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infused into man by the inveterate foe, was contained in the man Christ Jesus, that it never was allowed to evince itself by the actual commitment of sin. The flesh He had doubtless treated as He afterward did the devil-" Get thee behind me Satan, thou art an offence unto me."
The history mentions, soon after the termination of Christ's arduous conflict in the wilderness, that he was at this era about thirty years of age, previous to which every unlawful inclination, we may presume, had been effectually subdued : and wherewith should a young man cleanse his ways?-why, by taking heed thereto, according to God's word. And as our blessed Lord repulsed the evil one, by those unerring rules that are therein contained, there is reason to believe, that He repulsed the flesh by its most perfect precepts; leaving us in all things an example that we should follow his steps. And entire command having been once obtained, and henceforth without doubt maintained, over the natural appetite, hunger, there is no ground to suppose that he abstained from a participation of those bounties which God gives us richly to enjoy, though He thereby incurred the censure of being a gluttonous man and a wine-bibber: but wisdom is justified of all her children. And it is worthy of remark, that when our Lord directs his disciples how to fast, (an abstinence which perhaps for some persons may occasionally be as morally necessary, as it often is physically so,) He leaves the time for their so doing entirely optional, only enjoining "that they keep up all
agreeableness of appearance and cheerfulness of behaviour, and that they appear not unto men to fast."* And probably the persons who may be most disposed to exercise this kind of self-denial are, of all others, the most unfit to do so, if stimulated to such a penance by natural gloom and erring superstition. Piety and propriety both point out the day on which we solemnly commemorate the sufferings of our dear Redeemer, as utterly improper for a day of feasting; and as every way suited for a day of abstinence.
But to return; all the evangelists concur in stating that soon after the glorious triumph Christ had obtained over hell's malignant chieftain, that He commenced his public ministry. St. Luke records, that He "returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all." (Luke iv. 14, 15.) "Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb; and he healed him. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation: and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself, how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?
therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, (here speaking of the Spirit as a coadjutor,) then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. (Matt. xii. 22-31.) "But when they shall lead you and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost." (Mark xiii. 11.) In Luke xii. 11, 12, the parallel thus runs : "When they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say. For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say." But in Luke xxi. 12, our Lord, when again enforcing the parallel admonition to those we have just inserted, directs their dependance to be placed on himself: When brought before kings and rulers, for my name's-sake, settle it in your hearts not to meditate before what to answer: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And the parallel in Matthew x. 19, directs reliance on the paternal Deity: "but when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." These passages concur to prove, that Fa
ther, Son, and Holy Ghost are one in unanimity of intention, are one in operation. The Holy Ghost must therefore be a full participator of the Divine nature, for nothing short of divinity could thus act in contact with divinity, or be fully endued with attributes and powers which belong to Deity alone. "He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb." (Luke i. 15.) The holy Spirit of truth proceedeth from the Father, and acts as coadjutor with the quickening spirit incarnate in the Saviour. "And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost." (41.) “Zachariah was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied." (67.) "Simeon was just and devout, and the Holy Ghost was upon him." (ii. 25.) "And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple." (26.) Perfect consistency of relation pervades these communications; to one and the same agent, to one and the same inspirer, to one and the same source, is ascribed the illumination of man. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit;" (John iii. 6;) that is, through the regenerating operation of the Holy Ghost. "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink; he that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet
glorified.") John vii. 37-39. That all the servants of God have ever been illumined, quickened, (for it is the Spirit that quickeneth-John vi. 63,) and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, our present research has found the Scriptures uniform in asserting. Our Saviour, therefore, in the foregoing passage, clearly refers to those extraordinary gifts engaged to be poured down subsequent to his ascension and glorification in heaven; "and in particular on his apostles, whose inspired communications unto us he compares to the flowing forth of rivers, imparting living water."* "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him." (John xiv. 16, 17.) "But the comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things;" (26;)" even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." (xv. 26.) "I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." (xvi. 7.)
Subsequent to the resurrection of our blessed Lord, on the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, "came Jesus, and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you; and they being yet sceptical and unbelieving, He showed unto * Doddridge.