Three Oneness of God

Samuel Trott

Originally Printed In 1840

Posted On November 25, 2021

The Scriptural doctrine of God’s existing as One and Three, presented for the consideration of brethren. Written by Samuel Trott.

Introduction: All truth is valuable and profitable, but the momentous truth concerning God and the Holy Trinity is exceptionally precious and exceedingly dear, as it concerns us, not only for this life, but also for that which is to come, and without a scriptural understanding of which we cannot worship the LORD aright, in spirit and in truth, John 4:24, or render unto HIM the proper glory that is due unto his name. “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” Psal.29:2. All in all, it is a treasure too rich and too sacred to be held with careless hands or defended with a cold indifference. As in all gospel truth, it is quite certain that a man can know nothing of heavenly things, John 3:12, beyond the testimony of holy Scripture, and what is plainly declared in these sacred records we are bound to examine with reverence, and believe with a certainty. II Pet.1:16. On this topic in particular, amongst professors of the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ, we often find that they who are most confident in what they affirm, {especially in relation to that knowledge as proceeds from their creeds and confessions,} have least investigated the grounds on which their confidence rests, and have but little real knowledge of the subject, concerning the truth of which, they would deem it almost unpardonable to entertain a doubt. How often has the voice of Christ in the weak and feeble, which seem to make up the majority of those whom he calls unto Himself, I Cor.1:26–29, Luke 18:16, been silenced by men with profound minds and silver tongues, as they attempt to set forth a certain element of heavenly truth which has delighted their own hearts in adoration and worship, only to have hurled at them a barrage of out-of-context scriptures and subtle persuasions, based upon traditions and arguments that are contrary or go beyond the truth as it is in Jesus, Eph.4:21, but nevertheless held to tenaciously because of tradition. One such subject matter is the question before us, which we do well to examine or re-examine with all prayerful diligence and profound reverence lest we intrude upon matters concerning the three-oneness of God, not divulged by holy scripture, which is our only manual for the establishment of our faith in Christ. Trott, in our opinion, was always very cautious when attempting to handle such a vast & wonderful topic! It is so wondrous & incomprehensible! As we are enabled to gaze upon in wonderment at the basic, yet sublime truths that the LORD has indeed sought to disclose unto our bewildered minds, truth in regards to his glorious being & existence – {the Father is God – the Son is God – and the Holy Spirit is God – and that these Three are ONE in the eternal Godhead} – don’t we have more than an adequate amount of information, {as opened to our understanding in the Scriptures,} to overwhelm our minds in sheer astonishment & holy reverence, without having to add or subtract so many of these ‘finer’ points, {so to speak,} in order to satisfy our own curiosity? Are we not inevitably brought to the conclusion that God dwells in that light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see! I Tim.6:16. How great is this “mystery of godliness!” I Tim.3:16. God was manifest in the flesh, and all that we can possibly know of God is revealed to us in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. “All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.” Luke 10:22. If finite mortals could comprehend the Deity, it would no longer be a mystery! There is but one only true God, and the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost are that one God. Every true Christian is a Trinitarian; every child of God, sooner or later, enters by faith into the doctrine of the Trinity; not to comprehend it, but believe it; to believe that this one glorious God is eternal, self-existent, omniscient, omnipresent, infinitely just, holy, and good. The Trinity is a glorious mystery, not to be understood or comprehended, as I have said, but believed and worshipped. With these few introductory observations, we commend this brief work by Samuel Trott, as one of the clearest, {to our mind,} articles upon this subject.

A few brief extracts from other articles: The difference of my views on this subject, from those of other Trinitarians, is that I hold that as these three witnesses are declared to be three, and one absolutely, so we ought to receive the declaration, without putting any limitations or qualifications of our own to it; whilst the others contend that the three must be understood as meaning three persons, and the one as meaning one God. Their authority for this addition I feel bound to dispute, seeing the Holy Ghost has not so declared it. They may talk about there being three subsistences in one divine essence, and say that this essence is God and these substances are Persons; and yet I may venture the assertion, that they know no more about it than I do; because nothing can be known of God, beyond what He has been pleased to declare of Himself. He has declared Himself as Father, Word and Holy Ghost, three, and that whilst He is thus three, He is absolutely one, this declaration let us receive, and with it, as made, let us be satisfied. Samuel Trott, Expository Remarks on I John 5:6-8. 1841.

Now to come to the points of difference. They contend that God exists as three persons and one God, that these three persons are alike equal and alike the self-existent God, but that they exist by distinct modes of existence, that the Father exists of Himself, that the Word or Son exists by the generation of the Father, being begotten of Him, and that the Holy Ghost exists as He proceeds from the Father and the Son. This I presume will be admitted to be a simple and candid representation of their views. Now to this system I conscientiously object, that it presents palpable contradictions, and that as they represent this as the revelation of God, they charge Him with these contradictions. They say that the three are alike eternal, self-existent and independent, and yet that the Father alone has an underived existence, and that the other two exist by a derived existence and depend on the existence of the other; the Son on the existence of the Father, and the Holy Ghost on the existence of the Father and the Son. Can they then be alike independent in their existence? If I say of two persons, one is the father and the other is the son, do I not distinctly convey the idea that the one existed as a person before the other, and that the latter's existing as a person is a consequence of the previous existence and action of the former; and hence while the father's existence did not depend on the previous existence of the son, the son's existence did depend on the previous existence of the father? Now when they say there are three persons in the Godhead, and of these three, as persons, one of them is the Father, and of another, He is the only begotten Son of this Father, what reason is there, that the same declaration made concerning these two divine persons, does not tend to convey the same idea, as to the previous existence of the one, and the subsequent and dependent existence of the other, as in the case of two men? When therefore they contend that the one is the Father, and the other His Son in relation to their personal existence in the Godhead, how can they without a plain contradiction to that declaration, say in reference to the same personal existence, that they are alike eternal and independent in their existence? Is this letting God be true, but every man a liar, in charging these and several other contradictions in this system, to God's Word? Again, I object to this system because that by making the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost three persons in the Godhead, they make them to be three distinct individuals, for what less does the term person mean, than an individual being? This I think at best is dividing the Godhead more than I believe the scriptural revelation of the one God will admit. But when we carry it out, that they contend that, each of these persons is distinctively God, as each is a distinct individual, there must be three individuals existing by distinct modes of existence, and of course three Gods. Brother Clark says of the Apostles, that they were not afraid of making a plurality of gods by maintaining that the Son of God was Jehovah. Neither am I; but the Apostles never taught that the Son of God in His Godhead was a distinct person from the Father, so that his remarks are altogether out of place. When I was led to look at these inconsistencies, and contradictions in the Nicene system, I turned to an examination of the Scriptures on that head, and I found that they by no means sustained that system. I found that God has revealed Himself as three, and so as three, that distinct things are affirmed of each; but not so as three as to infringe upon the unity of God. Hence it is said that these three are one. Hence, whenever God is spoken of He is spoken of as the one God, that is absolutely God, whether in reference to the Father, the Word or Son, or the Holy Ghost. Therefore, I conclude that each in His distinct relation, is the one God, having all the fulness of the Godhead in that relation, whether as Father, as Son, or as the Holy Ghost. Samuel Trott, Son of God & Godhead. 1850.