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in a thousand shapes: "the spirit that still worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ib. ii. 2); as our Saviour told some of them, "Ye are of your father the devil; and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning; and abode not in the truth, BECAUSE THERE IS NO TRUTH IN HIM" (John viii. 44).
But the more agreeable comprehension, if not so common, is that of the benign Creator, who lives in his children, in those who live the life of Christ; as he alleges to his disciples, "Because I live ye shall live also" (John xiv. 19)—and as St. John alleges to the church, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin: for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is. born of God. In this the children of God are manifest and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother" (John I. iii. 9, 10). And here it would seem, as if our parallel was drawing towards its object: and yet are we still far enough from it even in this instance. For this is still but a general instance of plurality in unity; of a plurality unequal, unlimited, degenerate and successive; not equal, limited, pure, and coetaneous, like the holy Trinity. And the unity also in this instance does not amount to the perfect sameness, which unity must be, to answer its description; and which is also found in the perfect unity of the Godhead related as aforesaid. For here the consent between several persons is complete; and that, not by concert or communion only; but by unity of action or substance, as aforesaid, which is far beyond the unity with God enjoyed by any creature; as in our case for example, where the unity will be far from being perfect either in counsel or operation: the best of us being but half united to God, and for what he does with Him doing a great deal more without him. Whereas it was said, and truly, by the second Person in the divine Trinity of himself, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do. FOR WHAT THINGS SOEVER HE DOETH, these also
DOETH THE SON LIKEWISE (John v. 19). Can any man living now say only of another man, What things soever he doeth these also do I likewise? He may say of his father, what things soever my father DID before I was born, these also did I at the time by implication, being then no other than he. But he cannot say, whatsoever things my father doeth at this moment, these also do I now likewise, as implied in our Saviour's saying: because in that man the accidental unity or implication was broken up, banished and destroyed altogether at his commencement, as aforesaid; which the original and eternal unity of the Godhead never could be. And if one man cannot boast this identity between himself and another, much less can he with respect to the immortal God; to say of himself in comparison with Him, what things soever God doeth, these also do I, poor fleeting creature as I am, do likewise.
3, A similar objection will also lie against another sort of parallel; which is nearer again, perhaps; being that of Types or abstract persons instead of personal individuals, whether 1, latent and extant; or 2, essential and characteristic; before described under the head of constituents. As,
-1, The two types, latent and extant above noticed, which every created being really supports, and between which there is no essential difference; as those of a man, for example, being the same in himself, in his acts, and in his latent operation-to show how God may be the same in his primitive glory, as in his outward acts by the Word, and inward by the Spirit; three several Types, or Presences, of One ineffable Being; Three that are one God, as One God is all Three. To conceive by the two types of a man, or by three including the original, if it be allowable, so many corresponding persons, whether latent or extant, in being or in operation, may be difficult certainly: yet as the difficulty appears to turn on a mere verbal distinction, it seems hardly worth while to halt on the ideal difference between a person and a personal type, or type of a person -or if it be ;
-2, The same objection will lie against the other shade if so we may call it, of this parallel likewise, namely of types; supposing them to be now essential and characteristic, instead of latent and extant. For the difference between the two shades will be like the difference of shades, -less in fact than inimagination or conception; inward and latent being about as one, and also outward and characteristic: so that their difference cannot be great. And yet this new conception of the subject may be useful in comparing the internal relation of the Godhead; if we can apprehend the root hereof, or Father as he is called, in the essential type, and the other Persons or Correlatives in the characteristic. And whereas the parallel will not then be certain as to number,-for two types, supposing them only two, do not answer to three persons; this may be obviated by ascribing two significations to the second or characteristic type, and understanding thereby not only the character but our notion or conception of the same likewise; which as before stated *, should be a likeness of that likeness as well as of the original root or archetype, and will be truly both to us in presence, if not in perfection.
4, And this may suggest to any one the idea of another parallel in the Name, Notion and Substance of man, or of any other subject; being the three natural types of all that are named. For supposing the Deity to exist like other subjects 1 absolutely in Himself, and 2 relatively—whether first in his proper character, or next in such a notion as any other being may be able to form of Him, there may thereupon also be conceived three several types of one subject, being consequently so far one; that is, so far as they are consentaneous or correlative: in which respect no three subjects of any description can be more one than these. Three points in a line, as the middle and two ends†, three
Vol. I. p. 183.
† One is loath to employ mathematical or material illustrations on a subject so spiritual and so far beyond demonstration; yet the example here suggested seems so very applicable for an example of the sort, that one
angles in a grain of sand will not; three men united in one object, which some take to be friendship, will not: for here are three patterns of one, quite another thing. And yet the present parallel with all its advantages, and particularly the numerical correspondence just mentioned, does not excel the last; nor that either, which is now to be mentioned especially: being one that we could not discover, and one in which we may have the greater confidence for that we could not discover it, the same being dictated by God himself, the Subject to whom it relates. For
5, By Himself, or his Word, has God condescended to reveal himself in the parallel of a Father, his Son, and his Spirit. And according to the true idea of generation, no human understanding could possibly have devised any parallel so true, so philosophical and consistent. The true idea being this, namely, to regard the matter or material properties on which any parental form is impressed or with which it may be associated, as a mere medium or vehicle, a basis common to many other subjects perhaps; the essence transmitted being a certain form, mode or prescrip→ tion. And though the father and son or parent and offspring appear to be two while living distinct, yet is their mode generally or in the main but one and the same, and so will be to all generations. But the sameness between the divine Father and his Son, which is their mode or word,
hardly knows how to help indicating two or three points in its agreement; to wit
1, The distinctness of either end of a line in itself; but not in the line, nor yet from each other:
2, Their meeting in the centre; and proceeding therefrom, as from a
3, Which however can only be apprehended by their means on a comparison :
4, When the whole three, v. g. middle and ends, will appear distinct from each other, although
5, They clearly constitute but one indiscriminable line all together:" which
6, May be apprehended without any visible sign or description, and as satisfactorily talked of as if it was seen.
will be more special as well as unalterable; the same Two being as much One as any subject and its true notion or image whether confined to the subject or communicated to another. And as a father and his son will be one by their common mode, word or prescription, so likewise by their common spirit, until one of them shall happen to be born again and translated as it were to another word or spirit; the spirit of every living subject being clearly it's self, essence or abstract, most properly expressed in this term,—and the word, its description or detail; both one in fact, and the whole together likewise, as aforesaid. And even to inanimate things the same mode of conception and consequent naming is also applicable; as we say, the spirit of a book, a law, an institution and other verbal bodies, meaning its marrow, essence or abstract, that which represents the whole in a comprehensible volume amounting to the same effect. Wherefore, without laying any immoderate stress on such a precedent, it may be worth while to notice, how the ancient term with us for one of these Representatives of the Father, HOLY GHOST, is decidedly expressive of such a relation; namely as the appearance of an intellectual being by his abstract, likeness or spirit: which suggests
6, The idea of paralleling the whole Godhead, that is the Deity or Being of God in abstract, by means of an abstract character; say, Virtue in general, or the virtue of prudence in particular: which being first simply personified will represent the same Godhead in form. And then; as prudence may be personified in one man or another, or in an angel form preferably to a human, we may thereby conceive several persons of virtue in general or of prudence in particular, WITHOUT SEVERAL VIRTUES OR PRUFor virtue or prudence in perfection will be always the same; one only in the abstract, and one only in form or detail,—in whatever form it may be personified, and however many persons or samples of that form, or of any other may follow in its train. Whereby, as virtue is