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bodily danger in this way. He would consider You are now prepared to consider how much himself trifed with, if not insulted, were any one love the Spirit manifests in standing “afar off” as to say to him, “ Your deep sense of pain and dan- a comforter, from all who try to take comfort from ger is a very good sign: all who have ever reco- his work, instead of seeking for it in the finished vered from your malady felt exactly as you do; work of Christ. For, were all fears, and all conand therefore your pain will, no doubt, give place victions, and all arrests of conscience, really his to ease in course of time." Every man would work, he will not witness to them, as being the interrupt this reasoning by asking, what cured good work" of grace on the heart, until they are those who recovered ? Not the course of time, employed as reasons and motives for trusting the without any course of medical treatment. soul to the great work of Christ on the cross. He
Why is not common sense applied as promptly will not only stand aloof from comforting those to detect and reject the fallacy of taking for grant- who take up with their own feelings instead of ed that pain of conscience will be followed even-Christ; but he will leave these feelings to subside, tually by peace of conscience ? Mental pain, like perhaps to vanish away so completely, that the boäily, in some cases, is certainly a good sign. It heart shall become harder than it was before its is a proof that mortification has not taken place; first meltings. but it is not the physician nor the remedy. There is wonderful love in this, however it may Whilst, therefore, I would readily say to any seem anger at the time. There is indeed, anger trembling sinner,-Your distress, and fears, and in it too; but it is the paternal anger which chasanxieties, are proofs that God has not given you tens sharply, because paternal love is strong. For, up to a repr te mind, and proofs that the Holy were we allowed to comfort ourselves with the Spirit is making you feel your need of a Saviour; hope of salvation just because certain feelings still, I would always add,--they are not proofs of prevailed in us at one time, we should soon under. your election, nor pledges of your final safety. All rate Christ as much as Legalists do, and neglect their value depends on what they lead to. If you holiness as much as Antinomians do. do not follow them out by fleeing from the wrath I have dwelt much upon this point, too long, per. to come, they may prove the forerunners of that haps; but I have done so, that you may dread and wrath. If you rest in them, instead of applying hate the bare idea of resting satisfied with any at once and fully to Christ, they may turn out to light, which does not bring you into thorough sub. be the first gnawings of “the worm that diethjection to the cross and sceptre of Christ. The not ;" the first sparks of the “unquenchable fire!” light is not divine, which is not leading on this
You see now, I hope, the difference between subjection, from year to year. “And if the light light and illumination. I say " difference,” be that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkcause there is more than a distinction between ness!” them. And it is of immense importance to re It is not darkness, however, if our relief from member this fact : for thousands, by forgetting it, distressing fears of God, arises from his lovely settle down into idle waiting for more grace, under character as God in Christ, delighting in mercy, the rash presumption that the fear of perishing is and reconciling the world unto himself. Reliet the pledge of eventual salvation. Thus, instead from this view of the glory of God in the face of of fleeing from the wrath to come by actually and Jesus, is spiritual illumination, and that, too, in a immediately applying to Christ, they turn their very high and emphatic sense. The light of creamomentary fear of that wrath into a reason for tion is not more directly the effect of the power of hoping to escape it.
the Spirit, than this light upon the character of Again I say, I attach great importance to con- God is from the love of the Spirit. It is totally victions of sin and danger : but still I must repeat different from the mild and gentle views of the that he is not illuminated, nor much enlightened, | Almighty, which fashion and philosophy talk of. who can be satisfied with having felt them deeply The believing views of a Christian are mild and for a time. Indeed, convictions which can find gentle ; but not in the world's sense of the sufficient relief in their own depth or sincerity, words, nor for the world's reasons. The lecannot be very deep. A deep fear of perishing niency and love which worldly men ascribe to God, would compel flight, for refuge, to the hope set be- have not only no moral influence upon their hearts fore us in the gospel.
