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truly an evil day. But not so to the faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. Why, in reality should he repine? Why should he be disquieted? What, in the name of God, has he to apprehend? Fancy not that the prospect of his approaching separation from the world is to him a cause of trouble or uneasiness. He never permitted his heart to cleave with undue attachment to an object so unsatisfactory and fugacious. He has never been in the habit of viewing the earth in any other light than as a temporary habitation, a strange land, the place of his exile. He has ever been accustomed to consider his true country as situated beyond the confines of the grave. To that country it has long been his delight to look forward, and to hail it, like the patriarch of old, with distant salutations. He rejoices therefore, to behold the period at hand which is to terminate at length his sequestration from it: And, having hitherto lived by faith, he expires in tranquillity.

Wherefore, my friends, since it clearly appears, that religion is such a source of comfort and satisfaction, let us cherish and cultivate it with unremitting assiduity. Thus shall we experience a joy of heart similar to that, which our blessed Saviour promised to his apostles, as recorded in this day's gospel, and which it will not be in the power of man to take away. And thus, even in this life, shall we anticipate in some measure that celestial felicity, which, in the life that is to come, we shall enjoy in all its plenitude.

SERMON XXI.

THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER.

THE INFLUENCE OF THE DIVINE SPIRIT ON THE HEARTS

OF MEN.

GOSPEL. St. John, xvi. v. 5-14. At that time, Jesus said to his disciples, I go to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. But I tell you the truth : it is expedient to you that I go; for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you; and when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believed not in me; and of justice, because I go to the Father, and you shall see me no longer; and of judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged. I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now; but when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will teach

you all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak, and the things that are to come he shall shew you. He shall glorify me, because he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it to you. The apostles having been informed by our blessed Saviour of his approaching departure from them, and of the sufferings and afflictions which, after that period, they were doomed to undergo, were overwhelmed with grief. They considered themselves as sheep in the midst of wolves, about to be deprived of the presence of their shepherd, on whom they relied for protection and defence. Jesus, therefore, in order to comfort them under the dejected state of mind to which he perceived them reduced, awakened their attention to the consideration of the place to which he was going, which, he observed with some appearance of surprise, was not to any of them a subject of enquiry. That place, however, he assured them, was no other than the blessed mansion of his heavenly Father. “And now, said he, I go to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me, whither goest thou? But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your hearts." And to reconcile them more effectually to his separation from them, he stated to them the expediency of that measure, by telling them, that it was to be regarded as an indispensable preliminary to the descent of the Holy Spirit, which was essential to the promotion of the interests of that religion which he came upon the earth to establish, as well as of their own individual interests. " But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go; for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” The influence of the Holy Spirit in promoting the interests of his divine religion, is implied in the subsequent passage :-"And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, of justice, and of judgment.” The meaning of which I apprehend to be, that the spirit of God, by the miraculous powers which he would confer on the apostles, would, in the first place, add such a blaze of evidence to the truth of Christianity, as to leave no doubt whatsoever of the criminality of its opponents, who obstinately refused to embrace it ; " of sin because they believed not in me.” Secondly, that he would justify the character assumed by its Divine Author, by attesting in the same supernatural manner, his alleged ascent to his Eternal Father, which would never have taken place, had he not been in reality, what he pretended to be, the only begotten Son of the Father ; "and of justice, because I go

to the Father, and you shall see me no longer.” And finally, that the same Holy Spirit would manifest also the iniquity of the sentence which the enemies of Jesus had pronounced against him, by exhibiting to them, in the testimony he would bear to the event of his resurrection, the condemnation of the devil, the prince of the world, by whose instigation, he would clearly shew that his unjust judges had been impelled to the perpetration of that flagitious act; "and of judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged.” Such, my friends, is the best explication I am able to giveof a passage which is universally acknowledged by commentators on the sacred scriptures to be difficult to be understood. Having thus specified to his Apostles, the benefits which would accrue to the cause of his holy religion from the descent of the Spirit of God, he proceeded to discover to them the signal advantages which they themselves would individually derive from that extraordinary event. With this view, he first observed that there were many truths with which it was of importance that they should be acquainted, but which he had been deterred from communicating to them by the weakness of their minds, which were not yet in a condition to receive them; “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now, but when, he added, the spirit of truth shall come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak : and the things that are to come, he shall shew you.” By these words, he clearly intimated that the Holy Spirit, having by his descent upon them, invigorated their souls, and thus qualified them for the reception of those truths which he himself had hitherto withholden from them, would instruct them fully in the whole system of the divine economy, and would reveal to them, moreover, the events of futurity. For their consolation he subjoined, that the communications which would be made to them, would redound also to the glory of him whom they loved and venerated, since they would display, in the clearest light, all the wonders of his power, wisdom, and goodness, and of every other attribute which so eminently distinguished his character. “He shall glorify me, because he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it to you.”

As our blessed Saviour, when he beheld his apostles oppressed with sorrow, directed their attention to that peculiar dwelling of his heavenly Father in which he rewards the fidelity of his faithful servants, and to which he was about to

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