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fully the trust which is reposed in church to the end of time, or till him. We are come here to.day, that period when the arm of pernot to exercise any lordship over secution shall cease to lift the you, but to witness your orderly sword against the humble followdeportment, and to rejoice with ers of Jesus, and when pure and you in prospect of all the good undefiled religion shall'Aourish which lies before you. We come, in every part of the world. But too, at your own desire, and we though the apostle was under the cannot but wish that our coming influence of the Holy Spirit in an may be to your advantage. We extraordinary manner at the peare satisfied with what we have riod referred to, yet, as that influseen and heard, and now have ence in an ordinary degree is proonly to beseech you all “to let mised to the church of God to your conversation be as it becom- the end of the world, it may be eth the gospel of Christ, that profitable to raise a few observawhether we come and see you, tions from the above-cited pas. or else be absent, we may bear of sage, as it respects our own con. your affairs, that you stand fast cern in those influences. Let us in one spirit, with one mind, then enquire, what it is “ to be in striving together for the faith of the spirit.” The apostle Paul the gospel, and in nothing terri- writing to the church at Ephefied by your adversaries which is sus, exhorts them to “ be filled to them a token of perdition, but with the spirit;" and to be in the to you of salvation, and that of spirit, and to be filled with the spiGod.""
rit, signify nearly the same thing. To be “ in the spirit,” must signify, to have the mind entirely un.
der his governing influence; to BEING IN THE SPIRIT.
direct, excite, and animate us in
the performance of every duty A MEDITATION UPON REV. i. 10. which God has enjoined upon us ; 'I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day.' and so to abstract our thoughts
and affections from the world, as
to fit us for a life of communion This declaration, as it respects with God, that we may realize the apostle's personal experience, the supernatural felicities conhad a reference to that extraor- nected with that high and holy dinary operation of the spirit of relation into which God has taken God upon his mind, by which it his people. was entirely abstracted from all This, I conceive, is to “be in earthly relations, and fitted for the spirit;" and to be satisfied with the contemplation of those glori- any thing short of this, is to amuse ous visions which he was ho- ourselves with shadows and airy noured to behold. Banished by visions, and to be dead while we an heathen emperor to the inhos. profess to be alive. It is, how. pitable shores of Patmos, for his ever, greatly to be feared, that zeal in propagating the doctrines very many content themselves, and duties of the Christian reli- with speculating upon the docgion, God was pleased to honour trines of the gospel, and please this eminent servant of Christ in themselves with their notions of a peculiar manner, and to make religion as a system, whilst they known to him the doctrines of the are destitute of the spirit of God VOL. X.
though they flatter themselves On that day he comes in an espethat they are interested in the cial manner to his sanctuary, to promises of scripture, and shall lift upon bis people the light of never come into condemnation. his countenance, and to admit They talk, indeed, of the spirit, them to a participation of joys but they do not " walk in the which none but he who feels them spirit.” They speak of “the adop- knows. Which are as different tion” but they have no founda- from the unhallowed, insipid, and tion for believing that they are unsatisfying pleasures of the the children of God, but what world, as light is from darkness ; their own deluded imagination and as far beyond the conception supplies: for their temper and of carnal minds, as the pleasures practice are as opposite to those derived from science are to a of the children of light, as the clown; unless we
are in the disposition and conduct of Beel- spirit on the Lord's-day. zebub are unlike those of the an. 1. We shall have no disposition gel Gabriel.
for its duties. Our minds will be O let us beware that we de sluggish and inactive, and instead ceive not our own souls with a of hailing that day as affording us notional religion-with a religion a consecrated opportunity for which consists in a blind attach- worshipping God in the beauties ment to human creeds and sys- of holiness, we shall behold its tems, to names and parties, and approach with reluctance, and which has no relation to God and long for its departure. O with true holiness. To be in the spirit, what sacred delight did the priis to have the heart filled with mitive Christians enter upon
this love to God, for what he is in day, the best of all the seven! himself, and for what he has done And how so? Because they were
It is to possess such a in the spirit on the Lord's-day. keen moral sensibility as to shrink They found the service of God to at the least touch of pollution, be perfect freedom, and undisand to hate the very appearance sembled gratitude inspired their of evil. It is to have the mind so hearts and tongues with the most saturated with divine influences, lively devotion. If the gloom of as to resemble a well-watered gar- sadness was at all visible upon den, which exhibits the most their countenance, it was when beautiful productions of vegeta- the shadows of the evening were tive nature. “The wilderness, stretched over the creation, and and the solitary place, shall be when nature, exhausted by the glad, and the desart shall rejoice duties of the day, compelled them and blossom as the rose : it shall to retire from the sanctuary of blossom abundantly, and rejoice God. They did not need to be even with joy and singing; the driven to the house of God, but glory of Lebanon shall be given they said one to another, '" My unto it, the excellency of Carmel heart and my flesh crieth out for and Sharon. They shall see the the living God, when shall I come. glory of the Lord, and the excel and appear before God? How lency of our God.”
