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Except the Lord build the House, they labour in vain. that build it; and except the Lord keep the City, the Watchman 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 themselves. 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 you. of the words.
And here we may note two things.
you shall receive Power.
Power, and that was, by the Holy Spirits coming upon them.
The point we will insist on from both, is this. The Doitr. 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 pithout power, because we are nothing but : file h, of which, weakness is an inseparable adjunct.
But when we receive the Spirit, we receive The Spió poner; for power is an inseparable adjunct of the rit is PowSpiris, as weakness is of flesh; yea the Spirit it self or two
ways. which is given us, is power, and that both effentially 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.ellential, Dentially
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 himfelf 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.
Operatives 1. A Spirit of Knowledge, for the Holy Spirit being in
ly in us, by 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 righteousness; what death is, and Aspirit of what life ; what heaven is, and what bell; what nowour seldes are, and what God is, and these things ledge. he teaches us to know, otherwise than other Men know them. In a word, the Spirit teaches a Chris ftian 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 so 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
2. knowledge in us, he is also a Spirit of strength.
A Spirit The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Power in us, by be I'ower
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, Sanctifie 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 it 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 Doétrine. 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, wic, because they are all taught of God, of God and not of Men, and have the Spirit of Trweb, to lead chem into Truth; the Spirit I say, and not Men ; and so it is imposible that they should fully and finally be deceived. For wherein we are taught by the Spirit of God, it is unpossible we should be perverted 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 Do&rine from Mex; and fo what one Man hach taught 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 ont of it; but we are so sure of those things, wherein the Spirit hath been a Teacher to us, that if all
the Councels and Churches in the world, yea all the Angels of Heaven should teach us contrary, we would hold them accursed. But a Man that hath not been taught of the Spirit, every day you may wia him into new Opinions, by the power and autestity of Men, together with the strength of other advantages : But he that hath been led into the Truth, by the Spirit of Truth, is unmoveable and muinsible among all Doctrines. And thus also the Holy Spirit by being a Spirit of Truth, is also a Spirit 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 foolifaness 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 in 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 power of a mighty King, and therefore Solomon condudes that wisdom is better than strength, for it can
greater things than strength can. When David carried himself wisely, Saul a great King was afraid of him; he thought himself too weak to deal with David, and David too mighty 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,
but because the Father had kept the time and seae fon, wherein all this should be done, in his own power. Had this been placed in Christs power, he had no doubt made it known to them, as well as he did those other things, which he had heard from his Father, but the Father had not placed this in his Sons power, but had reserved it in his own; and the Apostles were not to pry after, that which was hidden with God, but were to content themselves with what he had revealed.
But though the Son did not reveal to them what the Father had kept in his owon power, yet he tells then, what the Father had promised unto them, and what he had also put into his power, and what he would certainly perform e'er long, and that was the gift of the Spirit of power, saying, But ye shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be witneffes to me, &c. As if he should have said, Do not you trouble your selves about secret things, which shall not be accomplish'd in the world, till many years after you are fallen aSleep ; but do you mind your present business, wherein you are to serve God, in your Generation; your present task is to be witnesses unto me, in Jerusalem, and all Judea, and in Samaria, and to che utmost parts of the Earth; to declare and make known, what you have heard, and seen with your eyes, and looked upon, and your hands have handled of the word of Life: You are to testifie to the World my Incarnation, Doctrine, Miracles, Life, Death, Resurrection, and my Kingdom and Glory, that is to coine: You are to make known to the World, the high and deep, the great and glorious mystery of Christ and of the Gospel ; and that you may be fit for this great and weighty work, you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost : Tou svall receive power, when the Holy Ghost is come upon