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nicated more fully than before to his Apoftles; to teach them all Things needful, and bring to their Remembrance whatever he had faid to them: fo that in all their Difcourses for the Inftruction of Mankind, it was not so much they who spoke, as the Spirit of the Father that spoke in them f. Nor can we doubt, but he afforded them equal Affistance at least in what they wrote for the Use of all future Ages. The fame Spirit was alfo their Comforter under every Suffering: and laftly bore Witness to the Truth of their Doctrine and our Faith, by a Multitude of Signs and Wonders and fupernatural Gifts &: by which Means, and the Ministry of their Succeffors, whom likewife the Holy Ghost made Overseers over Chrift's Flock", the Light of his Gospel hath filled the World, and now fhines upon us.


Nor is it outwardly alone, that he reveals and confirms to us divine Truths: but as the bleffed Jefus promifed, that he should dwell in his Difciples, and abide with them for ever; fo, by his inward Operations, the Credibility of which I fhall, God willing, prove to you in its proper Place, he opens our Hearts to receive the Word of God, influences our Affections to delight in it, and excites our Wills to act conformably to it: for which Reasons good Perfons are faid to be led by the Spirit'; and all Chriftian Graces to be the Fruits of the Spirit With the wicked he frives", till they obftinately harden themselves, and then forfakes them. But those, who yield to his Motions, he renews, and strengthens with Might in the inner Man P helps their Infirmities, and both directs and animates their Prayers, thus making, as it were, Interceffion within them. By this one Spirit, being in all Chriftians,, they are united into one Body, and made to love each other. By the Holy Ghost also, the Love of God is fed abroad in our Hearts, teaching us to

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look upon him, not as an auftere Mafter, but a kind Parent; or, in the Language of St. Paul, to cry, Abba, Father. And thus the Spirit beareth Witness with our Spirit, joins with our Confciences to complete the Evidence, that we are the Sons of God": from whence arifes that Joy in the Holy Ghost", which different Perfons have in very different Degrees: and therefore no one fhould defpond, because he feels but little, or at Times perhaps Nothing, of it, provided he truly honours and ferves God. But to fome Perfons, on fome Occafions, the heavenly Comforter vouchfafes, both strong Afsurances of their good State; (hereby know we, that God abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us * ;) and fuch lively Confolations from it, as amount to a Pledge and Foretafte of Happiness to come. Accordingly they are faid to be fealed with the Holy Spirit of Promife, which is the Earneft of their Inheritance.

But to prevent wicked Perfons of enthusiastic Tempers from mistaking, as they often have done, their own groundless Confidence for the inward Teftimony of the divine Spirit, they should be carefully reminded, that by our Fruits we are known2, and muft know ourselves *; that the Fruit of the Spirit is in all Righteoufnefs and Truth", and only good Men are full of the Holy Ghoft. For inte a malicious Soul he will not enter; nor dwell in the Body, that is fubject unto Sin. The Holy Spirit of Difcipline will flee Deceit; and remove from Thoughts, that are without Understanding; and will not abide, when Unrighteousness cometh in ".

III. The next Thing propofed was to fpeak of the Duties owing to the Holy Ghoft: which, besides the general one of honouring him fuitably to his Nature as God, are in particular to be baptized in his Name, as I have already mentioned; to pray for his Graces; for God giveth Grace unto the humble, and will give his Holy Spirit to them that afk him; to be heartily thankful for all

Rom. viii. 15. Gal. iv. 6.

U Rom. viii. 16.
y Eph. i. 13, 14.
Eph. v. ...
Luke xi. 13.


Acts xi. 24.

* 1 John iii. 24.


a 1 John ii. James iv. 6.

Rom. xiv. 17.

z Matth. vii. 16.. d Wild. i. 4, 5.


his good Motions, and confcientioufly to obey them in every Inftance. By this laft I do not mean, that we fhould believe every Spirit; follow every strong Imagination of our own, or Pretence of Light from above in others: but adhere steadily to that Rule of Life, which the Holy Ghost hath directed the Writers of Scripture to teach us, and inwardly prompts and difpofes us to obferve. For other Inspiration, than this, being now become unneceffary; we have no Reafon to diftruft it. But especially, if we be urged, under Colour of such Authority, to break any one ftanding Precept of the Gofpel, or add to, or take away from, any fingle Article of our Creed; though an Angel from Heaven were to require it, we are not to yield; but keep close to the Faith and holy Commandment, which were once delivered to the Saints, and shall never be altered.

