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false zeal, and ready to call down fire from heaven; they are meek, patient, loving their enemies, filled with pity for the wandering, labouring with a zeal full of charity to lead sinners to the path which conducts to heaven. No longer attached to the honours of the world, and indulging the chimerical hope of becoming great and rich in the service of Christ, they reject all that the world loves, expose themselves to sufferings, contempt, and persecution, and place all their glory in preaching Jesus Christ, in suffering for Jesus Christ, in dying for Jesus Christ. Such a sudden change of character could be produced only by the Holy Spirit, with which they were filled.
And, finally, they received the power of working the greatest miracles, and of declaring, in their respective languages, to the various nations assembled at Jerusalem, 6 the wonderful works of God:” his nature, his salvation, his mercy to the children of
1. Thus, my brethren, we have retraced to you the transactions on one of the happiest and most glorious days with which God ever honoured the church. Do
Do any of you, who have hitherto neglected the concerns of your souls, say, If we had been present at the day of Pentecost, if we had seen this miracle, we should have inquired with the three thousand converts, what we must do to be saved?" But you have proofs of this miracle which should as fully convince you as though you had actually beheld it. The speedy and extensive propagation of the gospel by means so inadequate, unless you believe these powers were conferred on the apostles; the ruin of Jerusalem at the time, and in the manner predicted; the abolition of the Mosaic worship; the dispersion of the Jews for so many ages; the prophecies still fulfilled in them; the Holy Spirit still dwelling in the hearts of so many myriads : these are but a few of the proofs of the truth of the gospel, and of the miracle wrought on the day of Pentecost. Add to this, the advantages of a Christian education; the benefit of being born and reared in the bosom of the church; your exemption from those prejudices which hung upon the minds of the Jews: and then say, whether you do not enjoy advantages equal to those with which they were favoured who beheld these miracles ? Miracles were necessary to found the church of Christ, but they are no longer necessary now that this church is founded; they are succeeded by a kind of proof addressed to the understanding and the conscience; a proof abundantly satisfactory to every one who has seriously, carefully, and prayerfully examined it, and which cannot be rejected without the destruction of our souls.
2. “ Have ye received the Holy Ghost ?" I ask not if you are partakers of his extraordinary gifts; these have ceased in the church; he no longer is conferred to enable us to work miracles; but he is still shed down on all the true disciples of Jesus, to quicken them with spiritual life and to sanctify them. “ If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." And this is more important than the conferment even of miraculous powers; for these were given as the means of attaining this end, and promoting true holiness among mankind. The Spirit might be bestowed on us for miraculous operations and effects, and we be lost for ever; but if given to us as a sancțifier, so that by him “ we mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live." Let us not then
be satisfied, as we value our salvation, till we have scriptural evidence that “ we are born of the Spirit, and that we walk in the Spirit.”
3. Finally: let us remember that this Spirit was bestowed as the consequence of the Saviour's triumph, as the fruit of his intercession, as the proof that all authority is committed to him, and in conformity with the predictions concerning him, that when he had ascended, he would give gifts to men, even to the rebellious. Since therefore he is thus proved to be both Lord and Christ by divine appointment and constitution, let us put our trust in him for the pardon of our sins and reconciliation with God. He offered himself a sacrifice for us, and then went into the holiest of all to appear in God's presence for us, and plead the merit of his sacrifice to obtain pardon and eternal salvation for us. He shows that he has been accepted in this undertaking, by the conferment of the Holy Ghost. Is he not then worthy our highest trust and firmest confidence? May we not hope for justification through his merits, and the remission of our sins for his sake? May we not commit our cause to him, and depend on his pleading it with success? I mean, while our reliance on him is such as is enjoined in the gospel. Surely in this way we may through him be justified and reconciled to God. Nothing can hinder but our unbelief or impenitence, our rejecting his grace, or refusing to part with our sins for his sake. But if we are made truly willing to be saved by him from all our iniquities, and give him the honour of our salvation, we may depend on him for pardon. Nay, if we are truly willing to become penitent, and put ourselves for this purpose into his hands, we may trust him
with the life of our souls; for he is exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and remission of sins."
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.
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,
to my Father, and ye see me no more ; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
because I go
[Particularly part of the 8th verse, “ And when he is come, he
will reprove," or convince, “the world of sin.”]
THE Redeemer was now about to be offered up a sacrifice for our sins : he had informed his disciples of the death that he was soon to undergo, and of the sufferings that they should experience. No wonder that “ sorrow filled their hearts." He consoles them
in the tenderest manner during the whole of his ad
dress; and in this passage assures them that, after *.. the entrance of his human nature into heaven, the
Holy Spirit the Comforter, should communicate to them such spiritual light, and grace, and joy, that his departure from them should tend to their benefit. That this Spirit should be sent, it was necessary that Christ should go away; since it was purchased by his death; was procured by his intercession; and was sent down by an act of royalty and power when he was invested in his kingdom and glory. - It is true that this Spirit was in the world before the glorification of Jesus, and was the author of the holiness and comfort of the patriarchs and saints of the Old Testament. But as these were saved through the atonement of Jesus, that was to be offered, so they received the Spirit because the Redeemer was to ascend, to intercede; to triumph. Their receiving of the Spirit was as much connected with the Saviour's departure from earth, as their entrance into heaven was with his sacrifice. Besides, though the Holy Spirit had been in the world, yet the full manifestation and display of the office which he sustains in the salvation of man, and the more abundant communication of his influences to the church, were to take place only on the exaltation of Christ.
This Spirit was not only to act as a Comforter to the apostles and the church, but was also to reprove, or rather as the original word deyğer signifies, and as it is translated in the margin of your Bibles, and in various other places, to convince the world, both of Jews and Gentiles, of sin, of their guilt, depravity, and exposure to the wrath of God. cially to convince them of the deep guilt of unbelief,
He was espe