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is the Spirit enemy. Therefore are they not fleshly, but fiery and spiritual tongues; out of the which the fire of the Spirit hath consumed all moisture of worldly and carnal wantonness, and God with his own love hath kindled them. How could the apostles else have been instructors of the whole world, if the Spirit had not taught them the diversity of tongues? O the great wisdom and grace of God, who at all times for our wealth hath set forth and offered unto us poor men his high, spiritual, heavenly things, under corporal and visible tokens ! For how might we carnal men else understand godly matters, if they were not exhibited with visible and bodily things ? Therefore hath God always this custom, that he represent unto us his high gifts under those tokens, which are most known of us, and likest unto those things which he offereth us; and so with human things he covereth divine and godly things. Not that God is closed or shut in with things of men; but that celestial and heavenly things, set forth unto us by such as be earthly, might be of us the better understood. For else every man of knowledge wotteth well, that the Holy Ghost is not a dove, neither a wind, a tongue, fire, nor water. For God is not a thing corporal, neither a thing that can be felt or comprehended with outward senses. Notwithstanding, things invisible are the better known and perceived of us, when they be set forth and represented by visible things ; namely, by such as have some similitude with the invisible and spiritual things; and so far as natural things may set forth heavenly matters, do perfectly describe before our eyes the nature and property of them. Therefore doth the Spirit appear in the form of fiery tongues, and with a sound ; that thereby the two principal senses of men might be moved, namely, his hearing and seeing : for the sound toucheth the ears, and the fire moveth the sight. Like as Christ also in the supper with bread and wine, to move the outward senses of men, thought to represent his body and blood. For by bread is signified unto us the true body of Christ, which died for us upon the cross, and by wine the blood that was shed for our sins; which true flesh and blood they that believe do at the supper eat and drink through faith: by the which food and sustenance their souls are upholden to the gracious and eternal life.
Thus with exterior tokens it pleased the wisdom of God
to guide the outward senses of his disciples into the obedience of faith, and under the same to signify and declare the strength and operation of the Holy Ghost. For like as the wind bloweth through the whole earth, piercing, moving, and altering all privy and secret places ; even so the Spirit of God goeth through all things, searching all secret corners and inward minds of men : mightily also he worketh in men's hearts, kindling and changing them. He is the clear, pure, and hot fire, that consumeth all filthiness of sin, inspiring men's hearts, and drawing them upward to God.
Without this Spirit may a man work no fruitful thing, yea, think no good thing : for man is nothing but flesh, neither considereth he of himself aught that is spiritual or godly, but only carnal things. Forasmuch now as the wisest and most gracious God knoweth this so to be; whereas he hath made man his creature, to have fruition of himself, he will not suffer him to corrupt in the flesh, but give him his own holy Spirit.
God the Father, through Christ his eternal Word, did shape man out of the mould of the earth, and created him after his own similitude and likeness. Now is God a Spirit; therefore the image of God in man must needs be spiritual : which image in the inward man is such a thing, as partly doth express and declare God that created him.
But when man, being deceived through the devil, fell into sin, and lost this image; then the proportion of God's pure Spirit, in whom his image was printed, was defaced, and the image of God lost his beauty : so that the noble man, who at the first was of God, so fair and goodly fashioned and beautified in similitude of God, became after sin like unto the devil, filthy and shameful, yea, altogether carnal, having nothing more of the Spirit in him, as the scripture in the book of Creation testifieth. Forasmuch now as the miserable Gen. vi. man was degenerate from, the noble, spiritual, and godly nature, to an unclean, carnal, and devilish disposition, becoming altogether flesh; he was able no more either to think or work any spiritual or godly thing.
All his thoughts and imaginations are carnal, in that he is fallen into eternal death, and hath lost the life of the Spirit: “ for the affections and lusts of the flesh are death ; Rom. viii. but the desires of the Spirit are life and peace. The affec
into sevirit, in Cod lost. Cod, so
tions of the flesh are enmity against God; for the flesh is not subject unto the law of God, neither can be : they therefore which are in the flesh cannot please God.” Now when man, who had taken so hurtful a fall, was brought down from life unto death, from the grace of God into his wrath, life might not be given him again but by the Spirit of God, whom man by sin hath lost.
Therefore like as the Father at the beginning had created man, so fashioneth he him again by his Son; who overcometh and destroyeth death, and giveth unto us again the way of immortality. “For into a froward soul entereth not the Spirit of God :" therefore is it convenient and necessary, that such foul and corrupt flesh be purged and cleansed again. By Christ the eternal Word were all things created; by him therefore, after the fall, must all things be restored again. For this cause died Christ upon the cross, to banish the sin of the world, and to make satisfaction for it. From death he also riseth again, to give us a certain and assured hope and an undoubted pledge of an immortal and eternal life, and that he hath overcome death and sin for us.
