Acts 2:38
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Sermons
A Repentance not So Earnest as it SeemsC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 2:38
Legal and Evangelical RepentanceActs 2:38
Peter's DirectionLyman Abbott.Acts 2:38
Remission by God OnlyActs 2:38
Remission for the Greatest SinnersJ. Fleming.Acts 2:38
Remission Gives Confidence Under the Accusations of the LawD. L. Moody.Acts 2:38
RepentanceC. Hodge, D. D.Acts 2:38
Repentance Before JoyActs 2:38
Repentance Produced by GodActs 2:38
Repentance, ThoroughS. Rutherford.Acts 2:38
Repentance, UniversalJ. Spencer.Acts 2:38
Repentance: a Change of CourseActs 2:38
Repentance: its Beginning and EndJ. M. Mason, D. D.Acts 2:38
Repentance: its Double AspectR. South, D. D.Acts 2:38
Repentance: its NatureW. Nevins.Acts 2:38
St. Peter's PrescriptionBP. Brownrigg.Acts 2:38
The Gift of the Holy GhostI. Barrow, D. D.Acts 2:38
The Gift of the Holy SpiritW. Niven, B. D.Acts 2:38
The GospelJ. W. Burn.Acts 2:38
The Magnitude of RepentanceC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 2:38
The Day of Pentecost, and its Immediate GiftsP.C. Barker Acts 2:1-41
A New Style of Religious MinistryD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 2:14-40
A Sermon to Prick the ConscienceJ. C. Jones.Acts 2:14-40
A Varied Ministry Blessed by the Holy SpiritC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 2:14-40
Different Styles of PreachingW. Arthur, M. A.Acts 2:14-40
Elements of Power in Peter's SermonHomiletic MonthlyActs 2:14-40
Peter's Impulsiveness Useful Because Wisely DirectedW. H. Blake.Acts 2:14-40
Plain PreachingActs 2:14-40
Preaching on the Day of PentecostJ. Thompson, A. M.Acts 2:14-40
St. Peter to the MultitudeD. Fraser, D. D.Acts 2:14-40
St. Peter's First SermonG. T. Stokes, D. D.Acts 2:14-40
The First Apostolic Appeal to the MultitudeW. Hudson.Acts 2:14-40
The First SermonDean Vaughan.Acts 2:14-40
The Power of the Human VoiceJ. Parker.Acts 2:14-40
The SceneW. Arthur, M. A.Acts 2:14-40
The Gospel Demands from MenR. Tuck Acts 2:37-39
The Gospel According to PeterW. Clarkson Acts 2:37-40
A Famous ConversionBp. Brownrigg.Acts 2:37-42
A Sermon Without an ApplicationBishop Home.Acts 2:37-42
A True Saving Conviction of SinE. Cooper.Acts 2:37-42
Awakened SinnersW. Hudson.Acts 2:37-42
Being Pricked to the HeartActs 2:37-42
ConversionHomilistActs 2:37-42
Evangelical PreachingTheological Sketch-bookActs 2:37-42
Heart-Work God's WorkR. Baxter.Acts 2:37-42
Honest PreachingActs 2:37-42
Life-WoundsActs 2:37-42
On Being Pricked to the HeartActs 2:37-42
Only God Can Heal the Wounds He MakesHandbook of IllustrationActs 2:37-42
Powerful PreachingE. Paxton Hood.Acts 2:37-42
Reaching the HeartScottish Christian HeraldActs 2:37-42
Revival PreachersJ. Jenkyn.Acts 2:37-42
Rightly Dividing the Word of TruthW. Arnot, D. D.Acts 2:37-42
The Day of Spiritual WondersR.A. Redford Acts 2:37-42
The Effects of Gospel PreachingJ. Parker, D. D.Acts 2:37-42
The Effusion of the Holy SpiritJ. Saurin.Acts 2:37-42
The Gospel to be Preached to the HeartActs 2:37-42
The Great Question and the Inspired AnswerJ. M. Allis.Acts 2:37-42
The Operations of TruthProfessor Caird.Acts 2:37-42
The Results of Revivals not All KnownActs 2:37-42
The Truth the Sword of the SpiritJ. A. Wallace.Acts 2:37-42
We Must Preach to the Consciences of MenL. A. Banks.Acts 2:37-42
Effects of the Divine Power Upon the HeartE. Johnson Acts 2:37-47
The First Practice of Baptism as a Christian RiteP.C. Barker Acts 2:38, 41
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized... the Holy Ghost. "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized... three thousand souls." The sun of the day of Pentecost did not set without marking the moment of the inauguration of the rite of Christian baptism - a rite which has never ceased to prove the occasion of stir and difference of opinion down the history of the Church. Baptism, and the baptism of water, was of course a familiar thing to the minds of the disciples of Jesus. It was in no sense a novelty, for they had known it from the preaching and the practice of John the Baptist. And with the original of even this there can be no doubt the Jewish nation as such had long been acquainted. The rite, however, unavoidably invests itself with fresh dignity and fresh significance from the time that Jesus, in the interval between the Resurrection and Ascension, and especially in his very parting words before the latter event, enjoined his disciples to observe it, in the sense, not of submitting to it themselves at the hands of one another, but of calling others to it and administering it to them. They are expressly advised by Jesus that in their own case it would be utterly superseded by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which the day of Pentecost was to bring, and which it now had brought. "This beginning," therefore, of baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ may well attract most interested notice. It practically owned to certain objects or requirements, whether more explicit or implicit in their character. And it is our duty to study it in the appearances it then offered to view.

