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seemed to be nothing ;--my God was my all, my only portion. No possible suffering appeared to be worth regarding : all persecutions and torments were a mere nothing. At night my soul seemed to be filled with an inexpressibly sweet and pure love to God, and to the children of God; with a refreshing consolation and solace of soul which made me willing to lie on the earth, at the feet of the servants of God, to declare his gracious dealings with me, and breathe forth before them my love, and gratitude, and praise."
On another occasion she says, “All night I continued in a constant, clear, and lively sense of the heavenly sweetness of Christ's excellent and transcendent love, of his nearness to me, and of my dearness to him, with an inexpressibly sweet calmness of soul in an entire rest in him. I seemed to myself to perceive a glow of divine love come down from the heart of Christ in heaven, into my heart, in a constant stream, like a stream or pencil of sweet light. At the same time, my heart and soul all flowed out in love to Christ; so that there seemed to be a constant flowing and reflowing of heavenly and divine love, from Christ's heart to mine; and I appeared to myself to float or swim in these bright, sweet beams of the love of Christ, like the motes swimming in the beams of the sun. My soul remained in a heavenly elysium. I think that what I felt each minute during the continuance of the whole time, was worth more than all the outward comfort and pleasure which I had enjoyed in my whole life put together. It was a pure delight which fed and satisfied the soul. It was a sweetness which my soul was lost in.”
Day after day this sweet experience continued almost without interruption for a long period. Once in the house of God, “So conscious was I," she says, “of the joyful presence of the Holy Spirit, that I could scarcely refrain from leaping with transports of joy. My soul was filled and overwhelmed with light, and love, and joy in the Holy Ghost, and seemed just ready to go away from the body. I had, in the mean time, an overwhelming sense of the glory of God, as the Great Eternal All, and of the happiness of having my own will entirely subdued to his will. This exaltation of soul subsided into a heavenly calm, and a rest of soul in God, which was even sweeter than what preceded it. My mind remained so much in a similar frame for more than a week, that I could never think of it without an inexpressible sweetness in my soul.” The expression of a neighbor, “One smile of Christ is worth a thousand million pounds," affected her so exceedingly, that she says, “I had a strong sense of the grossness of the comparison ; and it only astonished me that any one could compare a smile of Christ to any earthly treasure.”
In this manner this dear saint continued to enjoy, for a long period, these “Riches of Full assurance”- this Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Indeed, she never lost the savor of that visit. And what is there in this that is unreasonable? What is it but that, of which Paul spoke, when he said, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord ?" This is, indeed, "a well of water springing up to everlasting life," and sending forth “rivers of living water." God give to every one of you such a baptism! Who, in view of it, does not exclaim-
“Our longing souls aloud would sing,
Spring up, celestial fountain, spring !"
When this blessing descends upon a community of Christians, it may also be expected that,
2. Hypocrites will be exposed. When the graces of a church are at a low ebb, when the world has greatly intruded upon the heritage of the Lord, when the wall of separation is very much broken down, it is a comparatively easy thing for a hypocrite to maintain a reputable standing in the house of God. Like the magicians of Egypt, who found no difficulty with a few of the first miracles of Moses and Aaron, Satan can succeed very well in the attempt to counterfeit common gifts and graces.
But when it comes to the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, he is constrained to cry, “ This is the finger of God."
In every church, however small, there may be a Judas. large church there are, it is to be feared, many professors, who, if they hold on their way, will most certainly arrive at the gates of hell. No sinners are more inaccessible. Speak to the unconverted, and these of course are happy in thinking that they are not of the number. Let the church be reproved for their formality and coldness, and these will often join with you in the rebuke; for none have so good an opinion of themselves as they. Now when a church has been baptized from above, and their fellow-professors are making rapid progress in the way to heaven, hypocrites soon faint and grow weary. They may keep pace with others a while, but presently they lag behind, give over the pursuit, and begin to consult their ease. And now they find fault with their brethren for not stopping in like manner, for running too fast, for laboring so hard, for praying so much, for over-urgency in the effort to bring sinners speedily to seek God. “ The day cometh, that shall burn as an oven." " He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” The Spirit of God is like a glowing flame. “For our God is a consuming fire.” The fire will scorch and burn as well as melt. The same fire that melts the soul of the Christian, until he overflows with love, will scorch and wither the hypocrite. And now he will writhe under the beams of truth. He becomes mad, spiteful, infuriated; he raves and denounces his brethren and the work of the Lord. He creates a party in the church, or in the community, who band together, like the forty of Jerusalem in the days of Paul, to put down the devoted servants of the cross. Thus it was with those noted hypocrites in the Jewish church-the Pharisees--in the time of the Apostles. Thus it has ever been where God has marvelously poured out his Spirit. This it was that drove President Edwards from Northampton--that shut the pulpits of England and America, in many cases, against that eminent servant of Christ, George Whitefield--and that has shut out many eminent saints from the hearts and houses of their brethren.
