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and prolonged life, constituted a perience is the standing testimony witness for Moses, and a witness to Christ and Christianity. What, which he had in himself.
then, is its value ? The records of modern Missions 1. It must, of course, be allowed, furnish a remarkable exemplification that its proper force is confined to of this important subject. A poor him who has received it.
But to Negro woman had lived long in him it is a witness of no common darkness and sin. At length it order and power. He is perfectly pleased God, by the ministry of his conscious of the possession of spiword, to enlighten her mind, and ritual life; and feels that those spiawaken her conscience.
ritual functions, for which, as he deeply convinced of sin. The re was created in the image of God, the membrance of her transgressions higher faculties of his nature were inbecame grievous unto her, and the tended, are now truly performed ; and burden of them intolerable. She that those descriptions of their exer. prayed that God would have mercy cise which he finds in the sacred on her; and she prayed not in vain. volume, the supreme authority and She was directed to the Lord Jesus standard by which he tries all things, Christ, as able and willing to save; are now actually realized in bis own and she received, with her whole experience. He reads, “( taste heart, the “ faithful saying,” that and see that the Lord is good.” “ Christ Jesus carne into the world “Lift up upon me the light of thy to save sinners,” even the chief of countenance.” “ Thou hast put them; and, being justified by faith, gladness in my heart.” “The love she felt that she had peace with of God is shed abroad in our hearts God. Referring to this sacred and by the Holy Ghost which is given delightful change, she said, -ex unto us." “ Because ye are sons, pressing herself in her own artless, God hath sent forth into heart but significant, language,—“ And the Spirit of his Son, crying, Abba, just what the great word say, that Father.” “The Spirit itself beareth the blessed Massa Jesus do.” She witness with our spirits, that we are had the witness in herself.
the children of God.” “We all, with Here, then, is the perpetual, open face, beholding as in a glass standing authentication of the divine the glory of God, are changed into mission of our Lord Jesus Christ; the same image, from glory into and, therefore, the authentication of glory.” “We rejoice in hope of all which that mission includes the glory of God.” “In whom Here is the continually-abiding proof (Christ) " ye also trusted, after that of that wonderful déclaration, and ye heard the word of truth, the of all that it comprises : “ The Gospel of your salvation ; in whom Father sent the Son to be the Sa- also, after that ye believed, ye were viour of the world.” All that be- sealed with that Holy Spirit of prolieve in him do actually “receive mise, which is the earnest of our the end of their faith, even the sale inheritance.” “Ye took joyfully vation of their souls ;” and because the spoiling of your goods, knowing they do so, and thus know that God in yourselves that ye have in heaven is “a just God and a Saviour," and a better and an enduring substance." that “ beside him there is no Sa. “Jesus Christ, whom having not viour,” he says to them, “I have seen, ye love ; in whom, though declared, and have saved, and I have now ye see him not, yet believing, showed, when there was no strange ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and god among you: therefore, ye are full of glory ; receiving the end of my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I
your faith, even the salvation of am God.”
