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for ever, denounces against "scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites." He hath “ made clean the outside of the cup and the platter," but, within, is full of all filthiness. “ An evil disease cleaveth still unto him, so that his inward parts are very wickedness.” Our Lord fitly compares him to a painted sepulchre, which " appears beautiful without;" but, nevertheless, is “ full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness." The bones indeed are no longer dry; the sinews and flesh are come upon them, and the skin covers them above: but there is no breath in them, no Spirit of the living God. And,“ if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” “ Ye are Christ's, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you :" but, if not, God knoweth that ye abide in death, even until now.
8. This is another character of the sleeper here spoken to. He abides in death, though he knows it not. He is dead unto God, “ dead in trespasses and sins.” For, “to be carnally minded is death.” Even as it is written, “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; and so death passed upon all men,” not only temporal death, but likewise spiritual and eternal. " In that day that thou eatest, (said God to Adam,) thou shalt surely die :" not bodily, (unless as he then became mortal,) but spiritually: thou shalt lose the life of thy soul; thou shalt die to God; shalt be separated from him, thy essential life and happiness.
9. Thus first was dissolved the vital union of our soul with God; insomuch, that in the midst of natural life, we are now in spiritual death. And herein we remain till the second Adam becomes a quickening Spirit to us, till he raises the dead, the dead in sin, in pleasure, riches, or honours. But, before any dead soul can live, he hears (hearkens to) “the voice of the Son of God :” he is made sensible of his lost estate, and receives the sentence of death in himself. He knows himself to be dead while he liveth ; dead to God, and all the things of God; having no more power to perform the actions of a living Chris tian, than a dead body to perform the functions of a living man.
10. And most certain it is, that one dead in sin has not“ exercised to discern spiritual good and evil.” Having eyes, he sees not; he hath ears, and hears not.” He doth not “ taste and see that the Lord is gracious." He “ hath not seen God at any time," nor “ heard his voice," nor “ handled the word of life.” In vain is the name of Jesus “ like ointment poured forth, and all his garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia.” The soul that sleepeth in death, hath no perception of any objects of this kind. His heart is past feeling, and understandeth none of these things.
11. And hence, having no spiritual senses, no inlets of spiritual knowledge, the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; nay, he is so far from receiving them, that whatsoever is spiritually discerned, is mere foolishness unto him. He is not content with being utterly ignorant of spiritual things, but he denies the very existence of them. And spiritual sensation itself is to him the foolishness of folly. How (saith he) can these things be? How can any man know that he is alive to God ?” Even as you know that your body is now alive. Faith is the life of the soul ; and if ye have this life abiding in you, ye want no marks to evidence it to yourself, but sherxos II veupatos, that divine consciousness, that witness of God, which is more and greater than ten thousand human witnesses.
12. If He doth not now bear witness with thy spirit, that thou art a child of God, oh that he might convince thee, thou poor unawakened sinner, by his demonstration and power, that thou art a child of the devil! Oh that, as I prophesy, there might now be “ a noise and a shaking ;" and may “ the bones come together, bone to his bone !" Then, come from the four winds, oh Breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live !” And do not ye harden your hearts, and resist the Holy Ghost, who even now is come to convince you of sin, because
believe not on the name of the only begotten Son of God." II. 1. Wherefore, " Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.” God calleth thee now by my mouth; and bids thee know thyself, thou fallen spirit, thy true state and only concern below. “What meanest thou, oh sleeper? Arise! call upon thy God, if so be thy God will think upon thee, that thou perish not.” A mighty tempest is stirred up round about thee, and thou art sinking into the depths of perdition, the gulf of God's judgments. If thou wouldst escape them, cast thyself into them. “ Judge thyself, and thou shalt not be judged of the Lord.”
2. Awake, awake! Stand up this moment, lest thou“ drink at the Lord's hand the cup of his fury." Stir up thyself to lay hold on the Lord, the Lord thy righteousness, mighty to save! “Shake thyself from the dust.” At least, let the earthquake of God's threatenings shake thee. Awake, and cry out with the trembling jailer, “What must I do to be saved ?" And never rest, till thou believest on the Lord Jesus, with a faith which is his gift, by the operation of his Spirit.
3. If I speak to any one of you more than to another, it is to thee, who thinkest thyself unconcerned in this exhortation. “I have a message from God unto thee.' In his name, I warn thee to“ flee from the wrath to come.” Thou unholy soul, see thy picture in condemned Peter, lying in the dark dungeon, between the soldiers, bound with two chains, the keepers before the door keeping the prison. The night is far spent, the morning is at hand, when thou art to be brought forth to execution. And in these dreadful circumstances, thou art fast asleep; thou art fast asleep in the devil's arms, on the brink of the pit, in the jaws of everlasting destruction !