or habits, but they are ascribed to him just to hide How some new light upon the evil and danger the danger of caring nothing about him. They of sin can be set down as saving grace, I can are not conclusions drawn from the unspeakable only explain by the deceitfulness of the heart. All gift of his Son as a Saviour, nor from the promise the Bible illustrates and proves, that light upon of his Spirit as a comforter, nor from the unthis subject is intended to lead to Christ. Accord searchable riches of grace and the eternal weight ingly, when Paul prayed for the quickened Ephe- of glory; but from the base wish to sin without sians, that the eyes of their “understanding might danger, and to die without fear. be enlightened,” his object was, that they might The light of a Christian is, also, quite a differknow " the hope of God's calling." Eph. i. 18. ent thing even from that of the formalist; who, And it is not safe to call any light divine illumina- in speaking of the divine character, uses the very tion, which permits us to stop short of that hope, words of Scripture. The expressions, “God is or to hope merely because we have feared. We love,” “God delighteth in mercy,” “God can be are not thoroughly in earnest about our souls, if just in justifying him that believeth in Jesus,” are any impression made upon them (whether painful read and repeated by thousands, who neither or pleasing) is turned into an excuse or a reason wonder nor adore. All this is mere matter of for not pressing to an issue the question of their course to them. It wins no love, and leads to no salvation.
prayer: it illuminates neither the shadow of death,
not the pilgrimage of life : it is all phrases without paternal kindness in it. It enables us to know, in meaning, or facts without interest. Not so to a some measure, what degree of interest the SaChristian; he can hardly believe, for joy, that viour is likely to take in our prayers. It prevents God is love! He feels so unworthy of any love, us from imagining that he ever liveth to intercede and is so ashamed of his ingratitude, that he is for those, who never pray for themselves. Thus afraid of presuming, even when most willing to be we are not allowed, for a moment, to suppose that an entire and eternal debtor to grace. The words, Christ is praying for us, if we dislike or neglect “God is love,” are infinitely more to him than prayer; nor that he takes much interest in our words. He sees in them the face of God smiling prayers, when we are heartless or heedless in deon penitents; the heart of God yearning over his votion. children ; the wisdom of God guiding, the power It is just as necessary, in order to secure the inof God guarding, and the grace of God sanctify- tercession of Christ on our side, that our prayers ing, all his family. He hears in them promises of be “according to the will of God,” as that interpardon, and pledges of acceptance, and assurances cession itself is, in order to secure their acceptof glory:
ance: for Christ will no more put heartless prayers This is illumination! True ; it is nothing but into his censer, than God will answer Christless the mind of the Spirit in the written word ; no- prayers. In this matter, the Son looks as much thing but the meaning of Scripture; but then, to the way in which we treat the Spirit, as the what a meaning it has, compared with what we Father looks to the way in which we treat the used to find in it, and put upon it! It is only old Son. Whoever will not pray in the name of Jetruth; but it is now full and overflowing with new sus, the Father will not answer him ; and whoglory, to a Christian.
ever will not yield to the strivings of the Spirit, And, who is to blame, because all who read the Son will not own him. that “God is love," do not see so much in it as to And who can wonder at this! Where is the be melted or amazed by it? Is the illuminating common sense, or the common honesty, of the Spirit "a respecter of persons ?" but he is man who objects to the duty of “praying in the a respecter of principles, and a respecter of laws Holy Ghost,” or “with the Spirit?" The help of and order: and if any will pay no respect to the the Spirit is just as open and free to him, as the word of God, nor to the reproofs of providence, nor merits of Jesus. He is just as welcome to ask for to the dictates of conscience, he respects the au- the Spirit, as to add to his prayers the all-prevail. thority of divine means too much to illuminate ing name of the Saviour. There is no more obwithout them. It is as “the Spirit of revelation,” stacle between him and the help of the Holy Spias well as “of wisdom," that he enlightens the rit, than there is between him and his Bible. He eyes of the understanding in the knowledge of may as soon and easily obtain help in prayer, from God as love. Eph. i. 17.
the Spirit of grace and supplication, as obtain
from his Bible the rules and reasons for pleading
only the merits of Christ. No. VII.
Nor is this all. That man is not to be found under a gospel ministry, or after reading the Scriptures, who is an utter stranger to the strivings of
the Holy Spirit. Every such man has felt, again It is just as true that the Spirit “ever liveth” and again, convictions of the duty of prayer, and to help our infirmities by suggesting prayer, as impulses to pray. Many, alas, resist them; but that the Saviour ever liveth to intercede for the all who hear the gospel feel them. Yes; and find prayerful. Indeed, the respective offices of Fa- it so difficult to get rid of them, that their ingether, Son, and Spirit, in reference to prayer, seem nuity is put upon the rack, to find out speculative to sustain each other. The Father's readiness to excuses for not praying. None have had such hear, seems to be as much the Spirit's reason for hard work in stifling their convictions of the duty helping our infirmities, and the Son's reason for and necessity of prayer, as those who are most pleading his own merits on our behalf, as their dexterous and prompt, in excusing their neglect. joint intercession is the Father's reason for an. Whenever a man asks, How can I pray in the swering prayer. He answers it because the Spi- Spirit, before I receive the Spirit ?--he has had rit suggests it, and because the Son presents it ; more stirring up from him, than he liked to feel, and they promote it thus, because he delights to or cares to confess. He does not wish for any hear it.
