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sisting the Holy Spirit, by whom they uttered those words. May we not, then, consistently say, with Stephen, that when men resist the prophets and apostles in their writings, and will not submit to their teachings, they are resisting the Holy Spirit ? This being admitted, follows it not again, that the Spirit of God operates through the truth; and that we are not to suppose that in conversion and sanctification, they do operate separately and distinctly from each other.
A still more impressive instance of this kind, we find in the book of Nehemiah. In his admirable prayer, preserved in the ninth chapter, he has two very remarkable expressions; one in the 20th and one in the 29th verse. In the former, when speaking of the instructions given the Jews by Moses, he said, “ Thou gavest also thy good Spirit to instruct them;" and in the latter, he says, “ Many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy Spirit in thy prophets, yet would they not hear.” Here, then, we are taught that God, by his Spirit in Moses, instructed the Jews by his good Spirit, and that in testifying to them by the prophets, God was testifying to them by his Holy Spirit. We are, then, still more fully confirmed in the conclusion that the Spirit of God operates through his Word, and only through his Word, in conversion and sanctification; and that in the Word and Spirit of God, in those spiritual and moral changes and influences of which we now speak, are never to be regarded as operating apart; that whatever is done by the Word of God, is done by the Spirit of God; and whatever is done by the Spirit, is done through the Truth-and certainly he can through that instrument operate most powerfully on the spirit of man, as all Christians experience, and the saints of all time exhibit.
XII. My twelfth argument is deduced from the fact—that God created nothing without his Word. - He said, let there be light, and there was light.” By faith,” says Paul, “we know that the worlds were framed by the Word of God.” All the details of the six days show that, “God made all things by the Word of his pow. er.” Of course, then, we have no idea of any new creation or regeneration without the Word of God. It is an overwhelming fact that God does nothing in creation nor redemption without his Word. His creative power has always been embodied in that sublime instrurnent. Nay, it is the sword of the Spirit. Still, there wa through that Word an almighty power put forth, and still there is both in conversion and sanctifieation. God works mightily in the human heart by his Word. The heart of the King's enemies are
mightily broken by it. Hence, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
Indeed, there is much of this wisdom of God apparent in the fact that he has chosen the term Logos to represent the author and founder of the Christian faith, in his antecedent state of existence. And hence, John represents Jesus Christ himself as the Word of God incarnate. • Now the Word was made flesh,” or became flesh, “and dwelt amongst us.” This is a mysterious name. He had a name given him which no one can comprehend. His name is the WORD OF God. Now, as Jesus Christ was once God manifest in Word,” and now God manifest in flesh, we have reason to regard the Word of God as an embodiment of his wisdom and power. This, however, is spoken with a reference to the gospel Word; for Jesus Christ is both the wisdom and the power of God, and so is his gospel; because containing this development. It is the wisdom and power of God unto salvation, to every one that believes it.
It was not, however, in creating light alone that God employed his Word. Every work of creation is represented as the product of his Word. He said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters," and it was so. Again, “Let the dry land appear," and it was so. Let the earth bring forth grass,” and it was so. And last of all, “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion. So God created man.” God, therefore, made man in his own image by his Word, and he now restores him to that same image, by his Word of power. Thus we have all the authority of the Bible with us in our views of spiritual and divine influence. A spiritual, or moral, or creative power, without the Word of God, is a phantom, a mere speculation. It receives no countenance from the Bible.
XIII. The Lord has embodied his will in his Word. Now the will of God is another form of his power. Divine volition is divine power. The Word of God is the fiat of God. “ Let there be," is a mere volition expressed. Indeed, we may go further and say, that the Word of the Lord, is the Lord himself. The word of a king, is the king himself, so far as authority or power is considered. As the Lord Jesus is the Word of God incarnate, so is his Word an embodiment of his power. For, as Solomon says, 6 Where the word of a king is, there is power;" there is the power of the king himself. The Word of God is, then, the actual power of God. God is a consuming fire, and his “ Word is as fire, and as a hammer that breaketh the rocks to pieces.” It should not, therefore, be thought strange, that the Word of God, and the Spirit of God, are sometimes represented as equi-potent--as equivalent. Indeed, in all those passages that represent the Word and Spirit of God as being the causes of the same effects, this equivalency is clearly implied. Hence, while Peter says, “By the Word of God the heavens were of old,” Job says, “ By his Spirit he has garnished the heavens.”
Can any one imagine what power could have been superadded to the Word of God, that created light, that made the heavens and the earth, that made man upright or holy. If so, let him explain what that power could have been, which was distinct from, and attached to: or that accompanied that word by which all things were created and made. Explain that accompanying power, and I will explain the accompanying spiritual or supernatural power in the case of regeneration! You cannot break a man down by physical power. You cannot soften and subdue the heart, as you grind a rock to pieces. A superadded power beyond motive, is inconceivable to any mind accustomed to think accurately upon spiritual and mental operations. The heart of man is to be subdued, melted, purified from all its hatred of God and enmity, by love; by developments of grace, and not by any conceivable influence of a different nature. His love is poured out into our hearts, says Paul, by the Holy Spirit that is given to us.
