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adheres to; whilst the Heavens above him are gathering blackness, and he is compelled to feel to what eternal beggary and wretchedness he has reduced himself, by heaping up treasures upon earth, without a thought of making himself rich towards God. Think of this, ye who are now flushed with prosperity, and be persuaded to lay up in store for yourselves a good foundation against the time to come! Think of this, ye whose sense of dissatisfaction and wretchedness already warns you that, aside from the favor of God, there is no happiness; and over whose prospects the shadows of disappointment, and the forebodings of approaching death, are already spread? And oh! be entreated to exchange your dross for gold; be persuaded to accept of the promises of God for your portion, and to live upon them, in humble hope, as your all in all.
3. To draw these remarks towards a conclusion, let us, my dear Christian brethren, diligently examine into the evidence of our being the children, and the heirs of God's gracious promises in JESUS CHRIST; for if we can settle the point that we are in our hearts truly sorry for our sins; that we steadfastly believe the promises of God, and desire nothing in comparison with an interest in them; if we do rest upon them, and daily plead them, with our covenant-keeping God, and cleave to them as to our last hope, and only refuge; then it matters exceedingly little what forms of sorrow haunt our imaginations, or mar our present peace; it matters, too little to be thought of, what difficulties or discouragements beset our path ; “ for if God be for us, who can be against us." "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how will he not with him also freely give us all things."
It will not do for our doubts and fears to rise up alarmed, and say—such blessings can never belong to creatures stained with sin as we have been : such promises cannot be the portion of such wayward, ungrateful, and unprofitable servants as we are. It is no such thing. The promises are for the unworthy, the guilty, and the miserable, provided they are only, at the same time, the penitent, and the sincere.
The saints of old doubtless felt and said just what you now say and feel; and yet which of them was not the special care of the
unchangeable Jehovah. What, if the fulfilment of his promises was long delayed ;-his oath and his faithfulness never changed. Moses was forty years old before the predictions and wonders attendant upon his birth seemed to be even in the way of their accomplishment. And then bow was it at first ? disaster and exile-exile of another forty years continuance was the result of the first striking event which marked his life. Yet he was patient all these long years, for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible. “He esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, because he had respect unto the recompense of reward.” Be not depressed, then, humble believer, “ The LORD is not slack concerning his promises, as some men count slackness." For “He seeth the end from the beginning,” and through the darkest and most disastrous hours is steadily aiming at the good of all those who trust in HIM.
Why then, beloved friends, do we so often have occasion to rebuke ourselves for unbelief? Why are we so slow to take the promises as ours ? to apply them to our own case, and to live upon the precious things which they provide for us? In times past we have come—at least we have tried to come--even to the very feet of Him who has loved us, and died for us, and to cast our cares upon him. We have felt the insupportable burden of guilt removed by trusting in Him, and in Him alone. We resort to him daily, to cast our souls and the souls of our children, and of our beloved friends, upon him anew. And when we look forward through the dark vista of approaching years, anticipate the evils which must befal our children in the latter day, and act over in imagination the last hours of our own suffering lives, what can we do—what comfort can we find, but just to come to the holy and merciful Savior, as we first came to Him, weary and heavy laden, and to trust him wholly for our entire salvation ? Are we enabled to do this with some measure of joy and peace? Can we do it with humble hope and holy confidence ? Oh! then if we can trust Him for the greater, why cannot we trust Him for the less? If we can trust our souls in his hands, why not trust the interest of our perishable BODIES to his care? If we can find peace, whilst leaning upon his arm, and crossing the cold, deep waters of Jordan, is it not a
sbame to us, and highly injurious to Him, if we cannot commit our paltry cares and petty anxieties to his will, perfectly assured " that all things shall work together for our good.”
Let the irresistible argument of our text come home with power to our hearts, and perfectly satisfy our minds that the dealings of the Lord will be merciful with regard to us, all the days of our life. Under every anxiety, and in every trouble, let us reason with our fears, and say, “He that spared not his only Son, but freely delivered him up for us all, how will he not with him also freely give us all things."
POWER AND EFFICACY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
RECTOR OF CHRIST CHURCH, LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY.
Ezekiel xi. 19, 20.--" And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you,
and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh; thal they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances and do them, and they shall be my people, and I will be their God."
Few subjects have been more obscured and injured, by the injudicious and unauthorized remarks and representations of its friends, than a change of heart wrought by the power of the Holy Ghost, and making the followers of Christ new creatures. This, indeed, might have been expected from the unenlightened and fiery zeal of some of its advocates, especially when the difficulty and the extreme delicacy of the subject is considered. When the operations of the mind on ordinary subjects are spoken of, great obscurity and confusion often result from the unavoidable imperfection of human language: it being in the nature of the case impossible to speak of spirit, in other words than those which are strictly appropriate only to matter. And this is even more obviously the case when the subject of mental operations and emotions is religion; a subject in itself of an elevated and spiritual nature; and which has suffered far more than any other from the disadvantage of being treated of, in words not strictly or adequately appropriate to its delicate, hallowed, and spiritual exercises and sentiments.
But although these dificulties are such that vast allowance ought, in all fairness, to be made for them; yet they by no means proceed to an extent seriously to embarrass the diligent inquirer ; much less to throw the subject beyond the field of legitimate and fair investigation ; or to render the truth illusory or dubious. Very far the reverse. For, when the point of inquiry is substantial matter of fact, it is, comparatively, of little consequence whether it be on the world of matter or of mind. The actual spiritual phenomena of our natures are as demonstrable as those which relate only to the body. In the latter case, indeed, we use words derived from matter in their plain and obvious sense. But the figurative meaning of these forms of expression, when there is a change of subject from matter to mind, is no less clear and convincing, though it may be somewhat less definite and precise, than the literal meaning. For example: an heart of stone gives me as strong an idea of a persisting, callous, ungenerous, wrong state of feeling, as an hand of flesh gives me the idea of a material instrument which I daily use; and an heart of flesh, when evidently used in a figurative sense, in like manner, gives me as clear an idea of a warm, active, generous, right state of feeling, as, in a literal sense, it does of the great organ of motion to the vital fluid.
Bearing these remarks, on the use of figurative language upon religious subjects, in mind, let us next address ourselves to the immediate object of our present argument, which is
I. To show that every moral feeling of our hearts is in such a state as to render some change desirable, and necessary.
II. That the expectation of a change to absolute perfection, does not appear to be authorised either by Scripture or by experience:
III. That a change of external conduct evidently does not amount to the thing desired : and
IV. That the change effected by the Gospel is of that kind, and goes to that extent, which the necessities and peculiarities of the case require: and
V. Is effected in the most obvious and reasonable manner by the operation of adequate and appropriate causes.
I. Before treating of a change of heart, it is very natural and proper that inquiry should be made whether the heart and affections of men are so wrong, and in such disorder, as to be susceptible of being amended. For, if the point were established, that the motives of the heart were as pure as possible, and the internal, real, moral character of men absolutely faultless, there would evidently be no room for improvement; and all further inquiry into the reality of a change of heart would be precluded.
In what summary method, then, shall we demonstrate the fact, that the innermost motives, feelings, and desires of the hearts of