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inmost hearts the coarse friction of intolerance and of rude fanaticism, you, though you have to endure all this, give no evidence that your convictions of Christ and your faith in God are dear unto you,—you are voluntary sufferers, and the distresses of your position, which we shall aggravate in every way we can, are no proof that you stand the rude peltings of the pitiless storm, only because you dare not abandon conviction, or turn away from what you believe to be the light of God within you? I ask can any thing surpass the unmitigated Popery of all this, except its' unmitigated cruelty and injustice ? How is it that the Minister of a state religion, the preacher of popular creeds, whose lightest words raise echoes of assent—who gets the support and sympathy of crouds on far easier terms than others get bare toleration and existence, can so remove from him all self-knowledge and mercy, as to have the heart to tell the man whom he persecutes, we who have every thing to gain from our religion and nothing to lose, give evidence of being supported through all this ease and triumph by the Spirit of God, but you, who in this world have every thing to lose by your religion, and nothing to gain, give no evidence of having the Spirit of Truth, and are lovers of your own selves more than of Conscience and of God?* We suspect them not, God forbid we should, of being immorally tempted and biassed, and with a true sincerity we declare that we have no sympathy whatever with the ungenerous vulgarity of such a charge,—but at the same time, they ought to be aware, and if they were truly generous in their turn they would be aware, that all the outward marks by which men may judge of the sincerity of convictions, and the strength of inwaru reliances, and allegiance to God, are upon us, not upon them.
The other offices assigned to the Holy Spirit besides that of being an infallible interpreter to the orthodox, were the
* See the Lecture of the Rev. D. James, and indeed the whole tone and on of the Trinitarian Course. Mr. James declared that we denied the personamy the Holy Spirit, only because we had never felt his operations.
following :-to bring our souls into sympathy and union with the Spirit of Jesus—to draw us by spiritual affinities unto the Christ; to sanctify our nature through communion with the holy One, cleansing the temple of the spiritual God; to govern our moral being, and supply the diviner impulses that lift us to imperishable things, and teach us to love and to pray aright; and to give us through the spiritual witness within ourselves, a pledge and earnest of the loving purpose of God, and of the glory that remaineth.—Must we indeed renounce these connexions of our spirits with the Spirit of our God, unless mechanically settling the distribution of offices, we receive these influences through the departmental arrangements of the Trinitarian Theology? Will God our Father not come to us and make His abode with us, if we are unfortunate enough to find no evidence in Scripture for a third infinite Mind associated with him, and carry up to Him the unbroken sum of our love, our faith, our worship, and our prayers? Will He reject us only because we pour out our all before Him, and knowing Him to be all-sufficient, feel our derived spirits to be at every moment within the shelter of His parental presence ?-And yet, if the Trinitarians were right, if only a believer in a tri-personal God could hold these spiritual connexions with the source of all good, the fountain head of all holiness and hope, if these were the only conditions on which our souls could feel life from above—then should we become the most grateful, the most devoted, the most submissive of their disciples—we would entreat them to show us the way of knowledge, that we might ascend unto the hill of the Lord, and stand in His holy place,—and to lift up for us, in mercy, the everlasting doors of our darkened hearts, that the King of Glory might come in ;—and we would flee from our Unitarianism as we should from Atheism, for it would be Atheism if it closed our access to the Spirit of God.
But, though not fond of speaking personally of religious experiences, we do declare, and we do know, that the spirit of man
may hold communion with the Spirit of our Father. Every impulse after holiness is the Spirit of God. Every “sighing that cannot be uttered” after the pure, the perfect, and the good, is the Spirit of God. Every devotion of our souls to things unseen and eternal, when solicited by things seen and temporal, is of the Spirit of God. Every dictate of Duty is the spirit of God. Every answer to the prayer of a pure heart is the spirit of God. Every movement of disinterested love is the spirit of God. Every self-sacrifice for the sake of justice or of mercy is made in the strength of the Spirit of God. Every inward hope in this world's darkness, and undying trust amid this world's deaths, is an inspiration from Him who is a very present help in the time of trouble, a spiritual intimation from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. The spirit that conforms itself to the will of God, that removes from it whatever is alien to His nature, that puts away the defiling breath of the passions, that seeks Him by prayer, by efforts of duty, by struggles of penitence, by resistance to all sin, by self-purification and constant converse with His image in the Christ, that spirit mirrors more and more of the glory of God, feels more and more His power and peace within the soul, and receives of His fulness, and grows in His likeness, throughout eternity.
