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SERMON XVIII.

THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY GHOST, AND HIS

INFLUENCE ON THE APOSTLES.

1 Cor. xii. 4.

PAGE

There are diversities of gifts, but the same

Spirit

231

.

SERMON I.

INTRODUCTORY.

St. MATTHEW xxvii. 54.

Truly this was the Son of God.

Such was the spontaneous exclamation of the centurion who was entrusted with the command of the soldiers, who were the agents employed in the crucifixion of our blessed Lord. As such, he was an eye-witness of all the circumstances which attended that important event. He was an observer of the meekness with which their victim bore the revilings of his enemies, and of the calm resignation with which he gave himself up to death, depending all the while upon his heavenly Father. He was a spectator, also, of the wonderful occurrences which at the same time befell. He saw that the sun was

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darkened, that the earth was shaken, that the rocks were rent; and he probably heard the outcries of those who were aware that the graves were giving up their dead, and that the inystic vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. The result of the whole of this was that conviction in his mind of the divinity of the Person who thus conducted himself, and on whose account all this happened, which drew from him the exclamation, Truly this was the Son of God.!"

A testimony this, of infinite importance, because, although it referred only to one particular period of our Saviour's history, yet was that a very remarkable one, and because he who uttered these memorable words was one whose prejudices had hitherto been opposed to the belief of what he now professed; and we might, perhaps, have sufficient foundation for our faith, were we contented to rest our Lord's claim to divinity, even upon this one text, and were we to seek no further witness to the truth of it.

But, blest as we are with the volume of the book which contains so much of the history of our Lord, while a dweller upon earth, it can scarcely fail to be a useful exercise to us, if we go over a summary of the chief incidents of it, and direct your attention to some of the most prominent of his discourses and of his actions. It will, at one view, present us a picture of perfect Godhead and perfect manhood, admirably and inscrutably joined. And it will, more and more, give us reason to adore the immensity of His goodness, who could at once, send his only Son to die for man, and, at the same time, give us such incontrovertible evidence that he

For so many are the occurrences related in the Gospels, respecting Jesus Christ, which give proof of his divinity, and of his humanity, and of both combined; so naturally are they recorded, and so undesignedly do they appear to be introduced, that, without a reference to the bias which, as Christians, we must be necessarily supposed to have, we can scarcely conceive, that an honest and in

did so.

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