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Against national blindness we have the same Apostle's example for the same remedy, his prayer for Israel, that then persecuted the Church, was that they might be saved. Where the cords are drawn eloser, for friends and kindred, O God, how gracious is it in thee, that having experienced the inefficiency of our own power, we are allowed to look to thy Spirit in its prevailing strength; and in the closest eoncern, in the business of our own hearts, sensible of weakness, sensible of unworthiness, who can find language to express the peace it gives to know, that the Spirit is promised whose name is the Comforter, and that he will guide us into all truth. But remember what must go hand in hand with these great notions-remember while in the body we are not yet made perfect, we are but creatures who must guard against the assaults of a corrupted nature with all watchfulness. When we pray for the Holy Spirit, it should remind us of what is so fully expressed in the epistle to the Corinthians, “Know ye not that “ ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit “ of God dwelleth in you, if any man defile “ the temple of God him will God destroy, “ for the temple of God is holy, which temple “ ye are.” When such holiness, and human does not smite upon the inward breast and cry, 66 God be merciful to me a sinner.” Who is there that does not then feel the comfort of a promised help from the Spirit of Holiness, and a desire to pray to him for his heavenly establishing ?
As this is our bounden duty, so with increased earnestness let it be our reasonable service; and the more we feel the vast obligation laid upon us, from the manner of our Saviour's death, by which he went away from us, so much the more may we find that his departure was expedient for us ; that the justification purchased by his sufferings, and the sanctification flowing from his Spirit, may reclaim us from sin, establish us in righteousness, and in the multitude of the mercies of Him who giveth liberally and upbraideth not, bring us through the power of the Holy Ghost unto our God. Amen.
SEEK YE THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND, CALL YR
UPON HIM WHILE HE IS NEAR.”
The blessings, which were to be conferred on Man by the promulgation of the Gospel, had been the subject of the Prophet's vision, and he endeavours, in strains of surpassing beauty and sublimity, to express the noble acts of the Lord, and to tell the people what things he hath done for his fallen guilty creatures. In the animated and figurative language of the Prophet, the Almighty lays the stones of his Church with fair colours, and her foundations with sapphires, he makes her windows of agates and her gates of carbuncles; and finally promises that all her children shall be taught of the Lord, and that great shall be the peace of her children.
It is not, however, to dazzle the eye, or to
amuse the fancy, that the Prophet presents these splendid pictures. Far different his object, far higher his aim, even to awaken the slumbering faith of his countrymen, to rouse the voice of conscience, and to lead them to repentance. He calls upon them to incline their ear and come unto him, for that he can offer to their acceptance a fountain of living waters, a fountain where he that thirsteth can buy wine and milk without money and without price, where his soul may delight itself in fat
The Prophet then proceeds to point out to the believer in these promises, that his must not be a dead faith; that it must bring forth fruit, the fruit of repentance and amendment. The wicked must forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts-Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near.
Since this admonition was addressed to the people of God, thousands of years have elapsed, the visions of the Prophet have been realized ; the prospects which were seen but imperfectly through the gloom of distance, have burst in full glory upon our senses--and yet the minister of God, the ambassador of Christ feels the exhortation as necessary now to his listless languid flock