Preached At St. Paul's, Upon Whitsunday, 1627. -
John Xiv. 26.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
This dag is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears, saith our Saviour Christ, having read for his text, that place of Esay', The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. And that day which we celebrate now, was another Scripture fulfilled in their ears, and in their eyes too; for all Christ's promises are Scripture; they have all the infallibility of Scripture; and Christ had promised, that that spirit
"Luke vii 11. 8B John 11. M PsaL cxvi. 15.
1 Isaiah Li 1.
which was upon him, when he preached, should also be shed upon all his apostles. And upon this day he performed that promise, when, They being all with one accord, in one place, there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and filled the house, and there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sate upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost3. And this very particular day, in which we now commemorate, and celebrate that performance of Christ's promise, in that mission of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles, are all these Scriptures performed again, in our ears, and eyes, and in our hearts; for in all those congregations that meet this day, to this purpose, every preacher hath so much of this unction (which unction is Christ) upon him, as that the Spirit of the Lord is upon him, and hath anointed him to that service; and every congregation, and every good person in the congregation, hath so much of the apostle upon him, as that he feels this Spirit of the Lord, this Holy Ghost, as he is this cloven tongue, that sets one stem in his ear, and the other in his heart, one stem in his faith, and the other in his manners, one stem in his present obedience, and another in his perseverance, one to rectify him in the errors of life, another to establish him in the agonies of death; for the Holy Ghost, as he is a cloven tongue, opens as a compass, that reaches over all our map, over all our world, from our east to our west, from our birth to our death, from our cradle to our grave, and directs us for all things, to all persons, in all places, and at all times; The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, &c.
The blessed Spirit of God then, the Holy Ghost, the third person in the Trinity, (and yet, not third so, as that either second or first, Son or Father, were one minute before him in that co-eternity, that enwraps them all alike) this Holy Ghost is here designed by Christ, in his person, and in his operation; who he is, and what he does; from whence he comes, and why he comes; and these two, he, and his office, will constitute our two parts in this text. In the first of which, (which will be the exercise of this day) we shall direct you upon these several considerations: first, that the person designed for this mission, and true* consolation, is
* Acts ii. 1.
tlje Holy Ghost; you shall not be without comfort, says Christ; but mistake not false comforts for true, nor deceitful comforters for faithful; it is the Holy Ghost, or it is none; his comfort, or no comfort. Him the Father will send, says Christ, in a second branch; though the Holy Ghost be God, equal to the Father, and so have all missions, and commissions in his own hand, yet he applies himself, accommodates himself to order, and he comes when he hath a mission from the Father: and this Father, says Christ, (which is a third branch in this part) sends him in my name; though he have as good interest in the name of Adonai, which is all our powerful name, and in the name of Jehovah, which is all our essential name, as I, or my Father have, (the Holy Ghost is as much Adonai, and as much Jehovah, as we are) yet he is sent in my name, that is, to proceed in my way, to perfect my work, and to accomplish that redemption, by way of application, which I had wrought, by way of satisfaction.
And then lastly, that which qualifies him for this mission, for this employment, is his title, and addition in this text, that he is the Comforter; discomfortable doctrines (of a primary impossibility of salvation, to any man, and that impossibility originally rooted in God, and in God's hating of that man, and hating of that man, not only before he was a sinful man, but before he was any man at all, not only before an actual making, but before any intention to make him in God's mind; that God cannot save that man, because he meant to damn him, before he meant to make him) are not the way, in which the Holy Ghost is sent by the Father, in the Son's name; for they that sent him, and he that comes, intend all that is done, in that capacity, as he is a comforter, as he is the Comforter. And this is the person, and this will be the extent of our first part; it is the Holy Ghost; no deceiving spirit. He, though as high as the highest, respects order, attends a mission, stays till he be sent. And thirdly, he comes in another's name, in another's way, to perfect another's work. And he does all, in the quality and denomination of acomforter, not establishing, not countenancing any discomfortable doctrines.
