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cial observers esteem defects or tures and things in the natural blanks in the creation in the fin and in the moral world ; the and utter and eternal destruction hearts of all are in his hand, and of Lucifer son of the morning, he turneth them as the rivers of with his host of rebel angels, who, water are turned. Many devices at first, were probaby the noblest are in the heart of man, but the creatures of God, and the sover-counsel of the Lord that shall eign discrimination between them stand. The fin, the misery, the inand those who kept their first firmities and imperfections of creaestate in the fall of man, the tures, are essential in his plan of delowest order of rational creatures, claring the character of God; they to the depth of misery and wretch- are essential to his own manifeft. edness, and his recovery, by ation in the flesh ; and to the exChrist, to the sublimeft heights of istence of such a character as EMcreature happiness and glory, even MANUEL GOD WITH US, This to fit down with him in his glorious character is the power of throne, as he is set down with the God and the wisdom of God; he Father in his throne-in 'the is the ONLY BEGOTTEN of the riches of divine grace manifested in Father full of grace and truth. the origin, developement, and In him the wrath of God is recompletion of the plan of recov- vealed from heaven against all ery in general, and particularly ungodliness and unrighteoufness in the events of God's common of men ;' he has perfectly declar, providence--in the objects of Di-ed by his work as Mediator the vine mercy, whether individuals love of God and the righteousness or nations in the discipline which of God. In him mercy and truth God has chosen to train up his have met together, righteousness people for the heavenly inherit- and peace have kissed each other. ance and in the instruments And through him will the beauty which he has employed in salva- and glory of the ONLY LIVING tions, from time to time, wrought God be seen and enjoyed forever out for his people, and particular- by the holy inhabitants of heave ly in the great salvation of the en. Thus he is the brightness of gospel.
God's glory and the express imI will close with the following age of his person. The existence remarks. God is in himself in- of sin and mifery then is as impor. visible to creatures, except in his tant as the existence, manifefta. operations and acts ; indeed, the tion and eternal duration of such character of no agent whatever a character. Again, can be discerned by creatures, in No event whatever, considered tuitively; they are known by as the fruit of divine agency, their operations and acts only. Thuns the feverest scrutiny of reaNo man hath seen God at any son. The general good requires time ; the only begotten Son, that some creatures Thould be vefwho is in the bofom of the Fa- fels of mercy prepared unto glory, ther, he hath declared him ; and and others vessels of wrath fitted he hath declared him by his to destruction ; and the foverworks of creation, providence and eignty of God, in so disposing, is redemption. All events, without a holy, wife and good fovereignty, distinction, are the fruit of his Whatever objections then we find agency; he operates in all crea- in our hearts to such a disposal
mult origniate from fin, and not expressions in facred writ.from reason. As we have nothing “ Therefore brethren, we were to object then on the ground comforted over you in all our of reason it becomes us to be affliction and distress, by your humble for the perverse opposition faith.”_" God who comfort. we experience to the sovereignty eth us in all our tribulation, that of God in our depraved hearts, we may be able to comfort them and to bow to the dominion of who are in any trouble, by the God only wise; saying with Mo- comfort wherewith we ourselves ses: “ He is the rock, his work are comforted of God.” is perfect ; for all his
are The comfort experienced by judgment, a God of truth, and Christians, in all their tribulation, without iniquity : juft and right is from the Holy Ghost as the is he.”
