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On what topic was he more evangelical than on this ?even antedating the style of the epistles, and leaving little if any thing for them to add either in unction or in fulness. What subject did he equally rely on to console his disciples, and to fill them with expectation in the prospect of his own departure ? He was in search of the strongest solace; and he had an infinite variety of subjects to choose from ; but out of all that multitude the topic on which he chose chiefly to insist was the promise of the Holy Spirit. And what lofty things did he predicate concerning him ! What names of greatness and goodness did he bestow on him! He made him the great promise of his new dispensation! And yet, what doctrine, what leading doctrine at least, is less insisted on in the church than the doctrine of divine influence? And, consequently, what promise is less fulfilled to the church than the promise of the Spirit? It is true, an occasional sermon is preached on the subject, just to satisfy the sense of duty: and an occasional restlessness is observable in parts of the church; but, alas! it is a starting in sleep, rather than an awaking out of it;-like the spasmodic motions of a person who is visited in sleep by the reproachful remembrance of an important duty which he has consciously neglected; it is the involuntary agitations of the slumbering church, convulsively answering to the unwelcome reproaches of the unslumbering conscience. Other prophecies are considered; but the promise of the Spirit, the great unfulfilled prophecy of the gospel, is doomed, by general consent, to stand over for future consideration. Other blessings are desired; but this, which would bring all blessings in its train ; which is offered in an abundance corresponding to its infinite plenitude, an abundance of which the capacity of the recipient is to be the only limit; of this we are satisfied with just so much as will save our sleep from deepening into death. Each falling shower-consecrated emblem of divine influencethe scantiest that moistens the thirsty earth, descends more copiously than the offered influences of the Holy Spirit, and reproaches us with the spiritual drought of the church. And so long have we accustomed ourselves to be content with little things, that we have gone far in disqualifying ourselves for the reception of great things; the revivals



of the new world are still regarded by many 'as idle tales.' The church itself requires conversion. We


for the conversion of the world; but the church itself, though in another,

yet in a sober and substantial sense, needs a similar blessing. The object of conversion is two-fold; personal, and relative; to bless us, and to make us blessings. Individual conversion accomplishes the first object, by placing us in a personal and evangelical relation to Christ; the second can only be scripturally effected by the collection and organization of those who are so related to Christ into a church, and by that church advancing forwards and placing itself in an evangelical relation to the Holy Spirit. Now the prevailing sin of Christians is, that they are inclined to stop short at the first of these stages. They are, perhaps, sufficiently alive to the importance of preaching Christ as the author of redemption ; for they have their own personal experience in evidence of its necessity; but they are not proportionally alive to the necessity of divine influence as the means of usefulness; for of that they have not the same evidence. Their conversion to Christ as individuals, was scarcely more necessary to answer the first aim of the gospel, in their own salvation, than their conversion to the Spirit, in their collective capacity, is necessary to answer the second, in the salvation of others. I say their conversion to the Spirit ;—for the change necessary has all the characteristics of conversion ;-conviction of guilt in neglecting his agency, a perception of his necessity and suitableness, and earnest applications for his heavenly influence.

That a doctrine of divine influence has a place in the creed of the faithful we admit; but it is one thing to assent to its truth and importance, and a very different thing to have a deep and practical persuasion of it. That the Holy Spirit is at present imparted to the church to a certain degree, is evident from its existence. For every believer is the production of the Spirit; carries about in his own person signatures and proofs of divine operations; and thus forms an epitome and pledge of the eventual conversion of the world. But as to the measure in which his divine influence is afforded—who has not deplored its sanctiness? From the earliest dawn of the reformation to the


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present hour, this has been the great burden of the church. What writer, of even ordinary piety, has not bewailed and recorded it as the standing reproach and grief of his day? Look back-and what do you behold ?-a procession of mourners, nearly all the living and eminent piety of the time, dressed in penitential sackcloth, moving through, the cemetery of the church as through a Golgotha, and exclaiming in tears, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain that they may live. What do

you behold ? “the priests, the ministers of the Lord, sanctifying a fast, calling a solemn assembly,' lamenting that so few attend the solemn call, and then advancing, a mournful train, casting themselves down, and lying prostrate at the foot of the throne of


representatives of the church, exclaiming, Behold, O Lord, a poor company of creatures gasping for life! thy Spirit is vital breath; we are ready to die, if thy Spirit breathe not. Pity thine own offspring, thou Father of mercies. Take from us, keep from us what thou wilt, but, Oh, withhold not thine own Spirit.' Such were the actual terms in which the great and pious Howe led the supplications of a solemn assembly, in his day, convened to cry for the Spirit. And has it not been on the lips of the mourners in Zion, an unbroken procession, ever since? And does it not express the sense of the church in the present day? As we have fallen into the train, and brought up the rear of the mourning suppliants, have we not deplored the absence of the Spirit as the great affliction of the church, and implored his impartation as our great want, our only remedy?