First then, the person into whose hands this whole work is here recommended, is the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost. The manifestation of the mystery of the Trinity was reserved for Christ. Some intimations in the Old, but the publication only in the New Testament; some irradiations in the law, but the illustration only in the Gospel; some emanation of beams, as of the sun before it is got above the horizon, in the prophets, but the glorious proceeding thereof, and the attaining to a meridional height, only in the evangelists. And then, the doctrine of the Trinity, thus reserved for the time of the Gospel, at that time was thus declared; so God loved the world, as that he sent his Son; so the Son loved the world, as that he would come into it, and die for it; so the Holy Ghost loved the world, as that he would dwell in it, and enable men, in his ministry, and by his gifts, to apply this mercy of the Father, and this merit of the Son, to particular souls, and to whole congregations. The mercy of the Father, that he would study such a way for the redemption of our souls, as the death of his only Son, (a way which no man would ever have thought of, of himself, nor might have prayed for, if he could have imagined it) this mercy of the Father is the object of our thankfulness. The merit of the Son, that into a man but of our nature, and equal to us in infirmities, there should be superinfused such another nature, such a divinity, as that any act of that person, so composed of those two natures, should be even in the rigour of justice, a sufficient ransom for all the sins of all the world, is the object of our admiration. But the object of our consolation (which is the subject of this text) is this, that the Holy Ghost, by his presence, and by inanimating the ordinances of Christ, in the ministry of the Gospel, applies this mercy, and this merit to me, to thee, to every soul that answers his motions.
In that contract that passed between Solomon and Hiram3, for commerce and trade between their nations, that Solomon should send him corn and oil, and Hiram should send him cedar, and other rich materials for building, that people of God received an honour, and an assurance, in that present contract, for future trade and commerce. So did the world, in that contract, which passed between the Father and the Son, that the Father should send down God, and the world should deliver up man, the nature
3 1 Kings 5.
of man to be assumed by that Son, and so a redemption should be wrought after, in the fulness of time. And then, in the performance of this contract, when Hiram sent down those rich materials from Lebanon to the sea, and by sea in floats, to the place assigned4, where Solomon received them, that people of God received a real profit, in that actual performance of that, which was but in contract before. So did the world too, when in the fulness of time, and in the place assigned by God in the prophet Micah, which was Bethlem, the Son of God came in our flesh, and after died for us; his blood was the substance, the materials of our ransom, and actually, and really delivered, and deposited for us; which was the performance of the former contract between his Father and him. But then was the dignity of that people of God accomplished, when those rich materials, so sent, were really employed in the building of the temple; when the altar, and the oracle, were clothed with that gold; when the cherubim, and the olive-trees, and the other figures were made of that rich stuff, which was provided; when certain chief officers, and three thousand three hundred under officers5, were appointed to oversee the work, and ten thousand that attended by monthly courses, and seven score and ten thousand, that were always resident upon the work*. And so is our comfort accomplished to us, when the Holy Ghost distributes these materials, the blood, and the merits of Christ, upon several congregations, and that by his higher officers, reverend and vigilant bishops, and others that have part in the government of the church, and then, by those, who like Solomon's ten thousand, performed the service by monthly courses, and those, who like his seven score and ten thousand, are always resident upon fixed places, that salvation of souls, so decreed at first by the Father, and so accomplished after by the Son, is by the Holy Ghost, shed, and spread upon particular men.
When, as the world began in a community, that everything was everybodys, but improved itself, to a propriety, and came to a meum et tuum, that every man knew his own; so, that which is salus Domini, the salvation of the Lord, as it is in the first
decree, and that which is salus mundi, the salvation of the world, as it is in the accomplishment of the decree by Christ, may be mm, et tua, my salvation, and thy salvation, as it is applied by the Holy Ghost, in the ministry of the church. Salvation in the decree, is as the bezoar stone in the maw of that creature; there it grows. Salvation in Christ's death, is as that bezoar in the merchant's, or apothecary's provision; but salvation in the church, in the distribution, and application thereof, by the Holy Ghost, is as that bezoar working in my veins, expelling my peccant humours, and rectifying my former defects.
The last work, the seal, and consummation of all, is of the Holy Ghost. And therefore as the manifestation of the whole Trinity seems to have been reserved for Christ, so Christ seems to have reserved the manifestation of the Holy Ghost, for his last doctrine. For this is the last sermon that Christ preached; and this is a sermon recorded only by that last evangelist, who, as he considered the divine nature of Christ, more than the rest did, and so took it higher, so did he also consider the future state, and succession of the church, more than the rest did, and so carried it lower. For St. John was a prophet, as well as an evangelist. Therefore in this last, and lasting evangelist, and in this last sermon, Christ declares this last work, in this world, that is, the consummation of our redemption, in the application of the Holy Ghost. For herein consists our comfort, that it is, He, the Holy Ghost, that ministers this comfort.
