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their confidences, and they shall not prosper in them. Jer. ii. 37. Infidelity has got two creeping holes instead of one; and it looks rather like the rallying of error in a new form, after it has been baffled in the old one.
2. By these concessions, the worship of the Spirit is given up and left to human prudence, for a very strange reason, viz. because he is represented as dwelling in the believer. Lit. tle did I think to hear, that Christ dwelling in us as his temple, or that God's being in us, should be pleaded as an abatement to the worship, he is to have from us.
Obj. 4. The personality which the scripture gives to the Son and Spirit, is only an eastern way of speaking. I answer,
1. No matter for that, if it comes from God; it is a form of sound words, whatever quarter of the earth it begun in. From the rising of the sun, they first called upon his name, and from them the word has sounded forth to the isles afar off.
2. We may as well make all the attributes of the divine-nature, persons, as his understanding and his power. His justice, holiness, goodness, and truth, are as often personified in scripture. But I refer you for a fuller account of these arguments, to a noble judicious answer to a late book, entitled, The scripture doctrine of the Trinity vindicated, in opposition to Mr. Watts's scheme of one proper divine Person, and two divine properties, powers, and faculties: by a Dissenting Country Gentleman..
It is only by an open profession of the truth, that
people are honest in qaptism. Heathens un• derstand the form as we do. The three per
sons are equal in perfection of nature, as appears by what each of them does distinctly ; in their influence upon the saints, as to pardon, holiness, perseverance, communion, resurrec
tion, happiness, and in glory.. V. The last thing that we profess in the ordinance of baptism, by using that form of words which Christ himself has given us, is that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are ONE in nature, and EQUAL in power and glory. This proposition is not distinct from some of the former, but rather the full result of them all. They are closed by it, they are rolled up in it.
First, I have proved that we cannot, without idolatry, be baptized into any other name than that of God. As this baptism is the beginning, the figure, the obligation to all practice in religion, so we dare not offer it to any but the most High. Then,
Secondly, I have shown you, that this God who is owned, either by ourselves or our parents, can be no more than one. In so great a work as baptism, we are not whiffling with the name of God, and going about it in sport. To say that one has it by nature and two by title, is to make a jest of the word, and reduce the
sentence that Christ has given us, into vain babbling. The form in which we are baptized, has not led us into any of these distinctions. And shall we dare to come and play the fool, before him that is able to save and to destroy? As one man mocks another, do you so mock him? Shall we speak deceitfully for God, not only in his presence, but in his covenant ?
I have exposed to your contempt, the notion of subordinate deities, as unworthy of all religion, whether natural or revealed. Nor can we be resigned to the Son and Holy Ghost, if they are not one God with the Father, but under the skreen of a mental reservation. If we have meanings not agreeable to the words, we make them not a form of sound words that cannot be condemned; but corrupt and lying speeches, fit for the mouths of those who lie in wait to deceive. Christ designed by this very institution that we should tell the world what we believe ; but by such interpretations, our profession is hid. At that rate a Turk or an Indian shall neither know what we are, nor what our God is. They explain the words as we do, and so reject them. They cannot suppose that we mean one God and two inferior beings, but conclude that baptism pays an equal homage to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They see that there is no subordination in the term ; but an undistinguished adoration to no less than three. And they must be of this opinion, if the words are to be taken in their proper sense, Shall we give them occasion to think, that the profession we make in the
greatest ordinance of our religion, is not to be understood ?
Thirdly, I have farther proved, that here is mention made, neither of more nor fewer than three, into whose name we are baptized. If we conceive of a Godhead without a Trinity, it is not that which the scripture speaks of, or that to which we are surrendered. We have no' more authority, to drop the names of Son and Holy Ghost in the administration, than that of the Father. A baptism into no more than one person, may be Indianor Mahometan, but it can never be Christian.
Fourthly, The form we are to use makes it plain, that these three, are distinct from one another, or otherwise they would never have been mentioned as three. How oddly would it sound, to baptize into the name of the Eternal, the Almighty, and the Omniscient, of the holy One, the Just and the Gracious ? That would be only multiplying words without wisdom. The scripture has given us no such confused and empty forms, that are all sound and little sense. God does not use to speak of himself, and his properties, as if they were thus distinguished, and especially in a form that is to hold as long as the world does. That which wants explaining wants mending ; and if it was never understood until our age, it is pity that other ages had it at all, or should all along be tempted to take those for three persons, whom we have diminished into two powers.
Now, as I said before, if all these four pro
positions are true apart, they are true together, and must combine in this that I have made the fifth ; that these three persons are the same in nature or substance, and equal in power and glory. For if there is no more than one God, and no fewer than three persons, then we are to consider them as equal,
1. In their own pefections.
3. In their glory from us. 1. The form of baptism gives us their equality in perfection and nature, as you will see by these two particulars. First, They all go by one name ; and Secondly, The operations by which they are distinguished, do represent each of them, to be God.
(1.) It is apparent, as you have often heard, that we are only baptized into one name, by which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are equal. ly called. Remember the form of words. It is not said baptize them into names, as if they were many, which might lead us to conceive of different natures ; but as the Lord is one, so his name is one in that ordinance, that is to reach all over the earth. Thus is a Christian to speak of him quite through the nations. That the Father is not the Son, and that neither of them is the Spirit, you will soon apprehend from their several titles. What then is the one name, under which our faith comprehends them, but that glorious and fearful name, the Lord our God ? Deut. xxviii. 58, Though they are three, yet we must some way