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man severally as he will." And these gifts were all shed abroad for evangelical purposes, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ. And this spirit, St. Peter' tells us, is a spirit of glory:' and therefore, that gospel, for the more plentiful promulgation whereof he was shed abroad, must needs be a gospel of glory too.
And this farther appears, because, in this more solemn publication of the gospel, there was much more abundance of glorious light and grace shed abroad into the world. The Sun of Righteousness, in his estate of humiliation, was much eclipsed with the similitude of sinful flesh, the communion of our common infirmities, the poverty of a low condition, the grief and vexation of the sins of men, the overshadowing of his divine virtue, the form and entertainment of a servant, the burden of the guilt of sin, the burden of the law of God, the ignominy of a base death, the agony of a cursed death. But when he ascended up on high, like the sun in his glory, he then dispelled all these mists; and now sendeth forth those glorious beams of his gospel and Spirit, which are the two wings, by which he cometh unto the churches, and under which the healing and salvation of the world is treasured." John Baptist" was the last and greatest of all the prophets, who foretold of Christ; a greater had not been born of women: and yet he was 'less than the least in the kingdom of heaven,' that is, than the least of those upon whom the promise of the Spirit was shed abroad, for the more glorious manifestation of the kingdom of his gospel. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John; but, at the coming of Christ, they seemed to be taken away, not by way of abrogation and extinguishment, as the ceremonies,but by way of excess and excellency, "ut stellæ exiliores ad exortum solis," as the orator speaks. So saith the apostle,
"Even that which was made glorious, had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth." There fore the full revelation of the gospel is called an effusion of the Spirit,' not in dew but in showers of rain P, which multiply into 'rivers of living water,' (for the rain of the Spirit
Eph. iv. 12, 13. Isai. xxxv. 5, 6, 7. vi. 7. John vii. 38. iv. 14,
1 1 Pet. iv. 14.
Mat. xi. 11, 13.
m Mal. iv. 2. Ezek. xlvii. 8, 9.
floweth from heaven as from a spring) and into wells of salvation,' and into a sea of knowledge.' Which attributes note unto us two things. First, The abundance of spiritual grace and knowledge by the gospel; it should be a river: -Secondly, The growth and increase thereof; it should be 'living water',' multiplying and swelling up like the waters of the sanctuarys, till it came to a bottomless and unmeasurable sea of eternal life. And to touch that which was before spoken of, very glorious are the virtues of the Spirit in the gospel, intimated in this similitude of 'living water.' To quench the wrath of God, that otherwise consuming and unextinguishable fury, which devoured the adversaries with everlasting burnings:-To satisfy those desires of the thirsty soul which itself begetteth: for the Spirit is both for medicine and for meat; for medicine, to cure the dull and averse appetites of the soul; and for meat, to satisfy them. The Spirit is both 'a Spirit of supplication', and 'a Spirit of grace or satisfaction;'-a Spirit of supplication, directing us to pray; and a Spirit of grace, supplying those requests, and satisfying those desires which himself did dictate:-to cleanse", to purify, to mollify, to take away the barrenness of our natural hearts to overflow and communicate itself to others :-to withstand and subdue every obstacle that is set up against it:-to continue and to multiply to the end.
By this then we learn the way how to abound in grace and glory, and how to be transformed into the image of Christ. The beam and light of the sun is the 'vehiculum' of the heat and influence of the sun; so the light of the gospel of Christ is that which conveyeth the virtue and gracious working of the Spirit upon the soul. And therefore we are to seek those varieties of grace, which are for meat to satisfy the desires, and for medicine to cure the bruises, of the soul, only upon the banks of the waters of the sanctuary *; that is, in the knowledge of the word of truth, which is the gospel of salvation. The more of this glorious light a man hath, the more proportion of all other graces will he have too. And, therefore, the apostle puts the growth of these two together, as contributing a mutual succour unto one another,
Tit. iii. 6. * John iv. 10. s Ezek. xlvii. 12.
t Zech. xii. 10. y Mal. iii. 16. b 2 Pet. iii. 18.
"Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" your grace will enlarge your desires of knowledge; and your knowledge will multiply your degrees of grace.— And St. Paul makes the knowledge of the will of God in wisdom, and after a spiritual manner, to be the ground of fruitfulness in every good work; and that again an inducement to increase in knowledge: as, in the twisting together of two cords into one rope, they are by art so ordered, that either shall bind and hold in the other. As, in the heavens, the inferior orbs have the measure and proportion of their general motions from the supreme; so, in the motions of grace in the soul, the proportion of all the rest ariseth from the measure of our spiritual and saving light. The more distinctly and thoroughly the spirit of a man's mind is convinced of the necessity, beauty, and gloriousness of heavenly things, the more strong impressions thereof will be made upon all subordinate faculties; for we move towards nothing without preceding apprehensions of its goodness;— which apprehensions as they more seriously penetrate into the true and intimate worth of that thing, so are the motions of the soul thereunto proportionably strengthened. As the hinder wheels in a coach ever move as fast as the former which lead them; so the subordinate powers of the soul are overruled in their manner and measure of working towards grace, by those spiritual representations of the truth and excellency thereof, which are made in the understanding by the light of the gospel. Thus the apostle telleth us, that "the excellency of the knowledge of Christ" was that which made him so earnest to win him; "the knowledge of the power of his resurrection, and fellowship of his sufferings," was that which made him reach forth, and press forward unto the mark and price of that high calling which was before him.
Thirdly, The glory of the gospel of Christ with his Spirit may be considered in regard of the matters which are therein contained, namely, the glory, the excellency, the treasure, of God himself. "We all," saith the apostle, "with open face behold, as in a glass" (that is, in the spiritual ministration of the gospel, having the veil of carnal stupidity taken
© Col. i. 9, 10.
d Phil. iii. 8, 14. • 2 Cor. iii. 18.
away by the Spirit) "the glory of the Lord." What glory do we here behold, but that which a glass is able to represent? Now in speculo nisi imago non cernitur,' nothing can be seen in a glass but the image of that thing which sheddeth forth its species thereupon: and therefore he immediately addeth, "We are changed into the same image from glory to glory." And elsewhere he putteth these two together, "Man is the image and glory of God:" for nothing can have any thing of God in it, any resemblance or form of him, but so far it must needs be glorious. But how do we in the gospel see the image of God who is invisible? The apostle expresseth that elsewhere ; "God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Christ is the image and express character of his Father's glory, as the impression in the wax is of the form and fashion of the seal. There is no excellency in God, which is not completely, adequately, and distinctly, in Christ: so that in that glass, wherein we may see him, we may likewise see the glory of the Father. Now the gospel is the face of Jesus Christ,'-that which as lively setteth forth his grace and Spirit to the soul, as if he were present in the flesh amongst us. Suppose we that a glass could retain a permanent and unvanishing species of a man's face within it; though he himself were absent, might we not truly say, This glass is the face of that man, whose image it so constantly retaineth? So, inasmuch as Christ is most exactly represented in his gospel (so that when we come into his personal and real presence, to know even as we are known, we shall be able truly to say, This is indeed the very person who was so long since, in his gospel, exhibited to my faith, sic ille manus, sic ora gerebat') it is therefore justly by the apostle called the face of Jesus Christ;' and the glass wherein we see the image and glory of God.' As it is the same light which shineth from the sun upon a glass, and from a glass upon a wall; so it is the same glory which shineth from the Father upon the Son, and from the Son upon the gospel so that in the gospel we see the unsearchable treasures of God, because his treasures are in his Son.
Therefore, that which is usually called 'preaching the gospel,' is, in other places, called 'preaching the kingdom', and the riches of Christ, to note the glory of those things which are in the gospel revealed unto the church.
It containeth the glory of God's wisdom, and that wisdom is Iloλurolxidos copía, 'a manifold, and various wisdom" as the apostle speaketh ; who therefore calleth Christ and his gospel by the name of wisdom: "We preach Christ crucified, to those that are called, the power of God, and the wisdom of God;" and "we speak wisdom amongst them that are perfect:" wisdom to reconcile his own attributes of mercy and truth, righteousness and peace,-which, by the fall of man, seemed to be at variance among themselves; wisdom in reconciling the world of obstinate and rebellious enemies unto himself; wisdom in sanctifying the whole creation by the blood of the cross, and repairing those ruins which the sin of man had caused; wisdom in concorporating Christ and his church, things, in their own distinct natures, as unapt for mixture, as fire and water in their remotest degrees; wisdom in uniting the Jews and Gentiles, and reducing their former jealousies and disaffections unto an intimate fellowship in the same common mysteries: in one word, wisdom above the admiration of the blessed angels, in finding out a way to give greater satisfaction to his offended justice, by showing mercy and saving sinners, than he could ever have received by either the confusion or annihilation of them. It containeth the glory of God's goodness and mercy, of that
doxía good will' towards men, which brought glory to God, and to the earth peace: for the gospel is, as it were, a love-token or commendatory epistle of the Lord unto his church. God left not himself without witnesses of his care, and evidences of some love, even to those whom he suffered to walk in their own ways, without any knowledge of his gospel: he did them good, he gave them rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons: so even they had experience of some of his goodness, the goodness of his providence; for he is the Saviour of all men. But the gospel containeth all God's goodness, as a heap and miscellany of universal