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SECTION XV:

AN INQUIRY AFTER THE SUPPOSED SECOND PERSON

IN THE TRINITY, GOD THE SON.

But as

The absence of the phrase " God the Son” from the Bible is strong evidence that there is no such person. For if there were, no reason can be assigned why he should not be mentioned as frequently as God the Father, or the Son of God.

“ God the Son” is not so much as named in the Bible, I must conclude he is not known there, but is the creature of human creeds.

Jesus is called “the Son," not a Son—"The only Son of God.” Ile says, “Verily, I say unto you, The Son, of himself, can do nothing." Therefore, if there be not another Son, Almighty and Eternal, there is no “ God the Son,” equal with the Father in eternity, power, and glory. It will not, I think, be pretended that there is any other

only Son of God," but he who said, “ I can of mine own self do nothing.'

The learned Trinitarian Commentator, Dr, Adam Clark, says, (Luke i. 35.) “ We may plainly perceive here, that the angel does not give the appellation of Son of God to the divine nature of Christ; but to that holy person or thing 10 aylov, which was to be born of the Virgin, by the energy of the Holy Spirit.....Here I trust I may be permitted to say, with all due respect to those who differ from me, that the

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doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ, is, in my opinion, antiscriptural; and highly dangerous ; this doctrine I reject for the following reasons:

" 1st. I have not been able to find any express declaration in the scriptures concerning it.

• 2dly. If Christ be the Son of God as to his divine nature; then he cannot be eternal: for son implies a father; and father implies the idea of generation ; and generation implies a time in which it was effected, and time also antece dent to such generation.

“3dly. If Christ be the Son of God, as to his divine nature, then the Father is of necessity prior, consequently superior to him:

" 4thly. Again, if this divine nature were begotten of the Father, then it must be in lime ; i. e. there was a period in which it did not exist, and a period when it began to exist. This destroys the eternity of our blessed Lord, and robs him at once of his Godhead.

" 5thly. To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is in my opinion, absurd ; and the phrase eternal Son, is a positive self-contradiction. ETERNITY is that which has no beginning, nor stands in any reference to TIME. Son supposes time, generation, and Father: and time also antecedent to such generation. Therefore the conjunction of these two terms, Son and eternity, is absolutely impossible, as they imply essentially different and opposite ideas."

Professor Stewart is of the same opinion with Dr. Clark. He believes neither in eternal Son, nor eternal generation. He says, “ The generation of the Son of God as divine, as God, seems to be out of the question: unless it be an express doctrine of revelation : which is so far from being the case, . that I conceive the contrary is plainly taught."*

*See Leonard on the Unity of God, p 99.

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person as the breath of another person. Spirit is essential to personality. If the Spirit of God the Father be a distinct person, that person must have a spirit peculiar to himself, and distinct from the Spirit of the Father. If God be three equal persons, the third person can no more be the Spirit of the first, than the first can be the Spirit of the third. The Spirit of God can have no connection with personality, only as it is the Spirit, or power, or sufficiency, or fulness, or something else, of a real person.

4. The Spirit of God is synonymous with the hand, and the finger of God. The Spirit of the Lord lifted me up, and took me away....but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.

-Ezek. iii. 14. * By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.”—Job xxvi. 13. “When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers."-Ps. viii. 3. “But if I cast out devils by the Spirịt of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you."- Matl: xii. 28. “ But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you." —Lukė xi. 20.

But what can be more disrespectful and absurd than to call a self-existent and almighty person the hand and the finger of another co-equal person? As the hand and the finger of a person are mere instruments and subordinate to his will, so the Spirit of God is represented as subordinate to his will. As what is done by the hand of a man is done by the man, so what is done by the Spirit of God is done by God. If the Spirit of God is the third person in the Trinity, then the finger of God is the very same blessed person.

5. To fortify his disciples against the terrors of persecution, Jesus said to them, " But when they deliver you up. take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour whạt ye shall speak : for it

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is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you."-Matt. x. 19, 20. "For it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.”—Mark xiii. 11. For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.”Luke xii. 12. For I will give you a mouth, and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay or resist.”—xxi. 15. By comparing these passages it appears that the Spirit of the Father is synonymous with the Holy Ghost; that the speaking of the Spirit, and the teaching of the Holy Ghost, was the same thing as Christ's giving them a mouth and wisdom; and that the meaning of the promise was, that on such occasions they should have all necessary supernatural assistance.

6. That the Spirit of God, or Holy Ghost, is not a distinct person, equal with the Father, is certain from this declaration of Christ. “All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no one knoweth the Son but the Father ; neither knoweth any one the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”—Matt. xi. 27. If the Spirit be a person, omniscient like the Father, Jesus could not have made this declaration; for the Spirit could not be ignorant of any thing. Jesus, predicting a certain event, said, “ Of that day andhour knoweth no one, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”—Matt. xxiv, 36. If the Spirit were the third person in the Trinity, he would have known the day and hour as well as the Father.

The subterfuge to which Trinitartans have recourse when pressed with texts which assert the inferiority of the Son, is, that they refer only to his human nature,

But it is not pretended that the Holy Spirit has two natures. I cannot see the truth of the above declarations of Christ, if there are two other persons, besides the Father, that are omniscient. I

not how the Trinitarian hypothesis of three omniscient persons can be maintained without impeaching the testimony

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of the faithful and true Witness, who asserts that no one is omniscient but the Father. We must unhesitatingly reject a system which plainly contradicts our blessed Saviour.

7. That the Spirit of God is sometimes spoken of under personal characters, and by the use of personal pronouns, is no proof of proper personality. It is common in sacred and profane writings to personify things which have no real personal character. The following is a specimen from the Scriptures. The mountains saw God and trembled....the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high.'Hab. iii, 10. 'Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O arm of the Lord.'-Isa. li. 9. • Destruction and death say, we have heard the fame thereof with our ears.'-Job xxviii.

So in the New Testament the Spirit is spoken of under the personal character of the Comforter, and personal pronouns become necessary. Howbeit, when he the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that

shall he speak; and he will show you things to come.'* John xvi. 13. The Comforter was sent, he spoke not of

himself, but was instructed. This is not language that can be applied to the omniscient and all-wise God.

Such figures of speech are common in all languages; but in which the dialects of the Eastern nations abound. St. Paul gives personal attributes to sin, death, and the grave; and most beautifully describes charity as exemplifying all the Christian graces. But let neuter pronouns be substituted for personal, where the Greek will justify it, and it will be found that the Spirit or Soul of man is personified as often at least, as the Spirit of God. • Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God.'-Ps. xlii,5. 'I will say to my soul, Sou), thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry."-Luke xii. 19, The spirit

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