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shall happen, that we may consider them; declare unto us things
II. That this plurality in the Godhead, is neither more nor fwer than three ; or, that there is a Trinity of persons in the ulity of the divine essence ; this I have before taken for grante ed and now I shall prove
it. And not to take notice of the mane Jehovah being used three times, and three times only,
in the blessings of the priest, Numb. vi. 24–26. and in the
I shall begin with the famous text in 1 John v. 7. as giving
This text is so glaring a proot of the doctrine of the Trinity, that the enemies of it have done all they can to weaken its authority, and have pushed hard to extirpate it from a place in the sacred writings, but it is to be traced up within a hundred years, or less, to the writing of the epistle; which is enough to satisfy any one of th genuineness of his text. And there never was any dispute about it, until Erasmus left it out in the first edition of his translation of the New Testament: and yet he himself, upon the credit of the old British copy, before mentioned, put it into another edition of his translation. Yea the Socinians themselves have not dared to leave it out in their German Racovian version, A. C. 1630. To which may be added, that the context requires it. The doctrine of the Trinity, appears. I. In the works of creation : God the Father made the heavens, Acts iv. 24, 27. the divine Word, or Son of God, was concerned in all this, John i. 2. And the Holy Spirit, is said to move upon the face of the waters, Gen. i. 2. all three may be seen together in one text, Psal. xxxiii. 6. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth ; where mention is made of Jehovah, and his Word, the eternal Logos, and of his Spirit, the breath of his mouth, as all concerned in the making of the heavens, and all the host of them. 11. A Trinity of persons appears in the works of providence. My father, says Christ, worketh bitherto, and I work, John v. 17. and not to the ex. clusion of the holy Spirit, Isai. xl. 13, 14.. And particularly the three divine persons appear in that remarkable affair of providence, the deliverance of Israel. Whoever reads attentively Isai
. lxiii. 7–14. will easily observe, that mention is made
of Jehovah; and then of the Angel of his presence: and next of his holy Spirit, II. The three divine persons are to be discerned most clearly in all the works of grace. The inspiration of the scriptures is a wonderful instance of the grace and goodness of God to men, we find all three dictating the writings David was the penman of; The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue ; the God of Israel said, the Rock of Isruel spoke to me, 2 Sam, xxiii. 2, 3. where besides the Spirit of the Lord there is the Father, the God of Israel, and the Son, the Rock of Israel. In the sacred writings, the economy of man's salvation is clearly exhibited to us, in which we find the three divine persons, by agreement and consent, take their distinct parts : and it may be observed, that the election of men to salvation is usually ascribed to the Father; redemption or the impetration of salvation, to the Son; and sanctification, or the application of salvation, to the Spirit: and they are all to be met with in one passage, 1 Pet i, 2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through santification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. The same may be observed in 2 Thess, ii. 13. 14. The doctrine of the Trinity is often represented as a speculative point, of no great moment; but, alas, it enters into the whole of our salvation, and all the parts of it; into all the doctrines of the gospel, and into the experience of the saints. IV. A Trinity of persons in the Godhead may be plainly discovered in all things relating to the office and work of Christ, as the Redeemer and Saviour ; this is affirmed by himself, Isai. xlviii. 16.
Now the Lord God, and his Spirit, bath sent me ; even who says, 12, 13. I am the first and the lost; the mighty God who is said to be sent by Jehovah the Lord God, and by his Spirit, in the message to the virgin, mention is made distinctly of all the three Persons; there is the highest, the Son of the highest; and the Holy Ghost, or the power of the highest, to whose overshadowing influence, the mysterious incarnation is ascribed, Luke i. 32, 35. when he was thirty years
age he was baptized of John in Jordan, Matt. iii. 16, 17, it was a com
demption for men.
by thy biood, Rev. v. 9.
mon saying with the ancients, go to Jordan, and there learn the doctrine of the trinity; I will pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter, John xiv. 16. Here is God the Father of Christ, who is praved unto, who is one Person : and here is the Son in human nature, praying, a second Person, and then there is another Comforter prayed for, even the Spirit of truth, distinct from the Father and the son ; the same may be observed in verse 26, and in chap. xv. 26, and xvi. 7. Christ by his sufferings and death, obtained eternal re
The price that was paid for it, was paid to God the Father : so it is said, thou hast redeemed us to God
What gave the price a sufficient the dignity of his person, 1 John i. 7. and it was through the eternal Spirit, Heb. ix. 14. v. This truth of a Trinity in the Godhead, shines in all the acts of grace towards or in men: in the act of justification; hence they are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, 1 Cor. vi. 11. in the act of adoption; all three appear in one text, respecting this blessing of grace; Because ye are Sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, Crying Abba, Father, Gal. iv. 6. Regeneration is an evidence of adoption; all three are mentioned together in Tit. iii. 4-6. Once more, their unction, or anointing, which they receive from the holy One, is from God the Father, in and through Christ, and by the Spirit ; Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; wo ha h also seuled us, and given tbe earnest of the Spirit in our burts, 2 Cor. i, 21, 22, vi. It plainly appears ihere is a I rin ty of persons in the Godhead, from the worship and duiies of religion enjoined on good men. The ordinance of baptism, is to be administered in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Matt. xxviii. 19. in Eph. i. 17. 18. the Father of Christ is prayed to; the Spirit of wisdom is prayed for ; and that for an increase in .. the knowledge of Christ, distinct from them both; and whereas the saints need an increase of strength, prayer is made for them, that the Father of Christ would strengthen
them by his Spirit in the inward man, Eph. iii. 14--16. see Zech. X. 12. The three divine Persons are plainly distinguish. ed, in the benedictory prayer of the apostle. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. OF THE PERSONAL RELATIONS; OR, RELA.
TIVE PROPERTIES WHICH DISTINGUISH THE THREE DIVINE PERSONSIN THE DEITY.
THE distinction between them is not merely nominal, which is no distinction at all; as when the Sabellians say, God is one Person, having three names, Father, Son, and Spirit, here is no distinction; just as when a man has three Dames, they no more distinguish him than one would.
I. Be it what it may, which distinguishes the divine Per. sons, it must be as early as the existence of God itself; what God is now he ever was ; he is the eternal and immutable I AM. Wherefore,
II. Whatever distinguishes them, cannot arise from, nor depend upon any works done by them in time : besides, the works of God ed Extra, or his external works, are common to all the three Persons. The works of God, prove the Being of God, and illustrate and confirm the doctrine of a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, but had they never been wrought, he would have been just the same as he is, in his Being, Perfections and persons; for,
III. His works are arbitrary, depending upon his pleasure: thus of the works of creation it is said, For thy pleasure, or by thy will, they are and were created, Rev. iv. 11. if there had never been a creature made, nor a soul saved, nor a sioner sanctified, God would have been the same he is, three Persons in one God; whereas,
IV. What gives the distinction, be it what it may, is by necessity of nature: if the one God necessarily existed, and the three Persons are the one God, they must necessarily exist; and that which gives them the distinction, must be ne.