John xvi. 8 — 11. And ivhe?i he is come, he ivill reprove the
world of sin, and of righteous7iess, and of judgment : of sin, be-
cause they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to
the Father, and ye see me no more: of judgment, because the
prince of this world is judged.
I judging of the dispensations of God's provi-
dence or grace, we are extremely apt to err —
Hence we often mourn for things, which, if we knew
the end of them, would afford us occasion for joy —
This was the case with the Disciples, who were
dejected on account of their Lord's approaching de-
parture from them —
To relieve their minds, our Lord not only promised
them another Comforter, but told them for what ends
and purposes that Comforter should come- —
L To " convince the world of sin"
This office the Spirit executed among the Jews —
[The sin of rejecting Christ was that which the Spirit
was more particularly to reveal to the world —
And he discovered it fully by his miraculous operations on
the Disciples" — and wrought an irresistible conviction of it by
his gracious ijijluences on the hearts of thousands — ]
This office too he yet executes in the Christian
Church —
[The external testimony which he gave, remains the same
in all ages —
The internal witness is given to those only whom *' God
has ordained to life" —
To them the Spirit shews the number, the greatness, the
malignity of their sins — and particularly, the guilt, and dan-
ger of that unbelief, in which they have ignorantly lain —
This is the Spirit's work ; nor is it wrought in any, but by
his almighty power "^ — ]
If he proceeded no farther, he would not be a
Comforter ; but it is his office also,
II. To convince the world " of righteousness" —
This also was accomplished by him on his first
descent from heaven —
[Christ, though professing himself the Saviour of the
world, had been crucified as a malefactor —
The Spirit therefore was to evince, both that Christ was a
righteous person, and that through his righteousness others
also might be saved —
Accordingly, by his descent, the Spirit proved these things
beyond a doubt —
He shewed that Christ was accepted of the Father (which
he would not have been, if he had been an impostor), and had
finished all that was necessary for ovu* salvation ; seeing that,
if any thing had remained to have been done on earth, he
must have returned hither in order to complete it'' —
He moreover inclined, and enabled multitudes to believe
on HIM for righteousness, whom they had just before repro-
bated as worthy of universal execration — ]
And yet daily is he occupied in glorifying Christ
amonff us —
' Christ had stated, as it were, the whole credit of his Messiah-
ship on this one point : consequently, the visible descent of the
Spirit, accompanied with the miraculous gilt of tongues, was such
an aUestation to Christ, as could not be doubted, and such a reproof
to his murderers as could not be withstood.
^ Zech. iv. 6. 2 Cor. v. 5. l Cor. xii. 11,
' See the text.
160 JOH, XVI. 8— 11. [830.
[Whomsoever the Spirit convinces thoroughly of sin, he
leads also to discoveries of Christ —
He shews to the soul the suitableness and all-sufficiency of
Christ's righteousness to all those who trust in it "^ —
And leads them, with holy glorying, to say, " In the Lord
have I righteousness and strength*" — ]
He has yet further undertaken,
in. To convince the world of judgment —
He shewed to the first Christians that Satan was
a vanquished foe —
[By the descent of the Spirit it was manifest, that Christ
had triumphed over siifi and Satan, death and helH —
By his gracious influences also, he rescued myriads from
their power — and inspired them with an holy confidence,
that they should finally prevail over all their spiritual ene-
mies^ — ]
Thus at this day does he cause the weakest to
exult over their fallen enemy —
[However active and malicious Satan is, his head is
bruised ^ his power is limited', his doom is fixed •" —
Of this the Holy Spirit assures the weak and trembling
Believer —
And puts into his mouth, even in the midst of all his con-
flicts, that triumphant song ' — ]
1. Of conviction —
[All true Christians have received the Spirit for the
ends and purposes for which he is here promised —
In vain then will be our orthodoxy in sentiment, if we have
not this evidence of our conversion to God™ —
Let us pray that the Spirit may be poured out upon us —
And let our views of our guilt and weakness lead us to
glory in Christ alone — ]
2. Of consolation — •
[Are we bowed down with a sense of sin ? we may be sure
that Christ has sent his Spirit to work that conviction in us ;
and that, if we be instant in prayer, he will, by the same
Spirit, lead us also to a view of his righteousness —
Are we ready to despond by reason of the power of sin? the
resistance which the Holy Spirit has enabled us already to make
^ ver. 14. " Isai. xlv. 24. ^ Eph. iv. 8, Col. ii. 15.
e2Tim,i.l2. *¦ Gen. iii. 15. Mlev.ii.lO. 1 Pet. v. 8.
'' Kom. xvi. 20. ' Horn. viii. 38, Sp. •" ib. vei . Q.
831.] THE spirit's office TO GLORIFY CHRTST. 161
to its dominion, is a pledge that " we shall be more than
conquerors, through Him that loved us "."
Let us only seek the Spirit as our Comforter, and we need
regret no loss, no pain, no trouble, that may be the means of
bringing him into our hearts — ]
" Rom. viii. 37.

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