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prayeth.” Yes, it is the opening up of the heart--the opening as it were of the mind and of the soul, by faith and prayer, to receive the Lord Jesus. The Spirit's work is to convince us of sin, and of righteousness; yes, the Spirit teaches us what we want, and reveals to us that which cau supply our want. It creates a thirst, and shows us that only Christ can quench it. It excites our hunger, and points us to Jesus, as “the bread of life.” Lift up your heads, O ye gates ; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” Yes, it is only the Lord Jesus who can enable us to fight against the devil, “ Who goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devoor;" it is God alone who can enable you to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. You must have“ Christ in you, the hope of Glory !” You must “Girow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ;” and let the Spirit of Christ dwell in you richly, and then you will find out that repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ have been the blessing from the Lord, and righteous
from the God of your Salvation. Do you still inquire, who is this King of lory? I am reminded, my dear friends, of our own good Queen ; when she comes into our city, she has to remain ontside Temple Bar, which is closed for the occasion till she receives, from the hands of the representative of the citizens, the key and the invitation to come in. If the Queen of England shonld come to the door, how loyally would you open it, and how much more readily ought you to open tbe door of yonr hearts to the King of Glory, who seeks admission, especially when he says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me.' The word of God represents Him as addressing us as responsible beings, and asking for admission, Jesus having told the people that all power in heaven and earth was given unto Hi.n, said “ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;" He said unto His disciples, As all things in heaven and upon earth are committed into my hands, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, and lo I am with you alway, even vnto the end of the world." Then, “ Lift up your heads, Oye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come
Here, then, is yonr Creator, yonr Redeemer, and your Regenerator, waiting to bless you; pray, therefore, for that Spirit which breaks the hard heart; pray for that godly spirit which receives God's Word, and you will find the entrance of God's Word giveth light, you will find it as "a lamp unto your feet, and as a light unto your path ;” the message is, “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved !” * Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any iaan hear my voice, and will open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me.
“ Lift up your heads, O ye gates.'
Then the last clause says, “Who is this King of Glory?" and the answer is, " The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory !" Oh, what a glorious scene, iny fellow citizens, when we meet again before the judgment seat of Christ. When those on the left hand shall depart, and when He says to those ou His right hand, “ Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” The Lord himself is the Captain of onr salvation ; He has led captivity captive, and He will make us more than conquerors, He will bring us all safely home at last, and then shall we say, “Lift up your heads, O, ye gates ; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors.” Then shall He coine before His Father's throne and say, "Here am I, and those whom Thou hast given me." And now to God the Father, &c. The two last verses of the following hymn were then sung.
Ye angels, prostrate fall :
Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God,
Who from His altar call :
And crown Him Lord of all.
Aroand this earthly ball,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Oh, that with yonder sacred throng,
We at his feet may fall;
And crown Him Lord of all.
The service was closed with a short prayer and the blessing.
It was announced that these services would be repeated (D.V.) every Sunday afternoon, at half-past five o'clock, until further notice.
w, H. Collingridge, City Press, Long Lane and Aldersgate Street, E.C.
THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
DELIVERED ON SABRATH MORNING, JUNE 20, 1858, BY THB
"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word.”—Acts x. 44.
The Bible is a book of the Revelation of God. The God after whom the heathen blindly searched, and for whoin reason gropes in darkness, is here plainly revealed to us in the pages of divine authorship, so that he who is willing to understand as much of Godhead as man can know, may here learn it if he be not willingly ignorant and wilfully obstinate. The doctrine of the Trinity is specially taught in Holy Scripture. The word certainly does not occur, but the three divine persons of the One God are frequently and constantly mentioned, and Holy Scripture is exceedingly careful that we should all receive and believe that great truth of the Christian religion, that the Father is God, that the Son is God, that the Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God: though they be each of them very God of very God, yet three in one and one in three is the Jehovah whom we worship. You will notice in the works of Creation how carefully the Scriptures assure us that all the three divine persons took their share. “In the beginning Jehovah created the heavens and the earth;" and in another place we are told that God said “Let us make man"—not one person, but all three taking counsel with each other with regard to the making of mankind. We know that the Father hath laid the foundations and fixed those solid beams of light on which the blue arches of the sky are sustained; but we know with equal certainty that Jesus Christ, the eternal Logos, was with the Father in the beginning, and “ without him was not anything made that was made;" moreover we have equal certainty that the Holy Spirit had a hand in Creation, for we are told that “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the earth; and the spirit of the Lord moved upon the face of the waters;" and brooding with his dove-like wing, he brought out of the egg of chaos this mighty thing, the fair round world. We have the like proof of the three persons in the Godhead in the matter of Salvation. We know that God the Father gave his Son; we have abundant proof that God the Father chose his people from before the foundations of the world, that he did invent the plan of salvation, and hath always given his free, willing, and joyous consent to the salvation of his people. With regard to the share that the Son had in salvation, that is apparent enough to all. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he was incarnate in a mortal body; he was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hades; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven; he sitteth at the right hand of God, where also No. 201.
