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whelm them with the thunders of his wrath the contrary. He seeks, by every means, to w the tears of his afflicted children, to inspire t confidence in the faithfulness of Jehovah; an edly says to them, Weep not, there are gifts a for the backsliding—nay, and perhaps besto them unusual consolations ; if therefore the d truth the significant emblem of faithful love, it propriate symbol of the Comforter. Of all dove is the cleanest and most delicate. In filt she will not abide. Thus it is with the o Many of you are ready to exclaim, but our he they not filthy ? Indeed there is no deficiency rity there. But, let it be remembered, the do at rest within them. Is she not incessantly er detaching and expelling, in sweeping and gar Her habitation must be cleansed, and she wou have entered it, but for the certain prospect of ly rendering it completely pure and free from t there be a spirit within you
that can be at ea midst of impurity, and that can endure iniquit sured this spirit is not the dove. Where the sides, there is a constant conflict in the soul ag seed of the serpent—a holy and zealous desire t every thorn, and to consume it with fire. This do St. Paul, lusteth against the flesh, and the flesh the dove, and there is a constant warfare. W Spirit dwells, the heart becomes the arena of s this Divine warrior rests not till he has bruised of the last serpent within us, and destroyed cockatrice egg. How sensitive is this heaven Of the dove it is said, that the feather of a fa
anger, jealousy, and a censorious spirit, and all traces of the dove are obscured. But on such occasions it is not the dove that stirs within us, but the Leviathan of the old man, that has again caused his voice to be heard ; it is not Jacob, but Esau with his rough skin, that is indeed mortally wounded within us, though he has not yet ceased to breathe. It is the flesh, and not the Spirit. The Spirit is grieved; it upbraids and chastens us, and grants us no peace, till we are humbled and repentant. Thus it is evidently a dove--a spirit of peace and love, mild and gentle.
Already in the history of the creation, as we have seen, the Holy Spirit is presented to us under the similitude of a bird—no doubt the dove. The Spirit of God, it is said, brooded upon the face of the waters, as a bird broods with extended wings upon its eggs. This figurative expression indicates that the Spirit also took part in the creation; that it formed the waste and void, and gave shape and beauty to the earth. And spiritually, the Spirit is incessantly executing the same work in the human mind. While the heart is still as chaos, a world ruined by Satan, waste and void, and shrouded in the darkness and blindness of unbelief, the Spirit, impelled by love, descends and overshadows it, as it overshadowed the Virgin. Now the command goes forth, ' Let there be light and there is light. We look down into the dark abyss of our desolate condition, and shudder with horror. The light is separated from the darkness. We perceive what we should be and what we are not. We learn to jndge spiritually, and to discern good and evil according to the rule of God's law. And God calls the light day, and the darkness night. Thus be
fore we are aware, the light of a new life has sprung up within us, which scatters and expels the darkness of the old; and the evening and the morning are the first day. Under the wings of the plastic breath of the Comforter, this spiritual creation advances steadily towards perfection. The desolate soil thirsteth for
and is refreshed with the verdure of a new creation. The sacred flowers of faith and love spring up. A new world is called into existence. The morning stars extol the power of grace, and the inward spiritual man, renewed in the image of Christ, walks with delight in the blissful paradise of communion with his God. "The Spirit moved on the face of the waters.' Thus it is still in the spiritual world. Many waters rise upon the believing soul ; but the Spirit breaks through them all, maintains the ascendency, and sustains the life it has imparted. The sensuality of our sinful nature may be accounted as one of these waters. How frequently do its waves swell tumultuously; but the Spirit still moves above them. It resembles oil, which always floats upon the surface of water. Our sins of weakness may likewise be accounted a water. When we fall, the oil sinks ;
; yet it is but for a moment. Behold the tears of Mary Magdalen, and of Peter after his fall! The oil rises to the surface; the Spirit again moves upon the face of the waters ! The afflictions which befall us may likewise be numbered amongst the waters which rise upon the soul. When they break in upon us, we are alarmed; we tremble and are dismayed. A raging flood overwhelms the soul, and the spirit is in the deep. But it is soon otherwise. Reflection comes, we bend the knee, and sigh, Lord help! We throw ourselves