A TREATISE concerning the Trinitie of Persons in Vni­tie of the Deitie.

Written to Thomas Man­nering an Anabaptist, who denyed that Iesus is very God of very God: but man onely, yet endued with the infinite power of God. (⸪)

Imprinted at London by Simon Stafford, dwelling on Adling hill neere Carter-lane. 160 [...].

TO MY VERY LO­uing and deare friend Ma­ster Thomas White, a Citi­zen of Bristow.

WHile I was at Norwich, in the yeere 1597. I writ this Treatise vpon such occasiō as appears there­in, and deliuered it vnto that Heretike, that by himselfe, if God would, he might consider and be perswaded Since which time I haue kept it by me: and though some of my priuate friends desired copies; yet al­lowing that wisdome of Solon, who would make no law against Patricide, least the mention of the fact might [Page] giue occasion to commit it: and withall considering that it is too s [...]mple and poore for the publike view; I haue hi­therto refused to make it common. Yet now perceiuing a present necessi­tie, because that s [...]me of late haue wandered in this labyrinth: & with­all remembring, that of any weak­ling shall hereafter entertaine this opinion, he may, before he be wholy possessed therewith, find the absurdi­tie of it and be reformed▪ that many a nouice in Christianitie, who therefore doubts of the truenesse of his Religion, because he findes no fa­miliar reason to perswade, but onely the racke of authorities to [...] him to acknowledge it; may perhaps be hereby satisfied and find comfort: and that they who are already strong, may by this ouerplus, triumph in the goodnesse of God, who requires them to beleeue no more, then they may by that vnderstanding, which he hath gi­uen [Page] them, be perswaded of: I haue for their sakes, who may reape benefite thereby, set at nought all other Cen­surers, not guilty vnto my selfe of a­ny offence which I can commit in ma­king it publike. Such as it is, accept (good master White) as a parcell of that assertion, which may hereafter follow, of euery article of our Chri­stian faith; if God shall vouchsafe me vnderstanding, leasure, and main­tenance thereto. I therefore offer it vnto you, both because I know you are diligent in reading bookes of good argument; and because I haue none other meanes, whereby to shew my selfe thankefull for your manifold kindnesses and your loue. At Lon­don, this 20. of April. 1601.

Your louing and assured friend, A. G.


THough many things discouraged mee to write vnto you of this Argument in such sort as I intend; considering that neither your dai­ly reading of the Scripture, nei­ther the perswasion of learned Di­uines can moue you to accord vn­to the trueth; though by manifest testimonie of Scripture they con­uince your heresie: and most of all, that God hath left you to beleeue that lying spirit of Antichrist, who denyeth that Iesus is that Christ: Yet neuerthelesse, hauing some hope [Page 2] that God of his goodnes will at last pull you as a brand out of the fire, and quench you with the dew of his grace, that you may grow in the knowledge of his Sonne; I wil as briefly as I can, lay down some few reasons of that faith, which e­uery one that will be saued must hold. Whereby if I perswade you nothing, yet shall I obtayne thus much; that you, who neither be­leeued his word, nor yet opened your eyes to see the light of reaso­nable vnderstanding, shall at last confesse, that his word and iudge­ments are holy and true. But be­fore I come to the point, let mee first perswade you, that although the knowledge of the holy Trini­ty be one of the most high my­steries which can be knowne or beleeued, and that it is the onely work of ye holy Ghost to work this faith and knowledge in the heart of man, yet neuertheles, God hath [Page 3] not left vs destitute of meanes, whereby to come to this faith and knowledge; but hath also with his word, giuē vs a reasonable soule & vnderstanding, whereby to grow in the knowledge of himself & his will. For whē Adam was created, he had giuen vnto him all perfite knowledge meete for him. Now God, who created the world for no other purpose, thē the manifesta­tion of his owne glory, might not leaue that creature without vnder­standing of the Godhead, who be­ing by nature & creatiō the most excellent in this world, was made for that purpose especially aboue al other, to set forth his prayse and to call on him. Now how could he do this, if he knew him not? But (I think that) seeing it is said, that mā was created in the Image of God, you wil not deny yt man before his fal, had much more perfit vnderstan­ding of ye Godhead, thē it is possible [Page 4] for him to haue, till he come to know euen as he is knowen, but that by him (you may say) this know­ledge was lost: not lost, but cor­rupted onely, euen as mans will. For then it should follow that wee were inferiour to bruit beasts, who haue in thē a sensible knowledge meete for that ende whereto they were created. Furthermore, it is not possible that mans sin should frustrate the ende which God in­tended in his creation, but it is ma­nifest, that man was created to know and honour the creator. A­gaine, seeing in Christ al things con­sist, hee being ordained of the Fa­ther before all worldes, in whom the world should be both created and restored; it is plaine that this light of our vnderstanding both proceedeth from him, and is resto­red in him, as it is said, Ioh. 1. He is that light which lightneth euery man [Page 5] that commeth into the world, not onely his chosen with knowledge of his sauing trueth, but euen ge­nerally euery man with reasona­ble vnderstanding, whereby wee may know whatsoeuer is to be known of God: & how? euen by the works of God, as it is plainely concluded, Rom. 1. 19, 20. Therefore are they not to bee heard, who hold any thing without the compasse of Faith, which is without the com­passe of Knowledge. For Faith ought so to be grounded on Knowledge, as Hope is grounded vpon Faith. So that as Faith, Heb. 11. 1. is sayd to be [...], an euiction or proofe of things hoped for, though they bee not seene▪ so may I say that Knowledge is the proofe of things which are beleeued. For Faith is nothing els but the Conclusion of a particular Syllogisme, drawen from the con­clusion of an vniuersall, which the [Page 6] knowledge of God had cōcluded, as it is manifest, Iam. 2. 19. & Heb. 11. 3. By conference of which two places it appeareth, that this knowledge, of which I speake, this Historicall Faith, as to beleeue that there is one God which made all things of nought, is onely such a knowledge, as the deuils & wic­ked men haue: but to beleeue, and haue confidence in this God, is that particular conclusion, & that faith which causeth vs to haue hope in his promises. Therefore said Christ, Haue fayth in God: that is, striue to know God, that knowing, you may haue faith, and beleeue in him. And wee see that in these things, where a bare faith without know­ledge might seeme to be most re­quired, because as a man would thinke, there were no reason to be giuen of them, namely, concer­ning the maintenance of this life, [Page 7] and the resurrection to the life to come; both Christ and his Apostles vse no other reasons, but such as e­uery reasonable man may easily be perswaded by, though authori­ties of Scripture were not want­ing to both purposes, as it is mani­fest, Mat. 6. and 1. Cor 15. yea Paul at Athens, or wheresoeuer he per­swaded the worship of the true God among the Gentiles, hee per­swaded not by authority of Scrip­ture, which amongst thē had bene very weake; but by such argumēts as they knew to be sufficient euē in thēselues. If these things were not so; how thē could the Gentiles which knew not the Scriptures, he without excuse for their ignorance of God? Therefore I conclude, that there is nothing which is beleeued, but it may also be knowen. Now know­ledge (we know) is ingendred by such principles as haue truth in thē, [Page 8] the which is euident of it selfe. So that by plaine and reasonable vn­derstanding, a man may knowe whatsoeuer he beleeueth. You wil say, To what purpose then serue the Scriptures? I answere: That God, infinite in goodnesse, hath to­gether with this vnderstanding & light of Nature, giuen vs withall his word, as a greater light where­by our lesser lights might become more shining: That he hath giuen vnto vs not only an inward word, to wit, our natural vnderstanding; but also an outward worde, as a most illustrious Commētary, both of declaration and amplification of that text; whereby we may the bet­ter vnderstand, whatsoeuer wee ought to vnderstand without it. But how thē commeth it to passe, that all men haue not Faith? And how is Faith sayd to bee the gift of God? The first is answered, Rom. 1 [Page 9] 21. and Ephe. 4. 18 For hardnes of their heart, who when they knew God, did not glorifie him as they ought: therefore their imaginations▪ became vaine, & their foolish heart was ful of darkenes. And for this cause is Faith also sayd to bee the gift of God. First, in respect of that knowledge whence it doeth proceede, which knowledge is his gift. Secondly, because it is the onely worke of God, to make that knowledge to become fruitful, by laying it so vn­to mans heart, that the hardnesse thereof may bee remoued, that when wee know God to bee good and iust, we also beleeue and wor­ship him as we ought. Thirdly and most especially, because that God oftentimes pardoning the igno­rance which men haue of him­selfe and the creature, doth so illu­mine the heart with [...] holy Spirit, that it is suddenly [...] with­out [Page 10] any previant knowledge, to faith and obedience. The trueth whereof neuertheles doth not any whit impugne that which I say, That God hath giuen vnto euery man so much vnderstanding as to know what he ought to beleeue, and to bee satisfied for the reasons of his Fayth, if he could open his eyes to see in the middest of what wonderous light hee were placed. This point is manifest both by many Scripture-authori­ties, and by many reasons which I omit. But taking this as either granted, or sufficiently prooued, that God hath giuen vs light of vnder­standing, whereby to yeeld a reason of the Hope that is in vs; a reason I say euen of euery article of our Faith: let vs with holy reuerence come vnto the thing in question, and see what reason wee haue for our de­fence. I will therefore a while for­beare to vse the authoritie of holy [Page 11] Scripture; not that I esteeme the waight or euidence of any reason comparable thereto: but onely perceiuing by that talke I had with you, that you had read the Scrip­ture, as one of those whom Peter noteth, 2. Epist. 3. 16. Not inten­ding to wrangle about your wre­sted interpretations; I wil first pro­pone the euidence of reasonable proofe: and afterwards bring in the assent of holy Scripture, that you may perceiue in what won­drous cleare light you striue to be blinde. And because I know not what your opinion is concerning God, (for he that denieth the God­head of Christ, may as well denie the Godhead absolutely:) that beeing one steppe toward the question, I will proceed orderly, and giue you also a reason of our faith, concer­ning that matter: taking this one­ly as granted, which is rife in euery [Page 12] mans knowledge, that both the termes of Contradiction, cannot bee affirmed of the same Subiect: that is, that one and the same thing cannot be both affirmed and deni­ed, of the same Subiect, at one time, and in the same respect.

