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manner that we read of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God and of the Lord; from which all those proceed,—and in which they meet again, centering as it were in the Spirit of Christ (Pet. I. i. 11): which is the Angel or Spirit of the Covenant, of the Christian Institution, OR OF THE MYSTERY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN CHRIST.
For however distinct we may consider the principles or spirits of properties so different as wisdom and love and truth and power and glory and grace appear to be, there is no difference in their root: “but all these worketh that one and the self same, Spirit” (Cor. I. i. 12, &c.): and there can be no contradiction in ranging them under one head; as exemplified in a passage of Isaiah lately cited, and in many others,-among the rest in that of Paul to Timothy: where enumerating several of them together he says, “ God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” And understanding the matter thus, we need not scruple to assimilate also the Spirit of the Mystery with its Author, and call it THE SPIRIT OF CARIST: meaning thereby the power, character and general effect of his existence: as the substance of the Mystery may be called, the body of Christ; meaning his example at large or in detail,—i. e. all the outward and obvious part of his life upon earth whether in saying, doing, or in suffering.
The SPIRIT OF CHRIST is the proper antidote to that foolish and flagitious spirit which reigns so widely, and so terribly corrodes the sons of care: it is a boon that wisdom offers in vain to the simple ones, to the scorners and to them that hate knowledge (Prov. i. 20, &c.): and a delightful refreshment that it offers to world-weary people, to the sin-weary, to the weary of every descriptionin these words “ Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mat. xi. 28, &c.). And this way of naming or translating the subject is sufficiently warranted by precedents in the Gospel : where Christ's holy institution is not infrequently designated by the personal appellation of Christ; implying the substance and particulars of his moral life or existence.
Thus, according to authorities annexed, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those who are called, though foolishness to others (Cor. I. i. 23, 24). In him is the law, or the substance, of the spirit of life (Rom. viii. 2). He is the spiritual Rock of which the fathers or patriarchs drank (Cor. 1. x. 4); lives in his disciples (Gal. ii. 20); and is their life (Col. iii. 4), except they be reprobates (Cor. II. xiii. 5); being all in all with them (Rom. xii. 5; Cor. I. xi. 3; Col. ii. 3, &c.); a rallying (Eph. i. 10), renovating (Cor. II. v. 17), illuminating (Eph. v. 14) and invigorating principle (Phil. iv. 13; Rom. vii. 25). He is the end of the law (Rom. X. 4): which was “our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” (Gal. ii. 24), is preached (common) by the rulers in the church without any variation (Heb. xiii. 8): and being learned by those who hear him preached (Eph. iv. 20, 21), and received by them as the root and rule of their conduct (Col. ii. 6; Rom. xiii. 14) is thus formed in them (Gal. iv. 19), and dwells thenceforward in their hearts by faith (Eph. iii. 17), the hope of glory (Col. i. 27). But Christ is of no avail to those who take him by halves (Gal. v. 2, 4): has no concord with Belial or idolatry (Cor. II. vi. 15, 16); nor yet with vain philosophy, or that which is not founded on Christian principles of religion and morality (Col. ii. 8). For in comparison with Christ, or his doctrine and principles, there is nought worth knowing or possessing (Phil. iii. 8; Cor. I. ii. 2).
The same is also the Word of divine grace (Acts xx. 32); the Word of faith (Rom. x. 8), of life (Phil. ii. 16; John I. i. 1), and purification (John xv. 3; Eph. v. 26) of God and the Lord (frequently): being One with the Father and the Holy Ghost (John I. v. 7). “His name is called the Word of God” (Rev. xix. 13): 6 and he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Ib. 16). The Word (as well as Christ) is also preached (Tim. II. ii. 15; iv. 2), and engrafted on obedient hearers (Jam. i. 21); affording them growth and nourishment, and being to them a precious possession (Pet. I. ii. 7), but to the self willed and disobedient a stone of stumbling and rock of offence (Ib. 8).
