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and impreffions of the Spirit of GOD." Had your Lordship
Your Lordship proceeds thus: " And this is owing chiefly to the want of distinguishing aright between the ordinary and extraordinary operations of the Holy Spirit. The extraordinary operations were thofe, by which the apoftles and others, who were entrusted with the first propagation of the gospel, were enabled to work miracles, and fpeak with tongues, in teftimony, that their miffion and doctrine were from GOD."
I fuppofe, by extraordinary operations, your Lordship means the fame as being guided in an extraordinary manner, just above. And if fo, according to your Lordship's own definition, I am no enthufiaft. For I never did pretend to these extraordinary operations of working miracles, or speaking with tongues, in teftimony that my miffion and doctrine were from GOD; I only lay claim to the ordinary gifts and influences of the Spirit, which your Lordship (pag. 20.) fays, "Still continue:" and what need was there then, my Lord, that the people of your Lordship's diocefe fhould be cautioned againft enthufiafm upon my account?
But your Lordship farther adds, "The ordinary gifts, however real and certain in themfelves, are no otherwife difcernible, than by their fruits and effects." Had your Lordship faid, No otherwife difcernible to others, than by their fruits and effects, it would have been right: but if your Lordship means, they are no otherwife difcernible to ourselves, in my opinion, it is wrong; for it is poffible, my Lord, for a person to feel and difcern these ordinary gifts and influences of the Spirit in himself, when there is no opportunity of dif covering them to others.
For instance, on supposition that your Lordship was affisted by the bleffed Spirit, in writing your paftoral letter; might not your Lordship be fenfible of an inward joy and compla
cency, wrought by that felf-fame Spirit, which was not then difcernible to others? So is it poffible for another to feel joy in the Holy Ghoft, with the rest of his fruits, which at that time may not be difcernible to others; and which they, who have never experienced the like, may not believe, though a man declare it unto them. I hope, my Lord, these reasonings carry with them their own evidence.
But to proceed (pages 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.) your Lordfhip has taken pains to collect several paffages out of the public liturgy, to prove the doctrine of regeneration, or our new birth, to be the doctrine of the Church of England. Your reafon for fo doing, appears (pag. 25.) "to arm your people against any fuggeftions, as if our church were fo regardless of the doctrine of regeneration and new birth, as if there were need for any member of it, to feek elsewhere for a more fpiritual service." If this, my Lord, was intended to arm your people against any such suggestions made by me; indeed your Lordship does not do me juftice. As your Lordship, I find, has done me the honour to perufe 'my Third Journal, your Lordship may remember this obfervation, (pag. 39.) that, after I had baptized an adult, I proved the neceffity of the new birth, from the office of our church.
In my fermon, upon the indwelling of the Spirit of GOD, which I have made bold to fend to your Lordship with this letter, you will find, I have quoted the expreffions of our own church offices, to prove the doctrine of the new birth, as your Lordship does in your pastoral letter. My conftant way of preaching is, firft, to prove my propofitions by fcripture, and then to illuftrate them by the articles and collects of the church of England. Those that have heard me, can witness, how often I have exhorted them to be conftant at the public fervice of the church. I attend on it myself, and would read the public liturgy every day, if your Lordship's clergy would give me leave. What further fatisfaction can your Lordship require, that I do not fuggeft to your Lordship's people, "as if our church were regardless of the doctrine of regeneration, and new birth, and as if there were need for any member of it, to feek elsewhere for a more fpiritual fervice."
In the following paragraph, your Lordship has the same infinuation, as though I wanted to introduce extempore prayer,
and to lay afide the public liturgy of our church. For after your Lordship had been speaking against praying by the Spirit, and affirming that the fcripture no where tells us, that prayer is the fingle work of the Spirit, your Lordship fays to your people," you have great reason to be thankful to GOD, for a public fervice prepared to your hands." My Lord, I never faid to the contrary. But does not your Lordship feem to infinuate at the fame time, that we are not to depend on the Spirit of GOD, to enable us to pray extempore, either in public or private? That prayer is not the fingle work of the Spirit, without any co-operation of our own, I readily confess. But that the Spirit of GOD does affift true chriftians to pray extempore, now, as well as formerly, is undeniable, if the fcriptures be true. For what fays the Apoftle?" We know not what to pray for, as we ought; but the Spirit itself helpeth our infirmities, and maketh interceffion for us with groanings that cannot be uttered." And this is founded upon a general promife, made to all God's people, Zachariah xii. 10. "I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerufalem, the Spirit of grace, and of fupplication." And I believe, my Lord, we may appeal to the experience of all true chriftians, whether or no they did not find the Spirit of fupplication, or a power of praying without a form, increase in proportion to the increase of God's Grace or Holy Spirit in their hearts. This is all, my Lord, that I pretend to: and where is the impropriety of this, when your Lordship confeffes in the fame page, that "the Spirit of GoD does particularly affift us, in a due performance of religious offices?"
