the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, and the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lusts thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” [St. John's 1st epistle, 2d chapter.] If we have become perfectly loosened from the world and these murdering things, and have a delight in God and his words to do them, then the following portion of scripture will apply to us and will be most sweet and precious to our souls: “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me, and he that loveth me will be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him."-Consequently the next portion of our text:2d. And I will pray the Father and he shall give you an

other comforter, that he may abide with you forever:

The time of our blessed Lord's sojourn upon earth was hastening to a close; it was striding apace to the period when his sufferings should be brought to an end and he be taken away from his dear disciples and followers, to a dearer father in heaven-his bowels yearned in love and compassion for them, while he prepared their hearts and souls to withstand and endure the great shock which would necessarily be given to their faith, and to console them he tells them that he would pray the Father to give them another comforter, and also that it was expedient for them that he did go away; for if he did not go away the comforter would not come unto them, but if he departed he would send him unto them. He thus, as the great physician, administered sweet balm, precious promises, to alleviate their sorrows and console their disconsolate hearts; and well knowing the persecution which they would meet with, he makes it known to them in language like to the following,—The servant is not greater than his Lord; if they have persecuted me they will persecute you; if they


have kept my sayings they will keep yours also. These words must have had the desired effect upon the hearts of his disciples, that since he, their Lord and Master was persecuted and reviled, and bore it with patience, it became them not to think too highly of themselves, to place themselves above their master, but to prepare their minds in humility to endure similar or even greater scoffs and persecutions through love to him, and for his name's sake, and the reward attending their obedience, to inherit the mansions which he was going to prepare, eternal in the heavens.

The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, proceedeth from the Father and the Son, moved on the face of the waters at the foundation of the earth, and was soon to descend and move in the souls of the spiritual foundation of Christ's church, to build it up to a higher state of perfection; to excite the followers of Jesus to persevere in holiness, to perform the duties of their high and holy calling, to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things; to enable them to rejoice on their pilgrimage among a sinful and adulterous generation, which were destitute of the love of God in their hearts, and at enmity with his high and holy purpose of saving their souls through the atonement of Christ. The spirit of God was therefore of all importance to his disciples, to increase their hope and confidence, and confirm their faith in their Divine Master, amid this gainsaying, crooked, and perverse people, so that they might be as lights, shining and reflecting the love and glory of the Sun of Righteousness out of dark places, yea the dark places of the earth, where the beast has his habitations and workings of abomination, to deceive the souls of the unwary, of men, yea, the very elect

, if possible; but God in his wisdom, has erected a standard against the powers of darkness, in his Son, the King of Saints, the conqueror of sin, death, hell and the devil; thro' faith in him, through faith in Jesus, his saints shall overcome, quench every fiery dart of their enemies, and come off in triumph and rejoicing; and this faith which removes mountains and overcomes all opposition, is fanned into a flame by the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, to the destruction of all the works of Satan in the soul, and cause it to shine with increased luster and glory, to the honor of the King of GloryWe shall now consider the last part of our discourse :Even the spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, be

cause it seeth him not, neither knoweth him, but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you.

The Holy Ghost is emphatically the spirit of truth, for he cometh from the God of truth, and his Son, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and applies and urges the offers of salvation upon the soul, continues the work therein, by aiding to combat the lying suggestions of Satan to nullify his desception, by referring the soul to the truth of the scripture, to certain texts or portions suitable for the occasion to bruise the serpent's head. That scripture which was also indited by the Almighty through his instrumentality, dwelling in his prophets, who spake as they were moved by him, and whose words therefore always bore the impress of truth, and have nearly all been fulfilled: for instance, the prophecies concerning our blessed Saviour have been chiefly fulfilled, that is those in the Old Testament in relation to him; and how many thousands have been fulfilled and are daily before our eyes, such as relate to sinners and their relationship to God, and the judgments visited upon them. How remarkable was his influence in the prophet Elijah and his successor Miciah to detect the lying spirit in four hundred men who had prophecied lies unto Ahab, and how sudden and exact were his words fulfilled upon the King. Abraham had much of this blessed spirit to confirm his faith and build him up in holiness, and David the Psalmist possessed him in an eminent degree, as his psalms abundantly testify; and Isaiah to be prompt with King Hezekiah in bis sickness, to acquaint him with the will of the Lord concerning his health and prolongation

of life, and to waft on his holy pinions the soul of the prophet to the regions of glory, to acquaint him more fully of the designs of God concerning his people Israel; and to present the same to them in language the most beautiful and sublime. His peculiar workings in Daniel, excite also our admiration. The interpreting of dreams, which the contrary powers were unable to do, and fortify him against the threats of the King; to obey his God rather than man-and of peculiar dreams which he dreamed, and visions which he beheld; the same with Ezra, and many others that might be named, who were all shining constellations in the spiritual hemisphere, pervaded and illuminated by the light and presence of this blessed spirit of Glory.

In due time, after their master had left them, had been exalted a Prince and a Saviour at the right hand of the majesty on high, the promised Comforter was sent down upon his disciples, and sat upon them as cloven tongues of fire; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance, [read Acts, 2d chapter.] which confounded the world, and induced them to rail upon the Apostles, as it is written they could not receive him, because they saw him not neither knew him; they knew that he was far above the spirit they were in the habit of seeing, and bad familiarity with; therefore, they were enraged, and because he was from above and of godly origin, railed upon the disciples; some mocked, others accused them of drunkenness; but by the boldness of Peter, by his fearless language in accusing themi of the murder of his Master, whom they slew and hung on a tree, and that God had rais- . ed his Holy One that he should not see corruption, and seated him at his own right hand eternal in the heavens--and that through him was this shed abroad into their hearts and souls, the effects they saw, but could not comprehend, and no marvel, since many were utter strangers to God, and ignorant of the many means he makes use of to bruise Satan under the feet of the Saints; many however, were pricked in their hearts and exclaimed, “What must we do to be saved."But the greater part continued in the slavery of the devil, their father; working, and conjuring and whoring with his filthy spirits, which they knew and could see, being akin to them; which has been one of the grossest prevailing sins of almost every generation from the commencement of the world; and of kindling the anger of God against them, and destroying myriads of miserable wretches from the face of the earth, as unworthy of the ground which bear them; to wit: at the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah; for the same offence, together with their filthy abominable lewdness, of working one with another, men with men, that which is a shame even to think of, and also using their women in the same way, against nåture, the most hellish and disgusting crime for which people were ever punished; under the law of Moses such filthy creatures were to be stoned to death, immediately, under two witnesses. These bloody, stinking Sodom ites wanted even to know in that way, in preference to holy Lot's daughters, two Virgins-two of our, that is Christ's saint's brethren-two holy angels, directly from the courts of heaven, whom Almighty God sent to inquire particularly into the case of these filthy creatures, whether the report of their abominations was true, which had reached heaven they were thus set upon by these filthy revellers, and God to cleanse his nostrils of these stinking beasts, sent fire and brimstone from heaven in the morning and consumed them with every thing belonging to them, from out of his sight, from off the face of the earth, and cursed the ground, that no one should walk over it and live forever. Since then one of the tribes of Israel was destroyed, saye a few hundredfor a similar crime, when a Levite, a sojourner with his concubine, came into one of their towns to lodge, and was shel. tered by an humble, but God-fearing man—similar filthy devils in human shape, made an attack upon him at night, and wanted, right or wrong, lost to all decency, shame and fear of God · this old Levite to know him, (as they termed

« VorigeDoorgaan »