Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

a Priest of Grace, for offering up to God conti-CHAP. nually his private Praise, Thanks, and Joy in the XV. Lord, for his Redemption by his Lord and Saviour Jesus Cbrift

. No Layman then should malign the distinction of publick Priest, ordained to offer

up the publick Sacrifice of Praise and Thankfgiving for that and all God's Mercies.

Those present extraordinary Gifts | of Christ's Spirit, after his bodily Departure, were a plain Earnest, and first Fruits to the ihen Chriftians, that Christ had actually taken Poffeffion of that heavenly Inheritance he had promised his Followers , and likewise of his indisputable Power of giving Life, and quickening whom he would, by a Resurrection from the Dead, to Life eternal,

And after the extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit ceased, when their End ceased, i. e, when the external Evidence from the Testimony of Miracles, was finally feald and shut up: Such as the * Word of extraordinary Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Gifts of Healing, working Miracles, Prophecy, discerning of Spirits, divers kinds of Tongues, and the Interpretation thereof; the Use and Design of them being, as it is affirmed, for Signs + not to them that believe, but to them that believe not ; the miraculous Operations of the Spirit are principally called his Gifts, and every Receiver, was to minister according to the Ana. logy or Proportion of that particular Gift, Faith, or Talent in the Recipient in the first Days of Christianity ; whilst his ordinary permanent Operations are called Fruits, growing in that Soil of

# These are always distinguish'd by the Name gaelouata, or mai aveu patine's very different from and not to lastingly valuable as the ordinary Fruits of the Spirit, i. e. moral Virtues, 1 Cor. xii. 8, &C. + xiv, 22.

moral

*

2

CHA P. inoral Virtues and Dispositions which are the CoXV.

operation on Man's part. There remain'd, and remains, his ordinary Gifts and Aids, for the perpetual Edification of the Church in the Spirit of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, of a found Mind, of practical Faith, and Fear of the Lord, of Adoption, and Love, in exclusion to the Spirit of servile Fear and Bondage ; Joy in the Holy Ghost ; his Fellowship or Communion, his Comforts in Trouble ; his bringing things to Remembrance ; our Sanétification, and Regeneration by Water and Renewal of the Holy Ghost, and every good and perfeEt Gift descending from above.

All these rest upon the Members of the Church as a Right and Privilege, conferrable and improveable at the Request of their own Prayers in Christ's Name for the Spirit ; and their Improvement and Growth in these Graces depends upon the fructifying Use of their own Endeayours. And this seems to be the Reason, why we are never faluted with Grace and Peace in any of the Epistles, in the Name of the Holy Spirit, except perhaps that from the seven Spirits, Rev. i. 4. as we are in that of the Fatber, and the Son ;. because the Spirit confers those Gifts and Graces as an actual Right, in virtue of a Promise perform’d, given, and derived from the Father, and the Son ; but we are divinely blessed in the Communion of the Holy Ghost at the End of 2 Cor. And that Communication or Participation with the Spirit we are obliged to cultivate, and respect with such a Deference and Decency of Behaviour becoming the Gospel, as not to grieve + or vex, but obey and be led by him,

t Eph. iv. 30.

who

upon Earth.

who is the best Comforter and Advocate we have CHA P.

XV. For though we have the written Word (originally inspired by the Spirit) which is able to make wise unto Salvation ; and the Facts and Arguments of the endearing Mercy, Goodness, and Love of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, are enough, as one would think, to warm our natural cold Hearts, and quicken our dead Powers, and be unto us externally a supernatural Afsistance that comes from God, for leading our Feet into the Way of Peace. Though Faith in the true Mediator, that new Medium, which the Reason of Man could never, of itself, have difcover'd for affuring him of Acceptance with God, as being supplied from Heaven, and convey'd in Scriptures wrote by Inspiration, may be called the standing Inspiration of the Christian's Reason for chat Allurance, Confidence, Hope, and Trust. And though by natural Liberty of our Will we are free to Good as well as Evil : Yet we are so carried away

with the Stream, and affected with the Griefs and Joys of present Things; and willingly follow the Fashions and false Maxims of the World ; and the Biass of our own ill Habits, contracted from too much Indulgence to bodily Affections, and the hurry of worldly Affairs, tbe bewitching of Naughtiness does obscure things that are honest, and the wandring of Concupiscence undermine the Simple of Mind. Wisd. iv.1 2. that we generally remain irresolute and unconstant, forgetful and indolent to fpiritual Things, and heavenly Attainments.

Nor should we ordinarily attain them, if the Holy Spirit did not aid our Backwardness, quicken our Listness, and co-operate with our Endeavours after them. How many things do Vol. II.

C

we

[ocr errors][merged small]

CHAP. we know in Holy Scripture that accompany Sal-
XV.

vation, and yet don't know them, because we
don't duly consider, and transcribe them into
Action as we ought, nor draw the proper, i. e.
practical Consequences from them? After we
have look'd into the perfect Law of Liberty,
how often are we, forgetful Creatures, like the
Man beholding his natural Face in a Glass, who,
after he is gone from it, straitway forgets what
manner of Man he was?

Therefore is the Holy Spirit fo ready and
friendly to the Mind preffed down by the Body
to bring things to Remembrance, to make its
heedleffness more attentive, and its disposition to
mufe upon many things more serious and con-
siderate of the one thing needful ; holding the
glass of Reflection up in the Memory, for the
Understanding to look into again and again, till
it has perused the whole Man ; and so making
the Rule of Duty inwardly present to the Mind,
may literally be said to put those Laws of the new
Covenant inwardly in our Minds, and write them on
our Hearts, Heb. viii, 10.

Not that the Spirit' inspires new Truths, or Motives ; but fets the Light of the Truth of Scripture for Doétrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruētion in Righteousness more clearly and convincingly before the Understanding i and the Motives to Duty more cogently and engagingly before the Will, to practical Purposes, as an Advocate of Virtue and Salvation ; and so helps and afliits the Client, the Servant of God and Christ, to inake good his Cause of God and Christ,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

* Plenus fum rimarum, is a classical and natural Description of the Mind of Man; and that of a Fool is, bis inzward Purts are like a broken Vesel, Eccluf. xxi. 14.

and

and his own Happiness, against the Sophiftry CHAP. and Temptations of the World, the Flesh, and XV. the Devil.

AND as he is indeed our Fellow-Labourer in that Design of the Gospel, and no more than an Afiftant in that Work of Regeneration, Sanctification, and Righteousness, that shews that he does not do the whole Work ; but that our Endeavours are equally necessary to aflift him to effect all that he undertakes for us. Therefore are we commanded to work out our Salvation with fear and trembling, from that very confideration that Aslistance from him is present, because it is he that worketh in us both to will and do of his good Pleasure. He argues and debates with us from our own Concessions, from the Faith we have embraced; what manner of Persons it obliges us to be ; and so by means of our Faith in Christ (whom God appointed Mediator of bis Will and Pleasure) worketh in us to will and do according to the Gospel, which is the Law of the Spirit of Life: Thus he purifies the Heart through Faith, and through Obedience to the Truth. He recals Vows and Resolutions for better living, the Will's own Acts and Deeds ; and pleads them afresh before that Regent (advocating with us below, whilst Christ advocates for us above) to fix its natural Instability and Inconstancy.

There is the Inspiration of Truth, and the Inspiration of Lies ; one from the Father of Truth, the other from the Father of Lies : the first through the Medium of right Reason, the right Mediator ; the latter throʻ the Medium of Inconsideration, Sensuality, and worldly Love. Thus the Understanding of Christians in general may, by asking it of God, be said to be enlightC 2

end,

« ElőzőTovább »