more drawing or driving to the mercy-seat, than This seems the grand moral reason why the he has felt. He has had enough of both, to conHoly Spirit does so much to help our infirmities, vince him, that praying will not fit in with his purand the Saviour so much to insure our success in suits. He has been near enough to the foot-stool prayer. The Spirit knows that supplication has of the throne of grace, to see that he does not like only to be “according to the will of God,” in or- it at present: but, as this confession does not der to find a sure place in the golden censer of sound well in words, he sets himself to excuse the Son; and the Son knows that the incense of himself
. And if his pretences of wanting time, or his merits can sanctify and sustain it with the Fa- ability, for prayer, do not silence either his friends ther; and, therefore, both ever live to intercede or his conscience, he tries to prove that the work for us ;--the one on earth, and the other in hea of the Spirit is too great, and too good, and top ven; the one by teaching us to pray, and the other remarkable, to have any connection with what he by praying for us.
has felt. It means (forsooth!) every thing, but There is as much holy wisdom in this arrange- “the day of small things," which he wants
dement for the success of our prayers, as there is ' spise, because he dislikes it. Accordingly, he 68
THE LOVE OF THE SPIRIT IN INTERCESSION.
would be any thing but glad, to have that Spirit, habits of his first love, and become a closet Chriswhich, he says, he has not got, and cannot com- tian again. mand. In a word; he dreads having any more of These sad effects of quenching “the Spirit of his work, at present, than he has had. He saw supplication," will enable us to understand clear. its face, and did not like it; and, therefore, he ly, how yielding to his intercession with us, sewants to make out that the Holy Spirit has done cures the intercession of Christ for us. Christ nothing for him!
will put no prayer into his censer of much incense, This is the real secret of all the pretences put which has not been put into our hearts by the forward by the delaying and undecided hearers of Holy Spirit. And, on the other hand, it is just as the gospel. The Spirit of God is doing more for true, that Christ will not exclude from his golden them than they wish at present ; doing so much, censer, any prayer which the Spirit excites. It that the only way in which they can get to the may not be answered at once; but it is sure to be bustle or the follies which quench divine influence, presented, accepted, and remembered. It is as is, to deny the divinity of what they feel at solemn truly filed at the throne of God, as it was felt by moments. Not a man of them has the shadow of the heart or breathed by the lips. a doubt upon his mind, as to whether he could What an encouragement this is to pray “in pray-when he feels thus. He sees clearly that, the Spirit,” or “with the Holy Ghost!" I do not were he to yield then, he both could and would mean, of course, that we should pray only when pray enough to commit himself beyond all retract- we are powerfully urged to the duty, by a deep ing or retreating:
sense of want, or weakness, or danger. No. If it be thus base and criminal to " resist the There may be quite as much of both the love and Holy Ghost," even whilst he is only convincing of the grace of the Spirit, in enabling us to keep up the duty of prayer; how much more, when he has regular habits of devotion from day to day, as in convinced us of the advantages and enjoyments, those powerful impressions, which seem audible which may be derived from it, and found in it? calls to extraordinary prayer. Indeed, wherever And this conviction he has established in the in- there is no habit of morning and evening prayer, most soul of all who have yielded to his first striv- there will seldom be any compliance with the calls ings. Whoever has allowed himself to be drawn or drawings of the Spirit to special prayer : for if to the throne of grace, and has there given way the standing law be disregarded, it is not likely to his feelings, until his heart was " poured out that the occasional impulse will be obeyed. Such before God, has found by experience, that it is impulses, however, ought not to be resisted. There good to draw nigh unto God. He may not have is, depend on it, a strong “needs be," whenever found, at first, as the enjoyment, nor all the relief, the Holy Spirit bears in upon the mind, the conwhich he has heard others speak of: but he did viction that there must be more prayer than usual, rise from his knees a happier man than he knelt or more fervency than there has been! He foredown. He did wonder, after giving way to strong sees some imminent or real danger to our princicries and tears, that even he should have disliked ples, our character, or our peace, whenever he to be alone with God in prayer. He did resolve, stirs us up to “cry mightily ủnto God." This is that he would soon return to the mercy-seat. the signal he gives, to forewarn us of approaching
