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as a matter in the dark, and incapable of being opened and illuftrated: for the Apostle, at the fame time he called it a mystery, faid it was "revealed" and "made known," and he was defirous that his brethern might " un"derstand" his knowledge of it: but, as being one of the great branches of the mystery of the divine will; and, because, for long ages, it was undiscovered, even by the holy faints and angels; and alfo because of the greatness of the wisdom and power therein contained, and the riches of the grace and mercy therein manifested.
The faith, i. e. the gofpel itself, in like manner, is called a myftery.-1 Tim. iii. 9. The myflery of the faith; but the gofpel, equal with any other fubject, is certainly capable of ample illustration.
The refurrection of the dead, and change of the living faints, at the found of the laft trumpet, is, moreover, called a mystery.1 Cor. xv. Behold, I fhew you a mystery: We fhall not all fleep, but we fhall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the laft trump; for the trumpet fhall found, and the dead fhall be raised incorruptable, and we fhall be changed.-The Apostle appears to call this a mystery, on account of its being given to him, fo particularly, by immediate revelation, and the glorious nature of the fubject, and not as being beyond the reach of our conception; for there is nothing more inconceivable in a state of incorruptible exiftence, than there is in our prefent corruptible ftate.-Why fhould it feem a thing ob
fcure, or perplexing to the mind, that God fhould raise the dead, or change the state and condition of his people?-That the Apostle did not confider his fubject as being a matter inconceivable, or incapable of being well understood, is evident from his ftyle-" Be"hold, I fhew you a mystery."
These inftances are enough to fhew how the word Mystery is ufed in the fcriptures.And no place in the infpired volume can be found, where it is used in the fense in which it is commonly applied to the Trinity. And it must be viewed as a maiter unbecoming and very dishonorable, that men who would appear as divines, and lovers of truth, should take advantage of the mere found of a bibleword, and make use of it, in the most import ant relation, as the one we have been confidering, in a fense fo foreign from its meaning and ufe in the bible.
6. Incomprehenfible! Whilft the word myftery has been used as a blinder for the eyes, this word has been used as a muzzle for the mouth. It is wonderful what power there is in mystery to bedim the fight! and what authority there is in incomprehenfible to command filence; especially when it is advanced by way of question!-And do you think, Sir, that you can comprehend the doctrine of the Trinity? Why, Sir, I do not know that I can fully comprehend any thing; but, notwithstanding, I have undertaken to explain and illuftrate fome things. And, as to the divine will, I do not think that I can comprehend it; fill, I must esteem it to be lightfome
and enlightening; it is a plain path to walk in, and a perfect rule to walk by; it maketh wife the fimple, and giveth understanding to babes; it is the bread which came down from heaven, and the water of eternal life: it is a field full of all hid treasures, in which the foul can take an eternal range, and never find one vacant or fruitlefs fpot; it is more to be defired than gold, yea, than much fine gold; fweeter alfo than honey, and the honey-comb.
But, if the enquiry be after fomething beyond the divine will, it is a jeft to talk of not comprehending it; for there, no doctrine, no trinity, nothing whatever can be found; it is in vain to look for things where nothing does in fact exift-where nothing is which bears a character or name.-And, fuppofe, a trinity does exift in fomething beyond the divine will, and we, in fome way, could know that fuch a thing existed, it is plain that it could be of no ufe to us; for it is demonftrable, that wisdom is all comprised in the divine will, and all that is valuable to men, riches and honor, and long life are with her.
PARTICULAR REMARKS RELATIVE TO THE STATEMENT AND DEFINITION.
A man, whose way lies through a thick crowd, whilft he is preffing out, one on the one hand, and another on the other, makes but flow progrefs; but having attended to the above objections, I fhall offer fome few
particulars farther, relative to the Statement and Definition under confideration.
1. The divine principle, as already defined, neceffarily fuppofes an order of divine perfons, viz. a covenant maker, or mover, which gives the idea of a first person; a covenant fubject, or one brought into the covenant, which gives the idea of a second perfon; and a covenant intereft, which, in a ju estimation of the divine principle, it being of the nature of marriage, and giving in marriage, wherein the intereft is the bride, gives the idea of a third perfon.
2. Though in the divine will, the covenanting parties must co-exift, as the self-fame act which conftituted the fon, conftitutes alfo the character of father; ftill there is a plain reafon for confidering the father, as to the method, firft, or greater than the fon; for, in the divine will, the covenant fubject is both commanded and blessed of the covenant maker; and without all contradiction the less is bleffed of the better. Heb. vii. 7.—This explains the word of Chrift. John xiv. 28.My father is greater than I. The connexion fhews that this is the true meaning of the word, for Chrift was here speaking of his going to the Father to receive the blessing of his glory. Yet, as this blefling fets him up, as a Son by inheritance, completely in the eftate of the Father; we behold him, in this refult of the divine principle, as he was in the beginning, is now, and ever will be, one with. the Father; and as thus reigning and judge ing upon his throne; he is God with God; co
exiftent and co-eternal with the Father, and his equal in power and in glory. It is evident, however, that there is a glory of the parental character, which will ever diftinctly remain to the Father, and a diftinct glory of the filial character, which will ever be contemplated in the Son, as his own glory; and so, alfo, there is a diftinct character, which will ever be adored in the Holy Ghost.
3. The party brought into covenant in the divine will, being made the Chrift of God, is therefore the eternal Word-the Rock of Ages the foundation and head of all worlds, and is the subject of the record in heaven.Again, the fecond perfon in the Godhead, performing the covenant fervice, and confequently being crowned with the reward, the difplay of the divine principle will be in him; he will declare God-in him God will be manifested; he will, therefore, be the fubject of the divine witness on earth, and in a peculiar fenfe, be called the Word of God, as being the report or expreffion of the divine will. Such appellations as the Word of God, Rock of Ages, Foundation, &c. belong undoubtedly to the Divine Being or Godhead; but, as the divine theory, or whole exhibition of the divine will, devolves neceffarily upon the fecond perfon, they are particularly applied to Christ, and, for the fame reafon, he is fo particularly called the Wisdom of God, and the Power of God, which are also names of the divine principle.
4. Moreover, we obferve, that this divine exhibition and manifeftation of God in Chrift,