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Spiril; yet nó person can rea- not doubted, that divine truthis sonably doubt, that secret divine are necessary to be known, becommunications to the hearts fore we shall seek after salvation, of these worshippers, who and that the word is a most powthen embraced the gospel, were erful instrument of conversion likewise foretold ; nor can any and holiness; but yet it is not one doubt, that in this sense, efficacious of itself. And it is likewise, the prophecy was ful- exceedingly evident, from the filled.
general tenor of the New TestaThe New Testament, as might ment, as well as from particular have been expected from the na- passages, that spiritual com ture of the Christian dispensa- munications are necessary to action, is more clear and copious company the word, in order to on this subject. Christ express- its producing the fruits of righly asserts, that no person can en- teousness. The children of ter the kingdom of heaven, un- God are said to be chosen through less he experience a divine sanctification of the Spirit, and be birth by the agency of God's lief of the truth. In this place Spirit. Except a man be born of the sanctification of the Spirit is water and the Spirit, he cannot mentioned in distinction from see the kingdom of God. And the word ; and therefore it is imthe general progress of a Chris- possible, that both should mean tian, as well as particular parts of the same thing. a Christian carriage, is attributed In the eighth chapter of the to divine grace. Persevering epistle to the Romans, the matbelievers are said to be kept by ter is placed beyond all reasonathe power of God through faith to ble doubt. If any words be salvation. Christians are said to capable of proving a doctrine, be led by the Spirit. It is by the that of divine operation upon the Spirit that they mortify the decds human mind is there proved. of the body.
Being led by the Spirit, and In opposition to this, it has by having the Spirit dwelling in us, some been objected, that by the is there stated to be indispensaSpirit is meant nothing more, ble to
ble to our religious security. than the word, which was given Ye are not in the flesh, out in the by the inspiration of the Spirit. Spirit ; if so be, that the Spirit of Persons are said to be born of God dwell in you. Now, if any the Spirit, they tell us, when the man have not the Spirit of Christ, word of God has such influence he is none of his. As many as upon them, as to lead them to a are led by the Spiril, they are the holy life, although no divine Sons of God. If the Spirit of him communications are made to the that raised un Jesus from the mind. To this it is replietl, that dead, dwell in yon; ht, that raised Paul does indeed say to the un Christ from the dead, shall also Corinthians, I have begotten you quickin yoar mortal bodies by his through the gospel; and the Spirit, the divelleih in you. If ye church is said to be cleansed and live after the flesh, ye shall die ; sanctified by the word : but neith- but if through ine Spirit ye do er of these expressions excludes morrify the deeds of the body, ye the agency of the Spirit. It is shall live. Unless the necessity of divine influences be here as- establish his good resolutions serted, these strong declarations by bringing to his mind some must have little or no import. striking passages of Scripture, For it is here said, that they, who or some alarming ideas of God's are Christ's, have the Spirit of presence, or of the world to Christ; and that they, who are the come. He may excite him to a sons of God, are led by this Spir- religious activity by representing it ; i. e. directed and influenced to him the danger of sloth in the in a holy life ; and that those, business of salvation ; or may who live in Christian obedience, urge him to sobriety by repredo it by aid from above. It is senting to him the great solemthrough the Spirit, that they nity of the work, in which he is mortify the deeds of the body. engaged.
Goodness, righteousness, and Though the indwelling of the truth, are said to be fruits of the Spirit, or to be led by the Spirit, Spirit, (Eph. v. 9.) and so are is peculiar to the children of love, joy, peace, long suffering, God; yet there is reason to begentleness, faith, meekness, and lieve that all men under the gostemperance, (Gal. v. 22, 23.) pel receive something of divine
We know not the way of the communications. The ancient Spirit; nor ought we to attempt Jews did always resist the Holy minuteness in describing the Ghost ; but they could not have manner, in which its effects are resisted the Holy Ghost, unless Produced. God uses various he had been sent to them. Of instruments, and frequently ac- sinners it may, in general, be complishes the same purpose by said, as of the ancient Jews, that different means. At one time they will not submit to the suga: he leads the mind to serious con- gestions and influence of divine templation of some weighty and grace ; they oppose and grieve alarming subject, and presents the Spirit of God. Whereas the that subject to the view, in a humble and contrite soul yields. clear and striking light. He fix- to the grace of Christ, becomes es the attention of sinners on obedient to divine emotions, is those considerations, which most led by the Spirit, and through the evidently demonstrate their dan- Spirit mortifies the deeds of the ger, and the certain ruin, to body. which they are approaching. As God has a perfect know)- . He directs the humble soul, the edge of all means, circumstan- . broken and the contrite heart, to ces, events and combinations of those declarations of mercy, con- events ; it seems reasonable to tained in the covenant of grace; suppose, what is in fact the case, . and either communicates, that he makes use of various withholds consolation, as his means in producing the fruits wisdom and goodness dictate. of holiness in the human heart.
