for them; and that, during their years of ignorance, they are regarded as members of his church; but as soon as children are capable of committing actual sin, they must implore for themselves the assistance of the HOLY SPIRIT, and prepare for ratifying the vow made in their name at their baptism, by a public profession of their faith in CHRIST.

We may know that the SPIRIT dwelleth in us, if we

find in our minds an ardent desire to do the will of GOD-a preference of eternal things to worldly pursuits —a sincere belief of the truths of Christianity-a perfect love and charity for all mankind-a consolation under afflictions-and a fervent hope of salvation through the mercy of God; for these are the FRUITS or effects of the SPIRIT, as we find them described in the Epistles of St. Paul and the other Apostles.

How thankful ought mankind to be, for the wonderful goodness of GOD, in bestowing such an inestimable gift upon them! How grateful should every individual be to CHRIST, for directing it to themselves in particular! Let us, then, keep our minds constantly prepared to comply with the motions and suggestions of the HOLY SPIRIT, by leading a life of obedience and righteousness; and take heed, that we do not, by any wilful disobedience to the revealed will of God, transmitted to us in the Scriptures, resist his HOLY SPIRIT; but since he vouchsafes to dwell in us, let us do nothing that is unworthy of so Divine and heavenly a guest. Let the thoughts of his presence fill our hearts with a continual awe and reverence of him, and engage us effectually to cleanse ourselves from every evil inclination. Let us earnestly implore the assistance of the HOLY SPIRIT, and continually depend upon him for his grace and assistance, in an humble sense of our own weak


ness and fickleness, and the inconstancy of our best purposes and resolutions. If we thus pray, we shall certainly obtain; but we must pray, and we must also act; for God does not force the will. He only inclines and aids it by the suggestions and motions of the HOLY SPIRIT. If we comply and co-operate with him, wẹ shall be happy; if we resist and rebel against him, the grace of GoD is offered us in vain, and our ruin and destruction is of ourselves.

Having seen in what manner our LORD's predictions, relating to the descent of the HOLY SPIRIT on those who adhered to him, were fulfilled, let us now enquire concerning the fate of those who rejected the Gospel in the first age of the church *.



AND as he went out of the Temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here.

And JESUS said unto him, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.

To supply the deficiencies of these Annotations relating to the HOLY SPIRIT, I must beg leave to refer my readers to the excel. lent series of discourses on the subject, by Archbishop Tillotson, in his 2d vol. folio edition, from whence they are chiefly extracted. I could not offer every argument that occurred to me, without making many extracts from the Epistles; and this I was unwilling to do, as the texts are capable of a fuller and more satisfactory explanation in their proper places.


And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us when shall these things be; and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world.

And JESUS answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you ;

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am CHRIST and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

But before all these they shall lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.

And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son: and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. There shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.

And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of de


solation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth let him understand):

When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know ye that the desolation is nigh.

Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let them who are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

For these are the days of vengeance, that all things that are written might be fulfilled.

Let him who is on the house-top, not come down to take any thing out of his house; neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes.

And wo unto them who are with child, and to those who give suck in these days. And pray ye, that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.

And then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the tiles of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled.

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity: the sea and the waves roaring.

Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after these things that are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is CHRIST, or there, believe him not;

For there shall arise false CHRISTS and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch, that


were it possible, they should deceive the very elect. Behold I have told you before.

Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not.

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the of the heavens shall be shaken.


And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Now learn a parable of the fig-tree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at your doors.

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

« VorigeDoorgaan »