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discover most of his royalty, he speaks in the singular number, as in the giving of the law, * I am the Lord thy God.' This trinity of persons is also not obscurely mentioned in Psal. xxxiii
. 6. . By the Word of the Lord, or JEHOVAH, were the heavens made ; and all the host of them, by the breath, or Spirit, of his mouth. Here is mention made of Jehovah the Word and the Spirit, as jointly acting in the work of creation. Accordingly we find, that all things were made by the Word,' John i. 3. and that the Spirit garnished the heavens,' Job xxvi. 13. Nay, a Trinity of persons is mentioned, Isa. Ixiii. where, besides that the Lord, or Jehovah, is three times spoken of, ver. 7. we read, of the angel of his presence, which denotes two persons and • his Spirit,' ver. 9, 10. So that it evidently appears, that the doctrine of the Trinity was revealed under the Old Testament.
2. The New Testament most plainly teaches this doctrine.
(1.) I begin with the text, where it is expressly asserted, There are three that bear record, &c. Here are three witnesses, and therefore three persons. Not three names of one person: for if a person have ever so many names, he is still but one witness. Not three Gods, but one.
(2.). In the baptism of Christ, Matth. iii. 16, 17. mention is made of the Father speaking with an audible voice, the Son in the human nature baptised by John, and the Holy Ghost appearing in the shape of a dove; plainly importing three divine persons.
(3.) This appears from our baptism, Matth. xxviii. 8. 19. • Go ye and teach all nations baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.' Observe the words, in the name, not names ; which denotes, that these three are one God: and yet they are distinctly reckoned three in number, and so are three distinct persons.
(4.) It appears from the apostolical benediction, where all blessings are sought from the three persons distinctly mentioned, 2 Cor. xiii. 14. • The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with
all.' III. That these three are distinct persons, (for though they cannot be divided, yet they are distinguished), is evident. For the Son is distinct from the Father being the express image of his person,' Heb. i. 2.; and in John viii. 17, 18. he reckons his Father one witness and himself another. And that the Holy Ghost is distinct from both, appears from John xiv. 16, 17. - I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever :: even the Spirit of truth.' And the text is plain for the distinction of all the three. Now, they are distinguished by their order of subsisting, and their incommunicable personal properties. In respect of the order of subsistence, the Father is the first person, as the fountain of the Deity, having the foundation of personal subsistence in himself; the Son is the second person, and hath the foundation of personal subsistence from the Father; and the Holy Ghost is the third person, as having the foundation of personal subsistence from the Father and the Son. And so for their personal properties,
1. It is the personal property of the Father to beget the Son, Heb. i. 5, 6, 8. · Unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son. And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.—But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. This cannot be ascribed either to the Son or Holy Ghost.
2. It is the property of the Son to be begotten of the Father, John i. 14. 18. - We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hati declared him.'
3. The property of the Holy Ghost is to proceed from the Father and the Son, John xv. 26. When the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me,' in Gal. iv. 6. he is called “the Spirit of the Son ;' and in Rom. viii. 9. “ the Spirit of Christ." He is said to receive all things from Christ,' John xvi. 14, 15. ; to be • sent by him,' John xv. 26.; and to be “sent by the Father in Christ's name, John xiv. 26. All this
All this plainly implies, that the Holy Spirit proceedeth both from the Father and the Son. This generation of the Son and. Hluly Ghost was from all eternity. For as God is from everlasting to everlasting, so must this generation and procession be: and to deny it, would be to deny the supreme and eternal Godhead of all the three glorious persons.
IV. I proceed to shew, that these three persons are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. To this end consider,
1. How express the text is, These three are one. When the apostle speaks of the unity of the earthly witnesses, ver. 8. he says, they agree in one,' acting in unity of consent or agreement only. But the heavenly witnesses are one, viz. in nature or essence. They are not only of a like nature or substance, but one and the same substance; and if so, they are and must be equal in all essential perfections, as power and glory.
2. There is but one true God, as was before proved, and there can be but one true God. Now, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are each of them the true God; and therefore they are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. And this I shall prove by scripture testimony.
First, That the Father is true God, none that acknowledge a God do deny. Divine worship and attributes are ascribed to him. But,
Secondly, That the Son is true God, appears if ye consider, 1. The scripture expressly calls him God, Rom. ix. 5. John i. 1. Acts xx. 28.; "the true God' i John v. 20.; the great God,' Tit. ii. 13.; the mighty God,' Isa. ix. 6.
Jehovah or Lord,' Mal. iii. 1. which is a name proper to the true God only, Psal. Ixxxiii. ult.
