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Glory of the eternal Trinity, and likewife persevere in worshipping the Unity. There may be many Allurements and Temptations to draw us from this Faith, fome endeavouring to difcourage, and others to difpute us out of it and therefore it will be requifite to call in the Affiftance of Divine Grace, to keep us firm and fteady to it. And as the three Perfons of the Trinity are one in Nature, fo let them be united in our Devotion; ftill praying to the Father, in the Name of the Son, and through the Affiftance of the Holy Ghoft, that as long as we live we may praise them toge ther, and magnify them in this manner. So the Apostles were wont to join them in their ufual Salutation; The Grace of our Lord Jefus Chrift, the Love of God the Father, and the Fellowship of the Holy Ghoft, be with you all. Amen. And the Church teaches the fame in that devout Doxology, Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghoft. More particularly, let us this day efpecially blefs God, for his gracious Difcovery of this fublime Mystery, and thank our heavenly Father, that the Mystery that was hid in former Ages from the Wife and Prudent, is now revealed unto Babes; even fo Father, for fo it feemed good in thy fight.

In fhort then, let us eftablifh our Minds in a stedfaft Belief of this Divine Truth, that nothing may fhake or draw us from this Faith in the ever-bleffed and undivided Trinity to which end, let us fubmit our Reafon to Divine Revelation, believing what God hath told us, tho we cannot fully understand the Manner of it, waiting for a fuller Manifeftation of this and all other Myfteries in the World to come.

Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghoft, be all Honour and Praife, world without end. Amen.

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DISCOURSE XI.

The GOSPEL for Trinity-Sunday.

St. John iii. 116.

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There was a Man of the Pharifees, named Nicodemus, a Ruler of the Jews; the fame came to Jefus by night, and faid unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a Teacher come from God; for no Man can do thefe Miracles that thou doeft, except God be with him, &c.

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HIS Conference of our Bleffed Saviour with Nica demus, ferving to give fome light into the Knowledg and Belief of the Holy Trinity, is appointed to be read as the Gofpel for this Day to that end. For here we have exprefs and diftinct mention made of God the Father, whofe immediate Power and Prefence was with Jefus Chrift in all that he faid or did, ver. 2. And likewife of God the Son, who came down from Heaven, and continu'd to be in Heaven, even when he convers'd here on Earth, ver. 13. As alfo of God the Holy Ghoft, who moving upon the Waters of Baptifm, effects a new Creation, as he did by moving upon the face of the Waters in the old Creation, ver. 5, 6. The Relation of which Particulars begins thus:

There was a Man of the Pharifees, named Nicodemus, a Ruler of the Jews; one of the Sanhedrim, their great Council: The fame came to Jefus by night, not venturing to come by day for fear of the Jews; and faid unto him, Rabbi, a Țitle ufually given to the Jewish Doctors, we know that thou art a Teacher come from God, for no Man can do thefe Miracles that thou doeft, except God with him. Where we have a plain Confeffion of God the Father, to whofe Almighty Influence he afcribes both his Doctrine and Miracles. Qur Saviour liking well enough of this Confeflion, feeks to carry him farther, and to perfuade him to be one of his Profelytes and Followers, faying unto him, Verily, verily I

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Say unto thee, Except a Man be born again, he cannot fee the Kingdom of God; ver. 3. Nicodemus, as yet grofs of understanding, and knowing little or nothing of fuch fpiritual matters, replies to him, How can a Man be born again when he is old? Can he enter a fecond time into his Mother's Womb, and be born? Jefus perceiving the Dulness of his Apprehenfion, and how little he knew of the Christian Religion, endeavours to inform him better, and to give him a clearer Infight into heavenly and fpiritual Matters; to which end, he renews and explains his former Anfwer, faying, Verily, verily I fay unto thee, Except a Man be born again of Water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. Where, befide what is faid before and after of God the Son, is exprefs mention of the Spirit, or God the Holy Ghoft, the third Perfon in the ever-bleffed Trinity: adding withal, that 'tis the receiving a new Birth by Baptifm, and entering upon a new Life by fpiritual Regeneration, that can alone qualify us for the Sight and Fruition of God, for without the washing of Water, and the renewing of the Holy Ghoft, we can neither enter into the Church or Kingdom of Grace here, nor into Heaven or the Kingdom of Glory hereafter. Profelytes were admitted of old by Water into the Jewish Church, and fo they are still into the Chriftian Church by the Waters of Baptifm, but fo, that as the Waters of Bethesda were stir'd by an Angel before they became medicinal or fanative for the Health of the Body, fo the Waters of Baptifm muft be mov'd by the Holy Spirit, before they become ufeful or falutary for the Health of the Soul. And as the Jewish Profelytes were faid to be recens nati, new born, fo the Chriftian Profelytes are by the Laver of Regeneration faid to be born again of Water and the Holy Ghoft. So that Nicodemus's Error was the miftaking a natural for a fpiritual Regeneration, and taking an Entrance into the Church for a fecond Entrance into the Mother's Womb. In short, the Senfe of our Saviour's Words to Nicodemus was, that the owning his Doctrine and Miracles to be divine, was not fufficient for his Salvation, but he must become a Christian Profelyte, or a Follower of Chrift, before he could receive any Benefit by either; and that he muft enter into the Church, before he could enter into Heaven: which fhews us the abfolute Neceffity of Baptifm in order to Salvation, and the great Danger of neglecting it, where it may be had by duly qualify'd and authoriz'd Perfons,