Further, as your Lordfhip feems to deny the immediate af fiftance of the Holy Spirit, in our particular addresses at the throne of Grace, fo your Lordship seems to deny it also in our particular actions. "In like manner, (you fay) we are firmly perfuaded in general, that we live under the gracious influence of GOD's Holy Spirit, and that he both excites and enables us to do good. But that this or that thought or action is an effect of the fole motion, or immediate impulfe of the Spirit, without any co-operation of our own mind "-[My Lord, who ever arffimed, that there was no co-operation of our own minds, together with the impulfe of the fpirit of GOD?] Your Lordship adds, " or that the Holy Spirit, and our natural con
ceptions, do refpectively contribute to this or that thought or action, in fuch a measure, or to fuch a degree; these are things we dare not fay." Indeed, my Lord, I do dare to say them. For if there be any fuch thing as a particular providence, why may we not expect particular direction from GOD's Holy Spirit in particular cafes? Does not our church, my Lord, teach us to pray, "that GOD's Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts?" But your Lordfship says, we dare not say this, because our Saviour has told us, that we know no more of the working of the Spirit, than we know of the wind, from whence it cometh, and whither it goeth. Neither need we know any more of them: but you must allow, that we know as much. Cannot your Lordship feel the wind then? Does not your Lordship know when it makes any impreffion upon your body? So easy it is for a fpiritual man to know when the Holy Spirit makes an impreffion upon his foul. Without acknowledging this, all the expreffions of being led by the Spirit, walking by the Spirit, and fuch like, must be only fo many words without any real meaning. Your Lordfhip acknowledges, that the Holy Spirit does act in general, and why not in the particular actions of our lives alfo? For, can the one be without the other? Does it not frequently happen, my Lord, that the comfort and happiness of our whole lives, depend on one particular action? And where then, my Lord, is the abfurdity of saying, that the Holy Spirit may even, in the minuteft circumftance, direct and rule our hearts? I have been the more particular, my Lord, on this part of your Lordship's letter, because if this be proved, many of your Lordship's objections against my Journals, will fall to the ground.
Page 27. Your Lordship has the following paragraph. "GOD forbid, that in this profane and degenerate age, every thing that has an appearance of piety and devotion, should not be confidered in the most favourable light that it is capable of. But at the fame time, it is furely very proper, that men should be called upon for fome reasonable evidences of a divine Commiffion."
I take it for granted, that I am one of thofe men, whom your Lordship thinks fhould be called upon for fomne reason. able evidence of a divine Commission.
But, my Lord, what reasonable evidence does your Lordfhip require? Did I not receive letters dimiflory from your Lordship's own hands to be ordained a prieft? Did I not, when ordained deacon, affirm, "that I was inwardly moved by the Holy Ghoft, to take upon me that office and miniftration?" Did not my Lord of Gloucester, when he ordained me priest, fay unto me," Receive thou the Holy Ghoft now committed unto thee, by the impofition of our hands, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft?" And is not this, my Lord, a reasonable evidence that I act by a divine Commiffion? If this be not true, must not all those whom your Lordship, or the other Bishops ordain, act only by a human Commiffion? Nay, to use the words of Bishop Burnet in his Paftoral Letter," muft not they who are ordained, lie not only unto man but unto GOD, by faying, they are. inwardly moved by the Holy Spirit?"
If your Lordship in any wife disputes my acting by a divine Commiffion, you disclaim your own divine right and authority; nor can you poffibly avoid the dilemma, of either allowing my divine Commiffion, or denying your own.
After your Lordship has infinuated a demand for the evidences of my divine Commiffion, immediately follows thefe words; "when they tell us of extraordinary communications they have with GOD."
If by extraordinary communications, your Lordship means the extraordinary operations of the Holy Spirit, as working miracles, and fpeaking with tongues; your Lordship may aflure yourself, I never pretended to any fuch thing. If, by extraordinary communications, your Lordship means more affiftance and comforts from GOD, at fome times, than I have at others, (which is all I mean by extraordinary communications) I own the charge? And what is there, my Lord, extraordinary in that?
Again, your Lordship fays, (page 28.) "When they talk in the language of thofe, who have a special and immediate miffion from God."
And does your Lordfhip, and the reft of the Bishops, ordain any, without obliging them first to give good proofs, that they have a special call or immediate miffion from GoD to the work of the miniftry? If ever you fo do, my Lord, do not your Lordships lay hands too fuddenly upon men?