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undeniable proof ; and so he did. They that would not believe all his own miracles, nor believe his resurrection, should yet have a continuation of miracles to convince them; when he is out of sight in heaven, they shall see him disposing of the world at his pleasure, and making the powers of earth and hell stoop to the poorest of his disciples. He sendeth forth a peculiar Spirit into his chosen, by which he will still live within and among them. As the bodies of men do live, and speak, and reason by the soul, so doth the church live and move by the Spirit of Jesus. If one had power to send the spirit of a man into the brute beasts in the whole country, and should make them speak, and discourse reasonably to any that come to them; and all the country should see this done publicly on thousands, for many years together, would you not believe the testimony of him that did it, and say, he that hath power to do this is certainly of God? So doth the Lord Jesus evince the verity of his testimony, by sending forth his divin, Spirit in men; making them so publicly, in the face of congregations, do miracles, speak with tongues, cast out devils, for many years together; and ever after to sanctify by it the souls of his people, mortifying and mastering the strongest corruptions, and raising them to those holy inclinations and affections, which mere nature is utterly strange unto.
Unbelievers might have seen the former outward workings of the Spirit, and may yet see the certain proof that they were wrought : and believers feel the inward for a witness in themselves. It much hurteth believers to forget what they once were, which, compared with what they are, will make the change more sensible and eminent; because they feel not as great a change still again and again, as they found at the first, they forget the first, and overlook much of that mercy and evidence. If the sun did appear to the world yesterday, and to-day be under a cloud, and yet from thence afford the world its light, and some heat, is he not mad that will now question whether there be any sun or not? We will believe them that yesterday saw it, though we had not ourselves seen it; and we will confess that nothing else but the sun could thus enlighten the world. May not the glorious light of knowledge, the heat of holy affection, discover the Lord Jesus, though we live not in that age when he did shine visibly in daily, numerous miracles, having withal most certain testimony of these miracles ? As reasonably may we deny the sun, when we live in its light; or deny a man to be reasonable, when we hear his discourse, as deny the testimony of the Lord Jesus, when we see the effects of his almighty Spirit. This Spirit he promised to send when he was ascended, to supply his own room, and that as a greater advantage to our faith and joy than his personal presence would have been. (John, xvi. 7.) This Spirit he promised to send to convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believed not in him : that is, when they see the unquestionable evidence of his Spirit, they shall confess the sinfulness of their unbelief, and say, “ Verily, this was the Son of God.” Of righteousness, because he went to the Father, i. e. they shall then be convinced that he was righteous, and so was liis testimony, when they shall perceive that he remaineth not dead, but is ascended, and liveth with the Father in power and glory, all things being committed to his hands, when they see both men and devils obey him. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged, i, e. they shall then acknowledge that he is made the only Lord, and all judgment is committed to him, when they see him judging the devils themselves, and casting them out, and silencing all their oracles through the world, and destroying the kingdom of wickedness and darkness, and in bringing in light, and holiness, and consolation. Indeed, as God manifested himself the Creator by breathing into man the breath of life, whereby he became a living soul; so Christ hath manifested himself the Redeemer, by breathing into man a divine nature, even the life of grace, whereby they become supernaturally living. And as it is madness for any man to doubt of God's creation, who hath a living soul, and discerneth 't in others by the effects; so is it madness for any man to doubt of Christ's redemption and salvation, that hath his Spirit dwelling in him, or discerneth it by its proper effects in others. And verily, if the blind world could see the things of the Spirit, they might discern the Spirit of Jesus in the holiness and heavenliness of these very people, whom they now hate and despise, as they can discern a reasonable soul in men by their discourse. For though true special grace could not be so certainly discerned from common grace, yet both common and special, as they are diffused through the church, do show the great power and virtue of Christ. I conclude, therefore, that the Spirit of Jesus Christ is his great convincing witness to the world.
Third Use. The next information is this; we see hence what is the testi. mony of the Spirit, and who they be that have this testimony. There is a twofold testimony of the Spirit, as to the thing testified.
