teaching of the Bible on this point. The Qur'an condemns the worship of the Virgin, and the Bible nowhere sanctions it. But this has nothing whatever to do with the doctrine of the Trinity. Christians have never acknowledged three Gods.1

Since such thoughtful and learned men as these three famous commentators were misled on this point through prejudice, it is clear that all wise men should inquire into this important matter very carefully for themselves, lest they too should be deceived, and should through this mistake reject the truth. We Christians regard belief in three Deities, one being the Virgin Mary, with exactly the same abhorrence as do the Muslims. This will be seen from what we now proceed to explain with regard to our real doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity.

We have already pointed out that belief in the Oneness of God is taught in the Torah in the words "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD" (Deut. vi. 4). In the Injil we find the Lord Jesus Christ quoting these very words as the foundation of His own teaching (Mark xii. 29). The doctrine of the Trinity is an expansion of this, founded upon the rest of His teaching,—for example, upon His command to His disciples to baptize their converts into the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost (Matt. xxviii. 19). Here it is evident that the Unity of God is taught, because the word Name is in the singular: yet the three Hypostases (اقانيم) are mentioned separately. The Son and the Holy Spirit cannot be creatures, for it would be manifestly wrong to associate creatures with the Creator in the Unity of the Most Holy Name. Nor can the titles "Son of God" and "Holy Spirit of God" be properly applied to creatures, however exalted. This is evident to everyone who reflects upon the matter.

1 In proof of this, see the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and also the Confessions of the Reformed Churches [in Augusti's Corpus Librorum Symbolicorum].

The Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity may be briefly stated1 thus:—

1. The Father, the Son and Holy Ghost are One, and only One God.
2. Each of these three Divine Hypostases has a peculiarity incommunicable to the others.
3. No One of these three Divine Hypostases, if He could be entirely parted from the others, which is impossible, would alone and by Himself be God.
4. Each Divine Hypostasis (اقنوم), being united with the other Two in eternal (ازلي وابدي) and inseparable unity, is God.
5. Each Divine Hypostasis is of the same Nature (ذات) and Dignity as the other Two.
6. The chief office of One Most Holy Hypostasis is best expressed, as in Holy Scripture, by the titles Creator and Father; of the Second by the terms The Word of God, the Son of God, the Redeemer; of the Third by the words Sanctifier and Comforter.
7. As the three Most Holy Divine Hypostases are one in Nature (ذات), so they are in Will, Purpose, Power, Eternity, and in all other attributes.
8. Yet the Bible teaches that the Father is the Fountain of Deity [πηγη θεοτητος], and in this sense is greater than the Son,2 though in Nature (ذات) they are One.3

It is often said that this Christian doctrine is a contradiction in terms. This statement is manifestly incorrect, and betrays ignorance of what we really believe. It is true that the doctrine involves a mystery, but that is quite another thing. If the Most Holy Nature (ذات) of God Most High were devoid of mystery, that is to say, if the mode of His Existence could be fully comprehended by the finite intellect of His creatures, He would not be God, because He would be finite. The fact that the doctrine of the Trinity

1 [Mainly from Joseph Cook's Boston Monday Lecture, The Trinity a Practical Truth.]
2 John xiv. 28.
3 John x. 30.