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God, believe also in me.” If, then, he were not divine, what is the meaning of believing in him ? we might admire his pure and spotless character, but belief, or faith, can be only applied to Divinity ; and, consequently, ours is the only true faith, because we believe that Jesus is the Son of God.*
Before I proceed farther on this momentous subject, I most earnestly exhort you to lay aside that false and foolish pride of human reason, which presumes
* Since writing the above, I have read the observations made by the late Mr. Wall, which precisely correspond with my own argument. He thus remarks, when we say, “I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son, &c.” we do, by the phrase of believing in him, mean, believing in him as in God properly so called; and so we understand likewise the form of baptism in his name, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. And so did the ancients. Gregory Nazienzen, speaking of the Holy Spirit, and how we are baptized in his name, says, “ If he be a creature, how do we believe in him ? for it is one thing to believe in any one, and another to believe something concerning him; for the one is peculiar to God, the other common to any thing."
to scoff at every thing that is mysterious and incomprehensible. I entreat you rather to put your confidence in God, and whatever he is pleased to reveal, though it far exceed your comprehension, to receive it with implicit faith, and pious humility. .
Having commenced with the last solemn command of our Lord, I will point out why I consider that alone to comprehend a full proof of the Trinity in Unity. When our Saviour, who had been himself baptized as an example to others, was leaving the world, and giving a final direction as to the manner by which men were to be adopted as his Disciples, and to be made Christians, his words ought surely to be taken according to their most striking and emphatical meaning. It is asserted by some persons, that the expression of the Son, and the Holy Ghost, does not relate to persons ; that the Son of God means no more than “ a child of God,” as ascribed to a mere
religious and believing mortal, and that the Holy Ghost only implies the influence, or an attribute of the Deity. Now, let me ask you, whether it is probable that Christ should command us to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, if these Three did not constitute the great Jehovah, in whose name we were to be baptized ? Would not this command open the way to confusion and misapprehension, and tend to lead mankind into error, unless the plain and simple truth is found in the Trinity in Unity? Is it possible that the name of the Son, (if not divine and coequal with the Father,) and the name of a mere unpersonal attribụte, should be joined with that of the Father on this solemn occasion ? Can any one discover any probable cause for naming the Three on any other ground ? Can it in any other way be accounted for? The expression of name* clearly points out the union of the Three, however exceeding our comprehension and power of explanation. The well-known and disputed text, in the 5th chapter of the 1st Epistle of St. John, and the 7th verse, would (if it were universally allowed to be genuine) nearly set the matter at rest. “ For there are Three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these Three are One.” The One is expressed in the neuter gender.* Although this text is considered by many of the first biblical scholars, to be an interpolation, and acknowledged so by several of the chief luminaries of our Church, and is so allowed, by the present Bishops of Winchester and Peterborough : I cannot help entertaining a doubt, whether the concession is not more than the Socinians
* to ovoua, not ra ovouara.
Signifying one nature, or one essence. Gregory Nazienzen says, “ Every one of the Persons of the Trinity has an unity with the other no less than that which he has with himself, by reason of the identity of essence and power." in
have a right to expect from the ministers of the Church of England. That the verse is genuine, was the declared opinion of the late eminent Bishop Horsley, and is the opinion of the present learned Bishop of St. David's, as a recent publication of his Lordship. will prove.
There are only two modes of judging of the genuineness of a disputed passage, by external and by internal evidence. One eminent living prelate observes, that “ No internal evidence can prove a passage to be genuine, when external evidence is decidedly against it.” Another equally eminent living prelate, very confidently reverses this assertion, and shews that “ No external evidence can prove a passage to be spurious, when the internal evidence is decidedly for it.” In the present case, the external evidence is not decidedly against the passage ; for whoever will search into that evidence, will see, that learned commentators are by no means agreed on that point; and some