Robert Harkness Carne.

The Proper Deity, and distinct personality, agency & worship of the Holy Spirit, vindicated, against the recent cavils of Messieurs Baring, Bevan, Cowan, &c. late seceders from the Church of England : online

. (page 1 of 24)
Online LibraryRobert Harkness CarneThe Proper Deity, and distinct personality, agency & worship of the Holy Spirit, vindicated, against the recent cavils of Messieurs Baring, Bevan, Cowan, &c. late seceders from the Church of England : → online text (page 1 of 24)
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" Fear this glorious and fearful name. Jehovah thy Alehim."
" The name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
" For there are three, •who bear -witness m Heaven, the Father, the Word, and
the Holy Spirit, and tliese- three are one."

Peut. xxviii, 58. Matt. xx\'iii. ig. 1 John v, T*






And ail otho' Booksellers,


62, Hiffh. Street,




Preface 5

On the proper Deity, and distinct Personality ,
Agency, and Worship, of the Holy Spirit, 1

On the Doctrine of a Trinity of co-essential
persons in the unity of the divine nature, and of
the Incarnation of the second mode of subsis-
tence, or the Son, in the fulness of time. 105

On the Titles of Deity occurring in the Hebrew
Scriptures, as demonstrative of a plun-person-
ality in the Godhead, and of that plurality of
persons being a Tnnity, 261



HE first part of the ensuing Treatise was
undertaken, upon the perusal of a Tract against the
personality of the Holy Spirit, published by a Mr.
John Marsom, a Bookseller in London. He tells us
ID his Preface, that *' although this piece has been
published near twenty years, there has not been any
attempt made to refute its doctrine ; nor has it been
noticed, except from the Pulpit.'^ Whoever will
trouble himself to go through the said unmolested
piece, may easily discover a reason for the alledged
neglect, namely, that it was by no means deserving of
any very particular notice, since it contains nothing
new on the subject of which it professes to treat, but
is chiefly made up of sundry stale objections to the
Truth, which have been satisfactorily answered by a
vast number of Christian Divines in the different ages
of the Church. Nor would this long neglected piece
Lave been noticed now, but for the revival of Unita-
rian sentiments by tl.e Reverend George Baring, who,
to support his cause, thought fit to order down some
eopies of it, for sale, and for distribution rm^ngst bis
friends. He was obliging enough to send me a copy


of the 2nd. and afterwards, a copy of the 3rd. edition,
through a mutual friend ; and having understood, from
a conversation %vithliim on the subject, that he thought
highly of this Socinian production on the whole as a
clever performance, it occurred to me as being
desirable that such an opportunity should be embraced,
of bringing Mr, Baring's opinions to the test of Scrip-
ture, considering them as pretty faithfully expressed
in the language of Mr. Marsom, The reader is there-
fore requested to regard the present attempt as intended
rather for a vindication of the honour due to the
eternal Spirit, against tlie awfully anti-scriptural ideas
of Mr. Baling and his friends, than for an answer to
Mr. Marsom, whose Tract, but for this, should have
still continued in the unenvied possession of its long
enjoyed repose.

The second division of this work, or the Appendix,
■was occasioned by the adoption of Unitarianism by
the Keverend T. C. Cowan of Bristol, as avowed by
him in a published Sermon on the work of the Holy
Spirit, &c. This led to some remarks on Mr. John
Bellamy's Swedenborgianism, which is near akin to
the newly revived Sabellian-unitarian system; and
likewise to a few observations on a recent Pamphlet
by the Beverend Mr. Bevan, a convert to the senti-
ments of his friend Mr. Baring : little more is con-
tained in this last mentioned Pamphlet, than the
arguments and objections, &c. of Mr. Marsom, clothed
indeed in a new dress, though in several instances, we
have the identical expressions, as well as sentiments,
of this Unitarian writer, in Mr, Bevan's work.


