Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

grace : may still be the abode of pride and all iniquity. There is nothing in all these that can subdue the heart; nothing that can raise its affections to their only legitimate object, and bring back the soul to that source of true happiness which can alone satisfy her desires. The perception of the love of God through Christ; the faith that accepts the mediation of the Saviour, and acknowledges all the mighty obligations of gratitude and affection, which this mediation involves, is that which alone can purify the heart, and animate the soul to godliness.“ The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world ; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

60

SERMON V.

(Preached on Trinity Sunday, 1826.)

THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY.

2 CORINTHIANS xiii. 14.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with

you

all. Amen.

During that part of our ecclesiastical

which has already passed, we have been instructed by our church to commemorate the series of signal and important events by which the redemption of the human race was effected. The object of her scriptural services seems to be, the display of the grand truths connected with those events which attended the revelation of the gospel, in order that her members may observe the consistency of plan and the unity of design that pervade this dispensation, and may learn to embrace its important doctrines, to rejoice in its precious promises, and to practise its holy precepts. We have contemplated the manifestation of the love of God in the advent of his blessed Son; we have listened with the shepherds of Bethlehem to the celestial strains which announced his birth, and with the eastern Magi, we have paid our offerings of humble praise to the infant Saviour. Through his life of benevolent labour and unceasing exertion we have followed the Son of man, and while our ears have drank in the record of his love, we have surely felt our own hearts expanded with the spirit of his charity. To the awful scenes of Gethsemane and Calvary we have accompanied the man of sorrows, and in the splendours of the resurrection we have hailed the Lord of Glory. With the apostles on the holy mount we have witnessed his triumphant entry into his heavenly kingdom, and have recognized the fulfilment of his gracious promise, in the miraculous gifts of the day of Pentecost. On this last great festival of our church we are presented with the awful mysteries of our faith ; we are called upon to admire with the most profound humility, and to adore with the deepest gratitude, the threefold unity of Father, Son, and Spirit, by whose immortal

year

agency

the salvation of man has been accomplished : and we are taught to confess the Father, who created and loved the world; the Son, who redeemed the whole race of Adam

; and the Holy Ghost, who sanctifies all the elect people of God.

Such has been our employment, and such are the subjects of our present meditations. But whilst we consider these things as highly interesting, we ought to remember that they are also highly important, and that upon the due improvement of these momentous lessons, depends the eternal welfare of our immortal souls. We may admire the wisdom that has selected from the riches of the scripture treasure, these inestimable pearls of great price, and has placed them so continually within our reach ; but, though we admire, have we sufficiently profited by their display ? It is not by repetition alone that these truths have their due effect. The utility of their recurrence begins when they are acknowledged and valued ; when the invitations of Christianity are accepted; when its doctrines are made the standard of religious principles ; when its promises allure, and its threatenings alarm us ; and when our affections are so influenced, and our wills so regulated, that we “hold fast the form of sound words, in faith and love that is in Christ Jesus,” and “show out of a good conversation our works with meekness of wisdom."

The words of the text form the final prayer, or the farewell benediction, of the apostle Paul, when writing to his Corinthian converts. If we consider this passage as a prayer, it is evidently addressed equally to the Three Persons of the sacred Trinity, as forming one united object of faith and adoration. If it be considered as a so

lemn benediction, it includes three separate and distinct blessings, derived from three distinct sources, yet contributing to one grand object, the salvation of the soul, the eternal happiness of man. It acknowledges therefore the existence of three Divine Persons in one Godhead, and may consequently be considered as supporting this doctrine ; it also teaches us the true practical use which we ought to make of this great mystery of godliness. Under these two divisions we shall comprehend the observations which we have to make, praying at the same time that we may not speak in “ the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.”

The doctrine of the text appears to the apostle a never failing source of joy and comfort. To the truth of our Saviour's divinity he continually refers, as the confirmation of all his hopes. This will abundantly appear, if we remark, that in the commencement of all his epistles (excepting only the one to the Hebrews,) he implores for his converts, as the greatest blessings that could be granted to them, grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ,” pointing out each to the divine and infinite source of blessings to the Christian. He does not attribute to either of them alone, the sole gift of these blessings; but he speaks as if, from the union of their Godhead, their offices also in the great work of redemption must be

« FöregåendeFortsätt »