« הקודםהמשך »
guilt and power of sins past, and an emancipation from the power of sin, present and future.
He needs to be justified, and to be sanctified. Man is justified by the blood of Christ effectually offered and pleaded for him in the presence of God, upon his repentance and faith: and Christ having made atonement for sin by the shedding of his blood, ascended to plead it; and then sent his Spirit to sanctify the soul of every sinner who, by repentance and faith, through the ministration of the Church, lays hold on the benefits of Christ's intercession.
Q. What is the necessity of the sanctification of our nature, and wherein does it consist?
A. Since without holiness it is impossible to please God, or attain that happiness which consists in the enjoyment of him; and since the frailty and corruption of our nature are so great, that we cannot of ourselves attain this holiness; God hath sent to us his Holy Spirit to sanctify us, to be the author of all internal holiness, and the principle of our spi. ritual life; and, therefore, this blessed Spirit gives clearness to our faith, zeal to our charity, and strength and power to all our graces. ;
Q: When may the Holy Spirit be said to give clearness to
A. The Holy Spirit gives clearness to our faith, when he internally illuminates our minds, and inclines them to obedience to the will of God, externally revealed in the holy Scriptures; so that our faith becomes strong enough to go. vern our practice, and influence our lives.
Q. When does the Holy Spirit give zeal to our charity?
A. The Holy Spirit gives zeal to our charity, when the love of God, which he sheds abroad in our hearts, leads us earnestly to discharge our duty, and to seek to promote the spiritual welfare and happiness of our fellow-men; recommending religion by our holy conversation and example, and enforcing it by our prayers, our benefactions, and our instructions to all those over whom we may have influence, and particularly to our families and dependents.
Q. When does the Holy Spirit give strength and power to all our graces ?
A. The Holy Spirit gives strength and power to all our graces, when he subdues within us the power of sinful passions, and raises us above the vain allurements and corrupto ing pleasures of the world; when the difficulties and dangers that assail us in our religious course, serve only, through
his inspirations, to enkindle our ardour, and animate our resolution; and when the duties of self-denial, patience, and forbearance, which, to worldly minds, appear so difficult, are embraced with joy and satisfaction, through the power of that divine grace to which nothing is impossible."
Q. It will be proper to explain more particularly the office of the Holy Spirit towards us. Is it not his office to illuminate our minds ?
A. It is the office of the Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds with the knowledge of divine truth.d. All supernatural light and wisdom have eveľ proceeded from him. He has revealed, by the inspiration of prophets and apostles, the objects of faith; and he enlightens our minds, naturally ignorant and prone to error, to apprehend divine truth; and, by the representation of proper arguments, persuades our reason to embrace it.
Q. Is it not the office of the Holy Ghost to purify and renew us?
A. It is the office of the Holy Ghost to purify and renew us; to set our wills and affections free from all sinful inclinations and desires : and when he has reduced our wills and affections to a sincere compliance with the laws of God, he confirms and strengthens us; so that, while we are diligent and watchful, no examples or temptations, no sinful pleasures or allurements, no afflictions or persecutions, shall shake or overcome our constancy.
Q. Is it not the office of the Holy Ghost to excite and quicken us?
A. It is the office of the Holy Ghost to excite and quicken us in the ways of piety and virtue.
As by his sanctifying influence he first inspired us with spiritual life, so he still proceeds to cherish and invigorate it; prompting us forward to all good actions, strengthening us in the discharge of duty, and inflaming our resolution and zeal.
Q. Is it not the office of the Holy Ghost to comfort and sustain us?
A. It is the office of the Holy Ghost to comfort and sustain us in our Christian course; to inspire our minds with such joys and consolations as are necessary to support us under the difficulties and temptations to which we are exposed; to give us a foretaste of that happiness prepared for us, which raises us aboye all the sorrows and trials of life.
d Eph. i. 17, &c.
Q. Is it not the office of the Holy Spirit to direct and assist our devotions by his powerful intercession ?
A. It is the office of the Holy Spirit to direct and assist our devotions by his powerful intercession. We are not able of ourselves so much as to think a good thought, much less to withdraw our minds from sensible things to divine and spiritual truths. The Holy Spirit warms our cold affections, and inflames our hearts with devotion towards God, and ex. cites in us those dispositions and affections which qualify us to approach the throne of grace.
