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thee, and give thee the glory due unto thee, by the operation of thy Holy Spirit. Thou art our God, and we are thy creatures; thou art our Potter and we are thy clay; thou art, in Christ, our redeemer and merciful God, and we have met together, before thy face, in order to edify one another, and to incite each other to thy service. Love, veneration, and adoration be unto thee, O Lord our God! who hast promised to inhabit the praises of Israel, where thy face is sought, and thy name is glorified and loved. Now, wherefore are we met together on this occasion ? Has not thy divine providence so ordered it ? Is there not a hunger in the hearts of those, now present, to hear thy word, and not the words of man? and to become acquainted with thy truth, in order to devote themselves to it with their whole hearts ? O thou that triest the heart and the reins; who art he that walketh in the midst of the golden candlesticks, come then and visit my heart, and the hearts of all present! come and see, whether we appear here, at this time, with such a simple and sincere intention! Now thanks be unto thee for this grace
and goodness! Thanks be unto thee for the precious freedom and excellent opportunity, which thou grantest unto us before others, to enable us to attain to thy saving knowledge, love, and fellowship. But ah, Lord, Lord I thou knowest, that without thy gracious indwelling, we cannot promise ourselves any thing edifying, any thing which shall produce fruit, much less obtain it. O do thou therefore manifest
thyself gracious, present, and powerful, with thy Holy Spirit, both in the heart of him that shall speak, and in the hearts of those that shall hear! Lord, thou knowest, that I know nothing, that I am nothing, that I have nothing in thy spiritual sight. O let, therefore, thy power evidence itself mightily in my spiritual and bodily weakness ! solely, in order that thou mayest be honoured and glorified, and that every soul present may be rendered subject to our King of Glory and ever blessed God!
O Lord Jesus! who, by thy blood and entering into the most holy place, hast promised us thy Holy Spirit, and didst so richly bestow him on thy first believers, on the day of Pentecost: O send also thy Spirit from above into all our hearts ! Let this Spirit, who bestows tongues of flame, also guide and govern my stammering and imperfect tongue, that I may declare thy mighty acts and truths, for the benefit of all present. O look not upon our unworthiness; look not at our state, which has been hitherto so unlike thee and so displeasing to thee! Let all our sins be graciously blotted out by the blood of Jesus ; and let thy favor be continually directed towards us, in him, who is our High Priest; and though thousands may not be converted to thee on this day: let, at least, the hearts of some be affected, converted, strengthened, and encouraged to devote themselves with new solicitude and zeal, to submit to and tread in thy ways, with more fidelity, in order that thou, O Lord Jesus Christ! may, by thy Holy Spirit, be glorified and magnified in our hearts.
Thou hast promised, that the Spirit, whom thou wouldst send down from on high, shall manifest, glorify, and magnify thee. Therefore, O Jesus ! let us become little, let us become nothing, let every thing become insignificant in our hearts and eyes ! Be thou alone great, become glorious, reign in the midst of thine enemies, in the midst of our hearts. We expect all, from free grace, for the sake of thy most sweet and blessed Jesu's name. Amen.
The words, which unpremeditatedly occurred to me to take, for the subject of our edification on this occasion, stand written in
EPHES. iv. 30.
“ Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, by whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
We spoke yesterday, with the divine assistance, upon the necessary preparatives in order to be able to receive the Holy Spirit. We will now, with the Lord's help, and under divine influence, mutually consider the duty incumbent upon us, of treating, in a becoming manner, the noble guest we have received from God. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in order that as believers, ye may be sealed unto the day of redemption.”
Ah! if we children of men knew and took to
heart the high and adorable intentions of the Lord our God with us; and if we recognised what a glorious creature man is, what a high dignity man possesses, with respect to his soul and his inward love; we would not esteem our souls so lightly, we would not care, in such a manner, for the miserable, transitory, and corruptible body; and least of all, make a god of it. Ah! we should value ourselves much too highly, and esteem ourselves much too noble, to condescend in such a base manner to the things of this world, which are so despicable and inferior; and to that, which is temporal and transitory, which is still so infinitely beneath us. created by God in a very dignified state ; when he is called a child of God, it is no mere appellation, but something substantial and extremely exalted. If we turn to the third chapter of Luke, where the genealogy of Joseph, back to Adam is recounted : we find it is said, “Joseph was the Son of Eli, and so on, until it comes to Adam,' where it is said, • But Adam was of God,' that is, a Son of God. For God, in the beginning, created man after his own image, and breathed into him his own Spirit, the Spirit from God, as we may read, concerning the creation of man, in Gen. i. God breathed his Spirit into man, he created him after his own image, with well matured counsel, saying, “Let us make man after our own image.” Even as a child, for instance, bears the image, nature, and qualities of its father ; so God, at the first creation of man, breathed into him his own Spirit, and, by this means, impressed
his image, his properties, and his character upon him; so that man, according to his original form, was like unto God. O what a high dignity, that man should be created after the image of God! For it is not something merely appended externally, but something most essential, that is breathed into all men, and impressed upon all the children of men.
Man received, by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, at his creation, the image of God—that is, there was, by this means, imparted to man, an infinite desire and longing, which could be satisfied and satiated with nothing, but with God himself: and not only was there such a boundless and inextinguishable desire implanted in him, but, by this means, were also imparted to him, heavenly and divine capabilities, so that man, as it respects his soul and his spirit, was in a state to behold his God, to know his God, to love his God, to glorify his God, and to enjoy his God to all eternity. By means of this likeness, therefore, heavenly and divine perfections were impressed upon man, as far as a creature can be capable of divine perfections; that is, man, by the gift of God, was essentially clothed with the true righteousness and holiness of God, the divine virtues of innocence, simplicity, truth, purity, and all other communicable properties.
Man had not, however, within him, heavenly and divine perfections alone, but he also possessed within him, heavenly, divine, and paradisaic pleasures, delights, and enjoyments. As respects his