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any more than other men. It | idols, and the church of Chirist was not they who did them, but at once rose up in all places. God himself. He made them his All these works of the Spirit messengers to declare his truth, were wrought openly and puband attended them with his pow- licly in the face of the world. er, in testimony of the gospel The world stood, gazed and which he employed them to wondered, and saw all these publish.
things taking place. And tho' The Holy Spirit also, in an ex- no means were neglected, either traordinary manner,taught them of force or art, to suppress this what to say: he guided them work, yet it withstood all oppointo all truth, opened to them sition, and grew and spread and the scriptures of the Old Testa- | prospered. ment, and revealed by his imme- Here we might notice how diate inspiration such things the apostles and other eminent as were necessary to be done, ministers of the gospel, being taught and predicted. And if | led on and filled with the Holy they were brought before kings Ghost, labored and journeyed; and rulers, they were directed how they were comforted and never to premeditate their de- rejoiced ; how the Holy Ghost fence, and were assured, that it fell on thousands in his miracushould be given them from above lous influences ; so that they what they should say ; which ac- could speak with tongues, procordingly took place.
phesy, interpret and work mirAnother thing accomplished acles. But for further particu. by the divine Spirit, was the lars, let me refer the reader to raising up the church of Christ the Acts of the apostles, and to in one age, nursing and extend- many places in their epistles, ing it through the whole Roman where these things are incidenempire, and far eastward into tally noticed. The gifts of the Asia, and southward into Afri. Spirit were various, and all to ça. All this was done without profit withal. any earthly inducements, with Nor ought the awakening, reout human power, authority or newing and sanctifying influeninfluence, contrary to the will of ces of the Holy Spirit, to remain the kings and magistrates of the unnoticed in this place. These earth, and the long established were the end and design of all customs, prejudices and educa- the extraordinary operations of tion of all people, Jews and Gen- the Spirit, and they are contintiles, and to all the inclinations ued to the present day. How and passions of the depraved many cried, “ What shall we do hearts of men. In a short time to be saved ?” How many tremJesus, who had been crucified bled and turned from darkness as a malefactor, was adored in to light, and from the power of almost every city, town and set-Satan unto God! And how matlement, of any considerable ny--what multitudes, within magnitude, through immense these more than seventeen hunregions of the earth. The Jews dred years since that time, in great numbers laid aside their have been the subjects of the sav itual solemnities, the Gentiles ing and comforting influences of abandoned the altars of their the Spirit !
Miracles indeed seem to have able to consider how the Spirit ceased : they have answered | has accomplished this predictheir end, in confirming to us, tion. The wonderful things as well as to those in that day, which the Holy Ghost did, in the truth of Christianity : the the apostolic age, and which he world has now the advantage ofall has since done, proved beyond those miracles. Prophecies have all reasonable doubt, that he was ceased ; but the accomplish- the Christ. It is true, that men ment of them, which is their may shut their eyes against pergreatest evidence, continues, and fect demonstration ; but let can: establishes the truth. The mi- did minds notice all the great raculous gift of tongues has and astonishing events, which ceased ; but it has answered its were wrought in the days of the end, and by the providence of apostles, and attend to their tesGod, there is among his people timony and instructions, and conan ability to learn foreign lan, sider how God was with them guages, which may be sufficient in mighty power, and in word ; for every purpose, except that of let them survey the whole scene, the miracle, which is already and they must acknowledge that answered. It is no injury to the it was the hand of God, made cause that these, or that imme: visible in support of the cause of diate revelations have ceased, Christ, Well might Gamaliel, for all that is necessary is alrea- though an enemy, and highly dy declared to us in the word of dignified in the Jewish council, God. But those things which tremble under an half suppresse are now needed, the convincing, ed conviction of the truth, and renewing, sanctifying and com- give sentence to let the apostles forting influences of the Holy alone, lest haply they should be Ghost remain ; Christ holds the found to fight even against God; stars in his right hand, impart- and well might the mad council ing gifts and graces to his inin- so shudder, by the terror's of a jsters, according to the work to convicted conscience, as for once which he calls them, and he to take his prudent advice. The walks in the midst of his chur effects wrought by the Holy ches. These are the ends of all Ghost made it manifest, that in the marvellous things in the first not believing on Christ, men are ages of Christianity. ** Nothing guilty of rejecting the most amis lost; the world now enjoys ple testimony of God : that they the benefits of the Comforter in shut their eyes and harden their as high a degree, as in the day hearts, like Pharaoh and the of Pentecost.-Having noticed a | Egyptians, against God himself. number of things which the Ho- | This was increased by the influly Ghost did, in fulfilment of the ence of the Spirit, in inspiring promises, others which were the apostles to unfold to them promised present themselves for the predictions of Moses and the our consideration."