But first, by the Name of God, know that I meane an Eternall Be­ing, infinite in goodnesse, in power, in wisedome, in glory, in vertue, and one­ly worthie of endlesse loue and honour. My reason is thus. If there be not a Being which had no beginning, then of necessitie, that which was first existent or begunne, must be a beginning vnto it selfe, by causing of it selfe to be, when it was not. But this is impossible, that any thing should bee a cause, and not bee: for so should it both bee and not be; therefore there is an eter­nall Being, which is the beginning, middle and ende of all things, and [Page 13] himselfe without beginning, and this eternall Beeing wee call God. My reason is plaine to bee vnder­stood; and remember what I haue said, that I may goe on.

Whatsoeuer is without begin­ning, is also without ending; be­cause it hath no Superiour which might bring it to nothing: therefore God is eternall. Againe, whatsoe­uer comes to nothing, is corrupted by his contrary; but nothing can be opposite to God, therefore hee is Eternall. Or else I might thus reason.

Being and Not Being are such contraries, as one of them cannot spring out of another: for euery thing, for the preseruations sake of it selfe, doth represse and corrupt the contrary. Seing then that there is Beeing, which could not possibly raise it selfe out of Not Being, it fol­lowes that Being had a primacy or [Page 14] prioritie before Not Beeing: and therefore of necessitie must be e­ternall; for otherwise there was a time, wherein it might be said, that Being is Not Being, & so Not Be­ing should haue been first, and con­tradictories might haue stood to­gether: but both these are impossi­ble, therefore there is an eternall Being; and this eternall Being, wee call God. Furthermore wee know, that the greatest excellen­cie or perfection of euery thing, is in the proximitie or approch there­of vnto the first cause. But euery thing is more excellent in the Be­ing thereof, then in the Not Being: therefore Beeing was before Not Being; and for that cause Eternall. Now Eternitie is an Infinite Conti­nuance: therefore whatsoeuer is E­ternall, must of necessitie be Infi­nite: and this Infinite Being, we call God. Moreouer, whatsoeuer hath [Page 15] Infinite continuance, hath Infinite Power to continue infinitely; and this omnipotent or endlesse Power we call God.

I might reason likewise of his Goodnes, of his Wisedome, Trueth, Glory, &c. but one shall serue in stead of the rest, and I will take his Wisedome for my example, and proue vnto you, that likewise to be Infinite, and that not onely in exi­stence, but in action also. And first that hee is wise; God is most worthy to be such as he is: but if he were not wise, he were not worthy to bee God: ergo hee is wise. Now marke how these depende one on another. In God is Wisedome, which by reason of his Infinitie, is also infinite: and by his Eternitie, is also eternal: so that there is no time, wherein it may be said, that this in­finite Wisdom is not infinitely ex­ercised, for then were it not eter­nally [Page 16] infinite. Therefore his wise­dome is infinite, not in existence onely, but also in action.

Againe, the wisedome of God is such, as hath no defect or imbe­cillitie therein. But if it were not Infinite both in action and in exi­stence, a man might find defect therein, and imagine a more Infi­nite wisedome then that is, but this is impossible. So might I con­clude of all the other Dignities of God, but I haste to the purpose, and I thinke that you will not vnwil­lingly graunt what I haue said, but vnderstand the rest. All the Dig­nities of God beeing actuated or brought into working, require of necessitie an Infinite Obiect, whereon they worke, because they thēselues are Infinite: but nothing can be Infinite, but God alone, ther­fore it followeth that these Digni­ties are obiected or exercised in [Page 17] God alone. And this is that Eternal Sonne, begottē before the worlds, in whome the Father resteth: or as the Prophet speaketh, His beloued, in whome his soule delighteth; which cannot be applyed to any creature, without which, God is happy in him selfe: therefore saith the Apostle, that in him dwelleth the Godhead bo­dily. How is that? not in his manly body eternally; for his humane bo­dy tooke beginning of the flesh of the Virgin, when the fulnes of time came, but yet bodily, that is, as es­sentially, or substantially, as the bo­dy of a man is substantiall to the man. For euery Dignity of God be­ing infinite in action (as was pro­ued) must of necessitie produce such as it selfe is. As for example; the Wisdome of God or his Infinite Vnderstanding, must haue an In­finite intelligible or vnderstand­able obiect, which is produced [Page 18] thereby, by an infinite vnderstan­ding. So that ye must know of ne­cessitie, and marke three Termes, as I will a while call them: the Terme from whence: the Terme whereto, or wherein: and the middle Terme betweene them. I will for your capacitie, which I know not to bee much exercised in these matters, make a comparison meet for your vnderstanding.

