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monies, they must necessarily conclude their kind of trinity a fiction.

Refuted from right reason. 1. If there be three distinct and separate persons, then three distinct and separate substances, because every person is inseparable from its own substance; and as there is no person that is not a substance in common acceptation among men, so do the scriptures plentifully agree herein : and since the father is God, the son is God, and the spirit is God (which their opinion necessitates them to confess) then unless the father, son, and spirit, are three distinct nothings, they must be three distinct substances, and consequently three distinct gods.

2. It is farther proved, if it be considered, that either the divine persons are finite or infinite; if the first, then something finite is inseparable to the infinite substance, whereby something finite is in God; if the last, then three distinct infinites, three omnipotents, three eternals, and so three gods.

If each person be God, and that God subsists in three persons, then in each person are three persons or gods, and from three, they will increase to nine, and so ad infinitum.

4. But if they shall deny the three persons, or subsistences to be infinite, (for so there would unavoidably be three gods) it will follow that they must be finite, and so the absurdity is not abated from what it was; for that of one substance having three subsistences, is not greater, than that an infinite being should have three finite modes of subsisting. But though that mode which is finite cannot answer to a substance that is infinite; yet to try if we can make their principle to consist, let us conceive that three persons, which may be finite separately, make up an infinite con-, junctly; however this will follow, that they are no more incommunicable or separate, nor properly subsistences, but a subsistence; for the infinite substance cannot find a bottom or subsistence in any one or two, therefore jointly. And here I am also willing to overlook finiteness in the Father, Son, and Spirit, which this doctrine must suppose.

5. Again, if these three distinct persons are one, with some one thing, as they say they are with the God-head, then are not they incommunicable among themselves; but so much the contrary, as to be one in the place of another: for if that the only God is the father, and Christ be that only God, then is Christ the father. So if that one God be the son, and the spirit that one God, then is the spirit the son, and so round. Nor is it possible to stop, or that it should be otherwise, since if the divine nature be inseparable from the three persons, or communicated to each, and each person have the whole divine nature, then is the son in the father, and the spirit in the son, unless that the God-head be as incommunicable to the persons, as they are reported to be amongst themselves; or that the three persons have distinctly allotted them such a proportion of the divine nature, as is not communicable to each other; which is alike absurd. Much more might be said to manifest the gross contradiction of this trinitarian doctrine, as vulgarly received; but I must be brief.

Information and caution. Before I shall conclude this head, it is requisite I should inform thee, reader, concerning its original; thou mayest assure thyself, it is not from the scriptures, nor reason, since so expressly repugnant; although all broachers of their own inventions strongly endeavour to reconcile them with that holy record. Know then, my friend, it was born above three hundred years after the ancient gospel was declared ; and that through the nice distinctious, and too daring curiosity of the bishop of Alexandria, who being as hotly opposed by Arius, their zeal so reciprocally blew the fire of contention, animosity, and persecution, till at last they sacrificed each other to their mutual revenge.

Thus it was conceived in ignorance, brought forth and maintained by cruelty; for though he that was strongest imposed his opinion, persecuting ihe contrary, yet the scale turning on the trinitarian side, it has there continued through all the Romish generations : and notwithstanding it bath obtained the name of Athanasian from Athanasius, (a stiff man, witness his carriage towards Constantine the emperor) because supposed to have been most concerned in the framing that creed' in wbich this doctrine is asserted; yet have I never seen one copy void of a suspicion, rather to have been the results of popish school-men ; which I could render more perspicuous, did not brevity necessitate me to an omission.

Be therefore cautioned, reader, not to embrace the determination of prejudiced councils, for evangelical doctrine; which the scriptures bear no certain testimony to, neither was believed by the primitive saints, or thus stated by any I have read of in the first, second, or third centuries; particularly Ireneus, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, with many others who appear wholly foreign to the matter in controversy.—But seeing that private spirits, and those none of the most ingenious, have been the parents and guardians of this so generally received doctrine ; let the time past suffice, and be adnionished to apply thy mind unto that light and grace which brings salvation; that by obedience thereunto, those mists tradition hath cast before thy eyes may be expelled, and thou receive a certain knowledge of that God, whom to know is life eternal, not to be divided, but One pure entire and eternal being; who in the fulness of time sent forth bis Son, as the true light which enlighteneth every man; that whosoever fo'lowed bim (the light) might be translated from the dark notions, and vain conversations of men, to this boly liglit, in which only sound judgment and eternal life are obtainable : who so many hundred years since, in person, testified the virtue of it, and has communicated unto all such a proportion as may enable them to follow his example. The vulgar doctrine, of satisfaction being dependent on the

second person of the Trinity, refuted from scripture. "That man having transgressed the righteous law of God, and so exposed to the penalty of eternal wrath, it is altogether impossible for God to remit or forgive without a plenary satisfaction; and that there was no other way by which God could obtain satisfaction, or save men, than by inflicting the penalty of' infinite wrath and vengeance on Jesus Christ the second person of the trinity, who for sins past, present, and to come, hath wholly borne and paid it, (whether for all, or but some) to the offended justice of his father.'

