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And it is not to be overlooked, that others 'may be happy in him even in this rapid sketch of the sub too. Because he loves God, he loves ject, that the change, in regard of his neighbour. the principles implanted, is complete Now, this entire state, with all its and harmonious. It does not con exercises, is continually represented sist in the reception of some new as supposing and indicating that principle of action, which becomes spiritual life of which the Spirit of simply one in addition to those which God is the Author. It is not merely were there before, and which may a certain disposition of the moral often disagree among themselves, and intellectual faculties ; but such producing inward contention, and a a disposition as is occasioned by the fluctuating variety of character. presence of spiritual life, the highThe new principles, as they flow est of which the nature of man is from one source, agree among them- capable. But this spiritual life is selves; and they are received in always referred to the Spirit of God, such manner, as that they now con as given to those who have fled for stitute what is properly the moral refuge to lay hold on the hope set There are
the works of the before them. We attempt not to flesh ;” but “they that are Christ's describe it, as it is in itself. The have crucified the flesh with the theologian may well be excused from affections and lusts.” And as they the task of ascertaining the precise are now “led by the Spirit,” so nature of spiritual life, when the “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, physiologist is unable to do more peace, long-suffering, gentleness, than describe the laws, and exergoodness, faith, neekness, tempe- cises, and results of our natural life. rance."
What is our whole organized struc• If we observe the state itself, in ture, without life? And if, from order to such an analysis as shall original defect, or the operation of bring before us its originating and disease, any separate organ be cut governing principle, and thus ena off from the mysterious presence ble us to determine its real charac and agency, its organic structure ter, purity and benevolence will ap. becomes useless. He who was blind pear to be its distinguishing fea- from his birth, was dead as to the tures, and these to be both occa organs of sight.
He who sees, sioned and sustained by the love of knows not what the life is by which God. “We love him because he he sees; but he knows that he has first loved us ;” and this grateful it, because he sees. And if formerly regard to him, produced by the he were blind, and his sight has views we now have of his love to. been restored, though it may be wards us in Christ Jesus, is always attempted to perplex him as to the accompanied by the choice of him instrumentality by which the change as our portion, our satisfying por. was effected ; yet he can say, tion, our portion alike for time and thi I know, whereas I was blind, eternity. He is the chief Good of now I see." man, and is now chosen as such ; The analogy may, in some mea. and such a choice supposes the sure, illustrate the condition of the abandonment of the creature as the
hath the Son." He is fancied source of happiness. He conscious (we still refer to the who truly loves God, no longer change of which we have just been loves the world, in the sense in speaking) of an entirely new disposiwhich the love of the world is for. tion and exercise of all the faculties bidden. The one affection is neces and affections of his nature; a new sarily expulsive of the other.
power both of discernment and feel. And, in this state, our fellow- ing : so that now he has a real felcreatures are regarded no longer as lowship with objects of which before enemies and rivals, to whom we are he only knew as the man born blind to be in opposition, because they may be, by careful instruction, geare in opposition to us. He who is nerally acquainted with objects of happy in God, unfailingly desires sight; yet so as to have no real idea
man that “
communicated to him by them. It power to us-ward who believe,” by is not that the mind is differently which all that have true religion, disposed, that its exercises are dif- though formerly dead in trespasses ferent. This is truth ; but it is not and sins, are now "quickened togethe whole truth. The different dis- ther with Christ,” and “raised up, positions and exercises are them- and made to sit in heavenly places selves the effects of a cause, that in Christ Jesus.” (ii. 5, 6.) And cause being their union with Christ, as it is the reception of a new the Source of spiritual vitality. It nature, at once victoriously opposed is no figure, but a plainly-expressed to sin, powerfully leading to decided truth, that they are "alive from obedience, and standing in entire the dead through Jesus Christ our contrast to the sinful nature we Lord.” They have the Son; they have derived from the fallen parents have fled to him, trusted in him, of mankind, it is a new creation, a believed in his name; and he has new birth; and of both is God reaccepted them; and, in consequence, presented as the immediate Author. (as “ he that is joined unto the By his Prophets God had said, “I Lord is one spirit,”) being justified, will put my law in their inward -personally justified by a personal parts, and write it in their hearts : " faith,—they have the “ Holy Ghost “I will sprinkle clean water upon given unto them ;” that is, they you, and ye shall be clean; from all hare the Son, and they have life. your filthiness and from all your It will now be proper to put, idols will I cleanse you.
