Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

off, of finding favour and mercy in that day, of being 2 Tim.i.18. happily rewarded, if we are conscious to ourselves of having endeavoured seriously and carefully to please God, and obey his commandments ? if we can in our hearts say with St. Paul, I have combated the good combat, I have a Tim. iv. finished the race, I have kept the faith; we may also say?, & confidently with him, From henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which in that day the Lord, the righteous Judge, Jhall render unto me: if, by virtue of the Tit. ii. 19, grace of God, which appeared to all men, and according to its instruction, we have denied ungodliness, worldly lusts, and lived soberly, righteously, and piously in this present world, we may joyfully expect the blesed hope and appearance of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

I conclude, exhorting and wishing that the meditation of this most important business may be continually present to our minds ; that we may seem (with that devout man) always to hear the last trumpet founding in our ears, and piercing into our hearts; that so with a pious awe and a well-grounded hope we may expect the coming of our 2 Tim. iv.8. Lord, and love his appearance; that being hence restrained from all impious and vicious conversation, being moved to a watchful and circumfpect pursuit of all virtue and piety, guiding our lives inoffensively in all good conscience toward God and man, we may be able to render a good account, and with comfort unexpressible hear those happy sentences; Well done, good and faithful fervants, Matt. XXV: enter into your Master's joy; Come, ye bleed of my Father, 21, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Unto the possession whereof, God in his mercy bring us, by the merits of our Saviour, in obedience to our Lord, according to the grace and mercy of our most righteous Judge, Jesus; to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for ever, be all praise and glory. Amen.

34.

moly Ghor Jesus; Stace and

I believe in the Wolp Ghoff. THE whole Creed (as was sometime formerly observed) being probably built upon, and seeming no other than an

enlargement or dilatation of that faith and confeffion re-
quired at baptism in the bleffed Trinity; having surveyed
the two former parts concerning the two first Persons,
God the Father, and God the Son; we are now come to
the third great branch thereof, wherein we profess our
belief in the Holy Spirit of God; which is in order the
third grand object of our faith: whereof seeing there is
here only a simple mention (as it were) made, without
any description, any characters thereof expressed, (such as
in this Creed are assigned to the other Persons ; such as
in the Constantinopolitan, and other Creeds after it, are at.
tributed to this, we must endeavour in fome manner to
fupply that omission, by considering, 1. The quid; 2. The
quale, thereof: first, I say, What is its nature ? 2. What
peculiar characters, offices, and operations (according to
that mystical economy revealed in the Gospel) are attri-
buted and appertain thereto?
· As for the first, the nature thereof, or what it is; we
may observe that the word Spirit, (which primitively and
properly signifies wind, or breath,) because the wind is a
being not immediately exposed to sense, yet of great mo-
bility and force, discovering itself to be so by many great
and conspicuous effects, is therefore translated to denote
those excellent intellectual beings, which, by reason of
their more pure and subtle nature, being otherwise indif-

cernible to sense, do yet by manifest operations discover Laf. i. 5. their existence and great activity, are called Spirits : such

as are in the first place God Almighty, (who invisibly pervades and penetrates and actuates all things, and is therefore by even Virgil himself, according to Lactantius and Macrobius's judgment, styled Spiritd) and next the angels, and then the souls of men. Of these beings there is one, mentioned through the Scripture, called the Holy

d- Cælum ac terras, campofque liquentes,

Lucentemque globum Lunæ, Titaniaque aftra
Spiritus intus alit.

Virg. An. vi. .
Otherwbere, . . ;

- Deum namque ire per omnes
Terrasque, tradufque maris, coelumque profundum.

Georg. iv.

Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the eternal Spirit ; and sometimes fimply by way of excellency, the Spirit: the nature of which Spirit we may best understand, by considering that the holy Scripture doth attribute and ascribe to him, 1. Divine properties and perfections, communicably peculiar to God. 2. Divine works and operations. 3. Divine appellations and titles. 4. A coordination in dignity; a participation of divine honour and worship. 5. An essential union with God the Father and God the Son; together with, 6. A personal and relative diftinction from them. Also, 7. A derivation of Being from the two first Persons, with an intimate relation unto : them fpringing thence. From the declaration and proof of which particulars, will plainly follow those doctrines, which we are bound to believe, against those, who have prefumed to contradiet and oppugn either the personality Macedonior the divinity of the Holy Ghost, or his procession from ar

m01lians, Socithe Father and the Son. Briefly therefore, I say, ; nians, and

1: the like, 1. The Scripture ascribes to the Holy Ghost the di- picado vine properties and perfections; the very word holy (so ris. absolutely and specially, and characteristically attributed to him) seems itself to import so much : for, (as it is in Hannah's prayer,) there is none holy as the Lord, there is i Sam. ij. 2. none behide him ; none absolutely, perfectly holy, but God: (holy; that is, by nature exalted and separatedfrom all other things at a distance unapproachable, pecus liarly venerable and august:) whence the Holy One is a Vid. Mr. name and distinguishing attribute of God.

of cod

The name
The nom Med. Difc.

ii. pi 15. Spirit, fimply put, may seem also to imply the fame; denoting highest purity and actuality. : But we have farther the perfections of eternity, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence (the most high perfections, and proper to God) attributed to him. Eternity; for he is expressly called aicónov liveūna; Who through the eternal Spirit of- Heb. ix. 14. fered himself Spotless to God. Omnipresence; Whither, Pf. cxxxix. faith David, shall I go from thy Spirit ? or whither shall 1%. flee from thy presence? The question imports a negation, and a reason thereof: there is no Aying from God's Spie rit, for that it is every where. Omniscience; The Spirit 1 Cor. ii. 10,

11.

