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are not three Gods, but one God;" and that “in this Trinity none is afore or after another, none is greater or less than another; but the whole three persons are co-eternal together and co-equal." We maintain that the unity of God is referred to in such general terms in Scripture as to admit of some peculiar modification; that it is quite consistent with some sort of plurality; and that, as, when speaking of the character of God, we describe Him by a plurality of attributes, so there may be an analogous plurality in His very nature, or mode of subsistence. We maintain that the unity of God is opposed to Polytheism, not to Trini. tarianism, and that Trinitarianism is not to be identified or confounded with Tritheism.

But we are often told that our using the word “person," when speaking of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, necessarily involves us in a belief that these are three perfectly distinct and independent beings, and that consequently a belief in the doctrine of the Trinity is equivalent to a belief in the separate existence of three Gods. But is it not easy to see that tħis objection assumes a definition of the word "person" which we have never given, nor admitted to be appropriate ? For it takes for granted that we use this term, in reference to Deity, in the same sense in which it is commonly employed when applied to men—that, in fact, the words “person" and

— "being" are synonymous. I certainly wish that this word “person” had never been used in connexion with this controversy; but, having been so employed, it is for us, and not for our opponents, to explain the sense in which we use it. Now we protest against admitting that the words “person" and "being” are used by Trinitarians as equivalent in signification. We desire to repudiate the opinions of those who hold that the terms Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are names of mere attributes of God, or of certain relationships which He sustains towards

man ; and we use the word “person” as the most convenient term to denote a mysterious and incomprehensible, but a real, distinction between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, which is quite peculiar, and perfectly compatible with their unity of nature : a distinction which it is impossible to explain, amongst other reasons, for this—that there is no correct or exact analogy in nature to this mode of subsistence.

It is not my present purpose to bring forward anything like a detailed exposition of the Scripture proofs of the doctrine of the Trinity; it may be useful, however, to state, in a general way, the nature of the arguments by which that doctrine is proved. We may arrive at the demonstration of it either by à synthetic or an analytic process-either by showing, first, that there is but one God; secondly, that there is a plurality in the Divine nature; thirdly, that this plurality is restricted to

three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, who are represented in Scripture as bearing the titles, possessing the attributes, performing the works, and receiving the worship which belong to God. Or we may arrive at the same conclusion by showing, secondly, that the proper and essential characteristics of true Deity are associated in Scripture with three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, in consequence of which we are constrained to believe in the Deity of each; but as the Scriptures also assert that there is but one God, we must believe in the Deity of these three persons in such a sense as not to contradict the unity of the Divine nature; or, in other words, we must believe in the Trinity.

Let me, however, give a specimen of each of these kinds of argument.

That there is but One God, is stated, for example, in 'Dent. vi. 4,2" Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord.” That there is a plurality in the Divine Nature, is intimated by the fact, that the name for God-Elohim-is in the plural; so that Gen. i. 1, should be rendered, “In the beginning Elohim (Gods) created the heaven and the earth.” That this plurality is restricted to three, may be proved, as in the case of creation, from the fact, that this Divine work is attributed to three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. To the Father, as in Rev. iv. 11,-“Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” To the Son, as in John i. 3,—"All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.' And to the Holy Ghost, as in Gen. i. 2,4" The Spirit of God

the face of the waters.” Or to give a specimen of the latter mode of proof, take the case of Inspiration. This divine work is attributed to the Father, as in the words of Christ, in Matt. x. 20:4“It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.” To the Son, as in 1 Peter i. 11 :-"Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.” And to the Holy Ghost, as in 2 Peter i. 21,4"Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." But there is only One God, and therefore it is said that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” and the inspired Scripture is called “the Word of God.

We must notice here the importance of stating in correct terms the doctrine of the Godhead of each person. The phrase “Supreme Divinity” is too commonly used as its designation; but there are conclusive objections to its use. By using the word "supreme,” we give countenance to the accu

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sation, that we believe in a plurality of Gods; and there is a sense in which the Arian or Socinian will profess to believe in the “divinity” of Christ; that, for instance, His mission was divine, and His doctrine was divine : in which sense they might as well profess to believe in the divinity of Moses or Isaiah. The phrase we should therefore use in designating this doctrine is—the true and proper Deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

We should also observe, that, in arguing this question, the Deity of the Father is generally assumed or admitted without proof, because it is maintained by all Christians, by the Arian and Socinian, as well as by the Trinitarian. But there is nothing in the personal title “Father," which necessarily implies Deity, any more than in the personal title “Son.” And by assuming, or admitting without proof, the Deity of the Father, we considerably weaken the force of the reasoning which we advance in support of the Deity of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. The Arian maintains that the Father is God, and that the Father alone is God. He should, therefore, be required to bring forward proofs of these two propositions(1) For the Deity of the Father; and (2) for the exclusive Deity of the Father. And on his proceeding to do so, it will be found that his proofs are only sufficient to establish the simple proposition, that the Father is God; but not sufficient to establish the exclusive proposition, that the Father alone is God; and that these proofs are of the same kind as those by which we profess to demonstrate the Deity of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Thus, by constraining the Unitarian to produce Scriptural proofs of the Deity of the Father, we extort from him a practical sanction of the mode of reasoning by which we prove the Deity of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And then, if he should persevere in denying the Deity of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, he would virtually and necessarily deny the Deity of the Father, and thus represent the Bible as a system of Atheism ; or if, on the other hand, admitting the force of the reasoning which is advanced to prove the Deity of the Three Persons, he should persevere in denying the doctrine of the Trinity, or that the Three Persons are One God, he would thus represent the Bible as a system of Polytheism.