Christ hath told them before7, that there should be a Comforter sent; but he did not tell them then, that that Comforter was the Holy Ghost. Here he does; at last he does; and he ends all in that; that we might end and determine our comfort in that too, this God gives me, by the Holy Ghost. For we mistake false comforts for true. We comfort ourselves in things, that come not at all from God; in things which are but vanities, and conduce not all to any true comfort. And we comfort ourselves in things, which, though they do come from God, yet are not signed nor sealed by the Holy Ghost. For wealth, and honour, and power, and favour, are of God; but we have but stolen them from God, or received them by the hand of the devil, if we be
come to them by ill means. And if we have them from the hand of God, by having acquired them by good means, yet if we make them occasions of sin, in the ill use of them after, we lose the comfort of the Holy Ghost, which requires the testimony of a rectified conscience, that all was well got, and is well used. Therefore as Christ puts the origination of our redemption upon the Father, (/came but to do my Fathers will) and as he takes the execution ot that decree upon himself, (/ am the way, and the truth, and the life, and the resurrection; I am all) so he puts the comfort of all, upon the Holy Ghost: discomfort, and disconsolation, sadness and dejection, damnation, and damnation aggravated, and this aggravated damnation multiplied upon that soul, that finds no comfort in the Holy Ghost.
If I have no adventure in an East-Indian return, though I be not the richer, yet neither am I poorer than I was, for that. But if I have no comfort from the Holy Ghost, I am worse, than i all mankind had been left in the putrefaction of Adam's loins, and in the condemnation of Adam's sin. For then, I should have had but my equal part in the common misery; but now having had that extraordinary favour, of an offer of the Holy Ghost, if I feel no comfort in that, I must have an extraordinary condemnation. The Father came near me, when he breathed the breath of life into me, and gave me my flesh. The Son came near me, when he took my flesh upon, and laid down his life for me. The Holy Ghost is always near me, always with me; with me now, if now I shed any drops of his dew, his manna upon you; with me anon, if anon I turn anything that I say to you now, to good nourishment in myself then, and do then, as I say now; with me when I eat, or drink, to say grace at my meal, and to bless God's blessings to me; with me in my sleep, to keep out the tempter from the fancy, and imagination, which is his proper scene, and sphere, that he triumph not in that, in such dreams as may be effects of sin, or causes of sins, or sins themselves. The Father is a propitious person; the Son is a meritorious person; the Holy Ghost is a familiar person; the heavens must open, to show me the Son of man at the right hand of the Father, as they did to Stephen; but if I do but open my heart to myself, I may see the Holy Ghost there, and in him, all that the Father hath thought and decreed, all that the Son hath said and done, and suffered for the whole world, made mine. Accustom yourselvos therefore to the contemplation, to the meditation of this blessed person of the glorious Trinity; keep up that holy cheerfulness, which Christ makes the ballast of a Christian, and his freight too, to give him a rich return into the heavenly Jerusalem. Be always comforted; and always determine your comfort in the Holy Ghost; for that is Christ's promise here, in this first branch, A Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost; and him (says our second branch) the Father shall send.
