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righteous, so also the punishment of the wicked will last for ever. What the exact nature of this punishment will be, we perhaps do not know; and in speaking of it, I will not venture to say any thing but what is said in Scripture. St. John in the Revelations describes the place of punishment as being “a lake of firel.", Our blessed Lord represents it by (outer darka “ness, where is weeping and wailing and “gnashing of teeth";” and with a most awful and impressive repetition, three times in one chapter, speaks of it as a place in which “ the worm dieth not, and the fire “ never shall be quenchedx.?? ..
In one of these states, my friends, will every one of us be fixed; by the judgment of the last day. That sentence will place each of us in a state of unspeakable blessedness which will last for ever, or in a state of misery and despair which will never have an end. . . . . .
If we really believe these things; if we really believe that our Lord, who is now at the right hand of God, will from thence
"Rev. xx. 15. Matt. viii. 12, &c. ** Mark ix. 44, 46, 48.
"come to judge both the quick and the 6 dead,” would it not be wise in us to prepare for the last judgment, while we yet have time? Is it wise in us ever to be unmindful of the awful account which we must one day give? We, the ministers of the Gospel, remind you of these solemn truths, not for the sake of exciting an useless alarm, but in order to save you from the sentence of condemnation. “Knowing “ the terror of the Lord' we" try to “per4 suade men,” to repent of and forsake their sins, and seek for pardon through the merits of our Redeemer. Judge therefore, yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged of the Lord. If we would not be con66 demned in that fearful judgment, we must 56 accuse and condemn ourselves for our “ own faults” now, and strive, through the aid of the Holy Spirit, to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, even the fruit of a holy and religious life. And let us remember for our encouragement, that the Being who will then come in great glory to judge the world, is he, who once came in great humility to save the world. Our Judge is
one who took our nature upon him, “who " can be touched with the feelings of our “ infirmities, having been in all points “ tempted like as we are'," and who died to save us from condemnation. “Although “ we have sinned, yet we have an Advocate “ with the Father, Jesus Christ the righte. “ ous*.” If we will but repent and believe, our Judge himself becomes our Advocate. “Let us therefore return unto “him, who is the merciful receiver of all “ true penitent sinners; assuring ourselves “ that he is ready to receive us, and most “ willing to pardon us, if we come unto “ him with faithful repentance; if we sub“ mit ourselves to him, and from hence“ forth walk in his ways.;- if we will take “ his easy yoke and light burden upon us, “ to follow him in lowliness, patience, and “ charity, and be ordered by the govern56 ance of his Holy Spirit; seeking always s his glory, and serving him duly in our “ vocation with thanksgiving.' . Heb. iv. 15. •1 John ii. 1. Commination.
BELIEF IN GOD THE HOLY GHOST.
2 Cor. xiii. 14. The communion of the Holy Ghost be with you
IN his affectionate farewell to the Church at Corinth, St. Paul expresses his wish or prayer, that the “ communion of the Holy “ Ghost might be with them all.” He could have expressed for them no kinder wish; and it accordingly has been adopted as the conclusion of our ordinary Church Service, and of most of our forms of domestic devotion. The communion or fellowship of the Holy Ghost, in other words the being continually assisted by him, is of absolute necessity to the salvation of our souls. “If “ any man have not the Spirit of Christ,” says St. Paul, “ he is none of his , ” and those who belong not to Christ, must be left to perish in outer darkness,
Important, however, as this doctrine is, it has not, I fear, its due influence in the world. Some men seem disposed to consider all reliance upon the aid of the Holy Ghost as a species of enthusiasm; and others treat it with such total neglect, that if they should be asked, like the imperfect converts at Ephesus, “ Have ye received " the Holy Ghost since ye believed "?" they would reply like them, “ We have " not so much as heard whether there be “ any Holy Ghost.” The Apostle immediately rejoins, “ Unto what then were 66 ye baptized?” All persons baptized according to Christ's institution, are baptized in the name of the Holy Ghost; as well as in the name of the Father and the Son. The Church of England, very properly, teaches us to consider belief IN GOD THE HOLY GHOST, WHO SANC, TIFIETH US, AND ALL THE ELECT PEOPLE OF GOD, as one of the chief articles of faith; she implores his aid in numerous passages in her public services, and concludes almost every psalm and hymn in these services, with ascribing glory to
Acts xix. 2.