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those three mighty words of favor to mankind, let us make man out of nothing, let us recover him from sin and perdition, let us crown him with joy and salvation."
Mr. Norton gives the following : " There are few names of higher authority among Calvinists than that of Howe. The mode of explaining the doctrine to which he was inclined is well known. He was disposed to regard the three divine persons, as three distinct, individual, sarily existing, spiritual beings,' who formed together the most delicious society.'"
Mr. Flavel exhibits the covenant of Redemption thus : "1. Consider the persons transacting. These were the Father and the Son. 2. Consider the business transacted between them : the Redemption of God's elect. 3. Consider the quality of the transaction. It was by mutual stipulation. 4. Consider the Articles to which they both agree. God the Father promiseth to invest God the Son with a three-fold office : to make him a priest, a prophet, a king : that he will assist and strengthen him : that he will crown his work with success; and reward him with great exaltation. God the Son stipulates that he will divest himself of his glory, and not refuse any the hardest sufferings it should please the Father to inflict upon him. . 5. These Articles were by both parties performed precisely and punctually. 6. The compact between God the Father and God the Son, bears date from ETERNITY."
Dr. Hopkins says, “ The blessed Trinity, in the one God, may
be considered as a most exaltel, happy, and glorious society or family, uniting in the plan of divine operations, especially in accomplishing the work of redemption. In this, each one has his part to perform, according to a most wise, mutual regulation or agreement, which may be called
* Barrows' Works, Vol. iv. p. 320.
a covenant. In performing these several parts of this work, one acts as superior, another as inferior ; or one acts under another, and by his authority, as appointed or sent by him. This, by divines, is called the economy of the work of redemption. According to this economy, the Son, the Redeemer, acts under the Father, and by his will and appointment, and in this respect takes an inferior part; and in this sense he is supposed to speak, when he says, The Father is greater than I."'*
Now what can we infer from such statements, but the doctrine of three Gods? A family of what? A society of what? A compact, a covenant, an agreement, between what? Not men, nor angels. If we pay any regard to the meaning of words, and the force of language, we must consider them a family of Gods, a society of Gods, a company, or co-partnership of Gods. If such descriptions of the Supreme Being were found in the writings of Voltaire, they would be regarded as an attempt to burlesque Chris tianity. And while they appear in creeds professedly founded on the scriptures; while they are published in sermons, and proclaimed from the pulpit as essential to salvation, is it surprising that the gospel should have so little influence on the hearts and lives of men ? What means could be devised more likely to make unbelievers and infidels? If the gospel is the basis of the moral vir tues, and indispensable to the welfare of mankind, is it surprising that its progress is so slow, and its influence so inefficient in promoting human virtue and happiness? Is it strange that the chariot of salvation should be so tardy, while its wheels are thus encumbered.
So far as the doctrine of the Trinity is proved to be absurd, or.incapable of belief, it will not be expected to be found taught in the bible. But as innumerable modifica
* See Bible News, Page 128, 129.
tions have been invented, with a view to free the doctrine from absurdity, it may be necessary to examine the Scriptures to see if they recognize the doctrine of the Trinity in any form, or with any modification whatever. Here I hope to show that it nowhere makes its appearance in the Bible, in any forin whatever, either with or without modifi. cation.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY NOT ASSERTED
IN THE BIBLE.
No passage of Scripture asserts that God is three.
If it be asked what I intend to qualify by the numeral three, I answer, any thing which the reader pleases. There is no scripture which asserts that God is three persons, three agents, three beings, three Gods, three spirits, three subsistences, three modes, three offices, three attributes, three divinities, three infinite minds, three somewhats, three opposites, or three in any sense' whatever. The truth of this has been admitted by every Trinitarian that ever wrote or preached on the subject. No sermon has ever yet been heard or seen, founded on a passage of scripture which asserts that God is three. Dr. Barrow, whose works are published in seven vols. 8 vo., has left us one discourse on the Trinity. But, unable to find any passage of scripture that asserts the doctrine, he took for his text, Set your affection on things above.-Col. iii. 2. , He considered the three persons in the Godhead incomparably the most important of all the things above, on which we are to set our affections. *
Dr. Gano, late pastor of the First Baptist Church in Providence, R. I. has left us a Sermon on the Trinity, which is published in the Baptist Preacher, Vol. i. No. 2. But not finding any scripture which asserts that God is three, he took for his text, Hear, O Israel! The Lord out * Barrow's Works, Vol. iv. p. 306.
God is ONE Lord.-Mark xii. 29. Toward the conclusion the Dr. says, “ If to believe there is but one only living and true God, constitutes a Unitarian, then am I a Unitarian; or if to believe there are three who bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and that these three are one, constitutes a Trinitarian, then I am a Trinitarian.” As the words last quoted, from I John v. 7, on the belief of which the Dr. predicates his Trinitarianism, is now thought to be spurious, how very slender is the evidence on which his faith is founded. According to his own statement he was a Unitarian; but the evidence of his being a Trinitarian certainly does not appear in his believing an interpolation to be genuine scripture.
Bishop Tillotson has left us one sermon, out of more than two hundred and fifty, with this title, viz : “ The Unity of the Divine Nature, and the blessed Trinity." But finding no scripture which teaches that God is three, he took for his text, For there is ONE God.—1 Tim. ii. 5.
Dr. Dwight, late President of Yale College, has left us but one sermon, out of two hundred and thirty-four which I have before me, entitled “ The Trinity." But finding no scripture which asserts the doctrine, he took for his text, " Come ye near unto me; hear ye this : 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.”—Isa. xlviii. 16. The title of the sermon is, " Testimonies to the doctrine of the Trinity, from ancient Christians, Jews and Heathens.” When I find such a man as President Dwight distrustful of the scriptures alone, and relying, in part, on Jewish and Pagan Fables, for proofs of the Trinity, I confess it seems to me a much stronger argument against the doctrine, than any which he has advanced in favor of it. But what is most remarka able is, he has filled ten or twelve pages with quotations