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of God; and acknowledge the necessity of instantly attending to the duties of religion. Waste no more of that time which God has given you: much of it has already been squandered; much of it has silently flowed from you whilst you were little thinking of it, and has rendered up an account of the manner in which it has been spent at the tribunal of the Eternal. Live to God and to your souls; feel that you have higher interests than those of a body that is fading and tending to dissolution; of a body given only as the temporary abode of the immortal spirit.
2. Do the faculties of the soul fade as well as the body? Of what importance then is it for you, who are still in the bloom of life and the vigour of your days, now to acquaint yourselves with God; now to devote yourselves to him through the Redeemer; now to become acquainted with his precious gospel. Before your understanding is filled with prejudices, corrupted by sinful habits, or weakened by sickness or age, carefully investigate the doctrines, and endeavour to imbibe the spirit, of Christianity. While the memory still is tenacious, store it with useful ideas, and with a profound knowledge of religion. While the affections are yet ardent, direct them to their true object, the glorious God and compassionate Redeemer, and exercise them in devotion, zeal, and benevolence. Happy indeed are they who thus employ their youth! Amidst the decays of nature a sacred peace shall be spread upon his soul; though their minds should lose their vigour, they shall still taste the sweetness of religion; though they may not have, when age has chilled their affections, those high and transporting joys which they felt in youth, yet they shall enjoy what is still more valuable, that
settled and sacred tranquillity of mind, and wellgrounded hope of glory, which is the result of much experience and a long walk with God. Oh! what precious cordials are these amidst the dreariness and infirmities of age!
3. Since "we fade as a leaf," and with us all the transient glories of our present state, let us fix our thoughts and affections on those things which endure for ever on that Saviour who is eternal; that kingdom which cannot be moved; that heavenly inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away. The tree stripped of its leaves in autumn, is in the spring clothed by the God of nature with fresh verdure and beauty, and with leaves more fair and gay than those which fell. Thus, believer, shall it be with thee when the winter of death is past, and the spring of eternal day shall dawn. Thou shalt rise again with an incorruptible body, and more perfect faculties, which shall never grow dim with age. Thou shalt rise in the beauty of holiness, and flourish in immortal bloom in the Paradise of God. To adopt the poetical language of Bishop Horne,
"On the tree of life eternal,
Man, let all thy thoughts be stay'd;
Which alone, for ever vernal,
Bears those leaves which never fade."
4. Finally the consideration that "we all fade as a leaf," will give consolation to the child of God who is languishing in affliction, and contemned by the world. The hand that depressed and wounded can raise and heal. But even if Providence should not ease you of your burden, yet the time of warfare is hastening to its close. The next hour may enlarge
your struggling soul from its earthly prison, and place it in a mansion where there shall be nothing to vex or annoy, and where tears shall be wiped away from your eyes for ever. for ever. Or if years are still to be spent by you in sorrow, how soon will they be passed! Every evening sun that goes down, every organ that fails, every flower that droops upon the stalk, every leaf that drops from the tree, are so many warnings of that stroke which is to relieve you from this vain world. Be humble and resigned; and while the storm is loud and boisterous; look forward with patience to that shore where storms shall be at rest for ever.
DAY OF PENTECOST.
ACTS ii. 1-4.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
A FEW Sabbaths since we considered the glorious ascension of our Redeemer. We listened to him while he commanded the disciples to wait at Jerusalem for the promise of the Father, and assured them that not many days hence they should receive power, and be baptized with the Holy Ghost. We beheld him then rising majestically from Olivet, and received into the heavens till the time of the restitution of all things.
For the fulfilment of his promise, for the promulgation of his gospel, for the salvation of men, it was
necessary that the heavens should again be opened, and the Holy Ghost descend, to dispel all prejudice and darkness from the minds of the apostles, to inspire them with invincible courage and zeal, and to bestow upon them those miraculous powers which would be seals of their ministry, and give efficacy to their preaching.
This was done on the feast of Pentecost. It is an event which is this day gratefully commemorated by many Christian churches, and it will not be uninteresting nor useless for us to consider it, and to examine the time, the place, the dispositions. of the disciples, the signal of the conferment of the Spirit, the emblem which denoted his presence, and the effects which he produced.
1. The time that God chose for the Holy Spirit visibly to descend on the disciples, was the day of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of our blessed Saviour, and ten after his ascension. The Jews (as you are taught in the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus) had three solemn festivals, on the recurrence of which all the males of the nation were required to assemble at Jerusalem, there to worship God in his temple. These festivals were the passover, the feast of tabernacles, and the feast of weeks. This last was thus called because it occurred when seven times seven days had elapsed after the passover; and by the hellenist Jews it was termed pentecost, from a Greek word signifying fifty, because the event which it commemorated took place on the fiftieth day after the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. There are several reasons which rendered this a peculiarly fit season for this miracle. There were then at Jerusalem many Jews, not only from the various parts of Judea, but also from all