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ædificationem \'(as the Apostle calls it), for edification,' and building us up to be a holy temple to the Lord.
2. But when we had been taught all these mysterious articles, we could not, by any human power, have understood them, unless the Spirit of God had given us a new light, and created in us a new capacity, and made us to be a new creature, of another definition. Animalis homo, fuxicòs, that is, as St. Jude expounds the word, aveõua un éxwv, “ The animal, or the natural man, the man that hath not the Spirit, cannot discern the things of God, for they are spiritually discernedo;" that is, not to be understood but by the light proceeding from the Sun of Righteousness, and by that eye whose bird is the holy Dove, whose candle is the Gospel.
Scio incapacem te sacramenti, impie,
Haurire nostram : nil diurnum nos capitd. He that shall discourse Euclid's elements to a swine, or preach (as venerable Bede's story reports of him) to a rock, or talk metaphysics to a boar, will as much prevail upon his assembly, as St. Peter and St. Paul could do upon uncireumcised hearts and ears, upon the indisposed Greeks, and prejudicate Jews. An ox will relish the tender flesh of kids with as much gust and appetite, as an unspiritual and unsanctified man will do the discourses of angels or of an Apostle, if he should come to preach the secrets of the Gospel. And we find it true by a sad experience. How many times doth God speak to us by his servants the prophets, by his Son, by his Apostles, by sermons, by spiritual books, by thousands of homilies, and arts of counsel and insinuation; and we sit as unconcerned as the pillars of a church, and hear the sermons as the Athenians did a story, or as we read a gazette ? And if ever it come to pass, that we tremble, as Felix did, when we hear a sad story of death, of righteousness and judgment to come,' then we put it off to another time, or we forget it, and think we had nothing to do but to give the good man a hearing; and as Anacharsis said of the Greeks, they used money for nothing but to cast account withal ; so our hearers make use of sermons and discourses evangelical, but to fill up void spaces of their time, to help to tell an hour with, or pass it without tediousness. The reason of this is,
c 1 Cor. ii. 14.
b 1 Cor. xji. 7.
a sad condemnation to such persons; they have not yet er tertained the Spirit of God, they are in darkness: they were washed in water, but never baptized with the Spirit; 'for these things are spiritually discerned.' They would think the preacher rude, if he should say,—they are not Christians, they are not within the covenant of the Gospel :—but it is certain, that the Spirit of manifestation' is not yet upon them; and that is the first effect of the Spirit, whereby we can be called sons of God, or relatives of Christ. If we do not apprehend, and greedily suck in, the precepts of this holy discipline, as aptly as merchants do discourse of gain, or farmers of fair harvests, we have nothing but the name of Christians; but we are no more such really, than mandrakes are men, or sponges are living creatures.
3. The Gospel is called “Spirit,' because it consists of spiritual promises and spiritual precepts, and makes all men that embrace it truly, to be spiritual men; and therefore St. Paul adds an epithet beyond this, calling it “a quickening Spirito,” that is, it puts life into spirits, which the law could not. The law bound us to punishment, but did not help us to obedience, because it gave not the promise of eternal life to its disciples. “The Spirit,' that is, the Gospel,' only does this : and this alone is it which comforts afflicted minds, which puts activeness into wearied spirit, which inflames our cold desires, and does åvawavpɛī, blows up sparks' into live coals, and coals up to flames, and flames into perpetual burnings. And it is impossible that any man,—who believes and considers the great, the infinite, the unspeakable, the unimaginable, and never-ceasing joys, that are prepared for all the sons and daughters of the Gospel,-should not desire them : and, unless he be a fool, he cannot but use means to obtain them, effective, hearty pursuances. For it is not directly in the nature of a man to neglect so great a good; there must be something in his manners, some obliquity in his will, or madness in his intellectuals, or incapacity in his naturals, that must make him sleep such a reward away, or change it for the pleasure of a drunken fever, or the vanity of a mistress, or the rage of a passion, or the unreasonableness of any sin. However, this promise is the life of all our actions, and the Spirit that first taught it, is the life of our souls.
e 1 Cor. sv. 45.
4. But, beyond this, is the reason which is the consummation of all the faithful. The Gospel'is called the Spirit,' because by and in the Gospel, God hath given to us not only
the Spirit of manifestation,' that is, of instruction and of catechism, of faith and confident assent; but the Spirit of confirmation, or obsignation to all them that believe and obey the Gospel of Christ : that is, the power of God is come upon our hearts, by which, in an admirable manner, we are made sure of a glorious inheritance; made sure (I say) in the nature of the thing; and our own persuasions also are confirmed with an excellent, a comfortable, a discerning, and a reasonable hope: in the strength of which, and by whose aid, as we do not doubt of the performance of the promise, so we vigorously pursue all the parts of the condition, and are enabled to work all the work of God, so as not to be affrighted with fear, or seduced by vanity, or oppressed by lust, or drawn off by evil example, or abused by riches, or imprisoned by ambition and secular designs. This the Spirit of God does work in all his servants; and is called, the Spirit of obsignation, or the confirming Spirit,' because it confirms our hope, and assures our title to life eternal; and by means of it, and other its collateral assistances, it also confirms us in our duty, that we may not only profess in word, but live lives according to the Gospel. And this is the sense of “the Spirit” mentioned in the text; “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in your" that is, if ye be made partakers of the Gospel, or of the Spirit of manifestation;' if ye be truly entitled to God, and have received the promise of the Father, then are ye not carnal men; ye are ‘spiritual,’ye are 'in the Spirit:' if
have the Spirit in one sense to any purpose, ye have it also in another: if the Spirit be in you, you are in it; if it hath given you hope, it hath also enabled and ascertained your duty. For the Spirit of manifestation' will but upbraid you in the shame and horrors of a sad eternity, if you have not the Spirit of obsignation:' if the Holy Ghost be not come upon you to great purposes of holiness, all other pretences are vain,-ye are still in the flesh, which shall never inherit the kingdom of God.
