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effential difference between the fins and misery, and to feel his ele&t and others, until it is effect- need of a Saviour. ed by the holy Spirit. He has Further : The Holy Ghoft reit in charge to prepare them for news the hearts of all whom the the things for which they are de- Father hath given unto the Son. ligned, that they may stand as pil- | Their opposition to God is sublars in the temple of God, to the dued. As many as are ordained glory of his infinite grace. God to eternal life believe. They beOrders their education, and all come full of love to God, and the their circumstances and connec- willing subjects of divine grace. tions in this life, with a special This is wro't wholly by the pow. view to this end; tho' they doer of the Spirit, without any prenot regard him until the Spirit vious concurrence of their own begins his operations with them. wills. They are born, not of
When the Holy Ghoft begins blood, nor of the will of the flesh, his work upon such as are chosen nor of the will of man, but of to eternal life, he does not make God,—are born of the Spirit. any new revelations to their un- God, who commanded the light derstandings in an immediate way: to shine out of darkness, Ohineth but impresses their minds with in their hearts, to give the light of the things which are already writ- the knowledge of the glory of ten in the scriptures,-faitens a God, in the face of Jesus Chrift. sense of their truth and importance The Holy Spirit, by thus changupon them, and convinces them ing their hearts, produces in them of fin, of righteousness, and of repentance towards God, and judgment. This is necessary; faith in our Lord Jesus Chritt. for no one can believe on Jesus Henceforth they become intereftChrift, or return unto God, until ed in all the promises which are he sees that he has gone astray made to such as repent and believe from God, and has real need of the gospel. They are now bro't such a Redeemer. These con- | into personal covenant with God. victions do not inspire the unre- They have given themselves to newed with holiness or comfort. him; and he has promised that But they clearly discover to them he will be their God, and that their enmity against God ; and none shall pluck them out of his are so conducted, as to cause their hands. But God has not receiv. corruptions to manifest themselves. ed them into favor because their And they produce deep anxiety repentance or faith base rendered and distress of soul. The finner them deserving of his love ; but is bro't to see himself wholly de because he gave them to Chrilt, praved in heart, utterly inexcusa. to be the fruits of his redemption. ble, in the hands of an angry God, And being thus given to Chrift, and dependent on sovereign, all- he treats them with favor, from conquering grace for any prospect regard to his beloved Son. They of escaping his endless wrath. are made accepted in the beloved. Still however he is a finner, under From this time, the Spirit takes condemnation, and fees himself in special possession of them, as the this situation. These convictions property of Christ, and the heirs are sometimes called the prepara- of his kingdom and glory. They tory work of the Spirit, because become the temples of the Holy they bring the finner to fee his Ghoft. The Spirit takes charge
of them, to prepare them for the knowledge of themselves, of God, purposes for which they were of their relation to him, and of his given to Christ. That they may infinite condescension to them, be vessels of mercy fit for his use and kind attention to their wants. and service. The Father loves The holy spirit takes of the things them, and the Holy Ghost loves of Christ, and shews them to his them, as being the children of people, by placing them in an inChrift, members of his body, and bumerable variety of circumstances, monuments of his glory ; and adapted to give them the most adtherefore willingly takes it upon vantageous and impressive views of him to prepare them by his pow. the various things which God er, thro' faith unto salvation. has inserted in the holy fcriptures.
