« السابقةمتابعة »
with these tremendous words : “ Because I called,
and ye refused, I stretched out my hand, and no man regarded, but ye have set åt nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof; I also “ will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when "your fear cometh. When your fear cometh as deso"lation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; " when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then “shall they call upon me, but I will not answer;
they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me.” -" Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you ; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Oh! my fellow-sinners, such of you as have been favoured with manifold advantages, and have at times seemed disposed to profit by them; if you should at last die in your sins, what an account will you have to give! What a meeting will you have, even with those who have spoken to you the word of God, and watched for your souls; who have faithfully and affectionately warned
you, and earnestly persuaded you, by the love of Christ, and by the terror of the LORD, “ not to refuse him that speaketh,” not " to “ neglect so great salvation !” “ It would have been " better for you not to have known the way of righte
ousness, than to turn at last from the holy com"mandment delivered unto you." · Again let me intreat you, to reverence your consciences; and venture not to go on in any thing concerning which your own heart condemns you; for "God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all " things.”—“Submit yourselves therefore to God. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw
nigh to God, and he will draw nigh unto you. “ Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your
hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, " and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourn. “ing, and your joy into heaviness. Humble your. “ selves in the sight of God, and he shall lift you up." Then will the gracious Saviour say of you, to his friends and servants, “ Rejoice with me; for I have “ found my sheep, which was lost :” and
also shall, ere long, share the joy.
Let me then conclude by again reminding you of the words of Christ, “ Him that cometh unto me, “ I will in no wise cast out.” Imitate him, who of old cried with tears “ LORD, I believe, help thou “ mine unbelief;" and your sorrow shall in due time be turned into joy. And may God, of his infinite mercy, grant that all present may be found among those, over whom Christians and Ministers rejoice; over whom Christ rejoices; and who shall rejoice with him, and in his love and presence, to all eter. nity! Amen.
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ? In the
N the former part of this chapter, our blessed Sa. viour teaches his disciples to pray; and encourages them, in the most affecting manner, to earnestness and importunity in prayer. With what energy do the illustrations, used on the occasion, address the feelings of our hearts ! “ If a son shall ask bread of
any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone ? "Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish, give him a
serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer " him a scorpion ?”
And while every one, who heard him, must find his heart revolt against a conduct so contrary to parental affection, he added the words of our text: " If ye then, being evil, know how to give good
“ gifts unto your children, how much more shall
your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them " that ask him?" It is not said, to his children, but “ to them that ask him ;” that the asking itself might be a ground of encouragement to every supplicant. In a parallel passage the concluding words are, “How “ much more shall your Father, which is in heaven,
give good things to them that ask him ?"* But here the Holy Spirit is promised, as the best gift of God to those that are favoured with the gospel, and indeed, as comprehending all things which are truly and essentially good for them.
“ God made man in his own image, after his own « likeness.” He had before pronounced each part of the creation good; but when man had been formed, and placed in dominion over the other creatures, he pronounced the whole to be very good. Yet here our LORD, addressing his own disciples, speaks of them, and of men in general, as evil : “ if then ye “ being evil, &c.” We are informed in the third of Genesis, how “by one man sin entered into the "'world, and death by sin. Thus man became as.
clay marred in the hand of the potter :" and soon after we read, that “ God saw the wickedness of
man was great in the earth; and that every imagi“ nation of the thoughts of his heart was only evil, “ continually. And it repented the LORD that he “ had made man on the earth ; and it grieved him at - his heart."-" God looked upon the earth, and
behold, it was corrupt : for all flesh had corrupted
• Matt. vii. 11.
" his way upon the earth.”* Accordingly he de stroyed the whole depraved race, except righteous Noah and his family : yet directly after the deluge, he testified that “the imagination of man's heart is “evil from his youth.” Undoubtedly then some vast change had taken place in the human character, since the time when “God created man in his own "image,” and pronounced him “
This change, this fallen state of human nature ; this depravity, called in Seripture
“ death in trespasses and sins,” made way for “ the glorious
gospel of God our Saviour,” which was predicted in emphatical but obscure language immediately after the fall. For it pleased God to take occasion from man's apostacy, to glorify the riches of his miercy and
grace, in harmony with his justice, holiness, and truth, in saving us poor miserable sinners.--Now the promise of the REDEEMER (God manifest in the fesh), through whose person, righteousness, atonement, and mediation ; redemption was made and salvation proclaimed, is the grand promise of the Old Testament. « The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of “prophecy." In like manner, the atonement being made, the everlasting righteousness brought in, the Redeemer glorified, the way into the holiest manifested, and the gospel published; the promise of the Holy Spirit may justly be considered as the grand and peculiar promise of the New Testament : for, in fact, what else is wanting to complete our recovery to