« AnteriorContinuar »
the at times seemed disposed to profit by them; if you ition.'hould at last die in your sins, what an account will unto rou have to give! What a meeting will you have,
ven with those who have spoken to you the word rastintf God, and “watched for your souls ;” who have monaithfully and affectionately warned you, and en warnestly persuaded you, by the love of Christ, as pairind by “the terror of the Lord," " not to refuse to us.*f him that speaketh,” not“ to neglect so great salI to s vation !” “ It would have been better for you not be the to have known the way of righteousness, than to enders turn” at last “from the holy commandment delife ba' livered unto you.” e por Again let me intreat you to reverence your conwratsciences ; and venture not to go on in any thing in a concerning which your own heart condemns you ; it au for “God is greater than our heart, and knoweth fo"all things.” “Submit yourselves therefore to old. “ God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from and "you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh die" to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and p" purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be
" afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laugh“ter be turned into mourning, and your joy into
“heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of į “ God, and he shall lift you up.” Then will the
gracious Saviour say of you to his friends and servants, “ Rejoice with me ; for I have found my “ sheep, which was lost :” and you also shall ere long share the joy.
Let me then conclude by again reminding you of the words of Christ, “ Him that cometh unto “ me, I will in no wise cast out.” Imitate him,
who of old cried with tears, “Lord, I believe, help “ thou mine unbelief;" and your sorrow shall in due time be " turned into joy." And may God of his infinite mercy, grant that all present may be found among those, over whom Christians and Ministers rejoice; over whom Christ rejoices; and who shall rejoice with him, and in his love and presence, to all eternity! Amen.
ON THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
LUKE XI. 13.
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts
unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
In the former part of this chapter our blessed Saviour teaches his disciples to pray; and encourages them, in the most affecting manner, to earnestness and importunity in prayer. With what energy do the illustrations, used on the occasion, address the feelings of our hearts! “If a son « shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, “ will he give him a stone, Or if he ask a fish, « will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he “ shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion ?"
And while every one who heard him must find his heart revolt against a conduct so contrary to parental affection, he added the words of our text: “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give good “ gifts unto your children, how much more shall “your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to “ them that ask him ?" It is not said, to his children, but “ to them that ask him;" that the asking itself might be a ground of encouragement to every supplicant. In a parallel passage the concluding words are, “ How much more shall “ your Father which is in heaven give good things “ to them that ask him?"] But here the Holy Spirit is promised, as the best gift of God to those that are favoured with the gospel, and indeed as comprehending all things which are truly and essentially “ good” for them.
“God made man in his own image, after his “ own likeness.” He had before pronounced each part of the creation “ good;" but when man had been formed, and placed in dominion over the ' other creatures, he pronounced the whole to be “ very good.” Yet here our Lord, addressing his own disciples, speaks of them, and of men in general, as evil : “ if then ye being evil.” We are informed, in the third chapter of Genesis, how“ by “ one man sin entered into the world, and death " by sin.” Thus man became as “ clay marred in “ the hand of the potter :" and soon after we read, “ God saw that the wickedness of man was great “ in the earth ; and that every imagination of the “ thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. “ And it repented the Lord that he had made man “ on the earth; and it grieved him at his heart.” “ God looked upon the earth, and behold it was “ corrupt: for all flesh had corrupted his way upon “ the earth.”? Accordingly he destroyed the whole depraved race, except righteous Noah and his family: yet, directly after the deluge, he testified that “ the imagination of man's heart is evil from “ his youth.” Undoubtedly then some vast change
I Matt, vii. 11.
...? Gen. vi. 5—12.
had taken place in the human character, since the time when “God created man in his own image,” and pronounced him " very good.”
This change, this fallen state of human nature, this depravity, called in scripture “ death in tres“ passes and sins,” made way for “ the glorious “ gospel of God our Saviour,” which was predicted in emphatical but obscure language immediately after the fall. For it pleased God to take occasion from man's apostacy to glorify the riches of his mercy and grace, in harmony with his justice, holiness, and truth, in saving us poor miserable sinners.--Now the promise of the Redeemer, (“God manifest in the flesh,") through whose person, righteousness, atonement, and mediation, redemption was made and salvation proclaimed, is the grand promise of the Old Testament. “The “ testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." In like manner, the atonement being made, the everlasting righteousness brought in the Redeemer glorified, “ the way into the holiest” 'manifested, and the gospel published ; the promise of the Holy Spirit may justly be considered as the grand and peculiar promise of the New Testament: for, in fact, what else is wanting to complete our recovery to God and holiness – Thus in our admirable. litany we have this morning been praying to the divine Saviour, ' By the mystery of thy Holy incarnation; by thy holy nativity and circumcision; by thy baptism, fasting, and temptation ; by thine agony and bloody sweat; by thy cross and passion; by thy precious death and burial ; by thy glorious resurrection and ascension ; and