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you enjoy no peace, no inward comfort, no humble confidence, no lively faith, no ease in the day of sickness; no composure at the approach of death. And why?-plainly because you are yet in your sins. You have not repented; you are not a new creature in Christ Jesus; you need no accuser save your own conscience, which testifies against you. And even supposing you could lull your senses to forgetfulness, supposing you could go hoodwinked and blinded to the grave, supposing the last awful hour was arrived, and you died without a struggle or a groan,—0, what would be the agonies of the next moment to that hour? What the entrance upon eternity-when the soul shall have winged her way to the mansions of the departed, a captive of Satan, to be bound in fetters and chains with him for ever in a lake of fire and brimstone ? What a poor exchange ! Choosing the good things of this world, to lose your soul. Having enjoyed a day of grace, so sadly to have despised it. Having received invitations and calls and entreaties, how awful to despise all these, and persist in your folly! But it is not too
late, my brethren; eternity is now before you. O harden not your hearts! Believe in Christ, become his disciples, trust him with your salvation, and your soul shall live.
Lastly, to those who are humbly waiting upon God, and daily renewing their strength by prayer, and continually examining their title to eternal life, as justified by faith in Christ Jesus, I would say, You have the reward even now, a rich recompense, the purchase of your Saviour's blood. You were once afar off, now brought nigh by the blood of Jesus; once in darkness, now a child of light; once ignorant and bewildered, now blessed with a knowledge of God; a knowledge which humbles you, and proves you, to see what manner of spirit you are of. Happy, thrice happy Christians having received the truth in the love of it, yours is a life of peace. You have your struggles and your conflicts, but they will soon end. The battle which you now fight must be won, because you fight with weapons which are invincible, under a leader who never can be conquered. Your's is the shield of faith, your's the word of the
Spirit, your's the breastplate of righteousness, your's the helmet of salvation, and your feet are walking securely, for they are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. Continue, we beseech you, in the things which you have learned. Take the Scripture for your guide, and the Spirit for your interpreter. Enjoy, even now, some earnests of your future blessedness. Be instant in prayer; seek an increase of faith. Cast every burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you. In all your trials and temptations, in every doubt and difficulty, remember the words of the Lord Jesus: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you: let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
1 JOHN xvi. 8, 9, 10, 11.
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
THE person spoken of by our blessed Saviour in the text is the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit the promised Comforter, the third person in the Trinity. Our church employs the Sundays between the resurrection of our Lord, and his ascension
into heaven, in considering those portions of sacred Scripture which treat of the coming of the Holy Ghost. The disciples of our Lord were, at this period of their history, in deep sorrow of heart, on account of their blessed Master having told them that he was soon to leave them. At verse 5 he says, "And now I go my way to Him that sent me, and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." It should never be forgotten that the Holy Ghost is here spoken of as a person proceeding from the Father and the Son, according to the language of our Creed. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. (Athan. Creed.) Or, as in the Nicene Creed, I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who, with the Father and the Son together, is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.