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tracts just so much from faith's simplicity, and from our full share in the benediction, "Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed." Again and again the Scriptures declare that he that believeth on the Son hath eternal life- hath it, that is, in germ and embryo, as one has the harvest who has the seed from which it springs. The words of Scripture are called indeed "the incorruptible seed." To receive and credit the word of God concerning his Son is therefore to receive life or regeneration. "Being born again not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever." †
Thus in the beginning it was those that "gladly received the word" that were baptized and added to the church. All this puts weighty emphasis on the duty we have been urging, of sealing God's promises with our hearty and confident amen. And we would commend a faith that even seems audacious, like that of the sturdy Covenanter, Robert Bruce, who requested as he was dying, that his finger might be placed on one of God's strong promises, as though to challenge the Judge
of all with it as he should enter his presence.* we stand face to face with the Word we cannot be too bold.
There is again another sealing which is mentioned in the Scriptures, and which supplements this as a divine testimony to the fact of acceptance. 'After that ye believed ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise," says Paul writing to the Ephesians. There are many allusions in Scripture to this transaction, and the general tenor of these references indicates that it is a special enduement of the Spirit subsequent to that regeneration of the Spirit which takes place when one believes. Such is the inference in the epistle to the Corinthians where the apostle, addressing those who have been established in the promises of God, adds, "Who hath also sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." As our faith authenticates the Lord's promise by setting to it our yea and amen, the Holy Spirit now authenticates us as the sons of God by giving to
* A sublime instance of this boldness of faith is given by Dr. John Brown, in his Horae Subsecivae, of a Scotch woman who was asked on her death-bed, "What would you say if God, after all he has done, should let you drop into hell?" She replied, "E'en as He likes; but if He does He'll lose mair than I'll do."
† Eph. 1: 13. "In whom having also believed ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise." (Revised Version.) 2 Cor. 1: 22.
us the first-fruits of our inheritance, in the joy and assurance and guidance and strength of the indwelling Comforter. On this ground rests the solemn appeal in the epistle to the Ephesians "Grieve not the Spirit of God in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption.'
While there is much that is mysterious and difficult to apprehend in this subject, we believe that we can get more light concerning it from the example and experience of Jesus Christ than anywhere else, since he is the pattern for his brethren in all things. Jesus says, referring to himself, "For Him hath God the Father sealed." This evidently refers to what took place at his baptism. Let us go to the banks of the Jordan and witness the divine transaction and that which follows it. As he comes forth from the water we see "the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him;" a voice is heard from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;" Jesus "being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan ;" he is "led by the Spirit into the wilderness;" he afterwards returns "in the power of the Spirit;" and going into the syna
gogue he applies to Himself the words of the prophet, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor."
This was our Lord's enduement or sealing by the Holy Ghost in preparation for his public service. And what an impressive lesson it is for us, that, though he was the divine Son of God, yet He henceforth did all things in dependence upon the Spirit; from the beginning of his ministry, when he said, "I by the Spirit of God cast out devils,” to the end when "through the Eternal Spirit he offered up himself without spot unto God." Now mark how every feature of the Lord's sealing is reproduced in that of his disciples, after the Holy Ghost has come upon them. They also have the assurance of sonship; "the Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God." They have the same divine guidance, "for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." They are indwelt by the same Spirit; "and they were all filled with the Holy
shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." They have the same divine unction; "the anointing which ye have received abideth on you."
Here certainly is one seal for both Master and disciple, since all the lines and features of the two impressions exactly correspond. In the case of Jesus Christ this transaction was a distinct and divine enduement for his public ministry. Is it so with his followers? Certainly it was with the first disciples. The same event happened to the body of believers on the day of Pentecost which befell the Lord at the Jordan. Both alike were baptized with the Holy Ghost. "Is the day of Pentecost then to be perpetually repeated?" it will be asked. To which we answer, "No! and yes!" As the inauguration of the Spirit's ministry in the church it cannot be repeated. On that day the Holy Ghost in his abiding personal presence came into the church to guide and order and inspire it, henceforth throughout this dispensation. As Christmas was the incarnation of the second person of the Trinity, when the Word was made flesh and tabernacled among us, so Pentecost was a kind of incarnation of the third person when the