1. “ And the Lord passed by before him, (Moses) and proclaimed, the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin.eo.. [From whence I shall draw this position, that since God has proclaimed himself a gracious, merciful, and forgiving God, it is not inconsistent with his nature to remit, without any other consideration than his own love : otherwise he could not justly come under the imputation of so many gracious attributes, with whom it is impossible to pardon, and necessary to exact the paynient of the utmost farthing.

2. “ For if ye turn again to the Lord, the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you." [Where, how natural is it to observe, that God's remission is grounded on their repentance; and not that it is impossible for God to pardon, without plenary satisfaction, since the possibility, nay, certainty of the con trary, viz. his grace and mercy, is the great motive or reason, of that loving invitation to return!] 3. “ They hardened their necks, and hearkened not to

• Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7, 12 Chron. XXX. 9.

thy commandments ; but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful." Can the honest-hearted reader conceive, that God should thus be mercifully qualified, whilst executing the rigour of the law transgressed, or not acquitting without the debt be paid him by another? I suppose not.

4.“ Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.h” [Come let the unprejudiced judge, if this scripture doctrine is not very remote from saying, his nature cannot forgive sin, therefore let Christ pay him full satisfaction, or he will certainly be avenged; which is the substance of that strange opinion.]

5. “ Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel ; I will put my law in their inward parts; I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Here is God's mere grace asserted, against the pretended necessity of a satisfaction to procure his remission; and this Paul acknowJedgeth to be the dispensation of the gospel, in his eighth chapter to the Hebrews : so that this new doctrine doth not only contradict the pature and design of the second covenant, but seems, in short, to discharge God, both from bis mercy and omnipotence.]

6. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the reninant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.k” [Can there be a more express passage to clear, not only the possibility, but real inclinations in God to pardon sin, and “ not retain his anger for ever?” since the prophet seems to challenge all other gods, to try their excellency by his God: herein describing the supremacy of his power, and superexcellency of his nature, “ that he pardoneth iniquity, and retaineth not his anger for ever :" so that if the satisfactionists should ask the question, who is a God like unto ours, that cannot pardon iniquity, nor pass by transgression, but retaineth his anger until some body make him satisfaction ? 1 answer, many amongst the harsh and severe rulers of the nation ; but as for my God, he is exalted above them all, upon the throne of his mercy, “ who pardoneth iniquity, and retaineth not his anger for ever, but will have compassion upon us.”]

7. “ And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” [Where nothing can be more obvious, than that that which & Neh, ix, 16, 17.

1 Jer. xxxi, 31, 33, 34.

* Micah. vii. 18. I Mat. vi. 12.

Isa. Iv. 7.

is forgiven, is not paid : and if it is our duty to forgive our debtors, without a satisfaction received, and that God is to forgive us, as we forgive them, then is a satisfaction totally excluded : Christ farther paraphrases upon that part of his prayer, ver. 14. “ For if ye forgive their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." Where he as well argues the equity of God's forgiving them, from their forgiving others, as he encourages them to forgive others, from the example of God's mercy, in forgiving them : which is more amply expressed, chap. xviii. where the kingdom of heaven (that consists in righteousness) is represented by a king; "who upon his debtor's petition, had compassion, and forgave him ; but the same treating his fellow-servant without the least forbearance, the king condemned his unrighteousness, and delivered him over to the tormentors.” But how bad this been a fault in the servant, if his king's mercy had not been proposed for his example? how most unworthy therefore is it of God, and blasphemous, may I justly term it, for any to assert that forgiveness impossible to God, which is not only possible, but enjoined to men!]

8. “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his onlybegotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.m" (By which it appears, that God's love is not the effect of Christ's satisfaction, but Christ is the proper gift and effect of God's love.]

9. “ To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of sins."" [So that remission came by believing his testiniony, and obeying his precepts, and not by a strict satisfaction. ]

10. “ If God be for us, who can be against us ? he that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." Which evidently declares it to be God's act of love, other. wise, if he must be paid, he should be at the charge of his own satisfaction, for he delivered up the Son.]

11. “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation, to wit, that God was in Christ, reconcila ing the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.po? [How undeniably apparent is it, that God is so far from standing off in high displeasure, and upon his own terms, contracting with his Son for a satisfaction, as being otherwise uncapable to be reconciled, that he became himself the reconciler by Christ, and afterwards by the apostles, his ambassadors, to whom was committed the ministry of reconciliation.] m Jobn üi. 16.

• Rom. viii. 31, 32. P 2 Cor, v, 18, 19,

r Acts X. 43.

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