Penny Pulpit, No. 2,959.
he maketh intercession for us. As to the Holy Spirit, we have equally sure proof that the Spirit of God worketh in conversion; for everywher: we are said to be begotten of the Holy Spirit; continually it is declared, that unless a man be born again from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God; while all the virtues and the graces of Christianity are described as being the fruits of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit doth from first to last work in us and carry out that which Jesus Christ hath beforehard worked for us in his great redemption, which also God the Father hath designed for us in his great predestinating scheme of salvation.
Now, it is to the work of the Holy Spirit that I shall this morning specially direct your attention; and I may as well mention the reason wliy I do so. It is this. We have received continually fresh confirmations of the good news from a far country, which has alrealy madle glad the h-arts of many of God's people. In the United States of America there a certainly a great awakening. No sane man living thicre could think of denying it. There may be something of spurious excitement mixed up with it, but that good, lasting good, has been accomplished, no rational man can deny. Two hundred and fifty thousand persons—that is a quarter of a million -profess to have been regenerated since December last, have made a profession of their faith, and have united themselves with different sections of God's church. The work still progresses, if anything, at a more rapid rate than before, and that which makes me believe the work to genuine is just this—that the enemies of Christ's holy gospel are exceedingly wroth at it. When the devil roars at anything, you may rest assured there is some good in it. The devil is not like some dogs we know of; he never barks unless there is something to bark at. When Satan howls, we may rest assured he is afraid his kingdom is in danger. Now this great work in America has been manifestly caused by the outpouring of the Spirit, for no one minister has been a leader in it. All the ministers of the gospel have co-operated in it, but none of them have stood in the van. God himself has been the leader of his own hosts. It began with a desire for prayer. God's people began to pray; the prayer-meetings were better attended than before; it was then proposed to hold meetings at times that have never been set spart for prayer; these also were well attended; and now, in the city of Philadelphia, at the hour of noon, every day in the week, three thousand persons can always be seen assembled together for prayer in one place. Men of business, in the midst of their toil and labour, find an opportunity of running in there and offering a word of prayer, and then return to their occupations. And so, throughout all the States, praver-meetings, larger or smaller in number, have been convened. And there has been real prayer. Sinners beyond all count, have risen up in the prayer-meeting, and have requested the people of God to pray for them; thus making public to the world that they had a desire after Christ; they have been prayed for, and the church has seen that God verily doth hear and answer prayer. I tind that the Unitarian ministers for a little while took no notice of it. Theodore Parker snarls and raves tremendously at it, but he is evidently in a maze; he does not understand the mystery, and acts with regard to it as swine are said to do with pearls. While the church was found asleep, and doing very little, the Socinian could afford to stand in his pulpit and sneer at anything like evangelical religion, but now that there has been an awakening, he looks like a man that has just awakened out of sleep. He sees something; he does not know what it is. The power of religion is just that which will always puzzle the Unitarian, for he knows but little about that. At the form of religion he is not much amazed, for he can to an extent endorse that himself, but the supernaturalisin of the gospel—the mystery-the miracle—the power—the demonstration of the Spirit that comes with the preaching, is wiat such men cannot comprehend, and they gaze and wonder, and then become filled with wrath; but still they have to contess there is something there they cannot understand, a mental phenomenon that is far beyond their philosophy-a thing which they cannot reach by all their science, nor understand by all their reason.
