Изображения страниц

ing of such as believe, that they may receive the truth: for faith is the gift of God not only in the object, but also in the act : Christ is not only given unto us, in whom we believe, but it is also given us in the behalf of Christ to believe on him, (Phil. i. 29 ;) and this gift is a gift of the Holy Ghost, working within us an assent unto that which by the word is propounded to us : by this, “the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, that she atiended unto the things which were spoken of Paul, (Acts xvi. 14;) by this the word preached profiteth, being “mixed with faith in them that hear it." Heb. ii. 4. Thus “by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God." Eph. ii. 8. As the increase and perfection, so the origin, or initiation of faith is from the Spirit of God, not only by an external proposal in the word, but by an internal illuminalion in the soul ; by which we are inclined to the obedience of faith, in assenting to those truths, which unto a natural and carnal man are foolishness. And thus we affirm not only the revelation of the will of God, but also the illuinination of the soul of man, to be part of the office of the Spirit of God, against the old and new Pelayians.

The second part of the office of the Holy Ghost is the sanctification of man, in the regeneration and renovation of himn. For our natural corrupcion consisting in an aversion of our wills, and a depravation of our affections, an inclination of them to the will of God is wrought within us by the Spirit of God. For “according to his mercy he saveth us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Tit. iii. 5. So that "except a man be born again of water and of the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” We are all at first defilod by the cor. raption of our nature, and the pollution of our sins, “but we are washed, but we are sanctified, but we are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Cor. vi. 11. The second part then of the office of the Holy Ghost is the renewing of man in all the parts and faculties of his soul.

The third part of this office is to lead, direct, and govern us in our ac. tions and conversations, that we may actually do and perform those things which are acceptable and well-pleasing in the sight of God. “If we live in the Spirit" quickened by his renovation, “we inust also walk in the Spirit,” (Gal. v. 25,) following his direction, led toy his manuduction. And it " we walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulál the lusts of the flesh," (Gal. v. 16;) for we are not only directed but animated and acted in those operations by the Spirit of God," who giveth both to will and to do; and as many as are thus led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Rom. viii. 14. Moreover, that this direction may prove more effectual, we are also guided in our prayers, and acted in our devotions by the same Spirit, ac. cording to the promise, “I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalema, the Spirit of grace and supplication." Zech, xii. 10. Whereas then “this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us,” (1 Jolin v. 14;) and whereas "we know not what we should pray for as we ought, the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be utiered, and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Rom. viii. 26, 27. From which intercession especially I conceive he hath the name of the Paraclete* given him by Christ, who said, “I

will pray unto the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete.” John xiv. 16. For "if any man sin, we have a Paraclete with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” (1 John ii. 1,) saith St. John: who also maketh intercession for us,” (Roro. viii. 34,) saith St. Paul; and we have

Paraclete is the Greek word, which is translated advocate in the English translation of the passages here quoted.

another Paraclete, saith our Saviour; which also "maketh intercession for us," saith St. Paul. A Paraclete then, in the notion of the Scriptures, is an intercessor.

Fourthly, The office of the same Spirit is to join us unto Christ, and make us members of that one body of which our Saviour is the head. "For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body. And as the body is one, and hath many meinbers, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” “Hereby we know that God abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." John iii. 24. As we become spiritual men by the Spirit which is in us, as that union with the body and unto the head is a spiritual conjunction, so it proceedeth from the Spirit; and “he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit.” 1 Cor. vi. 17.

Fifthly, It is the office of the Holy Ghost to assure us of the adoption of sons, to create in us a sense of the paternal love of God towards us, to give us an earnest of our everlasting inheritance. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Rom. v. 5. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Rom. viii. 14. And “because we are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Faiher." Gal. iv. 6. “For we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but we have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bear. ing witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Rom. viii. 15, 16. As therefore we are born again by the Spirit, and receive from him our regeneration, so we are also assured by the same Spirit of our adop. tion; because being sons, we are also "heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ,"' (Rom. viii, 17 ;) by the same Spirit we have the pledge, or rather the earnest of our inheritance. For the which establisheth us in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us, and hath given the earnest of his Spirit in our hearts," (2 Cor. i. 22;) so “that we are sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession." Epb. i. 14. The Spirit of God as given unto us in this life, though it have not the proper nature of a pledge; as in the gifts received here being no way equiva. lent to the promised reward, nor given in the stead of any thing already due; yet is to be looked upon as an earnest, being part of that reward) which is promised, and, upon the condition of performance of the covenant which God hath made with us, certainly to be received.

Sixthly, For the effecting of all these and the like particulars, it is the office of the same Spirit to sanctify and set apart persons for the duty of the ministry, ordaining them to intercede between God and his people, to send up prayers to God for them, to bless them in the name of God, to teach the doctrine of the gospel, to administer the sacraments instituted by, Christ, to perform all things necessary “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." Eph. iv. 12. The same spirit which illuminated the apostles, and endued them with power from above to perform personally their apostolical functions, fitted them also for the ordination of others, and the committing of a standing power to a successive ministry unto the end of the world;

who are thereby obliged to “take heed unto themselves, and to all the nock over which the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers, to feed the Church of God." Acts xx. 28.