I. IT IMPLIED THAT, GIVEN CERTAIN FAVORING CIRCUMSTANCES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF KNOWLEDGE IN THEIR RELIGIOUS LIFE, MEN ARE CALLED TO ENTER INTO A DEFINITE AND FIXED RELATIONSHIP TO CHRIST. Once the novel appeal to men was, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Now the more permanent appeal has taken its place: "Repent, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ."

II. IT SUPPOSES THAT THE ENTRANCE UPON SUCH RELATIONSHIP TO CHRIST BE OF THE NATURE OF A PROFESSION, AND MORE OR LESS PUBLIC PROFESSION. Not in the retirement of sacred shrine, or of more sacred closet, or of most sacred heart alone, must the relationship be established. There were reasons why a certain kind of notoriety should attend it. That notoriety might be expected to have in it:

1. Some share of useful influence on the individual character of the person making profession.

2. Some helpful influence in the founding and holding together of the Christian society.

3. Some tribute of grateful and willing acknowledgment to him who once was put to "open shame."

III. IT CONTAINED IN IT A TACIT CONFESSION, IN THE VERY NATURE OF THE RITE SUBMITTED TO, OF THE TAINT INHERENT IN NATURE, AND OF NATURE'S NEED OF PURIFICATION. The indistinctness of prophecy that went before by centuries, and the unequivocal distinctness of apostolic language in both history and Epistle, give the description of washing, cleansing, purifying, as the symbolic significance of the rite of baptism.

IV. IT DID NOT, TO ALL APPEARANCE, ASK FOR ANY INQUISITORIAL ELEMENT OR SEARCHING INVESTIGATION ON THE PART OF THE ADMINISTRATORS OF IT. It would seem impossible, in the nature of the circumstances described in the history before us, that even apostles, under the highest amount of inspiration, could have done more than accept simply the profession of those who offered themselves for baptism. The guarantee they took of the very repentance which they urged and preached as the deepest matter in question, was only that which belonged to the fact of the people's willingness and desire to be baptized. That was indeed a great and open change of mind, or repentance, which brought the people to this point. It seems impossible to imagine that baptism was now accepted as anything but the very first step toward holiness of heart and life. Those who were baptized did thus much - they "set their faces Zionward." These are the appearances that invest the first occasion of the observance or use of baptism as a Christian rite. These appearances by themselves scarcely amount to the assertion of a permanent institution; and they can scarcely be accounted as speaking with authority the subjects, or the convictions, or the methods of its administration for all time and all circumstances, even upon the supposition of its permanent obligation. They are not, therefore, the less interesting; nay, they may kindle keener and more observant inquiry. But they need such inquiry, and they must be interpreted under the light of Christ's ascending commission to his disciples, of obedience to which this is the first possible occasion, and in the light of the succeeding history of Christ's followers during the apostolic period. At present baptism may be said to hold the place of an initiatory rite. Through that first Christian baptism three thousand persons were introduced into the ranks of those who believed in Christ as the Messiah, and who were prepared to become learners in his school, and to put in practice (as was immediately seen) his principles. They no longer are of those who believe in sacrifices and ceremonial observances innumerable for "the remission of sins," but "in the Name of Jesus Christ." And they are introduced within the covenant of promise - that covenant the abiding promise to which was "the gift of the Holy Ghost." - B.







