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are one and the same individual person."a It is concluded by the Orthodox of the church of England, that the person of Christ, and the person
of God the father, are not one and the same individual person, but one and the same Lord of hosts, because the scripture, thus compared hath affirmed them so to be ; and THIS is the conclusion Dr. Clarke should have answered. But instead of this, he has produced the monstrous and impossible doctrine of Sabellius, that they are one and the sami individual person, and answered that : which to be sure is easily done, and is quite foreign to the purpose. The other conclusion, which is the only true and natural one, is kept out of sight, because it cannot be answered : and this of Sabellius is slurred upon his credulous readers, as the doctrine of the orthodox, who disclaim and abhor it. This is no slander; for let any person read his book with a little circumspection, and he will soon find who and what he would mean by the followers and doctrine of Sabellius. And let me give the reader the following caution, which he will find to be of great service in detecting the fallacious answers of the Arian writers in their controversies with the urthodox. Al
be careful to examine whether they have replied to the proof itself, or to some
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thing else in the place of it. For when you have obtained any clear evidence from the scripture, that two or more persons are one God, one Lord. &c. they will give a new face to your conclusion, by changing the terms God or Lord, which are names of a nature, for that of person, which can belong only to an individual. And then they shout for victory. O, say they, this man is a Sabellian ! he believes three persons to be one person! But on the other hand, if you make it appear that in the unity of the one God or Lord there are more persons than one, then they change the word persons for that of Gods : so that you are confuted this way also; and they cry you up for a Tritheist, a maintainer of three Gods! By the help of this artifice, Dr. Clarke attempted to deal with the scripture; and the author of an Essay on Spirit with the Creeds and Litur. gy of the church. And, though it be a mata ter scarce worth mentioning, thus also the aus thors of a Monthly Review have attempted to deal with myself. Some time ago I published a full answer to the Essay on Spirit, which has since been reprinted in Ireland, and I humbly hope may have done some little sera vice. But when these gentlemen had deliberated with themselves upon it for three or four months, it was retailed from their scandalous shop as a system of Tritheisms,
Sabellianism, and what not? I hope God will forgive them! and this is all the answer I shall ever make to such men and such writers.
TRINITY IN UNITY,
If there be any diversity of nature, or any essential subordination in the persons of the godhead, it must be revealed to us either in their names, or their attributes, or their acts; for it is by these only that they are or can possibly be made known to us in this life. If the scripture has made no difference in any of these, farther than that of a personal distinction (which we all allow) we are no longer to doubt that there is a natural or essential unity in the three persons of the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. It shall therefore be shewn in this chapter, by a sort of proof more comprehensive than what has gone be. fore, that these persons have the same names, the same attributes, the same council or will, and all concur, after an ineffable manner, in the same divine acts ; so that what the scripture is falsely supposed to have ascribed to God in one person, will appear to be ascribed by the same authority to God in three persons. That therefore, these three persons are but one God; they are three distinct agents, yet there is but one and the same divine agency; or, as the church has more fully and better expressed it, that " that which we believe of the glory of the Father, the same we are to believe of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality."a
The trinity in unity is the one Lord, the creator of the world.
Psalm xxxiii. 6. By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath (Heb. Spirit) of his mouth. The whole trinity therefore created the world : yet this trinity is but one Lord: for it is written,
Isa. xliv. 24. I am the Lord that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens ALONE, that spreadeth abroad the earth BY MYSELF. It follows therefore, either that the Word and Spirit did not make the heavens: or, that the Father, with his Word and Spirit, are the ALONE Lord and creator of all things.
a Proper Preface upon the Peast of Trinity