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essential natures, different and opposite powers, different and oppesite wills, different and opposite counsels, different and opposite energies. But it is not Tritheism when we maintain that Three Divine Intelligences exist, being all of the same essential nature, the same power, the same will, the same counsel, the same energies : for, by maintaining the Sameness of Quality, we preserve the Unity of Divine Attributes, and thus also preserve the Unity of Godhead.
XIV. To say that Three Intelligences are one Intelligence, would be contradiction. But to say that three Divine Intelligences are ono God is not contradiction. They are One God, by possess. ing the attributes, and acting with the energies of one Godhead.
XV. As all human conceptions of Deity must be imperfect, all illustrations of the doctrine in question must be inadequate. Let it however be observed, that in human cases, Unity and Multiplicity may be combined. Thus we read; “ All the rest also of Israel were of One heart to make David king." | Chr. xii. 38. “ Also in Judah, the hand of God was to give them One heart to do the commandments of the king, and of the princes.” 2 Chron. xxx, 12. “And the multitude of them that believed were of One heart, and of One soul.” Acts iv. 32. If, without contradiction, Unity of Mental Attribute may be ascribed to many Human Beings, it will follow, that without contradiction, Unity of Divine Attribute may be ascribed to Three Divine Intelligences.
XVI. However much through fanciful additions they may have deviated from their primitive correctness, yet it is reasonable to sup, pose that opinions, of high antiquity and general universality, must have been founded originally in truth. For, had the case been otherwise, they probably would long ago have been entirely rejected from the human mind. The idea and doctrine of a triad, have indeed undergone very strange modifications : but, as the histories of Ancient Egypt and of modern India demonstrate, that idea and that doctrine have existed for ages in Oriental nations. The fact is extraordinary ; and the most obvious method, by which we can account for it, is this ; to conclude, that the doctrine originated with the Progenitor of Markind; by him was communicated, as a notice, which he had received from his Maker, and therefore of importance to be preserved among his immediate descendants; and from them it was delivered down through succeeding generations, from the first to that which is now in being. Taken then by itself
, and divested of mythology, the doctrine of a Trinity is entitled to our regard and veneration, because so ancient and so universal.
XVII. By Revelation we mean that knowledge, which is imparted to us by divine communication. The doctrines imparted 10 Moses, and the doctrines taught by Christ, are respectively doctrines of Revelation.
XVIII. The divine Legation of Moses is demonstrated by the certainty of the Miracles, which God empowered him to work; and by the fulfilment of the predictions, which God enabled him to deliver. But of Moses, in the scriptures it was never said, that he pre-existed before he appeared on earth; that he was supernaturally born into this world ; that after death he did not experience cor. ruption, but previously to any such corruption rose from the grave. Moses gave not laws either promulgated in his own name, or in. tended for all mankind, or applicable to all conditions, situations, places, times. Moses never was represented as impeccable ; nor as knowing the most secret thoughts, words, and actions, of Man ; nor as possessing inherent efficacy for giving agility to the lame, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, sight to the blind, life to the dead, and this spontaneously and on all occasions, which to himself might seem proper. Moses never on his own authority pronounced pardon and forgiveness of sin. He never asserts of himself, that he should lay down his life for his true disciples ; that his true disciples should not perish, but have everlasting life ; that he had pow. er to lay down and then to resume life ; that he was the author of resurrection and life ; that he would call forth the dead from their graves ; that he should judge all mankind, and assign to every one his just and final retribution ; that he was to be honoured even as God the Father is honoured; that he was in divine glory with God the Father before he came upon earth ; that to such glory he should return; that God was his Father, and himself was the Son of God, in the most lofty and adorable sense, which those terms could bear according to the apprehension of the Jews. Moses never spoke explicitly of heavenly things ; promised not future rewards ; sent not apostles to teach all nations, and admit disciples by a form of words, which profess the worship of himself no less than that of the Father ; and of the Holy Spirit. Moses received no testimony by voice from heaven that he was the Son of God; is no where styled the Saviour of mankind; the Lord ; the Lord whom ye seek ; the express image of the invisible God, in which image the fulness of Godhead dwells ; that Eternal Life, which was with the Father; Emmanuel or God amongst men in the exercise of his divine powers ; nor the Sun of Righteousness; nor Jehovah our Righteousness; nor the Word of God ; nor Creator of all things that have been created; nor in a direct and unqualified manner is he styled God. It is however fact, that every proposition here denied with respect to Moses, may, on the grounds of Scripture, be positively affirmed with regard to Christ. The inference is obvious : Moses was human ; Christ was divine.
