« EdellinenJatka »
expect particular Impulses from the Holy Ghost upon every Occasion that presented its self, where they wanted either Light or Direction : And all this was indeed little enough for the Discharge of that great Work they had upon their Hands, viz. the bringing over the World from Judaism and Heathenism to Christianity. But that being once done, and the Gospel of Christ, and all Things pertaining to it, being plainly left in Writing by the Apostles or Apostolical Men ; as there would from henceforward be no need of those Aliftances of the Spirit; fo it would be a vain thing to expect them. We are not to desire these immediate Revelations, nor to expect that God should vouchsafe them to us if we prayed for them. God hath declared all his Will, that is necessary for us to : know, by our Saviour and his Apostles : And the Rules which they have given us, together with our own natural Light and Reason, and the other outward Means and Helps of Instruction which are every Day at hand among us, are sufficient, abundantly sufficient, to guide and direct us, both as to believe and practise, thro' all the Cases and Emergencies that can ordinarily happen to us. And in extraordinary Cases God will take Care, tome way or other,.. that we shall 110t be at a Loss. And therein fore, to pretend to the Spirit now-a-days, · either for preaching, or praying, or pro
phecying, or denouncing God's Judgments, or for any other thing, in such a way as implies immediate Inspiration ; or to set up a Light within us, contrary to the Light of Reason, or different from the Light of Scripture without us ; I lay, to do this is such a piece of Folly and Freakishness, that if all of us should incline this way, it would prefently render Mankind fitter for a Bethlehem, or an Hospital of Lunaticks, than to live in free Society.
But I shall not pursue this point, or any other, further. Let us heartily acquiesce in that Light and Assistance which it hath pleased God to bestow upon us by Means of his Holy Spirit. And let us always most readily and chearfully yield Obedience to all his Motions, and pray constantly for his Directions and Assistance; devoting our selves entirely to the Service of God, in those ways which his blessed Son hath laid before us in the Gospel.
ing of the Spirit. Of the different
[Deliver'd in Two Sermons.]
Eph. IV. 30.
ge are sealed to the Day of Redemption.
FONTOR the right understanding of
what is meant by grieving the O Holy Spirit, it is fit that we
carefully distinguish between
chefe four Expressions, viz. reffling the Spirit; blafpheming the Spirit ; quenching the Spirit; and grieving the Spirit. All these are fcripture Expressions, and denote some Affront put upon the Holy Ghost, fome Sin committed against him. But yet they have every one of them dif
ferent Significations, and are used to quite different Purposes, tho? comnion Readers make no Distinction between them. I will give you a short Account of each of them, the rather, because hereby we may rectify some popular Mistakes in these Matters. · I. And first as to that Phrase of resisting the Spirit, so far as we can judge of the Sense of it by the Context, it is spoke with respect to those who wickedly oppose the Truth of God, when it is declared to them. They are said to relift the Holy Ghost, who obftinately stand out against those Means that the Spirit of God makes Use of for the converting them to the true Religion. Thus , St. Stephen, in the seventh of the Aits, tells v.si. the unbelieving Jews, Ye ftiff-necked, says he, and uncircumcised in Heart and Ears, ye do always refift the Holy Ghost; as your Fathers did, lo do ve. How was it now that their Fathers resisted the Holy Ghoft? Why that we may learn from what follows: They, perfecuted and flew the Prophets whom God sent to them from Time to Time to declare his Will to them. And how was it that they, the Children, viz. the prefent Generation, refifted the Holy Ghoft? Why in that, notwithstanding the powerful Miracles that Jesus Christ and his Apostles wrought among them by the Spirit, they still continued Infidels and Opposers of the Gofpel: This was their relifting the Spirit: From whence we may gather, that it is not every
Disobedience or Non-compliance with a good Motion that is made in our Souls, that may be called a resisting of the Spirit : But it must be a wilful, perverse, obstinate oppofing of God's Truth that doth deserve that Name.
2. In the second Place, as for blafpheming or speaking against the Holy Ghost, that is a Degree higher than this, for it implies not only the not being convinced by the Miracles that were wrought for the Proof of Christ's Religion; but further, by flandering or calumniating the Spirit by which
they were wrought, saying, That he was Mark 3. not the Spirit of God, but Beelzebub the
Prince of the Devils. This was the Sin of the Pharisees, and it appeared so heinous in
the Eyes of our Saviour, that he declares, Mark 3. that whosoever mall blafpheme against the 29, 30. Holy Ghost hath never Forgiveness, but is in
danger of eternal Damnation, because they faid he hath an unclean Spirit. So that without doubt that famous Sin, which we call the Sin against the Holy Ghost, and which is looked upon as unpardonable, is nothing else but our attributing the Miracles of Christ to the Power of the Devil. From whence we may judge whether any of those People among us, who are apt to fancy they have committed that Sin, can possibly be guilty of it.
3. As to the Phrase of quenching the Spirit, we meet with it among the Precepts