It may perhaps be next Objected, That though this place do not Deny the Son and Holy Ghost to be the True God, (meaning thereby, the same God with the Father:) Yet neither doth it Prove them so to be.
Page 39I answer. 'Tis true: This place alone, (without the concurrence of others) doth not Prove the Trinity. (And it is much if it should, where there are but Two mentioned.) Nor is it brought by us to that purpose. We only Answer the Objections brought against it by others, from this place: And leave the Proof of it to be fetched from other places in con∣currence with this.
I have observed elsewhere (Lett. 3.) that if we should read it thus, To know Thee to be the Onely True God; and him also whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ, (as implying him also to be the same True God:) Or thus, To know Thee, and (whom thou hast sent) Jesus Christ, the Only True God: The words will well bear it, without any force put upon them.
Nor is this only a new Notion of my own. For I (since) find, that S. Austin had said the same long ago, in his Epist. 174. (speaking to Pascentius, an Arian, concerning this place) De Patre tantummodo vos vultis intelligi, quod ait, Ut cognoscant Te unum verum Deum, &, quem misi∣sti Jesum Christum; Ubi nos subaudimus, etiam Je∣sum Christum verum Deum: Ut haec sit sententia, Te, &, quem misisti, Jesum Christum, cognoscant unum verum Deum. Ne illa consequatur absurditas, Page 40 ut, si propterea non est verus Deus Jesus Christus, quia dictum est Patri, Te unum verum Deum: prop∣terea non sit Dominus Pater, quia dictum est de Christo, Unus Dominus. Where he takes the meaning to be this, To know Thee, and, whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ, the Onely True God; which he backs with this Argument; Because if we should here on this account exclude the Son from being the True God; we might, for the same reason, exclude the Father from be∣ing the Lord, because it is said (1 Cor. 8.6.) One Lord, Jesus Christ.
Yet even this, though it might prove it, as to the Son, it would not hence conclude it, as to the Holy-Ghost. But the concurrence of other places, will prove it more clearly as to both. I shall shew it of each.
As to the Son, we have it clearly affirmed, by the same S. John, (who best understood the import of his own words) that he is also the True God; (so that it was not intended here to ex∣clude him.) 1 Joh. 5.20. We are in him that is True, even in his Son Jesus Christ: This is the True God▪ (And therefore not onely the Father.) And he had before told us (from Christ's own words) Joh. 10.30. I and my Father are One.
Nor is it here meant of one in Testimony, as Page 41 the Socinians would have it understood else∣where, (there being in the Context here no mention of Testimony at all:) But it must be meant of One God. And this is manifest from the Inference which the Jews made from it. For they did thereupon take up stones to stone him, as for (what they call) Blasphemy: Because thou (say they) being a Man, makest thy self God, ver. 31, 32, 33. For which Inference there had been no Pretence, if by One, they had not understood One God.
And the High Priest in like manner, Matth. 26.63, 64, 65. I adjure thee (saith he) by the Living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God; To which when Christ had answered, Thou hast said, (dicis quod res est,) He rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken Blasphemy, What further need have we of witnesses? For to say that he was the Christ, the Son of God; or (as it is in Mark 14.61.) The Christ, the Son of the Blessed; was understood by them to be the same, as to call himself Go•. Which had been Blasphemy, had it not been True.
And what is said of Christ, Joh. 10.30. I and the Father are One; is said of all Three, by the same St. John, (•Joh. 5.7) The Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; th•se Three are One.