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its new state equally as of assuming it. In the same manner the Father, who is composed of the original accidents and constituents either of the Word or Holy Spirit, is relatively originate, and mutable, because as the relation of the Son began and may cease to exist, so may the relation of Father, but not relatively finite. Again, the Son of God, though properly originate, finite, and mutable, as to his Divine, as well as human Substance,* will be eternal, infinite, and immutable with respect to origin; and the Paraclete, or Comforter, though properly, neither necessarily omniscient nor omnipotent, and properly originate, finite, and mutable, as to bis Divine Essence, as well as buman Substance, yet may be necessarily omniscient and omnipotent, and eternal, infinite and immutable as to origin.
I There can be only ONE ETERNAL Subsistence, or Person of God, which must consist in his infINITY; but there can be many DERIVED, FINITE, AND MUTABLE Subsistences of Him.
I. To us there is but one God, the Father, out of whom are all things, and we into him, 1 Cor. viii. 6. For in him we live, and move, and have our being, Acts xvii. 28. Do not i fill heaven and earth ? saith the LORD, Jerem. xxiii. 24. Behold, the heaven, and heaven of heavens, cannot contain thee ; how much less this house that I have builded, 1 Kings viii. 27.-11. And one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him, i Cor. viii. 6. In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead (Deity) bodily, Col. ii. 9. Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. But he spake of the temple of his body, John ii. 19, 21.
As it is agreed on all bands, that there can be but one Supreme Mind or Spirit, or one Essence or Substance, which constitutes God, all Subsistences, or Hypostases, or Personalities, of that one Mind or Spirit, of that oneEssence or Substance, can regard only the various modes, in which that one Mind or Spirit, one Essence or Substance, may subsist. For having determined what God is, (and need I say, that He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Holy, Mind?) all what remains to be determined of Him is, How He is, and if He can be only one in nature or essence, He can only be more tban one in condition or subsistence.
Now Deity to be eternal must exist without a cause, and existing without a cause, must exist of necessity. If he exist of necessity, the way that he exists must also be by necessity. For as Deity, if eternal, must exist in some way or other from eternity, both the Deity and the way of his subsisting must be eternal alike, and being eternal alike, must both be without cause alike, and must both be of necessity. To say then, that this eternal and necessary way of subsisting, is niore than one eternal and necessary way, is to say, that he exists of necessity in one way, and exists of necessity in another
i. that he exists of necessity in one way, and does not exist of necessity in that way, but that he exists of necessity in another way, and does not exist of necessity in that other way, all which is contradiction and confusion. The Deity, therefore, can exist only in one way of necessity, i. e. there can be only one eternal Person of God. And this eternal Person, or Subsistence must consist in his Infinity. For it is plain, that if Deity exists of necessity, there can be no portion of space where He is pot. For if there be any portion of space where He is not,
* This is an equivocal word, sometimes meaning solely a material entity, in which sense ! have used it under Article Creatures, at other times meaning either a material or immaterial one, any thing or being that has existence, as it is used here.
Ho need not he in any other portion, and consequently need not be at all, which is contrary to the axiom that He must be of necessity. And if Deity be intinite, Infinity must be the way of his subsisting ; anil bis Subsistence or Person must consist'in bis Infinity. Anıl this way of his subsisting can never cease to exist. For, if He exists in this one way of necessity, to say, that he can cease to exist in this way, is to say, that he does not exist in this way of necessity, which is absurd. There can therefore be only one eternal Person of God; and that eternal Person must consist in bis Infinity, and be lmmutable.
But though Eternity and Infinity are pecessary to the being of the Supreme Subsistence, it does not follow tbat they are necessary constituents of all Deity. For if God cannot be God till he has completed bis Eternity, He can never be God at all; and if God cannot be God to any one particle of space but by the whole strength of his Infinity, He cannot be God to every particle at once, and therefore veed pot be God to any one particle at all, which is contrary to the axiom that He must be God of necessity. God therefore must be as perfect in time as in eternity, in a portion of space as in the whole of space, and consequently may be as perfect in a derived subsistence as in an eternal one, in a finite subsistence, as in an intinite one. At any rate be may concentrate all the fulness of his power, knowledge, and holiness in an only begotten Son, God manifest in flesh; and this like the inner of two concentric circles of wbich the outer is infinitely large, and the other in comparison, infinitely small, He may efface at pleasure without detri. meut to Himself the greater, and be again all in all, 1 Cor. xv. 28. But He cannot thus be the Supreme Subsistence. there is but one God the Father, out of whom are all things, and we into bim,” i. e, out of whom all things proceed, and into whom we all go, all-comprehensive. “I came forth from the Father," says the Son, “ and am come into the world : again, I leave the world, and go to the Father,” John xvi. 28. 6 ]
go unto the Father,” says He: for
my Father is greater than I." xiv. 28.
