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favor of God, with the consolation of the promises of the covenant of Grace, and with the sure and certain hopes of a glorious immortality. They are blessed in life, blessed in death, and will be blessed and happy forever.
Secondly, we are here taught the infinite sufficiency, fullness and perfection of the mediation and atonement of God our Redeemer. All fullness dwells in him. So that from his plenitude
for grace. He is infinitely sufficient for the salvation of all who believe. His sufficiency arises from his un. searchable wisdom, from his irresistable power, from his ineffable love, and in one word, from his incomprehensible Godhead. " In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All «
power in heaven and in earth” he possesses. His love is altogether inconceivable. " He so loved the church, that he gave “ himself for it. We are more than conquerors through him " that loved us, and died for us.” He is the Almighty God, therefore, none shall be able to pluck his people out of his hands. Thus, o believer, you have an all sufficient, and infinitely sufficient Saviour to trust in. Wherefore, let your hearts glow witla love and gratitude to him. Proceed on in your heavenly course rejoicing. Testify the purity and fervency of your affection to him, by diligently keeping his commandinents. Then are ye his disciples when ye do whatsoever he shall command you.
Thirdly, we here learn the important duty of submission to his dominion, government, and providential dispensations. He sits at the head of the universe, and in wisdom and goodness directs all events. “ Let every knee bow to Jesus, of things in heaven, " and things in earth, and things under the earth.” When the aspects of his providential government are dark and gloomy towards us, and it is a season of sore affliction with us, our souls ought to say, “ It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.” Remembering always his promise, that all things shall work together for good to them that love him. Let us duly consider,
the more resignation and submission to his dominion and rule we exercise, the more we glorify him, and the more comfort and fem licity we enjoy in this state of probation, and we lay up a surer foundation against time to come. Wherefore, “ let us all kiss " the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his « wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their « trust in him."
We will close in these words of our glorious Immanuel :“Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will “ I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But who
soever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my, *** Father which is in heaven."
THE EQUALITY OF THE HOLY GHOST, AS GOD WITH
THE FATHER AND THE SON, PROVED.
ACTS V. 3, 4,
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan, filled thy heart to lie
to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land ? Whilst it remained was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power ? Why hast thou conceiged this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto meng. but unto God.
IN these words with their connection, we have the melancholy and awful story of Ananias with his wife Sapphira related. The primitive christian church, when it was here in its infant state in the city Jérusalem, had agreed to throw all their temporal property into common stock, from whence they should draw according to their various necessities-from whence the wants of the poor should be supplied, and that they might have money for the support of the apostles and other ministers of religion, for the propagation of the gospel, and for other pious uses. This institution, being a voluntary thing, and not of divine appointment, was of very short continuance in the church. And perhaps the unhappy conduct and fate of those persons mentioned, soon put an end to the whole scheme. For we read no more of it throughout the apostles time, nor throughout the apostolic churches. This custom has been often attempted at different periods, by v2.
sious sects of christians, but hitherto it has never been attended with success. And, indeed, it is altogether impracticable among large bodies of christians, or in any great and extensive churches. And it appears in our text, that it was not an institution of divine authority, for Ananias and Sapphira were not called upon by the apostles to put their money into this common fund. They might have been true christians, without this act of extraordinary and uncommanded generosity. Their land was their own possession before they sold it, and the money was their own afterwards. Hence Peter said to Ananias, “ Whilst it remained, was “it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power
?" But the crime of these wretched persons was hypocrisy, covetousness, pride and falshood. In their acknowledgment of christianity, they professedly gave up themselves and all they had to God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but in reality they had done neither the one nor the other. What could induce them to make a profession of religion, is extremely hard to conceive ; but since they did it, they ought to have done it in sincerity. Hypocrites and false professors are often apt to make the greatest show_thus it was with this miserable couple. They would make an appearance of exceeding all their fellow christians in religion, charity and generosity. Pride and avarice, though both predominant corruptions in their hearts, yet the latter was too powerful for the former. They pretended to give all their mighty possessions for the glory of God, and for the good of the church, but they combined together to belie their profession, to cheat God, and deceive the church and the apostles ; and this brought down the immediate judgment of heaven upon them, a sudden death, and everlasting destruction. It was highly expedient that God should make this public and terrible exampie in this early and beginning state of the christian church ; to exhibit himself, the glory of his power and justice, to be a terror to all others, to restrain them from the awful vices of pride, covetousness, and base hypocrisy. This he did in the formation of the
Jewish church in the wilderness, when Nadab and Abihu, in the intoxicating pride and folly of their hearts, offered strange fire before the Lord. They were immediately struck dead, and perished in the sight of Israel, and in the presence of the Lord. So here the Gospel church was just forming, and if such gross deceit and falshood were to be admitted and tolerated in it, instead of being a divine institution for the honor of God and the happiness of mankind, it must be a reproach to christians, scoffed at by the Jews, and have the utmost contempt poured upon it by the Gentiles. Yea, if such gross wickedness, and such abominable offenders against the very light of nature, were to be suffered, it would and ought to be the abhorrence of all fesh. These people came with grand pomp, and declared they gave all they had to God, and said, all they possessed they laid at the apostle's feet; what would Jews and Gentiles said, if this outragious act of deceit and faishood had passed unnoticed? Therefore God, in order to preserve the honor of his name, and give dignity to the gospel, made public and awful examples of these transgressors. Hence he inspires the apostle to speak as he did. “And Peter said, Ananias, 6 why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie unto the Holy Ghost ? “ Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” And afterwards, when his wife was detected of being in combination with her husband, in the same deliberately pre-concerted plot to de ceive God, and impose upon men, Peter saith, unto her, “ How " is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the “Lord ?"
But omitting further observations upon this tragical history, the reason I selected this text at this time, was to lay before you the evis dences of the divinity of the Holy Ghost, the third person in the Trinity, and to prove that he is one God, equal with the Father and Son, in all the perfections, attributes and glories of the Godhead. As this subject has never been denied by any that have allowed the divinity of Jesus Christ, and his co-equality with the Father, our labour here will be easy and short. For even our adversaries