Certain sophisms of heretics against the eternal Deity of the Son briefly refuted.

1. Three persons are not one in essence. Jehovah is one essence. Therefore there cannot be three persons in the Godhead. Ans. The major holds true only of things finite and created: and not of the uncreated, infinite, most simple and individual essence of the Godhead.

2. He that has a beginning is not eternal. The Son has a beginning. Therefore he is not that eternal Jehovah who is the Father. Ans. That is not eternal which has a beginning of essence and time; but the Son is said to have had a beginning, not of essence and time; but only of person or of order and of the mode of existing. For he has one and the same essence with the Father, not in time, but by eternal generation. “Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” “And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” “As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” (Micah 5:2, John 17:5, 5:26) If it be further objected, that he who has a beginning of person or of origin, as the Son has, is not Jehovah; we reply that if this proposition is understood universally, it is false; for the Scriptures distinctly teach, both that the Son is Jehovah, and that he was begotten, that is, had an ori gin of person from the Father.

3. Our union with God is a consent of will. The union of the Son with the Father is of the same character, as it is said, “that they may be one as we are one.” (John 17:11) Therefore the union of the Son with the Father is not of essence, but only a consent and agreement of will.

Ans. There is more in the conclusion than in the premises; for the conclusion is universal whilst the minor is specific; for there is besides the con sent of the faithful to the will of God, also another union of the Son with the Father, viz., of essence; because they are one God. “I and my Father are one.” “I am in the Father and the Father in me.” “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.” “Who is the express image of his person.” (John 10:30, 14:9, 10, Heb. 1:3)

4. Besides him in whom the whole Deity is, there is not another in whom it is likewise. The whole Deity is in the Father. Therefore the Godhead is not in the Son.

Ans. We deny the major, because the same essence which is in the Father, is also entire in the Son and Holy Ghost.

5. The divine essence is not begotten. But the Son is begotten. Therefore he is not the same divine essence which the Father is.

Ans. Nothing can be concluded from mere particulars; for the major, when expounded generally, is false, that whatever is the divine essence is not begotten.

6. Where there are distinct operations, at least such as are internal there are also distinct essences. There are distinct internal operations of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Therefore their essences are distinct.

Ans. The major is true of persons having a finite nature; but may be inverted when understood of persons having an infinite essence; for where there are distinct operations ad intra, which consist in the communicating of essence, there it must needs be one and the same, and that the whole essence, because it is communicated entire to whomsoever it is made over.

7. Christ is the Son of God according to that nature, in respect to which lie is called the Son in the Scriptures. But he is called the Son according to his human nature only. Therefore he is the Son of God according to this alone, and consequently is not very God.

Ans. The minor is false, because the Son is said to have descended from heaven, to be in heaven when his flesh was on earth. The Father is said to have created all things through the Son. These things are not said of the Son according to his human nature.

8. The Son has a head and is less than the Father. Therefore he is not one and the same essence with the Father.

Ans. The Son has a head in respect to his human nature, and his office as mediator. These things, however, do not detract any thing from his Divinity.

9. The divine essence is incarnate. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are the divine essence. Therefore the three are incarnate.

Ans. We deny the consequence; for nothing can be inferred with certainty from mere particulars. The major cannot be established universally; for not what ever is the divine essence is incarnate, that is, not every person subsisting in it is incarnate; or the divine essence is not incarnate in the three per sons, but only in one, and that in the person of the Son.

10. The Father only is the true God, as it is said, John 17:3, “That they might know thee, the only true God” Therefore the Son is not the true God.

Ans. 1. According to the sixth general rule, there is here not an opposition of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; but of the true God, with idols and creatures. Therefore the particle only does not exclude the Son and Holy Ghost from Deity, but only those to whom he is opposed.

2. There is a fallacy in dividing clauses of mutual coherence and necessary connection; for it follows in the passage above referred to, “and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” Therefore eternal life also consists in this, that Jesus Christ, sent of the Father, might likewise be known to be the true God, as it is said, “This is the true God and eternal life.”

3. There is also a fallacy in refering the exclusive particle only to the subject thee, to which it does not belong; but to the predicate the true God, which the article in the Greek plainly shows; for the sense is, that they might know thee, the Father, to be that God, who only is the true God.

11. Christ distinguishes himself from the Father by saying, “my Father is greater than I.” Therefore he is not equal and con-substantial with the Father. Ans. He separates and distinguishes himself from the Father, 1. In respect to his human nature. 2. In respect to the office of mediator. The Father, therefore, is greater than the Son, not as to his essence, in which the Son is equal with the Father, but as to his office and human nature. It is resolved in accordance with the fourth general rule.

12. The mediator between God and man is not God himself. But the Son is the mediator between God and man. Therefore he is not God. Ans. The major is false, because it might follow for the same reason, that the mediator between God and man is not man.

Reply 1. The major is thus proven: God is not interior to himself. The mediator with God is inferior to him. Therefore he is not God.

Ans. The minor is true of the office of Christ, in which sense he is inferior to God; but it is not true when understood of his nature, according to the fourth general rule: Inequality of office does not take away equality of nature or of persons.

Reply 2. The Son is mediator with Jehovah. But the Son is not mediator with himself. Therefore he is not Jehovah.

Ans. We remark again that nothing can be inferred from mere particulars. The major is not general: for the Son is not mediator with whomsoever is Jehovah; but with the Father.

Rep. 3. Then the Son and Holy Ghost are not truly reconciled, or they are reconciled without a mediator.

Ans. We deny the consequence, because the same will belongs to the three persons. When the Father is appeased the Son and Holy Ghost are also reconciled.

Rep. 4. The Son is mediator with him whom he reconciles. But the Son does not only reconcile the Father, but also himself. Therefore he is mediator with himself, which is absurd.

Ans. We reply to the major: That the Son is properly said to be mediator with him whom he so appeases by his satisfaction, that the decree and purpose of atonement may seem to have originally sprung from him. But this is the Father alone. Therefore the Son is not, in this sense, mediator with himself, but with the Father alone. Again, it is not absurd to say that the Son is mediator towards or with himself; for it is not absurd that he should carry on the offices, both of God accepting and of the mediator making reconciliation, but in different respects: the former by reason of his divine nature; the latter by reason of the office of mediator.

It is proper to compare these objections with those which are brought forward under the subject of the Trinity. For the same objections and sophisms which are brought against the divine essence and the Trinity itself, are brought against each single person of the Godhead; and those with which one person is assailed, are the same which are brought against the essence of God. Besides some objections were there merely proposed which are here more fully refuted. More may be seen on this subject in the first vol. of Ursinus, from page 115 to 125.