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ture, and make him fit for the kingdom of heaven; for of himself he can no more throw off his nature, than the Ethiopian can change his skin, or the leopard his spots. Mark then the ordinary influence of the Spirit ! those miraculous gifts were withdrawn, when Christianity was established, and the ordinary were implanted within the breast of man, to assist him in his arduous struggle between life and death. 66 Consider the wondrous works of God.”. See the sinful creature sending forth glory to his Maker, see his weakness turned into strength, and the Holy Comforter leading him, by easy steps, from the dry and rugged path to that which leadeth unto life. Is he sorrowful during his mortal pilgrimage ?-the Comforter doth console and cheer him ; is he left alone in this vale of tears, to endure the hardships and partake of the miseries of the world ? he is not alone; for the Holy Comforter is with him. Does he witness in sorrowful anguish, his friends and relatives hastening to the grave appointed for all living ? Does he behold the earth close over the lifeless remains of those, upon whom he has fixed his affections, his love, his very soul ? And does he return to his vacant home, like Rachel, refusing to be comforted, because those whom he loved are not ? Oh! no, the dark tempest lasts but for a moment; the cloud overshadows the sun but for a while, till he shall have gathered fresh glory, and be prepared to emit his rays more effectively; and as those rays impart a lustre and a beauty over the surrounding creation, and spread a genial warmth over nature's works, displaying their grandeur and magnificence, so the gifts of the Holy Spirit descend upon the soul, and impart a spiritual warmth as it lies coldly trembling within the withering tenement of the flesh. And as, again, the sun which God has set
in the firmament, is necessary to the produce and increase of the earth, so the Holy Spirit's gifts are necessary for the human heart to bring forth fruits acceptable unto God. Yes, too, in time of need and trouble, in sorrow and in anguish, and in despair, that Comforter doth cheer the faint heart; doth supply the soul with strength as she pants forward to eternity. The spiritual man doth feel it, the world may frown upon him, the finger of scorn may point at him, envy may reproach him, malice and all uncharitableness may combine to embitter his solitary hours; but he rises above all the strifes and the contentions of the world, and overcometh all things, through Christ who strengthens him. The war of the world may rage, the sword of strife may
be drawn, the foul waters of sin may roll their deadly waves against him, but all to no purpose; the man of God retires victorious from the battle, and exults over the puny efforts of the wicked to beat him from the truth.
The history of man, indeed, contains a display of the noble and wondrous works of the Lord. In his creation, his redemption, and in his preservation, the hand of God is seen directing his high and immortal destiny. And if there be detracted from man aught of nobleness, and in its place there be degradation and ruin, it must be remembered, that that change was effected by man's own self, when he dis
obeyed his Maker in the garden of Eden. The fact too extends over all nature. Even now observe it in all things; for the great and marvellous works of God every where meet our view. The world as we look upon it, is one vast panorama enriched with all that is prepossessing and gratifying to the senses; and when we consider that all these things were summoned into existence for the use and for the happiness of the rational creature, the marvel surely becomes the greater ; but nothing can surpass that of the descent of the second and third persons in the Trinity to accomplish the restoration of fallen man.
Oh! mighty mystery! God manifest in the flesh! Divinity taken into union with humanity-born of a virgin ! the God-Man suffering upon the cross for the sins of the people, and then in Majesty returning to his Father, to prepare a place for his faithful followers! What was the grave to the Son of God ? what the great stone that was set, or the watchful guards of the tomb ? Jesus in the power of God bursts forth again into life, conquers
the grave, gives evidence of his identity, and then rises in triumph to heaven. Oh ! mighty achievement! which alone could be accomplished by God. The reconciliation, which took place between God and man, was the effect of the work, and that effect was as noble in its principle, as divine in its operation. But we must not remove from our sight the other revelations, which the Deity has been pleased to impart to his creatures. Though we can but glance at the surface, upon that surface we shall find sufficient to induce the tongue to confess and the heart to feel “the wondrous works of God.” Throughout the history of man, we find that he has been the peculiar and favoured object of heaven; and whenever he has been visited by punishment, it has invariably been as the penalty of his disobedience. Yet that
punishment has been inflicted with a fatherly correction; for at no time does God will the death of a sinner, “but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live.” God's providences also are manifestations of his wondrous works and evidences of his glory. At all times and at all places he is heard,