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with believers. And this is that second thing expressed in , the manner of his communication, he is sent by authority. He is said to be poured out or shed on us; Tit. iii. 6. où iééxeev p’ huāc tr}\ovatoc, that Holy Ghost which he hath richly poured out upon us, or shed on us abundantly. And this was the chief expression of his communication under the Old Testament, the mystery of the Father and the Son, and the matter of commission and delegation being then not so clearly discovered; Isa. xxxii. 15. ‘until the Spirit be poured on us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest;’ that is, till the Gentiles be called, and the Jews rejected : and chap. xliii. 3. ‘I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thy offspring.” That eminent place of Zech. xii. 10. is always in our thoughts. Now this expression, as is known, is taken from the allusion of the Spirit unto water; and that in relation to all the uses of water, both natural and typical: a particular relation of them, I cannot now insist on ; perhaps efficacy and plenty are chiefly intended. Now this threefold expression of giving, sending, and pouring out of the Spirit, gives us the three great properties of the covenant of grace. (1st.) That it is free, he is given. (2dly.) That it is orderly, ordered in all things and sure; from the love of the Father, by the procurement of the Son; and thence is that variety of expression, of the Father's sending him, and the Son's sending him from the Father; he being the gift of the Father's love, and purchase of the blood of the Son. (3dly.) The efficacy of it, as was last observed. And this is the second thing considerable. (3dly.) The third, which is our receiving him, I shall speak more briefly of That which I first proposed, of the Spirit considered as a Spirit of sanctification, and a Spirit of consolation, is here to be minded. Our receiving of him, as a Spirit of sanctification, is a mere passive reception, as a vessel receives water. He comes as the wind on Ezekiel's dead bones, and makes them live. He comes into dead hearts, and quickens them, by an act of his Almighty power: but now as he is the Spirit of consolation, it is otherwise; in this sense our Saviour tells us that the ‘world cannot receive him;’ John xiv. 17. ‘the world receiveth him not, because it seeth him not, nor knows him: but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and abideth in you.” That it is the Spirit of consolation, or the Spirit for consolation that here is promised, is evident from the close of the verse, where he is said then to be in them, when he is promised to them. He was in them as a Spirit of quickening and sanctification, when promised to them as a Spirit of comfort and consolation, to abide with them for that purpose. Now the power, that is here denied to be in the world, with the reason of it, that they cannot receive the Spirit, because they know him not, is ascribed to believers; they can receive him, because they know him. So that there is an active power to be put forth in his reception for consolation, though not in his reception for regeneration and sanctification. And this is the power of faith, so Gal. iii. 2, they received the Spirit by the hearing of the faith; the preaching of the gospel begetting faith in them, enabled them to receive the Spirit. Hence believing is put as the qualification of all our receiving the Holy Ghost; John vii. 39. ‘this he spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive : it is believers that thus receive the Spirit; and they receive him by faith. Now there are three special acts of faith, whereby it goes forth in the receiving of the Spirit, I shall but name them.
[1st.] It considers the Spirit in the economy before described, as promised. It is faith alone, that makes profit of the benefit of the promises; Heb. iv. 2. now he is called the Spirit of that promise; Eph. ii. 13. the Spirit that in the covenant is promised, and we receive the promise of the Spirit through faith; Gal. iii. 14, so that the receiving of the Spirit through faith, is the receiving of him as promised: faith eyes the promise of God, and of Jesus Christ, of sending the Spirit for all those ends, that he is desired; thus it depends, waits, mixing the promise with itself, until it receive him.
[2dly..] By prayer; he is given as a Spirit of supplication, that we may ask him as a Spirit of consolation; Luke xi, 13. and indeed this asking of the Spirit of God, in the name of Christ, either directly or immediately, or under the name of some fruit and effect of him, is the chiefest work of faith in this world.