author, or efficient cause; and is In this feeble attempt to trace therefore called, Acts ix. 31. the perfection of God's work, I “The comfort of the Holy Ghosl." have chiefly attended to such parts Agreeably to this, Christ, when of it as inconsideration or per- he promised to his disciples to verseness are apt to pronounce send them the Holy Spirit, deblemishes. If I have in any good nominated him the Comforter. measure succeeded in vindicating “ I will pray the Father, and he these from so foul an afperfion, shall give you another Comforter, and justified the ways of God, I that he may abide with you forfall have attained an important ever, even the Spirit of truth.” ubject in view, and especially if I It is true the scriptures represent have shown with satisfactory evi- God the Father as the author doce, that they are an impor- and giver of all comfort ; and the tant medium of proof of the truth Son also, as being anointed “to of this propofition, That there is bind up the broken hearted, and none good but one, that is God: for comfort all that mourn.” But this is a truth, of all others the notwithstanding these representamost important, as it lies at the tions, and in perfect consistency foundation of the happiness of with them, the Holy Spirit, in God's kingdom, and of his own the economy of redemption, is OMICRON. « the Comforter”--the author of
all comfort to the children of On the comfort of the Holy Ghoft. God. The Father comforts ;
Y the comfort of the Holy | but it is by his Spirit, even the all that spiritual support, refresh and binds up the broken hearted; ment and joy, which the people but it is by the efficiency of the of God experience in consequence Holy Spirit.—The Spirit of God and by virtue of their union to is the great agent, in the new Chrift by faith. The term com creation and every thing which fort which is nearly fynonymous pertains to it. He is the author with confolation, presupposes af- of regeneration to the elect-of Aiction, or distress ; but implies fan&tification to the regeneratethat some agreeable object, or of comfort to the sanctified cand truth is presented to the mind of all the gifts for edification which which gives relief and support in the divine evildom and foverThus it is used in the following eignty are bestowed upon the
church.-He applies the redemp- and to the word preached, some tion purchased by Christ, to all speculative knowledge of these those who are given him by the Fa. things may be obtained ; yet ther. As he formed a natural body that spiritual knowledge and view for Christ, so he forms for him also, of them by which they become a myftical body, and preserves and sources of true comfort is given supports it, and all its members ; only by the efficiency of the Hoand supplies them with whatever is ly Spirit—the Comforter. Therenecessary to their being built up fore Christ said when he promised in holiness and comfort, through the Comforter, to his people, faith unto salvation. And as he “ But the Comforter who is the is no less the author of comfort to Holy Ghost, whom the Father Christians, than of sanctification, will send in my name, he shall and all spiritual gifts ; fo he may teach you all things He will be properly styled “ the Comfort- guide you into all truth_For he er,” and the comfort which he shall not speak of himself ; but gives may be called “ the comfort whatsoever he shall hear, that shall of the Holy Ghost.” Confider- he speak, and he will show you ing the Holy Ghost, therefore, as things to come.” By not speak. the author of all Christian com- ing of himself, but speaking whatfort, we may inquire relative to ever he shall hear, is meant that the sources from whence it is de he shall not teach any thing conrived, and the way and means by trary to what Christ taught-nor which it is communicated. bring or apply any thing to the
The great sources of Christian minds of Christians for consolacomfort are the divine perfections ; tion, which is not according to or the things of God and his the scriptures, or written word of kingdom. And the chief inftru- Christ. The words might have ment or mean by which the Spirit partial reference to a further reveof God brings these fources into lation to be given by the Spirit to the view of the mind, for comfort, enlarge the canon of scripture, is, the scriptures, or word of God. which was not then completed. In this, as in every other respect, But so far as they respected the God has magnified his word above office of the Comforter to Chrifall his name.
As the Holy Spi- tians in general, or in after ages, rit sanctifies the people of God by they are to be understood as above. his truth, so he comforts them by It is added" He shall glorify the same means, the truth, or me, for he shall receive of mine, word of God. Accordingly the and shall bow it unto you. All apostle says “ whatsoever things things that the Father hath are were written aforetime, were writ- mine. Therefore faid I, he shall ten for cur learning, that we thro take of mine, and shall fiscw it unto patience and comfort of the scrip- you.' tures might have hope.” The The things which are Christ's, fcriptures therefore, are a mean of and which are the Father's also, comfort : But they are so, only as here mentioned, are the things in the hand, or by the “ miniftra- which are contained in the scription of the Spirit.” They con- tures, relating to the person, offitain a revelation of the things of ces, and work of Christ ; and God and his kingdom: And by whatever respects the plan, de
untion to the reading of them, figns, and government of God.