But the Spirit will be poured out from on high' would that the importunity and loud cries of the church, warranted the expectation that the event were near! And when he does descend, amongthe many blessed effects which will accrue, this doubtless will be one-that the teaching of Christ, concerning him, will be hailed and studied as if it were a new revelation; will be traversed and explored like a newly-discovered continent. The reasons of Christ for amplifying the subject, and for laying so much stress on it, will then be felt in the inmost soul; each of his declarations concerning it will seem to expand into a page, and be consulted as a charter fresh from heaven ; promises



which we now repeat with freezing accents will then burn on our lips, and be pleaded with an earnestness not to be denied; but which will open the windows of heaven for the emission of still larger outpourings of the Spirit.

In that section of the Second Essay, which treats of • The Originality of our Lord's Teaching concerning the Holy Spirit,' I have remarked in the introduction, that, during the long silence of the Divine Oracle, in the space which intervened from the last words of Malachi to the coming of Christ, we know not comparatively what opinions grew up and prevailed. It is only reasoning on the known principles of humanity to say, that when the living voice of inspiration had ceased to speak, the sacred volume was much more likely to recieve the undivided attention of the church than before. And, with a volume so seminal of all truth, so constantly whispering in the ear of hope, as the Bible, who can say what approaches were made to many evangelical doctrines ? what prophets of hope arose? And when once opinions, to which the wants or aspirations of the soul respond, have been broached, who can say to what consolidation and stability they may attain ?..... By what process

then shall we ascertain how much of the gospel is an absolute origination: or how much is a mere adoption and authorization of pre-existing opinons ?!

Having subsequently perused a translation of Tholuck's · HintS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT,' I have learned that it is a favorite hypothesis of the neological school, that “the Jewish religion coalescing with the Persian doctrines, was brought to perfection, and thus served to lay the foundation for the new order of things which Christ introduced. This appears to us to have been the true origin of these doctrines. Providence designed that they should be disseminated, just before the advent of Christ, in order that he, who was merely to bring the new Spirit, and, by means of this, to destroy the veil of the law, and to illustrate these doctrines, need furnish no system of doctrines, but merely announce, by his precepts and his life, the one great doctrine; God hath so loved the world. Those post-Babylonian doctrines were illustrated, however, by the instructions of Jesus and the apostles, to such a degree, that they appear in an entirely


new and spiritual light, as the pure and disembodied spirit, escaped from the lifeless body of the Rabbinical system.'

Now the difference between these two quotations is so essential, that to spend a moment in pointing it out, may perhaps be considered superfluous. But lest my statement should have the effect, in however small a degree, of preparing the mind of an unwary reader for the reception of the neology contained in the quotation with which it is contrasted, I will take the liberty of remarking, that while the tendency of the latter is to detract from the value both of our Lord's teaching and of the Old Testament doctrines, by admitting the philosophy of paganism to share the honors of divine revelation, the object of the former is to vindicate to the Old Testament the claim of having suggested the various evangelical phrases and opinions, which had obtained about the time of our Lord's appearance, and to assert for him the honor of having selected and authenticated such of those opinions as were true, and of having turned them into inspired doctrines.

The reader is probably aware that, during the interval which elapsed between the cessation of the Old Testament oracle, and the advent of Christ, many new terms came into use; especially new epithets for designating the expected Messiah and the Holy Spirit;-such, for instance, as the names, Logos and Paraclete : and, also, that va. rious theological opinions prevailed; which, while they pleaded an Old Testament origin, were taught, if taught there at all, only by inference and suggestion. Now when a person first becomes aware of this fact, and discovers also that some of these terms and opinions were adopted by Christ, and incorporated by him into his New Testament record, he may be tempted to depreciate in thought the divinity and originality of these particular parts of our Lord's teaching

But let him reflect, first, that as to the divine origin of these particular truths,—the persons who first announced them, no doubt, derived the idea of them from the ancient scriptures, and could have pointed to the precise passage or passages which, in their opinion, warranted the idea. And, secondly, as to our Lord's claim to originality in

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