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consciences are so deeply awakened, that they have no rest in their bones, by reason of their sin : And it generally happens, the more frequently such persons hear the word preached, and the more deeply they are awakened thereby; and consequently, the more their distress increases till the Lord hath fully prepared them for the reception of his mercy and love in Christ.

How does the Lord convey this strength to the minds of poor penitent sinners, to such as have been effectúally awakened by the word ? It may be answered, Such persons will wait upon the Lord in all his appointed ways, the Gospel of Christ is become glad tidings of great joy to them, and they will diligently and constantly hear it, at all opportunities: To these souls, the faithful ministers of Christ have a very different message to deliver ; to these they may open and apply the precious promises, and the kind and affectionate invitations of the Gospel, and shew them the willingness of God to save and to bless them, and set before them the rich provision which he, in Christ Jesus, hath made for them. Like the great Apostle St. Paul, they may say to every such one, " Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ;" or as Ananias said to Saul, when in that state of mind, " Arise, why tarriest thou? wash away thy sins, calling upon the Name of the Lord.” To these we may say, on the best authority, "Ho, every one that thirsteth! come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, yea come, buy wine and milk, without money and price ; or we may apply the gracious words of our Lord unto them, “ Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest:" And we may add that blessed word, “Whosoever cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast him out.” When this is done by those whom God hath sent, he will not suffer his word to fall to the ground; but it shall be attended by the power of his Spirit, and made an effectual mean of begetting a true and living faith in the hearers. Shall such persons when thius invited to come to Christ reply, “ Alas! we are altogether helpless, we cannot move one step towards Christ, we are fast bound in misery and iron ; our souls are so fast in prison, that we cannot get forth; we would gladly believe if we could, but we feel, to our unspeakable sorrow, we can no more believe than we can fly up into the third heavens." These must be told, that when the Lord thus invites them, by his ministers, to come to Christ; along with the word of promise he will convey a divine power to them so that while they are invited to come, he will enable them so to do. If we consider the case of the man with his withered hand, it will cast much light upon this subject: Our Lord commanded the man to stand forth, that being exposed to public view, all might see him, if they would;

he then said unto the


66 Stretch forth thine hand.” The man did not reason with flesh and blood, and impertinently answer our Lord, “Why dost thou mock thy poor helpless creature? Dost thou not know that my hand is withered and dried up, so that I have no use of it? Could I have stretched it out, I should have no need to come unto thee for help.” We hear of nothing of this sort from him, but with the word of our Lord, a divine power was conveyed to the man, and he stretched out his hand, which was restored whole as the other. Thus our gracious Lord speaks to every returning sinner, “ Come unto me, thou poor, weary, heavy-laden soul, and I will give thee rest. But shall such a person reply, “Lord, why dost thou invite me to come? Dost thou not know that I am without strength ? That I gladly would come unto thee, if I could? But alas! I have long been convinced that I have no power to move one step towards thee.' Such


should rather remember, that it is the Lord who invites them and that he will certainly give them power so to do: Instead of reasoning respecting their own helpless state, they should reason on tiis wise, “It is my gracious Saviour who invites me to come unto him; this is the voice of God to my soul, I will therefore thankfully embrace his kind and affectionate invitation, I will go unto him just as I am, and cast my guilty, helpless soul at his feet.” Surely such a person shall find the truth of that " Whosoever cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out:” No, the Lord will receive him graciously, and love him freely, and make him happy in his favour.

Doubtless there are times and seasons when it may be said, in a peculiar manner, that the power of the Lord is present, to heal the broken-hearted, and to bind up their wounds; there are times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord: At these happy seasons, many are favoured with that degree of the power of God, which enables them, without any difficulty, to lay hold upon the hope set before them, so that they experience pardon, and the peace of God.

But in the general, the Lord does not carry on his work in so powerful a manner ; yet notwithstanding, as he is always present, where two or three are assembled together in his Name, so he is always waiting to be gracious to all that are coming to him; and at whatsoever time such a person feels the power of God attending his word, that his mind is truly affected thereby; or feels free access to the throne of grace, in prayer, so that he finds power to plead and wrestle with the Lord : At such times as these, he should labour to lay hold upon the mercy and love of God, in Christ Jesus; and it is for want of doing this, that many sincere souls remain shut up in unbelief much longer than otherwise they would be.

Many convinced sinners are frequently brought into the same situation with the two disciples, when they were going to Emmaus. Our Lord is talking with them by the way; he is graciously instructing them; he is opening their understanding, that they may understand the Scriptures ; they are deeply affected, they are strangely delighted, they are comforted, and their hearts are sweetly and powerfully drawn towards him: yea, their hearts burn within them, and yet they dare not believe : But these persons, when so greatly favoured of God, should not let these happy seasons pass away unimproved ; but as they may be well assured, that the Lord is present, so they should embrace him with their whole souls, and they would certainly find redemption and salvation, and witness a good confession from that very time.

