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which perhaps his admirers may explain to their own satisfaction) and, afterwards, ordered a cock to be sacrificed to Esculapius, (which even the admirers of Socrates can, in no respect, reconcile to the character they draw of him.) But, be these things as they may, it is enough for my purpose, that, in the scriptures of the Old Testament, I find plurality ascribed to JEHOVAH ; which plurality is, in my apprehension, specified to be a Trinity, from the Divine manifestation vouchsafed to the patriarch Abraham. For, upon this original foundation is built the whole doctrinal fabric of the New Testament, where are contained the most instructive illustrations and applications of the types and shadows, exhibited during the Mosaic dispensation, to the substance, and realities peculiar to the dispensation of our Redeemer.

Faith in a Trinity in Unity did therefore long precede the revelation of the Gospel. Nay, this faith would seem to form the basis of, and to be interwoven into, every system of even false divinity, of which we have any account; until that, long posterior to the true Messiah, the impostor Mahomet, assisted by a Jewish apostate, who had rejected Christ, and by an Arian heretic, who had made a creature of God our Saviour, did first form the Unitarian scheme of Theology, with all its subordinate appendages.

The differences, which may have existed in the


primitive church, were not occasioned so much the doctrine of a Trinity, in the abstract, as by the various modes of explaining the doctrine, and of forming conceptions regarding it. Recourse was had to numberless comparisons and similes in explanation of it, which I fear have proved not a little injurious to the cause which they were meant to serve. One favourite simile, with Tertullian and others, his contemporaries, is that of the sun, the

ray, the light. This, it has been contended, goes to prove the fountainship of God the Father, since the sun is the fountain of light. Yet Moses informs us that the light was created three days prior to the formation of the sun ; in which case, the proof contended for, becomes completely fallacious. Again, Gregory Nazianzen, I think, does somewhere in his writings, introduce · Adam, Eve, and Seth, while his friend Basil has recourse to the colours of the rainbow, as explanatory of the Trinity. Indeed this humour of hunting after similitudes, on a subject of mysterious intricacy, and where every step appears to be dangerous, seems to have more or less pervaded the church in every age. Thus the famous Abelard, who flourished in the 12th century,

, in illustrating this doctrine to his pupils, draws a comparison from the science of logic, in which he excelled, and affirms, that was the three

propositions of a syllogism, are but one and the same “ argument, so the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,

are one and the same essence.” This comparison did not fail to excite alarm, and to subject its


author to charges of a very opposite nature; viz. Sabellianism and Tritheism.

Another comparison, more palpable than the abstract one of Abelard, was drawn from the three dimensions of a solid length, breadth,' and · thickness, which, although three distinct subsistencies, make only one body. Of the same description is the well known similitude of an equilateral triangle, which, in representation of the Holy Trinity, is often depicted, with the word •7979' included between the sides ; nor can any representation more consonant to the scriptural view of the doctrine be well conceived. One thing indeed is obvious from this, and the other figurative representations just noticed, that there is not the least semblance of one of the three subsistencies, ' producing,'

generat ng,' 'emitting,' or • being the fountain of • the other two ; or of any subordination,' or in*feriority' existing among them; or of affixing the titles, First, Second, and Third, as denoting distinct and restrictive properties in each of them.

In this observation I am supported by the acute Mr Bayle, who, though not to be adduced, as affording authority in matters of faith, may be admitted as no mean logician; being profoundly skilled in deducing consequences, and in drawing conclusions. Mr Bayle writes—“ If the comparison

of the Trinity held good with the syllogism, " and the three dimensions, it must be very

different " from


“ from what it is represented'.To discover the mode in which the doctrine of a Trinity was represented in the days of Mr Bayle, it is sufficient that we have recourse to his contemporaries in Britain, viz. Bishops Pearson and Bull, with their numerous followers, who represent it to be “ a Trinity of

a First, being a fountain of Deity to the Second “ and Third ; to the Second, by the mode of generation to the Third, by the mode of spiration;" two terms, one should think, not quite congruous to any conceptions which the human mind can form of Deity, whether guided by nature, or by revelation ; and merely subservient to the favourite hypothesis of subordination and inferiority,

o etiam quoad divinitatem, of which Bishop Bull, and a host of modern writers, are such strenuous asserters. Nay, I do maintain, that the scheme of Arius, and Socinus, is but an enlargement of the scheme here alluded to. I do not say, that the asserters of the subordination and inferiority of the Son, did designedly lend any support whatever to Arian or Socinian tenets; but I do say, (the writings of both parties being what I appeal to), that the concessions of the one have been laid hold of by the other, as affording the premises on which all their conclusions are founded.

If I have been able to impress these my sentiments on the mind of the unprejudiced reader, it

See Bayle, Article--Abelard.

will surely occur to him, as a most desirable point in theology, to discover a mode of conceiving this fundamental doctrine of christianity, without recurring to communication,' derivation,' 'creation, or any term of like import, which, however specious in itself, may be perverted to imply a sub or a super, a greater or a less, in Deity. Such is the mode which I would now recommend, of expressing our belief of a Trinity ; that is, of Three, conjunct, coequal, co-eternal, collateral, co-ordinate ; who, thus existing in the most perfect and indiscriminate equality, or consubstantiality, are constituent of One JEHOVAH. This is a scheme of doctrine which, although apparently (and but apparently) destitute of that countenance which human authority bestows, will be found fully consonant to that divine system laid down by the original Record in the Old Testament, as the established foundation of what are called the clearer indications contained in the New: and, I may say farther, that it is fully as intelligible by, and adequate to, our finite and frail capacities, as the schemes of Arius, Socinus, or of Dr Bull, with all the weight of human sanction, which has been bestowed


the latter.

In delineating this truly scriptural scheme, I have made use of the term "THREE,' without

any adjunct whatever, in conformity to the language of St John—“ There are THREE.” My reason for doing so is a very cogent one, namely, the danger, which has arisen, and must arise, from either the Bb2


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