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have determined, is on both Hands wrong; and hath often led very great Men into unhappy Errors, and very good Men into fierce Contentions; all which might be avoided, would they but be fo modeft, as neither to doubt of what the All-wife hath taught, nor pry into what he hath concealed; and fo charitable, as never without the strongest Reason to think ill of others, and never for any Reafon do or wifh ill to them.

There are certainly, in this wonderful Doctrine, many Things, concerning which, Queftions may be asked, which we can only answer by confeffing our Ignorance: and fome Things, against which Objections may be raised, that we can solve no otherwise, than by reminding those, who make them, that fuch Difficulties must be expected, whenever a finite Mind attempts to view an infinite Object. But, though, in the Holy Trinity, there is much, that can by no means be comprehended fully; which is what we intend to fay, by calling it mysterious, or above Reafon; (as indeed almoft every Thing is, in Part, above ours :) yet, in what the Scripture requires us to believe concerning the Holy Trinity, there is nothing, which either cannot be at all underftood

; or

which, when understood, is abfurd and con-
trary to Reason. Now whatever poffibly may
be true, we are bound, when a Revelation,
well attefted, plainly teaches it, to believe
actually is true. For Faith in what God
affirms, is unquestionably as neceffary, as Obe-
dience to what he enjoins. And, little as we
can fee in Matters of this high Nature, we
may notwithstanding fufficiently fee very im-
portant Motives for his Injunction of Faith in
this Doctrine: because from the Diftinction
of Perfons in the Trinity, there arifes a far-
ther Distinction of their Relations to us, on
which Relations are founded diftinct Duties
on our Parts towards them; and
and very
from what they would be, if two of them
were only Creatures of exalted Rank. The
whole Subftance of Chriftianity is compre-
hended in confidering, and accordingly honour-
ing, (to exprefs it in the well-known Words
of our Catechifm) 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 Ghoft, as Him, who
fanctifieth us and all the elect People of God.
Not but that each Perfon concurs in each of
thefe Works but ftill, finding in Scripture,


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that one is represented as more peculiarly and eminently concerned in one of them, and another in another; we justly diftinguish the Father, Son, and Spirit, by the distinct Offices of Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier; and justly exprefs 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 Perfon of the Father in the first of these Characters. And the four and twenty Elders fell down before him that fat on the Throne, and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever,-faying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive Glory, and Honour, and Power: for thou hast created all Things; and for thy Pleafure they are, and were created 8. We therefore on Earth, in like Manner, ought to 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 Wif dom, was the original Cause of our Redemption. For in this was manifefted the Love of God towards us, that he fent his only-begotten Son into the World, that we might live through Him. Bleffed be the God and Father of our

h Pf. xcv. 6.

3 Rev. iv. 10, 11.


i 1 John iv. 9.



Lord Jefus Chrift, which, according to his abundant Mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively Hope. But the actual Accomplishment of this great Design was the unfpeakably gracious Work of the fecond Perfon, whom therefore we call our Redeemer, and addrefs with Devotions appropriated to his Office. Thus, in the very next Chapter of the fame Book of Revelation, we are told by St. John: The four and twenty Elders fell down before the Lamb, and fung a new Song, faying, Thou art worthy for thou waft flain, and haft redeemed us to God by thy Blood, out of every Kindred, and Tongue, and People, and Nation.-And I heard the Voice of many Angels round about the Throne,-faying with a loud Voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was flain, to receive Power, and Riches, and Wisdom, and Strength, and Honour, and Glory, and Bleffing. And every Creature, which is in Heaven, and on the Earth, and under the Earth, heard I, faying, Bleffing, and Honour, and Glory, and Power, be unto him, that fitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. In this univerfal Acclamation of Praise, our Hearts ought to join with the humbleft Gratitude: to reverence him 1 Rev. v. 8, 9, 11, 12, 13.

k 1 Pet. i. 3.


continually as the Lord of all; and in particular, befides the holy Ordinance of Baptism, to celebrate with the devouteft Affection, that other folemn Rite, which he hath instituted, commanding us, This do in Remembrance of me". The diftinct Office of the third Perfon, the Spirit, hath confifted from the Beginning, first in revealing and confirming the Truths of Religion to Men, from Age to Áge, till the Knowledge of them was completed in the New Teftament; for holy Men of old fpake as they were moved by the Holy Ghoft° : then in difpofing their Minds, by the outward Ministry of the Word, and the inward Workings of his Grace, to receive and obey them: giving thofe, who comply with his Motions, Strength against Temptation, Comfort under Affliction, Fervency in Prayer, Growth in Goodness, reviving Hope, and fometimes joyful Affurance, 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.

Pet. i. 21.

n Luke xxii. 19.
B 2

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