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and enlightening; it is a plain path to walk in, and a perfect rule to walk by; it maketh wise the simple, and giveth understanding to babes; it is the bread which came down from heaven, and the water of eternal life: it is a field full of all hid treasures, in which the soul can take an eternal range, and never find one vacant or fruitless spot; it is more to be defired than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb.
But, if the enquiry be after something beyond the divine will, it is a jest to talk of not comprehending it; for there, no doctrine, no trinity, nothing whatever can be found; it is in vain to look for things where nothing does in fact exist–where nothing is which bears á character or name.--And, suppose, a trinity does exist in something beyond the divine will, and we, in some way, could know that fuch a thing existed, it is plain that it could be of no use to us; for it is demonstrable, that wisdom is all comprised in the divine will, and all that is valuable to men, riches and honor, and long life are with her.
PARTICULAR REMARKS RELATIVE TO THE
STATEMENT AND DEFINITION. A man, whose way lies through a thick crowd, whilft he is presing out, one on the one hand, and another on the other, makes but flow progress; but having attended to the above obje&lions, I shall offer some few
particulars farther, relative to the Statement and Definition under consideration.
1. The divine principle, as already defined, necessarily supposes an order of divine persons, viz. a covenant maker, or mover, which gives the idea of a first person; a covenant subje£t, or one brought into the covenant, which gives the idea of a second
perfon; and a covenant interest, which, in a jult estimation of the divine principle, it being of the nature of marriage, and giving in marriage, wherein the interest is the bride, gives the idea of a third person,
2. Though in the divine will, the covenanting parties must co-exist, as the self-fame act which constituted the son constitutes also the character of father; still there is a plain reason for considering the father, as to the method, first, or greater than the son; for, in the divine will, the covenant fubject is both commanded and blessed of the covenant maker; and without all contradi&tion the less is blessed of the better. Heb. vii. 7.—This explains the word of Christ. John xiv, 28.My father is greater than I. The connexion fhews that this is the true meaning of the word, for Christ was here speaking of his go: ing to the Father to receive the blessing of his glory.-Yet, as this blessing fets him up, as a Son by inheritance, completely in the eftate of the Father; we behold him, in this refult of the divine principle, as he was in the beginning, is now, and ever will be, one with the Father; and as thus reigning and judging upon his throne; he is God with God; cos existent and co-eternal with the Father, and his equal in power and in glory. It is evident, however, that there is a glory of the parental character, which will ever distinctly remain to the Father, and a distinct glory of the filial character, which will ever be contemplated in the Son, as his own glory; and so,
al. so, there is a distinct character, which will ever be adored in the Holy Ghost,
3. The party brought into covenant in the divine will, being made the Christ of God, is therefore the eternal Word--the Rock of Ages--the foundation and head of all worlds, and is the subject of the record in heaven.Again, the second person in the Godhead, performing the covenant service, and consequently being crowned with the reward, the display of the divine principle will be in him; he will declare God -- in him God will be ma: nifested; he will, therefore, be the subject of the divine witness on earth, and in a peculiar fense, be called the Word of God, as being the report or expression of the divine will. Such appellations as the Word of God, Rock of Ages, Foundation, &c. belong undoubtedly to the Divine Being or Godhead; but, as the divine theory, or whole exhibition of the divine will, devolves necessarily upon the fecond person, they are particularly applied to Christ, and, for the fame reason, he is so particularly called the Wisdom of God, and ihe Power of God, which are also names of the divine principle.
4. Moreover, we observe, that this divine exhibition and manifellation of God in C:rilt,
or his being the Word and Wisdom of God, implies a visible form, which respects the whole creation; and, therefore, the light and truth of the whole creation must be merely the light and truth of Christ, or the display of the divine will in him.—The argument of the divine theory, therefore, is the actual conformity of the works of God to the divine principle, or the actual exhibition of Christ in the whole creation; and the work before us is simply the illustration of the truth that Christ is all in all,
The foregoing Statement and Definition of the divine principle, may be summed up in the following theorems.
1. The principle of divine knowledge, which is the discoverable Divine Being, is of the voluntary nature, or of the nature of a purpose or will; and the divine substance be. ing simple and uncompounded, it is wholly of this nature.
2. The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last of the divine system, is comprised in the purpose or will of God.
3. The divine purpose or will is a matter of real fact.
4 The divine will is infinite, eternal and unchangeable; holy, just and good; and the subject of all the divine characters.
5. The divine will is discoverable, and capable of an ple illuflration.
6. The divine will shews a trinity in unity; it shews a Father, a Son, and a Holy Ghost; and that these three diftin&t persons are immediately one in will.
7. The divine will presents the doctrine of Christ; and the truth to which he bare witnefs in the world, is traced, as to its origin, in this act of his inauguration; and which is of the nature of a covenant transaction, or a matter of record between parties.
8. The divine will consists of a precept, and a promise, or a requirement and a reward; it is a commandment, rule, &c. which embraces eternal life.
9. The requirement of the divine will is, that of the setting up and full exhibition of the authoriiy and glory of the Father; the reward is, that of being set up, and exhibited in this authority and glory.
io, The divine will is the truth laid down in the testimony of Jesus, which was the matter of his accusation, and which he confessed before Pontius Pilate, and for which he suffered upon the cross; that he is Lord and Chrift; and, in the approaching day, upon the throne of David, at the head of his church and people, he shall reign over the world, And this is the mere gospel i self.
11. The divine will, comprising the doctrine of Christ, unfolds the relation of Father and Son, the union of Christ and believers, the law and administration of the church, the duty and blessedness of the saints, and the whole everlasting glory of the kingdom of God.