Then Peter said, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus.
In getting the exact meaning of Peter's directions to these inquirers, observe —(1) "Repent" is literally to perceive afterwards, and hence to change the mind, including one's view of life and truth, and hence one's purpose. Here it means an entire change of opinion respecting Jesus Christ, from regarding Him as an impostor to reverencing Him as both Lord and Christ; but it also includes all that change of inner life and purpose which follows thereon. The Roman Catholic translation, "Do penance," making the direction merely the observance of certain legal rites, is equally inconsistent with the original Greek and with the spirit of the entire passage.(2) "Be baptized" follows in order the direction to repent. Baptism is not a regenerating ordinance, but a sign and symbol of repentance, and a public confession of Christ.(3) "Each of you," shows that the repentance and baptism must be a personal act. The multitude could not have been baptized under this direction, as some of the converts under Xavier's preaching were baptized in India, by being sprinkled altogether in a multitude, or as some of the northern people were baptized in earlier times, by being made to pass through the river in a great host.(4) "In" (upon) "the name of Jesus Christ," is upon the name of Jesus Christ as the foundation of the baptism, i.e., with an acknowledgment of Him in that act as being what His name means, the sinner's only hope, his Redeemer, Justifier, Lord, and Final Judge.

(Lyman Abbott.)

I. THE MEANS HE PRESCRIBES.

1. Repentance; that is the first ingredient in the cure. It is the primitive original grace, even before faith itself, as it serves to justify. All the promises are made only to the penitent.(1) See the necessity of this spiritual medicine. As when a loving father shall command his sick child to use such a medicine to save his life, should the child refuse it, he sins not only as a disobedient child against his father, but as a desperate creature against his own life. Impeniteney is the damning sin. All sins deserve damnation, but it is impenitency which doth actually cast us. As he that hath eaten poison hath done that which in itself is deadly; but yet there is an antidote that can cure it; now to refuse the antidote is more desperate. Other sins are against our duty; but impenitency is against our recovery. Still the Scripture promises this as a necessary condition for obtaining mercy (Acts 5:3).(2) It is a proper cure for sin this penitential sorrow. To speak truly, sorrow and remorse, it is good for nothing but to destroy sin. God, when He implanted this affection in our souls, intended it only for this purpose, to purge and cure our spiritual maladies(3) See the efficacy of this prescript, the strength and virtue of this balm of Gilead. It is able to work strange cures, to recover men of desperate maladies. As no sin is so small but it needs repentance, so no sin so great but may be done away by this grace of repentance.(4) Take notice of the seasonableness of this prescription. They were already deeply cast down with sorrow and anguish, they were pricked at the heart, pierced. One would think some other course were more seasonable. No, no; St. Peter is right, he sees their souls are in perplexity, and yet he calls upon them to repent; they are in sorrow, and yet they must sorrow if they mean to be eased. There is indeed a large difference betwixt that sorrow which they already felt and that penitential sorrow which St. Peter enjoins them. Their former sorrow, it was a legal sorrow, wrought into them by the terrors of God's law and the sense of their sin; but the sorrow St. Peter commends to them is an evangelical sorrow, a sorrow wrought by the gospel and a gift of Christ.(5) Their former sorrow and compunction, it was a pang and passion of sorrow that seized them, whether they would or no; but the penitential sorrow that Peter exhorts them to, it is a voluntary, willing sorrow to which they must stir up and provoke themselves.(a) Look upon it in the original, it is a grace, and that is seated in the will, it serves to enable it and to make it willing.(b) Look upon it in the exercise, so it is a duty; God requires and expects repentance. Now, God requires our actions. Sufferings are not commanded but inflicted; but duties are, enjoined, and we must willingly perform them.(c) Look upon it in the use; so it is a condition upon the performance of which God doth covenant with us. A true penitent must provoke himself to sorrow, praying that he may sorrow; grieving that he cannot grieve, never repenting that he hath repented.(6) The sorrow they felt before, when their hearts were pricked, differs from the sorrow to which St. Peter exhorts them; that was dolor, the pain of the disease; but this he requires of them, it is the smart that comes by the cure and medicine. It is not every stroke of conscience, nor every pang of sorrow, that is true repentance; we may feel all these, and feel them in extremity, and yet the bitter pill of repentance must be taken down for all that. That is the first means, a spiritual purging. Come we —

