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to pour out from on high his Spirit upon you," in order that your heart may be henceforth under the dominion of a principle of action which shall stiinulate you to serve him with zeal and love. Your supplication, if it spring from faith, will return with grace suited to your necessities.
Such assistance is promised in the Old Testament, for promoting the prosperity of the Church of Christ. “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground : I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing on thy offspring; and they shall spring up as the grass, as willows by the water-courses. One shall say, I am the Lord's ; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel"." The prophecy of Joel , relating to this subject, was remarkably accomplished on the day of Pentecost ; when, by an extraordinary effüsion of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles were suddenly gifted with power to speak languages with which they were previously unacquainted, and by means of which they were qualified to preach the Gospel to different nations, aniong whom the providence of God called them to labour. Their preaching, attested as it was by the Spirit, was so abundantly successful, that in a short time they filled the world with converts to the Christian faith ; the temple-service of the heathen was generally deserted ; idolatry began to totter on its base; and Christianity flourished, amidst all the opposition which it had to encounter from the
persecution of Gentiles and the bigotry of Jews.
And if we desire a marked revival of true religion in our own day, we should entreat the Spirit of God * Isa. xliv. 3-6.
ou Joel ii, 28-32.
to shed his benign influence upon the world, to in
duce it to embrace the Gospel of our Lord Jesus this Christ.
5. The common gifts of the Spirit are as much needed now, as they were in the first ages of Christianity, to enlighten, convert, sanctify, and save man
kind; and hence, the Head of the Church militant is and triumphant has left a gracious assurance with his 2. ministering servants,
" that he will be with them E always, even unto the end of the world," to bless
their endeavours to advance his cause, and to shield them from the malice of their foes.
Thus we see there is an intimate connexion betwixt the work of Christ and the agency of the Holy Ghost. They cannot be separated in the grand business of
salvation. Jesus accomplished the scheme of our 3. redemption ; but it is the especial province of the
Spirit to apply the benefits of the Gospel, and convince men of their need of mercy. In the communication of his grace, he is to the soul what the natural sun is to the earth. As the latter is the cause of light, heat, and fertility to the world ;, so is the
former the author of our spiritual life and happiness: - if the enlivening beams of this heavenly luminary be Ebe withheld, our souls will remain in darkness and error, and be exposed to everlasting death.
The influence of the third Person in the Trinity is essentially necessary to produce in us those disposiitions which qualify us to partake of the benefits of
redemption. - The Apostle clearly proves the truth of this affirmation, by the following conclusive argiment :-“For what man knoweth the things of a' man, save the Spirit of man which is in him ? Even so the things of God knoweth no'man, but the Spirit
* Isa. liv. 13. John vi. 63.
of God"." When he removes the veil which covers our unenlightened minds, “ we then know the things which are freely given us of God.” Furthermore, repentance and faith must be wrought in us, before we can enter into covenant with God'. But who is able to smite the rocky hearts of men, and make them pour forth streams of penitential sorrow, except the Spirit, who melts the obdurate soul by his kindly influences? Who can substantiate "things hoped for;" and give us such a realizing view of “ things not seen,” as makes them evidently present to the mind, and inflames it with a fervent desire to pursue thein as the chief good of our immortal nature. It is the Spirit of the Lord who thus opens our eyes to perceive the reality and value of eternal objects, and prevails on us to choose and prefer them to all the splendid trifles of this evil world.
appears, then, to be highly important for all, but especially unrenewed men, to form a Scriptural judgment of their guilt and frailty on the one hand; and of the glorious power of the Spirit on the other, to sanctify and strengthen them. His efficacious grace can restore to you what you have lost; namely, the likeness of God, and an ability to work all righteousness
Do you feel any anxiety to " be born again," to have your affections spiritualized, and your
conduct regulated by the Divine will? Do you deplore the darkness of your mind ; and have you a desire to be savingly illuminated? Are you convinced, " that without holiness no man shall see the Lord?" and do you wish to obtain this necessary qualification for partaking of "the inheritance which is incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away?" It is the
xx 1 Cor. ii. ll. y Mark i. 15. yy Heb. xi. 1.
Holy Ghost who performs this mighty work, and confers these blessings. He regenerates the soul, gives its faculties a proper direction, and a power to effect what is pleasing to the Lord. He gives the humble soul a right judgment of heavenly things ; which, when taught by him, is made wise unto salvation. By his sweetly constraining power, you will feel disposed, not only to approve, but to cultivate the virtues which God requires; and, through his sanctifying grace, you will acquire those temper's and habits which alone can render you happy in " the company of heaven?",
Implore, then, as you wish to be saved, the aid of this Divine Instructor, who is unwilling to leave you in ignorance of the Gospel, and of those sublime truths which it behoves you to understand. His assistance should be sought for continually, to direct you how to approach God acceptably through his Son, and to secure the advantages of his mediation. To urge you to make an immediate application to the Spirit of Life and Peace, think of the danger that must ensue from neglecting to supplicate his favour.' All who reject this Infallible Guide to heaven, must be lost for ever, without renedy. And will it not augment the sufferings of those who shall finally perish, to reflect, that they despised that light and grace of the Holy Ghost, by which they might have gained the joys of heaven, and have escaped the damnation of hell? Whilst God, therefore, “with whom is the residue of the Spirit,” is willing to shed his influence upon you, do you thankfully receive the inestimable benefit, and walk, according to his will, in faith and obedience, unto the end of your sojourning in this vale of sorrow. 7. Believers in Christ, you may look with confi
: Rev. xxi.7.
dence to God for every thing which can minister to your spiritual comfort in this life. - He stands engaged to withhold no good which is needful, from them that walk uprightly. You may pour your tears, your complaints, your wants, into his paternal bosom, expecting that he will afford you relief and consolation in every emergency. Do you feel a desire to resemble God more in the beauties of holiness? then you must ask of hirn to grant you suitable supplies of the grace of the Spirit, in order to accelerate your march towards heaven. In proportion as we live under his influences, we shall have our affections drawn upwards, and be abstracted from the world and its vanities. In the same. degree that we obey his godly motions, we shall abound in whatever is. pleasing to the Lord. ...::':
Those who have been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, should concur, by every possible means, in his work of righteousness and love upon their minds. The sacred fire which he lights up in the soul may soon be extinguished by a cold and careless behaviour: hence the Apostle adınonishes Christians to this effect—"Quench not the Spirit 22." And, as every departure from the precepts of the Gospel is an offence to him, we are directed by St. Paul to act with the utmost circumspection : --" Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption'.” He will retire from them that provoke him by a wicked and licentious life. Tliey, who despise the Saviour, and reject his atoneinent, will be left- by him in judicial obstinacy and unbelief; whilst he will visit, with peculiar favour, those who love the Lord is Christ, and keep his.commandments 6.
(ii az Thes, v. 19.
Eph. iv, 30. John xiv. 15-25.