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be fashioned like unto his glorious" Let no man deceive you with vain body, according to the working words." Men oppose the Scripture whereby he is able even to subdue because it opposes their favourite all things unto himself." Phil. iii. pursuits, and denounces an awful 20, 21. In this prospect, the be- sentence against all who do not liever, when strong in faith, may humbly repent, believe the gospel, adopt the apostle's words and say, and become the faithful subjects of "O Death, where is thy sting? O the holy Jesus. They do not in Grave, where is thy victory? The reality need more evidence; but a sting of death is sin, and the strength more unprejudiced, teachable, and of sin is the law: but thanks be unto spiritual mind. "If they believe not God, who giveth us the victory Moses and the prophets," or the through our Lord Jesus Christ." apostles and evangelists, "neither would they be persuaded though

III. We conclude with a few one rose from the dead." Beseech hints by way of application. the Lord therefore to remove from

It may be useful, especially to you all hardness of heart, and conyoung persons, to contemplate the tempt of his word and commandprevailing scepticism and infidelity ment;' "to open your understandof the age, in connexion with the ings that you may understand the subject we have been considering. Scriptures;" and "to give you reGod hath vouchsafed us a revela-pentance to the acknowledging of tion of himself, and of his will con- the truth; that you may recover cerning us, authenticated in the yourselves out of the snare of the most unanswerable manner, most devil, who takes sinners captive at beneficial in its nature and tenden- his will." cy, and exactly suited to our cir- But beware also of a dead faith, cumstances: yet this revelation is which may keep men in the way of opposed, reviled, or ridiculed by instruction, but is wholly unavailing numbers who pretend to virtue; and to salvation. The faith demanded affirm that unbelief at most can only by our Lord is a living active prinbe a harmless error, neither very ciple; it receives him for all those eriminal nor dangerous, but the purposes which he came into the Seripture speaks a very different world to effect; it applies to him, language. We read of an evil heart depends on him, and follows his of unbelief in departing from the directions; and "working by love," living God. Our Lord says, "How" purifying the heart," and " overcan ye believe who seek honour coming the world," it produces unone of another?" " Light is come reserved obedience to Christ, and into the world, and men love dark-careful imitation of his most perfect ness rather than light, because example.

their deeds are evil." Unbelief The subject before us is pecutherefore is the offspring of ambi- liarly suited to the burdened contion, love of sin, and dislike to God science and desponding heart of and holiness. It rejects the remedy those who are poor and of a conwhich everlasting wisdom and mer- trite spirit, and tremble at God's ey have provided for our miseries; word. Did the Son of God so love it makes God a liar; it despises his and pity proud obstinate rebels and grace, and defies his power and enemies, as to give himself a sacrijustice, and is therefore inseparably fice on the cross for their sins? And. connected with eternal damnation. will he now on his glorious throne


refuse to stretch forth his powerful| arm, to rescue the humble penitent,

who earnestly supplicates his mercy? ON THE AGENCY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT* No, my brethren, he delights to save! Come to him, wait on him, wait in ISAIAH Xxxii. 15.-Until the Spirit the appointed means, and you shall be poured upon us from on high. soon know the power of his resur-In the beginning of this chapter, the rection, the depth of his condescen- evangelical prophet foretells the au sion, and the riches of his grace. spicious advent, and benign governBut if we have tasted that the ment of the Messiah; perhaps with Lord is gracious, and can rejoice in some reference to Hezekiah's equi having such a representative and table and prosperous reign of Judah. advocate, to manage our concerns He then denounces sentence on the in heaven, let us remember, that we careless, obstinate, and unbelieving are honoured to be his representa- Jews, in language aptly descriptive tives on earth; to show the excel- of their condition, ever since the delency of his religion by our example; struction of Jerusalem by the Roto be useful to his redeemed people, mans: and then he declares, that and to promote his cause in the these desolations would endure, world. Let us then ask ourselves" until the Spirit were poured upon whether Paul, when constrained by them from on high;" the happy efthe love of Christ, would have de-fects of which gracious dispensation clined any service as too mean, la- he predicts in the most energetic borious, self-denying, expensive, or language. This seems to be the perilous, which the command and prophetical meaning of the chapter, honour of his Lord called him to the concluding verses of which have perform? And whether he would not hitherto received their accomnot have more fully improved even plishment.-But the present occaour talents and advantages than we sion fixes our attention to the words have hitherto done? Let us review of the text, and I shall endeavour our conduct, and consider what abi- from them,

lity or opportunity we have of ho

nouring Christ among men: let us I. To explain what is meant by reflect on our obligations and pros- the pouring "out of the Spirit from pects, and see to it, that our lights on high."