When the minde or vnderstan­ding of a man conceiueth any vn­derstandable obiect, then is (you know) first the vnderstanding in the minde it selfe, secondly the ob­iect vnderstood, and thirdly, the discourse or vnderstanding, where­by that obiect is apprehended.

Now giue me leaue to tell you, what differences you must make, betweene the vnderstanding of God, and the vnderstanding of man in this comparison.

[Page 19] First, the minde of man beeing finite, the vnderstanding is not able to view al that which can be vnder­stood thereby at one time, or with one action of vnderstanding, but must conceiue of one thing after a­nother: whereas the vnderstanding and wisedome of God is such, as at one sight seeth himselfe, and euery thing els, past, present, and to come; and this not once onely, but euen continually, because it is eternally infinite.

Secondly, the intendement of man worketh nothing in the thing conceiued, to make it either to be, if it be a meere conceit, or to be o­ther then it is, if it be existent: but the vnderstanding of God, is by reason of his power so actiue, as that it causeth that wherein it is exerci­sed, both to be, and that according to his maner of apprehension or vnderstanding of it: which vnder­standing [Page 20] is by his Infinitie so infi­nite, and by his Eternitie so conti­nuall, as that of necessitie there must bee a subsistence or a person, wherein it must be exercised, which must also be Infinite and Eternall. And this is that glorious Sonne of God, who is thus begotten or pro­duced eternally, both before the world was, euen as hee is now, and shall not cease to be produced after the world shall cease eternally.

Thus you see two of the termes spoken of: from whence, & where­in: now you must know the middle terme betweene them. The terme whence, is the Wisedome intelli­gent, God the Father. The terme wherein, is the Wisedome intelli­gible, God the Sonne. The middle terme is, ipsum intelligere, which in my Comparison I called, The dis­comse it selfe, which also in this must needs bee Infinite. For an Infinite [Page 21] intelligible, cannot bee conceiued of an Infinite intelligent, but by an Infinite intelligere; and this is that Holy Ghost, which as you may easily vnderstand, must of necessitie pro­ceede from both the Father and the Sonne, and be also infinite and eter­nall, and therefore God. Now be­cause they are all Infinite, and of Infinite, essentially there can bee but one: therefore are these three in Essence or Being, one, but in Subsistence or cleare distinction of Persons, three.

Vnderstande my comparison which I made: I will yet cleare the matter further for your concey­uing.

If you take in a myrrour, the light of the Sunne, and reflect it directly thereon againe, in the Sunne it is one, in the glasse a­nother, and yet the reflecti­on of the beames, is also a [Page 22] third, but for all this, there is but one nature and worde of light, which comprehends al three: so is it in this Tri-Vnitie of which I speake. My leisure serues me not to dilate these things, but I hope you are able to vnderstand what I say, therefore I will proceed. It is said, that Powers are knowne by their actions, and actions are limitted by their obiects. I know the meaning of it, and it is not vnfitte in this place. But to my reason: The Pow­er of God is infinite, and by his in­finite wisedome hee knoweth it to be infinite: but God could not know that his Power were infinite, vn­lesse he were able thereby to bring forth an infinite action; and euery infinite action must of necessitie be exercised in an infinite subiect. (For whatsoeuer is receiued, is re­ceiued according to the capacitie of the receiuer:) therefore there is an [Page 23] infinite subiect, wherein the power of God is exercised: that is the Sonne of whom I speake. And here againe behold the Tri-Vnitie; an in­finite power the Father; an infinite action the Holy Ghost; an infinite sub­iect the glorious Sonne; all three one infinite Being. Returne to your comparison.

As the vnderstanding of man could no way know his owne po­wer, but by his actions, neither can there be any actions of vnderstan­ding, where there is nothing to be vnderstood, no more is it possible to bee in the Deitie. Now vnder­stand that, as I haue reasoned from the Wisedome and Power of God: so might I reason from all his other Dignities: so that for one reason which I haue brought. I might haue brought you fiftie. But I shew you the way, if you be guided by the Spirit of Trueth, how you may [Page 24] strengthen your selfe in the way of Trueth: therefore I wil goe on, and shew you yet more plainely by more familiar reasons.

An Infinite power is not more weake then a finite: but euery fi­nite creature which we can cast our eies vnto, doth by nature produce his like, as much as in it is; as a man begetteth a man; trees bring forth seed, whereof their like in nature may spring, and in likewise euery other thing. Therefore the Infi­nite Power of God begetteth his like also, which is the Sonne, the i­mage of the inuisible God, the first be­gotten of euery creature, Col. 1. 15. But none can bee like vnto God in his Being, who is not very God: therefore Christ the onely begotten of the Father is also very God.

Maruel not, that I make this ar­gument from the creature to the Creator; for in this very point of [Page 25] the Power & Godhead, the Holy ghost himselfe teacheth me to reason of the inuisible things of God▪ by the things visible, Rom. 1. 20. And hereby al­so learne to helpe your ignorance, and put away your wonder, how God should bee one, and yet three. See you not how the vnderstan­ding? the Sun-light also, is one in nature, and yet three in euident and cleare distinction? though in so base and imperfect order, as that which is aboue all perfection, is possible to be aboue it.

And further, see you not in eue­rie thing a bodie, a spirite and a life, which is the knot betweene them?

Or rather, see you not how the very bodily composition is both one, and three? one body which is vnited of three bodies? that is, earth, water, and ayre, or oyle, which yet again in the root of their [Page 26] nature are but one. For oyle is but a due mixture of water and earth, meanely fixt, and meanely volatil; and earth is but fixed water; so that water which is but one, is the root of the three: as it is manifest, Genesis 1. and 2. Pet. 3. 5. They which vnderstand the rules of Py­ronomy, know what I say; and if you vnderstand me wel, you would confesse, that not onely this in­stance which I haue brought, of earth, water and ayre; but euen the whole frame of Nature did pro­claime the Trinitie in the Vnitie. You would, I say, confesse, that whatsoe­uer may be knowne of God, is ma­nifested in the creature. If I should here tell you, how the Heauen, the Earth, & the Deepe, Gen. 1. might be vnderstood mystically, and the Analogie betweene the Creator and the creature therein: and then tell you, what Let the earth bring forth [Page 27] liuing soule, might meane, and com­pare it with that place, That which was made in him was life; and then particularly for man, The Lord God also made the man of the dust of the earth, and tell you, that it was so ne­cessary, because that Christ is Terra [...]enti [...]: and inforce an argu­ment to proue the Tri-Vnitie, by that treble repetition of the man made in the image of God; compa­ring it with that place, 1. Cor. 11. 3. and 7. If I should then tell you, that it was necessarie that the Sonne of God must become flesh, as well that the infinite Iustice of God might be actuated in him, which could not bee actuated in him beeing onely GOD: as for many other reasons, both from the Iustice, and Mercie, and Wisedome of GOD, though to a well sighted vnderstanding I might seeme to haue layd a preci­ous foundation of Philosophie di­uine [Page 28] and natural: yet to you I might rather seeme perhaps to haue pro­poned Cabalisticall dreames, then any sound argument to the thing in question.

Yet this will I tell you, and holde it for good Diuinitie: that the mayne drift and scope of the whole Scripture, is to shew the Cre­ation of all things in Christ, through him and for him: and the restoring of the whole creature in man by him: That in al things he might haue the pre­eminence, Col. 1. Neyther doth this any whit derogate from the honour of the Father.

For first, It hath pleased the Fa­ther, that in him should all fulnesse dwell: and besides, it is an ho­nour aboue all honours vnto the Fa­ther, to be the Father of so glorious a Sonne.

Therefore is this world and all the things therein, created to the Image [Page 29] of Christ, to expresse his glory, euen as he is the expressed Image and glory of the Father. And here is the worlds Eternitie, which had in Christ an e­ternall Being; according to that his Name, Esay. 9. 6. The Father of Eternitie.

Here are those separate Ideas, about which Plato and Aristotle could neuer agree, and which ney­ther both of them, nor many of their followers did perfectly vnder­stand: not that they might not by the frame of nature, and the wise­dome which GOD had giuen to man, be vnderstood.

For is not this world as a booke wherein wee may reade and vnder­stand by the created trueths, what is the Trueth which is increated? but all true knowledge is the gift of GOD.

Therefore wrest not that place, Coloss. 2. 8. against the Christian [Page 30] search after the knowledge of Na­ture, whereby aboue all other hu­mane knowledges a man is brought to know GOD, and to honour him as he ought: but rather be so­ry, that your knowledge of Nature is no more. For that will I tell you, to teach you to know your selfe, that there is nothing in the crea­ture, which may be knowne, (and all may bee knowne that is in the creature) but man ought to know it, and to glorifie the Creator there­by. And this great labour hath GOD giuen to men, that knowing how short they are of that they ought to be, they might bee humbled there­by, Psal. 1. 11. Eccles. 1. 13. And why ought this to seeme strange? doth not God require that perfectiō at mans hand wherein he did create him? and was he not created with perfect discourse to know the crea­ture, that hee might therein behold [Page 31] the Creator, and so glorifie his won­drous Power and goodnesse? But this question would draw mee from the question in hand: & therefore I wil briefly adde one reason more: and because my leisure is little, I will be as short as I can: but I pray you lend mee your eare; for it is hard in English, an inartificiall language, to expresse my mind: but because you told me, you could a little La­tine, I will be bold here and there, to vse a word: my reason is thus. The whole and perfect nature of a Principle or Beginning is in God, who is alone the beginner of all things. Now a Principle is of three sortes, whereof euery one is so clearely distinct from another, as that one cannot possibly be that o­ther: therefore in the Vnitie of the Deitie there is also such cleare di­stinction into a Trinitie, as that one distinct cannot possibly be that o­ther, [Page 32] from which hee is distingui­shed, yet in the Vnitie of essence they are all one. The differences of a Beginning stand thus; It is either Principium principians, non principia­tum; that is, a beginning, which is a Beginner vnto another; yet hath not his beginning from another, lest there should be a processe into Infinitie a parte ante: this is God the Father, to whom it is peculiar to be­get the Sonne, yet is himselfe ney­ther made▪ nor created, nor begot­ten of any other.

Secondly, there is Principium principiatum principians; to witte, a Beginning which hath his be­ginning of another, and is also a beginning to another, lest there should be any defect or imbecilli­tie in the Beginning: and this is the Euerlasting Sonne, very God of very God, begotten of the substance of his Father alone before thē worlds, [Page 33] neither made nor created.

Thirdly, there is Principium prin­cipiatum non principians; that is, a Be­ginning, which is also begun, but is not a beginner vnto another: lest there should be a processe into In­finitie a parte post: and this is the Holy Ghost, who proceedeth from the very substance and Being of the Father and the Sonne, and is with them one GOD coeternall and coequall. But you will say, Is not the Holy Ghost a Beginner vnto any other? how is he then the Authour of our consolation? and how is hee said to leade vs into all trueth, &c? Vnderstand what I meane: Hee is not a Beginner vnto any other of the same Infinite Essence or Being with himselfe. For the beginnings which I spake of before, are in ye Es­sence of God alone now our spiritual consolation, whereof the Holy Ghost is said to be the Beginner, is but an [Page 34] or effluence from that Being, which he himselfe is; as the light of the Sunne doth illuminate euery bright body exposed to his light, and yet imparteth not his be­ing thereto. You will againe ob­iect, that Eternitie hath no begin­ning nor ending: how then can Christ be both eternall and begun? and how againe can he be equall to the Father, whereas hee beeing be­gotten of the Father, the Father hath a prioritie before him? I answere, that this beginning is none other, then that production or begetting, which I before declared, to haue been heretofore none other, then it is now and shall be eternally: as the Sunne hath brought forth light since his creation, and shall still bring forth light till the worlds dis­solution. For this action of GOD, whereby hee begetteth his Sonne, is not a transeant action, to cause a [Page 35] passion in the subiect, and a repassi­on in the agent, for in such the subiect of necessitie should haue been existent before the action; but this action is immanent, and there­fore of necessitie of the same na­ture with the agent; which agent because it is eternall, therefore the production is also eternal, and con­sequently the product, and so of ne­cessitie very GOD. But you must euer remember what difference I made betweene the action of God, infinite in power, & therefore able to actuate the obiect; and the im­manent actions of our minde. Now for the Prioritie or Posterioritie, you may obiect. I graunt there is Prioritie among the persons of the Godhead; but of what kinde? not of Being; for their Essence is one, and therein is none afore or after another, neither is any one of the Trinitie more or lesse God then an­other: [Page 36] not of time; for they are all one Eternitie: not of dignitie, for they are all one Infinitie: and the Sonne himselfe being very God, thin­keth it no robberie to bee equall with God.

But yet there is Prioritie, and that of order onely; for the Father is in order before the Sonne, because the Sonne is begotten of the Father: and the Sonne likewise is before the Holy Ghost, because the Holy Ghost is the mutuall loue betweene the Father and the Sonne: and so proceeding from them both.

I will make a comparison vnmeet for the matter of which I speake; for to whom shall wee assimulate the Highest? but yet meete to helpe your vnderstanding. When a man doth dreame and imagine things which are not, there is, you know, the phan­tasie, the phantasme or thing imagi­ned or dreamed, and the phansying [Page 37] or working of the phantasie about that obiect. Now these three are all of one nature, and are one after an­other onely in order, and not in time.

For the particular phantasie of such an obiect, is before the ob­iect, and makes it to haue an inten­tionall being; then the obiect being, the discourse of the phantasie follow­eth in order, which neuerthelesse was in time as soone as it, obseruing euer the cautions that are to bee ob­serued.

