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baptism, and all the benefits of it, and he ought to be baptized again in some new form.* . .
. . .. I have heard some persons recommend, that no minister should either preach or write on the subject of the Trinity, be. cause it is a subject he cannot fully ex. plain.th What is this but saying, that we profess a belief in a doctrine which we ought not to avow ? Might not such
* St. Basil, in his writings against the Heretic Eunomius, uses this argument to prove the Divinity of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, that we are baptized in the name of them as well as of the Father, and consequently are to believe in them: for that baptism supposes faith in that Deity, in whose name the baptism takes place; and applying this to the case of one that learns the faith of the Christians, shews that he must be taught to believe in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, (viz. that each of these Persons is God,) or else ought not to be baptized with those words; and that, consequently, Eunomius and his followers, did in effect renounce their baptism by renouncing this faith.
+ A living prelate has justly observed, “ The subject is indeed sublime, but not on that account to be avoided.”
worldly-wise arguers equally recommend, that we should never speak of the Deity, or mention the name of God, because we cannot fully explain his exalted and incomprehensible nature? You will not, I am sure, presume yourself to be competent to explain the nature of the Invisible and Almighty Creator, and yet you will not, for a moment, hesitate to declare your belief in the God who made you, and all mankind. Why then must we be silent on the subject of the Trinity, because we cannot explain the manner of the union, and the distinction of the Three Persons; that is, how they are Three, and how they are One ? it is the fact that we have to do with, and not the mode. The Fact is revealed, the Mode is not; it is a matter for our faith, and not for our sight. You feel, as all mankind feel, that you have a soul within you that gives life to your body; and that, when that soul shall quit this mortal frame, the body will become a mere mass of lifeless clay. Can you, or any man of the first science, explain the manner of this union of soul and body ? yet, I imagine, no one would endeavour to persuade you that you are not alive, and that you have not a soul within you, because you cannot explain the manner of their union. But man also is a triple compound, a mass of corruptible matter forms the body. The living principle, which is the soul, whatever it is, animates, and gives this body the power of motion, as it does to all the living beings of creation. This moving body has, moreover, added to it, an intelligent, noble, and reasoning power, or spirit, derived to it from the Holy Spirit himself, by which power, denied to other animals, God has exalted man above them. He breathed into him the breath of life, and in his own image God created him, and man became a living spirit. He, therefore, is a triple compound, of body, soul, and spirit: but who can disclose the mode of their
connexion? How is this union effected ? It is as inexplicable by man as the most abstruse mystery revealed in the Bible ; it is above our comprehension, but not contrary to it; we know that it is só, though we know not how. The fact is, that, if the belief in the Trinity is rejected, no man can explain the system of God's operations, as they are set forth in the Bible. The difficulty is increased instead of being diminished. Admit the Trinity to be the doctrine revealed, and every thing becomes as clear on the grand subject, as it could be expected to be in our present state. In this state, it is not intended that we should, “ by searching find out God," that is, that we should be able to explain the nature of the Deity; it was not intended that we should “find out the Almighty to perfection.” .! ,
Another absurd objection of the wise men of the world is, that the word “ Trinity” is not to be found in the whole Bible. I do not recollect that the word
“ Morality” is to be found in the Gospels; and yet, I believe, you will not deny that they contain the most perfect system of morality that ever was given to the world. The word “ Sacrament” is not to be found in the Bible; are we to renounce the two ceremonies of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, on that account? Names are given arbitrarily, but the name of a thing, is not the thing, it is only the sign by which we express the thing
It is dreadful, to every religious and reflecting mind, to hear with what indifference the grand essential truths of our religion are treated, what pains are taken to garble the Scriptures, and, while some place the whole of our salvation upon faith, setting aside all considerations of moral conduct, others rely, solely, on their own ineffectual merits, and treat all modes of faith as equally indifferent, and deem religion to be totally unnecessary: but our Saviour says, “ Ye believe in