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ultation, we, from whom he departs, a facility in distinguishing the persons, and who are no longer to be delighted now that the office of one upon earth by his presence. We feel that within has succeeded to that of the other, the veil alone can his recompense be which we could hardly have had if bestowed, a recompense which could those offices had been contemporanenot be withheld without the darkening ously discharged. Had the Son remainof all our best hopes: let, then, our ed visibly with us, we should probably voices mingle with yours; for we too have confounded his office with that of are ready to pour forth the summons, the Spirit: at all events we should not "Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates, and so readily have recognized a Trinity of be ye lift

up, ye everlasting doors, and persons. Even as it is, the third perthe King of glory shall come in." son is often practically almost hidden

But we must carry our argument yet from us by the second: what then would further. Let it be supposed that the it have been, had not the heavens receivpromised recompense might have been ed Christ, that the Holy Ghost might fully conferred upon Christ, without his be alone in his great work of renewing departure or absence—the recompense our nature ? that was to belong to his divinity, as But, whatever may be our thoughts well as that of which his humanity was and conjectures, it is evidently the reto be the subject--we may still show presentation of Scripture, that the Spirthat his ascension and exaltation should it could not have descended, had nota furnish us with great matter of rejoic- Christ returned to his Father, and fixed ing. It is clearly stated in Scripture, his residence in heaven. St. John exthat the descent of the Holy Ghost, as pressly speaks of the Holy Ghost as the guide and comforter of the church, not yet given, because that Jesus was could not take place whilst Christ re- not yet glorified.” And our Lord himmained on earth. We are probably not self, desiring to comfort his disciples, competent to the discovering the rea- who were overwhelmed with grief at sons for this; but if we consider the the prospect of his departure, made scheme of redemption as constructed this strong statement, "It is expedient that it might manifest the three per for you that I go away; for if I go not sons of the Godhead, we may see a away, the Comforter will not come unspecial fitness in the departure of the to you; but if I depart, I will send him Son before the coming of the Spirit. unto you.” Here, as you must all perYou cannot imagine a more thorough ceive, it is distinctly asserted that the manifestation of the second and third Comforter could not come, unless Christ persons than has thus been effected. departed; whilst his coming is repreThe offices, respectively sustained in sented as of such moment to the church, the work of our redemption, bring these that it would be advantageously propersons distinctly before us, and that, cured even at the cost of that departoo, in the manner best adapted to gain ture. for them our love and veneration. The We are bound, therefore, in considSon, having humbled himself for us, ering what reasons there may be to and thus bound us to himself by the ourselves for rejoicing in the exaltaclosest ties, returned to take his seat tion of Christ, to assume that this exin the heavens, and to be the object of altation was indispensable to the deworship to all ranks of intelligent be- scent of the Spirit on the day of pen. ing. The scene was thus lest ready for tecost, and to his presence with the the entrance of the Spirit, who came church to expound and carry home the down with every demonstration of al. Gospel. And certainly, if we had no mightiness, endowing the weak with other reason to give why human voices superhuman powers, and instructing should utter the summons of our text, the illiterate in the mysteries of the this alone would suffice. Of what avail Gospel. We will not presume to say would it have been to us, that the Son that there could not have been this had humbled himself, and wrestled, and manifestation of the third person in the died, on our behalf, had the Spirit not Trinity, had not the second ascended, been given as a regenerating agent, to and separated himself from the church. make effectual, in our own cases, what But, at least, we may urge that we have had been wrought out by Christ? Who

