« PreviousContinue »
cord of God is true.-Thofe divine names, which, as recording the truth of Chrift in heaven, or these as witnefling it in earth, are fet up in the fcriptures, for our way-marks in exploring the heights and depths of the wifdom and knowledge of God.
And, whatever view we take of the subject, it will appear, that the difcovery of the Trinity is as neceffarily included in the discovery of the Divine Being, as the knowledge of light and heat is included in feeing and feeling the fun. This is the principle of divine knowledge; from this fource is all we know, and all that can be known; and, doubtlefs, all that does exift of divine truth.-But the fource is ample, for the record is full; there are three that bear it in heaven, and three that witness it in earth. From the beginning it was infcribed in the natural world throughout.-Long fince it was fully witneffed in the world of grace; and now, at length, it is borne up on the ground and pillar of the world of glory. The true doctrine of the Trinity is eftablifhed by the teftimony of every revelation from heaven, and of every work of creation and providence discoverable on earth.
The opinion which, with fo much assurance, has been every where propagated, that the Trinity in the Godhead, and mode of divine existence, is a mystery, or inexplicable invifibility of God, which is not capable of being described, explained, and illustrated, as are other divine fubjects, is taking away from men the key of knowledge, and leaving their minds locked up in darkuefs, ignorance
and delufion. This divine doctrine is great and wonderful, as every thing else respecting God; and, being the principle of all divine things, it is moft great and wonderful, In this fenfe the Trinity, or the relation of Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft, is indeed a mystery; but in no other fenfe.
The divine principle, or this matter of record in heaven, is the high fource of divinity; and the Father bearing it, (by bearing it, I mean acting in it,) is the divinity of the Father; the Word, or covenant fubject, bearing it, is the divinity of the Word; and the Holy Spirit of Promise bearing it, is the divinity of the Holy Ghost.
Refpecting the divinity of Chrift particu. larly, it will be obferved, that this, with the doctrine of the Trinity, is of course demonstrated in the Divine Theory; it is as neceffarily and apparently included in its principle, and evidenced in every unfolding operation, as light and heat are included in the fun, and conveyed in his beams.
Our Lord faid, I and my Father are one. John x. 30. this he explained by saying,The Father is in me, and I in him, verfe 38. the meaning of which he clearly explained to be this, That the Father was in him by his commandment and bleffing; and that he was in the Father by obedience to his will and pow er, as his beloved Son: this will appear plain by examining the whole paffage-If I do not. the works of my Father, believe me not, ver. 37. i. e. believe not that I and my Father are one; which had juft before been afferted.
But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him.-Here our Lord cited the facts of his obedience and pow er, to prove that he and his Father were one; or, that the Father was in him, and he in the Father. But if this union, as fome have fuppofed, be fome myfterious thing, peculiar to the Divine Being, how is it known to exist by Chrift's doing the works of his Father? It is often afferted, in the face of the text, that the truth of the divine perfonal union can only be known to us by the declarations of it which are made in the fcriptures. But our Lord faid, that it might be known alfo by the works which he did. Here is a plain contradiction between Jefus Chrift and not a few modern teachers.-In the other paffage, John xiv, where our Lord, in his reply to Philip, ufed the fame manner of expreffion; the argument is the fame as here in his reply to the Jews: Believeft thou not, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I fpeak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father, that dwelleth in me, he doth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? or elfe believe me for the very work's fake. It appears, therefore, that there is no mystery in the Father's being in the Son, and the Son in the Father; it is a plain matter, otherwise than as the glorious truth is obfcured by falfe doctrine.
According to this Theory, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghoft, are infeparably one; for neither of them can be conceived
to exift out of that transaction which, in the fense in view, constitutes them one. In each of the illustrations given, if the transaction itself is fuppofed not to be, nothing of this nature can remain in perception; or, if ei ther party is fupposed to be wanting, the whole view fubfides in the mind. For inftance, in the view of a covenant, let the fact be objected, and the whole matter is fet afide; or fuppofe either the covenant-maker, the subject, or the interest not to be, and the whole in the fame manner is affected,So it appears demonftrably, that the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghoft, are one in nature, and infeparable in existence and being.
Whoever truly contemplates this fubject, will perceive that the characters of the Father and the Son neceffarily involve each other, and coexift-that the Father is néceffarily in the Son and the Son in the Father. In the nature of things, without a child there is no parent-the Son as neceffarily gives the character and name of the Father, as the Father makes or constitutes the Son; and we can know the Father only by knowing the Son; and knowing the Son, we must know the Father. They are characters neither of which can pre exift; but which neceffarily exift together, and conftitute each other, as do the characters of husband and wife.
This obfervation, made in contemplating the nature of the divine principle, is fully confirmed by the fcriptures of truth. No man knoweth the Son but the Father, neither
noweth any man the Father, fave the Sons and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Matt. xi. 27. He that hath feen me hath feer the Father. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? or elfe believe me for the very work's fake. John xiv. 9-11. By which, doubtlefs, fhould be understood, not merely his miracles, but the whole work in which he declared the Father, For the truth that the Son is in the Father, and the Father in the Son, we have the teftimony of both the Word and the actual exhibition-we may believe this doctrine on the credit of the scriptures reporting the fact; and we may believe it upon the evidence of the very fact exhibited to our eyes.
The Father, is Chrift's word or expreffion -the name is given by him-He shall cry anto me, thou art my Father. Pfal. lxxxix. 26.—And the word Son, is the expreffion of the Father-he gives his name-His name Shall be fonned, or called Son. Pfal. lxxik 17. Or, as we have the defires and expresfions of each one in connection. Pfal. lxxxix. 26, 27. He shall cry unto me, thou art my Fa ther; alfo I will make him my firft-born. The character and work of Chrift is fully expresfed in his crying Abba, Father;-and the eharacter and work of the Father is wholly comprifed in his fonning, or making Chrift his firft-born;-and the character and work of the Holy Ghoft is also comprised in the fame idea. The culogizing * of the Son
Ever. Pfalm 1xxii. 17. Septuagint.