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ftrong declarations of his divinity. Col. i. 19. For it pleafeth the Father, that in him fhould all fullnefs dwell: and, Col. ii. 9. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

5. The doctrine of the Trinity is afferted in the fcriptures to be a myftery.-Answer. Understanding it of the divine will, it is directly afferted to be a myftery. Eph, i. 9. The mystery of his will: but, to obviate this objection, it is neceffary to obferve how the word mystery is ufed in the fcriptures; for though we fhall find it used, undoubtedly, in fome different fenfes, yet it may be queftioned whether it be ever used in the fcriptures, to convey the meaning in which it has fo commonly been applied to the Trinity.

Is the mystery of the will of God inexpli cable? It is hidden, indeed, from the wife and prudent; it is a path which the vulture's eye hath not feen; the lion's whelps have not trodden it; yet to babes-the meek and lowly in heart, the mystery is all difclofed; they have both the Father and the Son.-The will of God is the fubject of the whole divine revelation, and is fo far from being dark and obfcure, that all divine light is comprised in this mystery. In the riches of his grace, God has "abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known unto us the mystery of his will."

The policy of the Devil, in his oppofition to the will of God, is alfo called a mystery; not as being unfearchable, for in every age of the world, they who do the will of God, will

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be able to penetrate, and fee to the bottom of the delufion; but, merely, because it is deep, wonderfully deceiving, and exceedingly dif ficult to fearch out and disclose. And, indeed, in the sense of obfcurity, mystery is more applicable to the policy of Satan than to the counsel of God; for fin is darkness-its directions are crooked, and its forms and meafures are endlessly changing and varying; whereas God is light, and the lines of his counsel are all ftraight, and with him there is no variablenefs or fhadow of turning.

Godliness, and every branch of it, is called a mystery; for it is a fcience, great and glorious, worthy of being looked into, fludied, and improved by men and angels. Great is the mystery of godliness. 1 Tim. iii. 16. God was manifeft in the flesh; this is a mystery, but no fecret.-God was "manifeft," not concealed; "juftified in the Spirit;" this is a mystery; the teftimony of the fcriptures, and the power of God, went with the doctrine of the humble Jefus. "Seen of "angels;" this is a myflery.-He was Lord of angels" preached unto the Gentiles;" this is a mystery.-The poor Gentiles were very far from the fold of God-" believ"ed on in the world;" this is a mystery; for it is an unbelieving world." Received up "into glory;" this is a great mystery; from fo deep a state of humiliation, to be lifted up to the right hand of the Majesty on high; what an amazing reflection!-Taken altogether, or in any particular part, godlinefs is a mystery.-And in the fenfe that all

godlinefs is a mystery, the truth of the Trinity is, indeed, a myftery, and a mystery of myfteries; for the purpose, or will of God in Chrift Jefus, is the principle and foundation of the whole.

The union of Chrift and the church is alfo called a mystery.-Eph. v. 32. This is a great mystery; for it fubfifts, as has been fhewn, in the fame truth with the union of Father and Son.-In the union of Chrift and the church, we contemplate the divine principle itself; the ftream which makes glad the city of God, iffues from the fountain-head; it is the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifefted unto us, even the glorious "mystery of his will," Yet, it is no new thing for preachers to venture out freely upon this ground, and undertake, for the edification of the faints, to open and unfold this great mystery.


The gofpel of the kingdom of God being extended to the Gentiles, is likewife often called a myftery, as in Eph. iii. How he made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote afore in few words, whereby when ye read ye may un erftand my knowledge in the mystery of Chrift, which in other ages was not made known unto the fons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apofiles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles fhould be fellow. heirs, and of the fame body, and partakers of his promife in Chrift by the gospel.The Gentiles being brought in, and made children of Abraham, and heirs of the promises made to the fathers, is called a myflery; not, furely,

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, becaufe, for long ages, it was undiscovered, even by the holy faints and angels; and also because of the greatness of the wisdom and power therein contained, and the riches of the grace and mercy therein manifefted.

The faith, i. e. the gospel 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 illuftration.

The refurrection of the dead, and change of the living faints, at the found of the last trumpet, is, moreover, called a mystery.1 Cor. xv. Behold, I fhew you a mystery: We fhall not all fleep, but we shall 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 Apoftle appears to call this a myftery, on account of its being given to him, fo particularly, by immediate revelation, and the glorious nature of the subject, and not as being beyond the reach of our conception; for there is nothing more inconceivable in a state of incorruptable existence, than there is in our prefent corruptable ftate.-Why thould it feem a thing ob

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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-" Behold, I fhew you a mystery."

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Thefe 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 sense in which it is commonly applied to the Trinity. And it must be viewed as a matter unbecoming and very dishonorable, that men who would appear as divines, and lovers of truth, fhould take advantage of the mere found of a bibleword, and make use of it, in the most important relation, as the one we have been confidering, in a fenfe fo foreign from its meaning and use 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; ftill, I must esteem it to be lightfome

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