But this opposition will not always assume so decided a tone. It may be too great a venture openly to attack, and unblushingly to rail. The preacher and the cause may be too popular with the common people—too evidently blessed of God. Then the same temper expresses itself in doubtful surmises, in dark insinuations, in cold looks, and in secret plots. In some few cases, these hypocrites will give up their hopes ; some will obtain “a good hope through grace ;" others, after a while, will cling to their old hopes again, and wax worse and worse. They may find their situations so uncomfortable, as to lead them to seek some other connections, where their minds will not be disturbed, where conscience may go to sleep, as they listen to the smooth things from the lips of their new prophet, where
VOL. XII. No. 4.
they may rail against ardent zeal, unrebuked, and hug their delusions. Thus they may draw off from the people of God, weary themselves a few more days in committing iniquity, and then “make their bed in hell."
Oh ! for such a baptism on all the churches, that it may soon be said, “ the sinners in Zion are afraid, fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites !"—such a baptism, that every hypocrite shall be constrained to cry, “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire, who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings ?" But,
3. A most desirable consequence of this baptism from on high is, that great numbers will be born again. Such was the happy result of the baptism foretold in the text. " And the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. And the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. And they went every where preaching the word. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” This continued, for the most part, for the space of the apostolic age, and for a short period subsequent. For a long time, however, during the succeeding ages of corruption, these seasons of grace were very rarely witnessed. A few Christians, a few churches, in obscure places, were occasionally refreshed. At length the heavens were again opened, and Germany, in the days of Luther, received the copious showers. Thousands and tens of thousands were born again. The revival spread, and Europe was filled with the new song
It is related of the Rev. John LivingSTON, ancestor of the Livingston family in this country, that, when he was about 27 years of age, June 21st, 1630, at a communion season in the kirk of Shotts, in Scotland, when a multitude of persons were assembled from far and near, he was with very much ado prevailed on to think of giving the sermon." On this occasion, he found more of the presence of God than at any other time of his life. Having preached " for about an hour and a half from Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26, he was led on about an hour's time in a strain of exhortation and warning, with great enlargement and melting of heart." "I can speak on sure ground," said the Rev. Mr. Fleming of Cambuslang, about twelve miles from Shotts, “ that near five hundred had at that time a discernible change wrought in them, of whom most proved lively Christians afterwards. It was the sowing of a seed in Clydesdale, so that many of the most eminent Christians in that country could date either their conversion, or some remarkable confirmation of their case, from that day.” It was a Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
About the year 1732, something of the same kind occurred in Germany, at Saltzburg, among the Roman Catholics. God was pleased to pour out his Spirit on the people in so remarkable a manner, that above twenty thousand of them, merely by reading the Bible, were determined to throw off popery and embrace the reformed religion; and became so very zealous for the gospel, as to be willing to suffer the loss of all things in the world, and actually to forsake their houses, lands, goods, and relations, to enjoy the pure preaching of the gospel ;—with great earnestness, and tears in their eyes, beseeching protestant ministers to preach to them wherever they came, when banished from their own country.-(See Edward's Call to United Prayer.)
Nearly at the same time, and for many years afterwards, the Holy Spirit descended, in a remarkable manner, upon New England, and other British provinces in America, and also many parts of England, Wales, and Scotland, when multitudes were born again. This work was, to a very great extent, connected with the labors of WhitePIELD, who began to preach in 1736, and rested from his labors in 1770. From the first, he sought, and seems to have obtained, this Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Though he preached about eighteen thousand times, the number of souls that were led under his preaching to seek the Lord was far greater. Scores often, and not seldom hundreds, were hopefully converted under a single sermon. As the result of one day's preaching in Moorfields, London, he received about one thousand notes from persons under conviction. And soon afterwards, upwards of three hundred were received into the society in one day. At Cambuslang, about four miles from Glasgow, in Scotland, “ persons from all parts flocked to hear, and many went home convinced and converted to God. People sat unwearied till two in the morning, to hear sermons, disregarding the weather.”