but this Spirit enabled apostles to com- broad signet of inspiration. We are bat the idolatries of the world, and gain thankful that men can repent, that they a footing for christianity on the earth ? can be converted from the error of their Who but this Spirit guided the pens ways, that they can "lay hold on the of sacred historians, that distant ages hope set before them,” that they can might possess the precious record of "live soberly and righteously,' die the sayings and doings of the Redeem- peacefully, and enter heaven triumpher? Who but this Spirit now makes the antly. But for all this we are practiBible intelligible, throwing on its pages cally as much indebted to the Spirit as supernatural light, so that they burn to the Son. All this is virtually owing, and glow with the truths of eternity ? not to the presence, but to the absence Who but this Spirit convinces man of of the Mediator; and, therefore, will sin, produces in him that "godly sor- we hearken for the song of the cherurow” which "worketh repentance,” | bim and seraphim, as, with every indiand leads to the putting faith in the cation of joy, they meet and encircle alone propitiation ? Who but this Spirit the ascending Head of the church; and gradually withdraws the affections from even from earth shall be heard a sumwhat is perishable, animates by setting mons, as though from the voices of before the view the prizes of heaven, those who are full of exultation, "Lift and so sanctifies fallen beings that they up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye become meet for the unfading inherit- lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the ance ? Who but this Spirit comforts the King of glory shall come in." mourning, confirms the wavering, di- Now we would recur for a few morects the doubting, sustains the dying? ments, in winding up this great subThe office of the Son may indeed be ject of discourse, to the first reason more ostensible ; it may more easily which we gave why men should rejoice commend itself to our attention, be in the ascension of Christ. We spoke cause discharged in the form of a man; of this ascension as the ascension of but he can know little of vital, practi- our nature, so that the entrance of cal christianity, who supposes it more Christ into heavenly places was the important than that of the Spirit. proof of our restoration to favor, and What the Son did for us was valuable, the pledge of our final admission into because to be followed by what the the paradise of God. And how noble, Spirit does: take away the agency of how elevating, is the thought, that it the third Person, and we are scarce was indeed as our forerunner, as our benefited by the agony of the second. representative, that Jesus passed into And if then it were an act of mercy, the presence of his Father. How glonot to be measured, that the Son of rious to take our stand, as it were, on God descended to bear the punishment the mount of Olives, to gaze on the of our sins; it was no less an act in- Mediator, as he wings his flight tovolving all our happiness, that he de- wards regions into which shall enter parted to send down the Comforter. nothing that defileth, and to feel that Shall we then join in the chorus of an- he is cleaving a way for us, the fallen gels, when they throng the firmament and polluted, that we too may enter in honor of the birth of the Redeemer, the celestial city. What were the words and shall we be silent when they cele- which angels addressed to the discibrate his return to the presence of his ples, as they strained their vision to Father? No; if we have any value for catch another glimpse of their depart. christianity as set up in the heart, and ing Lord ? " Ye men of Galilee, why regulating the life, the departure of the stand ye gazing up into heaven? This Mediator will as much move our glad. same Jesus, which is taken up from ness as his coming. We are thankful you into heaven, shall so come in like that intrepid preachers were found, manner as ye have seen him go into who, in the face of danger and death, heaven.” Then the ascension should carried the cross into every district of cause our minds to go forward, and fix the earth. We are thankful that we themselves on the second advent of were not left to the uncertainties and the Lord. Waste not your time, the errors of oral tradition, but that we angels seem to say, in regrets that your have a volume in our hands with the Master is taken from your view; rather

let faith anticipate a moment, when, what then is to become of sinners, who, "in like manner," with the clouds for in the day of sickness, compelled by his chariot, and flying " on the wings the urgency of their case, and frighted of the wind,” he shall return to the by the nearness of their end, show someearth from which he has just now de. thing like sorrow, and profess someparted. The gates shall again lift up thing like faith? their heads; the everlasting doors shall I own that nothing makes me think be opened ; and the King of glory, who so despondingly of those who wholly now enters to assume the sovereignty neglect God, till they feel themselves won by his sufferings and death, shall dying, as this rejection of the virgins, come forth in all the pomp, and with who would not begin to seek oil till all the power, of the anointed Judge they found the bridegroom at hand, of humankind.