2. To the second means which St. Peter prescribes them, that is a spiritual bathing; that is the sacrament of baptism.(1) The sacramental action; they must be baptized. This outward, external, bodily ceremony of washing in water, it is of Divine institution, and so necessary. Let the means be what it will, if Christ sends us to it, it shall be effectual. Purposely Christ uses these bodily means as special conveyances of spiritual grace; even amongst men we see outward evidences and seals are accounted strong assurances. We are not content to have estates passed over to us by bare word; but writings and seals, livery and seisin, are all requisite. Purposely God employs very mean instruments that our faith may only depend upon His power, and that our thankfulness may ascribe it only to His glory. In particular, Christ prescribes this sacrament of baptism, and washing in water, that element fitly resembling those spiritual effects which are wrought in baptism.(a) Water hath a force of drawing and killing and suffocating any breathing thing. And this quality of water is a fit resemblance of the grace of baptism. A sinner, coming to this sacrament, hath all his sins drowned and abolished.(b) Water hath a power of quenching; and such a spiritual virtue there is in baptism, it allays the heat of our natural concupiscence, quenches and extinguishes the boilings and inflammations of our sinful lusts.(c) Water, it is a cleansing element, it washes away filthiness, and so doth baptism; it purges a sinner from all defilements of flesh and spirit (Ephesians 4:26).(d) Water hath a fructifying virtue in it; it is a fruitful element, and makes other things fruitful (Genesis 1:20). So this sacrament by Divine institution and benediction, it is a fountain of living water, a font and laver of regeneration. See how abundantly these waters brought forth. Three thousand were baptized and renewed in one day. That is the action. Then —(2) The relation of it, which enlivens the action and makes it effectual, is that it must be done in the name of Jesus Christ. What means that? In His name, that is, by His authority. He alone can institute a sacrament, He alone can make the seal that must confirm His covenant. In His name; that is, be baptized in the faith of Jesus His name, through faith in His name (Acts 3:16). A sacrament without faith is a seal to a blank. In the name of Jesus Christ, that is, in the solemn and holy profession of Christ into His religion, into the fellowship and communion of His holy profession. In baptism we take upon us Christ's cognisance and livery.

II. THE BENEFITS WHICH UPON THE USE OF THIS MEANS HE DOTH ASSURE THEM.

1. Remission of sins. And this will appear —(1) A seasonable benefit. Men in their case and perplexity had rather hear of the pardon of their sins, then that all the goods of the world should betide them. This mercy, it is the sinful soul's city of refuge. Other means may stupefy and benumb our conscience, and lay it asleep; only this assurance can truly and effectually quiet and comfort it, Thy sins are forgiven thee.(2) This mercy here promised is a full complete comfort; it is remission of sins in the plural number. As in bodily cures, when Christ cast out one devil, He cast out all; seven devils out of Mary Magdalen; a whole legion of devils, left not one remaining. So when He pardons one sin He forgives all.(a) God's love, it is not partial and imperfect, pardoning some and retaining others.(b) And then repentance, though it be occasioned by some one sin, yet it bewails all, detests all, forsakes all. A good Christian will leave no sin unrepented of.(c) The grace of baptism doth not only seal up the actual remission of our by-past sins; but it hath a force even for the pardoning of the sins of our whole life. Not that all our sins past, present, and to come are actually all forgiven in baptism, but because in our baptism God seals up that covenant by which He assures us, He will pardon all our sins upon our repentance; and thus the force of baptism reaches to the pardon of future sins.

2. The receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.(1) Grace is a gift not inbred in us, not deserved or purchased by us.(2) We must receive it; we are only passive and receptive of grace. The Spirit is the only agent, we are but receivers of the gift of grace. To pass by these, consider only these two things: the order. Repent and be baptized, and then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. First, here is cleansing required, and then beautifying. The Holy Ghost abhors uncleanliness, will not come near to a defiled soul. The nature of this gift. The gifts of the Holy Ghost; were of two sorts.

3. Those that are usually called gifts tending to edification of others; as tongues and other ministerial enablements. They were the gifts of this day, but not the only gifts.

4. Others are gifts of personal concernment, for the good of the receivers to further their salvation. And these were promised and bestowed on this day.(1) The grace of sanctification; that was the gift and benefit of this day.(2) The grace of obsignations and sealing, that was the work and gift of the Spirit that came this day. This is one great office of the Holy Ghost to ratify and seal up to us the forgiveness of our sins and all the benefits of our redemption (Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30).(3) The grace of consolation; that is another work and gift of the Spirit, that was also the gift of this day.(a) In regard of our sanctification, so the Holy Ghost is a gift of grace enabling us.(b) In respect of our assurance, so He is a seal confirming us.(c) In respect of comfort and consolation, so He is the kiss of love and peace to rejoice and comfort us. And this assurance that Peter gives them of their receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, it will afford us a threefold meditation.See here —

1. His earnest desire to have the gift of the Spirit communicated to them.

2. The bounty of God; whom He pardons, those He enriches and stores with grace.

3. Learn here the duty and obligation of a penitent. If God bestows this rich gift on us, that very gift obliges us to use it. We must not be content to have our sins pardoned, but we must set ourselves to perform better obedience.

