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Eternal in Unity and Trinity, to that subsequently given at our Saviour's Baptism; when the voice of the Almighty Father proclaimed his well-beloved Son, upon whom the Holy Ghost was descending like a dove.
And, again; when Manoah was offering up a sacrifice to God; the Angel, there called also Jehovah, was evidently the Eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, begotten before all worlds were made. For upon his name being asked, he declared it to be "Wonderful," the title given to our Lord by Isaiah; and shewed the Divine presence by the usual sign of fire from heaven.
Which caused Manoah to say, "unto his wife, we shall surely die because we have seen God." But his wife said unto him, "If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt-offering, and a meatoffering at our hands; neither would he have shewed us all these things; nor would as at this time have told us such things as these." And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson, and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times."
Now here again, in reading attentively this
thirteenth chapter of the book of Judges, we find the Eternal Trinity occupied jointly, severally, and personally, in the salvation of man. As Moses tells us they also were, when the world arose from chaos; as our Lord tells us in his command to baptize all nations. And as St. John repeatedly declares, in his Revelation of the final history of the Church of Christ, till "God shall be all in all."
My brethren! it was truly said to him, now addressing you in the full conviction of his own soul; and to the others ordained with him by a venerable minister of God, (who is now the Archbishop of Canterbury); that "there is a perpetual light within the Holy Scriptures, increasing upon the minds, and understandings, of those who read them, with faith and diligence."
Many years' experience have confirmed our honoured Archbishop's just, and faithful remark. Then, surely, we may exhort you
in the words of our blessed Lord Jesus himself: "Search the Scriptures, for in them are all things necessary to your salvation."
We perfectly agree, with St. Paul, that "Great is the mystery of godliness;" nor can
there be a greater mystery than the Trinity and Unity of God. Yet do the Scriptures throw a perpetual light upon this sublimely awful subject; and many Christians have these eyes seen depart, rejoicing in this saving faith, confiding in the everlasting mercies of our God.
Yes! even in the awful hour of their mortal dissolution, the consolation of the promised Comforter has plainly been given to their happy souls; for "blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labours."
See how St. Paul proclaims this unchangeable doctrine of the Trinity, in the third chapter of his first Epistle to Timothy :— "Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
Here he explains the mystery, great as it is, of the ever blessed and immortal Trinity of the Godhead. Christ was God, manifest in the flesh as God the Son; justified in the Spirit of God, by the descent of the Holy Ghost upon himself, and subsequently on his
Disciples; miraculously gifting them with tongues, or languages, to preach his universal Gospel of Salvation.
Here, then, are Two Persons of the Holy Trinity; the Third, in this passage, is evidently God the Father, by whom our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth was received up into glory." For Christ himself said to the women at the sepulchre; "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."
Believing, therefore, in this eternal doctrine of the Trinity, and wishing to impress its saving faith upon those to whom he preached the Gospel of glad tidings; St. Paul addresses to the Corinthians that pious wish, with which our own Church concludes her sacred offices. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you all." A wish how benevolent; a salvation how necessary to those who are baptized "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost," the Triune God!
Isaiah, who is called the Evangelical Prophet, from his book being as it were an index to the records of the Evangelists, who wrote
seven hundred years after his death; affords us another illustrious proof of the everlasting existence of the Supreme Being. In his sixth chapter, he declares; "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the Temple. Above it stood the Seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke."
How well, then, has our own Church, teaching this sublime faith, preserved this passage in the fine hymn after the first lesson of her Morning Service. A hymn so truly declaring the whole Christian faith as contained in the blessed Scriptures; majestically opening with the praises of one eternal God : and celebrating, with the mighty angels of God, and the spirits of just men made perfect in the realms of the departed: the Unity in Trinity, the Trinity in Unity of the Godhead.