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in our power. We none of us can be insensible to our wants, spiritual as well as temporal ; all power is of God, therefore we must follow the Master's command, first, to implore relief. The 13th verse of the 11th chapter of St. Luke will instruct you fully on this subject. There our Lord teaches us how to pray, and encourages us also to strive for grace, under the parable of the friend who yieldeth through incessant importunity. Again, by diligent care to use that portion of it to God's honour and service (whatever it be), which he hath given us (even though but a slender wish to be so employed; for whoso hath, saith the same gracious Lord, to him shall be given); upon doing this, not only this grace which we already have prompting us to do right, shall be continued to us, but greater degrees shall be added to it. To which end, St. Peter (2 Ep. ii. 18) exhorts us to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thus, if we faithfully use the grace or favour of being received into covenant with Christ, that is, of being made Christians ; of hearing and reading God's holy word, and employing that measure of inward light it is intended to convey to us ; we shall certainly receive still further light, both to understand more clearly the words of life, and to improve in the practice of their precepts.
To conclude: The holy workings of the divine Spirit are very many, and can hardly be particularly numbered; for he not only renews our nature, by making us holy, as he is holy (or, as may be very properly expressed in Scripture terms, receiving, or begetting us again to God); he not only disposes us to all good, and strengthens us against all temptations ; but he also directs us in our doubts, comforts us in our afflictions, supports us in our troubles, arms us against the fear of death, gives us courage under trials and persecutions; and in such cases as his divine wisdom sees needful, even inspires our minds with such an inward sense and assurance of God's favour, as makes us firmly satisfied of our everlasting salvation. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. This is that peace of God which passeth all understanding. May God of his infinite mercy give us all grace, so to walk, that we may obtain this most desirable of all good gifts, even in this life-the blessed assurance of his eternal favour. But, if in his high wisdom it seemeth good to him to withhold the peculiar blessing of this glorious light while here on our pilgrimage, may his good Spirit from this hour increase our faith, and hope, and perseverance, that finally we fall not short of endless happiness; but that through the gate of death we may pass to life, and glory, and immortality, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ; to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, three Persons and one God, be ascribed all power and praise for ever and ever. Amen.
“ I believe in the holy catholic church, the com
“munion of saints."
1 COR. I, 2. Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to
them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.
IN speaking to you, my brethren, upon this ninth article of our Creed, or Belief, it will be proper to observe to you, first, that several of the principal words that compose it, being of foreign derivation (that is, words not strictly belonging to our mother tongue, but taken from the dead languages), it will help to prepare you for the clearer understanding of what follows, to introduce my present Discourse with the signification of the principal word that meets our inquiry in the article, which is that of CHURCH.
In sound it hath no relation to the particular word generally used in most other languages. It is taken from the old Saxon, derived from the Greek, and meaning literally, house of the Lord, or, belonging to the Lord. But the word church, in a scriptural sense, admits of a much uller signification ; for by it we may understand (according to the strict meaning of the Greek word) “a religious assembly, selected or called out of the world, by the doctrine of the Gospel, to worship the true God in Christ, acBording to his word; or, as it may be differently expressed, all the elect of God, all serving him in sincerity of heart. Of the propriety of calling such a body Holy, there requires no proof: what belongs to the Lord, and those who are happily called from following the wicked ways of the multitude, to devote themselves to his service, can be distinguished by no other title. But the additional appellation of caTHOLIC demands some further explanation. This word likewise is of Greek derivation, and means both universal and perpetual. Its first sense is expressed in its signifying all the people of God, of every nation whatsoever, from the beginning to the end of the world ;' and in its secondary meaning it may be truly said to sigDify that perpetual church or assembly of the saints made perfect, to every one of which will be given to eat of the tree of life which is