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the Logos spoken of; and the Holy Ghost was in Moses, and upon all the elders.
To sin against God in his law, is not sinning against a name or office, but against a divine person, who is a lawgiver, and whose anger burns to the lowest hell.
And to crucify Christ afresh, is not sinning against a person in name only, but against a person that is eternally God, the author and finisher of the law of faith; who will fill the throne of judgment and pass the awful sentence of damnation upon all infidels and hypocrites.
And to sin against or blaspheme the Holy Ghost, is sinning against a divine person also, who is the giver of the law of life; who will never grant a pardon to such an enemy in this world, nor in the next.
God is an everlasting king.
And the kingdom within us stands in righteousness, peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghost. And Father, Son, and Spirit, three distinct persons, will ever live and reign one God, world without end. Amen. Mr. Johns goes on:
Quot. Many times hath he exulted in his soul that the new creation could now worship God that rolled the stars along, and spake all things into existence, in our own nature.
Answ. If Mr. Vessey's soul exulted in this, it was exulting in a lie; for all things were not
spoken into existence in our own nature; nor was the human nature made, or Adam formed, until all other things were in existence. Nor is the new creation of grace to be ascribed to the Saviour, so as to the exclusion of the Father. “The Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Nor yet to the exclusion of the Holy Ghost; "For all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
Quot. So that the believer worshippeth, in the person of Jesus, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit.
Answ. This looks like exhibiting four persons. However, it is another scrap of Sabellianism : for, as Mr. Johns allows the persons in the Trinity to be persons only in office, name, and character, as far as it respects the covenant, he here brings in only the person of Jesus, and the worship of three personal names in him. But the Lord God of Israel is one Lord; and three names are not to be worshipped in one person, but three persons in one God, and one God in three persons. · Quot. Also, in approaching the Deity in the person of the Spirit, he did not believe him to be a blessing or an emanation from the refulgence of Deity.
Answ. This good man seems to talk entirely without book. What does he mean by approaching the Deity in the person of the Spirit? The Spirit, who is a divine person, and who fills immensity; who is the Seven Spirits before the throne in heaven
above, and who dwells in every saint throughout the earth beneath ; under whose influence, and by whose kind aid, we are enabled to approach God the Father shining in the face of Jesus Christ, is a person in the Deity, and I know of no deity to the exclusion of him.
This emanation, reader, from the refulgence of Deity, is a notion held by many heretics; the meaning of which is this, that God is one person; that the Spirit is essential to God, as my breath is essential to me; that the Spirit flows from God, as my breath flows from me. But I and my breath are not two witnesses; nor can such an emanation from the divine Majesty be a distinct witness, and another distinct comforter. If God be but one person, there can be but one divine witness, and but one to bear record: but there are three distinct persons, and three distinct witnesses; and these three bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.
Quot. And, of the Spirit Jehovah, it or they, allude to his operations on the heart of the believer: such as, “But, when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”
Answ. It or they, allude to his operations. The pronoun plural seems to me to signify persons, instead of the operations of one person on the heart of a believer. In short, the tenets of Mr. Johns, according to my judgment, are these; he believes that there is one divine person, which is the Saviour; and that, when the Holy Ghost or the Father is mentioned in his letter as being God, Christ appears sometimes in the character of the Father, sometimes in the office of the Spirit, and sometimes in his own covenant character: and, though he allows that there are three persons, yet he means that they are only persons in office, name, and character, as far as, and no further than, with respect to the covenant; and those, who hold that there are three distinct persons in the Godhead, are thrown at as holding three gods, or a trinity of substances; which is not true of me, nor of any who are taught of God."
There is a treatise, reader, left in manuscript by Mr. Vessey, that the people at Chatham talk of publishing; some part of which has been transcribed and sent to me, and which I will here insert and examine.
An extract, taken from a treatise of Mr. Vessey's, entituled “A late Alarm of Antinomian Fire proved . to be without Cause.
Quot. It is an undeniable truth that there is but one eternal, incomprehensible, self-existing, and immutable Jehovah; without form, parts, or passions; who filleth immensity, and is every where present. “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord,” Deut. vi. 4. That this all-wise, supreme Being, hath been pleased to make himself known to the heirs of glory, in the mystery of redemption by three distinct personal names and covenant characters, Father, Word, and Holy Ghost; which, although they are distinctly three in office, name, and works, yet are but one in essence, spirit, and nature. “There are three mark that, three) that bear record in heaven; the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one,” mark that, one, 1 John v. 7.
And the best knowledge that ever a mortal attained to of this profound mystery is this, to enjoy communion with God, as my sovereign, electing, gracious, and unchangeable Father in Christ; and sensibly to feel his everlasting love shed abroad in my heart; the Spirit of adoption enabling me to call him my Father without a stammering tongue; to have fellowship with the Son of God in all his finished salvation; and so as to enjoy, through faith in him, peace with God through the application of the merits of his precious blood to my conscience; and to find acceptance with God, and boldness to approach near unto him by the Saviour's righteousness imputed to me; and find Satan overcome and bound, death bereaved of his sting, and clear acquittance and deliverance from the bondage and condemning power of the law; liberty from the thraldom, guilt, love, and power of sin; and all by faith in Jesus. These inestimable blessings are experienced by the fellowship of the Holy Ghost operating in the hearts of the elect, as a Spirit of love, of power, of counsel, of might, of life, of a sound mind, of knowledge, and the fear of the Lord. I say this is the best and