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was likewise very confined. Not that we are to infer from the Evangelist's words, “ The Holy Ghost was not yet given,” that he was consequently unknown before, for he alludes to the miraculous gifts which followed and testified to our Lord's ascension. The Holy Ghost, as the inspirer of life, and the author of divine blessings to mankind, was certainly set forth in Holy Writ. He is described, at the creation of the world, as moving upon the face of the waters, or rather brooding over chaos, and imparting to it life and motion. And at the destruction of that world, God is introduced as saying, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” We learn from David, that this adorable person held communications with him ; for he beseeches God, in one of his penitential Psalms, not to take his Holy Spirit from him; and St. Peter tells us, that “ Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Indeed, if the Holy Ghost be one of the Trinity, to whom, with the Father and the Son; we ascribe all the attributes and perfections of Deity, and if it be his peculiar province to give life and breath, and to sanctify the elect people of God, it is scarcely possible to believe that he should not be known to former times, as well as to this latter age, in measures less bountiful, but still proportioned to the wants and capacities of men; and that his operations should not be marked by signs which bore evidence to his personality, and showed him to be an independent being, and not a mere agent or quality.

But though there are distinct notices in the ancient Scriptures of the personality of the Holy Ghost, sufficient to prove the antiquity of that doctrine and the uniformity of the divine counsels, yet we must admit, that it was a doctrine but very imperfectly revealed, and not likely to be perceived by the Jews at large. By the illumination of that Spirit, and frequent perusal of the word of life, godly and reflecting men might discover much that was mysterious to ordinary minds, both as the reward of their piety, and for the benefit of the times in which they lived; but a clear revelation of God's nature and attributes, and a right and full understanding of his purposes, were reserved for the times of the Messiah, when the human mind should be better fitted for the reception of divine truths, and the human heart should be softened to a more willing acquaintance with spiritual objects. These times are the constant theme of prophetic allusion, and the most interesting things in nature are employed to picture them out, and give them colouring. What is more delightful to the eye, what more grateful to the heart, than refreshing streams of limpid water. In an Eastern climate, exposed to the

rays of a scorching sun, where the ground was parched and baked with heat, and the trees and the crops drooped for moisture, water was not only the great fertiliser of the soil, but the most valuable of all natural blessings. Hence, we find frequent mention in the patriarchal days of the digging of wells, and of the contests which arose out of those important posses

sions, between the different herdsmen. And hence, the figure of thirst is often made use of in the most beautiful passages

of Sacred Writ, to express any extraordinary want, or overwhelming desire.

“ As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” “My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is." “I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.” We cannot wonder, therefore, that the Prophets should have spoken of the spiritual blessings to be vouchsafed to the Gospel age, under the symbol of water poured on a dry ground, or presented to the lips of a fainting man. It was using a language the most comprehensive possible by an Eastern people, and admirably adapted to express their meaning. “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.”

II. But as the Holy Ghost was not to be manifested till the Gospel dispensation, and as the communication of his gifts and graces to the world was dependent on the ministry and death of Christ, we see in the Second place, That as Christ is the author of these gifts by sending his Holy Spirit into our hearts, he is, in strictness, the water of life.

His discourse with the woman of Samaria at Jacob's well, furnishes a clear exposition of this part of my subject. “If,” says he, “thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give

me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again : but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” The phrase, living water, is borrowed from the Old Testament, where it occurs several times, especially in Jeremiah, who twice speaks of the Lord as the fountain of living waters. And that Christ dispensed these waters is positively affirmed by him in the words I have just recited. This is in exact accordance with what he repeatedly told his disciples respecting the coming of the Comforter, and the miraculous power with which they were to be endued from on high. He declared that the Comforter, who is the Spirit of truth, could not come unless he sent him, and that his sending him would be an evidence of his ascension to heaven, and his session at the right hand of God. They were to wait at Jerusalem for the public manifestation of this adorable person; and the spiritual endowments which he would impart to them, would be satisfactory evidence that they were moved and actuated by God. The miraculous effusion of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, was the completion of that famous prophecy of Joel, “ And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh;" and the invitation of the Apostles to all their hearers to come in and acknowledge the divinity of Christ, and partake of the

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spiritual blessings of the Gospel, was in strict accordance with the prophetic language of Isaiah ; Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” That the doctrines of religion were in all ages of the world, represented under the emblems of meat and drink, is evident from profane as well as sacred history. The Heathen rites were solemnised by festivals to their gods, of which eating and drinking to them constituted essential parts; and we well know, that the Jewish ceremonies were exceedingly strict and particular in requiring the offerer to feed upon the sacrifice. Thus spiritual things were represented under carnal ordinances; and it was evidently in allusion to this, and to show the Jews the mystical nature of their communion with God, that the manna miraculously supplied in the wilderness, and the waters which were fetched from the dry rock, were made to figure out their deliverance from eternal death by Christ, and their support by his constant interposition in administering the succours of divine grace. For St. Paul says, They “ did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” The divine character of the Son of God is then, indeed, only seen in its true light,

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