As to directing the Christian's Sometimes loss of worldly sublife, God may, by an impercept- stance, severe disappointments, ible impulse, preserve him from imminent danger, alarming sicka violent and overbearing tempta- ness, the examples, or the pritions ; or, when temptations are vate admonitions of good men, presented, may invigorate and consideration of their triumphant 1 Vol. II. No. 9.
death, or of the despairing death possibly deny them. Yet far of the ungodly, and the reading the more common and ordinary of pious books, are used by God, way of the Spirit's working is as means of conviction, serious less perceptible. The wind blowinquiry, and holiness. But the eth where it listetk; and ye hear public ministration of the word, the sound thereof, but cannot iell as it is the great instrument of whence it cometh, and whither it God's own appointment, must goeth. Our blessed Saviour has be viewed as that, by which he said, 80 is the kingdom of heaven, usually, though not invariably, as if
as if a man should cast seed into operates. That knowledge in the ground, and should sleep, and deed of the blessed gospel of rise night and day, and the seed Christ, which we obtain by read- should spring and grow up, he ing, by private and public in- knoweth not how ; first the blade, struction, is, in a certain degree, then the ear, after that the full instrumental in every conver
corn in the ear. To the opinion sion, and in promoting the piety of Dr. Watts on the subject of of every good man ; for it is un- regeneration and divine influder the impression of evangelical ences we do most cordially actruths, that our minds are excite cede. “In the primitive days ed, alarmed, renewed, and led on. of Christianity,” saith he," and to holy obedience.
in the age of miracles, the Holy The strength of religious im- Ghost attended the preachers of pressions, and the outward evi- the gospel, with his extraordinadence of the change, produced ry gifts of healing, of tongues, of by them, are not less various, prophecy, as well as with the than the means, by which these graces of conviction, sanctificaimpressions are made. Some tion, and comfort ; and the sudpersons are exceedingly distress- denness, and the glory of the ed, and violently agitated un- change that was wrought on sinder the fearful apprehensions of ners, carried with it an illustrious divine wrath ; and there have and uncontested proof of the been some very extraordinary presence and power of God, and and sudden changes in the bis Spirit. Nor has some faint tempers, pursuits, and lives of resemblance of such glorious men. There have been instances grace been altogether wanting in of men, whose lives had been later ages. There have been some wholly given up to dissipation most remarkable instances of and sinful pleasure, suddenly ar- great sinners, converted at once rested in their dangerous career, by the gospel of Christ, and the and exhibiting, ever after, the demonstration of the Spirit. fruits of holiness in a well order- “ But in his more usual and ed life. For, although there are ordinary communications of many marvellous accounts of grace, he works so gently upon this nature, which, upon close ex- our nature, and in so sweet and amination, come to nothing ; yet connatural a manner, as not to there are others, supported on distinguish his agency, in a sen. such clear and weighty evidence, sible manner, from the motions that it is difficult to see, how any of our own souls ; for he never candid and reasonable man can disturbs our rational powers, nor
puts any violence on our natural course might have been derived faculties ;. yet, when we are from the remark in the Panochanged, when are re- plist, it is the more necessary Dewed, when sin is mortified ; that the subject should be placed the Scripture tells us, the Spirit in a lucid point of view, lest othof God has done it. When our ers should follow the example, souls are prepared for heaven, and an ambiguous mode of and our corrupt nature sanctified, preaching be introduced. and suited to the things, that are
CANDIDUS. prepared in heaven for us, we are assured by the word of God, The following are the Extracts from that the Holy Spirit has been the
Original Letters, sent us by Beta; great operator, and has wrought
written by an aged Clergyman to a this change in us.”
young Student in Divinity.
