Imatges de pÓgina
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ledge and assurance of the presence, union, and concurrence, of the Father; and after explaining his intention, or design in professing his knowledge and assurance, when entering into the temptations, troubles, and sorrows which he endured toward the end of his humiliation, we shall make some general observations for encouraging and strengthening you who are taught of God to continue digging in these precious mines of knowledge, which the ministry of the Son of God hath opened to all:

First, In the dispensation of redemption, there appears between the Father and Son an union of design, of interest, of affection, of operation, and of honor and glory. These equal persons, when working in unequal stations, were not engaged in separate and interfering interests. They perfectly comprehended each other's principles, motives, operations, and intentions; nor between them could there be the lowest degree of misunderstanding. In each other they dwelt, in each other they wrought, and in each other they delighted. The eye which saw the hand of the one beheld the power of the other, and the ear which heard the words of the one perceived the voice of the other.Observe the reply to Philip, recorded in the chapter after - our Text: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. Be"lievest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in "me; the words which I speak unto you, I speak not of my"self; but the Father, who dwelleth in me, he doth the "works" In this reply, the Son affirms that the Father dwelt in him, spake in him, and wrought in him; and, in the verse below, admonishes Philip to believe and acknowledge their union and concurrence in operation."Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in "me; or else believe me for the very works sake.” Believe my words which affirm our union, and concurrence in operation. The Father could not suffer in the Son, but he dwelt in the Son when suffering; delighted in the Son, encouraged, strengthened, and glorified the Son.

Secondly, The union of Father and Son in the dispensation of redemption is indissoluble. Formed in the counsel of peace, before the foundation of the world was laid, it subsisted until the fulness of time, when God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them who were under the law. Nor did it dissolve at this interesting period. From his birth to his

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resurrection it afforded complacency to both. The Fa ther was well-pleased in the Son, and the Son rejoiced in the Father. It was not affected by the agony in the garden, nor the sufferings on the cross. These were parts of the great plan, which had been laid in the wisdom and love of the blessed Godhead. The cry "My God, my "God, why hast thou forsaken me?" is no evidence of a dissolution. It is the voice of his suffering and dying nature, and proves that his union and interest in his Father was then in vigour and glory. In our non-age and weakness, we are puzzled to reconcile the sorrows and wrath which the Son endured, with the love and complacercy which the Father professed; and can scarcely keep out of our minds surmisings unbecoming the Godhead. But to the persons themselves these operations appear consistent and glorious. In all that the Father inflicted, the Son knew that he acted justly, and honorably, and becomingly; and in all that the Son endured in his obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, the Father knew that he suffered dutifully, faithfully, and affectionately. United in the contrivance and execution of the plan of redemption, Father and Son unite in the application, and receive, and from the redeemed will for ever receive, the praises due to each.

Thirdly, The union of Father and Son magnifies the dispensation of redemption, and raises it to the highest degree of importance. An enterprize, projected and planned by the wisdom and love of these glorious persons, and begun and finished by their concurrence, must be great in itself, and interesting in its consequences to mankind. If it had not been becoming each, neither could have engaged; and when both enter into it, and glorify themselves, we conclude that the plan is becoming both, and glorious to both. This high dispensation of wisdom and love is despised and rejected by multitudes, unto whom it is revealed and preached. Their minds are blinded, and they do not perceive its beauty. Their hearts are hardened, and they do not feel their need of it. But there have always been some, who have acknowledged and felt it to be "the wisdom of God, and the power of God, through faith "unto salvation.” While hid in the secret record of the foreknowledge of God, it was an object of complacency to the glorious persons who engaged in it. "The Lord pos

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"sessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works "of old: I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, "or ever the earth was-Then I was by him, as one "brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, re"joicing always before him, rejoicing in the habitable part "of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men.' Afterward, when it entered by revelation into the open records of time, all the dispensations of God bow to this, honoring it with many honors, and preparing the earth for the finishing of it, and the glory which was to follow. And when the Son of God was sent forth, in the fulness of time, it appeared clearly then, what had been obscurely revealed before, that this high dispensation of mercy united the operation of the three Persons of the Godhead, and was begun, carried on, and finished by the concurrence of the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost.

