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be his Father. John xvii. 3. "this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, ar.d Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent."3 XX. 17. "I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God:" if therefore the Father be the God of Christ, and the same be our God, and if there be none other God but one, there can be no God beside the Father.
Paul, the apostle and interpreter of Christ, teaches the same in so clear and perspicuous a manner, that one might almost imagine the inculcation of this truth to have been his sole object. No teacher of catechumens in the church could have spoken more plainly and expressly of the one God, according to the sense in which the universal consent of mankind has agreed to understand unity of number. 1 Cor. viii.
4-6. " we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one: for though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many and lords many), but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." Here the expression there is none other God but one, excludes not only all other essences, but all other persons whatever; for it is expressly said in the sixth verse, "that the Father is that one God;" wherefore there is no other person but one; at least in that sense which is intended by divines, when they argue from John xiv. 16. that there is another, for the sake of asserting the personality of the
3 Milton makes the following remarkable comment on this text, in his treatise on Logic. 'Exclusiva quidam est vel subjecti vel prædicati; subjecti, quæ, nota exclusiva præposita, excludit omnia subjecta alia a prædicato. Sed frustra hanc regulam ratio dictarit, si logicis quibusdam modernis, et nominatim Kickermanno licebit, eam statim, conflato ad id ipsum canone, penditus evertere. 'Exclusiva,' inquit, subjecti non excludit concomitantia; ut solus pater est verus Deus. Hic,' inquit, 'non excluditur concomitans, filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.' At quis non videt subornatum hunc canonem ad locum illum luculentissimum, Joan, xvii. 3. ludificandum?'-Prose Works, Symmons' Ed. VI. 294
4 The allusion may be, amongst others, to Diodati, the friend of Milton, and whose annotations on Scripture were doubtless well known to him. His remark on this verse is, 'That the Holy Ghost is distinct from the Sonne in his persmall subsistence, and in the manner of working in believers.'-Diodati's Annotations on the Holy Bible, 3d. Edit., London,
Holy Spirit. Again, to those who are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, God the Father of whom are all things is opposed singly; he who is numerically one God, to many gods. Though the Son be another God, yet in this passage he is called merely Lord; he of whom are all things is clearly distinguished from him by whom are all things, and if a difference of causation prove a difference of essence, he is distinguished also in essence. Besides, since a numerical difference originates in difference of essence, those who are two numerically, must be also two essentially. There is one Lord, namely he whom "God the Father hath made,” Acts ii. 36. much more therefore is the Father Lord, who made him, though he be not here called Lord. For he who calls the Father one God, also calls him one Lord above all, as Psal. cx. 1. " the Lord saith unto my Lord,"-a passage which will be more fully discussed hereafter. He who calls Jesus Christ one Lord, does not call him one God, for this reason among others, that "God the Father hath made him both Lord and Christ," Acts ii. 36. Elsewhere therefore he calls the Father both God and Lord of him whom he here calls " Jesus Christ." Eph. i. 17. the God of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. xi. 3. "the head of Christ is God." xv. 28. "the Son also himself shall be subject unto him." If in truth the Father be called the Father of Christ, if he be called the God of Christ, if he be called the head of Christ, if he be called the God to whom Christ described as the Lord, nay, even as the Son himself, is subject, and shall be subjected, why should not the Father be also the Lord of the same Lord Christ, and the God of the same God Christ; since Christ
5 Res etiam singulæ, sive individua, quæ vulgo vocant, singulas sibique proprias formas habent; differunt quippe numero inter se, quod nemo non fatetur. Quid autem est aliud numero inter se, nisi singulis formis differre? Numerus enim, ut recte Scaliger, est affectio essentiam consequens. Quæ igitur numero, essentia quoque differunt; et nequaquam numero, nisi essentia, differrent. Evigilent hic theologi. Quod si quæcunque numero, essentia quoque differunt, nec tamen materia, necesse est formis inter se differant; non autem communibus, ergo propriis.' Artis Logicæ plenior Institutio. Prose Works, Symmons' Ed., VI. 214. The hint thrown out to the theologians in this passage is very remarkable; but I am not aware that it has ever been noticed as affording a clue to the opinion of Milton on the important subject alluded to, which could scarcely have been expected to be found in a treatise on Logic. See below, p. 132.
must also be God in the same relative manner that he is Lord and Son? Lastly, the Father is he of whom, and from whom, and by whom, and for whom are all things; Rom. xi. 36. Heb. ii. 10. The Son is not he of whom, but only by whom; and that not without an exception, viz. "all things which were made," John i. 3. "All things, except him which did put all things under him," 1 Cor. xv. 27. It is evident therefore that when it is said "all things were by him," it must be understood of a secondary and delegated power; and that when the particle by is used in reference to the Father, it denotes the primary cause, as John vi. 57. "I live by the Father;" when in reference to the Son, the secondary and instrumental cause: which will be explained more clearly on a future occasion.