Now it is the office of the Com. is a foundation laid to derive peace forter to foow or reveal these and comfort from divine truthi things to the people of God. In It is to those in whom the Holy discharge of this office, he gives Spirit hath begun this foundation, to them a clear and spiritual view that he communicates comfort by of truth, or a sense of the reality the instrumentality of the scripand glory of the things revealed tures. To do this to the best adin the scriptures. Without this vantage, he places them in those divine teaching and influence of circumstances of trial which are the Spirit, the word, though needful to give them an experielearly exhibiting the most im- mental knowledge of their own portant truths, would remain a nothingness and absolute dependdead letter-incapable of giving ence, and in these situations brings any spiritual consolation or Chril- to their remembrancè, and iinpresses tian comfort to the soul. To upon their minds, in their reality, this purpose are the words of the and importance, the things of apostle 1. Cor. ii. chap. “ As it God and his kingdom, as containis written, eye hath not seen, nor ed in his word. ear heard, neither have entered Many and various are the for: into the heart of man, the things rows, afflictions and discouragewhich God hath prepared for ments of God's children, on acthem that love him. But God count of their own great deficienhath revealed them unto us by cies and declensions and in view his Spirit : For the Spirit search of their numerous enemies within eth all things, yea the deep things and without-the great oppofiof God. For what man know- tion they see to the kingdom of eth the things of a man, fave the Christ, and the triumphing of spirit of a man which is in him? its enemies. There is no afflicEven so, the things of God know- tion, or discouragement which eth no man but the Spirit of they can be under, but there are God. Now we have received, also, in the word of God, many not the spirit of the world, but declarations relative to the divine the Spirit which is of God that character and government, and we might know the things that are many precious promises, exactly anfreely given us of God.-But the swering to their situation. These natural man receiveth not the things the Spirit of God applies for their of the Spirit of God, for they are support and comfort, so that they foolishness unto him ; neither can can adopt the words of the apofhe know them, because they are tle with application to themselves, spiritually difcerned.”
“ as forrowful, yet always rejoica The things of Christ and of ing." Are they in circumstances God, are in the word set before of poverty and want, or afficted the minds of natural men, but with pain, fickness, losses or bem they do not “receive” or “ know reavements ? They learn their dethem.” They do not perceive pendence and the vanity of this their true nature and glory. So world. They look to God thro? far as they at any time feel a his word, and eye the divine hand convidion of the truth tncy are in all their circumstances—They exercised with pain. Truth will trust in God as their portion, and always be painíul to a corrupt rejoice that he reigns. They heart. But in the fanctified there have meat to eat which the world VOL. III. No. 2.
knoweth not of. « The Lord will I trust in him.”—Pleased gave and the Lord hath taken with the divine character and law away-blessed be the name of the -and defiring no other method Lord”-“ Whom have I in hea- of salvation than that in the gosven but thee? and there is none pel, the language of their hearts on earth I defire betides thee.” is, “ let the Lord be magnified.” Do they look round on children, Thus there is a degree of Chriffamilies and friends, with rifing tian comfort and support, in the anxiety, beholding them exposed truly humble soul, even when in to be left orphans, defenceless, and great doubt relative to a personal surrounded by all the snares of interest in Christ. A spiritual an alluring, dclufive world, and view of God and divine things is in the midst of prevailing vice, always accompanied with a deerror and impiety? Yet in view gree of joy and comfort to the of the perfections of God-his foul. holy and wife providence and the Again—-Are the people of precious truths and promises of God pained and distressed in view his word, they can cheerfully ccm- of abounding iniquity, and the mit all to him—leave the morrow danger and perishing itate of finto take thought for the things of ners? They are comforted by the itlelf, and find comfort and sup- confideration that the Lord will port in the confideration of their do whatsoever seemeth good in dependence. Are they bowed his fight--that the residue of the down with a sense of their insuf- Spirit is with him—that he has ficiency and weakness, and their infinite wisdom and goodness, and proneness to wander from God while he can have mercy on whom through the power of indwelling he will have mercy, the great fin? The Holy Spirit, faithful object and defire of his heart is, to his office as Comforter, sets be- to glorify the riches of his grace, fore them the divine character, and thereby promote the highest and the precious promises of God happiness of his kingdom.to his children, that he will never And when the ways of Zion leave them for forsake them mourn, and the enemies of Christ that his grace shall be sufficient list up their heads and triunıph in for them—and that as their day expectation of the downíal of his is so shall their strength be. Thus church-fill they find comfort they are strengthened and comfort and support in confideration of the ed--and wliile they loathe them- rock on which it is built-and in selves, and are difpofed to say view of the promises of God that with the apostle, “O wretched the gates of hell hall not prevail man that I am, who shall deliver against it-and that the wrath of me from the body of this death,” man shall praise him, and the rethey can add alio with him, “ 1 mainder of wrath he will restrain. thank God, tlırough Jesus Christ Thus forrows, trials, imperfecour Lord.”
when tions, the temptations of the they are in darknes, doubts and i world all the various circumfears, relative to the ground of tances and situations in which their perfonal hope, divine truth Chriftians are placed, are designed is by the Holy Spirit, made a and overruled for their good. It comfort and support, so that they is to give them opportunity of becản say, “ though he llay me, yet coming experimentally acquainted