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« comes. The Christian religion is an influx from God “ upon the minds of good men; and the great design of « the gospel is to unite human nature to divinity,
“ The gospel is a mighty efflux and emanation of life « and spirit, freely issuing forth from an omnipotent « source of grace and love; that godlike, vital influence, “ by which the Divinity derives itself into the souls of “ men, enlivening and transforming them into its own “ likeness, and strongly imprinting upon them a copy of “ its own beauty and goodness: like the spiritual virtue “ of the heavens, which spreads itself freely upon the « lower world, and subtilely insinuating itself into this “ benumbed, feeble, earthly matter, begets life and moution in it; briefly, it is that whereby God comes to “ dwell in us, and we in him.
• The apostle calls the law, the ministration of the “ letter and of death, it being in itself but a dead letter, 6 as all that which is without a man's soul must be; but “ on the other side, he calls the gospel, because of the « intrinsical and vital administration of it in living im
pressions upon the souls of men, the ministration of the “ spirit, and the ministration of righteousness; by which “ he cannot mean the HISTORY of the gospel, or those « CREDENDA propounded to us to believe; for this would “ make the gospel itself as much an external thing as " the law was; and so we see that the preaching of "" Christ crucified was to the Jews a. stumbling-block, and “ to the Greeks foolishness. But indeed he means a “ VITAL EFFLUX from God upon the souls of men, “ whereby they are made partakers of life and strength “ from him.
“ Though the history and outward communication of “ the gospel to us in scriptis is to be always acknowledged " as a special mercy and advantage, and certainly no less “ privilege to the Christians, than it was to the Jews, to “ be the depositaries of the oracles of God, yet it is plain
" that the apostle, where he compares the law and the “ gospel, means something which is more than a piece “ of book-learning, or an historical narration of the free 6 love of God, in the several contrivances of it for the “ redemption of mankind.
« The evangelical or new law is an efflux of life and “ power from God himself, the original of life and “ power, and produceth life wherever it comes; and to 6 this double dispensation of law and gospel does St. 6 Paul clearly refer, 2 Cor. iii. 3. You are the epistle “ of Christ ministered by us, WRITTEN NOT WITH INK, " but with THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD.-Not in “ tables of stone; which last words are a plain gloss upon " that mundane kind of administering the law, in a mere “ external way, to which he opposeth the GOSPEL. .“ The gospel is not so much a system and body of “ saving divinity, as the spirit and vital influence of it “ spreading itself over all the powers of men's souls, and « quickening them into a DIVINE LIFE; it is not so pro 6 perly a doctrine that is wrapt in ink and paper, as it « is VITALIS SCIENTIA, a living impression made on the « soul and spirit. The gospel does not so much con“ sist in verbis as in virtute; in the written word, as in 6 an internal energy.”.
He who wishes to have an adequate idea of this profound scholar and most excellent man, will find a pleasing account of him in Bishop Patrick's sermon at his funeral, subjoined to the SELECT DISCOURSES, which abound with beautiful passages, illustrative of the true Christian philosophy.
· Dr. Isaac Barrow's Opinion of the Evidence of Christi...
anity, afforded by the illuminating Operation of the Holy · Spirit; and on the Holy Spirit in general.
