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If therefore neither the second nor the third person in the Trinity is God, nor to be worshipped as true and real God, the Scriptures must roundly and plainly tell us so, or they cannot be the word of God, for God neither deceiveth, nor tempteth any man. I beg it may be farther considered, that as mankind, from the beginning, and throughout all ages, have been wonderfully prone to worship the creature, as well as, or even more, than the Creator; and as God, throughout the Scriptures, hath left no expedient unemployed to prevent this unhappy and damnable apostacy of men; we might by all means expect to find the characters of the Son and the Holy Spirit, supposing them only creatures, set forth in those Scriptures in the lowest lights their real natures could with truth admit of, rather than in such as are too high. Yet here, in the very institution of baptism, in the solemn form of the new covenant, in that strict and guarded form of words which introduces us to, and comprehends the whole of the Gospel, they are set forth as equal with the Father, equal in authority, equal in their respective contributions to the work of our salvation, and consequently as equal objects of our faith, our gratitude, our love, and our adoration; and in other parts of Scripture are frequently styled God:
But if, after all, there is any room left for doubt about this matter, to the Scriptures at large we ought to go for the farther explanation of a form so short, that we may see, whether their Divine Author hath therein actually represented the three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as one only God; or given us reason to believe that we have in baptism covenanted for forgiveness of sins, and eternal salvation, equally with God and two creatures, with the one only infinite Being, and two infinitely inferior beings, and that by the express appointment of God himself.
Now, it is evident, at first sight, to every Deist, and indeed to every thinking Christian, that God could not possibly have done the latter; and his word, if candidly consulted, will glaringly prove, he hath actually done the former.
We shall readily own indeed, that Christ frequently speaks of himself, and is spoken of by the apostles as subordinate, and in some sense, inferior to the Father. But, at the same time, nothing can be more plain, than that he is
only subordinate, as every son should be to his father, and only inferior in respect to his human nature. This hath been a thousand times fully proved; but we shall see presently, that it needs no proof.
We likewise as freely confess, that the Holy Ghost is sometimes spoken of in Scripture, with marks of subordination, as sent by the Father and the Son, and as not speaking of himself, but speaking whatsoever he heareth, and as taking that which belongeth to Christ, and shewing it unto the disciples. That these things derogate by no means from his nature, but only shew that he acts voluntarily in subordination to the Father, the fountain of the Godhead, and to Jesus Christ, the proprietor, by right of purchase, of all things, hath been often clearly proved, though here again I venture to say, there was no necessity for such proof; for,
In respect both to the Son and the Holy Ghost, it is to be observed, first, that the holy Scripture nowhere denies either of them to be God; and secondly, that, in many places, it affirms each of them to be God. If that can be made appear, then it will follow, that no obscure or indirect expression, though found in the same Scriptures, can be so interpreted, as to prove either of them not to be God, in contradiction to the plain and positive affirmations of God; it will also from hence appear, that the equality wherewith they seem to be proposed in the form of baptism, is a true and real equality, both of nature and authority. If it shall likewise be proved, that the word of God denies the being of any God, or any object of divine worship, but one, whom mankind may fall down before, and to whom they may offer sacrifice or prayer; then it will necessarily follow, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are not three distinct Gods, but one only God; and lastly, it will necessarily follow from the express affirmation of God, and from his positive institution of baptism, that we are consecrated, in that solemn sacrament, to the service of the ever blessed and holy Trinity, by faith in a mystery which we may easily understand, so far as it is proposed to our apprehensions, but can never account for, because the divine nature is incomprehensible to all created minds. Whosoever hath so much sense, not to say modesty, as to confess that God is incomprehensible to his mind, will find no difficulty in a conse
quent confession, that there may be some distinction in God, whereto the personal distinction among men bears a just analogy or resemblance; nay, and that if a man, as the Scripture tells us, is made in the image or likeness of God, and if in each man, as may be easily demonstrated, there are a bodily and vegetative nature, enlivened by two souls, an animal and a rational, united into one person ; there may be in God three distinct persons, or, which is the same thing in respect to our faith, a distinction like that between three men, without affecting in the least the unity of the one indivisible divine nature.
Now if the Scriptures any where deny the Son or the Holy Ghost to be God, let the opposers of their divinity shew the passage, and we have done; but this is impossible.
' On the contrary, that the Scriptures represent the Son as God, is manifest, and the Arians do not, cannot deny it. St. Paul says, Rom. ix, 5, he is over all, God blessed for ever.' St. John calls him, the Word,' and says, i. 1, 'the Word
' was God.' Christ, John viii. 58, calls himself Jehovah,' and in the first of the Revelations saith, 'I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. Now, as none but one can say this, he who says it here, must be the same with him who says, Isaiah xliv. 6, I am the first and the last, and beside me there is no God. To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him,' 1 Cor. viii, 6; but then this one God is the only Lord, and this one Lord the only God; for Moses, Deut. vi. 4, and Christ, Mark xii. 29, say alike to Jews and Christians, `Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.'