Thus haue I very briefly showne not many reasons, but rather how that many reasons may bee showen for this Christian assertion: yet haue I showen ynough to perswade any reasonable man, to yeelde meekely vnto the trueth of that doctrine, which is so euident both in the booke of GOD, and in eue­rie faithfull and true Christian mans [Page 38] confession, and according to that discourse which is euident to euery mans vnderstanding. Now giue me leaue to speake a little to those ar­guments which haue throwen the most learned of the Iewes head-long to the feet of Christ, to make thē acknowledge that the Messiab must be both God and man. I will not herein doe any thing contrary to that, which in the beginning I pro­tested, that is, not to compel you by authoritie of Scripture, but to in­treate you by reasonable perswasi­on, to encline your eare to the trueth. But because I may not without iniurie to the cause, leaue altogether out such manifest proofe, and without iniurie also to your selfe, who might thinke that I went about to sophisticate a true seeming vntrueth, which would not abide the touch: I will onely intend my finger to some very few, of ma­ny [Page 39] thousandes of axiomes of the Scripture for this purpose, & leaue you to make the conclusion by your selfe, hoping that the Iewes ex­ample may prouoke you to follow them, so farre forth as they haue fol­lowed the trueth. Exod. 13. 21, it is said, The Lord went before thē, &c. Chap. 14. 19. The Angel of God, which went before them, remoued: where Christ the Angell of the Co­uenant, is called The Lord Iehouah. Againe, Exod. 15. 3. The Lorde is a man of warre, his name is Iehouah: therefore Christ is God and man: who by his conflict vpon the crosse, triumphed ouer Death and Hell, as it is written in the Gospell, the booke of the warres of the Lord. Againe, Esay. 9. 6. Vnto vs a childe is borne, there is his Manhood: and vnto vs a Sonne is given, and they shall call his name, The mightie God. And Esay 35. vers. 4. Your God will come and saue [Page 40] you. Ierem. 23. 5. &c. I will rayse vp vnto Dauid a righteous branch and a King shal raigne▪ and this is the Name whereby they shall call him, The Lord our righteousnesse. And Ierem. 33. vers. 16. Iudah shall be saued, and be that shall saue her, is the Lorde our righteousnesse. Where the name v­sed, is that great Name [...] Ie­houah, which is neuer giuen to any creature. Zach. 9. 9. proues him God and man. What shall I cyte vnto you that of the second Pslam? Thou art my Sonne, this day haue I be­gotten thee: which place with many more, is brought in the Epistle to the Hebrewes, to this purpose, which is your question.

These authorities the Thalma­dists, who sticke onely to the kil­ling letter and apparant sense of the law, hold sufficient to put this mat­ter out of doubt.

Now, if leauing this outward sense [Page 41] of the Scripture, we should desire to know what is the quickning spi­rit thereof, and should ransacke the treasuries of the Cabalists, re­membring that place of our Saui­our, Matth. 5. 18. One iod, or tittle of the Law shall not passe, till all bee fulfilled; and should examine the question by the letters and pricks of the Scripture, wee should more easily find an entrance, then an end thereto. Yet for a taste take only ye first 3. words of the Law, [...] breshith, bará, elohim: which may not vnfitly be thus turned: In the beginning, they the mighty God cre­ated. And of that againe, take the first [...] bresbith, and see what it may signifie by that part of the Cabala which they call Notariacon, [...] b. the first letter of ben, signifieth the Sonne: [...] r. the first of ruach, sig­nifies the Holy Ghost: [...]n a. the begin­ning of av. is ye Father: [...] s. the first of [Page 42] Sabbath importeth rest: [...] the be­ginning of the ineffable name of God [...] and not there onely, but euen of it selfe it imports the Deitie. For we consider of things not obui­ous to our senses and vnderstan­ding, as if they were not: and there­fore this least of all the letters, nee­rest vnto nothing, doth signifie GOD. [...]. th. the first of Ta. or Thom. is construed a Closet or a Depth. Which construction if you put together, according to the rules of that excellent Grammar of Di­uinitie, with reference to that which followes, may import thus much. The Word, the Spirit, and the Father, resting eternally in the Closet, or vnconceiueable abysse, or as Paul calls it, the inaccessible light of the infinite Deitie, manifested their al­mighty power in creating the heauē and the earth. Neither is it without a great mysterie that the Son is here [Page 43] put in the first place: for In the be­ginning was the word: because the chiefe honour both of the Creati­on, and restauration of the world is giuen vnto Christ, as the Apostle doth comment vpon this text, Co­loss. 1. And in another place, In him is all the treasure both of the wisedome and knowledge of God. As Psal. 104. vers. 24. In wisedome hast thou made them all. For in Christ were al things together one infinite wisedome, till in the Creation he made them seue­rall, according to their distinct Ideas. Therefore saith the Apostle, He sustayneth euery thing by his pow­erfull word: that is, the Sonne: and elsewhere, In him (Christ) wee liue and moue (after the Creation) and haue our Being (before the Creation.) And for this cause doth Iohn begin the law of mercie and grace, in the very same words wherewith Moses began the law of Iustice and con­demnation: [Page 44] In the beginning. For we know nothing of God, neyther of iustice, nor of mercie, &c. but onely by Christ; as he saith, No man knoweth the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Sonne wil reueile him. And in another place, No man com­meth to the Father, but by me. Now, the Holy Ghost is put in the second place, because hee is the mutuall loue of the Father and the Sonne, and as I may say, the instrument of their actions, both in manent, and transeunt.

Go forward now, if you will, to the next word, [...] bará; you see, it affords the same argument for the Tri-Vnitie, by the three letters be­fore explained, and the number which is the singular.

Thinke not this a fancie, neither reproch the diuine Cabala, as the ignorant Sophisters vse to doe, not knowing how aboue all other [Page 45] knowledges, it doth aduance a mans meditation on high.

And to the present purpose, they which know any thing in the holy language, know that this sentence can no way agree in Grammatical construction, vnlesse the singular verb [...] bará, be thus made plurall, that it may haue concordance with the plurall [...] Elohim.

You will aske, why these letters, [...]. b. r. a. [...]. a. are twice put, see­ing in this precisenesse, no such su­perfluitie should haue needed.

I tell you, that it is not done, but to intimate vnto vs a most high mysterie.

For in the first place it imports that Eternall and Infinite Being of the Father, the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost, which they had before the worlds in their endlesse glorie & fe­licitie, in that silence of the Deitie, in that super-supreme Entity which is [Page 46] vnto the Godhead, perfect aboue per­fection, without any respect vnto the creature, it imports that Infini­tie, that Eternitie, that Power, that Wisedome, which is aboue all things, and giues vnto it selfe, to be such as it is: that Nothing, as the di­uine Areopagite seemes to speake, which is before and aboue al things, that may be spoken or thought, without any respect of any emana­tion, or effluence whatsoeuer. And therefore followes that letter of rest [...] that of vnitie, [...]. and that of per­fection. [...]. Now in the second place, it signifies the Deitie, as exercised in the creature: and therefore followes that Epithyte Elohim, which shewes that emanation of Power or Strength; and is sometimes giuen vnto the creatures, Angels, and men. It were an endlesse thing, to speake that of these mysteries, which may be spoken, neither can I; For [Page 47] the Law of the Lord is perfect, and man is full of weakenesse. I haue said so much as I thinke meete concerning the Tri-Vnitie.

