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or other apply to them as one, and make the first ordinance of the gospel, agree to the first command in the law, thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
On which account I see no reason for trine immersion or trine aspersion, either dipping or sprinkling thrice, as the manner of some is. The unity of that name in which we are baptized, does not need it, and I think cannot bear it. In the whole solemnity we are given to no more, and to no other than the great Jehovah. Our concern with the Father in this ordinance, is not merely as he is a person, but as he is God. And as the Son and Holy Spirit have this name with him, so it is with a regard to that eternal deity, that we are theirs, as much as his. The believer may say as the prophet does, I am called by thy name, O Lord of hosts ; Jer. xv. 16. And with the Church, by thee only will we make mention of thy name ; Is. xxvi. 13. and we will remember the name of the Lord our God. Ps. xx. 7.
(2.) I have shown you, that they are distinct in their operations. The scripture affirms some things of the Father, which are never applied to the Son; and some of the Son, which are not true of the Spirit; and some of the Spirit which are peculiar to himself ; but every one of them, proves a Deity in that person that does it. They are wondrous works that are done by God alone. We are said to be elect, according to the fore-knowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit upto obedience, and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. 1 Pet. i; 2. Now this sanctification, this election and sprinkling are what no creature, could ever give us. God has revealed himself as doing all that, I will take you from among the heathen, I will sprinkle clean water upon you, ye shall be my people and I will be your God. Ez. xxxvi. 24, 25, 28.
1. It was the Father's appointment; upon which, the Son came into the world; and the very sending of a Saviour can be no other than the work of God. When the fulness of time came, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law. Gal. iv. 14. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who has visited and redeemed his people, and raised up a horn of salvation. Luke i. 68, 69. The devils themselves owned that he was the holy one of God. Nicodemus, before he was established in the faith, could say, that no man can do these things, except God was with him. Upon this does the blind man pursue a noble argument. “ Herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes; if this man were not of God, he could do nothing. John ix. 30, 33.” Thus does Nathaniel make his first profession,“ Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the king of Israel." John xvi. 30. The disciples in full faith ac. kuowledged, “ now we are sure, that thou knowest all things; by this we believe that thou camest forth from God." John xvii. 8. And to this conviction, does Christ himself give his testimony, “I have given unto them, the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I
came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” He bears witness to this truth among the Jews. “ If God were your Father ye would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me: And again, if I honour myself my honour is nothing; it is my Father that honoureth me, of whom ye say that he is your God!” John viii. 42. 54.
2. The Son has those things affirmed of him, that are peculiar to his person. He alone was a child born, a sacrifice for sin, and the first begotten from the dead. And though these accounts belong to the human nature, yet the redemption that he fulfilled by them, will prove the divine. He who was of the seed of David according to the flesh, must be over all God blessed for ever. Rom. 1. 2. and ix. 5. None but a God could be incarnate, so as to redeem them that are under the law, that they might receive the adoption of sons. Had an angel been made partaker of flesh and blood, he might have lived and died, but he could never have reconciled us to God. His blood would not have been able, to do away one sin. He could not have trod the winepress. Christ did that alone. And therefore the seed of the woman, was no other than God manifest in the flesh. i Tim. iii. 16. In him was life. John i. 4. The child born was to be the mighty God, the everlasting Father. Is. ix. 6. And though he was really a man both in soul and body, yet the Church is what God has purchased by his own blood. Acts xx.28
In order to the finishing of his great design, he is to reign over the house of Jacob for ever and ever, and of his kingdom there is no end. Luke i. 33. Now, it is true only of God, that his throne is for ever and ever. He was in the form of God, and thought it no robbery to be equal with God. Phil. ii. 6. He that was the resurrection must be the life. John xi. 25. The last Adam is a quickening spirit. 1 Cor. xv. 45. Nor was it enough that he loosed the pains of death; but he did it upon this ground, that it was impossible he should be holden of it. Acts ii. 24.
3. The Holy Spirit has things said of him, which are not attributed either to Father or Son, in a personal way; such as furnishing out prophets, apostles, pastors, and teachers; sanctifying, comforting, and securing believers. And yet these, do all of them suppose and declare a divine nature. The scriptures of the prophets were given by inspiration of God, 2 Tim. iii. 16. and yet holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet. i. 21. The apostles had a greater unction, from the holy one, than ever any received before, or I believe shall do again ; and it was by the Holy Ghost's coming down upon them, that they were endued with power from on high. It is God alone who would give pastors, after his own heart, to feed us with knowledge and understanding. This is no other than the Holy Ghost who made them overseers. Acts xx. 28. God put words into Aaron's mouth; Exod. iv. 15. and the disciples spake as the Spirit gave
US: so tha, cod will nes, according
them utterance, Acts ii. 4. You are saved by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, Tit. iii. 5. and yet surely it is a matter above all dispute that God alone can sanctify. He that is born of the Spirit is born of God. John i. 14. iii. 8. The Spirit abides with us for ever; that is, according to his own promise, God will never leave us nor forsake us: so that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper. Heb. xiii. 5, 6.
He is the Comforter; and yet it is God who comforts them that are cast down. 2 Cor. i. 4. The joys of the Holy Ghost are the consolations of God; for when he speaks peace, who can give trouble? You are the temple of the Holy Ghost; 1 Cor. vi. 19. that is, God dwells in you. By this relation to the third person of the Trinity, you are called the temple of the living God. 2 Cor. vi. 16. Your perseverance is owing to the Spirit, who shall guide and lead you into the land of uprightness. This is no other than God's guiding you by his counsel, and receiving you up to his glory. Ps. Ixxiii. 24.
2. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are equal in their influence upon the believer; which is supposed, professed, and implored in the ordinance of baptism. The blessings we have in our eye, secured by the everlasting covenant, come from each person; as our acceptance and pardon, our sanctification and holiness, our security and perseverance, our communion and fellowship, our resurrection from the dead, our admittance into heaven,