(BP. Brownrigg.)

The crowd, convinced of sin and fearful of its consequences, cried out in an agony of remorse and despair, "What shall we do?" Meaning, of course, what the jailer meant in the full evangelical question. They wanted to know how they should escape the penalty incurred. Very full is this condensed reply of Peter's. The whole gospel of man's salvation is included in it. No director of a stricken and bewildered conscience can improve upon it.

I. THE NATURE OF SALVATION.

1. Remission of sins. Sin had run them into danger; continuance in sin would involve them in ruin. The first thing, therefore, was that sin should be remitted. When a disease breaks out it exposes its victims to a possible or probable death. To check its ravages does not mean absolutely health; but there is no averting that fatality until the progress of the disease receives a check. In our case sin exposes us to punishment on account of its guilt; to death because of its power. To forgive the guilt and to counterwork the power is therefore the first requirement. It is not full salvation, but it is necessary to it.

2. The gift of the Holy Ghost. This is the positive side of that which remission is the negative side, and completes the idea of salvation. To receive the Spirit is for the sick soul to be restored to full 'health; it is to lay ourselves open to His gracious work, which is

(1)Regeneration, the gift of a new nature.

(2)Adoption, translation into the Divine family and acceptance in the Beloved.

(3)The witness to our sonship.

(4)Progressive sanctification.

(5)The earnest of all the glory and the joy of heaven.

II. THE MEANS OF OBTAINING SALVATION.

1. Repentance. Change of mind about sin, self, holiness, and God, with endeavours after a corresponding change in the life and conduct. This will involve a hatred of sin, a true measurement of our own weakness and unworthiness, an endeavour after holiness, a desire after God as the supreme good.

2. Baptism. Here the rite was a symbol —

(1)Of trust in Christ. "In the name of Jesus Christ."

(2)Of the purity to which the Christian is pledged.

(3)Of confession of Christ before men.

(4)Of separation from the old life of the world, and consecration to Christ.These conditions are as inexorable to-day as they were then. All that the baptism we have already enjoyed in infancy means is obligatory on every baptized man. Our baptism is vain and our salvation non-existent unless "the life we live in the flesh be by the faith of the Son of God"; unless our lives are pure, unless our confession of Christ be unmistakable, and unless we are fully consecrated to our Master's service. Conclusion:

1. How simple the conditions on which God grants His greatest boon.

2. How essential that we should comply with them before the gift is withdrawn.

(J. W. Burn.)

This is a turning from sin to God. When genuine it is a fruit of the Spirit, and secures the further gift of the Spirit. In its widest sense it includes the whole process of conversion. It has been well defined to be "a saving grace whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth with grief and hatred of his sin turn from it unto God with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience."

I. ITS MEANS.

1. From a due sense of sin. This includes —

(1)A knowledge of sin.

(2)A conviction of our own sinfulness.

(3)A proper sense of our own guilt and pollution.The knowledge of sin supposes proper views of the holiness and justice of God, and therefore of the greatness of the evil of sin, and that we are absolutely at God's mercy.

2. It is with apprehension of God's mercy in Christ. Repentance is not possible as long as we think we are without hope. For despair excludes repentance. We must apprehend, i.e., believe —

(1)That God is merciful.

(2)That He can consistently exercise His mercy.

(3)That we are, or may be, its objects.

(4)That this is through Christ; because out of Christ conscience and Scripture teach Him to be a consuming fire.

II. THE ATTENDING CIRCUMSTANCES.

1. Grief, i.e., sincere sorrow for having sinned; including —

(1)Remorse.

(2)Self abhorrence.

(3)Self-condemnation.

(4)Shame.

2. Hatred of sin, which includes —

(1)Disapprobation.

(2)Disgust.

III. THE ACT ITSELF.

1. Turning from sin: from its

(1)Approbation.

(2)Indulgence.

(3)Promotion.

2. Turning to God —

(1)As an object of excellence.

(2)As an object of enjoyment.

IV. ITS EFFORTS.

1. Purpose. A decision of the will to obey God in all things.

2. Endeavour to do so.

(1)Continued.

(2)Sincere.

(3)Effective.

(C. Hodge, D. D.)

It consists in the heart being broken for sin and from sin.

(W. Nevins.)

It begins in the humiliation of the heart, and ends in the reformation of the life.

(J. M. Mason, D. D.)

True repentance looks upon things past with a weeping eye, and upon the future with a watchful eye.

(R. South, D. D.)

I pray you dig deep. Christ's palace-work and His new dwelling, laid upon hell felt and feared, is most firm; and heaven, grounded and laid upon such a hell, is sure work, and will not wash away with winter storms.