Now a word to that point, that Christ is GOD: which although it appeare sufficiently in the Tri-Vnity before proued, by this anagogicall doctrine: yet to that second person in particular, is that which follow­eth. Esay 7. 14, it is said of Christ, that his name should bee called Im­manuel; but in the historie of the Gospell, in Matthew and Luke, both before his Conception, and at his Circumcision, he is called Iesus. It is therefore meete that you know, how Iesus is Immanuel or God with vs. The writing of the Name of IESVS is thus [...] Ihsuh, though according to the rules of the pronunciation of that tongue, Iesu, and according to the ancient abbre­uiation following the Hebrue or­thography [Page 48] IHTS. In which Name you see, are al the letters of the grea­test ineffable Name of God, [...] Ie­houah; with ye interposition of that letter of rest [...] s. for then was God re­conciled to the world; then was e­uerlasting righteousnesse brought in, when the Word became flesh.

This is that glorious Name, of which God spake by the Prophet, Behold, I will make my Name new in the earth. For you see how of [...] is made, [...] that is, IESVS.

This is that Name, which is meet for the Sonne of GOD alone, and cannot bee giuen to any crea­ture, because it is a Name of the DEITIE, as it is Hebr. 1. It is that Name, which is aboue all names: in which the Angels and the righteous soules triumph; at which the powers of Hell are agast and tremble; to which the whole creature yeeldeth meek obedience.

[Page 49] This is that Name, of which our Lord spake, Father, I haue manifested thy Name vnto men, the Father [...] the Sonne [...].

For so long as the mysterie of the Incarnation of God was hidde, so long that Name remained vn­soundable: but when the Word be­came flesh, and dwelt amongst men, so that the mysterie was re­ueiled; then the Name, which was before not to be pronounced, was lawfully pronounceable. That as the Word of life was to bee seene with eyes, and handled with handes; so that glorious Name might also be beaten betweene our lippes and teeth; and this by the interposition of that letter of rest. The Iewes knowing this reason of this great mysterie, & moued with the reue­rence thereof, durst neuer pro­nounce that Name [...] but in stead thereof, Adonai or Elohim.

[Page 50] Let it not trouble you, that Iudah the sonne of Iacob was called by such a name, as had these foure letters therein, with the addition of [...] d, thus [...] Iehudah: but rather wonder and learne, how by these sa­cramentes the children of GOD before the Incarnation, exercised their faith, saluted the promises afarre off, and saw that our Lord should en­ter into our earthly tabernacle, by the doore of Iudahs flesh; for so much the letter [...] Daleth importeth. To which mysterie the heauenly Poet alluding, triumphed with that double ioy, Psal. 24. Lift vp your heads yee gates, and be ye lift vp yee e­uerlasting doores, &c. foreseeing the descension of GOD the Sonne, by the gate of our flesh, and the ascen­sion of our flesh by Christ, into the heauenly places: both which he ce­lebrated by that repetition. Com­pare with this place, Gen. 39. 35. [Page 51] and 49. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. and Reue­lat. 5. 5. and other places as you shal reade, and vnderstand them: and with all consider, how the ancient Fathers haue prided themselues with the seuerall letters of this Name, to keepe in remembrance by their owne names, a thing neuer to bee forgotten, The Incarnation of our Lord. As Abram assumed h. [...] and was called Abraham. Oshea tooke i. and was called Ioshua, as you know. Neyther againe let it trouble you, that some do write this name thus [...]. ISV, because (say they) the letter [...] s. turned vpward [...] is as much as the double he [...] omitted. I know no reason for this, but many authorities against it, as you may know by that which is and shall be said, though I let passe a very great number. Now consider the name in euery letter, and see what cloudes of witnesses there are, that Christ is [Page 52] God and man: and learne by the Name it selfe, how Christ is the Cha­racter or ingraued Image of the per­son or subsistence of the Father, He­brewes 1. 13.

[...] i. Is the Crowne or Dia­deme of the ineffable Name of GOD, and signifies the God­head.

[...]. u. Pretends the Tree of life: for it is a thing much noted among the learned of the Hebrue tongue, that this letter is neuer put radical­ly in any naturall Hebrue word, ei­ther in the beginning or end there­of, but is as the Tree of life, in the middest of the Paradise of God.

The double letter h. [...]. signifi­eth, that Christ, concerning his Dei­tie, is essentially vnited to the Hu­manitie; and concerning his Hu­manitie, vnited also essentially to the Deitie; and that by the Holy Ghost. For [...]. h. is a spirit or [Page 53] breath: therefore is Christ in him­selfe, or in respect of his Deitie, the superiour Wisedome of the Father, and the Sonne of GOD, not made, but begotten. Prou. 8. 22. In the creature, or with respect of his Hu­manitie, the inferiour wisedome of GOD; not begotten, but made, and created, Ecclus. 24. 11. 12.

Now the letter [...]. s. hath ma­ny things therein to bee conside­red.

For you may not thinke, that it was taken by chaunce into this Name; but for the Notory, and for the Geometrie.

For the Notory, I haue obserued that the Theologians, both of the old and new Testament, haue cele­brated thereby; first, the rest or dwelling of the Godhead in him, as Esay. 42. vers. 1. and [...]o. 1. vers. 33. Then the rest, or [...]ie all beeing of the world in Christ before the [Page 54] creation: and the restoring of the world by his suffering: wherein the iustice of God rested, or came to a pe­riod, as Esay. 53. 11. He shall see the trauell of his soule, and be satisfied. Lastly, that great Iubile or Sabbath of Sabbaths in the world to come, when all the creature shall rest from cor­ruption. Secondly, they learned thereby, the euerlasting Anointing of Christ to bee our King, our Priest and our Prophet. For [...] is the head of [...] which is to anoint. Hitherto belongs that of the 45. Psal. Thou art anointed with the oyle of gladnesse aboue thy fellowes. And in particu­lar; I have found Dauid (or my belo­ued) seruant, with my holy oyle haue I anointed him: that for his King­dome. Dan. 9. 24, speakes of his Priesthood: To finish the wickednesse, to seale vp the sinnes, &c. and to an­cint the most Holy. Esay. 61. of his Prophecie; Therefore hath the Lord a­nointed [Page 55] mee, hee hath sent mee to preach, &c. For this cause was there no Anointing in the old Testament, but typicall, as a shadow of the good things that were to come; so that when He came, all these anoyntings ceased; both of the Leuiticall Priesthood, for Thou art a Priest for euer. Heb. 7: and of the Kingdome; for Hee shall raigne ouer the house of Iacob for euer: Luk. 1. 33. And for his Prophecie he saith, Whatsoeuer I haue heard of my Father, I haue made knowen vnto you. The whole scope of the new Testament is to this effect.

Now the Geometrie hath also ma­ny mysteries: first, it is one semicircle with three branches; the mysterie of the Trinitie in the Vnitie: all whose dignities of Vertue and Power, &c. are coequall in all, and in euery per­son, intirely, and indiuisibly; and therefore in our Lord also: according to that saying of the Angell, The [Page 56] holy Ghost shall come vpon thee, and the power of the most High shall euer­shadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be borne of thee, shall be called the SONNE of GOD.