The manifestation of the love of the Spirit, trials of some kind. Yes; whenever his voice in which occurs at this point in conversion, is pecu- the heart says, like the Saviour's in Gethsemane, liarly interesting. He may not exactly comfortWatch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation, nor cheer the soul, when it first yields to him as something is about to happen, which we are not “the Spirit of supplication ;” but he either soothes prepared for, by our ordinary devotion. Either it into something like calmness, or excites it to a trouble is coming, which we are not fit to sustain fervency of holy desire, which seems the forerun- in our present strength; or temptations are comner of hope. If he do not reveal at once to the ing, which we are not able to overcome by it: soul, its warrant and welcome to believe on Christ either our spiritual or our temporal affairs are on for its own salvation, he does show enough of the the eve of some turn, which will involve serious sufficiency of Christ, to satisfy us that he can consequences, perhaps for life; or Satan has taken save to the uttermost, them that come unto God measures to “ sift” us " as wheat :” and, therefore, by him.” Thus we are made to see and feel, that our faith must fail, unless the Intercessor in heaprayer is not a vain thing; that its efficacy is ven pray for us! All this the Spirit foresees, and worth trying; and that the very act of trying it, thus forewarns us of; and, therefore, he intercedes brings some composure.
with us, to watch and pray for ourselves, that Thus a lesson is taught by the first influence of Christ may intercede for us. The sufficiency of earnest prayer, which is never forgotten. The the Saviour's grace, or strength, for sustaining us Spirit lodges and seals a sense of the usefulness in the hour of trial, is, remember, “made perfect of drawing nigh to God, which can never be lost. in weakness ;" and it is by pressing upon us the im. It may be weakened; but it cannot be erased.- mediate necessity of praying more earnestly, that Accordingly, the most heartless, yea, the most the Spirit reminds us of our weakness, and aphopeless backslider, cannot forget nor despise prizes us of our danger. “ the days of old,” when the candle of the Lord Christian, let no clamor against impulses in gefirst shone in his closet. He may not dare to neral, divert you from obeying the Holy Ghost, pray—he may dread nothing so much as being when he is impelling you to abound in prayer, or alone with God in prayer ;-but he has no doubt to improve your devotional spirit. You are in no of the happiness of those who are prayerful. He danger of praying too often or too long in your envies their state. He knows that there is no closet. Fanaticism does not send her dupes, nor happiness for him. until he resume the devotional i Fancy her votaries, into the closet to wrestle with
God for grace to help in time of need. Prayer and very prone to desire most what is most withagainst falling or fainting, is not one of the dic- held from us. In regard to temporal things, howtates of a spirit of illusion, or of delusion. There ever, we never desire too little, nor feel indifferent is real need for more than usual prayer, whenever to what is good; whereas, there are many spiyour sense of need is strong. There is a critical ritual blessings which we could but too easily nick of time at hand, whenever your heart tells overlook entirely, or dispense with until the evenyou, that you are too far off from the mercy-seat ing of life, did not the Holy Spirit force them to be safe or steady.
upon our notice, and draw them into our prayers. I am not foreboding evil, if by that you mean For, how few would seek humility, were not pride only afflictions or reverses. I am thinking of far dangerous; or spirituality of mind, were it not heavier calamities than a sick-bed, or than sink- death to be carnally minded; or communion with ing in the world: these are, indeed, trying ; but God, were it not a mark of union to Christ; or they are not ominous, nor so perilous as they the witness of the Spirit, were it not the proof of seem. Swimming in the world, is far more ha- the work of the Spirit; or the joy of salvation, zardous to a Christian than sinking in it. He were it not an earnest of eternal life? Indeed, I knows how far he can sink, and yet be safe : but dread to look at the long list of promised blesshe does not know how far he can rise without ings, which would hardly be prayed for, or thought losing his piety. He knows the worst that of at all, were they not brought to our remem“ bread and water" can do to his soul; but he brance, and built into our prayers, by the Holy cannot calculate the effect of luxury, nor of money, Spirit. Alas, we are so inclined to be contented nor of ease, upon his present character or upon with, if not to prefer, a mere escape from the his eternal state.
