Objections of heretics, against the doctrine of the Trinity.

1. One essence is not three persons, because that one should be three,, implies a contradiction. Jehovah is one essence. Therefore, there are not three persons.

Ans. The major is true of a created or finite essence, which cannot be the one same and whole substance of three persons; but it is not true in regard to the essence of the Deity, which is infinite, individual, and most simple.

Reply. A most simple essence cannot be the essence of three persons. God is a most simple essence, as is admitted in the above answer. Therefore, it cannot be three persons.

Ans. The major is true of an essence, a certain part of which constitutes another person, or which may be multiplied into a number of persons ; but it is false when understood of such an essence as that which is the same and entire in each single person. The simplicity of such an essence is not in the least impaired by the number and distinction of the persons.

2. Where there are three, and one, there are four, distinct things. In God there are three persons and one essence. Therefore, there are four distinct things in God, which is absurd.

Ans. Where there are three, an one really distinct, there are four. But in God, the persons are not really distinct from the essence ; for the three persons of the Godhead are one and the same divine essence. They differ from it, and from each other, only in the mode of subsisting.

3. To attach three names to one substance is Sabellianism. The doc trine of the Trinity attributes three names to one substance. Therefore, it is the heresy of Sabellius.

Ans. There are four terms in this syllogism ; for the term, substance, in the major, either signifies a person, and in the minor an essence, or else one of the propositions is false.

4. He who is the whole Deity, beside him there is no person, in whom the whole Deity is, in a like manner. The Father is the whole Deity. Therefore, the whole Deity is not in another person.

Ans. We deny the major proposition, because the same Deity which is entire in the Father, is also entire in the Son, and Holy Spirit, on account of the immensity of the divine essence, of which there is neither more nor less in each person, than in two, or the three.

5. Those persons to whom distinct operations are ascribed, must have distinct essences. There are distinct internal operations ascribed to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Therefore, their essences are distinct. Ans. The major is true of persons having a finite essence, but false when understood of divine persons.

6. The divine essence is incarnate. The three persons are the divine essence. Therefore, the three persons are incarnate, which is not true.

Ans. The major speaks nothing of the divine nature generally, because the divine essence is incarnate in the person of the Son alone. We have, therefore, mere particulars, from which nothing can be concluded.

7. Jehovah, or the true God, is the Trinity. The Father is Jehovah.
Therefore, he is the Trinity that is, all the three persons.

Ans. Here, again, the major declares nothing generally ; for, not whatever is Jehovah is the Trinity. Therefore, nothing can be inferred from what is here said.

8. No abstract term signifies substance. Trinity is such an abstract term. Therefore it signifies no substance.

Ans. The major is false ; for Deity, and humanity, are also abstract terms, and yet they signify substance.