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would think they did God service (a prophecy, one would imagine, in an especial manner designed for the fuffering minifters of this generation); no wonder, I say, considering all this, that we are told, ver. 6. Sorrow, had filled their hearts : became

, hath hearts were so full of concern, that they were ready to burst. In order, therefore, to reconcile them to this mournful dispensation, our dear and compasionate Redeemer shews them the neceffity he lay under to leave them; “ Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away;">. As though he had said, Think not, iny, dear disciples, that I leave you out of anger : no, it is for your fakes, for your

go away : for if I go not away, if I die not upon ther at I.

for your fins, and rise again for your justification, anid afcend into heaven to make interceffion, and plead my metics before my Father's throne ;, the Comforter, the Holy Ghoft, will not, cannot come unto you ; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And that they might know, what he was to do, “When he is come, he will reprove the world of fin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”.

The person referred to in the words of the text, is plainly the Comforter, the Holy Ghost; and the promise was fuft made to our Lord's apostles. But though it was primarily made to them, and was literally and remarkably fulfilled at the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost came down asą mighty rushing wind, and also when three thousand, were pricked to the heart by Peter's preaching ; yet, as the Apostles were the representatives of the whole body of believers, we muft infer, that this promise must be looked upon as spoken to us, and to our children, and to as many as the LORD our God shall call,

My design from these words, is to, thew the manner, ja which the Holy Ghost generally works upon the hearts of those, who, through grace, are made vessels of mercys and translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of. God's dear Son.

I say, generally : For, as God is a sovereign agent, his fa. cred Spirit bloweth not only on whom, but when and how it lifeth. Therefore, far be it from me to confine the Almighty

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to one way of aging, "bir fay, thae alitibindetean degree of conviction : no,"

there is a" holy variety in God's methods of calling home his efect. But this we may affirm affaredly, that, wherever there is a work of true conviction and conversion wrought upon a sinner's heart, the Holy Ghost whether by a greater or less degree of inward soul-troublegu does that which our LORD JėsŮs told the disciples, in the words of the text, that he thould do when he came.


think there ruch thing as our feeling or receiving the Holy Ghost, I fear my preaching will be quite foolishness

to and that

you; you will understand me no more than if I spoke to you in an unci known tongue. But as the promise in the text, is made to the world, and as I know it will be fulfilling till time fhall be no more, I shall proceed to explain the general way whereby and I hope that the Lord, even whilft I am (peaking, will be

Pasanen pleased to fulfil it in many of your hearts. ~ And when

aben w come, he will reprove the world of fin, of righteousness, and

iliw, d'! of judgment."

boshqarul The word, which we tranflate reprove, ought to be rendred convince ; and in the original it implies a conviction by way of argumentation, and coming with a power upon the mind

ten equat ' a demonftration. A great many coffers of these last days, will afk such as they term prétenders to the Spitit, how they feel the Spirit, and how they know the Spirit ? They might'as well afk, how they know, and how they feel the fun when it thines upon the body? For with equal power and detrionftration does the Spirit of God work upon and con

279101 twin vince the souls' "And, too! Buon olunang

i nie will be bus eflorblin's licui First, It convinces of fin ; and generally of fome enormous fing-the worft perhaps the convicted perfon ever was guilty of. Thus, when our LORD was converfing with the woman of Samaria,' he conviticed her first of het adultery : “ Woman, go call thy husband. The woman anfwered, and said, I have ho husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well Taid, "T

2:a upo bave no husband for thou haft had five hufbands, and he whom thou now haft, is not thy husband in this raidst thou truly.''. With this there went fuch'a powerful conviction of Voi. VI.


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all her other actual fins, that soon after," she left her waterniyipot, and went her way into the city, and faith to the men,

Come, and see aiman that told nie all things that ever I did: quis not this the CHRIST?" I'hus our LORD also dealt with the

perfecutor Saul : he convinced him firft of the horrid sin of w persecution ; “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Such

a sense of all his other sins, probably at the same time revived in bis mind, that immediately he died; that is, died to all his

false confidences, and was thrown into such an agony of soul, that he continued three days, and neither did eat nor drink. This is the method the Spirit of God generally takes in dealing with finners; he first convinces them of some heinous actual fin, and at the same time brings all their other fins into remembrace, and as it were sets them in battle-array before them : When he is come, he will reprove the world of

i fin.”

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2.1 And was it ever thus with you, my dear hearers ? (For I

must question you as I go along, because I intend, by the Divine help, to preach not only to your heads, but your hearts). Did the Spirit of God ever bring all your sins thus to remem; brance, and make you cry out to God, " Thou writest bitter things against me?” Did your aciual fins ever appear before you, as though drawn in a map? If not, you have great reason (unless you were sanctified from the womb) to suspect that you are not convicted, much more not converted, and that the promise of the text was never yet fulfilled in your hearts.

