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THE GREAT REPROVER.
JOHN xvi. 8. And when he is come, He will reprove the world of sin,
and of righteousness and of judgment."
CHE Master was about to leave His disciples. His arthly work was nearly finished, and He was going o do His heavenly work. They would be badly off, rhen He was gone. They would be like orphans. Vhat would they do?
How would they manage ? Ie knew, He knew. He had thought all about it. le had provided for them. Oh, yes; 'tis true always. riends may die, or turn their back ; but our best riend, if indeed, we make Him our best friend; ever veth, ever careth for us ; so that we may boldly say, the Lord is our helper, we will not fear what man can o unto us.”
“Sorrow hath filled your heart," said the feeling [aster; gentle and loving. Nevertheless, I tell you le truth; it is expedient for you that I go away ;
THE GREAT REPROVER.
ere of a mighty downfall? Or is it as the fruitful ralley where the dew rests, and bubbling fountains spring and how? I know not, I know not. But 'tis a fearful and shocking thing, to live in a valley of dry bones And yet 'tis a wonderful sight to behold bone fit to bone , and flesh come up upon them, and then
Come, Holy Ghost, our
what shall I say?
for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you ; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you." “The Comforter, Master! Thou art our Comforter ; abide with us; set up Thy kingdom.” But they spake rashly, they wist not what to say; they were ignorant. Oh! it would not do for the eternal Word to tabernacle in the flesh for ever, and keep a lowly court among the sons of men. He must away, away, to the palace of the heavenly King; to the home of His Father; there was His court; there was His retinue.
I will send you another Comforter, He said ; even the Spirit of Truth. I will go and send Him unto you. He meant the Holy Ghost, who, through the ages all along, from the Pentecost, next after that wonderful Passover, to the end of the world, should be the great Comforter of the souls of the faithful. In a little while and ye shall see Me no more ; but He shall abide with you for ever. How wonderful this is, my brethren! To think that now, as of old ; that now, as until doomsday, God, the Holy Spirit, is doing as marvellous a ministry amongst the sons of men, as God the Son did in Jewry. There were places where Jesus did no wonderful works because of the unbelief of the people; so now mayhap, there are places where the Holy Ghost doeth no wonderful works because of men's unbelief. Oh, surely, this is not one such place, is it? What sort of a heart have you? Is it as the barren desert, where no water is ? Is it as Capernaum, exalted to heaven; as Capernaum on the
But let us hearken to our Saviour's words. “I will
( no more about it, it does seem to me like tri-
, and of righteousness, and of judgment? I il do my best to teach you; but then, dear brethren,
you must receive with meekness the engrafted word, hich is able to save your soul. You must shape por course by it; frame and fashion your lives by it. k! any body can talk. Listen! any body can list
eve of a mighty downfall? Or is it as the fruitful valley where the dew rests, and bubbling fountains spring and flow? I know not, I know not. But 'tis a fearful und shocking thing, to live in a valley of dry bones. And yet 'tis a wonderful sight to behold bone fit to pone, and flesh come up upon them, and then yhat shall I say? ......... “ Come, Holy Ghost, our ouls inspire."
But let us hearken to our Saviour's words. “ I will end Him unto you,” He said ; "and when He is come Ie will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, nd of judgment.”
Eighteen hundred years have ome and gone since then. Is the work done-this proving the world? Did it refer to those days, and ) those days only? Are we in no need of reproof such 3 that to which the Saviour alluded ? We must eneavour to satisfy ourselves on this head. There is nothing so dangerous, I think, dear brethn, as trifling with holy things; and when we read chapter of the Holy Book, and then lay it aside, and ink no more about it, it does seem to me like tring. Come, now, I pray you, what meant our Saviour, en He said, the Comforter shall reprove the world
sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment ? I Il do my best to teach you; but then, dear brethren, u must receive with meekness the engrafted word, lich is able to save your soul.
You must shape ur course by it; frame and fashion your lives by it. lk! any body can talk. Listen! any body can list
THE GREAT REPROVER.
en, who likes. Do! who manages this? The sentence at last, will not run in this fashion-well said !” nor in this "well intended !” but thus,--"well done! good and faithful servant!" Remember, the word preached does not profit, unless it be mixed with faith in them that hear it.
Let us try and clear a way to the subject before us. He will reprove; or, as the margin reads it, convince. Which is it, reprove, or convince ? And then the world; what does He mean by the world here? May I make no mistake. But, perhaps, I ought so say a few words on that title, which is here given to the Holy Spirit ......... The Comforter.
You know, I think, at least I have told you, that this word is confined to the writings of St. John. Five times it is used by him; four times hereabouts, in his gospel, and once in his epistle, called in the latter place Advocate; and referring to our Saviour. You see the word sometimes printed in books as “Paraclete," from the Greek, which is sounded Paracletos (llapakintos) It does not mean Comforter only, as you see. And, alas! it is true, He, the Holy Ghost, does not comfort the world. The world is against Him. The world cannot receive Him, nor know Him. No! but He convinces, or convicts the world. And He does more to the disciples than even comfort; He teaches. He sanctifies. So that we may say He is Teacher, Sanctifier, Advocate, Monitor, as well as Comforler. Perhaps, however, the last word is the best, because
that meay include all the others in its meaning. If
, knowledge gives comfort. If you
, and valued properly the privileges set be. Bere us. But we do not, sad to say.
We will read it thus, if you please. He is the Combeter of tree Christians; and He is the Reprover, the Coavister
, of the world. I wish I could shew you the rating of a contrite heart, and then you would be
vaimend that the Holy Ghost is the Comforter. I rish I could shew you the working of an impenitent beart
, and then you would be convinced that He is
. But there is no necessity-you have a
me to get at the other; so that, after all, we shall
band then the world, what a word this is! How
that may include all the others in its meaning. If you are ignorant, knowledge gives comfort. ire polluted, sanctification gives comfort. If you are riendless, an advocate is a comfort. If you are apt o forget, even prime truths and gracious privileges, o have a monitor close at hand, reminding and promptng you, is like having a Comforter. Oh! how the father has provided for His children! I wish we were ll dùtiful, and valued properly the privileges set be
But we do not, sad to say. We will read it thus, if you please. He is the Comorter of true Christians; and He is the Reprover, the onvicter, of the world. I wish I could shew you the orking of a contrite heart, and then you would be onvinced that the Holy Ghost is the Comforter. I ish I could shew you the working of an impenitent art, and then you would be convinced that He is Reprover. But there is no necessity-you have a art of your own, study that. Let us passon.
There is a difference between vroof and conviction. You may be reproved and yet t convicted. Often reproof is as the outer door, d conviction the inner. You must go through the e to get at the other; so that, after all, we shall ; err, I think, if we take both the readings before ; reprove, as in the text; convince, as in the margin. And then the world, what a word this is ! How ny sermons have been preached about it! How ch has been said, right and wrong, on that one