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II.

into the hands of the person after bap- LECT.
tism, and they were admited to hear the w
lectures of the catechists in the church,
under the name of the illuminated. The
festival of Christ's baptism was celebrated
in the month of January with the cere-
mony of a number of lighted torches.
When the converts repeated the confession
of their faith at baptism, they turned them-
selves to the east; and to the west when
they renounced the powers of darkness.
In the modern church of Rome this cere-
mony of worshipping to the east has been
abused, and turned into an act of adora-
tion to the altar; on account of which,
some Christians who have heard of the
abuse of this ceremony, without knowing
the use of it, have rejected that as an act
of superstition, which has an edifying
sense, and was practised in the days of the
apostles, before any superstition had infect-
ed the church. As such only I would re-
commend it to observation *.

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* An excellent sermon, which ought never to be forgotten, and which I carried through the press, when I was an under graduate at Oxford, was published on Christ the Light of

the

LECT. In the element of air, which comes next II.

in order to be considered, we have a figure of the Holy Spirit, which worketh imperceptibly as it listeth, while we cannot tell whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth. The operations of the divine Spirit, are like those of the air, necessary to life ; the one to the natural life, the other to the spiritual: and as the air gives the breath of speech, so the Holy Ghost gives the utterance of inspiration : therefore he descended on the day of Pentecoft under the outward sign of a rushing mighty wind from heaven; and in consequence of it, the apostles spake as the spirit gave them utterance ; and their found went out into all lands.

the World, from a verse of the 19th Pfalm, by my admired, beloved and lamented friend, the late Rev. George WatSon, once a fellow of University college, to whose early instructions and example I have been indebted in most of the literary labours of my life. Many extraordinary men have I seen; but for taste in classical literature and all works of genius; for a deep knowledge of the inspired writings; for readiness of speech and sweetness of elocution; for devout affection towards God, for charitable goodness of heart, and elegance of manners, I never met with one that exceeded him.

The

The element of water, which washes LECT.

II. and purifies the body, is used to signify the inward cleansing of the soul from sin, by the washing of grace in baptism: and all the purifications by water una der the law had the like meaning; as they are applied in those words of the prophet : then will I Sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye hall be clean, from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you: a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you*.

This new heart and new spirit, as the work of God's grace, was always signified by every act of religious purification ; according to that of the Pfalmift, Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.Make me a clean beart, O God, and renew a right spirit within met.

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Water is used in another capacity to quench the thirst; in which sense it is put for the doctrine of God's word, refreshing and invigorating the soul, as the water of the spring gives new life and strength to

* Ezekiel xxxvi, 25. + Pfalm li. .. . E

the

II.

the

rig LECT. the thirsty. As the spring breaks forth

from the secret treasures of the earth, the doctrines of salvation proceed from a fource which we cannot see. In this fort of language did our Saviour speak of the grace of his own divine doctrine to the woman of Samaria: if thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that faith to thee, give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water*; that is, the doctrine of falvation which he preached to the world, and of which he used these remarkable words in the temple.--He that believeth on me, as the scripture bath faid, out of his belly fall flow rivers of living water ; that is, the words of his mouth shall convey that doctrine which giveth life to the world: his preaching shall satisfy a multitude of souls, as the stream of a river is sufficient to the quenching of their thirst.

* There is a peculiar propriety in the scripture term of living water for the water of a running spring; because it brings with it a new life and fpirit, which it has

derived from the subterraneous chymistry of nature; and .. it is always found to contain a large quantity of air.

As

II.

As the elements of the world, so the LECT. feasons of the year have their signification in scripture. The beauties of the spring and summer are selected by the prophet Isaiah, to describe the perfection and felicity of Messiah's kingdom at the appearance of the gospel: when righteousness should spring up among the barren Gentiles who had been fruitless and deserted as the earth when forsaken by the sun; The desert fall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing : the glory of Lebanon Mall be given to it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they fall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God*. The season of the harvest, which came in at the end of the Jewish year, is applied in a parable of our Saviour to the great in-gathering of the world, when the wheat shall be reaped, the tares shall be separated for the fire, and the labourers employed in that great work shall be the ministring spirits of God, sent forth to gather his elect, and to finish his kingdom upon

* Isaiah xxxv, 1. 2.

E 2

earth.

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