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suffering on the cross; and with the love of the Holy Ghost, in sanctifying their hearts. But they cannot hold communion with the Holy Ghost in sending the Son, for he did not send him; nor with the Father in suffering on the cross, for he never did suffer on the cross. This shows, that when Christians hold communion with God, they hold communion with each person in the Godhead distinctly. Their communion with the Father is not their communion with the Son, and their communion with the Son is not their communion with the Father, and their communion with the Spirit is not their communion with either Father or Son. They hold distinct communion with each Person in the sacred Trinity. It is, therefore, the belief and love of this doctrine, which lays the foundation for that holy and intimate communion with God, which will be the source of their highest enjoyment, both in time and eternity.
4. We are not only allowed, but constrained, to address and worship the true God, according to the personal distinction in the divine nature, because there is no other way, in which we can find access to the throne of divine grace. This important idea is plainly contained in the text. “For through him, that is, Christ, we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Our Savior expresses the same sentiment in stronger terms. “Jesus saith, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” The Apostle represents believers as enjoying pardon, peace, and access to God, through Christ alone. “Therefore, being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By. whom we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” As it was Christ who made atonement for sin, so it is only
“through him that we can have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Sinful creatures cannot approach to the Father in the same way that innocent creatures can. The holy angels can approach to the Father directly without the mediation or intercession of Christ. But we must approach to the Father, in that new and living way which Christ has consecrated for us, through his atoning blood. Indeed, according to the economy of redemption, we can have nothing to do with God, our offended Sovereign, only as existing in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. It is only through Christ, that we have liberty of access unto the Father, and may come boldly unto the throne of grace for pardoning mercy. This renders it not only proper, but indispensable, that we should address and worship God, according to the personal distinction in the divine nature. For, it is only in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, our mediator and intercessor that the Father can consistently hear our prayers, accept our persons, and make us forever happy in the enjoyment of heaven.
IMPROVEMENT. 1. This discourse teaches us, that the doctrine of the Trinity is one of the essential and most important articles of Christianity.
It is universally allowed, that some doctrines of the gospel are more important, than others; but it is not so universally allowed, that the doctrine of the Trinity is a primary article of faith. Some deny the importance of this doctrine from one motive, and some from another. Some who really disbelieve the doctrine, choose to conceal their disbelief, by only calling its importance in question. Some who doubt whether the doctrine be true are very willing to speak of it as
a dark and unimportant point. And among those who profess to believe the truth of the doctrine, there are some who, for the sake of holding communion with the doubting and disbelieving, are disposed to discard it from the catalogue of the essentials and fundamentals of Christianity. But it is extremely absurd for any who admit the truth, to deny the importance, of the doctrine of the sacred Trinity. A more plain, or a more important, or a more practical doctrine, cannot be found in the whole volume of inspiration. It is as easy to conceive of three divine Persons, as to conceive of one divine Person, the only difficulty is to conceive how three divine Persons, should be but one divine Being. But this is the mystery of the doctrine, which it is neither possible nor necessary for us to understand. It is enough for us to believe, that there are three equally divine persons in the Godhead, and to feel and conduct towards each person according to his divine nature and peculiar office. This the man of the meanest capacity, as well as the most learned and acute divine, may and ought to do, because the doctrine of the Trinity is as plainly revealed in Scripture, as any other divine mystery. No man can seriously and impartially read the Bible, whether he believes it to be of divine inspiration or not, without finding the doctrine of the Trinity there. It is true, this, like several other important doctrines, is more clearly revealed in the New Testament, than in the Old; but it is so clearly revealed in both, that it cannot be denied, or explained away, without shaking the foundation of the gospel. For the whole scheme of redemption was not only devised and adopted by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; but each person engaged to bear a distinct part, in carrying it into execution. If there be, therefore, any one doctrine of the gospel,
Occasioned by the death of Deacon Robert Gilmore.
who will say unto him, what doest thou?
Constant preparations making for the day of judgment. 2 PETER, iii, 9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness.
THE TRUE GOD IS TO BE WORSHIPPED, AS EXIST.
ING IN THREE PERSONS.
EPHESIANS ii, 18. For through him we both have access by one Spirit
unito the Father.
God has revealed his will to mankind gradually, by one inspired teacher after another. And these teachers never represent any thing as new, which had been revealed before. Thus Moses takes it for a revealed and well known-truth, that the sabbath is to be sanctified, the first time he mentions that day. All the prophets after him speak of temporal death, human depravity, and a future state of happiness and misery, as things already revealed and universally believed. Our Saviour never pretends to teach any thing as new, which had been taught before, by any of the teachers sent from God. And it is very remarkable, that neither Christ nor the Apostles ever speak of the sacred Trinity as a new, but only as an old doctrine, which had been taught and believed, under all the previous dispensations of the gospel. When Christ instituted the ordinance of Baptism, to be administered in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, he gives no intimation, that he meant to reveal any thing new, respecting these adorable persons in the Godhead. So the Apostles, in their familiar letters to the churches, occasionally speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as though it were a doctrine well known and universally believed, by common christians, that the one true God exists in