Page images

The par.

Except the Lord build the House, they labour in vain. that build it; and except the Lord keep the City, the matchman watcheth but in vain; so also except the Lord through his Word, pour forth the promise of the Spirit, and by that Spirit of his, in and through the Word enlarge and govern the Church, they labour in vain that undertake these things of themJelves. For it is the Spirit alone, that through the faithful ministry of the Word, makes the increase of the Church, and lays hold on all the Elect, and brings them through Faith, into the Unity of the Son and of the Father, and teaches them, and orders them, and governs them, and preserves them. And therefore you see here, that the Promise of the Spirit is first performed, before the Church of God hath any Enlargement, or Government.

And now from these General things we proceed ticular to the words more particularly. Te shall receive handling Power when the Holy Ghost is come upon youl. of the words.

And here we may note two things.
1. What he Promises them, and that is Power

you shall receive Power.
2. How they should be made Pertakers of that

Power, and that was, by the Holy Spirits coming upon them.

The Point we will insist on from both, is this. The Dolir. That the receiving of the Spirit, is the receiving of

Power ; till we receive the Spirit, we are alcogether without Power; and when we receive the Spirit, then first of all, do we receive Power; Power from on high.

By Nature, we are all without strength, weak, impotent Creatures, utterly unable to do any thing that is truly and spiritually righteous and good. For by nature, we are nothing but flesh, for that which is born of flesha is flesh, and all flesh is grass, a fading, withering and decaying thing, together with all the flowers of it, that is, the perfections


and excellencies of it. So that by nature, we are
all without power, because we are nothing but
fie f, of which, weakness is an inseparable adjunct.

But when we receive the Spirit, we receive The Spia
paper; for power is an inseparable adjunct of the rit is Pow-
, as weakness is of flesh; yea the Spirit it self or two

ways. which is given us, is power, and that both essentially and operatively, in it self, and in us.

1. The Spirit is power effentially in it self; for it is one God with the Father and the Son, co-efential,


in it felt co-equal, co-eternal; and so as Christ is the power of God, so also is the spirit, the power of God ; yea the spirit is the God of power, as well as the power of God. So that the Spirit is power in himself essentially, and he that partakes of the power of the spirit, partakes of that power, which is God, and no creature.

2. The Spirit, is power operatively in us, by be 2. ing in us.

Operative 1. A Spirit of Knowledge, for the Holy Spirit being in teaches us to know the things that are freely given us. to us of God; yea, he teaches us to know, what fin is, and what rigbteousness; what death is, and Aspirit of what life ; what heaven is, and what bell; what Know

ledge. our seloes are, and what God is, and these things he teaches us to know, otherwise than other Men know them. In a word, the Spirit teaches a ChriStian to know all things, that is, to know God, and the Kingdom of God, and all the things of both, all other things being nothing in comparison of these. Thus the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of knowledge in us, and fo of power ; for knowledge is the strength of a Man. Whereas an ignorant Man is a weak Man, you may carry him whether you will ; but knowledge renders á Man strong and unmoveable. And in all things, wherein the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of knowledge in us, he is also a Spirit of strength.

A Spirit The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of power in us, by be l'ewer B 2




[ocr errors]

ing in us a Spirit of Truth. And so the Spirit is, because it doth not only lead us unto the Truth (that is unto the word which is the only Truth, as it is written, Sanétifie them through the Truth, thy Word is Truth, but also the Spirit leads us into the Truth; it leads us into the Truth, and the Truth into us, till we and it, become one by an inseparable Union. The Holy Spirit takes a Believer, and leads him into one Truth after another, till at last ic leads him into all Truth. Now wherein the Spirit, is a Spirit of Truth to us, it is a Spirit of Power ; for through the Truth we learn from the Spirit of Truth, we are altogether stedfast and unmoveable, among variety of different and contrary winds of Dotrine. And this is the very cause, that among so many divisions, and factions, and errors, and heresies, which woefully prevail in these present times of ours, the People of God are not seduced and overcome, to wit, because they are all taught of God, of God and not of Men, and have the Spirit of Truel, to lead them into Truth; the Spirit I say, and not Men ; and so it is impossible that they should fully and finally be deceived. For wherein we are taught by the Spirit of God, it is unpossible we hould be

