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a well-trained combatant, choosing from the armoury of God precisely that weapon which was best fitted to smite down the enemy, and wielding it with constancy and good courage. One touch of this weapon was enough. And the blow was dealt with quiet firmness, without discomposure, almost as it were without effort.

Again, there came a time when the Son of Man was led forth to sore trials of mockings, scourgings, buffetings, yea of ignominious death. This, which seemed the very triumph of the Evil One, turned out to be the triumph of the REDEEM ER. And how was it won ? Was it by action and energy? Did He conquer by means of enthusiastic effort and loud-tongued profession, by visible strugglings and audible shriekings? No! By none of these things. The struggle, the anguish, the energy was within, repressed, pent up : but even by that means not wasted, -inexhaustible,-victorious. The Apostles had given vent to their enthusiasm ; and in the hour of trial they failed :-he who had been the chief and loudest speaker, failed most miserably of them all. But such was not the conduct of our Example. His soul was exceeding sorrowful : He took the most trusted of His Apostles apart by themselves : He bade them watch and pray : but Himself went aside from all to endure that struggle in silence, broken only by one short sentence of prayer.

This was the hour and power of darkness; the foretaste of the cross; the spiritual agony by which the way to our Redemption was opened. But all was done in secret and in darkness ;-—nay, it was done in silence,-save the words, “ If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” It was done in solitude :—for were not they, who were to watch with him, sleeping for sorrow ?

And in those parts of His sufferings which were necessarily public, what was the demeanour of Jesus CHRIST? Was it noisy or vehement, as if calling on all to witness the workings of His soul? No! Far otherwise! As it had been prophesied of Him in life, “ I will put my Spirit upon Him, and He shall shew judgment to the

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Gentiles. He shall not strive nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets : so the same prophet tells us, that in death “ He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth : He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter ; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so opened He not His mouth.”g And in His life and in His death the prophecies were alike fulfilled. In patience possessed He His soul. Through meekness did He rise to glory ; in silence bearing torture of body and agony of soul ;--wrestling in Spirit secretly ;praying to His FATHER secretly ;-communing with Him secretly ;—just uttering a short sentence for His mother, a short prayer for His murderers. With one exclamation of bodily suffering, one burst of spiritual anguish, one cry with a loud voice,—It is finished ! ere men could believe it, their power of tormenting, was at an end : their victim, or He who had seemed such, was withdrawn.

And thus were we redeemed! Brethren, let me ask,supposing that the account in the Gospel had been unknown to us, and men of this day from their own selves were to have devised the means, would it have been thus? Would it not have been,-if we may judge from the things which have been and are going on around us,—with wails and shrieks, prolonged, heart-rending? Would it not have been with all the pomp of suffering,-suffering prolonged to be looked upon, convulsive to be sympathised with ? With ostentatious display of all, as a spectacle to men : with excitement and enthusiasm and temporary frenzy, in itself in all but intention blasphemous ; in its consequences productive of revulsion, failure in duty, torpor, yea of scoffing and blasphemy which is intentional?

That many among us would have had it so, we have too much reason to fear. That it was not so, we see. Why then would it be so here when it was not so with Christ, but that there are those who know not what manner of Spirit they are of, h and that the Spirit that

f Isai. xlii. 1, Matth. xii. 18. g Isai, liii. 7.

h Luke ix, 55.



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worketh in them is not the Spirit of Christ ? Now we know that “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His. i

Nor are we left in ignorance of the way to discern this. By their fruits


shall know » k saith our LORD. And what does His Apostle say that these are ? “ The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

