CHRISTIA HOPE OF A TIME OF REFRESHIG.REV. D. WILSO, A. IM,
" Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the timesof refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ,which before was preached unto you ; whom the heaven must receive until the time of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophetssince the world began." — Acts, iii. 19—21.
All the great doctrines of Christianity are of a deeply practical nature ; if they do not reach the heart, they fail in their object. They are not matters forspeculation, or hearing only ; they are subjects for individual and personalapplication. The important truths which we have recently considered, embrac-ing tlie suiferings, and the death, and the resurrection of the Son of God, if tliey lead not to repentance, to conversion, to the forsaking of sin, and theseeiving after holiness, they entirely fail of their object : there has been eithera want of plainness and distinctness in tlie manner in which they have beenstated, or there is a deficiency in the application of them to our own hearts andconsciences. The Apostles invaruibly brought their expositions of trutli to apractical close ; they never set forth the wondrous events connected witii tliecrucifixion and resurrection of their Lord and Master, as subjects for curiousinquiry and vain disputcition ; they made them, indeed, the basis of all theirdiscourses, both to Jew and Gentile ; but they never failed to employ tliem asmotives to repentance, and stimulants to embracing the Gusjiel. So in thepassage connected with our text, a most favourable opportunity had beenpresented to them for setting forth the efficacy of faith in their crucified Lord,from the miraculous cure of the lame man at the Beautiful gate of the temple ,they instantly seized the opportunity, not for display and vain glory, but forawakening the wondering populace to a sense of their guiltiness in killing thePrince of Life, and solemnly calling tiiem to repentance and life.The promise which St. Paul here held out, as a motive to their immediatereturn, is one of deep interest to the Church of Christ in every age. Permitme, then, from the words before you, to invite your attention, first, to tliepromise of our text ; and secondly, to the practical exhortation founded upon it.And may tliat blessed Spirit who can alone apply it to the conscience andconvince of sin. be pleased to bless what may now be spoken.I propose to call your attention, first, to the Promise contained in ourText.This refers to a period of peace, and holiness, and righteousness, which shallbe hereafter revealed in the world. In its more confined and limited sense,indeed, it imports tliat peace and joy tiiat shall flow into the soul of every true