If there are any to whom all this appears visionary, and who charge the religious mind with mysticism,"c are ready to bear our share of that charge; for thus tai we confess ourselves to be Mystics. Yet, so far are we from holding it to be Mysticism, that we are confider that nothing which sense perceives, or thought takes in, is so real, so enduring, so full of life, as this spiritual and me perishable connexion of the soul of man with the Spirit of God. This connexion, whatever may have been the inspiration of peculiar times, we now regard as part of the est blished providence and operations of our Father's Spiri gives of His Spirit, to all who observe the conditions on
He has promised to pour out His Spirit upon them. No pure mind ever sought Him in vain. No erring heart ever turned to Him in penitence, and found no peace. Whenever our holier nature awakes to earnest action, God enters into the soul. Whenever prayer purifies our desires, and rectifies our estimates, and places great realities in spiritual lights, God is present with us. Every effort to sink our imperfections, and to feel purely, places us within the affinities of His Holy Spirit. There is no miracle in this. God reveals himself to the spirit that assimilates itself to Him, and seeks Him by growing like to Him. There are no limits to those spiritual communications. He that asketh receiveth; he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it is opened. This is of God's grace; not now of miracle, but of nature. We are His children, and in proportion as we love Him purely, and follow after Him, He reveals Himself to us. Revealing himself through our spirit, He abides with us for ever. Imaged within us in juster proportions, as we reject impurity, and impose the harmony of His will upon all our desires, He guides us into all truth, and causes us to feel within, the blessed intimations of His sympathizing Spirit. Correcting our false estimates, and fixing our trusts upon His own great realities, He comforts us amid the shadows of Time and Death, whilst we repose upon a world that cannot be moved, and rely upon the faithfulness of God.
Jesus Christ is our most perfect image of the Spiritual Father. He developes within us the ideas that are akin to God. He brings us through sympathy with himself within the affinities of the Holy Spirit, for God was with him. By the baptism of ever fresh penitence, and still fresher purity, he prepares us for the higher baptism of the Holy Spirit, and of fire. We grow in light as we grow in purity. If we keep holy the Temple of the Spirit it abides with us, and, doing His will, we know of the doctrine whether it be of God. The soul that quenches not the Spirit, that suffers no
intimation from God to pass unheeded, that looks upon the face of Christ, and reads in characters of blended grace and truth the mind of the Father, is continually born again, and again, into new and still newer light, for the kingdom of heaven is a reaching forth unto things that are before; and he that is in Christ Jesus has within him a spring of life, and is ever a New Creature. And he is ever nearest to God who through purity and prayer has disposed his own spirit to receive light from the Holy Spirit of God, and waits and watches for fresh commuications from His unexhausted Christ.
Were another great Teacher to appear amongst us, were another Christ to come to us, and apart from the narrow technicalities of system, to unfold sublime and quickening views of the moral and spiritual world, where might we expect to find the kindred minds, that would most instantly recognize the voice of the Divinity, and upon whose ready sympathies the heavenly words would fall like sparks upon the fuel? Perhaps those who best understood what it is “to be born again” might not be of the number of the learned, the instructed, the Masters in Israel. It is certain that they would not be found among the adherents of unchanging systems—the Pharisees of the faith, who think that they already possess the absolute Truth imprisoned in creeds—and expect no new light to break forth upon their souls. The wind bloweth where it listeth-nevertheless its course is not uncontrolled—it has laws though we know them not—and where would the Spirit of God list to blow, if it was now breathing from the lips of some inspired man,-into what hearts would it find its way, and fan the latent affinities into the flame of spiritual life? Might it not again pass by the College of the learned, and the Temple of the Priest, and descend in living fire upon the poor man's soul? All that we can do is to look out for light—to expect it-tok near through prayer and inward communion to Him w its Fountain-to have the inward sentiments pure, the pl