Fourthly, The union of Father and Son in this dispensation, unites and draws upon each the worship and adoration of the church. Unto the Son the Father hath committed the administration of all power and judgment, "that "all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Fa"ther." To these glorious Persons, united and distinguished in the Godhead, acknowledgments are made both on earth and in heaven. On some occasions, the names or the descriptions of each Person in the Godhead appear: "Grace unto you, and peace from him who is, and who "was, and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits "which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who "is the Faithful Witness." "Elect according to the fore"knowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of "the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of "Jesus Christ, grace unto you and peace be multiplied.” On other occasions, the Father and the Son are mentioned in this form: "Grace unto you and peace from God our "Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ;" and, to remind us of the concurrence of the one in the humiliation of the other, and of the glory due to each, they appear on the same throne, receiving the honor of salvation. "Salvation!" cry a great multitude, standing before the throne, and before the Lamb-"Salvation to our God, who sitteth "upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."

Fifthly, In the dispensation and glory of redemption, the union of Father and Son is too high for our compre

hension. With organs and powers, fitted rather to serve. the necessities of our bodies than to minister to our un derstandings, we are able, even with the help of revelation, to labour but a little way up the steep ascent into the secrets of divine operations. When revealing the Oneness of Father and Son in Godhead, and their union and concurrence in redemption, our Saviour represents these high truths as objects of faith and adoration, and requires them to be received and acknowledged upon his testimony. This is all that we are capable of at present. But hereafter the way of the Father in the Son, and the way of the Son in the Father, will be objects of intuition, and will recreate our faculties forever and ever: For at that cloudless and perfect day, "we shall know that the Father "is in the Son, and the Son in the Father."

Philosophy and Revelation differ widely in many things; and particularly in their descriptions of that fulness of joy which is in the presence of God, and those pleasures which are at his right-hand.

Shooting away, with the swiftness of imagination, through boundless dimensions of space; keeping pace with heavenly bodies; tracing out the hidden springs of the operations of nature; comprehending the order, and measuring the distances and magnitudes of the celestial orbs; telling the number of the stars, looking into the tabernacle of the sun; visiting the several apartments of the creation, and congratulating their inhabitants; observing the dependences of system upon system, and grasping the harmony of the universe-This is the heaven of philosophy, and these are the pleasures which suit the taste of the philosophers who suppose themselves to need neither Redeemer nor Sanctifier; and who, swallowed up in their own amusements, make their acknowledgements unto the Parent of the universe, not considering, that "he who "honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father, who "sent the Son;" and that, "whosoever denieth the Son, the "same hath not the Father."

Beholding the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, face to face, as they are; adoring their Oneness and distinction in the glory of the Godhead; sounding the depth of the riches of their wisdom and knowledge, taking the height and dimensions of their good-will toward men; entering into the hidden springs of their counsels and pur

poses; tracing out the secret paths of their stations and operations in redemption; observing how it became the Father to depress the Son, the Son to exalt the Father; and the Holy Ghost to glorify both; measuring their administrations and concurrence in providence and grace, admiring how all wrought together for good, and how the glory of all shines in the face of the Son, who, in our nature, hath brought unto glory multitudes of sons, redeemed by his blood, made righteous by his obedience, made holy by his Spirit, and made heirs according to the hope of eternal life-This is the joy which Revelation sets before us, and these are pleasures reserved for men chosen by the love of the Father, reconciled by the death of the Son, and sanctified by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Lastly, From the union and concurrence of the Father and the Son, we infer the malignity of unbelief, and the justness of that wrath which is coming upon unbelievers, by whom this dispensation is neglected and despised. We do not suppose that any of you blaspheme it with the tongue, or utter against it hard and ungodly speeches.. But multitudes, though they refrain themselves from speaking evil of it, appear to be quite careless and thoughtless about it, and draw upon themselves the guilt and punishment of unbelief. Unbelief passes for a light matter among men; but in the sight of God this iniquity is highly offensive. A dispensation of good-will toward mcn, set on foot among the Persons of the Godhead from eternity, executed in the fulness of time by the concurrence of each in his station, and by their authority recommended to the world in the Scriptures of truth and the ministry of reconciliation, as the only way of salvation to their gloryto refuse the benefit of such a dispensation, is a contempt of wisdom and love, of goodness and authority, which stands foremost in the records of guilt, and subjects despisers to everlasting penalties. We have often told you this, and shall dismiss you at present with these words: "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the

things which we have heard, lest at any time we should "let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was "stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience rc"ceived a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape "if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began

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