1. Its testimony of Christ and the christian religion.
2. Its testimony to the truth of our own graces, and of our adoption. What the former is you may easily discern by what is already spoken, that is both the work of miracles and sancti. fication. As for the latter, the Spirit's workings are some common, and some special ; the common, as miracles, tongues, prophecies, &c., formerly, and many common gifts now, may prove a man a common Christian. For Christ giveth to common, sanctified Christians those gifts of his Spirit which he giveth not to any of the heathen world. But yet these will not prove him a true Christian in the favour of God. But that the special gifts of sanctification will prove. It is not, therefore, at least principally, any internal voice, or the Spirit, saying within a a man, “Thou art the child of God,' which is the witness of the Spirit; but as the Lord Jesus hath made a promise of giving his
; Spirit to all that are his; so when he performeth that promise they may hereby know that they are his. It is the having this Spirit, and the working of this Spirit in us, that first witnesseth to our souls the power, goodness, and truth of Christ, and next witnesseth our own adoption, because he giveth it to none but to sons. “ For because we are sons, (so made upon our believing), God sendeth forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying Abla Father.” (John i. 11, 12.) When we find the Spirit working child-like love, and child-like hope, and child-like dependence upon God, and desires after him, and recourse in prayer to him, we have then the certain witness of our adoption. (Gal. iv. 6; Rom. viii. 15, 16.) For by this work of the Spirit, causing us to cry Abba Father, and causing * us to speak to God from child-like affection, and so helping our infirmities in our prayer, doth the Spirit witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. (Rom. viii. 15, 16, 26.) As many as are led by the Spirit of God may conclude they are the sons of God; (Rom. viii. 14;) that is, if they live not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Verse 13.) It is the Spirit dwelling in us, then, which is the testimony. (Verse 9.) And if any man have not this Spirit of Christ he is none of his. (Verse 9.) It is therefore objectively that this Spirit testifieth. It is the seal, and
pledge, and witness of our adoption; as the having of a reasonable soul, and the workings of it, witness our humanity. Those, therefore, that look after a witness otherwise efficient, that is, the Spirit within, to tell them they are the children of God, may on both sides delude and undo themselves. They that have no grace, may think they have, while their own deluded hearts persuade them they are good Christians. How readily would most of our worldlings think their presumption were the witness of the Spirit! And those that have true grace may think they have none, because they discern not such a witness : whereas, if they faithfully enquired after the indwelling and working of Christ's Spirit in their souls, mortifying the flesh, and causing them to live to Christ, according to his law, they would have the sure witness, and that which they might sooner find. Yet I know, that when even from hence they conclude their sonship, the Spirit helpeth them in that conclusion. It is the Spirit itself, in its powerful, victorious workings, that is the white stone, and infallible seal of the love of God.
Next, we are hence informed what it is to believe in the Holy Ghost, and what it is to be baptised into the Holy Ghost. We find mention of the Spirit of God upon the prophets and holy men in the Old Testament, before Christ's coming in the flesh; and the salvation of man then did lie in their believing this Spirit's speaking in the prophets, and revealing God's will to them. Those natural discoveries, which are made by the mere book of the creatures, was not then sufficient to instruct men in the truths and duties necessary to salvation. God saw it meet, even from the creation of the world, even to innocent Adam, to add some supernatural revelation : and we find now, by full experience, the defectiveness of mere natural discoveries, called the law or light of nature. Therefore bad God still some special messengers, whom he designed to this work in former ages, that by them his Spirit might speak to the world : and they that believed not, but resisted these prophets, were said to resist the Holy Ghost. (Acts vii. 51.) For that I judge the true meaning of the text, not excluding other resistance. Yet as Christ was not then so fully revealed, or so fully described to those believers to whom he was then propounded; so the Holy Ghost was not so explicitly propounded to be believed in, nor the doctrine of the Trinity then so fully opened. Yet then, as they were to believe in the Messiah, or Saviour to come, so they were to believe that the Spirit of God in the prophets, foretelling his coming, was a true witness; and therefore their prophecy is called a sure word, whereto we do well to look and trust, as to a light shining in a dark place. (2 Pet. i. 19.) But now, since the coming of Christ in the flesh, both the Son and the Holy Ghost are more fully revealed, the Holy Ghost by himself, and the Son by the Holy Ghost, and the Father by the Son and Holy Ghost, in a special manner. And though the Spirit in the prophets were truly the Spirit of Jesus foretelling his coming and salvation, yet the more eminent measure and working of the Spirit, given since Christ's coming, especially in the first ages of the church, for the confirmation of Christianity is peculiarly called the Spirit of the Son. (Gal. iv. 6; Phil. i. 19.) Therefore, when we are said to believe in the Holy Ghost, it is not only that there is a Holy Ghost, or to be. lieve the doctrine of the Trinity; but it is to believe, first, that Jesus Christ did send forth his Spirit into his prophets before his coming, and more fully into believers since his coming, to be his infallible witness to the world, to convince the unbelieving, and ennfirm believers : and that this Spirit was poured out on the church, especially on the apostles, causing them to prophesy, and speak strange languages, and cast out devils, and heal diseases, and that the same Spirit is given to all true believers, in all ages, to guide, and sanctify, and comfort them, working their hearts to God by Christ, and sealing the love of God to their soul, striving against and conquering the flesh. 2. And, further, to believe that the witness of this Spirit is certain and infallible, and that it is and must needs be the Holy Spirit of God which doth such miracles as were then wrought, and attesteth and revealeth so holy a doctrine, and worketh in men's souls so holy and blessed effects; and therefore that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who sealeth his doctrine by sending into believers this Spirit. When we read of the glorious workings of the Holy Ghost of old, and see the holy workings of it still, to believe that this is the Spirit of Christ, which he promised to send for the confirming of his doctrine, and guiding his church, and applying his merits and benefits : this is to believe in the Holy Ghost, as to the assenting part. And then as to the consenting part, (for the will hath its part also in this work of believing in the Holy Ghost, as well as in believing in Christ) it is a hearty consent that this Spirit shall be our Confirmer, Guide, Sanctifier, and Comforter in particular ; with a sincere resolu