipped, who was aaid
to have been educated in Arabia;" but this is als<:
taken from the Bible i Moses fled into Arabia fr()m
the face of Pharaoh,-- where be was forty years; and
when he led the Israelites out of Egypt, he-set up
the brazen serpent in thf} wilderpeslJ, not a bra~eQ
monkey.
, PlIousan. 1. vW. :po tWI.

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Having introduced thus much from this learned


writer, concerning the origin of serpent worskip. I
shall- now make a few observations on ~ natural
history of the serpent, that we may see "on what
the wisdom and intelligence of that animal is founded,"
_ . and on what ground it was. that it " passed into a
proverb'~ among t.he priDHeval people.

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TIlE

SUBTILTY OF THE SERPENT


1

- ...
whole tribe of serpents rest with their ey~
open, and are perpetually on the watch duriQg. the
w hole of the winter season; this property of the
sel"Pent became famou~ among the serpent W01'shipper.s
as an emblem of the Deity. Homer borrowing the
. idea, from the ever-watchful eye of the serpent,
describes the Gods, at one time, as asleep,

T HE

" Allbut the eVl'T-wakcful eye of Jove."

Among the whole family of serpents, there appears


.to be but one, which answers to the description given
in the sacred writings, as being that creature so
frequently mentioned in the woeful narrative of the
fall of man. The Niolic serpent, the leviathan, Qr
crocodile, is described by the prop~ets as a creature
superior to others of its kind, for strength, intelligence, and, patience; he enjoys, says Buffon, more

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!4
absolute-rule than either the king of the forest, or the
sovereign of the skies, and his dominion is the more.
durable as it belongs to both elements.
This terrible creature bein~ a native of that part
of the world where our first parents were placed,
when they came from the hand of the CreatOr, it is
reasonable to conclude, that our inspired progenitor
Adam, who gave names to the creatures corresponding with their natures, would not have given the name
r.t') Noclzaik to any species of the simia genus, as
it does not express anyone property of the monkey,
but is most admirably descriptive of those qualities,
which the ancients found by experience the whole
tribe of serpents were more famous for, than all the
beasts Qr tke field., The prophets pelfectly agree in.
describing this animal to be a native of both elements;
Amos, ix. 3. and though they be hid frmn my sight
in tke bottom '{f tke sea, thence, C?~?~ WIJ~;:t n~ n;gt~
I' will cunimand the serpent and ke sJuzll bite .them.
Here the word ~~ N ockash, written :with the same
vowels, signifies a serpent which Uves in the sea, as
. well as on land; but which certainly cannot be
applied to mean the monkey~ In Chaldee, and Rab.
Hebrew; it has the same meaning as in t4e pur~
Hebrew.
Some are of opillion, that tUp.~ Nhesh, bruen,
was given to brass, because it rese~nble$ tpe color Of

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a sel'pent; but there is no certainty in this etymology,


foc there are serpents of different colors. ~~ N ac1l.e'h
was used to signify brass, in allusion to the living
serpent; for as the color of brass is yellow, and the
metal pernicious, so the fluid, issuing from the little
bladders of serpents when they bite, is yellow. These
prirnreval pe{lple ha~ better reasons for giving names
to things, which, as abQve, were descriptive of their
natures; which power of description is to be found
in the Hebrew language only, and which is one
proof of its divine origin. The word ~~ Nachasll.
primarily signifies to eye, to 'View attenti'Vcly, with a
peculiar quickness; and as this is more particularly
the case with the serpent's eye, than it is with the
eye of any other creature, it has been applied to
mean a serpent. The Greeks derived Apa.xWII, a
dragun. or serpent, fr.om 8epxlfll, to
and o~'S,
a s,erpelit,. from 076'J'OP.4', to s.ee. Among the eastern
nations this word was applied to those whQ were
keen in their tramactions, who saw things with
.quickness, and used this gift to the injury of others;
oi', in other words, those who prostituted a good
understanding to had purposes; so that the phrase,
f1, serpent's fJye, be~me proverbial amopg them.

mew.

N atllralists I inform us, that the Niolic serpent


~nJpports the dignity of his rule with clemency; his
~

Buffon. Nat.lIist.

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power ~ not combined with cruelty and rapine, and


is only exerted for supplying his urgent necessitie~,
but is never actuated by ferocity. When he is pinched
by hunger he covers himself \\'ith mud, 011 the slimy
banks of rivers, and appearing like the large trunk of
'a fallen tree, remains motionless, watching with
asoonishing patien~ 'for an opportunity to seize his
prey; his stillness, color, and fonn, impose on
fishes, sea-fowl, oortoises, and other animals, 50 that
they approach without suspicio~. While swimming
along great rivets, he seldom raises his head above
water so as to see around, seeking to surprise any of
the larger animals that may come close 00 the shore;
when he sees any approach 00 drink, he dives, and

'swims craftily under the water, till he gets near


enough to catcl\ the creature by the legs, then drags
it into the wat~r till it is drowned, and devours it at
his leisure. . He is much more dangerous in the
water, which seems to be his favorite element, in
which he enjoys the whole of his strenbrth with greater
advantage than on land; notwithstanding his vast si~,
frequently thirty feet long, he moves about l\ith
great swiftDess; he often waits contentedly at tbe
bottom of a deep river, looking atrentively for his
prey above, and often attacks boats, uSIng his tail to
overturn them, in expectation of procuring food,
which is catTied, ffom one place to another, and will
pursue his prey with great velocity to the bottom of
the sea. Such is the wonderful sagacity of this .
I

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27
animal, which' we are at present acquainted with; but
had we in this region, so far remote fi'om the !lative
place of this serpent, as complete a knowledge of its
natural history, as the people of those countries had
at the' time, when the arts florished among them, wheu
their I)aturalists, philosophers, and literary ~en well
knew from observation, more particulars concerning
the subtilty of the serpent, we should, no doubt,
have more proof of the intelli~ence 'of this creature,
;f more were necessary, to prove, that it is more
subtile, int~lligent, and sagacious, t1um all Ike beIue.

Wtkefield,
It may appear wonderful to many, how it was
possible for a creature so disgusting to become an
object of worship; of all the beasts in creation, a
more ungraceful idol, as to the external fonn, could
not have been chosen; we shall, however, I trust,
have a more favQrable opinion of these ancient
serpent-worsh.ippers, when we know the true ground
why this worship obtained so universally. This
circumstance was, perhaps, not thought of by this
writer, or it must have had its degree of weight in
convincing him, that the mmzkey had nothing to do
in this business. The adoration which was paid to
serpents in all the nations of the East, from the most
remote times, and is even continued to 'this day in
some of the Eastern countlies, is a cOl1:yincing proof,
that it took' its rise from the' serpent in Paradise;

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ana like a flood spread over the surrounding nations,


when the cures done by the In-a.en serpent in the
wilderness were confirmed, which must necessarily
appear to them to have been done by infinite wisdom,
prefigured in outward nature by a serpent. These
ancient people had another reasOl1 for preferring the
..erpent in their figurative representations to any other
creature; they considered the first cause of things to
be without beginning and without end; and that as
the serpent, when it is at rest, forms a circle, with its
head in the centre, so they supposed it to be representative of the Deity, worshipped it in the form of a
circle, and fixed an eye in the centre as descriptive of
the cmmiscience of God; the latter emblem is often
used at this day, as represe1ltative of ~~ all-seeing
ey~ of Providepce.

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THE MONKEY

. -.
IF we contrast the character of the monkey with
that of the serpent, we shall find that the author of
nature has not raised the f~l'Dle'r so high in the scale
of instinctive sensibilitY, as he has many other
creatures; and that it cannot be put in competition
with the serpent, whose intelligence has been allowedin all ages to approach the nearest of any othercreature to the lowest degree of reason il\ man.
N ejther shall we find that any .property of this
sportive animal, the monkey, answers to the meaning
of the word 1fCr~ N achash, as gi~en by the sacred
writers.
According to the best information from those, who
have resided in the countries where the ouran outang
monkey is a native, all concur with the best writers of

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so

.
'"

natural history, in declaring, that this animal goes erect


natur81ly, I and not on "all fours," as is asserted by
this writer. The pongo jocko, of Java, and the
interior parts of Guinea, which is from five to seven
feet high; the great' gibbon, which inhabits India,
Malacca, and the Molucca isles; the great black ape
of Kiangsi, in China, and all the kinds of the ouran
outang monkey, walk erect, which is the natural
posture of this animal. The female calTies her young
in her arms, and leaps with the greatest agility from
tree to tree. The structure of the hands, feet, and
other parts of the body, when, examined with mechanical exactness, p~ove, in the opinion of, those best
capable of judging with accuracy on the subject,
that ~he animal was designed by the Creator to walla
erect. & "Man, and the ouran ou~ng, are the. ouly
animals who have buttocks, and the calf of the leg,.and of course are formed to go upright. But, never...
theless, though this creature approaches" nearest
to the form of man, it is incapable of thinking
consistently with any degree of reason, like the.
serpent; " for if - the principle of imitation," says
.Buffun, "by which he mimics human actions, were
a l"esult of thought, he would ascand in the scale of.
Vide Voyages, of Pyrard, tom. Ii. p. s:n. - Purches'.
Collcction--:&nd Dcscript. Historique du Royaume de Macreur
p.5l.

.Encyclop. Brit. vol.

:ltVII.

Edin. edit.

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S!
beings above every other beast of the field, which is
not the case. This animal possesses instinctive sagacity, like other brute. creatures, but does not manifest
any marks of intellectual operation like the serpent;.
. it approximates something near the human form,
ll:ithout possessing any of the faculties of the human
mind." Its faculty of imitation is singular; '~ut not
more so than that of many other creatures, some of
which can be taught.articulation, to give answers, and
ask questions; but all the ipgenuity and application
of man could never teach the ~onkey to articulate
a single word.

It appears strange, that the author of these


comments s~ould have neglected the consideration of
the natural histqryof these anilll.als, on a subject so
novel as this he has introduced. For it is right to
conclude, that God acts consistently, agreeably to
rationality, and probability; that' there must have
been soine natural qualification in this animal, which
is said to have been employed in this business, supe-.
rior to all others, which intitled it to this pre-eminence.
We find throughout the scriptures, that when any
thing of importance was to be done, or others'
significantly represented, that such persons were
always chosen by divine wisdom,' who bad proper
qualifications by nature for the undertaking; and
sucb things iDtroduced as bore some resemblance to
. the subject intended to be made known. Tb~

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S2
Moses was prepared by being first skilled in all the
learning of the Egyptians and the Arabians; therefore
a proper person for the office he was appointed to.
Joshua was trained up as .the leader or general, to
settle, the people in' the land, and to destroy idolatry ;
and therefore a proper person to govern Israel. The
princely prophet Isaiah was chosen as a fit person to
prophesy to the king and nobles; and the learned
Paul to preach to the polished Gentile nations. .Blit
it was only necessary for an unlettered shepherd to be
sent to the lower estates of the people of Israel, who
.delivered his prophesies agreeably to the simplicity
of his education. Such must have been the consi.,
deration of the subject before us; the mtmkey was
~ot frained with those natural qualifications which
would a~thorize the inspired writers to apply them
for the representation Qf the things mentioned in the
sacred text. But the serpent has been deservedly.
noticed in all ages for its intuitive knowledge; he
plans and executes with all that order, foresight, and
certainty, which is not to be equalled by any of the
1Jeasts qf the field, neither as far as the habits of its
nature extend, is it inferior in wisdom and intelligence
.
to man.
,

as

much as I think i~' necessary for


Having said
my purpose concerning the qualities of the serptmt
and the monkey, and, I trust, sufficiently proved,
that the wisdom of the serpent in its' acts approaches

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, '

85
nearer to the reason of man than any other creature;
and that this has been Jlie universal opinion from the
beginning. I shall no~\' answer this writer's observation where to prepare the mind for the reception of
the Monkey in the business of the fall of man instead
of the ,se'rpent, he has attempted to cast a shade on
the translation of the word Tt.~~ N achash; hy the
septuagint, who rendered it by the word (JqJ'~ opms,
,a serpent. He says, "from the septuagint we can
expect no light, nor from any other of the ancient versions which are all subsequent to the septuagint,
that the Arabic -may oe expected' to afford some help,
fi-om its . great similarity tothe Hebrew, and that a
root in this langUage very nearly similar to that in
the text, seems to cast considerable light on the
subject., ~ Clumas, signifies he departed, drew
tdf, lay hid, seduced; from this root came~'
akhanas, '......l:.:. khanasa, which signify an ape, 01' satyrus~ or any of the siIbia kind, or ape genus: also from
the same root comes ..,..U=;. khanas, 'the devil,' which
appellative he bears from the meaning of ~Chanas." _
But if all the ancient versions were subsequent
to the septuagint, as this writer asserts, what necessity was there for him to ~ubstitute the Arabic? why
... may we not go to the septuagint version, in preference to the Arabic, as the septu'agint is allowed by
him to be more ancient? A.nd there, as I have
observed, those translators' rend~.r the word rJt:T~,
Nacluuh, by oqJ's; m-pe1lt; and the New TestQ.mont
\ c

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"
,

84

writers have also chosen the word o~'G, serpent, to '


signify the ancient ser~nt 1fCr~ Nackask. I have
before noticed the great absurdity of supposing that
the septuagint, by rendering 1fCr~ N acluuk, by o~'S
oplzis, serpent, did not make use of a proper word;
,this objection has no founda~ion in truth. Neither
have the New Testament writers erred in following
the septuagint in the adoption of this word to signHr
tdIJ~ N acluuk i for we certainly are under the necessity of allowing, that Christ and the A postles understood the true meaning of tdIJ~ Nackask. If this be
granted, then it amounts to the same, whether the
New Testament writers followed the septuagint or
the Hebrew; for as o~'s oplzis, is used by them to
mean 0 o~'s 0 apxa,os, XaAG'Jp-.1I0S .d"l,~OAOS, that old
serpent, called tke de'lJil and salmf,I al~uding to the
serpent in Paradise: it certainly is a convincing
proof that tdC'~ N acluuk, was originally understood by.
them to mean a. serpent: and consequently it is futile
to suppo~, that a root in Arabic which has but a
very remote meaning, should ~'cast any light on thesubject,"
This writer labors much to show, that the Arabic.
language'is to be resorted to when we are at a'loss ,
, to determine any word in Hebrew; he says, " because
the deficient roots in the Hebrew are to be sought
I

Rev. xii. 9.

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85

for in the Arabic,'*

this' would be ,8. ~ery dangerous


_plinciple to act upon. For ins~nce, suppose a
person who understood a little Arabic, and had but
a trifling knowledge of the' elements of the Hebrew,
but meeting with words ill" that language, the meaning
of which he could not ascertain, were to incorporate
"'ith' -the Hebrew' such words from the Arabic as he
thought would elucidate any passage; we 'might
very soon have the Bible crowded with Arabic words,
and meanings from th9 Arabic. " Were the Hebrew
a complete language," says this gentleman. Is it pos, sible that an expression of this nature can come from'
any on~ that pretends to understand th~ Hebrew
language? the Hebrew is so complete a language, that
there is not any necessity for us'to seek in the Arabic,
or in any other lan~uage, for what he ,is pleased to
'Call "defective roots in Hebrew." The Hebrew is
so complete a language, that I believe it'is allowed
,by those who understand it, to he the most complete
and, comprehensive language in the world. The
English language is capable ef enabling us to express
. our thoughts with as much elegance, power, and
precision, as any of the European languages; but it
certainly is not possible in the English language to
clothe our ideas in so rich a dress, attended with
IUch energy of expression, strikiug imagery, sublimity~
and simplicity in
its variety of applicati~n, as'
is to be done in the Hebrew: no one learned in
Hebrew can be at a loss to expres"'any ,.c:tion, or, to

all

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describe. any idea, which the mind is capable of.


concelvmg. That simple copy of nature, the history
of Joseph and his brethren, even as it is \n the
translation, canno~ be read without touching in the
, moSt sensible manner the soul of those feelings,
"hich dignify human naturer it is the finest picture
of embodied affection that was ever dra!n in ,any .
language: but in the origiual, it is a~m08t affection
speaking in a v isible form. The picture of the horsein Job, where every nerve is repres~nted as being
alive, was never equalled by the finest poets; nor
have the sublime productions of David, and Isaiah,
according to the opinion of the most learned oriental
scholars, oeenequalled by the best writers in' any age.
But in order to establish it. as a rule, .when we
observe any word in Hebrew for wbich no root
.can be found, (which is impossible) that we may
find these deficient roots in the Arabic, he says, "If
a mall meet with an English word, which he cannot
find in an wvple concordance or' dictionary of the
Bible, he must of course seek for that w~'d in a general English dictionary.. In like m~t>J', if a particular form of a word in Hebrew occurs, that ,Cl;1DIlOt be
t~ced to a root in the Hebrew Bible, it is expedient,
it is pertectly lawful,and often indispensably necessary,
to seek the deficient toot in the Arabic.," . This, as is
observed above, would be a very langeraus exPedient,
because every wri~, who 11l~s mape a greater pl:Qgress.
10 8C9,uh'iliL a ~nQw~edgt of aqy _. of tb.e. ealtem,
I

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languages than he has of the Hebrew, no\ having
acquainted himself with the meaning of certain words,.
may contend in like manner, that 8uch
such a
.. language with which he is more familiar, must be ,
resorted to in order to find the root which appears to
him to be deficient in the Hebrew. . So that the
Coptic, the Ethiopic, and even an the languages of
the east, may on this principle be called in to aid us
in getting a knowledge of the will of God; as revealed
to man .

or

. Dr. Clarke is nOt williag to commit himself by


saying, that the Hebrew was derived from the Arabic,
though he says, there are great authoritie~ on both
sides;' he tells us a great truth, vit." either' the
Arabic was derived from the Hebrew, or the Hebrew.'
from the Arabic." One could hardlj'suppose tlmt
such a wild notion could ever have been entertained:
by anyone acquainted either with profane or sacre4
liistory. The Jews, from the di!persion to' the,
present ,day, remain a people; and the He~
is a distinct language, in. which the Jews' write
Ilnd converse. ' So fltt the Hebrew is a living.
language, though the Jews are in a state of non-cxist;.
enre as a nation;. But the Hebrew is no more
lost than it was during their captivity. in Babylon. Almost all the aneient profane writers give
testimony to the priority and descent of the Hebrew,
lRIlguage. It appears that it was the language

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of ancient Egypt, whE'.Il the sons of J aeol>. went


there; the natives spo~~ it, and when they
caRie toJos~ph, they were ~so understood: for h.
. does not "ppear that he spoke to them by an inter.,
preter. The verb 10 speak dGes not occur in the
ariginal, neither does M~t' Meelit&, mean "an interpreter." Now when there are living testimonies in all
nations, which confirm the' antiquity ~d descent of
this language, in regular historical successio~, as'
co~tained in the Bible, which reaches far beyqnd the
history ()f any nation; it is wonderful that 'a supposition ef this nature could sugge!!~ itself to so illtellig8hta man.'
. This writer continues. " If, for example, we meet
witha terin'.in our ancient English language, the
meilining of which we find difficult to 'ascertain; com~
moo sense teaches us that we should seek for it in the:
Anglo-Saxon, fr~which our 'language springs; no
person disputes; the legitimacy' of. this measure."
Thism . a:dmitted, as far ~ it is applicable to the
English which springs . from- the Anglo-Saxon;
~d: from other languages; but this reasoning
cannot be allowed as applicable to the Hebrew.
The, same "common sense teaches us that" as the
Hebrew did not spring fro~ aoy other language, no
. other can be, resorted to' fo.r anelu.cidation of tWa
primreval language, whose .very root is in nature.'
. It w~uld' be like examining the hl1i~che8 of a tr~ tQ
find some~ui>pose~ ~efect in the root~
-'

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It must appear evident, that no comparison can be
made as to the infinitude of expression between the
Hebrew language, whith has thirteen vowels for the
variation of sense, and the certainty of application;
near fifty. pauses, for giving force to words and
sentences, marking rapidity, simDness, graoity, love,
anger, and the various passions by which they are
to be delivered: and the Arabic, which has properly
"but tI1Jo vowel~. For the vowels Fatha, and Casra,
are the same, which are only known to differ in
pronunciation, by being placed above or under the
consonant; and the vowel Dammtl, which forms ~
diptbong 011: yet did the Arabians, 'with this unmusical two-stringed, ding-dong l~guage, sounding
like ha, bou, communicate their ideas in a simi-,
larity of sound. But tile Hebrew, on account of
its number of vowels, necessarily becomes, when
rightly pronounced, one of the most musical, as it is,
one of the most comprehensive, of all languages.
And yet we are told by tins writer, that " the Arabic
is the most comprehensive language in 'the. world."
From these considerations it will also appear, that
this well-meaning writer should not have been so .
hasty in his conclusion, where he says, " the whole
of the Hebrew language is lost,"except what is in the
Bible." He has not supported this assertion by
any proo Does not this gentleman know that
-the Hebrew is no m~re lost than the Arabic? that
pure Arabic is no more spoken either in Arabia

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40
OF 1:urkey, than ~e pure Hebrew is ~mong the Jews
........that the language of these countries is a kind qI
Lingua Franca, a mixture of the languages of other
nations with Arabic-that the Koran, which is writtell in pure Arabic, is esteemed to be the holy
language of the Turks and -Arabs, as the Hebrew is
of the Jews and Christians? and does he not .know
that the Hebrew writers are- far more numerous, and
their writings, now extant, far more voluminous, than
those of the ancient Greeks and Roman~? how ~hell
can it be said that the Hehrew language is lost, except
w hat is in the Bible?
.
But" adJIlitting this were so, that cc the. whole
of the Hebrew language were lost, except what
is in the' Bible,," no persoll having a conception
of the spirit, idiom, or exclusive properties of the
Hebrew, could make the following 9bservation:
" As the English Bible d~es not contain the whole
of the English language; so. the Hebrew Bible does
not- contain the whole of the Hebrew language."
.There is a degree of plausibility in this remark, I
DlUS~ acknowledge, but.such r<:asoning is ~uperficial;
it argues but a scanty knowledge even of .the rudiments of the language, and will not apply to the case
before us.
.
It is impossible for, a comparison to be .made
be~ween tJ.le' Hebrew and any language, when it is

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41
that. 'a Hebrew word difl'eringin form,
tennination, and orthop'aphical mYler, is capable of

lmOWll

such variation as to meaning. ~nd application, that it


would supply sufficient words to fill an octavo page ~ the English, or in any of the European languages.
The Hebrew, as it stands in the Bible, is the
language of nature in all her variety of ideal
conception, which is capable of such an infinitude. of
expression, as to supply words that would stock a
moderate library in any of' th~ modem languages.
This is sufficiently known to the learned Hebraist;
abundance of examples might be given, but this is
enough for tHe present.

By applying to the Arabic for an illustration of the


Hebrew language, this writer supposes that either the
Arabic was the original language, or that the Hebrew
is de~tive. This error of supposing the Arabic to
have been, more ancient than the Hebrew, is not
. new; others have entertained a similar opinion, as he
informs us; but then the cause has originated in
not having a sufficie~t knowledge ,of the Hebrew,
which has been so ,neglected among the learned, that
it has not been made Q. necessary part of collegiate.
education. It is a ~ere delusion to attempt, through
the cog,nate ianguages, or dialects, to elucidate the
. IIebrew, from whence these languages had their
origin; as well may we attempt to elucidate pure
English by a quotation from the Lancashire or YorkI

..:>

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4!
shire, dialects. . The learned Pococ,ke, who waS
allowed to be the best Arabie scholar that ever
Europe produced, and who, on account of his know.
ledge of that language, was admitted to read the
ehoice 'manuscripts in the Emperor's' library at
Constantinople, candidly says," that he never could
get any information from the Arabic, which would
enable him to elucidate any part of the sacred scriptures.
I

We may \perhaps be told that Moses Was the,


writer, that the Arabic language was known to him~
and therefore he might mean that rDI;~ N ackask, and
~, akkanas, i. e. the monkey, were the same, and
that the former might be derived from the latter; .but
this C3nnot be admitted. It would be more plausibla
to attempt to prove that:l~ .Ab, fatker, was derived
from the Arabic ,,:,' A,.b,/ather-:l, Raah, God, from
yt, RaaIJ, God--r::Jr'J H fl'IIIr, kot, from r:' Ham, hot
- " Rad,great, to subdue, from JJ,J Bad, great-or
M.;)? Kara, to call, from!1i Kara, " to call, or collect
together;" which, with grea't numbers of words in the'
Arabic, are only Hebrew words in Arabic letters j'
than to assert that fLItY~ N ackask is derived tom, has
the same me~ing, or ~'is similar" to U""l,b klumas,
becaus~ this word in Arahic means the Devil. This'
method of proving the relation .af one word to another" is what we may caU, in a familiar phrase, ftJr.:
fetched.
.
.

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43
. It would be altogether unnecessary, and perhaps
impossible, to show, a~ what period of the world the
Arabic language took its rise. The only <Jata. ~g
have to guide us through the mazes of antiquity, is,
when what is called the confusion oftongues took
place; but it is absolutely ne<.'essary for us to know,
that prior to this epoch there was but one language,
and that this was the Hebrew.
The wFiter of this cotnment does 110t seem to have
attended sufficiently to this part of the history, for it
is expressly said in the lOth chapter, and 11 th verSe
of Genesis, two thousand years after the fall, and
beginning 'If
kingdom waS Babel; this was at
the commencement of the Babylonish
ChaJdean
empire, and the first verse of the next chapter says,
and the. 'W/J,ole earth was Q{ One language and Q/' one
lfjJeech. This. tme language and one speech, was the
ancient ChoJdean Hebrew, so named from Eber, the
great grandson of Shem, in whose days the earth was
divided. That is; the 'Whole' EARTH which fDll8 qfone
language, and Q{ one speech, was divided, or sepa;'
rated into distinct patriarchal governments; for so
the word n~?rt~ Niphilegailk, signifies. Eber being
the supreme patriarchal head at the time, when these
divisions'of the land among the numerous descendants
of N oab took place; the language w~ stiled after
.him, Heb~w; which descended in a direct line to.

',is

or

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Abraham, 81ld from him to Moses. When Abraham


left U r, of the Chaldees, he spoke the ChaJdean
language, and was understood by ~he people, f!
Canaan and Egypt; consequently, the ChaJdee
~ust have been the. language' of Canaan and
. Egypt, at the titBe .of Abraham. Notwithstan~
ing, it is said in the translation, that Joseph spake to
them by an interpr~ter, the word Y'~f? _Meelits, does
not mean an interpreter,
will be shown in the
CLASSICAL JOUllNAL, to which I refer the reader.
Now, . unless this commentator can prove, that
this' one language and one speech,' was the Arabic,
lellas not any authority whatever for supposing that~~ N achas', is derived from the Arabic; which he
must suppose,' if there were ,: a root 'in that language
very ~early sinlilar to that in the text, which casts
light on the. subject;" nor that any word in that
langnage Casts light .on the subject. But we' fiud
that this one knguage and one speec1t, which was at
the .' time of the building of Babel, the universal,
. the only ,language; Was the Bab!Jloniskw
CAa1defJ'!l Hebrew, which as abme J took its uame
from Eber; and descended pure from the begin~
ning of the kingdom of Babel,. at the time of Cush,
U1e grandson of N ORb; and continued to the
t}Ild of that monarchy. Fr&n which it 'is . undeniably evident, that the Hebrew was the langtlage
spoken by. Noih, ~nd the Aptediluvian patriarch$;

as

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eonsequently that, in which God spake to Adam,


befQrethe Arabic, or any other language was in
existence.
This writer says, .that " a root in the Arabic
language, very nearly similar to that in the text,
seems to cast considerable light on the subject.'" -1
hope we shall find in the course of this inquiry, that
we want no light from the sitnil81ity of roots in any
language, to cast light on this, or any other passage
of the sacred writ. Were this the case, it certainly
could not he applied here, f~r this writer cannot
mean that ~ Cka1llU, is similar to wr;r~ N achash;
to the literal fonn of the word, there'is oot the least
similarity between them: And on the other hand, if be
supposes that QC:lcause '-""'~ kkaniJ.s, from ~ ClUma.f,
'vhich signifies a species of the ap~ genus, is a.pplie?
by the Arabians to ~an the Devil, that there 'is a'
similarity between this root and ~~ N ackas//., because
. of'~ ophis, from fDtT~ N ac/lash, is used to mean figura- tively 0 o<p,~ 0 a.px.a.~OG, 0 xa."1I.oUP.!IIOS .,d,a.{30"1l.oG. that old
le'l'fJenI eke Dl!vu. it adds no force to pis reasoning;
it is only calling the Devil by the name of an ape,
and does Dot prove that a monkey tempted Eve. The
Devii is called in the Rabbinnical writings ~
m7!n MALECH HAM~IOUTH, the angel Q/' death,
y", -'1' J EZE.R HA RANG, the corrupt nature. RAAeu'
HATTHUKA, the U'IlClean spir#-HESHER, the O~
HAItItELEF, the Dog-, CHAMOR, an ASI-SEfR

as

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46
Iss III, a Goat.

tke fiery .flying :


serpent. But I no where find in the writings of the
Rabbies, either ancient or modern, that he is called.
by the name of a IIONKEY. 'Now,- if the name of
the Devil in Arabic, were derived from that of' a
monkey, it certainly does not pr6ve that a mtmkeg ,
was the agent that brQught about the fall of man, allY
more than being called by the name of an Oz, a
Dog, a Goat, or an Ass, in Hebrew, proves that any
one of these animals was employed to bring about
this woeful b~siness. '
SAREF, MEAsEr,

Had this novel writer made choice of any of the


above animals to have tempted Eve, as an Ox, a
Dog, a Goat: or an Ass; he would at any rate have
had the authority of these ancient Rabbies, to have
supported him in asserting, that the Devil was called
by such a name, which is not the' case in any of these
writings. (He might, certainly, with far greater
propriety, conclude that ocp,s, a serpent. or ~pa.xw~, a
dragun., which a~e used by the Septuagint, and the
New Testament writers, to mean that old serpenitlu:
Devil. we~' the animals that brought about the fall of
roan, from what we learn concerning the subtiltyof
those creatures. In the sense he has given, every
language oil earth, in which is a' word tha~ 'means, the,
lJe'Oil, is similar to tUIJ~ N ackask; in the text; but,
neverth.eless, like the Arabic word ~ Ckanas, no.
light is cast on the subject" on this account. .I believe, '.

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47
-

. .

if D~. Clarke recollects himself, he will find that ;ti


/caaz, is the Arabic name (or the Devil.
: But if this root in Arabic, which this writer. wishes
to exchange for fLiC'~ N acfzash, were "very nearly
similar to that in the" text," then there would be no
necessity for going to the Arauic, in ()rder to illustrate
it. I ~ould ask, if he can point out any difference
between TLt'~ .Nachash, and ~'Clu1:nas1 jf ~
" c~, ~eans, to seduce, to lie hid;
Qackaih,
means to deeeive, enchant, or fascinate; and so ii
applied to the serpent, because of this peculiar
property wh~ch it possesses. S,,:btile observation from
selfish motives. See, 1 Kings, 20.. 3:3. ~td!J~~ Yenachashou, now tke men did diligently obserbe, i. e. to
seduce, or flatter Ahab, for when they saw. that Aha.b
spoke favorably of Ben-hada~, though he was the
great enemy of the king of Israel, they said, thy
brother Ben-hfldad. The same occurs, Gen. so. 27.
'~~~ Nickashthi, I ko:oe learned b!J e.rperience, which
. should be rendered, I kavejlattered, or deceived, but
the Lord hath blessed mefdr thy sake. That this wasJacob's true meaning, is obvious: after the very next
tlial, Laban deceives him again; for J acob ~ys, yOW' "
father hath deceived me, and changed my 'Wages these,
ten times. To enchant, 2 Kings. 21. 6., Tlirm Yenicheesh, and enchantmelltl, 2" Chron. as. 6. -TlitT~l
I

woa

Yenicheesh,

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48
To divine,Gen. 44. s. Tdm Nacheek, kedivinelA. Another form of ~e word Tdr;T~ N achask, signifies brass, the
-metal in an unmanufactured -state-.n~~~
cllCshet, 'in Brass, 1 Kings, 7. 14.-2 Chron. 2.- 14.Exod. 31.4.-Joshua, 22.- 8.-1 Chron. 22. 14:when it signifies brass in a manufactured state, ~t
is thus written '~~~ Nechusktlii, Lam. 3. 7. my
ckain-. ~~~ N echusktham, tke brass Q/' them,
2 Kings, 25. 13.-Jer. 52. J7.-te''P\'~ Neclausktlum,
i. e. a piece l!f brass-J udges, 16. 21.

Banne-.

- But when a living serpent is si!:.tt1ified, th~ word-is


thus written TdrJ~ Nacluzsk, Gen. 3. 1.-49. 17.Job, 26. 13. .....;Psalm, ,;8-. 4.-Numb. 21. '9. rdnl
N ackash, a serpent had- bitten.
.

...

TT

Thus do these branches of the root rhJ~ Nackask,


~ accordingly as they are applicable to things signi.
'Ded. and are always written in conformity to ,~he idea
intended to be given, as to deceive, seduce, observe
di'UgentI,J, enciumt, di'Vine: brass unmanrifactrired, and
brass in a ~!ffactured -state; which words, are
~l as distinctly different frQm each other, as the
tl)ings they represent. But unless they, \Vh~ attel.!tpt
to interpret' th~ Heprew scriptures, attend to theorthography of the language, written with the true
oriental vowels, which some, for want Of knowing'
better, caU points, they will find it altogether impol.ibl~ to determine the "true sense of scripture.
'

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49. .
. Dr. Clarke bas given us a proof of the truth dfthia
ti'bservatioii; he says; "We have already seen, that
the New Testament writers have borrowed the won\
from the 8ep~oini, arid that the SeptUagint them~lves rise it in a vast valiety and latitude of meaning;
ibld surely the dtb:tzn..dUiang 'intmkey is as likely to be
. the animal in question, as ttft'~. Naeluu". and of"
are likely to mean at once a snake, . a crocodile, a "ypopoltimuS, jiJrnicatlon, a chain, a # Q/
fttter.; a piece td' brus, a pide fd'steel, 8' cmguror,
for we Lave seen above, that ,n these are acceptations
of the original word." By the words, "we have seen
that the New Testament writers have borrowed the
word from the Sepb,lagint," we' mbst Conclude it to
be the opinion of this writer, that (on account of this
~certain mode of borrnwing words at random, with
which he Charges the New Testament. writers) the
New Testament is the work of man, and not inspire4
by the spirit of God. Here is a proof also, that he ,
has not attended to the orthography of the language.
whicb alone, as in all other langulloaes, determines the
true meaning and application of words. For as the
most learned Septuagint have used this word, "in a
vast variety and latitude of meaning," it is a proof
that they were perfect masters of the Greek language,
when they gave the translation of the Hebrewm that
toogye~ For the reason why tbey used "of.s ~ .
in.a vast variety and latitude of meaning," was u,. ,
a)oformity I:D. the .ortbograpbjca1 ....~9IJ. oi _
~

bJikis.

