« AnteriorContinuar »
This was a strong Argument to convince Unbelievers^ and to confirm these new Converts that were yet weak in the Faith., as appears by that Answer which these 'i Christians at Ephesus made toSt. Paul, who being asked i if they had received the Holy Ghost (in like Manner £fts namely as Cornelius and others had received at their i^. 2. Baptism) they faid they had not so much as heard iff there be any Holy Ghost; ' that is, whether there fee" . any extraordinary Manisestation or Spirit of Prophecy given to the Christian Church, as was of old in the Jewish Church. - '.'''"'
This is what our blessed Saviour faid to his Disciples; while he was yet with them, He that believeth on me, as the Scripture faith, out of his Belly shall flow Rivers of living Water: . But this he spake of the Spirit, which' . they that believfcon him should receive; for thV.Holy Ghost was not yet given them info plentiful a Measure, as now, because that Jesus was not yet glorified and ascended up into Heaven to receive this Gist for Men.
And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, this was the Time when the Holy Ghost manisested himself, not instantly upon Christ's difappearing and leaving his Disciples, but ten Days after his Ascension; that so. they might prepare and pray the more earnestly for this Blessing, that they might wait patiently and believe^ when it came to pass that all the Promises of Godvin Christ are yea and in him Amen. , [ ,
O my Soal, wait thou upon the Lord,, for yet a little while, and he that should come will come, and will not tarry.
. '« • The Lord is good unto them that wait for'him, ta "the Soul that seeketh him.
But now the Time, especially when the Holy Ghost manisested himself, is observable from the Solemnity thereof: It was upon the Day of Pentecost, a great s^ . . 0 ..,.4,*. -^east Feast amorig the Jtws in Remembrance os she Law that was published on Mount Sinai, fifty Days after their , Deliverance out of Egypt, and now consecrated by this • miraculous Appearance and Manisestation of the Holy. Ghost, tp be a solemn Festival in the Christian Ghurdj, m Remembrance of sogreat a Mercy* . When the Gospel was preached to Sojourners out of;ev?ery Nation under Heaven, fifty Days after Christ's Resurrection from the dead; as it is written, The Lord gave the Word, and great was tjie; Company of those to whom it was given. For as the Apostle argues, If the Ministration of .Death, to wit, the publishing of the Law, writ.ten a*4.engra^ri in Stones was glorious, so that the Children, of }fYa<e&r could not steadfastly behold the F^ce of Mefesio^ the Glory of his Countenance, whichGlory. was to fee done. away; how shall not the Ministration of the Spirit,; and that spiritual Law of the Gospel be rather glorious?. . jor if the Ministration of Condemnation be glorious,* much more doth the Ministration of Righteousness; exceed in Glory ; for even that which was made glorious had no Glory in this'Respect, by Reason of the Glory.' that excelleth: Fovif that which is done ,away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. See how the fame Apostle triumphs, that he^was not any longer under the ceremonial Law of Types and xarnal Ordinances, which were imposed only until the Times of Reformation. There jis.therefore now no (Condemnation to them which are inQhristfefus, who walk not after the Flefb, but after the Spirit. For the Law of the Spirit of Life,' in Christ Jtfus, hath made me free from the Law .of Sin and Death. For what the Law could do, in that it was weak through the Fle/b, God fending his own Son, in the Likeness of finful Flesh, and for Sin condemned Sin in the .Flejb: Thjit the Righteousness of the. Law might fa fulfiled in w, who. walk not after the Flesh* C 97.1 .
but after the Spirit. And a little aster, Tor. ye h/tve not received the Spirit of'Bondage again to Fear, butye have received the Spirit of Adoptionwhereby we cryf AbbaFather.
Now was fulfilled that which was spoken by the Prophet Isaiah, faying, Arid it (hall come to pass in the las Days, that the Mountain of the LORD's House fall be'establifted in the Top of the Mountains, and shall be' exalted above the Hills, and all Nations shatt flow unto it. '; And many People shall go np to the Mountain os the Lord, to the House os the God of Jacob, and he will t«ach us of his Ways, and we will walk in ;h\sPaihs:'. For out of ZJon shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord'from Jerusalem, . as on this Day :. Av\d! when the Day of Pentecost was fully come,, they were.' all with'One accord in one Place, and this Place seems fbbave been either the upper Room where Christ did' iChro celebrate the Passover, and the Holy Communion with" 8.' his Disciples, consecrating the Pla.ce then "with his r Kinospecial Presence, and now with the miraculous Mani. 5. ^ ^' festætion of the Holy Ghost. Or this Place was the Luke Temple wherein were several Chambers, add where the 2a. Disciples continued daily at the constant Times of De? votion, in Prayers and praising God.
