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the Spirit do not supercede the expected, that when one has been teachings of the word of God, taught the excellency of any and the labors of his ministers ; scriptural doctrine or duty, by for the latter immediately res- the Spirit of God, he will not let pect the understanding, but the it go, and be seduced from it ; teachings of the Spirit are ap- but will always be led by the plied directly to the heart. So same Spirit to rejoice in its glofar are these from rendering the ry. And hence it is, that the instructions of the word unne- saints are not given to change. cessary, that they accompany the There is not an instance of the word. It is by the truths of kind recorded in the scriptures. the word, that the Spirit works Having laid the sure foundation, on the heart : it makes the word they go on unto perfection. quick and powerful ; and hence But it may be reasonably exbelievers are said to be begot- pected of those, who have never ten by the word. They have the discerned the excellency and diword of God dwelling richly in vine glory, which attend the them. They, and only they, see doctrines and duties taught us the excellency of the word. in the scriptures, that they will
Nor do the teachings of the be carried about, with every wind word supercede the teachings of of doctrine, and the craftiness of the Spirit, and render them un- those, who lie in wait to deceive; necessary. For how much so- ever learning, and never able to ever the understanding may be come to the knowledge of the informed, if the heart be not an- truth, shifting from one thing to ointed by the Holy Ghost, the another, as their own caprice, or man is still in his sins. Both the caprice of their leaders shall are necessary to the beginning carry them. Instances of this and progress of divine life.- kind have been very numerous Where there is nothing known, in the world. They were so in there can be nothing admired, the days of the appostles. They and where there is nothing ad- went out from them, because mired, however much may be they were not of them. Those known, there is nothing but who are given to change, give wickedness in the heart.
evidence that they are not taught Further : We may expect of God, and know not the excelfrom the teachings of the Spirit, lency of the truth. which fill the heart with a sense Finally : We remark the of the excellency of divine things, importance of the command, that those, who are thus taught Quench not the Spirit. Men of God, will not be the sport of may oppose his influences, by every wind of doctrine. Much refusing to attend to truth and is said in the scriptures about be- duty. We should cherish them ing sound in the faith-holding diligently, by earnest prayer for fast our professon---holding fast them, by a prayerful reading of that which is good continuing the holy scriptures, by which in the faith, grounded and settled, the Spirit operates on the heart, and not being moved away from by a conscientious obedience, and the hope of the gospel, and we conformity to the will of God are directed to hold fast that in all things, and by devotional which we have : and it may be meditations on the truths which
are revealed. Blessed is the | a vapor, that appeareth for a lit-
pend upon such a bubble of the
4. By determining to delay we Reasons for immediate repentance. determine to sin. Is not the ve
ry forming of such a purpose, ANY confess repentance high-handed rebellion ? Are you
to be a duty ; but put it to set God at nought yet more? off to some future time. They to slight the Saviour yet more? know and they acknowledge, that to grieve the Spirit yet more? it is of great, and everlasting Will not the time past suffice to consequence, to repent, and be have wrought the will of the come reconciled to God; but flesh ? Must you add sin to sin; for the present they say to the and iniquity to iniquity ? He who Saviour, as Felix said to Paul ; can deliberately form such a pur« Go thy way for this time, pose, is probably far from the when I have a convenient sea- kingdom of heaven. . son, I will call for thee.". They 5. The greatness of the work. intend without fail, to secure sal. The soul is of unspeakable value. vation. By and by, at a future | It must be completely happy, or day, on a dying bed, or in old dreadfully miserable, throughout age, the great work they think, a boundless eternity. will be less difficult, and unwel- Hence it is a thing exceeding. But consider ;
ly interesting; to secure the sal1. The necessity of the case. vation of the soul. « For what Do you think, that without re- shall it profit a man, if he gain pentance there is any possible the whole world, and lose his way to escape ? Hear the Sav- own soul? Or what shall a man iour ; “ I tell you nay, but ex- sive in exchange for his soul ?” cept ye repent, ye shall all like- 6. The difficulty of the work wise perish.”
becomes greater by delay. 1. Be2. The shortness of time. cause one delay produces anothWhen we take out of human er. Having put off once, you life, the years of infancy, the again put off with less reluctime of business, the hours of tance. You“ resolve, and re-resleep, the days of sickness, solve, and die the same.” 2. Beand the period of old age, how cause your sins become greater small is the season which re- by delay. Every day they are mains? There surely is no room increasing. They are as a thick for idleness and delay.
cloud ascending up to heaven. 3. The uncertainty of life. 7. Is it your duty to repent at Death often comes at an untime- all? Why is it not your duty now, ly and surprising hour. It al- even now, while it is called to-day? rives when we are not aware ; The present is the only time of and in a moment cuts us down ; which you are sure. If you are and the places which knew us, now unwilling to repent, and beknow us 10
more forever.- lieve, and be saved, what eviWhat is your life? It is even dence have yoil, that you crer
shall be willing, or that you ever once resolving to come to heashall be saved ?
ven at last, as you now are ; 8. All the invitations and pro- and what security have you, that mises of God, are confined to the their present situation, will not present time. We never read, shortly be yours
also ? is If thou believest” to-morrow,
12. God awfully threatens de“ thou shalt be saved.” We nev- laying sinners. “ Because I have er read, “ He that cometh unto called,” &c. Turn to the first me,” to-morrow, “ I will in no chapter of Proverbs ; read from wise cast out.” But the scripture the 24th to the 31st verse. Here saith ; “ Repent, and believe the
you see that God is angry with gospel,” now ; for now is the the wicked every day ; and that accepted time; and now is the their delay is exceedingly proday of salvation.