Is it said that there are times when the Spirit manifests Itself in such a way that ordinary rules are at an end, and self-control and composure are no longer possible, because It is struggling within ? It may be said : it sometimes is said. But St. Paul says that it is not true! St. Paul says that “the Spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets : for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace; as in all the Churches of the Saints. And let me remind


of the circumstances under which these words were written. The Church of Corinth was enriched by a plenteous outpouring of Spiritual Gifts,-manifest and undeniable miraculous powers. And what followed ? That they, being carnally-minded, abused those gifts. Here is the first melancholy lesson :—that there is no gift of God which in this wicked world may not be abused: not even the miraculous outpouring of His Holy Spirit. And the second is like unto it :-that those who without contradiction possessed miraculous gifts inight be (for the Apostle says they were) themselves not spiritual, but carnal. But again, how was it that they had abused these gifts? It was by meeting together, avowedly for the worship and glory of God: and when they came together “every one having a psalm, having a doctrine, having a tongue, having a revelation, having an interpretation : "_by their creating confusion :-by their wild demeanour in speech and action, on the plea that the

i Rom. viii. 9. k Matt. vii. 20. 1 Galat, v. 22.

Spirit gave them utterance. Their pleas, we find, were not so allowed of the Apostle, whom we must believe to have known what was the mind of the Spirit. He shewed that all this was not edifying: and that they had the power to control themselves, and were bound to do so. * Let all things be done unto edifying....... The Spirits of the prophets are subject unto the prophets : for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace ; as in all Churches of the Saints....... Let all things be done decently and in order.”m

If then, in these things, a Spirit is at work,- and works thus that which is not seemly,—what must we judge of it? Whether, indeed, it be of mere nervous excitement and hysterical agitation that these violations of God's Law take place in the very attempt to do him honour; or whether, in very truth, there be a Spirit which is at work in them, is another question. Nor need we be careful to answer in the matter, farther than that those, who are not ruled by the Spirit of God in this world, are the servants of the Evil Spirit, to whom they have given power over themselves. But if any are persuaded, that there is in these paroxysms something more than can naturally be accounted for, as the consequence of excitement on the temperaments of men,-on such persons

I must solemnly call to obey the rule which the Word of God lays down," Beloved, believe not every Spirit: but try the Spirits, whether they are of God."'n I call on them to mark well, whether or no the manifestations be such as Holy Writ describes of the Spirit of God,-of Him, who did not strive nor cry, neither was His voice heard in the streets?Whether among their fruits are to be found peace, gentleness, meekness, temperance?

Whether of such people the moderation is known unto all men?” Whether they can lay claim to that “ ornament of a meek and quiet Spirit, which is, in the sight of God, of great price?Whether to them

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their Spirits are subject,as they were to the prophets in St. Paul's days ? Whether among them “ all things be done decently, in order, and unto edifying?” Whether they are comporting themselves as the servants of that God who " is not the author of confusion, but of peace, in all the Churches of the Saints.".

And if with such Scriptures as these he cannot reconcile what he hears and sees, and yet is still persuaded that a spiritual influence is at work controlling man's agency in the matter, nothing remains for him but to go on to mark whether the work of other Spirits, as mentioned in God's word, will better account for the appearances.

We do, indeed, read there of one, “ whom no one could bind, no not with chains,-neither could any man tame him: and always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones.”p We do read of one, in the very synagogue, who “ cried with a lond voice, and said unto the Lord, I know Thee who Thou art, The Holy One of God.” We do read of Spirits, which came out of many, cry. ing out and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. But He, rebuking them, suffered them not to speak.”: Do these descriptions suit better? Alas, brethren, if they do! For these were evil Spirits and unclean! God forbid that we should not have all charity for our fellows. But there are but three sources from which these appearances can possibly proceed. These three are,-Nervous bodily excitement :-Lying pretence :-or, The work of a Spirit. And if à Spirit it be, God's word tells us, too plainly, what manner of Spirit it is.

What then, Brethren ? Are we not to be deeply affected by the sense of our own sins, and by the glad tidings of God's mercy ? Undoubtedly we are ! And that


o Isai. xlii. 1, Matth. xii. 19, Galat. v. 22, Philipp. iv. 5,

1 Pet. iii. 4, 1 Cor. xiv. 26, 32, 33, 40.

P Mark v. 3-5. 9

Luke iv. 33,

Luke iv, 41.


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