Imatges de pàgina
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dergone in that Nature, fhall continue as long as chac Union is self, namely, for ever and ever.

In the mean while the Power which he exercisech, with regard to that part of his Church which is upon the Earth, consistech in ruling it, by the standing Revelation of his Will; in making Intercession for it; and protecting it from the Malice of all its Enemies. He gives the several Members of it, his holy Spirit to enable · them to perform their Duty, and to rea

fist the Temptations which would hinder chem from it ; This he doth in an ordinary Measure, and in an ordinary Way; to wit, by our using Prayer, his Word, and the Sacraments: These are the Means of obtaining Grace at Prelent ; and by these we are strengthen'd in the Hopes of future Glory.

As for those extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were bestowed upon the Apostles, 'tis very plain that we have chem not, and therefore as plain that they are not necessary. After Christianity was planted in the World, the End was gained for which chose extraordinary Gifts were bestowed, and when the End was gain. ed, the Means conducing to it, ceas'd of course. Indeed, 'twas highly necessary,

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that the first Propagators of CHRIST'S Religion, Mhould have an uncommon Degrce of his Spirit: 7 bey were to encounser che Prejudice, and Spighe of Jews and Gentiles; and a valt many more Difficulties; and therefore 'twas absolutely requis site that they should be indued with proportionable Serength and Ability. And lo we find that they were: For the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles, in a most wonderful and unheard of manner; by whose Help they soon carried the joyful Sound of the Gospel into all Lands, and broughe Salvation unto the Ends of the World. And this brings me to the .

Second Thing propounded, namely, To consider the Descent of the Holy Ghost after Christ's Exaltation. This Expression, Holy Ghost, doth frequently signify in the Scriptures, nothing else but the Gifts and Graces that he confers upon any one; which are called Holy Ghost, by a Figure, by which the Cause of a Thing is put for the Thing it self. By the descending therefore, or Theding forth of the Holy Ghost upon any Pero fons, we are to understand that there is communicated unto them a Share of his Favour or Blessing. Of which an extraordinary Degree was poured upon the

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Apostles in a very strange and surprizing Manner. And this might be called, the Promise of the Holy Cbot, both upon account of the Prediction in foel, mentioned by St. Peter at the 16th, and 19th, and some following Verses of this Chapter; It shall come to pass in the last Days, (faith God) I wiil pour out iny Spirit upon all Fless, &c. And also because our Saviour several Times promised it his Apostles whilst he convers’d with them upon Earth. Thus in 70512 xv. 25. When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto jou from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth. And so likewise at the zih Verle of che xvith Chapter; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send kim unto you. Thele Promises were made before his Death: And chey were again repeated after his Resurrection,

Thus St. Luke informs uis, in the last Chapter of his Gospel, that he spake after this Manner: Bebold, 1 send the Promise of my Father upon you ; but tarry ye

in the City of Jerusalem, until ye be indued with Power from on high. And to the fame Purpose we are told, in the first Chapter of his Acts of the Apostles; that

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be commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father, which (faith he) ye have heard of me: For Yohn truly baptiz'd with Water, but ye shall be baptiz'd with the Holy Ghost not many Days bence. Upon either of both of these Aco counts might the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, or the thedding forth of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, be called the Projnise of it.

Now of the fulfilling of this Promise to the Apostles, we have a large Account in this Chapter out of which my Text is taken. As they were all with one Accord in one place, suddenly there came a Sound from Heaven, as of a rushing mighty Wind, and it filled all the Houe where they were fitting. The suddenness of this Sound, its impetuous, violent rushing, and its filling all the House, very properly represented the wonderful Power and Force of that Holy Spirit, which bore down the Opposition Christiantity met with in its Infancy, and quickly gave it a very great Footing in all parts of the World."

To proceed; We are told that Cleven Tongues appear'd to thein, like as of Fire, and it fat upon each of them; And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and

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began to feak with other Tongues, as the Spirit gave them Utterance: Thus they were qualified co talk whatsoever Language they had Occasion to make Use of in propagacing the Christian Faith. This Variety of Languages which they were quallified to talk, might be denoted by the Form in which the Tongues appeared ; for they appeared Cloven or divided.'

Their appearing like as of Fire, might be a Token of that Warmth and Vigour, wherewith the Apostles should preach the Doctrine of Jesus Christ; and also of the powerful Conviction following their Discourses; which had a Force over confiderate thinking Men, like as Fire over combustible Matter, which it brings into the same Condition wich it self.

. Again, These Tongues coming upon each of them, shew'd that they were all endued with the like Gift ; and their fiting upon them might fignify, that this Gift was to rest upon them, or that they should constantly enjoy the Use of those Languages, which were necessary in order to the making Disciples in all the Narions over which they thould travel.

And as the Descent of the Holy Ghost enabled the Apostles to impart the Divine Mysteries to others, so it brought the

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