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say, by calling it mysterious, or above reason; (as indeed almost every thing is, in part, above ours:) yet, in what the Scripture requires us to believe concerning the Holy Trinity, there is nothing, which either cannot be at all understood; or which, when understood, is absurd and contrary to reason.

Now whatever possibly may be true, we are bound, when a revelation, well attested, plainly teaches it, to believe actually is true. For faith in what God affirms, is unquestionably as necessary, as obedience to what he enjoins. And, little as we can see in matters of this high nature, we may notwithstanding sufficiently see very important motives for his injunction of faith in this doctrine: because from the distinction of persons in the Trinity, there arises a farther distinction of their relations to us, on which relations are founded distinct duties on our parts towards them: and very different from what they would be, if two of them were only creatures of exalted rank. The whole substance of Christianity is comprehended in considering, and accordingly honouring, (to express it in the. well-known words of our Catechism) God the Father, as Him, who hath made us and all the world; God the Son, as Him, who hath redeemed us and all mankind; God the Holy Ghost, as Him, who sanctifieth us and all the elect people of God. Not but that each person concurs in each of these works: but still, finding in Scripture, that one is represented as more peculiarly and eminently concerned in one of them, and another in another; we justly distinguish the Father, Son, and Spirit, by the distinct offices of Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier; and justly express the distinction in our prayers and praises, as well as in our Creed. Thus, in the Revelation of St. John, the saints


above adore the person of the Father in the first of these characters. And the four and twenty elders fell down before him that sat on the throne, and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things; and for thy pleasure they are and were created*. We therefore on earth, in like manner, ought to worship, and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Makert: to whom we farther owe peculiar thanksgivings on this account, that he, according to the counsel of infinite wisdom, was the original cause of our redemption. For in this was manifested the love of God towards us, that he sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him I. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten is again unto a lively hopes. But the actual accomplishment of this great design was the unspeakably gracious work of the second person, whom therefore we call our Redeemer, and address with devotions appropriated to his office. Thus, in the very next chapter of the same book of Revelation, we are told by St. John: The four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, and sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.--And I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne,- saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and * Rev. iv. 10, 11.

+ Psalm xcv. 6. 1 John iv. 9.

1 Peter i. 3.

on the earth, and under the earth, heard I, saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him, that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever*. In this universal acclamation of praise, our hearts ought to join with the humblest gratitude: to reverence him continually as the Lord of allt; and in particular, besides the holy ordinance of baptism, to celebrate with the devoutest affection, that other solemn rite, which he hath instituted, commanding us, This do in remembrance of me. The distinct office of the third person, the Spirit, hath consisted from the beginning, first in revealing and confirming the truths of religion to men, from age to age, till the knowledge of them was completed in the New Testament; for holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghostộ: then in disposing their minds, by the outward ministry of the Word, and the inward workings of his grace, to receive and obey them: giving those, who comply with his motions, strength against temptation, comfort under affliction, fervency in prayer, growth in goodness, reviving hope, and sometimes joyful assurance, of divine favour : All which operations tending wholly to improve us in piety and virtue, which together make up true sanctity or holiness, he is accordingly stiled the Sanctifier. And our duty to him plainly is, to be thankful to him for what he hath done, and pray for what he is ready to do, towards our salvation; never to grieve|| or do despite to him by wilful sin or negligence; but to learn from his instructions, and yield to his influences, that he may abide with us for ever, and make us, as the Apostle expresses himself, temples of the Holy Ghost**

Rex. v. 8, 9. 11, 12, 13. + Acts x. 36. | Luke xxii. 19. $ 2 Pet. i. 21. || Eph. iv. 30. Heb. x. 29.

1 Cor. vi. 19.


MATTH. XXVIII. 19, 20.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing

them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,

and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I

have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

IN my

former discourse on these words I have shewn both what is meant by being baptized in, or rather into the name of any one, particularly of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and what faith in them that Baptism obliges us to profess: endeavouring so to set forth our Christian belief, as neither to decide concerning what is hidden from us, nor to omit what is made known to us. For the secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things, which are revealed, belong unto us and to our children for ever; that we may do all the words of this law*. Let us now therefore go on to the practical part of Christianity, comprehended under the

Second branch of the text, in which our Saviour directs his Apostles, what duties they were to enjoin men, in consequence of their faith. Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you.

Now of these, our duties to the several persons of the Holy Trinity are so closely connected with our

# Deut. xxix. 29.

faith in them, that I thought it most natural to mention them together. And of the rest, it would be impossible at present to specify every one in particular. And therefore I shall only treat of the more general heads and divisions of them. By this commission of our blessed Lord then, the ministers of the Gospel are bound to teach, and the professors of the Gospel to observe, the precepts of piety, as well as morality; of revealed religion, as well as natural'; difficult, as well as easy duties; those of self-government, as well as of social behaviour; all things whatsoever he hath commanded, and nothing else.

I. Precepts of piety, as well as morality. In some ages of the world the generality of persons, and in all too many, have almost intirely disregarded virtue, at least some parts of it, while yet they seemed very zealous in religion. That the religion of such is vain*, requires little proof. Indeed it must be, either mere pretence, or gross mistake. Either they have really none of that devotion, which they profess, or it is devotion to an unknown Godt. For did they at all apprehend his nature aright; the love of him could not but incline them to the love of whatever was good; and the fear of him could not but deter them from whatever was evil. These things are so easily demonstrable, and the mischiefs of not attending to them have been so dreadful; that wherever knowledge and liberty have prevailed, such wrong notions of duty to our Maker have (amongst the more considerable part of the world at least,) quickly fallen into the contempt and hatred, which they well deserve. But then, as it is natural for the warmth of men to carry them too far; and the thoughtlessness of men to confound matters, which should be James i. 26.

+ Acts xvii. 23.

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