A new somewhat more in form and order, heart also will I give you, and a new the summary results to which even spirit will I put within you: and I the brief sketch that has been taken will take away the stony heart out of this all-important subject will be of your flesh, and I will give you an found to have led.
heart of flesh. And I will put my Religion is the work of God.- Spirit within you. I will cause you If the scriptural expressions which to walk in my statutes, and ye shall declare this are to be reduced to keep my judgments, and do them.” mere figures of speech, piously What God has thus promised, he meant, but referring to nothing performs by his Spirit; and to those more than that God, generally, is who with the heart believe unto the Author of all good, and, there- righteousness, – that is, to those fore, of this good, then is there who have the Son,-he gives his nothing in Scripture which may not Spirit to do this very work. The thus be regarded ; and then, instead Gospel is emphatically of established truths, we have only
OF RIGHTEOUSNESS," and uncertainties and illusions. But THE MINISTRATION
OF THE SPInot only are general expressions BIT;" and they who obey the Gosemployed, which refer all personal pel, which requires“ repentance tocases of true piety to a real influ- wards God, and faith towards our ence from God, but a particular Lord Jesus Christ,” by "the law of phraseology is, from time to time, the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" used, marking the specific character are “ made free from the law of sin of the influence itself, and at the and death ;” for they are “justified same time opening to our view, by faith,” and have “ the Holy within certain limits, the spiritual Ghost given unto them.” and moral facts which such particu Religion, which is thus the work lar expressions are intended to de- of God, is individual and personal.pote. As religion implies a change That is, these blessings of pardon from death unto life, it is a spiritual and spiritual renovation are given to resurrection. But this is God's them, and wrought in them, perwork. As it was "the working of sonally, and on the exercise of their His mighty power which he wrought personal repentance and faith. The in Christ when he raised him from true church of Christ is pardoned the dead ;” (Eph. i. 19, &c.;) so it and sanctified as a whole, by the is "the exceeding greatness of his pardon and sanctification of its Vol. XXI. Third Series. APRIL, 1842.
members individually; not, these are such passages as these : “Unto members are pardoned and sancti. whom I now send thee, to open their fied in virtue of their union with the eyes, and to turn them from darkchurch. Were the latter asserted, ness to light, and from the power of not only might it be rejected, as Satan unto God, that they may receive totally destitute of proof from Scrip forgiveness of sins, and inheritance ture, but as requiring for its estab among them which are sanctified by lishment an entire change in the faith that is in me.” “ Jesus Christ; structure of scriptural language. Is whom having not seen ye love ; in it said, “ Join the church, and ye whom, though now ye see him not, shall find rest to your souls ? ". No; yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unit is, “ Come unto ME, and I will speakable and full of glory ; receivgive you rest.” Is it said, to the ing the end of your faith, the salvaindividual asking, “What must I tion of your souls.” And, even undo to be saved ? " "Join the church, der the Old Testament, there were and the sacraments shall minister many by whom this subject, in its salvation to you?” Is it not writ general character, was better under. ten, (and, on a memorable occasion, stood than is often supposed. Even was not the answer given, with a with the superior light of the Chrisreadiness which shows how full the tian revelation, “ the natural man apostolic mind was of the subject,) receiveth not the things of the Spirit “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, of God; for they are foolishness and thou shalt be saved ?” Is it unto him: neither can he know said, “ He that is in the church them, because they are spiritually hath life ?-He that is in the church discerned : while, with the infe. hath, by virtue of his union, the rior light of the Old Testament, witness of God concerning his Son, they who sought the Lord while he which is in the church, as it is a was to be found, and called on him church, composed of those only who while he was near, obtained a clear submit to such as have a commis- view of the plans of divine mercy in sion which is divine, as traceable by their general character. St. Paul a succession of commissions, through refers to David, as describing "the individuals of all sorts of character, blessedness of the man to whom to the original one given by Christ God imputeth righteousness without to his Apostles ? ” Nay; but can works," in illustration of his own language be plainer than ?—“He discourse on justification ; and Dathat hath the Son hath life.” “ He vid had said, “The secret of the that hath not the Son of God hath Lord is with them that fear him; not life.” “He that believeth hath and he will show them his covethe witness in himself.” And what nant.” If, by Jeremiah and Ezeis meant by, “ He that hath not the kiel, the full explanation and estabSon of God hath not life?” Let lishment of the new covenant (so far St. Paul answer, in language that as the present state is concerned) shall explain that of St. John, both were promised, and the blessings of in the asserting and denying phrases: pardon, and the law written in the “ If any man have not the Spirit of heart, distinctly declared to belong Christ, he is none of his.”
