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JESUS CHRIST, AND HIM CRUCIFED.
Nay, but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?-Rom. ix. 20.
There is a disposition in man to cavil at every thing that opposes his darling lusts; hence the difficulty in receiving the doctrine of the Trinity. Those who believe that God was incarnate as an atonement for sin, must believe that sin is awfully malignant in its nature, and, by consequence, that they themselves are utterly vile: those who believe it necessary that God, as a Spirit, should renew our natures, must believe that they are altogether depraved: and there are no two points of belief more humbling to the pride of the heart, or more opposed to the indulgence of transgression. It is, therefore, not at all surprising that some, rather than bow themselves in the dust, with the patriarch Job and the prophet Daniel, rise up in their loftiness, and deny the Divinity of the Redeemer and the Sanctifier.
They do not reject the doctrine of the Trinity because it is mysterious, for whatever is not disagreeable to their carnal speculations they cheerfully receive:-as, for instance, the
connexion between the human body and the human soul;-it is utterly inexplicable-they cannot comprehend it, yet they receive it: they do not know what gravitation is, though they believe in it: they can not find out the seat of thought, though they are sure of its existence. A blade of grass will puzzle them despite all their philosophy. And, indeed, they receive many things far more difficult of comprehension than the doctrine of the Trinity. A perfect Unity is, itself, more incomprehensible, than a Trinity of persons in a Unity of essence.
In the first verse of the first chapter of the book of Genesis, we meet with the first intimation of the ductrine of the Tripity. The word translated God, is, in the original, in the plural number; and this in a language which has a distinct number to express two: so that it indicates a plurality of, at least; more than two. And, throughout the old Testament, we discover this peculiarity: the name of Deity expressed by a plural noun, as if to indicate there are more than two persons existing in the Godhead, and this plural noun joined to a verb in the singular, as if teaching that these persons are, nevertheless, a unity. The Jews say, "Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim. There are three degrees, and each degree by itself e, and yet, notwithstanding, they are all
&T and joined together in one, and are not di
vided from each other." Five hundred times does Moses use a plural name for God. The name by which he describes the Most High, may, with propriety, be translated, 'the persons to be adored.'
In the account of the creation of our race, it is said, "Let us make man in our image;"* and, where the Almighty speaks of the apostacy, He usest he expression, "man is become as one of us;" and yet again, when the builders of Babel ar described in their rebellion,"Let us go down;"‡ and, once more, in Isaiah, Jehovah says, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us."||
That God is one, we are well assured. His works are one. Independence is essential to His Divinity. Scripture says, "The Lord our God is one Lord." One name, Jehovah, is applied to all the persons. These persons are represented as having the same attributes, the same council or will, and as concurring in the same acts. But we are also assured, that, in this oneness, there is a distinction, which, for the want of better phraseology, we denominate a distinction of persons.
Moreover, we are taught by the same divine witness, that the plurality existing in the Godhead, amounts to a Trinity.
*Gen. i. 26. † Gen. iii. 22. Gen. xi. 7. Isaiah vi. 8. § Deut. vi. 4.
In the account we have of the creation, tithe are represented as engaged. Thus, it is said, "The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."* Here are the Spirit, and God, from whom He proceeds:-in the New Testament, we are told," without" the Word "not any thing made that was made?”+ and, again," by Him," Christ," were all things created.”‡ David also says, "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath," or spirit, "of his mouth."||
In proclaiming himself to Moses, the Most High thrice repeated, thus, "Jehovah, Jehovah, God;" or, as we translate it, the Lord, the Lord God.
In the blessing of the High Priest, we have the repetition of the incommunicable name thrice-"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." On this blessing the Jews were in the habit of remarking," repeating Jehovah three times, teaches these names of the blessed God are three powers, and every distinct power is like to each other, and hath the same name in it."
We are bound to believe that the doctrine of
Ten. i. 2. † John, i. 3. Col. i. 16. Psalms, xxxiii. 6.
a Trinity in Unity was thus early revealed, or
e we envelop ourselves in a difficulty from which
there is no way of escape. It is a fact, that the doctrine is interwoven in all the ancient systems of philosophy, and in all the ancient superstitions of the world. Now, how came it to be thus received, "always, every where, and by all," unless it were revealed? Human reason did not find it out. Self-interest did not discover it. God must have set it forth from the earliest times.
The doctrine of the three principles, each equal to the other, all equally eternal, and all of them uniting in one undivided essence, may be traced back from Plato to the Pythagoreans; from them to the earliest of the Grecians; from them to the Egyptian priests; so that, along with learning, it came from Egypt to Greece. The doctrine is found also in the Persian and Chaldean theology; and vestiges of the worship of a Trinity were discoverable in the Romans, who received it from the Trojans, who brought it from Phrygia We can trace it to the fathers of learning, and we can trace it to the neighbourhood of where Noah's family settled.* The Platonists declared it was revealed by the gods. Zoroaster says, "in the whole world there shines a Trinity, of which a Unity is the head." Some of the philosophers used
* See Horsley's tracts.