Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.2

xEPACLr. N was promised to the guilty world ever since the fall, and whose various . glories have been well represented, according to ancient prophecy, in a happy correspondence with the doctrine of the New Testament, by a vo- lume of " Discourses on the Messiah, " lately published byDr. William Harris. I wonder how any man can read all these correspondencies of the type, prophecy, and history, and not be covinced that Jesus was the ap- pointed Saviour of the world. The several sermons that follow next, are all formed upon some of the most momentous concerns of a christian, viz. how to improve every thing for the advantage of our own souls ; how to look on all things as work- ing for our good : how to employ the time of life to noble purposes, and such as the saints above can never be employed in; and to improve the death of others to valuable ends in the christian life, and especially to a preparation for our own departure. The death of that worthy gentle- . mean and excellent Christian, Sir Thomas Abney, gave the ,first occasion to some of these meditations, for the use of the mourning family, which were much amplified afterwards in my public ministry. Here I have en- deavoured to awaken myself and my friends to an immediateand' constant readiness for a dismission from this sinful, and sorrowful, and tempting 'world : And God grant when that awful hour approaches, I may be so far honoured by divine grace, as to become an example as well as a teacher. The last discourse of all, exhibits the " most plain and obvious repre- sentation of the dottrineof the blessed Trinity, as it lies in the bible, and the great and necessary use that is to be made of it in our religion." It is a doctrine that runs through the whole of our serious transactions with God, and therefore it is necessary to be known by men. Without the mediation' of the Son, and the influences of the Spirit, we can find no way of access to the Father, nor is there any other hope of his favour proposed in the gospel. I thought it proper also, to publish it at this season, to Iet the world know, that though I have entered into some further enquiries on this divine subject, and,made humble attempts to gain clearer ideas of it, in order to 'vindicate the truth and glory of this sacred article; yet I have never changed my belief and profession of any necessary and important part of it, as will here appear with abundant evidence: In this sermon I have followedthe track of no particular scheme what- soever; but have represented the sacredThree,' the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in that light in which they seem to lie most open to this common view of mankind in the word of God And I ant glad to find what hhave drawn out in this manner into seventeen propositions, appears o agreeable to the general sense of our fathers in this article, that I do not think anyone of these propositionswould be denied or disputed by our divines of the last or present age, who have had the greatest name and re- putation of strict orthodoxy. If I may express the substance of it in á fewwords, it is this It seems tome to be plainly and evidently revealed in scripture, " That both the . Son and the HolyGhost have such a communion in true and eternal god-head, as to have the same names, titles, attributes and operations ascribed to them, which are elsewhere ascribed to the Father, and which belong only to the trueGod: And yet that there is such a plain distinc- tion between them, as is sufficient to support their distinct personal cha- racters and offices in the great work of our salvation:" And this is what hasbeen generally called the trinitarian doctrine, or the doctrine of three - persons and oneGod. 3