10.

searcheth all things, (that is, perfectly to the bottom understands all things,) even the depths of God; the things of God, which to know is as far above a creature, as for one man to know the thoughts, inclinations, and affections of another man; (such an argument St. Paul infinuates.) Particularly prescience, the knowledge of future events, (which is the highest and hardest kind of knowledge, and immediately proper to God, and therefore called divination,) is in a special manner every where appropriated to the Spirit, as the immediate fountain thereof; whence he

is called the prophetical Spirit. To which we may add, i Cor. xii. independency of will and action; For, as St. Paul speaks,

all these things (the production of all those excellent graces, the distribution of all those admirable gifts) doth

the one and the same Spirit work, dividing to every one as John iii, 8. he pleaseth: Ubi vult fpirat; The Spirit blows where he

pleaseth, doth every where what he wi!l. Absolute goodPsal. cxliii. ness; Thy Spirit is good, faith David ; lead me into the

land of uprightness. Perfect veracity, implied by the ab1 John v. 6. stract word, truth; It is the Spirit, faith St. John, that

witnesseth, for the Spirit is truth; truth itself, the highest, most perfect truth..

2. Lastly, omnipotence; demonstrated by those works

which are said to be done by him; which are the greatest * Rom. xv. and hardest possible : such as creation ; a working of mira

cles; revelation of future events; vivification; renovation bi Cor. vi. of men's minds; b justification, and the like; which, both

according to the nature of the thing and in Scripture-acRom. iv. 5.

count, do require a power no less than infinite and most divine to effect them: the places are frequent and obvious, which ascribe such works to the Holy Spirit; I cannot stand to recite them.

3. To the Holy Ghost are also assigned the divine names and titles, Jehovah, Lord, God, and those confequently which go along with them. For often, and upon divers occasions, the same things are said to be done by God, or to God, and by, or to the Spirit; one word interpreting, or concurring in fignification with the other, by reason of that real identity which belongs to the things

19.

11.

fignified by them. It is said of the distrustful and disobedient Israelites in the Psalms, That they tempted God, and Pf. lxxviik limited the Holy One of Israel; that they tempted and" provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies : which is expressed thus by the Prophet Isaiah; They re- Ifa. lxiii.10. belled, and vered his Holy Spirit. St. Peter, in the Acts, chargeth Ananias of having lied to the Holy Spirit, and A&s . 3, 4. having lied to God; Why, faith he, Ananias, hath Satan filled thy heart to lie unto (or cozen) the Holy Spirit? thou hast not lied unto men, but to God: questionless by both those expreffions designing the same thing, and implying the Holy Ghost to be God. Our Saviour is said to be conceived by the Holy Ghost, and therefore to be Luke i. 35. called the Son of God: he is said to perform miracles Rom. xv. sometimes by the power of God, sometimes by the "S. power of the Holy Ghost; If I, faith St. Matthew, by Matt. xii. the Holy Spirit cast out devils : If I by the finger of Luk God cast them out, faith St. Luke. And it is ordinary for 1 Theff. iv. what is sometimes called the Word of God, to be other. Vid. Aets while called the Word of the Spirit ; proceeding from the xxviii. 25, fame understanding, being dictated by the same operation. 2 Cor. iii. We are also said to be Jeoồidaxtos, taught of God, in re- 17. spect to the instruction and guidance received from him : in fine, every good Christian is said to be a temple; a i Cor. iii. temple of God; because the Spirit of God dwells in him. Boha?.29 • 4. A coordinate dignity; a parity of honour and worship with God the Father and God the Son is ascribed to the Holy Spirit : this appears signally in our Saviour's Mat. Ixviii. institution of baptism to be administered in the joint names 19. of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; whereby we are ini. tiated into the like faith and acknowledgment; are obliged to the same worship and obedience of all three Perfons. The same appears by that benedi&tion of St. Paul, imploring upon the Corinthians the divine favour and affistance, according to that mystical economy, which the Gospel exhibits; The grace of our Lord Jesus, and the 2 Cor. xin. love of God, (that is, of God the Father,) and the commu- 14. nion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. As also from that place of St. Paul; By Chrif we have accefs in one Eph. ii. 18.

56.

Lukexi.

26.

« AnteriorContinuar »