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written by his inspiration, and spoken by holy men as they were moved by him; by working in us that faith, which is the gift of God, and which no one can have, but from the Holy Ghost; and giving us that new birth or regeneration, without which we cannot see the kingdom of God, nor enjoy the poffeffion of God's promises, reserved for believers in the next world. And consequently it is this blessed Spirit which gives clearness to our faith, zeal to our charity, and strength and power to every thing we think or do. For

Those helps and assistances, which are necessary for the performance of thote conditions, upon which our i.. . salvation depends, are bestowed upon us by this of working divine Spirit; partly by illuminating our under- in us. standings in our sincere and diligent inquiries after divine truth; and partly by exciting our wills to that which is good, and strengtheningourvigorous endeavours in the prosecution thereof: and these are to be obtained only by the use of those means, which God hath established for this end; as humble, hearty, and fervent prayer; a frequent and devout use of the holy facrament of the Lord's supper ; reading and hearing God's holy word; with the use of all other likely means to attain those graces, which we seek for at his hands : and all this as obedient members of the communion of saints, to whom alone Christ hath promised these influences of the Holy Ghost, which we must feel or know to work in us. When we constantly take care to demean ourselves as living members of that kingdom, which is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, our conversation will be in heaven, our delight in God; all our hopes, wishes, and desires will be fixed on things above, and we shall live that heavenly life here, the perfection whereof will be our happiness hereafter, in the kingdom of God and of his Son Jesus Christ. For the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are represented to us as severally, and in a distinct manner, concurring to our salvation; for God so loved the world, that he sent his only begotten Son; and through him we are admitted by one Spirit to the Father.

And we may judge of the necessity of this belief, in that it is taken from the very form of baptisın, ordained by

Christ

Why an ar.

Christ himself. Besides, our beilef in the Holy Ghost tends

... to excite in us a desire of those gifts and graces ticle of that flow from him, of that new birth from him, faith which may wholly renew and spiritualise our fouls; that being always led by him, and receiving supplies from him and continuing in his holy fellowship, we may through him become such temples of God as he will chuse to delight and dwell in. Therefore we ought to endeavour to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, per: fecting holiness in the fear of God; whose will is our fanctification, and who from the beginning hath chofen us to salvation through fanctification of the Spirit, whom he fent to teach us his will, and to guide us in the way of all truth, Therefore,

Our duty, with regard to the Holy Ghost, is to pray to In God our Father continually for the assistance of Duty to him. this his holy spirit; whereby we may be inabled to overcome all the temptations of fin. We are to receive his testimony, as delivered down to us in the writings of the apostles and prophets; to obey his good motions; be sollicitous to obtain his gifts and graces, which are the habits of moral and christian virtues; and be careful, above all things, not to quench, and grieve, and drive him from us, leftwe be found to do despite unto the spirit of grace. There is one thing particularly needful to be here taken notice of: that to follow the guidance of the holy spirit is not to follow enthusiastick imaginations; but to be guided by that doctrine, which the Holy Ghost inspired the apostles to teach; and that we obey it in the practice of all moral and christian virtues, which are the fruits of the spirit. The apostles were directed by a miraculous assistance of the spirit, upon every extraordinary occasion; but we have now no promise of any such miraculous direction. To obey the spirit now is to obey his dictates as delivered down to us in the inspired writings: and to be a good man is now the only evidence of being full of the Holy Ghost.

Every wilful act of fin, especially in a christian, is, in some sense, a sin against the Holy Ghost; it is a grieving, a quench

ing, a resisting, and doing despite to the spirit, in fcripture language: and therefore all finning against the Orihet clear conviction of our consciences, and the mo- againjt the tions and suggestions of God's Holy Spirit to the Holy Ghost. contrary; all obstinacyin avicious course of living, notwithftanding the motives and arguments of the gospel to persuade men to repentance; all profane scoffing at religion, and making a mock of fin; allabuse of the scriptures, and ridiculing the holy word of God; all perverse infidelity, and malicious opposition of the truth, when the arguments for it are very plain and evident to every impartial mind; are crimes of an high nature, and of a near affinity to this great and unpardonable fin : and though God, to encourage the repentance of men, has not declared them irremissible; yet, where they once get possession of a man, they, by degrees, so waste the conscience, and corrupt the mind, as to make it incurable, They are, in short, great and grievous provocations to A!mighty God, and, if they be long persisted in, we know not how soon he may withdraw his grace frorn us, and suffer us to be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. .

