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which Christ had spoken, that is, such as belonged unto the kingdom of God. Neither are they all of them absolutely intended, especially as to the degrees of the knowledge of them. For in this life we know but in part, and see all things darkly as in a glass. But it is all things and all truth with respect unto the end of this promise and teaching. In the promise the whole life of faith, with joy and consolation thereon, is the end designed. All things necessary thereunto, this unction teacheth us. And in the other place of the apostlé, it respects the great fundamental truths of the gospel which the seducers opposed, from whose seduction this unction doth secure believers. Wherefore, it teacheth all that are made partakers of it, all that truth, all those things, all that Christ hath spoken that are necessary unto these ends that they may live unto God in the consolation of faith, and be delivered from all attempts to draw them into error.
The degrees of this knowledge which are exceeding various, both with respect unto the clearness and evidence of conception, and the extent of the things known, depend on the various measures whereby the Spirit acteth according unto his own will, and the different use of the external means of knowledge which we do enjoy. But what is necessary unto the ends mentioned, none shall come short of who enjoy this anointing. And where its teachings are complied withal in a way of duty, where we obstruct them not by prejudices and sloth, where we give up ourselves unto their directive efficacy in a diligent, impartial attendance unto the word whereby alone we are to be taught, we shall not fail of that knowledge in the whole counsel of God, and all the parts of it, which he will accept and bless. And this gives stability unto believers, when trials and temptations about the truth do befal them; and the want hereof in the uncured darkness of their minds, and ignorance of the doctrine of the gospel, is that which betrays multitudes into a defection from it in seasons of temptation and persecution.
(3.) It so teacheth as to give withal an approbation of, and love unto, the things that are taught. These are the next principle and cause of practice, or the doing of the things that we know, which is the only cement of all the means of our security rendering them firm and stable. The mind
may discern spiritual truths, but if the will and affections be not wrought over to love them and delight in them, we shall never conform ourselves unto them in the diligent exercise and practice of what they do require. And what we may do on the solitary efficacy of light and conviction without the adherence of love and delight, will neither be acceptable
. unto God, nor shall we be permanent and stable therein. All other means in the world without the love and practice of the truth, will be insufficient unto our preservation in the saving profession of it. And this is the characteristical note of the teachings by this unction. It gives and communicates with it the love of that truth wherein we are instructed, and delight in obedience unto what it doth require. Where these are not, however raised our minds may be, or our understandings enlarged in the apprehension of objective truths, whatever sublime notions or subtile conceptions about them we may have, though we could master and manage all the speculations and niceties of the schools in their most pretended accuracy of expression, yet as to the power and benefit of religion, we should be but as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. But when this Holy Spirit doth in and by his teaching breathe into our hearts a holy, divine love unto, and complacency in, the things we are taught, when he enables us to taste how gracious the Lord is in them, rendering them sweeter unto us than the honey or the honeycomb, when he makes them our delight and joy, exciting and quickening the practical principles of our minds unto a compliance with them in holy obedience, then have we that unction from the Holy One which will both sanctify and secure our souls unto the end.
And hereby may we know, whether we have ourselves received of this anointing. Some would fain put it off unto what was peculiar unto the times of the apostles, and would suppose another kind of believers in those days, than any are now in the world, or need to be; though what our Saviour prayed for them, even for the apostles themselves, as to the Spirit of grace and consolation, he prayed also for all them who should believe on him through their word unto the end of the world. But take away the promise of the Spirit, and the privileges thereon depending, from Christians, and in truth they cease so to be. Some neglect it, as if it were an
empty expression, and either wholly insignificant, or at best intended somewhat wherein they need not much concern themselves; and whatever it be, they doubt not but to secure the pretended ends of it in their preservation from seduction by their own skill and resolutions. On such pretences are all the mysteries of the gospel by many despised, and a religion is formed wherein the Spirit of Christ hath no concernment. But these things are otherwise stated in the minds of the true disciples of Christ. They know and own of how great importance it is to have a share in this unction; how much their conformity unto Christ, their participation of him, and the evidence of their union with him; how much their stability in profession, their joy in believing their love and delight in obedience, with their dignity in the sight of God and all his holy angels, do depend thereon. Neither do we look upon it as a thing obscure or unintelligible, that which no man can know whether he hath or no. For if it were so, a thing so thin, aerial, and imperceptible, as that no spiritual sense or experience could be had of it, the apostle would not have referred all sorts and degrees of believers, fathers, young men, and little children, unto it for their relief and encouragement in the times of danger. Wherefore, it evidenceth itself in the way and manner of its acting, operation, and teaching before declared. And as by those instances they satisfy themselves as unto what experience they have of it; so it is their duty to pray continually for its increase, and farther manifestation of its power in them; yea, it is their duty to labour, that their prayers for it may be both fervent and effectual. For the more express and eminent the teachings of this anointing in them are, the more fresh and plentiful is their unction, the more will their holiness and consolation abound.
