« הקודםהמשך »
Hie coming down of the Holy Ghost, and the manifold Gifts of the fame.
BEFORE we come to the declaration of the great and manifold gifts of the Holy Ghost, wherewith the church of God hath been evermore replenished, it thall sirst be needful briesly to expound unto you, whereof this seast of Pentecost, or Whitfuntide, had his sirst beginning. You (hall therefore understand, that the seast of Pentecost was always kept the siftieth day after Easter; a great and solemn feast among the Jews, wherein they did celebrate the memorial of their deliverance out of Egypt, and also the memorial of the publishing of the Law, which was given unto them in the mount Sinai upon that day. It was sirst ordained and commanded to be kept holy, not by any mortal man, but by the mouth of the Lord himself, a* we read in Levit. xxiii. and Deut. xvi. The place appointed for the observation thereof was Jerufalem, where was great recourse of people from all parts of the world; as may well appear in the second chapter of the Acts, wherein mention is made of Parthians, Medes, Elamites, inhabiters of Mesopotamia, inhabiters of Jewry, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphilia, and divers other such places, whereby we may also partly gather, what great and royal solemnity was commonly used in that seast. Now as this was given in commandment to the Jews in the old Law, so did our Saviour Christ as it were consirm the fame in the time of the Gospel, ordaining, after a sort, a new Pentecost for
his Disciples: namely, when he sent down the Holy Ghost 1 Cor. x. visibly in form of cloven tongues like sire, and gave them power to speak in such sort, that every one might hear them, and also understand them in his own language. Which miracle, that it might be had in perpetual remembrance, the church hath thought good to solemnize and keep holy this day, commonly called Whitsunday. And here is to be noted, that as the Law was given to the Jews in the mount Sinai, the siftieth day after Easter; so was the preaching of the Gospel, through the mighty power of the Holy Ghost, given to the Apostles in the mount Sion, the siftieth day after Easter.
And hereof this seast hath his name, to be called Pentetost, even of the number of the days. For, as St. Luke writeth in the Acts of the Apostles, when sifty days were come to an end, the Disciples being all together with one accord in one place, the Holy Ghost came tuddenly among them, and late upon each of them, like as it had been cloven tongues of sire. Which thing was undoubtedly done, to teach the Apostles, and all other men, that it is he which giveth eloquence and utterance in preaching the Gospel, that it is he which openeth the mouth to declare the mighty works of God, that it is he which engendered! a burmng zeal towards God's word, and giveth all men a tongue, yea, a siery tongue, so that they may boldly and theerfully prosess the truth in the face of the whole world, as Ifaiah was endued with this spirit. The Lord, faith Ifaiah, Isaiah 1. give me a learned and a jkilsul tongue, so that I might know to raise up them that are fallen with the word. The Prophet David crieth to have tnis gift, faying, Open thou my lips, Psatm i. 0 Lord, and my mouth shalljhew forth tby praise. For our Saviour Christ also in the Gospel faith to his Disciples, //Mauh. x. M not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which is tvitbin you. Ail which testimonies of holy Scripture do sufficiently declare, that the mystery in the tongues betokeneth the preaching of the Gospel, and the open consession of the Christian faith, in all them that are poffeffed with the Holy Ghost. So that if any man be a dumb Christian, not proseffing his faith openly, but cloaking and colouring himself for sear of danger in time to come, he giveth men occasion, justly, and with good conscience, to doubt lest he have not the grace of the Holy Ghost within him, because he is tongue-tied, and doth not speak. Thus then have ye heard the sirst institution of. this seast of Pentecost, or Whitsuntide, as well in the old
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Law among the Jews, as also in the time of the Gospel among the Christians.