,.
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50
Hebrew, as above, but which appears to have heed
neglected by. this writer, and which accounts for this,.
and other serious mistakes in his voluminous
comments.
,

. Ftom which it is plain, that the New Testament


writers were right, had they borrowed ~e word frout
the Septuagint: and as Dr. Clarke must allow that
the New Testament writers were inspired: he must
also ackno~ledge, that this borrf1Wed'tlX1ra oql.s DjJlzis,
a serpent, is the true mea~ng of tm:'~ N hash, because"
it is cOllfirmed by Christ aI1d the A postJes" Such a creature," continues Dt. Clarke, "answers
description in the text." But I
think, from these, and the following observations, it
will be acknowledged,. that the ouro,n.qutang rnonke!h
does not answer to any part of the description in the
text whatever.' The text says, tlum art cursed aIxJoc
all cattle, . and abmJe every beast f!f Ikefield, upon lIzy
hell!! shalt tkou go, and dust shalt tIwu cat till the day,

to every part of the

..

f!f tk!ll:ife. .And I 'Will put enmity between tkce and


the 'WWItln, and betu'een th leed and her seed.. But
the monkey is not cursed above aU cattle, and above
every beast of the field. A moment~ reflection will
'Convince "any wtiter, that this cannot in any sh&pe'
be applied t'o the. monkey j so far is. the monlte!J
from, being cursed above allca!tle,.4U ~
~1'!1 beast tf' the :fold, . that .. we find this. animal is

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~1

blessed above m~st of the beasts of the field, in many


things, and in others, he is not inferior ~o any.
Followin~ the Doctor on the ground of the letter,

as applied to the munkey, we find that this animal


accomplished the bu::!iness of the fall of man; and,
~erefore, o~ that account, is c~rsed above every
~east of the field. But we are not to affirm without
scriptu~e authority, that the serpent walked erect, or
because it is ab!!urd, to suppose this, that we are to
change the !!erpent for a munkey. Neither are we
authorized to say, that because the munkey had done
this, all the rest were to be cursed, being innocent.
But to be serious, this writer must necessarily prove,
that the munkey is. cursed above all the beasts W the
field, which is altogether impossible for him to do,
'before he can lay. any claim to it, as ~eing the agent
in the fall of man.
Th~ second

judgment on the animal is, on thy belly


thou shalt go. This writer supp.oses, from the expression, ON 'l'HY B~LLY TH0U SHALT .GO, whatever it
was that tempted. Eve, it must necessarily have walked
erect. He is not singular as to this opinion, and
being sensible that the serpent could not walk on its
tail, he has endeavoureclto get rid of this objection, by
introducing a monkey. But by getting rid of' one .
difficulty, he gets into a worse, for, as is proveft .
.above, if the munlcey were to walk constantly on ., all
/

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fours," It could not with any degree ot truth, be said


that it goes on its belly, any more than the whole
race of quadrupeds, which go on " all fours." And
. he is under the necessity of pro~ng also, that the
monkey eats dust as food all 1M days f!f Ida life i and
that it accomplished the business of the fall of man
without the interference of Satan, for it is not said,
and tIt.e Lord God laid
Satan, but, expressly,

unto

unto

tmd t1IeLord God said


tke SERPENT, because
1'HOU luut done tIzis j all which is impossible for him
to do. Therefore so far the monkey does not answer
to this part of the description in the text, as he does
110t go on his belly, or with his belly touching the
ground, but walks upright, and sometimes to suit
his own convenience, on " all fours," like other
quadrupeds.
There is. a word in the original of this passage, the
true meaming of which has escaped the notice of this
writer, and which has not, when truly rendered, the
exact meaning it has in the translation, this is the
, "'ord 'flh~ r;eclwnke, rendered bell!J. For the satis-.
faction of the' reader, 1 believe, I have examined aU
the passages in which .the words occur, that mean
the belly. Numb. ch. 5. !i. ~~h. 25. 8. Deut.
. is. 11. 53. i=f.o~i?:-Judges, S. 21. ~~~r. 2i
. .,.,.. S. 12.-1 Kings, 7. iO~udges, IS. 2. S5. 19.,
17.-eh. iO. IS. 20. iB.~h. 32. 18, 19.-ch. 40.
l6. Psalm, 17. 14.-2i.IO.-31.9.-5S. S.;....13!.

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U. Provo 13.

25.-ch.)8~

8. 20.-ch. iO.,i7. 30.


~i. I8.~. ~6. ~~. Cantic. 5. 14. l'W-Jollah, 1
17.-eh. 2. 1. Dan. 2. S2.Cantic. 7. 2. '!J~~
Isaiah, .6. S. Jer. 1. 5. Ezek. S. 's" Jonah, 2.2.
Mic. 6. 7. Hab. 3. 16. Jer. 51. 34. 'iv,?-In all
these passages, which are used to signify the belljJ, we
never meet with the word '!T.l"~ Gechonke. I believe,
it is only to be found in one place in, the Bible,
besid~s the above in Genesis, viz. Lev. 11. 42. what3oet'e1' goetk upon ti,e bellg, which though it is not
~ltogether contrary to the sense of the passage, yet
this branch of the root calls for a different mode of
expression. I shall, therefore, say a few words oil
this verse, wbich will lead us to the true underst&.Iid~
ing and application of the above word in Genesis.
1h~ Gechon, is a very ancient word, used among the
Chaldeans before the language obtained the title 01
Hebrew; it was in use from the beginning to the going
forth of the 'children of Israel, but when they were
established in the land of C~aan, it was, discon-:'
tinued by the sacred writers, having become too fami.
liar in their verbal communications, by being quoted
and applied in a way of sensual levity; a(Jd the noun
,;n~i?lZ: AkalltuLtkoun, was adopted, which means
perverse, 'UJrong, cro(Jked. Hab. 1. 4., ~ rvrtJJ,
the .Septuaginto"FP.P.&~q~" and the V ulg,ate
Ismah, 27. 1. 1V1~ tt.t'i crooked ~t, Job, 26. 1~.
the Septua.Wnt tTxo).GW, V ul~ate IDrtu.osutn. 1t ~means
to bow, bend, prostrate, ,incli'(le~ ~Iion, C1'fI(JketL

F~

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As a substantive, inc,inatlon, it is used in this sensa


by the Rabhies. and uy
Targumists, 'rI!~\
buw~d. I ~.:lt1~. th~ are bent. & ~~, Mor~{ cai did nol
illemselvesl 4
b07!J do~. s
It means one who is fond of ind~lgil1g the appetite of
kifl(t~ to e~cess,
the
appetite, one
who has a natural inclinati~n to indulge 11'1 sensuality~
tUust be ev'ident t~ every He~raist, tl;at the won) 1'!n~
Geclw,un, cannot be applied to mean'~ the belly j '1~~~
A llouplt', instrucrion, comes from I:)~~ A lleeph, tu teach,
dJ.-guide; so lin! Gechan, inclination, propensity, come~
Gachee~, to .
in~lin~, 'to
I~ust cxter~
nal inordinate concupisccncfs of the flesh_ The above
observatio~s
be
by
learned,
prove
that
the
word tln~
should
be .
rendered
.
.
.. Geclzon,
.,
.".
. . .. as it is
th~
Jewish wrilers~ w~o at that
must
have perfectly ,understood
t~ue meaning. thus, t~
bend, inclinc., des! 'e, which, as it has respe~t t'?
the indulgence of sensual pleasure, is properly
,
signify the disordcrlygratificati~n of tl:~at internal
desir~, by cOInpa~in& it
tha~ most sen~ual a~i~a~,
~he serpent:
,

"

>

now com~ to ap'ply this to the p~H;~age b,efore us.,


,?'lJ '.1h~ 1'! rendered, on belly thou shylt
''!J?'J] , Theeleek~ literal~y, ,thou 'U'ilt go or pursue, Gen.
, "'4.i..:,39. Psalm,
97.
"48.
the clause

.,
,

go..

Targuln,
1
18.
~ Jbid. Esth 3~ 2.
.' Ibid

Targ.

Psalm, ~O.

, Ibid. Psalm.

45. 6.

, will then truly read consistently 'with the understand


ing of the original writer, as confirmed in the \Vritin~ .
of the learned Doctors aIJlOng the', Jews, to the time
of their dispersion, qfIer t1z!J desire thou 'Wilt follow,
. or agreeahly to English syntax, thou 'Wiltfollow qfter ,
th!Jinolinaticm. Now, as it appears that ~~Nachash
was a serpent, and not a monkey, and that the serpent
goes as it 'did from the beginning, the words, 00 t/1!J
/Jelly 8halt thou. go, could not be intended as a curl:ie
on that animal; and as they could not be applied to
the monkey, because he does not go on his belly'any
more ~an the rest of the quadrupedlt, ,t,!ley must have
been, used by those p~imreval people ~o signify some.
Wng to which they could be applied.

,.
.,

The third sentence on this animal is, Diest shalt


thou eat all the days Qf thy life; but this assertion
concerning the 0UTtZ?1 outang mookey, does npt answer
-to this part of the description in the text, "tor he
41005 not eat dust," or live upon dust; it is universally
known that he-lives upQn vegetables and truits~ .t\nd
it is also worthy of remark, that this creature is rather
ill the choice of his food, for he picks out \What isgood, an~ throws the bad away. It m'QSt be allowe4
that there, is not any thing nutritive in dust, ~t were
aD animal tp ~t the dust as food, it, wou'ItJ, instead
of supporting life, lie as an inel't m,$S$ ill the stolllaeb~
and soon produce death. It is a1sQ cQnfifl;n~ by
n"tQralis~ that he will DOt eat the dust a~ all an, l)1O(e

mee

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than other creatures, therefore this cannot ~ Fondt .


dered as a curse -..boye any o~her lJcast or fepP.Ie J
~ it might, wiJh m~~ propriety, he ~pplierl tq
JDOle~, wonps, f!,ud Inany otber crea~qres th~t bu~
in the ear~, so !Qat the mqpke!! aQsw~rs tp n() ~ne of
these essen~i~s. N either doe~ ~e wonkey gathe,
the fruit from the groupd, , H which " the f~on,"
says this writer, .~ that ~hey lH'e ~j~f~ly qbliged tq
eat dust," for they ~p'uJlt ~e tr-ees, ~d ~ere ~
anc! ~~ ~e fruit. .a4 Jhi~ lJeeo $q~ c~~, fha~ t~
\Vere literally oblig~d to ea~ fhe rll,1st, be~a118e it ~igh~
adhere ~o d,le fruit, WpCIl i~ f~1J qpon the 8rQPpd, all .
pther creatures that gather ~he fruit fooJP the groun4 ~
Plight also ~ s~4 W etl~ ~~e qus~ ~ welJ ~ ~~
PloJlkey,
But th.a au~oJT says, H h~ (Ule Il1Pnlsey) was
endued lV'~ ~l~ ~fl; of speech, for 11 conve..satipn ie
,here ~l~ be~ween him and ~~ wowan," alld hence
he infer" tpat the rnonke,y was q. QlO~ J~ely ~re...~
.~ Sp~8~ ~hll ~he ~erpent. It dpes pot folloW, ~at
because " ~ conversatiop is ~l~~ between t~
~, and $e ",~map," ~at elther the ~, or the
fM1'~ c,quld Ip~~. In ~r~ef ~o refute i~i8 ~$er"
tion,we 1D1lS~ sp'ifer ~e scrip~ure t9 pr9du~ tll~
like exaqtples, and :yet if must be allO\~ed ~at $.ucl\
~reature~ 4id p~ por were ever supposed tp haye
~ad ~he gif~ ~f ~peec~. He forgebJ ~a~ ~ $acreq
"'liters colDmunica,t~ informBqon weet!-bly to. ~~

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$1
~stoo,l 'Qf the East, by giving language toanimaIs, Q
well 113 language aha action to inanimate nature.
.Jub, 12. 7. But ask MTlJ the be,:"", and they skall
1ek t1l,6; and.the futJ)/s qf the air, and tkey sluzlll811
.thee~Or
to the earth, and it shall teack tna,
pnd ~ ~$ qfthe lea shaP declare Uf!JO thee. Here
:we are told. that the beas~, the fowls, and the fishes, ,

.,ak

were a1pabl~ ~f spe~ng,of giving answers, ~d were


.~so ,aid to be~able of~a~hing man: nay, the earth
itself ~ sai4 ~ ha.,ve the power of teachiQg when
asked so. to dQ. But no II1BD on reflectioQ. will say
Jhat t4;s is" a relation Qf a fact capl;l.hle of a satis..
factory expl~tion," , I;I.ccording to the letter.
It is general1y allow~d by those best capable ~
Judging, yiz. those who haft' attended to the anatomy
,~f thjs ~ture, ~at according to the constructi~n of
his qrgalJS, t~e is farther removed frolll the power c6
speech t4ao any other quadruped. .On being .
jnformed ~at an ingenious and learned gentleman,
Mr. M,aSol) Good, in some lectures he had deliyered
"t the Surry Il1~titution, had introdu~d ~is. 8ubj~
~d ~ad giveq It variety of satjsfllctory proof, that
~. creature pever waS intended by the 'Creator to
~ulate; I applied to him, ~nd he kindly afforded
~ ~ foll~wing ~fQrm,a~on;
f' rl~fJ.t t~e natural I!mgnage of the ~,

.~djng t4~ gelle~ ~blance of

Dot:with-

his organs to

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58
those of man, appears to ~e more confined than that"
of other quadrupeds. Buifon, Danbentez, and other
naturalists, and o\{ery comp~~tive anatomist who has
accurately examined his vocal organs, has declared
him to be physically incapable of artioulatiop, from
the peculiarity of a bag, in some species of tho
animal single, in othera double, immediately connected with the upp~r part of the lar-ynx, and into
which the air is driven as it asce~s from the lungs
through the trachea, instead of being driven into the
glottis, where alone it will acquire an articulate
power. From this bag it afterwlU"dai passes inta the
mouth by a variety of small apeltul'e$, or ~SiUrea. by
which the whole of its force, 8qd consequelltly of ~1:$
oral effect, is lost.."
"
'
,,'
.
\

. This peculiarity of formation appears first to have


been noticed by Galen, but for the most correct
account of it; we are indebted "to Camper, who in a
paper published in the Philosophical Transactions fOf
] 179, minutely desctibes it as it exists in the ouratJ
tlUiImg "fIIIlmkey.
HenCe" the (JI,W4n outaflg monkt?J, though more
eapable than any other animal of im~tating the actions
of men, is far less capable of imitating his voice, thaD
the parrot, or the jack-daw. While he approachts
"Dearer to his 'fonn;' he is further removed from ~
speech than any other quadruped.

.
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This cQmmentator is hard put to it ind(.ed, to


make the mtmkey hnswer to the" description given
in the tex't,'~ and after all his 'labor, he cannot make it
gu "ON .ALL FOURS," He seems to have no con~eption of the sanctity of scripture! or why the
scriptures are called sacred I he reads them 8S an
," historical relation of facts, capable of a satisfactory
explanation," on which account he is under the
~ecessity of leaving a great par~ involved in obscurity,
Qr tc! use his own words, to " leave ' the. passage
~mong those which are inscrutibJe;" and he tells us,
" if it be an allegory, no attempt should be made to
~xplain it."
The scriptures contain not only an
account of literal things as historically related, but by
~his historical relation the sacred writers conveyed
things of a spiritHal nature, ~s is confirmed by the
frophets, by Christ, and by the Apostles, This
sense, by a relative connection of things chosen from
animate and inanimate nature, and applied to the
mind of man, ,at the same time that it gave them a
most comprehensive view of the knowl~dge of all
natural things, it ~nculcated the principles of true religion, and constituted the sanctity of scripture, On
this ground only the scriptures call be called sacred;
~then\ i,se they would be no more sacred than natural
history, or than the hjstory of any country.
~,

The fourth. deClaration is, and I '(till put enmity


/Jettreen Ike and Ike 'W011fan. Here, without contio,

'

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.
'

",ray, we are at issue; there is oat aoy enmity put in ~ pgaj~t the rnonke]J, any PlOre than there is
~st any other hBrolles~ beast; theyare even kept
for ~musemeDt by many people. The monkey
.xci~s ple~antry, but never indpire. PI with {ear,
wherell$ the very figure of a ~erpen' fills us with
horro,. 1 appeal to this writer, alld to all ~e world,
whether there is not-a deadly enmity planted iQ man
against the serpent above every other QllimaJ. How
-then can he say, that the monkey" fUlsWers to every
part Qf the d~s(:ription in the te~t?"
I am really ashamed to intrude so much on ~
time of the reader, by at~ending to 'the views of this
writer, <,>n a subject too absurd for criticism i but
I have, as I promised, fQllowed him on his OWIl
ground, viz. that of the letter. And from what
has bee~ said, it must, if conviction be not stifled"
_have i~s due weight iQ convincing him, that' the
lerpent is far superior to the monk(JJJ, or any other
creature in subtilty, agreeably tp the scripture; and
therefore a more proper subject tQ be used by the
sacred writers for cOlweying their views, and fol'
.impressing the mind with the nature of that prcdomi..
~an.t sensual principle ill rpen, of which it W~$ the
~ost proper representative in ou~ward nature. 1
bave also shown, that the monktl!J does not " answer
.to any part of the description.m the text. " Yet if we
were to.go no farther than ,this ~utWaN -~gure .of U-

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61
Itrpent,' m~y might still

remain in 11 state Ofuiieet4


tainty respecting this transaction. If nothing mote
had been iutended, than a " simple refation 'of histonea) facts, capable of a satisfactory explanation," the
whole sanctity of scripture would be gone :at once,
It would be of little consequence whether it were a
.erpt:!li or a mt1II/eey. by which our' first parents fell
in such case, only the latter is better mlculated to
sharpen the wit of Deists, who are generally disposed
to ridicule the scriptures. From wh~ consideration
it appears, that it is only contending to change one
animal fOr another, and were we to stop among these
belkaarly representative figures, we should imitate the,
old Egyptians, who quarrelled with each other because
they did not worship the same serpent.

Bryant, the learned inquirer into the Mythology of


the Heathens, does not appear satisfied With the
-definition, which has been given for so manyap
concerning this transaction. He thinks there is
something still to be attained with regard to the origin
of this ancient veneration for the ~erpent; otherwise
he would not have said, "It would be anoble tHlder~
taking, and very edifying in its. consequences, if some
perSOll would go through with the history of the
serpent." I am of this learned author's opinion;
but if we " go through with the history of the serpent,"
1

Bryant, vol. ii. p. 219.

