Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Tance.

We now cheerfully con- prove them revelations from front them with witnesses of its heaven ? high antiquity, and general pre- Our object is to show, that the valence among the nations, not belief of a divine Trinity has only from the snowy mountains been general among the nations. of Tibet, the dreary forests of We do not contend that pagan Siberia, the Yncas of America, Gentiles had uniform or scripturand the amiable islanders of the al ideas of the Trinity ; but we Pacific Ocean ; but from the expect to show, they in general ancient seats of science on the had some obscure information, banks of the Nile, from the tem- some faint impressions of a Trinples of India, the literati of ity in the divine Being. Greece and China, and the holy Plato, and more explicitly his books of the Hebrews. Though followers,* exhibit a supposition Unitarians “ are the men, and of a Trinity. Cyril says, that wisdom may die with them,” we Porphyry, expounding the sentialso presume “to show our ments of Plato, saith, “ that the opinion.”

essence of God proceeds to three The extent and uniformity of Hypostases, or persons; that the the doctrines mentioned, furnish supreme God is the supreme conclusive evidence, that they Good ; that the second is the Cremust have been revealed. They ator ; that the third is the munmust have been revealed to Ad- dane soul, or universal Spirit.am or his immediate posterity: In Plato, Epist. 6, page 323, is How else should doctrines be- the following sentence : come extensively known, this law be constituted by you, which are not discoverable by and confirmed by an oath, not any process of human reason- without obtesting both God, the ing? By what mode of argu- Imperator of all things, both mentation could Cain and Abel which are and shall be ; and the have been persuaded to kindle Father of that Imperator and the fire of their altars? How

Clemens Alexandrishould savage tribes be satisfied

nus, and others interpret this of respecting the immortality of God, the Father, and God the the soul, while the greatest phi- Son. Plotinus wrote a book of losophers of Athens and Roine* the three Persons, or Subsistenwere skeptics respecting this The first he makes the suinfinitely important doctrine ? preme, eternal being, who geneWhat is there in nature, that rated the second. Cyril says, suggests an idea of the Trinity? "he contemplated not the whole Why should a Triad be common right, but in the same manner all over the world, rather than a as they, who follow Arius ; he Decade, or any other number, divides and supposes subjects, inhad not the doctrine of the Trin- ducing Hypostases (or persons) ity been revealed ? Does not the subordinate among themselves, eristence, especially the exten- and conceits the holy and con"sive prevalence of these opinions

• Plotinus, Porphyry, Jamblicus, Socrates and Tully.

and Proclus.

« Let

SO

cause."

ces.

substantial Trinity to be three ses; but Mr. Bryant contends distinct Gods." We find fre- that he was Joseph. All the vequent mention of a Trinity among ry ancient accounts of the Egypthe later Platonists of the Alex- tians confirm the fact, that they andrian school.* The learned were acquainted with the docCudworth says, we may reason- trine of a Trinity in the divine ably conclude, that what Proclus Being: asserts of the Trinity was true, Hermes Paemander calls the as it was contained in the Chal- Il'ord, the Son of God; co-essendaic oracles. It was at first a tial and co-eternal with the Fatheology of divine tradition or ther, the Creator of the world. revelation, or a divine Cabala ; He speaks of the divine Spirit, among the Hebrews first, and as the nourisher and imparter of from them communicated to the life, the supporter and ruler of Egyptians and other nations. all other spirits, and concludes

Diodorus Siculus bestows the an address to the three persons highest encomiums on Hermes thus, “O Lord, thou art one Trismegistus, as the founder of God.” the Egyptian learning, and it is Sanchoniathon, who flourished said he received his name “ from about thirteen centuries before his teaching the doctrine of the Christ, confirms the truth, that T'rinity.The Chronicum Al- the neighbouring nations belieyèxandrinum relates, that there ed the doctrine of a Trinity: lived among the Egyptians the In explaining the hieroglyphics first of the family of Chaan Se- of the Phenician worship, he sostris, who held that there were says, “ Jove is a winged sphere three principal powers, virtues, out of which proceeds á serpent." or forms in God, for which "The sphere or circle represents reason he was called Hermes the divine nature without begin. Trismegistus. Suidas says that ning or end. The serpent is his Hermes Trismegistus was Il'ord, which animates and en. named, because he asserted that riches the world; the wings are there was a Trinity, and that emblems of the Spirit of God! in the Trinity was but one, Dr. Stuckely, who wrote in the Deity.

