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To conclude; have you the Spirit of God in you ? Then wait in expectation of future glory. The Holy Spirit is the seal whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption, Eph. iv. 30. What God seals he appropriates for his own, and it cannot be alienated from him. Hath God then sealed you with that Holy Spirit of promise? Then he hath made you his own, you are his in an eternal and inviolable covenant; and although the mountains depart, and the hills be removed, yet my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee, Isa. liv. 10. The Spirit of God is also called the earnest of our inheritance, Eph. i. 14. God hath given his children many great and precious promises; but lest that should not suffice, lest they should distrust his goodness, or question his faithfulness, he gives them an earnest of the purchased possession. An earnest is part of the estate, and security of the conveyance of it. Hath God, therefore, given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts? As certainly as we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us here, we shall dwell with God in heaven hereafter. If we have the earnest, we cannot miss of the inheritance. Lastly, the Spirit is a witness, 1 John, v. 6. it is the Siprit that beareth witness. And what doth he bear witness to? The Apostle Paul tells us, the Spirit beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God, Rom. viii. 16. The Spirit is infallible, and his testimony is to be depended upon. His evidence is clear and convincing, so that they to whom he witnesseth, cannot possibly doubt of their

being children of God. Their faith and hope are built upon the testimony of the divine Spirit. And how is it possible they should doubt their being children of God, when God by the inward witness of his Spirit tells them they are? Hence they draw near to God in full assurance of faith, as the apostle speaks, Heb. x. 22. They are sure that God is their Father, that Christ is their Saviour; they are sure their sins are forgiven, and that they are at peace with God; they are as sure of going to heaven as if they were there already. This is a part of experimental religion which despisers will not believe, though a man who hath experienced the truth thereof declare it unto them, Acts, xiii. 41. "Worldlings,

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(saith Bishop Davenant,*) will not believe that "such a full assurance of faith is impressed upon "the hearts of believers ; but the pious who continue "stedfast in the gospel experience it."

II. The illumination of the Spirit is necessary to a right and saving knowledge of the holy scriptures : I say, a saving knowledge of the holy scriptures, because men may have a notional acquaintance with them, a spéculative knowledge of them, and yet not be in a state of salvation. This knowledge is not sufficient to bring them to heaven. A competent skill in grammar, history and cristicism, will give men an

*Talem Angopogiav imprimi fidelium animis non credent mundani; experiuntur tamen pii, qui constantes perseverant in evangeio Exposit. Epist. ad Col. cap. 11. ver. .2

insight into the letter of scripture; but to see the true light, and feel the saving power thereof, an internal operation of the Spirit is required; and without this, no man can understand the scripture to any saving purpose. The natural man, (saith the apostle,) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. ii. 14. A person can no more discern spiritual and divine things without the teaching and illumination of the divine Spirit, than a man without eyes can behold the sun. In the fall of man, all his faculties were vitiated and debased; among the rest, his understanding was darkened, and his judgment corrupted: hence, he is rendered incapable of beholding spiritual objects, and forming a right judgment concerning them. He remains in gross ignorance of the things of God and religion, till the Holy Spirit darts an heavenly beam into his soul, and fills him with a divine light for, it is the Spirit which searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God, and revealeth them unto us, ver. 10. in such a manner and measure, as is necessary to our eternal salvation. We cannot know these divine depths any farther than the Holy Ghost reveals them unto us.

In the second part of the Homily of the Information of certain places of scripture, the people are thus instructed, "If ye will be profitable hearers "and readers of the holy scriptures, ye must first "deny yourselves, and keep under your carnal "senses taken by the outward words, and search "the inward meaning: reason must give place to

"God's Holy Spirit; you must submit your worldly "wisdom and judgment unto his divine wisdom and "judgment." How would that expression, "Keep "under your carnal senses, taken by the outward "words," be laughed at, if it was not found in one of our own homilies! And how disagreeable to some people is the doctrine of an outward and inward meaning in scripture? Yet, this Homily makes express mention of both these, and exhorts "the peo"ple to search into the inward meaning of scrip❝ture, and to submit their reason to God's Holy "Spirit."

The Homily entitled, A fruitful Exhortation to the Reading and Knowledge of the Holy Scripture, hath this passage: "The words of holy scripture be "called words of everlasting life, for they be God's "instrument ordained for the same purpose. They

have power to turn through God's promise, and

they be effectual through God's assistance; and, "being received in a faithful heart, they have ever "an heavenly spiritual working in them." Το which, add the conclusion of the Homily for Whitsunday He that is the Lord of heaven and earth, of "his great mercy so work in all men's hearts, by "the mighty power of the Holy Ghost, that the "comfortable gospel of his Son Christ may be truly

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preached, truly received, and truly followed in all "places." The comfortable gospel of Christ cannot be truly preached without the mighty power of the Holy Ghost. Preachers who have not the Holy

Ghost, are no ministers of Christ. They who have the Holy Spirit attending their ministry, speak not with the enticing words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth. When they are thus influenced and inspired, their word is in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. The Holy Spirit warms their heart, and they feel what they say their expressions are "affectionate and cordial, as proceeding from the "heart, and an experimental acquaintance with "those truths which they deliver; quod procedit e

corde redit in cor. It is a hard matter to affect "others, with what we are not first affected by our"selves. Præcipuum ad persuadendum est amare "quod suades: Amanti pectus ipsum suggerit ora"tionis ardorem. It is said of John the Baptist, "that he was a burning and shining light: Ardere "prius est, lucere posterius ; ardor mentis cst lux doc"trinæ. This is to speak in the evidence and de"monstration of the Spirit and power."*

The Homily of reading the Holy Scripture says, "In reading of God's word, he not always most pro"fiteth that is most ready in turning of the book, or "in saying of it without book, but he that is most "turned into it, that is most inspired with the Holy "Ghost, most in his heart and life altered and "changed into that thing which he readeth." It is

Bishop Wilkin's Gift of Preaching

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