XIX. The design of Revelation is first to re-establish the primeval Laws of Morality, and the primeval Doctrines of Relig. ion, which were originally imparted from God to Man, at the time of Creation : and then, to superadd more explicit communications of knowledge on both these subjects.
XX. Nothing introductory is so full and clear as the complete Work, to which it is intended as an introduction. The First or Mosaic Covenant was introductory to the Second or Christian ; it is not therefore so full and clear as the Christian. What the Old Testament intimates obscurely, the New Testament illustrates with brighter light.
XXI. Revelation speaks to us, as to Beings endued with Rea. son, and expected to exercise our reasoning faculties. It does not therefore always teach us by methodical System”; but often leaves us, from certain Facts and given Premises, to draw our own conclusions ; conclusions however so obvious, that they cannot well be mistaken. This is remarkably the case in the Christian Revelation.
XXII. The Laws and Ordinances established among the Jews were designed to guard that people from heathen idolatry. On the recollection of this circumstance it appears extraordinary, that Moses, when he is describing the creation of the Universe, should, in order to express his conceptions of the Deity, introduce a term, which implies Plurality; and, frequently connecting it with verbs and persons singular, should use that term thirty times. Extraor. dinary also it is, that as in the Decalogue, when first delivered, so also on a subsequent repetition of their Laws, after a solemn address, demanding their attention, he should speak of the Deity in any words, which could possibly convey an idea of Plurality. Yet such an idea has been conveyed, in the very declaration, which is intended to assert the Unity of Godhead.
XXIII. It will not surely be presuming too much, if we supe pose Joshua and Solomon to be more deeply instructed in the Jewish Religion, than to be capable of using improper language lespecting the Deity. Yet the former says, “ Ye cannot serve the Lord, for he is the Holy Gods ;" (Josh. xxiv. 19.) and the latter gives this weighty instruction, “Remember thy Creators in the days of thy youth.” (Eccles. xii. 2.) In the book of Proverbs there is also this passage ; “ The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom ; and knowledge of the Holies is understanding. (Prov. ix. 10.)
XXIV. When we put together these several considerations; That the doctrine of a Triad is ver; ancient and general ; that Moses applies to the Deity a term of Plurality ; that Joshua and Solomon do the same ; there is reason for concluding that among the Jews, as among other People, there was an idea of a Trinity ; with this difference however between them and the Heathens ; the Jews admitted nothing into their opinion, which could contradict Unity of Divine attributes.
XXV. The Mosaic History does not so entirely differ from Heathen, as that there should be no kind of similarity between them. The former is indeed more correct and pure ; the latter imperfect and blended with fiction. Still however in many instances there may be traced a resemblance between them.
Why may we not reason after this manner, with regard to the Doctrines of Religion ? and why not say, the Mosaic and Jewish conceptions of Unity in the attributes of the Divine Triad were indeed most per. fectly correct and pure : but as to the doctrine of a Triad in itself, between Jewish and Heathen opinions there was some faint resemblance ; such resemblance as might lead us to imagine both Jews and Gentiles originally derived the doctrine from true communi. cation ; but whilst the former preserved, the latter grossly corrupted the truth.