be burning, and our loins girded, II. To consider more particularly that when he cometh we may be the nature and effects of this pro found watching, and employed in a mised blessing. proper manner. And may the God


III. To make some remarks on peace, "who brought again from the emphatical word," Until." the dead the great Shepherd of the IV. To point out some instruc sheep, through the blood of the ever- tions more immediately arising from lasting covenant, make us perfect in the subject. every good work to do his will; working in us that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ. To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

I. I would explain the words here used.

The apostle calls Christianity "the ministration of the Spirit." 2 Cor. iii. 8. And it is certain, however it may be overlooked, that

* Preached on Whitsunday, 1795.

the promise of the Spirit pervades man severally as he willed." 1 Cor. the New Testament, in the same xii. The predictions of the prophets manner as that of a Messiah does concerning the pouring out of the the old. The language used con- Spirit in the days of the Messiah, cerning this subject evidently im- Isaiah xliv. 3. Joel ii. 28, as well plies the personality and deity of the as our Lord's promises to his disHoly Spirit. He is represented as ciples, may have a special reference hearing, speaking, willing, command- to these extraordinary gifts and ing, forbidding, receiving, and exe-powers; and to that display of the cuting a commission: and this not ascended Redeemer's glory and main allegories and parables, but in jesty, which was made on the day histories, didactic discussions, laws, of Pentecost; but it should also be and grants, where precision is in-noted, that effects were produced, dispensably necessary, and a literal at that important season, by the interpretation peculiarly suitable; same divine agent, which were far and without doubt these are per- more valuable to those by whom sonal actions. At the same time they were experienced. divine perfections and operations If we accurately study the lanare ascribed to him. He is said to guage of the Sacred Oracles, we dwell in the hearts of all believers, shall be convinced that the Holy as in his temple, to search the deep Spirit is there spoken of, as the imthings of God, to raise the dead, mediate Author of all that is holy and to effect a new creation. He and excellent in man: and that spiis called the Spirit of holiness, the ritual death, and a total incapacity Spirit of truth, the Spirit of life, the of delighting in God and heavenly Spirit of power, the Spirit of wis- things, universally prevails in the dom and knowledge, the eternal human heart; till "the law of the Spirit, and the Comforter. If then Spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes the Holy Spirit be a person possess us free from the law of sin and ing divine perfections, and perform-death." "Except a man be born ing divine operations; and if the again-born of water and of the same be true of the Father, and of Spirit, he cannot see-he cannot the Son also, the ancient doctrine of enter into the kingdom of God." the Trinity is evidently scriptural, He is "the Spirit of wisdom and though we can neither explain or revelation in the knowledge of God, comprehend so deep a mystery. to enlighten the eyes of our under

If we further examine the subject, standing, that we may know the we shall find, that the Scriptures hope of our calling." Eph. i. 17, uniformly ascribe all miraculous 18. He " convinces the world of powers, prophecy, and inspiration, sin, of righteousness, and of judgto the immediate agency of, the ment:" he "glorifies Christ, for he Holy Spirit; so that the wonderful receives of his, and shows it unto works of Christ himself, and the ex- us." It is his office to "teach us ercise of his mediatorial offices on all things, and lead us into all truth." earth, are spoken of as performed -Christians are "elect according by his anointing; "the Holy Ghost to the foreknowledge of God, through was not given by measure unto him;" sanctification of the Spirit to obeJohn iii. 34. Acts i. 2; x. 38; and dience:" they "abound in hope St. Paul particularly describes the through the power of the Holy diversity of gifts communicated by Ghost." They pray, in and by the same Spirit, "dividing to every the Holy Ghost, who helps their


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infirmities:" "they are led by the need the promised teaching and asSpirit," and all their holy tempers sistance of the Holy Spirit, to enable and actions are "" the fruits of the us to understand this rule, to conSpirit." So that, "if any man have vince us of our manifold deviations not the Spirit of Christ he is none from it, to humble and soften our of his " for all his redeemed people hearts in true repentance, to encouare I sealed by the Spirit who is rage our hope of mercy, and help the earnest of their inheritance :" us to apply for it, and to strengthen as "the Spirit of adoption, he wit- us for renewed obedience. We do nesses with their spirits that they not pretend to know that our sins are the children of God;" and thus are pardoned; except as we are he becomes their all-sufficient com-conscious that we hate and abhor forter; "for the kingdom of God them, and humbly trust in Christ to is-in righteousness, and peace, and deliver us from them. We infer joy in the Holy Ghost." our interest in the love of God as

In these respects we are war-our heavenly Father, from our love ranted to expect the pouring out of to him as his adopted children, and the Spirit on our souls and congre- from an habitual desire of living to gations and we are confident that his glory, obeying his commandall true Christians are "the temple ments, and doing good to our brethof the Holy Ghost, an habitation of ren for his sake.