[3dly.] It cherisheth him, by attending to his motions, improving his actings according to his mind and will: which is all I shall say to this third thing, or our receiving of the Spirit, which is sent of Jesus Christ; we do it by faith, looking on him as purchased by Jesus Christ, and promised of the Father, we seek him at the hands of God, and do receive him. (4thly.) The next considerable thing, is his abode with us; now this is two ways expressed in the Scripture. 1st. In general, as to the thing itself, it is said he shall abide with us. 2dly. In particular, as to the manner of its abiding, it is by inhabitation or indwelling. Of the inhabitation of the Spirit, I have spoken fully" elsewhere, nor shall I now insist on it: only whereas the Spirit, as hath been observed, is considered as a Spirit of sanctification, or a Spirit of consolation: he is said to dwell in us chiefly, or perhaps solely, as he is a Spirit of sanctification; which is evident from the work he doeth, as indwelling; he quickeneth and sanctifieth; Rom. viii. 11. and the manner of his indwelling, as in a temple, which he makes holy thereby; 2 Cor. vi. and his permanency in his so doing, which, as is evident, relates to sanctification only; but yet the general notion of it in abiding, is ascribed to him as a Comforter; John xiv. 16. he shall ‘abide with you for ever.' Now all the difficulty of this promise lies in this, that whereas the Spirit of sanctification dwells in us always, and it is therefore impossible that we should lose utterly our holiness; whence is it, that if the '. Comforter abide with us for ever, we may yet utterly lose our comfort? A little to clear this in our passage. (1st.) He is promised to abide with the disciples forever,in. opposition to the abode of Christ. Christ in the flesh, had been with them for a little while, and now was leaving them, and going to his Father. He had been the comforter immediately himself for a season, but is now upon his departing; wherefore promising them another comforter, they might fear that he would even but visit them for a little season also, and then their condition would be worse than ever. Nay, but
* Persev. of the Saints, chap. viii.
saith our Saviour, fear it not; this is the last dispensation : there is to be no alteration, when I am gone, the Comforter is to do all the remaining work: there is not another to be looked for, and I promise you him; nor shall he depart from you, but always abide with you.
(2dly.) The Comforter may always abide with us, though not always comfort us; he who is the comforter may abide, though he do not always that work: for other ends and purposes he is always with us, as to sanctify and make us holy. So was the case with David, Psal. li. 11, 12. ' take not thy Holy Spirit from me;' the Holy Spirit of sanctification was still with David, but, saith he,“ restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;' that is, the Spirit of consolation ; that was lost, when the promise was made good in the abode of the other.
(3dly.) The Comforter may abide as a comforter, when he doth not actually comfort the soul. In truth as to the essence of holiness, he cannot dwell in us but withal he must make us holy, for the temple of God is holy; but as to his comforting, his actings therein, are all of his sovereign will, so that he may abide, and yet not actually comfort us.
(4thly.) The Spirit often works for it, and tenders consolation to us, when we do not receive it; the well is nigh, and we see it not: we refuse to be comforted : I told you that the Spirit as a sanctifier comes with power to conquer an unbelieving heart; the Spirit as a comforter comes with sweetness, to be received in a believing heart. He speaks and we believe not that it is his voice; he tenders the things of consolation and we receive them not: ‘my sore ran’ (saith David), and my soul refused to be comforted.
(5thly.) I deny that ever the Holy Spirit doth absolutely and universally leave a believing soul without consolation; a man may be darkened, clouded, refuse comfort, actually find none, feel none, but radically he hath a foundation of consolation, which in due time will be drawn forth; and, therefore, when God promises that he will heal sinners, and restore comfort to them, as Isa. lvii. 17. it is not that they were without any, but that they had not so much as they needed, that that promise is made. To insist on the several ways whereby men refuse comfort, and come short of the strong consolation, which God is willing that we should re
ceive, is not my purpose at present. Thus then the Spirit being sent, and given, abideth with the souls of believers; leaves them not, though he variously manifest himself in his operations : of which in the next place.
Of the actings of the Holy Ghost in us being bestowed on us. He worketh
effectually, distributeth, giveth.
HAVING thus declared, from whence, and how the Holy Ghost is given unto us as a Spirit of consolation; I come in the next place,
(5thly.) To declare what are his actings in us, and towards.us, being so bestowed on us, and receiving by us. Now here are two general heads to be considered ; :[lst.] The manner and kind of his actings in us, which are variously expressed : and,.
[2dly.] The particular products of his actings in our souls, wherein we have communion with him. The first is variously expressed : I shall pass through them briefly.
Ist. He is said tvegyzīv'to work effectually,' 1 Cor. xii. 11. all these worketh or effecteth that one and the self-same Spirit: it is spoken there indeed in respect of his distribution of gifts ; but the way is the same for the communication of graces, and privileges : he doth it by working, which as it convinces his personality, especially as considered with the words following, dividing to every man according to his will,' (for to work according to will is the inseparable property of a person, and is spoken expressly of God, Eph. i. 11.) so in relation to ver. 6. foregoing, it makes no less evident his Deity. What he is here said to do as the Spirit bestowed on us, and given unto us; there is he said as God himself to do. There are diversity of operations but it is "one God that worketh all in all ;' which here in other words is ; ' all these worketh the self-same Spirit dividing to every man as he will.' What we have then from him, we have by the way of his energetical working. It is not by proposing this or that argument to us, persuading us by these or those moral mo