“ In the Spirit:" that is, in the power of the Spirit. So the Greeks call him ě v Jeov, 'who is possessed by a spirit,' whom God hath filled with a celestial immission; he is said
to be in God, when God is in him. And it is a similitude taken from persons encompassed with guards ; they are in custodia,' that is in their power,' under their command, moved at their dispose ; they rest in their time, and receive laws from their authority, and admit visitors whom they appoint, and must be employed as they shall suffer : so are men who are in the Spirit ; that is, they believe as he teaches, they work as he enables, they choose what he calls good, they are friends of his friends, and they hate with his hatred : with this only difference, that persons in custody are forced to do what their keepers please, and nothing is free but their wills; but they that are under the command of the Spirit, do all things which the Spirit commands, but they do them cheerfully; and their will is now the prisoner, but it is in libera custodia,' the will is where it ought to be, and where it desires to be, and it cannot easily choose any thing else, because it is extremely in love with this, as the saints and angels in their state of beatific vision cannot choose but love God; and yet the liberty of their choice is not lessened, because the object fills all the capacities of the will and the understanding. Indifferency to an object is the lowest degree of liberty, and supposes unworthiness or defect in the object, or the apprehension : but the will is then the freest and most perfect in its operation, when it entirely pursues a good with so certain determination and clear election, that the contrary evil cannot come into dispute or pretence. Such in our proportions is the liberty of the sons of God; it is a holy and amiable captivity to the Spirit: the will of man is in love with those chains, which draw us to God, and loves the fetters that confine us to the pleasures and religion of the kingdom. And as no man will complain that his temples are restrained, and his head is prisoner, when it is encircled with a crown; so when the Son of God hath made us free, and hath only subjected us to the service and dominion of the Spirit, we are free as princes within the circle of their diadem, and our chains are bracelets, and the law is a law of liberty, and his service is perfect freedom ;' and the more we are subjects, the more 'we shall reign as kings;' and the faster we run, the easier is our burden; and Christ's yoke is like feathers to a bird, not loads, but helps to motion, without them the body falls; and we do not pity birds, when in summer we wish them unfeathered and callow, or bald as
eggs, that they might be cooler and lighter. Such is the load and captivity of the soul, when we do the work of God, and are his servants, and under the government of the Spirit. They that strive to be quit of this subjection, love the liberty of outlaws, and the licentiousness of anarchy, and the freedom of sad widows and distressed orphans : for so rebels, and fools, and children, long to be rid of their princes; and their guardians, and their tutors, that they may be ac. cursed without law, and be undone without control, and be ignorant and miserable without a teacher, and without discipline. He that is in the Spirit, is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of the Father, just as all great heirs are ; only, the first seizure the Spirit makes is upon the will. He that loves the yoke of Christ, and the discipline of the Gospel, he is in the Spirit, that is, in the Spirit's power.
Upon this foundation the Apostle hath built these two propositions. 1. Whosoever hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his : he does not belong to Christ at all : he is not partaker of his Spirit, and therefore shall never be partaker of his glory. 2. Whosoever is in Christ is dead to sin, and lives to the Spirit of Christ: that is, lives a spiritual, a holy, and a sanctified life. These are to be considered distinctly.
1. All that belong to Christ have the Spirit of Christ. Immediately before the ascension, our blessed Saviour bid his disciples “tarry in Jerusalem, till they should receive the promise of the Father.” Whosoever stay at Jerusalem, and are in the actual communion of the church of God, shall certainly receive this promise. “For it is made to you and to your children" (saith St. Peter), "and to as many as the Lord our God shall call.”--All shall receive the Spirit of Christ, the promise of the Father, because this was the great instrument of distinction between the law and the Gospel. In the law, God gave his Spirit, 1. to some; to them, 2. extraregularly; 3. without solemnity, 4. in small proportions, like the dew upon Gideon's fleece; a little portion was wet sometimes with the dew of heaven, when all the earth besides was dry. And the Jews called it ‘filiam vocis,' the daughter of a voice,” still, and small, and seldom, and that by secret whispers, and sometimes inarticulate, by way of enthusiasm, rather than of instruction; and God spake by