- " OUR reason is shut up, and barred with va" rious appetites, humours, and passions against gospel " truths; nor can we admit them into our hearts, except “ God, by his spirit, do sct open our mind, and work a “ free passage for-them into us. It is he who com“ manded the light to shine out of darkness, that must, “ as St. Paul speaketh, illustrate our hearts with the know“ ledge of these things. An unction from the Holy One, "clearing our eyes, softening our hearts, healing our 5 distempered faculties, must, as St. John informeth us,
TEACH and persuade us this sort of truths. A hearty. “ belief of these seemingly incredible propositions must " indeed be, as St. Paul calleth it, the GIFT of God, pro“ ceeding from that Spirit of faith whereof the same " apostle speaketh; such faith is not, as St. Basil saith, “ engendered by geometrical necessities, but by the ef« fectual operations of the Holy Ghost. Flesh and “ blood will not reveal to us, nor can any man with « clear confidence say that Jesus is the Lord (the MES“SIAS, the infallible Prophet, the universal Lawgiver, " the Son of the living God) but by the Holy Ghost. “ Every spirit which sincerely confesseth him to be the “ Christ, we may, with St. John, safely conclude to be « of God; for of ourselves we are not sufficient, as the “ apostle says, dorico-J06076, to reason out or collect any “ of these things. We NEVER, of our own accord, with5 out DIVINE ATTRACTION, should come unto Christ ; that “ is, should effectually consent unto and embrace his in6 stitution, consisting of such unplausible propositions
“ and precepts. Hardly would his own disciples, who
admonish, excite, and urge them to the marking and “ minding them; hardly, I say, without the guidance of « this Spirit, would our Lord's disciples have admitted “ divers evangelical truths, as our Lord himself told “ them. I have, said he, many things beside to say to “ you, but ye cannot as yet bear them; but when he, the “ Spirit of truth, shall come, he shall CONDUCT YOU INTO « ALL TRUTH. : '
“ As for the mighty sages of the world, the learned “ scribes, the subtle disputers, the deep politicians, the « wise men according to the flesh, the men of most re“ fined judgment and improved REASON in the world's “ eye, they were more ready to deride than to regard, “ to impugn than to admit these doctrines; to the “ Greeks, who sought wisdom, the preaching of them o seemed foolishness.
“ It is true, some few sparks or flashes of this divine “ knowledge may possibly be driven out by rational con- . 1. “sideration. Philosophy may yield some twilight glim“ merings thereof. Common reason may dictate a faint « consent unto, may produce a cold tendency after some « of these things; but a clear perception, and a resolute “ persuasion of mind, that full assurance of faith and in“ flexible confession of hope oplodovia ons earridos axdoms, 6 which the apostle to the Hebrews speaks of, that full “ assurance of understanding, that abundant knowledge 6 of the divine will in all spiritual wisdom and under“ standing, with which St. Paul did pray that his Colas“ sians might be replenished; these so perfect illustra
« tions of the mind, so powerful convictions of the heart, “ do argue immediate influences from the Fountain of life “ and wisdom, the DIVINE SPIRIT. No external in“struction could infuse, no interior discourse could ex“ cite them; could penetrate these opacities of igno“rance, and dissipate these thick mists of prejudice, “ wherein nature and custom do involve us; could so “thoroughly awaken the lethargic stupidity of our souls; “coald supple the refractory stiffness of our wills; could “ mollify the stony hardness of our hearts; could void " our natural aversion to such things, and quell that "O govnuece cagros, that carnal mind, which, St. Paul says, is " enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, “ neither indeed can be; could depress those of apatay “ those lofty towers of self-conceit, reared against the “ knowledge of God, and demolish those oxuewpacto, « those bulwarks of self-will and perverse stomach, op“posed against the impressions of divine faith, and cap“tivate may yonpede, every conceit and device of ours to " the obedience of Christ and his discipline. Well, " therefore, did St. Paul pray in behalf of his Ephesians, " that God would bestow on them the Spirit of wis“ dom and revelation in the acknowledgment of him, " and that the eyes of their mind might be enlightened, ( so as to know the hope of their calling; that is, to un" derstand and believe the doctrines of Christianity.****
“ We proceed now to the peculiar offices, functions, " and operations of the Holy Spirit: Many such there " are in an especial manner attributed or appropriated “ to him; which, as they respect God, seem reducible
to two general ones: the declaration of God's mind, "and the execution of his will; as they are referred to “ man, (for in regard to other beings, the scripture dcth “ not so much consider what he performs, it not concern“ing us to know it:) are especially the producing in us “ all actions requisite or conducible to our eternal happi
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