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I do not wish to recommend these Sermons to be committed to memory, but the use of memory itself. These sermons, such as they are, were written with a view to memory, committed to memory, and preached from memory, by me. I, for my part, have found, in using my memory in this way, great benefit and happiness, for which I most humbly and heartily thank the Lord Jesus Christ.

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SERMON I.

CONVICTION OF SIN NECESSARY TO OUR RECEIVING

COMFORT FROM THE HOLY GHOST.

Psalm li. 8.

Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness, that the bones

which Thou hast broken may rejoice.

This truly penitential psalm, full of humble and hearty acknowledgments of sin, and of earnest petitions for mercy, was composed by King David when awakened by the prophet Nathan out of that state of death into which a long continuance in sin had thrown him. His heart being disquieted within him, he prays with fervency and vehemence that God would be pleased in great mercy to blot out all his transgressions, to hide his face from his iniquities, to wash and cleanse him from his sins; that he would not cast him away from his presence, nor take his holy spirit from him; and that he would restore to him the comfort of his help again, and make him to hear once more of joy and gladness. Grievously as he had fallen, he had not quite fallen from grace. His faith was not utterly extinguished. The sun will shine again in splendour, though long obscured by clouds. The trees of the forest will flourish again, though stripped of their leaves by the winter's frost and covered with snow.

So
may

faith exist where even sin has intervened. To represent casual sins as arguing an irremediable estrangement from God is to enlarge the kingdom of Satan, to make the way to Hell broader than it is, to mistrust the promises of God, and to undervalue the extent of grace. It is a truly evangelical doctrine, good tidings of great joy that those that fall may rise again, and that all manner of sin shall be forgiven unto men if they repent.

What we learn in this psalm is that sin is not only the cause of all our misery, but the immediate cause of the withdrawing of all that peace and comfort which is of the Holy Ghost, which is the first fruits and foretaste of the kingdom of Christ. Where was now all that joy and gladness which David had been accustomed to feel in the presence, in the testimonies, in the word, in the works of God? God, who had been wont to direct him in his paths, and to guide him in his ways, and who had been the very joy and rejoicing of his heart, had withdrawn himself, had hid his face, had left him to the devices of his own heart, and to the burthen of his sins. Ten months had passed, and yet we read of no godly rejoicing or godly sorrow, of no psalms or hymns, laudatory or penitential. His sins, his sins had taken such

hold of him that he was not able to look up. He was stupified by sin, and was as a soldier sleeping in the camp of the enemy. At last, Nathan the prophet comes to him as from God, and under the parable of a rich man, who, sparing to take of his own flocks and herds had deprived a poor man of his one solitary lamb, convinces him of his guilt, saying, Thou art the man.

O who can then conceive the remorse which possessed King David when he was at length awakened! He felt how little he had gained, and how much he had lost. He reflected that the fruits of his guilt were but of momentary continuance, that its sting was most durable and inveterate. He saw the infinite disproportion between the good and the evil that it brought. He weighed its delusive enjoyments with the unspeakable pain of rising from them and repenting. But above all he wept for the loss of that Divine presence which was the life of his soul, saying, Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy spirit from me. 0 give me the comfort of thy help again, and stablish me with thy free spirit.

The tongue of an angel could not comfort David. The prophet, the parable, and the application, had moved his anger rather than his tears, had not God's holy spirit softened his heart to repent. The spirit of God strove with David.

My brethren, the same spirit strives with us all. With David He at length prevailed, and David acknowledged the victory, saying the bones which

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