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SERM.make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Thefe are the particular Obfervations I thought useful to draw from the History in the Text: It remains that we confider in the next place the general Doctrine concerning the Nature and Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which was the Foundation and Occafion of the particular Incidents referred to in the Text.
Of receiving the Holy Ghoft.
[ Preached on Whitfunday.]
He faid unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghoft fince ye believed? And they faid unto him, We have not fo much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghoft. And he faid unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized?
Na former Difcourfe upon thefe Words, I have indeavoured briefly to explain the meaning, of the feveral particular expreffions here made ufe of by the Apostle, and by the new Converts
SER M. Converts with whom he difcourfed. It reIII. mains at this time, according to the Me
thod proposed, that I proceed in the next place to confider the general Doctrine, concerning the Nature and Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which was the Foundation and Occafion of the particular Incidents referred to in the Text.
I. WHEN John the Baptift came preaching and baptizing with Water; with whose Baptifm only, the Disciples in the Text have been baptized, had neither received the Gift of the Holy Ghost themselves, nor fo much as heard of its miraculous Gifts being bestowed on others ; he modeftly and plainly confeffed, Matt. I indeed baptize you with Water unto Repentance; but He that cometh after me, is mightier than I, whofe Shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire. According to This Declaration of John the Baptift, our Saviour, a little before his Afcenfion, promised his Difciples, Acts. i. 5; John truly baptized with Water, but ye fhall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days bence. And This his Promife
was effectually made good to them, in that S ER M• miraculous Effufion of the Holy Spirit at III. Pentecoft, which we this day commemorate, and which is particularly described in the second chapter of the Acts. Where that Circumftance of there appearing unto the Apostles cloven tongues, like as of Fire, ver. 3; explains the meaning of that prophetical Phrase used by John the Baptift concerning our Lord, He fhall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, descending at first visibly in the appearance of Fire; and continuing with you afterwards, in pursuance of what That Emblem reprefented, by an Affiftance as much more powerful and efficacious than what John Baptift pretended to, as Fire is more powerful and more purifying than Water. To the Apostles and first Disciples, who were to spread the Gospel over the World, this their being baptized with the Holy Ghost, was accompained with miraculous Gifts and Powers; fuch as fpeaking with tongues, healing difeafes, and the like: But when the reafon of these miraculous
Operations ceased, yet fill every Christian
SER M.is baptized with the Holy Ghoft as well as III. with Water; and his internal fanctifying
Gifts and Graces, are to continue with us always even unto the end of the World. If any one has not received thefe Gifts of the Holy Ghoft, it may ftill be asked him with the fame propriety as in the Text, Unto what then was ye baptized? If any man has not in him the Spirit of Chrift; if he does not fhow forth in his Life the Fruits of the Spirit, by Works of Righteousness and true Piety; if his Heart be not fanctified by this Spirit of Holiness; if his Mind approves not, and delights not in things fpiritual; if his Will obeys not the good Motions of this Divine Affifter; if the Actions of his Life are not guided by the Commands of God, revealed to us in Scripture by the Infpiration of the Holy Ghoft; to what purpose then was fuch a Perfon baptized?
IT may here perhaps be inquired, Does not the Spirit of God diftribute to every man feverally as he himself willeth? Does not the wind blow where it lifteth, and fo (faith our Saviour) is every one that is born of the Spirit? Are we not justified freely