In the nature of the one God there are three eternal distinctions, which are represented to us under the figure of persons, and these three are equal. This tri-personality of the Godhead is exclusively a truth of revelation. It is clearly, though not formally, made known in the New Testament, and intimations of it may be found in the Old.
The doctrine of the Trinity may be expressed in the six following statements:
1. In Scripture there are three who are recognized as God.
2. These three are so described in Scripture that we are compelled to conceive of them as distinct persons.
3. This tri-personality of the divine nature is not merely economic and temporal, but is immanent and eternal.
4. This tri-personality is not tri-theism; for while there are three persons, there is but one essence.
5. The three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are equal.
6. Inscrutable yet not self-contradictory, this doctrine furnishes the key to all other doctrines. ? These statements we proceed now to prove and to elucidate.
Reason shows us the Unity of God; only revelation shows us the Trinity of God, thus filling out the indefinite outlines of this Unity and vivifying it. The term Trinity is not found in Scripture, although the conception it expresses is Scriptural. The invention of the term is ascribed to Tertullian. The Montanists first defined the personality of the Spirit, and first formulated the doctrine of the Trinity. The term ?Trinity? is not a metaphysical one. It is only a designation of four facts:
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