XXVI. If Moses and the Jews held the doctrine of a Trinity, and the word “ Elohim” imports Plurality, it is natural to ask, How comes it to pass, that the Septuagint Version renders the first verse of Genesis in this manner, Ευ αρχη εποιησεν ο Θεος τον ερανον ! The learned and excellent Ridley, after Allix, has answered this question : “ The Talmudists own, that the LXXII Interpreters did purposely change the notion of Plurality implied in the Hebrew * Elohim” into a Greek Singular, lest Ptolemy Philadelphus should conclude that the Jews, as well as himself, had a belief of Polytheism.” According to the Ovoplasixov, “ the Greek appellations of divinity were Θεος, Θεου, Δαιμονες: Plato calls the Deity τκ Παντος Κυβερνητης, μέγισον Δαιμονα : το Θειον and Δαιμονιον are in signification the same." The expression to Kurtov might also have been added. Of all these, 0505 was the only simple and direct term which they could adopt, to counteract, idolatrous misconceptions,
XXVII. The opening of St. John's Gospel expounds the opening of the Mosaic History. The words of Moses are, “ In the beginning Bara Elohim created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen.i. 1.) St. John tells us the particular person of the Triune Godhead, by whom the Work of Creation was carried into effect. It was, by the Λογος, who was προς τον Θεον, and who was himself Θεος.. “ By Him all things were made ; and without Him was not made any one thing, which was made. By Him, “the World was made.” He became “ flesh and dwelt among us." He was not “ God the Father,” but the Moorems raça Margos, by whom “ God the Father" created the Universe, and from time to time revealed himself to Mankind. The sogos and Moroyens mean the same person, « God the Son," the second of the Mosaic Trini. ty. So true it is that the Old Testament intimated in general terms, what the New was afterwards to explain in a manner more particular : and that between both there is the closest connexion, the one being the interpreter of the other.
XXVIII. Grotius denies that the imputation of Tritheism can be charged on Christian, with more justice than on Jewish worship, “Philo,” he observes,“ styles the Reason, or Word of God, the Maker of the World ; and with the Rabbi Nachman, calls him the Angel, or the delegated Person who takes care of the Universe. The Cabbalists distinguish God into three Lights, and some of them by the very names which the Christians use, the names of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Hebrews allow, that the Spirit, by whom the Prophets were inspired, was not any thing created, and yet was distinct from him that sent it. Many of them also have a tradition that the divine power, which they call “ Wisdom," should dwell in Messiah ; whence by the Chaldee Paraphrast Messiah is called “ The Word of God;" as by David, Isaiah, and others, to the same Messiah is given the awful appellation of “God and Lord.” This is the substance of what is remarked by Grotius, a writer not to be disregarded on such a subject.
XXIX. For the certainty of their having been respectively wrought and spoken, the works of Christ and the words of Christ rest precisely on the same authority, the authority of historical tes. timony by the self-same witnesses.
XXX. The credibility, or in other words, the reason why we think the works recorded, and the doctrines taught have a claim to our belief, is founded on conviction of Veracity and Competency, both in the Sacred Historians and in the divine Instructor. The Evangelists and Apostles have proof that they were true, in what they related concerning circumstances they were competent to assertain : and Christ demonstrated the reality of his divine character; consistently with which, he could not but speak the words of truth, when he delivered doctrines which in his superlative knowledge of heavenly things he was enabled to communicate.
XXXI. It has been said the expression “ Trinity in the Godhead," Tglas av ossetatı, does not occur in Scripture. True. Nor does « Unity in the Godhead” “Ενοτης εν Θειοτητι. Nor the term “ Sacrament.” But the subject matter, which those expressions are designed to indicate, does occur : so that the objection has in it no substantial validity.
XXXII. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, are the words in which our Lord delivered to his Apostles their final commission. (St. Matth. xxviii. 19.) They may be thus paraphrased : “Go and make disciples in all nations, admitting them by baptism into the acknowledgment and religious service of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
XXXIII. On the clause, “ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," we may observe, there are pointed out three distinct objects, each of which has reference to one and the same act of mind implied in the expression “ into the name,” i. e. into the religious service or worship : and the expression “ into the name,” though but once written, is in sense and force applied to each of the three objects. Considering then this parity of reference and application, considering also there is not introduced a single word by which to give us an idea that in the acceptation of either term is intended a change from substance to quality, we have the strongest ground for maintaining that if Subsistence belongs to the first object, Subsistence belongs also to the second, and to the third. And if there be any such thing as propriety in writing, and analogy in rendering, consistently with such propriety and such analogy we cannot say, that the terms Father, and Son, imply each of them Subsistence, and then by an abrupt transition unsupported by any word which can indicate mutation, pass at once from real Subsistence to attributable quality. As then by the term “ Father" we understand real Subsistence, so in the term “Son" and in the term “Holy Ghost," we must respectively understand Subsistence.
XXXIV. If the regular, natural, and unforced construction of our Lord's final command will lead us to conclude, that by the expression “ Holy Spirit” is meant real Subsistence ; consideration of the solemn occasion when that command was given ; of the importance which must necessarily be attached to it; and of the improbability that it should be so delivered as to be ambiguous, wik furnish a strong reason for adhering to that conclusion.