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can imply, that the Spirit himself, whose Gifts and Graces Christ either enjoy'd or bestow'd, as did also his Apostles, is a Being distinct from, or subordinat to, the Very God.
10. St. John wishes Grace and Peace to the seven Churches from him which is, which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before bis throne ; and from Jesus Christ, &c. Rev. 1.4, 5. You have rightly (a) observed, that whether this be meant of the Holy Ghoft, is not agreed by Interpreters. Now if this is not meant of the Holy Ghost, then no Argument can be drawn from hence in favor of
your Doctrin, or against mine. But if it be meant of the Holy Ghost, yet it can't be inferr'd from hence, that the Holy Ghost is a Being distinct from God, notwithstanding the particular Enumeration of God, the Spirit, and Jesus Chrift; any more than it can be inferr'd, that a particular Man's Spirit, Soul and Body are not one Being, because the Apostle says, I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Theff. s. 23. It may indeed be rightly inferr'd, that there is a real Distinction in one and the same Being; as there is a real Distinction in the Man, who notwithstanding is one and the same Being : but it can't be inferr'd, that God and the Spirit are distinct and separat Beings; much less that the one is derived from, or subordinat to, the other.
11. We read, that the Spirit and the bride say, Come, Rev. 22. 17. From hence it has been inferr'd, that the Spirit is not the selfexistent God, but a being fubordinat to him. But how does it appear, that
by the Spirit in this place we must understand that Being who inspir'd the Prophets ? 'Tis much more reasonable to understand it of the extraordinary Gifts and Graces of the Spirit, which the same A postle (d) cals the Untion, which taught the Christians of those Days, 1 John 2. 20, 27. And consequently the Spirit may signify the Persons endued with the extraordinary Gifts and Graces of the Spirit, viz. the Teachers of the Church, as contradistinguish'd from their Flocks. So that the. Meaning will be, that both the inspir'd Teachers, and ailo their People, viz. the Church which is the Bride, do say come; that is, they earnestly desire the Appearance of Christ. This Text therefore is foreign to the present Purpose.
What other Texts remain, may easily be reduc'd to some of the foregoing Heads; and the same Answer will serve. Wherefore (to avoid needless Repetitions) I shall add no more about this point, which (I think) has been sufficiently clear'd already.
(d) Compare Confut. of Quakerism, Chap. 6. p. 61, &c.
CH A P. XIV.
Of the Trinity in Vnity.
HAVE hitherto been shewing (I hope, to your
Satisfaction and Conviction) that, 1. the WORD or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2. the Holy Spirit, are the selfexiftent or very God, and consequently one and the same Being.
But then 'tis evident, that the Holy Scriptures do notwithstanding manifestly distinguish the WORD from the Spirit. The whole Course of the New Teftament is a continued Demonftration of this. However, let us reflect upon one Consideration.
The Apostle declares, that the WORD was made flesh, John 1. 14. So that the WORD was as truly united to the Man Christ Jesus, as the Spirit of a Man is united to his Body ; And during the whole Course of his Ministry this Union lasted. And yet all this while, the Holy Spirit, as you truly (a) observe, is describd in the New Testament as the immediate Author and Worker of all Miracles, even of those done by our Lord himself ; and as the Conducter of Christ in all the Actions of bis Life, during his State of Humiliation bere upon Earth. Again, 'twas not the WORD, but the Spirit, which preserved our Lord from Sin; for thro' the eternal Spirit be offer'd himself without spot to God, Heb. 9. 14. And tho' the Union of the WORD and the human soul continued after the Separation of the Body from the Soul by Death ; yet the WORD did not raise the Body again ; but 'twas
(a) Script. Doct. p. 301.
quickned by the Spirit, i Pet. 3. 18. This clearly Thews, that the WORD and the Spirit are as really distinct in the same selfexistent Being, or very God; as the Soul and the Body are really diftin& in the same created Being, Man. For the WORD and the Spirit are constantly represented as distinct Principles of Action; and the Spirit acted, in the most eminent manner, in and thro' the Man Christ Jesus, at the same time, that the WORD was quiescent in him.
But farther, as the Holy Scriptures inform us, that the WORD and the Spirit are really distina in the selfexistent Being or very God: so do they plainly distinguish the selfexistent Being, or very God, both from the WORD and from the Spirit. Particularly the WORD. is called the WORD of God, 2 Pet. 3. 5. Rev. 19. 13. and the WORD is said to have been with God in the beginning, John. 1. 1. And as God made all things by or thro' our Lord, viz. his Divine Nature, 1 Cor. 8. 6. Col. 1. 16. Heb. 1. 2, 1o. so God is said to have made all things by or thro' the WORD, Fobn 1. 3, 10. The Spirit also is call'd the Spirit of God, and thereby distinguish'a from God, whose Spirit he is, in several Places. And consequently the WORD of God, and the Spirit of God, are in some Sense diftinguish'd from God, whose they are.
From hence it follows, that cho' neither the WORD nor the Spirit is a distinct Being from that God, whose WORD and Spirit they are ; any more than the Spirit of a Man is a distinct Being from the Man, whom the Spirit of a Man essentially belongs to : yet there is in the Divine Essence or Nature something distinct from the WORD and the Spirit ; and which together with the WORD and the Spirit, constitutes the whole Divine Nature or Effence.
Now it must be observ'd, that tho' the WORD and the Spirit are God, that is, essencial to, and constitutive of, the seifexistent Being; yet that which together with the WORD and the Spirit does constitute the Divine Nature or Essence, is not known to us by any other Name, than such as expresses the selfexistent Being, which it (together with the coessential WORD and Spirit) constitutes, viz. by the Names God, Father, &c. And because the WORD was made Flesh, and perfonally united to the Man Christ Jesus, whose Generation by the Holy Ghost made him the Son of the selfexistent Being; therefore the WORD may well be term’d the Son of God upon the Account of this temporal Generation. And as for the eternal Generation of the WORD (tho' that Phrafe is not found in Scripture, nor is God therein ever called the Father of the WORD, nor the WORD called the Son of God, upon any Account antecedent to the Incarnation : yet) because the WORD subsists eternally (because necessarily) in God, not as a diftine Being from God, but as one and the same Being with God; and because God (or that which, besides the WORD and the Spirit,is in God,or essential to God) is all along represented so, as that the WORD is his, and he is not the WORD's: cherefore we justly think of the whole Divine Nature or Essence in such a manner, as that God, or (if you will suffer me so to speak ; for our Ideas being so imperfect, and our Language so defective, I hope, I may be excused such a Figure or Similitude) so much of the Divine Nature or Essence, as is not by any more particular Name distinguish'd in Scripture from the WORD and the Spirit, and which is conceived by us as Prior in order of Consideration to both the WORD and the Spirit, is very properly terni'd the eternal Father of the WORD,