your souls.” “I can do all things Every true believer proves-that through Christ which strengtheneth is, proves by an actual, personal ex me.” “In whom we have boldness perience "what is that good, and and access with confidence by the acceptable, and perfect will of God:” faith of him." "For through him (Rom. xii. 2 :) and this spiritual ex we both have access by one Spirit
unto the Father.” “How much fidence; this conscience purged from more shall the blood of Christ purge dead works by the blood of sprinkyour conscience from dead works to ling; this love to God, to the law serve the living God!" "Having of God, and to all holiness ; he posboldness to enter into the holiest by sesses this power over sin; he has the blood of Jesus, let us draw near within him this lively hope : and, with a true heart in full assurance thus conscious, he does indeed reckof faith.” “That Christ may dwell on himself to be dead unto sin, but in your hearts by faith ; that ye, alive unto God through Jesus Christ being rooted and grounded in love, our Lord. The kingdom of God is may be able to comprehend with all set up in his heart. He has this saints what is the breadth, and “righteousness, peace, and joy in length, and depth, and height; and the Holy Ghost ;” and knows that to know the love of Christ, which his whole spirit, soul, and body are passeth knowledge, that ye might reduced to the allegiance he had be filled with all the fulness of once disowned or forgotten. The God.” “ Eye hath not seen, nor kingdom of God is set up in his ear heard, neither have entered into heart; for he feels that the bless. the heart of man, the things which ings which he enjoys, most affectionGod hath prepared for them that ately and blessedly, but yet powerlove him. But God hath revealed fully, constrain him to submit himthem unto us by his Spirit; for the self unto God, to give himself up to Spirit searcheth all things, even the his service, that he may walk before deep things of God.” “The fruit him in righteousness and holiness of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, all the days of his life. long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, Now, that which he thus enjoys, faith, meekness, temperance.” “The he well knows that he could neither kingdom of God is within you.” work in himself, nor procure for “ The kingdom of God is not meat himself in any way separate from and drink, but righteousness, peace, the one described and enjoined by and joy in the Holy Ghost." All the Gospel. Nor can he either this, and more than this, does he meet with any one possessing this read. He perceives that one and power, or read of any one who ever the same view of spiritual religion, did possess it. The Gospel prothough brighter and larger in the mised to him the present salvation New Testament, is furnished by the of his soul ; but its solemn language whole Scripture. The sacred vo was, “Neither is there salvation in lume assumes that man is capable any other ; for there is none other of the spiritual life, refers to exer name under heaven given among cises of which none are capable but men, whereby we must be saved.” those who are spiritually alive, and He has sought according to the speaks of the restoration of this life direction; he has found according as the great object of redemption. to the promise : but he can discover He reads of the various exercises no instance whatever of a similar for which the spiritual faculty must work, unless sought for in a similar be poesessed of the spiritual life; manner. and of these exercises he finds him But, while in this particular reself capable. He is fully, deeply spect he stands alone, in another he conscious of the spiritual enjoy- finds himself associated with a vast ments indicated in the passages and ever-increasing multitude, who already quoted. He is conscious all bear the same testimony. The that the truths of Scripture, in their language of the Psalmist, uttered reference to the great work of re centuries upon centuries ago, demption, appear in a light un amidst the obscurity and imperfecknown before. Before, he rather tion of an inferior and introduc. knew words than things ; now, he tory dispensation, although perceives the things to which the cessarily general, is substantially words refer. He has this access to the same as that which is used God in prayer ; this child-like cone by the whole company of the
“alive from the dead through Jesus principles, feelings, and dispositions Christ.” “Come and hear,” said which their language indicates. he, “ all ye that fear God, and I Around him, and in various parts of will declare what he hath done for the world, the same testimony is my soul. I cried unto him with my given. He meets with many, he mouth, and he was extolled with bears of more, who have the Son; my tongue. If I regard iniquity in and they, too, have life,-have it as my heart, the
will not hear he has However great may be me: but verily God hath heard me; the differences,—differences of men. he hath attended to the voice of tal character, of age, of intellectual my prayer. Blessed be God, which