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as

o far
i$ neCessary for otir preseilt design, or the
, true theOlogical meaning and application, as under..
stood by the primreval people, which is the meaniug
of this leamed writeI': it must be done by attending
to the scriptures. Neither words, nor roots, preserved either in Arabic, or in any other language,
can be 'of use bere, no information from' ancient
writers can be allowed ~ sufficient authority to ascertain the true meaning;. Profane customs can only be
introduced as a guide to direct us to a rational
understanrling of these things, when they agree with
the manners of the people in those remote .ages, as
re~orded in the Bible. The proof already given of
the high veneration which the ancient pagan nations.
, had for the worship of the lertpent, carries that connction with it which must prevail on every thinking
man'to conclude, that something of a recondite nature
Was ,understood by' the original writer in these
passages. I shall therefore endeavour to give, in the
language and obvious nJeaning of the Bible, ')\'hat
appears beyond the possibility of contradiction, to
'-have been the original meaning as ~nderstood by the
first race of men. We shall, I trust, have sufficient
reason. to conclude that they were not so ignorant as
Iaas been supposed by Deists, and those who go no
farther than the shell of scripture ~ but that they had.
far higher views of this' transaction, and yet consjstently with what is said concerning this animal, intr~
duced by the sacred writers in the tall of man.

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DfI. Clarke says. "The whole a~count is either a


simple narrative of facts, or it is an allegory." If it be
an historical relation, its literal meaning should be
"Sought out:. if it be an allegory, no attempt should
be made to explain it, as it would require a direct
revelation to ascertain the sense in which it should
be understood." What! if it be an allegory, is no
attempt to be made to explain it? Have we thenarrived at a period when it is asserted that we are
not to attempt to explain, or understand the allegorieal meaning of the scriptures, and that it is impossible to do it without" a direct revelation ?"
,

Are all those humerous allegories, figures, emblems,


symbols, or representations, we meet with,which are
given for our instruction and edification, involved in
such clouds of darkness, that they are not to be
understood ?-What should ,ve say of the divine
revelator, if he had given his word to man in such an
enigmatical way, so obscure and ambiguous, "that
no attempt should be made to explain it." Are we
. to reject anY,part of the scripture, under the delusive
notion that there is not any explanation to be given
concerlring tho~ passages which are allegorical? It
is expressly said, that Agar was mount Sinai in
Arabic. The apostle says; that the things under the
law were to be understood allegorically, Gal. 4. i 1.
24. Tell me, !Ie thattksire to be under tlu: 'la'II1; do!le

nol hear 1M law! for it is written, thai ,A.llra1uJm

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fU
ImJ /taJO soni, 'W1lick thing. tri trn ailcgor!J,.for tizeie
Ike tWo Cl1Oe1UJnts, Ike une.frqm, Ike Mount Sinaii.
skick gendereth lKmdage 'Whick is Agar. For tkiI
.Agar is Mount Sinai in-Arabic.
Gre

Weare encouraged in scripture to search; sed


lite scriptures, to learn to Underliand the dark 8fI:Jfow,

vi. 'Wile, to

"

receive ike instruc:tion lQ'Wisdom. By

dark sayings and parables, Solomon evidently refers


to the first ages. David does the same., but he
informs us, that he had gained a knowledge of the
meaning of those dark sayings of old. Psalm 78.2.
I 'Will open my mouth in a parahle. I 'lDIil utter dark
8Il!fings/lf old. 49. 9. I";ll open my mouth in dark
Mllin,rs upon Ike 1larp. Surely the Psalmist did not
mean that he would utter dark sayings of old, which
he did not understand, fOl' he addre8ses low and
higb, rich and poor, saying, mg,11WUlk skall8plf4k q/
tDisdom. It is written, 'lI1itlwut a parable (allegory,
or similitude) spalce he ~t unto tIzem. Now if we
IeIl'ch the scriptures for an elucidati~n of these para..
bles, allegories, or similitudes, as we are directed to
do, we undoubtedly shall be able to gain a. knowledge. of their mean,ing. The scriptures alone, without . "a direct revelation to ascertain the sense in
which they are to be understood," will explain

Jhem

..u~ the .creatures welle to be c~rs.ed em ;accoUnt of

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the tranagression of man, either through the serpent


or the mtmkey, how on this ground are we to believe
that the divine being is a God' of impartial justice,
to cur~e the innocent for the. crime of the guilty?
Again, were it the Devil that inspired either ilie
serpent or the monkey,' where
the necessity for
this observation, now the serpent 'Was more subtle than
any beast Q/' the field j as in such case' it must have
been Satan and not" the serpent that transgressed the
divine command. But this is plainly denied in the
address to the serpent, viz. dust slzalt tlzou eat all tlu:
days Q/' thy life, which certainly could not be applied
to Satan, because he is an immortal spirit. This is
not a ." simple relation of a literal fact capable of a
satisfactory explanation." The curse on the ground
of reason, and the justice and wisdom of God, could
not be applied to a literal serpent, or a monkey,
because, had this been the ease, the creature must
have been under the necessity of committing' this
crime through the mighty influence of a superior '
po,!er, "'hich could not be resisted. We may be
told, that these are some of the dark things of God,
. and that we are not to inquire into what we'cannot
comprehend. Thus ignorance is. subsii~ted for
piety. To such I answer, these things' are revealed
f01" our information, and there certainly .can be
nothing dark or, hidden in what"i&- re~ealed, otherwise
it ceases to be a revelation. ' .

was

. ; .,.1

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Luther complains, that none of the ancient fathers


or bishops-, who were men eminent for knowledge
and piety, had explained this pusage as it deserved.
He says; that the principal articles of the doctrine
of the gospel are cootained in the history of the fall
ef man. But the ancient fathers and bishops
explain.e<l the words, lie IIutllllf'uile thy leead, to refer
to Christ. Therefore Luther saw that there was
still something, whi~ was not explained concerning
the serpent. Sometlung more is to be understood
here, says Witsius, than metely restricting this address
of the Deity to a beast incapable of reason) and intel"
ligent only in its order above other beasts.

The ancient Hebrews, according to the custom of


the east, spake and wrote hyperbolically when they
.aid; the titiu rvere fortified unto ke~ by which
. nothing more WRS intended than that the walls were
so high, that it was impossible to scale them. So
that in this sense they were the same in e1fect, as if
they bad been built unto heavel;l, had such a thing
been po!lsible. This method of' speaking and writing
allegorically was so customary in those ancient times
among all .the eastem nations, and it was so well
understood by habitual (:'Ommunication, - that the
sacred writings abound with allegory and metaphor.
In Judges, ch. ix. when the people of Shechem had
made Abime1ech king; Jotham spake to them meta..
phorically, in order to convince them of their follJ

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and injustice; and informed thtm tbat the trees went


forth to choose a king, when a personification is
introduced, and the trees converse with eac;h other.
Bui this is 'not" a relation of a fact capable of a,
, satisfactory explanation, ", agreeably to the Hteral
acceptation of thin~, or ~eeabll' to the letter; for.
it must be a,dmitted that the ~s could not speak, it
is contrary to that 'order which God has established
in nature. Sampson spake to the enemies of brael
in this allegorical way. Nathan came' to David
with an allegory; and J 0Iili, king of Israel, sent a
figurative Dlessage to Ahaziah, king of J lJdah. The
prophet.Isaiah spake to the people in allegory wheu
be said, "'the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the
leopard shall lie down with the kid, the young lion
and the fatllng together, and a little child shall lead
them; the cow and the bear shall feed, the sucking
child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the
weaned child shall put his hand to the den of' the
cockatrice." Ezekiel spake to ~e ~plein {lllegory,
when he informed them that he was shown the
unclean beasts pourtrayed upon the wall in the
chamber of imagery; which was an allegorical reprQ~ntation of the abominations of the house of Israel.

This was again confirmed hy divine authority when


God condescended to show the apostle all 1IUlIlDel'. of

..aea

crlllhlre. which descended from heaVeD,


,nat they signified, not ooly ~ the genp}e nati9~
.
-

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68
but, agreeably to the declaration of the apOstle when
he was instructed to know the meaning, he saw that
the unclean creatures signified the unclean qffections
of ma~, which were to be putified by fearing God
and 'Wllrking 'righteousness, For it is evident, that
by the clean beasts, neither the nation of the Jews,
nor the gentile nations were signified, but such :
among- the~ as lived in uncleanness, or in unclean
affections, and who were to be cleansed from their
Blthiness, by redemption and newness of life, or in
the apostle's words, 1 perceive that God is no respecter

qf persons, but in every nation, be that ftareth God


Il1IIl 'WOrketh righteousness, is accepted Q/' kim. 'Ve.are also told by Rabbinical writers, that the Messiah
should speak in metaphors, .which was t1'ue, for when
he came, it is said, without a parable spake he not
unto them.

The learned Maimonides says, in the preface to his


More Novechim, that. " this was the method by
which, in ancient times, they instructed the people,
, 'aud .which at that period was well understood by
them." N ow if the ancient wise men and poets communicated knowled~e by figure and metaphor, as'
appears, above, and as is also known to us from the
_ writings of that master of figure lEsop; is it not as
reasonable to suppOse, that by the serpent's convers-. ing with Eve, some~ng more is inteDded. to be conveyed to posterity, .than that ,which ~ppea~ on the

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69
face of the. letter; as to conclude that trees .literally
held a conversation together 'which of them. should
govern the rest.
The literal lDterpretation of. the fi~st part. of
Genesis, hasbeen involved in doubts and difficulties
for ages: Celsus~ one of the .first opposers. of the
Gospel, trea~ with $8.tir.ical merrimenl the l~tory,Qf
Adam's formation, and of ~ve rn~e, from- his'rib, of
the commands that were given th~m, an~ of tht:;
serpent's cunning in being able "to evadethe,effect en
those commands. Origen, in ans,,'cr t9 him, ',says,
that he does not treat the subject with candor.. but
~ide.s :what he oug4t to .havell\ade kl)O:n, ~. that
all tJys was to be unperstood in a. figurative sense,
not ,,givIng the words, wi;lich would have,~onvinced
him that,tbey_ were spok;n: a'legorica~ j ,Origen also
repli~ to C:elsu:s, ..efeni~,him to :the~~,.own, writers,
theolpgjQ.ns. Q.Qd !p,.\lilo~H~ers, .~ho frequently; <;on1mu7
~i.cated tb,eir dQfJtrine~ .iff: tb.i&. represtmWiy~ style.:
'~SttallCe~ ,pc. which.':-\le.,giye~,fronl Hesiod anJi. P.la~J.
~h.ich, .were.: all interpre~d in a figurative seqse by
~eir, followers, and' concludes by o~s.erving, that;it is
WlrCllsonable to deny ~ ,Moses th~~sses~io,n Qf
truth",under the veil pf"allegory, whWll was, then ,th~
pmcti~ o~ all the east~m .natio~.1
.' ,

Cont.. Ct;k~ -iv. p.139.

~.

,....
".

l .

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,0
'EusebiUI!I' ihforms us, th,at there were two sorts ,of
Jews, the learned and the 'Unlearned: Theunlearned
were confined to the literal observance of, ihe"la'W's
but the learned were admitted to the contemplation
of a'mQre refined philosophy., That tlle interpreters
exPlained to thell,l the:; bgunni.ve,: sense;' which h~
eonnrms, not ~Jllly hy .the 'authority of :Arlatobulus
and ,Philo, but, by the constant' practice of that 'strict
'sect' of -the 'Je\vs, the Essenes,: who always"folk!ntEM
tbi~ allegorical'inanner'~ expOUnding, whieh"'tl"as'iii
the' d~ys er Aristob'ui~$, 500 'years before Christ,
called aneierit. .
';
,;'. :.";
"

' :; ;'.1

Jt

." Philo a. says, ':it isa maruteM! prOOf of ignotance 'ld

S'rIPpOse that God -really' was' employed six day!!i~ the


prddltCtioh loft things. '~'ji !And "Origen" .says;' ;"wliat '
ratiotialoo w11t, believe," ~hftt the 'ntst,::secdnd; atid
third' flays;' lahd'1he' :eveftmg~:a:nd ~rlgs; r>asi!ed
"ith~ut' toe l stiti;' moon~' arfd' ~tlits'; i !~tid 'the 6r~l ~venJ
iog witlibiitihe heavensP who, ~ SiUyas isJp~i
.diat GJd;. lik~ an hU5bandW~?planied a garden,
m' it' a' rear; ~tee -of life, ~o; 'be' tiisteH; by- cOrpOreal
teetll'?:nl'"thht'the' knbw\~dge;' af~good'l1nd ';eVir~v~!
to ~' obtait1ed: by -eatibg tlie!ft~ tit atiothertt;ee?
arid 'as 'to~ !voice of God~ :walldrlg 'in: the' garden,
and Adam hiding,himself'fr8m'ihiin among the trees;

to

ana

Euseb. Pnep. Evang. 1. 8.


S Vid. Sixt. Senens, Bib.lioth,
1. 5. p. 838.
I 0rig.:Pbilo~4. d.li; P:!2'..
I

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tb~ things . are

to; be

~dersf!Ood.PPrativeW, and not literally, to


~_ Qlysteries, or recondite s~es.

signify

no man can -doubt but that

St. AQ$tiD, in the preface to bis twelve books of


the li~raj interpretation. of the three first chapters of
Genesis, says: No CJJristian will say that they are not ,
to be understood figuratively, when.pe recollects that
the Apostle :declares, bow all these .things happened
to them in a figure.. Phi\o explained.~l the allego.ries of the Mosaic law, and in a treatise on the form
alion of the world, aCtoCding to )Joses' account of
if;, l~ says, CC. the.se .~ .I)ot t\lbulous tales, sucb as
'lk-e pot$ ,make ~ ()f;' bat ,~ey are figurat,ive descrip~QP,.II, leadipg. U8 to allegoriqal ,and ~oqdite s~S@,
,. ~hiqb,if any one ratio~ly at1;ends, Ijae,''f~ll s~,tJ;14~
the se~ 'i, ~~
for tbe eJDPleJn .of J~
.
. pIe.
-, .... \

-.. Xl.

: .. :r \'

l~ed ~, M~onides,'

;'"

sap, u., ~

~ h.:T~ ~ the m.ind ~f man,~d.tba$ ~


creation, ~e ap.ae.t
.prs~ ~om th~ ~ ,Qf M*.'s, held ~ these thinp
,w;tbe.6,rsJ; ~ters of Genesis Were,.Dot to be ~t.erall1
~ ,.'~s . .A~aQdrinus,who liv~ in.
.~,~ ~tury, WN ~ of.the.same.opiniop,.
~~'Mwunt t.bp.1; .~.~ven ,of the

....

.'

I ~

: ' .

0'::

.::'

.:;

In More No"~., jC~. ~ax. p. 26S, 27'.

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In the Rabbinical worK called

ZEROR' HAlfMOR,

is

it is said,- " the adversary, which the serpent, satan,


and corrupt natut't:,' who by his smooth ,~ords,
, smootb~r than oil, mislead our first parents, and
entices all' creatures to him, in the pursuit' of sensual
deligkt."Also in' NISHMATH CHASIM, I " For
Messias 1\-"ill purify the uncleimliness of the serpent,
by '\vhich'is signified; that Messias shall destroy the
serpent~'''' In:tbe Avodath Hakkodesh, it is written, '
., The serpenithat is' the Devil is the f!vil p"art."
': -'.
: In the work,' Skene "Luclrotk HflhberitA,' it is'said,
~, The'evil nature, or the c6N'1IIpt natu:t-e (as, in Zeror
Hammor) he is Satan; Meleeh' 'kamoth; the angel Of
death. And again, in,the Zcror' 'Hammor," because
Jacob tarried on his way, 'he' was bit; 'by :tlie: old
ser'pe~~: which' is l"'tn ,~, ,ike -Cf'1.upt nature.';
.

:"'1

We read in the R~velation, ch. xiii. 11. And 1


'beW~notker rbe~i~'up ~tQrtlee'eart;", 'and lie
'kail' 'tWd /tOms k'ke a tt:nnb, and 1te sPake as ilrfigon.
This is not '~, an h~storical fa~t c~pable of asalist8.ctory
explan~tiSn,'~ according to the literal'mettning o~ :th~
words:' ,,\ Smde i ;the 'commencement: -of
chrisiiata
'rera; ,"'e 'have never heard of' dragmts aftd '8erpm'fl
that' coUld speak. 'This eVidently anallegorYi btit
is' " no attempt to be made to explain it without a

,'.

."

the '

is

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every one,

~wrevelation?" It lnm:t'be oh\ious to


tha't this was applied' to' ,'the apostle, agreeably' to
anCient custom, to signify that principle of circumspection in man, which is capable of putting on a
,cloak of hypocrisy to deceive or ensnare th~se, who
are unsuspecting.

, The anci~nt' fathers knew, that the hisiory of this


transaction did' not contain " a simple relation of
facts capable of a satisfactory explanation," according
~ the', litera~ acceptation of tbings~ This will appear
'evident from ''''hat follows. In the }Sth verse, it ,is
said, 'H And I' will'
efmiitjJ '~tiveetP ,thee 'IrIZll 'tM
W011l41l ... ' That the' whoIe 'is' allegoric~I" is 'plain; of
'What' cdnsequeuce could it be to' man for himto hate
a'stfrpent, or forell~nity to b~ put' betVi~en'man ami
'~&e 'serpent! or betwecti man and the 'monkey!' fur
tbo'ugtll man' naturaliy hates a serpent more 'tl1an' an,
Qtlier"ereatUre,' yet this ~uid be Of very'little conse:quence, as he is, not 'troublOO ,~ith' tI\flt; creatute!
This enmity here spuken of, which was to be put
.f>ehVeen1ttie seed ,of the serpent"and the 'womal'l,~iU
~ best explfrinedby 'the apost1e~ fur it' cannot be
. "a: $i~ple- relation' of a fact 'capable of' a salisfactbr;
explallation.~' :It, is': asserted :by Ukn, I~S well asbJ
.the:aiicient Jewish doCtors; to <m~n\'the'carnal' serlsiuil
mibd ;bf man, :~'hreh: is eninityagain<;tGod.'Roln~
8~".. because ike clrHlal .min'd IS enmity 'against God.

Put'

EJibf$. i. '16, nt. 'hIJtting abolUhed inltisjlesk tke emni,!,

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....

