« PreviousContinue »
mation of this glorious doctrine, or point out to you how it is absolutely certain, that the Son and Holy Spirit are very God, in all respects co-equal with the Father, the same in essence, sub. stance and glory. Perhaps these will be the subject of some future discourses.
I shall conclude at present, with a few obvious inferences from what has been said.
First, we in fer from this doctrine, the uw happy, dangerous, and awful condition of all anti-trinitarians, however they inay shine in human literature, or be distinguished with honors by men. Truth itself declares, “He who honóreth not the Son, honoreth « not the Father. And he that believeth not the Son, shall not “ see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." Dreadful denunciations indeed. He who worships not the Son, nor believeth on him for eternal life, is not a worshipper of the Father ; and, therefore, must perish forever from the presence of God, and by the glory of his power. How dangerous is the condition, to stand exposed to all the terrors of Jehovah's wrath? Who can know or conceive the power of his anger ? “ If he that despised " Moses' law died without mercy, of how much sorer punishment 6 suppose ye, shall he be thought wortliy, who hath trodden under " foot the Son of God ?" Oh, my hearers, let us be careful how we treat Christ Jesus, the Son of God; and the Saviour of the world! We must give him equal love, honor, faith and worship with the Father. Let us beware of setting at naught, denying, or despising any of the adorable persons of the Godhead.
Secondly, we infer the nature and proper manner of christian worship. In order to offer an acceptable worship to God, two things are requisite. First, that we know and have some just apprehensions of the object of divine worship. Secondly, that we understand the manner of it, and perform the same, agreeably to the Gospel. The only object of worship is the supreme God, who is Father, Son and Spirit. Hence we are directed in worship to address ourselves to the eternal Three ; to approach unto the Father, through the Son, by the aids of the holy Spirit. “What“soever ye shall ask the Father in my name,” says Christ, “he “ will give it you. Pray always with all prayer and supplication “ by the Spirit. Through Jesus Christ we have access by one Spirit “ unto the Father.” Here in the sacred Trinity, the scriptural plan of religious worship is caught us. We must direct our worship, and have access to God the Father, through the atonement and mediation of the Son, by the influences and aids of the holy Spirit. Let us in all our worship, duly attend to this divine order ; and then shall we worship God in spirit and in truth. Let us see in all our approaches to the throne of grace, that we be paying proper honor to all the persons of the Trinity ; that we be honoring the Son as we are honoring the Father ; and that we be honoring the Holy Ghost, “who maketh intercession for us with groan"ings which cannot be uttered."
Thirdly, we infer the transcendent excellency and glorious suitableness of the gospel, to secure all the rights and honors of the Godhead, and to recover to perfection and felicity, the sinful children of men.—Is the divine government injured by sin ? It is cumpleatly repaired by a divine person.—Is the holy law of eternal righteousness violated by transgression ? The law is magnified and made honorable by Jesus Christ. Is God infinitely offended with the rebellion of sinners? Behold the lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.Have we lost the holy image of our creator by our fall and apostacy? The blessed Spirit descends to convince of sin, to form in us a new nature, and to create us again after the image of God in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness.-Are we become blind and ignorant, through the corruption of our hearts? We have an unction from the holy one, whereby we may know all things. Are we condemned and guilty in law and equity? There is an all sufficient righteousness provided, so that there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.-Thus the doctrine of the Trinity displays the divine cha
racter in the highest conceivable manner, and at the same time secures the greatest glory and happiness to all them who believe. Let us then believe in the Father, receive the Son, and cherish the motions of the Holy Ghost.
Fourthly, it is in ferred, that this doctrine ought to excite all christians to cultivate union, peace, barmony and love one with another. Is there harmony, love, peace, and union in the holy Trinity ? Ought not christians to be followers and imitators of God? Ought they not to be like-minded one towards another? Ought there not to be, in a measure, a oneness of heart, views, and interest among them, in resemblance, in a degree, of the oneness of the three persons in the Godhead. Hearken to our Lord's prayer for this purpose. “ Holy Father, keep through thine own “ name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one “ as we are. That they all may be one, as thou Father art in “ nie; and I in thee, that they also may be one in us. And the “glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may “ be one even as we are one." Let us all, therefore, who profess the religion of the Gospel, keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Let us walk in love and peace ; for he that loveth not, hath not seen God, neither hath he known him. Oh that the hearts and minds of christians were united in a holy and heavenly affection, which shall never be dissolved ; so that all creation may unite in one eternal anthem of blessing, honor, and glory to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, forever and ever. Amen.
JESUS CHRIST PROVED TO BE VERY GOD, CO-EQUAL AND OF THE SAME ESSENCE WITH THE FATHER.
Jonn %. 30.
I and my father are one.
CHRIST Jesus, the Son of God, and the Saviour of mana kind is co-equal and co-essential with God the Father, of the same eternal essence in one eternal Godhead. This doctrine is expresse ly and plainly taught by our Lord himself in this text. The occasion of his making so explicit a declaration of his nature and divinity, at this time, was this : There was at the present season, a great festival held in Jerusalein, called the feast of the dedication. After the old temple had been destroyed by the Babylonia ans, and the Jews had returned to their own land, they built a new temple, and at the dedication of it, they instituted a festival, which was annually observed ever afterwards, until this temple also was entirely demolished by the Romans. This feast was celebrated about the beginning of our December ; hence it is said, “ It was winter.” Jesus Christ attended this feast, as in all things he conformed himself to the Jewish rites, institutions, and ceremonies. He was walking “ in the temple, in Soloman's porch,” a place so stiled after a porch in their former temple. Here the Jews collected around him, to put ensnaring questions to him as usual. Therefore they ask him, “ How long dost thou
& make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Our divine master enters upon a very particular answer to them. He assures then, that he had told them this already ; that he had proved it by the mighty works and miracles which he had done ; that he was the author and giver of eternal life ; that he possess. ed infinite power to save and preserve all his followers, all true · believers, that none of them should perish, that earth and hell were not able to pluck them out of his hands. He assures thein that he possessed the same omnipotence with the Father, that he was of the same essence and Godhead : “ I and my Father are “one,” This plain, full and explicit answer, instead of satisfy. ing them, or inducing them to believe and become his disciples, which it ought in all reason and justice to have done, it had an effect directly the reverse. It wrought up their enmity and rage against him to an intemperate fury. “ They took stones to stone * him.” Thus the highest evidences of the divinity of Christ, will not convince some, but they will still continue in unbelief. Yea, not only so, but the greater light flashed upon them, and the stronger the arguments stated before them, the more will they be hardened in their hearts, and the more will their anger be enkindled against the truth. Thus, my hearers, though some will never receive Christ, nor believe his divinty, notwithstanding it should be testified by all in heaven, and all the saints on earth, which really has been the case, let not us be of that unbelieving and unhappy race, but cordially receive the truth in the love of it, and believe to the saving of our souls. The fact is, that Jesus Christ and the Father are one ; one thing, one being, one God. This is the doctrine plainly contained in our text, and abundantly revealed throughout all the sacred oracles.
Now, if it shall fully appear, that the same names and titles are given to Christ the same attributes and perfections ascribed to tim—the same operations or works performed by him--and the same divine worship paid to him, which are given, ascribed, and paid to the Father, will not these things demonstrate hiin to be