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are for to use the ordinances as an act of our obedience, although a man can enjoy Christ, have the Spirit, and Christ living in him; yet notwithstanding, he is still to bear up the ordinances, because there he is to express his obedience unto God and Christ. And now give me leave a little to fix here, to take off this scruple, and objection, if you look into the xxviith of Numbers, you shall find that Joshua had the Spirit, and not in an ordinary way, but in a more than ordinary way the Lord gave Joshua his Spirit; and yet notwithstanding, Joshua was to be under commandments, and under ordinances : at the 18th verse. 66 The Lord said unto Moses, take thee Joshua, the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay thine hand on him, and set him before Eleazer the priest, and before all the congregation: and give him a charge in their sight.” Mark, he was to come under a command, and under a charge although he had the Spirit. “ And he shall stand before Eleazer the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord. And so it was. And Moses did as the Lord commanded him.” Now Joshua doth not say, What need I go to Eleazer, or to the priest; what need I go and consult by Urim and Thummim? for I have the Spirit, that is able to lead me into all truth. No, but he submits unto his charge, and he waits upon the Lord in this way of the ordinances, although it is said here, that he had the Spirit. So, had not David the Spirit in a great measure; and yet, did he not use the ordinances? But look into the New Testament, and there you find that the apostles had the Spirit also : our Lord and Saviour Christ, he breathed upon them; they waited for the coming of the Spirit : and the Holy Ghost fell upon them; and yet notwithstanding, they were under commands; for saith our Saviour Christ to them, “ Go teach all nations, baptizing and teaching them to do whatever I command you.” Matt. xxviii. 19. So that although they had the Spirit, and the Holy Ghost, in a greater measure than any man, for aught I know, ever had since ; yet notwithstanding, they were under commandments: “ Teaching them, saith he, to do whatsoever I command you.” And ye know what our Saviour says, in that place I mentioned even now," He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, which he spake concerning the Spirit
and the Holy Ghost that should be given, for he was not yet glorified.” John vii. 38, 39. A promise made to believers, and the churches, in the times of the apostles; they had the Spirit by virtue of that promise : and yet notwithstanding, they were under ordinances, and did use the ordinances. But that you may see how this objection runs cross, both to the Old and to the New Testaments; look upon one place more; it is in the xxxth chapter of Isaiah, the 20th and 21st verses, a promise made concerning the times of the gospel. “And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers.” Here are ordinances, here are teachers. Well now, but where is the Spirit ? Verse the 21st. “ And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.” Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee; who speaks that word ? Look into the ist chapter of the Revelation, and there you shall find, it is the Spirit that speaks the word behind one; at the 10th verse: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice.” So that this voice behind, is that of the Spirit ; when we do not expect the Spirit, the Spirit cometh and speaketh to us. So that thus now ye see, teaching, and ordinances, and the Spirit of Christ in us, and living in us, may and do stand together.
But yet will some say, What need of these things; if Christ liveth in each believer really by his Spirit, what need of commandments, or teaching without; for is it not said, Ye shall be all taught of God; and ye shall no longer teach your neighbour; is it not so said in Scripture ?
No, not just so: for if you look into that xxxist of Jeremiah from whence the place is fetched : and the viïith chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews; ye shall find that the words runs thus : “ This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel (verse the 10th) after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord : for all shall know me from the least to the greatest." Mark how the words run: it is not barely said
“ They shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother;" but that clause is added to it, saying, Know the Lord: they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord. As if he had said, I will now make a covenant of grace and mercy with you; I will write my laws in your hearts, and ye shall all know me, and though you have been taught heretofore as ignorant people, that have not known the Lord, yet now, because I will write my laws in your hearts, and my laws shall be there ; ye shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, as if ye were ignorant, but my law shall be within your hearts, and you shall be taught as a knowing people.
