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other than the almighty work of God the Holy Ghost. It was his influence on the minds of these men which
produced the Spirit of grace and supplication, and taught them to direct the anxious cry and supplicating look unto him whom they had pierced. Was not the
anguish of their souls, under a sense of their sins, equal to the exquisite sorrow of those who bitterly bewail the death of their first-born? However skilfully Peter might wield the sword of the Spirit, (the word of God,) it was none other than the God of all grace, who directed and sent it home with saving power to the hearts and consciences of these Jerusalem sinners. Are not the other triumphs of the Spirit worthy of regard, when five thousand are made willing cordially to embrace Christ crucified? May we not, by the way, observe, that the reception of the Gospel by such numbers so immediately after the ascension of Jesus, proved the truth of the facts recorded by the apostles, of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ? Many, no doubt, of these early converts of Christianity, had been eye-witnesses of several of the events, and all had an opportunity of discovering the deception, if there had existed any, in the apostles' narrative. But no sooner are they persuaded to compare the Old Testament prophecies concerning
the Messiah, with all the circumstances in the history of Jesus of Nazareth, than they anxiously desire to be enlisted under the banners of the cross.
to resist the force of truth, they join the persecuted adherents of the crucified Jesus, and cast in their lot with his despised followers, although "a sect every where spoken against." When were converts to Christianity most numerous ? Was it not when there existed the best possible opportunity of detecting the least imposition or falsehood, on the part of the writers of the New Testament? Let it not be forgotten that those early converts were neither won by the arm of worldly power, nor bribed by proffered gold. On the contrary, no sooner did they embrace the Gospel, but they were met at the very threshold by ignominy and persecution in every varied and frightful form, sufficiently terrific to deter all but men really convinced of the truth, and swayed by its sacred influence.
But we must not confine the accomplishment of this promise entirely to the days of Pentecost, although it then assumed a more splendid and attractive appearance, than it has done in these latter times. Yet through each succeeding age, the Lord the Spirit has not been unmindful of his covenant engagements. Could we draw aside the veil that separates between
us and the holy of holies-could we obtain a glimpse of the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem which is above, and inquire of the goodly number that surround the throne of God and the Lamb, Who was the faithful instructor and guide, that taught them to walk in the way that led to everlasting life? they would direct us to the Lord the Spirit, as the almighty guide who pointed out the road, and taught their wandering feet to tread the strait, the narrow way, the only path, that leads to Zion's hill. In the Bible, that chart of life, the road is shown with clearness, and described with accuracy. It is called faith in the finished salvation of Christ, and obedience to his commands. The hand which drew this path to glory, is the very same that painted the splendid canopy of heaven. By this good old way, all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and reformers, entered the city of the Lord of Hosts. Their guide and comforter, through this waste howling wilderness, was the third person of the Triune-Jehovah. What countless myriads has this almighty guide led to the mount of God, from the antediluvian worthies, down to the happy spirit just entered into the joy of its Lord! Like them, led by the same unerring teacher, we shall not fail of arriving safely at the mansion of everlasting joy, for he is the only faithful con
ductor* to the heavenly Jerusalem; untaught by him, none can find the path of life, but will assuredly stumble on the dark mountains of sin and error, and run the downward road that leads to hell.
Eternal life is the gift of God.
Christ is "the
way, the truth, and the life: none can come unto God, but by him." The office of the Holy Spirit is to instruct the ignorant, comfort the mourners in Zion, and make us meet to be "partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." "If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him." May we be partakers of that inestimable blessing, for without his influence on our hearts, vain will be even the electing love of God the Fathervain the vicarious sacrifice and imputed righteousness of Christ the Son-vain to us the plan of salvation; and vain, all the promises of the Gospel. As well for us, if those glad tidings of great joy, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men," had not reached our ears. Unapplied, the most sovereign remedy is useless, for then not even Gilead's balm, can heal the dire disease.† Christ will prove
* Psalm cxliii, 10.
Jeremiah viii. 22.
no Saviour to us, unless applied to our individual case. It is the office of the Holy Spirit, to take of the things of Christ and show them unto us. Faith is the hand by which we grasp Christ crucified. That saving faith, by which we apprehend the finished salvation of Jesus, and make it our own, is a grace wrought in the heart by the operation of the Spirit of God. Far better would it be for the children of men, if the sun were turned into darkness, the moon into blood, and all the stars of heaven withdraw their shining; than that this glorious promise of the outpouring of the Spirit, should be blotted from the book of God's remembrance!
May that blessed morning shortly dawn, "when all shall know the Lord!" Hasten, glorious Immanuel, that bright day, when "the whole earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the
The Lord hath sworn and will not repent, thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.-Psalm cx. 4.
IN the Old Testament, we find but little recorded of Melchizedek, that venerable priest of the most High