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according to the Doctor's scheme, can be individually one
God, that is, three Persons one Person.
If therefore one God necessarily signifies but one Person, the
conséquence is irresistible ; either that the Father is that
one Person, and none else, which is downright Sabel-
lianism ; or that the three Persons are three Gods.
Thus the Doctor's scheme is liable to the same difficulties
with the other.
There is indeed one easy way of coming off, and that is, by
saying that the Son and Holy Spirit are neither of them
God, in the Scripture-sense of the word. But this is
cutting the knot, instead of untying it; and is in effect
to say, they are not set forth as divine Persons in Scrip-
Does the communication of divine powers and attributes
from Father to Son and Holy Spirit, make them one
God, the divinity of the two latter being the Father's
divinity ? Yet the same difficulty recurs; for either the
Son and Holy Ghost have distinct attributes, and a dis-
tinct divinity of their own, or they have not : if they
have, they are (upon the Doctor's principle) distinct Gods
from the Father, and as much as finite from infinite,
creature from Creator; and then how are they one? If
they have not, then, since they have no other divinity, but
that individual divinity, and those attributes which are
inseparable from the Father's essence, they can have no
distinct essence from the Father's; and so (according to
the Doctor) will be one and the same Person, that is, will
be names only.
Q. Whether this be not as unintelligible as the orthodox
notion of the Trinity, and liable to the like difficulties : a
communication of divine powers and attributes, without
the substance, being as hard to conceive, nay, much harder,
than a communication of both together?
that Christ is f by nature truly God, as truly as man is
by nature truly man?
He equivocates, indeed, there, as usual. For, he will have
il to signify that Christ is God by nature, only as having,
by that nature which he derives from the Father, true
divine power and dominion: that is, he is truly God by
nature, as having a nature distinct from, and inferior to
God's, wanting & the most essential character of God,
self-existence. What is this but trifling with words, and
playing fast and loose ?
Whether the Doctor did not equivocate or prevaricate
strangely, in saying, h“ The generality of writers before
" the Council of Nice were, in the whole, clearly on his
“ side :” when it is manifest, they were, in the general,
no farther on his side, than the allowing a subordination
amounts to; no farther than our own Church is on his
side, while in the main points of difference, the ETERNITY
and CONSUBSTANTIALITY, they are clearly against
him ? that is, they were on his side, so far as we acknow-
ledge him to be right, but no farther.
Whether private reasoning, in a matter above our compre-
hension, be a safer rule to go by, than the general sense
and judgment of the primitive Church, in the first three
hundred years ; or, supposing it doubtful what the sense
of the Church was within that time, whether what was
determined by a council of three hundred bishops soon
after, with the greatest care and deliberation, and has
satisfied men of the greatest sense, piety, and learning,
all over the Christian world, for one thousand four hun-
dred years since, may not satisfy wise and good men