and then obtained it in vain. It is as He shall come forth in the very cha- though God said, If you will not seek racter under which admission is claim. me in health, if you will not think of ed for him in the text, " The Lord me till sickness iell you

you must strong and mighty, the Lord mighty soon enter my presence, I will surely in battle.” As yet there have been ac- reject you: when you knock at the complished but a portion of the Old door and say, "Lord, Lord, open to Testament types: iho High Priest has us,” I will answer from within, "I neoffered the sacrifice, and carried the ver knew you : depart, depart from blood within the vail; but he has not me.” We dare not dwell upon this: yet returned to bless the gathered mul- we have a hundred other reasons for titude. The cry however shall yet be being suspicious of what is called heard at midnight; and "the Lord death-bed repentance; but this seems strong and mighty” shall approach, to to make that repentance-ay, though confound every enemy, and complete the death be that of consumption, and the salvation of his church. And if we the patient linger for months, with his would be "found of him in peace” on senses about him, and his time appathis his return, we must see to it that rently given to the duties of religion we provide our lamps with oil in the -of no avail whatever: sor if the man days of our strength. I do not know a obstinately neglected God, till alarmed more awful part of Scripture than the by the hectic spot on his cheek, that parable of the ten virgins, to which, as hectic spot was to him what the midyou will perceive, we here make allu- night cry was to the virgins, the signal sion. We are always fearful of dwell that the bridegroom was near; and ing too strongly on the minuter parts what warrant have we that God will of a parable; but there is something admit him to the feast, if the five vir. so singular in the fact, that the foolish gins were excluded with every mark virgins went to seek oil so soon as of abhorrence, though they sought for they heard of the bridegroom's ap- oil, and bought it, and brought it? proach, but were nevertheless exclud- We bring before you this very awful ed, that we dare not pass it by as con- suggestion, that none of you may think veying no lesson. If the parable admit it too soon to prepare to meet the Saof being applied, as we suppose it must vior, whose ascension we have comin a modified sense, to the circumstan- memorated, and for whose return we ces of our death, does it not seem to are directed to look. Let all, the young say that a repentance, to which we are and the old, be ever on the watch, with driven by the approach of dissolution, the loins girt, the lamps trimmed, and will not be accepted ? The foolish vir- the lights burning. Let not that day gins sought not for oil, till alarmed by overtake any of us "as a thief," as a tidings that the bridegroom was at thief not more because coming steal. hand; and many think that it will be thily and unexpectedly, than because enough if they give heed to religion it will strip us of our confidence, and when they shall have reason to appre- leave us desenceless. But if we now hend that their last day is not distant. give diligence to add to our faith But the foolish virgins, although, as it virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to would seem, they obtained oil, were knowledge temperance;" if we labor indignantly shut out from the banquet; to be " found of him in peace," appropriating to ourselves his promises, on-, ascend with the Mediator towards the ly as we find ourselves conformed to kingdom of his father. Can it be his precepts; then let "the Lord, that these, who were born children of strong and mighty, the Lord mighty wrath, who were long enemies to God in battle," appear in the heavens: we by wicked works, are to enter the shall be " caught up to meet him in bright scenes of paradise ? Yes, he who the air, and so shall we ever be with leads them, has washed them in his the Lord.” Glorious transformation! blood; he who leads them, has sanctiglorious translation! I seem already fied them by his Spirit; and now you to behold the wondrous scene. The may hear his voice in the summons, sea and the land have given up their "Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and dead: the quickened myriads have be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; been judged according to their works. and these, my ransomed ones, shalí And now an innumerable company, out come in, and behold, and share my of all nations, and tribes, and tongues, glories.”

that

SERMON VIII.

THE SPIRIT UPON THE WATERS.

" And the earth was without form and void : and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the

Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”—Genesis, 1: 2.

We are required on this day, by the than in their claim on our love, and ordinance of the church, to consider their title to our veneration. specially the person and work of the It is of great worth, therefore, that third person in the Trinity. The pre- the church has instituted such com. sent festival is in commemoration of memorations as the present; for, by that great event, the pentecostal effu- bringing before us in succession the sion of the Spirit, an event not inferior mysteries of our faith, and the various in importance to the incarnation of the blessings provided for our race, they Son. We say, not inferior in import- do much towards preventing our dwell. ance, for it would avail us little that ing on one doctrine or benefit, to the redemption has been achieved by one exclusion of others which deserve Divine person, if it were not applied, equal thought. There would have been or made effectual, by another. There the same stupendousness and virtue in is so much to fix, and even engross, the work of the Son, if it had never our attention in the work of the Son; been followed by the descent of the the humiliation, the sufferings, and the Spirit. But then if it be true, that our success, are so conspicuous and con- hearts are naturally averse from God founding, that we may easily become and holiness, so that, of ourselves, we comparatively unmindful of what we are unable to repent, and lay hold on owe to the Father and the Spirit;

