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tainly prevail when the disposition of the recipient is good; but yet, as man's free agency is not destroyed, many may be misguided in their opinions by sophistical reasons, and deviate in their practice in consequence of an error in speculation *.
* To evil and worldly-minded men, immersed in sen. suality, and entirely occupied by the pursuits of avarice, ambition, or present amusement, the whole of this Doctrine, the whole of religious Wisdom is FLAT and INSIPID; but “ So,” says Bishop TAYLOR," are Mathema. “ tics to a Scythian Boor, and Music to a Camel :"-And what says St. Paul?
ΨΥΧΙΚΟΣ δε ανθρωπος και δεχεται τα τα πνεύματος τε Θεα ΜΩΡΙΑ ΓΑΡ ΑΥΤΩ ΕΣΙ. καιου δυναται γνωναι, οτι ΠΝΕΥΜΑΤΙΚΩΣ ανακρινείαι.
1. CORINTH, ï. 14...
Union with Christ farther considered.
God is a Spirit; the soul of man is a spirit, and the perfection of the soul of mąn, is its union with the Deity, the pure fountain of all that is good and BEAUTIFUL.
The Gospel of Christ has shewn how this union is to be effected. A rite iš established by the mysterious operation of which, man, duly qualified by faith and repentance, is to be one with Christ and Christ with him. The union may certainly be effected in any other way that God may in his wisdom choose ; but he has actually, as appears by the Gospel of St. John in particular, chosen and appointed, the Eucharistical mode.
There is a natural union with God, and there is an evangelical. The Apostle probably means the natural union when he says, “ He is not far from every one
ss of us; for in Him we live and move Şu and have qur heing *.".
But of this union the animal and vegetable world partake with the rational, Man would derive no pre-eminence over the oak of the forest, or the beast of the field, from this union alone; for they as well as he, live and move and have their being in God, who gave and sustains all life.
God, therefore, has vouchsafed to his rational creatures an evangelical or spiritual union, an union accomplished not by nature, but by grace.
It were profane and blasphemous in man to pretend to such a privilege, if he were not justified in it by the written word of Revelation. We are there taught that, so far from presumption, it is our duty to aspire at it; and that, by the due use of the means prescribed, we shall not be disappointed,
Sacramental Communion is, without doubt, one of the most certain means of accomplishing this union with the Deity, because it is the means instituted by our Saviour*. In compassion to our infirmi. ties, he has condescended to take upon him the form of a man, so that his approach to us might diminish that awful distance between a worm crawling on the earth and the Divinity; an interval which might have discouraged us from entertaining a thought of partaking in the divine nature. Christ, assuming the nature of man, formed an INTERMEDIATE LINK in the vast chain which connects Heaven and earth. And Christ permits us in the Sacrament to be united to this link, by the mysterious operation of the Holy Spirit.
* Acts, xvii, 27, 28.
Our Saviour, during his assumption, of the human nature, prayed thus for men : “ That they all may be one, as thou Fa6 ther art in me, and I in thee, that they “ may ALSO BE ONE IN US. That they “ may be one, even as we are one, I in '“ them, and thou in me, that they may
** God and Christ are more particularly present in the Sacrament solely by the greater CLEARNESS of our Optics to discern them, by means of Grace." Tucker's Light of Nature.
“ be made perfect in one*.”_" For we “ are members of his body t."
But far be it from us to affirm that this union is essential, like that of the Trinity; or personal like that of the divine and human nature in Jesus Christ. It is indeed an union, the nature and manner of which is too mysterious to be conceived by man in this mortal state. But it is declared to be real, whatever it is, and to be effected by Sacramental Communion. Thus much is enough for man to know. He believes the Holy Spirit's influence on his heart to be the bond of union with the Deity. He believes this great privilege is given him in the Eucharist, and he accepts it with pious gratitude. “ It is the Lord's doing, and “ is marvellous in our eyes ;" but not at all the less credible because marvellous. Are not the greatest certainties around us marvellous? Is there any thing more marvellous than light streaming from the sun for ever with inconceivable velocity ? The sun, absent at an immeasurable dislance, yet ever present in its vivifying * John, xvii. 31. . t Rom. vii. 4.