Shall I tell you what Lectures the Diuines haue made vpon the text of this letter: Z [...]ch. 11. 13, did reade herein that goodly price, at which the wicked Iewes did value him. For [...]. i. in the Hebrue Arith­meticke is tenne; so the three tennes in the triple Crowne of this letter, are the thirtie pieces of siluer, which the traytour tooke to betray that precious blood, which was too deare a raunsome for the whole world.

And one in another place said; They haue sold the Iust for siluer.

Consider the letter and euerie part thereof. [...] This inferiour semicircle is the creature, the earth­ly Paradise, in the middest of which [Page 57] is the Tree of life. And that thus the letter vau [...] is one part, and signifies in that tongue, a nayle, if you will, that nayle, that pierced his tender handes and his beauteous feete, to which if you adde the iod reuersed,

you may well perceiue the figure of the whole Crosse, that Tree of life, which bare that heauenly fruite; that spirituall food, whereof Adam and his faithfull children, which o­uercome, may cate and liue for euer. Reuel. 2. 7.

Thus you may see, how the Word became flesh, and dwelt among vs. You may see that riddle of the Angel to Esdras, 2. Booke, chap. 5. vers. 37. expounded: The image of that Word, from which, and where­to, the bookes of both the Testa­ments do found.

You may see what confidence wee may haue in that promise of Christ, who in the dayes of his [Page 58] flesh said, Whatsoeuer you shall aske the Father in my name, hee will giue is you, Ioh. 16. 23 But after his Ascen­sion, the myracles that are to bee done in that Name, are more stupē ­dious, Mark. 16. 17. And againe, He that beleeueth in me, greater workes then these shal he do, for I goe to the Fa­ther. Beholde the mysterie of it, cause it to ascend, and describe that circle, whose center is euery where, whose circumference is no where. [...]. Now are the superior and inferior conduit-pipes soudered together, (as the Hebrues speake) now the higher influences, the Spirit and Graces of God are not giuen by mea­sure: and the refluences so great, as that Whosoeuer beleeueth, out of his bellie shall arise fountaine: of liuing water, springing vp vnto eternall life. O glorious Name! O sacred Myste­rie! by which you may wel perceiue, that there is greater Vnitie betweene [Page 59] the Deitie and the Humanitie, then by any wordes of Contiguitie, or Continuitie, may bee expressed. You may well perceiue, how ac­cording to that place of the 89. Psalme, He the first borne; or as Iohn saith, Chap. 1. The onely begotten of the Father, is made higher then the Kings of the earth. Here is our righ­teousnesse, our sanctification, and redemption complete: here is our a­doption and reward: our consolation, our life, and religion: our reuerence, and our feare: yet our ioy and bold­nesse: all in all: The presence of God. I may not say what experience hath taught mee, by this magnificent and admirable Name; neyther am I able to giue due honour thereun­to. My thoughts are swallowed vp, when I consider the other great mysteries which this one letter doth import: the mysterie of the triple world; the mysterie of mercy [Page 60] and of Iustice; of Election, and Reprobation; of that great Iubile, or Sabbath of Sabbaths, when that which is aboue, shal again descend, to restore the creature from cor­ruption and change, into that nimi­etie or excesse of Goodnes, where­in it was created. But these things are therefore here to bee omitted, because the discourse thereof were long, and because they are rather consequents, then premises to the question. To tell you at once, & to make an end of this argument: The whole Nation of the learned Iewes confesse, that the Messiha should bee called by this great Name: [...]. To which purpose, there are, besides these which haue been brought, many places of Scripture, which in the Hebrue veritie are most direct, though by our transla­tions they might seeme somewhat harsh. They hold, I say, that Hee [Page 61] must be both God and Man: and in a word, there is nothing which wee Christians doe affirme concerning our Lord, but the euidence of Scrip­ture doth compell them to confesse it. Onely they differ in this, from vs; whether This Iesus be that Christ that should come into the worlde; though this also be a thing not que­stionable, as you may learne of Da­niel 9. vers. 24. 25. 26. & 2. Esd. 7. vers. 28. 29.

Although the common errour and expectation of the Iewes, was of a terrestriall Monarchy; yet the best learned of them agree, that the Kingdome of Christ is not of this world. For they remember that place in the Testament of Iacob: The Scepter shal not depart from Iuda, till Shiloh come. By which it fol­lowes, that whē Messiha shal come, there should bee no more shew of an earthly kingdome. That of [Page 62] Zach. 9. 9. is as direct, Ierusalem, be­hold, thy king commeth vnto thee poore. They remember also that in the 21. Psalme, I am a worme and no man, a shame of men and the contempt of the people. And that also of E­say. 53. Hee hath neyther forme nor beautie: when we see him, there shall be no forme that we should desire him. He is despised & reiected of men, &c. Reade the whole Chapter and the Psalme, compare them with the hi­stories of his Passion, and behold Him on the Crosse, in the horror of his anguish, & extreme perplexitie.

But you will say, what is this Iu­daisme in the letters of his Name, for argument to proue that hee is God? Is it more then if wee should write the name of Christ with the last letter thereof capitall, Chris T; because it may represent the crosse? or els the two last letters so enter­laced, that they may haue reference [Page 63] to the serpent in the wildernes, be­cause that was also a figure of CHRI

['S' superimposed on 'T']

? Though I had here to answere for the Cabala of euery of the 72 languages of the Confu­sion, yet I say only thus: If after all this that I haue said, you will still be contentious, I haue no such cu­stome, but I am well content, that either thus, or by any other means, a Christian man should hold that in perpetuall memorie, which is his Ioy, his Victorie, his Crowne, his Happines in this world, and in the world to come.

Were it to any purpose to make you know, what the ancient Phi­losophers, who knew not the Scrip­tures, haue thought of this matter? all speaking this one thing, which the light that GOD hath giuen to mankind, did make them know, al­though they concealed their inten­diment by diuers names. Yet [Page 64] Hermes called him plainely the Sonne of GOD. Zoroaster, the Vn­derstanding of his Father. Pythago­ras, Wisedome; as Paul and Salomon, euery where, and particularly, Pro­uerb. 8. and in the booke of that title.

Parmenides named him The Sphere of Vnderstanding. Orpheus termed him Pallas, to the same effect as the other, if you know the fable: and yet hee speakes more plainely to the Trinitie, in his Hymnes of the Night, of the Hea­uen, and of the Ayre. Platoes sepa­rate Ideas meane nothing else: and in fumme, as many of the Philoso­phers, as were worth any thing, were not ignorant of this thing. But I feare, these authorities are with you of little worth: yet haue I brought them, that you may see how wee are furnished with all kinde of proofes, and how you [Page 65] doe contemne all maner of testi­mony.

