« PreviousContinue »
whatsoever shall come to pass.-All things in nature, providence, and grace, are of him, and through him and to him : to whom be glory for ever : Amen.
In the Bible we are informed of what JEHOVAH did concerning his choice and election of his people in Christ before the foundation of the worldof his love towards them of the purposes of his grace respecting them, and his designs upon them; and, by it, through the gracious illuminations and teachings of the Holy Spirit, we are led into the true, clear, and saving knowledge of God. Here he is revealed in the unity of his nature-in his perfons and perfections--and by it, we are led to know, that there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three
The doctrine of the ever blessed Trinity, which I purpofe at this time to treat of, is a most deep and fublime article of our most holy faith, and upon which our everlasting salvation depends : and it is purely a doctrine of divine revelation. Neither nature, nor philosophy, discovers it, nor can they reach it; for though when it is clearly stated from the word, and spiritually understood, it may be illustrated by many things in nature; yet it is revealed only in, and made known unto us by the word. Here it runs and is to be seen in every part of it, and though it is sometimes represented by such as are strangers to and enemies against it, that it is merely a speculative point, and people may do well enough without the knowledge and belief of it, yet this is all mistake. It being an everlasting truth, that every article of our faith is built upon it, every truth of God is connected with it, and we cannot worship God aright, without the true and saving knowledge of it.
JEHOVAH has revealed himself, as the sole, true, and only object of worship, and we cannot worship him aright, if we are destitute of the true knowledge of him. We cannot attain the true knowledge of him without a revelation of himself made known unto us; and this he hath made in the inspired volume, where his incomprehensible essence and his personalities are declared. And, upon the foundation of God's word, and taking it only for my guide, in a dependance upon the Holy Spirit for his gracious and special assistance, I shall proceed, founding and building all I have to say and deliver upon this deep and sublime subject, on God's own veracity in his word. And, 'be. fore I proceed one step further, I would observe, that the best belief of this essential and important truth, is that which is received from the bare word, and is fully believed upon the bare testimony of the Lord in the word. The words of my text contain a full and clear proof of the doctrine. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghoi, and these three are one. That is, three in person, one in the nature and unity of the Godhead. So that the eternal Father, the eternal Son, and the eternal Spirit, are the one eternal and incomprehensible JEHOVAH. Each of them is God and Lord, and all three but one, the fame in essence, equal in power, eternity,
and glory. When an unbeliever reads this text, he stumbles even with God's word in his hand, and before him. He reasons carnally upon it, ignorantly cavils at it, and argues against it, saying, how can this be? how can three be one and one three? This is not the doctrine of the text. It treats of the unity of the Godhead, and of the distinct modes of subfistence in the Godhead, and declares that though the persons in the Godhead are three, and are distinct as to their personalities, so that the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, the Holy Ghost is neither the Father nor the Son : yet the essence, nature, or Godhead, which is the fountain of the Divine persons, and in which they exist, is one, for God is one. The Lord our God is one JehovAH. Gal. iii. 20. Deut. vi. 4.
The words of the text contain and hold forth the following truths. First, the unity of the God. head. --Secondly, a trinity of perfons in the God- . head.—Thirdly, their proper deity—and distinɛt personality.–And Fourthly, that they are three teslia fiers or witnesses, for there are three that bear record in heaven, DC Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost : and theje three are one. The unity of the Godhead is what the Scriptures carefully guard; which truth is fully contained and eternally secured in the word JEHOVAH, which we translate Lord, and which, whenever it is printed in capital letters in the Old Tef: tament, always signifies JEHOVAH, which is the in, communicable name of God, expreflive of the in, communicable nature of the Godhead. It signifies
necessary existence, orexisting by a necessity of nature. The Psalmist in the 83d Psalm, ver. 18. expresseth himself thus, That men may know that thou whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the Moji High over all the earth. Jeremiah says, Jehovah is the true God, be is the living God, and an everlasting King. At his wrath the earth fall tremble, and the nations Shall not be able to abide bis indignation. Jer. x.
And the Lord himself speaking in the 42d of Isaiah, verse 8, faith, I the JEHOVAH, that is miy name. And this word JEHOVAH, occurs fix thousand eight hundred and fifty-five times in the Scriptures. So that the nature and effence of God is one-infinite and incomprehensible, without division, or multiplication. And this leads me to prosecute the present subject.
First, to prove from the Scriptures, that there are three persons in the Godhead. Secondly, that each of these hath a joint concern in the works of creation, providence, and grace. Thirdly, that each is God and Lord. And Lastly, that they bear their joint testimony concerning the salvation of ele& finners by Christ Jesus.
I am first to prove from the Scriptures, that there are three persons in the one infinite-incommunicable—and incomprehensible Godhead. And this I shall endeavour to do from the following passages in the infallible word. In the 1st chapter of the book of Genesis, we read of God's creating the heaven and the earth, and at the 26th verse of it we hear him speak thus, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; these words' must have been and were directed by one of the Divine persons to the other two, for the Us here, manifestly points out a plurality. It is not a consultation with angels-for they are not of his council. Who hath been his counsellor? No creature. Man was made after the image of God. And it is truly remarkable, that the first word used in the Bible concerning the Deity, is a word of the plural number: The word translated, and read by us, God, is allowed both by Jewish and Christian writers, to be a plural one, and it is used on purpose to point out the persons in the Godhead; and their joint concern in the creation is evidently spoken of. In the beginning God (in the Hebrew Elohim) created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep: And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, let there be light, and there was light. Here are all the three divine persons jointly concerned. Here is God the Father, to whom creation is always in Scripture ascribed, though not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit, for we have in these words the beginning of the creation, which God created. Here is God the Spirit fpoken of as performing his part in this great work, He moved upon the face of the waters. And God the word is taken notice of. let there be light, and there was light : which the Psalmist explains in this very manner in the 33d Psalm, verse 6. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made : (i.e.) by the essential word, who