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and EVIDENCE of CHRIST's religion. Again he says, "the anointing which ye have received of HIM (the "Holy Ghost) abideth in you; and ye need not that any "MAN teach you; but as the same ANOINTING teacheth 66 you all things, and is truth, and is no lie; even as it "has taught you, ye shall abide in him.*"
The idea of the CHRISMA, I repeat, or unction†, pervades the whole doctrine of divine grace. It gives a name to him who brought down the great gift of the Spirit, and who himself had the hallowed UNCTION without measuret; for what is signified by CHRIST, but the Anointed?
I have introduced these observations on the name of CHRIST, partly with a view to expose the false learning of a French philosopher, who has attacked Christianity with singular artifice. The celebrated Mr. Volney affirms, that Christianity is but the allegorical worship of the SUN-a mere mode of oriental superstition, under the cabalistical names of CHRISEN or CHRIST, the etymology of which, according to him, has no reference to the CHRISMA, UNCTION, but to CHRIS, an astrological name among the Indians for the SUN, and signifying conservator; "whence," says he, "the Hindoo god, Chri66 sen, or Christna, and the Christian CHRISTOS, the son "of Mary."-Many of the French philosophers, and perhaps Volney, are unacquainted with Greek.
But I hope the christian scholar will never give up the Greek etymology of the word CHRIST, evidently a translation of the Hebrew Messiah; nor the sublime and mysterious doctrine which it leads to, the metaphorical
1 John, ii. 27.
↑ Dieu fait couler dans l'ame je ne scais quelle ONCTION qui la remplit.
John, iii. 34.
W xαr' stoxn.
anointing of the Holy Ghost, the sanctifying, consecrating, purifying influence of divine grace*.
On what is called by devout Persons EXPERIENCE in
THERE is a peace of God, which passeth all
understanding, and baffles all power of description. The flavour of a peach or a pine-apple is delightful to the palate, but words can give no idea of it to him who has never tasted them. There is a fragrance in a rose, which, while the nerves perceive it with complacency, cannot be communicated, in the slightest degree, by language. Such also is the heavenly manna; and he who would form a just notion of its exquisite sweetness, must taste it. No learning, not even the argumentative skill of an Aristotle, can afford him the least idea. of it, without actual sensation.
"Were I to define divinity," (says the admirable author of Select Discourses,) "I should rather call it a "divine life, than † a divine science; it being something
* Mr. Volney further says, that "YESUS, or Jesus, was an "antient name given to young Bacchus, the clandestine son of "the virgin, Minerva, who, in the whole history of his life, and "even in his death, calls to mind the history of the God of the "Christians; that is, the STAR OF THE DAY, of which they are "both of them EMBLEMS." Let us avoid the folly of fanciful learning; and say rather that the Star of the Day is an EMBLEM of of JESUS CHRIST, gloriously enlightening, and vitally warming, by his influence, the INTELLECTUAL system.
↑ Bishop Taylor and Mr. Smith coincide here, not only in sentiment, but expression.
" rather to be understood by a spiritual sensation, than "by any verbal description.
"Divinity is a true efflux from the eternal light, which, "like the sun-beams, does not only enlighten, but heat ❝and enliven. The knowledge of divinity that appears "in systems is but a poor wax-light; but the powerful "ENERGY of divine knowledge displays itself in purified 66 souls, the true Πεδίον Αληθείας*.
“To seek our divinity merely in books and writings, "is to seek the living among the dead. We do but in "vain seek God, many times, in these, where his truth "too often is not so much enshrined as intombed. No; "intra te quære Deum; seek for God within thine own "soul. He is best discerned † voegα eжαon, by an intel"lectual feeling. Εστι δε ψυχης αιθησις τις, the soul itself " has a certain feeling.
"The reason why, notwithstanding all our acute rea"sonings and subtile pursuits, truth prevails no more in "the world, is, that we so often disjoin truth and good66 ness, which of themselves can never be disunited.
"There is a knowing of the truth as it is in Jesus; as "it is in a Christ-like nature; as it is in that sweet, mild, "humble, and loving spirit of Jesus, which spreads "itself, like a morning sun, upon the souls of good men, "full of light and life. There is an inward beauty, life, " and loveliness in divine truth, which cannot be known, "but only when it is digested into life and practice.
"Our Saviour, the great master of divine truth, would "not, while he was here on earth, draw it up into a sys"tem or body, nor would his disciples after him: he "would not lay it out to us in any canons or articles of "belief, not being so careful to stock and enrich the "world with opinions, as with true piety, and à godlike
The soil in which TRUTH grows and flourishes. † Plotinus.
" pattern of purity, as the best way to thrive in all spi"ritual understanding. His main scope was to pro(6 mote a holy life, as the best and most compendious way to a right belief. He hangs all true acquaintance "with divinity upon the doing God's will. If any man "will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether "it be of God. This is that alone which will make us, << as St. Peter tells us, that we shall not be barren nor "unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.
"There is an inward sweetness and deliciousness in "divine truth, which no sensual mind can taste or relish. "The Luxxos amp, the natural man savours not the "things of God. Corrupt passions and terrene affec❝tions are apt, of their own nature, to disturb all serene "thoughts, to precipitate our judgments, and warp our "understandings. It was a good maxim of the old "Jewish writers, that the Holy Spirit * dwells not in "earthly passions. Divinity is not so well perceived by a subtile wit, ωσπερ αιθήσει κεκαθάρμενη, as by pure sen
"He that will find truth, must seek it with a free << judgment, and a SANCTIFIED mind: he that thus "seeks, shall find: he shall live in truth, and truth shall "live in him: it shall be like a stream of living waters ❝issuing out of his own soul: he shall drink of the "waters of his own cistern, and be satisfied: he shall 66 every morning find this heavenly MANNA lying upon "his soul, and be fed with it to eternal life. He will "find satisfaction within, FEELING himself in conjunc❝tion with truth, though all the world should DISPUTE "against him.”
The RUACH HAKKODESH, or Spirit of Holiness, dwells not with turbulent and angry tempers.
Thus the heart of a good man will experience the most pleasurable sensations, when he finds, and find it he will, the pearl of great price, the living energetic gospel, lodged, by divine grace, in the sanctuary of his bosom. He will be filled with all joy in believing; and thus EXPERIENCING the efficacy of the Christian religion, he can entertain no doubt of its truth, its divine original. The real difficulties and obscurities of the scriptures give him little trouble, much less the cavils of sceptics. He has the witness in himself*, that the gospel is the word of God, the incorruptible seed of holiness, and such felicity as the world never gave, and cannot take away. He cannot adequately describe his state. It is an UNSPEAKABLE gift. He feels it; and is grateful.
The excellent Norris, after having spent many years in the usual studies of academics, in logic, metaphysics, and other, what he calls, unconcerning curiosities, comes to the following resolution:
“I think,” says he, “I shall now chiefly apply my"self to the reading of such books as are rather persua❝sive than instructive; such as are sapid, pathetic, and "divinely relishing; such as warm, kindle, and enlarge "the interior, and awaken the divine sense (or feeling) "of the soul; as considering with myself, that I have "now, after so much reading and speculation, more need "of HEAT than of light. Though if I were for more
light still, I think this would prove the best method of "illumination; and when all is done, the love of God is "the best light of the soul. For I consider with the "excellent CARDINAL BONA, that a man may have
1 John, v. 10..
† 1 Pet. i. 23.
THOMAS A KEMPIS thus attempts to describe the happy state, imperfectly indeed, but devoutly: "Frequens Christi visita“tio cum homine interno, dulcis sermocinatio, grata consolatio, multa "pax," &c.