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ployed when they hear and read sermons; coming hither not as into a theatre, where men observe the
gestures or noises of the people, the brow and eyes
of the most busy censurers, and make parties, and go aside with them that dislike every thing, or else admire not the things, but the persons; but as to a sacrifice, and as to a school where virtue is taught and exercised, and none come but such as put themselves under discipline, and intend to grow wiser, and more virtuous to appease their passion, from violent to become smooth and even, to have their faith established, and their hope confirmed, and their charity enlarged. They that are otherwise affected, do not do their duty: but if they be so minded as they ought, I and all men in my employment shall be secured against the tongues and faces of men, who are ‘ingeniosi in alieno libro,' witty to abuse and undervalue another man's book.' And yet, besides these spiritual arts already reckoned, I have one security more: for (unless I deceive myself) I intend the glory of God sincerely, and the service of Jesus, in this publication : and therefore, being I do not seek myself or my own reputation, I shall not be troubled if they be lost in the voices of busy people, so that I be accepted of God, and found of him in the day of the Lord's visitation.
My Lord, it was your charity and nobleness that gave me opportunity to do this service (little or great) unto religion; and whoever shall find any ad
vantage to their soul by reading the following discourses, if they know how to bless God, and to bless all them that are God's instruments in doing them benefit, will (I hope) help to procure blessings to your person and family, and say a holy prayer, and name your Lordship in their litanies, and remember, that at your own charges you have digged a well, and placed cisterns in the highways, that they may drink and be refreshed, and their souls may bless you. My Lord, I hope this, even because I very much desire it, and because you exceedingly deserve it; and, above all, because God is good and gracious, and loves to reward such a charity, and such a religion, as is yours, by which you have employed me in the service of God, and in the ministries to your
family. My Lord, I am, most heartily, and for very many dear obligations,
Your Lordship's most obliged,
And most affectionate servant,
SERMON I. WHITSUNDAY.
OF THE SPIRIT OF GRACE.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the
Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead, because of sin ; but the Spirit is life, because of righteousness.-Rom. viii. 9, 10.
This day, in which the church commemorates the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, was the first beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This was the first day that the religion was professed: now the Apostles first opened their commission, and read it to all the people. “The Lord gave his Spirit (or, the Lord gave his Word), and great was the company of the preachers.” For so I make bold to render that prophecy of David. Christ was 'the Word of God, • Verbum æternum;' but the Spirit was the Word of God, • Verbum patefactum :' Christ was the Word manifested in the flesh; the Spirit was the Word manifested to flesh, and set in dominion over, and in hostility against, the flesh. The Gospel and the Spirit are the same thing; not in substance; but the manifestation of the Spirit is the Gospel of Jesus Christ:' and because he was this day manifested, the Gospel was this day first preached, and it became a law to us, called “the law of the Spirit of life a;” that is, a law taught us by the Spirit, leading us to life eternal. But the Gospel is called 'the Spirit;' 1. Because it contains in it such glorious mysteries, which were revealed by the immediate inspirations of the Spirit, not only in the matter itself, but also in the man.
a Rom. vii. 2.
ner and powers to apprehend them. For what power of human understanding could have found out the incarnation of a God; that two natures (a finite, and an infinite) could have been concentred into one hypostasis (or person); that a virgin should be a mother; that dead men should live again; that the kóviç doréwy XuOévrwv, 'the ashes of dissolved bones' should become bright as the sun, blessed as the angels, swift in motion as thought, clear as the purest noon; that God should so love us, as to be willing to be reconciled to us, and yet that himself must die that he might pardon us; that God's most holy Son should give us his body to eat, and his blood to crown, our chalices, and his Spirit to sanctify our souls, to turn our bodies into temperance, our souls into minds, our minds into spirit, our spirit into glory; that he, who can give us all things, who is Lord of men and angels, and King of all the creatures, should pray to God for us without intermission; that he, who reigns over all the world, should, at the day of judgment,' give up the kingdom to God the Father,' and yet, after this resignation, himself and we with him should for ever reign the more gloriously; that we should be justified by faith in Christ, and that charity should be a part of faith, and that both should work as acts of duty, and as acts of relation; that God should crown the imperfect endeavours of his saints with glory, and that a human act should be rewarded with an eternal inheritance; that the wicked, for the transient pleasure of a few minutes, should be tormented with an absolute eternity of pains; that the waters of baptism, when they are hallowed by the Spirit, shall purge the soul from sin; and that the spirit of man should be nourished with the consecrated and mysterious elements, and that any such nourishment should bring a man up to heaven: and, after all this, that all Christian people, all that will be saved, must be partakers of the divine nature, of the nature, the infinite nature, of God, and must dwell in Christ, and Christ must dwell in them, and they must be in the Spirit, and the Spirit must be for ever in them? These are articles of so mysterious a philosophy, that we could have inferred them from no premises, discoursed them upon the stock of no natural or scientifical principles; nothing but God and God's Spirit could have taught them to us: and therefore the Gospel is *Spiritus patefactus,' the manifestation of the Spirit, ad