Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

illuminate the understanding of such as believe, that they may receive the truth. For faith is the gift of God, not only in the object, but also in the act ; Christ is not only given unto us, in whom we believe, but it is also given us in the behalf of Christ to believe on Him; and this gift is a gift of the Holy Ghost, working within us an assent unto that which by the word is propounded to us. By this the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul-by this the word preached profiteth, being mixed with faith in them that hear it. Thus by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. As the increase and perfection, so the original or initiation of faith is from the Spirit of God, not only by an external proposal in the word, but by an internal illumination in the soul ; by which we are inclined to the obedience of faith, in assenting to those truths, which unto a natural and carnal man are foolishness.

The second part of the office of the Holy Ghost is the sanctification of man, in the regeneration and renovation of him. For our natural corruption consisting in an aversation of our wills and a depravation of our affections, an inclination of them to the will of God is wrought within us by the Spirit of God. “ For according to His mercy He saveth us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” So that except a man be born again of water and of the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. We are all at first defiled by the corruption of our nature, and the pollution of our sins, but we are washed, but we are sanctified, but we are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. The second part, then, of the office of the Holy Ghost is the renewing of man in all the parts and faculties of his soul.

The third part of this office is to lead, direct, and govern us in our actions and conversations, that we may actually do and

THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT.

417

perform those things which are acceptable and well-pleasing in the sight of God. If we live in the Spirit, quickened by His renovation, we must also walk in the Spirit, following His direction, led by His manuduction. And if we walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh; for we are not only directed, but animated and acted in those operations, by the Spirit of God, who giveth both to will and to do ; and as many as are thus led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Moreover, that this direction may prove more effectual, we are also guided in our prayers, and acted in our devotions, by the same Spirit, according to the promise, “I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication.” Whereas, then, “this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything, according to His will, He heareth us ;” and, whereas “we know not what we should pray for as we ought, the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered ; and He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints, according to the will of God." From which intercession, especially, I conceive He hath the name of Paraclete given him by Christ, who said, I will pray unto the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete. For if any man sin, we have a Paraclete with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, saith St John; who also maketh intercession for us, saith St Paul; and we have another Paraclete, saith our Saviour ; which also maketh intercession for us, saith St Paul. A Paraclete, then, in the notion of the Scripture, is an Intercessor.

BISHOP PATRICK.

The best attempt at straightforward Scripture exposition in the seventeenth century, was the Paraphrase on the Books of the Old Testament, which this judicious and well-informed scholar lived to carry on as far as the end of the poetical books. Its value is still recognised, and, with Lowth on the Prophecies, and Whitby on the New Testament, it finds a place in the theologian's library as one of the most valuable of English commentaries.

Of such a work it is hardly possible to exhibit a sample ; but the reader will perhaps accept an extract or two from “ The Parable of the Pilgrim,”—a work of considerable popularity in its day, but now nearly forgotten. It appeared some years before Bunyan's "Pilgrim,” but they are evidently independent productions; and, for genius and theology, it must be admitted that the Bedford tinker has made the better book.

Simon Patrick was born at Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire, September 8, 1626, and studied at Queen's College, Cambridge. In 1662 he succeeded Dr Manton, as rector of St Paul's, Covent Garden ; and here, during the great plague, he shewed a noble example of pastoral faithfulness and self-sacrifice, by remaining at his post and ministering to the sick, when most of his brethren fled to the country. In 1672 he was made Dean of Peterborough, and in 1689 Bishop of Chichester, from which see he was translated to Ely in 1691 ; and here he died, May 31, 1707.

The Pilgrim's Desire to Beach Jerusalem. Much time he spent in consultation with himself about the course which would be best to hold in his travel thither.

LONGING FOR JERUSALEM.

419

There was no cost spared, no study omitted to get acquaintance with the nearest way to it; nor did he cease to inquire of those who were reputed the most skilful guides, that he might obtain a true information of every passage in the journey, which he seriously resolved to undertake. For, though the weather was cold, the ways dirty and dangerous, and the journey he was told would be long, and company little or none could be expected to deceive the tediousness of the pilgrimage; yet so great were the ardours which he felt within himself, that he regarded none of these discouragements, but only wished that he might be so happy as to find the right way, though he went alone thither. And that which made his desires the more forward, was, that he had often heard Jerusalem by interpretation was no meaner place than the Vision of Peace--a sight that he had been long pursuing in several forms and shapes, wherein it had often seemed to present itself before him, but could never court it into his embraces. O my beloved (would he often sigh within himself), O my heart's desire ! O thou joy of the whole earth! In what corner of it dost thou hide thyself, and liest concealed from our eyes ? Where art thou to be found, O heavenly good? Who will bring me to the clear vision of thy face ? Art thou company only for the celestial spirits & Art thou so reserved for the angels' food, that we poor mortals may not presume to ask a taste of thy sweetness ? What would not I part withal to purchase a small acquaintance with thee, and to know the place where thou makest thine abode ? Many a weary step have I taken in a vain chase of thy society. The hours are not to be numbered which I have spent in wishing and labouring to lay hold on thee, and still thou fliest away from me. After all the sweat wherein I have bathed myself, I can find nothing, but only that thou art not here to be found. Thou art retired, it seems, from this poor world, and hast left us only a shadow of thee; for when we think to clasp thee hard

in our arms, the whole force and weight of our souls doth fall upon nothing. O my heart, what ails thee? What torments are these which so suddenly seize upon thee? Ah, cruel pains, the remembrance of which prepares a new rack for me! The arm of a giant would not ache more, if with all his might he should strike a feather, than my heart now doth but to think of the anguish it endured when all the strength and violence of its desires were met with emptiness and vanity. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the only place that can ease us of this misery! the place where the beloved of my soul dwelleth, the vision of peace, the seat of true tranquillity and repose, how fain would I have the satisfaction of being in the sure way to thy felicity! This is all the peace I wish for in the world. No other happiness do I thirst after, as every thing can testify that hath been privy to my thoughts. There is never a room in my

house but hath been filled with the noise of my sighs and groans

after thee, O Jerusalem! Every tree that grows in my ground hath thy sweet name engraven upon it. The birds of the air, if they can understand, are witnesses how incessantly my soul pants and longs to fly unto thee, O Jerusalem! What charitable hand will guide me in the way to thy pleasures? Who will bring me into that strong city, the retreat of my wearied mind, the refuge to recruit my tired spirits, the only place of my security, my joy, my life itself? Wilt not thou, O God, who hast led me to the knowledge of it, who hast filled me with these desires, and hast brought me into a disesteem and contempt of all other things ?

END OF VOLUME II.

« ElőzőTovább »