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of God, as his influential power and agent to sanctify, comfort, and establish the hearts of Christian converts. This affords no evidence of the Deity, equality, or personality of the holy spirit; but the terms necessarily imply the contrary. The spirit of God (which is synonymous with the holy spirit) cannot be a distinct person from God, nor any person whatever. Or if it were a person, it could not be a person, according to trinitarian views, equal in every respect with the Father, because it is acknowledged, that it proceeded from the Father, therefore cannot be self-existent; that it is sent by the Father, poured out by the Father, given, shed abroad, and communicated by the Father, in every respect submissive to his will and pleasure, therefore, it cannot be independent and almighty.
The argument, that the Holy Spirit must be a person, and even an equal person with the Father, because it is coupled with the Father and the Son, is not only a weak argument, but a dangerous one to be used; for if it can prove anything, it may prove everything almost. If coupling a thing to a personal being, would make that thing a person, the copulative conjunction, and, might produce an innumerable number of persons. But this argument is too weak to require a serious answer, or refutation; it carries in itself its own destruction.
I have already (see page 162) taken some notice of the 2d Cor. xiii. 14. I will here only observe, that the expression, “the communion of the Holy Spirit,” does not necessarily imply any personality
in the spirit. We read of the “ communion of the blood of Christ;” but no one considers blood a per
And we speak of “the communion of the Lord's supper,” and of “the table of the Lord,” but it was never thought, that supper and table are real persons. But if the Holy Spirit were a person, the third person, to make
to make up the Trinitarian number, the text clearly disproves the supposed unity; for the three are spoken of as distinctly, and differently, as any three persons ever were. A different thing or property is attributed to each; to one grace, to another love, and to the third communion. Now if the learned St. Paul had believed in this strange trinity, in unity, and it had been revealed to him, that it would perplex the church of Christ, and mutilate the word of God, for fifteen hundred years, I think he would have written more plainly, clearly, and concisely; that he would have expressed himself in strict Trinitarian dialect, and said, “The grace, love, and communion of the Triune God be with you all.
all. This would have established the doctrine, and saved the writing of ten words; quite a saving, in epistolary writing, when the art of printing had not been invented.
But perhaps I have already enlarged upon point more than was necessary, as it is so manifest, and as Trinitarians generally have not labored much to support this part of the doctrine, but have apparently left the third person, as it were, to take care of itself, seeming to think that if they made out two persons, the third would follow of course, that
if there were certainly two, there must surely be three. This is as strange an idea, as the doctrine itself. It is an established, acknowledged axiom, that the lesser is included in the greater. But neither man nor God ever did, or can establish an axiom, that the greater must be contained in the lesser, for that would be contrary to those laws of nature, which God has ordained, and which are immutable. No one seriously believes that trinity can be made out of duality; nor a fortiori out of unity. If then the supposed third person of Deity cannot be supported by the Bible, nor by fair and reasonable arguments, the whole doctrine of the 'Trinity must be prostrated; for, as I have before observed, it is like a temple set upon three pillars, if one of which is not substantial, but a mere pillar of straw, the temple itself, like a certain "house built upon the sand, must fall,” and “great,” in effect upon the religious world, “ must be the fall thereof."
If I have now shown from Scripture, as well as from reason, that the holy spirit cannot be God, or a person of Deity, according to Trinitarian views; and if also I have demonstrated, that the Son also cannot be so, (though I intend to produce some further proof and arguments respecting the Son,) it must be acknowledged, that the 'Trinitarian doctrine is not proved, but is fully disproved. Still, however, lest there should be a particle of doubt remaining, I shall further consider the Father, the first, or, as we say, the only person of Deity, and show from the Bible, and
from everything we know, that He alone, is the selfexistent, only almighty God, the only person of Deity; and therefore, that there cannot be a Trinity of persons.
THE FATHER, THE FIRST, OR ONLY PERSON OF DEITY CON
It is agreed by all, that personality is applicable to the Father. But some say, that the Father is the first person only ; while others say, he is the only person of God, exclusively so. And I say, let “ the Judge of all the earth” decide this important question; let it be settled by his testimony, by his solemn proclamations, which are registered in the holy book of God. To these we appeal, and the decision must be final, for there is no higher tribunal in earth or heaven.
It is most evident, that the term Father, when used in the Bible, in reference to the Supreme Being, is always synonymous with God Almighty, who has, by his prophets and otherwise, repeatedly proclaimed, “ I alone am God, and there is none besides me." “I am God, and there is none else.”
" I am God, and there is none like me.” “ There is no God with me.” “ Thou shalt worship no other God.” The Old Testament is full of such declarations. And in the New Testament, Christ and his Apostles often declared that there is but one God, the Father, and that the Father is “the only true God.” The instances in both Testaments are too numerous to be here quoted. I will give a general statement from