There was a mission of the Son, God sent his Son. There was a mission of the Holy Ghost; this day God sent the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost. But between these two missions, that of the Son, and this of the Holy Ghost, we consider this difference, that the first, the sending of the Son, was without any merit preceding; there could be nothing but the. mere mercy of God, to move God to send his Son. Man was so far from meriting that, that (as we said before) he could not, nor might, if he could, have wished it. But for this second mission, the sending of the Holy Ghost, there was a preceding merit. Christ by his dying had merited, that mankind, who by the fall of Adam, had lost, (at St. Augustine speaks) Possibilitatem boni, All possibility of redintegration, should not only be restored to a possibility of salvation, but that actually, that that was done, should be pursued farther, and that by this mission and operation of the Holy Ghost, actually, really, effectually, men should be saved. So that, as the work of our redemption falls under our consideration, that is, not in the decree, but in the execution of the decree, in this mission of the Holy Ghost into the world, man hath so far an interest, (not any particular man, but man, as all mankind was in Christ) as that we may truly say, The Holy Ghost was due to us. And as Christ said of himself, Nonne hwc oportuit pati*? Ought not Christ to suffer all this? Was not Christ bound to all this, by the contract between him and his Father? to which contract himself had a privity; it was his own act; he signed it; he sealed it; so we may say, Nonne hunc oportuit mitti? Ought not the Holy Ghost to be sent I Had not Christ merited that the
Holy Ghost should be sent, to perfect the work of the redemption? so that, in such a respect, and in such a holy and devout sense we may say, that the Holy Ghost is more ours, than either of the other persons of the Trinity; because, though Christ be so ours, as that he is ourselves, the same nature, and flesh, and blood, the Holy Ghost is So ours, as that we, we in Christ, Christ in our nature merited the Holy Ghost, purchased the Holy Ghost, bought the Holy Ghost; which is a sanctified simony, and hath a fair, and a pious truth in it, we, We in Christ, Christ in our nature, bought the Holy Ghost, that is, merited the Holy Ghost.
Christ then was so sent, as that, till we consider the contract, (which was his own act) there was no Oportuit pati, No obligation upon him, that he must have been sent. The Holy Ghost was so sent, as that the merit of Christ, (of Christ, who was man, as well as God) which was the act of another, required, and deserved that he should be sent. Therefore he was sent a Patre, by the Father. Now, not so by the Father, as not by the Son too; for, there is an Ego mittam, If I depart, I will send him unto you9. But, clean through Christ's history, in all his proceedings, still you may observe, that he ascribes all that he does, as to his superior, to his Father; though in one capacity, as he was God, he were equal to the Father, yet to declare the meekness and the humility of his soul, still he makes his recourse to his inferior state, and to his lower nature, and still ascribes all to his Father: though he might say, and do say there, I will send him, yet everywhere, the Father enters; / will send him, says he; Whom? 2" will send the promise of my Father1". Still the Father hath all the glory, and Christ sinks down to his inferior state, and lower nature.
In the world it is far otherwise; here, men for the most part, do all things according to their greatest capacity; if they be bishops, if they be counsellors, if they be justices, nay if they be but constables, they will do everything according to that capacity; as though that authority, confined to certain places, limited in certain persons, and determined in certain times, gave them always the same power, in all actions; and, because to some
purposes he may be my superior, he will be my equal no where in nothing. Christ still withdrew himself to his lower capacity; and howsoever worldly men engross the thanks of the world to themselves, Christ cast all the honour of all the benefits that he bestowed upon others, upon his Father; and in his Veruntamen, (Yet not my will, but thine 0 Father be done) He humbled himself as low as David in his Non nobis Domine, Not unto us, 0 Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name be all glory given. They would have made him king; he would not; and judge, to divide the inheritance; and he would not. He sent the Holy Ghost; and yet, he says, / will pray the Father to send him. So the Holy Ghost was sent by them both; Father and Son; but not so, as that he was subject to a joint command of both, or to a diverse command of either, or that he came unwillingly, or had not a hand even in his own sending. But, howsoever he were perfect God, and had always an absolute power in himself, and had ever a desire to assist the salvation of man, yet he submitted himself to the order of the decree; he disordered nothing, prevented nothing, anticipated nothing, but staid, till all that which lay upon Christ, from his incarnation, to his ascension, was executed, and then in the due and appointed time, issued his mission.
It is a blessed termination, Mission; it determines and ends many words in our language; as permission, commission, remission, and others, which may afford good instruction, that as the Holy Ghost, did for his, so we may be content to stay God's leisure, for all those missions. A consideration which I presume St. Bernard, who evermore embraced all occasions of exalting devotion from the melodious fall of words, would not have let pass; nor St. Augustine, for all his holy and reverend gravity, would have thought Nimis juvenile, Too light a consideration to have insisted upon. And therefore I may have leave, to stay your meditations a little, upon this termination, these missions.