And whereas this is that by which, as it immediately proceeds from the Holy Spirit, they have their peculiar dedication unto God, being made kings and priests unto him, they are highly concerned to secure their interest therein. For it may be they are so far from being exalted, promoted, and dignified in the world by their profession, as that they are made thereby the scorn of men, and the outcasts of the people. Those indeed whose kingdom and priesthood, their dignity and honour in Christianity, their approximation unto
God and Christ in a peculiar manner, consist in secular titles, honour, power, and grandeur, as it is in the papacy, may content themselves with their chrism, or greasy unction -of their outward, ceremonious consecration, without much inquiry after, or concern in, this spiritual anointing. But those who get little or nothing in this world, that is, of the world, by their profession, but labour, pain, travail of soul and body, with scorns, reproaches, and persecutions, had need look after that which gives them a dignity and honour in the sight of God, and which brings in satisfaction and peace unto their own souls : and this is done by that anointing alone whereby they are made kings and priests unto God, having honour before him, and a free, sacred access unto him.
2. I shall only add, that whereas we ascribe this anointing in a peculiar manner unto the Holy Ghost, as the Comforter of the church, we may easily discern wherein the consolation which we receive by it doth consist. For who can express that satisfaction, refreshment, and joy, which the mind is possessed with, in those spiritual, effectual teachings which give it a clear apprehension of saving truth in its own nature and beauty, and enlarge the heart with love unto it, and delight in it. It is true, that the greatest part of believers are oft-times either at such a loss as unto a clear apprehension of their own spiritual state, or so unskilled in making a right judgment of the causes and means of divine consolations, or so confused in their own experiences, or so negligent in their inquiries into these things; or are so disordered by temptations, as that they receive not a refreshing sense of those comforts and joys, which are really inseparable from this anointing. But still it is in itself that spring from whence their secret refreshments and supportments do arise. And there is none of them but upon guidance and instruction are able to conceive, how their chiefest joys and comforts, even those whereby they are supported in and against all their troubles, are resolved into that spiritual understanding which they have into the mysteries of the will, love, and grace of God in Christ, with that ineffable complacency and satisfaction which they find in them, whereby their wills are engaged into an unconquerable constancy in their choice. And there is no small consolation
in a due apprehension of that spiritual dignity which ensues hereon. For when they meet with the greatest troubles, and the most contemptuous scorns in this world, a due apprehension of their acceptance with God, as being made kings and priests unto him, yield them a refreshment which the world knows nothing of, and which themselves are not able to express.
The Spirit a seal; and how. SecondŁY, Another effect of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter of the church is, that by him believers are sealed; 2 Cor. i. 21, 22. He who anointed us is God, who hath also sealed us.' And how this is done, the same apostle declares, Eph. i. 13. 'In whom also after ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.' And chap. iv. 30. · And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed to the day of redemption. In the first place, it is expressly said, that we are sealed with the Spirit, whereby the Spirit himself is expressed as this seal, and not any of his especial operations; as he is also directly said himself to be the pledge of our inheritance. In the latter, the words are, év & toppaylo9nT€, ‘in whom,’in and by the receiving of whom, 'ye are sealed.' Wherefore, no especial act of the Spirit, but only an especial effect of his communication unto us, seems to be intended hereby.
The common exposition of this sealing is taken from the nature and use of sealing among men. The sum whereof is this; sealing may be considered as a natural or moral action, that is, either with respect unto the act of it as an act, or with respect unto its use and end. In the first way it is the
nication of the character or image that is on the seal
thing that is sealed, or that the impression of the et unto. In answer hereunto, the sealing of the ould consist in the communication of his own spi're and likeness unto the souls of believers; so
should materially be the same with our sanctifi