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Spirit soften your heart. O then, to-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts! 0, to-day receive the grace of God!

But have any known the accepted time, and God working in them; are they working out their own salvation with fear and trembling?-Press onward, beloved brethren, for the prize; He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. You may have to go through many trials; but all are ordered and regulated for your best good, and whatever may be in the midst of them, God will

hear and succour you.

You shall find the faithfulness of the declaration-I have heard thee, and I have succoured thee. He will keep you so that none shall pluck you out of his hands.




We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain; for he saith I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee. Behold, now is the accepted time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.

FROM these words I stated my purpose to consider, 1. The grace of God. 2. The season of grace. 3. The giving of grace. 4. The receiving it in vain. 5. The receiving it effectually. We have already considered the first two divisions.

There remain to consider,





We then, as workers together with him.

We have here the instrument used, and the power using it.

THE INSTRUMENT USED-is the ministry of the Gospel. God uses, in infinite condescension, sinful men to be the heralds of his grace, and to convey to their fellow sinners the tidings of his love. We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God. This is our proper business, this our high office as God's ministers. In this accepted time we study in hope, we pray in hope, we preach in hope, we labour in hope, if that God by any means, through us, may save your souls. Nor have we any thing that ought so to lie upon our minds as this. How the Apostle speaks to the Galatians, my little children, of whom I travail in birth until Christ be formed in you. We know that the time of opportunity is limited and short; we urge upon your attention the only way of salvation; we remind you that the continuance of the day of grace is full of uncertainties; we declare the aggravated guilt of neglecting it, and that, if the Gospel be not a savour of life unto life, it is a savour of death unto death; we desire to be instant in season and out of season, never resting

till we see you safe in the only refuge of sinners, -the grace of God.

We remember also that a day will come when we can no more think of you, and pray for you, visit you, and beseech you to turn to Christ: a day when ministers will be withdrawn from you for ever, and if you have received the grace of God in vain, Satan may give your minister a challenge which he can then neither accept nor answer.'Do what thou wilt to rescue this or that lost sinner from my grasp; to bring him to repentance and salvation. He is mine, for ever chained in indissoluble bonds, my prey, my lawful captiveyes, for ever.'

Let the voice of the ministry now then reach your ears: Seek ye the Lord while he may be


And for your encouragement, remember


Do not think we magnify the instrument. The treasure is unspeakably excellent and precious, but we have this treasure iu earthen vessels-vessels of no value in themselves, full of defects and weaknesses, soon broken and laid aside-and why is this? that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (2 Cor. iv. 7.)

A divine power attends the feeble ministry of man. To them that are saved the preaching of the cross is the wisdom of God and the power of God.

Preaching is the Divine Ordinance in which God is wont to pour out his Holy Spirit. O if you had right views of this ordinance how highly would you esteem-how diligently attend the ministry of the gospel, looking for and expecting the Holy Ghost. This, this is our aim-not that our preaching may be with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that as our sufficiency is of God, so that sufficiency may be continually seen in turning you from sin, and building you up in your most holy faith. It is his promise, Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power; O that the power may be put forth even in our ministry to the conversion and salvation of your precious souls.

THE MEASURE GIVEN, is just as it pleases God; to some more, to some less: To every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Just as the gifts of the Spirit are bestowed on each according to the Divine sovereignty, and all these worketh that one and the self same Spirit dividing to every man severally as he will; so the graces of the Spirit are according to the gift, freely given of God—ask and ye shall have. Be not content with a small measure of grace. O how little, how very little most of us have, and how satisfied we are with that little! Instead of hungering and thirsting for more and more, that grace and peace may be multiplied, we sit down

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