You 'may have a permission; many things are with some circumstances permitted, which yet in discretion are better forborne. Moses permitted divorces, but that was for the hardness of their hearts"; and Christ withdrew that permission. St. Paul
"Matt, xix. 8.
says, he had a permission1*; liberty to forbear working with his own hands, and so to live upon the church; but yet he did not. What permission soever thou have, by which thou mayest lawfully ease thyself, yet forbear, till thou see, that the glory of God, and the good of other men, may be more advanced by the use, than by the forbearance of that indulgence, and that permission, and afford not thyself all the liberty that is afforded thee, but in such cases. The Holy Ghost staid so for his mission; so stay thou for the exercise of thy permission.
Thou mayest have a commission too; in that of the peace, in that for ecclesiastical causes, thou mayest have part. But be not hasty in the execution of these commissions; come to an inquisition upon another man, so as thou wouldst wish God to inquire into thee. Satan had a commission upon Job; but he procured it so indirectly, on his part, by false suggestions against him, and executed it so uncharitably, as that he was as guilty of wrong and oppression, as if he had had no commission. Thou canst not assist in the execution of those commissions, of which thou art, till thou have taken the oaths of supremacy, and of allegiance to thy sovereign. Do it not, till thou have sworn all that, to thy Super-sovereign, to thy God, that in all thy proceedings, his glory, and his will, and not thine own passion, or their purposes, upon whom thou dependest, shall be thy rule. The Holy Ghost staid for his mission; stay thou for thy commission, till it be sealed over again in thine own bosom; sealed on one side, with a clearness of understanding, and on the other, with a rectitude of conscience; that thou know what thou shouldest do, and do that.
There is also a remission; a Remission of sins. It is an article of faith, therefore believe it. Believe it originally, and meritoriously in Christ; and believe it instrumentally, and ministerially in the power, constituted by Christ, in the church. But believe it not too hastily, in the execution and in the application thereof to thine own case. A transitory sin, a sin that spent a few minutes in the doing thereof, was by the penitential canons, (which were the rule of the Primitive church) punished with many years' penance. A nd dost thou think, to have remission of thy seventy years' sins, for one sigh, one groan, then when
1S 1 Cor. ix. 6.
that sigh, and that groan may be more in contemplation of the torment due to that sin, than for the sin itself; nay more, that thou canst sin that sin no longer, than for that sin? Hast thou sought thy remission at the church, that is, in God's ordinances established in the church 2 In qua remittuntur, extra quam non remittuntur peccata13, In which ordinances, there is an infallibility of remission, upon true repentance, and in a contempt or neglect of which ordinances, all repentance is illusory, and all remission but imaginary. For, Quodammodo ante diem judicii judicant14, God refers causes to the church, to be prepared, and mature there, before the great hearing; and so, hath given the church a power to judge, before the day of judgment. And therefore, Nemo sibi dicat, occulte ago, apud Deum ago15, Let no man say, I repent in secret; God sees that I repent; it was scarce in secret, that thou didst sin; and wilt thou repent but in secret? At least let us know thy repentance by the amendment of thy life, and we shall not much press the knowing of it any other way. Only remember that the Holy Ghost staid for his mission; presume not thou of thy remission, till thou have done, not only something towards it, that might induce it from God, that is, repentance, but something by it, that may testify it to man, that is, amendment of life.
There is a manumission also, an emancipation, an enfranchisement from the tyranny, from the thraldom of sin. That which some saints of God, particularly St. Paul, have importuned at God's hand, so vehemently, so impatiently, as he did, to be delivered from the messenger of Satan, and from the provocations of the flesh, expressed with that passion, 0 wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death1"? He comes immediately there to a thanksgiving, / thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord; but his thanksgiving was not for a manumission; he had not received a deliverance from the power, and oppression of temptation; but he had here, as he had everywhere, an intimation from the Spirit of God, of that Gratia mea sufficit, That God would be as watchful over him with his grace, as the devil could be with his temptations. And if thou come to no farther
18 Rom. vii. 22.
manumission than this, in this life, that is, to be delivered, though not from temptations by his power, yet in temptations, by his grace, or by his mercy, after temptations have prevailed upon thee, attend God's leisure for thy farther manumission, for the Holy Ghost staid for his mission.