voking to him. 9. “ God now commandeth
Be not deceived ; a dying hour all men, every where, to repent.'
is no time for repentance. When He says to every sinner ; « Re
the sinner lies turning his faintpent and be converted.'
ing head from side to side ; his pent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." These commands death ; is he in a situation to re
body convulsed in the agonies of are plain and positive; there is no limitation ; they are absolute pent ? Are not some even in
these solemn moments ; on a in their requirements, and in their extent, universal. As God dying bed; when there is but a
step between them and death ; has commanded therefore, he
still thoughtless of futurity ? stuvill not be disobeyed with im- pid as a post ? their hearts, hard punity.
as the nether millstone ? 10. You must feel sorrow for sin ; either here, after a godly ble. How many whose locks are
Old age is equally unfavorasort'; or without avail hereafter. whitened by length of years, This must needs be; it is insur-are yet in sin! hardened to an ed by an unalterable determina inveterate, and almost hopeless tion of Jehovah ; for he“ will degree! They are like the aged by no means clear the guilty." oak, which has been stripped of You must therefore, either re- all its branches by the hand of pent and forsake sin ; or suffer time ; now being visited by the the penalty of that law, which
genial rays of the sun, instead declares; “ The soul that sin- of putting forth leaves, it only leth, it shall die."
becomes more dry, seared, and 11. Many have delayed re-destitute of life and verdure. pentance to their everlasting ru- Such is the aged sinner; he is in. By putting off they were neither allured by hope, nor mofinally lost ; they were undone ; ved by terror. Now, therefore, and they are now beyond the is the best time; it is the time reach of hope. Thousands, now which God points out; and " if in torment, were once sinning, ye will hear his voice;” if ye as you now are ; they were once have any design to repent, and disobeying God, as you now are; live ; delay not ; « harden not they were once delaying repent- your hearts." ance, as you 20w are ; they wore
enter upon the performance of N all ages of the world, sing this pleasing part of worship,
ble part of divine worship. When impressed with a solemn sense
should be warmed with love to Our first object will naturally his infinitely glorious perfecbe, to describe what it is to sing tions : While divine truths are with the spirit.
chanted by our lips, our hearts By the spirit here, we may should approve, and harmonize naturally understand, in the first with them. And, while we are place, the soul or the heart; speaking in sacred songs the natand by singing with the spirit, ural effusions of a holy heart, that inward sensibility, which our hearts also should be in the onight to accompany the melody excrcise of those particular feel. of the voice, to give it its proper ings, which are the subject o force or expression.
When wel the song. If our hearts do not
thus harmonize with the expres- Let us now enquire, what it is sions of our lips, our praises to sing with the understanding. will be but the sacrifices of hy- This expression doubtless inpocrisy, which are an abomina- tends, that we make use of our tion to God. If we would sing rational powers in performing the praises of our God aright, this part of divine worship. That our affections must be spiritual- we perform it, not in a careless, ized ; they must be set on things inattentive manner, but on the above and not on things on the contrary with all the judgment, the earth. And in our raptur- and with all the skill which we ous flight, we must leave this vain are capable of using. For in earth and all that it contains so cases, in which we are capable of far beneath us, as almost to lose worshipping our Maker undersight of it entirely. Thus shall standingly, he doubtless will not we imitate the glorifred inhabit- accept a service, which is destiants of the heavenly world, and tute of design. But to be more perform a service, on which even particular : our God will look with compla- In singing with the undercency.
standing, we must consider, and Further, singing with the understand something of its bespirit, may be intended also to ing a solemn and important duinclude dependence on the Spir- ty. A duty to be performed diit of God. for assistance to per- rectly to our God. That it is forin this part of divine worship not simply performing our part acceptably. As we are at all well in the public assembly, but times dependent on God, and that it should be performed as can do nothing without him, and in the presence of a heart-searchespecially as we are dependent | ing God. And, of course, with on his Spirit for all those graces, solemnity, reverence and awe. that are necessary to render our To sing with the understandservices acceptable in his sight, ing implies also an understandit is important, that we should ing of the words or sentiments, never lose sight of so fundamen- which are sung. If we undertal a truth. It is becoming, there- stand not the sentiments which fore, that in our attempts to cel- we express with our lips, we do ebrate the praises of our God, but offer to our God the sacriwe should acknowledge this de- ficeof the fool; and further, if the pendence, by looking to him for tone or expression of the voice every necessary assistance. We is to be adapted to the nature of should feel, that it is God, who the sentiment expressed, how modulates our voices, and gives can it be done, if it be not underus skill to use them melocliously. stood ? The apostle reproved We should feel, that it is the the Corinthians for a similar Spirit of God, who gives us our fault. They both prayed and measure of grace, and prepares sang in an unknown tongue ; our hearts to harmonize with and though they might be edithe spirit of the song. And with fied themselves, yet they did not humble submission to his will cdify each other. And we may should we look to him for those as well sing in an unknown things, for which, we are con- tongue, as to sing what we do scivis, that we are dependent. not understand ourselves, and in