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the fpirit upon their hearts--but to shew them the glory of Christ, so as to be taken up with him, that when they are asked, what is the reason of their hope, instead of gratifying their pride in telling their experiences, and the operations of the spirit upon their own hearts, whereby they are distinguished from others, they are led to fpeak of what they find in the word as evidency ing the allsufficiency of the work of Christ, as the only hope for the guiļty, as this is evidenced by his resurrection from the dead. So the apostle Peter gives thanks in behalf of himself and the first disciples ist epif. 1 chap. 3d yerse. " blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant inercy hath begotten us agaịn unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." It is þy this they have the answer of a good conscience towards God, chap: üi. 21ę. By this it is, he is declared the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, Romans i,
Soʻthat their hope appears agreeable to that in Romans viii. 33, 34: ”it is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died ;, yea, rather, that is risen again. Here is that grace which when understood is allsufficient to answer any accufation that can be brought from without or from within, and is a foundation of everlasting confolation and good hopenot like those pretended experiences, operations or motions of the spirit, upon which those that build, do often recur, as the only or chief comfort to which they can resort when they find they are not so lively and active as once they were in religion ; but find themfelves disappointed, as when a hungry or thirsty man dreameth that he eateth or drinketh, but he awaketh, and his soul is faint, and empty, and hath appetite; as is evident by their being full of doubts and uncertainties. Yet as without these pretended experiences (or refuges of lies) they can take no comfort from the bare work of Christ, they will still like 2 drowning man catch at them as something to which H 2
they have continual reference to keep thein from sinking, although they leave them perplexed almost to de fpair. But the allsufficient foundation of hope held forth in the gospel, being ever the fame, is allsufficient at all times ; so that the disciples of Christ may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, while they, follow the faith of the apostles, Jesus Christ the fame yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Thus the teaching of the Spirit leads to the beholding the glory of Christ, according to John i. 14. “ And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.!! Just as wheit a guide would shew another the way, he points him forward, and draws his attention to the way he is to go
" thine ear shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it.?? Saith Simeon (when he took up the child Jesus in his arms) " mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou haft prepared before the face of all people. John looking on Jesus as he walked, said, to behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world." The brazen serpent was set up upon a pole, to be seen before the face of thofe that were to be benefited thereby: ¢¢ And as Moses lift
up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, &c.” Agreeable to this the apostle John says (ist epist. i. 1, 2.)“ that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands haye handled of the word of life. For the life was manifefted, and we have seen, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life that was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, have fellowship with us."
? Thus the disciples were þrought into fellowship with the apostles (whose fellowship was with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ) by the belief of their declaration concerning what they had seen and heard of Jesus Christ. Similar to this is
the work and office of the Spirit, shewing the evidence of the truth, and certainty of what the word holds forth concerning Jesus Christ ; which being believed, produces Joy--believing ye rejoice. Thus the design of the work and office of the Spirit in testifying of Christ, and the design of the apostles testimony, are one ; as we see in the above declaration, verse 4. !!. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
So joy in believing is the same with joy of the Holy Ghost. ist of Thef. i. 6. received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.”
The apostle Paul speaking concerning the unbelieving Jews, says, " the vail (upon their heart) remains untaken away in reading the Old Testament. Nevertheless, when it shall turn unto the Lord, the vail shall be
Now the Lord is that Spirit.” 2d of Cor. iii. 14–17:
Whatever vail then be on the minils of any with respect to the scriptures, the knowledge of Christ takes it away ; for he is the great subject of the scriptures,--the spirit of them.-And the Holy Spirit that indited the scriptures, takes of the things of Christ, and shews them as they are testified of him in the scriptures. “And it cannot be kown that any person has the Spirit, but by his being led to the knowledge of Christ, led to see the evidence of the truth reported in the Gospel concerning the dignity of the person, obedience and sacrifice of Christ, so as to be fully fatisfied therein-while others evidence they do not behold his glory, because they cannot find enough in him to satisfy their consciences, unless they have some work of the spirit (as they call it) on their hearts, are born again, changed, sanctified, &c.
. Then they think they should be encouraged to believe, &c. Whereas the teaching of the Spirit shews a completeness in Christ in all these respects agreeable to the word*.
* Here it may be again objected, that no mention is made in this treatise of the work of the Spiris sespecting unbelievers. Doch not the Spirit strive
As for being born again, without which a man canpot see the kingdom of God, neither can enter there into, he is instructed ift John v. 1..“ Whosoever be
with them? Is it not implied in Genesis vi. 3." my spirit shall not always drive with man?"
For answer. -----The Spirit may be said to krive with unbelievers, when he takes the things of Christ, and shews them to his disciples, they beholding his glory, and being led to satisfaction in him, and obedience to him, this being manifett, strikes the consciences of unbelievers, agreeable to Hebrews xi. 7. “ by faith Noah being warned of God, moved with fear, pre. pared an ark to the saving of his hopfe ; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness of faith." Thus the Spirit went and preached to those spirits in prison, who were disobedient, when the longfoffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, eft Peter iii. 19, 20.