The list of Hebrew Titles, with explanations^
which forms the third and last part, was added with
a view of giving the Christian reader some idea of the
proofs for the doctrine of the Trinity,* &c. which

* It has been remarked by a few individuals, to whose inspec-
tion some parts of this work have been submitted, that a
plurality indeed has been clearly established from the Hebrew,
bnttliat the grand point still remains, namely, to prove that
fhirality lO lie a Trmify. 'Sow 1st. it has been shewed, that the
plurals which occur ia the Hebrew, as tZ)»n/i^ Alehim, Sec.
cannot be so construed as to intend merely the Godhead and
the Manhood, or, what Sabelllans and others v/ould call, God the
Father, and the human soul or created Son in linion ; because
mn' Jehovah (or the essence self-subsisting) is declared to be
the Alehim^ {I Kings xviii. 39.) — "Jehovah, he is the Alehim;
Jehovah he is the Alehim." It is also solemnly pronounced,
that there are no Aleliim besides Jehovah ; and, witli respect to
the Manhood, it is distinguished /ro/» 'the Alehim Jehovah, "/
Jehovah will be tlieir Alehim, and my servant David (the beloved,)
a prince among them." 2nd. This view agrees with the cheru-
bic figure, since it has /our CD'JS faces, and not two only;
three representing the divine persons, or Alehim, and the fourth
the face of a man, representing the Manhood united to the Son,
which exactly accords with what St. John declares, that, " the
word was God, and the word was made flesh," and that this
divine v ord is " the only-begoiten of the Father" 3rd. The
thrice holy (or triple ii^'inp kedo"!i>) of Isaiah, explains howmamj
are intended by *'the /Vle'iimthe holy cues'* (or CD'tt^Tp kedosh-
im,) of Joshua, and whom he asserts to be Jehor-'.h. And the
Nevr Testament expression of ayioa-, xyiotr, txyscr, "Holy,
Holy, Holy," corroborates this idea. 4th. And since we refer
to the Hebrew Scriptures, not to found upon them some point
unnoticed in the New Testament, but only in confirmation of a
fublimc doctrine clearly revealed to us there, Me have gained
our point in proviVig a plurality, inasmuch as the New Testament
kaows of «o other plurality than that of a Trinity, in the name of
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, v/itli tiie Manhood assumed by the
second of these sacred persons, who is therefore called vS^l-JDJ?


exist in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. The
author does not pretend to have made any new dis-
coveries. Novelty, in religion, is but another name
for heresy. His sole endeavour has been to state to

Emanu-el, God with us. 5th. It has been shewed that the
plural CD^Dt!:^ shemim, the heavenly ones, is applied to tlie
Deity by Daniel, who says, " the Heavens are the ptD'7U?
rulers." Now the New Testament explains shemim by ovpocvot
oiiratioi, the Heavens ; and how many Heavens does it intimate ?
ThreCy and no more. Paul speaks of the ovptxvocr Ipfioar third
Heaven, v/hich implies two others ; and the Jews call the three
superior miSD sepJiiroth or numerations, " the three Heavens "
or heavenlies. If then the Heavens are representative of the
Deity, they declare a Trinity; and that they are so, is plain,
from the Hebrew shemim being used for the Deity, and from the
Greek ouranoi being so likewise ; for, in the New Testament,
*' the kingdom of God " and " the kingdom of the Heavens" are
used as synonymous expressions. Persons of Hutchinsoniari
sentiments would render shemim by names. But niDt^ shemoth
is the word for names, and shemhn mesns the Heavens ; it i»
therefore translated, in the scTcnty and in the New Testament,
by ouranoi, riOt by ovof/^jtloi onomatUy names. And they would
make shemim intend the three conditions of the heavenly fluid,
which they call fire, light, and spirit; and the$e they esteem the
types of the divine persons in Jehovah. Could their philosophy
be established, it would still demonstrate the. point of there
being hut three shemhn or celestial rulers. However, we have
surer ground to build upon than this ingenious Hypothesis ; it
being quite sufficient for our purpose, that shemim is applied to
Deity, that it is interpreted by ouranoi in the Greek, and that
the number of these heavenlies is restricted to three. 6th. Christ
as to his humanity, is called the C3't^»":p tt^lp kedosh kedoshitn,
the holy place cr lefnple of the holy ones. The Father, Son, and
Spirit, then, are those holies ; and these are the co-partakers of
vcx-v % TrXr.pcoixcc %cr @£0%%cr « all the fulness of the Godhead,"
which is represented as dwelling in the man ; and this expression
is used in Matthew xxiii. 21, for the Deity dwelling in the
Temple at Jerusalem. In both passages it h the verb Kotloixw