4. Oh may the angel of the Lord come upon thee, and the light shine into thy prison ! And mayest thou feel the stroke of an almighty hand, raising thee, with “ Arise up quickly, gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals, cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.'
5. Awake, thou everlasting spirit, out of thy dream of worldly happiness ! Did not God create thee for himself? Then, thou canst not rest till thou restest in him. Return, thou wanderer! Fly back to thy ark. This is not thy home. Think not of building tabernacles here. Thou art but a stranger, a sojourner upon earth; a creature of a day, but just launching ont into an unchangeable state. Make haste. Eternity is at hand. Eternity depends on this moment. An eternity of happiness, or an eternity of misery!
6. In what state is thy soul ? Was God, while I am yet speaking, to require it of thee, art thou ready to meet death and judgment ? Canst thou stand in his sight, who is of “purer eyes than to behold iniquity ?" Art thou “meet to be partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light?” Hast thou“ fought a good fight, and kept the faith ??
Hast thou secured the one thing needful? Hast thou recovered the image of God, even righteousness and true holiness? Hast thou put off the old man, and put on the new ? Art thou clothed upon with Christ?
7. Hast thou oil in thy lamp? Grace in thy heart ? Dost thou“ love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength? Is that mind in thee, which was also in Christ Jesus ? Art thou a Christian indeed ? that is, a new creature ? Are old things passed away, and all things become new ?
8. Art thou a “partaker of the divine nature ?" Knowest thou not, that “ Christ is in thee, except thou be reprobate ?" Knowest thou, that God " dwelleth in thee, and thou in God, by his Spirit, which he hath given thee ?" Knowest thou not that “thy body is a temple of the Holy Ghost, which thou hast of God ?" Hast thou the witness in thy self? The earnest of thine inheritance ? Art thou " sealed by that Spirit of promise, unto the day of redemption ?" Hast thou“ received the Holy Ghost ?" Or, dost thou start at the question, not knowing “whether there be any Holy Ghost ?”
9. If it offend thee, be thou assured, that thou neither art a Christian, nor desirest to be one. Nay, thy very prayer is turned into sin ; and thou hast solemnly mocked God this very day, by praying for the inspiration of his Holy Spirit, when thou didst not believe there was any such thing to be received.
10. Yet, on the authority of God's word, and our own Church, I must repeat the question, “ Hast thou received the Holy Ghost ?" If thou hast not, thou art not yet a Christian. For a Christian is a man that is “ anointed with the Holy Ghost, and with power." Thou art not yet made a partaker of pure religion and undefiled. Dost thou know what religion is ? That it is a participation of the divine nature, the life of God in the soul of man: Christ formed in the heart, “ Christ in thee, the hope of glory?" Happiness and holiness'; heaven begun upon earth? “A kingdom of God within thee; not meat and drink,” no outward thing ;“ but righteousness, and peace; and joy in the Holy Ghost ?" An everlasting kingdom brought into thy soul; a "peace of God, that passeth all understanding ;" a “joy unspeakable, and full of glory?"
11. Knowest thou, that'" in Jesus Christ, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith that worketh by love;" but a new creation? Seest thou the necessity of that inward change, that spiritual birth, that life from the dead, that holiness? And art thou thoroughly convinced, that without it no man shall see the Lord ? Art thou labouring after it ? "Giving all diligence, to make thy calling and election sure ? “Working out thy salvation with fear and trembling ?” Agonizing to enter in at the strait gate ?" Art thou in earnest about thy soul ? And canst thou tell the searcher of hearts, “ Thou, oh God, art the thing that I long for! Lord, thou knowest all things! Thou knowest that I would love thee?"
