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but penury now. Secondly, in a greater measure of strength, for spiritual obedience. They who before fled from the company of Christ in his sufferings, did, after, “rejoice to be counted worthy of suffering shame for his name," or as the elegancy of the original words import, to be "dignified with that dishonour of being Christianse.” For suffering of persecution for Christ, and the trial of faith by divers temptations, is, in the Scriptures, reckoned up amongst the gifts, an hundred-fold compensations of God to his people. “No man,” saith our Saviour, "putteth new wine into old bottles," that is, exacteth rigid and heavy services of weak and unqualified disciples; and therefore my disciples fast not, while I am amongst them in the flesh: “But the days will come, when I shall be taken from them in body," and shall send them my Holy Spirit to strengthen and prepare them for hard service ; and then they shall fast and perform those parts of more difficult obedience unto me 5. - Now farther, touching this sending of the Holy Spirit (which, together with Christ's intercession, was one of the principal ends of his ascending up unto the right hand of power) it may be here demanded, --Why the Holy Spirit was not, before this exaltation of Christ, sent forth in such abundance
the church? The main reason whereof, next unto the purpose and decree of God, into which all the acts of his will are to be resolved h, is given by our Saviour i; because he was to supply the corporal absence of Christ, and to be another 'comforter' to the church. Of which office of the Spirit, (because it was one of the main ends of his mission, and that one of the chief works of Christ's sitting at God's right hand) I shall here, without any unprofitable or impertinent digression, speak a little.
First, then, the Spirit is a 'comforter,' because an advocate to his people :' for so much the word signifies, and is elsewhere rendered k. Now he is called “another comforter or advocate," to note the difference between Christ and the Spirit in this particular. There is then an advocate by office, when one person takes upon himself the cause of another, and in his name pleads it. Thus Christ by the
• Acts v. 41. f Mark x. 30. Phil. ). 29, Heb, xi, 26. Jam. i. 2. 1 Pet. i. 6,7.
8 Matth. ix. 15, 17. b Eph. i. 11. i John xiv. 16, and xvi. 7. kl John ii. 1.
office of his mediation and intercession, is an advocate for his church, and doth, in his own person in Heaven, apply his merits, and further the cause of our salvation with his Father. There is likewise an advocate by energy and operation, by instruction and assistance; which is not when a work is done by one person in the behalf of another, but when one, by his counsel, inspiration, and assistance, enableth another to manage his own business, and to plead his own cause. And such an advocate the Spirit is, who doth not intercede, nor appear before God in person for us, as Christ doth,-but maketh interpellation for men in and by themselves, giving them an "access unto the Father," emboldening them in their fears, and helping them in their infirmities, when they know not what to pray'.
First, then, The Spirit as our advocate, justifieth our persons, and pleadeth our causes against the accusations of our spiritual enemies. For as Christ is our, advocate at the tribunal of God's justice to plead our cause against the severity of his law, and that most righteous and undeniable charge of sin which he layeth upon us; so the Holy Spirit. is our advocate at the tribunal of God's mercy, enabling us there to clear ourselves against temptations, and murderous assaults of our spiritual enemies. The world accuseth us by false and slanderous calumniations, laying to our charge things which we never did:' the Spirit, in this case, maketh us not only plead our innocency, but to rejoice" in our fellowship with the prophets which were before us, to esteem the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures of the world;' to count ourselves happy in this, that it is not such low marks as we are, which the malice of the world aimeth at, but the Spirit of glory and of God which resteth upon us, who is on their part evil spoken of". :“Satan, that grand accuser of the brethren,” doth not only load my sins upon my conscience, but further endeavoureth to exclude me from the benefit of Christ, by charging me with impenitency and unbelief:--but here the Spirit enableth me to clear myself against the father of lies. It is true indeed, I have a naughty flesh, the seeds of all mischief in my nature; but the first means which brought me hereunto, was the believing of thy lies, and therefore I will no longer entertain thy hellish reasonings against mine own peace. I have a spirit which teacheth me to bewail the frowardness of mine own heart, to deny mine own will and works, to long and aspire after perfection in Christ, to adhere with delight and purpose of heart unto his law, to lay hold with all my strength upon that plank of salvation, which, in this shipwreck of my soul, is cast out unto me. These affections of
1 Ephes. ii. 18. Heb. x. 15, 19. Rom. viii. 26. Ephes. iii. 16. m Interpellare dicitur pro nobis, quia nobis gemendi et interpellandi imponit affectum. August. Quod dicitur Spiritus Sanctus intercedere pro nobis,' hoc non est ita intelligendum, ac si ipsa persona Spiritus immediatè intercederet. Intercedit enim per gemitus : porro non gemit Spiritus, sed nos gemimus ; itaque docendo hoc facit, efficiendo ut gemamus. Cameron. de Eccles. p. 98. ni Pet, iv. 14.
heart come not from the earthly Adam; for whatsoever “is earthly, is sensual, and devilish” too. And if they be holy and heavenly, I will not believe, that God will put any thing of Heaven into a vessel of Hell. Sure I am, he that died for me when I did not desire him, will in no ways cast me away when I come unto him. He that hath given me a will to love his service, and to lean upon his promises, will in mercy accept the will for the deed, and in due time accomplish the work of holiness which he hath begun. Thus the Spirit, like an advocate, secureth his client's title, against the sophistical exceptions of the adversary; and when by temptations our eye is dimmed, or by the mixture of corruptions our evidences defaced, he by his skill helpeth our infirmities, and bringeth those things which are blotted out and forgotten, into our remembrance again.
