« PrécédentContinuer »
go in the
Christ, and in the mysteries of his kingdom, that they cannot be fathomed. But every glimpse or distant view of Christ, however transient, is of infinite worth to the inspired soul; and so is every fresh discovery of his person or works that is made to us in the word of God; it is meditated on, eat, digested, and treasured up in mind and memory for ever. And this blessed Spirit of wisdom and understanding goes on to guide and guard the mind throughout our whole pilgrimage, till we come to a perfection of knowledge above. And this divine teaching gives another name to the saint's way; “ Forsake the foolish and live, and
of understanding." 5. Furthermore, as the Holy Spirit takes up his abode in the believer, on which account we are denominated holy, because of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, so he is said to sanctify us; “ That the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” And this sanctification is, first, by his most gracious presence; and, secondly, by the pure and purifying grace which he implants; and, thirdly, by the image which he stamps; and, fourthly, by his continual renewing operations which he
produces, and which the believer is sensible enough of; for, however dejected or dismayed before, upon the fresh operations and influences of the Spirit on the soul, he thanks God, and takes courage. This work of sanctification going on by the Spirit in the believer, or working real holiness in him,
gives the saint's way another name; “And a way shall be there; and it shall be called, The way of holiness."
6. As it is by pardon sealed, and by righteousness imputed, that the soul finds peace with God, so all the time that the mind exercises its confidence upon the atonement and righteousness of Christ for acceptance with God, the soul becomes calm, composed, and tranquil, reclining and resting on the Saviour's full satisfaction, and on the divine veracity of God in him. “ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee,” Isa. xxvi. 3. And this gives another name to the saint's paths: “Wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” And what is that which makes wisdom's ways pleasant? why, drinking of the river of God's pleasure. And what is that river but the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and the comfort of love when we enjoy it? And the various operations of the Holy Spirit are the streams that make glad the city of God.
7. Now, as the crowning work of regeneration is being made in some measure perfect in love, so as to cast out fear and torment, which always attend upon unbelief, so love is such a full satisfaction to the soul about the safety of its state, as enables the believer to joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And as love is the crowning work, for he that loveth is born of God, and
knoweth God, so charity, or love, is called the most excellent of all ways.
“But covet earnestly the best gifts; and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way,” follow after charity; for that is the more excellent way; or “ walk in love, as Christ hath loved us.” This is the way of holi
Furthermore, the Holy Spirit takes names to himself, according to his operations on the saints. God makes us willing in the day of his power; ; and the Spirit is called the Spirit of as such he bows the will to yield obedience. The Spirit subdues the enmity of the mind, and renews it, and works faith in it, and leads it into the truth; and he is called the Spirit of a sound mind. In short, the Holy Ghost is a spirit of revelation to the understanding; a spirit of judg. ment to them that sit in judgment upon themselves; a spirit of faith to our mind and heart; a spirit of love to our affections; and a spirit of supplication to all praying souls. He removes stubbornness from our wills, enmity from our minds, darkness from our understandings, impenitency from our hearts, guilt and insensibility from the conscience, and love and delight in sin from the affections. And this is the washing of regeneration.
The renewing of the Holy Ghost is, in short, as follows: He gives power to the will to make choice of Christ above all things else; he per
suades the mind, and this yields the obedience of faith; and under this power the sinner does the will of his Father. He gives an unction to the understanding, which is an eternal light to it; and, though the believer at times may sit in darkness, yet the Lord the Spirit is still a light unto him, and always brings him forth to the light again, and makes him shine the brighter after every seeming eclipse. He gives information to the judgment, so that, “ He that is spiritual judgeth all things, but he himself is judged of no man.” He gives life also and peace to the mind; and to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
. The mind of man is a most busy faculty; it is always at work; and the enmity of it alienates it from the life of God; therefore vanity possesseth it. The natural activity of the mind is called the spirit of it.
“ Be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind.” To renew it is to purge the dross and enmity from it, to influence it with faith, and to stock it, inlay it, and furnish it with the word of God, with the life of grace, and with the enjoyment of peace, and so to set it to work upon high and heavenly things; and the more it works on these things, the more lively and peaceable it is. Again: the Spirit furnishes the conscience with his own witness; and hy that conscience is kept under the tuition and influence of the Holy Spirit; so that conscience and the Spirit bear one testimony; hence we read of conscience bearing witness in the Holy Ghost. And again: “If our
heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.” And again: “Our rejoicing is this, the testimomy of our conscience.”
The Spirit influenceth our affections also with the love of God. “We love him, because he first
And we read of setting our affections on things above, at the right hand of God, where Christ sitteth. By observing these things the believer may perceive something of the renewing work of the Spirit on himself, and come to some certainty and satisfaction about it.
And thus have I shewed the highway, which is Christ; and the way, which is regeneration, And as every quickened sinner is seeking and feeling after light, life, faith, peace, joy, love; for his whole soul is set upon these things; so God says the wayfaring men, that is, all such men as are found walking in this way, though fools in themselves, yet they shall not err in this way. “No lion shall be there;” no enemy to God, nor persecutor of the saints: “nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon;” no wolf, nor fox, who try to destroy the sheep and lambs of Christ by errors and heresies; these shall not be found there, and I doubt not but all believers will consent to this, that they never saw an unclean person; a roaring lion, like Nero; an envious fox, like Herod; or destroying wolves, like the popish tribes, walking in Christ the highway, or following him in the regeneration. “They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.