If this which I haue said, per­swade you to looke better to the foundation of your faith, it is suffi­cient: if it perswade you nothing, then haue I done contrary to the Commandement, which forbid­deth to cast pearles before swine. But yet I hope, that God will not suffer you to bee ledde any longer by that Spirit of Antichrist, against which S. Iohn doth so often warne vs. For I doe you to witte, that this your heresie is no new thing, but e­uen as ancient as the Apostles time. For, the reason of Iohns wri­ting of his Gospell, was, to proue the Godhead of Christ, against the Heretikes that denied it in his owne time. And truely, I mar­uell that you, who haue receyued this Heresie from the rotten [Page 66] bones of Arrius, should not prouide for your safetie as he did. He deni­ed the authoritie of S. Iohns writings to be authenticall. And why? be­cause this earth-bred Gyant, which would pul Christ, out of the throne of his Deitie, should with his ligh­tening be suddenly burnt. Beleeue you the Scripture? Is Iohns authori­tie sufficient? then the case is plaine. We are in him that is true, in his Sonne Iesus Christ, who is very God, and e­ternall life. 1. Ioh. 5. 20. Can you now confer this Scripture with that place, I haue said ye are Gods, and not be ashamed? I and the Father are one. The Iewes vnderstood, that hee herein professed himselfe to be very GOD: and are you his ene­mie more then they? Read Ioh. 10. vers. 30. and 33. and 34. and you may vnderstand the meaning of both places. The diuels acknow­ledged him to be GOD of Infi­nite [Page 67] power: I know thee who thou art, e­uen that Holy one of God: And wil not you cōfesse as much as the diuels? But this is more then I thought to say, on­ly you may see hereby, that we speake no other thing then Christ himselfe, euen in his enemies vnderstanding, said. Now if you could see a little the folly of your owne opinion; that were inough to cause you to put on a better mind. I wil touch it as lightning doth touch the ground: for if you be willing to be reformed, there is no doubt, but you may propound it to the learned Diuines, and be fully satisfied. You say Christ is onely man, but yet indued with the infinite Power of GOD. Here first you doe iniurie to the Highest, to make the Power of God to bee acci­dentall vnto him: whereas hee is purus actus, absolute perfection, and with­out shadow of change: his Beeing is most simple and pure, not capable of accidents. Then his Being is such, as [Page 68] no addition can be made thereto, to make it more thē it is: therfore it is ne­cessary, that he be euer actually what­soeuer he may be. Besides, His Being is infinitely distant from Not Being; therfore his Power is inseparable. A­gain, if there come any thing to God as an accident, it must come vnto him frō himselfe, or els frō another: not frō a­nother, for he is impassible, or such as cānot suffer violence: not frō himselfe; for all such accidents do proceed a po­tentia, that is, frō the imbecillity, or im­perfection of the subiect: but his Being is most simple, & infinitely perfect. A­gain, all accidents do rise frō ye matter, forme or composition of ye subiect. In him is neither matter, forme, nor com­position. Now all things we see in this world, do consist, ex actu & potentiâ, of Perfection from God, & imperfection frō thēselues: for of thēselues they are non entia, absolutely nothing. Yea, e­uen the very Angels, and the soule it selfe, are partakers of this compositiō: [Page 69] (for nothing is purus actus, but God a­lone) therefore are they subiect to ac­cidents; yet they which come neerest to perfection, are most free from ac­cidents; as that which is meere per­fection, hath no accidents at al. Know then, that all the dignities of God are in him essentially one God. For the Good­nes of God, his Power, his Wisedome, his glory, &c. beeing all infinite, do of ne­cessity concur in the nature of Infinity. Whence it followeth, that whatsoe­uer is in him, is essentially himselfe: therefore the power of God is not acci­dentall, or such as may be imparted to a man. The learned Hebrues accor­ding to this do hold, that Eusoph or In­finitie, is not to bee numbred among the other attributes of God: because it is that abstract Vnity, wherinto they all essentially concurre, & from which they al essentially proceed. And hēce by the way take another strong argu­ment to the former question: for if GOD bee essentially a Father, [Page 70] then the terme correlatiue a Sonne, must bee in the Godhead also, and that essentially. But now againe see an­other folly in your supposition. The worke of our redemption is a worke of infinite goodnesse, mercie, power, wisedome and glory; therefore it fol­loweth, that Christ the worker, had infinite mercie, power, wisedome, &c.

Now I demaund; had Christ this infinite goodnesse and power, so giuen to him of God, that the Father himselfe had in the meane time none? This you dare not say, for that were to say, that GOD did cease to bee GOD; which cannot stand with his Eternitie.

Now if GOD the Father had, not­withstanding this absolute infinite Power of Christ, of which he spake, All power is giuen vnto me, both in hea­uen and in earth: then it followeth that either there were two infinities of Po­wer; or else that these two which had this infinite Power, were all one Infi­nite. [Page 71] The first is against the nature of Infinitie: or that is absolutely infi­nite, which so comprehendeth all things, as that it leaueth nothing with­out it selfe, and yet is not comprehen­ded of any other. Besides, if you would say, that the Father and the Sonne had each of them seuerall indi­uisible infinite Powers; it must fol­low, that neither of their Powers were absolutely infinite: because each of them had not the infinite Power of the other: And besides, that both these infinite Powers must bee conioyned with infinite weakenesse, because they must be mutually subiected to the in­finite Power one of the other. but both these things are impossible. So you see, that two Infinities can by no meanes stand together: therefore it followeth, that these two, to wit, the Father and the Sonne, are in Being one, and that of infinite Power; and this is that which I striue for: which, as you [Page 72] see, I haue concluded by your owne assertion.

The time would faile mee, to lay before your eyes the manifold vn­trueths, which would insue of your position which sauoureth neyther of witte, iudgement, nor learning: And therefore I see, how they which haue once departed from the trueth, must of necessitie runne into infinite ab­surdities. Therefore looke backe, and be ashamed of such new-fangled toyes, as you do dayly imagine, which in trueth doe argue the great incon­stancie and vanitie of your minde, and withall, such palpable blindnesse of vnderstanding, as the darknesse of Egypt. For tell mee without selfe-li­king, what sound iudgement doth this argue, to be driuen about with e­uery wind of doctrine? a Protestant, a Brownist, an Anabaptist, an Anti­christ. What bringing vp? what gift of learning and knowledge haue [Page 73] you, that you should presume to op­pose your sentence, against the faith and doctrine of all the Christian Churches in the world? Blush, and learne with meekenesse the trueth of that Word, which is able to saue your soule. You may see by your owne miserable experience, what it is to forsake the Vnitie of Faith, and the Communi­on of the Saints, who imbrace the trueth of Gods word, and haue ma­nifest tokens that they are the true Church, to wit, The word of God truely taught, and the Sacraments duely admi­nistered. What if there want perfecti­on? The Church militant must euer confesse; I am louely, yet blacke▪ For it is impossible that any Church should be without imperfectiō, so long as the world standeth: but at the end it shall bee presented without spotte or wrinkle. Therfore remēber from whence you are fallen, & repēt, & do the works of righte­ousnes, lest Christ, whō you so despite, [Page 74] come against you shortly. The worke of Christianitie is not in foolish questi­ons, and disputing about needlesse subtilties, but in doing the workes of trueth and righteousnesse. Pray and endeuour your selfe thereto. And till such time as GOD for his Christs sake, vouchsafe to haue mercie on you, the enemie of his SONNE, and giue you grace to repent of this great wickednesse, I am neither your friend, nor yet your foe.

Alecsander Gil.

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