Secondly, An advocate admonisheth and directeth his client how to order and solicit his own business, what evidences to produce, what witnesses to prepare, what offices to attend, what preparations to make against the time of his hearing: so the Spirit doth set the heart of believers in a right way of negotiating their spiritual affairs, maketh them to hear a voice behind them, furnishing them with wisdom and prudence in every condition. How to grapple with temptations,-how to serve God in all estates,--when to reprove, direct, counsel, comfort, -when to speak, and when to be silent,-when to let out, and when to chain up a passion,—when to use, and when to forbear liberty,-how to prosecute occasions, and apply occurrences unto spiritual ends, every where, and in all things, strengthening and instructing us to manage our hearts unto the best advantages of peace to ourselves, and of glory to our mastero.
Thirdly, An advocate maketh up the failings of his client, and, by his wisdom and observation of the case, picks out advantages beyond the instructions, and gathereth arguments to further the suit, which his client himself observed not. So the Spirit, when we know not what to pray, when, with Jehoshaphat, “ we know not what to do,” when it may be) in our own apprehension the whole business of our peace and comfort lieth a bleeding,--doth then help our infirmities, and, by dumb cries, and secret intimations, and deep and inexpressible groanings, presenteth arguments unto Him, who is the searcher of hearts,' and who knoweth the mind of the Spirit,' which we ourselves cannot express. Thus as an infant crieth and complaineth for want of sleep, and yet knoweth not that it is sleep which he wanteth ;-as a sick man goeth to the physician, and complaineth that some physic he wanteth, but knoweth not the thing which he asketh for;--so the soul of a Christian, by the assistance of the Spirit, is enlarged to request things of God, which yet of themselves do pass the knowledge and understandings of those at ask them P.
Secondly, The Spirit is a comforter by applying and representing Christ absent unto the soul again. For, First, the Spirit carrieth a Christian heart up to Christ in heavenly affections and conversation ? As a piece of earth, when it is out of its place, doth ever move to the whole earth; so a sparkle of Christ's Spirit will naturally move upward unto him, who hath the fulness' in him. A stone, though broken all to pieces in the motion, will yet, through all that peril and violence, move unto the centre : so though the nature of man abhor, and would of itself decline the passages of death', yet the apostle desired “to be dissolved, and to be taken asunder, that by any means he might be with Christ," who is the centre of every Christian's desires. Secondly, The Spirit bringeth Christ down to a Christian, formeth him in his heart, evidenceth him, and the virtue of his passion, and resurrection, unto the conscience, in the powerful dis
• Isai. xxx. 21. Col. i. 9, 10. Phil. iv. 12, 13. Ephes. iv. 20, 21. p Rom. viji. 26, 27. Eph. iii. 19. Phil. iv. 7. I Cor. 14, 15. 4 Col, iii, 1, 3. Phil. iii. 20. r 2 Cor; v. 4. Phil. i, 23.
pensation of his holy ordinances. Therefore when our Saviour speaks of sending the Holy Spirit, he addeth, “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you ;-when the world seeth me not, yet ye see me.” This noteth the presence of Christ by his Spirit with the church: but there is more than a presence, there is an inhabitation; At that time ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."
Thirdly, The Spirit is a comforter by a work of sweet and fruitful illumination, not only giving the knowledge, but the love and comfort of the truth unto a Christian ; making him“ with open face behold, as in a glass, the glory of God," and thereby “transforming him into the same image from glory to glory.” The light of other sciences is like the light of a candle, nothing but light: but the knowledge of Christ by the Spirit, is like the light of the sun, which hath influences and virtue in it. And this is that which the apostle calls “the Spirit of revelation, in the knowledge of God :' for though there be no prophetical, nor extraordinary revelations by dreams, visions, ecstasies, or enthusiasms; yet, according to the measure of spiritual perspicacy, and diligent observation of holy Scriptures, there are still manifold revelations or manifestations of Christ unto the soul. The secret and intimate acquaintance of the soul with God, the heavings, aspirings, and harmony of the heart with Christ, the sweet illapses and flashes of heavenly light upon the soul, the knowledge of the depths of God, and of Satan, of the whole armour of God, and the strong man, of conflicts of spirit, protection of angels, experiences of mercy, issues of temptation and the like, are heavenly and constant revelations out of the Word, manifested to the souls of the faithful by the Spirit.
Lastly, and principally, The Spirit is a comforter in those effects of joy and peace,' which he worketh in the heart. For joy is ever the fruit and companion of the Spirit"; and the joy of the Spirit is like the intercession of the Spirit, * unspeakable and glorious *,' not like the joy of the world, which is empty, false, and deceitful,- full of vanity, vexation, insufficiency, unsuitableness to the soul,-mingled
t John xiv. 18, 20.
u Gal. v. 22. Acts xiii. 52.
x | Pet. i.8.