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forming one vast and compacted temple, of which the Holy Spirit is the living soul, cementing, animating, and pervading the whole. Now if important duties devolve on you, though you are only a fraction, an atom of the stupendous fabric inhabited by the Holy Spirit, how momentous do
reflect that you yourself constitute an entire temple. The Jews had an appointed guard to watch their temple, night and day; and, though the guard was numerous, each must doubtless have felt that he was entrusted with a solemn charge. But what would one of them have felt, had the whole trust been devolved on him alone; and that too at a time of peculiar danger from a watchful foe: how tremblingly alive would he have been to every thing relating to his sacred charge! To you my fellow-christian, as to a living sanctuary, the Spirit has been given, 'that he may abide with you for ever.' Reflect on his divine character and gracious designs and then conceive, if you can, of a more sacred and weighty trust than that of keeping his temple inviolate.
Had you originally belonged to one of the lowest species of animal life; and had he raised you in the scale of being, multiplying, and enlarging your faculties from step to step till reason dawned, what a sense of responsibility, we may suppose, would havefl ashed on your mind as you first awoke to the consciousness of youramazing transformation ! To find yourself suddenly endowed and entrusted with an immortal soul, rich in affections, strong in intellectual pow-. ers, boundless in its capabilities and desires; the perception of your new accountability might well impress you with an awful concern. But a greater responsibility is here. The Spirit of spirits, the Fountain Spirit himself is given to you, as a principle of new and heavenly life, as a divine in-dweller, and you have to keep for him the temple of your soul. O then, see to it, that your conduct
accords with so sacred a trust. He comes to you as the Spirit of truth; study the mind of the Spirit ; consult his dictates as your living oracle. By yielding to the dictates of the flesh, your spirit has lost its proper character, its discriminating and determining moral power; but he proposes to rescue and reinforce your spiritual nature; he comes to be your spirit, to turn your very flesh into spirit, renewing your fleshly mind: do not let it appear by your conduct, as if, having carnalized your own spirit, you would, if possible, carnalize the divine Spirit also, placing all spirit in subjugation to the flesh. He is the Comforter; the very soul of happiness; do not grieve him whose object it is to solace and bless you. Do not resist him in the execution of his office, while engaged in cleansing and sanctifying his temple. Be not satisfied with merely not grieving the Spirit of God; but aspire to please him, to magnify his office, to enjoy an affluence of his grace, to live in the Spirit as in the hallowed atmosphere of a temple, in an all-surrounding element of holiness.
SECTION IV.-OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY, AND
OF A SPIRITUAL CHURCH.
Among the subjects comprehended in our Lord's original teaching may be named the doctrine of the Trinity. There is no ground to conclude, that, prior to the promulgation of the gospel, this doctrine had any claim on the faith of mankind. The early christ ians, indeed, in their eagerness to obtain for christianity the patronage of philosophy, professed to find the doctrine of the trinity in the writings of Plato; but had they maintained instead a duality, or a quarternity, the same writings would have equally befriended them. The humble pretensions of the Jewish system were satisfied with proclaiming the existence and unity, or oneness of God, in opposition to the lords many, and gods many,' of the heathens; the allusions which the system contained to the triplicity of the divine nature, awaited, like so many dormant seeds of truth, the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, to quicken and draw them forth from their obscurity.
But though the solemn mystery is sufficiently developed in the gospel to demand our faith; though the Great Teacher held in his hand the entire map of truth, he disclosed only so much of the part in question as related to our path to heaven. In adverting to the abysmal subject of the Divine Essence, he maintained a wise reserve: and he did this, both that he might not entangle us in a labyrinth, when we ought to be advancing in the open path of life; and because of our natural incapacity to comprehend him on a theme on which there are no analogies to assist us. *How shall ye believe, or understand me,' said he, if I tell you of heavenly things ? Instead therefore, of theorizing on the subject, he taught it dogmatically and practically.
The doctrine in the general opinion of the christian church, is necessarily involved in various parts of our Lord's teaching. I shall content myself, however, with adverting to his great command, 'Go, then, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them unto the NAME of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.' Whether he intended these words to be a formulary of the rite or not, is immaterial to determine. Their obvious im. port is to describe baptism to be a religious dedication to God, who is known by the manifestation of his NAME, the display of his glorious perfections. Now as this name is attributed equally to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, it seems inevitably to follow, that the Son and the Spirit are, with the Father, the One God.
Our Lord instituted but two ordinances—baptism and the Lord's supper; he erected but two monumental pillars; one without, and the other within the church: on the first of these, that which fronts the world, he inscribed the great name of the triune God; and, as if to render the inscription more impressive, he made it his last act. Baptism is the vestibule, or entrance, to his spiritual temple, the church; so that before his disciples can pass the threshold, he requires them to receive the print of the Sacred Name: and, by making that one ceremony final, he reminds them that the holy signature is indelible. By baptizing us into the threefold name of God, he would impress us at the very outset of our christian life with the fact, that the work of our snlvation is so vast that it brings into action
distinction and attribute of the divine nature; that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the entire Godhead, find ample scope for the exercise of all their perfections, and employment for all the affluence of their grace. And thus would he put every part and property of our nature, in return, into active requisition in his service; causing us to feel the penury of our utmost love, and constraining us cheerfully to own, that, could we multiply our powers three, or a thousand fold, they should all be his. If, before, we considered our obligations infinite, what shall we think of them now, on beholding the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, three distinct subsistencies, actually confederating and concurring together, and embarking all their infinite treasures in the cause of our happiness: what but that our obligations, which we before considered infinite, are thus multiplied threefold! a multiplication this which the metaphysics of a grateful heart will allow, if not the severer philosophy of the head. How amazing the thought, that the Godhead, the three glorious subsistencies in the Divine Essence should be all officially present to receive us in the baptismal solemnity, the porch of the church; that all the Divine Being should be there, to enter into covenant relation with us; that should there be met by the sum of excellence, and have it ascertained to us, that to the utttermost extent of our capacity we are entitled to the enjoyment of the whole. An ocean of happiness placed before those, whose hearts overflow with a drop!
A presumptuous idea, if our own invention; a lofty one, if revealed to us.'
Upon this rock will I build my church.'
I. Another original subject contained in our Lord's teaching, is the existence of a spiritual church. The grand conception of organizing and erecting a new community, to be distinguished from all the existing forms of civil society in the world, by the spiritual nature and design of its government, could have only originated in the mind of one who had himself seen the pattern of heavenly things. Under the Mosaic economy, this exalted scheme existed only in emblem. The church in the wilderness;' the Israelitish people, nationally selected, and separated from all the nations of the earth; prefigured an approaching separation of a more select and refined nature, consisting exclusively of Israelites indeed.' Christ came to realize the sublime idea; to be himself the heart of the church; the point around which it should crystalize and form; and, in his own person, (humanity inhabited by