From the Nicene Trinity and the Athanasian Trinity together a faith arose by which the whole Christian church has been perverted.
That both the Nicene and Athanasian trinities are a trinity of Gods can be seen from the creeds above quoted (pt 7). From these the faith of the present church has arisen, which is a faith in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, in God the Father that He will impute the righteousness of His Son the Savior and ascribe it to man, in God the Son that He will intercede and covenant, and in the Holy Spirit that He will in reality inscribe upon man the Son’s imputed righteousness, and confirm it with a seal, by justifying, sanctifying, and regenerating him.
This is the faith of the present day; and it is sufficient evidence that a trinity of God[s] is what is acknowledged and worshiped.
From the faith of any church flow forth not only all its worship but also all its dogmas; thus it may be said that such as its faith is such is its doctrine. From this it follows that inasmuch as the faith of the present church is a faith in three Gods, it has perverted all things belonging to the church-
for faith is the first principle and doctrinals are derivatives; and derivatives derive their essence from the first principle.
If anyone will put these doctrinals one by one under examination, as the doctrine of God, of the person of Christ, of charity, repentance, regeneration, freewill, election, and the use of the sacraments, baptism and the Holy Supper, he will see plainly that there is a trinity of God[s] within each one; and even if it does not actually appear within each, they all flow from it as from their fountain. But as such an examination cannot here be made (and yet in order that man’s eyes may be opened it is well worth making), an Appendix shall be added to this work in which this will be shown. See the ‘Coronis‘ Appendix to True Christian Religion.
• The faith of the church respecting God is like the soul in the body, and doctrinals are like the members of the body.
• Faith in God is like a queen, and dogmas like the officers of her court; and as these all hang upon the word of the queen, so do dogmas upon the utterance of faith.
Solely from the faith of a church it can be seen how the Word is understood in that church; for a faith inwardly adapts and draws to itself, as if by cords, whatever things it can.
If the faith is false it plays the harlot with every truth therein, and perverts and falsifies it, and in the spiritual things makes man insane.
But if the faith is true the whole Word sustains it; and the God of the Word, who is the Lord God the Savior, pours light upon it and breathes upon it His Divine assent and makes man wise.
It will also be seen in the Appendix that the faith of the present day (which in its inward form is a faith in three Gods, but in its outward form a faith in one God) has quenched the light in the Word and taken away the Lord from the church, and has thus changed its morning into night. This was done by heresies before the council of Nice, and further by heresies arising from that council and after it. But what confidence is to be placed in councils which:
Enter not through the door into the sheepfold but climb up some other way (according to the Lord’s words in John 10:1, 9)?
Their deliberation is not unlike the walking of a blind man in the daytime or of a man not blind at night, neither of whom sees a ditch until he has tumbled into it. What confidence, for example, can be placed in councils that established the vicarship of the pope, the canonization of the dead, the invocation of the dead as deities, the worship of their images, the granting of indulgences, the division of the Eucharist, and other things? Or what confidence is to be placed in a council that established the unspeakable doctrine of predestination, and hung it up before its church buildings as the palladium of religion?
But, my friend, go to the God of the Word, and thus to the Word itself, and so enter through the door into the sheepfold, that is, into the church, and you will be enlightened; and then as from a mountain top you will see for yourself the goings and wanderings, not only of the many but your own also previously in the gloomy forest below.
To be continued…