prophets; so that Stephen had Our Lord informed his disci- reason enough to say to them, ples, that when the Comforter |“ Ye stiffnecked and uncircumshould come he would reprove cised in heart and ears, ye do al. the world of sin because they be- ways resist the Holy Ghost, as fiere not on him. It will be suit your fathers did, so do ye.
Which of the prophets have not Comforter, he gave evidence that your fathers persecuted ? and he was enthroned on high-that, they have slain them which he had answered the law, and shewed before of the coming of had become the end of the law the just One, of whom ye have for righteousness, to all them now been the betrayers and mur- that believe. And the wonderderers."-Nor are these things ful things done by the Spirit are restricted to that day. Those sufficient to convince all but the now, where the gospel is known, uncandid. God never would who do not believe on Jesus have borne such testimony to Christ, sin against the same, if Christ, had he been deficient or not against greater evidence, giv- 1 had he abandoned his work unen by the Holy Ghost, that Je- finished. Men may now be consus is the Christ. They reject vinced that the righteousness of the counsel of God against their | Christ is complete,-that no own souls. What the Spirit has righteousness of theirs is necesdone therefore reproves them of sary as the ground of justificasin, because they believe not on tion, or will be allowed to posChrist. If we stand astonished sess a share with Christ in the at the Jews, let us take heed, glory of their acceptance with lest we be guilty of the same sin. God, however important it may
It was also foretold by our be for other purposes. This Lord, saying, “ When the Com- should convince Jews, that no forter is come, he will convince ceremonial righteousness will athe world of righteousness, be- / vail them; and all the self-rightcause I go to my Father, and ye cous, that there can be no salvasee me no more.” The right- tion but by him, who hath fincousness here mentioned, it is ished transgression, made an end believed, is the righteousness of of sin, made reconciliation for Christ. Not merely his own iniquity, and brought in ever. personal righteousness, though lasting righteousness. And this that be necessarily implied, but matter of conviction and rehis righteousness as a Redeemer, I proof remains the same to the in fulfilling all righteousness; present time. After the testiso that God for his righteous- mony of the Holy Ghost to the ness' sake may be just, and yet righteousness of Christ, as our the justifier of him that believ- Redeemer, it is vain for the selfeth. Had Christ gone to the righteous to hope for favor on Father and left his work of a- | the ground of their own innotonement unfinished, must he cence, morality, reformation, or not have returned to complete even for holy obedience. It is it? But instead of his return, he rejecting the righteousness of .is seen no more, and the Holy Christ as their only hope, and Spirit comes, not to atone, but opposing or discrediting the to bear testimony that Christ is testimony of the Hoiy Spirit. accepted is raised from the “ If righteousness come by the dead has ascended on high- law, then Christ is dead in vain." is acknowledged of the Father | The Spirit has declared that --and is justified as a complete Christ is the only name, give Redeemer. When Christ, ac- en under heaven among men, cording to his promise, sent the / whereby we must be saved,
· We may now consider anoth- and Babylon, and all who eser effect, which it was promised, ponse their cause. If Satan is that the Holy Ghost should ac- cast down, his followers may excomplish. It was said that he pect the same. And since the should reprove the world of Spirit sets forth the righteousjudgment, because the prince of ness of Christ as our only hope, this world is judged. The word those who reject him, can have reprove often signifies convince, no defence against everlasting and in the Greek original, the judgment : they must be given word used signifies indefinitely, up to the sentence of the law.either to reprove or to convince. Let such as are found to fight Satan is the prince of this world; I against God, tremble at this ashe is also called the God of this surance, that without repentworld--the prince of the power ance, they shall follow their of the air, who ruleth in the prince into everlasting fire; prehearts of the children of diso- pared for the devil and his anbedience. By the wonderful out- gels. pouring of the Holy Ghost, and We have noticed the wonderthe great events which he has ful works of the Comforter ; brought to pass, he has made it how he reproves the world of manifest to men, that Satan is unbelief; offers men conviction cast down, that