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forming one of the sweetest features of the
gospel. The whole Scriptures of God declare, that the great purpose for which the Son of God became incarnate, was to destroy the works of the devil, and to raise up the tabernacles of David that were fallen down, and to purify to himself “ a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” One of the apostles, in a very interesting and beautiful manner, describes the Lord Jesus in this endearing character, as engaged in the great work of salvation. “ Christ (saith he) loved the church, and gave himself for it: that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water, by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing ; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. v. 25—27.) And hence, in conformity to this gragious design of the Lord Jesus, we find the church of God, beheld as in oneness and union with her glorious Husband, spoken of, in all ages of the church, under this precious character. “Ye shall be (saith Moses to the true Israel of God) a peculiar, treasure unto me above all people ; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” (Exod. xix. 5, 6.) And hence the gospel-charter, corresponding to the same as the law by Moses had typically represented, makes the same proclamation. “Ye are (saith Peter) a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Pet. ii. 9.) And if it be asked, as well it may, how, is it that the church of the Lord Jesus, which in every individual member of it is continually complaining of a body of sin and death, believers carry about with them from day to day, how is it
that such can be called holy before the Lord ? The answer is at hand, and perfectly satisfactory: They are so, from their union with, and their right and interest in their glorious Head; for if "he was made sin for them, who knew no sin,” it is but just that they, who in themselves have no righteousness, should be made “ the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor. v. 21.) And if the church
be commanded, as that the church is, and by : God the Father himself, to call Christ“ the Lord
our righteousness,” equally proper is it, and by the same authority also, that the church should be called the Lord our righteousness, as the lawful wife bearing her husband's name. (Compare Jer. xxiii. 6. with xxxiii. 16.) And all this because the Lord Jesus hath married his church, hath made her holy in his holiness and is become to her, by God the father's own covenant-engagements, “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption ; that, according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Cor. i. 30.) Such, then, are the beautiful Scripture views of holy and of holiness, in the lovely order of it. First, as beheld in the persons of the GODHEAD, in the very being of JEHOVAH. Secondly, as the same in the personal holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Christ of God, and the glorious Head of his body the church. And thirdly, as making holy the whole body of the church in Jesus, and from Jesus, and by Jesus, united to him. And hence, from this union, every thing that is called holy in Scripture, derives that sanctity. The temple, the holy of holies, the vessels of the sanctuary, the ordinances, sacrifices, and all that belonged to the Jewish church. And, under the Christian dispensation, every thing found in the simple services of Christ's church is
no otherwise holy, than as it derives that purity from Christ's person; Christ is all, and in all. Yea, heaven itself, into which Jesus is gone as the forerunner of his people, hath all its holiness and blessedness from him. John tells the church, that " he saw no temple there, for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple of it.”
(Rev. xxi. 22.) HOLY GHOST. Besides referring back to the
former article concerning this almighty Lord, it may
be proper to subjoin some of the names and offices by which God the Holy Ghost is known in Scripture. I say some, for to bring forward all is perhaps beyond the power or the province of
Our blessed Lord, over and above the sacred names the Holy Ghost hath in common with the Father and the Son in the essence of the GODHEAD, hath graciously taught his church the special titles and appellations by which the Lord the Spirit is known. He is called the “Spirit of truth, by Jesus that leads his church into all truth.” (John xiv. 17.) Jesus speaks of him as a “Wit
ness to testify of him.” (John. xv. 26.) And his a servant, the apostle Paul, following the steps of
his divine Master, calls the Holy Ghost by the 1. same name. See a beautiful account of the | almighty Spirit to this amount. (Rom. viii. 1-16.)
As the Holy Ghost the Comforter, the Lord Jesus most blessedly describes him. (John xiv. 16–26.) Indeed, this is his great work; for under whatever divine operations the Lord the Spirit brings the people of God, the first and ultimate design of the whole, is for consolation. Hence Paul prays for the communion and fellowship of the Holy Ghost to be with the church. (2 Cor. xiii. 14.) And it is most blessed to every child of God, when brought into the fellowship and communion of the
Holy Ghost, to discover how that almighty Comforter opens a communication between Christ and the soul, and keeps it open by the exercises of his grace; so that, while the person of the Father, or the Son, is coming forth to bless the soul, he draws forth and leads out the actings of the soul's faith and love upon the glorious persons of the GODHEAD, and gives “a joy unspeakable and full of glory."
The Lord Jesus also points to the person and office of the Holy Ghost, as a Leader and Guide to his chosen, John xvi. 13; as a Glorifier of Jesus, John xvi. 14; as the Remembrancer also of Jesus, John xiv. 26. And as the prophet Isaiah had been commanded to tell the church of this sovereign Lord, under his almighty offices, as acting with “a spirit of judgment and a spirit of burning,” (Isa. iv. 4.) the Lord Jesus more fully opens the nature of these heart-searching works of the Holy Ghost, in shewing that it consists in “convincing of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John xvi. 8–11.) In short, so many, so diversified, so constant, and so unremitting are the operations of the Holy Ghost on the hearts and minds of the Lord's people, that it must with truth be said, that he, and he only, is the almighty minister in the church of Christ, and to him alone the whole efficiency of the gospel, both in work and blessing, is committed.
And, indeed, the beautiful order in the covenant of
grace, and the economy of redemption, makes it
necessary so to be. For, as the whole Three persons of the Godhead all concurred in the vast design, and all guaranteed to each other concerning the several offices in the departments of grace, so it became essential, that in the carrying on and completing the work, each almighty person
should be engaged in it in his own specific office and character. The Father gave the church; the Son redeemed the churcb; and God the Holy Ghost sanctifies the church. God the Father appears in the Old Testament dispensation, holding forth the promised Saviour with all his blessings, as coming for salvation ; God the Son takes up the wonderful subject under the New Testament dispensation, as thus coming and finishing all that was promised in the Old; and now that the Son of God hath finished transgression, made an end of. sin, and is returned unto glory, God the Holy Ghost is come down, agreeably to Jesus's and his Father's most sure promise, to render effectual the whole purpose of redemption, by his divine offices in the hearts of the redeemed. And thus the church is taught to give equal and undivided praise and glory to the united source of all her mercies, in the Father's love, the Son's grace, and the Spirit's fellowship.
It would be little less than the brief recapitulation of the Bible, to go over all that might be brought forward concerning the agency of God the Holy Ghost in the church. From the first awakenings of grace in the heart, until grace is consummated in glory, believers are taught to look to that Holy and eternal Spirit, for his leadings and influences in and through all. The regeneration by the Holy Ghost, in the first motions of the spiritual life, John iii. 3; the baptisms of the Spirit, so essential in the spiritual life, 1 Cor. xii. 13; the illuminations of the Spirit, 2 Cor. iv. 6; the "indwelling residence of the Spirit,” John xiv. 16 17; the “receiving of the Holy Ghost,” Acts viii. 15–17; the “walking in the Spirit,” Acts ix. 31; the “renewing of the Holy Ghost,” Tit. iii, 5; the sealings and earnest of the