Three sermons concerning the sacred Trinity by John Wallis.
Wallis, John, 1616-1703.
Page  71

CHARACTER I.

The first Character, which we meet with, of this God, is that of Gen. 1.1. In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth. Which I think no man doubts but to be meant of the True God, the Supreme God. And by virtue of this, he claims the Sovereignty thereof; The Earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof, Psal. 24.1. Je∣hovah, the Lord of all the Earth, Josh. 3.11, 13. The God of the Heaven, and the God of the Earth, Gen. 24.3. The Heaven is my Throne, and the Earth is my Footstool, Isa. 66.1. Behold the Heaven, and the Heaven of Hea∣vens, is the Lord's, the Earth also, and all that is therein, Deut. 10.14.

The same Character is applied to God very often, Isa. 42.5, 8. Thus saith God the Lord (Jehovah) he that created the Heavens and stretched them out; he that spread forth the Earth and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein. I am the Lord (Jehovah) that is my name, and my Glory will I not give unto another. And Isa. 48.13. Mine hand hath laid the foundation of the Earth, and my right hand hath spanned (or spread out) the Heavens. So Psal. 8.3. When I consider the Heavens, the work of Thy fingers; the Moon and the Stars which thou hast ordained. Psal. 146.6. Which made Heaven and Earth, the Sea, and all that there∣in is. And many other places, not only in the Old Te∣stament; but in the New Testament likewise; as Acts 14.15. That ye should turn from these vanities unto the Living God, who made Heaven and Earth, and the Sea and all things that are therein. And Acts 17.24. God that made the World, and all things therein. So Revel. 4.11. Thou hast created all things. Chap. 14.7. Him that made Hea∣ven and Earth, and the Sea, and the Fountains of Water.

And it is the distinctive Character, whereby he doth Page  72 distinguish himself from all other pretended Gods, Jer. 10. Where he who at ver. 10. is called The Lord, the true God, the living God, an everlasting King, at who's wrath the Earth shall tremble, and the Nations shall not abide his indignation; doth at ver. 11. give this defiance to all other Gods, Thus shall ye say to them; The Gods which have not made the Heavens and the Earth, they shall perish from the Earth, and from under these Heavens.

Now this Character we find ascribed to Christ. Not only, where it is spoken as of God indefinitely, but to be understood of Christ; (as are some of the places al∣ready mentioned:) But even where it is particularly applied to him.

I shall begin with that of Joh. 1.1, 2. where we have a large Discourse of him, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Where, by the Word is meant Christ, as is evident from the further descriptions of him in the following verses; 'Tis he of whom John the Baptist came to bear witness, ver. 7, 8. He who came into the World, but the World knew him not. ver. 10. Who came to his own, but his own received him not; but to as many as received him, he gave power to become the Sons of God. ver. 11.12. Who was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we beheld his glory; the glory as of the onely begotten of the Father. ver. 14. He of whom John bare witness and cryed, saying, This is he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred efore 〈◊〉or he was before me; (not as to his Humane Naure; fo so, John the Baptist was older than he, by six months, Luk. 1.26.) and of his fulness (saith St. John) we have all recei∣ved grace for grace; For the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, ver. 15, 16, 17. 'Twas Jesus Christ therefore that is here called the Word.

Now of this same Word, it is said, The same was in the beginning with God; All things were made by him, and with∣out Page  73 him was not any thing made which was made, ver. 2, 3. He was in the World, and the World was made by him, ver. 10. Consonant to that of Heb. 11.3. The Worlds we refrmed by the Word of God: and 2 Pet. 3.5. By the Word of God the Heavens were of old, and the Earth standing in the Water and out of the Water. And by the same Word, the heavens and earth are kept in store, or preserved, ver. 7.

And to the same purpose, Col. 1.16, 17. By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And Heb. 1.2. By whom also he made the Worlds.

In Psal. 102. we have a long Prayer (to the Supreme God doubtless) which bears this title, A Prayer of the Affli∣cted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord, (the Lord Jehovah.) It begins thus, Hear my Prayer, O Lord, (Jehovah) and let my cry come unto thee. And at the same rate he proceeds, addressing himself to the same God all along. And at ver. 24, 25, 26, 27. he speaks thus, O my God, thy years are throughout all Generations; Thou of old hast laid the Foundations of the Earth, and the Heavens are the work of thy hands; (who is the same God therefore of whom Moses had before said, In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth, Gen. 1.1.) They shall perish (as the Psalmist proceeds) but thou shalt endure: Yea all of them shall wax old as a Gar∣ment, as a vesture shalt thou change them and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. And doubtless the Psalmist, when he made this long Prayer, thought not of addressing himself to any other than the Supreme God. (Not to a God who had not, then, a Being, nor was to have till a Thousand Years after, as the Socinians would have us think of Christ.) He prays to God as his Redeemer; that is, to Christ.

And that Christ is that God to whom he did thus ad∣dress, we are expresly told, Heb. 1.8, 10, 11, 12. Page  74But unto the Son he saith,—Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the Earth, and the Heavens are the Works of thine hands; They shall perish, but thou remain∣est: and they all shall wax old as doth a Garment, and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. All which is plainly cited from that Psalm. Christ therefore is that God to whom that Prayer was made; the same Supreme God, who created the Heaven and the Earth: even Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and to day and for ever, Heb. 13.8.

And it is very frequent in Scripture, that what in one place is spoken of God Indefinitly (without specification of this or that Person) is elsewhere applied to one or o∣ther of the Persons in particular, as that of the Creation is here to Christ, the Redeemer; as being the same God who is the Creator also. And that of Redemption, to God the Creator (who is the Redeemer also) Isai. 43.1. Thus saith the LORD (Jehovah) that Created thee,— Fear not, for I have Redeemed thee. So that God the Creator, and God the Redeemer, are the same God.