Mr. Moore charges the doctrine of consubstantiation upon the Lutheran church ; and asserts, that upon this ground I maintain my views with respect to baptism. All this is shown to be groundless. His argument leads to a denial of the influence of the Holy Spirit, &c.
Mr. Moore (page 21, 22) is very careful, to shew bis readers the meaning of the word consubstantiation. He defines it from Johnson’s, Bailey’s and Entick’s dictionaries, to be of the same substance, kind or nature; existence of more than one in the same substance, &c. He then proceeds: “From the above definitions it appears, that consubstantiation is the connecting and uniting two natures, beings, or things together, so as to form one; or so as to exist together as one. Hence Luther. taught, that the body and blood of Christ were united to the bread and wine, in the eucharist, so as to become one substance, or to exist together as one. Therefore when they partook of the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper, they actually ate and drank the body and blood of Christ. This differs but very little from the papish doctrine of transubstantiation.” And then page 23, he says ”This is the way that Mr H. has proven that water baptism is a heavenly flood of regeneration, i.e. by connecting and joining to it, the word, the spirit, and the name of God; which, he says, is God himself. He thereby makes water-baptism one with these,—possessing the same properties and regenerating qualities that the word, the spirit, and that God himself possesses. This certainly is consubstantiation. Because the water in baptism is made one with all these, and exist together as one, possessing the properties and healing virtues that they possess. Therefore when the water in baptism is applied to the person, the graces of the word and spirit, and the communicable perfections of God, are conveyed with it to the soul. And if this be the case, no wonder that water baptism should be a heavenly flood of regeneration, or the ordinary means by which people are regenerated.” He also quoted sundry passages from my treatise, which speak of a connection between the word of God, and the water in baptism ; from which he very confidently infers consubstantiation.
Answer: Mr. M. says: “Hence Luther taught, that the body and blood of Christ were united to the bread and wine, in the eucharist, so as to become one substance, &c.” The word hence, presupposes a reason. What is the reason, that Luther taught this doctrine? Mr. M. assigns this as a reason ; that, ”consubstantiation is the connecting and uniting two natures, beings or things together, so as to form one, &c. ‘’hence” Luther taught &c . This is no evidence, that Luther taught, doctrine of consubstantiation; because it means the joint of two things together, so as to become one. I might with as much propriety argue; the word transubstantiation, signifies, the change of one substance into another; hence Mr. M. teaches this doctrine. But the truth is, it does not matter what consubstantiation and transubstantiation signify ; for it does not prove that Luther taught the former, nor Mr. M the latter. If Mr. M would prove, that Luther taught consubstantiation, he must resort to better evidence, if there be any. He, by imposing the doctrine of consubstantiation, upon the Lutheran church, and my treatise, has adopted the best method in his power, to render them both objects of ridicule ; and to obtain a datum, on which to found his conclusions. Consubstantiation, relative to the sacraments of the church, is a glaring error: for if the Lord’s body and blood are incorporated with bread and wine, so as to become one with them; then indeed, these elements would participate all the divine perfections of the Lord; it would be similar to God’s incarnation ; and they would become objects of worship. The same may be said with respect to the Holy Ghost, and water in baptism. Now, who among protestants, does not know, that such a doctrine is fraught with idolatry? I will not dispute the definition, he has given of consubstantiation ; nor the affinity he speaks of, that it bears to transubstantiation. Although, in the nature of things, there is a difference. But, that Luther taught consubstantiation, and that the same idea is exhibited in my treatise, I cannot forbear, but to say, is a positive falsehood. I know that Mr. Charles Buck, in his theological dictionary, asserts that Luther taught this doctrine; which leads some honest men into an error. Buck, in this instance shows himself, like a very ignorant man. The Lutheran doctrines, have been hitherto, principally extant in the German language. In all probability Buck, knew as much of the German, as Mr. M. They both being extremely ignorant in this language, they without hesitation, slander the Lutheran community; and cause other ignorant persons to blaspheme, who like Paul, before his conversion, they are doing God a service. I shall here translate the 10th artic;e of the Augustan confession, the creed of Lutherans, which will shew for itself: viz
“Of the Lord’s supper, we teach thus that the true body and blood of Christ, are truly present, administered,and received in the Lord’s supper, under the figure of bread and wine wherefore the contrary doctrine is rejected.’’