Ye must know that although the Spirit of Christ live in every christian, and so God; yet the Spirit is the free gift of God, and therefore it acts and works no further than it pleaseth God to give it. Now look into the Scripture, and you shall find, that the Lord was never pleased to give the Spirit for this end, that it should be the only rule of a man's life ; but for this end, that it should be an help to a man to know the rule, and to keep the rule. Look into the word and you shall find that the Spirit of the Lord was never given, to be the only rule for a man to live by, but it was given to be an help to understand, keep and fulfil the rule. And therefore Chrysostom doth well observe, it is with Christ
us, saith he, as with Christ without us. In the times of the Old Testament, the great promise was of giving Christ: in the times of the New Testament, the great promise is, the giving of the Spirit. Now, therefore, look as it was with Christ when he came into the world, so with the Spirit when he cometh into the heart, Christ with us. Now when Christ came into the world, he came not to destroy the law, but he came to fulfil the law: so when the Spirit cometh into the heart, the Spirit cometh not to destroy the gospel, or the ordinances of the gospel; but he comes to fulfil the gospel. Christus impletio legis, Spiritus impletio Evangelii. Christ the fulfilling of the law, the Spirit the fulfilling of the gospel. Quecunque sunt in lege, 8c. Whatsoever things are in the law, Christ fulfilleth: whatsover things are in the doctrine of the gospel, the Spirit fulfilleth. And as when Christ came, he came
not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it; for he saith himself, “ I came to fulfil the law,” Matt. v. 17, so when the Spirit comes unto any soul, saith the Spirit also, I come not to destroy the gospel, or the commandments of the gospel; but I come into this poor soul, to help it to fulfil the commandments of the gospel. Now when I do take away the commandments, and make the commandments no commandments to me, I mean the commandments without, then I destroy the commandments as to me; when I do make the ordinances of Christ, as no ordinances to me; then I do destroy them, as to me: and when I make the rule without, to be no rule as to me, then I destroy it, as to me: and when I, that am a believer say thus, I have the Spirit, and therefore I have no need of any commandment from without, for the Spirit is rule enough; here I take away the commandment, as to me; I take away the ordinances, as to me; I take away the rule as to me, and therefore I destroy them. Certainly, Christ within us, is not contrary to Christ without us: Christ without us, did not destroy the law; Christ within us, doth not destroy the gospel. Therefore, for any now tu throw up ordinances upon this account, because they have the Spirit to lead, and guide them; this is to walk contrary to all the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament. Oh! that people would think of this one thing, the Spirit was never given to be the only rule of a man's life; but it was given to help us to understand, and to enable us to keep the rule. Thus you see, ordinances, and Christ living in a christian, can stand together. And so you have the first thing cleared and proved, Christ liveth in all believers.
Secondly, Whereby mayit appear that the Lord Jesus Christ doth so live in a believer, as that he hath a greater hand, and stroke in all the actions of his spiritual life than a believer hath himself; that Jesus Christ doth live more in a believer than himself doth ?
The Scripture is very plain. If ye look into the ist chapter of Paul to the Ephesians, and the last verse, there you find these words, speaking of Christ and his church, “ Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Our understandings, our wills, our affections, our duties, they are but empty vessels till Christ doth fill them, he filleth all, he filleth all in all. If ye have any sails spread in
any duty, it is Christ that filleth them. Look into the iiird chapter of that Epistle to the Colossians, ye shall find that at the 11th verse it is said of Christ, He is all in all. The words are, “
6 But Christ is all, and in all.” He is all in all men ;
so it may be read: or, he is all in all things. Either way it may be read and it signifies both, he is all in all men, and he is all in all things. Take the last all, for all men; and so he is all in all them. Take the last all, for all things; and so he is all in all them, in all things. Now if the Lord Jesus Christ be all in all things, and all in all men; then certainly, he hath a greater hand and stroke in the actions, the spiritual actions of believers, than themselves have.
To make this clear to you by instances, thus: if the Lord Jesus Christ have a greater hand and stroke in our conversion, in our performance of duties, in our obedience, in the grace of our sufferings, in our assurance, than we, or believers have themselves, then, certainly, this part of the doctrine must stand clear and firm.
As for our conversion: ye know what our Saviour says, “ None come unto the Son, but whom the Father draws: and none know the Father, but he unto whom the Son reveals him.” Matt. x. 22. Convert me, saith the turning soul, and I shall be converted.
As for our performances, or duties; prayer, or whatever it is, look into the viiith chapter to the Romans, and the 26th verse, “ Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities.”
But how doth this prove that the Spirit hath a greater hand and stroke in our prayers than ourselves have ? Mark what follows, " For we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
As for the matter of our obedience. You know what the apostle saith, both unto the Romans, and unto the Galatians, That we are led by the Spirit: believers are led by the Spirit. Plus est agi, quam regi. He doth not say, We are ruled by the Spirit, but he saith, a believer is led by the Spirit; not ruled, but led. It is more to be led than to be ruled: for when a man is ruled by another, he acts himself, and his own actions are seen : but when a man is led, and carried away by another, though he may act himself, the other's