his readers what he could meet "V^'ith in the word of
God that might tend to confirm or illustrate the
doctrines contended for; and to produce the most
approved writers, such as Lowth, Horslej^, Schleusner,
Parkhnrst, Buxtorf, Taylor, Home, &c. as authori-
ties for what he might advance. What has been done,
was done in haste; the hist part, on Mr. Marsom's
Tract, being ready for the press before Mr. Cowan's
Sermon had appeared, the appearance of which gave
rise to the subsequent parts of this work. This, and
a want of the requisite health and strength to revise;
&c. will, it is hoped, be admitted as an excuse for
its crude unfinished stale. Important errors ought
not to be excused ; but should any unimportant inac-
curacies occur, in respect of these Xlie indulgence of the
Critic may be fairly expected. The Author has
discovered several literal and typcgraphical errors,
such as, in English, Anfetype for An/itjpe; in Latic,
diiiere for diiferre ; in Greek, ysyujiy.syov for yzwuiMvov ; and
in Hebrew, sometimes a d caph for a n beth, at other
times a j nun for a j gimel, and here and there a i
daleth for a n resh, a n he for a n heth, and a » jod for
a 1 van, or visa versa. Such blemishes will unavoid-
ably appear, more or less, in the generality of printed
books.* If it should prove *'in doctrine uncorrupt,'
all other things are trifles light as air.

Kntoikeoo, which properly intends a certain fixed and durable
dwelling, as opposed to Tnzpiytzu puroikeoo, to sojourn, &c.
Christ then is the true and everlasting QNI/i^ n*2 "ho'^.se of
the Alehim," or ocyicc {:rKnvr/) ocyiuv Tabernacle of the Holy ones.
• The note at page 206, belongs to page 207 ; the asterisk *
at the word stand in the former, should have been fiXed to the


There will be some, it is probable, who will object
to the work altogether, from its being of a coEtrover-
(sial nature. But does not this antipathy to discussion
often proceed from mental indolence? Sometime^
indeed it may originate in an apprehension lest the
Truth itself should suffer from a too severe investiga-
tion; as if the pure gold could be injured by the
clement which purges away the dross! But it may in
other cases arise from a weakly faith, which dreads
the test of an explicit avowal of sentiment, founded
upon a decisive unambiguous statement of the naked
Truth. But the doctrine of the Trinity is not such an
insignificant point, as that it may or may not be
embraced; rather, a positive belief in this sublime
dogma of revealed religion is essential to true devotion,
since it immediately respects the nature of that glorious
Being, who is, confessedly, the sole legitimate object
of our adorations. I say, belief', since the error of the
many is, that they imagine that it devolves upon them
to comprehend this high mystery with the understan-
ding, which is more palpably irrational than if any
one should contend that a Nut-shell could become the
recipient of the Ocean; whereas, all that devolves
upon them is this, to ajiprehend it by faith, and to
fasten upon it as a substantial reality because revealed.

word quote in the latter page, and the Note placed accordingly.
In the Note at pa^e 103, Mr. Snow and Mr. Evans are excepted
from the charge of Sabellian Unitarianism ; but it appears, from
more correct information, that these Seceders are not, in thi$
particular at least, separatist* from their friend*, Mr, Baring,


" Our religion (says Bishop Home,) is founded upon
it." I rather incline therefore to the opinion of this
amiable prelate, who, in reference to this very subject
of the Trinity, observes, that *'no mischief will arise
from discussion. Truth always has been, and always
will be, a gainer by it. It is a whole«ome exercise
for us. It excites attention, and prevents indifference^
the enemy of all others most to be dreaded." Nor is
that remark of Archdeacon Paley amiss which occurs
in his Natural Theology. *'By investigation, the
following points are always gained, in favour of doc-
trines even the most generally acknowledged (sup-
posing them to be true,) viz, stability and impression.
Occasions will arise, to try the firmness of our most
habitual opinions. And upon these occasions, it is a
matter of incalculable use to feel our foundation ; to
find a support in argument, for what we had taken up
upon authority." And to these testimonies may be
added that of Bishop Pearce, who tells us, that
*' disputes about the Christian religion seem to have as
much contributed to the preserving of it pure^ as the
constant motion of the waters does to the keeping of
them sweet.'* And upon this principle is founded the
sentiment of the Reverend Thomas Scott, namely,
that ''nothing is so unfavourable to the progress of
genuine Christianity, among mankind in general, nay,
among the bulk of nominal Christians, as a deadcalmJ'*
It is the motionless pool, not the running stream, nor
the undulating Ocean, which grows stagnant.