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Our Saviour having told him of this new and fpiritual Birth, he goes on to confirm it in the next Verfe; That which is born of the Flesh is Flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Whatfoever is born of another, partakes of the Nature and Qualities of its Sire or Original; that which is born of the Flesh, is carnal and fleshly, difpos'd to Vice and Corruption; that which is born of the Spirit, is fpiritual, and hath the Seeds of Grace and eternal Life. Marvel not therefore (faith Chrift) that I faid unto thee, ye must be born again; for in your firft natural and unregenerate State, ye are dead in Trefpaffes and Sins, Children of Wrath, and Heirs of Damnation: whereas by this new Birth ye are made Children of Grace, the Sons of God, and Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven. All which proceed from the free Grace and Bounty of the Holy Ghoft, and its prolifick Operation upon the Waters of Baptifm: for as the Wind bloweth where it lifteth, fo the Infpirations of the Holy Spirit are free and voluntary and as thou heareft the Sound of the Wind, but canft not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; fo the Calls and Motions of the Spirit are fecret and invifible, and the Influences thereof are better felt and heard, than feen. So the Wiseman tells us, As thou knoweft not the way of the Spirit, or how the Child groweth in the Womb, even fo thou knoweft not the Works of God, who maketh all; Ecclef. 11. 5. And therefore let not this Doctrine ftumble thee; for tho the Manner of the Holy Ghoft's working herein be fupernatural and incomprehenfible, yet the Effects thereof are as apparent and visible as thofe of the Wind.

Upon this Difcourfe, Nicodemus, as yet backward of Belief, or a Man of little Faith, anfwer'd and faid unto him, How can these things be? Which Queftion fuppofes not only his doubting, but denying the Truth of them and his demanding the Reafon and Manner of them, implies his looking upon them as incredible or impoffible. To whom therefore our Saviour with fome Smartness reply'd, Art thou a Master of Ifrael, and knoweft not these things? Is it poffible that a Ruler of the Jews, and a Doctor in Ifrael, fhould be fo great a ftranger to these things, it being a known Custom and Practice among the Jews, to receive Profelytes into their Church by Baptifm as well as Circumcifion, and to ftile them new-born that were thus receiv'd into it?

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Now as Nicodemus was thus offended at the Doctrine of the Baptifmal Regeneration, because he could not fee how these things fhould be, tho he might daily fee and know it from the Doctrine of his own Church in the Cafe of Profelytes, fo the Nicodemus's, or great Pretenders to Reason, in our days, deny the Doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and other Myfteries of the Gofpel, because their fhallow Reafon is not able to fathom the Depth of them, nor their Senfes fhow them how thefe things can be, tho they have been receiv'd and own'd by the whole Chriftian Church throughout all Ses.

Hence we find the and Senfualifts often asking, how one fhould be three, and three one? How the fame Perfon fhould be God and Man, finite and infinite, when to be finite is not to be infinite, and to be infinite is not to be finite? Thus loading thefe Divine Doctrines with all the Abfurdities and Contradictions they can; and fo the Myfteries of the Trinity and Incarnation are Stumbling-blocks to the Socinians, and to the Deifts Foolishness: and all becaufe their Reafon cannot fee the Way and Manner of their Existence.

But cant thou by fearching find out God? (faith holy Job) Canft thou find out the Almighty to perfection? It is high as Heaven, what canft thou do? deeper than Hell, what canft thou know? The Measure thereof is longer than the Earth, and broader than the Sea: Job 11.7,8,9. Canft thou mete out the Heavens with a Span, or fathom the Sea with a Bucket, or measure the Earth with a Compafs? And yet thefe things are infinitely more eafy, than to comprehend him that is incomprehenfible. Holy Job elfewhere tells us, that God accufes the very Angels of Folly, in prying too far into things which they cannot fully understand: And how much more juftly may he condemn the Sons of Men of Madness, in fearching too much into things that are un, fearchable, and palt finding out by human Reafon? Can a Worm know the Nature of Man, or can Man understand much of the Nature of Angels? And how then should we know much of God, between whom and us the distance is infinitely greater? Alas! all the Creatures of the World, in comparison of him, are but as the fmall Drop of the Bucket, that diminishes not the Meafure, or as the light Duft upon the Ballance, that alters not the Weight; yea, they are all nothing, less than nothing, and Vanity and how then can our fhort Sight penetrate into the Divine Nature,

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