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in our glorified state, the Christian has a ready answer in the words of his Lord, In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels of God in heaven.27
These reflexions upon the great event, which is this day commemorated by the Church, are strictly practical. Whatever tends to give clearness and force to our notions of the various benefits which have been wrought for us by Christ our Saviour, tends, in the same degree, to give strength and liveliness to our faith, and to render more intense, and more heart-constraining, our motives to holiness. In fact, the resurrection of our Lord, as recorded by the Evangelists, and as explained and improved by the Apostles, has given a degree of distinctness and splendour to our prospects of the eternal world, which leaves us without excuse, if we continue to live as though we had hope in this life only. Christ is risen, and ascended into heaven; and his church no longer enjoys his bodily presence. But the faithful Christian, while he looks forward to his participation of that joy, with the lively hope to which he has been begotten by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
27 Matt. xxii. 30.
from the dead;28 anxiously strengthens his faith and confirms his hope, by all the aids and means vouchsafed to those who are in covenant with God; by deep meditation on the precious promises of his Word; by constant fervent prayer to the Father, through him who died and is risen again; by frequent communion at that holy table, where the Lord is to be found by the faithful until his coming again: whom, having not seen, we love; in whom, though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." Christ was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.30 We have the promise of being made like to him hereafter, if, being justified by faith in his blood, we strive, by the help of his Holy Spirit, to resemble him here. No argument can be more conclusive, no motive more touching than this, both to hope and to holiness; Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be ; but we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure.3
28 1 Pet. i. 3.
30 Rom. iv. 25.
291 Pet. i. 8.
31 1 John iii. 2.
MATT. XXVIII. 19.
Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
THIS being one of the days, upon which the Church requires from us an explicit and particular confession of our belief in the great Christian doctrine of Three Persons in one God, it is my intention to offer some remarks upon the Creed in which we are directed to make that confession; and I have therefore taken for my text, the shortest and most emphatic of the Scripture sentences which assert, or imply, a three-fold manifestation of the Deity in the Preached on Trinity Sunday.
economy of redemption. They are the words of the incarnate Son himself. He who had declared, I and my Father are one; All things that the Father hath are mine; What things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise; who had promised that both the Father and himself would send to his disciples a Comforter, even the Spirit of Truth, an abiding and a sanctifying Spirit; did, upon laying down the functions of his earthly ministry, distinctly announce, and, as it were, embody in a sacramental symbol, that wonderful truth, of which he had before asserted the separate features, the equality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
From the age of those Apostles, to whom the baptismal commission was thus given, down to the present times, the Christian Church has required of those, who have been brought for admission into the family of Christ, a distinct profession of belief in the same great mystery of godliness, that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And it is a part of the discipline of
2 John xvi. 15.
3 John v. 19.
Sce Lord King's History of the Apostles' Creed, p. 37.
that Church, that all its members should, in the presence of one another, and of Him who is the object of belief and adoration, repeat, at stated times, their profession of a true Christian faith; to the end that they may never lose sight of those important doctrines, which have been, from the first, considered to be the fundamental and cardinal doctrines of their religion; nor consider Christian belief as having no connexion with, nor influence over, Christian practice.
The seat of true belief is in the heart having descended thither through the instrumentality of reason, it is embraced and cherished by the affections, watered by the dews of the Spirit, and made to bring forth the fruit of godly wishes and actions. But for the edification and prosperity of Christ's Church upon earth, the believer is required, in his corporate capacity as a Christian, to make, and to renew, a public and solemn declaration of allegiance to his Saviour; of implicit faith in the doctrines which he has revealed, as well as of obedience to the precepts which he has enjoined upon us: With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
In what terms, then, shall this confession of
Rom. x. 10.