Again, Eph. iv. 4-6. "there is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Here there is one Spirit, and one Lord; but the Father is one, and therefore God is one in the same sense as the remaining objects of which unity is predicated, that is, numerically one, and therefore one also in person. 1 Tim. ii. 5. "there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Here the mediator, though not purely human, is purposely named man, by the title derived from his inferior nature, lest he should be thought equal to the Father, or the same God, the argument distinctly and expressly referring to one God. Besides, it cannot be explained how any one can be a mediator to himself on his own behalf; according to Gal. iii. 20. “a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one." How then can God be a mediator of God? Not to mention that he himself uniformly testifies of himself, John viii. 28. "I do nothing of myself," and v. 42. "neither came I of myself." Undoubtedly therefore he does not act as a mediator to himself; nor return as a mediator to himself. Rom. v. 10. we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." To whatever God we were reconciled, if he be one God, he cannot be the God by whom we are reconciled, inasmuch as that God is another person; for if he be one and the same, he must be a mediator between himself and us, and reconcile
us to himself by himself; which is an insurmountable diffi culty.
Though all this be so self-evident as to require no explanation,—namely, that the Father alone is a self-existent God, and that a being which is not self-existent cannot be God, it is wonderful with what futile subtleties, or rather with what juggling artifices, certain individuals have endeavoured to elude or obscure the plain meaning of these passages; leaving no stone unturned, recurring to every shift, attempting every means, as if their object were not to preach the pure and unadulterated truth of the gospel to the poor and simple, but rather by dint of vehemence and obstinacy to sustain some absurd paradox from falling, by the treacherous aid of sophisms and verbal distinctions, borrowed from the barbarous ignorance of the schools.
They defend their conduct, however, on the ground, that though these opinions may seem inconsistent with reason, they are to be received for the sake of other passages of Scripture, and that otherwise Scripture will not be consistent with itself. Setting aside reason therefore, let us have recourse again to the language of Scripture.
in question are two only. The first is John x. 30. I and my Father are one,"—that is, one in essence, as it is commonly interpreted. But God forbid that we should decide rashly on any point relative to the Deity. Two things may be called one in more than one way. Scripture saith, and the Son saith, I and my Father are one,-I bow to their authority. Certain commentators conjecture that they are one in essence,-I reject what is merely man's invention. For the Son has not left us to conjecture in what manner he is one with the Father, (whatever member of the Church may have first arrogated to himself the merit of the discovery,) but explains the doctrine himself most fully, so far as we are concerned to know it. The Father and the Son are one, not indeed in essence, for he had himself said the contrary in the preceding verse, my Father, which gave them me, is greater than all," (see also xiv. 28. "my Father is greater than I,") and in the following verses he distinctly denies that he made himself God in saying, "I and my Father are one;" he insists that he had only said as follows, which implies far less, v. 36, "say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent
into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" This must be spoken of two persons not only not co-essential, but not co-equal. Now if the Son be laying down a doctrine respecting the unity of the divine essence in two persons of the Trinity, how is it that he does not rather attribute the same unity of essence to the three persons? Why does he divide the indivisible Trinity? For there cannot be unity without totality. Therefore, on the authority of the opinions holden by my opponents themselves, the Son and the Father without the Spirit are not one in essence. How then are they one? It is the province of Christ alone to acquaint us with this, and accordingly he does acquaint us with it. In the first place, they are one, inasmuch as they speak and act with unanimity; and so he explains himself in the same chapter, after the Jews had misunderstood his saying: x. 38. "believe the works; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him." xiv. 10. "believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." Here he evidently distinguishes the Father from himself in his whole capacity, but asserts at the same time that the Father remains in him; which does not denote unity of essence, but only intimacy of communion. Secondly, he declares himself to be one with the Father in the same manner as we are one with him,—that is, not in essence, but in love, in communion, in agreement, in charity, in spirit, in glory. John xiv. 20, 21. "at that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in me, and I in you: he that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father." xvii. 21. "that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us.' v. 23. "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me." v. 22. "the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are When the Son has shewn in so many modes how he and the Father are one, why should I set them all aside? why should I, on the strength of my own reasoning, though in opposition to reason itself, devise another mode, which makes