Thefe then are our Duties to the ever-bleffed Spirit. There are likewife mentioned in Scripture,

IV. Sins against him. And one of thefe, not all, as melancholy Perfons are apt to imagine, but one alone, is faid by our Saviour to be unpardonable: which is Blafphemy against the Holy Ghoft. Now that means only, fpeaking reproachful Words, deliberately and maliciously, against the miracles done by the Power of the Holy Ghost, or the supernatural Gifts proceeding from him, and the only Perfons, to whom Chrift declared, that this fhould not be forgiven, were thofe, who had the Teftimony of their own Senfes for the Reality of thefe Miracles and Gifts; and notwithstanding the fulleft Evidence of their coming from the Spirit of God, obftinately perfifted in reviling them, and even afcribed them to the Devil. Now there is a plain Reason, why this Sin, under these Circumftances, must be unpar donable. The Perfons guilty of it, had flood out against all the Means, which Heaven had provided for the Conviction and Converfion of Mankind: none more

* 1 John iv. 1. * Matth. xii. 31.

Gal. i. 8.
Mark. iii. 28, 29.
E 6


2 Pet. ii. 21. Jude, ver. 3.


Luke xii, 10.

powerful remained to bring them to Repentance; and, as they could not be forgiven without repenting, there was plainly no Way left for their Recovery.

But then it is equally plain, that Perfons, who never were Witneffes to any fuch miraculous Powers; but live as we do, many Ages after they are ceased; cannot in this Respect, fin to the fame Degree of Guilt, fince it is not against the fame Degree of Evidence: and that as they, who were guilty of it originally, were Unbelievers in Chrift, fo indeed, no Believer in him, continuing fuch, can poffibly defign, whilft his Thoughts and Words are in his own Command, to speak Evil of the Holy Ghoft or his mighty Works. Nor therefore can he come under the Condemnation of those, whom the Epiftle to the Hebrews defcribes, as wilfully doing Despite to the Spirit of Grace; and of whom it pronounces, that there remains for them no more Sacrifice for Sin, but a fearful Expectation of Judgment1. Believers may indeed rafhly and thoughtlessly ufe profane Words concerning the Holy Ghoft: but thefe, though undoubtedly great Offences, and too likely to make Way for greater still, are very far from the unpardonable Sin. And as for what fome good Perfons are often terrified about, the wicked Imaginations that come into their Minds, and Expreffions that come out of their Mouths, at Times, almost whether they will or not; in Proportion as they are involuntary, they are not criminal in them, be they in their own Nature ever fo bad. When therefore poor fcrupulous Souls affright themselves about fuch Things, as thefe; or when they who have not finned at all against the Spirit, otherwise than as every ill Action is a Sin against him; or have finned in a quite different Manner from the Jews in the Gofpel, and heartily repented of their Sin; when they apprehend, that notwithstanding this they cannot be pardoned; they intirely miftake their own Cafe: either through Ignorance or falfe Opinions infufed into them, or exceffive Tender

↑ Heb. x, 26——29.


nefs of Mind; or indeed more commonly by Reason of fome bodily Disorder, though perhaps unperceived by themselves, which depreffes their Spirits, and clouds their Understandings, and requires the Help of Medi



Another Sin against the Holy Ghoft, mentioned in Scripture, is lying to him: which means there, afferting Falfhoods, being confcious that they were fuch, to Perfons infpired by him with the Knowledge of Men's Hearts, as did Ananias and Sapphira. But the Offences, which we are in Danger of committing against him, are refifting and quenching his good Motions and Influences, and grieving him by corrupt Communication, evil Thoughts, or unholy Actions. Thefe Things therefore let us diligently avoid; or, if we have fallen into them, fincerely repent of them: the oppofite Duties let us confcientiously practise, and ftedfaftly perfevere in them: for fo fhall we commend ourselves to God, and to the Spirit of his Grate; who is able to build us up, and give us an Inheritance amongst them who are fanctified; to which he of his Mercy bring us all, for the Sake of our Redeemer Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Article IX. The Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints.

HE moft ancient Creeds of all went no further than a Declaration of Faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft, in whofe Name we are baptized. For in this Profeffion all thofe other Points of Doctrine



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