There is a manifest difference, between the body and blood of Christ being present, and administered under the figure of bread and wine ; and the body and blood uniting to bread and wine, so as to become one with them, or to be incorporated. Where did Mr. M. ever see in the Lutheran creed, that Christ became one with bread and wine? Or in my treatise, that the Holy Ghost, was connected with the water, so as to become one with the same? It is true, I said, they were connected; but Mr. M. slyly slips in, “So as to become one;” as it to be connected, and to become one, were synonimous. Who authorised him, to add to my words, “So as to become one?” There is a considerable difference between, a thing, being connected with another: and becoming one with it; as, for instance, the ocean is connected with the continent; but is not become one thing with it; whereas the Son of God was made flesh, and is thereby not simply connected with, but is also in reality become one with the same. Lest any person should be at a loss to know, what manner of connection I alluded to, I called water in baptism, a vehicle of the command of Christ, and the name of the holy Trinity. Mr. M. himself, informs us, of the signification of a vehicle; viz. “a conduct, pipe, tube, gutter, &c. by which water or any liquid is conveyed to any place. Also any kind of carriage, or vessel for the purpose of conveying any thing from place to place.” page 16. I acknowledge the correctness of this definition. Now, I hope, he w ill understand that a vehicle is not consubstantiated, (nor is it become one) with the thing it conveys. For instance, a man riding in his coach, it is the vehicle to convey him ; but who would conclude; because he is connected with the coach, that therefore, he has become one substance with it? Or, that, because he rides in it ; therefore it becomes rational, like himself? Or, a chalice contains wine ; hence its vehicle ; therefore the chalice has become one thing with the wine? No man of a sound mind, would draw any such conclusions. Neither would he call the coach, an emblem of the man ; but the coach is simply a coach, no matter whosoever may ride in it. Now, if water in baptism, is a vehicle of the spirit; then the water is no more to the spirit, than the coach is to the man, who rides in it. Equally so, bread & wine, in the eucharist are vehicles of the body and blood of Christ; as the Augustan confession saith: they are present, administered, and received under the figure (not consubstantiated) of bread and wine. Where in all this, is there any idea of consubstantiation?
Moses informs us, “that the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of. fire out of the midst of a bush,’’ Exod. 3,2. Again he says: “the Lord descened in the cloud, and stood him there, &c.” ch. 34, 5. It is a wonder, that Mr M. does not also, impeach Moses with the doctrine of consubstantiation; and thus make him a half brother to the pope; for Moses asserts, that the Lord appeared in a burning bush, and in a cloud. He might easily convict Moses of this doctrine,by slyly slipping in: ” the Lord has become one with the burning bush and the cloud” From these passages of scripture, it is evident, that the Lord employed the burning bush and the cloud, as mediums, through which, to negociate with his servant Moses, without being consubstantiated with them. The Lord is also said to “make the clouds his chariot, and to walk upon the wings of the wind.” Ps. 104. 8. If the clouds be his chariot, they are also his vehicle. Could the inspired writer with propriety say, that the clouds are the chariot, on which the Lord rides, without involving the idea of consubstantiation ; where can be the inconsistency when I call water in baptism, and the elements in the eucharist, the blessed clouds in which God descends to act and commune with sinners? This is figuratively, what I called literally, a vehicle in my treatise.
Was it not sufficient, to inform Mr. M. that I meant no consubstantiation, when I called water a vehicle of God’s name and Spirit. This clue ought to have induced him, as an honest and correct logician, to view all my expressions, relative to the connection between the spirit and the water in the same light. Hence it is not necessary, to examine all the passages he has quoted from my treatise, to prove that I maintain consubstantiation ; as all the phrases in it, relative to the connection between the water and the spirit, are sufficiently qualified in their meaning, by calling the former a vehicle of the latter. Now, Mr. M can answer his own questions; “Whether the water changes from its natural elementary state into the spirit? Or whether the Holy Spirit changes from his pure and spiritual, into the natural state of the elementary water?” page 31. As the doctrine of consubstantiation is not to be found in my treatise; hence his questions are impertinent.
He also censures a phrase, which I quoted from Doct. Luther’s writings: viz. when Luther calls baptism “a divine, blessed, fruitful, gracious water.” I answer: This by no means implies consubstantiation. A divine, blessed, &c water, implies no more, than a divine cloud, or chariot, in which the Lord descended, to proclaim his goodness, longsuffering and mercy, without any consubstantiation. So I may also say : an imperial throne ; because a royal person sits on, and not because he is consubstantiated with it.