culture, of social position, of climate hath not turned away my prayer, and country,-if they can undernor his mercy from me.” It is only stand each other's speech, then can to the truly pious that this invitation they understand each other's feel. is addressed; for not only would ings. The consciousness of one, they alone be able to relish what whatever formal modifications there was thus spoken, but to understand may be from the operation of exteit. In nothing more than this, the rior influences, is yet, in its essenreal nature of spiritual religion, is it tial characters, the consciousness of seen that “the natural man receiv. all. The individual, therefore, has eth not the things of the Spirit of both the evidence of his own disGod.” However cultivated and tinct, carefully-weighed experience, strengthened the intellectual facul. and the corroboration which it reties may be, yet where there is “ the
ceives from the universality of its death in trespasses and sins," there existence. All who have the Son is not the power of spiritual percep have life. That life no one could tion; and the very words descrip ever confer upon himself. They tive of the life of God in the soul alone have it who have the Son. In convey, to such a mind, no distinct
each case, therefore, there is a perknowledge. But where this sacred sonal experience of the truth of Chris. life is, the whole subject is known; tianity. Had the system been a and, from the words just quoted, it cunningly-devised fable, these effects is plain, that this conscious and could not have followed,—these propurifying enjoyment of the divine mises could not have been fulfilled. mercy has in all ages constituted Their fulfilment-their uniform, unthat which is truly called religion, broken fulfilment, through such a religion in its personal references. series of ages-proves them to have “ He is not a Jew,” says St. Paul, been given by God; and that proof “which is one outwardly; neither the individual believer possesses in is that circumcision which is out his own personal experience. ward in the flesh: but he is a Jew 2. But, what is the value of this which is one inwardly; and circum testimony to others ? For answering cision is that of the heart, in the question, the way should be spirit, and not in the letter : whose prepared by the recollection of the praise is not of men, but of God.” state of the case. Here are the And this, which is essential religion, Scriptures, with all the evidences in of course undergoes no change in their favour. Here are the stateprinciple under a dispensation which ments of various divine interposiis emphatically “the ministration of tions, extending over a long series the Spirit;" “ the kingdom of God,” of ages; and, so far as they were therefore, “is not meat and drink, miraculous, (using the word' in its but righteousness, peace, and joy in ordinary sense,) Only closing with the Holy Ghost.' And, of this in
the apostolical age. Here are the ward religion, he who “ hath the written records, standing in perfect Son” feels himself to be a partaker. and visible separation from all mereHe can enter into the meaning of ly human compositions ; and if their language used by saints who have, divinity may not as yet be assumed, ages upon ages ago, fallen asleep; here are records standing in perfect and he finds in himself the same and visible separation from all
human compositions, and contain these had brought them to acknowing what professes to be a revela ledge the truth of the system, and tion of the actual government of to begin to act upon it. But now God, in reference to its three great that they had acted on, and put its divisions of law, providence, and declarations to the test, they had grace. To these records, and to become possessed of an experience the truth of the historical facts to which the Apostle could appeal, which they contain, the visible and whose power their conduct dechurch of Christ, by its existence clared :
clared : “Ye took joyfully the spoiland institutions, bears continual tes- ing of your goods, knowing in your. timony. But, among the statements selves that ye have in heaven a better which relate to what is styled “the and an enduring substance.” They kingdom of God,” are some which had not seen this " better and enassume the existence of certain evils during substance." They were still in man; and which, on the perform- in the body. But they knew that ance of prescribed conditions, pro- through the Gospel they had passed mise their removal. Is, then, that from death unto life ; they had bepromise verified ? Has any one lieved in Christ, and had received ever sought its accomplishment ? the Spirit of adoption, bearing witThe answer has been already given. ness with their spirit that they were The accomplishment has been the children of God; and thus, sought; and, whenever properly therefore, they reasoned, “If childsought, it has been fully realized : ren, then heirs ; heirs of God, and realized, as has been already de- joint-heirs with Jesus Christ ; if so scribed, under almost every conceiv. be that we suffer with him, that we able variety of circumstance. All may be also glorified together.” that have the Son have life; and Thus did they know in themselves thus they have the witness in them- that in heaven they had a better and selves; and to this they bear the an enduring substance; and, theremost explicit testimony. The rich, fore, did they take joyfully the spoilthe poor, the old, the young, the ing of their goods. So, likewise, honourable, the unknown, the learn- did the Apostle write to the gifted ed, the illiterate, in all ages, and in but ostentatious Corinthians. He all countries, speak the same lan- found it necessary, indeed, to say to guage. They declare that they do them, “The signs of an Apostle actually “prove”- that is, experi were wrought among you ; but he ence- " what is that good, and ac had said before, “ Ye are our epistle ceptable, and