William Bradford Institute
for Study of the
Early Settlement of America

The Subsistence of God

by William Ames

1. This subsistence, or manner of being of God is his one essence
so far as it has personal properties.

2. The essence is common to the three subsistences. As far as
essence is concerned, therefore, the single subsistence is are
rightly said to exist of themselves.

3. Nothing is attributed to the essence which cannot be attributed
to each subsistence in the matter of essence.

4. But was is attributed partly to each subsistence in the matter of
subsistence cannot be attributed to the essence

5. The subsistences are distinguished from the essence, because the
mode of subsistence, though consolidated with the essence, are
distinguished from it considered by itself.

6. They are distinguished from each other as things connected by
certain relative properties, so that one cannot be another, although
they are the same nature. Neither can one be said to be first or
last, except in order of beginning and manner of subsistence.

7. These relative properties are, as it were, individual forces in
one essence, spiritually and perfectly alive. Hence the subsistences
are rightly called persons.

13. The relative property of the Son is to be begotten, that is, so
to proceed from the Father as to be a participant of the same
essence and perfectly carry on the Fathers nature. Hence is second
in order. Hebrews 1:3, the brightness of His glory in the character
of His person.

14. The property of the Holy Spirit is to be breathed, to be sent
forth and to proceed from the Father and the Son John 15:26, He whom
I will send forth you from the Father, that Spirit of truth who
proceeds from the Father: Romans 8:9, the Spirit of Christ;
Galatians 4:6, the Spirit of the Son.


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