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instances are not only on record, but that some domestic circles contain these cheering evidences of effectual grace in the youthful mind in this our day; and that Parents are yet to be found, who hail these rising graces as germs of future blessings, both to themselves, their children and the Church of Christ.
And here, suffer me, before I conclude this part of the subject, to draw the very necessary distinction between experience of the blessedness of a doctrine, and the power to analyse that experience. The one is the work of the heart, the other of the head; the one is the exercise of the affections, the other of the understanding: the child can feel the love of God and the fear of God, when he may not be able to analyse those feelings, or correctly to desscribe them. The Scriptures address themselves not to an understanding head but to an “understanding heart:”I their blessed truths are not given so much to be reasoned on, as to be felt; not so much to be canvassed by the understanding, as to be applied by the heart.
A hungry beggar does not reason about the ingredients of the food presented to him: it is wholesome, it is suitable, it is presented by a friend, it is just the supply which his wants demand. And while learned disputants are controverting the truth of a doctrine, and subjecting it to the
1 Prov, viii. 5.
severest analysis of critical acumen, the child may without controversy be feeling the blessedness of that very doctrine in his holy experience, which they are questioning, and possess that best evidence of its truth “ the witness in himself," i which all the mass of external and internal evidence accumulated in unnumbered folios, may be unequal to convey. The one is the ratiocination of man, the other is the impress of the Spirit ; the one may be the accurate deduction of intellect, the other is the exquisite essence brought home in power to the heart, and wrought out in all the lively efficacy of experimental blessedness. Children taught as abové, have been known experimentally to apply the doctrine of the Trinity in their prayers. They have addressed God the Father as
11 John v. 10. ? A child may be taught the God with whom he has to do, if the practical purposes for which that God is revealed, are explained to him in the three Unities.
The first Unity is that of the three Persons of the Fathet, Son, and Holy Ghost, existing in the Godhead.
The Father is the fountain of Deity-abstract and essential perfection-being, wisdom, justice, holiness, truth, power, mercy, love, infinity, &c. The child has seen a holy man, and a powerful man, but he never saw power or holiness ; he has seen them as qualities, but he never saw them in essence ; now God the Father is all this in essence. And this man hath seen, nor can see,” 1 Timothy vi. 18.
The Son is the EXPRESSION of Deity, for “no man hath seen God the Father at any time,” John i. 18. neither can he see or comprehend what is essential," the only begotten Son
their reconciled Father in Christ Jesus: God the Son as their Saviour and Redeemer, who
which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him : John i. 18. He has not only declared him in his revealed word, but he has declared him in his own person, for “he that hath seen” him “ hath seen the Father.” John xiv. 9. Hence the names of our Lord Jesus Christ denote expression : the “ Son” is the expression, or image of the Father—" the WORD " is the expression of the idea in the mind. Philippians ï. 6. He is “in the form of God;" Form or appearance denotes expression—“ The Image of the invisible God," Colossians i. 15. is that in expression which the Father is in abstract—" the express IMAGE of his person,” Hebrews i. 3. not εικών as above but χαρακτήρ the character of the seal expressed on the wax—“the brightness of his glory;" Hebrews i. 3. the very lustre and brilliancy of his attributes, the perfection of his perfections, and the glory of his glory manifested or expressed in its most luminous splendour. “ It pleased the Father that” thus “ in him should all fulness dwell ;” Colossians i. 19. and thus « in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily;" Colosians ii. 9. or substantially, visibly, intelligibly.
The Holy Ghost is the AGENT of Deity-In creation," and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Gen. i. 2. In redemption. “ The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.” Luke i. 35. At his Baptism Jesus “ saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him ;” Mat. iii. 16. he was “ led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil; ” Matthew iv. 1. and it was “through the eternal Spirit” that he “ offered himself without spot to God.” Hebrews ix. 14. In regeneration—“ Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John iii. 5.
And these three Persons are one God.
'The last party yet remains to be noticed, and that most deeply interested in the view of Baptismal privileges we have taken above. This is THE CHURCH.
“Me have ye bereaved of my children," i has been hier just complaint for centuries past. Faith is the Parent of her children, and faith having failed, her family has been proportionably contracted. It is from faith in the promise that the Church also expects the blessing. “ Receive him, O Lord, as thou hast promised by thy well-beloved Son”_" that this Infant may enjoy the everlasting benediction of thy heavenly washing, and may come to the eternal kingdom which thou hast promised by Christ our Lord.” She entertains no doubt herself as to the performance of the promise towards the baptised Infant, provided the proper means be observed, These means she insists on largely in her address to the Sponsors; and as she entertains no doubt herself, so it is her unwearied effort, through
i Gen. xlii. 36.
out the whole of the Baptismal and its kindred Services, to impress the minds of her people, the Sponsors, and the Child when arrived at years of discretion, with the same undoubting confidence in the promise of a Covenant-God, that he will assuredly“ grant” the "things” that they “have prayed for,” and “ for his part will most surely keep and perform the promise" he has made.
It is therefore her desire continually to enlarge the communion of her saints; and for this purpose she would have every child introduced into her communion visibly and openly, so soon as he may conveniently be brought to the church. She therefore directs, “ The Curates of every Parish shall often admonish the people that they defer not the Baptism of their children longer than the first or second Sunday next after their Birth, or other Holy Day falling between, unless upon a great and reasonable cause, to be approved by the Curate.” “And also they shall warn them, that without like great cause and necessity they procure not their children to be baptized at home in their houses.” The Church further enjoins, “The people are to be admonished, that it is most convenient that Baptism should not be administered but upon Sundays, and other Holy-days, when the most number of people come together : as well for that the congregation there present may testify the receiving of them that be newly baptised into the number