74

tiat 1uJ might reconci1s

hot" t.tnI!J God in (1M iJodN, b!J


the cro~s, kmoing slain Ike en:nUtJi thereby., Anq
,agreea~ly

to this style of writing.and speaking, ,in th~


days, of.our Lord, this d~cription of men are adl~ a
peration of 'lJiPers, or serpents. But what puts this
matter ou~ of the reach of contradiction, and prov~
it to be written agreeably to the' custom of the prime-'
~l people, wbo,introdu~ed,the serpent as a 8y~qol to
rep~SiCntthe ,wisdom, intelligence, subtility, ~r
pcpdellce of..tQ~.;sensual principle inman, is that of
~e apostle, ,~'~or. 1 t. 2. , But I fear, :lest by any
mean:s, a,s, 'V1.e serp~~ begl,lilec,i pc through ~
~1Ii#!h ,60 YQ1!3' ntinds, shquJd be cU/'"!-pled from tIu:
Fnplicill tkql, is in Christ. Thus qoes ,the 8pP$tle
live ,tile,: true qleaniQg of the allegory, $ig~ifyiog, in
plain language, that, Eve was ,beguiled,', or sedp.,c.e,4'
~~ ~ .n~~iveI5iDlplicity, by',giying way',tp ~lg~
~tj0l1' ;o( ~. ~~~, pJ;h~ciple,:: s~iQ~l ~~:, ~~
jen!i1,l~1~~~aJ", by .,.hlch, mlpr~r. indl,llgeDG6!,tbey

~9b:eyed.l~ qivine ~<UD~~~d., .


~

.. :' " ;

. .;.

- ' , .'

! . .:

,J

.,'

". :.

:,

\..;

:'

!,i JJ~I~ ,wri~r ~y say, th~y.~W~ cre~ ~


~thQJlt, ~inl:

hP,w then could ;tiu,y be' u.d~,J,ly tb~


f~tnu~l; prirtciPJ.e, to ,trAAtigw~~?, J answer.. ;J;~ is
~ AVij, in t~e ~~nst,tal,pri~le, j A(lam ,:WIt$ ~
~ pri~p!e" or :"Witl,\ a ,power ~f~j~yiJ)g
lIl~tlle p~e~~es of the 6~S; : ~ witlll tbosa feMafIJ
.~cJ-I~at!qns, without ':which\~, ;W9MktJ\~h~ ~Qt~.~, ~e :p.~~ 'of ~,~ns~ 4~~Q~ tJlAt-lt'je

wij'h,.,.

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75
lrirth to! sin in our first parents, and which C08stituteS
sin a.t thi8 day.
. ".

" "This ,waS the prohibited fruit of which they were not
m 'eat. ,~his was the fear whi('h Paul expressed, viz.
'O',"JOCi" ike 1zJonner, yaur.miRds sJwuld.be conrupted,
116 the:1IIind :ofEve 1MB corrupted b!J die serpem,. i. e.
the sens~al passions represented by the serpetlt: and
this was:the sense in which the Corinthians understood
him" .otherwise the compariion would not have .been
at all" applicahle,unless they had understoOd tho
serpent to lie tbe symbol of the sensual prin'ciple in
man,;,asme most ancient Jews did beforerthem... ,: .
:
:.- ....
.
.,
. Thus.it appears that 'it,has .been .thecidlX>m,afthe
IIlOSt.primeval.people,!. and,sf the'8ocients',befortJ, and
from the'time of Mose&;:to,cionsidel'>these'pusa!'is ai
eootaining' a .figurative, !'C!Iescriptibft of the. sensual
pase10ns in 'man; by. compa1ling them to those,.tural
propensities in >tlie 'serpentwhich is. the most.seDSuaI~
(lS: weU as the moatsubde~t~~. ' .. ~,
"
.;"

1.\1

..

'iit j

;'

'

"

.1

. >I; Every' clause :~nnS'lthe se~, opiniGn ..r the


ancierlt christian. fathers, imd .doctors aDlODg thtiJ8JVS,
that .tharwbole~ account .is: sl1egoriclll. " It.slMi' brIIiia
th!J:1reail.;:ratid ,dum ,bait 11ruise hi8 'iced, hut.t1iis~ii
not the true ~g, 'the muculHae pronoun singblai
of the third person occurs, NIII'"t there is no neutral
pronoun in Hebrew: .it reads, 1Ie.,h4ll bruise thy heal.

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16
I suppose this writer will admit, that t~is .is: not "a
simple relation of a fact capable of.1l satisfactory
explanatioR," on the literal ground he has taken; and
that these words convey something w:hich docs 'not
appear, nor can possibly be understood, in.the letter.:
How in, the name of common 8~nse C8D it, be said that
the monkey shall ~ruise .the heel of man ?"thoSkies are
never remarked for aoy such thing, whereas the
sea"pent,has scarcely any othermeallsof defe~ce, than
by coming bebiud and biting the heel. :To come to
the point, this 'wliter must necessarily,iu:lIriit, that this
was the first manifestation of the mercy of God to manin his fallen 'state, that this ,,:as the. first promiSe of
the coming of the great deliverer,. the ~; Shi1o~ the
Lord ,of David, the Iinmamiel of the prophets,: and
the redeemer of men. '. Ndw, i( these words 'co~cem-
ing the serpent. ,,,erato ,be understood as .literally as
this gentleman has taken' them, ad that this ,,~.,r not
a figure,or allegory,. to.~en, fr()Dl animal natnre,; wh~
the 'propensities of tbemost .sensual beast in. :erealion
are figuratively. applied. te> man in. a natuml.state;
being in perpetual. enmity to the seed, or offspring of
Christ, I, . the serpent .bruiser in man: ,he is: UDder the
neceSsity; of showing, ,thallthis was; all ;fulfilled.1iter.ol .
aIly.:"'\ 1j'obuUt must ~ alU>w.ed.lthat.tb$:rerers to
ChriSt,. serpent must ,of CX)urse.lm:v.e\liter&.ybi~
bis.he6~ .andhe mUst-also have. liter.all.y' bruised ~
,.

.:~~..: ~'.

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77
head of the serpent. . And everi then, this would
bring us 00 nearer to the 'meaning, because thousands
since the time of Christ, have literally bruised the
heads of scrpents~ and tll?usands have :been bitten by
them; so that this would apply to man in general,
instead of Christ. Therefore as the wordS, he sJudl
bruise Illy head, cannot poSsit>11 he literally understOOd, and. as all christians must .neCessarily believe
that they were originally applied to Christ; I leave it
for them to judge, whether we are to say with Dr.
Clarke, that we are not to look for an-explanation, or
credit. the Apostle, who not only admits itto bean
allegory, but also explains it, by applying this prophesy
of bruising the serpent's head to Christ; who was to
bruise this principle, i. e. the head of the serpent in
.man. I say, every clause confirms the settled opinion
of the ancient christian fathers and doctors amonp; the
Jews, that the whole account is allegorical. The
allegory 15 also plain from the words. dust shaltt/r.ou
'eat all the dIllJsQftkylife, for as is shown above, theSe
words cannot be applied to Satan, because he is an
immortal spirit, and does not eat dust. But as the
serpent in going over the dust and burning sands,
having his head next to the earth, unavoidably takes
the dust 'into his mouth; so the life or delight of the
sensual passions are represented by the serpent,
as closely' connected with, and moving in the dust or
earth of the body: they being placed the very lowest

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78
of all the pas&ions in the order or composition of'the
internal man. They are evidently applied to man iD'
a .tate of nature, signifying that his delight or life is .
in the low gratification of the sensual'passions, which
are meant by the dust. ID this allegorical sense, the
, word is used throughout the scripture-Amos, 2. 7.

That pant qfter tile dUlt Q[ Ike earth on tke 1zefIJl qf


flu: poor, and tum aside 1M 'IIXl!J fIf tile meek, and II
man and his fatMr _II go in rmto the IIlme maid, to
prqfbne my holy name.

Hence it appears that this was the belief of the


most ancient people before the time of Moses, of the
learned Jews to the time of Christ~f Christ himself
and the Apostles. And lastly, as it was the universal
opinlon of the venerable fathers and bishops who
succeeded them; no man can be justified in saying,'
that " if it be an allegory~ no attempt should be made
to explain it, as it would require a direct revelation
to ascertain the sense in which it should. be under..
'stood;" .it has been 80. understood and explained froIla .
Adam, to the establishment of the Christian church
for the first three hundred years after Christ: It has
only. been involved in darkness and uncertainty &om
the time when men began to understand this part of
scripture, as " a simple relation of facts capable of a
literal explanation," instead of a representaiive 1igure,
taken from', that creature in whom th~ natural subtilty ,

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79
of the sensuaJ principle was more apparent, than in
any other beast'of the field, and applied by those wise
ancients to signify that principle in man (as above). '
. From the above observations, it appears manifest,
that the primeval people first worshipped God in
purity, and understood that all visible things in nature
represented something in man, as is evident from the
S8.(.Ted Scriptures which I have shown ill the prophets,
where this is expressly said to be the case, and which
will not admit of a contradiction without denying
sacred writ. And in this wise application of visihle
things, and of the passions arid propensities .of the
animal to the passions and propensities in man,
consists the wisdom and sanctity of the divine writings.
But ill process of time, 'by little and little, their
descendants departed from the purity of divine
worsbip( when they began to prefer sensuality to
innocence, and instead. of looking on the things in
outward nature as' copies of natural propensities in
themselves, which served as visible indexes to remind
them of the necessity of restraining inordinate passion,
sbowing them the beauty of virtue and innocence;
these representative thinlJ8 were worshipped, and
their figures set up in temples: hence the origin of
idolatry. 'Like streams issuing from a pure fountain,
which are rendered more turbid the farther they are
{mm their original source: so the Mosaic histolj
concerning the CREATIQN 01' THE FIRST PEOPLJ:-

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80
.1

of PARADls-tbe FALL OF MAN-the SEB.PENT-

and NOAH'S FLOOD, which are plain aud easily


understood when the above-mentioned style' is attended to, has been rendererl ~hscure and unintelligible,
by forsaking the obvious application of these things,
in which consists the true sanctity of the sCl'iptures j
and by supposing what is plainly.contradicted, that
these things were " capable of a satisfactory explanation" by the letter of sCI,'ipture, whicl;l is proved to Ue
altogether. impossible, and contrary to the obvious
meaning of the sacred miters.
.
This style of writing was preferred among the
ancient Grecians. Pegasus, or the flying horse, was
feigned by them to be the winged horse of Perseus;
this has been received as a fahle, but it is not so, as
there is a significative reality. in the object, and as it is
true in its application. Perseu~ was a man famous
for wisdom and understanding; ,he 'was industrious in
applying his mind to the invention of arts and
sciences, which were useful to man: for that reason,
his understanding was colIlf8rcd to the horse, on
. account of its utility to man, and its quick transition
from place to pla~e. Thus the horse .of Perseus is
said to have broken ,open .a fountain with his hoof,
and that this fountain was afterwards consecra~d to
~Et nine Muses; hy which we, understand, agreeably
to this' significative mode .of speech, that the hoof of
the horse meant the. industry, and the wjngsJd horse

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81
'.

the undeilitanding of Perseus. So 'thatthough this


has been received as a fable, it is a beautiful allegory,
and as such, had a real existence, agreeably to the
style of the eastern'languages, and the method by
which the ancients communicated knowleage to POiterity.
The understanding is the rudder of the mind; it
makes a swift transition trom one place to another, it
giJides and directs all our actions, and on this
account is of the great~st utility to man: in like
manner these ancient people, to prefigure the undel'standing by a similar likeness .in animal nature, as is
customary throughout the Scriptures, in theil' emblematical representations, .gave win~ to the horse, that
animal being the most useful to man, and the swiftest
of all others, if we calculate on tim,e.and distance, andhenee a fit subject to represent the qualities of the
tmderstll:nding.

"

. Now, after all this author has said concerning the


necessity of a "new revelation to explain this allegory," we find to a demonstration, that it is Ilnalle-

,-orical ezpression founded on a cmnparison Q{ things


in nature, witlt tire passions and CfOections in man; not
according to notion or lYpinion, but confirmed by other
parts Q{ scripture, and tllat tltis circumstance C(YflCerflI.
ing tltefoll Q{man, conveyed to us in tire sl!Jle Walle.
lory, flTeeably to. the custom W the eastern. nations,
F

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82

impresses the mind' 'With a rMre ratiOnal 'lJietW Q/'t~


real cause Q/' that departure from tke commands Q/
God, and gives us higher and mnre dignified sene;..
ments ~mu:ernillg tIre saiu:tity Q/' tke scriptures than 'We
can possibly have by understanding that a literal
serpent, or a ~ke!l tempted Eve; consequently his
assertion conceming the "necessity of a new revel a tion to prove it ~n allegory, ,. falls to the ground.
I refer the reader to the questions asked by this
writer, . where he says, "how, and by what agency
was this brought about? Here is the great IIiystery :
I appeal to all persons who have .read the variolls
comments that have been wdtten on the Mosaic
account, whether th~y have yet been satisfied on this
part of the su bject, though convinced of the fact.
Who was the serpent? of what kind, in wltat rvay
did he seduce the first happy pair? These are questions which remain yet to be answe'red~" ,
.Referring then to these questions, I may be allowed
to appeal to all persons who have read the comment
he haS" given, "w!tether they have been satisfied with
what he pas said on this part of the subject?" whether
they can give credit to his assertion, that the monkC!J
was th~ agent that brought about the fall of mall? I
believe he stands alone, the solitary promulgator of
some new tking~ which has no tendenoy to give us a
rational view of this transaction j . neither does. it: .

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83
answer to anyone "part of the description in -the
text.". And as to his inquiry, ". in what way did he
seduce the first happy pair?" though he says, "thil
is a question -which remains yet to be answered;" he
has ~ven us no answer but what is given in .the text,
viz. that it was by eating tkef07biddenfruit.
. I have, however, in what is advanced in these
pages, . scrupulously abided by the meaning of the
original word. And in show~ that the singular
properties of tlris beast WEre applied by the inspired
writers to those principles in man in a state of !l~ture;
. I have suffered the scriptures to prove, that this was
the' Co khid" of serpent which was the agent in the fall
of man, and that in this way he "seduced the first
happy pair." The scripture is my authority, which
is. also confirmed by the universal consent of .all
the ancient Hebrews, and by the venerable fathers
and bishops of the first C.hristian churches (as above).
I appeal to all persons, if this view of the serpent be
not calculated to satisfy the most obstinate objector, .
who, as he feels those propensities in himself which
are- prefigured in outward 'nature by the serpent, must
necessarily feel his mind impressed with the wisdom
of these ancient peopl~,' and' with the truth and
sanctity of the scriptures.
. I now ask this gentleman in. his own words-,
whether his assertion concerning the monkey,. is

..

I
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84
" such as becomes the oracles. of God j" are these
reflections of his, _" properly indu~ve reasonings on
the facts stated, or the doctrines delivered j" how is
he justified in saying, " through the flimsy, futile, ~d
false dealing of the immense herd of Spirit'MlliZeT8,
Metaphor-men, and A llegorist8, pure religion has
been disgraced :" when, as is' proved above, a great
part of the scriptures are written in allegory or metaph()'l" What is more calculated to' bring pure religion
into disgrace, or to ~sist the Deist in defaming the
scriptures, than supposing that a monkey was the
agent employed in the fall of man?

It may proba~ly be expected that some proof should


be given, that a great part of the scriptures are written
in this allegorical style, by which, things in outward
nature were chosen, and applied by the inspired
writers to signify the passions and affections in man:
to illustrate truth by the application of external things,
which bore some resemblance in their nature, to the
subject introduced; and which only can lead us to a
true knowledge
. of the sanctity of scripture.
"

~Th~refore for the satisfaction of those, who are


desirous of seeinp; something of the ancient method
of communicating information to the .mind by means
. of sensible objects, as is the. case throughout the
scriptures: I refer the reader to the CLASSICAL and
BI BLICAI. .T Ol'R.N' AL, where it ia 8ho\\-0 frOID the

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85

scripture ~t a great part of the aacred volumt


tannot be understood unless this be attended to.
And that thi~ emblematical representation, by figures
.chosen from nature to si~ify the passions and aft"ec
tions of the mind, was well understood by the patri.
archs and the prophets, from the beginning of time
to the end of the Is~elitisll church.

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.86

.'

, :"!

THE .UNITY OF GOD~


I

'

IT certainly

is a matter of the first importance to


have proper viewlS of the object of our adoration. To
enter into a' desc,ription of that ineffable being who
spake, and the universe was created, would be presumption. , We' cannot define what is not in the
power of mortals to comprehend; but as much as
God has' revealed of himself in the divine human
person of Christ, the promised Shilo and true Messiah,_ is within the grasp of our understanding.
In every age since the time of the, coullcil of Nice,
the _doctrine of ~e Trinity has been held 'forth by
those who have been esteemed sounc;l in their views of
th~s' great essential of faith. That there is a Trinity
IN the divine nature, no one can deny in truth, but
it appears that those who have hitherto contended for
a trinity of persons, have supposed a trinity OUT of
the divine nature. H~re has arisen the obj~ction,

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concerning a plurality of Gods, a charge which 'those
who call themselves Vnitarians, always bring against
the defenders of the divine Trinity. But to wor~hip
a Trinity OUT of the divine nature, is certainly not
consistent W!th the sCliptures, nor with the doctrine
of the Church of England. Those who worship a
Trinity out of the divine' nature, or three distinct
persons co-eval, co-existent, and co-eternal with each
other, all partaking of the essential principles of
Deity, do not worship one God in Trinitg, and
Trinitg in Unil!J, according to the, scriptures, but
~on.found tlte persons, and divide the substance. But
if we worship a Trinity IN the divine nature, " then
the Goclhead of the Father, of the ,Son. and of the'
Holy Spirit, is all one: the glmy equal, the mqjesty

co-eternal. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, the


Holy Spirit eternal, and yet (hey are not three eter,nals, three incomprehensibles, three uncreates, three
Almighties j but one."
Those, Qn the other hand, who maintain the unity
of the divine Being, reject a Trinity IN the divine
nature; and do not in their addresses personify the
Deity, must necessarily attempt to worship an
unlmt:mm God; like the Jews of old, they 'WOrship
they knuw not 'llJhat, an infinitely extendedmetaphysical being, like infinite space, which cannot possibly
be au o~ect of worship. An essence cannot exist
but in some forni, therefore to addre~s a divine heing?

