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THE GUILT OF MAKING LIGHT OF CHRIST. 67 E neglect. Oh! my Redeemer, few are the followers thy dying
love has gained ! Few, alas! regard thy sufferings, and seek the heaven thou hast so dearly purchased for man. Ah! deceived, deceiving world! such hopes to renounce, such a Saviour again to crucify, for the sake of a few poor, short years of earthly vanity! Perhaps you, my youthful readers, are not clear from such frightful guilt. Perhaps you neglect that Saviour who spread the heavens abroad, and who created the earth beneath you. Perhaps you indulge no thoughts of his love; or let any trifling folly drive such thoughts away. Perhaps you forget the eternal bliss of heaven, and the bitter agonies and bloody sufferings of the compassionate Saviour ;
and forget all these for trifles so mean, that they would not e drive from your thoughts one day of promised pleasure, and
yet they can induce you to forget a gracious God, a crucified Saviour, and an eternal world. Ah! foolish creature and unwise, thus to requite the Lord and Giver of salvation! The cruelty to yourself of such neglect, is as great as the ingratitude towards him. You, though young, and gay, and thoughtless, have a soul whose worth worlds cannot measure, whose price worlds cannot pay. You have been viewing the Redeemer's works, the earth, the sun, the stars of light, but your neglected soul in value outweighs them all. The period is coming, when of the sun, and all those meaner but brilliant fires, not one glittering fragment will remain; but never will that time arrive when your soul shall cease to live. Were one person to enjoy all the pleasure that has ever been enjoyed by all the millions that have ever lived, all that united would be but a moment of pleasure, compared with that enduring bliss, which ransomed souls possess in the kingdom of God. And were all the sufferings that through almost six thousand years have imbittered so many lives, and broken so many hearts; were all the sicknesses and pains, and all the dying pangs, of the countless millions that death has swept away; were all these united and poured upon one unhappy head, it would be less than a drop, compared with those mountainous billows of misery which, in the world to come, will overwhelm every neglecter of the Son of God. These all would not form eternal sufferings, not amount to everlasting sorrow. These immense sums of happiness or pain would have an end, but the joy or sorrow to which you are hastening can have none. How
RUIN INCURRED. highly you value this fleeting life! How precious is even the uncertain prospect of a few years of peace and ease! How bitter are sufferings when no end of them can be seen! How bitter is it to the galley slave to think, that the chain which binds him, binds him for life! How severe a sentence of perpetual imprisonment! Were such your circumstances, how insupportable would the load of misfortune appear! These chains for life! This imprisonment for life! What tenfold bitterness would the words, “ for life," add to the prison and the chain. How great are sorrows when only death can end them! Oh, what will eternal sorrows be? sorrows to which no death can ever bring relief ? Oh, what will be the wretched creature's lot who has through eternity to exclaim, “ Mercy once wooed me, but mercy is gone for ever! God pitied me, but has now left me for ever! the Saviour I slighted is departed for ever! for ever! Oh, that dreadful for ever! Peace, and hope, and comfort, all have left me for ever! and now this hellish prison is my abode for ever! This dismal gloom, this eternal heart-ache, this tormenting flame, are my sad por. tion for ever! O could that eternity be shortened ! O could one hope gleam across the eternal gloom! O could death, though at the distance of infinite years, appear to end my sorrows and my being ! But no such comfort can visit me! There is no gleam of hope in the distance of eternal night. There is no death that can end my being. The death I suffer is the death that never dies. God, and Christ, and hope, and mercy, and peace, and ease, are all gone! woe! woe is me! gone for ever and for ever!
Shall this be your lot! It must, it will, if you neglect that blessed Friend, whose glory and love this chapter has faintly represented to you.
THE PERSONALITY, DEITY, AND INFLUENCES OF THE
$1. W HEN the disciple of Jesus contemplates his Saviour's
V dying love, the exalted allurements presented in the gospel to a life of piety, and the eternal terrors denounced against a life of vice, he is ready to wonder that all are not Christians. But when he looks inward, and, judging from his own heart, perceives what human nature is, he is perhaps as ready to wonder that Jesus has any followers in so dead a world. These views lead the mind to that Spirit of truth, who is the source of piety. To his agency the Christian acknowledges himself indebted for the religion he enjoys; and is encouraged and pleased by believing that this divine Friend will đo that for others which he has done for him.