The learned Morneus early part of the last century, observes, that Hermes Trisme- confirms and illustrates this opin, gistus used the same words rez ion. He says, “this symbol," specting the Trinity, which were the snake and circle, “is grav. afterwards used by the apostle en on the ancient temple at Au. John. The Greeks called Christbury [in England,] on innimeLogos. Zeno and John called rable Egyptian monuments, it the Creator of the world Logos. always holds the uppermost, the Lactantius and Tertullian' say, first, and chief place, which that Trismegistus, and the Sy- shows its high dignity." He hils obtained a tradition, that denies that this was an Egyptiani God created all things by his co- invention, “ The Egyptians omnipotent Son. Many authors took this, and hieroglyphic writsuppose Trismegistus was Mo: ing in general, from the com:

mon ancestors of mankind. This Gale,

is proved from the universality

SO

ܪ

of the thing, reaching from Chi- things.

things. This answers to the na in the east, to Britain and Kather, (virtue) the Cochma, America, in the west.” Aris. (wisdom) and Binah, (intellitotle says that he and others of gence) of the Hebrews. Plu. fered a threefold sacrifice in ac- tarch, though he himself rejectknowledgment of the threefold ed the doctrine of the Trinity, perfections in the Gods.

informs us, that Zoroaster is Calcidius, a disciple of Plato, said to have made a threefold distinguished the divine nature distribution of things. He asinto the Father, and the Son, signed the highest rank to who created the world, and the Oromasdes, who is called the Spirit, who enlivens. The first l'ather, the middle to Mithras, arranging, the second command- who is called the second mind, ing, and the third actuating all and the lowest to Ahrimenes. things. Plotinus, another

an

That the doctrine of the Trincient philosopher, asserts, that

its, that ity is of the highest antiquity, has the doctrine of the Trinity was been inferred from the carvings an ancient opinion before the in the temple of Elephanta, an time of Plato, and delivered island five miles from Bombay. down from the Pythagoreans to These carvings have been recks the Platonists,

oned among the most inexplicaMr. Maurice, in his Indian An, ble wonders of the world. Są țiquities, assures us, that one of many ages have they defied the the most prominent features in nouldering hand of time, so rethe Indian theology, is the doc; mote is their antiquity, that no trine of a Trinity. Brakma, history records their design ; no Veeslinu, and Seeva constitute annals of other times relate the the grand Hindoo triad of Deity, era in which they were formed i He says this doctrine is found in no tradition tells the names of the nearly all the systems of oriental artists by whom they were exetheology. In the Geeta of India cuted. The doctrine of the the doctrine of a Trinity was Trinity explains the mystery; , written fifteen hundred years be- In the most conspicuous part of fore the birth of Plato,

the oldest temple, perhaps, in In the oracles of Zoroaster, the world, the traveller beholds who by some is considered the with surprise and amazement a grandson of Ham, and by others bust of the presiding God. The the son or grandson of Noah, bust formed from the solid rock are the following remarkable ex- is twenty feet in breadth, and pressions ; “Where the pater, eighteen in height, having three naľ monad is, that paternal mo- heads, and adorned with all the nad amplifies itself, and gene- symbols of the most'ancient the, rates' a 'duality : for a triad of ology of India. This is a sacred Deity shines forth through the and venerable witness, giving his whole world, of which a monad testimony to the solemy fact, that is the head.” In a succceding in the remotest ages of the world passage, the three persons of the the inhabitants of India adored á Trinity are named. “ And there iriune God. Though it be not appeared in this triad, virtuin; aitempted to explain, nor fully to wisdom, and truth, that "know al illustrate the modal existence of

one

The very

Deity, yet perhaps no conception ferent sources these waters of of man could be more happy, or strife flow ; but they are all bitmore satisfy the inquisitive mind, ter to the taste. The uneasiness than this image in the island of occasioned by rivals is Elephanta. There we see a rep- trouble common to the aspiring resentation of three intelligences, of every class.

of every ciass. And it seems and one being

peculiarly unfortunate, that this The very names of the ancient trouble increases in direct proheathen gods, as well as their portion, as the man advances in triple form, often expressed a the path of renown. trinity of persons. Mercury was thing aimed at, is superiority to called Triceps ; Bacchus, Triam- others; or the possession of un bus ; and Hecate, Tergimini. In common, or singular qualities. Europe, Diana was called T'rifor. The more competitors, theremis, triple, or threefold, and was fore, the ambitious man leaves represented with three heads. behind him, the more will he be Proserpine, another Roman dei- exasperated that any should re: ty, according to Porphyry and main. But rivals will always exEusebius, gives this account of ist, even in the opinion of the herself: “ị am called,” says she, blindest self-conceit. « of a threefold nature, and also Persons eminent in any walk three headed. Three are my of life cannot but know, that othsymbols ; I bear three simili- ers have riches, beauty, wit, tudes or images."