In engaging to accomplish this One situation prepares them pe. work of grace, there is much bu- culiarly to see the excellency of finess undertaken. The spirit is one thing, and another of ano. employed continually, in nume- ther thing which he has revealed. rous offices of mercy to Christi- Trials, vi&tories, falls, recoveries,
He does not ordinarily ren comforts and affliclions, all in der them at once perfect in holi- their turns, render them peculiarness. That would not be best for ly susceptible of a sense of the them, nor fit them so well for the glory of one part or other of the purposes for which they are de- fcriptures, and of the abundant figned. In his conduct towards provifions of the gospel dispensathem, in their imperfect state, tion. And the spirit takes adwhich continues till dcath, he con- vantage of these circumstances to vinces them by their own experi. disclose their glory ; so that they ence, which is the most feeling of appear exceedingly rich. Christ all instructors, of many things toid his disciples, that the spirit which peculiarly prepare them to lould bring all things to their be an honor to Chrift. He brings remembrance, whatsoever he had their vileness, the plague of their faid unto them. On particular own hearts, and their extreme ob- occafiens, believers have the most ftinacy and frowardness more a suitable texts of scripture frebundantly into their own view, by quently suggested to their minds, its being acted out in all circum- peculiarly fitted to their circumstances, and under all obligations, Atances, either for reproof, warnthan could have taken place, if ing, consolation, or support under they were perfectly sanctified at temptations; and they are brought once. He teaches them by expe- to their remembrance in such numrience their weakness, dependence, bers, order and power, as bespeak and need of divine protection and the work of the holy spirit. He grace, to uphold them, and render leads them to realize that the prothem useful in the world. This mises of God are firmer than the renders Chrift, his promises, and mountains, l'eveals the inexprefthe aid of the fpirit more preci- lible importance of God's law, ous to them. They become more and of his kingdom,--fills the foul affected with a sense of the rich with a sense of eternity, so as to nels and freeness of divine grace-break the ftrength of those temptof God's wonderful long sufferations which originate from the ing and faithfulness to provoking deceitful importance assumed by creatiues. They increase in the 'the things of this world. He be
comes in them who believe a spi- | particular dealings with themrit of prayer,-helpeth their in- felves. These comforts are of an firmities, leads them to cry Abba holy nature—are inspired by the Father, and maketh interceflion holy spirit, and cannot be enjoyed in them with groanings which but by an holy heart. cannot be uttered. He searcheth In contemplating the offices of all things, yea the deep things of the Holy Ghost, in the salvation of God, and so fuggefts the excel. the elect, it is impoffible for expelency of them to believers, that rienced Christians not to reflect on they are made to have their effect his importance to them. He is upon their hearts. He restrains every thing to them for instruction, from fin-reitores them when they conviction, regeneration, perfevehave wandered, when necessary he rance, growth in grace, comfort, gives them that extraordinary in- and final perfection in holiness and trepidity, that they are not over happiness. It is altogether by awed by the frowns of princes, or him that they are made to differ the fears of death. This has been from the worst of mankind. They well illustrated by the history of might as well hope for salvation the prophets, apoilies and mar- without the mediation of Chrift, tyrs. He excites them to vigi- as without the peculiar office of lance, and a life of holiness. In the Holy Ghoft. These confidthe discharge of the duties which erations excite their admiration, devolve upon them, they are made awaken their gratitude, and ento bring forth fruit, some thirty, courage them to work out their fome fixty, and some an hundred own salvation with fear and tremfold. In a word, the spirit of bling, because it is God that God is in believers, manages them worketh in them, both to will and in all their circumstances, and to do. And they cannot refrain makes use of the word, ordinances from crying under the influence and providence of God to in- of these rešections, Not unto us, struct, reprove, reftrain, encou- O Lord, not unto us, but unto rage and defend them, and gra- thy name give glory: dually prepare them for the blef Christ has not left his children fings defigned them, and the uses comfortless. They are not orfor which they are intended. phans. By giving them his fpi
The Holy Ghost is also called rit, he has bełtowed immense bles. the comforter. The comforts lings upon them. How rich are which he gives are the pleasures their comforts, daily enjoyed in which believers receive in the con- proportion to the communications templation of God, as he is reveal of the Holy Ghoft. Let them, ed in the scriptures, in all his ad- let all mankind, taste and see that miniftrations. These are an in the Lord is good. Let them aik exhaustible fource of enjoyment to for the rich supplies of his fpirit, fuch as have an heart that can be rejoichg in, and taking encouragegratified by beholding divine per- ment from the declaration made fections. He also gives them by Christ. If a son alk bread of precious comforts, from the fatis- any of you that is a father, will faction which they take in em- he give him a stone ? Or if he ask ploying themselves in the duties a fish, will he for a filh give him of religion, and in admiring the a serpent? Or if he ask an egg, wisdom and mercy of God in his will he offer him a scorpion ? If
ye then, being evil, know how to | they will rest contented, God give good gifts unto your chil. will do with them as he pleases. dren, how much more shall your But as we have no warrant to heavenly Father give the holy spi- make the feelings of the depraved rit to them that ask him -To heart our guide, let this enquiry the God of all grace and consola be now directly made ;-what tion be everlasting praises. Amen. ideas are the most fuitable to be
MIKROS. impressed on the mind of the
thoughtless finner, in order for
him to be alarmed in view of his Thoughts on the gospel means of a
state ? wakening finners.