II. The WORD and HOLY SPIRIT to be ETERNAL, must be either IDENTICAL with the one Eternal Subsistence of God, or IDEAL COMBINATIONS of Portions of his Attributes.
By the word of the LORD (Jehovah)'were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath (Spirit) of his mouth. For he spake and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast, Ps, xxxiii. 6, 9. God is a Spirit. John iv. 24. I, the LORD, which sanctify you, am Holy. Ley, xxi. 8.
As Scripture represents tbe WORD and HOLY SPIRIT both as piernal and God, Jobni: 1; Acts v. 1-4; Heb. ix, 14; and as tbere can be but one eternal subsistence of God, it follows, that they inust both have been tbat one eternal subsistence of God. But as Soripture also represents them as without infinity, and consequently without eternity, as dwelling in all their fulness in finite, derived flesh, and capable ot giving up that residence, Coloșs. ii. 9, Heb. ix. 14; Eph, iii, 19 Rom. viii. 9, 10; Eph. i. 23; i Thess. v. 19. it follows that they are not the one eternal Supreme Subsistence, and yet must be He. Now, as“ the Spirit is Truth,” 1 John v. 6, and “no lie," or moral impossibility "is of the Truth, 1 John ji. 21, in order that the Spirit, who dictated the Scriptures, may not clash with Truth, we must suppose that the
" For to us
WORD and HOLY SPIRIT were the Supreme Subsistence in one sense, and not in another that as there is no denying that the WORD and Holy Spirit must have been in reality the one Supreme Subsistence of God, from their eternity and consequent infinity, yet it may be conceded that they were not constitutively or ideally such-that though the WORD and Ho-Y SPIRIT were eternal,infinite, and immutable of necessity, yet that these properties were separated from them in the imagination of the Inspired Writers, in order to make them capable of entering upon some subsequent states, when they should be ReLATIVELY finite, derived, and mutable. And that the absolutely infinite, eternal, and immutable God, can be also relatively finite, derived, and mutable, we have already shewn in the preceding Article. What forbids then the WORD and HOLY SPIRIT to be God, viewed ideally abstracted from his eternity, infinity, and immutability, with reference to some future additional states of Him, when He becomes relatively finite, derived, and mutable? This is the only way left us to escape the difficulty, and therefore this must be the case. The WURD and HOLY SPIRIT must have been ideally and constitutively PORTIONS of the attributes of the Supreine Subsistence, but really and accidentally identical with the WHOLE of them, and thus the Supreme Subsistence Himself. They must have been ideally and constitutively in the Supreme Subsistence, but really and accidentally COINCIDENT with it. They must have been IDEAL combinations of God's attributes, invented in anticipation of a future REALISATion in distinct Subsistences, or they must have been IDEAL combinations of God's attributes, invented after their REALISATION in distinct Subsistences, in order to account for what relation they bore to the Supreme Subsistence before their REALISATION. And these things will more plainly appear, when we come to examine the Scriptures the inselves.
III. The Son of God is not an ETERNAL PERSON of God, but originates from the union of an ideal combination of a portion of the ETERNAL ATTRIBUTES of the Supreme Subsistence, God viewed abstractedly with respect to the PlEROM A Or Fulness of his NATURAL Attributes, the WORD, with FLESH; and is finite, 'derived, and mutable as to his Deity.
