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do for them? Let the word of God be precious, if ever you would have the Spirit of God with you and in you.
Direct. 7. Inquire seriously and consult with those that have the Spirit of God. If you have any serious Christian friend
you can open your heart to, be plain with him, and beseech him to be plain with you. Inquire the way of the Spirit from those who have had experience thereof. “In those days and in that time saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping : they shall go and seek the Lord their God : They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward.” Jer. 'I. 4, 5. Where you meet with difficulty in the way, seek for instruction : Listen to what others, what Christians of approved godliness and experience, say concerning the way of the Spirit of God in their souls, if so be that you thereby might go forth by the footsteps of Christ's flock, and find him whom your soul seeks after. This is the direction the Lord gives to her. “ If thou know not-go thy way forth by the footsteps of the Rock.” Cant. i. 3. It is of exceeding use for persons whose desires are intensely set after the Spirit of God to be opening their hearts, and conferring seriously one with another about the same. Oh, the holy breathings of the Spirit that have many times been kindled in the souls of persons when they have been seriously and sincerely conferring concerning the things and ways of the Spirit of God!
Direct. 8. Continue seeking, striving and waiting in the use of all means till you find, till the Spirit be poured out from on high upon you. If the Lord do not come and give his Špirit to you presently, yet take heed of giving over, or slacking your endeavors. Many being some way or other roused, for a fii are very earnest, but not finding the Spirit of God to come quickly, they give over, they are soon cooled, and content themselves with their former formalities in the exercises of religion. Take heed we do not cast away our souls here: How many, many perish here! Resolve never to give over seeking and waiting till God be gracious to you, and pour out his Spirit upon you. If God give you not the Holy Spirit to be your Comforter, resolve never to take comfort, but lie down in sorrow. Let nothing divert you from this seeking, let nothing satisfy you till you have found the thing you seek for. “ Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord.” Hos. vi. 3. Importunity and constancy may at last prevail. “Yet because of his importunity, he will rise and give bim as many as he needeth,” &c. Luke xi. 5—10. “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint.” Luke xviii. 1. The Lord Jesus spake these things to encourage to importunity and constancy in prayer. And for the prevalency and good effect of this we have the famous example of the woman of Canaan, Matt. xv. 22–28.
Direct. 9. Make this the business of your life. Look upon it as the main thing you came into the world for. Lay out the strength of your souls about it. Drive on this as if you had nothing else to mind or do: Make this your work to get the Spirit of God to be in you, and all other things subordinate and subservient to this.
Do not think that for a sinner to obtain all the gracious operations of the Spirit in himself, to get a due sense of sin as most odious and loathsome, and to rest his soul upon Christ as most precious, and to show forth all the blessed fruits of the Spirit in his conversation, is a work easily or quickly done: And yet you must not rest till you come to this, till there be the apparent, manifest, full breathings and operations of the Spirit in you. As mercy is not like to come to us till the Spirit be poured out upon us from on high ; so let us wait and labor till the Spirit be poured out upon us, singly and generally, that the wilderness may become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest, and so those mercies and blessings which are consequent to this may be derived down to, and settled upon us. For a close, let every sincere one, whose heart is upon the work and glory of Christ, heartily and earnestly join with the Psalmist in that prayer and profession of his, Ps. li.6. “O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad."
Τ Η Ε C Ο Ν Τ RIT E,
THAT TRUE POVERTY AND CONTRITION OF SPIRIT AND TREMBLING
FOR THE OBTAINING AND RETAINING OF
AS IT WAS MADE IN THE AUDIENCE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF
MAY 27, 1685, BEING THE DAY OF ELECTION THERE.
BY MR. WILLIAM ADAMS,
" Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God
is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Matt. ii. 9. " A man's pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.” Prov. xxix. 23. "I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name
of the Lord.” Zeph. iii. 12.
BOSTON IN NEW ENGLAND, .
PRINTED BY RICHARD PIERCE FOR SAMUEL SEWALL.
ISAIAH lxvi. 2.
" For all those things hath my hand made, and all those things have been, saith
the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
This chapter and the foregoing contain the last and concluding sermon of this prophet, in the public audience of the Jews, or that did concern and was proposed to the general body of that people in which discourse the Lord does by the prophet declare the removal of the glory and of his kingdom from them to another people : and withal mentions their particular sins, and their obstinacy in them; for which he would thus deal with them in removing from and rejecting of them. But yet notwithstanding to evidence his love and faithfulness to this people that had been so near him, and that he had so graciously manifested himself to, the Lord promises to preserve a remnant in this calamity, whom he would follow with signal favors wherever they should be cast, and reserve to better times. In the finishing and making up of his prophecy the prophet intermixes many things by way of comfort to the godly, and threatening to the wicked under all the great revolutions of Providence that should happen in the accomplishment of what was here foretold. And because this people of the Jews both good and bad did too much confide in the temple and the external rites and ordinances of God's worship attended among them, wbile in the mean time they were not suitably spirited nor did suitably carry themselves, the prophet in the beginning of this chapter beats them off from the carnal confidence, and shows them the true way of obtaining and retaining divine favor, declaring that it would be vain confidence to rest in any external signs of God's presence or what of God's order had been, or was among them. This was a theme that has been always so distasteful a