« EdellinenJatka »
of God, King and Lord of all things, our faithful advocate and mediator. Then shall true godliness increase, then shall virtue blessedly grow and bring forth fruit in us, if we with stedfast faith do consider, that our Lord Jesus Christ died for our sakes, rose again from death, and is exalted at the right hand of God, reigning mightily above all things in heaven, and finishing our salvation, if we in spirit and in the truth worship and honour him as the eternal God; confessing with a true faith, that all power is given unto him of God the Father, that he careth for us, and that for our health's sake he ruleth and shall reign, until all things be brought under his feet. In the meantime he daily in his church purifieth all his members by his Spirit, cleansing them still more and more from all their sins. And when he shall have rooted out all sin in his elect, overcoming death the last enemy, so that God shall be all in all; then shall Christ also give up his kingdom unto God the Father, namely, the mediation for our sins, the purging of the same, defence against the devil, and deliverance from death. For then shall there be no more sin in the elect; so that he shall not need to be mediator for them, to purge from sin, to defend against the devil, or to deliver from death.
O merciful Father, grant us perfectly to know the blessed and glorious kingdom of Christ thy Son: draw up our hearts in such sort, that we with all obedience may yield ourselves into this kingdom, seeing and regarding only those things that are above, and wholly applying ourselves unto this end, that the same heavenly kingdom may be far spread abroad and known unto all men; to the intent, that as for all worldly things, wherein many foolish people set all their salvation, but in vain, men may utterly refuse them, and heartily with body and soul, and with their whole life, may give over themselves perfectly unto the only Lord Jesus Christ, the true God. For thy good pleasure it was, O God, that in him all perfectness should dwell, and that by him all things towards thee should be reconciled and pacified through his blood, whether they be in heaven or in earth. Grant us, O God, unity and brotherly love in thy holy church; kindle our hearts to fervent and devout prayer ; make us diligently to watch, and circumspectly to wait for [1 Old edition, thy.]
the coming of thy beloved Son, that we neither be drunken in excess and bodily lust, nor entangled with the snares of this world; but that we, having always the eyes of our heart open, and praying with upright minds, may cheerfully meet our Redeemer, and joy with him for ever. To him be eternal praise and honour. Amen.
THE SENDING OF THE HOLY GHOST.
[Acts ii. 1—4.]
When the fifty days were come to an end, they were all with one accord together in one place; and suddenly there acts ii. came a sound from heaven, as it had been the coming of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they sat. 'And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as they had been of fire, and it sat upon each one of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, even as the same Spirit gave them utterance.
DOCTRINE AND FRUIT.
HERE the evangelist Luke describeth, how that after Christ entered into his glory, the gospel, even the heavenly doctrine and grace, was opened unto the world down from heaven by a glorious and great miracle. For though the law, which is the will of God, and also the gospel, that is his grace, hath from the beginning been always in the world, namely, in the hearts of God's elect children; yet was each one of them at several times gloriously uttered unto the world by manifest and apparent miracle. And like as the Holy Ghost was in the hearts of the faithful believers, (for after the resurrection he gave the Spirit unto the disciples ;) even so here he giveth them the Spirit with an open miracle, and with
ore perfect working and power. For the Spirit which unrist gave them after his resurrection, when he breathed upon them, was given this day with more perfection ; that is to say, his operation and strength declared itself more evi
dently and more perfectly, and shewed his presence by the visible miracle.
Thus it is here described, how the promises of Christ and of the prophets made as concerning the Holy Ghost were fulfilled, and how the same Holy Ghost, who is the teacher of the truth, the earnest-penny of salvation, the wedding-ring of grace, and joy of the mind, was given. Now when it is said that the Holy Ghost is given unto men, the same may be understood of the gifts and operations of the Holy Ghost; for though God may be comprehended of man's mind, yet can he not be included or shut therein. Nevertheless, his gifts, according to his will and pleasure, are poured and measured into our hearts, unto every one so much as may serve to his welfare and profit.
Whoso is desirous to know where the Holy Ghost is promised unto faithful believers, let him read Ezech. xxxvi. xxxix. Joel ü. Matt. iii. Now look, what God the Father hath promised by his ministers, the same also doth Christ his Son promise : whereby we may see that the Son hath like power with the Father, and that there is but one only Spirit of them both, as we may read, Luke xïi. John vii. xiv. IV.
1 Cor. xii.
But before we come to the sending of the Spirit, we will first substantially and well peruse the story, and look what may be gathered thereof: for here is nothing written or set down in vain.
The evangelist doth here make mention of “the fiftieth day," upon the which this great wonder was done. In the which there lieth hid a notable mystery. The Jews, from the day that they offered the Easter lamb, told fifty days, and upon the fiftieth day was the Feast of Weeks; in the which feast they kept holiday, offering unto God a willing sacrifice of the first-fruits, when they cut them down. We begin to number from the resurrection of Christ, our Easter lamb, who also was offered up. Upon the fiftieth day, when the fruits began now to be ripe and ready to be reaped, the harvest also being great, and the labourers few, then sent God his Spirit to prepare and furnish the disciples, that they from amongst the heathen might gather fruit together unto the Lord. And like as before time, when the children of Israel was departed out of Egypt, the law was given of God
unto the people upon the fiftieth day; even so was it convenient that upon the fiftieth day the Holy Ghost should be given to the disciples ; which Holy Ghost is both an inter- 2 Cor. iii. preter and fulfiller of the law. The place where the Holy Ghost was given is Sion: for there Christ commanded his Luke xxlv. disciples to wait, and from that place should the law of God, according to the saying of the prophets, proceed forth into Isai. ti the whole world. Therefore like as aforetime the law was given upon mount Sinai, even so was the Spirit given upon mount Sion. Upon Sinai did God at that time with some terrible things declare his might and power, his plague also and vengeance, which should fall upon those that despised his law; and therefore was there such fearfulness through lightnings, thunderings, and other like terrible things. Here there is heard a noise, mighty and vehement, but not horrible Note. and fearful; in the which wind is signified, that the doctrine of the Spirit should speedily and with power break in through the world, and bring fruit; and that no man should be so mighty as to hinder the strength thereof, even as the wind in his course can by no man be kept back.
Whereas fiery tongues do appear and are seen, it signifieth the manifold speeches and instruction, which the Spirit giveth to Christ's disciples; the zeal also and ferventness that he worketh in their hearts, making them altogether fire, and kindling them in such sort, that even their words are fervent, and pierce afterwards into the hearts of others. All weakness, fear, and coldness removeth he out of them, so that they are not afraid manfully to step forth before all the people ; although not long before they durst not abide, but fled from the Lord. Now they confess him to be the Saviour of all the world, whom they before had denied.
Whereas the tongues were divided, it signifieth the diversity of the gifts of the Spirit. Christ promised them in Mark xvi., that they should “speak with other tongues,” or with a new speech or language; which promise is now performed unto them. The tongues of christian men ought to Eph. iv. be garnished with gentleness and with the Holy Ghost, that Col. iv. no foul or wanton talk proceed out of their mouth. The tongues that pronounce and confess Christ, the eternal Truth, and his sincere Spirit, must not lie, neither talk any unclean, hurtful, nor venomous thing; for unto all such