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certain absolute and irrespective decrees of God, and is effected solely by the
of God, fo that no conditions are required to be fulfilled, no cooperation to be given on their parts, but that, however great and numerous may be their fins, they are eternally fure of salvation : and that the great bulk of mankind are eternally doomed to perdition, no reference whatever being made to any faults of theirs; no possibility whatever being allowed them of escaping their doom; the fole caufe of which is the pleasure, and the fole object of it the glory, of God.
Not fuch, we humbly prefume, was the tenor of those Hallelujahs, which the beloved disciple heard in the Spirit before the eternal throne: when “ every creature in heaven, on " the earth, and under the earth,” even “a
great multitude which no man could num“ ber, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, " and tongues," joined in uttering praises to 56 the Lamb, who had redeemed them to God * by his blood :" whilst “ they who had the " harps of God, fang the song of Moses the « fervant of God, and the fong of the Lamb; * Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord “ God Almighty; juft and true are thy ways, " thou King of Saints:!"
* Rev, v. 19. vii. 9. v. 9. av. 2, 3, 4.
Now therefore “ Amen: Bleffing and lo“ nour and glory and power be unto Him that “ fitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb u for ever.”
Johx vii. 37, 38, 39.
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus food and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him
come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of lroing water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that bes
lieve on him should receive.
In this metaphor there are an appropriate force and beauty, which no doubt were immediately felt by the persons, to whom the words were addressed.' Liable from their natural situation to feel the misery of occasional drought, and acquainted perhaps by their own experience, or at least by the narratives of others, with the horrors of the neighbouring deserts, the people of Judea would consequently, perceive in the comparison all that expression, which our Saviour intended it to convey. The alteration to be wrought in the foul by the
Holy Spirit, thus presented to their view under the emblem of a perennial fountain, would be suggested by the refreshment, which water communicates to a traveller in a dry and fultry wilderness: the reviving vigour of the traveller would be considered, as representing the renovation to be imparted to the believer by the enlivening influence of the Spirit: and they would be impressed with a sense of the necessity of that influence, by reflecting on the distress and dismay, to which one of their earliest writers pathetically alludes; when faint from the passage over the burning waste, and anxiously expecting to relieve their thirst at the customary springs, which the heat had parched and exhausted, “the troops of Tema “ looked, the companies of Sheba waited for “ them; they were confounded because they “ had hoped; they came thither, and were « ashamed "
It was in this light, that our Lord's declaration would probably exhibit itself to the minds of the Jews. And thus unfolded and illustrated, it presents an appropriate and lively picture of that inward comfort, which the Christian derives from the agency of the Holy Spirit; of that invigorating principle, which be bestows; and of the general importance,
: Job vi. 19, 20.
benefit, and necessity of his aid, to support us in our earthly progress, and finally to conduct us to “the paradise of Godb,” more lovely than the garden of Eden, from which Adam by transgression fell: where we
66 shall hunger s no more, neither thirst any more, neither « shall the sun light on us, nor any heat. For 66 the Lamb which is in the midst of the 66 throne shall feed us, and shall lead us unto
living fountains of waters," and shall “fa“ tisfy us with the plenteousness of his house, " and give us drink of the river of his
There is not a doctrine in the facred volume, which is more clearly revealed, nor one which more abounds in motives to holiness of life, or in topics of rational exultation, than this, which attributes our ability to “ work out our “ salvation” to the preventing and assisting grace of the Holy Spirit of God. At the same time unhappily there is not one, which has been perverted into a more overflowing fource of corruption and error. There is not one, which has been wrested in former times into a motive or a sanction for more daring impiety and profligacy. There is not one, which has been more tortured in the present day, so
Rev. ii. 7.