Imatges de pàgina

Christians the temples of the living God,' because the Spirit of God dwelleth in them,' 2 Cor. vi. 16, compared with 1 Cor. iii. 16, and with 1 Cor. vi. 19, where our body is called the temple of the Holy Ghost, which dwelleth in us.' St. Peter says, 'Ananias in having lied to the Holy Ghost, had lied to God' Acts v.3, 4. St. Paul, 2 Cor. iii. 1517, descanting on Exod. xxxiv. 34, calls the Lord, or only God, there spoken of, 'the Spirit,' whose ministration,' he says, 'is glorious. If the Lord is that Spirit, then the Spirit is that Lord, and the one only God, for to us there is but one God,' and one Lord,' as I have already observed to you from the words of St. Paul in the former epistle to these Corinthians.

Now, the one God is the one only Lord, and the one Lord is the one only God, as you have just now heard from the words of Moses quoted by our blessed Saviour. This is exactly agreeable to the words of Dávid, who expressly calls “the Spirit the God of Israel,' 2 Sam. xxiii. 2,3. “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me; the God of Israel said.' Well surely may we be baptized in the name of the Holy Ghost or Spirit, since Christ himself was baptized by him, Mark i. 10; since without his baptism we cannot enter into heaven,' John iii. 5; and since ' by this one Spirit we are all baptized into one body,' 1 Cor. xii. 13, namely, the body or church of Christ, ver. 27.*

From the twelfth to the eighteenth verse inclusive, of the fortieth chapter of Isaiah, as the whole passage stands in the Hebrew and our English version, a full and clear proof, that the Holy Spirit is God, might be drawn, did not the Septuagint and St. Paul seem to oppose it. In this very remarkable part of the prophecy, immediately after expressly calling the Messiah, the Lord God, and describing his future office as the great Shepherd, God, by his prophet, saith, Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with a span, &c. ? Who hath directed the Spirit (1717 Ruah) of the Lord, or being his counsellor, hath taught him, &c. ? Behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing, &c. All nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted to him, or in his presence, less than nothing.' From these awful and emphatical questions God draws this conclusion; • To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?' that is, since the Spirit of the Lord is infinite in wisdom, power, and greatness, how can you think of representing God by images, or comparing any thing to him? From hence God proceeds to expostulate with mankind : * Have ye not known, &c.? Hare ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, &c. that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal ? saith the Holy One. The reasoning, we see, turns alike on the Spirit, and on God, therefore so much of it as relates to the Spirit must be inconclusive, if the Spirit is

But St. Paul, quoting a small part of this passage from the Septuagint, saith, Rom. xi. 34, · Who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his coun

not God.

In these, and other the like passages of Scripture, divinity is both directly and by necessary consequence ascribed to the second and third persons in the Holy Trinity. And yet the same Scriptures sufficiently assure us, there is but one God, who is the sole object of that divine worship, to which those Scriptures allow any toleration.

Is there, saith the Lord,' Isa. xlv. 5, 6, 'a God besides me? yea, there is no God, I know not any. I am the Lord, and there is none else; there is no God besides me: that they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is none else. I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.' Isa. xlviii. 12. Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts; I am the first, and I am the last, besides me there is no God. Unto thee (Israel) it was shewed,' saith Moses, Deut. iv. 35,ʻthat thou mightest know, that the Lord he is God, there is none else besides him. I, even I, saith the Lord,' Deut. xxxii. 39, 'am he, and there is no God with me,' that is, no other God.

sellor?' and 1 Cor. ii. 16, · For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him,' or rather, ' that shall instruct him? By this means the sense seems to be considerably different from that which is universally understood to be cons tained in the Hebrew. Be the sense, however, of the passages what it will, it must unquestionably be the true sense of the Hebrew; for here the Holy Ghost, citing the Septuagint version, confirms its rectitude, and is himself an infallible interpreter to us. "Eyro, hath known, and voūv mind, are the only words, which appear to break in on this argument for the divinity of the Holy Ghost. Grotius hath observed on Isaiab xl. 13, that probably the Septuagint, by šyuw, meant scire fecit, made to know, adding his opinion, that St. Paul used the word in the same sense, and that what follows in this passage of Isaiah, and we may say too, in that of St. Paul, explains the word in, or rather restrains it to this sense, for even the apostle subjoins, ' or who hath been his counsellor?' On the word voữv, mind, a still farther occasion of doubting may be taken, as mind and spirit seem here to differ in signification. But I would ask, wherein do the spirit and mind of the Lord, or God, differ? Are they not one and the same? And may not this word have been used here by the Septuagint and St. Paul, instead of oveõpia, with an eye to the third person in the Platonic Trinity, as well as aóyos is used by St. John in regard to the second ? St. Paul's introduction of these words, and the context in the Epistle to the Romans. particularly,' who hath been his counsellor?' and the words, or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? found in the Alexandrian Manuscript, but not in the common copies, seem to favour that construction. "Eyvw voll, in his application of them to the Corinthians, may bear either sense, perhaps may require both. He says so much of the Spirit of God, as knowing the things of God, as dwelling in us and teaching us those things, that nothing can be more natural, than to translate voữv by spirit. Were we nevertheless to understand the apostle as saying nothing in either of these places, but what the English translation plainly and simply intimates, we must acknowledge the accommodation here is not greater than in some other texts of the Old Testament, as they are cited in the New. Neither, after all, interpret these words as you will, can that interpretation destroy the force and tenor of my argument, built on the passage of Isaiah, wherein so much is said, over and above these, of the spirit or mind of the Lord, of his power, wisdom, and greatness, and wherein the argument drawn from those attributes concludes as di. rectly for the impossibility of representing God by images, as if God' had been put for mind, or spirit, in the thirteenth verse, that we cannot, without the impiety of admitting a solecism in God's own words, avoid the force of the proof.

