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Besides referring back to the former article concerning this Almighty Lord, it may be proper to subjoin some of the names and offices by wbich 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 his 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 bim, 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. xiii. 14. And it is most blessed to every child of God, when brought into the fellowship and commu'nion 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 his chosen, Jobn xvi. 13.; as a glori'fier 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 almighty 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 be, 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.
Avd, indeed, the beautiful order in the covenant of grace, and the economy of redemption, makes it necessary so to be. For, at 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 person 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 appears in the Old Testament dispensation, holding forth the promised Sa. viour with all bis blessings, as coming for salvation; God the Son takes
up the wonderful subject under the New Testament dispensation, as thus coming and finishing all that was promised in the Old; , and now, 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, agreeably 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 her 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. Froin 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, I 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 viii, 15, 16, 17. the walking in the Spirit, Acts ix. 31. the renewing of the Holy Ghost, Titus iij. 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 bem 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 his glory, and to our comfort and joy. May the God of hope fill with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost ; Rom. xv. 13. Dr. Ilawker.
Wbat 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 him, (Rom. viii. 2.) and knitting them inseparably upto him. I Cor. xii. 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 three ways. First, as the author of all excellency, even in common gifts of nature and reason; 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 tbe author of spiritual gifts; 1 Cor. xij. 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 reprobates, that are called, as hath been shewed. Thirdly, as the author of the perpetual, effectual, and vital influence of saving grace, from Christ the bead, to every member of his body. Jobo vi. 51, 57, 63. In which sense the world cannot receive or know him; Jobu xiv. 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,
As to the gift of the Holy Spirit, says a good writer, it is not expected to be bestowed in answer to our prayers, to inform us immediately, as by a whisper, wben either awake or asleep, that we are the children of God; or in any other way, than by enabling us to exercise repentance and faith, and love to God and our neighbour. 2. We are not to suppose that he reveals any thing contrary to the written word, or more than is contained in it, or through any other medium. 3. We are not so led, or operated upon, by the Spirit, as to neglect the means of grace. 4. The Holy Spirit is not promised nor given to render us infallible. 5. Nor is the Holy Spirit given in order that we may do any thing which was not our duty.
Buck's Theology. I do not deny such an especial work of the Spirit, as shall be afterwards declared; but I judge that it is the communication of v the Spirit himself upon us, that is here intended; for so the apostle
declares bis sense to be, chap. iv, 13. “ Hereby know we that we dwell in God, and he in us, because he hath given us his Spirit.” This is the great evidence, the great ground of assurance which we have, that God hath taken us into a near and dear relation unto himself, because he hath given us of his Spirit; and that great and beavenly gift he will impart unto no others. And, indeed, on this one hinge depends the whole case of that assurance which believers are capable of. If the Spirit of God dwell in us, we are his; but if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his; Rom. viii. 9. Here alone depends the determination of our special relation unto God. By this, therefore, doth God seal believers, and therein gives them assurance of his love. And this is to be the sole rule of your self-examination, whether you are sealed of God or no.
Owen on the Spirit, This testimony with our spirits is the sanctification of them, the subjecting of our wills and affections to his influences, acting upon us by the mediation of our own thoughts, yet discoverable to be from Him, by their opposition to our natural corruption. It is by the sanctifying grace of this Spirit dwelling in us, that we are euabled to “ mortify the deeds of the body;" they that do so are led
ochote he author
by Hima; and as many as are so led, bave thereby a testimony, that they are the children of God. Our wills and affections had contracted by their corruption an enmity against God, and a love of the world and vanity: the Holy Ghost bends this perverseness, and directs them towards heaven.
Dr. Glocester Ridley.
The Holy Spirit moves upon the minds of inen in a most familiar way, so that his motions are not discernible by us from the natural operations of our minds. We feel them no otherwise than we do our thoughts and meditations; we cannot distinguish them by their manner of affecting us from our natural reasonings, and the operations of truth upon our souls; so that if God had only designed to give the Holy Spirit to us, without inaking any mention of it in bis word, we could never have known, unless it had been communicated to us by some private revelation, that our souls are moved by a divine power, when we "love God and keep his commandments." This imperceptibleness of the impressions made upon our souls by the Divine Spirit, was that which our Saviour signified to Nicode mus, by the similitude of the wind,“ which bloweth where it liste eth, and we hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth."
Dr. Stebbing. The Spirit of God doth not bear witness with the spirits of the faithful, that they are the children of God, by an immediate oracle, voice, or whisper within them, in express words, pronouncing their pardon and acceptation with God, or saying that they are the sous of God. This is a vain imagination, and as dangerous as it is vain: it being apt to lead some good men into despair, as not finding any such whisper within them, and to expose others to presumption and the delusion of the evil spirit. Such a vocal testiinony of the Spirit is no where promised in scripture, and therefore not to be expected by us. And that St. Paul means not here any such vocal testimony of the Spirit, is evident from hence, that this vocal testimony would be the immediate testimony of the Spirit alone, whereas the apostle speaks of a testimony of the Spirit, concurring and adjoining with the testimony of our spirits, that is, our minds and consciences. This testimony the Spirit bears, Ist, by those gracious