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are to minister according to the ability which God giveth ; they are to look to Him for supplies of His grace to make the word effectual to accompurposes
in the salvation of those who hear it. Unless He give this ability, all labour is in vain. He must work with His servants, and apply His word to the hearts and consciences of those who hear it, or it will not be mighty to pull down the strong holds of sin and Satan in the human heart. His grace alone is sufficient for this. But when His strength is made perfect in the weakness of His servants; or when, being sensible of their own weakness and feebleness and inability to carry into effect the purposes of His grace, in employing them to make known the word of God, they wait upon Him for the fulfilment of His promise, that His word shall not return unto Him void, but shall accomplish that which He pleaseth, and shall prosper in the thing whereto He sends it;64 then the end is answered for which the word of God is made known, then sinners are converted from the error of their ways, then edification and instruction are received by those who wait upon God in His house, then Divine grace
is manifested to be almighty to accomplish the object for which the ministry is appointed.
While the ministers of Christ pray that this may be the case, it becomes the hearers of the word of God to pray also for the accomplishment of the same object; that utterance may be given unto them that preach the word, that they may open their mouths boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel; that therein they may speak boldly as they ought to speak.65 Without this ability which God giveth, all is in vain. He must give the increase; and He must be waited upon for it. For this He will be inquired of by His people, that He may do it for them. And when the Spirit is poured from high, then the wilderness will be a fruitful field 387 when there are showers of blessings in answer to the effectual fervent prayer of the people of God, then the peaceable fruits of righteousness will spring up, the desert will appear as the garden of the Lord, the solitary place will rejoice and blossom as the rose. 67 May the spirit of grace and of supplications be poured upon us, that we may be importunate with God for His blessing to be vouchsafed in the use of the means of grace,
receive it in answer to our humble petitions.
The end proposed by the ministry is the next point brought forward by our apostle, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ. Whatever we have, whatever we are, we should seek to glorify God in all. This should be our end and aim in every thing. The glory of God is the end of all His dispensations to the children
65 Eph. vi. 19, 20. 66 Ezek, xxxvi. 37. 67 Isaiah xxxii. 15;xxxv. 1.
He created all things for His glory. For this purpose the universe was brought into existence. But in this our world, it is through Jesus Christ that He is to be glorified in all things; because of His grace displayed in the redemption and salvation of lost sinners, through His beloved Son. No human being can therefore answer the end of his creation, or glorify God, but as he is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. We can have no intercourse with God, no fellowship with Him; there is no means of pardon, or of acceptance in His presence, but as our reliance is placed on the Lord Jesus Christ. He must be the Saviour of our souls, or we shall perish everlastingly. It was for the promotion of His own glory that God sent His only begotten Son into our world; and therefore, while it is declared that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life, it is also said, he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. If our sins be not pardoned through faith in His blood-shedding and death, we shall die in our sins, and be lost for ever. Oh! that these solemn truths of the word of God might gain that attention from every one of us which is due to them; that God may be glorified in each of us individually, through Jesus Christ.
And having Him for our Saviour, and being sensible that every blessing we receive flows to us through Him, while we recollect the debt of love and gratitude which we owe to God in Christ, we shall be disposed to give Him the glory which He claims as His due. The church of His redeemed in earth and heaven owns Him as its Lord and King, and will ever use the song of thanksgiving, To Him be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. All glory and power belong of right to Him, for He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; to whom belong honour and power everlasting. Amen. To Him will be the praise and glory of the salvation of His redeemed for evermore, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever.
Let us submit ourselves to the sceptre of His grace, that He may be glorified in us and by us here on earth, that we may be prepared for that great day of the Lord, which so cometh as a thief in the night; and which, while it will fill His enemies with alarm and confusion of face, will bring joy and salvation to His believing people, who shall then glorify and praise Him in His eternal kingdom for evermore. Let us live in expectation of the fulfilment of His promise, as those who love His appearing, and are waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless.
THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST.
Acts ii. 4.
AND THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY
GHOST, AND BEGAN TO SPEAK WITH OTHER TONGUES, AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM UT
INSTEAD of a portion of scripture selected from the apostolical epistles, our church this day calls the attention of her members to the account contained in the Acts of the Apostles, of the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ; whereby they were endued with power from on high, to testify the gospel of the grace of God, and to work miracles in confirmation of the truth of their testimony. It pleased God in His wisdom to appoint the most public occasions for the accomplishment of the most