wrath to come at last, that, if left to our own This, however, is not exactly what I mean. choice, we should be in very great danger of not Like myself, you may be in no great danger from praying at all for the divine image or presence ; abundance. There may, however, be a worldly for the seal of the fruits of the Spirit ; for likespirit, without wealth ; and a slothful spirit in re- ness to Christ, or for a sense of his constraining ligion, without the snare of leisure to induce it; love. We could make less serve and satisfy us, and a backsliding spirit, without any great falling were we left to our own choice, or to take our own off of public character. Here is our danger; way. and it is real. For how many sink and settle into Nor is this all. We have but very inadequate a heartless profession, by which they lose all en- views, at first, even of the extent of our need of joyment of religion, and are lost to all usefulness ! mercy to pardon ; and much more inadequate Now, it is to prevent this sad issue that the Holy views of our need of grace to help. We mean, Spirit is so prompt and pressing, whenever the indeed, much of both, when we begin to pray in power of godliness begins to decline in the heart. good earnest : but still, much less than we really -Then he gives warning at once; ard, for a need, even if we feel our need of more than we time, haunts the soul with the interceding cry, can venture to hope for at the time. “Come, my people, enter your chamber; watch I do not know that I could have believed this,
in reference to my need of pardoning mercy, had O, what falls, and shipwrecks, and apostacies, the fact been told me when, like the publican, I and backslidings, might have been prevented, had began to cry, "God be merciful to me a sinner,' all who were thus challenged and charged, when without daring to lift up my eyes. Then, the fear they began to decline from their “ first love," of not seeing God through eternity, and the imbeen obedient to the heavenly vision! Let their possibility of saving myself from the curse of the folly and fate teach us wisdom. It is infinitely broken law, made mercy unspeakably dear to me. easier to obey these timely promptings of the But, now that I hope to see God as he is, and Spirit, than to extricate ourselves from the en- dwell for ever in his immediate presence, I see tanglements of backsliding. An hour of special my need of a kind and degree of pardoning merprayer then, may save' to us, what the disobedient cy, which I had no idea of at first. Then, mercy have not been able to recover for years, the pre- enough to keep me out of hell was all I thought sence of God, and the hope of acceptance. It of: but now I see the need of such pardon, of will also prevent us from being, as they all are such reconciliation,—and of such acceptance, as eventually, “ rebuked in wrath, and chastened in shall enable me to feel at home with God, in hea. hot displeasure," by the strokes of retribution. ven, to all eternity! This is not, perhaps, another
A prudent Christian cannot but admire and kind of mercy than that I began to seek; but it is adore the love of the Spirit, in interfering us quite a different degree of it, and leads to as promptly and urgently, to check the first symp- much prayer. For, who can realize, or imagine, toms of declension, by powerful incentives to and not pray fervently for it, a pardon so gracious more prayerfulness. He will also trace his love and complete—that the soul shall be perfectly at in drawing out prayer to all the extent of the pro- home for ever in heaven, even when it knows as it mised salvation. For, how true it is, even in re- is known, and when it beholds God in all the magard to mercy and grace, that “we know not jesty of his authority, in all the glory of his holiwhat we should pray for as we ought." Rom. ness, and in all the independence of his blessed. viii. 26. It is said, I am aware that our chief ness? The bare idea of going up to the eternal difficulty is, to know what temporal things we throne, even once, without terror or shame, is alshould pray for. And it is, no doubt, more diffi- most inconceivable : for how much is required in cult to choose aright amongst temporal blessings, order to one welcome? But an eternity of wel. than amongst spiritual, in one sense; for we are come, composure, and joy, at that throne - at very bad judges of what is best for us in this life. I is the mercy which bestows and prepares for that?
pray for it.
