Imatges de pÓgina

no more of his disciples in this matter, but to profess that 'his blood cleanseth them from their sins;' and evidence the truth of it by such means as the gospel has appointed to that end. If there testimony herein be not received, but be despised by the world, and so at present no apparent glory redound to him thereby, he is satisfied with it, as knowing that the day is coming wherein he will call over these things again, when the rejection of this testimony shall be an aggravation of condemnation to the unbelieving world.


I suppose the evidence of this last argument is sufficiently plain to all. It is briefly this: Without the holiness prescribed in the gospel, we give nothing of that glory to Jesus Christ which he indispensably requires: and if men will be so foolish as to expect the benefits of his mediation while they refuse to give him any revenue of glory for all he has done for them,-we may bewail their folly, but cannot prevent their ruin. He saves us freely by his grace;' but he requires that we should express a sense of it, in ascribing to him the glory that is his due and let no man think this done by mere words: it is effected only by the power of a holy conversation, shewing forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.' Nay more: if any one profess to be a disciple of Christ, to follow the example of his life, to obey his doctrine, to express the efficacy of his death, and yet continue in an unholy life, he is a false traitor to him, and gives his testimony on the side of the world against him and indeed it is the flagitious lives of professed Christians which have brought the doctrine and per son of Christ into contempt: and I advise all who read or hear these things, diligently to study the gospel, that they may thence receive an evidence of the power, truth, and glory of Christ and his ways; for he who should take the conversation of men for his guide, will scarcely be able to determine which he should choose, whether to be a Pagan, a Mahometan, or a Christian; and shall such persons, by reason of whom the name of Christ is continually dishonoured, expect advantage by him, or mercy from him? Will men yet think to live in all manner of sin, and to enjoy life and glory by Christ? Who can sufficienty bewail the dreadful effects of such an horrid infatuation! God teach us all duly to consider

that all the glory and honour of Jesus Christ in the world, with respect to us, depends on our holiness, and nothing else that we are, have, or do. If therefore we have any love to him, any spark of gratitude for his unspeakable grace, condescension, and sufferings, with the eternal fruits of them,-any desire of his glory and honour in the world, if we would not be found at the last day the most hateful traitors to his crown and dignity,—if we have any expectation of grace from him, or advantage by him, here or hereafter, let us labour to be holy in all manner of conversation, that we may thereby adorn his doctrine, express his virtues and praises, and grow up into conformity to him, who is the First-born and Image of the invisible God.

Μαύρο σοφό Θερο σωτηρι δόξα.

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The Promise of the Holy Ghost as a Spirit of Prayer.

HE works of the Spirit of God towards believers, are

or of the first sort regene

ration and sanctification ;-of the latter are various operations, which, though included in sanctification, require a distinct consideration; such, for instance, is the aid or assistance which he gives us in our prayers and supplications; and it cannot be denied that this is more frequently and expressly asserted in the Scripture than any other operation of his whatever.

We have a special promise to this purpose: 'I will pour upon the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and supplications.' Zech. xii. 10. A plentiful and abundant effusion of the Holy Spirit is undoubtedly intended. Those to whom he is promised, are 'the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem;' that is, the whole Spiritual Church of God, as represented by the family of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He is called, the Spirit of Grace,' with respect to the sovereign cause of his dispensation, which is the mere grace

God, without any regard to our deserts; and because he is the author, fountain, and efficient cause of all grace in ús; and because those on whom he is poured out have grace and favour with God, being accepted in the be loved.'



He is, as thus poured out, a Spirit of Supplications," that is, of prayer for grace and mercy; and he is so, (1.) By working gracious inclinations in us to this duty. We are naturally wholly averse from all intercourse with God; and there is still a secret alienation working in us from all duties of immediate communion with him: it is he alone who prepares, disposes, and inclines us to pray with delight and spiritual complacency. (2.) He is so, by giving an ability for prayer, communicating a gift to the minds of men, enabling them, profitably to themselves and others, to exercise all his graces in that special way of prayer.

We have an account of the accomplishment of this promise in Gal. iv. 6. 'Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father.' The persons on whom he is bestowed are believers; or those who by faith have obtained the privilege of adoption. He is called the Spirit of the Son,' not only because he was in the first place given to him, and by him given to believers, but because he enables them to behave themselves suitably to their new relation; not as foreigners and strangers, nor as servants only, but as children and heirs of God. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love, and of a sound mind: not a 6 spirit of bondage unto fear,' filling our minds with dread, so as to keep us at a distance from him,-but a spirit of power, strengthening us to every duty of obedience; and a spirit of love, working in us that love to God, and delight in him, which becomes children towards their Heavenly Father; and a spirit of modest, grave, and sober mind. By the effectual working of the Holy Ghost, believers are enabled to cry ABBA, FATHER." The object of prayer is • God, even the Father.' Abba is the Syriac or Chaldee name for the Father, then in common use among the Jews; and (war) Father was the same name among the Greeks or Gentiles; so that the common interest of Jews and Gentiles in this privilege may be intended; or rather, an holy boldness and intimate confidence of love is designed in the


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