his cause is des of the righteousness of Christ perate, that God himself has de- for the justification of sinners ; clared against him with power, and of the judgment or deterand has determined to support mination of God to crush all his his Son. This overthrew the inveterate enemies. He will notion of a ceremonial right-dash them to pieces as a potter's eousness, with which Satan vessel. blinded the Jews, and the credi- The coming and work of bility of the whole heathen my-Christ, and the witness of the thology and Pagan worship. It Holy Ghost to him, in his mara discovered Christ as superior to vellous effects among men, teach Satan, leading captivity captive, us that Christianity is of infinite and spoiling the powers of hell. importance in the view of God. Accordingly Christianity rose Such astonishing works of God, upon the ruins of heathenism so different from all his other and the kingdom of Satan.- works and administrations of He as lightning fell from heav- government, bespeak its superen, and the truth burst forth lative importance. Friends and upon the world, like a mighty enemies are deeply and eternalstream. And it will prevail, till ly concerned. Satan is bound a thousand years, How mad then are those, who that he should not go forth to have this testimony of the Holy deceive the nations any more, Ghost, and yet obstinately pertill the thousand years are ac- sist on the side of Satan by their complished. This proves that unbelief. They shut their eyes all the followers of Satan shall on the most full and marvellous be brought down, and that God evidence, or they would see that will execute judgment upon their cause is desperate-That them. Thus the Holy Ghost they fight even against God. teaches the judgment of Satan, I Let the potsherds of the earth
strive with the potsherds of the thought it plainly revealed, that earth ; but woe unto him that God did, from the beginning, striveth with his Maker. choose to salvation, all those who
Let these considerations per- will be saved, through sanctifisuade unbelievers to avoid the cation of the Spirit and belief of terrors of divine wrath, and com- the truth that all those, and fort, encourage and animate the those only, whom he hath thus people of God in faith and holi- chosen, will be effectually called ness; and may they have more and finally saved ; whilst all othperfect confidence in him whomers will continue in sin, and lie God hath sanctified and sent in- down in sorrow. to the world, and whom he hath But of later years, whilst the acknowledged with such aston- doctrine of God's sovereignty ishing evidence.
and eternal decrees is admitted FIDUCIUS: and strongly asserted, it has been
urged, that upon the plan of limited, in opposition to universal
salvation, there can be no ground, The Gospel Warrant for Faith in no foundation, or warrant, for Christ.
any sinner to believe in Christ,
unless he first knows that he is A principal design of the fol- one of the happy number, whom lowing piece is to show, That God hath chosen to salvation. there is sufficient ground, foun- For if he is not of that number, clation, or warrant, for any and but one that God knows will perevery sinner, where the gospel ish, it is said, there is absolutely is published, to believe in Christ, no foundation or warrant for him even upon the supposition, that to believe. For faith don't create numbers of the human race will its own object, or make the finally perisho
truth which is believed, by be
lieving it when it was not true. TT has been the general opin. There can therefore be no war1 ion of professing Christians, rant for every one, to whom the that a part of mankind, and even gospel is preached, to believe in a part of those where the gospel Christ, unless it be already true, is preached, will die in their sins, that évérv one is to be and cerin impenitence and unbelief, and tainly will be saved. Yet every abide for ever under the wrath one to whom the gospelis preachof God. It has been thought, led, is commanded to believe on that the scriptures teach this in the Son of God: and the apostle so plain and express a manner, John says expressly, “ He that that it cannot be doubted, con- believeth not God hath made sistently with admitting the him a lyar ; because he believeth truth and divine authority of not the record that God gave of those sacred writings. " his Son. And this is the record,
It has, moreover, been gener- that God hath given to us eternal ally believed, that God from the life ; and this life is in his Son.” beginning knew who would be- But if some are not chosen to lieve and be saved, and who salvation and never will be saved, would die in their sins and per- instead of making God a lyar by ish for ever. And many have not believing, they would make