amiable are thy tabernacles, 0 Now if it be desirable to be in Lord of hosts." the spirit at all, it is particularly 2. Unless we are in the spirit 80 on the Lord's-day. “This is on the Lord's-day, we shall have the day the Lord has made." no relish for its enjoyments.
"The King himself comes near, ing to impose upon God, and to and feasts his saints to day:" but put him off with the refuse; with unless we are in the spirit, the sa- the blind and the lame: whereas cred pleasures connected with the he has said, Mal. i. 11, “From exercises of devotion will be the rising of the sun even unto the quite insipid to us. The scrip- going down of the same, my name tures, the sermon, all will be taste. shall be great among the Gentiles, less to us, for want of that appe- and in every place incense shall tite which makes even the coars- be offered unto my name, and a est meal palatable. We may in- pure offering,” &c. All our dedeed go to hear the word of God, votions will be vain and worthbut our souls will not live upon less in the sight of God, unless it. Deut. viii. 3. We may raise they are dictated and inspired by our voice in songs of praise till it his spirit; and unless the heart reach the skies, but our hearts ascend to God in the incense we will be left behind. We may offer, it will be a stink in his nosjoin in the more solemn duty of trils, and be utterly rejected. prayer, but we shall have no fellow- 4. Unless we are in the spirit ship with the Father and his Son on the Lord's-day, we shall deJesus Christ. We may come and rive no spiritual advantage from partake of the Lord's supper, but it. Our minds will be carnal and we shall not eat the flesh of Christ, barren of holy felicity: and with and drink his blood, without a profession of religion which will which we have no life in us. In just save our credit with the short, we may engage in all the church, we shall be like Judas, privileges for the exercise of who, though he was in the comwhich the Lord's-day is set apart, pany of Christ, and ate and drank but they will not be privileges to in his presence, he was as unholy
as ever, and remained an entire 3. Unless we are in the spirit stranger to that delightful interon the Lord's-day, God will not course which the disciples of Jebe worshipped by us in a suit- sus enjoyed with their master, able and acceptable manner.
and who felt as if they were in There may be all the exterior heaven, whilst they were so near marks of devotion and piety about, to the source of uncreated purity but God looketh at the heart; and bliss. and “
we are the true circumci. If, then, it be desirable to be in sion," says the apostle, “who wor- the spirit on the Lord's-day, let us ship God in the spirit.” And he seek and pray earnestly for the who came down from heaven to spirit. “If ye, being evil, know open the holy of holies, and to how to give good things to give us access to God, has said your children, how much more “God is a spirit, and they that will your heavenly Father give his worship him must worship him in Holy Spirit to them that ask bim.” spirit and in truth.” Ah! vain "Yě have not, because ye ask and worthless is that devotion not,” says James. Perhaps, brewhich is not kindled in the heart thren, this is our case. Certainly, by the spirit of God. It is a vain he who is so profuse in his good. oblation which God will reject, ness, so lavish in bis bounties,
for God abhors the sacrifice will not withhold a blessing which where not the heart is found.” he has taught us to pray for and Yea it is hypocrisy, It is attempt promised to communicate, and
which is essential to our peace a transgressor of the law of God, and holiness. “Ask, then, and ye the great standard of eternal recshall receive." Ifthen, we are in the titude ? Have you uniformly spirit on the Lord's-day, though loved, and supremely worshipped we have no reason to expect similar the adorable Jehovah, whose charevelations to those of St. John racter is distinguished for its the divine, yet " we shall behold boundless excellencies? Have you the King in his beauty." We shall never uttered his venerable name, not hear the voice of a trumpet, that name, at the mention of which but we shall hear the voice of the hell trembles, and heaven adores, blood of Jesus speaking better but with profound reverence and things than that of Abel. Aud ardent affection ? Have you conlike the planet which is most con stantly and willingly obeyed the tiguous to the solar light, our reasonable commands of those minds will be more fully irradiated whom God has placed over you? with the effulgence of the Sun of Does your past bistory testify, Righteousness, whilst his holy in- that you have sanctified the day fluence will consume every un- of rest, and set apart its hours for hallowed feeling, and transform the divine glory, not thinking, us into the resemblance of the di- speaking, or performing your acvinity: for according to the beau customed thoughts, words, and tiful idea of the apostle, " the actions ? Have you never been glory revealed will absorb the ob- angry with your brother “ without ject beholding it, even as by the | a cause?" or indulged unhallowed spirit of the Lord.”
thoughts; or robbed God of the Wallingford.
