« PrécédentContinuer »
or manner of being." From whence two things in short follow as my reply: It makes God a Father only by subsistence, and Christ a Son without a substance. Besides it is falsely rendered in the Hebrews, since the Greek does not say KARAKTER PROOSPOU, but KARAKTER TES UPOSTASEOS, the character of substance.
And if he will persue a farther discovery of his error, and explanation of the matter, let him read Col. i. 15. "Who is the image of the invisible God." Heb. i. 3.
And because George Whitehead, willing to bring this strange doctrine to the capacity of the people, compared their three persons to three apostles, saying, he did not understand how Paul, Peter, and John could be three persons, and one apostle, (a most apt comparison to detect their doctrine), one Maddocks, whose zeal out-stript his knowledge, bustling hard, as one that had some necessary matter for the decision of our controversy, instead thereof, (perhaps to save his brethren, or show himself), silences our farther controverting of the principle, by a sollogistical, but impertinent reflection upon George Whitehead's person. It runs thus: "He that scornfully and reproachfully compares our doctrine of the blessed trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit, one in essence, but three in persons, to three finite men, as Paul, Peter, and John, is a blasphemer. But you George Whitehead have so done. Ergo."
A strange way of argumentation, to beg what cannot be granted him, and take for granted what still remains a question, viz. "That there are three distinct and separate persons in one essence." Let them first prove their trinity, and then charge their blasphemy.
But I must not forget this person's self-confutation, who to be plainer, called them three "He's," and if he can find an He without a substance, or prove that a subsistence is any other than the form of an He, he would do well to justify himself from the imputation ef ignorance.
And till their hypothesis be of better authority, George Whitehead neitheir did, nor does by that comparison design men's invention so much honor.
For it is to be remarked, that George Whitehead is no otherwise a blasphemer, than by drawing direct consequences from their own principles, and recharging them upon themselves. So that he did not speak his own apprehensions by his comparison, but the sense of their assertion; therefore blasphemer and blasphemy are their own.
The trinity of distinct and separate persons, in the unity of essence, refuted from scripture.
"AND he said Lord God, there is no God like unto thee." Kings viii. 23.-"To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One." Isa. xl. 25.- -" I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God besides me." ch. xlv. 5. "Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." ch. xlviii. 17.—“I will also praise thee, O my God; unto thee will I sing, O Holy One of Israel." Psal. lxxi. 22,-"Jehovah shall be One, and his name One." Zec. xiv. 9.-Which with a cloud of other testimonies that might be urged, evidently demonstrate, that in the
days of the first covenant, and prophets, but One was the Holy God, and God but that Holy One.-Again: "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but One, and that is God." Mat. xix. 17. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee (Father) the only true God." John xvii. 3.-"Seeing it is One God that shall justify." Rom. iii. 30."There be gods many-but unto us there is but One God, the Father, of whom are all things." 1 Cor. viii. E." One God and Father who is above all things." Eph. iv. 6. For there is One God." 1 Tim. ii. 5. "To the only wise God be glory now and ever." Jude ver. 25.-From all which I shall lay down this one assertion, that the testimonies of scripture, both under the law, and since the gospel dispensation, declare One to be God, and God to be One, on which 1 shall raise this argument:
If God, as the scriptures testify, hath never beer. leclared or believed, but as the Holy One, then will it follow, that God is not an Holy Three, nor doth subsist in three distinct and separate Holy Ones. But the before-cited scriptures undeniably prove that One is God, and God only is that Holy One. Therefore he cannot be divided into, or subsist in an Holy Three, or three distinct and separate Holy Ones. Neither can this receive the least prejudice from that frequent but impertinent distinction, that he is one in substance, but three in persons or subsistences: since God was not declared or believed incompletely, or without his subsistence. Nor did he require homage from his creadures, as an incomplete or abstract being, but as God he Holy One: for so he should be manifested and worshipped without that which was absolutely neces
sary to Himself. So that either the testimonies of the aforementioned scriptures are to be believed concerning God, that he is entirely and completely, not abstractly and distinctly, the Holy One, or else their auV thority to be denied by these trinitarians. And on the contrary, if they pretend to credit those holy testimonies, they must necessarily conclude their kind of trinity a fiction.
Refuted from right reason.
1. If there be three distinct and separate persons, then three distinct and separate substances, because every person is inseparable from its own substance; and as there is no person that is not a substance in common acceptation among men, so do the scriptures plentifully agree herein; and since the father is God, the son is God, and the spirit is God (which their opinion necessitates them to confess) then unless the father, son and spirit, are three distinct nothings, they must be three distinct substances, and consequently three distinct Gods.
2. It is farther proved, if it be considered, that either the divine persons are finite or infinite; if the first, then something finite is inseparable to the infinite substance, whereby something finite is in God; if the last, then three distinct infinites, three omnipotents, three eternals, and so three Gods.
3. If each person be God, and that God subsists in three persons, then in each person are three persons of Gods, and from three, they will increase to nine, and so ad infinitum.
4. But if they shall deny the three persons, or substances to be infinite, (for so there would unavoidably
be three Gods) it will follow that they must be finite, and so the absurdity is not abated from what it was; for that of one substance having three subsistences, is not greater, than that an infinite being should have three finite modes of subsisting. But though that mode which is finite cannot answer to a substance that is infinite; yet to try if we can make their principle to consist, let us conceive that three persons, which may be finite separately, make up an infinite conjunctly; however this will follow, that they are no more incommunicable or separate, nor properly subsistences, but a subsistence; for the infinite substance cannot find a boti tom or subsistence in any one or two, therefore jointly. And here I am also willing to overlook finiteness in the father, son and spirit, which this doctrine must suppose.
5. Again, if three distinct persons are one, with some one thing, as they say they are with the Couhead, their are not they incommunicable among themselves; but so much the contrary, as to be one in the place of another for if that the only God is the father, and Christ be that only God, then is Christ the father. So if that one God be the son, and the spirit that one God, then is the spirit the son, and so round. Nor is it possible to stop, or that it should be otherwise, since if the divine nature be inseparable from the three persons, or communicated to each, and each person have the whole divine nature, then is the son the father, and the spirit in the son, unless that the Godhead be as incommunicable to the persons, as they are reported to be amongst themselves; or that the three persons have distinctly allotted them such a proportion of the divine nature, as is not communicable to each other; which is alike absurd.