Now, if we have the like effect produced in this land, the one thing we must seek is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and I thought, perhaps, this morning in preaching upon the work of the Holy Spirit, that text might be fulfilled — Him that honoureth me I will honour.” My sincere desire is to honour the Holy Spirit this morning, and if he will be pleased to honour his church in return, unto hiin shall be the glory for ever.
" While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”
In the first place, I shall endeavour to describe the method of the Spirit's opera, tion; secondly, the absolute necessity of the Holy Spirit's influence, if we could see men converted; and then, in the third place, I shall suggest the ways and means by which under divine grace we may obtain a like falling down of the Spirit upon our churches.
1. In the first place, then, I will endeavour to explain THE METHOD OF THE HOLY SPIRIT'S OPERATIONS. But let me guard myself against being misunderstood. We can explain what the Spirit does, but how he does it, no man must pretend to know. The work of the Holy Spirit is the peculiar mystery of the Christian religion. Almost any other thing is plain, but this must remain an inscrutable secret into which it were wrong for us to attempt to pry. Who knoweth where the winds are begotten? Who knoweth, therefore, how the Spirit worketh, for he is like the wind? “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” In Holy Scripture certain great secrets of nature are inentioned as being parallel with the secret working of the Spirit. The procreation of children is instanced as a parallel wonder, for we know not the mystery thereof; how much less, therefore, shall we expect to know that more secret and hidden mystery of the new birth and new creation of man in Christ Jesus. But let no man be staygered at this, for they are mysteries in nature: the wisest man will tell you there are depths in nature into which he cannot dive, and heights into which he cannot soar. He who pretends to have unravelled the knot of creation hath made a mistake; he may have cut the knot by his rough ignorance, and by his foolish conjectures, but the knot itself must remain beyond the power of man's unravelling, until Gud himself shall explain the secret. There are marvellous things, that, as yet, men have sought to know in vain. They may, perhaps, discorer many of them, but how the Spirit works, no man can know. But now I wish to explain what the Holy Spirit does, although we cannot tell how he does it. I take it that the Holy Spirit's work in conversion is two-fold. First, it is an awakening of the powers that man already has, and secondly, it is an implantation of powers which he never had at all.
In the great work of the new birth, the Holy Spirit first of all awakens the mental powers; for be it remembered that, the Holy Spirit never gives any man new mental powers.
Take for instance reason-the Holy Spirit does not give men reason, for they have reason prior to their conversion. What the Holy Spirit does is to teach our reason, right reason-to set our reason in the right track, so that we can use it for the high purpose of discerning between good and evil; between the precious and vile. The Holy Spirit does not give man a will, for man has a will before; but he makes the will that was in bondage to Satan free to the service of God. The Holy Spirit gives no man the power to think, or the organ of belief--for man has power to believe or think as far as the mental act is concerned; but he gives that belief which is already there a tendency to bélieve the right thing, and he gives to the power of thought the propensity to think in the right way, so that instead of thinking irregularly, we begin to think as God would have us think, and our mind desireth to walk in the steps of God's revealed truth. There may be here, this morning, a man of enlarged understanding in things political—but his understanding is darkened with regard to spiritual things-lie sees no beauty in the person of Christ-he sees nothing desirable in the way of holiness, he chooses the evil and forsakes the good. Now the Holy Spirit will not give him a new understanding, but he will cleanse his old understanding so that he will discern between things that differ, and shall discover that it is but a poor thing to enjoy “the pleasures of sin for a season," and let go an "eternal weight of glory.” There shall be a man here too who is desperately set against religion, and wil'eth not to come to God, and do what we will, we are not able to persuade him to change his mind and turn to God. The Holy Spirit will not make a new will in that man, but he will turn his old will, and instead of willing to do evil he will make him will to do right-he will make him will to be saved by Christmhe will make him “ willing in the day of his power.” Remember, there is no power in man so fallen but that the Holy Spirit can raise it up. However debased a man may be, in one instant, by the miraculous power of the Spirit, all his faculties may be cleansed and purged. IIl-judging reason may be made to judge rightly; stout, obstinate wills may be made to run willingly in the ways of God's commandments; evil and depraved affections may in an instant be turned