And in addition to the preservation of Truth in
it! native purity, this other advantage is gained by Uie


action of controversy; Truth becomes analyzed, or
resolved into its constituent parts, as mineral sub-
stances are by fire, and we are thus enabled to
discover the beauties which belong to its various
proportions, whereas, before, we could only perceive
fits general effect as a beautiful whole. Thus it has
been observed of the ray of light (that exquisite en>
blem of Truth,) that it is necessary for it to undergo
the action of the prism, in order that the diffei^nt
colours, which are combined together in the formation
of its inimitable whiteness, may, by being separated,,
or rather, severally exhibited in connexion, be the
more nicely distinguished, and duly appreciated.
JBut indeed it is to nature's " showery prism," m'c owe
that delightful analysis of light, which every eye
beholds, and beholding admires, in the variegated
Hainbow. If no one objects to this exhibition of
light in its distinct hues, which, on the contrary,
enraptures the spectator by -the disclosure of so many
latent charms, no one has reason to quarrel with the
distribution of Truth into its component parts, nor
with that jfree discussion Avhich is so essential in the
production of this effect. We are very deeply in-
debted to the Spirit of Truth, in many respects, for
the controversial writings of St, Paul, and particularly
for those portions of them in which he has been direct-
ed to contend for the Resurrection of the Dead, the
absolute Sovereignty of God, justification by faith
alone without the deeds of the law, and the superiority
of the Gospel of Christ to the abrogated dispensation
of Moses; because, who sees not, that, besides other


advantages resulting from the agitation of those points,
much additional light is elicited, and through its means
we become infinitely better acquainted with the most
important verities of our Holy Religion? It is well
observed by the Reverend Joseph Milner, in his
Church History, in allusion to the error of Pelagi.«-
that " his Heresy was eventually one grand means of
introducing juster views of Gospel Grace, than had
for a long time obtained in the Church, and of reviv-
ing Christian truth, "humility, and piety." But how
did it operate thus ? It originated a discussion, in
which Augustine sustained a prominent part, and
whose labours, besides being instrumental in illumina-
ting that particular age, have been of essential service
in the cause of truth from his own day, up to the mo-
ment in which we live, 'i he same may be said of
the controversy which arose at that period respecting
tJie Doctrine of the Trinity; it gave occasion to Au-
gustine's masterly work on that subject; "his trea-
tise on the Trinity* (says Milner,) is very elaborate;

* Augustine flourisbed about a. d. S98. What then becomes
of that jejune objection which Mr. Bevan borrows from Sociniau
writers, namely, that " we took this false doctrine from the
Papists?" (page 32.) Since the rise of the Papacy may be
dated at about a. d. 529, wiien the edict of Justinian was
established ; though, according to the learned Mede, it arose
in the Year 456. Besides; the doctrine did not originate with
Augustine, but, as Mr. Milner testifies of Ida treatise, "It is in
perfect unison with the expositions and sentiments of all the
pious men who preceded him, and particularly with the views of
l^'ovutiun in his treatise on the same subject Whether the
writers were of the general Church, or Dissenters, they are per-
fectly unanimous in confessing the Trinity in Unity, and iu


perhaps all that has ever been said in any age, in
vindication and explanation of that great mystery, is
contained in this Book." Nor is it possible to omit
the mention of Luther in later times, to whose exer-
tions, as directed by the invisible hand of Him who
** worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,"
we owe much on the score of that truly Protesta»t
Doctrine, justification before God by faith in the im-
maculate righteousness of Christ, which fundamen-
tal article of the evangelical system was never per-
haps so ably treated, or lucidly stated, by any Divine
since the days of St. Paul, as by the great Saxon
reformer in his celebrated commentary on the epistle
to the Galatians. And this precious fruit grew out