2. The attributes of God, which are one and the same with God himself, are ascribed to him; as eternity, Micah v. 2. “Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting ; independency and omnipotence, Rev. i. 8. The Almighty ;'omnipresence, John iii. 13. where he is said to be in heaven," when bodily on earth ; and Matth. xxviii
. 20. 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world:' omniscience, John xxi. 17. Lord thou knowest all things,' says Peter to him ; and unchangeableness, Heb. i. 11 12. “They shall perish, but thou remainest : and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt įhou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.'
3. The works proper and peculiar to God are ascribed to
him; as creation, John i. 3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was inade.' Conservation of all things, Heb. i. 3.—' upholding all things by the word of his power.' Raising the dead by his own power, and at his own pleasure, John v. 21, 26. - The Son quickeneth whom he will.' The Father “ hath given to the Son to have life in himself.' The saving of sinners, Hos. i. 7.-I will save them by the Lord their God.' Compare chap. xiii. 4. 'in me is thine help. Yea, whatsoever the Father doth, the Son doth likewise.
4. Divine worship is due to him, and therefore he is true God, Matth. iv. 10. The angels are commanded to i ship him,' Heb. 1. 8. All must give the same honour to him
as to the Father, John v. 23. We must have faith in him, and they are blessed that believe in him, Psal. ii. 12. compare Jer. xvii. 5. We are to pray to him, Acts vii. 58.; and we are baptised in his name, Matth. xxviii. 19. Nay, he is expressly said to be equal with the Father,' Phil. ii. 6. and
with him.' John x. 30. Now, seeing God will not give his glory to another,' Isa. xlviii. 11. because he is true and cannot lie, and he is just, it follows, that though Christ be a distinct person, yet he is not a distinct God from his Father, but one God with him, the same in substance equal in power and glory. And it is no contradiction to this doctrine, when Christ says, “My Father is greater than I, John xiv. 28.; for he is not speaking there of his nature as God, but of his mediatory office; and hence he is called the Father's servant,' Is. xlii. 1.
Thirdly, That the Holy Ghost is true God, or a divine person, appears,
if ye consider, 1. The scripture expressly calls him God, Acts v. 3, 4. 1 Cor. iii. 16. Isa. vi. 9. compared with Acts xxviii. 25. 26. 2 Sam. xxiii. 2, 3. He is called " Jehovah, or the Lord,' Num. xii. 6. compare 2. Pet. i. 21.
2. Divine attributes are ascribed to him; as omnipotence, he 'worketh all in all,' i Cor. xii. 6, 9, 10, 11.; omnipresence, Psal. cxxxix. 7.; and omniscience, 1 Cor. ii. 10.
3. Works peculiar to God are ascribed to him; as creation, Psal. xxxiii. 6; conservation, Psal. civ. 30.; working miracles, Matt. xii. 28.; raising the dead, Rom. viii. 11.; inspiring the prophets, 2 Tim. iii
. 16. compare 2 Pet. i. 21. 4. Divine worship is due to him. We are baptised in his
name, Matth, xxviii. 19.; we are to pray to him, 2 Cor. xiii. 14. Acts iv. 23, 25. compare 2 Sam. xxiii. 2, 3.
Hence it appears,
1. That the Godhead is not divided, but that each of the three persons hath the one whole Godhead, or divine nature.
2. That it is sinful to imagine any inequality amongst the three divine persons, or to think one of them more honourable than another, seeing they are all one God.
V. I proceed to consider the weight and importance of this article. It is a fundamental article, the belief whereof is necessary to salvation. For those that are without God;' Eph. ii. 12. and have not the Father,' cannot be saved; but whoso denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father, 1 John ii. 23. Those that are none of Christ's cannot be saved; but he that hath not the Spirit, is none of his,' Rom. viii. 9. None receive the Spirit but those that know him. Johın xiv. 17. This mystery of the Trinity is so interwoven with the whole of religion, that there can neither be any true faith, right worship, or obedience without it. For take away this doctrine, and the object of faith, worship, and obedience is changed; seeing the object of these declared in the scripture, is the three persons in the Godhead; and the scriptures know no other God. Where is faith, if this be taken away ? John xvii. 3. • This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. Here it is to be observed, that our Lord does not call the Father only the true God, exclusive of the other persons of the Trinity; but that he (including the other persons who all subsist in the same one undivided essence) is the only true God, in opposition to idols, falsely called gods. 1 John ii. 23. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.' There is no more true worship or fellowship with God in it : For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father,' Eph. ii. 18. And there is no more obedience without it, John xv. 23. that hateth me,' says Christ, hateth my Father also. John v. 23. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.' We are debtors to the Spirit, to live after the Spirit, and are bound by baptism to the obedience of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
I shall conclude with a few inferences. 1. How much ought we to prize divine revelation, where