Farther : When the Comforter comes into a sinner's heart, though it generally convinces the finner of his actual fin firft, yet it leads him to see and bewail his original fin, the fountain from which all these polluted streams do flow.

Though every thing in the earth, air, and water ; every sv thing both without and withir, concur to prove the truth of

that affertion in the scripture, “ in Adam we all have died;" yet moft are fo bardened through the deceitfulness of fin, that notwithstanding they may give an affent to the truth of the proposition in their heads, yet they never felt it really in their hearts. Nay, fome in words professedly deny it, though their works too, too plainly prove them to be degenerate fons of a degenerate father. But when the Comforter, the Spirit of


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God, arrests a finner, and convinces him of fin, all carnal reasoning against original corruption, every proud and high imagination, wbich exalteth itself against that doctrine, is immediately thrown down;" and he is made to cry out, “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” He now finds that concupiscence is fin; and does not so much bewail his actual fins, as the inward perverseness of his heart, which he now finds not only to be an enemy to, but also direct enmity against God.

And did the Comforter, my dear friends, ever come with fuch a convincing power as this into your hearts? Were you ever made to see and feel, that in your flesh dwelleth no good thing; that you are conceived and born in fin; that you are by nature children of wrath ; 'that God would be just if he damned you, though you never committed an actual fin in your lives? So often as you have been at church and sacrament, did you ever feelingly confess, that there was no health in you ; that the remembrance of your original and actual fins was grievous unto you, and the burden of them intolerable ? If not, you have been only offering to God vain oblations you never yet prayed in your lives; the Comforter never yet came effectually into your souls: consequently you are not in the faith properly so called; no, you are at present in a state of death and damnation.

Again, the Comforter, when he comes effectually to work upon a sinner, not only convinces him of the fin of his nature, and the sin of his life, but also of the sin of his duties.

We all naturally are Legalists, thinking to be justified by the works of the law. When somewhat awakened by the terrors of the LORD, we immediately, like the Pharisees of old, go about to establish our own righteousness, and think we fhall find acceptance with God, if we seek it with tears : finding ourselves damned by nature and our actual fins, we then think to recommend ourselves to God by our duties, and hope, by our doings of one kind or another, to inherit eternal life. But, whenever the Comforter comes into the heart, it convinces the soul of these false reits, and makes the finner to see that all his righteousnesses are but as filthy rags; and that, for the most pompous fervices, he deserves no better a doom than that of the unprofitable servant, “ to be thrown into outer I 2


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darkness, where is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.”

And was this degree of conviction ever wrought in any of your fouls'? Did the Comforter ever come into your hearts, so as to make you fick of your duties, as well as your fins ? Were you ever, with the great Apostle of the Gentiles, made to abhor your own righteousness which is by the law, and acknowledge that you deserve to be damned, though you should give-all your goods to feed the poor? Were you made to feel, that your very repentance needed to be repented of, and that every thing in yourselves is but dung and dross? And that all the arguments you can fetch for mercy, must be out of the heart and pure unmerited love of God? Were you ever made to lye at the feet of fovereign Grace, and to say, L'ORD, if thou wilt, thou mayeft save me; if not, thou mayeft justly damn me; I have nothing to plead, I can in no wife justify myself in thy sight; my best performances, I fee, will condemn me; and all I have to depend upon is thy free grace? What say you? Was this ever, or is this now, the habitual language of your hearts? You have been frequently at the temple; but did you ever approach it in the temper of the poor Publican, and, after you have done all, acknowledge that you have done nothing; and, upon a feeling experimental sense of your own unworthiness and finfulness every way, fmite upon your breasts, and say, “ God be merciful to us finners ?”. If you never were. thus minded, the Comforter never yet effectually came into your fouls, you are out of CHRIST"; and if GoD fhould require your souls in that condition, he would be no better to you than a consuming fire.

But there is a fourth fin, of which the Comforter, when he comes, convinces the foul, and which alone (it is very remarkable) our LORD mentions, as though it was the only fin worth mentioning; for indeed it is the root of all other fins whatsoever : it is the reigning as well as the damning fin of the world. And what now do you imagine that sin may be? It is that cursed fin, that root of all other evils, I mean the fin of unbelief. Says our LORD, verse 9. " Of fin, because they believe not on me.”.

But does the christian world, or any of you that hear me this day, want the Holy Ghoft to convince you of unbelief?


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