Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

Knowledge of all necessary Doctrines to themselves. This indeed was but previous to 'THAT ; it being impossible for any one to inforın anot er of what he himself is ignorant. And therefore though the Apostles had lived a very considerable Time under the Ministry of our Saviour himself, and had heard che Doctrines of the Gospel Dispensation from his own Mouth; yet he, knowing the Weakness and Dulness of their Capacities, judged it requisite, thar, after his Departure, the Holy Ghost should refresh their Memories, and enlighten their Understandings, with a clear Knowledge of those Points, they might forget, or not righely apprehend. Agreeably hereunto, le speaks to them in Yohn xiv. 26. The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my Name, be Mall teach you all Things, and bring all Things to your Remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you. And again, in John xvi. 12. 13. I bave yet many Things to say unto you, but ye cananot hear them now. Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you. intò all Truth.

Neither were tliese I have already nientioned the only Benefits redounding to the Apostles from the Descent of the Holy

F 3

Gholt

Ghost, but they received likewise the Power of working Miracles. Thus at the 43d Verse of the Chapter before us, we . read, that many Wonders and Signs were done by the Apostles. And several of these are recorded in this Book of their Acts: such as cominunicacing the Holy Ghost to others; diiving unclean Spirits out of those who were vexed with chem ; giving Soundness of Limbs to Men that were born Cripples : restoring the Dead to Life; striking Offenders dead; and the like.

Thus by the Descent of the Holy Ghost, the Apostles were evrich'd with a Treasure of heavenly Doctrines: They were capacicared to deliver them to Men of any Nation whatsoever : And could work Mi. racles to convince those to whom they de. livered them, oftheir Truth and Certainty.

And as these extraordinary Talents and Privileges were given to the Apostles of our Lord; so they did not bury them, or permit them to lyc by neglected; but employ'd them according to the Design of hiin by wliom they were given. Which leads me to the last Head of Discourse, to wie, che Behaviour of the Apoftles after the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon them. But this I shall reserve to another Opw portunity.

SE R.

SERMON iv.

Ads ii. 33. Therefore being by the Right Hand of

God exalted, and having received of the Father the Promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath med forth this, which ye

now see, and bear. IN my foregoing Discourse from these

Words, I proposed to consider these three Things.

First, The Exaltation of Christ. . Secondly, The Descent of the Holy Ghost after CHRIST's Exaltation. And

Thirdly, The Behaviour of the Apostles after this Descent upon them.

Under the First of these Heads I Thew. ed; Thar the Exaltation of CHRIST confilted in the Enjoyment of that Power, Happiness, and Glory, to which his hu. man Nature was advanced by his Relurfection from the Dead, by his Ascension

into Heaven ; by his sitting at the Right Hand of God; and by his being appointed Judge of the whole World

Under the Second of them, I new'd; that, by the Descent of the Holy Ghost after Christ's Exaltation, the Apostles were furnished with a true Knowledge of all Points relating to the Salvation of Mankind, which were necessary to be revealed to them: That they were likewise endow'd with the Gift of Languages, whereby they could deliver them to People of any Nation under Heaven: And could also perform miraculous Works in Confirmation of the Truth of what they deliver'd.

It remains now, that I proceed to the

Third Thing proposed; namely, To: consider the Behaviour of the Apostles ofter this Descent of the Holy Gholt upon 'them.

From hence we may see, that the World has been mightily beholden to this De. scent of the Holy Ghost ever since: Andi that 'the Virtue of those extraordinary Gifts is ac first communicated to the A. postles, reaches in a high Degree to all succeeding Ages. For those extraordinary Gifts were not bestowed upon the Apoftles for chc Advantage of Themselves only,

but

but for the good of Mankind in general. They were appointed by CHRIST to plant his Religion in the World, whereby Men should become acquainted with the Terms of Salvation; and be directed in the sure Way to everlasting Happiness. This was the Office they were called to: And 'twas for the effectual Discharge hereof that they were so wonderfully endu'd with Power from on High. Which when receiv'd, they presently set about their important Business; and in the Prosecution of it we may take notice;

First, That they behaved themfelves with the greatest Courage. This appears from their undaunted Boldness in preaching the Gospel of a crucified Saviour ; and from their Patience under the Sufferings they endur'd upon that Account. Tho' they foresaw that they bould be bated of all Men for the Sake of CHRIST; that they should be scourged in the Synagogues ; and cast out of 'em; that they should be brought before Magistrates; and that those who killed them, should think they did God Service ; yet they openly maintain'd che Cause of their Master, even in that very City at which he was murder'd: And even in the Presence of those very Men, and Magistrates, who had but lately embru'd

« AnteriorContinua »