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dox' as they are ? (3) But they say the terms are
“unscriptural.” Which one ? that of trinity ?38 but
this means only threeness or the quality of being
three in some sense! Do they believe then that
“the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost,”
are three in no sense, because they are confessedly
one in a more obvious sense ? and yet do they be-
lieve in the sacred Three? Three-what? Is there
no noun in the language, with which a grammatical
conscience, that peculiarly respects the affection of
number, can parse it possibly? We say, three per-
sons or personalities; and if you ask us what we
mean by such “unscriptural” words: we reply,
first, what do you mean, by a plural adjective that
agrees with no noun ? what do Friends mean, or
do they mean nothing, by the word “ three ?” Here
I think, if the glory of the mercy-seat did not awe
us to reserve, so near the ineffable SHECHINAH that
abides there, we might well adopt the facetiousness
of Penn, and say that Friends believe in three
“nothings ;” or, believe nothing in the “three!"
It is just, to press them here : for the difficulty on
their part is real, it is demonstrated, and it is evaded.
Sometimes they even claim to believe the trinity,
in an unqualified averment. Says Barclay of an
opponent, (Brown,) “ he will needs infer our de-
nying of the trinity, albeit he cannot deny but he
finds it owned by me.” Strangely “owned” in-
deed! If Jesus Christ should “own” him, in the
day of judgment, as ambiguously, it will be at least
questionable which side of the Judge is the “right"
one! Shortly afterward, he would « know of"

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Brown, “ in what scripture he finds these words, that the Spirit is a distinct person of the Trinity ?” He so "owns” the trinity then, as to deny the personality of the three that constitute it! or does he deny this only of the third, and not of the second, or the first? What evidence has he that the Father is a person; and not a principle, the mere primum mobile or "eternal cause,' of Plato? or impulsive light of Fox? Will Friends then (and Barclay is their confession of faith) divest each of the three of personality ? and so have an impersonal God ? a divinity without a person ? a God who is—the mere effigies of mechanical atheism ! And is this their vaunted and precious orthodoxy ? If otherwise, where will they attach personality? To the Father? what! and deny it to the Son ? To the Son—and have two Gods, according to Penn? To the Father and the Son, and not to the Spirit ? or, to all threeand have three Gods, according to the same inspired authority? or, to some one or two of the three, exclusively? Pray, what evidence have we of the personality of any one of them, which does not also demonstrate the personality of each of them? Is the Father not a person? Or, when Friends profess to believe in the Spirit, do they mean to deny his personality ? and yet say that he “is God?” what! is God impersonal again! or, is it less than atheism to resolve the divinity into an impersonal existence; the mere principium et fons of necessitated being! The God of Friends, I experimentally know, is little other than an impersonal influence or principle. In short, nothing is plainer than


that the revised modern Exposition, of what “ Friends believe ” on this high article, needs farther expounding, and is necessarily liable to all the difficulties which Penn infers against the true and full trinitarian symbols. It is even in a much worse predicament than that into which he reduces the true doctrine sophistically; since it simulates away the advantages of the doctrine, which are adamantine, and which, while sinking in its own muddy waters, Quakerism still assumes or affects! Yet really, it has no advantages. It makes more difficulties than it finds, and teaches all its friends to make them continuously. It defines nothing, and it settles nothing. Besides, it leaves them to believe-what? I answer, vagueness, words, smoke, a mere code of negatives, and a great parade of 'inspired' orthodoxy! My great reason, however, for saying what this context contains, is two-foldto show them that, if they are sound in what they profess, the very same difficulties (greatly increased) rest oppressively upon them, which the UNITARIAN Penn, and all other revilers of the truth, allege against our doctrine : and to show also that there is no solution possible to language or to thought, which so elucidates scripture, establishes faith, and breaks an adversary-debellare superbos39_as that doctrine, which the wise and the good of universal christendom, that have been at all distinguished for these qualities, have eminently believed ! Second. I would tell Friends that it is puerile and silly to object to any word, merely because it is “unscriptural.” Where is the expression “inward light” found, in

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those scriptures ? Were it well in me to object to it, merely on that ground ? or to silent meetings, convincement, outward testimony, plain language, and a number of others used by the society? What man, that objects not to the thing affirmed in John, 1: 14, would ever object to the term, “unscriptural' as it is, of incarnation ? Besides, this silly softness ought much more to object to the translation of the inspired scriptures at all : since every word, it may be, of the new language is 'unscriptural.' Our word God is unscriptural, primitively heathen and druidical; for no such word occurs in the scriptures, before they were translated “ by the will of man!" I say again, the softness, so “tender,” of which I

" spcak, is infinitely silly. It would disgrace a schoolboy! I add—those who have studied the circumference, and the radii, and the centre of the wheel of universal heresy, as successive errorists are developed or as history turns it to the view, (and nothing actually new comes up in its modern demonstrations,) know that where the thing on any subject is soundly believed, the term that suits it is seldom an offence or a difficulty. And I can “see clearly,” as well as feel powerfully, that Friends may have some deeper reason than the allegation of “unscriptura when they reject the terms trinity, person, and others of the sort, in their confession of what they believe.

It sounds rather queer to me that Friends should all at once grow more enamored and reverential of that book, which is not “ the word of God," than all its noblest unsuspected friends! Just here they must have—nothing but scripture language! Just here “inward light” becomes very scriptural; and what is scriptural becomes “a more noble and excellent rule,” if not “all their salvation, and all their desire !” Third. We use the term person, because, among other reasons, it syits the case better than any other: we use it in a sense special and appropriate—to suit exactly that discrimination of the GODHEAD, as “the Father, and the Son, and the

, Holy Ghost,” which the disclosures and the usages of scriptural revelation abundantly warrant and require! As previously shown, we neither understand nor believe any thing about the essential mode of the divine existence, the mode of the trinal deity; or how it is that “the Word was in the beginning with God!” We only believe the FACT. This is revealed, definable, intelligible ; "the great mystery of godliness,” incontrovertibly! The distinction is indispensable in all correct language and thought, touching the economical relations of the divine persons. The Father sent the Son; the Son came into the world ; the Spirit applies and seals redemption in our hearts. Did the Father die for us! did

? the Son accept the atonement ? did the Spirit pronounce our absolution for his sake! Is it not in certain aspects proper to one to perform what it is not proper to the others to perform? Must we then distinguish or confound? And can we be correct while denuding the Godhead of all personality? or restricting it to any one, and denying it of course to two others of “the sacred three !" We use these 'unscriptural' terms, for reasons so valid and so

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