網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

a

a

lions thus choose to lose their souls, truth will prevail. I use for a moment the language of another, “ If there be a sentiment in the Bible which invites inquiry on the ground of evidence, it is the doctrine of the Trinity. It is built on no preconceived opinions of the mode of the divine existence.” This it leaves as a matter neither of belief or unbelief. The stand which it takes is this: If the Scriptures are divinely inspired, the declarations which they contain may be regarded as ultimate facts, having the same relation to moral, which the phenomenon of nature have to physical science. The doctrine of the Trinity, being shown to be a fair inference from these declarations, can therefore no more be shaken by investigation, than can the theory of Newton concerning the visible universe.

Once more: The only remaining practical inference which arises from the discussion is, that the view I have taken of this subject of the Trinity, and it applies to all the other mysteries of the Scriptures, strips offthe scanty, yet specious covering ofinfidelity, and forces it to stand out to observation in its own native nakedness. This is where we want to see it, and then we can examine it and ascertain what it is made of. Hitherto some have doubted, whether the denial of the doctrine of the Trinity, and others connected with it, was or was not absolute infidelity ; and this might well be doubted, as long as you would leave those who denied the doctrine to shelter themselves under the specious plea, that they could not believe it, because it was incomprehensible. The true course to be pursued demolishes this scaffolding. Henceforth, if I find a denier of the doctrine of the Trinity, I hold with him this colloquy. The doctrine of the Trinity is, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, distinct in personal offices, are the one living and true God. Do you comprehend

Ꭰ what I mean to propose ? Yes. You mean to state the proposition, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, distinct in personal offices, are the one living and true God. I should be a fool, if I did not comprehend

your proposition. Do you believe it? No. Why not? Because it is incomprehensible. What is incomprehensible? It is incomprehensible, how the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, personally distinct in office, can be the one living and true God! Have I asked you to believe how they are ? I have only asked you to believe that they are. I bring you proof from Scripture. If you reject the doctrine, you reject it not because it is incomprehensible. I want you only to believe the fact, not the mode. You reject it, not because it is incomprehensible, but because you deny the evidence which I bring; and when the evidence which I bring is from the word of God, and you deny that evidence, you deny the word of God; and when you deny the word of God, you are an infidel. This is a summary process, and it is a stand of the deepest importance to take, because it places the denier of these essential doctrines on the defensive. You carry the war into the camp; you, not he, become the assailant.

When then you strip the denier of the doctrine of the Trinity of every disguise, and force him to make the ground of his objection, the evidence which you bring; when you force him from the corners and the walls, and make him stand on the open plain, then you are no longer at a loss how to answer him. You are to discuss the matter with him as he is—an unbeliever;

and to press upon him the necessity of belief in the word of God: you are to begin at the beginning, and not in the middle of the subject. You are to prove the word of God to be true : and then, if he will not be persuaded, it is because he puts himself in an open and avowed opposition to God; and when he is there, and his eyes are no longer blinded by his supposed condition, he may be made to see his real condition; and then, perchance, be constrained to flee for refuge to the hope of the Gospel. There is nothing of such advantage to the truth of the Gospel, as that the real nature of opposition should be dicovered. It sometimes happens, my friends, that a stately vessel, crossing the broad blue wave of the Atlantic, meets with an iceberg floating down the current from the cold regions of the polar

When is that stately vessel in danger of shipwreck upon the floating mountain of the ocean? Only when some deep dense fog hides it from the view. When the atmosphere is clear, the vessel rides on, and all the evil which is felt is the chill which the iceberg breathes upon the air. So with infidelity:clear the atmosphere about it, and you are more secure; dispel the fog, and you can avoid it. This is just what I have sought to do in relation to the doctrine of the Trinity. I will no longer suffer him who denies it, to surround himself with a fog; clear the atmosphere, and we shall see what he is, and as the fog moves off, it gradually becomes more apparent what he really is; and when it is all gone, he stands before you an infidel. These are the practical inferences drawn from the discussion. These, with the inferences drawn from the doctrine itself, constitute the amazing importance of our subject. I commend it to your candid and careful consideration, and I commend it for the blessing which none other can bestow, to the Triune Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to whom be the praise for ever and

seas.

ever.

SERMON IV.

THE RECORD OF ETERNAL LIFE.

1 Joux v. 11, 12.

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life ; and this life is

in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

THERE is remarkable force in the term here used, “this is the record,” when we connect it with what before had been said. The same thing is alluded to, a few verses before, under the title of a testimony or witness, when it is said—“This is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son." Here God the Father is represented as giving in his testimony, or as being a witness examined in open court as to the reality of certain claims which are made in behalf of his Son. Now in the text, this witness or testimony given by God the Father, is represented as written down, and thus a record made of it, which may be used as a permanent kind of evidence to all succeeding generations, precisely as the testimony of a witness put on record is evidence when the individual who made it is dead, or cannot be reached.

« 上一頁繼續 »