perfect will of God.” written in our hearts, known and Now, are these multitudes to be read of all men : forasmuch as ye believed ? If they are, the case is are manifestly declared to be the decided. Although the age of mira- epistle of Christ ministered by us, cles has passed away, yet the age of written not with ink, but with the divine interposition has not passed Spirit of the living God; not in away. The Gospel is still “the tables of stone, but in fleshy tables power of God unto salvation to of the heart ;” and, “If I be not an every one that believeth.” And to Apostle unto others, yet doubtless this, even at the beginning, did the I am to you; for the seal of mine Apostles appeal. To the Hebrews, apostleship are ye in the Lord.” called to endure “a great fight of To this, the work of God in the afflictions," being “made a gazing. heart, the Apostles appealed, even stock both hy reproaches and afflic. when the power of miracles was tions," as well as becoming
intrusted to them; and now that panions of them that were so used,” that power is withdrawn, and that St. Paul says, “ For ye had compas- miracles, as attesting signs of the sion of me in my boods, and took truth of Christianity, exist no longer, joyfully the spoiling of your goods." these saving gifts of the Holy Ghost Why? Because they had seen that still remain ; and every man may “God wrought special miracles by have, in his own heart and life, an the hands of Paul.” No doubt, experimental testimony to the
changeless divinity of the Gospel. union. To personal salvation they “Him,” said St. Peter, “hath God point, and to personal salvation they exalted with his right hand, to be a are intended to conduct; but with Prince and a Saviour, for to give that personal salvation they are not repentance to Israel and remission immediately connected. Even under of sins.” And then, first,“ We are the law, eminently a religion of his witnesses of these things.” We ceremonies and rites,-yet even then, saw him living; we saw him dead. it was a most solemn truth, (and the We saw him, and conversed with words contain much more signifhim, risen from the dead. We cance than is by many attributed to beheld him taken up from us into thein,) that he was not a Jew who heaven. “ We are his witnesses of was one outwardly, nor was that these things.” But he said more : circumcision which was outward in he added, “ And so is also the Holy the flesh. Still more emphatically, Ghost, whom God hath given to therefore, may it now be said, “ For them that obey him.” The gift of he is not a Christian which is one the Holy Ghost, to them that obey- outwardly; neither is that baptism ed the Gospel, was a witness that which is outward in the flesh." God had raised up Christ, and They only shall hear the voice of exalted him to be a Prince and a pardon from the mercy-seat, and Saviour, to give repentance and for- rejoice in the light of his countegiveness of sins. Now, when Christ nance who sitteth between the che. gave that promise, that he would rubim, who accept the gracious insend the Holy Spirit, which made vitation, and obey the command to the coming of the Spirit a witness enter into the holiest by the blood to Christ, he said, “I will pray the of Jesus. They who only worship Father, and he shall give you ano in the outer courts of the temple, ther Comforter, that he may abide put themselves not in the circumwith you for ever.” And this is im stances requisite for obtaining the mediately connected with the pro- experience; that is done by them mise of the inward and spiritual only who pass, by a humble and manifestation of Christ to all who penitent faith, into the innermost love him and keep his words. Here, sanctuary. And these do actually then, are two classes of witnesses to obtain it, and to this they bear their the exaltation of Christ : the Apos- united testimony, testimony tles, who have gone the way of all which, for number, extent, and conflesh, and whose testimony is con tinuance, has no parallel in the histinued in their writings, and all tory of man. And if what they say they who, having obeyed the Gos- is true, then is the religion true. pel, have received the promised Attempts are often made to inva. Comforter. That they have so re lidate this argumentation by a use ceived him, humbly, and to the of the term enthusiasm,'' more glory of God, they bear their decided resembling the old tales of magical testimony: and the testimony of one, adjuration, than the logical investi. is the testimony of all.
gations of an intelligent creature. Such testimony as this cannot be Cases are produced in which there rejected, while the laws which are has been an awakening of the conusually considered as governing the science to full activity and power. reception of testimony are admitted. The holiness of the law of God is That many, who “profess and call seen ; and it is felt, -deeply, most themselves Christians," do not ex painfully felt, -that, of that holy perience this inward life of God, is law, the righteous precepts have very true ; but the Gospel does not been violated, that guilt is incurred, promise its blessings to those who that pardon is absolutely necessary, are only Christians by their union and it is promised to all who with the visible church. Great are seek for it in Christ, who came that the advantages (and great, also, it we “might have life, and that we should be added, the obligations and might have it more abundantly." responsibilities) connected with that This pardon, and its consequent