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Judge ye then, whether it is not high time for the true ministers of Jesus Christ, who have been made partakers of this heavenly gift, to lift up their voices like a trumpet; and if they would not have those souls perish, for which the LORD Jesus has shed his precious blood, to declare, with all bold. ness, that the Holy Spirit is the common privilege and portion of all believers in all ages; and that we as well as the first christians, must receive the Holy Ghost, before we can be truly called the children of God.
For this reason, (and also that I might answer the design of our church in appointing the present festival *) I have chosen the words of the text.
They were (poken by Jesus CHRIST, when he was at the feast of tabernacles. Our LORD attended on the temple-fervice in general, and the festivals of the Jewish church in particular. The festival at which he was now present, was that of the seast of tabernacles, which the Jews observed according to God's appointment in commemoration of their living in tents. At the last day of this feaft, it was customary for many pious people to fetch water from a certain place, and bring it on their heads, singing this anthem out of lfaiah, “ And with joy shall they draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Our Lord observing this, and it being his conftant practice to spiritualize every thing he met with, cries out, " If any man thirst, . let him come unto me, (rather than unto that well) and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath spoken, (where it is said, God will make water to spring out of a dry rock, and such-like) out of his belly fall flow rivers of living water.” And that we might know what our Saviour meant by this living water, the Evangelist immediately adds, “ But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.
The last words I Mall chiefly insist on in the ensuing discourse : And
First, I shall briefly thew, what is meant by the word
Spirit. Secondly, Thạt this Spirit is the common privilege of all believers. Whitsuntide.
Thirdly, I shall shew the reason on which this doctrine is
Lastly, Conclude with a general exhortation to believe on
Jesus CHRIST, whereby alone we can receive this
First, I am to shew, what is meant by the word Spirit.
By the Spirit, is evidently to be understood the Holy Ghost, the third person in the ever-blessed Trinity, consubstantial and co-eternnl with the Father and the Son, proceeding from, yet equal to them both. For, to use the words of our Church in this day's office, that which we believe of the glory of the Father, the same we believe of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality.
Thus, says St. John, in his first epiitle, chap. v. ver. 7. $6 There are three that bare record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one." And our LORD, when he gave his Apostles commiflion to go and teach all nations, commanded them to baptize in the name of the Holy Ghost, as well as of the Father and the Son. And St. Peter, Aets v. 3. said to Ananias, “ Why bath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost ?” And ver. 4. he says, “ Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” From all which passages, it is plain, that the Holy Ghost, is truly and properly God, as well as the Father and the Son. This is an unspeakable mystery, but a mystery of God's revealing, and, therefore, to be affented to with our whole hearts : seeing God is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should deceive. I proceed,
Secondly, To-prove that the Holy Ghost is the common privilege of all believers.
But, here I would not be understood of fo receiving the Holy Ghost, as to enable us to work miracles, or shew outward signs and wonders. I allow our adversaries, that to pretend to be inspired, in this sense, is being wise above what is written. Perhaps it cannot be proved, that God ever interposed in this extraordinary manner, but when some new reveļation was to be eftablished, as at the first fettling of the Ş
Mofaic and gospel dispensation, and as for my own part, I cannot but suspect the spirit of those who insist upon a repetition of such miracles at this time. For the world being now become nominally christian, (though, God knows, little of the power is left among us) there need not outward miracles, but only an inward co-operation of the Holy Spirit with the word, to prove that Jesus is the Mefliah which was to come into the world, 1. Besides, if it was possible for thee, O man, to have faith, lo as to be able to remove mountains, or cast out devils ; nay, could it thou speak with the tongue of men and angels, yea, and bid the sun stand still in the midst of heaven ; what would all these gifts of the Spirit avail thee, without being made partaker of his fanctifying graces ? Saul had the spirit of government for a while, so as to become another man, and yet probably was a cast-away. And many, who cast out devils in Christ's name, at the last will be disowned by him. If, therefore, thou hadit only the gifts, and was deftitute of the graces of the Holy Ghost, they would only serve to lead thee with so much the more folemnity to hell.
