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“ have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” But when this is not our experience; when we do not approach, or have not access to, the Father through him, and by the Spirit; when we are strangers to the influence of the Holy Spirit upon the soul, and, of consequence, are devoid both of true repentance and saving faith, which are both of the operation of God; (see Col. ii. 12, 13;) when, though we have “free liberty to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, in that new and living way which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh,” and have a a great High Priest over the house of God," yet we do not use our liberty, and “ draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,” as well as our bodies washed with pure water;" when we do not “believe in Christ with our heart unto righteousness," so as to be “justified by faith in Christ," find "peace with God," and obtain “ the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given to us ;” then is the whole doctrine of Christ concerning the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, hid from us, or abused by us.
8. There is, indeed, "one" mystical “body” of Christ, but we do not belong to it, are not members of it ; "one Spirit,” but we have not received him, he does not dwell in us, does not quicken and renew our souls; there is “one Lord,” but we are not subject to him, he does not reign in and over us, and therefore he is not our Lord ; one faith” in that one Lord, even a "faith working by love, purifying the heart, and overcoming the world,” but we have it not; “ one baptism,” but we are not baptized with it, or, if we have had sign," have not had the “ thing signified thereby,"
death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness ;" there is 6 one God and Father of all, who”-in and through that “one Lord," and by that “one Spirit"-"is above all, and through all, and in all” real believers, but he is not our Father, nor are we his children, nor do we worship him in spirit and truth.
9. This, I apprehend, is that ignorance or denial of the blessed Trinity which is most to be dreaded, because most destructive. It leaves the soul in its fallen and disordered
state, immersed in sin, and exposed to wrath, an "alien from the commonwealth of Israel," "a stranger to the covenant of promise,” “having no" lively, well-grounded “hope, without Christ, and without God in the world ; ” it leaves it devoid of the true “grace of Christ,” the real “ love of God," and ennobling and comforting "communion of the Holy Ghost.” Such, not having received “the Spirit of Christ, are none of his;" and not belonging to Christ, not “having the Son,” they “have not the Father ;” and not having the Father, have neither "the true God” nor " eternal life.” “ Ile that hath the Son," indeed, “ hath life;" but he hath that not the Spirit, as we have just seen, hath not the Son, and therefore “ hath not life, but abideth in death" spiritual, and is in the high road to death eternal. Nor will his pretended regard to the Father save him ; for “he that honoureth not the
2 Son,"_especially in his mediatorial character, and in the offices he sustains for a lost world; he that believeth not on him with a living faith, as “ made of God unto him wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption," “ honoureth not the Father," who hath appointed him to execute those offices and bear those characters for our salvation.
10. I said with a living faith ; for it is not a cold, languid, lifeless assent to the truths of the gospel that will save us ; nor such a dependence on Christ, and on the promises of God through him, as being neither preceded by repentance, nor accompanied with love, leaves the soul as á withered branch upon a tree, or a dead member in a body. But the faith that is effectual to salvation is a lively, vigorous, active, and powerful principle, which, coming to Jesus and confiding in him, unites the soul to him, so that it derivés “ out of his fulness grace upon grace," and becomes fruitful in every holy temper, word, and work.
11. By this faith we receive Christ in all his offices and characters. Viewing him as a 6 teacher come from God," the “prophet like unto Moses," whom, on pain of eternal destruction, we are commanded to hear, whose every
word is veracity and truth, whose doctrine is as infallible as it is
and find grace
extraordinary, with the simplicity and teachableness of little children, we sit at his feet, and with humble reverence and dutiful submission we hear and receive the
gracious words that proceed out of his mouth, desiring above all things to be doers of the word, as well as hearers. Considering him as the “High Priest of our profession, a great High Priest, passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek, who, by one offering of himself, once made, hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified, and who, when he had by himself purged our sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, expecting till his enemies be made his footstool ;" considering him, I say, in his priestly office, “ delivered for our offences, raised for our justification," and appearing in the presence of God as our Advocate and Intercessor, we come with boldness to a throne of grace," and thus “ obtain mercy, to help in time of need." By the help of this grace he who is thus made of God unto us “wisdom" and "righteousness” is also made of God unto us “sanctification and redemption;" he who is heard with submissive reverence as a Prophet, and relied on with loving confidence Priest, is also received with obedient loyalty as a King. His kingdom of “righteousness, peace, and joy" is set up in our hearts; and his holy, just, and good laws are made the rule of our lives from day to day. He reigns in and over us; his love is the principle, his will the rule, and his glory the end of our words and actions; and we live no longer to ourselves, but to Him that died for us and rose again.
12. Thus, being “in Christ, we are new creatures; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given” to his apostles and servants “the ministry of reconciliation, to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them ;” for “he hath made Him to be sin"-namely, a sin-offering—“for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him," might be justified and made righteous
through him. Though, therefore, in time past, we might be“ foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another; yet the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appearing, not by works of righteousness which we had done, but according to his mercy,
he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Thus the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are acknowledged in their several offices and characters, and each performs his proper work in saving our lost souls. We worship one God, in and through one Mediator, by the inspiration and aid of one Spirit, without perplexing ourselves with curious inquiries after, and vain reasonings about, what we can no more know in this world, than a child in its infancy can understand how the several offices, powers, and prerogatives of the king, lords, and commons
, constitute one supreme and legislative authority in Great Britain. And with the simplicity of a child, and the loyalty of a good subject of the King of heaven, who commands our hearts, and governs our lives, in and through his Son, and by his Spirit, we confess with our lips, what we believe in our hearts, that though in the church and in the world there are diversities of gifts, it is the same Spirit from whom they all proceed ; and though there are differences of administrations, or offices to be sustained, by the servants of Christ, it is the same Lord that appoints them all; and though there are diversities of operations, or effects produced, it is the same God “who worketh all in all,” through that Lord, and by that Spirit.
13. It is true, some acquaintance with the persons, as well as offices, of the sacred Three, into whose name we have been baptized, is very desirable, and, indeed, absolutely needful, to lay a foundation for that Christian experience and practice, those devout and benevolent affections, and holy and righteous actions, so necessary in order to our pleasing God here, or enjoying him hereafter. And, in particular, it seems impossible we should apply to Christ, even in his mediatorial character, (in which character he is most frequently held forth to us in scripture,) without considering him as “God manifest in the flesh," a person in whom dwells “ all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” For what benefit can we derive from a Mediator, at least, an invisible Mediator, a Mediator in heaven, who is a mere man, or a mere creature, circumscribed in his being, and confined in his presence and operations; who can have no access to us, nor we to him; can neither see, nor hear, nor help us ; and to whom, as being unseen, and at a distance, we can neither signify our wants, nor with any confidence look up for a supply of them ? -a Mediator who cannot be present with us at all times and in all places, in private and in public, at home and abroad, by sea and by land, night and day, in England and in China, throughout the habitable globe?. Surely omnipresence and omniscience, at least, yea, and omnipotence too, are necessary to the character of a complete Mediator, -a Mediator between God and all mankind. And such is the Mediator in whom we trust.
66 Where two or three,” says he, “ are met in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." 6 All the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and the heart.”
14. Not that his human nature (for he is a perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting) can be thus present in all places, and acquainted with all things: this is not supposed, I believe, by any. No; these manifestly-divine perfections are ascribed to the eternal Word of the Father, the indwelling Deity, to which his humanity is joined by a close and indissoluble union, and by which alone he is every where present, acquainted with every thing, has all power in heaven and earth, and will judge men and angels at the last day.
15. Accordingly, those that deny this perfect, everlasting