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of the indwelling of the Spirit; assure them, that they are in the way of salvation. But the inheritance can be finally secured only by enduring “ to the end;" by striving to maintain this witness of the Spirit, with our spirit, till the time of our mortal probation shall have been closed, and God, who hath sent us forth into the world to “ work out our salvation with fear and trembling,” shall have been pleased to gather us to his
us to his promised, and everlasting rest.
Let us, then, indeed, labour “ to enter into that rest,” to inherit the kingdom prepared for the children of God, (those who are “ led by the Spirit”) “ from the beginning of the world.” Let us continually watch over our spiritual state. Let us observe frequently what, with regard to our souls, is the witness of the Spirit. Let us see that
grace," and advance daily more and more towards Christian perfection, and the attainment of everlasting salvation. Let us cherish the fruits of the Spirit, and mortify the lusts of the flesh. Let us by frequent study of the Scripture, by meditation, and self-examination, impartially and faithfully ascertain the state of our hearts. Let us not fail to listen to every admonition of conscience; and in short, let us heartily strive and devoutly pray,
that every time we enter upon the work of self-examination, the Spirit of God may continue to "bear witness with our spirit, that we are children of God;" that we are daily advancing more and more vigorously towards our blissful inheritance; that, as we approach the last solemn hour of our earthly trial, we are daily preparing ourselves to hail it with resignation and joy; as the hour, in which the danger of losing our inheritance is passing away; we are hastening to the fulfilment of the promises; and the joint heirs of Christ's sufferings are henceforth to be joint heirs of his glory.
ON THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT.
ON THE TENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
1 COR. XII. 7.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to
In the portion of Scripture appointed for the epistle for the eighth Sunday after Trinity, mention was made of the witness, which the Spirit bears with our spirit, that we are children of God and heirs; joint heirs with Christ. In considering this subject, our inquiries were directed to the ascertaining how, and for what end the Spirit bears this witness ; and the result was, that the Spirit producing its proper fruits, bears witness with our spirit, to our encouragement and comfort, and thus assures us, that we are in the
of salvation. In the epistle appointed for this day, what
may be termed another species of witness of the Spirit, is set before us. St. Paul, in the text, declares to his Corinthian converts the purpose for which the Spirit bears witness, not merely to their consciences, but also to the perception of their brethren, that they are aided by his influences, and work by his power.
He tells them that “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
By the term manifestation of the Spirit, may be understood the means of manifesting, or shewing forth the Spirit, of which means the employment is elsewhere termed the “ demonstration of the Spirit'.” In the early times of Christianity, many members of the Church were endued with certain extraordinary assistances of the Holy Spirit, by which they were enabled to manifest his working, and thus to demonstrate, that the religion which they promulgated, was of divine origin, and was proposed to the world under the divine authority. Thus the Apostle in the text, declares the purpose, for which they were invested with these powers; that “ the mani
si Cor. ii. 4. The manifestation is given to profit withal, and St. Paul states that his preaching had been accordingly in the demonstration, or in the actual employment of this manifestation, or means of manifesting the Spirit..
festation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” But to profit whom? Only the possessors of these powers ? No! to profit the whole church, all, who might be willing to receive the Gospel upon proper evidence. These miraculous gifts were conferred, not so much, if at all, for the benefit of the individuals who received them, as for the conimon benefit. For the words translated to profit withal may be rendered, for the bringing together, for the collecting, as it were, into the common stock". And in exact conformity with this interpretation are the whole of St. Paul's reasonings upon the subject, in the chapter from which the text is taken. He per
. ceives that emulations, jealousies, and invidious comparisons, had been raised among
his Corinthian converts, upon the distribution of these gifts. In order to put an end to these mischiefs, he urges the consideration, that all their gifts, however different, proceed from one and the same Spirit, and are conferred for the general benefit and edification. Consequently if one man has an extraordinary gift which another has not, he only has it for the common benefit of the church, and therefore for the benefit of every member of the church. He illustrates his position by an