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logical conclusion, and I propose to do this in the
sylogistic form of reasoning; thus,
1. The Scripture is clear in the representation that there is but one God—“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord."
2. But the Scriptures represent the Father as God, the Son as God, and the Holy Ghost as God.
3. Therefore the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are the one God of the Scriptures.
It is impossible to evade this conclusion.
You will of course have observed that I have made no attempt to explain the doctrine. I have simply stated what the doctrine is, and then have gone on regularly to prove it in the only way in which it is susceptible of proof, viz: by proving that each of the persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are represented as God; and as there is but one God, so these three persons are the one living and true God. This is the doctrine. Now the truth of the doctrine stands upon the proof which is brought to support it. It has no necessary connexion whatever with the possibility or the impossibiliy of explaining it. There are thousands and millions of facts, which, like this, dependmentirely, on evidence. Explanation is out of the question; explanation is not required. For, if a fact could be rejected, though it was supported by evidence, merely because the rationale, if I may so speak, cannot be explained, there is no resort but to universal skepticism. No man, under such circumstances, could believe even his own existence. A principle which leads to such conclusions, can have no claim to confidence; and no objection, founded on such a principle, is worthy of a serious and enlightened mind. The only ques-'
tion to be decided is this : Do the Scriptures, interpreted according to the ordinary principles of language, teach, that in the divine nature there is the distinction of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; three in the distinction which we call person, and yet but one in essence? It is this which I think I have proved beyond all rational objection. It is this, I say, which I have proved, not explained. If the Scriptures do teach this, there is no alternative but to admit the fact, or to deny the Bible.
By the course of reasoning which I have pursued, therefore, in relation to this matter, I gain this advantage—I merely hint at it here, because I mean to follow it out, God willing, in the next discourse—by this method of reasoning, I gain this advantage. I throw all unbelief in this doctrine on the naked ground of infidelity, where it ought to lie, and, therefore, allow no one to say, I
I do not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, because it is incomprehensible. What is incomprehensible is the mode, and I ask no one to believe the mode, any more than I ask him to believe the mode of his own existence. I require him to believe the fact–because proved to be a fact—that he can comprehend; and if he will not believe a fact proved to be a fact, by sufficient evidence, then he places himself just where every disbeliever in the doctrine ought to be placed, on the ground of infidelity. His unbelief of the doctrine is his unbelief of the word of God; and there is just the position where they ought to be driven. We can then see what they are. And then, when the mysteries of the Scriptures are concerned, such as the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the atonement,
instead of any bush-fighting, we shall have the battle for the truth, on the plain, where there are no trees, or fences, or any thing to skulk behind, and then the whole contest will be between those who are for, and those who are against God.
THE FACT OF THE TRINITY IN THE GODHEAD.
MATTHEW xxviii. 19.
You are already aware, that the prominent topic to which this text directs our attention, is the doctrine of the Trinity; and in drawing the subject to a close, as is my intention in the present discourse, a word of recapitulation becomes expedient. In my first discourse on this text, the object of my preliminary observations was to show, that it was not required of any individual to believe that which he could not comprehend; and I think that I was enabled to show, by a variety of illustrations, that all that is incomprehensible in a mystery, whether of nature, of providence, or of religion, is the mode, or manner, in which that subject exists about which the proposition to be believed is made. •And I conceded the point, that no one is required to believe any thing about the mode or manner of existence of a subject, the proposition relating to which applies only to a fact. I stated then, that the doctrine, like any other proposition, was to stand or fall by the evidence
that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life."'*
-“ Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ: for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”+—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."14"For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."S—“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”. These passages, taken obviously as they stand,
, evidently prove that Christ is represented, and represents himself as God. They all assert very directly his divine nature. But, allowing that these passages do represent Christ as divine, truly so, the objection is raised, that there are others which represent him, and where he represents himself as inferior to the Father; and therefore the objector would say, that the idea of his being God is inconsistent with these passages. I intend to give this objection every weight which can be allowed to it, and I think show conclusively, that it goes on an entire misunderstanding of what we assert in relation to the divinity of Christ. I will mention the strong+ Colossians ii. 8, 9.
Isaiah ix, 6. | Revelations i. 8.
* 1 John v, 20.
John i. 1.