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No worship is acceptable to him but that which is spiritual
His faithful servants are importunate at the throne of 'grace?)
They "rejoice in Christ Jesus".
[They do not merely acknowledge him to be the Messiah
They make daily application to him as the only ground of their hopes
Their hearts are lifted up with devout affection towards him
[They are deeply convinced that " in them dwelleth no good thing”
They see the folly of trusting to their own strength or wisdom
They acquiesce fully in Solomon's direction
To these belong many glorious privileges
They have already in some respect entered into resta
[They are freed from the terrors of a guilty conscience-
But the rest which awaits them is far superior to that they now possess
They will enjoy a freedom from all labours and sorrows
[They are constrained to labour as long as they are in the world ,
Their whole life resembles a race or warfare-
But in heaven they will cease from their labours
They will be exempt from all influence of sin or temp. tation
* John iv. 23, 24.
Prov. ii. 5.
Heb. iv. 3. · Matt. xi. 12. y Rev. xxi. 4.
| Eph. vi. 18.
m 1 Pet. i, 8.
Rev. xiv. 13.
[Sin now defiles their very best services Satan is also unwearied in his endeavours to corrupt them?
These are sources of much pain to them at presentBut the souls of all in heaven are made perfecta · Nor can any unclean thing enter to defile themb Their triumph will be complete and everlasting?-] They will dwell in the immediate presence of their God
[Their capacity of enjoying God will be wonderfully enlarged
They will behold him .not darkly, as now, but face to faced
The Saviour's glory will be the object of their devoutest ad. miration
Their delight in him will surpass their present conceptions They shall know that their happiness will be eternals
Then will every desire of their heart be fully satisfied ] INFER
1. How desirable is it to be numbered among God's
[The rest described is the portion of them aloneGod himself declares that the wicked have no part in it Their portion will be very differentkAnd its duration also will be endless! Who then would not wish to be numbered with the saints ? Who does not desire to participate their inheritance? But we must first be conformed to their characterWe must renounce self-confidence, and believe in Christ
It was unbelief which excluded the Israelites from Canaanm—
Let us fear lest the same evil principle rob us of the heavenly rest ]
2. With what delight may God's people look forward to death!
[The hour of death is often an object of terror to the godly
But it should be welcomed as a season of joy
Does not the husbandman rejoice in his wages, the mariner in his haven, the soldier in the spoils of victory ? · Much more should the Christian rejoice in the approach of his rest
Let us then long after it, like the holy apostle
And let us labour to attain it in full confidence of success?—]
o 2 Cor v. 2.
P 2 Cor. v. 6, 8,9.
LVIII. THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT IN STRENGTHEN.
ING MEN FOR SUFFERING OR DUTY.
he Spirild prices for
Rom. viii. 26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:
for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning's which cannot be uttered.
AN hope of eternal happiness is as an anchor to the troubled soul
It enables a person to bear up under the heaviest afflictions
But the mind of a believer would soon faint, if it were not strengthened from above
God therefore communicates his Spirit to his people under their trials
By bis Spirit he enables them to go forward in the way of duty
St. Paul has been speaking of sufferings as the Christian's portion here
He has mentioned “ hope" as a principal support to the soul under them' —
He now specifies the Holy Spirit's agency as another mean of confirming and establishing the soul
This agency of the Spirit we may consider I. In seasons of suffering
Men are, in themselves, too weak to sustain many or severe trials
[There is much impatience in the heart of every man It too often discovers itself even in those who are, on the wholę, pious
Sometimes it is called forth by small and trifling occasions
How passionately did Jonah resent the loss of his gourd!"
a Ver. 17, 18.
c Jonah iv. 8, 9.
How bitterly would the disciples have revenged an act of unkindness!!
There is no trial so small but it would overcome us, if we were left to ourselves,
And they who have endured heavy trials, often faint under small ones )
But God sends his Spirit to help the infirmities of his
[We cannot exactly discriminate between the Spirit's agency and theirs
Indeed the Spirit acts in and by their endeavourse-
These operations of the Spirit are yet more manifest
[A great variety of passions may agitate their minds When this is the case, their petitions may be unbecoming and sinful
Even a sense of guilt will often stop the mouth before Gods
Sometimes also trouble itself will utterly overwhelm the soul, and incapacitate it for prayer
Our Lord himself seems to have experienced such a per. turbation of mindi
Nor are there any praying persons who have not often found themselves straitened in the exercise of prayer-]
It yet oftener happens that they know not how to pray " as they ought”
[We may easily utter good and suitable words before God
But it is by no means easy to pray with fervent importunity
An insurmountable languor or obduracy will sometimes come upon the soul
Nor though we were ever so fervent can we always exercise faith
d Luke ix. 54. e This is implied in the term curantidaußévetar - Metaphora ab oneribus sumpta, quæ, utrinque admotis manibus, sublevantur." Beza in Luc. x. 40. Feeble therefore as our strength is, we must exert it: and if we cheerfully put our hands to the work, the Holy Spirit will always afford us effectual succour. f Ps. cxlvii. 3.
8 Compare Ps. xxxii. 3. & 5. h Ps. lxxvii. 4.
i John xii. 27.
Many have felt the same workings of mind with Davidk
[Christ is properly our advocate and intercessor
The Spirit intercedes in us at the throne of grace, while Christ intercedes for us at the throne of glory
He sometimes enables us to pour out our hearts with fluency
This he does by discovering to us our wants, quickening our affections, and testifying to us God's willingness to answer prayer
He does not, however, always operate in this way-] . He will make intercession “ with unutterable groans”
[The joy of Christians is represented as being sometimes inexpressiblem But frequently a sense of sin overwhelms them
Then sighs and groans are the natural language of their hearts · Nor are such inarticulate prayers unacceptable to God
We have a remarkable instance of their success in the history of our Lorda_
Perhaps no prayers are more pleasing to God than these ] INFER
1. How many are there who live all their days without
[Those in whom the Spirit intercedes are often made to feel their inability to pray aright
Under a sense of their infirmities they are constrained to cry to God for the help of his Spirit
But many pass all their days without any painful sense of their weakness
They satisfy themselves with a formal performance of their duties
Such persons never pray in an acceptable manner
And it is in vain to think that we have the spirit of grace, if we have not also the spirit of supplication
May We therefore never be of those who fulfil that prophecy!:-) .
2. What comfort may this passage afford to praying people!
Ps. Ixxvii. 7–10. " John xi. 33, 38, 41. 9 Isai. Ixiv, 7.
11 John ii. 1.
m 1 Pet. i. 8.
Matt. xv. 7, 8.