Q. How may we obtain these ordinary influences of the Holy Spirit ?
A. We may obtain these ordinary influences of the Holy Spirit, by the use of those means which God hath appointed for the purpose, and which are therefore called the means of grace ; by humble, sincere, and earnest prayer; by frequently reading and hearing God's holy word; and especially by a devout and uniform attendance on the ordinances of the Church; for to the Church, as his body, Christ has given his Holy Spirit; and, by union with the Church, by the participation of its ordinances, we derive the influences of this Spirit.
Q. What useful consideration does this festival suggest to us?
A. This festival should teach us devoutly to thank God for those miraculous gifts by which he qualified and enabled his apostles to promulgate and establish the Gospel in the world. Above all, we should gratefully adore and acknowledge the Holy Spirit, as the author of our spiritual life, of all good dispositions and all good works; we should earnestly desire and pray for his purifying and consoling influences; we should hearken attentively to his holy suggestions, and carefully obey them, not quenching his divine light, not resisting his gracious persuasions, not grieving or vexing him; but, on the contrary, in dependence on his aids, we should endeavour to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, that we may be temples in which he will delight to dwell. If we will faithfully apply ourselves to him, we shall be able, through his strengthening power, to discharge the most severe duties, and to overcome the most powerful temptations.
e Eph. ii. 18; Rom. viii, 26/
Monday and TUESDAY in Whitsun WEÆK.
HAT shows the solemnity of the festival which the Church celebrates this day?
A. The Church has set apart these two days for the exercise of religious duties; it being her design that we should offer up our praises and thanksgivings to God for the gracious display of his grace and mercy in the Gospel ; which Gospel was confirmed by the descent of the Holy Ghost, and the miraculous gifts which he bestowed on the Apostles.
Q. Explain the lessons for Monday.
A. The first lesson for Monday morning (Gen. xi. to ver. 10,) is a history of the confusion of tongues at Babel; wbereby the Church designs to remind us, that as the consusion of tongues spread idolatry through the world, and made men lose the knowledge of God and true religion; so God provided, by the gift of tongues, for the restoration of the knowledge of himself among men, and for laying the foundation of a new religion. In the first lesson for Monday evening (Numb. xi.) is recorded the resting of God's Spirit upon the seventy elders of Israel, to enable them to ease Moses of part of his burden in governing that numerous people. This event exactly prefigured the descent of the same Holy Spirit at this time upon the Apostles and others to the same end, viz. that the care of all the Churches might not lie upon one single person. The second lessons for this day (1 Cor. xii
. and xiv. to ver. 26,) instruct us that the spiritual gifts, of whatever sort they are, are all given " to profit withall;" and therefore designed to be made use of for edification, as their true and proper end.
p. Explain the lessons for Tuesday.
A. The first lesson for Tuesday morning (1 Samuel xix. ver. 18,) relates the inspiration of Saul and his messengers by the Spirit of God. The first lesson for the evening (Deut. xxx.) contains a prophecy of Moses, how God would deal with the Jews upon their repentance; alluding to the time when, by the power of the Holy Ghost, the Jews, God's ancient people, should be brought home to his spiritual fold,
the Church of Christ. The second lessen for the morning (1 Thess. v.) forbids us “ to quench the Spirit” of God, or to despise the prophecies uttered by it. And the second lesson for the evening (Gal. v.) exhorts us to cherish all those graces of the Holy Spirit which are the fulfilling of the law; and as we are “led by the Spirit," it exhorts us to “ walk by the Spirit,” “crucifying the flesh with its affections and Justs.”
Q. Explain the collects, epistles, and gospels for these days.
A. The collects for these days are the same as for WhitSunday. The epistles are concerning the baptism of converts; Whitsuntide and Easter being, as has been before observed, the more solemn time for performing that ceremony. The epistles also relate to the receiving of the Holy Ghost by the hands of the Apostles; this being the season for confirmation, which was always done by the imposition of hands. The gospel for Monday seems to have been chosen for the instruction of those newly baptized : teaching them to believe in Christ, and to become children of the light. The gospel for Tuesday seems to be appointed in consideration of this being one of the Ember or Ordination weeks; the design of it being to put a difference between those who are lawfully appointed and ordained to the ministry, and those who, without any commission, arrogate to themselves that sacred office.*
o. WHEN was this festival, in commemoration of the doctrine of the blessed Trinity, instituted in the Church?
A. This festival, in commemoration of the doctrine of the ever blessed Trinity, is comparatively of modern date. As the praises of the Trinity were every day celebrated in the
* The substance of the two chapters in the original work of Nelson, on Monday and Tuesday in Whitsun Week, in the present work constitutes
the preliminary instructions on the evidences of the Christian religion."