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the weapons of whofe warfare have been mighty in this fpiritual field; this, I must confefs, is a circumstance enough difcouraging; but however, not without its counterbalance in certain confiderations. The race is not always to the Swift, nor the battle to the strong. Matters are capable of being fet in new lights; nor will any exertion be desperate which has for its object the honour of God, and the peace of his Church. Men are wedded to their errors as much as to their vices; but as we are not to be remifs, or hopeless in our labours for the reformation of finners, though the whole world fhould lie in wickedness; fo neither should we be impeded or disheartened in our attempts for the converfion of infidels and heretics, by that pride, that prejudice, however contracted, that hardness, or that flowness of heart, which indifpofes them for the reception of truth.—After all, inquiries of this nature are of very confiderable use and importance; they cannot fail at least to stablish, ftrengthen, and fettle ourfelves; to root and ground us in that faith which we shall find to be built upon the most immoveable foundations.

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That affertors and vindicators of this faith, that champions for the Church militant, might never be wanting in this place, the zeal and the piety, the wifdom, and the munificence of our founder hath nobly provided. The prefent inftitution is happily distinguished by its location; and, in fome degree to answer and accomplish it's end, I shall proceed with as much confidence and satisfaction as may reasonably be supposed to arife from a proper fenfe of obligation, a full perfuafion of the truth of the great doctrines in question, and particularly of the merits of the Trinitarian cause.



JOHN V. 39.

Search the Scriptures.

O the Scriptures of the Old Testament

our bleffed Saviour referred the Jews for fatisfaction with respect to his claims to the character in which he appeared among them; and to the Scriptures of the New Teftament, together with the other, I am to refer for proofs of those great but mysterious doctrines which I have undertaken to defend: the doctrines contained in the Liturgy, and in the Articles of the Church of England.

Without laying before you at prefent all, or the principal texts by which the doctrine


of the Trinity is fupported, or in which the abfolute divinity both of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is explicitly afferted, or neceffarily implied, we may previously remark that, fuppofing them to be authentic, unequivocal, and intelligible, the infidel is in fact precluded from taking advantage of those paffages which are declarative either of the acknowleged humanity of Jefus Chrift, or of the gifts and operations of the bleffed Spirit: that humanity, and thofe operations being things manifeftly distinct from the Divine effence, and real perfonality. What we fhall have to do therefore will be to enquire, in due time and place, whether the exceptions which have been made against the texts with which the catholic doctrine is fortified, are grounded in principles of common candour and common fenfe; or, in other words, whether the interpretations of anti-trinitarians are critically juft, and agreable to the rules which are generally allowed to govern interpretation. In the mean time, it will be well worth while to examine, whether the doctrine before us

is not proveable by evidence which, though indirect and collateral, is irrefiftible. There is hardly any fuch thing as framing a fentence, or a propofition that cannot be prevaricated with; but the tenor of a context, and the weight of circumftances will not eafily admit of sophistication.

According to the Athanafian Creed, as it is called, "the Catholic Faith is this; that "we worship one God in Trinity, and Tri

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nity in Unity; and that the Godhead of "the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy

Ghost is all one: the Glory equal, the Majefty co-eternal." But what faith the Scripture? Saith it not, in effect, the fame alfo? That the Father is the first Person in the Trinity, merely in order of nomination; the Son, the fecond; and the Holy Ghoft, the third; is fufficiently demonftrable from many confiderations. In the first place, though the three divine Perfons are ufually mentioned in a manner which at first fight seems to import an order of a different kind, yet this order is upon fome oc


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