« PreviousContinue »
expect particular Impulses from the Holy Ghost upon every Occasion that presented its self, where they wanted either Light or Direction : And all this was indeed little enough for the Discharge of that great Work they had upon their Hands, viz. the bringing over the World from Judaism and Heathenism to Christianity. But that being once done, and the Gospel of Christ, and all Things pertaining to it, being plainly left in Writing by the Apostles or Apostolical Men ; as there would from henceforward be no need of those Asliftances of the Spirit ; so it would be a vain thing to expect them. We are not to desire these immediate Revelations, nor to expect that God should vouchsafe them to us if we prayed for them. God hath declared all his Will, that is necessary for us to know, by our Saviour and his Apostles : And the Rules which they have given us, together with our own natural Light and Reafon, and the other outward Means and Helps of Instruction which are every Day at hand among us, are sufficient, abundantly sufficient, to guide and direct us, both as to believe and practise, thro' all the Cases and Emergencies that can ordinarily happen to us. And in extraordinary Cases God will take Care, fome way or other, that we shall not be at a Loss. And there fore, to pretend to the Spirit now-a-days, either for preaching, or praying, or pro
phecying, or denouncing God's Judgments, or for any other thing, in such a way as implies immediate Inspiration; or to set up a Light within us, contrary to the Light of Reason, or different from the Light of Scripture without us ; I say, to do this is such a Piece of Folly and Freakishness, that if all of us should incline this way, it would presently render Mankind fitter for a Bethlehem, or an Hospital of Lunaticks, than to live in free Society.
But I shall not pursue this point, or any other, further. Let us heartily acquiesce in that Light and Assistance which it hath pleased God to bestow upon us by Means of his Holy Spirit. And let us always most readily and chearfully yield Obedience to all his Motions, and pray constantly for his Directions and Assistance; devoting our selves entirely to the Service of God, in those ways which his blessed Son hath laid before us in the Gospel.
ing of the Spirit of the different
[Deliver'd in Two Sermons. ]
EPH. IV. 30.
je are sealed to the Day of Redemption.
OR the right understanding of
what is meant by grieving the
Holy Spirit, it is fit that we
these four Expressions, viz. refping the Spirit; blafpbeming the Spirit ; quenching the Spirit; and grieving the Spirit. All these are scripture Expressions, and denote fome Affront put upon the Holy Ghoft, some Sin committed against him. But yet they have every one of them dif
ferent Significations, and are used to quite different Purposes, tho? common Readers make no Distinction between them. I will give you a short Account of each of them, the rather, because hereby we may rectify some popular Mistakes in these Matters.
1. And first as to that Phrase of resisting the Spirit, fo far as we can judge of the Sense of it by the Context, it is spoke with respect to those who wickedly oppose the Truth of God, when it is declared to them. They are said to resist the Holy Ghost, who obftinately stand out against those Means that the Spirit of God makes Use of for the converting them to the true Religion. Thus St. Stephen, in the seventh of the Afts, tells v.51. the unbelieving Jews, Ye fiiff-necked, says he, and uncircumcised in Heart and Ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghoft; as your Fathers did, so do je.
How was it now that their Fathers resisted the Holy Ghost? Why that we may learn from what follows: They perfecuted and slew the Prophets whom God sent to them from Time to Time to declare his Will to them. And how was it that they, the Children, viz. the present Generation, resisted the Holy Ghoft? Why in that, notwithstanding the powerful Miracles that Jesus Christ and his Apostles wrought among them by the Spirit, they fill continued Infidels and Opposers of the Gospel: This was their refifting the Spirit: From whence we may gather, that it is not every Vol. V.
Disobedience or Non-compliance with a good
2. In the second Place, as for blasphem-
they were wrought, saying, That he was
Prince of the Devils. This was the Sin of
the Eyes of our Saviour, that he declares,
danger of eternal Damnation, because they
3. As to the Phrase of quenching the Spi-