These previous Dispositions made Way for the Blessing ,» of the Day: First, Their Unity; 'tjjey were all cjf one Heart and one Soul: Their Unity in Affection did conciliate their Unity in Judgment, and both these led them to Unity in Worship, keeping the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond.of Peacfe.'
"The Communion of Sa.fnrs is an Article of our Creeand a great Help.to our Christian Charity; withou which we can have no Fellowship with the Holy Spii or eternal Happiness; as it is written, And the Lc added to his Church daily such as should be fvued: For
£ 9* 3 , ,; ...... ... ...
as the Hand, or any other Member is dead, when divided from the Body, so are these spiritually dead, that separate from the Church, Christ's mystical Body^ which is the Fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Behold the First-fruits of the Holy Spirit, to unite lqi many of different Rites and Ceremonies into one Faith and Worship, by his spiritual Lise and Light. Matth. For where two or three are gathered in my Name (fays 18. 20. our blessed Lord ) there am I in the midst of them.
Now the God of Patience and Consolation, grant you to be like minded one towards another, according to Christ Jesus, that ye may with one Mind, and one Mouth glorifie God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Next, Their Piety going up to the House of the Lord, . . where every one doth speak of his Glory, and where he commandeth the Blessing, even' Lise for evermore.
However the Earth be the Lord's, and the Fulness thereof, yet hath he a special Propriety in these Places that are set apart for religious Worship;" they are the Palaces of the great King, and the more decent and magnificent they are, like Solomon's Temple, or the Curtains of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, which were adorned with curious Pictures and Cherubims, the more becoming they are the Divine Majesty, and the more proper and effectual to raise our Respects and Devotions; as it is written, Pfal. The Lord loveth the Gates of Zion, more than all the 87. 2. Dwellings of Jacob. . . •
Ps.102. For thy Servants take Pleasure in her Stones, and 14. favour the Dust thereof. .
Here the Lord manisests his Glory, dispenses his Graces, and wonderfully. enlightens,1 comforts and iChro. fanctifies his People in the Assembly of the Saints, a' 2.16. where the Word and Sacraments are administrate, wh
the sacrifices of Prayfr and Praises are offered: Here (far from the Noise and Cares of the World) we have a special Promise of the Divine Presence and Blessing, for his Eyes and his Heart will be in these Houses perpetually: In *& Places where I record my Name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee:
Indeed God will be graciously Present with his own 'at all Times, an&4n all Places; on the Bed of Sickness, ; in the Depths of the Sea, and the darkest Prisons; as he was with "job on the Dunghill, with Daniel in the Lions Den, and with the three Children in the Fiery
• Furnace; when we cannot go to Worship him in his own
• House; Which should encourage us the more so long :.as we have Health and Peace to seek .the Lord in the
," Courts of the Lord's House: So the Spouse enquires . of Her Beloved, and'is directed whereto find him.
Tell me, 0 thou whfrm my Souiloveth, where thou feedefl, where thou makest thy Flock to reft at Noon: For why Jhould I be as one that turneth aside by the Flocks of thy Companions? [: \ v" . • .
If thou know not,. 0 thou fairest among Women, go thy ''way forth by the Footsteps of the Flock, and feed thy KJds beftde the Shepherds "Tents.
Thy Way, 0 Lord, is in the Sanctuary. Blessed are they thai. dwell in^ihy Houjje, they.shall still be praising, thee. '. Selah. :';." .1 V.. <V. "..;'
One thing.have I desired of the Lord,, thai I trill f&e'fc . After, that I may dwell in the House of the Lord, all the Days of my Life, to behold the Beauty of the Lord, and.to enquire in. his Temple.
Now when the Disciples'were assembled together r. with united Hearts in the House_of Pr.ayer,. and at the Hour of Prayer,, waiting for the Promise of the Father, and the Presence of the Holy Spirit, in Obedience'to , ir Master'^ Commands, when their Hopes were mant, and their Expectations attentive, suddenly.