(S. Rutherford.)

"If a ship have three leaks, and two be stopped, the third will sink the ship. If a man has two severe wounds, and cures one, the neglected one will kill him.

(J. Spencer.)

A captain at sea discovers that, by some mistake, the steersman is steering the ship directly for the rocks. How is the danger to be avoided? By scrubbing the decks, or setting the men to the pumps? No! these things are good enough in their own time, but if the ship is to be saved, one thing must be done — her course must be changed. So the captain utters a few quick words, and the ship turns and speeds away from the danger.

You feel that you cannot repent, but cannot Jesus make thee repent by His Spirit? Do you hesitate about that question? See the world a few months ago hard bound with frost, but how daffodil, and crocus, and snowdrop have come up above that once frozen soil, how snow and ice have gone, and the genial sun shines out! God does it readily, with the soft breath of the south wind and the kind sunbeams, and He can do the same in the spiritual world for thee. Relieve He can, and ask Him now to do it, and thou shalt find that the rock of ice shalt thaw, that huge, horrible, devilish iceberg of a heart of thine shall begin to drip with showers of crystal penitence, which God shall accept through His dear Son.

As certain fabrics need to be damped before they will take the glowing colours with which they are to be adorned, so our spirits need the bedewing of repentance before they can receive the radiant colouring of delight. The glad news of the gospel can only be printed on wet paper. Have you ever seen clearer shining than that which follows a shower? Then the sun transforms the raindrops into gems, the flowers look up with fresher smiles and faces glittering from their refreshing bath, and the birds from among the dripping branches sing with notes more rapturous, because they have paused awhile. So, when the soul has been saturated with the rain of penitence, the clear shining of forgiving love makes the flowers of gladness blossom all round. The steps by which we ascend to the palace of delight are usually moist with tears. Grief for sin is the porch of the House Beautiful, where the guests are full of "the joy of the Lord."

Repentance is an old-fashioned doctrine, which in these days has been despised; but, if I stand alone, I will bear testimony for it. They say that repentance is nothing at all — that it is merely, according to the Greek, a change of mind. That shows what a little Greek they know. A little of such knowledge is a dangerous thing. A pity that they do not learn more. Repentance is a change of mind; but do you say that it is only a change of mind? That is a pretty big "only." A change of mind, a radical change of mind, from the love of sin to the love of holiness, is that a small affair? It is always attended with sorrow and regret for past sin: and, if there is a man here who thinks that he will get to heaven by a dry-eyed faith, he will be mistaken. He that never mourned for sin hath never rejoiced in the Lord. If I can look back upon my past life of sin and say, "I have no grief over it," why, then I should do the same again if I had the opportunity: and this shows that my heart is as perverse as ever it was, and I am still unregenerate. Dear Mr. Rowland Hill used to say that faith and repentance were his daily companions as long as he lived, and that, if he had any thought of regret at entering heaven, it would be to think that he might have to part with his dear friend Repentance as he went through the gate.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The gondoliers at Venice, when we were sojourning in that queen of the Adriatic, frequently quarrelled with each other, and used such high words and ferocious gestures that we were afraid murder would come of it; yet they never came to blows, it was only their rough way of disputing. Often and often have we heard men upbraiding themselves for their sins, and crying out against the evil which their follies have wrought them, yet these very people have continued in their transgressions, and have even gone from bad to worse. They barked too much at sin to fall to and destroy it. Their enmity to evil was mere feigning; like the sword-play of the stage, which looks like earnest fight, but no wounds are given or received. Let those who play at repentance remember that they who repent in mimicry shall go to hell in reality.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

There is many a wounded conscience that is wounded like a sheet of ice shivered on the pavement, which yet is stiff and cold. But let the sun shine forth, and the ice is melted, and melted completely; so is it with legal and evangelical repentance.

For the remission of sins
As the prince or ruler only has power to pardon treason in his subjects, so God only has power to forgive sin. As no man can forgive a debt but the creditor to whom the debt is due, so God only can forgive us our debts, whose debtors we are to an incalculable amount.

There was once a man who was a very great sinner, and for his horrible wickedness was put to death in the town of Ayr. This man had been so stupid and brutish a fellow, that all who knew him thought him beyond the reach of all ordinary means of grace; but while the man was in prison the Lord wonderfully wrought on his heart, and in such a measure discovered to him his sinfulness, that, after much serious exercise and sore wrestling, a most kindly work of repentance followed, with great assurance of mercy, insomuch that when he came to the place of execution he could not cease crying out to the people, under the sense of pardon and the comforts of the presence and favour of God, "Oh, He is a great forgiver! He is a great forgiver!" And he added the following words, "Now hath perfect love cast out fear. I know God hath nothing to lay against me, for Jesus Christ hath paid all; and those are free whom the Son makes free."

