Page images

faid, that whilft Peter yet spake, the Holy Ghost fell on all tbem that heard the word. And therefore also the Gospel is called the ministration of the Spirit, because as it proceeds from the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit gives utterance, so it also conveys the Spirit to the faithful. Now the gift of Tongoes and Miracles, and other such like gifts are at the present ceased in the Church; but the gift of the Spirit is not ceased; and this, the Lord still joyns with the Ministry of the Gospel, that he may keep up in our hearts the due respect of this ordinance, and may preserve us from the ways of those men, who seek for the Spirit withont the Word.

2. Means, is Faith in the word heard. for it 2. is not every one that hears the word, that re

Faith. ceives the Spirit, but only they, that hear with the hearing of Faith. For if thou hear the word of the Gospel a thousand times, and wantest Faith, thou-shalt never receive the Spirit; for unbelief shuts up the heart against the Spirit, and ever opposes and refifts the Spirit, and never receives it. But Faith opens the Heart to receive the Spirit.

By Faith, we lay hold on Christ in the word ; and through our Union with Christ, we obtain the Spirit. For we have not the Spirit immediately in it self, but in the flesh of Christ. And when we, by Faith are made the flesh of Christ, then we partake of that Spirit, that dwells in the flesh of Christ.

Now through these two things, the Word and Faith, the Spirit communicates to us a new birth, it begets us unto God; and so we partaking of the nature of God, partake also of the Spirit of God. They that are born of Men, have nothing in them but the Spirit of Men, but they that are born of God, have the Spirit of God. That which

is born of the flesh is flesh, and hath no Spirit in
it; but that which is born of the spirit, is spirit,
and hath Spirit in it. So that there is no means
to partake of the Spirit of God, but by being
born of God; and the means by which we are
born of God, are the Word and Faith.

3. Means is Prayer. For Christ hath said, the Prayer. Spirit is given to them that ask. And the Disci

ples when they were to receive the promise of The Spirit, continued with one accord in prayer and fupplication, Acts 1. 14. For God who hath promised to give us his Spirit, hath commanded us to ask it, and when God hath a mind to give us the Spirit, he puts us in mind to ask it ; yea God gives us the Spirit, that by it we may ask the Spirit, secing no man can ask the Spirit, but by the Spirit. Now in asking the Spirit, there is no difference, whether we ask it of the Father or of the Son, seeing the Spirit proceeds from both, and is the Spirit of both. And therefore Christ promiseth the sending of the Spirit from both. From the Father, Joh. 14. The Spirit which the Father will send in my name. From himself, Joh. 16. Except I go, the Comforter will not come ; but if 1 go, I will send bim to you. So that both the Father and the Son give the Spirit, and it is no matter whether we ask him, either of the Father, or of the Son, so we ask him of the Father in the Son, or of the Son in the Father.

And thus you see the way to obtain this power, is to obtain the Spirit, and also by what means this is done.

2. The way to increase this power, is to inThe Way crease the Spirit. And therefore it is as needful to in crease this

for us, to know the means to increase the Spirit,

as to receive it. And they among others, are power,

these :

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

1. To continue in the use of the Word. As the Spirit is first given by the word, so by the fame word it is increased ; and the more any Christian is in the use of the word, the stronger and more vigorous and mighty is the Spirit in him; but the negle& of the word, is the quenching of the Spirit. Let a Christian that is strong in the Spirit, neglect the word a while, and he will foon become weak, and as a man without strength. For the Spirit is not bestowed on us, but through the word, neither doth it dwell in us, but by the word; and the more the word dwells in our hearts by Faith, the more the Spirit dwells in our hearts by the word. And according to the meafure of the word in us, is the measure of the Spirit.

2. To increase Faith. For the more we believe, the more we receive of Christ; and the more we receive of Christ, the more we receive of the Spirit in Chrift. For Faith doth not apprehend bare Christ, but Christ with his Spirit, because these are inseparable. Now always according to the measure of Christ in us, is the measure of the Spirit ; and according to the measure of Faich, is the measure of Christ in us.

3. To be much in Prayer. For the Prayer of the Spirit, increases the Spirit. The more we have the Spirit, the more we Pray, and the more we Pray, the more we receive the Spirit. So that when we have the Spirit in truth, we shall have daily a greater and greater increase of it, till we be filled with the Spirit. For the Spirit comes from Christ, in whom is the fulness of the Spirit, and carries us back again to Christ, that we may receive still more of the Spirit. And so by the Spirit that is in our hearts, we lay hold on the Spirit that is in Christ, and receive more and more of it.


4. To

[ocr errors]

4. To turn our selves daily from the Creature to God. For the more we inlarge our hearts too wards the Creature, the less capable are we of the Spirit of God. For to live much upon the Creature, is to live much according to the flesh, and this quenches and straitens the Spirit in us. And therefore we must live abstractedly from the Creatures, and so use them, as if we did not use them; and so mind them, as if we did not mind them; and abandon the contents and satisfactions of fiesh and blood, and wean our selves from all things but the necesities of nature. And the more free and loose we are from the Creature the more capable are we of Gods Spirit, and the operations of it. He that lives at greatest di. stance from the World, and hath least communion with the things of it, hath always the greatest proportion of Gods Spirit. For as the Apostle saich, If any man love the world, the love of the Father (that is, the Holy Spirit) is not in him; so, if any man love the Father, the love of the world is not in him; now the more any one loves the Father, the less he loves the world; and the less he loves the world, the more the Spirit dwells in him.

5. To cease daily from our own works. The more we act our selves, the less doth the Spirit a&t in us. And therefore we must from day to day, cease from our own works, from the operations of our own minds, and understandings, and wills, and affections, and must not be the Authors of our own actions. For we being flesh our selves, whatever we do is fleshly, seeing the effect cannot be better than the cause. And if we mingle the works of our Flesh, with the works of Gods Spirit, he will cease from working in us. But the less we act in our selvęs, according to the Principles of our corrupt nature, the more

[ocr errors]

will the Spirit act in us, according to the Principles of the Divine Nature. But our own Works, are always a mighty impediment to the operations of the Spirit.

6. To increase the Spirit in us, we must give up our selves to the Spirit, that he only may work in us, without the least opposition and resistance from us. That, as the Soul acts all in the Body, and the Body doth nothing of it self, but is subject to the Soul in all things; fo the Spirit may do all in us, and we may do nothing of our selves without the Spirit, but be subject to the Spirit in all its operations. For the Spirit of God cannot work excellently in us, except it work all in all in us. And in such a man, in whom the Spirit hath full power, the Spirit works many wonderful things, that he according to humane sense is ignorant of. For as the Soul doth secretly nourish, and cherish and refresh the Body, and disperses Life and Spirits through it, even when the Body is alleep, and neither feels it, nor knows it, so the Holy Spirit dwelling in the Soul, by a secret kind of operation, works many things in it, for the quickning and renewing it, whilst it ofrentimes for the present, is not so much as sensible of it.

7. The seventh means to encrease the Spirit, is to attribute the works of the Spirit to the Spirit, and not to our felves. For if we attribute to the flesh, tbe works of the Spirit; and take from the Spirit the glory of his own works, he will work no longer in us. Wherefore we must ascribe unto the Spirit, the whole glory of his own Works, and acknowledge that we our selves are nothing, and can do nothing; and that it is he only, that is all in all, and works all in all, and we our selves, among all the excellent works of the Spirit in us, muft so remain, as if we were and


« PreviousContinue »