Immediately after the resurrection, he breatheth upon his disciples, and giveth them the Holy Ghost; to declare that he is the same, who at the beginning created our nature, and sealed it with his Spirit; and that it is even he, who now, in the beginning of a new life, must by his Spirit renew and restore our decayed nature again; that thus Christ, who is the living and “ express image of the invisible God,” may be fashioned and formed of the new in us. Now cannot Christ the image of God be right proportioned and renewed in us but by the Holy Ghost. Now like as Christ after the resurrection gave his disciples the Spirit, to print into them a new life, whereby they knew and were assured, that he was the
fountain and giver of the Spirit; and therefore he said, John xvi. : “ All that the Father hath is mine;" item, “All power is
given unto me in heaven and in earth ;" even so immediately after the same he ascended up into heaven, to declare unto them, that he was the Lord of all things. Out of the high and real throne, where he sitteth at the right hand of God his Father, Christ the eternal King sent down his holy Spirit upon all flesh, that we by him might obtain the old innocency and salvation again ; and that the image of God,
Heb. i. Col. i. Gal. iv.
stained and defiled by sin, might be restored unto us, and that we thus might become partakers of eternal life. What they be, unto whom God giveth his Spirit, that see we well here; namely, even unto those, that in unity of faith and fervent love are gathered together with one accord; for of all unity he is the fountain and original. In contentious and proud hearts dwelleth not the Holy Ghost: therefore is it meet that we pray :
Come, O Holy Spirit, replenish the hearts of thy faithful believers, and kindle in them the fire of thy love, thou that through manifold tongues hast gathered together all the nations of the heathen in unity of faith. O take all dissension and discord out of thy holy church, and make us to be of one mind in unfeigned love, without the which we cannot please thee.
[Acts ii, 5—11.]
There were dwelling at Hierusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation of them that are under heaven. Now when this was noised about, the multitude came together, and were astonied; because that every man heard them speak with his own language. They wondered all and marvelled, saying amongst themselves : Behold, are not all these which speak of Galilee? And how hear we every man his own tongue, wherein we were born? Partheans, and Medes, and Elemites, and the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, and of Jewry, and of Capadocia, of Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, of Egypt, and of the parts of Lybia which is besides Syren, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians; we have heard them speak in our own tongues the great works of God.
DOCTRINE AND FRUIT.
The eternal Wisdom hath endued all good minds diligently to learn and search the thing wherein they think
to find that which they desire: and what can be more worthy to be desired, or more acceptable to the mind of men, than eternal life and salvation, which only consisteth in God the highest good of all? Now was the sacred scripture given by the Holy Ghost, that man thereby might be guided and led unto salvation, and to most excellent felicity. For they that exercise themselves in holy scripture, studying and perusing it, ought thus to do; even to direct themselves and others unto life. Therefore, by the ordinance of God, there hath been ever men in all nations, which to instruct others have applied themselves to the scripture; as among the Jews we find Levi, of whom in the prophet Malachi it is written, that “the law of the truth was in his mouth, and no wickedness in his lips; that he walked before God in peace and equity, and converted many from ungodliness : for the lips of the priests are sure of knowledge, and the law is required at his mouth; for he is a messenger of the Lord of hosts.” Thus, as it may well be conjectured, there were at Jerusalem congregations of learned men, that exercised themselves in the holy scripture. For though all wisdom come of God, as the fountain and well, and no man can be learned, whom God himself teacheth not; yet will he not give his grace, Spirit, and knowledge to the idle, slothful, and unthankful, neither to the proud; but unto those that with meekness and fear of God practise themselves in the scripture, and that, applying unto fervent prayer, do not despise the means and gracious gifts granted them of God.
And if any man will say, that all falsehood and destruction, all erroneous doctrine and discord, were come into the church by such as be learned ; let him consider, that the thing which in himself is good, ought not for the abuse's sake to be refused. Remove the abuse, and then the thing is good and profitable. Wine is a profitable and wholesome thing, created of God for the behoof of men, and is never dispraised of any witty man to be evil, because many do abuse it, and is drunken : even so is holy scripture and other profitable sciences to be esteemed as high gifts, although many men, puffed up with pride, blinded in covetousness, and entangled with other affections, have misused the same scriptures.