.contain instruction too valuable to be (To be concluded next month.)
lost, and we doubt not will be par: ticularly acceptable and useful to that class of our readers, who are training
up for the gospel ministry, QUERY.
EDITORS. To the Editors of the Panoplist.
MY DEAR SIR, In the 16th No. of the Pano- Your solicitude for my health, plist, p. 178, among the rules for is among other arguments to preaching, it is said, “ Discover awaken me to live to greater pur. no more of your plan than needs pose. Go on then, and add your must.” You will greatly oblige prayers for this too. A gracious one of your constant readers, by Providence has restored me in a defining the particular object of measure, so that I return to my that direction. If by “plan” be poor labours; and have attended meant, system of doctrines, it is in the week past the ordination conceived to be important that of Mr. at - It was consoling they be candidly disclosed. But to find that all ordinations are if by that term be meant, the not so embarrassed, as that was at particular points proposed to be -. But ifthe disagreeables attendelucidated in a discourse, it is ing that, or if any thing else, shall conceived the preacher must awaken us to examine over again needs state them explicitly, if he our preparations for this sacred would hope to gain the attention work, it may be no disadvantage of his hearers.
in the end, though for the time An explanation is the more it may fill us with anxiety. earnestly solicited by your in- O that I could contribute any quirer, as he lately heard a thing to your assistance, on the preacher observe, at the com: subject you mention. The quesmencement of his discourse, that tion of “ internal call” (which, I he should discover no more of suppose, ought to intend being his plan than was necessary. authorised to offer to preach the Your inquirer has ever been una- gospel) seems to be reduced by ble to ascertain what was his our Lord to a narrow compass, plan. Presuming that the idea where natural and literary enof concealing the plan of dis- dowments, and a desire to this I am, &c.
IN WHAT MANNER SHOULD CAN
work, are not wanting. “Lovest Variations will here and there thou me?" then « feed my be found-yes often—but they sheep," and " my lambs."
will be as clearly mourned and Love, we are sensible, is more condemned on reflection; aod than a conviction of what we owe with earnest supplications, and to such a Master; and more new resolutions, for getting the than any common solicitude better of the indwelling evil. about it. There is an attach- God be gracious to you, my ment of the soul to Him and his friend ; resolve all your doubts, interests, which will carry us and prepare you to be eminently spontaneously to his work, and useful. render it pleasant, with all the
(To be continued.) 'self-denials which it requires.
If we seem to have that attachment, it is not improper to examine, whether it be a new senti. At the Synod of Dort, holden in 1618, ment, or affection, plainly dis- the members from Zealand came ta tinguishable from all that we
the following result on this question ; realized in those times when we know that we were not Chris. DIDATES BE PREPARED FOR tians indeed : and whether it be THE SACRED MINISTRY? clearly attended with a propor
(Translated for the Panoplist.) tionable mourning over those times, proportionable abhorrence In order that churches may of moral evil, and love to holi- never be destitute of suitable pas, ness in all its forms : for such tors, the illustrious states are to seems to be the nature of true be requested, that in every prov, affection to Him, in whom all ince, where such custom does not moral excellence is concentred. already prevail, there be a cer
It is of capital importance to tain number of young men, to be examine with great care, wheth- educated for that sacred employ. er the existing affection grounds ment, at public expense. Those itself on the identical character also, who are more wealthy, are of the divine Saviour, which the to be advised to maintain at gospel delineates; and embraces, schools those of their children, without reserye, 'every part of whom they shall find suitable for it.
such employ, and take care that It is of consequence likewise they be there instructed ; that to examine the power of this af; there be public seminaries, from fection ; and whether it does in which persons may be taken to fact conform the reigning tem- discharge the duty of pastors as per, intentions, habits, conversa: often, as shall be necessary. tion, to the spirit and views of For this purpose
there should our great Master. There will be selected from common schools be no perfection here ; but gen: such young men, as are descend: uine love to Christ will form a ed from reputable parents, that reigning character, and give, on no disgrace accrue to the ministhe whole, a new and distinguish: try on account of their dishonour. ing complexion to one's spiritable descent; that they be such, and life.
as have strength of body as well