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and kneel before the Lord our Maker. he is the Lord our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand."
O blessed words, how animating your strains, poured forth from the holy harp of the inspired David; that prototype, and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ!
"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom; and shall gently lead those that are with young.' "The Lord is my shepherd: therefore can I lack nothing. He shall feed me in a green pasture: and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort." "He shall convert my soul; and bring me forth in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
Such are the glad expressions of the Prince of the Prophets, the evangelical Isaiah, that preacher of good-tidings: such the kindred thoughts, which animated the sacred songs of the royal Psalmist. And, as daily experience teaches us, how justly, that the paths of mortal existence abound with fatigue, and care, and sorrow; so does the soul of man long, with inexpressible ardour, for the rest and
peace of God, so naturally expressed by these pastoral images.
And who is he, our Shepherd, to whose guardian care we Christians confidently look up for our salvation? Is it not He who said of himself, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep?"
Is it not He, "who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead: ascended into heaven sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty: from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead?"
It is that one Lord Jesus Christ, who "thought it no robbery to be equal with God;" and therefore called himself, to St. John in the isle of Patmos, after his ascension into heaven: “Alpha and Omega, the first and the last." Thus confirming our belief in the unity of the ever-blessed Trinity of the Godhead; for of God, Isaiah records the Lord Jehovah, saying, "I am the first, and I am the last, and beside me there is no God."
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these three are one."
Now, Moses has shown in the
verses of the original Hebrew of Genesis, that Elohim," more than one person of the Godhead, "created the heaven and the earth;' when "the Spirit of God," that is, the Holy Ghost," moved upon the face of the waters." That " Elohim," the eternal Trinity, then said, "let there be light, and there was light." "Let us make man in our own image!"
So it appears, that under the one incommunicable name of God, Elohim, are included the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," in whose name our Lord Jesus Christ hath commanded us to baptize, and teach all nations." And we, accordingly, find the name of Jehovah, "I am that I am," meaning thereby a perpetually self-existent Being; in Scripture applied to each of the three Persons.
I here speak of the original language, the Hebrew, in which those Scriptures were written; and not of our translations of the Bible, which substitute God or Lord, very frequently, for the word Jehovah in the Hebrew. He, therefore, to whom the inspired writers themselves constantly apply the incommunicable name of Jehovah, "the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity," must be, and is, God and Lord. "Such as the Father is,
such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost."
And independent of the command of our Saviour, which connects the names of the eternal Trinity as God, we find the joint, and distinct, testimony of each of the Three Persons at our Lord's Baptism. For upon Jesus, standing by the river Jordan, did the Holy Ghost visibly descend in the form of a dove ; the ancient emblem of God's peace granted to mankind at the flood; while the voice of the Almighty Father proclaimed from heaven, "this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Praise be to God, my brethren in Christ Jesus! this unchangeable doctrine abounds throughout those eternal records of our redemption, and stands upon no less a foundation than the everlasting truth of God.
How vain and futile are the attacks upon our enlivening faith, by persons idly calling themselves alone Unitarians, has been most ably shown by several of our present Bishops; men, whose eminent exertions surpass the well-meant, but more humble, labours of him who now addresses you.
But of this I am entitled to declare my
full conviction; that it is as impossible for those vain pretenders to science, to cramp the sense of the Scriptures within their narrow bounds, and views; as it would be to bring our Metropolitan Cathedral, undiminished in its internal and external appearance, within the walls of this lesser Temple of the Lord our Maker.
Like a strong stream of water, whose force is increased by compression to an immensity of power; even so, my beloved brethren in the Lord, do the waters of everlasting life, bursting from their futile limits, overflow the banks; and are gradually overspreading the Universe," as the waters cover the sea.
In fact, such is the merciful ordinance of God, ever watchful over his faithful Church that the fury of man turns to his praise: and our adversaries are fast sinking into oblivion, exposed and exhausted by their vain exertions against the convictions of truth and conscience.
Our Church, like those of modern Greece. and Rome, is both a Trinitarian, and an Unitarian Church: as St. Paul well knew, when he declared, "the unknown God" to the ple of Athens.