II. In the ninth ARTLCLE of our christian faith we profess to believe in the holy catholick church, the commu- of the hole nion of saints; because Christ promised to erect a catholick church, when he said, On this rock will I build church. my church; and we find it mentioned as actually erected in that passage of the Aets, And God added to the church daily such as should be saved; which church then consisted of the twelve apostles, and other believers in Christ, continuing in their fellowship, and hearing together the word preached, and breaking bread from house to house, and joining in public prayers to the Almighty. Therefore as many as embrace and obey the gospel may be said Of whom to compose one church, in respect of their being composed. members of the same body, and through one and the same fpirit united unto one head, which is Christ; and built upon one foundation, the chief corner-stone whereof is Christ Jesus; and professing that holy faith, which is but one, and receiving the same facraments, which are signs and badges of the people of God, whereby we, being many, are united

by

by one baptism, and are one bread and one body; also we are one, as being all called in one hope of our calling; and we ought also to be one, as keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; and as united by one discipline and government, and guided by the fame pastors into the way of eternal life. So that,

Howsoever the unity of the vifible church may, through It cannot the weakness and perversenefs of mán, or the wiles fails of the devil, be defective in these last respects; yet all true and sincere believers are, and always have, and for ever shall be led by him the only good shepherd, their eternal high-priest, king, and prophet, unto those heavenly manfions, where joy, peace, love, harmony, unity, happiness, and glory, shall have no end. Moreover, it is reasonable to believe that this one church hath a present existence, and that it hath continued from the times of the apostles, and will continue to the end of the world, from those promises of our Lord, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and that he will be with his disciples always, even unto the

end of the world. This whole christian church alIs hely.

9% so may be well termed boly, as being separated from the rest of the world by an holy calling, and having holy offices, instituted by God, administered among them, and being more particularly obliged, by naming themselves by the name of Christ, to depart from iniquity, and to obtain that holiness without which no man can see the Lord: its members being predestinate to be conformed to the image of Christ, and efficaciously called by God, elect, sanctified, and justified; and shall be perfectly holy when they die.

The primitive fathers at first understood, by the catholick Is catbolick, church, no more than the church in general, as or univer:' composed of all particular churches. Therefore Jal. we call the epistles of Peter catholick, because they were directed to the church in general; and thus in succeeding ages they called those places of divine worship, wherein all persons of both sexes within a certain district, met without distinction, catholick churches, in opposition to such private chapels as were erected by monks and friars, And again, the word catholick is sometiines applied to particular national churches, as professing the true faith with the rest of the church of God, in opposition to schismaticks and hereticks. Besides, the christian church may be also called catholic, as it is to be diffused into, and at last take in all nations, and is not confined to one nation, as the Jewish religion was, nor to one place, as the Jewish facrifices and other priestly ministrations were.

ticular tura

To this church it is that we believe God hath added, and will continue to add, those that shall be saved : In a state of andas nonewere saved from the floodbut those only salvation.' who were in the ark of Noah; fo we have no reason to think that any shall be saved from the wrath of the last day, and receive the glory promised to the faints, who are not found within the christian church.* And therefore we ought to take the greatest care that we be not excluded from it, either byjustly incurringits censures by scandalous and incorrigible fins, or by falling into apostasy, heresy, or schism; and we ought to remember, that, as this churchis holy, it will be impossible for us to be living members of it, unless we also are holy, without which our being outward members of it will be not only vain, but pernicious, and the highest aggravation of our crime; because the catholic church is the communion of saints.

The larger sense of theword saints implies allthose persons that are baptised into and profess thechristian faith, of

Of the com. and are visible members of Christ's church. And, munion of as the wheat grows in the same field with the saints. tares, so the faint hath an external communion in the same church with the hypocrite; both are baptised with the same water, and eat at the fame table the bread and wine which the Lord hath commanded to be received; they hear the same doctrine, and openly profess the same faith; but they do not communicate in the same faving grace, nor in that faith which works by love, nor in the renovation of the mind and spirit of finful'man. And, whenever we profefs this belief of the communion of saints, it ought les influes to excite us to endeavour after the greatest purity ence. and lanctity of life we can possibly attain; because we must

Те с

* Se thisexplained under baptism, Sund. 2 Seft. vši,

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