St. Paul declares: “Ye are the temple of the living God ; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be there God, &c.” 2 Cor. 6,16. “God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son, into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Gal. 1.6. Again—”But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.— What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you. &c.” 1 Cor. 6. 17, 19. According to Mr. M’s logick St. Paul taught the doctrine of consubstantiation; because he says that God dwells and walks in the saints, and his spirit is in their hearts, and their body is his temple. The Apostle manifestly speaks of a connexion, between the Holy Spirit and the Saints; but who would conclude ; because the spirit dwells in, and is connected with them ; therefore he and the saints have become one substance; hence, they like the spirit have become infinite and almighty? It is evident, that God may dwell in, and operate on a saint; and yet not become one substance. Hence, in so, why can the spirit not be connected with the water in baptism, without being consubstantiated with the same? If Mr. M. reasons consistently, he must also deny, that God dwells in the saints, or that they are influenced by the Holy Spirit ; because, according to his statements, God and the saints would become one substance; for as much, as he concludes, that the spirit could not be connected with the water without consubstantiation being the infallible result. Saints have material bodies, and so, is water a material substance. Now if the spirit can dwell in the bodies of saints, as his temple, without being one substance, he may equally, be connected with water, without any other consequence. Whether Mr. M. formally denies the influence of the spirit, I do not assert. Such as argue against Lutherans, impeaching them with the doctrine of consubstantiation because they maintain, that the elements in the Lord’s supper are connected with the body and blood ; and water in baptism with the spirit, perhaps do not know, that they are laying the very foundation, for denying the dwelling of God in his saints, and the influence of the spirit. For whatever may be said against the one, equally will apply to the other. If I say: Should the water in baptism be connected with the spirit, then he is also consubstantiated with it: hence the water possesses all the healing and sanctifying influences cf the spirit, yea it becomes like the spirit, infinite and omnipotent: I may with equal propriety argue: if the Holy Spirit dwells in a saint, then he has become one substance with the spirit; hence he possesses all the healing and sanctifying influences and yea like the spirit has become infinite and omnipotent, and an object of supreme adoration! Now, Mr. M. must either deny the influence of the spirit; or else must see, that his argument is a barefaced sophism. If we are not influenced by the spirit, what have we to guide us, but our fallen reason and visionary Pnantoms? This is nothing short of Deism.
If i were a Deist, I would thank Mr M. for his argument ; as it would serve me to prove how absurd it is, to believe that the Holy Ghost dwells in, or operates on any man; hence I would impeach all christians with superstition, for maintaining the idea of consubstantiation, in that they believe, God dwells in them; which makes him and them one substance; hence they all would become supreme Gods! But blessed be God! no such sophistry is sufficient to prove, that God is not with, and does not operate upon his saints. He however, does not simply operate upon intelligent beings ; but also upon all his creatures: for ” he upholds all things by the word of his power;” Heb. 1, 3—”in him we live, move and have our being;” Acts 17, 28— and where in all creation can any space be found where he is not present? Ps. 139— and yet, is he neither confounded, nor consubstantiated with any thing; neither excluded nor included. Now, what strange thing have I said, in this, that the spirit of God was connected with water in baptism ; that it was his vehicle; or, to speak figuratively, his blessed cloud, or chariot, in which he descends to treat with, and to shed abroad his influence upon sinners? I have said nothing absurd; unless we believe that Moses recorded an absurdity, when he says, that: “the spirit of God moved upon the waters ; ” Gen 1, 2—and unless, we believe it absurd, that God operates through many mediums on his works, of which there are many examples.
Mr M. Says: (page 20) ” It appears to me, agreeable to the doctrine of St Paul, that the preaching of the gospel is the ordinary means of regeneration; or the means by which people are enabled to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, so as to be saved” He also acknowledges. p. 24—that the spirit is connected with the word. Preaching is performed with the lungs, and the organs of speech, with the assistance of the air ; and the word being connected with the spirit; hence,the spirit would as much be consubstantiated with the words, that flow from the preacher’s lips, as with the water in baptism. What can be the difference, whether I believe the spirit is connected with the words, that are formed by the organs of speech and the air, or that he is connected with water. If one is consubstantiation the other is the same. So that, in the same manner, in which he impeaches me with this doctrine, he holds it himself. But, to speak the truth, neither the preaching, nor the water is consubstantiated with the spirit but they are mediums by which he operates.
I must yet observe, that although God is not consubstantiated with any thing in all creation; yet, the blessed and mysterious incarnation of Christ is an only exception. The Son of God, does not only dwell in, and operate upon the humanity, he assumed; but has become one with the same : for “the Word was made flesh.” John 1, 14. Nevertheless, he was made flesh, without any mixture or confusion of the two natures.