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ceeds the worth of the body, we ought to be mindful of the words of our Lord, who directs us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness ;” assuring us, at the same time, that all necessary things shall be given unto us by.
10. How interesting is the view which the mediation of Christ présents! It unites heaven to earth; and opens a friendly communication between God and men, which both exalts and felieitates their nature, by making them, who were once "outcasts, and ready to perish, the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty." ... Christians are admonished, by the subject, to make a full use of the privileges with which they are favoured. Is Christ your Advocate in the Court of Heaven? to his management confide your cause: for he is able to secure to you the possession of those rights which he bled to obtain, froin the furious assaults of your great adversary, who laboyrs to disinherit you":
Christ is also your Intercessor and great High Priest“, whose province it is frequently to pray for you, and bear your names before God, that he may have them continually in remembrance. This office, which he sustains for your benefit, should greatly endear him to you; for, by his entreaties with the Father, you are kept from falling away, replenished daily with grace, and possess a well-founded hope of entering into the “ rest which remaineth for the people of God.”.
' As Jesus promises to send forth his Spirit to animate you in your religious course, come boldly into his presence, to importune his proffered succour.
yy Mat. vi. 32-34: 1.22 Cor.'ii. 11. 1 Pet.v.8. 2 Ex. xxviii. 29, 30. Heb. ii. 17,
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Feel assured that he sympathizes with you in sorrow, and knows what relief to administer, having, whilst on earth, been tempted as you are. Say not, therefore, believer, even in the darkest night of affliction, “My way is hid from the Lord, and
my judgment is passed over from my God.” The Saviour is hourly pleading the merit of his sacrifice on your behalf, through whose mediation you receive innumerable mercies, unsought and undeserved; and he engages not to desert you, but to conduct you to the glorious inheritance which he has purchased for you!
11. The intercessory office of Jesus lays a good foundation for a sinner's hope. If his offences have been ever so heinous, his rancour and hostility against God ever so long continued, Jesus, by interposing his mediation, can break down the wall of separation, and effect a reconciliation for him b. Indeed, so mighty is the efficacy of his blood, that St. Paul affirms," he is able to save them to the uttermost who come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
12. But men must be sensible of their lost condition, before they will 'either value or accept of his promised grace. Do you, then, know the plague of your own hearts? Are you smitten with remorse for that rebellion in which you have engaged against Heaven, and by which you have incensed its wrath? TE
you have a poignant sense of your guilt, and heartily desire to be delivered from it ; if you deplore the enmity you have manifested against God and his righteous cause, and wish to cultivate 'a sincere affection towards him; then you may take courage from the words of St.John:-“We have an Advocate with
a Isa, xl. 27-31.
Col. i. 19-23.
bib. xli. 10-16.
the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins.” If you feel your need of his mediation to avert the anger of God, come, and solicit his gracious aid. He knows your wants before you ask, and is ready to relieve you., Repose your souls on him by faith. Commit your cause to the Saviour ; who, if he should witness in you the actings of an unfeigned repentance, will intercede with his father for your pardon, and secure for you the grant of his “ blessing, and life for evermore.”
di John ii. 1, 2.
ON THE INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak
He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you, The doctrine of Divine Influence on the hearts of men has, of late, been greatly derided. Violent declamations have been made against it; in which its abettors have been pronounced destitute of sober reason and sound understanding.
Some, who idolize reason as a sufficient guide in matters of faith, can see no occasion for the assistance of the Holy Ghost, to teach them the sublime nature or to communicate the invaluable blessings of the Christian religion. Now, if this influence were so unnecessary as they imagine, why should God promise it, as a signal favour of the Gospel Covenant*? and why should they who are devoid of
Isa. lix. 21.
the Spirit,, whatever natural gifts and excellencies they may possess, be accounted strangers to Christ, and as persons having no real interest in the benefits of his redemption : " If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
There are others who pride themselves on the correctness of their religious opinions, who nevertheless ridicule the subject, as if it were the production of the most extravagant enthusiasm. Such persons, it is to be feared, wilfully confound the miraculous gifts and operations of the Spirit with his more ordinary manifestations ; in order that it may afford them a specious pretext for discarding the doctrine altogether. This conduct is as impious and illiberal as it is pernicious ;, because sincere Christians, in the present age, expressly disclaim those special and exalted gifts with, which the Spirit of God distinguished the Apostles, and believers of the primitive Church, for its establishment. All that we contend for is, that a suitable ineasure of Divine assistance is still vouchsafed, for the support, edification, and comfort of Christians, in every age This continued grant of spiritual influence is absolutely requisite for the maintenance of vital religion, and for the success of the Gospel ; the natural condition of man being such, that, without grace, he can neither think nór do those things which are pleașing to God. The expediency, therefore, of the doctrine, is a sufficient argument in its defence; and, since it is so plainly taught in Scripture, we cannot reyile it, but on pain of incurring God's displeasure ...,
We have before proved the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, by shewing that he is possessed of Divine attributes, and that he is styled God, and is placed on Rom. viii.9. b Mat. xxviii, 20. C Art. 10. • Mark iii. 29,30.
an equality with the Father and the Son. The reality of his Deity should be always kept in full view; because it will at once account for the superior efficacy attributed to his operations on the soul; whereby it is enlightened, transformed, purified, and saved.
We shall specify, succinctly, the character, tendency, and effects of his influences ; that, seeing their value and importance, we may covet earnestly those most excellent gifts which it is his prerogative to impart.
1. The Holy Spirit conducts the work of our salvation, by an inward operation on the faculties of the mind; which is apparent, by its salutary effects on the life and behaviour. We inust not expect the aids of the Spirit, but in the diligent use of prescribed means, such as, prayer, the perusal of the Scriptures, with meditation thereon; attendance at God's sacred courts; a sincere endeavour to follow after righteousness, and to renounce those evil courses which he disapproves.
Our Divine Teacher always treats us as rational and accountable creatures, who are capable of being savingly affected by his expostulations, warnings, and encouragements. Accordingly, he does not act upon us as senseless machines, which must be put in inotion by an irresistible force; but, blessing his own appointments, he removes our dislike and indisposition to good, by'infusing a new principle of action, which enables us to delight in the will of God".
It must, however, be confessed, that the Spirit is also Sovereign in his operations; and that there are gracious seasons, when he darts such lively rays of celestial light on the soul, as to produce a conviction of the reality and importance of spiritual things, and
d Psalm cx. 3.