If Jesus is the first, who existed before him?
If he is the Everlasting Father, when did he begin his course?
If he is before all things – the maker of all things – and by him all things consist, how can he be a THING?
If he is the true God and Eternal life, when did his Godhead and life begin?
If his goings forth were from everlasting, when was he not going forth?
How could he be in heaven when conversing with Nichodemus on earth, unless he was omnipresent?
If he is God over all, who is above him?
If he can change vile bodies by his own wonder-working power, must he not be omnipotent?
If Jesus was the Lord God of the holy prophets, is it not certain that the Jesus of the New Testament was the Jehovah of the Old?
If Jesus was not God, in the highest sense of the word, how could he say to Philip – He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father?
Would Stephen, when filled with the Holy Ghost, in his dying moment, have prayed to him to receive his spirit, if he had not been assured that he was Jehovah, the only Saviour?
If the Jesus of the New Testament bore all the names and titles – did all the works – obtained the same testimonies, and received the same addresses and ascriptions of praise, of the Jehovah of the Old Testament, why not receive him as Emanuel, God with us?
Would it not be idolatry to pay him religious worship if he was merely a creature, though ever so great and highly exalted?
If in Jesus dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, what divine attribute can be lacking in him?
If he ruled the wind and sea – healed all kinds of diseases, and raised the dead, by a command in his own name, and not by praying to another he must be God.
Can the many hundreds of passages in the Bible, which speak of Christ as being filial, subordinate, dependant, under the law, helpless and forlorn, destroy the force of evidence that is given of his independent divinity? Do not all those passages have strong bearings on the human nature, which was bound to obey, and subject to sufferings, in which God was manifested in the flesh, by a union as inconceivable by us as the conception of the Virgin Mary, or how the bones grow in the womb?
There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. This is a doctrine of revelation, for a confirmation of which, baptism is performed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost: but, like the ark of the Hebrews, it is to awful to be pryed into by curious eyes. When eternity can be fathomed, and immensity measured – when creation can be accounted for, and the resurrection from the dead be philosophized – when the hidden mystery of God manifest in the flesh, and the guilty sinner being pardoned for the sufferings of an innocent Saviour, are clearly understood, then, and not till then, will limited creatures comprehend the incomprehensible doctrine of a three-one God. If the works of God are past finding out, surely the author of those works must be more so.
The strange and unmeaning creeds that have been formed on the Trinity, with the punishments that have been inflicted on those who could not believe them, have astonished the mere reasoner – sickened the grave philosopher, and saddened the pious saint. But, on the other hand, when the doctrine is denied, or despised, with a view to destroyed the dignity and glory of Christ, it merits the indignation and pity of all the humble followers of the lamb.
Elder John Leland.
The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland
Pages 533 – 534