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which, when understood, is absurd and contrary to Reason. Now whatever poflibly may be true, we are bound, when a Revelation, well attested, plainly teaches it, to believe actually is true. For Faith in what God affirms, is unquestionably as necessary, as Obedience to what he enjoins. And, little as we can see in Matters of this high Nature, we may notwithstanding sufficiently see very important Motives for his Injunction of Faith in this Doctrine : because from the Distinction of Persons in the Trinity, there arises a farther Distinction of their Relations to us, on which Relations are founded distinct Duties on our Parts towards them ; and

very

different from what they would be, if two of them were only Creatures of exalted Rank. The whole Substance of Christianity is comprehended in considering, and accordingly honouring, (to express it in the well-known Words of our Catechism) God the Father, as Him, who hath made us and all the World; God the Son, as Him, who hath redeemed us and all Mankind; God the Holy Ghost, as Him, who fanctifieth us and all the ele&t People of God. Not but that each Perfon concurs in each of these Works : but still, finding in Scripture, that one is represented as more peculiarly and eminently concerned in one of them, and another in another ; we justly distinguish the Father, Son, and Spirit, by the distinct Offices of Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier ; and justly express the Distinction in our Prayers and Praises, as well as in our Creed.

Thus, in the Revelation of St. John, the Saints above adore the Person of the Father in the first of these Characters. And the four and twenty Elders fell down before him that sat on the Throne, and worshipped bim that liveth for ever and ever,--saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive Glory, and Honour, and Power : for thou hast created all Things ; and for thy Pleasure they are, and were created 8. We therefore on Earth, in like Manner, ought

worship, and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker h: to whom we farther owe peculiar Thanksgivings on this Account, that he, according to the Counsel of infinite Wifdom, was the original Cause of our Redemption.' For in this was manifested the Love of God towards us, that be sent his only-begotten Son into the World, that we' might live through Blessed be the God and Father of our

i i John iv. 9. Vol. V,

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Lord

to

Himi.

3 Rev. iv. 10, 1l.

Pf. xcv. 6.

Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant Mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively Hopek. But the actual Accomplishment of this great Design was the unfpeakably gracious Work of the second Person, whom therefore we call our Redeemer, and address with Devotions appropriated to his Office. Thus, in the very next Chapter of the same Book of Revelation, we are told by St. John : The four and twenty Elders fell down before the Lamb, and sung a new Song, saying, Thou art worthy--for thou wast Nain, and haft redeemed us to God by thy Blood, out of every Kindred, , and Tongue, and People, and Nation.--And I beard the Voice of many Angels round about the Throne,-saying with a loud Voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was pain, to receive Power, and Riches, and Wisdom, and Strength, and Honour, and Glory, and Blessing. And every Creature, which is in Heaven, and on the Earth, and under the Earth, beard I, saying, Blessing, and Honour, and Glory, and Power, be unto him, that fitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever 1. In this universal Acclamation of Praise, our Hearts ought to join with the humblest Gratitude : to reverence him k i Pet. i. 3.

1 Rev. v. 8, 9, 11, 12, 13.

continually

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continually as the Lord of all" ; and in particular, besides the holy Ordinance of Baptism, to celebrate with the devoutest Affection, that other folemn Rite, which he hath instituted, .commanding us, This do in Remembrance of me n. The distinct Office of the third Perfon, the Spirit, hath consisted from the Beginning, first in revealing and confirming the Truths of Religion to Men, from Age to Ágė, till the Knowledge of them was completed in the New Testament ; for holy Men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost ° : then in disposing their Minds, by the outward Ministry of the Word, and the inward Workings of his Grace, to receive and obey them : giving those, who comply with his Motions, Strength against Temptation, Comfort under Affliction, Fervency in Prayer, Growth in Goodness, reviving Hope, and sometimes joyful Assurance, of divine Favour : All which Operations tending wholly to improve us in Piety and Virtue, which together make up true Sanctity or Holiness, he is accordingly styled the Sanctifier. And our Duty to him plainly is; to be thankful to him for what he hath done, and pray for what he is ready to in Acts X: 36. in Luke xxii. 19.

do,

2

Pet. i. 21.

B 2

1

do, towards our Salvation ; never to grieve ! or do despite to him by wilful Sin or Negligence; but to learn from his Instructions, and yield to his Influences, that he

may

abide with us for ever, and make us, as the Apostle expresses himself, Temples of the Holy Ghost'.

p Eph. iv. 30.

9 Heb. X. 29.

1 Cor. vi. 19

SERMON

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