Nor can there be with us, if we are truly Christians; for St. Paul says, 'to us, there is but one God,

' 1 Cor. viii. 6. And our blessed Saviour, quoting the law, Matt. iv. 10, saith, Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve,' pursuant to the first commandment; whereon all religion and morality are founded, and wherein the same Lord or God saith, Thou shalt have none other gods before me.'

Since, therefore, the Father is, on all hands, acknowledged to be God; since the Son and the Holy Ghost are plainly spoken of in holy Scripture as God; since there is but one only God, one only object of divine faith, worship, and obedience; and since here in the form of baptism the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are proposed, without any distinction, as equal authors and parties to the covenant, and as equal objects of our faith, love, dependence, and obedience; it necessarily follows, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are that one only God, one, not only in name, authority, and testimony, but in nature and substance also; for each is God, and there is but one God, who is a jealous God, and giveth not his glory,' the peculiar glory of his divinity and worship,' to another.'

But the Arians and Socinians tell us, the word, God, in Scripture, hath several meanings. Two or three, we confess, it hath, for it is applied to the true God, to potentates, and to false gods. But can these men shew us, that it is applied in two infinitely different meanings, that is, that it signifies indifferently, either the one infinite eternal God, or a finite and bounded creature; when it signifies the object of our adoration? They do, indeed, impiously attempt to shew this, and in so doing, only attempt to shew, that God prevaricates with the world on the very first article of all religion, and equivocates even on his own name; the former, in the words of a covenant of his own solemn proposing to all mankind; and the latter, in his first commandment, and in numberless other passages of his word. What success they have had, I leave it to the knowing; or what success they ought to have had, I leave it to every plain and honest Christian to judge.

It is now to be observed, that the Christian religion, and the Christian covenant, are but one and the same thing; that the whole of this religion, the whole body of our faith, by which alone we can be saved, is virtually, or by necessary consequence, comprehended in the form prescribed for baptism, or the ratification of this covenant; for he who believes in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, must believe in what each hath done, said, or suffered, for his salvation; that there is no difference between knowing God, as he is revealed to us in his word, and knowing his revealed religion; and that therefore, as Christianity is the only true religion, the doctrine of the Trinity, as here laid down from Scripture, must be the only true Christianity; or else we covenant in baptism for something different from Christianity, or only for a part of it; and covenant by our faith, and on our vows, for the pardon of all our sins, and for eternal life, with some one else than God. Let the Arian answer for this, if he can, to his friend the Deist, and if he satisfies him, we promise to be satisfied too. But let' no set of men who call themselves Christians, contrive systems of Christianity, and carry on arguments within the church, which in their consciences they know, every one without must condemn as gross nonsense, or something worse.

What then is Christianity? Is it not a covenant granted by, and made with, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, whereby all we ought to dread may be averted, and all we ought to desire obtained, on condition of our faith in, and obedience to, the Holy Trinity ? and is all Christianity, or the whole of our religion, summed up in a faith placed formally and equally on the one eternal God, and two infinitely inferior beings, and in an obedience, rendered due by a solemn vow to the only God, and two creatures? If ours is the only religion that seems to recommend itself to the assent of a rational man by the genuine signs of divine truth; and if this religion, closely examined in its great essential, proyes itself thus essentially absurd and impious ; must not the Arian become a Deist, and that Deist an Atheist ? Reason, thus setting out, knows not where to stop in the shocking progress. Let the world think what it will of our religion, it consists in a belief of the Father, the Son, and the

Holy Ghost, as one only God, one only object of love, dependence, and obedience, that is of divine worship.

The great and comfortable doctrines of redemption, as voluntarily wrought by Christ in the sucrifice of his blood, and of sanctification, as voluntarily wrought in us by the grace of the Holy Spirit, which call upon the grateful heart for the utmost returns of love and trust; these doctrines, every where so strongly inculcated by the word of God, prove the Son and the Holy Ghost to be truly God; for, surely, if they thus freely concur in the blessed work of our eternal salvation, we ought in gratitude to love each of them as much as the Father, that is, with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our strength; and being baptized into the name of each, as the uncompelled author of our salvation, we ought to trust to each for the performance of every thing promised us in the covenant, as well as to the Father. Now, is it to be conceived, that God, who every where takes such infinite care to guard against the worship of the creature, should authorize us by the very form of the covenant, by the very nature of our redemption and sanctification, and by the concurring tenor of almost the whole Scriptures, to love, trust in, and adore, two creatures, as entirely, as ardently as himself? No, it is impossible; it is hideous and blasphemous to suppose it. Hear, O Christian, the Lord thy God is,' not only one God the Father, of whom are all things, but also one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and into whom you are baptized ; and

that one Spirit who taketh away the vail of darkness' by his inspirations, to whom you owe all your Christian liberty, and by whom ye are all baptized into one body of Christ.'

Is, therefore, your love and confidence to be divided ? God forbid. These three are one; one, not only in nature and substance, but likewise in love, in mercy, in truth, towards you. He is one God who hath created, redeemed, and sanctified you, and into whom ye are baptized. Him bless, him adore, as not more mystical and incomprehensible in his nature, than in his love.

If you are a truly rational man, you cannot make a difficulty in believing the most mysterious doctrine on the authority of his word, for you know he is truth itself. This I

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