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upon this interesting topic, which terminates not in the personal application of it to a man's owo bosom, is merely speculative; the being preached to or reasoned with, by a chain of arguments which end in the bearing of the ear, and pass away from the mind almost as soon as heard, are like impressions made on the sand. And fruitless indeed is all the attention which is given, either to the animating subject of the great Redeemer's love, or to the pleasing consideration of the ministry of the blessed Spirit in the hearts of bea lievers, unless a man can add to both the comfortable assurance, that he is interested in the mercies he contemplates, and will ultimately participate in the blessings resulting from them. But when the serious Christian is led to know and feel his own personal intem rest therein; is convinced that Christ not only died for sin, but for his sin; and that the operations of the Holy Ghost are carried on, not in the world only, but in his soul also; the subject then becomes infinitely interesting, and the mind is gratified with the highest of all possible enjoyments, in the possession of that testimony, which the apostle speaks of with so much rapture, when the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Rom. viii. 16.
As this is, or ougbt to be, the great desideratum of every man's heart; to the attainment of which the several means of grace are directed, and all the institutions of religion minister; I hope I shall be doing no unacceptable service, if my endeavours are exerted in assisting the serious Christian, towards the accomplishment of it. The subject itself is interesting, and as it leads to the examination of the heart, for the traces of the Blessed Spirit's ministry, it will form a very proper sequel to this Essay, and under the divine blessing, enable any man to satisfy himself, on that important question, which the Apostle seems to have considered as the truest criterion of a right faith : " Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?'
All that we can possibly discover, of those secret and mysterious proceedings, is from judging of causes by effects. And therefore, all that I shall venture to speak on this subject will be, to sketch some of the more striking traces of his ministry, as they are manifested in the conversion of the sinner. They may, and certainly
do, différ in various persons, but the prominent points are the same jn all: like the form and features of the buman countenance, which, liowever infinitely diversified, are sufficiently characteristic in every one, to indicate the species to which it belongs.
First-The nature of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of his coming.
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you: but if I depart, I will send him unto you. John xvi. 7.
But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive ; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified. John vii, 39.
What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, wbich is in you, which ye have of God?. 1 Cor. vi. 19.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit which dwelleth in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors; not to the flesh, to live after the fleshi:
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. .
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but
bave received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father,
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
And if children, then beirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ: if so be that we suffer with bim, that we may be also glorified together. Rom. viii. 11-17.
Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them; because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. ii. 14.
Besides referring back to the former article concerning this Almighty Lord, it may be proper to subjoin some of the names and offices by which God the Holy Ghost is known in Scripture. I say some, for to bring forward all, is perhaps beyond the power or the province of man. Our blessed Lord, over and above the sacred names the Holy Ghost bath in common with the Father and the Son, in the essence of the Godbead, bath graciously taught bis Church the special titles and appellations by wbich the Lord the Spirit is known. He is called the Spirit of Truth by Jesus, that leads his Church into all truth, John xiv. 17. Jesus speaks of him as a witness to testify of him, John xv. 26. And bis servant, the apostle Paul, following the steps of his divine Master, calls the Holy Ghost by the same name. See a beautiful account of the Almighty Spirit to this amount, Rom. viii. 1-16. As the Holy Ghost the Comforter, the Lord Jesus most blessedly describes him, John xiv. 16. 26. Indeed, this is his great work; for, under wbatever divine operations the Lord the Spirit brings the people of God, the first and ultimale design of the whole is for consolation. Hence Paul prays for the communion and fellowship of the Holy Ghost to be with the Church, 2 Cor. xiij. 14. And it is most blessed to every
child of God, when brought into the fellowship and communion of the Holy Ghost, to discover how that Spirit opens a coinmunication between Christ and the soul, and keeps it open by the exercises of his grace; so that, while the person of the Father, or the Son, is coming forth to bless the soul, he draws forth and leads out the actings of the soul's faith and love upon the glorious Persons of the Godhead, and gives a joy unspeakable and full of glory.
