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“The Spirit moved on the face of the waters,” Gen. i. 2. “ And by his spirit he hath garnished the heavens."
Thus the work of creation is ascribed to all the three persons, and so as not to the exclusion of either. “ There is one God the Father, of whom are all things; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.” And one Holy Ghost, that filleth all things. “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?" Psalm cxxxix. 7. The work of creation, therefore, was a joint work, between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and Christ declares that they have worked together ever since: “ But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”
And, as they were three distinct persons in the work of creation, so they are in the work of providence. The Father hath appointed the times and the seasons; the Son executes his Father's will; and the Spirit creates and renews the face of the earth, Psal. civ. 30.
And so the same in redemption. The Father appointed the Son, and prepared a body for him, and was with him in his sufferings in it; the Son obeyed his Father's will, and offered himself a sacrifice to him; and the Holy Ghost was the anointing on him, and through the eternal Spirit he offered himself to God.
And so also in the glorious work of regeneration. The Father of his own will begets us by the word of truth, the Holy Ghost produces a spiritual birth, and Christ is formed in the heart the hope of glory. And so in giving life to dead souls. The Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will; and “it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.”
This appears to me to be the plain truth, and there is both consistency and harmony in it. And it is clear, from the word of God, that the Father Son, and Spirit, are three persons; more than in office, name, and character: and further than as it respects the covenant of redemption, which is what this letter allows. For they were three distinct persons in the Godhead from all eternity, and to all eternity will be the same. ." The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up,” says the Saviour, “ from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” And to God and the Lamb will glory be ascribed for ever and ever. The sacred oracles are entirely silent about limiting the plurality of persons to names and office-characters, and to those only as far as it respects the covenant of redemption.
I shall now transcribe, verbatim, all that is written in the letter from Chatham touching Mr. Vessey's doctrines, excepting some passages already quoted.
Quotation. “God is a spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth,” John iv. 24. Qurthoughts therefore, are thus, that he believed there is not three Gods, but one undivided essence; yet three persons in office, name, and character, as far as with respect to the covenant of redemption; and not a trinity of substances, as some blindly affirm, acting by one divine essence: but a trinity of persons in one selfexistent Jehorah. So that, when a believer, approaching a throne of grace, calls on God the Father, he calls on Jeborah the Father, Jehovah the Word, and Jehorah the Spirit also. Yet there are not three Jeborahs, but one Jehovah. “There are three that bear record in bearen; the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one," i John v.7.
In worshipping his and our blessed Master, he believed him to be, as well as man, the uncreated, underired, eternal, self-existent Jahorah-namely, Jeborah the Word Oh, dear sir, many times hath be exulted in his soul that the new creation could now worssip God, that roled the stars along, and spake ail things into existence, in our own nature. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
He did not believe him to be the first of created things, and yet his blood sufficient to atone for sinners, and his righteousness to adorn, or rather justify, them from all things, of which they stood condemned by the transcript of Deity, the law. No; he positively insisted that he was no less than the uncreated, underived, eternal, self-existentJehovah. “I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.” So that the believer worshippeth, in the person of Jesus, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit. 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, but the very God, the eternal, self-existent Jehovah. “ Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient that I go away; for, if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but, if I depart, I will send him unto you; and, when he is come he will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment,” John xvi. 7, 8. Should any ask, Could no power, short of the eternal power of God, reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment? he answered, None. He believed that those parts of the written word, which speak of an inferiority of persons in the Deity, referred only to the manhood of Jesus. Such as, “ He grew in wisdom and knowledge with God and man.” Again, “Of the day and hour knoweth no man, no not the Son, but the Father,” &c. And of the Spirit of 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.” Again, “ If ye have not the Spirit of Christ, ye are none of his,” &c.
great, the inconceivably, the incomprehensibly great three in one, and one in three.
We have not gone into so great a field of matter on the important subject as we might have done; but hope that, to an unprejudiced mind, these heads will suffice.
He further insisted, and to which we agree, that nothing short of the operative power of Jehovah the Spirit can reveal this mystery to the heart. “Great is the mystery of godliness ; God manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, believed on in the world, and received up into glory,” i Tim. iii. 16.
This, reader, is what the church at Chatham thinks to be the doctrines that Mr. Vessey taught. I have copied them exactly as they are written. And we may clearly see that the writer of this letter, who is a schoolmaster, has set before us some very great words; which are often brought forth to dazzle the eyes, and cheat the mind, of a simple believer.
Here are, likewise, some sharp throws at erroneous men, such as those that hold three gods; others, who hold Christ to be the first of created beings, as the Socinian; and others, again, who hold the Spirit to be a blessing or an emanation from Deity!
When we read such great words as these, reader, and find the author cutting sharply at destructive heresies, we are ready to think that