Apr 3, 1804 Sermon Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection
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PAGE 72

of Christ. But they will not prevail. They can never become universal.

Zion looks for her enlargement to the sovereign grace and power of her divine Redeemer. In him are all her springs. The LORD is her help and shield, for vain is the help of man. There is nothing on the part of sinners which can suggest encouragement or justify despair. Sinners will never submit to Jesus as the Lord their RIGHTEOUSNESS, or be willing to be saved by him from their sins, except they are regenerated by the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God gives life to all that live. He renews and sanctifies; he teaches and guides into all truth; he convinces and reproves of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. By his gracious influences accompanying the word, by his special and effectual operations upon their souls, sinners are enabled to repent and believe. Where the Spirit breathes, whether in the thronged city or the lonely cottage, there religion prospers; without him, names and forms are false and hollow, mere sounding brass or tinkling symbols.

How soon the Lord can make a way in the wilderness, and open rivers in the desert; how soon the Spirit can raise a standard, plant his fear and love in hearts which were hardened in profaneness and infidelity, and in the symbolical language of Isaiah make the dragons and the owls honor him, have been evinced in the late astonishing revivals of religion in many places, and particularly in some of the Western and Southern States; a work attended with many singular occurances, but which has been pronounced, upon the most impartial and accurate examination, to be a signal display of the power of divine grace. These facts refute the fears of desponding believers, and are splendid tokens for good to the interests of religion.

But the most illustrious pledge is found in the missionary spirit which has pervaded the Churches. This has already proved a source of precious blessings to those who have heartily engaged in it, and is an undeniable earnest for the enlargement of the Redeemer's kingdom. It is the greatest event that has happened since the Reformation, and it stands connected with proximate and remote consequences, is far superior to it. A new era is formed in the Church, and with it a new argument to prove that she is rising to higher prosperity. This is another step in the gradual plan to bring her out of the wilderness. This is another advancement in the resurrection of the witnesses. This insures acquisitions abroad which will abundantly compensate for defection and losses at home. If those who have often been called refuse to come, the north shall give up, the south no longer keep back, and the heathen from the uttermost parts of the earth will fly to Jesus, as the doves to their windows. If Churches which have long enjoyed ministers and ordinances, abuse their privileges, depart from the doctrines of grace and sink into formality, the Hottentots and Hindoos, the Tartars and the Indians will take up the cross, and shout their Saviour's praise.






        
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