There falls lastly into this harmonious consort, occasioned by this mission of the Holy Ghost, a dismission; a dismissing out of this world; not only in Simeon's Nunc dimittii, To be content that we might, but in St. Paul's Cupio dissolvi, To have a desire that we might be dissolved, and be with Christ. But, whether the incumbrances of this world, extort from thee David's groan, Heu mihi! Woe is me, that I sojourn so long here17! Or a slipperiness contracted by former habits of sin, make everything a temptation to thee, so that thou canst not perform Job's covenant with thine eyes, of not looking upon a maid, nor stop at Christ's period, which is, Look, but do not lust, but that everything is a temptation to thee, and to be out of this hail-shot, this battery of temptations, thou wouldst fain come to a dismission, to a dissolution, to a transmigration; or whether a vehement desire of the fruition of the presence and face of God in heaven, constitute this longing in thee, yet all these reasons arise in thyself, and determine in thyself, and are referred but to thine own ease, and to thine own happiness, and not primarily, to the glory of God, and therefore, since the Holy Ghost staid for his mission, stay thou for thy dismission too.
Gather up these scattered ears, and bind up this loose sheaf; re-collect these pieces of this branch. The Holy Ghost was sent by the Son, but the Son, in his exemplar humility, ascribes all to the Father. The Holy Ghost had absolute power to come at his pleasure, but he staid the order of the decree, and God's leisure for his mission. Do thou so too, for thy permission, exercise not all thy liberty; and for thy commission, execute not all thy authority; and for thy remission, presume not upon thy pardon too soon; and for thy manumission, hope not for an exemption from temptations, till death; and for thy dismission, practise not, nay wish not thy death, only in respect of thine own ease, no, nor only in respect of thine own salvation. In this act of the Holy
17 Psalm cxx.
Ghost, that he staid his mission, we have one instruction, that we rely not upon ourselves, but accommodate ourselves to the disposition of others; and then another in the next, that the Father should send him in the Son's name, The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name.
The Holy Ghost comes not so in another's name, as that he hath not a full interest, in all the names of power, and of wisdom, and of essence itself, that are attributed to God. For (not to extend to the particular attributes) the radical name, the name of essence, that name, the name, Jehovah, is given to the Holy Ghost. Jehovah says to Esay, Go, and tell this peopleTM, this and this. And then St. Paul making use of those words in the Acts, says, Well said the Holy Ghost by the prophet Esay19; so that Esay's Jehovah, is St. Paul's Holy Ghost. And yet, the Holy Ghost being in possession of the highest names, and of the highest power implied in those names, comes in the name of another. How much more then may the powerfulest men upon earth, the greatest magistrates, the greatest monarchs, (who though they be by God himself called gods, are but representative gods, but metaphorical gods, and God knows, sometimes but ungodly gods) confess, that they are sent in another's name, inanimated with another's power, and least of all, their own, or made that that they are, for themselves I How much are we, we considered in nature, and not in office, men and not magistrates, worms and not men, serpents and not worms, (for we are, as St. Chrysostom speaks, Spontanei damones, Serpents in our own bosoms, devils in our own loins) bound to confess, that all the faculties of our soul, are in us, In nomine alieno, In the name of another I
That will, which we call freewill, is so far from being ours, as that not only that freedom, but that will is itself from another, from God. Not only the rectitude of the faculty, but the faculty itself is his. Nay, though God have no part in the perverseness and the obliquity of my will, but that that perverseness, and that obliquity are entirely mine own, yet I could not have that perverseness, and that obliquity, but from him, so far, as that that faculty, in which my perverseness works, is his, and I could not have
18 Isaiah vi. 9. 19 Acts xxviii. 5.
that perverse will from myself, if I had not that will itself from God first. And that very perver,seness, and obliquity of the will, is so much his, as that, though it were not his, but mine, in the making, yet when it is made by me, he makes it his; that is, he makes [it his instrument, and makes his use of it, so far, as to suffer it to flow out into a greater sin, or to determine in a lesser sin, than at first I, in my perverseness, intended. When I intended but an approach to a sin, and meant to stop there, to punish that exposing of myself to temptation, God suffers me to proceed to the act of that sin; and when I intend the act itself, God interrupts me, and cuts me off, by some intervening occasion, and determines me upon some approach to that sin, that by going so far in the way of that sin, I might see mine own infirmity, and see the power of his mercy, that I went no farther. The faculties of my soul are his, and the substance of my soul is his too; and yet, as I pervert the faculties, I subvert the substance; I damnify the faculties, but I damn the substance itself.
