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was not only a type of the Gospel, but a prepa ratory dispensation. The design was to lead the minds to something more spiritual than that which came by Moses--that law which had made nothing perfect. The law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by which we draw nigh unto God. And John, who was the minister of that baptism-that preparatory operation, declared that it should not continue; for when speaking of Christ, he said, he shall increase, but I shall decrease; and he also made a perfect declaration of his mission and office when he said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. It was a preparatory work, to break down the partition walls of prejudice, and to enable the Jews to advance to a more spiritual dispensation. I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way; and when this way is pre

; pared and the paths made straight, the inevitable consequence is, that every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; the crooked made straight, and the rough smooth. Now what are we to understand by this regulation of the hills and valleys, by which all are to be brought to their pro

It has an unequivocal allusion to the inequality of the human mind, which is as várious as the faces which we wear. Each dispo

per level.

tion requires a different kind of baptism. Each power of the human mind requires to be regulated and brought into consonance with the spirit of divine truth. The mountains here spoken of, the rough and crooked places, have allusion to those passions and dispositions, which are distinguished by pride, highmindedness, ambition, fierceness, cruelty, revenge, &c.

These soar above the witness for God in the soul, above the word of God and the rule of faith and . practice. These must come under the baptism testified of by the forerunner of Christ, who also said, “I baptise with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not. He it is who coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose, he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor and gather his wheat into the garner: but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” There are none of us, who have not experienced the operation of this very baptism. Some of us may be compared to mountains, who have lifted our spirits up over the witness for God; these have often times felt distress, trouble and confusion, because they have given way and submitted to the feeling and ebulitions of their temper, and have thereby brought themselves under the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Are there not many of us who have been brought under feelings of sorrow, confusion, trouble, despair, horror and every feeling of torment? And this is symbolical of that place of punishment, commonly described as a lake burning with fire and brimstone, into which the wicked are turned, and punished with the devil and his angels. This will do to frighten children; but we are not afraid of their consuming one immortal soul. It may be an instructive allegory, of a spiritual punishment adapted to the nature of the spirit. Such feelings as are of a spiritual nature, must consist in joy, sorrow, peace or wo; and the punishment for wickedness being of a spiritual and intellectual nature, is often experienced while clothed upon with mortality. Not being willing to submit to this baptism, we bring trouble, sorrow and confusion upon us for evil, and abide there till unfeigned repentance not to be repented of, work our forgiveness; then shall we experience the joy and consolation, and know that there is no joy equal to the joy of God's salvation in the soul. Many of us, who have experienced the power of this salvation, have, in some proportion, been redeemed from our evil propensities, and restored to the state in which we were first created, and into which we must eventually return, because in this way only can we be renewed up into the divine likeness of God, by the spirit of Christ and the operation of the Holy Ghost brought forth; and thus we shall know a birth of Christ

-we shall know that he is come in our fleshwe shall experience this birth, and know that he has appeared, not only in Jerusalem, and among the Jews, but that he has appeared, and remains to be Christ manifested in your flesh, which is the power of God unto salvation, to every one who believe, whether Jew or Gentile. There are others who are desponding, and ready to despair, and who have adopted the language, “a Saviour or I die, a Redeemer or I perish.” The passions of these are weak;, they have more need of a cup of consolation, than of a reproof for evil—the minds of these are comforted there is a stay, and this power becomes a stay and a staff: And thus it is that the valleys are exalted to a proper level; the rough, the haughty, and the fierce, are reduced; and those who are despairing, are raised into firmnessthe crooked and perverse dispositions become straight, and the rough places smooth. And hence the necessary and irrevocable effect of all this purifying operation, will be that these well regulated minds will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Now this is a baptism which cleanses the affections, rectifies the passions, and crucifies the lusts. This baptism is of a spiritual nature, and there is none other essential to our salvation. It is written, “there is one Lord, one

faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” And it is this baptism alone which can introduce you into the one true, saving and living faith; for without this experience of the power of God operating upon the mind, we never can come into possession of that faith which overcometh the world. For it is written, “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood: and it is the spirit that beareth witness, because the spirit is truth.”

That faith which overcometh the world is of a spiritual nature, but that faith which is overcome by the world is that spurious faith received by education and tradition, and stands in opinions, and leads to the performance of exter: nal rituals; but never regulates the passions or lusts: And hence, notwithstanding the high professions of this religion, it may be no better than that of the Jews who betrayed Chirst in his outward manifestation, and which crucifies him in his inward and spiritual appearance, in which he comes a second time without sin unto salvation, and puts him to open shame. Therefore, the first step in religion is baptism; and as we attend to this, which is the ministration of

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