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man attainments; we shall meet with no insuperable difficulty in embracing, and relying upon, the all'important doctrine of the Trinity in Unity of the Godhead.
On this branch of the system of divine truth, a few remarks and inferences are suggested.
1. Since the doctrine before us is a profound mystery, discoverable only by divine revelation, it is doubtless vain, and even criminal, for us to attempt any further explanation of it, than is clearly given us in the holy scriptures. In doing this, we darken counsel, by words without knowledge. Whatever is necessary, or useful to be known on this, and all divine subjects, is doubtless clearly revealed; and to attempt any further investigation is indicative of a vain curiosity, and a proud heart.
2. Since, in this one instance, we are required to embrace and confide in a profound mystery ; let it be no ohjection to any of the remaining doctrines of the system of truth, that they are mysterious. Pitiful indeed would be a system of divinity, comprehensible by worms of the dust! Let no one indulge the absurd idea, that mystery and absurdity are synonymous terms. Great is the mystery of gravitation, by which ponderous bodies fall to the earth, rather than move in any other direction. But is gravitation an absurdity ? Great is the mystery of the rise of vapor, soon to fall again in showers of rain, or quantities of snow. But the facts exist, and the wisdom of the philosopher is baffled. Yet no one complains of absurdity. How happens it, that mankind can patiently admit of mysteries in every thing but Theology'? But if we speak of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ ; and of divine agency, divine government and grace ; all is pronounced absurdity. In this there is utterly a fault, and a want of candor.
3. Since so many deny the doctrine of the Trinity, it is a solemn and awful consideration, that to deny it, is a great and fatal error, a damnable heresy! In the denial of this doctrine, men deny the Lord that bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” From scripture it is evident, that those who understandingly reject the
doctrine of the sacred Trinity, and of course, the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and atonement by his blood, are on fatal ground. The evidence is clear, that they subvert the whole gospel scheme, and seek to be justified by their good works, and not by the grace of God.
4. From the view which has been taken of the doctrine of the Trinity in unity of the Godhead, it appears to be very far from being a subject of mere speculation, or a matter of indifference. It is a carơinal, and fundamental doctrine of the gospel. Salvation on bible ground is never to be expected, but by the atonement and merit of Jesus Christ. 6 Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
66 Neither is there salvation in any other ; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." No one, who properly regards the sacred oracles, can think it uncharitable or illiberal, to consider the antitrinitarian doctrine as an antichristian doctrine. “ He is antichrist,” says the beloved John, ““ who denieth the Father and the Son." Can there be any hope of the salvation of antichrists? By no means. And, by nature, all are antichrists. Ali, therefore, before they can see the kingdom of God, must be converted to Christ. They must be converted to the doctrine of the Trinity, before they can cease to be antichrists. They must acknowledge the Son of God, as one with the Father. 66 And we know, that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true : and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”..... AMEN.
The work of Creation.
HAVING attended to the evidence of the being of God, of his inspiration of the scriptures, of his natural and moral perfections, and of his Unity and Trinity; we may proceed, in the next place, to a cousideration of his works. 66 The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all those who have pleasure in them." In this Essay, we may attend to the great and glorious work of creation. By the work of creation is meant, not merely the formation of the world out of pre-existing materials; but the origination and production of the materials themselves. So that, in the strictest sense, “ All things were made of nothing, by the word of divine power.” For this, we have the testimony of the Apostle Paul.“ Through faith we understand, that the worlds were framed, by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” When nothing but the Deity was in existence, ** He spake, and it was done, he commanded, and it stood fast. By the word of the Lord, were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” The whole system of creation, material, animate, and intellectual, commenced existence, at his word. He produced and gave existence to the invisible as well as the visible heavens. Angels, and their blessed habitations, were parts of the stupendous work of creation. All finite existence was the effect of creative power.
That every thing, or even any thing could be brought into existence, where nothing previously existed, is said by many to be impossible. According to the statement of the Apostle, we acknowledge the doctrine of creation to be an article of faith, and not of finite comprehension. But is there any absurdity in supposing, that the world had a beginning i and will have an end 3 John, in the Revelation, says,
6 I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face, the earth and the heavens fled away: and there was found no place for them.” Of course, they ceased to have a place; which implies annihilation. It is also said prophetically, concerning the end of the world, that “ The day of the Lord will come, as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat: the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burnt up.” By this is meant annihilation. But creation and annihilation stand on equal ground, as to their possibility. From the instruction contained in the scriptures, respecting the creation and dissolution of the material world, it is evident, that, literally speaking, there was a beginning, and there will be an end of all material existence. This is the scriptural doctrine of creation.
Should any still deny this doctrine ; and contend for the eternal existence of what we call the created system ;
in confirmation of bible testimony, attend to the following reasoning on the subject; to wit: If the material world, or the created system, so called, be eternal, it is uncaused. For every thing which has a cause, has also a beginning. The cause must be antecedent to the effect. And if it be uncaused, it must also be selfexistent. It must exist by a necessity of nature. Its existence must be in the nature of things, so absolutely necessary, that it would be impossible to conceive of its annihilation, or non-existence. Of course, it must be immutable: because its necessity must be invariably the
No power can operate to alter or change what is self-existent, or existent by a necessity of nature. Such existence is absolutely independent and uncontrollable; of course, immutable. But, in fact, we do not find the world to be self-existent, independent and immutable. We find it dependent, and very mutable; subject to perpetual changes and variations : possessing all the properties of an effect; but not one of the properties of à first cause.
All things in the visible world exhibit the most striking appearance of vast and magnificent effects,
which naturally lead the mind to contemplate, by way of inference, an infinite and invisible cause.
On the whole, one of two things, respecting the doctrine of creation, must be true;. either that the visible world had a beginning, and was brought into existence by the almighty power of God, and for a display of his infinite glory, as the scriptures plainly teach us; or else the world itself is God, and as such, is to be worshipped and adored, by all intelligent beings. There is no other alternative; and the unbeliever of the mysterious, but glorious work of creation, in order to be consistent, must fall down and worship the sun, moon and stars, and all the host of heaven; or the earth, air and seas, with the fulness thereof. He must embrace and practice all the follies and idolatries of the heathen world. Yea, he must go further and outstrip the heathen, in point of idolatry, For very few of the heathen, who have any idea of a God, consider the visible system as any thing more than the representation and similitude of the one eternal and invisible God. Those therefore, who ascribe divine attributes to the creation itself, greatly exceed the heathen, in the degree, and grossness of their
idolatry. They literally worship and serve the creature, more than the Creator, who is over all, God blessed forever. Infinitely important, therefore, is the real and scriptural doctrine of creation. Error on this subject, evidently involves mankind in the grossest idolatry, and leads to atheism.
Respecting the creation of rational beings, formed for immortality, such as angels and men ; there is no difference from the creation of the material world, as to their commencing an existence, instantaneously and originally, by the almighty power of God. The intellectual and moral faculties of men, and of angels, are the effects of creative
power. Man was made a moral agent, as well as a rational and immortal being. All that he is, and all that he possesses, is from God. God stamped on man and angels his natural and moral image, by his creative power. “ God breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul.” This was the finishing stroke,
"'. and the most wonderful and glorious act of creation.