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gures of speech for that same universal Spirit they talk of; and that the scripture does not mean personality in what it says of any them? Really, according to a late notion, their way lies pretty clear; for here is two thirds of the work done to their hands. But,
I must answer those who deny the distinct subsistence of the second and third persons, as I would those who oppose the first. Would it not be a good argument, that the Father is not any property or power of this universal spirit, because he is spoke of as contriving, acting, and declaring? I read of his counsels, his words, his nature, his works. When I hear of one who has laid a foundation, distinguished the rooms, and raised a fabric with height and strength, I conclude with the Apostle, that every house is built by some man. Heb. iji. 3. It was not an invisible spirit in the stone and timber that brought them together, but it is done by an agent. So evident is it as the same Apostle says, that he who built all things is God. And,
Can the words bear any other sense, when we read of the Son, that he was with God; John i. 2. that his goings forth, have been of old, from everlasting; Mic. v. 2. that at the creation of the earth he was there, as one brought up with the Father, and rejoicing always before him ; Prov. viii. 25. (You see, I mention only those things that were antecedent to his incarnation. When we find that all things were created by him, and without him was not any thing made, that was made,
John i. 3. why must such an account as this, if it was given of the Father, signify a person and when it is said of the Son, be no more than a power or a quality?
When the angels fall down to him that sits on the throne, they tell him, that for his pleasure all things are, and were created; Rev. iv. 11. Now, is it possible to understand this, of any other than a personAnd when the scripture says of Christ, that by him were all things created in heaven and earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers, all were created by him and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist, Col. i. 16. is this same He, whose title is carried through the whole story, no more than a faculty?
When the Spirit is said to move upon the face of the waters, and to garnish the heavens, are not these personal actions, as well as giving the horse his strength, and clothing his neck with thunder? We are told what Christ says in view of his incarnation. I have not spoken in secret, from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I ; and now the Lord God and his Spirit hath sent me.' Is. xlviii. 16. Does not the very sound of the words, lead us into some distinction between this Lord and his Spirit, as if there was a concurrence of two agents? Was it ever said of any that a man and his Spirit gave out a commission, that a king and his soul published a decree? · A late nameless author, in a very little book, has hung a while upon this argument, that we are said to fear the Lord and his goodness. You may guess at the rest of the performance by this passage, and learn not ex ungue leonem, but ex caudá murem. It is easy for any one to see, that the meaning there is, that as the Lord will be adored, so in a particular manner, upon the account of his goodness, in the later days. But whether such an interpretation can be driven into the other scripture, the Lord God and his Spirit, I shall leave to every one's judgment; nor should I have mentioned an argument, so very low as this, but only to shew you the men and their communication.
(2.) These three, are distinct in their relations to one another. A Father and a Son among men, are as much two persons as a king and a subject. A Son has the same nature, family, inheritance, and concern. He is nearer to his father in all these than a stranger; but he is as truly existent apart from him, as one who never saw his face. I do not bring you this, as a complete parallel, for to whom shall we resemble God, or what likeness shall we compare to him? Is. xli. 18. There is certainly between the first and second person in the trinity, an union, that no human relation does so much as imitate; I am in the Father, and the Father in me. John xiv. 10. The Son of man is glorified, and God is glorified in him, and God shall glorify him in himself. xiii. 31,
(3.) They are distinct in the communion, that a believer has with them; as you will
see quite through an excellent book, called Communion with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, by that steady and uniform writer Dr. Owen, who was rooted and established in the faith as he had been taught, and abounded in it. Our Lord tells the disciples, if any inan love me, my Father will love him, and we will come and make our abode with him. John xiv. 23. The opposition made by hypocrites and unbelievers, is to each person. The martyr Stephen charges the Jews with betraying and murdering the holy and just One, and also with resisting the Holy Ghost. Acts vii. 52. And so saith Christ, they have hated both me and my Father. John xv. 24. . (4.) They are distinct in the praises of hea. ven, and the glory that is possessed there. We read Rev. j. 4, 5. of him who was, and is, and is to come; of Jesus the faithful and true witness; and the seven spirits that are before the throne, which is a complete title for one and the self same Spirit. Blessing, and honour and glory and power, are ascribed to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever. Rev. v. 13. Now is come salvation to our God, and the power of his Christ. Rev. xii, 10. We are kings and priests to God and the Lamb. The Father saith to the Son, thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. Heb. 18. The glory of the Lord is to lighten the heavenly city, and the Lamb is the light thereof. Rev. xxi, 23. The throne of God and of the Lamb is in it, and his servants shall serve him. xxii. 3. I Jesus testify these things; and immediately
after, the Spirit and the bride say, come. 16, 17. The book is called the revelation of Je' sus Christ, which God gave to him; and yet it is what the Spirit said unto the Churches. Rev. i. 1. and xi. 7.
(5.) They are distinct in their operations. There are several things in promiscuous language, ascribed to every one of them, aş the creation of the world, the redemption of a chosen people, their election, sanctification, rising from the dead, and future glory. Each of these are sometimes attributed to the Father, sometimes to the Son, and every one of them to the holy Spirit, which argues an equality of nature. But there are others, that we never read of, in any other language, than as personal actions. The Father does them, and not the Son; the Son, and not the Spirit; the Spirit, aud neither Son nor Father.
1. The Father is said, to send his only begotten Son into the world. Sending and coming are indeed only circumstantial to the errand, or the work, but they must be actions of different persons. I came not of myself, saith Christ; the Father sanctified and sent him into the world. John x. 36. He came from the Father, and came into the world, and again he left the world and went to the Father. John xvi. 28. Therefore he argues very justly with his enemies; ' it is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true; I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.' John viii. 17. When