It would taste of uncharitableness, to cast more coals of fire upon the devil himself, than are upon him in hell now; or not to assist him with our prayers, if it were not declared to us, that he is incapable of mercy. If the devil were now but under the guiltiness of that sin which he committed at first, and not under such an execution of judgment for that sin, as induced, or at least declared an obstination, an obduration, a desperation, and inipenitibleness, if the devil were but as the worst sinner in this world can be, but In via, and not In exilio, In the way to detraction, and not under destruction itself, we might pray for the devil himself. And these poor souls of ours, these glorious souls of ours, none of ours, but God's own souls, which now at worst, God loves better than ever he did the devil when he was at best, when he was an angel uncorrupted, and better than he doth those angels which stand uncorrupted still, (for he hath not taken the nature of angels, but our nature upon him) we think those souls our own, to do what we list with, and when we have usurped them, we damn them. As pirates take other men's subjects, and then make them slaves, we usurp the faculties of the soul, and call the will ours, we usurp the soul itself, and call it ours, and then deliver all to everlasting bondage. Would the king suffer his
voi. I. 2 M
picture to be used, as we use the image of God in our souls? or his hall to be used, as we use the temple of the Holy Ghost, our bodies? We have nothing but that whicn we have received; and when we come to think that our own, we have not that; for God will take all from that man, that sacrifices to his own nets. When thou comest to church, come in another's name: when thou givest an alms, give it in another's name; that is, feel all thy devotion, and all thy charity to come from God; for, if it be not in his name, it will be in a worse; thy devotion will contract the name of hypocrisy, and thine alms the name of vain-glory.
The Holy Ghost came in another's name, in Christ's name; but not so, as Montanus, the father of the Montanists, came in the Holy Ghost's name. Montanus said he was the Holy Ghost; the Holy Ghost did not pretend to be Christ. There is a man, the man of sin, at Rome, that pretends to be Christ, to all uses. And I would he would be content with that, and stop there, and not be a Hyper-Christus, Above Christ, more than Christ. I would he would no more trouble the peace of Christendom, no more occasion the assassinating of Christian princes, no more bind the Christian liberty, in forbidding meats, and marriage, no more slacken and dissolve Christian bands, by dispensations, and indulgences than Christ did. But if he will needs be more, if he will needs have an addition to the name of Christ, let him take heed of that addition, which some are apt enough to give him, however he deserve it, that he is Antichrist.
Now in what sense the Holy Ghost is said to have come in the name of Christ, St. Basil gives us one interpretation; that is, that one principal name of Christ belongs to the Holy Ghost. For Christ is Verbum, the Word, and so is the Holy Ghost, says that father, Quia interpres filii, sicut filius patris, Because as the Son manifested the Father, so the Holy Ghost manifests the Son; St. Augustine gives another sense; Societas Patrie et Filii, est Spiritus Sanctus, The Holy Ghost is the union of the Father and the Son. As the body is not the man, nor the soul is not the man, but the union of the soul and body, by those spirits through which the soul exercises her faculties in the organs of the body, makes up the man; so the union of the Father and the Son to one another, and of both to us, by the Holy Ghost, makes up the body of the Christian religion. And so this interpretation of St. Augustine comes near to the fulness, in what sense the Holy Ghost came in Christ's name. For when Christ says*0, I am come in my Father's name, that was, to execute his decree, to fulfill his will, for the salvation of man, by dying; so when Christ says here, the Holy Ghost shall come in my name, that is, to perfect my work, to collect and to govern that church, in which my salvation, byway of' satisfaction, may be appropriated to particular souls by way of application. And for this purpose, to do this in Christ's name, his own name is Paracletus, The Comforter, which is our last circumstance, The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost.
