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On the manner in which the Holy Ghost carries on his own most blessed Work and Office in the soul, though it is imperceptible to the believer, who is the subject of it; and how it is opened to him in subsequent and matured experi
HEN Solomon at the dedication
WHEN of the temple considered the im
mensity, blefsednefs, and majesty of the Eternal Three, he broke out with astonishment, saying, "But will God indeed "dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven "and heaven of heavens cannot contain "thee, how much lefs this house that I "have builded "?" The temple was a symbol of Christ's body, and a solemn pledge of his incarnation. It was an astonishing subject to contemplate, that the second person in the divine efsence would become man and appear in our world," God manifest in the flesh." And it is equally stupendous grace, that the third person in God should, according to the economy of the covenant, which obtained between the divine persons, dwell in his people, and thereby consecrate them for fellowship with the a 1 Kings viii. 27.
Father and the Son. This is considered one of the great MIRACLES of GRACE, as truly great and divine as the incarnation of the Son of God. By it believers are the temples of God. "Your bodies," says Paul to believers at Corinth, "are "the temples of the Holy Ghost"." When we view and consider the various frames of mind which the believer hath the inward experience of, with the inward sight, sense, and feeling, which he hath from time to time of his own sin, guilt, filth, wounds, and miseries, with the spiritual perception which he hath of his heart's apostacy and departure from the Lord in his daily walk and warfare, it is altogether wonderful to contemplate, how the Holy Ghost is pleased to carry on his work of grace with power in the regenerate in defiance of all opposition. It pleases this divine teacher to let the believer have a real sight of what he is, as one with the first Adam in the total corruption of his nature, the rebellion of his will, and the alienation of his heart from God, that he may feel every moment his need of Christ and his complete salvation; which is the only antidote for him from all the bitings of the old serpent. And all the experience, which the believer hath, from the first moment of his new-birth to his investi-. b 1 Cor. vi. 19.
ture with eternal glory, consists in his feeling and knowing, that in his fallen nature dwelleth nothing that is good, and that without Christ he cannot in any one single instance do that which is spiritually good. This makes way for grace, free, sovereign GRACE, to be exalted in the soul. Indeed it is the good pleasure of the Lord to pursue such a method with the sinner who is called in Christ Jesus with an holy calling as will lead him to renounce himself in every point of view, and cause him to learn this truth so as to practise it on earth and in heaven for ever, that "He "who glorieth must glory in the Lord." To this very end he is led into the dark chambers of imagery in his heart, and left to feel the plague of it, deprived of sensible manifestations of divine love, that he may know his standing is all of grace. As in the whole economy of the Eternal Three, in their distinct offices and displays of mercy towards the heirs of glory, all is of grace; so it is their ultimate design and end to exalt the exceeding riches of it in their kindness to the elect in Christ Jesus. Salvation may be said to be founded on the Father's eternal purpose in Christ Jesus, on the personal mediation of the Godman, and on the indwelling of the Holy Ghost and his internal operations in the
called, regenerate, and believing people of God. As election in Christ, which is the fruit of the Father's everlasting love and his evidence of it to his elect, is vast, mysterious, and divine; so is redemption, as wrought out and eternally completed by the Son of God in the nature and on the behalf of his people. Nor is it lefs ineffable grace, which is manifested in the office and work of the Holy Ghost, originating from and founded on the covenant settlements of the Three in Jehovah. God the Spirit is in the souls of the regenerate, and dwells in them in an inexplicable way as the spring and fountain of all spiritual life and quickening, and of all holy and divine influences within and upon them. Thus they have God himself dwelling in them, and making his abode with them, working in them to will and to do of his own good pleasure.
It is one of the high prerogatives and titles of Jehovah, that he is mindful of his covenant, and that he keepeth his truth and promise for ever. What he is in Christ, and how he stands related to his people, as their covenant God and Father in his beloved Son, he hath been pleased to reveal and make known in the written word; in which he hath proclaimed his name, "The Lord God gra
cious and merciful, pardoning iniquity,
"transgrefsion, and sin." In those declarations of his grace, in the displays of his pardoning mercy, and in the exceeding great and precious promises which he hath given us therein, it hath pleased him to make known to us the exceeding riches of his grace towards us in Christ Jesus. There is not a sin in the believer, not any guilt or corruption, not a wound or want, misery or weakness, not a case or single circumstance, but there is a provision made for it by the Lord in his word, which is his revelation of JESUS CHRIST, who is just what the word describes him to be, an ALL-SUFFICIENT SAVIOUR: whose all-sufficiency is most gloriously displayed in the word and by the word through the Spirit to the heart. Christ, as a Saviour, is most divinely suited to all in his people. He hath a most perfect intuitive knowledge of all their wounds and wants. That faith, which is of the operation of the Spirit of God, is as a spiritual faculty suited to all in Christ, to take in and apprehend him so as to find everlasting health and salvation in viewing the perfection of his wounds and blood.
The eternal Spirit dwells in us to give us a sight and feeling of our sinfulness and wounds, that we may be continually led to Jesus for the whole of our salvaa Exodus xxxiv. 6, 7.