proving the doctrine from Scripture." This Novatian flourished
about a. d. 251, which, eren admitting Mede's calculation, is
more than 200 Years prior to the existence of the Pa^al See.
The famous Athanasius wrote in defence of the same Truth
about a. d. 320. And Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch, in the
Year 169, adopted the word Trinity as a suitable term to express
hriQ^y the doctrine now intended by it ; whereas Christianity did
not begin to become the Religion of the Roman Empire until
t\\^ fourth Century, under Constantine the Great, who was the
first Roman Emperor that did not persecute the faithful. But
Mr. Bevan knew, that to excite such a suspicion in the public
mind would subserve his cause; though with equal fairness
might the Atheist object, that we took the idea of a supreme
Being from the Papists, — the Deist, that we took from thence
the notion of a Revelation, — and the Socinian, that the doctrines
of original Sin, the Incarnation, the Atonement, &c. See. sprung
from the same source. Such attempts to destroy the Truth can
only terminate in the exposure and confusion of their Author ;
whom it might be well to refer to John's description of those
who are without, since amongst others he mentions ''whosoever
loveth and inaketh a Lie." Revel. 26; 15.


of his famous controA'crsy with the Papists, his
former associates, and who (hke loo many nominal
Protestants of the present day,} made the justificatiou
of a sinner to depend in part upon his own deservings;
and to oppose the progress of this fatal error amongst
ourselves the* eleventh article of the Church of Eng-

• It runs thus — '* of the justification of Man. We are
accounted righteous before God, only tor the merit of our Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works
or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only,
is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more
•largely is expressed in the homily of justification." This was
called by Luther, *' articulus stantis vel cadentis ecclesiae ; '*
that is to say, a Church will stand or fall, in proportion as this
doctrine prevails or declines in it. Yet Luther was no Jnti"
nomian ; but he protested vehemently against the Baptists of his
day, who, whilst they laid an undue stress on the necessity of
faith in order to Baptism, so as to exclude children from that
lite, at the same time " made void the law" even as a directory
in respect of moral conduct, and lan headlong into all iniquity.
** For at this day (says Luther,) the Papists and Anabaptists con-
spire together against the Church in this one point, that the
work of God dependeth upon the worthiness of the person. For
thus do the Anabaptists teach, that Baptism is nothing, except
the person do believe. Out of this principle must needs follow,
that all the works of God are nothing if the iMan be nothing.''
In allusion to these same persons, he adds, ** but Satan, the God
of all dissension, stirreth up daily new sects, and last of all,
which of all others I should never have forseen or once suspect-
ed, he hath raised up a sect of such, as teach that the Ten
Commandments ought to be taken out of the Church, and that
men should not be territied with the law, but gently exhorted
by the preaching of the Grace of Christ; as though we were
ignorant, or had never taught, that afflicted and broken spirit*
must be comforted by Christ, but the hard-hearted Pharisees, to
whom the Grace of God is preached in vain, must be terrified
by the law." Preface, upon Epistle to Galatians. Cahm


land was framed, together with the homily od justi-
fication. But perhaps Luther's master-piece is his
Treatise De servo arbitrio, or, concerning the hondage
of the will ; and this came out in answer to a disser-

too, though admirably clear on the doctrines of Grace, yet was
no Antinomian ; " some unskilful men (says he,) rashly explode
Moses altogether, and discard the two tables of the law. Far
from us he this profane opinion; for Moses hath abundantly
taught us, that the law, which in sinners can only produce death,
ought to have a better and more excellent use in the saints."
Accordingly, he proceeds to give «' an exposition of the moral
law." See his Institutes, book 2, chapter 7 and 8.' «< We know
that the law is good (says Paul,) if a man use it lawfully, ^cw
the end of the Commandment is love out of a pure heart, and a
good conscience, and faith unfeigned, from which some having
swerved, have tunied aside unto vain jangling." 1 Tim. i. 5, 11.
Having stated tico uses of the law, Calvin says, " the third relates
to the faithful, in whose hearts the spirit of God already lives
and reigns. TJiey derive a twofold ad-antage from the Isiw.
For they find it an excellent instrument to give them from day to
day a better and more certain understanding of the divine will
to which they f jjjire, and to confirm them in the knowledge of
it; forno man' has already acquired so much wisdom, that he
could not by the daily instruction of the law make new advances
into a purer knowledge of the divine will. In the next place, as
we need, not only instruction but also exbortaticn, we derive

Online LibraryRobert Harkness CarneThe Proper Deity, and distinct personality, agency & worship of the Holy Spirit, vindicated, against the recent cavils of Messieurs Baring, Bevan, Cowan, &c. late seceders from the Church of England : → online text (page 1 of 24)