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power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” The term “anointing," therefore, which twice occurs in the text, has the closest affinity or relationship to that which is generally applied to designate our Saviour ; and this will appear perfectly intelligible if we invert the use of the two terms now before us: thus we should speak of Christ as the anointed, and ourselves the anointed, as the christened. To the members of Christ's church St. John says, “ye have an unction,” that is, an anointing, “from the Holy One, and ye know all things ;” these it is who, according to the words of the other St. John, Christ “ has baptized with the Holy Ghost.” *
We know very well, brethren, that in this country, calling itself Christian, as well as in
others where this holy religion is professed, few pass any length of time in the world without going through the sacred rite of “christening” or of baptism. Few there are, therefore, here to be found who are not baptized with water; but the question is, brethren, are these baptized with the Spirit ? For between the mere emblem of water and the efficacy of the Spirit, there is a marked distinction made by our Lord in his conversation with Nicodemus. The Spirit of Truth, therefore—“ do we know him ?” “ does he dwell with us?” These questions are
a John, i. 33.
quite according to the phraseology of Christ, which may be found in the seventeenth verse of the fourteenth chapter of St. John's Gospel, and are answered at the commencement of the chapter from whence the text has been taken. “Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
Now the term used by St. John to express those who cannot successfully submit themselves to such a test; who cannot thus prove to themselves and to the world that “Christ abideth in them and they in him ;" to such as these, the term “ Antichrist” is applied as properly descriptive of their character. It is scarcely necessary to observe that this term means the opposite of those we have been considering. Thus “Christ” means one thing, and “Antichrist” means that which is diametrically opposed to it. And it is in this sense that St. John uses it, when he says, “it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now there are many Antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” - In regard to this last expression, its meaning will be sufficiently explained by referring to the first verse of St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, which runs thus: “God, who at sundry times and in
divers manners spake in time past by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." The last days, therefore, or the last time, applies in a peculiar manner to the period when the gospel of Christ is in the act of being proclaimed to the world. Of these St. Paul further expresses himself thus to Timothy, on two different occasions : “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils ; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their consciences seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” “ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For ,men shall be lovers of their ownselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." The distinguishing feature, therefore, of the pro
a 1 Tim. iv. 1-3, and 2 Tim. iii. 1-7.
pagation of the gospel, is the abundance of Antichrists, whose characters have been so minutely described by St. Paul. These undoubtedly existed at the commencement of this last time, that is, when Christianity was in its infancy; they were, however, destined to exist in future ages in still greater abund
“ Ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now there are many Antichrists.” No man, I think, can read this declaration of the Apostle without attaching this signification to it.' And if he compare this with the progress and the history of the church—if he open his eyes to facts which at the present moment even thrust themselves on his vision--if he peruse the pages of history, and the pages
of those vast folios which almost force themselves day by day into his notice by the facility and the despatch and the regularity of their delivery, he must feel convinced that hitherto the spirit of Antichrist has kept pace with the Spirit of Truth and of Christ; and that though at the present moment such vast efforts are being made to spread the divine light of the gospel over the surface of the globe, yet are these opposed to and confronted by such as pertain purely and peculiarly to Antichrist; by such as proceed from those who can be described by no peculiar classification or title, but whose name is “legion, for they are many,”many in regard to the variety of names and opinions by which they are distinguished, yet, like the aforesaid legion in the unhappy demoniac, all centered and collected together for the purpose of harassing and tearing in pieces the body of the church which contains them.
But, brethren, for the satisfaction of those, be they few or many, in Israel, who have not bowed the knee to Baal, but who may be harassed and tormented by this legion of Antichrist, which cannot be mistaken, since they have been so minutely described by the apostle St. Paul; for the satisfaction of these, I recite the first verse of our text, for to such as these it is clearly addressed : " These things have I written unto you, concerning them that seduce you." And among these things that John has written, what explanation does he give respecting the origin and the present situation of those who are comprehended within the term “ Antichrist,” whom St. Paul describes as those “ who depart from the faith.” Concerning these, brethren, he further writes thus: “ They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out that they might be made manifest that they are not all of us." And then, in contradistinction to such as these, he proceeds thus in words which have been already quoted : “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” Respecting which unction, he further declares in the concluding words of our text: “ The anointing which
have received of him abideth in you, and ye
need not that any man teach you : but