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mutual relations of the divine Persons. All the external works of God, indeed, are common to each Person ; as the divine nature is the same indivisible principle of operation. Yet these works are distinctly ascribed to the three Persons, because each Person operates according to the order of subsistence. In the old creation, the Father called all things into being, by his co-essential Word, communicating life immediately by the Spirit, as exercising a generating power on the unforined mass. When God created man, the First Person formed him by the Second, as his efsential Image, giving him life, both natural and moral, by the Third as “the Spirit of life a." Yet this implies no inferiority, or mere inftrumentality, in any of the adorable Persons; but only the most perfect order and harmony. The case is the same in the new creation. It seems most consistent with divine wisdom, that he who is first in the order of subsistence should rather send than be sent ; that the Son, who is “ the
• image of the invisible God," should procure the restoration of that blessed image lost by fin; and that he, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, should be sent by both, to quicken those who are spiritually dead. This distinct operation indeed, as it corresponds with the order of subfiftence, beautifully harmonizes with the distinguishing character belonging to each Person. He, who is essentially the Father, assumes the character of paternity, in a federal respect, towards those who are orphans and aliens. The only-begotten Son of God is sent forth, made under the law, that they may “ receive the adoption of “ fons,” and appears as
a Gen. i. 27. ; ii. 7.
" the first-born among many brethren.” The adorable Spirit, “ the “ breath of JEHOVAH," breathes on the flain, that they may live ; giving them a new heart and a right spirit. He, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, unites the finner to both.
Is it “ life eternal to know the only true God, “ and Jesus Christ whom he hath fent?” Hath no one the Father, who “denieth the Son?” Can no one honour the Father," who honoureth not “ the Son ?” Is it the Spirit alone who quickeneth, and who teacheth us to“ know the things " that are freely given us of God ?” Can no man
say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy “ Ghost ?” Is it through Christ that “ we have “ access by one Spirit unto the Father?" Let us bless God for the revelation of the mystery of a Trinity in unity; and especially because he hath revealed it so clearly in the history of our redemption, in relation to that work in which a peculiar operation belongs to each adorable Person, in which the love of a three-one God is so wonderfully displayed, in which we discern fo blessed a harmony, not only of divine perfections, but of divine Persons! In all our worship, let us view God according to this revelation, afcribing glory to him “who is, and who was, and “ who is to come, and to the Seven Spirits which
" are before his throne, and to Jesus Christ, who “ is the faithful witness, and the first-begotten “ from the dead, and the prince of the kings of “ the earth.” Let us earnestly desire communion with this three-one God; with the Father, in his love as the spring of our salvation; with the Son, in all that grace which he hath purchased by his blood ; and with the Holy Ghost, in the whole extent of his efficacious operation. In order to this, let us press after union with Christ, that in him we may be united to the Father by that one Spirit who proceeds from both, and who is conferred by both as the Spirit of adoption. Let us cultivate love to the brethren, as members of the fame mystical body, desiring to be “one heart “ and one soul ;" that although many, we may be one, and thus be assimilated, in our weak measure, to the blessed Trinity in respect of unity; as Jesus prays in behalf of his Church ;—“ That “they all may be one ; as thou, Father, art in
me, and I in thee; that they also may be one “ in us.-I in them, and thou in me, that they
may be made perfect in one; and that the “ world may know that thou hast fent me, and !" haft loved them, as thou hast loved me h.”
John xvii. 21. 234
Of the Wisdom of God. Of bis Power.-Of that
character, The LORD of Hofts.
In the sacred volume, we have an history of the divine perfections. These are not only declared in a doctrinal way, but also historically delineated. They are not merely exhibited as objects of faith ; by their wonderful effects, they become as it were visible to the very senses of men.
Often, in one event, one perfection appears more conspicuous than others, like an ap“ple of gold, set in pictures of silver.” In another, different perfections beam forth with diftinguished lustre, But whether the display be limited to one, or extended to more, such are the characters of the work as to proclaim a divine agent.
It might be shewed, that we have here an history of the Wisdom of God. This perfection is displayed in the work of creation. All things are declared to be “ very good S," as exactly corresponding to the pattern in the divine mind, and to the end for which they were made. We may therefore justly say; “ O Lord, how manifold are thy works, in wisdom haft thou made them
ç Gen. i. 37.
“all d.” The same wisdom is conspicuous in the works of Providence. How often hath God
brought to nought the counsel of the wicked;" now, by “ making their devices of none effect," although the result of the most mature deliberation, and displaying all the craft of the old ferpent; then, by turning their very schemes of destruction on their own heads! Pharaoh said, in the height of his resentment, and in the insolence of his pride; “I will pursue, I will overtake, I “ will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied
upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand “ Mall destroy theme.” But this very pursuit was overruled for his more signal overthrow.
The wisdom of God might be illustrated from the confideration of the means employed for the preservation of the truth. The great longevity of the antediluvian patriarchs, and of some of those who lived after the flood, was evidently defigned in subferviency to the preservation of that precious doctrine revealed to the Church, while it was only transmitted by tradition. A particular family was afterwards separated for this purpofe. At length, when idolatry had overrun the world, revelation was committed to writing, and a whole nation were employed as its guardians. As the Sacred History exhibits the completion of great part of the prophecies contained in the volume of inspiration, we have another evidence that its author is “ the only wise God," who “knoweth the end from the beginning."
d Pfal. civ. 24.
e Exod. xv. 9.