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coming forth in his strength to build up Zion. Copious showers of heavenly influence are even now descending. Ten thousand streams are contributing to swell that river of God which is to water the whole earth. We can see the empire of Christ fast rising and spreading. To resist the claims of Christianity at such a period, then, under a cloak of infidelity or covetousness, or to think of degrading the Holy One of Israel, can be regarded only as most consummate folly.

4. The occurrences of the day of Pentecost exhibit THE GRAND MEANS of advancing the cause of Christ, and saving sinners.

Jehovah has revealed the determination to spread his truth over the earth, and to rescue a countless multitude from spiritual and eternal death. We can not but be aware of his ability to do this, independently of human aid. He can, by his Spirit, enlighten and sanctify the whole world in the twinkling of an eye. He is nevertheless pleased to accomplish his designs of mercy, by the intervention of MEANS. And the grand means he has appointed, as developed on the day of Pentecost, are the ministrations of the Gospel. In connexion with these, the triumphs of that day were gained.

It is not doubted, that other means, auxiliary, may be usefully employed. Divine truth, in whatever way presented to the mind, may become the instrument of sanctification. We read instances of the Sacred Volume having gone to regions trod by no Christian teacher's foot, and there disclosing the perfections, and urging the claims of Jehovah, with important effect. Often has religious Tract been the commissioned angel of saving mercy. Often has a sudden death, a burst of thunder, or other providential occurrence, impressed some truth of God with everlasting solemnity on the soul.

Still these means of grace may be only subordinate in importance to the ministrations of God's special appointment. It pleased God by the foolishness of PREACHING to save them that believe. If Divine influence has in any place distilled, as dew upon Hermon, and the church risen in strength and beauty, it has been in connexion with the appropriate labours of the sacred office. Eighteen centuries ago the Gospel went forth from Jerusalem on an embassy of mingled authority and love. It has traversed the globe. And under its influence the stupid pagan has renounced his foolish rites; the sensualist his scenes of low crime; the proud have been humbled; the desponding cheered; the Saviour has received the homage and confidence of millions; and heaven has obtained steady accessions to the number of its purified and happy population. But where has the Gospel achieved any extended triumphs, ex

cept as its truths have been explained and urged, by an ambassador for Christ?

Who will doubt the pre-eminent importance of the Christian ministry, as a means of salvation, when he looks at the Divine sanction it received on the day of Pentecost? The ministrations of that day were the first public efforts under the commission, Preach the Gospel to every creature-beginning at Jerusalem. And the signal success bade the devoted apostles go forward in the sacred enterprise of proclaiming a crucified and ascended Saviour. And to the Church at large it addresses a similar language. Let her then train up her sons of promise for the sacred office; let her plant a spiritual watchman in every village of the territory she now claims; and let her despatch her heralds of truth to all the revolted nations under heaven.

From the day of Pentecost we also learn, what kind of preaching is fitted to accomplish the gracious designs of Heaven. The grand theme of Peter's discourse was Jesus of Nazareth,—his character, life, death, resurrection, and supremacy. He failed not to exhibit distinctly the sovereignty--the determinate counsel–as well as foreknowledge of God; while, with the same breath, he pressed on his hearers the conviction of personal guilt. He urged the duty of immediate repentance, and the necessity of a cordial faith in the Saviour, as both Lord and Christ. On these several topicks he spake with the utmost boldness. He could charge upon his hearers the crime of murdering God's beloved Son. He could say, that they perpetrated the deed with wicked hands. And it was from a sense of guilt, as well as danger, that they trembled.

Unwelcome as were the topicks of that discourse, it was adapted to accomplish the objects of the Christian ministry; as appeared from the result. Thus sanctioned, it is obviously worthy of the careful attention of all who minister at God's altar. From it let them learn, what should be the grand theme of their ministrations -Jesus Christ, his character and offices: From it let them learn, what should ever be a leading object;—to make men feel that they are guilty : From it let them learn to proclaim explicitly and fearlessly the whole character of God, and the exact message with which they are charged from Him. In so doing they may awaken the rancour of a sour unbelief; they may disturb the repose of a heedless impenitence; they may call forth the loud clamour, This is an hard saying; who can bear it? But they may also be ministers of Salvation; and contribute something to swell the honours of their King. Possibly, like Peter, they may "open the gate of heaven to a multitude of sinners."

Instead of being followers of inspired Apostles, they can consult the prejudices and caprices of a world lying in sin. They can keep aloof

from the cross of the despised Lamb, and the terrors of the burning Mount. They can cast a veil over the blackness of human depravity, and amuse when they ought to alarm. And for their reward they may receive the liberal caresses of the gay and the proud. But what will such men have accomplished for Christ, their Master ?-or for the happiness of their hearers, when the visions of time shall have given place to the realities of Eternity? Who will be led to ponder on the mighty interests of the soul, the solemnity of death, the awfulness of Judgment, and the duration of future joy or wo? Who will be led to weep over his sins, to seek counsel from the page of Revelation, or to unburden an oppressed heart in the closet of prayer? What youth will become tired of his pursuits of gaiety and folly? What votary of ambition will stop in his eager chase after a phantom? Or what man of sordid avarice will chastise his idolatry, and pant for a treasure in heaven? It is not every ministry, that is fitted to reclaim the wayward; to restore to the human heart the lost image of God; and to prepare the sinner for a future crown. It is only the ministry of the Gospel ;-that ministry which makes a full disclosure of whatever is humbling in the doctrines, and terrible in the sanctions, as well as cheering in the invitations and promises of the New Testament. And the usefulness of such a ministry was strikingly illustrated on that day, when the multitude were pricked in their hearts, and inquired, with no ordinary solicitude, what they should do, and wept over their sins, and submitted to God, and looked up with a hope full of immortality.