Now let us consider what the Holy Ghost is, and how consequently he worketh his miraculous works towards mankind. The Holy Ghost is a spiritual and divine substance, the third Person in the Deity, distinct from the Father and the Son, and yet proceeding from them both: which thing to be true, both the Creed of Athanasius beareth witness, and may be also easily proved by most plain testimonies of God's holy Word. When Christ was baptized of John in the river Jordan, we read that the Holy Ghost came down in form of a dove, and that the Father thundered from heaven, faying, This is my dear
Mruh. iii. and well-heloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Where note three divers and distinct Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; which all notwithstanding are not three Gods, but one God. Likewise, when Christ did sirst institute and ordain the Sacrament of Baptism, he sent his Disciples into the whole world, willing
Mat.xxviii. them to baptize all nations, in the name of the Father, thi Son, and the Holy Ghojl. And in another place he faith,
John iv. J will pray unto my Father, and he shall give you another
John ii. Comforter. Again, When the Comforter shall come, whom I will fend from my Father, &c. These and such other places of the New Testament do so plainly and evidendy 'conssirm the distinction of the Holy Ghost from the other Persons in the Trinity, that no man possibly can doubt thereof, unless he will blaspheme the everlasting truth of God's Word. As for his proper nature and substance, it is altogether one with God the Father, and God the Son, that is to fay, spiritual, eternal, uncreated, incomprehensible, almighty; to be short, he is even God and Lord everlasting. Therefore he is called the Spirit of the Father, therefore he is faid to proceed from the Father and the Son, and therefore he was equally joined with them in the commission that the Apostles had to baptize all nations. But that this may appear more sensibly to the eyes of all men, it shall be requisite to come to the other part, namely, to the wonderful and heavenly works of the Holy Ghost, which plainly declare unto the world his mighty and divine power. First, it is evident that he did wonderfully govern and direct the hearts of the Patriarchs and Prophets in old time, illuminating their minds with the knowledge of the true Messias, and giving them utterance to prophesy of things that should come to pass
long time aster. For, as St. Peter witneffeth, the pro- t Pei. i. phecy came not in old time by the will of man; but the holy men of God sp<ike as they were moved inwardly by the Holy Gbojl. And of Zachary the high Priest it is faid in the Gospel, that he heing full of the Holy Ghost, prophejfied a«</Lukei. praised God. So did also Simeon, Anna, Mary, and divers other, to the great wonder and admiration of all men. Moreover, was not the Holy Ghost a mighty worker in the conception and the nativity of Christ our Saviour? St. Matthew faith, that the bleffed VirginMauh.i. was found with child of the Holy Ghost, before Joseph and she came together. And the angel Gabriel did expressly tell her, that it should come to pass, faying, 77'<:Lukei. Holy Gbejl /ball come upon thee, and the power of the mojl High shall overjhadow thee. A marvellous matter, that a woman should conceive and bear a child without the knowledge of man. But where the Holy Ghost worketh, there nothing is impoffible, as may further also appear by the inward regeneration and fandlisication of mankind. When Christ faid to Nicodemus, Unless a man he bern John iii. anew, of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God, he was greatly amazed in his mind, and began to reason with Christ, demanding how a man might he hom which was old? Can he enter, laith he, into his mother's womb again, aud so he horn anew? Behold a lively pattern of a sleshly and carnal man. He had little or no intelligence of the Holy Ghost, and therefore he goeth bluntly to work, and asketh how this thing were possible to be true: whereas otherwise if he had known the great power of the Holy Ghost in this behalf, that it is ne which inwardly worketh the regeneration and new birth of mankind, he would never have marvelled at Christ's words, but would rather take occasion thereby to praise and glorify God. For as there are three several and sundry persons in the Deity; so have they three several and sundry ossices proper unto each of them. .
The Father to create, the Son to redeem, the Holy Ghost to fanctify and regenerate. Whereof the last, the more it is hid from our understanding, the more it ought to move all men to wonder at the secret and mighty working of God's holy Spirit, which is within us. For it is the Holy Ghost, and no other thing, that doth quicken the minds of men, stirring up good and godly motions in their hearts, which are agreeable to the will and commandment of God, such as otherwise of their own crooked and perverse nature they should never have.
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John T. That which is horn of. the Spirit is spirit. As who should fay, man of his own nature is fleshly and carnal, corrupt and naught, sinful and disobedient to God, without any spark or goodness in him, without any virtuous or godly motion, only given to evil thoughts and wicked deeds. As for the works of the Spirit, the fruits of faith, charitable and godly motions, if he have any at all in him, they proceed only of the Holy Ghost, who is the only worker of our fanctisication, and maketh us new men in Christ Jesus. Did not God's holy Spirit miracu
a Sam.x.vii. lously work in the child David, when ot a poor shepherd he became a princely prophet? Did not God's holy Spirit
Minh. ix. miraculously work in Matthew, fitting at the receipt of cujhm, when of a proud publican he became an humble and lowly Evangelist? Aud who can choose but marvel to consider, that Peter should become of a simple sisher a chief and mighty Apostle? Paul os a cruel and bloody persecutor, a faithful disciple of Christ, to teach the Gentiles? Such is the power of the Holy Ghost to regenerate men, and as it were to bring them forth anew, so that they shall be nothing like the men that they were before. Neither doth he think it sussicient inwardly to work the spiritual aud new birth of man, unleis he do also dwell
i Cor. iii. and abide in him. Know ye not, faith St. Paul, tbatye ari the temple of God, and that his Spirit dwelleth in you? Know ye not that your hodies are the temples of the Holy Gbejl, which is within you? Again he faith, You are not in the
Rom.viii. fiejb, but in the Sf>irit. For -wby? The Spirit of God dwelleth in you. To this agreeth the doctrine of St.
i John ii. John, writing on thiswise: The anointing which ye have received (he meaneth the Holy Ghost) dwelleth in you. And the doctrine of Peter faith the lame, who hath these
i Pei. iv. words: The Spirit of glory and of God rrjlcth upon you. 0 what comfort is this to the heart of a true Christian, to
Rom. T. think that the Holy Ghost dwelleth within him! J/God he with us, as the Apostle faith, who can he again/I tat O but how shall I know that the Holy Ghost is within me? some man perchance will fay. Forsooth, as the tree is known by his fruit, jo is nlj'o the Holy Ghojl. The fruits of
Gal. v. the Holy Ghost (according to the mind of St. Paul) are these: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance, &c. Contrariwise, the deeds of the slesh are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, wantonness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, debate, emulation, wrath, contention, sedition, heresji envy, murder, drunkenness, gluttony, and fuch like.