learning, eloquence, honour, or The Vandals had a god, called whatever they may make their Triglaf; one of them was found boast, as well as themselves. at Herlungerberg, near Branden- Ahithophel and Haman are not berg. He was represented with the only statesmen, who have ex. three heads. This was doubt. hibited extreme mortification at less the trinity of European pa: the influence of others. In evegans.' Trium' deat, or Lord'in fy community there are many trinity, was worshipped in a mag- instances of the same principle nificent temple in Sweden, with causing the same unhappiness in human sacrifices.

kind, is not in degree. But if

Philo. rivals are not at hand, they will (To be continued.) be sought after till they are

found. What does it avail a man

to be the first in this or that litFAME

tle territory, while he has many An unworthy Object of Pursuit.

equals or superiors within his

knowledge? if not to be found. (Concluded from p. 352.)

in the same nation or age, the

annals of history will be searchONE evil of no small magni- ed, and foreign countries travtude in the pursuit of fame is, ersed, to find a person, with that success invariably brings whom disadvantageous compariwith it perplexities unknown be- sons can be madle. The victo-, fore. From various and far dif- rious Corsican, though his eye

should meet no object now in be* Parkhurst's Hebrew Lexicon. ing, which he would dignify with

[ocr errors]

the name of a rival, may yet find vibrating to every modulation of another tomb of Achilles, at the voice, and prepared to exewhich to express his discontent cute every mandate of the eye. and vexation.

But to be an orator is a far differ. Another prominent evil at- ent thing. It is easy for fancy tending every kind of ambition, to personate the leader of a great is the probability, which borders and victorious army, a leader, by on certainty, that the pursuer whose wisdom in council, and will never obtain even the exter- whose prowess in the field, the nal object, in the pursuit of interests of a mighty kingdom which he is so earnestly engag. have been favourably decided ; ed. Few, very few of those, with enemies humbled, and sue. who desire it, can be poets, ora- ing for peace, with rivals comtors, ministers of state, Presi- pelled to lay aside their jealousy, dents, Consuls, or Emperors. and unitedly presenting the Many of those, who set out in meed of superior merit; emu. the career of glory, scarcely lated by officers, as the model of leave the goal, before they per- military greatness, venerated by ceive the utter hopelessness of soldiers, as a delivering angel. maintaining the struggle ; and it is easy to pursue the illusion small indeed is the number of farther, and see himself enter those, whose courage, or perse- the capital cities of a nation sax: verance, or ability does not failed from danger by his arm, them, long before they approach drawn in a triumphal car by an the end of the race. Among the enraptured populace, hearing the highest, few are as high as they revival of commerce, the renew, could wish, and thousands are to- al of industry, the return of tally disappointed, to one, who in peace, ascribed to his achieve. any measure succeeds. Of all

ments, and hailed as the saviour dreams, none are so easily en of his country. couraged, as those of fame dreams have young men, but while none are more vain and they do not all make a general. shadowy. It is easy to imagine To be a poet, the possession of one's self a poet, surpassing Ho- such

mental powers, mer, Shakespeare, and Milton; scarcely to one in ten thousand, and crowned with chaplets of and the blessings of friends, eduflowers, by wondering cotempo- cation, health, and industry, raries, as well as read and admir- which meet almost as rarely, ed by succeeding ages. But, must be enjoyed ; to be an oraalas ! this makes not a poet. It tor, the labour of profound invesis easy in imagination to place tigation and wearisome study, one's self at the head of elo- the noise and exercise of the foquence ; heard at the bar, or on

rum, and the heat of earnest dethe bench as an oracle ; rever- bate, must be added to many othenced and followed by the sen- er things of difficult attainment; ate ; adored by the people, as the to be a general, the fatigue of defender of their rights, and the many campaigns must be endurbulwark of their liberties; rul- ed; and knowledge must be obing every audience with absolute tained, not in the morning walk sway, the hearts of the hearers

or the evening shade, but anid

Many such

as fall

« AnteriorContinuar »