Wonder not, then, sinner, if the minister of Jesus, who would save himself and them that hear him, and who has such examples before him, does feel it his duty, to tear away the miserable veils which hide men from themselves, and to exhibit the unchanging majesty of God's Law, and the deep damnation that must ingulph the impenitent and unbelieving! For herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment,

5. The occurrences of the day of Penteco: t exhibit the Christian minister's GRAND SOURCE OF ENCOURAGEMENT.

The apostles understood the nature of God's moral administration. They felt their utter incompetency to maintain the Christian cause in their own strength; but were still aware of the necessity of using the instituted means. Relying solely on the promise of the Saviour, they were all with one accord in one place-presenting doubtless a united and fervent supplication to Heaven for the aid they needed.-Filled with the Holy Ghost, they ventured to preach-they spake forth the words

of truth and soberness. And that same Spirit of truth carried their message with renovating power to the hearts and consciences of their hearers.

The ground of their success teaches, that the minister's grand source of encouragement, in all his labours, is the promised influence of the Spirit. He needs other aid than the man of merely secular business. He needs something more than the common blessing of the Most High. There is a puliarity in the character of his work, which renders necessary a peculiarity in the agency of the Spirit. He seeks to convert mankind from the love and practice of iniquity to the love and service of God; to raise to a spiritual life such as are dead in trespasses and sins. The carnal mind is enmity against God-destitute of a single trace of its Maker's moral image. This enmity must be slain; and in its place must be substituted that holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

To effect so entire a transformation of character, what human powers are adequate? Talents may dazzle, reasoning may confound, eloquence may charm and move, fortitude and zeal may press through a thousand disheartening difficulties; but God only can convert. Not by might, nor by power, but by my SPIRIT, saith the Lord of hosts. From this position, however, let the sinner make no other inference than that of the exceeding sinfulness and obstinacy of his own heart, which will yield only to Omnipotent Grace. It is nothing but ingratitude and stubbornness of guilt, that prevents his yielding at once to the convictions of truth, and giving his whole heart to God. So that, if left to perish in his obstinacy, he dies without excuse, and in the day of reckoning will be speechless. Let him not, then, aggravate his guilt by now charging God foolishly.

To the feebleness of merely human effort, in attempting to convert the sinner, experience bears most humiliating testimony. Within the compass of our charge is many a man of business, and many a youth of folly, on whom our eye of deep concern has often been fixed. We have noticed, with agony, their increasing aversion to the ways of God, and their increasing attachment to an unsatisfying world. We have hoped, all the while, that very soon some message from the throne of God might be the means of rousing their torpid sensibilities, and changing the current of their affections: but they never were devoted more exclusively and intensely to objects of a transitory nature, than at this moment. Gladly would we dissolve the spell by which they are bound; but their persevering unholiness, and their heedlessness about the eternal interests of the soul, proclaim to us the utter insufficiency of our efforts.

Not only, however, is the almighty. Spirit the Christian minister's grand source of encouragement; it is a very fruitful source. Apart from

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the special influence of the Spirit, the apostles had little indeed to encourage and every thing to damp their hopes, and paralyze their energies. Yet they were not disheartened. They called to mind the precious promises of their Lord, and on them fastened their hope. They braved the contempt and opposition of thousands; and in their presence the strength of man became weakness, and the loftiness of man was abased.

Those promises which sustained apostles are ground of perpetual encouragement. Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Here then we see Omnipotence pledged to make the ministry of reconciliation an engine of resistless moral power, till time shall be no longer. Toils, vexations, and trials attend it; but so do peculiar consolations. Oh, it is cheering to reflect, that though man can neither convert nor convince, there is a power on high which can clothe his ministrations with almighty energy. A power it is, that can humble the proudest spirit. It can soften the hardest heart. It can extort from the most careless, in a moment, the inquiry of deep concern. It can instantaneously shed over our worshiping assembly the solemnity of the second death; and thrill every heart with the resistless mandate, Awake thou

that sleepest. Nor is this a mere matter of ability. There is no degree of thoughtlessness, which it has not actually alarmed. There is no stubbornness of depravity, which it has not subdued,--as it has gone along with the ministrations of the sanctuary.

With such ground of encouragement, we will preach in hope. We will continue to illustrate and enforce the great truths of Christianity, relying for the fruit of our labours, on that Spirit of power and grace, whose prerogative it is to quicken and sanctify. With the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, we will continue to urge our appeals to the heart and conscience, till our voice shall become silent in the grave. And could we rise, hereafter, with the great multitude found faithful unto death; we would still say, with every creature in heaven-Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name, give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.

One other lesson from the events of the day of Pentecost, and we have done.

6. The occurrences of that day exhibit the REALITY and IMPORTANCE of REVIVALS of RELIGION.

By a Revival of religion, we understand, an uncommon and general interest on the subject of salvation, produced by the Holy Spirit, through

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