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promise has been fulfilled, that the Comforter has actually been manifested as the guide, inspirer, sanctifier of human hearts, the author of sevenfold gifts, the light and fire of love, then God is indeed calling Heaven and earth to record against us this day, that nothing can be done for His vineyard which He has not done for it, that He has brought us within a circle of blessings, that He has made us partakers of a Divine Life, that He has given us the power of choosing that life, that we are • resisting the Holy Ghost if we do not cleave to Him and love Him, and claim the blessings of His new and perfect covenant.
We have need to remember that this gift appertains to the most inward and radical part of our being. It is not a gift which is dependent on feelings and tempers of our mind; but is to be the source of those feelings and tempers. The Holy Spirit is an indwelling Person, not a vague and transitory influence. We have need to remember this, because the fight which we have to fight is a harder one than that of men in the old time. Evil came before them more in its outward and grosser forms. To us it presents itself in its inward power and essence. The words, We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers, with spiritual wickedness in high places,' were spoken not by a lawgiver, but by an Apostle, not to a camp of Israelites, but to a baptized Church. He felt the full power of his own words. It may be, brethren, that we are to feel the power of them more than our fathers did. It may be that we shall have to understand, in this
latter age of the world, that there is indeed a battle going on between evil and good in their most naked and absolute natures. It may be impossible for us to shrink from the confession, if we attempt it ever so, that a spirit of evil is claiming us for his subjects, is demanding our undivided worship. The words 'I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing,' may come for us to mean, “You must either secretly and openly confess the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to be God, or you must in your inward hearts and in all your outward acts confess the devil to be God.' And if so, what need is there that we should fall back upon the fact and the mystery of this day, that we should say boldly, Christ our Lord has proved that the Spirit of good is mightier than the Spirit of evil; that the one can and shall cast out the other.'
And oh! brethren, let us not forget that it is a blessing for us and for our seed after us. This is the meaning of all our festivals; this is, above all, the meaning of our Whitsuntide festival. I hail it as a testimony that not God's outward gifts only,—the blessings of spring-time and harvest,but the treasure of His own Spirit, is for the manservant and the maidservant, for the widow and the fatherless, for the stranger that is within our gates. I hail it as breaking down the barriers which our selfishness as members of a nation has drawn between different classes, between those who are breathing the same air, speaking the same language, governed by the same laws; which our proud religious selfishness has drawn between those who are heirs of the same covenant. But I hail it still more as a proof that that covenant is the same from age to age, as a witness against our neglect in handing down to those who shall come after us the torch which our fathers handed to us. We have not dared to tell the children of this land that they are redeemed by Christ's blood and endued with God's spirit. That sin is visited upon us, and may be visited upon our children. Many of us are seeking,—they may seek,—help in superstitions and idolatry, because we have not held fast the belief that the living and true God is in the midst
Whitsuntide proclaims that truth in spite of us. The loving and jealous God is still saying to us, The promise is for you and for your chil
• dren, and for multitudes from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south, whom I shall hereafter call.'
JOSHUA AND ST. JOHN.
Lessons for the day, Joshua X. and XXIII.
Preached at Lincoln's Inn, on the First Sunday after Trinity, June 22, 1851.
Joshua XXIII. 1, 2, 3.
Lord had given rest unto Israel from all their
HE command which Moses gave the Israelites
to go and smite the Canaanites with the edge of the sword was touched upon when I was considering the Book of Deuteronomy. I do not wish to repeat what I said at that time. But the lesson we read this morning brings the subject before us again under a different aspect. If we have been ever so much convinced that a war is justifiable, the details of actual battles, especially when they are given so broadly, with so little attempt to gloss over the most frightful circum
stances of them, as in the Book of Joshua, may well cause us some perplexity. And the compilers of our services seem as if they had been anxious to increase rather than allay it. They have not only chosen as a specimen of the book the chapter which contains most records of conquest and slaughter, but they have brought this chapter side by side with an Epistle of which the burden is,
God is love; he that loveth not knoweth not God.' Can anything be more startling than the contrast of these two documents ? Nothing, certainly ; that I conceive is the reason for placing them both before us at the same time. The Church knew that the readers of the Old and New Testament must be struck with the opposition. She wished her ministers not to shrink from a fair and manful examination of its nature and cause.
Perhaps the course which has been taken for presenting the difficulty to us may suggest the right method of considering it. Joshua and St. John stand out as if in direct hostility to each other. We know that the Book of Joshua must have been read by the Apostle in his childhood, his manhood, his old age. Let us inquire how at different times of his life he must have regarded it. I. We find him first a mere Galilæan fisher
We may take it for granted that he heard the Scriptures read in the synagogue, that many thoughts and impressions about them came to him as he worked by day or by night upon the lake. At that time, before he had listened to any diviner voice, when his best outward teaching must have