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and the pervading spirit! What friendliness between his mind and the religious truth of the world! What manliness of dealing with the foes that tempted his heart and the trials that roughened his way! What thorough insight into the subserviency of nature to the soul! What a joyous spring from the shadow of every sorrow into the arms of infinite sympathy and compassion. It is the mission of the church to show us all, that these postures and privileges were not the exceptions of Jesus, miraculous nature, but that such religious glory belongs to every life. The fall of man is the lapse from such a posture in the world, and such a heritage of thought and faith. Christ is the restoration of the type. He wore a peculiar drapery of office and of sorrow, so that his career should not and cannot be copied in servile imitation; but in his feeling of superiority to nature, and his free access to God; in his clear vision of all the glory in this universe as part of the furniture for the home of man; in his sense of the greatness of the spirit as lying in humility and devout deference to the heavenly will; in his assurance of an ever-enduring life, and in the joy which, beneath all the surface tribulations, suffused his heart; in these essentials of his character, he is the type of the privileges that belong to the soul in the Father's universe, and the blessed suggestion of what all science, all Christian literature, and all preaching, should conspire, under the guidance of his religion, to make the life of


The church, by the sanction of the life of Christ, should preach not only duty but joy. Its power should be, not in the ethics which it lifts solemnly over the will, but in the supernatural joy, the deliverance from all sin and bondage and skepticism, the ecstacy with which it tempts the soul. St. Paul felt this; his spirit mounted into this ecstacy through his Christian conversion, and he has given the best exposition of the sweep of meaning in the second member of the baptismal phrase, where he described the human race as in its minority under the law, but reaching its majority and attaining its freedom in Christ. Now, he says, we are no more servants but sons, and if sons, then heirs of God through Christ. Paul never preached the detailed acts of Jesus as models of

duty; with regard to humanity he taught one great lesson from Christ's mission,-that we are not citizens and subjects of God's empire, but the family of His love, coming into possession in all the divine property of the universe, and lifted out of fear by knowing that all worlds and times were created for our culture and our home.

Millions receive the baptismal waters upon their brows, but only a few, only here and there a spirit, have fulfilled in their feeling its vast significance and privilege. Only such souls as have been lifted out of servitude, and been able to touch the sun with their thought, and say, it is mine, and with consecrated imagination have seen the stars netted into a domestic canopy, and have felt the air as full of the Father's providence as of His light.


of the Christians have lived rather in fear than in joy,have crouched before God rather than felt His presence as their inspiration, and have nurtured a piety that articulated itself in trembling deprecation of judgments and sinking miseries, instead of bursting into joy.

"And of the Holy Ghost." The peculiarity and prac tical power of the earliest Christianity were associated with the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was that by which John, the forerunner, prophetically distinguished the baptism of Christ from his own lustration by water, and in the church which the Apostles guided the gift of the Holy Ghost was the attestation of a sincere conversion and a vital faith. Here, too, how sadly we shall miss the richness of this final phrase in the great commission, if we interpret it as a reference to the inward constitution of the divine nature and the completion of a mysterious Trinity,—if we do not see in it the symbol of the third great element of power in Christianity-the disclosure of the constant presence and pleading of the Spirit of God in human souls. The Jews had no notion of a God with whose spirit they could have secret fellowship. He was monarch, dictator of laws, claimant of punctilious service, rewarder and judge from the veil of inaccessible light and the distance of a terrible throne. Heathenism had no deity whose spirit, impinging upon the boundaries of human personality, could be felt as quickening any holy emotion, or starting any new undulation of life. Christianity brought the conception of the intermixture of our souls with the infinite

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life and love, showing that we grow out of God spiritually, and are visited by Him secretly, as the harvests grow from the soil by the bounties of the air. This is the great mystery of our life, that we are of God and in Him, are nothing without Him, and yet are distinct, potent, guilty or meritorious personalities. Even the bad man lives incomprehensibly in God, and perverts His grace into private infamy, as the Upas tree sucks its deathly fragrance and distils its blistering juices from the same air and earth which yield to the orange its loveliness and nectar. The constant life of the soul in God is one of the seminal ideas of the gospel. St. Paul welcomed it as the most practical ray in its rich grace. The eighth of Romans, and the second chapter of the first Corinthians, record his jubilant appreciation of that principle which came forth to him in his Christian consecration. He never speaks of Christ's words as a revelation; his whole conception of the privilege of Christian faith was foreign from our theories of a literal statute-book of the Holy Spirit. God revealed Himself by the diffusion of His light into every heart, he said. It was the spirit dwelling in believers that gave them counsel, peace and joy. All the sons of God, he said, are led by the spirit of God, and God revealeth the greatest mysteries unto us by His indwelling spirit.