This text, wherein St. Paul distinguishes between the Father, who is one God, and the Son, who is one Lord, gives no true occasion to the Arian of that triumph which he makes in his application of it. If the Father is called one God, though without an article in the Greek before sic Deos, and the Son, one Lord, without an article before siç kúplos, we claim no advantage from it; but do believe the Father to be the one God, and the Son to be the one Lord, for there is but one God, and one Lórd; nay, we go farther, and allow, that the Father is peculiarly here styled, the one God, and the Son, as peculiarly, the one Lord. But whe
ther the Father and the Son are hereby contradistinguished from each other, so as that, negatively, the Father is not Lord, nor the Son God, in the same sense of God and Lord, is the question which must be decided by other places of Scripture; and others there are many, wherein the Father is called Lord, and the Lord, and the one Lord; and wherein the Son is called God, the God, and the one God. · Who is God, or Elohim, save the Lord or Jehovah ?' saith David, Psalm xviii. 31; the answer is, and must be, none, no being. The Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath : there is none else, no other God.
So then, the one Lord is the one God.' This is the language of both Testaments, of the law as well as of the gospel, in more than one hundred and fourteen places, where the great Being is called the Lord God, and often in direct distinction from all other beings. This blasphemous contradistinction is wholly taken away by our blessed Saviour, Mark xii. 29, quoting Deut. vi. 4, in answer to one of the scribes, who asked him this important question, 'Which is the first commandment of all ?' Christ says, 'The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord :' and, ver. 30, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And, ver. 31, . The second is like, Thou shalt
' love thy neighbour as thyself: there is none other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.' Matt. xxii. 40. In this great and signal passage, the summary of law and gospel, wherein the foundation-stone of all religion and morality is laid, wherein the two objects of all love, and consequently the sole object of all acceptable adoration, is fixed and precisely determined, wherein distinctions, if at all requisite, become absolutely necessary, no distinction between the Lord and the God is made, but on the contrary, the one Lord is made the same with the one God, and the Lord our God is set forth to us as the one only Lord, the one only self-existent Being, or Jehovah, the one only Lord or power, to whom all love and obedience is due. If then Christ is peculiarly styled the one Lord, as the Arian acknowledges, nay, insists he is, by St. Paul, what hinders the same Arian
from confessing, that Christ is the one God, since the law, the gospel, and Christ himself, have said it? conceit and blindness.
A cloud of other passages might be cited for the same purpose, but any one of these had been enough.
Indeed his saying, as he does at the institution of baptism, that 'all power in heaven and in earth is given unto him,' is sufficient to prove his divinity; for if all power is given him as an only son, and as the son of man, by the Father, and we therefore conclude him in some sense subordinate, we must thence also conclude him truly God, for otherwise he could not, in any sense, become almighty. This conclusion is greatly strengthened, by the words with which he finishes the institution, 'Lo, I am with you to the end of the world,' where he evidently sets himself forth as the Jehovah, the one necessarily and self-existent Being, as well as in the eighth of the Gospel according to St. John, where he saith, ‘Before Abraham was, I am;' for no other, but the one self-existent Being, can properly and truly speak of himself in the present tense, as having heretofore been, and as hereafter to be. Well, surely may we be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, since thereby the devil or enemy is cast out,' Mark xvi. 17, "remission of sins' preached, Luke xxiv. 47, and salvation given, with an exclusion to all other names under heaven,' Acts iv. 12.
That the same Scriptures represent the Holy Ghost as God, is also manifest; for, although none but God is eternal, yet the third person is called, Heb. ix. 14, the eternal Spirit.' The Psalmist believed him to be omnipresent; for he says, speaking to God, Psalm cxxxix. 7, Whither shall I
go from thy spirit?' He is called 'the power of the Highest,' Luke i. 35. 'All Scripture, we know,' is given by inspiration of God,' 2 Tim. iii. 16, who must therefore be the Holy Ghost, because the holy men of God, who penned the Scriptures, spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,' 2 Pet. i. 21. And Zacharias calls him, who spake by these penmen or prophets, the Lord God of Israel,' Luke i. 68 -70. Well spake the Holy Ghost,' says St. Paul,“ by Isaias the prophet,' and then quotes a passage from Isaiah, wherein the speaker is called 'the Lord' by Isaiah, and the Lord (or Jehovah) of hosts by the Seraphim. St. Paul calls all