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Though you may escape sickness, ful language. 66 Thou art my accidents, disappointments, be- hope, O Lord God: thou art my reavements, and many infirmities, trus: from my youth. By thee burdens, and trials, which others have I been holden up from the meet with in the course of life, yet womb; thou art be that took me you cannot escape old age, or death, out of my mother's bowels: my Time will strip you of every thing praise shall be continually of thee. unless you choose that good part I am as a wonder unto many : but which cannot be taken from you. thou art my strong refuge. Let

5. If piety be a peculiar orna- my mouth be filled with thy praise ment to old people; then aged and with thy honor all the day.-saints hare great reason to be Cast me not off in the time of old thankful to God for what he has age, forsake me pot when my done for them. They were once strength faileth." Aged saints young, vain, stupid, thoughtless, ought to renounce the world and prayerless; but God in sovereigo become dead to the vain and tri. mercy arrested their attention, fas- Aling scenes and objects and purtened conviction on their con- suits of this momentary life, and science, and turned them from spend the residue of their days in darkness to light and from sin to praise, retirement, and devotion. holiness, while he left others of All things conspire to make them the same age and of the same serious, devout, and grateful. The character to pursue their course to trials they have experienced, the a wretched old age, or cut them blessings they have enjoyed, the down in the morning of life and dangers they have escaped, the sent them into a miserable eternity. decays of nature, and their increase Such distinguishing mercies calling infirmities of body and mind, for distinguishing gratitude and as well as the the near prospects praise. Aged saints cannot look of eternity, drive them to God upon their past lives before and and religion for consolation and after they received the grace of support. This has been the manGod in truth, without seeing, that per in wbich aged saints have it has been of the Lord's mercies spent their last days. Good old that they have not been consum- Barzillai, though rich and affluent ed, and fixed in a state of everlast- and invited to join in the splendid ing alienation and separation from entertainments of a Prince's court, God and from all good. David in declined the royal invitation, and his old age, had such humiliating rather choose to retire to domestic views of himself, and such grateful solitude and devotion. And who views of the special and distio- can say he acted out of character guishing grace of God towards ormade unwise choice. Simeon the him. This is his humble and grate- aged, the just, and the devout,

patiently and prayerfully waited yet all his tender ties to the world for the consolation of Israel, and are not entirely dissolved. He for his own speedy and joyful de- has persons and objects, and interparture out of the world. And the ests to leave, which he ought to pious Anna spent the last days of regard with pious solicitude and her very long life in devout and concern. He


be in a strait religious exercises, to prepare her. betwixt two, a desire to live, and self for death and eternity. Such a desire to die. But in his old examples deserve the imitation age when his exertions and usefulof all aged christians, whose char- ness are failing, he ought to have acters, professions and peculiar cir- a prevailing, though submissive cumstances imperiously call upon desire to die. It argues too great them to wait submissively and attachment to the world, and too prayerfully for their appointed little preparation for death, in achange.

ged christians not to be willing to 6. It appears from what bas be absent from the body, and to been said, that aged saints ought be present with the Lord. It to be willing to die. They have becomes them no longer to mix enjoyed much good, suffered many with the world, but to retire in soltrials, lost nearly all their former itude, and prepare their unpreparrelatives and friends, are left alone ed hearts for the solemo scenes in the world, and all things tend before them. God has carried to draw their attention to death them even to old age to give them and eternity; and they have no an opportunity to perform the plea to make for the protraction great and last act on the stage of of life. There was a time in life, life to the honor of religion, and when David could pray to God and for the consolation and benefit of say, “ Take me not away in the those whom they leave behind. midst of my days.” Every aged 7. The peculiar character and christian has more reason to say situation of aged christians call for to God. 6o I would not live alway; their serious and particular attenLord now lettest thy servant de- tion to every instance of mortalipart in peace according to thy ty, whether of the young or of the word.” Death in itself is the old. When they see others cut king of terrors, and opens into an down in the morning of lite, or in unseen and untried state of exist- the midst of their days, enjoyments ence, which the most devout and a- and hopes, their death calls upon ged christian may well contemplate them to recognize, with peculiar with solemnity and awe, and gratitude, the mercy of God in tremble to launch into the bound preserving their lives in the less ocean of eternity. And though midst of the arrows of death, he is weary of the evils of life; which have been constantly flying around them, and causing multi- III. How far may his present tudes to fall on their right hand operations be expected to conform and on their left. When they see to the established laws of the butheir aged cotemporaries taken a

man mind? way while they are still left; their One of the offices, which the death admonishes them, that there Holy Spirit now performs for men, is but a step between them and the is to enlighten them. It is by his grave. Though it may look enlightening influences, that he astrange, yet it is undoubtedly true wakens the thoughtless, alarms that old age often brings on apa- the secure, impresses a sense of thy or iosensibility with respect the importance of religion, reto the awful event of death.- moves prejudices, and unfounded The young are generally more hopes, and convinces the sioner of sensibly affected with any instance his sin and guilt, and of the justice of mortality than the aged, who of God in his condemnation. It is bave been in deaths oft, and seen by the same kind of influence, that mapy of the dying and the dead. he leads the saints onward' in a They are like veteran soldiers, knowledge of themselves, of God, who have been so familiar with and of Divine subjects, and that he death, that it has lost all its terror. impresses those truths, by means But aged christians ought not to of which they grow in grace, and Suffer such apathy and insensibility are fitted for heaven. in respect to death, which they

