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that is the Holy Spirit, 66 will not come unto
you, but if I depart I will send him unto
you.” When Christ declares, to continue his earthly presence was not so great a gift as to send the Holy Spirit, in what state must that man's heart be, who professes that he troubles not himself about the Holy Spirit ? Can there be a stronger instance of how proud and hard the human heart will grow, when it does not humble itself to ask for Divine assistance from above.
Hitherto, what has been said relates to the influence of the Holy Spirit upon man, as each soul stands separately in need of his assistance. But there is another office belonging to him-one not so personal, yet which brings his power home to our tenderest sensibilities; which must fill every feeling mind with the most affecting awe. 'Tis his promise to guide us in our prayers for others. The Spirit is then said to make intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered. No commandment is given more positively, or more frequently, than that we should pray for one another. There are many instances in Holy Writ of the wrath of God being turned away, in answer to the petitions, which his true servants offered up for others. St. James assures us that, “ the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man
Against national blindness we have the same Apostle's example for the same remedy, his prayer for Israel, that then persecuted the Church, was that they might be saved. Where the cords are drawn closer, for friends and kindred, O God, how gracious is it in thee, that having experienced the inefficiency of our own power, we are allowed to look to thy Spirit in its prevailing strength ; and in the closest concern, in the business of our own hearts, sensible of weakness, sensible of unworthiness, who can find language to express the peace it gives to know, that the Spirit is promised whose name is the Comforter, and that he will guide us into all truth. But remember what must go hand in hand with these great notions--remember while in the body we are not yet made perfect, we are but creatures who must guard against the assaults of a corrupted nature with all watchfulness. When we pray for the Holy Spirit, it should remind us of what is so fully expressed in the epistle to the Corinthians, “Know ye not that
ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit “ of God dwelleth in you, if any man defile “ the temple of God him will God destroy, “ for the temple of God is holy, which temple
When such holiness, and human nature are put in contrast, who is there that
does not smite upon the inward breast and cry, “ God be merciful to me a sinner.” Who is there that does not then feel the comfort of a promised help from the Spirit of Holiness, and a desire to pray to him for his heavenly establishing ?
As this is our bounden duty, so with increased earnestness let it be our reasonable service; and the more we feel the vast obligation laid upon us, from the manner of our Saviour's death, by which he went away from us, so much the more may we find that his departure was expedient for us; that the justification purchased by his sufferings, and the sanctification flowing from his Spirit, may reclaim us from sin, establish us in righteousness, and in the multitude of the mercies of Him who giveth liberally and upbraideth not, bring us through the power of the Holy Ghost unto our God. Amen.
SEEK YE THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND, CALL YE
UPON HIM WHILE HE IS NEAR.
The blessings, which were to be conferred on Man by the promulgation of the Gospel, had been the subject of the Prophet's vision, and he endeavours, in strains of surpassing beauty and sublimity, to express the noble acts of the Lord, and to tell the people what things he hath done for his fallen guilty creatures. In the animated and figurative language of the Prophet, the Almighty lays the stones of his Church with fair colours, and her foundations with sapphires, he makes her windows of agates and her gates of carbuncles; and finally promises that all her children shall be taught of the Lord, and that great shall be the peace of her children. It is not, however, to dazzle the eye, or to