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hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.' The love of God may signify either our love to God, as in the passage-this is the love of God that ye keep His commandments;' or it may signify God's love to us, as in the passage-' In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.' In the verse under consideration, we apprehend that the love of God must be taken according to the latter signification. It is thus that, speaking strictly and literally, one being when kind to another, sheds upon him the fruits of that kindness, rather than the kindness itself. But the use of language has been so far extended, as to admit of the latter expression. It is quite according to established usage to say, 'I have received much kindness from another,' though I have properly received nothing but his money or his attentions or his patronage. And in like manner, do I receive love from God when I receive the Holy Ghost. And as a beneficent proprietor is said to shed abroad of his liberality among the habitations of the poor, when he causes food or raiment or fuel to enter into their houses-so does God shed abroad of His love in our hearts, when He sends the Holy Ghost to take up His residence, and there to rule by His influences.

It is through the Spirit of God, that the spirit of man is borne up in the midst of adversities. It is He who upholds the perseverance of a disciple,


when all that is around him lours and looks dismal. It is He who causes a luminousness to rest on those eternal prospects, which are seen afar, through the dark vista of a pilgrimage which is lined on the right hand and on the left, with sorrows innumerable. It is when a bitterness comes upon man which is only known to his own heart, that a secret balm is often infused along with it, with the joy of which a stranger does not intermeddle. There is a history of the soul that is unseen by every eye, but intimately known and felt by its conscious proprietor; and often can he testify of a tribulation that would have overwhelmed him to the death, had not a powerful influence from on high supported him under it. And when the season of it at length passes over his agitated spirit, and leaves the fruit of a solid peace, and an augmented righteousness behind it-you perceive, how in him the process is exemplified, of tribulation working in him a more strenuous perseverance in all the habits and principles of Christianity; and of perseverance working in him such an experience of himself, as argues his state of discipline and preparation for another world; and of this experience working in him the hope that He who thus fulfils upon him, the guidance in time that He has promised, will finally bestow upon him the glory He has promised in eternity.

He, says the apostle, who hath wrought us for immortality is God, who hath also given to us the earnest of the Spirit, and therefore we are confident,

It is very true, that an early fulfilment is often the satisfying token of some later fulfilment; and that grace imparted to us on this side of death, is a pledge of glory being conferred upon us on the other side of death; and, in particular, that the Holy Ghost, bestowed upon us so as to work a meetness for the inheritance, is symptomatic of our future translation into the inheritance itself, and thus superadds the hope of experience to the hope of faith. But you must remark, that the very hope of faith, the hope which you conceive at the outset of your belief in the gospel, is wrought in you by the same Holy Ghost. It is not of yourself— it is the gift of God. It was by demonstration of the Spirit, that your eyes were opened at the first to perceive the truth of the promises; and by a fuller demonstration He can make you see this still more clearly, and rejoice in it still more confidently than before. The effect then of an additional and subsequent supply of this divine influence, is, not merely to furnish you with a pledge upon earth of the preferment that awaits you in heaven, and so to furnish you with a new ground of hope upon the subject, even the ground of experience; but it is also to brighten the ground upon which all your hope rested originally, even the ground of faith. It is to give you a more full and satisfying manifestation of the direct truth of God in the gospel than before. The Holy Ghost does not merely put into your hand another and a distinct hold, by giving you in the performance of an


earlier promise, a proof of the sureness with which the later promise shall be performed also; but He strengthens the hold which you had by faith upon the promises, prior to all experimental confirmation of them in your own personal history. He does not merely supply that evidence for the truth of the gospel promise which is seen by the eye of experience; but He also casts an additional light on the evidence that you had at the first, and which is only seen by the eye of faith. Never, in the course of the believer's pilgrimage, never does the hope of experience supersede the hope of faith. So far from this, in the very proportion that experience grows in breadth, does faith grow in brightness. And it is this last which still constitutes the sheet-anchor of his soul, and forms the main aliment of its peace and joy and righteousness. It is well, that, on looking inwardly to himself, he sees the growing lineaments of such a grace and such a character forming upon his person, as vouch him to be ripening for eternity. But, along with this process, will he also look outwardly upon God in Christ, and there see, in constantly increasing manifestation, the truth and the mercy and the unchangeableness of his reconciled Father, as by far the firmest and stablest guarantees of his future destiny. The same agent, in fact, who brings about the one effect, brings about the other. He causes you not merely to see yourself to be an epistle of the Spirit of God, and to read thereon the marks of your personal in

terest in the promises; but He also causes you to see these promises as standing in the outward record, invested with a light and an honesty and a freeness, which you did not see at the first revelation of them-so that it is not only the hope of experience which is furnished you anew, as you proceed on the career of actual Christianity; but, in proportion to your advancement on this career, are you also made to abound more and more in the hope of faith, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Thus we trust, you perceive, that the good works and the graces of personal religion, not merely supply you with fresh evidences for your hope, but also brighten your original ones. They cast backwards as it were a good reflex influence on the faith from which they emanated. It is said of the Holy Ghost, that He is given to those who obey Him. Follow out the impulse of a conscience which He hath enlightened in every practical business that you have on hand; and you will find, as the result of it, a larger supply of that light which makes clearer than before, all those truths and promises of Christianity, on which a firm dependence may be laid by an act of believing. It is thus too that, if you keep the sayings of Christ, He will manifest Himself; and though works are of no value unless they are wrought in faith, yet the very doing of them is followed up by such larger revelations of the truth and doctrine of God, that by works is your faith made perfect.

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