1. T. D. | bomage of your heart and life,
which are his unquestionable
due? or borne false witness READER!
against your fellow-creatures ? or FLEE FROM
coveted what was not your own?
Have you been grateful to your THE WRATH TO COME.
great Benefactor for his ceaseless
liberality, and returned again "acTo this wrath and displeasure cording to the benefits bestowed . of almighty God you are justly on you?" Especially have you liable, because you have sinned been thankful for “the unspeakagainst him. Surely you are not able gift," and cordially and hear. so ignorant as to be unacquainted tily embraced the messages of with this awful and important God's love revealed in the gos-' truth. What! has conscience pel ? Ah! deceive not thyself : never testified, “that you have left it is not more plain that the sun undone the things you ought has shone around thy path, than to have done, and done the things it is, that thou art a sinner. you ought not to have done ?" 1 And if a sinner, thou art justly Do you not know, that the sa- | liable to punishment. This is cred scriptures declare, that “the evident from the nature of things, thoughts of the imagination of and from the testimony of the the heart of man are evil, only scriptures, Can an infinitely evil, and that continually;" and righteous being regard with an that “if we say, we have no sin, equal eye those who have been we deceive ourselves, and the guided by a supreme regard for truth is not in us ?" Are you not his holy will, and those who have
contemned in principle and prac- fuge, is provided.-Yes, when ditice his most sacred injunctions? vine justice demanded the punishImpossible. Has he not testified ment of the sinner--when unsulin the most solemn manner, “that lied holiness affirmed, that polluted he will by no means clear the creatures could never be admitted guilty ?" that “though hand join into the realms of glory-when in hand, he shall not go unpun- infinite faithfulness pronounced ished ?" that “the soul that sin- the fatal words, Death is the due neth shall die?" He has. Punish- of the sinner, and the threatening ment and sin are inseparable.- must be fulfilled :-- then, animatUntil God shall cease to be faith-ed by unutterable pity, and matchful and holy, that is, until he shall less love, the eternal Son of God cease to be God, the sinner, living undertook our cause, assumed our and dying in his iniquities, must nature, and by his obedience and be exposed to infinite danger.- sufferings even unto death, the Others have not escaped his ignominious death of the cross, righteous wrath due to their trans- he made an atonement, and gressions. Reader! how wilt wrought out a righteousness on thou? Is there any place where behalf of all, who in every age, thou canst hide thyself from all- from a sense of their misery, should seeing eyes ? Is thine arm suffici. believe on him for life and salvaently strong to contend with om- tion. With his expiring breath he nipotence? Hast thou any good exclaimed, “It is finished !”Teasons to adduce in judgment, “He was delivered for our of sufficient to justify thee in having fences, and raised again for our sinned against a Being of infinite justification;" and is “able to rectitude, to whom thou hast ever save unto the uttermost, seeing he been unspeakably indebted, whose ever liveth to make intercession goodnessis extensive as his bound for us." less dominion, and permanent as
This is a divine refuge.--It is his everlasting throne? How wilt Jehovah's own appointment. thou bear the tormenting reflec- The astonishing sacrifice was given tion, that for the most contempt by himself. God so loved the ible pursuits, and low and mo- world, that he gave his only bementary gratifications, thou hast gotten Son, that whosoever bethrown away, vilely and foolishly lieveth in him should not perish, thrown away, the favour of Jeho- but have everlasting life.” vah, the incorruptible crown, and It is a free and open refuge.an eternity of consummate, of in- Thou art as much at liberty to flee conceivable blessedness? How to it, as the Israelites who were wilt thou endure to be the prey bitten by the fiery flying serpents, of “ the worm that dieth not, and were to look on the brazen serpent of the fire that can never be elevated by the prophet, for their quenched ?" Ah! will not the salvation. Thou art not more thought of the mansions of bliss, free to breathe the vital air, than which now you will not seek, but thou art to believe on the son of which will then be for ever unat-God. tainable, be a fearful additiou to It is a tried refuge.-0 ye rulo your future misery? Arise, “titudes of the redeemed, who sleeper, and call upon God ?”. have come out of great tribulaFlee from the wrath to come.
tion, and washed your robes, and A refuge, an all-sufficient re-made them white in the blood of