Here then we join issue with our adversaries, and will readily grant, that we are not in this sense to be inspired, as were our Lord's first Apostles. But unless men have eyes which see not, and cars that hear not, how can they read the latter part of the text, and not confess that the Holy Spirit, in another sense, is the common privilege of all believers, even to the end of the world? “ This spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.” Observe, he does not say, they that believe on him for one or two ages, but they that believe on him in general, or, at all times, and in all places. So that, unless we can prove, that St. John was under a delusion when he wro:e these words, we must believe that even we also, shall receive the Holy Ghost, if we believe on the LORD JESUS with our whole hearts.
Again, our LORD, just before his bitter passion, when he was about to offer up his soul an offering for the fins of the elect world; when his heart was most enlarged, and he would undoubtedly demand the most excellent gift for his disciples, prays, " That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thçe ; that they alio may be one in us, I in
them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one;" that is, that all his true followers might be united to him by his holy Spirit, by as real, vital, and mystical an union, as there was between JESUS CHRIST and the Father. I fay all his true followers ; for it is evident, from our LORD's own words, that he had us, and all believers, in view, when he put up this prayer; “ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;" so that, unless we treat our LORD as, the high priests did, and count him a blasphemer, we must confess, that all who believe in JESUS CHRist, through the word, or ministration of his fervants, are to be joined to Jesus Christ, by being made partakers of the Holy Spirit.
A great noise hath been made of late, about the word enthufiaft, and it has been cast upon the preachers of the gospel, as a term of reproach; but every christian, in the proper sense of the word, must be an enthusiast; that is, must be inspired of God, or have God, by his Spirit, in him. St. Peter tells us,
" we have many great and precious promises, that we may be made partakers of the divine nature ;" our LORD prays, " that we may be one, as the Father and he are one;" and our own church, in conformity to these texts of Scripture, in her excellent communion-office, tells us, that those who receive the sacrament worthily,“ dwell in CHRIST, and CHRIST in them; that they are one with CHRIST, and CHRIST with them.” And yet, christians must have their names cast out as evil, and ministers in particular, must be looked upon as dèceivers of the people, for affirming, that we must be really united to God, by receiving the Holy Ghost. Be astonished, O heavens, at this!
Indeed, I will not say, all our letter-learned preachers deniy this doctrine in express words; but however, they do in effect; for they talk professedly against inward feelings, and say, we may have God's Spirit without feeling it, which is in reality to deny the thing itself. And had I a mind to binder the progress of the gospel, and to establish the kingdom of darkness, I would go about, telling people, they might have the Spirit of God, and yet not feel it.
But to return: When our Lord was about to ascend to his Father and our Father, to his God and our God, he gave his apostles this commission, “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” And accordingly, by authority of this commiffion, we do teach and baptize in this, and every age of the church. And though we translate the words,“ baptizing them in the name;" yet, as the name of God, in the LORD's prayer, and several other places, fignifies his nature, they might as well be translated thus, “baptizing them into the nature of the Father, into the nature of the Son, and into the nature of the Holy Ghoft.” Consequently, if we are all to be baptized into the nature of the Holy Ghost, before our baptism be effectual to salvation, it is evident, that we all muft actually receive the Holy Ghost, and ere we can say, we truly believe in Jesus CHRIST. For no one can say, that Jesus is my Lord, but he that has thus received the Holy Ghoft.
Numbers of other texts might be quoted to make this doctrine, if poffible, ftill more plain; but I am astonished, that any who call themselves members; much more, that many, who are preachers in the church of England, should dare so much as to open their lips against it. And yet, with grief I speak it, God is my Judge, persons of the eftablished church feem more generally to be ignorant of it, than any diflenters whatsoever.
But, my dear brethren, what have you been doing? how often have your hearts given your lips the lye? how often have you offered to God the sacrifice of fools, and had your prayers turned into fin, if you approve of, and use our church-liturgy, and yet deny the Holy Spirit to be the portion of all believers? In the daily absolution, the minister exhorts the people to pray, that “God would grant them repentance, and his Holy Spi: rit;” in the Collect for Christmas. day, we beseech God,“ that he would daily renew us by his Holy Spirit;" in the last week's Collect, we prayed that “we may evermore rejoice in the comforts of the Holy Ghost;” and in the concluding prayer, which we put up every day, we pray, not only that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, but that “ the fellowship of the Holy Ghost” may be with us all evermore.
But farther, a solemn season, to some, is now approaching; I mean the Ember-days, at the end of which, all that are to