« ПредишнаНапред »
given to the Jews, was given to the gentiles also. He is the only person, who by his secret influence upon their hearts could bring them to Christ, as Christ is the only person, who could bring them back to the father: "for • through him? (says the apostle) we both,' namely Jews and Gentiles, have access by
one spirit unto the father.' That one spirit is essential to the return of every soul to God: and hence, being indebted to the grace of the lord, Jesus Christ, for restoring us individually to the love of God, and being indebted further to the fellowship of the holy ghost for the disposition to seek and value the grace of the lord, Jesus Christ, we have abundant cause to rejoice in the doctrine of the blessed trinity, which thus unfolds to us, what each of these three persons has done for our souls. It is through the medium of this glorious doctrine, that, as saint John says, we have known and believed the love, that God hath to us.
The only remaining objection, that it is incomprehensible, must indeed be allowed. We cannot (it is most certain,) form adequate notions on this mysterious subject. After all
our speculations we must be contented to say with Job Canst thou by searching find out
God?' The nature of that indissoluble union, by which three persons are joined together in the unity of the Godhead, must remain for ever inscrutable.
But, if it were necessary to comprehend fully the nature of any truth, before we could demonstrate its reality, our knowledge would be limited indeed. What is there in fact throughout the universe, with the actual and constituent nature of which we are, strictly speaking, acquainted? We can calculate minutely, so minutely as even to foretel, the motions of the planets. But do we know the materials, of which those planets are composed ? or can we discover accurately the intermediate agency, by which their motions are effected ? Nay. Can we explain the nature and composition of the commonest vegetable, that grows ? Can elucidate its powers of nutrition, or lay open the secret of its growth? But above all these mysteries, with which nature is filled, let us consider the connexion between our own souls
and bodies, which bears a nearer analogy to the awful truth in question! There is (I suppose) no fact better established than the existence of a mind within us, perfectly distinct in all its powers and properties from the body, which yet it animates and directs, although it is itself often impeded in its operations, and distressed in its feelings, by the very imperfections of that body, which seems in other respects to be its instrument. How does this connexion subsist? By what is it maintained? or in what manner is it brought about ? How is it, that our limbs instantaneously obey the first impulse of our wills? Of this we have not the remotest shadow of a conception: and yet our ignorance does not lead us to question, whether we possess such a mind, or whether it has the influence, ascribed to it. Shall our ignorance render us sceptical on the subject of the divine trinity alone of all the truths, with which we are conversant?
God (it is true) is infinitely removed above our comprehension and faculties. with the material substances, which are brought
But yet more immediately within our view, we do not appear to be much more acquainted, than we are with the nature of his being, or the persons in his Godhead. Nevertheless it is sufficiently clear, that no difficulty in conceiving the nature of a thing ought to interfere with the result of those proofs, which establish the fact of its existence. The self-existence and eternity of God are as incomprehensible as his trinity is. But the necessity of the case will prove the two former points as clearly as the declarations of scripture do the latter.
We may reasonably therefore rest satisfied in the conclusion, with whatever difficulties it may to our finite and feeble understanding seem to be chargeable, that in the unity of that supreme being, whose power and wisdom and goodness are infinite, there are three persons of one substance, power, and eternity, the father, the son, and the holy ghost.
But this will become still further evident, when we have treated of the second and third of these persons separately; by which I hope in the evening to compleat our survey of this awful, but most deeply interesting subject.
2 Corinthians, iii. 17.
Now the Lord is that spirit ; and where the spirit
of the Lord is, there is liberty.
HAVING at the commencement of this course established the unity of the Godhead, we were this morning engaged in considering the evidences, which scripture affords, of a trinity in that unity. It was then however observed, that these evidences would be still more satisfactory, if we could prove separately from the same authority the essential deity both of the son, and also of the holy ghost ; for then it would follow, as the only way of holding at once the unity of the Godhead, and the deity of the son, and of the holy ghost, that we must