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النشر الإلكتروني


Concerning the Unity of God; and the Trinity.

THAT there is but ONE God, the fcriptures every where affert; and this is agreeable to reason, and the works of creation and providence, which we behold. And the contrary fuppofition is moft abfurd, and undefirable, and really involves in it infinite evil. God muft be a felf exiftent being; which is the fame with exifting neceffarily: But neceffary existence must be infinite, as has been fhewn. Therefore there can be but one firft cause, who exists neceffarily, and without beginning, for there can be but one infinite being. To suppose another, or a second, necessarily excludes the first, and to suppose the first, neceffarily excludes the fecond, and any other infinite being. The fame is evident from the confideration of the divine perfections: God is infinite power, infinite wisdom: But there cannot be two or more infinite wifdoms, &c. because this is a contradiction. Infinite power is all the power there is, or can be, and is clearly inconfiftent with another power diftin&t from that, which is alfo infinite. Moreover, if we make the impoffible fuppofition that there are two or more infinite beings, they must be perfectly alike in all respects, or not. If not perfectly alike and without any difference in any respect, then one or the other must be imperfect: for absolutely infinite perfection, admits of no variation, o difference: fo that if any two beings differ in any refpect


they cannot both be abfolutely perfect; therefore cannot both be God. But if they are perfectly alike in every refpect and every thing; then they are perfectly one and the fame; and the fuppofition deftroys itself, being a direct contradiction. And there can be no poffible need of more than one God; and therefore, were this poffible, it is not defirable. There can really be no more exiftence than one infinite being, or any addition to infinite perfection and excellence; therefore no more can be defired; and nothing can be effected or done, more than he can do. In a word, he is allfufficient, and no addi tion can be made to this, or even conceived.

Yea, it is so far from being defirable, that there fhould be more gods than one, were it poffible, that it is moft undefirable, and would be the greatest evil. Such a fuppofition would only tend to perplex the pious mind, not knowing which of the gods he did worship, or what god to love and adore, or in which to put his truft. There have been those in the chriftian world, who have fuppofed two gods, a good and an evil one.

The former the author of all good, the latter of all evil. Were it fo, there must be infinite variance and oppofition between thefe beings, and it is impoffible that the votaries of either could be happy. Such a belief, as the acknowledgement of more gods than one, is even worse than atheifm itself; or rather is the worst fort of atheism; for fuch are really without any God.

THE fcriptures teach us that there are three in this one God. Not three Gods; for this would be a contradiction; but that this infinite being exifts in fuch a manner, as to be three distinct fubfiftencies or perfons, and yet but one God. The moft express declaration of this by the Apostle John. He fays, "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghoft And these are One."* This is allo clearly afferted by Chrift himself, when he directs his difciples


1 John, v. 7.

disciples to baptize all the profelytes to christianity, "In the name of the Father, and of the fon, and of the Holy Ghoft." Baptifm being a covenant tranfaction between God and the creature, and a folemn act of worship, it would be idolatry to adminifter it in any other name bu that of the only true God. Therefore these words warrant us to believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghoft, are God, and but one God, agreeable to what is faid by the Apostle John in the above cited paffage, the Word and the Son meaning the fame. This is alfo expreffed by the Apoftle Paul, in his benediction or prayer, with which he concludes his fecond epifle to the Corinthians. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all, Amen." Hereby God must be meant, the Father, mentioned in the above cited paffages; and this is therefore parallel to them. And divinity is ascribed to each of these; by his blessing in each of these names, and making them the object of prayer.

