« AnteriorContinuar »
he did predestinate, them he also called? Acts
As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed. It is effectual on them, in that, sooner or later, they certainly come to Christ upon the Call : John vi. 37. ' All that the Father giveth me,
Thall come to me.' Our effectual Calling is the work of God's Spirit ; 1 Theff. i. 4. 5. ' Knowing, brethren beloved, your 6 election of God. For our gospel came not un
to you in word only, but also in power, and in . the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.' John vi. 63. It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh
profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are fpirit, and they are life.' And thereby he doth perfttade and enable us to embrace Jesus Chrift freely offered to us in the Gospel. The Spirit renders the Gospel-call effectual on us, powerfully determining us, and putting us in a Capacity, to answer the Call
, by embracing Christ
. He determines us to answer the Gospel-call, by persuading us effectually to embrace Christ: Gen, ix. 27. God shall enlarge [Marg. perfuade] Ja
pheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem. John vi. 44. 45. ' Nó man can come to me, ex
cept the Father which hath fent mé, draw him : " and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. 'Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh
unto me. Phil. ii. 13. 'It is God which work* eth in you, both to will and do of his good pleasure. He puts us in a to answer
co the Gospel-call, by enabling us to embrace Chrift, John vi. 44. 45. Phil. ii. 13. above cited. There is need of the Spirit's calling us effectually, by
persuading and enabling us to come to Christ in Union and Communion with him ; because, being in ourselves dead in Sin, we are neither willing nor able to come: John v. 25. ' Verily verily I • say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, r when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of • God: and they that hear, Tall live. Compared with Psal. cx. 3. ' Thy people shall be willing in • the day of thy power.' Phil. ii. 13. John vi. 44. forecited.
The Spirit perfuades and enables us to embrace Jesus Christ freely offered to us in the Gospel, by convincing us of our Sin and Mifery, enlightening our Minds in the Knowledge of Christ, and renewing our Wills. The Work of the Spirit for per. suading and enabling us to embrace Christ, is threefold ; namely, Conviction, saving Illumination, and the renewing of the Will. But Conviction is not a, Work of the Spirit, of the fame Kind with the other two.
Conviction is a work of the Spirit, acting as a Spirit of Bondage upon us, Rom. viii. 15. The Spirit, acting as a Spirit of Bondage, convinceth us of our Sin and Misery : John xvi. 8. ' And + when he is come, he will reprove the world of
fin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.' AETS ii. 37. Now when they heard this, they were
pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter, and • to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, • what shall we do?' The Effect of the Spirit's Work of Conviction upon us, is a Sight of our Sins as heinous in the Sight of God, and of his Wrath due to us for them, filling us with Remorse, Terror, and Anxiety, John xvi. 8. Acts il. 37. forecited. Chap. xvi. 29. . Then he [the jailor] called for a light, and sprang in, and came • trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas.' The Word of God by which the Spirit works that Conviction, is the Law : Rom. iii. 20. ' By the * law is the knowledge of fin. He convinceth us of our Sin by it, bringing home on our Consciences the Commands of the Law, as of divine Authority, and binding on us in particular : Rom. vii. 7.
What shall we say then? is the law fin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin but by the
law : for I had not known lust, except the law • had faid, Thou shalt not covet. Compared with Exod. xx. i.? And God spake all these words, dc. He convinceth us of our Misery by it, bringing home on our Consciences the Curse of the Law, as the Curse of the Lord himself, binding on
us in particular : Gal. iii. 10. . As many as are
of the works of the law, are under the curse : « for it is written, Cursed is every one that .con
tinueth not in all things which are written in the • book of the law to do them. Compared with Rom. iii.
19: “Now we know that what things soever the law faith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped,
and all the world may become guilty before God.' Mal. iii. 9. 'Ye are curled with a curse; for ye,
have robbed me. That Law-work doth not iffue in Faith and Conversion, in all whom it is wrought upon : Matth. xxvii. 3. 4. 5.' Then Ju" das, which had betrayed him, when he faw that "he was condemned, repented himself, and brought
again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed,
- and went and hanged himself.' Acts xxiv. 25.
And as Paul reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled,
and answered, Go thy way for this time; when • I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. Neither is that Law-work of the fame Measure in all that are converted : Luke xix. 6. 'And Zaccheus ! made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.' Compared with Aets ix. 9. And
Saul was three days without fight, and neither • did eat nor drink. But so much of it is neces. fary, as brings the Soul to see an absolute Need of Christ, and to defpair of Relief by any other Way : Gal. iii. 24. " Wherefore the law was our * schoolmaster, to bring us unto Christ, that we
might be justified by faith.' Luke vi. 48. 'He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep,
and laid the foundation on a rock,' &c. The Part this Law-work of the Spirit hath in the persuading and enabling us to embrace Jesus Christ, is, that it begins the Persuasion. It begins the Persuasion, urging us with our lost and undone State, and our Need of a Saviour: Gal. iii. 23. < But before faith came, we were kept under the
law, shut up unto the faith which should after
wards be revealed.' Exod. xx. 18. 19. And all • the people saw the thunderings, and the lighten(ings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the
mountain smoking: and when the people faw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they
faid unto Mofes, Speak thou with us, and we • will hear : but let not God speak with us, lest we
die.' But this Law-work neither perfects the Persuasion, nor enables us to embrace Christ: Rom. viii. 3. ' For what the law could not do in that it
was weak through the Aesh, God sending his
own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for • sin condemned sin in the Aesh.'. Heb. vii. 19.
For the law made nothing perfect, but the bring|ing in of a better hope did.'
Saving Illumination, and the renewing of the Will, are Works of the Spirit acting as a Spirit of Life within us : 2 Cor. iv. 6. "For God, who com
manded the light to shine out of darkness, hath ! shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of
Jesus Christ.'- Compared with John viii. 12, • Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am
the light of the world : he that followeth me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Ezek. xxxvi. 26. 27. 'A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I
you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your Aesh, and I will give you an heart of Aesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and
ye shall keep my judgments, and do them The Spirit of Life, from Christ the Head, is conveyed into us in the Word : John vi. 63. It is
the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Not in the Word of the Law, but in the Word of the Gospel : Gal. iii. 2. This only would I learn of you, Received
ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the
hearing of faith? 2 Cor. iii. 7. 8. But if the • ministration of death written and engraven in ' stones, was glorious, so that the children of • Ifrael" could not stedfastly behold the face of Mofes, for the glory of his countenance, which