Another office of the Holy Spir have still to experience. They it is that of sanctifier. ' Through ought to feel more indifferent to bis sanctifying influence, persons other scenes and objects, than oth are made to love God, to acquiesce er men, but not to death, which is in his sovereignty, to repent of just closing their probationary their sins, to believe in Christ, to state, and fixing their condition love the cause and people of God, for eternity

and to feel a holy delight in all the duties and services of religion. By this kind of influence, their

hearts are changed; and disposiON THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. tions are given them which are

In considering the work of the opposed to sing in love with holiDivine Spirit, is proposed to in- ness, and conformed to the moral quire,

image of their maker. 1. What are the offices which Still another office which the hé, at present, performs in respect Holy Spirit performs for bis peoto men ?

ple, is that of comforter. This II. Through what medium does work of the Spirit, though intibe perform these offices ? And, mately connected with the last

mentioned, and growing out of it, he can accomplish this work. is still, I think, distinct from it. Love, penitence, submission, taith, Although happiness is intimately and all the various exercises of connected with holiness, yet it is holiness, are exercises of the not holipess; and the work of will, How then can these be proproducing spiritual enjoyment, and duced, except through the medithat of producing holy affections, um of the will ?-The same kind ought to be regarded as distinct of remark may be extended to the operations of the Divine Spirit. It work of the Holy Spirit, as comis in his office of comforter, that forter. Spiritual comfort or enthe Holy Spirit renders his peo- joyment, is a feeling of the soul, ple happy. He imparts to them which necessarily implies a dis. a peace, over which the world tinct faculty of feeling. And it is has no direct power. He enables through the medium of this faculthem to rejoice in God, with a joy ty, whatever it may be, that the unspeakable and full of glory.- Spirit accomplishes his work, Let it now be inquired,

comforter. 2. Through what medium does The truth of these remarks is the Holy Spirit perform these im- so very obvious, as not to need, portant offices which have been and scarcely to admit of proof. mentioned ? And in prosecuting How is it possible that divine this inquiry, I shall endeavor to light should be let into the human show, that he performs them en- mind, except through the medium tirely through the medium of our of those faculties which alone are mental faculties.--He enlightens, capable of receiving light? What for instance, not supernaturally, is Divine light? It is truth, rebut through the regular medium lating to Divine and moral subof the understanding and the con- jects. But how is it possible, even science. It is by these faculties, for the Holy Spirit, to make us that he impresses the sinner with acquainted with such truth, and to his guilt and danger, and excites impress it upon us, except through him to flee from the wrath to the medium of our understandings come. Through the same facul- and consciences ?-Holiness is a ties also, he causes bis people to property exclusively of moral exgrow in all spiritual knowledge, ercises--exercises of the will.and sheds upon them that light of How is it possible then, that the truth, by which they are sancti- Spirit should sanctify any person, fied, comforted, and saved.-In or make him holy, except through accomplishing his work as sancti- the medium of the will ?--And fier, the Spirit operates through, spiritual enjoyment, so far as it is the medium of the wall. There independent of the will, and is a is no other possible way, in which distinct feeling, necessarily implies a distinct faculty. And it sents itself as certain ; he must eican be only through the medium therconform his operations to these of this faculty, that spiritual enjoy. laws; or he must go contrary to ment is produced, or that the Ho- them, and for the time suspend ly Spirit performs the office of a them. But if be goes contrary comforter. It is plain, therefore to them, and suspends them; then that in all the offices which the his operation constitntes a continHoly Spirit is at present perform- ued series of miracles, and the ing in respect to men, he operates age of miracles is not yet past. entirely through the medium of All, who are unwilling to adopt their mental faculties.

this supposition, will be led The way is now prepared to of necessity, to adopt the other, inquire, in the third place, how that the present operations of the far those operations of the Divine Holy Spirit are conformed to the Spirit, of which we have spoken, establisbed laws of mind. are conformable to the established Nor is this supposition at all delaws of the human mind. I would grading to the work of the spirit be far indeed from limiting the op- but rather the contrary. For who erations of the Holy Spirit. I established those general laws, to know he is a Sovereign, who has which our mental saculties are sub. the power, and the right, to do as ject? It was the infinite Jehovah he pleases. Still I am satisfied that who formed our faculties, and who the operations of the Spirit, now doubtless, has fixed the mode of the

age of miracles is past, may be their operation in the wisest manexpected, ordinarily, if not always ner. He has ordained that they to conform to the established laws shall operate in a particular way of mind. This may be regarded rather than in any other, because as a just inference from what has this is the best way. Is it then been said. God, who gave us our derogatory to the work of the Ho-faculties, has subjected them, in ly Spirit, to suppose that his opetheir operations to fixed laws.- rations upon the human mind are He has chosen and established, conformed to those wisely estabthat they shall operate in a par- lished rules? Or, would it not be ticular way, rather than in any oth- degrading his work, to suppose that er way. Now we have seen that ordinarily, he violates these rules ? the Spirit accomplishes his work, The design of these remarks, entirely through the medium of as must be evident to every canthese faculiies. Shall we not sup- did reader, is not to call in quespose, therefore, that he conforms tion the reality of the peculiar his operations, to the instituted work of the Spirit-or the neceslaws by which these faculties are sity of this work, in order to salgoverned? One of two things pre- vation-or the proper sovereigota


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