* The outline of this sermon has been partly dethough the persons of the Trinity are rived from that of a discourse by Dr. Donne on the not more one in essence and dignity, I last clause of the verse.

the proffered, but conditional, deliver- go back to the earliest times, and see ance, of what use is it that such cost whether even then, ere this creation ly provision has been made on our be- rose in its beauty, the Spirit of God half, unless there be also provision for was not mightily energetic, performing our being strengthened to make it our such wonders on inanimate matter as own? Thus such festivals as Christ- imaged the yet stranger which he was mas and Easter, and such commemo- afterwards to perform upon mind. rations as Good Friday, though they It is not, however, that we design to might remind us of sublime and awful lay great stress on arguments in supthings, would bring before us nothing port of the doctrine of the Trinity, that could be practically of worth to which have been fetched from the very fallen creatures, if they were not to commencement of the Bible. We will be followed by a Whitsunday, when only glance at those arguments. You might be celebrated the coming down are probably aware, that, in the first of a divine agent to renew the cor- verse of the book of Genesis, where it rupt nature. On this day, the third is said, " In the beginning God created person of the Trinity descended to the heavens and the earth,” the Hetabernacle upon earth, as on Christ- brew word, translated "God,” is in the mas day the second was found in plural, whilst that rendered "created,” fashion as a man.” And not deeper, is in the singular. From this it has nor more abundant, should be our gra- been argued, with much appearance of titude, that, "for us men and for our truth, that Moses announces, in the salvation,"

"the Word was made very first line of his writings, a plurality flesh,” than that, " with the sound as of persons in the Godhead; for on what of a rushing mighty wind,” the Com- supposition are we to explain the comforter came to take the things of Christ, bination of a plural noun with a singuand show them to the soul.

lar verb, unless we allow that God may We have endeavored on former re- be spoken of in the plural, because currences of the present solemnity, to there are several persons in the Godexplain to you the scriptural doctrine head, and at the same time in the sinas to the person and work of the Holy gular, because those persons constiGhost. We have labored to show you, tute the one indivisible Jehovah ? If that the Spirit of God is not, as some we had nothing but this verbal critihave vainly taught, a mere quality, at- cism, on which to rest the doctrine of tribute,*or property of God; but, in the a plurality of persons in the Godhead, strictest sense, a Divine person, pos. we might feel it insufficient for so sessing the divine nature, filling divine weighty a superstructure. But we may offices, and performing divine acts. fairly say, that, when we have proved And as to the work of this person, we the doctrine on less questionable evihave described it to be that of reno-dence, there can be no reason for our vating and sanctifying our nature; so rejecting this auxiliary testimony, a that, by secret suggestions and im- testimony peculiarly interesting from pulses, by exciting good desires, by the place in which it occurs, seeing strengthening our powers and recti- that the Bible thus commences with an fying our affections, by quickening our intimation of the Trinity in unity. understandings to the perception of And it is remarkable, that, having truth, and inclining our wills to obedi. thus hinted at there being several perence, he restores in us the lost image sons in the Godhead, Moses immediof God, and fits us for "the inheritance ately proceeded to speak of one of of the saints in light." Statements such these persons, and to ascribe to Him a as these, with regard to the personali- great Office in the construction of this ty and offices of the Holy Ghost, have globe. If indeed this were the only been so frequently laid before you, passage in which we found mention of that we can hardly consider their re- the Spirit of God, we should hardly be petition necessary. We shall not, there warranted in concluding from it the fore, employ the present opportunity. personality and Deity of the Holy on proving what we may believe that Ghost. Had our text stood alone, it you admit, or explaining what we may might perhaps with justice have been hope that you understand. But we will said, that nothing more was intended

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