I answer. Let it be clearly
verfion of finners, it is God's in a totally finful, ruined fate ; ordinary method to convince them and that there is no other help but of their deplorable state, and a. in the mere fovereign pleasure of waken their consciences. Convic God. tion appears to be a pre-requisite I will proceed to establish this to regeneration : and this pre-re- answer by evidence. As a theme quisite is effected in the use of of illustration, recourse will be
By the law is the had to a circumstance recorded by knowledge of lin." “ And how St. Matthew, fourteenth chapter. shall they believe in him of whom An instance is there stated conthey have not heard ?”
cerning the apofile Peter, which Now, it is an important en bears a direct analogy to the quesquiry, what doctrines and divine tion now before us. truths are the most directly cal. At a time when our Lord walkculated for the conviction and ed on the sea of Tiberias, to meet awakening of finners ? Some say, his disciples, in consequence of they ought to be encouraged in Peter's request, the Saviour bade their own works, and by warmly Peter come and meet him. But exhorting them to duty, and set we read, “ When be fiiw the wind ting before them the beauty of ho- boiserous he was afraid ; and, leliness they will hereby be the most ginning to fink, he cried, saying, likely to become convinced and Lord, Jave me.”
Here we may awakened. Others advocate, that remark, iit. That Peter saw he fimply holding up the terrors of was finking. The wind was boifhell, will be inost likely to pro- terous, and we are told, he began duce this needful effect. Even to link. 2. He found that lie some, who profess to be Calvin- could not deliver himself. He istic in sentiment, tell us, that the mult doubtless be convinced of doctrine of strict total depravity, this, when the billows of the powand divine absolute fovereignty erful elements began to overflow are not profitable to awaken fin- him, and all liis exertions to no ners, but will have a more direct effect. 3. He saw that if he tendency to increase their stupidi. vcre saved, it must be Christ alone ty. Those also, who are disposed that could save him. Finding his to cavil at truth, and who choose own firength fail, and the Saviour to remain undisturbed in their fins, near him, at this critical moment, tell us, that if tlicy are absolute the only alternative was, that pera ly dependent on divine grace, lieps ihe Lord might reach ol'
his almighty arm and rescue him liverance ; being under the domsfrom his threatened death. 4. We nion of a “ carnal mind, which is remark, that Peter was alarmed. enmity against God.” Is there Convinced of those things we have any poflible way of deliverance, here noted, at this most critical except through the mere grace of period, he was all attention to cry the Saviour Christ plainly says, out, “ Lord save me !” All now " Without me ye can do nofailing him, but a gleam of hope, thing.” Our fallen state is fuch, which rested wholly on the mere that we are expressly told, « It is fovereign pleasure of Jesus, it can not of him that willeth, nor of not be strange that he cried out him that runneth, but of God that as he did. Indeed, who would showeth mercy.” Now, can it not have been alarmed in this be any other than the want of a case? The natural capacities of conviction of being in this critical every human mind are of the same state, that can be the cause of finstructure. That which is calcu ners remaining in ftupidity ? Or, lated to affect one, is calculated can they view themfelves finking
to affect another; and we see also, down to eternal ruin, and remain . that those existing circumstances wholly at ease and quiet? If they
ces which would cause alarm re- can, then the finking disciple was specting temporal, bodily danger, alarmed without any rational would cause alarm respecting ground. spiritual, eternal danger. To By adding a few general re. view the foul in imminent danger marks, it will appear ftill more of fuffering the second death, is it clearly, that bringing into view not as alarming a confideration as their criminal, ruined ftate, and to view the body imminently ex- pointing out to them that there is posed to natural death? The spi no other help, but in the mere foritual state of every one who is , vereign pleasure of God, is the not born of God, will very well most fuccefsful method of awaken. compare with the state of Peter, ing finners. as it respected his natural life. In the first place, let it be noAre not tinners, while they re- ted, that a knowledge of danger main fuch, continually finking in- is always neceffary in order for a to eternal perdition ? The Holy person to fear danger. The mariGhost tells us, they stand “ on ner, calmly failing, feels no alarm flippery places.” They are eve. from an unfeen form ; though it ry moment so specially exposed to may soon invade him, in a most fall into hell, that the prophet re
dreadful torrent. But when it presents them as being “ on flip- comes to his view, and he finds pery places in the darkness.” Can himfelf about to perish, terror and finners deliver themselves from alarm seize him ! Indeed, wherethis imminent danger? It is fure ever there are sensible apprehenfithey can no more deliver them- ons of danger, emotions of fear felves, than could Peter, from the and concern will be excited, even watery grave into which he was if there be no hope of escape. plunging. Our Lord reprefents is not hope, which alarms people, them as owing more than ten but a knowledge of danger. thousand talents, and having no Again ; none who have just thing to pay.
They are also ideas of God, will fear his displezwholly opposed to the way of de fure, unless they are fenfible they