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is not proveable by evidence which, though indirect and collateral, is irrefiftible. There is hardly any fuch thing as framing a fentence, or a propofition that cannot be prevaricated with; but the tenor of a context, and the weight of circumstances will not eafily admit of fophiftication.

According to the Athanafian Creed, as it is called, "the Catholic Faith is this; that

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we worship one God in Trinity, and Tri

nity in Unity; and that the Godhead of "the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy "Ghost is all one: the Glory equal, the

Majefty co-eternal." But what faith the Scripture? Saith it not, in effect, the fame alfo? That the Father is the first Person in the Trinity, merely in order of nomination; the Son, the fecond; and the Holy Ghoft, the third; is fufficiently demonftrable from many confiderations. In the firft place, though the three divine Perfons are ufually mentioned in a manner which at first fight feems to import an order of a different kind, yet this order is upon fome occafions

cafions inverted; e. e. g. in St. Paul's often quoted benediction to the Corinthians; The grace of our Lord Jefus Chrift, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghoft be with you and in the following paffage of the fame Apostle; there are diverfities of gifts, but the fame Spirit; and there are differences of administrations, but the fame Lord; and there are diverfities of operations, but it is the fame God which worketh all in all.* And, in other places, the famé inverfion is obfervable with regard to the first and fecond perfons; Te know, fays the Apoftle, that no whoremonger, nor unclean perfon, &c. bath any inberitance in the kingdom of Chrift and of God.† Now our Lord Jefus Chrift HIMSELF, fays the fame Apoftle, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, comfort your hearts, &c. No man, fays our Lord, knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father fave the Son, and be to whom the Son will reveal him.‡ To this we may add the introduction of St. Paul's epiftle to the Galatians ; Paul, an Apoftle, not of men, neither by man,

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but by Jefus Chrift, and God the Father, who hath raised him from the dead, &c. From these instances we may at least draw this inference, that the general priority of order above mentioned imports no diftinction, or preeminence of effence.

The root, ground, or fountain of effence may be acknowledged to be in the Father, without the least prejudice to the Trinitarian doctrine, which fuppofes an ETERNAL COMmunication to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. The terms root and fountain, &c. are cuftomary indeed, but by no means ftrictly proper, or precisely descriptive. They are familiar, not to our ideas, but to our ears. When we speak of, or contemplate the Divine nature, abfolutely, and without reference to particular dispensations, God the Father is generally the first in our conception, as far as he can be the object of conception, but not to the exclufion of the Divine nature either of the Son or Holy Ghost. In these dispensations, in the heavenly œconomy, we have a manifest and obvious reafon for addreffing our prayers

prayers and petitions, public and private, for the most part, to the first Person of the Holy Trinity. In fhort, the terms Father and Son, under which it has pleased infinite wisdom, by way of analogy, to represent this myfterious relation to our minds; these terms imply nothing more than nominal preeminence and fubordination: if the Anti-trinitarian should infift that they do imply more, and ask what we mean by eternal generation, or proceffion, we will anfwer him the moment we are told what he means by eternal effence itself. (g)

Again. The Father is commonly reprefented to us under the character of the maker, the governor, preferver, and judge of the world; the Son under that of our redeemer, advocate, and faviour; the Holy Ghost under that of our guide, comforter, and fanctifier; and yet thefe characters, we fhall fee, with the names, properties, and attributes of the Deity, are frequently reciprocated. Thus, in the following places among others, the office of Redeemer is afcribed in

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expefs terms to the first perfon; or, if please, to God abfolutely confidered. God will redeem my foul from the power of the grave. I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.* My foul ball rejoice which thou haft redeemed. So likewife in numberless paffages the Father is ftyled Saviour. To inftance only a few. There is no God elfe befide me, a juft God, and a Saviour. Paul, an apofle, &c. by the commandment of God our Saviour, § &c. We truft in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men. To the only wife God our Saviour be glory and majesty now and ever ||. . And again; the work of fanctification is indifcriminately faid to be the work of Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft. Thus our bodies are fometimes called the temple of God, and fometimes of the Holy Ghoft. The Apostle declares, that it is God which worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. The fame Apostle prays, that the very God of peace may fanctify the Theffalonians; and

*Hofea xiii. 14. § 1 Tim. i. 1,

+ Pfalm lxxi. 23. ¡ Ifa. xlv. 21. Jude v. 25.

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