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what both Strablenberg and colonel Grant have mentioned, concerning the Triune Being, worshiped by the Tangutians and Lamas of Thibet, and a proof of the great antiquity of the notion that such a Being was to be worshiped by mankind, however perverted, before its being. made manifest in Christianity.
But I cannot forbear, in this place, to shew that great pains have been taken by a late author, in his EJfay on Spirit, to prove the second and third persons in the HolyTrinity to be created Beings, by quotations from several of the prophets, every one of which, fairly considered, prove the direct contrary: the answers to the following short queries will prove it beyond all doubt, and shew how that learned author entangled himself in his own argumentation, to bring about the degradation of the divinity of the Son and Holy Ghost.
1. If Christ be the only begotten Son of God, Jehovahy is it not a contradiction to -all animadversion, physical or metaphysical, to call him a created Being? Is he was begotten, he could not be created', and, if he was begot teny there never could be an instant, fronvall eternity, in which Christ was not with the Father; it is absurd, is not blasphemous, to think otherwise.
2. The Holy Spirit is allowed to proceed from the Father and the Son; if so, can there have been an instant, from all eternity, in which the Holy Spirit was not with the Father and the Son? Can it, therefore, be faid, that this Divine Person was a created Being? By proceeding from, we cannot understand created by, the Father and the Son. Therefore the three persons are truely one Jehovah, from all eternity. It
It is allowed, that by the Son, God created the worlds 5 because all judgment was committed to him.
Now, could the creation of worlds be committed to created beings, who themselves had no existence before a creation?
Does not the creation of worlds, therefore, suppofe an infinitely Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent Creator? Now to suggest, any created being could possibly be endowed with these attributes, would be supposing that God could create infinite eternal beings, like himself; d most rank absurdity: and as all judgment is faid to be given to the Son, what is this, but faying, that he was Omnipotent, &c. and when the prophets call him the Jehovah of Jehovah, theGoo of God, can that bean appellation of a created angel? He is also called the second ejfence by the prophets, and ancient jsews, who gave this second ejfence the name Michaels and, to the third essence, they gave the name Gabriel. Now, the notion the ancient yews had of these two Divine Essences of the Father, will appear from the interpretation of these names, by which both prophets and Jews called them; for the former signifies scut Deus, the only likeness of God, and the latter denotes, the srength and power of God. "What higher or more divine appellations could be made use of, by any human expression, to denote the divinity of the Son and Holy Ghost, than these? They believed, therefore, three essences in the Deity: the first, the Father; the second, his essentialsmilitude; and the third, his esential srength and power, who is frequently called, in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of 2 God,
God, the Spirit of Jehovah. Can a created being be the Spirit of Jehovah?
This wandering author lays great stress upon its being faid, in the New Testament, that the law was given bv angels: what has that to do with persons in the blessed Trinity? Angels are meslengers to do the will of God, and are believed to be ministering spirits; but is it slid, any where, that angels created angels, worlds and men? To conclude, let us fee what Eusebius fays of the notion among the Jews, of three persons, to each of which they paid divine honours: this writer tells us, as he is quoted by the author of the Eflay on Spirit, in his Prepar. Evang. lib. 7. cap. 15. that, " after the second essence, comes the "Holy Spirit, which they place in this royal dignity and "degree of the principality of thofe inferior beings, who 41 may want his assistance; who, therefore, obtaining the xU third place, confers on thofe, who are inferior to him, "thofe excellent virtues which he himself received from "another, to wit, from the Divine Logos, his superior,
whom we faid before was the second to the Supreme, "Unbegotten and Almighty God. So, fays Eusebius, all "the Hebrew divines, after that God, who is over all, and w after this first-born Wisdom, pay divine worship to the << third and Holy Power, which they call the Holy "Spirit, by which they themselves are illuminated, when << they are divinely inspired." And Zechariah, in his seventh chapter, verse 12, complained, that " the people "hardened their hearts, lest they should hear the law, and "the words which the Jehovah of Hosts hath sent by his u Spirit, in the former prophets."
Ft' I TEIOUGIIT
I Thought it necestary, and my duty, to mention these matters, in this place, to shew that a plurality in the Deity, was always believed by the patriarchs, and the Jews after them; and to profess my own faith in the Holy, Blejsed and Glorious Trinity, three persons in one God, blessed for ever.
Observations upon certain passages in Jofephus Acosta'saccount of Mexico and Peru j and in Muller's relationof the several Russian expeditions to the North-East; and some animadversions upon the firfl inhabitants os' Mexico and Peru.
HIS author, in his History of the Indies, has. been very extensive in his account of the reli-. gious and other ceremonies of the Peruvians^ as well as of other 'Indians: and, in the twenty-eighth chapter of his fifth book, he describes their monthly feasts and facrifices, and the purpofes for which they were celebrated; wherein he has the following remarkable pasiage: as it is translated into English, and published in 1604.
"It is strange, fays he, that the Devil, after his man"ner, hath brought a trinity into idolatry j for the three
"images of the fun, called Apomti, Churunti and Inti"quasqui j which signifieth, Father and Lord-Sun; the "Son-Sun; and the Brother-Sun. In the like manner, << they named the three images of Chuquilla, which is the "God that rules in the region of the air, where it thunders, rains and snows. I remember, that being at Cuquisaca, an honourable priest shewed me an information, which "I had long in my hands, where it was proved, that u there was a certain guaca, or oratory, where the Indians "did worship an idol, called Tanga-Tanga, which thev "faid was one in three, and three in one."
This information, in my opinion, is a very important discovery, and lays open a most interesting scene towards elucidating more points than one in ancient history. Let us consider it, as having a near relation to the Tangutiau idol; and we shall find sufficient reason to believe it is the very fame with that described by Strahlenberg; because, the name of the third person in the Tangutian Deity, is Tangara; and the name of that in the oratory at Cuquifca, which the priest gave an account of to Josephus Acojla, is Tanga-Tanga, which the natives faid was one in three, and three in one.
Now, it would be difficult to separate these agreements (which are in themselves very surprizing to me), or to attribute them to chance. Can it be faid, that chance produced an idol in Tangutia, Tibet, and Peru, that the people intended to worship, as a Triune Deity, in each of these places? or, could it happen, that the name of the third person of that of the Lamas at Tibet, or Tangutia, which is Tangara, should be the appellation of that of Peru,
F f 2 Tango