pero verted by Men. Whereas on the contrary, the true ground why so many are seduced and overcome by the Errors and Herefies of this Age, is because they have taken up their Religion only from Mans teaching, and have received their Opinions or Doårine from Mex; and fo what one Man hath taugbe us, another Man can anteach; yea if we be led to the Truth it self, only by Man, Man can again lead us from it. For all the world cannot lead any Man into the Truth, till the Spirit lead him into it; and when the Spirit doth lead us into the Truth, all the Men in the world cannot lead us out of it; but we are so sure of those things, where. in the Spirit hath been a Teacher to us, chat if alt


[ocr errors]

the Councels and Churches in the world, yea all the Angels of Heaven should teach us contrary, we would hold them accur sed. But a Man that hath not been taught of the Spirit, every day you may win him into new Opinions, by the power and autearicy of Men, together with the strength of other advantages : But he that hath been led into the Truth, by che Spirit of Truth, is unmoveable and sevinsible among all Doctrines. And thus also the

Holy Spirit by being a Spirit of Truth, is also a Spirit 1 of Power in us.

3. 3. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Power in us, by

A spirit of being in us a Spirit of Wisdom; and so it is, be-wisdom. cause it makes us wise with the wisdom of God, wise upon Earth, after the rate of Heaven, wise to Salvation. There is no Man wise without the Spirit of God, for the wisdom of carnal Men is but foolihress before God, yea before Angels and Saints; but the wisdom of the Spirit is most gracious and Heavenly wisdom. And this wisdom of the Spirit, is the strength of a Christian; the more he hath of is

, the more mighty he is, both in all his doings and indurings. It is said, Eccles. 9. 15. That there Das a poor wife Man, delivered a small City from the porter of a mighty King, and therefore Solomon concludes that wisdom is better than strength, for it can do greater things than strength can. When Da vid carried himself wisely, Saul a great King was afraid of him; he thought himself too weak to deal with David, and David too mighey to deal with him, because of his wisdom; and Solomon asked Wisdom of God above all things, for the strength of his Government ; all Government without this, 2.Cor. 1; being but weak and brittle. Thus wisdam contri-10. butes strength to us, whereas we say of a Man that wants wisdom, he is a weak Man; and so the Holy Spirit being a Spirit of wisdom in us, is also a Spirit of Power.



The Holy Spirit, is a Spirit of Power in us, by A spirit being in us a Spirit of Faith.

For Faith is a work of Faith.

of the Spirit of Power; and no less Power would Eph.1.19.

work Faith in us, then that which raised up Christ from the dead, when he lay under all the sin of man, and all the wrath of God, and all the sorrows of death, and all the pains of hell, it must be a mighty power indeed, that must raise Christ then, and that power was the power of the Spirit ; and no less power will work F.eith. So that whoever truly believes by this faith, of the operation of God, is sensible in his own Soul, of the self same power, that raised Christ up from the dead. And thus the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Faith in us, and so of Pomer. For unbelief keeps a Man in himself, but faith carries a Man out to Chrift; now there is no Man weaker than he that rests on himself, and there is no Man stronger, than he that forsakes himself, and rests on Christ. And so a Man through the power of Faith, is able both to do and indure the

felffame things whichChrist himself did and indured. The pow

1. He is able to do the same things that Christ bimer of faith self did, and therefore faith Christ, all things are inables us possible to him that believeth ; so that a Believer hath

1. to do a kind of omnipotency, and all things are posible the fame to himn ;. because by Faith he lays hold upon the things Chrift

power of God, and all things are posible to the himself power of God, and so all things are possible to a did.

Believer, who is partaker of that power of God.

And hence Paul saith, I can do all tbings through Phil.4.13. Christ that strengthneth me ; this Christ that strength

ned him, was the power of God, and this power of God, is not a finite power, but an infinite, not a particular power, but an universal; and so can do, not fome things only, but all things ; and so also can all they, who are truly partakers of it by Faith. Yea Christ himself hath a greater expreftion than this, yea such an one, that I never durft

« PreviousContinue »