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mount of transfiguration, a similar testimony was exhibited, "There came a cloud, and overshadowed them and there came a voice out of the cloud saying, This is my beloved Son; hear him." Again, while Jesus prayed "Father, glorify thy name;" the testimony from on high was repeated. "Then came there a voice from heaven saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again," Such is the promptitude of intercommunication between earth and heaven. So rapidly ascend the breathings of a devout spirit to the throne of God; so swiftly descend the tokens of " goodwill to men." "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." And if the earnest prayer of an Elias had power to bind up the clouds of heaven for years together, and to smite a guilty land with thirst and famine; how much more powerful must be the prayer of the great intercessor, that "in the wilderness waters may break out, and streams in the desert;" that "the parched ground may become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water!" Therefore also "men ought always to pray, and not to faint."
Here are the "Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. "Who can by searching find out God: Who can find out the Almighty unto perfection?" Who is able to comprehend what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge?"
We have made no remark on the mode of baptism which John employed, because it might lead to controversy, which is unprofitable, to the neglect of practical goodness," which "is profitable unto all things." "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." "Why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother?" "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth." Let the spirit of the ordinance be chiefly attended to: wise and good men may very inno
cently differ about the form. "It is the spirit that quickeneth," the outward form is of secondary impor
Parents, have ye devoted your infant offspring to God, by the sprinkling with water? Remember the solemn engagements which you then voluntarily undertook to bring them up in the fear, "nurture and admonition of the Lord." Meditate frequently and seriously on the responsibility under which you are laid, to God, to your children, to the world. Your fellow worshippers will witness against you, if trifle with, if you neglect, if you corrupt your sacred charge. These young ones look up to you for protection, for instruction, for an example; they call upon you to fulfil your promise in their behalf. They ask bread of you; Will you give them a stone? They ask a fish; Will you give them a serpent? They look to you for the portion of goods that falleth to their share; not only "the meat which perisheth, but that meat which endureth unto everlasting life." If you are unfaithful they are undone On the other hand, "great is your reward" on earth, and still greater "your reward in heaven," if you are honoured to become their spiritual parents, as you are parents after the flesh; if, after having introduced them into this world of nature, you are made the happy instruments of introducing them into the kingdom of God; if you and they together are at length added "to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to the spirits of just men made perfect," through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and the "blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
Young man, thou wert in early infancy, by the piety of affectionate parents, baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The birth of nature bestowed on thee the name of thy Father after the flesh; when thou wert sprinkled with water, another name was prefixed to it, which continues to be
thy distinctive appellation. Both were indeed imposed without thy consciousness or consent, but in both thou hast cheerfully acquiesced, perhaps they are a source of pride to thee. Even the acquisition of an estate will hardly induce a man of spirit to forego his parental designation, but the christian name is indeliable. Every time thou writest it then, every time thou hearest it addressed to thee, thou art admonished of thy dedication to God. Baptismal engagements rise into view. "I am not my own, for I am bought with a price. What, deny my name! What, sell it for a painted bauble! No, I glory in it; I will not permit it to be dishonour. ed. What my parents did in my behalf when I was a little child, I now openly avow. They have done their part, through the help of God I will do mine. The name of Christ shall not be blasphemed through my unworthiness. My brothers bear with me the common name of our ancestors, but I will render my own distinguished among many brethren. I will never blush at being called a christian."
My friend, thou hast passed through the water at the age of puberty. Baptism was thy own act and deed. Thou hast entered into the kingdom of God, consciously, deliberately. The vows of God are upon thee. That young person, made a christian by the act of parents, when come to years may disallow that act, may renounce the name but thou hast subscribed with thy hand unto the Lord.
Thou hast put the yoke of Christ upon thy own neck and hast assumed his burthen. Thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, and must not look, must not go back. Thou standest pledged to God and to the world to support the honour of the christian name, " to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." You feel and acknowledge the obligation; no temptation, no compulsion can induce thee to retract it. Next sacramental solemnity the vow shall be renewed, repeated. The language of thy heart is: "I am not ashamed of
the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth:" "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."
If the spirit and power of the institution, we repeat. it, are thus understood and felt, let a man pass through water into the pale of the church of Christ, or procure that privilege for his child, by the rite of aspersion as conscience may prescribe, and let us "be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another."
The evangelists, at this interval, presents us with the genealogical table of Christ's descent from Adam downward. It brings us all to the common level of brethren. Through endless and intricate ramifications every man finds himself derived from one and the same root," the son of Adam, the son God." And the christian is "born again," he is "a new creature," being " begotton again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away." The law of nature binds us to each other as men, the law of the gospel doubles and strengthens the cord of love. This is Christ's "new commandment," the badge of disci pleship, "the fulfilling of the law," "the bond of per fectness." "A new commandment," says our blessed Lord," I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
Has God vouchsafed to give such testimony to the Son of his love? Receive it, rest upon it, improve it as a rule of life, as a source of consolation. Ye" have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we have made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ;" for though you were not "eye-witnesses of his majesty," you have a more sure word of pro
phecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts."
Ye call Christ "Master and Lord:" and ye say well, for so He is. "It became him to fulfil all righteousness;" He put respect on the ordinances, on the house, on the word of God: "leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps." Let the name, the day, the temple, the word of the Lord be hallowed in your eyes. "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead, by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
"The Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him" when He was leaving the world, and going unto the Father, he promised his disciples to "give them another Comforter, to abide with them for ever; even the Spirit of truth." That Comforter was to teach them all things and bring all things to their remembrance. "He shewed himself" to them "alive after his passion, by many infallible proofs:" He repeated his promise; "He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence." It was accordingly fulfilled: "When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Thus were they comforted for their master's departure; thus they received an unction from the