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nr essence, without that being existil)g in 8 form,


must be to addl'css a non~entity. Such. consequently,
cannot worship a 'Go~ at an; it is a vain phantasm,
an airy appearanc~; it is a God of their own forming,
which only appears in their imagination. But if they
,have any object of then' worship, they then must
attempt to personify the infinite and incomprehensible
essence of Deity, or the Father, to the exclu.sion of
the person of Christ; such worshippers are truly
followers of the Sabellian heresy. This was also
the doctrine of At'ius, or anti-christ, by which he
~aused a schism in the church, but the great body of
christians at that day, rejecteel this heresy, by ~'hjch
we learn that one God in Tri'llitg, and Trinif!J it1.
1J1Uty, was the doctrine of the apostolic clmrches.
To' confirm the doct~~ne of three persons, ora
plurality of Gods. Dr. Clarke attcmpts to prove that
the word C~;:1~~ Ellzmm, God, is a' plural' noun;
l\'hich he says, ",io; certainly the plural form of ;~
~l. As' this plur~li~ ~ppears in so many parts of the
sacred writings to be confin<->d -to tk,'ee persons, hence
doctrine of the Trinity.!' But being aware that
this n~un is joi~ed with ~ verb sin~ular, he defines'
his subject as follows. "The verb Nl~, he crea,ted,
being joined in the singular number with this plural
'noun, has been consider<:d as pointing out; anel not
obscurely, the unity of thcsc divine persons in this
wor.k of creation.. In the ever blessed Trinity, from

the

".

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the infinite and indivisible unity of the pe~us; there
can be but one will, one purpose, and one infinite and
uncontrollable energy."
As Dr. Clarke must have formed s,ome conception
ofthis mystery, he should have told us how these three
persons were connected in" one indivisible unity,"
and, by familiar examples 'have shown, how these
three infinites, these tlm~e eternals, could be actuated
" by one will," and not by three \Vills; "by one infinite
and uncontrollable energy,'" and not' by three infinite
and uncontrollable energies. These are high sound. ing words, but I must candidly confess that they
conv~y no information to my mind" nor can any
, person, from such a definition, possibly' understand
the doctrine of the Trinity.
I cannot find that the view which this ,,'riter bu
given of the Ttinity, " has formed a 'part of the
creed of all those, who have been deemed sound in
the faith, from the earliest ages of Christianity."
Faith has become so familiar a word, ,that we find it
applied, in all cases, to things which t.'8Ullot be under...
stood. It is not possible for us to have faith or
belief ill that which is impossible to enter into our
comprehension, however it may be the confession of
the lip, if the door of the understanding be not opened
to receive' it, no conception can be formed concerning
it: collsequently
there c,nnot be an object (){ faith..
.
/ ' .

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I,

We may be asked, if we can comprehend God? jf by


comprehending God, be meant his infinite perfections;
the answer must necessarily be in the nega,tive; and
.the reason is ohvious: that which is finite cannot
possibly extend it!; researches to that which is if!:ft1lite.
When we are told tpat there are three distinct and
visible persons OUT of the divine nature, aiuf in the
same breath, that these three persons are one, it
never can be comprehended, because it is inconsistent
~ witP scriptu~ and common sense, and ,:an never
form a part of our faith. So far as God has made
himself known BY TH.E. PERSON OF CHRIST, so far
God becomes 8n object of our faith in Unity i and
thi4 ~nity "has formed a part of the creed of all
~Qse, who have been deemed sound in the faith from
the earliest ages of christianity."
-In order. to obviate the plain and incontrovertible
aeclarations which prove that the noun C';:;;~ ElIwim,
is not a plural, but a singular noun, Dr. Clarke refers .
to the following passages, noticed by Parkhurst, who
Jays, "let those who ha've any doubt whether C';;?~
Elhoim, when .meaning the true God, Jehovah, be
plural or not, consult the following passages, where
they will find it joined with adjectives, verbs, and
~prQJlouns phtral." Gen.~. 26.-.ch. 3. 22.-11. 7.
-:-0. 13.-31. 7. 5S.- 35. 7. Deot.4. 7.-5: 23.

;Josh. 24. 19. 1 _Sa~. 4. 8 .. 2 Sam. 7. 23.


58. 1i. _ Jer. 10. -I ~-cl,1. 23. 36.

Psalm

Also Prov.9.. 10,

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,-

.-ch. SO. 3.

Psalm 149. 2. Eeel.. 5. 7 ......;12. 1.


Job. 5.}. Isa. 6. 3.--.54.5.-52. 5. Hos. 11. .lfl;
Mal. 1. ,6. Dan., 5. ].8. ,20.-7. ] 8. 22. To all
thesp. passages we, are referred by. Dr. Clarke for
proof that the.wor.d C'r;;~,ElJwim; is a pluratnoun,
because Parkhurst. and be say, it is connected with" adj~ctives!'. verbS,. and proilOu'DS plural." 'Twelve
of the 6r$t .are .noticed ,by .Parkhurst, in which the
word c'r;;~' Elkoim is found, but in the .remainder..
which are added by Dr. Clarke, C';:t,~ Elhqim, doe~
notoccut.
all, except in one passage, and ~
Eloekea, in two. And' eVen if it did, the (ollowing,
clauses, '~tf' 11'N~ ~~ tke Lord Q/ Hosts is HIS
'lame. N)t. Y12!i'1 ,~ ,~1$. 1M God Q{ thJ:, 'llJ1uJ/4 '
earth. shall HE be called, could not mean that
t:l~~ Elkaim, is a plural,' noun. The' learned
Abarbanal, and the most eminent Rabbies say;
that c't;t,~ Elkoim, and ';:1'~ EkJekea, have the
, sarpe meaning, and the difference in form arises from
this" that:?tP~ Eloekea is conjunctive, or in regimen,
which is bue, 88 'Psalm 1. .:i~\1'~, God Q{ Jaeob- .
;~~ 'm~ God' W I$rael---l:J~Qttr; "="~ God qf
Heavcm-lHit that Q';:t?~ ElMim, is' the .absolute
form .

at

..

.I shall now proceed to examine the above passages'


where the word c",~ Elhoim~ is found, aud which
we are told, H that as it is connected with tUijectioes,
wrN, and pt'untf1111,8 plural, must be plural alSo." .

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In Jer. 5. :J6. and ch. 10. 10. we find the 'word


c~ ElIwim, God i but it does not follow because
it is connected with C," Hayim, life, that it is a
plural noun. o~ !Jim, does not form the plural, as I
Shall have occasion to .sh()w in the course of this
investigation. The same word is rendered " running
water, orlivingwater," Lev. 14i.
~; alsoGen;
.~17.46. D~,,?,mJJlife tome. Job, JO. 12.t1wu1iaSt
grunted me ~~;:r, lifo and favor. .

=""

Psalm 58. 12. verily he is a O'tp~ ~, God tluJt


judge/A; but D'rp~iD Sk()JJhetim, is Dot plural, therefore the word D';P~ ElIUJim,canno~ on that account
be Considered as'a nOU'n plural.
2 Sam. 7. 23. Q'ij~~ EUwim, God, 'is connected
with 1'I'r=ri1~ lipheddotk, which means "to redeem," ~t
, -translation . is consistent with reason and sound
speech, viz. 'llJhom Gad 'llJent to redeem: but if C'rp~
Elkaim, God, were to be rendered as a, plural noun,
it would be; ~. G~ 'Went to redeem. The same
reasoning is applicable to Eccless. 5. 7,'jear tJum

God, cb. l~. 13. fear God ~d keep his ~d.

ments.

'

18t Samuel, -4. 8. In this verse the word ~

ElIwim, God, is supposed hyPal'khurst and Dr.


Clarke to be plural, because it is c;onnected with'
D1~ 1uuMldirimJ on the hacknied gro~nd of' tho

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93 '
plural terminatioll; but this cannot be allowed,
as will he shown. The translation of this verse, as
it stands at pr.esent in our 'Bible, is, Woe unto us,
'll)ko sMIl deliver us out qf tIre leand t!ftkesemigktg
Goth, tJrese. are the Gods that smote tke Egyptian.
'With all the JHaofY1lel in Ike 'Wilderness. Had the Dr.
attended to the original, he would not have been so
h~ty in concluding that Elhoim, God, was plural
nOUll; he,must certainly have been sensible that the
Egyptians were not smitten u:ith the plagues in the
wilrlerness, hut in Egypt: and that for this reason
there must be ~ome error iri the translation of this
passage. There are three words in the original
,Hehi-ew, wJ.tich are not truly ~nderCd, and which
are only noticed by the word these, viz.
~ ~~
which ought to be rendered as in Gen. :39. 19. qfier
, this 'iIlanner, or nith these things, 'I Kings, !lg. 11.'
The word i'9~ mak/taak, is also rendered plagues,
bu't as the plagues w~re inflicted in Egypt, and not
in the ~ldemess, as observed'; neither. can it be'
tnily rendered. This word is used' here as in many
other places, to signify slaughter; see the passages
where the same word o(.'Curs, and is thus rende~ed.
Josh. 20. 10. W. Jud. 11. S.-IS. 8. I Sam. 6.
19.-ch. 14. SO.-ch. 19. 8. 1 Kings !l0. ~l.
2 Chron~ 13. 17. In this chapter we are informed,
that the ~hilistines and the Israelites ",ere opposed
tQ each other: they had heard hO\v God had 'inter..
posed in their behalf, when they [eft Egypt at the

D!'

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red sea, they had heard of the ark 'of God~ an51 of
the destruction that took place on the Egyptians,
when it was carried out of the sea to' the Israelites.
And now, at this time, when they heard a great
shout in the ~amp of Israel, and were told that the
llrk of God ha.d arrived at the C/imp, they said, Woe
unto us, who sJudz deliver us out Wthe- hand Q/' tki",
mighty God! after' this marmer God smote the
Egyptians with ,all the slaughter in the wilderness.
From whi~h it appears, that Elhoim, God, is not a
plural noun, and 'tha.t it is most incorrectly rendered
by the translators.
'
'
Joshua, ~4. 19. D~ ~~', a kol!J God. This is
the Bible translation, and it will puzzle Dr. Clarke
to mend it in sense. D~ is not plural. it is truly
, rendered by holiness, and' connected with Elboim,
God; it reads a God Q/'holiness.
Deut. 5.' 23. God doth talk with mart, and he
i'Delk. Here again is no proof that ,ElIwim, God,
is joined with ~ plural. c~;;r Adam, ,is a noun
singular, but admitting it were plural, the Dr.
should have recollected that the n he, prefixed, is
not noticed in the trartslation, it is emphatic, and is
to be rendered by the, this. He also shoul~ ,have
remembered that God did not speak with man, in the
. plural,_ but ttJJith the, man. They indeed heard his voice,
but God spake only-with Moses. The CIauae trulY'
reads, God doth talk with tJze man, and he liveth.
I

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95
leh.4. 7. ,~ Elohea: God, which is evidently.
sing:ular, is joined with O'~~ Elkaim, God, but had
D';:t?~ Elkoim been plural, the venerable writer
could not have committed such a blunder, as the
verse would read thus,for 'What nation is so great.
hath Gods so nigh unto them, ~~~ ~~~ as tile
Lord our Gods.

.And he built there an altar, 'tlnd


ealJed the ploce El-betk-el. becaUle there God appeared
unto him, tJJhen he jied.from tire face 0/ his brotker.
Here we are told agai.n that the word ~rt?~ Ellwim,
God, must be plural, as it is connected with a plural
verb. ~,~ Niglou" is no douht plural, but it is not
connected with ~;p~ Ellwim, therefore it is no prool
that it is a plural nonn. This writer should have
'told us that the translators ha~e err~d in theapplication of ~,~~ Niglou, as well a's in the translation' of
that word, for it is rendered as the third person singular preter of the verb in kal; whereas it is the third
person plural in Niphal. And instead of being
applied to God as appearing to 'Jacob when he jierI
from the fOe qfhis brother, it is in the original, necessarily applied to Ja~ob and all his house, when they
. removed from Shechem to Bethel. It must be .
acknowledged, that if ~;p~ EZhoim, God, were a
plural ~un, the clause should be rendered thus ~
Gods appeared unto him.
.'
Gen. 35. 7.

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~~ Niglou, is the third pers011 pluml preter of the


verb in NiphaI, to appear, be disc{)'()ered, re'Vealed; ((}

he removed--captiviW, Sam. 9. 14. ~~~ N'n ani tlley


luroe not discor:ered, Ezek. 23. J J. ~~~ iWtj tlrese dis~
wcered, Jer. 13. ~2. thy skirts ~~~~ are discovered.

'!t

The words ~~ n~~


El-lJeth-el, ~hj~h are tIlUS
retained in the translation, confuse the passage; they
truly read thus: the mighty' one W Betllel, and the
:J lie, prefixed to c~;:t~~ EUlOim, wllich is omitted in
the translation, and not noticed by Dr. Clarke, is as
necessary' a word as any in the passage. I t is
emphatic, and is the same as the Greek 0, and the
Latin hie. literally tlze, tllis, viz. D'j:"~iJ TIIIS GOD,
in oppositilln to the strange Gods, which his family
had broulZht
with, them.
.
'"
I

m~-i1
t

Bebarcho is rendered in the translation

8.

the third perSOll singular prcter, viz. 'lJ)/len lie fla,

but it is properly the infinitive, and should be


rendered in his flying, or qf llis jlying. The verse.
"ill be rendCl"ed consiste~tIy with ,the Hebrew as
fQllows. An~ lie built there an altqr, and called,the

place, tIle migltty one l}/ Betlzel, because tllere they


'tzppeared ~~~~ (Jacob and Izisfamily) bifore him, tIle
God, Q/ Ids pying .from tlte face qf his brotlier.
From which it is plain, that this' passage is consistent ' .
without making c';:t~~ Elhoim a plural nOUD, admitling it were connected with ~~~ lYiglou, Jaoob and.

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his family ceased to worship the idols they had
h.rou~ht with them, and they appettred before, or
'worshipped before tr;:r,~IJ, this God" the mighty one
of Bethel, the God, who protected him IN HIS FLYINGfrom theface of his brother.

Ch. 31. 7. D'i'f.'~ 'W;1~ N":! but God would not suffer
kim, here ~~Elhoi~, God, is plural we are told,
because it is connected with ~1l1~ Nethano, which is
supposed to be plural. I shall pursue my usual
method of suffering the scripture to speak for itself.
UO!3 NtJlhano, is, as it stands in the translation, trul,.
rendered by suffer him, See J ud. ]
1. but her
father would not 'l!'~ suffer him. 1 Sam. 18. 2. and
would not iltQ let him return. Ch. i3. 14. tleli'tJered
him not; the.:efore it is no proof that ~~' Elhoi~
is a plural nobn. ,
T. '

5:

Gen. 31. 53. The God if' Abraham, the God tff
Nahor Judge. This is perfectly right as it stands
in the English Bible. !!fO~ Yishiphetou is plural,
...ery well; but ~ Eloehea is not on that account to
be rendered as a plural noun, it is only a noun singular in regimen.

There are in this verse two Gods mentioned by


Laban, vu. the God of Abraham, and the God of
N alwr. Abraham was a worshipper of the true
, God, N &hor was an idolater; so that Laban, 'who

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worshipped after the manner of his fathers, calls his


God to witness, as well as the God of Abraham~
Therefore the passage is correct, without supposing
~ Elhoim to be a plural noun.
.
Ch. 11. 7.

Go

to, let us go dO'{Cn and confound

their langunge.

Parkhurst and Dr. Clarke should


have pointed out the noun or verb p~ural, which they
say is. connected with O"ry;~ Elhoim, God, in this
verse. ~!t Elkoim, h~wever, is not to be met with
in the whole chapter, so that this commentator must
have copied it from Parkhurst, without examining
eithet tlie chapter or the verse. It must therefore
have been an oversight in both these good men, and
consequently cannot be any proof that C'i'fJ~ Elhoim, "
is a plural! noun.
. ..
The whole of this narrative, concerning the confu.
sion of tongues, is very incorrectly rendered in the
translation; and I am sorry to find that these writers
have not given us any information on'this impOl1ant
subject. An article on this miracle of Ages is
intended to be sent to the CLASSICAL JOU:&NAL,
"to which I refer the reader.
Ch. 8. 22. And the Lord God said, behold the
man lMJ .l'ro
~l~ ",tt~ :-1!i'J i8 btctfie a8 ,..
0/ ru to. kn()'{J) good
e'tiil. There are two things'
in this clauae whic.h require our serious' attention,

nni

and

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yiz. to whom the words ~~ ~~ ~1 is become as


one f!f us, are applied: and the true meaning and
application of ", .l,r,o l'1l!"1'z to /m()'(t) good and evil.
It nfu~t be admitted that Adam knew good and evil
before the fall, otherwis~ he could not have been an
accountable creature; 'evil to him would have been
as good, and goorl the same as evil. "This passage," says Dr. Clarke, "on all hands is allowed.to
be diffioult~ and 'the difficulty is increased by our
translation." I have no doubt but that the errors
which have crept into many churches respecting the
unity of God, have arisen from this rendering, and
from that similar one, Gen. ]. 26. The word ~.lI~,?
Mimmennou, is rendered in all the European 'translations, as the oblique case of we, but,its true meaning
is to appoint, see Job, 7. 3. and wearisome nights,
~ Minnou, are appointed to me. Also to number, '
'Gen. 13. 16. n~ sholl be numbered.-i Chron. 5. 6 .
Yimmaanou, be numbered.-Dan. 1. 5. and the
Z) mem prefixed, forOls'the comparative.
It must be
admitted that Adam was appDinted to know good and
evil; let the conb-ary for a moment be supposed, and
he becomes incapable of thinking or acting rationally.
Adam was blessed with all knowledge intuitively, he
understood the natures of the animals, , their passions
and affections, and gave them names agreeably thereto; 'thus he was appointed to know good and evil,'
but the great difference is between the knowledge of
good and evil, and the rejection of iOOd b.y the aetu&l
commission of evil.

