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now is; with the offer and constant readiness of the Spirit to aid every one, and actually taking up his abode in some. The accumulated sins of the Jewish church were summed
to the grand climax in rejecting the teaching of the person of the Son of God. Her idolatry; the oppression of the poor by the rulers ; the breaking of the Law by the people—all which furnish the chief ground of complaint with the Prophets-are scarcely mentioned by our Lord, in his expostulations with those whom he addressed; whilst he constantly charged them with hypocrisy, in not knowing the signs of the times in which they lived, and in not receiving the lessons which he taught them. In like manner, the sin of the Christian dispensation, in the persecutions and idolatries of the Papacy, the bigoted spirit of national churches in rejecting from the communion of Christ's body all who did not receive their human ceremonies, together with the other iniquities of the Gentile church, are now concentrating, at its clo jecting the person of the Holy Ghost.
That the terms “ influence of the Holy Spirit;” “ Divine influence;” “ Spiritual influence ;" assistance of the Holy Spirit ;” and
” and many such expressions, are in every one's mouth, and in every sermon and religious book, we readily admit: but as our object in the present paper is expostulation, rather than controversy, we put it to the conscience of every one who reads these lines, whether he realizes in these expressions the idea of one of the Persons of the Godhead absolutely dwelling in himself, as a Being separate and independent from himself; and we anticipate with confidence that his answer, if honestly given, will be, that he does no such thing. The essential difference between the two ideas is, that the former implies an action upon our spirits, the other means an action independent of our spirits : the former is still the action of the man, though moved by the Spirit; the latter is the action of the Holy Spirit, indedependent of the man. If we attempt to define this matter much more clearly, we incur the danger of appearing too far to separate the Persons of the Blessed Trinity; but we will venture to throw out a suggestion, without enlarging upon it,- That there is a distinction preserved between the Second and Third Persons of the Trinity, in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ; inasmuch as He who became incarnate is the Second, while the Third also, and in addition to, and separate from, the Second, is said to have inhabited him fully. Perhaps this same distinction is preserved in every child of God : faith in him being, indeed, an operation of God upon him, so that in consequence of that operation only it is that he believes, while it is still the man himself who believes : but the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is another thing, and acts in the believer independently of him.
We apprehend that the Second Person in Deity, having come into limitation, and into personal oneness and subsistence with human nature, cannot properly be predicated of as personally existing any where without and beyond the limits of the person of Jesus the Christ. Whatever specialty, therefore, there is in God's favour towards man now, since the ascension, when Jesus went to the throne of the Father, is effected, not by the person of the Second, but by the person of the Third Subsistence in the Godhead. Hence it is not only not possible to know the Father except through the Son, but it is likewise not possible to know the Son except by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.
This independent indwelling of the Holy Spirit is that which the Christian church has lost sight of ; and it is truly a very awful exhibition of the power of sin in men, that it should be able completely to smother the presence of Deity, so that, although resident in man, He should not be discoverable. The Spirit of God is, however, putting forth his omnipotent power once more: He is making himself visible by word, and by miraculous cures, and by prophesyings; and a gainsaying generation will reject Him so manifested. The persons selected by Him in his sovereignty, as the organs through whom he will display himself, will be chosen by the Pharisees of the present day as the objects of their peculiar scorn. Thus will be manifested to all, the hypocrisy of the claim to brotherly love which has been set up in the Religious World beyond all former periods. If there were the ordinary confidence in spiritual things which this money-seeking generation reposes in those with whom they have dealings in their several trades and crafts, they would no more dispute the claim and discredit the testimony of reputable men on this subject, than in that of their temporal business : still less, if there existed the smallest particle of genuine love, would they look, as even the best of them do, with suspicion, and the rest with sneering accusations of imposture, upon the assertions of their brethren. The very essence of love is unsuspecting confidence : the smallest particle of suspicion is proof conclusive of the extinction of love. We are utterly at a loss to discover evidence of the existence of Christian love in any quarter of the religious world : nay, we are prepared to go much further, and we are ready to enter the lists with any one who will take up our glove, which we here throw down against all comers, and shew from worldly men, without any pretensions to religion, examples superior in disinterestedness, and in extent, and in confidence, to any which shall be adduced on the other side from Evangelicalism. It is to be hoped, at all events, that the ears and common patience of Christians will not be insulted any longer by the affectation of love from the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland : the claim of the Inquisition would be quite as tenable. But since this subject requires to be handled more at large we shall pass it by here. The Dissenters also, and the heads of the Bible Society, who have formally preferred to court the favour of the enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ rather than that of His friends, will do well to keep their claim to Christian love in abeyance.
It is truly an awful state into which the professing Evangelical world has come: hatred to the most devoted servants of God in their hearts and actions, with the claim of love in their mouths; rejection of the manifestation of the Holy Ghost, whilst trusting in a theory of a Divine influence; denial that the humanity of our Lord was of the same substance as that of his mother, while thinking themselves orthodox in maintaining that his body was a new creation. Such are the characteristics of the most spiritual part of the professing church of Christ, in the most scripturally enlightened country of the only portion of the globe that has received the knowledge of Revelation !
