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careful to observe all God's appointments; who believe in Him, love Him, and fear Him, and are resigned in all things to His will; who take the evil and the good at His hand alike with thankfulness, saying always in all that befalls them-It is the Lord ; let Him do what seemeth Him good!
I repeat, we see such persons sometimes amongst ourselves—men whose lives are built upon the great pattern in the Gospel—who are sealed, and marked for Christ's, because as Christ was, so are they in this world. We see them in all ranks, and in circumstances of every variety. They are the salt of the earth; the little leaven, that leaveneth more or less the whole society about them.
And why are they thus-so different to the mass about them? Where got they these good and noble qualities? Why, from Him who is the Author and Worker of all godliness in man—from God the Holy Ghost. Whenever you see such lives, brethren, as those I have described; whenever you see any goodness of any kind in men, you may put it down to His Holy inspiration-you may be sure that there, the same Power is at work, that wrought so mightily in the Apostles of old, you may thank the Lord for this further proof that His words have been verified—Behold, I send the promise of My
Father upon you.
And this leads me, in the last place to consider our part in this promise. For the promise of the Comforter is a general one. God desires to pour His Spirit upon all flesh. God would have all men to be saved: and because without holiness none can be saved, He offers
His Holy Spirit to all who will open their hearts to His influence. Have we received, or, are we now receiving this gift of God, the gift of the Holy Ghost ? This is really the question which it concerns us to ask each one of himself to-day.—Have I participated, am I now participating in the blessing of Pentecost? Has the Son sent the promise of the Father upon me?
Some will say He has—that they have received this gift because they have been baptized, or, because they have been confirmed, or, because they have been partakers of the Lord's Supper. And, assuredly these are the chief channels through which He ordinarily is conveyed—these together with prayer, and the study of the Bible are the usual means of grace. We cannot value them too highly, or use them too diligently; but I would not appeal to the fact of our having enjoyed one, or all of these means, as proofs in itself of the gift being received. We must look to results; to effects upon our mind and conduct, and not to the mere observance of outward means however sacred.
For instance, do we find in ourselves a growing reluctance to commit sin, and a greater sense of shame for having committed it? Do we feel at times when on the point of breaking some one of God's commandments, a restraining hand laid upon us, holding us back from transgression ? Do we when beset by temptation sometimes find some good thoughts come to our succour ? Are we never aware of a still small voice whispering to us to be strong, and of a good courage, and to do our duty ? Yes, and when we have done our duty, have we not heard again that same voice approving us for doing
it ? Do not thoughts suddenly cross our minds, awakening in us good resolves, and high efforts ? thoughts about God and death, and the great judgment, and the glories of the world to come, and the need there is to prepare ourselves now, for the inheritance of the saints in light ?
Now such thoughts, and such feelings are (I would humbly suggest) wrought in us by God's Holy Spirit. They are to us in place of the rushing wind, and fiery tongues—unmistakable signs of a Good and Pure Spirit striving in us; witnessing with our spirit that we are the children of God!
Oh, brethren, when such signs of His presence are manifest in any of your hearts, be exceeding thankful ! It is a proof that God cares for you, that He has called you with His Holy calling.–Try to walk worthy of it, give heed to those tokens of the Spirit, as to a light shining in a dark place-put there in your hearts to be a beacon to guide your steps through the perplexities of human conduct. Follow, I say, these blessed motions of the Holy Spirit. Do always, and at once, what He, speaking through your conscience, would have you do. But tamper not; hesitate not; the Spirit may be quenched, and grieved; the light which God lights in the soul, has through carelessness, through negligence, through inattention, but too often been allowed to die out, and when this happens—when God's Holy Spirit ceases to shine in, and enlighten us, what state can be more utterly without hope-If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness !
THE HOLY TRINITY.
2 CORINTHIANS XIII. 14.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the com
munion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.
TRINITY SUNDAY, brethren, is a very marked day in the order of the Christian year. It is the Sunday after which all the other Sundays, between now and Advent, are named-Sundays after Trinity.
And why is it so called ? Because on it, in a very especial manner, we are taught “to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity;" in other words -to confess God, as He has been pleased to reveal Himself to us in the Scriptures, under three Persons-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost-each performing a great parteach wonderful in His doings towards the children of men-Three Persons but One God-in glory equal, in Majesty co-eternal.
This is what we remember on Trinity Sunday. This
is that great doctrine, which is so fully drawn out in the Creed we have used on this day.
On other days we remember other points of our Christian faith : the birth of our Lord on Christmas dayHis Manifestation on the feast of the Epiphany–His Crucifixion on Good Friday–His glorious Resurrection on Easter day–His Ascension forty days later—the coming of the Holy Ghost, according to Christ's true promise, on Whit-Sunday. But to-day we celebrate, not so much one particular point in our religion, as that which is the very sum of it all. To-day we acknowledge God under each and every relation, in which He has been pleased to reveal Himself to us—as the Trinity in Unity—as the Father that made; the Son that redeemed; the Holy Ghost that sanctifies us and we say, This God is our God-we will have no other God but Him_He shall be our Guide unto death!
Now, in speaking to you on so grave a subject as this, I must, at the first, confess our ignorance. What can creatures such as we know of the nature of the Deity! Canst thou by searching find out God ? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection ? It is as high as heaven, what canst thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know?
It is indeed a great mystery that God should be Three and yet One--and with our limited minds it is useless to inquire How can these things be ?
But, brethren, there need be no stumbling at this doctrine. Many things in this world, many laws of nature, as they are called, many things in our own souls and bodies are hid from our eyes, are past finding out unto perfection. Is it wonderful, then, is it not rather what we