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The verb :'"'1!!1 haoyaah, which is in all the European translations rendered, is become, is tlie preter,.
and not the present tense of the verb; it ought to
have been rendered, WAS: the passage will then
read agreeably to the literal sense of the Hebrew,
thus; behold the man WAS '1tJ~~ EQUALLY THE
SAME APPOIN'I'ED to know good and evil. Though
this text is' " allowed on all hands to' be difficult, and
the difficulty increased by our translation," this view
of the subject relieves us fro~ the difficulty altogether. It clears the moral character of God from the
imputation of blame, by placing man in a situation
so as to be ignorant concerning the nature of good
and evil, as we understand by the words in our
Bible: the man is become as one 'If us to lmow good
and evil, and with Dr. Clarke, that heoniy knew
good, viz. "he has added' (says he) to the knowledge
of the good, the knowledge of the evil;" it finally
silenc~s this old objection of the Deist, and shows'
us t~at. Adam, in his primary state, was not ignorant
concernipg the nature of evil, but that he was innocent as to the commission of it, or the transgression
of the commands of God. From all which it is
evident that C'r:6~ Elhoim, God, by being connected
with u~~, mimmennou, which has been erroneously
considered as the oblique case of we, is no proof. that
it is a plural noun.
Gen. c~~ 1. 26. I now coine to notice one of the.
most difficult passages' ~n this subject ~n the. whole.

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101
. scriptures. The translation of this verse, as we"have
it in ourBible, and as it stands in all the European
translations, has laid a foundation for endless disputes.
The unitarian contends that God is One Only, while
others are led from this renrlering, to believe in the
existence of a Trinity in distinct personality out of the
divine nature. I ain constrained to reject all the
translations hitherto given o'f this important passage.
which I have seen; and to abide by the literal meaning of the original words, as rendered in other p~rts
of scripture: It will therefore be seen, that I not
only reject any pre-conceived opinion of my own, but
all others, when such opinions are unsupported by
that unen-ing authority, the sacred scriptures.
The passage

in the original is as follows:


~~1~ ~~m o:'tt ~ ~~ ~~ And God ~aid, let
us make'man in our image, qfter our likeness. Dr.
Clarke says, "the text tells us he was the work Of
the Elhoim, the divine plurality, marked here more
distinctly by the plural pronouns us, and our: and to
show tliat he was a master-piece of God's creation,
all the perso~s in the 'Godhead are represented as
united in council and effort to produce this astonishing creature." Alas! to what a state are we'reduced,
if-this be the doctrine of the Bible on the creation
of man. .' 'Vere we to tell this lame tale to the Deist,
he would show a 'warit:of intellect indeed, if he did
'not expel it with a bhlat of ridicule, He would tell

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10'
. the Doctor, that if all the persons in the Godhead
'Were called together, united in council an" effort at
the creation of man only, for the production of this
wonderful creature, to show that he was a masterpieCe of God's creation, as we mWlt understand by
his own words: then it would follow, that all the
persons in the Godhead were not united in council,
or effort .to produce other astonishing creatures which .
also in their order, are master-pieces of God's creation. It is impossible for words to mark more
strongly this wliter's belief in Polytheism, Qr. a plum..
lity of God's, distinct persolls;, all actuated by "one
will,. and one infinite uncontroulable energy." I
would rather write three. words to be understood.
than a thousand which convey no information on the
subject. It is impossible for the Doctor to understand his own definition of the Trinity.
Moses was here instructed to communicate tQ the
Israelites, the know ledge of the creation !)f the world;
and of man. And in the whole narrative he speaks
of-the procedure of the Divine Being in tlut irnpera...
live, or commanding, style, which adds a grandeUf
, and dignity to the subject, that is not in the transla
tion, which only says, "and God said." The obviou$
reason was, when God spake to man, ha\1iog 1lQ
equal, this style of speaking was observed, as appottarf
throughout the Scriptures, when lUngs commanded
the la.ws to be obeyed, or when any thing w.as \0 bt

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108
done ." hich required the interference of supreme
authority.
'The word ~~ Vayomer, as applied to the Suprem~,
in this sense means, literally, he commatuled. Chron.
! I. 9.7. ~ ~ The Lord commanded. Ch. 2. 9..
"1'!! ~ and David commanded. 2 ehron. 14. 4.
~~ ~ and commanded Judah. Ch. 29. SO.
~ ~ and Hezekiah commanded. Ch. 81. 4.
~ ~ And he commanded the people. Ch. 32. Ii.
~ "9~ And he commanded Judah. Ch~ SS. 16.
~ .And commanded. Esth. 4. IS. '~ "pN-.l
Then Mordecai commanded. Ch. 9. 14. '~'""9N-:l
.And the king cMMnanded. Dan. 2. 9.. And the king I
r:~mmandetJ. I have examined upwards of two thou- sand places of Scripture where "9MIIl Vayomer occursj
and I find that the word thus writum was always'
used when God .commanded j' also, by kings, patriarchs, and all, in every situation, exercising authority,
- in the imperative, or commanding style. Thus, when
any thing was to be dOlle, which required the intecference of a superior power, as when God co1lUllands
J aoob to go to .Bethel, and to build an altar to him ;
1ll1d, ill the next verse, where Jacob commands his
household to put away the .strange Gods that were
among them, it is written .,~ Vayomer, and is UBi_ versalt.y followed by its' corresponding npun. But,
when ~ Va!JOflUlr, occurs, it never is understood
..ill. tM iBJperative style, it is always used as the third

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person .singular preter of the verb, to prevent the too
frequent repetition of the noun. I have . examined
some hundreds of places, where this word occurs,
written, and I find it to be so throughout the Scriptures. Thus it appears consistently with other parts
of Scripture, where the same word written: with the
$~e vowels, can. have no other meaning, that tfle
words Q';P~ "~N-l Vayomer Elkoim, should \)e rendt:red in contormity with the above passages, taken in
connection with the following word ~~ Nangasek,
.of which below. From what has been said, it will be
allowed by the learned, that this word "'19 N'l Vayomer
com'Vrehehds "Q*'l Vayomar. hut. the latter doe,S not
comprehend the, 'former; which cirC\lmstance alone
,proves, that this word conveys an idea of supel'iority,
and therefore 'is always used and applied in that sense
throughout the Scriptures.

,0

I,

. :The next word in this verse, which' requires' our


notice, is ~~ Nangasek, which is rendered, let us
.make. I have selected, I believe, all the passages,
where this fonn of the word occurs, whicb is rendered
in the first person plural future of kale I shall therefore show. that the word in these places may be rendered .more consistently with the Hebrew, and more
agreeably with the idio~ of our. language. I do llQt
mean to contend that the word does not compreheQd,
.in its e.t, the plural; but, Ido assert that, as ,it is
the paSsive, of kal, it ought to be rendered iq the

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'105
I

English in conformity thereto. The following passages, being rendered as the first person plural future
.in kal, read thus, 'We 'loill do-what shall 'We dothrough God 'We shall do ;-but as the verb is .in
Niphal, there must. necessarily. be a distinction
between the futures of the two conjugations; and we
finn that the ancient Hebrews always attended to' this
distinction, as is evident from the dijference in tlu:
orthography. This word is properly rendered thus:
let be made; which will make a material difference as
to the reading of these passages. They will read thuS':
2 Kings, 4. 10. LET THERE BE lIADE a little chamber. Cant. 1. 11. Exod. 19. 8. all that the Lord
hath spoken, SHALL BE DONE.-ch. 24. S. v. 1.
Numb. S2. S1. Josh. 1. 16.-.ch. 9. 20. what shall
be done.-eh. 20. 9. 'lohich shall he done.-ch. 2.1. 7.
WHAT SHA~L BE DONE for, 'lcl'ces.-ch. 22. 26.
v. 16. let there be prepared. 1 Sam. 5. 8.-ch. 6. i.
2 Sam. 16. SO. 2 Kings, 6. 15.-~h. 10. 5. N:eh.
5. 12. Psalm, 60. 12. for God 'will do '()aliant~.
-108. 13. Cant. 8. 8. Jer. 18. 12.-ch. 42.. ~.
--eh. 44 .. 17. -- eh. 44. 25. our '()OW8 'SHALL BJ:
PERFORMED.
Isaiah, 26. 18. shall be wrought.
2 Chron. 20.12. 'a'hal SHALL BE DONE. Jud. 11.10.

if there be not done.


These I believe are nearly all the places where

this word occurs in the Niphal form, which I have


se1ectedto show that. this reading is not <;>nly

con,'.

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, 106

tent with, tM grammar of the language, but also, &hat


it reads much better than. the present translation of
the above passages. This will justify me in so rendering this word in the passage under consideration, viz.
Gen. ]. 26. ntgit-. Nangaseh, let he made. From
:which proofs: it:wlll be seen that this passage cannot,
eoDsistently wiih the original, be read as ii is in the
tlanslation. viz. and God said, let us make man in our
i1llllge, after OU1' likeness; but, a~eeably to the
meaning of the inspired writer, who was commanded
to communicate to the Hebrews, and to posterity,
the knowledge of the creation of the world, and of
man. Now, as in this narrative, Moses was speaking with the people, he informed them, that God
ereated man in their image, viz. '!lg7~ in our image,
says !\foses, which image he obviously applies to
themselves. , So that, though the word ~~~ Betsal:
fIZ1K)U, be truly rendered, its application is wrong,
for it is represented in the translation, 88 though it
were applied to God, whereas it was applied to the
lsraelites' by Moses. Thus: and God com'li'tanded
~ to be 'made in otlr image; or thus: and God
laid~'et man be made in our image. Hence it appears
that o'i;t~~ Elhoim, God, is not a plural noun, by
hei()~ connected with ~~ Nangaseh, whih has'
Ileen rendered by the plural U8, ever since the time
of J erolDC, the first translator of the Hebrew Bible into
~e Latin language, but which was understood as above
Ity the Hebrew legislator, and 'aU the ancient

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107
Hebrews before the tlispersion. This rendering of
the word Q'J-:t?~ EUwim, God, as a noun singular, is
also confirmed in the very next verse, where the word
is connected with the third person singular of the verb,
and the pronoun singular his, viz. c~;:t;~ N'-1~ so
GOD C1tEATED man '07~il in HIS image; in the image
~~ C';:t~~ of CTOd cre~ted HE him; which, agreeably,
to our idiom, may be thus rendered, as the yepetition
of the noun is consistent with the rules of the language: so God created man in his, man's image,
which image was created in the similitude of God.
J

Now as it is expressly said, that man was creat~d


~:r in the image of God; and it is prov~d above
that
Tse/em, refers only to the external visible
. image or form: it must be admitted, if Scripture be
allowed to decide this important matter,
that ~H
.
.
Elhoim, means the external visible form of God~
which is said to be that of man. If it be contended
~ that the infinite attributes of the Supreme Being in all
their distinct existence in him constitute a plurality,
this must be allowed; but tIps was not understood
by the ancient Hebrews as constituting a plurality of
vis~ble persons, .any more than the finite attributes in
man constitute a plurality of visible -persons. The
difference is: in God they are INFINITE, in man
they are finite and circumscribed. And it must
appear obvious to the unlearned, as well as to the
learned, that the attributes, or properties canilot be

D'r::

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108
visible in their Oligio, but can only be known to exist
by their effect. We know by 'experience that the
attributes or properties of the soul of man are not
seen, they only operate by means of the visible body.
Having thus shown that ~~~ Elhoim, God, by
bt:ing connected with verbs, nouns, and atfjecti'Oes,
which have been supposed to be plural, is not a
plural noun, I shall refer the reader to such passages,
as will incontrovertibly prove that this word is uSed
as .a noun singular, which will establish the scriptural
doctrine of the unity of Go~.
We cannot underst~d from the writings of the
;Apostles, or the venerable bishops during the conti..
nuance.C?f the 'Apostolic churches, that the notion
, of a plurality of persons existiuAf out Wthe di'Oin~
fUlture, was entertained by them. In the time of-the
prophets, the unity of God WQ.$ the esta~lished beliaf
of .the whole nation; and Moses was commanded to
. say in the first person singular "!111$;'~~ "!'7a, I am,
that I anz. The same doctl"ine was given to Abrar
ham. Exod. 6. 3. M?~! AND I APPEARED unt.q
4brallam, unto I8aac, and unto Jafob, by the 'lame
oj God Almi,ghty, '~o/"' hut hy MY.name Jehq'Otffl
'f:W1i~2Vas I NOT KNOWN to them., Hera also the
pronoun of the first person singular is ..used to signify
the Unity of-God in Ol\e divine person~
."
,

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109
. It is an invariable rule in the Hebrew language, that
the noun agrees with
verb number
person.
Unity of
The first verse in the Bible begins with
God: In the, beginning C';;;~ 'N::~ GOD CREATED
the Ileaven and the earth. C'~~ Elohzm necessarily'
agrees with N?~ he created. But if Elhoim, God,
were to be rendered as Dr. Clarke supposes,
N'H Baara, could not have been written and rendered
as
third person singular preter the
it
must have been writtm and rendered as the third
~Nl:t they created; which would
person plural,
incontrovertibly have established polytheism.
The same order was always observed by the
inspired writers. .It is never said C'~~ ~'9N'" and
Gods said, but c';:t~~ j~N~ and God said- God Sll1D
Psalm, 100.
C'~~ N~iT :ViT~ W!
in~Q 1~ '~lt !JYI~~ Na,., !J)i;'l! ~iT, Know ye that th~
Lord lIE God, zs
that hath 11lade
and not
we ourselves, we are HIS people, and the sheep 0/ HIS
pa,vtU1'e. Here
pronoun
the third person singular ~~ N~iT HE is God. ~iW N~iT HE hath made
us; and
pronoun possessive '!:i:IJl
people,
'I.n'.V;Q H IS pasture; regularly occur; but if C';;~
Elhoim
been plural, these pronouns must necessarily have been plural also, which must have been
rendered, know
that
THEY
GODS,.
it is THEY that hath made 'Us and not 'We oursel"el~

110
IVe are THEIR people ant! the sheep

0/ THEla pas-

ture.

Gen. 2~ 2. ~~, God ended his work-to grOw.ch. 6. 1g. D"~~ ~ qnd God looked.-ch. 17. 3.
and God talked '{oitlt him.-ch. 20~ 17. and God
healed Abimelech.-ch. 31. 24. Levit.. 18. 4.eh. 19. 2. Deut. 5. 6. v. 9.-ch. 6. 4.-ch. 7. 9.
Psalm, 78.59.-81. 10. Isaiah, 45. 21.-ch. 44. 6.
-ch. 4. 6. Jer. 10. 10. Hos. 13. 4. Jonah,~. 6.

I could cite hundreds more, but these are sufficient.


In all these passages, and uniformly throughout the
Scriptures, the word .~~ ElllOim; God, is joined
with 'Oerbs, at/jectivta, and p"onou1Is, singular, except
where the translators in two or three places, have
erred in the application, as noticed above; which is
unquestionable evidence that the word ~~ ElkQim,
God, is a noun singular, and, consequently cannot
refer to a plurality of persons existing out rf the
divine nature.
There is one passage, in which this word has been
evidently Dlisu~derstood by the translators, 1 S~.
is. 14. 15. And the king said Ull.to her, be not

t(raid; for what stest thou? and the woman said


unto him, I BarD Gods ascending out of the eartn. '
4.lId he said unt9 her, what form HE tff? and she
laid, an old man cometh up; alui HE i, cO'Oered withI

is

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111

"mantle.

Here again, the pronoun of the third


person singular occurs, NlIi'1 HE, viz, what form is HE
of, HE is covered with a mantle, whiCh shows that
~~ Elhoim, God" should have bem rendered a
noun singular. Dr. Clarke says, Cf \Ve have seen
that the word D';:;;~ Elkoim, God, is plural ;." and thu
is the opinion of many well-meaning writers. But,
on the contrary, if the original scliptvres are to
decide the matter, we have seen that this .word was
used by
the sacred writers as a noun singular, to
denote the unity of God..
'

all

N ~ither is ~e word ~;:t;~ Elhoim, God, plural"


because some have supposed that it has a plural termination. I have before observed, that c~ !Jim, was
not a plural tennination; Bnd I h&.ve given the.
reason. There are great numpers of words whic~
have the same termination, and which nevertheless
are singular; on which account, these might be said
to be plural also, as C~!7.?, Eg!JPt-I:J~~~~, the
Hea'Ven-I:J'~ ~1! D'~ t face to face.. And though
, \\'e are told, that "both the noun and the root of
D';P~ Elhoim, God, are preserved in the Arabic,"
I assert, without the fear of contradiction, that. this
word' never had root, because it is not a derivative,
but a compound word from ~"i Jehovah, and ~ El,
viz. the i'1' Yod and he, comprehending the uistence :
of Deity, ~d ~~ EI, his jJ07IJer, strength, might,
whi~h ill ita meaD~' in all the Scriptures; by whie"

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manifested power he created the world.