And here again we find the church committed by the baptismal formula to the development of a most rich and amazing truth, that God comes nearer to us in our feelings, in the structure of our personality, than He does in the greatest splendor and magnificence of the outward universe; that he is nearer to us in our sense of right than he would be if the light of a new star, just sped from His Omnipotence, should break upon our brain; that His justice is more intensely manifest in the throb of shame and anguish that shoots through our desecrated bosom, than it would be if the very glare of hell should scare our sight, streaking the horizon with its smoke and flame; and that His word is as solemn in the call to duty and the inward pointing of the better way in some crisis of experience, as it is even in the printed paragraphs of the Sermon on the Mount, or the written dealing of Jesus with the young lawyer's soul.

What power would not the church have invited to its aid, if, instead of its microscopic and almost malicious analysis of the depravity of man to abase our nature, it had kindled up by the lenses of the New Testament the consciousness of a wrestling God in every unconsecrated bosom, and made every Christian believer feel that he is a walking sanctuary of the Infinite, with oracles breathing articulate messages from the spirit in the Delpic avenues of the breast. This privilege belongs to us as Christians, -that pages of kindred sacredness with those of the New Testament, are written every day on the delicate tissues of the spirit; that warnings ominous as those of Sinai mutter often through the flaming conscience within, and that voices as really, though not as audibly, from God, break over the spaces of the soul in seasons of moral victory, as the tones which said of Jesus, "This is my beloved Son." If we were taught this, and made to respect our nature thus, the rich symbol of baptism into the Holy Ghost would be fulfilled in the instruction given to us, and the steady conciousness that would be sustained by it.

Of course we have only hinted the outlines and directions by which our thought should be guided in listening to the last commission of the Saviour. Does it not thrill us with joy to see the formula of baptism open to a threefold symbolic sense, instead of coiling itself into an enigma-suggesting by its three arcs the full circle of Christian truth, and representing the principles which liberal Christianity is striving to commend to the heart, and conscience of the world. By such insight into its phrases, we are brought visibly into the Christian fold. For every man baptized into the belief, by the belief of the paternity of God, of the Sonship of humanity on the earth, and through eternity, and of the indwelling and inspiring presence of God in all His children,-does he not fulfil the creed with which the church sprinkles her children and devotes them to Christian training? does he not fulfil it, if not in the usual theological and sectarian sense, yet in a sense nobler than that, and consonant with the instruction and spirit of the Apostolic age. Oh, that, by discerning this richer symbolic significance in the great formula of our faith, we might open from all grounds of sectarian battle a retreat to the hills, to re-form as one

army, back at those impregnable lines of defence in the revelation itself, where Christians may stand together and be unconquerable, not by each other, but by all the skepticism, error and sin of the world. "For the Christian formula itself is no wedge of division, but an inclusive bond of union, and is perverted to a purpose directly contrary to its own genius and design, when it is changed to the keen instrument of a wound. Verily, so wide as it is in its language, avoiding all the sharp and thorny distinctions of man's device by which we are so tangled and severed, and having its birth back of those discussions and criticisms of which it is now too often the perpetuating sign, it should be regarded as Christ's own easy and blessed yoke, meaning all that the reverent imagination can ever find it to mean, under which all may come, Catholic and Protestant, Trinitarin and Unitarian, establishment and dissent, yielding to every one, with its regenerating power, also the double blessing of freedom of thought and largeness of love.

God as the Father, the Sonship of humanity on earth, with its attendant privileges and duty, and the all pervading vitality of the Holy Spirit, is there any need that we be urged to continuous and more fervid zeal for a Christianity that emblazons such a Trinity of principles upon its standards? All that is glowing and glorious in such a scheme of deity, of revelation, and of life, all that is searching in the appeal of such a faith to the conscience, or inspiring in the breath of it upon the heart, calls upon us to be more devoted to its maintainance, more interested for its progress, more liberal in our consecration of time and means to diffuse it by missionaries, by institutions and by the press, and more careful in our efforts to illustrate and commend it through reverent, cheerful and charitable lives. Liberal Christians are consecrated to the publication of such a scheme of the gospel, to such a large symbolical interpretation of the great commission.

The world looks to us to show that the vision of noble truth is consistent with zeal, that a religion of austerity is not the only one in which the power of the spirit dwells, and that the passion for the gospel, as the enduring and ever-deepening need of human nature, is not cooled and and paralysed by the process that gives us a Christianity worthy of our reverence and love.

T. S. K.

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