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Admire, O my soul, with never-ceasing delight, the glories of sovereign grace, the riches of redeeming love, the transcendent mercy of Almighty God! A Saviour is provided for thee, suited to thy every need. In Him, thou hast Wisdom, for thy ignorance; Strength, for thy weakness ; Pardon, for thy sin: Righteousness, for thy guilt; Holiness, for thy pollution ; Redemption, for thy bondage; Light, for thy darkness ; Life in God, for thy death in sin ; Hope of glory, for thy dread of hell. All this, and much, much more is Jesus to thee, if thou canst believe in Him.
What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits—how shall I show forth all his praise ? 0 my soul, give God the Father, the glory of thy whole salvation, who thus freely devised this amazing plan of saving rebels from the wrath to come. Give God the Son, the glory of thy whole salvation, who so willingly submitted to meet in thy nature, the wrath of incensed Justice, who so patiently sustained for thee its accumulated vengeance, who so graciously turned it away, though it burned against thee to the lowest hell. Give God the Holy Ghost, the glory of thy whole salvation, who with such wonderful forbearance has, for years, been striving with thee to draw thy fugitive affections from forbidden objects, and place them on the precious Jesus ; by whose almighty power, thou hast in some degree been brought to cleave unto, to love, rely upon, and trust in the ever-adored Saviour as thy only sacrifice for sin, thy only justifying righteousness, thy only Hope of glory. 0! blessed Trinity in Unity, accept the praises of a poor unworthy sinner! Inflame my love, that I may praise thee better both in lip, and heart, and life, till I am translated to that world of joy where praise will be unceasing and eternal.
Come, thou Spirit of all grace and truth, come into my heart and take up thine abode there. O! come and dwell in me, unworthy as I am of such a
guest. Make me willing, I humbly beseech thee, to welcome thine approach, to receive thee with joy and gladness. Come into my heart, O thou Earnest of eternal blessings. Fill me with light and love. Cause the fruits of righteousness to abound in me, as a living branch in the true Vine. Come, and manifest thyself to my soul, Thou, who art the Seal of everlasting salvation. Let me bear the impress of thy holy nature. Be thou the inward Witness, testifying to my conscience that I am a child of God, enabling me to cry, Abba, Father.
From first to last salvation is all of grace, whether I consider the love of the Father in devising, the love of the Son in executing, or the love of the Spirit in applying, its blessings to my heart. How wonderful is the work of the Holy Ghost on the soul. His operations are remarkably declared by our Lord when about to leave his disciples. To them, he would be a COMFORTER ; to the world, a CONVINCER of sin.
Meditate, O my soul, on these two characters of the divine Spirit, and adore that grace which so wonderfully seeks out the lost sinners of mankind. Before the promised Comforter could be given, it was expedient that Christ should go away, that he should be offered up as a sacrifice for sin, that he should triumph over the powers of darkness ; that he should ascend to the Father. This blessed
purchase of his blood is now poured out on the sons of men, and works in mercy upon his Church and on
he will reprove
To the world he is the CONVINCER OF SIN. "When he is come,” said Jesus, the world of sin,”—“ because they believe not on
All other sins are included in the sin of unbelief
. It is the root from whence spring all those poisonous branches which have shed their hateful influence through every age. The fruit of this tree is death. All the miseries which have deluged the earth, sprang from unbelief. Eve disbelieved the word of her Creator, and fell. 'All her children have trodden in her steps, and with her, have fallen into depths of woe. How pathetic is the cry of David : “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.” The Bible is full of the vials of wrath, poured out upon an apostate world, because of unbelief. The history of nations, is but the history of human crimes, and of human miseries, because of unbelief. All the sorrows of time, all the agonies of eternity, may be traced to the sin of unbelief. Great, then, is the work of the Spirit, to convince the world of sin, because, said the Saviour, they believe not on me.
When I look around me and contemplate the great mass of mankind, unbelief appears like a mighty ocean overspreading the human race. Pagans, Mahomedans, Jews, are all alike wrapped in the darkness of unbelief ! That portion of the world, nominally Christian, is also covered with this blinding evil. Thousands, who have been baptized in the name of Christ, remain destitute of the Spirit of Christ. Baptized infidels, baptized profligates, scandalise the Christian name, and form a stumbling-block to Jews and Gentiles. Thousands who profess that they know God, in works deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work, reprobate. The world is their idol; at its shrine they devote themselves. Present pleasures, present honours, present profits, are the things they covet, the things for which they toil, the things for which they expend their time, their talents, their all. The future is hid behind the thick mists of unbelief. They see not, nor long for, the pleasures which are at God's right hand; for the honour which cometh from God only; for the riches of his grace and glory. 0! how great, how merciful is the work of the Spirit, when by his power, he enlightens the mind, touches the conscience, awakens the fears, and melts the heart of the worldling, convincing him of sin, of the deadly sin of UNBELIEF, in rejecting, despising, or neglecting, the SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD.
When unbelief is removed from the heart, the next operation of the Spirit is to reveal to the sinner, (now enlightened to perceive his danger) where help is to be found. He displays to him, in all its glory, that Righteousness which Christ wrought out for him by his obedience unto death, and arrayed in which, as in a garment of salvation, he can stand before the throne of Justice, accepted in the beloved. He then makes known to him for his encouragement and joy of faith, the triumphs of the Saviour, his victory over death and hell, and how the prince of this world is judged and overcome.
Such are the manifestations of the Spirit as promised by our Lord to the world :--" 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 the Father, and ye see me no more. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. Oh adorable Redeemer, pity a world sunk in unbelief and sin. Stretch forth tħine almighty arm. Rescue the perishing millions of mankind from sinking into the fiery abyss of hell. Manifest thyself as in the days of old, when thousands on the day of Pentecost were pricked in their heart, crying out, Men and brethren, what shall we do? who, gladly receiving the word preached by thine Apostle, confessing their sins, and professing their faith in thee, were baptised in thy name, and added to thy Church.
Now, let me meditate on those operations of the Spirit promised to the true disciples of Jesus. To them, the Holy Ghost is a COMFORTER. Delightful visitant!
None but those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, who have found rest in believing,
the bosom of their beloved Saviour, can comprehend the felicity contained in this endearing name—the Comforter. Oh that my heart may daily enjoy the consoling influences of this celestial guest, in fulfilment of that promise" He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
whose souls repose
He is also the Spirit of Truth. “When he is come, he will guide you into all truth.” The Spirit guides us into the truth of all the promises, and of all the prophecies, which, centering in Christ, receive their full accomplishment in Him, for Christ is Himself The Truth, and to know Him, is to know the truth. What a blessing, in the midst of abounding errors, to have such an unerring Guide.
The Spirit is the Glorifier of Jesus. " He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” The Spirit glorifies Christ, when he reveals him to us in all the glory of his nature, as God manifest in the Aesh ; in the glory of his character, as our Mediator, Advocate, and Friend; in the glory of his offices, as our Prophet, Priest, and King; in the glory of his work, as our Redeemer and Saviour of the world. Oh that I may have grace to glorify him by receiving him into my heart by faith ; by casting the burden of my sins upon him; by delighting to hold communion with him by living wholly to him, who lived and died for me. Thrice happy they, who from the inward working of the Spirit, can say with St. Paul: “ I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me,
himself for me." 66 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead'; and that he died for all, that they which live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again."
How free was the Saviour's grace to the woman of Samaria: “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink ; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."
“ Jesus, the gift divine I know,
The gift divine I ask of thee ;