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for which God formed you, and which is all that deserves the attention of an immortal soul. A day in which many impurities, many calumnies, many passionate actions, many perjuries, and many oaths have been buried in everlasting silence. It is a day, in which you have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; in which you have entered into fellowship with God; in which you have heard these triumphant shouts in the church, Grace, grace unto it, Zech. iv. 7. A day in which you have been raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Eph. ii. 6. A day, the pleasing remembrance of which will follow you to your death-bed, and will enable your pastors to open the gates of heaven to you, to commit your souls into the hands of the Redeemer who ransomed it, and say to you, Remember, on such a day your sins were effaced ; remember on such a day Jesus Christ disarmed death ; remember, on such a day the gate of heaven was opened to you.
O day! which the Lord hath made, let me for ever rejoice in thy light ! O day of designs, resolutions, and promises, may I never forget thee ! O day of consolation and grace, may a rich effusion of the peace of God on this auditory, preserve thy memorial through a thousand generations ! Receive this peace my dear brethren. I spread
I over you hands washed in the innocent blood of my Redeemer; and as ourrisen Lord Jesus Christ, when he appeared to his disciples, said to them, Peace, peace be unto you ; so we, by bis command, while we celebrate the memorable history of his resurrection, say to you, Peace, peace be unto you. As ma-, ny as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God, John xx. 19, 21. Gal. vi. 16. To him be honor and glory
, for ever. Amen.
THE.EFFUSION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Acts ii. 37.
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said
unto Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, What shall we do? SON of man, I send thee to the children of
, Israel, to a rebellious nation. They will not hearken unto thee ; for they will not hearken unto me : yet thou shalt speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear; and they shall know that there hath been a prophet among them, Ezek. ii. 3. 5. and iï. 7. 11. Thus God formerly forearmed Ezekiel against the greatest discouragement, that he was to meet with in his mission, I mean the unsuccessfulness of his ministry. For, my brethren, they are not only your ministers, who are disappointed in the exercise of the ministry; Isaiahs, Jeremiahs, Ezekiels, are often as unsuccessful as we. In such melancholy cases we must endeavor to surmount the obstacles, which the obduracy of sinners opposeth against the dispensations of grace. We must shed tears of compassion over an ungrateful Jerusalem: and if, after we have used every possible mean, we
find the corruption of our hearers invincible, we must be satisfied with the peace of a good conscience, we must learn to say with the prophet, or rather with Jesus Christ, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nought and in vain : yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God, Isa. xlix. 4. We must content ourselves with this thought, if our hearers have not been sanctified, they have been left without excuse: if God had not been glorified in their conversion, he will be glorious in their destruction.
But how sad is this consolation ! how melancholy is this encouragement ! By consecrating our ministry to a particular society, we unite ourselves to the members of it by the tenderest ties, and, whatever idea we have of the happiness, which God reserveth for us in a future state, we know not how to persuade ourselves that we can be perfectly happy, when those christians, whom we consider as our brethren, and our children, are plunged in a gulph of everlasting woe. If the angels of God rejoice over one sinner that repenteth, Luke xv. 10. what pleasure must be feel, who hath reason to hope, that in this valley of tears he hath had the honor of opening the gate of heaven to a multitude of sinners, that he hath saved himself and them that heard him, I Tim. iv. 16.
This pure joy God gave on the day of pentecost to St. Peter. When he entered the ministerial course, he entered on a course of tribulations. When he was invested with the apostleship, he was invested with martyrdom. He, who said to him, Feed my sheep, feed my lambs, said also to him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, when thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkest whither thou wouldest : but when thou shall be old thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not, John xxi. 15, 16, 18. In order to animate him against a world of contradicting opposers, and to sweeten the bitterness, which were to accompany his preaching, Jesus Christ gave him the most delicious pleasure, that a christian preacher can taste. He caused, at the sound of his voice, those fortresses to fall, which were erected to oppose the establishment of the gospel. The first experiment of St. Peter is a miracle ; his first sermon astonishes, alarms, transforms, and obtains three thousand conquests to Jesus Christ.
This marvellous event the primitive church saw, and this, while we celebrate, we wish to see again to day. Too long, alas! we have had no other encouragement in the exercise of our ministry than that, which God formerly gave to the prophet Ezekiel ; shall we never enjoy that which he gave to St. Peter? Too long, alas ! we have receiveď that command from God, Thou shalt speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, for they are a rebellious house. Almighty God! pour out that benediction on this sermon, which will excite compunction in th hearts, and put these words in the mouths of converts, Men, and brethren, what shall we do? Add new members to thy church, Acts ii. 47. not only to the visible, but also to the invisible church, which is thy peculiar treasure, Exod. xix. 5. the object of thy tenderest love. Amen.
When they heard this they were priced in their heart. They of whom the sacred historian speaks, were a part of those Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, Asia, Phrygia,