1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with GOD, (the Deity) and the Word was God (I)eity). The same was in the beginning with GOD (the Deity). All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John i. 1-3. By the word of the LORD, (Jehovah) were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast, Ps. xxxiii. 6, 9. The worlds were framed by the word of God. Heb. xi. 3. The LORD (Jehovah) possessed me (Wisdom), in the beginning of his way before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When he prepared the heavens, I was there,--then I was by him as one brought up with him. Prov. viii. 22, 23, 27, 30. God created all things by Jesus Christ. Eph. iii. 9. Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 1 Cor. i. 24.-II. And the Word was begotten flesh, and dwelt in us, (our nature,) and we beheld his glory, as the glory of an only begotten from a father John'i. 14. And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. Luke, i. 35. His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared, (or proved) to be the Son of God with power (i. e. miraculously), according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Rom. i. 3, 4. God sent forth his Son, made of a woman. Gal. iv. 4. God sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. Rom. viii 3. I will write upon him my new name. Rev. iii. 12. A new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Rev. ii. 17. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God! Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John iii. l. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name : that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth;
I have divided the above texts into three classes : the first to show, that the Word is an ideal abstract combination of God's natural attributes of power and wisdom ; the second to show, that the Son of God is a new name, or nature, or state of the Word, arising from the union of those attributes with flesh : and the third, to show, that these attributes in the Son, which constitute his Deity, are derived from the Supreme Subsistence, who still re
tains them as the Father, and are mutable in the Son, who did not always possess them in perfection, and once not at all, when he died. The first and third together, shew that the Word and the Son are widely different states : In the first case, the Word is Wisdom and Power themselves, and Life and Light are inherent in Him, and God can do nothing without Him; In the second case, the Son has neither Life, nor Light, nor Power of bis own, but derives all these from the Father, without whom he can do nothing. Which plainly shows that the Word are attributes of the Supreme Subsistence, and that the Son derives bis Deity from those attributes, which by a sort of Prolepsis, when solely belonging to the Supreme Subsistence, are called Jesus Christ, himself: thus, To us there is one God, the Father, out of whom are all things, and we into him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him, 1 Cor. viii. 6, when the latter had no proper personal existence. In the same way it is said, that God created all things by Jesus Christ, meaning nothing more than that God created all things by his own power and wisdom, which constituted the Deity of Jesus Cbrist, who was the final cause of their being exerted, as all things were created by him, and for him. Col. i. 16. The
Jews of Palestine, says Kuinoel, Vol. iii. p. 80, 82, in Dr. Pye Smith's Testimony to the Messiah Vol. 1. p. 609, (as appears from the work of the Son of Sirach, who was a Jew of Palestine, and from the Chaldee Targums,) and also the author of the apocryphal book, the Wisdom of Solomon, employed the expression (Word) merely as a periphrasis for the Deity, and very often as a personi: fication of the power and wisdom of God. The Word therefore could be no Person of God, since both the Father and Son bave power and wisdom : the Father, because the Son is said to derive ihem from him; the Son, because in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Col. ii. 3, by him all things consist, Col. i. 17, and he upholdeth all things by the word of his power, Heb. i. 3. The Word, therefore, must have been the Essence of God; and Christ originally that Essence, by which God created all things, to whom the creation and preservation of the world are ascribed as well as to Christ, Acts, xvii. 24, 31. Rev. iv. 11; John, v. 17. If Christ had not been the Essence, could not God have created all things by himself? If the Word had been a Person and distiuct from God, i.e. from the Supreme Subsistence : then the Word would have been Power and Wisdom, and the Supreme Subsistence not Power and Wisdom, i. e. the Supreme God or Subsistence would have been no God, which is an absurdity. But how clear is every thing, if we attentively consider the passage, 1 Cor. viji. 6, just quoted. God is there originally the all-comprehensive subsistence, the universal Father, mentioned in Article I; and the Lord, (i. e. the LORD or Jehovah, or Fiat, or Word, or First Cause, as Jehovah means, ) is the Essence of that all-comprehensive Subsistence.
But St. John assures us that, though no buman systems would know to the last the name or nature of the Word, yet that the Word of God itself contains it, and that it will finally overthrow the theories of the Beast and False Prophet : He had a name written that no man knew but he himself. And his name is called the Word of God, Rer. xix. 12, 13; it being a part of the good Providence of God, according to 2 Thess. ii. 11, 12, to send upon