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Scripture words; and so do falsely say, that we deny the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, which three are one, that bear record in heaven, &c.; which three we own with all our hearts, as the apostle John did, and as all true Christians ever did, and now do. And if you say we are not Christians, because we do not call the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, the Trinity, distinct and separate persons, then you may as well conclude that John was no Christian, who did not give the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost, those names.
“We believe, concerning God the Father, Son, and Spirit, according to the testimony of the Holy Scripture, which we receive and embrace as the most authentic and perfect declaration of Christian faith, being indited by the Holy Spirit of God, that never errs: 1st. That there is one God and Father, of whom are all things; 2ndly. That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom all things were made, who was glorified with the Father before the world began, who is God over all, blessed forever; that there is one Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father and the Son, and leader and sanctifier, and comforter of his people. And we further believe, as the Holy Scriptures soundly and sufficiently express, that these three are one, even the Father, the Word, and the Spirit."
Robert Barclay, in his Confession of Faith, says: “There is one God, who is a Spirit; and this is the message which the apostles heard of him and declared unto the saints, that he is light, and in him is no darkness at all. There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father. No man knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. The Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God. For the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now the saints have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that they might know the things which are freely given them of God. For the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father sends in Christ's name, he teacheth them all things, and bringeth all things to their remembrance.”
Concerning the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, William Penn says: “Because we have been very cautious in expressing our faith concerning that great mystery, especially in such school terms and philosophical distinctions as are unscriptural, if not unsound, the tendency whereof has been to raise frivolous controversies and animosities amongst men, we have by those who desire to lessen our Christian reputation, been represented as deniers of the Trinity at large; whereas, we ever believed, and as constantly maintained, the truth of that blessed Holy Scripture three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and that these three are one; the which, we both sincerely and reverently believe, according to 1 John v. 7. And this is sufficient for us to believe and know, and hath a tendency to edification and holiness; when the contrary centres only in imaginations and strife, and persecution, where it runs high, and to parties, as may be read in bloody characters in the ecclesiastical histories."
The following is extracted from a work written by
George Whitehead, entitled, “ The Divinity of Christ, and unity of the Three that bear record in heaven, and the blessed end and effects of Christ's appearance, coming in the flesh, suffering and sacrifice for sinners, confessed and vindicated by his followers, the Quakers.”
“ The divinity of Christ confessed by us called Quakers, and what we own touching the Deity or Godhead, according to the Scriptures; That there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him,-and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. That there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and that these three are one, both in divinity, divine substance and essence; not three Gods, nor separate beings,—that they are called by several names in Scripture, as manifest to and in the saints; (for whatsoever may be known of God, is manifest in man; Rom. 1.) and their record received as the full testimony of three, by such as truly know and own the record of the three in earth; and yet they are eternally one in nature and being; one infinite wisdom, one power, one love, one light and life, &c.
“We never denied the divinity of Christ, as most injuriously we have been accused by some prejudiced spirits, who prejudicially, in their perverse contests, have sought occasion against us; as chiefly because when some of us were in dispute with Cothers,] we could not own their unscriptural distinctions and terms, touching the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; to wit: of their being incommunicable, distinct, separate persons, or substances; whereas, the Father, the Word, and Spirit, are one--not to be
compared to corruptible men, nor to finite creatures or persons, which are limitable and separable. For the only wise God, the Creator of all, who is one, and his name one, is infinite and inseparable. And the Father's begetting the Son, and the Spirit's being sent, we witness to and own, as he said, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.' And he hath sent his Spirit into our hearts—and that the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, yea in the bosom of the Father; so that they are neither divided nor separate, being one, and of one infinite nature and substance-Christ being the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature, by whom all things were created, both in heaven and in earth. Yea, the Son of God is the brightness of his glory and the express image of his substance. And that it was in due time that God was manifest in flesh, as in the fulness of time God sent his Son-and the Son of God was made manifest to destroy sin—and a manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. So the manifestation of the Father, of the Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess to and own to be in unity, and so the only true God, according to the Scriptures.
“ And that Jesus Christ being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God, and yet as a Son, in the fulness of time was sent of the Father, and took on him the form of a servant, in which state he said, “My Father is greater than I.' And he learned obedience through suffering, and was made perfect, and is become an everlasting High Priest, after the order of Melchizedeck, and is the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; and
God hath given us eternal life in his Son. And unto us a child is born and a Son is given, whose name is Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace, and he is over all, God blessed forever, even the true God and eternal life. So that the deity or divinity of Christ, in his eternal, infinite, glorious state, we really confess and own, having known his virtue and power to redeem us from our vain conversations, and to save us from wrath to come.
“And we judge that .such expressions and words, as the Holy Ghost taught the true apostles and holy men, mentioned in the Scriptures, are most meet to speak of God and Christ, and not the words of man's wisdom, or human inventions and devised distinctions, since the apostles' days."
OF DIVINE REVELATION.
The doctrine of immediate divine revelation, which was soon lost sight of in the apostacy, and even treated with derision and scorn, although clearly set forth in the Holy Scriptures, and its necessity and use amply testified to; was revived and abundantly preached by the early members of our Society, as the glory and life of the gospel dispensation. Through the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit on their hearts, they came to see their own fallen condition, and their need of a deliverer nigh at hand, and not afar off; and obeying its divine openings, they were brought to the true knowledge of God, and of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, as their Redeemer and Saviour. They could testify to others what their eyes had seen, and their