I would also especially remark, that the question of the Deity of Christ is quite distinct from the question of His humanity, and of his character and office as Mediator. Christ is really and truly man, and the doctrine of His proper humanity is as necessarily and indispensably a constituent tenet in the Gospel system as the doctrine of His Deity. And, indeed, it is a matter for regret, that the Church has too much lost sight of this great truth, that Christ is really and properly man, and has suffered herself to be so much engrossed with controversies as to his Deity, as to overlook the equally essential doctrine of His humanity. But the Unitarian imagines, that in proving the afirmative proposition that Christ is a man, he is at the same time proving the negative proposition that Christ is not God. Now we believe, as he does, that Christ is man; but we do not believe that He is nothing more than man. We believe also, that as man He is inferior to the Father, and that as Mediator He is subordinate to the Father; but we do not admit that arguments which prove affirmatively His inferiority as man and His subordination as Mediator, are to be advanced or received as objections against the substantive and independent doctrine of His Deity.

And now I would make a few remarks upon the moral importance of this great and leading doctrine of the Catholic Faith, in order to show how closely connected it is with our comfort and our confidence as believers, and how it exercises a powerful influence upon Christian feeling and upon Christian conduct. We believe in the Deity of the Father, to whom with the Son and the Holy Ghost we are indebted for existence, for preservation, for redemption, and for every blessing that we enjoy. What a comfort, then, to know that the Father is God; that He has infinite benevolence to invent, infinite wisdom to contrive, and infinite power to create, whatever is needful for our sustenance, our security, and our salvation. We believe in the Deity of the Son as one of the most important truths revealed to us as sinners. As Christ in His personal glory is the great object of intense admiration to all the inhabitants of Heaven, 80 the written revelation of that glory constitutes a prominent subject of attraction in that inspired record which testifies of Him. The Deity of Christ is the very vital essence and animating principle of the religion which He came to publish, and of the work which He came to perform. It is the very keystone which, by its inserted pressure, binds and consolidates into one compact and consistent structure the constituent doctrines of the Gospel, and imparts harmony and glory to the entire system of Divine Truth! If Christ be not God, He is not our Saviour ; for the Being who can address a fallen world in such language as this,-“ Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth," must be able to inspire confidence in His ability to save, by adding: “for I am God, and beside Me there is no Saviour.”

But I must dwell a little longer on the importance of the doctrine of the Deity of Christ. In Scripture He is represented as the gift of the Father in terms so strong as to imply that even God Himself could not, in the exercise of infinite love, have bestowed upon man a boon of greater value :-"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.”

“ He that spared not His own Son, but freely gave Him up for us all.” Now, let us observe how a denial of the Saviour's Deity destroys the amazing and infinite character of the Father's love. If Christ were merely a finite and created being, indebted for existence to the everlasting Father, then the Father bestowed upon man a gift which He might have repeatedly conferred, and have as often supplied His place by an exercise of the same creating power to which He was at first indebted for existence. There is but one way of obviating this charge of diluting or obliterating the infinite character of the Father's love in the gift of His Son---by admitting the testimony of Scripture, that the Son is One God with the Father.

Again, we ask, how is it possible to reconcile a belief in the disinterestedness of Christ with the doctrine that teaches that He was only a finite and created being? The exaltation to which He is now raised as Mediator, and to which He shall be further raised when He shall come again in glory, is so inconceivably great, that possibly a creature would have undertaken to endure the sufferings which Christ endured, if it were possible for a creature to endure them, with the glorious prospect in view, that when the period of those sufferings had expired, he should be raised far above all principalities and powers to the right hand of the Majesty on high. There must have been condescension even in connexion with the highest mediatorial exaltation of Christ, in order to account for the perfect disinterestedness of His love to man; but this can only be on a supposition of His Godhead.

Again, the Deity of Christ is that which gives to His atoning work a value commensurate with the requirements of God's character, and with the moral necessities of man as a guilty and condemned sinner. For what mere creature could work out a vicarious and transferrable righteousness, or endure suffering of such value as would meet the demands of the infinite justice and unsullied holiness of God. Every creature owes to his Creator, on his own account, a constant and undeviating obedience, by virtue of that position which he occupies as a subject of the moral government of God. And may we not add, that, on the supposition of Christ having been no more than man, it is difficult to regard His sufferings and His death as strictly voluntary on His part. The feelings and sensibilities of even the most exalted creature would have instinctively recoiled from the endurance of agonies so intense as the Saviour endured. But when we allow that the man Christ Jesus was sustained and supported by the presence of the Godhead which dwelt in Him, His sufferings may be regarded as strictly voluntary, and as deriving an infinite value from the Divine nature He possessed.

And what comfort does the Christian enjoy, in his daily experience, from a belief in the Deity of his Saviour. He is

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