to it; before the days of either of many as are led by the Spirit of them, David had said, “I acknow. God, they are the sons of God.” ledge my transgressions, and my And we
“receive the promise of the sin is ever before me: hide thy face Spirit through faith.”
from my sins, and blot out all mine all the children of God by faith in iniquities. Create in me a clean Christ Jesus.” And they who “re heart, O God, and renew a right ceive the adoption of sons
spirit within me.” Indeed, while addressed : And because ye are
from the New Testament we obtain sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit the clearer and fuller descriptions of of his Son into your hearts, crying, the nature of spiritual religion ; Abba, Father.”
from the Old Testament we obtain And in agreement with all this, indisputable proofs, that this reli
• For as
“For ye are
gion, in all ages, and under all dis- the Apostle not only dehorts from a pensations, is unchangeably the particular (and personal) sin, but same. In its ultimate essence, reli- argues against it; and so argues, as gion is the same, both for unfallen to point out the obligation under and for fallen man. It is humble, which the Christian is laid, to aim grateful, adoring, obedient love. at an undefiled purity, and an uniAnd as the mercy of God interposed versal holiness : "What? know ye for the help of man, so soon as his not that your body is the temple of foot had slipped, the Apostle, among the Holy Ghost which is in' you, the descriptions which he gives of which ye have of God, and ye' are the objects presented to his view in not your own? For ye are bought the apocalyptic visions, speaks of with a price : therefore glorify God “the book of life of the Lamb slain in your body and in your spirit, from the foundation of the world.” which are God's.” The references In the mysterious wisdom of God, of the whole passage are personal. there have been divers forms of ad. The argument is not from a particiministration; and, therefore, have pation in church advantages, to a there been varying duties and privi, preservation of church purity, by leges : but these forms of adminis. the means of purity of individual tration have all rested on the one conduct; but, simply and exclugreat plan of human redemption, sively, from a personal condition,the redemption which is in Christ and considered as personal,—to a Jesus ;” and the duties and privi- personal obligation.t leges of that one great plan have Religion, in its essential exercise, always been presented, as to their consists of love.--Believing in Christ, essential principles, as constituting the penitent sinner obtained forreligion, properly so called. “He is giveness for the alone sake of our not a Jew who is one outwardly,” Lord Jesus Christ ; and the love of said the Apostle ; “ but he is a Jew God was then shed abroad in his who is one inwardly.” And of the heart by the Holy Ghost given unto pious Nathanael our Lord said, him. And this mani estation to him “ Behold a true Israelite.” And, of the pardoning love of God in therefore, does the Apostle mix up Christ, by the Spirit
, “the Giver of the terms and phrases of both dis- life," produces the state described pensations, without obscuring the by the brief, but significant and truth in the slightest degree, when comprehensive, language of St. he says,-thus bringing true reli. gion to its distinctively spiritual and whole, by dwelling in each, according to his personal characteristics, “We are various operations. The text quoted above can the circumcision, which worship God only, as it appears to me, be explained naturally, in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ
and in accordance with the Apostle's design, by Jesus, and have no confidence in
referring it to this personal indwelling.
