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made." 1 — I can adduce further proofs to the same effect, if the Court requires it. 2
Att. Gen. What you have said goes to show that Christ existed before the foundation of the world, and that “ by him all things were created;" but this does not necessarily prove that he was God.
Witness. But Justin Martyr and Irenæus, and indeed all the Fathers, agree in declaring that David's prophecy applies to Christ, and Christ alone, at his ascension into heaven; where he says, 6 God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. God is king of all the earth. The princes of the people are joined to the God of Abraham. The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble. Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever” 3 — and this proves the Godhead of the Son.
Att. Gen. But, though Christ be God, is he the supreme God, and therefore equal to the Father ?
Witness. David, in the ninety-second Psalm, speaking of Christ, says, “ Confounded be all they that delight in vain gods (or idols). Worship him, all ye gods!”
Court. This ascribes very high honour and
4 In Matt. p. 266. 2 Second Dialogue, p. 265–267. 3 Second Dialogue, p. 270.
divinity to Christ; but still falls short of the supreme divinity of the Almighty Father.
Att. Gen. It surely does so; for here we have language speaking of a gradation of gods.
Witness. I beg to observe that this is an error; for though God communicates his name to creatures, and calls some of them gods, yet he will not share his worship, nor give his honour to another: of this he is exceedingly jealous: but there is no gradation of gods.
Court. I do not mean to say that the passage you have quoted in the ninety-second Psalm does not prove Christ to be God supreme; but I want ỳou to give it that explanation of which you think it capable, and which you have inferred, but not shown. It is true that in Scripture the title of gods is applied to some; as, when Moses commanded the Israelites not to revile their gods, he meant the judges of the land. Samuel is called god, by the Witch of Endor, as the prophet of the Lord ?; and the idols of the heathens are called gods, because they were regarded by them as such ; among whom, as St. Paul says, there were many in heaven and earth ; that is, celestial and terrestrial 3: but the title, in its high and proper sense, is applied to none of these.
+ Exod. xxii. 28.
? 1 Sam. xxvii. 13.
* Witness. When David, in the psalm alluded to, speaks of Christ, and of the honour due unto him, and calls upon celestial beings to adore him, saying, “ Worship him, all ye gods !” St. Paul explains this to be addressed to the angels, -" Let all the angels of God worship him.") If, then, all the angels of heaven are called upon, by the Holy Spirit speaking through David, to worship Christ, what further proof can be necessary to show that he is one with the Supreme Being; that Lord God whom only we may serye ?
Att. Gen. What is your opinion respecting the doctrine of Plato, as the Unitarians have applied it to the Trinity in Unity ?
Witness. Neither Plato nor any other heathen philosopher invented what is called his system of Three Principles, nor any notions so much as approaching to a Trinity in the Godhead: they. learnt what little they knew of it from the early Jews. Plato attained his knowledge from Egypt; and several of the Fathers have remarked the agreement of his doctrine in many respects with the Old Testament: hence it was that Numenius the Pythagorean said of him, “ Plato is only another Moses speaking at Athens."2 Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and Eusebius, unite in
stating that Plato had obtained a knowledge of the mystery of the Trinity; but having got this notion, he refined upon it, endeavouring to square it to the principles of heathen philosophy, until he and others fell into errors and absurdities, as they had done on other points and doctrines which they had received by tradition. Instead, therefore, of aspersing and rejecting the errors of Plato with disdain, I take them as confirmations of the truth of the original tradition. They, having not in their possession the oracles of divine truth, sought to prove their doctrine by their reason; and we all know what a dull and fallacious light man's finite reason is. With such feeble aid, “in every step of such an enquiry, we are compelled to feel and acknowledge the immeasurable disproportion between the size of the object and the capacity of the human mind. We may strive to abstract the notions of time, of space, and of matter, which so closely adhere to all the perceptions of our experimental knowledge; but as soon as we presume to reason of infinite substance, of spiritual generation; as often as we deduce any positive conclusions from a negative idea, we are involved in darkness, perplexity, and inevitable contradiction.”2
1 First Dialogue, p. 244.
Att. Gen. My Lord, I have done with this evidence.
Court. Stay; do any of the Defendants desire to examine this witness ?
Lindsey. Yes, my Lord; on behalf of the system, and in the names of its supporters, I desire to submit this witness to a cross-examination, which I hope the Court will grant me permission to do at some length."
Court. Undoubtedly. Take your time, and ask as many questions as you think necessary for your defence.
Lindsey. I do not hesitate, on the part of the adherents to our belief, to admit that we desire to have the doctrine of the Trinity, if the admission of it be so essential to our salvation as it is represented to be. I say, we desire to have this so far reconciled to our natural reason, as not to involve a contradiction ; for if it does, the doctrine can neither be said to come from God, nor can it be required of us as an article of belief.
Witness. I also admit that we ought to receive nothing but what we think we have reason to believe, and undoubtedly, if a doctrine of Revelation
The questions here put by Lindsey are only imputed to him, although in the main they were the scruples which he entertained in common with his sect.