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and enlightening; it is a plain path to walk in, and a perfect rule to walk by; it maketh wife the fimple, and giveth understanding to babes; it is the bread which came down from heaven, and the water of eternal life: it is a field full of all hid treasures, in which the foul can take an eternal range, and never find one vacant or fruitlefs fpot; it is more to be defired than gold, yea, than much fine gold; Jweeter alfo than honey, and the honey-comb.
But, if the enquiry be after fomething beyond the divine will, it is a jeft to talk of not comprehending it; for there, no doctrine, no trinity, nothing whatever can be found; it is in vain to look for things where nothing does in fact exist-where nothing is which bears a character or name.-And, suppose, a trinity does exift in fomething beyond the divine will, and we, in fome way, could know that fuch a thing existed, it is plain that it could be of no use to us; for it is demonftrable, that wisdom is all comprised in the divine will, and all that is valuable to men, riches and honor, and long life are with her.
PARTICULAR REMARKS RELATIVE TO THE STATEMENT AND DEFINITION.
A man, whose way lies through a thick crowd, whilft he is preffing out, one on the one hand, and another on the other, makes but flow progrefs; but having attended to the above objections, I fhall offer fome few
particulars farther, relative to the Statement and Definition under confideration.
1. The divine principle, as already defined, neceffarily fuppofes an order of divine perfons, viz. a covenant maker, or mover, which gives the idea of a first person; a covenant fubject, or one brought into the covenant, which gives the idea of a second perfon; and a covenant intereft, which, in a ju eftimation of the divine principle, it being of the nature of marriage, and giving in marriage, wherein the intereft is the bride, gives the idea of a third perfon.
2. Though in the divine will, the covenanting parties must co-exift, as the felf-fame act which constituted the fon conftitutes also the character of father; ftill there is a plain reafon for confidering the father, as to the method, first, or greater than the fon; for, in the divine will, the covenant fubject is both commanded and blessed of the covenant ma ker; and without all contradiction the less is bieffed of the better. Heb. vii. 7.-This explains the word of Chrift. John xiv. 28.My father is greater than I. The connexion fhews that this is the true meaning of the word, for Chrift was here fpeaking of his going to the Father to receive the blessing of his glory. Yet, as this bleffing fets him up, as a Son by inheritance, completely in the eftate of the Father; we behold him, in this refult of the divine principle, as he was in the beginning, is now, and ever will be, one with the Father; and as thus reigning and judging upon his throne; he is God with God; co
exiftent and co-eternal with the Father, and his equal in power and in glory. It is evident, however, that there is a glory of the parental character, which will ever diftinctly remain to the Father, and a diftinct glory of the filial character, which will ever be contemplated in the Son, as his own glory; and fo, alfo, there is a diftinct character, which will ever be adored in the Holy Ghost.
3. The party brought into covenant in the divine will, being made the Chrift of God, is therefore the eternal Word-the Rock of Ages the foundation and head of all worlds, and is the subject of the record in heaven.Again, the fecond perfon in the Godhead, performing the covenant fervice, and confequently being crowned with the reward, the difplay of the divine principle will be in him; he will declare God-in him God will be manifefted; he will, therefore, be the subject of the divine witness on earth, and in a peculiar fenfe, be called the Word of God, as being the report or expreffion of the divine will. Such appellations as the Word of God, Rock of Ages, Foundation, &c. belong undoubtedly to the Divine Being or Godhead; but, as the divine theory, or whole exhibition of the divine will, devolves neceffarily upon the fecond perfon, they are particularly applied to Chrift, and, for the fame reafon, he is fo particularly called the Wisdom of God, and the Power of God, which are alfo names of the divine principle.
4. Moreover, we obferve, that this divine exhibition and manifeflation of God in Carilt,
or his being the Word and Wisdom of God, implies a visible form, which refpects the whole creation; and, therefore, the light and truth of the whole creation must be merely the light and truth of Chrift, or the difplay of the divine will in him.-The argument of the divine theory, therefore, is the actual conformity of the works of God to the divine principle, or the actual exhibition of Chrift in the whole creation; and the work before us is fimply the illustration of the truth that Chrift is all in all.
The foregoing Statement and Definition of the divine principle, may be fummed up in the following theorems.
1. The principle of divine knowledge, which is the discoverable Divine Being, is of the voluntary nature, or of the nature of a purpose or will; and the divine fubftance being fimple and uncompounded, it is wholly of this nature.
2. The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last of the divine fyftem, is comprifed in the purpose or will of God.
3. The divine purpose or will is a matter of real fact.
4 The divine will is infinite, eternal and unchangeable; holy, juft and good; and the subject of all the divine characters.
5. The divine will is difcoverable, and capable of ample illuflration.
6. The divine will fhews a trinity in unity; it fhews a Father, a Son, and a Holy Ghost; and that these three distinct persons are immediately one in will.
7. The divine will presents the doctrine of Chrift; and the truth to which he bare witnefs in the world, is traced, as to its origin, in this act of his inauguration; and which is of the nature of a covenant tranfaction, or a matter of record between parties.
8. The divine will confifts of a precept, and a promise, or a requirement and a reward; it is a commandment, rule, &c. which embraces eternal life.
9. The requirement of the divine will is, that of the Setting up and full exhibition of the authority and glory of the Father; the reward is, that of being fet up, and exhibited in this authority and glory.
io. The divine will is the truth laid down in the teftimony of Jefus, which was the matter of his accufation, and which he confeffed before Pontius Pilate, and for which he fuffered upon the cross; that he is Lord and Chrift; and, in the approaching day, upon the throne of David, at the head of his church and people, he shall reign over the world,—And this is the mere gospel itself.
11. The divine will, comprifing the doctrine of Chrift, unfolds the relation of Father and Son, the union of Chrift and believers, the law and adminiftration of the church, the duty and bleffedness of the faints, and the whole everlasting glory of the kingdom of