In the hope that some individuals of this body may flee out of it and save their own souls, we give them to wit, that the uniform burden of the Spirit, speaking in those persons by whose organs he has given utterance to His will, is, that God is angry with his servants for their unfaithfulness and want of faith ; that He is forthwith coming to judgment; and calls upon them all, in this eleventh hour, to repent, and to turn unto Christ, that their souls may live. They alone who possess oil in their lamps will give heed; while those who wear the “garment to deceive," and hang out a lamp with nothing in it, will certainly join in heart, and many too in hand, with the open infidel and blasphemer, in the persecution of all in whom the power of God is visible. Thus the manifestation of the extent of the power of sin, in the whole breadth and length of Christendom, will be as perfect as we set out with shewing it was capable of being. The besotted ignorance of the Evangelical and Philosophical Liberals, who fancy that the tendency of all that we see around us, in political and ecclesiastical matters, is to improvement in matters of church and state, can be demonstrated, by an appeal to the history of every nation and the daily experience of every individual. The qualities which have ennobled nations are all discoverable, and were all manifested, in the earliest stages of their existence; while those characteristics which have rendered their memory odious to posterity, were all more and more developed towards the close of their career.
It is absurd to suppose that the severer virtues which were displayed in the republic of Rome, compared with those in the empire, arose from the different form of government in that state, because the same display of similar qualities is observable in other states, where the form of the government has not been changed, but which qualities were not displayed in the old age of that state; such, for example, as France and England. Instances of great acts of patriotism, devotion to the service of their kings, disinterested sacrifices of wealth and ease for the benefit of others, renunciation of self for the service of religion, &c., are more and more rare in every succeeding century, from the Conquest down to the present, and are not to be met with in these days at all. In vain should we search for a Tell throughout the cantons of Switzerland; patriots have been advertised for without success in Italy, ever since the beginning of the French revolution; and no Mansfield or Wyndham is now to be found to defy the power of an English mob.
If we examine the lives of individuals, we find every quality that is praiseworthy and lovely developed in youth, while all that is selfish, morose, and detestable, is the product of age. This is not only true in morals, but in religion also. The young Christian is ever more zealous, and more warm in his affections towards his Saviour, than the old. Christians who have been long inured to the hypocrisy of false profession, and disgusted with the mass of iniquity, which seems to accumulate around them the more they endeavour to repress it, should be very cautious how they damp the ardour while they guide the indiscretion of fresh converts. There are, indeed, some few individuals over whom the Holy Spirit possesses such abiding mastery that their light shines brighter and brighter towards the perfect day; but the generality of old Christians “seek their own, and not the things of Jesus Christ :” they are taken up with the endeavour to secure their reputation for prudence, even where the auri sacra fames has slender hold on their natural character; they are fearful of every fresh advance in the knowledge or practice of godliness that exceeds their own standard ; and are greater hindrances than helps to those whose faces are newly set towards Zion.
The world, and all that is of the world, is constantly and uninterruptedly leading from God; while the chains which bind the soul assume every variety of form and texture. Satan changes one chain for another with change of circumstance, age, and place, in which unhappy man can be placed ; and while his victim fondly dreams that he is escaping from one toil, it is only to be more securely caught in the meshes of another.
The body is made of the dust of the earth, and from contact with, and absorption of, the gross and material particles of this, transmitted through an infinite variety of processes, it derives, like Antæus, its continued support. The means by which the succession of individuals is maintained, and by which the necessary wants of each are supplied; the gratification enjoyed in
fulfilling these ends ; the provision against feebleness and decrepitude; all become the fruitful occasions of lust, avarice, cruelty, extortion, discontent, and every bad passion. The divisions of the surface of the globe into so many independent proprietorships, arising out of the conditions of the actual state of mankind, is sufficient of itself to excite a whole train of malevolent, rather than of benevolent, affections. The soul cannot act but through the organs of the body; and a soul regenerated and thereby rendered fit to enter into the kingdom of heaven, could not exist in that kingdom without a regenerated body alsó -a body whose support should not be derived from things in a state of alienation from God, and dragging the soul.perpetually into that state of alienation also.
In all things the visible declares the state of the invisible. The varieties of disease which ack the human frame are endless. Theorists have not been wanting, who have imagined that every malady was the effect of possession of a peculiar devil. Not an organ nor a function but has some complaint that is special to itself, whilst it shares in common with the rest of the frame all that are constitutional. The causes célébres of medicine are more wonderful than those wonders in evidence which puzzled the French forum. There seems to be a set of animals whose prosperity is dependent upon the disease of others: had there not been a sickly liver a healthy Hydatid would never have existed. The tendency of them all and severally is to produce the destruction of the body of man: so that, from the first moment of its conception, even through the stages which enlarge its bulk, its uniform and constant bias is towards that corruption, putridity, and disorganization, at which it finally arrives.
All these ailments of the material frame typify corresponding maladies in the immaterial soul. Each form of mind and of affection has a complaint peculiar to itself, while it partakes of a general alienation from God. Every created thing is capable of engaging the affections and engrossing the energies of some one or other mind, which a mind otherwise constituted would find powerless, and reject. But the end of all is alike to seek satisfaction in the creature, and not in the Creator; and hence, by leaving it to follow the bent of its natural inclination, He justly manifests to all the insufficiency to a creature's happiness in all things but in Himself, and the necessary consequences of deserting the only Good, the Summum Bonum, the to ayadov, which unenlightened reason has sought for in vain, and which Revelation alone has indicated in and through the person of Jesus Christ.