We should not appreciate it, nor think of it, did , and awaken gratitude. The worth of the soul not the Spirit help our infirmities, and teach us to shines out in this light. The claims of eternity
begin to open. Then, the favor of God is so fest His love is not less conspicuous, in leading us to be life, and his loving-kindness better than life, to pray for all the grace we need to help, in this that nothing else is thought of! Time, earth, world. Now we have already found out that to cares, and comforts, are all forgotten in the abbe more than we suspected at first. And yet, sorbing glory of salvation, and in the beaming the conviction, “I shall need much grace to keep smiles of the divine presence. The soul finds in me,” is, in general, a very deep one in the mind communion with God and the Lamb, perfect peace of a penitent, even from the first. Indeed, so and joy unspeakable ; and thus loses time, in eterdeep, that many yield to the temptation of keep- nity; earth, in heaven ; the body, in the soul! ing back from the sacramental fellowship of the And the less is really lost in the greater. We church, lest they should fall away, or disgrace it. come forth, after such "times of refreshing from This is a sad mistake: for that fellowship is one the presence of the Lord,” willing to do or suffer of the most effectual of all the appointed means, any thing, and prepared to resign all our wishes to prevent falling. It is not, however, sufficient to the divine will. of itself
. Accordingly, those who have been long Christian ! let them doubt the actual help of the est under sacramental bonds, know well, yea, best, Spirit, who pray only by fits and starts; and let that they have acquired far more grace than they them overlook his love in helping infirmities, who ever thought of needing, when they gave them are satisfied with repeating forms of sound and selves to the Lord and to the church. There serious words: we know, that he has enabled us have been times of trial and temptation, when we to pray without book at times, as well as with it; have been ready to give up all hope, and even to and drawn us beyond all that books contained, throw up all religion. There have been moods of and all that we ourselves intended. Neither temper or of spirit, when nothing in religion seem- | books, nor memory, could have led us into some ed sure, sacred, or interesting. There have been of the outpourings of the heart, which we have conjunctions of the world and the heart, by ad- been occasionally drawn into by the Spirit, when versity or prosperity, which almost produced we have let him have a free course” in his sugAtheism, or the wish that there were neither a gestions, and have followed them up honestly. God nor an hereafter. Oh, had not the Spirit helped us then, when our infirmities were becoming infatuations, where, what, should we have een now ? Had he not brought us up from the
No. VIII. fearful pit and miry clay” of such temptations, and put a new song into our lips by putting a new THE LOVE OF THE SPIRIT IN RESTORATION. prayer into our hearts, we should have sunk where we fell, and risen no more.
It is worthy of special notice and remembrance, But whilst such restorations and deliverances that whatever was the kind or the degree of spishould be had in everlasting remembrance, we ritual declension in any of the seven churches of must not forget how much love there is in the Asia; and however the particular counsels and help we receive from the Spirit, which enables us warnings addressed to them varied according to to keep on praying, in spite of all our hinderances the depth of their fall; still, the great general comand discouragements. I do not think lightly of mand to each of them was one and the same,the injury which sudden and peculiar temptations "Hear what the Spirit saith.” This is neither do to piety: I wonder and adore, to see how the accident nor mere form. Attention to the Spirit Spirit repairs and counteracts these injuries : not was the only cure for any of the defections.less, however, to see how he prevents the ordinary Without hearing him, the Ephesians could no tear and wear of the world, and the natural ten- more have regained their “first love,” than the dencies of the heart, and the force of prayerless Laodiceans could have thrown off their lukewarmexample, from wasting away both the love and ness. Without help from the Spirit, the “Little habit of devotion. Keeping alive the fire of hea- strength" of the church in Philadelphia was as ven upon the altar of the temple, was nothing to unequal to overcome " in the hour of temptation," this preservation of the spirit of prayer! That as the Sardians' name to live,” was unfit to fire had many a shelter; but this is like a spark strengthen the things which were ready to die. in the ocean, exposed to the waters beneath and Pergamos would have continued to listen to the to the winds above.
false doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitanes, and One way in which he preserves the love and Thyatira to the licentious doctrine of Jezebel, had habit of prayer, is, by the remarkable help he not both set themselves to listen again to “what gives at times of peculiar need. It is no uncom- the Spirit saith unto the churches." Accordingmon thing for Christians to go to their closet on ly, all the return of any of these churches to their one errand, and yet completely to forget it, when first love and their first works, was in consequence they catch the spirit of prayer, or obtain commu- of renewed attention to the Holy Ghost ; and only nion with God. Perhaps the original errand is, to lasted whilst he was listened to in his oracles. plead for the removal of some heavy cross, or for It is also worthy of special notice that the Epis. the continuance of some temporal blessing: when, tles to the Asiatic churches, although dictated to lo, in trying to bring this desire into harmony with John by the lips of the Saviour himself, and all the divine will the thoughts rise amongst the di- opened with proclamations of his own supremacy vine perfections which call for submission; and, as the head of the church, are yet invariably closed there, get amongst the perfections which win love I by the authority of the Spirit, as the author of re.