It is of high importance to have scriptural views respecting the Holy Spirit; the agency, and the divinity, and even thie personality of the Spirit of God, have been denied. He has been represented as an angel, but most commonly by those who have denied his divinity, as a mere attribute, the power or the wisdom of God.
§ 2. In briefly surveying the Scripture testimony respecting the Holy Spirit, first observe those passages in which his name stands united with the Father and the Son. “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."a “The grace of our Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.”b
If the Holy Ghost were a mere divine attribute, and not a divine person, the former of these passages might be read, Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of holy power, or holy wisdom, or divine operation. This, instead of representing the Lord Jesus as having spoken
(a) Matt. xxviii. 19. (6) 2 Cor. xiii. 14.
PROOFS OF THE PERSONALITY sense and truth, would represent him as uttering language without a meaning. For what meaning could be attached to the expression of baptizing in the name of an attribute. If a person took an oath of allegiance to the king, the peers, and the commons, assembled in parliament, the meaning would be obvious, but if he swore allegiance to the king, the parliament, and the king's power, the latter part of the oath would convey no idea.
When the apostle implored for his Christian friends the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, he im. plored most important blessings; and if the Holy Spirit is a divine person, not a less important one, when he added, the communion of the Holy Ghost. But if the Holy Ghost were a mere attribute, wisdom, or power, how absurd would appear a devout prayer, that the fellowship of God's power or wisdom might be with them!
Š 3. The actions and attributes ascribed to the Holy Spirit, furnish further proof of his personality.
The Spirit is said to approve or be pleased. “ It seemed good to the Holy Ghost."--To be displeased or vexed. * They rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit.”d “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God."--To be resisted. “Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost ; as your fathers did, so do ye."- TO strive. “My Spirit shall not always strive with men."
8 T . hear and speak. “He shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he hear, that shall he speak."h_To direct. “ The Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and join thyself to that chariot.";
-To forbid. “ They were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.” —To guide. “ He will guide you into all truth."|_To inhabit as a temple. “ Ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you."m-T. search and know. “The Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God.”n-To discover what he thus knows. “ He shall glorify me, (Christ,) for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine, therefore said , that he shall take of mine, and show it unto you." “ The Comforter shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have
(c) Acts xv. 28. (d) Isa. Ixiii, 10. (e) Eph. v. 30. (9) Acts vii. 51.
(9) Gen, vi. 3. (h) John xvi. 13. (0) Acts viii. 20. (k) Acts xvi. 6.* (1) John xvi. 13. (m) 1 Cor. iii. 16. (n) i Cor. ii. 10, 11. (c) John xvi. 14, 15. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
71 said unto you."P-To be sent for this purpose, and when sent, to testify, comfort, and convince. “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." “ When he is come he will reprove (or convince) the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.”—To inspire. “Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."s—To work and distribute according to his pleasure. “All these worketh one and the same Spirit, dividing to every man according as his will."t-To give life. “Quickened by the Spirit.”ú _To be the object of attempted deception. Peter said, “ Ananias, Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost ?"
Is it possible reasonably to suppose, that in a volume written by inspired men, to instruct the illiterate, such language should be used respecting the wisdom or the power of God ? Could it,
to speak merely common sense, be said of wisdom, or power, 3 or any other attribute, that it is pleased, is displeased, is vexed,
is grieved, is resisted ; that it strives, hears, speaks, directs, forbids, inhabits, searches, and knows, reveals, teaches, is sent, inspires, works, distributes according to its own will, quickens, and is the object of attempted deception. If sensible men would not use language so absurd, would inspired men use it when penning a book designed to enlighten, and guide, and save the world?
Would the pronoun HE be repeatedly applied, even by 5 Christ himself, to the Spirit, if the Spirit were merely one of
God's perfections ? HE shall testify. I will send HIM. When HE is come, HE will reprove the world. HE, the Spirit of truth, HE will guide you into all truth. HE shall not speak of HIMSELF, but whatsoever HE shall hear shall HE speak.
HE will show you things to come. HE shall glorify me. EHE shall receive of mine. Dividing according as HE will.
Would there be any propriety in applying expressions like these to God's power or wisdom ? Would even a child make use of them? Can we then suppose that he who spake as never man spake, should speak thus unintelligibly ? Unitarians may sneer and rant about eastern allegories and personification, but we may defy them to produce an instance from
(8) 2 Pet, i. 21.
John xiv, 26. (a) John xv. 26. (r) John xvi. 7,8
() 1 Cor. xii. 11. (u) 1 Pet. iii. 18.
(0) Acts v. 3