† It is not intended, in the slightest degree, to the flesh.”
undervalue the advantages which flow from On this personal nature of relic church union, scripturally considered ; nor to gion, another text must by no means
weaken the obligation to maintain it, under be overlooked. In 1 Cor. vi. 18–
which every believer is laid. But much is said 20, the true Christian is represented it as the collection of all true believers; and
in Scripture of the church, which only applies to as being, individually, a temple of union with this is not to be confounded with God, by the indwelling in him of union with some particular church, composed of the Holy Spirit.* In this passage professed believers
. But, even in the highest sense, the church is not to be put in the place of
Christ and his word. Practically, very little * Archbishop Whately says, that all the re difficulty would arise, if the distinction just ferences to the indwelling of the Spirit are to his alluded to were always remembered. He who residence in the entire church, as a temple ; so really desires union with Christ, is not the man that each part of the temple, as a part, might to neglect church union ; but union with the participate in it. Is it not far more easy and best-constituted church that ever existed, would natural, as well as far more in agreement both still leave unaffected the necessity of personal with the whole tenor of Scripture, and the con union with Christ, through a true repentance struction of separate passages, to take exactly an and faith, and the consequent experience of a opposite view? The divine Spirit dwells in the work of God in the soul.
John: “We love him because he and the morality of the Gospel,first loved us." And this sacred "and this is the love of God, affection, thus produced, is the that we keep his commandments.” source of universal holiness. It is This is religion : and, according exercised by them who have like to St. Paul, (who, in other language, wise exercised-and when will they opens the same truth,) the only cease to exercise ? -“repentance to available religion. “In Christ Jesus wards God, and faith towards our neither circumcision availeth any Lord Jesus Christ.” Gratitude for thing nor uncircumcision, but faith blessings unnumbered and beyond which worketh by love;” and thus valuation, adoring admiration of the declares the man in whom it is excellencies included in acknow. found to be, by the power of the ledged and infinite perfection, the Spirit of God, a new creature.” happy repose which the choice of And this is life, spiritual life, the the true and supreme good can alone life of God in the soul, which no occasion,-all belong to this love. man can give himself, but which God is loved, and the creature only Christ will refuse to no one who for God, and in subordination to comes to him for it. And this, he him. And the divine benevolence who has, has “in himself.” He has now produces its counterpart in it, indeed, in Christ, and from
God is love. And of the Christ, and only in virtue of his soul, choosing God in Christ, and union with Christ ; but still he has thus resting in him, it may truly be it in himself. The branch does not said, that soul is love. There is, in possess life independently : break it the new creature, the image of God. off from the parent stem, and it The life of God in the soul is the dies : but, still, life it truly poslife of love. In proportion as this sesses. And thus is Christ the vine, affection reigns, does benevolence and they who truly believe in him reign too. The new nature of the are the branches ; and because they soul is love; and the only distinc are united to him they have life, the tion is that which is made by the real power of growth and of fruitreference of the soul to its infinite bearing. They have the Son, they Creator, and to its fellow-creature. have life, and this life they have in In the first reference it is grateful, themselves. adoring, delighting, imitating, sub Now, this which they thus have mitting love; in the second, it is in themselves, is that which is depure, intense benevolence. The clared to be " the witness which new-born soul has its attention God bath witnessed concerning his fixed on the great commandments; Son." “ He that believeth bath and, with all the power of its newly- the witness”-hath this witnessreceived life, seeks to obey them. “in himself.” It only remains now “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God that I show the reason why this with all thy heart, and thy neigh- inward life of God, thus possessed bour as thyself.” And this is holi- by the believer, is called a “wit
The commands which God ness,” and point out the strength has given proceed from his own and value of the testimony.* moral nature; and the nature produced by the life-giving, sanctifying * When the present paper was begun, it was Spirit, humbly delights to obey them.
not intended to enlarge so fully upon the characIts language is, “o how I love thy
ters of " the life" which“ he that hath the son"
possesses, as was afterwards judged necessary. law !” And where such are the
But the subjects which have been considered are principles and affections, such will
exactly those which are now so earnestly controbe the regulated conduct. “And verted. Of what are called “church principles," this,” says John, the disciple who the fundamental dogma is, that “God does not
deal with men as individuals ;" and, therefore, opens to us the glorious mysteries
that it is only in the church, and by virtue of of divine love,-and thus, to the
union with it, that men have life. According to humble and simple, the philosophy this schemo, salvation is not received by indivi
(To be concluded in our next.)