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ing to everlasting, so must this generation and procession
him; as creation, John i. 3. ‘All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Conservation of all things, Heb. i. 3.- upholding all things by the word of his power.” Raising the dead by his own power, and at his own pleasure, John v. 21, 26. “The Son quickeneth whom he will.” The Father “hath given to the Son to have life in himself.” The saving of sinners, Hos. i. 7.—I will save them by the Lord their God.” Compare chap. xiii. 4. ‘in me is thine help.” Yea, whatsoever the Father doth, the Son doth likewise. 4. Divine worship is due to him, and therefore he is true God, Matth. iv. 10. The angels are commanded to ‘worship him, Heb. 1. 8. All must give the same honour to him as to the Father, John v. 23. We must have faith in him, and they are blessed that believe in him, Psal. ii. 12. compare Jer. xvii. 5. We are to pray to him, Acts vii. 58.; and we are baptised in his name, Matth. xxviii. 19. Nay, he is expressly said to be ‘equal with the Father, Phil. ii. 6. and “one with him.’ John x. 30. Now, seeing God will “not give his glory to another, Isa. xlviii. 11. because he is true and cannot lie, and he is just, it follows, that though Christ be a distinct person, yet he is not a distinct God from his Father, but one God with him, the same in substance equal in power and glory. And it is no contradiction to this doctrine, when Christ says, “My Father is greater than I, John xiv. 28. ; for he is not speaking there of his nature as God, but of his mediatory office; and hence he is called the Father's “servant, Is... xlii. 1. Thirdly, That the Holy Ghost is true God, or a divine person, appears, if ye consider, 1. The scripture expressly calls him God, Acts v. 3, 4. 1 Cor. iii. 16. Isa. vi. 9. compared with Acts xxviii. 25. 26. 2 Sam. xxiii. 2, 3. He is called “Jehovah, or the Lord,” Num. xii. 6. compare 2. Pet. i. 21. 2. Divine attributes are ascribed to him ; as omnipotence, he ‘worketh all in all, 1 Cor. xii. 6, 9, 10, 11.; omnipresence, Psal. cxxxix. 7. ; and omniscience, 1 Cor. ii. 10. 3. Works peculiar to God are ascribed to him; as creation, Psal. xxxiii. 6; conservation, Psal. civ. 30. ; working miracles, Matt. xii. 28.; raising the dead, Rom. viii. 11.; inspiring the prophets, 2 Tim. iii. 16. compare 2 Pet. i. 21. 4. Divine worship is due to him. We are baptised in his name, Matth, xxviii. 19.; we are to pray to him, 2 Cor. xiii. 14. Acts iv. 23, 25. compare 2 Sam. xxiii. 2, 3. Hence it appears, 1. That the Godhead is not divided, but that each of the three persons hath the one whole Godhead, or divine nature. 2. That it is sinful to imagine any inequality amongst the three divine persons, or to think one of them more honourable than another, seeing they are all one God. V. I proceed to consider the weight and importance of this article. It is a fundamental article, the belief whereof is necessary to salvation. For those that are “without God,” Eph. ii. 12. and ‘have not the Father,’ cannot be saved; but ‘whoso denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father,’ 1 John ii. 23. Those that are none of Christ’s cannot be saved ; but “he that hath not the Spirit, is none of his,' Rom. viii. 9. None receive the Spirit but those that know him. John xiv. 17. This mystery of the Trinity is so interwoven with the whole of religion, that there can neither be any true faith, right worship, or obedience without it. For take away this doctrine, and the object of faith, worship, and obedience is changed; seeing the object of these declared in the scripture, is the three persons in the Godhead; and the scriptures know no other God. Where is faith, if this be taken away John xvii. 3. ‘This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” Here it is to be observed, that our Lord does not call the Father only the true God, exclusive of the other persons of the Trinity; but that he (including the other persons who all subsist in the same one undivided essence) is the only true God, in opposition to idols, falsely called gods. 1 John ii. 23. “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” There is no more true worship or fellowship with God in it: “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father, Eph. ii. 18. And there is no more obedience without it, John xv. 23. * He that hateth me,’ says Christ, “hateth my Father also.” John v. 23. “He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” We are debtors to the Spirit, to live after the Spirit, and are bound by baptism to the obedience of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. I shall conclude with a few inferences. 1. How much ought we to prize divine revelation, wherein we have a discovery of this incomprehensible mystery ! This is a truth which nature's light could never have found out. It is above reason, though not contrary to it; for reason, though it could never have brought it to light, yet when it is discovered, it must needs yield to it; for as the judgment of sense must be corrected by reason, so the judgment of reason by faith. 2. See here that God whom you are to take for your God, to love, trust in, worship and obey, even the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This is that God who offers himself to you in the gospel, and whom you are to take for your God in Christ. This is that Father who elected a select company of sinners unto salvation; this is that Son that redeemed them unto God by his blood; and this is that Spilit that renews and sanctifies them, making them meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. 3. Lastly, Take this Father for your Father, who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and be obedient children, if he would be reckoned of his seed. Receive the Son, and slight him not. Give your consent to the gospel-offer, seeing it is your Maker that offers to be your husband. And grieve not the Holy Spirit, lest ye be found fighters against God.
OF THE DECREES OF GOD.
EPHEs. i. 11–According to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
To: apostle here gives an instance of the sovereign freedom of divine grace through Jesus Christ in the be
lieving Jews. 1. There is here the high privilege they were advanced to, a right to the heavenly inheritance, which had been forfeited by the sin of man. 2. Through whom they had obtained it in him; by virtue of the merits, the obedience and satisfaction of Christ. 3. Why they obtained it, while others had not. Not that they were more worthy than others, but because they were Predestinated, elected, or fore-ordained to salvation, and all the means of it. 4. There is the certainty of the efficacy of predestination. Wol. I. X
It is according to his purpose; that is, his firm purpose and peremptory decree to bring such things to pass. And this certainly in particular is evinced by a general truth, Who worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will. Wherein we may notice. (1.) God's effectual operation, he worketh. The word signifies to work powerfully and efficaciously, so as to over. come all contrary resistance, and all difficulties in the way; which is exactly God's way of working. And this working takes place in the works of creation and providence. (2.) The manner how God works. The plan and scheme according to which his works are framed, is the counselof his will. His will is his decree and intention; and it is called the counsel of his will, to denote the wisdom of his decrees, his most wise and free determination therein. As God's decree is an act of his will, and so most free, considered in re. lation to the creatures; so his decree and will are never with: out counsel; he willeth or decreeth things to be done with i. greatest reason and judgment, most wisely as well as reely. (3.) The object of his working after this manner, all things. This cannot be restricted to the blessings which the apostle had been speaking of immediately before, but must be understood of all things whatsoever, and of all their mo. tions and actions as such; which therefore are the object of God’s decrees. The text plainly affords this doctrine, viz. Doct. ‘God hath fore-ordained, according to the counsel of his own will, whatsoever comes to pass.’ Here I shall, t I. Explain the nature of a decree. II. Consider the object of God's decrees. III. Speak of the end of his decrees. IV. Touch at their properties. V. Make improvement. I. I am to explain the nature of a decree. The text calls it a purpose, a will. For God to decree is to purpose and fore-ordain, to will and appoint that a thing shall be or not be. And such decrees must needs be granted, seeing God is absolutely perfect, and therefore nothing can come to pass without his will; seeing there is an absolute and necessary dependence of all things and persons on God as the first