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you : he will bestow upon you everlasting glory. “But how shall you escape,
if you neglect so great salvation ?” 1 There is salvation in no other : 6 there is no other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” 2 If Christ affirmed to his disciples, when he charged them to preach the gospel to every creature, “He who believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved:” he added in the same sentence, “ He who believeth not shall be damned.” 3 If he announces by the mouth of apostles and evangelists that “godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation 4;" that all shall be saved who “ repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance 5 : he proclaims to all Christians in every age, “Except ye repent, ye shall all perish.” 6 To you the gospel is preached: and the alternative is set before
your choice. If you reject the gospel; or if, speculatively believing its truth, you lead the life of one who disbelieves it: if you follow the selfish and corrupt inclinations of your own heart, and the maxims and practices of a wicked world, instead of the commandments and the example of Christ; you have already read your doom.
V. But how, you exclaim, is a being like man, by nature prone to evil, and disinclined to good; surrounded with powerful and unceasing temptations; and assailed by the unremitted malice of the same subtle adversary, who ensnared the inhabitants of paradise ; how is such a being, so circumstanced, to fulfil the conditions, on the performance of which his salva
1 Heb. ii. 3.
2 Acts, iv. 12.
tion is to depend ? This question leads to the disclosure of another blessing purchased for you by your Redeemer. He has purchased for you the assistance of the Holy Spirit, to enable you to do that which by nature you cannot do.
The Holy Ghost is one of the persons of the Trinity; partaking of the Godhead with the Father and the Son, yet in some respects, unexplained and probably inexplicable to man, distinct from each. It has already been shown that the mysteriousness of this doctrine affords not any argument for hesitating to receive it, if plainly revealed in the Scriptures. Many are the proofs which the Scriptures furnish of the Divinity and the distinct personality of the Holy Ghost. In the form of baptism prescribed by our Saviour for all nations?, His name is united with that of the Father and of the Son. He is again united with them in the apostolical benediction. 2 To lie to him is to lie unto God. 3 To despise him is to despise God. 4 To blaspheme him is an unpardonable sin; and the only unpardonable sin.5 He is denominated the Spirit 6; the Spirit of God?; the Spirit of Christ 8 : the Spirit of Truth'; the Spirit of Holiness 10; the Eternal Spirit the Comforter. 12 He is said to search all things, even
1 Matt. xxviii. 19.
2 2 Cor. xiii. 14. 3 Acts, v. 3, 4. 9.
4 1 Thess. iv. 8. 5 Matt. xii. 31, 32. Mark, iii. 28, 29. Luke, xii. 10. The sin is probably unpardonable, as not to be followed by repentance : for they who blaspheme the Holy Ghost, blaspheme that Spirit who alone worketh repentance. 6 Acts, xi. 12. xvi. 7. 1 John, v. 6.
7 Rom. viii. 9. 8 Gal. iv. 6. 1 Pet. i. 10, 11. compared with 2 Pet. i. 21. 9 John, xiy. 17. xy. 26.; and see 1 John, v. 6. 10 Rom. i. 4.
11 Heb. ix. 14. 12 John, xiv. 16. 26. xv. 26. xvi. 7.
the deep things of God. 1 His distinct agency is frequently specified in the Scriptures. “ The Spirit said unto Philip; Go near, and join thyself to this chariot 2:” and afterwards “ the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip," and conveyed him to Azotus. Unto St. Peter, “ the Spirit said, Behold, three men seek thee : arise, therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.”
6 The Spirit bade me go with them 3,” saith St. Peter, reciting the same event. “ The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” 4 Afterwards, when Paul with Timothy “ had gone throughout Phrygia, and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia ; after they were come to Mysia they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.” 5. Feed the church of God," saith the same apostle, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.” 6 In another place, speaking of miraculous gifts, he adds, “But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” 7 He it was who spake by the mouth of the ancient prophets 8: and who revealed to Simeon that he should not die until he had seen the Messiah.9 He visibly descended in a bodily shape on Jesus Christ, when baptized 10: and was given without measure to the Son of God, now become man. Il Our Saviour promised to his disciples that, after his
11 Cor. ii. 10.
2 Acts, viii. 29. 39. 3 Acts, x. 19, 20. xi. 12. 4 Acts, xiii. 2.
6 Acts, xvi. 6, 7. 6 Acts, xx. 28.
7 1 Cor. xii. 11. 8 Mark, xii. 16. Acts, i. 16.
xxi. 11. xxviii. 25. 2 Pet. i. 21. Heb. iii. 7.
9 Luke, ii. 26. 10 Luke, iü. 22. 11 John, üïi. 34.
own departure, he would send to them from the Father the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, to teach them all things, to shew them things to come, to bring to their remembrance whatsoever Christ had said to them, to guide them into all truth, to endue them with power from on high, and to enable them to make good their cause against worldly opposition. 1 These promises were faithfully accomplished. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles, and ever afterwards abode with them. He empowered them to speak various languages previously unknown to them; to attain to extraordinary degrees of wisdom, of knowledge, and of faith ; to prophesy; to heal diseases; to perform many other signal miracles; and by imposition of hands to convey to others the gifts of the Spirit.”3 These miraculous powers and endowments were calculated for the infancy of the Christian church. They qualified the apostles immediately to preach the religion of Christ to the inhabitants of far distant countries; and in every country to produce indisputable credentials, that they came ambassadors from God. 4
In process of time, when Christianity had taken such firm root in different parts of the world, that it no longer needed for its support and progress such visible and wonderful interpositions of Divine power, they were gradually withdrawn. The influence of the Holy Ghost has since continued to be exercised principally in another most important office, an office in which it was also employed no less actively in the
1 John, xiv. 26.
xvi. 7. 13. Matt. X. 18-20. Mark, xiïi. 11. Luke, xii, 11, 12. xxi. 12–15. xxiv. 49. Acts, i. 8.
John, xiv. 16.
days of the apostles; that of enlightening the understanding, and converting and sanctifying the heart of each particular Christian. It is “God that worketh in us both to will and to do?” that which is right : and he worketh by the agency of the Holy Ghost.
« Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”? We are to be saved“ by the renewing of the Holy Ghost."3 “By Him we are to be changed into the image of Christ.” 4 “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, righteousness, truth," are enumerated by the apostle as “ the fruits of the Spirit;” in opposition to a list of the most flagitious sins, which he denominates “ the works of the flesh," the works to which the corrupt nature of man disposes him : with respect to which latter works he solemnly affirms, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 5 But have we full assurance that the assistance of the Holy Ghost, essential as it is to our salvation, will be afforded ? Our Saviour has anticipated the question. 6 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. If ye, 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 ?”6 How then
his blessed help be secured ? By constant, humble, and fervent prayer to God: and by habitual and earnest endeavours to “ grow in grace ?;" to " walk in the Spirit 8;" to improve day by day, under His influence, in piety and good
1 Phil. ji. 13.
2 John, iii. 5.