Imatges de pàgina
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as a matter in the dark, and incapable of be: ing opened and illustrated: for the Apostle, at the same time he called it a mystery, said it was “ revealed” and “made known," and he was desirous 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, because, for long ages, it was undiscovered, even by the holy saints and angels; and also because of the greatness of the wisdom and

power therein contaired, and the riches of the grace and mercy therein manifested.

The faith, i, e. the gospel itself, in like manner, is called a mystery.—1 Tim. iii.

9. The mystery of the faith; but the gospel, equal with any other subject, is certainly capable of ample illustration.

The resurrection of the dead, and change of the living saints, at the sound of the last trumpet, is, moreover, called a mystery.-1 Cor, xv. Behold, I shew you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptable, and we shall be changed.—The Apostle appears to call this a mystery, 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 incorruptible existence, than there is in our present corruptible state. Why ihould it seem a thing ob

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scure, or perplexing to the mind, that God should raise the dead, or change the state and condition of his people?-That the Apostle did not consider his subject as being a matter inconceivable, or incapable of being well understood, is evident from his stylehold, I fhew you a mystery.".

These instances are enough to shew how the word Mystery is used in the scriptures. And no place in the inspired 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 maiter unbecoming

very dishonorable, that men who would appear as divines, and lovers of truth, should take advantage of the mere sound of a bibleword, and make use of it, in the most important relation, as the one we have been consid. ering, in a sense 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 incomprehensible to command silence; 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 illustrate some things. And, as to the divine will, I do not think that I can comprehend it; ftill, I must esteem it to be lightsome

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and enlightening; it is a plain path to walk in, and a perfect rule to walk by; it maketh wise the simple, 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 soul can take an eternal range, and never find one vacant or fruitless spot; it is more to be defired than gold, yea, than much fine gold; fweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb.

But, if the enquiry be after something beyond the divine will, it is a jest 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 exist in something beyond the divine will, and we, in some way, could know that such a thing existed, it is plain that it could be of no use to us; for it is demonstrable, that wisdom is all comprised in the divine will, and all that is valuable to men, riches and laonor, and long life are with her.

PARTICULAR REMARKS RELATIVE TO THE

STATEMENT AND DEFINITION. A man, whose way lies through a thick crowd, whild he is presling out, one on the one hand, and another on the other, makes but low progress; but having attended to the above objections, I shall offer some few

particulars farther, relative to the Statement and Definition under consideration.

1. The divine principle, as already defined, necessarily supposes an order of divine persons, viz. a covenant maker, or mover, which gives the idea of a first person; a covenant subje£t, or one;brought into the covenant, which gives the idea of a second

person; and a covenant intereft, which, in a just estimation of the divine principle, it being of the nature of marriage, and giving in marriage, wherein the interest is the bride, gives the idea of a third person.

2. Though in the divine will, the covenanting parties must co-exist, as the self-fame act which constituted che son, constitutes also the character of father; still there is a plain reason for considering the father, as to the method, firft, or greater than the fon; for, in the divine will, the covenant subject is both commanded and blessed of the covenant maker; and without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. Heb. vii. 7.—This explains the word of Christ. John xiv, 28.My father is greater than I. The connexion thews that this is the true meaning of the word, for Christ was here speaking of his go. ing to the Father to receive the blessing of his glory.--Yet, as this blelling fets him up, as a Son by inheritance, completely in the eftate of the Father; we behold him, in this ree fult 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 judge ing upon his throne; he is God with God; cóc existent 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 distinctly remain to the Father, and a distinct glory of the filial character, which will ever be contemplated in the Son, as his own glory; and so, al. fo, there is a distinct character, which will ever be adored in the Holy Ghost. 3.

The party brought into covenant in the divine will, being made the Chrif 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 second person in the Godhead, performing the covenant service, and consequently being crowned with the reward, the display of the divine principle will be in him; he will declare God-in him God will be manifested; he will, therefore, be the subject of the divine witness on earth, and in a peculiar sense, be called the Word of God, as being the report or expression 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 necessarily upon the second person, they are particularly applied to Christ, and, for the same reason, he is so particularly called the Wisdom of God, and The Power of God, which are also names of the divine principle.

4. Moreover, we observe, that this divine exhibition and manifestation of God in Chrift,

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