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God through the Spirit:" and we Surely no man, who professes to are amazed that any man, who calls reverence the Scriptures, will call himself a disciple of Christ should this enthusiasm! We disclaim all be so ignorant as to deny this funda- pretensions to predict future events, mental truth of the gospel, or so or to discover things unknown to profane as to turn it into a ridicule ! others by any immediate revelation If ye," says our Lord," being evil, from God: yea, we protest against know how to give good gifts unto them as derogatory to the Holy Scripyour children: how much more shall tures, and a disgrace to the gospel; your heavenly Father give the Holy and even the incautious language of Spirit to them that ask him?" This some well meaning persons, meets accords to the promise of the Lord with decided disapprobation from by his prophet, "I will put my Spi- others, who hold most of the same rit within you, and cause you to doctrines; because it is capable of walk in my statutes, and ye shall being perverted or misunderstood. keep my judgments and do them." These remarks having heen preLuke xi. 13. Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26. mised, I observe, that as all spiWe presume not to affect equality ritual religion is produced by the with prophets and apostles: we ex-influences of the Holy Spirit, and pect no new revelations; for the every degree of success attending Scriptures soberly interpreted are the gospel of Christ must be asthe standard of truth. But we pro-cribed to a few drops, as it were, of fess to depend on the Holy Spirit this fertilizing rain; so there are to enable us properly to understand seasons, in which the Spirit is poured them and if we hold any thing con- from on high in copious showers, trary to the word of God, we deceive upon some favoured spots of the ourselves, if we suppose it to be de- Lord's vineyard. This was most rived from the teaching of the Spirit. remarkably the case on the day of We have no other rule of duty, but Pentecost, and for a considerable the commandments of God; but we time afterwards; and though the

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effects were gradually diminished, deduced from a very different source yet neither the communication of than the Sacred Scriptures. Others miraculous gifts, nor the abundant preach several of the great truths converting and sanctifying influ- of the gospel; but seem little conences accompanying the preaching cerned to apply them to the hearts of the gospel, ceased, till perhaps and consciences of mankind; or to more than two centuries afterwards. excite them, by fervent exhortaSuch an outpouring of the Spirit tions and a bright example, to attended the labours of the re-adorn the doctrine of God our formers, in the time of Luther, and Saviour in all things." A few infor many years after his death. Nor deed appear to be honestly and has our land been left wholly desti- simply engaged in the most useful tute of this special benefit during work of their sacred function: yet the present century; and some perhaps the skilfulness, boldness, places seem yet to be favoured with self-denial, diligence, zeal, and faithit in a considerable degree. In fulness, even of this remnant, fall short, they who are conversant with much beneath the degree which the records of the church, ancient men of "like passions" have at or modern, will recollect various more favoured seasons been known seasons, when, in different places, to display. the Spirit of God was poured upon These things should not be conhis people from on high; and all sidered as a censure of modern these should be considered as ear- times; for the case has been nearly nests of more abundant blessings, the same in almost every age and when the fulness of the Gentiles part of the church. No external shall be brought into the church: appointment to the ministry, no and the Jews "shall look to him engagement, or mode of worship, whom they have pierced," uniting can by its own efficacy dethrone penitent tears with believing sup- the selfishness of the human heart, plications. Zech. xii. 10—14. or induce the carnally-minded to act from pure motives, and to delight II. We proceed to consider more in the spiritual service of the Reparticularly the nature and effects deemer. But when "the Spirit of this promised blessing. shall be poured upon us from on

In order to elucidate the subject, high;" we may expect, that such we must advert to the present state ministers as have feebly sought the of the church and of the world. If glory of God in the salvation of we look among the constituted mi- souls, will feel their hearts enlarged nisters of religion, we cannot but with more abundant zeal and love; perceive, that vast numbers con- and that a vast accession will be sider their profession, in great mea-made to their wisdom and knowsure, as a secular employment, and ledge of Christ and his holy docpursue their worldly interests by it, trine. They will probably be to a like other orders in the community, great degree delivered from the fear without any proportionable earnest-of men,-raised above the love of ness in seeking the salvation of the world,-emancipated from a bisouls, and the advancement of ge-goted regard to systems and parties, nuine Christianity. Many indeed-filled with melting compassion to are very learned and ingenious; perishing sinners, and tender love but alas, they embrace and contend to their brethren; occupied with for doctrines, which certainly were realizing views of eternal things,

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