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and well may there be demolition and destruction, casting down and breaking in pieces. It is as though those wheels which were beheld by Ezekiel were passing through the soul, in whom was the spirit of a living creature, and which were full of eyes penetrating the inmost recesses of the heart.
Then the man who had hitherto regarded himself as blameless, confesses, “I am the chief of sinners !" -then those tears flow from the eyes of the vain and worldly Magdalene, which only one hand in earth or heaven can dry ;—then the proud Simon, perceiving his own helplessness, breaks forth into the
Lord, save me!"—the publican, beating his heart, says, “God be merciful to me a sinner!”—and the jailor asks,“ What must I do to be saved ?" Happy art thou if thou resemblest any one of these ; it is a sure sign that much has already been done towards preparing thy heart for the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit ; the hateful guests who formerly made it their habitation, are already banished; sin no more rules over thee, for thou art now at variance with it, and the world no longer enchants thee, for it has lost its allurement. Delusion ceases to possess thy soul; the Spirit has swept away a thousand errors and misconceptions, and He who of his own accord, has with almighty power commenced the good work within thee, will most assuredly finish that which he has begun. * Above all, he takes care that the alarmed soul should not altogether despair ; and he points out to the bruised heart the true fountain of consolation. It is true that he tears away from beneath your feet the delusive
ground of your own strength and righteousness, but only to substitute in its place another and a better foundation. He establishes you and your hopes upon a rock; he declares to you Christ and him crucified ; explains the mystery of his sufferings and death in the stead of wretched sinners; teaches you to trust in his merits only, and kindle that love towards him in your breast, which many waters cannot quench, neither can the floods drown it. Ye are no longer what ye were ; but ye are houses in the city of God, sanctuaries and temples, firmly grounded on a fountain which cannot be shaken, and dedicated to Jehovah and his glory. henceforth can assail you, -no one say ought against you,-no one put you in shame; for him that doeth so, saith the apostle, “shall God destroy;" for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
II. When the Holy Spirit has like Solomon finished building the temple, he enters into it to continue his labours, in the manner of Bezaleel. Bezaleel was the artificer full of understanding and wisdom, who was appointed by God to erect the holy tabernacle in the desert, and more particularly to ornament the interior of the tent with rich carving and symbolical images, and to superintend the making of the consecrated furniture. Such an artificer is the Holy Spirit, and he never permits the interior of his living temple to remain empty
and unadorned ; he works in every manner, and there is nothing more beautiful than the fruit of his labours. Let us now enter the sanctuary of a regenerated soul, and contemplates its glorious contents.
That which first arrests our attention is a rich caryed work, the figures of which remind one of those which decorated the holy tabernacle, or the walls of the temple. There are no longer to be seen pictures of the folly and vanity of the world, arrayed in tempting colours, and alluring us to sin; but in their stead there are pictures of the kingdom of light and of everlasting life. But brighter and in fresher colours than all beside, we see on every hand the picture of Him who is the Alpha and Omega, and the great power which governs the world. In what bold characters has it been drawn, and in what colours of flame has it been painted by the invisible Limner! It is a picture which will remain indelible, for it is eternal as the heart in which it is placed. We behold the fairest among the children of men in all stages of his life, and in the most various situations and circumstances. A beautiful child, he rests in the manger, the pious shepherds bending their knees before him : now he appears as king of the elements, walking upon the sea, and stretching out his hand to save his sinking disciple. There he stands like a conqueror at the grave of Lazarus, the dead becoming alive at his command, and issuing forth from the prison-house of death. Again we behold him comforting Magdalene, entering the house of Zaccheus, curing the sick of the palsy, and feeding the thousand in the wilderness. All these scenes, and many others, shine forth in living pictures from the canvass, and are of wonderful efficacy in sanctifying and purifying the heart : the splendour of a supernatural light illuminates them, and the frames in which
they are set are of fire. But if there is one among those pictures of Christ which arrests our attention more than the rest, it is the sufferings of the man of sorrows in his crown of thorns; and next to this his triumph and gladness on the third day as the conqueror of hell and of death. But where should I end were I to describe the second series of pictures in the spiritual temple? They are indeed innumerable, and all the chambers are filled with them. They are representations of the city above, enrapturing pictures of our future glory, apocalyptic sketches of the new and perfect kingdom, and portraits drawn by an inspired hand, of holy men long departed to their eternal homes. And those pictures and images, which in the temple of the soul stand in the place of those cherub forms that ornamented the house at Jerusalem, do not lie dead and inactive, preserved in the caskets of memory. No, they are alive in the heart: the Spirit of life painted them there, and they manifest their activity unceasingly, in enlivening, consoling, and exciting us to piety.
If we look still more closely into our spiritual sanctuary and its various chambers, we perceive beside the pictures many important sentences and inscrip tions. They are divine promises, selected from the Book of Life, each one more beautiful than another, all sealed and confirmed by the Holy Spirit, and inscribed in the heart in letters of fire. Here one may read,"I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee !" Jer. xxxi. 3. “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Isa, liv. 10. “Fear not; for I have redeemed thee, I have .called thee by thy name; thou art mine." Isa. xliii. 1. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John x. 27, 28. “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Isa. xliii. 2.
But we are not yet at an end; for there are still many beautiful things to be viewed in our temple. The Bezaleel from on high has erected an altar within it, upon approaching which, no matter at what time, we invariably perceive the fragrance of a sacrifice; perhaps it may only consist of a faint ejaculation of thanks, or an unconscious sigh of complaint and longing, nevertheless the cloud of incense can always be discerned hovering above it, sometimes even ascending in thick columns, and filling the whole tabernacle. Near the altar of prayer we behold the eternal lamp burning, and the eternal Artificer has not forgotten to adorn it also ; deeply engraved upon it, in living characters, we read the words—"In Jesus is salvation, and in no other.” This light may be darkened, but it can never be extinguished. Think you that it was actual. ly extinguished in the breast of Simon Peter, when he refused to acknowledge Jesus? I reply, No; it was not extinguished even for a moment. However far