The Lord Jesus also points to the person and office of the Holy Ghost, as a leader and guide to bis chosen, John xvi. 13.; as a glorifier of Jesus, John xvi. 14.; as the remembrancer of Jesus, John xiv. 26. And, as the prophet Isaiah had been commanded to tell the Church of this sovereign Lord, under bis almigbty offices, as acting with a spirit of judgment, and with a spirit of burning, Isa. iv. 4. the Lord Jesus more fully opens the nature of these heartsearching works of the Holy Ghost, in showing that it consists in convincing of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Jobo xvi. 8
to ll. In short, so many, so diversified, so constant, and so unremitting are the operations of the Holy Ghost on the hearts and minds of the Lord's people, that it must with truth be said, that he, and he only, is the almighty minister in the Church of Christ, and to him alone the whole efficiency of the gospel, both in work and blessing; is committed.
Apd, indeed, the beautiful order in the covenant of grace, and the economy of redemption, makes it necessary so to be. For, as the whole three persons of the Godhead all concurred in the vast design, and all guaranteed to each other concerning the several offices in the departments of grace, so it became essential, that in the carrying on and completing the work, each almighty persoa should be engaged in it, in bis own specific office and character, The Father gave the Church, the Son redeemed the Church, and God the Holy Ghost sanctifies the church. God the Father appear in the Old Testament dispensation, holding forth the promised Sam viour with all his blessings, as coming for salvation; God the Son takes the wonderful subject under the New Testament dispensation, as thus coming and finishing all that was promised in the Old;
that the Son of God hath finished transgression, made an end of sin, and is returned unto glory, God the Holy Ghost is como down, ayreeably to Jesus's and his father's promise, to render ef. fectual the whole purpose of redemption, by his divine offices in the bearts of the redeemed. And thus the church is taught to give equal and undivided praise and glory to the united source of all ber mercies, in the Father's love, the Son's grace, and the Spirit's fellowship
It would be little less than the brief recapitulation of the Bible, to go over all that might be brought forward concerning the agency of God the Holy Ghost in the Church. From the first awakenings of
grace in the heart, until grace is consummated in glory, believers are taught to look to that holy and eternal Spirit, for his leadings and influences in and through all.
The regeneration by the Holy Ghost, in the first motions of the spiritual life, John iii, 3. the baptisms of the Spirit, so essential in the spiritual life, 1 Cor. xii. 13. the illuminations of the Spirit
2 Cor. iv. 6. the indwelling residence of the Spirit, John xiv, 16, 17. the receiving of the Holy Ghost, Acts viij. 15, 16, 17. the walking in the Spirit, Acts ix. 31. the renewing of the Holy Ghost, Titus iii. 5. the sealings and earnest of the Spirit, Eph. i. 13. 2 Cor, v. 5. All these, and infinitely more to the same effect, prove
his sovereign and unceasing agency. But having already swollen this article be yond the usual limits, I must close the observations with only praying that holy and eternal Teacher in the Church of the Lord Jesus, to grant some sweet and precious token of his grace and power, by setting his seal in the heart both of the writer and reader, that the truth of his ministry may be known, and felt, and adored, to bis glory, and to our comfort and joy. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost ; Rom. xv. 13. Dr. IIawker.
Wbát is the Spirit of Christ?
The Holy Ghost, truly residing (1 Cor. iii. 16.) and powerfully working in all them that are Christ's, (Rom. v. 5.) derived unto them from bim, (Rom. viii. 2.) and knitting them inseparably unto him. I Cor. xij. 13. Eph, ii. 18. iv. 4.
Is the Holy Ghost given to none but such as are joined to Christ?
The Holy Ghost is considered tbree ways. First, as the author of all excellency, even in common gifts of nature and reason ; as strength and courage; Judges xiv. 6. arts and sciences; Exod. xxxi. 3. policy and government; 1 Sam. xi. 6. &c. in which sense Le is given to many who never heard of Christ. Secondly, as the author of spiritual gifts; 1 Cor. xii. 14. so called, because, being sanctified, they are the means of edification; as the working of miracles, healing, languages, &c. yea, a taste of the heavenly gift, and of the good word of life, and of the powers of the world to come; Heb, vi. 4, 5. in which sense he is given to sundry reprom bates, that are called, as hath been shewed, Thirdly, as the author of the perpetual, effectual, and vital influence of saving grace, from Christ the head, to every member of his body. John vi. 51,57,63. In which sense the world cannot receive or know him; Jobn xif. 17. but he is bestowed on the elect only, 1 Pet. i. 2, and those truly converted to the Lord.
Archbishop Usher's Body of Divinity,