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makes Peter, Paul, and Timothy to be three Persons (UTOC TÁOes) in one, because of their unanimity, or having only one mind. Two Parents are often to be considered as one by the child. A Body corporate are many or one, as they are considered in different lights.—“Ourselves, our Souls and Bodies ;" — sometimes, in popular language, and the Scripture language is popular), the Body is spoken of as the self; sometimes the Soul; sometimes the compound of Body and Soul:-yet there is but one self.-Such notions may have some good effect, in preventing the bad effects of prejudice ; but a respectful suspense is all that a reasonable man will afford them. The same may be said of the uses, which the Doctrine of the Trinity has seemed to be of ;-as that of multiplying our relations, preventing the excesses of devout Fear and Love, &c.— but, of the presumed uses of revealing the Doctrine of the Trinity, hereafter.
11. We now come to consider what could be done on our part, if those who dissent from us were desirous to agree upon some terms of Union.
- Not that success has generally attended moderation, but it must be a satisfaction to have endeavoured to prevent the excesses of zeal without knowledge.
It often happens in disputes, that a term gets odium annexed to it, and then the use of that term increases that odium. This has happened in the case of names, used as opprobrious, though harmless in themselves; as Whig, Tory, &c. And I suppose it has happened with regard to the Term Trinity; a Term which does not at all imply our Doctrine, but is only used (as before-mentioned),
like The last Section of this Article. We might also refer back to the concluding part of Sect. 3.
See Mosheim under Calixtus, and Syncretism. Index.
like Triumvirate, to save repetition of particulars (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), and at the same time to mark their connexion : to prevent a number of words. It is not a scriptural term, and our Doctrine might be expressed without it. Some have thought, “ Præstaret sacræ Scripturæ verbis adhærere in tanto mysterio explicando.”—But it is conceivable, that any new word, with which no odium had been associated, though answering the same purpose, might be allowed by all parties.See Voltaire, Quarto, vol. xxiv. p. 462.
12. It might tend to promote moderation, and, in the end, agreement, if we were industriously on all occasions to represent our own Doctrine as wholly unintelligible. Something of this has been hinted befored: the plan would be useful, as it would put us upon the footing of those, who profess unintelligible Doctrines, and give us all the Liberties described in the tenth Chapter of our third Book. It would also oblige our adversaries, who were disposed to continue the combat, to oppose us on ground less advantageous to themselves; on the ground of expediency: at the same time that it would dispose others not to attack us at all. I fear we in general pretend too much, that our Doctrine is intelligible; or we use language, which seems to imply such pretension: Bishop Pearson and Dr. Waterland would have written with greater effect, if they had taken occasion, from time to time, to say, that, though they exposed the misrepresentations of others, they did not pretend to have any clear ideas of their own Doctrine.-Whilst
c Seder Olam. By the way, Buxtorf, in his Bibliotheca Rabbinica, does not speak, as if the Author of either Seder Olam had been at any time a Christian. Dr. Maclaine condemns using unscriptural terms. On Mosheim, Cent. v. ii. v. x.
d In Section 10.
we speak as if we understood our Doctrine, the difference between Dissenters and us is a difference of Opinion; but, when we own, that we have no ideas to the Doctrine, though we think it our duty to retain it, the difference may be merely a difference of words; for which the injunction to
speak the same thinga,” may be a complete remedy. The words of our Article might be made to express the difficulty of the Doctrine more strongly, than they do at present, but the meaning would, in reality, be the same with the present. meaning “ There is an inconceivable connexion, it might be said, between the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, more intimate than can be defined ; and each of these has infinite power and wisdom, as far as is consistent with the infinite power and wisdom of the other two, and with the Unity of God. -And each has existed for a time without limit.”This language does not pretend to convey clear ideas; that of our Article rather does.
13. I apprehend, that our Divines do not dwell sufficiently on that fundamental principle of both natural and revealed religion, the Unity of God: they run out into proofs of the Divinity of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, as if these Doctrines were not limited by each other, and by those of the Divinity of the Father, and the divine Unity. To dwell frequently on the divine Unity, to recur perpetually to it, is necessary, in order to keep our trinitarian doctrine in its right form ; to omit the mention of it at any time, is really misrepresentation : the Divinity of the Son is a doctrine of a part of Scripture, more properly than of the whole; and therefore it must be always so understood, that it may be consistent with other parts. Though, for the sake of distinctness, the Divinity of the Son is
1 Cor. i. 10.
considered separately in the second Article, and that of the Holy Ghost in the fifth.—Moreover, dwelling much on the Unity of God would be useful, with respect to our adversaries. Those, who were most candid, and most inclined to concord, would find their minds softened, and their prejudices against us weakened: And those of a more contentious nature would lose some advantages, which they at present possess: they call themselves Unitarians; a favourable name! since all Polytheism is undoubtedly error and barbarism : but are they more Unitarians than we are? that is what they would insinuate; but their pretensions to the title would appear the more feeble, the more frequently we insisted on the Unity of God. Anti-trinitarians would be a fair honest name for them to give themselves. The Father of Gregory of Nazianzum Cave speaks of as “ virum optimum, at Hypsistariorum erroribus miserè seductum;" and then he adds an explanation of what he means by Hypsistarii. “Secta ea erat ex Judaismo et Gentilismo conflata, quæ tamen summum illum et üflotov Beov unde sectæ nomen, unicè colebat.”
I suppose the main objection of moderate, private men, of those, who are to be reckoned neither friends nor enemies to the Doctrine of our Church, is, that it interferes with the Divine Unity; this is an objection continually operating, therefore no occasion should be neglected of convincing them, that no set of men are more strenuous than ourselves in maintaining that fundamental doctrine.
14. In bringing our Church and its adversaries to an agreement, one principal difficulty would arise from our addressing ourselves to the Son and Holy Ghost in Prayer. As we hold them to be divine, we must think ourselves obliged to pay them divine honours: such Dissenters as account them not divine, would look upon it as a profanation to address them in prayer.-I do not see how this difficulty is to be obviated, except it were to be allowed, that any Being may be addressed as what he is; and then Scriptural expressions were to be used in the form of addresses. In this case, the addresses might be offered in different senses by different persons; but this need occasion no disturbance or confusion; as was shewn from the instance of “deliver us from evil,” and other instances in the third Book :- And why may not any Being be addressed as what he is ? Protestants are against offering up prayers to Saints, or any being except the Supreme; but then is it not because, in the prayers usually offered, something is implied, which really is not true?-as that the persons addressed can hear and assist, when they cannot? We are, at least, in no danger of such error, if we adhere to words of Scripture. Our addresses might be called prayers by those, who thought the Son and Holy Ghost Divine Persons; by others they might be called petitions, or by any other name.—Perhaps those, who would not allow the Holy Ghost to be a Person of any kind, might decline addressing any thing to him; and there might be some, who conceived the Son to be incapable of hearing them; yet he engaged to be with the Church" alway," "even unto the end of the world.” The Vine must needs be as much alive as the branches; the Shepherd as the flock:the Head of the Body as the members. Possibly, the