(J. Fleming.)

A man was once being tried for a crime, the punishment of which was death. The witnesses came in one by one, and testified to his guilt; but there he stood, quite calm and unmoved. The judge and the jury were quite surprised at his indifference; they could not understand how he could take such a serious matter so calmly. When the jury retired, it did not take them many minutes to decide on the verdict "Guilty"; and when the judge was passing the sentence of death upon the criminal he told him how surprised he was that he could be so unmoved in the prospect of death. When the judge had finished the man put his hand in his bosom, pulled out a document, and walked out of the dock a free man. Ah, that was how he could be so calm; it was a free pardon from his king, which he had in his pocket all the time. The king had instructed him to allow the trial to proceed, and to produce the pardon only when he was condemned. Now, that is just what will make us joyful in the great day of judgment; we have got a pardon from the Great King, and it is sealed with the blood of His Son.

(D. L. Moody.)

And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost
1. Among the various reasonable grounds and ends of observing festival solemnities, the principal are these:(1) The occasion which they afford to instruct ourselves and others in the mysterious doctrines of our religion.(2) The engaging us seasonably to practise that great duty to God, the remembering and praising Him for His great favours and mercies.

2. For these purposes chiefly did God Himself appoint the Jewish festivals: e.g., the Passover. In compliance with which design the Christian Church has recommended to her children the observation of her chief festivals, continuing the time and name, though changing or improving the matter and reason of those ancient ones. The effusion of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost corresponded with the time when the Jews were obliged to "rejoice before the Lord," for the harvest newly gathered in, and the earth's good fruits bestowed on them; and then did God bountifully impart the first-fruits of His Holy Spirit. The benefit, therefore, and blessing, which at this time we are bound to commemorate, is in effect the publication and establishment of the evangelical covenant, the foundation of all our hopes, and claims to happiness; but more immediately and directly —

I. THE DONATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, AND TO ALL ITS MEMBERS.

1. God's gracious design was to reclaim mankind item their ignorance, errors, and sins, and to reconcile them to Himself by the mediation of His Son, whom He sent to instruct them in their duty.

2. To render this successful according to the capacities of human nature, it was requisite to provide convincing arguments to persuade men of the truth of these things; means to excite their attention to them; motives to accept them; and a power also to retain them firm in their belief, and uphold them in the performance of the conditions required.

3. To prevent, therefore, the disappointment of His merciful intentions, God to the ministry of His eternal wisdom adjoined the efficacy of His eternal love and blessed Spirit, the which not only conducted our Divine Saviour into His earthly tabernacle, but did continually reside with Him, and attend Him in the performance of His miraculous works, attesting the truth of His quality, commission, and doctrine, and exciting men to notice these things. Nay, farther, to induce them to comply with these gracious overtures, He faithfully promised that He would impart the same blessed Spirit, as the continual guide and comforter of all who should sincerely embrace them, and conform their lives to His righteous laws.

4. Now although the natural and ordinary manner of this Divine Spirit's operation is not by violent and sensible impressions, but rather in way of imperceptible penetration, hardly discovering itself except by its results; and though its proper and principal effects relate to the furthering our performance of the conditions of our salvation; yet more fully to satisfy the doubtful, confound the obstinate, and confirm the faithful, God was pleased, after our Lord's ascension, to dispense both to teachers and disciples more liberal and extraordinary communication of that Holy Spirit, attended with wonderful effects.

5. The Christian Church therefore obliges us at this time to commemorate that incomparable gift, then conferred more visibly on the Church, and still really bestowed on every particular member who is duly incorporated into it. It is so bestowed, that is, on each member; for the evangelical covenant extends to every Christian, and a principal ingredient thereof is the collation of this Spirit. This is the teaching of Holy Scripture, the doctrine constantly, and with very general consent delivered down in the Catholic Church.

II. THE WORTH AND EXCELLENCY OF THIS DIVINE GIFT. That it is transcendently valuable, we may hence generally collect; that even in our Lord's esteem it did not only countervail, but in a manner surmount the benefit of His presence. "It is expedient for you that I go away," etc. But to take a more distinct survey of its benefits.

