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" contented with such things as you have," thankful for the past, simply dependent for the future, superior to murmurings, envyings, and covetings; unless the holy Spirit form your mind and heart to a heavenly taste and judgment, and communicate to you his holy consolations. You cannot properly attend to your relative duties, as parents or children, wives or husbands, masters or servants; or go on cheerfully in the laborious occupations to which you are called; or bear injuries and contempt with meekness and gentleness, except under his influence.
And can we, my brethren, wonder, that there is so little Christianity among men called Christians; that the church is so lamentably divided and corrupted? that so small a measure of love, peace, purity, and joy, appear even where we cannot but hope there is some vital piety, when we consider how generally this promise is, either entirely or in a great degree, overlooked; and how often the doctrine of the Spirit is even treated with profane ridicule? If all divine life, wisdom, holiness, and joy, come from this source; and men neglect, and quench, and grieve, and resist the Holy Spirit, in whose name they were baptized; can we be surprised that they continue" dead in sin," and "blinded by the god of this world," and that they rise no higher than mere formality?
Many of you might truly say, We have heard many sermons, and hold certain doctrines as evangelical; yet we are conscious that we do not live as we shall wish we had done when we come 'to die.' But, in hearing sermons and attending to the external parts of religion, have you been
used to pray to our heavenly Father to bestow on you the Holy Spirit of truth, and wisdom, and power? If not, you know the reason why you have received no real benefit. The seed of the word of God has been sown "by the way-side, "and the devil has taken it out of your hearts, lest 66 you should believe and be saved;" or it has fallen on stony ground," where it could find no root, and so has soon withered; or among "thorns, "which have sprung up and choked it." Oh! that you would now begin earnestly to plead the promise given by the prophet: "A new heart will "I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out "of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh; " and I will put my Spirit within and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them." Then you would find that the seed "falling on good ground," "that "the word being received in an honest and good heart," you would "keep it, and bring forth fruit "with patience." "Ask and it shall be given you; "seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be "opened unto you: for every one that asketh re"ceiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to "him that knocketh it shall be opened." To you who really desire to find and walk in the and holiness; it is enough to say, you ways of peace have an infallible teacher, an almighty helper, and an all-sufficient comforter. More than this cannot be expressed in human language. "Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O people,
Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27.
"saved by the Lord? the shield of thy help, and "the sword of thine excellency." "The eternal "God is thy Refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." And the blessings which he hath bestowed" shall be in thee a well of water "springing up into everlasting life." Begin, therefore, and go through every undertaking in this confidence and dependence, with prayer and thanksgiving; and you will soon be made "more "than conquerors, through him that loved you."
In addressing you thus fully concerning the promise of the Holy Spirit, I wish it always to be understood, if not particularly mentioned, that this promise is given and fulfilled, only through the merits and mediation of Christ. But without the Spirit of Christ we can have no saving benefit from his mediation.
And now imagine to yourselves a large company, a whole nation, a continent, all the human race, universally receiving the gospel under the teaching and influences of the Holy Spirit; with deep repentance, lively faith, genuine humility, fervent love, and a heavenly mind: would not a large proportion of the miseries which now desolate the earth be terminated? Would not the remaining troubles be alleviated? Would not peace and harmony, and mutual good offices of every kind, with temperance, purity, and enlarged benevolence, effectually meliorate the state of human society? Now from whence can that be, except from God," who is Love," which, if duly attended to, would fill the earth with holiness and happiness? Can we shew our philanthropy more effectually, than by promoting this genuine Chris
tianity? And, if we have little else in our power, can we do better than pray continually" that the Spirit may be poured upon us from on high;" and that "the gospel may be preached with the "Holy Ghost sent down from heaven," in every region which is enlightened by the beams of the sun?
And now, brethren, "May the grace of our "Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and "the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with us "all evermore! Amen."
END OF THE FOURTH VOLUME.