There are many paffages in the Old Teftament, which are agreeable to thofe in the New Teftamment, which have been mentioned, and represent a plurality or Trinity, as comprehended in the One true God: The follow. ing are some of them. It is remarkable that the Hebrew word, which is generally used for God, and is fo tranflat ed, is commonly put in the plural, and not in the fin gular number. There is an inftance of it the fir time it is used in the Bible." In the beginning Go created the heaven and the earth." And agreeabl to this, it is faid, "Remember thy Creators." tranflated Creator, but the Hebrew word is plural. An the reafon and propriety is discovered and beft ex plained, by obferving that a plurality, or Trinity, is in cluded in the Creator of all things: For it is exprefs and repeatedly afferted, that Jefus Chrift created, th world

It i

• Matthew, xxviii. 9. Corinthians, xiii. 14. Ecclef. xii. i.1.

world and all things in it." In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him ; and without him was not any thing made, that was made." "For by him (the Son of God) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth." And creation is also afcribed to the Holy Spirit. "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."§ "By his fpirit he hath garnished the heavens. The Spirit of God hath made me."I

Agreeable to this, God ufes words in the plural number, when he is about to create man, and speaks as if there were a plurality of perfons to do it. "And God faid, Let us make man, in our image, after our likenels." And this form of speech is repeatedly used. "And the Lord God faid, Behold, the man is become like ONE OF US. And the Lord faid-Let us go down, and there confound their language."+

There is a remarkable paffage in the prophecy of Isaiah, which represents a plurality, or three in Jehovah, or the Lord of Hofts. The Seraphims " cried one unto another, and faid, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hofts. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom fhall I fend, and who will go for us?" The plurality is here expreffed by, the plural pronoun, us. "Who will go for us?" And the Trinity is expreffed by using the word holy three times fucceffively; of which there is no inftance of the kind in the Bible, when a fingle person, which is in no fenfe plural, is addreffed. There is an inftance of the fame, indeed, when the fame Being is addreffed by the living creatures which John law and heard. "And they reft not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." But that a plurality and a Trinity,

G 2

Gen. i. 2. ¶ Job, xxvi. 13.-xxxiii. 4.
Chap. vi. 3. 8. § Rev. iv. 8.

+ John, i. 1, 3. t Col. i. 16.
*Gea. i. 26. ↑ Gen. iii. 22.—xi. 6, 7.

Trinity, comprehended in Jehovah, is defigned to be expreffed here by these words, is confirmed and made certain, by the reference which is made to this paffage, in the New Teftament. All will grant that he who is called the Father, in the New Teftament, when joined with the Son or Word, and the Holy Ghoft, is intended or included in the word Jéhovah, or the Lord of Hofts, in this paffage in Ifaiah. And the Apoftle John, refering to it, fays, "Thefe things faid Ifaiah, when he faw his glory, and fpake of him." That is, of Jefus Chrift. The Apostle Paul, when he quotes fome of the words of this fame paffage in Isaiah, fays, "Well fpake the Holy Ghost, by Ifaiah the Prophet, unto our fathers."+ Sq that the glory of Jehovah was the glory of the Son, or Jefus Chrift; and what was fpoken of the Lord of Hofls was spoken of Chrift the Son of God. And what the Lord of Hofs faid by Ifaiah, the Holy Ghoft faid. It i hence certain, that these three, the Father, the Son, of the Word, and the Holy Ghoft, into whofe name chrif tians are baptized, and in whole name the Apostles blef fed, and who bear record in heaven, were included in the vifion which Ifaiah had of the Lord of Hosts. An who that attends to this fcriptural view of the cafe, ca doubt when it is faid, Who will go for us? the pluralit of the Father, Son and Holy Ghoft is intended; an that when the Seraphim adored the Lord of Hofts, an cried faying, Holy, holy, holy, there is reference t

thofe three.'

From the paffages of fcripture which have been no mentioned, to prove there is a plurality or Trinity in th one true God, it is also proved that the Word, the Son God, the Lord Jefus Chrift, is God, and as really, and much included in the Deity, in Jehovah, as is the Father And that this is equally true of the Holy Ghoft. But th evidence of the real divinity of Jefus Chrift, will appea

John, xii. 41.

† Ads, xxviii. 25.


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