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he himself has trodden, you shall be partakers of his triumph, you shall be the companions of his glory. “ To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”
THE PRACTICAL TENDENCY OF THE DOCTRINE
OF THE TRINITY.
EPHESIANS ii. 18.
Through him we both have access by one Spirit
unto the Father.
The knowledge of God is the grand end and pur-
and the result to which this knowledge leads is the supreme happiness of
It is nothing less than the means of his introduction to a state of eternal happiness. “ This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
Now, it is evident from the very language in which this sentence is expressed, that the knowledge of God, which is here implied, has a direct and immediate reference to a practical object. It is not proposed that we should seek to become acquainted with God, by mere speculative or metaphysical research, but by the contemplation
of his perfections, as they stand in connexion with that eternal life, after which our hopes aspire. The infinity of God, the awful grandeur of him who fills all space, and governs all the wondrous works of his material and intellectual creation, must for ever transcend the limited capacities of finite creatures. An impenetrable veil is drawn before the throne of him, whom we are yet bound to adore as the great Author of our being, and as the gracious Saviour of our souls. But sufficient information is afforded, to guide us to such conclusions respecting his character, as may best promote our fulfilment of the duties which we owe to him, and our acceptance of the blessings which he bestows upon us. The points of useful information he has not concealed from our view: he has condescended to display his mighty attributes, as in merciful operation for our present benefit, and for our final welfare. If he makes not all his glory to pass by us, (as the servant of his choice once requested that he might behold him,) it is because we are unable to endure the sight: yet, like that same Moses, he has placed us, as it were, in the cleft of the rock, that at least some of his dignity may be seen, and that the description of his majesty may reach our ears. Let us then submit to this wisdom of our hea. venly Father ; and without murmuring that full light of his presence cannot be mortal eye, let us employ t' owled
he has vouchsafed, in such a manner as best to promote the gracious purposes of his mercy, the display of his own glory, in the salvation of our immortal souls.
At a time when blasphemy and infidelity are raising their impious and unblushing fronts on every side, it becomes those who love the truth to be the more zealous in its defence, and the more active in the discharge of the duties, which the belief of the truth demands. These two considerations must never be separated, in our endeavours to combat with the enemies of Christ : our arguments from external evidence must be supported by the exhibition of the internal tendency of the gospel : we must be ready not only to show the strength of our fortress, but the order and beauty of the city which it defends.
In these days, the dangers which beset Christianity appear to require at our hands, not perhaps so much the examination and discussion of objections ten times refuted, and of calumnies ten times repelled ; but, rather, are we called upon.
to show the actual influence of the doctrines of Christianity upon the heart: rather ought we to dwell upon the moral effects, than solely upon their abstract truth ; we ought to address the affections of the soul, as well as the conviction of the understanding. This we shall lo, by exhibiting in ourselves the genuine results
the Christian faith. This we shall do, by showing openly to the world, that we believe the doctrines which we profess, because we adopt them as the principles of our lives. This will set aside many of the difficulties, which some would draw around our most sublime and most influential truths, by demonstrating practically, that though these truths belong to the deep things of God, in as far as they relate to his existence and his perfections, yet do they come home to the wants and necessities of our own hearts, as they relate to the manifestation of his purposes of love towards us, in the work of human redemption and restoration. A sincere, honest, and zealous Christian, is one at whose rebuke a thousand infidels must flee. If all who name the name of Christ would indeed depart from iniquity, what an irrefragable testimony would be afforded to the efficiency of that gospel, by which this moral renovation had been effected. How would this exhibit that full radiance of divine. truth, before which every servant of darkness would shrink appalled, conscious of the fulfilment of that purpose for which Christ was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.