12. Thou hopest to be saved; but what reason hast thou to give of the hope that is in thee? Is it because thou hast done no harm ? Or, because thou hast done much good ? Or, because thou art not like other men; but wise, or learned, or honest, and morally good ? Esteemed of men, and of a fair reputation ? Alas! all this will never bring thee to God. It is in his account lighter than vanity. Dost thou know Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent ? Hath he taught thee, that, “by grace we
are saved, through faith ; and that not of ourselves : it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast ?" Hast thou received the faithful saying, as the whole foundation of thy hope, “that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners ?" Hast thou learned what that meaneth," I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance? I am not sent, but unto the lost sheep ?” Art thou (he that heareth, let him understand !) lost, dead, damned already? Dost thou know thy deserts ? Dost thou feel thy wants ? Art thou poor in spirit ? Mourning for God, and refusing to be comforted? Is the prodigal come to himself, and well content to be therefore thought beside himself, by those who are still feeding upon the husks which he hath left? Art thou willing to live godly in Christ Jesus? And dost thou therefore suffer persecution ? Do
say all manner of evil against thee falsely, for the Son of man's sake? 13. Oh that in all these questions ye may hear the voice that wakes the dead; and feel that hammer of the word, which breaketh the rocks in pieces ! "If ye will hear his voice to day, while it is called to day, harden not your hearts.” Now, awake, thou that sleepest in spiritual death, that thou sleep not in death eternal! Feel thy lost estate, and arise from the dead. Leave thine old companions in sin and death. Follow thou Jesus, and let the dead bury their dead. “ Save thyself from this untoward generation.” “Come out from among them, and be thou separate, and touch not the unclean thing, and the Lord shall receive thee.' “ Christ shall give thee light."
III. 1. This promise, I come, lastly, to explain. And how encouraging a consideration is this, that whosoever thou art who obeyest his call, thou canst not seek his face in vain! If thou even now awakest and arisest from the dead, he hath bound himself to give thee light. The Lord shall give thee grace and glory; the light of his grace here, and the light of his glory when thou receivest the crown that fadeth not away." Thy light shall break forth as the morning, and thy dark ness be as the noon day.”
.” “God, who commandeth the light to shine out of darkness, shall shine in thy heart; to give the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.' " On them that fear the Lord shall the Sun of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings.” And in that day it shall be said unto thee, “ Arise, shine ; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” For Christ shall reveal himself in thee: and he is the true light.
2. God is light, and will give himself to every awakened sinner, that waiteth for him: and thou shalt then be a temple of the living God, and Christ shall “ dwell in thy heart by faith :" and, “ being rooted and grounded in love, thou shalt be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of that love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that thou mayest be filled with all the fullness of God.”
3. Ye see your calling, brethren. We are called to be “ a habitation of God through his Spirit;" and through his Spirit dwelling in us, to be saints here, and partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. So exceeding great are the promises which are given unto us, actually given unto us who believe! For by faith we" receive, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God," the sum of all the promises,
may know the things that are freely given to us of God." 4 The Spirit of Christ is that great gift of God, which, at sundry
" that we
times, and in divers manners, he hath promised to man, and hath fully bestowed, since the time that Christ was glorified. Those promises before made to the fathers, he hath thus fulfilled: “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes,” Ezek. xxxvi, 27. “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring,” Isaiah xliv, 3.
5. Ye may all be living witnesses of these things; of remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." Who
among you is there, that feareth the Lord, and yet walketh in darkness, and hath no light ?" I ask thee, in the name of Jesus, believest thou that his arm is not shortened at all? That he is still mighty to save? That he is the same yesterday, to day, and for ever ? That he hath now power on earth to forgive sins? “ Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven." God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven thee. Receive this,“not as the word of man; but as it is, indeed, the word of God;" and thou art justified freely through faith. Thou shalt be sanctified also through faith which is in Jesus, and shalt set to thy seal, even thine, that “God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."
6. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you; and suffer ye the word of exhortation, even from one the least esteemed in the church. Your conscience beareth you witness in the Holy Ghost, that these things are so, if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. is eternal life, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent." This experimental knowledge, and this alone, is true Christianity. He is a Christian who hath received the Spirit of Christ. He is not a Christian who hath not received him. Neither is it possible to have received him, and not know it.“ For, at that day,” (when he cometh, saith our Lord,)“ye shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” This is that Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him. But ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you,” John xiv, 17.)
7. The world cannot receive him, but utterly reject the promise of the Father, contradicting and blaspheming. But every spirit which confesseth not this, is not of God. Yea," this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come into the world, and even now it is in the world.” He is antichrist whosoever denies the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, or that the indwelling Spirit of God is the common privilege of all believers, the blessing of the gospel, the unspeakable gift, the universal promise, the criterion of a real Christian.
8. It nothing helps them to say, "We do not deny the assistance of God's Spirit; but only this inspiration, this receiving the Holy Ghost, and being sensible of it. It is only this feeling of the Spirit, this being moved by the Spirit, or filled with it, which we deny to have any place in sound religion.” But, in only denying this, you deny the whole Scriptures; the whole truth, and promise, and testimony of God.
9. Our own excellent church knows nothing of this devilish distinction ; but speaks plainly of “ feeling the Spirit of Christ;"'* of being “moved by the Holy Ghost,”+ and knowing and a feeling there is no other name than that of Jesus, "I whereby we can receive life and sal
* Art. 17. t Office of consecrating priests. Visitation of the sick.