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prayer offered up by the apostle John to the whole Trinity, wherein they are ad drefsed according to their economical offices, in which they stand related and engaged to us in the covenant of grace. "John to the seven cnurches which are "in Asia: grace be to you, and peace "from him which is, and which was, 86 and which is to come; and from the "seven spirits which are before his "throne; and from Jesus Christ, who "is the faithful witnefs, and the first
begotten of the dead, and the prince "of the kings of the earth: unto him "that loved us, and washed us from our "sins in his own blood, and hath made "us kings and priests unto God and his "Father; to him be glory and domi"nion for ever and ever. Amen.
The doctrine of the holy and blessed Trinity is set forth in every part of the inspired volume. It hath its influence on, and gives peculiar lustre to, every truth and doctrine contained therein. It adds distinguished energy, and gives peculiar glory, to the declarations of grace, to the proclamations of pardon, and to the promise of Christ and salvation contained in him. Those acts of grace and outgoings of everlasting love, which the Eternal Three expressed towards the elect, and which are revealed Rev. i. 4, 5, 6,
in the written word, give evidence of their co-equality, co-eternity, and coexistence, in the eternal Godhead. The covenant, which obtained between them on behalf of the elect fore-viewed in their fallen state, is a further testimony of this eternal verity. The holy scriptures are a sacred transcript of this everlasting The incarnation of the Son of God, his inauguration into his office of mediation, the testimony of the Father saying, "Thou art my beloved Son, in "whom I am well pleased," and the visible descent of the Holy Ghost upon them at the time, "so that John saw and knew "that he was the Son of God'," are an infallible confirmation of it. In fact, the doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation which supports every article of our most holy faith. It enters deeply into every doctrine of divine revelation. Even its practical godlinefs is influenced thereby, so that I am bold to say, there is not a prayer, experience, grace, or comfort; no, nor any part of a believer's walk with God, or spiritual warfare, set before us in the book of inspiration, but this great truth concerning the persons in the Godhead, with the interest which they have in the elect, and which the elect have in them, is either expressed or implied therein. The subject conf John i. 33, 34.
e Mark i. 11,
cerning Growth in Grace is strictly and truly experimental. It springs from, and is maintained and carried on by, the inward and supernatural operations of the Spirit of God. Yet as his work in the souls of the elect is the immediate fruit of election-grace, and is commensurate with the doctrines of it, and the true counterpart of them; so the truth as it is in Jesus, and the grace of God in truth, in its original, spring, fountain, and glory, should be laid as the foundation to bear up the whole superstructure.
The Holy Ghost, the third person in the incomprehensible and self-existing efsence, is the Lord and giver, the fountain and spring of all spiritual life, and of all spiritual operations in the souls of the elect. In the economy of grace he works agreeably to his personal and distinct subsistence from the Father and the Son. Election is most generally in the scripture attributed to the Father, redemption to the Son, and sanctification to the Holy Ghost. "Elect ac"cording to the fore-knowledge of God "the Father, through sanctification of "the Spirit unto obedience, and sprink
ling of the blood of Jesus Christ." In the everlasting covenant the Father appointed all things. The Son was sent
8 1 Pet. i. 2.
into our world by his incarnation to fulfil his Father's will, and accomplish his vast designs. And the Holy Ghost, who searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God, proceedeth from the Father and the Son, and works effectually within and upon the heirs of glory, bringing them to the knowledge and acknowledgment of the truth, which is after godliness. So that in a discourse, the intention of which is to exalt the grace of the persons in the everlasting Trinity, for their respective love and eternal designs of mercy towards the elect, DOCTRINE must be the foundation.
And faith, as the fruit of it, arising from, and founded on it, must be explained; with the experience produced in the soul thereby. This will be a preparative for shewing in what way, and by what means, the Holy Ghost is pleased to carry on his work, begun in the soul by regeneration, which is evidenced by believing on the Son of God, and increased by communion with the Father and the Son, until he invests the newborn soul with everlasting glory. May the Holy Ghost blefs the subject, and make it the means of bringing glory to the Father, the Son, and himself, and of leading believers into distinct communion with them. Grant this, holy Father, for the honour of thy Son Jesus
Christ, to whom, with the Holy Ghost, three co-equal persons in the unity of one incomprehensible GODHEAD, be equal and eternal praise. Amen.
GRACE is a subject of vast extent, and of infinite importance. Election in Christ, redemption by Christ, effectual calling, an actual translation into the kingdom of God's dear Son, perseverance in holinefs, glorification, and uninterrupted communion with Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in Heaven, with that immutable blefsednefs, which will accompany the same, are the fruits and effects of it. GRACE therefore is a subject worthy the contemplation of elect angels and saints, who surround the throne of the Eternal Three in glory. And it may most justly demand the study and attention of saints, who are at present in their militant state. If it be asked, what is GRACE? The answer is, the free love of God-his loving some of his intelligent creatures, both angels. and men, with an immutable love, and exprefsing it towards them in a wonderful manner, and to an ineffable degree. It hath been the good pleasure of JEHOVAH to love some of the angels, and some of Adam's posterity, with an everlasting love. As this proceeded from his own immutable will, it is GRACE, or free favour.