Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

aggravation as to be only out of the reach of God's pardon and mercy, which to all other moft grieyous Sins extends it self. It cannot I say be poflibly conceiv'd that the honour of a Creature should be thus

preferr'd, thus stronger guarded and fortify'd, than the honour of God himself. It remains therefore that the Holy Ghost, against whom only this unpardonable Sin can be committed, muft of necessity be no Created Being, but God Eternal, Co-essential and Co-equal to the Father and the Son in Unity of Nature, and Distinct from them both in Person only. Which Diftinction when I laall briefly have made appear out of Scripture, I think I shall have shewn you all that is necessary to be known and Believ'd of the Nature, and shall proceed to the Office of the Holy Ghoft. That therefore, tho he is One in Nature with the Father and the Son because he is God, and because there can be but One God, both which Propositions are plainly in many places of Scripture deliverd, yet that he is diftinguish'd from both in his Person, is as manifestly in the same Scriptures taught. From the Father first in all those places which are too numerous to be reckond, and too ob vious to need it, where he is said to be sent by the Father, to be given by the Father, to proceed from the Father, to make Inter

ceflion

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

celsion for us with the Father, and the like, and also from the Son, where he is called the Spirit of the Son, Gal. 4. 6, where he is sent by the Son, where he is said to receive of the Son and thereby to glorify him, He fall glorify me, for he ball receive of mine John 16.14. where we are told that he descended and refted

upon the Son, that the Son was led by him, anointed by him, and by his Operation and Overshadowing Conceiv'd of the Blessed Virgin, and lastly where Our Saviour expressly distinguishes him from himself by calling him Another, John 14. 16. I will pray the Father and he fball give you another Comforter that be may abide with You for ever. And as in all these places of Scripture the Holy Ghoft is diftinguish'd from the Father, and from the Son severally, so very frequently also is he diftinguish'd from 'em both jointly and together. Out of all which I dhall mention but one, because of its clear. bess, which is that account of St Matthew 3, 16. fo he saw the Spirit of God defcending like a Dove and lighting upon him, and lo! a Voice from Heaven saying, this is my

Beloved Son in wobon I am well pleased. Where it is very evident that the Person of the Holy Ghoft was manifeftily diftinguish'd froma the Person of the Son upon whom he lighted, and the Person of the Father who fpake from Heaven of his Son. All which is

enough

1

enough to let us understand that the Holy Scriptures do as certainly and clearly make Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as distinct in their Persons, as they make them One in their Nature. And let thus much suffice as concerning the Effence or Nature of the Holy Ghoft; for this is all that the Word of his own Inspiring has reveald to us of himself, and further it is neither duti. ful, nor reverent, nor safe for us to enquire.

I proceed now to His Office. By His Office I mean that which is peculiarly ascrib'd to Him in the Salvation of Mankind, as the Work wrought by Him, and for which He is purposely sent by the Father and the Son. And That proper and peculiar Office of the Holy Ghost is Sanctification, He being the Author of all Internal Holyness and San&tifying Grace. Not that the Other Persons of the Blessed Trinity are excluded from a joint Concurrence in this work. For all the Actions of the Blessed Trinity, excepting those that are of extrinsecal Relation, are the undivided Works of all the Three. According to that Maxim uniformly and conftantly ever receiv'd in the Catholick Church, Opera Trinitatis ad extra funt indivisa. But because We are of top gross an Understanding to be able to conceive the Distinct Trinity of Persons in the Unity of the Godhead without some Distinction of their Offices and Operations; in reference to Us therefore do's the Scripture condescend so far to our Capacities, as to attribute by way of Appropriation, as Divines call it, some of those Great Works to One Person, and some to Another, after a more special Manner than to the Reft. Thus Power and Creation is commonly ascrib'd to the Father, Wisdom and Redemption to the Son, and Goodness and Sanctification to the Holy Ghoft. According as we are taught in the excellent Catechism of our Church, where the Que, Ation after the Creed being put, What doff thou chiefly learn in these Articles of thy Bem lief, The Answer is, First I learn to believe in God the Father, who hath made me and all the World; Secondly in God the Son, who hath redeemd me and at Mankind; Thirdly in God the Holy Ghost, who fančtifieth me and all the Ele&t People of God. Sanctification then being the chief and peculiar Office of the Blessed Spirit, we shall endeayour to fhew out of Holy Writ, by what Method he proceeds in this great Work, in which his several Operations may more diftinctly be consider'd. *'And the first Operation of this Holy Spi. rit in the Work of our Sanctification is the producing of Faith in us. For we being

able

.

by

by Nature totally void of all saving Truth, and under an impossibility of knowing of ourselves the Will of God, since as the Apostle says, 1 Cor. 2. 10, 11. None knoweth the things of God but the Spirit of God, This Spirit that

searcheth all things, yea even the deep things of God, revealeth them to the Sons of of Men; nor is that all, he does not only propound to us outwardly and generally all Saving Truths in the Holy Books written as they were Infpir’d by him, but inwardly and particularly Illuminates the Understanding of all that Believe, that they may see and embrace the Truth. He is therefore called by the Apostle, Ephef. 1. 17. The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation. Not of Revelation only, in propounding the Object to be Believd, but of Wisdom, in enlightening the Subject that is to Believe. So that pot Only the outward Revelation of the Word of God, but the internal Illumination of the Soul of Man, is altogether both in its firtt Original and all its further Growth and Encrease, the gift of the Holy Ghost. But as the Things of God are Foolishness to the Natural Man's Understanding, so they are Enmity to his Will: the Second Part therefore of this great Work of Sanctification is the renewing of Man's Will by the same Spirit and making it inclinable and obsequious to the Will of God, which is

properly

« PreviousContinue »