This may be further illuftrated from the instance of Cain and Abel. Cain Hew his brother, because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous, ist John iii. 12. But if we enquire, what works! we mall find his facrificing to be all the works we have an account of (except the work of his calling, which had no evil in it.) In this work of facrificing, he is men. tioned first, and his great wrath seems to be because his good works were pot accepted; that the fruit of the ground (an acknowledgement that God was the landlord, and ought to be thanked for his favour) could not find acceptance. The moft costly facrifice would not be at all noticed or respected, unless such as wherein there was a remembrance of kn, a confession of guilt, an eye to deliverance by sacrifice. Upon which is pleased God to condescend to say to him, “why art chou wroth, and why is thy countenance falJen? If thou dost well," shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou dost not well, fin lieth at the door.” (It is said, that the word tranflated doing well in Genesis iv. g. and Abel's offering in faith, Hebrews xi. 4. is the fame.) However it seems the answer of God to him, did not suit bim, did not compofc the tumult of his spirit. The next verse informs us, “ he talked with Abel his brother,"---most likely on the fame disagreeable subject, which no doubt Abel stedfastly adhered to, and persisted in, till Cain could bear with him no longer, but rofe up against him, and New him. Now Cain being an instance of one with whom the fpirit did ftrivé, it may be enquired, how did the spirit ftrive with him ? was it by any work in him, or upon him? or was it not in that God discovered his ynvariable mind and will to him, in the only way in which he would have any thing to do with mankind, in a way of acceptance and intercourse, after the apostacy? and in producing a living instance of one who believed thiş revelation of God, and conformed to his will therein? Which light of the revelation of the mind of God, and life of Abel together, shone so bright that he could not bear it; but moft either submit to it, and walk in the light, and to have fellowship with God in the very fame way (though but under a type) in which the blood of Christ cleanses from all fio; or else manifeft his opposition against God in mordering the only one (that we have an account of) in that day who facrificed in, faith, and obtained witness, that he was righteous. Thus Cain appears to. be refifting the Holy Ghost in the same way that those did of whom Stephen takes notice in Acts vii. 51, 52.
lieveth that Jusus is the Christ, is born of God." It is by the belief of the truth concerning him, that any are brought to the knowledge of the King, or the nature of his kingdom, or become the subjects of it, which is to fee the kingdom of God, and enter thereinto.
As for being sanctified, we are taught to look for it in Christ. Hebrews xüi. 12. " Jefus also that he might fanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate-agreeable to Hebrews x. 9, 10. « Lo, I come to do thy wili, o God. By the which will we are fanctified through the offering of thie body of Jefus Christ once.' And believers may be faid to be fanctified by the Spirit, both as the fanctification
Agreeable to the abovecited inftançes, when Jesus Christ speaks of the Spirit convincing the world of fin, &c. he doth not say, he will send the Spirit to the world for this purpose; but to his difciples, joh# xvi. 7." I will fend lim unto you : And when he is comte, he Thall convince the world of fin,"...which was verified, Acts ii. i to 4. they (viz. the disciples) were with one accord, in one place, and it sat upon ihem. And they were all fitled with the Holy Ghof. This broaght the multitude together. Congea quent upon this, they were able to adminifter matter of conviction to them of their fin in refifting all the evidences of Jesus being the true Mefliah, “ for though he had done fo many miracles, yet believed they got on hind." John xii. 38.---Of jin because they believe not on me.
So when they proved, Acts ii. 33. that he was by the right hand of God exalted, and had received the promise of the Holy Ghost, and had hed it forth according to his promise ; it was manifest that his work was perfect, was finifhed, was to the Father's acceptance, that he was well pleased for his righteousness fake. ---Of righteousness because I go to my Fatber.
Hence they could maké manifeft, that there could be no fafery ia oppofition to him ; this oppofition being always under the government of the prince of this world, who by Christ's exaltation is judged or cast out, and is to be made, with all his ad herents, the footstool of the exalted Jefus. verses 34 35. “ The Lord faid unto my Lord, fic thou at my righe haad till I make thine enemies thy footfool."...Of judgment because the prince of this world is judged.
This feriptural view of the Spirit's friving with men, may ferve to thew how he strives in all ages; and may thew the disciples their duty to strive to gether for the faith of the gospel, and to maintain the order of it (being inHuenced by the hope of itj as the principal means of conviction they are to use with the world around them.
Upon the whole it may be said, that though the Spirit strives with those ia unbelief and disobedience, yet it is not faid, co be given to them, to be sent into them, or to work in them. But," the prince of the power of the air, is the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience," Eph. ii. 2.