It may be said to some, as of old time, “ Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe:" This is not to their praise, but the contrary; yet the Lord being very pitiful, and of tender mercy, condescends to deal with them accordingly, and so powerfully works upon them, and perhaps graciously applies some precious promise of his word to their minds, and therewith coinmunicates such a degree of his peace and love, that they can no longer doubt that he is reconciled to them.

Unbelief is an enemy to our peace and happiness, and a great variety of methods the Lord takes to deliver us from it. He generally puts this honour upon his preached word; and “ faith cometh by hearing :” But he does not confine himself to any one particular way; he can, and he does graciously visit those who earnestly seek him, in that way which in infinite wisdom and love, he sees will be most for the manifestation of his own glory, and the spiritual good of his poor, helpless creatures.

Thus does the God of Love convey his strength to the minds of those who seek him.

How does the Lord communicate this strength to those who are already brought into his favour and family ? Many are the gracious promises which the Lord hath made to these highly favoured souls: “ They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings, as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint:" Here waiting upon Ged, and his gracious promise, are joined together; and inasmuch as these persons see that it is not only their duty, but their interest, to wait in the way which the Lord hath appointed, they shall find, to their unspeakable comfort, the promise of God fulfilled.

The Lord is graciously pleased, in the general, to put this honour upon the ministry of his word, he makes it an effectual mean, not only of enlightening and comforting, but also of strengthening and establishing his children. How often do these come to the house of God weary and faint in their minds, and ready to give up all; but in waiting upon him, in his appointed way, they are graciously visited, they are strerigthened, refreshed, and encouraged to go in the good way rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God. It frequently happens, that by one single sentence of the word of God, all their distressing doubts are scattered, their unbelieving fears vanish away, and they return from the house of God, as giants refreshed with wine.

But the Lord does not confine himself to any one particular way; he communicates this strength to his followers in whatsoever way he sees good : They are frequently favoured with fresh supplies of this strength, when waiting upon him in secret prayer, or in reading or meditating upon his holy word: He may give this strength also, when they are walking by the way, when they are sitting in the house, when they are in the city or in the field, when they lie down or when they rise up: nay, in the silent, unguarded hours of the night, when as the Psalmist says,

có he holdeth their eyes waking," he may and does communicate this strength to the mind.

But in a particular manner, the Lord meets with his people when attending upon his ordinances, which he generally makes wells of salvation unto them; whether they are engaged in singing his praises, or in calling upon his Name in serious solemn prayer, or in hearing his word, he breathes life and power into every part, as he sees they stand in need. In order to illustrate this, we need only to consider the vision of Zachariah, when he saw a candlestick all of gold, having a bowl upon the top thereof, with seven lamps unto it, and there were seven golden pipes, through which the oil was transmitted from the two olive-trees, which were on each side of it, so that they were kept continually burning. This candlestick has generally been considered as a lively emblem of the church of God: It is said to be of pure gold; so the true church of God consists of purified or converted' souls : The lamps are considered as emblems of true believers, who ought to turn in the love, and shine in the light of God, to his honour and glory: The two olive branches represent the Lord Jesus Christ, in his divine and human nature; or these two sons of oil, as they are called in the margin, represent the Lord, Jesus, and his Holy Spirit, in his gracious influences upon the mind: the seven golden pipes represent the ordinances of God; and the oil which flowed through them, may be considered as an emblem of the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit. Thus then the lamps in the candlestick, the souls of the children of God, are continually supplied with fresh strength from the Lord Jesus Christ: This like the oil, flows through the seven pipes, the lively ordinances of God into their souls, so that they are fitted for every good word and work; they sensibly feel the refreshing streams of his grace, sweetly, and often powerfully, flowing into their minds and hereby the work of God is carried on, so that they grow strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

This strength may, and often is, given to one and another in the house of God, when perhaps the person who sits next knows nothing about the matter : But at other times, the Lord sends a gracious rain upon his inheritance, and abundantly refreshes those who remember him in his appointed ways. Respecting these divine communications, it must always be remembered, that the word of the Lord is, “ According to thy faith so it be done unto thee.”. As faith ought at all times to be kept in exercise, in a particular manner it ought to be so, when we are waiting upon God; for as the ministers of Christ, on their part, will open to us the precious promises of the gospel, and set before us the rich provision which the Lord hath made, for the complete and everlasting salvation of our souls: So like the ancient saints and servants of God, we are to obtain these promises by faith, and we shall experience all that they contain. In this one way the Lord will accomplish his own gracious word, and save and bless his disciples. Having scriptural views of the gracious designs of the God we worship, we may chearfully sing,

“ The tokens of thy favour show,

“ Now Saviour, now the grace impart, “ And let us thy salvation know,

“Forgiveness written on our heart. 1 « Surely his saving health is near,

“And waiting souls his power shall feel,

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