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that reads the book, calls by no other name than proofs. The catechism itself is proved and tried, and after this we hold it fast.
I may therefore apply to any one, who was brought up in this nurture and admonition of the Lord, as Paul did to Timoihy ; continue in the things that thou hast heard and been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. 2 Tim. iii. 14. And who were these? Not the apostle himself, for he speaks, - of what Timothy had learned, antecedent to their acquaintance. Though I know the liberty that some have taken with our education, yet Timothy's was from his mother and grandmother, 2 Tim. i. 5, for his father was a Greek; Acts xvi. 2, and the apostles remind him, that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise. 2 Tim. iii. 15. .
We must be able to speak from personal inquiries, as they did to the woman of Samaria. Now we believe, not because of thy saying, for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. John iv. 42.
That proposition that there are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory, is commensurate to the form of baptism. If the words are taken in their easy genuine sense, they signify neither more nor less, than that we are baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. If there had not been three persons in the Godhead, we should never have made mention of them in baptism. If these three were not one God, we should, never have been baptized into one name. If they had not been three persons, they would never have been distinguished in the saine way of speaking, that three persons always are. If they had not been the same in nature, substance, or essence, then we must conceive of more Gods than one. If they are not equal in power and glory, their inequality ought to be expressed, in the greatest act of surrender that we can possibly make of ourselves or our children.
5. It is supposed, in holding fast this profession of faith, that we find the concernment which our souls have in it. We are nourished up in the words of faith and good doctrine. 1 Tim. xv. 6. They are wholesome words. I Tim. vi. 3. We are not called in baptism to declare, whether the sun or the earth moves, whether some of the stars are not bigger, than either of our great lights ; because, though these things may be true, they make us neither better nor worse. But it is of the last importance to my religion now, and my happiness for ever, to know with whom I have to do; whether I am to worship one God or three ? I am sensible the latter is idolatry. Whether I am devoted to three persons, or only to one? I see that the latter of these is impiety. I have as much reason to think, that Jesus is the author and finisher of my faith, Heb. xii. 2, as I have, that it is only God who
works in me both to will and do. Phil. ii. 14. I depend upon the Holy Spirit for light and grace, for comfort and heaven, as much as I do upon the Father of lights, the God of all grace, the God of all consolations, the Lord of heaven and earth. James i. 17. 2 Cor. i. 3. Matt. xi. 25. And therefore,
I express, by the very words that Christ has given me, the equal confidence and interest of my soul in all the three. I cannot do without the SON; if he makes me free I am free indeed, but if I have not the Son of God, I have not life. John viii. 36. 1 John v.12. Nor can I want the HOLY SPIRIT, for as ma, ny as have not the Spirit of Christ are none of his. Rom. viii. 10. This one God, these three persons, are revealed as sharers, partners, and equals in the work of my salvation, and yet ever distinguished in the various distributions that are made of it. Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John i. 1. Take away my baptism, and you ruin the frontispiece of my profession; the thing that I first did under the title of Chris. tian. Takeaway the doctrine of the Trinity, and you sap the foundation of all that I have as a believer, and all that I hope for as an heir of salvation.
4. It is supposed in our holding fast this profession, that we bind up ourselves within the revelation that God has given us; that we believe neither more nor less than the scripture has said. Our faith lies open to any doctrine that is contained there, but not a breath far
ther. We have nothing to do with philoso. phy and vain deceit, the rudiments of the world, after the traditions of men, and not after Christ. Col. ii. 8. And therefore, those peo. ple have a mind to pervert the gospel, who will needs darken this counsel of the Lord by words without knowledge, and only draw us into new terms, that they may rob us of the old ones. As Satan comes not but to kill, and to steal, and to destroy, so it is a thievish trick in argumentation, first to lead you out of the road, and then to pick your pocket.
The phrase of three persons in one nature, we have been long used to. Each of these are to be maintained by a flood of scriptures ; rivers of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. But to put it upon mere whims, whether they are three conscious minds or one, three intelligences, three powers, and a great deal more of that language, is all rattle and rumble. And I hope God will defend his Churches, by bringing down this noise of strangers, and making the blast of the terrible one like a storm against a wall. Is. xxv. 5.
I must therefore differ from a late projector of schemes, who says there “ may be a cer“ tain modus or manner of expression, where“ in it is true;" and goes on to tell us, that so we ought to search it out, and not lie down “ satisfied in darkness :" and concludes thus, “ surely we may venture to say a more clear
and intelligible explication of this divine
doctrine of the Trinity, would be an un“ speakable blessing to the Church and to the “ world.” That his attempts this way, have darkened the doctrine, and bewildered the world, may be easily proved.
I am so far from thinking this desirable, that I see the humour for it is dangerous. Thousands have got to heaven without it; and whether they know it there, is more than I can tell. If they do, they were never to have it sooner ; and if they do not, they are happy enough without it. They are full of eyes, and say holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty; but they have each of them six wings; with two of which they cover their faces. Rev. iv. 8. Is. vi. 2. It will never be un. easy to them, that God dwells in that light, to which none can approach.
The main question before us is, whether the Spirit has revealed the manner of the Trinity: If he has not, I believe we may venture to say he will not ; for I expect no additions to the bible. If he has, it is much, that so many vain men who would needs be wise, have got into a wilderness, under no more manage. ment than a wild ass's colt. For my part, I desire to be guided by this rule. When the scripture has a mouth, may I always have an ear; when that is silent, let me be so too. Secret things belong to God, and so they ought to do. Deut. xxix. ult. He has held back the face of his throne. Job xxvi. 9. Things revealed are enough for us and our children. The doctrine of three persons in one nature, has held for 1700 years.
5. Holding fast our profession, signifies