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the mediatorial relief must be of God, and in which, no created merit or power had part. Our Lord - trod the wine press alone.”
We have mentioned before, that some who have been our brethren in the belief of the Trinity, have been driven by the assumed premises, and specious arguments of our opponents, from a belief in the three persons “which bear record in heaven,” under a fear of the suggestion that they were believers in two, or three co-ordinate Gods. From what we have said, our brethren who have abandoned the Trinitarian ground of doctrine, will discover, that we consider the accusation as the « baseless fabric” of a fable, a reckless, and unjust attack, from which there is no manner of reasonable difficulty or alarm ; for the doctrine of the Trinity is as real and well founded a doctrine, and as clearly demonstrated, as any scriptural revelation, or tenet of our faith. And we devoutly trust that under the exercise of pious wisdom, and christian reconsideration of the subject, they will no longer feed upon the husks that the swine did eat;" and that they will return to the Trinitarian flock, which the scriptures quietly lead “into green pastures, beside the still waters."
It will be borne in mind, that Origen and Sabellius taught as one of their doctrines, as we understand it, that God did not exist in three persons, properly speaking, but exercised himself in three different capacities, or offices, and that there are different qualities or substances in the divine nature; for instance, he acted as Father in creation, as Son in redemption, and as Holy Ghost in being poured out on the apostles. And to illustrate their different substances or qualities, they represented them under the emblem of the sun or fire, which they state is compased of the substances or quali ties of heat and light. How very unsatisfactory!
This doctrine of Sabellius, which it seems was first taught in the second century, was rejected and disapprobated by the churches in general in that age of christianity. We do not state this as infallible evidence, that the doctrine was wrong, but for the reasons before stated. It is, however, a generally received opinion, that although many errors arose in the three first centuries of christianity, yet no one so generally prevailed as to gain the general approbation of the churches.
Mr. Worcester has stated the fact that this Sabellian doctrine was rejected, as we have stated, and has advanced it as an argument in support of his system against the doctrine of the Trinity. And we give Mr. Worcester a great deal of eredit, for his weighty and powerful arguments against that sectary who are preaching that doctrine under the name and cover of Trinitarianism. An abuse which we think to be too frequent a case in our country at the present day. But whether these arguments of Mr. Worcester aid, or in any sense support his system, or militate against the primitive doctrine of Trinitarianism, is another question, And somewhat doubtful.
Mr. Worcester brings forward the doctrines of Origen as well as Sabellius to show the inconsistency and confused notion of the Trinity. Two of the peculiar notions or ideas of Origen on the Trinity, appear to have been, “that Christ dwelt in God, as reason dwells in man, and the divine spirit was nothing but energy or active force." Mr. Worcester proceeds upon it, to show, that this was not a Tinity of persons, and establishes that Origen contended for nothing but a kind of
an allegorical trinity, and we agree that Mr. Worcester is right in his judgment, as relates to this point, as respects the doctrines of Origens and SXbellius, whose views when brought to their points, fellowship and centre together.
Mr. Worcester is a professed Unitarian, consequently did not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. He has shown the fallacy of this doctrine pretty ably and we are not dissatisfied with it, for we disavow their ideas, as anti-trinitarian, so far we coincide with Mr. Worcester.
Mr. Worcester in his way having refuted their doctrine, builds his own superstructure of doctrine, on this sandy foundation, and averment, that “the doctrine of the Trinity, had its original or birth in Origen's allegorical method of explaining the Scripture, and its growth in the degeneracy of the church, and its finish, in a disorderly and confused council.” Now, from the time that Origen lived and taught divinity, which was in the third century, and from that time to the year 381, which was 56 years after the Council held at the city of Nice, it is certain the church took rapid strides in degeneracy, and apostacy, and the council held in the city of Constantinople, was said to be a very confused and disorderly Council, and one historian tells us, that at this Council,the doctrine of the Trinity, received its finishing touch or stroke. These are the facts and reasons, on which Mr. Worcester made the foregoing remarks.
We think him materially mistaken when he asserts that the doctrine of the Trinity had its birth in Origen's allegory; and its growth in the degeneracy of the church. Yet, we do think many doctrines, which are now taught, and misnamed points of the Trinity, had their birth in Sabellianism, and was
nursed and fosterea by Origen, and had a consideraDle growth and support in the degeneracy of the church; still this does not effect, or blemish the genuine Scriptural doctrine of the Trinity, or the proper sonship of Christ ; as the Trinity must stand, with every candid and ingenuous mind, unrepudiated by any thing extrinsic of its system. We are, however, persuaded, that the wild fables and glaring inconsistences, which have been taught as of, and for the doctrines of the Trinity, has driven more professors into Arianism, Socinianism, and Unitarianism, than all the arguments which have been advanced in open attack against the Scriptural doctrine of the I'rinity.
We now return to the prime points taken by the enemies of the Trinity and proceed with our inquiry. And wherein do we err from the lights of Scripture, and what is our best defence against their charges ? We presume we have said enough to prevent the charge of Tritheism as to us, and that we do not at present feel there is the least necessity of sheltering ourselves, as others have been too prone to do, under the errors of the system taught by Sabellius. And having discovered this error, and the dangers and inconsistencies of tritheism; we warn all to hold on to the truth of the Scriptural trinity, of three in one. This is always the best defence and shield against accusations, and charges which may be made. This doctrine is only sustained by keeping to the gospel manifestations of the glory of the Godhead,
in the beauty and excellency of the person of Christ, who is the Jehovah sent; who is of the “ three which bear record in heaven” 6 which three are
Which also agrees well with the adjective Holy, which is plural, as well as the substantive Elohim, and which harmonizes with the doxology of angels, and the doxology of christians, and the baptismal ordinance ; and with the expressive name Jehovah, which is singular, and full of meaning. The use of it by Moses is strikingly trinitarian. “ Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord.” Every one knows that Moses uses the name God, or Elohim in the plural.
On the phraseololgy of this quotation, we cannot refrain from subjoining an extract from the pious and learned President Edwards. He says, - In the original, it is thus, Jehovah Elohenu is Jehovah Ehadh ; which if most literally translated, is thus, Jehovah Our divine Perea sons is one Jehovah : as though Moses, in this remark, had a particular reference to the word Elohim being in the plural number, and would guard the people against imagining from thence that there was a plurality of Essences or Being, among whom they were to divide their affections and respect."
The general tenor of scripture and revelation rests upon the doctrine of the Trinity; that taken away the Mediatorial redemption of the human family, has no foundation ; the harmony, consistency and assurances of revelation, are but as “wood, hay, and stubble :" and our confidence is unstable and insecure. But the Bible demonstrates this doctrine as fully as any other tenet of our creed. Our defence is then alway in this book, which gives us the nature, the character, the glory, and sufficiency of the Saviour, as the Son of God in his divine nature, as the second person in the Godhead, as the Word which was God, and of the " three which bear record," &c. and which “are, one."