The Comforter is an evangelical name. Athanasius notes, that the Holy Ghost is never called Paracletus, The Comforter, in the Old Testament. He is called Spiritus Dei, The Spirit of God, in the beginning of Genesis; and he is called Spiritus Sanctus, The Holy Spirit, and Spiritus principalis, The principal Spirit, in divers places of the Psalms, but never Paracletus, never the Comforter. A reason of that may well be, first, that the state of the law needed not comfort; and then also, that the law itself afforded not comfort, so there was no comforter. Their law was not opposed by any enemies, as enemies to their law. If they had not (by that warrant which they had from God) invaded the possession of their neighbours, or grown too great to continue good neighbours, their neighbours had not envied them that law. So that in the state of the law, in that respect, they were well enough, and needed no comforter. Whereas the Gospel, as it was sowed in our Saviour's blood, so it grew up in blood, for divers hundreds of years; and therefore needed the sustentation, and the assurance of a comforter. And then, for the [substance of the law, it was Lex interficiens, non perficiens, says St. Augustine, A law that told them what was sin, and punished them if they did sin, but could not confer remission for sin; which was a discomfortable case. Whereas the Gospel, and the dispensation of the Gospel in the Church, by the Holy Ghost, is grace, mercy, comfort, all the way, and in the end. Therefore Christ,
-j m John xvii. 12.
v. 17. calls the Holy Ghost, Spiritum veritatis, The Spirit of truth; in which he opposes him, and prefers him, above all the remedies, and all the comforts of the law. Not that the Holy Ghost in the law, did not speak truth, but that he did not speak all the truth, in the law. Origen expresses it well, the types and figures of the law, were true figures, and true types of Christ, in the Gospel; but Christ, and his Gospel is the truth itself, prefigured in those types. Therefore the Holy Ghost is Paracletus, the Comforter, in the Gospel, which he was not in the law.
In the records, and stories, and so in the coins, and medals of the Roman emperors, we see, that even then, when they had gotten the possession of the name of emperors, yet they forbore not to add to their style, the name of consul, and the name of Pontifex maximus; still they would be called consuls, which was an acceptable name to the people, and high priests, which carried a reverence towards all the world. Where Christ himself is called by a name appliable to none but Christ, by a name implying the whole nature, and merit of Christ, that is, The Propitiation of the sins of the whole world", yet there, in that place, he is called by the name of this text too, Paracletus, the Comforter. He would not forbear that sweet, that acceptable, that appliable name, that name that concerns us most, and establishes us best, Paracletus, the Comforter. And yet, he does not take that name, in that full, and whole sense, in which himself gives it to the Holy Ghost here. For there it is said of Christ, If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father; there, Paracletus, though placed upon Christ, is but an Advocate; but here, Christ sends Paracletum, in a more entire, and a more internal, and more visceral sense, a Comforter. Upon which comforter, Christ imprints these two marks of dignity, first, The Father shall send you another comforterTM; another, than myself. For, howsoever Christ were the fountain of comfort, yet there were many drams, many ounces, many talents of discomfort mingled, in that their comforter was first to depart from them by death, and being restored to them again by a resurrection, was to depart again, by another transmigration, by an ascension. And therefore the second mark by
"Uolmii. 2. 84Ver. 16.
which Christ dignifies this comforter, is, That he shall abide frith us for ever. And in the performance of that promise, he is here with you now.
And therefore, as we begun with those words of Esay, which our Saviour applied to himself, The Spirit of the Lord is upon, me, because he hath anointed me, to bind up the broken-hearted, and to comfort all them that mourn"; so the Spirit of the Lord is upon all us of his ministry, in that commandment of his, in the same prophet, Consolamini, consolamini, Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, and speak comfortably unto Jerusalem". Receive the Holy Ghost, all ye that are the Israel of the Lord, in that doctrine of comfort, that God is so far from having hated any of you, before he made you, as that he hates none of you now; not for the sins of your parents; not for the sins of your persons; not for the sins of your youth: not for your yesterday's, not for your yesternight's sins; not for that highest provocation of all, your unworthy receiving his Son this day. Only consider, that comfort presumes sadness. Sin does not make you incapable of comfort; but insensibleness of sin does. In great buildings, the turrets are high in the air; but the foundations are deep in the earth. The comforts of the Holy Ghost work so, as that only that soul is exalted, which was dejected. As in this place, where you stand, their bodies lie in the earth, whose souls are in heaven; so from this place, you carry away so much of the true comfort of the Holy Ghost, as you have true sorrow, and sadness for your sins here. Almighty God erect this building upon this foundation; such a comfort, as may not be presumption, upon such a sorrow, as may not be diffidence in him. And to him alone, but in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be ascribed all honour, &c.