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 delight in him as their all-sufficient Redeemer ]
They “ have no confidence in the flesh”

[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
They look for every thing in Christ alone?-]

To these belong many glorious privileges
II. What is the rest which remaineth for them

They have already in some respect entered into resta

[They are freed from the terrors of a guilty conscience-
They feel a delight in ordinances and sabbaths
Their minds are fully satisfied with the gospel salvation
They experience the truth of our Lord's promise ]

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-
They can obtain nothing without strenuous exertions
And of necessity they are encompassed with many sor.


But in heaven they will cease from their labours
Nor will their happiness have any intermission or alloys ]

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.
o Prov. xxviii. 26.
r Heb. x. 22.
u Acts xiy. 22.

m 1 Pet. i, 8.
p I Cor. i. 30.
s Matt. xi. 28.

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

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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.



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.

Ver. 24.

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-
He leads them to see the source and tendency of their trials
He strengthens the natural vigour of their minds
He suggests to them many consolatory thoughts-
Thus he fulfils to them his gracious declarations -]

These operations of the Spirit are yet more manifest
II. In seasons of prayer
God's people “know not even what to pray for”

[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
At such seasons they cannot pray as they ought-]
But the Holy Spirit will make intercession for them”

[Christ is properly our advocate and intercessor
But the Spirit also may be said to "intercede for us”—

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
Real prayer implies fervour and importunity

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.
o Ps. li. 17.
r Zech. xii. 10.

m 1 Pet. i. 8.
P John iv. 23.

Matt. xv. 7, 8.

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