Sivut kuvina

of our nature that nothing short of supernatural efforts can remove it from the soil in which it has thriven ever since the fall of man. Without us, there are to be overcome, the allurements and fascinations of the world, the scoffs and taunts of men given up to the world, and, where no other persecution prevails, there may still be experienced the persecution of the tongue, and, that which is peculiarly trying to an upright man, the misinterpretation of motives and principles of action ; and all this, be it not forgotten, aided by the suggestions of the most intellectual of fallen beings, the great enemy of souls, “the Prince of the Power of “ the Air.” What besides the Spirit of God can neutralize such malignant agency, can subdue such powerful internal and external opposition ?

These are no new notions engendered, as you may be told, in the hot-bed of enthusiasm ; but are consistent with the sentiments of a very great majority of religious writers from the Reformation down to the present time. Even Bishop Tomline, though his language on several religious topics indicates a strange aversion to the notions current amongst the majority of pious men, yields his testimony in favour of the doctrine now in contemplation. In explaining the words of the Liturgy, O God, because through the --- weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good

thing, without thou grant us the help of thy grace,' &c. his Lordship says, “ I have only to observe that “ the good thing here mentioned must mean good in the sight of God: such an action our weak and unassisted nature will unquestionably not allow us “ to perform.” To the same purpose he observes in another place, “ The human mind is so weakened and « vitiated by the sin of our first parents, that we “ cannot by our own natural strength prepare it, or put it into a proper state for the reception of a saving faith, or for the performance of the spiritual wor“ ship required in the Gospel; this mental purification si cannot be effected without divine assistance.” Once more: “ The grace of God prevents us Christians " that is, it goes before, it gives the first spring and “ rise to our endeavours, that we may have a good « will: and when this good will is thus excited, the “ grace of God does not desert us, but it works with us when we have that good will.” And again:* It is acknowledged that man has not the disposition, «s and consequently not the ability, to do what in the " sight of God is good, till he is influenced by the Spirit of God.(S)

Christians then ascribe, or ought to ascribe, every intellectual, moral, and spiritual attainment to God. And when we speak of the ordinary influences of the Spirit of God, we mean to impute to the operation of that Spirit our turning from vanity, folly, or thoughtlessness unto God,-our sanctification, all the actions of our Christian course, our constancy and perseverance,

all particular graces and virtues which we seek at his hands-our adoption,--our access to God and assistance in prayer,-our “joy and peace in believ« ing,”-our support in trials and afflictions, and deliverance from temptations,—our continual progress in

(f) Tomline’s Refutation of Calvinism, pp. 54, 60, 61, 67, 68.

holiness; and we affirm that these gifts are not offered to here and there a favoured individual, but to all sincere Christians in every age of the church; for, when speaking of the promise of the Spirit, the declaration of PETER was as universal as language could make it _" the promise is to you and to your children ; and " to all that are afar off (either in point of space or of 66 time), to as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (g) That this opinion is compatible with the uniform tenour of Scripture will be made evident by a few quotations set down promiscuously, as they occur to my mind.

“ No man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith, 66 6Jesus is accursed:' and no man can say · Jesus is “ the Lord' but by the Holy Spirit. There are dif“ ferences of gifts, but it is the same Spirit.” (h) “We .66 have not received the spirit of the world, but that “ which is from God, that we may know the things “ which have been freely given to us of God.” (i) - Such were some of you ; but ye have been washed, 66 ye have been sanctified, ye have been justified, by 56 the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our 6 God.” (K) “ Ye are not in the flesh, but in the “ Spirit; since the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. 66 But if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is " none of his.” “ If through the Spirit ye mortify 6 the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For, as many 6 as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of 6 God.” “The Spirit also helpeth our weaknesses ; (8) Acts, ii. 39.

(h) 1 Cor. xii. 3, 4. See also ver. 6. (i) I Cor. ü. 12.

(k) 1 Cor. vi 11.

“ for we know not what we should pray for as we " ought; but the Spirit itself intercedeth for us “ in groans which cannot be expressed :” (1) or, as Doddridge renders the latter clause, “ the Spirit “ itself manages affairs for us with unutterable groan6 ings.” “ The God of hope fill you with all joy “ and peace, in believing; that ye may abound in “ hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” “ That “ the Gentiles might be made an acceptable offering, “ being sanctified by the Spirit.(m) “ He who “ hath begun a good work in you, will finish it until “ the day of Jesus Christ.” (n) “ They that wait “ upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” () “My “ gracious assistance is sufficient for thee; for my “ power is made perfect in weakness.” (p) “He “ saved us, not by works of justification which we did, “ but according to his mercy, by the washing of rege6 neration, even the renovation of the Holy Spirit, $6 which he shed on us richly, through Jesus Christ 6 our Saviour.” (9) 66 That good doctrine, which is “ committed to thy trust, keep, through the Holy “ Spirit which dwelleth in us." (0) - Where the - Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (8) “ The 5 love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy “ Spirit which hath been given us.” (t) “That ye may “ be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by “ faith ; that being rooted and grounded in love, ye

(1) Rom. viii. 9, 14, 26. Dodd. in loc. (m) Rom. xv. 13, 16. (n) Phil. i. 6. (0) Is. xl. 31. (p) 2 Cor. xii. 9. (9) Tit. iii. 5 (O) 2 Tim. i. 14.

() 2 Cor. ii. 17. (t) Rom. v. 5.

“ may know the surpassing love of the knowledge of “ Christ.” “ For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, “ peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithful“ ness, meekness, temperance.” (v) “ Unless a man 6 be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter " into the kingdom of God.” “He that abideth in 66 me and I in him, he beareth much fruit: but, seyered “ from me, ye can do nothing." 66 Nevertheless, it is “ expedient for you that I go away; for, if I go not “ away, the Advocate (Comforter, Monitor, or In“ structor, Ilapaxantos,) will not come unto you; but if “ I go I will send him unto you. And when he is 6 come he will convince the world of sin, of righteous“ ness, and of judgment. When he cometh, even the Spirit of truth, he will guide you into all the “ truth.” (w) “ We are witnesses of these things, “ and so is the Holy Spirit also, which God hath given 6 to those that obey him.” (x) 5 Ye have received “ the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father. “ The Spirit itself bearing witness with our spirit, that “ we are the children of God.” (y) • In whom ye, “ having believed, have been sealed with the Holy “ Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inhe“ ritance, unto the redemption of the purchased pos“ session.” “ Through him we both have access by “ one Spirit unto the Father.” (z) “ I can do all things through him who strengtheneth me.(a) “ Know ye not that ye are the temple of God; and

(v) Eph. iii. 16, 18, 19. Gal. v. 22. (z) John, iïi. 5. xv. 5. xvi. 7, 8, 13. (x) Acts, v. 32.

(y) Rom. viii. 15, 16. (2) Eph. i. 13, 14. ii. 18. (a) Phil. iv. 13,

« EdellinenJatka »