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titles here given to the Holy Ghost--the Spirit of grace and supplications ; that is, the Spirit by whose influence grace is implanted in the mind, and supplications are addressed to the throne of mercy. It is usual in the Sacred Scriptures to describe the different effects and fruits of the Divine Spirit in this brief but pregnant language. Thus we read of the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord, the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of adoption, and the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ.
In the words which we are now considering, the Holy Ghost is promised as the Spirit of grace, because all grace and boliness proceed from him. There is no grace in the heart of a fallen sinner till he bestows it. We are by nature dead in trespasses and sins. It is the of the Spirit of God which opens the eyes, changes the heart, and turns us truly to God, Then we begin to see our state and danger, and to know our remedy and duty. We are saved by the sanctification of the Spirit, we are born of the Spirit, we are led by the Spirit, we are convinced of our sins by the Spirit; and thus true repentance begins, and is carried on in our souls.
But my text speaks of the Spirit of suppli
cations, as well as the Spirit of grace, because one of the earliest effects of divine influences is prayer. Wherever the Holy Ghost is poured out, this effect appears.
Without prayer we cannot live unto God. Ainongst the first lessons which we learn in religion is the duty, and honour, and privilege of prayer; and it is only by the secret aid of the Spirit of Christ that we can perform it aright. We may indeed use the language of prayer, we may be present where prayers are offered, we may bow ourselves in the posture of prayer ; but genuine and fervent supplication to God is the fruit of divine influ
We pray in the Holy Ghost. We pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. It is the Spirit who helpeth our infirmi-, ties, for we know not what to pray for as we ought ; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
It is by his sacred instruction that we discover our ignorance, poverty, defilement, misery, and danger. It is by the Holy Spirit we are enabled to understand the nature of that repentance which God requires of us, and to seek for it. It is by his teaching we receive with faith the truths and promises of the Gospel. It is he who excites in us spiritual desires after the blessings thus discovered in the Holy Scriptures. It is be who glorifies Christ, by taking of the things which are his, and showing them to us. It
is the blessed Spirit who assists us in every thing connected with prayer. We thus earnestly seek for repentance and every spiritual blessing, and pant after them with intense longings of heart ;
desire," observes an old divine, “is the proximate cause of prayer.” Thus the sinner, formerly obdurate and thoughtless, is softened and humbled. He now begins to supplicate God; he lifts up his soul, and cries mightily unto Him; he pours out his wants before him, , he shows him of his trouble ; he acknowledges his sins, confesses his guilt, implores the gift of true repentance, forsakes every evil way, and waits humbly upon God.
Thus we see the source of real repentance. The Holy Ghost as a Spirit of grace and of supplications produces a return to God and a thorough conversion of heart and life. By the Spirit of grace God prevents the sinner : by the Spirit of supplications he disposes him to pray for salvation. By the Spirit of grace he enables him to know his danger ; by the Spirit of supplication he teaches him to implore deliverance from it. By the Spirit of grace he discovers to him the remedy ; by the Spirit of supplication he enables him to cry fervently for it. By the first he brings him to feel his wants, and by the second to spread them before God. By the Spirit of grace he opens his eyes to see spiritual blessings; by the Spirit of supplications he in
clines him to seek for them. By the one he excites holy desires, by the other he leads him to express them. The Spirit of grace reveals God in Christ ; the Spirit of supplication applies to this God for an interest in his mercy. genuine contrition and repentance are gradually formed in the heart. But still this is done in the use of the various means which God has
appointed; in the employment of which the penitent is constantly taught to entreat the assistance of the Holy Ghost. There is one particular method by which God is pleased to produce this entire conversion of heart, of so high importance, that it may require a distinct consideration.
This leads me to notice,
II. THE CHIEF MEANS BY WHICH REPENTANCE IS PRODUCED— And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.
Repentance, generally speaking, springs from a view of a crucified Saviour. When the Spirit of grace shall be poured on the unbelieving nation of Israel, it is said in the text they will look
upon their Messiah whom they pierced and slew; and this sight will be the means of producing deep contrition and sorrow for their sins, and especially for that sin which their ancestors committed, and to which they have ever since been, in a measure, consenting, the crucifixion of
the Lord of glory. In like manner, every true penitent, when he is brought to bumble supplication before the throne of God, discovers this astonishing object, and looks unto Him whom he likewise has by his sins crucified afresh. And thus he learns true repentance and brokenness of heart.
Before we consider what this sight is, we must observe that the express quotation of the Evangelist fixes the meaning of the words as prophetical of Christ. St. John, after relating the mournful events of our Lord's passion, states that one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side; and then adds, For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled— They shall look on him, whom they pierced. Here he evidently quotes the words of the text, and applies them to our blessed Saviour. “ And indeed," says a pious and learned Prelate," they cannot possibly be understood of any other person in the world ; for none could speak these words but one who was both God and man. That he was God is plain from the former part of the verse, where he saith, I will pour upon the house of David, &c. the Spirit of grace ; for it is acknowledged by all that the Spirit of grace is not at the disposal of any creature, but that it is only in the power of God to bestow it upon us. And therefore he that here promiseth to pour out his Spirit upon his church, could be no other