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a trinity in the Godhead: for we need one divine person, to deliver us from the guilt of sin, and we need another divine person, to deliver us from its power, in order that the lord and father of all may receive us back, as his own children, in his eternal kingdom.
These indeed are subjects for further consideration, and cannot be dismissed with merely a few incidental remarks. In the mean time I will beseech you, my beloved brethren, to consider the truths, which have been already established. If it be true, that you have broken the law of your maker, but that Jesus Christ has atoned for your transgression, if it be true, that by faith in his atonement you may not only obtain remission of sins, but receive the gift of the holy ghost, nay, be even built up, as saint Paul expresses it, for an habitation of God through the spirit, what a serious view does this give of your condition! How much at variance is it with the spirit of levity and unconcern, which we daily witness! • Know ye not' (says the holy apostle to all triflers in an affair of such infinite moment), that ye ' are the temple of God, and that the spirit
' of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile 'the temple of God, him shall God destroy : ' for the temple of God is holy; which temple ye are.'
It well becomes you all to consider, whether you do indeed regard the evil of sinning against a gracious and holy God with due abhorrence; whether you be seriously and sufficiently intent on putting away all such evil from among you; whether, notwithstanding your increasing conviction of the power of sin over you, and your natural incompetency to surmount its influence, you do indeed believe, that Jesus Christ has borne all its penalty, and put away all its guilt, and that through the merit of his atoning sacrifice the holy spirit is sent down from Heaven, to sanctify all, who believe, and to renew in them the likeness of their redeemer; and whether all these considerations lead you to cultivate earnestly all those practices, of which that holy spirit approves, and to shun all those thoughts, words, or actions, which he dislikes ; whether they lead you, as they ought, to examine minutely the preceptive parts of scrip
ture, to consider them with reference to their bearing upon your own daily duties, and the regulation of your temper, affections, and habits, that so your whole life in all its relations and circumstances may under the divine blessing be brought nearer from day to day to the pattern of Christ, and the standard of holiness. This, brethren, this is the true life of a christian; and none, who is not following it in some sincere, though humble measure, deserves the name.
But this I say, brethren. Grow in grace! Be not satisfied with low attainments in religion! The spirit of God dwelleth in you, if ye be the children of God: and if he dwell in you, beware of defiling his temple, or provoking him to forsake it, by declining to follow, whithersoever he leads you, or forgetting the holiness of his worshippers! May he deliver you from every evil work, strengthen you with all might according to his glorious power, and preserve you unto his heavenly kingdom!
Ephesians ii. 18.
Through him we both have access by one spirit unto the father.
THE course of our inquiry has led us now to trace the great outline of a christian life, beginning with justification through faith in the saviour, and continued through sanctification by the influence of the holy ghost. In the course of our remarks on the doctrine of justification some reasons were pointed out for holding, if it can be proved, the deity of the son of God; and in considering the doctrine of sanctification we have found similar cause for receiving the deity of the holy ghost. Yet the unity of the Godhead had been already established; and the result of
the whole inquiry would lead us at once to the mysterious doctrine of a trinity in the unity of the divine nature.
Nevertheless this is a tenet, far too important to be established incidentally in the course of a discussion upon other subjects. It demands and deserves a separate investigation. I propose therefore to lay before you this morning some of the direct scriptural proofs, by which it may be made to appear, that our previous inferences upon this subject are not unwarranted by the word of God: and may the grace of our lord, Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the holy ghost be with us, to guide us unto the knowledge of his truth, and draw us near to himself!
We are now proceeding, my brethren, to the consideration of a mysterious doctrine, which we learn from scripture alone. An impartial view of nature might teach us, that there is but one God. But scripture adds to this truth what divine revelation only could make known, that in the unity of this Godhead there are three persons of one substance, power, and