Thus Christ, the Word, and the genuine institution of Christ, or THE MYSTERY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN CHRIST, appear to be essentially one; as well as Christ and his Spirit. For Christ is what he thinks, and says, and does : and what Christ thinks and says and does is Christ. The same may also be said of any other moral agent in the abstract, that is, independent of adventitious circumstances, or what are here called Incidentals; as dress and diet, rights, property, habitation, profession and the like: any other moral agent on earth or above the earth, be he dressed or naked, fed or famishing, rich or poor, well housed or houseless-by thinking, saying and doing with Christ may be one with him and his; even as he is one with the Father (John xvii. 21), doing whatsoever he seeth Him do. “For what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise" (Ib. v. 19). If therefore, Christian Reader, our modes of thinking and doing are truly Christian ; if we think and say, and do with Christ according to the spirit of his holy institution, then “dwell we in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us.”, as the branches are one with the vine (Ib. xv. 5). Who can say on the growth of a vine, what may be of the body, and not of the branches, or what of the branches and not of the root; when there is but one mode for all? Even so it is with all who are united to God in one Word by Jesus Christ; who is the Medium of mercy from Heaven, and also upon earth; or, as St. Paul avers," the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (Eph. iv. 15, 16, 17) ----But this is A MATTER OF MANY RELATIONS.
-14, The commonneșs of spiritual and angelic epithets cannot be any argument against their application to the second Mediate: for the titles or epithets of Teacher, Minister, Pastor or Shepherd, and Guide are as common as they; but their commonness does not detract from the force with which they are here applied to a Minister, Teacher, Shepherd, &c., without any parallel,--to THE LONG EXPECTED TEACHER FROM GOD: of whom, alluding most likely to the divine promise by Moses (Deut. xviii. 18), they used to say in Israel about the time of its occurrence, " that Messias cometh which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things” (John iv. 25). The name of Pastor, or SHEPHERD, as more commonly said, is a very expressive epithet for the divine subject, and particularly endearing to the sheep-to those who “ are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand” (Ps. xcv. 7). “ And he shall be our guide unto death” (Ib. xlviii. 13), “to guide our feet in the way of peace” (Luke i. 79). Neither does it seem, as if the dear epithet of Shepherd was the less liked by its Object for being humble or common.
-15, But if Teacher, Minister, Pastor, Guide, and such other common epithets should be thought too humble for their present application, we have others in the same line of an higher and consequently more peculiar meaning, as “ Sun of righteousness” (Mal. iv. 2): “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John xiv. 6), “ the Resurrection and the Life,” (Ib. xi. 25), “ the Light and the Life of the world” (Ib. viii. 12), or “ of men” (Ib. i. 4), “ The True Vine” (Ib. xv. 1), “ The Bread of Life and of God” (Ib. vi. 33, &c.). And many more epithets there are of the same high figurative import; which would describe
the subject not only as a teacher of righteousness, of the right way, the truth, &c.; nor only as a dispenser of the bread of life; nor only as the means of our salvation, and support, with peace, happiness, and a joyful resurrection --but also as the thing itself to us, or the subject matter of each: so close is the consequence. “ And this is his name whereby he shall be called, the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. xxiii. 6). “For he is our peace” (Eph. ii. 14). He is our righteousness and truth; our life, a stock of wisdom and courage for us poor, weak, wandering, and benighted travellers to find our way home by, and beyond, to life and immortality,-a True Vine indeed, as he says to his disciples, bearing fruit to, and through them of the very best quality by the blessing of God. “I am the true vine, (says he) and my father is the husbandman ... I am the vine; ye are the branches ” (John xv. 1, 5). And that he truly is; being to mankind both by imputation and conversion what was taught or otherwise communicated by himself and other prophets or teachers from God; as Samuel for one, telling the children of Israel, “ I will teach you the Good and the Right Way” (Sam. I. xii. 23); which is Christ; as he owns (supra). The “ Way of the Sheep,” meaning his followers, especially is a most appropriate name and one of his own choosing to denote that our way to salvation and future happiness lies directly through him, that is, through CHRISTIAN MODES, or the particular example and description of righteousness in thinking and doing by him delivered to our hands and exemplified to our eyes ; as it is said “ Thou shalt shew. me the path of life: IN THY PRESENCE IS THE FULNESS OF JOY: AND AT THY RIGHT HAND THERE IS PLEASURE FOR EVERMORE ” (Ps. xvi. 12). :: -16, We should be loath to disuse any of these epithets which are so full of pleasing associations, and must ever appear as grateful to their employers or bestowers as to their Object or Receiver. As many of them as have a favourable relation to mankind, and they are most, cer