1. We owe to the Holy Spirit our spiritual state and being; our spiritual life, freedom, and honourable condition.(1) By virtue of this "quickening Spirit" we are raised from death to an immortal state of life, being "quickened together with Christ."(2) We are enfranchised from intolerable slavery, from "the spirit of bondage unto fear," etc.(3) We are also advanced to an honourable condition, ennobled with illustrious relations, and entitled to glorious privileges: for thence "we have access unto the Father, and are no more strangers, but fellow-citizens of the saints, and of the household of God."

2. Neither only relatively and extrinsically is our estate thus bettered, but we ourselves are answerably changed and amended by the same Holy Spirit; being "renewed in the spirit of our mind"; becoming "new creatures, created according to God in righteousness." Such doctrines, as that our happiness consists not in affluence of temporal enjoyments, but in a disposition of mind curbing our appetites and quelling our passions; in conformity of practice to rules distasteful to our sense; in gaining and retaining the love of an Infinite Being; that naked goodness is to be preferred before all the pomp and glory of this world, etc.; such doctrines are indeed hard and harsh to us, absurd to our natural conceits, and abominable to our carnal minds: of our own accord, without Divine attraction, we never should come to Christ. His own disciples struggled against such doctrines, and without the aid of the Spirit would scarcely have admitted many evangelical truths. As for the mighty sages of the world, "the wise men according to the flesh," they were far more ready to deride than to admit them. Though some few sparks of Divine knowledge may have been driven out by rational consideration and philosophical study, yet no external instruction, no interior discourse, could remove the mists of ignorance, and awaken the lethargic stupidity of their souls. Thus is the light of spiritual knowledge, together with a temper of mind disposed to receive it, communicated by the Holy Spirit. But farther than this, by the same Divine power is imparted vital heat and vigour, active strength and courage. Though our spirit should be willing, yet our flesh is weak: knowledge therefore and willingness to do good are not alone sufficient.

3. The continued subsistence and preservation of our spiritual being, and active powers, the actual use and exercise of them, all our discreet conduct, all our good practice, rely on the Holy Spirit. It is true of our spiritual no less than of our natural life; "if He doth avert His face we are troubled," etc. On all occasions we need His direction, aid, and comfort; for "the way of man is not in himself," etc. Vie are vain and fickle in our purposes, slow in our proceedings; apt to faint and stumble in our practice; we need therefore this sure oracle and faithful friend, to guide, encourage, and support us; to guard us in trials; comfort us in afflictions; and impart to us joy unspeakable in believing and well-doing. So many and great are the blessings which He imparts to us.Conclusion.

1. Let us earnestly invite this Holy Guest unto us, by our prayers unto Him, who hath promised to bestow His Spirit on those which ask it, to impart this living stream to every one which thirsteth after it.

2. Let us willingly receive Him into our hearts, let us treat Him with all kind usage, with all humble observance. Let us not exclude Him by supine neglect, or rude resistance; let us not grieve Him by our perverse and froward behaviour towards Him; let us not tempt Him by our fond presumptions, or base treacheries: let us not quench His heavenly light and heat by our foul lusts and passions: but let us admit gladly His gentle illapses; let us hearken to His faithful suggestions; let us comply with His kindly motions; let us demean ourselves modestly, consistently, and officiously toward Him.

(I. Barrow, D. D.)

I. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GIVEN TO RENEW AND PURIFY THE MORAL FEELINGS. He awakens the conscience to a sense of guilt and danger. He opens the eyes to see the exhalted purity of the moral law, and to feel the justice of its righteous condemnation. He affects the heart with the tidings of a Saviour's love, and creates within the soul that godly sorrow which worketh repentance to salvation, needing not to be repented of. The work thus begun in the soul is carried on through the same Divine agency, for the Holy Ghost is the Sanctifier Of all the elect people of God. It is through Him that we die daily unto sin and live unto righteousness, that the old man with his corrupt deeds is put off, and that the new man is put on, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness. Nor are these the only influences which the Holy Spirit exerts on man's moral nature. Our Lord has promised that He shall be present with His people under the endearing character of the Comforter. It is His special work to heal the brokenhearted, to set at liberty them that are bruised, and to comfort all that mourn.

II. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GIVEN TO ENLIGHTEN AND GOVERN THE INTELLECTUAL POWERS. It should never be forgotten that the Spirit bestowed upon the first disciples was "the Spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind"; and that He is promised to us also for these great ends that we may attain to a right judgment in all things, and have power to accomplish the will of God. It is thus that man is to present himself a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, and is to become a temple of the Holy Ghost, consecrated in all his faculties to the glory of God, and yielding the powers of his mind, the energies of his body, and the affections of his heart, to the service of Him who is the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Preserver of men, and to whom alone all honour, and power, and glory belong.

(W. Niven, B. D.)

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