These
together form the word 'iP~ Eloehea, God, and which'
is the same as the word O'r:t'~ Elhoim, God; only ,
it regularly occurs in regimen, as observed; but
when the D Mem is added, it forms the absolute, by
which it is distinguished from 'ljJ~ Eloehea, the relative.
This word being a com pound word, there is not
any necessity for us to go to the Arabic, as Dr.
Clarke thinks, to find a supposed root for it. a1S'
.Allah, is no doubt the common name for God ill
Arabic, which is literally a copy of the Chaldean
jlt~~ Elaall, God.
It is for this reason, as is ohserved by the learned
Abarbanal, and others among the Rabbies, that the
words ~~ Jehovah, and o~~ Elhoim, God, ali
they always are to he met with : either together or
separate when any command or prophecy .is given,
and ~ever any of the other names of God; therefore
that the one signifies his E88ence, the other his irifluClee, .or external manifestation. From what has
been said on this subject, there cannot be any doubt
but that ~~ Jelwoak, means" the unsearchable and
incommunicable principles of Deity." Therefore, to
inculcate that degree of sanctity and reverence, which
the ancient Jews entertained concerning the ineom- .
mumcable nature of Deity, they Dever wrote, nor

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Its
pronounced the word Ml~ JekO'Dak; but with regard
to the word O'rPM. Elhoim, God, it means his esSence,
,
joined with his almighty powel in visible existence,
as by ~i8 power God brought forth all his wQrks in
visible ,creation. Therefore, in the first chapter of
Genesis we always meet with the word c~~ Elkoim,
God, but never O'rP~ ~~ Lord God, as in the
second chapter; for the first chapter relates to the
-existence, or most external manifestation of God,
opera~ng from the essence, or inmost ground, for the
production of created things: hence it M said, In tl4e
beginning o~~ Elkoim, God created the heaven anti

Ike earth.
Now ~~ JghO'tJah, the essence, being self-essent,
and self-existent, it ~ust appear demonstrably evident
that one self-essent, self-existent being could Dot
possibly produce another self-essent, seJi:.existent
being; cODSequeritly, there cannot be two beings of
the same self-existing essence. Therefore from" the
wonl D'~ El~oim, God, to infer the doctrine of a
Trinity of persons OUT of the divine nature, co-eoal,
co--equal, and eo-eter1Ul1 with eaeh Qther, ~ust appear
as inccmsistent with reason, as it is with Scripture.

...
As I do not wish to go beyond ~"hat is written for
our information in Scripture, I shall attend to the
literal and obvious meanin~ of the inspired Wliters,
B

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in the following passages, and leave every man to
think for himself. It is said, Gen. 1. 27. So God
created man ~~~~ in his mon image, in the image W
God created he him. 'o~~ Betsalemo, is a noul)
substantive, and with this form alld ',construction,
throughout'the Scriptures, is applied to the external
form, or ima~e. N mnb. 32:. 52. Destroy all their
images. 1 Sam. 6. 5, 1 L make images. Ezek. 7. flO'.
hut they made the images if' their abomination, i. e.
the external form of the idols they worshipped.
Which evidently proves, that the same word was in
this first chapter of Genesis applied by the venerable
penman to the external form, outward appearance,
or figure of man, which is said to be in the image of
, God. This is continued in the 7th verse of the next
chapter, where a distinction is made between the
body and the soul ,and,the Lord God formed man

of the

dust if the ground, and breathe' into his


nostrils the breath if life, and man became a living
soul. This form of God is also confirmed in various

parts of Scripture, where the language cannot be


metaphoIically understood. Ezek. 1. 26. And upon
the likene8S qf the thl01le, was the likeness as the
.appearance qf a ltIAN above, upon it. Dan. 7, 13. 14.

AlJd behold, one like the Son qf l1uin came with the
clouds if'heaven, and came to the ancient of days;
am tlleJ/ hrougkt him 11ear b~fore him. From which
itis.evideut, that God appeared to the. prophets in,a
human fOfm, which form refers to C';:6~ Elhoim,

115
God, or the externally visible

m~ifestation

of the

Deity. '.
This explanation, here gi~en by the prophets,concerning the manifested form of God, will but ill agree
with Dr. Clarke's notion; for he does not allow him
to have any form at all. He says: "God is an infi..
nite spirit, and cannot be confined' to any form, so
He can have no personal appearance." Now, as
\
the prophets declare him to be in the form of man,
whether are we to believe the prophets, or Dr. Clarke,
who has fallen into this enor? If this were true, what
a lamentable state should we be reduced to! for,
though God is infinite, if He could not manifest
Himself in His own form, which is the form in which
He created man, we could have no idea of God, any
more than we can -of ilifinite Space; and it brings us
to the Socinian notion adopted by Dr. Priestley, that
" we ,can have no idea of God, but that of infinite
space." God is 'the object of worship, but we cannot
worship a God, if we cannot form some determinate
conception of such a being. If then "God has no
,
~rsona} appearance" but is like to irYinite space, as
infinite spa<;e is not an object that comes l\'itbin the
limit of our comprehension, neither could an infinite
and incomprehensible being be an object of our wor.nip,' -unless he condescended to manifest himself in
human form, because there would be no object for
our adoration.

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I come now to the application, viz_ .to shaw from
tfle express letter of Scripture, consistently with what
has been said, who we are to understand this D';:r,~
Elhoim, God, of the Old Dispensation, and. the 8Eos:
Theos, of the New Testament, to be. The Apostle,
speaking of the Israelites, when they came out of
Egypt, and tthe mighty things that~" Elhoim,
God. did for them, says: that'this Elhaim was the
rock that followed them, and that THIS ROCK WAS
CHRIST. -Isaiah says, concerwlIg this Elkoim, hehold,
II 'Cirgin shall conceive, and h60r a. 80n, and ,hall
tall his name Immanuel, God 'loit/, tao The Apostle
l\fatthew confirms it: Now all this fDal done that it
mig/It .be fu!filled which was spoke'll '!f the Lord
(i. e. Christ) hy the prDphet, 86;1If!, 'Behokl a 'Oirgw
,-hall be'l~itk child, and: shall bring forth II S01I, and
'ke!! shall call' hi, ;,ame Immfm:u.el, 'llJhi.ch" ~
tNJerpreted, i& " Godwith tis." Joh..n, ch. i.. 1.. calls'
him tHor, God, which is farther oonirmed by the
Apostle Paul, who says, in him d'W8Iktlt. ALL t~,.
julJneas of the Godhead bodil# . Now,' if. '~an the
fullness of the GodlD.ead bodily dwells' in Christ,"
whc::re are we'~ direct our views in divi~ wor.sht~
but to 1;Iim in whom tIle ",,hole fullness of the God~
head dwells.?
-'
Having proved from Scriptur~ that the v~
~tation of Deity is Christ, .or, which is the
same, that the manifestation of Deity in lu.untaA fona

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117
is Christ, I may be asked the same question as \V85
put to me by the late Dr. Priestley, viz. "if Christ be
God, was heaven without God, when Christ was
upon the earth?" Such reasoners suppose that God
possesses perfections in common ,,ith themsel ves.
They forget that He alone possesses ukifjuit!J; that
He is o~'Ilipresent and omniscient, and therefore the
Supreme Being can manifest Himself in all places at
the same time. Now as God only can possess these
infinite perfections, I hope there is not a member of
the Church of England, or of any other church. who
believes in the divinity of Christ, but that also believes
in his uo;fju;t!j.
However, as in all these cases the
\
ScrjptUl'e-is. to determine the matter, we will tum to
'that authority. Christ, in plain terms, informs us,.
that He po~sses these infinite perfections" and that
He manifests Himself in all places at the same' time.
John, 3. 13. And no man hath ascended up to
heaven, hut He that came down from heaven, even
the BOil of Man which is in hea'l:cn.
That there are three visible persons out of tilt:
divine nature, " united' in council and effort," is not
only asserted by this writer, but has also heen the
belief of many of the learned in former ~aes. I trust
it will appear that this view of the subject is not
icripturaJ. That there are three persons in tile
divine n~tur.e is the language of the Scriptur~. But
,this must be underst,ood agreeably to the true and

-.

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118
ancient meaning, and application of the' Latin word
PERSON A, from whence comes the English word

person.
, This en'or has no doubt been confirmed by the
very' improper ullderstandin~ and customary application, of the word persona, which, in ancient Lati.
nity, was never used in the sense in which it is now
understood. When the Latin was a living languag~,
the word persona was understood to mean the. quali. tics of the mind, as constituting a character, either
good or bad; but it has so far degenerated into
tangible materiality, that, instead of being used as
anciently to signify a character, ojJice, or pe)'sonal
,qualities, it is applicd to mean the material body of '
man. That it was originally applied to signify per-

sonal qualities, particular ~on.stitution of the mind,


a character, or l1Jic:e, is confirmed by the following

authorities: Sustineo unus tres personas, meam


adversari judices. 1 Persona tragica. a Eripitur persona, manet res. J Magistratus gerit personam civitatis.' Ad tuendam personam magistrat6s. f From
which it appears that the word persona, in ancient
Latinity, meant a character, and not literally a person.
in which bense it is now comlI)only understood.
Hence it is certain, without any controversy, that
the true doctrine of the Scriptures on this subject is:
I

Cic. Ph;edr.

Lucr.

Plan. 100. 'de Or. 169.

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That there is one God, operating in three distinct


characters; that the ineffable Deity cannot be known,
or seen, only as He has been pleased to embody
His glory in the divine human of Christ, who, in
His divine body, . is the visible manifestation of God,
in visible human form, independent of created mat..
ter. The visible medium IN whom the fulness of the
Godhead dwells bodilY-THROUGH whom He made
the,worlds, and BY whom He redeemed man. This
is the view, which the Apostle had of the etermu
TRINITY IN UNITY, in one divine' human form,
even Christ, who follO'Wed them through the wilde'I"'fleas, which he confirms in those ever memorable
words,for in Him dwelleth ALL the fulness WOle
Godhead bodily. Thus he understood that the Godhead was the Father, who dwells in Christ, as the
soul dwells in the body of man; my Father that
dwelleth IN ME, He doeth the works. So that, consistently with the express declaration of Scripture, if
I may be allowed the expression, and it were pos. sible to speak with that reverence which the subject
requires, the body of the FATHER is the SON, the
divine essence or soul of the SON is the FATHER,
and the HOLY PROCEEDING from the FATHER and
the SON, which creative influence manifested the
visible creation, and by perpetual influx supports the
universe, is the HOLY SPIRIT.

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.Thissctiptural definition of, the divine Trinity' IN
the. Supreme Being, will perfectly agree with that
copy of the genuine faith of the Apostolic churche$,'
which is calle4 the Athanasian creed. It becomes
plain to the meanest capacity, that we rvorSkip OM
God in Trinity, and Tt'znity in Unity; neither co.
fDUnding the perao'lls, nor dividing the sOOstance.
For' the'l'e is one character of tke FATH Elt,tllIOtlle'r
of tke SON, and another of the HOLY SPIB. IT. But
the Godhead of tke FAT lIE Il, ttl the SON, anti '!I
tke HpLY SPIRIT, is all one, the Glory equal, th.e
Mtdesl!Jco-eternal. The FATHER UN':REATE, tk~
SON UNCltEATE, and the HOLY SPIRIT VNCREAT:E..
The FATHER ETERNAL, the SoN ETERNAL, and
the HOLY SPIRIT ETERNAL; and yet there are not
tkreeetet'1lais, but'ONE ETEltN.AL.
~
. The athe';8 God) the Son is G(Jd, and th~ HDly
Spirit is God. And yet they are not three GodS,
lmtoNE GOD. Before I conclude, I think it ileees~
sa~y to say by way of cautio:p, that, whoever may he
disposed to cavil, on the ground of their own under..
MaRding, hldepodently of the authority of Scriptnre,
to which I have uniformly attended for proof of. what
is advanced in these pages, that they do not charge
me with inconsistency because I have said God maD~
fests Himself in human form, that I mEtan He is
pcceSiarily confined to that one human form iIi one

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place.

I again repeat what I before said, that, such


personS form ideas of God similar to those they form
of man; they forget that He alone possesses ubiquity;
and that, by this attribute, inco~ceivable to us, He is
omnipresent, agreeably to 'the words of Christ him. self: no man hath ascended up to hetl'Oen, but He
. that'came downfro1n heaven, EVEN THE SON OP
MAN;, WHICH IS IN HEAVEN. This is He who
declares himself to be the FATHER and the SON.
Philip saith, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, have I been so l(jng
time with you, antl yet hast thou 110t knonJn me,
Philip? he that hatl, seen nle hath seen the Father,
ontl how sayest thou then, show us the Father. This
is He who declares himself to be the Father, Son,
. and Holy Spi,.it. John, 16. ]7. Nc"certiteless I tell
!IOU the truth: it is upeliicnl for !lUll, that I g"
trlOQY ; for if I go not way, the coniforter 'IJ)ill not
come unto you; but if I depart, Iw ILL SEN D HIM
unto you. This is He who declares himself to be
the omnipotent. Matt. 28. 18. A lid Jesus come flnd
spake unto them, saying, ALL POWER 1S GIVEN ..0
'liE in heaven and in eartll. Omniscient, Matt. 9.4.
A.nd Jesu.J, kno'tl)illg their thougilts, said, 'lt1herefore
think ye e-cil in your heart.,? John, g. 24. And
Jesus did not commit himself unto them, becau.Jc HE
KNEW ALL lIEN, and He needed not thatanyshoult!
teatif!J f!! him: for HE KNEW WHAT WAS IN :&IAN'.
ch. 6. 64. For Jesus' kne'lD from tile beginlling, 'to""

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they were that helieved rtOt, and who sho~ld lJetrlJ!J


him. That He forgives sin, Matt. 9. 6 .. that ye may
know that the Son of -'Ifan hath power on earth to
forgi~e sins. Luke, 7. 48. tlzy sills are forgiroen.
And, lastly, that He gh'es eternal life. John, ]0.
Y. 1. 8 .If,fy sheep hear my.voice, and I k12O'tJJ them,
and they follow me. And I GIVE UNTO THE)r
ETERNAL LIFE, neither shall any pluck tltem out
.tlf-.my halld.-ch. 17.2. As thou hast given him
pO'loer over alljlesh, that HE SHOULD GIVE ETER)l AL

LIFE TO AS MANY AS 'fHOU HAST GIVEN

5. 21. For as the Fatlzer raiseth up the


dead, and quickeneth them: even so the SON quickeneth WHOM HE WILL.
HIM.-ch.

I shall conclude these remarks by observing, that


in what this. industrious writer has hitherto sajd, I
c:annot find that he has illustrated any difficult or
controverted passages-nothing hitherto is advanced
to silence the objections of the Deist-no contradictions, nor inconsistencies, as they stand in the
translation of the book of Genesis, reconciled ;-no
satisfactory attempt to'remove the veil of sophistry
and false philosophy, '" hich the enemies of the BiblB
have <;lrawn over the face of truth; he has not so far
looked over the gloomy mountains of error, by contending for the faith delivered to the Apostles, FaUters,
and Bishops, of the Christian Churches, respecting
the Trinity; but he calmly swims down the unruffled

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stream of popular oplDlOn, except in the solitary
instance of adopting the monkey for the serpent, to
bring about the faU of man.
These remarks are not made with a view to interest, as according to appearance the author must 'be a
c<;>nsiderable loser by writing and publishing them.
He can say of a truth, that they are made only with
a view to restore as much as possible the true reading, ancient meaning, and application of the Scriptures, as understood by the inspired writers. Yet he
has found that the publishers of those things, against
which he has thought it his duty to speak in favor of
the truths of the Bible, have been offended, though
what he has said has been acknowledged by them to
be consistent with the original Hebrew. But, in this
Augustine a~, in this truly liberal and noble .nation,
where the Bible is in the hand of the school boy, and
,all sects are protected alike in the worship of God,
agreeably to the dictates of their cdnsciences, truth
must finally of necessity prevail: like a hidden fire,
which, though it may have been smothered, for a
"time, it will break forth from the humble solitude,
lmd, with all the energy of its pure nature, the sacred
flame will asccnd unadulterated to its native heaven.

If thc' author of these commentaries should feel


the truth of any thing here advanced, and should see
a greater beauty and sanctity ill the Scriptures by

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acknowledging what cannot be denied, without rejecting the solemn declarations of the inspired \liriters,
and ,also of the ancient Hebrews before Christ, that
the above particulars respecting the serpent are to be
understood in an allegorical sense, as descriptive of
the sensual prineiple in man; it will be a proof of
his candor, and that he is open to conviction. A's
truth appears to be his object, though he may feel
unpleasant on having suffered himself to have been
so hurried away by opinion, as to contradict the plail1
assertion of the sacred writer,. who says, that these
things are to be understood allegorically; and to
attach blame to,those who do not see with our eyd, by
applying to them, in a way of contempt, the epithets
of "Spiritualisers, Metaphor-men, and Allegorists,
who have disgraced pure religion." I say, as truth
is his object, he will be as thankful for information
that leadft~ out of the labyrinths of error, as the
weary traveller, who, baving lost his way, is directed
into the path, which leads to his habitation.
In his voluminous comments, he has introduced a
variety of languages, but I cannot see that these
Janguages cast any light on the original Scriptures.
It can be of little consequence to know, that "the
~nglll;h word woman comes from the Saxon word
wODlbman, or a man with a womb;" that the word
" loaf comes froUl hlaf, bread;" and of less consequence in an elucidation of the Scriptures, to be

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12.5
informed, that our English noblemen were once very
hospitable, and kept open house, where all strangers
were at liberty to enter, and eat. .as much as they
would. These things appear to me altogether as
unnecessary; when giving a literal interpretation of
Scripture, as for him to introduce a system of philosophical chemistry, and as inconsistent with reason,
as to suppose that the sun is a habitable world.
It was reasonable to expect from such a display of
various languages, -that we should have had many
mistranslations in. the book of Genesis rectified, and
the Scriptures in those places rendered something
nearer to the native beauty of the original. But ag
this is not the case, it' is another proof that the
Hebrew language can interpret itSelf, and that other
languages cannot possibly give us any information so
as tO,elucidate any p~rt of the divine \nitings.
These observations will be attended with a greater
degree of conviction, when it is recollected that God
gave his word to man in the Hebrew language, (as
above) therefore, if the Hebrew Scriptures, ill which
God made known his will to nlan, were so incomplete, so defective" or so difficult to be understood,
that we were under the necessity of ft'sorting to all
the:-EaStem languages, which were not th~n iii existence, in order to pn a knQw~ge of the will of

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God; it would cast a shade over infinite wisdom,


and prove that his will was never known fi'om Adam
to the time of the birth of languages at Babylon.

THE END.

, ' .

l'RUITEO BY A. I. VALPY, -TOOJ('S COUB1, ..


COAII.CERY !.AIi}!,. r.olioo~,-

tau-

(" Ir. ,'~ '-:'

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