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arrogate any thing to ourselves, as if we had not received it from him. If we are puffed up with knowledge, elated with our gifts, and filled with a high opinion of our own sanctity and holiness, we dishonour the Holy Spirit, and are guilty of the pride charged on Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who said in his heart," My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself." To assume to ourselves the honour of what God does, is as abominable in his sight, as to do what he condemns ; and where his sacred influences are undervalued or denied, by any self-sufficiency of our own, there is an end to all reasonable hope in their bestowment. Nothing pleases or glorifies him more, than to expect all from him, and to ascribe all to him. "Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? Shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood."-Isa. x. 15.

5. All sin is a means of quenching the Spirit; secret sins, open sins, sins of omission, and of commission. Sin is, of all things, the most opposite to his holy nature, and the most offensive in his sight. One sin, though comparatively a little one, will damp his sacred fire ; but an obstinate, persevering course of iniquity will utterly extinguish it. All sin has this tendency, though not suffered to issue in such consequences. Sins of weakness and infirmity, sins resisted and lamented, he graciously forgives, and knows how to compassionate; for he knoweth our frame, and remembereth that we are dust. All moral pollution must needs be displeasing to Him, whose essence is purity itself. Every vain thought, idle word, and criminal action, are like so many drops to quench the heavenly fire; but there are other evils which come in like a flood, spreading still wider devastation. Sins against light and knowledge, wilful premeditated sins, committed against remon strance and inward remorse, are productive of ruinous

consequences, and in danger of leaving us the victims of judicial blindness and hardness of heart. Presump tuous sins often repeated, are attended with a degree of carnal security, from which the sinner is rarely awakened till he lifts up his eyes, being in torments. The sin of drunkenness and uncleanness is particularly mentioned in scripture as opposite to the Holy Spirit, defiling the temple which he deigns to occupy, and destroying his work. A wilful rejection of the gospel, or treading under foot the blood of the Son of God, and counting it an unholy thing, is said to be doing despite unto the Spirit of grace; and under this load of aggravated guilt, the sinner is left without any hope of mercy, and consigned to eternal punishment. 1 Cor. vi. 18, 19. Ephes. v. 18. Heb. x. 26-29.

II. Consider some of the reasons which should warn us of the sin and danger of quenching the Holy Spirit.

Shall we reject his admonitions because he disturbs us in our evil courses, follows us with keen convictions. and from a gracious regard for our welfare, will not suffer us to live at our ease? Because the fire burns within us, to warn us of eternal fire, shall we attemp to extinguish it? And ought not believers to beware lest through carelessness and inattention they grieve their blessed Sanctifier and Comforter? Ought they not gratefully to remember with what sovereign efficacy he quickened them when they were dead in trespasses and sins; how he has begun and carried on the good work till this day; and in how many times of need, hi gracious assistance has been imparted? Shall we griev our best friend, and oppose our kindest benefactor Shall we return slights for benefits, and hatred for love? Is it not contrary to our duty, our interest, an all the obligations of gratitude, to oppose his work, t neglect his kindness, and to treat him as an unwelcom visitor?

1. If we grieve and quench the Spirit, he will be silent to us; he will cease to admonish, and to guide us. When ministers speak to our ears, he will no longer speak to our hearts. We may hear the voice of God roaring out of Zion, or thundering from Mount Sinai; the voice of his threatenings, and the voice of his rod; but we shall no longer hear the small still voice, speaking peace and comfort to our souls. When God is departed from us, he will answer us no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams; but our wretchedness will be like that of Saul, king of Israel.—1 Sam. xxviii. 15.

2. If we quench the Spirit, even though believers in Christ, he will suspend his influence for a time at least, and leave us to mourn in darkness. He will show his resentment by withdrawing his presence from us; and then ordinances will be unprofitable, and duties become a burden. We shall neither take pleasure in them, nor derive advantage from them. When the Spirit no longer moves upon the waters of the sanctuary, they lose their salutary influence, and neither health nor healing can be found in them. Corruptions will revive, an abatement in our abhorrence of sin will be perceived, and of course there will neither be watchfulness against it, nor strength to overcome. Weight will be added to every affliction, and distress to every calamity, till death and judgment become the objects of fearful expectation, and of sore dismay.

3. By quenching the Spirit, we shall sin greatly against God, as well as against our own souls. The divine Father, who sends the Comforter, will be offend ed. The Son of God, who procured this inestimable blessing by his death, and made intercession for its bestowment, will be offended, and will cause us to feel the weight of divine displeasure. If we are the children of God, and have done this evil in his sight, we shall be made to feel it in present rebukes and chastisements; if aliens and enemies in our hearts, we shall

meet with the punishment of eternal fire. When the children of Israel rebelled against God, and vexed his Holy Spirit, he became their adversary, and fought against them; and when the conflict is between the Creator and the creature, we may easily guess what will be the issue. Woe be to us, if he depart from us!A more dreadful woe, if he contend with us!

Come, blessed Spirit, source of light,
Whose power and grace are unconfin'd,
Dispel the gloomy shades of night,
Remove the darkness of the mind.

To mine illuminated eyes display
The glorious truths thy word reveals;
Chase prejudices far away,

Unclasp the book, and loose the seals.

By inward teachings make me know
The mysteries of redeeming love;
The vanity of things below,

The excellence of things above.

All through the dubious maze of life,

Spread, like the sun, thy beams abroad;

Point out the dangers of the way,

And guide my wandering feet to God.


1 THESS. V. 20.

Despise not prophesyings.

PROPHESYING, according to the ordinary acceptation of the term, signifies the foretelling of future events. The prophets of old were called Seers, because they foresaw things to come, and predicted them to others. Here the term is to be understood with greater latitude, as denoting the expounding of the scriptures, or giving public instruction in the church of God. And because some who do not despise the work and office itself, may nevertheless be disposed to cast contempt on the labours of particular ministers, the apostle forbids a contempt of "prophesyings" in general; lest by particular instances of allowed neglect, the office itself should be brought into disrepute.

Ministers have their peculiar gifts; one of improving the understanding, another of convicting the conscience, and a third of moving the passions. One is a son of thunder, and another of consolation; one opens the wound, and another applies the healing balm. One is learned, another eloquent; one is highly argumenta tive, another gently persuasive; but there is no faithful minister of the gospel, from whom we may not reap some advantage, let his peculiar gifts be what they will. Those who hear with prejudice, are never likely to hear with profit, let the preacher be who he may.

Moreover the apostle does not merely forbid us to despise prophets, but prophesyings; intimating that an

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