Men had better be careful how they speak of, and how they treat, the word of God. It will stand forever. Till the heavens pass away, not one word shall fail. Mountains, by the wasting hand of time, may crumble down to dust-oceans may recede from their an. cient limits-the heavens and the earth may pass away-but God's word shall never, never pass away. It is God's mighty moral lever, by which he raises man from earth to heaven. It is his almighty, awful, sublime and gracious will, embodied in such a medium as can enter the secret chambers of the human heart and conscience, and there stand up for God, and confound the sinner in his presence. The love of God is all enveloped in it, and that is the great secret of its charm—the mystery of its power to save. It is love, and love alone, that can reconcile the heart of man to God. Now love is a matter of intelligence--a matter that is to be told, heard, believed, and received by faith. “ The power of God to salvation,” is the persuasive power of infinite and eternal love, and not the compulsive and subduing power of any force superadded to it. The promise of eternal life is itself a power of mighty magnitude. So are all the promises that enter into the Christian hope. These are almighty impulses, when understood and believed, upon the veracity and faithfulness of God.
XIV. There yet remains another argument, if I may so call it. It is, indeed, an induction of every case of conversion reported in the inspired record. It is an account of the various influences of the Holy Spirit in adding members to the Christian church at its very commencement, and to the end of the Apostolic history. Of these I will give a few specimens:
When the Holy Spirit fell from heaven on Pentecost, it fell only on “The one hundred and twenty,” and not upon the promiscuous assembly. For the multitude, after the Spirit's descent, did still upbraid the disciples with drunkenness. Those who first received it that day, preached by it to the audience. The thousands who heard, were pierced to the heart, and yet had not received the Spirit. They believed, and were in agony of fear and terror, but yet had not received the Spirit. They asked what they should do, and yet had not received it. Peter coinmanded them to “Repent and be baptized, erery one of you, for the remission of sins, and you shall receire the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Of course, then, they had not yet received that gift. They, however, gladly received his word, and were baptized. We have, then, the first three thousand converts regenerated by gladly receiving the Word and baptism. This is a strong fact for the first one in my fourteenth argument.
The second fact of conversion is found, Acts iv., and the question is, how were they regenerated ? We shall read the passage. “Now that many of them which HEARD THE WORD believed, and the number of the men was about five thousand.” We are now morally certain that these five thousand were converted by the Spirit only through the Word. We have already eight thousand examples of our allegation, and not one instance of one converted without the Word.
Our third exemplification is found, Acts v. 14: “ And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.” . Women are here mentioned as well as men. We have, then, got multitudes of both sexes to add, in proof that the Spirit converted these, not without the Word, hut by what they saw and heard.
We shall find a fourth example, Acts viii. 5, 6, 12 Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ to them. “ And when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of the Lord Jesus, they were baptized, both men and women”. So the Samaritans were regenerated by the Holy Spirit through faith in the Word, which Philip preached.
A fifth example is found in the eunuch. “If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest.” He said: “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God.', Then he, too, was born of the water, and converted, not without the Word.
Paul furnishes a sixth case. When he had fallen to the ground, he heard “a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why persecuteth thou me-I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.” His case is certainly one of indisputable certainty. He both saw, heard, and believed, and was baptized.
To these I might add the case of Eneas, the citizens of Lydda and Saron, the assembly in the house of Dorcas, Cornelius and his friends, Lydia and the jailor, Dionysius, Crispus, the Corinthians and the Ephesians, &c., &c., as reported in the Acts of the Apostles. In not one of these cases did the Holy Spirit operate without the Word, but always through fit.Of the Corinthians, it was said, and many of the Corinthians hearing belived and were baptized. This was true of all that were regenerated through the Sprit, during the ministry of the Apostles. Hence, to convert men by the accompanying influence of the Holy Spirit, we must do what Paul commanded Timothy—“ Preach the Word, be instant in season and out of season.” Then, no doubt, many will be enlightened, renewed, sunctificd and comforted by the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Delivered July 4th, to the Graduating Class of Bethany College.
With you, young gentlemen, this is commencement day. The diploma in your hand, just now conferred, is legal evidence of the fact. On receiving it you are not constituted Knight Bachelors, wearing henceforth a shield and a lance; nor are you invested with the "Toga virilis assumed before a Roman Prætor in a Roman Forum, but are simply constituted BACHELORS OF ARTS.
Of what arts do you ask? Not of the mechanic arts; for into these you have not yet been initiated. Not of the fine arts, such as poetry, music, painting, sculpture; for these are not taught in col. leges. But beside the mechanic arts and the fine arts we have those properly called the liberal arts. These furnish and qualify man for the attainment of all the useful and ornamental arts of social life. It is in these you have taken the first or bachelor's degree. From this day you commence the life of bachelors of the liberal sciences and arts. Hence its prominence in academic life. It is, indeed, a sort of literary majority. For as a young man arrived at legal age of manhood is permitted thenceforth to manage his own affairs; so from this day, according to collegiate and scholastic law, you are henceforth permitted to manage your further improvement and education in those languages, sciences, and arts, constituting that which, by common consent, is called a liberal education.
They are called liberal arts and sciences, not merely because they free the human mind from vulgar prejudices, ignorance, and error which they certainly do; but because they are general in their character and application, and open to us an extensive acquaintance with literature, science, and art; and thus furnish us with the means of extending our acquaintance with nature, society, and the Bible, to any extent commensurate with the wants of our nature and the limits of our existence.
It may, perhaps, in this curious and inquisitive age, be asked;Why this degree is called Bachelor of Arts rather than Bachelor of Sciences, or than Bachelor of Sciences and Arts, since it is strongly affirmed that graduates in al colleges are much more conversant with sciences than with arts. It is, however, true that we have a science for every art; and, therefore, as many sciences as arts: for what is science but the theory of art, and what is art but the proper application of theory? Now, as utility is the proper standard of SERIES III. 1.- VOL. VI.