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Hebrew phraseology as an English Gentile. Ask them, and they will tell you, that the idea of three persons in one God is to them an abomination, and utterly contradictory to all their law and their prophets.
5th. After an attentive examination of the passages in the New Testament, adduced by Trinitarians in favour of their system, I find but two urged by them as proofs of a Trinity in Unity. You will observe, that at present I exclude all which you adduce as proving solely the divinity of Jesus Christ, or the personality of the Holy Spirit. If there are more which you conceive as proving a Trinity in Unity, I will willingly acknowledge myself in an error; but to the consideration of these two, I must now proceed.
The first is that at the end of Matthew, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Upon this my remarks will be few.
1st. Does our Saviour say, " three persons in one God?" No. Then what right have you to infer that he meant it? For
after all, you must allow, that it is but an inference. I ask you, Trinitarian, whether, if you had made such a declaration, such a form of baptism necessary, you would not have added, "three persons in one God?" Our Saviour did not add it. Is not this a strong presumptive argument, that he did not mean to urge it; nay, that he did not even believe it himself, and was very far from intending to make it the object of belief in others?
2nd. Did our Saviour mention these three, as subjects of belief or as objects of worship? If they are to be objects of religious worship, why does he not distinctly state it so? A being divinely inspired, and purporting to give information to human beings upon this very subject, surely must have done so.
If he did not mean them to be objects of religious worship, but merely subjects of belief, we believe them. We believe in a Father, the great God, who gave a revelation of his will to his creatures, contained in the scriptures. We believe in the Son, the messenger of grace, the bearer of these glorious tidings. We be
lieve in the Holy Spirit of God, the divine influence, by which Jesus Christ and the apostles were enabled to work miracles, in confirmation of the truth of the doctrines they taught.
3d. We appeal to the conduct of the apostles themselves for their interpretation of this command of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Acts x. 47, 48. Peter, in the house of Cornelius the centurion, with his friends, says, "Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized." How? In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? No. But "in the name of the Lord.” (Acts xix. 5.) "And when they heard this, they were baptized." How? "In the name of the Lord Jesus." This surely,. to any candid mind, is abundant evidence as to the sense in which the apostles understood the command.
2nd. The other passage to which I am to call your attention, as inculcating the doctrine of a Trinity in Unity, is that in 1 John v. 7. "There are three that bear
record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are If this, my Trinitarian hearers, is your only hold, you certainly trust to a straw or depend upon a broken reed. Are you not aware, that, by the most learned advocates of Trinitarianism, this text is acknowledged to be spurious? I need not mention any antiquated divines ; it will be sufficient to notice the following celebrated Trinitarians: Wetstein, Professor Marsh; Professor Porson, Cambridge; Archbishop Newcome; the present. Bishop of Lincoln. The editors of the Eclectic Review, whom you probably know to be what is called highly evangelical, give these observations on the question, in their Review for March, 1809: "Under these circumstances we are unspeakably ashamed, that any modern divines should have fought, pedibus et urguibus, for the retention of a passage so indisputably spurious. They are, in our esteem, the best advocates for the Trinitarian doctrine, who join in exploding such a gross interpolation, and in protesting against its being still permitted to
occupy a place in the common copies of the New Testament." In opposition to the Eclectic Reviewers, thus says Dr. Hawker, rector of Charles, Plymouth :"Some may talk of giving up this text as an interpolation, and others assert the necessity of its continuance. But what saith the general articles of scripture? What saith John concerning each person of the Godhead, and all the persons together, as one God? Let the verse be tried by this standard; let any ordinary, candid reader read the chapter, and leave this verse out, and will he not discover the chasm? Will he not see that the antithesis is lost, the sense enervated, the argument destroyed?" (Third Letter to Barrister, p. 69, 70.)
I have now given you the statements of the advocates of your own cause; you cannot object to the arguments adduced on the other side. I shall take them from the notes of the Improved Version on the passage, where they are stated in a clear and concise manner. "1st. This text concerning the heavenly witnesses is not contained in any Greek manuscript, earlier