By these and the like means doth the Spirit of God sanctify the sons of men, and by virtue of this sanctification, proceeding immediately from his office, he is properly called the Holy Spirit. And thus I have sufficiently described the object of our faith contained in this article, What is the Holy Ghost in whom we believe, both in relation to his nature, as he is the Spirit of God, and in reference to his office, as he is the Holy Spirit.

ON THE CREED. § 7. ON THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH. Why is this Article put into the Creed ?

Because all the blessings of salvation through Christ, and also the operation of the Holy Ghost, would be rendered vain and useless, if there were no Church op which to bestow them. What is the meaning of the word CHURCH?

1. Its popular meaning is, a building set apart for the publie worship of God. It is taken from a Greek word, signifying " the house of the Lord,” which is a common scripture expression.

2. It means a congregation of God's people, whether large or small, who meet together for divine worship. This Moses is he that was in the Church in the wilderness. Acts

vii. 38. Aquila and Priscilla salute you, with the Church that is in their house. 1 Cor. xvi. 19. Rom.

xvi. 5. Col. iv. 15. Philem. 2. 3. It means a society of Christians, distinguished by place, doctrines, government, and form of worship. As the Churches of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, the Romisk Church, the Greek Church, the Church of England, &c.

4. It means the whole Christian society, of which Jesus is the Head, and each true Christian a member, called the body of Christ. To feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his

own blood. Acts xx, 28. God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, &c. 1 Cor.

xii. 28. Gave him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is

his body. Eph. i. 22, 23. And he is the head of the body, the Church. Col. i. 18. The general assembly and Church of the first-born. Heb. xii. 23. How does the nineteenth Article describe a Church ?

“The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, [i. e. men professing the true faith,] in the which the pure word of God is preached ; and the sacraments be duly administered, according to Christ's ordinance.” Is there then an invisible Church ?

Yes: while the visible Church consists of all those persons who have been received into her communion by baptism, the invisible Church consists of those only who are

partakers of that grace of which baptism is the appointed sign and seal ; and therefore God only, to whom all hearts are open, can distinguish who they are. Of how many parts does the invisible Church of Christ con

sist ? Two: that part which is on earth, and that part which is in heaven. What do you call the Church on earth ?

The Church militant, that is, fighting; because its members are in a state of warfare with their spiritual enemies. We wrestle against principalities, &c., against spiritual wicked

ness in high places. Eph. vi. 12. What do you call the Church in Heaven?

Triumphant, because its members, having finished their warfare, triumph and rejoice in heaven. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my

throne. Rev. iii. 21. They are before the throne of God--they shall hunger no more,

neither thirst any more. Rev. vii. 13–17. Why is the Church called holy?

1. To distinguish it as a society different from the world, which is wicked, and out of which they, who are brought into the Church, are called with a holy calling. Who hath called us with an holy calling. 2 Tim. 1. 9. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from

this present evil world. Gal. i. 4. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in

wickedness. 1 John v. 19. 2. Because it is a body, of which the Holy Ghost is the animating principle. He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 1 Cor. vii. 17. By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. I Cor. xji. 13.

3. Because God hath set apart all true members of the Church for himself. The Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself. Ps. iv. 3.

They produce the fruits of holiness, (Eph. ii. 13. 2. Tim. ii. 19,) and are called saints, or holy persons. Sanctified in Christ Jesus, called be to saints. 1 Cor. i. 2.

4. Because Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it, that he

might sanctify and cleanse it, that he might present it to himself a glorious Chureh, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. Eph. v. 25–27.

* See note at the end of this section, page 88.

When you name the Catholic Church, do you thereby mean

the Roman Catholic Church ? By no means. What then ?

Catholic means universal, or the whole. Why is the Church called Catholic ?

Because it is not confined to one particular nation, as the Jewish Church was, but embraces some of all nations and languages. What then do you mean by the Holy Catholic Church ?

I mean all the faithful in every age and nation, who, being united to Christ as their spiritual Head, serve and worship God aright. All that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our

I . 2 All them that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Eph. vi,

24. Collect for All Saints' Day.-0 Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

ON CHURCH GOVERNMENT. What was the order of the Church under the law of Moses?

It consisted of the threefold order, of the high priest, the priests, and Levites. Moses was directed by God to ordain Aaron and his sons to minister in the priest's office, Aaron as high priest, and his sons as priests, (Exod. xxviii.) and, at his death, the office of high priest descended, by God's command, to Eleazer his son. Num. xx. 25-28. And Eleazer, the son of Aaron the priest, shall be chief over the chief of the Levites, and have the oversight of them that keep

the charge of the sanctuary. Num. üi. 32. By whom was the Jewish Church appointed ?

By God himself; but
The priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a

change also of the law. Heb. vii. 12. What instructions have the apostles given, by example or

precept, respecting the different orders of ministers in a

settled state of the Church ? We find in their writings mention made of apostles, bishops, presbyters or elders, and deacons.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »